Tag Archives: S. G. Rogers

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Writing Process Blog Tour

-1May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face; and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
~ Traditional Gaelic blessing

ornament29Writing Process Blog Tour

I was tagged for a Writing Process Blog Tour in which authors talk about their writing process and why they write the stories they write. So here it goes…

What am I working on?

Last year, I concentrated largely on writing historical romances. Historical romance is a popular genre, and fortunately my titles (The Ice Captain’s Daughter, Duke of a Gilded Age, Jessamine’s Folly, and A Gift for Lara) were all well-received. This year I’m writing whatever strikes my fancy. At this very moment, I’m working on a contemporary paranormal novel. Why? I don’t know. Sometimes stories just lodge in my head and I can’t work on anything else. The working title is Dancing with Raven, and the story revolves around a young ballerina who can see demons. I’m over 16K words into the book, and I plan to finish it sometime in April.

How does my work differ from others?

I like to write stories with unexpected humor and plot twists. My work is considered to be “clean” or “sweet,” but I prefer the words “fresh” and “original.” I prefer writing romance from the heart instead of the boudoir, and I enjoy slipping in a bit of adventure, too.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I like to read. My goal is to create stories and characters that capture the imagination.

How does your writing process work?

Usually, I start with a particular scene that’s been running through my head. Then I try to figure out if the characters and conflicts have “legs” enough to become an interesting story. As I go along, I try to put in several twists or unexpected events to keep it fun. I rarely plan the entire story ahead of time became I don’t have the discipline. But then, I don’t like to ask for directions, either.

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Thank you to award-winning author Meg Mims for tapping me to join the The Writing Process Blog Tour! I’ve frequently been inspired by her attention to detail, and I’m looking forward to her upcoming series with George Bernard Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins!

Dragon Clan of Yden – Excerpt

The release of Secrets of Yden (Book 3 in my Yden series) is coming soon, so I thought it would be fun to share a short excerpt from Book Two, Dragon Clan of Yden. Enjoy! ~ Suzanne

ornament29DCOYCOVERSGRFinal4A man approached at a dead run, his eyes fixed on the trail under his feet. A bulky knapsack bounced on his shoulder and his hooded cape hung askew. When the man saw the man up ahead, he came to a startled halt. Horror was etched on his sweat-­streaked features.

“Wizard!” he gasped, his chest heaving with exertion.

“Going somewhere, Moala? Surely you weren’t trying to flee?”

“No, no. I’m on my way to visit an old friend.”

“Where is the key?”

Moala’s face crumpled. “I-­I’m not sure.”

“You’ve failed.”

The merchant dropped his sack and fumbled for a pouch at his belt. “Here is your gold, Wizard. It’s all there, in full.” He held out the pouch with trembling fingers.

“I don’t want the gold, I want the key.”

Moala sank to one knee in supplication. “Forgive me. What you seek was traced to the nymphs of the Andresen Waterfalls, but has not been seen since. I’ve done the best I can. Please believe me.”

“I believe you.” He reached for the merchant’s hand and drew him to his feet. “Thank you for your hard work, Moala. You won’t be seeing me again.”

“You’re a truly great wizard, Guinn of the Fox Clan,” Moala said, chortling in relief. The merchant drew his sleeve across his sweaty face, revealing a spreading black spot in the center of his palm. Oblivious, he retrieved his sack and hastened up the path. Moments later, his footsteps slowed. With a groan, Moala sank to the ground, writhing in pain.

“Wizard, what have you done to me?”

Moments later, his screams echoed off the nearby boulders. The sound was interrupted only by the sound of a wizard transporting away…

ornament29Blurb:

As Jon’s magical training begins, his budding romantic attraction to Kira jeopardizes his relationship with Brett. At the same time, the Dragon Clan is bringing the Earth-born children of Yden’s wizards back home. Unfortunately, the Fox Clan has also been recruiting these teen wizards for its own sinister plans. The mysterious Guinn of the Fox Clan is searching for a weapon known as the Portal Key and is more than willing to kill for it. Jon becomes increasingly desperate and reckless in his quest to thwart the Fox Clan, but he discovers–too late–his enemy is closer than he thinks.

Dragon Clan of Yden is the exciting sequel to The Last Great Wizard of Yden.

What’s My Author Brand?

steampunk question mark on white backgroundA great many independent writers are perplexed and frustrated about devising a marketing plan for their books. One suggestion I’ve seen repeatedly is “You have to first have an author brand.” This reminds me a little of my acting days, when my aspiring actor friends wondered how best to increase their chances of working in a very competitive industry:

“I wonder what sort of headshot will sell me best?”Carnival masks in Venice Italy © Luciano Mortula | Dreamstime.com

“Well…who are you?”

