Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Conflicts Force Your Characters to Grow

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey

 Conflict is necessary for a story. That's a big reason why the "enemies to lovers" trope is very popular. The point where the "enemies" realize they have more in common than they thought is the basis for many books (as well as movies and TV shows).  

There's something about the conflict that's exciting. We want to see the characters lower their guard and fall in love. 

But stories can't just be the main characters fighting with each other. Or breaking up because they failed to have one conversation. After a while that's not going to be much fun to read about.

The problem might be that authors may not be sure what the real conflict is. Here's an example of what I mean. If your hero has been hurt and is afraid to be open, is that really a conflict? Sure, it can lead to conflict. But that isn't the one reason why the characters are in conflict with each other. 

Instead of focusing on the hero's broken heart, how about going deeper? Maybe his issue isn't because the other relationship failed. Perhaps there were other factors that led to the failure. Maybe he had a loss of confidence due to other life experiences. If the hero's real conflict is within himself, his growth within the story can work for him. He can have the happy ending and fall in love again. 

Of course, during this journey there will be conflict between him and his significant other. And that character will have their own growth as well. Both main characters will have to do the work to be ready to have the HEA or HFN that comes at the end of the story. 

If the conflict is just the main characters making up to break up over relatively minor issues, it's may become boring. There should be more going on underneath - more conflict within the characters and more opportunities for them to grow. 

When your story has romantic elements (but isn't a romance) you can make the same choices. Their relationship may not be the main event in a story like that, but it shouldn't be an afterthought. 

The main characters may be in conflict because they're working together to solve a mystery or go on a quest. They'll have conflict and may even go their separate ways (temporarily). That's to be expected. But you can bring them back together to reach their shared goal while keeping the romantic conflict going. 

For instance, in a mystery maybe your characters are chasing a criminal because they work together to solve crimes. They disagree over the next action to take and they split up. Conflict between them - and their methods - breaks them apart. Their romance would add another level of conflict for them. 

They'll have to deal with it on both the personal level and the professional level. That can make for a very exciting story as emotional sparks fly while they pursue their quarry. In this case the conflict might be even better because they have to actively work through it, while reaching their shared goal. 

The inner doubts and fears and the outer obstacles will force characters to grow. No matter the trope or the genre, conflicts are necessary and make a story worth reading. 


Monday, May 17, 2021

HERE BE NEWS for Monday May 17, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday May 17, 2021 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:



Tuesday May 11, 2021Author Ruth Casie reflects on Twilight Zone Day in her post, Submitted for Your Approval.


       


A DIFFERENT YESTERDAY
Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Futuristic Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count:  67.3K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a
Narrated by Doug Greene
Length: 6 hrs, 33 min
Hear a Sample

The Apocalypse.

It didn't come because of man's inhumanity to man. It didn't come from bombs, or plague, or even from aliens descending from outer space. In fact, no one knows what triggered it. And even if they did, there was no way to turn back time.

Only one thing was certain. One evening the sun had grown unexpectedly bigger and hotter, and heat and radiation unlike anything ever experienced washed over the Earth, bathing it in searing rays that devoured over three-quarters of the world's population.

Now the sun is smaller, and it doesn't radiate as much heat as it used to. The world is colder. Food is scarce, and people are fighting to stay alive.

Andrew Michael Tollson, aka "The Silent Wraith", was a man who roamed from settlement to outpost to city, offering his protection from scavengers and renegades. Years ago, right before the sun had exploded, when he had been a boy growing up in a small Texas town, he had felt his first crush for the little tomboy he knew as Jo. Now, as a grown man, he has finally made his way back to his boyhood home to see if Jo is still alive, or if she has been a victim of the Apocalypse. He has to know if the dreams and memories he has harbored were mere fantasies, or if the infatuation he'd felt then has grown into something else, something stronger and more tangible.

JoBeth Wythe was a member of The Triad, three leaders who protected their little settlement, and tried to recall the carefree days before the Apocalypse. All they wanted was the chance at a decent life, with enough food, some shared warmth, and a little hope for the future. She had never forgotten the pudgy little kid who had followed her around when she was growing up, the little boy she called Mikey. Every time she thought of him, it only brought back pain and a wistfulness for a past that no longer existed.

For Drew and Jo, it was only a matter of time before they would be reunited to fight together. To survive together. And to discover that the innocent kisses they had shared as children had grown into a love that would overwhelm them with desire.

Warning!  Contains permanent extreme cold, love everlasting, survivalists, separation, a legend in the making, a brutal mass murder, childhood friends to lovers, and the end of the world as we know it.

Excerpt and Buy Links

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Bring It Back(list) - A DIFFERENT YESTERDAY, a Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Futuristic Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

A DIFFERENT YESTERDAY
Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Futuristic Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count:  67.3K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a
Narrated by Doug Greene
Length: 6 hrs, 33 min
Hear a Sample

The Apocalypse.

It didn't come because of man's inhumanity to man. It didn't come from bombs, or plague, or even from aliens descending from outer space. In fact, no one knows what triggered it. And even if they did, there was no way to turn back time.

Only one thing was certain. One evening the sun had grown unexpectedly bigger and hotter, and heat and radiation unlike anything ever experienced washed over the Earth, bathing it in searing rays that devoured over three-quarters of the world's population.

Now the sun is smaller, and it doesn't radiate as much heat as it used to. The world is colder. Food is scarce, and people are fighting to stay alive.

Andrew Michael Tollson, aka "The Silent Wraith", was a man who roamed from settlement to outpost to city, offering his protection from scavengers and renegades. Years ago, right before the sun had exploded, when he had been a boy growing up in a small Texas town, he had felt his first crush for the little tomboy he knew as Jo. Now, as a grown man, he has finally made his way back to his boyhood home to see if Jo is still alive, or if she has been a victim of the Apocalypse. He has to know if the dreams and memories he has harbored were mere fantasies, or if the infatuation he'd felt then has grown into something else, something stronger and more tangible.

JoBeth Wythe was a member of The Triad, three leaders who protected their little settlement, and tried to recall the carefree days before the Apocalypse. All they wanted was the chance at a decent life, with enough food, some shared warmth, and a little hope for the future. She had never forgotten the pudgy little kid who had followed her around when she was growing up, the little boy she called Mikey. Every time she thought of him, it only brought back pain and a wistfulness for a past that no longer existed.

For Drew and Jo, it was only a matter of time before they would be reunited to fight together. To survive together. And to discover that the innocent kisses they had shared as children had grown into a love that would overwhelm them with desire.

Warning!  Contains permanent extreme cold, love everlasting, survivalists, separation, a legend in the making, a brutal mass murder, childhood friends to lovers, and the end of the world as we know it.

Excerpt and Buy Links

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Submitted For Your Approval

Posted by: Ruth A Casie

 


Every Thursday night at 9:30pm I gathered with friends in the student center at Ithaca College. Seats went quickly, so you had to get there early. Some camped out as early as 4:00pm to make sure they had seats. Others grabbed comforters and pillows from their room and claimed their space on the floor. The show was wildly popular, stretched the imagination, and captivated viewers (well at least the college crowd where I was). We all waited for those iconic words and the host Rod Serling as he introduced, Twilight Zone.

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead is  our next stop, the Twilight Zone." — Rod Serling

We were fortunate at Ithaca College. Rod Serling taught on campus, screening his own work and mentoring students. He provided feedback on student scripts and projects and every once in a while appeared in their films.

After his death, his wife donated some of his work to the college and resulted in the Rod Serling Archives at Ithaca College. This is the largest single collection of his television scripts and screenplays. The college is the proud custodian of his six Emmy Awards.

Today, May 11th we celebrate Twilight Zone Day. The episodes were mysterious, weird, surreal and perhaps a little scary. His stories made social and political statements relevant for then and scarily so today. Judge for yourself with this, the closing epilogue for the “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”

“There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy.”

Twilight Zone Day was a quick pleasant remembrance of being away at school, being with friends I haven’t seen for many years, and having a fan girl moment with an imaginative creator.


* * * *

The Guardian’s Witch
by
Ruth A. Casie

"Ruth A. Casie has woven an extraordinary story of a brave knight, a beautiful heroine, a King, a mysterious crest, and [magical] visions. Oh mercy! What more do you need??? Absolutely nothing! Don't miss this journey!!"  ~ L. Cook

 


England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can't resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it's his. Desperate for land of his own, he'll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.     

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she'd never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can't get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they'll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

Buy Link: Amazon

Ruth A. Casie is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fantasy and contemporary romance. She weaves exciting and beautifully told legendary tales that are both rich and engaging. Her stories are full of, ‘edge of your seat’ suspense, mind-boggling drama and a forever-after romance.


Monday, May 10, 2021

HERE BE NEWS for Monday May 10, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday May 10, 2021 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:



Tuesday May 4, 2021: Author PG Forte wishes you all a Happy Star Wars Day, and discusses the beauty of the 3 Act Structure.

Thursday May 6, 2021: Author nicole Luiken discusses the pros and cons of series recaps.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

To Recap or Not to Recap?

