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Thursday, January 29, 2015

When Do You Quit Writing?

Sandra K. Marshall is author of The Riverboat Mysteries and some short stories, but she has started to give a lot of thought to not writing anymore.  Why is this you ask?  There are many reasons, and I'll list them below.

1.  It has become very painful to sit at the computer for hours (neck and shoulder pain).

2.  I'm having a difficult time focusing on writing primarily because of #1.

3.  I have lost my enjoyment of writing for more than one reason (not just because of #1).

4.  Promoting on social media is another reason I'm not enjoying writing.  I know I'm going to have to promote my new book when it's published.

5.  Not making enough money to justify publishing my work.

6.  It's getting difficult for me to make deadlines.

7.  Fibromyalgia and neuropathy from an injury in my early 20's is not helping my concentration (keep changing medication to try to get a grip on it)

All of this doesn't mean I'm going to give up writing entirely, but when I start again it will be at my own pace and when I feel like it.  I can endure sitting at the computer for a couple of hours to write, but not if I have to answer emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

What about you is it time to get away from the rat race?  Remember LaVyrle Spencer?  She was a New York Times best seller who quit at the height of her career to do something she really enjoyed, composing music.

Below you can find The Riverboat Mysteries links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble in ebook format.

The Catalyst - 
http://www.amazon.com/Catalyst-Riverboat-Mysteries-Sandra-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00EV47SE2/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Catalyst-by-Sandra-K--marshall?keyword=The+Catalyst+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall&store=ebook


Addiction -
http://www.amazon.com/Addiction-Sandra-K-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00FI6JHT6/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Addiction-by-Sandra-K-Marshall?store=ebook&keyword=Addiction+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall


The Deceived -
http://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Sandra-K-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00G7XR0XE/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Deceived-by-Sandra-K-Marshall?store=ebook&keyword=The+Deceived+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall 


I'm sorry to say this will be my last blog at Romance Books 4 Us.  I have enjoyed being one of the twenty authors doing a monthly blog, but I'm giving up this position.  It is my desire to try to keep up my weekly blog on my blog.  I intend to stay with Romance Books 4 Us Yahoo Group, but I'm going to go to daily digest, so I'll be one of those lurkers now. 

Also, I'll be staying with my GIAMx2 Yahoo goals group to make sure I do some writing during the week. 

Thank you for listening to me and good-bye. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Guest Blog: Jane Leopold Quinn: Inspiration is Everywhere, The Will to Write is Harder to Come By

As early as 2008, I was attracted to writing a series taking place in small town America. I was raised in a small Iowa city, Dubuque, and the idea has always "called" to me. I loved Jan Karon's books with Fr. Timothy Kavanagh and all his compatriots in the small North Carolina town of Mitford. I even loved the town map inside the front cover. So, over the years, my town, Birchwood Falls, took shape. I even drew a map of the town, and as you can see, drawing is not my specialty. Then I had to people the town with interesting characters with interesting stories.

Since I was a little girl, I've always loved westerns, TV shows and movies and books. The westerns of the 50s and 60s were my favorites, and it just so happens that I found a TV channel with some of those old shows. Yay. As a lot of girls did, I fell in love with Little Joe Cartwright but eventually moved on to Nick Barkley on The Big Valley. Joe and Nick fueled many a young fantasy, not together though. Oh, crikey, now I have that idea in my head — a fully adult fantasy. Oh, yeah! The first manuscripts I wrote were westerns.Jake and Ivy is out now. The Long Road to You is due out February 5. Both are about handsome, hunky cowboy brothers and their beautiful strong-willed women.

The first book I had published was a time travel to Roman Britain. Unfortunately, it's not available at the moment since it's contracted and sitting at a new publisher. That book was inspired by a trip I made to Bath, England where I photographed the tomb of a Roman soldier at the Roman Museum.

So many people say they could write a book, would like to write one, mean to write one some day. How many of them do that? Very few of us manage to write one, let alone many. We authors are the precious few.

To be able to write a story and publish it means we join the centuries-long family of authors. It seems like there are a lot of us, but our percentage is so small compared with the whole of the world's populace. How many people do you know who say. I could write a book" but don't?©

There's so much inspiration for stories out there. All it takes is the will to write them down and a bit of talent for story telling. And focus and commitment. It takes all that to create characters and a plot line — beginning, middle, and end. I've used photographs, TV commercials, cowboy fantasies, Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Flamenco music all as inspiration for stories. I've used a bit of my own romance with my husband. Because of these disparate ideas, my books aren't neatly tied up in a series except the small town and the western books. Sometimes I regret that since series books are so popular, but I'm still proud of every one of my books. They represent my thoughts, my loves, and my life.

