romance

Friday 13th & the Feminine

81f551274210531ef94de3b03dbb836abf1dd550_mPerverse creature that I am, I always thought Friday the 13th should be lucky. Turns out, I’m right!

13 is a lucky number at least it used to be.

Why? Societies used to track time by the moon. We have 13 moons in a year, so all the lunar calendars (Jewish, Egyptian, etc) were based on thirteen. And the age of thirteen is when kids are called to the Bar for their Bar Mitzvah.

 

When I was a kid in Sunday school class, I remember one of my teachers saying 12 was lucky, because that was the number of Disciples. But it was thirteen if you counted Jesus. Or if you counted Mary Magdalene, who some say was the thirteenth disciple.

images-3 22-00-41Then there’s the connection with the feminine.

You now, women + moon = menses. I don’t know about you, but there’ve been times when it felt like the moon was pulling my insides out on a monthly basis.

freyaHow many women in a witch’s coven? 13. Because it’s a power number.

And Friday is a feminine power day too. Named after Frig or Freya, the most powerful feminine Norse goddess. She also had ties to Venus—another feminine symbol.

There’s only one Friday the 13th this whole year, but she’s a doozy. Today is also a full moon and if you consult you astrological calendar, you’ll see today Mercury is retrograde, which basically means communications do not go as planned. Contracts should not be signed today. It’s a good day to generate ideas though. Brainstorm!

How else can you take advantage of Friday the 13th and harness some of its power?

images-29Revel in the feminine today. Pamper yourself. If you’re a guy, connect with your inner female. Go with the flow. Celebrate beauty, home, love, passion and sex. Get with your loved one, or hey, read a romance novel. 😉

What Makes a Good Medieval Romance?

My dear friend and critique partner Sarah Hegger released her first book The Bride Gift this past Wednesday on Amazon. It’s an eBook through SoulMate Publishing. Here’s the url:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bride-Gift-Sarah-Hegger-ebook/dp/B00KBAYOTM

 

The Bride Gift, Soul Mate Publishing

The Bride Gift, Soul Mate Publishing

I loved it through its various stages. Helena, her heroine is goodly fierce and Guy her hero is as steadfast a knight as ever there was. It’s not fair for me to review it, being as close to both Sarah and her product, but I was thrilled to see other reviewers give it the 5 stars on Amazon it deserves. One of the reviewers mentioned The Bride Gift was the first medieval (she) had read.

Which brought me to my lead question. (see above) Elements of a good Medieval Romance:

Well, you’ve got to have a castle.

And a girl, either in the castle wanting to get out (like Rapunzel) or on the outside, wanting to get in (like Cinderella). Although in Sarah’s story, Helena is in the castle, in charge and desperate to keep it that way.

 

And a guy (Sir Guy, in the Bride Gift) who probably prevents her from doing so in the beginning, but ends up on her side by the end. It’s always nice if he’s a knight or some sort of chivalrous fellow. Because so many of the men during those times were downright dangerous. Which brings us to the next item on the list:

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There’s got to be a villain. Preferably one who is depraved in some way (wicked, murdering Ranulf in The Bride Gift) and completely irredeemable.

 

7fcb010c66b73858ea72f2699ccab063Since it’s a historical, the facts and time period woven in should be sturdy. The backdrop for The Bride Gift is “1153, in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’,” when “King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.” The dressing (gowns, armor and mail) and setting (solars, castle keeps, forests and fighting fields) are all part of the enchanting backdrop.

 

Lastly, it’s the relationship between the hero and heroine, isn’t it? The hero’s got to do knightly things, like scale a tower to access his lady love (First scene, first chapter, The Bride Gift), fight off the bad guys (check) and rescue someone (not necessarily the heroine) or something (it could be a basket of kittens). The heroine must display strength and spirit (so many good possibilities in The Bride Gift, and so many spoiler alerts). And the author twines them together (willing or no—not willing in this case) showing how they are better off.

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Yes. I am biased when it comes to my author gal-pal, Sarah Hegger’s new release, The Bride Gift. I think it’s awesome. And I’m not the only one. It’s a downloadable romp worthy of your time. Check it out. And let me know if you do! 😉

#LoveWriteChat

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images-11Welcome to my corner of the Romance Weekly writers round robin, ravens and other birds. Thanks to the very talented S.C. Mitchell, author of Son of Thunder, for the hand-off. This week’s questions come from Amy Jarecki, who releases Book 3 of the Highlander Force series, Beauty and the Barbarian this month!

 

When did you start writing, and why?

 

Anne of Green Gables, Sullivan Entertainment

Anne of Green Gables, Sullivan Entertainment

I’ve had so many first starts at writing. My first book, at tender 11 inspired by long winter nights in the countryside and the high jinks of Anne of Green Gables, but set in the 70’s. My first play, at 19 while running a children’s summer theatre. My first stab at a romance novel, at 23 challenged by a friend, and further attempts pre and post children. More recently I redoubled my efforts at writing – as an actress I have a lot of spare time and dangerously too much creative energy. Writing is another outlet for my study of the expression of human behavior and relationship.

