Tag Archive | writing

O Motivation, Wherefore Art Thou? (Just Do It!)

My kids show me the strangest YouTube videos sometimes. Recently, they showed me the following video, and we giggled quite a bit over it.

But then I realized something strange was happening when I watched it – it was shaming me, SHAMING me. Whispering in my ear “stop watching silly videos and get to work.”

As an Indie author, and as I’ve mentioned before, I am my own boss, and lately I’ve been a very bad boss. I read on a writers’ forum something to the effect “if you showed up at a full-time job and worked for an hour, maybe two, then said ‘hey, boss, I’ve met my daily quota, I’m outie (outtie? whatever),’ and called it quits for the day, you wouldn’t have that job very long.” Essentially, I’m close to firing myself.

Lots of writers get frustrated with their WIPs, get stuck at the dreaded writer’s block, get burned out, get bogged down in real life or social media or hundreds of daily emails they (I?) feel compelled to read, and yet kick themselves repeatedly when they watch other writers moving on, stacking up their successes, turning their words into an honest living. Where’s the motivation gone?

Sometimes, one silly little video, while giving you giggling fits, can also be your daily inspiration to get back on the horse. Here it is (WARNING – don’t have your speakers too loud):


Shia LaBeouf “Just Do It” Motivational Speech

Amazon Adds Book Sample Embed Feature for Kindle ebooks

Do you like Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature to read a free sample of a book before purchasing it? So do I! And now Amazon has given people the ability to grab the embed code for “the vast majority of Kindle books” and place it in your website / blog / emails / Facebook posts / Twitter posts, etc.

There are two embedding options offered. One is a link to be clicked which opens a new browser tab with the book sample.

Example code (with spaces added so it doesn’t actually become a link here in my post):

https :// read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B017747888&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_IltJwb1S991KA

And the link:

Click to view a sample of Roping the Cowboy!

The second embedding option allows you to embed actual code into your website – like a widget – that will show you the preview right in the page rather than opening a new tab.

Example code (with spaces added so you can see the actual code):

< iframe type=”text/html” width=”336″ height=”550″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen style=”max-width:100%” src=” https: //read.amazon.com/kp/card?asin=B017747888&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_IltJwb1S991KA” >< /iframe >


I won’t add the embedded code here, because I haven’t yet figured out how to get iframes working.  To see it in action, I recommend looking at this GeekWire.com article about this new Amazon feature, which contains a preview of the book “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Here’s what it looks like (although this image is non-functioning due to my iframe ignorance):


In a functioning iframe, the “Free Preview” button at the bottom of the image would load the preview right there in that little image space and would look like this:


Amazon affiliate links may also be added to the code, of course! Bravo, Amazon!

Goodreads Giveaway – Gift Yourself a Free Book for Christmas!

Enter to win your free autographed paperback copy of Roping the Cowboy at Goodreads.com! Giveaway runs December 11 – 19. Good luck!

Christmas Goodreads Giveaway

Christmas Goodreads Giveaway – Available in All Countries

About the book:

Tess Douglas, foodie columnist for the Manhattan Daily News, has the perfect life — perfect manicure, perfect apartment, perfect Prada pumps — and a driving desire to become the next editor. When the travel columnist suffers an onset of appendicitis, Tess is roped in to cover his duties while maintaining her own column, including his pending trip to the Lonesome Trails Ranch in New Mexico. There’s just one problem: Tess is afraid of everything — snakes, horses, steers, dirt. And she’s downright terrified of (gulp!) country music.

Colt Carson is about as opposite from Tess as a man can be. As owner and operator of Lonesome Trails Ranch, he gets down and dirty when he has to and expects everyone else to do the same. He has it all… a beautiful ranch, a trail-riding business, a collection of stupendously large belt buckles…

Everything except someone to share it with.

Completely out of her element, Tess must wrangle her fears (is that dirt under my nails??) and lasso her growing feelings for Colt. Will she let Colt Carson mess up her tidy, perfect life? Will she choose her career, or the cowboy?

Roping the Cowboy is also available on Kindle Unlimited for free at Amazon.com.

