10-29 - Maeve Greyson
Highlander Time Travel Romance

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Sometimes what scares you the most are concrete things that scared you as a child. Sometimes experiences you'd think would have left you scarred inexplicably don't. reason, don't. The human psyche is a rich and strange land.

I'm allergic to spider bites. We discovered this when I was bitten on the hand at the age of five. I remember how the pain kept growing, and how my hand swelled until I couldn't use it, and how I had to see the doctor for treatment. A later bite on my back left a scar and taught me the meaning of the verb, to lance.

Yet I'm not afraid of spiders. I loved the book Charlotte's Web. I tolerate one or two on the outside of the house in hopes they'll catch mosquitoes and flies.

Wasps, on the other hand, I am afraid of, although I'm not allergic to them. Go figure!

Last week I was staying with my ninety-year-old mother during a storm. Guess who showed up inside the house?

Yep, Wasps. Plural. Over a three-day period. They should have been dead or hibernating or hiding out in their nest - whatever wasps do in the winter - but instead, they kept appearing inside the house. They did seem sluggish, though - thank goodness!

Initially, Mom found one crawling on the hall floor one morning. Imagine her surprise! Then she spotted one on the edge of the bathroom waste basket. I later found one in the bathroom sink. At that point,we started looking for more. There were five or six behind the blinds in the living room window. That's when Mom realized how they'd gotten into the house.

Weather forecasters had predicted very high winds. I 'd walked around the house and yard, putting anything that might blow inside the garage. But I forgot the pillows on the deck swing. I went out the back door to get them and spotted a birdhouse made of bark on the deck. I snatched that up, too. It hardly weighed anything - definitely might blow away. Unfortunately I stowed the pillows and the birdhouse on the floor behind Mom's recliner.

Sure enough, wasps had built a cozy nest inside the birdhouse! The warm house must have awakened them from their winter sleep. Mom put the birdhouse back outside. We breathed a sigh of relief.

Next morning, there were two more wasps at the living room window. That night one was buzzing around the lamp. After searching the bedrooms for insect interlopers, we left the light on in the living room and shut our bedroom doors hoping any that remained would "go towards the light."

Apparently they did. We found a few more  near the window on the third day. I, for one, am afraid of things that go buzz in the night!

What are you afraid of? ~ Sarah

Sarah Raplee writes paranormal romance featuring underdogs, outsiders and survivors.She has published stories in two anthologies. Her first novel, BLINDSIGHT, Book1 of the Psychic Agent Series, will be available soon from Windtree Press. 

Visit Sarah at www.SarahRaplee.com

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Scary Trigger

By Courtney Pierce

Chills. Thrills. Tension. Danger. It’s not what I see, but what I don’t see that defines a scary novel or movie for me. I’m easily suckered into a good ghost story. Graphic images of severed body parts and gushing blood do nothing for me, but I love the suspense of an unseen force. Suspense makes my heart race. My imagination is so much bigger than what any special effects team could show.

For example, take The Haunting or The Legend of Hell House, both movies based on books. These classics ooze with the dire stakes of “Don’t go into the nursery” and “Do you feel that? A cold spot”. The only thing one sees is a door slam shut or the steam of a character’s breath. Yeah, the premise is predictable―characters gather in a presumably haunted house for a week with a can't-miss offer―but it’s such a great hook. Time for a potty break when a shadow of an erotic statue comes alive on the ceiling!

Skepticism morphs to fear; shock clarifies to belief. Finally, there is understanding and strength. All the emotions I want, and need, to feel take us to a satisfying conclusion.

