MAY - CELEBRATING ALUMNI - Where Are They Now?
5-28 Alumnus and Best Selling Victorian Romance Author Christy Carlyle
5-29 Alumnus and award winning author of Norwegian Romance Kris Tualla
5-31 Alumnus and Post Apocalytic Author Tam Linsey

Also Book Recommendations from the Genre-istas!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tam Linsey: Food and a Post Apocalyptic World

Wow, five years Judith and Sarah? Where did the time go? I’m so proud of you both for keeping the Genre-ista’s going strong and steady, and for pursuing your own writing and publishing dreams at the same time. Way to go!

For all you readers, let me give you a little backstory. (I just said the “b” word!) Judith and I met in 2010 during an online class about platform building for writers. I was in the process of switching my writing from contemporary romance to sci-fi, and Judith was cheering me on and keeping me motivated in spite of what seemed like an overwhelming task. I was so honored when she and Sarah started Romancing the Genres and asked me to be a part of it.

Now here it is, five years later, and although I moved on, I remain in contact with my platform partner, Judith. I’ve published three post-apocalyptic novels and two short stories set in a world decimated by genetically modified weeds – yes, there is love after the world ends. 

About a year ago, Audible provided a stipend to turn book one of Botanicaust into an audiobook. Readers call my stories “thought-provoking” and “chilling” along with quotes like “I never would have imagined I would be turned on by a plant.” (That one tickles me!) Most of all, I get comments along the lines of “completely unlike anything I’ve ever read before.” Botanicaust is a crazy mix of cannibals, plant people, immortals, and Amish, but it works, love story and all.

What am I doing now, you ask? When I’m not in the garden or muddling through my day job, I’m working on recording my other books in my tiny, homemade recording studio (also known as the blanket-shrouded closet in my office.) I’m also writing an unsettling post-apocalyptic story about a world destroyed by killer amoebas - I know, first I write about green-skinned seductresses, now the Blob. But I promise, just as Botanicaust isn’t William Shatner hooking up with an alien, my new world won’t be a cheesy conspiracy theory gone wrong. And you haven’t seen the end of the Botanicaust world, either. I plan on giving you the history for the photosynthetic Haldanians, plus there is definitely more to come with Tula and Levi.

I can’t resist one last reader quote to wrap things up. “To all the little Fred Savages out there, I'm sorry, [Botanicaust] is a kissing book. But even if that's not your bag, Tam Linsey has written a solid sci-fi book you will dig.”

In closing, I want to thank you for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about my books, you can sign up for my newsletter at http://bit.ly/Botanicaust or visit my website at http://www.tamlinsey.com. Or, of course, you can also go directly to Amazon if you already know you like post-apocalyptic romance.

Tam lives in Alaska with her husband and two grown children. She lives on a half-acre lot that is more than a garden and less than a farm. When she’s not writing, you might find her in the garden, the orchard, or kitchen.

Other books in the Botanicaust series:

    

Monday, May 30, 2016

Michelle Monkou's Recap of Outlander, Season 2, Episode 8

Outlander Season Two, Episode Eight - The Fox's Lair
(See below for links to all recaps)

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television) 

Welcome back, the familiar faces of Jamie's sister--Jenny--and his BFF and her husband--Ian. Good to see Murtagh who had to leave his French dalliance and head to Scotland before Jamie and Claire's hurried departure. Thank goodness little Fergus popped back on the home scene. Their kindness to him earned them a supporter for life. (I did wonder how could they leave him in Paris after his trauma.). As the episode opens, we've fast forwarded through the daily routine of life at Broch Tuarach (the family estate) where Claire and Jamie have settled among extended family.

Scotland soothes their souls.

But as we know, the Jacobite Rebellion isn't going away and the elaborate machinations in Paris to derail it didn't go as planned. Now Jamie is pulled in to step up and commit due to his forged signature on the list of supporters -- a guaranteed one-way ticket to conviction as a traitor to England and its king. Jamie who turns into the optimist buoyed by Claire's constant and mostly successful tinkering with history wants to fight and beat the English.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)
The couple head out to meet with Jamie's odious grandfather for his support. But these days a simple trip is never simple and could have unintended consequences as Colum MacKenzie is also an unexpected visitor.