Don’t Break the Chain

I read a simple writing tip today that I felt compelled to share. It’s from an article posted at Lifehacker.com titled “Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret” by Brad Isaac.

Quoted excerpt:

I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime…

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

(End quote).

Perhaps a visual to nag you every time you glance up is just the needed kick in the pants! Read the full article here and check out Mr. Isaac’s blog at persistenceunlimited.com

A Part of My Writing Process

I’m the mom of three- and six-year old kids. They keep me hopping! So I’m not always at my computer when I’m in the middle of a WIP.

In the past, I wrote linearly. But now, thoughts and ideas and entire scenes come to me out of order (I’m a pantser). I could be lying in bed, barely aware that the sun has risen, when BAM! A story idea hits. But it’s several scenes down the road. And I’m not at my computer.

And I suffer from a serious case of mommy-itis.

How do I keep the ideas from going bye-bye into the black hole that my brain has become? It used to be sticky notes, until they took over my desk, lined my pockets, and generally got lost and laundered (along with bits and pieces of my story). Now my solution is to keep a notebook by my bedside. In my kitchen. In my bathroom. In my purse when I’m walking through the zoo. I can jot down the scene before it poofs into thin air.

So, while the majority of the story is still linear, there’s a good chunk that is piecemeal too (my inner neatnik is cringing).

Then, when I’m at my computer, I can type the scene into Scrivener, my word processor of choice. Scrivener’s great in that you can write your scenes out of order and move them around all you want, even tag them with text and/or color code them.


Image owned by LIteratureAndLatte.com

Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez

Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez

If you’re a writer, check out Scrivener. They have a 30-day free trial so you have nothing to lose. I’m not going to get into all its bells and whistles – that will be a different post. There’s also a Scrivener for Dummies book that will explain all those bells and whistles. I have only scratched the surface of what Scrivener can do for me, and the little bit I know is more than worth the $40 I paid. I didn’t even wait for the trial to end. I know true love when I see it!

The Secret to Writing

Most writers will tell you the secret to writing is simply to put your butt in a chair and write.  Just write.  But what good are all those words on a page if you don’t actually finish?

Published authors already know.  But those of us that may be just starting out and unpublished need to learn the dirty little secret.

When I started writing my first book, I worked on it now and then when inspiration struck.  Although I’d get stuck (because I was a pantser with no outline or clear path to follow), I’d eventually get unstuck and plod on.  It would take days, weeks, sometimes months to get unstuck, but eventually I would, only to get stuck again.  Time away from writing just left the manuscript languishing, alone and forgotten.  Two years went by and for some reason the drive to finish the book struck again.  This time, I would stick to it.  This time would be different.  And it was.  What made it different this time?  A deadline.

The RWA’s yearly Golden Hearts contest for unpublished authors was opening for entries in November.  Now I had a goal, a deadline.  Although the contest was opening in November, it wasn’t closing until January 3rd-ish.  However, the way my brain works made me fixate on the November date.  This became my deadline, and all the excuses and distractions that had previously kept me from writing were swept aside.  I wrote furiously and at every opportunity, and in two months I wrote more than I had in the two years previously.  More importantly, I finished the manuscript in time to enter in November.

Then I started another book, but I was mostly dealing with Christmas and the whirlwind that ensues when you have a busy life.  As this second manuscript cried softly in the dark, dusty corner of my desk drawer, I searched Amazon for something good to download to my Kindle, and kept seeing Christmas romances.  It was too late for me to pull off a Christmas book, even a short story, so I thought ahead to the next holiday (and I use that term loosely here), Valentine’s Day.  This became my new deadline.  And so the Valentine’s Day story was written and self-published February 13th.

And then I started another book, my current WIP, and once again I’m floundering with no deadline to push toward and a busy life stealing away my precious writing time.  For me, lighting a fire under my (writing) butt only occurs when I have a self-imposed deadline.  When you’re not writing for a publishing house, you are your own boss, and bosses expect you to deliver your projects on time.  Setting a random deadline may not work.  Look for contests that have a realistic but specific deadline, and commit to it.  THEN put your butt in a chair and write.  Just write.

