Friday, May 17, 2019

For the Love of Writing

Throughout my lifetime, my mind has often been at work, creating a story. I did this long before I ever identified as a writer. But it wasn't until I'd written my first full-length novel when I realized how truly exciting writing can be. There is a feeling of empowerment which derives from creating a world spurred solely by way of one's imagination, a world in which the author alone determines the players, the chain of events and the outcome. Storytelling is addictive. The bridge between fantasy and reality, the path of a writer is a visionary's dream.

Reality is that which can never be fully escaped from, even when our imaginations are hard at play. For me, this has meant different things at different times. But it is often when I am performing the most mundane of tasks when my imagination awakens. If I'm writing a story, it may get to work tackling the plot points and if I'm not, a new idea might come to me out of the blue. I'm fortunate in that, for me, the creative well never does seem to run dry. In my case, it is other obstacles which typically stand between me and the escape my creative brain craves, namely, time.

Though I may try to convince myself there is an abundance of time on the horizon, life often gets in the way of my writing. I've read a lot of advice stating that if a writer wants to write, she simply makes the time for it, no matter what the sacrifice. Sometimes that works for me, sometimes it doesn't. At times, I've been so driven to write a particular story I've put everything else aside, even risked my day-job in order to get the words down on the page. I've learned to write wherever and whenever I can. But, still I dream of solitude, an entire day, a week, a year in which I must do nothing but indulge the voices in my head, let their story come as it will.

I stand in admiration of my fellow writers, all of whom have found a way to make writing a priority in their lives. Though we sometimes fall, our stories are what make this journey worthwhile and sometimes we do need to stand up, dust ourselves off and get back on the horse. I'm not exactly sure where I'm headed. But I know my imagination will always be with me along the way.     


Check out the gorgeous cover of 
Sacrificed Love [The Power of Love #2] 
coming soon from YA Fantasy Romance Author 
Diana Rose!

Princess Melody, the oldest daughter of Queen Amy and King Darien, led a sheltered life...until she met Augustine. If only love was easy, but no, her love for the stable boy could turn into a scandal if anyone knew what she was hiding.

Secret meetings and stolen moments would only make her secret love more dangerous if someone found out the extent of what Princess Melody was hiding. Being a royal and loving a commoner could begin a journey of danger, sorrow, and loss for the young couple before they have a chance at a happily ever after.

Augustine is a young stable boy who works for the Moon Kingdom. His job is simple enough but the young royal changes everything. His love for Melody is unwelcomed by society. How can a commoner marry a princess? And yet, for one brief moment in time, Augustine and Melody let their love blossom. 

But as fate should have it, both of them must sacrifice their love to prevent the scandal  from happening or risk a secret that might ruin Melody's innocence in the eyes of society forever. Will they be able to find their way back to each other? Will the unavoidable marriage ruin Melody's chance at true love forever?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It's All About the Antagonist

Have you ever read a novel in which the very twisted villain played a prominent role and thought, "I can't put this book down!  Does that make me weird?" I can honestly say I've been there more times than I can count! Villains, for me, are what give a story its excitement. I imagine I'm not alone in this thinking. Stories thrive on conflict, and without conflict, our stories would fall flat. Villains are a great tool for writers, as they can serve to develop both internal and external conflict for the hero and heroine. They may also serve to embellish elements which might not have occurred to you, for instance, humor.

It's been a while since I've enjoyed a good historic romance, so I picked up a title I've been meaning to get to for some time, What Happens in London by Julia Quinn. The book got off to a bit of a rough start for me, but I never put a book down once I start reading and so I pressed on. I am so glad I did! Though I found the hero, Harry, a translator for the war office, and heroine, Lady Olivia, to be a bit dry during the initial pages, that all changed for me when the couple attended a ball, at which villain Prince Alexei enters the story. This infamous Russian Prince, believed to be a threat by those Harry reports to, jump-starts the relationship between this unlikely couple by creating a triangle, as the prince becomes both a threat and a challenge to Harry, who is slowly becoming aware of his own feelings for Lady Olivia. I'm big on dialogue and the witty banter between these 2 men had me laughing out loud. Particularly memorable times were when Prince Alexei was having difficulty with his English, or attempting to take advantage of his bilingualism, unbeknownst to the fact that Harry speaks a number of different languages, including that of the prince's origin.

