Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Road To Publication

I was recently interviewed for a fellow Crimson Romance author's blog on the road to publication, and thought I'd share it with you.  Her website is

June 21, 2012

My Road to Publication: Becky Lower

Filed under: Author's Interview,My Road to Publicatin — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:22 am
Tags: ,

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, I want to introduce you to another of my fellow writers at Crimson Romance.
I hope you find her story as interesting as I did.
My debut novel, The Reluctant Debutante, is an historical romance sent in America as it is poised on the brink of the Civil War. I consider it a cross between Edith Wharton and Julia Quinn. Julia’s Bridgerton series is my true inspiration for this series, which focuses on the Fitzpatrick family’s nine children, who are all named for an herb or spice, as they come of age in a new country. The Cotillion tradition was introduced to New York society in 1854, so The Reluctant Debutante introduces the first of the Fitzpatrick females–Ginger–who will participate in the Ball and season only to secure the right for her younger siblings, not because she wants to.
The cover of my book was designed by the killer graphics team at Crimson Romance. They gave me two choices, and judging from the early comments I’ve received, I picked the right one. It has the right historical feel, the debutante is there, but vague enough so the reader can make her look the way the reader envisions her. The band of Indian print along the bottom gives a hint of things to come inside the book. The book is available for pre-orders on Amazon until July 2, at which time it will become available on most digital publishing sites. Plans are underway to make it available in print later in the year.
My road to publication was a long and winding one. I entered a lot of contests, and received valuable feedback from them. I sent it out to several publishers, who told me it was an odd time period since most people writing historicals set in America either focus on the Golden Age after the Civil War or they write Westerns. No one cares about New York in the 1850s, according to them. Also, it was advised that I change the name of my characters, since the name Ginger wasn’t common during this time period. I stuck to my guns about certain elements of the story and kept revising and tightening the rest of it. Crimson Romance is a new publishing house who is willing to take a chance on the not-so-traditional books, and I’m glad to have found a home with them. They’ve already signed me for the second book in the series, which will be out in December. My marketing plan is being formulated as I go. I have a new website,, and a blog attached to it, so I’m going to see about doing a blog tour. I’m being reviewed in my local paper, and an arts publication in Northern Virginia, where I used to work. I may also do some advertising.
My advice to anyone who has ever wanted to write a book is twofold. First, if you think you’re too old to start the process, I’ll quote George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” To those who are younger and busy getting married, launching careers and nurturing children, I’d say, don’t let life get in the way of your dreams.
Ever since submitting my first screenplay to Bonanza at age twelve, I have had a love affair with the American west. Perhaps it has something to do with an old family legend that I have a Cherokee Indian great-great grandfather. That might explain why I tend to plunk my characters into the middle of momentous historical events that helped shape the United States. I pursue my passion for history by watching The History Channel, visiting old graveyards and civil war battle sites and by writing about it. I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University and currently live in Oberlin, OH with my puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Five Reasons You Should Be Reading Historical Romance

This is too good not to share. It's from Merry Farmer's website, and reprinted with her permission. For more of her good posts, visit her site at
Please read and pass it on.

Today in the world of Romance, Paranormal is queen.  I don’t know who started it, Stephanie Meyers or Sherrilyn Kenyon or even Anne Rice.  Whoever gets the credit, the Romance world is awash in vampires, shape-shifters, and even angels these days.

But it wasn’t always this way.  Oh no.  In fact, Paranormal is a brand new baby sub-genre in the grander scheme of things.  Long before there was Bella Swan there was Elizabeth Bennett, Jane Eyre, and even Scarlett O’Hara.  There was a time when the art of seduction was a slow dance at a formal ball, a stolen glance from a theater balcony, or a letter written in the dead of night and delivered by a footman.  There was a time when the touch of a gloved hand revealed more than any howling at the full moon.

Okay, okay, I hear you saying it.  I hear you say that you love your vampires and werewolves.  I hear you saying that history is that stuffy collection of names and dates that old Mrs. Winterbottom made you recite in high school.  Who wants to relive all that when the heroine can have superpowers?

My friends, you don’t know what you’re missing.

And so, to tempt your tastes and tickle your imagination, I present you with five reasons why you should be reading Historical Romance.

1. It’s better than any History class

Think history is all about boring kings and battles and oppressed women?  Think again!  Yesterday’s tabloid gossip is the stuff of today’s textbooks.  Scandals abounded in the past.  Men had very public mistresses and women rocked the social and political world.  In some centuries laws reduced women to no more than property, but in other eras women had as much equality as they do today.  And there’s no telling what went on between a man and a women behind closed doors.  Historical Romance fills in those blanks with delicious detail.

I had a fellow writer remark to me once that he was shocked and amazed at how accurate and well-depicted history is in Historical Romance.  It’s what you learned in school with breasts and hips and sinew.  Historical Romance writers go to great lengths to make sure that what you’re reading is as true and vibrant as possible.  Because every second of history was filled with personality and longing, action and sex.  You’ll never look at your old family pictures the same way!

