Monday, November 02, 2015

Thank you, and . . . goodnight.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who visited, contributed to, and read the Edgy Inspirational Romance over the past several years. During our time here, we've witnessed "edgy" inspirational romance grow as a concept into an acceptable and relevant art form. We've made friends and helped promote books and authors we've come to love, and we've had a blast doing it.

Even so, there comes a point when you realize . . . you need to simplify your life, and that means letting some things go. As Ferris Bueller says, 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." ~Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The EIR blog will remain available for viewing until further notice, but we are now *officially* on long-term hiatus from blogging at this location.

Again, thank you for being a part of our blogging adventures here at EIR. Don't be a stranger. We're still on social media and hope you'll say hello from time to time!

Wishing you all the best,

(and I want to give a special thanks to Joy for inviting me to co-blog with her here at EIR, which opened so many doors for me. Thank you, Joy. ~S.)

*connect regularly with Serena Chase by signing up for her newsletter at

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 50: Serena Chase casts THE SUNKEN REALM (Eyes of E'veria, book 4)

How odd that the final episode of The Author's Casting Call at EIR should be such a nice round number as "50." But there it is. Yes, friends, this is the final posting of this feature here at EIR as the blog is going on hiatus (possibly permanently) as of November 1. But before we sign off, I wanted to share my cast for the the fourth and final (at least officially... *waggles eyebrows mysteriously*) installment in the Eyes of E'veria series, The Sunken Realm. 

About the book:

Find The Sunken Realm at Amazon,
coming *very* soon to
Nook, Smashwords, and paperback
She is an outcast among knights 
Her reputation in ruins, her knighthood revoked, and her future bleak, Erielle de Gladiel would have welcomed death as her due. Captured by pirates, she was beaten, whipped, branded a thief—and worse—and then set adrift to die. She did not expect—or even want—to be rescued. Especially not by the dashing blasted pirate now calling himself her husband. 

He is the King of Pirates 
His oath satisfied and his Legacy secured, Cazien vows vengeance on all who harmed Erielle. But before he can hunt them down, a strange visitor appears with an urgent message—a message that aligns with prophecy Erielle has written in her sleep: The Seahorse Pirates must reach Nirista before the famed Tournament of the Twelve . . . or hundreds of stolen children will die. 

Together, they are relentless 
With the fate of many resting upon them, Cazien and Erielle sail to Nirista. Once there, they are forced to follow separate paths to achieve their aims. Treacheries are uncovered and allies are gained, but in the shadows, a hidden foe plots a grievous betrayal that could shatter not only their hope, but the Seahorse Legacy itself. 

The epic conclusion of this series-within-a series, The Sunken Realm sweeps Erielle and Cazien along a pulse-pounding voyage to discover all they are meant to become, together. Giving subtle nods to several fairy tales, including an unexpected twist to the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this romantic YA pirate adventure is the final novel in the Eyes of E’veria series . . . but the Seahorse Pirates and their friends in E’veria may yet have stories to tell.

I am happy to announce that we are in the final stages of production for the paperback version of both The Seahorse Legacy and The Sunken Realm and they will be available to purchase soon through the usual retailers (mid-late November--just in time for Christmas giving!) Signed copies (and signed "bookplates" to put in your existing E'veria paperbacks) will be available for purchase via my website in early December! Drop over to my website and sign up for my newsletter, debuting in November to keep up with all the news!

Without further ado, here are the actors I would cast in pivotal roles in this book (imagine them the appropriate ages, of course.) You can click on the actors' names to link to a pin on my Pinterest board for the series.

Casting The Sunken Realm
by Serena Chase

Captain Cazien de Pollis: 19ish-year old pirate, also known as Monarch of Eachan Isle, Sovereign over the Seas, and Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy (as well as other things.) He is a powerful young man and more than a little bit charming. Gaspard Ulliel has always been the Cazien in my head (check out his perfume commercials-- but if he wasn't available, I have a feeling Louis Tomlinson could totally rock the role. And since he's taking a year off from touring with 1D, why not? ;) (Also, fans of One Direction's song "Drag Me Down" might notice a paraphrase on the book's dedication page.)

