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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today's #Guest #Interview #romanticsuspense ALL THOSE MILES I WALKED by @ViviMackade

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have you here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m Viviana, from south Florida by way of England and, before that, Italy. I write contemporary suspense, but ready to dip my laptop into the Fantasy genre (this is kind of a newsflash).

-What kind of research do you do for a novel and how extensive do you get?
It depends of the subject. As a general rule, I research enough to get me started, then I research as I go. Which sometimes gets me stuck for a day or two because I’m nuts and I at that point I want to know EVERYTHING about a subject.

-Is there any other genre that you would love to try writing?  If so, what is it?
Fantasy. There. I said it. Which means when the third and final book in the Crescent Creek Series will be done (September–just saying) I’ll have to start writing this new thing buzzing in my head.

-Do you ever see yourself as the heroine/hero or find yourself relating to them when you write a story?
Oh, no! I’m nowhere near that interesting and/or gutsy. I’d be the lamest Heroine ever.

-What is your favorite method of in laptop, desktop, iPad or the old-fashioned pencil and paper?  And do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?
It’s computer for the actual writing, but good ole’ pencil and paper to plot, note, and the such. I’m a hybrid, meaning I need to have a general idea about the book, for which I’ll plot, and then let the character move through it freely.

-When you need a break or some time off from the trials of being a writer, what can you be found doing?
Taking a walk with my earbuds blasting music. It used to be jogging, but I have MS and jogging doesn’t happen anymore. So, I walk.

-Share your favorites:
Favorite color – purple
Favorite dessert/snack – tiramisu (when I make it) / cinnamon rolls
Favorite Season – Spring when I was in Europe. Here in Florida, winter.
Favorite sad song – Tonight I’m Gonna Cry by Keith Urban
Favorite Romantic movie – Australia
Favorite Actor – Too many I like–I’m such a tramp….
Favorite way to relax – walking or pool

Where can our readers find you?  

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it? 

All Those Miles I Walked
by Viviana MacKade

At eighteen, DJ made a choice–her heart or her dreams. Neither was wrong, yet either would break her heart. She chose the world. Over a decade later, she returns to Crescent Creek and to the one regret she's ever had–Scott.

Scott’s always been steady as a rocky reef. He’d loved once and when she’d left, his strong heart had crumbled like a sandcastle. Now DJ is back, and Scott wants nothing to do with her. If only Eva, his and DJ’s old friend, didn’t need their help. Because of her, he’s stuck with DJ and he’d be damned, she still gets under his skin.

DJ is a free spirit who needs the road under her feet. Scott is a family man who wants to groom his roots. With danger on their doorstep and a baby to keep safe, how much are they willing to compromise for love?

Amazon ebook  paperback

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why I Didn't Renew My Membership in Romance Writers of America by Marianne Stephens

I first joined in 1994. So much has changed since then. Just look at how many options people now have to read books!

I needed to be part of that BIG Romance Group in the beginning. I needed the conventions/workshops/access to other authors. I also joined a local RWA group. Got lots of good information.

Now, I don't see any benefit in joining. I haven't been to a conference/convention in years. Hated when RWA switched to forum format for group contacts/information. 

And the whole ebook issue in earlier years left me very disappointed with RWA. I published an ebook in 2007...but was made to feel like the outcast cousin in RWA. I didn't have a BIG publisher or a print book. I had an ebook, and this was not looked upon with favor.

I knew back then that technology would change reading. Ebooks would flourish. I tried to explain this to people and my predictions weren't well-received.

When Harlequin decided to pursue an ebook line, I could only image RWA members running around saying, "The sky is falling!". Suddenly, RWA had to change their attitude about ebooks since Harlequin was venturing into those publishing waters. 

I quit my local group. I'd offered many times to do workshops about ebook publishing. I believe I did one quick one where there was little enthusiasm for what I was saying. I don't like the rules RWA places on chapters. 

