Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding the Irresistibly Sweet Side of Romance

Sutton Fox of the Fox Tales blog has awarded The Morgan Diaries the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award!

Here are The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.

3. Pass the Award on to 10 deserving blog buddies.

4. Contact those buddies and let them know.

So first of all thank you, Sutton Fox! And you can find the fabulous Sutton and her books HERE at her website.

Seven random facts about The Morgan Diaries:

1. This blog started because J. Morgan and Morgan O'Reilly each needed a support system to do blogging. Well, that and we both have Morgan in our name. And we're really [cute] [smart] [funny] [sexy] [brilliant] together.

2. What's better than fun and comedy mixed with Romance? Doesn't matter if it's contemporary, futuristic or paranormal, we love funny love.

3. Anne McCaffrey will forever reign as the queen of Sci-Fi. Nuff said.

4. Jmo (J. Morgan) hails from Louisiana, as does MorganO, but she got transplanted to the frozen North (Alaska). We're married, but to other people.

5. He once played football. She likes watching football purely for the opportunity to watch physically beautiful men do athletic things in tight pants.

6. If you’d like a review, we can do those too. Or ask about hijacking our blog for a day or five.

7. Give Jmo an Oreo and he'll do almost anything for you. Honest!

Now for the fun part! I get to nominate ten of my friends! So here are a few of my favorites!

1. Boone Brux

2. Juniper Bell

3. Tam Linsey

4. Diana Castilleja

5. Lynne Connolly

6. Stephanie Burkhart

7. Gail Delaney

8. Melanie Atkins

9. Char Chaffin

10. A.R. Norris

So now I have to contact everyone and let them know! Congratulations and enjoy!

Having Some Fun!

Okay, maybe it's not so exciting for you, although it should be, what with a free read and all...

If you look to the right, you'll see a new section entitled PAGES. 

Under that deceptively discreet header, you'll see something new! Pages dedicated to organizing our books with handy links that will take you right to them. 

Or, you may do a Google Search and come up with pretty much the same information. 

The lists are not yet complete -- Jmo needs to get a few more links to this most conscientious of webmistresses (She Who Carries the Whip While Fumbling Around the Site) -- but you will find an excerpt and a link to our first co-authored free read, The Morgan Diaries: Volume I. Yeah, there's another link right there in a handy dandy easily accessed location. 

You're welcome.

You'll note it goes back a few *cough* years, but it was something we did for fun, although this author wonders why she was put in charge of keeping it on track. Hmmm.

Someday we plan on doing it again. Another subject, possibly the ravening Viking hoard, or explorers who stumble on the remains of an Atlantean city, or the cabana boys of Puerto Vallarta. Whatever it is, we can only hope Jmo has the energy and focus to be the spearhead of the next project. Come to think of it, that's probably why Volume II is not yet beyond the dreaming stage. He keeps mumbling the word "deadline" at me. 

As always, we welcome comments, questions, or just simple lovin' hugs. Got an opinion on Romance books? State it respectfully and we'll engage in some good conversation. Want to know more about what we read? Why we write what we do? Authors we look up to? Be sure to leave us a note below in the Comments section.

Looking forward to a powerful Year of the Dragon!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Guest Blogger - Tom Mach

As part of our new relationship with Goddess Fish Promotions, today we're hosting author Tom Mach on a stop of his Virtual Book Tour for his book Stories to Enjoy. I read the stories, enjoyed them, but as a romance reader I had one huge question. Why no HEA? So I asked Tom to blog about it.

Why No “Happily Ever After” in My Stories

Probably the question as to why I don’t have any “happily ever after” endings applies more to my novels than to my short stories. None of my short stories which appear in my collection entitled Stories To Enjoy have happy endings—nor should a reader expect them. Even a master short story writer like O. Henry typically did not wrap up his stories in a nice neat package. A short story is really a snapshot of life, describing a particular incident that may present a problem or challenge to one or more characters. While that one particular problem might be resolved, the reader is not told what happens after that. For instance, in “Breakfast Over Easy”, one of my stories in Stories to Enjoy, the main character named Chuck finds his friend Larry is not meeting with for breakfast as he had done every Monday in the past. But Chuck learns from Larry’s fiancée that Chuck is dying of cancer and that Larry’s gorgeous fiancée wants to make out with Chuck This is a problem that he has to face, leaving it up to the reader to guess what might happen next. Other short stories, such as O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi” show a resolution to one particular event (i.e., The husband gives his wife an expensive set of combs while his wife sells her hair so she could buy him a watch). However, there’s no “happily ever after” description here either. Who knows what happened the following year? Maybe the husband meets a girl who has beautiful hair.

