Bargain Historical Romance Books!

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

Four of my historical romances – all medieval –  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 – $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. 🙂

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!

Some Bone Deep Memories that led to Writing “Moose Tracks”

Now that Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven is published, I’ve been thinking about some of the “behind the scenes” and inspirational  kinds of things I enjoy reading about/seeing when it comes to novels I’ve read by other authors – and so I decided to do a post of this sort today, for anyone who might be interested.

Mary on threadbare chairWe were pretty materially poor when I was little. So much so that when my father married my mother (it was a second marriage for them both, and she already had my five older sisters) there was a carpet pad instead of a carpet for quite a few years, and some furniture that was extremely threadbare (like in this picture, taken from inside our living room, in our little house near the lake).

Pa took this picture, I’m certain, as he was the camera-expert in the house, and I only found it recently, on a slide he’d given me years ago. I love it, actually, because of the ragged carpet pad and chair. I felt so much love and nurturing in my young life that I have no memory or distress at having so little in a material sense. My parents ensured that we had plentiful, wholesome, homemade food (with one of Ma’s delicious desserts every night!) and plenty of sturdy, warm clothing and shoes; we were living on my father’s salary alone with many mouths to feed, and we didn’t have a lot of frills, but we always had more than enough in that regard. I felt then and still feel I wanted for nothing.

Mary cyI’m sitting in the pic above with my hands uncharacteristically folded and a solemn expression on my face. Here’s another one on the left of my more usual, energetic demeanor, and on the right, from a professional photographer about six months earlier. Mary at 22 monthsI was two years old in the picture on the right and about three in both of the pictures taken at home – a happy, exuberant kid. However, my parents often told me that I was also a child who would sometimes retreat into a profound stillness and deep thoughts. When I had the kind of expression I’m wearing in the pic above – the one with my hands folded – my mother said she always wondered what I was thinking, and people often said I spoke and seemed far older than my years. I wasn’t so still and quiet very often, but I had the makings of a bookworm/thinker even then.

I’ll finish this post with some final, visual examples of the kind of happiness and love I experienced as a young child – the foundation of the life and family atmosphere that would inspire my writings so many years later. These pics are from my first birthday and were taken in the Homestead’s kitchen, next to my father’s chair (empty in these shots, as he was taking the photos), back in the winter of 1967. I am the sixth of seven daughters, but my parents ensured that each daughter was recognized in her own right, with attention, conversations, and of course recognition of us as individuals on our birthdays. Pa was at the ready with his camera, and we always had a cake baked for us lovingly by my mother (who is a wonderful cook, even today, though she is in her 80’s now).

Birthday 17 Birthday 16 Birthday 14 Birthday 13 Birthday 10

Life was good in the purest and best sense…filled with ups and downs, conflict and struggle, but also filled with the kind of warmth and nurturing that helped a little girl understand what’s really important, far above and beyond material goods.

 

Release Day!

Actual Final copy with endorsementIt’s finally here…and after five + years in the writing, another six months in editing and production, and two months in pre-sale mode, it feel very good to say that Moose Tracks on the Road To Heaven is now available for purchase in eBook or print TODAY! 🙂

You can purchase the eBook in these places:

Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo AllRomance GooglePlay

PLEASE NOTE: If you’d prefer a PRINT copy of the book, at this point it can be purchased here, from: Amazon

It will be available in print from Barnes and Noble and other sellers within a few days (there is a lag in terms of publisher availability).

It will also be available from some independent book stores, either in stock or upon request, including Mysteries on Main Street, in Johnstown, NY.

A Hollywood Cautionary Tale

gravity_ver7Writers who dream of selling their work to Hollywood someday should click through this link to read this latest blog by internationally bestselling author and medical doctor Tess Gerritsen – along with any of you in the blogosphere who might have watched the recent film, GRAVITY, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Pretty shocking stuff.

The opposite side of this lawsuit, of course, is that everything is unfounded, and the Hollywood spin naturally takes this angle. The latest court ruling seems to support the studio’s side. You can read about that side here… in a much more balanced-sounding article than the one you can read (also from a Tinseltown source) here, which uses the obscure quote from Gerritsen from several years ago out of context.

