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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Readers – What About Settings?


It’s been said that settings are as important as characters, or even that they can be d considered a third character. What do you think? As and author, when you choose a setting, is it one you know? If not how do you write it?
And as a a reader, do you read books set in your area and look for complete accuracy? What pulls you our of the story?
I finally finished By Design and I’m now working on Death Southern Style, set in New Orleans. I’ve visited there once or twice in the past, for conferences or to board a cruise ship. I didn’t go specifically to research it. I have some idea of the French Quarter, the Garden District and Jackson Square. I’ve done online research on residential areas around those areas. I’ve done more research on the style of houses and maybe hidden rooms. And I’ve researched the weather and the seasons, as well as voodoo. And incorporated all this into my story.

Is this adequate? Is it enough for a reader to suspend their belief and be drawn into the story? Will there be people who say, she has no idea what she’s talking about? I’d love to hear from you as a reader and what you look for in a setting when reading fiction. This is, as the title suggests, a romantic suspense.

Friday, March 17, 2017

How Real Are Your Characters to You?


This month Dr. Bob suggested the topic. It’s an interesting one. Are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?
For me this depends on my characters and the plot. It’s a combination. And the second part of the topic is partially the answer. When I begin to write a new story, I’m getting acquainted with my characters. I don’t know them that well. So, early in the writing I don’t get emotionally drained. As the book progresses and I learn more about the characters they become real and part of my family.  I begin to feel their pain and losses. I’m rooting for them to achieve their goals.

Usually near the end when the heroine and hero have a deep emotional scene – I’m there with her.
In Hunted, the mob has tracked down Maggie. They’re in her house. I’m writing the scene, but I’m feeling the panic of both Maggie and Gabe.

In Targeted, Janna almost hits a small, shivering bedraggled dog on the road. She picks him up and puts him inside her jacket to, maybe, stop the shivering. I’m almost sympathizing and want to pat the dog.
And in By Design, when Evie is running for her life, I’m feeling the terror and my pulse rate is escalated.

I can hardly wait to hear what the rest of the group have to say. Off to check out:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Luanna Stewart Blogging on Heroes


Today we’re going to find out a little about author Luanna Stewart. March’s theme is ‘Heroes’ so Luanna will be talking about heroes. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.
Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

And don’t forget to read right to the end of the Q&A and make a comment – because Luanna’s doing a surprise give-away. :)

