Posts Tagged ‘historical romance’

San Francisco 1906: A Disaster Junkie Talks About Perspective & Gratefulness

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Perspective. It’s something we all lose at one time or another. Depending on what our hot buttons are, we can also completely lose sight of the facts. In today’s world we jump quickly to what went wrong with a horrible situation and aren’t too grateful sometimes about what went right. Especially when that situation is a disaster.

Social media is guilty of giving everyone the opportunity to express an opinion (which is a good thing sometimes and sometimes not). We latch onto any situation and turn it into a political playground or a conspiracy. We often play a game called, “In the good ole days things were better.” If you look at the facts, there might be some things that were, but there are usually an equal amount of things that were absolutely not.

Last week an enormous wildfire scorched parts of Alberta Canada and caused damage to Fort McMurray. Today, I’m putting some of that in perspective. So far we know that:

Two people perished in car accidents during the evacuation of Fort McMurray. On the first day of the evacuation (probably more like two days) around 88,000 people escaped a fire that was so quick, so hot and so dangerous there was every reason to think some people wouldn’t have escaped it. I think the fact they did escape it is a miracle worth celebrating. As of this blog date I’ve heard that somewhere between 85 to 90 percent of the town escaped destruction. Around 2,600 buildings were destroyed. The fact that the downtown area and the hospital were saved is also incredible. Despite the horrendous situation, that’s a real sign of hope for the people who want to return to the area. It’s also a true testament to how modern conveniences saved so many lives and so many buildings.

People were warned by way of emergency systems, cell phones and landline.  Aerial firefighting equipment such as planes and helicopters helped save the town.

These are modern things that made it possible for thousands upon thousands of people to escape. In the past, in the good ole days, can you imagine how much different this disaster would have unfolded? (Look up the Peshtigo Fire of 1871 as an example).

In some ways it is difficult to compare the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire to what happened at Fort McMurray. The 3,000 to 5,000 deaths that occurred in San Francisco are a mixed bag from combining the earthquake and fire. What I do know is that in the good ole days you were more at the mercy of whatever Mother Nature decided to throw at you. Well, okay, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do today if Mother Nature decides it is time to kick ass and take names.

Back in 1906 there were no cell phones, few landlines, not enough firefighting equipment (and not the type of equipment we have now). On that day and for as long as the fires lasted in San Francisco, about 28,000 buildings were destroyed. The limitations of 1906 were tremendous.

Disasters are always hard to compare. But I think one thing we can do is remember that in the good ole days there was a lot we didn’t have that we have now. So for every bad thing that happens today, I think a bit of perspective is a very good thing, don’t you? I am very grateful for so much.



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What’s On A Disaster Junkie’s Bookshelf?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Hey all,

The other day I did a video blog on the disaster books that are on my bookshelf. Well, part of the disaster books I have. Check out my video and get the scoop on some of the intriguing books on disasters that are on my shelf!

I would’ve imbedded the video here but for some reason it wouldn’t work! Have no idea why. Click here to get to the video and thanks so much!







Strange Earthquake Lights: A Disaster Junkie Looks At The Facts

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Mother Earth is a huge mystery, and earthquakes are one of her monstrous, most terrifying personality traits. As a writer I’ve gained a tremendous respect for what she can do.

I’ve never been in an earthquake. Not even a mild one. In fact, when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake happened in New Mexico in June 2014, many people in my part of Arizona felt the shake. In our house we didn’t feel a thing. I’ll admit there was a twisted part of me that wishes I had felt it.

When I decided to write Love From The Ashes way back in the day, I wanted to make sure I could still convey what it felt like to be there that day in April 1906. If I’d been there I might have seen some bizarre lights.

This phenomena has been reported in many earthquakes, sometimes before, during and after the event. Sometimes the lights form shapes like auroras with a white to bluish hue but they’ve also been reported in other colors. They can last seconds or minutes.

Way back in the day these types of reports were often looked at as fiction. People just didn’t have the proof to show others. During the 2007 Peru earthquake these lights were seen above the sea and actually filmed. During the 2009 L’Aquila, Italy quake people saw four inch flames of light flickering above a stone street just before an earthquake.

Do people see these lights during every quake? No. The lights seem to happen most often when a quake is at least 5 on the Richter scale or higher. In the 1906 San Francisco quake a man was running along a shoreline when the earthquake hit and realized a luminous glow encircled his footsteps in the sand. Other people also reported seeing a faint rainbow of light.

