Snappy Banter by Janice Seagraves

Snappy Banter

By Janice Seagraves


The best snappy dialogue that comes to my mind is from the movies of the 30’s and 40’s, think Kathryn Hepburn, and Cary Grant. These are the two actors who I think of as the King and Queen of snappy dialogue.


Cary Grant example:


Eva Marie Saint (Eve Kendall): I tipped the steward five dollars to seat you here if you should come in.
Cary Grant (Roger Thornhill): Is that a proposition?
Eva Marie Saint (Eve): I never discuss love on an empty stomach.
Cary Grant (Roger): You’ve already eaten!
Eva Marie Saint (Eve): But you haven’t.

Snappy dialogue isn’t clunky, it flows. There a teasing quality to it and you can’t help to grin when it’s just right.


Kathryn Hepburn’s example:


Howard Hughes: [doesn’t hear what Kate says] Excuse me?

Katharine Hepburn: Well, if you’re deaf, you must own up to it. Get a hearing aid or see my father. He’s an urologist, but it’s all tied up inside the body, don’t you find?

Howard Hughes: Mmm.
Katharine Hepburn: Me, I keep healthy. I take 7 showers a day to keep clean, also because I’m so vulgarly referred to as “outdoors-y.” Well, I’m not “outdoors-y,” I’m athletic. I sweat! There it is, now we both know the sordid truth: I sweat, and you’re deaf. Aren’t we a fine pair of misfits?


I think some of my best scenes are in my book, Windswept Shores, where the dialogue just flows are the ones where the hero teases the heroine.


Windswept Shores’ example:


“If I had me a net, I could catch some of those fishies for dinner.” Seth paddled water while he gazed into the pool.

“Don’t you have a net on the boat?”

“We usually use fishing poles.”

“No, I mean to net the fish after you reel them in.” She swam over to him.

“I don’t reckon you know the difference between fresh and salt water fishing, mate.”

“Okay, what’s the difference?” She splashed water just in front of him.

His smile twisted to the side. “When you fish in the sea, they’re a mite bigger.”

“Okay, smarty pants, how do you get the fish into the boat?”

“You use a big stick with a hook to pull them in.”

“Oh, I think I did see that somewhere.”

“Probably, you accidentally lit on it when ya flipped through the channels on the box.”


The best way to learn snappy dialogue is to listen to it. Watch those wonderful films of the 30’s and 40’s, or anything that has snappy banter. If you’re lucky enough to know people who pick and tease in the same manner, then listen to their conversations. And it might just make you smile. J


It’s all in the ear. And it can be learned.


Windswept Shores’ example (it’s not all one sided, Megan gets her turn):


Walking back to the Dinki-Di, Seth complained with a glance at her bikini, “Why did you put your cossie back on?”

“I’m not comfortable naked,” she explained. “What if someone showed up while I’m undressed?”

He gazed around, then back down at her. “Megz, no one is here.”

“No, but you showed up not once, but twice, didn’t you?”

“Um, yeah,” Seth muttered with a slight frown.

“Can’t argue with that, can you?” She grinned. I love winning an argument.


Janice Seagraves bio: When not writing late into the night, Janice takes care of her hubby of thirty-one years and a just grown daughter. They are owned by an overly affectionate cat and two birds. One a handicapped dove and the other a pigeon who is in love with her husband (not kidding).


You can find Janice’s book, Windswept Shores:

You can also find Windswept Shores on Barnes and Nobles:

And on Smashword:

Janice Seagraves’s website:

Face book page:

And twitter:


Something warm to read while it’s really cold.

Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves
erotic contemporary romance
novel (approx 50K)
price $.99

The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive, and can they find love?

Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. She’d thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She’d been wrong—dead wrong. Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone.

She’d felt like a tiny speck of sand last night when a violent storm had swept across the island. It had made a mess of her meager campsite, which had taken all morning to fix, and had demolished her seaweed SOS sign. She’ll have to recreate her SOS. Sighing, Megan trudged toward a pile of kelp. As she got closer, she saw a figure wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Her stomach lurched.

