Sunday, February 24, 2013

Romance. Is it or is it not?

Recently, a friend and I had a conversation concerning movies that featured a growing relationship between a man and a woman and what really makes them a true romance. There are many films that have a love story up front and center but still they’re not considered a romance. Examples that jump to mind are, Speed, Romancing The Stone, and The Mummy. Don’t believe me? Google them. They're considered action and adventure or thriller.

So what makes one story an epic romance and the other an action story? Let’s compare these two examples; Casablanca and Pearl Harbor.

Casablanca is considered a classic love story, it has been for decades. In fact, if you Google best romance movies of all time, it’s #1 with Gone with the Wind as #2.

I know Casablanca is one of my favorites. I swoon every time I watch Humphrey Bogart, who plays bar owner and freedom fighter, Rick Blaine, clink champagne flutes with Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman, and says, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
The film has a love triangle, so there is lots of conflict.
Later in the film, Rick and Ilsa confess their love and then Rick convinces Ingrid to get on a plane with the 'other man' and leaves him behind to take on the Nazi regime. Not a happy ending, and we all know in today’s romance industry, a HEA is a requirement.

Now, let’s look at Pearl Harbor. While the blurb for the movie reads, Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war, it’s not considered a romance. With heroes as yummy as Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, why not?

Like Casablanca, the story centers around a love triangle and both are back dropped by war, the same war. Pearl Harbor even has a tainted HEA. So why is Pearl Harbor not a romance?

IMO, I think it has to do with how much focus is on the romance. There are more action scenes, and certainly they’re more vivid, in Pearl Harbor than there are in Casablanca.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Welcome Brenda Margriet

FRIDAY 2/22/13

Today, Brenda Margriet is visiting all the way from British Columbia, which is approximately 2415 miles from NE PA. Brenda is a debute author for the The Wild Rose Press. YEA! Please read on and learn more about Brenda, her new release 'Mountain Fire', and the contest she is offering. Also, thank you for stopping by.

It's February. Here in Northern British Columbia, that means I've reached the point in the winter when I start to believe the. Snow. Will. Never. Melt. Sunshiny, clear blue skies are welcome, but they are a cruel tease. Because they don't mean Spring is around the corner. They are just a tantalizing taste of a too short summer to come.

If I close my eyes I can feel soft, springy new grass under my bare feet. I can hear the neighbour's lawn mower and smell the perfect, fresh cut scent. I can feel the freckles pop out on my face as I lift it to the warmth of the sun, and hear the popping of a cold, fizzy drink.

However, there is something extra special about opening a book (or turning on an ereader) and slipping away to another land when the one outside is frozen solid, a blanket of white stealing all the colour from the world. In the last week I've danced with danger and fallen in love with an assassin (Moonrise, Anne Stuart), watched Spenser struggle with his code of honour while trying to save a family (Mortal Stakes, Robert B. Parker), and now I'm going to take a sexy, long distance bike ride (Ride With Me, Ruthie Knox). It makes the blowing snow and chill wind so much easier to bear!

Here's to good books that help us escape...and to Spring, which cannot come too soon!

I am thrilled to announce my debut romantic suspense, MOUNTAIN FIRE, was released January 9, 2013 by The Wild Rose Press!


A mountaintop mystery leads two conservationists to dangerous obsessions and violent passions.

Natural resources student June Brandt climbs Longworth Mountain for some alone time. But when Conservation Officer Alex Weaver arrives to look into the death of a grizzly bear, June is caught up in the investigation--and fascinated by Alex.

Alex is attracted by June's competence and coolness under fire--as well as her lithe body and honey-blonde hair. Although their mutual interest in protecting the natural wonders of the area brings them together, they soon realize they view love from very different angles. He offers passion and pleasure, but June wants more.

When one of Alex's colleagues is murdered, June and Alex must work together to find the poacher before other lives are lost. And Alex must look deep inside to discover if he can give June what she deserves.

For an excerpt and to find out where to purchase MOUNTAIN FIRE in digital or print formats, visit And if you want to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, just click the links on the upper right hand side of my website.


