Genre-Hopper, Guilty as Charged

Holland Rae, Writer

As many of you likely know, I write romance novels under two pen names. Last week, I talked a little about how this makes for certain challenges, keeping up with marketing and publishing schedules, and more. Despite all of that, however, I still genre hop within each of the pen names, and here’s why–I can’t stop.

No, of course it goes deeper than that. I wrote under two names way back in the beginning because I wanted to establish a heat level for each of my names. Under Holland Rae, romance readers can expected to blush a little, but not be out and out scandalized by the erotic scenes within. It falls far more within the bounds of ‘traditional romance’, and though it might still be too hot for some readers, it is by no means erotic.

Under my other name, however, not only is the expected heat level significantly…

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Manifesting Love Club

Last fall I was working on a romance with a working title, Manifesting Love Club. I got stalled on this project when other tales with deadlines took over. I’d finished Heather’s part of the book, had started on Corecia’s love story with the other two ladies waiting their turn.

There’s been a change of plans. Instead of all four ladies falling in love in an intertwined way, they are going to be their own short stories. Heather’s story will be available next month and the other three ladies will follow.

Here’s the last snippet I’d written in Corecia’s story.

I’ll keep you posted here with news on Heather’s release.

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More Beginnings, by Iris Blobel

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Mimicking the old milk commercial…Got Romance?

Author Iris Blobel has romance, and lots of it. Her newest re-release is just one of her books, filled with lovable characters embroiled in the twists and turns of an elusive romance.

She stops in today to share an excerpt from More Beginnings. Thank you for joining us, Iris!

~~ More Beginnings ~~
(2nd Edition)
by Iris Blobel

♥♦♥ BLURB ♥♦♥

Zach Taylor, an escort in Sydney, living in Hobart, enlists the help of Natasha Peterson when his teenage friend, Mia, runs away. He soon finds out that the ‘dragon’ is really more of a kitten. And although Natasha, Mia’s teacher, is attracted to him as well, she has her own problems to deal with, not to mention her initial reaction to Zach’s occupation.

Will Zach’s job keep him from a chance to be with Natasha?

Life is good for teenager Mia Levesque. But when Darren Schuster shows up in Hobart, she knows something is up once Sophie and Mark cut their weekend away short and rush home in the middle of the night. When Sophie won’t answer Mia’s questions, emotions run high, and Zach confirms Darren’s identity to Mia. Disappointed, angry, and feeling alone, Mia runs away.

Will life settle back into a routine for Mia once she finds out about the stranger in her life?

New Beginnings have given the Levesque girls a new start in life, will More Beginnings be another chance for them?
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AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

AMAZON AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071F7FPQ9/

♥♦♥ EXCERPT ♥♦♥

Zach Taylor’s young neighbour, Mia, let out a long sigh as she joined him on his front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool lemonade, he invited her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were weary of the unusual hot spell for the very southern Australian city.

With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and stared into the distance. “Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does it on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt.”

The dragon in question was Miss Peterson, Mia’s high school English teacher. There was no doubt that Mia liked school, and she enjoyed her classes. And even though English wasn’t her worst subject, it certainly was the toughest one, with Miss Peterson piling on homework one after the other.

Zach took a sip of his drink before he replied, “Hey, pumpkin, settle down. What’s that supposed to mean you’re ‘spoilt’?”

She lifted her shoulder in a slight shrug. “You know!”

Raising his brows, he replied, “Actually I don’t know! Isn’t she Sophie’s good friend?”

Another shrug. “Kind of, I suppose. They used to do the boxing stuff together, and since Soph’s carrying a baby, they go and enjoy coffee and cake instead every once in a while.”

Ignoring his chuckle, she went inside and helped herself to cold lemonade. She opened the can with a simple click as she returned outside and took a long sip.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥
IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

Instagram: https:/www.instagram.com/iris_blobel/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/iris-blobel

Z: Zodiac Rising Series, by Margaret Lake

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A ‘Z’ book? Ugh! Here we are, down to the last day of the A to Z challenge. Most of us (those of us that are still in the challenge that is) are already stressed. We’ve had ‘Q’, ‘U’, and ‘X’ to deal with. We’ve gotten through those difficult letters and here we end up on the final day of the challenge with…Z!

