Friday Kiss – Home (1/31/2020)

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: Home.

From my completed manuscript, Incomparable (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amquerying).

“I spent a chaste night being fed the most wonderful food and then I came home like a perfect gentleman.”

Étienne laughed. “You are a romantic. Don’t deny it.”

An unfamiliar flood of heat raced over Philip’s skin. He couldn’t be blushing. “Aren’t we all?” #FridayKiss #ownvoices

About Incomparable:

When Val Navarro meets Philip in a club in East Ward, the only thing she knows about him is that he can’t dance, loves Star Wars and is irresistible in every way. Little does she know that they are on the opposite sides of a multi-billion-dollar property development project that might make – or break – her urban neighborhood.

Philip Wagner is the son of a legendary property developer. He’s spent his whole life working his way to the top to be worthy of a place at his father’s side. But his attraction to Val threatens to make him forget everything that matter to him except one – to have her, any way he can.

Take one Puerto Rican restaurant owner and one billionaire property developer. Add two sides of a multi-billion-dollar development deal. Season with equal parts chemistry and simmer until you have the potential for love- or disaster.

Friday Kiss – World (1/24/2020)

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: World.

From my WIP, tentatively titled The Troubador (#ownvoice, #historical romance, #amquerying).

“When the shock of her words wore off, I went after her, calling for her throughout the house, the open field, a madman who’d lost all scale of reality. Because Élena was my reality now and I did not know how to reshape the world without her in it. ”

About The Troubador:

(Tentative blurb – will change):

When two childhood friends reunite after ten years in post-WWII Puerto Rico, their lives reflect the trauma and changes of an island in flux. They must discover whether the changes in their circumstances – and themselves – is to great to find a way back to each other again.

Nights of Lights

Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

Nights of Lights

Suspended lights whose glow glides against a smoldering sunset,

While the color of navy eyeshadow creeps an ashy stroke along a darkening sky.

Lightning bugs flutter between incendiary bodies,

Propagating waves across the uncompromising emptiness of space,

Landing like stardust on our already over-heated skin.

We wait for talismans,

Some message in defiance of the chaos,

Against chance and unforeseen encounters.

We take flight on brittle wings in search of a compass,

Any indication that this direction is better than that one,

This path is worth forgoing another,

Chasing, fluttering, darting, surging after the smallest hint

That our journey is something more than a Möbius strip,

An infinite path of repetitions and failures,

Or an endless flitting of moth wings around a rusted gas lamp,

Each flinging themselves against the flames,

All the while dreaming of the sun.

– from “Slant Rhyme,” a short romance featured in Heart’s Desire: A Contemporary Romance Collection from The New Romance Cafe.

All proceeds from this collection go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

About Slant Rhyme:

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two ordinary people in need of an extraordinary connection.

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My 2019 Reading Year in Review

Gah, of course I would be this late! But I’ve spent January of 2020 writing and revising so I forgive myself for waiting till nearly the end of January to talk about last year in reading.

For those of you, like me, who like to track your reading stats, Goodreads has a nifty feature that allows you to look back at the titles you’ve read. I made a conscious effort to include as many diverse reads as I could this year and I am satisfied I’ve made progress. I’d set a goal of 75 books but read 118 of them. When you consider that I wrote two romance shorts of 10k, revised a 95k manuscript and drafted 65k of a new book, all while working full time and raising an active family, I think I’ve done okay!

I’m not going to go through and count up each type of book I’ve read. If the curiosity moves you, you can always hit up my Goodreads author profile here. You might even be enticed to buy a copy of Hot Summer Nights: A Summer Romance Collection from the New Romance Cafe to read my story, “Mar y Sol” or you can preorder Heart’s Desire: A Contemporary Romance Collection from The New Romance Cafe, featuring my short romance, “Slant Rhyme.”

All proceeds from both collections go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.See what I did there? I’m getting better at marketing already!

As regards to my favorite books of 2019, I’m going to link to my Best Books of 2019 thread from Twitter because I think it does a fairly good job of summing up, in prompt format, the great books I’ve read this year. Are there books missing? Absolutely! I’ll add those honorary mentions below.

