Write What You Know (#MFRWAuthor Blog Hop)

Published January 19, 2018 by francesothomas

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The topic for the  third week’s blog hop is how much of myself is in my writing. The old saw to write what you know is an old saw for a good reason. Really, what else could you write about?

Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to be the editor of my community’s weekly newspaper. As anyone who has worked on such a publication knows, being the editor means covering any and all local events, writing all the articles, and taking photos of everyone involved. Even a relatively short stint in that role has provided ample material for my Calusa Town Tales series.

You see, I live on an island off the coast of Florida. You might envision beaches and high rise condos, but you would be mistaken. My island has no beaches. What it does have are lots of people fiercely determined to preserve the ecology and the “Old Florida” atmosphere.

My fellow residents are a colorful, opinionated bunch. Some retired here after lives in corporate America. They now have the time to paint, make music, and, oh yeah, write books. Others have lived here for generations, fishing and growing tropical fruits. Still others are snowbirds who come here every year for several months.

Take it from me, they all know how to party. And they also are amazingly quick to pitch in to help anyone in need.

You’ll have to excuse me now, so I can go look for more story ideas.

 

 

 

 

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Not-So-Tiny Dancer (#MFRWAuthor Bog Hop)

Published January 12, 2018 by francesothomas

 

 

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This week’s blog hop topic is my earliest memory. While I’ve read that some people remember things that happened when they were age three or so, that isn’t the case with me. One of my early memories dates to about age 6 or 7.

I guess I must have received a phonograph (who remembers those, by the way?), and the first record I remember playing on it was Nutcracker Suite. Did I ask for that record? How did my mother somehow know to buy it for me? I have no idea. I came from a musical family, but their tastes ran to hymns and pop songs, not classical. What I do know is how I loved dancing around the living room of my grandmother’s house to Tchaikovsky’s music.

My mother, bless her, then tried to enroll me in dance classes with a couple other neighbor girls. But even at that age, self-consciousness had already set in. When I compared my friends’ skinny bodies to my plump one, I was too embarrassed to participate in something that would have given me such joy.

I was well into adulthood before I finally screwed up my courage and took a few dance classes. I eventually joined a senior dance team. At last, I got to wear sequins and fling a boa around. Oh, the self-consciousness hadn’t disappeared. I was still comparing my figure to those of the other women, most of whom had the body type usually associated with dancers. But this time around, I managed to power through it.

Confidence is a valuable commodity.

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How It Began (#MFRWauthor Blog Hop)

Published January 5, 2018 by francesothomas

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I’m embarking on a 52 week blogging challenge put forth by Marketing for Romance Writers.

The topic for Week One is my favorite piece of writing. I have to choose my first attempt as a favorite since it led to a lifetime of putting pen to paper followed by fingers to keyboard.

The first thing I ever remember writing, well actually co-authoring, was a play when I was in the fourth grade. We had been studying about the Spanish colonization of St. Augustine. My friend Lynda and I concocted a script about siblings, a boy and a girl, who voyaged across the ocean to settle in Florida.

Knowing my proclivity for the performing arts, I am convinced in hindsight that we wrote it so we could take the leading roles. With age-appropriate disdain for boys, we convinced only the girls to participate. Since I was taller than Lynda,  I got to play the brother. I know we cast the tallest girl in class as the sea captain. Other details have fled my memory.

The production must have had at least some merit, however, as we put it on not only for the scorned boys in our own class but also for another grade. Fifth, maybe. Upper classmen.

Who would have guessed that decades later I’d be living in Florida? I set my Calusa Town Tales series on a quasi-fictional island off the coast of Southwest Florida.

What is a blog hop?

A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the
exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list.
The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can “HOP” from blog
to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

Click here to see what other authors have to share.

Love can come at any age

Published December 28, 2017 by francesothomas

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Today our guest author is Peter Perrin who writes romances featuring mature characters. What a great concept. His book Grace’s Turmoil, part one of his Not Too Old for Love series was released Dec. 15.

Here’s more about it:

Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.

But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.

Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?

And here is an interview with Grace:

What is your name, and how old are you?
I’m Grace Stollery. I’m sixty-eight-years-young.
How would you describe your physical characteristics?

Petite, as I’m only 5 feet 2 inches tall. But although my figure is slender it’s quite firm. My skin is creamy looking with just a sprinkling of freckles. And I have big brown eyes and shoulder-length dark brown hair.

What do you think is your best feature?
My figure and my bone structure are good. But my legs seem to get the most compliments.

Where were you born?
I was born in England, in a town called Romford. Back then it was part of the county of Essex, but it has grown so much it is now seen as part of East London.

Are you married?
Ouch! I wish you hadn’t asked me that. I was married for some fourteen years, but that ended in a painful divorce.

What friends do you have?

When I was an internationally renowned artist I had many friends, or so I thought. But now that career is behind me I never hear from any of them. So, I guess they weren’t much in the way of friends after all.

Nowadays, I only have a couple of close friends, Vera and Emily, who both live in my retirement village.

