Wednesday, May 20, 2015

News Updates, Hot Food, Hot Reads, and Hot Guys! W/E May 23 @KarynGerrard



Timeless Heart is off to the formatters! Yes, this is a re-release, but it has been completely re-hauled, re-edited, revised and close to 8000 words added. It is a time travel fantasy with a hot Regency hero!

I will be putting it up on pre-order at Amazon only as soon as I get the copies back, and when I do, I will have a special pre-order sale of 99 cents! (price will raise to 1.99 on release day)  Keep your eyes peeled here and on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc)




I received some great news last week, but have to wait until it is finalized before its announced. It will be moving my writing in interesting directions, and also make this more of a full-time profession than in the 'hobbyist' way I approached my writing before. Stay tuned!

I pinned some great recipes at my Pinterest boards FOLLOW ALL BOARDS HERE: Karyn Gerrard Pinterest
Here's my recipe of the week!

Perfect Sugar Cookies

These Sugar Cookies are perfect! Both soft and crisp and the the flavour is wonderful! Paired with an incredible frosting, this will quickly become your go-to sugar cookie recipe!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoon milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Buttercream Frosting
  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, add more depending on personal preference
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream, add more or less depending on personal preference. You can also use milk instead.
  • food colouring if you want to change up the colour.

Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix well.
  3. Add milk and beat again.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Roll dough about ¼ " thick onto a lightly floured surface. Cut your cookies using a cookie cutter and place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 12 minutes depending on your preference for chewy versus crispy cookies.
  9. Frost cooled cookies.
Buttercream Frosting
  1. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar and/or heavy whipping cream as needed to achieve desired consistency.
~~~~~~~~

RECOMMENDED READ OF THE WEEK

Lorraine Heath's The Duke and the Lady in Red. The last book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series.

Victorian era romance, and even though I guessed about Harry (the heroine's brother) it did not take away from the emotionally stunning read. Lorraine Heath is one of the few, rare authors that can get me to tear up and I did more than once with this story.

Lorraine recently won an award at RT convention for historicals and it was well deserved. Gorgeous duke with tortured past, heroine with secrets? I am soooo there.

I also recommend the series that came before this concerning the parents, Scoundrels of St. James.

I want to be Lorraine Heath when I grow up. :)




RECOMMENDED HUNK OF THE WEEK

Meet James Norton from the UK. Yow. At thirty years of age, (and from London, England)  he hasn't been in too much yet, but the couple of things I've seen him in has been fantastic.

This 6'2 blond Adonis (look at that jawline, okay, and everything else) can also act!

Saw him in Happy Valley, a Brit show where he played the serial killer. Chilling.

Also watched Grantchester on PBS, where he plays one of the sexiest vicars I've ever seen. Set in the 50's in a small town, Smexy vicar helps out local cop with mysteries.

It's better than it sounds. And the scenery is quite...nice. *drool*



So, that's it for this week. I probably won't do these kind of updates every week, but I do want to use my blog more. Over on Facebook, I am talking to dead air. I'd rather do that on my own blog. :)

Cheers!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Confession: I Suck at Marketing, Promotion, and Social Media~And It's Okay #Opinion @KarynGerrard



Yes. I confess. I pretty much suck at it all. And after four years of being published I have finally learned to let it go and stop worrying about it.

I know there are tons of articles from people who seem to understand how this all works, and outlets that charge $$$ to do it all for you.

I basically stopped listening to all the supposed experts and decided to do what I feel in my gut. I don't equate making $$$ in publishing as a sign of my own personal success, There are a lot of authors out there that keep their heads down, maintain an adequate social media presence, stay out of drama and are polite and accessible (to a point). Include me in the group.

Promoting is a fact of life, so I will do some for myself and for other authors to show support, and I do that by hosting authors on my E-Romance News blog and through Triberr and the occasional RT on Twitter. I realized I would rather spend my time writing.