Oh, God, it’s another body washed up from the plane wreck. That would be number twelve. As always, she couldn’t help but wonder if the next one would be Jonathan. He hadn’t been wearing jeans on the plane, so she knew she’d been spared seeing his corpse this time. Thank God. She approached the body with dread. Tightening her resolve, she knelt. Suddenly the “dead body” coughed and rolled over. With a scream, Megan jumped back. She clutched her chest and pressed a shaking hand to her mouth.


He’s alive!


Biting her lip, she stared down at the still-breathing man. His drenched t-shirt molded against his broad shoulders and well-developed upper body. Short, golden brown hair stuck out in all directions.

Megan, get control of yourself. Don’t wet your pants the first time you finally see a living person. She got on her knees, plucked the seaweed from him and wiped the sand from his face. His day-old whiskers scratched her palm. Reddened skin stretched across both cheekbones and over the bridge of his nose. Her thumb caressed his parched full bottom lip.

She patted the side of his face. “Hey, are you okay?” That’s a dumb question. He isn’t okay.

“Hmm?” Gray eyes fluttered open. He stared at her a long moment, frowning slightly. “G’day.”

“Hello there.” She hated the sound of her voice. It sounded rusty, unused.

Abruptly he rolled away from her to heave onto the sand, making a loud, ugly retching noise.

He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then looked at her. “Sorry, mate, I swallowed too much sea.” His gaze went over her shoulder in the direction of the bonfire which crackled and popped not far from them. “Mite big for a barbie.”

Sitting back on her heels with her hands folded in her lap, Megan followed his gaze, then back to him. “My signal fire.”

“Signal for what?”


His accent intrigued her. Was he English or Australian?

“G’darn,” he looked around, “where the bloody hell am I?”

“Don’t know. There’s no one here to ask.” Megan shrugged helplessly, but couldn’t contain her curiosity. “Are you from England?”

“Naw,” he rubbed his eyes, “I hail from Sydney, but my port of call these days is Fort Lauderdale.” He blinked up at her. “You?”

Ah, he’s an Aussie. “I’m Megan Lorry, from Anaheim, California,” she said, barely loud enough to be heard above the sounds of the surf and the roar from the fire. “Are you a survivor of Air Bahamas flight 227, too?”





Vlog: The Black Moment

The Black Moment

by Janice Seagraves


The black moment is near the end of your story, right before the climax. It can also be the moment you’ve been foreshadowing during the entire story.


It’s the darkest part of your story, where everything looks the worst so you reader will keep turning pages just to find out if . . . your couple will get back together. The hero or heroine will survive the encounter with the bad guy.  Or in the Movies: is Luke’s Father going back to the evil Empire’s side. The Mercenaries are going to kill Tree of Souls, and neither Jake nor the Na’vi can stop them.


Where it looks like all is lost.


So why do we write the black moments?


Because it make for a more compelling read and it makes the climax even more interesting, because that’s when you hero or heroine saves the day.

In my book Windswept Shores, my black moment involves pirates. Not the sexy pirates of the Caribbean, but modern day, nasty, thieving pirates of the Bahamas.


Excerpt, Windswept Shores:

Closer to camp, she heard voices. Oh, the self-styled-natives must be visiting again. Megan looked forward to their infrequent visits, and her Spanish was improving with use. They had also taken a second letter to her sons, if it ever made its way to the states, anyway. Maybe I can talk them into selling me some fuel?

With a lighter heart, she walked out of the bush, only to see suitcases and clothes flying out of her tent. Her wicker door had been cut off and tossed to the side. The deflated raft lay near it.

“Hey, what are you doing? Stop that.”

A dark head popped out of her tent. “Bueno dias, senorita,” he said with a gap-toothed leer, making Megan self-conscious in the bikini and sarong she wore.

A thump from the boat made her glance from the ugly man to the Dinki-Di. Someone was digging through the built-in tool box and setting things to the side. “Get out of the boat. It doesn’t belong to you.”

“Who might you be, little lady?” asked a man with dirty blond hair and a slight southern accent. He seemed to be supervising the men. He sucked on a cigar, blowing out a cloud of vile-smelling smoke.

“None of your business, that’s who. Tell your men to get out of my stuff,” she snapped. “You’re trespassing.”

“Trespassing is a matter of opinion, especially since your boat’s a derelict. We claim salvage rights.”

“The Dinki-Di is my home. It’s not a derelict.”

