Monday, July 15, 2019

“Royalty doesn’t sell.” What?!

Congratulations to "Jayne", the winner in Julie's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize.

“Royalty doesn’t sell.” What?!

That’s the message I got from the marketing department via my editor, right after I turned in my book featuring—you guessed it—royalty. Specifically, a Cinderella story, complete with a crown prince and a kick-ass tomboy cop who needed a serious makeover in looks, demeanor and deportment in order to pass as the prince’s girlfriend while he is visiting with a trade delegation in Kansas City. Why the girlfriend? Because someone within his own entourage is trying to kill him, and it would be very nice to have an outside bodyguard he could trust without question.

I thought it was a great story idea. My editor thought it was a great story. I was so bummed to hear that about all my hard work.

Then marketing clarified… royalty doesn’t sell well in the romantic suspense market. Readers want gritty, real characters who can save themselves and others leading the story and falling in love. Ahem, have you actually read my book? My books? After 65 books, do you really think I won’t deliver on the promise of my beloved romantic suspense stories? Strong women. Protective, larger-than-life heroes. Fast pacing. Gritty elements and atmosphere. Heart-stopping action scenes. Deep emotions laid bare by the danger surrounding my couple? Duh. I love romantic suspense. Trust me, I got all the good stuff in there.

Even if it does have royalty in it.

In my mind, I was writing 2 things: a Cinderella story about a royal hero and working-class heroine from two very different backgrounds who discover they have more in common than one might think. And second, I was writing a story about secrets. Lots and lots of secrets in PERSONAL PROTECTION—some could get you killed if revealed; some could get you killed if you don’t figure them out; some could keep you from finding the happiness the outside world wants to deny you; while others are the vulnerability that makes you fall in love.

So… in the marketing for PERSONAL PROTECTION, you won’t see much (any?) references to royalty. If you love stories with a royal connection, I hope you’ll embrace this story. And if you happen to be part of that mysterious pool of romantic suspense readers whom marketing says doesn’t like royalty in your books, then please look at all the other elements in this story. Just like Cinderella, there’s a lot more there behind the fa├žade than you might think.

Do you have a storyline/story element that you don’t like in your books?

(No guarantees that I’ll avoid them [wink-wink], because I try to write the stories I want to tell. But I am curious…)

I’ll give away a copy of PERSONAL PROTECTION to a reader who leaves a comment or asks a question below.

Best wishes,
Julie Miller

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 16th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Layer-out of the Dead: Once a Matriarchal Profession

Congratulations to "Erin", the winner in Jeanine's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

The layer-out of the dead of times past was the equivalent to today’s mortician. Preparing bodies for burial was predominantly performed by women up until the later portion of the Victorian era when mourning and all the practices that came along with it became its own business. Once men learned of the money that could be had in preparing bodies for burial and honoring the loss of loved ones, morticians became fashionable and the “business” of burying the dead was born, displacing many of the jobs previously performed by women to men. And as you may have guessed, the layer-out was well, out of fashion.
The business of dying became a consumer affair full of tradition and etiquette. Not only were there specific mourning clothes, procedures, and practices after a family member passed on, there were preparations one often made while one lived. It wasn’t uncommon for families to go without the necessities while living to ensure they had the money needed to provide a proper rather than pauper like burial for any of their family members if they died. “Burial clubs” ensured such appropriate funerals, by providing an insurance policy of sorts, to families making sure its members were cared for and provided proper funerals, when needed.
The job of preparing a body for burial had morphed into a business, one that no longer needed a simple layer-out of the dead, like my novel’s heroine, Lucy Wycliffe. But for hundreds of years before that, women had been the primary preparers and caregivers of the dead before they were seen to pass on to whatever they believed to be the next world.

About the Book:

When two murders strike the sleepy Victorian town of Clun, England, an unlikely partnership forms. But can the killer be found before there is a third?

