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Monday, October 24, 2016

IN DEFENSE OF THE ROMANCE NOVEL @Celia Yeary @ RebeccaJVickery

Examples of Romance Novels

On a recent trip to the library, an acquaintance walked up to me and said, “I heard you write romance novels. Do you really read and write that stuff?”
Mmm, I mused, how often have I heard that question?

Taking my usual bold stance—on quivering legs—I replied, “Sure, I do. Why not?”
I’ve learned one important thing in my mature years. If I don’t particularly like the question, I’ll ask one of my own. It’ll throw the person off track every time. Well, usually.

“Why not?” my casual friend asked. “Well, for one thing,” she stammered, “they’re…trite, with the same plot in every single book. A learned person wouldn’t waste time on them.”

Of course, by the time I arrived home, my busy brain had made a list of “why I read that stuff, and particularly why I write it.”

Answer Number One: Defending romance novels falls in the same category as defending myself. If I probe the question, "do you read that stuff?", the person might really be saying, “A reader of romance usually doesn’t have a life of her own, or a poor love life at best, or she reads to live vicariously through a character.” My reply might be, “Statistics show that 75 million people read at least one romance novel last year. So, you’re saying you know how all these readers feel?”

Answer Number Two: Some romance novels are better than others. True, the first romance novels were written differently from those today, but one might say that about all fiction in general. Advice to my friend-of-the-moment: “Try a romance novel. Begin with a few of the tried and true authors: LaVyrle Spencer (my all-time favorite), Susan Wiggs, Penelope Williamson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Judith McNaught, Kathleen Eagle, and Karen Robards. Neither you nor anyone else needs to waste time on any bad book. That applies to romance novels, as well.”

Answer Number Three: Perhaps readers and writers of romance are actually readers….period. To my detractor, I might reply: “Oh, by the way, if you’re looking for a good book, you might want to try the 450 page Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Societies, or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or Plainsong, or The Dust Bowl Years: Voices From the Past. I highly recommend them.” Would that be tacky of me to this snooty person? (Note: I actually read all these in past years. They were selections for our local Book Club.)

Answer Number Four: A simple statement. Reading and writing romance novels are my inalienable rights under the constitution. After all, this is a free country.

Answer Number Five: I’m easily entertained. When I choose a movie, I do not need to select one that has garnered critically acclaimed praise over the entire globe. The same is true with my reading material.

Answer Number Six: In response to the statement “Romance novels are just fairy tales, stories that never happen in real life.” Maybe, maybe not, but I might reply, “Sometimes, I just like to escape reality.”

I realize the question, “You don’t read that stuff, do you?” has been asked many times.
Everyone has a right to his own chosen reading material. I won't quarrel with a soul about that. What I would take issue with is that such a person who would ask this question, seems to think that's all I read--or any other reader who enjoys romance.
And so, in my continual journey of writing...and reading...romance novels, this is my newest project.
The TRINITY HILL trilogy contains three short novels about Texas Mail Order Brides.
Each story is a stand-alone, but each does take place in the fictional 1880s town of Trinity Hill, Texas. These were offered as ebooks for 99cents each. Now, I have all of them in one volume so it is now available as a print and ebook.
Click on this Amazon Link
A desperate man and a woman on the run... Kathleen Parker arrives in Trinity Hill, Texas, as a Mail Or-der Bride. But the name on the contract is not hers. Josiah Fremont is desperate for a wife, a woman to cook, care for his three children, and be a helpmate on his new ranch. Then a man with revenge in his heart and a gun on his hip brings danger to everyone involved.

Mail-order bride Lorelei Hastings arrives in Trinity Hill, Texas. Instead of a handsome prosperous man, a tall muscular man in dusty work clothes greets her. Daniel Carpenter, a livery owner, explains the banker ordered two brides to choose between, and he's made his choice. Lorelei is the leftover bride. She is furious, but has no recourse except to drive home with the big quiet blond man.

Annalisa Morriset arrives in Trinity Hill, Texas, to learn the marriage arranged by the Boston Agency for Bridal Pairings is off. David Allen, two bedraggled children, and an infant literally run into her in the mercantile. While attempting to help those less fortunate, Annalisa and David face danger, heartache, confusion, and an attraction beyond understanding.
Celia Yeary
Romance, and a little bit of Texas
Sweethearts of the West-Blog

Friday, October 21, 2016

Daelyn Morgana takes us beyond the realm... #ParanormalPleasures #grimreaper @KMNbooks @rebeccajvickery

Let's give Daelyn Morgana a warm welcome! Her debut tale, Embermyst, is featured in Paranormal Pleasures, 2016 Halloween Romances and she's here today to chat with the readers. 

