Friday, October 13, 2017

#Freebie #Friday #Excerpt Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd


Today's excerpt is from Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd, part of the Spooktacular Seductions Anthology.

We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


After one final dip under the surface, she brushed her long hair away from her cheeks and turned toward the shore. Several long-legged strides carried her over the smooth stones lining the creek bottom to the water’s edge. The trade of her goat’s milk lotions with the band of Tonkawa Indians for the sandals made from woven sisal leaves had proved advantageous. She grabbed the long sheet of toweling lying atop a nearby rock and brushed it over her slender limbs. Cooling air caressed her skin, pebbling its surface and invigorating her bloodstream.


From the velvet drawstring pouch she’d left nearby, she pulled a small handful of slender sage leaves and lightly crushed them in her hands. Using a circular motion, she rubbed the crumpled mass over her naked torso and arms, inhaling the spicy, earthy fragrance that cleansed her body and soothed her soul. With her face canted toward the pearly moon, she lifted both hands skyward and chanted:


“Sweet Goddess, sustain me health and well-bein’.


Holy Goddess, give me luck and grace where’er I go.


Powerful Goddess, let me welcome the spirits who are so close tonight.


Immaculate Goddess, provide me with yer wisdom when ‘tis needed.


Loving Goddess, aid me to be open and accepting to the purpose ye intend.


Crone Goddess, show me the path of me days yet to be lived.”


A thin cry warbled through the night air, and she jerked around toward her camp, scanning the brush and trees for any sign of wild animals. South Texas had its share of wildcats, javelinas, and coyotes, making a lone woman more vulnerable—even with the powers she possessed. She gave a low two-note whistle and waited until Clancy, her wolfhound, eased into sight from where he guarded the backtrail.


Pulling a cotton shift over her head, she darted her gaze into the underbrush and listened for rustlings that signaled an intruder lying in wait. She wrapped her loose-fitting skirt around her waist and secured it with a knot in the cloth tie. With practiced moves, she tied the leather strap that held her dagger to her right thigh, reassured she could easily reach it. Closing her eyes, she extended all her senses outward until the whirr of the cicadas and the brip-brip of the frogs on the bank of the creek assured her no danger lurked close by.


Hefting her hazel wood spirit stick, she stepped along the dusty trail and through the low mesquite bushes, the warm glow of the flickering campfire beckoning her.


Clancy lumbered ahead toward the fire, his long legs eating up the distance. He stopped, right paw suspended in mid-air. Lifting his head, he sniffed the air, and his stance grew rigid.


The cry sounded again, a plaintive warble rising into a panicked shriek.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Roane Publishing contracts Avery Woods and TRUST #NA #Romance

Roane Publishing is pleased to announce that we've contracted a new author, and we are privileged to be able to bring you a new adult romance novel, TRUST, by Avery Woods. The novel is slated for release in March 2018.

More information regarding the release, including the Cover Reveal and Release Blitz will be made available shortly. If you are a book blogger or reviewer interested in participating in the marketing events surrounding the release of TRUST, please take a moment to join our Blogger Reviewer team by visiting our website and completing the interest form.

~The Roane Publishing Team

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

NEW #SUBMISSIONS CALL! One Sultry Day #Contemporary #Sweet #Romance #Anthology

Roane Publishing is seeking submissions for our upcoming sweet romance anthology, ONE SULTRY DAY!

This will be the third in four planned anthologies to release in 2018 celebrating the seasons.


Theme:


Contemporary sweet romance with a summer theme. Summer is a time for sun, sand, and ocean, relaxing at a lakeside retreat, camping, or taking an RV across country. Bring us your sweet, summer-time themed romance stories. We are looking for anything from back to school friends to lovers tales, to budding romance. Anything that keeps to the summer theme is acceptable. At least ONE scene of the story needs to take place on a sultry summer day.


Submission Deadline: January 31, 2018

  • Must be a contemporary sweet romance based in some way on the prompt and include a HEA or HFN ending.
  • Stories must be at least 15k in length, but should be no more than 20k
  • Sweet romance ONLY, no erotic romance.
  • No fantasy or holiday themed stories please.
  • No reprints or sim subs.

Please email a brief query letter along with your completed, polished manuscript (double spaced, Times New Roman size 12, no TABS or spaces indenting paragraphs) to submissions@roanepublishing.com and put SUMMER_ANTHO in the SUBJECT LINE of your email.

