Friday, July 30, 2010

Tech Savvy or Old-School?

I, like several writers I know, love our laptops, but what's good for one writer isn't always right for another. But just like judges and editors have their own taste, so do authors with their laptops. Some like the older large screen laptops, others are swapping them out for netbooks. Then there's the whole Windows versus Apple debate. The new wave is also finding nifty ways to use the new iPad and the Fly pen, which combines the feel of pen on paper with a high tech conversion.

Some writers still have to scribble with a pen or pencil and paper. Whether it's a particular color of legal pad or their favorite composition book/journal they take everywhere to jot down scenes and snippets, there's something about the moment of creation that helps their flow. I have several note pads and pens in my car in case I have an epiphany. In fact my mother even bought me a erasable board that hooks on my sun flap. My brother-in-law told her it was going to get me killed. So far, I've still driven responsibly.

Most writers simply have a way that works for them, and without those tactile cues the muse just won't visit...and the words won't get onto the paper (electronic or real). Personally I was ecstatic when I got to transition from my mom's old typewriter, which thankfully had correction tape, to my first DOS based PC. Editing wasn't quite so horrible and I didn't fret about getting things just right. I knew I could go back and change it without too much trouble.

Now I'm known to take temporary possession of my husband's netbook...just like right now ;0) I'm not crazy that it doesn't have a CD or floppy drive, but it does have a USB port for back-ups. And though the screen is smaller, it is very portable. Much like the AlphaSmart and NEO which were built for classroom teaching and therefore almost indestructible. Considering the places where authors sometimes travel, that's one big plus. Imagine jogging on a treadmill, cozied up in the local coffee shop with a cup of joe up close and personal, in the park on a cool summer day or in the field doing hands on research.

No matter where or what you write, how do you choose to record your thoughts?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review - Sex And Trouble

Sex And Trouble
Marilu Mann
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
ISBN 9781419927195

When Marielle Greenlea’s father dies, she inherits far more than his house. Her father’s will leaves her the house and everything in it, including Rosier, a tall, dark and bad boy handsome mystery. It isn’t everyday a man comes with a house, especially a man who can’t leave that house. When she listens to her father’s taped video, she learns that he had been a very powerful witch and that she, too, has magical powers that had been locked away when she was a child. She has to find the keys to unlock those powers and to free Rosier. But before the video ends, her father warns of an enemy, one who will stop at nothing to steal her inheritance. The man, James LaPierre, once studied under her father. Marielle is torn with regret for not realizing her father had lost his mind and grief at his loss.

Rosier, a Hedonae, a type of demon whose skills in physical pleasure are beyond compare, simply wants to return to his dimension and family. When he’d first been trapped, he was righteously angry but as the years passed, he formed a grudging admiration for Marielle’s father. Not that he’d ever admit it. He wanted free of this world and his servitude. Although, serving the beautiful human daughter of his captor might not be so bad. And it would lead to his freedom – all he need do is pleasure her three times.

However, neither he nor Marielle are prepared for the passion and love that grows between them or the danger James LaPierre poses for both of them.

This was a fast, sexy read – a short romantica perfect for those small parcels of time between appointments or chores or lazy afternoons sitting on your patio or a park bench. Rosier is undeniably one of the best bad-boy type ‘demon’s’ I’ve read in a long time. I like the way Ms Mann showed his gradual thawing toward Marielle. And I liked the way Ms Mann had Marielle actually work to solve the mystery of her father’s witchcraft and her own growing powers. All in all, Sex And Trouble is a very enjoyable read.

Guest - Marilu Mann

Good morning everyone! Today's guest is Marilu Mann who brings the steaminess of the Louisiana bayous to her books but she doesn't stop there. Marilu's willing to travel to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin to heat up those northern nights and melt a little snow. She'll also circle the world to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and back just to bring you books that make you sweat.

Currently residing in Texas, Marilu is an avid armchair traveler. Her sexy shifters will set your blood to boiling in no time. Owned by one Diva Teen and various animals, Marilu keeps busy writing the novels her readers beg for.

