LASR Anniversary: Frances Pauli – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Let’s Redefine the Summer Beach Read

Sometimes I’m a little slow. It took me awhile to work out that calling a book a nice summer beach read could be construed as a backhanded compliment. I like beaches. I like reading on them. I didn’t get it. It took someone really spelling it out for me to catch the insult.

I think their exact words were, “It would make a nice summer beach read, but it could have been so much more than that.”

Wait…what? So suddenly the books we choose to lounge on the sand with are set by default as casual? Not serious literature?. Hmm. I guess they’ve never checked my to-read-on-the-beach list.

You see, I’m a mom, a home school teacher, and an author. Like all moms everywhere, my time is full of activities, play dates, homework sessions, doctors appointments, conferences, scouts, 4-H, recitals, birthday parties and all the other stuff that goes along with the job. When I have a second free, as an author, I naturally fill it with putting words down on paper. Reading is a rare luxury, one I know I should do more often, but one that often gets shoved to the bottom of the list.

Until summer. Once mid June rolls around, one of my jobs falls away. I get the spring fever just as rabidly as the children. I’m free, free, free, and out comes the reading list. The summer beach reading list, I’ll have you know, and it is full of things the commenter above would be very surprised at I suspect.

I take offense at the idea that the books we choose to read in our leisure are by default casual or deficient in some way. I’ve read Shakespeare on the beach, and yes, the odd Harlequin too. I’ve read classics and scifi and romance and satire. Somehow, I doubt the presence of a deck chair made any of them less literary.

I’ve read humor in fancy places too, literary places, and I’ve read romances on the train. The point is, the point as I see it at least, is that we are spending our free time reading. Hurray for that. Because no matter where you are or what you choose to read, the fact that you did choose to read is the point.

So I say, in a world of arcades and shopping and internet apps and streaming television, music, movies and video games…we should celebrate the Summer Beach Read for what it is. A choice to read.
Whatever book you like. Whatever way you like.

Hurray for reading and beaches and having the time for both.

frances pauli DogsofWarVertigo (2)A modern day accountant with a level head and her feet firmly planted in ordinary reality, Genevieve doesn’t believe in past lives, demons, or true love. All of which seems like a perfectly practical approach to life until the thing that killed her in World War One decides it’s time to try again…

Genevieve Oliver doesn’t break the law. She doesn’t take risks, and she definitely doesn’t believe in anything weird. So getting pulled over for speeding on the way to pick up her new dog wasn’t exactly on her to do list. Even more surprising, the cop who shows up at her window seems familiar. She’s never seen him before, and yet, just looking at the man makes her want to cry. But Viv has her head on straight.

She shakes off the encounter and heads to the dog breeder only to have an old magazine photo trigger a full blown, past life flashback. Not only do the soldiers in the picture look like her and her mysterious cop, she remembers them, a memory that holds as much danger as it does passion.

Now Viv is bouncing between two lives and being stalked by something evil in both of them. As the love story of two soldiers unfolds, her own heart opens for a man who may not even be available. Not that she has time to worry about minor details. If she can’t figure out the demon’s identity fast, Viv could lose more than just her life. She could lose everything she never believed in.

About the Author: Frances Pauli writes speculative fiction, usually with touches of humor or romance, which means, of course, that she has trouble choosing sides.

She’s always been a fan of things outside the box, odd, weird or unusual, and that trend follows through to her tales which feature aliens, fairies, and even, on occasion, an assortment of humans.
More information on her work and upcoming releases can be found on her website.

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Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Frances Pauli

Holiday Indulgence

One of the things I love the most about writing holiday romances is that I can engage in a little bit of personal indulgence. Rather like the chocolate truffles I allow myself to sneak this time of year, my holiday stories tend to be somewhat self-soothing.

I’m not sure why, to be honest, but something about holiday romance really appeals to me. Perhaps it’s all the comfort and joy already filling the atmosphere, but it seems like you just can’t be too sweet at this time of year. You can’t be too merry, or too joyous or have too much fantasy. You can really go for it on the holiday magic, and it works.

People expect enormous happily ever afters at Christmas. They expect tears of joy, miraculous reunions, wonderful lives. Delivering that feels good any time of year, but at the holidays it just spills over to my own warm and fuzzy feelings as well.

If it’s truly better to give than to receive, (which holds true of anything except chocolate, really) then perhaps giving a little sparkle of Christmas joy to my characters, readers, and yes, myself, isn’t such a bad thing. All I know is I can’t stop. Like those truffles, writing holiday magic is addictive. It stirs up all the mystery and magic that Christmas held for me as a child and makes the holiday feel special again, like anything can happen. Because in a Christmas romance, of course, anything can.

Thank heavens. Ring the bells, light the candles and get ready for romance with all the tinsel and trim. I get holly jolly just thinking about it.

Thanks for having me,

Frances writes speculative fiction and romance for Mundania Press, Awe-Struck and Devine Destinies. Her holiday romance, Twelve Dances, involves nutcrackers, oboes and a healthy dose of happily ever after. She’s offering a copy of the e-book to one lucky visitor today. Leave a comment to enter.

Twelve Dances
by Frances Pauli

Some dreams are too good to be true. Is Clara’s too true to be good?

