July - Celebrating Inspirational Romance Authors

07-30 DaniJo Avia: A Destiny To Inspire

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pokémon GO, Anyone?

AAAAAH!!!
Over the last few weeks I escaped from the craziness that is currently my life—prepping a gently neglected (that’s another story) five bedroom house, shop, goat barn, and almost four acres to go on the market—into two beloved romantic comedies. 

They are two of my favorite stories by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Cruisie. (Note Her name is a link to her website. You should visit. I’m just sayin’.) (I’m also including taglines for the books. And book covers. Because these stories are hilarious and true. And I am a major fangirl.)




Fast WomenWhen a down-on-her-luck divorcée meets a determined-to-dominate detective, they find out that falling in love can be murder…




Faking It:  What has reality ever done for you?




Whilst re-enjoying every bit of these stories, I was gobsmacked by how quickly the details of daily life have changed. Both stories are set in the early 2000s. 

Every house and business has a landline phone. In Faking It, the hero has a cell phone but it’s almost always turned off. Nobody texts. Nobody takes photos with their phone. Nobody looks things up on the internet with their phones. Nobody plays games with their phones!

Google is not yet an English verb. Computers are PCs or Macs, not laptops or notebooks. People use maps and compasses to find their way around. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and a host of other social media platforms lie somewhere in the future for these characters.

I could go on and on. The point is that as contemporary writers in 2016, we need to keep up with new developments. Or we can switch to writing historicals, or we can set our stories in the recent past. I know of two writers who have done this.

VISIT THE SITE
Me? I'm going to learn how to play Pokemon Go, the new Augmented Reality cell phone game. My fourteen-year-old granddaughter has volunteered to teach me—right after we put the house on the market.

Monday, July 25, 2016

My favorite time

By Courtney Pierce

The era of the 1920s pushes my buttons for so many reasons. A time that unleashed a visual feast propelled by free-spirited attitudes. Hemlines rose to meet a new generation. Necklines plunged to strip away austerity. Gauzy, fringed dresses shimmered over gyrating sin. Untaxed money flowed with the bathtub gin.

Freedom flows in generational waves, usually born from repression. The same pent-up emotion released from baby boomers in the 1960s in the form of free love, political rebellion, rock music, equal rights, and recreational inebriates. But I digress.

The Algonquin Round Table
Inspiration became an art form in the 1920s. When I travel to New York, I make a point of strolling into the Algonquin Hotel, a former haven for writers, actors, and critics between 1919 and 1929. Insurgence had class and an air of romance in this place. Members of this exclusive club were known as the Algonquin Round Table, with an insider’s group called the "Vicious Circle". Under a haze of smoke, the Circle's luncheons launched a whirlwind of wisecracks, wordplay, and witticisms made famous in newspapers across the country. Women wore suits and ties and cursed; men sported slicked-back hair and silk scarves and laughed with wild abandon. What a thrill to sit down with Dorothy Parker, poet, writer, critic, and screenwriter. No doubt, Harpo Marx sat next to her in carnivorous discussion about the ruthless movie business. I would've been happy to be at a far table just to eavesdrop on the birth of a new American culture.

I often ponder over whether globalization is a good thing or not, but I always circle back to the obvious erosion it's had on culture. Geographic differences and local history make us, as people, unique and interesting. We celebrate between wars that were fought to preserve a way of life. Culture in our DNA. French flair is French. English stoicism is English. And right or wrong, Americans tell it like it is―very American.

Elevator doors-Empire State Bldg.
In the 1920s, the world celebrated cultural expression in all its forms. Even something as simple as an advertisement became a work of art, an image to tuck away or frame. Nothing was mass consumed or thrown away. New-found freedom left its mark in books, music, paintings, prints. Think D.H. Lawrence, Irving Berlin, Pablo Picasso, and Leonetto Cappiello. 

Architecture became art in ’20s. One only needs to marvel at the elevator doors in Empire State Building, or to sit on the built-in furniture of a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Creative expression transformed simple functionality by design. Even telling time ticked toward the label of object d’art.

