Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Snippets

Today's Sunday Snippet is the final snip from "Lynx" Rodeo Romance, Book 1

Rachel awaken slowly with first light.  She felt Lynx's body along the length of hers, keeping her warm. His arm rested across her waist and his steady breath brushed her nape.  For a moment, Rachel felt like she belonged to this Texas cowboy.

Then the hazy feeling of sleep left her mind, and she remembered.  Today was their scheduled trip.

Lynx was taking her to Texas.

Rachel thought of all the arguments she'd had with herself about meeting his family.  Whe hadn't won one yet.  And she was still afraid of going.

Perhaps she could continue to fool Lynx, making him think she was sure of herself but she couldn't fool herself any longer.  It was time to get up and make some double-strength coffee.  Courage in a cup.

Reaching for her robe, she slipped out of bed.

Glancing at Lynx. . .

Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

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Stop by next Sunday for snippets from my Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series--just in time for Halloween!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Gothic Romance Chapter of RWA

I'm a member of Romance Writers of America, The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, and E.P.I.C., and have found a great deal of support for my writing and help over the years from those organizations and their sub-chapters.  For several years, I was secretary of the Outreach International Chapter of Romance Writers and a judge for both the R.I.T.A.s and the Golden Heart contests.

I also belong to several sub-chapters of RWA including my local chapter, Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers, and a number of online chapters.  The one closest to my heart, since I am the president of the chapter, is the Gothic Romance Writers (GothRom) Chapter.

It has always been a small chapter, We are at different stages in our careers, but we have a common interest: reading, writing, and talking about Gothic novels.

Right now, though, this chapter is in a bit of a bind.  Membership has fallen over the past several years and the chapter is in danger of disbanding.  I would hate to see this happen!  Gothic fiction readers with recognize some of our membership:  Jane Toombs, Elizabeth Peters, Dawn Thompson, and founding member Karen McCullough.  We are in the process of revamping our website to make it friendlier and more useful and hope you get more interesting discussions going via our group loop, twitter, and blog feeds.

But we need a few more members to rejoin or new members to sign up. If you're already a member of Romance Writers of America (the sole criteria for membership), please consider joining or rejoining Gothic Writers and help us get this chapter on firm footing again.  Join here:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Snippets #Sunday Snippets

Welcome to today's Sunday Snippets.
Today I am continuing with the first novel in my Rodeo Romance Series, "Lynx".

Did she have the courage to love Lynx? Was she willing to expose every layer of her being to this man in the name of love? Once she went to Texas, there would be no turning back. Lynx was making the first step toward commitment.

Commitment.  The word that chilled Rachel to the core of her soul. She tried to sit up in bed as the panic over whelmed her.

Lynx tightened arms.  "Where do you think you're going?"


See you next week!

Connie (Janet Waltron) (Ginger Simpson) (Tricia McGill) (Vijaya Schartz)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Social Issues in Entertainment Reading

Thank you Rhobin, once again, for such a timely topic.

Topic: What current issues are important to you?  How often do modern social/global issues take place in your stories no matter what era or genre you write?

 I am very concerned about many global social issues from climate, religious extremism, over population, pollution, and the loss of native habitats, to food production, the cost of higher education, the increase in income inequality, the shrinking of America’s middle class, failing infrastructure, and humanity’s failure to learn from past mistakes.

Do any of these topics occur in my stories? Yes, even though I write romance and romantic suspense/YA/fantasy/historical novels timely topics appear in my fiction.  My Rodeo Romance Series addresses continuing social issues of child neglect and alcoholism, the aftermath that haunts into adulthood.  Book 2 in my Rodeo Romance Series shows how death and survivor guilt cannot be ignored.  My Native American Series shows the generational effect on a People who have experience Genocide.   While my anthology “Gumbo Ya Ya” shows how cultures and belief systems clash and how a fair resolution is sometimes, impossible.

While not all of my novels delve deeply into social issues as part of the story, they make an appearance.  I believe no matter the time period, people are aware of the world around them.  That world, in turn, is instrumental in the development of a person’s character.

What global issues are important to you? 

Do you find global/social issues add to a story?  Or, do you wish true escapism without a hint of ‘reality’ in the storyline?

Happy Reading,


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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Snippets by Connie Vines #Sunday Snips

This Sunday will be a snippet of “Lynx” Rodeo Romance for your reading pleasure.

Lynx walked past the corrals where the bulls were housed. Bodacious, the huge, bad-tempered, Texas Longhorn bull slammed his head against the side of the metal pen.  

The blow from his crooked horn punched a hole in the wooden shed on the other side.

