Plotting Around Cell Phones by @_NancyRadke

Cell PhoneThe first books I wrote, the Sisters of Spirit series, were written before cell phones were even thought of, much less used, by everyone. That’s not very many years ago and I wrote them on a typewriter.  When I went to publish them, I had to bring some of them up-to-date by adding modern things like the cell phone and the personal computer, which I switched to while we still needed to open it in DOS (the disk operating system).

Not Easy To Do

The addition of cell phones changes a plot. Instead of being out in the wilderness without a phone, the injured hero just calls rescue. Now the plot must be changed so that there is no coverage, or his phone is broken during his fall, or the battery is dead.  Authors are forced to use these excuses so that they can keep the hero in trouble longer. In my latest Brothers of Spirit book, Terminal Pursuit, the hero has thrown his phone out the car window onto the highway so he can’t be traced, and is wishing that the phone booths that used to be on the street corners were still there. He threw his first phone into the river earlier in the book, along with a bomb that had been placed in the car.

Terminal Pursuit

Into The Future

I found a TV show called Tunnel especially interesting. The detective hero is sent 30 years into the future. He doesn’t know what has happened to his typewriter, what a computer is, or what the things are that folks are carrying around with them. How can a picture get on their phone? He hasn’t heard of DNA or CCTV (closed circuit television). He doesn’t have a driver’s license and has to bum rides and borrow money. But his detecting methods still work.

I was in my seventies before I got a cell phone. I don’t use it every minute of the day. And I don’t carry my phone on me as it is heavy and pulls my jeans down. It sits wherever I’ve left it, and I have to run through the house to answer it. If I’m outside, I’ll miss a call. I can deposit money and do online banking on the phone. But I just found out that you can get a pinpoint GPS with your phone, which I then added to the latest book I’m writing, a cozy mystery called Any Lucky Dog Can Follow a Trail of Blood. This book is part of the Authors’ Billboard anthology called Murder is to Die For. The anthology will be available a week from now on 9-17-21. Technology grows faster than I can write.

Writing A Book Takes Time

So when you read a book and the technology isn’t up-to-date, just realize how long it takes to write a book sometimes. Modern technology might not have even been around when the author was plotting the book. Things like drones, or computer phones as part of your wrist watch. That last was first envisioned by the author of the Dick Tracy comic strip; the detective had a two-way wrist radio. The real watch far surpasses the wrist radio, but I remember thinking that we’d never have anything like that. Now my daughter talks to her wrist all the time.

New Release: Blood Ties by @AngelaStevens13

Last week I published my 33rd book and, coincidently, it is for my oldest series. Blood Ties is the next and last (probably?) installment of the Vargr Clan series.

Book 1, The Wolf You Feed was published way back in 2014 under my Angela Stevens name. Technically this was the second book I ever wrote, but was the first series I wrote. A couple of years ago I moved this to my pen name Sadie Collins

How It Began

The Vargan Clan books started out as a trilogy.  Spanning two generations, The Wolf You Feed is an epic series steeped in Native American Lore and Lycan myth. Although a family saga based in the real world, starting in the seventies, the series is fantasy based.

The first 3 books follow the life and troubles of Tore Vargr, a lycan shifter forced to leave his clan and make a life in the human world. Tore believes he has left his troubles behind along with his home, but a family feud follows him, threatening everything he has worked hard to achieve. The story follows Tore and his children as he battles with an all-consuming grief as well as a pack of wolves intent on destroying him.

The Wolf You Feed

The Vargr Clan Trilogy Not Shifter Stories

Spoiler alert: The series is not romance either–hence republishing under the new Sadie Collins name. In truth, the genre is difficult to pin down. The Vargr Clan trilogy furrows its own path while exploring grief, prejudice, alcoholism, and a whole lot of messy stuff. But it also examines family bonds, unconditional love, and the literal and metaphorical fight Tore Vargr engages in to find his way.

