It was so much fun interviewing Tricia Linden at the Romantic Times Booklover's Convention in Reno, Nevada! Check out her answers in the Speed Round...
Regina Kammer is one of my favorite people and writers of all time. Her stories are magnificent, well-written and well-executed. Most importantly, I'm so, so proud to be part of Regina's community. In fact, it was a conversation with her that inspired me to start LoveRomanceReads.com - a way to connect authors and readers directly, supporting one another as a community. Thank you, Regina!
My first post on my blog, written over five years ago, was titled “Giving back”. I was a new author – both self-published and traditionally published – at the time. But I didn’t get to that spot on my own. It, as the saying goes, took a village.
“Since I became a writer, I have only encountered generosity amongst fellow writers: Encouragement, advice, willingness to listen, shared enthusiasm when something goes right. I suspect it comes from the knowledge that we are colleagues, not competitors. This is true especially for genre writers where readers and fans read voraciously — a book a week, the more exuberant amongst them a book a day.”
Since then, I have offered writing resources on my blog, including a recent post on writing sex scenes. But I’m probably adding content more sporadically than I had originally intended. I’d like to get back into providing writing resources and tips.
However, this post isn’t about that. It’s about the “village”.
I was reminded of my first post because of recent events, events that highlighted how tightly knit and protective the writing village can be in the face of a bully. And how large the village actually is, encompassing not just romance writers and readers, but other genre writers and readers.
In the face of this author-bully I have been doing what I can to give back, to support my colleagues by forwarding relevant information and promoting the writing of authors victimized by the actions of this bully.
Some people took it upon themselves to give back with all they had to give, free of charge. This display of solidarity has been pretty astonishing and heartening.
However, as the drama unfolded, what became very clear, and very sad, is that the bully lacked connection to any sort of writing community, and seemingly acted in a vacuum.
We writers are a community acting in cooperation, not competition. At our core is the spirit of giving back. In fact, Love Romance Reads was started in part to promote community, as an act of giving back.
In a few years, no one will remember the name of the author-bully, but we will remember how our village came together to save our own little corner of the world.
Regina Kammer is a librarian, an art historian, and an award-nominated, best-selling, multi-published writer of erotica and historical erotic romance. Her short stories and novels make history sexier, whether the era is Roman, Byzantine, Viking, American Revolution, or Victorian. She’s even sexed up contemporary settings, Steampunk, and Greco-Roman mythology. She has been published by Cleis Press, Go Deeper Press, Ellora’s Cave, House of Erotica, Story Ink, Loose Id, The Naughty Literati, and her own imprint, Viridium Press. She began writing historical fiction with romantic elements during National Novel Writing Month 2006, switching to erotica when all her characters suddenly demanded to have sex.
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~Harwell Heirs Book 1
~Victorian Historical ~Erotic Romance
A forbidden encounter leaves her yearning for more…
In Victorian London of 1879, a new device for the treatment of hysteria has just arrived from France. Dr. Julius Christopher plans to use the invention for his own salacious scheme. Can Dr. Nicholas Ramsay prevent his beloved, the innocent debutante Helena Phillips, from being the next patient?
Helen Henderson's First Time is a personal look at what happens when an author goes "indie". She gives great advice! Thank you, Helen for sharing this First Time with us.
There could be several firsts that apply to the title. But the first that was chosen is the first book I published as an independent author. And “safety net?” Without a publisher there was no built-in camaraderie, no group sworn to assist you with retweets and spreading the release news.
I dipped my toe into the indie world with Imprisoned in Stone, a dark fantasy with a thread of romance. What I have learned since then?
Plan your marketing and promotion, but be flexible. Different opportunities appear all the time.
Don’t think you can just get away with only doing the “writing.” Even though you’ll be hiring professionals for specialized knowledge such as editing and graphic design (unless you have friends who work in the fields) you still need to have a working knowledge of grammar, book format, cover design, keywords, and a million other things so that you can communicate with the experts.
They say there are five stages of emotions when you publish. I think they are felt more strongly when you publish as an independent author, especially the doubt and fear. Be prepared for wide swings.
That’s a few thoughts on my first… and subsequent outings as an independent author without a safety net.
A descendent of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer, the dichotomy of Henderson's heritage shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles and The Windmaster Novels. In her books, she invites you to join her on travels through the stars, or among fantasy worlds of the imagination. She writes Fantasy, Historical Westerns, and Science Fiction.
