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“Too Hot to Handle” and other titles…#MFRWAuthor

Welcome to Week 8 of the MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge! This week’s topic is How I Choose a Blog Title.

Sometimes we think book titles choose us. Did you ever try to pick something up off a hot stove and go Wow—that’s too hot to handle? Yeah. That’s the level of heat we hope you think of when you see our upcoming title this July. When Extasy Books proposed their Summer Shorts series, we knew we wanted to write about the swinging mid-life couple who star in our Swinging Games Series. The incident at the stove happened the evening after I saw the announcement – well, and maybe I said some other words, too, but they don’t belong in our title. We’ve had a lot of fun writing Too Hot to Handle. Summers can be brutally hot and humid where our star couple live in Southern Indiana, so we sent them to the Wisconsin north woods to cool off at a nudist resort. Wonder if they’ll meet another couple too hot to handle…

Any little thing in our life can inspire a title or a story. We were driving through Ashland, Wisconsin, headed back home to Minnesota late one spring when we had to stop for a construction van that was double parked unloading supplies. When we took a closer look at the figure in coveralls carrying the materials, we discovered it was a woman. Our son is a general contractor, and at the time he had a female interior painter he relied on for detail work, so our title was easy, and the plot soon followed. The book will be released at Extasy Books March 17.

“Riders Up!” is the call for jockeys to mount and move from the paddock out to the racetrack for the post parade ahead of each horse race. We thought that would work perfectly for our four-book romantic suspense series set in the horse racing industry. The title for Book One was obvious as soon as we had names for our heroine and her horse: “Cassie,” and “Cassie’s Hope.” Once that was in place, we wanted all four books to have a two-word title. We love how our cover artist, Rebecca Poole, created symmetry across the series with the title words.

For this last book, the title definitely created the story. Young virgin seeks out her trusted childhood buddy for some sex tutoring so she can please her fiancé on that special night. Cherry Tune-Up says it all, don’t you think? Wonder who she’ll choose for the next tune-up…

When you’re browsing for books, what grabs you first and makes you look again? It can be a close race between the cover and the title – but for me, the title wins out. Titles are almost certain to have come from the authors, while covers are more likely to have a host of other contributors and decision makers behind them.

Click on the links below to hear about other authors and their titles!

 

If Music be the Food of Love, Play On #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Writing

Welcome to Week Seven of the MFRW Blog Challenge! Music to Write By ~ what a perfect topic the week after the Grammys, which kept us glued to the TV all the way to the end! Fabulous testimony to the power of music.

I nearly got lost in the world of famous quotes about music to come up with this week’s meme from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which I chose because it’s historic, it’s from a famous writer, and it’s about love. We’re romance writers, after all.

But it turns out I couldn’t choose just one quote, so here’s my pick of the best of the rest of the competition:

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” ― Keith Richards

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” ― Albert Einstein

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ― Maya Angelou

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ” ― Lady Gaga. And didn’t she totally rock that Superbowl halftime show?

So what music do we write to? As you know, two of us write together under our pen name, and we write to different music. In different rooms, I might add.

Mr. Kraft loves several genres of music, including contemporaries like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Adele, as well as both rock and roll and country from the fifties to the present. But none of those top his list of music to write by. Both of us have come to love Celtic music, even before we saw Riverdance and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance live in the eighties. We each have Celtic roots in our ancestry (among other things), so the music speaks to us across the centuries. He’s most likely to have several Celtic CDs stacked in the player to encourage his muse. We also find these tracks helpful in establishing an erotic ambience…

Here’s one of his favorites: Down by the Salley Gardens, with Joanie Madden on the flute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LrZa-QcNQA

Though I love all of the above, I grew up in a home filled with classical music, started piano lessons at age five, and went on to play the pipe organ and the recorder (wooden flute), then branched into folk music with guitar and hammered dulcimer. Perhaps because I studied so much of Bach’s amazing organ music, it’s the Baroque era that fills my soul and most speaks to me as I’m writing and editing. If we have past lives, one of mine must have occurred between 1600 and 1750. The music is in my bones, always familiar even if it’s a piece I think I’ve never heard in this lifetime.

I’ve sung in choirs, glee clubs and community choruses all my life, and choral music (secular as well as sacred) stirs me just as deeply. But when I’m writing, the distraction of the words is too much, so I stick to orchestral.

My all-time favorite Baroque piece is Bach’s Air on a G String (as an author of erotic romance, you bet I’m aware of the double entendre  🙂 ). Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D is a close second, but I’ve known the Bach longer. You can listen to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrVDATvUitA

I can’t wait to see what everyone else writes to – click on the links below to find out!

 

#Boomers and Hobbies #MFRWAuthor #Health

Welcome to Week Six of the MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge! This week’s topic is My hobbies (when I’m not writing).

By now if you follow us at all, you know we’re baby boomers, so it should come as no surprise that staying healthy tops the list of anything we get involved in. (Photo – biking in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas).

With any luck, I might need this body another three decades, and I’d like to be able to enjoy it! Our health, our hobbies, and our writing form the proverbial three-legged stool upon which everything else depends.

That may sound way too serious, but don’t worry, our first criterion for selecting a hobby is pleasure! If we don’t enjoy it, we’re not likely to keep at it, no matter how much it might be good for us  🙂 . Beyond being pleasurable, we hope it contributes to our health in some fashion, but even if it doesn’t, a major criterion is that it not be harmful.

Most of our hobbies involve physical activity: hiking, bicycle riding, dancing (ballroom and country/western), walking, mini golf, and golf (Mr. Kraft is a regular, I’ve just started lessons). We thrive on being outdoors, traveling, taking in new events and new scenes, any time the opportunity arises. (on the right, Hecata Lighthouse, Oregon coast; on the left, hiking in Sedona, Arizona).

We both have a few sedentary hobbies – as long as our bodies stay healthy, we’d like to have a brain to go with them, and there’s Alzheimer’s in my family tree, so I’m probably overly sensitive on this issue.

In addition to reading (goes without saying – we’re writers!), both of us enjoy several word games – scrabble, crossword puzzles, the WordStreak App and the WordBrain App among them. I might be addicted to Sudoku. I take on the challenging ones and have to limit myself to one a day or I’ll get nothing else done!

And where does writing fit in? We started writing erotic romance together as a hobby to keep our own juices flowing and follow the use it or lose it dictum. I’ll spare you the details about how our writing feeds our personal life (TMI and all that…) – let’s just say we hope it does the same for our readers!

We blog about health issues from time to time and are always looking for authors and readers to interview about their health stories – leave us a comment if you’d like to be on our guest list!

Curious about what other authors do when they’re not writing? Check out the posts below!

 
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