I began this writing journey as a way to ensure that I would have something that belonged only to me with my name on it. It's the best job in the world! The Real Deal is the second of the Birchwood Falls books. Lost and Found is the first. After a decade at war, Marc comes home to investigate his parents' mysterious deaths. Beautiful jazz singer Phoebe hungers for fame and craves love. Despite their differing paths, they give in to their sizzling attraction. Will their passion turn deadly when the killer decides two murders might not have been enough?

BLURB:
When her fiancé is busted at a gentlemen's club, attorney Norah Ballard calls off the wedding. Shocked and humiliated, she grabs her suitcase and takes the first train out of town.

Easygoing teacher Michael Banning spots the new woman in town and recognizes her from college. She's even more gorgeous and sophisticated now. He's no longer the nerd he was back then, and now that she's on his turf, he's going to touch and taste every sleek, beautiful inch of her. Whatever her reason is for being in his town, he'll fulfill all her desires so she never wants to leave. Norah won't let another man—no matter how sweet, smart and sexy—get close enough to hurt her again. Mike's passionate pursuit of her, the way he seems to know just how to arouse her, turns her into the wanton woman she hadn't known she was.

He's accused in a local scandal, something he wasn't involved in. Birchwood Falls is in danger of flooding. He has a hell of a lot on his plate. When Mike’s in trouble, Norah's going to be there to help him. And when Birchwood Falls is in trouble, she's going to help the town she's fallen in love with too.

The Real Deal is available here:
http://amzn.com/B00RVY0AGW
http://www.ellorascave.com/the-real-deal.html

Bio
My Romance: Love With a Scorching Sensuality
Jane Leopold Quinn is a multi-published, erotic romance author of M/F, M/M, and ménage (M/F/M). She's written in contemporary, Western historical, fairy tale, and time travel. Her imagination was always fertile but became public when she began writing hot romance over a decade ago.

Her main interest is writing, but creativity in authors isn't usually limited to writing. Other interests include building and decorating doll houses and miniature room boxes, as well as designing silk flower arrangements. She'd love to paint, but even her stick figures are unrecognizable. Alas—can't do everything. Of course, her characters can.

My Books
Ellora's Cave:
Lost and Found
The Real Deal
Indie:
Valentine's Day
His Hers & His
The Keeper
Soldier, Come Home
Winning Violetta
A Promise at Dawn
Jake and Ivy
Wooing the Librarian
Home to Stay
The Long Road to You (coming February 5, 2015)
Siren:
Undercover Lover
Mercenary Desires
I'll Be Your Last

Jane Leopold Quinn
Love With a Scorching Sensuality
http://janeleopoldquinn.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/jelquinnauthor
Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Introvert With a Touch of Shyness by Janice Seagraves



Janice Seagraves, published author

Introvert with a Bad Case of Shyness
By Janice Seagraves

Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves. I’m a romance writer.

I’m actually more introverted than shy.  But unfortunately things do change.

At thirteen I fell in love with books, reading Tolkien and Marguerite Henry, among others. I loved getting lost among the mountain passes along with Bilbo and his friends, or fall in love with the ponies of Chincoteague.  In high school, I read the Lord of the Rings and The Tripods novels by John Christopher, after which I progressed to other fantasy and SF books.

Books became my refuge. Books never judge you, or say mean things to you. They are there for you, whenever you want them to be.

I kept my nose firmly and happily buried, for God knows how many hours. But introverted or not, love finally found me. After I graduated from HS, I married my husband.

When I was twenty, I tried my hand at writing. And found it harder than it looks. I wrote off and on for years as I learned to put my thoughts into words, but sadly never completed that first novel.
Than twelve years ago when my daughter was eight, I decided I would write toward publication. I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about the craft of writing. 

Hubby was very supportive and bought me a laptop computer. Delighted with the gift, I industriously wore the letters off the keys.

I started out small with short stories. Then I bought the Writer’s Market. Carefully, I studied the publishers and contests listed. I sent off for guidelines so I could send out my shorts, but was unfortunately rejected many times.

But I kept at it, determined to see something of mine in print.

Eventually, I started writing book length manuscripts. Now I had a much longer word count to work with, so I was able to explore my characters’ personal growth, sexual tension and eventual the moment when my couple falls in love.


