It’s A Playground Party!

Growing up, I never had a real close group of girlfriends growing up. I didn’t need one—I had a twin sister. We had friends, but that wasn’t the same.

When I decided to try my hand at this writing thing, my sister was a 13-hour drive away. I had no choice but to go it alone. It was hard for me—my first solo venture—but I was blessed to find 4 friends who have made this the best 10 years an author could ask for!

Funny-cats-Crazy-friends

The picture below is from the website pics my mother-in-law took for us to use to launch our blog 10 years ago. We call it our “rock star” look. Though we no longer have our joint blog, we’ve remained close through rejections, contracts, book releases, and story problems.

To celebrate our 10 year birthday, we’re having a big party and a blog hop. As part of our birthday celebration, we’re giving away a $50 gift card to Out of Print clothing. To enter, visit all five of the Playfriend’s websites (listed below). Each has posted a picture with a theme word. Enter all five of the theme words at www.andrealaurence.com/contest and we’ll pick a random winner from the correct entries.

Playfriends, Children, Blog Hop

My theme word is: ROCK STAR.   Gather the other words at the websites below:

www.booksbykimberly.com

www.kirasinclair.com

www.marilynbaxter.com

www.andrealaurence.com (you enter your key words here)

Meanwhile, join us Sunday at our special Facebook page for our anniversary party.

The fun starts at 3:00 PM Central Time.  Drop by to meet all the Playfriends and play for prizes.

Dani

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Wednesday Writer: Kimberly Lang

Welcome to Wednesday Writer! I love sharing books I enjoy, and the writers who work so hard to bring them to life. This week I have yet another of my Writing Playground sisters, Kimberly Lang! (Boy, we are releasing books like gangbusters!) Kimberly has a prequel novella coming out for her awesome Magnolia Beach series. Check out what she has to say about the settings of these books:

First of all, thanks. I love Magnolia Beach and I’m glad it’s resonating with people.

I love small towns because place often operates as an additional character in a story. Towns have personality, and that personality affects the people in it.  A small town lacks the hustle and bustle of a city, so the people there will be more laid-back.

Small towns can also be very insular at times, with history and continuity playing a role in how the people think and act. In a way, a small town almost takes on the feel of a really big family — everyone knows everyone else and their stories, and while they may not like everyone, the connection is still there and you have no choice but to get along somehow because you’ll see them all the time.  Those types of connections fascinate me.

Add in a southerner’s tendency to revel in the traditions (and even the stereotypes) that make us southern and parts of the story will write themselves. I’m actually a suburban girl, not small town, but because I am southern, much of that is already a part of me, making it feel very natural and making the Magnolia Beach stories great fun for me to write.

You’ll love the people and town of Magnolia Beach! A prequel novella, ONE LITTLE THING, is up for pre-order now! While you’re waiting, you can check out Book 1, SOMETHING TO PROVE, already on sale.

 

One Little Thing, Kimberly Lang, series romance, Magnolia Beach series

The USA Today bestselling author of Something to Prove presents a charming novella set in the small Alabama waterfront town of Magnolia Beach, where new love is challenged by long-buried secrets…

Even though her family moved away in disgrace after her father’s affair, Sophie Cooper knows that her childhood home in Magnolia Beach is the right place to open her bed and breakfast on the water—especially if it means she can watch the handsome local walk his dog on the beach every morning…

Quinn Haslett’s greatest regret has always been exposing the affair between Sophie Cooper’s father and their high school physics teacher—not that she ever knew who spilled the beans. When he sees Sophie again, the guilt comes rushing back, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting to see if the sparks flying between them could lead to something more.

But with a such a big secret lying in wait, it’s only a matter of time before their newly ignited relationship goes up in smoke… 

AVAILABLE AT:

iTunes

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Wednesday Writer: Andrea Laurence

Welcome to Wednesday Writer! I love sharing books I enjoy, and the writers who work so hard to bring them to life. This week I want to introduce someone extra special to me (and I know you’ll love her just as much as I do!). My fellow Writing Playground author, ANDREA LAURENCE!

Andrea just released the third book in her Rosewood trilogy, STIRRING UP TROUBLE. By December of 2015, she will have released 15 books in 2 years. Insane! 

SO I ASKED HER: You’ve written a large number of books in the last few years, which has thoroughly impressed me! Where does all that persistence and dedication come from?