Marilu is thrilled to be a part of the Ellora's Cave family and loves to hear from readers.


Villains. Bad Guys. Dastardly Deed Doers. Beastly Bastards. Wicked Women. Evil Witches. A Blizzard.

No matter what you call them, they are crucial to a plot. Even if your villain is the environment such as a brutal winter storm forcing the hero and heroine to work together to survive, you’ve gotta have bad. There have been some shining examples of bad throughout literary history. Grendel, anyone? Or Fagin from Oliver Twist? What about Nellie Oleson from Little House On The Prairie?

A monster, a manipulator and a total bitch.

But all three provided grist for the mill of their stories. Grendel had to die. Beowulf's quest to defeat Grendel, his mother and then that pesky dragon doesn't end so well for Beowulf but it is the stuff legends are made of!

Then there's the seemingly kind Fagin. For me, this is the worst kind of villain because the hero is fooled into trusting them. Interestingly enough, Dickens changed the earlier editions of his descriptions of Fagin as a Jew. He based the character on a criminal named Ikey Solomon who was Jewish but the Jewish people took exception to the villain being of their faith. So in the edition you read, you may have not seen that. But what a great villain he was...twisting Oliver’s feelings, forcing Nancy into betraying Oliver and making Oliver trust him that way!

Of course, one of my favorites is the nasty Nellie Oleson. I just saw that the actress who portrayed her for seven years has written a book that was released this year. Alison Arngrim titled her book "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated." But what a great villain she was. She was nice when she needed something but would stab you in the back in a heartbeat. Who didn't love to hate Nellie?

None of those stories would have been as rich or as full without their villains. Without Nellie's continual manipulations, could we have seen how brave and strong and wonderful Laura was? We would have never rooted for Oliver half as hard without the hurt in our heart over Fagin's betrayal of his little boy trust.

Of course, there's another type of villain. Let’s call him the Ambiguous Baddie. You know he or she is a bad egg, but there's something about him you just can't help but like. Consider Erik Northman from the HBO show True Blood. He's gorgeous. He’s blonde. He's bad. He's after Bill's girl. He's ├╝ber sexy. As each episode unfolds, we see a little more of what makes Erik tick. I know I am finding him very intriguing.

In our first book (Marilu Mann is a writing team), Changing Times, our hero and heroine battle a two-person team of villains. A pair of nastier, rotten shifters you'd never want to meet. Maggie is a conniving, scheming, downright vicious Alpha bitch who wants power any way she can get it. Slade is also power-hungry and her willing partner-in-crime. Our readers have told us that they loved to hate those two.

But we threw a monkey wrench into the works. In our first book, Slade sees a moment between the hero and heroine that makes him stop and think. That moment of thought shines a small light into his heart. You can't imagine the shock our readers had when they learned that book two showed Slade's journey and transformation. One reader actually hit half of us with the book when she realized it was Slade's story.

That's a good thing. She cared enough to hate him. In our latest release, we have another villain who is very different from Slade. He's after power, but he's more of a Fagin-type. He tries to get the heroine to trust him with pretty words and smiles over a romantic dinner. Luckily she's smarter than that but then he turns into a male Morgan Le Fey—all evil spells and wickedness. We love that about him. And because of that, he is more than likely to show up in book two of the Demonae.

So what is your idea of a memorable villain? Who do you just love to hate? What about those ambiguous baddies?  What villain can you not get out of your mind? 

Sex And Trouble

Marielle has just learned she's a hereditary witch whose inheritance comes with a creepy house and a hot butler who is really a trapped sex demon. Mari doesn't believe in magick or demons. But once she sees her butler's-ahem-horns, she has to face the facts. And, he can only be released through mutual sexual pleasure.

Although Mari's sexier than anyone he's ever known, Rosier wants to go home. If that means making Mari scream in ecstasy, he'll just have to deal. It's simple. They have to unlock her powers, defeat her father's enemy and have mind-blowing the next two weeks or he's trapped forever. What's a girl to do when her inheritance leads to Sex and Trouble? Enjoy it!