Perhaps a little less surprising, but equally important, is the fact that villains can increase the level of imminent danger in a story. This increases suspense and in turn, may intensify matters between the hero and heroine by raising the stakes. Take Theodore Glenn in Allison Brennan's Killing Fear, for example. Glenn, a murdering psychopath, vows revenge against the dancer whose testimony put him behind bars, heroine Robin McKenna. Putting Robin in danger as this crazed villain escapes from prison, Ms. Brennan creates a sense of fear and urgency, which deepens the feelings already blossoming between Robin and hero Detective Will Hooper. You can just imagine how quickly a romance blossoms between these mutually-attracted characters, as they fear for Robin's life. Danger creates a sense of fear, urgency and passion which emanates heat from the pages. Love-making is so much sexier, when a character's life is at stake!

This may sound a bit strange, but on occasion I'll read a story and actually find myself routing for the villain. That's not to say that I think the bad guys should win or that I want to see evil triumph over good, because assuredly, I don't. But sometimes villains can be so charming, I'll find myself falling for them instead of the hero. Villains can be as suave, handsome and seductive as any hero worth his salt but with a darker edge that is essentially "forbidden," sometimes in an alluring way. As both a reader and an author, I admit to taking the more-than occasional guilty pleasure from this strange fantasy which is no doubt at least partially responsible for why I've sought to reform so many former villains in my stories - perhaps I seek to justify my own quirkiness. Or maybe I'm just dead-set on a happily-ever after for every character.

Great villains are a surefire recipe for suspense and excitement in a story. They're not essential to creating conflict but they can certainly help, creating an element of suspense which is certain to jump-start both suspense and romance alike. I'm addicted to great villains and I'm constantly on the hunt for more. If you're like me, you aren't "weird" because you love the villain. You're simply brave enough to admit that characters with a darker edge sometimes have more fun!

My Review of What Happens in London by Julia Quinn:

Reading the first few chapters of Julia Quinn's What Happens in London, I was on the fence. The prologue drags on and reading about a young man taking care of his drunken father began to wear on me after a while. But this story really takes off when adult Harry Valentine, who has become aware that his neighbor Olivia Bevelstoke is spying on him, finds himself right smack in the middle of a heated triangle between this mysterious lady and a Russian prince, whom the war office believes to be a criminal. Harry, a translator for the war office, is told that both Lady Olivia and Prince Alexei are persons of interest. The trouble with Lady Olivia, aside from her surprising fascination with peering in at Harry through her neighboring window, is that he is already falling for her. Not everything may be as it appears in this story, which had me couched for hours as I laughed aloud at the winter banter between Sir Harry, Prince Alexei, Alexei's manservant Vladimir and Harry's cousin Sebastian. Though the beginning and the ending left a bit to be desired, the middle made for one of the best stories I've read all year. As they say, great characters do make for a great story!       




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Vacation For Inspiration

I've just returned from Manchester Vermont, where I spent a glorious weekend skiing, snow-shoeing and reconnecting with nature--something that we residents of New Jersey tend to shy away from doing during the hard months of winter. No, I'm not a skier, and my 80 year old ski instructor would certainly attest to that! But, I do love nature and I have always found the peace of the outdoors to be a great inspiration both to my writing and to my life in general. Seeing the magnificence of the Green Mountains during a time of year during which I have not typically spent any great amount of time outdoors in the past, I was provided with a fresh pair of eyes. Looking at things in a different way really can provide a new perspective. Perhaps it can even give us the answers we have long been looking for.

