Leave it to me…by Christy Gissendaner


So, a few months back, I had this idea for a New Adult romance. Something completely unlike ANYTHING I’ve ever written or thought I would write. There would be adultery, murder, suicide, sexual abuse, porn stars, and a friends-to-lovers theme. Does this holler “Christy Gissendaner book” to you? Nope, I didn’t think so. But this story came to me, and I knew I had to give it a shot. New Adult is one of my recent reading addictions, and I cut my teeth on writing NA when I was a teenager…even though NA wasn’t yet a “thing”.

So I wrote Coming Soon, shipped it off to my primary crit partner (who hated it), and I figured “Hell, why not?” Since my critter and I seldom ever like the “it” books on the market today, we thought the tale may be a hit. Of course, I love it. I wrote it, after all. But I knew it was time for more input. Two of my other crit partners loved it. My beta readers LOVED it. My ARC recipients LOVED it. So here I went, ecstatic beyond belief thinking, “This will be it. This will be my first big success.” I hit “publish” and sat back and wait for the pre-sales to roll in.

Yeah…*crickets* Today is the official release, so hopefully the sales will begin, but the lesson I gained in all of this is I will never do a pre-sale again. It’s disappointing when you don’t sell a book after it’s published. It’s even worse when you promote, promote, promote in advance and still get nowhere.

In the midst of all of this, I decided to put out a short prequel to a new series I’ve planned. Originally I meant to have them about a month apart. Instead they end up releasing within a week of each other. I figured if I was going to be stuck at the computer for hours promoting one book, why not kill two birds with one stone? Yeah…that didn’t go well either. Now I’m torn on which one to focus on. My gut is telling me Coming Soon. After all, it’s a story that has special meaning for me, but Claimed is the start of something that I hope will take flight in the future.

Both covers are lovely. At least, I think so. Hopefully the blurbs are attention-grabbing. I think the pricing is reasonable.

So why don’t I sell?

That’s the question every author struggles with. I’ve done everything I can to make a “name” for myself. Hell, my name should be memorable at the very least, even if no one can pronounce it. I’ve experimented, attempting new things to see what works. But what do you do when NOTHING works. Although my sales get (marginally) better with each release, I’m still lucky to break even. My reviews are for the most part glowing…from complete strangers! I’ve even seen the same individuals review several of my books, so obviously I have fans out there, people I don’t physically interact with on social media or in real life.

I do ads. I do blog posts and tours. I tweet. I interact on FB, not just book-related stuff although that’s the majority. I respond to each and every message I get from readers. I’d like to go the “sit back and do nothing” route, but I’ve done it. It doesn’t work, in case you wondered. A combo of 24/7 tweeting and FB posting, guest posts out the wazoo the first week, and obsessively checking my rankings is NOT the way to success. At least, I hope to hell not. I still have yet to get higher than about 5k on Amazon. Which is GREAT for me, but not where I want to eventually be.

Maybe, by the time this post hits, I can make an amendment and brag that my new releases have skyrocketed in sales, but I am a feet-grounded-in-reality sort of person. I’m optimistic, but not naïve. For every release I put out, there’s probably 10,000 more hitting the cyber waves with mine. How can I reach thousands of readers or make my release stand out in the crowd? If I had the answer, I’d be out doing it, trust me.

But until then…I’ll see you on FB, Twitter, Goodreads, and AuthorCentral!

Memorial Day with guest SS Hampton

Folks, Memorial Day is coming up, so I thought it appropriate to share a wonderful post by my friend SS Hampton, Sr. to remind us all what this holiday is really about.

Thank you, Stan, and everyone else who has served.



Memorial Day. It is a 3-day weekend for much of the country—a weekend of family get-togethers, BBQs, and great sales. That is fine.


But please do not forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Though there had been several local observances, a national Decoration Day was created by “an organization of Union veterans” on 5 May 1868, to be observed on 30 May of that year by the nation in “decorating the graves of war dead with flowers.”


240px-Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_DayIt was after World War I that Memorial Day came to recognize all of those who fought and died in America’s wars. From the American Revolution (1775-1783) to Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991), the total American combat deaths number 651,031; the greatest number of war dead was 291,557 suffered by the Greatest Generation during World War II (1941-1945).


As for the Global War On Terrorism (2001-), or the Long War as some may call it, according to the Defense Casualty Analysis System, 5,363 men and women have died in combat.


