Monday, October 8, 2012
The scales are tipping these days. Gone are the days when I preferred reading a book to TV. But we have to admit there are so many good shows on right now. I still prefer reading, especially a historical. Still, I cannot miss my favorite TV shows. Good thing there's On Demand TV.
I cannot miss: Dexter, Hell on Wheels, Boardwalk Empire, Copper ... and some are getting ready to come back Borgias, Game of Thrones, and a few others.
Which shows would you watch over reading a book?
Friday, September 21, 2012
You may think you may know me but ...
When I sit down to write all must be right in my world. I cannot concentrate or even begin to start writing unless everything is in order. If I sit to write and there is one thing out of place, I must take action. Strange isn't it? I guess it's my quirky weirdness. But really if I want to focus on writing I must be in a clean, orderly room - with no distractions.
And that's not even the worst of it. I need to have a clear mind so all the stuff that fills my brain must be shoved out so I can think and concentrate. In order to do this, I sit, breathe, and kind of meditate until there is nothing in my thoughts but my story.
I'm not hard to live with. Well maybe I am.
I feel slightly sorry for my family who has to put up with these quirky personalities. For me, all needs to be settled before I can even think to sit and write.
What about you? Are you of a similar mind?
Thursday, September 13, 2012
An excerpt of my newly released book: One & Only
Intro: Grey is young lad put in charge of watching over the lass, Albrey, whom he will be betrothed to. He's left her sleeping near her parents to go and watch the warriors train...
“I best get back to watching Albrey. She’s probably awakened by now.”
Laird Gunn patted his son’s shoulder. “Aye, ye do your duty well watching the lass. It was honorable of ye to do so all day, lad. We should get to the betrothal ceremony; all are likely in their cups by now and won’t get to enjoy the announcement.”
Laird Ross stopped him with a hand to his shoulder. “Before we do, I want to give ye this.” He pulled out a steel dagger from a leather sheath. The dagger was well made, encrusted with a row of red jewels on the handle. “I give ye this gift, Grey, on this your betrothal day. As your champion, I bid you to always protect what is yours.”
“I will, Laird Ross.” Grey was pleased by the gift and admired the sharp blade. The jewels gleamed and gave a sparkle to the handle. He slid it back in the sheath and tucked it inside his tunic. “Thank ye for giving it to me.”
“Come, we shall find the lass and shout the news afar. She’ll be a bonny lass, Grey, when she’s older. Albrey will give you fine sons with strength enough to lead our soldiers. You will be an honorable man and she deserving such.” Laird Ross clapped his shoulder.
Grey walked beside his da, stepping lively. He wanted to hear the grand gesture of what the betrothal meant, once again. When his da and Albrey’s father was given the order by King William to betroth Albrey to him, Grey had been awakened in the middle of the night. They related the dictate with elation. The betrothal would allow them to ally their clans, and put aside the wars and scuffles.
The only promise Albrey’s father asked of him was that their families be at peace and that Albrey be safe from harm be it from he or his enemies. When asked if he could handle the task, Grey nodded and assured them he was capable, for which he received a few punches to his arms and grunts of approval.
Grey would always protect her and keep her in comforts, safe from his enemies, and he’d do his best to adore her. It’s what his da had done for his ma. His father had placed his mother in high esteem, always telling anyone who would listen that if it were not for her, he would be a lesser man. Laird Gunn taught his men to follow his lead and revere the women in their clan with the greatest respect. Grey had received those lessons since he’d been able to walk. Without women, men would suffer so. They would not have such tasty meals, clean tartans, tidy homes, or children to strengthen the clan.
As Grey reached the table where his ma had sat, he frowned. Neither Lady Mackay nor his ma was there. The spot where Albrey had lain was unattended, the grass undisturbed. She hadn’t lain very long. He should have known she would flee as soon as everyone’s backs turned. Then a twinge of guilt came upon him and he scolded himself for not checking on her sooner.
Both the Mackay and Gunn clans, as well of those attending the celebration, searched for hours. All looked for the missing lass, well into the morning light. Grey wouldn’t return to his family’s holding no matter how much his ma pleaded. He kept the search going, lighting a torch and checking most of her hiding spots.
The lass disappeared altogether. Grey grew dejected and could only blame himself. Their earlier conversation came back to him and he relayed what she’d told him to his da. He envisioned her face when she’d told him of her fear. But his da didn’t put much weight in Albrey’s concern about Kenneth MacHeth.