One of the best romantic ghost stories is Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier (and the rare triumph of book-turned-movie version by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940). The implied ghost of Maxim de Winter’s dead wife, Rebecca, is everywhere, even in her embroidered monogram on a linen napkin and on her embossed custom stationary. Rebecca’s luxurious bedroom―off limits to all but the creepy maid―swirls with sheer curtains that billow with a breeze from the sea. The camera pans from the soft touch of furs and lingerie in the closet to a framed photo of Maxim on the dressing table. The maid even mimes the "hair drill" brushing of Rebecca's hair. The unseen ghost of Rebecca wedges herself right between Maxim and his naive young wife. The poor thing is so diminished by this ghost that the reader (or viewer) is never even told the new wife’s name. She’s only referred to as “Maxim’s wife” or “Darling”, much to the disdain of the mansion’s housekeeper. Rebecca's not a real ghost, but she's certainly an overwhelming emotional presence that drives the suspense.


I was so taken by De Maurier’s crafty technique that I used the scaffolding of the story (sans the creepy housekeeper) to end my Dushane Sisters Trilogy series, only in reverse. In the upcoming final installment, Indigo Legacy, it is the ghost of my heroine’s dead husband that torments her male love interest. The presence lives in the wedding ring that my character can’t get off her finger. To overcome the challenges of a death bond is not only painful but suspenseful. A hacksaw finally severs the gold band in a hospital Emergency Room, but it’s not quite over. Invisible baggage makes my characters stumble and fall. I had fun infusing my own humorous take on the road map of De Maurier’s story. It’s due out in 2017.

I watch and read scary stories to vicariously experience the emotions of what the characters feel. It’s a break from the mundane work-a-day world, an escape when characters want so desperately for life to be normal while invisible forces get in the way. The characters must conquer their fear of something that is totally out of control. And when they do, their lives will forever be changed.

Like watching the news. That’s a scary story these days. We writers are better positioned to change lives by crafting a good book.

Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her bossy cat. She writes for baby boomers. By day, Courtney is an executive in the entertainment industry and uses her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor and mystery. She has studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, she is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, She Writes, and Sisters in Crime. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal. 

Check out all of Courtney's books at:
courtney-pierce.com and windtreepress.com. Both print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including Amazon.com

The Dushane Sisters are back in Indigo LakeMore laughs, more tears...and more trouble. Protecting Mom's reputation might get the sisters killed―or give one of them the story she's been dying to live.

New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight." 

Colorful characters come alive in Courtney's trilogy about the Dushane sisters. Beginning with The Executrixthree middle-age sisters find a manuscript for a murder mystery in their mother's safe after her death. Mom’s book gives them a whole new view of their mother and their future. Is it fiction . . . or truth? 

Get out the popcorn as the Dushane Sisters Trilogy comes to a scrumptious conclusion with Indigo Legacy. Due out in early 2017.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Medeival Time-Travel Romance by Diane Darcy

You’d like me to write about medieval time-travel romance?

As. You. Wish. (heehee)  

Thank you so much for the invitation to talk about time-travel romance here at Romancing the Genres! I love everything medieval and if you throw in a contemporary character, then this is true love. Do you think this happens every day? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who quotes The Princess Bride on a regular basis?) (*Quotes from The Princess Bride are in italics.) 

Why I write these books, or Murdered by pirates is good!

They’re magical and full of adventure and they always have been! I’ve been reading romance books for years and I love them. The more romantic the better. The more action adventure, the more fabulous! My introduction to time-travel romance was Constance O’Day Flannery, Jude Deveraux, Diana Gabaldon, Lynn Kurland and others. Once introduced to the genre, I searched for more and more books. There were never enough to read as far as I was concerned.  

I’ve always liked books with a bit of a paranormal element to them. I started out writing books that didn’t fit easily into any genre, and when I couldn’t sell them to editors, I eventually tried writing to market. I sent out manuscripts to agents and editors for years. And then one day I’d just sort of had it. I’d been told editors weren’t interested in medieval time travel romance books, but I went to lunch with a friend and told her, I’m done. I’m not going to write books for agents and editors anymore. I’m just going to write what I’d write if I knew I’d never sell a book.  So I sat down and wrote She Owns the Knight. It’s definitely a book straight from my heart.  

