Archives

Celebrating Mom (Free – Giveaway)

Hello from the Pacific Coast! I’m celebrating Mother’s Day beachside with family. It’s my first trip RVing since childhood. Scratch off another item from my bucket list. Woot! I’ll be hiking, exploring, relaxing, reading, and writing! Double Woot!

But don’t worry about missing the fun. I’ve left lots of great stuff for my Amazing Readers. I’m celebrating Mother’s Day with 17 of my favorite people who just happen to be New York Times, Bestselling, and/or Award Winning Authors. We’re bringing you FREEBIES!!!

MD Banner 5-7-2016.png

Fill your ereaders with all these wonderful stories between May 11th – 22nd   This is the first time Spirit Embraced, the second novel in my Whisper Cove series, is FREE. Get your freebies now at http://bit.ly/MothersDayReads

Bonus for sharing… A $20 Amazon eGift Card will be given to one lucky winner. Enter the Rafflecopter and Share our Mother’s Day promotion with your Facebook and Twitter friends for a chance to win: http://bit.ly/MothersDayReadsGiveaway

More amazing prizes! Awesome, right. I’ve linked with almost 50 fantastic paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy romances from an amazing collection of authors. LIKE for a chance at winning ebooks, bookstore gift cards, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet at bit.ly/pnr-follow-may-17

May Graphic

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from me (find out what I’m reading, when I have new releases, cover peeks, excerpts, signings, etc) by signing up for my Quarterly Newsletter here: https://cyndifaria.wordpress.com/free/

Subscribers receive a FREE digital copy of SPIRIT AWAKENED, a Whisper Cove Prequel.  SPIRIT AWAKENED is FREE Exclusively to Newsletter subscribers.

Prequel to Spirit Released, Spirit Awakened is “…a wonderful love story…surrounded by mystery and intrigue.” –Sik Reviews

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00093]Jake Mitchell is a neurologist who doesn’t trust what can’t be explained. That is, until he moves to the rumor-haunted town of Whisper Cove and meets a beautiful nurse named Faith Cabrillo. When Faith awakens Jake’s sixth sense that defies science, he’s thrown into a world of passion, spirits, and a centuries-old lovers’ curse that can never be broken…

“[Cyndi Faria] has a talent for lovely happy endings and I’m so glad she does.” –Night Owl Reviews

SPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00009]pirit Returned, book 1 in the Whisper Cove series, is PERMAFREE at these vendors.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

I hope you all have a special Mother’s Day! Enjoy the Freebies and chances to win prizes during this holiday weekend.

Happy Reading! Cyndi Faria

 

Advertisements

Writing Process Blog Hop

 

Before I talk about my writing process, I want to say this week has been so exciting! Come Tuesday April 22nd, I’ll release my Debut novel titled, Spirit Released.

For a chance to win this beautiful locket, created by myself with the help of Origami Owl, gift cards, eBooks, and more, join the event by following this clicking here. Check Going.

Locket 2

 

Enter the pre-party rafflecopter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card by following this clicking here.

Until Tuesday, I’ll be posting excerpts, hosting daily giveaways, and introducing you to our wonderful lineup of guest authors. Those include: Virna De Paul, Susan Hatler, Karin Tabke, Tawny Weber, Kristina Mathews, Kristin Miller, Sharon Hamilton, Grace Callaway, and Dale Mayer!

See you at the party!

************************************************************************************

The Writing Process Blog Hop:

Asked by author Diana Mccollum to participate in a blog hop, well, I hopped right on. So thank you Diana for including me.  To find out what Diana has to say about her writing process, click here.

Questions/Answers:

What am I working on?

Right now I’m working on book 2 in the Whisper Cove Series. This is Thomas the sexy detective’s story. We’ll first meet him in Spirit Released, book 1, that releases on Tuesday, April 22!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This series strays away from dark and gory paranormal of vamps and weres and swings toward the more sweet but still sexy and dangerous side of the spirit world. The mystery behind the town’s curse is embedded in Native American folklore of the Ohlone people that inhabit the California coastline and the Christian settlers that founded the town. Research of the Monterey area and northward suggests spirits do exist… Along with historical conflicts between the Ohlone and Mission Settlers.

Why do I write what I do?