Writer’s Voice

Musings On Finding My Writer’s Voice

Prior to becoming a fiction writer, I was a programmer.  The cool thing about programming is the ability to get creative with it.  (Creative? Programming?  What?).  It’s true.  Let me give you an example.  You give five different programmers a project that requires writing code, and I guarantee all five programmers will write it differently.  But all five programs will spit out the same, correct result.  How cool is that?  The way each programmer does it is like their own writer’s voice.  Their code will be shaped by how they learned programming (college or self-taught), what different programming languages they’ve been exposed to, if they’re messy or neat (will they commment their code), if they care about how optimized their code is for a fast execution time, how many years they’ve been writing code, etc.

I think each revision of a manuscript is like the programming example above.  Each draft of the manuscript is different than the one before.  Not necessarily better (although I would hope so), but different.  The same story is being told, just in a different way.  Each draft is in a different voice than the one before, the voice developing, becoming richer, more in depth.  More YOU.

My first (crappy) draft read very much like a Nancy Drew book.  Why?  Because I’d read so many in my youth, and even in adulthood (I do love Nancy Drew books!) that it unconsciously crept out into my writing.  It doesn’t have to be a book, it could have been a TV show I love to watch, or a favorite movie watched over and over.  Regardless, while I love Nancy Drew books, I have no desire to write in the style of the Carolyn Keene syndicate.  And nobody wants to read a book written that way.  Not adults, anyway.  This is not MY writing voice.

Why am I better at writing poetry than fiction?  Why is my poetic voice easily discernable but not my fiction voice?  Because with poetry, I write what I feel, what’s in my heart.  With fiction, I’m trying to write what my characters feel, what’s in THEIR hearts.  That’s a bit harder to do.  Especially if I haven’t developed them well or they haven’t lived in my head for a long, long time, in which case I take the character into the shower with me.  Get to know them.  Get them wet and stick soap in their eyes.  See that they have a birthmark at the nape of their neck.  Discover that they like their coffee black (yuck).  That they hate the color green.  That their first boyfriend dumped them in the most horribly public way.

Then go rewrite those scenes again and don’t take shortcuts.  Hopefully, after all the editing and revising, there will be a manuscript that has laid bare my writer’s voice.

The more you write, the better developed that writing voice will be.  Write about things that don’t require character development (the weather, what you ate for lunch, whatever).  Write all the time about anything and everything.  This will help you see your voice in your writing (not to be confused with author intrusion), to get a better feel for your style.

Here are some links about writer’s voice that I found helpful:

Happy writing!  And if you see my voice out there, tell it I’ve been looking for it and to come home ‘write’ away!

Traditional Publishing – “The New Vanity Publishing”

Traditional Publishing has become the new vanity publishing.

“Ask The Publishing Guru .com” (http://www.publishingguru.blogspot.co.uk) said it back in July 2010, in a guest post with Scott Nicholson (read it here).  Then Lexi Revellian mentions it in April 2012, here.  Tracey Writes, July 2012 article here.  Huffington Post’s Bernard Starr talks about it here in August 2012.  The Guardian’s James Bridle mentions it August 2012 here.   And today, Alan Peterson over at http://fictiveuniverse.com/ sent out an article about it.

Here’s a quote from Bernard Starr’s article which sums it up perfectly:  “Commentators on the current upheaval in publishing have observed that many authors desperately seek a traditional publisher when self-publishing would serve them far better. Traditional publishing has thus become, in many instances, the vanity choice. Does it make sense?”

It makes perfect sense to me.  From everything I’m reading, and of the horrors of finding an agent that is your advocate, not the publisher’s (read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The Business Rusch: Advocates, Addendums, and Sneaks, oh my!), it seems to me that I’m having a very hard time answering the question “why traditionally publish rather than self-publish?”