When Clara adds a brand new nutcracker to her favorite Christmas collection, she immediately starts having vivid, recurring dreams about her twelve wooden princes. As the holiday nears, her infatuation with the new nutcracker grows into a flirtation that sets the rest of the little soldiers against her. Dancing through an impossibly real battle in her sleep and dodging her infuriating family during the day, Clara’s holidays take a spin toward disaster. If she can survive both and make it to Christmas Eve in one piece, will Clara get to dance with the one prince she actually wants? And even if she does, what happens when the holiday passes, and the nutcrackers are packed away for another year?



I tend to stress the fact that I’ve been reading romance since the “old days.” It’s silly, this nostalgic musing, but I remember when bodices were ripped, gentlemen preferred virgins and there were three subgenres: gothic, historical and more historical. Those were almost always: Medieval, Celtic or Native American.

It’s a brave new world out there, isn’t it?

Let me tell you, it takes some getting used to. I’ll also confess once and for all that I love it. I like the new world that is Romance literature. It’s fresh, it’s free and it’s wide open. (Okay, some of it still makes me blush) Really wide open.

I’m happy that women have stood up and demanded more than heroines that say, “no, no, no, no well okay.” Even if I steer way toward the sweet end in my own work, I think we’ve made great strides for liberty there.

What I’m the most tickled by, however, are the genres. It’s a revolution of crossing genres out there, and I’m swimming quite happily in it. Go, go Science Fiction Romance. Hurray, Paranormal. Was that a Fantasy Mystery Romance that just drove by? Yippee!

Maybe one of the best things about this grand upheaval is the wiggling of the formulas. They do have a place, I suspect, but the loosening of the traditional recipe, the experimental freedom can’t be beat. Sure, some of the old patterns will remain. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? I suspect, what sticks around will be the important core of what makes good romance for most readers. I also find it exhilarating that an author can try new things. I like to break the mold once in awhile, even if it doesn’t always work.

The exercise is what’s important.

It seems like this process, this growing and stretching of the world that is Romance writing and reading, can only make the sum total body of works better. Evolution can be messy, and it takes its time, but usually the end product is better suited for survival. It’s an exciting thing to watch happen. It also makes me wonder, “what’s next?”

If we can change and twist and expand so much, in so many ways, and so quickly, what will the romance book look like after the next wave? I’d love to hear your predictions.

Frances Pauli writes Romance and Speculative Fiction with a romantic twist. More information on her work and upcoming releases can be found at

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Frances Pauli

Click here and tell us what Frances developed for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

A Holly Jolly Story
I had no intention of ever writing a holiday story. I mean, I had nothing against them. I just hadn’t really considered doing it. Somewhere along the way, I relegated them to the category labeled, “interesting but not on my agenda.” Oh, how wrong I was. 
Last year I sold my first books, and I was dead in the middle of the waiting for the next step—any next step—to happen when the holiday season hit. I watched new releases intently, scrutinizing the author’s strategy, the cover art, titles, excerpts etc in hopes of learning something I could use when my turn rolled around. Surprisingly, something about those holiday stories struck an unexpected chord. I wanted one. I developed a bad case of holiday story envy. 
Maybe the season just lends itself to romance. The chemistry is already flowing, a romantic mood is upon the entire nation—sighing, happy, glassy-eyed anticipation is in abundance, after all. At the very least, those holly-enshrouded covers looked enticing. They looked fun! I wanted to play too, and I vowed that the next season, I’d have a holiday release among the crowd. 
Well, by George, I did it. Let me tell you, it was even more fun than I suspected, and I haven’t even hit release day yet. I learned a few things along the way too. Primarily, it’s not quite so easy to feel holly jolly when you’re writing in March. Who knew? Even so, I think a holiday romance is the perfect mating of warm-fuzzy things. So I thought I’d share the reasons I believe romance and the season of cheer are a perfect match.
#1 The excitement. I mentioned this, that breathless anticipation is contagious, and a core thing in common between romance and our favorite time of year. 
#2 The clothing. Fancy dress parties–velvet, fur trim… how much more romance-y can you get?
#3 The food. Sweets for the sweet. The pervasive smell of comfort foods baking, sigh. 
#4 The weather. Cold equals bundling and, more importantly, snuggling. 
#5 The presents. What is better than a romantic gift? (Especially one handed over on bended knee)
#6 The magic. The most important element, I suspect, is that holiday magic. You know what I mean, the feeling that anything can happen. The holiday season screams miracles. It’s a time full of surprises and magic and very happy endings.
What more could we want in our romance? Well, maybe there are a few things. Still, for this author capturing the romance of the holiday on the page illustrated just how much they belonged together. I hope everyone reads a holiday romance this season, and has a fantastic celebration of their own. 
Thanks for having me.
Frances Pauli

Despite a tragic predilection to paint, Frances finally discovered her calling as a writer sometime in her mid thirties. As a lifetime reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the stories that clammer for her attention inevitably fall into the Speculative Fiction category.

She currently resides in Washington State with her husband, two small children, and a host of unusual and exotic pets.

Frances eats far too much chocolate, drinks far too little wine and does her best to get the stories out and on paper before they drive her completely insane.

More about her work and links to her stories can be found at: