10-22 - Diane Darcy Medieval Time Travel Romance

Friday, October 21, 2016

How A #Zombie Won My Heart #WarmBodies #paranormal #romance

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. The supernatural part might make my next statement sound a contradiction. This month's topic at Romancing the Genres is very difficult for me because I am NOT a fan of scary books/films. While my younger sister would happily fall asleep watching Alien or Poltergeist, I would be a quivering wreck hiding under my duvet with my back pressed against the wall.

She also tried to get me reading Stephen King but not only did I hate the writing style, the subject matter left me vaguely sick and disturbed. Probably the idea, but it doesn't do it for me. I don't like to be scared. I don't like things that make me jump. I've suffered terrible nightmares all my life and could only sleep with the light on until I met my husband, but even now I can still wake shaking from the odd one. I'm a bit better with it all - I taught myself to wake up when things start getting nightmarish, and my tolerance for horror elements is a little higher. But I still do my best to avoid things that might trigger bad dreams.

So it probably seems hugely ironic that I've written two zombie stories. I can blame them totally on my editor and friend Dani Fine, and fellow author and friend Karen Bynum. I watched them raving over a book called Warm Bodies on Twitter, and later the film. Now, the classic Hollywood zombie films are definitely on my do not watch list. But Dani and Karen were talking so passionately about the book and with such excitement, I had to take a look at the film.
The trailer looked cute, and the description intrigued me. So I made one of those mad, random choices that keep life interesting and just straight out bought the DVD.

I. LOVED. It! While it's not the full on zombie horror film that would appeal to most, it is typical Hollywood zombies for at least part of the film. It was just on the edge of my tolerance levels. But it was also very different. Told from the point of view of zombie R--who is a bit odd for a zombie--it follows his story as he falls for and saves a human girl--Julie--and begins to find his way back to being human himself. It's a twist on Romeo and Juliet (even including a version of the balcony scene) and one of the sweetest, cutest romances I've ever seen. The book is quite poetic in its writing style as well, which appealed to my own preference for the lyrical. I even have the film poster displayed at the top of my stairs.

Not only that, but it went on to inspire three stories of my own, even if only two feature zombies. The third one--and the first I wrote--features a damaged android rather than an undead (and came 2nd in the RWA LERA Rebecca contest last year. Right now it's in edits with no set release date but hopefully soon!). So I guess I can't say I hate zombie or horror films any more. But I'm still not a fan of things that make me jump. Unless it's R...

Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies and the prequel The New Hunger are available at all good book retailers, with book three set to release in February (psst, if you visit the author's website HERE and pre-order directly there are some special exclusive goodies too).

And if the idea of zombies with a twist intrigues you, some of Sir Terry Pratchett's Nightwatch books feature the zombie Reg Shoe, or Reaperman follows recently deceased and reluctant zombie Windle Poons. Or there's mine:
Restless In Peaceville
Adorable zombies in an alternative Louisiana.

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened
A coma victim wakes to find himself alone in a utopian city he can't remember, with a strangely familiar dead girl knocking at his door.

Want to chat? You can find me at my website or my blog, but my favourite place to hang out and char is as @pippajaygreen on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Fond Farewell

from Vivienne Lorret

Judith and Sarah warmly welcomed me to the Genre-istas three years ago and I've had a wonderful experience being with every one of you each month.

It's a big family here. Not only that, but the monthly themes that Sarah and Judith suggest us are always interesting and thought provoking, flexing different parts of my writing muscles, like yoga for the mind. Being a Regency romance author, it's easy to get tunnel vision and keep all of my ideas in the early 19th century.Yet with these different monthly posts, I'm able to climb out of the "usual workday" mindset and stretch into something new.

So it is with a sad heart to tell you that I am leaving RTG. At least, on a regular basis. I will, however, return to "guest" post from time to time.

I want to thank each and every one of you for sharing this experience with me. I also want to thank Judith and Sarah for being kind enough to invite me into this amazing group of writers. <3

I'll miss you!

Wishing you all the best,


~USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke's Christmas Wish, and the Season's Original Series. Sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scary Books, Scary Movies, Scary True History

I freely admit I'm not a huge fan of horror, though I Am Legend (2007) rates in my top [out-of-my-typical-favorite-genres] movies of all time. Scared the living daylights out of me. I saw it at least eight years ago, yet I still find myself thinking about powerful scenes, nuances, and the premise.
Poster Design by Crew Creative Advertising. [Source]
Another movie that scared me--and I loved it!--was The Sixth Sense (1999). I don't know that I've ever been so spooked. What a thrill! Remember how YOU reacted upon discovering the shocking twist?
The Sixth Sense, Theatrical Release Poster [Source]

Don't we read to experience everything?...all from the safety of an armchair (or commuter train seat or hammock)? Powerful fiction transports the reader to another place, another life, another set of circumstances. I think people read scary stories and watch scary movies to safely experience the thrill-ride of spine-tingling fear.

