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Wednesday, August 23, 2017


This week our members will be sharing their experiences 
on writing through hard times.  

I’d attempted several times to write the first line of this article. I hoped to make an eloquent or profound statement about the challenge of writing through hard times, specifically during my husband’s current illness. Unfortunately, now, in this moment, the only line that constantly circles through my mind, like the ticker tape that runs underneath the news broadcast, is “It sucks!”

It hasn’t always been that way. Writing has been a comforting friend. Written words are the catharsis that have helped me through many hard times.

When my older sister died of a heart attack at the young age of 50 in 2005, I wrote dozens of short stories about her and the fun adventures we had while growing up. They were my savior during my mourning. She was my half-sister, but I whole loved her. In fact, she gave me my first romance novel. While cleaning her bedroom, I found a manuscript she’d been working on. It was a regency romance novel. That day I learned something new about my sister. She was a romance writer.

Writing comforted me again in 2013 when I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. After surgery, I felt less of a woman and the whole experience made me depressed. I stopped reading. I wasn’t interested in literary novels, romantic swooning damsels, or contemporary hot women who had hot sex with hot guys. Luckily, I found my savior in Paranormal Romance and fell madly in love with the genre. It became my great escape and I began to write paranormal stories of my own. During my recovery, I attended forums, courses and workshops that led to wonderful friendships with some aspiring and established writers. Those friends suggested I’d benefit from joining the RWA and the New York Chapter. I joined Spring of 2014, excited to learn more about the art of writing romance. It brought me back.

I’ve gained an abundance of knowledge, skills, and creative growth as the result of my membership, Outlines, character profiles and scenes filled my imagination, resulting in several manuscripts. It became my passion. My husband noticed that I enjoyed it so much, he encouraged me to work towards getting published. Leading to positive progress and opportunities. When times are good, writing comes easy for. It’s fun. Happiness is a positive and productive motivator for me.

This brings me back to my opening statement. I know I’m not the only writer who has gone through hard times, has experienced loss, illness and/or an “almost” divorce. And, writing along with sculpting, painting and exercising is considered therapeutic. Writers such as Albert Camus and Alexandre Dumas wrote to release their anxiety towards philosophy and politics. Emily Dickinson and Anne Sexton wrote to help them through depression. Writing is an emotional art form. The past few months I’ve dabbled, and tried to write, but couldn’t. Instead, I shopped. It made me feel good for a day, but buyer’s remorse kicked in the next morning. This week my husband will have double surgery, half of his throat, a cancerous tumor and half of his stomach will be removed. We’ve been through a lot in 16 years, but this time I’m not scared – I’m petrified. My fear is stronger than my desire and all I can write are excuses why I can’t write. That’s why, “It sucks!” Still, the words “In sickness and in health, till death do us part” come to mind often these days. I have to believe it’s an omen that my writer’s block may be on its way out and once again writing will be my savior. Now more than ever I need to find the words to stand up to the challenge.♥

Mimi Pizarro-Logsdon has been writing romance stories since her teens, and loves the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal genres. She has worked in the media industry for over 25 years, and currently works at HBO, Inc. She lives in New York with her husband and pets. One of them, an eccentric cat named George she features in her current romance series, "Immortals In New York." Follow her on Twitter: @mimilogsdon; Facebook: mimipizarro.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017


This week our members will be sharing their experiences 
on writing through hard times.  

I am blessed to have a friend in Australia whom I've known for 25 years and sees me through good and bad times. She is a retired office manager who delights in hearing about my literary projects. Despite the distance, we keep in touch online and through correspondence. I am constantly running themes by her. She is my sounding board. She recently lost someone significant in her life so it was my turn to lift her spirits this month. I wish I could've crawled through the phone when we've been able to afford to speak to each other and sooth her anxieties as she's done for me. She has taught me how to be resilient like the tree that bends in the wind. Someday, I know I'll be in Australia with my dear friend front row center as I dedicate my published romance to her and give her a "hot off the press" autographed copy.♥

Joan Ramirez has published three nonfiction books as well as many online short mystery stories and is currently a freelance educator and journalist. The best is yet to come: Published romance and romantic suspense novels.


Friday, August 18, 2017


Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from 
one of New York's Leading Romance Authors.

Triple Diamond novel
by Gemma Snow
Book will be published late September 2017.   

SUMMARY:  At the Triple Diamond, good things come in threes…

Madison Hollis never expected to find anything at the Triple Diamond Ranch in Montana, a surprise inheritance left to her by an uncle she’d never met. With her career as an event-planning manager for the Silicon Valley tech titans, a job that has pushed her straining engagement to the breaking point, she doesn’t have time for soul-searching.
But, out in the Montana summer sun before putting the ranch up for sale, Madison finds herself distracted by Triple Diamond’s sexy and oh-so-tempting ranch managers. Christian Harlow and Ryder Dean are best friends and total opposites, rebel country boy and pretty boy cowboy, and both are hot as hell.
Intent on loosening her reins, Madison gives herself permission to dive into an affair, surrendering to her desire for both of them. As she gets to know both Ryder and Christian and grows all too familiar with the feeling of them on her skin, Madison wonders if it will be as easy as she’d hoped to go home and leave them behind. But when an ugly secret comes to light, it might just send her running—if something, or someones, can’t convince her to stay…


Friday, August 11, 2017


Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from 
one of New York's Leading Romance Authors.

A Havenport Romance
by Ruth A. Casie

SUMMARY:  From a fall from literary stardom to becoming the heroine in her own romance story, Beth Holmes has turned around her career and her love life. She owes it all to one very special person.  Jarred Watson has loved Beth since he read her first novel and suspected the heroine was the embodiment of the author. But the road to romance was fraught with pitfalls. He almost lost everything because of a conniving agent and a little white lie that got out of hand. At the eleventh hour, with honesty and hard work, their book sales are off the charts and a movie deal is in negotiations. Interfering families, changed plans and missed deadlines take their toll. Will they go their separate ways or will Holmes and Watson continue their literary collaboration and personal partnership in order to find their own happily ever after?


Friday, August 4, 2017


Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from 
one of New York's Leading Romance Authors.

An Unconventional Brides Romance
by K.M. Jackson

SUMMARY:  Nightmare bridesmaids’ dresses, tasteless fondant icing, budget-busting wedding expenses—some women just aren’t about it. They’ll laugh off tradition, make their own rules—and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.

She’s done, finished, had it. Between her family’s expectations and being always-a-bridesmaid, Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. She’s happy with her life—and tired of being burned by “nice guys” who demand she fit their dreams. So she’s going to settle the issue once and for all: by marrying herself. And celebrated chef Vincent Caro’s fabulous restaurant is the perfect place for a big-time, blow-out, not-hearing-it-any-more wedding. Lily doesn’t care if everyone—including Vincent—thinks she’s crazy. Especially when his mouth-watering talent and no-commitments style ignites one sizzling, no-strings fling, or two…or more.
But no matter how hard they try to keep things light, their relationship keeps getting hotter. The more Vincent helps Lily tackle unexpected trouble, the more he finds she might be everything he’s ever wanted. Can she afford to forget caution and finally let go? And can they both take a risk to discover if what they have is meant to last long after the dessert course?

Friday, July 28, 2017



Every week we bring you an exciting hot book cover from 
one of New York's Leading Romance Authors.

Alexis’ book, TAKE THE LEAD, is an 
RWA Golden Heart Finalist.
The book will be available from 
SMP Swerve this Fall. We can’t wait!!

by Alexis Daria
SMP Swerve

SUMMARY:   Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.

Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.

When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.


Monday, July 10, 2017


We’re in a time of change. Between imprint and publisher closings, the loss of bestseller lists, KU, and the slow down of the the self-publishing “gold rush” (mentioned in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “Visions of the Future” article in the April 2017 issue of RWR), it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening in publishing! If you want a career as an author, you’ve got to adapt and view this as a “long game.” While we can’t control what the industry and market do, we can control the stories we write and how we write them.

One way to do this is to continually evolve your craft and only put forth your best work. Talent will only take you so far. Skill and dedication are what build a lasting career in this industry, and skill is something you can improve on. Last year my critique partner C.L. Polk (Witchmark) introduced me to a book by Lisa Cron. The full title is Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel* [*Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere]. Cron offers is a shift in the way we perceive story, and why we’re so attuned to a good one. Here’s how she describes it:

“An effective story is, literally, an offer your brain can’t refuse.”

“The purpose of story...is to help us interpret, and anticipate, the actions of ourselves and others.”

“We don’t turn to story to escape reality. We turn to story to navigate reality.”

When I start a new writing project, I pick a skill to work on. For my last project, I focused on deep POV. For the sequel, I’m working on deeper characterization. Story Genius has been so helpful in that regard. The book takes you through the process of crafting a “story blueprint” that hinges on your protagonist’s “third rail”—the struggle between what they want and the misbelief that keeps them from having it. (Cron eschews the term “outline,” and also dismisses both pantsing and plotting, which was a shock.) The idea is to focus more on the story (internal) than the plot (external), and how it stems from your main character’s desire and misbelief, with secondary characters and subplots that support the main story instead of taking it off on tangents. Doing this, the book says, will help you craft a story that keeps your readers up all night even when they have a big meeting the next day.

I initially had trouble with the scene cards, and I side-eyed some of the “What to Do” exercises peppered through each chapter. But without fail, after completing each exercise, I could see the value in it, and I appreciated the slow, steady, step-by-step process. I’m excited to finish drafting this book, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done so far.

A few years ago I heard someone on a podcast say they’d chosen to pursue art because you could never finish learning it. There was no set endpoint, no final goal, no cap to what you could learn or how much you could improve. It wasn’t about any one project or masterpiece, but rather the sum total of your skill and knowledge. My background is in art, but this idea of constantly improving stayed with me, and I’ve carried it over into writing.

So, who’s with me? Let’s control the part we can control and continue evolving our craft. We owe it to our readers, and ourselves, to put out work we’re proud of, and to never stop learning.♥

Alexis Daria’s Golden Heart®-nominated debut contemporary romance will be released in 2017 from SMP Swerve. On Sunday evenings, Alexis co-hosts #RWchat, a weekly Twitter chat for romance writers. She also serves as PRO Liaison for the New York City chapter of RWA, and Municipal Liaison for the NYC region of National Novel Writing Month. She loves social media, and you can find her as @alexisdaria on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, @alexidaria1 on Facebook, and follow her blog, alexisdaria.com.