“I dunno. I’ll have to ask my shrink.” Pause. “But whoever I am, I don’t want to be typecast.”

Disbelief. “Are you crazy?”

You really do have to be crazy NOT to want to be typecast in Hollywood. Why wouldn’t you want to be the go-to guy or gal for a particular role? Casting is done by type anyway, with calls going out for “a young Brad Pitt” or “Vanna White” and the like.

One successful actor marketing workshop I heard about sent its participants out to airports and large, public places to ask a bunch of people the following question:

When you get a large number of responses telling you that you look like a nerd, I guess you’d be successful nerd-type.  Personally, I tended to be cast as a cop.  Don’t know why.

I had two actor acquaintances who weren’t traditional leading men types who worked all the time as THAT guy. Both are pretty big stars now, but they didn’t get there by trying to be all things to all people.

My problem? I had a hard time accepting who I really was an an actor, and kept pushing for what I wanted to be instead. That tack didn’t work out well. These days, I’d like to be THAT gal as an author… but I have a better idea of who I am at this stage in life than I did back then.

hHopefully, my author brand represents fiction that is adventurous, wholesome, and uplifting. Ideally, my stories encompass classic ideals, with well-defined conflicts and characters, as well as fun, witty dialogue. I’m not worried about being typecast, but maybe I’m crazy.  *wink*

How do you develop your own brand as a writer, artist, or businessperson?

~ S.G. Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victorian Vise — Dilemma of the Newly Poor

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“He cut off a long lock of her hair.”

In Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the Dashwoods are cast into poverty when Mr. Dashwood dies. The home passes to his only son from a first marriage, and his second wife and three daughters are left to fend for themselves. The situation is all more tragic when one realizes English women of a certain social strata in that era did not work, and perhaps had few marketable skills even if they could. Therefore, women were almost entirely dependent on a male protector for their very survival. Throughout the Victorian era, very little changed. Society women were discouraged from pursuing any course of education other than “drawing room” skills such as music or singing, or artistic endeavors such as embroidery, painting, and the like. What happened to newly impoverished Society women if they had no relatives? If they were lucky, they could procure a position as a governess or companion. The unluckier ones might be forced into a seamier career in East End in order to eat.

Sense and Sensibility was one of the inspirations for Jessamine’s Folly. In the story, Jessamine is orphaned at fifteen, and her estate is entailed away from her to an uncle. Although the uncle agrees to let her stay, her aunt and cousin make her life miserable. When Jessamine is of age, her aunt forces her to look for work as a governess. A loyal servant knows of a position, but it comes with a catch:

Excerpt:

“My cousin Garfield is valet to the Earl of Kirkendale. He wrote me just the other day about the young lady of the house needing a governess, or companion more like, since Lady Amelie is turning eighteen soon. The thing is, no governess has managed to last at Knight’s Keep more than a few weeks.”

Jessamine blinked. “Is the girl difficult?”

“The problem might lie with the master of Knight’s Keep. Lord Kirkendale is Lady Amelie’s elder brother, and the Earl of Kirkendale since his father died. It seems no lass young enough to be a governess or companion to Lady Amelie can avoid falling in love with the man. He’s that handsome, says my cousin.”

“What a bunch of ninnies!” Jessamine exclaimed.

“Aye. Well, you know how impressionable young women can be. Anyway, Lord Kirkendale is looking to fill the post. It’s likely only a temporary position, however, until Her Ladyship makes a good marriage.”

“I think I can avoid falling in love until then,” Jessamine said.

ornament29Can Jessamine can avoid falling in love with Lord Kirkendale, or is taking such a position sheer folly? Unfortunately for Jessamine, she has little choice but to try.There is much to admire about 19th century dress, manners, and style but the cultivated helplessness of upper class women isn’t something I could easily accept. Fortunately, my time machine has never failed me yet. ~ S.G. RogersJessaminesFolly_432

Written For Christmas – Flash Fiction

On the eve of Christmas, here is a reprise of my holiday flash fiction story, Written for Christmas.  Enjoy!  ~ S.G. Rogers

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Diva hesitated a moment before pulling the gift-wrap from Lorelei’s Larceny.  As she gazed at the author photo on the dust jacket, the corners of her mouth turned up in a wistful smile.  The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner winked at her and the window beyond revealed a light snow flurry falling outside. She turned the novel over in her hands, wondering if she should brave the elements to walk to the corner coffeehouse.  While nursing a couple of peppermint mochas, she could make a pretty good dent in the book.  Besides which, she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve alone.