A winter vacation was a badly-needed escape for me this year, as my life has been rather jam-packed as of late--I am planning my wedding, which will take place this summer, and I've recently begun the process of purchasing my first home. Ironically, I just finished reading In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck, a contemporary romance in which the heroine, Cassie Edwards, has also purchased a home. Cassie, a former foster child, has purchased a beautiful Victorian Mansion and she enlists the help of photojournalist Rayne Tucket in fixing it up. Though neither is on a vacation so to speak, both are trying to put the memories of hard pasts behind them and they find solace in this beautiful place, which, in spite of their resistance, Rayne's in particular, provides them both with a fresh start. It later provides them with a new lease on life too, namely love, but first the two must become better acquainted with one another and come to know one another at the heart. Rayne's spontaneous retreat with Cassie makes him realize he can live again.

As writers, we often must write wherever and whenever the opportunity comes our way--life is full of obstacles and responsibilities which often require us to put our writing on the back-burner, unless we take opportunity to write whenever we can. This isn't always the best way, however--though I have written everywhere from the day job to the backseat of a car, I cherish those moments when I can do in under a tree or beside a river. Nature, for me, helps me to tune out the loud and often negative tone of reality and focus strictly on what is happening inside my imagination. Writing can be considered a form of retreat in and of itself, but the farther I can venture away from the busyness and the craziness to make my retreat the better--it only gets me that much closer to that place of inspiration I'm seeking.

Making the time for a vacation isn't always possible. But time can often be made for a short retreat if you're willing to make the effort. Whether you're a writer or otherwise, all of us can benefit greatly from a little well-planned down time. Your break from reality may just inspire you to do something you never thought possible!

My Review of In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck:

I greatly enjoyed In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck. I've enjoyed Jennifer's titles in the past and this one was a bit different from the others, which made it stand out. Hero Rayne Tucket is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan. But Rayne is not a soldier - he's a photojournalist, plagued by guilt because his friend died saving his life. Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, has purchased a beautiful Victorian house which holds great sentimental value to her. She hires Rayne to assist her in making the house a home. What I loved most about this love story is that the hero and heroine are truly not complete without each other. Though both try to deny it at different times, each needs the other to become whole and we see this time and time again as the two fall deeper throughout the story, neither of them able to move on alone, or ultimately deny their feelings for one another. Rayne, especially, is adamant that he must leave after a time. But Cassie never gives up on him. Perhaps she is exactly what this wounded hero needs in order to begin living his life again. Trust me when I say that though the journey to mending this broken man is a long one, you will be glad you followed him every step of the way! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Seasons of Romance

There's nothing quite as romantic about reading a good Christmas story at Christmas time. Or is there? Many authors choose to write novels centered around a particular holiday or time of year. Doing so can breathe new life into a story, and it may offer the reader something of a guideline suggesting when the story is to be read, namely, during the season in which it is set. It can be a lot of fun to read a story set around the time of an upcoming holiday--it gets you into the spirit. But, in my humble opinion, doing the opposite can be equally fun. Sometimes it's even better!

Though it has been freakishly warm here in New Jersey over the last few days, it has been very cold this winter overall, with some temperatures rising only into the teens and single digits. As the winter weather has been rather uncomfortable, it came as no surprise to me that I greatly enjoyed Stuck In the Saddle with You by Roni Denholtz, a contemporary romance novel set in the warmth of Texas.  It may seem out of place that as Valentine's Day rapidly approaches I've been reading a novel in which the characters make mention of the intense heat around them, and cool off after work in the pool (a setting which created a vibe that was both romantic and sexy for a whole variety of reasons!) But for me, this story provided the very thing that I was reading it for in the first place--escapism.

Over the years, I've collected a variety of great novels (all romance, yes, I'm very partial to those!) I own a number of stories set around a holiday, and I find it fun, particularly when reading a novel for the first time, to get a truly authentic feel for its season, something an inclusion of calendar holidays can definitely provide. It's exciting to read these stories around the time of year in which they're set, or just before, in anticipation of what's to come. But the occasional shake-up is definitely okay in my book. When there's a good romance on the table, Christmas in July can be every bit as merry!       

