I’ve been asked many times: how do you chose the setting of your stories? And why? I’ll be completely honest: I like to choose settings where I’ve actually been. So that means Texas! The reason is that I know what the cities look and feel like. Knowing where I am makes it easier to actually visualize the story taking place.
Although I try to be disciplined with my writing, the process that gets me from the first page to the last page is sometimes unorthodox. To the dismay of many I don’t necessarily plot in the traditional sense. Usually the characters take control and guide my hand, making me the conduit for the story they want to tell. But what is always consistent with everything I write is the music...
Every romance writer dreads hearing is that her books are fine and all, but they’re just not realistic. That they set up unfair expectations for love. That they’re setting women up for disappointment when they date a Mr. Darcy who turns out to be a Wickham, or a Jamie Fraser who turns out to be…not Jamie Fraser. (And really, are there any men who are Jamie Fraser? Diana Gabaldon, you’ve ruined my love life!)
Scandal here with a quick word about Tessa Bailey: I’ve been reading her books as long as Tessa Bailey has been publishing books. I love a good dirty-talking hero and I am of the opinion that Ms. Bailey writes dirty talkers better than most. Tessa Bailey never ceases to amaze me so I was not surprised when she dipped her toe in the anti-hero waters.
I’m going to tell you a secret (looks over my shoulder warily): I loathe small towns. I’m a big city girl, through and through. Give me sushi and the symphony and traffic. Even driving through a small town gives me hives. Why should you care? Oh, because my small-town romance ALL FOR YOU released this week.
Authors Terry Spear and Paige Tyler join us today to share how – and why — they combine the three elements of romance, paranormal, and suspense. Terry Spear: I love suspense, love mystery, and the paranormal. And a HEA — the happy ever after — is a must. But mostly, I like the conflict that lends itself to suspense stories, and even better if they’re romantic suspense, and even better if they have some kind of other world—either paranormal or like in my Highland historicals. It just gives the story more…meat. More to enjoy. At least for me, and since I’m writing them, they make it more fun for me. Now, the key is really staying true to three different elements: Romance, suspense, and the paranormal. This is because as the story develops, the… Continue
The hero in my book HIS SMALL-TOWN SWEETHEART is Sam Ward. He was in the previous two books of my Ward Brothers trilogy. In this book, Sam finds his match, but I wondered what it would be like for Sam to have gone on a date prior to his own story. So I went to eHarmony and found a post on 10 First Date Questions You Probably Haven’t Thought Of. Bear with me as this is my first and probably only character interview. (BTW I can’t guarantee much, Sam’s a hard nut to crack.)
One month from today, the movie we have all been waiting for hits theaters! In anticipation, we will countdown with Five weeks of Fifty, celebrating the phenomenon that is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with weekly posts about how our love affair with the book began, what we’re most excited about with the movie, thoughts from writers on how it affected their careers, and more.
Growing up military, I always envied those people who lived in the same town all of their lives. I craved the continuity of knowing my neighbors and classmates from cradle to grave; or knowing every creak of the stairs and groan of the radiator in our home.
One of the many reasons I love romance is that I like happy endings. I always have. I remember, as a ten-year-old, being so upset by a Sweet Valley High book that ended with Elizabeth in a coma that I never picked up another Sweet Valley book again. (Extra funny because I found out many years later that that was just a lead-in to a story where Elizabeth awoke from the coma with Jessica's personality! But my library didn't own the follow-up.) Sometimes I'm so upset by an ending that I have to fix it...
My newest historical romance, SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, features a wily heroine pretending to be someone else: a mixed-race hero hunting his cousin’s blackmailer, and—of course!—a happily-ever-after once Joss and Augusta begin to help each other and reveal their true selves. I’m here to tell you a little about Joss Everett, the hero of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS. But in the spirit of a historical romance full of so many secrets and scandals, I’ll fudge the truth a little. Two of these statements about Joss are true, and one is a lie. See if you can pick it out!
I grew up on the South Carolina coast. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated by the fact that the beach is both the end of the earth, so to speak, and the beginning of the vast, deep ocean. You look down at your bare toes and see where these two opposites meet—how their liquid-solid boundary is constantly changing, never static. And then you look up and see the horizon, far away, its bare curve uniting earth and sky, suggesting endless possibilities for those who dream. It’s exciting. You feel the pull and the push inside you, the clamoring of your spirit to move, to grow…. Yet when you pull back from this scene—leave in your car and come back next time, or imagine it from a soaring gull’s viewpoint—the place where sea… Continue
They say you form your personality, likes and dislikes, and the rules you live by early in life. I think that’s true—even for what appeals when it comes to heroes.