Why I chose this genre or Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today.

True love. (Twu Wuv ha!) I know that historically, people living in medieval times didn’t bathe very often, probably had rotten teeth, and that women were considered property. But I don’t care. Anyone who reads my books knows I love the type of men who treat women like gold and feel lucky to have them. Of course, that’s true of any book I’ve written, but there’s just something about English Knights and Scottish Warriors, isn’t there? Men who trained to fight to hold what was theirs, and when they find that special girl, he’ll hold tight to her, too. After all, it’s who he is.

 What is difficult about writing in this genre or Boo! Boo! Boo! 

I just can’t please everyone. I’m essentially writing in the fantasy genre but I tend to offend historical purists. I love reading about history, and have fun researching, but I do get reviews that mock my ability to stay true to historical facts even though I’m trying to do so! I try not to let it bother me. I know if a modern girl were dropped into medieval England or Scotland that she wouldn’t understand the spoken English or the Gaelic. And I know that most of the aristocracy spoke French. Still, some readers do seem to mind and I’m suddenly the queen of refuse.

What I love about writing in this genre or have fun stormin’ the castle!

The other day I went to Medieval Times, a jousting tournament in California. It was so cool! Goblets, chess sets, flags, pageantry, armor, swords, daggers, food that could be eaten with our hands! Too fun!

When I’m immersed in writing a medieval time travel romance, it’s the same type of fun. It’s the stuff of fantasy and magic. English Knights, Scottish warriors, castles, sword fighting, damsels in distress and in cool dresses. Big brawny sword fighters and horses. Myth, legend, witches, and history all wrapped up in a sweet romance.  

Anything you think readers might enjoy? 

Here’s an excerpt from my latest book Murdoch. It’s Book 25 in the Ghosts of Culloden Moor series or they’re kissing again! Do we have to read the kissing parts? 

 Kenrick ended the kiss. He looked into her face, his expression astounded. How could this amazing, virile, drop-dead-gorgeous man be astounded by her?
She couldn’t deny she’d started it.  "Wow."
His lips tugged into a slow smile, his earlier shyness completely gone as happiness filled his face. “Wow." Those mobile lips formed the word as if tasting it, testing it.
She’d obviously given him the wrong idea. “Maybe this isn’t such a great plan after all.”
 His smile faded. “The kissing?”
“You staying with me.”
“Ye’re not to worry. I’ll not take advantage of ye.”
 She actually believed him. Or maybe she just really wanted to take him home. She certainly didn’t feel uncomfortable in his presence. But the situation would probably look bad from the outside. She couldn’t imagine what her mama would say.
 “Look, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.”
“And what impression might that be?”
“All I’m saying is, I’m giving you a place to stay in return for your assistance.” She gave a helpless shrug. “Just don’t expect anything else, all right? I know I kissed you first, but I give you my word, I won’t try anything, either.”
That slow smile again. “Ye’re not to worry, lass. I’ll not hold you to that.”

Thanks again for having me here! ~ Diane Darcy

Diane Darcy is a USA Today bestselling author who loves to read and write lighthearted and funny books. She’s a member of the Heart of the West and RWA. She was a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® Award. She’s written romantic comedies in several different genres—some historical, some contemporary, all lighthearted and fun. She makes her home in Utah with her family and is hard at work on her next book. You can contact her at www.DianeDarcy.com.

Friday, October 21, 2016

How A #Zombie Won My Heart #WarmBodies #paranormal #romance

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. The supernatural part might make my next statement sound a contradiction. This month's topic at Romancing the Genres is very difficult for me because I am NOT a fan of scary books/films. While my younger sister would happily fall asleep watching Alien or Poltergeist, I would be a quivering wreck hiding under my duvet with my back pressed against the wall.

