Literary Lagniappe

Bloopers, bonus features, and behind the scenes views from all your favorite romances


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Blind Dates by Maggie Wells

Hello, my lovely Lagniappers! We’ve visited a few times now, so thought I’d share a couple of the experiences that shaped my perceptions of romance. When you read this, you will understand why I seldom write a love scene where the action plays out smoothly.

People have asked where the inspiration for my latest release, The Last First Date, came from. The answer is simple: It sprang from the sad story of my one and only blind date.

You see, in the spring just after my first annual 29th birthday I was in a dry spell in my dating life so arid I could hear the air around me crackle…You get my drift? A friend wanted to set me up on a blind date with the cute new guy in her office, and I was just desperate enough to agree.

I’m glad to say, he lived up to the hype. I nearly swallowed my tongue when I opened my door. The guy was gorgeous. We planned to go to a 9PM show comedy show, but we were early so we went to the bar next door to pass the time. I’d love to blame the booze for what happened, but I’m not that much of a lightweight. I was stone cold sober when we walked approximately 100 yards from the bar to the comedy club.

And I tripped.

Over nothing.

Did I stumble a little? Did I flail and catch myself?

Uh, no.

I took a flier, landing on my arm and bouncing my forehead off concrete. The fall was so spectacular that people waiting to get into the club left the line and hurried to help me up while my date stood staring at the clumsy lump on the ground.

Of course, I was mortified. I brushed myself off, insisting that I was fine and trying to laugh about it.

Did I mention the dating dry spell? Yeah…So…The date must go on!

I excused myself to clean up. Once in the ladies room, I promptly fell apart. The other women were sympathetic and consoling. Cool paper towels were pressed to the growing knot on my head. Cosmetic bags were produced and my face was fixed. They even combed my hair to cover the massive lump on my forehead.

Before I knew it, I was handed a cup of ice water and given a gentle shove back out into the lion’s den. I laughed my way through the comedians, but by the third act I came to realize my head wasn’t what was bothering me as much as the odd weakness in my left arm. By the end, I couldn’t lift to applaud.

When my date asked if I wanted to go somewhere else, I told him that I really didn’t feel well and I thought I should call it a night. My roommate was staying at her boyfriend’s that night so I called her, leading with the headline, “I think I broke my arm!”

One painful x-ray later, my fears were confirmed. I was broken.

Doped, plastered to the shoulder, and over the whole dating thing, I spent the rest of the weekend with my matchmaking girlfriend and faithful roomie by my side. I never heard from Mr. Blinddateman again.

The moral of the story? Dating can be hazardous to your health.

That’s why I had to write the story of a blind date gone tragically wrong. And what better night for the world’s worst date than New Year’s Eve. This was the inspiration for The Last First Date.

The Last First Date_Maggie Wells

First date number forty-eight comes to a screeching halt for Detective Langley Sheppard when his date lifts a pack of gum from the local convenience store. But things start looking up when he encounters spunky damsel-in-distress Jessica Vickers, who’s stranded in the store parking lot. Now Lang is about to discover that on a night when everything goes wrong, falling for Jessica feels spectacularly right.

**Comment below and tell me your dating horror story (you can make one up if you wish), and I’ll give one reader a digital copy of The Last First Date! Contest ends 9/18 at 11:59PM EDT.**

By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. She’ll tell you she’s a deep down dirty girl, but you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, she just can’t help herself…that’s part of her charm. You can find her online at http://www.maggie-wells.com

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Picking the Ending by Decadent Kane

A Hint of cayenne was a challenging book for me to write. Cayenne was so wild and hot headed I had to find the right ways to challenge her. Originally cayenne didn’t end with the drow. Actually Cayenne ended with her tied to a tree covered in honey. It was quickly pointed out to me by my good friend that while it made a good ending, it wasn’t a finished story and left the readers wanting, which is what I originally wanted to do, but after careful consideration, Cayenne’s sister gave me some great ideas and I followed through with them. I think it made for a much more satisfying ending.

I don’t generally feel endings should always end ‘happily’ but I do always want to satisfy my readers. Endings that stop abruptly, or leave a reader hanging out there too far, often irritate readers, and that is the last thing I wanted to do with cayenne’s story. She had such a unique tale and I wanted readers to leave her in good graces.