Lovely Digits is the town oddity…

But quirky spinster Lucy Wycliffe prefers to ignore gossip and embrace her position as the town’s layer out of the dead, despite how her parents’ deaths thrust her into such unlikely work. Lovely Digits, as she’s known to the local townspeople, no longer dreams of marriage, but takes pride in providing dignity to the dead. Desperate to hold on to her family’s cottage and support her widowed sister and young niece, an unexpected offer of employment as assistant to the constable arrives at the perfect time.

Former sailor John Brodie is the mysterious new constable…

 But John Brodie is far from a stranger to Clun or the events of its past. Accepting the position as constable in the small town is a double edged sword meant to heal his past and redeem his future, but falling for the beautiful and intelligent Lucy Wycliffe was never part of his plan. As the killer closes in, will John reveal his secret and risk losing everything to save Lucy’s life?


Clun, England

A knocking on the cottage door above stairs startled Lucy, and she poked her finger with the thick sewing needle she held.
“Thistles,” she cursed, pressing her apron to her bleeding thumb. Evidently, repairing the tear at the hem of Becca’s dress would have to wait.
Who would be calling at such an early hour? It was hardly half past nine.
“Enter,” she called up from her root cellar.
She shuddered as the door squeaked open above her. She should oil the blasted hinges on the ancient door, but who had time for such nonsense? Her finger throbbed, but the blood had stopped. Shaking it in the air, she caught sight of the pale female form on her prepping table.
What am I complaining of?
Poor Becca. Lucy swallowed hard. Covering and repairing the girl’s wounds would prove difficult, but she’d try. Becca was her friend. Had been her friend.
“I hear if I need a body prepped, you are the person to see.” A deep rich baritone boomed against the cottage rafters.
The man’s neatly clipped tones screamed city. Londoner, most likely. What would he want here in Shropshire? Nothing of much import ever happened here.

Enter for the chance to win a free e-book copy of my debut release, Lovely Digits! *U.S. Residents Only!*

About the Author:
Jeanine Englert is a Golden Heart ® Finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner in historical romantic suspense. After years of writing in secret, she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website

Her debut novel, Lovely Digits, released in June of 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing, is a Victorian romantic suspense that won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award and was named a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist for best unpublished romantic suspense.

Where you can find me:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thank you

Hi, Everyone,

Firstly I would like to thank all of you for your kindness and good wishes after I became extremely ill at the beginning of this year. For those of you who don’t know, for a couple of months I had no idea what was going on, except I felt really ill, and had a dangerously high blood pressure that required me to basically have bedrest. Finally in March, after weeks of uncertainty, the doctors discovered that I had lost the function of my left kidney and it was causing all sorts of havoc with the rest of my body. We finally got the meds and diet right to control the myriad side effects to losing a kidney, and then I was struck down with Shingles. So far 2019 hasn’t been a great year for me healthwise! But again, thanks to all of you who have continued to read and enjoy my books, and I promise there will be a lot more stories for you to enjoy during the rest of 2019, including a new super-hot Regency series I will start publishing later in the year.    
Today I’m publishing BRYCE (Steele Protectors 3), the third book in this Amazon #1 contemporary romantic suspense series. Bryce is the most lethal of the Steele brothers. When someone threatens the woman he has decided to protect, he will need all the stealth and cunning instilled in him during his years in Special Forces to ensure nothing happens to her.

Also available for pre-order is ROURKE (Steele Protectors 4). In the previous 3 books in this series, Rourke is charming, sophisticated, and just all round sexy. But when someone threatens the woman he has loved from afar all of that is going to change, because beneath the charm and perfectly tailored three-piece suits is a man who can and will kill without mercy to protect those he loves.    

The Pre-Order for SCANDAL (Regency Lovers 6) is also available, with a publishing date of July 31st. This is the last book in this Amazon ALL #1 Regency series, in which you will meet the very sexy Mr. Grayson Long and beautiful Miss Rachel Banford, a young lady determined to trample down all of Gray’s barriers and claim him for her own.  
Talk to you again soon!
Carole xx

Buy Link for BRYCE (Steele Protectors 3)
Also available on Google, iBooks, Kobo , BandN, Smashwords

Buy Links for ROURKE (Steele Protectors 4)
Pre-order Available on Kindle, Google, BandN, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo

Buy Links for SCANDAL (Regency Lovers 6)
Also available Google, BandN, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks 

Carole Mortimer has written 250 books, in Romantic Suspense, paranormal, Regency and contemporary romance, and is the Recipient of the 2017 Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and the 2015 Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is an Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Romance Author—ever. 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer of Romance. She was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, for her “outstanding service to literature.”