While scrolling through my friends websites looking (yes, trolling) for books, I couldn’t find a ‘Z’ book in the lot. If there was one, I certainly missed it. But then I stumbled upon the Zodiac Rising Series, by Margaret Lake. Yes! Score! There they are, a series of twelve books, each one corresponding to the twelve zodiac signs. A perfect ending to wrap up this 2017 A to Z challenge.

cnj air signs

The twelve books in the series are:

Ariel (Zodiac Rising – Aries)

Tori (Zodiac Rising Series – Taurus)

Gina and Gemma (Zodiac Rising Series – Gemini)

Cancey (Zodiac Rising Series – Cancer)

Leah (Zodiac Rising – Leo)

Virginia (Zodiac Rising – Virgo)

Libby (Zodiac Rising – Libra)

Schuyler (Zodiac Rising – Scorpio)

Sage (Zodiac Rising Series – Sagittarius)

Cappy (Zodiac Rising Series – Capricorn)

Aquaria (Zodiac Rising Series – Aquarius)

Pixie (Zodiac Rising Series – Pisces)

 

You can also get the books in sets of three:

The Earth Signs

The Water Signs

The Fire Signs

The Air Signs

cnj air signs about

I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read these. Yet. Since I just discovered them, they’re on my TBR list for now. If you’d like to check the series out, you can read a short snippet from each and see for yourself. Personally, Tori is going to be the first one I read.

Thank you for following along with us through the A to Z challenge. If you’ve missed any of it, go check out some of the posts in the archives. Each day features a book by a variety of different authors.

Y: You’re My Necessary

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We’re almost done. We’re down to Y, almost to the end of the alphabet. Today, Davee Jones returns to share one of her books with us – You’re My Necessary.

youre my necessary

Andrew pulled her close and leaned down to find her mouth with his own. He kissed her softly, yet thoroughly. “I will always reach your lips.” Bea craved intimate human contact, and he was more than happy to oblige. She normally lived in overdrive every day, never heeding her deep feminine desires. But on vacation in the tropics, he helped fulfill her hopes of escape for a few days of wickedness. Andrew was there waiting to seduce and surprise her piquing curiosities Bea never before imagined. Energized, Bea slipped into a short affair with an eager Andrew, ready to feed her every yearning. Could he really want more? When Bea returned to reality, would she leave Andrew behind- as if he was only a dream? An odd coincidence led her face to face with his masculinity again and this time, she had nowhere to run. Could she return to an ordinary life, when Andrew offered her so many other ways to escape?

Want to read more? Here’s a link to a free sample of You’re My Necessary.

You’re My Necessary FREE SAMPLE

You can get You’re My Necessary from these retailers:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Davee Jones iTunes

X: X – Rated X? Heat Levels in Romance Books

X: X – Rated X? Heat Levels in Romance Books

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Ha! I’ll bet you wondered what people are coming up with for ‘X’ in the A to Z Blog Challenge. I mulled over that one for quite a long time myself. This is one of the trickier letters to write about. So in a bit of a stretch, I went with Rated X and the heat levels in romance books.

Most people know what ‘Rated X’ means when talking about movies. But what about books? Romance stories run the gamut from where nary a kiss is seen, all the way to graphic scenes that hold nothing back. How are books rated?

Romance heat levels are subjective and the descriptions vary with different publishers, and also from author to author. Readers also can rate books differently. What’s too racy for one reader may be too tame and boring for another. Publishers rate their books on different heat levels, so readers can find books in the styles they most like to read. Unfortunately, each publisher has their own heat ratings, so they can vary from book to book.

rated x

Chris and Cecelia have a good blog post where they discuss what makes one romance sweet and another erotica. Here’s what they have to say about it:

Sweet Romance doesn’t contain any sexual scenes. We have an understanding that the main characters have sex but there is no description of the acts. There might be sexual tension throughout the story.

Sensual Romance has an increased level of sensuality in love scenes, which are consummated, and an integral part of the story. The love scenes are not explicitly described even though they might occur more than once on the course of the story. Emotion and conflict run high. No graphic language or violence is used in love/sex scenes’ descriptions.

