Join Sarah and her guests for conversations on everything from the art of writing to where we find our inspiration.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Character Quickie: Brodie Harper

20 quickie facts about Brodie Harper:  

Birthday? August 15  
Favorite color? Red  
Nickname? I don’t really have a nickname, but my Nan likes to call me by my full name, especially when I’m in trouble.  
Birthmark or scars? I have a small tattoo of the UNLV Rebel mascot  
Siblings? none
City of residence? Juniper, Nevada  
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Dr. Pepper
Occupation? Contractor  
Hobbies? Swimming  
Favorite song? Anything by Merle Haggard
Name one item in your refrigerator right now? BBQ sauce  
Your greatest fear? failure  
Most treasured possession? The picture I have of my father in his service uniform  
Special talent? Keeping control over my Nan and her twin sister, Aunt Blair.
Cat or dog? dog  
Pet peeve? People who think they’re better than others
Unforgettable moment? Waking up in bed next to Savanna
Spicy or not? Definitely spicy
Favorite guilty pleasure? Sour apple pie with vanilla ice cream
If you could ask your author one question, what would it be? Was it really necessary to start off the book with me naked?

Brodie's Bride by Amie Louellen
Buy it today in Print / Ebook from TWRP 
Also available in Kindle and Nook

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Dose of Inspiration

Just a thought for the writers, musicians, artists, and every creative mind out there, inspiration surrounds us. Find what speaks to you.

I love pictures of people kissing. What is their story? Is it a reunion? An everyday, I love you? I'm pregnant? I got the promotion? I never want to live without you? Hmmm....

What inspires you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Interview with Jackson McMasters

It’s been six months since that fateful night/morning when Brodie and Savanna woke up to find themselves married. But even as their story went public, they weren’t available for an interview. So we have the next best thing. Today we have the other half of HarMac Construction, Jackson McMasters and his lovely wife, Gina.

“If he’s mad about this, I’m blaming it on you,” Jackson asides to Gina, then turns to smile and shake my hand. Jackson is just like described in the book. Blond, polished and wearing an impeccable suit. Dark-haired, dark-eyed Gina is glowing in only the way a new mother can.

“Blame it on me,” she says through her smile. “I’m not afraid of Brodie Harper.”

“Before you two get into a marital spat, let’s get this started.”

Jackson sits down and crosses ankle over knee, his movements nearly elegant. I’ve only met Brodie once before and for a brief time, but it’s so obvious that the two friends are exact opposites. Brodie is dark, a little rough around the edges and Jackson is…not. “Thanks for coming today.” Jackson nods.

“Now tell us, you and Brodie have been friends a long time, right?”

“Since elementary school.”

“We all met in the third grade,” Gina added.

“And just what kind of person is Brodie Harper?”

Jackson smiles and straightens his dark purple power tie. “He’s the best kind I know. Salt of the earth, his Pop would say. Loyal dependable. He’s the one person I’d want to have behind me.”


“Sorry, Gina. Did you have something to say?”

“No. Go on.”

“He’s taken care of his grandmother since his Pop died. That alone is a full time job. He has a great love of family and home.”

“I’ve heard that about him. So were you surprised to discover he’d married a stranger after a one night stand?”

“You…could say that.”

Gina laughs. “He was livid.”

“I was worried about the casino contract.”

“He was worried about his friend.”

“It’s just that no one expected Brodie to get married again,” Jackson explains.


Jackson nods. “Brodie was married once before. His wife left him to go to Hollywood. It’s caused some issues for him, but I think Savanna has helped him through all of that.”

“So you approve of his marriage then.”

“Of course.”

Gina all but snorts. “You weren’t so approving in the beginning.”

“It was a shock.” “He thought she was a hooker.” Gina shows utter delight in letting this tidbit fly.

 Jackson coolly raises an eyebrow. “So did Brodie. She was dressed a little—“

“Don’t say it,” Gina warns.

“Well, she had decided to disguise herself and  follow her fiancĂ© to find out if he was up to no good—“
“Which he was,” Gina added.

“—and she ended up married to Brodie instead.”