My Review of Stuck in the Saddle With You 
by Roni Denholtz

 Stuck in the Saddle with You was exactly what I needed to escape the cold winter weather! Jilted assistant editor RaeAnne Tilton meets humble Texas-bred Tyler Quimby and the two have instant fireworks. Reading the scenes in which the two take a swim together, I got goosebumps as I eagerly waited for their first kiss, which is every bit as steamy as I imagined it would be. Though their attraction is instant, there are plenty of complications for these two, especially for RaeAnne, who is afraid of falling in love with a sexy cowboy, which worked out terribly for her the first time around. She fears being like her mother, the queen of bad decisions. Will she allow her reservations to keep her from finding true love? I really enjoyed the simplicity of this story - the friendships between the characters shine through the pages! I felt as though I knew them all. And the romance between RaeAnne and Tyler is both sweet and sexy - I found myself falling for RaeAnne's sexy cowboy, whose accent will make you swoon. Two thumbs up for me! Great story!


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Starving Writers, Struggling Heroines

A popular discussion has spurred among authors, regarding how difficult it is to make sales nowadays. I've spoken with other writers in ongoing conversation over the last decade, talking about ways that we can improve our marketing skills but never have I known so many authors to have the same concerns, nor have those concerns ever seemed so critical. Everywhere I look, I see Facebook posts, or read articles circling the same issue, that being that it is becoming increasingly difficult for authors to make money doing what they love. No one ever said this was an easy business. But much like a recent college graduate heading out into the workforce for the first time, many of us were not expecting life after publication to be such a struggle, seeming at times to be next-to-impossible. I sympathize with you, my fellow authors. And, I feel your pain.

One of the most interesting facets of being a writer involves possessing an imagination capable of creating characters, conflict and a unique world in which those two things can thrive in a suspenseful and exciting way. Watching soap operas as I was growing up, I often found it comforting to know that when it came to the larger than life scenarios I observed on the screen, at least one of the characters was having a rougher go of it than I was.  No matter what I might be facing at school or work at least I could say that I hadn't had the paternity results of my baby switched, wasn't being carted off to prison or presumed dead while I was secretly being held captive on a secluded island--well, you get the picture. These stories provided me with a much-needed escape from real life, so it is no wonder that I grew up to write my own stories, stories that both encouraged and inspired me, particularly those of a struggling heroine.

Reading Love Among the Lilacs by Jenna Victoria, I noticed a distinct similarity between heroine Mollie Wright, and Victoria Morrow, heroine in my recent release, A Sultry Performance. Mollie grew up on the streets. And though the demons she's left behind are never far away, she believes she's gained a new lease on life when she purchases Lilac Cottage. Victoria, too, has a checkered past. Though she doesn't know the details of how she came into the world, she is abandoned by her adoptive mother and forced to become an exotic dancer. A new opportunity is presented to her years later when Rabourn Theater's handsome stage manager makes her a lucrative offer. But Victoria's life is hardly sunshine and roses from there--her overbearing fiance is determined to keep her under his thumb and a dangerous secret threatens her very existence, one Victoria isn't even aware of. 

The life of a struggling heroine is far from easy. Every book character faces conflict, but I'm speaking particularly of the heroine who has struggled her entire life to get where she is, whose internal conflict defines who she is at the core, namely, because it is the greatest determining factor in making her who she has become. Overcoming challenges is what defines us as people, what makes us strong. Characters are no exception to this rule, and in fact, they demonstrate how this happens for us in black and white. We all enjoy reading the story of a strong heroine. The greater the challenges she faces and overcomes, past and present, the stronger she will turn out in the end.

Reading the story of a strong heroine, who has overcome enormous challenges to become who she is today, can be greatly inspiring. I for one plan on taking a page out of the strong heroines' book this New Year, as I gear up for another year of this thing I call a writer's journey. Marketing and sales don't seem so overwhelming when I consider some of the alternative challenges I might have on my plate. We get where we're supposed to, when we're supposed to. I plan on having a lot of fun along the way!   