After all, that is why all this happened in the first place. My love of storytelling. The spring of last year my strong, healthy father passed suddenly and it affected me deeply, causing me to look inward at a lot of things which meant eventually I got around to my writing since it is a part of my life. As it was part of my dad's life. He wrote for the pure enjoyment of it, and he left us—his family—a legacy of his written word.

I wanted to challenge myself in my writing. Longer word counts, more characters and plots. I wanted to see if I could get the attention of a New York publisher. Done. Signed a contract with Kensington Publishing. Will I try for the digital lines of the big 5? Sure, why not? At some point. I am always striving to improve. Always challenging myself.

I also am itching to get back the rights on all my older books to rewrite and re-edit to where my head and heart is now with regards to my writing. This will be on-going, and I will be self-pubbing them.

In summation, I am in a good place. I'm at peace with what I want to do with writing and how to get there. And it didn't happen overnight, it took a few years.

So what does this mean to you as an author? Do whatever makes you happy. Don't sweat over branding, etc. Follow your own path not the one you think you should. Most writers are not making big bucks, so you are not alone. Write what you love and if it brings you success in whatever form, all the better. Don't feel compelled to try to market yourself on social media if you don't feel the urge to do so. All it will do is frustrate you, and seriously, does any of it lead to extra sales? Probably not much.

I refuse to do anything any longer that will kill my love of writing.

Thanks, dad. Lesson learned.

Monday, May 11, 2015

COVER REVEAL and PRE-ORDER Bold Seduction by @KarynGerrard #GreatPrice #Historical #Victorian




BOLD SEDUCTION

by Karyn Gerrard
Release date: Sept 1 2015
Kensington Publishing Corp/Lyrical Press
Book #1 The Hornsby Brothers
Word Count 40,000
Historical Romance

 No offer is more daring…

BOLD SEDUCTION


An Intriguing Proposition
Passion. Seduction. Pleasure. These are the qualities of any courtesan worth her salt. As owner of The Starling Club, London’s most notorious house of ill-repute, Madame Philomena McGrattan has seen it all, heard it all, done it all. There is little that surprises her anymore, and even less that excites her. So when she is presented a chance at an irresistible seduction, she can’t help but rise to the challenge.


A Dangerous Game
Studiousness. Practicality. Discipline. Such are the attributes of a good scholar, and such are the principles Lord Spencer Hornsby has built his life around. Alone in the Welsh countryside, with only his wolfhounds for company, Spencer has thrown himself into his work. There is little time for the pleasures of society, not even to think of the joys of the fairer sex. But when an unexpected guest arrives at his isolated hunting lodge, Spencer cannot help but be baffled by the presence of this dangerously beautiful woman. And when he discovers the reason for her arrival, and the pleasures she promises, he cannot help but find himself irresistibly intrigued . . .


Pre-Order Buy Links: 



Kensington Website




Excerpt: Of all the replies this strange woman could give, that one Spence did not expect. Damn his interfering friends. The last time he’d been in their ignominious company they teased him mercilessly of his virgin state. Never should have admitted to such a confidence, but he had one too many brandies and his tongue loosened. At the time, they did not chortle at him, but merely commented the state should be taken care of—and soon. The teasing, he supposed, could be considered good-natured; it wasn’t cruel. He knew the difference.
A sudden and slow simmer of anger stirred inside him. Were his so-called comrades lounging at a club in London, laughing with mirth at their joke? Sending a woman for hire all this way to bed him? Spence’s gaze narrowed. Perhaps this tart was in on it.
She made for quite a vision, standing there stroking her leg. A ripple of desire caused his dormant prick to twitch a little. Her gown, though garish, showed a certain style. Philomena the madam possessed an attractive figure and a pretty enough face, if not for the gaudy paint. Her hair shimmered with various shades of the midnight sky and glowed with health and vitality. His birthday was tomorrow, really? It must have meant Christmas had come and gone for another year. He did have turkey for dinner last week come to think of it. Back to the matter at hand.
“Please remove your limb from the chair, Madam McGrattan, and take a seat.”
She gave him a brief pout but did as he asked.
“I am not sure what manner of payment my acquaintances promised you for carrying out this means of humiliating me, but I will match the amount if you will leave me alone.”
She arched an eyebrow at him. “In the first place, Professor, your friends were genuinely concerned for your isolated life-state. This is not a joke at your expense, nor would I participate in someone’s mortification. Second, I’m stuck here for the week. Under the circumstances, we can hardly avoid each other. If you think I will be bringing in trays of food to you, or looking after those great beasts of yours, you are bloody well mistaken.”