Claire gets a good dose of clan politics, a view of the movers and shakers, along with a reluctant invitation, but muted participation of the proceedings. When the plans appear to go south, Claire's quick thinking and a whole lot of brash come to the rescue. Once again the reputation of the white witch/lady works to her benefit with an exaggerated, silly performance of her witchy powers.

And we would never have guessed that Laoghaire who makes her act of contrition on her knees to Claire would be a key element to turn the plan into a success. Of course, this young woman hasn't really gotten Jamie out of her system. Sigh. By the end of the hour, we see the various characters take their positions around the unfolding drama of clan politics, loyalty, fealty, and with the Jacobite cause.

Overall, this episode was the pause to catch the breath after last week's emotionally-laden events.

My Weekly Recaps
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Michelle Monkou writes for Harlequin Kimani, Evernight Publishing, and her indie pursuits with Stella Maris Publishing. Michelle’s website is michellemonkou.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kris Tualla - "When" is she now?

Kris Tualla
Where am I now? Don’t you mean “when”?

As the author of mostly (I’ll get to that in a minute) historical novels, I find that when I am deep into writing the story I actually forget what time it is, what day it is, and even what year it is. I’m not kidding. I have to look up from my laptop—where all fiction lives—and focus to bring myself back into the present. Hopefully before I miss some important appointment or meeting!

Since stepping down after five years as a regular blogger on Romancing the Genres, I published a mixed-genre trilogy: a Viking caught between life and death for 950 years who manifests to my modern-day heroine, a collections manager at a museum.

This story encompasses several elements of a historical novel, both in the hero’s character and the heroine’s job. It also includes a light paranormal aspect in the hero’s condition, one that is remedied at the end of the second book when he returns to physical life. I’ve never written paranormal before, so that part was fun.

And it’s a contemporary story; the first one I’ve written for publication. That was fun as well, but I doubt I’ll do it again. Turns out I really like creating worlds, and writing the here and now doesn’t present the same challenges as either the parameters of a non-corporeal existence, or the environment of say, 18th-century life.

My current works in progress, however, are bridging this gap: I am telling my contemporary heroine’s great-grandfather and great-uncle’s stories. These brothers were involved in World War Two, but not the WWII that Americans are familiar with.

I’m telling Norway’s story. At least part of it.

The upside of writing an era which people remember is that there are plenty of first-hand experiences to tap into through social media—and I have. I’ve been given wonderful anecdotes to include in the narrative and will give credit in the end notes.

The downside of writing an era which people remember is that there are plenty of first-hand experiences to contradict what I might include. Memories of seventy-five-year-old events aren’t perfect for one, especially if the reporter was a child at the time. And people in different parts of the country experienced different things.

I knew this was going to be challenging when I had to stop halfway through the opening sentence to look up what high schools were called in Norway (secondary schools) and the task went on from there. Detail after detail needs to be right or I’ll be called out on it. I do plan on asking some of my anecdote contributors to read the pre-published proof and let me know if I blew something.  Not only will this help my accuracy, but it might garner some new readers in the process.

Anyway, that’s “when” I am now. Once the books are completed, I’ll come back and finish this tale. Until then, I’ll be disappearing into the Nordic world of Nazi occupation.

See you on the flip side.

Learn more about Kris by visiting her website: http://kristualla.com

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Christy Carlyle: Finding a Path That Fits


Happy anniversary, Genre-istas! How time flies. I will always be grateful to Romancing the Genres and its blog queens for what they taught me about myself as a writer and the fun and discipline involved in blogging regularly. Thank you so much for inviting me back!

For those who don’t know me, I write Victorian-set historical romance.

I refer to 2015 as my whirlwind year. I signed my first traditional publishing contract with Avon/Harper Collins to release a three-book Victorian historical romance series for their digital-first Avon Impulse line. Now those books—One Scandalous Kiss, One Tempting Proposal, and One Dangerous Desire—are in the hands of readers. Between March of 2015 and 2016, I gained a publisher, developed a relationship with my fabulous editor, signed on with an agent, and even made the USA Today bestseller list due to a mix of crossed fingers, all the stars aligning, and a successful price reduction-paid promo combo. Currently I’m working on the first book, Rules for a Rogue, in a new three-book Avon Impulse Victorian historical romance series. Whew. Yep, definitely a whirlwind.

Looking ahead, I believe 2016 and beyond is about finding my path in the larger hybrid world of publishing. If I consider this process as an equation, I have to admit that I don’t yet have the answer, but I know it involves finding balance between my goals, time, and commitments. Before I signed with Avon, I’d published three stories independently as part of my Whitechapel Wager series. I still plan to continue that series, as well as begin new ones.

