February 2016 e-Newsletter
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Boroughs Publishing Group News

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Your Heart, In Love

Once, Again Waltzing with the Earl The Dear Departed
Once, Again
After losing his family, Alex knew he’d never love again, yet, when an old acquaintance needs his help, what starts out as a ruse turns into a love he swore he’d never find again. learn more
Waltzing with the Earl
Believing he is cursed, Lord Trevena dances with a friend’s sister as a favor, but beautiful Isabel will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart. learn more
The Dear Departed
The widows of Victorian era San Francisco are dying, and to expose the murderer Virginia must enter a world of occult rituals—and magical love. learn more
The Week of Living Dangerously Hot Georgia Winds Thou Art Mine
The Week of Living Dangerously
Beginning with tequila, and in spite of herself, Nell is about to banish the demons of her past tangled up in cool hotel sheets with a hot man who becomes her soulmate. learn more
Hot Georgia Winds
Sold as a child and trained by the best, Brandyn Fontanelle is built to give pleasure. He’s about to find love—and perhaps, the freedom to enjoy it. learn more
Thou Art Mine
Upon returning from war, Knight Boden Sinclair desires two things; revenge and Lady Anilesia, the temptress distracting him from the wife he’s forced to take for her wealthy dowry. learn more

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E-Musements

A short monthly piece to show what's happening in the editor-in-chief's brain...and in his office. Besides reading. Lots of reading.

THREESOMES

Chris KeeslarIn so many things, three is a magic number, a prime number that represents something perfect and indivisible. It’s true with writing as well.

One of the reasons for this is because—as I’ve mentioned before—our enjoyment of reading comes from the resolution of forces in opposition. With just two vectors, you often get a push and pull, a back and forth, a linear movement that offers less illumination on a topic than if you suddenly add a third force. Will they marry? Will they not? When there are no longer just two directions to go, the end point becomes a lot less clear, though there are still few enough forces that we can see what’s being pushed where and by what.

It’s why love triangles are so popular in romance fiction today: They allow the desires of a single character to come into conflict, showing the contrasting merits of love objects with often opposite characteristics. This literary construct allows a heroine to ponder the difference between choosing the strait-laced and steady cop or the passionate convict. It allows her to be with a cold and methodical vampire, perhaps, and the raging and emotional werewolf, and thus allows a bit of fantasy fulfillment on both sides of the fence.

Actually, you see a lot of stories with three main characters, as these often represent the elements of humanity: the head, the heart, and the body. A few good broad examples of this are Star Trek—Kirk as the body, Spock as the mind, Bones as the heart—and Harry Potter, Harry, Hermione and Ron, being the body, head and heart, respectively. The construct allows a reader to see his feelings, thoughts and reactions played out directly in front of him, gives each aspect an avatar, as it were.

A book is sort of like that at its core, too. You have the plot (the body), the characters (the heart), and the philosophy (the mind), giving us what happens, why it happens, and why it’s significant. Balancing these aspects can be as challenging and rewarding for an author—and amazing for a reader—as anything else.

So, as a writer, consider what forces you’re putting into play in each scene and in your overarching design. Is there enough conflict to make the situation realistic?

Of course, the thing about three is that it’s more than two. And writing the first two forces credibly is challenging enough.

Hard work, persistence, luck.

Hop to it.

Voices

Where you get to hear the people who make publishing–and Boroughs especially–what it is.

Inspired!

Short pieces by our authors

Anne RoebuckAnne Roebuck Believing in Magic & Love

Everything looks different by candlelight. Or gaslight. Softer, less defined, less focused, more diffused. Everything sounds different, too. The rattle of carriage wheels, the moan of the wind, the rustle of leaves in a deserted graveyard. It's easier to peer into the realms of the supernatural and hear the hushed voices of ghosts and spirits speaking to you from beyond the veil of death.

It was easier to believe that both magic and love were real and not illusions.

The Dear Departed Don’t get me wrong. I like the modern world. Science and technology have in many ways changed things for the better. But sometimes, I wonder what it must have been like a century or so ago when everything was less cut and dried and there was more room for magic and mystery.

What must have it been like for a young widow, living in a world of respectability as tightly laced as her corset, to descend into the hidden realms where she is never sure what is real and what is illusion? And the magician who serves as her guide, a man with arcane knowledge and a disreputable past. Is he her protector or her ruin? Will she discover an awesome reality behind all the illusions or will she just end up on the primrose path to perdition?