Unfortunately, the world is not a safe and secure place. Yet, we know that in our nation there will never be a shortage of uniformed volunteers willing to stand between unarmed men, women, and innocent children, and the senseless evil in the world.


On Memorial Day this year remember the “National Moment of Remembrance”—at 3:00 PM local time across the country, everyone is encouraged to take a moment to reflect on those who have given their lives for our country. Whatever war they fought in, all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice have names, whether those names loom large in history books or are known only to their families.


And some of us know the names of comrades who made that sacrifice during the GWOT.Stan w Flag


Finally, if you have never heard Taps, the final farewell to fallen comrades, take a moment to listen.  Take a moment to remember, and to whisper, “Good bye. And thank you.”



SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.


He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.


In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently enrolled as an art student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.


As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.


Hampton can be found at:

Dark Opus Press https://www.createspace.com/3685965  –  Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/dansemacabre/dansemacabre.html  –  Melange Books http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sshampton/index.html 

MuseItUp Publishing https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museitup/mainstream/better-than-a-rabbit-s-foot-detail  –  Goodreads Author Page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888342.S_S_Hampton_Sr_

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ  –   Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ

It’s That Time of the Year … Convention Time!!

2015-05-16 09.27.02

My table at the book signing.

Just back from the Romantic Times Bookclub convention in Dallas.  Man, I had forgotten how crazy crowded and noisy that convention can get.  There were ravenous readers everywhere.  As a people watcher, it was fun to sit and take in all the different types of people who love romance novels.

Everything went fairly smoothly, although I think the help at the hotel really weren’t prepared for the huge crowds. The line at the Starbucks in the morning and at lunch time was like a 100 people long!!!  Glad I do not have a coffee habit.  🙂

What I really loved were all the posters featuring books and hunky cover models and more books.  They were everywhere — on the pillars, the elevator doors and the walls.

Swag, you ask?  Oh hell yeah, lots and lots of swag.  Promo alley was filled with everything you could think of and some I had never thought of before – -Kennedy Layne had a unique hand sanitizer — it looked like a pen, but it was a spray instead of a gel.  The germaphobes among us grabbed those quickly.  The goody bags had books and pens and cute little notebooks (and I really need to find out where they got those, because I lurrve little notebooks). There was a dearth of candy this year – I sort of missed my candy fix.

But the best thing about RT was seeing my friends such as Becca Jameson, Terri Schaefer, Kay Sisk, Paige Tyler, Pauline Jones, Linnea Sinclair, and Janet Snell, my crit buddy Cherise Sinclair, and, of course, all my fans.

Now I am gearing up for Lori Foster’s RAGT June 4-7.  After that, I will be in the revising cave and working on Storm Warning, SSI Book 4.

Me and my crit buddy Cherise Sinclair

Me and my crit buddy Cherise Sinclair

So Much Swag…So Little Room

My office is filled with swag!…and it’s driving me nuts.

I assure you, I am NOT a neat freak. Notice there are no pictures of my actual desk.

But I have limits.

2015-05-20 13.55.34I am in between conferences so I have bags and bags of goodies that will promote my books at the next conference. In three weeks I will be attending the Lori Foster Reader-Author Get Together outside Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s my fourth year at this con so I am excited about seeing many of the “regulars”, both my author friends and those readers who make the trek every year.

ragt-signing-2015Since RAGT15 is primarily a reader conference with only 100 authors and 400 readers—which sells out within minutes by the way—I need LOTS of swag. I’ll be in the Liquid Silver Boardroom for most of the three-day conference playing Sweet Twisted BINGO, giving a workshop on Social Media, and helping the other LSB authors with their allotted time slot.

I have items to create prizes for the winners of BINGO, like old-fashioned Coke glasses filled with Mentos. Get it? Coke and Mentos is an Explosive Combination…my first book. Do you have any idea how much space those glasses take up?

palm tree Charms-Silver-PlatedFinished-Silver---p2083fxb

I will be giving out the Palm Tree charm for my Cancun series

On top of that, I am partaking in the Charming Authors where each LSB author will be giving away charms to 200 lucky readers. Once their charm bracelets are completed, they can enter to win a Kindle Fire, beautiful jewelry, books, and swag. Luckily, thanks to the wonderful Wendi Zwaduk, I don’t have to store the charms here, but I do have the bookmarks with the instructions.


Readers will collect 14 cards, one from each participating author, then they can be entered to win prizes

Then there’s the Brag Book of Awesome Authors where 100 readers will collect cards from the fourteen participating authors, then enter to win prizes. Not only do I have the books themselves, but I also have the cards that go into the front and back covers. Some assembly required.

As with most conferences, authors make baskets to be raffled off, the money going to charity. I have committed to two for the main conference and several for the LSB Boardroom. One will contain Coke and Mentos and the other will promote my Cancun series with Margarita glasses, flip flops, beach ball, and beach related items. Did I mention the wine? Yes, there will also be some of my family’s wine.

Last, but certainly not least, I have to take books. I will be selling and signing books on Saturday from 3:00-5:00.

But none of that is for three weeks. Until then, all that swag fills the space beside my desk overflowing into the seating area in my office.

Maybe if I just don’t look in that direction, I won’t see it. Yeah, right, like that ‘s going to happen. NOT!

Speaking of swag –  COMMENT below and you are entered to some of my swag. 

Authors: What do you give away as swag?

Readers: What do you like to get as swag?

Giveaway: Seducing Kate

Okay, I confess. I don’t have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s just give away two signed copies of Seducing Kate. Sure, this was originally released a year ago. Sure, it was re-released in March. Sure, it’s now May. But, it’s never too late to give free books away, right?

Right! Happy weekend folks!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seducing Kate by Emilia Mancini

Seducing Kate

by Emilia Mancini

Giveaway ends May 20, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

It’s Convention Time!

rtbooklovers-150x82Yes, that is where I’ll be next week, May 12 -17, in Dallas, Texas.

I don’t go to the RT convention every year — mostly because it takes too much time away from life and my writing schedule.

It’s only a week, you say?  Well, nope, it’s not really. I have been preparing for this convention for most of this year — in between hubby’s open heart surgery, moving son to his new job, and trying to finish SSI 4.  This entails swag bags, promo items, coordinating with booksellers and panel assignments — and then, last but not least, the pre-con beautification rituals so I don’t look like a hag. It’s okay to look like a hag while sitting in front of the computer, but not when meeting the public.

Also, this year I am flying.  So, I am dealing with pre-flight jitters; they began a month ago. I’m leaving my broom at home and flying Southwest Airlines into Love Field on the 12th.  So, please pray for clear, non-tornadic, non-wind-sheer weather. I am not a good flyer.  I haven’t been on a plane since October of 2008.

I am on two panels this year. Oddly enough they are both on Wednesday afternoon. One is science fiction romance and the other is romsuspense.  I am also a table captain for Linnea Sinclair’s Intergalactic Bar and Grille on Friday afternoon.  Then I will be in the Giant Booksigning on Saturday and will make an appearance Saturday night at the FANtastic Day Party.

Here is my schedule:  Monette Michaels Events

After I return, I won’t be home for long since I will turn around and drive to Cincinnati for Lori Foster’s RAGT convention from June 4-7.  Driving is good.  🙂  I will be hostessing along with my fellow Liquid Silver Books authors – Eve Langlais, KaLyn Cooper, Wendi Zwaduk, Kelli Evans, Maddy Barone, and Lynne Rae.  We’ll have all sorts of fun and games in the room.  The biggest game will be the Charmed Author Hunt.  The first two hundred attendees who visit the LSB Board Room on Friday morning, June 5th, will receive a bangle bracelet and an instruction card  for hunting down all seven LSB Charming authors to complete a bracelet.  Once the bracelet is completed, the owner of the bracelet can then come to the room, show they have been “charmed,” and get an entry for a drawing.

charm bracelet less beadsThis is the picture of what the finished bracelet will look like.

So, if you are already registered for Lori’s RAGT– please remember to get to the LSB boardroom early to play the game.  Of course, this is not the only game, so be sure to check the print program.

I will be signing Friday, June 5th, 3-5 PM, at the Cincinnati Marriott, West Chester, Ohio.  This signing is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  So, if you live in the Cincy area, come see me. I will have all of my current SSI and Prime books there in print.  My current WIP, Storm Warning will not be completed in time for this convention. I apologize – life just got in the way.  So, it will be done sometime this summer.

After all this convention excitement is over, and I recuperate, I will then be concentrating on Storm Warning.  🙂 And if fate, karma, and all the gods are good, I will have a nice string of uninterrupted weeks to get the book done!!

Lovin’ Those May Flowers

Thank God May has finally arrived!

