Archive for January 2015 | Monthly archive page

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So last week I had computer problems and had to turn in my laptop and get a loaner from Best Buy. It was very frustrating because I couldn’t get much work done. My trackpad on my MacBook was all wonky. Good thing I didn’t have any glaring deadlines. That would have been terrible! So my Question of the Week is – do you have a computer horror story to share? All you have to do is leave a comment here or on the Lachesis Publishing facebook page or my facebook page (Joanna D’Angelo) by midnight tonight EST (Jan 16)  and you will be entered into a draw to win a free Lachesis Publishing book of YOUR CHOICE! It’s just that easy. Good luck and happy reading!

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When reading a novel, we want to identify with or connect with the heroine or the hero – depending on the kind of book it is. Or at least understand where they are coming from. But in a romance novel – we want to LOVE the heroine as well as the hero, or the romance just doesn’t work. How many romance novels have we read where the heroine is annoying or spoiled or just dumb and the hero is an ass – and they’re that way throughout the entire book? How can we get behind a romance when the lead characters are unlikeable? It’s impossible!

But Prudence Hartley in the new romantic suspense, A Bodyguard to Remember by talented author Alison Bruce, is definitely a great heroine – someone we can identify with, root for, and laugh with.  She has the ability to look at the lighter side of a dark situation. She’s a single mom in the ‘burbs and certainly not an ass-kicking tough gal, but when her kids are threatened – she goes into action. And she has a wonderful ability to welcome everyone into her family – including the cops assigned to her case.

And I love the love story in this book. There is a terrific chemistry between Pru and her “bodyguard” a federal agent named David Merrick (love that name too). He is everything you want in a dream boat cop hero- stoic and strong but with an undercurrent of humour. There is a line in this book – something David tells Pru – towards the middle/end that I just love. And I know you will too. This is definitely a great read and the start of a wonderful series.

BLURB:

Prudence Hartley has the usual single mom problems: getting her kids to school on time; juggling a gazillion errands while trying to get a full day’s work done; oh, and don’t forget about dinner.

But Pru’s problems become a tad more complicated and a lot more dangerous when she finds a dead man in her house. Or a dead spy to be exact. Suddenly, a federal agent named David Merrick shows up and whisks her and her kids into protective custody. Pru has so many questions spinning through her brain she doesn’t know where to begin. How is she going to keep her kids safe? What was the dead spy looking for in her house? Why are the spies after her? Oh, and there’s one more question . . . just a pesky, minor thing. Why does Merrick have to be so damn sexy and protective?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. In addition to writing, she is the Publication Manager of Crime Writers of Canada and part-time tech guru to the technology-impaired.

Alison writes mysteries, romantic suspense and historical romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity–traits she hopes to pass on to her children, Kate and Sam.

You can connect with Alison on her website and on facebook and twitter.

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My last few blog posts have been about bringing the sexual heat to your works. This one is marginally different, but plays by many of the same rules.

Action sequences are great in movies, in fact, the easiest way to amp up the adrenaline of your average moviegoer is a car chase or a thrilling fight scene. Same is true for written works, but given the lack of visual and musical cues beyond words, the means of constructing it are a bit different.

Shorter sentences are key. The shorter the sentences, the faster the scene appears to move, making the reader begin to feel that anxiety you are looking for. Passive voice is right out the window. “She kicks ass.” vs “The villain’s ass was being kicked by her.” Nothing spikes the blood pressure like the “Now! Now! Now!” of active voice. Research and Choreography. You, as the writer, need to know what happens when a bullet is fired from a gun. What the fps (feet per second) speed is for whatever caliber you choose, what kind of damage that will do at whatever distance you are writing it for. You also need to know what that’s going to do to whatever you’re firing at. Flesh reacts differently than the bone beneath it, and the wall behind it.

Additionally, when you’re putting together a fight scene, you need to know what your characters are doing and where. Is what you want to do possible? Plausible? Storyboarding, like still frames from a comic book can help here, or, since I can really only draw flowers and the occasional woodland creature, you can also do live action planning. My first novel ends in a hellacious fight scene, the majority of which was planned in a northern Indiana Denny’s Restaurant at about 3am in the smoking section. My buddy and I sat there and bullet-pointed the scene and then ran it from point to point, finding out if it worked, if I was asking too much of the reader, if I was keeping them in character.

Something else to keep in mind is that there’s a lot more going on in the story than just a fight scene. One would assume they’re fighting for a reason. Is that reason served by continued fighting or just a brief flare of violence then smoldering embers of rage and resentment? Does it move the plot along? Are your characters fighting in character? You’re not going to have a mousy little kindergarten teacher who’s never so much as seen a gun outside of a museum all of a sudden pick up an Uzi and go to work. You’re also not going to expect that the former Delta Force Operator is going to be content with just words and the well-timed and placed openhanded slap. Think about who you’re writing about and what kind of character he or she is.

One final thought, research the aftermath. If you shoot a character and they don’t die, explain why. Same if you beat the brakes off of them or slice them to ribbons. Additionally, there are others affected by your violence, not just the characters in the scene but the side characters are well. Make sure that you deal with all the ramifications of the action.

Action scenes are a lot of fun to write, and I find they are actually some of the fastest work I’ve ever put on paper once I had a keen grasp of most of the moving parts. I say most, because you almost never have all the moving pieces together at first blush, but through rereading and editing, you can normally corral all of them into place. So long as you take the time to weave them fully into the fabric, they will be as seamless as the rest of your story.

Lachesis Publishing author Alexis D. Craig writes sultry and funny romantic suspense (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement.  She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). By day Alexis is a police dispatcher so she knows her cops!

You can get Alexis’s romantic suspense Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Alexis D. Craig has been a writer from early childhood, discovering her calling when she wrote the Thanksgiving play for her kindergarten class in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to Indianapolis with her family in 1988, she wrote a column for her high school newspaper and two novel-length stories before graduating at age sixteen from Park Tudor School. After attending Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, she returned home to Indiana to be closer to her family.

Alexis works for a local sheriff’s department in the communications division. She spends her free time reading and writing romance novels and investigating haunted houses.

She lives with her husband and two very excitable beagles.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her website, and on facebook,  twitter and goodreads.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Today’s Q and A is with Lachesis Publishing author Alexis D. Craig. Alexis writes sultry and funny romantic suspense (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement.  She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). By day Alexis is a police dispatcher so she knows her cops!

Why are you a writer?

Because I’m always telling stories, regardless of whether or not they make it to paper. Little snippets of scenes play in my head all the times. I construct narratives for people I see every day, strangers on the street, the cashier at the gas station. I just enjoy figuring out the ‘why’ of human behavior. Getting the stories down on paper means that I’m not entirely crazy, and I have more room in my head for new stories.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

I love to read contemporary romantic suspense (shocker, I know), graphic novels, and fanfic.

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Promotions, interviews, and blog tours. Things designed to get my name out there and allow my readers to get to know me.

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

Bestseller, International Bestseller, ‘Based on the book by…’

What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume:

The beet is the most intense of vegetables.

The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Garlic hummus and garlic bagel chips. Those will get you through just about anything.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

I don’t read them, generally, and if I do, I don’t respond. For a couple of reasons. One, you’re never going to satisfy them. Allowing yourself to be drawn into some kind of argument where you run the risk of embarrassing yourself or your publishing house is never a good idea. Two, writing is hard enough without additional critics in your head. I am naturally hard on myself, picking apart every word and turn of phrase, I don’t need someone else in there attempting to conduct a symphony that’s still under construction.

What do you listen to when you write?

Playlist changes from scene to scene.

Cats or dogs?

Several of both.

You can get Alexis’s romantic suspense Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Alexis D. Craig has been a writer from early childhood, discovering her calling when she wrote the Thanksgiving play for her kindergarten class in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to Indianapolis with her family in 1988, she wrote a column for her high school newspaper and two novel-length stories before graduating at age sixteen from Park Tudor School. After attending Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, she returned home to Indiana to be closer to her family.

Alexis works for a local sheriff’s department in the communications division. She spends her free time reading and writing romance novels and investigating haunted houses.

She lives with her husband and two very excitable beagles.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her website, and on facebook,  twitter and goodreads.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Sneak Peek is from the romantic suspense novel Give Me Shelter by Alexis D. Craig.

What it’s About:

Inspector Eli Miller’s unspoken feelings for his partner, Bex, color his whole life. When his past comes calling, will it be the push he needs to seek a future with her?

