Friday, May 31, 2019

Feeling alive... by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive. - Fennel Hudson

May is the fullest, most poignant, and arguably the most beautiful month of the year. Fifty-one years ago on the 26th, I graduated from high school. A year ago that day was my brother's funeral. My father-in-law's birthday is the 27th, our wedding anniversary the 29th. Our daughter-in-law Tahne was born on May Day. I met my husband in May a few days after he got his draft notice and two months before he left for basic training. Memorial Day is celebrated in solemnity and gratitude. The Indianapolis 500 is run in May, as is the Kentucky Derby.

This time is a microcosm of life-as-we-know-it. It is joyous and grief-filled in turn, exhaustingly busy but interspersed with gentle days of birdsong and flowers blooming and dinner off the grill. 

It has dark moments and a sometimes sagging middle. Times of sheer light and joy and times of happily-ever-after. It is populated with people we love, people who interest us, people we wish we could have somehow avoided. It navigates every emotion known to...anyone. It has excitement and passion and heartbreaking loss. 

May 29, 1851, Sojourner Truth delivered her "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. “And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne 13 children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?”

On May 15, 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association.

May 20-22, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman (and only the second pilot) to fly nonstop and solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that segregation of public schools "solely on the basis of race" denied black children "equal educational opportunity" even though "physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may have been equal. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

On May 21, 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

Margaret Fuller, the first female foreign correspondent, and Arabella Mansfield, the first American woman attorney, were born in May. So were Golda Meir, Nellie Bly, and Florence Nightingale. (Many of these citations are available on I went there to look things up and didn't want to leave... - lf)

The month of May is a romance novel, isn't it? Better some years than others, but full of everything that makes a good story. Strength, emotion, accomplishment, empowerment, relationships of all kinds. The woman’s journey told by ones who both understand and embrace it.

What a good time it is.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

When Fiction Mimics reality @PeggyJaeger #RomanceGems

Three years ago my lovely daughter was in the wedding party of one of her best friends and sorority sisters from college. The bride hailed from one side of the country, the groom, the other. Where to have their ceremony so that all could participate proved quite the question for them.

They decided to have a "destination" wedding, but the destination was in the continental US so that both families could attend without breaking their bankbooks on air fares, exorbitant hotel fees and the thousand other little wedding costs that pop up. They chose a venue where they could have the marriage ceremony, the reception, the afterparty, and where  the guests could stay, all in the same place. My daughter jokingly called it "a one-stop wedding."

It's amazing how something like that simple statement can spark an idea.

The moment she uttered those words a new book series jumped into my mind. By that afternoon I had a vague outline of a three book arc. By the next morning, a detailed synopsis of each.
The very next day I started to write the first book in the series.

I envisioned a small New England town ( hey, write what you know, right?) and a family who owned and operated a bridal business. 3 sisters. One is the wedding planner; one is the JP/Officiant; one owns the Inn where the receptions occur, the guests stay, and the couple can be married in a beautiful gazebo.

A Match Made in Heaven was born. Now, before you think this is a Christian or Inspirational romance, know that it's not. The name HEAVEN is the town in New Hampshire I invented for the sole purpose of the books.

Book 1, DEARLY BELOVED, was released in November 2018, with books 2 and 3 coming this year and 2020.

It's been such a blast writing this series. I love the sisters, I love their feisty 93 year old grandmother, Nanny Fee, and I lovelovelove the men I've paired the sisters with.

Again, as a writer I'm always looking for story ideas. It's so nice when one falls into my lap, fully formed. You can view all my Pinterest ideas for the book on my Pinterest boards:
Cathleen & MacIzzy's shower, Maureen & LucasMaureen's Aprons, Nanny Fee,  O'Dowd,

Oh, and BTW, the book's dedication is to that happy couple:

For Shanel and Isaiah—
it was your beautiful wedding that sparked the idea for me to write an out-of-town wedding series. Blessings and Happiness on you both, for always. 