2015-05-05 11.55.05

Azaleas in bloom and hostas are already huge next to my porch swing where I drink coffee and watch the sun rise over the Smoky Mountains

2015-05-05 11.57.03

Rhododendron and trilliums are blooming between the porch and the garage in my Appalachian Garden

I’ve always loved May. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because the earth seems to rejuvenate in a flourish of color. My red and white dogwood blooms have fallen to the ground, replaced by the light green of budding leaves. The red-salmon azaleas came back full this year and should bloom again later this summer. Macho Marine likes the many hostas we have planted in all the beds–mostly because they cover so much space it’s less to mulch. My Appalachian garden is so strong this year with my trilliums doubling and ferns loving the long cool spring we’ve experienced.

With Mother’s Day this weekend, I expect Favorite Daughter and Favorite Son (I only have one of each) to do something nice. I’m pretty sure FD bought me a Mother’s ring. FS will forget until the last minute then spend the weekend in the garage with his forge (finally) making me the wine stand I asked for at Easter.

Mother’s Day has always caused a problem for Macho Marine, from the beginning of relationship. My birthday is in the middle of May and Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday of the month. Occasionally, they fall very close together. Too close that first fragile year of dating.

YellowRoseBouquetMM knew I’d never received roses from any “boy” I’d dated, so ordered red roses for my birthday. But thanks to Mother’s Day, the florist was out. So they delivered yellow roses.

I thought they were beautiful. Bright, reminding me of spring. They arrived with apologies from the delivery guy for being late…and, yes, you guessed it, a Mother’s Day card attached to the plastic stick. Thinking he’d sent them for my Mom, and they truly were late, I placed them on the dining table for the entire Cooper Clan and neighborhood to see through the giant picture window what a wonderful boyfriend I had that would send flowers to my mother, albeit late.

When MM called me on my birthday, he didn’t get the gushing response he’d expected for the expensive dozen red roses. Instead, he got a “Thank you for thinking of Mom.” He was confused. So was I. The next morning two dozen red roses arrived, delivered by the shop owner who sincerely apologized for the mistake. I placed the red ones on the table and took the yellow ones to my bedroom.

They were my first real roses. I still prefer yellow roses.

If you read the first book in my Black Swan series, title yet to be finalized, you will see a slightly different version of this story.

What’s the best (or worse) birthday gift you’ve ever received?

When bad habits resurface.

I would never call myself a writing expert. For one thing, it sounds rude. More to the point, it’s the sort of activity one can always improve.

In fact, if I’ve learned anything since embarking on this career, it’s that each new manuscript teaches me so much about myself and my writing. Yes, I may be at the point where I can trust myself not to make obvious mistakes, but that doesn’t mean a seasoned writer can’t fall back into old patterns. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been the sort to break a habit and feel I’m cured, only to lapse back into it again. It’s sort of like nail biting. I can stop it here and there, but every so often, I find myself taking a nibble when no one’s watching.

In other words, it’s very easy to forget what we’ve learned.


Take my recent manuscript for Predator’s Trinity, Gemini Island Shifters 6. Our friend Monette Michaels recently shared her time and expertise and critiqued my finished story. And boy, am I glad she did! Like any good critique buddy, she pointed out my mistakes. I already knew many were there, but I was surprised to see how many old bad habits I’d fallen into. For instance, I made way too much use of the passive voice. This is easily fixed, thank goodness. A sharp pen and a sharper eye and off we go.

So why would I make so many mistakes that I thought I’d corrected? In this case, I was writing under a bit of duress due to my family situation. With my head in the clouds, I probably couldn’t identify my own bad habits. It was also very important to me that I get this story down and perhaps I rushed a bit. Rushing our writing is never wise but I found solace in writing over the past couple of months, and must not have been paying close enough attention to my technique. It was enough for me, just to get the story down on paper.

How do we correct these errors? The first step is to put the manuscript aside for a while. Let it breathe and take a breather as well. You’ll return fresher, more able to spot problems and inconsistencies. And make sure you have another trusted set of eyes. Monette spotted my problems and was able to communicate them in a clear, caring fashion. Tackle one issue at a time, so as not to get overwhelmed. Little by little, we all get there.

Most of all. Don’t sweat it too much. If you’re able to identify your problems, you can fix them.

Oh, and if you’re tempted to bite your nails like I am, sit on your hands.

Manacled – A Sneak Preview!

It’s been a hectic 2015 and I can’t believe we’re almost at the halfway point of the year.