“I can’t believe you opened that now,” Captain Westerly scolded. “Didn’t you promise Brandon Forster you’d wait until Christmas?”

Diva’s eyes slid over to the miniature pirate as he emerged from the pages of her recently released romance novel, Captain Westerly’s Conquest. The book rested on the table in front of the sofa, next to a Yule candle. “Nobody asked you,” she said.  “And besides, Brandon won’t know.”

The dashing captain tilted his head as he examined the dust jacket.  “Hey, he resembles me…or perhaps I resemble him.”

A crease of annoyance marred Diva’s brow.  “Do you have to leap off the page like that?  It’s kind of disconcerting.”

“It’s the way you wrote me, my lady,” Westerly said, with a courtly bow. “Why didn’t you give Brandon a copy of my book?  I mean, your book.  He would have enjoyed Captain Westerly’s Conquest.”

“Are you kidding?  He’s a man.  Men don’t read romance,” Diva said.

“I don’t see why not? Brandon’s a handsome devil, even if I say so myself—secure in his masculinity.”

“And furthermore, we’re just friends.  There’s simply no way a man like him would be interested in me,” she finished.

Westerly stroked his chin, covered with manly stubble.  “I thought we were talking about books.”

“Behave, Captain, or your next story will involve a wife and kids.”

Her decision made, Diva launched herself off the sofa and disappeared into her bedroom.  A few moments later, she emerged with her coat and scarf in hand.  She stopped short, gaping, as Westerly helped a miniature cat burglar step out of the pages of Lorelei’s Larceny.  Clad in a sexy black unitard, the woman bore an uncanny resemblance to Diva.

“You look like me!” Diva exclaimed, wide-eyed.

“It’s the way Brandon Forster wrote me,” Lorelei replied, tossing her glossy sable locks over one shoulder.

Captain Westerly kissed Lorelei’s hand.  “Would you care for a tour of my ship, my lady?” he asked.  “We’ll toast the season with a glass of rum punch.”

Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she gave the pirate an appraising glance.  “Lead on.”

“Wait a minute, you can’t—” Diva began, but the two main characters disappeared into the pages of Captain Westerly’s Conquest without so much as a backward glance.

A knock on the apartment door caused Diva to blanch.  She draped her coat and scarf over a chair and went to answer it.   Brandon Forster stood there, clutching Captain Westerly’s Conquest.  “I hope you don’t mind me s-stopping by,” he stammered.  “I, um, had to tell you how much I loved your book.”

Diva’s mouth opened, but no sound would come out.  Brandon flushed pink and ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. “I’m sorry, that was lame.  What I mean to say is…do you, er, want to get a cup of coffee?”

“I’d love some coffee,” she said with a slow smile.

Brandon let his breath out in a gust.  He glanced at the sprig of mistletoe hung over the door and returned her smile with one of his own.

“How did that get there?” she exclaimed, startled.

A distant foghorn sounded from the vicinity of Captain Westerly’s Conquest, on the table behind her.

“I don’t know, but who am I to buck tradition?” Brandon asked. He leaned forward, his lips hovering over hers.

“Merry Christmas,” she said, before she sealed it with a kiss.

~ S.G. Rogers

New Victorian Christmas Story – A Gift for Lara

AGiftforLaraI’d like to announce the release of my Victorian Christmas short story, A Gift for Lara.

Blurb:

Can the spirit of Christmas mend two broken hearts?

Lara Robinson wrote a love letter four years ago, but received no reply. Now the man to whom she gave her heart will visit Blythe Manor for Christmas. How can she enjoy the holidays knowing Miles Greystoke must despise her for revealing her feelings in such an unguarded fashion?

As an awkward youth, Miles fell in love with a kindred spirit…but his love was unrequited. Against his wishes, he’s now obliged to spend the holidays at Blythe Manor. Time has wrought changes in his physique, but his devotion to Lara Robinson has never wavered. He searches for the perfect present to show her how he feels, but nothing seems quite right…until he realizes the best sort of gift will embrace the true meaning of Christmas.

Excerpt:

“I have an idea,” Angelica said. “Papa has invited us to Blythe Manor for Christmas. I’ll write back and ask if the invitation could be extended to Miles.” She slid her husband a mischievous glance. “Mistletoe can be quite inspirational to a young man if he’s in good company.”

William lifted an eyebrow. “You’re not suggesting he should consider marriage to one of the twins, are you?”

