Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rapid World Changes and Contemporary Fiction

It’s the first group blog of the year and we’re talking about how can contemporary fiction cope with the rapid changes of today’s world?

I find it an interesting topic because I’m having a challenge keeping up with all the changes, the affect computer technology has on everything. In writing it’s difficult. When you write contemporary you have to consider who will be reading, (age group, male or female) and then, when will they be reading it. Will it be this year, or will your book still be available in five years and will it be relevant?

For example, maybe five years ago people till used a landline. Now your h/h better be using a cellphone and how advanced is their cellphone, does it keep up with today’s technology? What about vehicles? Do they drive an electric car? Is there a charging station available?

Then there are the serious challenges like climate change, nutrition and diseases. Five people were not seriously addressing climate change. In the next five years what affect will it have on the earth? And will you address it as part of your novel, avoid it? What about nutrition? A lot of novels, contemporary or otherwise, have multiple scenes centered around food. Does you heroine only eat plant-based foods? Is he vegetarian? And what will they still be eating in five years if your book is available?

How do we cope with the changes? As writers we need to do our research, be aware of today’s culture and how our h/h fit in to today’s lifestyle and then project how we think or hope a reader will consider our book five years in the future.

Me? My head is spinning, I’m thinking of writing historical.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Now I’m going to read what other writers have to say on this challenging and stimulating topic.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Diana Rubino and her Latest Book

A Few Questions to get to know Diana Rubino:

-What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer?
When I started writing historicals, my greatest influences were Beatrice Small, (her book BLAZE WYNDHAM inspired me to write my first historical), Sharon Kay Penman, and Philippa Gregory. Every book of theirs I read inspired me to become the best historical novelist I could be.
-What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel?
My great-grandmother, known as Josie Red because of her head of thick red hair, was a successful businesswoman—she owned apartment buildings, a parking garage, did small-time bootlegging during Prohibition, and served as a Committeewoman in Jersey City. I based Vita on her.
-Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them?
I’d read many books by The Wild Rose Press before I submitted to them. My first book with them wasn’t a historical—it’s an urban fantasy, FAKIN’ IT. They published most of my later historicals, and I’ve been very happy with them.
-What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile?
I am about to start YOUNG LINCOLN OF NEW SALEM by Sam Rowlins. I’ve been a huge Lincoln buff since childhood, and Sam posted about it on my Chat & Promote page on Facebook. I bought it immediately. I have about 100 other books on TBR pile, that would take up much too much space!
-Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves?
I’m finishing the first draft of MUCH HAS BEEN GIVEN US, about Edith Roosevelt and her husband, Theodore. I haven’t sent it to my agent yet, but I hope it will be released later this year.


New York City’s history always fascinated me—how it became the most powerful hub in the world from a sprawling wilderness in exchange for $24 with Native Americans by the Dutch in 1626.
Growing up in Jersey City, I could see the Statue of Liberty from our living room window if I leaned way over (luckily I didn’t lean too far over). As a child model, I spent many an afternoon on job interviews and modeling assignments in the city, and got hooked on Nedick’s, a fast food chain whose orange drinks were every kid’s dream. Even better than the vanilla egg creams. We never drove to the city—we either took the PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) train (‘the tube’ in those days) or the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
My great grandmother, Josephine Arnone, “Josie Red” to her friends, because of her abundant head of red hair, was way ahead of her time. Born in 1895 (but it could’ve been sooner, as she was known to lie about her age), she left grade school, became a successful businesswoman and a Jersey City committee woman, as well as a wife and mother of four. She owned apartment buildings, parking garages, a summer home, did a bit of Prohibition-era bootlegging, small-time loan-sharking, and paid cash for everything. When I began outlining From Here to Fourteenth Street, I modeled my heroine, Vita Caputo, after her. Although the story is set in New York the year before Grandma was born, I was able to bring Vita to life by calling on the family legends and stories, all word of mouth, for she never kept a journal.
Vita’s hero Tom McGlory isn’t based on any real person, but I did a lot of reading about Metropolitan Policemen and made sure he was the complete opposite! He’s trustworthy and would never take a bribe or graft. I always liked the name McGlory—then, years after the book first came out, I remembered that was the name of my first car mechanic—Ronnie McGlory.