2. Nothing says sexy like a corset

Let’s face it, the modern world leaves nothing to the imagination.  The modern world has no imagination.  “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am” is a modern invention.  But when a modern vixen wants to get schmexy what does she put on?  A bustier.  And what is a bustier but a nylon corset?

Corsets were meant to shape and lift.  Yeah, sure, they were there to make a lady’s waist small, but more than that they the ultimate push-up bra.  A corset is a garment that constricts while it reveals.  It hides and displays all at once.  And that’s just what you’ll find in a Historical Romance heroine.

The act of removing a corset is as much a metaphor for sex as the act itself.  The breathless anticipation, the straining against bonds until the heroine feels she is about to burst, and the ecstatic relief that comes as the last clasp pops and the flesh is free to be kissed and caressed.  It’s like opening a present on Christmas morning.  The shiny layers come off revealing the pulsing prize beneath.

Give me a book where the hero has to quest his way through corset closures to claim his prize any day!

3. Less is More

Where is the romance in a modern world where we list everything on eHarmony and make spreadsheets of the profiles we study to find “true love”?  How satisfying is it really to notch up your bedpost looking for that one man who will be there in the morning?  Is it the obvious we’re after or is it the hint of what might come?

courtesy of
The juiciest parts of a good Historical Romance are not laundry lists of positions and speed and friction.  They are the glances across crowded ballrooms, the inappropriate lingering of fingers at the crook of an elbow.  A tender press of lips against the back of a slender neck in a dark garden carries far more titillation than the full monty.History was a subtler time, a suggestive time, a naughty time.  A hero in a Historical has to be clever to seduce his heroine in a world where the strictures of society prevent him from walking right up to the girl and hitting on her.  But does that mean he’s less masculine?  Oh no!  Quite the contrary.  Because….

4. Tight breeches hide nothing

Historical Romance is packed floor to ceiling with some of the most sensual alpha males you’ll ever want to meet.  And the clothes men wore back in the day were tight.  Whether he’s wearing medieval chausses or 19th century breeches, men’s clothes left nothing to the imagination.  Muscle, sinew, and a whole lot more were right there on display.  We’re talking some serious eye candy here!  In the wild it is the male of the species who has the brightest feathers.  The same goes for History.

The past was also a world without texting, without Facebook, and where you could find yourself engaged to a girl if you looked at her wrong.  So men had to become the masters of the stolen glance, innuendo, and unspoken, radiant heat.  Historical Romance heroes ooze sex out every pore while gliding seamlessly through the steps of a formal dance.  They whip out their swords and show their power through action.  Oh, and they occasionally fight duels too.

And it might do to remember that this is the world that your Paranormal vampires come from.  Everything an immortal hero learned about seducing a woman he learned in the past.  Why not take a ride back to his origin to find out what formed him?

5. There’s something for everyone

The sheer variety of Historical Romance, the depth and diversity of all of history, means that no matter what your fancy there’s something for you.  I’ve read pirate romances, Regency romances that take place in the city and in the country, and Georgian romances.  I write medieval romance and western romance.  There are Historical Romances that take place in England, in Scotland, in early America, Ancient Rome, feudal Japan, and everything in between.  You name it, we’ve got it.  And that’s not even counting time-travel romances or steampunk!

So if you think Historical Romance isn’t your thing, if you think that Paranormal is the only thing that will give you a thrill and make your heart beat faster, maybe it’s time to reconsider.  If it’s action you want, adventure you crave, it’s all right there.  If you like tales of suspense mixed in with your love story, yep, we’ve got that.  And we know how to bring the Happily Ever After and bring it in style!

Don’t know where to start?  There are scads of brilliant Historical Romance novelists out there.  Some of my absolute favorites are Elizabeth Hoyt (her novel The Leopard Prince is my favorite romance ever), Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Boyle, and Julia Quinn.  Those are just some of my favs.  Who are yours?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Posting about Mary

My website went live last week, in time for me to generate some interest in my debut novel, The Reluctant Debutante. So far, the response to the site has been positive, except for the fact that, although I mention Mary, my little puppy-mill rescue, I didn't include a picture. So, here she is. Mary had her name when I got her. She was saved from being auctioned to another puppy mill by a faith-based organization. They managed to save two female dogs that day, and named them Martha and Mary. Since they had her for five months before I got her, she was used to the name, and it stuck. Given her background as a puppy-mill momma, I tell people she was named for Mary Magdalene and not the virgin Mary.

She's made me cry in frustration over the past year, since she's afraid of hands coming at her and she still hates to be picked up, although she loves to snuggle. She's also made me cry in happiness, like the first time she picked up a toy to play with, and the first time she crawled into my lap on her own. She still likes other dogs better than she does humans, but then, so do I, for the most part.