One randomly chosen commenter will receive a 5 Card Universe Tarot reading By Arwen (  To be eligible, leave a comment here AND send an email to with the words Star-Crossed Romance in the subject line. The drawing will be closed at noon on Friday July 30 and the winner announced here on Star-Crossed Romance shortly after. ( (group blog) (very low traffic) (Buy Link)
Blurb: Sex And Trouble


-- Lynda Again

Make sure you read all the way down so you can see information on a new drawing for Newsletter Members Only. 

Great News! If you buy Heartstone through the Mundania site, you can use the code
LSCOTT10 at checkout and receive a 10% discount on your total

Trade Paperback
240 pages


Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks
she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not,
she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a

Coming soon for Newsletter Members Only! A drawing for a Heartstone necklace of your own. Tell your friends and family so they can participate too. Starting today and lasting until August 20, I'll email one member for a snail mail address. You must reply in order to be included in the drawing. On August 21, I'll put all the name/addresses in the gift box and have my feline helper, Wookie,  select the winner.

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
Be My Friend

Friday, July 23, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with R. J. Anderson

Forget everything you think you know about faeries...

And enter the fantastical realm created by R. J. Anderson! Born in Uganda, she was raised in Ontario, and went to school in New Jersey, yet she's spent much of her life dreaming of other worlds.

During childhood R. J. immersed herself in fairy tales, mythology, and the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and E. Nesbit. Later she discovered contemporary authors like Ursula LeGuin, Patricia A. McKillip and Robin McKinley, and learned to garner as much pleasure from their prose as the details of the stories they told.

Married, and living in Stratford, Ontario, she's a mother of three who reads the classic fantasy and sci-fi that enlivened her childhood to her sons. In her YA and childrens novels, she strives to engender a similar sense of humor, adventure, and timeless wonder.

What prompted your use of faeries in your YA novels? Is there a reason you chose to have heroines as the main faery characters, with a supporting human “boy”?

Well, there have been plenty of folk stories and fantasy novels which show faeries and faeryland from a human's point of view, with all its strange beauties and mysterious dangers. But I couldn't help wondering what a faery raised in such an environment would think of the human world on seeing it for the first time. Might we humans not seem just as surprising (and unsettling) to faeries as they would seem to us? So the idea of writing a book from the faery's point of view, and using that to cast light on all the things about human relationships and society that we tend to take for granted, really appealed to me.

I also liked the idea of adding to this culture shock with another kind of shock -- a girl raised in an all-female environment encountering a male for the first time, and all the confusion and fascination that generates. He's not just human, he's a BOY. Gasp! Of course, by the second book the faery girl / human boy encounter isn't nearly so startling from the faery's point of view, but then Timothy and Linden have a very different sort of relationship from the one between Knife and Paul in the first book, and I wanted it that way.

Why did you choose the young adult sub genre to make your mark on the literary world?

I didn't, at least not at first. KNIFE was originally written for adult fantasy readers, and in the first draft, the characters were adults as well. It wasn't until an editor friend asked me if I'd consider submitting it as YA that I stepped back and realized the elements of the story -- which is a coming of age story, a story about finding one's identity and purpose in life, and also a first love story -- were perfectly suited to a teen audience.

At the time, my library consisted of a lot of classic "juvenile" fantasies like the Narnia books and the Chronicles of Prydain, and then jumped straight into adult epic fantasy and mysteries. However, in the process of trying to get a handle on the YA genre I fell in love with the amazing range and depth of YA literature that exists today and now I read YA almost exclusively. Maybe one day I'll come up with an idea for a certifiably "adult" novel, but at present it seems as though all the ideas and themes that interest me most fit very nicely into the YA spectrum.

What’s the biggest downfall in having two sets of releases—one in the UK and one in the US ?

It's unfortunate that because the two editions have completely different covers and titles, US readers sometimes get all interested and excited over a review of KNIFE or REBEL and go looking for them, without realizing that they're published here as SPELL HUNTER and WAYFARER. I fear I've lost quite a few potential readers that way. But it does seem to be quite common that things turn out this way.