Blurb from FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET and how Vita Found Love and Success Against All Odds

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption. Vita is based on my great grandmother, Josephine Calabrese, “Josie Red” who left grade school to become a self-made businesswoman and politician, wife and mother.

As Vita gathered her soap and towel, Madame Branchard tapped on her door. "You have a gentleman caller, Vita. A policeman."
“Tom?" His name lingered on her lips as she repeated it. She dropped her things and crossed the room.
"No, hon, not him. Another policeman. Theodore something, I think he said."
No. There can't be anything wrong. "Thanks," she whispered,  nudging Madame Branchard aside. She descended the steps, gripping the banister to support her wobbly legs. Stay calm! she warned herself. But of course it was no use; staying calm just wasn't her nature.
“Theodore something” stood before the closed parlor door. He’s a policeman? Tall and hefty, a bold pink shirt peeking out of a buttoned waistcoat and fitted jacket, he looked way out of place against the dainty patterned wallpaper.
He removed his hat. "Miss Caputo." He strained to keep his voice soft as he held out a piece of paper. “I’m police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.”
"Yes?" Her voice shook.
"I have a summons for you, Miss Caputo." He held it out to her. But she stood rooted to that spot.
He stepped closer and she took it from him, unfolding it with icy fingers. Why would she be served with a summons? Was someone arresting her now for something she didn't do?
A shot of anger tore through her at this system, at everything she wanted to change. She flipped it open and saw the word "Summons" in fancy script at the top. Her eyes widened with each sentence as she read. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”
I hereby order Miss Vita Caputo to enter into holy matrimony with Mr. Thomas McGlory immediately following service of this summons.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cover Reveal

Slowly getting organized and back on track. Still struggling to finish Death Southern Style.

Anyone else find you have so much else to do, that fitting in the actual writing is difficult?
My goal is to finish it be Friday and then do one last edit before sending it off to be edited.
Would love some positive energy.
Anyway, I do have a cover for Death Southern Style.
I love it and would love to hear what you think. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

LB Joyce and Her Latest Books

My name is L. B. Joyce. I am the author of the Contemporary Romance series, Twelve Months, Twelve Love Stories. Published in December 2019, A January to Remember is the sixth book of the series. 

I grew up and have lived in the Northeast suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, for my entire life. For the past thirty years or so, I have lived in Chagrin Falls, a city in that area.

If there was ever a perfect little town for the set of a romance movie, it would be Chagrin Falls. For those of you who’ve had the chance to visit, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, you should make it a point to stop by and spend a day with us. I know you’d love the small-town atmosphere. And yes, as indicated in the name, there is a falls. As a matter of fact, there are two – one is natural, the other man made.

Now, a little bit about me. If someone were to write my story, I’m afraid it would be a mod-podge of things. First of all, you should know I never intended to write a book, let alone think I’d ever be referring to myself as an author. For the past thirty years, I’ve freelanced as an artist. I’ve also participated in quite a few recipe contests and even won a few. I’ve always been a big reader, books, magazines or whatever. But writing an actual book? This is something I thought was for other people, not me.

Recipe contesting was probably what influenced me to start writing. As a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off (2008, 2010 and 2012) I became close to a few of the other finalists, with many emails exchanged between us. It was during that time, it was suggested I write a book about the experience. A humorous take on the ups and downs of competitive contesting.

So, I sat down one day and started to write. But it didn’t turn out to be a story about recipe contesting. No, it was a story about romance. After hanging on to the manuscript for over two years, afraid to let it go, I finally took the leap and A Million Decembers was finally published.

