Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dinner Party at the Hugheys!

After my last dinner party, I promised to share the pictures with you. Thankfully, I have friends who take awesome  photographs. These are from their album. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed dinner and our wonderful friends, the Shucharts and the Thornes!


Monday, May 26, 2014


I was recently asked by my friend and author, Catherine Chant, to join in a writing process blog hop and I'm excited and pleased to have been asked. 

So let me tell you a little bit about her. I swear, this woman has so many talents, she's like a renaissance woman! What do I mean by that? She's a darn good author, a whiz at creating magic with website designs, and in between all of that, she knits and creates amazing things like I've never seen before. In addition, she's a wife and a mom to Spencer.

Catherine Chant http://catherinechant.wordpress.com/blog/
Award-winning author Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. Her first novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE (Soul Mates #1), a young adult time travel romance set in 1957, is available now at Amazon.com.
Wishing You Were Here,  a Rock ‘n Roll Time Travel Romance, Available Now!
Evil After Midnight,  a Vampire Diaries novella, at Amazon.com

What am I currently working on?
I am currently editing Deadly Obsessions written under my pen name, 
K. T. Roberts. The story is the third in my Kensington Gerard Detective series. Here's a sneak peek at the cover. 

Three bodies and counting . . . a manifesto with a long list of names . . . an abducted child, and the killer is using a familiar MO that is the trademark of a serial killer still at large. Is it possible this so-called copycat spurred the Red Reaper into a jealous rage and he’s doing what he does best . . . killing? Or is this someone who’s having too much fun impersonating him and killing everyone who has ever wronged him?
When two unrelated killings take place, it sends the detectives into a tailspin . . . and now it’s a race against the clock before he kills the next person on his list . . . Detective Jesse Kensington!
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I write in two different genres, sweet romances and suspense with romantic elements. The sweet romances are just that, no sex, no swearing and perfectly safe for any age group to read them. Then comes my mystery writing. They're not so sweet, hence the pen name. I wanted my fan base to know if they purchased a copy written by K. T, it was going to be a little grittier, in that, these are New York detectives who do cuss. I don't overdo it though, and I've been getting rave reviews. 

Why do I write what I do? 
I enjoy every aspect of the writing process, and I learn something new with every story I write no matter what genre. I have humorous contemporary romances all based on cooking that even include my recipes, which I've developed myself over the years as a chef. Those recipes are written right into the story.  

 Of late though, I've been focusing on mysteries. I currently have a detective series with three books completed:  The Last Witness, Elusive Justice, and a brand new release coming soon, Deadly Obsessions.  These books are currently on sale for $0.99 until June 1. So if you haven't purchased your copy yet, hurry while supplies last.

How does your writing process work?
My writing process includes using a personality test and an extensive interview with each character. Once that's completed, I compare the information to an astrological sign and I'm good to go! Of course, that's after I outline. 

When I first started writing, I was a seat of your pants kind of author. That doesn't work so well with mystery, and certainly not thrillers. You have to lay out your plan so you know which direction you're going. I'm a firm believer in, if you don't know where you're going, how are you going to get there? Staring into my computer screen trying to figure out where to go next, doesn't work so well for me. So now, I outline each chapter and it's much easier to write the story. That's not to say my story doesn't change sometimes, it does . . . depending on the demands of my character at the time, because sometimes they speak to me. And there you have it!

Leave a comment and I'll select two names at random to win a digital copy of The Last Witness or Elusive Justice. Or, if you'd prefer, I can send you the digital copy of Deadly Obsessions when it's ready in a week or so. Your choice.

Next up on June 2nd are three terrific authors who will be posting answers to the same questions. Here's a little something about each of them. I hope you'll stop by and say hello.

Gail Kretchmer http://www.gekretchmer.com/blog/

G. Elizabeth Kretchmer holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. Her short fiction, essays, and freelance work have appeared in The New York Times, High Desert Journal, Silk Road Review, and other publications. Her debut novel, The Damnable Legacy of A Minister's Wife, is literary women's fiction and will be out mid-June. When she’s not writing, Ms. Kretchmer facilitates therapeutic and wellness writing workshops and spends time in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three adopted sons.

Cathleen Dunn http://cathleendunn.com/blog/

Author Cathleen Dunn has lived in Seattle for the last 20 years after growing up all over the United States. She's lived in Texas, California, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and truly likes variety: she attended college both in Washington and Arizona, has a day job at an engineering company, loves rescuing greyhounds, has been onstage with Seattle Opera, and has been known to paint faux finishes and murals inside homes for her friends. She also goes hunting and fishing with her husband occasionally, watches way too many old movies and educational television, and listens to both Baroque and Metal music.
Cathleen is the author of The Witches Trilogy series of full-length novels. She published the first installment, Chimera, in November of 2013 and is currently writing the second novel, Blue/Black, set for release in December 2014. She sets her stories here in Seattle, where the dark and rain create the witches' stories in her head. She just writes them down.

Reece Ryan 
Here is the link to my blog: http://www.reeseryan.com/my-diary/.

Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after.

My post will go live at the following link at 7AM Eastern on June 2nd: http://www.reeseryan.com/revisiting-my-writing-process/.

Author Carolyn Hughey Carolyn Hughey, (who also writes mysteries under the name K.T. Roberts) has been a hair stylist, an executive legal secretary, a chef, and of course, a writer. She brings together her culinary experience and her love of writing in Dishing Up Romance, One Menu at a Time, and Catering to Love. When not practicing one of her many talents, she enjoys oil painting, jewelry making, and cake decorating. Hughey lives with her family in Arizona. 

Website: http://www.CarolynHughey.com
Blog: http://booksbycarolyn.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolyn-HugheyK-T-Roberts/
Twitter: @ScribblingDiva

Sunday, May 18, 2014


What makes a hero so appealing?

Well, here I am holding a mug of freshly brewed coffee that’s piping hot in my hand ready to ‘chew the fat’.  That’s a term my aunt always used when she wanted to have a gab session.  So grab your coffee, sit for a spell and let’s gab.
As most women will tell you, picturing a handsome hero in a romance novel is pretty awesome.  It’s true, looks are only skin-deep and certainly don’t define who the person is, but for reading purposes, let’s just say GORGEOUS.  I don’t know about you, but I read for escape.  For me, reading a good romance is like going on vacation, or taking a bubble bath that takes me far away.  You know, just like that commercial claims about their product taking you away.  Well that’s what I want the story to do.  I want to be sitting right next to Mr. Hottie pretending to be his main squeeze.  And I want to feel every emotion the heroine is feeling. 
I want my heroes to be brave and stand up for me.  I want them to have courage and the determination to succeed at their goals.  I want them to be dedicated to their jobs and to me. And while we’re at it, lets throw in endurance.  Maybe a little valor?  How about sacrificing a little here and there, and above all, humility? Did I just say all that?  Does this happen in real life?  Sometimes, but I’m not sure every hero could be this perfect. 

Creating a hero is fun.  Seeing his flaws and molding his persona into what we want him to be is powerful.  A little like playing God.  Don’t you think?   If he doesn’t have any of these traits, he has to develop them over time.  And of course, the right person to teach him all these things is the heroine.
In my recent release, Educating Daphne written by my alter ego K. T. Roberts, my hero, Rory Winters has it all going on for him.  Oh, not at first, but . . .

He is gorgeous.  Picture the hottest looking male celebrity in Hollywood and that’s him.  He’s wealthy with a good job that came too easily to him.  So you say where are his flaws?  Brace yourself.
When it comes to his personal life, he can be arrogant.  He lacks conviction.  And sometimes he’s a pushover by taking the easy way out rather than speaking his mind. As an only child, tantrums were a way of life to get what he wanted.  He’s never had to fight for anything and as a result he can be very selfish.  And believe it or not, despite his good looks he’s a little insecure.
My heroine, Issie Carrington has known him since college.  She even worked with him for a while afterward at the Globe Newspaper.  But did she like him?  No!  She thought he was egotistical.  And when she was passed over for a promotion and he got the job as editor-in-chief, she was out of there in a heartbeat.  But now, she’s just lost her job at the Hurlington Press where she’s worked for three years reporting on the local political scene but she was careless and posted a picture of the mayor’s wife kissing another man.  And this is where Rory comes in.  He wants to hire her for a job well below her pay grade.  But there’s a method to his madness.  He’s been carrying a torch for her all this time.  Too bad he didn’t have enough guts to ask her out.  It all boils down to rejection.  Besides, he knows she resents him and he’s had enough of that throughout his life.
But now he’s pulling himself up by the bootstraps and he’s finding clever ways to win her heart.  Give her a job offering advice to the lovelorn so he can learn what she wants in a relationship.  If he flowers her with the things she wants, how can she refuse him.  Right?  But will it be a slam-dunk?  Not so fast, buddy.  There’s a little matter of the mayor.  He’s got the hots for our girl too. Will she see through either of their facades?  There’s only one way to find out  http://amzn.com/B008DBJHZC

Visit me at my website www.carolynhughey.com and/or follow me on my blog at www.booksbycarolyn.blogspot.com  I love to hear from my readers and always give a personal response. If you've visited here before, why not subscribe to my blog?   

Want to friend me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScribBLINGDIVA , or  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolyn.e.hughey.5 to hear about my latest news and releases.

Okay, so did you pick a hero? What does he look like? Why don't you describe him to me?  Aww, c’mon, you know you want to.

 Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


This month I thought I’d touch on blogging topics.  More often then not, I’ll look at the date for posting and scratch my head wondering what to write about, so I surfed around and put together a list of topics I thought might be of interest to you.

I think the first thing to consider is which audience you’re trying to attract.  Is it someone who’s interested in learning to write?  Is it for self-promotion, or just a casual topic that anyone would be interested in reading?   I personally think first and foremost, make it interesting.  Add a little of yourself.  Don’t just type in the words to add filler on the page.  Share a part of yourself, but don’t go overboard by telling the reader you’ve had a bologna sandwich for lunch.  They won’t care.  Does anyone even eat bologna anymore?  That was my absolute favorite sandwich when I was a kid.  But I digress . . .

Here are some suggestions.

  • How you deal with writer’s block or mental exhaustion.
  • Workshops you’re conducting or know about—I might be interested in taking that workshop.
  • The ABC’s of me: Choose one letter for the post such as A and write top five things that begin with that letter.
  • 6 sentence Saturday or Sunday: Post 6 sentences of your book.
  • Although Goodreads is a great place to add your opinions about books you’ve read, not everyone is a member, so posting your reviews on books you’ve read is an idea.  And while it does promote another author, it still brings people that wouldn’t otherwise visit your blog.  And look at what you’ve just done.  You showed those people we’re all in this together.
  • Changes in the industry might just draw in a new reader.  Let’s face it, there’s no better time than right now to self-publish a book.  I’ve said this many times, but it’s important to have a nice cover and look professional regardless of the price you list it for.
  • Post a picture to use as a writing prompt for writers—not necessarily just for published authors. Post a picture of one of your characters and have people give you their thoughts on what type of character they might be.
You’re trying to get your name out there to attract new people to your blog, sell yourself.  Most viewers won’t want to be the first to post something.  It’s like a speaker asking the audience if they have any questions.  Yeah, they have plenty, but they’re embarrassed to ask in front of everyone.  So, write out a few sentences first and let them take it from there.
  • Offer a prize for the best 50-word paragraph, or tell them you’ll interview them on your blog.  I was recently at a Josh Groben concert and the audience was allowed to text him questions.  One mother asked if her daughter could sing a duet with him.  More often than not, performers have an ego larger than life, but Josh invited the young woman to center stage, allowed her to pick the song and they sang it together.  That said volumes to me about him.  And not only was that an exciting opportunity for the young woman, but it got her name out there too.  Her voice was pretty darn good.
  • Your top 5 or 10 writer’s resources. You can separate the categories such as one post for writing books, one post for writing websites, etc.
  • Post excerpts of your book and ask for feedback.
  • Friday Five: You list 5 things you want to share on that day.
  • Where do you get your ideas?
  • Do you write with music? Why or why not?
  • What are your comfort books, books you can read again and again, that foster and rekindle your desire to write?
  • What or who inspired you to write?
  • Do you belong to a critique group? Writing organization? Tell us about it!
  • What are your favorite writing blogs? Why?
  • What are your favorite kinds of characters to write? To read?
  • What are you doing to improve your craft?
  • How do you stay motivated?
  • Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants writer? Why?
  • Would you like to be a bestseller or have a smaller, more manageable following?
  • What are your marketing plans? Are you working on your platform?
  • Talk about your mistakes in the industry.  One of my friends won a contract with Harlequin for a book she’d submitted.  The way she tells the story, she made every single mistake in the book—no pun intended, and still she got her contract.
  • Go out of the house and try something totally new. Write about it.
  • Do a product review on an eReader and ask for suggestions.
  • Discuss how you use Facebook or other social networking sites. 
This is huge with me. I’m very careful about what I post.  I stay away from politics like the plague.  I don’t diss on anyone, or swear, and I don’t discuss religion or comment on any of the above.  I have friends who do all of the above and post it like they’re talking to a friend in an email and I know it does absolutely nothing for their career.  
The other day, a new author commented on Celine Dion and Andrea Bocceli’s singing of Christmas Carols and she lambasted them.  While she may not think this is a big deal, every country represented on FB may have just read something negative about one of the entertainers they love. Granted, this may not affect her in the long-term, but for the present, I think it was a huge mistake.  But maybe, that’s just me.  What is your opinion?

