Friday, May 19, 2017

Balancing Contemporary and Historical Romance - How I Divide My Writing Styles...

I often get asked how I divide my time between contemporary and historical novel writing and in an ideal world, I like to alternate the two subgenres to keep my writing fresh and interesting. For the reader and me!

I began my career writing contemporary because I’d always been told to ‘write what you know’. I have devoured romantic suspense for as long as I can remember and so my first two novels with The Wild Rose Press were romantic suspense. I then wrote a romantic comedy. Throughout writing and promoting these books, my mind started to wonder whether I could attempt an historical….after all, I didn’t ‘know’ how to abduct or murder anyone as the characters did in my first two books J

Like most (if not all) writers I read voraciously and reading historical work, whether novels or biographies, is amongst my favorite choices. I love history! I am drawn to British Royal history especially, but also love the social and industrial changes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. As I was and, still am, intimidated by including real people and events in my work, I decide my first attempt would be Victorian and focus entirely on fictional characters and their emotions.

Emotion is key in romance. Love, hate, revenge, loss, joy and tenacity would have been felt in the same way in the late 1800s as they would today. So with this thought at the forefront of my mind, I dove straight in and wrote The Arrival of Lily Curtis (The Wild Rose Press). It sold a lot more copies than my previous contemporary work so that gave me the confidence to continue.

Today, I am lucky enough to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense for Harlequin Superromance and Victorian romance for eKensington.  I love that my writing has fallen into a routine that I find so satisfying. I now aim to alternate my releases between contemporary and historical…although this year, it is a little more heavy on the contemporary!

The best aspect of writing in two genres is the research – it doesn’t matter where I go, what places I visit or what non-fiction books I read, I am always looking for story ideas. Whenever I go to a new place, learn something I didn’t know before or come across a story or character who fascinates me, I think how I could write both a contemporary and an historical story around this new discovery. I usually come up with an idea for each which means I have two new stories at my disposal. Result!

I’d love to know if you prefer contemporary over historical or vice versa? Or, like me, do you like the mix of both?

Happy Reading!

Rachel x

Ethan's Daughter - coming August 2017
Saved By The Firefighter - Nov 2016
Her Hometown Redemption - Sept 2015
Christmas At The Cove - Nov 2014
What Belongs To Her - Mar 2014
A Man Like Him - Aug 2013
Finding Justice - Feb 2013

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

When The Rumors Are True

By Abdullah Freres - Library of Congress, Public Domain,

Mark Twain is famous for saying that, "The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated," but unfortunately there are times when the reports are true.

This is one of them.

The news has been all over social media, but in case folks haven't heard yet, Harlequin authors were informed yesterday that five lines will cease publication in 2018. Superromance is one of them.

We are all still waiting to hear more, so there's really nothing else to share. The bright spot on the horizon is that Supers will not end until next June, which means we have another full year to share with you, our wonderful readers and supporters.

Thank you for your concern. Thank you for understanding that we are still processing all of this. Most of all, thank you for being here, and reading our stories, and being our friends. We are so very grateful for each and every one of you.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Kris Fletcher's Winner

Many thanks to all who offered suggestions for a topic for me to use when I speak to my church group. I am soooo grateful for your input. I now have a plethora of ideas - AND I got to use the word "plethora" in a blog post, which automatically makes me feel wise and learned!

Summer, you're the winner of my drawing of a $10 gift card to the online bookstore of your choosing! Please shoot me a line ( and we'll get you all prized up.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Journey Itself Is Home

Gable Mansion, CA
Amber Leigh Williams

"Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home." - Matsuo Basho

In Woodland, California, there is a historic Victorian manse called The Gable Mansion. Built for two brothers, pioneer ranchers Amos and Harvey Gable of the post-Civil War era, it is arguably the greatest example of Victorian architecture in America.

In my latest Superromance novel, Wooing the Wedding Planner, it was part of my evil writing plan to plant my hero, Byron, and his heroine, Roxie, in the same house and watch the tug-of-war over its possession play out between them. Byron is finally recovering his life after tragedy while Roxie is a year divorced and eager to start fresh. Both see the grand Victorian home on Serendipity Lane in Fairhope, Alabama as their chance to do so. When I saw an image of The Gable Mansion, I knew that it (or some close reincarnation of it) was perfect for my characters.

I started to write down the details that Byron and Roxie would see when they first walked in. I could envision it vividly – the sea-glass chandelier in the foyer. The charming trim and chair-rail throughout. The transom windows in the sitting room. The once wood-burning stove and glass-front cabinets in the enviable kitchen. The curving staircase with French Creole-style wrought iron railing and the fleur-de-lis accents throughout. The odd pitch and angles of the upstairs rooms and ceilings and the hidden alcoves sprinkled throughout. Maybe most of all, I could see the stained glass window on the second floor landing blazing with color and refracted light when the sun dips low enough to touch it.

Byron and Roxie’s Victorian might be my own dream house. The master bathroom alone would make me sing – rain showerhead, periwinkle tiles, claw-foot tub? Yes, please! However, this house was imagined in every way for these two lucky people—together. They simply had to come to that understanding themselves.

As I crafted the house on Serendipity for Byron and Roxie, I could see the individual (often opposing) touches each would wish to implement in the interior. Roxie’s lace curtains and purple settee in the living room. Byron’s gym packed wall-to-wall in another and his big-screen television on the master suite armoire. His business brogues kicked off helter-skelter by the welcome mat. Her apron on a hook by the pantry door. A bottle of wine left to breathe on the prep counter for her. A six-pack of Stella Artois in the fridge for him….

More than I enjoyed watching their dreams for the Victorian come to life and even coalesce, I’m moved by how the eternal optimist and the trusty cynic not only learned to cohabitate but realized what the house really represents. In Wooing the Wedding Planner, they learn what “home” means, whether it’s a place, an ideal or another soul.

Writing Byron and Roxie’s story was a pleasure. I love how their house came to life and how, through it, they came to understand what living really means. Wooing the Wedding Planner is on sale now for $3.99! 

No more wedding marches for her! 

Wedding planner Roxie Honeycutt can make happy-ever-after come true for anyone except herself. Freshly divorced and done with love, she's okay with watching clients walk down the aisle. What's not okay? Sharing a charming Victorian house with accountant Byron Strong. He's frustratingly sexy and determined to keep her confused. 

Roxie thought Byron's expertise was numbers, yet somehow he sees her for who she really is. Somehow he understands the hurt she hides behind a trademark smile. Suddenly romance is tempting again, even if it means risking another heartbreak.

For more behind the story of Wooing the Wedding Planner, visit the book's inspiration board on Pinterest!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May Superromance Authors Are Having a Party!

Hi, Readers! The May Superromance authors are having a party today, to celebrate their new books - and you're all invited! All the fun will happen over on Facebook. You can click here to join the party.

We'll have lots of games and giveaways, some teasers from all of our books, and a lot of fun. So grab a glass of wine, jump in your PJs, and tell your friends!

The party starts at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific.

Don't forget to invite a few reader friends - and here's that link again so you can join the fun! 
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