Other than that, all the effects have been really positive. I love that my UK releases come out six months or more earlier than the US ones, because the books are bestsellers in the UK and that's always a great emotional boost for me before I tackle the North American promotion.

How have adventurous tales inspired you to write…and if you could take one real life journey what would it be?

When I was a young teen, I read Susan Cooper's book THE GREY KING and fell in love with her description of Wales. I had the opportunity to visit the north of Wales in 1993, and it absolutely did not disappoint -- surely one of the most beautiful places on earth. I returned there, to the west and south of the country this time, to do some research for WAYFARER in 2008, and now my upcoming book ARROW involves a journey through Wales as well.

But apart from making endless return trips to Wales (which I would gladly do), if I could go anywhere at all in the world, I'd love to visit New Zealand and

If you could’ve done one thing differently on your way to becoming a published author what would it be?

When I was shopping my first manuscript to agents and editors, I became discouraged very early in the submission process and gave up for months or even years at a time whenever I got rejected. I realize now that I was actually getting some great feedback on how to improve the manuscript from those rejections, and if I'd been bolder about revising the book extensively instead of just twiddling and tweaking and polishing my prose, I might have been agented and/or published a lot earlier. But then, the market was very different back then and the book might not have done as well as it has. So I think it all worked out the way it was meant to, in the end.

Do you have any other releases or appearance that fans (old and new) should know about?

My third faery book, called ARROW, will be coming out in the UK on 6 January 2011 -- I'm quite excited about that one, especially now that I've been allowed to publicly share the cover. Later in 2011 I've got a paranormal thriller for older teens coming out, the story of a 17-year-old girl who ends up in psychiatric care after confessing to the murder of a schoolmate -- it's called TOUCHING INDIGO at present, but I believe the UK title is going to be changed to ULTRAVIOLET. I'm really looking forward to hearing what readers think of that story as well!

If you'd like to learn more about R. J., her novels, or check out her extras visit her delightful website!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A New Look?

Good morning, everyone!

I've decided Star-Crossed Romance needs a new look and since we didn't have a guest today, I thought today would be the perfect time to try out the new Blogger format and themes.

What do you think? Would you prefer something a little cheerier? I've heard some readers say they have difficulty reading lighter colored fonts on dark backgrounds (one of the reasons I decided to make a change, lol). Is this particular style easier to read? Or not?

Let me know what you think.

Have a great day!

PS Oh, my novel, Heartstone, is now available in both print and e-versions. You can find it at Mundania Press. Click here. And if you haven't already read it, there's a Prologue for Heartstone on my website under Excerpt. We decided not to use the prologue in the book but I thought some of you might want to read it.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Everywhere I turn it seems people have lost a not their virtue, but patience. Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's because it's Friday, but something has been in the air. Case in point...the whole line of traffic doing three point turns and u-ies in the middle of the road today! All because they didn't want to wait their turn. Each became more furious, like a tidal wave of ire. I sat there, hands on the wheel, waiting to get hit as they whipped their vehicles about frantically, and shook my head.

Patience I have (as well as a curious nature to find out what all the hubbub was about!) or at least that's what I've been told. I don't lose my cool often, unless the pressure builds to where I can't see anything but red. Lately even I've been tested....partially due to the near 100 degree temps.

Though I should be well versed in waiting and remaining calm as a writer who's been "in the business" for nine years now. As a writer or reader (aka fan) you know how long it can take for an author to make it through the slush, then wait for "the" call or that other letter, much less getting that contracted book to print. Authors should all have a self help group to teach patience for the "hurry up and wait" syndrome. Though most of us move on to other projects or take rests to refill the well to write again...there are days where we need a little 12 step mantra to click through as a reminder. Though I suppose naming a WIPs heroine Patience could be reminder enough until it's time to make the final decision to keep that name or replace it with something else.

The craft itself is a test in patience as we skillfully craft each word to make the settings, characters and plots the best! Generally this doesn't come together on the first pass, and most end up revising three times...even among accepted works to please an editor or agent. Which means chipping away at the grinding task day after day, month after month, and year after year. Seeing that novel in print (or promo about it)...well that's the testament for any and all of the sorrows when we lamented for patience and perseverance.