Lynx watched the boards splinter.  For a moment, he felt the bull’s anger and frustration. He too, longed to vent his rage against the cards life dealt him.

Unlike the bull, who could lash out at the pen and the men who rode him, Lynx could do nothing to change his own state of mind.

He’d have to learn to live with the pain.

After today, Bodacious would be put out to pasture. The bull would spend the rest of his life on the open range in complete bliss.  Lynx had no such escape from the demons that chased him. He could only pick up the broken shards of his life and try to go on.

He stared at the empty, wooden shed for a time. The bull’s blow had shattered the thin boards and sent splinters of wood flying. That’s how he felt without Rachel, he realized, broken and empty inside. 

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See you next Sunday.

Happy Reading,

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sunday Snippets by Connie Vines #Sunday Snips #09/6/2015

Today, rather than add a snippet from one of my novels, I thought I’d discuss in influence of Oscar winning movies, award winning novels, Fashion Icons, and decades as an influence on defining the craft of writing.

I have always been a fan of theater (especially the small local variety), as well as classic movies.  Those who have followed my guest blog interviews are aware of my love of the Universal Monster Movies (especially “The Mummy” and “Dracula”).  However, I am also a long-standing fan of “Bell, Book, and Candle”, and now, after seeing a late night (uncut) version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” a fan of this 1960’s movie as well.

For those of you unversed on the movie based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella of the same title, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) is the story of a woman on her own making her way in the big city.  As stories go, it is short on plot but rich in characterization, which may explain why its protagonist, Holly Golightly, has become Audrey Hepburn's most memorable screen persona.  In the hands of director Blake Edwards, the film neglects much of the book's foreboding edge, but gains an unforgettable comedic touch, which actually helps accentuate the darker moments.  In addition, Henry Mancini's musical score and Hubert de Givenchy's gowns for Ms. Hepburn successfully uphold Capote's style when the story itself is forced to leave his writing behind. Like the protagonist at its heart, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is quirky, funny, bewildering, serious, sophisticated and bittersweet -- and as movies go, great entertainment.

“The opening to the novella, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S: I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods. For instance, there is a brownstone in the East Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment. It was one room crowded with attic furniture, a sofa and fat chairs upholstered in that itchy, particular red velvet that one associates with hot days on a train. The walls were stucco, and the color rather like tobacco-spit.”

And again on page one: “It never occurred to me in those days to write about Holly Golightly, and probably it would not now except for a conversation I had with Joe Bell that set the whole memory of her in motion again.

Holly Golightly had been a tenant in the old brownstone; she occupied the apartment below mine.”

Such a rich, visual beginning.  I tumbled right into the story. 

The early 1960s.  Not Downton Abbey, however, much more formal than today.

20th Century Glove Etiquette
Definite Don’ts

Don’t ever appear in public without gloves.
Don’t eat, drink, or smoke with gloves on.
Don’t play cards with gloves on.
Don’t apply makeup with gloves on.
Don’t wear jewelry over gloves, with the exception of bracelets.
Don’t make a habit of carrying your gloves ~ they should be considered an integral part of your costume.
Don’t wear short gloves to a very gala ball, court presentation or ‘White Tie’ affair at the White House or in honor of a celebrity.

Meet Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn).  Here she is on New York's 5th Avenue in the early morning hours, dressed to the nines, sipping coffee, nibbling a Danish and window shopping at Tiffany's under the opening credits.

  • "I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.  I'm not sure where that is, but I know what it's like.  It's like Tiffany's." --Holly.
  • " know those days when you get the mean reds?" --Holly.
    "The mean reds? You mean like the blues?" --Fred (Paul).
    "No... the blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" --Holly.
    "Sure." --Fred (Paul).
    "When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away." --Holly.
  • "You don't have to worry.  I've taken care of myself for a long time." --Holly.
I do love the ‘little black dress’ and pearls.  The slower pace of life that was so desperately and excitingly real. 

This is what the early 1960s brings to my writing.  Less intrusion, more of a sheltered, yet very intense world.

We all know, of course, that all was not perfect during that time.  The television series, “Mad Men” does focus on a high-powered firm in the mid-1960s.  The sexual harassment and excessive drinking really were that bad.

Do you like the influences of the past to touch the stories you read?

 Will current Fashion Icons be as classic as ‘Audrey Hepburn’ in fifty years?

I do not think so.  CoCo Chanel, Chanel #5, Audrey Hepburn, Tiffany’s, and as 007 says, “a Martini, shaken not stirred”.  These are the definition of a ‘classic’.

Happy Reading,

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