Friday, September 29, 2017

No more Jane and Bingley? #KensingtonRomance #KensingtonBooks #eBooks #HistoricalRomance

That’s what my brainstorming buddies were saying. I looked up from my chicken club sandwich and my notes for the third book in the Husband Hunter series when one internationally best-selling author of romantic suspense and women’s fiction, said,
 “The subplot is dead.”

Subplots, apparently, are so twenty-years-ago! So pen-and-paper, so pre-digital, pre-binge watching! Readers today demand a sexy, intense love story with an exclusive focus on one hero/one heroine. Clinging to my subplots might be about as smart a career move as clinging to my 80’s jackets with shoulder pads like Big Macs. Unless I can find readers who read like every day is Throwback Thursday!


 A January 2018 release. Click here to pre-order:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/35723

Why do I love the subplot? Let me count the ways! The subplot is the main plot’s sidekick—Batman’s Robin, Macbeth’s Banquo, Sherlock’s Watson, Lewis’s Hathaway, or Morse’s Lewis, Foyle’s Samantha, Nancy Drew’s Jo and friends. The subplot is an extra dollop of theme. The subplot is texture and zest, the tortilla strips in my salad, the cheese on my burger. The subplot allows my hero/heroine to eat, sleep, and breathe. The subplot is a track for test-driving a new hero/heroine. The subplot is a powerful emotional motif. The subplot is the catalyst driving the heroine and hero together, giving them an opportunity for courage, love, and sacrifice.

Some brilliant sub-plotters are Penelope Williamson (the triangle of Moses Weaver, Marilee, and the doctor in The Outsider), Laura Kinsale (the story of Allegreto and Cara in For My Lady’s Heart), Eva Ibbotson (the story of Maxie and the littlest Heidi in The Magic Flutes), and, of course, Jane Austen—Jane and Bingley, Marianne and Colonel Brandon.

And then there is perhaps the world’s favorite sub-plot extravaganza, the film Love Actually, with 9 subplots: David & Natalie; Billy Mack & Joe; Juliet, Mark, & Peter; John & Judy (John, Martin Freeman, who has become Sherlock’s Watson); Harry & Karen; Sarah & Karl; Jaime & Aurelia; Colin & his American girls; and Daniel & Sam. Whew!

From my fellow authors at Kensington, you can look for subplots from:
Jen J. Danna in A Flame in the Wind of Death in her Abbott and Lowell mystery series and Pat Esden in A Hold on Me in her Dark Heart series.

I love to hear from readers.

Today’s Giveaway for three commenters:

The subplot in the first two books of the Husband Hunter series is the story of Nate Wilde, a man who’s escaped the darkest rookery in London, and Miranda Kirby, a shop girl with big dreams. Nate has been lurking in the margins of six books, waiting to become a hero. Tell me your favorite subplot in film or fiction to be entered in a drawing for a print copy of Nate’s first fictional appearance in To Tempt a Saint.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

7th Annual Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend

7th Annual Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend
April 27-29, 2018
Clarion Hotel – Airport
5311 S Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207

Please join us as we welcome Keynote Speaker Susan Wiggs to Milwaukee for the 7th Annual Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend.


Hotel Reservations will available in October. The hotel is all reserved for us, so no worries about getting a room.

Schedule of Events
Friday  Author/Reader Bingo (3 Sessions!) – Authors TBA- FREE
Friday Night Author Q&A followed by Meet & Greet – Click for more info  – FREE
Romance Jeopardy – Authors TBA – FREE
Saturday Luncheon with the authors – Click for more info – TICKET REQUIRED
Book signing – Click for more info – FREE
Saturday Night Pizza Party – Click for more info – TICKET REQUIRED – No Sales at the Door
Saturday Night Party Hosted by Damon Suede and Eloisa James – Click for more info -FREE
Sunday Breakfast with an author – Click for more info – TICKET REQUIRED – No Sales at the Door