What do you like best about writing?

cut-cushion-copyWhen it flows it’s on par with great sex, runner’s endorphins, a full fat crème brule or a woody cabernet sauvignon without complication, calories or a hangover. I’m learning to like all of the stages of producing a smokin’ finished piece. I used to hate rewrites. Now I realize rewrites are to writing what rehearsal is to acting. One of the secrets to my success as a career actress is to send love and energy into the parts of the process that trouble me. Fairy-godmother them into strengths. I soon expect to be dubbed Revision Queen. You’re invited to the coronation.

If you could go on a writing retreat, where would you go and for how long?

I’m hoping to do that this summer at my country house in the Laurentian mountains. I expect my teens and voice work will punch time holes in my concentration so it won’t be a real retreat.

Eleuthera Vacations

Eleuthera Vacations

Location of a real ‘dream retreat’ would depend on the time of year. I live in the Great White North. If it were January, it’d be the Bahamas for the winter, probably the island of Eleuthera. March or April? An English garden or a flat in Paris, 2-3 weeks. Late fall? Probably Arizona or the desert in SoCal. A month. Wherever, whenever it would include dear friend Sarah Hegger to bounce plot and characters back and forth, get me to move my butt (actually exercise) once every few days, and to supply the appropriate ‘there, there’s’ and ‘woot, woot’s’ as needed.

 

The Bride Gift, Soul Mate Publishing

The Bride Gift, Soul Mate Publishing

Speaking of the Grand Dame, Sarah Hegger is next on the blog tour. It’s an exciting week for this word wench. Her first book release, The Bride Gift happens tomorrow! (Wishing her good fortune and multiple downloads.) Please hop to her blog here:

http://sarahhegger.wordpress.com

 

Love, love, love your comments. Please feel free to leave one. xo

Romance Weekly #LoveWriteChat

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You’ve just landed on my page of the fabulous Romance Weekly author interviews. Welcome, darlings.

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Questions this time around are posed by Dead Awakenings author Rebekah Ganiere, who has the best blog header: “Vampires Werewolves and Zombies, Oh My!”

Check out both her book and her blog:

http://rebekahganiere.com/

 

Who is your favorite character you’ve written and why?

queen-victoria-emerald-diamond-tiara-gothic-style-designed-prince-albertNot to be perverse, but I’m going to quote romance rock star Nora Roberts on this and say, “The one I’m working on.” (Btw, I think Nora should wear this tiara at the #RWA14 Gala. It was Queen Victoria’s and would complement her coloring. Worthy of our own royalty, don’cha think?)

When I first heard this response I thought it was a marketing ploy, but it’s not. I get it now. My head is so wrapped around what my hero or heroine (or antagonist) is 5-sensing as they are shunted through the life-changing events of my story, past characters kind of fall away. Their stories are done. Their problems are nicely wrapped.

Do you prefer to write your Hero or Heroine?

Go Commando Calendar 2014 (2)Now there’s a yin-yang question! I love writing the heroine because I get to put myself in her skin. Vicarious living through her is fun. And it’s easier, because I’m a girl. But I fall in love with my heroes. At least twice. Once as I get to know him myself, and the second time through the eyes of the heroine. (oh that? Just some eye candy from the Royal Marines Go Commando 2014 calendar – hero of my WIP is a marine -sigh)

 

What are the three things you can’t write without?


My laptop, an online thesaurus and wikipedia.

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Well actually I can, I have proof in the two penned but unpublished romance novels I wrote before my kids were born, but electronic gadgets make a hard thing so much easier. More minimalistic? Quiet, full imagination, no interuptions. More lush? A nature view to ground myself, a loungey chair or couch to put my feet up while I write, and kombucha to refresh.

 

5456280Wonder how Brenda Margriet answered these questions? Check her out at:

http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog.html

 

 

 

Comments and likes welcome and make sure to visit al the other talented authors on this blog hop.

 

Cover Reveal – Sarah Hegger

Today I have the tremendous pleasure of unveiling the stunning cover for THE BRIDE GIFT, the upcoming debut from Soul Mate author Sarah Hegger. You may recognize her from the Romance Weekly blog chats. She’s really quite a brilliant author. Without further adieu, I’ll let Sarah tell you all about her new book! 

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It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

Determined to control her own destiny, wilful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

 Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

 This is my very first cover and it marks one of those milestones for me as a writer. I’m still struggling to get past my name on the cover.

 Feel free to tell me what you think.

 Or drop by and see me on:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Unknown-3About Sarah Hegger: Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

Thanks, Sarah! Please come back to visit when your book is released. We’d love to help you celebrate!  The Bride Gift is set to hit Amazon on May 14th, 2014. 

Highland Deception by Meggan Connors

Looking for a great weekend read?

ImageMeggan Connor’s Highland Deception drew me in like the scraped mountains and wistful lochs of Northern Scotland and held me captive to the last page.

Identical twins, Kenneth the outlaw and Malcolm the laird trade places on Malcolm’s deathbed for the good of the MacKay clan. The challenge for the proxy is to fit into the very mold he despises and fool his kin, his mistress and his wife Isobel.

