Help! I need somebody…(#MFRWAuthor)

Published March 16, 2018 by francesothomas



Oh, my goodness! We are into the 11th week of the year already? This week’s #MFRWAuthor blog challenge is “If I never had to do this one task again…”

Some of these weekly topics are difficult to answer. This one isn’t.

If I never had to deal with telephone customer service, and I use that term loosely, I would jump for joy. This goes for cable television, medical practitioners, bank or insurance personnel, and any and all government bureaucracies.

All of the “push this button for that” business is circular and infuriating. My husband has been known to bellow “Get me a human being” into the phone. This rarely works. I try repeatedly pressing zero. Same non-result.

If by some stroke of luck you actually get to a person, that person cannot give you a satisfactory answer anyway. The most recent excuse I got was they hadn’t called back since they were catching up from the hurricane. The hurricane that happened six months ago.

Take a look here to see what bugs my fellow authors.



Do unto others (#MFRWAuthor)

Published March 9, 2018 by francesothomas


Week ten Marketing for Romance Writers blog challenge is things only my family would understand. My siblings and I use the term “do-less” to describe people who are a combination of useless, clueless, and helpless, and also short on common sense.

My mother used this adjective, and we all picked it up. I’ve never heard anyone else use it. I never knew if it originated in her native West Virginia or if it was her own original construct, but I suspect the latter. It is very useful, however, in conveying a lot of information and more than a little disdain.

I can’t wait to read family stories from my fellow authors here.


Just Do It (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 23, 2018 by francesothomas


This week’s blog topic is  the worst writing advice I ever got. Honestly, I can’t remember any bad advice. I have gone to a few writers’ conferences over the years, belonged to three writers’ organizations, and have taken online classes and workshops galore. I’ve got notebooks full of wonderful advice.

The problem was not with any of the advice. The problem was with me. For advice to be helpful, you have to follow it. Oh, I’ve managed to put some of it into practice, but a lot of it fell by the wayside.

It’s never enough to know what to do. You actually have to do it.

Check out what some other authors have to say on this topic here.

What’s Next? (#MFRWAuthor)

Published February 16, 2018 by francesothomas



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.



The Trouble With True Love release

Published February 14, 2018 by francesothomas


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. . .



“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


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



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.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…