Karen: Daelyn, please tell the readers a little bit about yourself. 

Daelyn: Hello there. I'm Daelyn Morgana, obviously, and I'm a young, aspiring author with an introvert's complex, a renegade cowgirl's heart, and a love of all things dark and eerie. My mind's just a wee bit twisted, but that's where the fun begins. For as long as I can remember, I have been writing tales and harvesting plot bunnies. From the first ever attempt I took at a novel, Money From Mars, with my neighbor when I was about seven, till now when I cannot get enough ideas and inspiration. Most of which love to travel down that dark and eerie path in my head.
My greatest passions in reading and writing are dark fantasy and adventure, with a hint of paranormal here and there. As a night owl, my favorite time to write and read is during the cover of darkness when the world is silent and I can escape reality. There's just something about the night and the moon that draws me forth from the mask of daylight. When I'm not writing or slaving away at the soul-sucking day job, I  love to show jump in horseback riding, sing, do archery, and enjoy the great outdoors. I live in a quiet part of Western Pennsylvania and one day I hope to publish the series I have been working on that is my heart and soul. Until that day comes, you can find some of my free stories on my Wattpad account.

Karen: Tell us your latest news. Do you have any current projects you're working on?
Daelyn: Oh there is always a current project to be working on. Or an old one, or a brand new one, or... You get the picture. The plot bunnies never end. Right now I am working on the first novel of my Dark Heir series, Fated to Darkness. It's a dark fantasy story that, as stated above, is my heart and soul. I'm very close to finishing the first draft of it after almost two years of working on it, but the world it builds has been brewing and living inside my head since I was very, very young – probably about four or five. This series has been a long time coming, and I am beyond excited to be so close to finishing the first novel of it. My plan is to have the first draft and a rough draft concordance finished by the end of 2016 so that I may edit it and start Book 2 next year.

I also do a flash fiction piece each week based off a prompt from P.T. Wyant's blog, Novel Notes, that gets posted to my blog and my Wattpad account. I call them Shards, for they are simply Shards of Imagination -- which is the name of the book I post them in on my Wattpad account.

Besides those two constant projects right now, there's numerous other projects brewing or half started in the background, begging and pleading for my attention. A couple other novels started, a short story I've been re-editing slowly, new ideas for new novels or short stories... It never ends, but if I listed all those, this would go on forever, so I will spare you that peek into my mind.

Karen: What is the name of your story and what inspired you to write this tale for the Paranormal Pleasures, 2016 Halloween Romance Collection?
Daelyn: My story within Paranormal Pleasures is titled Embermyst. The inspiration for this one actually came from a couple different places combined. The world of Embermyst formed from a Wednesday Word photo prompt on P.T. Wyant's blog. It had originally become one of the flash fiction pieces I had written. However, when I first wrote the world, it held different characters, and a different time frame, and a different meaning and plot line. The idea of my main character's love story in here was pulled from multiple avenues in my mind. Parts of it came from a good friend and author, Cybelle, who I owe the plot line of a world between life and death too. Other details came from my own inspiration, beliefs, or things I have heard and read that have stuck in my head. Somehow I managed to weave all of them together into this tale, which is even more mind boggling to me because I managed to do while I was at work. Without the light bulb inspiration P.T. and Cybelle provided my mind with though, the realm of Embermyst never would have been born.

Blurb for Embermyst:
As the God of the Afterlife, Death has grown accustomed to his dreary duty until he meets an unlikely soul: an empowered woman named Morticia. She was living with a big secret in a world full of fear before an exorcism gone wrong landed her in his realm.

Was it a twist of the Fates?

Death didn't think so.

While she hovers between the mortal plane and the land of the dead, can he convince her of the legends of the divine, claiming she is his one perfect Mate? Or will the promise hanging around her neck cause her to return to the land of the living and the man that failed her?

Karen: When you were a child, what paranormal story intrigued you the most? 

Daelyn: When I was a child... Oh geez. That's a hard question. If I had to choose, I would probably say the Legend of Sleepy Hollow intrigued me the most. I've always loved horses, so that story automatically caught my eye with having a shadowy dark horse. Something about the Headless Horsemen always kept drawing me back to the story as well, maybe it was the eerie and dark nature to it, his legend. I love legends, and his just stuck in my head. I used to listen to the story on tape every year at Halloween when I would decorate. I still do.

Karen:What do you think makes a good paranormal story?