Erotic Romance is a step up from Sensual where the sex scenes are hot, the language graphic, and the love/sex scenes thoroughly described. There is an abundance of sexual tension and sex/love scenes abound. Erotic romances can push the envelope almost to the edge of erotica but the characters in erotic romance are generally in monogamic relationships and the stories are expected to end in HEA.

Erotica usually means no holds barred. Ménage/multiple partners, BDSM and other less discussed taboos are frequently explored openly. The sex is plentiful, sporadic, intentional, chaotic and VERY explicit. Language can be often crude. An HEA is not required. The only no-no for publishers of this heat level seems to be illegal or some taboo subjects (usually described in the publisher’ submission guidelines).

And that’s our ‘X’ post for the day!

 

W: White Flower Books

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Today, to celebrate the letter ‘W’, author Susanne Matthews returns with excerpts from three (yes, I said three) of her White Flower books. Lots of fun, tempting writing follows in today’s A to Z Challenge post. Enjoy!

Welcome back, Susanne! (passes the mic over to our guest)

Today’s letter is W and I would like to introduce you to my white flower books: The White Carnation, The White Lily, and The White Iris. Some of my readers have asked if I plan to write more “white flower” books, and the answer is a definite maybe. Writing a series of books where the characters continue to search for answers, while the main characters change and new characters are introduced isn’t a task to be undertaken lightly. My respect and admiration go out to J.K. Rowling who managed to do this so well in her Harry Potter series, not once but eight times.

The “white flower” books are part of the Harvester Saga. In each book, there is a self-contained romance. For The White Carnation and The White Iris, books one and three, I chose to work with second chance at love stories, both of which revolve around the issue of trust in a relationship. In The White Lily, book two, I decided to write about two broken souls who’ve suffered abuse at the hands of others and yet aren’t destroyed by it, but rise above their circumstances and find love and comfort together.

While each book is a self-contained love story, it’s also another step in the search for the serial killer known as the Harvester/Prophet, who himself undergoes a metamorphosis as the books progress. Like many megalomaniacs, the Prophet doesn’t act alone. As world events show us, there are many people who feel their beliefs are the only ones that count. Many of these groups of fanatics are led by charismatic men who can convince them to do anything. If you think back to Jim Jones, Charles Manson, or Adolph Hitler, you’ll get the idea. Unfortunately, nothing happening in today’s society shows that will change anytime soon.

The biggest challenge I faced in writing this series was ensuring that each book was as good as its predecessor. As all authors know, readers expect to be entertained when they read, and my job was to see to it there were as many shivers in The White Iris as there had been in The White Carnation and The White Lily. I introduced the concept of the Great Burning briefly in The White Carnation, expanded on it in The White Lily, but it’s not until The White Iris that the absolute horror of the plan is revealed. As I researched and learned more about the various aspects of weapons of mass destruction, the more I leaned toward biological warfare, but keeping it honest, possible and plausible was a must. I had to balance the technical aspects of the situation in such a way that the reader understood the dangers, but I couldn’t get so complicated that only a doctor would understand. There were also a number of loose ends that had to be resolved and clues planted in previous books that needed to be pulled together in the last one. To be honest, the research for this book taught me many things and I consider that a real bonus.

Because each book can be read as a stand-alone novel, I also had to make sure, the reader of book three had enough information not to find the book frustrating, but not so much information as to bore the reader who’d read the previous novels. This isn’t always an easy task, and there’s a danger of making something an info dump, an unforgivable sin as far as my editor was concerned. Giving too much information is a crime on equal par with not giving enough.

The white flower books are available individually in both e-book and paperback, but you can get a cost effective bundle for less than a US dollar.

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Harvester-Saga-Romantic-Thrillers-ebook/dp/B01KGO49XI

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harvester-Saga-Romantic-Thrillers-ebook/dp/B01N7W9OKO

Amazon.AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/ebook/Harvester-Saga-3-Romantic-Thrillers-Susanne-Matthews/B01KGO49XI

Here are the blurbs and an excerpt from each book

The White Carnation:

The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?