No agent to take a cut of your profits (or worse).  No publisher that’s going to make you do all the marketing anyway and pay you far less than what you could make if you self-published.  A producer paying you a mere $1 for “all rights in that particular story.  In perpetuity and in the entire universe.”  (Yikes).  Getting published immediately versus many months from now and the possible amount of money you’d lose each month your book isn’t available for sale.  I read an article about this very thing.  Some self-publishing guru (and his name escapes me, sorry) did an analysis of how much money he made from his trad published book vs. another book he wrote that he self-published.  December 2011 (one month!) he made $22,000 in revenue from his self-published book, vs. $20,000 he made on the traditionally published book in THREE YEARS.  Those dollar figures may be backward since I’m not looking at the actual article, but you get the picture.

The more I ask myself what a traditional publishing company can do for me that I can’t already do for myself, I can think of nothing except perhaps give me bragging rights.  Bragging rights to whom?  My family is already proud of me no matter what I do, so it makes no difference to them.  High school friends I haven’t seen in twenty+ years?  Mmkay, who gives two shits?  I’m sure if I was a very popular writer, I could ask a publisher for the moon and get it, but new writers are really struggling to find a foothold with publishers without getting shafted in some way.  Or every way.  I can self-publish an eBook (and/or print book) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iPad and various other formats very easily and quickly.  Sure I would have to jump through a few more hoops for the print book but it’s absolutely doable.

So why are so many of us new writers (read: me) hung up on getting a traditional publishing contract?  I don’t know.  Perhaps I’m resistant to change.  This industry is and has changed so quickly in the last few years, my mindset can’t keep up.  A traditionally published book has always been the pinnacle of success for a writer.  Times are changing but my mindset apparently isn’t.  Perhaps I should use millionaire Amanda Hocking’s success story as my goal – self publish until you become so wildly successful at it that the traditional publisher approaches YOU.  At which point, presumably, I could afford to get shafted.

This struggle to decide between going the traditional publishing route vs. self-publishing with my first novel, Starting Over, is like a tennis match for me.  My decision swings back and forth between the two with regularity.  I think I’m going to let the novel itself decide its fate.  If it makes it as a finalist in the RWA‘s (Romance Writers of America) Golden Hearts contest (a contest open only to unpublished authors, which I entered in mid-November), then I will pursue traditional publishing.  Otherwise, I’ll put it up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. and have total control over its fate, its success or its failure.  Because of the Golden Hearts contest rule, it cannot be published while its under consideration, so in the drawer it goes until March.  Stay tuned!

Top 10 Free Romance eBooks (Kindle) – 11/14/2012

Just in time for the weekend – FREE EBOOK READS!  Here is the latest Amazon list of top 10 FREE eBooks in the Romance Genre for the Kindle.  Download them while they’re still free!

Romance not your thing?  Here are links for a few other free top ten eBook lists:

  1. Mystery & Thrillers
  2. Science Fiction
  3. Fantasy
  4. Horror

And oh yeah, did I mention that they’re FREE??!!

1)  Forever Christmas

by Christine Lynxwiler

Kristianna Harrington always dreamed of a Christmas wedding. But after two broken engagements, she’s content to forget romance and run her Christmas shop in Jingle Bells, Arkansas. She thinks her biggest fear is making it down the aisle as maid of honor in her best friend’s Christmas wedding, with at least one ex-fiancé looking on. But when her beloved Jingle Bells is threatened, Kristianna struggles to sort through her jumbled feelings concerning the handsome lawyer hired to change the town name and her childhood sweetheart who has returned just in time to come to her aid. Will her heart discover the truth before both her town and her Christmas spirit is extinguished?

2)  Long Time Coming

by Edie Claire

4.5-STAR, ROMANTIC TIMES TOP PICK and Winner of the Road to Romance REVIEWER’S CHOICE Award!!!

