Robin Van Auken writes articles about the people, places and things that inspire her to write contemporary fiction.

Weapon of Love

Whether for love, country or just a thrill, women from both sides rose up as spies during World War One. I discovered an interesting newspaper article from 1918 on the subject of women spies, and thought it might be fun to share with readers of my blog. While transcribing the article from the [...]

By |2018-07-14T13:18:02-05:00July 28th, 2014|Articles|

It’s OK to Be Nosey

Few people realize that their sense of smell is a most important tool when selecting a lover. Scientists have discovered that smell can attract and can repel a female, and when she is close to ovulating, that sense of smell is especially heightened. What's even more astonishing is that humans can identify 10,000 different odors, [...]

By |2019-04-09T17:57:30-05:00February 26th, 2013|Articles|

Hottest Love

I doubt Socrates really said, "The hottest love has the coldest end." During the past 2,500 years, something surely was lost in translation by Plato. Regardless, I'm sure many of us can agree with the logic. I recall my first "hottest love." I was 16 when I first noticed the athletic guy jogging along [...]

By |2018-07-14T13:15:13-05:00February 22nd, 2013|Articles|

Travel Writing: A Good Writer is a Good Observer

If you're into travel writing, then you had better be paying attention. Not to this article—although it contains helpful advice for gathering intel during your next trip. You need to pay attention to everything and everyone and everywhere while you're abroad because you never know what, who, or where will become fodder for a feature. [...]

By |2019-08-22T08:52:55-05:00February 5th, 2013|Articles, Inspiration, Robin Van Auken, Wholehearted Author|

Trigger Words

Sometimes my husband says the wrong thing. He'll make statements that contain trigger words such as, "obsess," "scream," "always" and "never." We've all heard these words before, and the reason they drive us crazy is because they contain a trace of truth. Today, he advised me not to "... obsess too much about it. [...]

By |2019-04-09T17:58:39-05:00January 28th, 2013|Articles|

Snow Daze

It's been an interesting week in the Northeast United States. In just a few days, we've had more than a foot of snow in the Pennsylvania Highlands. It's the kind of snow that lays thick and wet and weighs down the evergreen boughs. It's a pretty picture, but it's a pain in the rear for [...]

By |2016-11-30T08:38:14-05:00December 29th, 2012|Articles|

Book Envy

I'm nearly there. As of today, I've read  93 books toward my goal of 104 books in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge. I seldom participate in online challenges because I have a problem committing. I tease my husband (of 32 years!) that I'm still not sure we're right for each other. I refuse to watch [...]

By |2018-07-14T17:07:54-05:00November 5th, 2012|Articles|

eBook Hoarding

I’m an eBook hoarder. With so many authors offering books to promote a series, I find myself hanging out on Pixel of Ink, World Literary Cafe, Kindle Author, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, snatching up books while they’re free. I’ll click on a free eBook link regardless of the genre and download it to [...]

By |2018-07-14T17:23:10-05:00July 14th, 2012|Articles|

Interview: Dee Ann Waite Blog

Thursday, July 5, 2012 I first met Robin Van Auken (writing as Madeline Sloane) on Goodreads. You see, I'm preparing to launch my first novel and needed some advice on pre-launch marketing. So I closed my eyes and threw a dart and it landed on her. I asked my question and was instantly impressed [...]

By |2018-07-14T17:24:32-05:00July 5th, 2012|Articles, Interviews|

Behind the Scenes: Peachys

Peachys is the heart of Eaton despite its location on the outskirts of the town. (Of course, it's a fictitious place, just like Eaton, but figures in nearly all the novels in my Eaton romance series.) Peachys Grocery Once a mom-and-pop operation, Peachys opened its doors in the early 1840s, first as a feed store. [...]

By |2018-08-06T07:17:25-05:00March 28th, 2012|Articles, Behind the Scenes|

Burning Socks a Mariner’s Tradition

This week, we’ll burn our socks. It’s a tradition in the maritime community to celebrate Spring, which begins in the Northern Hemisphere on the vernal equinox. Burning socks a mariner tradition? Yes, it is known. So why do we burn socks? Despite the fact that we’re landlocked, we love boats. We also qualify because we owned [...]

By |2018-08-06T07:18:09-05:00March 17th, 2012|Articles|

A New Takei on Feminist Perspective

Although she didn’t intend to do it, Anita Sarkeesian tossed a pie in my face this morning. I deserved it. Sarkeesian is a media critic specializing in pop culture. You can find her feminist/fan-girl commentaries on her website, The day after Valentine’s Day, she posted a video “The 2012 Oscars and The Bechdel Test.” [...]

By |2018-07-14T17:39:36-05:00February 27th, 2012|Articles|

Show Me the Dowry

Caroline Linden's 'I Love the Earl' I Love the Earl: Show Me the Dowry! This is a witty, sweet book that gave me the impression that titled yet penniless, bachelors of the Regency are similar to the athletes we worship today. Instead of football or baseball, however, their game is to land [...]

By |2018-08-06T07:18:46-05:00October 19th, 2011|Articles|