Thursday, November 19, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY POST: Frequent Complaints About #HistoricalRomance @KarynGerrard

THIS POST was originally published 5/3/15

Just thought I would address a few complaints I've seen in forums and in reviews regarding historical romances. Forgive me if I cite the Victorian age, as that is the one I write in and am most familiar with.

"No way was there so many Earls, Dukes and Viscounts in the past."

No, there wasn't. However, if readers are willing to allow each paranormal/fantasy author to create there own individual worlds, why not historical authors? After all, what we are creating is fantasy as well to an extent. In Lorraine Heath's books, she has her own group of aristocrats. Anna Campbell has hers. And they belong to their worlds only, not any other author's. If you look at it that way, then there is a proper amount of aristocrats. :)

"I'm so sick of the trembling virgin who tames the decadent rake!"

Yeah, I hear you. But opposites attract. Because of the strictures of society through each individual era, most women were inexperienced virgins. And there is proof a lot of the young males of the aristocracy were wastrels and rakes to such an extent by the end of the Victorian age, a lot of the old families were on the brink of bankruptcy because their fathers or grandfathers gambled or blew their money on other vices. Which brings me to...

"There is no way an aristocrat would go to a sleazy alley for sex." (this from a review)

Again, oh yes they did. Ever read "The Picture of Dorian Gray?" Also, by The Victorian age, there was one prostitute for every four men in the city of London. And those upper crust gents loved to get their cheap thrills in the East End at sleazy brothels or in those smelly, disgusting alleys. Facts bear this out. Though the Victorian Age seems prudish on the surface, underneath was a raucous, seamy underbelly of sex and vice. That's why I love writing in this era! :)

"I can't stand the 'Big Misunderstanding' trope in a lot of historicals!"

I agree, as long as the misunderstanding isn't dragged out for the whole length of the book, and it isn't so lame that a frank discussion couldn't clear it up in a snap. Again, you have to remember the era the book takes place in. People were not as eager to share their feelings in previous centuries. Men in particular were seen as weak if they did so. Nor did couples communicate as openly as we do nowadays. Manners and social decorum ruled many lives. So I cut historical authors a little slack here.

"I automatically DNF any historical that mentions Jane Austen and her books!"

That is a little extreme to me, but Jane Austen was huge and still is to this day. Name one other author from the early 1800's with that kind of longevity and popularity. Also you can include the Bronte sisters and Dickens from the Victorian age. If I am writing a historical, why would I reference some obscure 19th century writers whose books went out of print a hundred years ago? Austen rocks. and so does Dickens.

I don't read the Dear Author blog as a rule, but in May 2013, she wrote an opinion piece stating Historical Romance Should Die. click HERE But since this has been written, we've found out that around this time "Jane" was actually NA author Jen Frederick, (who's first book was published Dec 2013) So her slamming another genre should be taken with a grain of salt. More than a few grains. I am pleased to see a lot of the comments didn't agree with her opinion. My opinion? Historical Romance still lives! And what a selection of eras, heat levels, and talented authors~

One point she did bring up is most historicals take place in the Regency age, that maybe some other eras should be explored. Tell that to the publishers. Regency sells, so who can blame them for wanting more?

You want different eras? Check out e-books. There is a wide swath of eras in ebooks, and yes, OMG, there is lots of sex. In my experience, most (but not all) historical ebooks lean toward the erotic, so for those with tender sensibilities, be prepared. Here's a hint, if the book has "Mistress" in the title, yeah...there's going to be a lot of activity of the sexual kind. *wink*

Enjoy historical romances, enjoy the eras they are set, and there is nothing like being swept away to another time with heroes and heroines that define the age. Enjoy!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Year in Writing: A Mixed Bag of Highs, Lows, and Weariness by @KarynGerrard #opinion

I think this picture sums up my year. It hasn't been an easy one. Let's get the bad news out of the way. E-book sales are down again, the market is over-saturated and glutted. (box sets, anyone?) Not even best-selling authors are seeing boffo sales.

Social media is ineffective for promotion of books, and it seems publishers are doing less promo of author's books as time goes by. Book Tours? Not really worth the money. Algorithms are so tweaked on social sites that no one sees your posts. Face it, we are talking to dead air.

Plagiarism and e-book fraud are becoming more prevalent (or people are just being caught more often) Book piracy flourishes. And most people don't care.

