The Portuguese ranch family in my book, Only on Valentine's Day, serve malasadas at their family gatherings. During this Easter weekend, I wanted to share the connection between malasadas and Easter in Hawai'i.
Portuguese immigrants to the Hawaiian islands are predominantly from the Archipelogos of Azores and Mederira where most people are Catholic and observe Lent. In those areas of Portugal, the day before Lent is called Malassadas Day (spelled with a double s, unlike the typical spelling in Hawai'i). The little donuts were traditionally deep-fried in animal fat, so this treat was enjoyed before abstinence from meat and meat products.
Click on the link below to find out why Dani, the heroine in the book, reached for these treats when she wanted something sweet.
Darlene Panzera is a multi-published author of sweet, fun-loving romance. Her career launched with the publication ofTHE BET,included in NY Times best-selling author Debbie Macomber'sFAMILY AFFAIR.Her current series,THE CUPCAKE DIARIES, hit the top 100 on the Barnes & Noble Nook with a debut at #7 for overall sales.Darlene says, "I love writing stories that help inspire people to laugh, value relationships, and pursue their dreams." www.darlenepanzera.com
Here's a little information about my writing process:
1) What am I working on? Currently, I'm working on two manuscripts. The short story is part of a group project where each of four authors write a story around a common theme. The other project is the second novella in my Kona Breezeway Inn series. The first book in the series is under contract, so I'll be doing my final edits on that sometime in the next few weeks. I'd also love to write a Christmas romance. What do these projects all have in common? They are all contemporary romances set in small towns--two of the settings are in my home state of Hawai'i and one in a small town in eastern Washington.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My focus is small town contemporary romance. My first two stories take place in Hawai'i and I tried to embed the local customs and cultural beliefs into my stories. I love to do research to really make the setting an active part of the story.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I've written for as long as I can remember and have quite an assortment of genres represented in my file cabinet. In 2010, I decided to draft a romance during nanowrimo. I liked the structure of romance and the happily-ever-after ending. There are so many opportunities in writing a love story!
4) How does my writing process work? I used to be a total pantser. I would have an idea about the plot and would just start drafting. After taking a variety of classes in writing, I now start with my setting and then place my main characters in that setting. I figure out their personality traits (I use Cherry Adair's Sun Signs method). I try to find a photo that looks like my characters or I note that they look like so-and-so. Then I do a four page characterization sheet that gives likes, dislikes, family, friends, possessions, etc. Next, I do internal and external goals and motivations, based on the work of Debra Dixon.
While I'm developing my characters, I try to figure out the main conflict based on what I know about them and the setting. Plotting out the story is much more difficult for me, and I'm trying out different methods to see what works. Darlene Panzera and Debby Lee have given me a lot of support on ways to structure the plot.
Thanks for stopping by. The week of April 21, stop by the following writers' blogs to learn their writing process.
Jessica Walsh: My life is a flurry of writing, art and creativity. You can usually find me reading a book, scribbling notes in a notebook for future creations, typing on a laptop with music blaring in my ears or buried in my basement watching documentaries and sitting behind a sewing machine.
I've been writing for as long as I can remember and have boxes of old notebooks in horrible handwriting to prove it. Only recently have I stumbled back into writing and finishing my ideas.
Seeking the Storyteller is the first novel I've published; with my partner in crime and life, Briana Lawrence. I also write horror, fantasy, supernatural and occasionally romance pieces which I am currently shopping around through contests and publishers.
Janette Harjo is the best-selling author of romantic paranormal/fantasy. Her current and upcoming release, from Books To Go Now, is the continuing love story in the CONNECTIONS Romantic Fantasy Trilogy.
Ms. Harjo enjoys life and has varied interests. To name a few, when she is not standing in front of her keyboard, she enjoys classic car shows, the theater, travel, and singing in her church choir. In her own words, "Every day is an Adventure!"