She also tried to get me reading Stephen King but not only did I hate the writing style, the subject matter left me vaguely sick and disturbed. Probably the idea, but it doesn't do it for me. I don't like to be scared. I don't like things that make me jump. I've suffered terrible nightmares all my life and could only sleep with the light on until I met my husband, but even now I can still wake shaking from the odd one. I'm a bit better with it all - I taught myself to wake up when things start getting nightmarish, and my tolerance for horror elements is a little higher. But I still do my best to avoid things that might trigger bad dreams.

So it probably seems hugely ironic that I've written two zombie stories. I can blame them totally on my editor and friend Dani Fine, and fellow author and friend Karen Bynum. I watched them raving over a book called Warm Bodies on Twitter, and later the film. Now, the classic Hollywood zombie films are definitely on my do not watch list. But Dani and Karen were talking so passionately about the book and with such excitement, I had to take a look at the film.
The trailer looked cute, and the description intrigued me. So I made one of those mad, random choices that keep life interesting and just straight out bought the DVD.

I. LOVED. It! While it's not the full on zombie horror film that would appeal to most, it is typical Hollywood zombies for at least part of the film. It was just on the edge of my tolerance levels. But it was also very different. Told from the point of view of zombie R--who is a bit odd for a zombie--it follows his story as he falls for and saves a human girl--Julie--and begins to find his way back to being human himself. It's a twist on Romeo and Juliet (even including a version of the balcony scene) and one of the sweetest, cutest romances I've ever seen. The book is quite poetic in its writing style as well, which appealed to my own preference for the lyrical. I even have the film poster displayed at the top of my stairs.

Not only that, but it went on to inspire three stories of my own, even if only two feature zombies. The third one--and the first I wrote--features a damaged android rather than an undead (and came 2nd in the RWA LERA Rebecca contest last year. Right now it's in edits with no set release date but hopefully soon!). So I guess I can't say I hate zombie or horror films any more. But I'm still not a fan of things that make me jump. Unless it's R...

Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies and the prequel The New Hunger are available at all good book retailers, with book three set to release in February (psst, if you visit the author's website HERE and pre-order directly there are some special exclusive goodies too).

And if the idea of zombies with a twist intrigues you, some of Sir Terry Pratchett's Nightwatch books feature the zombie Reg Shoe, or Reaperman follows recently deceased and reluctant zombie Windle Poons. Or there's mine:
Restless In Peaceville
Adorable zombies in an alternative Louisiana.

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened
A coma victim wakes to find himself alone in a utopian city he can't remember, with a strangely familiar dead girl knocking at his door.

Want to chat? You can find me at my website or my blog, but my favourite place to hang out and char is as @pippajaygreen on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Fond Farewell

from Vivienne Lorret

Judith and Sarah warmly welcomed me to the Genre-istas three years ago and I've had a wonderful experience being with every one of you each month.

It's a big family here. Not only that, but the monthly themes that Sarah and Judith suggest us are always interesting and thought provoking, flexing different parts of my writing muscles, like yoga for the mind. Being a Regency romance author, it's easy to get tunnel vision and keep all of my ideas in the early 19th century.Yet with these different monthly posts, I'm able to climb out of the "usual workday" mindset and stretch into something new.

So it is with a sad heart to tell you that I am leaving RTG. At least, on a regular basis. I will, however, return to "guest" post from time to time.

I want to thank each and every one of you for sharing this experience with me. I also want to thank Judith and Sarah for being kind enough to invite me into this amazing group of writers. <3

I'll miss you!

Wishing you all the best,


~USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke's Christmas Wish, and the Season's Original Series. Sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scary Books, Scary Movies, Scary True History

I freely admit I'm not a huge fan of horror, though I Am Legend (2007) rates in my top [out-of-my-typical-favorite-genres] movies of all time. Scared the living daylights out of me. I saw it at least eight years ago, yet I still find myself thinking about powerful scenes, nuances, and the premise.
Poster Design by Crew Creative Advertising. [Source]
Another movie that scared me--and I loved it!--was The Sixth Sense (1999). I don't know that I've ever been so spooked. What a thrill! Remember how YOU reacted upon discovering the shocking twist?
The Sixth Sense, Theatrical Release Poster [Source]

Don't we read to experience everything?...all from the safety of an armchair (or commuter train seat or hammock)? Powerful fiction transports the reader to another place, another life, another set of circumstances. I think people read scary stories and watch scary movies to safely experience the thrill-ride of spine-tingling fear.