Some books simply didn’t fit any of the prompts but deserve mentioning. These would include, in no particular order:

Mangos and Mistletoes by Adrianna Herrera

Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

For Real by Alexis Hall (actually, the entire Spires series. And the Arden St. Ives Series. Yeah, pretty much anything he writes).

Winter Hours by Mary Oliver

The Craft of Love by EE Ottoman

Speak Low/Silverchest/The Rest of Love by Carl Phillips

If you like what my blog, consider signing up for my mailing list to get my occasional newsletter whenever I have something to announce (I’m trying for a monthly one so I can absolutely promise you, you won’t be spammed!).

Friday Kiss – Hold (1/17/2020)

FK HOLD

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: Hold.

From my work in progress, the short romance, Slant Rhyme (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amdrafting).

A more incendiary form of curiosity took #hold of me as his hands pressed against my back, imprisoning me against the hard lines of his body, against every swell and bulge that signaled that he wanted me.” #FridayKiss #amrevising #amwritingromance

About Slant Rhyme:

*I updated the blurb and will likely do so again by the time it’s done. Also, this is likely the last #FridayKiss I do for this WIP. Cover reveal for the collection containing this story coming soon!

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads. 

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore during Bel’s poetry reading. 

Two ordinary people in need of an extraordinary connection.

 

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

 

Shadow Woman

woman-994737_1920Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Shadow Woman

I ask the darkness

What is woman?

I have no map to that country,

Etched in the moon’s blood.

When mother left, she took the compass with her.

I have not received

Such secrets as pass

From mother to daughter.

What else is there to find but a changeling.

A poor facsimile made of barely-sculpted clay

Abandoned in an unused kiln,

The form fashioned from an absent mold

Painted by the hand of an artist

Who only just recalls

The fleeting beauty of her model.

By Sera Taino

Friday Kiss – New (1/10/2020)

Friday Kiss is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to the challenges, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Fridays.

Today’s theme is: New.

From my work in progress, the short romance, Slant Rhyme (#ownvoice, #contemporary romance, #amdrafting).

“He was restless, his eyes flickering from my lips to my hair before sliding away to land on his drink. It was the first time I admitted to myself the possibility of kissing him. Once this #new idea settled in my mind, it grew deep roots and refused to let go.” #fridaykiss

About Slant Rhyme:

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.

Thursday Words – “Many” (1/9/2020)

Image by Aimee Valentine from Pixabay

Thurds is one of many free Twitter writing events designed to motivate writers to show their best work. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to this challenge, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Thursday.

From my work in progress, tentatively titled “Slant Rhyme.”

“I glowed beneath the fairy lights, caught snatches of odd conversation like sea-tinted perfume, and relished the bombardments of pleasure this night had gifted me. “Love is a many-splendored thing,” I quipped, but it was no joke. I’d never been more serious in all my life. #Thurds

About “Slant Rhyme

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.



Phases

nature-3194001_1920

Image by Florian Kurz from Pixabay

Phases

There are two of you,

Training ground for how to be

Both whole and fragmented.

I am me but I am also your mother.

I belong to me but I also belong to you.

There is enough of me for a multitude,

But sometimes, I am barely enough for myself.

The moon goes through phases –

New, waxing, full, waning,

With some quarters and halves in between –

So is the trajectory of my love,

The heart that empties,

Knowing it will grow full again.

Sera Taíno

WIP Wednesday – (1/8/2020)

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

WIP Wednesdays is one of many weekly Twitter writing challenges designed to motivate writers to show their best work. If I have an excerpt that is relevant to this challenge, I will post it on my Twitter and here on Wednesdays.

From my work in progress, tentatively titled “Slant Rhyme.”

“The bridge possessed the same quality as the streets we walked along, everything bathed in ornamental light, while the Atlantic sloshed against the pillars, conspiring with me against its wilder nature to gift me this moment of rare, undulating serenity.”

About Slant Rhyme:

Belmira Saez (Bel) is a poet who struggles with chronic anxiety.

Daniel Parker is an engineer whose life is at a crossroads.

Two very different lives in flux when Daniel stumbles into a bookstore
during Bel’s poetry reading.

Two very different people in need of that little bit of courage to chase
after their heart’s desire.

Featuring Belmira Saez’s original poems.

Coming soon on Valentine’s Day! Check back for more details.