Sat. 02-13 - Christi Caldwell, Regency Romance author, is our guest!!!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

TO TRUST A ROGUE + GIVEAWAY by Christi Caldwell



Please  answer my question in a comment and leave your name and email address so I can enter you in the GIVEAWAY drawing!
Hi, I'm Christi Caldwell, author of Regency Romance with Heart.
In January, I released “To Trust a Rogue”, book 8 in my “Heart of a Duke” series. I always love to know what kind of a hero a reader prefers. Is he a charming and affable rogue? Is he a wicked rake? Or mayhap the brooding duke? I personally love a healthy mix of all of them, and listen to whichever hero is demanding a story from me!
I “met” Marcus, the Viscount Wessex in an earlier book, “Loved by a Duke”. I thought he was swoon-worthy. He was the rogue with all the right words. A grin that could melt a heart, and I wanted to know more!
“Loved by a Duke” is a story about life after loss of a friend and brother. And from it, one passage to be exact, is where “To Trust a Rogue” was born.
In the early days after Lionel’s passing, Marcus had come to Auric, trying to speak of that night and matters of the living. In the end, Auric had not made himself available. How many times had he silenced Marcus, shifting the topic away to something, anything, that wasn’t that night? Until eventually, the topic of Lionel and that night never again came up. Who had Marcus turned to?
CHRISTI CALDWELL
 ---Loved by a Duke

That scene set my head spinning. Yes, Marcus was charming and roguish, but was he always that way? Was there anyone truly there for him? And what I found was: yes. There was someone there. A young lady. Her name was and is Miss Eleanor Carlyle.
And in “To Trust a Rogue”—she’s back.
The story is about new beginnings and a second chance at love…and finding forgiveness with oneself, and one’s past. It is available now at: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo online stores.
GIVEAWAYAnswer the following question to be entered into a drawing for an eCopy of 
Book 1 in my Heart of a Duke Series, For Love of a Duke.
Question: To Trust a Rogue is a second chance at love story! What is your favorite romance trope?

 Twitter @ChristiCaldwell:

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Parks We All Own

by Diana McCollum

Now that my husband and I are retired and on a fixed income, we have to  plan our vacations closer to home.

I would like to visit every National Park in America. This probably won't happen because I would need a lot of money and time to do it.

Right now my favorite place is the last park we visited, Glacier National Park. We had never been to Montana where the park is located. What a beautiful state!

I took this picture in Glacier Park 2014
The Blackfeet Tribal name for Glacier National Park is "Backbone of the world". One can see where they got that idea as the Mountains rise up so high and steep. There are alpine meadows, pristine forests, and streams and rivers.

In August when we were there, hundreds of wild flowers bloomed in every meadow we stopped at. The white patches in this photo are some of the remaining Glaciers. They are disappearing a little more each year.

We saw two bears and Mountain goats, deer, all kinds of birds. It was beautiful! And it belongs to all of America. If you go to the official Glacier Park website there are all kinds of videos so you can see the spectacular park for yourself. There's even a video of the "Going-to-the-sun-road"!
http://1.usa.gov/1f3Se3T

I took this picture on "Going-to-the-sun-road"

"Going-to-the-sun-road" is 50 miles of steep, windy and very narrow road. The views are some of the most spectacular I've ever seen.

If you are retired, you can buy a life time pass for our National parks. When we bought ours, it was ten dollars. Ten dollars gets you in to some of the most beautiful and pristine places in America, for the rest of your life! That is a great bargain!

It's always a good idea to check the parks website for weather reports before you visit Glacier, as there can still be snow in July.

Have you visited any of America's National Parks? If yes, what was your favorite?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Favorite Places by Lynn Lovegreen

Like some of our bloggers, my favorite places have changed throughout my life, but there are threads that tie them together.

When I was growing up in Fort Richardson, Alaska, our housing was next to a small patch of woods. I used to spend hours under the birch trees, making up fairy stories among the ferns and dwarf dogwood blossoms. Later, when I was a teenager, my dad had a boat in Whittier, Alaska. I discovered I loved being on the water, and we explored Prince William Sound, admiring the glaciers cascading into the sea, watching otters and whales. Both places were beautiful to me, but in different ways.



Those woods and the Sound hold special memories for me, but I can’t do those things anymore, now that I don’t have access to the post and the boat has new owners. I do go out on the ferry or other people’s boats as often as I can, but it’s not the same. I still enjoy our family’s condo in Whittier, and Billings Glacier in Prince William Sound is a touchstone I need to see from time to time.

