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Susan Boles: Brotherhood Protectors World and Cozy Mystery Connection
Friday, April 19th, 2019

When I began writing in the Brotherhood Protectors World last year, I wanted to create characters and stories that would cross over into my cozy mystery series and yet still be romantic suspense.

So I came up with the concept of creating a case of younger characters who are related in some way, fashion or form to the older characters in my cozy mystery series.

I thought this would be a good way to create great romantic suspense stories that might bring readers over to my mystery series out of curiosity to find out more about the town of Mercy, Mississippi — and the quirky characters who live there.

My first book in the Brotherhood Protectors World, Persuading Piper, features Ian “Hawkeye” Elliott, who is the son of the real estate agent in the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series. He’s come back to Mercy, Mississippi to conduct undercover protection for the town mayor. Trouble is, Piper, the daughter of the mayor, is his high school sweetheart and the one woman he could never forget.

My second book in the Brotherhood Protectors World, Handling Harley Ann, just came out. In this book, Harley Ann is the great-niece of Miss Edna — the eighty-year-old town busybody in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. In this book, Harley Ann’s criminal past comes back to haunt her. And, Jesse “Bird Dog” Miller just happens to be in town visiting his buddy Ian. Jesse won’t stand for any craziness going on around the lady he’s just discovered he might be falling for.

It’s been great fun to write a romantic suspense series that crosses over into my mystery series and yet appeals to a broad audience. I plan to continue to weave the two series together in the future and give readers a birds-eye view into multiple generations in a small town.

About the Author

Susan Boles is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series and a contributing author to Elle James’ Brotherhood Protectors World.

A lifelong love of all things mysterious led Susan to write mystery and suspense stories. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers, Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets, and Phryne Fisher showed the that lady detectives can be outrageously individual. Combining romance with the mystery is just the cherry on top of the writing cake!

She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba.

Stay in touch for further releases!

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Genevive Chamblee: Why Is the Love Genre Hated?
Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Romance is one of the largest, if not the largest, genre out there in the world of fiction. Yet, it is one that receives so much shade, especially its subgenre, erotica. Romance often is criticized for being cheesy or predictable, but this can occur in any genre. So, why does romance have so many critics? Well, here are a couple of reasons.

    1. Characters are all beautiful and/or perfect. Some readers find it difficult to relate to the main characters in romance land. See, real women wake up with eyes matted, breath that smells like tuna stuck in an exhaust pipe, and hair that will damn-near extract the bristles of any horse brush while the lovely heroine rolls over after a long night of evading bad guys in high-speed chase with little more than smudge lipstick and a flyaway strain of hair. Readers be like, “Beeotch, please!”
    2. Too high expectations. In my opinion (like anyone cares about that), this criticism comes from men and is related to the behavior of the hero in the story. In many (dare I say most?) romances, the heroes are alphas and are allowed to get away with saying and doing all kinds of hellish behavior whereas an ordinary man would get slapped nakkid, clothes hid, and smacked with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Compare a novel’s sexy billionaire restraining women with silk ties on his yacht to a real-life minimum wage Joseph Blowhisnose who binds women using a galvanized poly dacron rope in the back of his hoopty pickup. Who’s going to jail? Well, both of them if the women didn’t consent. The point is, one sounds far sexier (and acceptable?) than the other, provided the reader is into that sort of thing. (No shade being thrown for having kinks.) The average man may feel that he can’t operate on the same level as billionaire boy toy alpha hero in romance stories; therefore, it is easier for him to criticize the genre. Ironically, this is an alpha move—suppress all the competition (even if the competition is words on a page).
    3. Too expensive. This is primarily another male argument. “Who can afford to take a date for a lobster, caviar, and champagne dinner three nights a week and then jet off to the Bahamas for a spa weekend?” I’m going to go out on a limb here and argue that most women don’t expect this. (Heck, I don’t want this, seeing how I’m allergic to shellfish. Anaphylaxis shock isn’t the kind of thrill I actively seek.) Okay, so maybe the date example that I gave was extreme. However, I don’t think most women want expensive dates. I think all they want is NICE dates or fun dates. Hot dogs in a park at a free concert would be great. A rooftop picnic under the stars can be super romantic. In most romance stories where the couple goes out on a “romantic” date, it is the creativity and thoughtfulness of the date that steals the woman’s heart. And that’s how it is in real life the majority of the time, too.
    4. Too trashy. Here’s a dirty little secret about romance. It isn’t dirty even when the couple is rolling around in the mud. There are all levels of heat in romance novels. Not every romance contains sex, and sex doesn’t equal romance. Some sweet romances only show hand holding or pecks on cheeks/foreheads. Some may display a brief kiss or maybe a slightly more passionate one. Others may just allude to something has occurred while others leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to getting to the nitty-gritty. The point is, sex is innate and natural, and humans are sexual creatures. So, what is trashy about that? I suppose if a couple starts going at it in a dumpster that would be pretty trashy—not to mention would probably warrant a tetanus shot. The days of being shamed over sexuality or sexual desires are passé antiquated. The notion that women shouldn’t express sexuality is chauvinistic. Women are entitled to their desires as much as men are.
    5. Poorly written. This criticism appears to stem from a bias of comparisons. Any book in any genre can be poorly written. A terrible book (usually due to poor character development or major plot holes/weak plot) frequently occurs when a book has not been well or properly edited or has been rushed into production. It needs to be noted here that there is a difference between a poorly written book and a book that is poorly received by readers. The former is a novel with grammatical, structural, continuity, redundancy, fluff, etc. (As a side note, in my opinion—yeah, that again—I think continuity issues is the worst sin out of the previous list.) A poorly received may be well written but for some reason didn’t click with readers. Of course, there are some poorly written books that have sold well, but they are more of an exception than the rule. Romance authors who take writing seriously are professionals and take the time to ensure that they produce a well-written book. It may not resonate with readers, but it won’t be due to inferior writing.
    6. The sex is never that good. What? Is someone not doing something right? Okay. Next!
    7. Tacky covers. Not everyone is going to agree on everything. Some romance readers like to see hot bodies on the covers while others may enjoy ones that highlight scenery. Tow·mah·toe. Tah·mate·toe. Some prefer a matte finish while others appreciate glossy. It’s a matter of preference. In comparison to other genres, romance covers overall are no more tacky others.
    8. Predictable ending. This is only a real problem for persons who dislike happily-ever-afters (or happy-for-now). Yes, romance has a predictable ending—boy and girl fall in love (or boy/boy, girl/girl, boy/girl/boy… I’m not about to get into all of this, but you get the point.) Romances have a formula: they meet, fall in love, get torn apart, get back together, the end. The beauty of romance is the path taken to get from beginning to end. It’s the journey that is the thrill, the ups-and-downs of the roller coaster. By the end of the ride, the reader is satisfied if the author has done his/her job correctly.
    9. I honestly have to say that I don’t mind this. Yes, I know many people find it cringy and odd, but I know plenty of people in real life who fell for each other the moment they met or after the first date. The difference is, most of them did not profess this love to each other right away. But the feelings were there. I guess I see how it could be weird or creepy to profess to someone you just met you love him/her. And chances are it’s probably lust and not love (or one too many shots) anyway. I think the reason instalove happens in books, especially in shorter length stories, the action must move fast. Most people don’t go on vacation for months on end. So, if the story is about a couple who meet on a two-week cruise, the author has two weeks to get them together. The clock starts ticking the minute their feet hit the deck. Think of the 1994 movie, Speed, with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. The characters Jack and Annie had a deadline of a leaking bus gas tank (Spoiler alert … oops, too late. But hey, who hasn’t already seen this movie?) to get together as a couple. Yes, it was a subplot, but the relationship had to develop quickly nonetheless.
    10. Unequal characters. This bothers me a lot when I see it. Usually, it’s the hero that has it all together and the heroine is a mess. Sometimes, even strong heroines are written to dumb as dirt who requires saving. Listen, sometimes a man can be a hero without the heroine being helpless. Years ago, I was about to enter a store when one of the workers gathering the shopping carts noticed I had a flat. Now, how it managed to go flat as the pavement the minute I parked I don’t know, but it hadn’t felt like a flat on the drive there. He volunteered to help. Bless his heart, he had no clue. I had to tell him he had the jack upside down. Ultimately, I ended up changing my own tire, but he was my hero that day. Why? Because he noticed the flat. Had it not been for him, I probably would have driven (or attempted to drive home) and destroyed my rim which would have cost far more money than replacing a tire… although, that tire wasn’t cheap. Just saying.