Heirloom Deco Clock
The romantic in me appreciates these things every day. The family history behind the heirlooms from my grandparents enriches their meaning. Funny, though, that I write for baby boomers. I live in a mid-century modern home that’s pretty darned cool. Music of the Rat Pack still swirls around the blond brick, triangle-shaped clerestory windows, and over its bamboo floors. I live in atomic and love the 1920s. We all have two sides.


Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Milwaukie, Oregon. She writes for baby boomers. Her novels are filled with heart, humor, and mystery. After a 20-year executive career in the Broadway entertainment business, Courtney had new stories to tell. 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:


The Dushane Sisters are back with Courtney's latest release of 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 latest 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. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Inspirational Romance…A True Call to Action by Kristin Wallace

This month I get to be a “special guest blogger”, I suppose, as Romancing the Genres spotlights inspirational romance…I write inspirational as well as mainstream contemporary romance, though even those tend to be “sweet”. I often describe them as “1 ½ Shades of Grey” and that seems to work (I get a good chuckle out of most people when I say that, too.)

Although I do have a strong Christian faith, I never thought I would write inspirational. I had an impression (perhaps an unfair one) of Christian romance as overly sappy or preachy. The covers I saw always featured some girl who looked like an extra from Little House on the Prairie, and she invariably had this serene stare. That just wasn’t the kind of book I wrote or read. My books had snark and humor and sassy heroines.

Then I had this idea for a book. At first all I knew about the story was that my heroine never wanted to get married (in fact she hated weddings), but she somehow winds up running a wedding planning business. I then spent a long time trying to figure out “…the rest of the story” as the great Paul Harvey used to say.

Who is this woman?
Why is she so cynical about marriage?
Why is she running this wedding planning business?

And most importantly…who could be the love interest?

It knew he had to be someone she’d run into a lot while she was planning weddings. Then one day I stumbled upon the answer…a minister! Then an amazing thing happened. The story practically came together in an instant. Suddenly, I knew exactly who my heroine was; I knew her past, why she would take on the business. I knew his past, too. Along with the plot came an entire fictional Southern town called Covington Falls.

And with the idea to have the hero be a minister, I realized the story could be an inspirational romance. It could be funny and sweet and snarky, but still had a positive faith message. I could write an inspirational story I would want to read and that hopefully others would, too…even if they weren’t religious. That book became my first published novel, MARRY ME.

The creation of my fictional town led to a series, Covington Falls Chronicles. I ended up writing four books. Each focuses on a different couple, but previous characters do pop up as secondary ones in later books.

I’m very proud of all four books. I think they manage to be both funny and emotional, while carrying a faith message that is uplifting, healing and focuses on the fact that God always has a plan for your life. I think (and hope) it’s a message that resonates with readers of all spectrums. I’ve had some readers say they would move to Covington Falls if it existed, lol

I hope to write more Covington Falls books some day, but until then I hope you can check out these wonderful, funny, inspiring books. Visit my website Kristin Wallace Author for book descriptions and buy links. Or if you’re a Kindle reader you can find all of them on my Amazon Author Page.  


Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Bestselling Author of inspirational and contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”.

Curiosity ‘Pop Ins’ To Earlier Times

By Linda Lovely

In what time and place would I choose to live if I could time travel? That’s the question our blog poses this month.

I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to spend an entire lifetime in any earlier period. For the most part, women in the United States have more freedom now than at any time in history, and I wouldn’t want to give that up. I also can’t imagine being a man. So no permanent time-space relocation for me.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy “popping in” for a few choice years to experience select eras and cultures. My top pop-in choices are all within the geography of the current United States. 

Here they are:

For an idyllic childhood, I might pick life with the Iroquois in Upstate New York in the 1600s. Based on what I’ve read, the Iroquois let their children play, and women actually owned the family property. Life in Hawaii in the 1700s (before the Europeans brought disease and ideas about children being seen and not heard) also sounds rather idyllic. In both times and cultures, I’d have had great fun playing outdoors, and I wouldn't have been stuck in ridiculous clothes I couldn't get dirty.

For my twenties, I might want to land in San Francisco just prior to the 1849 Gold Rush and get caught up in the optimism and excitement of the era. However, the 1920s in Chicago are equally appealing. Of course, I’d be a flapper in the Jazz Age, and I wouldn't be a stranger to speakeasies.

