Tempering, an Addendum

Posted by: La-Tessa


While reviewing some older notes I’d written myself, I decided to revisit this one on tempering and add a few new thoughts. [original post]

My collective essence (mind, body, spirit) is never as clear, grounded, and focused as it is at dawn’s first breath. This is when the answers I seek come, while my mind is still not 100% alert to what’s going on in the world, before the distractions of life –and living– establish their pecking order on my day’s To Do list.

I’m seek God for clarity in dealing with all situations in my life: those that bring joy, those that being pain; those that I am aware of, those I’m not, and those to come. Clarity is a good thing, but it can with a bite. Clarity can be truly a painful thing.


Temper [temp-per] v.- to impart strength and toughness to by heating and cooling.

…Imparting strength through the heating and cooling, through the pain and the reprieve, through sun and the shade.  There is something to learn in all situations, good or bad, that will bring you closer to the person you are meant to be, to the blessings you are meant to have.

Through the heating and the cooling.

Not everything I want is what I need
Not everything I think I need is good for me,  now… or ever
Not every smile is an invitation, nor every rejection a curse.
Not everyone that flows into my life is meant to remain: just as they arrived in on the morning tide, so they shall leave on the evening’s.

Yes, I find most times clarity comes with a bite. I could ignore the sting and proceed headfirst down the path of my own creation…into whatever lies beyond. But this usually increases the chance of encountering chaos, increasing the likelihood for missteps, increasing the likelihood for real discomfort vs. God’s gentle reproach.

Or I could pause to clean the tear, where ever it falls in my spirit, emotion, or psyche, and deal with the pain or discomfort that comes with the cleanse. I’ve learned  sometimes the “situational temporary” is all I’ll get.   This lesson must be well learned so I recognize when the “situational permanent” arrives.

Is it always easy? No
Is it always fun? No

But it is always educational & fortifying.  It always tempers my mettle.  It teaches me to appreciate my worth.

Being content is not a crime, settling for it is.

Death is a necessity: Insecurities, unhealthy desires, & recklessness must be culled and applied as mulch.  Use them to fertilize the positive growth and the true direction of your life.


Muse Music: How

Posted by: La-Tessa

I gotta say, there is something about the edge in Adam’s voice on this one.  It leads an intangible quality to this song that sums up my current Hero’s predicament.


I’m asking for your help
I am going through hell
Afraid nothing can save me but the sound of your voice
You cut out all the noise
And now that I can see mistakes so clearly now
I’d kill if I could take you back 


muse music



*Lyrics & music are property and copyright of their owners; provided here for educational purposes and personal use only.

Muse Music: Beautiful

Posted by: La-Tessa

I’ve always thought this was a beautiful, soulful song about life.  When the story I’m currently drafting came to me, I knew this song fit my heroine.  It encapsulates her past, present, and the path to her future perfectly.  I do believe I’ve found her soundtrack.

Please understand that it’s not that I don’t care
But right know these walls are closing in on me
I love you more than I love life itself

But I need to find a place were I can breathe
I can breathe
I wanna go to place were I can hold the intangible
And let go of the pain with all my might 

I wanna go to Beautiful…



muse music



*Lyrics & music are property and copyright of their owners; provided here for educational purposes and personal use only.

My Funny Valentine: Romance In Color Feature

Posted by: La-Tessa

LaTessa Montgomery


Exciting news!  I’m the featured author for RomanceInColor!  Not only that, but I’m the special Valentine’s  feature for the rest of the month.  See, I told all you doubters I was actually sweet….well, sometimes… LOL

Stop by and check out me out.  I’m discussing all sorts of things, including some of my favs, personal inspiration & thoughts behind my debut short story, Found Rhythm, and all sorts of Valentine’s Day thoughts, including who my dream celebrity date is. :-)

You know you wanna check it out!  While you’re there, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of Seven Dress Sizes!

Good luck!


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Nicki Salcedo: The Spitfire Princess

Posted by: La-Tessa

Nicki SalcedoI was a tomboy as a kid. I used to sit directly on the ground and poke my fingers into dirt. I’m grown now and still have my tomboy ways. I don’t mind spiders or snakes, but I hate shoe shopping and frilly dresses. Give me a net, and I’ll go chase fireflies. That’s about as ladylike as I get. It’s not that I’m fearless. I have one phobia, much like the heroine in my novel ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS. I am afraid of mascara.

I thought I might change when I started reading romance novels. But I stayed the same. I fell in love with cowboys and dukes and knights. I wondered if they’d fall in love with a grass-stained girl. I wondered what they would think if I was the one to rescue them.

I’ve lived inside every book I’ve ever read. I vowed never to write stories where the ladies fainted or swooned. I would spit fire like a dragon. I would win the heart of the handsome hero, and I would never ever have to do the dishes.

Good things dreams come true. I wrote ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS as a present to my tomboy self. The Spitfire Princess in me wanted to have her day. My main character is Ava Camden. She is a princess of sorts, but she is scarred physically and emotionally. She is wealthy. She lives alone on a vast estate. She is brooding. She saves the day. And not once in the entire book did I make her wash the dishes.

What kind of hero deserves a Spitfire Princess? Read ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS and meet Graham Sapphire. He’s tall and handsome with a few scars of his own. He is the beauty and a protector in this reversal of the beauty and the beast story. What kind of kid were you: a daredevil, bookworm, prankster, tomboy, or a girly girl? What kind of adult are you: beauty or beast? Tell us in the comments.


All Beautiful ThingsThank you so much for stopping by! To show her appreciation for your visit, the beautiful and talented Spitfire Princess Nicki is giving away an ARC of ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS and a t-shirt from Belle Books!

To enter, you have to:
1. Like Nicki’s FaceBook page
2. Like my FaceBook page
3. Leave a comment below about your inner spitfire-ness by telling us what type of kid you were, and what type of adult you are now.

Ways to get additional entries into the giveaway are outlined in the Rafflecopter giveaway below, for those extra motivated to win a free ARC of this awesome story.

Good luck! The winner will be announced tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. cst




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Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. She was born in Jamaica and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America© and a Past President of Georgia Romance Writers. Nicki is a two‐time recipient of the Maggie Award of Excellence and a Golden Heart Finalist.

She lives in Atlanta with her four children, husband, and a cat. Nicki thinks everyone should write and loves connecting with readers. You can find her at:


Muse Music: Demons

Posted by: La-Tessa

Oh yes, I’ve found someone’s theme song!!!

I love it when backstory comes together and the path to the present story action is revealed.

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide


muse music




*Lyrics & music are property and copyright of their owners; provided here for educational purposes and personal use only.



State of the Industry: African American Romance

Posted by: La-Tessa

LaTessa MontgomeryWith it being Black History Month, I wanted to spark a bit of conversation about a genre I’ve loved since the mid 1990′s:  African American romance.  I’ve seen its popularity grow over the years, but it’s still not at the level of its mainstream counterparts.

Today, I am over at Savvy Authors sharing my thoughts about African American romance, its place in today’s market, & its possible place in the future and what this means for writers and readers of this genre.

Head on over and join in on the discussion.  I’ll see you over there. :-)

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