#WriteWed The Ironbound Section & At the Shore

One of the things that I wanted to show with the At the Shore contemporary romance series is the diversity of New Jersey, both ethnically and economically. While Maggie and Owen from ONE SUMMER NIGHT are both well-off, Connie and Emma, the heroines of #2 and #3 in the series respectively, have both had to work hard to achieve what they have.

As for ethnically, Connie represents the large Cuban population of Union City. Emma is a suburban girl from Edison. The hero in #3 is Carlo Texeira from the Ironbound section of Newark.

I’m getting ready to write a scene in #2 where you find out a little bit more about Carlo and his family, who play a substantial role in #3. In that scene, you get to see a big Portuguese-style family dinner at their Ironbound home.

The Ironbound is a unique section of the city of Newark. It’s located not all that far from Newark Penn Station and between the airport and the Passaic River. It is a largely Portuguese neighborhood with the first immigrants from Portugal arriving in the early 1900s along with Spaniards from Galicia (my family’s part of Spain). In fact, many Portuguese food dishes are very similar to those from Galicia.

The main avenue in the Ironbound is Ferry Street which abounds with a number of mom and pop Portuguese shops along with a number of other Latin restaurants. In #3, the hero’s family has owned a successful bakery there since the 1930s. Carlo’s older brothers now run the business and Carlo has struck out on his own to make a life down the shore. He’s Emma’s Go-to-Guy in more than one way, although she refuses to admit that.

Ferry Street, as you might guess, was named after a ferry that ran between Newark and other locations to the east. Check out the video below that shows you Ferry Street. If part of it looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance in the beginning of the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds (2:30 to 2:45 in the video). If you can’t see the video below, use this link: https://youtu.be/PGP_94G3Vms

#WriteWed Inspiration #Amwriting #Amreading

One of the absolute best parts of the writing gig is getting to meet other authors and readers! It’s why I love going to conferences and events. These are the ones I’ll be attending so far this year and if you’re in the area, I would love to see you and get to spend some time with you! Of course, since I’m a reader as well as a writer, I can’t wait to meet other authors and find out more about their books. It’s a win-win situation.

March 18-19, 2017
Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Iselin, NJ

April 19, 2017
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Ocean County Author Fair
Lakewood Branch Library

April 22, 2017
12 pm to 5 pm
A Day of Wine and Romance
Brook Hollow Winery
594 State Route 94, Columbia, New Jersey 07832

July 26–29, 2017
RWA Annual Conference
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Orlando, Florida

October 13th & 14th, 2017
Fall in Love with New England Romance
Reader/Author Conference

Best Western Plus Executive Court
Inn and Conference Center
13500 S Willow Street
Manchester, New Hampshire 03103

#WriteWed Inspiration

#WriteWed Read. Write. Repeat.

For the past two weeks I’ve been struggling with how to get my characters from the Take a Chance series together with Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Series since I’m doing a novella for Paige in her Kindle World.

Since my novella is a crossover, I kept on battling with how to get a Jersey heroine to my Dallas firefighter hero. For two weeks I’ve been banging my head about this when the most obvious answer finally came to me. Move the hero to New Jersey!!

So after some more research, I’ll be starting this novella and getting it banged out in time for the January release. The title? HEAT OF THE NIGHT. The hero? A former Navy Seal turned firefighter who was friends with Rafe Castillo from STAY THE NIGHT and Captain Mark Smith from ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE. Can’t say more, but I’m looking forward to writing this story!
Read Write Repeat Writer's Block

#ThoughtfulThursday Jersey Girl Bridesmaids and the Jersey Shore

I took a day off to go to the spa with my daughter. Fate intervened and instead, we had a lovely girls day down the Jersey Shore. We watched a Korean drama, we biked to have a fabulous vegan lunch (no I’m a certified meat eater and the lunch was a delicious surprise), and we relaxed before doing dinner and some retail therapy. In the midst of all that, we also took time to just sit on the beach and enjoy a truly fabulous summer-like day. There were even people in bathing suits soaking up the sun.

My daughter and I sat there and just took a few moments to breathe and then did some work on our respective stories. My daughter is an aspiring author and has journals full of stories. She self-published her first work, FOLLOWING JANE, in 2013 and is busy working on other stories.

I just finished Book 1 in the Jersey Girl Bridesmaids series and am now busy plotting #2. Having lots of fun with it and I think it’ll be a truly amazing story! The tentative title of that one is WE DANCED ALL NIGHT although if they had, we wouldn’t have the unexpected surprise that will force two people to face their past and the kind of future they could have together.

Anyway, I’m sharing a photo from our writing on the beach and some peaceful waves, sand, and sun with you!
Working on Jersey Girl Bridesmaids

Click here if you cannot see the Jersey Shore Writing Inspiration video below.

Road Trip Time Fall in Love with New England Conference

I’m off to the Fall in Love with New England Conference and I am so looking forward to it! There are going to be lots of fun games, panels and a book signing for readers and just as many wonderful opportunities for authors to connect with the readers and with each other.

Whether you’re an author or a reader, please take a moment to check it out by clicking here and if you’re going, please let me know so we can spend some time together! The book signing on Saturday is open to the general public and I’ll have some goodies if you come by.

I’m also getting to do this road trip two fabulous writing friends. I plan to pick their brains for some plot advice and on the way, we’re stopping in Salem. I’ve never been there and plan on really soaking up the sights. I’ll try to share pictures with you over the next few days if time allows. If not, look for the photos next week!

Fall In Love With New England

#WriteWed A Road Trip & Fall in Love with New England Conference #AmReading #AmWriting

Good morning! It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for some behind the scenes talk about writing inspiration! For me, meeting readers and getting to spend time with them as well as meeting other authors and hanging with them is a prime source of inspiration.

My trip to San Diego for the Romance Writers of America conference filled me with lots of energy and new ideas.

I know my trip to the Fall in Love with New England Conference will be just as awesome! There are going to be lots of fun games, panels and a book signing for readers and just as many wonderful opportunities for authors to connect with the readers and with each other.

Whether you’re an author or a reader, please take a moment to check it out by clicking here and if you’re going, please let me know so we can spend some time together! Authors – there are still some author spots available, so if you’re interested, please contact the conference chair.

As for me, I also get to do a road trip two fabulous writing friends. That means lots of talk about our stories, what’s happening in the publishing world and even better, my first ever trip to Salem! So excited about that.

Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the conference and I hope I will see some of you there.

Fall In Love With New England

#WriteWed Bryant Park & Jersey Girl Bridesmaids

I am so chugging along on Book 1 of the Jersey Girl Bridesmaids series! I am having a ton of fun with it and I hope you will also when the first book, tentatively titled Since We Were 18, is released in 2017.

The scene I’m writing right now is set at the Bryant Park Grill. I’ve eaten there several times and it’s a great restaurant with scenic views and good food.

Regular visitors to the blog know that Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots in New York City and I go there often, like every day! There is always something happening and I love seeing all the gardens in the park.

At one time, the park was known as “Needle Park” and it was filled with prostitutes and drug dealers. You risked your life walking through there even in the daytime, but no more. The park has been rejuvenated and now is a fabulous place for New Yorkers and tourists alike to visit and spend time.

Today’s Write Wednesday is some photos from Bryant Park since I’m busy writing this scene.