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

 There are many different kinds of series. Some are like episodes of a TV show, with the same cast of characters and a  different plot with perhaps some overarching plots. Some are like chains, switching romantic leads every book. Some are like one massive story divided for the convenience of the reader (and the physical limit of paperbound books).

I have some of the massive-story fantasy books on my TBR pile right now. Some of them have been waiting for a while--not because I'm not interested in the story, I am--but because it's been months or years since I read the last book in the series and I'm daunted by how much I don't remember. The main characters, sure, often a few plot events. And many authors are good at dropping in little reminders in the early pages of later books. But the details? (And sometimes those can be vital.) The names of the minor characters and their relationships to each other? Not so much.

My husband has suggested taking notes while reading book one, but that seems like a lot of work, plus I'd need a  filing system, so I don't know how practical that is. Plus, it doesn't help with the books in my stack now.

I've noticed a lovely trend with massive fantasy tomes such as Brent Week's Lightbringer series: the recap. At the front of the book there's a section titled What Has Gone Before, that summarizes previous books in the series. I LOVE THIS. Can we normalize this, please? Authors often have synopses already written, just lying about... Or the recap could be on the author's website. 

What do you think? Would you read/like a recap for a series, or not? Or just the huge fantasy tomes?



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Happy Star Wars Day!

Posted by: PG Forte

 Yes, it's once again time to greet one another with that time-honored greeting: May the Fourth be with you!

I've been thinking A LOT about Star Wars lately--episodes 4 through 6--the ONLY episodes that exist in my world. Because they're so beautifully plotted. Individually they each follow a standard 3 act format, but TOGETHER--they also follow a standard 3 act format. Which is a technique I'm TOTALLY borrowing for my current project; a long neglected story I've titled Love Among the Runes, which features a city cop who's been accidentally possessed by the spirit of an ancient Norse god. 

I'm planning on releasing the first act (AKA the first story in the trilogy) in August and I'm soooo freaking excited about it! 

Here's a little sneak peek. 

What do a Norse god, a Dixie cup and a hot blonde have in common? They're all instruments of one man's destruction.

 

Meet Officer CJ Maclaine, currently serving a life sentence as vassal to the Norse god Loki. For the past fifteen years, CJ has had one goal in life: find a way to free himself from the trouble-making god who's been making his life a living Hel. 

 

But when he finds himself suspected of murder, and it looks like the next victim might be his partner, CJ realizes there are worse ways to go through life than with a deity on speed-dial.



Book One: The Serpent Sigil


Officer CJ Maclaine is having a rough week. He's managed to piss off nearly everybody he knows--including his commanding officer, his partner, her brothers AND his favorite bartender. Worse yet, the bully who'd tormented him when they were both kids has just crashed back into his life--and is looking for a handout. 


And that's all before the demigod who's taken up residence in CJ's head discovers the dark web and starts using it to trade in cryptocurrencies and illegal drugs.


Some days it really doesn't pay to get out of bed.


Read an excerpt HERE





Monday, May 3, 2021

HERE BE NEWS: for Monday May 3, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday May 3, 2021 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:


Tuesday April 27, 2021:  Author Linda Mooney shares an additional scene from her HEARTFAST series.


                     


MATTOX

The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 3
Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 61.4 K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p

Every five years, Yulen D’Jacques, Battle Lord of Alta Novis, holds a conference to continue strengthening relations between the Normals and Mutah. Both battle lords and Mutah councilmembers from far and wide are invited in an effort to prove how important they could be to each other, and to dismiss any misconceptions Normals may still have toward the people they once considered their inferior enemies.  

This time, it’s determined Mattox D’Jacques, Battle Prince of Alta Novis, should take on some of the responsibilities of running the conference. After all, he eventually will be the one to take the reins from his parents, but his Mutah “tell” usually scares people off rather than gains him respect.

Caralas Edge is the battle princess of Vega City, the biggest compound in the west. But she doesn’t want to just be a princess, and have someone coddling her because of her title. She can hold her own. It’s moot anyway. She knows she’ll never take over Vega City, fearing someone wants to get her father out of the way so they can claim it for themselves. She’s long had her suspicions, but her father will hear none of it.

She and Mattox clash like two swords when they first meet. They’re too much alike in temperament. But when the red-eyed battle prince saves Caralas’ life, they discover the danger is not over. It seems someone is interested in the inner workings of the compound, and it’s more than a little suspicious. But who? With this many battle lords in attendance, trouble is sure to be found.