Excerpt from The White Carnation:

Twenty minutes later, the unmarked police sedan pulled up behind the black and white outside the brownstone. The paramedics were parked farther along the street, just ahead of the police car, reducing traffic to a single lane. The coroner’s van pulled up behind them. Rob got out and approached the coroner.

“Amos, I didn’t expect to see you here so soon. I called for a bus, not the meat wagon.”

“Paramedics were nearby so Logan got here quickly. He radioed in—exsanguination due to a lacerated throat. He’s still up there. Nothing he can do for the victim, but your fiancée is taking it hard.”

“The victim was like a second mother to her.”

Your fiancée—Amos’s words were true once, but never again. There was no way Rob would hitch his wagon to a woman who could believe he’d betray her like that, a woman who’d put her job so far ahead of him, he’d barely been on her radar at times. The sex had been great, but love was supposed to be more than that. Still, she’d reached out to him. He took the stairs to the brownstone two at a time, his lean, muscular body having no problem with the climb. He flashed his badge at the officer who stood guarding the door. “Anyone showing any interest?”

“No, Detective. According to the concierge, the people in number five are in Europe, and I don’t think the rest of the residents are home from work yet. Looks like a robbery—the place has been tossed pretty good—and there’s no damage to the door, so she must have let them in. Logan says her throat’s been slit from behind.”

“Where’s Ms. Lewis?”

“In the living room with Logan. He wanted to take her to the ER—claims she’s in shock. I told him she had to stay put until you arrived. He’s pissed at me. Says I’m interfering with his job. He seems pretty friendly with her. I heard she’s some big shot investigative reporter.” He chuckled. “Some crime reporter—she’s puked a couple of times already.” He continued to laugh. Rob’s face must have reflected the anger moving to the surface because the guard choked it off.

“Rick Logan is one of the best paramedics we have. For the record, McMillan,” Rob read the nameplate on the policeman’s uniform, “the next time he says someone has to go the ER, you’d better damn well listen to him. And as for Ms. Lewis, the victim was a personal friend. It’s different when the victim’s someone you know.” His voice was clipped, his displeasure obvious.

Rob turned and entered the apartment. He’d learned the need to remain objective in order to do the job properly, but as he’d told the young officer, it was different when it was personal. Not only had the victim been an acquaintance, Faye was in there. He swallowed and tried to find the emotional distance he needed.

The place was a mess, just as the officer had said. He looked around quickly, his trained eye taking in everything in an instant—the wallet on the table, money on the floor mixed with the victim’s blood, the take-out bag, Faye’s purse and its scattered contents. Whatever this had been, it hadn’t been a routine robbery. Someone had been looking for something other than the usual snatch and grab items, so what were they after? What could Mrs. Green have that was worth dying for?

The White Lily

The Harvester is out there…watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

Excerpt from The White Lily:

“For God’s sake, Halliday, slow down. My legs aren’t as long as yours. Where’s the fire?” Lilith said as she headed down the stairs. “And why the hell couldn’t we take the elevator?” Since Rob was a good foot taller than she was, she was running to keep up, and with the four-inch heels she’d chosen to wear this morning, she was apt to fall and kill herself.

So this is why they call it breakneck speed.

“And please don’t call me Lily. I prefer Lilith or Munroe.”

He slowed slightly. “Sorry, Lilith. I’ll try to remember that. As for the elevator, it would be awkward considering my behavior toward Mr. Andrews this morning,” he said, and she could see the embarrassed flush on his face.

“It’s okay. He isn’t going to press charges. He’s actually been quite nice about the whole thing. So, where are we off to in such a rush?”

“We’ve got a multiple homicide on Lawrence. Tom left early—it’s his wife’s birthday. His daughter has been planning this surprise party for weeks. The murder falls under Boston PD jurisdiction, but since the rule of two applies, Trevor said I could take you with me—as an observer, so keep your hands to yourself. That being said, if you have any profiling thoughts while you’re there, feel free to share.”

Standard operational procedure dictated that two people handle any calls that came in. This was for their protection as well as for that of the victims. Her father, a career cop, had drilled that concept into her. His partner had chosen not to wait for him and had walked in alone on a domestic. The man had gone out in a body bag.

