Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back Off, He's Mine

I had planned to blog about Valentine’s Day, as my fellow NovelFriends did. Only I don’t really have anything to report. For the first time in years, my husband forgot to buy me a card and the usual dozen red roses. And for some reason, I wasn’t even upset. Have I gotten to a point where those things no longer matter? Have I become jaded to romance…me, a romance author? Not good. Not good at all.

Maybe I just need some inspiration…hmm.
*Type in Google...click, click, click...need some inspiration...click, click, click...searching...searching...

Well, what do you know, I think I’ve found him!

Meet Aaron O’Connell, model, actor, stealer of my heart. He’s a Midwestern boy, a graduate of Purdue University, and he has three sisters, so I bet he’s sensitive to a woman’s feelings. He sings, he acts…in fact, the first time I laid eyes on him was in that Liquid Plumr commercial. You know the one: “I’m here to snake your drain…” Oh, yeah.

Look at that face...

That physique…

What a total package!


Yep, I’ve got me some new inspiration; my need for romance is restored. Whew! That was close... ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Romancing the West Blog Hop

Why do we enjoy writing and reading about the West? What is it about cowboys that is just plain irresistible? Over thirty authors and bloggers tackle these and other questions by explaining why we love Romancing the West.

But that’s not all, as you enjoy some awesome blogs and find fantastic books, for every post you comment on with your email address, you will be entered for some amazing prizes.


Grand Prize: A swag pack which includes books (both ebooks and paper), Amazon gift card, custom made butterfly jewelry, book cards, magnets and much more all tucked away in a keepsake box. (Available to US residents only. Winner will be announced on February 26 at 10 PM EST)

We at NovelFriends are giving away a
*$20 Texas Roadhouse Gift Card!

Why do we love Romancing the West?

Donna: I fell in love with the west thanks to NYT bestselling author Linda Howard. While filling my basket at the local used book store, I came across a copy of A Lady of the West by Linda Howard. I did and BAM! I was in love. Not only with this amazing author (who is still one of my favorites!), but with the beautiful western states: Texas, Wyoming, Montana…Colorado. My love of Colorado deepened thanks to my NovelFriend, Stacey, And I was compelled to set my own story against the backdrop of those majestic Rocky Mountains.

Jamie: It’s hard to resist loving a cowboy. A man who is strong, hard working and has a love of the land. A guy who stays in shape by doing his job everyday, not because he spent hours in a gym. I’ve spent many hours admiring the cowboy heroes of Diana Palmer and Linda Lael Miller. How can you not love a man who is rough, tough, protective and true all in one very fine package?

Delia:What isn’t to love about cowboys? I grew up wanting to be the Cartwright brother’s little sister, it didn’t take long for that fantasy to evolve along less familial fantasies. These are men who spend their lives both working with and fighting against the elements, using their strength and wits to not only stay alive, but to make a living while doing it. The fact that it’s done with a gun strapped to their hip and their butt looking all snug in a saddle just ramps the sexiness up a few levels (yeah, I’m talking about you, Little Joe).

Stacey: I love horses, and I love good-looking, hard-working men in jeans and flannel or a button-up cotton work shirts. Putting the two together is a win-win no-brainer for me. Rolled up sleeves that reveal tanned, muscled forearms is sexier than a guy standing buck-naked—though I’d probably look either way. *grin* In my contemporary western Chasin’ Mason, Tripp is modeled after my all-time favorite cowboy picture: Matthew McConaughey in his Stetson Cologne ad.

* * * * *

So there you have it from the NovelFriends! To enter for our prize of the $20 Texas Roadhouse Gift Card, just use the Rafflecopter below.

ALSO, to enter for the Grand Prize SWAG PACK of the Romancing the West Blog Hop
, you must include your EMAIL address leave acomment along with your EMAIL address.

** To be entered in our raffle, simply tell us who's your favorite cowboy, or what's your favorite western romance novel...or both!

Best of luck from the NovelFriends!

(* If there is no Texas Roadhouse restaurant near you, we will substitute a $20 Gift Card of winner's choice)
Romancing the West Blog Hop

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Valentine's Day Present ~ Stacey

Seeing as how it's the month of Love, and both Delia and Jamie posted sappy sweet stories about their husbands, I figured I'd continue the theme. (For the record, I joke about the sappy, but I loved their posts!)

I'll start by saying I got a card from my thoughtful husband. A very beautiful card "To My Wife, With Love". (mostly prompted because I was upset he didn't get me one for our recent 20th wedding anniversary)

And after the card? Well, there were no flowers. No evening out with a romantic dinner, or a movie, and certainly not a love-filled getaway weekend with just the two of us. I might have dropped dead of shock had that happened.