A possible takeover is brewing, but everyone is completely taken off guard when faced with an enemy no one can fight off. And when it becomes a battle to the death, Mattox and Caralas discover a deeper connection between them than they ever thought possible.

Warning! Contains flying weapons, tasty grilled snake, massive troop employment, head-butting, the destruction of a compound, treachery and deceptions, and a deadly force of nature that makes two people realize they need each other physically and emotionally in order to survive. 

Excerpt and Buy Links


Thursday, April 29, 2021

New! MATTOX, The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 3, a Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

New!

MATTOX

The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 3
Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
By Linda Mooney
Word Count: 61.4 K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p

Every five years, Yulen D’Jacques, Battle Lord of Alta Novis, holds a conference to continue strengthening relations between the Normals and Mutah. Both battle lords and Mutah councilmembers from far and wide are invited in an effort to prove how important they could be to each other, and to dismiss any misconceptions Normals may still have toward the people they once considered their inferior enemies.  

This time, it’s determined Mattox D’Jacques, Battle Prince of Alta Novis, should take on some of the responsibilities of running the conference. After all, he eventually will be the one to take the reins from his parents, but his Mutah “tell” usually scares people off rather than gains him respect.

Caralas Edge is the battle princess of Vega City, the biggest compound in the west. But she doesn’t want to just be a princess, and have someone coddling her because of her title. She can hold her own. It’s moot anyway. She knows she’ll never take over Vega City, fearing someone wants to get her father out of the way so they can claim it for themselves. She’s long had her suspicions, but her father will hear none of it.

She and Mattox clash like two swords when they first meet. They’re too much alike in temperament. But when the red-eyed battle prince saves Caralas’ life, they discover the danger is not over. It seems someone is interested in the inner workings of the compound, and it’s more than a little suspicious. But who? With this many battle lords in attendance, trouble is sure to be found.

A possible takeover is brewing, but everyone is completely taken off guard when faced with an enemy no one can fight off. And when it becomes a battle to the death, Mattox and Caralas discover a deeper connection between them than they ever thought possible.

Warning! Contains flying weapons, tasty grilled snake, massive troop employment, head-butting, the destruction of a compound, treachery and deceptions, and a deadly force of nature that makes two people realize they need each other physically and emotionally in order to survive. 

Excerpt and Buy Links


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Additional Scene from The HEARTFAST Series, by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney















This month, I'm offering up a FREE additional scene from my HEARTFAST series!

It’s been twenty years since StarLight and Master Hunter rescued their daughter from the clutches of StarLight’s father. Since then, there have been a few changes at Guardian Command—friends and comrades lost, members retired, and new recruits initiated into the elite group of super-powered heroes.

One day when they’re to interview prospective new members, of the three applicants, two are a pleasant but not unexpected surprise. But the third one solves a long ago mystery they never thought would be answered.

Monday, April 26, 2021

HERE BE NEWS for Monday April 26, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday, April 26, 2021 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:


Tuesday April 20, 2021: Deborah Bailey gives us Ten tips for Blog Tours


Thursday April 22, 2021: Sign up for PG Forte's new giveaway!


 I was looking for a scene with an April theme, and I  found one here in the opening chapter of A Taste of Honey--a book I always associate with May. Go figure. 


A Taste of Honey
Oberon, Book Four 
by PG Forte 
Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense 

This title is currently out of print. However, I'm currently in the process of re-booting the entire series. Join my FB group for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheCronesNest and get a FREE novella (details below).

BLURB: 

For Lucy Greco Cavanaugh, life is a dream come true. She has it all. The perfect family. The perfect husband. The perfect marriage. What more could she wish for? Other than the chance to do it all again. To experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams. To recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.

​ As far as Dan Cavanaugh is concerned, his life has become a nightmare. His storybook marriage is on the line when Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend arrives in Oberon intent on proving Dan is her father. Even though he's convinced the girl's claims are false, Dan decides his only chance to keep from losing everything lies in keeping her very existence a secret from his wife and family.

But, sometimes, what you don't know can hurt you—and those you love. When Deirdre, masquerading as a surfer girl named Monica, accidentally hooks up with their son, Seth, Lucy and Dan are left to wonder: has their perfect, fairy-tale romance, turned into a classic Greek tragedy?

Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for. And it's more than you'd ever dreamed.

EXCERPT:

The present. Mid April. 

In a lot of ways, Oberon is typical of any one of several small towns to be found along California’s Central Coast. Clinging to sheer, corrugated green cliffs above a windswept strand of pale, golden sand, it lacks a little of the endless sunshine boasted by its neighbors to the south, enjoying instead a milder, more temperate climate and, for much of the year, a lot of fog.

