Monday, November 21, 2011

Blog Tour - 24 blogs - Win a Kindle

Blog Tour Dates and Links

An ebook will be given away each day. Leave a comment to be entered in the Kindle drawing. Leave one on every blog to increases your chances to win. Good luck!

A Marshal of Her Own release date Nov. 23, 2011

Nov. 23 – Vonnie Davis – – Interview questions. ebook winner Shelley Munro

Nov. 24 – Nancy Jardine – – Invention of Fountain Pen. ebook winner Na

Nov. 25 – Linda Kage - - Research on 19th Century undergarments.  ebook winner Susan P. Owens

Nov. 26 – W. Lynn Chantall (Character Interview) - Character Interview.  ebook winner Lynn Marshall

Nov. 27 – Sandra K. Marshall - - Interview questions. ebook winner Marybelle

Nov. 28 – Celia Yeary (research on calico) - - A Little History of Feed Sacks.  ebook winner - Mackenzie Crowne

Nov. 29 – P.L. Parker - - Condoms in the Old West and the Comstock Law of 1873.  ebook winner Susan

Nov. 30 – Nikki Barrett - - The Hoosier. ebook winner Christine Warner

Dec. 1 – Val Pearson - - Women of Controversy.  ebook winner Tami


               Liz Crowe - - Interview ebook winner Tracey D.

Dec. 2 – Jill James - - Courting in the Old West.  ebook winner Sarah L

Dec. 3 – Jeanne Guzman - - Singer Sewing Machines.  ebook winner Jerrie Alexander

Born in Ice release date December 4, 2011 (Daily installments of the Prologue and Chapter One of Born in Ice.)

Dec. 4 – Greta van der Rol -  ebook winner Victoria Roder

Dec. 5 – Linda Kage -  ebook winner Carol Kilgore

Dec. 6 – Dawn Alexander -   ebook winner Na

Dec. 7 – Jennifer Wilck - Fried Oreos  ebook winner Quilt Lady

Dec. 8 – Nikki Duncan -  ebook winner Rita Bay

Dec. 9 – Jennifer Jakes (A Marshal of Her Own) -  Cooking in the Victorian Kitchen.  ebook winner - Na

Dec. 10 – Allison Knight -   ebook winner J.A. Garland

Dec. 11 – Holly Hunt -  Katheryn Ann Merkle

Dec. 12 – Lisa -   ebook winner Sarah L.
Dec. 12 – Liz Flaherty -  ebook winner Kenzie Michaels

Dec. 13 - Joanne Renaud -   ebook winner CC Kaufman

Dec. 14 – J.D. Revezzo -  ebook winner Katheryn Ann Merkel

Dec. 15 – Rachel Ferasek - - Christmas Wish 3 books I’d like to have and blurb, etc.

Drawing for the Kindle will be December 18, 2011.

I hope you will follow along. Happy Reading and Writing!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Contest for Born in Ice and Blog Tour

To celebrate Born in ice, my futuristic romantic suspense, I'm having a drawing for this rhinestone frog pin. If you read the story, you'll understand why I picked this for the prize.

To enter, sign up for my newsletter by emailing me at with Born in Ice in the subject line. A winner will be drawn on December 31, 2012.

Check back tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011,  for details on my Blog Tour to celebrate two releases--A Marshal of Her Own and Born in Ice.

I'll be blogging on 23 authors' blogs. Each day I'll give away an ebook. To be eligible, leave a comment. If you visit each blog on the tour and leave a comment, your name will be entered 23 times in the Grand Prize drawing for a Kindle.

I hope you'll join me for the entire tour. You could be the winner of a Kindle!

Happy Reading and Writing!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Time Travel Romances, in the 1990s and Today

It's hard to believe the time travel romance genre has been around for over 20 years-- and I only first read Jude Deveraux's 1989 classic "A Knight in Shining Armor" this summer, which makes me several decades behind most other people. However, I fell in love with it, because it tackles so many issues that most time travel romances are too afraid to take on. Like for example, the quality of life issue the heroine faces in the past-- and what happens when she tragically mucks up the timeline with her meddling? It's an inventive tour de force that IMO hasn't been equalled.

My problem with a lot of time travel romances in the '90s, post "A Knight in Shining Armor," is how sugary and contrived many of them seemed to be. Judith O'Brien was a prolific and popular time travel romance author 15 years ago-- I'm quite fond of her YA time travel novel "Timeless Love" from 2002, but I'm not as crazy about the adult time travel romances she was writing earlier. Many of her earlier novels are inoffensively cute (like "Once Upon a Rose") but some of them are so romanticized that they left a bad taste in my mouth.

For example, "Ashton's Bride," where the heroine goes back to the Civil War era south, was particularly hard to read, especially since the Yankee heroine learns her lesson about why it's wrong to hate the Confederacy, and she ends up staying the 1860s, which is such a depressing prospect to me that I find it difficult to be happy for this character. I'm not comfortable viewing the Confederacy through such rose-colored glasses, and while I was reading "Bride," I kept thinking of Ta-nahesi Coates' provocative and fascinating piece in the Atlantic. Whether you agree with Coates or not, I think it's safe to say that, boyfriend or not, most modern-day women would prefer not to spend the rest of their lives in Reconstruction-era Tennessee. Probably the best time travel story I've ever read that involved the 19th century American south is Octavia Butler's "Kindred." It's not a romance in the genre sense-- but it is a love story, one which takes an uncompromising look at history, slavery, and race.

