Posts Tagged ‘romance’

New camera -

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Okay, I now have an old digital camera that got passed to me when the owner acquired a new one, but golly, it works!  I am no photographer.  However, I point and click and this thing comes up with amazing photos.  A perfect summer hobby.  As my 4th Mudflat book will be released in October, I decided to put together a cover idea to send to the cover artist to show her the main themes of the story.  And in the background I wanted something typical of Seattle.  So I hopped the ferry and snapped some pictures and hey!  Some came out quite well.  I sent them to her and she didn’t use the exact photos, but she used the general shapes, sky and building relationships, that sort of thing.  She has the talent and the artist’s eye.  I have the camera.  Here are a couple of the photos.  Let me add, the ferry ride is fun even without a camera because the views are gorgeous and the clam chowder is Ivar’s own.

Romance & Independence: Hand in Hand

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

What’s more romantic than a woman who finds a man who becomes everything she’s always needed? A man who takes her away from a life she longed to escape or from fears within and helps her live happily ever after? Pretty romantic, isn’t it?

What about a woman who finds a man she doesn’t particularly need, but one she wants anyway?


There is a large difference between being with someone you need and being with someone you want. Needs can change. Once they’re fulfilled, then what? How many relationships begin from need and then when those two people grow and change and become more independent, they find there’s not enough left to keep feeding the fire? If need is the basis, that couple is standing on shaky ground.


Want may not seem as incredibly powerful as need, but it does tend to be longer lasting. Of course wants can change as needs do, and a woman can develop true want from need that will last after the need is fulfilled or outgrown, but would you rather have your mate say “I need you” or “I want you”?


Need is greedy. It’s self-serving. It’s human, also, and we do need others for particular reasons. There’s no shame in that. It can be an effective tool both in reality and in fiction. It’s the equivalent of lust, however. Sometimes it “grows up” into love and sometimes it doesn’t.


There is an element of need inside want. Need is the sunflower seed and want is the full-blooming sunflower. Yes, you can consume the seed itself and enjoy it, or you can plant that seed and allow it to turn into more … with petals included.


It’s the trend in romantic fiction these days to have strong, independent heroines — those who don’t particularly need a hero but sure appreciate one when he’s found.  Those of us living in democratic countries understand the need for independence. We celebrate it here in the States this weekend, how we stood up and said we don’t need you to be in charge. We’re okay by ourselves. Of course looking at us now, you can see we still want that relationship we broke away from. It’s a good, healthy relationship that is now based more on want than need. It’s a prime example of something that began needy and grew up and flowered. Sometimes it works well.


Changing from need to want can sometimes cause relationship breakdowns, also. Using something I’ve seen often, military marriages have to grow from need into want in order to survive. The military spouse is often deployed, either to training exercises or to combat situations. The spouse remaining must learn to survive as an independent partner, often a single parent, and generally away from family and friends. She (or he, but bear with me) grows stronger and learns to make decisions alone and how to do things she’s never done before. That growth is a beautiful thing. Independence is a beautiful thing. The danger comes when the soldier (or airman, etc) returns home and expects all to be the same. It isn’t and it can’t be. How does our hero react to that? He grows also. Or they part. From what I’ve seen, it’s the relationships that have plenty of want behind the need that do survive.


I tend to have needy heroines. I admit it. Strong independent types from the beginning of a book are nice, yes. But I tend to admire those who aren’t so independent at the beginning, who have a lot of learning and a lot of growing to do, and do it with grace. Needy heroines who become independent heroines who still want their heroes around have to be the most romantic of all. They are rare. And they’re beautiful. Like true independence itself.


Let’s face it, we can live a long time being ruled and overpowered, but once we get a taste of freedom, nothing else will do.


Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans and my wishes of success to all those still trying to find it. That’s a romance worth reading.


LK Hunsaker

Literary Romance with an Artsy Twist



Saturday, June 27th, 2009


 “Writing Sex Scenes” continues to be as topical as creating characters, getting the dialogue right and plotting a believable story.  Okay, you’ve got that down, your hero and heroine have met, now it’s time to get them on the path to love and the big scenes.  Today’s romances range from sweet to sizzling.  Erotica sells big.   A writer told me, “Write the hot stuff, it sells.”  I don’t write the hot stuff, because I don’t read the hot stuff.  The first rule: be at ease with your scenes.  


