August 2 2016 Romance Weekly



Welcome back to Romance Weekly blog hop. Today A.S. Fenichel wants us to choose one of our books and tell you where the idea came from and how it evolved into a full story.  I'll share a snippet, too! 

Marc Stevens is before me in today's hop. Make sure to check out his post. 

Circle of Lies by Fiona Riplee

Circle of Lies by Fiona Riplee

I choose my first release, Circle of Lies.  

The idea for this story came to me as I was working through another story I was writing. I wanted to write a Sci Fi Romance that was set in a contemporary setting. The story I was working on wasn't futuristic or set in outer space and I liked the feel of that. The story was actually more paranormal because one of the characters had psychic power and could control people with his mind.  

I started with a love triangle that involved two brothers, Jamie and Sean, who liked the same girl, Luna, and I was struggling with why Jamie and Sean had such anger toward one another. Sean had the psychic power. Jamie appeared as human as you or I. In my frustration, I created their backstory to help me figure out their relationship. While working on the details, I discovered Jamie and Sean had the same father, Raz, but different mothers. 

For some reason this really bothered me and I kept wondering what had happened to these characters' parents. Had the Raz had his own love triangle and how did this fit into the science fiction world I wanted to create, which was in the very beginning stages back then. The story still had more of a paranormal feel and I wanted to go more Sci Fi. So, I made Raz an alien and Sean's mother, Paris, was part alien. This shed light on why Sean was psychic. Jamie's mother, Sandra, was human and a scientist who had a part in the discovery of some life saving medicines for aliens. 

I kept asking myself questions about the brothers. Why did Jamie do this? Why did Sean choose to do that when so much love had been in his childhood? But the more questions I asked about Jamie and Sean the more answers pushed me toward asking questions about their parents. How did this alien versus non-alien parentage shape the brothers' feelings about the world. What had happened to their parents before this point in the brothers' lives. 

So to make this long story short, I became obsessed with what happened to the parents. What sorts of obstacles and conflicts had they had in life? 

Circle of Lies is what came out of all those questions along with a series premise, Alien Prophecies. 

I learned a lot about the 'past' in the world I wanted to create which I then realized was the contemporary setting and the rest of the series will start to fall into a near future setting. It will still feel like it takes place today, but with more tech or alien wizardry (at least to humans).  

I hope to get back to Jamie's and Sean's stories some day, but I'm giving them some time to grow up.  

 Click Here for an excerpt of Circle of Lies. 

Veronica Forand in up next. Let's find out which book she's blogging about today!

Wacky Wednesday September 30 2015

Drat those clouds!

Drat those clouds!

The eclipse last Sunday was pretty cool. I’ve always heard of a blood moon, but had never thought I’d get to see one. My fascination with celestial objects began as a kid and somehow I’ve managed to miss most of the ‘once in a lifetime’ events.

·      Eclipses

·      Meteor showers

·      Rare comets

So, I was teased on Sunday with the cloud cover in my area. The moon was bright and clear, and it was ten minutes to show time. Then the biggest freaking cloud I’ve ever seen moved in and blocked my view! Talk about being bummed. Another one missed!

Fortunately, about thirty minutes later I check the sky and there was a break in the sky. I saw the eclipse and the moon turn orange and red and sections of clouds floated by. The effect was spectacular. 

Photo from

Sneak Peek Anthology Short: Love's Light

This sneak peek is from a short story I'm contributing for an anthology the Crossroads Romance Writers is releasing summer of 2015. The anthology will be Titled The Hope Chest.


Senza Cavanaugh & Trevor Gate are forced apart for four years by a mysterious light. The deaths of Senza’s maternal aunt & Trevor’s paternal grandfather bring them back home to face this power between them. Will they be able to see that the light is a manifestation of their love or will it continue to bring darkness into their lives?

A scene from Love's Light:

A peak of sunrise illuminated the window. The warmth coming from Trevor's arms chased the cold away. Senza had never belonged but imagining she was alien sent shards of ice into her soul. “Why did you leave?”

    “Violet said the light would consume you. We'd never tame it.”

    Senza jumped up from the bed. “She knew it was mine?”

