Tag Archive for: Lowcountry Romance Writers

A New Anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers of America: Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two

by Paula Gail Benson

When I first became serious about writing, I joined a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Lowcountry Romance Writers (LRWA), based in Charleston, S.C. A friend from Columbia and I would travel back and forth on highway I-26E every month (about a 90-minute journey each way) to hear wonderful presentations about craft and marketing as well as to meet other writers and learn about their projects and goals.

My concentration has always been more on mystery and suspense fiction, but for a while the LRWA was the only local active group that provided contacts and insight on the publication industry. I learned a great deal and was very appreciative of the information I received.

A few years ago, I thought about discontinuing my LRWA membership because I had joined several Sisters in Crime chapters and had become involved with the Mystery Writers of America and its regional Southeast chapter (SEMWA). Then, LRWA offered its members the opportunity to have their short stories published in a chapter anthology. I had been writing short stories and felt like I would like to try my hand at romance, so I continued to belong to the chapter. To be accepted for the anthology, each story had to take place during the winter holidays (Thanksgiving to New Years), take place in Charleston, go through two vigorous beta readings, and meet deadlines. In addition, each author had to develop promos to be used in social media. (I have always been impressed that romance writers know how to effectively sell their fiction!) The whole process was like boot camp and it was tremendously successful. Love in the Lowcountry gave both experienced and new writers a chance for publication and the sales made money for the chapter. I felt it a true privilege to be part of the work.

This year, the chapter decided to develop Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two. Like the first volume, it included established writers along with debut authors. It expanded the holiday season (from Halloween to Valentine’s Day) and the territory (anywhere in South Carolina). The eleven included romances feature contemporary and historical settings; time travel, magical realism, and paranormal elements; sweet to spicy storylines; and LGBTQ+ characters.

Here’s a brief summary of each story:

“A Sunrise Christmas” by Linda Joyce – In others, Lauren “sees” their heart’s desire, but Justice hopes he can open her eyes to love.

“Candlemas” by Paula Gail Benson – Can they find their way through time, and to love?

“Chase” by Suzie Webster – A Lowcountry Liaisons Short Story – He thought love wasn’t in the cards, but a second chance may change his luck.

“Edi-Snow!” by HM Thomas – After the storm, the snow won’t be the only thing melting.

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart” by J. Lynn Rowan – One disappointed in romance. The other hiding from life. A chance encounter makes them wonder – could this be true love?

“Maeve’s Welcome Home” by Addie Bealer – Friends. Lovers. Business rivals. Can they have it all?

“No Regrets” by Robin Hillyer-Miles – Neither planned to be single and sixty but a cute meet and an intense attraction could change all that.

“Second Chances” by Victoria Houseman – Second chances are often the best chances when it comes to love.

“The One That I Want” by Elaine Reed – Charleston welcomed her with open arms, but she longs for a different embrace.

“Watchman’s Remedy” by Victoria Benson – Struggling to understand her reality, Cora falls…for an 18th century pirate.

“When It’s Meant to Be” by Danielle Gadow – Relationships evolve, but how will they know “When It’s Meant to Be”?

By purchasing Love in the Lowcountry, Volume 2, you’ll be helping to support LRWA, which in turn will continue to offer authors programs to improve their craft and marketing skills. Please give it your consideration.

Love in the Air

by Paula
Gail Benson
I first became serious about writing, a friend took me to a meeting of the
Lowcountry Romance Writers (LRWA), a chapter of the Romance Writers of America
(RWA), based in Charleston, South Carolina. At the time, LRWA was the one venue
close to where I lived that consistently provided good information about the
craft and business of writing. Although I didn’t write romance, I joined both
the chapter and the national organization and I benefited a great deal from the
programs and fellowship at LRWA.
the beginning of last year, I had more options. I didn’t have to make the two
hour drive to Charleston because I was actively involved in the Palmetto Chapter
of Sisters in Crime that provides monthly programs and meets in the city where
I live. In addition, I belonged to the Guppies, the online chapter of Sisters in
Crime, and several other organizations that gave me the opportunity to learn
about writing craft and business. I considered the matter carefully before renewing
my membership with LRWA and RWA. Finally, I decided to give it one more year,
even if I couldn’t make the meetings held in Charleston.
so very glad that I did. LRWA decided to publish an anthology this year and
allowed any of its members to participate. I had fifteen published short
stories, mostly mysteries, but the first had hinted at a love story. Could I
write another one?
requirements were that the story had to be a romance taking place in
Charleston, S.C., during the winter holidays. Any time period. 7,500 words
(although that got extended later).
faced two initial challenges: (1) could I write a credible romance, and (2)
could I write a 7,500 word story (most of mine are in the 3,500 word range)?

the great process set up by LRWA, I found I was able to do both. In addition, I
had the opportunity to network with some wonderful writers who became beta
readers, editors, and marketing directors. Romance writers have developed an
incredible ability to reach their audiences. From the experience of working on
this anthology, I’ve learned so much and made many valued friendships.
story is a time travel tale about two English graduate students, both unlucky
in their first relationships, finding love with each other when transported
back to a Charleston where the literary figures they have been studying lived.
I was amazed to discover how many famous persons happened to be in Charleston
the day before Thanksgiving 1936. I hope you might read my story to learn about
those connections!
addition, the anthology features stories about ghosts, pirates, magic, new
loves meeting, old loves reuniting, families working out how to spend the
holiday together, and people who thought love couldn’t possibly be in their
lives encountering it. Here’s a list of the other authors, among whom I’m very
proud to be included: Amy Quinton,
Angela Mizell, Carla Susan Smith, Casey Porter, Elaine Reed, Gracey Evans, Jen
Davis, Jessie Vaughn, Michele Sims, Rebecca A. Owens, Robin Hillyer Miles, Savannah
J. Frierson, and Zuzana Juhasova
you looking for a great holiday gift or a virtual trip to Charleston? You can’t
go wrong with Love in the Lowcountry
Here’s the link on Amazon.

P.S. This first
volume has been so successful; a new one is in the works. Guess who signed up
to write another romance?