How did a humorous take on recipe contests turned into a romantic fairy tale kind of story? I haven’t a clue. But I do know I love writing in this genre. I like that there is always a happy ending. I don’t know about you, but when I read a book or watch a movie, I want the satisfaction of knowing everything turns out well in the end.  

When I was working on A Million Decembers, I had no intention of turning it into a series. This happened only after the few select people I let read my manuscript, convinced me to turn the story into a series. For a while after that, I often wondered what convinced me to do this, setting myself up to write twelve books? What was I thinking? But here I am, ready to start on book seven and still going strong.

And I still love writing, now more than before.

The time period of the series is now, give or take a few years. A Million Decembers, starts out in Chicago. Kevin, who makes an appearance in this first book, gets drafted by Cleveland’s professional baseball team and moves the story to Cleveland. From this point on, all of the stories take place in the Cleveland area and this is where I intend to keep them. The main characters have all become good friends and the cast of characters have grown, each with their own distinct personalities.

Book six, A January to Remember is probably my favorite of the stories I’ve written so far. But then I say probably only because I say this about every book when I finish it, something I think most authors can relate to. Leaving behind the main characters, to move on to the next, can be hard. This is why I love writing a series. The characters never really leave. They can pop up again at any time to help carry on the story.

To anyone who is thinking about writing a book, I say go for it. Read everything you can about writing, publishing and marketing. Connect with other artists and listen to what they have to say. Take that leap like I did. Remember your goal is not to become famous, only to bring out what you maybe didn’t know you had inside and put it all down into writing. Who knows what you’ll find out about yourself?

Take care,

A January to Remember:
It’s been said third time’s a charm and Hannah Michaels was only hours away from making this happen. After a misunderstanding, an unexpected departure and too much time lost before and after, she was more than ready. The first real date Sean had promised was about to happen.
But then she did something so incredibly stupid. While out for a run, she stepped out in front of a speeding motorcycle. Sailing head-first into a parked car, she was suddenly left with no recollection of the last two years of her life.
Unfortunately, Sean fell into this void.
Even though Sean Young had been next in line to take over his family’s cattle ranch in Australia, baseball had always been his first love. His goal to play professionally was realized when an offer by Cleveland had him leaving the ranch and his family behind to fulfill this dream.
Never did he expect to take one look at Hannah and have her steal his heart. Nor, after returning from an unexpected trip home due to a family emergency, did he think he’d have to start all over again, proving the love they’d shared before her memory loss was still the real thing.
Will this third time become that promised charm? Will Sean’s persistence pay off?
Another captivating addition to this series, A January to Remember is a love story you won’t want to end. A true romance at its best.
See why so many romance novel enthusiasts are hooked on this series and the cast of characters. True romance at its best, get caught up in their stories. Find out who will be the next to fall in love.

Link to A January to Remember:
Link to the series, Twelve Months, Twelve Love Stories:

Amazon Author Page

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Cynthia Terelst and her Latest Book

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.

Let’s learn a little about one of the characters in her book
Beverley: What’s your name?
Jesse: Jesse Morgan
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Jesse: I grew up in California. Even though I’ve lived there all my life I don’t really feel connected to it. I didn’t have a fun, carefree childhood.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Jesse: Current time period.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Jesse: Being a billionaire makes me interesting to a lot of people. But it is often for the wrong reasons.  Money is not always as good as it is made out to be.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Jesse: My initial goal was to get away from all the negative in my life, and to find myself and what makes me happy. When I met Evie, I found someone unique, strong and kind. My goal changed. I wanted to become hers.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Jesse: Evie is my biggest conflict. I don’t mean in a negative way. She is complicated and guarded. It is a challenge trying to break those walls down.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Jesse: Be myself. Go slow. Don’t tell her about my money.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Jesse: I’m not going to give up.

Blurb for The Cat's Out of the Bag

One van. Two hearts. Thousands of kilometres.