As a California Native who finds peace at the edge of the sea, I wanted others to experience the magic and mystery of seeing the world through both Christian and Native American lenses. Nature and natural balance has played a dynamic role in my life and has left me with questions… What if there is more than what we are told exists, what we can see?  I pity those that gazed at the horizon at the edge of the sea and believed that the world was flat, so that in sailing to the edge they’d fall to their deaths. I want to challenge such notions. And of course experience love unfolding as two souls destined for each other come together…

How does the writing process work?

Mentally, I’ve always been a daydreamer. I carry a notepad and smart phone. Should an idea pop up I’ll jot it down with the long list of others.

Over time, one of those log lines will rise to the surface of my mind. The characters will wake me in the middle of night and beg for their stories to be told. While I’m driving, entire scenes will unfold in cinematic format. Faith and Jake’s story shook me awake two years ago and never let go!

See you at the release party!

Also, if you’d like to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop, send me a request and I’ll append to this post to keep the chain going.

Happy Easter!  Cyndi

 

 

 

Review Time – Turned by Virna DePaul #Giveaways #FF

Perfect for fans of J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author Virna DePaul’s new series of paranormal romances introduces readers to a thrilling world where vampires secretly co-exist with humans, seduction rules the night, and the stakes are nothing less than life and undeath.

Virna DePaul has a way of infusing sex into every single page that I can’t turn fast enough.

4-1-14 is release day for Random House author Virna DePaul and Turned, the first book in the Belladonna Agency series. Turned is a fast paced, gritty, completely addicting, as in I-can’t-wait-to-read-book 2 (Awakened) and one of Virna’s best works.

Here’s a peek at Ty and Ana’s interaction after they’ve just met, wrestled, and Ana has disarmed the mind-reading, vampire, Ty, who is also incapable of telling a lie. Ana doesn’t know he’s a vampire nor does she know he can read her mind. Let’s read what Ty is willing to do to convince Ana to give back his gun…

“…You want me. And something tells me if I kiss you—just kiss you—you’ll tell me exactly where my gun is. What are the odds that I’m right?”

As fear drained from her body, it was replaced swiftly by anger. She felt her face flame and hated that her weakness was so transparent. Worse yet, she hated him for being witness to it. She renewed her struggles, but that didn’t stop him from lowering his lips to hers.

“Bite me,” he warned, “and I swear I’ll bite you back.”

She didn’t bite him.

She couldn’t.

She was too busy trying to stifle her every sound and every reaction to his kiss. The first touch of his cool mouth to hers seared her nerve endings, and although he kept the contact quick and gentle, she was shaking when he raised his head.

“Where’s the gun?”

She stared mutely back at him.

“You want me to kiss you again, sweetheart?”

She tried shaking her head. Wasn’t sure if she actually did. She said nothing, however, afraid if she did she’d give herself away.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

She wanted him to kiss her again. But damn if she’d tell him so.

Thankfully, he didn’t need to hear it. Lowering his head once more, he was neither quick nor gentle. This time, his touch didn’t feel cool.

This time, he opened his mouth and penetrated her with his tongue.

This time, heat swept from him into her so hot and so fast she practically ignited. She whimpered, and the sound shocked her out of her lust-induced trance. No, she thought, I won’t let this happen. I can’t.

Wrenching her mouth from his, she turned her face to the side, closed her eyes and surrendered. “Your gun’s in the cabinet under the toaster.”

Turned, by Virna DePaul, Page 29-30.

Find out what happens between Ana and Ty. Preorder here: Turned 

For a chance to win a signed print preview of Turned, the first book in the Belladonna Agency series to a US winner, 18 years or older, leave a comment about what intrigues you to read stories about sexy alpha vampires?

Want more chances to win? See blog hop details here.

Happy Reading, Cyndi Faria

Lucky 7 FB Release Party (prizes)

New Release Celebration

LUCKY 7 is an Amazon Bestseller!!!!

Lucky me, Susan Hatler, has invited me to be a guest author (10:15 pm EST)! I’ll be giving away an Amazon gift card. And there will be many more prizes, great authors, free books, and giveaways!

That’s 7 bestselling authors and 7 full-length novels for  0.99 USD. This special offer price won’t last long. You can download LUCKY 7 at any of the links: AmazoniTunesBarnes & Noble, and Kobo

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow at the LUCKY 7 Facebook Party: Here

Cyndi 

Still looking for love? Party Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still looking for love? Join me and 12 other authors for a Facebook after Valentine’s Day party. There will be fun, prizes, gift cards, and best of all free books! Party starts at 11:00 am EST. My time slot is 11:40 and I’m gifting an Amazon gift card and a free book. See you there! Click here.

