Monday, May 25, 2015

CELEBRATE THE U.S.A.

My family is filled with men who served our country. My cousin, Roger Hussey, a helicopter pilot, has done so many tours of duty in the Air National Guard he has flown everything from Huey Cobras to Black Hawks to Kiowas to Apaches. My brother-in-law, Arthur Roy Reed, is a veteran of the Korean War, and my uncle, J. C. Westmoreland, was decorated in three wars during his military career. During World War II he was a navigator in what was then called the Army Air Corps (later that was changed to the Air Force).  He flew in those huge B52 bombers in the European Theater, while his family back home prayed for his safety. He was also decorated in Korea and Viet Nam.

Uncle J.C. didn’t talk about his wartime experiences, but he did talk about having pride in his country and respect for the flag. He did talk about duty and honor and the sacrifices necessary for freedom. More than that, he showed all of us by example how to live a principled life.

Besides my daddy, Uncle J.C. was my biggest hero. He was also one of my biggest fans. He loved books of all kinds. He took great pride in reading my novels and telling everybody he saw that his niece was a writer. It didn’t matter to him that he was a strapping military man with a romance novel in his back pocket. What mattered was his love for his family.

I think that must be at the heart of every man and woman who has served or is now serving in the military – great love their family and a desire to see them continue to enjoy the freedoms our ancestors fought and died for. To all of them, I say THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU.

USA Today Bestselling author Peggy Webb loves her family, her friends, singing in her church choir and playing her antique baby grand that once belonged to a jazz musician. She invites you to visit her website to learn more about STARS TO LEAD ME HOME, the women’s fiction novel reviewers call the "MUST READ book of 2015." Preorder for only $2.99 till pub day, June 4. Details at  www.peggywebb.com.


   

Friday, May 22, 2015

Advice. Take it? Or leave it?

One of the things I love about RWA is the amazing amount of support. It's so nice to have a group of people who understand what you are going through, unlike pretty much every other person in your life. 

At times I now feel like the laundry room in my house. My family has a vague understanding of the workings but really only cares about the output. So, yes, I'm "writing," and that is great for whatever that means to them. But, where are the books on the shelves and the money in the bank? I'm 100% certain that I would not still be making an effort to write without the advice and support of my writer friends.

Another thing I've found is that EVERY level of author is willing to try to help you. No. They can't read your book and you shouldn't expect them to. But, I am an advice junkie. I admit it. And if an author can give you pointers or share information, then they likely will.

It's important to set aside pride for the sake of your career and the quality of your book (that's kind of advice so feel free to take or leave it!). Part of that is being open to this advice. Will all of it work for you? Will all of it be good? No. But, I'm a firm believer in "lessons learned" and failure analysis - which is basically a fancy way of saying advice! You probably do it already to some degree. You know when something isn't working.

I'm taking craft classes and learning about the business, based on all of the "I wish I had known" advice I heard.

I'm not rushing.

There are free and very reasonably priced classes. I'm really excited about Southern Magic offering Debra Dixon's Book in a Day workshop.(https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1592). A book in a day, people!  I recently took an RWA online class about creating a better opening for your book. And I would be lost without Suzanne Johnson's plotting and revision classes. The RWA conference workshops made me wish I could clone myself.

I still have a long way to go with craft, but I'm very glad I put in the time before trying to publish anything. I will continue to do so.

I took a lot of the processes I used at my manufacturing day job and incorporated them into my own writing process. Some of it worked and some failed miserably. And I learned from it and moved forward. Then I read a lot of advice on writing processes, and tried several things I never would have thought of.




Have you received any advice that changed writing for you? For me, it's the "write every day" advice. It made so much sense to me. So logical. But, I can't do it. I tried for eight months to make a habit of writing every day and have never been more miserable and less creative. But I know some people who took this advice and it was a game changer for them. My lesson learned was that I need to set a weekly (not daily) word count...and THAT led to more productivity for me. In effect, it was the advice NOT working, which led to something that did. And who knows, maybe in three years, my writing style will have changed and writing every day will be what's better for me.

