Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daryl Devore shares Research & Romance

Research and Romance

I like to mix reality with my romance. I research exotic places and send my characters there – in this series – Thailand, India, Indonesia, England and France.
I have a miscellaneous file for each book and it is fill with photos of what the character looks like, the apartment or the house. Even – in the case of this trilogy – what the bathroom floor looks like in Darien, the rock star's house.

Sometimes I bump into something and I just have to use it. That's how Kintsugi ended up in my book – 

Between Despair and Ecstasy.
Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese tradition of fixing broken things with gold or lacquer to make them even more beautiful. I bumped into this tradition while searching for something else and was immediately captured by the concept.

In Between Despair and Ecstasy, I found a perfect moment to use the idea. Darien knows that his and Erika's marriage is not going to be perfect. Internet rumours, the pressures of being a celebrity, the travelling and all the other components of a rock star's life can be hard on a marriage. He doesn't want to become another celebrity divorce statistic. 

When Erika finished, the official turned to Darien. “Your turn to speak your bride.”

He lifted his gaze to meet hers and steeled his nerves. If you can sing in front of eighty thousand people, you can talk to your wife. Wife. The word brought a tear to his eye and filled his heart with joy.

He reached his right hand forward. She lifted her left. He clasped it. “There is an ancient Oriental tradition of mending things. Instead of throwing a cracked teacup away they fill the crack with gold. This ring—” He traced his finger around her wedding band. “This ring symbolizes that and much more. So much more.”

Brian tapped his shoulder and handed him an old teacup, with cracks gleaming with gold. He placed the cup on her palm. “There are going to be cracks in our marriage, but instead of throwing it away, we’ll mend it with these gold bands. The symbols of our love.”

He cupped his hands under hers. “Erika. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all the heartache I’ve caused you, all the sleepless nights, and all the stress that the chaos of my life created. And I’m apologizing now for the same heartache, sleepless nights, and stress that I’m going to cause you in the next seventy-five, eighty years of our lives and marriage.

“I was blind to my reality. I thought I had it all. A great career and too much money. I didn’t know I was missing love. The core to my existence. Then you entered my life, peeled away the false illusion and opened my eyes.

“I saw how hollow I was. How incomplete. I never want that again. I vow to be more present in your life and in our marriage. I could spend all day just staring at you. I love your smile. Your eyes.

“But you know all this. I poured out my love for you in my song, I’m Just a Man. Every word is true.
“I’m just a man.

“In love.

“With you.”

Concerned for his fiancée, Erika Bailey’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect her, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worse, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thought. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.

Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club, and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.

How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.

A Spicy Delight
Rockstar, Darian Scott and his fiancée, Erika Bailey have huge hurdles to overcome before they can get married, and Erika’s parents are determined to push Darian out of Erika’s life. Instead, Erika pushes them out her life, and given what they did, you may agree with her decision.
Darian proves there is no limit as to what he’ll do to save those he loves. However, it does almost break him. Would have if not for Erika loving heart. Only she can pull him from his darkness.
Honestly, there are moments where I would have walked away, but Erika’s love kept her trying and in the end, you get a very fine HEA.
Be aware: There are some shocking scenes, raw love, and parents behaving badly in this book.

What I loved most: While Erika loses a great deal in this story, her beloved Darian tries his hardest to replace that which he knows is most important to her.

Daryl Devoré lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Daryl loves to take long walks up her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She's touched a moon rock, a mammoth and a meteorite. She's been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life's an adventure and Daryl's having fun living it.

Where to find Daryl Devoré

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Modern & nicer take of the Woman who lived in a shoe...

This is my take off of the story about the the old woman who lived in a shoe with so many kids she didn't know what to do.

The earliest printed version in Joseph Ritson's Gammer Gurton's Garland in 1794 is most disturbing.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;

She whipp'd all their bums, and sent them to bed.

To make this a positive story, I changed most everything.

First, I turned the 'old woman' into a beautiful lady just turned thirty.
I start the book with her having 16 handsome young boys, all one year apart in their  ages.

Then instead of a shoe, she lives in a two story home that she won as a prize. Unfortunately, she had no property for them to build her home upon, so the normally mean people of her town arranged for her procure some wetland OUTSIDE of their town limits.

Thus, the mean town was no longer required to teach her children. However, the County Child Welfare person warned Sara if she didn't hire a tutor for her boys, they would be taken away and given to good people who would raise them right.

My poor little mother, had no idea what to do!

Then along comes a feller to teach the boys
But the townspeople won't stand for a man being employed.
Then the feller points out, the town has no say,
And realizing that was true, she allowed him to stay.

Little does she know, he's not there to assist.
He's there to discover the father of her trysts.

Be aware, the story IS NOT IN RHYMES.
Which is good, because I suck at making sentences end in a rhyme.

