A Visit to Williamsburg

My husband and I went down to pick up our youngest daughter from her freshman year at Old Dominion University. It’s close to Williamsburg. I couldn’t resist. I went back by old Williamsburg. I’ve been there a couple of times before. Obviously, one might think I got my inspiration for Winds of Betrayal Series from my first visits. I would have to agree to a point. Visiting sites such as old Williamsburg does make ones mind wonder ‘what if’.

Williamsburg served as the capital of Virginia at one time. A hot bed for the revolution. Much like Boston in its cry for freedom. Patrick Henry, Lord Dunmore, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, George Mason, and George Wythe are just a few names that hold a connection to Williamsburg. A perfect setting for the beginning of Winds of Betrayal.

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Today and tomorrow is the last day that Embrace of the Enemy will be free. Afterwards, Embrace of the Enemy will come off of KDP and will be available most places.

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The Cry For Freedom and Embrace of the Enemy was once Patriot Secrets. I split up Patriot Secrets into two for a couple of reasons. First, Patriot Secrets was way too long for an ebook. Second, The Cry For Freedom will soon be free everywhere—once Smashwords gets their act together and ships The Cry For Freedom to Barnes and Noble. Patience. I need patience since it should have already been sent.

Winds of Betrayal  is a historical fiction series set during the American Revolution. It’s filled with intrigue, mystery and romance along with spies and betrayal.

Pick up a copy and enjoy!

 

GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURES

I love romance. Of course, I do. I write it. But there are some scenes in books and movies that never leave you.

I’m not talking about the typical grand gestures where the hero gives the heroine expensive, eloborate gifts or takes her to the far corner of the world to propose. No…I’m talking of a grand gestures which defines the love between the hero and heroine.

One of my favorite books, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, has the classic line…in the book it was a tad different…in the movie…Rhett tells Scarlet.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Every time I watch Gone With the Wind or read it, I get goosebumps. The moment that defines the story… their romance.

Forgive me, but I’m going to diverge for a moment.  While I was writing, a sudden thought occurred to me. If Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind today, would it get published? Seriously…I could just see the letter Ms Mitchell would receive from any romance editor…while I see promise in your work, you do understand romances have to have a happy ending. Having the hero slam the door in the face of the heroine and swear at her doesn’t qualify. Could you edit the ending? And while you editing…having Melanie die is quite sad, could you work on that as well? And….well I don’t want to say anything but…   Just a thought for another day….

Back to defining romantic gestures. I know what you’re thinking—while Gone With the Wind is a great book…a classic…it isn’t one that you would fantasize about the hero.  When women fantasize, it is because we dream of the perfect love. So does perfect love exist? Or is it only in the imagaination of us romance authors?

I believe in romance…I believe in love at first sight…I believe in the power of love. I couldn’t write it if I didn’t believe in it. I do believe in love.

My favorite epic fantasy is the Lord of the Rings triology! While I would never classify J R R Toilkien as a romance writer in any form of the imagination, I would classify one of his characters deeds as the ultimate romantic gesture. Arwen gives up immortal life for Aargorn. She decides that the few years she would have with Aargorn would be more percious to her than an eternity without him. That is a love to fantasize about.

Literature is littered with grand romantic gestures. Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere, Cathy and Heathcliffe are examples of true love taking a tragic turn.

But I have a list of my all time favorites romances gestures.

1) Arwen giving up immortal life.

2) Jane Eyre returning to Thornfield because she hears Rochester calling for her.

3) Love Story. I have never cried harder as I did when Jennifer dies in Oliver arms after he gave up his family’s fortune to be with her.

4) The Notebook. Allie choosing Noah over Lon.

5) Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. Even without the happy ending…that one gesture defined one of the classic love storys of all time.

What are your favorites? Do you believe in that one special love?

Keep reading!

New Year…New Books

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A brand new year. A time to reflect on the year that passed and look forward to the future. So many things going on.

Seductive Secrets is out in paperback.  At the same time, the ebook cover got updated a tad because coming in February the second book in the series, Broken Legacy will be released! So excited about the release. Just got the cover for it! Love it. Erin Dameron-Hill did an excellent job!edca0003-300colleenconnally (1)

Wrote a blog post for Southern Writers Magazine. I’ll let you know when it comes out. I’m so honored!

Patriot Secrets is now officially down. I’m hoping to get it back up by the end of the month. Ruse of Love is still available. But I am going to be revamping the look. I’m also trying to figure out exactly what to do with Patriot Secrets. It’s a long book…hate to break it up. Have to think about it…

So looking ahead…after Broken Legacy, I have another book I want to finish under Colleen Connally. I’m not certain of its title. At first I intended to call it Seductive Lies. We’ll see, but its in the works.

Then…I have to work on the next installment of Whispers of a Legend. I plan on having Heir of Witheleghe out by the end of 2013.