So, what's your advice advice? ;-)  Is there one piece of advice that sticks out to you, good or bad?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Confessions of a Reformed Lurker; Or, How I Finally Committed to Writing Romance



A few days ago, I actually attempted to clean out my book collection.  (I use the word “attempt” deliberately. I’m not sure I ended up culling much of anything!) I have books in way too many places, but one of the semi-organized spaces where I store them is in an unused hall closet. It has these amazing shelves…I love it! Anyway, as I stacked books and reached back further into the closet, praying that I wouldn’t grab a spider rather than a book, I drew out the first romance novel I ever read: Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower


THIS BOOK. Oh, my. So many people trace back their love of the genre to this book, and I still remember the experience of reading it. My mom’s beat up 1970s paperback of The Flame and the Flower changed my life. It is not only the catalyst that led me to writing romance, but it is also the source that opened the door to a community that has become one of the best I have ever known…even though it took me a while to join that community!

I was always writing stories, but The Flame and the Flower awakened the sleeping romance novelist inside of me. I first read it in 1993, but I wasn’t quite ready to write romance at this time. However, I was ready to devour any romance novel I could! After finishing every Woodiwiss book in my mom’s collection, I would sneak glances at romance novels in bookstores, drugstores, grocery aisles—anywhere I saw them. I was too shy to buy one with Fabio on the front, but I really wanted to. Soon I said to hell with it, though, and got over my shyness. I proudly marched myself up to the counter with all kinds of romances, and after a while, I could even name the cover models. :)

It wasn’t long before I had a small group of friends (roommates, booksellers, people I met browsing in the romance section) connected through my love of romance, and what I noticed most about this group was that we were tightly bound by something deeper than an appreciation for a new release by a favorite author. There was a built-in support network there. The enthusiasm was contagious, and we lived and breathed romance novels.

Even though I actively participated in a small community of romance readers, I found it harder to tell them that I wanted to write. I also had no clue where to find others like me, and I was terrified to let anyone know that I had already started writing my own novel. This was approximately 1994, and it wasn’t like I could just go to Google to look something up. (Yep. Wait for it: Google wasn’t launched until 1998. I officially feel old.) I didn’t even have an email account or dial-up internet service at this time. So, I went as old school as The Flame and the Flower and started researching in magazines and the library. I even remember going to the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature (yes, the old, huge print versions), and looking up every article I could find about the romance industry.

I don’t remember how, but I found out about and became a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) in the late 1990s—but I went through years of allowing my membership to drop off. It was expensive, and I was way too shy to even think about joining a local chapter. The thought of actually publicly stating that I was trying to write a romance novel and then having someone actually want to read it? TERRIFYING.

So I was a silent on/off-again member. As years went by (and, yes, I had internet and knew what Google was by this time), I lurked on websites and chat rooms and forums, finding out what I could about authors, books, and the industry. I learned a lot, but I wasn’t really involved. I continued to write, but I wasn’t dedicated to it as a professional should be. Life got in the way—as it tends to do. Jobs, family stuff, graduate school: there was always something in the way. Still, always pulling me to the side, was the little angel (or devil) on my shoulder, saying, “Write! Write!” So write I would…for a little while, at least. But I knew that in my “day job” professional community that no one would really understand why I would want to write romance novels. So, as always, I hid that part of my life and let it get buried underneath all of the other daily concerns I had.

But in 2013, I decided to make a change. Why? Maybe I saw a part of my life coming to an end and it looked like a great time to make a new start. Graduate school was over and I did not have the stress of finding a job, because I was lucky enough to already have one. I committed myself to my “day job,” of course, but I also committed myself to making a change in terms of my writing life. I picked up those old issues of the Romance Writers Report (yes, I hoard those, too), and I started communicating online with other writers and romance novel enthusiasts. Soon, I felt energized and ready. I reinstated my RWA membership, went to my first national conference, and actually joined my local chapter. At nationals, I remember thinking, with a sigh of relief, “These are my people!” And they are.