“Why not? He got along particularly well with Lara at our wedding, as I recall.”

“That was four years ago. The lad has changed a great deal since then.”

“For the better, in many ways. Miles used to be shorter than either Lara or Fiona, and a great deal thicker ’round the middle. At any rate, perhaps he and Lara will reestablish their relationship.”

“I think it’s an excellent notion,” William said. “Ordinarily, I wouldn’t interfere. In this case, however, a little intervention is warranted.”

Available now as a Kindle download HERE.

Finding the Spirit of Christmas – Flash Fiction

Since it’s the holiday season, it’s time for a reprise of my romantic fantasy flash fiction story, Finding the Spirit of Christmas. Enjoy! ~ S.G. Rogers

Finding the Spirit of Christmas

Man in Suit © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.comAs an increasingly heavy snow shower drifted down over the wintry country landscape, the dark outline of a rectangular-shaped portal formed.  A well-dressed man stepped through the blackness, promptly skidded on a patch of ice and landed in a deep snowdrift. The man pushed himself upright, dismayed to find the moist snow clinging to his face and expensive clothes.  He glanced back at the portal, but it had disappeared.

“What are you doing out in the middle of nowhere, dressed like that?” a voice rang out.

The man wiped crystals from his eyelashes so he could see.   A very pretty woman stood on a path nearby, bundled against the cold.

“Um…I’m looking for something,” he said.

“In the snow?”

“No, er, that was an accident.”  He shivered.

“Well…you’d better come inside before you freeze.”

The woman whistled just then and a fluffy tan dog came bounding over.  The woman and dog began to walk toward a stone cottage on top of a hill, without looking back.  The man turned up his coat collar, hunched his shoulders and followed.

A few moments later he was grateful to be inside, where a fragrant fire was crackling in the fireplace and the smell of baking gingerbread made his mouth water.  The room was decorated for the holidays, with a cheerful evergreen garland hanging from the mantle.  A fat Christmas tree, twinkling with lights, filled the corner next to the window, and the dining table was covered with a festive cherry red cloth.

“Why don’t you hang your wet things by the door?” the woman suggested.

The man found a hook for his coat, but when the woman went into the kitchen to check on the gingerbread, he used a spell to dry himself off.  Nevertheless, his feet were icy cold, so he removed his shoes and sat next to the fire.  The dog trotted over to curl up at his feet.  The woman came out of the kitchen.  She’d shed her outerwear and he finally got a good look at her.  She had snowy white skin with cheeks reddened by the cold, and her heart-shaped face was framed by waves of nutmeg colored curls.  He gulped.

“What’s your name, Detective?” she asked.

The man peered at her, startled.  “How did you—”

The woman laughed and pointed to the badge hanging from his belt.  “You’re a wizard detective.  I’ve heard of them before.”

“The name is Nick.”

“Okay, Nick, I’m Christine. The dog is called Joy.” She handed him a cup of cocoa and sat down on the raised hearth.  “So what are you looking for?”

“Ah…this is rather awkward, but the Spirit of Christmas has gone missing in my dimension. Our best wizards discovered a breach in the energy barrier…it’s kind of technical.  Anyway, I’m here to find it.” He sipped the cocoa, savoring the rich flavor.

Christine frowned.  “What does this Spirit look like?”

“It can take different shapes.”

“Wow.  I guess you have your work cut out for you.  Let me get you some gingerbread.”

“That would be great,” Nick said.  “This cocoa is really delicious, by the way.”

A few minutes later, Christine and Nick were sharing a slice of the fresh, warm cake.  Nick balanced his plate on his knee. “Mmm.  This brings back good memories.”

Christine put down her fork.  “Once you find the Spirit, what happens next?”

“I ask her to come home.”

“And what if she doesn’t want to go?  What if she’s tired of being neglected?” A sudden surge of emotion made Christine’s eyes sparkle.

Nick set his plate aside and pulled her to her feet. “Come home.”  He wrapped her in his arms. “Things haven’t been the same since you left.  I intend to love, honor and keep you in my heart forever, just like the day we were married.”

She looked into his handsome face.  “You had to work hard to find me.  I’m impressed.” A smile tugged at her lips.

“I went to every dimension on the map, but I never gave up.” Nick gave Christine a long, romantic kiss.  “Tell me you’ll come home? Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve.”

Christine returned the kiss. “I’m afraid we’re snowed in tonight.”

“That’s too bad,” Nick said…but the twinkle in his eye said otherwise.  At the same time, Joy’s tail wagged.

 

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