Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Donna Fasano's New Cover!

If you like feel-good contemporary romances, you have to read my friend Donna Fasano's THE MERRY-GO-ROUND. Donna and I have been friends for 25 years. She's one of those friends I don't see often enough, but when we get together, it's like no time has passed.  Donna's Merry-Go-Round is sporting a new cover, so check it out.



The Merry-Go-Round
by Donna Fasano
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 2, 2009





When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind...stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she’s not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the dilapidated barn and vintage merry-go-round she was awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren’s personal life isn't chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can’t stay on the right side of the law. What’s a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring.













What are you working on now? 
I’m currently writing two projects at once. I've never done this before, and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. I’m writing a Christmas Novella entitled Almost Perfect Christmas, the story of man who enlists the help of a woman in giving his daughter a perfect Christmas. Unbeknownst to him, his little girl has every intention of playing an angelic matchmaker. The other project is the first book of a 3-book series called Following His Heart, the story of a man who is eerily drawn to a woman, and after they fall in love, they discover what brought them together, and it just might tear them apart. Yes, the description is vague, but that’s just the way it has to be for now. I’m chuckling as I type this. Both books are contemporary romance novels and are due out this fall.

What are you reading now or what do you have in your TBR pile? 
I just finished Learning to Swim by Sara Henry. I’m currently reading Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour. On my TBR pile you’ll find A Reluctant Hero by Jackie Weger, Creatus by Carmen DeSousa, The Neighbor by Dean Koontz, Three Junes by Julia Glass, One Way or Another by Elaine Raco Chase…should I go on?

What flavor is your writing style?
I always tell people I write cotton candy for the mind. Think back to when you were a kid and you took a bite of that delectable confection. What did you do? You smiled. That’s what I’m going for in my romance novels.

Was writing always the first thing you wanted to do in life?
No, I wanted to be a teacher, but then I met and fell in love with my husband. We married and began raising a family. It wasn't until my children started school that I started writing.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? 
I believe there’s a lot of me in my protagonists. I write about women who are strong, yet vulnerable. My main characters and my secondary characters have flaws and make mistakes (don’t we all?), but then most of them do all they can to learn, grow and become better people.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
One piece of advice I often give to writers is to READ. Don’t just read in the genre in which you write. Read everything. And then figure out what you liked and what you didn't…and then think about why. Reading and analyzing the writing of talented people can help you perfect your own skills.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
I bow down to readers! I am so appreciative that they spend their hard-earned money on my books and then take the time to read my stories. I am so blessed to have a job I love, and I wouldn't have this job if there weren't readers who love romance novels.

What inspired you to write your first book? 
I came to writing through my love of reading. I spent many a Saturday as a kid in the local library. I loved books, but I never imagined I would ever write one. My husband gets the credit for my becoming a writer. When my children started school and I decided to find a part-time job, he looked around at the piles of romance novels in our home and said, “You've read a lot of those. Why don’t you try writing one?” So, you see. It’s all his fault.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
Not my latest book, but one of my titles—Where’s Stanley?—features an ending that I didn't come up with. I handed in the completed manuscript, and my editor suggested a different ending. I wasn't happy, but I did as she asked. Personally, I think the book suffered for it, but readers seem to enjoy it.

What books have most influenced your life most? 
Old Yeller, Sounder, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird…how can people read these books and not be influenced? There are so many titles that inspired me and moved me, molded and shaped me, there isn't time to name them all. The characters in these wonderful books help young readers to decide what kind of individual they want to be.

Do you ever experience writer's block? 
There was a time when I’d have said no. I have a plant-your-butt-in-the-chair-and-the-words-will-come attitude. But I did suffer writer’s block while my dad was battling cancer. It’s difficult to write feel-good happily-ever-after when your beloved father is dying.

Do you write an outline before every book you write?
I do, yes. I equate an outline with a road made; how do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a map? I might write the first chapter or two on the fly, but I always take the time to plan out where I want the story to go. Now that’s not to say that the characters are going to stay on the straight and narrow. They decide to veer off the highway every now and then, and that’s when I have to do a quick reroute.

Have you ever disliked something you wrote? 
I've never published anything that I disliked. I have started projects that haven’t seen the light of day, either because I couldn't figure out where to take the story, or I couldn't make the protagonist sympathetic or likable. It’s a rare occurrence, and when it happens, I just set the story aside and hope I can someday come up with a solution.




USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano has written over 30 romance and women's fiction books that have sold 4 million copies worldwide. Look for Ehefrau auf Zeit (German Edition) due out September 16th, published by Amazon Crossing, and the first novel of the brand new 3-book Ocean City Boardwalk Series called Following His Heart, due to be released at the end of October.











Saturday, August 16, 2014

FREE BOOKS!!

Check out all the books my publisher, Kensington, is giving away on GOODREADS. Yes, my new book AS CLOSE AS SISTERS is among the giveaways. Authors love it when you write a review if you receive their book, but it's not required. Hope you win a book!

 https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/created_by/4374666-kensington-books


Friday, July 11, 2014

And Just Like That . . .

So finishing a book feels wonderful, which means that starting a new book should feel awful, right? Sort of.

I started my new book last week. And let me tell you, those first days can be overwhelming . . . and sometimes terrifying. What if I'm all out of words? Or good ideas? What if the characters I wrote about in the outline for the book don't come to life in my head? Worse, what if they don't come to life on the page? 

Still, midst all the fears and angst, there's this tiny flutter of excitement inside me. I have a new story to tell. New characters to meet. I think about them day and night, watching their story unfold, trying to figure out which parts to share with the reader. I spend a lot of time coming up with ways to delay sitting down at my computer (like many writers I know) but when I finally read my email and make the choice NOT to check Facebook or order something online, I find that I'm eager to read what I wrote the day before. I'm eager to write the next couple of sentences, paragraphs, scene. And once I get going, the words really do come.

At least they did today. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


Friday, May 2, 2014

One Star

I never search the Internet for reviews of my books. I do read some of them on Amazon, mostly because my mother tells me to.I think I've talked about this before. Anyway, I turned in a book Wednesday so I'm playing hooky until I start the new one on Monday. How do I spend my free time? I'm making a Minecraft cake for my niece (I'll post a picture) and . . . I was checking out Amazon and changing my author bio. Mostly because I didn't have the title right on my next book.  AS CLOSE AS SISTERS will be a November 2014 release. While checking the site, I noticed that JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS had quite a few new reviews, so I read through them. 

I've received my first one star, out of 5, review. When I read it, I smiled to myself. I suppose I should be upset-- someone didn't like my book. No, they hated my book. Which translates, for most writers, to mean that someone hates me. Worse yet, hates my baby. My darling. Fortunately, I don't look at reviews that way. I have a story to tell that I tell. Some readers will like the story, some won't. I think the important thing to me is, did it touch the reader in some way? Was there something about the book that made them think about it later? Or mention it to a friend? 

As a reader, I like books that touch me emotionally, negatively or positively. I like books that make me think, even if it's to think I don't agree with that character's thoughts or actions or I don't agree with how the author saw that issue

It also occurred to me that getting a one star review on Amazon once in a while is probably good. Otherwise, wouldn't readers be suspicious? I'm suspicious of a book that EVERYONE adores.

So, I'm not upset about the one star, but I am going to call my mother, who's also a writer, and tell her someone doesn't like me. She has to like me; she's my mother.




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Done! Tied! Fini!

Nothing feels better than finishing a book. Not a good review, not even a royalties check. I've typed the words THE END for almost ninety manuscripts-- around a hundred if I count the novellas I've written over the years. Yet there's still an amazing thrill when I write that last page. Talk about a weight off my shoulders. I can physically feel the release.  

This week I finished CLOSER THAN SISTERS which will be out in November 2014. It's another "women's fiction" book, whatever that means. (By the reviews posted on Amazon for JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS, I can see that men read this type of fiction, too.) I still have to read the whole book through again; now I'm just touching it up, primping it, preparing it to go out in the world.  But it's done and I'm amazed that I wrote a book. I know that sounds crazy because that's what I do. I write books.  But like most writers I know, when I start the first page, the end seems so far in the distance, I can't imagine ever reaching that last page.

But I did.

AND in other good news, Kensington is reprinting JUST LIKE OTHER DAUGHTERS.

So, I'm feeling rather successful today. Too bad it only lasts a day! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, The Places You'll Go

My 21 year old daughter is in India for 5 weeks and has been blogging to keep family and friends up-to-date on her adventures. You can check out her travels at:Morgan goes to India! Warning, her mother doesn't always approve of her language, but the photos are so amazing, I'm going to let her slide. 

So, I'm looking at her incredible photos and thinking to myself that never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined going to India and seeing what she's seeing, experiencing what she's experiencing. Not at her age, at least. I wonder what makes some of us more adventurous than others? What makes some of us brave enough to get on a plane for 19 hours to sleep on a cot "the size of a Triscuit cracker", freeze in the mountains of Nepal and fret over the possibility of monkeys coming in our window, just to experience what we haven't experienced before?

So Morgan rode an elephant yesterday through a game park and I worked on chapter 23 of my next book, Closer Than Sisters. And dreamed of the places I might never go. . .