Welcome to the Crimson Wonderland BLOG HOP extraordinaire!

Welcome, everyone, to Crimson Romance’s Wonderland BLOG HOP. Now, there are blog hops and there are blog hops, but this is truly a BLOG HOP, with prizes galore. To increase your chances of winning a $100 or one of two $50 Amazon gift cards, as well as individual prizes at most blogs, visit as many sites as you can between November 17-21, and leave a comment. And, hear ye, this is important, leave an e-mail address. We need to know how to get in touch with you if you win. The winners will be selected randomly, but remember, the more you comment on each blog, the better your chances.

In the meantime, enjoy the blogs posted by Crimson Romance authors. Our theme is “A Romance Wonderland.” Hey, what’s better than that?

Here’s my ditty on ESCAPE.

Ah, escape. Romance readers and writers thrive on this word. If we weren’t after a good escape every time we pick up a romance novel, we might as well be reading Popular Mechanics. I suppose, for some, that’s an escape. Maybe one person’s drudgery is another’s escape? But I digress.
The point is that creating escape is a dicey business. We romance writers want to take our readers to faraway lands and exotic locales, but we know that while we’re rowing toward Diamond Head or scaling Mount Everest, we need believable, authentic characters.

I learned a lesson in the 1980s from one of my favorite historical fiction writers, Diana Gabaldon. She said she could never have placed her heroine, Claire, in 17th Century Scotland without providing her with survival skills. Claire would never have been believable as a femme fatale, and she wouldn’t have survived. I took her cue when I wrote my Mayan time travel series. I knew my heroine was going to be running through jungles, escaping jaguars and poison darts, so I made her a college track star. Otherwise, she’d have been toast.

For my new book, The Gettysburg Vampire, I began my quest for authenticity with immersion in all things Civil War. I read extensively, but rather than concentrate on droll historical accounts, I focused on historical novels so that I could absorb the colloquialisms and family lives of the soldiers. Books like The Killer Angels, Gods and Generals, and The Last Full Measure swept me to a time and place when whiskey was more plentiful (and safer) than water, typhoid fever could wipe out a regiment, and a Gettysburg building could serve as a hospital where wounded Union and Confederate soldiers were separated by floors, united in suffering.

I also watched a lot of Civil War movies. I rented Ken Burns’ fabulous PBS series on the Civil War, as well as a more recent series on Ulysses S. Grant. I watched Ride With the Devil, which provided some wonderful Civil War aphorisms that I used to give color to the tour guide’s speech in my book. I bit my nails during Gettysburg when Joshua Chamberlain called for bayonets, and I infused my lead character, Union Colonel Malcolm McClellan, with that kind of bravery.

I poured over vintage maps to pinpoint Robert E. Lee’s entrance into Gettysburg, and I situated Malcolm and Sarah’s farmhouse directly on the general’s route.
Meanwhile, I developed an alternate, modern-day story, to juxtapose the Civil War conflict. While the war was rife with external conflict, the modern story’s intensity is fueled by the internal conflict of the lead characters. Will Malcolm reconcile the grief and guilt over his wife Sarah’s death during the Civil War? Will theatre professor Abby Potter accept Malcolm the man as well as Malcolm the vampire?

Here’s a blurb from The Gettysburg Vampire.
Students at Gettysburg College know the legend of the Stonewall Jackson, a Civil War ghost train. For this year’s winter holiday play, Theatre Professor Abby Potter has dramatized the popular tale using a little artistic license. She’s added a vampire. But she has one big problem—finding a decent thespian for the leading role. She bristles at the suggestion that Malcolm McClellan, a history professor at the college and a renowned Civil War re-enactor, would be ideal for the part. She’s avoided the brooding, mysterious man for years. But it may be perfect casting.

Now, leave a comment, and go forth…prolifically…to other Crimson author sites. Here’s where you’ll find the links.


Thanks so much for visiting, and GOOD LUCK with the contest! Oh, almost forgot, one random commenter on my site will receive a download of any one of my books, commenter’s choice.

44 Responses to “Welcome to the Crimson Wonderland BLOG HOP extraordinaire!”
  1. Kim Brooks says:

    I am so glad to have found you on this blog hop. I am adding this to my christmas wishlist!

  2. laurie g says:

    I am so glad to have found you on this blog hop. I am adding this to my christmas wishlist!


  3. Dawna Newman says:

    oh you combined two of my favorite topics in one book, I definitely will be getting this book.


  4. I love blog hopping because it adds new books to my to read list! The library is my fav escape location! LOL!


  5. Beckey says:

    I am not far from Gettysburg, PA.. I really join the haunted tours and the civil war stuff in that area…

    Thanks for being a part of the hop and sharing about Gettysburg Vampire is a sure one that I wil be picking up…


    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Beckey. I love Gettysburg. I spent two nights there in August 2010, and that’s what got me started with this book!

