New Covers for the French Editions of My Templar Knights Trilogy!

11834885_876029062450367_2637383930381154010_oHere are the lovely new covers from my French Publisher, J’ai Lu, for their reprint of my Templar Knights Trilogy!

Book I (Beyond Temptation in English) was released in July, with Book II (Sinful Pleasures in English) coming later this month and Book III (The Templar’s Seduction in English) coming in early September.

These are my favorite covers for my trilogy in any language so far. ūüôā The style, the correct hair colors…even Book II, which is Alissende and Damien’s book, conveys perfectly the setting from the¬†book’s Prologue. It’s set¬†outside Montivilliers, on the coast of France¬†near the English channel, with¬†Alissende¬†pacing and anguished at learning that her former lover, Damien, whose heart she had broken years earlier, is in the hands of the Inquisition – and wondering if he will ever even consider helping her thwart her corrupt cousin’s betrothal plot once she arranges for his rescue.

What do you think?

Goodreads Profiles

goodreads-logoSo, I just posted a BLOG on my original “Historical Author” profile page on Goodreads, telling everyone about my new “Contemporary Author” profile page. I had to create it because Goodreads doesn’t allow authors to link different pen names under one profile at this point – and my contemporary name is different enough, even though it uses the same basics as my historical name.

So, if you’re interested in or part of Goodreads, please check it out through the link on the word BLOG above…and make sure you connect with me on BOTH profiles! ūüôā

Bargain Historical Romance Books!

This post is for those of you who enjoy (or think you might enjoy) historical romance. ūüôā

Four of my historical romances Рall medieval Р originally published with HarperCollins/Avon and then re-released by me when rights reverted, are on a deeply-discounted sale for the time being: only $2.99 for eBook, and anywhere from $9.66 Р$10.99 for the trade size print edition! The original eBook price for all was $5.99 and print was $11.99.

Of course I also wrote three other¬†historical titles that are still owned by HarperCollins/Avon; unfortunately I can’t get them back and so have no control over their prices. In looking at online purchasing sites, all three of those titles appear to be priced from $3.99 – $5.99 for eBook and $5.99 for mass market size paperback.

You can tell which four of the seven titles are mine and which are still owned by HarperCollins/Avon by the style of the covers.

Check out my historical books page for links to ALL of the titles HERE, or click on the covers below to be brought to each book’s¬†individual page, with purchase links embedded there for your convenience.

Also, please feel free to reblog or share¬†if you think this might be of interest to any of your readers or Facebook friends etc. ūüôā

In order of publication:

Secret Vows

Secret Vows – originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2001 and re-released by the author in 2011

 

The Maiden Warrior - originally released in 2002 and re-released in 2012

The Maiden Warrior – originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2002 and re-released by the author in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2003 and re-released by the author in 2012

The Sweetest Sin, released by Avon Books in 2004

The Sweetest Sin, released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2004

Beyond Temptation: Book ONE of the Templar Knights Trilogy. Released by Avon Books in 2005

Beyond Temptation: Book ONE of the Templar Knights Trilogy. Released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2005

Sinful Pleasures: Book TWO of the Templar Knights Trilogy, released by Avon Books in 2006

Sinful Pleasures: Book TWO of the Templar Knights Trilogy, released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2006

The Templar's Seduction: Book THREE of the Templar Knights Trilogy, originally released in 2007 and re-released in 2012

The Templar’s Seduction: Book THREE of the Templar Knights Trilogy, originally released by HarperCollins/Avon in 2007 and re-released by the author in 2012

 

Happy Reading!

(Un)Happy Endings?

hulsebus-unhappy-ending-thumb-250x386-33965I’m a bit stumped. I admit it…and so I’m reaching out to any of you in the blogosphere who might want to comment,¬†to get your opinion on this.

Here’s the short version of what caused the controversy that has erupted in my mind:

I had a conversation with a colleague today. She is someone who loves books and is well-read.¬†We were discussing my upcoming Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, and I was telling her about how it was a different genre from what I’d written before – Women’s/General Fiction rather than Historical Romance – and that is would therefore be appropriate for most age groups, as it has no explicit content, unlike my historical romances.

Here’s where the turn of the¬†conversation kind of made my mind bend.

She says (and I’m paraphrasing, but it’s pretty close): “Oh, I read your first two books. I like historical fiction, so I liked the history in them.”

I think I see where she’s going here, and so I interject, admitting, “I know the¬†love scenes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.”

But she shakes her head, adding, “No, I didn’t mind the romance – I can skip over some of those parts if I want.” She looks vaguely uncomfortable. “It’s just…the happy endings! You know, at the end, everyone goes off happy…” She makes a wry face. “I read historical fiction.” (which I’m surmising she added to try to make it clear that historical fiction books DON’T have happy endings and therefore are her preference).