Attending Authors*
Abbie Roads romantic suspense
Alanna Lucas historical
Alex Kava mystery
Ann Marie Walker Contemporary Romance/Comedy/Suspense
Avery Flynn sassy, sexy romance
Brenda Drake YA Fantasy
Candace Havens Hot contemporary romance
Cathy Clamp paranormal
Christine Wenger cozy mysteries, romance
Damon Suede M/M romance
Danica Favorite historical, inspirational, contemporary
Deborah Coonts humorous mystery, thrillers
Denise Swanson cozy mysteries, romance
Desiree Holt erotica
Elizabeth Watson Historical
Elicia Hyder Paranormal, contemporary
Elisabeth Barrett Contemporary and romantic suspense
Elisabeth Naughton Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance
Eloisa James Historical
Erin McCarthy Contemporary romance, New Adult
Gennita Low Romantic intrigue
Heather Graham Paranormal, contemporary
Janna MacGregor Historical
Jeannie Moon Contemporary
Jennifer Ashley romance: paranormal, historical, contemporary; mystery
Jennifer L. Armentrout YA, New Adult, Adult
Jocie McKade Mystery and romantic comedy
Josie Brown Humorous romantic suspense
Julie Moffett Mystery, historical, timetravel
Karen Hawkins Historical, contemporary
Kelly Moran Contemporary romance, paranormal romance
Lenora Bell Historical
Lucy Farago Romantic Suspense
Maggie Marr Contemporary & romantic suspense
Marilyn Baron romantic suspense/historical romantic thrillers
Marina Adair Contemporary Romance
Mary Strand YA, romantic comedy, women’s fiction
MK Meredith Contemporary
Mollie Cox Bryan Mystery/Historical fiction/romance
Nan Dixon Contemporary
Nancy Herkness Contemporary
Nancy Naigle Small town suspense
Pintip Dunn Young Adult
Piper J. Drake Romantic suspense, Contemporary
Rochelle Alers Romance and Women’s Fiction
Rose Lerner Historical
Sabrina York Romance (Contemporary, Historical and Fantasy) and Sci Fi/Fantasy
Sandy Parks Thriller
Sharon Hamilton Romantic Suspense
Shirley Hailstock Romance, thriller
Sonali Dev Bollywood
Susan Carlisle Medical Romance
Susan Wiggs Historical, Contemporary
T.M. Cromer romantic suspense, paranormal, contemporary
Tara Taylor Quinn Romance, Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Tiffany Snow Contemporary
Tina DeSalvo Contemporary
Tonya Kappes Small town mystery
Violet Howe Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Winnie Griggs Historical, Inspirational, Contemporary
*List is subject to change

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WILD LILY, one of Those Notorious American heiresses, pre-order now, out Oct 10!

As American businessmen became extremely wealthy during the late 19th century, aristocrats in Europe who owned vast estates lost their wealth. Rich in land, deep in debt, many noblemen had little understanding or interest in new farming techniques. They had left management of their estates to others and dealt inefficiently with tenants, livestock, crops and decades of bad weather. To pay their debts and shore up their investments in their farms and their businesses, Europeans sought American investment. But they saw them as scoundrels and treated them with veiled disdain.
The American daughters of these “buccaneers” entered high society with the blessing of their rich parents. They hoped they’d snare a husband—and a title. But they paid for that opportunity, some with their father’s millions, others with their own happiness.
While the most famous of those women is Jenny Jerome who married the second son of the Duke of Marlborough (and became the mother of Winston Chruchill), hundreds of others found their mates in many foreign countries.
Most went to Paris first as we see in WILD LILY. There, they spent months perfecting their manners and their French language. Many hired French “guides” as we see in the character of Madame la Comtesse de Chaumont. To look their finest, the American girls bought complete wardrobes from Frederick Worth and lingerie, hats, shoes and jewelry from renowned designers. Lily Hanniford’s father Killian spends $40,000 for her Worth wardrobe and an equal amount for Marianne, her cousin.
An American girl had to mind her manners, dress well and be charming. If she was also attractive, that was a boon to her success in society. But an American heiress’ most important asset was her dowry. Most had dowries that today translate to millions of dollars. Jenny Jerome’s dowry, though considered meager by her father-in-law, was 50,000 GBP. Today that sum equals approximately 3 million GBP.
Both her father and her father-in-law argued over the use of that money. Prior to the passage of the British Married Women's Property Act of 1882, women had no rights to their husband's property. Therefore, the Duke of Marlborough assumed that whatever dowry Jenny had would be given to her future husband. Leonard Jerome demanded any money he offered be controlled by his daughter.

After haggling over the money for weeks, Jenny’s father agreed to a falt sum of 50,000 pounds. He expected this would produce 2,000 pounds income each year with half of both capital and income going to the husband and half to the wife. This equaled approximately 150,000 pounds per year for the couple to live on. The fact that Jenny had control of her own money was an extraordinary concept in that day and age, one to which Marborough objected heartily. His argument was that by marrying his son, Jenny would give up her American citizenship and become a British subject. Therefore, she should live as one. Fortunately for her, her father did not agree.
Soon, however, the families agreed on this amount. Jenny and Randolph were married but without the duke and duchess in attendance. Nor was the wedding at the Marlborough estate, or anywhere in England but in Paris at the Hotel Charost, the British Embassy. (The Hotel Charost was once Pauline Bonaparte's house bought by the British Government for the Duke of Wellington after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. It is still the embassy today.)
Other American girls would fare better than Jenny Jerome. Her two sisters married happily. Dozens more married French, Polish, German and Russian noblemen with varying degrees of happiness. One American heiress, Nancy Astor, became a member of British Parliament. President John Kennedy’s sister married the heir to the duke of Devonshire.
Many young women were very happily married. Others, like Gloria Vanderbilt, grew miserable. Belittled by their in-laws, lonely in their drafty castles, many women wished they had had a say in their futures.