ANDREA: I’d say it’s one part being goal-oriented and one part desperation. I’ve always been very goal focused and I actually started writing after grad school because I didn’t have anything to work toward at that point. From finishing a book, the goal changed to selling a book, then selling more.

Right now I’m working toward the goal of being able to quit my job and write full time. I’m doing everything I can do within my control to make that happen and that includes lots of books as quickly as I can while maintaining the quality my readers expect. I guess that’s where the desperation part comes in – I want to be successful, make good money and be a full-time writer, and I guess I’m willing to suffer to make it happen.

Check out Andrea’s newest release, STIRRING UP TROUBLE, and all of her Rosewood series for smart, sassy romance set in a quirky, small southern town.

Stirring Up Trouble, Andrea Laurence, contemporary romance, author, perseverence

 

When a prim and proper baker and a laid-back bartender have a neighborly disagreement that gets them both in trouble with the law, a sweet reconciliation is stirred up in the playful third romance in Andrea Laurence’s sexy Rosewood series.

Maddie’s life is perfectly sweet. Her bakery’s tasty treats are rising to the top of every must-have list in town, and her commute is just a block away by foot. She loves everything about her little downtown Victorian bungalow—except for her unbearably noisy neighbor, Woody’s. The bar’s obnoxious and sexy owner, Emmett, seems to live to aggravate Maddie. But he mostly thinks she could use a stiff drink to dislodge the stick up her ass. He’s just trying to run his business. Bars stay open late, they play music, they serve alcohol. If she doesn’t like it, why did she buy a house across the street?

When Maddie and Emmett’s battle lands them in front of the local judge, they’re ordered to do several weeks of community service cleaning parks and painting over graffiti. As they scrub away the latest works of art by the town’s anonymous “Penis Picasso,” the baker and the bartender slowly begin to see there’s more to each other than meets the eye. So what happens if they wave the white flag and surrender into each other’s arms?

AVAILABLE AT:

iBooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Savor The Accomplishment

Recently, a non-writing friend asked, “Do you ever look back and think, ‘Wow, I wrote XX number of books last year?’” Hmmm… honestly, I don’t.

But I should.

Because when I did stop to think about it, it totally blew my mind! Just in my published works, I have 3 contemporary romances written and released, 1 written and scheduled for fall, and 3 in some stage of production. That doesn’t include the 6 additional stories I wrote before I published.

 

Kira Sinclair, Harlequin Blaze, Playfriends, sexy contemporary romance
Titles by author Kira Sinclair

It’s pretty astounding to realize I’ve completed that many stories. Most aspiring authors finish 1 book, maybe 2. I have a lot of accomplishments under my belt for a new author.  🙂

Why don’t I savor these milestones more? I think, when you are a published author working on a publishing deadline, your focus is always ahead to the next book, the next deadline, the tasks on the list left to be done. There’s little time for looking back.

But we should.

 

Kimberly Lang, Andrea Laurence, sexy contemporary romance, Harlequin Desire, romance authors
Titles by Kimberly Lang & Andrea Laurence

This reminds me of when my kids were babies. There was so much that needed to be done in any given day, that savoring the wonder of having these children in my life was virtually impossible—unless I reminded myself to STOP and look for it. But when I did then…and I do now…what incredible beauty I see!

 

Marilyn Baxter, Tea for Two, contemporary romance, novella, romance author, playfriends
Title by Marilyn Baxter

I have a group of friends who have been tight knit since long before we published. Now we are ALL published authors. Between us we have numerous novels and novellas. It’s incredible to think about what we’ve accomplished in the 10 years we’ve known each other. Throughout this post are pictures of our books. Looking at them makes me smile. For the record, that’s a good thing when you’re on deadline!

Dani

Takeaway: What accomplishments should you stop and savor? What memories make you smile in the midst of your current hard work?

I’m Back!

But I left my brain somewhere in Ireland, I think.  🙂

I had a wonderful trip and saw so many cool things! Not to mention inspiration for Sean’s book, my upcoming Irish drummer. Here’s a small glimpse of the pictures, but there are tons of them on my Facebook Page if you’d like to check it out! Enjoy!

