insecure writers support group

#IWSG Taking Risks in Writing

Happy spring, northern hemisphere writers! Join us for a monthly venting of our hopes and fears at the IWSG, Alex Cavanaugh’s brainchild.

Thanks to our helpfulco-hosts this month: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton.

April 7th’s question: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Sometimes anxiety prevents me from being brave in my personal life, but I have taken some risks in writing. My March release, sports romance Rivals, was the first time I wrote a novel in present tense. I like it! It’s fun! And another risk with Rivals (especially financially, eek) was the creation of my first audiobook. I’ll share more about the wonderful world of audiobooks in May.

As a psychologist, I need to broach uncomfortable topics to be effective, and another way I take risks is to incorporate squirmy themes into my stories. Twin Sacrifice dives into recovering from childhood sexual abuse, and the Blocked trilogy explores falling in love across the political aisle.

One big motivator to take risks: the support of fellow writers! Thank you to Nicki Elson, Ellen Jacobson, Shannon Lawrence, Pat Garcia, Valerie Ullmer, Sheri Hollister, Natalie Aguirre, Alex Cavanaugh, and Diane Wolf (I hope I’m not missing anyone) for your great support.

What risks have YOU taken?

insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG Blogging Buddies and RIVALS

Happy February, writers! Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group here.

I’m thrilled to co-host this month, along with Louise – Fundy Blue,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

February 3 question – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?  

Blogging has been wonderful for building relationships! The best part of IWSG, for me, is the community of writers I’ve come to know. And blogging offers more freedom and ownership than social media.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

In 2010, authors from my small publisher started a blog hop– the beginning of my friendship with awesome author Nicki Elson. Since then, Nicki and I began a productive and fun critique partnership! She recently helped me select audiobook narrators.

I’ve also befriended quite a few warriors from the IWSG Ninja Army: Alex Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolf, Natalie Aguirre, Chris Fey, Ellen Jacobson, Anna Simpson, Roland Yeomans, Pat Garcia, Stephen Tremp, and Feather Stone.

(I apologize in advance for my difficulty commenting on Blogger from my MacBook unless there’s a pop-up comment form. Clearing my cache doesn’t seem to work anymore.)

I appreciate all of your support in writing and publishing! If you’d like to spread the word about my new release, sports romance RIVALS launching 3-19-21, please sign up on this form.

In addition to Nicki Elson critiquing my baby, I’m grateful to Diane Wolf for her book design! You can find Rivals on Goodreads and pre-order on Amazon.

I’ll share my adventure creating my first audiobook for Rivals in a future post. It’s been so cool.

insecure writers support group

IWSG: Writing Productivity

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and the congenial co-hosts for December: Pat Garcia,Sylvia Ney,Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

December’s question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

In the past, the demands of my university day job used to lighten in the summer months, and I would write more then. Now, my day job is steady throughout the year, so my writing has the same pace year-round: LEISURELY.

Although my writing pace has slowed, I’m thrilled that the wonderful Jessica Royer Ocken took less than two weeks to edit my latest novel, Rivals. Thanks to the speedy critique of Nicki Elson as well! I’m now working on cover design, formatting, and…

creating my first AUDIOBOOK *squee*

Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

Audiobooks are the only format I read these days, and I’m eager to develop one of my own. If you’ve made an audiobook, any tips for me?

Happy Holidays to all writers!

Uncategorized

Beside Your Heart by @WordyMary #Review #Interview #Giveaway


It’s time to celebrate The Heart Series by Mary Whitney! I loved book one (Beside Your Heart) as you can see in my review. Stick around for the interview and generous giveaway.

Beside Your Heart (Beside Your Heart, #1)Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Beginning of Across-the-Pond Romance

I’ve had my eye on this series for some time and I’m glad I finally read book one.

When political operative Nicki Johnson googles her high school love Adam Kincaid, she finds out he’s dating an English aristocrat named Muff.

I gaped at the photo. I’d never seen Adam dressed so well. He wore a dark gray morning coat with tails, a vest, tie, and striped trousers. Next to him, Mary or Muff or Twat — whatever her name was — wore a pale pink coat dress.

The discovery fuels a sense of longing as well as many memories of the past. Beside Your Heart explores how Nicki and Adam meet in high school. I seem to enjoy New Adult more than Young Adult these days, so I think I’ll enjoy the next two novels about their adult romance better.

Nicki’s younger sister died in a harrowing car accident, and she is mired in grief throughout the story. Coupled with what happens to the relationship between Nicki and Adam, a sad tone pervades the novel. But Adam is lovely in how he helps her through her grief.

Her grandmother explains grief well:

“At times, your grandfather’s passing is as hard for me today as it was the day he died, but the pain isn’t as constant anymore. I can go days and even weeks of going along in my life with nothing. The it can hit me out of the blue, and I feel the grief all over again. Other times, you know when a bad patch of pain is coming…birthdays, holidays.”

I loved all the Englishisms, like shagging, snogging, and spotted dick, hehe.

Overall this is a well-written story about first love.

View all my reviews

And now for the interview with Mary Whitney…


Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Mary! As you can see, I truly enjoyed Beside Your Heart. What were some inspirations for this story?

Mary Whitney (MW): Well, thank you! You’re a doll.

It was triggered by an old memory. I’m old enough to remember when ecstasy was legal back in the 80s, and I remembered going to a party the night before it was made a controlled substance. The funny thing was that no one was on X. They were all drinking. I was telling the story to a friend one day which sort of mentally sent me back to high school. My mom had also recently died, so I’d been wanting to write something to explore grief. Beside Your Heart isn’t autobiographical at all, though. Sadly in my high school, the male exchange students from overseas were never good looking!

JL:
How does your law degree affect your writing?

MW: You can say people write about what we know. I’ve never wanted to write about laws, but I think people involved in law, law enforcement, and politics can be interesting – sometimes even in their boringness!

JL: I’m also drawn to writing about politics, especially romantic partners who spar over opposing beliefs. Tell us about your political romances and how politics might play out in books two and three of The Heart Series.

MW: I love a good debate, so romantic banter is just fun for me to read and write. With Nicki and Adam, their banter is driven by their differing cultures, though their political leanings are pretty similar. In my book, Compromising Positions, it’s a Republican and a Democrat, which makes for meaty, but playful conversation.

JL: I see in your bio you’ve lived all over the US! What’s been your favorite location?

MW: Honestly, I think there are great things and bad things about every place I’ve lived. Right now, I live in northern California which is pretty awesome, except for the drought and earthquakes.

JL: What are you working on now?

MW: I’m finishing up my next book, Attached. It’s true New Adult so it will be a departure for me. I’m also working on the audiobooks for No Ordinary Guy and Compromising Positions. David from Beside Your Heart is the main character in No Ordinary Guy. He’s Adam’s cheeky cousin, so the narrator is also a Brit. Compromising Positions is dual narration for both male and female POVs. Everything is out in June, so things are busy right now!

I can’t thank you enough for this interview. I’m always tickled when people want to chat! Thanks again!

JL: Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and good luck with your writing.


***GIVEAWAY***

Mary Whitney is giving away an ENTIRE EBOOK BOX SET of The Heart Series (Beside Your Heart, Disclosure of the Heart, and Forever Your Heart) to a lucky winner!

And another winner will receive an ebook of No Ordinary Guy

To win, comment on this post and leave your email address. If you don’t want to write your email address, contact me at jenniferlanebooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

Finally, I hope you had a Happy Easter for those who celebrate. I got my Pinterest on and made this Easter Bread Bunny–so fun!