What’s Next? (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 16, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s blog topic is top five things on my bucket list. This is a tough one. While I never called it a bucket list, I’ve already achieved many of the goals I’ve set for myself over the years. Are goals and a bucket list the same thing?

I guess the top of the bucket list now is to write a best-seller. I’m not even sure what that means any more. New York Times? USA Today? Actually in my case, I should say seller, not best-seller. I would be happy to earn even a modest amount of money from my writing.

Tying in with number one is my wish to see a book I have written made into a Hallmark movie. I no longer read or watch anything fictional that does not have a happily ever after. Real life is quite enough to deal with thank you very much.

For number three, I wish I could travel extensively through Europe, particularly Italy and Austria. One for the food and wine and the other for the music.

Number four is the evergreen wish to reach and maintain my ideal weight, preferably with no effort on my part. See above regarding food and wine. I’m pretty sure bucket list items shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

Rounding out the list is the desire to live in a small college town. Any schools need an adjunct with an educational psychology degree? Feel free to call. Extra points if you will allow me to pursue a doctoral degree on your dime.

I can’t wait to read what my fellow authors have to say on this subject. Take a look here.

 

 

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The Trouble With True Love release

Published February 14, 2018 by francesothomas

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Fans of Laura Lee Guhrke, like moi, will not want to miss her latest release. Publication date was Jan. 30, 2018.

Here’s the blurb:

Dear Lady Truelove, I am a girl of noble family, but I am painfully shy, especially in my encounters with those of the opposite sex . . .

For Clara Deverill, standing in for the real Lady Truelove means dispensing advice on problems she herself has never managed to overcome. There’s nothing for it but to retreat to a tearoom and hope inspiration strikes between scones. It doesn’t—until Clara overhears a rake waxing eloquent on the art of “honorable” jilting. The cad may look like an Adonis, but he’s about to find himself on the wrong side of Lady Truelove.

Rex Galbraith is an heir with no plans to produce a spare. He flirts with the minimum number of eligible young ladies to humor his matchmaking aunt, but Clara is the first to ever catch his roving eye. When he realizes that Clara—as Lady Truelove—has used his advice as newspaper fodder, he’s infuriated. But when he’s forced into a secret alliance with her, he realizes he’s got a much bigger problem—because Clara is upending everything Rex thought he knew about women—and about himself. . .

 

Excerpt

“Well, well,” he murmured, “with every look and every word, the little lamb with the big brown eyes proves she’s not as defenseless as she first appears.” Clara felt a spark of frustration at his description. She might be plain and possess a shy, quiet disposition, but she was not some helpless, dependent creature.

“Is that what I am?” she asked as they turned in a circle, moving in the steps of the dance. “A little lamb?” She opened her eyes deliberately wide. “And I’m lost in the woods, I suppose, and you’ll come save me?”

“Save you? I doubt it.” His gaze lowered, pausing at her lips. “Ravish you would be a sight more likely.”

Clara’s heart gave a panicked thud, slamming into her ribs with such force that it broke her concentration. She trod on his foot, lost her balance, and would have stumbled, but he caught her, letting go of her hand to wrap his arm around her back. “Careful,” he murmured. “Dance with me much longer and you’ll be in danger.”

“You warn me, Lord Galbraith, but I cannot help wondering why.”

“You’re in my arms.” He pulled her a fraction closer. “Make no mistake, my lamb. You are in very great danger.”

My own personal book club (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 9, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s blog topic is what five authors dead or alive I’d like to meet.

The first is easy. I’d love hanging out with Janet Evanovich. I have read all of her Plum novels and belly-laughed at every one. Imagine sitting down with her over a glass or three of wine and finding out if Ranger is based on a real person. She lives only a couple hours away from me, so this can easily be arranged if you’re listening, Janet.

My next choice is Eloisa James. What fun it would be to talk about how her university students react to her as both a Shakespearean scholar and a romance author. I was an adjunct professor briefly myself, and I’m sure we’d have lots of stories to share.

That brings me to number three. Shakespeare himself. Am I stretching the rules to include a playwright? If so, I don’t care. How brilliant he was to have written so much that is just as valid today as it was centuries ago. What a wit, and what a student of human nature.

