Kate Avery Ellison | The Life Cycle of a YA Thriller

I didn’t start gobbling up thrillers until after my son was born and I needed books that would keep my attention through the fog of sleepiness and hormones. I fell in love with the genre, and wanted to write a psychological thriller myself.

I already liked to put some kind of thrilling suspense in all my books. (In my series The Frost Chronicles, the frozen world is populated with unseen monsters that only come out under the cover of darkness. In my fantasy novel A Gift of Poison, robed mind-readers called Seekers stalk my main character through a wilderness because of her gift of controlling dragons.) But I wanted to write a straight thriller.

Here’s my process from idea to finished novel.

Step one – come up with a premise or scene that grabs you. For me, that scene ended up being when the main character, Victoria, is kidnapped from her parents’ cabin. Writing the scene made my heart pound.

Step two – figure out a twist, or three. To me, this is essential for a good thriller. I figured out the twist at the end of my book while driving, and I had to hold my idea in my head until I could get somewhere to write it down.

Step three – work backwards from the twist, unraveling the secrets and motivation of the characters. For me, this step involves eating lots of chocolate donuts, and taking lots of long walks to ponder things.

Step four – plow through the first draft. My experience drafting a thriller was different than that of writing fantasy. When I write, I always try to put myself in the place of the reader in order to tell the story. As a reader, I love racing along through a thriller, wondering what happens next and flipping the pages as fast as I can read them. As an author writing All Her Secrets, I knew all the secrets, and I had to come up with tricks to keep myself in the mindset of a reader who didn’t know the twists and reveals.

Step five – send the finished book to editors and beta readers. Enjoy the speculation in their notes. Make changes based on their feedback, and return the book for more edits. Rise and repeat.

Step six – proofread and polish. By this step, I’m both deeply proud of and also sick of my book. I’m ready for it to be out in the world.

Step seven – release! Now the book belongs it its readers and I can breathe with relief that another story is out of my head and onto the page.

I’m ecstatic to have contributed to the genre I love so much.

ALL HER SECRETS by Kate Avery Ellison

All Her Secrets

Nothing is as it seems in this psychological YA thriller sure to appeal to fans of The Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive, and We Were Liars.

A GIRL WITH SECRETS
Victoria Faraday was attacked in broad daylight four years ago by her would-be killer. She survived her stabbing, but she hasn’t been able to move on from what happened. Why did a complete stranger try to kill her?

The same weekend that Victoria stumbles across a piece of life-altering information that could explain everything, she’s kidnapped from her family’s mountain mansion and taken to an unknown location deep in the wilderness.
A GUY FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS

Sam is just a poor kid from Toivo, a failed utopian city, but he knows who Victoria is as soon as his cousin Craig drags her from the trees. He doesn’t want anything to do with what appears to be a revenge kidnapping, but Craig has a gun and needs someone to take the fall if things go wrong.

A DESPERATE PLAN TO SURVIVE

Putting aside mistrust for tentative friendship, Victoria and Sam conspire to escape together, and forced teamwork ignites a startling attraction between them. With a plan in place to escape, freedom seems within reach. But unrevealed secrets from Victoria’s past are coming back to haunt her.

ALL HER SECRETS is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Young Adult Suspense [Author Self-Published, On Sale: October 18, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781537521343 / eISBN: 9780998103907]

About Kate Avery Ellison

Kate Avery Ellison

Kate Avery Ellison decided she wanted to be an author when she was five years old, and with hard work, determination, and the support of loved ones along the way, her dreams of telling stories for a living came true in 2011 with her first novel, The Curse Girl, and continued with her Amazon bestselling series The Frost Chronicles and numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. She loves putting a dash of mystery in everything she writes, an ode to her childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes, and she can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever she can.

Kate wishes she could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, she makes her home in humid Atlanta with her husband, son, and two spoiled cats. When she isn’t dreaming up her next novel or holed up writing it down, Kate can be found binging her favorite shows on Netflix, reading on her Kindle, building intricate train track configurations with her toddler, and playing board games with her husband and friends.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | Amazon author profile

Nina Croft | Deleted Scenes from FLYING THROUGH FIRE

In FLYING THROUGH FIRE, book 6 in my Dark Desires series, we have the whole cast of the series appearing at some point or other. I thought it would be nice to get inside a few of their heads, see how they were doing, what they were thinking…

However, my editor believed that these scenes detracted from the two main characters and were a little jarring, and so the scenes were removed. This one was from Saffira’s (the heroine of book 4, TEMPORAL SHIFT) point of view.