See you next month ~ Peg

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Girl At The Beach by Nora LeDuc

Boars Head at Hampton, NH

Summer is approaching and that means vacation time. I flip through my memories of the places I love to visit and hit pause when I reach Hampton Beach. Flashes of sunshine and a glimmering sea flood my mind. This will be my first stop on my warm weather travels.
FYI the NH coast is about 18 miles long. Plenty for me. I’ve enjoyed many a perfect day lulled by rolling waves, daring to go up to my ankles in water that seldom reaches above 72 degrees, or reading under my umbrella. If you’re lucky, you can arrive during one of the beach’s big events such as the June annual Master Sand Sculpture Contest. Two hundred tons of sand are hauled into Hampton for the festivity that features a $15,000 grand prize. If you can only come after sunset don’t despair. The entire area is illuminated for night viewing for two weeks.
When you’re ready to explore, you can cross the street to the shops, the arcade, mini golf, and the casino that sponsors big-name events. Follow the odors of fried dough, pizza or onion to a large choice of kiosks.

Sometimes, I’ll eat at the Seaside Ketch Restaurant. I always sit on the second floor with views of the ocean. I remember a foggy afternoon—no view and rather chilly. My husband and I sat inside the glass seating area. As I debated what to eat, I noticed a brave soul, a young woman, on the porch.   
She was talking to the waitress. A menu lay in front of her and another by an empty chair. She was dressed in a blue sundress with a flower in her long brown hair. A date, I thought, but where was the missing dining partner? I was intrigued. Time ticked by. She often looked at her watch or swiveled in her seat to glance at the door. People came and went, but none for her. The server checked in with her twice more, and finally she ordered.

I felt a stab of disappointment for her. My husband and I ate our meals and left. We took a long walk down the boardwalk and back to our car parked below the restaurant. As I looked up to the porch, I caught sight of the brown-haired girl. She was still there and across from her sat a young man! He was nodding his head as she talked to him, and they held hands across the table.

My faith in love was restored. Often when I sit down to write about my characters struggling with their relationships, my thoughts wander and I remember the girl at the beach.

Happy reading, my friends. May all your dreams come true.  ~Nora.

Since May is our month to honor Mothers, here is my book Sweet Dreams, Baby with single mom Harper Buchanan.

Harper has devoted herself to creating the perfect life for herself and three-year-old Gracie until her life is turned upside down when her estranged father Judge Shaw Buchanan aka "the hanging judge" is shot on the day his wife’s funeral. Enter PI Finn O’Rourke. Harper finds herself drawn to his looks, smarts and self-reliance, but she’s fallen for the wrong man before and vows not to again.

Don’t forget our Monthly Giveaway page and enter for a chance to win one of the many great ebooks that spotlight our heroes and she-roes!

Be sure to visit our monthly giveaway page and enter for a chance to win one of the many great ebooks that spotlight our heroes and she-roes!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Quiet Hero by Kara O'Neal

Growing up, I've had many people in my life who became heroes to me. In my childhood, I stood in awe of police officers and firemen, soldiers and EMT personnel. And I am still moved by their sacrifices and courage.

But as I matured and went through many ups and downs, I discovered heroism exists in others, as well. There's something to be said for the person who listens quietly while you fall apart. Or those who speak for you when you can't find the words. Those who encourage you, even when they are suffering with their own troubles.

And there are those who have trials greater than your own, who manage to handle these problems without resentment or anger. Not that people who are having difficulties can't show their anger and frustration. But I'm always amazed by the person who stands as a lighthouse in the midst of their storm.

One such person was my brother...

                                         My brother          My husband

He is the youngest of four children. His older siblings are all girls. Can you imagine that? All the drama he had to deal with? All the silliness and the talking?

When we were growing up, I never thought any of the above might bother him. He always seemed happy to go along with us, falling into whatever what we got ourselves into. But at some point in my growing-up years, I realized strong emotions, when dealt with regularly, can irritate even the best of us.

Still, knowing this, I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever seen him lose his temper or his patience. He is thirty-seven. I am forty-three. That's a lot of years and a lot of suffering that has gone by without a word of censure from him.

And watching him, I learned a great lesson.

There is no reason to treat anything with anger or resentment. You can get better results by being patient. By listening. By waiting.

Perhaps he discovered this as a child, when he had to work so hard to learn to talk and walk.

My brother had Febrile Convulsions as an infant. Also known as seizures. His doctors said he'd never walk or talk, but that's not what happened. Oh, it took him longer than others, but with a quiet and solid strength, he overcame his illness. And he's extremely successful now and played 13 years of soccer and graduated from Texas A&M, gaining a degree which allows him to make more money than I do.

All this said, he was the inspiration behind one of my favorite heroes, Thomas Miller. Thomas is the brother of three spinster sisters in The Miller Brides. It's quite obvious Thomas longs for peace from his very chatty household, but he never loses his temper with his sisters. In fact, he is their protector, their support. It might make him cranky -- crankier than it ever made my brother -- but Thomas gives all to his sisters, and walks each of them down the aisle.

My brother and my character, Thomas Miller, are heroes without putting their lives on the line daily. They support and care and protect with a quiet, steady demeanor and allow their sisters to be the ladies they choose to be. I love my brother, and I will always appreciate what he has taught me.

You can purchase The Miller Brides here:

Barnes and Noble
Google Play
Book Bub

You can find me at the following places:


Monday, May 27, 2019

In tribute to Moms @PeggyJaeger #RomanceGems

For decades before I ever wrote commercial book length fiction, I wrote non-fiction articles about two topics near and dear to me: Nursing - my chosen Profession - and Motherhood. My spot at the end of the month here on the blog means I missed posting something about Mother's Day, so if you could please indulge me for a few minutes, I'd like to do that now.

In 2005, a little piece I wrote about being a mother was included in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOM'S SOUL edition of the CSFTS Series.

It was titled MOTHERHOOD: A Transformation. Here is some of the text for that piece:

"Once upon a time I was a nurse, a writer, and a wife. Then, one day, I had a child. I became a mother.

Added to the list of things I previously was and did, I became: a chauffeur, cook, dresser, wiper of dirty faces, a cleaner of soiled bottoms, a retriever of thrown socks, a finder of lost shoes, a helper of homework, an insomniac. I was referee in toy wars, a slayer of nighttime dragons, a soother of nervous school jitters. I was a room mother, a den mother, a leader of scouts, and one day, mother of the bride. I calmed tantrums and bolstered fragile egos.

Once upon a time my name was Peggy. Then I became a mother and had as many aliases as a con men. I became - at various times - mm, ma-ma, Ma, Mommie, Mom, Mother, MOTHER!!, and for a very brief period of mental vexation, Peg.

My house, once orderly, became a disordered jumble of toys, stuffed animals, dried peas, and empty strew formula bottles; a carpet of clutter and chaos; a dwelling in disarray.

I was a Mother. I was an icon. I'd done something no man had ever done, accomplished a feat so death defying and magical that many wouldn't attempt it. I became a mother. And in so doing, I became all that I was, all that I ever wished to be."

There's a lot more to the piece, so if you're so inclined to read it, the book is still available at

This past year I was honored to meet Jack Canfield in person at a conference. I introduced myself and he graciously autographed the copy of my Chicken Soup book from its 2005  release. Meeting him was one of the top 10 days of my life.

So, here's to every mother. It doesn't matter if the child came through your body, or from your heart. You are an icon. You are a rock-star. You are the reason the world continues on. And you are a hero. Bless you for who - and what - you are and do.

Because this is a day of remembrance in the US, Happy Memorial Day. Please, spend a silent moment thanking all those who served and sacrificed for our country so that we could be free to write what we want, read what we want, and follow our dreams without the worry of persecution. Freedom isn't free, and those who gave their lives to ensure we could live that way deserve to be remembered and honored - every day of the year! If you see someone who served, or know someone who has, thank them today.

And in keeping with our RomanceGems theme this month, we are honoring SHEROES and HEROS and I think every Mom on the planet is a SHE-RO!

Maya Angelou, an unofficial Poet Laureate of America, may have been the first to refer to women as She-roes rather than as heroines.

Let's own the word She-roes, and let's celebrate them all from stay-at-home Moms to Moms in the workplace and Moms who save lives and win Purple Hearts from combat wounds. (Yes, there are more than 50 who have.)

Let's celebrate the women and men of our police forces and fire departments, ambulance crews, nurses, doctors, and all branches of the military in all countries. Take a moment to thank them for their service. What they all do takes courage and determination and a strong moral compass to do the job and do it well.

Heroes and She-roes Celebration Rafflecopter

Our policies concerning Promotions and GiveawaysEligibility, and Prize Award Procedures are shown on our Monthly Giveaway Page. Please read. We strictly adhere to those policies.