It may seem like I'm complaining, but really, I don't care so much about those things, or big gestures...it's more so the thought and feeling behind them that I'm looking for. You know, that "Show me that you love me," mantra that so many men, mine in particular, cringe when they hear it.

Turns out I got me a big gesture after all. My dear hubby is working on remodeling our front two rooms, and that day, he tore down a wall for me. THAT was better than flowers, candy, a movie, or anything else. Finally, in our old, 100+ yrs farmhouse, we will have a room that's larger than a tiny little square or rectangle. A place where the family can gather comfortably for a holiday without people camped out on the floor or steps because there's no room for extra chairs!

I can't wait for it to be done so I can show you all the finished product, but for now, I'll share a before and an in progress picture of my best Valentine's gift ever!

Finding a picture to show both sides of the long narrow room took awhile, and this ended up being a Christmas decorating picture from 2008. (my kidlets are all growing so fast!) Look above the recliner--the kids started our demo by peeling off sections of the wall paper when they were toddlers. I am going to miss that carpeting though...not!

Wayne's turn to demo. :)

And now the wall between the two rooms is down! Happy Valentine's Day to me! 

Thank you, Honey! Love you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love is in the Little Things - Jamie

When people think of romance, they tend to think of the big romantic gestures.
Lloyd Dobler standing outside of Diane Court's window holding up a boom box. 
Jack sacrificing his life for Rose's as the Titanic went down. 
Johnny Castle declaring that "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
Edward Lewis climbing the fire escape to Vivian Ward's apartment.

Before I met my husband, I always dreamed of one day finding someone who would fill my life with these grand moments. Thankfully, life doesn't always give us what we ask for. My guy is not one for saying things that melt my heart or surprising me with fancy nights out. Over the last 20 years I have realized he gives me something that is much more important, a life full of little moments.

He has no qualms about doing the laundry, the dishes or taking care of me when I'm sick. He tolerates my crazy ideas when I get the urge to do some project around the house or when I want to travel to one place or another for a writer's conference. He talks to me - really talks, and he really listens to me when I have something to say. He provides amazing support when I need it and he makes celebrating a special event more special simply by being a part of it.

There are two moments I can think of that would seem unimportant to a lot of people, but are the most memorable to me. The first was the night I met him. At the end of the evening he walked me to my car and kissed me on the cheek. I think that was when I fell in love with him. The other moment was one year when we were Christmas shopping, wandering through the toy department at Target, and he just took my hand and held it as we walked down the aisle. 

I'm not saying those romantic gestures aren't wonderful - they are - but in the long run it's those little things that make my heart sing.

I'd love to hear about a moment - big or small - from a movie, book or show that makes your heart skip a beat. 

Hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Heartbreaker Blog Hop

Hello! NovelFriends is new to the blog hop world, but we hope you enjoy our stop. 
We are giving away a set of 2 Marcus VIP GOLD movie tickets*. 

How do we define a Heartbreaker?

Stacey: For me, it's the 'wounded warrior'. The guy who is a hard shell on the outside (literally and figuratively *grin*) but inside he's just aching to be loved and love someone else. He fights it, but in the end he always falls.

Trent in Lost In Italy battles a mountain of guilt over his brother's death and now he's got Halli to worry about protecting.

Donna:What is a Heartbreaker? Such a simple question, yet...is there really a simple answer? My first thought (besides Pat Benatar belting out "You're a...heart-breaker!") is that old saying: "He/She's going to be a heartbreaker someday." So I guess I've always thought of a Heartbreaker as someone who is incredibly attractive. But since beauty is in the ‘eye of the beholder’ (right, Delia?), anyone can be a Heartbreaker.

Take rich playboy Jacob ‘Matt Jacobs’ Spalding from The Perfect Blend, Welcome To Redemption, Book 3. Redemption's new “librarian” breaks hearts on a daily basis, yet he only has eyes for surly Carrie Lowell.

Amazon, BN, SW

Jamie: Heartbreaker: a person, event or thing causing great sorrow, grief, or anguish.
Traditionally a heartbreaker is the guy who shatters the girl’s heart because he can’t admit he loves her. But to me, the heartbreaker is the guy with much deeper issues, the emotionally damaged hero who rips out my heartstrings with his sad and painful past. The more damaged he is and the more devastating his story, the more I fall for him. I long to be the heroine who becomes the balm that soothes his scars and makes him realize how much he needs her. Those always end up on my keeper shelf.

Jamie is currently hard at work creating a Heartbreaker of her own, so in the meantime, here's a recent inspiration from Pamela Clare's I-Team series. Gabe Rossiter, the hero of Naked Edge, is a true heartbreaker in every sense of the word.

