Everything She Never Wanted, first kiss

Everything She Never WantedYou know how much I love a first kiss. With Cynthia and Henry, I think it means even more since they knew each other for so long and never acted on anything. After all these years, sharing their first kiss is even more powerful, especially with everything else going on around each of them.

What do you think?

Excerpt from Everything She Never Wanted

His tongue brushed her lips as she parted them to get a taste of him. Her tongue ran along his, muddying her brain and demanding that she give in to whatever he wanted. Whatever he needed. She hooked her thumbs in his belt loops and held on. Their tongues teased and tasted each other. The wine was different coming from him, better even, and she felt herself sinking deeper into Henry.

Henry that she loved.

Henry that she never thought she’d see again.

Henry that was her best friend.

Henry that she didn’t know anymore.

She felt like she was back in high school, or middle school, experiencing her first kiss. A boy she barely knew. A kiss that made her head spin. A desire that was new and fresh and exciting.

When he pulled back, almost suddenly, Cynthia wasn’t ready for their kiss to be over. She still held him, her arms around his waist and his around her shoulders. She felt safe and protected within his embrace. But his eyes burned into hers, reminding her that the boy she knew had grown into a man she didn’t know.

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Writing Tips: Make Friends

I haven’t gotten any new questions, so I’m talking about writing again today! I hope that’s okay with you!

A few weeks ago, I was at the Romance Writers of America national conference. Every summer, about 2000 romance novelists and industry professionals get together for workshops, networking, and awards. It’s a whirlwind of four days that always leaves me inspired and ready for more. I love it!

One of my absolute favorite parts about nationals is seeing friends I don’t live near. One of my good friends lives in California, so we see each other once a year. We roomed together this year and it was so nice to have someone to digest the workshops with, go to dinner with, hang out with.

Which brings me to my point.

Find friends!

Writing is a very solitary endeavor. You write your stories. You come up with all the ideas. You do the marketing and the planning and all the work. Sure, you might hire people eventually, but the day-to-day is all on you.

And it gets damn lonely!

I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) so I could meet other romance authors. I joined my local chapter in Western New York to I could meet romance authors near me. My friend in California (ironically, also named Mary) became my friend at one of the conferences, which I went to to meet more authors.

Having friends who are writers means you’ll have someone to text when you hit your goal for the day. And someone to call when you get nominated for an award or publish a book. And someone to commiserate with when things don’t go as planned.

I meet my writer friends for lunch to work out plot issues. We read each other’s manuscripts to see what works and what doesn’t. We trade texts to stay up to date on progress.

Yes, other friends are great, but writers understand each other. It’s a world unlike many others. And having people who get it is so very important.

So get out there! Find some people. You can never have too many friends!

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!

#FiveOnFriday with Linda O’Connor

Please say hi to Linda O’Connor! She’s back to visit us and share some inspiration!

I’m often asked about what inspires me to write. I thought I’d share 5 sources of inspiration for my stories:

1. The reaction from people when they find out I’m a doctor – It makes me chuckle when people are surprised that I’m a family doctor, and it’s very interesting to see how their attitude changes. Flattering, but honestly, I think there’s more heart and soul (and worry) that goes into being a stay-at-home mom. The fact that my character is “secretly” a doctor has shown up in a couple of the Perfectly stories.

2. Helping out in an emergency – I’ve attended the delivery a baby, washed sand out of a child’s eyes at the beach, and provided care on an airplane. Medicine is rarely nine to five, and my characters are jumping in to help out whenever they’re needed.

3. How I want to weave medicine into my stories – There’s something medical thrown into every story. It may be subtle information like the fact that an eye infection, conjunctivitis, and pink eye are all the same thing or acknowledging how difficult a pregnancy can be, but one of my goals is to empower readers to learn something – and laugh along the way!

4. Snippets of conversation I hear – In the grocery store one day, two teenagers were stocking the shelves and talking about the differences in their friends. I overheard one say, “We’re all different . . . not by much, just enough.” I’ve used that philosophy, if not that line, in my stories. 😀

5. Articles I read in the newspaper or something I hear on the radio – A feature about a pilot, who had a plane adapted so he could continue to fly after becoming paraplegic in a motor vehicle accident, became the inspiration for a short story. I also get ideas for names and quirky hobbies from the news.

Inspiration is all around – in things I hear, see, and do, and my imagination does the rest!

About Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1)

You never know where your words will take you . . .