Rafflecopter starts May 4, Saturday, and runs through May 29, Wednesday. All of our Authors are participating.

Read all about it here

My book THE VOICES OF ANGELS ( MacQuire Women #4) is one of the prizes that will be awarded.
Carly Lennox is the kind of mother I would want to be - and the kind I would want to have!

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Happy Belated Mother's Day!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Coffee and Conversation with the #Romance Gems

It's time for Coffee and Conversation with the Romance Gems! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us for some fun. This month's topic is: Best gift given or received

It’s the season of giving – no, not Christmas! Rather the weeks that hold Mother’s and Father’s Day here in the USA. A time when many exchange gifts. So, tell us, what is the best gift you’ve ever given or received? A macaroni necklace or diamond ring? A vacation, poem, card, pet, or warm hug?

“Playing Santa one year, I gave my daughter a saddle. Santa had skipped her Christmas morning, but when she returned to my house, Santa had left the saddle. Unfortunately, at that time, he didn’t leave the horse.” ~ Jan Scarbrough

"The best gift I've ever received for Mother's Day was my first child. She came eleven days earlier than expected and was born the day before Mother's Day that year. An amazing gift that keeps on giving joy!" Bonnie Edwards

“When my three children were younger, my husband would take them on Mother's Day and go visit his mother. This would leave me alone to have some time for myself. I saw them every day all year long so the gift of alone time was fabulous.” Kari Lemor

“I don't have children, and my parents are long gone. However, the best Mother’s Day gift I've ever received was when my stepson wished me a Happy Mother's Day and went with my husband and me to take me out for dinner. It was the one and only time he'd ever acknowledged me as his step-mother.” ~ Constance Bretes

"The best gift I ever gave was to my mother. She'd been struggling financially since my father's passing a few years before. I happened to be blessed with a very decent advance on a book deal and used it to pay off all her debts just in time for her 75th birthday. They say money can't buy happiness but I think, in this case, they were wrong." ~ Nancy Fraser

"A gift that stands out for me is one I gave my elderly aunt back in the 1990s. For years she'd been writing poetry and had been offering it for publication in her church bulletin and in various periodicals in exchange for free copies. She would make Xerox copies of these poems and send them to me, the niece who got her writing gene. So one Christmas I compiled her poems into a booklet we were able to mass produce via our computer. We slapped a cardstock cover on it, picking up the title from one of her poems (The Golden Hour and Other Poems by Marie Gray) and comb bound it. We put 30 copies of the book in a box and sent it to her for Christmas. You would have thought I'd given her a million dollars. I don't think I've ever given or received a gift that brought me so much pleasure." ~ Cheryl Bolen

"When I was a teenager, I showed horses. One Christmas my parents went in and got me a beautiful show saddle with sterling silver decorations that I'd been told we couldn't afford. Best. Gift. Ever." ~ Karen Whiddon

"I have two favorite gifts, but there’s a common theme. The first was when Mr. H. gifted me my first RWA (Romance Writers of America) Conference trip back in 2010, held at Disney's Swan & Dolphin Resorts. I was a newbie writer—totally overwhelmed—yet the experience gave me the inspiration and push I needed to finish my book. Next was when my daughter surprised me with a 'girl’s getaway' to Disney. My grown-up daughter, buying us matching t-shirts and mouse ears? Magical memories, indeed!"
~ Kathryn Hills

"The best gift I have received is my birthday gift in 2001. My Hero and I went on a 25-day tour of Ireland, England, Scotland, and one town in Wales. It was a lovely tour and I hated for it to end. This was not our first British tour, but was the longest. Hero and I saw lovely places and hope to return someday."
~ Caroline Clemmons

"The best gift I’ve given was a few years ago. I made two recipe books for my daughters. The pages were filled with hand written recipes from their great grandmothers and other family members. When they opened them on Christmas morning we laughed and cried over the memories. Putting together these books was a labor of love and I’m glad I did for my daughters. Now they have a tiny reminder of the women who came before them." ~ Lucinda Race

