Emmy Z. Madrigal reminds us why First Times are always memorable, and sometimes very painful, leaving a memory that follows us for life. I was so touched when Emmy told me the story that I begged her to write it down. This is a perfect storm of setting, character, and conflict.
Let’s put aside that the day I was born, “Satin Sheets” by Jeanne Pruett was #1 in the country music charts, the fact that some of the first movies my parents took me to were Rhinestone Cowboy and The Gambler, and how I knew every word to “Playing with the Queen of Hearts.” My parents being big country western music fans meant we went to concerts at county fairs, rodeos, and good ol’ pancake breakfasts, sitting on bales of hay instead of chairs. Still, this over-permeating of yee-haw’s and y'alls wasn’t the thing that pushed me over the edge.
It happened one New Year’s Eve and it’s all Willie Nelson’s fault. Yep, you heard it right, good ol’ two-braided, bandana wearing, guitar strumming, Willie is to blame.
Well, him and my first period.
As I said, it was New Year’s Eve and I was thirteen. I wanted to be at a party, a friend’s house, or pretty much anywhere else besides with my uncool parents. I was grumpy, and moving into my teen years with all the angst and disappointment every teen possesses. I was in pain and blamed it on the fried rice we ate for dinner giving me indigestion. All I really wanted to do was go to bed, cuddle up in my warm comforter, read a book, and mourn my sad existence as a kid with extremely lame parents. But no…my step-father insisted we all gather around the TV for the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special.
My step-father was an over-bearing, abusive jerks who tried to control every aspect of my life, even down to how much I enjoyed a family event. Ever seen Sleeping with the Enemy? Yeah, him. Point being, if I didn’t laugh or smile once every few minutes, I’d get a stern look and if it continued, I’d get hit. Most of the time I played along, pasting on the fake smile and throwing in a phony laugh here and there as a self-defense mechanism. But that night, I wasn’t having it. I didn’t feel well, I was tired, and I just wanted to go to bed.
Willie just couldn’t wait to be “On the Road Again” as a stabbing pain rippled through my abdomen and I felt like I was going to throw up. I jumped up and moved as quickly as I could to the bathroom despite my step-dad’s demanding, “You better hurry up!” call behind me.
If you’re a woman, you’ve been there. “Why the hell am I bleeding? Oh, wait…is this what they were talking about in health class? Ewe, this sucks. What do I do?” Well, of course I called my mother and she was proud and helpful, and all that, but I did not want her to tell my step-father what had happened. It was embarrassing. It was personal. And it definitely did not need to be a topic of discussion during the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special!
Inevitably, she did tell my step-dad and he got a thrill out of embarrassing me throughout the rest of the concert and for days afterward. That was the night a switch went off in my head. I would from that day spurn country music at every turn. Twangs were sneered at, y'alls ignored. You better bet your britches, if I ever meet Willie Nelson, he’s gonna get an earful.
Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Regency novella, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe. Her previous works include the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series and the novelettes Anime Girl and Anime Girl 2. Emmy has been praised for her realistic portrayal of modern female characters and their will to survive in a world of adversity, prejudice, and economic hardship. She writes Contemporary, YA/New Adult, Regency, Horror, and Sweet Romance.
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~Sweet Dreams Series, #3
~YA/New Adult~Sweet Romance
~Jul 24, 2014
Victoria Knox has an awesome boyfriend, great friends, and her singing career is on its way. Are the nightmares she’s been having a warning, or just her subconscious second-guessing the happiness she's feeling for the first time in her life? When her boyfriend, Rob, whisks her off on a weekend trip planned completely in her honor, someone from her past has another agenda designed to ruin her. Will Rob be able to save her from the devious plans of a demented stalker?
Boy band star, Derek Montgomery, is falling for Cynthia Porter in a big way, but she’s not sure she wants anything to do with him. Competing with the memories of Derek’s ex and tabloid rumors, Cynthia would rather let go of him than deal with all the drama. Can Derek prove to her that he’s serious and that she’s not just the rebound girl?
Join these musically inspired friends as they find out if they've found true love.
Peggy Jaeger's First Time is heart-pounding, inspirational, and, just, WOW! I'd never be brave enough to do this and my hat goes off to Peggy for being so brave.
My daughter and I no longer give one another birthday presents. We are both at stages in our lives where it’s more important we spend time with one another and do things together than give one another gift cards or spa days.
Last year, for our mutual birthdays, we decided to do something neither of us had ever done before: fly on a trapeze.
Yup. My 28 year old in-shape, marathon- runner daughter and this 57 year old chubby, scared of heights, and hot flashing mama, took Trapeze lessons. And it was amazeballs.
First of all, when someone tells you “it’s not as easy as it looks,” please believe them!! Yes, it always looks sososos easy when circus performers fly back and forth on the trapeze wire, but realize something: They practice for hours every day and gravity is a real thing!
Did I mention I’m scared of heights? The first time I climbed up the forty feet of the trapeze tower I felt like I was going to throw up. When I stood with my toes pointed out over the tiny waiting stand and stretched out to grab the trapeze bar, I thought I might pass out. And when the instructor ordered, “Jump!” I had an out of body experience as I went flying – literally - through the air.