Eventually, my depute novel was published just days before my daughter graduated from high school. My first book is called Windswept Shores; it’s a contemporary erotic romance, its still available through amazon and smashwords.

I was very excited. But I also had to learn to promote.

The internet is a God send for promotions and reaching out to readers. But when I talk to a stranger in person about my book, I found myself stammering and blushing.

Had I suddenly developed a bad case of shyness?

Oh, God. I have.

Then one day when I was at the dentist office, having my teeth cleaned. The hygienist asked what I was doing. I told her I had a book published. As I talked to her, I think I must have been as red as a beet, but I forced myself to continue. She was very excited and wanted to buy my book.

I told myself this is something I must do. I had to get passed this shyness problem, so I can talk to people who might be interested in my novel.

It’s hard but I've made progress since those early days. 

When I see that opening in the conversation, I give myself a mental kick. Do it. Talk about your book. Smile.

“I’m a published author.” My cheeks heat and I know I’m blushing again. But I tell myself to keep going. “I wrote a book about a couple washed up on the same little island in the Bahamas. It’s a romance.” I reach into my purse. “Would you like a book card? It has my book cover and website address.”

And now, years later, I can say I've published three books and a short story. 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Windswept Shores Blurb:

The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Janice’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/



Windswept Shores on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/446101
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Rock a Facebook Event by Sam Cheever

If you’ve never joined a Facebook Event/Party, you’re missing a great chance to make real friendships and have a lot of fun. These events are the closest thing to a real party you can have online, and are valuable to both the authors who host them and the readers who attend. Although, I’m guessing Facebook will eventually change the rules to make the events much harder to hold…just because that’s what Facebook does…for now at least, if you haven’t looked into doing one of these parties I highly recommend that you do.

I do a few Facebook events a month, celebrating new book releases, genres, holidays, anniversaries…whatever ideas the hosts can come up with for a party! I’ve hosted a few parties of my own, but most of the parties I attend are hosted by other authors or promotion groups and I’m just generally assigned a one or two hour slot (though some have half hour or even 15 minute slots!). Basically, you have a certain amount of time to inspire some portion of the attending group to at least take a look at your website or books to see if they look interesting. You can probably achieve that flying by the seat of your pants. But if you really want to rock the event, make long-time connections and sell some books, you’ll want to make a plan for the event and spend some time preparing for it!

Making a plan isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here’s my formula for a typical 1-hour event:
  • ·       Post intro and bio with all of your pertinent links
  • ·       Introduce the book you want to highlight during your hour
  • ·       Introduce your first game/contest
  • ·       Post a couple snippets of your highlighted book
  • ·       Introduce another game/contest
  • ·       Post another snippet of your highlighted book and something fun having to do with your book
  • ·       Offer a Q&A session (if you have leftover time)
  • ·       Say goodbye


Now, obviously there’s some play in this outline. The key to success is your interaction through each phase of the things on this list. If you just post your stuff at predetermined increments and don't interact with your attendees, your hour probably won’t inspire anyone to find out more about you. But if you chat with people as they respond, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a successful party:

Post Intro and Bio with Pertinent Links


Every author has a bio. If yours is friendly and succinct, use it here. But if your bio encompasses two full pages and mentions everything from where you went to pre-school to what type of undies you prefer (silky bikinis) you might want to rewrite it to make it party friendly. You want to inspire attendees to check you out and to do that the bio should be short enough to read quickly and it should be fun. Nobody wants to hear about the bad case of shingles you suffered through the year before that kept you from winning Author of the Year. #:0) Joking of course, but you get the point. Also, and this is the most important thing of all, make sure you include links to your website, blog, twitter, Facebook Author page, and newsletter sign up. These are direct avenues into your writing webworld that enable you to keep in touch with the new friends you make at the party.

As an example, here's the intro/bio I use:

Hey Everybody! Welcome to the party. I have lots of snippets, contests and prizes planned for the next hour and I look forward to visiting with you. For those of you who don’t know me, here’s my bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If we haven't already connected, I'd love it if you Liked/Followed me wherever you like to hang out online. Here are my online haunts:


Introduce the Book you want to Highlight


Tell them why you’re highlighting that particular book. Is it a new release? Is it a Christmas event and you’re talking about a Christmas book? Just a couple of lines to tell them why they should be interested.

Provide a blurb and all buy links. Spell out all your links. Don’t use hyperlinked terms because people using mobile devices (a high percentage of the people attending) will have to click through a few times before they find your book. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to make an impulse purchase!