"Growing up a girl, I was never given Santa presents that weren't specifically made for XY gene types. I begged for Roc'Em Soc'Em robots for 3 three years, from aged 5-8. Never got it because it wasn't a girl themed toy - so I was told! Flash forward 30 years and I mention this around the in-law table one night before Christmas. On Christmas morning there was big, red-bow-tied present under the tree for me, with a card that read: Sorry this took so long, Love Santa. Yup, you guessed it - Roc'Em Soc'Em Robots courtesy of my very own Santa spouse. Best. Gift. Evah!!!" ~ Peggy Jaeger

"My favorite Mother's Day gift was a preschool plaster hand-print impression from both of my sons. They are adults now, with large manly hands, but I still get teary-eyed at the memory of those tiny hands clutching mine."
~ Connie Vines

"In the movie, Shall We Dance starring Antonio Banderas and Susan Sarandon, there's a line Sarandon says that really explains the greatest gift I've ever received. The line goes like this, 'I wish I could give you a gift that comes in a box.'
Well, I wish I could tell you about a gift that came in a box, but the greatest gift I ever received was my husband. Through thick and thin—a lot of thin in the beginning—we've had each other. I've always thought it was Destiny... Fate lending a hand. When he was in high school he bought his first car. He'd been cleaning the car and had removed the back seat. The gleam of gold caught his eye. He found a small plain gold wedding band. He picked it up and put it on his key ring where he carried it for many years. When we "found" each other, we wanted to be married to each other. We didn't think about nitpicky details like planning a wedding. We just wanted to belong to each other. We got a marriage license and met with a the minister who asked if we had rings. After a moment of hilarious blank looks at each other, Larry pulled out his key ring and removed the gold band. The minister smiled and began the ceremony. When Larry slipped the gold band on my ring finger, it fit perfectly, and I wear a small size. That was over 40 years ago. Even though I have a more expensive, rather unique ring now, I still wear the plain gold ring too. It's my Cinderella ring. P. S. One of these days, I'll write a book entitled The Cinderella Ring!" ~ Joan Reeves

"When my husband was in the Army he had a short layover in Iceland. He bought me a blue carnation and gave it to me when he landed in Dallas. He still gives me blue carnations."
Karen Kelly

"I always think the best, most meaningful gifts don’t carry a hefty price tag, but have a lot of thought involved. I take credit for this one. My father-in-law was a carpenter who built many homes in the area over his career. After he retired, I got his kids together to compile a list. It took a while, but they all helped snap photos of every home their father ever built, which I mounted into an album (pre-digital days) as a Father’s Day gift. It was so cool to see his reaction as he flipped the pages, viewing photos of his legacy. He could not believe they remembered them all, even some he had forgotten about." ~ Kathleen Lawless

Okay, it's your turn to join the conversation! We'd love to hear from you. Add your comments below or send via email through the "contact us link on the bottom of the left sidebar. You can also make suggestions on what you'd like to discuss here in the future.

Thanks for joining us!

~ The Romance Gems ~

Don’t forget our Heroes & She-Roes Contest! BUT HURRY! This contest ends on Wednesday, May 29. For a chance to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card and Bundles of Ebooks, click here to enter our RAFFLECOPTER

Saturday, May 25, 2019

On Writing Series Romances by Cheryl Bolen

Series. Nancy Drew. Miss Marple. Sam Spade. All these series of books have two things in common: their hero/heroine is a continuing character and they are mystery novels.

What I fail to understand is why in the heck romance series are so crazy popular right now. You can't have as your hero/heroine the same continuing character (except in rare cases, like the Real Vampire series by Gerry Bartlett). A romance writer's promise to the reader is a happily ever after for her hero/heroine. Sure, I understand the readers love to revisit characters they've come to love.

My first two published books were both stand-alone romance novels set in Regency England (1998's A Duke Deceived and A Lady by Chance, 2000). These books are still among my readers' favorites, and I believe it's because of the rich secondary romance subplots these books offered the reader. Most authors nowadays hold off on secondary romances for subsequent books in their series.

My First Series – Six Books in 12 Years

In 2002 I made the move into series with my Brides of Bath. Originally, the series was to be a trilogy. Then after those three books were successfully published by Kensington Zebra (only in mass market paperback in those days), my publisher came back and asked for a fourth book. Unfortunately, I killed off a popular character from one of my subplot romances in the first book, The Bride Wore Blue, in order to come up with a fresh new plot. That fourth book is now titled To Take This Lord. (It was originally titled An Improper Proposal, which had nothing to do with the story.) 