Justinian woofed, raised his shaggy head, and after a few moments, rested it on his front paws, ignoring them both.
Her light brown eyes shone with determination. Quite an attractive shade, like tea after the milk had been added. One week. The place was large enough they could manage to avoid each other. He couldn’t very well turn her out into the teeth of cold, winter weather. Sharing accommodations with a stranger would upset his equilibrium; however, he must make an effort and keep his anxieties well hidden.
“On the second floor there are a few rooms. Pick one of the least dusty ones, and there you may stay until Boyle returns with the wagon in a week’s time.”
The madam crossed her arms across her ample chest, and the enticing glimpse of her bosom caused his cock to twitch again. “I can see to the meals as I’m able to cook, but you will eat in the bloody dining room with me. As I said, be damned if I’ll wait on you. You do have one?”
“Yes.Though the room hasn’t been used in some time. Is your verbosity always this colorful?”
“A lot of men like it. Yes, I suppose my talk could be considered salty.”
“Much like your cooking I’ll wager to guess,” he murmured.
Philomena smiled. “I like a man who gives as good as he gets. It bodes well for the task ahead.”
“There will be no ‘task’ between us, Miss McGrattan.”
She stood straight. “We’ll see on that score. I always follow a job through. Now there is plenty of food. I’ll see what I can scrounge up. I’ll come and fetch you when it’s ready.”
Philomena turned on her heel and marched from the room, her chin held high.
Theodora gave him a questioning woof.
“I know, old girl. I’m not sure what to make of her either.”





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. Tortured heroes are a must. 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.
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/Tsu/Amazon Page

Friday, May 8, 2015

Author Anniversary Sale! The Baron and the Mistress @KarynGerrard #99cents for limited time! #Historical




THE BARON AND THE MISTRESS By Karyn Gerrard
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Historical/Victorian/Sensual
Approx: 29,700 words
KG Publishing

ON SALE for 99 cents for a limited time at Amazon and All Romance!

Forget the horrors. Remember...me.

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 



Excerpt: Chastity could not believe she allowed the well-dressed gentleman to take her away in his carriage. They did not go far nor did they speak during the short journey. They both sat in a private room at The Pig and Whistle tavern. Her stomach rumbled. The man, who introduced himself as Ash and insisted she call him by that name, ordered beef stew, ale, and extra bread and cheese.
Fifteen shillings? The obscene amount still rattled about in her bewildered brain. With proper planning the money would keep her and her brother and sister comfortable for some weeks. What in God’s name did he wish to do with her? Or to her? What perverse act would she be subjected to? His intense stare made her uncomfortable. This Ash was too handsome by far. After removing his hat and gloves, he ran his hand through his black-as-midnight hair. His eyes were the color of a fine cognac and the gleam of lust that shone from them sent waves of heat through her body. Ash removed his cloak. The silver lining appeared to be the finest silk. His tall frame was perfectly proportioned and how well it filled out the excellently tailored evening wear. A smartly tied silver cravat about his neck completed the look and he did look every inch the rake. Chastity caught a whiff of expensive cologne. The scent of bergamot and lemon invaded her nostrils. Her stomach dipped precipitously. Dear heaven, I find him attractive? Not wise. Chastity’s gaze darted about the small room trying to find a quick escape route.
“What is your name, my sweet?”
His voice was deep, resonant, and cultured. A sensual baritone as rich as melted dark chocolate. Should she give her name? What would it matter? “Chastity.”
The man’s eyes widened briefly as he shifted in his seat, but his concentrated gaze did not waver. “Interesting choice of name for a prossie.”
Fury boiled quick and hot in her veins. “It’s my real name and I’m not a...a...prossie!”
The corner of his mouth quirked in amusement. “Of course not, even though you offered me a quick tup—for coin.”
Chastity’s cheeks burned in humiliation. Before she could answer, the door burst open and the barmaid carried in a tray of foodstuffs. The tantalizing aroma of beef, grilled onions, and fresh bread made her salivate. For a meal such as this and fifteen shillings, she would agree to anything. And she would bet this arrogant, handsome man knew it.