  6. ki pha says:

    I would love to go back in time. Love a great historical romance novel!! Or any great stream punk, paranormal, mystery, anything is good. This book sounds great.
    Thanks for the hop!!


    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Hi KP! Thanks for commenting. I love steampunk, too. Have you read Meljean Brook?

      • ki pha says:

        Ohmygosh, I haven’t gotten to nay of Meljean Brook’s books yet but Riveted is on my TBR list!!! I’m so getting it for Christmas this year hopefully along with many other great reads on my TBR list that I haven’t gotten to yet this year.

  7. Eva says:

    I love love love the premise of that novel — thank you for sharing!


    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Thanks, Eva. The book started out as a Civil War story, and then I thought, hmm, what if my hero was alive TODAY? And how could he possibly BE alive today? Well, as a vampire, of course. Voila!

  8. Heide Katros says:

    Susan, I am so happy for you and I wish you the best success with this novel. I love Civil War stories, and you sound as if you really researched this one to perfection. Again, good luck, my friend xxoxx Heide

  9. Renee B says:

    I am a sucker for the Happily Ever After which is why I like the romance books. I especially like the paranormal or futuristic romance books with hot sexy alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. They can be futuristic, or go back in time, or be contemporary or even on another planet as long as they get me hooked from the very first few chapters. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Love your Yorkie, Renee. I have a Chihuahua. Small dogs rule!

      Thanks so much for participating in the blog hop. It’s so nice to meet you!

  10. Especially having been to Gettysburg fairly recently, I look forward to this book. The haunting atmosphere is certainly appropriate for any sort of paranormal. The presences there are so strong you feel as if you could literally turn around and run into a man in uniform. Best of luck with The Gettysburg Vampire.

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Miriam, we absolutely HAVE to meet in Gettysburg someday, though we might freak each other out with our paranormal psychoses. No, we’d just stop for a good stiff drink! LOL.

  11. caroleannvance says:

    Loved discovery you through my first blog hop! I love Dianna Gabaldon! I will be back to check out some of your work, thank you!

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Carole Ann, I have been a fan of Diana Gabaldon for many years. I had the fortune of going to her book signing here in Asheville a couple of years ago. She has inspired me, that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by the blog hop, and best of luck!

  12. belindaegreen says:

    If I’m not transported in the story, it’s a disappointment. I treat each book as if I’m a bystander watching the scenes as they unfold. I like to see in my mind’s eye the people, surroundings, and emotions. I know I’m engaged when I can’t put the book down until I’m done. The story has to have all the elements of a good story to hook me. If not, I feel cheated. I’m an avid reader and can tell the difference.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Belinda G

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Thanks for visiting, Belinda. Yes, you definitely sound like an avid and experienced reader. I hope I’ll be able to count you as one of my readers. Take care!

  13. ELF says:

    Thank you for participating in the blog hop. That is a wonderfully evocative cover!

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Covers are tough. I think most authors have a vision for their covers, and I’m always pleasantly surprised when the artist surpasses my vision. I appreciate your comment, and best of luck in the blog hop!

  14. Trix says:

    Great to hear about your research process…any locale interests me if there’s enough detail!


    • Susan Blexrud says:

      I love details, too, Trix. I want to be immersed in the atmosphere of the book I’m reading, and details, particularly historical details, help ground me in the time period. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. JanD says:

    I like reading about the Civil War but I can’t seem to get into romance set in that time period.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Jan, I totally hear you about the Civil War romance. That’s why I decided to have my story alternate between present day and 1863. The modern story is the real romance.

  16. Your book sounds really interesting! LOL because of this blog hop, my e-reader is going to be full! melaniermeadors@gmail.com

    • Susan Blexrud says:

      Ha, I know what you mean, Melanie. Someday, I fully expect my e-reader to explode, or at least to shout, “NO MORE!” Well, if we ever get caught on a desert island, we’ll have lots to read…until the battery runs out.

  17. Rionna Morgan says:

    Yay!! Just stopping by on my way around the hop! This is so much fun!


  18. Hi Susan,

    I didn’t realize there was another hot vampire in the Crimson Romance list. Yours sounds “to die for”. Moving it to the front of my to read list.

  19. Hi Susan…I’m hopping around the blogs! Your book sounds fascinating. I love the idea of the Civil War time with vampires!

  20. I was familiar with a few authors from Crimson, but this hop has given me so many more. Thank you. Makes my Christmas list so much easier to put together.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  21. I’m coming across some really great books during this hop. Thanks for sharing and for participating in the hop. 🙂


  22. Brittany says:

    Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

    bme722 at gmail dot com

  23. Amanda in GA says:

    Love blog hopping and finding new books to read!

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