Officially delurking! At RWA nationals, I met author Vicky Dreiling for the first time in person!
We had been chatting for a long time on Twitter, and it was a great experience to see her face-to-face.
Authors like Vicky are the reason I am proud to be a member of this community.
Recommitting myself to my writing career and getting involved in the community are the best things I ever did for myself as a writer. Sure, I have ups and downs (who doesn’t?), but at the end of the day, I know that I have a community behind me. Each month, I get to spend a few hours with people who love the same thing I love, who understand the passion behind the passion, and who form a diverse but inclusive village that helps in so many ways—on the page and off. Those few hours make all the difference. So, my advice? Stop being a lurker and get involved.

Susan Sierra is a historical and contemporary romance writer. She loves books and old letters, adores her dog and family, and has a deep and committed love affair with coffee. She spent time as an undergraduate studying (having fun) in Mexico, went on to work for a large regional magazine as a copyeditor, and then decided that she hadn’t tortured herself enough in life...so she went to graduate school. After many years, she walked away with a PhD and an unhealthy relationship with Charles Dickens. She hopes to complete her first full-length novel in 2015. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!



Monday, May 18, 2015

What is expected from a published author?

The other day, a friend of mine, newly published, was shocked to learn of all the things expected from her. She said, "Why didn't anyone tell me?"

Well, we did. But in the middle of struggling to become published, we concentrate so hard on the story and submission process, we forget to listen to the other stuff. I know I didn't listen.

So in case you're in the process of being published (writing, submitting, etc.), keep in the mind the following. Let me know if I missed anything. And of course, it's a list. Love them! *sing-song voice*

10. Judge contests: books and unpublished manuscripts.

For me, after so many years entering contests, I felt it was important to give back by pitching in. I had to say that I've learned just as much as I taught. And hopefully, I was helpful and kind in my comments. I do know I was always lenient in my scoring. HATED to give less than 80 out of 100 for any manuscript and rarely did. The person did write the story from the heart. Don't we all? 

9. Giveaways

Lordy! I learned so much about giveaways. Of course, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. Giving away gift cards are helpful for international fans (mailing books are expensive), but will not guarantee they'll buy your book. Giving away your book will most likely guarantee it will sit in the horrible TBR pile. (Check out my feelings about that here.) This month, I'm doing a big giveaway of an iPad Mini. Be sure to go here to find out more. Everyone has to read CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE to have a chance to win. I'll let you know later how it works. Thanks to Kelley at Smut Book Junkie for giving me the idea during her presentation.

8. Swag

Boy, oh, boy, you can spend SO MUCH MONEY in swag. Seeing your name on a book is totally exciting, but adding pens, cups, and so on can be wonderful too. Yet, the return (readers) is so low. Lynn Ray Harris said something to me the other day that is so true. Buy swag to give to your fans as a thank you. So I've decided pens and my favorite (and inexpensive) car cup-holder coasters are the only freebies to anyone. The really nice stuff (bags, dolls, shirts, cups, etc.) will be given to my fans.

7. Ads

Up until this year, I've done a few ads. I've decided to do more and see if it helps with my name recognition. We all know that we have to see a name (or brand) at least three to five times to become interested. Only then we'll get curious enough to spend money. So I'll let you know.

6. Website and blogging

For myself, I do my own website. Presently, you certainly can tell. As time has gone along, and I have more books and information to place on it, it has become messy. Time to revamp, but I'm still writing my book and one more to write this year. So I plan to redo the website in December. If a miracle happens and I have some money, I might pay someone else. It's my blog that I enjoy working with the most. My little way of communicating with the masses. Of course, there is social networking (see number 2 in a minute), but really, if a person hasn't signed up for Facebook or Twitter, they won't see what I have to say. Did you know that Google+ had more users than Facebook? No matter what people want you to believe, they are not the be all, end all. Other countries have their own social networks. You didn't know that? Oh, yes. Check it out here. While most everyone, in any country, can look at blogs.