I was floored, I admit it.

I’ve had people tell me they don’t like¬†historical romances because they’re not “historical enough”.

I’ve had people tell me they don’t like historical romances because of the focus on the romantic relationship, which¬†often includes some explicit love scenes between the hero and heroine (who BTW are monogamous, according to the traditions of the¬†genre).

I’ve had people tell me they don’t read “those” kinds of books (which basically means they won’t read romances because of the stigma attached to romance, as books that are somehow less worthy/well-written/complex/”real”…you can supply your own negative adjective).

But this is the first time anyone has ever said to me that they basically objected to/disliked historical romances because they ended happily.

So…what’s your take on happy endings? Please enlighten me, as I really, really want to hear from everyone, regardless of your perspective. Of course I’m a reader before I’m a writer, and I have my own opinions, but I’m interested in hearing about this issue from other readers’ point of view.¬† So please, chime in! ūüôā

“Food For The Muse”

books-and-musicThis blog post was inspired through a post written by fellow writer and blog-o-sphere comrade L. N. Holmes at her excellent blog A Vase of Wildflowers. You can check out her blog through the link of its title, or read the specific and wonderful blog post that inspired me here.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how important music is to my creativity, particularly in the crafting of characterization and the scenes I need to write to showcase some of the character issues and development I need to show.

Like many writers, listening to music is an integral part of my writing process. I almost always need music to brainstorm. I have to tease the Muse out, especially with the way my life is so cram-packed and highly disjointed with all the different hats I have to wear. I need a trigger to get me into the work as quickly as possible to maximize what little time I have to brainstorm and/or write.

You may have heard of authors who develop “playlists” for each book they write. I’m not so organized that I actually create a playlist, but I do have a group of songs that seems to serve as the background music for each book. It always sounds a little cheesy to me, though,¬†when authors post their “playlists”, because what it means and how it triggers that author is not necessarily how those songs strike a particular reader.

basementIt makes me vaguely uncomfortable¬†because writing in and of itself¬†is such an intimate process, and using music as inspiration adds a layer to that,¬†IMHO. To me, it’s akin to opening the basement door and inviting readers to mosey around in the stuff you’ve got hoarded down there…all your quirky, sometimes a little tarnished,¬†or even embarrassing things you’ve collected that don’t mean much to anyone¬†else but that¬†give you that necessary jolt of emotion you need to write a particular mood, scene, or character. ūüôā

So I’m only going to open mine a crack…but¬†only because this song was unusual in the way it informed my Muse, as it¬†didn’t just inspire a mood or character element for me. It actually caused an entire scene to bloom, full-formed,¬†into my mind.

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

The Crimson Lady, originally released in 2003 and re-released in 2012

Such things don’t happen too often to me as a writer. The last time I can¬†remember an entire anything springing into my¬†mind from an outside source was when I was trying to come up with the basic plot/character in what ended up being my third published romance The Crimson Lady. Her character came to me like that,¬†fully-formed. So much so that I could see her in my mind and hear her speaking. It happened after¬†I watched a television program about third world prostitution (and no, that’s not what the book is about)…but that will¬†have to be the topic of another post. ūüôā

Copyright M. Reed McCall, Mary Reed McCall, novel, writing, writer, author, book, Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, preorderThis current one happened when I was nearing the end of writing¬†Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven. I hadn’t realized I needed it until it came to me. The scene begins on page 198 of the book, for those who might want to look it up, once it’s published in EIGHT DAYS!!¬†( it’s not a chapter, but a “past” scene dated April 15 1987). The song is “When a Heart Breaks” by Ben Rector. You can have a listen below, if you’re so inclined. It might give you an idea about the tone and mood of the scene, but I can’t give you too many details without giving a major spoiler for the book. ūüôā

Anyway, it was a perfect scene for what I needed to convey, but had no idea how until that moment. I went home and wrote the entire scene in about an hour. Except for a few edits, what you see is how it came out of my subconscious mind…all thanks to the music that gave my¬†Muse¬†a shot of adrenaline.

Find Joy in the Journey

finish lineThis phrase happened to be on one of my tea bags this morning…but it’s something about which I remind myself regularly.

Life is a journey, but if you break it down even further, each book we read, song we listen to, film we watch…and yes, each day or even hour¬†we live – is also a journey of its own sort. I end each of my books with an “Author’s Note” to give a little more insight into the history (for my historical romances) or the inspiration and content (for Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven), and those always end with this phrase: “Thanks for coming along on the journey.”

So many times we rush through to get to “the end”. I suppose it’s human nature in this fast-paced, modern world. But it behooves us to slow down and notice the moments, the details, the notes, the images. It’s all part of the lush experience, both good and not-so-good that comprises life. So, try to¬†enjoy the journey!