The area surrounding the town lacks one other very important California mainstay as well: the plethora of freeways that grace most of the rest of state are largely absent here. Bounded on the west by the broad, brilliant blue crescent of San Bartolo Bay, and to the east by the majestic bulk of Mt. Totawka, the ‘sacred mountain’ of local lore, Oberon is virtually isolated. Set amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, undeveloped wilderness and—where the landscape and the environment have cooperated—acres of agricultural fields, it’s a hard place to get to. It can be an even harder place to leave behind.

But if Oberon was ever the type of funky beach town where teenaged girls with sun bleached hair, driving station wagons with surfboards tied to the roof was a common sight, it certainly is not that way anymore. So when Lucy Greco-Cavanaugh did happen to spy one, rolling down Main Street one sunny morning late in April, followed only a few minutes later, by a longhaired young man in a VW convertible rabbit, also with surfboard, she knew something strange was up. 

 Perhaps someone was making a movie, she reasoned. Or maybe—and being a lifetime resident of Oberon this was of course the theory she favored—a sudden tear in the fabric of space-time had inadvertently allowed her to take a nostalgic glimpse back in time to the California-dreamin’ fantasies of an earlier age.

Not coincidentally, this time displacement theory was one that she found herself applying to more and more events of late. She was thirty-seven years old, and she had memories that spanned most of those years, albeit, with varying amounts of clarity. But somehow, lately, it was almost as if all those memories didn’t quite add up the way they should. 

 For several months now, she had been aware of a vague sense of dissatisfaction growing within her, coupled with a worrisome preoccupation with the past. As if some invisible anchor line that had once kept her mind tethered in the present had been cut. No matter how hard she tried to stay focused, her mind kept drifting back to places it had already been.

Perhaps it had to do with the fact that while everyone around her seemed suddenly immersed in fresh new lives and new loves, she’d had to content herself with more of the same old, same old. Not that there was any part of her life that she wanted to change, she reminded herself sternly. She took a moment to rap her knuckles against the side of one of the wooden half barrels that served as planters on the terrace of the tea shop where she and her two best friends were having breakfast. The same old everything she had was pretty damn great.

She had two wonderful kids, satisfying work, a comfortable house, and she’d been happily married to the love of her life for the past sixteen and a half years. It was just that, after all those years, everything seemed to have gotten the slightest bit stale. She couldn’t help but remember how things used to be—

“Okay, Lucy,” Marsha snapped, “What’s wrong? You’ve been sitting here sighing to yourself for the past half-hour. You’re driving me nuts.”

Lucy frowned as she reached across the table for the pot of lavender honey. “Nothing’s wrong,” she answered. She could feel both Marsha and Scout eyeing her curiously as she occupied herself for several minutes deliberately drizzling the honey over the buttered French baguette on her plate, but she refused to return their gazes. “And anyway, I was not sighing.”

“You were sighing,” Marsha insisted. “Wasn’t she sighing, Scout?”

Lucy looked up impatiently as Scout turned weary hazel eyes in her direction. “What can I say, Lucy? It sounded like sighing to me, too.” Scout shrugged, absently stroking her baby’s head. Three-week-old Cole, who was turning out to be one of those preternaturally alert infants who have to be held all the time, had finally fallen asleep at her breast.

“Well, you’re wrong. Both of you.” Lucy took a big bite of bread and honey, and stared defiantly at her friends: Marsha with her new boyfriend, and Scout with both a new husband and a new baby. There was no way she was ever going to discuss what was bothering her with either of them.

She couldn’t believe that, with everything she had to be grateful for, she could still be so petty. She couldn’t believe that she would actually begrudge her two best friends a little happiness. But the plain fact of the matter was that she was so jealous of both of them, it was a wonder she wasn’t as green as an avocado. She saw the way Sam acted around Marsha, the way Nick looked at Scout, and she knew that once, she and Dan had been that way, too. Somewhere along the way it seemed they had lost that.

And she wanted it back. Oh, how she wanted it back! But, after all these years she wasn’t sure that was even possible.

You couldn’t recreate newness could you? You couldn’t expect to discover anything too different about the same old person you’d been regularly and intimately exploring for almost two decades. And how could anyone ever hope to recapture the exquisite torture of doubt and uncertainty that so often accompanied the first stages of love? She wasn’t even sure she wanted to--except when she remembered the way the agony transformed into ecstasy…

Be careful what you wish for, a soft voice seemed to whisper in her head. She shivered as a gust of wind swept across the terrace setting the wind chimes to tinkling in the trees around them. Lavender spikes swayed on their long stems and the tiny pink Cecile Brunner roses that covered the arbor over their heads shed a few more petals onto the table. Cole whimpered slightly. Lucy watched as Scout wrapped his blanket more snugly around her baby and Marsha picked the petals out of her teacup.