After nearly three days of looking for her, Grey finally conceded defeat. As he stood before his family’s home crestfallen, his da came outside.
“Come inside, Grey. Your ma is worried sick.”
Grey pulled the dagger from within his tunic, given to him by Donal Ross. Fitting it symbolized his betrothal, a union that would never be. Taking hold of his plaid, he tore it off, and then ripped his tunic until he felt the breeze on his uncovered chest. The air was crisp enough to bring a speckle of goose bumps to his flesh. Grey paid no attention to the effect of the night wind and looked up at his father.
“I didn’t keep my promise to Albrey. I swore to protect her. She’s lost to me forever, Da. This will always remind me of my failure.” Grey drew the pointed end of the sharp dagger over his heart, making a decent sized slash, one that would certainly need stitching.
Blood began pouring out of him and all he felt was the warmth of the liquid flowing over his skin and the sting of his failure. He looked up at his da and his vision blurred.
“Grey! God Almighty! Grey!” His da roared an anguished cry as he caught Grey’s body before it fell to the ground.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into One & Only. It's available now in both print and ebook on Amazon.com
Saturday, September 8, 2012
TOP 5 REASONS I LOVE READING HISTORICAL ROMANCES
1. Chilvary - There's nothing like a dashing hero who can be both obstinate and gentle, who isn't afraid to show a little courtly romance... But let's face it, men were brutal in the past. Of course they faced many dangerous situations then, like foes who carried massive swords or villains who conspired to thwart them anyway they could. Yet there is nothing grandure than a hero rescuing a maiden from a tower!
2. Maidens - I love heroines who could be dainty and demure, yet kickass and who doesn't give up. A heroine who gets her man! Being a woman was hard in those days. She had to submit to her hero and yet she had to be strong, perhaps even willful enough to challenge him from time to time.
3. Passion - People were so passionate about what was important to them. Nothing would stand in their way when they wanted something or someone. A hero would defend his land, woman, or people to his death if need be. Sigh, to be so fervent...
4. Attire - Clothing was not as simple as now a days. Depending upon the status of a person, their garments could be very simple. I would rather be a noble who had to dress to impress. Even though they wore clothing loose, they'd add items to embellish the look. I'd wear a long overdress, sewn with beautiful bodice and sleeves (I would probably have to ask someone to sew it for me - alas I cannot sew!) I would wear my hair long and fasionable. Although, I don't want to think about when the weather warmed. It probably got really hot wearing all those layers.
5. Beliefs - In days gone by, people were so supersitious. I suppose I am too, which is why I can connect with the ancients. I love folkelore and the tall tales of mystical creatures coming to destroy the village.
What are your reasons for loving and enjoying historical romance?
Posted by Kara Griffin at 1:26 PM
Friday, September 7, 2012
In honor of my upcoming release of "One & Only" I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Scottish romances, Claimed By A Charmer. It's free at Smashwords until 9/15!
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: PH29L
Expires: September 15, 2012
Posted by Kara Griffin at 7:31 AM
Friday, August 31, 2012
After writing my last book, One & Only (and truly being sad to leave the characters) it got me to thinking, what kind of character would I be if I were written into a story?
For me, I would have to say I'd be an elegant lady in medieval times. I would have to be from a wealthy family, because let's face it - unless you were born of a noble household or married into one, life was pretty darn difficult (and dirty) lol. I would have to have servants, who I would treat kindly, because an elegant lady treats everyone with kindness. I am not sure though that I'd be amiable to the obey thy lord. I have never obeyed anyone, lest of all my husband (who I adore, and he knows all he has to do is ask...) I dislike being commanded. That would probably be the only flaw in choosing that character. I suppose I would have to be extra sweet to my lord, laird, or king so he would purchase me fabulous material for my gowns.
So who would you be? Would you be a villain? What era would you want to be in? Contemporary? Whose author's characters do you relate to? For me it would have to be Julie Garwood's because she writes such elegant medieval ladies. If I had chosen contemporary, I would have to say Lizzie T. Leaf's characters are pretty awesome, and if I wanted to be kick-ass or vampish, I'd have to say Marie Treanor's characters would suit me.
Writing characters can be fun, but oftentimes it is difficult for writers to let them go. The good news is, for the next couple of months, I'll be sharing my story, One & Only with you, and hope you enjoy it.
