At long last, I have returned to writing romances. I needed the break in order to get my creative edge back, and working in other genres helps me do that. My first love is, and always will be, romance, but from time to time, I need to write something else. It’s why even within romance, I divide up my focus on Regencies and historical westerns. Once in a blue moon, I do a contemporary.
This is the point where I unintentionally went off on a tangent:
My mind can’t just single out one specific type of romance. I need a variety. It probably also explains the varying degrees of heat levels in my works, though I have learned to have at least one love scene in my romances so I don’t confuse anyone who only wants clean reads. I made that mistake early on, and two authors of clean reads wanted to cross promote with me, and I had to let them know the majority of my books aren’t a good fit for their audience. The last thing I want to do is lead someone to believe my book is something it’s not. I mean, I learned most of you guys will read a book with or without love scenes, but these authors who were approaching me strictly wanted clean reads. (And I know “clean” is subjective. I don’t consider my books “dirty”. I try to show the beauty of sex within a marital relationship. But everyone’s definition of “clean” varies. So I use “clean” to mean no sex.)
Seriously, I didn’t plan to add all of that when I started this post.
Back to the actual post:
My pen’s name stuff is off to the edits
This is why I can now focus on romance. Like I said, I was going through old stories I had done back in 2004-2006. I had published these with vanity presses, and a couple years ago, I finally got those old books taken off of sale. So I can finally revamp these stories and self-publish them.
My pen name will YA books. I’m going to do some fantasy and some thrillers. That’s why I’m separating it out from the name I do romances on. The audience is a separate audience. This is not going to be a name I do a lot under. My focus is still going to be on romance.
Anyway, I am going to take the short story I wrote in the Ink Slingers’ Anthology called The Very True Legends of Ol’ Man Wickleberry and his Demise. The story I wrote is called “Body Swap”, and since it is a YA thriller, I’m going to put it under the pen name, Barbara Joan Russell. I’ll keep the name the same. I figured I should mention that just in case someone stumbles upon it under the pen name. This way, you’re aware of what’s happening. The story will stay as is under my Ruth name in the anthology. I hope that avoids any confusion in the future. Self-Publishing is great for flexibility, but I can how it can be complicated when authors start to do stuff like this. My goal is to branch off so I’m not writing thrillers and fantasies, or even YA stuff, to romance readers.
I am keeping the Enchanted Galaxy Series, Return of the Aliens, and Late One Night under “Ruth” because those are not YA books.
Now that I cleared that, off to the more interesting stuff I’m doing….
I’m adding an Epilogue to The Rejected Groom
This is Book 2 in the Misled Mail Order Bride Series. (Book 1 is The Bride Price.)
Based off some feedback I got from two beta readers who said the book needed something “more”, I am going back and putting in an epilogue. I love this particular couple, esp. the hero (Tony Larson). I love heroes who work with their hands. For some reason, I find that quality very sexy in a man. So I don’t mind adding an epilogue to help draw out the story a little more. Plus, it gives me a little more time to spend with the couple.
I don’t have a release date set yet. I want to wait until everything is ready before I announce it.
I’m about halfway into Make Believe Bride
This is Book 3 in the Marriage by Fate Series. (Book 1: The Reclusive Earl. Book 2: Married In Haste.)
For a while, I thought I was going to finish The Marriage Contract first, but this one picked up steam over the past month, and I’m now further ahead in this one.
I’m currently taking the hero and heroine (Lord Whitney and Lady Stacey) to one of Lord Edon’s dinner parties. Ethan, aka Lord Edon, was the hero in A Most Unsuitable Earl (way back in the Marriage by Scandal Series), and Mr. Christopher Robinson (hero in His Reluctant Lady, also a part of the Marriage by Scandal Series) will be at this dinner party. I love Ethan and Christopher. That’s why they keep popping up in the Regencies. In this story, I get to give an update on their children and continue in their happily ever after. So I’m enjoying that.
Soon, I hope to give an update on how things are progressing for Lady Eloise and Mr. Stephen Bachman. I already decided to kill Lady Eloise off before The Marriage Contract takes place, which is five years after the events in Make Believe Bride.
I was counting up the Regencies I’ve done so far and as surprised to find out I already published 18 of them. Since all of them take place in the same world, I feel the kind of connection with these characters that I do with the Larson family. When I write in their worlds, I feel like I’m with friends. So it’s always fun to bring in old characters and mention updates on others when I can.
I’m probably 1/3 of the way into this one
This is Book 1 in the Marriage by Fairytale Series.
And it’s Stephen’s book. Lady Eloise will be dead by now. Sorry, guys, but there’s no redeeming Lady Eloise. She is just too awful. For those of you who read my Native American Romance Series: remember Ernest from Brave Beginnings? He was probably the darkest character I’ve ever done. Lady Eloise is THAT bad. I’m not going into detail on how bad she is because some things are “too dark” to put in a romance, but trust me, she is bad. She can’t be a heroine. There’s just no way it’s ever going to happen.
Stephen, however, is redeemable. He reminds me of Neil Craftsman from His Redeeming Bride (in my historical western Nebraska Series).
I know some of you haven’t read my historical westerns, but for those who have, you’ll get the references. Suffice it to say while Stephen has some good in him that can be drawn out after a period of suffering, Lady Eloise has no good in her at all. I know some of you were hoping to see Lady Eloise evolve into a character we can like, but it’s not possible.
Instead, I’m going to introduce a brand new lady to this series.
I’m in Chapter 2 of The Perfect Wife
This is Book 3 in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series. (Book 1 is The Bride Price. Book 2 is The Rejected Groom.)
I don’t know if there will be a Book 4 or not. It all depends on the events that transpire in this book. I do plan to get to Annabelle’s romance, but I don’t know if it’s going to be a part of this book or will require a separate one. I’ll let the characters tell me what to do.
Since I went on for a ridiculously long time (again), I’ll end this here. I hope everyone is enjoying a good book! 🙂