The door slid shut behind her. Saffira leaned against the wall of the corridor and tried to slow her breathing. Sweat pricked her forehead, heat from the vision.

Thorne had burned because of her. She’d been powerless to help him, to save him.

It’s not real.

Not all her visions came true. Maybe this was a warning of what might be.

And she’d already lost Thorne. He’d closed himself off. He’d given ten thousand years to his people. Now they were dead. Perhaps he was right, and that meant he was free. They were both free.

She pushed herself up, hating the weakness that made her stumble. The visions drained her strength, but she had to sort herself out before she saw Devlin or he would want to know what was up, and what could she say?

In the back of her mind, deep down, she’d always known it would come to this.

She shook the thought aside, not wanting to think about what was to come. She’d always been afraid of burning; had the flames already consumed her in some forgotten vision?

Thorne had been right; she hadn’t thought of anyone but herself and Devlin in the past year. She’d been totally immersed in their love. It had been a magical time, and she’d believed she deserved it. She’d saved the goddamn human race. Sort of. And besides, she would have visited later; she was supposed to have had fucking eternity.

Time enough for everything.

Now time was running out.

The strength was coming back to her limbs. Good, because she was going to need all that strength. She headed to the nearest transporter bubble.

“Bridge,” she murmured. The ships mind control systems were still offline. Wouldn’t be brought back up until Thorne was away.

He’d been like a father to her, but that was over. She’d broken the first ties when she had lied to him, betrayed him. He’d said he understood, but she’d known that underneath he’d harbored resentment. The remaining ties had snapped when she had abandoned Espera and her people.

How hard would it have been to visit?

Guilt gnawed at her insides.

She’d always had a selfish streak.

The transporter bubble opened onto the bridge. It was empty but for Fergal sitting at the console.

“Hi,” she said.

He glanced up. “Hey, there. I’m just tweaking the program and keeping an eye on our incoming.”

“Are they still heading this way.”

“Yeah. On a direct course. There’s also a third, seems to be following but farther behind. It’s these two you’re going to have to avoid.”

She leaned closer. “Can I see?”

“Sure.” Fergal flicked on the monitor and the screen filled up with an image of the two dragons flying through space. In a way, they were beautiful, fierce and powerful, and they called to something deep inside her. But then she was part dragon. It had been in her blood from birth, and she had strengthened the connection when she had made the change. Probably more so than anyone alive.

She took a mental note of the coordinates flashing on the screen. They were still four hours out. Plenty of time. Or no time at all when compared to eternity.

“Thanks,” she said. “I’ll go check if Devlin has Thorne’s shuttle ready.”

This time she didn’t take the transporter bubble but walked to the docking bay. She needed time to think this through. Sort out what she needed in her head, and the best way to achieve it.

And put off seeing Devlin for the last time.

She didn’t know if she was strong enough, but she had to be.

Her steps slowed as she drew close, and she cleared her mind. She needed to keep the truth locked down in that lower level where they only went in the most intimate moments when their minds became as one.

As she entered the docking bay, he was coming down the ramp from the shuttle he was readying. Her heart still gave a little jump each time she saw him. He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen, with his tall, lean figure and his black and gold hair. The scar running down his cheek adding to the attraction. When he caught sight of her, his lips curved up in a smile, and as she came to a halt in front of him, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard.

For a second she relaxed against him, gave herself over to the kiss, emptied herself of everything but the taste and feel of him. Finally, she pulled away.

“How did it go with Thorne?” Devlin asked.

She screwed up her face. “Not good. He’s determined to go, and won’t let me in. Said I should leave, that I’m endangering everyone by hanging around.”

He leaned across and kissed her forehead. “We’ll be out of here as soon as he’s on his way.”

She licked her lips. “I think I might have one more go. I’ll call him, tell him the shuttle’s ready, and try and convince him one more time.”

“Well, you know him better than anyone else. Go for it. Rico seems to think he’s our one hope. You want me to stick around?”

“No, I think I’ll have a better chance alone.”

“Okay. I’m going to get some food. Is there anything I can get you?”

“Ice cream?”

He grinned. “Of course,” he said and strode away.

At the last moment, she had to touch him one more time. She raced down the ramp and he turned at the bottom. She ran into his arms, hugged him tight.

“Hey, are you okay?”

“No. Not really.” She forced a smile. “It will take time, but I will be.”

He kissed the top of her head. “Go call Thorne. I’ll feel better once we’re away from here and on the move.”

“I will.” This time she held her feet in place as he disappeared into the transporter bubble.

She worked quickly, tapping into the systems manually. She knew the Blood Hunter better than anyone. Better even than Devlin. After all, she had five hundred years on Earth to study the plans.

When she was sure she had done everything she could to buy herself enough time, she wiped the ship’s memory and headed to the shuttle Devlin had prepared for Thorne.

She purposefully didn’t think as she sat in the pilot’s seat and switched on the engines. The shuttle lifted, hovered, then the docking bay doors opened and she was heading out into open space. Tears pricked at her eyes as she left the Blood Hunter behind. She watched the rear screens, saw the docking bay doors close and then the explosion that would seal the doors and give her enough time to do what she needed to do.

Two minutes out, she sensed him in her mind.

“Don’t go.”

“I have to. I love you, but I have to do this.”

“Why?” The question was tortured.

“I’m the only one who can end this. I started it, and I need to finish it. I should have died a year ago. We’ve had that year and it’s been the best time ever.”

“You promised me eternity. How am I expected to go on without you?”

“You’ll find a way.”

“I’m coming after you.”

“You can’t. I’ve seen to that.”

She raised the wall in her mind and shut him out forever.

FLYING THROUGH FIRE by Nina Croft

Dark Desires #6

Flying Through Fire

Winged monsters have been seen in the skies, and a pestilence follows in their wake, threatening the very survival of mankind. Only the crew of the Blood Hunter knows where they come from, and only one man has the power to send them back—Thorne, a human/dragon hybrid in possession of mental powers beyond comprehension.

Candace Decker doesn’t need anyone to look after her—she’s a badass werewolf more than capable of protecting herself and those she loves. All the same, she’s always been drawn to Thorne’s strength. In an uncertain world, he’s the one man who makes her feel safe. And what Candy wants, she usually gets.

But while Candy is tenacious, Thorne’s willpower has been honed over ten thousand years. He might want her, but the last thing he needs is an infatuation with a young, impetuous werewolf. Candy makes him lose control, and that could have disastrous consequences.

As the threat escalates and they become separated by time and space, Candy must find a way back to him, because while Thorne alone has the power to defeat the dragons, only together can they finally bring peace to the universe.

Romance Paranormal [Entangled Select Otherworld, On Sale: November 7, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757769 / eISBN: 9781633757769]

 

DiAnn Mills | Wacky Ways to Windup Your Creativity

We’ve all been there. Deadlines are looming for our blog or our novels. A tingling in the pit of your stomach borders on nausea. We settle into our favorite chair and turn on our computer. Pull up our WIP. Position our fingers on the keyboard. And nothing.

We read the pages we wrote the day before.

We dive into our favorite source of caffeine.

We read the blogs on how to get past writer’s block.

One writer jogs three miles.

Another pulls weeds.

Read a few excerpts from a bestseller.

Watch a movie.

For some writers those ideas might not work. A twinge of fear sets it, and you search frantically for words that are chained deep inside your mind.

The time has come to look deeper and discover your own ways to spark your creativity. Take a look at seven out-of-the-box ways to break out of writer’s block.