As an octogenarian (hey, I’m not there yet), I think 1969 Anywhere USA would be appropriate. It would be amazing to see the first landing on the moon given that I’d grown up riding in a buggy before the first automobile.

Of course, there are also time periods I definitely would want to avoid. The Civil War (okay any war) and the Great Depression come to mind. Writers, however, embrace such times of societal trauma to add drama and depth to our stories.

FINALIST-Daphne Published
Historical Romantic Suspense
I set LIES: SECRETS CAN KILL, my recent romantic suspense, in 1938 because my mother had told me so many intriguing stories about the challenges everyone—but especially women—faced during this time. That made my heroine’s triumph over evil and injustice all the sweeter. 

While it might be fun to pop-in for the “good times” in history and then pop out again when things get rough, that’s likely not what would happen even if it were possible. The truth is it’s the people we love that make us happy. And, if I found love, friends and family in any era, I wouldn't willingly abandon them to jump to a more prosperous, exciting or peaceful era.

So, I guess I’ll stay right here and leave my historical forays to my books and imagination. How about you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Another place. Another time. Another Regency romance.

by Vivienne Lorret

Welcome to Romancing the Genres blogspot! This month we are blogging about "another time, another place."

As you might know, I write Regency romances for Avon Impulse. In fact, I just finished writing the third book in my latest series, The Season's Original.

I love doing research for these stories and I always learn something new. The Regency era is full of interesting tidbits. In fact, in the second book of this series, THIS EARL IS ON FIRE, I learned a great deal about the Elgin Marbles. And... I might have blurred the lines between history and fiction to add a layer of intrigue to Liam and Adeline's story.



Coincidentally, their story, THIS EARL IS ON FIRE, comes out in a few days (available August 2nd, 2016).



The sheltered daughter of a country baron, Miss Adeline Pimm comes to London looking for adventure… and finds it in the form of a bloody, unconscious man slumped in the doorway of her family’s rented townhouse. Though his identity is a mystery, Adeline is inexplicably drawn to the handsome, injured man and vows to nurse him back to health.

Liam Cavanaugh, the scandalous Earl of Wolford, is startled when he awakens in an unfamiliar bed, wrapped in bandages that hinder his eyesight, with no memory of why he was beaten half to death. Although he can’t see the witty young woman who tends to his wounds, her alluring voice—and a single stolen kiss from her soft lips—helps soothe his pain. But when he is fully healed, Liam is not ready to let go of the one woman who stirs his deepest longings.

Liam will do whatever it takes to see Adeline again, even if it means giving up his rakish ways. But his disreputable past is not so easily forgotten and his secrets are far more dangerous than he—or Adeline—ever imagined.




I feel inordinately blessed for having the chance to research such a fun time in history and then share these stories with you. Thank you for stopping by!



Warm wishes and happy reading,

Viv

~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, July 19, 2016

The Magic of Time Travel


I’m one of those lucky (truly, no sarcasm here) kids whose parents moved every couple of years. I attended 5 elementary schools, 2 junior high/middle schools, 1 high school, and 2 universities. I remember Michigan, Florida, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Texas, and California. If I had the awesome opportunity to live in another time or place, I’d choose the TIME option.

My reasons are simple:
1.  I’m enamored of all things pertaining to history of the American West,
2.  …because I write Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West…
3.  …which means I’m constantly studying, researching, learning all about it.
4.  Wouldn’t it be cool to LIVE the Old West, rather than simply read about it?

 

Reading fiction set in my favorite historical time period in history is the best kind of time machine. I don’t need to leave my climate-controlled home, give up fresh produce in the middle of winter or an Internet connection…and I can escape at will into my favorite era and location. To me, reading fiction is a captivating distraction from anything or everything; when stressed I “hide in fiction”. I fall in, the world disappears, and my mind and soul is fully occupied in another place and another time. Best. Therapy. Ever.