The late laird had not been attracted to his lady wife, but Kenneth is. He must keep his attraction hidden if he is to pass for his brother. Laying with Lady Isobel could very well mean his life. Both Kenneth (as Malcolm) and Isobel are deliciously tortured because lust and love are never as powerful as when you can’t have what you want.

It’s a brocade of courage and love, woven tightly with the thread of lies. Highland Deception is the second in Meggan Connor’s Highland series.

I like the unique series premise which follows a fated family ring and the unlikely love matches it spawns. This match is set in the Eve of the Great Highland Migration (1725). I read it in a day — couldn’t put it down. Am now going to get the prequel, Highland Sons.

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite

Welcome to my corner of the weekly romance writers round robin. This week’s questions come from Nina Mason, who just released her smexy paranormal The Queen of Swords, available on Amazon. Here’s her site. http://ninamasonauthor.com/

How does your writing impact you inner life?

images-2I first noticed my reading impacting my inner life when I was 19, cutting grass for the City Parks Department under the broiling sun in the midst of the Dune trilogy. Water, its celebration and conservation became my obsession that summer.  I think whatever I’m writing kind of takes over like that. My WIP takes place in the Caribbean. Great setting for mind-retreats during the quasi-eternal Montreal winter. My characters and their problems take up a lot of my free time. The fam-jam has gotten used to knowing where I am when I get that far away look in my eye. The hard part is switching back and forth between reality and inner world.

 

How do you hope your books affect your readers?

 

NYC-subway_book_readers_07When a character, like the unstoppable Scarlett O’Hara, or a setting, like the desert planet Arrakis in the Dune series, stays with you and impacts your world view I think that’s the highest achievement a writer or any artist can have. Ultimately, that’s what I wish to impart in my stories. But my more realistic goals are to provide diversion and joy in some of the moments we steal to read…sitting in the mommy-line up at school waiting to pick up the kids, on the bus on the way to work or sitting in the hospital with a sick loved-one. All these times when we seek to be enlightened, entertained or inspired by the lives and problems of someone’s imagination.

 

Has anyone ever told you your book changed their life? If so, how?

images-5I’m unpublished, so far, so no, not yet. But the underlying theme of all my writing seems to be the ability to love others without sacrificing your own power. This was a lesson in give-and-take that personally brought me to my knees and cut up my heart when I was younger. I’m hyper aware of maintaining that balance now in my 20 year marriage and in observing the lives of others. If a story of mine ever helps someone struggling with that, wonderful. Otherwise, I write to bring an authentic emotional experience to my readers with diversion and joy. Because, as Susan Elizabeth Phillips says on her website wall, “Life’s too short to read depressing books.”

Thanks for stopping by. Meggan Connors, coiner of the phrase “There’s a bee in my bodice” is next on today’s blog tour. Check out how she responded to these questions by hopping over to http://megganconnors.wordpress.com

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite

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Welcome to the wonderful tag team of talented writers in Romance Weekly’s round-robin interview. Each week a bunch of authors answer the same three questions We invite you to blog hop to see how we all answered and learn a little more about us. Ronnie Allen asked us:

1.Who us your favorite author other than yourself in your genre and why?

Such a tough question. It’s so hard to whittle it down to just one. But if pressed, I guess I’d have to i.d. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I always feel for her heroines, cheer them on in their journeys of growth, and grow they do, fall in love with her heroes and get caught up in the lives of all the other cast members in her books. Also her situations can be downright hilarious. SEP is good for several genuine laugh-out-loud’s per book, and a good cry every now and again too.

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2.What is your favorite book by them and why?

Ouch. This question actually hurts. I’m such a fan and it’s so hard to narrow it down. I mean who can resist the moment in Fancy Pants when spoiled rich Francesca Day throws her last 25 cents into a cornfield to start her life anew, or brave Sugar Beth Carey who comes back to the town she destroyed to face her demons. But I guess, Natural Born Charmer wins out for me. SEP had me at the first line, when Dean Robillard stops to rescue damsel Blue Bailey in distress (she’s actually tromping down a dusty road in a headless beaver costume). Blue, whose mother has stolen from her to rescue South American women at risk, is really down and out and up against a wall, but do she shrink and swoon? No. Like so many of SEP’s heroines, Blue uses what tools she has and emerges strong and smart and triumphant. SEP’s heroes are pulled into the vortex of change the heroines storm through and like Dean in Natural Born Charmer sees who his ladylove really is and does what it takes to win her over.

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3.What about their style inspires your writing?

Whew. This one’s easy peasy. Her warmth, her humor, her penchant for finding novel authentic meets, plot points and twists. Then there’s her ability to bring strong characters together in love, and to address tough issues with a sincere but soft touch. Mostly, it’s how she paces the growth arc of her heroines. They become Protagonist 2.0, where the biggest thing that has changed about them is a shift in their own perception which encompasses their ability to love.

Have you read how Sarah Hegger answered these questions? Link to her here: http://sarahhegger.wordpress.com