Erielle de Gladiel: This 17-year-old daughter of the Regent of Mynissbyr is also the sister of the man who, by virtue of his marriage to the Ryn, will one day co-rule E'veria as King. Erielle was knighted for her brave role in helping Princess Rynnaia find the Remedy to the Cobeld curse, but even though she is quite skilled in the battle arts, she was never accepted among the 'brotherhood' of knights and has been known to make poor choices, including those considered *ahem* unbecoming of a lady of E'veria. She is also the prophetically-destined bride of Cazien de Pollis, which makes things... interesting, as pirates and knights do not generally mix well. I'm less concrete on my casting pick for Erielle, but as far as "the look" goes, I think Ava Sambora (daughter of actress Heather Locklear and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora) fits the bill. Here's another pic of Ava. What do you think?

Meirma (aka: Lady Signe): An Andoven woman with an uncommon gift, Lady Signe is one of the eldest residents of Eachan Isle, and a voice of reason and wisdom in both Erielle's and Cazien's lives. I picture Meirma to look a lot like this lady, who is a beautiful example of what aging with dignity looks like, but sadly unidentified by name.
This sale is almost over! For a limited time, you can get
The Seahorse Legacy for $0.99 at Amazon
epic-length book The Sunken Realm is $6.99

Sailing Master Pyle du Mon: Idris Elba would be my first choice to play the man who has long-served as Cazien's father-figure. I adore Pyle. Also, his own love story kind of breaks my heart, even though it serves Cazien well to know it. *the feelz*

Captain Pollis de Ledo: Cazien's mother had the reputation of being the fiercest, most violent pirate to ever sail the seas. He inherited his titles from her. (Pollis is deceased and would appear in a film for flashback purposes only.) Other than needing a long, sand-colored braid (the color is right!) this picture of Jodie Foster is spot-on how I have pictured Pollis de Ledo ever since I first envisioned her in an unpublished Seahorse Pirate prequel I wrote many years ago, while The Ryn was still being re-written. 

Princess Zohara: Aishwarya Rai -- she is gorgeous and very royal-looking, but in a gentle, approachable way

Bowen de Crue: This little guy is a heart-stealer, found on Pinterest without a name. I don't know if he's an actor, but he is totes adorbs, just like little Bowen de Crue. 

Empress Vahna: Kelly Bishop could totally rock the role, I have no doubt. She is a beautiful older woman with the ability to throw you a look that can drop you dead where you stand. This picture of her kind of nails the "angry Empress" look. 

Prenzio de Magnus: the former Duke of Luce is Cazien's father, exiled from E'veria as a traitor. He would be nicely played by Luke Evans, who would do well as Prenzio if either Gaspard or Louis were cast as Cazien... which is weirdly awesome.

Prince Ayorn of Infirlind: When I first dreamed up this character, I pictured him looking a lot like Johan, the Gevelia Kaffe Guy. Don't laugh. It's true. Okay, laugh. It's funny. This very stoic combatant in the Tournament of the Twelve would need a good deal of special effects make-up to get the correct skin and hair color, but I think Clive Standen, also, has the severe Scandinavian-esque features to pull it off if "Johan" is unavailable.

Ullin of Aulimon: Brendan Gleeson would be great in this part. Especially if you could through in a pinch of Oaken. You gotta love Ullin. 

Destria: Maia Mitchell would be absolutely fantastic as the mysterious Destria. Such orneriness hidden behind the sweet smile! I do believe that girl has a few stories of her own to reveal someday...

Find The Remedy at Amazon
and in paperback
Find The Ryn at Amazon
and in paperback
There are, of course, carryover characters from the other three books in the series. You can click on the characters' names to see who I would pick to play Rynnaia, Julien, Gerrias, Rowlen, Kinley, and Dyfnel.

I've cast another pivotal character and a few minor characters, but to name them here might give spoilers to those who have not yet read the books, so I shall refrain. But you can visit my Pinterest board for the series to see that character (also unnamed at that location, but once you read the books, you'll know.)

Did I miss anyone you are simply *dying* to have a better picture of in your head while reading? Let me know in the comments and I'll reply with a link to a pin for that character!

I hope you've enjoyed my picks for the cast of a dreamy film version of The Sunken Realm! And I hope you've enjoyed all fifty episodes of this feature at EIR over the past year.

SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband Dave and daughters Delaney and Ellerie, and a big white goldendoodle named Albus. She is currently readying to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015, hoping to produce the first draft of a full-length contemporary romance novella by the end of November, after which she will get back to work on a contemporary paranormal romance series, already in progress. She loves connecting with readers and does her best to respond to every message she receives. Connect via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and through her website, where you can sign up for her official newsletter.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 49: Katherine Reay Dreams Up a Cast for THE BRONTE PLOT -- + giveaway!

