New Contract with Tule Publishing!!!

I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to announce a new series coming with Tule Publishing!!!

The Hills of Texas is a contemporary cowboy romance series set in the small town of La Colina, Texas, featuring the 5 siblings of the Hill family. Look for the first two books from Tule some time in early 2018 hopefully.

The Hills of Texas
Book 1: Saving the Sheriff (Cash & Holly)
Book 2: Resisting the Rancher (Williams & Rusty)
Book 3: Loving the Lawman (Carter & Logan)
Book 4: Partnering the Playboy (Autry & Beth)
Book 5: Claiming the Cowboy (Jennings & Maggie)

I am super excited to be joining the Tule family, and can’t wait to get started! Thank you to Dawn Dowdle, my agent working on this series, for all your hard work and believing in me.  Readers, look for more info coming later this year as we get closer to release dates. 🙂

New Tagline: Sassy. Sexy. Seductive.

While I was in the process of splitting out my personalities, I realized something… I needed a new tagline for both personalities. Originally, as Abigail Owen, the tagline I chose was:

love…write. read. imagine.

I picked that tagline because it was generic. At the time I had no intention of writing under multiple pen names. Obviously, I changed my mind. *grin*

So when I started creating my new logo for my new contemporary romance pen name, Kadie Scott, it struck me that with my pen names being genre-specific, I should have taglines which were genre-specific.

For Kadie Scott, I already had an idea of what I wanted included. So the tagline for that persona was easy.

Sassy. Sexy. Seductive.

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My Abigail Owen new tagline was a bit tougher as I couldn’t decide between several. In the end, I had my newsletter subscribers for Abigail vote. If you want to see what that ended as, visit my website.

I’m thrilled with both taglines, and had a ton of fun picking them. Hopefully they stick. Lol.

Signed with Evan Marshall

I am thrilled to announce that I have signed as an author with literary agent Evan Marshall of The Evan Marshall Agency.

My husband and I met Evan and his lovely wife on the FRW Fun in the Sun cruise/conference. We had a chance to spend a little time with them–especially playing trivia. I won an opportunity to pick Evan’s brain for 1 hour, and really enjoyed hearing Evan’s take on some different questions I posed to him.

Evan will be representing all my genres (and split personalities) moving forward, and I very much look forward to working with him to further my career!

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Spring Break in Santa Fe

If you’re wondering where I’ve disappeared to for the past week…I’ve been in Santa Fe with my family enjoying my kids’ spring break!

While I’ve driven through Santa Fe many times on my way to Colorado, this is my first visit. We had a spectacular time, and I thought I’d share a bit with you.

From where we live in Austin, it’s approximately a 10-hour drive (not including stops), so we make it in one day which is great. This means we spend less on travel, but still have plenty of time at our destination. The house we rented was only a 20-minute drive from the slopes and only a 10-minute walk from the old-town plaza of shops and restaurants. Perfect location!

Our first day was spent settling in and grocery shopping. We also took the kids to MeowWolf–this really wacky, cool place that was like a jungle gym with each room a different weird world. The pic I’m including was like walking through a human-sized aquarium. There’s apparently a story you can also follow, but we just ran around. Sounds like one may be coming to Austin in the near future.

We spent three days there skiing at Ski Santa Fe. My kids skills have really developed and we spent a ton of time with them skiing (or snowboarding). I am a mediocre skier. By this I mean that I enjoy blues and greens. I am too afraid of heights to handle the steeper slopes on blacks and so forth. Plus, despite living only 1-2 hours from Tahoe ski resorts, the last time I skied was 10 years ago. I was happy to discover it’s like riding a bike and picked it back up.

Wednesday night, we hired a trusted babysitter to watch the kids and went for an adults-only night of dinner and drinks. Thursday we went to Bandelier National Monument and hiked to the old Pueblo settlements in the mountains. I grew up in a family that always incorporated historical sites in our travel, and so thought it was fascinating. Don’t be surprised if the culture shows up in one of my books!

Our last day was “lazy.” We took the kids to make pottery and then went to see the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie (which was fab).  Somewhere in all of that we also managed to do a little shopping in the plaza, visit the gorgeous Loretto Chapel with the gorgeous “miracle staircase” described in Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop” and eat. A lot of eating.

We had such a great time, we hope to go again next year. Here’s hoping your spring break–whether it was a lovely stay-cation at home or a destination like ours–was just as terrific!

Favorite Hero Archetypes

depositphotos_21944159_l-2015I write romance, which means I come across similar character archetypes regularly. The fun part of these as an author is taking something well-known and putting my own fun spin on it. The fun part of these as a reader is having my favorite archetypes to read.