“Besides, I figured you’d want to come along. You’re still trying to make sense of the Richardson case. The 9-1-1 caller was almost incoherent, but she did mention that there’s a child or children missing. I want you to focus on similarities between those crime scene photos you memorized and this one.”

“Will do, but you do realize I’ve never actually been to an active crime scene, don’t you?” she asked, hoping her nervousness didn’t show.

“I figured as much, but you’ve got to lose your cherry sometime. You’re a field agent now, and that means you visit the crime scenes yourself. Just remember, if you’re going to vomit, try not to contaminate anything.”

Great. Just great.

The White Iris

 Time’s running out for Special Agent Trevor Clark and his FBI task force. They’re no closer to uncovering the identity of the Prophet, a dangerous serial killer who has been murdering new mothers and vanishing with their infants. If Trevor can’t unlock the clues, the killer’s threats to unleash what the FBI suspects is biological warfare could mean death for all of them. His only recourse is to swallow his pride and reach out to his former fiancée, the CDC’s renowned virologist, Dr. Julie Swift.

Two years ago, Julie ended their engagement after Trevor abandoned her when she needed him most. Now, faced with the possibility of the greatest epidemic since the Spanish flu, she has to put her faith and her safety, as well as that of countless others, into the hands of a man she doesn’t trust. Can they set aside their differences to stop the Prophet, and in doing so, will they find the love they lost?

From the streets of Boston to the wilds of Alaska, this thrilling conclusion to the Harvester Series takes several turns you won’t see coming!

Excerpt from The White Iris:

Shutting down the computer, she got up, twisted her hair back into a chignon, and fastened it with her clip. Pulling open her bottom drawer, she removed the makeup bag there and took out the compact and lip gloss. As soon as she’d done what she could to make herself look fresher, she grabbed her lab coat and put it on to hide the overly casual outfit. Satisfied this was as good as she’d get, she headed up the two flights of stairs to the director’s office. She might not be ready for the cover of Vogue, but she could probably manage Science World.

Knocking on the door, she opened it. “Sorry I’m late…”

Her throat closed, preventing her from saying anything else, her pride coming to the rescue and keeping her from falling flat on her face. No. This wasn’t happening, not to her, not today. The man standing next to Brad was Trevor Clark. This was a storm alright, one worse than any Colorado blizzard might be.

I’m going to kill Ellie.

“Julie,” Brad said, coming forward, buying her a few precious moments to get herself under control. “Thanks for helping out like this. Dr. E.J. Swift, meet Special Agent Trevor Clark.”

“We’ve met,” Trevor said, his voice husky, but he didn’t look surprised. His shadowed, deep blue eyes bored into hers as if he was searching for something.

She gritted her teeth, wishing the floor would open up and swallow her. Her thumb rubbed the base of her ring finger as if the band she hadn’t worn in two years was there again, only this time it pained her. Whatever Trevor was looking for, she’d be damned if he’d find it. She pulled herself together, refusing to allow even a muscle twitch to show seeing him again upset her.

The man responsible for so many tears and sleepless nights stood there, stone-like, his face not betraying a thing. He’d always been good at hiding his feelings, and now it seemed he’d perfected the ability. The only sign that he might not be as relaxed as he pretended to be was his clenched jaw.

He’s uncomfortable—the son of a bitch should be in abject pain and agony.

As always, Trevor was impeccably dressed in a pale gray suit with a coordinating shirt and a blue, gray, and silver silk tie. His light brown hair, as thick as ever, was cut short, and he wasn’t wearing his glasses. He looked tired, but when he was working a case he rarely got more than a few hours’ sleep each night. He was clean-shaven, and the faint scent of the woodsy aftershave he always wore tickled her nose.

***************

People have asked me what the hardest part of writing a trilogy like this was. The answer is simple. Keeping track of all the story threads and making sure that all of them were neatly tied together by the end of Book Three. Many of those who’ve read the Harvester Saga ask me when I’m going to write the next white flower book. Some even provide titles, such as The White Rose, The White Poinsettia, or The White Lilac. It’s tempting to reunite the team and solve more crimes. I do have an idea in mind, but time will tell.

 

About the author:

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books. In summer, she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

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