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~Dark Fantasy~Ghosts & Spirits~Witches/Warlocks
~August 1, 2013
For the crime of healing without payment, the Brethren imprisoned Dylan’s soul in stone. Centuries later, he felt the touch of another’s mind and hope for escape from his eternal prison soars. However, his potential savor’s only knowledge of him comes from an eerie message on the wall and nightmarish dreams. And, she is unaware of her latent magic--the power needed to free him.
A spell kept secret for generations.
A brotherhood thirsting for power.
Demands that cannot be obeyed.
A woman who stands to lose everything.
Andi Ramos shares her First Time experience with us. I bet it didn't turn out the way she'd imagined it would!!! Honestly though, there are a few celebrities that would turn me into a wet noodle and I'm sure I'd not handle it any better than Andi did. What about you?
It’s funny; you never know how you are going to act until thrust into a situation. Oh sure, you can pretend and say I would do something this way or that. But, no one can really know how they are going to act in a certain situation until they experience it!
Why am I saying all this? Well, let me tell you about the first time I met a celebrity. I was a huge race fan, (fun fact for those who didn’t know). I stopped watching because after the umpteenth time of Jimmy Johnson winning the cup, I’d had it (sorry Jimmy fans). Anyway, we were just outside the pits of the Pocono race a few years ago, and Carl Edwards (swoon) was walking in my direction, probably because I was decked out in Edwards paraphernalia.
Now, he’s my favorite driver (even though he is retired now) he’s funny, charismatic and extremely easy on the eyes. He came right over to the kids and me, GASP, (oh yeah, hubby was there too). A crowd immediately gathered pawing for autographs, pictures and the such. So I ushered the kids over to him to get a picture and my hubby, who knows my yearnings for this man, says, “hop in.” Even Carl said, "Yeah, come on in." I couldn’t; I stood frozen just shaking my head and with a death-grip on my camera. I was about to turn tail and run, but my hubby held me in place.
WelI, I got a great picture, kind of hard not to since he was right in front of me, and my husband has a great story to tease me about…relentlessly…So all you women who boast, if I ever see that guy in public….(fill in the blank)… just be careful what you say. Your opportunity may arise, don't do what I did. Make sure you can make the most of it! However, if I do come across the Rock all bets are off- I’m going in for the kill ;)
Andi Ramos grew up in central Massachusetts where she still lives today with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations. She writes Mystery and Romance.
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~May 30, 2018
Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pro's, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin 'Mac' MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.
How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?
Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?
Karen Michelle Nutt is someone I've been 'friends' with on Facebook for several years, though we've never met in person. Our virtual paths crossed maybe five years ago (?) when we both did Seven Sentence Sunday. Now, along with another author, Siobhan Muir, we're administrators of the Facebook group, Snippet Sunday. But back to Karen - I love her books, I love her perseverance, and she's an author I look up to. Fingers crossed our real paths will cross someday!
In the 80s, I met Greg at Knott's Berry Farm, an amusement park in Southern California, where we both worked. I loved to plan events with all my friends and would arrange meet ups, long before online sites made those popular. There were no cell phones to send out a group text. I had to call each person with the date, time and place. If someone had a suggestion, I was right on it to spread the word. We definitely had some fun times. Only I didn't have a clue that Greg wanted to ask me out on a date. So of course when he made his suggestion to go miniature golfing, I thought he wanted the whole gang to go. He was a bit surprised when everyone showed up and I was confused as to why he handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. We were friends. We 'hung out' together. It never occurred to me he wanted to date me.
Maybe it was the scent of the flowers or the beautiful starry night, or perhaps how he chuckled when he realized our date had become a group event. Whatever the reason, I began to look at him differently. What better person to date than a best friend? Right?
He did ask me out on another date and that's a fun and interesting story for another time. Three years later, Greg and I were married and have been married for 33 years. So even though our first date wasn't perfect, our once upon a date became a happily ever after.
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer. When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, time travel or contemporary romances all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love. Karen writes Paranormal, Time Travel, and Contemporary Romance
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~Rock Star Romance~Paranormal~Rock & Roll
Lars Gunner, the frontman for Silent Plaids, died 23 years ago and his death was ruled an unfortunate accident. Despite the fact he can't recall what happened to him in his last moments of life, he is convinced he was murdered. He has been trapped in limbo until his daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal and is able to see him. She seeks help from Kaleb, a psychic, but as they resurrect the past, the secrets and lies surrounding Lars' rock and roll life just may be the death of them too.