Dodgy publishers who don't pay their authors and other employees on time.

And that is just the tip if the iceberg. Depressing, isn't it?

I found this past year I have withdrawn more, and became more isolated. Call me introverted, but I just want to write. I don' t want to get involved in writer-on-writer drama or get involved in any social justice issues. I'll keep my opinions to myself, thank you. (or try to)

I just want to write.

So how did the writing go? This year's high was being offered multiple contracts from Kensington Publishing, based in New York. (for digital books)Yes, a publisher with actual offices in a big city! A major achievement to me at any rate. Where I go from here, I have no idea.

I self-published for the first time and made back my investment and then some, so call that a small success. I also did my first self-pubbed re-release, and it sold more in four months that the previous four years it was published with a digital publisher. So, that worked out as well. I will slowly, but surely, re-release all books I get the rights back to, but on my schedule.

Next up is THE SPINSTER AND MR.GLOVER, a re-working of The Blind Cupid. Coming next month. In 2016, I will be getting back a fair number of books. One thing at a time. One book at a time.

I am working on my contract obligations to Kensington, which should be completed in April 2016. Then I have decisions to make. What to do with my Wicked contemporary series? What about the third historical in my Hornsby Brothers series? Do I turn to something new and aim for a different publisher, and if so, what genre?

Or do I decide I've had enough and pack it in?

Yes, that option is on the table. Because I am feeling rather weary about this roller coaster ride called publishing. I am so weary of trying to get reviews for my books. Even book tours aren't cutting it. I'm weary dealing with publishers for whatever reasons. There's more, but why go on about it?

But one thing hasn't changed. The writing itself. It still brings me joy and contentment. it is still fun and well outweighs all the other stuff. If I decide to stop publishing, I will always have the writing.

Onward to 2016.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Win Copy of The Baron and the Mistress @KarynGerrard #HistoricalRomance FB Party Until Nov 14 #Giveaway Forty Books!

Release date: April 7th, 2015
Approx: 29,700 words
KG Publishing

Forget the horrors.

A shivering young woman leans against a lamppost in the most notorious street of ill repute in all London. For Asher Colborne, Baron of Wenlock, this is a haunting vision of beauty and wretchedness. Uncharacteristically halting his carriage, he is shocked to discover the thin, dressed-in-rags creature is none other than Chastity Armitage, a beautiful angel who captured his heart at a grand ball more than two years past. For Colborne, her circumstance is a mystery he feels honor bound to unravel.

Chastity and her siblings have been on the run for more than two years. Desperate for food and lodging money, she is forced to sell herself. She never expected a tall, handsome man to appear as if from mist and change her life forever. She is given a choice, continue down the path of never-ending poverty or become the baron's mistress.

Though they are both determined the arrangement remain an emotionless business transaction, the attraction between them is scorching. Many barriers and obstacles lay in Chastity and Ash's path. Can the baron and the mistress embrace true love?

Heat Level: Very Sensual 


DUKES, EARLS, and VISCOUNTS, Oh My! Facebook Event

One copy of my THE BARON AND THE MISTRESS is part of the Grand Prize Basket in the Dukes, Earls, Viscounts, Oh My event on Facebook. Monica Burns and Amanda Mariel, the event hostesses, have told me the Grand Prize contains over 40 books, mine included. Daily giveaways will be held as well as other fun posts. I hope you will visit Monica's and Amanda's event. Runs from Nov 8 until Nov 14! Drop by and join  in!

Isn't this cool? Monica Burns and Amanda Mariel are hosting a week-long historical romance event here on FB. Monica made these cool magazine covers.

Dukes, Earls, Viscounts, Oh My – Facebook Event Running 11/08/15 through 11/14/15
Below are the books included in the Grand Prize of the Dukes, Earls, Viscounts, Oh My Facebook Event. Enter via the the Dukes, Earls, Viscounts, Oh My Rafflecopter Entry Form
Return to the Facebook Event

AUTHOR INFO: Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. A multi-published author with a couple of bestsellers under her belt, Karyn loves to write historicals, particularly in the Victorian era. She also writes contemporaries. Tortured heroes are a must.
As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.

Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

               Karyn's Site/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Amazon Page

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Finding the Intestinal Fortitude to Continue #Writing #Publishing by @KarynGerrard #Opinion

Snoopy is right, it is hard work. But it is not just the writing itself. It's all the peripheral stuff that can beat you down.  I like to do these posts every now and then to remind myself. So, what is some of this 'stuff'?