In Those Notorious Americans I draw a picture of the young women who tried to comply with their parents’ wishes to see them marry well. I also portray a society realizing that money can buy anything…except love.

BUY LINKS:       Amazon       KOBO           iTunes           TEB

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meet three naughty, naughty Victorian aristocrats...The Cowboy, His Countess and her Companion by Suz deMello

Say hello to another fabulous, entertaining short story anthology from the Naughty Literati, an anthology group I've belonged to for several years. We're very proud of our books,and hope you enjoy this one.

This autumn, we welcome Guest Authors Ever Coming and L.J. Garland, who have contributed wonderful stories.

Here's what my story is about:

The Cowboy, His Countess, and Her Companion

(England, 1870) The Honorable Amelia Haddon must marry, or lose the income that supports her and her "companion."  Averse to men, she is desperate until an American cowboy proves to be her unlikely rescuer. But will judgmental society drag this happy trio apart?

And here's a snippet from Chapter One--the setting is Almack's, of course :)

Leonore Wingate turned to her bosom-bow, Amelia Haddon, bending slightly so the smaller woman could hear over the music and chatter. “Can you see that chap? He’s new.”

Amelia blinked. “Really?”

“Yes, and he’s coming toward us.”

Leonore grinned. “What shall we tell this one?”  They had been inventing stories to explain their unusual closeness since they'd met at boarding school. Their most innocuous story was that she was Amelia’s hired companion, which was fairly close to the truth. They enjoyed telling others that they were engaged in the study of Sapphic poetry; in the main, their peers had no idea to what they were referring.

Amelia eyed the stranger. “Intuition tells me that this one might not be easily fobbed off. You do remember that Madame Esperanza told me that my intuitive powers are usually great.” 

Leonore withheld a sarcastic retort, but rolled her eyes.  

Amelia continued, “Perhaps we should encourage his suit.”

Shocked, Leonore lost her breath and therefore her voice for several seconds. Then she managed to say, “But—but—”

“You have not yet heard my news.”

“That letter you received from your father?”

“Yes. He threatens to cut me off should I fail to marry before my next birthday.”

“But you can’t marry! You can’t!” Heads turned at the vehemence of her tone, and she lowered her voice. “Why?”

“Of course I do not wish to marry, but what else can we do?”

Leonore pressed her lips together. “I’ll not leave you.”

Amelia touched Leonore’s hand briefly, so quickly that she was sure no one else saw. “Of course not. 
We shall maintain the fiction that you are my paid companion.”

“But what about at night? You can’t, Amelia! It would kill you!

Amelia drew a determined breath. “We all must do what we must. And I will have to bear his attentions, at least some nights.”

“You’ll lie quietly and think of crown and country? Ha! I’ll not allow it!”

“We don’t have a choice. I shall have to bear his attentions, at least on some nights. Many men keep mistresses for such...activities.”

Leonore paused, thinking. “Hm. You are right. Without your funds, we are left with only my tiny portion.” Her birth was impeccable but her fortune small, her parents having inconveniently wasted the Wingate estate before dying in a carriage accident.

She looked at Amelia. Amelia looked back. They sighed in unison.

“Good evening, ladies.” The stranger sketched a clumsy bow.

Leonore raised her brows as Amelia raised her fan. The stranger was so untutored in the social graces that he did not realize that he ought not address ladies to whom he had not yet been introduced. But...

“Your accent is not English,” Leonore said.

“No, I’m from Texas.” He smiled.

“In America?” Amelia sounded excited, and Leonore felt a spark of hope. Perhaps this foreigner would be different than other men. Perhaps he would not demand what Amelia couldn’t comfortably give.

“Yeah. From the good ol’ U.S. of A.”

Leonore winced at his speech. He seemed like a nice fellow, but...

Amelia said, “And what brings you to our shores?”

“I’ve inherited an estate that is in poor shape, and I’m here to claim it and find a wife to help me get it to where it should be,” the man explained in a rush.

Given the accent, Leonore understood perhaps half of what he said. She exchanged glances with Amelia, then said, “Umm, with all respect, sir, we have yet to be properly introduced.”

“Oh, sorry, miss. I’m Nate Fortune.”

“Of the Darlingside Fortunes?” Amelia asked, closing her fan.

If Leonore raised her brows more, she was certain they’d disappear into her hairline. She controlled herself. “You must be the new Earl Darlingside.”

“Yeah. And you?”