“And his wedding night was also your wedding night.”

“That’s correct, but that’s all the details I’m giving on that. If you want any more, and you’ll have to talk to him.”

“Just where is Brodie today?”

“He had other business to attend.”

“He’s out flying the Cessna with Red Sullivan, the casino owner. Now that Savanna has gotten over her fear, she’s making Red teach her how to fly the plane. Brodie won’t let her go up without him.”

“A casino heiress flying a plane, that would be something to see.”

Gina’s phone chimes and she holds it up for Jackson to see. “Time to get Rosie.”

Jackson stands and reaches out to shake my hand. “Sorry to cut this short, but duty calls.”

Fatherly duty.

Who knows maybe soon, it’ll be Brodie’s turn on baby patrol. One can only hope.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Musings: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Amie Louellen

Since Amie has been away all weekend at a writer's conference, I went ahead and scheduled this post for her. (Don't tell her, but I think it slipped her mind. Oops.) Playing off of last week's Monday Musings, here's Amie's 10 Things...

10 Things You Might Not Know About Amie (and Sarah)

Amie: I love cookbooks and recipes. I even have recipes I collected in high school.

Sarah: You can have mine; I’m not a fan of cooking.

Amie: I am a total ‘cat person’.

Sarah: Dogs rule! LOL I was a cat person for years, but my son is very allergic so we now have non-shedding dogs.

Amie: Every room in my house is painted a different color.

Sarah: Every room in my house is a different shade from the same color chip – those paint cards found in home improvement stores? Well, until I went a little nuts a few weekends ago and painted the living room ‘deepest aqua’.

Amie: I love shopping at thrift stores and second hand shops.

Sarah: I hate shopping, thrift or otherwise.

Amie: I don’t own a pair of blue jeans.

Sarah: We are the ‘odd couple’, you know that? :-) All I wear are blue jeans.

Amie: My husband and I lived in the Caribbean for nearly five and a half years.

Sarah: *jealous*

Amie: I was a political science/history major in college.

Sarah: I never went to college. Beyond being a mother and writing, I could never decide what I wanted to ‘do’.

Amie: The first book I ever wrote was a historical pirate romance.

Sarah: I have to read it! The first book I ever wrote was titled ‘My Cat Sneaker’.

Amie: I’m the ‘middle sister’.

Sarah: I’m the baby.

Amie: I love Christmas ornaments and have hundreds I use to decorate my tree each year. Each one is one-of-a-kind.

Sarah: I have hundreds of unique ornaments, also. They just happen to all be Santa.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Character Quickie: Win Fairchild

20 quickie facts about Win Fairchild: 

Birthday? June 8, 1984
Favorite color? Violet like Evie’s eyes
Nickname? Win. Before you ask, only those close to me know my real name.
Birthmark or scars? I have some battle scars and of course the loss of part of my right leg.
Siblings? One sister, Jennifer
City of residence? Amarillo, Texas
If you were a jelly bean flavor, what flavor would you be? Green apple
Occupation? Rancher, converting my rundown spread into a ranch for amputee children. I also a cook at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk a few nights a week.
Hobbies? Who has time? Well, I work on Evie’s rundown car from time to time.
Favorite song? Anything Evie sings. God, she can belt out a song.
Name one item in your refrigerator right now? Ice cream
Your greatest fear? Getting too weak to take care of myself since I only have one whole leg.
Most treasured possession? Something special Evie gave me. And before you go asking, it’s not open for discussion.
Special talent? Taming wild horses
Cat or dog? Dog
Pet peeve? People who want something for nothing.
Unforgettable moment? The day I looked into Evie’s violet eyes.
Spicy or not? Hey, I’m from Texas. If your eyes ain’t waterin’, it ain’t spicy enough.
Favorite guilty pleasure? Sharing a bowl of ice cream with my dog.
If you could ask your author one question, what would it be? Are you going to get your panties in a twist if I offer a free copy of Those Violet Eyes to a commenter? ‘Cause I am.

