Have you ever slipped on a pair of shoes that fit perfectly?
Soft, dreamy leather. Straps not too tight.
Heels not too high. You don’t want to feel like you’re about to go over a cliff.
And get this, it’s a glass slipper.
When I entered my Civil War time travel romance, LOVE ME FOREVER, in the Kindle Scout program*** I didn’t realize there was a technicolor ending in my future.
I went to Oz.
I mean, Monterra.
When Sariah Wilson asked romance KS winners if we’d like to write in her Royals of Monterra Kindle World, I jumped at the chance. I love princess stories (check out my Princess video!) I wrote ROYAL DARE about Princess Violetta, who appears in Sariah’s ROYAL DATE. Violetta has a drug problem so I sent her to rehab. But getting clean ain’t easy…even for a princess
Can she make it through rehab?
One of the most rewarding aspects of writing Royal Dare is the fact that several addiction recovery
sites have discovered the novel and follow me on Twitter. I hope Violetta’s story encourages those who need help to seek it out.
I loved writing in Sariah’s KW so much, I decided to write another story, but on a much lighter subject.
ROYAL MAGIC will launch with Sariah’s next Royals of Monterra book, ROYAL GAMES.
Royal Magic is the story of a girl from South Philly with a dream to become an aerial silks performer, but there’s a dark secret in her past that keeps her from her goal.
Until she’s invited to perform at the arts festival in the kingdom of Monterra for the royal family in Fairy Tales & Magic: Magic, Music & Monterran Cuisine. There she meets a handsome, mysterious magician who’s not what he seems…
Royal Magic will launch along with Sariah’s Royal Games and new Royals of Monterra stories from other talented writers on July 8th!’
I’m almost finished with the cover, so I’ll update this page as we get closer to the launch.
I’m enjoying my road trip to Monterra and plan to do more Royals of Monterra books after Royal Magic. And to think it all started with Kindle Scout…
Did you hear the eerie music when you read the title?
Two of my favorite TZ episodes dealt with time travel.
Cliff Robertson in “A Hundred Years Over the Rim” (a father time travels to the future to save his ill son with modern medicine) and Kevin McCarthy in “Long Live Walter Jameson.” (check out an interesting filming note on this one). A professor knows history better than he should because “he was there.”
When I set out to write my Civil War romance, LOVE ME FOREVER, these two TZ episodes crept into my story line in a fun and interesting way: my time traveling heroine is a part time EMT and history teacher; she helps the Union Army physician hero in his fight against “germs” and how to combat disease back in 1862.
And yes, she knows exactly when the battles take place and does her best to save lives. But can she change history? If she does, will she lose the man she loves?
Do shows we loved as kids have an even more powerful effect on our writing?
I think so.
What TV shows have affected your writing?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Till next time…
March is Women’s History Month.
Writing women back into history. Many times we forget the Civil War wasn’t fought only by men, but women, too.
Did you watch the recent PBS Civil War mini-series “Mercy Street?”
I was glued to my TV every week watching the fascinating story of a Virginia hotel turned into a hospital for both Union and Confederate wounded in 1862.
What did you think of Mercy Street?
I enjoyed watching the story unfold and how it paralleled my Civil War time travel romance, Love Me Forever, which also takes place in 1862 Virginia. It was like watching my pages come alive with Civil War medicine, a visit from Mr. Lincoln, hoop skirts, women’s roles in both the North and the South, and of course, hot romance.
What I loved so much about that show was the prominence of women’s roles during the Civil War and how they changed nursing with their daring and willingness to tread into what was then a male profession.Like Mercy Street, I have two heroines:
Liberty Jordan, a time traveler from the future who goes back to Antietam dressed as a Confederate officer.
Pauletta Buckingham, a Tennessee belle and a spy bent on revenging the death of her beloved, a Texas Ranger.
An odd couple in every way. One is a strawberry-blonde, the other raven-haired. One believes in the Union; the other will do anything for the cause. One is in love with a man she canâ€™t haveâ€¦the other is engaged to a man she doesnâ€™t love.
But these two women have one thing in common: believing in womenâ€™s equality. Here my time traveler, Liberty in LOVE ME FOREVER, questions her involvement in the war with belle Pauletta Sue.