The most exciting aspect of being an authorpreneur—a term coined, I believe, by Romancing the Genres’ own Kris Tualla—is the opportunity to forge our own unique paths as authors. The current publishing landscape presents us with lots of options and myriad challenges. To that end, I’ve learned to try new things, like joining the February 2016 boxed set, Passionate Promises, with several authors from the Embracing Romance group blog.

Learning how to be a better writer, marketer, and manager of my own time and author platform is now my full-time occupation. As a former teacher, the opportunity to continue learning thrills me, even if the possibilities sometimes feel overwhelming. Whatever path I settle on has to allow me to embrace challenges gracefully while never ever losing my love for the writing itself. If my whirlwind year taught me anything, it is that writing engaging and emotional stories trumps everything else.

What do you do to find a balanced path in your life? If you’re writer, do have any tips on juggling the multiple demands of authorpreneurship?

Christy Carlyle


Christy Carlyle
Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time.

A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there's nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Weaver’s STRYOFOAM CORPSE Delivers Reader’s Trifecta: Mystery, Romance, Laughs

By Linda Lovely

A heroine-in-hiding who hasn’t lost her sense of humor—at least until she’s the prime suspect for killing her sleazy peeping Tom neighbor. A strapping sheriff who faints at the sight of a corpse. The sheriff’s life-long buddy, an attorney, who lusted for our heroine long before learning she was the sheriff’s secret girlfriend. A politician who plays dirty as he tries to replace the sheriff with his nincompoop son.  

In her newest romantic mystery, STYROFOAM CORPSE, author Robin Weaver weaves these characters in and out of a plot that’s full of surprise twists and turns. It’s a perfect summer read for folks like me who enjoy mysteries entwined with romantic complications and seasoned with humor and snark. By the way, those are trademark signs you’re reading a mystery written by Robin (Snark-is-her-middle-name) Weaver, one of my favorite authors.

Here’s a quick synopsis.
Sheriff Casey Randolph suffers from necrophobia, e.g. the sight of dead bodies makes him weak in the knees and weaker in the stomach. Casey’s crazy about Shannon Summers but keeps their relationship secret for two reasons. He’s running for re-election and he’s sure his opponent, Butchie Blackwell, would twist the relationship into something ugly since Shannon, while separated, is still married. Also she’s hiding from her bullying husband while waiting for her divorce to become final.

Shannon’s neighbor, Timothy Welch, a lecherous peeping Tom, calls the sheriff’s office to report a woman stabbing a man to death and the address he gives is Shannon’s. A frantic Sheriff Casey speeds over, but soon finds the dead body in Shannon’s pool is actually a Styrofoam dummy. She acted out stabbing the centerpiece decoration for her Halloween party just to play a mind game on the peeper. The sheriff visits Welch and warns him to quit bothering Shannon.

After her Halloween party, Shannon awakens poolside and groggy to discover that her Styrofoam corpse has been replaced with a real dead body—who is soon identified as peeper Welch. Shannon’s the prime suspect since she’s verbally threatened Welch, and she’s alone with the body inside her gated, locked home. Initially Sheriff Casey wonders if Shannon might have been under the influence of illegal drugs contributed by party guests, and thinks it’s possible she could have killed Welch in self-defense.

The sheriff calls on his life-long buddy, Parker Daniels, to help Shannon since he can’t publicly do so. He doesn’t realize Parker and Shannon know each other, but hadn’t acted on a mutual attraction. Oops. Jealousy enters the scene.
 
This is just the START. The twists and turns include political shenanigans, illegal bugs, kidnapping, and an array of suspects who had good reason to kill Welch. Will let you discover how it all turns out! Click here  to buy STYROFOAM CORPSE.

Other fun reads by Robin Weaver include BLUE RIDGE FEAR and FRAMING NOVERTA.Click on the titles for links to her books.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

PASS THAT BOOK ALONG - MARGARET TANNER

ON THE OREGAN TRAIL - MARGARET TANNER

I haven’t read anything of late except books that I needed for research. I picked up this book in the library and thought it would be as dry as dust to read, but I was desperate for the information it might have contained. Well, what a surprise. I actually read the whole lot, not just the sections that I thought I would need. Normally, I would skim through the pages looking for information, but I actually read this book from cover to cover. It is called Days On the Road, Crossing the plains in 1865, and was the diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon. She was a 24 year old school teacher who left her native Missouri with her mother and brothers, to join a wagon train heading along the Oregon Trail. They were four months on the trail. She kept a diary and it made for a fascinating read.