I also have new special places I can go with my husband and daughter and son-in-law, like Denali National Park and Preserve and Homer’s Kachemak Bay. There are so many beautiful and interesting places to see in Alaska. I find wonder and solace in the mountain views or ocean swells. And great stories are in the history of these places, for example from Kantishna in Denali, where I set  Gold Nuggets, my latest book. Instead of telling myself fairy stories, I am writing young adult historical romance, but I’m still inspired by my favorite places.



Learn more about Gold Nuggets at http://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldnuggets.htmlhttp://www.prismbookgroup.com/goldnuggets.html.

Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.comwww.lynnlovegreen.com.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Change Is Coming

Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them. 



Everyone, readers, authors and yes, even publishers and agents, know the publishing world is in a state of flux. Change has been, is, and will continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future. While changes can be frightening, they often bring about something wonderful.

Change brings choices.

When I was young dinosaurs roamed the earth and hardcover books filled bookstore and library shelves. Books, period. There wasn't even a separate YA section way back then, just Adult books and children's books. Now people have trade and mass market books, eBooks (including enhanced eBooks), and audio books.  Borders may be gone, but Amazon is poised to open physical bookstores.

Choice is good.

That's why I celebrate another change occurring in the publishing world.  There are many adults who self-identify as non-readers. There are children who are classified as "reluctant readers" or who have trouble getting interested in books as an alternative to other activities.  And there are eager readers of all ages who devour books and wish for something different int heir reading.  All of these groups can have their reading pleasure kindled, and even enhanced, with additional choices. Especially young readers. Whether eager or reluctant, the lives of children can be changed when they find books that take them to other lands or help them see the world, and themselves, through other eyes. This includes books about people outside the mainstream majority in America, written by members of those diverse populations.

We Need Diverse Books is not only about having young readers from marginalized groups seeing themselves on a page. It's also about kids from the majority group seeing other faces on a page.  This is a long overdue change, delayed mainly because so many of the gatekeepers in both publishing are white, heterosexual, female, and cisgendered. Consciously/unconsciously they look for manuscripts they understand. Things that appeal to them, stories that resonate to them and that they feel they can fight for in editorial meetings.  That means many stories by authors who are different from them, who see the world differently and write differently, frequently get passed over for publication and for review.

In 2015 the Diversity Baseline Survey was run with publishers and reviewer who voluntarily agreed to respond. Results are available at : http://blog.leeandlow.com/2016/01/26/where-is-the-diversity-in-publishing-the-2015-diversity-baseline-survey-results/ 
 These numbers illustrate why the publishing monolith is slow to change regarding book diversity. But it was also slow about eBooks (I remember when traditional publishers considered them just a fad something to worry about in ten or fifteen years and noticing almost too late that the fad had grown to s tsunami). Ditto about indie authors whose ranks are growing daily, even sweeping some mainstream authors away from their established houses into roles where they can write with fewer restrictions. worlds. Many publishing professionals talk about diverse books not selling as if that were dogma.

But change comes.

Diversity in the the next faces hired in publishing is as important as seeing the next books with Native American, Latina/o, Asian American, African American, disabled or LGBTQIAP authors. He who controls the pen controls the story.

For this month I want to showcase one of those change agents, fellow children's author, Christine Taylor-Butler

In June 2015, I was asked to appear at a predominantly white middle school in Colchester Connecticut to talk about The Lost Tribes. [Her 2015 release] It was clear I was a Black woman. It was equally clear the characters were likely minority. I'd shown a black illustration of a boy as Spiderman along with other multicultural illustrations having nothing to do with the characters in my examples. The day after my appearance the librarian contacted the publisher and said the students were lined up outside her office with money and could they send more books for the kids to by. This fall, when the semester was in full swing, the librarian tweeted that the book was the number one circulating title at their library. I think there is hope that students are more open minded about reading than adults give them credit for.

 
In a similar vein, I ran a challenge. Five puzzles in five days. The winning entries that solved all five challenges would be put in a drawing for a SKYPE visit and a set of autographed books. There were 1250 hits on the site nationwide. The winners were a young boy, and a fourth grade class in a rural Kansas town. Our SKYPE discussion about the book ran over.