Image credit: aspenphoto / 123RF Stock Photo
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
In writing my latest historical romance, I got to thinking about sex in medieval times. I'm sharing a link below with some interesting facts. As I read it, I thought -- I am so glad I did not exist then. Sex is far more interesting now than it was then! Or at least it is more creative, sensual, and meaningful. Writing fiction allows us to stretch the truth a little and not be so confined to the actuality of what sex was like then. At least I hope most authors are taking creative freedome, lol, in writing scenes related to sex.
In the regency/Georgian era, there were so many rules for a young lady to follow. Even then sex was so shushed and hidden. I hope readers know that were we to "tame" it down and stick with the veritable facts when it comes to writing sex scenes, we'd be bored to tears.
Read more at:
Sex In Medieval Times
What do you think? Should authors take creative liberties when writing historical character's sex scenes? Would love to hear your feedback.
Get the Pith Trilogy now on Amazon!
Claimed By A Charmer
Coming in paperback soon, a new Scottish romance!
Posted by Kara Griffin at 9:29 PM
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Hi all, in honor of my BD, I'm giving away FREE copies of Claimed By A Charmer. Douglas and Isabel are perhaps my most favorite characters. If you would like to get it, go to Smashwords and enter this coupon:
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: TL48M
Expires: July 11, 2012
"Claimed by a Charmer is charming, sweet and an enjoyable romantic read." I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please share if you'd like with your friends.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
To introduce The Pith Trilogy, the first book in the series is only 99 cents at Smashwords! Use this code to get the special pricing. I hope you enjoy the trilogy and your "journey" to Scotland.
Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: GN56D
Expires: May 29, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
For years I always said on Mother's Day all I want is time to relax and read. These days it's hard to find time for one's self -- when all I want to do is finish the book I started weeks ago. But those quiet moments when we're engrossed in a novel are some of the fondest times I think back on when life gets hectic. I envision myself in a garden like this one, looking at a castle, sitting on a blanket with a book in my hands. Ah, that sounds exactly the kind of day I dream of.
So tomorrow, my Mother friends, I hope you get to relax and spend some time in another world, to escape from the hectic Mothersome lives we face each day.
And as I write this, I'm thinking ... I have to do laundry, clean the bathrooms, vaccum, and ... Well maybe it can wait another day. Maybe the kids will realize that doing some of my chores would be the best gift.
Wishing you all a wonderful day and an escape.
Posted by Kara Griffin at 2:09 PM
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Thank you all so very much for stopping by my blog during the blog hop! I loved all your comments and really appreciate your interest in my books. Believe me, I write them from the heart and so hope to entertain you.
Kristin Van Dyken
Please email me at karagrif66 @ comcast.net (without spaces) and let me know which book you'd like. I do have various formats, so if you have a preference, let me know.
Posted by Kara Griffin at 6:31 PM
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I often think I was born during the wrong era. I mean, why else would I be so fascinated with the past? As a history major, professor and all around geek, I’ve been sucked in by various eras. First, it was Vietnam, then Nazi Germany, followed by Romanov Russia and the American Civil War. Yet, when I first started writing, I didn’t write historical.
That didn’t last very long.
Oh, I had a decent voice for contemporary and paranormal, but when I started writing historical romance something special happened. I lost myself in the writing and the research. It was like watching a wonderful movie every time I sat down and entered that world—a world where I could inject an untold story into what people believed they already knew.
History is written from the point of view of the victors, for the most part. Who are the victors? Different peoples across different centuries, but typically, men. Mainstream history is not written about the little people, which includes most women. It doesn’t tell the stories of love, loss, and betrayal that happen to everyone. Or stories of overcoming odds and obstacles, battles of the heart that drives both men and women to do unbelievable and unexpected things. Those were the stories I wanted to tell.
Writing Surrender to the Roman was like putting together a puzzle. Finding just the right time in history, using the famous figures already present, getting all the details just right. The general and the princess had to appear at the right moment to be believable as bitter enemies, the circumstances had to be accurate, and the relationships framed correctly for the time. Beyond that, the depth of the love story needed to be at the heart of everything, which makes the historical details no less important, but does relegate them to the background. The stage needed to be well set before the characters could tell their story.
I loved the challenge of putting this story together, and hope readers will lose themselves in the pages in the same way.
As the Romans storm the last stronghold of Dacia, Princess Ademeni awaits her fate. Taken as a slave, she is deposited into General Marcus Cordovis’s home as a gift.