Today's episode of The Author's Casting Call features Casting Director (and author!) Katherine Reay--an EIR Reviewer Fave--casting her latest book, The Bronte Plot. You may recall my love for her books Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy and Jane. Well, November is bringing what is sure to be another hit for the talented Ms. Reay--and we've got a chance for you to win a copy of it! (Giveaway runs through 11/1/15)

Casting The Bronte Plot
by Katherine Reay, special for EIR

My newest book, The Bronte Plot, launches next week and I hadn’t thought about who could play the roles of Lucy Alling and James Carmichael while writing it – so pondering it now was tremendous fun! And I found two who “fit the bill” perfectly.

First… Here’s a little about the story…  

The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay is available at
When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of impossible circumstances.

Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

Now for the characters:

For Lucy Alling -- Bonnie Wright is perfect. We all know her better as Harry Potter’s Ginny Weasley – and now she’s all grown up. She still has that beautiful red hair and a sense of smarts… And that’s Lucy! Lucy is a young woman who lives through story, is willing to stand her ground, digs into the truth of things, and admits when she’s wrong – and that might take the most guts of all. And she has striking green eyes to go with all that beautiful red hair.

For James Carmichael – I know virtually nothing about Brendan Hines, but he always seems to play roles with a certain amount of level-headedness about them. And James is definitely level-headed – and loyal and kind. But he’s also cute – and so is Brendan. So there you go! It’s a match.

Don't forget to leave a comment below to be entered to win a copy of The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay!

Katherine Reay is the writer behind Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy & Jane and upcoming novel, The Bronte Plot. Wife, mother, re-habbing runner, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer, Katherine and her family recently settled in Chicago, IL. You can find her at her website, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and lurking in the pages of her novels.

Leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of The Bronte Plot and then click the sweepstakes link to find where Katherine's publisher is offering a sweepstakes right now for some gorgeous Bronte novels.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode #48: Debut Author Amy Leigh Simpson casts WHEN FALL FADES (leave a comment for a chance to win an advance reader copy of the book!)

Today EIR is pleased to welcome Casting Director (and debut author!) Amy Leigh Simpson to the Author's Casting Call. We've got the cool deets on the actors she dreams of casting in a film version of her novel When Fall Fades, which releases October 30! 
But before we get to Amy's casting call, here's a little bit about her debut romantic mystery WHEN FALL FADES:
Amy's book releases 10/30! Watch for it!
One dying secret. One missing truth. And a whole lot of trouble…
Sadie Carson is an expert on unfinished business. Five years after the derailment of her dreams she’s just barely existing, using her job as a hospice nurse to give others the one thing she can’t seem to find—closure. So when her elderly neighbor Charlie, a brilliant conspiracy nut known for harassing the FBI, is murdered, Sadie suspects Charlie might’ve been onto something and intends to make sure someone solves the mystery of her friend’s death, even if it’s her.
The feisty little blonde may have found the victim’s body, but FBI Special Agent Archer Hayes has no intention of letting some nosy civilian interfere with his investigation. The guilt he feels is bad enough. The last thing Archer needs is another distraction to haunt him. Especially one as beautiful and beguiling as the girl next door.
But throw in a mountain of hoarded evidence and suspiciously coded journals and the case takes a puzzling turn toward a decades old conspiracy cover-up from World War II—one only the victim’s closest confidant can help untangle. Sadie and Archer reluctantly join forces to decode the riddle of secrets Charlie carried to his grave. Or did he? Someone is after a dangerous truth. But to uncover it or bury it is a question that leads the unlikely pair on a quest for redemption that lands Sadie in the crossfire of a desperate killer. And when the dangers of the past and present collide Archer must fight to save the life of the woman he’s falling for . . . only to discover he might be the one in need of saving.