    Trevor placed the back of his hand on his knee. Mist formed a ball of light in his palm. “I've gotten pretty good at manipulating it.”

    Senza touched him. The light faded. She desperately wanted to control this gift. Would Trevor teach her? “What are we?”

    “Grandpa called us Sixxers. The closest contact to other Sixxers was in Switzerland but then Grandpa and Violet died.”

    “There are people after us?”

    Senza’s stomach dropped. She couldn’t bear the thought of getting the call telling her Trevor was dead. Senza whipped Violet's purse from the dresser and held up the car keys. “Aunt Violet didn't own a car.”

    They left the room and the shadows behind them. Senza opened the garage door and a shiny new Expedition glinted as the interior light fell on the surface.

    Trevor peered in the back seat. “It's packed.”

    Senza opened the cargo bay. A large wooden box filled half the space. “Aunt Violet’s hope chest.”

    Senza's vision blurred. Two inches below the cushion a red light pulsed. Trevor moved to open it but Senza held him back.

    Trevor said, “It’s okay.”

    “It is a violation of her privacy.”

    Trevor kissed her forehead. “We'll take a nap. Rest will give us a clear head.”

    Senza wrapped her arms around him and nuzzled his chest. She never believed his warmth and love would surround her again. “Do you have any idea how much I’ve missed you?”

    Trevor squeezed her. She loved the safety of his big bear arms.

    “I’m not leaving you again. We'll figure this out.”

    Senza blinked back tears that should've been dried up hours ago. The love was there but was it right? How long could they go before another accident destroyed them? The spark of light was already highlighting Trevor’s eyes. She waited for the burst to sneak between their bodies. Nothing happened. Heat caressed her back. Over her shoulder the red light pulsed in the wooden chest. She lifted the heavy lid. A glow came from a small metal box decorated with flowers and butterflies. There were other items in the chest, baby clothes, newspaper clippings and pictures. Senza wept.

    Trevor’s hands massaged her shoulders. “It’s okay. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s how we know we loved them.”

    The wetness on her face couldn’t be stopped as tears fell. “These are pictures of my mother and father.” She handed a few to Trevor. “Here is your grandpa.”

    Trevor took the photo and gazed at it a long time. “He looked good. Happy.”

    Senza opened the metal box and inside were handwritten note cards. Senza read aloud. “Found this baby outfit while shopping with my sister. Neither of us are married yet but I’ll save if for my day.”

    Senza turned the card over and brought her fingers to her lips.

    Trevor read the back for her. “I hope Senza’s baby wears this outfit now. I can’t wait to meet him.”

    Tears rolled down her face and pinpricks of pain jabbed her eyes.

    Trevor kissed her cheek.

    Senza said, “She wrote this. Yet, kept us apart. Why?”

    “Let’s take a break.” Trevor gently tugged on the items but Senza couldn't let them go. He pulled a cloth bag from under the hope chest and gave it to her. “Keep them close.”

    Senza sniffed and filled the bag with love.

    Trevor lifted an old newspaper. “Oh, my God.”

    “What is it?”

    “The headline reads: Edward Gate Abandons UFO House Admits Pressure From Public.”


    Trevor said, “Grandpa told the news reporter, ‘There are no crop circles in the desert. My house isn’t plagued by aliens. These stories have no basis in fact and I’m not moving.’ Down here it says. ‘The number of UFO sighings or reports of strange lights near Edward Gate’s house have been in the teens since moving in ten years prior. Whatever Gate is doing people want him out.’ What happened at Grandpa’s house?”

    “Strange lights? Do you think it was like our light? Edward had power.”

    “I don't know.” Trevor rubbed his eyes. “The words are starting to blur on me.”

    “How long have you been awake?”

    “Two days, maybe?”

    “We both need sleep.” Senza placed the newspaper clipping in her bag. An arc leapt from her fingers to the paper. Tingles ran up her arms. The light's power got stronger every hour. She grabbed Trevor’s hand and pulled him from the garage and down the hall to her old bedroom.

    Trevor chuckled. “You have no idea how many times I imagined you doing this when we were in high school.”

    Senza shook her head. A light fluttering of desire poured into her belly. She had imagined the same. “Sleep only. We can’t risk a burst now.”

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