My Review of Love Among the Lilacs 
by Jenna Victoria:

Love Among the Lilacs is the first Jenna Victoria title I've read. Mollie Wright has had a tough life. Growing up was a survival test for her, but she believes her luck has changed. After a lot of hard work and saving, she's purchased a beautiful home for herself, Lilac Cottage. Enter Sean Grady, an attorney whose great-aunt sold Lilac Cottage, much to his dismay. But as he attempts to take the property back, Sean realizes he is attracted to its lovely tenant. The tension between him and Mollie builds to an explosive climax, and after a bit of chaos, a happily ever after that brought me to tears. There are a few places where things are told, which I would have liked to see played out. But, I'm okay with that. This is a fun story, perhaps a bit shorter than I'm used to, but the pacing is done well. I loved the setting. Lilac Cottage sounds like the perfect place to live - the neighbors are warm and welcoming, the flowers are in bloom and there is love in the air. "I'll never look back again. Only to the future with you!" 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Soulmates / Spotlight on YA Fantasy Author Diana Rose

It is New Year's Eve, and though this post will not go live until next week, I am excited to have completed the final story that I will read in 2018, Forbidden Love, the debut novel of friend and fellow author Diana Rose. This story, which showcases a Romeo and Juliet trope got me thinking about soulmates, an idea which seems to be rather controversial in this day and age. Many people don't believe their soulmate exists, or perhaps they did at one time but their hopes have been dashed by the harsh reality of the world today, or the overall cynical attitude that seems to dominate our modern society. I'm fortunate, not only to have found my own soulmate after years of searching, but to be a part of a community of writers who believe so strongly in the power of love that they've dedicated their careers and talents to showcasing love and romance. There are many different forms of love, and if I broke them all down I could probably talk about them forever. But for the purposes of this article, I would like to focus solely on romantic love and whether or not a soulmate is a key ingredient in finding it.

What constitutes a soulmate? I think the reason that perhaps this question is so difficult to answer is because the answer really is different for everyone. When seeking a partner, we're all looking for different things. As romance novels often demonstrate, the person that we fall in love with may be the last person we wanted to, and perhaps the worst person that we could possibly fall in love with, at that point in time. This makes for a very interesting conflict and often a very exciting story, but in real-life, circumstances aren't always so larger-than-life. Perhaps we meet our partner at random, while at work, while out with friends or via the internet, as many in our society do today. There are a lot of different ways that someone can become a part of our lives, but determining they are the missing part of our heart, maybe not so easy. Or, maybe it is. Sure, life has its ups and downs but when a force we can't explain drives us in the direction of another person we feel as though we've known our whole lives, maybe we've got something there. Though I encountered a lot of cynics throughout my young life, I always believed I had a soulmate out there and when I became discouraged, I'd read a romance novel, which renewed my belief in the power of love. Keeping the faith isn't always easy. A good book can definitely help!

Does everyone have a soulmate? Is there one right person and only one right person? These are even harder questions to answer. And perhaps the best way to answer them is to simply say that love is a great mystery. Though it is the very foundation that holds us together, we, as people, do not fully understand it, and perhaps that is a part of what makes it so miraculous. If a spouse dies, or if we've partnered with the wrong person, I believe that love can give us a second chance. Perhaps this means there is more than one "right person" out there for us, but more so, I believe that we are all where we are meant to be, at this moment in time. We need to have faith in ourselves, and in our desires. The heart wants what it wants and if we believe that to be true, then we must first and foremost always be true to ourselves.  Listen to yourself, trusts your instincts. Your heart will rarely steer you wrong!

Forbidden Love Blurb:

Fairy tales always say happily ever after comes right after a princess meets her prince. For Amy and Darien, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Princess Amy of the Moon Kingdom has led a sheltered life and dreams about escape. With a controlling mother directing her every move, she remains insecure in her abilities and afraid to disappoint her family. She doesn't lack courage, but seizing it, even for what she wants most, is harder than she ever thought possible.

Darien, the young prince of the Earth Kingdom is ready for anything that comes his way. When he meets Princess Amy, he wants nothing more than the happily ever after the fairy tales promised.