The man from the tent snatched her basket and stepped over to the blond man, stuffing fruit into his mouth. Juice dripped down his chin.

Startled by his hyena laugh, she took a step back. “Jerk. You guys are no better than thieves, you’re pirates.”

The blond tossed his cigar, took out a fruit, and shined it on his shirt before he bit into it. “Pirate is such an out of date word. I prefer the term entrepreneur, and these men are my employees.” He frowned at the plundered plum. “Ugh, it’s overripe.”

Madre de Dios,” exclaimed the one in the boat, standing up as he dropped one of Seth’s huge sandals.

“Who else is here with you?” demanded the blond man, pitching his fruit to the side and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

Megan glanced around at the strangers’ hard expressions. All at once, she realized what they saw; a short, unarmed, scantily clad female all alone on a deserted island. They even took my basket away. I could have thrown my produce at them and ran. God, there are no police! No people. Just us. They can do whatever they want, and who would stop them? Feeling like she had just swallowed a lump of ice, Megan took a deep breath and yelled, “Seth, help. I need you.”

That’s all I have for now. Before I go can you please like and subscribe. Thank you for watching.

Trade paperback:

Janice Seagraves’s website:

Vlog: Conflict in Writing by Janice Seagraves

Conflict in writing

By Janice Seagraves


Most writers know that to have an interesting story which draws the reader in, you must have conflict.

Conflict = story.

One way to have conflict is to make your main character an underdog.

Why an underdog?

Because people love to root for an underdog.

Example: Remember Charlie Brown, trying every year to kick that football? Didn’t you root for him, even though you knew Lucy would pull that ball away each and every time, he tried to kick it?

That’s conflict.

Let’s face it, no one wants to root for Ken and Barbie who live an idyllic life in suburbia.

In my book Windswept Shores, I have my heroine, Megan have a really bad day:

Windswept Shores Excerpt:

If she had to spend one more day on this godforsaken island, she’d go stark raving mad. The thought spurred Megan into rolling a large log with one foot then the other, until it was near the bonfire. “God, this thing is heavy.” With a grunt, she lifted one end until it teetered upright then gave it a shove. It landed in the fire, embers swirling in the air.

Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. She’d thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She’d been wrong—dead wrong. Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone.


Another way to have conflict in a romance is to have newly divorced Ken, (Barbie ran off with G.I. Joe), have a miserable day—conflict.

Example: Say Ken’s Porsche breaks down on the way to work and he has to have it towed. As he waits impatiently for the tow truck driver, he’s mentally marking off all the things that went wrong that week (conflict). Just after he’s comes to the fact that he is alone and unloved the tow truck driver arrives. But a pretty woman steps out. It’s P.J. The baggy coveralls can’t hide her full (Mattel) figure and the grease smudges on her (plastic) face can’t cover up her lovely face or her Malibu tan.  Maybe P.J.’s father or uncle owns the business, or maybe she owns it herself.  Or maybe she’s not a tow truck driver, but a pick-up service for a car rental agency.

So Ken thanks his lucky star that he’s spotted this beauty, but when he asks P.J. out she turns him down—flat.

Why? Conflict.

No conflict—no story.

In my book Windswept Shores, I have Megan alone on a deserted island, until Seth washes up on shore. The first thing he does is sniff her hair.

Why? Conflict.

Windswept Shores excerpt:

“Are you from England?”

“Naw,” he rubbed his eyes, “I hail from Sidney, but my port of call these days is Fort Lauderdale.” He blinked up at her. “You?”

Ah, he’s an Aussie. “I’m Megan Lorry, from Anaheim, California,” she said, barely loud enough to be heard above the sounds of the surf and the roar from the fire. “Are you a survivor of Air Bahamas flight 227, too?”

“G’day, Megz,” he answered, struggling to sit-up. “Sorry, I’m not from your plane.”

Megan slipped an arm around him lifting his back off the sand. Turning his head to her hair, he took in a couple of short breaths. Megan pulled back staring at him. “What the—did you just sniff me?”

“Ya smell too good not to.” He grinned, causing his cheeks to dimple.  “Name’s Seth Dawson.”


Whatever your conflict is, you’ve got to either keep it going or bring in some new conflict. New conflict is great, especially if you overlay it with the old conflict.

