Tag Archives: romance

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The About Face Groom

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I have a new release today!

My second book of the Last Play Christmas Romances is out here.

Today I thought I would tell you the story behind my pen name. I decided to use a pen name, because while my Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy books are pretty clean, they are not squeaky clean—like Hallmark clean.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I find a writer I like, I often read all of their books. An easy way to pick up negative reviews is by giving your readers certain expectations and then not fulfilling them.

For instance, Karly Stratford fans are now expecting sweet, clean romance books. That means no swearing, no sex (or even a mention of it really), and keeping innuendos and talk of beer and stuff like that to a minimum. The fans know what they want, and when they don’t get it, they get angry.

So, I didn’t want a new fan of Karly’s to jump into my Jagged Scars Series which has some mild swearing and a lot of fighting / violence. The books are not for the same readers.

That’s why I took a pen name for my sweet romance books. Next year I plan to put a book out for Karly every quarter. Certainly not as fast as most romance writers, but since it’s a secondary genre, I’m okay with it.

Some authors have a hard time coming up with a pen name, but this one came pretty easily to me. You see, my mom’s maiden name is Karlene Stratford. I thought Karlene was a bit old-fashioned, so I changed it to Karly.

Now my poor mom has had dementia for years, and while she still remembers most people, we can have the same conversation four times in ten minutes. So she doesn’t know I’ve borrowed her name, but I think if she knew, she’d be okay with it.


The About Face Groom is 0.99 today only!

How much would you bet on true love this Christmas Season?

Leon Reyes, tight end for the Denver Storm, plans to spend the Christmas break training and playing video games with his childhood buddies. His plans don’t change when quarterback Will Kent bets him to contact his first love and try to rekindle the flame, because his first love is happily married with two kids. What Leon didn’t count on was rescuing his back-door neighbor and junior-high crush, Sadie Jones from a dog attack. His friends then double-dog-dare Leon to bring Sadie to the block party, and Leon never backs down from a dare. The dare leads to a kiss, and Leon is swept away by things he’d forgotten about Sadie. Things he didn’t realized he wanted.

All Sadie Jones wants is a quiet Christmas to finish her business proposal and forget her jerk of an ex, Brian. When she hears Leon and his buddies in their back yard she goes over to tell them to shut up so she can work, but ends up getting attacked by a dog, and saved by Leon. When he asks her to the block party she accepts. When he kisses her she slaps him. When he decides to make it his personal mission to help her rekindle her inspiration for writing she begins to remember why she had a crush on him all growing up, and why she keeps saying yes when he asks her out.

When Sadie’s ex tries to take her proposal, and Leon sends his massive Twitter following after the guy, everything falls apart. Can they put their own issues aside and salvage their budding relationship, or will the Grinch get his way?

Check out Amazon for the rest of the series as well!









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The Haunted Groom

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I have a new release today!

And it’s kind of a funny story…

A friend of mine writes sweet, clean romance and she’s been trying to get lure me into writing one for years. I’m not exaggerating…years. Naturally, I’ve been resisting.

A few months ago she called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of a Christmas Romance series.

I’m not going to lie, after more than one Hallmark Christmas movie  a year I get a bit twitchy, but I had a few weeks that I could free up in my schedule, and at the time I wanted an easy project (easier than the 400,000 word space opera trilogy I was planning), so I agreed.

This is what happened.

Notice the author. That’s me. I’m using a pen name for these books.

The Haunted Groom is 0.99 in Kindle today only!

Get it while it’s hot.

My friend came up with the premise-the quarterback of a (fictional) professional football team is looking for love, and he decides he wants to go find his first love and try to win her back. He and a couple of the other players get into a fight with some reporters and end up in jail for a few hours. While there, the quarterback decides that they’re all pathetic and challenges the other players to find their first love and try to rekindle the relationship. If the person is single, of course. Whomever fails has to tell their boss about the fight.

I’m not going to lie, my football players are pretty awesome. Not perfect-because that makes for a dull story-but guys trying to find the best way through their lives. They are charming. they mess up and then they try to fix it.

There are two other books in the series so far, with three more to come after mine.









If you love those cheesy Hallmark Christmas shows, this series is for you!

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Romance Shromance

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I may have mentioned my plan to resurrect my Babes in Spyland universe this year. I won’t take the time to tell you all about it, because it’s a big plan, but suffice it to say, that if you have a sense of humor, and love great characters and ridiculous super-secret-spy stories, that you’ll dig it.

This week I happened to be working on the romance stories for each of the characters. I didn’t even remember it was Valentine’s Day. Coincidence?


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If you know me at all, you know that I’m not a romance writer. Or a romance reader. As a matter of fact, the only romance books I’ve read in the past few years have been books that my friends have written that I have done a beta read for them.

Unless you count Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…I did read that one.

Anyway, I had to use my Google-Fu to find a list of commonly used romance plots. I tried TV Tropes, but had to run away, because it’s too much, and I could have gotten sucked in for at least two days. Maybe more. It’s dangerous there. Don’t do it. Trust me.

Once I got clear of TV Tropes, I started looking other places, and found a few lists that really helped.

So this is what you have to look forward to. The following plots will be utilized, and maybe twisted, in my Babes in Spyland universe:

  • Taming of the Shrew
  • Pride and Prejudice. This one is a must.
  • The dreaded Love Triangle, I didn’t want to use this one, but it fits so well…
  • A Cinderella story, complete with great shoes
  • Forbidden love between agents at rival agencies
  • The Classic Afraid to Commit and almost loses the girl/boy trope


If you love romance, I have a few friends who can help.


Fairy Tale Re-tellings?

Sarah E. Boucher has got you covered.

Becoming Beauty by [Boucher, Sarah E.]

Jane Austin Re-tellings?

Misty Dawn Pulsipher is your girl.

Persuaded by [Pulsipher, Misty Dawn]

Billionaire, Football or Movie Star romance?

Taylor Hart can hook you up.

Last Play: Book 1 Last Play Romance Series (A Bachelor Billionaire Companion) (The Last Play Series) by [Hart, Taylor]

Whew, that’s enough romance for me for the year.

I’m off to kill some characters.

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