  1. Play with kids under the age of six. These little people have imaginations that soar into places we adults are afraid to go. A boy crouches on the sofa in the Spider Man position. A girl closes her eyes and sings from the movie Pose a story line and let them finish it.
  2. Jump into the pool—with goggles. Look at the world beneath the water. What do you see? What do you feel? How can your writing take an unusual dip?
  3. Study the world of a hummingbird by spending time around a feeder. Who’s in control? What makes you laugh? Picture yourself miniature size and climb on board a hummingbird. Which one would you choose?
  4. Clean your garage. When I do this, I find things I’ve lost and things I wish I hadn’t found. Put your character beside you. How does his/her discoveries enhance the storyline?
  5. View a cooking show where competition and a time limit means high stakes. Study the cooks’ emotions. What are the successes and failures? Where does their conflict take your character?
  6. Plan a vacation, the one that’s at the top of your bucket list. Create a budget, research flight availability, consult the climate and weather, and decide who will accompany you. What about your character, can he/she use this information? How would their itinerary be different?
  7. Visit a zoo. Take your time to study birds, animals, and reptiles. Their habits and peculiarities can force the writer to take an unusual approach to story.

Maybe some of these wacky ways to shake off the chains of writer’s block will appeal to you. Take a huge breath, try something new, and watch your fingers race over the keyboard with the next great American novel.

How do you wind up your creativity?

About DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills

Expect an Adventure

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Call of Duty | FBI: Houston | FBI Task Force

WEBSITE | PINTEREST | GOOGLEPLUS | GOODREADS | YOUTUBE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

DEADLY ENCOUNTER by DiAnn Mills

FBI Task Force #1

Deadly Encounter

Airport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a brutal homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed with a laser capable of taking down a 747.

Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut case of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart veterinarians like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the first in a string of incidences that throw her life into a tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As a health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the task force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.

Romance Suspense | Inspirational Mystery [Tyndale House, On Sale: August 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496410979 / eISBN: 9781496414427]

A thrilling new series from a master storyteller!

Terri Reed | Childhood Holiday Memories

This time of year always reminds me of my childhood hometown. I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the city of Sonora, California, the county seat of Tuolumne. A beautiful place with tree covered hills all around, lakes and rivers for fishing and swimming within a short drive. There are hiking trails through towering pines and camping sites beneath starry skies. Brick buildings amid a park like setting downtown with cute shops and quaint restaurants. Parts of the Back to the Future movies and Little House on the Prairie television show were filmed in our county. I remember once nearly running into Michael Landon walking down the sidewalk.

Sonora resides in the ‘heart of gold country’ and is also known as the ‘Queen of the Southern Mines’, named after the miners of Sonora Mexico who settled in the area in mid-1800’s. The success of California’s “Mother Lode” can still be seen today, as Sonora remains the center of commerce for the region. There’s even a replica gold rush town, Columbia, on the outskirts of the city, complete with wooden sidewalks, gold panning and stagecoach rides. Columbia was one of my favorite places to hangout when I was teen. There’s a live theatre at one end of the town that would put on wonderful plays. My friends and I volunteered to be ushers for many years. I have fond memories of growing up there but I don’t miss the summer heat or the rattlesnakes.

My family arrived in Sonora during the depression. My grandparents came from Missouri to open a Safeway store that is still there today. My grandfather left Safeway to open his own grocery store in nearby Twain Harte and then later opened a laundry mat in downtown Sonora before retiring. When I was three, my parents divorced and my mom and I moved in with my grandparents. They had a big house with a large lot where my grandfather tended a garden that produced fresh vegetables and fruits. There’s nothing better than food straight from the earth. I miss those days with my grandparents.

Every fall, after harvesting the persimmons off the trees in their yard, my grandmother would prepare the fruit into a pulp that she then froze. As a child, I can remember the excitement I felt when I saw her pull out the bag of pulp from the freezer at Christmas Time. There’s nothing better than a warm Persimmon cookie and homemade vanilla ice cream while opening presents on Christmas Day.

Here’s my Grandmother Vida Westfall’s recipe for Persimmon Cookies:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup persimmon pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Mix in order given. Drop rounded teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15mins.

You can buy Persimmons at the grocery store if you don’t have access to a tree :-) And you might even find already made pulp. But if not, to make the pulp from fresh fruit: remove the stem, cut in half. Use a spoon to delicately scoop out the seeds, place the fruit in a blender and puree. Then pour the persimmon puree into a sieve over a bowl and press with the back of the spoon. The smooth puree will be pushed through the sieve.

Enjoy!

I hope you have a wonderful fall and holiday season.