Ever scanned through a love scene in an otherwise good romance? Or passed it altogether because it was amateurish or embarrassingly bad?  We all have.  So how can we writers create the kind of scenes we’d like to read, that we can be proud of? 


Remember how it felt to be attracted to someone, and then finding yourself falling in love? Recall how you flirted, the shared coy laughter, the tightness in your body.  You held hands, smiled into each others eyes and, yes, fussed at each other.  You parted from the object of your affection, and you couldn’t wait to see him/her to straighten out the misunderstanding.  You missed him/her terribly.  The tension heightened until it was the right time to make love.  Practice writing pages and pages of scenarios, sans body parts and flat physical responses.  Go for heartfelt emotion, exaggerate.  Like dialogue, written sex scenes, even movie sex scenes, are not like real-life.  Think of yourself as a choreographer.         


Sounds easy, right?  Put readers in the scene; it’s what writers do.  So, why do many writers find it hard to write sex scenes?  


One, because writers frankly admit they wouldn’t want their mother/brother/pastor reading their scenes.  People will think they’re writing about themselves.  Maybe some writers are, maybe some aren’t.  As someone said, you don’t have to be a serial killer to write about serial killers.  Nonetheless, most (I’ll go out on a limb here) romance writers use a pseudonym, especially if their love scenes happen behind closed doors.     


Two, it’s difficult to achieve authenticity in sex scenes.  There’s only a thread between reality and hoke, between sensual and silly. You don’t want to come off silly, unless you’re writing comic romance.    


No doubt, in real life, right after meeting, a couple will jump in bed and go to it.  That’s not why most romance readers buy romance novels.  They want the build-up.  They want to experience what the characters go through emotionally.  Sometimes a writer will get impatient in building tension and jump right into explicit sex, leaving the reader feeling cheated.  No matter how long the characters have known each other, the foreplay for the writer - if you will - is to get the reader sensitive to the hero and heroine’s feelings.  It isn’t a mystery that the two will have sex, it’s a question of the writer giving the reader the maximum in anticipation.  The reader must experience the seduction or the scene falls flat and will be passed over, or the book closed.


Once you’ve written an exquisite sex scene, it’s tempting to cut and paste it into the next story.  Never, never.  If you have a following, or intend to build one – and what writer doesn’t – your readers will get tired of your repetition.  Keep it fresh.  Your characters are not stereotypes, their love is their own.  Let them use their senses – savor the scent of their surroundings, feel the silk sheets, taste each other’s flesh, hear the rain on the window panes, move to the rhythm of the sea.  Let them speak innuendos, joke a little in the act of shedding clothing.  Use internal dialogue.  Create conflict with the couple’s first mating.  She’s shy; he’s a little too eager.  This can roll over into the next scene and the next, until he doesn’t know what to do to bring her out of her shyness.  The reader anticipates that he will. And, of course, he does - seductively.   


My advice: read love scenes from authors who are masters, but don’t copy.  Get a sense of their pacing and style. How else do you learn any kind of writing, except by reading?  Remember, make it emotional, seductive, tender, and, use all the senses. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t use medical or cutesy terms for body parts.   



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Gerrie Ferris

Of Wales, Mists and Sequels

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

I’m so happy to be posting my first entry here.  I’ve just returned from a trip to my homeland of Wales, and it was great to be in the mountains again.  This is  a picture of the countryside around my sister’s home where I was staying.  Sometimes the mist comes sweeping in from the hills and is such a spectacular sight. 

Watching the mist over the Welsh Mountains inspired the creation of the planet Niflheim (named after the  ‘land of mist and cold’ of Norse legends) that I used in my first novel, Starquest

Niflheim, planet of telepaths, takes up only a small part of the orginal story, but I became fond of the misty world and her people, especially Tamarith, who becomes a good friend of the heroine in Starquest, and I ended up writing a sequel, entitled Children Of The Mist, which is mainly set on Niflheim and takes place about six years after the first book ends.

I am excited about the release of  Children Of The Mist by The Wild Rose Press, on 19th June, just over a fortnight to go!  Yesterday I received my advance Author Copies and it was such a thrill to hold them at last, and see the lovelycover by Tamra Westberry in ‘real life’.

