Friday, March 06, 2015

The Leprechaun in Me

My last name is Marzec because I married a man from Brooklyn whose parents came from Poland. So while he is definitely an American, he grew up in Greenpoint—which is a lot like being in Poland. He went to a Catholic bilingual school (English and Polish). Marzec translates into the month of March in Polish. You can find it on a Polish calendar.

I’m not Polish. On my mother’s side I’m Czech and Slovak. At the time my mother’s parents left their home country it was part of the Austrian Empire. However, my grandfather said he lived near Prague. I don’t know what town my grandmother’s family came from. My grandparents met in this country and had seven children. My mother was Daughter #2.

My paternal grandparents were Irish and German. This makes me a mere one quarter Irish, but as luck would have it, I resemble the Irish side of the family—except for my height which undoubtedly came from the German genes because my father’s relatives were all rather slight leprechauns.

With the exception of my German grandmother, all my predecessors were Catholic. Unfortunately, my Irish Catholic grandfather could not marry my German Protestant grandmother in the church. They were married in the vestibule. (That was a long time ago. Catholics can now marry non-Catholics in the church.) My Irish Catholic great aunts were responsible for making sure my father and his siblings received the sacraments.

Genetically, I’m a mongrel. My daughters are even more homogenized since they are half Polish.

Yet, somehow it is the Irish part of me that I feel most at home with—the Irish wit, songs, legends, and myths. That’s why I’ve written three books with Irish themes, Irons in the Fire, Prince of the Mist, and Kiss of Blarney.

Hubby asked me to marry him on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Daughter #3’s birthday comes close to St. Patrick’s Day.

Good reasons to celebrate! That’s why we always enjoy corned beef and soda bread at this time of year, but no kielbasi. :-)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

An Interview

Twelve years ago one of my daughter's friends asked if he could conduct an interview with me about romance books--my favorite topic. He recorded the session, posted it online, and I forgot about it. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the interview, surprised it was still there.

If you listen to it at the link below, you'll hear my views on romance books. You can disagree with me if you like. :-)

Friday, February 27, 2015

I Finished the JeRoWriMo Challenge

Last night, I soared over the finish line, typing past the 30,000 word mark in my current work-in-progress.  I didn't get to the end of the story--and I still haven't decided upon the title for this book, but logging in 30,000 words during the month of February was a daunting task.

Nevertheless, I had fun. This is the third time I've tried the challenge. I finished PATRIOT'S HEART and PATRIOT'S PRIDE with the challenges in 2013 and 2014. Nancy Herkness is the head cheerleader and truly encourages everyone in our group.

The idea with a challenge like this is to silence the inner editor--that annoying part of the brain that wants to quibble over syntax. My book is a rough draft--and I know it. It will need to be revised, but it's hard to fix an empty page of paper.

Many people avail themselves of NaNoWriMo challenge in November--a 50,000 word challenge. I've never tried it because November is a busy month with Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations.  I find February fits in better with my schedule. Not only that, but since I am a member of the New Jersey Romance Writers, I know all the other members in the group.

Writing is a solitary endeavor, but with a challenge like JeRoWriMo it doesn't feel that way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Worn Out Thesaurus

This is my favorite thesaurus. I think you can tell. I should get a new one, but I've grown used to this one. I taped the cover together many years ago, but it's getting to the point where the pages are starting to disintegrate. :-(

I've been using it a lot frequently since I'm still busy with JeRoWriMo. So far this month, I've written 27,518 words. I'm always looking for a better word and my thesaurus is at my side with plenty of suggestions.

Do you have a favorite thesaurus. Which one? I think I should go to the bookstore soon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

News Flash

Some of the books I've written have sex scenes in them. Some don't. In the ones labeled as Christian romances, which are all my Awe-Struck books, there are kisses and hugs but nothing further. There's also an element of faith. My Prism Book Group sweet romance, Daddy Wanted,  and historical, Patriot's Heart, also have kisses and hugs, but nothing further. 

My paranormals all have sex scenes. The reader goes into the bedroom right along with the protagonists. In real life and in fiction, sex is powerful. It can really mess things up emotionally for the characters. It ratchets up the tension since the characters have more to lose.  

However, all my books are romances, which means readers are guaranteed a happy every after ending. But readers do have a choice as to how much heat they prefer in a romance. If you're not sure about a book, check They have a heat level indicator for every book, represented by flames. :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gulls and Winter Sun

I took this photo in February. It's one of my lucky shots. The quote by William F. Claire seemed perfect for the picture. Sometimes, life is like that. You find two beautiful things that go together and it's wonderful.

Have you found two beautiful things that go together?

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Use Hootsuite

This is a screenshot of some of the tweets I have scheduled to send out on Hootsuite. I'm helping to promote one of my publisher's new releases. Hootsuite is a valuable time-saver when it comes to posting on social media sites. Not only can you can schedule postings, but you can schedule them on several different sites. It saves time and makes posting much simpler.

You can also receive immediate feedback--as long as you shorten links with Hootsuite's link shortener. I have a free account, which limits me in posting to three social media sites, but that's good enough for me.

You can pay for lessons at Hootsuite's University, or you can go online to find out how to use the site. My favorite place to look for help--on ANY topic--is YouTube. Go there now, type Hootsuite into the search box and you'll see what I mean. :-)

Then sign up. If you've got something to say, this is the way to do it.