Research is ongoing and quite a few theories are running around out there. Quartz rocks may give off what is called piezoelectricity when they are rubbed together. Another theory is that a magnetic field is created by tectonic stress. (Hey it gets a lot more complicated…I’m just giving you the quick and dirty.)

If you’re interested in reading more about these weird lights, there is plenty of information on the Internet you can read from legitimate sources. Earth Science is an amazing field with only a part of it devoted to earthquakes. There is so much to learn!

Stop by the Love From The Ashes book page for a blurb, excerpt and links to purchase. This book is only 99 cents right now. Grab it while you can. And thank you!

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Earthquakes: Before and After

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Because today is the 110th. anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, I decided I’d blog today about the event rather than tomorrow as I’d normally planned.

Unfortunately, last week Japan, Equador and Tonga all suffered earthquakes. Each of these countries will take time to recover. In my novel, Love From The Ashes, I touch on the rebuilding of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, which destroyed a large part of that city and other surrounding communities.

Last week’s earthquakes reminded me of the scenes of San Francisco that were immortalized on film only a short time before the disaster. This You Tube video, however, shows only a portion of the now famous Market Street footage take days before the disaster. It also shows some film of the fire, buildings falling and other scenes from after the earthquake.

If you want the full version of the Market Street video pre disaster, get a drink and settle in for the whole thing. What this fun film shows is that life was in many ways as hustle and bustle as it is now.

This YouTube video gives you a look at some of the damage afterwards.

Sending good thoughts, love and healing to all those in Japan, Equador and Tonga who’ve suffered through these latest quakes.

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Earthquake. Fire. Saving Their Love From The Ashes.

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Welcome to a new series of blogs filled with tidbits about my historical romance Love From The Ashes and interesting observations both sci-fi, science fact and paranormal about my post apoc romance Blackout. Each week I’ll blog on Tuesday and Friday about these books.

I’m celebrating not only the fact that Where’s Lucy? Productions recently optioned these books for film/TV, but also that they’re now on sale for only 99 cents each! How cool is that?

Today I’m chatting a little bit about Love From The Ashes.

Down in my bones historical romance has always been a favorite reading experience for me. I also love writing it! But you all know that I love to create historicals set in unique time periods you don’t often see. I’m a disaster junkie, so I’ve written (and will continue to write) stories set during disasters that have happened in the past. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake has fascinated me since I was a child. In 2001 Love From The Ashes came out, and it’s been one of those book-of-my-heart experiences.

Before I started work on this book I soaked my head in that time period and also in every non-fiction book on the subject I could find. As I did my research I discovered many interesting historical situations that made it into my book. One fact that influenced my fiction was when I discovered that dozens of marriage licenses were taken out after the earthquake and fire happened.

That’s all for now, but be sure to come back next week (Tuesday) to hear about Blackout.

If you’d like to pick up Love From The Ashes for a super awesome price of 99 cents you can get it at several retailers including:


Barnes and Noble



You can also find an excerpt at Love From The Ashes.

Thank you and see you next week!

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Exciting News! Love From The Ashes & Blackout Optioned for Film/Television Rights!

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Some amazing things can happen in a writer’s career, but I never thought this would happen! I am thrilled to announce some exciting news I’ve been keeping inside for weeks. My novels Love From The Ashes and Blackout have been optioned for film/television rights! Champagne and chocolate anyone? A huge thank you to Marie D. Jones for this exciting opportunity! Here’s the official press release:

Marie D. Jones




Writer-Producer Options Two Novels By Romance Author

SAN DIEGO, CA/MAR. 28, 2016 – Writer-Producer Marie D. Jones (Where’s Lucy? Productions) has optioned film/television rights to two novels, “Blackout” and “Love From the Ashes,” by Amazon best-selling romance author Denise A. Agnew.

“Blackout” combines science fiction elements with suspense and romance. “Love From the Ashes” is a historical romance set during the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake and Firestorm. Both properties will be pitched for feature films and/or limited run/event television series. Jones stated, “Denise A. Agnew’s books caught my eye because of her ability to cross romance with other genres and tell a great story, and her professional attitude towards working with a producer to develop these properties for the market.”

