Two Great Events by Susan Hanniford Crowley

                               First Event: New Release

vampireprincessofnewyork1The 2nd book in the Arnhem Knights of New York, Vampire Princess of New York has been released in Amazon Kindle.

Noblesse is the daughter of the Vampire King of New York Maximillion Vander Meer. In the over two hundred years, she’s been a vampire, Noblesse has never found a true love or discovered what happened to her mother who disappeared just prior to the French Revolution.

Noblesse has to choose between two men. Both profess their love. Both are keeping a secret from her. One wants to destroy her, and one wants to love her forever. But which one?

                                                  Second Event: Booksigning

VampireKingOfNewYork_850 (2)

As I write this, I’m packing books for the big
booksigning I’m attending in
New Hampshire.

Free and Open to the Public Booksigning
Best Western Executive Court Inn
Roosevelt Room
Manchester, New Hampshire
Oct. 15, 2016 2-5 pm

I’ll be there with print copies of Vampire King of New York.  Here’s for everyone having a great weekend!


Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
NEW: Vampire Princess of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 2 available in Kindle!

Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print and  Nook and Print

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greatbigtomorrowJust about the only constant in our world is change. In 2010, by the one-hundredth birthday of my hubby’s mother, she had seen changes no one would have thought possible—  Two world wars, nuclear power, personal computer, antibiotics, television, jet planes, a walk on the moon, the Internet. Change is happening faster and faster.

ASK app

ASK app

Even museums are changing! According to the recent issue of Art in America, mobile apps will keep museum visitors thinking about art even when looking at their phones. For example, the ASK app at the Brooklyn Museum offers a live team, the Audience Engagement Team, with advanced art history degrees, available to answer visitor inquiries. They can answer any questions about the museum collection, and they work in plain sight, so you can see they are live in their open office to the side of the lobby.

General Electric carousel of the future at Disney

Disney’s Tomorrow: General Electric carousel 

storkdeliverbabyLet’s take a stroll in history, when life seemed simpler, and for some relief from the constant changes surrounding us, the so-called technology of progress.

Wheel of Progress Wagon

Wheel of Progress Wagon

For a taste of New England’s beginning, why not visit historic Branford, Connecticut’s cemetery? Walk the grounds of history. Did you know you could still buy a plot?

Pieces of history in Branford, CT

Places and pieces of history in Branford, CT



branford-lkstaltonstall2Founded in 1645, it’s beautiful, well kept, and at the far end is lovely Lake Stalltonstall. It’s strange to me that there are so many vacancies after 371 years. It’s easier to buy a place in this cemetery than a place in New York City. tombstoneSome of the tombstone relics have almost legible inscriptions that are fun to read. Some date back to the 1700s, maybe earlier if you look around. I was not able to find the tombstone of Richard Harrison Senior, who was a founder of Branford. My hubby’s descendants, the Harrison family had come here from England on one of the early ships after the Mayflower. They first settled in New Haven circa 1635 then founded Branford in 1644.

Back to 2016, although human-like robots are on the agenda of the hot wheel of progress, we can still call ourselves human, but honestly, are we in the same hemisphere as these folks were?

Here’s a little mystic music to soothe your soul.

Enjoy music from the met museum while you read my excerpt from my novel:

Indigo Sky

If you like romance, and you like rip-roaring adventure, Indigo Sky is for you! Shopping at Tiffany’s, getting caught up in the New York Draft Riot, the Civil War, and the wilds of the Great Plains. Here’s an excerpt from my book that will curl your toes.

Available in eBook, free audiobook and paperback. Want that audiobook? It’s free, email me for access:


Dawn finally broke, and Leila sat listlessly on the pallet. Would today be the day she was raped? Death was preferable.

Little Star peeked through the doorway and crooked her finger. “Come.”

Leila crawled out and blinked against the strong light. Rising stiffly, she stretched, enjoying the sun on her face. She smiled at children laughing and playing between the tipis.

A group of women waited for her. “You bathe.”

Bathe? Leila almost laughed with relief.

The women led her silently to a copse of trees. A stream gurgled over rocks. They stripped her clothes off, urged her into a deep pool and washed her with a chunk of herb scented soap.

She reveled in the cold water until an elder hustled her out, drying her with scraps of soft hide.

Stony faced, the elder worried her gums and mumbled something rubbing herb oils on Leila’s body. Deep crevices on her face sagged in a perpetual expression of discontent. The elder peered over Leila, her small black eyes glittered with malice. She rattled off in an angry tirade.

One of the young women giggled behind slim fingers.

Leila glanced from one to the other. “What did she say?”

Little Star arrived with a hide garment over her arm and handed it to the elder. “She say you white like chicken fat, and don’t know why Red Arrow want you.”

The truth dawned on Leila. This was the moment she’d dreaded. She backed away holding up her palms. “N—no!”

Snarling, the elder grabbed Leila and issued brief instructions. The other women hastily pulled the buckskin dress over her head. Beads and feathers decorated the soft garment. Had circumstances been different, the dress would have delighted Leila. The women took her arms and led her back to the lodge.

Red Arrow stood in the center of a clearing between the tipis, hands behind his back, black eyes impassive.

Leila’s heart pounded and she hung back. The women shoved her and she fell to her knees at the warrior’s feet. “I—I will not be your woman—your whore.” She took his callused hand. “Please, I have a husband.”

He shook her off. “You obey.”

“I can’t—won’t!”

Red Arrow looked at Hook Nose. The leader nodded at a group of warriors. They stepped forward and hauled Leila up, dragging her from the clearing.

She twisted around. “What are they going to do to me?” She cried.

For you viewing pleasure, here’s the Indigo Sky trailer:

Indigo Sky_07_11_15 – Small

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The best version of me By: Rose Lange



Two thousand sixteen was my year, the year I began to think seriously about my health. In particular, my weight, which has gone up, down, up down over the last several years, most especially before and after the birth of our son. Then I hit my thirties three years ago, and realized, the more I put myself off, the harder it would be further down the road. I knew I was capable of so much more, and robbed myself of this journey simply because I didn’t think
I could do it.

 The beginning of this year, I got in touch with a fitness/health coach via Facebook, and voiced my frustrations over weight loss. I was desperate for a solution. She told me about a “clean eating” group that would start soon, and asked if I was interested. Tired, and feeling sick of the way I felt, I thought sure. I’ll give this a try. I took a before picture, and got my list of foods I should consume, more fruits, veggies, proteins, natural healthy fats, and whole grains. The list also outlined foods to be avoided, or eaten in moderation: soda, fried food, processed/refined food, and fast food. The soda, fried food, and fast food I was good with, as I’d given up fast food and was not much of soda drinker. The processed food, like my cheese crackers I loved to indulge in, and other little goodies around my house, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t so sure I could give those up.

The 80/20 rule was this: as long as I consumed more good for me foods, my “80” throughout the day, there was some wiggle room, and that’s where my “20” came in, for the goodies that don’t get eaten everyday, like your cheeseburger or that candy bar you just have to have. This lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. Not a diet, starvation, or deprivation. This is a new way of seeing food, and giving my body what it needs, aiming to get plenty of water throughout the day, and exercise at a minimum, three days a week (or more if I feel so inclined). I’ll be honest it wasn’t easy when I first began, and I struggled to feel good about myself, and get to the gym. I felt self-conscious about my body, and thought this would just be another “fad” diet that would do me no good. However, with the continued encouragement of my amazing coach, and friends I’ve come to know in the group, I have persevered when I wanted to give up. When  it felt like things weren’t happening, little by little, they were.

My goal was to lose between 10-15 pounds, and today, ten months later, I am proud to say I have exceeded this goal. Through hard work,  and determination, I have lost 25 pounds, countless inches, and have dropped two jean sizes. I am in better shape now than before I had our son. I’m the same size I was in college, before age, hormones, life, and childbirth happened. I smile when our son sees me in my workout clothes, and asks me if I’m “going to the gym today,” because even when I think he’s not paying attention, he is. He knows what those clothes signify. It’s a proud Mommy moment that he sees me taking an active role in my health.

Jean size and appearance aside, overall, I feel better. I don’t feel as bloated, run down, or tired as I used to most of the time. I’ve also come to realize being healthy is not just about a smaller jean size. It’s a different mind-set. It’s a lifestyle. It has made me better at reading labels, and choosing the best possible option. My transformation has not only re-shaped my body, it has boosted creativity, and strengthened me as a person, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a writer. It has made me a better, stronger, more resilient version of myself. It has brought out the version that has been hidden away for too long.

Is my journey over, perfect, down-to-a-science, have it all figured out? No, far from it. Do I still indulge, and have the world’s most *horrible* sweet tooth. Hell, yes! And if anyone asks who I did this for? Me.

Rose Lange

Facebook: Rose Lange, Author

Twitter: @writingdiva82




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Beyond Ebony and Ivory – Elle Hill

“Ebony, ivory living in perfect harmony.”

engagement-me                                                           brown-woman

I just finished a compelling paranormal romance by a Black American* author in which she described a character as having skin so dark it seemed blue-black. Not long ago, a book I read by a White American* author described a character’s skin as so light, it almost appeared translucent.

In spite of what popular songs, literary imagery, and even our language itself tells us, skin colors don’t come in black and white. Ebony and ivory aside, we are all shades of brown. Some, like me, have very light brown skin; I like to think of myself as a fetching shade of beige. Some, like the woman pictured above on the right (from this website), have very dark brown skin; rather than “black,” we might think of her skin color as mahogany or seal.

Often in my classes, I flatten myself against the whiteboard in the front of the class and ask students if I’ve suddenly become invisible to them. Spoiler alert: I haven’t. The fact is, even pale, Western European-derived me isn’t really “white.”

Race isn’t a real thing. There’s no basis in biology to distinguish this ridiculous, false construction. This doesn’t mean, of course, race doesn’t matter. In spite of being, you know, totally fake and stuff, our socially constructed racial categories contribute to everything from amount of wealth families have to where they liveto how much education they get to national incarceration and poverty rates. But. Race. Isn’t. Real.

wages-by-raceDon’t get me wrong. I’m not someone who thinks we can wish away racism by simply acknowledging race as a lie and then sticking our fingers in our ears and singing “La la la.” Racism is deeply implicated in all our systems and institutions, from our construction of laws to the very language we use.

Speaking of language, why do we pretend skin tones come in opposite colors? It’s beyond my scope here to provide a historical analysis of why binary terms have been applied to varying shades of brown. Suffice to say it isn’t an accident that we associate whiteness with positivity, safety, and purity and blackness with darkness, dirtiness, and evil.

But why do we authors feed into the myth that skin tones actually come in milk white and midnight black? Habit, I guess, and the authorial urge to make scenes pop with dramatic visual imagery; it’s more dazzling to refer to skin as “powder white” or “obsidian” than “sand” and “hickory.”

She raised her head and stared into Marcus’ bright blue eyes. She’d never seen so many pairs of light eyes [before]; maybe Barstow had a preponderance of skin and eyes tones toward the darker end of the brown spectrum. Her own eyes, she knew from staring into the mirror every morning for the past twenty years, gleamed a dull medium brown, too light for chocolate and too dark for amber (The Tithe).

In The Tithe, a novel about a postracial utopian/dystopian society, my characters reflect on skin color only as a matter of description. I’m not saying I do race right in my books, but it is important to me to try not to reinforce existing racial misperceptions and, therefore, inequalities. This may or may not help dismantle understandings of race and racism, but hey, at least I’m highlighting sameness rather than reinforcing difference. That has to be doing something right, right?


* I use “Black” and “White” not because I want to reinforce these chromatic misrepresentations but because these are actual legal racial categories in the U.S.
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Multiple Personality Disorder—or Pen Names

banner-982162_640I am often asked this question: “All of your nonfiction (magazine features, essays, memoir) were published under your real name. Why did you choose to write fiction under a pseudonym?” It’s a simple answer, and yet quite a complex one. The more I’ve pondered on the subject, the more the real answers rise to the surface.

My knee-jerk response is, “I work for a prestigious university, and am often cited on scientific journal papers and grant proposals. My fiction has to be under a different name.” This seems logical. But honestly, what are the chances that a high-brow research scientist reading a paper in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology will see my name in the credits and think (lips pursed, shaking their head), “Oh, I know her! She writes sexy romance, too. Tut-tut.”

Possible, but not likely. I know, I’m probably profiling here, but most of the research professionals I deal with on a daily basis don’t have time to read fiction—nor the interest. Their idea of recreational reading—if they’re in the mood for a sexy read—is to pick up the Journal of Genetics.

So no, I don’t keep it a secret from my colleagues that I write, as they would probably call it, “smut.”girl-1275655_640

What are the other reasons I decided on a pen name? And why did I pick the particular pseudonym that I did?

I’ll answer these in reverse order, because there is a very logical reason I chose to write romance as Claire Gem. First name: when I was a teenager and throughout my early twenties, I encountered three men—three different men, in entirely different professions, and in two states hundreds of miles apart, who insisted on calling me Claire. It’s as far from my real first name—Frances—as it can get, yet these men would repeatedly refer to me as Claire. When I gave them a funny look, they would slap their foreheads and say, “I don’t know why I keep calling you that. I don’t even know a Claire. You just look like your name should be Claire.”

Perhaps in one of my former lives . . .

bunny-1300210_640Last name: Gem. This one has an equally bizarre explanation. I used to raise and show Persian cats. The name of my “cattery” was Gempaw—why? Honestly? It was the only one I could come up with that wasn’t taken. You have no idea how many catteries have names registered with the Cat Fancier’s Association. So my original Yahoo email address is I discovered that was also available. How convenient. Voila. Claire Gem.

But now, I will try to explain the psychological basis behind choosing a pen name, at least for me. In reality, it could have been any pseudonym, as long as it was completely different from my own. And therein lies the key: completely different from the real me.

lady-42122_640I grew up a sheltered, introverted Catholic girl. Smart, but shy, a bad dresser, and fat. I thought of myself as the brainy, ugly duckling in my class. When I shed my plaid uniform and was plunged into junior high school with all those thin, cool girls, I was convinced this was true.

Over the years I have gained an admirable amount of confidence, thanks to my supportive husband, good friends, and just plain life experience. But mostly, to a fictitious woman by the name of Claire Gem.

I learned that instead of dreading public speaking situations, I actually thrive on them. Gradually, being myself—as long as I was Claire—didn’t seem like something I had to rehearse. And wearing purple—even red? Yes, I can wear these colors, even though there was a day I was convinced I never could. Because although Frances doesn’t look good in purple or red, Claire definitely does.

The most “coming out” I’ve ever done has been since Claire became a part of my life. A big part. The other half, actually.

Why? Because Claire is confident, talented, sociable, and fun. We both may be inching closer to turning sixty, but she’s sexy. She’s not afraid to wear standout colors or fashions. She’s not afraid to talk about her writing as if it’s a talent, a craft, and not simply a useless hobby. Claire is, truly, my alter-ego. Everything I’ve always wanted to be.

emoticon-1659346_640Now, sometimes, this mental immersion goes a bit too far. I was recently scheduled for a minor procedure at the local hospital, and since we were temporarily single-vehicled, my husband dropped me off early (he had to pick up our son at the airport). I brought along my laptop and used the extra hour or so constructively, editing my manuscript and doing a little social media marketing. When the nurse came around the corner with her clipboard and called, “Claire?” I slammed my laptop shut and was almost to my feet. Until I noticed her smiling and heading down the hallway clutching the elbow of the frail, white-haired lady whose name really was Claire.

When I don my lab coat day after day, I am Frances. But when the lab coat comes off, Claire comes out to play. When I sit down at the keyboard to write, or sit behind a table of books at an author event, I’m not Frances at all. I’m Claire Gem. I don’t just go by Claire Gem. I am Claire Gem. And let me tell you—I really think—if you knew both of us, that you’d think Claire is a whole lot more fun than Frances!

Am I the only author whose pseudonym represents a freeing alter-ego? Surely not. Tell me in comments if you write under a pen name, and why. How did you choose your pseudonym? Do you feel different when someone calls you by your pen name?


I know I do.

Claire Gem writes contemporary & paranormal romance, as well as romantic suspense & women’s fiction. Her debut paranormal, Phantom Traces, was released from SoulMate Publishing in 2015. You can find out more about her at or at


Posted in Creativity, Motivation, Romance, Soul Mate Publishing, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing career | Tagged | 6 Comments

Ten Things About Love


Most people figure romance writers have got the love thing down pat. Wrong. We stumble as much in the dark as everyone else, maybe more sometimes. I wish I could say we get wiser about love the older we get. But it might not be true. Yet at least in romance novels, people make huge mistakes, commit betrayals, leave and give up and still there’s always a happy ending. Thank God for that. In real life, however . . .

In that vein, here are ten things I’d tell my younger self about love and relationships

  1. Time changes everything. And everyone.

2.   Treat your romantic partners and the men who would like to be your romantic partners the same: kindly.

3. If he’s interested in you, he’ll call. If he doesn’t, it’s not because he’s saving the orphans in Africa or lost in Sudoku.

4. The right guy won’t make you feel dumb and won’t let his friends do it, either.

5. You can’t trade sex for love.

6. NEVER settle for a guy. NEVER.

7. Do your best to communicate. If he can’t, leave. It’ll never work.

8. Every guy who hurts you leads you to the one who won’t.

9. Practice saying, “No.” Then say it.

10. Don’t date a married man. If you do, remember the words of the late Sir James Goldsmith: “When a man marries his mistress, he creates a vacancy.”

Posted in Mandi B's Magic!, Soul Mate Publishing | 4 Comments

The Big Promo Splash!

On October 19th my long-awaited (at least by me) Egyptian-themed time travel, Eye of the Pharaoh, will become a reality thanks to the wonderful people at Soul Mate Publishing.

This book has been a number of years in the making, an idea first conceived waaayyy back in 2002 on a chance trip to the beautiful Field Museum. Their Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit was breathtaking. It fueled an interest in me I hadn’t experienced since my tenth grade social studies teacher showed us slides of his vacation to the pyramids!

ankh-earringsOn my way out of the museum a made the required detour to the gift shop and spent far more than my budget could stand. I came home with three research books and a lovely, although possibly unnecessary, pair of Ankh earrings and gold-lettered t-shirt. While the books were tax deductible, I wasn’t as sure about the clothing and jewelry.

As geared up as I was to create a romance among the ancient ruins, my plans were put on hold due to those pesky life interruptions. The project was put on the back burner and all but forgotten when other stories and other opportunities came to the forefront. Then, in 2010, I received a bequest from a great-aunt. In her will she left me a gift and a note: “I don’t know why but this necklace reminded me of you.” Inside the box was a beautiful, jewel-adorned Egyptian collar. She had no way of knowing of my earlier interest in ancient Egypt. I hadn’t mentioned it, or my original intention to write a romance set there. I took this gift as a sign. I was destined to write this book. The very next day, I began again.

23-eye-of-the-pharaohOver the next few years, this book consumed a huge portion of my writing time. Because I knew I couldn’t do it justice without every historical reference being perfect, I spent the first three months reading, the next three plotting, and then the next nine writing. I had other commitments I’d made prior to beginning Eye of the Pharaoh and they all had to be honored. At times, I was working on two, sometimes three, books at the same time.

Here we are. All this reading, planning, writing, editing, and more editing will come to its ultimate conclusion in a mere two weeks. Talk about excited!

I knew, after all that hard work, I needed to be just as focused and diligent about promotion. Social media is not my strong suit … I admit it, I own it. However, in this instance, I really needed all avenues of promotion to work for me. With that in mind, I’ve planned my most aggressive strategy yet.

Here are some of the highlights:

On release day, October 19th, I’ll be guesting with the fabulous Joyce Lamb over at USA Today for her HEA column. Rather than the usual questionnaire or Top 10 list of favorites, I’ve put together a post that plays on my rather “silly” personality … my Top Ten Tips For Maintaining Your Home When You’d Rather Be Reading Romance.

I also have a two week blog tour scheduled through Goddess Fish Promotions with a total of 14 stops. As well, I’ve booked six blog stops on my own and written a dozen guest posts and completed a half-dozen questionnaires.

eotp-meme-7I did a twelve-stop cover reveal in mid-September and have also glutted my Facebook page/groups and Twitter with memes I’ve created specifically to advertise the book. I’ve shared results of a recent survey conducted by myself and a handful of cross-genre authors regarding readers’ reactions to too much advertising. I was surprised to hear how turned off they can be by too many peeks at your cover!

Last, but definitely not least, I decided to drum up some business (by business, I mean reviews) by giving away copies of Eye of the Pharaoh. While the recipients aren’t required to post a review, I’ve added an incentive. I’ll be drawing a name from those who do post their review to Amazon within 15 days and giving away a $25 gift card. You might think giving away (e.g., buying) copies of your own book is counterproductive but actually it isn’t. You not only get your royalties but you also get to write off the expense on your income tax as promotion. And, if you’re lucky, the release-day jump in stats will boost your standing and result in more sales. I will keep everyone posted as to how this extreme effort pays off.

In the meantime, I have about a dozen copies left, if you’re interested you can sign up HERE.

As all authors do, I put an enormous amount of time and effort into promoting my work. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I’m doing. I also do my best to support my fellow authors, whether it’s featuring them on my blog or just sharing their posts and tweets. The romance author/reader community is a wonderful group of people and I hope to spend a lot more time among them in the coming years.

Until it’s my turn again, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well-read.





Posted in Nanobytes From Nancy!, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment