My first novel!
A Soldier’s Embrace is a sweet, yet exciting story. The characters are captivating and the settings are perfect. The dialogue between the characters is well written and realistic. Ms. Romero has written a great historical romance.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Where authors and readers come together!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Motivation is a chocolate bunny

When writing a novel or a short story, how do we keep motivated?  This is kind of a funny post for me because currently I have no motivation at all. Maybe I have A.D.D because as I'm writing this I keep wondering why the dog is sighing under the table and should I go check on the plants I already watered.

 The most obvious answer and what everyone says is set a daily word count.  Okay.  Done.  I tell myself to try to write at least 300 words.  Some days that's a piece of cake other days I would have better luck extracting my own teeth.  This is one of those days.  Weeks, actually.

Next to rank up there behind word count for me would be remove all games from your computer.  Damn Candy Crush I curse you!  I've had to resort to pinching myself every time I thought of clicking on something other than my word document.  It works.  Of course I have large painful welts on my arms and legs that my husband keeps worrying someone, somewhere is going to place the blame on him for, but the quick pain count reminds me how much my mind wanders and forces me to stay focused.   What was I saying?  Oh yeah, I'm blogging.

Third, keep a supply of chocolate within grabbing reach.  I don't know why, but chocolate gets my creativity juices flowing!  Maybe it's the munching that simulates the brain.  If so, you can substitute chips if you prefer.  Of course by the time your book is published you can't fit into any other than your sweat pants, but on the up swing, your book is done!

Share what motivates you to keep writing when your plot has grown thin and you've written yourself into a corner?  Okay, now back to writing my Irish sequel!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Selecting the best Point of View for your scene

Finally, Southern California got some rain!  "It was the biggest storm to hit San Diego in several years," said the reporter on the street corner in his windbreaker.  Street gutters became flooded and people got their feet wet.  Actually, I have to admit, the wind was pretty strong.  Two very large branches tore off a couple of my trees in the back yard, but that was about it. 

  While I watched the rain come down, I did some editing on a novel for a friend of mine.  The particular scene I was working on was great, but something was missing. After a while I figured it out.  It was written from the wrong POV.The way she had it written, the words were passive, the action telling instead of showing.  I started to wonder if my own scenes I've been stumbling on were written the same way.  Something I'll have to check on.  Let me give an example.
Take the novel, Gone with the Wind.  In the scene where Melly is going to have her baby and Scarlett runs off to find Dr. Meade, the author Mitchell could have shifted POV to Dr. Meade, to show him exhausted, trying to save the lives of as many of the fallen Confederate soldier's as he could.  As a doctor, he was used to seeing death and dying- we would have felt his powerlessness, his exhaustion. We would have seen Scarlett coming toward him, stepping over bodies. we would have felt his annoyance at her selfishness. 

As it was, Margaret Mitchell wrote the novel all from the POV of Scarlett O'Hara.  From her POV it was far more powerful.  We felt her anger at having to stay with a woman she didn't like.  As a southern belle, she wasn't brought up to be around something so harsh as war.  We felt her shock, her dismay to see the south falling around her ears, her disgust of the dying and her horror and fright to think she would have to do it herself.  In that scene we still got Dr. Meade's side of things as he snapped at Scarlett that he didn't have any medicine to relieve their suffering.

Which held more power to a reader?

Novels now are usually written through several Points of Views changing sometimes every scene.  Try looking over your scenes to see if the drama or action or even romance could be better told their another characters eyes.

If you have any questions, send me an email.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

POV- how to cure the head hopping nightmare

One thing I noticed about editing my second novel, soon to be published in 2014, is my propensity for head hopping. Years ago that was an accepted form of writing novels. Instead of each scene having the characters own story and point of view, writers used to be able to mash all characters point of view all in the same scene.

I didn't find out about the rule against head hopping until I took an online writing class on synopsis'. The teacher pointed out to me that I needed to pick a character and stick with only their thoughts for the scene. Huh? Only what they can feel, see, touch, think...etc? At first I remember the transition to be a nightmare and then as I read back my work, the problems began to appear to me and I saw how confusing head hopping could be. If you suffer from head hopping, don't worry, you're not the only one. Here are some guidelines to help you.