5. Book signings

Love to do book signings, but they're sometimes a lonely affair at book stores. So it's best to have author friends there too. Need someone to talk to besides family and friends. Unless you're like me and have neither show up. *Violin playing* The best book signings are at conferences and conventions. Then you have a captive audience you could say. But don't be surprised if you sell only two or three books. Now if you're giving the books away, that's a whole different ball of wax. You might have to grab a few people walking by (if you don't have a sign saying "FREE BOOKS"), but they'll be gone in no time. The books will then sit in a TBR pile. (Go back and look at number 9.)

4. Conferences, conventions and luncheons

They are fun. Love going, but they take time away from writing and cost lots of money. A good tax deduction. But I've decided if I can't provide a workshop or be on a panel or do a book signing, I will most likely not go. Just some miscellaneous opinions: RWA National is great for networking; RT Booklovers is the best for Authors and getting their name out there; Moonlight and Magnolias (Georgia RWA) is my favorite conference. So much fun. I love going to luncheons. Though often the people who sit at my table don't know me from Adam's housecat, I feel there is a chance one of them will be curious about my books. Be sure to fill your basket (most luncheons require you to bring one to raffle off) with the best of goodies and overflowing. It can cost you anywhere from $50 to $200, but will be worth it. Make an impression while you can. Looking successful impresses readers. If they believe you're making good money off your books (even if you're not), your books then have value -- worth reading -- but always be friendly and SMILE BIG.

3. Libraries

I wanted to make sure everyone understood the importance of our local libraries. When you're at the library, who do you ask what's good to read? The librarian, of course! Libraries are important places for our books to get recognition. Most readers will buy copies to save and read again after reading it at the library. Or they can't wait until the newest shows up there and go out and buy it. Donate a few. Bring them all the swag you collect from all of those conferences, conventions and luncheons. Be sure some of your own swag is in it. And be sure to leave some of the good swag in it too. They will love you and remember you. Make sure you make time for them. If they ask you to participate in a program, do it! This is how your community finds out what you do for a living (or at least hope to do for a living).

2. Social networking

Really, I can't tell you how much this part of being a writer can be such a time suck, but a necessary evil. Yes. I know some of you LOVE Facebook or LOVE Twitter. Just make sure you're not spending hours on it, playing games, watching cat videos, etc. Be entertaining without wasting your valuable time. I would suggest once in the morning for thirty minutes to click likes, make comments and post one or two statuses, and then get away. You can even connect your Twitter account to Facebook. Multitask.​ In the evening, do one or two more statuses, likes, etc. and then off. You can answer comments and click likes the next morning. Keep it to a small amount of time. And NEVER PLAY GAMES!

1. Write the book(s)

Really, do I have to explain this?


Be sure to check out Carla's month long contest. You might win an iPad Mini!  Click here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies and men, and her books reflect that. She has three romantic suspense novels with Avon Red and recently sold a hot motorcycle club series to Loveswept. She's married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.

Look for me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Google+
Time Magazine, [Circle of Danger] ". . . involves deadly assassins, drug lords and doing it."
Action-Adventure-Romantic-Suspense

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Sea of Torsos

WARNING: This post contains BOOK COVERS

It's an open secret that skin sells.

This is true in all kinds of marketing including romance novels. As much as the writer in me wants to be decorous and refined, I know in my heart of hearts that naked torsos mean more sales.

Take for example the New York Times best sellers I'm perusing while writing this blog:
    
#11 The Mistake by Elle Kennedy    #15 Double Dare by R.L. Mathewson




















Or the Amazon best sellers in romance:
    
#1 Kindle Romance Contemporary    #1 Kindle Romance Romantic Comedy




















And don't even get me started on gay romance...
    