Originally published in 2003 by Warner Books (Warner Forever).
Years and distance kept the memories at bay. But back at home, the past is ready and waiting to haunt her…
Eighteen years have passed since Joy’s childhood best friend, Jenny, met her death in a tragic car accident just a few days after their senior prom. A broken Joy left their small Kentucky hometown shortly after–determined never to come back. But when her father’s illness forces her to return, she realizes that neither time nor distance have truly healed her troubled soul.
Plagued with nightmares of the accident and crippled by a vague fear whose source she can’t identify, Joy realizes that in order to move on she must face the truth behind several disturbing gaps in her memory of that fateful spring. But the only person who can help her is a man she despises–Jenny’s erstwhile boyfriend Jeff, now a respected doctor, whose carelessness as a teenager was the cause of Jenny’s horrendous death–and Joy’s own emotional destruction. Can she ever forgive? She may have no choice but to try. Because both the danger she sensed–and the childhood friendship she treasured–now suddenly seem very much alive…

3)  Argosy Junction

by Chautona Haviq

Argosy Jct. Montana~
Pop. 13,223
Lane~ Five years after her family broke ties with The
Brethren, the cult-like church still has firm ties wrapped around her heart and soul. The more she rejects them, the Lord, and anyone who claims a relationship with Christ, the more she
realizes how empty life can be.
Matt~ Fresh from the inner city, Matt arrives in Argosy Jct. ready to explore the Montana countryside. He’s prepared for anything but sheep, cults, and a rancher’s daughter with a chip on her shoulder.
Not until she saves Matt from assault by sheep does Lane begin to understand that Christianity is a relationship rather than a checklist to godliness. Before he met Lane, Matt never understood how damaging the body of Christ can be to its own.
Join them as they explore Montana, Rockland, and the possibility of a merge between two very
different worlds.
Argosy Junction is the second book in the Rockland Chronicles


by Debby Conrad

LUKE GALLOWAY doesn’t lie. Well, not normally. And never about anything as serious as death. But, somehow Luke’s friend and business partner, Sam Paris, convinces Luke that he needs to do just that. Sam believes the only way his daughter will come back to see him is if he were dying. And so the lies begin . . .
RUSTY PARIS has been alone most of her life. Her parents were divorced when she was very young. Rusty was pushed off to boarding schools, while her mother made a hobby of marrying rich men. She doesn’t remember much about her father, only that he never made an attempt to be a part of her life for the past twenty-one years. But all that is about to change. When she gets word he is dying, she runs home to be by his side, which puts in right in the path of that scoundrel Luke Galloway.
Luke has no room in his life for rich heiresses. Been there. Done that. From the first time Luke and Rusty meet, they clash. She considers him nothing more than a lowly ranch hand who enjoys riling her temper. He considers her arrogant and prissy. But that doesn’t mean he can fight his attraction to her, nor hers to him. And when they find out they’ve both been duped by Rusty’s father the sparks really start to fly.

5)  Daddy’s Home (A Holly Jennings Thriller)

by A.K. Alexander

A calculating and deadly killer is in search for what he terms as his perfect family. Preying upon single mothers and their innocent children, the police have dubbed him “The Family Man.”
He plays out his role as the perfect father. When things don’t go so perfect in his insane fantasy world, the family man kills.
Crime Scene Investigator Holly Jennings of the San Diego Police Department is determined to track him down and see that justice is served. With Holly being a single mother herself, this man’s crimes are deeply personal to her, and turn more so when a friend and her daughter become the latest victims of “The Family Man.”
Along with tracking an evil killer, Holly is dealing with her own internal demons. She is raising her daughter Chloe alone after the death of her husband–a death she feels guilty for.
To complicate her life further, Holly is doing her best to avoid possibly falling in love again with charming veterinarian Brendan O’Neil. As Holly delves deeper into solving the murders, she finds herself being sucked into a game of cat and mouse by “The Family Man,” that may lead her down a dark path too horrible to bear. One that may cost her gravely-her family, her new found love, and even her life.

6)  Fatal Affair: Book One of the Fatal Series

by Marie Force

Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career–and her confidence–after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O’Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O’Connor’s friend and chief of staff…and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can’t afford–especially when the bodies keep piling up.

7)  Mistletoe Mischief (Romancing Wisconsin #1)

by Stacey Joy Netzel

Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.
Mistletoe Mischief
Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to some mistletoe mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover mistletoe rules were not made to be broken.
(Previously published 2009 in Mistletoe Rules anthology, a 2010 Write Touch Readers’ Award Winner)

8)  The Rancher Takes A Bride (The Burnett Brides Book 1)

by Sylvia McDaniel

Eugenia Burnett wants grandchildren. This cunning widow is determined to find wives for her brood of handsome sons.
Rose Severin, speaks to the dead or at least she pretends to until she can earn enough money to make her way to New York and become a famous actress like her mother. Travis Burnett is resolved to rid the frontier town of imposters like Rose. But Eugenia thinks the fiery Rose is just the woman for her obstinate son. She schemes to keep Rose at the family ranch where Travis soon realizes that the supposed spiritualist is more than just a pretty swindler.
Previously Published as “The Rancher.”