Example: Charlie Brown gets depressed about not kicking the football and visit Lucy at her psychiatrist’s help booth to tell her all his troubles. Then she basically calls him a loser.

Why? For additional conflict.

Lucy is the antagonist; her job is to cause conflict.

Back to Ken. He’s finally got P.J. to go on a date with him. Everything is great in Ken’s life right?  But what if her business partner doesn’t like Ken and tells him so right to his face?

Why? For additional conflict. That partner is the antagonist for Ken’s story. He’ll keep poor Ken on his toes for the rest of the story.

In Windswept Shores, I have the wild pigs that inhabit their island for additional conflict. They are the antagonist and keep my characters down or at least running for their lives. I have them in place way before things getting hot and heavy between my couple.

Windswept Shores excerpt:

“You can’t charge boars barehanded. They have long, sharp tusks.” She frowned. “The last time I ran across a wild pig, I had to climb a tree.”

He slammed his fist on the boat’s railing. “I should have taken the offal out last night and buried them.” Opening a chest, Seth took out a spear gun. “You know how to use one of these?”

“No, I’ve only seen them on TV.” She set the eggs on the swivel chair.

“It’s just like on the box. You point and pull the trigger.” Seth demonstrated, loading it with a long spear with a wicked looking barb.

“What are you going to do?” She took the spear-gun.

Seth pushed the sharp end away from him. “I’m gonna make a bullroarer.” He brought out some heavy duty fishing line, tying a pointed weight to the end of it. “If I get charged, shoot. But try not to hit me.”

“I’ll try,” she said softly.

“Try a little harder than that, luv.” He grinned as he climbed down the ladder.




Here are My #99cent Books

Windswept Shores (A Survivors Love Story Book 1) by [Seagraves, Janice]

Windswept Shores (Book One) : Contemporary Romance

Matrix Crystal Hunters: Book One of the Matrix Crystal Series (Matrix Crystals 1) by [Seagraves, Janice]

Matrix Crystal Hunters (Book One): Science Fiction Romance

Matrix Crystal Christmas (Matrix Crystals Book 2) by [Seagraves, Janice]

Matrix Crystal Christmas (Book Two): Science Fiction Romance

Exodus Arcon: Prelude to Book 1 Alien Heart: Chronicles of Arcon by [Seagraves, Janice ]

Exodus Arcon (Book One mini series): Science Fiction

Simply Irresistible: A Romance Books 4 Us Collection by [Morgan, Nicole, Stephens, Marianne , Donahue, Tina, Holt, Desiree, Ames, Krista, Seagraves, Janice , Spencer-Pape, Cindy, Brandon, Paris , Marsi, Cara , Stewart, Jean Hart]

Simply Irresistible: A Romance Books 4 Us Collection

Summer Nights of Delight: A Romance Books 4 Us Collection by [Morgan, Nicole, Stephens, Marianne , Donahue, Tina, Spencer Pape, Cindy, Seagraves, Janice , Hart Stewart, Jean, Brandon, Paris , Bridger, Denyse, Ames, Krista, Holt, Desiree]

Summer Nights of Delight: A Romance Books 4 Us Collection

Roping the Cowboy: 7 Romances on the Range by [Morgan, Nicole, Seagraves, Janice, Juliana, Gemma, Zurlo, Michele, Ames, Krista, Donahue, Tina, Bridger, Denyse]

Roping the Cowboy: 7 Romances on the Range




The 5th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

I’ve always loved the beauty of blooms. When I’ve done the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop before, I’d post photos of my garden and blooms from the almond orchard where we lived in a hundred year old farm house. Since then we’ve moved into a house in the city.

So this year I have taken photos of the blooms of our very own trees that came with the house.DSC_1488

This one is from a lemon tree. The blooms have a sweet citrus-floral scent. The interesting thing about the lemon trees is that they produce two or more crops of lemons a year.


This lovely bright pink bloom is from the nectarine tree. Nectarines are my favorite fruit, so I’m thrilled that we get to eat from then fresh from our very own home grown trees. And they are good. I was privileged to pick them in the morning right after we just moved in and have had one or two for breakfast.


This one is from the peach tree.  The blooms look very similar to the almond trees and that’s because they are related. Decades of cross breeding was done, so that the almond tree can produce nothing but the tasty almonds. The peach on the other hands was developed for the fruit.They are also related to the nectarine which is considered a fuzzless peach.