Just want to remind everyone that Seductive Secrets (ebook) is FREE as well as Whispers of a Legend, Part One- Shadows of the Past.

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AMAZON   BARNES AND NOBLE

Busy, busy, busy… I’m happy that way.  Keep reading!

So for the preview of BROKEN LEGACY’S cover—

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THE TALE OF TWO REVOLUTIONS

I’m a history buff. The American Revolution fascinates me for several reasons. As in most revolutions, the colonies revolted with violence against the oppression they felt the British held over us.  The sequence of events spelled revolution. Basically, King George made a series of bad decisions. I say this because unlike most revolutions, the leaders of the American Revolution had an idea of what they wanted their colonies to become. When the tides began to turn toward breaking from the mother country, there were several points in the sequence that could have slowed the progress toward independence. King George responded with what would be the downfall of the British—conceit and arrogance. The colonists expected to be treated as the other British subjects, but their perceived concept of themselves and King George’s differed greatly. Everyone knows the basis for our independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all men. Everyone knows that in the end, the colonies broke from England and the United States was formed. The whole of the revolution was so much more complex, but comparing it to the French Revolution…there is so much to be admired from the American Revolution.

Most Revolutions end with a tyrannical government of some sort. I contend that the American Revolution represents everything right a revolution can bring. The French Revolution represents what most revolutions bring—instead of the freedom they desire, their fates are once more placed in another form of what they rebelled against, another form of oppression.

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There is an irony that can’t be overlooked when you study both revolutions. We Americans needed the French’s support to win our revolution. With the French support, we were victorious, but because of their support, conditions in their own country deteriorated and help lead the people of France to revolt against their King. The conditions in France were also much different than the colonies.  Famine, poverty, rights of the common people…compared to the colonies…there was no comparison. I do not contend that I’m an expert on the French Revolution, but when one class can imprison a person without cause…there is a problem that will escalate when the needs of the people aren’t met.

I can imagine that the French people looked to the United States. Is it wrong to dream of equality? It was suppose to be the age of Enlightenment. I do not believe looking back on the events before the French Revolution that I’m surprised it happened. What was surprising and shocking was the extent of violence that occurred.

I have two series I’ve written that are set in the American Revolution. Winds of Betrayal Series follows siblings as they answer the call for the independence and the price it will cost. The first two books, Patriot Secrets and Ruse of Love, leads to the dramatic conclusion in Winds of Betrayal. Winds of Betrayal series deals with spies and intrigue…historical fiction scattered with romance.

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Tides of Charleston deals with the circumstances the war forces on a family. I absolutely loved writing about the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.  The Tides of Charleston series is historical romance. Another Night Falls focuses on one of my favorite characters, Sumner Meador…

Under my pen name, Colleen Connally, I cross the Atlantic to write Regency…Pre-Regency romances. Seductive Secrets is the first book in the Secret Lives series…romantic suspense. Next year, I am planning on releasing two more books under Colleen Connally. The first, Broken Legacy, finds Lady Eloise D’Arcy Granville caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution. I began this book years ago. I had to put it down, emotionally draining…the research was so intense. Do you realize how many people went to the  guillotine? But I have found a connection to the French Revolution that I have found fascinating. I hope that I capture that essence in Broken Legacy along with a love that develops between two strangers.  

There is a connection between the two revolutions…peoples lives changed dramatically. Life was never the same after either.

Strong Female Protagonists in Literature

The stories I write have strong female heroines. I write all different genres: historical fiction, epic fantasy, and romance. Then you might wonder how I write about strong women when I write romance. I mean most women read romance to fantasize about their prince rushing in and rescuing the damsel in distress. Romantic fantasy? Without questionI’m the first to acknowledge that the romance genre is a fantasy. Why do women love romance so much? The answer is simple. We grew up on fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen to Charles Perrault’s tales; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White…

So are women really damsels in distress waiting to be rescued? If that was the case, most of us would still be waitingwouldn’t we?

So can women relate to strong female protagonists? Can men? Again the answer is simpleyes. Strong female protagonists have been embraced throughout literature. The difference is perception. The first one that comes to mind for me is Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre was a woman of strong conviction and character. When someone wrote that behind every good man there is a great woman, they would have to had a woman like Jane Eyre in mind. Women are different than men. Women don’t have to be Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! or Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” to exhibit strength. Women have a quiet strength within us which is as powerful as any physical feat.

Not that some women can’t exhibit physical strength. A great example is Katniss Everdeen. Suzanne Collins did an excellent job in creating Katniss into a believable woman of strength and courage, but Katniss more powerful moments in the book had nothing to do with her physical prowess. Who could ever forget Katniss holding the poison berries in her hand and then putting them in her mouth? With one act she began a revolution.