Inspector Rebecca ‘Bex’ Mulcahy has lived long enough to know that love is a street con at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Any feelings she has for her partner Eli definitely fall into the latter category. Will her dedication to her job keep her from finding a possible future with Eli?

Their latest case is protecting Violet Burrell, a young woman with scars on her soul stretching back to birth, who inadvertently witnesses a shockingly brutal murder at the hands of a sadist. Violet is determined to testify in court. Her strength and courage impress Eli and Bex, who will protect her at all costs.

But it is Violet’s beauty and spirit that entrances Junior Inspector Atticus Randall. Atticus is also assigned to protect Violet, and while he knows he should ignore his growing feelings for her, he just can’t stop himself from falling for the brave beauty.

Life in the Las Vegas branch of Witness Protection has never been more tangled. When the emotional landmines start a chain reaction, everyone in the blast radius is going to need a little shelter.

EXCERPT:

AR escorted Vi out to the table on the balcony to enjoy their sundaes. He liked to take his lunch out here on occasion, just when he needed to get away from his desk for a bit but didn’t want to leave the building. His dedication was paying off, since Marco had started entrusting him with more and more responsibilities, as evidenced by the woman sitting next to him now with her eyes closed in bliss. “You really never had a hot fudge sundae before?”

She shook her head, and her expression hardened. “No. Not with my mother and certainly not with the nuns.”

He pondered her ascetic life and the choices she’d made from it. It was all there in her file, but he felt like an intruder or a stalker, knowing that much about a virtual stranger to him. He’d much rather know her as a person, beyond the story of sadness and neglect. “Violet’s a pretty name.” An inane statement, but he knew he was out of his depth attempting to tackle a subject so daunting as the life of Violet Burrell.

She shrugged and flipped the end of a pigtail over her shoulder. “It is what it is. Your parents really named you Atticus? They not like you or something?”

He snorted a laugh and put the spoon back into his ice cream. “They like to read.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird, I know.” She smiled shyly. “It’s a good name. Strong, valiant.”

The heat of the summer air had nothing on him. He saw her grin, and he felt his ears burn from a blush. “So what’s the verdict?” He gestured towards her rapidly diminishing sundae.

“I think I want to eat this for the rest of my life,” she said as she dipped her spoon into the plastic cup to fish out a peanut covered in hot fudge.

“That good, huh?” He watched her close her eyes and sigh as she licked the spoon, and he had to loosen his tie. The way she was enjoying her ice cream reminded him that his wasn’t going to stay frozen forever. He dipped his spoon into the plastic cup and then brought it to his mouth.

“Damn near better than sex.”

At her words, he found himself gulping down a large mouthful of ice cream, much more than he meant to, swallowing it quickly. “Oh hell! Ice cream headache!” The sharp spike of pain that it brought was quick and excruciating, but it served its purpose driving all thoughts of pursuing that line of questioning from his mind. As the throbbing ache receded, he noticed her hand on the back of his neck, trying to help by rubbing and massaging from the base of his skull to his shoulders. So much for virtuous thoughts. Nodding to show her that he was okay now, he reached in front of her and snagged her mysterious old green book from beside her purse as she returned to her ice cream Nirvana.

“Hey, that’s not yours,” she said around a mouthful, gesturing with her spoon. But, she made no move to retrieve it from him, so he felt comfortable perusing while she continued to savor her snack.

He opened the book at the place she’d marked, reading about a gameskeeper comforting the lady of the house, in a chicken coop, that led to so much more than mere physical release in graphic and frankly gripping detail. That was definitely not what he’d expected, and the fact that she’d been reading this book all this time did things to his already heated blood that made his mouth run dry and his ears start to ring.

“So . . . ?”

Her voice, smokier than before, startled him out of the words on the page. Her purple eyes were darker than he remembered, and he found himself lost for a moment before he caught himself. “It’s ah . . . definitely colorful.” He pushed the closed book back over to sit next to her purse, her bookmark still in place.

Vi smiled self-consciously. “It’s the language. It paints this picture like a smudged old photograph, beautiful and still kind of dirty.”

And that about described the thoughts he was having at that moment. “I could definitely see that.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Alexis D. Craig has been a writer from early childhood, discovering her calling when she wrote the Thanksgiving play for her kindergarten class in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to Indianapolis with her family in 1988, she wrote a column for her high school newspaper and two novel-length stories before graduating at age sixteen from Park Tudor School. After attending Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, she returned home to Indiana to be closer to her family.

