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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Can a Wounded Boston Cop Believe His Own Near-Death Vision? Can True Love Break Past the Dictates of a Proper Marriage?

My cousin and fellow Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada member Julianne MacLean has a new release: 

"Boston cop, Josh Wallace, is having the worst day of his life. First, he’s dumped by the woman he was about to propose to, then everything goes downhill from there when he is shot in the line of duty. While recovering in the hospital, he can’t seem to forget the woman he wanted to marry, nor can he make sense of the vivid images that flashed before his eyes when he was wounded on the job.

Soon, everything he once believed about his life begins to shift when he meets Leah James, an enigmatic resident doctor who somehow holds the key to both his past and his future…" -- juliannemaclean.com 

~~~                                                                                                                                      ~~~

My other friend and fellow Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada member Kelly Boyce also has a new release:

A Sinful Temptation, Book 3 in her Sins and Scandals series

"Mr. Marcus Bowen, former ward and now trusted man of business to the Marquess of Ellesmere, has returned from the brink of death after surviving a knife-wielding thief only to have his perfectly ordered life fall into chaos. A mysterious package arrives and reveals his past is nothing but a lie. To make matters worse, the woman he once shared a passionate, ill-fated kiss with insists he help her capture a proposal from another man—a man far more befitting her station than the son of servants.


The dictates of her father’s will are clear—Lady Rebecca Sheridan must put away her childhood fantasies of Marcus Bowen and marry the very proper Lord Selward. A feat she must accomplish before her next birthday or watch as her family fortunes are forfeited. When Lord Selward drags his feet on a proposal, Rebecca grows desperate and turns to the one man she trusts above all others for assistance—Marcus. But Rebecca soon learns how easily unspoken passions can be re-ignited, and how thin the line between love and friendship can be. 
As Marcus works to unravel the mystery of his past and discover his true identity, can he ignore the sinful temptation Lady Rebecca presents? Or will long-ignored desires and well-buried secrets bring them both to the brink of ruin, destroying any hope of a happy future?" -- KellyBoyce

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

H is for Hero

 By Alison Bruce
"My heroes were always soccer players."

"My heroes have always been cowboys."
Willie Nelson

Setting aside the momentary heroes who open the door for you when your hands are full, or brings you a cup of coffee when you can barely keep your eyes open during an important meeting, what makes a hero? What sets apart a hero (used in the generic because heroine sounds like the drug) from ordinary people?
"Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed."
Bob Riley
It's the job of an author to give their main characters the kind of trials and tribulations that allow the hero within to emerge. A romance author has to go one step further an make their heroes gorgeous... or at least media-approved attractive. It's practically a defining characteristic of romantic hero.

Part of me balks at that. Beauty is as beauty does. On the other hand, the paramedic that joked with me after my car accident and jollied me through the ambulance ride from hell was, in my opinion at the time, the most handsome man in the world. That impression sticks with me even though I know that he'd never make it as a model for Sears, let alone GQ.

This doesn't mean I don't appreciate beauty in men and women (but mostly men). I just like my heroes to be defined by their actions, not their appearance. Chris Helmsworth as Thor is eye candy, but he has to earn his place as a hero in the story.

Which brings us back to what makes a hero.

"We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day."
Brad Meltzer

I think most of us have it in us to be heroes under the right circumstances... and most of us would deny being heroes. Even when we knowingly make sacrifices and especially when we only do what we think is right, heroes are other people. Not us.

That's as it should be for our fictional characters too. Other people may call them heroes. They should just do what they do.

Who are your heroes?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun Friday Question of the Week: Win a FREE Book!

Waynes-WorldWeek 9 in our Lachesis Publishing QUESTION OF THE WEEK! WIN A FREE BOOK! This week's question is: You're at a red light and your favourite song comes on the radio or mp3/ipod. Do you crank it up and sing along WAYNE'S WORLD style, not caring who sees you? Or do you leave the volume alone and listen along without the theatrics?

You have until midnight tonight (EST) to leave a comment HERE or on our BLOG to get your name put in a draw to win a free e-book! The winner will get to choose one e-book from our Lachesis Publishing site (winner's choice!) and we will send it to him or her. On Saturday morning, I'll post the winner's name on our Lachesis Publishing blog and on my facebook page. I will also contact him/her on facebook as well. Good luck and happy reading!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heroines and Vixens Panel at Hal-Con Sci-Fi Convention, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Had a great time at Hal-Con Sci-Fi Fantasy and Gaming Convention this past weekend.