When first starting a novel, I use stream-of-consciousness journaling to bring out the character’s personality in the parts where he’s thinking or planning or worrying or ruminating, not just when he/she is interacting with others, but just them by their selves. Have him ranting in a personal diary about the people around him, what’s going on, etc. Also show his deepest fears here. Then use this wording to show his personality more in the scenes. This not only teaches you to writing through one characters eyes, you also get to know them as a person. Bringing out their character will also help you with the plot.

An exercise for you to try until you get the hang of it, is writing the scene using first person. You can switch back later. Write a whole scene, or even a chapter or two, in first-person narration/POV to get the rhythm and flow of that person’s language patterns and attitudes. Write the scenery from their point of view. Don't forget to use the senses. Once that's written change it back to 3rd person and you have your scene. Just make sure you change everything back or you'll be switching more than just Point of Views.

This may seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of writing only through one person's eyes, you won't have to do it anymore.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Is Sex The Answer?

Playing the waiting game to hear back from publishers is excruciating. I have to stop myself from checking my email several times a day. It does make it easier to jump into a new project, or so they say. And so I did, though I feel more like I'm tip toeing into this new writing venture; least writing about it.

I decided I wanted to get crazy with it, but not too far out where I would cringe writing it. Part of me thinks I this might be a chance to explore a more naughty side, but I'm really not the whips and chains kind of gal. As I do with everything, I started researching. What I found didn't surprise me. Men have always voiced, however quiet, the desire to have a threesome, 9 times out of 10 with two women, big breasts and blond. Jeesh, there's a big surprise.

Women like the idea of multiple partners as well, but they don't stop at two. What I found was women want men in every opening they've got. The idea is certainly intriguing but does it work in the real life? One thing I know about women, is they tend to be jealous about another woman invading their space, while Men can be insecure about their size with one women let alone adding another to the pot. What happens if the going gets hot and the women leave the man out? Ooops. Or if a women has multiple men partners and finds herself showing more attention to one man. Ooops again.

In writing a fantasy, I can ignore the common pit falls of multiple partners, creating the perfect encounter that blows everyone's minds. Does such an encounter exist? Is there anyone out there reading this that might lend me their opinion?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pushing through writer's block

Every writer goes through this scenario: You sit down at your desk or table, your fingers poised over the keyboard ready to write something, anything. You feel inspired. You've had brilliant ideas all morning long and thought to yourself, if only I could get back to my writing, I could finish the novel! You've gotten your drink, your chocolate, perhaps your favorite music is playing in the background. It's go time!

What's that saying on the bathroom wall-here I sit broken hearted...

Here's what the battle has taught me. We aren’t blocked because of lack of ideas. We're blocked because we're perfectionists. None of the ideas seem good enough; nothing feels quite brilliant enough to become reality. So we sit, stuck at our desks, waiting for something better to come.

But what if nothing better comes? What if your next idea was the best one you will ever have? Just do the unthinkable. Just write. Don't stop to edit, to fix your prose, or the spelling. Just write a first draft, a really bad one, one that will totally suck but will be something you can build upon later.

That’s what I'm learning it means to be a writer. To push through the crappy words and finish the novel!

I was able to do that and finished my second novel last week and submitted it to my publisher. Now I wait, checking my email several times, hopeful for that second contract.

Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Victorian Mourning Etiquette

This week’s writing, I found I need information on what the etiquette was for mourning in during the last 1870’s. For anyone who has suffered the loss of someone close, our modern society unfortunately doesn’t give a person time to grieve.
Not so in Victorian times. Society took their cue from her for everything from daily life to the proper mourning of death. When the Queen’s beloved husband Albert passed, Victoria fell apart and took a grieving nation along with her. In fact until the day she died, Victoria never stopped grieving.
America was a little less strict with their expectation of morning a deceased. The length of mourning depended on your relationship to the deceased. Widows were expected to wear full mourning for two years. Everyone else presumably suffered less. Full mourning was black, black and blacker. Black was thought to be the symbolic of spiritual darkness. Death was common and when someone died, the proper attire had to be obtained quickly. Many shops catered to the trade; the largest and best known of them in London was Jay’s of Regent Street.

Opened in 1841 as a kind of warehouse for mourners, Jay’s provided every conceivable item of clothing you and your family could need. And because it was bad luck to keep mourning attire after the mourning period, particularly crape, that meant buying clothes all over again when the next loved one passed. Nice business, huh?
Dresses for deepest mourning were usually made of non-reflective paramatta silk or the cheaper bombazine.