Turned (Book 1 of the Belladonna Series) #FF

If you’re like me and love a romance between a sexy, alpha hero and kick-ass heroine, then you’ll love Turned by Random House author Virna DePaul. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Virna regarding her new Belladonna series.

Side note: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Virna’s books, she is the author of the FBI Para-Ops books.  Five years after the Second Civil War ends, the team combined of human and otherborn-humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA is charged with protecting both human and otherborn rights. The Belladonna series precedes this time.

So let’s hear what Virna has to say…

Question: “What inspired you to write the Belladonna series?”

Answer:  “I wanted to explore the world before the Para-Ops books, one in which vampires were just discovered and the government is faced with the possibility that they may not be monsters. At the same time, what kind of risks are humans willing to take versus what will they do to gain the upper hand? These are the very things my turned vampire hero Ty and my human heroine Ana must struggle with. How does one maintain compassion and humanity while also doing whatever it takes to survive? ”

This book is a keeper for sure! Thank you for stopping by, Virna!

Ty is one of my favorite heroes. Yes, he’s flawed, but his passion for his country, right over wrong, the woman he loves, and his desire to hold on to his humanity reigns supreme even in survival mode. Excerpt:

“With a shudder, Ty returned his attention to the man he still held. As soon as he’d bitten him, the man had gone compliantly silent and even now dangled in his arms. Ty stared at him, his previous thoughts echoing in his ears. The way he’d thought of the man as a mere human, as something weak and existing only for his own benefit, had him stumbling back, his arms falling to his sides.

The man crumpled to the ground, groaning. Blood trickled from the puncture wounds in his neck, but Ty could hear his heart thudding and his blood flowing. He was okay. Ty would leave him here, and the man would never know what had happened. At most, he’d assume he’d been so drunk he’d hallucinated a feral monster attacking him . . .

Shakily, Ty swiped his sleeve across his mouth, noting the light streaks of blood there. He expected himself to throw up, because his thoughts had indeed sickened him. Instead of puking his guts out, however, he felt a renewed energy and vitality zipping through his veins. His senses, already heightened, became even more acute. This was what was intoxicating. Addicting. Even more than the taste of the blood itself, how could anyone resist this feeling of strength? Of sheer power?

He could feel the moisture in the air changing, telling him it would rain before dawn. He could see the fleas on the cat that balanced on a Dumpster thirty feet away.

And he could smell . . .

He took a deeper breath.

He could smell someone approaching. His mind screamed at him to run. With a final glance at the homeless man he’d terrorized and a muttered curse, Ty obeyed. Strengthened by the blood he ran fast. Past his flat. Past Ana’s house. Past anything resembling a residential neighborhood until he came upon a remote warehouse. He jumped the fence and found an unlocked door. As he stepped inside, the cool, dark air welcomed him like a mother’s embrace. Leaning against an interior wall, he sank to the cold concrete floor. Closing his eyes, he cursed what he’d become.

What he’d lost.

Not just his humanity. Not just his chance to have a relationship with a human female like Ana.

He’d lost the only family he had left. His sister, Naomi. She was dead because of him.”

Cyndi here…

Awe… Poor Ty. The only comfort he could find was darkness and a cold concrete floor, while amidst his staggering blame.

Meet Ana. She’s strong. A survivor. She see’s in Ty what he has yet to recognize in himself. This softens her tough exterior, but at the same time her own weaknesses surfaces. Here’s what she does about that :

“Ty seemed oblivious to her presence.

Gritting her teeth, she reached out and touched his arm. “Ty.”

His head snapped up at her touch. His mouth was closed and she couldn’t see his fangs, but the lower part of his face was still smeared with blood. Louis’s blood. The feral look in Ty’s eyes terrified her. But as she stared at him, she saw the intensity of his regret. She saw his humanity.

Her fear and panic didn’t go away but it did subside.

Swallowing hard, she felt him shake even harder. She squeezed his arm in what she hoped he’d interpret as a reassuring gesture. “Ty, está bien,” she said. “It’s okay.”

“No,” he choked out. “This is what I am now. A monster. A freak.”

It was exactly what she’d thought about him, but she protested anyway. “You’re not a monster. Louis came after us. And you saved me. You saved both of us.”