And we can’t forget Éowyn from Lord of the Rings and the classic line “no living man can kill me.” I loved it when it was Éowyn who thrust her sword into the Witch-king of Angmar.

So where does the inspiration come from these strong female protagonists? Examples of strong female protagonist are not fantasy. Though, most women don’t seek the acknowledgement for their sacrifice, courage or bravery. A few examples come to mind: Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, and Irena Sendler… Irena Sendler? If you don’t know her, don’t feel bad. I only learned about her a couple of years ago. She was the leader of a group of women who risked their lives to save Jewish children during WWII. Irena Sendler is the epitome of a true hero. No one should ever question whether women can be a strong female protagonist.

The difference between a male alpha hero and a strong female protagonist is that most times the woman becomes a heroine out of necessity.

 

My series, Whispers of a Legend, centers around a strong female protagonist.

 

Kela Calledwdele was born with a destiny, a Euchoun with only one purpose in life…to protect. Torn between two worlds, Kela soon discovers she is the hope of both. Now she must find the courage to face the destiny fate has dictated to her. Half Witheleghean and half Sordarin, she knows well her parents gave the ultimate sacrifice to give her a chance to live. Yet, in so doing, they have left Kela unprepared to face the dangers that await her. Whispers of a Legend is the story of Kela’s journey.

 

Whispers of a Legend began with…

 

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A MAZON    BARNES AND NOBLE

Shadows of the Past– begins Whispers of a Legend saga which follows Kela’s battle to embrace her destiny, where as a young woman unsure of her ability and her confidence in facing the challenges before her to where she emerges as a strong leader who learns to lean upon her own strength, to stand not behind, but side by side with her warrior. This book is FREE!

The Path Now Turned. Having proven her ability during the Payelaga Desert battle, Kela believes herself ready to follow her destiny beside her warrior. Fate has another path for Kela. When she discovers all she has long believed is not as it seems, the betrayal leaves Kela torn by her desire for Cono and the path she has been given to follow.

Vision of Destiny. Trained for only one purpose, to protect the innocent from an evil that threatens to destroy her world, Kela has never questioned her destiny. The enemy has never been in doubt and her path laid clear before her. Now all is blurred. Left with only one choice, she escapes from Yucca in search of the one known as Seilda the Tvopac, the Guardian of the Pastbut Kela learns quickly the Past holds its own dangers.

The Legend continues…

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AMAZON   BARNES AND NOBLE

Whispers of a Legend- TIME OF THE NUXVENOM
The Nuxvenom—the time declared by the Arachindaens for their ascension to powerthe time of their rulethe time for the annihilation of all who do not submit to their authority. Over the years, the Sordarins have slept well secure in the knowledge that the Great One guards over them and protects them from this Nuxvenom. Now, though, our world has once more been targeted; Asmeodai’s evil looms on the horizon and fear lives in the hearts of the Sordarins for our very existence is threatened.
I, Kela Calledwdele, have been trained for one purpose—to protect my people from this evil threat of Asmeodai. I did not ask for this, but have embraced my destiny. The path before me has never been easy, nor do I expect my tribulations to lessen as I continue my journey, but I hold to this destiny for I hold to my faith in the Great One.

With the acknowledgement as King Edulf’s granddaughter, Kela is swept into a world strange to her. Moreover, Kela discovers the world she now walks harbors its own dangers. For not only does Kela face the looming threat of the evil Cyaika and Arachindaens, she is forced to confront deception and and betrayal from within her own. ranks. Never have the stakes been greater—never has her world faced a greater danger—never has more been asked of the Euchoun. The time of the Nuxvenom is now!

 

Enjoy! Have a good one! Keep reading!

Welcome to a World filled with Romance!

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I’ve made a few changes over the last year. There are a few more to come, but this one was overdue. I shut down my old website and started this one. I wanted to have a little more control and also have a place for all my books. I write under three names now. It was never my intention, but it kinda just happened.

So now I have my American historical romances under Jerri Hines—my epic fantasy series under Carrie James Haynes—I cross the ocean and become Colleen Connally with my Secret Lives series.

I am all three…Jerri Hines, Carrie James Haynes and Colleen Connally. Depends on the mood I’m in. I have so much going on. Excited about it all. I’ve just released the fourth part of my epic fantasy series- Time of the Nuxvenom. Back in October, Whiskey Creek Press released Another Night Falls, the third book in the Tides of Charleston series. Also, I’m in the midst of preparing two releases under Colleen Connally to follow up Seductive Secrets.

Hope you enjoy them all!

Love to connect with everyone. You can find me

Twitter   @jhines340

@carriejhaynes

@colleenconnally

Facebook       Novel Works

Whispers of a Legend Saga

Historical Romance

I also still have my other blogs

Jerri Hines

Castle in the Air

Colleen Connally

Roses of Prose

Thanks for dropping by! Enjoy!