Paula Martin shares the First Time she visited the western part of Ireland. Sounds exquisite! I love open and empty spaces and can easily imagine why Paula’s First Time was such an inspiration.
I fell in love with the Connemara area in the west of Ireland on my first visit there, nearly eleven years ago. As we drove west from the city of Galway, on a beautiful autumn morning, we entered the wild open countryside of Connemara, uninhabited apart from sheep and lambs. New vistas appeared at every twist and turn of the road – clusters of bright yellow broom, small brooks rippling over stones, breeze-whipped lakes at the one side of the road, low green hills with rocky outcrops on the other, and the occasional ruins of stone cottages. A range of sharp peaked, grey mountains, the Twelve Bens, dominated the view ahead of us, none of them over two and half thousand feet, but stark and majestic.
Since that first visit, I’ve been back to Connemara several times and explored more of this beautiful area, including some of the coastal inlets and bays, opening into the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2013, I had an idea for a novel in which two strangers meet when they jointly inherit a house, and it didn’t take me long to decide the house would be in Connemara. I even knew exactly where it would be, just a few miles from Clifden, and overlooking the bay. So ‘Mist Na Mara House’ became the connecting link between five standalone novels, the fifth of which will be released in June, 2018.
Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North West England and has two daughters and two grandsons. She had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She returned to writing fiction after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places and has traveled extensively in Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, the Middle East, USA and Canada. Her other interests include musical theatre and tracing her family history. She writes Contemporary/Intrigue.
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~Mist Na Mara #1
English actress, Jenna Sutton, and American artist, Guy Sinclair, are thrown together when they find they’ve jointly inherited a house on the west coast of Ireland. Neither knows their connection to their unknown benefactress, but set about unravelling the intriguing tale of a 19th century love affair. Despite their personal reasons for not wanting romantic involvements, Jenna and Guy feel their growing attraction.
When local property agent, Eve Callaghan, appears to have her own agenda, friction builds over Jenna and Guy’s decision about the house and its contents.
Will their Irish inheritance bring them together - or drive them apart?
Reet Singh shares her first time she got that 'zing', that 'I know what I'm going to do with the next part of my life' feeling. It almost sounds like a meet-cute in a romance novel! What a gift, one that not many can say they've received. Thank you, Reet for sharing this experience!!!
I was a brand new third-year medical student and I was about to start a clinical posting in Ophthalmology. Being mildly curious and wishing to be prepared with what I’d encounter in the wards, I walked into the library and picked out a textbook of ophthalmology.
At first touch, an electric tingle began in the tips of my fingers and it zinged through me to exit out my toes. I nearly dropped the book. I thought it was tennis elbow, since I had spent the holidays reading romances - there were no computers and kindles back then, and reading meant actually, physically holding up a book using your arms, and actually, physically using your fingers to turn pages. Voracious readers like me got tennis elbow.
I tried again, carefully, carrying the book to the reading area, but the tingling started again and got worse as I turned the pages. Gazing at images of eyes - healthy ones and damaged ones and everything in between – I felt my breath hitch and my heart started hammering away. I couldn’t make any sense of it, but I couldn’t free myself either of the strange hold the book had on me.
It was as if I’d just found a pot of gold at the edge of a rainbow – hours later, when the librarian, accompanied by two security guards, tried to pry the pot of gold from my fingers, I fought them tooth and nail. I vaguely remember somebody making a call to somebody, who rushed in with a syringe that she stabbed into my arm. When I came to, I was in a ward with cool, green walls, lying on clean, white sheets, and feeling as calm as a cat that has finally deciphered the meaning of life. I had found my meaning – I was destined to be an ophthalmologist.
I’ve been an ophthalmologist for over 30 years now, and if my story sounds a little unbelievable, blame it on recall bias considering the number of years that have passed since that first experience.