He didn’t say anything more. Turning his face toward the wall again, he shook and shook. Somehow, before she knew what she was doing, she had her arms around him and exactly as she’d wanted to for so long. She was finally comforting him.

And he let her.

Slowly, his shaking lessened.

She started to pull away. In response, Ty wrapped his own arms around her, pulling her even closer into his embrace. “No. Please. Don’t go.”

He sounded so vulnerable, though he wasn’t. Still, his raw plea awakened long-ago emotions in her, ones she had never wanted to relive. The memories were unbearable.

Gloria had clung to her when she’d crawled into Ana’s bed at night, begging her to keep her safe from the monsters—the ones in the closet, the ones on the street, the ones that their mother brought home with her.

She’d always told Gloria she’d protect her. That she’d keep the monsters away. She wanted to tell Ty the same thing, but she couldn’t. In the end, she hadn’t been able to protect Gloria. Ty knew that. He would come to his senses, ashamed of his moment of weakness.

He was the strong one. Not her. She pulled away again.

“I have to go,” she insisted. “Debemos ir, Ty. Back to Belladonna.”

Cyndi again…

Thank goodness this is ROMANCE! Virna DePaul is champion of romantic conflict that keeps us rooting for the couple until the very end. So hold your breath and seat for an incredibly smokin’ hot and sexy ride!

To pre-order click  Turned 

Living the Dream at Lowcountry RWA’s Masterclass

Living the Dream at Lowcountry RWA’s Masterclass

Recently, I attended Lowcountry RWA’s Jumpstart Masterclass (#IOP), in South Carolina. During my 10 day stent, I met some of the most fabulous writers ever! Add to this the Atlantic Ocean a few steps away and food with Southern Flair, well, FABULOUS!!!

Speakers Included:

These women shared their experiences, their secrets, their love of writing, but also visited the business side, the hard work—and cliché: blood, sweat, and tears—of their writing journey.

Topics included:

  • Structure—Plotting—Hero Journey-Tropes
  • Digital and Indie Publishing
  • Business Aspect:
    • Networking
    • Audience Building (Promotion and Web Presence)
    • Brand

The most important sayings I learned:

  •  Stephanie Bond: “Be the CEO of YOU, Inc.”
  •  C. J. Lyons: “No Rules, Just Write”

Did you know that 81% of Americans dream of writing a book, but only 1% actually finishes?

Knowing this, I came away from Lowcountry RWA’s Jumpstart Masterclass with a sense of renewal and passion to keep writing and believing in myself. And also, that by completing book 5 (though three are first drafts), I’m already living the dream! 

My heartfelt thank you goes out to those women who shared their passion and knowledge, and to the wonderful attendants, new friends and old, who have imprinted my writing journey with great memories!

Have you attended a motivating retreat? Please share.

Happy Writing, Cyndi Faria

Picking Favorites, Booker Award

I want to thank Samantha MacDouglas for presenting me with the Booker Award. When I accepted this opportunity to share my top 5 favorite books of all time, I thought, oh, easy, peasy, but not so fast. I love to read. In fact, every night before I fall asleep, I read from my TBR pile. So, needless to say, pulling out my top five was quite a challenge. To do that the book had to meet certain criteria:

  • Relatable: Could I truly empathize with the character, situation, or theme. 
  • Change: Did the book spark a visceral response from me so intense that I changed the way I viewed the world and acted thereafter. 
  • Fate: I truly believe that a soul mate exists, a person that understands your essence, flaws and all, sees through the mask and loves you for you. Books that prove this theme—and paranormals have a wonderful way of threading destiny into this design—hook me instantly.  

 The following are my top five all time favorites, one is a series (Spoiler Alert).

 1.Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton is my all time favorite series. Laurell’s book 1, Guilty Pleasures, was written in 1993 and hooked me from the very first line:

 “Willie McCoy had been a jerk before he died. His being dead didn’t change that.”

When the series begins, Anita is a vampire hunter and necromancer; later she becomes a U. S. Marshal. She lives alone—except for Sigmund, her stuffed penguin—protecting her heart from being broken again after her first love dumps her because of her nationality.

As the series develops, Anita must come to accept who she was born to be, and that is not human. She starts out hunting vampires (monsters), hating them, loving them, becoming one, and finally learns to love herself. She learns to recognize others’ differences. Some she accepts into her heart and home.

