Tag Archives: Dragoon Serenade

An Aussie Author in Provence

An Aussie Author in Provence by Robert L J Borg a.k.a. Louise Roberts

Article previously published November 2017 in Hearts Talk – the official magazine of Romance Writers of Australia

People living in Golfe-Juan will tell you the country is made of two parts: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur [PACA] and the rest of France.  Since moving here in March 2016 I can now appreciate what they mean; for in this region everything seems to move at a very slow pace. As an example it took almost a year since buying my apartment into actually receiving the deeds.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking the place; quite the opposite in fact. France in general is a very beautiful country – I travelled around it a fair bit in the late 1970’s, but the south of France is an entity that swallows you whole.

In winter, the coastal towns are so laid back you feel as though you are the only one living here – it is so quiet. However, when spring and summer arrive, it’s as though someone has applied a defibrillator to it, as the region suddenly becomes fast paced and alive with tourists, the rich and famous among their number. Stunning yachts fill the ports, exotic cars cruise the coastal roads, and restaurants and bars are filled to bursting.

It inspires you to visit new locations and revisit places you have been to before. As an author this time of the year is best, especially for people watching. The more you see, the more character developments start to fill your repertoire to eventually find themselves into one of your stories. It is an inspirational part of the world where history and traditional values play an important role in its very special identity.

I left Australia with an amount of uncertainty at what I might find. When I arrived I knew I had made the right decision. Although the French can be suspicious, annoyingly slow, and have a weird sense of humor, they have also a generosity with their time for you, especially when you make the effort to speak their language. French is not particularly easy when you haven’t used it since learning it at school – in my case some fifty plus years ago. I still struggle with it today even though I am told I speak it very well [personally I think they are just being polite].

Re-reading everything I have written so far, it sounds like a plug for their tourist office, but changing it would mean that all I have said hasn’t had a major effect on my writing, when in fact it has.

Since March 2016 two books were released by Luminosity Publishing under my pen name, Louise Roberts, and a third was released on 26th October.  The 37,000 word novella “Dragoon Serenade” is located in this area set during the lead up to the Allied invasion of southern France on 15th August 1944. The region’s history, its people, the communities that encompasses them has entirely influenced my story. You can get a glimpse of it on my blog or view the book trailer on YouTube:

https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/dragoon-serenade/

https://youtu.be/yo2PHH2gjmQ

On 15th November 2017 Luminosity Publishing will be releasing a paperback entitled “Romance in War – Volume One”. This comprises of books 1 – “Letter from a Stranger” and 2 – “Dragoon Serenade”.

Despite giving my pseudonym the bulk of my time, I have also found some for myself. Apart from writing fiction, I also dabble in travel writing which is probably why the start of this article sounds like a travel brochure. More importantly for me, I have had the time to completely re-write my very first novel “Out of the Darkness”. Although originally completed in 1994 I never thought it good enough to submit. The calming effect the Côte d’Azur has influenced me to have the courage to tear it apart and start again. Hopefully I can find a home for it in 2018.

https://tomewriter.wordpress.com/out-of-the-darkness/

At present I also have two Works-in-Progress on the go, but I’m not rushing them as that would go against the way things are done in the south of France.

*

RLB – Tomewriter

 

 

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10 Things You Should Know About Writing A Historical Romance by Louise Roberts

The following link speaks for itself. I’m just sharing it with my followers:

https://louiserobertsromance.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/10-things-you-should-know-about-writing-a-historical-romance/

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Louise Roberts makes a tough call…

Louise Roberts has today made a tough call – to shelve her current Work-In-Progress and move on to another story which she hopes will be better.

When a story is just not good enough…

How do you move on when you have recounted a story that you believe is the best one you have ever written?

Where do you start to write an even better tale?

My current work-in-progress, “Balor’s Landing” [Book 3 in the Romance in War series] is set in September 1944 on the tiny island of Toraigh, county Donegal and is centred on a local girl falling in love with a ship-wrecked mariner who had been washed ashore after his ship had been torpedoed by a German U-boat.