Beverley: What do you think makes a hero, either in real life or in books?
Luanna: A hero needs to be morally strong and ethically sound. He must have a sense of humour, especially about himself. And he must be willing to give his heart while not expecting anything in return. He should be self-aware enough to know he’s not perfect. Physical beauty isn’t required, or even reasonable, but he should be attractive to the heroine, even if it’s only one aspect of his appearance. Like his brilliant blue eyes that make her knees go weak.
Beverley: Is it important to have strong conflicts? If yes, inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Luanna: Conflict makes the world go round in pretty much all fiction. Otherwise, what would be the point? I certainly wouldn’t bother reading a story in which the heroine and/or hero goes about their business in their own perfect world, tra la la. I feel there should be both outer and inner conflict. The heroine has a mission to complete or a bad guy to foil, and at the same time has to overcome her feelings of inadequacy caused by her early life experiences. And those feelings of inadequacy had better get in the way of completing her mission or catching the bad guy.   
Beverley: Who are your favorite heroes, and why?
Luanna: My all-time favourite hero is Sebastian, Lord Dain, from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. He is so wounded and fragile on the inside, and yet is a big brute on the outside. He is far from the perfect gentleman, a real scoundrel, but that’s part of his charm.
Beverley: Tell me about the heroes in your book/s.
Luanna: The hero in If Wishes Were Earls, Edward, Lord Claverlock, is thrice widowed and feels undeserving of happiness. He’s tied to the earldom and allows his responsibilities to govern his actions. He’s given up on finding love and is resigned to a lonely life with only his books for company. The heroine, Miranda, is a twenty-seven-year-old spinster who is determined to wed a wealthy man with a title because then all her troubles will be over and her life will be perfect, her days filled with teas and visiting and her evenings taken up with parties and balls. A titled bachelor is hard to come by though so she is resigned to a life of keeping house for her father.
Beverley: How do you develop the characteristics for your hero?
Luanna: After I’ve found my character I learn everything I can about her/him through a series of 54 question that attempt to discover her/his past, beliefs, likes, hates, etc. I pick away at the character’s shell until I discover what really bothers him/her and what holds him/her back from true happiness.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Luanna: I’ve been writing with an eye toward publication for ten years. The first couple of those years were filled with discovering that I had a ton to learn about fiction writing, and also about the publishing business.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Luanna: I write romance and am published in contemporary, romantic suspense, and historical. I also have a couple paranormal manuscripts waiting in the wings and hope to either get those with a publisher or get them self-published this year. Apart from romance I’m dabbling in figuring out how to write a cosy mystery.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Luanna:   I’m not sure anyone influenced me to become a writer. I fell into the rabbit hole all on my own.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Luanna: I’m not sure I’d use the word obstacles. This book, being an historical romance, required a fair amount of research. I love research. Perhaps my love of research could be called an obstacle because I could happily spend all my writing time delving into the past.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Luanna: The idea for a character sparks a “what if” question which leads to a “why?” and another “why?” and another and another. Pretty soon I’ve created a real person. Well, real to me. And I can’t wait to tell his/her story.
Beverley:  What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Luanna: There’s nothing worse than getting stuck, not knowing how to move the story forward. For me it’s usually because I’ve veered off script, so to speak. I’ve allowed a subplot to distract me, or a secondary character has taken over. Revisiting my pre-writing work is often enough to get me heading in the right direction.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Luanna: I usually have a small bowl of spoon-sized shredded wheat with skim milk. A couple times a week I splurge on a slice of toast (home-made bread) spread with peanut butter. I drink a glass of orange juice to wake up my taste buds, and at least one cup of coffee to wake up my brain.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Luanna: I’ll be totally honest here and confess to wearing my pyjamas for most of the morning, which is my prime writing time.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Luanna: My writing spot varies depending on where I am in the process. The first draft happens with me seated at my desk tapping on the keyboard. When that’s done, I print the manuscript, fill my fountain pen with purple ink, and sit in my easy chair, along with a yellow pad and a few stacks of sticky notes. I’m better able to edit and revise on hard copy and I’ve even cut (with scissors) and pasted (with tape) when I need to move scenes around.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Luanna: Golly, I’ve not watched cartoon in eons! I would choose the old Warner Bros. cartoons – Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety & Sylvester.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Luanna: I would dearly love to meet Queen Elizabeth II. I’m Canadian and have always watched/enjoyed/appreciated the British monarchy. I think Her Majesty would be charming, would have interesting tales to tell, and I suspect she has a sharp sense of humour.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Luanna: Good heavens, the mere thought of a free day is mindboggling. There is always something to do in the writing business. But if I were forced from the house, I’d go for a hike and pack a picnic that included a bottle of wine, some spicy sausage, and something decadent and chocolate for dessert.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Luanna: Right now, I’m working on the second book in a new historical series, the first of which is with one of my publishers. I’m super excited about this new series which follows a group of women as they each find their place in a society very different from the one they’re used to, very much a fish-out-of-water story.

Luanna: And now I’ll turn the questions back on the readers. If you had an unexpected free day what would YOU do with it?
One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)


Blurb from If Wishes Were Earls
A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart's desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart's desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda's wish doesn't seem so out of reach.
Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.

But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.

Buy Links:
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0QJSHA/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/if-wishes-were-earls-2
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/if-wishes-were-earls/id1184695145?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Nook: http://bit.ly/2ifWvXO
All other retailers:https://www.draft2digital.com/book/209375

You can find Luanna at:
Website:  http://www.luannastewart.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Luanna_Stewart
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Luanna.Stewart.nau
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/luannastewart/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14104212.Luanna_Stewart
Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart 

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview on Heroes.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

St Patrick's Day and Corned Beef


March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day - one of my favorite days and I’m not Irish but I love corned beef and cabbage – and of course – green beer.
So off to Wikipedia to find out the history.  Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, ceilidhs, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day. And March 17th is traditional death date of Saint Patrick. (AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

As for the corned beef and cabbage – In every Irish establishment, and many others, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef and cabbage will make its way onto the menu, marking a "tip of the cap" to the Irish around March 17. Another annual occurrence is Irish people complaining that this is not, in fact, an Irish dish at all, but is this true?