Excerpt:

 “I stared at Jean-Claude and it wasn’t the beauty of him that made me love him, it was just him. It was love made up of a thousand touches, a million conversations, a trillion shared looks. A love made up of danger shared, enemies conquered, a determination to neither of us would change the other, even if we could. I love Jean-Claude, all of him, because if I took away the Machiavellian plottings, the labyrinth of his mind, it would lessen him, make him someone else.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Cerulean Sins

 The central theme is acceptance, of both oneself and others. And the series inspired me to abandon a more puritan, contemporary style of writing and delve into the sexy paranormal. To do that, I’ve had to release the limits I’ve put on myself both as a person and a writer. To say I’m happier is an understatement. I’m writing for me and I’m living for me. And that is true liberation.

Thank you, Laurell!

2.Into the Darkest Corner by Author Elizabeth Haynes is a psychological thriller. I found myself so empathetic with Cathy, the heroine, I couldn’t put the book down. In fact, I read the 397 page novel in a short weekend.

Cathy is a vivacious, desirable young woman with a kind heart who meets Lee, an undercover cop posing as a bouncer at a local pub. Haynes does such an incredible job crafting Lee. She makes him bigger than life, a white knight, a mountain of protection I found myself yearning to stand behind. And, yes, Haynes infuses Lee with wounds Cathy can’t help but want to mend.

This book drew me in like a worm on a proverbial hook, because I too am a rescuer, a fixer of broken things . . . And I wanted to heal his hurts and witness Lee’s reformation almost as much as my next sobbing breath. In the beginning, Lee captures Cathy’s heart and soul. In the beginning, Lee won my heart too. But alas that changed.

Because, sadly, Lee is the villain.

Inevitably, I found myself wondering about Lee’s backstory. He had to be the victim of something atrocious, though Haynes does mention a woman who crushed his heart, I felt the author left something that happened to him in his childhood out. But then again, that was part of Lee’s flaw; he wasn’t willing to open up fully or seek help or change, and he further fell victim to the delusions of his mind.

However, Cathy is one tough chick who, after fighting Lee off and seeing him jailed—hopefully forever, though the reader is left wondering—comes to terms with her PTSD, OCD, and anxiety enough to accept her figurative and literal scars Lee has inflicted on her. She’s able to find true love with Stuart, the true hero who falls in love with Cathy’s essence, seeing the nurturing beauty on the inside, regardless of her wounds, and a powerful and intelligent woman. Not the mask Lee refuses to see past.

3. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a story of incredible hardship endured by a girl named Sakamoto who is sold to a geisha boarding house in Kyoto Japan pre WWII. The book deals with child slave labor and skin trade, rivalry, betrayal, the matriarchal society and politics of the geisha world, and the ultimate power of fated love. Sakamoto, the heroine, begins her life in the geisha district at the age of nine. After a failed attempt to find her sister and severe punishment, she meets the Chairman, surrounded by geishas. He gives Sakamoto a coin to buy shaved ice, but she uses that coin to donate to the Goin Shrine and prays to become a geisha so she can see the Chairman again someday.

 As the fates work their magic, she becomes the most sought after geisha in Kyoto, wins the heart of the Chairman, and after many years of separation during WWII, Samakoto finally earns the Chairman’s love and the title of his danna (husband).

The prospect of true love, an eternal love worth fighting and sacrificing and waiting for is the heart of romance, and the reason Somakoto is one of my favorite deserving heroines: she never gave up on her true love. And he never gave up on her!

 4. Play Dirty by Sandra Brown is my all time favorite romantic suspense. In fact, it’s one of the books that inspired me to write in the genre. Fallen Dallas quarterback Griff Burkett, the hero, has just been released from prison after serving a five-year term for throwing a game for the mob, and being accused of murder. The QB has no football prospects for his unforgivable crime and he’s lost all his worth, both literally and figuratively. Then he gets an offer he can’t refuse from paraplegic, millionaire Foster Speakman to impregnate his wife, discretely of course and the way nature intended. Only, as the months pass, Griff can’t help but fall in love with Laura, and she him. Then Foster shares the news with Griff that Laura is pregnant and they arrange to meet. Griff discovers Foster true intentions are to murder Laura after his heir is born and has no intention of paying Griff the millions he promised or let Griff live. As Griff’s past closes in on him and he’s hunted for Foster’s suspicious murder, he and Laura run for their lives in search of the true killer.

