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randa flannery

romcon, baby!

today is usually the day i should be posting a meet the character or some other tidbit about the story. but i can’t because i haven’t actually introduced any new characters to you yet, so that will have to wait until the next “bye week”, when i can introduce you to the dreaded cousin.

so what else to talk about? how about…a really awesome convention where authors and readers hang out and play games and party and swag is floating all around? that’s right, people. i’m heading to romcon next week! it’s my first time there, but everything i’ve read about it and the stories others have told me assure me that it will be totes fun. no, i don’t really speak like that, but i watched a mindless teeny bopper movie today to help inspire a certain character i was writing, and it was just in my head. it will be good, though. i’ve got my swag lined up and ready to go. i got these things called bra boxes that are functional as well as hilarious and awesome:

swag

and the purse hooks i had before

purse-hook-1

and some cute tote bags (yes, i used it again…but properly). got the new cards printed out, books mailed, and my hair done (very important). i will be one of the authors at the jeopardy game, pj party, and speed dating the author. so if you’re in denver next week, come say hi!

 

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meet the character: agent samson lewis

romance novel handsome. fairy tale charming. good to his mother. enjoys a good romance novel. and always has a pair of handcuffs close by…just in case.

almost too good to be true, right? and we should always be suspicious of those. after all, what heterosexual, good looking guy hangs out in the romance section at the library?

and, of course, as all the stories tell us, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. sam was not the nice guy we thought he was. he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do!

and yet…it makes us like his even more, doesn’t it? the fact that he wasn’t really so story book perfect? well, it’s what made me like him. that, and the way i’ve been imagining him in my head. (for more pics of how i picture him, visit my pinterest board here)

we don’t know a whole lot about sam yet, and trust me when i say there’s more to him, even still, than meets the reading eye. he’s not dark and brooding, or even a tortured soul like a lot of secretive heroes, but that doesn’t mean he’s without depth. he has layers (not like an onion…more like cake or a parfait), and i can’t wait for you to peel them away as we go along. cuz everybody loves cake.

anyway, how do you like our hero so far? can you picture him? do you like him with alex?

next installment of “love by the book” will be out on the 16th, so stay tuned!

an in between snack

because i am only posting “love by the book” installments every other week, i’ve come to realize that there are some who need a little something to keep them going in the lag time. i don’t blame you. i have been known to gnash my teeth and rail at the wind between books in a series with all the patience of a cat with a marshmallow cream addiction (extra points if you know what i’m talking about). so, the “bye week” between parts 1 and 2, i gave you alex. i considered following a theme and giving you sam this week…

but i didn’t!! hahahaha! that was my evil laugh. did you like it? was it as impressive as i thought it was in my head?

anyway, i didn’t do a “meet the charater” post for sam this time because i don’t think we’re far enough into the story for you to have a real grasp of his character yet. so you’ll have to keep making him up in your own heads for now (and you can even suggest actors you picture him as, or send me pics, and we’ll see if we match up when i do finally give you his post); and instead, i’ll tell you about a different part of the story: the setting.

now, if you’ve read my books, you know i don’t put in too much setting. you know where you are and you get an idea for what’s going on around you for the most part, but i prefer being in the character’s mind, in their moment and seeing what they are focused on rather than what everything looks like all the time. i don’t tend, as some might, to make the setting its own character. it’s just not my style.

that being said, i do have a special place in my heart for the location of this particular story. it’s set in lexington, kentucky. it’s where i went to college at the university of kentucky (go cats!), made some interesting memories, learned to love jane austen, realized i couldn’t just cruise through life and expect to be a success at anything, and basically became an adult (which has nothing, i’ve realized, to do with age). i spent a lot of time at the library, both the campus library and the city libraries. i did not have a shushing librarian interrupt a meet-cute with a good looking guy in the romance section, but i did drop my purse and make quite the commotion once. and i did get shushed at the school library (it is absolutely impossible not to make noise in there! every little sound echoes about a million times!). friends and i would go to the keeneland horse track to watch the races and play, and i absolutely loved driving by all the horse farms. they are beautiful! i think i could be happy living in one of their stables, they are so nice. and did you know that there’s a castle in lexington?! it’s been turned into a fancy hotel now, but – hello! perfect for a modern day fairy tale!

and, of course, we loved the kentucky wildcats. let me correct that. Kentucky Wildcats. yes, they are important enough to get capitalized. i would say that i bleed blue and white, but i’ve seen the movies where crazy stalkers read that kind of thing, and it never ends well for the blogger. the high energy games where the fans went crazy. the nights we camped out for tickets, even if they were rather crappy student seats. the pep rallies and celebrations. that was probably my favorite part of college…well, other than meeting my husband and getting married, of course.

anyway, i did try to incorporate parts of these things into the story, making them a part of alex here and there. and now you know there are pieces of me through out the story.

anyway, next post will be this friday, the 2nd. see you then!

vacay

i often joke about the horrors of living in china, but in all honesty, there are parts about it that i absolutely love. case in point: chinese new year vacay. the kids are out of school for almost a month, the hubby’s out for two weeks, and traveling here is just so cheap and convenient. there’s so much close by that it’s so easy to take quick trips to amazing places. the past few weeks, we’ve hopped from guilin (for caves, mountains, and pretty cool parks), hong kong (for fun with cousins and great food), and malaysia (for beach, snorkeling, fireflies, and monkeys). i got to see some truly beautiful and inspirational things that i am psyched to put into stories: mountains shrouded in misty clouds, beaches where blankets of fish stretched across the surfaces, fire flies (not to be confused with lightning bugs in the states) that lit up trees like faerie lights, and so much more! i’ve got a few story ideas set in these areas floating around my noggin now and can’t seem to type fast enough to keep up with the words. and my current story (number 3 in the magically yours series) is flowing pretty freely, too, after taking a bit of a break from it to travel. it was just all around awesome!