Where’s Lucy? Productions is gearing up with a full slate of optioned and soon-to-be-optioned properties, as well as original projects written by Jones, to produce and/or co-produce in conjunction with Vesuvian Media Group. Jones is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin and Fountain Literary Management.

For further information, contact Marie at:


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Geri Foster and Love Released (World War II Historical Romantic Suspense)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Today I’m welcoming author Geri Foster and her new leap into historical Romantic Suspense with her first Women of Courage story, Love Released. I want to applaud Geri for writing historical romances that are different! The creativity coach in me is thrilled to see any writer take a step toward writing what really thrills them. Welcome Geri!

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For all the years I’ve been writing, not once did I consider writing a Historical Romantic Suspense. I’ve always leaned toward danger and suspense, but more in the cotemporary world with spies, special agents and lots of action.

As I continued to write these books, in the back of my mind was a very frightened, weary young woman begging me to tell her story. I ignored her for over a year, with my critique partners, writer friends and even my editor telling me to go for it. I believed that Women of Courage simply wasn’t my kind of story and not what people had come to expect from me.

What would my readers and fans say? Would they cross over? Going from Action Adventure to Historical Romantic Suspense is a wide gap. It was a gamble. What if no one liked that era? Was it too soon to write a post-World War II book?

I would be stepping out of my comfort zone as a writer and I was very leery.

Another thing that frightened me was that this story would be an extremely emotional story of true love and I didn’t know if I was up to that. I would have to write raw, gritty and heartbreaking scenes. That’s so difficult for a writer to settle into. But, the story also had its rewards. There were other touching scenes of tenderness of loving a child, heartwarming reunions, true bonds, and happy ever after.

No longer able to keep the story inside, I set out on this daunting journey with the idea I’d write one book and see how it goes. I learned in the writing world it doesn’t pay to make plans. Every story has a life of its own and Women of Courage would not allow me to stop until the story was finished.

I set the story where I was familiar, my great grandmother’s hometown. My hometown is twelve miles away. So much of the story is set in a fictional place that’s a blend of both places.

My character’s name is Cora and so was my grandmother’s, and that’s just a hint of how much of the story parallels things I’m comfortable with.

I hope you will try this serial. While I’d meant it to be one, maybe two books, it’s grown much larger and even as I write this, it continues to grow.

If you like to immerse yourself into the lives of fascinating characters facing the difficulties of life after the Second World War, people forgiving the past and finding true, deep, abiding love then you’ll enjoy Women of Courage.

* *

She’s running from a past, he’s duty-bound to protect her.

He stands on the other side of sorrow and despair with a love so vast and strong it reaches into her soul and sparks the courage to become the woman she dares.

Cora Williams is an ex-con with no place to go but Gibbs City, Missouri. A small mid-western town where she hopes to remain undisturbed and unobtrusive. With her nephew Jack, her wants are simple, to hide from the horrors of her past.

Sheriff Virgil Carter is a WW2 veteran with demons of his own, but Parker County is his to protect. That includes a young, beautiful woman newly released from prison who longs to be left alone.

Love often comes like sleep, softly, quietly and unexpectedly. You just have to close your eyes and dream.

Geri Foster Bio

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Geri Foster is a multi-genre author with over 15 titles. They include her bestselling Romantic Suspense series Falcon Securities, the Historical Romantic Suspense serial Women of Courage and cute, short, sexy ERoms, Accidental Pleasures. She stays busy continuing her series and consistently coming up with new and exciting stories for her readers.

She’s been writing for years and enjoys hearing from her fans and chatting on her Facebook Groups, Women of Courage Book readers and Smart Women’s Romantic Suspense Readers Group. She’s been a member of RWA for almost twenty years, and belongs to two local chapters.

She enjoys her grandchildren, friends, family, and traveling. Europe is her favorite destination. She always has fun at conferences and can usually be found at the bar.

She lives with her husband and their shy rescue dog, Lola, in the DFW area of Texas.