The question is - when publishers imply white students won't read books with diverse characters, I often wonder if it is because they fail to publish the types of books that attract those students in terms of intriguing content (adventure, mystery, etc) and, instead, default to urban, civil rights and slave stories as low hanging fruit meant to appeal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hollywood Falls in Love Off Set

by Madelle Morgan

Do you love movies, particularly romantic comedies? They're such a rich story-telling medium. But off the film sets, the people making those movies have their own lives and love stories.

Gossip magazines and entertainment news shows highlight the Hollywood celebrity culture, the glamour, the awards. Supporting the high profile people we hear about in the entertainment media are hardworking craftspersons who pour creativity and passion into creating on-screen magic. 

The public sees the glitter, not the grit.

In my upcoming series Hollywood in Muskoka, the hero and/or heroine has a career in the film industry. I've been spending way too much time researching their jobs - director, screenwriter, producer, agent, cinematographer, actor, etc.

But I've come to realize that, while the screenwriter establishes the foundation story, the director holds the vision for its realization on screen, and actors' performances make or break a film, a quality film crew is essential to the creation of a product people will love and watch over and over and over again. 

What Do You Want to Do On Set describes a few of these behind-the-scenes roles. Which job would you choose for a career?

See the original of the decision flow chart below at Filmsourcing



Image Credit: Filmsourcing














In the first book in my series, Caught on Camera, the plot revolves around a wedding in Muskoka, Canada's premiere vacation destination. The wedding party includes a film lawyer, a producer, a stunt double, an ingĂ©nue actress, an agent and an aspiring cinematographer. The groom is the star of a blockbuster superhero franchise who decided to hold his wedding in Muskoka to escape the paparazzi. 

I planned that each groomsman and bridesmaid will have his or her own story in subsequent books. Then a security guard, a personal assistant, and a makeup artist emerged from the background, waved at me, and insisted on finding love too!

Filmmaking Starts with a Screenplay

In addition to learning about filmmaking in general, I've intensively studied the elements of a good script. Authors, have you dreamed of seeing your story up on the big screen? By understanding the elements required in a visual and auditory storytelling medium, you'll ensure they're in your novel. Hint: every word of dialogue, every action, every expression on a character's face has to count. Your words must convey information on several levels.

Learn about the process of writing a script in FutureLearn's FREE online course. The Introduction to Screenwriting course starts February 29, 2016. I've taken several of these UK-based courses and enjoyed every one. The time commitment is as little as an hour a week for three to six weeks, depending on the content.

Writing a Romantic Comedy

Need an idea for a RomCom screenplay? Or a laugh? Filmsource used well-known movie plots to create a Romantic Comedy Generator for Valentine's Day. It's hilarious!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Madelle


Bio: 

Madelle's debut romantic suspense, DiamondHunter, was turned into an action/adventure screenplay by screenwriter Marie Lilly. The novel is available in ebook format on Amazon and Kobo for $0.99 USD and £0.99 GBP.

Madelle tweets and posts about Hollywood, film-making, the settings for her stories, and, of course, writing. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to her blog at MadelleMorgan.com .



Monday, February 8, 2016

People to See and Places to go!

Places to go! People to See! 


By: Marcia King-Gamble
www.lovemarcia.com

Thanks to several years spent in the travel industry with airlines and cruise lines, there are way too many favorite places to mention. The ones I have mentioned hold special memories for me, and even now the travel bug  bites.




Those following my posts know I was fortunate enough to join the late, great Pan Am right out of college. I flew for two years then went into management.  It was a young woman’s dream being able to get on and off  planes and see sights I could never afford on my own. Travel has been the best finishing school ever.  It taught me about, food, wine and different cultures. To this day most of my disposable income goes to the mandatory trip or two.



Top of my favorite list is New Zealand, but that’s already been done by the very fortunate author, Bronwen Evans, who happens to live there.  It truly is a special place, and while it’s been a few years, I still recall the gorgeous water views, the exotic landscaping,  and the charming Tudor homes.  I would move there in a Northeast minute. The restaurants in Auckland serve the best New Zealand lamb I’ve ever had and it’s not uncommon for a total stranger to visit your table as you're dining. No agenda,  they just want to say  “hi.” 




Hong Kong is another city high on my list. It’s a magical place with a lot going on.  It’s the fashion capital of the world and the place you can still pick up some reasonably priced pearls and custom tailored clothing . An evening out on the town is a memorable experience. I’ve heard some of the most talented rock and R&B bands there.  Restaurants cater to every mood and palate.   But that’s not all Hong Kong offers, if you’re looking to spend a day of sun, fun and relaxation, there are several beaches to choose from on both Hong Kong and Kowloon. No one should miss the sunset harbor cruise

.