How are your relationships with men, generally?
Men have always been attracted to me, and I’ve enjoyed their company. But, I’m a Pisces and my emotions are my biggest weakness. I wear my heart on my sleeve and live on cloud nine when my love life is going well. However, when it turns sour I don’t cope well.
How would you describe your dress style?
In my youth I was a Mod, so their love of smart fashion influenced me. I love to wear flamboyant clothes in bright and bold colours and am especially fond of Mary Quant outfits. And, when I’m in the mood, I like to wear brightly coloured kaftans.
What are your favourite pastimes?
Mostly listening to nostalgic music. The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, and The Birds as they remind me of my days as a Mod in the 60s. Plus I love anything by Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, or Chuck Berry. Also, I read a little, mostly sloppy romances.

How would you describe your personality?
Complex. I’m gregarious and sociable, but introverted and prone to depression.
How would you describe your sense of humour?
Dry and subtle. I absolutely detest when sarcasm is passed off as humour.
Will readers like or dislike your character?
Oh, I do hope they like me. But, I’m afraid they might think I’m a bitch because of the way I treat Alfred.

 

Buy Link. http://www.devinedestinies.com/grace-s-turmoil/

Website: https://peterperrin.blog

Blog:  https://peterperrin.blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterperrin44

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeterPerrin44/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/peterperrin/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/
https://www.amazon.com/

https://www.amazon.ca/

 

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Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters who will make you rethink your views on older people in a positive way. His characters are mature in age but not necessarily in their behaviour. They may not be in the first flush of youth but that doesn’t stop some of them acting like hormonal teenagers.

Peter was born in Romford, in the county of Essex, near London, England. For nearly twenty years he has lived with his wife of almost forty years in a quiet suburb of Swindon, in the county of Wiltshire, in England. He is a father and grandfather.

He is a former member of The Royal Air Force who has served in the UK, and in Madagascar, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. He was also stationed for two years in Aden—which nowadays is part of Yemen.

After almost fifteen-years’ service in The Royal Air Force Peter worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, not to mention myriad smaller jobs in between those careers.

Now retired Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, and (despite being in his early seventies) PC and PlayStation games.

His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”

 

 

Holiday Wishes review

Published November 9, 2017 by francesothomas

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Jill Shalvis gives us another installment about a delightful group of friends. In Holiday Wishes, bad boy Sean O’Riley is in charge of his brother’s bachelor weekend. For once in his life, he wants to avoid screwing up. He owes it to his brother to make all the details perfect.

Being California, weather throws a monkey wrench into his plans. Fortunately, his first love happens to be running the B&B where the event is scheduled.

Her love life has gone off the rails and the last thing she needs is this blast from the past. Or so she says.

This Heartbreaker Bay story is novella length, so you will have no trouble fitting it in between shopping, cooking, and merry-making. Give yourself a wee gift. You deserve it.

 

Launch of Main Street Romance

Published November 6, 2017 by francesothomas

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Since I write what I consider to be “Main Street Romance,” I am happy to share an exciting new idea and offer a chance to win  a Rafflecopter giveaway .
The authors will be partying on their Facebook page today.

Main Street Romance is made up of four friends and bestselling authors who adore romance, and are committed to filling your bookshelves with sweet and clean love stories you’ll be excited to share with your best friend, Mom, Grandma, and your teenage daughter, too. No profanity, graphic sex, or violence.
Not only are they dedicated to writing sweet romance and growing their audience with new readers, but they will be building an entire community around the Main Street Romance brand, including giving readers short stories that take place in their very own Main Street Romance world, where new characters along with characters from their prior releases, will appear in stories that take place on Main Street, in Romance, Virginia.

Find Them Here:
Website – https://mainstreetromance.com
Newsletter – https://mainstreetromance.com/newsletter/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MainStreetRomance/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MainStreetRom
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mainstreetromance

Meet the Main Street Authors
Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes fun, flirty, and sweet romance with a dash of heat.

Chris Keniston is a USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty novels known to delight audiences with stories of falling in love, family values, and all around entertaining shenanigans.

Nancy Naigle is a USA Today bestselling author. She whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart.

RaeAnne Thayne is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books.

Sugarplum Way book review

Published October 31, 2017 by francesothomas

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Sugarplum Way is Book Four in Debbie Mason’s Harmony Harbor series. In it, Mason finally lets us in on some of the secrets alluded to in earlier books.

The matriarch of the town’s leading family had written them all down in her diary. Although she has now departed in body,  her ghost lingers on, still meddling and trying to keep the book away from those who might be hurt by the revelations.

Julia, aka Sugarplum, has been keeping a whopper of a secret. To atone for past wrongs, she’s been acting as a fairy godmother instead. Intense, but gorgeous Aiden is one of the recipients of her largesse. His suspicions about her motives don’t keep him from falling under her “magic.”

The rather large cast of characters might be a tad confusing to those who haven’t read the earlier books. The premise and the town, however, are delightful all by themselves. Like her heroine, Mason has a sense of whimsy that makes for a perfect holiday novel.