If I hadn't learned both virtues by now, then my current status is lending itself as fodder for my next article. The topic? Feats or failure....winning and/or losing...endings, happy and otherwise...reaching too far or too high. In effect, an essay on using patience, by taking a step back and looking at the big picture on where I've been, what I've done, and where I see myself going...after the proverbial picking myself off and dusting myself off of course!

Hmm...maybe this calls for a new pair of rose tinted shades. Or at the very least a satisfying glass of tropical punch to chill myself out.

What's got your patience stretched thin? Or how do you handle the strain--massage, venting, tv marathons?

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest - Linda Robinson

Good morning, everyone! I hope you're all having a great day. It's a fabulous Monday with a fabulous guest (how can she not be with a name like Linda? LOL). Linda is offering a give away and I have some great news so read all the way to the bottom!

First, let me say I’m delighted to be here and thanks so much to Lynda for having me on the blog!

With so many blog-obligations (would that be blogligations?) this month with the release of my third book, FATAL CIRCLE, it’s hard to keep coming up with topics. I know what you’re thinking. I’m a writer and writing something up should be easy…it is pretty easy to write it. It’s the topic that is troublesome. What can I write about that is entertaining and has some merit to it, and is not just me blathering on? (Like I’m doing now.)

My solution? I cheated. I pulled my tarot deck from my purse (yes, the cards are almost always with me) and I pulled a card at random. Queen of Wands. An auburn haired queen sits on her throne with a lioness at her feet; she represents creativity, industriousness, versatility and she is very strong-willed. This card is often representative of me.

(Sigh. I don’t like writing about “me-me-me” stuff. So I examine the card a little deeper, wondering how does this apply to the writing process or to the characters?)

This card also represents the “strength of the creative imagination to sustain the heart’s chosen goals.” (According to the Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene) Writing and being published is certainly my heart’s chosen goal. One I stuck with for twenty-some years before a manuscript was accepted for publication. Who chases a dream with such long odds for so long? It does sound ridiculous, doesn’t it? But the Mythic Tarot also says, “{The Queen of Wands} holds her great strength and energy within, and devotes them to those few things to which she has given her heart.”

So what does this tell me? Dreams. Goals of our hearts. What it takes to achieve them. And in that, I begin to see my main character, Persephone. In the circle series, she’s been living a decent life, working in a field she pursued and has created a home for herself. She’s satisfied. Complacent. Content. But that’s pre-story. When VICIOUS CIRCLE opens, her grandmother has moved in with her. Then her grandmother acquires a puppy. She ends up as the foster mother to the daughter of a friend who’s been murdered. And she has love interests springing up everywhere. Suddenly Persephone isn’t just living her life, her life has taken on challenges like never before and because of them—her heart has developed some definite goals. Pursuing them, she’s alive like never before.

In HALLOWED CIRCLE the stakes are raised a little more, but she rises to the challenge, still it is more altruistic. In FATAL CIRCLE, Persephone is starting to learn what she truly desires and what it will take to achieve that goal.

So…what do you think? Contentedness versus the pursuit of your heart’s goals? Does contentedness inspire the need for a new goal that sets thing in motion…or does the achievement of the heart’s goal supply a never-ending contentedness? Or do you have some other idea about? Do share! What is your heart's goal and are you on the path to achieving it?

Leave a comment telling me what YOU think AND send me an email with your snail mail address to by noon on Friday, July 16 and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of FATAL CIRCLE. Sorry, the contest is open to US & CANADA only.


-- Lynda Again

It's been a long wait but I'm delighted to announce that Heartstone is finally available! (Yea! Woo hoo! The crowd goes wild! LOL) And that means that my Grand Prize Contest has come to a close. And that means I get to announce the winner whose name Wookie pulled from the box. (You can see her pic on my website She's the fabulous kitten perched on the window sill :-) And, no, she doesn't fall off that narrow ledge (I suspect velcro is involved).

And the winner is....

Joy Isley!

Thanks to everyone who joined my newsgroup and entered the drawing! And thanks to all of you who wrote to express your happiness that Heartstone was in print. Your support is much appreciated!

If you're interested, Heartstone is available in Trade paperback as well as pdf. You can find it at

Have a great day and good luck to you all!

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Friday, July 09, 2010

You're Just So...

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm one of those people. You know...authors who don't like to do bad things. Yes, I know every good deed must have a bad one, and because every hero and heroine need a villain, I do delve into the not so nice category. In fact, every character needs to vacillate between the two extremes, though not with severe mood swings.

If a character remains even keel through the whole book (much less a series) it signifies they haven't grown and readers will get...bored/aggitated. You know those characters who are too stupid to live? Think about too goody two shoes to do something they really must do. Hence, no believability that the hero or heroine (much less the villain) will do the deed they must do to turn the tide of the book. If your reader doesn't believe your character can pull off a feat, then they won't believe any part of the book. (Think of those made for tv movies you don't want to admit you tuned in to, though you really thought there would be a twist end!)

Being a good girl or good boy has it's moments...especially when they turn bad or the author hints at a little badness lurking beneath the surface. (A costume/weapons collection, a night-time hobby, etc.) Several authors pull this off with good girls gone bad thanks to a bad boy or a no good rake. Though in more modern times we've also seen the sexist twist where the ladies do the honors of corruption. Of course, the latest rage is to transform a baddy into a in a hero who's been reformed. Sometimes even a villain will find salvation in a continuation story of his own!

Of course for that to happen your villain can't be too bad...I mean who'd want to see a serial killer turn up on trying to find a true love? It just wouldn't be plausible, since readers would be waiting for the reversion of character. Any moment you'd wait to see some little bit of his/her old MO rear up.

We all have our good points and moments of weakness (that sometimes lead to our downfall) and characters need them too! So try not to make your cast too good or too bad, but a delightful mix that doesn't leave a bland taste behind. Think of a chocolate chip cookie with white and dark morsels. The cookie is the base and the ooey gooey chips are the good and bad mixed in to provide just the right unexpected pop!

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Review - The Fire Lord's Lover

The Fire Lord’s Lover
Kathryne Kennedy
Sourcebooks Casablanca
July 2010

Dominic Raikes, the most successful general of the realm, must carefully hide his emotions from his father, Mor’ded, the Fire Lord. If he doesn’t, Mor’ded will use those emotions against him. And against whoever Dominic feels any liking for. That’s why, when his promised bride finally arrives, he fights to keep from feeling any emotion for her. But Lady Cassandra is wholly unlike any other woman he’s known and Dominic fears his growing feelings for her will destroy them both.

Lady Cassandra, betrothed to General Dominic Raikes when she was a child, has known that her marriage would be one of the last things she would ever do. Since her betrothal, she has been trained as an assassin. Her goal – to kill the Fire Lord, Mor’ded. The elvan tyrant has no mercy for he rules. His viciousness strikes friend and foe alike and Cassandra knows her people will never be safe or free until he’s dead.

But her marriage to his son, Dominic, proves more difficult than she ever expected. Although Dominic bears an uncanny likeness to the Fire Lord, his personality is cold and withdrawn. Cassandra’s plans to use him to further her deadly mission quickly change. Because, against all reason, she’s falling in love with the Fire Lord’s son.

With fantasy elements from Tolkien combined with elements from today’s Regency genre, Ms Kennedy has created a fantastical story of love and intrigue. The plot was fresh and riveting and designed to keep you turning page after page even though you should be in bed asleep. But you keep reading because you’ve got to know what’s happening to Cassandra and Dominic who feel as if you knew them from birth.

This is the mark of a writer with a future. You’ll definitely want to read The Fire Lord’s Lover.

Guest - Kathryne Kennedy

Good morning, everyone! Today's guest, Kathryne Kennedy, is a multi-published, award-winning author of magical romances. She’s lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives in Arizona with her wonderful family—which includes two very tiny Chihuahuas. She welcomes readers to visit her website where she has ongoing contests at:

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Lynda. I’m glad to be here!