My EDJ (Evil Day Job—though I love what I do) is in finance, and from December through April (really mid-May), finding time to breathe is an impossibility. The IRS  and deadlines rule. When I have a spare moment,  I’m scurrying to finish Prymal Hunger, and my rewrites of Manacled, Notorious, and Carnal ASAP.

The wonderfully talented and oh-so-fabulous Fiona Jade designed the new Manacled cover and here it is along with the blurb:


Rolan Paxton, The Scorpion’s celebrated wide receiver, dominated the football world for ten years. Fame, fortune fell into his lap. He rode the rainbow collecting Super Bowl wins, and women. A decade later, disillusioned and unable to pinpoint exactly what’s missing, he runs into Sarita Khan, the nose-in-a-book classmate whose virginity he claimed on prom night, a memory he’s relished for ten years.

Sarita never thought she’d see Rolan again. The NFL drafted him two days after Prom, two days after he took her virginity. What were the odds of her son’s father chartering the luxury yacht she’s crewing for a decade later? And that he’d still make her burn like he did ten years ago?

Sarita wants Rolan, but she wants her independence. Rolan’s a control freak bent on domination. Determined to master Sarita, Rolan slaps on the manacles — and turns this trip to Monaco into a pleasure cruise.

Fabulous  cover, huh? Fiona used a line during the cover design that I loved—she said, “Digital Plastic Surgery is my specialty.”

OMG, the world we live in, today. 🙂


Here’s an excerpt from Manacled:
Rolan’s heart faltered, and he paused halfway into the bathroom. Oxygen evaporated. All at once enchanted, he gazed at the picture-perfect image before him.

Siren locks piled on top of her head, wispy damp curls sticking to her cheeks, Sarita slept, head pillowed on a white cushion, one knee peeking out of thick foam. A stray moonbeam, burning through a skylight, lit her face, dusting her bronzed skin with an iridescent shimmer.

Something clutched at his chest, warring with the inferno of lust threatening to blindside his planned romantic seduction. Shedding clothes in a flurry of movements, he tried all the tricks he used on the football field that had earned him the nickname “Ice Paxton.” Deep breaths, tensing and relaxing a specific muscle for a count of ten, he hooked his shirt off, and minimal control had been restored.


He needed to be inside her now.


When he opened his eyes, Sarita knelt in the bathtub, one hand on the rim, those caramel eyes widening as she took in his jutting arousal, clenched fists, and compressed lips. “Is something wrong?”

A shake of the head proved all he could manage.

She scrambled out of the tub, lifting one leg onto the marble, baring foam dripping across pink folds. The sight of sunset pubic hair damp and darkened to a mahogany shade elicited a groan.

“Jesus.” Rolan lost it. He stalked forward, scooped her into his arms, buried his face in her neck, and whispered, “I’m sorry, Sarita honey.”

He laid her on the soft, white sheepskin rug adjacent to the tub, and the moon caressed her lovingly through the skylight, bathing her in a faerie luminosity. Nudging her thighs apart with his knees, he settled there at her core, poised for entry, holding, holding.

“Kiss me, Rolan, I love your wickedly talented tongue—.”

His lips silenced her words, the firestorm they started raging through his blood, cutting off rational thought. Primordial male took over and he swarmed into her mouth, tongue thrusting, tangling with hers, hands gripping those slender hips.

She purred that low throaty growl.

And his bare edge of control shattered.

Hope that gave you a marvelous start to your Monday!

FYI, Manacled will be released this summer.



Guest Author: Jessica Cale’s Beginners Guide to Researching Your Historical Romance

Jessica Cale

A Beginner’s Guide to Researching Your Historical Romance

Historical Romance is a great sub-genre to read and write. With dukes, highwaymen, corsets, and balls, what’s not to like? Writing in an unfamiliar time period can be daunting at first, but it doesn’t need to be. Whether you’re new to the genre or just thinking of giving it a try, here are a few tips to get you started on your way to writing your best historical:

Do your homework. Sure, you can write a historical romance knowing nothing more about the period than how the underwear was structured, but if you want to write a good one, you’ll need to do your homework. It is impossible to do too much. Read everything you can about the period you’re writing, especially the details of everyday life. How did they do their laundry, what did they use to wash their hair, what did they have for breakfast? When I read historicals, I like to disappear into the period, and it’s little details like these that make a book feel real.