Examples:

·       Hyperlinked

Introduce Games and Contests


I generally do two contests for a one hour event. One contest per half hour. If it’s two hours I do three, spacing them out over the two hours. Contests are invaluable because they pull lurkers (shy attendees) out of the woodwork and allow you to interact with them. Use your imagination on your contests. DON’T pick something that limits your ability to chat and DO pick something that gets them digging around in your website.

Some examples:
  • ·       Have them go to your book page and pick their favorite line from the book’s blurb or excerpt.
  • ·       Ask them a question to be answered by checking out the same information.
  • ·       Send them on a brief scavenger hunt or ask them to post pictures.

Whatever you do, keep it light and make sure you comment a lot on their contributions. Prizes for these contests are totally up to you. I generally use some combination of gift cards, books, or goodie boxes.

Games can be used as contests or just for fun. If you have a basic graphics software and some imagination you can create fun games. Here’s one I used in a recent event:




Posting Snippets of your Book

When posting snippets of your highlighted book, make sure you pick something that will make it impossible for them to resist buying the book. <grin> Keep the snippets brief. Pick one that ends on a cliff-hanger, and make sure you include buy links. Thrilling, sexy and humorous snippets seem to do best. I recommend that you keep your snippets PG-13 or milder so you don’t get gonged by Facebook. Spend time when selecting your snippets, they’re a very important part of the event.

You can also post something fun that pertains to your book. For example, if you wrote a Christmas-themed book, you can post an online quiz such as the one below. This site always has a lot of fun quizzes: https://www.blogthings.com/whatwillbeinyourchristmasstockingquiz/ .

Offer a Q&A Session


If you’ve exhausted all your goodies and still have a few minutes left in your assigned timeframe, don’t go silent. Offer an Ask the Author opportunity. Attendees really like these because, as they’ve been visiting with you over the hour, they’ve probably found themselves wondering things about your books, your lifestyle, your world. This gives them a chance to ask those questions.

Say Goodbye


Make sure you don’t just slip away at the end of your hour. Create a new post just to say goodbye, tell them how much fun you’ve had and that you’ll see them at the next event. Manners are important and when people have taken time out of their lives to spend with you, you owe them that at the very least.

Part of what makes a successful party is variety and flexibility. Don’t always do the same exact thing or highlight the same book the same way every time. If you consider these basic guidelines but make them uniquely your own, you’ll enjoy much success in the Facebook party world!

Party on, Everybody!




She might be the enemy. He might have to take her down. But all he really wants to do is make slow, sweet love to her.

Grimm Forbes has been captured by sexy spaceship Captain Cari Pascale and turned into her sex vassal. But, as alliances conspire to take down his old friends at the Authority, Grimm worries that the woman who ignites his sexual fantasies might be at the epicenter of the treachery. It's possible he'll have to make a choice between his friends and the woman he wants in his bed. He only prays he has the strength to make the right decision, because the consequences of making the wrong one will be apocalyptic.










USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Interview of Author Karen McCullough

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Karen McCullough.

Latest Book: The Detective’s Dilemma
Buy Link: Amazon

BIO:
Karen McCullough’s wide-ranging imagination makes her incapable of sticking to one genre for her storytelling. As a result, she’s the author of more than a dozen published novels and novellas, which span the mystery, fantasy, paranormal, and romantic suspense genres. A former computer programmer who made a career change into being an editor with an international trade publishing company for many years, she now runs her own web design business to support her writing habit. Awards she’s won include an Eppie Award for fantasy; three other Eppie finals; Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards, and an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.


Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I’d like to be able to write on a schedule, but given the demands of the day job and family, that mostly doesn’t happen. I’m also the kind of writer who needs a block of time to sink into the story, so most of my writing is done either late at night or on weekends.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: These days it’s all about the promo, and to be honest, it’s not my favorite part of the job. When I published my first novel in 1990, the publisher handled most of the marketing. Not that there was much. They put your book in their catalogs, sent the book out to a few magazines that did reviews and maybe bought an ad or two. That was it. Now, I spend as much time doing promo stuff as I do writing.

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: I’d like to say quite a bit, especially the female characters, but I think that may be more wishful thinking than reality. I’ve heard a fellow mystery author describe her detective heroine as a “younger, braver and thinner version of myself.” I think that’s true of my heroines as well. On the other hand a writer can only use the materials she has, and it’s true that the person we each know best is ourselves, so some of that is bound to come out in each character we write.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I don’t eat at my desk, but I drink coffee – quite a lot of coffee, actually. I don’t listen to music while writing. I love music, but I find it too distracting to have it playing while I’m writing. I can’t ignore it if it’s there.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: This is going to sound odd, but I don’t choose names for my characters. They tell me their names.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Heavens, yes! My first four books were published by Avalon Books in hardcover, and I never liked any of the covers I got from them very much. One of them – Stormtide – is absolutely awful. You can see those early covers on my website here: http://www.kmccullough.com/backlist.php. It’s probably not politically correct to admit this, but I’m not really thrilled with cover of The Detective’s Dilemma. My cop hero would never, ever, go around with his shirt hanging of like that. But I have to assume that the Kensington/Lyrical marketing dept. knows what they’re doing.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Grow a thick skin. You’re going to need it. There’s a lot of rejection in this business, at every level, and if you start taking it personally, it will drive you insane or drive you into doing something else with your life.

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Lots of them, though not so much in The Detective’s Dilemma. However, my recent cozy mystery, A Gift for Murder, (published in HC by Five Star, MMP by Harlequin, and now available as an ebook) was inspired by all the trade shows I attended when I was working as an editor at several trade publications. A Gift for Murder is set at a fictional exhibition hall in Washington, D.C., and the heroine is the assistant to the director of the center. That’s her official title anyway. A lot of her job involves being the point person for problems with exhibitors or attendees. Some of the incidents are similar to things I either witnessed personally at various trade shows or heard about from other people at them.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: At around the ¾ point of every book I write, I get the feeling that it’s complete trash, totally boring, badly written, and not worth finishing. After writing 20+ books, I’ve started to recognize it when it happens, and now I know that I just have to push on through it and keep going, even though it feels like slogging through molasses for a while.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Lots and lots of ideas. More than I’ll ever be able to write and most aren’t really ready to become a story. Stories seem to happen when two or three ideas collide and the resulting explosion produces a character or two and a plot idea. I jot notes all over the place, including cocktail napkins. But I do actually have a spiral notebook where I make notes as interesting things occur to me.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas – I’d love it even if it didn’t happen to be my birthday as well. It’s when all the family comes together and we celebrate!

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: First, I’m a strong introvert, but I’m not particularly shy. Second, as an undergraduate at Duke University, I was part of a group that occupied the main quad of the university for a week in a protest that was called, “The Silent Vigil.” It rained the last two days and I ended up with the flu.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A doctor.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Chocolate.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Any number of family vacations, both as a child and later as an adult with my own kids. Interesting note: I grew up in a suburb of New York City, and didn’t see a cow or sheep up close until I was twelve years old and my family went to a farm for a vacation.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Coffee or wine.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: I’d really like to take a river cruise through central Europe.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Bilocation. There are so many things I want to do and places I want to go that I need at least two of me to get it all in.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Website: http://www.kmccullough.com/
Blog: http://www.kmccullough/kblog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenMcCulloughAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kgmccullough
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kgmccullough/
Kensington Author page: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/31633

BLURB:
Although Sarah Anne Martin admits to pulling the trigger, she swears someone forced her to kill her lover. Homicide detective Jay Christianson is skeptical, but enough ambiguous evidence exists to make her story plausible. If he gives her enough freedom, she’ll either incriminate herself or draw out the real killers. But, having been burned before, Jay doesn’t trust his own protective instincts…and his growing attraction to Sarah only complicates matters.

With desire burning between them, their relationship could ultimately be doomed since Sarah will be arrested for murder if they can’t find the real killer.

EXCERPT:
The crash of something hitting the floor jerked her awake.

Sarah lay for a moment, listening, wondering what might have fallen, but not yet alarmed enough to drag herself out of bed and investigate.

An even louder thunk shook the house. She jolted upright in bed. Something had hit the floor again--something heavy. She reached for the bedside clock and pressed the button to illuminate the face. One-thirty. Vince might still be up. Maybe he’d bumped into something. She hoped it was nothing worse. She kept telling him to follow the doctor’s orders and lose weight. At fifty-three, he already had heart problems.

The thought of him lying on the floor after a heart attack or stroke goaded her up and out of bed.

She snagged her robe off the chair and rushed out of her bedroom. A light shone at the opposite end of the hall that ran nearly the entire length of the house. In the past year, Vince had been having more trouble sleeping and often stayed in his study, working or watching television into the early hours of the morning.

The door to the room stood open, but she didn’t see him at first when she rushed in. Papers lay scattered across the floor, drawers hung open from the desk, and one sat on its side on the floor as well.

“Vince?”

“Over here. I--” His voice wavered and broke.

She spotted him on the far side of the room from the door. He was on his feet and two men flanked him. Hoods concealed their features, and they both wore dark, nondescript clothes. Each held a gun, one pointed at Vince’s head, the other turned in her direction.

Sarah froze. Her breath stuck in her throat, and her stomach clenched into a tight knot. “What--? What’s going on? Vince?”

His normally florid complexion had a gray cast, and his shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry, my dear. These gentlemen have--”

“Shut up,” one of the two ordered.

She didn’t realize there was a third man in the room until he stood beside her. Sarah backed away, but he grabbed her arm and held her in place. He squeezed the arm so tightly it hurt when she tried to wrench it away.

“Shut up.” He lifted her arm from her side to chest height and pushed his gun into her right palm. Strong, square, latex-gloved hands flanked hers, holding her fingers around the gun’s butt, pointing it toward Vince.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

HEROES OR HEROINES?



Inquiring minds want to know: for you authors—do you have an easier time writing your heroes or your heroines? For you readers—do you relate better to the heroes or the heroines in the romance books you read?

It’s been said that readers should want to be friends with the heroine and fall in love with the hero. I’ve got the falling in love with the hero part nailed down.

Writing the hero is much easier for me than writing the heroine. I fall in love with each of my heroes as I’m writing his story. I love getting into my guys’ heads. My men are always tortured in some way, yet they are vulnerable, and despite everything they’ve been through, they are willing to open their hearts to take a chance on love. And they aren’t afraid to fight for the women they love. Readers fall in love with my heroes too.

My heroines not so much.

I struggle to write heroines. I like them to be vulnerable also, and independent and strong. Women who can stand on their own and take care of themselves. But, according to a few reviewers/readers, my early heroines were a little too stubborn. One reader who reviewed my first published book disliked my heroine through most of the story because this reader felt the heroine took too long to appreciate the great guy who was head over heels for her. I’ve had some readers defend my heroes against perceived slights from the heroines.

My heroines have been hurt in the past and steel themselves against getting hurt again. Because of that they are a little wary of losing their hearts. And, yes, maybe a little stand-offish, at least at first, for some of them. On the other hand, I’ve written heroines who have been too mushy and googly-eyed toward the hero, according to my critique group. They have me make her resist the hero more. See what I mean about struggling to write the women?

I suspect my problem writing heroines is that each one has a little bit of me in her. I’m stubborn (to a fault my husband would say), and I don’t like anyone telling me what to do. Although these can be good traits for my heroines, I’ve had to learn to dig deeper into their minds to show their inner struggles so readers can understand them better, and to make them the kinds of women readers would have for friends.

Readers tend to like the heroines in my later books. But not as much as they love my heroes.

As a reader, I asked myself the same question as above. Who do I relate to better? Hero or heroine? Many times it depends on the book and the roles the characters play. But looking back, I like most heroes a tad better than the heroines in the books I read. Why? Is it just a woman thing, and we all fall in love with the heroes?

Here are a few of my heroes and why I love them.

Logan Tanner from Logan’s Redemption (Redemption Book 1). Logan was raised on the mean streets of Philadelphia. As a teen, he was forced to flee. Now he’s back, but his past still haunts him. He puts his life on the line to protect the woman he loves, the woman he’s always loved.

Franco Callahan from Franco’s Fortune (Redemption Book 2). Franco went from a spoiled child of privilege to a wealthy playboy. But Franco’s player façade hides deep wounds. It takes a spitfire of a woman, ex-military, to break down the wall around Franco’s heart.

Luke Corrado from Luke’s Temptation (Redemption Book 3). A hotshot FBI Agent who doesn’t always follow the rules, Luke carries his guilt like a loaded Glock. Because of him, a woman he’d loved was murdered. Now, on special assignment, he has a chance to redeem himself by saving the life of another woman, a woman who tempts him to love again.

Nick Radford, from Cursed Mates, former Duke of Radford, now a powerful werewolf. Nick is a tortured soul who’s lived for over 500 years. To save the world and the woman he loves, he’ll sacrifice his own life.







 Logan's Redemption (Redemption Book 1) is free for a limited time at Amazon, iBooks, BN, Kobo, and Smashwords.


All three books in The Redemption Series are in a boxed set for your reading convenience.



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