I was a PAN member (Published Author Network). Got in before RWA made it almost impossible for e-pubbed authors to become members. I stayed in RWA/PAN just to annoy those who placed little value on epublishing.

But now the time has come for me to quit since I no longer see any value in being in RWA.

The two times I asked for help with chapter business, I didn't get any. I actually got more help from The Author's Guild than RWA.

Goodbye, RWA. You were relevant in my life before, but now supply no benefits for me. I'm older, wiser, and have moved on. 

And, technology will keep our writing/reading industry in a state of constant flux. Will RWA embrace those changes?

Marianne Stephens

photo:Flickrr: Peter Kaminski

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT: A Challenge for Fantasy Writers

Posted by Author R. Ann Siracusa

When I first started writing romance novels in the mid-1980s, the “rules” were so restrictive an author couldn’t write about women in traditional men’s professions, much less about a heroine in the entertainment business or sports. “Readers can’t relate,” Harlequin told my agent. Phooey. I was an architect, and I didn’t want to read about nannies.
At the time, I never would have believed someday we’d be writing romances including vampires, but now they’re crawling all over the shelves in the book stores [if Amazon has allowed any brick and mortar bookstores to survive]. Along with them are romances about werewolves, zombies, shape shifters, demons, angels, dragons, aliens, witches, gnomes, elves, ad infinitum.

So, what will be the next big thing? We need something new and fresh, your editor will tell you. I was at a loss for ideas until I remembered the bogeyman [also spelled bogyman, boogeyman, bogieman, and boogieman].

Did you ever hear your parents use those words when you were a kid? I’m not sure whether I learned about the bogeyman at home or somewhere else, but I grew up knowing this monster meant business.
Today’s parenting doesn’t buy into the concept of frightening children into good behavior, but for thousands of years it has been a main stay. After all, throughout history parents around the world have wanted good behavior from their children. I’m sure what constituted good behavior varies a lot.
According to Melissa Breyer*, “Creating compliance in children is surely a universal desire, and there’s no easier way than to scare the bejesus out of them. Although it seems somewhat cruel to intensify the fears that are already part and parcel of childhood, as long as there are benevolent Santa figures used to affect behavior, the malevolent counterpart will remain alive and well. Because when the promise of presents and candy doesn't work, the threat of being eaten by a monster can be rather persuasive.”

WHAT DOES HE - SHE - IT LOOK LIKE?What I didn’t learn growing up is what this Bogeyman monster looked like. It was a non-specific incarnation of terror which leapt out of nowhere on the days when a child had been particularly difficult, ornery, mischievous, or just plain “bad.”

 He usually lived under the child’s bed or in the closet, and preferred to appear at night after the child was alone in the dark.
Not knowing the appearance of the monster makes it even that more frightening. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t have any clue to look for.

Although the bogeyman is usually thought of as masculine, he/she/it can be anything. “The bogeyman himself varies in appearance. It’s common belief that he will embody the fears of the person he has targeted. If you’re afraid of spiders, he could appear as a giant spider. If you’re afraid of a specific person in your life, he could appear as that person. The possibilities are endless.”

It’s no surprise, then, that nearly every culture in the world developed their own equivalent of the Bogeyman. If you want the full list, go to Wikipedia: Here are just a few of the ones I found interesting.
Sack Man [Spain and many other Spanish-American countries]

Sack Man [Hombre del Saco] carries away naught children.
The inspiration likely comes from a very real person who, during the 16th and 17th centuries, was in charge of collecting orphan babies to take to orphanages. He put them in bags or wicker baskets and carried them through the province. Most of them died before reaching the orphanage.
● Bicho Papão [Portugal and Brazil]
Sources suggests that the Portuguese brought to Brazil the bogeymen, Bicho Papão [The Eating Beast]. Residents of Brazil use the names interchangeably with Sack Man. The only difference between the two is that Bag Man comes during the day and The Eating Beast comes during the night.