Casting When Fall Fades 
by Amy Leigh Simpson, special for EIR
(click on the highlighted link to see a pic of the character!--and make sure you follow Serena's Author's Casting Call Pinterest board for links back to all previous episodes of this feature!)
Unlike most authors who have a cast of actors selected before they pen the prologue, I almost never have a solid picture of what my character looks like until the story really starts flowing. I start with simple characteristics like eye and hair color, I add in distinctive beauty marks or unique features, and then a more detailed picture starts to sketch out in my mind. Once I know the character inside and out I try to blend with convention and see if I can find someone in existence who could portray my hero and heroine in the movie. (Because of course, Hollywood is gonna be calling soon and I’ll have my pick of famed actors. Naturally.) ;)
So when I get to this point in the casting process I do my best to find two close estimations based on looks—which usually ends up being one decent actor shot and one random person’s picture I found on pinterest or online. For the sake of this casting call I’ll show you the more well-known of the two pieces of my character’s dichotomy.
The heroine, Sadie Carson, is a compelling mix of intelligence and innocence, kind but sometimes brash and unrefined, and generous with everything but her broken yet faithful heart for her first love. She’s a bit of a tomboy who favors vintage band T-shirts and Chuck Taylors, and she has no idea how beautiful she is. Here’s Sadie!
The hero, Archer Hayes, lives and breathes his badge. An ex-Army Ranger sniper and lone survivor of his unit, he suffers a mild case of PTSD and irrationalizes the link between relationships and inevitable death. Due to a rough upbringing and the violence he endured in the war, he can come across as unforgiving and rigid, yet his sense of honor runs deep and he is restless for the connection he fears. Here’s Archer!
**This book was my very first foray into writing fiction. The more I wrote, the more I realized the hero looked quite a bit like my handsome hubby. What can I say? I had good material on hand ;) And the heroine, while most definitely not me in lots of ways both physically and otherwise, does possess my long, wavy blonde hair. (Because, honestly, I just couldn’t picture my man with someone who didn’t look at least a little bit like me.)**

And fun fact about these two actors I would cast in the lead roles… they’re actually a couple in real life! So cute!

Other key players in the story are:
Special Agent Dorian “Sal” Salivas- Archer’s partner and the comic relief. (And the hero in Book 3) Here’s Sal!
Joselyn Whyte- Sadie’s BFF (And the heroine in book 2) Here’s Joss!
Dr. Candice Stevens- Lead Medical Examiner (And the heroine in book 3) Here’s Candice!
Finn Carson- Sadie’s firefighter big brother (and the hero in book 2) Here’s Finn!
I hope you’ll check out the book when it releases on October 30th!
Thanks so much for having me, Serena! This was wayyyy too much fun!

Amy Leigh Simpson writes romantic mysteries with honesty and humor, sweetness and spice, and gritty reality covered by grace. When she’s not stealing moments at naptime to squeeze out a few more adventures in storyland, she’s chasing around two tow-headed miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with one sweet princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most swoon-worthy man alive. Amy is a Midwestern-girl, a singer, blogger, runner, coffee-addict, and foodie. Her Sports Medicine degree is wasted patching up daily boo boo’s, but whatever is left usually finds its way onto the page with fluttering hearts, blood and guts, and scars that lead to happily ever after.
I’d be delighted to connect with you on Facebook and completely tickled if you checked out my book!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 47: Lynne Gentry Casts VALLEY OF DECISION

Today on the Author's Casting Call, we are pleased to welcome Casting Director (& author) Lynne Gentry, who is here today dreaming about who she might cast in a film version of her latest novel, Valley of Decision. Here's a little about the book, courtesy of publisher Howard Books:
To find
at Amazon, click HERE
Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator. 

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.
Casting Valley of Decision
by Lynne Gentry, special for EIR
(click on the actors' names for links to pins of how Lynne pictures them for her book!)
By the time I wrapped up The Carthage Chronicles series about a 21st – century doctor who falls into a third-century plague, several of the characters had aged, so it was fun to recast.
In Valley of Decision, Maggie Hastings, the daughter of Dr. Lisbeth Hastings, is no longer an incorrigible five-year-old. While Maggie is still headstrong and independent, she is also a striking beauty. The 18 year-old Maggie resembles the blond, blue-eyed beauty Amanda Seyfried.
Don’t let her heart-shaped face fool you into thinking she is a sweetheart. She will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. However, there is one man who doesn’t bend so easily to her will.
Barek, the 17 year-old son of the former bishop of Carthage, remembers Maggie as a petulant child. His dark lion’s mane of curls, dark complexion, and dark eyes frame his dark, brooding personality. Kellen Lutz fit the bill perfectly as the model.
I’d love for you to visit my Pinterest Page for more photos of ancient Carthage, Roman life, and special insights into the entire Carthage Chronicles series. Tell me who you would cast as these characters.

Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications and is a professional acting coach, theater director and playwright with several full-length musicals and a Chicago children’s theater curriculum to her credit. She likes to write stories that launch modern women into ancient adventures, such as The Carthage Chronicles series (Healer of Carthage, Return to Exile and Valley of Decision). Gentry is also an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer who loves spending time with her family and medical therapy dog.

To keep up with Lynne Gentry, visit, become a fan on Facebook (Author-Lynne-Gentry) or follow her on Twitter (@Lynne_Gentry) and Pinterest (lynnegentry7).


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