The problem is that I began writing it at the same as Book 2 – “Dragoon Serenade”, and because I was so engrossed with it, that Book 3 in my opinion is just not good enough.

In fact “Balor’s Landing” is too quiet a tale, and is more likely to make readers fall asleep rather than keep them entertained.

For this reason I have decided to shelve it for another time.  Although it was a difficult decision to make, I believe it’s for the best.

“Dragoon Serenade” is scheduled for release as an e-book on 26th October 2017. Watch the Book Trailer on YouTube and make your own judgement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo2PHH2gjmQ&feature=youtu.be

To take the place of “Balor’s Landing” I will now bring forward Book 4.

“Warm Nights in Alex” is set in North Africa immediately following the Allied landings of ‘Operation Torch’ in November 1942. I shan’t divulge anything else about it just yet as I’m still doing the research and initial planning. All I will say is that the hero and heroine are [were] real [both now deceased], and this story is to be written in their memory.

I hope “Warm Nights in Alex” will be able to equal “Dragoon Serenade”, perhaps even better it. After all, isn’t that what we all strive for – to improve as we move forward?

Time will tell if I’ve made the right call…

Best wishes

Louise

There’s nothing more to be said other than ‘good luck’ with “Warm Nights in Alex”, and with “Dragoon Serenade” :o)

RLB – Tomewriter

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“Dragoon Serenade” to be published

I am absolutely thrilled that Luminosity Publishing has accepted my novella written under my pen name, Louise Roberts, and have offered me a 3 year publishing contract which, of course, I have accepted.

Originally the “Romance in War” series was intended to be written as ‘sweet’ romances, where sex scenes happen behind closed doors and everything is left to the readers’ imagination. However, time has shown that readers’ appetites to sex have changed and ‘sweet’ is no longer a viable option. In a way it is a shame to be obliged to write romances that include graphic sex scenes just to be able to sell the book. It makes me wonder where our society is heading…

I hadn’t approached Luminosity Publishing when I had first set out to ‘sell’ the book as it was in the ‘sweet’ category, and Luminosity has, since publishing book 1 – “Letter from a Stranger” in this series in June 2015, withdrawn ‘sweet’ romances from its portfolio.

“Dragoon Serenade” was completed in 2016 and I was obliged to seek other publishers who still claimed to publish such a genre. Unfortunately however for one reason or another I was constantly receiving rejections for this book.

The most recent rejection gave the following reason:

While we found the history of your story fascinating, and your characterization strongly drawn, unfortunately we didn’t feel that Dragoon Serenade would work for us at this time. The story is very interesting, but is a historical story with a romantic subplot, and we are, first and foremost, a romance publisher.

We are actively looking for historical stories, but they need to be primarily romances, and Dragoon Serenade, unfortunately, doesn’t fit that bill.

Frankly I was left dumbfounded as in my opinion the story clearly showed the romantic elements between heroine and hero working side by side with the historical content of the story. My worry was that if I changed the story too much to satisfy the publisher’s issues I would dilute the entire plot.

I was also told by another editor that the Prologue was confusing and the story might work better if I took it out.

With such negative reviews I was determined to make the necessary changes for the betterment of the story. So on reviewing the Prologue I tended to agree with the editor’s concerns, but rather than remove it I replaced it with an entirely different start. The changes were such that I subsequently was obliged to go through the entire manuscript to ensure the continuity of the story reflected the revised beginning.

With regard to SEX, I have since increased the heat level and added a few extra graphic sex scenes just to whet the readers’ appetites. Although in my defense, I would say that I have kept the scenes tasteful as anything else would be out of character of my heroine and hero.

“Dragoon Serenade” is set during World War Two and is centered around the towns Cannes, Golfe Juan [where I currently reside today], Biot, Vallauris, and Agay which are located in the department of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in southern France.