Book Blurb: A Hint of Cayenne

Touch Of Cayenne 200

Cayenne and Hawthorn go toe to toe as they compete against each other, and their attraction, for a bounty that could solve everything…for one of them. Hawthorn has a gambling debt to pay, and Cayenne wants to provide a real home for her sister.

Heat flares between the two despite their differences, which infuriates Cayenne to no end. Hawthorn wants to wring Cayenne’s neck, right after having his way with her. However, his gambling demons come back to haunt them both. The dark drow don’t take kindly to having someone welch on their debts. Can Hawthorn get out of trouble with a dark elf before Cayenne and her sister pay the price? 

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**Giveaway: 1 free e-copy of A Hint of Cayenne. Comment to enter. Contest ends 11/14 at 11:59PM EDT. ***

Author Bio:

An elfess in human form, Decadent enjoys dipping her fingers into the human realm where she took pen to paper and began the tales of the trouble with elves. Her obsessions include reading, Dean Winchester, and honey.

She will devour your soul with glimpses of the feral ridden drow elves, with their dark skin and soul consuming. She’ll sneak morsels of naughty thoughts to you via goblins, and seduce you into stepping inside the elven realm where females disappear when lust takes over among other elfish troubles.

Beware the sprites.

Follow the wisps.

But never look a drow elf king in the eyes…

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Spreading My Wings by Charmaine Gordon

My background had nothing to do with writing. First a good daughter, then a good wife and mother of too many during the Korean War. All I knew was good. Service wives learned to button up; secrets kept during the war especially the Strategic Air Command where my pilot husband learned to fly an atom bomb mission wives never learned about for many years way after the men left the service. Something dreamed up by the brass who flew desks at the pentagon never came to fruition, thank heaven.

As for me, I didn’t learn to spread my wings ‘til my youngest and only daughter turned about sixteen. After moving to NY to settle down, I performed in community theaters. One day, a professional actor suggest I step up to the big city and make my way. The beginning of a new way of life. I took classes at night to learn acting for the camera and commercials and soon, with a lot of luck, I became a small fish in the big pond in NYC on stage, daytime drama on TV, commercials and still returned home in time to cook, tidy up, work with my husband, the love of my life, and manage a big household.

Catastrophe struck toward the end of the run of an off-Broadway play. My voice began to fail. I knew I couldn’t continue on stage or in any phase of acting. What to do with all the creative juices flowing? A friend suggested that I write. And a new career began at age seventy four with nothing more than an idea for a story. Like a primitive Grandma Moses of the art world, I didn’t know anything about writing but I knew a lot about scripts. And what a privilege watching Mike Nichols and Rob Reiner direct, to name of few. Then working with Harrison Ford in Working Girl, Anthony Hopkins in The Road to Wellville where I picked up techniques. And what a kick singing with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan during a break in When Harry Met Sally.

My advice to newbies is watch and listen and never give up. If I could achieve so much, so can you. My first book, To Be Continued, submitted to Vanilla Heart Publishing led to a contract and now the book is optioned for a television movie. At age eighty three, I still have a long way to go. Sixteen books published and I’m working on Book 2 for River’s Edge.

My latest release is Housebroken, Book 1 in the new series River’s Edge. No, it’s not about a dog. Empty nest syndrome has come to a couple after the third child moves.

 

Blurb:

Housebroken CVR front

Sally and Steve Atwood must make a big adjustment – a fair number of them, actually – when after thirty-five years, three grown children, and a lifetime of memories, they are alone, together, at last… And, then they found River’s Edge.

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**Giveaway** I’m so pleased to offer a copy of Housebroken to a commenter. If you’ve experienced empty nest syndrome, let me know. I do recall waving goodbye to each of my kids only to find somehow they multiply and return. As parents you must have a sense of humor. Comment to enter. Contest ends 9/11 at 11:59PM EDT. 

 

Thanks to the wonderful women who began Literary Lagniappe a few years ago when they had to explain what the words meant. Success continues.

 

Author Bio:

Charmaine -10 sATURATED_pp8x10g-72y

 

Years of experience as an actor on daytime drama. Stage, spokesperson and commercials plus writing sketches for Air Force shows helped prepare me for the wonders of a writing career. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time when immersed in the written words of others, that I was like a sponge, soaking up how to construct a scene, write dialogue, and paint the setting.