This is the almond bloom just so you can compare the peach with the almond bloom. Sorry for the extreme close up.

2014-02-24 17.31.58

I did manage with help from my husband to plant a small flower garden at our new home. I’m also working on the vegetable garden in the back yard. Its still a work in progress.


My best advice on growing a flower or a vegetable garden or fruit trees is take in consideration the amount of sun exposure you have and the size of the spot you’re limited to, then ask your local garden supplier what you can plant in that spot. Chances are there is something you can grow there that will be amazing.

Here’s some great tips:

Good luck. 🙂

In my recent book, Windswept Shores Two, I have a garden mentioned.


Blurb: Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic as they’re treated to one nasty surprise after another, which puts all plans of a wonderful future in jeopardy.

Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?


Handing him the loofah and soap, Megan turned away. Seth soaped up and started washing her back in small circles. “You know I love ya?”

She nodded.

“Liz really did sneak into the room, and I really was asleep.” He hoped she understood. He wouldn’t have brought her halfway around the world to then sleep with his ex.

Megan stiffened. “She wants you back.”

“I reckon she does, but I don’t want her. I only want you.”

After she rinsed off, she grabbed the soap and loofah from him. She gestured for him to change places with her. “I’m not one to fight over a man.” Megan worked her way from the top of his shoulders all the way down to his butt. “I never fought with Jonathan’s mistress over him. I told him to stop seeing her, but of course he didn’t.”

“Megz, I—”

“But if Liz gives me any more trouble, she’ll wish she hadn’t messed with me.”

Seth gritted his teeth against Megan’s hard scrubbing. “I reckon she will. Blimey, I know I am, and I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“No, you just lay there, letting it happen!” The soap and loofah bounced off the shower wall.

Seth turned, wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her against his chest. “I’m sorry Liz is giving you such a hard time. She’s a bit of bitch most days and a drama queen the rest. Why do you think I left?”

“Yeah, I kind of figured.” She sniffed and leaned her head against his chest.

“This is a right mess, eh?”

Megan sighed. “What are we going to do?”

“Once things get settled, I could get us a house, yeah? It’ll be a nice big mansion on a hill overlooking the ocean. In the master bath, the shower will look like your waterfall, and in the garden, we’ll have a pool and fix it so it looks like our old swimming lagoon. I’ll make us a pergola and more chairs, and you can weave the bottoms and backs. I’ll plant palm and banana trees. You can have a garden. We’ll pretend we’re still on our little island and make love all day long, eh?”

Megan looked up at him with sad sea-green eyes. “Seth, that sounds so lovely, but your father’s dying and your son misses you. You can’t leave. You’re needed here.”

He ran his hand down the side of his face. “Then what do we do, eh?”

“I don’t know.” She rested against him. “Just bide our time, I guess. But don’t blame me if you come home late one night and your ex is black and blue.”


Windswept Shores (One):

Windswept Shores Two:

In the UK, Windswept Shores (One):

In the UK, Windswept Shores Two:



***Contest Time***

GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice)
along with a 2nd prize of $25 gift card.
To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop.  Each site will post the links of participating authors but please feel free to visit to find the author link list at any point in time. Some authors might offer more than one entry to win.

How do I submit my grand prize entry?

Grand prize entrants will be entered via a rafflecopter giveaway widget, available on the initial and final landing page of this hop, located on BloominThyme.  All entries (and actions) will be verified to deem winners.

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to enter the grand prize contest.

(void were prohibited.)


For Janice Seagraves’s contest, in the comment section, simply state what you love about gardening. (A nice comment on my recent book release wouldn’t hurt either. *wink*)

My prize is this conk shell heart choker posted below.

If you live outside of the USA or Canada, and win the prize, a gift certificate to Amazon for the equivalent to five (5) dollars in USA currency  will be substituted.

Tour ends April 16th at 11:59pm EST.  My winner will be announced by April 18th.

Void were prohibited.

Conk shell heart necklace


Windswept Shores Two Available Now

Windswept Shores Two is available at Amazon.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!


Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic as they’re treated to one nasty surprise after another, which puts all plans of a wonderful future in jeopardy.

Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?