#1 Gay Romance    #3 Gay Romance




















So while I'm trying to convince myself that my stories are deep and compelling, filled with emotion and meaning, exploring what it means to be human and to love, I'm confronted by the fact that readers are still buying books because a naked chest grabs their attention.

Of course, there are really good reasons for this scientifically. A shirtless man is easier to smell. Humans are primates, after all. We rely on scent to help us choose our mates. And a male without all those clothes covering up their scent is easier to evaluate via our noses.

Also, a shirtless man exhibits sexual attractiveness. Due to the rise of the female gaze, we're seeing more and more of what women like--broad shoulders and slim hips. A book cover with a sexy guy on the cover says, "Come read me. I'll be your boyfriend for at least 200 pages." Can you really resist a guy that's so willing and eager?

So with that in mind, my publisher created the cover for my upcoming novel, The Klockwerk Kraken. It's a little bit scifi (one of my heroes has tentacles), and a lot romance.

I'm adding to the sea of naked torsos, but at least the view is nice.

====

AIDEE LADNIER is a writer who loves quirky characters. You can visit her website at http://www.aideeladnier.com or meet her at some of her favorite social media sites:
Twitter  |  Tumblr  |  Pinterest  |  Facebook



Monday, May 11, 2015

I don’t mean to be short… Wait! Yes, I do.



I recently wrote a short story for an anthology. The guidelines were 1000 to 6000 words.
It was hard.
I went way over the maximum word count then trimmed and trimmed until I had 6,125 words. I sent it to my CPs and asked them to point out things I could cut.
Imagine me doing the tomahawk chop to whittle this baby down.
Whew! I’m sweating it out.
Have you ever intentionally written a romantic short story? Did you find it hard to get your HEA?

Friday, May 08, 2015

Historical is the New Sexy - Seven Reasons I Write Historical Romance



They say the fresh, new romance genres are small-town romance, new adult / young adult, and erotic romance. I am not quite certain who "they" are. Frankly I think "they" are a bunch of editors, agents, and reviewers who get together once a week, get snockered on martinis and wine, throw darts at a board, and whichever genre gets the most hits is decreed HOT ! Sort of like the way Congress decides which laws to pass.

And historical romance, of course, is dying again. I swear historical romance has more lives than Luke on General Hospital. (You young people will have to Google that if you don't know who Luke is.) Jane Austen published Sense and Sensibility in 1811. She published Pride and Prejudice, the Holy Grail of historical romance, in 1813. Georgette Heyer published her first historical romance, The Black Moth, in 1921. (She was nineteen years old and it was an instant success. Yes, I kind of hate her a little bit too.) A genre with this sort of longevity has to have something going for it. Frankly historical romance has dodged more bullets than Captain Keogh's horse, Comanche, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. (Look that one up too. It's a great story.)

I can't speak for other authors, but here are some of the reasons I write and will always write historical romance.




1. Mr. Darcy – This one should go without explanation, but I will elaborate. I have been in love
    with Mr. Darcy since I was nine years old. There is something so sensually attractive about a
    a man that repressed, yet seething with passion for a woman who frankly is forbidden to him.
    A man that vulnerable, honorable and determined to have the one woman he shouldn't want
    is sexy as hell to me.

From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

``In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.''



 “You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”


 “It was gratitude; gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him.”



 

2. Stately HomesI have 3 boards on Pinterest devoted to those deliciously decadent monuments
                                 to more genteel and elegant times. These homes, however, are more than just
                                 expressions of rich folks' egos. They are works of art. They hold family secrets,
                                 mysterious hidden passages, libraries to die for, and bedrooms with lots of space
                                 to play. Not to mention artwork so erotic some museums wouldn't display it.
                                 Romance is about escape. If you're going to escape you might as well do it with
                                 style. Every woman needs a little time in a beautiful castle with a handsome
                                 man. Historical romance has lots and lots of castles. And very handsome men.