Many other time travel romances written in the '90s were pretty much fluff pieces, and while there's nothing wrong with that, sometimes I like to read time travel romances that aren't afraid to take on the darker aspects of history. Because of the proliferation of e-presses, I think the genre has opened up to edgier stories: I'm thinking mainly of Linda LaRoque's A Way Back, where the heroine time travels back to the early years of the Great Depression; she helps save the life of a banker who is financially ruined and on the verge of suicide. Another notable example is Carrie Lofty's Sundial, where the hero, a 1980s boy stranded in 1950s Italy, turns to selling heroin to survive.

Both of these stories, unlike many time travel romances that came out in the '90s, involve time travel to more recent decades in the 20th century.This is probably just a personal preference, due to my abiding love for such shows as "Quantum Leap," "Life on Mars" and "Journeyman," but I vastly prefer using modern history-- as opposed to the heroine going back to some more remote time period, like Charlemagne's France, or Renaissance Scotland. When I read some book where the heroine goes back to, say, the middle ages, I mainly think of how unlikely it is for her to even survive. How can she even communicate? Given the rampant infectious diseases common back then (like the sweating sickness), wouldn't it be likely for her to get sick and die? I know… wondering about disease and immunity isn't terribly romantic, but I think about these things. (One of the few medieval time travels I like is the "Doomsday Book" by Connie Willis. It's a superb story, though it's sci-fi, not romance; but it is believable and well-researched, though the main character, Kivrin, goes through hell. The Black Death ain't fun, that's for sure!)

I prefer 20th century time travel stories because I feel the hero or heroine has a much better chance of not dying. In LaRoque's "A Way Back," I wasn't surprised when Amber prospers in the 1930s, and decides to stay; and as for Lofty's "Sundial," Mark (the displaced 1980s guy) manages to survive, but it's incredibly difficult for him. In both stories, there are mentions of other people who've time traveled, and who haven't been as lucky-- I like how there's these chilling notes of how dangerous time travel is. As appealing as the idea of time travel is, there's something horrific to it, that I don't think should be forgotten. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. Think of such time travel movies like "Back to the Future II," George Pal's "The Time Machine" or most notably, Ray Bradbury's classic short story "The Sound of Thunder"-- time travel can be scary stuff.

One reason "Sundial" made such an impression on me is the romance between the modern-day, new millennium heroine, and 1980s Mark. When I first saw the story on Fictionwise, I was amazed that an author would use such a recent time period-- it reminded me, back in the mid '90s, when there would be discussions about time travel romances on various message boards, how people would react when I said I wanted to read about 1970s time travel. "But that was so recent! I remember it, and it was horrible!" was the usual response. And then I would say: "Yeah, but I could see the Sex Pistols and the Clash live when they were young! Plus I wouldn't have to worry about disease, or finding the right clothes, and I'd be okay if I went out by myself. As time travel goes, it would be relatively low stress. And a story where a girl goes back to the '70s would be fun, because-- not only would there be sex, drugs and rock and roll-- she could meet her relatives when they were young, like in 'Back to the Future.'"

At the time, I felt as if my suggestions fell on deaf ears, but I think a tiny seed of an idea was implanted in my mind. When I saw "Sundial" it reminded me of what I'd been saying about '70s time travel way back in '96: and I always wondered what it would be like to have an 1980s themed time travel romance. It took me a few years to get around to writing it, but I finally did at the end of last year: I called it A Question of Time (after the Depeche Mode song) and I was thrilled when it was accepted by Champagne Books over the summer. It's coming out in November 2012-- and if you're interested, you can see a more complete story of how this story came to be on my blog.

I think it is quite possibly the first 1980s time travel romance ever written-- and it's got New Wave bands, teen boutiques, nouvelle cuisine, ginormous glasses and boxy cars aplenty. But it's not all synthpop, leopard-print polyester, and pink neon; in honor of Carrie Lofty and Linda LaRoque, it takes on a few darker themes too. And sometimes I wonder what my younger self would say, if I could time travel back to 1996 and tell me what would happen.

Time travel back to the '90s? Hmmm, I wonder….

Joanne Renaud, who earned a BFA in illustration from Art Center College of Design, has been writing, drawing and painting as long as she can remember. She went to college in a variety of places, including Northern Ireland and Southern California, and enjoys history, comics, children’s books, and cheesy fantasy movies from the ’80s. She currently works as both an author and a freelance illustrator in the Atlanta area. Her novel "A Question of Time" is due for release from Champagne Books in November 2012, and her illustration clients include Simon & Schuster, Random House, Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan-McGraw Hill, Harcourt Inc., Compass Media, and GOS Multimedia. Thanks for being here today, Joanne. Good luck with your upcoming time travel release A Question of Time. Readers, click on the link above and read the blurb for her upcoming novel. Also, browse Joanne's beautiful website and artwork, connect with her on her blog , Twitter, deviantArt site and view her portfolio site.