If you'd like to know more about me and my work, check out my website: http://carolynhughey.com

Sunday, May 11, 2014


This morning, being Mother's Day and all, my son and I were having a conversation. He ad his wife had just finished lunch at the Japanese Steakhouse in North Carolina where they live. During our conversation, the subject of female hibachi chefs came up and since neither of us have ever seen a female do that fancy stuff on those huge grills, I set out on a search to find out. This is copied from Kelleys Break Room blog. This is an old post, but I thought it was so interesting, I'm posting it here. And since I didn't write this funny piece, I want to pay homage to Kelley who did.Please, check out her blog. She's a pretty funny lady who combines fun posts with a message and tell her I sent you. No, I don't get anything for doing this, but I enjoy it so much, I thought you would too. Here's the link: http://kelleysbreakroomblog.com

Where have all the women Japanese hibachi chefs gone?

Last week, I was contacted by Oxfam America to write a post (with a humorous slant) about the inequalities women face in honor of International Women's Day, which is today, March 8th. There is much I want to pass on to you about that, but, first, let me tell you about a little research study I conducted yesterday afternoon to answer the question:

Where have all the women *Japanese hibachi chefs gone??

Hahaha!! Women?! Sayonara to that! No women here!


Enjoying the culinary talents of hibachi chefs at Japanese restaurants (ahem, Benihana's) is something my family loves to do. We love to see them chopchopchopchopping the heck outta some scrambled eggs. We love opening our mouths in an effort to catch a clump of rice launched from a couple of feet in front of us. We love to watch them aim the clump of rice at my 3-year-old's son's mouth but miss and land rice in his hair eight times in a row. We love laughing at them when they say, "Meow" as they begin to slice into some raw chicken. Nothing makes us gasp more than a wall of fire that is then extinguished by a plastic man peeing on the flames (I've only seen that once and never at Benihana's). And we never cease to be amazed at how they can flip a raw egg all over the place with their spatula and then crack it on the its edge while never actually touching it with bare hands!


But, as impressive as all of that is, I become distracted at those hot Japanese tables. As I glance around the room full of other people clapping and laughing and chowing down on the delicious fried rice and guzzling ginger dressing off of the iceberg lettuce salad, I notice there are no women hibachi chefs. This doesn't upset me or anything. I mean, maybe women just don't want to be hibachi chefs. I asked our hibachi man and he said he had never known a woman to don the red chef's hat and entertain the masses with her quick stir-frying skills. Not feeling satisfied with his isolated experience, though, I picked up the phone yesterday to call about ten other Benihana's to ask them.

"Konnichiwa. Thanks for calling Benihana's. How may I help you?"

"Hi. I have a question for you. Could you tell me if you have any women hibachi chefs at your restaurant?"

"Yes, we do have lemon hibachi shrimp. We would just add some lemon to the shrimp, but we can do that. No problem."

"No, I didn't say lemon hibachi shrimp. I said women hibachi chefs."

"Ohhh!! Hahaha!! Okay. Ummm. Well, there is a woman that helps hand the food to the chef. She helps him get ready."

"But, are there any actual women chefs there?"

"No. No, not since I've worked here."

"Do you know why? Have there been any women applicants? Are they just not suited for the job? What's the deal?"

"I really don't know. I have no clue."

That was the response I received from the majority of the Benihana's I called (except only one of the places thought I said "lemon hibachi shrimp".) Only two said that they had a woman chef at one point long, long ago. One gentleman said she had to leave due to "issues she had to take care of" and the other one didn't know why she had left. One guy I called actually told me why he thought women didn't really cut it as hibachi chefs:

"Well, there just so many things to do. They have clean up, scrape table, sweep up. Too much for them. They have stay late, work hard. After that, no time for family. That why women no hibachi chefs."

Aha!!! So , according to him, women may not want to be hibachi chefs because they wouldn't have time for their families! That must be the bottom line in what this man was saying, because, if there is one thing most women know how to do, it's clean, scrape and sweep! Can I get an Amen??

Thanks to the good ol' Internet, I did eventually find ONE woman hibachi chef:

If there is one thing I know women to be, though, it is HARD WORKING. Here are some facts quoted from Oxfam regarding women:

-66% of the world's work falls on women's shoulders, yet they earn only 10% of the world's income.

-Worldwide in 2008, nearly 800 million people over the age of 15 could neither read nor write- two-thirds of them were women

-Women make up 43% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, yet they account for only 10-20% of landowners

-If women were given the same level of access to resources that men have, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30%.

-Hunger and poverty are about power and inequality, and women and girls face the biggest inequalities of all.

You may have grown up with (or have) a working mother, or one who has, either temporarily or permanently, chosen to forego a career in order to focus on raising family. You may be either of those mothers now. But whichever choice your mother made or you are making now, chances are you remember her going to any lengths to keep you safe, clothed and fed, so that you could grow into a healthy and happy human being.