Alexis works for a local sheriff’s department in the communications division. She spends her free time reading and writing romance novels and investigating haunted houses.

She lives with her husband and two very excitable beagles.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her website, and on facebook,  twitter and goodreads.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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What a dream come true that would be for any author! Getting your book or books made into a movie!

If one of my books was going to be made into a movie, who would be my dream cast?

I imagine my upcoming Lachesis Publishing release, The Hideaway (working title), to be a great candidate for the silver screen—or little screen, lol. The intrigue, the passion, the romance. And the mystery! I believe it would keep viewers guessing. Here is my dream cast for The Hideaway, the first in my Regency Private-eye series:

Henry Cavill

Blake Thompson: Henry Cavill. Blake is strong and capable, if a little rough around the edges. And gorgeous!

Amanda Seyfried

Taylor Shelby: Amanda Seyfried would be my perfect heroine. She looks delicate but is smart and strong and determined.

Chris Hemsworth

Robert Shelby: Chris Hemsworth, would be wonderful as the handsome and carefree brother of Taylor. Wouldn’t you do anything to find him if he went missing, lol?

Trevor Shelby: Tom Hiddleston would make a fantastic cousin to the Shelby siblings. He appears cunning and sly and always up to something.

Check out the board I created over at Pinterest for The Hidewaway. You’ll find great photos of my dream cast, plus clothes and settings to help bring my latest Historical release to life! http://www.pinterest.com/jomariedegioia/the-hideaway/

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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Continuing our week with JoMarie DeGioia we find out a little bit more about this saucy Regency romance author . . .  JoMarie writes historical romances with a touch of mystery for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are always on the steamy side. Her Dashing Nobles series follows the love lives of four male friends in Regency London.

Why are you a writer?

I couldn’t NOT be a writer. I love crafting a story and making my people do what I want them to do, most of the time. I’ve always been a storyteller and creating stories people might love? That’s why I’m a writer.

What do you love to read in your spare time?

No big surprise here. I love to read romance. Contemporary, historical, spicy…I love it all. I want the books I read to have a happy ending and by reading romance I’m guaranteed one!

What are three things that you do that are important to your career as a writer (aside from actually writing the book)?

Reading the genre to stay current, keeping up with social media, always looking to grow in my craft by going to conferences and participating in writers’ groups.

What are three of your top goals in your writing career?

Write books people love, see the books in my series hit the bestseller lists, write 2-3 books per year.

 What is your favourite first line ever from a novel?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice

What is your go-to power energy snack when writing?

Depends on the day, lol. Sometimes an apple. Sometimes a banana. Sometimes chocolate!

What was a book that made you go “aha!” and why? (fiction or non fiction)

Teresa Medeiros’s Yours Until Dawn. There is a surprise twist that left me gasping! And rereading to see how I could have missed it, lol. Brava! And such deep emotion is what I strive for in my own books.

How do you cope with bad or nasty reviews?

Oh, people tell you to ignore them. How can you? When I see a horrid 1-star review, I think of them as a drive-by review meant to ruin an author. Thankfully enough of my readers have posted lovely reviews that make the bad ones fade a bit in my memory.

What do you listen to when you write?

I can’t listen to music while I write. I just can’t. I can and do have the TV on, though. In fact, I seldom write with the TV off! As for editing, however? I have to have quiet.

Cats or dogs?

Well, I have both. If forced to make a choice, I would choose “dog” since you look at their little faces and just know they love you. With cats, it’s a little more of a mystery.

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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Today’s sneak peek is from the Regency historical romance More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia. Book 4 in the Dashing Nobles series.

What it’s about:

James Bradford, Viscount Roberts, will never be a fool for love—falling in love only has disastrous results. James should know, since he almost lost his best friend Geoffrey Kane when he fell for Kane’s bride Rebecca. Looking back now, he can see clearly that it was just an infatuation but he vows he will never lose control of his emotions ever again. He’s quite satisfied charming all the ladies of London and sleeping with buxom barmaids.

Lady Catherine Talbot has always dreamed of having a loving marriage just like the one her dear brother Paul and his beautiful wife Michelle have, but she wonders if her chance at happiness may have passed her by. After all, she was jilted by her fiancé Lord Waltham, who left her and ran off with an heiress. A year has passed since that disaster. Catherine is older and wiser now, but a part of her still dreams.