3. Manners - I work at Walmart all day. Manners are as scarce there as donuts at the end of shift in
                       a police squad room. Historical romance allows me to retreat to a time when manners
                       were an art. They were as natural to men and women as breathing and just as essential.
                       And frankly, all of those lovely manners force a man to be sensually creative when it
                       comes to seduction. Innuendo tickles the ear. Eyes caress. A touch is foreplay. A bow
                       is an invitation. In the world of polite society, manners create sexual tension and all of
                       that tension works up an appetite. I do love a historical romance hero with an appetite.
                       Don't you?

4. The Clothes - Is there anything so elegant as a ball gown on a lady? Or formal dress on a man?
                           The only thing more elegant is a man and a lady out of those clothes. These days
                           clothes leave very little to the imagination. It's like getting a Christmas present
                           wrapped in Saran Wrap. Where's the fun in that?

                           Historical romance heroes always dress well. Those thin lawn or linen shirts on
                           a man with a broad chest? Hello, Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. And those buckskin
                           breeches let a lady see exactly what she is getting. A cravat gives a man such an
                           air of dashing and when a lady unties it the possibilities are endless. So you think
                           E. L. James invented tying someone to the bed for fun?
                           

                           Historical romance heroines wear lots of clothes. Which means it takes a long time
                           for the hero to undress her. And all that time the anticipation rises. After all, this man
                           has never seen this woman in a bikini or Daisy Dukes. He's never even seen her
                           ankles. That's a lot of territory to explore. And I've always been fond of a creative,
                           intrepid explorer who takes his time? Haven't you?


From Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

. . . his pulse had started to accelerate by Button Number Six. By Number Twelve, it was racing. By Number Fifteen, he had to concentrate to keep his breathing steady . . . Miss Jessica Trent’s grey eyes had taken on the drunkenly bewildered expression of a respectable spinster being seduced in spite of herself.

Even if he had comprehended her expression, he wouldn’t have believed it, any more than he could believe his untoward state of excitement—over a damned glove and a bit of feminine flesh. Not even one of the good bits, either—the ones a man didn’t have—but an inch or two of her wrist, plague take her.

The worst was that he couldn’t stop. The worst was that his passionately intent expression had somehow become genuine, and he was no longer talking in Italian about drains, but about how he wanted to unbutton, unhook, untie every button, hook, and string . . . and slip off her garments, one by one, and drag his monstrous blackamoor’s hands over her white virgin’s flesh.

And while in Italian he detailed his heated fantasies, he was slowly peeling the glove back, exposing a delicately voluptuous palm. Then he gave one small tug toward her knuckles. And paused. Then another tug. And paused. Then another tug . . . and the glove was off. He let it fall to the table, and took her small, cool, white hand in his great, warm one. She gave a tiny gasp.



Any questions about the clothes?


5. Being a lady of leisure - I am as liberated as the next woman. I think a woman should get equal
                                             pay for equal work, should be hired for a job if she can do the job, and is
                                             intelligent enough to make decisions about her own life without the 
                                             interference of the government or the beliefs of any political party. That
                                             being said, sometimes all of this taking care of myself gets to be a pain in
                                             the arse. In historical romance I can escape to a time when a woman who
                                             managed a large house with the help of a battalion of servants, served as
                                             a hostess for her husband, had time to read - write letters to friends and
                                             family - play the piano or enjoy other hobbies, and did charitable work on
                                             the side was not looked down upon by men or worse, by other women. I
                                             realize women had few rights in most of the eras in which historical
                                             romance is written, but you might be surprised at the things women
                                             accomplished in spite of the limits set on them by society. Every major
                                             reform movement - the abolition of slavery, the abolition of child labor,
                                             improvements of working conditions in factories, medical research - all
                                             of these had leaders who were women, wealthy women, who wanted to
                                             change the world in spite of the limits society set on them. Yes, historical 
                                             romance allows me to live in a world where I am pampered, pursued,
                                             cared for and provided a life of balls, parties, adventures, and intrigues
                                             without having to work a 40 hour work week or change a litter box. But
                                             it also allows me to meet heroines who make a difference in a time when
                                             the rules make it hard for her to do so. And I do like a woman who breaks
                                             the rules.