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:

Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own. Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities.

Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late? Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love?
Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?




Tamarith stopped and gazed for a moment  across the water. The G-type sun, now fully risen,  caused the lake to shimmer like a veil of golden silk, with scarcely a ripple disturbing its calm. The  pastel-colored walls of the graceful buildings on the  shore reflected the glow of both suns. In the distance, the mountains encircling the settlement  reached high into the cerulean sky. The swirling  mist that hid their summits was as much a part of  Niflheim as the earth upon which she and Vidarh  stood.


She sensed his mind discreetly touch hers and realized he was staring at her keenly. She turned  back to face him, returning his questioning glance and studying him in turn.  Taller than average, and broad-shouldered,  today he wore a sleeveless, belted leather shirt over thick breeches, with long,  icecat-wool lined boots.  His upper arms were well muscled, his skin tanned as if he were used to working outdoors. His curly,  dark auburn hair, kept away from his face with a plain leather band, reached almost to his shoulders.It caught the sun’s rays and gleamed like the polished dark red wood of the trees that flanked the feet of the mountains.


She took in his clear, hazel eyes, with their  friendly twinkle, the long, straight nose, strong jaw  line and smiling mouth. He would have been  fighting off the local unattached young women if the  situation they found themselves in were not so  serious.  Not that she was particularly interested in his looks, or those of any other man, for that matter.
No, something else about Vidarh of Ragnak excited her curiosity.

I really enjoyed writing both these books.  Starquest is that cliche ‘the book of my heart’ and I had such fun writing Children Of The Mist and learning more about the beautiful, misty planet of Niflheim.   Surprising what can spring from something as simple as watching the weather over the mountains!

If you’d like to find out more about my books, you can do so by visiting any of  my sites below my signature. 

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

A Regency Romance

I’m thrilled to announce the release of THE DUKE’S DILEMMA at BookStrand publishing. My previous published book is a contemporary, but I do love writing stories about Regency England. The Regency period is fascinating to me. My twin heroine had been knocking around in my head for some time demanding her story. And so I gave in and created twins with much different personalities, added a handsome hero, and lots of conflict and danger.
Hope you enjoy the blurb and excerpt below:

After losing her fiancé in a war, Helena Steeples vowed never to wed. But when her twin, Mary Ann, refuses Duke Nicholas’ proposal, Helena finds herself attracted to him.
Nicholas knows Helena, the shy twin, does not meet his initial criteria for a wife, but she fascinates him. With both families’ support, the duke pursues Helena and she signs a contractual agreement to marry him.
Two days before their wedding, her former fiancé, believed dead, returns, postponing the nuptials. Helena notices changes in her former beau, while the duke suspects he’s the traitor they’ve long hunted.
Helena finds herself in the middle of an attempted murder, treason, and a former fiancé who wants to hold her to their earlier obligation. He knows Helena’s secret and can destroy her reputation and ruin her wedding plans to Nicholas.
Once the secrets are revealed, will Helena marry the duke or her former fiancé?

Moonlight shone across the kitchen floor and the lingering smell of food brought a smile to Helena’s lips. All the servants were abed and the fire had burned down to a small ember.
Cold beef and thick slices of bread sat on a platter. She poured herself some milk, got the butter, and cut herself a slice of the beef. The moonlight provided plenty of light to see by.
“May I have a piece?”
Helena jumped, dropping the knife onto the metal pan. The clatter echoed in the silent house. They stood breathless for a moment, but no one seemed disturbed.
“Your Grace, what are you doing here?”
“The same as you, I suppose. I couldn’t sleep and I was hungry. It is rather forward of me to come into your kitchen in the middle of the night, but I’ve always thought it the best time and place to relax and think.”
“I too. None of my family knows of my midnight jaunts, but cook usually leaves something out in case I come down.” She couldn’t stop herself from smiling at him, as though they were fellow conspirators.
He seemed more approachable tonight in his open-necked white shirt and black trousers. Her heart tripped faster when his green eyes looked at her so intently. She studied him. She’d never paid attention to his handsomeness. Of course, she rarely considered any of the men she saw during the season in London. They all circled around her sister and didn’t notice her.
Forcing herself to look away, she cut the duke a larger piece of the meat, handed him the bread plate, and poured out another glass of milk. Then she sat at the old wooden table and put her beef between two slices of buttered bread.
The silence of the house created an atmosphere of intimacy and Helena knew her behavior was improper. Her nightdress left few barriers to the imagination and her skin heated every time he gazed at her. She didn’t want to leave. He fascinated her and brought back color and feeling into her life. Something she’d almost forgotten. What harm could come of a few stolen moments?

