Heart-Shaped Glasses June Mash-Up!

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Welcome to our monthly mash-up of places and things we found interesting this month!

Bethanne likes:

For Writers, Avoiding Cliches, http://suspense.net/whitefish/cliche.htm

Another one for Writers on using a Facebook Fan Page as a website?
http://janefriedman.com/2013/06/29/facebook-cant-replace-website/

Debora likes:

Writers looking to  grow the skills necessary to compete in today’s ever-changing publishing industry have help. This July, join ten speakers in the Muse Camp Telesummit. This online event provides information about marketing, blogging, Twitter, self-care, as well as ways to navigate between digital-first and self-publishing options. It’s free to register for this two week event, which begins July 8, 2013.

Visit http://www.musecamp.com to register for this FREE event and to learn more.
May the muse be with you

And for the history lovers…Interesting photos of the time of an Oklahoma 1913 time capsule.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/treasures-unearthed-from-oklahomas-1913-time-capsule

Julie’s find:

A great blog post I ran across about writers and doubt! http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2011/07/writers-and-doubt.html#.UPna045gslJ

Jennifer recommends:

A few links to guestimate your amazon sales based on ranking:
http://kdpcalculator.com/index.php

http://www.theresaragan.com/p/sale-ranking-chart.html

Visit our special guests!

Because we love our guests…here’s a link to our June guest bloggers one more time!

Melanie Reyes Photography:  http://www.melaniereyesphotography.com

Author Jeannie Moon:  http://www.jeanniemoon.com/blog

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That’s all we’ve got for this month – but if you have a great link you’d like us to check out or would like to see us feature…don’t be shy, add it here in the comment section and we’ll give you a shout-out next month!

As always, every comment is another chance to win our monthly giveaway! Thanks for stopping by and we’ll be back next month with more fun links!

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Wedding Romances? I do

This month we’ve been talking about weddings here at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses.

While I wasn’t a June bride, I was a summer bride. My husband and I will celebrate our twelfth anniversary in August. Why August? Well, it was for a most practical reason. We chose the date because, by then, my husband had completed his college coursework and received his degree.

That’s the thing about weddings. Sure, they are romantic and full of promise, but they can also be practical. Just look at the use of weddings in romance novels and movies.

As an avid reader and author, I find that marriages of convenience and fake engagements are fabulous tropes for a romance author.

Ask yourself this question: What if true love isn’t the reason a bride or groom says “I do”? If they’re not marrying for love, why are they willing to wed?

There are an infinite number of possible answers. It’s obvious our hero and heroine need something from each other. Maybe the wedding will help seal a business deal. Maybe those nuptials are a publicity stunt. Or maybe one of our characters needs money.

The thing is, getting married isn’t going to solve all their problems. It’s going to create a whole set of new ones. Our hero and heroine aren’t interested in love, but that’s exactly what they find. And this is the type of tension and angst that, in turn, helps create the stories I love to read—and write.

Weddings in romances can also help set the tone for the entire novel. The wedding can be the happy ending. Weddings can even be the tool we use to introduce or reunite our hero and heroine. And, don’t forget this: the hero and heroine don’t necessarily have to be the bride and groom. What if their professions bring them into the wedding sphere? Think photographers, planners, florists, caterers, bakers, ministers, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Do you like to read or write wedding romances?

Please comment and share some of your favorites with us.

All comments this month are entered into a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card.

About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

Wedding… eh

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I’m going to step over a few boundaries…being a romance writer and all…and I’m going to blog about why the wedding just isn’t the Cat’s Meow [for me, anyway]. An era [or two] ago, the wedding was the pinnacle, the day girls dreamed about…the brass ring [or the gold one].

I’m a huge advocate for weddings. I’ll admit to crying when I go to them. I love the dancing, the food, the dressing up. If you’re lucky…free drinks, too!

But, the truth is… It’s a day, a start to something much bigger.

[Disclaimer –>] Its importance [for me] is the sacrament it brings to the relationship, the Grace of a blessing from above [cuz most of us need that like air to breathe]. Perhaps if you’re not Christian the importance might be the legal binding it adds to the relationship… or the tax break. 😉

But as a married person, the wedding day seems more like the catalyst to everything else. As a writer, I believe that it’s the journey, not the goal, that is important. That being the case, the wedding is…eh. Wear white, wear red, wear black. None of that will change who you are and how you’ll need to change or grow in order to live in peace with your best friend. It won’t change the trials you go through, the highs of being in love, and the lows of being hurt.

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When I finish a story and I think to myself… epilogue or no epilogue??? I’ll tap my pencil on my desk and think. What do I want to show? It’s NEVER the wedding day. It’s always beyond that…to the real HEA. The joys of married life and having someone beside you through thick and thin.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Bridezilla or My Fair Wedding?

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Looking sweet, but under all that satin and lace was a girl on a mission for the perfect wedding.

 

This month our theme is weddings and to be honest, bridal reality shows are among my favorites when it comes to guilty pleasures. Probably because I know if those shows were around 26 year ago I could have been a contender for my very own show (yes, I said 26…look at me, I was a BABY!)

What would my show be called? So glad you asked! I bet if you asked my mother, my father, my bridesmaids, my husband and anyone else even remotely associated with my wedding they would all know my favorite three words…so I would call my show, “IT’S MY DAY!”

I watch these popular shows depicting brides acting badly and I cringe. I fought with my mother over the fruit cup appetizers (I wanted salad, she wanted the fruit cup…she won that one) I fought with my sister over dying the shoes to match her maid-of-honor dress (I won) and I fought with my father over everything from the father-daughter dance song to having the entire wedding video taped – something relatively new and expensive 26 years ago (I won those fights too.) I wanted a whiskey-sour fountain at the cocktail hour, and I wanted to attend the cocktail hour…something normally not done at a NY wedding at the time. Yes, I won those arguments too.