Writers be aware!

(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! 🙂

Moose Tracks Sneak Peek #3 – Meet Jen and Zippy

This sneak peek comes from part-way through a chapter during which the novel’s 30-something year old protagonist, Elena, and her whole family (which is comprised of her mother, six other sisters, and some of their husbands and kids) are sitting in the hospital’s waiting room for Pa to come out of aneurysm surgery. Only their seventh sister, movie star Alexandra “Zippy” Wright, is missing, being late to arrive from out of town. Elena is desperate for a distraction from her worried thoughts, so she’s delighted when Jen takes matters into her own hands to liven up the waiting….

Actual Final copy with endorsement“Just as she had since they were little girls together, whispering from the dark confines of their bunk-bed, Jen seemed to possess an uncanny ability to click into Elena’s renegade thoughts, whether or not they were saying anything aloud. Now Elena made a goofy, eye-rolling face at her, and Jen’s half-smile shifted to a full-blown grin.

Her sister was out of uniform for the moment, her shoulder-length, dark hair loose from the usual clipped-up knot that was necessary for police protocol, and both her arms and her jean-clad legs crossed casually as she leaned against the doorjamb. She had long limbs, strong and toned, though Elena knew that even now Jen didn’t consider herself attractive in a physical sense. Too many years of more popular classmates taunting her with names like “Granny Oakley” and “spaghetti legs” had prevented that.

But Jen had grown into those legs eventually. By the time she was out of high school and the eighties were in full swing, braces had straightened her buck teeth and she’d cut her thick hair into a spiky, punk-style, ala Prince and The Revolution. She’d been a force to contend with then, tough as nails (especially to any guy who tried to get a little too cozy with Elena when they’d go out together on college breaks) but still the same funny, irreverent, insecure-on-the-inside Jen that she’d always been.

Elena couldn’t help wondering, sometimes, how Jen might have been different if she’d been gorgeous from birth, the way Zippy had been. Zippy, who’d earned her nickname for Continue reading

Hot Tea and a Good Book

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Snow coming down outside my classroom window

It’s a snowy winter morning here, and I’m at work rather than home, but I have a lovely blending of the two worlds today in that my teaching job will also allow me to do some reading…because the students have one of their very important “Free Reading Fridays”.

Such activity is based in scientific and educational evidence…the practice of sustained silent reading, of material students choose, increases student skill and promotes the possibility not only of creating life-long readers, but also life-long learners. Here’s a .pdf document about the practice, if anyone is interested in learning more about the pedagogy behind it.

I’ve been teaching for 26 years. In that time, I’ve seen stress, anxiety, and demands for students go up (in part thanks to high stakes testing) and the ability to focus not only on content but also on the joys of learning (and reading!) go down. This is one way of providing students with a bit of time away from academic demands that carries with it some good educational benefits simultaneously. And part of the process is that they see their teacher reading along with them – so I benefit as well (and heaven knows I have precious little “free reading” time of my own in my life outside of school). 🙂 Many students have thanked me over the years for these opportunities, as they find books they never knew about (I maintain two large book shelves of free-reading novels, non-fiction, and poetry for multiple reading levels in my classroom), a love of reading they didn’t know they had, and/or a little break from the constant pressure to perform in the classroom eight periods a day.

So it’s the best of both worlds for a few class periods today.

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Advanced proof of A PLEDGE OF BETTER TIMES by Margaret Porter

My tea this morning is Twinning’s “Winter Spice”, and my book is an advanced reader copy of an historical novel by friend and fellow author Margaret Porter – her upcoming title A Pledge of Better Times (the link is to the Goodreads page for the author and book). It’s set at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries, and follows the political and emotional worlds of Lady Diana de Vere and Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans. It’s fascinating and enjoyable reading. The novel will be publishing in April, and I’m sure I’ll post another reminder then.

Happy Friday, everyone!