* * * *

The enjoyment on her face when she bit into her sandwich made him smile. How had Helena managed to always stay on the sidelines? Tonight, her golden hair fell in waves down her back, making his hands tingle with the desire to run his fingers through it.
Although he busied himself, putting the meat slices on his bread, he couldn’t ignore her. Her light blue robe did nothing to hide the soft curves of her body. And yet he’d never noticed Mary Ann’s figure. How odd. When Helena bent to slice his meat, her robe had parted just enough to tantalize him with a brief glance of one soft rounded breast. His body hardened at the thought, desire flickering along the pathways of his nerves.
Did she hide her real self deliberately? If so, why?
“Don’t you like the food?” she asked.
He bit into his sandwich, washing it down with milk. But his hunger for food was gone, replaced by a different craving.
Forcing his mind into a safer direction, he asked, “Did your sister discuss our conversation?”

* * * *

“Yes, I’m sorry things did not work out to suit both of you.” She studied him. “I suppose you will all leave tomorrow.” For some unexplainable reason the thought made her sad.
“But Mary Ann said she made it very clear she wouldn’t marry you.”
“She did. I intend to speak with your parents tomorrow,” he said.
His voice was cool and reserved. Helena realized the friendly warmth had faded, replaced by the proper duke.
“They won’t force her, you know.”
“Don’t worry. That’s not the reason I wish to speak with them.” He leaned back and pushed his plate away. “I want to be certain we leave on good terms with your family. Our parents have been friends for many years and your mother has been a support for mine, since my father’s death.
“We are here now.” He shrugged. “It would be rather awkward to wake everyone up tomorrow morning and leave right away.”
“Of course, I only thought it might be uncomfortable for you. My sister is not the most tactful person as you saw tonight. Although, do not misunderstand me, I love her very much.”
“I’m sure you do and I appreciate your thoughtfulness.” His lips curved into a half smile. “Don’t concern yourself about me. I’m a grown man and quite able to handle disappointment or rejection. It is nothing.”
His words rankled. They made him sound cold and uncaring. She resented the confused emotions he created inside her. Disappointment swept over her as she realized the man she’d been attracted to earlier only existed in her imagination.
“Mary Ann is right. You aren’t the man for her. She needs someone with feelings, someone who will love and cherish her.” Standing, she glared at him. “Not a man who sees her as a slight inconvenience.” With those words, she pulled the skirt of her bed robe to the side and marched out.

* * * *

Nicholas chuckled after she left. He hadn’t seen such a grand exit since watching a play, several months ago, at Drury Lane.
Head high, she walked as though clothed in a ball gown of heavy satin and not the thin robe of silk that did little to hide her enticing figure.
What he wondered would have happened if someone had come into the kitchen and found them having a midnight snack? Would the man she loved reject her? And more importantly, would she be considered compromised and he forced to marry her?
Feeling the lingering remnants of desire in his body, he wasn’t sure he’d mind. Mary Ann’s twin sister became more intriguing each time they met and most especially when alone.
He stood and stretched. No, he wouldn’t leave tomorrow. This week-end had become much more interesting then he’d expected.

Rachel McNeely

I Am Your Child

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

 ”Whatever will come, will come from me,
Tomorrow is won by winning me.
Whatever I am, you taught me to be,
I am your hope,  I am your chance,
I am your child.”


It’s Mother’s Day here in the US and these few lyrics from Barry Manilow’s “I Am Your Child” reflect a small bit of the importance of mothers in our lives. Indeed, maybe more than anything else, our relationships with our mothers, or lack thereof, deeply influences us in so many aspects.


