Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Things I Should Do But Don’t

Before I start in on my top ten, I want to say thank you to the fantabulous Kris Norris. You may notice that my website and blog have had a makeover. And Kris did the heavy lifting in that! And it looks beautiful and I love it so much. So THANK YOU, Kris!!! MWAH.

Now, on to the top ten things I should be doing but don’t. In no particular order…

Quit smoking. 

Sleep more. 

Eat better.

Drink more water.

Exercise regularly.

Write daily.

Treat my writing as a career.

Take more me time.

Stop procrastinating. 

Be less harsh to myself.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
 Kris NorrisSiobhan Muir | Torrance Sené


Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Gifts for Writers

I can only speak for myself of course, but I’m gonna share my writerly wish list. Some of these will be very general and some specific.

In no particular order:

Books – Fiction books, books on craft, books on self-publishing and promotion… Doesn’t matter. I will take ALL THE BOOKS. 🙂

Notebooks – I’ve never met a notebook I didn’t like. Well, that’s not true. But regardless of how much or little I like a particular notebook, it will never be wasted. I have them and use them everywhere and can always use more.

Pens – I have a problem with pens. I have so many and will always always get more. From simple ball point pens to fancy fountain pens…I want them all. And when I find a pen that writes well…I stock the F up. In a big way.

Comfy seating – So, I don’t have an office – comes with having a houseful of kids and family. So I want this

to be able to write in bed without my back paying me back for days afterwards.

Booze – Wine, cider…I’m not pick. And this…I honestly want this just for the name/bottle, but I do like a good splash of whiskey. 

New computer – While my trusty MacBook is trudging along, I would love a new computer, right now.

The last three? Not gonna lie – come straight from my Etsy wishlist. 

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Things I Believe to be True

Happy Novemember!

We have a top ten today. Top 10 Things I Believe to be True.

10 – It’s never too late to change.

9 – And change is necessary. (Even though it will be hated and resisted)

8 – You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

7 – Miracles happen.

6 – You are drawn to the people meant to be in your life.

5 – It’s okay to ask for help.

4 – The relationships I have – with my husband, my children, my other family, my friends – are worth putting the time and effort into. They are worth fighting for…every single day.

3 – There is more good than not in the world – even if the good is more quiet/hidden than it should be.

2 – In the face of questionable or horrific action, being silent is as bad as or sometimes worse than making excuses for that behavior.

1 – Love is love is love is love is love.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Story Tropes

We’re talking our top 10 story tropes today. Jumping right in….

Workplace Romance – Love in the workplace, and all the awkwardness that can ensue…sign me up. I was actually taken aback when I realized I’ve never written a workplace romance…how is that even possible? A frickin’ tragedy, that…and should be remedied in the future. 

Returning Home – Especially when home is a small town and there are issues. Maybe it’s the small town girl in me that loves that setting, I don’t know, but I really enjoy stories with this trope.

Fling to a Thing – I love when one or both characters go into it with the expectation that it’s gonna just be a fling – all short-term –  and then, it becomes so much more. With feelings, even. Le sigh.

Age difference – I will be honest, I tend to go for the Older Woman/Younger Man before an Older Man/Younger Woman, but I adore them both. So very much. Like an unhealthy amount of adoration.

Reunion/Second Chance – Who doesn’t love second chances? Okay, I’m sure there are people who don’t like those stories, but that’s not me. I quite enjoy seeing characters with histories – often bad one with legitimate things that drove them apart and have kept them apart – coming back together and, ultimately making it work.

Redemption – Okay, one of my favorite, FAVORITE things is when a character makes good. Whether it’s one of the protaganists or one of the baddies… I want the tragic back story, I want to understand why they did what they did, I want to CRY for them and root for them and see them better and happier and in love and all that.

Angst/Hurt/Comfort – O…M…G I eat this up. So much, it’s not even funny. Seriously, with a freaking spoon! Everyone who knows me knows I adore the angst SO FREAKING MUCH. Just take a look at my Albion’s Circle series, and you’ll know just how much… 😉

Secret Relationship – Please, secret relationship is prime real estate to build angst, baby. Sign me up. Also, even though it’s not required for me,  I dp love when there is humor woven in, too – like, how they keep it secret, what they tell others, times when they slip in conversation or are almost caught…

Enemies to Lovers – A very close second for my absolute top trope. An enemies-to-lovers story will suck me right in. From the initial attraction to how they decide to deal with it…angry sex, anyone? Yes, please…to how they make it work.