I managed to have my fingers in every single aspect of MY DAY and refused to compromise on pretty much anything…talk about being driven and focused. My parents told my husband-to-be that I’d been planning my wedding since I was three and they were probably right. He should have run screaming, but he didn’t. Instead as the true hero he is, he adopted his own three word phrase in response to any question posed, “Whatever Deb wants.”

Gotta love a man who doesn’t interfere with a wedding 23 years in the making. I got my fairy tale wedding and I’m proud to say I didn’t need a reality TV show to do it. I didn’t manage to lose any friends in the process either – which is amazing to me when I look back at the dresses with the huge bows on their asses that I MADE them wear! (Sorry ladies!)

We all made it through MY DAY and it was wonderful. The band, the food and being surrounded by all the people I loved made the day perfect. And even though my father hated the video idea, now seeing those family members no longer with us, alive and enjoying the party, is priceless to him…took him 20 years but he thanked me!

When you watch the wedding shows do you remember how you behaved and think about what you would do differently? Were you a bridezilla?

Don’t forget any comments you make this month will get your name in a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card…so don’t be shy!

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

A Lovely Wedding, A Beautiful You

One of the many hats I wore before becoming a mostly full time writer was that of a licensed esthetician. I managed a full service salon and spa for about ten years. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve had. As you can see from my hair, it still hasn’t worn off.

Wedding parties were always a challenge. Managing to do hair, make-up and nails for a group of anywhere from three to ten girls, along with the mother of the bride, and sometimes the MIL to be, in a short amount of time left one feeling frazzled. In a good way.

So I thought I’d give you some tips on how to manage those pesky details that may not be mentioned in the How to Look Your Best on the Special Day wedding guide.

—Do get the groom and groomsmen haircuts the week before the wedding. Not the week of.

For the bride:

The best thing you can do is to think about the look YOU want. Spend some time looking at brides online, in magazines, etc. Pick a few looks for hair, make-up and nails. Bring pictures to the salon with you for discussion.

If you are getting hair, make-up and nails done professionally choose a group of stylists that you trust or find a group that’s highly recommended.

Hair: If you want to change your haircut or color start six months before the wedding. You need time to make sure you’re happy with your new look and also to make corrections if you’re not.

Do schedule a trial run about four to six weeks before the wedding. Make sure when you set your appointment you tell them you want a wedding up-do. These things take extra time. Be fair to yourself and give your stylist time to give you what you want. If you will be wearing a veil or putting flowers or something in your hair, bring it with you this time so you can be sure everything works with your hair.

The day of:  Do wear a button down shirt to the salon. You won’t have to take it off later, over your hair or make-up.

Make-Up: If you’re having it professionally done, do schedule a practice run so you can be sure the look you want looks good on you. The day of, is NOT the day to make adjustments. You’ll be nervous enough.

Remember, you are the star! You’ll be having photos taken of you the entire time, from every angle. You’ll need great make-up. If you’re not comfortable wearing a lot of make-up, practice. You’re not comfortable wearing a gown and heels all day either. The last thing you want is to look washed out.

If you’re doing your own, there are tons of how-to wedding make-up vids on YouTube. Make the time and practice in advance. You’ll be glad you did.

And the very last helpful hint I have, because this happened more often than not, is this – If you’re part of the wedding party, the bride asked you to be in her wedding because she cares for you. Don’t say bad things about her to the professionals who are working hard to make you look your best for her big day.

Now go out there and be beautiful!

*And don’t forget, don’t forget all commenters this month have a chance of winning our $5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

5 Things NOT To Do When Planning a Wedding

What do I know about weddings?

Nothing really…

I remember the first time I was asked to be in a wedding, all I could think about was being able to dress up, wear a gown, get my hair and nails done, and whirl around in my dress with one of the groomsman, just like prom! Except I really didn’t get to pick my date. That was interesting.

When my best friend got married, I actually got to help her plan the wedding as her maid of honor, and let me share with you 5 things NOT to do when planning:

1. Listen to everyone but yourself – Yeah, we know there’s all these voices talking to you at once, what you should have, what you shouldn’t have, what needs to be done, what you shouldn’t do. It’s exhausting! But you need to go with your gut and find what you want because it’s YOUR day!

2. Let your mom pick your bridesmaids – Don’t do it! You think I’m joking? If you put all your cousins, sisters, and childhood friends in your wedding party because your mom said so, it may equate to disaster if you’re not close to any of these people! Even if they’re family! Your wedding party should be filled with people you love, people you want to help you celebrate this day by your side, people who are dependable and make sure you are where you’re supposed to be at certain times, people who will contribute to making the day dedicated to you and your love extra special! Remember, this is only once in a lifetime!

3. Wait until last minute – Do you want a nice wedding or something just totally thrown together? Why would you want to be running around crazy right before the big day? I’m telling you, you do not want your wedding to be a nightmarish memory when it could be a day of wonder! Get organize and plan, plan, plan! We waited until two days to look for flowers for the reception and let me tell you…BIG MISTAKE!

4. Forget Dancing! Let’s karaoke! – Um…yeah, all I have to say is DON’T DO IT!

5. Forget about taking care of yourself – It’s your day. It’s your life. As much as planning is important, you still have to remember that your happiness and the future is more important than the wedding itself. So don’t go crazy!

So those are my words of wisdom. Planning weddings even though they were not mine was fun, and I know for sure I’ll be better prepared when it’s my turn!

What’s your wedding advice?

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It's a lot of work!

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It’s a lot of work!

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.