Books tanking even though someone with a publisher tells you "Hey, this is going to sell!" *Note: Never listen to anyone who makes such a declaration.* It's a crap shoot, plain and simple.

Copy editors who leave a comment on your manuscript "The conversations are stiff and formal." Yeah. Thanks for that.

Regretting signing multiple contracts because the first book tanked which obviously means the rest will bomb as well (see how a writer thinks?)

Feeling helpless and angry when its revealed successful authors have been plagiarizing like Laura Harner and Lynn Hagen (this one really angers me because it was swept under the rug. The silence was shocking) Both were MM writers which has cast a pall over the entire genre which is very unfair. It also brought out the snark about romance in general in papers like The Washington Post. Yeah, thanks for that.

Finding out what is selling (stepbrother, dark erotica, MMA fighters, MC [motorcycle club] etc) doesn't interest you for any writing. Knowing that what you are writing will not sell because you don't write to the market.

Publishers who do not pay on time. I've been to this rodeo already with Silver Publishing. Now I am dealing with it with Ellora's Cave. *Note: I got a check 3 days ago. It covered Jan-March, including third party sales. They are still behind. I should have rec'd up to and including July's*

Publishers who do not live up to expectations or the hype making self-pubbing all the more attractive.

Real life which manages to throw potholes in the road before you when you least expect it (spouse sickness, a parent's death, etc) which in turn sucks the joy out of writing.

So, you ask yourself, why bother? Why continue to put myself through this meat grinder? Here's the thing. The writing itself relaxes me. I enjoy it. I love it. This other stuff? If you want to be published, you will have to deal with it at some point, there's no escaping it.

Basically, you have to set realistic goals and stick with them. It's great to dream, but don't expect them all to come true. When you start ruminating on the fact EL James has made a 100 million on her Grey trilogy, it can depress the hell out of you.

Don't do it. It's not worth it. If you are in fact in this for the money, then you DO have to write to the market. If you are like me and write for yourself, then accept the reality of the occasional modest success (if you are lucky) and just plug along. It's a tired statement, but money is not all there is to writing. Find your successes where you can and savour them.

Also, don't take editors comments on your manuscript to heart. A lot of the time its unfounded. The publisher liked your MS and gave you a contract. That's worth more than anything. Shrug it off.

Were you offered multiple contracts? Congrats! Not all pubs do this and it is an accomplishment. A notch on your inner success belt. The books don't sell? Meh. Move on.

Feeling frustration and anger over those who cheat the system (fake reviews, paid reviews, etc) or outright stealing (Plagiarizing) is a normal, human reaction, but don't let it overwhelm you. And the fact there are more out there getting away with it can turn your bile. Don't let it affect your joy of writing. Here's another tip that worked for me. Stop checking your sales rankings. Stop going to Goodreads. I have done both and my stress level has dropped several notches.

Real life? It always comes first. Always. If you have to cut back so be it. I have.

Only you know deep in your gut if all this is worth it. Dig deep. Think it through. If not even the writing itself is bringing you joy, it may be time to walk away.  Meanwhile dream realistic goals, continue to write, and most importantly, live your life.


Friday, October 30, 2015

COVER REVEAL: The Spinster and Mr. Glover by @KarynGerrard #Historical #ComingSoon #BlindCupidSeries

Historical/Victorian/Short Story
KG Publishing
14,995 words
Release date: December 2015 

Blurb: Anne Sommer, a spinster firmly on the shelf, does the unthinkable. She hires a man from the Blind Cupid brothel for a night of scandalous pleasure. Anne wants the sensual memories to keep her company in the lonely years ahead. However, she did not expect the young man who showed up at her door to move her in ways she never imagined.

Desmond Glover gives sexual gratification—for a price. An orphan whose childhood was mired in scandal and poverty, Desmond has learned to close off his emotions with regard to his occupation. He did not count on a lonely spinster to awaken his hidden passion.

Not only do the years separate them, but so do their social standings. Can Anne and Desmond cross such a chasm and find mutual desire---or love?

This was previously published with a different title. Revised, re-edited, and more than 7000 words added.

Book one of the Blind Cupid series. Book two is The Governess and the Beast. Book three is The Copper and the Madam.