9)  Waking Up Married

by Mira Lyn Kelly

From USA TODAY bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly comes WAKING UP MARRIED, a free book in Harlequin’s brand-new contemporary romance collection—Harlequin KISS.
Her first thought: “Who are you?”
It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!
Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!
Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?
“I don’t want a divorce.”

10)  Passion’s Tide

by Sarah West

Amber Townsend was always too passionate for her own good. And now, at twenty-three, she must book a safe passage from her home in colonial Boston, to England, to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. There is no time to spare, and when her ship is boarded by pirates and she is taken captive by the infamous el Tigre, she is furious.
Logan Jeffries is nothing less than shocked when his fiery prisoner challenges his every move. As the undefeated Captain of the Imperial Destiny, he suddenly has no idea how to react when this small woman becomes his greatest adversary. Tempers flare and emotions climb as they embark on a journey that carries them deeper and deeper into a world of adventure, danger, and passion. But when the time comes, will Amber be able to surrender her independence to the man who has captured her heart?

And that’s it!  Enjoy your free Kindle eBook reading weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving next week!


Top 10 Free Romance Fiction Books (Kindle)

Looking for a free romance?  As a romance writer, I know I am!  Just in time for the weekend, curl up in a cozy chair with a free book.  Here is Amazon’s latest list of top 10 FREE Romance Kindle books (free as of 11/1/2012), complete with short description. Click the title to download from Amazon.  Enjoy!

1)  Long Time Coming

by Edie Claire.

Years and distance kept the memories at bay. But back at home, the past is ready and waiting to haunt her…
Eighteen years have passed since Joy’s childhood best friend, Jenny, met her death in a tragic car accident just a few days after their senior prom. A broken Joy left their small Kentucky hometown shortly after–determined never to come back. But when her father’s illness forces her to return, she realizes that neither time nor distance have truly healed her troubled soul.
Plagued with nightmares of the accident and crippled by a vague fear whose source she can’t identify, Joy realizes that in order to move on she must face the truth behind several disturbing gaps in her memory of that fateful spring. But the only person who can help her is a man she despises–Jenny’s erstwhile boyfriend Jeff, now a respected doctor, whose carelessness as a teenager was the cause of Jenny’s horrendous death–and Joy’s own emotional destruction. Can she ever forgive? She may have no choice but to try. Because both the danger she sensed–and the childhood friendship she treasured–now suddenly seem very much alive…

2)  Return to You (A Laurel Heights Novel)

by Kate Perry.
A Laurel Heights Novel, Book 3

That rat bastard Michael Wallace is back.
The last person Olivia Parker expects to walk into her lingerie shop is her high school sweetheart. She’s so over him. Mostly. Except that he’s hotter than ever and still knows her better than she knows herself. But how can she risk her heart when she knows he’s just going to leave again?
It’s a simple plan: return home, shoot the movie, and leave emancipated from the contract he signed eleven years before. But Michael’s plan gets blown away the moment he sees Olivia again. Smart, sexy, and successful, Olivia is distraction personified. Only worse than that–Michael fears Olivia may be his heart and soul…

3)  The Guestbook

by Andrea Hurst.

Everyone remembers their first love…
but sometimes it’s the second love that lasts…
Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.
Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.
Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart.
The Guestbook is the first book in the Madrona Island Trilogy. http://www.madronaislandbandb.com

4)  Cowboy-Sexy

by Donna Michaels.