The first book of the trilogy is named after a Native American proverb. And this proverb sums up the series best…

There is a battle of two wolves inside us all.
One is evil: it is anger, envy, greed, arrogance, jealousy, resentment, lies.
The other is good: it is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, truth.
The wolf that wins?
The one you feed.
–Cherokee proverb

Blood Ties Angela Stevens

Readers Wanted More

Although the trilogy was published in 2015, readers wanted more. So, I added another book. The Splits in my Skin is a detour book that explores what happens to Johan, Tore’s son, in his missing 2 years. It was never meant to be anything but a ‘little extra’ for readers. Trouble was, people still wanted more and readers were so invested in Tore’s children they wanted all their stories, too.

The Black Walker Warriors that appeared in the series were also getting a lot of love, so I wrote Blood Or Destiny to tell Eva and Pilan’s story. That left a bit of unfinished business, and readers demanded Rune’s tale, so Blood Brothers happened. After I finished that in 2018, I still had some loose ends to tie up and started Blood Ties.

Why the gap?

Honestly there is no excuse, except life got in the way. Deadlines for my romance books and other new projects got in the way. I pushed aside the manuscript and, eventually, forgot about it.

While tidying my files as part of my writing avoidance tactic, I stumbled onto the manuscript, found I had 50k words already, and decided if I did nothing else this year, I had to finish the book. So, I did. Well, that’s an exaggeration. I practically had to tie myself to my desk chair and force out every last word.  But I finally did it.

The Series is Complete

Blood Ties completes what has turned out to be a second trilogy in the Vargr Clan Series. This book is also probably the last ever–though I have a huge soft spot for those warriors, and well… who knows? Perhaps in the future, if I can ever get my brain to function again, there may be more.

The reading order for the series is as follows:

The Vargr Clan Series

The Wolf You Feed, Bk 1
Hold On, Bk 2
An Unbreakable Will, Bk 3
The Splits In My Skin, Bk 4
Blood Or Destiny, Bk 5
Blood Brothers, Bk 6
Blood Ties, Bk 7

And if you love to binge read then there are 2 anthology versions available for purchase. These anthologies are available for Kindle Unlimited members.

Click here for The Complete Vargr Clan Trilogy (Bks 1-3)
Click here for the Vargr Clan Duology (Bks 5 and 6)

We are coming up on Labor Day Weekend

What exactly does that mean?

Per Wikipedia: Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September in any given year to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.

I know a lot of people look at this as the end of summer, the last bit of fun before kids get back to school and we are suddenly inundated with the upcoming holidays. (Can I tell you that a local store already has Thanksgiving decorations up? Really? Come on!)

We have a strong workforce in America, and I attribute a lot of that to how hard our military works to fight for our freedom. With what is happening currently, I have many military friends dealing with grief, pain, confusion, and a whole lot of anger. My heart breaks for them, but I won’t get into the reasons why–not now.

What I did want to share with you, is that I have a series dedicated to our military, past, present, and future. While the series does have a subplot of romance, it mainly focuses on the issues that our military service members struggle with after the war is over. The series is intense and emotional, and sometimes just downright heartbreaking–but it’s the truth because it’s realistic military fiction.

I have had many military service members, along with military family members read the books and reach out to me to say thank you, and they sincerely appreciate what I am trying to do with my series. Educate those who don’t understand, PTSD, Suicide ideation, TBI’s, depression, and so many other things.

So this Labor Day weekend, when you are kicked back and enjoying the fun, pick up a book that will show you how hard our military works, and how much they need our help.

The Rise Again Warrior Series

Mission: Believe, Book 1

**Mission: Believe, Bronze Star Winner, Readers Favorite Awards, Realistic Military Fiction 2020**
What can one disabled man do for military veterans who suffer from physical pain, mental anguish, social unacceptance, and disturbing thoughts of suicide?

Staff Sgt. Shane Logan is fortunate to have come from a privileged family, and after losing both of his legs in the war, he now has the best prosthetics that money can buy. While Shane is trying to move forward with life, he struggles with memories of his traumatic service and the way people react to him and his disability.

Dr. Lauren Falcone works tirelessly to assist veterans in dealing with the trauma and pain of their deployments and service. Her unique virtual approach to therapy keeps her busy, and the assistance she provides to service members as they recover mentally helps to resolve her own anxieties.