My heroine, code name ‘Simone’, is an agent of the British Special Operations Executive [SOE]. The SOE were highly trained and were specifically used for espionage, sabotage, assassinations, and reconnaissance. Although Resistance fighters had been formed when these people’s countries capitulated to the German forces, it was the SOE who coordinated them into organized fighter networks, ensuring they were supplied with military stores. This was particularly the case in France during the lead up to the invasions of Normandy and the Cote d’Azur.  The latter was code-named “Operation Dragoon”.

The hero in the story is code-named ‘Hibou’ the French word for ‘owl’.  Simone had previously known him from the time she had spent in northern France several months before the D-Day landings. At the time the two had been romantically involved. Now as Simone is being transported by submarine to Golfe Juan she hopes to be able to reignite their love.

I have done what I can to show the strong bond between Simone and Hibou but not at the expense of the action which occurs throughout the story. And I have tried to emphasize their romantic relationship in all its aspects. From tenderness to strong sexual prowess; desire, kindness and love, but inevitably where romance is concerned there is always a hint of jealousy. Just as in real life where there’s romance there will also be tears. However as with all good romances there is ALWAYS a Happy Ever After Ending.

“Dragoon Serenade” may be a romance, but it is one set in the most difficult of circumstances. War is not pretty at the best of times, and when your main characters are operating in the shadows with the Gestapo close on their heels, the tensions run high.

Of all the stories I have written so far “Dragoon Serenade” gave me the most enjoyment, and at times even made me cry – but as a romance writer I can get quite emotional.

I prayed that I had done enough with the revisions to satisfy those who would publish my story, and I could only hope that they would appreciate the efforts made that aim to keep the romance and action elements working alongside each other and not at the expense of losing the story’s personality.

It was therefore a shot in the arm when Luminosity Publishing offered me a contract to publish the story.

The comments I received along with their offer has shown me that the revisions I had made were obviously the best thing I had done:

I loved the plot in this story.

It held my interest, and I read the whole book in one session.

The writing is very good.

I am sure readers will love it as much as me.

Luminosity Publishing have set a projected a release date of October 2017 for the e-book.

They will combine Books 1 and 2 into a paperback version to be released hopefully by November 2017.

Also, as Dawné Dominique has created such fantastic covers for “The Sword and the Rose” series and also the cover for my crime novel “Out of the Darkness”, Luminosity has agreed for me to approach Dusktildawn Designs to create a cover for “Dragoon Serenade”.

RLB – Tomewriter

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Sensual Liaisons: The Sword and the Rose Collection

sensual-liaisons

Cover Design by Dusktildawn Designs and Luminosity Publishing

All original artwork by Dawné Dominique and copyright remains with her.

 

Sensual Liaisons: The Sword and the Rose Collection by Louise Roberts is a paperback that is to comprise of books 2, 3, and 4 of The Sword and the Rose Series.

So that these three great e-books can be available in print, Luminosity Publishing has incorporated them into a paperback.

The book is due for release on 15th April 2017 and can be purchased through the usual distributor channels such as Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Luminosity Publishing’s own website.

Although there had been plans for three more books in the series it was decided that it was time to end the Spanish 17th century saga after book 4.

 

Louise Roberts will now concentrate on her “Romance in War” series comprising of different stories set during World War II.

Book 1 – Letter from a Stranger is set in London during the Blitz was published by Luminosity Publishing in June 2015 and is available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble.

Book 2 – Dragoon Serenade is set in the south of France during the three weeks leading up to the Allied invasion of Operation Dragoon on 15th August 1944. Although this book is completed it is currently awaiting publication.

Book 3 – Balor’s Landing is set on the tiny island of Toraigh [Tory] off the Irish coast of county Donegal starting in September 1944. This book is Louise’s current work in progress, with four more books planned after this one.

In addition Louise is considering starting other adventures with new characters set during the 18th century but at this stage she won’t give anything away as to where and when those characters will emerge.

 

RLB – Tomewriter

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