I’m drawn to certain archetypes more than others. Most readers are. Don’t lie. You know you have your favorites too. Here are my personal favorites to read and write:

Charmer

I love the charmer because he’s fun. My favorite charmer is Curly in the move Oklahoma, as portrayed by Gordon MacRae. He’s fun to be around for the other characters (mostly). Liked by all.  He’s fun as an author because the charmer has a lot of growth to become both charming and responsible. I also love the interaction with the charmer and the heroine and how she grounds him, helping him become a better man.

Swashbuckler

The fearless, daring guy who jumps in to save the day. I’ve loved this archetype ever since I saw Errol Flynn in Robin Hood. And don’t even get me started on Westley from The Princess Bride. Swoon. As an author, what I love to write is a counterpart to the swashbuckler. Rather than being rescued by him, I have the heroine be his equal and maybe even do the rescuing.

Warrior

The guy who will protect and serve until his last breath. There is nothing sexier than a man in uniform because we want to believe they will have our backs and fight for truth and justice (and the heroine). Like with the swashbuckler, I like to write a heroine who doesn’t necessarily need to be protected because she can do it herself. It’s fun to watch those dynamics.

Bad Boy

Who doesn’t love the bad boy? Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, Paul Newman in The Long, Hot Summer. Come on ladies, we all secretly want to help this rough edged man with a gold heart open up or settle down or finally find the love and acceptance he deserves. I love to write bad boys because they have very few limits, but you can also make them very human.

 

You can probably tell that I enjoy reading and writing strong male characters, although I prefer to avoid the alpha-hole. That guy who runs roughshod over everyone. I love strong heroes because I REALLY love strong heroines, and I need the hero to be her match.

What about you? What are your favorite archetypes? Do you like the same ones as I do? Or do you prefer the Chief, the Best Friend, the Lost Soul, or the Professor?

For more info on these archetypes, check out, “The Complete Guide to Heroes and Heroines: 16 Master Archetypes.”

FRW Fun in the Sun Cruise/Conference!

20170218_093233Two years ago, I went on the fantastic cruise/conference the FRW RWA chapter puts on every other year. I loved it so much, of course I had to go back this year. This time, I brought my husband, and we had a fabulous time!

Workshops & Talks

I attended a good majority of the workshops. Thanks to all the speakers for their hard work and great info. I particularly enjoyed the panel discussions, particularly the one on contemporary romance, and Alyssa Day’s workshop on writing paranormal. Key note speakers Elizabeth Hoyt and Michael Hauge were fantastic.

Being One of the Experienced Authors

20170219_115445Last time, I participated only as an attendee. And, while there’s always more to learn, this trip I joined the ranks of experienced authors. I really enjoyed being one of the panelists o the self-publishing panel (as Abigail Owen). I also had a great time talking to readers and authors at the book signing on board.

Cruise Fun

We love cruising, so we always have a good time. As usual, we enjoyed the trivia and the shows, especially the comedians. Our cabin was interior, but had a window that faced out over the promenade int he middle of the ship which was cool.

Chichen Itza

20170218_131942Hubby and I have been to Cozumel several times. This time, we decided to do an excursion, and went to see the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. While we didn’t have too long to explore the ruins, due to the time it took to get there, we really enjoyed seeing them. Hard to imagine them in bright colors of blues, reds, and golds, but very cool.

New Friends & Old

My favorite part of the conference is making friends with the awesome folks there. I loved seeing familiar faces from the last conference, many of whom I’ve stayed in touch with thanks to Facebook–Kimberly, Rossie, Victoria, Jessica, Aleka, Heidi, Kristin.

20170220_124253We also had a great time making new friends. We spent a lot of time laughing at all the funny stories we each had to share. I found kindred Indie souls in Traci Hall and Christopher Hawke. I really enjoyed talking with Alyssa Day (and fangirled a bit, too). We loved playing trivia with literary agent Evan Marshal and his wife. I talked with a ton of other fantastic authors–Jade Lee, Debra Ann Davis, Priscilla Oliveras, and many others.

A particular shout out to contemporary authors Tanya Michaels and Sarah Anderson (and their husbands and kiddo – yes I remember their names, but in case they are like me I’m not sharing names). We had a great time with you guys!! (And contemporary readers…check out these ladies books. I’ve already read a few and they’re awesome!)

 

A huge thank you to Kimberly, Marcia, and all the FRW organizers and volunteers who make this a fantastic conference. The next FRW cruise/conference won’t be until 2019, and you bet I’ll be there!

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14 Signs of a Great Romance

ValentinesDay.jpgAs a romance author, the entire point of my books is to create a romance between two (fictional) people which ends happily ever after. But what does a great romance look like?