I can't say I read horror (or scary stories) on a regular basis, though I have read some. Far more often, I come across horrific (and probably true) incidents in my constant research of Victorian-American history.
True (at least as far as the viewpoint of the then-current news reporter) history can be every bit as scary, disturbing, nightmare-inducing...and heartbreaking.

The following newspaper clipping, published in Shelby County Herald of Shelbyville, Missouri on October 1, 1890. Yes, some newspaper 'articles' in the late nineteenth century were fictionalized, but this one doesn't seem to be anything but the sad truth--mental illness likely brought on by grief and heartache.

Horrible and sad all at the same time. I think every parent everywhere can imagine the agony experienced by this mother, can identify with her loss...and realize the slip into insanity could happen to any one of us. Isn't that what makes some stories (whether factual or fictional) so scary?

Why do you read scary stories?

Hi! I'm Kristin Holt.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American west–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Americana Sweethearts (first Friday of each month) and Romancing the Genres (third Tuesday of each Month).

I love to hear from readers! Please drop me a note. Or find me on Facebook.

Website | Email | Newsletter | Twitter | Pinterest | g+| Facebook Profile | Facebook Fan Page | Amazon

Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC

Monday, October 17, 2016

Halloween ... Meh! -- Michelle Monkou

I have a string of holidays and celebrations that I don't like. Halloween ranks up there on the list.

You see as a kid who didn't grow up in the U.S., born in England and grew up in Guyana, I didn't know anything about Halloween. It didn't exist. But if it had, it would have been a glorious time because, in the smaller geographic space of Guyana, the idea of going door-to-door for candy wouldn't have been strange. There's probably six three degrees of separation when it comes to knowing anyone in Guyana.

But in the U.S. (late 70s/early 80s) where I was brand new to the country and to the culture, I couldn't mentally grasp why on this day I should trust a stranger to offer up candy to another stranger. You see, my mother didn't really trust anyone beyond a tight circle when she moved us into our new apartment either. We all came to make better lives in a world that was so different from our own. And we needed time to assimilate and figure out so much mind-overloading things.

Navigating people's open hostilities and easy suspicions didn't really leave the door open to suddenly trust them on one particular day. And then wearing costumes to get said candy, well that just seemed like crazy pants.

Eventually, by late high school, I got into the swing of things of dressing up for that day at school. Still didn't go to door-to-door. My neighborhood friends were from the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America. Their parents were equally adamant that we weren't going anywhere to "beg" for candy. Going to a Halloween party was more likely my option.

Fast forward and eventually I had my own family with two young children. Would we go door-to-door? My American husband didn't care if we did or didn't. His childhood memory was not even bothering with a costume, but going for the candy raids.

So, I did introduce the kids to Halloween, but I think they went through the neighborhood maybe twice in their lives. By then, shopping malls were participating in the event and my mother would take them to the malls and to the string of small businesses on Main Street in my city. And a neighborhood church started "harvest celebration parties" instead of Halloween. They'd have religious-themed games and candy. It was a safe space and the kids would end their candy hoarding at this annual event.

Halloween still isn't my favorite celebration. Maybe there is something deeply unsettling about the practice that still is a turn-off. Maybe it's that annual acknowledgment that I've lived in my community for two decades but won't pretend that I know the people beyond those directly in front or next to my house.

It has become that time of the year to usher in the smell of assorted candy in the shopping aisles from now through Christmas.

Michelle Monkou

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A #Romance Across Time #amwriting #timetravel #scifi

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. And my main romance series includes time travel. Why?
Rocking my Anakin cosplay on the Iron Throne!
Well. While I'm a huge Star Wars fan (and it's the universe I tend to focus on for my cosplay creations), I'm also a life long Whovian. My parents were fans. My earliest memory from Doctor Who is The Planet of the Spiders--the final adventure of Jon Pertwee, the Doctor's third incarnation, and the episode I can possibly pin my spider phobia on! His companion Sarah Jane Smith was my first heroine inspiration.
Me aged 18, with the then 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy
So perhaps it's not surprising that my debut novel and the main series it started are time travel romances/adventures. Even the book I refer to as my 'Star Wars' story--Gethyon, set about twenty years before my time travel series and sharing some of the same characters as well as the same universe--still has a time travel element to it. While not a romance, my hero accidently catapults himself twenty years back in time to meet a girl he falls for. He comes to learn and hate some of the restrictions this kind of travel carries while being thankful for it as well.

But in my main series I have to deal with how and why they time travel, the limits of their abilities, the benefits and consequences. For example, at one point my heroine has to face an ancient nemesis responsible for the death of her sisters, her home world, and even the powers she considers more of a curse than a blessing. But she can't kill her because it would directly impact the very existence of the hero and cause a paradox. She also can't leave the woman free to cause any further harm. What to do?

There are also things they can't go back and change. Their method of time travel involves a certain amount of focus on a place or person to work. So if someone dies, the knowledge of their death stops anyone from going back to any point in their life before their death and possibly preventing it - a psychological block rather than a physical or temporal one. There are also certain worlds that can only be accessed by special portals - gateways.
So it's a little more complicated than jumping in a TARDIS, though probably just as haphazard. The thing I love most about time travel romance is I can have my characters jump anywhere, any time, exploring alien worlds but also the ups and downs and complexities of time travel, and how even love can cross such barriers between those destined to be together.
Keir's Fall

Want to chat? Find me at my website or blog, but my favourite place to hang out and talk all things geek and scifi romance is as @pippajaygreen on Twitter.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Sweet Graveyard

October is here, Halloween’s around the corner and Thanksgiving’s just down the road.   Where has this year gone?

My husband's 7 pumpkins will soon adorn our front steps.  The Harvest wreath is on the front door, and my witch sign is hanging on the wall.

It’s the season of witches and goblins and graveyards.  Screen savers with pumpkins, bats and scary forests that emit spooky sounds are on my computer.  I’m getting in the Halloween spirit!

Last week I met with some writer friends for coffee and I made a Graveyard cake to take along.

Since October starts the season of sweets, goodies and baking, I thought I’d do something a little different this year for the October blog and give you all an easy recipe that is always a big hit at parties.

I found this recipe on the internet while searching for Halloween desserts that were different from the norm.
(Please answer the question at the end for a chance to win a Halloween surprise!!)

Yours truly has changed the recipe a bit.  Always short on time, I use a box cake instead of the chocolate cake recipe.

Graveyard Cake:

Cake Ingredients:

1 chocolate box cake
Bake in a 13 x 9 inch pan according to directions
Cool for one hour

Topping Ingredients: 

1 (16 oz) chocolate frosting
1 tube of black icing (make sure it has a narrow tip for writing, I couldn’t find one for this cake and had to use toothpicks for writing)

½  (9 oz) box chocolate wafer cookies
1 (16 oz) bag Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies
1 (7.25) bag Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
Candy rocks, optional

Finely crush wafer cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or use a food processor.  Icing cake and sprinkle wafer cookies over it.

Score top of cake into 12 equal grave plots

Pipe with your black icing “RIP”, “1692”, “Poisoned”,  “Salem”, “Dr. Jekylll”, and any others scary words you want to.  You can draw skull and cross bones, aliens etc. on your Milano cookie tombstones.

Cut a slit in each grave plot to insert a Milano or Chessman cookie for the gravestones.  Sprinkle candy rocks around if desired.



What have you done this year that was totally out of your comfort zone?

Taking a Chance in life can create change, which can be unexpected and a good thing!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Classic Scary Tales by Lynn Lovegreen

This month’s theme is “Why I read scary books/watch scary movies.” Personally, I am not into horror. I get enough adrenaline in my day-to-day life, thank you. But I do appreciate a good psychological mystery or thriller. Two of my favorite authors in this genre are Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James.
You probably read some Poe in school. I love how he creates narrators that are scary-crazy yet human enough to be believable. The main character in “The Cask of Amontillado,” for example, really expects you to admire his wit and appreciate how he walled up his enemy, but he is intelligent. And I love “The Raven” and how Poe’s word choice creates the perfect tone for that dark night.

Henry James is best known for his literary novels. He doesn’t have a lot of thrillers in his works, but James’ The Turn of the Screw is a great ghost story. He uses his keen understanding of the human mind to create a Gothic novella worth reading on Halloween night.

Cooperstown Graveyard by TheBrassGlass via Morguefile

Some people prefer contemporary authors, but I find myself going back to the classics fairly often. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned—that would explain why I write historical fiction myself! ;-) But I also enjoy the way these authors write. They prove you don’t need blood and guts to scare a reader. I recommend you try one of these the next time you want something to give you the chills. 

Enjoy the season, whether you’re into super-scary or something just a bit spooky!

Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com.