What a rush! Hanging by just the shear will of my hands gripped on that very heavy bar, I pointed my toes and swayed back and forth like I was on a swing, only not sitting, but dangling 40 feet above the ground. The next command shouted at me was “Pull your legs up on the bar and clutch on.” I did as instructed, having lost all sense of self and common sense by this time. When he then called out “Let go of the bar and fall backwards,” my inner daredevil finally broke through.
Can I just tell you what dangling upside down with just the back of your knees holding all your weight on a two inch think bar, while you’re swinging back and forth and – I’ll repeat: UPSIDE DOWN – and overlooking lower Manhattan feels like?
Empowering. Daring. Fearless. Brave.
The last command given was, “Okay. Swing forward, pull your legs out, and do a somersault backward out so you can fall down to the net.”
Oh yeah, there was a net. Of course there was. I’m not that stupid!
My landing wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t even graceful. A chubby 57 year old woman doesn’t look anything resembling graceful falling backward, that’s for sure. But I did manage to get down without, a) passing out, b) wetting my yoga pants, and c) in one piece.
I impressed myself that day. And my husband and daughter, as well.
That’s a solid “Check” on the old bucket list, for sure.
Oh, and next year for our birthdays? We’re going skydiving.
Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
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~April 3, 2018
With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .
Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention ended today. :-( BUT, we still have a few interviews of authors to share. Next up is R.L. Merrill!
Amey Zeigler's First Time sounds very similar to one I had. I still remember walking through the parking lot at the airport in Finland and laughing at the round SF stickers on the back of the cars. I thought it was funny everyone had San Francisco stickers. It wasn't until a few days later that I realized it stood for Suomi Finland (Suomi is 'Finland' in Finnish). That was thirty-two years ago. I guess you never forget your First Time! Thank you, Amey for bringing me back!!!
I stepped off the plane in Geneva, Switzerland and it smelled of fresh bread, green growth and people—perfume, car exhaust, and cigarette smoke. These were all unfamiliar smells for a young woman of twenty-one coming from Arizona. I had never traveled to Europe before, and my only experiences outside of the USA were Canada and Mexico. Switzerland proved to be a life-changing experience for me. I learned to speak French fluently by conversing with people on the bus, on the street and in their homes. I think they felt sorry for me and my horrible accent.
Once in a small town in the foothills of the Alps, a little old lady in a mink coat asked if I was German, then guessed British and was surprised I was American. I was the first American she had ever met.
The scenery was spectacular. Snow-capped mountains, well-kept flowerbeds, little chalets tucked in rolling green hills, cathedrals built in the 1100’s, cobblestone streets, cafes, and markets.
It changed my life in several ways. Switzerland was a melting pot of refugees at the time. I met a colonel of a Armenian army who told me how he escaped the embattled trenches of a civil war. I met a sweet lady who escaped genocide in Rwanda. I befriended a couple—political refugees from Bhutan—who struggled to find work to bring their eight-year-old son to Switzerland. And many more. People who wrestled with problems, real problems. And yet they all gave something to me. They gave me their stories. They shared their burdens with me. Those stories enriched my life, gave me perspective and enhanced my understanding of other cultures and people.
I was so impressed with how hard it was to live in another country, I wrote a novel about a girl who moved to Switzerland for her internship and all the cultural misunderstandings she encountered.
Amey wrote her first mystery with her best friend in fourth grade. She loves mystery. She loves romance. She loves suspense. She loves action, adventure and comedy. But she wants it to have a happy ending. Amey loves writing about different places because she grew up moving all around the United States. In her books, she explores the whole world. She lives with her husband and three children near Austin, TX.
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Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis.
When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she's out of her depth.
Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He'll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy's suspicions.
Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh's charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case.
As clues disappear and the body count climbs, Andy and Hugh must trust each other and use their combined skills to bring the murderer to justice.
I'm so excited to introduce Cassie Ryan who writes contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance. I love this First Time story she shares with us. Were YOU that woman at the airport???
About two months after my very first print book released, Ceremony of Seduction, from Kensington, I had to go to the airport to pick up my husband who was returning from a business trip. I always go early, and I always take a book so I can read to pass the time. So I’m never surprised when there are tons of other people there reading while waiting as well. But when I glanced up and saw a lady reading one with a very familiar cover—MINE—I nearly did a WOOP WOOP and a pretty embarrassing snoopy dance inside the airport terminal.
Wow! Someone who was not related to me in any way was actually reading the book I wrote, in public, for everyone to see. And she looked like she was enjoying it too!
However, not wanting to be detained by airport security, I just smiled like a maniac for the next hour, probably creeping the poor woman out while I tried and failed not to stare at her. I also forced myself NOT take a picture of her reading MY book!
Looking back, and having some experience as a published author under my belt now, I realize I probably could’ve gone over and asked her if I could take a picture of her reading it. I had a pocket full of business cards with my pen name on them, and a stack of book marks in my purse with that cover all over them, so I could have proved I wasn’t a stalker. Or at least not a dangerous one! And she might have even asked me to sign it. (I might have been nabbed by airport security if she’d done that!!!) That would’ve been another first!