â€œLiberty couldnâ€™t stop questioning how she got mixed up with this crazy secesh woman and her insane scheme. Sheâ€™d never seen a woman so passionate about a cause, so truly believing what she was doing was patriotism. The war had unleashed a fire in her, and the more Liberty understood about the protected, delicate lifestyle these women led, the more she knew a great movement was underway that went beyond their cause.
It wasnâ€™t until 1866 that the American Equal Rights Association was founded, but this was the beginning of the movement leading to womenâ€™s freedom and that she could understand. What bothered her was that Pauletta Sue was on the losing side of the war and because of that, she might not benefit from the changes women embraced afterward. She worked so hard at her cause, Liberty believed she deserved better, but the belle wouldnâ€™t listen to her.â€
I love how these two women bond over the course of the story as did Union Army nurse Mary in Mercy Street with belle Emma. But as much as I enjoyed the series, I kept hoping they would touch on the role of women in the ranks. Brave women who fought and often died as soldiers because they believed in their cause. Iâ€™m hoping the series will be renewed and weâ€™ll meet up with a female soldier in Season 2.
My hero, Major Flynt Stephens, a Union Army physician, ponders the idea of female soldiers when he finds out his Rebel prisoner is a beautiful woman (Liberty).
â€œThe Rebel prisoner was a female.
Would his nurse give her away? Or was she waiting for him to say something? He couldnâ€™t. He felt a stirring within him, something he didnâ€™t want to admit, that brought a hardness between his loins. Did he dare imagine that a beautiful woman existed under all that blood and dirt? Heâ€™d heard stories about women enlisting in the army, both North and South, and fighting as men. A good set of teeth to rip open a bullet cartridge, a trigger finger that worked, and a firm handshake was all that was required to join up. It was no secret the promise of a steady paycheck was often the reason behind such reckless female behavior.
That didnâ€™t solve his immediate problem.â€
We will soon see women in combat roles in the Armed Forces. Imagine how proud the women soldiers in the Civil War would be knowing they paved the way…
Getting clean ain’t easy…even for a princess.
If you’re a princess, most likely your fairy godmother warned you about messengers bearing big, red shiny apples.
Who can forget Snow White…
But in the end she found her prince after eating the poisoned apple.
Sometimes princesses are influenced by the wrong people. Take Princess Violetta in ROYAL DARE. She was desperate to be thin and win her crush…but it led her into drug addiction. Her poison apple.
This month I tackle a serious subject in ROYAL DARE (The Royals of Monterra, Kindle Worlds).
Addiction to drugs is a major problem — not just for the addict but for those in their world. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go to rehab, or what happens afterward, Royal Dare takes you into that world.
Even though my heroine is a princess, she’s not immune to the horrors of meth and how difficult it is to get clean.
Princess Violetta meets some interesting people in rehab and hears the story about an old cloth doll and how she helped an addict face her demons. There are funny moments, too, like seeing our princess with a toilet brush cleaning bathrooms, and tearful ones–when a girl who is a “cutter” and addict calls the hotline manned by our princess threatening to kill herself and Violetta is the only one who can save her.
Royal Dare is for anyone who is an addict and wants help, and for those who love them.
Thank you for listening.
Born a princess, Violetta of Monterra is living the fairy tale. She has everything she wants. Designer purses and shoes, a party lifestyle and sheâ€™s as thin as a smartphone.
Sheâ€™s also a meth addict.
If she doesnâ€™t get clean, sheâ€™ll lose everything. Her title, her family. Her soul.
Learning how to survive in rehab is only the first step to gaining her sobriety. Once she finishes the program, the real challenge comes when Violetta goes back to her fancy Swiss boarding school. His name is Chace. Her first crush . . . and the guy who got her hooked on meth. Trusting him wonâ€™t keep her sober.
Then thereâ€™s Troy, the new hottie in school. Can he save her from relapse? And from losing everything precious to her before she goes down that rabbit hole for the last time?
I’m finishing up a novel for Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” called ROYAL DARE — more info coming as we launch January 21, 2016.
I owe this wonderful opportunity to Kindle Scout — I met Sariah Wilson, a fellow Scouter, and when Amazon approached her about turning her novel “Royal Date” into a Kindle Worlds project, she invited Scouters to write for her KW.
I’ll update this page as I get more info — for now here’s the LINK and banner re: our Facebook launch on January 21, 2016 6-10 EST
Thanks to fellow Scouter M.R. Pritchard for this fab banner
Her Monterra novel is called “Forgotten Princess.”
And here’s a video I made a while back about wanting to be a princess!
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