Links for Book One of Woman Of Courage-Love Released






Celebrating Genres Within Historical Romance

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

While I write in many genres within the romance world, historical holds a special place in my writing heart. Probably because I’ve found particular satisfaction in researching the different worlds within historical romance. As a romance author I’ve seen many attempts to categorize the different sub genres within the romance field. By sub genres I mean Civil War, Regency, you name it. Regency era romances, whether sweet romance or hot, always seems to be extremely popular. Although I’ve loved reading some Regency era romance, I’ve never been too interested in writing it. Maybe because I’m the unintentional rebel. I don’t color outside of the lines when I write romance because I’m doing it to “be” a rebel. I just am. It is in my bones to write about and read about eras that aren’t the soup du jour. Some of the eras and subjects I’ve chosen to write about are a little obscure, but I manage to find information on what I need to know.

Dark Deadly Love centers around the Jack The Ripper murders of 1888 (no the hero isn’t Jack The Ripper), and I loved writing this book.


A challenging book to write, but a satisfying one to create, was my Roman Britain book For A Roman’s Heart set in 167AD Britain. Because I lived in England three years, I loved setting this novel in the same part of England that I lived…East Anglia as it was during 167AD.


For many years I’ve wanted to write a story set during the Blitz of London in 1940. I wrote One London Night and loved every minute of the research and putting it together. I had two beta readers from England willing to read it and they helped me enormously with making sure I didn’t mangle the English accents.


It is hard for me not to make the paranormal a part of some of the historicals I’ve written, and in The Asylum Trilogy (which features one contemporary novel as the third book), I combined 1906 Colorado, the end of World War I, and a contemporary setting into one trilogy. It challenged me a big way, but I have to admit the World War I novel really gave me a workout because I also researched the Spanish Flu that decimated millions.

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In Love From The Ashes (2001 EPPIE Winner for Best Historical Romance), I plunged into the world of 1906 San Francisco and the Earthquake and Fire that took the city.


In Before The Dawn I wrote about the early days of the Trans allegheny Railroad and a hero who had been wrongly convicted and sent to Eastern State Penitentiary.


With Meet Me At The Castle I take readers into a paranormal setting in early 1800’s in rural England. This story has a gothic flare to it. I was tipping my hat to the gothics I loved to read in the 70’s as a teenager.


In Forevemore I take readers from contemporary to 1800’s Victorian Scotland via reincarnation. This novel also has a gothic flare.


Currently I’m writing a novel I’ve tentatively called (tongue-in-cheek) That Novel About That Thang which is set right before the enormous Krakatoa explosion in 1883. The story is in Indonesia, and because I know very little about Indonesia during that time period, the research is enormous. But you know what? I love it all. It seems one of the bigger challenges will be to discover a good name for this story, but I figure by the time I’ve finished it I might have a title!

So you can see, my love for historical novels and historical romance set in different situations and time periods is far and wide, and writing historicals has always been and will always be a great love of mine.



Chills & Thrills Book Sale: Get Your Halloween On!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

This time of year always gets me ready for Halloween. Yep, as many of you know, I’m wild about Halloween for a variety of reasons. Several of my paranormal romance novels are on sale at various outlets including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. Plus I wanted to remind you that October 1 my Halloween Spooktacular starts here on the blog. Here are some of my paranormal novels for your spooky good reading pleasure.



Forevermore is up at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for 99 cents!


Meet Me At The Castle is available at a variety of outlets, including Amazon and Liquid Silver Books.


Blackout is a combo of paranormal romance mixed with suspense and post apoc. You can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

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Last but not least, my Asylum Trilogy Bundle is on mega sale. Three full length paranormal romances for a very low price at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!

These aren’t all my paranormal romances, but I wanted to highlight these for you. Have a great, spooky reading experience this October my friends.

Meet Me At The Castle Is 20% Off With Pre Order!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Hey all, Meet Me At The Castle (historical/paranormal romance novella) is up for preorder at Liquid Silver Books. Here’s the great deal. If you order from now until May 12 you’ll get 20% off! Awesome deal, yes? So be sure to click this link and preorder your copy.

Meet Me At The Castle Release Date May 12

Meet Me At The Castle
Release Date May 12

Elizabeth Albright lives a simple life at Penham Manor under the watchful and disapproving eye of her father and stepmother. They think she’s odd for loving to paint Cromar Castle, a ruin on the hill. Even Elizabeth doesn’t understand why she insists on painting the structure over and over. Yet her compulsion demands it—there is something alive and beautiful about the castle that she cannot resist. When she meets the devilishly handsome Damian, more than her interest is piqued, for he engages her like no other has. But her stepmother has plans that will take her away from Cromar—and Damian—forever.