Are You Feeling the Love?

By Ellen Leventhal

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Here we are. It’s Valentine’s Day. Street corners are crowded with vendors selling roses and balloons. Throngs of last minute shoppers are mowing down each other vying for that last box of chocolates. Come on, folks! It’s just a day.  But I get it. It’s hard to resist a fluffy rabbit holding a sign that says “Some Bunny Loves You.”  But our loved ones  know we love them all year around. Or at least they should. So I decided this year that I wouldn’t feed into the hoopla.  Sure, I’d get everyone a card, but the hoopla? Not me.

But then there were puppies. Real puppies asking to be adopted for Valentine’s day. Stuffed puppies calling out for cuddles from behind a stack of bananas at the grocery store. And all those “Dog Gone It…Be My Valentine!” puppies next to the cough medicine at Walgreens. How much can a person take?

I know it’s just a Hallmark holiday. But now I’m thinking. What harm will it do to have some fun? If a yellow marshmallow Peep is ok for Easter, why not a giant pink cookie for Valentine’s Day?

However, not everyone has a Valentine. Some people dread this day. Holidays are not always easy. Society wants us to wear red and smile today. But that’s not the reality for everyone.

So here’s my suggestion. Sure, give gifts and chocolates if it makes you happy. But try to do more. Let’s make sure that today is not just about our loved ones and chocolate hearts. Let’s make this a day of kindness. Kindness to those we know and those we don’t. Reach out to everyone today. It doesn’t take a lot to smile, open a door, or say thank you.  Of course, we should do that every day, but sometimes we need a reminder. So this year, let’s celebrate “Kindness Day.”

Keeping that in mind,  I have to give props to the Space City Scribes. I thank my SCS buddies for all the help they give me. They even put up with my technical ineptitude. Thanks, guys!   And of course, this group of dynamic women  write a pretty awesome anthology! (Like that segue?)

So,  to those inclined, check out First Last Forever. It’s a group of stories about disastrous first dates. They are sweet, funny, and even a bit devilish.  We hope you like them. And if you do, we’d love a review! 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AEDZFMK?keywords=first+last+forever&qid=1452800466&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8

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I wish all our readers a wonderful day with or without stuffed animals. Reach out to someone new, compliment someone, and smile at a stranger. And go ahead and eat some chocolate if you’d like.

For now, I’m off to my son’s house. How can my granddaughter survive without a stuffed dinosaur telling her she is “Dino-mite”?

Happy Kindness Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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Truly Bad Date? Share It and Win!

by Monica Shaughnessy

broken-heart-1316091“Love them or hate them, we’ve all had first dates…”

That’s the opening line of our blurb for First Last Forever: A Collection of First Date Disasters, and I think it’s one most people can identify with, no matter the culture or country. Even arranged marriages begin with a “date” – the wedding date! As we near the most romantic day of the year – Valentine’s Day – this is the perfect time to discuss such matters of the heart. Do you, dear reader, anticipate first dates with dry palms and nerves of steel? Or do you look forward to “getting them over with” so that the second date can begin, the date where you can relax and be YOU, the YOU that wears Converse high tops with dresses and puts Sriracha on pizza and sings off-key to “Ex’s and Oh’s.” (that’s not ME, I swear).

Before writing my own stories for the anthology, I didn’t give much thought to my past. I already had some plot ideas involving situations I’d never been in, like speed dating. No “plumbing the depths” necessary. But then this post arose, forcing me to catalog all of the firsts I could remember, starting with (eeek!) high school. After rummaging through the dusty filing cabinet in my brain, I came up with some truly awkward moments.

Take a look at my top four dating fiascos. I bet you’ve been in a few yourself:

  1. The Set-Up – “Oh, honey, he’s a nice boy, and we like his parents. You only have to go out with him once.” Oy. The small talk on this date was excruciating. Spanish inquisition-type stuff. But the joke was on me, because years later this frog turned into a prince.
  2. The Stand-Up – “Where could he be? Let me check my dial tone. Maybe he tried to call and couldn’t.” Mmm hmm. Bad connection. Gotta be. For anyone under the age of thirty, “checking your dial tone” equates to pinging your BFF with a desperate text asking if she’s receiving because he just. isn’t. answering.
  3. The Sit Down and Shut-Up – “Who is this guy? Certainly not the guy who asked me out. Because the guy who asked me out stopped talking long enough for me to to say yes.” This date was the OPPOSITE of the Set-Up. Too much talking. So much that I hardly got a word in edge-wise. By the end of the evening, I knew every possible thing about him…and he barely knew my name.
  4. The I Give-Up – “We should just be friends. No? Well, we should try. Really. Friends. You’re not getting the hint. Will you stop? Sigh. I guess one date couldn’t hurt.” Sadly, I have been on more than one of these. I am clearly a sloooow learner.

I’m sharing these to get the ball rolling, dear reader. Between now and February 10th, we’re hosting a contest to give away a copy of First Last Forever. We’ll select one winner randomly from the comments below. And I’m expecting my fellow Space City Scribes to stop by and share their embarrassing stories as well. You will, won’t you, ladies?

YOUR TURN: Tell us about your truly awful first date or funny first date or romantic first date, and you’re automatically entered to win a copy of our book. Thanks for reading! And good luck!

 

Romance Readers: A Dating Disaster Anthology!

by Monica Shaughnessy

UPDATE: Our Rafflecopter promotion is now live! Enter to win your own copy of our new anthology. Check out our Facebook fan page for more details. (ends Feb. 1)

The Space City Scribes are releasing a new romance anthology on February 5th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. But it’s available now through pre-sale on Amazon and Smashwords and only 99 cents. Months ago, we met to brainstorm fun romance ideas for the collection. We knew, however, that we needed to put a twist on what’s already out there. So the ever-creative K.C. Maguire suggested first date stories. But not just any first dates, bad first dates. Ah! How terrible could we make them? I’m boasting, of course, but I think my story, “Date From Hell,” sinks to a new low for lovers. You must read it, of course, to find out why a “hot date” isn’t necessarily a good time. Then again, my writing companions threw some pretty awful stuff at their hapless couples: hurricanes, bullets, community service, stalking…  Curious now, aren’t you?

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Synopsis: Love them or hate them, we’ve all had first dates. From the blush of romance to the slamming of a door, nothing can capture—or repel—our hearts so fully. Do we swoon with desire? Hope for tenderness? Or does the first meeting shatter any chance of two souls connecting?

In First Last Forever, each story follows the passionate, sometimes accidental rendezvous between two people as they fight to overcome the one obstacle between them and happiness—the disastrous first date. Will they end with a promise, a parting, or a pledge? Read these stories to find out.

First:

“Valentine’s Date” by KC Maguire- Should we be friends?

“Salt to a Wound” by Mandy Broughton – First world dating problems

“Speed Freaks” by Monica Shaughnessy – Five minutes to find forever. Or just the next good time.

“Prima Facie” by Artemis Greenleaf – Say no to drugs and yes to romance.

Last:

“Date from Hell” by Monica Shaughnessy – Karma has never been so sexy.

“A Soliloquy of Survival or First Dates Suck” by Ellen Leventhal – Stalkers can be so hot.

“Dance” by Artemis Greenleaf – Killer dates come in small packages with excellent dance moves.

Forever:

“Cassie” by Artemis Greenleaf – High winds lead to high romance.

“In the Mood” by Mandy Broughton – Principal Charming

“Famine’s Daughter” by Artemis Greenleaf – Never force a woman’s hand.

“Auld Lang Syne” by Ellen Leventhal – Can we call a do-over?

Buy your copy now!

Dragon Killer Trailer

Belinda Tate is at it again. As The Devil’s Advocate (the third installment of the Marti Keller Mysteries) opens, she is planning to launch the second book in her Dragonfire series (under her pen name, Coda Sterling) during the Space City Sizzlin’ Summer Literary Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Dragon Killer picks up right where Dragon by Knight left off.  Tristan and Lisabeth are on the deliciously tropical Island of the Dragon Council, preparing to return to Galveston. When a meeting with Tristan’s adolescent son goes bad, things quickly spiral out of control, fueled by treachery and political infighting, and leaving Lisabeth wondering if she and Tristan will live long enough to make it to the alter.

And it’s a good thing Belinda likes mystery and suspense, because she herself finds a target painted squarely on her back during the convention. She’s counting on Marti to solve the mystery before Belinda’s number is up.

Interview with Laurie Schnebly – podcast

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Click to find me at Amazon

by Artemis Greenleaf

Listen to the Laurie Schnebly Interview  here

Show notes:

Laurie Schnebly’s own website: http://booklaurie.com/

Writer University: http://writeruniv.wordpress.com/

Romance University blog post: http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/08/29/braiding-your-story-with-laurie-schnebly-campbell/

November Kiss of Death RWA class http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org/coffinClass.php?classdetail=m1.nov

The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the Nine Types of People, Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele http://www.amazon.com/The-Enneagram-Made-Easy-Discover/dp/0062510266

For a transcript of the interview, go here