El Coco / El Cuco / El Cucuy [Spain, Portugal, Latin-America]

Coco is also known in folklore as Cuco, Coca, Cuca, Cucuy. It is a mythical dragon or a ghost monster which is said to appear in many different shapes and forms. So, there is no description of the beast which can be applied to all the places where it appears.
Photo: By C.A.Christensen March 2016
The monster Coco’s origins are Portugal and Spanish Galicia, where it appeared as a monster with a pumpkin head, two eyes, and a mouth. During medieval times, it transformed into a female dragon. In Portugal it has remained popular until today.
El Cuco is the more common name in most of South and Central America, and among Mexican-Americans, El Cucuy is portrayed as a small humanoid with glowing red eyes that hides under children's beds at night and kidnaps or eats a child who does not obey his parents.             Photo: 

L’uomo Nero / Babau [Italy and parts of Mediterranean]
The Black Man monster is depicted as a tall man wearing a heavy black coat and a black hood or hat, or sometimes a demon appearing as a man or ghost without legs.
Sometimes parents knock loudly under the dining table [like someone knocking at the door] and say “Here comes the Black Man. He knows a child who doesn’t want to drink his soup.”

● Bubak [Czech Republic and Poland]
This scarecrow-like bogeyman hides on riverbanks and makes           sounds like a lost baby to lure both children and adults into                 his clutches. He drives a cart pulled by cats and weaves                     clothes for the souls he has stolen.

● Mörkö / Marrän / The Groke [Scandinavia]

In the northern countries, the Bogeyman is substantially different. She is a large, scary, dark blue, ghost-like creature with a shapeless, blobby body, two staring eyes, and a wide row of shiny teeth. She isn’t malicious but so lonely that wherever she stands, the ground freezes and plants die.


● Lulu-khorkhore / لولو [Iran]

In Iran, children are warned about Lulu who eats naughty children. The threat is usually to make them eat their meals.

Lulu - Originally shared by zahra lotfi 

Namahage [Japan]

The Japanese bogeyman is a demon spirit who warns children not to be lazy or cry. He visits each house on New Year’s Eve and asks if the children have been lazy. If the parents can say “no”, then he moves on to the next house. I don’t know what he does if the parents say “yes.”

Originally hailing from the cold parts of the Oga Peninsula, the name comes from the blisters that form on one’s feet when they are close to the fire for too long, indicating the person was too lazy to move. 
Drawing by Yuko Shimizu from Pinterest

Boggart [Scotland]
Boggart is a malicious fairy who causes big and small disasters for people. If you name it, it will follow you and your family everywhere you go. I don’t know if naming it means giving it a proper individual name or just calling it a Boggart. A horseshoe over the door protects you from Boggarts.

Baboulas / Μπαμπούλας [Greece]
In Greece the bogeyman is used by parents to scare their children into behaving. Baboulas is a cannibal who eats children.

● Abu Rigl Maslukha / al-Bu'bu' / Man With A Burnt Leg [Egypt]

Abu Rigl Maslukha is got his leg burnt when he was a child because he did not listen to his parents. He grabs naughty children to cook and eat them. The same as, who is often depicted as a night creature dressed in black, who haunts children who misbehave.


While the true origin of the English term “bogeyman” isn’t known, there are plenty of theories. One comes from England where the “buggy man” was the driver of the carts that went around English cities and picked up dead bodies during the time of the Black Plague.
Another theory is that the word was derived from the Middle English word bogge / bugge which means hobgoblin. According to Wikipedia, it is “generally thought to be a cognate of the Berman bögge, böggle-mann.”

Okay, fantasy romance writers, your challenge is to pick one of the prototype bogeymen and make him the protagonist of a fantasy romance.

AUTHOR R. ANN SIRACUSATravel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue

Sources http:/    [The Coo Coo (El CuCuy) by C.A.Christensen March 2016]

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