Cover art by Cora Graphics 

Here's the dirt. The Blind Cupid was a short story for Decadent Publishing's The Edge line, where the story had to be hot and no more than 7000 words. It was released December 2012. Just want to thank Decadent Publishing for responding to rights reversal requests in a positive and professional manner.

I will be re-releasing The Blind Cupid as THE SPINSTER AND MR. GLOVER and the story is now 14,000+ words. I also dialled back the heat a notch or two (or three!) as the story for The Edge line had to be erotica. I also expanded the plot and characters.

I know I have written more than a few stories about a couple caught in strange circumstances and falling in love during a short period of time, but the situation fascinates me. Two unlikely people, alone, emotions are intense, desire even more so. Yes, they fall in love quickly, but isn't a lot of romance based in fantasy? Besides, though rare, people in real life can fall in love at first sight, so why not my hero and heroine? :)

The Spinster and Mr. Glover will be released by my own KG Publishing and since it is book one of The Blind Cupid series, it will be released to all relevant vendors since book 2 and 3 are still out there. I will be charging 99 cents. (For 14,000 words, more than reasonable)

I am able to get back the rights to The Governess and the Beast (book 2) next spring. Book 3 The Copper and the Madam next fall. I am actually enjoying revisiting these old stories. Like visiting an old, dear friend.

I will have a more firm release date soon.

AUTHOR INFO: Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. A multi-published author with a few bestsellers under her belt, Karyn loves to write historicals, particularly in the Victorian era. She also writes the occasional contemporary. Tortured heroes are a must.

As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.

Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The White Lily by Susanne Matthews @jandsmatt @Crimson_Romance #Suspense #ContemporaryRomance


Title: The White Lily

Author:  Susanne Matthews

The Harvester is out there … watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Buy Links

EXCERPT: “If I call today, Toba, my manager, can have portable housing in place within a week. I can charter a plane to take them there, and we can keep the whole thing quiet. No one will even know they aren’t still in those jail cells. You can send along some police officers to monitor them until I can set up permanent security. I’ve no desire to put my homeland at risk either. They’ll require medical screening and may have to be vaccinated. You’ll have to deal with passports and immigration, but if they’ve been convicted of a crime, it won’t work. I have some sway with the people in power, but I can’t make them accept convicted criminals. So, the carrot I’ll hold up for these members’ help is a new life and immunity from prosecution if they can help me find the Prophet.”
“Are you insane?” The words shot from her mouth. “These people aided and abetted in the murder of four women and the kidnapping of four others. One of them may even be the man who murdered your sister, and you want to give them a ‘get out of jail card’ and a home in a tropical paradise? They’re criminals. At the moment, by refusing to cooperate with us, they’re hindering prosecution, too. We can’t just reward them with a better life.”
“Why not?” he asked calmly, disconcerting her. Why weren’t Rob and Trevor backing her up on this?
“Doesn’t the DA do the same thing when he makes a deal with a mobster who provides evidence against his employers? Isn’t a new life and a new identity what your witness protection plan promises? I may live in Australia, Munroe, but I do read the papers and watch television. I’ll wager those criminals committed far greater crimes than the former residents of New Horizon. You said there were, what, sixteen prisoners? How many are men?”
“Four,” she admitted.
“And were they armed? Did any one of them have the knife that slit my sister’s throat?”
“No,” Rob answered for her. “We haven’t found that weapon yet.”
“And to the best of your knowledge, did those particular men try to kill anyone?”
“No. They weren’t armed that night. According to the intel we had, they simply did the heavy work on the farm, but there were additional weapons in the house.”
“Okay, I’ll give you that they could’ve taken up arms under different circumstances, but how can the women be held accountable? Didn’t you tell me they had no rights, that they were treated like second-class citizens, animals really?”
“More or less,” she said belligerently, knowing instinctively where he was going with this and hating it.
“Then, Agent Munroe, how can twelve women be held accountable for obeying orders? For doing what they were told to do to avoid being punished? If there’s one thing I remember clearly about my uncle, it’s that he enjoyed watching people punished. Remember what my uncle did to me when I opposed him. One of his men may have wielded the whip, but he watched every one of those lashes rip open my back and chest.”
“But they’re still accessories,” she maintained mulishly, more because she needed to forget how helpless she’d been at the hands of the Faithful Followers of the Word. In the FFOW, women had been powerless to do anything but obey. She hadn’t seen any punished, but every now and then, one had disappeared for a few days at a time. They’d come back, pale and quiet, and she’d assumed they’d been ill. How foolish of her. People tended to see what they wanted to see, and apparently, so did she. Those long, brown robes would’ve hidden a multitude of marks.
“Like Eloise was? Look what happened to her when she defied him. The only thing that fits about my sister’s murder is that my uncle discovered she was planning to leave the country and ordered her killed. No one defies him and escapes unscathed. Fear is a powerful weapon in controlling others, and if he added drugs to the mix ...”