When Shane meets Lauren at a fundraiser for his father’s organization, he wonders if there might be a chance for him to get his dream off the ground and maybe have a normal life. If anyone can look past his flaws and see the man he is inside, it’s Lauren.

Shane and Lauren are drawn to each other by their hope to make life easier for veterans, both physically and emotionally. Their goal is to build Shane’s dream organization, Rise Again Warrior. An organization that will assist veterans to integrate more easily into society and receive state-of-the-art technology and therapy.

Now, if they can only have faith in themselves, learn to deal with their own demons, and believe in each other, they might find a way to bring this dream to fruition.

Mission: Accept, Book 2

Mission: Accept, Gold Star Winner, Readers Favorite Awards, Military Fiction Genre 2021

Dana Donahue might be Shane Logan’s cousin, but she’s nothing like him—she’s quite the opposite of him. Her thoughts focus on what money and people can do for her. She never approved of Shane joining the military and knows little about the world he has lived in for most of his life. All that will change when she has to ask him for a job after her father cuts her off.

Derek Stall lives on the streets by choice—not circumstance. Memories of what he did under order sometimes haunt him, other times give him the strength to move through one more day until he can finish the mission he started.

A chance meeting between Dana and Derek will lead to an unlikely friendship that might just save his life, but the drastic differences between them could be the dividing wedge that keeps them apart. When Derek feels he has to leave Rise Again Warrior to complete his mission, he begins to realize that he could be leaving behind more than just a few friends. Could he be leaving behind the possibility of a healthy future before he finally accepts his past?

Mission: Repair

(Currently ON SALE until the 4th!)

Technical Sergeant Brady Vanover had a solid career in the United States Air Force, along with a loving wife, and two young children. Everything was his for the taking, but after a non-life-threatening injury on deployment, Brady is for the first time unsure of his future.

Brady continues to struggle with his pain, fight the system, and figure out where his life will go now. With anger issues growing and his need to self-medicate with alcohol and pain medication, Brady finds himself teetering on the edge of losing himself and his family.

With the help of the Rise Again Warrior organization, Brady will have to work hard to repair what he has damaged, both mentally and physically.

NOTE: Mission: Repair takes an in-depth look at PTSD, depression, addiction, and suicide. This story may be difficult for someone how has dealt with such things.

Mission: Courage, Book 4

(Coming November 30th)

After ten years in the Army, Gianna Roberts is detached and unsure what to do with herself. As a single mom, the stress of being home and raising children she barely knows weighs heavily on her heart. Before long, she finds herself on a dangerous road of self-destruction.


When Gianna Roberts arrives at Rise Again Warrior, she clashes with Nate Hardy upon arrival, but these two find that they have more in common than they initially thought. With a fragile relationship growing, Nate will help Gianna find her courage to be the mother that she needs to be and leave behind the guilt and pain from her past.

To find out more about the Rise Again Warrior series visit my website, www.stacyeaton.com or follow my Rise Again Warrior page on Facebook.

The Case for BODICE RIPPER SEX ED by @TaylorLeeWrites

Bodice RipperWhen CNN featured the life of Jackie Collins whose books sold over 500 million copies worldwide and were translated into 40 different languages (and who some call the birthmother of the bodice ripper), I grinned at a quote from Collins’s fellow romantic writer Barbara Cartland. Calling Collin’s first book “nasty, filthy and disgusting,” Cartland added that Collins “was responsible for creating every pervert in Britain.” BTW, Collins’s novel The World Is Full of Married Men was banned in Australia and South Africa, but proved a hit with her British and US audiences.

The exchange reminded me of a great article in none other than the Gray Lady herself, the New York Times, titled: “Romance Novels Are The Best Sex-Ed.”

Seriously, this is news

The New York Times’ article, “We Need Bodice-Ripping Sex Ed” was written by contributing opinion writer Jennifer Weiner. In her clever, insightful article, Weiner claims that she got a smidgen of information about sex from her well-meaning parents. Another sliver came from junior high sex ed classes that named body parts and detailed all the bad things that can happen to you if you have sex. (Think hideous diseases and, of course, the ultimate curse, pregnancy.) Fortunately for Weiner, like a lot of us, she was a reader. And what did she read? Yep, you guessed it: Romance novels.

