Blog Article: This or That? by K.L. Ramsey #amreadingromance #Takethepoll

This or That?

By K.L. Ramsey

What is it about the hot, bearded met that are currently taking over Pinterest? You know the ones- sometimes they are covered in tattoos and perched on the back of a motorcycle or they are going for a stroll through the woods, in a flannel shirt, carrying an axe and giving off the whole mountain man vibe. What do women find so appealing about them? I guess the better asked question is why these bristly blessed, chiseled gods differ from the men we call our better half?

I’ve been playing a few rounds of “This or That” on my reader’s group page, trying to find the perfect man to fit into my current work in progress (WIP). Hours have been spent, on Pinterest, scouring pictures of hot, sexy men that I could see as my hero, and the possibilities are endless. I’ve noticed a trend lately, of men with beards and shorter haircuts, dominating the boards and I must admit I see the appeal. Every time I start scrolling through, I end up pausing at the burley looking mountain men and hot, motorcycle riding bad boys, that get my girl parts all tingly.

What is it about these men? For so long, the trend was clean cut, clean shaven guys, splashed on the covers of GQ and Men’s Health and Fitness. Now, you can’t walk down a magazine aisle without seeing bearded Adonis’s clad in distress jeans and a worn t-shirt or flannel- and they are HOT! Posting two bearded men for a “This or That” contest usually earns me hundreds of comments, within hours. Women are drawn to these men and who can blame them? It’s crazy to see some of my real-life girlfriends’ comments, usually choosing the guy that is the exact opposite of their significant other. Throw in a few tattoos and they get a little crazy, often posting GIFs of animals licking the computer screen, which is always good for a laugh.

The crazy thing about this whole trend is that, for me, I married the total opposite of these beard-clad men. My clean shaven, not a single tattoo, stud muffin is still my absolute favorite guy on the planet. So why am I, like so many of my friends, drawn to the bad boy, motorcycle riding, tattooed, bearded hottie on the Pinterest boards? Maybe it’s the element of fantasy or wanting what you don’t have waiting for you at home. Maybe I just like to change things up and keep things interesting in my own little made-up worlds, that I enjoy creating. Either way, I’m a huge fan of this new trend and can rest assured, knowing that I will be able to find loads of inspiration scrolling through Pinterest, on any given day. For now, the mystery of this new beard phenomenon remains, but honestly, who cares? As long as we have such intriguing inspirations, there are stories to write and “This or That” contests to conduct.

K.L. would love for you to take her poll on this subject in her Facebook group. Click here to be redirected to her Facebook poll.

Untitled-1K.L. Ramsey was born and raised in Maryland. As a child she struggled in school, having to attend speech and reading therapy. Her teacher told her that she would never be a very good reader; that English was just not her thing. She continued to struggle until eleventh grade, when she signed up for a Creative Writing class. Her high school teacher saw her potential and submitted a short story, that K. L. had written for class, to a local literary publication. The story was not only published but won an award for best short story. Knowing that someday she wanted to become a writer, K. L. received her BA in English from Salisbury State University.

K.L. Ramsey currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). She lives with hunky scientist, two now not so little people, and six fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, attend WVU football games and drink wine with girlfriends.

To connect with K.L. visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/k.l.ramseyauthor/

Research Tips for Authors by Olivia Night #amwriting #romancewriters #Authortips

Research can be like a four letter word for some authors. However, here are some tips from author Olivia Night to make the sometimes daunting task a little more bearable.

RESEARCH TIPS

When I started my very first novel, I knew immediately that I was going to need to do some a significant research. I knew nothing about the arms business, Sierra Leone or its vibrant customs and culture. Research was not something I had considered a necessity before I got serious about writing novels. But now it’s one of my favorite parts! (Dork Alert!)

Poorly researched novels stick out like sore thumbs and can sometimes communicate to the reader that the author just really didn’t care all that much to get things right, even if that isn’t the case.

Research can a dreaded task when writing, so here is a list of research tips that I live by.

Tip #1 – It is totally okay to type “(need information here)” in your manuscript as you are write instead of stopping at that moment and finding the answer you need. I do this quite frequently, especially if I am on a roll – so to speak. This leads naturally to the next tip.

Tip # 2 – Commit and then sit down and do the research. It’s much harder to get a clear picture of political environment of say, Tunisia, if you research five minutes here and ten minutes there.  Tell yourself you are going to research the hierarchy of wolf packs for thirty minutes and research not only what you need but as much as you can.

Tip # 3 – Notes, notes, notes.  Just doing a copy/paste into a new document isn’t going to actually give you the knowledge that you need to write. Or write well. Of course you want the information on hand when you need it but, you need to understand the information as well. At this point in our lives we are all pretty aware of how we best learn. Do that. Because it’s important to…

Tip # 4 – Do more than regurgitate information. It is pretty easy to spot information within a novel that is simply reworded or paraphrased from somewhere else. As the author of your book or series it’s important to have a real understanding of what you are writing about.

Tip # 5 – Google Earth! I have spent so much time on google earth. I want to get even the smallest details correct. This includes street names, landmarks and restaurants. I’ve used it to chart a hero and heroine’s trip from Hungary to Scotland, to describe the street view of downtown Asheville and to paint an accurate picture of the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia and Maryland for my most recent work, Bad Blood, with Crave Publishing

Tip # 6 – Ask questions. When I was researching human trafficking laws within the European Union tons of questions came to mind. I spent the time and researched to find those answers. Then when I was writing about the human trafficking ring in one of my novels the words just flew off the tips of my fingers. Of course, a lot of what I learned was not included, but that didn’t matter. I felt confident in my knowledge as opposed to nervous that I may be getting something wrong.

Research may not be the most favorite pastime, but it’s a necessary evil to create a well written book.

I think of it as a way to really immerse myself in my characters world. From that lens, it becomes fun!

ABOUT OLIVIA NIGHT

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid reader and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Men of FTI  eries sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, drinks wine, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, whom she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.

Website: http://olivianight.weebly.com/

 

Romance Heroes Are Real… 

Romance heroes are real, aren’t they? We at Crave think so!

Romance Heroes: Fantasy vs Reality by K.L. Ramsey

I was talking to a friend, a few days back, and she just finished reading one of my books. The first thing she wanted to know was if any of my characters are based on real life people that I know. Every time someone asks me this question, I want to tell them yes, just to see their expressions. How many hot, built, alpha males do you know? I know that my honest answer is zero. Although occasionally, I stop at a red light, look over into the car next to me and swoon at the guy driving. But, I digress.

The question of how real my characters are always makes me wonder what they think my life is truly like. Sure, we all know a guy who likes to work out and is easy on the eyes. Some of us have that gorgeous girl friend who makes guys a little tongue tied. But the characters in a romance novel are a lot to live up to, for us real life, plain old humans, that are just trying to remember to brush our hair in the morning before heading out the door. And, isn’t that the point? What hard working mom wants to sit down to read a romance novel about a new mother who hasn’t showered for three days and has baby spit-up on her shirt? We want to be swept away by the characters in a romance novel and escape from reality, for at least a few hours.

I’ve recently started listening to country music and my favorite songs are by men who sing about women being their angels, or these mythical, perfect creatures who don’t exist in real life. While my teen son sings along to the lyrics, I try point out that what these men are looking for is a perfect woman, and they don’t exist. It’s a lot to live up too and a whole lot of pressure for us regular, non-angelic females out here, just trying to get by. Of course, the same could be said for the alpha male hero’s that romance writers love to come up with, to make our female (and male-hey guys!) readers swoon.

Maybe we have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to imagining the perfect male or female lead, to swoop in and sweep us off our feet, but why not? So, the next time one of my readers asks me if my characters are real, I’m going to tell them that they are. They are real to the readers who are looking for an escape from reality, if only for a few hours. They are manifestations of everything we think that we want in our significant other. Because, lets be honest- a sweaty, smelly guy from the gym, is only sexy on paper.

K.L Ramsey’s story Untouchable will be featured in the upcoming anthology, Craving Forbidden releasing September 25, 2018.

K.L. Ramsey was born and raised in Maryland. As a child she struggled in school, having to attend speech and reading therapy. Her teacher told her that she would never be a very good reader; that English was just not her thing. She continued to struggle until eleventh grade, when she signed up for a Creative Writing class. Her high school teacher saw her potential and submitted a short story, that K. L. had written for class, to a local literary publication. The story was not only published but won an award for best short story. Knowing that someday she wanted to become a writer, K. L. received her BA in English from Salisbury State University.

K.L. Ramsey currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). She lives with hunky scientist, two now not so little people, and six fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, attend WVU football games and drink wine with girlfriends.

To connect with K.L. visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/k.l.ramseyauthor/

Hot for Teacher? Write for Crave Pub!

Crave Publishing, LLC is looking for short stories for our new anthology, Craving: Teacher

It's Back! (3)

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: TEACHER. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

There’s always that one teacher or professor, the one who’s a little too hot or looks at you a little too often. And there’s always that one student, who is as precocious in the bedroom as in the classroom. And we love those steamy, sexy, forbidden stories about how the rules don’t stand a chance against chemistry.

Your story should involve a setting of college or graduate school, with a student and a professor, thesis advisor, or other similar position. The student must be over 18. You might have a male student and female teacher/instructor, or female student and male teacher. High “heat” levels are encouraged, but please don’t stray into hard erotica, and you should have a “happily ever after” or a “happy for now” ending.

NOTE: Please be very sure your authority character does not use any degree of coercion or undue influence on the student character.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

  • Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
    • 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
    • Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
    • Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
    • If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
    • Please include a short bio of approximately 100 words at the end of your story, including primary social media links.
  • Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

STORY DEADLINE: Please submit your story by 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)

Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about OCTOBER 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

PLANNED RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 22, 2019.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

New Submission Call! #amwriting #romance

It's Back! (3)

New anthology theme announcement: Craving Teacher.