I write a rather strange mix of literary fiction and genre romance and something that strikes me as a huge contrast is that while there is often mention of a mother’s place in the development of a main character in literary fiction, we almost never see mothers even mentioned in romance. Of course, since much of romance now is on the more descriptive side of things, it might be awkward to bring mothers into it. After all, how many romance readers actually hid what they were reading from their moms? Maybe they hid them because the stories left moms out. 


Seriously, though,  all of our characters were shaped by their moms, either with a good or bad relationship or with no relationship. Yes, you can as easily be shaped by what you don’t have as by what you have. At least, authors should know how they were shaped by their parents even if it doesn’t come out in the books. Many of us have full outlines on our characters that never show, including little details such as birthdays and astrological signs. Moms are a big part of that, or they should be.


My first heroine, Jenna from Finishing Touches, had a rocky relationship with her mother, not close and very demanding, with the mother’s needs coming before Jenna’s.  As a result, she grabs onto the first man she is attracted to who offers her that close bond she’s been seeking. It turns out to be a more controlling relationship than she expected, although she refuses to see it as that. And she has a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to live without a controlling figure in her life after losing him. Part of a parent’s job is to teach children how to control their own lives, how to make decisions on their own. Without that childhood development, becoming an adult leads to extra struggle while they’re doing so for the first time.


In Rehearsal, on the other hand, Susie has a very close loving bond with her mother who lets her explore and make mistakes and messes. This helps her accept mistakes and messes others make and she is a very giving, loving person. However, she loses her mother early in childhood and can’t fully accept her friend’s mother as her own when they take her in, so she turns that needed bond over to her best friend. Her friend, Evan, has a close relationship with his mother who is more supervisory than controlling, who takes part in what he does but allows him space. He is an adult in control of his life and has patience and determination to work for and wait for what he needs and wants. The newcomer, Duncan, also has a very close relationship with his mother, which helps him get through a tumultuous childhood with his ill-tempered father to be able to still turn out stable and loving, although wary and highly protective of the women in his life.


In my next-to-come-out book, Off The Moon, Ryan’s mom is ex-military and therefore believes in structure and discipline but is gentle with her sons and involved with their lives. She’s also very protective of her youngest. Any guesses as to how this reflects on Ryan’s adult life? And then there’s Kaitlyn, the girl he throws a rope to when she needs one. Her relationship with her mother … well, that remains to be seen within the book.


Whatever happens with these main characters reflects largely on how they were reared. How they treat those around them depends on how they were treated. Function and dysfunction abound, but also the lesson I learned from my own mother: if you stand tall and fight your way through your problems, things do work out okay in the end. That’s, of course, why so many of us like genre romance — the happily ever after despite how many odds are against it.


Those who have read the dedication in Finishing Touches saw this at the end:


And for Mom — I am your child.


Much of my work turns out as a tribute to the strength and determination I saw from my mom through the turmoil and fun and love and loss. My heroines aren’t perfect, outgoing, popular, independent types with their acts so together it makes us all wish ours were as much. They are real, imperfect, struggling, and much of their strength shows in simply deciding to try for a better tomorrow. That’s what I grew up seeing, in my mother and in my grandmother. That’s what I hope to pass along to my daughter and if I have them sometime in the future, to my granddaughters.


Happy Mother’s Day


~ ~ ~

LK Hunsaker
Literary Romance with an Artsy


Deja Vu Lover by Phoebe Matthews

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Book Title : Deja Vu Lover
Author : Phoebe Matthews
Publisher : Wild Rose Press
Genre : Contemporary / historical / time travel
Publication Date : 2008
ISBN : 10: 1601543425; ISBN-13: 978-1601543424
Pages : 264 pages
Series : N/A
Category : Sensual
Type : Print, ebook

Reviewer: Lindsay Townsend

5 Wings

I was gripped from the start by Deja Vu Lover by Phoebe Matthews, with its clever title, intriguing opening and immediate evocation of place. In this original historical-romance-time-slip, the narrator, April, is used to being classed as a bimbo, but she is far from that. April is a warm-hearted, sympathetic, scatty (she keeps forgetting her umbrella in rainy modern-day Seattle) and charming young woman whom I found very appealing. She is part of a foursome of friends: steady, dependable Macbeth, clever Cyd and charming Tom. She has an on-off relationship with Tom, but both of them are commitment-shy and worried about losing each other as friends if they attempt to become more ’serious’.