Don’t rely on other novels written about the period. If you’ve read enough novels set in a particular period, it’s easy to feel like you really know it, but be careful. You can use certain points of reference as a jumping off point for your research (example: balls at Almack’s), but be sure to check everything over yourself. You can use your research to put a new spin on old subjects, and people always enjoy learning new things about their favorite period. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the research of other authors. Of course, everyone wants to write the best book possible, but everyone makes mistakes. For example, I’ve read a few things set in the late Victorian period where characters are legitimately afraid of being hanged at Tyburn, but at that point, no one had been hanged there in more than a hundred years. (Okay, so this is a subject that’s close to my heart, but reading this was like nails on a chalkboard. Don’t do that to your readers.)

Make a timeline. Whether your characters have anything to do with court or politics, you should be aware of all of the major events that happened before and during your period. Your characters do not exist in a vacuum, and these things might have influenced their lives. Check if there were any significant news items if you can (crimes, storms, fires, earthquakes, etc), to add color, aid your plot, or just to provide interesting dinner conversation.

Keep your dialogue sounding natural. Throwing in the occasional ‘twas or a ‘twould is more likely to feel awkward than authentic if they’re only used sparingly, especially if it’s in the character’s thoughts. Historical words are great for adding color, but be sure to use them consistently throughout the book. It’s fine to have more modern-sounding dialogue if that’s what you decide to do, but be careful to avoid any glaringly anachronistic words or phrases, like calling something “cool” anytime before the end of the twentieth century. Read things that were written during the period and writing accurate dialogue will begin to come naturally.

Fact check, fact check, fact check. Once you’ve written your first draft, re-check everything. Question everything you think you know about the period. What year was that neighborhood built? Was that street/park/building called something else? What time does the sun rise and set on that date in that part of the world? How long does it really take to travel from Point A to Point B? This might sound obvious, but it’s better to check everything over thoroughly before your novel gets published, because no matter how good the story is, someone’s going to notice. You might be surprised with what you find. In my first book, Tyburn, I had to change the addresses of two of the main characters because I found out that the neighborhood I had them living in wasn’t built until twenty years after the book was set!

Don’t be put off by the amount of work that can go into writing historicals. Once you do your research for the first one, any others you write in that period will be much easier as you build on the world you have already created. Of course, it’s your book and you can do anything you’d like to with it (time-travelling steampunk zombies? Okay!), but a little accuracy goes a long way. Bring your time period to life for your readers, and they’ll thank you for it.

Happy Writing!

Jessica Cale

Virtues Lady

Virtue’s Lady
Author: Jessica Cale
Genre: Historical Romance (Restoration/Enlightenment)
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Release Date: April 13th


From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.


Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Lady-Southwark-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00VC6B9SS/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051
All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/virtue-s-lady
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtues-lady/id983809003?mt=11
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

Other Books in This Series

Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1): Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/tyburn-p975.php
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PQV6H9Q
Barnes & Noble
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tyburn-4
All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tyburn-1695993-340.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tyburn/id947992086?mt=11

Author Bio

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at http://www.authorjessicacale.com.

Social Media Links

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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale


The girl was beautiful.

She had him pinned to the bed. He was helpless beneath her hands. Her long fingers spanned his chest, tracing the line where the muscle dipped and gave way to shoulder. A hint of a smile played on her lips, more than just a little bit wicked. Kiss-crushed and sherry red, they were the sweetest thing he’d ever tasted.

“Like this?” She shifted back onto his hip bones.

She hovered above him like a conquering angel, all of the fearsome beauty of heaven in her laughing eyes, as grey and deadly as any steel. He could see the evidence of her ferocity in the iron poker that still projected from the door behind her head, a temptation as much as a warning.

“Getting there.” He grinned.

His hands rested on the curve of her waist, his rough, tanned skin a stark contrast to her smooth flesh, luminous and pale as the moon.

“More,” she moaned, rocking against him.

The bed slammed noisily against the wall, an insistent rapping that increased in frequency, strangely unconnected to the movements of her hips.

Somewhere in the distance, the sound of a saw.

Mark became aware of the bedclothes tangled around his legs. The stench of the river replaced the scent of her skin. She flickered as she bent over him with a sly smile, her hair falling around him like a curtain of copper silk. He was moments away from a bone-shattering orgasm. Just a little bit longer. She increased her pace, her breath quickening as she neared her peak. Her lips hovered above his, close enough to kiss, but somehow out of reach.

Her hips flickered under his hands and he heard the warble of a flock of geese.

“Jane,” he gasped, reaching out to grasp her as she disappeared, and finding only bed linen beneath his hand.