And that’s all I got. As a romance writer, I was probably a little biased. Okay, I was definitely a lot biased. But as they say in the navy, “oh, well!” I hope this article brought you some chuckles. If you like this article, give me a like or hop on over to my blog (Creole Bayou) and check out what I’m doing at

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to or to Amazon at

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page ( along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

Puzzle Fun!
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019


Cathleen Ross: How to avoid dying…
Monday, April 15th, 2019

Cathleen Ross

This post is more cheerful than the title suggests because it does have a happy ending, but it’s important reading because most of us have at some time done a long-haul flight. Cathleen Ross interviews author Enisca Hasic about the time a Deep Vein Thrombosis nearly cost her…her life.

25 December 2017

One Christmas Day forever embedded in my memory.

It’s common knowledge that cancer kills, that heart disease kills. No one warns you about blood clots, how life-threatening they can be.

Stealthily forming in your leg (or your arm) when you remain seated for long hours, the blood clot is a ticking time bomb you don’t know you have inside you until the moment you stand.

That upright movement is like a signal for the clot to break into pieces, each piece travelling at speed towards your lungs, filling them with blood so there is no room for air.

And there is the real danger then — the risk of heart attack, of stroke, of death.

I am intimately acquainted with blood clots. One settled in my right calf as I sat through a 15 hour flight from Dubai to Sydney. I felt fine through the flight, no inkling of what was about to happen. Half an hour before landing, I had an urge to use the toilet, but decided against it as the passengers beside me were sprawled in their seats fast asleep. I learned later from the doctors my decision not to go saved my life. I would have collapsed in the toilet, and with the plane still on the air and no immediate medical intervention available, I would have died.

Scary, sobering thought.

The plane landed. I got up, collected my cabin bag, and immediately felt a shortness of breath. My heart began beating fast. I was now gasping as I walked down the aisle. My head was dizzy. Nausea attacked my stomach. I wondered if my blood pressure was playing up, thought to stop for a moment to catch my breath.

Next thing, I was on the floor with an oxygen mask on my face and a voice repeatedly asking, ‘Can you hear me?’

I was in pain, unable to do more than gasp out answers before the paramedics arrived. Unconscious again, I woke up in Emergency at RPA hospital. I’d had a sub-massive bilateral pulmonary embolism, the worst they’d seen, needing riskier than usual emergency treatment (riskier, as the treatment itself can cause massive bleeding). I was, they said, very, very lucky to survive both the PE and the treatment. And I was, because many, many people die from it.

If I’d known about blood clots, how dangerous they were, I would not have sat for hours, I would have walked up and down the aisle and drunk more water to keep myself hydrated. The blood clot would not have appeared then.

I hope by telling my experience that others will be aware and know how not to get acquainted with blood clots.

Rough and Ready
by Cathleen Ross

Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she’s ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she’ll be damned if she’ll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

Get your copy here!

Lorelei Confer: Coming April 16th — Deadly Lessons
Sunday, April 14th, 2019

This one’s out on Tuesday! Check out Lorelei Confer’s Deadly Lessons!

Deadly Lessons

Lexi Morris, late to a Human Trafficking awareness seminar at her job and distracts Luke Miller, the presenter, an FBI Special Agent on the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force/Coalition in central Pennsylvania. Their eyes meet and an instant connection occurs.

After a long day, Lexi walks to her car in a dimly lit parking lot while texting plans for a fun weekend but her weekend comes to a crashing halt when she‘s abducted with the intentions of being sold into sex slavery.
Luke, at his cabin in the woods for the weekend, observes suspicious activity at his late uncle’s cabin. When he investigates, he finds Lexi held captive and rescues her but not before engaging in a shootout with traffickers. He sets off on foot in a snowstorm, Lexi in tow, seeking the safety of his own cabin with her kidnappers in hot pursuit.

But is it simply coincidence when Lexi finds money, lots of money, in his jacket pocket? Is Luke her buyer and not her liberator? What will it take for her to trust him? Can he really protect her from a life of sex slavery?

Buy Links:

About the Author

Lorelei Confer lives on a peninsula in the mid west coast of Florida with her high school sweetheart, now husband, and AJ, her longhaired Chihuahua.

In the fourth grade, she wrote her first story—something about getting a shot at the doctors—that was produced by the teacher for parents and students in an assembly. When she was older, she spilled her guts in a journal every night and wrote long newsy love letters to Viet Nam.

She is a multi published hybrid author of romantic suspense with two series: the Deadly series and the Saddle Creek series. She also has written numerous novellas and short stories.

She loves to hear from her readers so if you want to stay “in the know” visit her website, sign up for her newsletters and contact her.

Amazon Author Page

Real Life Celebration!
Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Quick news! Won’t keep you long. After all the sad news lately, we needed a reason to celebrate. Yesterday, my lovely SIL graduated from the police academy! Here he is for a celebratory pic! Congrats, Dex and Kelly! And you know, I’ll have to start a new series about small town cops in the rural South now that I have the inside track… 🙂

Kate Hill: Horror Movie Romance
Friday, April 12th, 2019

One of my favorite hobbies is watching horror movies. I like all kinds, from silent black and white classics to the latest releases. I like the suspense, the often unbelievable characters and plots, and the creepy atmosphere. One of my favorite parts of the horror genre is the romance. Though not all horror movies involve romance, some of the best fictional romances are from horror movies. I have a long list of favorites, but these are three I would like to share and recommend to those who like romance with horror.

Mutants – In this movie, a wife tries to save her husband who has been infected with a zombie virus. The love between the characters is obvious and touching, even when things get really ugly.

Crimson Peak – This movie is really more dark romance than horror. It has appealing characters and a dangerous love triangle or two. It’s also one of the most visually beautiful horror movies I’ve seen.

Bone Tomahawk – This mixed genre movie has more than a few unbelievable moments, but the idea of a guy with a severe leg injury crossing a desert to rescue his wife from cannibals made this work for me. It satisfies my taste for both horror and romance. The biggest plus was the ending. Few horror romances are ultimately this satisfying.

Are you a horror movie fan? Do you like romance with your horror? If you do, what horror romances do you recommend? I’d love to know so that I can add them to my watch list.

Demon’s Grotto

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Ben wants Laura to reconsider staying overnight at Demon’s Grotto, and he has information about the club’s history that should convince her. He tells her three creepy love stories, hoping she will change her mind.

Rise of the Creature – When a mad doctor brings a dead man back to life, only his beautiful assistant can make that life worth living.

The Demon Within – A man on the run stops to rest at a rooming house, not knowing that it’s the hunting ground of a gorgeous succubus bent on devouring handsome guests.

Don’t Cry, Wolf – An ad for a maintenance man at a bed and breakfast is answered by a former soldier who is harboring a hairy secret. The business’s lovely co-owner becomes involved with this sullen hunk who’s more than she imagined possible.

After hearing these stories of love and murder, will Laura decide to spend the night at Demon’s Grotto?

About Kate Hill

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas, and novels.

When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes, and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Connect with her online at,, and