Delia: Pat Benatar said it best ~
Your love is like a tidal wave, spinning over my head
Drownin' me in your promises, better left unsaid

Listen to the hard-hitting women rockers of the eighties, those chicks knew how to spot a heartbreaker.  Joan Jett, Heart and the aforementioned, Pat Benatar knew all about betrayers, teasers, double dealers and not only lived to tell the tale, but warned the rest of us what to look out for.  What we have to remember is that it’s not the end of the world if we don’t spot a heartbreaker until it’s too late, he can “knock me down, it’s all in vain, I’ll get right back on my feet again.”  You tell’em Pat!

Check out heartbreaker Jake Kelly in Delia's 1920's set Not Looking For Trouble.

The Wild Rose PressAmazon, BN

So there you have it from the NovelFriends! To enter for our prize of the 2 Marcus VIP GOLD movie tickets, just use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
ALSO, to enter for the GRAND PRIZES of the Heartbreaker Hop, you must leave a comment along with your EMAIL address.

Share with us your favorite Movie Heartbreaker!

Then make sure you visit as MANY other hop stops in the Heartbreaker Hop to get tons more entries for the Grand Prizes! What are they?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Best of luck from the NovelFriends!

(* If there is no Marcus movie theater near you, we will substitute $10 Gift Card of winner's choice)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love is in the air - Delia

In honor of Valentine’s day, I’m going to share with you the romantic story of how I met my spouse.

It was a Sunday evening, the last day of the county fair, and a group of us were going to the demolition derby.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this form of entertainment, let me fill you in.  A demo derby consists of a bunch of junker cars, driving around in a big, muddy pit, slamming into each other until one by one, the cars die. The last car still moving is the winner.  The mud flies, bumpers fall off and engines start on fire.  It’s the ultimate redneck sporting event.  There were about 6 couples in our group, including my newly married cousin and her spouse, her new sister-in-law and her fiancĂ© (whose bachelor and bachelorette parties we’d all just attended the night before) and my boyfriend and myself.  Also included in the group was the infamous Steve.  I’d never met the guy, but I’d heard plenty about him at the bachelorette party.  The bride-to-be despised him and was sure that he was going to lead her groom into temptation.

There isn’t much talking done during a demo derby, they’re pretty loud, but afterwards, a group of us were standing around the fairgrounds talking.  The infamous Steve was giving us a brief recap of the previous nights’ festivities.  My sister, who’d also been at the fair, joined our group and was also listening in.  It seems, that during their travels the night before, the bachelor party had decided to use Steve’s van as their form of transportation. He was the only one with a vehicle big enough to haul everyone around.  This wasn’t a mini van or even one of those big, eight passenger conversion vans, this was a piece of junk worthy of the demo derby, with a driver’s seat and a single passenger seat, the rear was just a big enclosed metal box, I think they used old blankets to sit on.  Well, their chariot died, the fan belt broke.  Since it was about 1am at the time and they were in the parking lot of a strip club, the odds of getting a new fan belt were pretty slim, so one of the guys undid the leather laces from his shoes and they tied it around where the fan belt was supposed to go.  Yep, the van was literally running on a shoe string.  Steve’s stories got even funnier after that and we were all laughing hysterically.   I remember thinking, boy, he’s a funny guy, but he’d drive me nuts if I ever went out with him.
The next night, my sister and I were at the dinner table telling the rest of the family about the crazy guy we’d met the night before, we were laughing so hard at the memory that we could barely get the story out.

After that, it seemed like everywhere I went, the crazy man was also there, making me laugh every time I saw him with his jokes and stories.  One night, during a conversation, I told him where I lived.  The next afternoon, I was changing the oil in my car, looking oh so glamorous, lying on my back on a creeper, under my rusty old Datsun hatchback, grease gun in my hand and my ponytail dragging in the dirt, when, who comes driving in my driveway, but the crazy man.  After I cleaned the grease out from under my fingernails, we decided to head out to see a movie (Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – we’re obviously a very romantic couple).  Instead of the shoe string van, that night he had his convertible. This was one of those special kind of convertibles, the kind with a big hole in the ragtop, making it a 24/7 convertible.  But, no worries he showed me the big sheet of plastic he kept in the back seat that we could hold over our heads in case it rained.  Fortunately for me, it didn’t.

I don’t know if it was the romance of seeing the stars overhead as we drove down the highway, or, like Jessica Rabbit, we were just drawn that way, but it wasn’t long after that, I said goodbye to my boyfriend and road off into the sunset with the crazy man who still makes me laugh.

**sadly enough, his taste in vehicles never got any better.  He currently drives around in a pickup truck with no driver side door handle, a busted heater and a hole in the floorboards (a perfect place to dispose of peanut shells, just drop them on the floor, give them a little nudge with your foot and they hit the road, never to be seen again)

I hope everyone gets to spend their Valentine's day with the love of their lives this year!