The reason I was interested in this kind of information is I have recently started writing Western Romance, and I wanted to get a better feel for the hardships people endured out on the plains. I am multi-published in historical romance set in Australia, and very familiar with our history, but American history, well, I can do with a little help.

I really enjoyed reading about Sarah and her mother straining milk into a butter churn that had a lid, and fixing it to the front of the wagon, where it was churned into butter by the motion of the wagon. How clever was that.

What I really found interesting (maybe it’s the romantic in me), was the fact that with so many single young men available, a couple of doctors and reasonably well to do gentleman who were interested in Sarah, she had no interest in any of them.  She did eventually marry, but not in this story.

A few months after the family’s arrival in Virginia City, a school was started and Sarah became a teacher there, earning the princely sum of $125.00 per month. So, you can see this book was a goldmine of information on day to day living for someone like me.

The Sherriff’s Outcast Bride.

A vengeful man tells a lie, and Becky Tucker’s reputation is ruined. Castigated and shunned by the townsfolk, she leads a life of servitude on her stepfather’s ranch.

Desperate to escape, she accepts a reluctant marriage proposal from the sheriff of Blackwood, Ryan Mulligan.

To find happiness together they will need to overcome dark secrets from the past, betrayal and
treachery.


 For a short time, only 99 cents Amazon Kindle.




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

5-STAR REVIEW: BABY, I WANT YOU (Contemporary Romance)

BABY, I WANT YOU

Two stubborn dreamers wounded in love must learn to trust and compromise to earn their Happily-Ever-After.

New York City sales and marketing expert Anais Cooper is burnt out on big city living. When she unexpectedly inherits a Spanish Colonial Mansion on ten acres of Anastasia Island, a suburb of St. Augustine, Florida, she applies for a minority business loan, quits her job and moves south. Anais’s goal is to turn the ramshackle place into an upscale spa. Her overbearing, disconcertingly attractive neighbor, retired athlete Palmer Freeman, has other plans for the property. It’s obvious to Anais that he doubts she has the business acumen or means to turn Casa Libre into an income-producing property. Determined to succeed, she turns all his offers to purchase her property down flat.

Palmer, a single parent raising two girls, has his own challenges. His youngest, Savannah, is rebellious and has an eating disorder. But she seems to connect with Anais, his uncooperative neighbor, whose property he wants for a business project of the heart. Palmer gets the idea to strike a deal. He’ll endorse the new spa if Anais agrees to help Savannah lose weight. What he doesn’t anticipate is his strong attraction to a woman who really should be the enemy.

From smart and sassy Anais, to lonely and manipulative Savannah, to hard-working and passionate Palmer, Marcia King-Gamble's characters captured my heart. Even Savannah’s cat, Molasses, was well-drawn. Both Anais and Palmer had been betrayed by their exes, but Palmer is more closed off emotionally. With their trust issues, neither was prepared to fall in love with a business rival. But neither could hold out long against an attraction that was more than skin deep.

While neither Anais nor Palmer is perfect, that is one reason I like them so much! They both have to grow as people in order to realize they are perfect for each other and to help Savannah overcome her emotional problems. Together they can overcome any obstacles.

I also loved the Anastasia Island setting Ms. King-Gamble describes, especially Casa Libre, with its unique history and aura of impoverished gentility. Experiencing Anais and Jaqui’s Herculean efforts that transformed the mansion into the architectural beauty it was meant to be and the resurrection fern chocked gardens into an elegant showplace was a great adventure for non-handywoman, non-gardener me.


I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading many more from prolific, award-winniing author Marcia King-Gamble!

JUST YOU
Marcia King-Gamble hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. She is a former travel industry executive and a self proclaimed globetrotter. Marcia is particularly fond of Hong Kong, Venice, and New Zealand, not only for the scenery, but because of the mouthwatering food. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned 31 books and 6 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling, and with her animal family.

She loves hearing from you. E mail her at mkinggambl@aol.com or like her on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marcia-King-Gamble/12364168212Visit www.lovemarcia.com to find out what she's been up to.
HIS GOLDEN HEART