Weiner throws a bone to the likely readers of the NYT when she concedes:  “The literary establishment doesn’t have much love for women’s fiction, whether it’s romance, erotica or popular novels about love and marriage.”  She adds, “Romance novels come in for an extra helping of scorn. Critics sneer that they’re all heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods, unrealistic, poorly written and politically incorrect.”

Not so, says Weiner. In the central theme of the article she insists, as an information-hungry teenager, the romance novels she read, “for all their soft core covers and happily-ever-afters, were quietly and not so quietly subversive. These books taught readers that sexual pleasure was something women could not just hope for but insist upon. They shaped my interactions with boys and men. And they helped make me a feminist.”

True Vindication for the Bodice Ripper

WOW! True vindication for those of us as teenagers hid in the closet, gobbling up everything from Gone with the Wind (you know the scene on the stairs when Rhett apparently has his way with a blushing Scarlet…) to Judith Krantz, to Erica Jong, etc., etc. Without understanding that we were being “brainwashed,” we romance readers came to believe that female pleasure was a must, something that we should insist upon.

Weiner explains, “Because these books were written for and consumed by women, female pleasure was an essential part of every story. Villains were easy to spot: they were the ones who left a woman “burning and unsatisfied.” She cites Shirley Conran’s “LACE” that features a heroine telling her feckless husband that she used an egg-timer to determine how long it took her to achieve orgasm on her own and that she’d be happy to teach him what to do.” Weiner adds with what I’m sure was a grin, “At 14, I never looked at hard- boiled eggs the same way again.”

Bring in the #MeToo Movement

Weiner takes her argument in favor of romance novels into the political issue of the day, the #MeToo Movement.  She quotes Bea Koch, the co-owner of the Ripped Bodice bookstore who says, “Romance novels teach readers that all partners are equal participants in a sexual relationship….In some instances it can be a literal roadmap for how to bring up difficult topics with a partner. They give a roadmap to people wanting to experiment with their sexuality, or even get in touch with what they want and need in a sexual relationship.”

Are romance novels “just porn” as so many reviewers sniff?  Given the rampant availability of porn, that is a worthwhile question to ask.  One recent study found that “79 percent of men and 76 percent of women look at a pornographic website at least every month, another that three out of 10 men in that age group were daily viewers.” In contrast, those of us who read and write about a range of intimacy know that while “sex might be easy, relationships are hard.” Comparing romance novels to porn, Weiner says, “The book has the ability to paint a deeper picture. A 400 page novel can teach you more about relationships that any X-rated clip.”

Equal Empowerment

In the current climate where so many people, men and women, are wrestling with crossed wires and mixed signals, Weiner concludes, “If we want men and women equally empowered to form real connection, to talk honestly and openly about who they are and what they want, there are worse places to start than curling up with a good book.”

Amen.

****

P.S. If you like your Bodice Ripper books with no holds barred, check out:  JAKE: The Justice Brothers Series. Trust me. These guys and gals don’t need egg-timers!

Jake Taylor Lee

It’s FREE August 27- 31!!!

  • The new Tribal Police Chief, determined to go-it-alone, is as brazen as she is beautiful
  • The sophisticated Commander of the DPD, is the acknowledged law enforcement leader in the state–and the one Justice Brother no woman has been able to snare
  • The murder of a young Native girl threatens their professional relationship and puts their passionate love affair in the crosshairs
  • Together they discover that Justice—like Love– isn’t always fair or

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages.  HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart.  Definitely bring a fan!

And if you can’t get enough of sexy heroes and heroines grab a terrific collection by my author friends.:

Unforgettable Deceptions: Heartbreak and Revenge

Unforgettable Deceptions H and R

My book in the Box Set is: 

Betrayed Taylor Lee

BETRAYED 

A rising-star political hotshot wants Viviana’s expertise and to bask in her media aura. And not incidentally, he wants her. 

Viviana is hard enough to control. Now Jax has to fend off an interloper who is almost as sexy and arrogant as he is. And that’s saying something.

In the ultimate betrayal, Viviana is forced to acknowledge that her infamous go-it-alone MO has not served her well. In fact, she almost loses everything important to her, including the man she loves above all else.