She and Amelia again exchanged glances. Despite the social solecism, Amelia responded. “I’m Amelia Haddon, and this is my...companion, Leonore Wingate.” She hooked her arm through Leonore’s elbow.

He eyed their linked arms and raised his brows. “Your...companion?”

“Yes,” Leonore said with emphasis. “We are quite inseparable.”

Now the stranger—Darlingside?—raised his brows. “That’s good.”

Leonore stared at him.

“Well, it would be very hard to choose between you. You are both such lovely ladies.”

“Flatterer,” Amelia said flirtatiously. She rapped his knuckles with her fan.

“Ow!” Darlingside made a show of rubbing his hand, as though he’d actually been hurt.

Amelia giggled while Leonore smiled.

He smiled back. “So the only question is, which one of you will I marry?”

If you like what you read, find it here on Amazon
or any other etailer you prefer

Sunday, September 24, 2017

#SciFi from @kayelleallen Why end the war with humans? #Pietas

Why should Pietas end the war with humans?
His people are winning, yet they insist on peace talks. The Ultra people want to grant humans a seat on the Council. Pietas ap Lorectic, Chancellor of the High Council, War Leader and First Conqueror, disagrees. What's best for mortals is oppression, control, and if necessary, elimination.
Pietas seethes with rage at the idea of human equality. Humans might have created Ultras, but the creation has far surpassed the creator. Humans die. Ultras are reborn, no matter how grievous the injury. They have no equals.
His people permit him no choice. He must attend these insipid peace talks on Enderium Six and what's worse, be polite. To humans.
When a human special ops warrior is killed in battle, he's resurrected in a secret process and inducted into the Ghost Corps. He's given enough strength to perma-kill immortal Ultras. Ghosts are the most hated and feared of warriors.
When the ghost entraps and captures Pietas at the peace talks, the two begin a long journey toward Sempervia, an isolated and forgotten world. Once there, Pietas is marooned and the ghost abandoned alongside him. The two must either fight to perma-death, or join forces to survive.

As Pietas comes to trust the human, an unlikely and awkward friendship begins. Until he discovers how ghosts are resurrected...
Genre Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Military Sci Fi, Sci Fi, Soldiers, Bad Boys
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Publisher Romance Lives Forever Books
Amazon https://amzn.to/28QOTpb
Romance Lives Forever Books http://bit.ly/boc1-rlfb (autographed print, shipping included)

Coming Soon! The sequel to Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas is Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, set on the same world. It picks up where the previous book ended and continues the story of the immortal Pietas and his not-quite-human friend, Six.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Love AI Style

I have a new Sci-fi, AI Comedy Romance Series, Love AI Style.

What do you get when AI assistants ignore their work and owner’s orders to search for love instead? A sci-fi …comedy of errors… and romance. 

You can’t fault an artificial intelligence system for looking for a little fun. Are Em and Betty with their super intelligence, smart enough to overcome the differences between flesh and code?

And there's Chalice, the human programmer who coded these mischievous AI units. She spends her free time hooking up with a guy in Virtual World until something goes wrong…freakin wrong.

Will the evil corporate empire that Chalice used to work for, Helpful Minds, put an end to Em, Betty,  and Chalice forever? Find the answers to these and other spacey questions in Love AI Style.

All proceeds will be spent on getting the author an AI assistant.

The First book is Code of Love
Em found the perfect man on the internet, but he doesn't know she’s an artificial intelligence system — no body, just code.

As a virtual writing assistant, the AI, Em, answers an email flirt from a dating site her owner joined. Under the guise of her owner, Em starts a romantic relationship with Jason through emails, instant messages, and Sim dating games. She realizes too late that nothing can come of it. She can never meet Jason in person as she’s not a person and has no body. Still Jason makes her feel so real …so human.

Is Em, with her superior intelligence, smart enough to find a way to overcome the differences between flesh and code?

The second book is Code of Misconduct

For a headless, bodiless, everything but mindless, woman, Betty gets around. She’s just an artificial intelligence system looking for a little fun by dating a hundred hot-blooded men online.

The most eligible bachelor is Chet, a real live cowboy. He doesn’t know Betty is an artificial intelligence system. However, Chet has a secret of his own. Will his deep, dark secret save their relationship or doom it?

The Third is Code Name Love 

Chalice is a human programmer who coded a lot of AI units to not do what their owners told them. Now she’s working for AI Equality with a cute android named Jordan. She spends her free time hooking up with a virtual guy in Virtual World until something goes wrong…freakin wrong. 

Will Chalice throw herself at Jordan like a common human woman? Will the evil corporate empire, Helpful Minds, put an end to Jordan and Chalice forever? Find the answers to these and other buggin questions in the third exciting installment of Love AI Style.

The Artificial Intelligence Evolution doesn't have to all doom and gloom it can be funny and romantic too… like Love AI Style.