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. Tortured heroes are a must. 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.
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/Tsu/Amazon Page

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Four Years Since I've Been Published! Looking Back, Looking Forward by @KarynGerrard #Romance

What a long, strange trip its been.


In 2005, I bought the Sims 2 game. I soon tired of all the mundane tasks required, but discovered you could take snapshots in-game and create stories. How cool to find like minded people who did the same. I started up Sims blogs, created long-running serials, learned to create characters, juggle many plots, use custom downloads to decorate sets and manipulate Sims poses. (like in the above shot) I also learned to take criticism which meant I came into romance publishing with a thick skin already in place. Well, sort of. *wink*

In doing this, I rediscovered my love of writing, which had been dormant for decades. I am a high school graduate, never attended university or took any creative writing classes. I don't claim to be a skilled writer with a vast knowledge of grammar. However, I will acknowledge my strengths. A vivid imagination and a knack for storytelling. In looking back at these sims stories, the writing is rough as hell.

And so was my first manuscript.

It was based on one of my Sims stories (which I structured from a dream) Enter Mr. Gerrard (school teacher) who encouraged me to try my hand at a manuscript. So I did. He was a real support and when I hesitated to send it out, he said, "If it was no good, I'd tell you. But this is good. Very good."

I took him at his word and sent it out to three digital romance e-pubs. I got an answer in less than twenty-four hours from Evernight Publishing. I thought it was a joke.
Turns out it wasn't.

Timeless Heart was released May 8 2011. I got the rights back Jan 2015 and will be re-releasing it hopefully next month.

In the meantime, the book did very well for a début, even hit the Amazon best-seller list in time travel as well at other vendor sites.

It also got some good reviews. I found myself in a strange new world and feeling a bit rudderless to be honest.

I had no idea what to do next. I was a published author!

Now four years later, and more than a few publishers later, I look back at every release I had over that time as a true learning experience. My writing improved, I learned to expand into more complicated and challenging plots and writing longer word counts. I dropped some genres, tried others, and now I am settled on being a historical romance author more than anything else.

I can't claim to have made a ton of money, and I'm glad I don't need it or this would have become frustrating long ago. The ride has been bumpy, with more disappointments than elation. But at the core, I do it because I love to write. And plot. I do this for me. I write what I want and damn the torpedoes.
I even tried self-pubbing (and will continue to do so with re-releases) I did all right with it. I made a profit.
But I am not satisfied staying in the same rut. I want to improve. I want to get noticed by bigger publishers. Yes, I need and want the validation. And that is my goal going forward. Climb that ladder. Write longer more nuanced stories. Take a chance. And try not to let all the peripheral crap suck away my joy of storytelling.

I've had dark moments, even tossed a manuscript in the garbage. (Mr. Gerrard fished it out and encouraged me to continue) and I will have those moments of doubt again.

But the writing, the plotting, the sheer joy of storytelling keeps me pushing onward.

Here's to the next four years~

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Frequent Complaints about Historical Romance? I Address Some Here! by @KarynGerrard


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.



"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!

~Karyn

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nominated for a RONE Award: His Wicked Celtic Kiss by @KarynGerrard #Contemp



I am on a break, mostly for personal reasons, but I felt I should at least acknowledge the fact a book of mine was nominated for a 2014 RONE award.


Basically, I am not a contest and award person. And RONE award nominees are garnered from a list of reviews done by the on-line In'Tale Magazine during the year that got 4 stars and above (which His Wicked Celtic Kiss did)
Readers vote, and the finalists books are then read by judges and...judged.

I am also not a person to ask for reviews, likes, votes...etc, somehow it doesn't feel right to me personally,

But I will post the link since the voting for my particular category is up for one week only. If you are so inclined, please do vote, though you do have to register to do so.

LINK: http://indtale.com/2015-rone-awards-week-three

You will find HIS WICKED CELTIC KISS under Cops, Jocks, and Cowboys categories~

Cheers~
 
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