I won't be killing off any more popular characters again.

Several years after those four Brides of Bath books had been selling very well in new packaging as print and eBooks, readers kept asking for more connected stories. The earlier books featured a pair of twin brothers in a secondary role as friends of the hero(es). The elder of the Steffington twins is a baronet. His minutes-younger brother is a scholar of some repute.

It is the scholar who became the hero of the fifth Brides of Bath book, Love in the Library. He was my first nerd hero. And I had so much fun awakening his sexual desires. Fans enjoyed the mystery and characters from the previous books, along with one sexy scholar.

I wrapped up the series with a sixth offering, a Christmas novella titled A Christmas in Bath. It, of course, offered a fresh new romance with previously introduced secondary characters. It also afforded me the opportunity to tie up a couple of loose ends that readers had occasionally complained about in reviews.

Turning Those Stand-Alones into Series

Since I now also wear a publishing hat, I quickly learned that series wa-a-a-ay outsell stand-alone books. So, fifteen years after Kensington published my popular Lady by Chance, I decided to turn it into a series, titling the series House of Haverstock, after the hero of Lady by Chance, Lord Haverstock. Book 2 is titled Duchess by Mistake and Book 3, Countess by Coincidence. I later added a Christmas novella, uniting two previously introduced characters and titling it Ex-Spinster by Christmas.

The series has done very well. I believe it’s because Book 1 did so well. It was first a Kensington Precious Gems, sold in Walmarts. I don’t know how large the print run was, but it was pretty healthy. It was also in a very successful four-book boxed set that made it to number four on the New York Times bestseller list, so those sales were huge. Then as my own indie book I do know it’s sold over 80,000 copies. So when Book 2 came along, it sold like crazy.

After more than 20 years, I finally got back the rights from Harlequin Historical on my first published book, A Duke Deceived, originally published only in paperback in 1998. Later this year it will be republished as Book 1 of the Deceived Series. It’s being repackaged now.

My Romance With a Continuing Couple

I do have one series with a continuing couple. I call my Regent Mysteries series a lighthearted historical romantic mystery. It’s a mouthful. In Book 1 (With His Lady's Assistance) the Regent’s life is threatened and he sends for Wellington’s most gifted spy to find the culprit. The problem is this army captain (whom the plain heroine dubs Captain Sublime) isn’t high class and therefore cannot mingle in the highest echelons of English society. The Regent has just the woman! My highborn, discreet heroine helps him mingle by pretending he’s her betrothed. Of course, they fall in love. It’s laugh-out-loud funny (readers say). In Book 2, they tie the knot. In Book 3, they travel to Egypt for the Regent, along with her sister, whose romance (a triangle) is told here, and there’s a Christmas novella in which Captain Jack and his Daphne solve a fresh crime for the Regent while another couple get their happily-ever after. For me, I’ve gotta have a happily-ever-after romance in every book.

They Don’t All Succeed

I’ve had good success also with my Brazen Brides series of five books, the first two published by Kensington in 2005 and the last three indie published.

And last year I took two other stand-alones and rewrote them to make them the Lords of Eton series, adding a fresh third book this year. This series has done well.

But I’ve had another “series” that has not been a success for me. It may be because it’s a contemporary series, and my reputation has been in historical. Indeed, 34 of my 40 books are Regency romances.

Another reason my Texas Heroines boxed set does not sell well may be that the characters in the four books are not connected in any way. All four are romantic suspense. All four feature a Texas heroine in distress. That’s where the connection ends. I will say all four get stellar reviews, so that’s not the problem. I have many readers still say one of those books (Murder at Veranda House) is one of their favorite books.

I have another off-genre book, a World War II historical, that won a lot of awards and that a lot of readers adore, some saying it’s their favorite book. That book (It Had to Be You) does not sell, either.

I truly believe readers don’t cross genres for authors. And I think that’s the main reason Texas Heroines doesn’t sell.

But I do know that series sell well in today’s marketplace, and you’re missing out if you’re not writing them. In the same genre.—Cheryl Bolen’s latest release is Last Duke Standing, a Lords of Eton book. Visit her website at