Please leave Joanne a comment or a question and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Marshal of Her Own Release Contest

A Marshal of Her Own, a short time travel set in 1890s Prairie, Texas will be released in ebook format only by The Wild Rose Press on November 23, 2011.


Despite rumors of “strange doings” at a cabin in Fredericksburg, investigative reporter Dessa Wade books the cottage from which lawyer, Charity Dawson, disappeared in 2008. Dessa is intent on solving the mystery. Instead, she is caught in the mystery that surrounds the cabin and finds herself in 1890 in a shootout between the Faraday Gang and a US Marshal.

Marshal Cole Jeffers doesn’t believe Miss Wade is a time traveler. He admits she’s innocent of being an outlaw, but thinks she knows more about the gang than she’s telling. When she’s kidnapped by Zeke Faraday, Cole is determined to rescue her. He’s longed for a woman of his own, and Dessa Wade just might be the one—if she’ll commit to the past.

A Marshal of Her Own is a sequel to A Law of Her Own available at the Wild Rose Press,, B& and other online book seller.

Blurb of A Law of Her Own:

She won’t let an innocent man hang

When Charity Dawson resigns her father’s corporate law firm to pursue a career as a trial lawyer, she gets more of a change than she wanted. She finds herself transported to 1888 Texas in the middle of a murder trial.

Turner Reardon is on trial for killing his mistress. He’s given up all hope when an oddly dressed young woman disrupts his trial, claiming she can prove his innocence. Her testimony is brilliant, but his optimism is short lived when she also claims she’s a lawyer.

Charity doesn’t know how she arrived in Prairie, and no one believes she actually went to law school. Her evidence is tossed out and Turner is sentenced to hang. She has only one chance to save an innocent man’s life and find the real killer.

The third story in this series, A Love of His Own is awaiting a release date.

To celebrate the release of A Marshal of Her Own, I'm having a contest. The prize is a vintage rhinestone typewriter pin similar to the typewriter given to Dessa Wade in this story. It is approximately 1 3/8 by 1 3/8 inches.

To enter, sign up for my monthly using the form to the right or send an email to with newsletter in the subject line. If you're already receiving my newsletter, send an email with A Marshal of Her Own Contest in the subject line.

A winner will be drawn on December 31, 2011.

I hope you'll enter, and if you haven't read the first book, I think you'll enjoy it.

Stay tuned as Born in Ice will be out in early December and I'll be announcing a contest for it also.

Thanks for Reading and Writing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last Leg of Route 66

In November of 2007 our tour of Route 66 began. We drove to Amarillo, TX and made it all the way to Winslow, AZ. Smoke from grass fires filled the air and we decided to head home. Then in June 2010 we drove from the outskirts of Chicago to Oklahoma City. The kennel called and said our little dog Molly had had a seizure so we decided to head for home. One day we'll have to drive the short stip from Oklahoma City to Amarillo. On this trip, we started in Winslow, AZ, but let me back up a little.

I'm in the process of writing a romantic suspense set in New Mexico along the old road. A ghost is involved in the story as are some antique directional Zuni fetishes. If you're not familiar with Zuni fetishes, they are beautiful pieces of art. Google them and read up. I have four fetishes, three I purchased while in New Mexico on trip one, one I purchased in South Dakota, and I added two more to my collection on this trip--a raven and a porcupine. Both are significant to my story as is the white bear I bought in South Dakota.

So, we made a detour on our way to Winslow and spent the night in Zuni at the Inn of Halona. It's a lovely B&B right in the heart of Zuni land. Part of the structure has been there since the eighteen hundreds. Their breakfast is one of the best I've seen at an inn and the servings are generous. Try the blue cornmeal pancakes.

While in Winslow, we stayed at the historic La Posada Hotel, once a Harvey House. It is a beautiful place, filled with exhibits of days gone by. Amtrack still drops lodgers there and the dining room is well-know for its delicious cuisine.

The picture to the left depicts the entrace to the courtyard at La Posada. It has several gardens and iron artwork.

To the right is a few exhibits depicting the hotel in its early history. If you're interested, click on this link and read up about it's early construction, the Harvey girls, and its restoration.

The neat things and places we saw are too many to list, though I'll soon blog about Oatman, Clark Gable, and Carole Lombard as well as the small mining town of Calico, California.

I'd love to say we drove Route 66 all the way through LA, but we didn't have the time. Our resource said it would take all day, so we took the shortest route we could to the Santa Monica Pier. We were excited to reach the end of our journey and spent some time on the pier gazing out at the ocean and breathing in the salt air. We did learn that the actual route didn't end at the pier but somewhere downtown. In the 1950s, when the movies The Story of Will Rogers and The Grapes of Wrath came out and imortalized the road, the end was moved to the pier.

Back in the car, we drove up Highway 101, connected with scenic Highway 1 to San Simeon. I'll blog about the sights there on another day.

Thank you for stopping by and driving the old mother road with me. Happy Reading and Writing!