Such Fleeting Pleasures

An Oberon Prequel Novella, 0.5
by PG Forte
Paranormal Romance

BLURB:

Love wasn't always strawberries and cream for Lucy and Dan Cavanaugh...or was it? In this Oberon prequel, we travel back in time to see how it all began. 

Most of the material in this prequel novella (which is set some eighteen years before the series begins) also appears as flashback scenes in A Taste of Honey. But you can download it (and read it NOW) for FREE when you join my Facebook group: The Crone's Nest

Read an excerpt HERE

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Bring It Back(list) A Taste of Honey by PG Forte

Posted by: PG Forte

 I was looking for a scene with an April theme, and I  found one here in the opening chapter of A Taste of Honey--a book I always associate with May. Go figure. 


A Taste of Honey
Oberon, Book Four 
by PG Forte 
Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense 

This title is currently out of print. However, I'm currently in the process of re-booting the entire series. Join my FB group for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheCronesNest and get a FREE novella (details below).

BLURB: 

For Lucy Greco Cavanaugh, life is a dream come true. She has it all. The perfect family. The perfect husband. The perfect marriage. What more could she wish for? Other than the chance to do it all again. To experience once more the agony and ecstasy of falling in love with the man of her dreams. To recapture the joy and uncertainty that comes with starting over.

​ As far as Dan Cavanaugh is concerned, his life has become a nightmare. His storybook marriage is on the line when Deirdre Shelton-Cooper, the runaway daughter of a former girlfriend arrives in Oberon intent on proving Dan is her father. Even though he's convinced the girl's claims are false, Dan decides his only chance to keep from losing everything lies in keeping her very existence a secret from his wife and family.

But, sometimes, what you don't know can hurt you—and those you love. When Deirdre, masquerading as a surfer girl named Monica, accidentally hooks up with their son, Seth, Lucy and Dan are left to wonder: has their perfect, fairy-tale romance, turned into a classic Greek tragedy?

Sometimes you get exactly what you wish for. And it's more than you'd ever dreamed.

EXCERPT:

The present. Mid April. 

In a lot of ways, Oberon is typical of any one of several small towns to be found along California’s Central Coast. Clinging to sheer, corrugated green cliffs above a windswept strand of pale, golden sand, it lacks a little of the endless sunshine boasted by its neighbors to the south, enjoying instead a milder, more temperate climate and, for much of the year, a lot of fog.

The area surrounding the town lacks one other very important California mainstay as well: the plethora of freeways that grace most of the rest of state are largely absent here. Bounded on the west by the broad, brilliant blue crescent of San Bartolo Bay, and to the east by the majestic bulk of Mt. Totawka, the ‘sacred mountain’ of local lore, Oberon is virtually isolated. Set amid a tangled network of canyons and creeks, undeveloped wilderness and—where the landscape and the environment have cooperated—acres of agricultural fields, it’s a hard place to get to. It can be an even harder place to leave behind.

But if Oberon was ever the type of funky beach town where teenaged girls with sun bleached hair, driving station wagons with surfboards tied to the roof was a common sight, it certainly is not that way anymore. So when Lucy Greco-Cavanaugh did happen to spy one, rolling down Main Street one sunny morning late in April, followed only a few minutes later, by a longhaired young man in a VW convertible rabbit, also with surfboard, she knew something strange was up. 

 Perhaps someone was making a movie, she reasoned. Or maybe—and being a lifetime resident of Oberon this was of course the theory she favored—a sudden tear in the fabric of space-time had inadvertently allowed her to take a nostalgic glimpse back in time to the California-dreamin’ fantasies of an earlier age.

Not coincidentally, this time displacement theory was one that she found herself applying to more and more events of late. She was thirty-seven years old, and she had memories that spanned most of those years, albeit, with varying amounts of clarity. But somehow, lately, it was almost as if all those memories didn’t quite add up the way they should. 

 For several months now, she had been aware of a vague sense of dissatisfaction growing within her, coupled with a worrisome preoccupation with the past. As if some invisible anchor line that had once kept her mind tethered in the present had been cut. No matter how hard she tried to stay focused, her mind kept drifting back to places it had already been.