When it comes to novels, romance fiction generally resolves an issue concerning a man and a woman. Perhaps they are initially attracted to each other, but something happens to cause a wedge between them. But later the problem is resolved; they fall in love, and perhaps get married. My concern with soap-opera-ish stories like that is that it isn’t realistic and certainly not believable. There doesn’t have to be a “happy” ending with all the ends tied up in a fancy knot. In my novel All Parts Together, for example, Jessica, my 19th century protagonist, is devastated to learn about Lincoln’s assassination, which destroys her hopes for freedom of former black slaves. But near the end of that novel there is a knock on her hotel door. It’s a woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton and she wants to know if Jessica will join her to discuss a matter of utmost importance to the emancipation of women. So for Jessica, there’s hope. And as long as there is hope, there’s a great story—just like there was when Rhett abandoned Scarlett O’Hara…There’s always tomorrow.


This unique collection of 16 short stories written by prize-winner Tom Mach includes stories such as "Real Characters," which is about a writer who gets his wish--that his characters come alive.... "Breakfast, Over Easy" makes you wonder about loyalty in the face of temptation.... "When Kansas Women Were Not Free" takes you to a time when women were less free than former males slaves.... "Son" make you think differently about compassion. One novelist describes STORIES TO ENJOY as "memorable and intriguing, with O. Henry twists that are sure to surprise and entertain."


She leaned forward and her eyes searched my face. “How about joining me for breakfast?” she asked.

“Okay,” I said quietly. We talked for the next hour. As I told her about my having been a Hollywood writer for five years, with important contacts such as director Ron Howard or actors like Kate Winslet or Bruce Willis, her face brightened. I wanted to learn more about her, but she never gave me the chance.

Before we parted company at the entrance door, she brushed herself against me and widened her smile. “I can make it here every Monday morning from now on if you’d like. It’d be just you and me. What do you say?”

I looked back at the empty table and stared at it for a long while. Then I returned my gaze to her. Damn, she was pretty.

“What do you say?” she asked again, this time with a hint of desperation in her voice.


Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at

You may also find Tom at the following links:

A big thanks to Tom for stopping by today. Please drop off a comment or question for our guest to let us know you were awake this lovely Monday in January. MorganO is still digging out from the weekend's snow storm that dumped nearly a foot on her freshly shoveled driveway. The shoveler is not pleased. We just hope winter does its worst before he goes back to college...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a Whole New Year!

Like this is news that the new year is here, but all the same...Happy New Year to one and all, from us here at the Morgan Diaries. So what have MorganO and Jmo been up to this holiday season? Spending too much, eating too much and sleeping too much, like the rest of you guys. But, all that's over with now. We have a brand new year to make promises that by February we will have completely forgotten about and had no intention of keeping in any case. Like we'd actually go on diets. Yeah, right.

But seriously, first of all, we vow to host more writers on our blog. Starting with a few virtual book tours organized by Goddess Fish. Dates booked so far:

Jan 9 Stories to Remember by Tom Mach

Jan 24 Fallenwood a fantasy novel by Leslie Soule (On Shea’s blog)

Feb 6 Courage to Live by Morgan O’Reilly

Feb 23 The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness by Beth Ann Marsarik

Feb 28 The Rancher and the Rock Star by Lizbeth Selvig, her debut with Avon Impulse

Want to join the fun? Contact us and we’ll find a date to fit you in. Unless you have a specific date that’s critical, Wednesday and Thursday are good days for us to host friends.

In individual news, Jmo has two books coming your way this year from Desert Breeze. The first is the second series of his Vampire books, Bite Marks Book One: Bite the One You're With. It will kick off a few months after Love Bites Book Five. His Vampires and Slayers are in the middle of a war with the Fallen. It's up to Stalking Shadow, son of Waterfall Woman, to protect Savannah's sister, Megan as the Fallen targets the families of the characters from the first series for death. It's going to be a nonstop thrill ride with all the comedy and adventure you've come to expect from these books.

Second up is Immortally Damned, the story of Caern from Immortally Yours. Our resident half-vampire is up to his neck in trouble as his past comes slamming home to draw him back into the world he'd fought to escape.

Lastly for Jmo, he’s started a side blog with some other friends named The Writer Limits. It will be your one stop, well stop, for everything SciFi, Fantasy and the Paranormal. So get ready for a double dose of Jmo in the coming year.

Morgan’s news includes a scheduled release February 6. Book Two of the Open Window Series is Courage to Live. If you read book one, Til Death Undo Us, then you were introduced to AF pilot Cayden Shaughnessy. This is his story and is set in Alaska. Book three of the series, Weathering the Storm is in the final stages of the first draft and is currently scheduled for a September release.

Courage to Live will initially release under Kindle’s Select program. What that means is it will be exclusive to Kindle for 90 days, the first 5 of which it will be FREE. This is fabulous news for those of you who fell in love with Til Death Undo Us. If you don’t own a Kindle, don’t fret! You can download Kindle for PC, or an app for many smartphones, totally for free and read from your computer or phone. Works great! After the first 90 days the book will be available on Nook, Sony and at other fine ebook retailers.

That's it for now, but stay tuned because we plan to rock you 2012 like a Mayan banging on a calendar.