Baton Blog Hop

Happy Monday, my friends. Blogging on the Brink has been on the brink of extinct these days, so what better way to revive it than to participate in a Baton Blog Hop!

Many thanks to my WNY RWA chaptermate Stephanie Haefner for passing the baton on to me. Stephanie has a great new release coming out in August with Simon & Schuster called Try Me on for Size. Her knack for creating believable and fun heroines makes me want to cheer them on no matter what their situation, so I can’t wait to see what she’s cooked up this summer! Be sure to check out Stephanie’s site and her Baton Blog Hop post.

Each writer in the Baton Blog Hop is asked the same four questions about writing. Now, if you give 100 writers the exact same storyline, you know they will come back with 100 completely different stories, right? Same with these questions – every writer has a different process, etc. And I am looking forward to sharing mine with you today.


I just wrapped up the first novel in my “Much ‘I Do’ About Nothing” series, Dictatorship of the Dress (releasing early 2015 through Berkley) and have started crafting its fun follow-up, Courtship of the Cake. While some might call these ‘wedding disaster’ stories, I prefer the term ‘wedding adventures,’ all with their own unique spin of Happily Ever After.

Dictatorship of the Dress centers around Laney Hudson, a feisty comic book illustrator assigned to be the ‘dress bearer’ for her mother’s destination wedding. While in charge of getting the dress cross-country, she is mistaken for the bride after a little white snowflake of a lie she tells snowballs into an avalanche. And when Noah, the uptight software designer in the first class seat next to her, is assumed to be her groom…hilarity ensues at 30,000 feet. But there’s more to the tale, as heartbreak, hope and happiness accompany Laney and Noah on their journey as well.

Courtship of the Cake features a Lothario hotshot baker, determined to win back the girl of his dreams at any cost when she turns up in his tiny town.  So what better way for him to court her away from his best friend than with his sinful creations? But everyone in town soon learn there’s a lot more at stake than just cake in this decadent tale of love, loss and always wishing with your eyes closed.


These ain’t yer grandma’s wedding tales! The “Much ‘I Do’ About Nothing” series title is a nod to ol’ Billy Shakespeare, as well as a fun way to imply that not every engagement is what it seems, and not every couple makes it down the aisle with the person they thought they would. 

I hope I’ve put a fresh and thoughtful twist on the traditional contemporary romance wedding story with these tales. They were really fun to write, and quite a change from my first novel, Louder Than Love. Straddling the fence between Women’s Fiction and Romance, Louder Than Love is not your typical rock star romance and that is what so many readers seem to love about it. I’m happy I could provide an alternative look at such a larger-than-life persona and how one finds one’s way back to love and acceptance. And ultimately, back to life as they to live it.


Because I don’t know how to knit.

Seriously, though – I don’t exactly know. Ideas come and I try to do them justice. Love is everywhere, love rules and motivates us, and I can’t imagine writing a story without some kind of love in there, somewhere. As for the musical elements and imagery that often weave through my novels – I’ve worked in the music industry for the past twelve years, I married into the business fifteen years ago, and I sold my soul to rock and roll in my teens. Some writers paint a story for their readers. I strive to compose lyrical love letters that stick in readers’ heads and hearts!


I am still struggling with my process. It varies from day to day and book to book. I don’t write every day. In fact, I sometimes go a week without writing. Then I binge and purge all over the page to make up for it. I don’t tally my words per day and I rarely set a word goal because I would fail 99% of the time. There are days when I realize I spent five hours writing and have only crafted a few paragraphs, but they are absolutely what I wanted on the page, not a word out of place. I consider that a productive day, but I still wish I could write faster. Then there are those exhilarating days where all the words just fly and that’s the addictive feeling that brings you back to your seat.

What I have learned: I can’t wait until my house is clean/laundry is put away/band work is filed away neatly, etc. Otherwise I will never get any writing done. I used to have to clean my  house before I could sit down to do my taxes every year. To de-clutter my brain. Well, my taxes are on extension right now, I’ve got a writing contract deadline, my house is a mess and I am deliriously happy. Learning to write around the chaos is part of my new process, perhaps!

So…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Stay tuned next Monday, as I pass the baton blog on to Pat O’Dea Rosen over at her Reading, Writing, and Rambling blog!

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  • messymimi

    Don’t wait until the house is clean, laundry done, and life is perfect, because you are wearing the next load of laundry and walking on the next floor to be swept! The fact that it’s never done is what i laughingly call “job security,” and i know you can’t put life on hold for those things.

    • Jessica Topper

      Great advice, Mimi!

  • Pat O’Dea Rosen

    Thanks for passing the blog hop baton to me, Jessica. I promise I won’t drop it.

    • Jessica Topper

      Looking forward to your post, Pat!