Win Fairchild is the hero from Vonnie Davis' wonderful book THOSE VIOLET EYES, available now:    Amazon / The Wild Rose Press

But wait, your heard Win, he's offering a copy to one lucky commenter so what are you waiting for? Make sure you leave Win a comment. 

Make sure to check out Vonnie's BLOG to learn more about her and her sexy heroes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekly Dose of Inspiration

Welcome to our very first Weekly Dose of Inspiration! Our first since officially opening the blog, that is. I’ve been out of the writing scene for months now, putting in too many hours at the day job, and could really use a dose of inspiration to help get my butt back into the computer chair and my fingers to the keyboard.

So here he is, my inspiration for Dominic Price, hero of my WIP, Midnight Heat - A six-two bass player with long legs, a lean body and eyes so blue most people believe them to be contacts.

Oh, did I mention he also has a British accent?


OK,  so technically his eyes are wrong, but who cares, right? I mean...Wait. Hold on. Drooling over my inspiration is not helping me get words to the page. Gotta go write.

Before I go, let me ask, what inspires you?

Sarah Grimm
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide 
Blog / Website

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Writer Wednesday: How I Start a WIP

As a writer, the question I get asked the most is ‘Where do you get your ideas?’. And if you’re interested, I answered this question in an older blog post. You can find it HERE.

The second most popular question I am asked is ‘Once you have an idea, where do you begin?’. This question is actually a bit more difficult to answer, but I’ll try. Story ideas come to me all of the time. The trick is being patient enough to wait and see if the idea has legs. What I mean is, some ideas come to me like a butterfly, then flit away just as quickly. Then there are the ones that stick, the heroes who won’t stop talking to me, even at three in the morning, that question that hangs in the air, day and night, that I feel compelled to answer. These are the ideas with legs. The ideas that force me to put pen to paper - or more and more often now, fingers to keyboard – and begin writing. These are the ideas that become my works in progress, or WIPs.

Once I’m ready to begin writing, I….heck, I’d love to tell you that I have a series of questions I ask myself or an outline I’ve worked up, but that’s not how it works for me. You see, I’m what they call a pantser – which means I write by the ‘seat of my pants’. That’s right, I don’t have much more than a title (which I can’t seem to begin without), and my hero and heroine’s name. If the idea came to me in the form of a question, which it sometimes does, then I have a bit more. If it came to me in the form of the hero’s voice in my head, nagging me to get on with it and tell his story, then I may only know how it ends. After all, heroes aren’t always prone to tell you how he got himself in the position he’s in, just how he wants that story to end. LOL

But, if the story idea came to me in the form of the opening scene (which is usually how they come to me) then I don’t know much at all. Maybe just what kind of person the hero/heroine is. And that’s when the fun begins for me, the moment I sit down and just begin typing. Letting the story unfold as it may, discovering the events that take the characters from the opening scene to the happily-ever-after. Yup, I just dive right in. No character sketches, outlines, or blurbs. Not until I’m farther into the story – like half way. For me, knowing too much before I begin spoils the fun. A complete outline before I’ve written a single scene, and I’ve lost the excitement, feel as if I’ve already told the story. Odd, I know, but true.

So that’s how I start a WIP. I get an idea stuck in my head, think on it a bit, then take myself and the voices in my head to my laptop and start writing. Does that make me sound a bit unhinged? Probably. However, I believe on some level all writers are...but that’s a different blog post.

Sarah Grimm
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide 
Blog / Website

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Musings: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Sarah Grimm

Welcome to Monday Musings at Off the Keyboard! This week is my assigned week to blog, so just for fun I thought I'd share with you 10 Things You Might Not Know about me. When I came up with the idea, I sent my 10 things to Amie in an email titled 'What Do You Think?'. What I got back made me laugh so here it is:

10 Things You Might Not Know About Sarah (and Amie)

Sarah: I’m a reformed Diet Coke addict. Only problem is I’ve switched to Arizona Arnold Palmer, (iced tea and lemonade)

Amie: I love coffee and I drink a ton of water, but when I get on a Diet Dr. Pepper binge, look out! I also like wine. A lot. And don’t let Sarah fool you. She loves wine more than me.