Completed stories should be attached in TXT, RTF, DOC, or DOCX format ONLY and attached to your query email. All other attachment file types will be deleted unopened.


If you do not receive a reply by February 7th, please follow-up by email at editor@roanepublishing.com. Do not send your submissions to this address. They will be deleted unopened.

Head over to our SUBMISSIONS PAGE for a peek into our author contract.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Release: Emerald's Ring by Jaylee Austin #SedonaSeries #Fantasy #Romance


NOW AVAILABLE!


Emerald's Ring
Sedona Series #2
by Jaylee Austin
Release Date: October 9, 2017

Keywords: Fantasy, Romance, Time Travel,  Sidhe, Novel, Series

Harmonia Shae, a time traveler, faces a revengeful fallen sidhe queen set on enslaving humankind. A Sihir magician traps Harmonia’s freewill inside a talisman forcing her to submit to three summonses. 

On the brink of death, she finds an unwanted champion in Tristan Avery. Upon awakening, she is in his house. Frightened, she scrambles to escape his overbearing need to protect her. Time is short, she must find the ambassador of the gates and return to her cousin’s house to formulate a plan of action to undo the cataclysmic effects she is compelled to inflict on an unsuspecting city once she completes the queen’s commands.

The wild cowboy sidhe, Tristan Avery finds the dark haired beauty unconscious and poisoned with copper. Determined, to find out why she is here, he follows her every move. When a calamitous earthquake hits Sedona, he is sure she is connected to the mystifying vibrational energy storming through the ley lines of magick. As minder of the Kingdom of Sidhe, he becomes entangled in a battle to safeguard Sedona and defend the women he’s vowed to protect.

Harmonia and Tristan can’t stop the tempestuous hot relationship developing between them as they each hide their own secrets. Will these two overcome the obstacles and find love?


EXCERPT:

 “What do you want with me?” Harmonia asked, her heartbeat racing, nearly exploding with the effects of the drug.

“Revenge.”

Another jolt of excruciating pain surged through her brain. Her arms remained immobile, unable to move against the repressing force of the woman’s energy.

A fire djinn, of the Infrit tribe, came through the tunnel to her left. Harmonia recognized the sister of her father’s enemy, Vera.

“You recognize me,” she said, circling around Harmonia with a satisfied grin.

In the recess of the cave, Harmonia sensed a Sumerian Sahir. A sour taste of panic formed in her mouth. Her eyes darted around the room searching for the magician. As a child she had learned to avoid the Sahir, known for their deceit and evil deeds.

Vera materialized a dark magick stone of solomon, giving the flaming talisman to the sidhe woman. The stone crackled with electrical energy before turning an ashy black. “It’s time to initiate the plan,” Vera declared.

Harmonia trembled, realizing they meant to bind her to the talisman. Fingering the pendant around her neck, she concentrated on Oaf and her grandfather. Releasing the water assimilation shield protecting her body, she attempted to slip through the quantum particles of the time ribbon and into safety. For a split second, she thought she might succeed. The wind encircled the vibrating molecules of her body, forcing her to materialize and retreat against the wall. The sidhe’s wind magick left Harmonia gasping for breath. Without her shield, she was vulnerable to the wind’s power.

The sidhe stroked Harmonia’s dark hair. “Silky and beautiful. So perfect,” she said, pulling a few strands from her scalp.

Harmonia heaved a heavy breath and cleared her mind of the shock. She pushed against the wind, determined to gain an upper hand before it was too late. The elements of wind thwarted and overpowered her water magick. Her body weakened. Unable to fight against the poison racing through her veins, she collapsed breathlessly.

“If I’m to be your servant, who is my master?” Harmonia asked, speaking through her teeth with forced restraint.

The female’s silver lips curved into a wicked grin. “Soon, you and all in the kingdom will remember the days of the unseelie reign.”

“Your clan.” With a resurgence of strength, Harmonia pulled the water particles from the wind and deflated its strength, giving her enough time to open the time ribbon.

“Stop her,” Vera hissed to the sahir. He shot an arrow into the ripple of energy causing her body to crumble to the ground, preventing her escape.

The sahir pulled his arrow from her shoulder. “Try it again and the next arrow will puncture your heart.”

Determined to keep her dignity, she stood. “How can I be of service to one so experienced in the world of sidhe magick as you? Your skills far superior to my own.”

“Aw, you desire a game of wits. The binding requires you have the opportunity.”



~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!!


A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Roane Publishing Contracts Deborah Garland and MUST HAVE FAITH #Contemporary #Romance

Roane Publishing is pleased to announce that we have contracted MUST HAVE FAITH by Deborah Garland. This is the second novel in her Darling Cove Series and is slated for release in June 2018.

More information regarding the release, including the Cover Reveal and Release Blitz will be made available shortly.

If you are a book blogger or reviewer interested in participating in the marketing events surrounding the release of MUST LOVE FASION, please take a moment to join our Blogger Reviewer team by visiting our website (www.RoanePublishing.com) and completing the interest form.

~The Roane Publishing Team

Friday, September 29, 2017

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from POISONOUS WHISPERS by Jana Begovic #Paranormal #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Poisonous Whispers by Jana Begovic.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~

A tiny streak of pale light is cascading softly down the cell window and making a shy sliver in the veil of darkness. I open my eyes, disoriented. I do not move; I do not even dare blink until I get my bearings. Then I remember and freeze in horror. I sit up, an aching all over my body and cold dread in my heart. Instinctively, I try to disentangle my matted hair with my fingers, but it is hopeless. All around me, I smell mold, decay and death. How can I survive another day in this hole? The sound of the door opening with a screech makes me jump in terror.
The gaoler walks in; a heavy set of keys dangling and jingling in his hand.
“Come. You are being moved in preparation for tonight’s execution. A verdict was reached.”
I speak not but follow him. We climb a steep staircase. Below us, I hear moans and yells and what sounds like the death throes of those hopelessly lost to the world and forgotten by justice, compassion and mercy. Again, I am feeling dissociated from the event of my calamity; I see my body walking, but my soul is not in it and indifference over what might happen floods me. Death is not the end. Death offers me salvation from pain, from the torment of living a human life.
We leave the jailhouse and enter the house across the street to the village inn. The inn owner, James Bourke, looks at me with hatred and disdain. He also always hated my husband because his wife had hoped my husband would marry her. She was in love with him, and when he married me she tried to kill herself. James married her later, but has always known that she never stopped loving my husband.

The gaoler takes me upstairs to one of the guest rooms and locks the door behind me. The room is wide and clean even though sparsely furnished. The bed is large and looks inviting and I realize how exhausted I am. On the bed is a white, thin chemise and I immediately understand this is what I will wear tonight when I am pushed off the bridge into the water that is cool even on the hottest of summer days. Will I have the strength or the will to swim and save myself? What surprises and almost delights me under such grave circumstances is a bathtub in the corner of the room. There is steam rising from it and I immediately undress and slip into it, relieved to be able to wash off the dirt, the grime, and above all the horrible stench on my body. I rub myself raw trying to clean my skin. Washing my hair is more difficult because at home I have servants who help me with bathing, dressing and undressing. I have been spoilt by marrying a man of wealth and power. Where is my husband now? I crave his protection. If he saved me now, would I give up Kieran, would I give up love in order to live? I surmise I would.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cover Reveal: One Snowy Night a #Sweet #Romance #Anthology from @RoanePublishing


One Snowy Night
A Sweet Romance Anthology 
By Various Authors
Release Date: Jan 8, 2018


All the Things I Should Have Told You
by T.E. Hodden

One snowy night, in an Accident and Emergency ward, a life hangs in the balance, and your best friend is going to tell you everything you don't know about him, about your life, and what you both might be about to lose.


Unforeseen Circumstances
by Melissa J. Crispin

Marlene Martin wants to start over, to escape the sad past she can’t seem to leave behind. Between her marriage falling apart and her brother passing away, she has no reason left to stay in Mistport, New York. Her pending move across the country is exactly what she needs—or so she thinks.

Brady Miller doesn’t want to love Marlene, not after their agonizing divorce. His constant travel for work keeps his mind off of where they went wrong. But when he moves back to his small hometown to help with his brother’s business, seeing her again awakens the feelings he had long pushed aside. Each time they bump into each other, his interest in her only deepens.

When Marlene wakes up in the hospital after a terrible accident, she turns to the first person who enters her mind: Brady. Her world is shattered when he reveals that they’re divorced and her brother is gone. Brady helps her sort through the pain of memories she’s forgotten while he tries to avoid complicating her life even further.

Is Marlene’s memory loss a second chance for their love, or will history repeat itself?


Somewhere Between Falling
by Laurie Treacy

Recent college graduate Danielle Haviland had her future planned as a bride, band PR manager, and world traveler. Her dreams are ruined when her fiancée dumps her. On top of her heartbreak, Dani’s demanding mother issues an ultimatum: choose a viable life plan by the New Year, or assume a position picked out for her in the family real estate business. Dani runs away to the beloved town of her childhood summers to heal, refocus, and decide her future.

Still reeling from a family tragedy, Quinn Martin has been hoping for a second chance at happiness. His old friend Dani’s return might provide the opportunity he needs. When he offers Dani a job, the two grow closer and see that time hasn’t diminished their bond. Their chemistry sparks and broken hearts begin to heal. Will the plotting of a devious ex separate the couple before they can explore the relationship both desperately crave?

Somewhere between falling snowflakes, a chance kiss on a city sidewalk might offer childhood friends a new beginning. 


One Snowy Day
by Charlotte Snead

When tragedy strikes again, Aunt Evvie once more steps to the rescue. Her sister attempts to poison her daughter even after her own suicide, leaving behind chocolates tainted with arsenic in her daughter's drawer and urging her to eat them in a note. Calling Molly's beloved aunt for help, Phillip sees her convince her niece that she is both good and lovable. Evvie surrenders her job to stay home with Molly and in in the process comes to realize her brother-in-law no longer feels like a brother. Phillip convinces Evvie to enter into a psudo-marriage to provide stability for the hurting child. After rejection and betrayal, can Phillip trust romance again? Can the Evvie, the plain, older sister, compete with her beauty-queen sister? 




One Snowy Night release blitz is now scheduling! 

If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image above or fill out the form.



Friday, September 22, 2017

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from SECOND CHANCE by Suzi MacDonald #Contemporary #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Second Chance by Suzi MacDonald.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~

“So did you do it?” Deb handed me a cup of tea. Weak with lots of sugar, just the way I liked it.
“No,” I moaned. I lifted the tea to my lips and took a cautious sip. She always made it too hot. My hangover was kicking in now that I had time to think about it and with it came a flood of recollection that made me squirm.
“But we came close. If Jake and Marcie hadn’t come back when they did…” My whole body flushed just thinking about it.
Deb rolled her eyes. She hitched herself up on to the stool next to me at the breakfast bar and waited for more. It was a beautiful morning and the sun from the kitchen window turned her naturally blonde hair to gold. Her blue eyes sparkled with amusement but there was a hint of sympathy, too.
“It was Teige. He looked so good. And he looked at me as if we were still seventeen. He called me Zani and I wanted to be her again, Deb. The way I used to be. Not plain old Allie Brown.”
“But Allie Brown is who you are,” she pointed out. “Thirty-eight-year-old mother of twins and respectable member of the PTA.”
“And deserted wife,” I added.
She looked at me as if I might break. She knew that’s why I was here. Because I had been broken for a while. But now I felt…better. The word came to me like a revelation.
“He made me feel young again, Deb! He doesn’t know any of the bad stuff. He thinks I’m just the same.”
“But you aren’t,” she pointed out again.
“I could be. I could still be Zani. I certainly was last night… Remember how I used to be, Deb? Before Jon and all the married stuff? When I was with Teige last night I felt wild. Really. And it felt good.”
She put down her mug and looked at me with a mixture of fondness and exasperation. “Maybe you need to get it out of your system.”
“What do you mean?”
She shrugged. “It happens. Women who come out of long term relationships can go a bit, well, wild. So maybe you should date Teige for a while and just enjoy yourself. He can be your rebound guy. No commitment required.”
I turned this over in my mind. “Is that what you think I’m doing? Rebounding?”
“Bound to be. But if Teige’s as hot as you say he is…” she smiled. “It’s one in the eye for Jon, right?”
“R-i-ght…” I said.
“And look at you,” Deb continued. “You’ve lost so much weight–you look amazing!”
Not hard to do when your heartbroken stomach refuses to keep anything down.
Deb leaned in and her eyebrows lifted meaningfully. “Just as Manda’s starting to pile it on, no?”
Slowly realization dawned. “You think I should go out with Teige to make Jon…jealous?”
“Wouldn’t hurt,” she said with a grin that bordered on malicious. “Just to remind him what he’s given up.”
I must have looked dubious because she went on, “You did say you wanted him back.”
“That was weeks ago,” I muttered.
She shook her head. “Think last week. The day you got here. We finished that bottle of wine and you said–”
“I said I wished nothing had changed.”
“Same thing.”
My hungover mind refused to deal in subtleties and I just shook my head. Carefully.
She shrugged and took a long sip of her tea. “So, have you arranged to see him again?”


Thursday, September 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Roane Publishing contracts G.P. Gadbois and TRUST ME, the 2nd in her A Moment in Time series #Romance

Roane Publishing is pleased to announce that we have contracted TRUST ME by G.P. Gadbois. This is the second installment in her A Moment in Time series and is slated for release in March 2018.

More information regarding the release, including the Cover Reveal and Release Blitz will be made available shortly.

If you are a book blogger or reviewer interested in participating in the marketing events surrounding the release of TRUST ME, please take a moment to join our Blogger Reviewer team by visiting our website (www.RoanePublishing.com) and completing the interest form.

~The Roane Publishing Team

Friday, September 15, 2017

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from AMIDST STRAWBERRY FIELDS by Nemma Wollenfang #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Strawberry Fields by Nemma Wollenfang, part of the Love Under the Harvest Moon anthology.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~

         The sleek Ferrari convertible pulled into the parking lot in a streak of glistening red. Roof down, engine purring. Driver and passengers were perfect matches for such a sublime vehicle: all with stylish sunglasses and windblown hair. Those boys rocked the red and black school blazer.
“I envy you, Beth. I really do.” Kate sighed as they watched. “Seeing that lot, shirtless, harvesting the fields for you all day, phew.” She fanned herself. “You’re spoilt rotten, girl.”
“They don’t do it for me,” Beth objected. “They just like to help the community.”
Kate released a very unladylike snort. “P-lease. Dane does it for you, at the very least.”
Ignoring her, Beth watched as the car slotted into a space, stirring up a flutter of leaves.
First day back to school and already they were falling. The ground was decorated with a patchwork of red, bronze, yellow and gold. Autumn had set in, well and truly.
Which meant only one thing here in their small town – the final harvest was due in.
Usually the football team did it for her farm. And this year was no different. The team of harvesters were due to start this week, once the games were done (they never made it to the finals). And most often they went shirtless. Hence Kate’s pre-emptive drooling.
“They haven’t got their shirts off yet, Kate. So lift your jaw off the floor,” Beth muttered as the boys disembarked – hoping to avoid any more quips. As much as she cared for her friend, more often than not she could wither up from embarrassment around her.
The boys jogged past, with smiles and hands raised in greeting. Only the driver hung back to lock-up. Beth knew the instant he spotted her. A movie-star grin spread over his face, highlighting his dimples as he hefted his bag over one broad shoulder and headed their way.
“I’ll leave you and lover-boy alone,” Kate cooed, before slinking away.
Beth tried to quell the blazing of her cheeks.
Dane Spencer III. With brilliant blue eyes, curling blond hair and prince-charming good looks. He was the epitome of boyfriends, the kind all others should be modelled on. At least, according to Kate.  And to top it all he had the sweetest nature. Despite being built like a bear, he was much closer to the teddy end of the spectrum than the grizzly.
“There’s my girl,” he whooped when he was close enough, and dropping his bag he swooped Beth up into a rib-crushing hug, spinning her around until she burst out laughing.
“Someone’s in a good mood today,” she said, a little breathless as he set her down.
“I got a good feeling about this year!”
That was the thing with Dane, he was a perpetual source of cheer. That’s why he was so easy to get along with. For a long time he’d teetered on the edge of being a sort-of boyfriend. Since childhood they’d been close and eventually people had just assumed. And after a time, well, they’d just fallen into the mold. At seventeen now they’d been ‘dating’ for three years.
Last month they’d been named ‘couple most likely to succeed’.
Kate translated that to: couple most likely to get hitched straight out of high school and pop out two-point-five kids while said husband struggled with the nine-till-five and the little wifey learned to bake. Beth had baulked at that idea, more than Kate had expected her to. She didn’t want to get tied down. She had plans for her future. Big, non-housewife related plans.
Economics and Management.
“Looking good,” Dane said, interrupting her reverie.
He was eyeing her head to toe, from her lightly curled honey-gold hair, half-held back by a burgundy ribbon, to her tight white shirt, red-black blazer, mid-thigh skirt and soft suede boots. Minimal jewelry. First-day-back outfits were essential amongst their crowd, and even if they could only work with the uniforms they had, they could work with them well.
“Thank you. You too.”

Her answer came too slow; he could tell her mind was elsewhere, she could see it in his eyes. Don’t ask what I’m thinking, don’t ask what I’m thinking… She hated to lie to him.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Roane Publishing contracts Gail Ward Olmsted and SECOND GUESSING #Romance

Roane Publishing is pleased to announce that we've contracted a new author, and we are privileged to be able to bring you a new contemporary romance novel, SECOND GUESSING, by Gail Ward Olmsted. The novel is slated for release in February 2018.

More information regarding the release, including the Cover Reveal and Release Blitz will be made available shortly. If you are a book blogger or reviewer interested in participating in the marketing events surrounding the release of SECOND GUESSING, please take a moment to join our Blogger Reviewer team by visiting our website and completing the interest form.

~The Roane Publishing Team

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cover Reveal: It's Complicated by Joyce Holmes #Romance


It's Complicated 
Contemporary Romance
by Joyce M. Holmes
Release date: December 4, 2017

He wants a real relationship, she's afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.

Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she'd had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.

Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.

It’s complicated, but is it impossible?


It's Complicated release blitz is now scheduling! If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image above or fill out the form.


Friday, September 8, 2017

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from CAUGHT BETWEEN WORLDS #Paranoromal #Ghosts


Today's excerpt is from Caught Between Worlds by G.P. Gadbois.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~

Gabrielle struggled to open her lids, a sign it wasn’t time to get up but the creaking annoyed her. A bright yellow wall? Aw, I’m at Carla’s Bed and Breakfast. Who dared wake me?
Gabrielle turned. Suzanne lay beside her. In front of the window, the rocking chair moved back and forth. She shut her eyes and counted to ten. Opened one eye, and closed it. Hallucinations! First the camera, then the mirror, now a rocking chair. What is going on? This is not normal. Think! She took another look. Can’t be an earthquake, the bed would be vibrating too. The house is haunted? It is cold in here. Every hair on her arms stood at attention. She pulled the blankets over her head.
Suzanne needs to see this. She touched her friend’s arm and whispered. “Suzanne?”
Grumpy as a bear, Suzanne growled. “What?”
“Don’t make any sudden moves. I want you to look at the rocking chair in front of the window, and tell me what you see.”
“Huh?”
“Look at the rocking chair.”
“Whoopee, it’s rocking. You woke me for this? Stop fooling around and go back to bed.”
“Jeez, fine, go back to sleep. See if I care if we’re slaughtered. You’ll be first – you’re closest.” Gabrielle hid under the covers for safety and warmth. What do I do now? God, please make this quick and painless – I hate pain. Make sure you tell Mom & Dad I love them, and you mind as well notify my brother too.
“Hey, chicken you can come out. It’s stopped now.”
Gabrielle peeked – all still.
“I figured the floor is probably uneven. At my grandmother’s place, when a heavy vehicle drives by, the house shakes; it’s not unusual.”
“Huh! As usual you come up with a sensible answer.”
Suzanne faced her, frowning. “What did you think?”
She’s going to have a field day with this. “The house is haunted, or I’m going nuts,” Gabrielle whimpered.
“I’ve suspected you were nuts for years” She sat up. “We might as well get up. Let’s go see if Wendy and Jules are up.”
Suzanne knocked on their friends’ door, turned the knob and walked in without waiting for an invitation.
Gabrielle followed. “Good morning ladies. Did you sleep well?”
“Gabby?” Wendy glanced at her watch and moved it to her ear. “Not long enough. We watched a scary movie; a real gory one. You know the type—frightens you so much you’re afraid to close your eyes.”
“Well, I slept like a baby. Push over.” Gabrielle joined the girls on the bed.
Wendy moved. “Gabby, we want to hear about that ‘heated conversation’ you had with Rick. Did it have anything to do with sex?”
“Sex? Not at all. No! Does everybody know about this?”
“It’s a hot topic.” Julie sat up. “So what happened?”
Gabrielle repeated the story.
“That’s it?” Julie’s tone suggested disappointment. “You know you could’ve had some wine when Jack offered.”
“I know, I didn’t really care anyway, and I didn’t want to cause a feud.”
“Yeah, but it might have help you relax. You should have seen the look on your face when he pulled you to the love seat. It was priceless.” Julie wiggled on the bed, making the girls bounce.
Wendy wrapped an arm around Gabrielle. “So if the opportunity arises will you enjoy more than just the scenery?”

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Guest Post: I Need a Hero! by Deborah Garland #WritersLife

I Need a Hero!

By Deborah Garland

Women romance authors must tackle the daunting task of writing from the hero’s point of view (POV)…usually.  It’s daunting because we want to make our heroes do and say all the things we (as women) want them to, but there has to be a modicum of reality. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and bring to the story an emotional backstory that has shaped him.

Okay…shapes and sizes are fairly consistent. They are all tall and beautiful…usually. At a group pitch, another writer in my chapter meeting described her hero as having one eye and a limp. I expected the editor to cringe. No! She threw her head back and said, “I love damaged heroes.” I’d read that in her bio. I just didn’t think she meant literally.

While most heroes are swoon-worthy on the outside, it’s the inside that writers get to play with. Some heroes are alpha, very strong, controlling, bossy and dominant. Some are the nice-guys, meant to be the antithesis of a jerk the heroine has either ran away from or is being persued by. And it seems like they are all ready to slip into the friend-zone until the heroine realizes ‘love was here all along’.

Through dialogue, we as authors get to ‘show’ readers what the heroes are thinking. Usually. But in some cases, all the reader gets is the heroine’s side of the story. In Fifty Shades of Gray, the story is told completely from the POV of Anastasia. The reader only knows Christian through her eyes and thoughts. The same goes for Twilight. Everything readers know and love (if that was the case) about Edward Cullen was all through Bella. And when she had a chance to slip into another POV in Breaking Dawn, it was through Jacob. Yet, both Christian Gray and Edward Cullen were very compelling characters. Wouldn’t it have been amazing to know exactly what was going on inside their heads at times, though?

Most romance novels today offer what is called the ‘dual-POV’. Getting back to the opening sentence… because a hero’s thoughts and feelings, not just their words are so present in romance novels, it’s important to get these things right. Or in some cases, their story straight. You can’t have your hero say one thing and think something completely different (unless he is trying to be duplicitous- and if that’s the case, the author needs to make that clear). Otherwise the reader ends up being confused.

As a new author finding my own voice and style, I rely heavily on feedback from both other authors and beta readers. For my first novel (Must Love Fashion, released August 7th), I’d sent what I thought was the final draft to a critique partner. Among her many comments was that I had made her pretty much hate the hero. Yikes! I’d failed to show the reader what was going on inside his head. I knew… I just didn’t tell anyone. The first commandment of show don’t’ tell, always creeps into my head when writing. But that shouldn’t be taken as gospel. You can’t “show” introspection. Trust me I tried.

When the second Darling Cove book, Must Have Faith was sent for a critique, I kept getting, “What’s he thinking right now?” Again, I was holding back. There are only so many external actions that can show emotion. So in revising Must Have Faith, I let loose. The hero, definitely alpha was wounded years ago by the heroine. He wants her back, but is cautious. And in a pivotal scene where she must confess something terrible to him, I had to get inside his head and get tangled up in what must have been a firestorm of thoughts. And then I just started spitting them out on the page.

What I’d also learned is that an easy way to distinguish the ‘voice’ of your hero from your heroine is that most men think in short bursts. They talk that way too. Men don’t think…they act. They talk, they move, they stomp and they curse inwardly…a lot. Just read a romance novel 😊

But romances by design are meant to be a little illusory and appeal to hidden fantasies. And it’s great that the genre is do diverse that there are all kinds of heroes…bad-asses, bodyguards, bodice-rippers, boy-next-door, boy-with-toys…okay you get the idea.

Now go fall in love with a hero!

~~~oOo~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and when she’s not writing, she’s either in the gym, or reading, cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.
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