She is very happily married to Peter. They have 6 sons and live on the Isle of Man.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Def Con

Right now I am working on Mission: Impossible to Love, book 3 in the Impossible Mission romantic suspense series. After coming up with a premise for the story, it’s time for the fun part: research!

In Mission: Impossible to Love, Sten Jenkins and Elizabeth “Izzy” Benson are sent to a hacker convention, posing as black hat hackers trying to sell software that could jeopardize the security of U.S. military drones.

In researching black hat hackers, I learned about DEF CON, one of the world’s largest hacker conventions. Held annually in Las Vegas, the event draws IT security professionals, law enforcement officials, journalists, lawyers, federal government employees, students and–of course–hackers.

Since the first DEF CON in 1993, the event has expanded to feature speakers on a variety of topics, as well as cyber-security challenges and competitions known as hacking wargames. It has also gone international, with DEF CON CHINA 1.0 scheduled for this year.

A hacker convention is the perfect setting for romantic suspense that includes technology, cyber crime and “virtual’ espionage. Such events are straight out of today’s headlines. I hope readers enjoy the very real element of cyber danger in my new military romantic suspense story, coming July 25.

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming release, Mission: Impossible to Love. Available July 25, 2019.

What the hell is she doing?”

Sten Jenkins watched from his truck as Izzy, the IT chick, waited on the large wrap-around porch of the ramshackle house. She checked each passerby before venturing to move away from her front door. He didn’t need spec ops training to recognize her nervousness—the rigid set of her shoulders, her hands fisted at her side, and the way her head swiveled back and forth. Goth Girl was expecting trouble.

She scanned the street once before her gaze jerked back and then focused on his truck. She retreated under the doorjamb and pulled a Taser from her oversized coat pocket.

A Taser—a bit of overkill, even for the barely gentrified Hillman City in South Seattle.

Sten was in no mood for mysteries this morning. He had his big meeting with Dean, tech security billionaire, to discuss the cyber threats against his company which provided the major portion of security software for military drones.

Sten slowly slid out of the seat of his rig, keeping his voice even and his motions small. Not easy for a six foot, two hundred pound dude. “Hey, Izzy, I’m Sten Jenkins.”

“I know who you are.” Not the usual response he got from women.

He really didn’t have time for this. It was barely eight a.m., and he was already in a Mexican Standoff with a woman he didn’t know. Leaning back on his rig, he crossed his feet.

“Reeves didn’t text you?”


She didn’t budge, but at least she put the Taser back in her pocket. There was something vulnerable and forlorn in the fierce way she held her position on the porch.

“Reeves was supposed to text you that he was running late and I’d give you a lift.” He was about to tell her that he lived close except her eyes were narrowed on him like he was a stalker—not the good guy offering a ride to work.

“Reeves had no right to share my address with you.”

“Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. You can give Reeves shit when you see him.”

Sten gazed down at his watch. “We should head out. I’m meeting with Dean in thirty minutes.”

And the blasted woman didn’t move from the porch as she texted rapidly. “Why would you be joining the meeting with Dean?”

“Do you want a ride or not?” Sten’s mother wouldn’t approve of his less than chivalrous response.

Her phone pinged. She read the text. And then swung her battered backpack over her shoulder. “Okay.”

The woman didn’t trust him? He’d laugh aloud at the idea that she thought a Taser could stop him if she didn’t look so damn alarmed. Sten opened the passenger door but not before he noticed how Izzy looked down the street before climbing into his truck.

Google Play:

About Jacki Delecki
Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. For more information, visit

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB at Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.


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