Posts Tagged ‘Tempted’

I’m the crazy girl in the middle of two different kinds of blog tours today. The first is for my debut novel, Dearest Clementine, which released on Friday. I’ll be posting more about that later today. I got tagged for the second one by my BFF and critique partner, AJ Pine, an Entangled Embrace author. She asked me to participate in My Writing Process Blog Tour, which is an opportunity for authors to share how they write. AJ just released her debut novel, If Only, last month. (You can check out her post here.)

The way the writing tour works is I’ll answer a few questions about my process, and at the end, I’ll tag a couple of writers to continue the tour next week. Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on?DC_FRONT_FINAL_REV

I’ve been busy creating teasers for Dearest Clementine, which released a few days ago on Amazon. It’s the story of a senior in college who accidentally signs up to take a romance writing course, but she knows she’s in for a semester of hell. Not only does she hate romance novels, she swore off men three years ago after her high school boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. Luckily for her, Gavin Murphy, one very sexy and sweet RA, wants to help her find a little inspiration for her writing.

I’m also editing the follow-up, Finding Dandelion, a companion novel, which is Jax’s story. Clementine and her twin brother Jax are polar opposites. While Clem wants a drama-free existence, Jax just wants a good time, which generally means being the center of attention. When his story starts, he’s fully embracing his “boys will be boys” approach to life, which means banging anything with long legs and double Ds. The only girls he won’t touch are his sister’s roommates, which he learned long ago only means trouble. Of course, he hasn’t met Clem’s newest roommate, Dani. Yet.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Sometimes there’s a tendency to depict wounded characters as being weak. And that can work. I’ve read lots of great books that develop those types of story lines well. What irks me, though, are the characters who have tragic backgrounds and then whine about it. I wanted Clementine to be the antithesis of that. I wanted her to be tough and gritty and hardened. But I also thought it would be interesting if that strength was also her flaw. For Clem, she’s so independent and strong-willed that she has to learn to let go, to trust people again, and to open herself up to being vulnerable. I also like a side order of mystery with my romances, so I try to weave in a little.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Honestly, it’s my escape. Four years ago, I received a devastating diagnosis for my twin daughters, who were 9 months at the time. It leveled me, and I needed something to help me off the ledge.

I love to read. I can devour a book in an evening. I had been going through a huge YA kick at the time, which works since I’m an English teacher in my parallel life. I’d been toying with writing a YA paranormal romance, so in between a dozen hospital stays with my girls, I dove in and wrote it. And while I loved the finished story, I knew it I could write something better. Deciding that I needed a break from YA, I started writing Dearest Clementine, a contemporary NA romance.

It’s ironic that something so devastating could push me to do something I’d always wanted to do but was too chicken to try. My girls are doing a little better now, and while I didn’t write some great defining work of art, I’m pretty proud of myself. Of my girls and my family. Of our unwillingness to go down quietly. Because now I’m editing my third book and writing my fourth. Not too shabby. 🙂

4. How does my writing process work?

I started out as a pantser, meaning I didn’t outline, which did not work well for my YA novel. Although I fared better with Dearest Clementine, by the time I wrote Finding Dandelion, I figured I could spare myself a little agony and decided to beat sheet. My critique partner introduced me to a few different types, and I use a combination of them to outline.

Although I construct the bulk of my stories in Scrivener, I love to long-hand scenes. If something comes to me when I’m not in front of my laptop, I’ll grab a pen and go at it. Interestingly, some of the scenes I’ve jotted down in a Moleskine or a plain sheet of paper are my strongest.

Because I typically juggle a couple of projects at the same time, I keep a calendar that’s color-coded by novel, so I can keep track of the how the plots develop. Dearest Clementine and Finding Dandelion start at the same time and completely overlap, and this was the easiest way to keep all of the details straight. Lastly, I have three amazing CPs I rely on in an almost religious way. For me, they’re the holy grail of feedback.

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Next Monday, the tour moves on to feature my fabulously talented friends Melanie Harlow and Brandi Leigh Hall.



Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.

Her newest release is Frenched.






Brandi Leigh Hall is a YA and NA author, whose stories lean towards the sweeter side of romance. Her novels combine magical elements with real-life issues, strong female characters, semi-old-fashioned men, and family values, woven together and told from an organic and emotional, first-person perspective.

Growing up in a haunted house in Central PA inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense she’d write Urban Fantasy for both teens and adults. Book 1 in The BirthRight Series, TETHERED, debuted this past Halloween, while book 2, TEMPTED, is scheduled for release on May 27th.