Since I’m rule-bending, for number four I’d pick Stephen Sondheim. I love his music, largely because of his erudite lyrics filled with astonishing rhymes. “What makes him look reptilian is the brilliantine.” C’mon. Who wouldn’t want to have written that line?

Number five? This one is tougher. Do I go with perennial favorites Louisa May Alcott or Charlotte Bronte? The indefatigable Nora? Nah. I think I’ll go with Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have probably read and enjoyed all of her books. Her football player heroes are yummy yet down to earth.

I think I’m seeing a pattern here…

Read about which authors others have chosen here.

Parachuting In (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 2, 2018 by francesothomas

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The topic for this week’s Marketing for Romance Writers blog challenge is what book influenced my life. I thought for a long time about this one. What novel can I say influenced me? Little Women was an early favorite. I always loved Gone With the Wind. What about Jane Eyre?

Then it hit me. I enjoyed the works of fiction, but to say I was influenced the book had to be nonfiction. My choice is What Color Is Your Parachute, the perennial best-seller by Richard Bolles.

I had toiled (and I do not use this term lightly) in the insurance industry for more years than I care to count when I decided I couldn’t stand it any more. A friend of mine suffering the same sort of angst suggested I go to the counselor she was seeing.

Said counselor put me through multiple check lists and exercises including those in Parachute. I am admittedly a self-help book junkie, but I never actually write out the answers to all of those questions the authors pose. This time I did. What emerged was the decision to go to grad school and pursue a degree in educational psychology.

If you are facing a mid-life career crisis as I was, I urge you to get a copy of Parachute. Much wisdom and practical advice reside therein.

More importantly, if you are the parent of a teenager, get them a copy. Don’t make them wander in the desert of an unhappy job when they could find a better path.

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The Magic of Stars book release

Published January 31, 2018 by francesothomas

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Jackie Ladbury has just published Book Two of the Blue Skies Airline Series. Her first book was well-received by readers of sweet romances, so this one should be a winner.

About the book

Sapphire Montrose always felt like a loser in the struggle of life, but when she becomes the airline manager of a run-down airline she starts to believe she is a winner – until she unwittingly propositions her new boss and all her hard work is undone.

In a moment of recklessness air stewardess, Sapphire Montrose throws caution and her dress to the wind by propositioning a handsome stranger in a hotel in Florence, only to find herself waking up alone and embarrassed in her hotel room.

Unfortunately for Sapphire, it turns out that her new boss, Marco Cavarelli, is the man she failed to seduce and she is now fighting for her job and her self-respect when he tells her there is no place in his revamped airline for an alcoholic woman with lascivious tendencies. To make matters worse she is increasingly attracted to him and he seems to be giving out the same vibes. Or is he simply testing her? One wrong move could be the end of her career. But what if he really is offering love – and is he worth the risk?

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Magic-Stars-feel-good-heavenly-romance-ebook/dp/B078BF91XS

 

 

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About Jackie Ladbury

Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she’d forgotten to bring a pen.

Short and sharp lesson learned.

Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and ‘hosties’ while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.

Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed ‘happy ever after.’

Social Media Links –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jackie.ladbury

Website – https://jackieladbury.com/

The Write Romantics –  https://thewriteromantics.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackieLadbury

Backup Singers R Us (#MFRWAuthor)

Published January 26, 2018 by francesothomas

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This week’s topic in the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop is what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer.

I actually worked in the insurance industry for far too many years before I became a writer. I most assuredly would not do that again.

For a short time, I worked as the administrator for the local chamber of commerce. That was a little better.

Most recently, I was an adjunct professor at a community college. Pretty good fit.

But this challenge is for authors, so my answer can be fictional, right?

If I weren’t a writer, my dream job is back-up singer. I want to be one of those three women at the back of the stage, oohing and aahing in perfect harmony while performing some variation of the Temptations dance step, preferably attired in sequins.

Failing landing a gig with Michael Bolton or Barry Manilow, I would be OK with being a part of the chorus for the annual PBS Fourth of July concert.

Then I could write about it.

Take a look at what some other authors have to say on this topic:

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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.