July 2015 e-Newsletter

Boroughs Publishing Group News



Play Nice Chalvaren Rising Sanguinary
Play Nice
Rock a stadium. Bang a chick. Repeat. As lead singer of The Devil’s Share, Dash Connor can get anything or anyone he wants-until he meets Lexi Grant. learn more
Chalvaren Rising
Warrior prince, Kort stands by Mia as she attempts to seize her birthright & become the dragon-riding wizardess prophesied to free her eleven kingdom. learn more
Only 50 years left before vampires rule the world. Detective Cami Davis has learned there’s a silent war raging between humans & vampires & the vampires are winning. learn more
Dancing Around the Truth Strawberry Summer Golden Boy
Dancing Around the Truth
Secrets, lies & a far too enticing widow threaten to destroy the orderly world Weston’s built. Philippa is certain she is the key to unlock his protected heart. learn more
Strawberry Summer
Working the dunk tank at the Strawberry Festival, 16 year old Olivia wonders, does that super cute guy with the buff arms keep staring at her like this is going to be the start of something wonderful? learn more
Golden Boy
In the land of palm trees & sunshine, golden boy Josh Huntington meets his match in Emma Gray, an single mother who won’t be won by charm & who makes him past ready to be a man. learn more

Boroughs About Town
(& Country)

RWA New York City


Literacy Autographing

Save the date:
Friday, July 24th 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Boroughs Meet & Greet Open House

Where we’ll announce the winner of our



A short monthly piece to show what's happening in the editor-in-chief's brain...and in his office. Besides reading. Lots of reading.


Chris KeeslarOn Tuesday HarperCollins published a sequel to that classic of American literature, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Since Lee is of advanced age, and because her guardian has reportedly stepped on quite a few toes, there have been numerous suggestions of shenanigans. There has also been uproar about a personality change of a major character.

I’m going to leave aside any discussion of geriatric foul play, as I have no firsthand knowledge of the situation. Nor have I read the book at the time of this piece, so I can’t speak to any personal and emotional reaction regarding the “change” to beloved Atticus. What I will say is—given that this was reportedly the first draft of Mockingbird—these two books are a prime example of how an editor (or, indeed, any critiquing party) can significantly impact a story…for good or for ill.

Handled by a talented writer, different angles on the same events can produce wildly varied themes and morals, and the original Mockingbird, published this week as Go Set a Watchman, seems to have taken many of the same events to detail a very different conflict—mainly that of Scout Finch’s issues with her father. The change in perspective and scope was due to Mockingbird’s editor, Tay Hohoff.

In 1960, America was again turning to deal with race issues, and it seems difficult to imagine that Hohoff didn’t see the deep societal value when she suggested switching the book from a reflective personal conflict—one daughter against her father and herself—to something broader and more inspiring, a family with a righteous patriarch and wide-eyed youngsters dealing with ambient alienation and injustice, making the Finches iconic, emblematic of positive shifts in thinking throughout the country and most strikingly the south…which also explains the recent blowback regarding Atticus’s alleged character change. Of course, Hohoff warned that the book might not sell well, so she had other things in mind than simple popularity and marketability.


The new book is the original vision. One review I read suggested it is the story of a woman breaking down her own godlike view of her father. This is certainly a step of human maturation, and thus accessible and pertinent to a wide readership. So, assuming that Lee’s handling of both stories was level, was this original conflict less palatable, less timely, or was it simply less transformative? Why did Hohoff require the change, if both struggles—family against community and daughter against father—can be equally powerful? Should Lee have listened? Should Hohoff have left the book alone and published it as it was, as it’s being published now?

The landscape of the industry wasn’t the same then, so Lee’s publishing options were likely limited. Still, I’d like to think that, even if the conversation is lost to time, Lee and Hohoff exhaustively discussed the reasons for the revision and agreed. Mockingbird’s success, both financially and via popularity, seem to vindicate Hohoff’s preferred treatment of the material.

What about the new book? Will it sell? Likely. So that will be one success. And the controversy over Watchman’s character shift and the manner of publication will likely fade, leaving time to tell if the book is another step in American letters, a literary gem drawn back from the brink of oblivion, a competently written but unenlightening walk down Memory Lane, or a simple cash grab.

One takeaway, though. As a writer, you need to know your purpose, and you need to discuss the reasons for changes with those who suggest them. Notwithstanding any alleged foul play, Lee has gotten another chance to tell Scout’s story—differently, and with people still paying attention. That’s a rare opportunity. Are you striking out to tell an intensely personal tale, or are you looking to go grander? Are you looking for simple popularity and marketability? This is the true benefit of the editor. While we are not all created equal, we are all...well, watchmen. You relate the story, but you need someone with scope and experience to tell you who’s listening and what we hear. Then you can decide if you want to post a different watchman.


Where you get to hear the people who make publishing–and Boroughs especially–what it is.


Short pieces by our authors

L.P. MaxaL.P. Maxa Rock Romance

I have been obsessed with all things rock ‘n roll since I was a little girl. I loved the music, but more than anything, I loved the lifestyle. It always seemed so mysterious to me. Like this whole other world existed, and only the coolest of the cool got to be part of it. I have Joe Perry’s autobiography, Rocks, sitting on my nightstand because I loved it that much. Almost Famous will forever be saved on my DVR so I can watch it whenever I want, which is often.

Writing a rock romance was just a natural progression of my personal love affair with all things rock ‘n roll. As with every other sub-genre of Romance novels, you create this world because you want it to exist. You want to belong. I feel like The Devil’s Share series explores some of the lighter sides of the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. There are the typical elements present, like drugs and groupies. But there is also a lot of heart and friendship and laughter. I picture rock bands being this kind of dysfunctional family, and that is what I was trying to create with The Devil’s Share. There’s the good guy, the playboy, the never-going-to-grow-up comic relief, and the soulful sweetheart. They are all different and they all bring different things to the table, but at the end of the day they kind of have this ‘it’s us against the world’ mentality.

Play NiceAnd let’s be honest, rock ‘n roll is hot. What’s a Romance novel without a dash (pun intended) of hot?

The rock ‘n roll culture drew me in at an early age, and is still keeping me mesmerized to this day. I’m not ‘band aid’ material, luckily for my husband. But in reading rock romance and by creating my own, I still get to explore that world. And really, isn’t that what reading is all about?

Paula MillhousePaula Millhouse Where Fantasy and Romance Collide

I grew up in the port city of Savannah, Georgia, surrounded by fantasy tales steeped in southern and worldwide tradition. Imbued with these wonderful stories, my childhood imagination created fantastical worlds where heroes and heroines united for a cause. In adulthood, this translated into sentient dragons defending their keepers, a prince and a wizardess taking on evil, and the elves of Chalvaren willing to risk everything to save their future kingdom.

Chalvaren Rising In my fictional realm, I wanted to explore the relationship between High Fantasy and Romance and to blend them into a story that left the reader breathless – where magic and suspense collided in an imaginary world filled with fantastical beings. Villains exist and darkness looms, but our hero, heroine, her dragon and a cast of elves set out on a course to right wrongs in a mythical land. The theme that ‘love is worth fighting for’ is coupled with a fictional world where fantasy lovers go on a quest for the greater good. But, equally important - my girlfriends get a healthy dose of grown-up romance along the way.

All worlds are better when you include the element of love.

Charlotte CopperCharlotte Copper Real Life

They say to write what you know. In some cases, this could mean what you like to read and a genre that you are familiar with. In other cases, it could mean drawing on your life experiences. There are three things – three beings - that inspired me to write YA Romance: Lauryn, Kathryn and Victoria…my daughter and two stepdaughters.

Familiar? I have definitely read my share of YA. Life experience? Our girls are 18, 19 and 21, and many eons ago, I, too, was an idealistic, fantasy-fueled teen.

Strawberry Summer It is difficult as a mom not to sound preachy. In Strawberry Summer, one of the young teens gets really drunk. Underage drinking? Never! We’d like to think it’s never our own children, but it happens, even if it is only a friend or schoolmate.

And while most young teens aren’t forced to choose a society based on personality or fight to the death in a post-apocalyptic world, the struggles and challenges a teenage girl faces – from a new school, to her changing looks, to young love – are enormous. Even if only to her.

I like to think my heroines are strong and confident young women. They follow their heads as well as their hearts. When they say “no” they mean “no,” and when they say “yes” it is the right thing to do.

In the end, what I really hope is that my stories inspire dreams and fuel imaginations. After all, everyone deserves a happily ever after.