As you can tell,  I'm a huge fan of Asia. Another favorite city is Bangkok. There are some really cool hotels there, and if you're into being pampered this is the place to be. Spend a half a day at a spa for a massage, pedicure, manicure, and hot oil treatment, all for a fraction of what you would pay in the USA. 



One of my favorite purchases is still a brass noodle vendor stand.  Back then they were $15.00,  not so any more, but still reasonable. The piece makes for a unique place to hold soaps, shampoos or wash cloths, though some friends have turned them into mini-bars.



Venice is another wonderful treasure and a place you shouldn’t miss. It is perhaps one of the most romantic cities in the world and the most mysterious. The hotels are expensive, but the food is mouthwatering good.  





If you’re  an adventurous sort and don’t mind taking a 20 minute Vaporetto ride, then go to Lido where less expensive hotels are. Lido was once known for its famous brothels.  It’s a beach community with charming villas where you can stay without breaking the bank.






Near and dear to my heart is the island I was born on – St. Vincent.  I always knew it was beautiful and a special place, but now having visited most of the world, I have come to appreciate it even more. My island paradise (all of 150 sq. miles,) has so much to offer. No wonder the Grenadines (owned by the mainland) have become the “It place” for so many of the rich and famous. 




Here’s where Kate Middleton and Prince William stay when visiting Mustique.




To sum up, there are  many more beautiful places waiting to be explored, but in the interest of time , I will save them for another day. Here  in the USA my go to place is the Jersey Shore which is the setting of my  recent book... Monmouth Beach,  New Jersey rocks! 



Like me on Facebook and escape to an exotic place with one of my books!

https://www.facebook.com/Marcia-King-Gamble-12364168212/ 

http://amzn.com/B019RYLW24



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Types of Regency Romance

There Really are More Than One!
By Collette Cameron

When I started writing Regency Romances, I thought I knew what I was doing. Notice the emphasis on the word thought. Heck, I didn’t even realize that what defines the Regency Era is controversial.

The narrowest definition of the Regency Era is the period between 1811 and 1820 when the Prince of Whales ruled as Prince Regent because King George III’s madness made him unfit to rule. Some argue that Regency Romances must take place within this time frame and be set in England while adhering to the social norms, mannerisms, and values of the period.

A broader definition, often call the Extended Regency Era, was the period from 1777 or 1779, depending on the resource, and ending either with the death of King George IV in 1830 or the British Reform Act in 1932. Some claim it extended clear until Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837.  

You’ll note that one time frame is a mere nine years, while the other encompasses over four decades. Is one right and the other wrong? One more authentic or accurate?

A notice at the entrance to the Regency galleries in the National Portrait Gallery reads:
 “As a distinctive period in Britain’s social and cultural life, the Regency spanned the four decades from the start of the French Revolution in 1789 to the passing of Britain’s great Reform Act in 1832.”

Obviously, by this definition, the term encompasses a broader period than the near decade the regent ruled in proxy. However, the definition of Regency Romance extends beyond the feel of the Regency Era too.

In fact, there are five genres that fall within the scope of Regencies.

Classical Regency Fiction: Novels actually written during the nine-year Regency period. Jane Austen’s works fall into this category.

Modern Regency Fiction:  Stories written at a later time about the Regency period.

Traditional Regency Romances: These novels are “sweet” with no explicit sex and are usually set between 1800 and 1820. (Yes, that’s outside the official Regency Era).

Regency Historicals: The setting is in Regency England (or provinces controlled by England) but the prose, characters, and plot extends beyond the usual genre formula. Characters may behave according to modern values rather than Regency values.

Sensual Regency Historical: Often written as series, they contain explicit sex, some erotic in nature.

The difficulty Regency authors and readers encounter when writing novels or searching for stories to read, is that, often, there is no distinction between the latter four. Retailer categories are limited, and all types Regencies tend to be lumped together. That can lead to mixed reviews.

I’m curious if you agree with the five types of Regency Romances. Do you think there should be other types? Fewer?  How does a reader know the difference?
   
Bestselling, award-winning Historical Romance Author, Collette Cameron, pens Scottish and Regency Romances featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intrepid damsels who reform them. Mother to three and self-proclaimed Cadbury chocoholic, she’s crazy about dachshunds, cobalt blue, and makes her home in Oregon with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. You'll always find animals, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, too many flowers, or too many books. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list. To learn more about Collette and her books, visit collettecameron.com