Beef was not readily available in Ireland and was considered a luxury and that’s why the traditional Irish meal centered around ham, the bacon. But when these Irish got off the boats in America it was quite the opposite. Corned beef was the meat that they could easily and more cheaply get their hands on and, so, this became the meal of choice for generations of Irish Americans to come.

In New England, a tradition formed of having a boiled dinner. For this dish, the corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes were boiled.

Many maintain that the dish is simply not Irish at all. According to thekitchenproject.com, when the Irish arrived in America, they couldn’t find a bacon joint like they had in Ireland so they gravitated toward the Jewish corned beef, which was very similar in texture.
So there you go, and friends of mine who are Catholic, told me that and edict (or declaration) had come down that Catholics may eat corned beef (instead of fish) this Friday, March 17th – but they must do something nice for someone to compensate.
Happy St. Patrick's Day - a little early!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Author and Actress Charmaine Gordon on Heros

Today we’re going to find out a little about author Charmaine Gordon. March’s theme is ‘Heroes’ so Charmaine will be talking about heroes. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Charmaine says, “I didn’t spread my wings until we, as civilians, moved to New York. An actor friend who had seen me in community theater plays, said I should get off my butt to head for the city. I was wasting my time and so my hubs drew a map of how to drive to New York City-YIKES!- and away I went. Much to my surprise, I began to get work, a lot of work in daytime drama like 13 years on One Life to Live, A few years on Another World and more. Movies called for bit parts. My first was Working Girl where Mike Nichols beckoned. I held the balloons, cake and sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and during the break shared a hot dog with Harrison Ford. Another month-long movie where Anthony –call me Tony-Hopkins invited me to lunch with the leads and staff. What a sweet time. Also, When Harry Met Sally and we all sang with Carrie Fisher, young and pretty back then. During the run of an Off-Broadway play, I felt my voice change. The next day a famous voice doctor gave me bad news. “You have Spasmodic Dysphonia. Your good voice is gone.”
Creative juices continued to flow and I began to write without knowing what I was doing. Twenty-five stories later, I’m still getting the hang of this wonderful craft.

Beverley: What do you think makes a hero, either in real life or in books?
Charmaine: Courage is important, a willingness to speak for yourself and kindness to others. That’s a big one for me. Put a smile on your face and lend a hand to a stranger at the grocery store, crossing the street, just be pleasant. My first love joined the Air Force and became a pilot. After living a sheltered life in Chicago, when we married and I became an officer’s bride, my eyes opened wide to a wonderful world of giving, caring strong women and men who fought for our country. With the men often away on three to six month missions, women raised their families alone yet never alone because we bonded.

I’ve never lost the fire inside to hold my hand out and smile.
Beverley: Is it important to have strong conflicts? If yes, inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Charmaine: Without conflicts, there is no story. I learned that early on. Life is definitely not a bowl of cherries. Writing fiction, the author must find a way, different paths toward conflict and resolution. In real life, I’ve always been a calm, collected happy woman, never arguing, just pleasant. My Mother had that quality. When I began to write, someone said, “So where’s the conflict?” Duh, what conflict. Really? For someone who isn’t feisty by nature, you must be clever or the story goes flat. 
Beverley: Who are your favorite heroes, and why?
Charmaine: The rugged, scarred face of Lucas Davenport, hero in John Sandford’s books is my kind of guy.  I enjoy John Sandford’s books because there’s so much humor blended in with crime. And then, above all, I love James Lee Burke considered to be one of the finest writers of today. If you haven’t read any one of his books, you’re missing a great read.
Beverley: Tell me about the heroes in your book/s.
Charmaine: Here goes. The Catch is about this handsome football player so full of himself and when the one girl he really cared about said NO, he got lost sleeping with a bunch of girls in college who meant nothing to him. The story begins on New Years Day when he wakes up to find a woman in his bed, a woman from an escort agency and finally he knows how low he’s fallen. The story takes off from there as he makes amends to his family and so much more. I so enjoyed writing this book. Well, I truly love writing all my books. Thanks for this fine question.
Beverley: How do you develop the characteristics for your hero?
Charmaine: I do believe my acting background has a lot to do with how I see the characters grow. Just like planting seeds in a garden or watching your babies develop. It’s a wonder, this writing world we live in. I see them so clearly, hear their voices, know their names with no problem as if they are living beings. Delicious!  For instance, Tom Donnelly, the hero, is a football player. Picture this, I think, and he shows up, blond hair, wide shoulders, the quarterback with authority. He falls for Charlie Costigan, a girl who believes in chastity. She has no intention of allowing him in. Just a kiss will do. This changes his whole life until he, now a lawyer, crosses paths with Joanne McKenna Friedman, a smart young lawyer, beautiful on the outside, damaged on the inside. Conflict! Don’t we love it!

Excerpt from The Catch
The woman in his bed sat up and shoved him hard. “Times up, handsome.”

Tom Donnelly rolled over and blinked awake.

“My name’s Vicki in case you’ve forgotten.”

He attempted his winning grin; it didn’t work. Vicki. No Vicki came to his muddled mind. The fog lifted to recall speaking to an escort service for a date.

Naked, Vicki stalked to the bathroom with an armload of clothes picked up on the way. Five minutes later, money in her tight fist, Vicki came running out of the bathroom to scream in his face. “The deal was a thousand dollars. I count five hundred. Where’s the rest?” Hands on voluptuous hips she glared at him.

Head pounding from the world’s worst hangover, Tom stumbled to his dresser. Money hidden somewhere under. . .Clothes flew as he searched and came up with a roll of cash. He handed her four hundred fifty dollars. “Sorry, I’ll make it up next time.”

“Loser. Word gets around, no one’s gonna go with you. Not from the best service in town.” Vicki slammed the front door.

Tom shook his head. Happy New Year to me. Sunk so low I had to hire a date for the big party. Me, the Catch, every girl’s hope reduced to this.

Buy Links:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecatch-1145585-152.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/295820
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615792545
http://www.amazon.com/The-Catch-ebook/dp/B00BUGFI2I

You can find Charmaine at:
http://authorCharmaineGordon.wordpress.com
Twitter  @CharJGordon

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview. This time it's on Heroes. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Heros With Cora Ramos

This week we’re going to find out a little about author Cora J. Ramos. March’s theme is ‘Heroes’ so Cora will be talking about heroes. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Cora J. Ramos writes short stories of mystery and suspense that have won awards and been published in the anthology, Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious.
Her first novel, Dance the Dream Awake, was published in June 2015, a paranormal romantic suspense set in present day, but with a past life of a Mayan life lived in the Yucatan, around 900 A.D.
Her second novel, Haiku Dance, is a historical romantic suspense set in the Heian, Japan of 980 A.D., when the pillow books (like Tales of Genji) were written and inspired this work. It was published May-2016.
Cora is a trained artist and loves to paint for her own pleasure and helps design her own book covers. She keeps journals of dreams, poems and inspiration for paintings and stories. Currently working on Dance the Edge, sequel to Dance the Dream Awake.
She is a member of International Sisters-in-Crime; San Joaquin Chapter (President); Central Coast Chapter and Romance Writers of America & local Yosemite Romance Writers Chapter