Daelyn: What makes a good paranormal story? Oh. That's another tough question. Well, there has to be a good spookiness or eerie nature to something paranormal to be really hair raising and intriguing. Obviously the plot line and characters are what really make a story in my opinion, if you can relate to them or they can seem so real. For paranormal though, I think the eerie nature and the originality of what you are doing is what makes a good story. A lot of werewolf and vampire stories have become so cliché and overdone in the paranormal category, always the same kind of plot. And when people think paranormal, that seems to be the go to beings used anymore. So I think now it's to have something original and unique if they involve those kinds of beings to make it really good. My story holds neither being, I took Embermyst a whole other route to avoid the clichés, but after all the hype of paranormal creatures being so popular and with straight track lines of what kind of character and storyline they have, I believe it has to be the uniqueness and originality of the story. You have to the eerie and spooky aspect to it as well though or it's just not a true paranormal.

Karen: What is your favorite paranormal movie or book?

Daelyn: Now that's a question you cannot ask me. Who can really pick their favorite book or movie anyways? I never can, there's just too many to choose from, but I shall pick one that has stood out to me. I'm not much of a movie watcher, I refuse to watch a movie if it's based off a book until I have read the book first. I'm not one for spooky or scary movies either, so I'm going to settle on picking a book. Or rather a series.

One of my favorites would have to be the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer. It is a werewolf character story, but it has an original twist to it that stood out to me. I suppose they'd rather call themselves shapeshifters to wolves instead of werewolves, though. Instead of expecting the antagonists to be vampires as most stories do, the shapeshifters are facing a witch's war and are caught between it. To me that was the uniqueness to it that made it stand out and made it one of my favorites.

Or, crap, maybe I should have picked the Gods & Monsters series by Kelly Keaton. Now that is an original and eerie tale of mythological creatures! I highly recommend that one. All sorts of creatures and mythology were woven together in those books and they are so good. Yep, I changed my mind, this one is my favorite.

Karen: What makes you interested in the genre your write?

Daelyn: Hmmm... That's another tough question that's going to take some thought. Well, I've always loved the dark and eerie things in life, so I am naturally drawn to writing them as well. I've always lived inside a fantasy land in my head since my imagination spent most of my life brewing and shaping the world of my Dark Heir series, so again I'm naturally drawn to writing fantasy with hints of paranormal. I've always loved what is seen as legend or impossible. Like magic. Or mythical creatures. I love to let my mind drift to worlds were they are real and have a chance to play with and write them, to explore the unknown, mythical, and magical. That is why I love to write what I do, for a chance to taste the parts of the life that reality says doesn't exist.

Karen: Please share an except with us. I'm sure the readers are anxious to read a snippet.
Daelyn: This excerpt comes from Part One of Embermyst, where my two characters, Death and Morticia, have begun to really talk after finding out how Morticia ended up in Death's realm and how the world is bigger than just humans and animals. But not everything is as easy as it may seem when it comes to the Gods and legends.

Excerpt from Embermyst:

"Death?" she asked. She sounded uncertain due to the purr in his voice.


"Why do I feel drawn to you? Why do you seem drawn to me?"

He pulled his hand back from her face, but not before he brushed her silky black hair out of her face with a lover's touch. "I do not know," he admitted softly. "Do you know there is a rumor among the Gods? A legend so to speak."

"What kind of legend?"

"It states that for all the Gods and Goddesses there is but one mortal companion who is their other half. One soul among them all that once found, and acquainted with, you are bound to for eternity. They say the mortal ascends to divinity and immortality, becoming a God or Goddess themselves. It is believed no divine being is truly whole with eternal life until they have found their Bond Mate."

She studied him. "And you believe I am that mortal?"

"Do you have any other explanation for this feeling?" he asked, rubbing his bony thumb over her thigh. He wished he could actually feel the soft fabric beneath his fingers, wished he could feel her smooth and flawless skin. That too was another earthly charm lost on him. "Do you feel it too?"

"I do..." Her voice was a breath of a whisper.

"What do you feel?"

As he leaned closer, she shivered and her eyes fluttered a second, the searing orange burning brighter with excitement. "I feel...this otherworldly connection. A chill, but not the chill I would expect from Death's presence. Instead of this wave of despair it feels like crackling lightning sparking along my limbs, jump starting my heart. It almost...feels like I belong, like I have come home."

Death smiled more, tracing his finger down the side of her face. "You just put to words what I could not explain within myself."

She turned her gaze to him. Her eyes were windows of awe and surprise for only a moment before she seemed torn by something. She looked down, setting the amulet amongst her skirts, then reached up to finger a chain hanging around her neck. The charm strung through it was buried between the crevice of her breast.

"What is it, Morticia?" he asked with concern at her sudden change. She looked seemingly...regretful.

"I was engaged, Death."
You can purchase your copy of Paranormal Pleasures at: 
Ebook: Amazon / Amazon UK / iTunes / Smashwords /Nook
In Print: Amazon /Createspace / Barnes and Noble