Finn Brennan is used to his brother playing practical jokes, but this time he’s gone too far–sending Finn a woman as a ranch hand. And not just any woman, but a Marine.
When 1st Lt. Camilla Walker’s commanding officer asks her to help out at his family’s dude ranch until he returns from deployment, she never expects to be thrust into a mistaken engagement to his sexy, cowboy twin–a former Navy SEAL who hates the Corps. But before long, Cammie is wishing their fake engagement could be real.
The Corps took Finn’s father, his girlfriend, and threatened his naval career. He’s worked hard for another shot at getting back to active duty. The last thing he needs is a headstrong, unyielding, hot Marine who not only tempts his bed, but soon has him rethinking his goals.

5)  Playing for Keeps (A Novel of Family and Love)

by Kate Perry.
A Novel of Family and Love

Since her mother’s death more than fifteen years before, Grace Connors has been the matriarch of her family. She’s put her own dreams on hold to raise her younger sisters and keep her ex-marine father in line.
So when her sister Nell decides to get married, it’s on Grace to make it a wedding their mother would have been proud of. It can’t be hard to organize a party, right?
But then everything falls apart, including her budding romance with her sexy best friend Pete. Caught in the crossfire with the enemy at her back, will Grace be able to fix it all before she becomes a casualty of love?

6)  Waking Up Married

by Mira Lyn Kelly. This one is actually a free pre-order; release date is Dec. 1.

Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

7)  Seducing Avery

by Barb Han.

Avery McAdams believes in order to truly be herself she needs to keep her head down, her guard up, and her focus on her career. Until she’s hired by sexy, charismatic Ryker Li to pull off the event of the century, and he shows up personally to convince her to handle his next party. When she meets him face-to-face, she realizes a piece of her wants him to see her as attractive, which goes against everything she’s convinced herself she believes.
Rich, powerful Ryker has made an art form of getting what he wants, when he wants it, and then moving on. But something about Avery makes him want to stick around.
When he finds everything he never dreamed to look for in a woman, can the billionaire playboy commit to the biggest deal of all? Or will a lifetime of mistrust and suspicion turn them forever into rivals?

8)  Double Trouble (The Coxwells)

by Deborah Cooke.

Two sisters. One disaster.
First things first: I’m the bad twin. While my sister, Marcia, has the perfect family in the perfect suburb, I’ve been making my living as an Internet advice columnist and designing Web sites in my downtown loft. I always thought I had the right answer – and hair color – for any occasion. That is, until Marcia ran up loads of debt and ran out on her husband and kids, and I was left helping to pick up the pieces. Her husband, James, is a lawyer who I hate on principle alone.
But for a guy who’s just lost his job, his marriage, and his expensive toys, he’s keeping it together – and making me rethink my feelings toward him. It’s not that he’s traded in his conservative suits for sexy jeans. It’s that he’s not giving up what’s important to him, and oh baby, I’m a sucker for a guy who hangs tough.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to step into Marcia’s designer shoes now that she’s gone AWOL.
And it doesn’t mean I’m going to fall for James’s easy charm…not again, anyhow. Besides, I’ve had a lifelong policy of not being mistaken for my twin and I’m not backing down on that one now – no matter how convenient it might be for a certain sexy (and persuasive) man…

9)  Married By Mistake

by Abby Gaines.

Do not adjust your set. That really was Casey Greene being jilted by her fiancé on live TV! And that really was Memphis’s most eligible bachelor who stepped in to marry her instead.

Millionaire businessman Adam Carmichael wanted only to help Casey save face. He isn’t prepared for the news that their “fake” wedding is legal and binding.

While they secretly wait for an annulment, media and family scrutiny forces them to put on their best loving-couple act. Except by now, neither one is quite sure who’s acting….

10)  Hale’s Point

by Patricia Ryan.

While house-sitting at a waterfront estate, straight-laced Harley is stunned by the arrival of her employer’s supposedly dead son, a maverick Alaskan bush pilot recovering from wounds suffered in an airplane crash. Witty and passionate, Hale’s Point (originally published as The Return of the Black Sheep) was honored with Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award.

And there you have it – the top 10 free Romances on Kindle.  I will post an updated list each week.  If there’s a particular list you’d like to see, please comment and I’ll accommodate your request.  Also stay tuned for my next blog post, the top 10 Paid Romance eBooks for Kindle.