Beverley: What do you think makes a hero, either in real life or in books?
Cora: A vulnerable character we feel for that pushes through to achieve something he/she desperately wants, especially in spite of their weaknesses or obstacles that may threaten to destroy them. It is central to human experience
Beverley: Is it important to have strong conflicts? If yes, inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Cora: Strong outer conflicts grab and hold our attention, but it’s the inner conflicts that engage our hearts and make for a more satisfying story when resolved.
Beverley: Who are your favorite heroes, and why?
Cora: They would be the wounded ones or the creative ones willing who go against the norm to bring forth changes. The men and women that struggle against some deep psychological wound that keeps reappearing in different circumstances until they recognize it and either resolve it or not.
Like Greek tragedies or Gothic romances. Odysseus or Jane Eyre. The heroes fight against not only the dangers in the real world, but the decisions they have to make within themselves that cause them to grow. Not always the best decisions, either, which is much more real. By their failures, we learn.
Or Alice who follows her heart and goes down that rabbit hole into the world of Wonderland and all it has to offer/teach her. Fearlessness.
Or James Bond with his no holds barred approach to life. Tongue-in-cheek cheekiness.
Beverley: Tell me about the heroes in your book/s.
Cora: In Dance the Dream Awake, Tessa has buried issues around her inability to open her heart to love. She struggles with fear and trust until these issues, stemming from an event from a Mayan past life. Those issues are revealed through the unfolding of archaeological finds, deceptions and three men she encounters in the jungles of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
In Haiku Dance, Shino, a young boy in 10th century Japan, is angry at his grandfather’s decision to send him away to be trained as a samurai because he lacks self discipline. As a young, disciplined samurai, he becomes dissatisfied with the state of the warrior class that fights for petty land lords. He envisions a solution to the injustices but struggles to bring about those changes. Then, after many years, he encounters his childhood love, Miyoshi, once again. He realizes he’s always loved her. Is he disciplined enough now to do what is necessary to keep her safe and find a way to transcend the obstacles that forbid the fruition of their love?
Beverley: How do you develop the characteristics for your hero?
Cora: I try to get inside their skin and write from their POV. I use psychological/Jungian tools of archetypal patterns of human nature—like the hero’s journey of Joseph Campbell and the Tarot. And the simple things people around me do, maybe magnified and more logical (because humans are not always logical).
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Cora: I’ve been writing for 28 years—a lot of short stories during that time while learning to write a novel. I have an anthology (with two writer friends) of some of those award winning short stories (Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious). I feel lucky to have learned to write a good short—a very important skill in my writer career.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Cora: I write romantic suspense (Haiku Dance is a historical romantic suspense) and I write short stories of mystery and suspense—with a touch of horror in some. As I mentioned above, I like stories that have a challenge to them, a hero’s journey—either successful, happy endings, or as in my short stories, not so much). Because everything in life does not end well and we learn from that—sometimes more than the happy ever after stories.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Cora: Not a person but a place. I had a déjà-vu event that happened in Mexico at one of the pyramids that inspired that first novel and got me writing. I helped found the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime (International Organization to support and advance the writing careers of women who write mystery) around that same time and my writer friends there suggested a writing teacher that taught me to write that first novel (while writing short stories for our local chapter and other contests). When you make that decision to write, opportunities open up.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Cora: Making time to write. I had a very stressful job during the day and I would come home, take a nap, eat dinner and then apply myself to writing for a few hours every night instead of watching T.V. It’s too easy to relax and put off that writing time, but if you decide you want to be a writer, you must get disciplined about your writing habits. And, not listening to everyone that has an opinion about your story/your writing until it’s done, especially family and friends that are not writers and may not understand what you write.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Cora: My first novel got its start when I free-form painted an image that inspired me. A line from a poem, an article in the newspaper, a stranger on the street that does something to start your creativity asking, “What if….” Anything can be an inspiration if you are open. Lots of training to write a short story to a theme or title helped me get my juices flowing early on.  
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Cora: Stress. If I don’t stay calm and balanced, it can throw me off. I meditate and write in a journal daily which helps keep me maintain a writer mode most of the time. Until life happens.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Cora: I start my day with coffee and toast. It perks up my brain enough to get focused, and then I usually have a green drink made of kale, fruit, almond milk and vitamins/herbs. Brain food.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Cora: I try to get dressed for the day after journal writing, meditation and pool exercises. I like to be ready for my day early—like going to a job.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Cora: I have a home office I write in.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Cora: Not really. I left behind my cartoon characters long ago—Little Lulu, Felix the Cat, Woody Woodpecker, Mighty Mouse, Mr.Magoo, Tom and Jerry, Road Runner, Wonder Woman, The Invisible Man—then there’s all the horror comics I loved to read. . . .
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Cora: J.K Rowling. I admire her for writing what was in her heart, against all odds that it would get published—her unique vision. She didn’t compromise and she persisted.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Cora: It depends on the weather. A good day, I think I would head to the beach for the day—or out in nature somewhere. A cloudy day I might just like to sleep and read and be lazy.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Cora: I’m working on the follow-up story to Dance the Dream Awake. Jack, who Tessa dismissed in that novel, now has his day—and he’s coming back strong. In Dance the Edge, his story is an exciting one and he will not be deterred. I wish I could write faster but it comes when it comes. I’m trying to push it now, though.