Friends to Lovers – This has always been a favorite of mine and would be my instant answer if someone asked me for an absolute favorite. The first book I ever finished and published was a friends to lovers. I love seeing the hero and heroine figure out how they’re going to navigate the change in their relationship, especially when they know each other really well and they’re thrown for a loop.

Honorable Mentions Professor/Student (but not in a creepy way LOL), Soul Mates/Destined (but it totally has to be done right…no instalove with no conflict except external…) and Them Against The World (when no one else thinks the couple will make it, or even understands how they’re together…)

*Fling to a Thing
*Age Difference (Older Woman/Younger Man)
*Secret Relationship
*Secret Relationship

~Within the Albion’s Circle series~
*Reunion/Second Chance
*Friends to Lovers
*Enemies to Lovers…kinda

~Within the Seeking Shelter series~
*Fling to a Thing
*Friends to Lovers
*Them Against the World (in a very literal way…)

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Character Traits I Like Writing

Though they’re numbered, they aren’t really in a particular order…

10 – Trustworthy – I write romances, so this is a big one. If the hero and heroine can’t trust each other, there’s a big problem. I try to write characters who are there for each other, there for their families and friends, who are someone who can be counted on, no matter what.

9 – Artistic – I love to write artists… Don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, although I certainly wish I did. It is certainly a trait I admire – in what I write, in what I read, and in real life.

8 – Confident – Oh, confidence is sexy. Not saying the character doesn’t have moments of insecurity. They most certainly do, but whether it’s something that develops as the character grows, or it’s confidences in a specific aspect of their life or with themselves, I find that very, very appealing.

7 – Honest – I don’t like liars, so I certainly don’t like writing them. Also, I like writing characters who are honest with themselves…even if it takes them a while to get there.

6 – Persistent – I don’t want to write people who give up easily. I want them to fight for what they want and need. So much more satisfying that way. 🙂

5 – Creative – Not the same as artistic. It could be creative in how they show they love someone, how they solve a problem, how they talk to their lover, how they are in bed…

4 – Sensual – Kind of a must for erotic romance. 😉 But I really like to write characters who explore that side of themselves.

3 – Humorous – I LOVE a sense of humor. I try to write characters who have one. LOL Who like to have fun and laugh.

2 – Empathetic – Being able to understand and express emotion is a big character trait I love to write. Even the struggle to be empathetic is awesome to explore on the page.

1 – Strong – I don’t necessarily mean physically strong here. For example, there’s nothing wrong with heroine who kicks ass and takes name, but a heroine who isn’t that, but stands up for who she is and what she believes, and loves passionately and goes after what she wants…she is no less strong, IMO. I definitely tend to focus more on the emotional/internal strength than physical, I think.

BONUS – Emotionally Broken – I don’t know a better way to phrase this, but it has been brought to my attention frequently (LOL) that I “break” my characters. Now, I love me some angst and pain, I will admit that. But books that have that in abundance are, for me, the most satisfying to write. To take a character through a trauma and have them at their lowest (or close to) and then write their rise from that, the re-building of themselves….OMG…it’s the best. 🙂

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Quotes I Say From Movies, Shows & Songs

Posting late – was camping over the Fourth with the family…

Okay, so top 10 quotes from movies, shows and songs. It’s hard to just do 10, to be honest. It’s just the tip of the iceberg… But here we go…

10 –


9 –

Parks & Rec

8 –

Pride & Prejudice

7 –


6 –


5 –

Parks & Rec

4 –


3 –


2 –

Parks & Rec

1 – 


Aaaaanad a bonus –


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Ways I Procrastinate

10 – Netflix marathons – Because I gotta catch up, yo. Just a few of the places I go…

9 – Cleaning – My house is never so clean as it is when a deadline is looming.

8 – Social Media

7 – Organizing – yes, it’s totally different than cleaning. LOL Everything could be gleaming and I’ll be orgazing all of the drawers and cabinets and shelves…whether they need it or not.