Amy's mother doesn't approve of the match, but she isn't the only one standing in their way... When Pond Water Prince tears them apart, Amy and Darien must fight for their love or lose that happily ever after...forever.

My Review of Forbidden Love:

A Romeo and Juliet love story for a modern young adult audience, I greatly enjoyed Forbidden Love. Though Amy is a princess, her seemingly-simplistic life is turned on its head when she falls in love with Darien, prince of the earth kingdom. Amy's mother does not approve of the match and she sends Amy away. Though Darien finds Amy, their troubles are far from over as Amy learns about a brother she never had and the Pond Water Prince threatens to tear the two apart. And it only gets better from there! Though there is no shortage of conflict in this tale, be assured that Amy and Darien will find their happily ever after, but it will be quite a battle before they do. Diana Rose's debut novel demonstrates that a character is never too young to fall in love, and love has the power to win out in the end over any forces of evil that may threaten it. Escape into another world with this most unique story!

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle: $0.99

Amazon Paperback: $9.40

Forbidden Love Excerpt:

In another part of the universe, darkness was approaching quickly and the sky was veiled in its velvet blanket. Within a small isolated castle located in the farthest parts of the unknown, Pond Water Prince and his parents were plotting to absorb all powers from magical beings to gain immortality. By doing so, they would reign supreme over all else. Their sights were currently set on the powers of the Moon Kingdom.

 For years, Pond Water Prince and his family had tried to destroy Amy and her family, but they had failed continuously. They recently discovered Amy with Darien and planned to take both of their powers to get to the rest of the royal family. The job was entrusted to Pond Water Prince, who began to manipulate Amy’s dreams in order to weaken her and control her mind. In a matter of a few weeks, the dreams would slowly but surely took away the person’s strength and magic. Amy was a gentle person which meant that all she needed was a little push.     

 As soon as Pond Water Prince had created a special series of dreams, he sent them to Amy. They were designed so that her mind would become vulnerable enough for Pond Water Prince to control her mind. With her distracted, he could begin his plan of destruction. No one would suspect that he was behind this. After all, Amy would be too weak to even begin to rationalize about what the cause of her weakened state was. It was the perfect opening to taking over the Moon Kingdom. First, the castle where Amy lived and then with Amy’s unsuspectedly helpful guidance, Pond Water Prince would take over the rest of the Moon Kingdom and the rest of the Kingdoms would follow. Pond Water Prince would wait until the mind-control dreams took effect before he kidnapped her to take her magical powers for himself.

Amy was sitting in the garden with Darien. Darien seemed distant and thoughtful. Amy did not understand why he was avoiding her. So, she decided to ask. “Darling, are you okay?”

Darien turned to her and his sky blue eyes seemed to become darker as he focused on her face, and then he said it, “I’ve stopped loving you long ago. I just don’t feel it anymore. I’d be better off if we weren’t together. You’re suffocating me.”  

Amy always woke up in tears and she would hyperventilate after the nightmare she had seen. Now, all Amy thought about were those dreams. Amy became very sad. She did not know who sent the dreams, but she did not have enough strength to defeat whoever sent them. While she was asleep, her magic was slowly leaving her body.

Diana Rose Author Links:

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Joy of Historical Romance / Review of Eden's Promise by Cassie Edwards

I don't recall the title of the first romance novel I ever read.  I have only a vague memory of the book's premise.  But one thing I do remember was that the title was a historic romance. If you read romance novels regularly, if you attend writers conferences or if you keep up with what's going on in the industry, then you are probably aware that romance novels remain a popular genre of choice in our world today and that many of the titles purchased in a year are historic romance. Though historic is not the sub genre that I've chosen to write in thus far, I greatly enjoy purchasing these titles, and oftentimes the books that I wind up keeping on my shelf are set in historic times.