When writing my soon-to-be-released novella, Courting Miss Cartwright (included in Cowboys & Calico, a 5-author novella collection coming 7-30-16 to Amazon), I spent weeks immersed in 1879 Colorado. I enjoyed researching the status of gold and silver mining in Colorado, including the big strike in Leadville, and the impact upon my characters and nearby fictitious town of Mountain Home, Colorado. Given the summer of 1879 is indelibly branded upon my brain this July, I’d set the dial on my time machine for then and there…as long as a return trip to here and now is guaranteed.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Paris Museum.org via Pinterest
 
Exclusively for kindle, only 99 cents!

Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author writes Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West. She writes frequent articles about the nineteenth century American west--every subject of possible interest to readers and amateur historians. She contributes monthly to Sweet Americana Sweethearts (first Friday of each month) and Romancing the Genres (third Tuesday of each month).





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inspiring Fiction Romance Author: Lisa Lickel

Everything About You is my second novella, part of Prism Book Group’s Love Is series, which started publication of fifteen theme-based stories based on First Corinthians 13 in February 2016. Although I’ve written over a dozen novels and a series of historical children’s books, creating shorter works is an interesting challenge. When readers comment about wanting more, I guess I’ve done it right.

For this story, I used a Pygmalion trope, with a movie media relations director attempting to transform a raw farmer into a movie star in five days. My idea came from knowing several major motion pictures have been shot in or partly in Wisconsin, including Public Enemies with Johnny Depp in 2009, a lot of the Blues Brothers scenes in the eighties, baseball movies like Mr. 3000 and A League of Their Own, Bridesmaids, as well as low budget and indie films.

I wrote and performed radio theater several years ago, and took a film writing workshop, too, in an effort to expand my writing technique. I organized my novella into five days on set, and while I didn’t get to shape it as much as I wanted to appear like a script, I was still able to section it into days with headers for the different scenes, so the book looks a little different. The story was fun for me to explore and write. Here’s the description.

She needs a movie set miracle, he needs cash...can a farmer morph into a movie star in five days?

If Shelly has her way, Danny will become America’s next heartthrob and she’ll get her own promotions company. He’s already gorgeous, a little naive, and needs to work on that accent. To Danny, Shelly is on the pompous side, but holds the key to his real dreams...if he can figure out all the rules, say the right things for the daily vlog session, keep his heart strings in place, dodge Shelly’s vicious former boyfriend and the movie star diva. Shelly’s about to lose a lot more than her heart if she can’t get a handle on her wounded pride and learn who to trust.

About Lisa

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin author who loves books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction.

Besides writing inspiring fiction, she also writes short stories, feature articles, and radio theater, and loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops.

She is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor.



Find more at LisaLickel.com.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/lisalickel

Friday, July 15, 2016

Time Travel Wish #amwriting

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions.
Until recently, I loved the place that I lived. Brexit and the hideous aftermath that seems set to get much worse before any possibility of it getting better has had me looking longingly at vague plans I started making for a possible move to New Zealand.
But if I'm honest, I would rather travel in time than space. Maybe it's because of being a lifelong Whovian. I have two specific time periods I would like to visit, though I'm not sure the reality might live up to my expectations and be somewhere I'd want to stay indefinitely.
Firstly the medieval period. I love the castles, the clothing, the weapons. I'm a big fan of the Ellis Peters books following the investigations of a medieval Welsh monk, Cadfael, and we go to the local medieval fairs and jousts. But I'm not sure I could put up with the lack of hygiene, medical care, or the loss of my beloved smartphone.
I would also love to visit the future, to see the human race set foot on Mars, or perhaps even farther afield.

Most of all I'd love to see my rather dystopian view of our future proved wrong. We are capable of so much more, and yet our main achievement appears to be an irresistible desire for self destruction. We seem to find it so much easier to destroy and to hate than create and love. Maybe in the future we could find a way to eliminate the darker, more negative side of our psyches. I would like to see us achieve that, rather than something like this:
But some days I feel like a nice solitary cave somewhere might suit me best. I'm a bit of a hermit by nature even before I became an author.

How I ended up with a husband and three monsters, I'm not quite sure. But I'd have to go home to them at some point because I could never leave them behind forever. ^_^
Want to chat? Find me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen or at my website http://pippajay.co.uk
(Images courtesy of pixabay.com)