About the author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Update On My #Contemporary Series 'The Wicked Men of Rockland' by @KarynGerrard

Last month I withdrew my submission for book 3 for The Wicked Men of Rockland series from Crimson Romance. Not sure they even had a chance to read it as I never received a status update on it. In truth, I am shoving it on the back burner for the time being.

As I stated in a recent post HERE, I am cutting back due to personal reasons which means I have to turn my attention to the two contracts I have to fulfil with Kensington Publishing and I don't want any other submissions out there with other publishers until I do. To be blunt, I have enough on my plate without upping my stress level.

So next spring (the last contract is due April 2016) , I will decide what I am doing with the series then. I do want to finish it. For those who have followed the first two books (and they are among my best-selling books) Book 3 is about Liam De Luca. I plan one more book to finish the series off, and that will concern Tyler Barnes (brother to Veronica from The Wicked Bad #1)

I am also not ruling out novellas on secondary characters like Lorcan's friend, Sully, who was mentioned more than once in reviews. But that will be a ways off if I do it at all.

But all in good time. I have to work at a pace that is comfortable for me and fits in with everything else going on in my life. I refuse to stress myself out. Hope you understand.

Meanwhile, check out my Pinterest board for this series HERE

And my post on the series. HERE

I had planned to focus mostly on historicals going forward, but I've changed my mind. I hope to turn my attention to contemporaries for awhile next year as well. We'll see how it goes.

One day at a time, one step at a time~

The first book in the series is The Wicked Bad, Released April 13 2013 under Crimson Romance's Spicy line (yes, its hot. Erotic)

BLURB: Nick Crocetti is an imposing figure in black leather riding his motorcycle about the town of Rockland. Owner of a bar, The Chief, whispers of criminal dealings and a murky past swirl around him. Dark and brooding, Nick is "the wicked bad" in looks and demeanor.

 Veronica Barnes, leaving a husband from a disastrously quick Las Vegas marriage and her high-paying consulting job, returns home after ten years to follow a lifelong dream and open her own bakery. Despite the mutual physical attraction - and a shared past - Nick and Veronica are wary of each other and have protective fences around their hearts.

 Can they break down the barriers of past heartbreak, or is Veronica just a good girl who longs to rub against "the wicked bad"?

 Sensuality Level: Hot

FREE READ: The epilogue to The Wicked Bad Click HERE

Also The Wicked Bad is a free read at Amazon if you have KINDLE UNLIMITED

Book Two in the Wicked Men of Rockland series HIS WICKED CELTIC KISS released October 20, 2014 (sensual heat) under Crimson Romance's Contemporary line.

BLURB: It took just one teasing wink and a sexy Irish lilt from bad boy Lorcan Byrne to turn Julie Denison’s world upside down. The problem is, he’s only in town for six months, and happily ever after isn't in this world traveler’s vocabulary.

Julie’s worked hard to get her life in a good place—dropping substantial weight and getting a great job at her friend’s bakery. But this handsome charmer is just as tempting as any of the decadent pastries she sells, and she can’t resist his advances for long. Julie fully expects Lorcan to break her heart—but she’s planning to enjoy every second she can of their explosive chemistry.

After years of danger as a soldier and a spy, Lorcan fled to tiny Rockland, Maryland for some boring downtime. He didn't count on meeting someone who could ignite his libido and soothe his damaged heart, and their passion soon leads to deeper feelings. But can Julie convince Lorcan he has more to offer her than just his wicked Celtic kiss?

AUTHOR INFO: Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. A multi-published author with a couple of bestsellers under her belt, Karyn loves to write historicals, particularly in the Victorian era. She also writes contemporaries. Tortured heroes are a must.
As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.

Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

               Karyn's Site/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Amazon Page
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