6 – Planning – There comes a point that I will plan everything. And I mean everything. Menu plans for weeks and weeks to come, projects that I will not be working on any time soon… It makes me feel like I’m being productive when I’m really avoiding what I should be working on it. It helps me justify the procrastination… 

5 – Calling everyone – though I’m lucky that most my ppl? They call me on that tactic. And yet…still do it. o.O

4 – Second-guessing everything I’ve done so far and freaking out – There is a point that I always get to that I freak out, am pretty sure everything I have is utter doody and I have to scrap everything and start all over. This is my least favorite place to be.

3 – Cooking/Baking – I like to cook and bake anyway, but if I’m procrastinating, I may go overboard.. At least we get to eat the results…

2 – Naps 

1 – Reading – I read lots and lots of books and dirty, dirty fanfiction. And I’m not even sorry. Really, really not.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Things I Learned From My Parents

I’ve learned so much from my parents, too much to fit into a top ten list and some hard to put into words.But I’ll attempt to do that for ten of’em. 🙂

 Family first. Always.

Work hard. Do your part.

Marriage is work. But you love each other…it’s worth it.

You have to be a parent first, not a friend. If you’re really lucky – and I am – the friend part comes later in life.

Don’t make a mistake worse by lying about it.

Love of reading. Because reading is awesome.

Some of the best times are the simplest – like sitting around a camp fire, just talking.

Be respectful and kind.

I can only control my actions and how I react to others.

I am loved. Unconditionally.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Jessica De La RosaKellie St. James | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Ways to Lose Me as a Reader

10 – Flat characters and stereotypes– Characters that don’t show any growth throughout the story and/or are almost caricatures. And stereotypes….urgh. It’s just a specific type of flat character, really. The super gay best friend/sidekick who is essentially there for humor, all women but the heroine are just jealous and horrible bitches, the alpha-hole hero who has no redeeming qualities but somehow the heroine loves him and so does everyone else, deep down…

9 – Inconsistent characters – I just said I wanted character growth, yeah? Well inconistent characterization is NOT character growth, though sometimes it seems to be explained away as that. I’m talking about characters acting completely out of character, with no logical or believable reason behind it. Or bam, halfway through the book, it’s like reading a completly different character altogether.

8 – Too big a cast – too many people to keep track of – It drives me nuts when I can’t keep track/keep up and then have to scroll/page back and figure out who the person is.

Now, I’m actually fine with a larger cast. *I* have a larger cast in my Albion’s Circle series, but I hope I avoid (and try VERY hard to!) falling into the trap of making people go “Who’s this again?”

So the problem isn’t necessarily a large cast (though I think there likely is a limit to how many people you can effectively have playing a decent role in the story), but more often, the issues is how it’s executed. If the cast is introduced in a style reminiscent of classical literature like The Iliad or J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, the author may want to step back and reconsider a few things.

7 – Insta-love – I know I’ve mentioned this in another post at some point… I want to see people fall in love. I want to see what about the characters the others love and be rooting for them. That’s why I read romances. So, when it’s instaneous – and not talking about immediate attraction/lust here – I feel let down as a reader. Big time.

6 – Lack of research – If you’re going to write about something, in detail, then you need to know what you’re talking about. An example – I was reading a book in which the hero was a private investigater. There was a murder and he’s called by his cop friend. The hero then proceeds to show up at the crime scene, pokes around, takes a file in full view of everyone, touches everythign with no freaking gloves or anything, basically compomising the crime scene and evidence. I’m no expert in law enforcement or crime scene investigation, but even I know there is no way that would freaking happen!

5 – Overselling the research and/or knowledge – This is a personal one for me, and I’m sure there are people who disagree and perhaps like this kind of thing, but I don’t need a run down of every furnishing and antique in the family mansion. I don’t need page upon page of all the sights in the city that story takes place in so I know that the city was googled. For me, if it isn’t important to the story, I don’t need to be regaled with all this information and it pulls me completely out of the story.  

4 – Head-hopping – When we’re bouncing from one character’s head to another, when that results in confusion and having to skim back to figure out who’s head we’re actually in…

And falling under the same umbrella – too many POVs. Especially if it’s just once in the story and it’s a character who doesn’t even play a large role.  There are ways to impart information to the readers without going into, say, the waiter’s head for a matter of paragraphs just to let us know a tiny detail.