there was one particular adventure we took, a truly harrowing boat ride in malaysia, that is just begging to be in a book…if for no other reason than to get it out of my nightmares! i was secretly terrified, though i did my best to be calm and reassuring for the kids…and two of my kids, while scared, fell asleep during it. it’s a good thing i don’t write children’s books…tough crowd.

meet the character: walsh

i am one proud mama right now. lucas, from “love the one you’re witch” made the list of best book boyfriends of 2015 here! check out the number 1 spot and leave a comment to let them know how you agree!

with lucas getting some much deserved love, however, i thought it might be time to show off walsh a little more. lucy’s love from “wherever you go, were you are” is not your typical alpha hero. much like lucas, he thumbs his nose at the stereotype of the domineering lead, yet still accomplishes his goals and gets the girl.

he’s easy to underestimate, even for a sharp tack like lucy, because he’s so unassuming. he’s easy going and unaggressive, yet determined and persistent. raised by a mother and three older sisters, he has more than his fair share of manners and chivalry. he’s also learned more effective ways of managing that completely circumvent most fights.

don’t let that laid back persona fool you, though. he’s more than willing to get into the thick of things when the situation calls for it.

and did i mention his buns?

to check out the inspirations for walsh on pinterest, go here

eventually, i will get him and lucy up on the character page of the site, but i can’t promise when. so far, the site upgrading is driving me crazy—er. soon, though. like…sometime in the next month? *sigh*

she’s been released!

run, do not walk, to the nearest laptop or ereader device. lucy lyle has been released on the world and it is your job to catch her! simply go to the buy links on the website and you’ll have her right where you want her! and her hero, too. and a big hairy beast with sharp fangs and a bite worse than her bark. enjoy!

Wherever You Go web

meet the character: lucy

have you heard?! new book is coming out in just one more day! calm down. i know you’re excited, so to tide us all over, here’s the deets on the heroine of “wherever you go, were you are”:

name: lucy lyle

occupation: private investigator

special skills: glaring, growling, tossing muscle bound jerks, put downs, cynicism, super smell, keen hearing, morphing into a hulking wolf

weaknesses: sweets (especially cinnamon rolls)

lucy has a bit of a chip on her shoulder (possibly a chocolate chip). she’s brash and bold, and simply does not suffer fools easily.

i love this character for her dry humor and thumb-her-nose attitude. despite the popularity of werewolves in the film and book industry, she realizes that females of her species are not as well received. the resulting experiences have made her a bit harder on the outside. possibly also on the inside. she’s not really hiding a romantic side. she doesn’t play games. she simply is what she is, take it or leave it.

lucy has sworn off dating humans, but not because she’s afraid or prejudice. after all, her own mother was human. her reasons go a little bit deeper than that

i find that i relate to this character more than i have to ana (love the one you’re witch) and rowan (missing). she’s not as analytical as ro and not as casually crazy as ana. lucy is more down to earth. she has a touch of angst and brooding to her, but not too much because that would just tick her off.

so while i was looking or pics to share of the inspirations i used for her, i came across these:

lucy wolf 3lucy wolf 2lucy wolf

cool, right?! perfectly captures the whole werewolf thing, i thought. i really enjoyed showing the relationship between lucy and her wolf. i put a bit of a different spin on how it all worked rather than following the general “rules” so strictly. some of those just didn’t make a lot of sense in civilized society.

if you want to see lucy’s pinterest board, go here. you’ll find pics of her, the wolf, and a few extras. and if you want to see the actual rendering of the character, check out the character page on the website (hopefully i have her up on there by the time you read this, but i can make no promises. i may get distracted by her hero inspirations here).

the joke that launched 70K words

so recently i’ve had a lot of comments about the dialogue in my stories. specifically, it has been pointed out how great it is (i was going to be modest here, but there was just no helping it), and then most people will ask if i have the lines planned out before i start the writing or does it come as i write. generally, the dialogue comes as i write, but every now and then i’ll have the quips and little jokes first and then build a story around them.

case in point, “wherever you go, were you are”.

if you haven’t noticed from the blurb here or the few excerpts i’ve put out lately, a major part of this story takes place in the world of male strip clubs. the reason for this is because of a joke i heard long ago in college. from my husband. it’s such a simple joke, really only one or two lines, but it has been a rather long running theme in our almost 13 years of marriage. so, obviously, it deserved some time on paper, right? it got a whole paragraph in lucy’s story, and it is good. in fact, i even included a few other little bits from my college days with the now-husband that close friends will recognize, and have giggled many times as i’ve reviewed them in sentimental remembrance. and to think, i didn’t believe college would do me any good when i was going.

on the other hand, there was another joke i really wanted to use, just something little and cheesy, but couldn’t make it fit. so i’m saving it for the next one, due out next year.

so check out book 2 in the “magically yours” series, “wherever you go, were you are” on december 8th and see the joke that started the story. not started started. it’s not at the beginning. but the joke that the story grew from. you know what i mean.

cover reveal:wherever you go, were you are

so excited for book 2 in the magically yours series! check out the cover:

Wherever You Go web

that’s lucy lyle there, who you met briefly in “love the one you’re witch”. she’s a werewolf. lucy likes cinnamon rolls, leather, meat, hiking, and more cinnamon rolls. keep watching for updates as the time draws near and head over to the site to see the official blurb here.

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