Is there room for politics in romance?

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My simple answer is yes.

When I began to write this series it was to turn my post-election angst into something  that would take rough political feelings and turn them into story and to mold characters that could fight off the bad and fall in love. I think that now that the world is a little more terrifying we’re all looking for a happy ending. To me writing can help us remember that despite the fear that a lot of people are experiencing right now, there is still hope and love in the world. Romance novels in particular come with a happily-ever-after and are perfect for lifting spirits.

The reality is, the awful things happening haven’t stopped people falling in love. In fact, I think that tough situations like this can help push people together. Politics do play a part in our every day lives and political affiliations are one of the core values we might value in a partner. Politics, whether we like it or not, play a huge part in life and therefore can’t be excluded from romance.

Another reason that I think that there is a place for politics in romance is that there are real world issues in politics that the romance reading community shouldn’t ignore. We can’t in good faith have our sex positive heroines and our steamy sex scenes while turning a blind eye to things like birth control access. I also certainly don’t think we can feature romances with same sex couples if we don’t talk about the real issues of marriage equality.

Romance, from who we can marry, to how we plan our families, is inherently political.

Even if a good romance novel is our escape from the current reality, we owe it to ourselves and each other to not ignore political issues that affect us in this space. Romance novels are a largely woman powered industry: often with women writers and largely a female audience. I think that because this is a female dominated space, it is particularly ripe for showing our support for women’s rights and having a strong pro-woman political stance.

Whether you are a person that uses birth control, or a person that benefits from its existence, we need to be mindful to not ignore important issues. I am choosing to use my writing  to indirectly stand up for these things while still delivering a story that will leave you with good feelings afterwards.

I would also like to add, that I don’t think politics NEED to be a huge part of romance novels, I am simply defending my choice to include political issues as a large part of my current series.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I would love to hear others thoughts on this issue. Leave a comment below!

❤ Scarlette

P.s.

If you’d like to sample the series I’m talking about, you can always get the prequel for free here.

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National Library Week!

In the chaos of my book release this week I almost forgot to post about National Library Week, which would have been a terrible mistake.

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I, like many authors, owe a lot to libraries.

They provided me with enough reading material as a child to keep this voracious reader constantly entertained. If I hadn’t had access to my school library I don’t think I would have been able to read as much as I did. I had books, but not enough for the speed with which I read and the way my reading level increased so quickly.

They helped me through school. Without access to special collections in my major I never would have completed my studies. Not to mention I didn’t have my own computer in college for a few years, so having access to the computer lab was essential to finishing my education. Plus, I read every Michael Crichton book in the collection for fun as well.

I got my first real job after graduate school at a library. I was kicked off my parents insurance the month I turned 27, but by some miracle my hiring and health insurance through work kicked in leaving me without a single day uncovered. From that point on libraries supported me in my post graduate life.

To this day I do most of my reading from my local library, which I cherish. I even spend time writing in my local library branch when I want a change of scenery.

I still see the incredible things that libraries are doing, the many roles they play in our communities and how essential they are.

We need to fiercely protect our access to libraries and demand that they continue to be funded.

So THANK YOU libraries. A special thank you to the library systems I currently use: King County Library System and Seattle Public Library System. Thank you, and all the libraries that have been in my life for all you’ve done for me, and people like me, my entire life.

❤ Scarlette

P.s. If you need something to read and want to support an indie author, the first few books in the Alternative Series are currently free on Amazon here.

Book Release and Free Books for All!

I’m super excited to announce that the second book in my Alternative Series, Alternative Paths, is now available on Amazon! For today the prequel (a short novella), Alternative Desires (book one) and the brand new Alternative Paths are available for free download on Amazon!

I’m really excited to offer these to people that follow my blog and I hope you’ll take advantage. If you’re feeling really generous, I’d love it if you shared, or leave a review.

Get them here!

❤ Scarlette

Cover Reveal!

Hi lovely readers,

I’ve been hard at work writing and editing the last month to hand you my latest book, Alternative Paths, out and FREE on Friday April 14th! It’s been a wild few months and I’m loving this series.