Driven to avenge her family, Ademeni plots to kill her captor and escape. Though not the cruel victor she expects, Marcus keeps her too close to make escape easy—so close that Ademeni is soon tormented by an unbidden, traitorous attraction. In a moment of weakness, a passionate kiss almost undoes them both.
But the handsome, widowed general has another surprise for Ademeni: a young daughter. Marcus dares ask Ademeni to help him bridge the gap between him and his little girl. And now, Ademeni is growing too fond of those she is supposed to despise. As Marcus prepares for the triumphal march and the opening of the gladiatorial games—where captives of her homeland will be sacrificed—Ademeni readies for her own battle between revenge and love.
Surrender to the Roman will be available at Carina Press on April 9, and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I love to hear reader feedback, so feel free to contact me via:
• Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Author.MK.Chester
• Twitter - https://twitter.com/M_K_Chester
• Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/mkchester
Posted by Kara Griffin at 9:07 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012
One of the things I love best about writing historical romances is research. Often I come across an article, picture, or historical fact which inspires something in my stories. I love to read about history, especially when it involves a good mystery or folklore. One of the most interesting facts about history or historical figures was that many people were superstitious. Today we adhere to those very superstitions. Ironic isn’t it? Imagine someone in the long lost past thought, “If I step under this latter, bad things will happen to me.” How many of us today refuse to walk under a latter?
I read once that if a butterfly enters your home, good fortune would come to you. That of course is Scottish folklore. I think perhaps if a butterfly entered your home it would bring delight and would make you feel as though you had good fortune. Well, that’s my take on it. As much as historical is factual, there is a lot of subjective information to take from it.
I have found a lot of tidbits of history to add to my stories. I don’t try to bore people with a history lesson, but instead weave the fact into the characters, story, or have it support both. As a longtime reader of historical romance, I admit there are parts of books where I just skim through, because the author has felt the need to go on about political dealings or delve deeply into a historical fact. I do feel bad about that, because I know ever word an author writes should be coveted. Unfortunately, I want romance and don’t want it overtaken by such detail.
In a new series I am working on, I have tried to weave history in it. However, it takes place in modern day. The characters in each book resemble those from history (some actual, some fictional). In this way, we can still connect with them knowing a little of what drives them to be who they are.
Another thing I find interesting about writing historical romance is – the go-between the hero and heroine. I want my characters to be who they are in their time frame. Unfortunately that means the woman won’t be a kick-ass who takes the man she wants. I know, I know, we all want to read about women who are empowering – but remember a woman could be empowering and still be coy or sweet or demure (and still get what she wants).
So readers, I ask you, how do you like your history in romances? We authors would love to hear your feedback. When you read a historical romance, does too much history detract from the pleasure of reading? Does too little history detract from reading and you hoped there was more? Do you stop or have you stopped reading because you didn’t agree with the author’s historical facts?
I know I will always cherish reading historical romances, and I do hope authors continue to put out such marvelous books.
Posted by Kara Griffin at 6:56 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
**OFFICIAL TOUR RULES TO BE POSTED:**
1) HAVE FUN!!!
2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Friday, March 23, at Midnight (Arizona Time) THIS TOUR ENDS: Sunday, March 25, at Midnight (Arizona Time) Winners will be drawn and posted Monday, March 26! ***
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH ALL THE AUTHORS & BOOK PAGES! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY BLOG CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER, THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES. EVERY AUTHOR & BOOK PAGE IS WAITING TO MEET AND INTERACT WITH YOU, SO PLEASE BE SURE TO SHOW THEM SOME LOVE!
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Anyone who leaves a comment or participates in the "Historical writing" post will be entered to win a free download of their choice of Claimed By A Charmer or Lass' Valor! So be sure to post a comment and say hello! There will also be a special prize drawn from all entries for a piece of bling.
Posted by Kara Griffin at 8:33 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Join me this weekend here at Castles and Kisses for some excitement. I'll be blogging about writing historical romances and have invited other authors to join in. Readers, it would be wonderful to hear your view on the subject, because after all, you are who we write these fabulous books for :)
I'll be taking names to do a giveaway of a free book, but also will have some other lovely prizes available for readers. Does the word bling bring anything to mind??
I hope you'll join me.
And if you're wanting to preview excerpts and get the inside scoop on some of my books. Stop by SEXYDELIGHTS Yahoo Group throughout the weekend.