Jesse’s a self-made billionaire who yearns to get away from his empty life and the money-hungry parasites who inhabit it. The plan? Go to Australia, tell no one about his money and find himself. Instead of finding just himself, he finds Evie, who is everything anyone should aspire to be. Now, what he aspires to be, is hers. But to be hers, he needs to tell her everything.
Evie has left her past behind. She has rebuilt herself, and her life, into one of happiness. After she meets Jesse, while volunteering at a cat shelter, memories of her past filter back in. She is stronger now and wants to trust him. But after all she has been through, is trust even possible?
The quest to find a cat a forever home leads them to travel across the country together. Can the close quarters drive them to open up to each other? Or will it drive them apart?

Excerpt for The Cat's Out of the Bag
The wave petered out, and I paddled back to the line-up. Sitting, watching, waiting. The constant breeze in my ears and the sound of waves breaking relaxed me. Lulled by the gentle rise and fall of the swells, I thought about Evie.
She was one of the most complicated people I’d ever met. Whatever she had been through had made her strong and independent. But underneath, she was all doubt. I could see her trying to be brave, but that could change in an instant as her insecurities took over. I felt like it was a fight between Nick and me, and I didn’t even know the guy. I didn’t know how to beat a ghost. But I would. I would figure it out, and I would gain Evie’s trust, bit by bit.

Buy Link for The Cat's Out of the Bag

Social Media Links
Twitter @CynthiaTerelst

Friday, January 10, 2020

Nalini Warriar and Her New Book

Nalini Warriar dreamed of being a writer then forgot the dream for a bit as she went on to garner a Ph.D in Molecular Biology. While in her lab, the dream came back and hit her on the head and she’s never looked back writing through her years as a scientist. After more than a decade in cancer research, Nalini returned to the creative part of her soul and now devotes her time to dreaming up the perfect alpha male and feisty woman to appear in her books. Her novel, Fireflies in the Night, was a Foreword Reviews Fab Award finalist and won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2017. Kirkus Reviews awarded Fireflies in the Night a starred review and named it Best Books of 2016. She’s working on her next romance, a Crenshaw Brothers book, to be released in 2020. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Status of Karma’s Slow Burn, in pre-order promotion on Amazon and Smashwords.
Thank you for having me on your blog, Beverley. I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2020. The healthy part is crucial to the happy part. In retrospect, it makes me wise as I’m recovering from a cold.
My new contemporary romance, Karma’s Slow Burn, will be released very soon-1 Feb to be precise-and I’m in promo fever, getting all the dates right. A lot has changed from the last time I released a book in 2017. NetGalley is a new experience for me, as are Smashwords and Booksprout.
Reviews for my book from NetGalley and Goodreads are in and they are meager in number. Of the 55+ downloads on NetGalley, a measly 3 reviews have come in: one five-star and two-four stars. I attribute the low number of reviews to the fact that I’m an indie author. I can see this from the data on NetGalley where anything from a traditional publishing house gets more cover likes and even more reviews.
I’m not one to run after reviews but Amazon algorithms force me to. I have to think of it as free publicity even though I’m paying for the listings. For indie authors like me, the only way to tap into the large pool of readers is to let them know my book is out there too.
I can count the pre-order sales on my hands but I’m hopeful it will be positive when my book is out. All pre-orders have come from Amazon marketplaces and none from Smashwords, which is another distributor like Amazon. I’m not on Select with Amazon as this allows me to use other retailers even though the royalty is higher with Amazon Select. 70% of $0 in sales is still 0, right? Then again as there have been no pre-orders with Smashwords it is still very much 0 all the way.  Aargh! Now I have to think about getting on Select again and take my listing off Smashwords.

About Karma’s Slow Burn
I’d just finished another book set in Bollywood and New York and wanted a change, so I set Karma’s Slow Burn in an undefined city on the shores of Lake Ontario. There is a river, the St. Lawrence, which is less conspicuous. I see Lake Ontario every day and every day I’m struck by how big it is. How it seems to reflect my moods. Like today, on this mild winter day, the sun has decorated the ice floes with silver sprinkles, lifting my almost blue mood to a bright red.

Sportswriter Karma Deepika Huntington is going to hit Rafael Henley, star pitcher for the Sliders, hard to avenge her husband’s death. Rafael cannot ignore the chemistry between them and decides a one-night stand is in order. Karma agrees. Just to get that itch off. But once they get into each other’s pants, things get complicated. Revenge and guilt take a back seat with sizzling chemistry in control. Hanging out with her father, a cross-dressing accountant, a hacker ex-cop, a flatulent claims investigator or a star pitcher with a hot bod? Karma’s choice in new contemporary sports romance Karma’s Slow Burn.

 Excerpt Karma’s Slow Burn
When she finished the article, Karma called an Uber, packed her stuff and left the bar to wait for her ride. It was a dark evening, thick and heavy clouds hanging from the sky. Karma could sense a thunderstorm coming. The air was moist, filled with an earthy fragrance. She took a deep sniff. She half-turned when she heard gravel crunching behind her. A hairy arm snaked around her shoulders. Fumes of alcohol hit her nose. Coarse hair rubbed against her cheeks. He was huge. Her back rubbed against his soft belly. God! She hadn’t thought of him at all! Was this the way her beautiful evening was going to end? No fucking way!
Karma let her bag slide from her shoulder and her body went slack. With her head hung forward, she bent her elbows and jackknifed them into the softest part of his belly with all her might. It got a grunt from him and loosened his arm around her shoulder. She flipped around to face him, lifted her knee and jabbed it into his groin while slamming her ringed fingers on his nose.
With a groan, he dropped like a stone even as her legs gave way under her and she flopped to the ground, sharp pricks from the gravel biting into the heel of her palms. She didn’t feel the stones tear through the skin or the burning pain in her knuckles. 
“I see you don’t need my help.” From far away, Rafael Henley’s voice drifted toward her in the night.
In the glow of the streetlamp, she saw him pick up her bag and walk toward her, the sound of his soles soft on the gravel. He set her bag on the ground beside her.
“You okay, Karma?” The concern in his voice brought tears to her eyes.
Words refused to pass her lips. He came closer and bent down to her level. He took one of her hands in his. She winced and he frowned. Reaching forward, he put his arms came around her and lifted her to her feet. She stumbled against him then stilled as he brought her to his chest.
“You’re safe now, Karma. You made sure of that.”
She leaned her head on his chest, her hair screening her face and her hands trembling. Her blood pounded so hard in her ears and chest, she swayed on unsteady legs. His arms tightened around her. She wanted to say something but her lips were still locked. All she could do was fold her body into the comfort of his embrace and breathe in his clean smell, trying to erase all memory of the stink of the other man.
He was a solid wall against her wobbly legs. Her shaking body had him bend down and hook an arm around her knees. Not a word of protest crossed her lips. He carried her to his SUV and opened the door. He settled her in the seat, buckling her in.
“Wait, no. Have an Uber.” She managed to croak the words out.
“What kind of car?”
“White Camry.”
“I see him coming around the corner. I’ll let him know you don’t need the ride. I’ll take you home.”
Karma did not utter a peep of protest. For once, she let someone decide for her. When he got in the driver’s seat, he paused.
“Let me see your hands.” He switched the interior lights on. She refused to comply. He leaned over, grabbed them and turned them over. She sucked in a breath. “A few scratches and some bruising on the knuckles. Rewards of a warrior.” He nudged her chin up with a finger and looked into her eyes. She slapped his finger away. “And we’re back.”
She hated to show him her vulnerable side. She did not need a knight in shining armor. But she had needed his embrace. And that was it. Nothing more.
Karma’s Slow Burn, promo price of $1.99 on pre-order until date of release on 1 Feb 2020.

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