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Here’s what you can expect:

FBI Agent Jaclyn Jacquin’s life is once again thrown into chaos when she receives the one thing she’s been seeking since she lost it.

 

After the dramatic conclusion of their last case together she has finally admitted her feelings and started a fiery romance with Agent Wes Wexler. Things are going perfectly well until the success of their last case propels her into an impossible situation. Suddenly she’s thrust back into her old position in the Counter Terrorism Unit with Wes as her new partner.

 

Jaclyn knows that her career once again hangs in the balance if the secret of their romance gets out. She makes the difficult choice to end things, but the separation is more complicated than she expected. Neither one of them is prepared for the intense feelings that surface as they race against the clock to stop the unspeakable.

 

With their feelings in turmoil, she and Wes will have to work with the rest of the team to investigate a cultish church that is signaling trouble. When an Agent recently placed undercover goes missing, the stakes are even higher. Soon their investigation takes them to an ice covered small town to quietly investigate, but things don’t go as planned.
Before they’ve had a chance to adjust to the new reality of being apart, the unthinkable happens pushing them closer together until they find themselves fighting for their lives.

I’ll post a link on Friday, and as my little gift to you, the first book in the series will be free on Friday too so you can get all caught up!

❤ Scarlette

The Birth of a Story

Hey lovely readers,

I thought that with all the writing I’m doing these days I ought to slow down and give you some background on why I’m writing this series.

The first and terrible truth is that this book was born out of a few things, but mostly my desire to have a modern day X-Files book series with a little less aliens, a little bit of government conspiracy,  and a lot more sexiness. I feel like X-Files was from a time when things were a bit less tense in our country. While Mulder and Scully trusted no one, the things that were covered up in that series feels just a little laughable in the modern day when we’re dealing with so much more. Ah, the days of my youth when UFO coverups were all the rage and not wiretaps and Russian influence in the elections…

Which leads me to the second thing. This book was also thought up right around the time of the inauguration of 45. For me personally that first month was an incredibly challenging time filled with fear: fear for my own life, that of my minority and LGBT friends, and for my own community. While this fear has not passed, I found comfort in writing this. I wrote a set of characters who might not always get it right, but who are champions for the truth and ruthless in their pursuit of justice, no matter who the monster is behind the mask.

I also made an effort to make sure that my characters showed some of the values that I hold near and dear to my heart. Jaclyn is a feminist. She goes out into the Seattle streets and marches just like I did on January 21st for women’s rights, even if she is nursing a horrid hangover the day after her entire life falls apart. She is career driven and kind but takes no shit from anyone. I hope that as she evolves she becomes even better.

I also take care to not make my male protagonist a horrid misogynist or an abusive jerk. I suppose chapter three has some of those elements,  Wes does not use his words when he feels like he’s in danger of being exposed, but I tried to write those elements less about violence towards women and more about Wes seeing her as equally dangerous to him in that moment.

It’s one of the things that I find the hardest to justify in romance novels and it’s a pitfall I tried to avoid. I’m not a fan of some common tropes: forced marriages, being forced to stay with anyone, and various other types of emotional abuse. No one is coerced to love. Love grows organically and out of a lot of mistakes.

So there you have it.

If you managed to get through this entire blog and you’ve never even read my books, here is a little gift. It’s the prequel to the book Alternative Desires (the one talked about in this blog) and it’ll get you up to speed for the release of that book. If you do read Alternative Desires (free today and Saturday here)  I’d love feedback.

❤ Scarlette

A preview of Alternative Beginnings

Here’s a quick peek at my novelette, Alternative Beginnings, the prequel to the Alternative Series. This is a rare glimpse into Agent Wexler’s side of the story. I loved writing this scene. Enjoy!

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Agent Wesley Wexler didn’t trust anybody.

Ask his ex-girlfriend’s, his work partner, or his parents.

As always, he was in before his partner who had a family and wife to deal with. Wes had no one and he liked it that way. No lady, no pets, and just a handful of friends that required little maintenance other than a sports event or two a year.

Some people might find this lonely, but he was used to it.

That’s why it struck him as odd as he strolled into the staff room to grab a cup of horrendous coffee and that he found himself staring at a woman he’d seen a few times before.

Wes always noticed her.

She wasn’t the most attractive woman he’d ever seen. She was a little too short for his tastes, and he preferred blondes over her boring brown hair, but over time he’d grown to like hers. She dressed professionally, but not well, and he thought he’d like to see her shirt unbuttoned a little more. She always wore silly low heels in bright colors while he preferred sky high stilettos.

Although none of his preferences seemed to matter because he always caught himself looking at her and she had looked at him maybe once in the two years they’d been employed together. They didn’t work in the same department, but he would bet that the information he collected was instrumental in some of her cases. He didn’t even know her name.

She was small, but looked strong. He liked to gaze at her legs whenever she wore a skirt. Sadly, with the rain, it was not one of those days. Nor had it been in some weeks.

She was in the staff room talking to the man he gathered was her partner. Wes knew he’d met him at some point in his career, and that he’d been there longer, but he couldn’t for the life of him remember his name.

This distraction was twice as confusing to him when he remembered that he had a much bigger mystery on his hands than the brunette in the staff room. He was on to something big and scandalous and he couldn’t decide if this was something that he should continue on with.

He could go to this meeting. Then he’d reevaluate what was going on.

Wes had been contacted by a man who had refused to identify himself, but said he had information on a potential terrorist threat. What he should have done was pass this man along to the appropriate department. That had changed when he said that this was potentially related to a United States Congressman and that this meeting had to stay private.

The man had threatened to walk a few times now and was wavering constantly on whether to meet. His cryptic phone calls were starting to drive Wes up a wall, but the man was smart, his number was untraceable. Tentatively, they were meeting this Friday night because Wes had insisted that if he didn’t set up a meeting then he was welcome to find someone else to talk to.

There was always the possibility that this man was lying through his teeth or was some sick idiot with nothing better to do than troll the FBI.

Even though, for once, Wes didn’t feel like that was the case.

He poured himself a cup of coffee as he thought through what precautions he had in mind and cringed at the meeting place that had been suggested. Wes would never step foot in there if he had the option, but this was too interesting to pass up.

‘Too interesting to pass up’ was always his downfall. He was reminded of this as a stunning blonde walked into the room as to grab a cup of tea. Herbal. Weak.

“Agent Wexler,” she said coldly as she gave him a quick up and down glance, not hiding her disdain.

“Camilla,” he said with a nod.

He cast one more glance at the brunette in her hot pink heels and a ghost of a smile of her face before heading out to see if he could figure out how to investigate this without anyone else knowing.

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If you liked what you just read, grab a free copy here.

❤ Scarlette

 

 

Cover Release

Hi Readers,

I’ve been super busy and I’m excited to share with you! Here is the new cover for the first book in my Alternative series.

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“The destruction of her career, the end of a relationship, and a country in turmoil have left FBI Agent Jaclyn Jacquin on unstable ground at best. When a pair of enticing green eyes attracts her from across a crowded bar she has no idea that her lustful glances will lead her on a path she never would have expected.

Agent Wesley Wexler is dangerous distraction for a life that is already in chaos. Soon Jaclyn finds herself consumed with this case and with him. Agent Wexler brings with him an irresistible attraction, a deep distrust of those in power, and secrets of his own.

An informant risks his career and life to come forward and suddenly a money laundering case turns into a quest to uncover a plan to kill thousands with Agent Wexler providing the missing pieces. Now, as obstacles continue to spring up in her path as she investigates connections to a hate-spewing Congressman, she must decide whether or not she believes the claims of Agent Wexler.

Is there something much more sinister here than meets the eye? Is a politician really using campaign funds for evil to boost his chances of winning reelection? Has he manipulated those in his inner circle to do anything for him, including kill?

With no support from the FBI, and a million obstacles in the way, their bond grows and Jaclyn is scared of the feelings that start to develop between them. Jaclyn wants to rebuild the career she destroyed, but she must figure out how far she’s willing to go outside of the rules to solve this case. What scares her most of all is not knowing if they’ll be able to put the pieces together before it’s too late.”

If you’d like to get a taste of the series, check out the prequel: Alternative Beginnings for free.

Happy Reading!

❤ Scarlette