Tell me what you like best about romantic suspense and you could win an e-book (Kindle or Epub) copy of MOUNTAIN FIRE! Just leave a comment here – be sure to include your email address in the body of the message. Deadline to enter is 12:00am PST Sunday, Feb. 24. Winner will be picked by random draw and will be announced on my blog ( no later than Wednesday, February 26.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It is so lovely to be here visiting with Autumn. We met through The Wild Rose Press and Autumn is just one of the many authors I have kept in regular contact with over the last six years. There is nothing more fantastic that getting to know other authors personally and watch their careers grow and flourish. Since I ‘met’ Autumn, I’ve written eleven books and two novellas, all of which are either published or contracted – Autumn and all the other wonderful writers I’ve met have played a massive part in my success!

So when she offered me a guest blog spot, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. Friendship and support in the writing world.

Knowing there are people out there to support you in your dreams means everything for a feeling of inner strength and belief. It’s human nature to doubt what you are thinking or doing, and worrying people will laugh or put you down. When you meet people who cheer you on, love and admire your work, and most of all, share your struggles, it gives an incredible sense of excitement and optimism.

Writers are often introverts and happy in their own company, which all too often provides far too much surrounding silence allowing that horrible voice in your head to shout loud and clear, “give up!” “You’re not good enough!” “This story is your worst yet!”

My advice? Fill your head with your stories, not your ‘internal editor’. Keep writing. Never EVER give up and believe in your dreams, ALWAYS! Just short six years ago, I was first published and then 2011 brought me an agent, 2012 contracts with Harlequin Superromance AND Kensington. Yes, I am living a dream than I never, ever thought would happen. Am I still shy? Yes. Am I still a teeny bit scared my ongoing success will mean I’ll have to stand up in public one day, YES!!! Terrified, would probably be a better description of how I feel about public speaking, LOL!

I am happy. I’m loving my work, but more than anything, I am LOVING my writer friends so, so much. Mix up your social circle, reach out through social mediums such as Twitter and Facebook and surround yourself with optimistic, supportive and fun people. You will be amazed how quickly you realize your fears are echoed and conquered throughout your writing peers every day.

Stand tall and know you are no better or worse than the successful writers out there. Let yourself grow and shine until you feel as though your star is in reach – because it is!

Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Rachel’s current release is “Finding Justice” available now from Harlequin Superromance. Here’s the blurb and buy links:


Old friends, new secrets

Sergeant Cat Forrester lives by her own set of rules. When her childhood friend is murdered, Cat's world is thrown into chaos. Especially because Jay Garrett-a man from her past-is a suspect, and he needs her help to prove he's innocent. After all they once shared, how can she say no?

The attraction flares between them, and getting involved with a suspect is a huge risk. But the more time Cat spends with Jay, the stronger the tug on her heart. He is the same caring, irresistible man she remembers. Yet she can't let her emotions interfere with the case—solving it is top priority. But as she digs deeper, she discovers Jay has secrets that may jeopardize any possible future together.
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository UK
Rachel’s upcoming release is a Victorian Romance – “The Seduction of Emily” is available for pre-order from E-Kensington right now. Here’s the blurb & buy links:

Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel. .

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Amazon UK

Rachel can be found here:


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Not Sure You'd Like A Romantic Suspense (99 Cents)

When I began to write romantic suspense, I tossed out several reams of paper. Why? Because no matter how I tried I couldn’t keep my villain hidden. He kept voicing his POV and writing his own chapters. I nearly ripped my hair out by the roots fighting with him to stay silent. Then I read a wonderful book, How To Write Killer Fiction by Carolyn Wheat. Ms.Wheat set me straight and confirmed what my villain was telling me all along.

Is there a Who-dun-it in suspense? Of course there is. It’s when the villain will be revealed that makes the two different, among a few other elements. In a mystery, an act of violence begins the story, but most times the action is set off stage. The reader is invited into the dilemma and introduced to an already seasoned hero who solves the crime logically and through scientific methods. There is a small circle of suspects, clues and red herrings. Information is withheld from the reader and the said reader is kept in the dark two steps behind. The hero grows very little during the story. The story is all about who killed X? The villain is not exposed until the last scene and the end result for the reader is an intellectual satisfaction.

A suspense novel starts on even keel, showing the everyday life our hero or heroine. Then BAM a nightmare occurs. The hero and/or heroine are not necessarily seasoned investigators. This is where your character arc comes in to play. The hero and/or heroine will grow throughout the story and eventually Good triumphs over Evil.

My first romantic suspense, a Golden Leaf Winner for 'Best First Book', His Witness To evil is on sale for 99 cents through the end of February at both Amazon
and B&N. Grap your copy today and tell your friends!

Excerpt from His Witness To Evil:
Stephanie masked her sigh of exertion while lifting the Coleman cooler she’d borrowed for their trip. She lugged the container to her old SUV. She knew how her son felt. She wished she had the money to take them away on exciting excursions like their friends had this summer. To places like Disney World, but she couldn’t even afford a day trip to Hershey Park, America’s chocolate capital. Em’s special diet, because of her allergies, took up a third of her take-home pay. After paying the mortgage, utilities, car insurance and miscellaneous expenses, she was lucky to save a few dollars a week.

She chewed on her bottom lip. Hopefully, next week Bobby and his friends would be off on new adventures, their summer vacations a distant memory.
The howl of a diesel engine jerked Stephanie from her musing. The squeal of brakes, crushing metal and shattering glass made her spin around.

Other basics of a suspense: All action is on stage. The protagonists’ world expansions. There are surprises. The villain can be revealed to the reader immediately and he or she can have a POV.
Yeah! This made my villain happy.
Information is given to the reader but withheld from the heroes. In other words, we know what could happen if the wrong path is taken by our hero or heroine. The reader sits on the edge of her seat, screaming at the heroine and hero not to go there.

Excerpt from His Witness To Evil:

“I don’t want to kill no kids, Victor.” Mac danced in place ready to dodge Victor’s wrath.
“You will do as I say,” Victor snapped.
She looked at the dead driver. His lifeless stare pleaded to her for justice.
“Don’t trust her,” Sheriff Morse ordered, turning his gun on her.
Stephanie refused to flinch under Morse’s scrutiny.
Gene moved in front of her. “Frank, what the hell are you doing? You’ve known
Stephanie all her life.”
“There is too much at stake, Gene. She saw me kill that guy. I’m not going to jail.” Morse’s tongue skimmed his lips. “Why the hell are you trying to protect her anyway? You two have been fightin’ like junkyard dogs for years. You complain every day she’s milking you dry. This is your chance to be rid of your mistakes.”
“Steph was never a mistake to me,” Gene’s voice rose in response. Then it softened. “I was hers.”
Tears threatened to blur her vision and she blinked them away. She squeezed Gene’s arm and glanced at her ex-husband’s profile. He remained focused.
“Touching,” Victor said. “But, sorry, no. They must die here.”
The suspense story is all about the hero or heroine prevailing. Emotional satisfaction is what the reader gets from a suspense novel. And since I write romantic suspense, ever lasting love must also be found.
Excerpt from Evil’s Witness:
After a week, her touch was familiar. His heart melted. He grabbed her hand, holding her in place as he turned and smiled down on her. Her nipples pushed against her white T-shirt. He gently brushed a knuckle across one peak. “No. It was hell without you.”
“Mmmm. Same here.” She pulled back and lifted his arm around her, curling into him. Looking out over the lake, she sighed. “I could stay here forever, if you’d let me.”
“I wish we could.” He gathered her closer and kissed the top of her head. “But eventually Bobby and Em would have to go to school.”
“I could home school.” Her chuckle was strained.
He felt her pain. He smiled while his heart wrenched. He would like nothing more than to forget about the world and stay here with her and the kids. But they couldn’t. “Sooner or later Ben will call. We’ll have to go back.”
“I know.”
Steph moved away. A cold void took her place.
She drifted to the other porch column. Leaning against it, she folded her arms across her chest. Her lips pressed together as if she was forming the right words behind them. “I know I said that our time together here was going to be enough to last me a lifetime, but—” Tears brimmed her lids. “I was wrong. A lifetime won’t be enough.”
John stepped toward her. “I don’t know what—”
“I know, you don’t know how we can be together. So, Ben will call. We’ll go back, and I’ll identify Victor. You’ll toss him in jail and throw away the key. You’ll drive off in pursuit of the next bad guy and me…Well, I’ll go home and wonder where you are. Wonder if what I felt was love.”
The woman knew how to make a guy feel like a heel.
John pulled her into his arms. She buried her head in his chest and cried softly against him. He kissed her head and smoothed her hair. “Steph, I didn’t think I’d ever love again,” he whispered softly, cupping her chin and tilting her face up until she looked at him. “Like a bomb, you dropped into my life. Every defense I’d put up to protect myself from ever being hurt again came tumbling down. You opened up my heart. As much as you don’t want to live without me, I don’t want to live without you. I love you.”
He kissed her gently. Her arms wrapped around him and held on. “Somehow, we’ll figure this out. I promise.”

Visit for more info on His Witness To Evil and my other books.