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: TEACHER. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

There’s always that one teacher or professor, the one who’s a little too hot or looks at you a little too often. And there’s always that one student, who is as precocious in the bedroom as in the classroom. And we love those steamy, sexy, forbidden stories about how the rules don’t stand a chance against chemistry.

Your story should involve a setting of college or graduate school, with a student and a professor, thesis advisor, or other similar position. The student must be over 18. You might have a male student and female teacher/instructor, or female student and male teacher. High “heat” levels are encouraged, but please don’t stray into hard erotica, and you should have a “happily ever after” or a “happy for now” ending.

NOTE: Please be very sure your authority character does not use any degree of coercion or undue influence on the student character.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

  • Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
    • 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
    • Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
    • Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
    • If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
    • Please include a short bio of approximately 100 words at the end of your story, including primary social media links.
  • Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

STORY DEADLINE: Please submit your story by 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)

Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about OCTOBER 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

PLANNED RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 22, 2019.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

Five on Friday: Interview with Author Rita Delude #amreading #romance @cravepub

RECEIVE A FREE EBOOK, CRAVING_ MAYHEM (6)Rita Delude, author of “At First Sight” in Craving: One Night Anthology stopped by today for a mini interview and an in deeper peek into her story. 

  1. Do you consider writing a gift or a curse? Being a writer is a gift because not everyone can write well enough to entice complete strangers to read their words. Being a writer is a curse because it’s a sedentary career, and since I’ve started writing full time, I’ve gained weight. But much like dark chocolate, I love it.
  2. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment I ever received as a writer was when a reader of my contemporary romance book, Kaleidoscope, was so inspired by the book in which Alice, the protagonist, opens a quilting studio, that she created a quilted wall hanging that looks like a kaleidoscope of fabrics. My words inspired her art. I was so thrilled for both of us.
  3. How old were you when you have your first kiss? I was twelve when I had my first kiss. We were playing spin the bottle at a birthday party chaperoned only by an older sister. There were no parents in sight. My mom would have “killed me” if she knew. The couple who got picked went to a closet and kissed. I still remember it even though it was a very innocent touching of lips to lips. It thrills me still to think about, even though I can’t even remember the boy’s name.
  4. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the “good” or “bad” ones? Yes, I read my book reviews. I bask in the good ones. If the “bad” ones have suggestions of what I should have done, I try to incorporate that into my future writing. Then, I move on. You can’t please everyone in writing or in life. I feel the same about rejection letters. I take the advice of the publisher and work to improve every day.
  5. Do you prefer traditional paperback/hard cover books or ebooks and why? I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve pretty much given up on print books; I love my Kindle. I can adjust the print size, take it everywhere, and purchase books at a low cost. Yet, I’m always listening to audio books, too, especially when I quilt and drive.

To learn more about this amazing author, visit her website at: https://ritadelude.wixsite.com/mysite

Rita also gave us an in depth look in her story At First Sight Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]from Craving: One Night…

When I first heard the theme for Craving: One Night, I was excited because I believe in “love at first” and “happily ever after.” Many years ago, I fell in love with my husband on our first date—a blind date. I knew that very first night that he was the one I’d spend the rest of my life with. And I have.

Just a simple tip of a cap or an intense look, as Matthew gives to Julia when they enter an airplane can be the spark that starts a love affair. Also, Julia’s sensation of being “home” and safe when they first hold hands is what I remember of my “one night,” so I worked those feelings into a romantic story set on a cruise ship.

Adding humor to my work is something I normally do, so for this story Julia and Matthew take part in the Entertainment Director’s version of an old TV show called The Dating Game where a lady picks a date by asking questions of three potential gentlemen and without seeing what they look like. You may laugh at some of the crazy answers the guys create to impress Julie.

Here’s a snippet of humor from “At First Sight” from Craving One Night from just as The Dating Game begins:

“Folks, welcome Julia, here all the way from frigid Nashua, New Hampshire. But you’re never cold on a Leisure Line Cruise in the Caribbean.”

The applause was deafening.

Here goes, she thought, and read the first question in a voice that she used to get everyone’s attention at meetings. People hushed.

She so wished she could wear a sign that read: “I did not create these questions!”

“Bachelor Number One, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?”

Bachelor Number One: “I’d be a banana, so we could have some fun peeling me.”

The audience roared.

“Bachelor Number Two, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?”

Bachelor Number Two: “I’d be a strawberry, so you could suck its juices while drinking champagne and having the pleasure of both tastes in one.”

The crowd laughed.

“Bachelor Number Three, same question, please.”

Bachelor Number Three: “I’d be a long, wide zucchini to mix with your freshest salad until you were wild with desire.”

The viewers were raucous.

Julia blushed. Two more questions to go and she could escape. Relax. You’re here to have fun.

“Bachelor Number One, if you could take me on a first date to anywhere, where would it be and why?”

I hope you enjoy “At First Sight,” and I wish you your own special “one night” with someone to love.

Want to read Rita’s story and more? …download Craving: One Night for only .99¢ or for Free with an Kindle Unlimited subscription here: https://www.amazon.com/Craving-One-Night-Book-ebook/dp/B07D5JT24T/