A Perfect Weekend Read!

I got so busy with all the rebranding and writing on my plate that I forgot about a  Kindle Countdown deal I had scheduled awhile back. Yes, Loving Ashe, Book 1 of the Celebrity Series, is on sale for 99 pennies for the next few days!


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So if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now’s the time to get it.  You can read one of my favorite excerpts on the next page.

The Accidental Christmas

A few more days before Christmas and I’ll be running around tomorrow doing last minute stuff like mailing holiday cards and a book that someone won in a Goodreads giveaway!

Thank goodness for blogs where we can wish everyone Happy Holidays and the message goes worldwide – or to whomever still visits this blog!

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In the meantime, being a romance writer, I wrote a holiday short story for you all.  It’s basically a book that you can add to your ebook library, or you can read it on Wattpad.  It’s also free to download from most major retailers and you can find the links here.

The Accidental Christmas: A Short Story

Edited to add: I just realized I misspelt “foregoing” when it shouldn’t have an “e” but that’s life, eh?


Morrighansmuse is the poetic alter-ego of Liz Madrid, who writes women’s fiction and romance.  


Show and Tell – My First Professional Critique

There’s this false sense of security that lulls a would-be writer when she posts her work on a site like Wattpad and read all the praise pouring in.  One writer friend told me that it was “instant gratification” to read all those comments as soon as you click ‘Publish’ and that it was addicting. It makes you want to keep on writing not really for the sake of writing to perfect your craft, but to keep hearing that praise pouring in. 

Problem is – the praise isn’t from your peers, fellow writers or editors who know the essentials of a good story. 

And so after almost 4 months of writing and now currently rewriting my novel, I decided to send the first 2500 words to an editor and author – just me being the type of girl who ‘runs with scissors and never thinks before she says something.’  The woman’s well-respected in the business and people actually were proud to have “bricks flung” at them (in the form of critiques, of course) and admitted that while the critique was harsh and took months to receive, it was what their novels really needed.  No false sense of security there.

I didn’t know what to expect really.  What I did know, the moment I clicked Send, was that my first chapter was the weakest of all 46 chapters in the 140K word novel.  But maybe I needed the validation. Maybe I needed a brick or two flung at me after all the praise I’d been hearing from readers via comments and private messages.  Or maybe I just needed a professional editor to look at it and tell me it was crap so I’d know what to do to make it not so much like crap.

Three hours later, I got my reply.  As I read her email, she first told me that she wasn’t flinging bricks at me – yet.  She also told me what I already knew about that first chapter.

Unfortunately I had mis-identified the genre I was writing by putting down ROMANCE instead of WOMEN’S LIT.  So her critique had more to do with the romance genre, one of which included the advice to read a 100 books for every one book I wanted to write, or read a How To Write a Romance Novel type of book – that is, IF I was writing a romance.

“If this is “women’s fiction” rather than “romance” … then this is fine, but it’s still riddled with the telling, not showing problems.

“Decide if your book is a romance or women’s fiction, then start it at the latest point possible when something more interesting is going on for the [protagonist] than being in the throes of grief for her friend.  I question even using that as a plot device.”

This critique was definitely what I needed to know just how weak my first chapter was.  It also told me that I had a long way to go.  I have heard of people writing novels in 3 to 4 months, then have it published by the 5th month.  Is it polished?  I don’t know, though sometimes I buy then and wonder I wasted my money.  But I shouldn’t be worrying about those authors, that they’re published and I’m not.  I should worry about me, and the type of work I want to produce. 

I need to move that story forward, find my voice in women’s lit (the genre I prefer most to read) and keep on editing till I know that that first chapter is the best I can send out.  Then, and only then – after she asks me to send the full manuscript – do  I wait for the bricks to be flung my way…

I’m Also Just A Girl, Standing in Front of A Boy, Asking Him To Love Her.

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

“I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. “

– Notting Hill

Can anything else be so raw and laid so bare as this line?

I don’t know if I’d ever be able to say anything close to this unless I was really desperate – but never say never. Either that, or I may have short term memory loss, and choose not to remember those times when this is exactly what I would have wanted to say to someone I loved very much, but who probably did not share the same degree of affection as mine.

In the movie, it works quite well, with two beautiful people going through the awkward dance of love between a mere mortal (William) and a world-famous goddess, um, actress (Ana Scott). But in a twist, it is the goddess who asks the mortal to love her.  But then of course it works – it’s Julia-Frikkin-Roberts!

In real life, between mere mortals like me and the object of my affection, this would merely be an indication of my desperation and absence of any pride that would make my mother cringe at even the thought of such words coming forth from my mouth.  I also wouldn’t look as gorgeous as Julia Roberts – just stating an important fact there.

But there is one thing I do know about my choice of this line (it was either this or a line from ‘While You Were Sleeping’).

I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m finally ready to embrace that fact.

Just don’t expect me to say that line anytime soon…*

*Unless you’re Richard Armitage. Then I suspect, all bets are off.

This movie worked on SO many levels because of its supporting cast. Which is one reason it’s one of my favorite movies! You couldn’t ask for a better group of friends such as this lot – other than the lot of them in “Four Weddings and A Funeral”.