I find magical realism to be the most romantic of all the genres. The idea that there is magic hidden in the mundane, that there are little miracles everywhere in life, is one that seduced me long ago. I love romance. I love fairy tales. I love stories that end in happily ever after. And I also believe that the greatest and grandest love affair we can have is with life itself. As a little girl I investigated every wardrobe looking for Narnia. I hoped to find a rabbit hole that led to Wonderland. I searched my garden for fairies and goblins and gnomes. Everything in life seemed magical and full of infinite possibilities. Children believe that everything is possible. Sadly, adults too often believe that nothing is possible. For me, magical stories remind us… Continue
"Thinking about writing for Romance at Random, I couldn’t help but think how random romance really is. I mean, did you end up with the person you thought you would? I most certainly didn’t."
Inspiration comes to writers in many forms. In the case of FOSTER JUSTICE, I returned to Texas (I was born in Austin) recently after living in the Los Angeles area for twelve years...
We’re pleased to share an extra scene from Jayne Fresina’s new release, Sinfully Ever After, the second novel in her Book Club Belles Society series. The following is an exclusive peek into a meeting of the Book Club Belles that does not appear in the book.
Gina Danna explores why Ancient Rome is the perfect setting for a sexy story.
Recently, I was invited to do a signing at Main Street Books in historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Since independent book stores are so important to authors and the future of books, I took some time to chat with the owner, Emily Hall about Main Street Books and book selling and the romance novels she is most looking forward to reading.
People often ask me why I write and why in the medieval era. Before I was a writer, I was an avid reader. As a teenager, I remember reading two books a day, and becoming totally engrossed in each story. For me the stories offered an escape to where the good guys lost and life had happy endings.
I didn’t intend for all of my heroines to tote guns or knives, be trained in fencing, or be proficient at archery. Yet most of them do have the ability to use at least one weapon. Someone asked me recently if it’s because I own a couple of pistols myself, and as the daughter of a retired police officer and the wife of a hunter, I’m familiar and comfortable around guns. No, that wasn’t it at all.
"After wanting to write a book my entire life, I finally finished my first novel with NaNoWriMo. I started another book, BLITZING EMILY, days afterward. It took me seven years to see my work in print. Here’s a few tips from my journey; hopefully, they’ll help you as well..."
"For me, a romance novel is about challenge. It’s about meeting someone who, on the one hand, you’re powerfully attracted to, yet on the other hand brings significant challenges to your life. It’s never easy for the heroine and hero of a romance novel because the story is about character growth."
"When I started my series Drake's Rakes, it was meant to be a trilogy following three women who meet in the Brussels medical tents during the Battle of Waterloo. It was to be called The Three Graces, since each was in her own way known as Grace. And then I realized that they were each falling in love with one of gentleman spies Drake's Rakes, and that there nine rakes. Nine rakes who each demanded a story."
As a romance reader, I love all kinds of heroes—from totally caveman alpha to sweet, geeky beta. I fall for them all. As a writer, I tend to write a slight mixture of heroes, except for the extreme alpha. I don’t think I’ve done one of those yet. What has inspired me as an author when I develop my heroes is looking at guys I know.
Sheri Cobb Smith dives into the reasons why readers and writers continue turning to Regency romances for their historical fix.
Cecy Robson, author of the Weird Girls series, shared this exclusive scene of a Weird Girls slumber party with us in anticipation of the 11/18 release of the latest in the Weird Girls series, A Cursed Bloodline. See what happens when all of the ladies get together for a sleepover and a little bit of truth or dare...
Linsey Hall, author of sexy paranormal romance series, the Mythean Arcana, talks about how she finds inspiration in history.
Military romance gets its own subcategory on Amazon, but are military romances really that different from civilian romances?
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we have author Tina Wainscott (Justiss Alliances series) sharing her favorite military romances. Her list includes unforgettable stories of love, loss, and redemption. How many of these have made your own list, and which ones are you adding to your TBR?