What's so special about historic romance? Though many of us romance readers enjoy it, it's hard to say exactly what it is about it that we love about stories set in a time long past. Having read several excellent articles in this month's Romance Writers' Report about historic romance, and having just completed Cassie Edwards's Eden's Promise, I thought it only fitting that I attempt to actually answer this question, which I believe to be more complicated than it sounds. Simply said, there is something really magical about reading a story which is set in another place and time. Reading fiction is about taking a journey, experiencing some sort of escapism. What better way to do that than by way of a time and place and setting which is completely different from our own? What better way to create characters, scenarios and larger-than-life happenings than by doing so in a world unlike anything the reader of your story is liable to ever experience for herself?

So why, with such a wonderful world of opportunities at my mind and fingertips, do I not write historic romance? First off, let me be clear that just because I haven't written a historic romance novel to date doesn't mean that I'm not interested in doing so, nor that I never will in the future. One thing I've learned as a writer is that my imagination is constantly surprising me and taking me to places I never believed it would. I did in fact draft a historic romance, which I intended to set in Regency England, only to decide later that the story I had in mind would work better in a contemporary setting. Truthfully speaking, the story in question, A Sultry Performance, would have likely worked as a contemporary romance or a historic, and my decision to make it contemporary had everything to do with personal preference. I honestly believe some writers don't feel they can create a story which is every bit as exciting as it can be, if they set it in modern times. Whereas I fully believe that they can, and with this thought in mind I have committed myself, for the foreseeable future, to creating suspenseful and innovative contemporary romance novels set in the present day. This does not mean however that I don't love to read the historic works of other authors. I love to mix sub-genres when I read, and I often read more than one story at a time. I find the historic romance novels I read to be engaging, exciting and greatly inspiring! 

A friend and fellow author once advised me not to read historic romances published many years ago. They don't speak true of the industry today, I was told, as the publishing industry has changed and with it, the guidelines authors will need to be aware of in order to secure a contract with a publishing house, or to sell books. Speaking to the opposing point, I've found I can learn a lot from these novels, which really weren't written all that long ago at all. Older novels often demonstrate the stark contrast between what is expected of an author today and what was expected 30 years ago, and they do so in black and white.  As an author just starting out, it's good to know the history of the industry and I personally find that I'm inspired by authors who wrote during a time when the "rules" were not necessarily as strict as they are today. It is when we overthink the "rules" and work overtime to develop what we believe to be the story that we're "supposed" to write, when our creative mind shuts down, exactly what we don't want to be doing when attempting to write the story in our hearts!

Reading Eden's Promise, I was reminded of how an exciting historic setting, like the one in this title, can make all the difference in a novel. For some time, I've been considering writing a series for which there are references to the past, flashbacks set in another time, as in, 100 years+ before the present day. I'm very excited to begin this next chapter in my writer's journey. Credit in many ways is due to the amazingly talented historic romance authors on my bookshelf! 

My Review of Eden's Promise by Cassie Edwards:

I enjoyed this pirate romance by Cassie Edwards! At the beginning, I wasn't certain I'd want to keep this one on my bookshelf - the romance between Eden and Zach happens so quickly. Though, there is so much excitement in this story I was able to let that go, in the end. Eden Whitney, a lighthouse keeper's daughter, who sometimes sneaks into town without her overprotective father realizing, finds herself drawn to the handsome and mysterious Zachary Tyson, a man we quickly learn is a former pirate. For reasons later revealed to us, Zach found himself engaged in a lifestyle not of his choosing, and which he would like nothing more than to leave in the past. But when local judge, Judge Pryor, learns of Jack's connection to the murderous pirate captain, Pirate Jack, he takes Zach hostage and threatens harm to Zach and Eden unless Zach will rid the seas of this dangerous man. The adventure only gets better from there! I loved this story, not only because it was incredibly suspenseful, but because Cassie Edwards creates a number of interesting characters, accounting for 3 different romances, and in turn, 3 happily ever afters. If you don't like engaging side characters, perhaps this isn't the read for you, but if you like a nice variety of things happening in a story, as I do, definitely give Eden's Promise a read!

Now Available!

Chris Gordon will do anything to avenge his wife's murder, but falling in love with her killer's fiancee wasn't part of the plan...