Where Sassy meets Sexy, and falls in love.

Happy Holidays!

candle

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

This has been some year! The dark days of February spent writing my tail off—or rather tale off, as good portion of my manuscript OCTAGON GIRL was drafted during the New Jersey Romance Writer’s JeRoMoWri. Monthly rendez-vous with my fabulous critique partners, Jenna Blue, Maria K. Alexander, Joanna Shupe, and Jaye Rome. An amazing October NJRW conference, where I met many authors whom I’ve idolized for so long, and some new ones I just adore.

Super Storm Sandy almost brought my otherwise fabulous year to a screeching halt. But after two weeks without power, childhood memories like Christmas ornaments, my father’s 66 Mustang Convertible—all destroyed—I count myself lucky. Experiences like this are humbling, but make me more respectful of Mother Nature and appreciative of all I have including family and friends.

I’m feeling optimistic that 2013 is going to be another terrific year—I have some great news to share, but am biting my tongue for the moment.

Tonight, I’m singing (off key—but hey, it’s Christmas time) at a service in a small, white church built in the 1700’s. My favorite part is lighting candles and singing Silent Night. A peaceful sense of harmony with my community always warms my heart.

My friends and I are writing a round robin story called Glitter Girl – A Romantic Suspense Holiday Romance over at my sister blog ,The Violet Femmes.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and Happy New Year.

XXOO,

Michele

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Star Struck

“Here’s our friend we were just telling you about.”

I smiled politely, wondering at my friend’s words as I settled into the only available seat at the table. My excitement bubbled up within me like fine champagne. After all, I had a major fan girl moment, eating dinner with an author whose novels I’ve devoured since my teenage years. And . . . she talked to me!

Heather Graham. New York Times best-selling author. Iconic pioneer, with over 100 novels written. Generous, nurturing spirit. Truly.

Here’s my recollection of our conversation.

Heather (turning to me): “Conferences are a good way to learn about the industry.”

Me: “Ah, ba, ah, ba . . . ”

Heather: “We have a terrific conference in New Orleans.”

Me: ” Uhh . . . ”  I’m temporarily at a loss for words. Star Struck.

The conversation continues, and the whole time I’m thinking: How generous you are, Heather. If I am ever so fortunate to have one published novel under my wing, let alone 100 novels – and best-sellers, too – I would want to give back to writers just like you do, with your vivacious spirit. 

We were attending the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. Heather was a key note speaker and I was part of the conference committee contest organizers.

I realized something during this three day conference while mingling with authors who I adore. Heather puts it into words best:

“You have to live a full life to fully write.”

Writing can be an isolating endeavor. You, a laptop, and the occasional cat warming your legs. Characters keep you company, messing with your head as they demand to be put on the page. But how an author depicts them, along with their problems and their world, is where LIFE comes in.

After talking with Heather, it became very obvious why she’s so successful and why I love her writing so much. She’s living a full, rich life. And she is kind enough to let you in on it.

I settled into my new seat and the waiter came to clear away the dinner plates. My heart was still racing. Still star struck. And inspired. I was suddenly even more excited to work on my next manuscript. Who needed champagne when you’ve just met your muse?

I searched my friends’ faces at the table. Mirror images of my own greet me. Broad smiles. That gleam authors get in their eyes when their creativity is shimmering. Their excitement is palpable. And, all of them had it.

Wait a second! I became aware of the person across from me. I knew her, too.

Sabrina Jeffries.

Oh my God. Life doesn’t get any better than this!

For more information about Heather Graham, please visit:  http://www.theoriginalheathergraham.com/

For more information about Sabrina Jeffries, please visit: http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

2012 Put Your Heart in a Book Winners

Hi everyone!  Well, I haven’t posted on my site in a while but I think you’ll understand why – – – I’ve been writing! And I am thrilled to post that my manuscript, OCTAGON GIRL,  has placed first for Contemporary Single Title.

My wonderful friends and critique partners have placed as well.  Check out Jenna Blue’s THE RUNAWAY and Joanna Shupe’s DRAWN TO THE EARL.  

2012 PYHIAB Winners Announced

The New Jersey Romance Writers have announced the 2012 Put Your Heart In A Book Contest Winners.Congratulations everyone!

Romantic Suspense
1st Place: Jenna Blue – The Runaway
2nd Place: Michelle Sharp – The Dreamer
3rd Place: Keith Zwingelberg – Medicine Woman
Single Title Contemporary
1st Place: Michele Mannon – Octagon Girl
2nd Place: Susan J. Bickford – Synchrony’s Call
3rd Place: Claudia Handel – Lost in You
Historical
1st Place: Eileen Emerson – Embracing an Unloved Earl
2nd Place: Joanna Shupe – Drawn to the Earl
3rd Place: Mary Jane Esber w/a Miranda Liasson – The Spy Who Loved Me
Paranormal
1st Place: Laurel Wanrow – Passages
2nd Place: Leisl Leighton – Seer’s Blood
3rd Place: Katrina Snow – Bewitched by a KissYoung Adult
1st Place: Karen Schwartz – Extra Ordinary Guy
2nd Place: McCall Hoyle – Twice Shy
3rd Place: Laurel Wanrow – Seaside Sorcery

Honorable Mention
McCall Hoyle – The Other Cheek

SISTER BLOG

Hi Folks,

Please check out my sister blog – http://thevioletfemmes.com/ for up-to-date information.

This blog is TO BE CONTINUED!

Thanks, Michele

COMING SOON

Website in progress . . . well, I have been writing!  Check back soon.  Michele

The World of Mixed Martial Arts and Romance

 

The beautiful Tom Hardy in The Warrior.

My muse for the hero in a contemporary manuscript about a bitter ex-ballerina turned Octagon girl, who must convince a troubled mixed martial arts fighter to compete for a lucrative title. A daunting task, as she discovers the reason for the handsome welterweight’s rage—that his true battle lies in triumphing over his own, troubled past.

Marie-Antoinette’s Shoes

In honor of my summer on crutches – and my fractured ankle and torn foot – I thought today’s blog should be about . . .  SHOES!

***

“It’s not so much about the shoes, but the person wearing them.”                                                     Adriana Trigiani – Viola in Reel Life

 Queen Marie Antoinette owned over 500 pairs of shoes. Catalogued by color and style, they were custom made – expensive – and became a symbol of her extravagant lifestyle and cause for public loathing.

Madame Deficit, as she was nicknamed, wore shoes made for specifically for the right and left feet. Made of the finest colored cloths, silks and leather, they had high, curves heels and decorated with buckles, ribbons, and bows.

Manolo Blahnik recreated her shoes for the Sophia Coppola movie, “Marie-Antoinette”.  He described them as “a fantasy – a collection of candy-colored heels embellished with ribbon and buttons and beads.”  

When the royal family fled the sans-culottes marching on chateau of the Tuileries, Marie-Antoinette had a Cinderella moment, losing a satin slipper trimmed with ruched ribbon. Ironically, this event foreshadowed what was to come.

Walking to Mme. Guillotine and her imminent death, Marie-Antoinette famously stepped on the toes of her executioner with a high-heeled purple mule.

As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Perhaps it best to reserve judgment for their shoes!

By the way, I’m attired in a fashionable, large, black, Velcro embellished snow-like boot. Hmm, I wonder what it says about me?


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