Romance and all things romantic can be different for different people. Some think of romance as gifts and dinners. Some think of it as supporting each other through the daily grind. There’s a reason why there are boatloads of books on Love Languages and communication between men and women.

Rather than writing about my own opinion of a great romance, I thought I’d go with what various experts say are signs of a healthy relationship. Because, for me, a great romance isn’t all flowers and pretty words. A great romance always has a happily ever after–in other words a healthy, productive relationship which lasts after the final credits or the book is over.

Think about your favorite romance novels or movies. Which of those romances embody many (or even all) of the following traits of a healthy relationship?

 

  1. You Communicate
  2. You Trust Each Other
  3. You Speak Your Mind
  4. You Like Yourself and Your Partner
  5. You Let Things Go
  6. You Make Joint Decisions
  7. You Talk to Your Partner Before Others
  8. You Support Each Other in Growth Opportunities
  9. You are Friends
  10. You Keep Your Individual Identity
  11. You Fight (Productively)
  12. You are Willing to Put “We” Before “Me”
  13. You Inspire Each Other to Be Better
  14. You Enjoy Each Other

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

P.S. Personal addition to the list, sign #15: You don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to say “I Love You!”

 

Resources

14 Signs You’re in a Healthy Relationship, REAL SIMPLE Magazine

6 Sure Signs of a Healthy Relationship, Psychology Today

8 Signs You’re In the Right Relationship, Huffington Post

10 Signs You’re in a Healthy Relationship, Life Hack

15 Signs You’re in a Healthy Relationship, Glamor

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Contemporary Romance

Romance.pngContemporary romance was my first love when it comes to romance novels. My mother was an avid historical romance reader and got me started on romance with those books. However, it wasn’t until I bought a handful of 1960s Harlequins from a used bookstore that I truly feel in love with the romance genre. These days I love almost every genre of romance, but it all started with contemporary.

Here are my top 10 reasons for why I love contemporary romance:

1. Strong Female Characters

I love strong, independent heroines who can truly take care of themselves. It’s been a long time since every heroine needed saving in the romance genre. Yes, the book is partly about their growth as a person. So I want the romance to show how hero and heroine compliment each other. But that doesn’t mean the heroine has to be weak. She can be strong and still be even better with the hero. In contemporary romance, women of today deal with today’s issues with integrity, strength, and grace.

2. The Men (Guys You Could Learn a Few Things)

One complaint of naysayers against romance is that the men are not written realistically, but how women fantasize about them. I say…what’s wrong with that? From contemporary romance in particular, I think real men could pick up a tip or too. And it’s not that women want a ripped body or three back-to-back orgasms. What I like about the men in contemporary romance are who they are as people. The heroes tend to be men of integrity who do the right thing in tough situations, who treat people fairly, who genuinely like the heroine, and so on. In addition, they are supportive of the heroine, wanting only the best from her. They make each other better people when they are together. They are true partners. Isn’t that something to strive for in real life?

3. Witty Interactions

I love the witty exchanges in contemporary romance. The back and forth that shows how the hero and heroine are on the same playing field. Those witty exchanges make me laugh, help build the dynamic between the characters, help build the sexual tension, and are just plain fun. Plus, think about all those times when you thought of the perfect response to a conversation you’d had. These books are a chance for a character to say all the things you wish you’d thought of in the moment.

4. A Sweet Escape

The older I get, the more I believe that real life is hard enough. I have a relatively wonderful life, and even I have my downs. Why would I want to read something that focuses on the down side? I’d much rather escape into a happy world where love conquers all. My down time (reading, watching TV, etc.) is my time to let go of the worldly cares and woes, and just…escape. In my opinion, we don’t need to add more drama or more negatives to life through art. And yes, I get that art is often a reflection of life. But my personal preference is for art which reflects the beauty of life. What is more beautiful than love?

5. A Different Life

My path in life is relatively set. I am a mother, a wife, my career experience is in business and writing/publishing. It is highly unlikely that I will suddenly take up paleontology or become a high-powered attorney. Through these books I get to experience a tiny bit of what it’s like to live other lives. I get to be many personalities, I get to experience many jobs, I get to have different backgrounds or relationships. Again, I wouldn’t change my life in any way, but it’s fun, just for a minute, to be someone else. By the way, by reading all these different characters, I also get exposed to people who think and feel differently than I do, which helps me understand and empathize with people around me in real life. That’s just a bonus.

6. Different Paths to Love

Everyone has a different love story, which means there are infinite paths to love out there. I love all the different tropes–plot devices used to bring couples together–such as enemies to lovers, accidental pregnancy, inheritance, neighbors, and so forth. I love them not because they are common, but because there a ton of them, and a ton different ways to approach each one. More are invented each day because more ways to meet your lover are invented. For example, thirty years ago, internet dating wasn’t even a thing. Each love story in the real world is unique, and that is no different in the written world.