6. The language - I am a language snob. I admit it. I love elegant words, beautiful words, insightful
                              words. I love putting them together to create a symphony of images. Historical
                              romance allows me to use words not found in other genres. It allows me to
                              research words to insure they are period correct. Exploring the origins of words is
                              one of the very best parts of historical research. Yes, I'm a word nerd. I am
                              dinosaur enough to find much of today's language jarring at best and confusing as
                              hell at worst. I may be slightly partial, but I believe historical romance has some of
                              the most beautiful language in it ever written. There is such a sense of rest in
                              reading language from another time and place. No cell phones. No computers.
                              No televisions. Simply the lilting grace of words immersing you in eras where
                              words were often a tool of seduction so subtle as to weave a magical haze of love
                              and sensuality unmatched by the power of technology or the modern use of the
                              English language. 
                             

From The Rake to Rescue Her by Julia Justiss

The familiar tones sent shivers over his skin before penetrating to the marrow, where they resonated in a hundred stabbing echos of memory.

What woman wouldn't want her voice described like this?

From Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas 

“I want to fill every part of you, breathe the air from your lungs and leave my handprints on your soul. I want to give you more pleasure than you can bear.”

I don't know about you, but I'm in !  


7. The sense of the forbidden - Lets face it, today there is very little that is forbidden in romance.
                             In contemporary romance and even young adult romance just about anything goes
                             so long as you don't do it in the street and block traffic. Even small-town romance
                             can get kind of rowdy. I live in a small town. This place could give Scandal a run
                             for its money. The best part is, you can get a daily recap simply by going to
                             Walmart.

                              In historical romance, whether it be a knight in love with the bride he is escorting
                              to another man, a Chinese geisha in love with a warlord, a schoolmarm in love
                              with a bounty hunter, a lady Confederate spy in love with a Yankee captain,
                              a duke in love with a seamstress or a Victorian era policeman in love with a
                              brothel owner - the sense of the forbidden is there in spades. Because of all
                              those societal rules, because of the complications of living in a world made small
                              by a lack of technology, because of the lovely manners, the class differences and
                              all of the other strictures the past provides - historical romance is rife with a sense
                              of daring in falling in love at all. The anticipation is heightened. The possibility of
                              a broken heart is greater. The scenes are sumptuous. The risks are higher. The
                              obstacles are often nearly insurmountable. And the sex, when it happens, is
                              sexier because of that sense of the forbidden. A writer has to work harder when
                              she has all of those darned rules getting in the way. And it's fun. Wicked, wicked
                              fun.  


Historical romance has been going on since David got his first glance at Bathsheba bathing on her husband's rooftop. It's been going on since Cleopatra rolled out of that carpet at Julius Caesar's feet. It's been going on since Sir Lancelot first saw Guinevere and knew his friendship with Arthur was in big trouble. We've been around a while. We're not going anywhere. And we're getting better and better every day.

 
 From Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
 
“At some point, while you were roaming the globe, making treaties and dividing the spoils of war, I quietly declared my own independence. I am the sovereign nation of Clio now. And there will be no terms of surrender.”


He took that mental image and filed it away under Pleasant-Sounding Impossibilities. Right between “flying carriage” and “beer fountain.”


“I'm not going to touch her," he said "She's not mine.She never will be."
"Indeed." Bruiser rolled his eyes and dusted off his hat. "Definitely no years of pent-up lusting there. Glad we have that sorted.” 



Historical Romance - For when you really want to get away from it all !  


How about you? If you write historical romance, why do you write it? If you read historical romance, why do you read it? What do you love about it? What do you hate? 'Fess up! We won't tell.