Luck Be An Angel
Liza O'Connor

Reporter, Ethan Long, is sent into the backwoods of Arkansas to investigate a woman who claims her sixteen boys were born by Immaculate Conception. Not believing in divine intervention, Ethan plans to uncover the identity of the man who continues to impregnate Sara Smith every year, leaving her to raise her sons on nothing but luck and love. He enters their home as a tutor and eventually discovers the truth, but not before he has fallen in love with Sara and her wonderful boys. Now he must face his own crossroad in life and decide whether to follow his heart or his professional obligations.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pamela Lynne shares Surrendering The Past

The Granville Legacy series, book 1

by Pamela Lynne

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense (British Regency)

In a world of honor and obligation, falling in love can be a dangerous game. Captain Richard Granville has returned to London after serving the Crown in perilous missions fighting Napoleon’s army. Bone weary and distrustful of all around him, the captivating Jane Dawson awakens his long dormant desire for more than a solitary existence. When he learns she is betrothed to his father, the conniving and dangerous Earl of Litchfield, shadows of the past descend upon Richard, bringing along memories of a tortuous childhood and his failure to protect the person he had loved most.

Jane Dawson would pay any price to renew her family’s happiness, but is the cost of marrying Lord Litchfield too high? A woman of virtue and honor, she cannot break a promise once given, especially when doing so would ruin those she seeks to protect. But can she ignore the connection she feels to the wild soldier who understands both her duty and her heart?

Follow the men of the Granville family in this suspenseful Regency romance series as they discover that their family legacy is much darker than they realized, and that the future holds treasures they can only grasp by surrendering the past.

“Ah, my son and my nephew. You have finally joined us.” The earl’s voice held a sickening sweetness that made Richard want to run. It was the voice Litchfield always gave when he was up to something vile—the performance before the mask was removed to reveal the evil underneath. Richard began to question his belief that the purpose of the evening was simply to celebrate Wesley’s betrothal, but rather something far more sinister.

Neither man responded but stood as the earl’s icy gaze trailed over his son. “It is good of you to make an appearance, Richard. I did not know if you were alive or dead these last two years.”

Richard’s outward appearance did not change as his father spoke. He retained the cold, emotionless expression he held when he walked through the door. Inside, he was reminding himself that he was no longer a child, and that voice need not send a bolt of fear straight through him. “You seemed to know enough to find me last week.”

“Yes, well, London is my town, is it not? I have many acquaintances here who like to fill me in on all the goings on. I am not fortunate enough to have friends in France or wherever it was you were all this time.” He paused once more to search Richard’s expression. Knowing full well what he was doing, Richard kept his gaze hard and unyielding. “Well, it is of no matter now. Your brother will be happy to see you.”

As the earl’s attention turned to Julian, Richard’s eyes once again wandered to his brother. Wesley seemed to stand straighter than the last time he saw him. As the eldest and heir to the considerable Litchfield estate, Wesley, Viscount Ashly, certainly had reason to be proud. However, it was not pride Richard read in his eyes as Wesley stared into his own, but curiosity mixed with something Richard could not name.

He father’s voice resonated beside him, but Richard barely heard him as the women in Wesley’s company came into focus. He recognized Rachel by the way she smiled sweetly in his direction. The years had been good to her. He remembered her as a slightly mousey, and mouthy, young lady, but the woman standing there was beautiful. He assumed the lack of a husband had kept her young and strong.

He nodded to her and turned his eyes to a smaller woman with many of the same features standing between Rachel and Wesley. She had a grip on his brother’s arm that left no doubt who she was. Kathleen. My future sister. The possessiveness in her expression hardened her otherwise lovely features, and Richard wondered at the cause of the protective stance. A slight look to the left of Wesley gave him his answer.

Captain Richard Granville was not often in the company of women. He had no sisters or any living female relations. He had often thought this was because the Granville men were so large and consuming that there was no room for delicacy, and the women just could not survive among them. There were, of course, the whores who followed the encampments along the battlefields and the occasional female spy who could never be trusted. But having so little experience with ladies in polite society, he was at first surprised and then gratified as a blush crept up this woman’s features as he held her eyes in his own. He heard the cackling laugh once more and watched as her blush intensified and turned into one of shame. She turned away, and Richard immediately missed having her eyes upon him. What was this angel doing in the den of the devil?

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Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O'Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who lit a life-long interest in 19th Century England.

Pamela cites Jane Austen as her primary literary influence and she delves into the darker aspects of Regency life in all her novels, most particularly in the upcoming Granville Legacy Series, where she explores the bonds of family and what it costs to break them.

Dearest Friends: A Jane Austen Inspired Novel, Pamela’s debut work, won the Independent Publishers 2016 IPPY Awards Bronze Medal for Romance.

Pamela currently lives in the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.