Personally, I choose authors I enjoy based on reading one or more of their books. But I find that if they stick with the same trope, the same setting, just new characters, I get bored easily and decide I'm done with them. I guess I'm a mercurial reader, which makes me a mercurial author also. So according to the video, since I'm not predictable, I'll never maximize sales to dedicated readers.
Since I spend so much quality time with my characters, living in their world and experiencing their romance with them, I want to really enjoy them. But I can't if I'm writing the same story each time. That's why my back list is so varied. I've written a series of contemporary romance featuring members of a large Hispanic family--the Reyes Romances. But I've also written a couple of romantic suspense books about the exciting lives and loves of female secret agents. Then I wrote a series set up in Minnesota's BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area,) a place I love to visit for camping. But even then, not all of the books are set in the same town, though they feature many of the same characters. And some of those characters are current or ex-spies, so that's a bit of a cross-over, with some suspense thrown into my contemporary situations. Plus I wrote a vampire saga, involving multiple romances...and a Mayan mummy who is still alive. I wrote a couple of paranormal romance books set up in a werewolf compound in northwestern Maine. And two stand-alone contemporary romances, one of which is loosely based on my own college experiences.
So am I confusing readers, when they don't know what they'll find each time they open one of my books? Hey, there will always be strong females and sexy men who fall in love with them. And steamy scenes to melt your e-reader!
Which brings me to the first of my two new books--this one is a science fiction book set in the near future, when our poor planet has become so polluted that people are willing to buy one-way tickets to new worlds, to become colonists, just for the ability to walk outside in nature. Living in covered domes to avoid skin cancer and acid rain, is no way for my heroine to live. She yearns for something different. And the politics of earth have become so horrible for females, that she's willing to do anything to escape to a new life. I don't have a cover yet, but the book will come out in May, and the title is Learning to Love.
Here's an excerpt, from when she's being prepped for the long ride in a spaceship. I'm still dealing with a new-to-me laptop, so any formatting issues are my fault.
Elena shuddered as she felt the liquid being pumped into her
veins beginning to take effect on her blood. She knew it was
binding itself to the water so that when she was frozen in
suspended animation, the water in her blood wouldn’t freeze
into shards of ice crystals that might split open her veins.
She felt herself becoming sluggish, and extreme tiredness
crept through her body. It wasn’t an uncomfortable feeling,
nor was she unprepared for it—not after the long lecture on
the physical effects of cryogenics that all Starline
passengers had to attend.
But still, the feeling was unusual enough for her to want to
distract herself from it. She tried to focus her increasingly
blurry vision on the nurse who was attending to her
“So, I’ve heard rumors that you guys have fun with female
passengers when we are unconscious and unable to object.”
Somewhere deep in her brain, she realized this was
probably not a good subject to bring up—not here and now.
But it was something she’d tried to put out of her mind. Now
it forced its way up and out of her lips before her drowsy
brain could stop it.
The nurse smiled as he looked up from checking the
readings on the machine that would monitor her vitals for the
length of the trip. “Is that old bullshit still being spread around
by the ignorant, Earth-only cowards who are too scared to
think about leaving the planet?”
Elena nodded as she realized she was beginning to drool,
and her arms weren’t responding to her brain’s orders to
move up to her face anymore.
“Honey, once the door to your container is closed, you’re
untouchable until we reach your destination. If anyone tried
to open the door, alarms would go off, alerting everyone
aboard to a cylinder being violated. The only way to get the
door open quietly would be to wake you up, which is a time-
consuming process, so not the kind of thing most guys intent
on fondling or raping would want to wait around for. Once
awakened, you’d be able to scream and fend off an attack.”
He snickered as he wiped off the drool with the bib she’d
wondered about, when she saw it was part of the sleep
“Besides, after being asleep for as many years as you’re
going to be, the very first thing your private parts are going to
want to do is pee. Not exactly the height of erotica for most
of us, understand?”
Elena nodded heavily, unable to keep her eyes open
anymore and feeling even her thoughts slow. She knew that
she was being cooled down, but the cold wasn’t making her
shiver. She felt warm and sleepy and ready for a long nap.
Even yawning seemed like too much effort.
“How many years will I be out?”
“Ten. I’ll take my turn being awake for the first five, then
asleep for five. By the time we get to Mesa Verde, you’ll be
the same age you are now, but I’ll be five years older. Maybe
you’ll think I’m too old to flirt with by then, eh?”
Her brain wanted her mouth to reply that she hadn’t been
flirting, just giving voice to a concern that all Earth females
felt, bred into them from their first realization that men could
touch them without their consent because a woman’s body
belonged to the state. Fears amplified by the rumors spread
by the various Earth-only factions who were still trying to
stop others, especially females, from venturing off their
home planet for new lives. But her lips were numb, and her
tongue was a swollen lump in her mouth. Her eyes had
closed, and all she wanted to do was go to sleep.
“Good night, honey. You won’t dream much. And you
won’t remember any of it once you wake up. Next stop for
The nurse grunted as he pushed the heavy door shut.
Elena wondered for a quick moment why she didn’t feel
panic at being shut up in a metal cylinder with no air to
breathe. Then she realized she hadn’t taken a breath for a
Her last conscious thought was of Mesa Verde. Where I
can have a new life. And he won’t be able to find me ever
Then she gave herself over to the warm blanket of black
velvet that encircled her, and she slept.
Copyright May, 2023