My writing effort came later when I wrote a two page story, sent it to son, Paul who commented, “Cool. Can you write ten pages?” Seemed impossible but the story poured from my fingers and seventy thousand words later, I typed The End.

I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” playright Rich Knipe. It was great fun and time to move on. Movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins company at lunch, working with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and singing outside with Harrison Ford, crying with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, When “Harry Met Sally” with the whole gang singing It had to be You. Lots of fond memories. My first job as stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding her and her daughters. A sweet time.

But nothing –oh nothing—is sweeter than a publisher saying, “I want to publish your book.” So many writers long to hear those words. I am joyous to have heard them from Kimberlee Williams.

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Damian Carter – The Mystery of Some Mistakes by Matthew J. Metzger

There’s a point – when you meet someone new – that you might well be attracted to them, but you know nothing about them.

Some Mistakes is about identity, about who people really are under the show and the swagger, about the essence of them beyond their names. It’s about who Craig Dale is since his life was destroyed, and it’s a story very much about him.

Not so much Damian.

A little run-down for you. Some Mistakes tells of the no-strings-attached affair between civil servant Craig and barista Damian against the backdrop of Craig’s carefully-constructed new life unravelling at the seams. Craig is very much an invention: a mistake destroyed his life ten years ago, and he has made himself into a new person to distance himself from it. The book is as much about Craig discovering himself as it is about him discovering Damian.

Thing is…in the book, anyway, there’s not all that much really known about Damian.

Usually, I write characters and I know infinitely more detail than ever makes it into the books. But Damian Carter was a mystery to me when I started writing Some Mistakes. And he kind of still is. So here, I’m going to pin him down a little bit and find out – as well as tell you guys – some things about him that never made it into the book.

Damian is slim, very blond, and very clever – all of that is obvious in the book. But he’s also soft, which isn’t. Underneath, Damian’s a bit of a sweetheart. He’s got his sparkle on -

“Oh, whatever you want to call it, love. On the house,” Damian adds, waving off Craig’s wallet. “Hope you feel better soon, okay, sweetie?”

- in the coffee shop where he works, but every other time you see him, there’s an edge -

“You don’t fucking gag me,” Damian snaps.

 - that you just don’t get past. You can guess, but you don’t see. And it is there. While Craig is all about sex and lust, Damian isn’t quite as free-and-easy as he appears. Damian loves, and it wasn’t something I knew about him until the very end.

“I was engaged once.”

“Seriously?”

“Mm,” Damian says. “He was called Ben. He was gorgeous, great in bed, cock like a…”

“I get it.”

 On the surface, Damian is all about sex, emotional freedom, and snide remarks about people he doesn’t particularly like. But there’s a history to him that sheds a little more light – his ambivalence towards his vaguely homophobic stepfather, his distance from his mother, his previous engagement and the reason it fell through -

Damian loves. That is his biggest secret, and the facet of him that he hides best from the world, the reader, and Craig.

And maybe he loves from the very beginning.
Book Blurb:

SomeMistakes200x300

Craig’s life is defined by ugly mistakes. This ‘arrangement’ with sex-mad Damian is another – but maybe some mistakes aren’t so bad after all…

Craig is not good at commitment. Relationships are to be avoided at all costs—but when Damian and their evolving coffee-order code fail to elicit anything more serious than Damian’s last name, Craig begins to think that this is not a mistake at all, but an opportunity for guilt-free fun, without the prospect of breaking any hearts. Craig cannot afford to be found out, but it looks like Damian isn’t interested in asking the right questions.

Then his mother dies. The mistake that ruined Craig’s life in the first place is dragged kicking and screaming out of the past—and this casual arrangement with Damian begins to show its true colours.

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***Giveaway: One lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of Some Mistakes. Contest ends 9/7 at 11:59PM EDT.***

 

Author Bio:

Matthew J . Metzger is the front for a 24-year-old British author living and working near Bristol in the south-west of England. Matthew is semi-real, semi-invented, and entirely mad. When not writing or analysing vast amounts of numerical data in his day job, Matthew is probably asleep. Effectively working two jobs leaves very little time for anything else!

Matthew is primarily a young adult and romance author, writing in the LGBT fiction genre and intending – although never quite managing – to branch out into steampunk and science fiction one day…in a galaxy far, far away…
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