 This story is certainly one I intend to read again, but the root of why it’s my favorite is because of Griff’s tenderness toward others. People matter to him. He can see a person’s essence as if it were a sixth sense. When Laura’s pregnancy ends in miscarriage, he doesn’t brush the loss of life off as commonplace, even as Laura does, because that life mattered to him. He celebrates the pregnancy, their lost child, with a tiny gold star with an infinitesimal diamond in its center.

Excerpt (Griff presenting Laura a momentum to remember the what they created):

 “It wasn’t very far along, I know. Probably no bigger than that diamond. But . . .” He ran his fingers through his hair. “But there’s no marker, you know? Nothing to show that it ever existed. And it did. At least for a few weeks.” . . . “I thought you might like to have something to remember it by.”

 . . . When she finally raised her head, her face was wet with tears. “I’ll always remember it. I’ll hold it in my heart for as long as I live.”

I believe that all life, no matter how brief, should be celebrated.

5. Twenty Wishes by Author Debbie Macomber is a story that revolves around a bookstore owner Anne Roche. She’s a recent widow, who has no children, and she desperately wants to find happiness again. Inspired by a group of women who frequent her store, she asks them to develop a list of 20 wishes, things they always wanted to do but never did.

Anne volunteers at a local elementary school and meets Ellen, a foster child, who eventually gives Anne more than she ever imagined. And the novel follows the other women’s search for happiness and their HEAs as well.

The book inspired me to create my own 20 wishes. Now this is not a Bucket List, these are wishes. Some I pretty sure will never happen, but I dare not erase those just in case. Some I’ve already checked off and added others. The list can be shared or held dear. The idea is to add another wish every time you cross one off so you’ll never run out of goals.

Ask yourself: What do you want most in the world? And then turn those wishes into reality.

Thank you for reading my Top 5 Books. 

Now it’s time to pass the Booker Award on. I can’t wait to read what favorites these three authors have to share with the world.

 Jill James: www.jilljames.wordpress.com
 
Jansen Schmidt: www.jansenschmidt.wordpress.com
 
Tara Sheets: www.tarasheets.com
 
 

Happy Reading,

Cyndi Faria

 

 

Writing Retreat Much?

Mount Shasta

 The benefits of writing retreats.

  

Recently, I had the privilege of spending 6 days with Nina Bruhns. She’s the Editorial Director and Senior Editor for Entangled Publishing’s DEAD SEXY books. She’s also a Bestselling romantic thriller author. She writes as both Nina Bruhns and Nikita Black and her books are absolutely sexy-thrilling.

From right: Nina Bruhns, Virna DePaul, Grace Callaway, Susan Hatler, Cyndi Faria, Rochelle French

A benefit of the small retreat setting was that I got to know the writer behind the book cover. Nina’s love of travel, not to mention that she’s also an archeologist (an Egyptologist), was inspiring as she has lived and worked all over the world.

During the Mt. Shasta retreat, in California, Nina talked about the ten types of movies and how romance writers often find themselves writing the same types of books over and over again.

Movie types include:

  • Monster in The House
  • Golden Fleece: Road movie.
  • Out of the Bottle: Wish plus magic.
  • Dude/Dudette with a Problem: Ordinary guy/extraordinary circumstances
  • Rites of Passage
  • Buddy Love
  • Whydoneit? Villain plus why?
  • The Fool Triumphant: Outsider triumphs by luck.
  • Institutionalized: Band together for common cause.
  • Superhero: Extraordinary guy/ordinary circumstances

She also presented her twist on Blake Snyder’s “Beats” for screenwriters (as detailed in Blake Snyder’s book, Save the Cat), which she has tweaked for romance writers and teaches her method at various retreats and conferences.

So if you’re a writer who wants to improve your writing craft and networking in a big way, I encourage you to check out your local RWA chapters for writing workshops and retreats. You’ll not only deepen your relationship with fellow authors, but, who knows, maybe you’ll bring home a new critique partner or a friend for life.

From Right: Cyndi Faria, Virna DePaul, Rochelle French, Susan Hatler, Poppy Reiffin

Check out some of this year’s writing retreat attendants’ talents, books, and websites below:

Published Authors:

Pre-Published Authors:

  • Poppy Reiffin—Web Developer and E-book Designer, Contemporary Romance
  • Vanessa Kier—Urban Fantasy and Romantic Thriller
  • Maris Bennett—Columnist for Contra Costa Times
  • Linda Livingston—Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements
  • Kristina Mathews
  • Sam Bradley—Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements
  • Laura McCann—Contemporary Romance