I really enjoyed the fresh, snazzy dialogue between April and her three friends, and the author’s compassionate, insightful depiction of modern relationships between men and women. April meanwhile is disturbed by a vision she has of a two car accident where her three closest, dearest friends are hurt - and where she is driving one of the cars, although she cannot really drive. The visions - or are they flashbacks to a past life? - continue and increase. April lives in modern Seattle but keeps being catapulted back to California in the 1920s, where as Silver (real name Millie) she is an aspiring actress, madly in love with rising star Laurence.

Faced with these visions, April and her friends do some searching in the library and online to find Laurence and Silver. On one of these searches, April finds another Laurence - a college professor called Graham Berkold who has Laurence’s smile and charm. April finds she cannot resist Graham and, much like Silver/Millie before her, she begins a sensual love affair. At first April is free of her disturbing flashbacks but then they resume with frightening intensity. And soon April is confused. Is she with Graham, or Laurence? Her two lives are starting to collide.

Laurence and Graham also mirror each other. Laurence, she discovers, is married. So, too, she learns too late, is Graham. Both claim their wives are addicts. Then in another flashback, April learns that Laurence’s wife died and that rumours circulated that Laurence had a hand in her death. Will that history repeat itself in the present? Will Graham be involved in his wife’s death? Are Laurence and Graham to be trusted with Silver/Millie’s heart and April’s heart?

Macbeth and Tom meanwhile keep looking in on April, checking she’s OK. Macbeth takes her in his car to teach her to drive. Tom, her on-off lover, goes with her to Minnesota to discover what happened in the end to Silver/Millie. The actress, it turns out, died young, in a car crash. Will that tragic history repeat itself in the present, with April?

Déjà Vu Lover by Phoebe Matthews is a tender yet tough story, full of romantic twists and turns and a lovely, romantic ending. I found myself cheering April on and wishing her really well and happy - which, in the end, she is - and with the right man for her. I am looking forward to reading more of Phoebe Matthews’ books.

Lindsay Townsend

Faeries and Dragons and Mules, Oh My!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Greetings, all you lovely Classic Romance Revival readers and authors! I’m Jacquie Rogers and I have a question to pose for you:

Do you prefer to read the same type of book all the time?

Many readers do, lots don’t. I’m definitely in the later category. While my first love is western historical romances, I also love fantasy, fantasy romance, futuristic, SFR (science-fiction romance), with some urban fantasy sprinkled in here and there. I also love historical fiction as well as mythological fiction. So far, I’ve written all these plus contemporary, and hey, I love writing all these different stories!

But the way the world works, authors are expected to write the same type of book over and over and over. Isn’t this ironic? Many of us would keel over in utter boredom after a few books. There are ways around this, of course, the most common being the use of pen names.

Jayne Ann Krenz (her married name) writes contemporaries, and as Amanda Quick, writes historicals. As Jayne Castle (her maiden name), she writes paranormal. She’s a fabulous writer but I have to say I love her fantasy romances the best. She’s been writing these for a long time–way before paranormal romance was considered viable in the market.

Stella Cameron, on the other hand, wrote historicals (I don’t think she’s still writing them, though) and contemporary romantic suspense, both under her own name. Ann Stuart has written practically every romance sub-genre there is, all under the same name.

Is it wise to write several sub-genres under the same name? As a reader, I prefer it. Stella Cameron’s books will be compelling no matter when or where she sets them, and you can bet I’ll be buying them. Same with the other two authors. But I’m not a person to purchase books just because a certain author wrote it, and never have been. The back blurb and the cover are strong influences, and the first page is the deciding factor.

But I digress–let’s get back to sub-genre reading preferences. Some readers choose books from across the board, some read only historicals, some read only Regency-set historicals. Some want paranormal elements in every story they read, some are put off by those very same elements. I was discussing this topic with a person who prefers contemporaries set in locations she’s actually visited. She doesn’t care for exotic settings because to her, the setting distracts from the story. I’m the opposite–if I’ve been there, then it’s too “real.” I much prefer a world I’ve never visited, nor can I ever, so historicals and futuristics have an advantage with me.