Perhaps it had to do with the fact that while everyone around her seemed suddenly immersed in fresh new lives and new loves, she’d had to content herself with more of the same old, same old. Not that there was any part of her life that she wanted to change, she reminded herself sternly. She took a moment to rap her knuckles against the side of one of the wooden half barrels that served as planters on the terrace of the tea shop where she and her two best friends were having breakfast. The same old everything she had was pretty damn great.

She had two wonderful kids, satisfying work, a comfortable house, and she’d been happily married to the love of her life for the past sixteen and a half years. It was just that, after all those years, everything seemed to have gotten the slightest bit stale. She couldn’t help but remember how things used to be—

“Okay, Lucy,” Marsha snapped, “What’s wrong? You’ve been sitting here sighing to yourself for the past half-hour. You’re driving me nuts.”

Lucy frowned as she reached across the table for the pot of lavender honey. “Nothing’s wrong,” she answered. She could feel both Marsha and Scout eyeing her curiously as she occupied herself for several minutes deliberately drizzling the honey over the buttered French baguette on her plate, but she refused to return their gazes. “And anyway, I was not sighing.”

“You were sighing,” Marsha insisted. “Wasn’t she sighing, Scout?”

Lucy looked up impatiently as Scout turned weary hazel eyes in her direction. “What can I say, Lucy? It sounded like sighing to me, too.” Scout shrugged, absently stroking her baby’s head. Three-week-old Cole, who was turning out to be one of those preternaturally alert infants who have to be held all the time, had finally fallen asleep at her breast.

“Well, you’re wrong. Both of you.” Lucy took a big bite of bread and honey, and stared defiantly at her friends: Marsha with her new boyfriend, and Scout with both a new husband and a new baby. There was no way she was ever going to discuss what was bothering her with either of them.

She couldn’t believe that, with everything she had to be grateful for, she could still be so petty. She couldn’t believe that she would actually begrudge her two best friends a little happiness. But the plain fact of the matter was that she was so jealous of both of them, it was a wonder she wasn’t as green as an avocado. She saw the way Sam acted around Marsha, the way Nick looked at Scout, and she knew that once, she and Dan had been that way, too. Somewhere along the way it seemed they had lost that.

And she wanted it back. Oh, how she wanted it back! But, after all these years she wasn’t sure that was even possible.

You couldn’t recreate newness could you? You couldn’t expect to discover anything too different about the same old person you’d been regularly and intimately exploring for almost two decades. And how could anyone ever hope to recapture the exquisite torture of doubt and uncertainty that so often accompanied the first stages of love? She wasn’t even sure she wanted to--except when she remembered the way the agony transformed into ecstasy…

Be careful what you wish for, a soft voice seemed to whisper in her head. She shivered as a gust of wind swept across the terrace setting the wind chimes to tinkling in the trees around them. Lavender spikes swayed on their long stems and the tiny pink Cecile Brunner roses that covered the arbor over their heads shed a few more petals onto the table. Cole whimpered slightly. Lucy watched as Scout wrapped his blanket more snugly around her baby and Marsha picked the petals out of her teacup.





Such Fleeting Pleasures

An Oberon Prequel Novella, 0.5
by PG Forte
Paranormal Romance

BLURB:

Love wasn't always strawberries and cream for Lucy and Dan Cavanaugh...or was it? In this Oberon prequel, we travel back in time to see how it all began. 

Most of the material in this prequel novella (which is set some eighteen years before the series begins) also appears as flashback scenes in A Taste of Honey. But you can download it (and read it NOW) for FREE when you join my Facebook group: The Crone's Nest

Read an excerpt HERE

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Surprise Giveaway!

Posted by: PG Forte

 It was a big surprise to learn that my novel, In the Dark, had been released on the KISS App. To be honest, I didn't know a lot about the App before that, and I've been scrambling a little to catch up. But thanks to the lovely people at KISS I have a stack of coins to give away (50 coins to each of 4 winners). 

So here's all the info you need to get in on that action!



KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone.


KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices!


Best of all, you can choose just how much to read with our pay-as-you-go format!


Where can I download it? 

IOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/kiss-read-write-romance/id1508942129



Link to PG's Giveaway:  

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Ten Tips for Using Blog Tours in Your Book Marketing Plan

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey

Book marketing can be incredibly daunting, especially when you're the writer, publisher, and marketer. Wearing all the hats is difficult enough when it comes to "indie" publishing, so why not look for ways to make the process less stressful?

When I wrote my first novel I had no idea that blog tours existed. As you can imagine, writing a first book while learning about book marketing was a lot. These days social media adds yet another wrinkle as authors struggle with trying to post on a multitude of platforms.

