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Hello out there! 

Now that January is here and we have a long way until the warmth returns, let's find it somewhere else, shall we?

Let's talk about well written romance (and where to find it).

Not to be a traitor to my genre and all, and this will sound completely and royally snobbish, but I am very anal about my choices when it comes to what I read. 

Let us clear something up. First off, there is nothing wrong with anal. Open your mind and free your sphincter. She deserves some fun too!

unnamed.pngNow that that's settled, let us open the gaping hole that is well written romance. Did I say 'gaping'?! I did. Such a great word!   

I have had to consistently defend my virtue when it comes to my chosen genre. And let's be honest, what you write actually chooses you. As I have said before, we think we know what we are going to write until we sit down and actually do it. It just comes out of me...er...well. Well, it DOES. I enjoy the suspense, the longing, and the tension of a well written romance. There is just something fun about decoding other people's relationships and potentially solving their cluster of exponential drama. I generally have little to no control over my own life, so why not create some elsewhere? It's your fantasy after all, and you’re not alone. Millions of other women are systematically trying to juggle it all with little to no control over their over-scheduled lives. 

Now, onto what I meant this to be about.

WELL WRITTEN ROMANCE.

I'm not here to knock anyone and I will never mention names. That's not what I'm about. I am a firm believer that if you want to do something creative, you should. Do I think people have natural talents for things? I do. Do I think not everyone should be a writer? I also...do. Not. Wait. You know what I mean.

But, hey, I encourage everyone to give anything a try. Isn’t that what the epitome of romance is? Trying to new things? Some succeed better than others and, sometimes, well, they just make kick ass accountants and that's okay. I for one, can't math, so blessings to you and your regular paycheck!

With online publishing making it so easy to just throw your book up there while you sit back and wait to collect all that $$, it is unfortunately, not that easy. I just wanted to give you a few pieces of advice and perhaps a dollop of understanding.

Buckle up, buttercup.

You can be the best editor on the planet Earth, and still not catch mistakes in your own manuscripts. Because your mind has gone through this story multiple times, written it, re-written it, went through for grammar mistakes, etc., your brain has become desensitized to the words you have re-read so many times over. You have become accustomed to skimming, rather than reading, as your mind has executed its muscle memory and unlike reading a new book with different word choices and orders to them, your brain tends to skip the mistakes.

So, yes, you should pay someone to edit.

Please do.

You should also invest in things like:

~ Formatting

~ Cover Design

~ Marketing/free book promotion

I cannot tell you how many times I passed over a book because I couldn’t get over the amateur looking cover, or the first ten pages already having four typos….

There could be a GOOD, no, GREAT story in there, and it will be marred with an unprofessional looking presentation and or edit job.

Look, typos happen. This post probably has a couple. But having an unbiased person (and please don’t hire your friend who “will read that shit for free”), read and deconstruct your book is the key to getting a decently edited book into the world.

Independent authorships are possible, and I have met and shared so many well written books written by independent authors. But please for the love of all that is holy, TAKE PRIDE IN WHAT YOU WRITE. You took ALL of that time and put forth ALL of that effort, and for you to throw it away and cheap-ing out in the end does you a huge disservice. After all, readers are fickle beings. They remember that crap, and anything following that debacle that is written by you will be passed over. Remember, one person's bad review is all it takes.

WELL WRITTEN ROMANCE is essential in falling in love with the genre. Now, there are many books I have read that have the potential to be well written, perhaps a first attempt, and then there have been down right bombs. So much so, my libido plummeted. So, if you want to be one of those writers who writes in this genre well, READ.

READ ALL THE SMUT! ALL OF IT! THE GOOD, THE BAD, and the, uhh, well, fugly. 

I found this quote from the horror king himself, Stephen King, to be quite apt:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

You can have a natural talent for anything, but without research and diligence, that talent may never well be seen.

Without further ado, I wanted to give you some suggestions of some really good romance reads complete with links.

No one is paying to support these writers. I simply have read their books and deemed them great reads and would like to pump up authors as much as I can. This will also give you an insight in what WELL WRITTEN ROMANCE is about. (Yes, I keep shouting it. It's IMPORTANT!)

1.     Melanie Karsak – The Highland Raven Series

If you love a good romance that steeped in superstitious fantasy, you will LOVE this girl. Historically she uses real characters, and with her amazing talents, turns them into tangible beings we can almost touch. Anything by her is a great read, the Raven series is simply my favorite:

Amazon.com : melanie karsak

2.     Jodi Ellen Malpas – This Man Series

Jodi began as an independent author and moved right up to being a number one best-selling author. Her This Man series blew me away, and the fact that it is written with British lingo makes it that much more yummy. This is one of those series I have read more than once. Dominant Jesse is a delicious binge!

Jodi Ellen Malpas

3.     Raven Kennedy – Gild (The Plated Prisoner Series)

I just found this girl not too long ago, and I am so glad I did. Another mixed historically skewed fantasy, it is well written, suspensefully delicious, and truly fun to read. Really wonderful. Five starts straight UP.

Raven Kennedy

4.     Penelope Ward

I am not putting only one of her book series on here, because they are all delicious. She writes fun and flirty, not to mention, super erotic books that make you realize only too late that it’s 3AM and you have to be at work in four hours. Anything by her is well done. Top notch romance. 

Penelope Ward

5.      Opal Carew – Forbidden Heat

Okay. Now, let's get down and dirty. If you LOVE erotica in every which way it comes (literally), then this is the author for you. She writes all kinds of kink and is VERY good at it. Want a wicked fantasy? Read ANYTHING she writes!

Have any other suggestions? Love an author? Have a question or comment? Let's hear it! I’m here for you! We are in this dirty pile together guys! Weeeee!

Stay warm everyone! 

Love and Kisses,

Mandy

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