My love affair with books began when I was a tot. A fabulous mother, who recognized the power of the written word, read to me and my sisters every night, introducing us to the wonderful world of the imagination. Once I could read on my own, I graduated from fairy tales to adventure stories to romance, spending all my pocket money on books. My father served in the army and took the family along mostly wherever he went, resulting in experiences that beg to find a place in my books. I am an ophthalmologist, but make time for my other passions – reading and writing stories, watching romantic comedies, and doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook. I also love solving the Hindu crossword, and – when my muse is elusive – I enjoy pitting my wits against my husband’s at Scrabble®. When I have no other choice, I can be found in the kitchen putting together my ‘world-famous’ one-pot meals.
Reet Singh writes contemporary romance.
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~March 3, 2018
Will the demons from their past succeed in tearing them apart?
After personal tragedy strikes, Mohini Kapoor runs away from the city to her grandparents home in a village in Punjab. Though she manages to pick up the pieces of her broken self, and even builds a life for herself, the horror of her experience is difficult to forget. She buries it deep down inside her subconscious mind until the arrival of a stranger threatens to resurrect the old demons.
Reputed photojournalist, Aalok Ahuja, has to hide out for a few days to escape circumstances beyond his control. When his friend recommends Tejopur, a remote village in Punjab, Aalok expects life to be simple there and, perhaps, even boring - instead, his world is thrown into chaos by a woman more desirable, and vastly more complicated, than any he has ever known.
When their destinies collide, attraction flares, but secrets threaten their new found feelings. Should they cut and run or give love a chance?
Emmy Z. Madrigal reminds us why First Times are always memorable, and sometimes very painful, leaving a memory that follows us for life. I was so touched when Emmy told me the story that I begged her to write it down. This is a perfect storm of setting, character, and conflict.
Let’s put aside that the day I was born, “Satin Sheets” by Jeanne Pruett was #1 in the country music charts, the fact that some of the first movies my parents took me to were Rhinestone Cowboy and The Gambler, and how I knew every word to “Playing with the Queen of Hearts.” My parents being big country western music fans meant we went to concerts at county fairs, rodeos, and good ol’ pancake breakfasts, sitting on bales of hay instead of chairs. Still, this over-permeating of yee-haw’s and y'alls wasn’t the thing that pushed me over the edge.
It happened one New Year’s Eve and it’s all Willie Nelson’s fault. Yep, you heard it right, good ol’ two-braided, bandana wearing, guitar strumming, Willie is to blame.
Well, him and my first period.
As I said, it was New Year’s Eve and I was thirteen. I wanted to be at a party, a friend’s house, or pretty much anywhere else besides with my uncool parents. I was grumpy, and moving into my teen years with all the angst and disappointment every teen possesses. I was in pain and blamed it on the fried rice we ate for dinner giving me indigestion. All I really wanted to do was go to bed, cuddle up in my warm comforter, read a book, and mourn my sad existence as a kid with extremely lame parents. But no…my step-father insisted we all gather around the TV for the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special.
My step-father was an over-bearing, abusive jerk who tried to control every aspect of my life, even down to how much I enjoyed a family event. Ever seen Sleeping with the Enemy? Yeah, him. Point being, if I didn’t laugh or smile once every few minutes, I’d get a stern look and if it continued, I’d get hit. Most of the time I played along, pasting on the fake smile and throwing in a phony laugh here and there as a self-defense mechanism. But that night, I wasn’t having it. I didn’t feel well, I was tired, and I just wanted to go to bed.
Willie just couldn’t wait to be “On the Road Again” as a stabbing pain rippled through my abdomen and I felt like I was going to throw up. I jumped up and moved as quickly as I could to the bathroom despite my step-dad’s demanding, “You better hurry up!” call behind me.
If you’re a woman, you’ve been there. “Why the hell am I bleeding? Oh, wait…is this what they were talking about in health class? Ewe, this sucks. What do I do?” Well, of course I called my mother and she was proud and helpful, and all that, but I did not want her to tell my step-father what had happened. It was embarrassing. It was personal. And it definitely did not need to be a topic of discussion during the Willie Nelson New Year’s Eve Special!
Inevitably, she did tell my step-dad and he got a thrill out of embarrassing me throughout the rest of the concert and for days afterward. That was the night a switch went off in my head. I would from that day spurn country music at every turn. Twangs were sneered at, y'alls ignored. You better bet your britches, if I ever meet Willie Nelson, he’s gonna get an earful.
Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Regency novella, Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe. Her previous works include the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series and the novelettes Anime Girl and Anime Girl 2. Emmy has been praised for her realistic portrayal of modern female characters and their will to survive in a world of adversity, prejudice, and economic hardship. She writes Contemporary, YA/New Adult, Regency, Horror, and Sweet Romance.
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~Sweet Dreams Series, #3
~YA/New Adult~Sweet Romance
~Jul 24, 2014
Victoria Knox has an awesome boyfriend, great friends, and her singing career is on its way. Are the nightmares she’s been having a warning, or just her subconscious second-guessing the happiness she's feeling for the first time in her life? When her boyfriend, Rob, whisks her off on a weekend trip planned completely in her honor, someone from her past has another agenda designed to ruin her. Will Rob be able to save her from the devious plans of a demented stalker?
Boy band star, Derek Montgomery, is falling for Cynthia Porter in a big way, but she’s not sure she wants anything to do with him. Competing with the memories of Derek’s ex and tabloid rumors, Cynthia would rather let go of him than deal with all the drama. Can Derek prove to her that he’s serious and that she’s not just the rebound girl?
Join these musically inspired friends as they find out if they've found true love.
Peggy Jaeger's First Time is heart-pounding, inspirational, and, just, WOW! I'd never be brave enough to do this and my hat goes off to Peggy for being so brave.
My daughter and I no longer give one another birthday presents. We are both at stages in our lives where it’s more important we spend time with one another and do things together than give one another gift cards or spa days.
Last year, for our mutual birthdays, we decided to do something neither of us had ever done before: fly on a trapeze.
Yup. My 28 year old in-shape, marathon- runner daughter and this 57 year old chubby, scared of heights, and hot flashing mama, took Trapeze lessons. And it was amazeballs.
First of all, when someone tells you “it’s not as easy as it looks,” please believe them!! Yes, it always looks sososos easy when circus performers fly back and forth on the trapeze wire, but realize something: They practice for hours every day and gravity is a real thing!
Did I mention I’m scared of heights? The first time I climbed up the forty feet of the trapeze tower I felt like I was going to throw up. When I stood with my toes pointed out over the tiny waiting stand and stretched out to grab the trapeze bar, I thought I might pass out. And when the instructor ordered, “Jump!” I had an out of body experience as I went flying – literally - through the air.
What a rush! Hanging by just the shear will of my hands gripped on that very heavy bar, I pointed my toes and swayed back and forth like I was on a swing, only not sitting, but dangling 40 feet above the ground. The next command shouted at me was “Pull your legs up on the bar and clutch on.” I did as instructed, having lost all sense of self and common sense by this time. When he then called out “Let go of the bar and fall backwards,” my inner daredevil finally broke through.
Can I just tell you what dangling upside down with just the back of your knees holding all your weight on a two inch think bar, while you’re swinging back and forth and – I’ll repeat: UPSIDE DOWN – and overlooking lower Manhattan feels like?
Empowering. Daring. Fearless. Brave.
The last command given was, “Okay. Swing forward, pull your legs out, and do a somersault backward out so you can fall down to the net.”
Oh yeah, there was a net. Of course there was. I’m not that stupid!
My landing wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t even graceful. A chubby 57 year old woman doesn’t look anything resembling graceful falling backward, that’s for sure. But I did manage to get down without, a) passing out, b) wetting my yoga pants, and c) in one piece.
I impressed myself that day. And my husband and daughter, as well.
That’s a solid “Check” on the old bucket list, for sure.
Oh, and next year for our birthdays? We’re going skydiving.
Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
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~April 3, 2018
With three successful TV series under her belt, including her cousin Kandy’s, executive producer Stacy Peters is ready to helm her own show. But to make that happen, she has to do her network boss one favor first—spend two months on a ranch in Montana wrangling the notoriously difficult director of Beef Battles. Apparently, he eats producers for breakfast. Yet all Stacy can think when she meets the lean, rugged man is how hungry he makes her . . Dominic Stamp—Nikko to his very few friends—has had enough interference from TV newbies. And when Stacy climbs out of the car in Montana, he’s not convinced she’s even old enough to drive, much less produce his show. But he can’t deny that the long-legged blonde with the stubborn will and the dazzling smile whets his appetite. And as Stacy proves her talent with the crew and the budget alike, Nikko vows to prove to her that love is on the menu for both of them . . .
Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention ended today. :-( BUT, we still have a few interviews of authors to share. Next up is R.L. Merrill!