3 – This is more specific to paranormals…. The vamps, the weres, the supernatural beings are all drop dead gorgeous and physically perfect.

And don’t get me wrong… Having pretty characters, not a problem. But being told ad nauseaum just how beautiful and stunning they all are, how they could all be models, etc., it gets old very quickly.

2 – The irresistable heroine. Everyone wants her. EVERYONE. Even her gay married dentist is re-evaluating his sexuality because omg she’s just all that.

1 – This is specific to story with BDSM elements – when a character is into BDSM, it’s because at some point in their life they were abused and they are broken somehow. That the character just needs to be fixed, and when they are good and whole and healthy again, they won’t need to do “that” anymore. Because just being into it, just enjoying it, just getting something out of it without a terrible, horrible, no good past pushing you do it isn’t enough.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Ways to Hook Me as a Reader

10 – First way to hook me? An amazing cover. Not saying a cover will make or break it for me, but if you can catch my attention with a cover…you have your foot in the door, my friend.

9 – Brilliant description – This is a fine line to walk. Some books give hardly any description, while others go a bit overboard – I really don’t need a run down of every piece of furniture in the room, thank you very much. There needs to be enough that I can picture it in my head but not so much that it’s tedious and obtrusive.

8 – Internal conflict – I’m more drawn to internal conflict. I find it more compelling. I don’t know why, exactly, but I will usually choose an book that is driven by internal conflict over one driven by external conflictl. Maybe because it’s more identifiable? I can relate and sympathize more? Well, whatever the reason…there it is.

7 – But…give me a really freaking good external conflict…I won’t walk away. I can really dig a story where the character(s) is on the run from or fighting a big bad or having to survive a really horrible situation or environment.

6 – Angst… DUDE. Give me an angst-filled story…. Le sigh. I eat that stuff up with a freaking spoon every single time. I will ugly cry and re-read again and again. Yes, I will. 

5 – Good characterization –  Well written, fully developed believable characters that grow throughout the story is a surefire way to hook me. No too-stupid-to-live characters, no major alphaholes that have no redeeming qualities whatsoever… Hell, even a villain should be more than a flat, one-dimensional representation of a bad guy. Some of my all-time favorite characters are villains – usually ones I could identify with, sympathize with and understand why they were doing what they were doing even if it was horrifying and/or wrong. The biggest thing is they just aren’t 100% evil to give the story a bad guy. They have layers, dammit.

4 – A good friends-to-lovers story. Oh, be still my heart. My all-time fave trope.. Seriously, I go looking for these, and I will hold onto the ones I love to go back to time and time again.

3 – Originality & Variety – Have you ever really loved an author but then after a while it seems as though are reading the same story again and again? That it’s just slightly different look for the heroine or the setting is a bit different but it’s basically the same story you read before? No one wants that. 

Or sometimes it’s the same character (unintentionally) popping up in every book…with just a slightly different face.

Though I’d like to point out that in Doctor Who, even though each actor is technically playing the same character, they make the Doctor their own. Each incarnation has its own characteristics, mannerisms and quirks. And that’s one of the things that makes it freaking brilliant.

Obviously, we all have our favorite types of stories. Like I said, friends-to-lovers is a big one for me. So are books based on Arthurian legend. I love me a good vampire or shifter book too. But what I really, really love is when an author puts new spin on it. They take something and make it their own. I think, as authors, we have a responsibility – not only to readers but to ourselves – to stretch ourselves, to move beyond our comfort zones. And that includes looking at our body work and making sure we aren’t writing the same story or the same character again and again.

2 – A balance of information – There is a fine line authors walk when writing. The reader needs to be given enough information to follow the story and to (eventually) understand why characters are doing what they are doing, but they don’t need to be hit over the head with every single detail or reason characters are doing something. It’s playing in the middle ground, really. The reader isn’t stupid and doesn’t need to be spoon fed – which will just annoy and lead to a book being set aside – however, they can’t be expected to make huge leaps of understanding with nothing in the book to support it – which leaves the reader scratching their heads and leads to a book being set aside.

1 – And finally… Write me a long, well-written, angsty as F&$k with lots of kinky sexy times (and no freaking slow-burn, thank you very much) Merthur fanfic, and I am yours.

Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kellie St. James | Kris Norris