7. Explore the World

I get to live all over the world through the contemporary romance books I read. I’ve been to Australia (cities and the outback), the U.K. (cities and the country side), Amsterdam, all over the United States and Canada, France, Tokyo, the Amazon, South Africa, India, Russia. The list goes on and on. I also get to experience a tiny bit of those cultures–common phrases, what people do in every day life there, interesting tourist spots, and so forth. I’ve developed lists of places I want to visit because of the books I’ve read. Many of them off the beaten path.

8. A Host of Characters

I tend to be a serialist when it comes to my books–in other words, I like series. I get invested in all the characters and like to see other characters pop up in future books. That is a common occurrence in contemporary romance. Even better is that, in this genre, more often than not each book is a different romantic couple. There’s much less “Happily for Now” in contemporary romance than you find in other romantic genres. This is great for me, because I don’t want to read three books about the same couple.

9. The Emotional Connection

For me, reading romance is about the emotional connection. I can’t tell you how many people belittle the genre, saying they picked up a copy once and skipped straight to the love scene and couldn’t believe people read this. This reaction, to me, shows ignorance and lack of even trying to understand. Those people are missing the entire point of a romance. The emotional connection. Sex may or may not be part of that story, but if it is included, sex is only one form of expression of that emotional connection. If you skip straight to it, you missed to good stuff…learning about why that is an impactful scene to the characters and the story of how they fell in love. I love the love story in contemporary romance–the way the couple meets, how they interact and play off each other, and how, in the end, they make each other better people. An emotional connection like that is one to celebrate.

10. Happily Ever After

In the end, I want the characters I’ve emotionally invested in to have their “Happily Ever After.” I’m finding I can’t trust romances on television shows, or even movie franchises, any more. To keep the drama high, romances that finally get their HEA in those forms of media are often later ripped apart somehow. Look at Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, Downton Abbey, Hell on Wheels, and so forth. Even Friends couldn’t keep Ross and Rachel together very long. And yes, sometimes the couple ends up together in the end, but by then they’ve lost me. I love contemporary romance because they DO get their HEA usually without having 7 seasons of ups and downs in between. Yes, they have conflict which has to be resolved first, but once it’s resolved…HEA. This probably comes back to my #4 reason. I read and write this genre to escape into a HAPPY world where everything works out. A world where love and dedication to each other is something to be celebrated. I don’t need drama, I get enough of that in my life already.

 

What about you?  Do you agree with me? Disagree? Why do you love contemporary romance?  I’d love to hear!

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Announcing Kadie Scott

I am thrilled to announce that I am splitting my personality! For those new to me, I have been writing paranormal romance under the name Abigail Owen since 2010.

Meet Kadie Scott, my new alter ego. I’ll be writing all my contemporary romance under that name moving forward.

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While writing and publishing paranormal romance (and loving every minute of it), I’ve also been working toward writing and publishing contemporary romance. 2017 will see the realization of that dream! I announced in December that I had signed a contract with Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint. We’re still in the early phases on my first book, so check back for more info.

To get ahead of my first release, I am splitting my personalities out now. The goal with this is to make it easy for my readers to know exactly what they are getting with each release.

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If you are a lover of contemporary romance and want to be in on all things Kadie Scott, here’s how you can follow the new me!

Website: http://www.kadie-scott.com

Blog: https://kadie-scott.com/blog/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Lw2XH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abigail.Owen.Books/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOwenBooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/abbyowen/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/kadiescott

Amazon: Coming soon (I have to have a book out under that name).

BookBub: Coming soon (I have to have a book out under that name).

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If you are a lover of paranormal romance and want to be in on all things Abigail Owen, here’s how you can follow the new me!

Website: http://www.abigailowen.com

Blog: http://www.abigailowen.com/blog/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Lw2XH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abigail.Owen.Books/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOwenBooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/abbyowen/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/abigailowen

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/abigailowen

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/abigail-owen

*Note: Any non-genre-specific blogs will be posted on both websites.

Twitter, Facebook, & Pinterest will both be under Abigail, but Kadie will be posting there as well. It’s too much of a pain to go gather followers from scratch, and I found using combined accounts for those media outlets to be common among authors with multiple pen  names.

 

3 Books for Entangled

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I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve just signed up to publish 3 contemporary romantic comedies with Entangled Publishing under their Lovestruck imprint.

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I’ll wait to announce details when we announce the first release date. Look for announcements in the spring/summer 2017!

I am beyond pleased that they want to work with me and hugely excited to work with my editor. Cross your fingers for me that they love my work and want to sign more. 🙂