Blurb for Haiku Dance
Thirteen-year old, Shino, rebellious and undisciplined, is sent away to the Tendai monks to be trained as a samurai warrior. When leaving his childhood friend Miyoshi behind, he carelessly crushes her young heart.

Years later, weary of senseless battles fought for selfish lords, Shino is thrust into the world of Heian Kyo where he finds Miyoshi once again. Now blossomed into the beautiful and charming Lady Lotus, she is courtier to the emperor’s court and soon to be betrothed to another. Finally accepting that he has always loved her, he risks everything to keep her from the fate to which she is destined but does not want, and the dangers that threaten her life. Does he dare hope for more?
Blurb for Dance the Dream Away
Every night, a Mayan priest adorned in a feathered headdress enters Tessa’s dream and rips out her heart. Taking her friend’s advice, she books a trip to Mexico to try and get past these nightmares.


 


On her trip, she meets three men. Which one can she trust? Which one will she fall in love with? Which one is trying to help her?

When all their lives have become entwined and the warnings of the female shaman curanderas have shaken her to her core and reached breaking point, she’s convinced someone is out to kill her. Only then does the shocking revelation come forth. Will she survive the dangers and the men? Is she running for her life, or from love?

Buy Links:

Amazon: Dance the Dream Awake http://amzn.to/2lw5N43
Haiku Dance http://amzn.to/2maIiKR
*Amazon, all listed Amazon.com: Cora J. Ramos

Smashwords:
Dance the Dream Awake http://bit.ly/2lSGvt6
Haiku Dance http://bit.ly/2lw6ZEs
Barnes & Noble:
Dance the Dream Awake http://bit.ly/2lSHCsG
Haiku Dance http://bit.ly/2lw5037

You can find Cora at: @corajramos

Website:  www.coraramos.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cora-Ramos/e/B00BAKLGXOBlog: http://coraramos-cora.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoraJRamos.Author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3807418-cora-ramos

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview. This time it's  another discussion on Heroes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chocolate for Nutrition Month


March is nutrition month. So this is a good time for everyone to take a good look at their eating patterns. I thought I'd share this post. It's from my website.
Writers are usually busy people, at the very least balancing jobs, families and writing. To be able to maintain this lifestyle you need to get lots of sleep, exercise and follow a nutritious diet.

I’m going to share a few tips to help you with the nutritious eating part. You probably already know most of the things I’m going to discuss - but are you doing them?
Before we get to the serious stuff let’s talk about chocolate.

Chocolate is a vegetable – my favorite food group!!!
Chocolate is a vegetable! Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus chocolate is a vegetable.

To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. Therefore, candy bars are a health food.
Chocolate-covered raisons, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.
The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car?

(Answer: Eat it in the parking lot.)
Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights and they will always jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves. (They’re testing this with other snack foods as well.)J
If you eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate – it’s a balanced diet. They actually counteract each other.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger. Therefore, you need to eat more chocolate.
Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way at least you’ll get one thing done.

A nice box of chocolate can provide your total daily intake of calories on one place. Now isn’t that handy?
If you can’t eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can’t eat all your chocolate, what’s wrong with you?

If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can’t let that happen, can you?
If you want to read some serious nutrition tips, check out my website at http://www.beverleybateman.com