I decided to write about what steps I took in building the world in my new novel, The Fire Lord’s Lover. Since I write a blend of historical, fantasy and romance, it surprises me how it all jells together, and I hope you enjoy a brief look at some of the ways it happened for me:

I start farther back in history than the era I’m actually going to write in, because all of the changes I’m going to make to the time I’m writing in has to start and develop prior to that period. So I went back to the time when William the Conqueror invaded England and split it into several baronies…a time of great change that significantly altered England’s history, and made it easy for me to alter it yet again with the introduction of The Elven Lords series. Instead of William bringing England under a unified rule, I had my seven elven lords breach the barrier between their world and ours, defeat William, and take England under their own unified rule. The elven lords made seven sovereignties (baronies) using their magic and beauty, enslaved the English people, and made the king nothing more than a puppet ruler, a prize to be won in their elven war games.

Since I used a historical world as the basis for my new series, I researched the eighteenth century, Georgian era. Even though I alter the world with magic, I have to start with that historical world that readers can identify with. I often use real historical figures, like Sir Robert Walpole in The Fire Lord’s Lover (he will appear again in book 2,The Lady of the Storm), and create their personalities based on what I read in their biographies. Sir Robert was such a strong influence in the era that I realized he had to be the might behind the Rebellion, the secret society created to fight against the elven lords’ rule. I apologize to King George, who became a pawn, his interests focusing on the only thing he could control: the court fashions of the era.

To make it more interesting, I gave each elven lord a scepter that reflected his individual magical strength: Black for Mor'ded who rules fire, Blue for Breden who rules sea and sky, Green for Mi'cal who rules the forests, Gold for Roden who is master of glamour and illusion, Silver for Lan'dor who masters the blade, Brown for Annanor who rules the earth, and Violet for La'laylia who enspells gems.

I then drew a map of each of the sovereignties, using England’s existing cities for the palaces of the elven lords. My sketch was pretty rough, so I had my artist husband draw up another version to share with your readers today.

In The Fire Lord’s Lover, I used the common practice of arranged marriages and conspired to have one of the elven lord’s half-breeds, Dominic Raikes, wedded to one of the Rebellion’s spies, Lady Cassandra Bridges. With the fantasy element, I gifted Lady Cassandra with the death dance, and she was used as an assassin against Dominic’s father—the arranged marriage a subterfuge by the Rebellion.

I love researching fashion (as frustrating as it sometimes can be) and realized that the white wigs common in the era were a perfect foil for the white hair of the elven lords. In my world, the wigs were worn to copy the beautiful locks of the elven, with powdered stone used to imitate the silver sparkles in the elven lords’ hair.

So I started with history, changed it by adding a healthy dose of magic, infused it with romance and passion, and the world of The Elven Lords was born. If you should have any questions or comments—about my process or my world—I’d love to hear from you!

All my magical best,

Kathryne Kennedy's historical fantasy romances have garnered awards and a growing readership. This exciting new series, set against the lavish backdrops of Georgian and Victorian England so beloved by romance readers, is deliciously dark and exciting.

Fighting for control of a kingdom that is split into seven domains, Elven warlords use their human slaves to breed an endless supply of soldiers for their armies. Dominic Raikes, the half-blood son of the Elven Lord himself is one such warrior. Betrothed to Lady Cassandra, who has been raised in a convent to keep her pure, he little suspects that she's been secretly trained as an assassin to murder his father. Dominic and Cassandra soon discover that each one is not what they seem, but the price of trust may be their very lives, and the destruction of the magical realm each is desperately trying to save…


-- Lynda Again

Sourcebooks is offering two free copies of The Fire Lord's Lover to readers of this blog. To enter the drawing, leave a comment here AND send an email to me at with the subject heading of FIRE LORD and your snail mail addy in the body by noon on Friday, July 9. Wookie, my fabulous fluffy buddy (you can see her picture at ) and I will select two winners.

Don't forget, you can still enter my Heartstone Grand Prize Drawing until my novel is released. Go to then click on News to get the contest details.

Hope to see you there!

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