This was my second year presenting a panel with YA paranormal author Shawna Romkey.

Last year we did our panel on Heroes and Villains, making a conscious decision to leave female heroines out of that discussion, as we felt they deserved their own topic.

This year we got to present Heroines and Vixens: Writing Strong Female Characters. We had a well-informed audience who asked really interesting questions during the Q and A at the end.

Both Shawna and I were encouraged by the fact that the audience spent no time defending the male-dominated status quo in the film and television industry, but instead focused -- as did we -- on the strides women have made towards driving their own stories forward.

Shawna and I are both members of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, and it goes without saying that the romance genre is built on stories about women, mainly told by women for a female readership.

In the mainstream media, however, male protagonists continue to outnumber female heroines. In the sci-fi/fantasy genre celebrated by Hal-Con, the male-dominated superhero stories and fantasy tales featuring Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins and Luke Skywalker are only beginning to stand beside their sister tales featuring Maleficent, Emma Swan and Sookie Stackhouse.  

I wanted to thank everyone who attended our panel and who took part in such a fascinating discussion.

Here's to more heroines and vixens!


Are you aware of whether a TV series or film is shot from the male gaze or the female gaze? How do you think that affects the viewers' perception of gender?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2nd Annual RI Author Expo

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

I attended the 2nd Annual RI Author Expo on Saturday, November 8th. There were 103 authors, I was one of them, signing and selling our books in West Warwick. Thanks #ARIA for putting such a fabulous event together. Sitting at the table to my right was Jeanine Duval Spikes, one of my SOS. Across from us were the other two Sisters Of Spirit, Annette Blair and Lynn Jenssen!

We had a blast pitching Sisters Of Spirit, the anthology we wrote together for Lachesis Publishing, as well as our own titles as people strolled up to check out our tables. It was awesome to engage the other authors and the multitude of readers browsing the large gymnasium. Many were amazed that the four of us wrote a book together the way we did, weaving each of the characters into our own story and wrapping up all four story arcs in the last one, Moving Pictures by Annette Blair.

As we answered questions, one finishing a sentence another started, the audience laughed. One of us said, "Our writing flowed just like this." Several asked if we planned to write a second SOS, and we answered that we discussed the concept and plot ideas at dinner the night before. Currently, we are all working on independent projects, but we feel the stories for SOS II will unfold one day.

I had a few of my Ironman medals on my table near Passion's Race, which drew a lot of attention. Nestled between the New Zealand and Louisville medals was my 20th Anniversary Disney World Marathon medal. It's so cool, because the two middle pieces spin, the small center revealing a black and white Mickey Mouse from years ago and a colorful more updated one on the other side. The one that frames Mickey spins showing the inaugural date of January 1994 and the 20th anniversary date of January 2013. (My husband and I ran both! We ran several in between too; 1997, 2005, 2006. and 2010.) The spinning medal caught the attention of the kids, which brought their parents over.

On the other end of the table I had two gorgeous mannequin hands with crystals hanging from the fingers. Guess which book those bordered? Yes, Mystical Connections! Those drew a different crowd, increasing the number of readers I spoke with.

The authors chatted, signed, and sold. We gave out bookmarks, pamphlets, and business cards. During the lulls, I got and gave many hugs, revisiting with my RIRW friends--many I hadn't seen in years. I had the good fortune of meeting my cover artist in person. She's a lovely woman who does an awesome job. If you are an author and need a captivating cover, check out www.stanzalonedesign.weebly.com. Lyn Stanzione is amazing.

At three o'clock, we packed up and headed out. Lynn and I celebrated the day with a cold glass of wine! Then later enjoyed a wonderful seafood dinner. After dinner, she and I spent a few hours working through plot problems for our current WIPs and I nailed down how Passion's Spirit will end. Ha. I'm almost there! Sign up for my newsletter through my website www.christinemazurk.com to get updates on Passion's Spirit release date.

The weekend went by too quickly, but I had a wonderful time... And I sold a ton of books! I plan to attend again next year. But for now, it's time to get back to work. I have a few loose ends to tie up before the final scene comes together. Until next time... Hugs!

Annette Blair, NY Times Bestselling author chatting with fans!! 


 Below: Jeanine Duval Spikes. Holding her adult novel The Heart Sees. And Lynn Jenssen waiting for another fan to approach.