But, it’s a fond memory for me, and I can still feel the elation that fills my chest and makes me smile when I think about it!
I just hope I don’t have a reader out there who has a memory of some creepy lady in an airport terminal in Arizona staring at her with a crazed expression for nearly an hour while she was trying to read!
Cassie Ryan has always had a passion for romance and anything paranormal. And even in school, was encouraged to put her writing skills to good use, but always with the admonishment to ‘stop writing the weird stuff and tone down the sarcasm.’ But what fun is that. So, in 2003, she finally decided to try her hand at writing a novel, but still firmly embracing the ‘weird stuff and the sarcasm.’
Cassie has had several different series published under different names, including the popular Maiden series as Tina Gerow, the Seduction Series for Kensington’s Aphrodisia line as Cassie Ryan, The Sisters of Darkness series with Berkley, also as Cassie Ryan, and the Club Desire series with Random House Loveswept, still as Cassie Ryan.Cassie belongs to the Romance Writers of America, and is a past president of the local Valley of the Sun Romance Writers Chapter and an active member of the local Desert Rose chapter. She’s an active speaker on several subjects including promotions, character creation, goals & motivation, writing love scenes and more. She has spoken at several RWA chapters as well as the Romantic Times Booklovers convention on the paranormal and erotic panels. She writes Paranormal, Erotic Romance, and Contemporary.
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~October 25, 2016
In a novel of erotic passion and deep commitment from the author of My Obsession, an undercover cop finds a soulmate who surrenders to his healing touch.
Fiercely independent and determined to free herself from her father’s manipulation, tech expert Kate Freewill finds a refuge in L.A.’s elite BDSM dungeon scene as the hot new thing to political and Hollywood A-listers. Still, all that glitters gets old, and Kate soon tires of the stream of well-heeled masters who expect her to be at their beck and call. Then she meets a very different kind of Dom—one whose quiet confidence, strength, and command bring her most willingly to her knees.
Undercover FBI agent Dex Alexander fits right into his assignment to expose terrorist links to one of L.A.’s most popular clubs. The case has reawakened a desire to find the perfect companion, and he knows that beautiful, vulnerable Kate is a woman he could love. But when her father’s corruption unwittingly makes Kate the target of a bigger enemy, Dex brings her to his Phoenix home—and his dungeon, Club Desire. Here she shows him just how eager she is to give him everything . . . and more.
We're at the RT Booklovers Convention in Reno. Having a fabulous time and connecting with lots of authors and readers! Here's an interview with Mercy Hollow who was gracious enough to let me video her on the spur of the moment. Hope you enjoy!
Author Peter Perrin is an inspiration! Wait until you read his First Time experience. You'll never, ever in your life again be able to say that you're too old to start something new. I'm thrilled that he shared his story with us!!!
My First Experience was becoming a published author in December 2017 at the grand old age of seventy-three. I didn’t even start writing seriously until I was sixty-nine, having only done a few poems and some short stories for my kids until then. And even that was over thirty-five years ago.
My motivation for writing a novel, with the aim of getting it published, came from my granddaughter. Almost five years ago, at the age of fourteen, she self-published two novels via Amazon, and I thought ‘If she’s not too young to do that then maybe I’m not too old’.
My first task was to decide what genre to write in, and at the time I didn’t even know what ‘genre’ meant. As I was approaching seventy myself at the time I decided to try to write something that showed older people still had life left in them. A novel that would show they weren’t sitting in front of the TV all day waiting for the grim reaper to come for them. So, I settled on the idea of a romance where all the characters were at least sixty years old. The biggest problem about this was that I had never read even one romance novel until I started to research for my novel, Grace’s Turmoil.
I initially set my novel in a Care Home and produced a chapter or two. Then I found out that a romance novel just wouldn’t work in that environment. This demoralised me so much I didn’t write for six months. Then I did some research and found out about Retirement Villages. These were a whole new ball-game and offered me great opportunities to get a group of older people together in one place and play them off against each other.
Because I had no previous writing experience I had no plan and no idea how to structure a novel. So, I started off with a series of conversations and let it develop from there. Sadly, that meant that my plot ideas often came to a dead end and I had to rewrite constantly.
But, I persevered and learned ‘on the job’ so to speak. Eventually after four years of work Grace’s Turmoil was finished and I was awarded a contract by Devine Destinies.com. The bonus was seeing it in paperback form.
Peter Perrin writes sweet, seasoned romances involving larger-than-life mature characters. He was born in Romford, England and lives with his wife of forty years in Swindon, England. He is a father and grandfather. Now retired, he served in The Royal Air Force in the UK, Madagascar, Singapore, and Aden. After almost fifteen-years’ military service he worked in Engineering, Quality Control, and Procurement Management, and myriad smaller jobs in between those careers. Peter’s interests are Writing, Carp Fishing, PlayStation 4 games, and Computer games. His favourite quote is “Youth passes, but with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime.”
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~December 15, 2017
Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.
But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.
Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?