Dresses were trimmed with crape, a hard, scratchy silk with a peculiar crimped appearance produced by heat. After a specified period the crape could be removed, this was called "slighting the mourning." The color of cloth lightened as mourning went on to grey, mauve, and white. This took you into the period called half-mourning. Jewelry was limited to jet, a hard, black coal-like material sometimes combined with woven hair of the deceased or keeping a lock of their hair in a locket. That way the decease could always be close to your heart.
Men had it easy as usual. They simply wore their usual dark suits along with black gloves, hatbands and cravats. Children were not expected to wear mourning clothes, though girls sometimes wore white dresses.
The length of mourning depended on who died. The death of a spouse was deep mourning for two years. If a widow needed to remarry for monetary sake, she could after one year. For children mourning parents or vice versa the period of time was one year, for grandparents and siblings six months, for aunts and uncles two months, for great uncles and aunts six weeks, for first cousins four weeks. While in mourning, social activities were curtailed pretty much until society felt there had been a respectable amount of time.

Photographing the dead also served as a way to remember them, especially with children because the family may not have had time to photograph them in life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Ghosts of Fort Laramie

I love October. The leaves change, the weather dips slightly as only Southern California autumns can and the History Channel hosts their yearly spooky line up. I love Halloween programs!

There is something devilishly fun about being scared. I think my love for it comes from my brother popping out of a dark closet or hiding under my bed to grab my feet as I walked by.

Whether you believe in spooks or not, it seems everyone has a ghost story. Even during my research on Fort Laramie wheeled results of reported hauntings. Since the post was established in 1849, it has said to have been called home, not only to hundreds of soldiers, but also said to be visited by a host of ghosts. The most well-known spirit is known as the "Lady in Green.”

She was said to be the strong willed daughter of an agent for the American Fur Company. I couldn't find her name but the young lady was known to be an accomplished equestrian, her favorite riding habit was made of dark green velvet, her mount, a big black stallion. When it came time for her to leave, she begged to lengthen her visit on the rough frontier. Her father relented on her promise to stay close to the fort. One afternoon while her father was gone, she left the protection of her escorts and rode off on the distant prairie. She never returned. Despite a long thorough search, no sign of her was ever found. To this day, her disappearance is still a mystery.

Since then, her ghost is said to appear every seven years, just east of Fort Laramie on the Oregon Trail. In 1871, a young Lieutenant who was known as a fine horseman, claimed to have been chased down and struck with a jeweled riding crop by a young dark haired woman riding a huge black steed.

The old Captain’s Quarters is also said to be haunted. Built in 1870, it was intended as housing for the commanding officer, but eventually divided into a duplex, when the commanding officer of the time chose to remain in another new dwelling. When a new officer was assigned to the post, he could "rank out of quarter" any junior officer and take the house for himself. Here it is said doors open by themselves, the old wood floor boards echo with the sound of heavy boots and unseen footsteps. Late at night, there have been reports of bright lights coming from inside the facility, even though it has no electricity. This spirit has been nick named George by the staff.

Old Bedlam, the bachelor officers' quarters is also said to be haunted. First constructed in 1849, it is said to be the oldest military building in Wyoming. This entity, thought to be a Cavalry Officer, has been known to walk throughout the building, sometimes telling people to "be quiet.”

The Cavalry Barracks building, built in 1874, once housed hundreds of soldiers in its two large, open squad bays on the second floor. Early in the morning, the sounds of heavy boots can be heard making their way over the boardwalk, incidentally about the time soldiers would have once answered the reveille.

Other ghost sightings around the fort include the form of a young man in a raincoat, still holding a long past conversation...with no one. Also the apparition of a surgeon has been seen, looking irritable, his uniform covered in blood.

At Deer Creek, a small stream running through the fort property, a headless man has been sighted throwing rocks into the water during early morning hours. This ghost is said to be unfriendly and should be avoided.

Southeast of the fort is a place called Bovee Draw. Here, at midnight, witnesses have said to see the ghost of a erratic Civil War soldier. This ghost is also said to be menacing and should be left alone.

North of town, there is a place called Detention Dam. Here, the spirit of a man holding
a blood-splattered sword has been seen staring at the water at the stroke of midnight.

So, if this Halloween finds you alone on the Wyoming prairie, look out for the lone figure of a young woman, still astride her favorite mount, her green riding dress forever flowing in the ever-present Wyoming wind.