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00S77IW9O

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/perfectly-honest-linda-oconnor/1121133809

About Linda

Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at http://www.lindaoconnor.net.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Linda loves to connect with readers ~

Website:  http://www.lindaoconnor.net

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA

Blog: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/news-muse-and-interviews/

Everything She Never Wanted, meet Cynthia

Everything She Never WantedWhen I first thought about creating this series, Everything She Never Wanted was one of the books I was so excited to write. That sounds bad since the book deals with loss, but I knew it was going to be emotional and powerful. And I knew I was going to love Cynthia.

Cynthia is scared. She’s been scared her whole life. She’s been hurt and she’s dealt with pain forever. She’s the perfect person to help Henry through the loss his family suffered (no, I’m still not telling who they lose).

If you read the other books in the series, you might not like Cynthia. I get that. You’ll find out who she really is, and hopefully by the end you’ll be cheering for her to get Everything She Never Wanted!

Excerpt from Everything She Never Wanted

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” he answered, stepping closer to her.

“Do you feel any better?”

It took him a minute to realize she was talking about his panic attack, or whatever it was, when she got there. He nodded and pulled her in for a hug, resisting the desire to kiss her again. She was there for him the entire night. She didn’t shy away like so many others did. She let him be angry. She let him be irritated. She let him be whatever he needed to be.

Hell, she even let him kiss her and then not talk about it.

“That was one heck of a kiss earlier,” she whispered against his chest.

So much for not talking about it.

Henry sucked in a breath. “I thought so, too.”

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the best kiss of my life.”

He pulled back from her and spun away. He could take kindness. He could handle sympathy. He could even swallow pity. But lying was not on the menu for the evening.

“You don’t have to bullshit me, Cynthia. I’m almost thirty-four years old. I’ve kissed enough women to have picked up a few things. This isn’t high school where you have to lie to me about how much I mean to you.”

Hurt flashed in her brown eyes, bringing out the green. She nodded once, then leveled him with a look that said exactly what she thought of his accusation.

“First of all, I never lied to you in high school. You were my best friend. I adored you. I had no idea you liked me the way you did, or I wouldn’t have turned to you. I was never close to any of the girls I knew, but with you, I could be myself. So screw you for saying I lied about what you meant to me. Second, that was the best kiss of my life. Maybe you didn’t feel the same, or maybe you did, but don’t ever tell me that what I’m feeling isn’t true.”

Henry didn’t know whether to be shocked or impressed by what she said. He’d never known her to have such a quick temper, but things had changed about both of them over the years.

One thing that didn’t change was how much he wanted her. And damn if he could stop himself from kissing her again after seeing that spark in her eyes and hearing his was the best kiss of her life.

Henry didn’t give her a chance to back away. He didn’t go slow. He didn’t ask first. He just took, again, what he wanted, but this time, he wasn’t holding back.

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Writing Tips: Books To Read

We’re back again, looking at some things it takes to make it as an author. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet that will make you successful, but writing good books will help.

There are a ton of books out there about writing. My recommendations are simply that, my recommendations. This is not a slight on all the other books out there, or saying they aren’t as good. It’s simply my short list of books I’ve read that helped me along the way.

Ready?

Goal, Motivation, Conflict by Debra Dixon – I liked this book because it gave me a good view of how GMC works in a book. She uses examples from popular stories (like The Wizard of Oz) to detail exactly what she’s talking about. I’d read a lot about GMC before picking up this book, but it broke it down in a way that made sense for me. I loved it!

Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant – a great example of a book that will convince you not to give up. These guys are not romance authors, but they are very successful authors who gave writing their all. Their motivation to make it work was an inspiration to me, as well as a kick in the pants to keep me striving forward.

The Positive / Negative Trait and Emotion Thesauruses by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi – three books that are valuable resources to authors. If you’re looking to understand your character, or trying to find an opposite for one, these books are great! Divided up by trait, the thesauruses help you navigate personalities well!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – if you’re looking for inspiration, read this book! It’s a great resource when you’re feeling out of sorts. Plus, creatives sometimes feel alone. You’ll never feel alone again after reading this book!

The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing by Jana DeLeon and Tina Folsom – an in depth look at self-publishing from some veterans. If you’re considering going at things your own way instead of finding a traditional publishing house, you’ll want the advice of people who’ve been there, done that. Read this book!

On Writing by Stephen King – I was reluctant to read this one because his work is way too gory for me, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. He’s a master, and no one can deny that. Don’t miss out!

As I said, I know there are more. I have many more on my bookshelf, but until I’ve read them, I struggle to recommend them. The most important thing is to get started. Read some, write some, find what works for you!

What writing books have you found most helpful?

If you have a question, about writing or anything else, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!