Sunday, October 19, 2014

Research--Regardless of your genre, you need it!

Today, I'm pleased to have Heather Thurmeier stopping by. She recently released a new book, The Wedding Hoax, which involved copious amounts of research and television. I asked Heather to talk about how she handles one of my favorite subjects–research. I think, even if you're writing a dystopian society story or a contemporary novel, you need to do a certain amount of research to authenticate your stories. Research is not just for an historical writer. But, I'll get down off my soapbox now and let Heather tell you how she approaches it. The floor is yours, Heather!

I’m sure every author has their own set of resources when it comes to researching for a story. For me, I have my usual ways and then every book has a few new ones too.

For all of my books, the research starts with the names.  It’s not very often that I know my character’s final names when I come up with a book idea. Sometimes to pick their names, I will poll my readers to find out what names they love at that moment. Other times, I’ll go to baby naming websites and scour their pages to come up with a short list of names. My favorite site is I like that you can save names and then it generates ones that go with it. I find it helps with sibling relationships as well as finding names for the hero and heroine that will sound good together on the page.

Next is usually the setting for the book. If I’m writing about a place I’ve never been to before, then I usually start with real estate listings and tourism sites to give me an idea of what it’s like there. I don’t list places with too many specifics since I think it’s fun to make up restaurant names and things like that. But when it comes to some thing, like subway stops in Manhattan, I definitely look up what train line and exact stop I need. All of that information is easily available online, which makes my job so much faster and easier!

And it seems I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration and research from TV. For The Wedding Hoax, that was definitely true. I can’t tell you how many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress (and Bridesmaid Dress) I watched. Oh so many! But it was great since Daisy is a wedding gown designer and Cole is a bridal magazine CEO. It’s been 14 years since my own wedding and watching new brides on TV talking about their weddings while they look for their dress was great research! And it was fun to watch too!

Happy Reading!

Heather's giving away this beautiful Daisy bracelet during her blog tour. Go here to enter: The Wedding Hoax and #Rafflecopter #Giveaway. @AmazonKindle @amazon

The Wedding Hoax 


A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint…

To save their companies, they’ll plan the fake wedding of the century...
Meet the bride...

Daisy Willows is a wedding dress designer who longs for her own happily-ever-after. In the meantime, she’s struggling to keep her business going even as she covers her mom’s increasing medical expenses. So when a bridal show expo owner offers to help her out, she can hardly say no. And all it takes is Daisy pretending she’s back with her playboy ex. And that they’re engaged...
Meet the groom...

Cole Benton works for his father’s bridal magazine, which is on the verge of downsizing. All he really wants is a crack at an outdoor lifestyle magazine, and if he has to fake-marry Daisy to make it happen, he’s definitely in. Now Daisy and Cole are playing up their fake engagement, shopping for rings, and even kissing upon request. All of which is makes it a whole lot harder to remember that their big white wedding is a big white lie...

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Cole adjusted himself in the boutique chair as Daisy came out in yet another stunning dress. He didn’t think it was possible to be attracted to a woman in a wedding gown, but apparently it was.

And it was maddening.
Damn it. He didn’t want to be any more attracted to Daisy than he already was. At this point, he wanted her to walk down the aisle in a white garbage bag so he didn’t have to see the shape of her curves, teasing him about what he couldn’t have but also couldn’t stop thinking about.

Nor could he stop imagining those undergarments she’d mentioned to the women at the bridal show. Was Daisy wearing something sexy under all that white lace and satin, too? A push-up bra? A thong?

He sat forward and leaned his elbows on his knees, ignoring the ache in his groin at the thought of Daisy in a thong. He didn’t even have to use his imagination. An image
of her lying on her stomach across his bed came to mind. Her skin had been smooth under his fingertips as he traced the lace of her thong to where it disappeared between two luscious hills of milky-white flesh. She’d shivered beneath his touch when he’d caressed the tiny crease where her bottom met the backs of her thighs. And when he’d playfully smacked her ass, the apples of her cheeks weren’t the only spot on her body to blush as she’d rolled away from him, giggling and smiling seductively.

If he’d realized that would be one of his last moments with Daisy, he would have savored it more, prolonged his own enjoyment to push hers further. What he wouldn’t give to see that spark in her eyes when she was on the cusp of going over the edge again. Or the pink tinge in her cheeks as his tongue tasted her.

“Cole!” Daisy’s voice was sharp, piercing his thoughts and shattering the nice memory he was currently enjoying more than the present moment.

“That one is nice,” Cole said on instinct, forcing himself to focus on the dress she wore instead of what she might be wearing underneath it. This dress was similar to the others— sleeveless, white, satin and beads, and expertly hand-stitched. He’d never really given Daisy a lot of credit for her work before, but he should have. She was a master of her craft.

She put her hands on her hips. “That’s what you said about every dress so far. Are you even paying attention?”


“I’m trying to, but you know how I feel about shopping.” He laid his head back and rubbed his eyes hard, hoping to erase the memory of Daisy’s thong from his brain long enough to get through this torture without a raging hard-on.

“How could I forget? You’re worse than taking a child shopping. At least with a kid you can give them a snack or a toy to keep them busy.”

“I could go for a snack.” He shrugged.

Author bio:

Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas and a hater of spiders. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, but now lives in New York state with her husband and kids where she’s become some kind of odd Canuck-Yankee hybrid. When she's not busy taking care of the kids, Heather’s writing her next romance, which will probably be filled with sassy heroines, sexy heroes who make your heart pound, laugh out loud moments, and always a happily ever after. You can find out more about Heather and her books by checking out her website at:

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  1. Watching TV and researching at the same time--sounds perfect! And your excerpt is delightful. I really smiled at that opening paragraph. Good luck with the book!

    1. Thank you, Barbara! I haven't mastered writing and watching TV yet, but at least I have an excuse to take a break every now and then to veg out in front of the TV!

  2. Thanks, Barbara, for visiting today. I enjoyed the excerpt, too, especially the last line, which shows Heather's humor. Would love to read the book.

  3. another wonderful article for writers. reseach is one of my favorite things to do. The best of luck with the book.

    1. Thank you, JoAnne. I'm a mix on research. Sometimes I love it and other times I just want to write, not research if the details are correct. I always do check, just maybe not right away! LOL.

  4. You just added another dimension to writing for me. The link to names is a good one. Characters names just pop into my head as I write. Now I'll do a bit of research as to what the names mean and how they fit in the story. Thanks.

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