 

Dani Wade, Ireland trip, St. Stephens Green, Dublin, Ireland
Dani at St. Stephen’s Green Park in Dublin, Ireland

 

Dani Wade, Ella Sheridan, Killarney, Ireland
Dani with Ella Sheridan in Killarney Pub for my first cider

 

Dani Wade, Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland
Ross Castle in Killarney, Ireland

 

Dani Wade, Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland

 

Dani Wade, Blarney Castle, Ireland
Blarney Castle, Ireland

 

Dani Wade, Blarney Castle, Blarney Stone, Ireland
Trying to kiss the Blarney Stone–its not as easy as it looks!

 

Dani Wade, Stonehenge, Ireland, Wales,
Stonehenge – Cool place, awful hair day!

 

Dani Wade, Stonehenge, Ireland, Wales, UK, Marilyn Baxter, Andrea Laurence, Kira Sinclair, Kimberly Lang
With my best friends: Marilyn Baxter, Andrea Laurence, Kira Sinclair, Kimberly Lang at Stonehenge

 

Dani Wade, Tower Bridge, Thames River, Tower of London, UK, England
Tower Bridge over the Thames River near Tower of London

 

Dani Wade, London Tube, Lori Handeland, Ella Sheridan, Linda Winstead Jones, Linda Howard, London, UK, England
My London Tube buddies: Lori Handeland, Ella Sheridan, Linda Winstead Jones, Linda Howard

 

Did I get any work done while I was gone? Very little!  🙂  But I felt like the entire trip was one big research experience and creativity renewal exercise. Plus I got to spend quality time with some wonderful people in my life and meet all kinds of cool new people. I was exhausted when I returned, but it was totally worth it!

Where was your last “dream” vacation?

Dani

 

 

 

 

First Reader Event: HOD Readers’ Luncheon

Last week, I had the privilege of attending my first reader event. Boy, was it exciting…and extra special to me.

You see, the Heart of Dixie Annual Readers’ Luncheon is an event I’ve been either coordinating or assisting with for 10 years as an unpublished author. This year I actually hosted a table and got to share my great publishing news with so many of the readers who encouraged me each year of my journey.

Here are a few of the highlights:

readers luncheon, Heart of Dixie RWA, Dani Wade, His By Design

This is the lovely table I shared with historical author Cathy MacRae. Cool authentic police items to go with the “romantic thrillers” theme in honor of our guest speaker, JT Ellison, and a print of my first Harlequin cover that the luncheon committee had made as our author gifts.

Heart of Dixie RWA, Readers Luncheon, Dani Wade, Luncheon authors 2013

Look at this awesome group of authors that hosted tables!

Heart of Dixie RWA, author basket, readers luncheon, romance author, Dani Wade, His By Design

 

Heart of Dixie RWA, Dani Wade, His By Design, Readers Luncheon, table gifties

This is the Dani Wade author basket I donated as a door prize. After years of creating raffle baskets for this event, I was over the moon to create one especially for me. And these are the “wedding favors” I put together for the readers at my table, since HIS BY DESIGN is set in a wedding gown design firm.

Heart of Dixie RWA, Readers Luncheon, Book Signing, First Signing, Dani Wade, His By Design

Even though I didn’t have a print book available, I did sign swag for FINDING HER RHYTHM and SNOW BOUND at the author signing event. It gave me a chance to meet and talk with several new readers, which was totally fun.

Meeting readers for the first time in my “author persona” made me nervous — until I sat down and started talking. Then I simply smiled and enjoyed myself. Being surrounded by friends and fellow authors made it that much more special to me, especially my awesome Playfriends! (Marilyn Puett, Andrea Laurence, Kira Sinclair, Kimberly Lang, and me)

Writing Playground, Playfriends, Dani Wade, Kimberly Lang, Andrea Laurence, Kira Sinclair, Heart of Dixie RWA

Some really great memories!

Dani

Field Trip: Writing Playground

Most of the Playfriends are gone to the Romantic Times convention this week, so I thought I’d host a little party on the Writing Playground blog! Come check out the hunky hero I most wish I could party with and comment to win some Release Week goodies!

The Writing Playground, Romance Authors, Kira Sinclair, Kimberly Lang, Andrea Laurence, Marilyn Puett, Dani Wade
The Playfriends from The Writing Playground (L to R) Dani Wade, Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Laurence, Marilyn Puett