Sarah: I get bored very easily. Things like paint color, furniture arrangement, and my hair color change a lot. Especially my hair color – right now it’s dark auburn!

Amie: Resist the change! I like to get something done and never mess with it again. I’ve lived in the same house for 15 years. This year we’re going to change the paint color. Awh, life on the edge.

Sarah: I love to drag race and target shoot. Not that great at racing yet, but am a very good shot.

Amie: I drive so I can get places and I’m afraid of guns which is very ironic seeing as my husband is a deputy sheriff.

Sarah: I don’t like using names in books of people that I know. So you’ll never see a character in one of my books named Amie.:-)

Amie: I have named so many characters after people I know it’s not even funny. Let’s see …Savanna from Brodie’s Bride, there’s Michael and Chris, Kaylee’s brothers in Ten Reasons, and when Brice calls Suzanne ‘Suzy’ in Love Potion Me, Baby. And those are just the published works. Guess it’s time to name a character Sarah.:-)

Sarah: I was a tomboy growing up and still don’t wear makeup unless I’m at a conference or an important event.

Amie: I was something of the sporty girly-girl. I loved to play slow pitch softball. I’d change from my uniform into a dress and sandals. Still wear dresses most all of the time and can’t even take my son to guitar lessons without mascara.

Sarah: I played the string and electric bass when I was younger. Was first chair in orchestra!

Amie: I played the flute and the bells in the band so that I could be in the color guard. And only then because the band director made me. But I have always wished that I could play the piano. I don’t want to take lessons, I just want to be able to play it. LOL

Sarah: I don’t like getting flowers. They die.

Amie: I agree with Sarah on this one. I’d much rather have a rose bush planted in the yard than a dozen delivered that will die in less than a week.

Sarah: I secretly wish I could sing without it sounding like cats fighting.

Amie: I am a classically trained soprano. (This is a lie. My singing doesn’t sound like cat’s fighting and I can usually hold my own in the alto section. But it’s been a long time since I sang in front of anyone. Since high school. So what…ten years?)

Sarah: I love to give my animals unique names. My cats were named Sneaker, Sebastian, Tweed & George (like the Bugs Bunny cartoon, lol) and my newest dog I call KajaZuZu.

Amie: Creativity with names is the way to go. My Siamese mix is Kitty Kitty Cheng Ch’ing so you can imagine my chagrin when we adopted a cat named Jack. In all honesty it’s Cap’n Jack, but who names a cat Jack? My best cat name was one I had when I was younger. Full name Asparagus Jermaine Beauregard Spot. He was a mackerel tabby. I called him Gus.

Sarah: Every hero I write has a little bit of my husband in him.

Amie: My heroes are nothing like my husband. I’d never hear the end of it if I patterned one after “Mr. Louellen”. LOL

Sarah Grimm
where dangerously sexy & happily-ever-after collide 
Blog / Website

Friday, September 14, 2012


So how do you start off a blog about romance writers, for romance readers and everyone who adores romances as much as Sarah and I do?

Well, that seems to be the question of the day. I suppose I should start by introducing myself. I'm Amie Louellen and I love romances.

Wait. That sounds like I'm at a support group. But I guess you could say that's what this blog is for--a support group for those of us who enjoy romance.

There are many facets to the romance genre, and we're going to address them all. Mondays are for fun, things that have crossed our minds in the last few days, thoughts and dreams and other random ramblings. Wednesdays are about writers and writing. It may include a post from Sarah or me, or maybe even a guest. But it'll focus on writing that's for certain. Be sure to come by Friday for a weekly dose of inspiration. And on the days in between? That's anybody's guess.

Since it's Friday and I could use a little inspiration, here's the dose for this week...
I find Van Gough very inspiring, but if that's not your thing, how about this?
A fabulous place to read (or write), but if that doesn't do anything for you. how about some words of wisdom...
or perhaps a laugh...
Or maybe you prefer a blog with a view...

So thanks for visiting us today and helping us launch our new blog. We hope that you find inspiration, laughs, insight, and new books to read as we go Off The Keyboard.