I can't say I read horror (or scary stories) on a regular basis, though I have read some. Far more often, I come across horrific (and probably true) incidents in my constant research of Victorian-American history.
True (at least as far as the viewpoint of the then-current news reporter) history can be every bit as scary, disturbing, nightmare-inducing...and heartbreaking.

The following newspaper clipping, published in Shelby County Herald of Shelbyville, Missouri on October 1, 1890. Yes, some newspaper 'articles' in the late nineteenth century were fictionalized, but this one doesn't seem to be anything but the sad truth--mental illness likely brought on by grief and heartache.

Horrible and sad all at the same time. I think every parent everywhere can imagine the agony experienced by this mother, can identify with her loss...and realize the slip into insanity could happen to any one of us. Isn't that what makes some stories (whether factual or fictional) so scary?

Why do you read scary stories?

Hi! I'm Kristin Holt.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American west–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Americana Sweethearts (first Friday of each month) and Romancing the Genres (third Tuesday of each Month).

I love to hear from readers! Please drop me a note. Or find me on Facebook.

Website | Email | Newsletter | Twitter | Pinterest | g+| Facebook Profile | Facebook Fan Page | Amazon

Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC

Monday, October 17, 2016

Halloween ... Meh! -- Michelle Monkou

I have a string of holidays and celebrations that I don't like. Halloween ranks up there on the list.

You see as a kid who didn't grow up in the U.S., born in England and grew up in Guyana, I didn't know anything about Halloween. It didn't exist. But if it had, it would have been a glorious time because, in the smaller geographic space of Guyana, the idea of going door-to-door for candy wouldn't have been strange. There's probably six three degrees of separation when it comes to knowing anyone in Guyana.

But in the U.S. (late 70s/early 80s) where I was brand new to the country and to the culture, I couldn't mentally grasp why on this day I should trust a stranger to offer up candy to another stranger. You see, my mother didn't really trust anyone beyond a tight circle when she moved us into our new apartment either. We all came to make better lives in a world that was so different from our own. And we needed time to assimilate and figure out so much mind-overloading things.

Navigating people's open hostilities and easy suspicions didn't really leave the door open to suddenly trust them on one particular day. And then wearing costumes to get said candy, well that just seemed like crazy pants.

Eventually, by late high school, I got into the swing of things of dressing up for that day at school. Still didn't go to door-to-door. My neighborhood friends were from the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America. Their parents were equally adamant that we weren't going anywhere to "beg" for candy. Going to a Halloween party was more likely my option.

Fast forward and eventually I had my own family with two young children. Would we go door-to-door? My American husband didn't care if we did or didn't. His childhood memory was not even bothering with a costume, but going for the candy raids.

So, I did introduce the kids to Halloween, but I think they went through the neighborhood maybe twice in their lives. By then, shopping malls were participating in the event and my mother would take them to the malls and to the string of small businesses on Main Street in my city. And a neighborhood church started "harvest celebration parties" instead of Halloween. They'd have religious-themed games and candy. It was a safe space and the kids would end their candy hoarding at this annual event.

Halloween still isn't my favorite celebration. Maybe there is something deeply unsettling about the practice that still is a turn-off. Maybe it's that annual acknowledgment that I've lived in my community for two decades but won't pretend that I know the people beyond those directly in front or next to my house.

It has become that time of the year to usher in the smell of assorted candy in the shopping aisles from now through Christmas.

Michelle Monkou