When James sees Catherine at a society ball he is stunned by her beauty. Paul’s sweet little sister has become a breathtakingly beautiful woman. And Catherine is just as taken with the most charming bachelor in London.

But can a charming rogue and an innocent lady find their own loving truth in the face of jealousy and scandal-mongers threatening to tear them apart? And will it be too late when their very future is threatened by unspeakable danger?

EXCERPT:

James heard only half of what Elizabeth said to him, for over her shoulder he spied the most beautiful young woman he’d ever seen. Her glossy brown curls were upswept, several tendrils left free to fall about her shoulders and frame her face. She was dressed in a gown of deep blue, the color complementing her striking eyes. The cut of the gown accentuated her lovely figure; her full breasts and slender waist drew his appreciative glance. My God. Surely this beautiful creature couldn’t be Catherine Talbot!

James watched her approach, noting that she carried herself regally, her hips swaying gently. She no longer flitted about the room like her sister. He’d always thought her pretty, but the past year had matured her looks. She’d lost her girlish countenance, but it was replaced with breathtaking beauty. If Waltham’s betrayal had this effect on her, perhaps he should thank the man before he throttled him.

He glanced at Elizabeth, then back at Catherine. They were no longer twins.

Catherine came to a stop in front of him, a small smile on her face. “Lord Roberts,” she said softly, curtsying.

James blinked. Even her voice held a sultry note he’d never heard in it before.

He bowed to her. “Lady Catherine,” he said, using her formal address for the first time.

She cocked her head to the side and smiled widely, the effect startling him. The dimple in her cheek only added to her appeal.

James recovered himself and took her gloved hand in his. “You look very much the lady this evening, Catherine.”

She stared up at him for a moment, and when her pupils dilated, he felt it like a caress.

“Oh, Catherine,” Elizabeth gushed. “There you are.”

Catherine turned her head and smiled at her sister, and James released her hand with regret. Geoffrey and Becca soon joined them, and talk became quite animated. James returned his friends’ comments absently, his eyes continually settling on Catherine. What was the matter with him? She was his friend’s little sister, and he’d never thought of her in any other way. But she was a woman now. As desirable as any he’d ever known.

As they all took themselves into the supper room, he vowed to put her, and his troubling reaction to her, out of his mind.

Like what you’ve read? Get More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia.

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Courtesy: https://www.airbnb.co.uk

Winter is in full swing – and during this time of year we seek out things that comfort us – whether it’s snuggling under a warm blanket in front of the fire or sampling our favourite stew or sipping a spicy chai latte. What do you do for comfort to get you through the winter months? All you have to do is leave a comment here or on the Lachesis Publishing facebook page or my facebook page (Joanna D’Angelo) by midnight tonight EST (Jan 16)  and you will be entered into a draw to win a free Lachesis Publishing book of YOUR CHOICE! It’s just that easy. Good luck and happy reading!

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Courtesy thestar.com

We all have our favourite places to work, mine is at my desk during the day. Sometimes I will have music playing but usually I like nature sounds. I have a great app on my iphone that has various relaxing sounds and I will often listen to bird sounds while working. In the spring and summer I can open a window but in the winter I have my app. If I’m working at night I will usually work in bed just to be cozy and warm.

But sometimes, I love heading to one of my local coffee shops and just parking myself in a corner with a big cup of tea. Sometimes I’ll be quietly typing and discretely “listening in” on conversations, other times I’ll just gaze out the window or people watch. Hey, we’re writers – always looking for a story right? It turns out I’m not the only one who thinks coffee shops are great for writing. A study in 2012 found that writing in a coffee shop really does help with your creativity. Evidently it has to do something with the noise factor. If there is moderate ambient noise of about 70 decibels, it is conducive to creativity. Ha! Imagine that. Here’s the article from the Toronto Star about writing in coffee shops.

I guess where we choose to write depends on our moods and if we want to be around people. As writers we tend to work alone a lot and while sometimes that’s a wonderful thing, other times it can get – well – lonely. So being in a public place is a nice change. But no matter where we end up – the point is to be in an environment that helps our imagination flow and helps us get the work done.

Where do you like to write?

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea and writing in coffee shops.

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