I’d love to hear your feelings on the subject. Do you like to read and/or write in similar settings and sub-genres? or diverse? Make a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Faery Special Romances.

Coming up:

May 1 is the launch date for 1st Turning Point, a site where Authors Teach, Share, & Learn–All About Promotion. Prizes and fun for all who join, and it’s free! We currently have over a dozen columnists, reviewers, PR specialists, and instructors on staff, so we hope to offer all new or small-press authors, songwriters, and artists a helping hand with the bewildering world of promotion. That’s at 1st Turning Point.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook
Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children’s Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery Special Romances *** Book Video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Sandy James — Empowering, Old-Fashioned Romance

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

My first blog post on this wonderful new site!   A huge “Thank you!” to Judah Raine for getting things up and running!

Please let me introduce myself.  I’m Sandy James.  And I write romance.  Nice empowering, old-fashioned romance.  To earn enough money to keep a roof over my family’s heads, I teach.  Yeah, I know.  That makes me officially crazy.  Especially since I teach high school.  A challenging age to say the least.  But I love my students, and I love the study of psychology and United States history.

Two of my ebooks have already been released by my publisher, BookStrand.   My first book, Turning Thirty-Twelve, has done very well, rising to its current spot at the #2 mainstream romance.  I was also recently notified that this book is a finalist in the prestigious Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Contest.  That took me by surprise!  Small press, especially ebooks, tend to get lost in the shuffle.  I was thrilled to know I was lucky enough to be a finalist! 

My second book, Murphy’s Law, is the first in a four-book series I call the “Damaged Heroes.”  I always hated reading books with heroes so perfect, they might as well have been made of cardboard.  I write heroes who are real and human and possess flaws.  Hence, the “Damaged Heroes.”  I’m also proud to say that every one of these books has been a contest winner or finalist in at least one RWA chapter writing contest.   Murphy’s Law appeared as a finalist in the Heart of the Rockies, Golden Rose, and Golden Gateway.

My next release is Free Falling, the second in the series.  It was a finalist in the Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing Contest.  I’m proud to say the ebook will debut on Tuesday.    My hero, Ross Kennedy, is a Type A who can’t seem to realize there’s so much more to life than work.  He had his heart broken in Murphy’s Law, but he was such a great guy, I couldn’t let him remain alone.  To compliment Ross, I wrote the character of Laurie Miller.  She’s strong, independent, and accomplished.  Yet, as many of us also do, she suffers from some self-esteem issues.  Laurie likes to think of herself as a “size fourteen in a size four world.”  I throw them together in a blizzard and watch the sparks fly.

Here’s the blurb for Free Falling:

Workaholic Ross Kennedy never learned to enjoy life until he meets the woman of his dreams.  If only Laurie Miller can convince him that’s exactly who she is.


A psychologist with empathic abilities, Laurie rescues Ross, who has been stranded in the middle of a Montana blizzard.  The two strangers are completely snowed in and out of contact.  In just a few days, their attraction to each other is overwhelming, but Laurie is troubled.  Her empathic gift seems to have vanished.  Fascinated by his pretty rescuer, Ross struggles to open up his heart enough to let this woman in.


When the two return home to Chicago, they try to solve a mystery revolving around a Prohibition Era journal they discovered in Montana.  Will they find the missing treasure the journal points to?  And as a former boyfriend begins to stalk Laurie, how will Ross be able to protect her?


If you enjoy classic romance, and you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t, I sure hope you’ll consider giving my Damaged Heroes a shot at winning over your heart.


All my best,




Mary Lou George - author of the New Crescent Series of paranormal romances published by Bookstrand

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Current picture of author Mary Lou George

Hi everyone!  I’m so thrilled to be part of this group.  I write the kind of stories I like to read.  In my books you’ll find humor, mystery, magic, physical intimacy and of course romance. I’m a huge animal lover and I always include them in my work, in fact you’ll find that they save the day more than once. Art imitates life. In the upcoming weeks I’ll be posting excerpts from my books.  Check them out. I’d love to hear from you. There’s only so much my friends and relatives can take and they’ve been with me every step of this journey.

I’ve got a new book coming out later this year, the beginning of a whole new series. I’ll keep you posted.

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