So, here are my tips for using blog tours when you want to get your book out there.

1. You can let someone else handle the work – if you hire a blog tour company they're the ones that take care of scheduling. They already have a listing of blogs at their disposal, which saves you time.

2. The blogs are specialized to your genre – the tour companies I've used can gear your tour to blogs that want to promote the type of books you write.

3. They can design marketing materials for you – often the tour banner and other promotional images are included in the price of the tour. Sure, I've created a lot of graphics on Canva, but it takes time to do even if you use templates.

4. You can pick the type of tour – for instance, if you want to do one book blast, or do weekly stops, that's up to you.

5. It's a good way to connect with bloggers – when I've done tours I've often maintained relationships with the bloggers after the tour has finished.

6. Doing it yourself can be tough – sure you can set up your own blog promos, but sometimes you find that bloggers who used to feature books are no longer active or on hiatus. Doing a tour with a company usually ensures that the blogs are active and available to post.

7. Social media alone doesn't work - as we all know by now, social media has it's own challenges. Algorithms limit the visibility of posts (unless you pay) so unless you post multiple times per day you may not be seen. Being promoted on a blog gives you the chance to be seen by their regular visitors (and their social media followers) which increases your reach.

8. You can share information about yourself –you can introduce yourself to new readers by sharing interviews and guest posts.

9. Keep the focus on marketing – sure we all want to sell books, but in my experience, book tours are more for marketing than selling. Blog commenters like to interact with authors and that's a great way to make those connections – and let them know about your other books!

10. Keep reviews optional – I host blog tours on my site but I don't host the review-only tours. Why? Because unfortunately I don’t have time to read and review all of those books (in addition to managing real-life responsibilities). My TBR list is challenging enough! Often a blogger will review a book if they want, so it's not to say you won't ever get a review. But, for me, being featured on the blogger's site is more important. You may not get a lot of reviews up front, but you never know who will see your book and want to read it (and ultimately review it).

 After the pandemic hit, a lot of authors were forced to focus on online marketing. There's nothing wrong with having a mix of ways to reach your audience, but at least for now, online is essential. If you can reach your ideal readers (and not have to do it all yourself) it's worth giving blog tours a try.

 

Monday, April 19, 2021

HERE BE NEWS for Monday April 19, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 

                            


Monday, April 19, 2021 

Welcome to HERE BE NEWS, where each monday we bring you all the latest from the fantasy romance authors at Here Be Magic:




Thursday April 15, 2021: Author Maureen Bonatch resolves to be happier through reading in this post from the archives. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

From the Archives: Resolve to be Happier Through Reading by Maureen Bonatch

Posted by: PG Forte



This post first appeared on January 1, 2019



  "I don’t read.” 

I’m always amazed when someone tells me this with a little pride in their voice, as if reading is an unsavory vice.

Or when someone says, “I don’t have time to read.” As if reading is a waste of time when there are more pressing things to attend to in life. 

Reading= Happiness


If you’re here, most likely you’d agree that there are many positive things that come from reading, most importantly, happiness. For isn’t that the root of most New Year’s resolutions? Finding happiness? 

Whether it’s through losing weight, getting more money, more time, of other goals that aren’t always easily achieved, if at all. While reading can bring peace, happiness, and more with no cost other than a little bit of your time.

For the Reading Nay-sayers


The next time someone says that they don’t read, or they have no time for it, perhaps the best response would be to say, that’s a shame. Then proceed to mention the benefits that come along with the happiness at escaping from the worries of the world. Thing like:

  • Mental Stimulation and memory improvement- To hold off cognitive decline by engaging our minds
  • Stress Reduction and Tranquility– We all look forward to escaping for a vacation, or a getaway, but sometimes it’s a long wait. Reading allows us to escape for a magical reprieve, anytime, anywhere.
  • Gaining Knowledge – Through exposure to new words, different cultures, and perspectives that may help you think more analytically 
  • Expanding Vocabulary– Which can help you become more articulate and maybe even increase your self-confidence 
  • Free Entertainment – We all like to be entertained. Reading is one way to enjoy this luxury for no more than the cost of a book, or free if you belong to a library 


…Just to name a few. 

Must Love Books


Some might even say that all these benefits may mean that reading makes you a happier person. It’s certainly one of the easiest resolutions to keep, and one of the most enjoyable. 

Perhaps instead of making resolutions that you feel obligated to make, that you might dread just a little, or the same one you make year after year. Perhaps to resolve to make more time for reading, and have a happier new year.

Happy New Year!


Does Reading Make You Happier?



Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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