Monthly Archives: February 2011

Guest Post by Kristin Tualla: Three Reasons I Wrote A Trilogy. Yes, I appreciate the Irony

Three Reasons I Wrote A Trilogy. Yes I Appreciate The Irony.

REASON #1: My hero and heroine turned out to be really interesting people.

Not only that, but they had a lot of life-changing occurrences once they came together. These occurrences were not easy, nor could they be anticipated.

In the first book, the hero and heroine meet. Both are older than the typical romance couple; he’s 32 and she’s 30. Both have been through trauma and crisis and are not looking for love. By the time they figure out that they belong together a lot of baggage has to be dealt with. And then my hero announces that he is royalty.

In the second book, the couple travels to Norway – following the debacle of Napoleon – so my hero can candidate for a reclaimed Norwegian throne. This path could literally make him King of Norway. And his political choice involves life and death situations.

And in the third book they return to the brand new state of Missouri, and my hero runs for state legislator. Romantic that he is, he determined to change the world.

You can’t tell all of that in one book!

REASON #2: Once I fall in love with a set of characters, I hate when the book ends.

I have become invested in their relationship and their lives. I don’t want to say goodbye. It’s like a close friend moving away. Sure, we’ll stay in touch. But the intimacy is gone.

I know many readers agree; for that reason, series stories are popular. If the action increases from book to book, and the stakes are raised or remain high, then we feel like we are walking through the perils with familiar friends. We understand the impact new events have on our “friends” because we have had time to get to know them and their quirks.

That is what happened with Nicolas and Sydney.

REASON #3: My early inspiration was Kathleen Woodiwiss, the founder of modern romance; and more recently, Diana Gabaldon of “Outlander” fame.

These women published long, dense, long, intelligent, long, complex historicals. Did I mention “long”?

I was ignorant of the developing publishing crisis when I began writing in 2006. I thought books could be any length necessary to tell the story. I was so very wrong.

When I sat down with an editor in 2008, her first question was, “How many words?
“105,000,” I said. (That’s just over 400 pages in a mass-market paperback.)
“Cut it to 90,000,” she said. “Then we can talk.”
“Do you want to know what it’s about?” I asked.
“No,” she answered.

So much for the “dense, intelligent, and complex” storyline. And print publishing has gotten even more restrictive as e-publishing’s share of the market grows. Big books are expensive. And expensive books are very risky. And when your share of the market shrinks, risks must be “managed.”

My trilogy covers three years in the lives of my characters, but as much as e-publishing has squeezed traditional houses, so has the shortened attention span of current readers. I have heard people say they won’t start a book if it’s “long.” But they’ll read 5 shorter books in its place. Go figure.

But when I went indie/e-pub, all of those concerns disappeared. That’s good news for you, the reader.

So. Is it time you found a new brand of hero? Please allow me to help.

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice – the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I’ll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I’ll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here’s how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to and find the “Secret Word” on my home page.
2. Send an email to with “Signed Trilogy Giveaway” in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day’s blog location is listed at

A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at

A Woman of Choice – Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway – Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather’s throne. His new wife Sydney isn’t about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle – St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren’t about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it’s a matter of principle.

Guest Post by Nancy Famolari: Romance Novels as an antidote for Tough Times

My guest today is Nancy Famolari. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels and tells you why.

Romance Novels an Antidote for Tough Times

We live in tough economic times. Unemployment is upwards of nine percent. Taxes are high; prices are high. People worry about the future. You see it in the news every day, Yet, book sellers and publishers report that romance novels sell very well, perhaps better than in more affluent times. So, why are we reading romance novels?

Romance novels are cheerful. The characters face serious, or not so serious problems and come out winners. In the best romance novels, they give us examples of how to solve out own problems. The people are generally attractive. The men are handsome; the women, beautiful. In our daydreams, we’d like to be like them, or have them for friends

The settings are charming, often elegant. In times like these most of us want to get away from our dreary routine for awhile. Romance novels let you visit pleasant places: resorts, estates, and quaint villages. It’s a cheap vacation.

The characters have interesting careers. When we’re toiling at boring, uninteresting jobs, it’s fun to revel in the challenges faced by fashion designers, politicians, and business leaders. It might even give you a vision that leads to an exciting career.

My personal favorites are romantic thrillers. I love solving puzzles. True crime stories and detective fiction with their focus on serial killers and assassinations make you face the ugliness in the world rather than getting away from it all. It’s fun to read a cozy mystery, or romantic suspense novel and just disappear from all the ugliness for awhile.

Like to read romance? Perhaps you should write one. Several authors have written a book because they were bored or couldn’t find anything they wanted to read. Dorothy Dunnett, author of the Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo, complained to her husband that she couldn’t find any good books to read. He suggested she write one. It was the first Lymond book, The Game of Kings. Rita Mae Brown started writing Riding Shotgun when she was stuck at her Virginia farm in an ice storm with no power and no phone.

I write cozy mysteries: Murder in Montbleu and The Lake House. If you’d like a vacation in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, come visit Police Chief Chess Devon and Inspector Bartlett Thomas in Montbleu. There’s always a scandal brewing.

Nancy Famolari’s Bio:

Nancy Famolari splits her time between her farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania and a smaller farm near Ocala, Florida. Her five horses are becoming seasoned travelers. The Endless Mountains is a lovely rural area with many small town datingfrom the early 1800’s. This beautiful region provides the background for all the novels in the Montbleu Murder series, including Murder in
Montbleu and The Lake House.