For people like me who are crazy enough to want to look behind the façade of today’s ordinary world, we find all manner of bizarre things, like hundred-year-old artifacts hidden in an attic that seem like so many relics of a superstitious past. Sometimes we are tempted to get cocky or complacent and think that these things aren’t real. But they are. They are as real now as they were then. Things like magic and love.

Especially love.

Emily MimsEmily Mims All Inclusive

San Antonio is a bilingual and bicultural city, and it would be impossible to set a story there and not include some of the wonderful Mexican traditions all San Antonians enjoy. These touches show up in small ways in the Heaven’s Point stories, such as Armando Fuentes’ enchiladas and Beto Flores’s guyabera shirts. And, in the last two books in the series, which are set in San Antonio and feature the Navarro family, I got to showcase some of the traditions we enjoy throughout the year, such as mariachi music, Las Posadas, quinceañeras, and a good ole’ plate of migas.

Once, Again In A Gift of Hope, Lalo and Gina participate in the annual Las Posadas that winds its way through downtown San Antonio; a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging on Christmas Eve. This custom, also widely celebrated in Mexico, always ends with the couple finding shelter, as well as hot chocolate and a piñata. The next morning Gina makes Lalo a plate of migas, an eggs-and-corn tortilla dish that started as a poor man’s food, but in the right hands is a culinary art form. Delicious!

The quinceañera, a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday and her introduction into adult society, is typically a lavish affair, and in some ways closely mimics a wedding (without the groom), with a church service and processional; the white dress and court of honor, and a big party afterwards. A quinceañera is as complicated to organize as a wedding, and in Once, Again it provides some insight into Misty, who reflects that her parents couldn’t bother with giving her one. And, as portrayed in Once, Again, a mariachi band, much like the one Misty plays in, frequently provides the music at a quinceañera.

I couldn’t write my Texas Hill Country stories without showcasing the rich multicultural history we Texans enjoy!

Joan BirdJoan Bird Torturing the Ones We Love

Any character in a story, whether romance, fantasy, horror, science fiction – even a delightful children’s book – must in some degree be either loved or hated. The most devastating event for any writer is learning a character infuses so little emotion, the reader disengages from the tale, stops turning pages and opts to clean closets instead.

It is that impetus that calls us to the keyboard. We want our story told, but more importantly, we hope that our babies – so many words on the page – be read about, laughed or cried over, remembered, and retold. Never wanting to do any less than strangle Scarlet O’Hara, and too chicken to admit what I’d have done to Sgt. Logan Thibault in The Lucky One had we shared a cocktail, illustrates the point.

The Week of Living Dangerously Why do these reactions garner responses that evoke tears, laughter and the furious tossing of a book at the wall because of some torture imposed on the hero or heroine? (This method of expressing frustration, by the way, is not recommended with a Nook or Kindle). Why torture your primary characters? Because your hero/heroine must evince a human reaction from mere words. Some connection must pop between the beachgoer in a floppy hat dipped in SPF 50, and the gutsy girl or a sometimes arrogant boy, coming to life from a simple twenty-six character alphabet.

Nothing draws hearts and minds closer to a Blanche Dubois or Cinderella, inspires rooting for one dashing Duke or an aw-shucks cowboy, than feeling their pain. As writers we must ensure their suffering, adding misadventures or missed connections, past woes and tragedies, like pinches of salt to the recipe. If we accept that life’s events have impacted us personally, we can do no less for those we love and craft into a story.

IN MEMORIAM

Charlotte Boyett-CompoCharlotte Boyett-Compo

Charlotte Boyett-Compo wrote over one hundred books. We are honored that 100-103 were new stories she wrote for Boroughs Publishing Group: Under the Mayhaw Tree, A Mayhaw Christmas, and Moonlight Rider. Also, we had fun working with Charlee updating three books: Wild Island Winds, HardWind and Hot Georgia Winds.

Charlee loved to write, tell a good story on paper and over the phone, and she had strong opinions on many topics, which she shared freely and with enthusiasm. Her heroines are passionate, speak their mind and give as good as they get from willful heroes who can’t help but love strong women.

Time is a cruel thief who stole Charlee from us too soon. We shall miss her immensely. We lost a beloved friend.

Under the Mayhaw Tree A Mayhaw Christmas Moonlight Rider Wild Island Winds Hard Wind Hot Georgia Winds