GIVEAWAY

What is your favorite holiday food memory? Tell us below and one reader will get a copy of A FAMILY UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE and a Starbucks gift card for 10.00!

About Terri Reed

Terri Reed

Award winning multi-published author Terri Reed discovered the wonderful world of fiction at an early age and declared she would one day write a book. Now she is fulfilling that dream writing full-time. Her romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly top 25, Nielsen’s Bookscan top 100, Amazon’s top 100, and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine. Her books have finaled in Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers The Carol Award contest. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her college-sweetheart husband, two wonderful children, and a scrappy dog. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing tennis.

You can write to Terri at P.O. Box 19555 Portland, OR 97280 or visit her online at www.terrireed.com or email her at terrireed@sterling.net or leave comments on Craftie Ladies of Romance or www.loveinspiredauthors.com

Northern Border Patrol | Rookie K-9 Unit

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | GOOGLEPLUS

A FAMILY UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Terri Reed

A Family Under the Christmas Tree

In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog—but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom.

David Murphy never knew much about kids. But when his brother dies unexpectedly, David is granted custody of his six-year-old nephew, Troy, who he’s only seen once a year since he was born. He already has his hands full running his business, and he has no idea how to help the grieving boy. When Troy runs off one day, David finds him at a park playing with an adorable and rambunctious Bernese mountain dog—who leads him to Sophie.

Sophie Griffith has spent her life travelling around the world as a photojournalist. She has never stayed in one place for long, and her new assignment—helping her grandmother for a few weeks—is just temporary. Once Christmas day comes, Sophie is off the hook and can leave for a new adventure. Caring for her grandmother is a piece of cake—but caring for her new Bernese mountain dog, Riggs, is a different story. It doesn’t help that Riggs strikes up a friendship with a lost little boy one day at the park—and leads her to David.

Neither David nor Sophie have time for romance. But as they spend more time together, they start falling for each other even though they know it can’t go anywhere. Sophie will be gone after Christmas, and the last thing David needs is another distraction as he tries to comfort Troy. But as their faith and growing love for the boy and dog unites them, they wonder whether it’s more than a holiday romance…and maybe Troy might finally get his Christmas wish for a family.

Holiday | Inspirational Romance | Romance Contemporary [Howard Books, On Sale: October 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781501144745 / eISBN: 9781501144776]

And don’t miss her latest suspense novel…

IDENTITY UNKNOWN by Terri Reed

Northern Border Patrol

Identity Unknown

MISSING MEMORIES

When a John Doe washes up on the shores of Calico Bay, no one knows who he is—including him. But one thing’s instantly clear to deputy sheriff Audrey Martin: the man’s marked for murder. And she’s the only one who can protect him from the assassins who lurk at every turn. The arrival of a team of men claiming he’s Canadian Border Services officer Nathanial Longhorn only further complicates the matter. As his memories slowly start drifting back, Nathanial’s determined to work with Audrey to uncover who wants him dead and why. But he’s tangled in something that threatens to submerge them both. And unless Audrey can help him figure out what, this Christmas might be their last.

Romance Suspense | Inspirational Romance | Inspirational Mystery [Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, On Sale: October 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780373447701 / eISBN: 9781488008702]

Tracy St John | Childhood Fantasies in the Science Fiction World

We live in an era of strong women. When I was born, the second wave of feminism was just taking hold in the United States and Europe. While the first wave concentrated on women’s right to vote, the second focused on more self-determination through workplace, family, and sexual roles. Despite heavy resistance, women demanded equality in all parts of their lives.

Yet even as women like my mother burned their bras, they read their daughters fairytales. Filled with damsels in distress, the heroines were saved at the last possible moment by their Prince Charmings. While still a tiny tot, I dreamed that a bold man would come along, sweep me off my feet, and carry me to his palace to live happily ever after. In later years, when my parents divorced and assorted caregivers succumbed to mental illness and addiction, my fantasies of rescue grew stronger.

I wished for a hero, but like most of you, I had to save myself. Life made me tough. Fighting for my fair share put me arm-in-arm with my equality-demanding sisters. Yet my childhood fantasies lived on. It was a given that both elements would show up in my books.

ALIEN RULE, the second in the Clans of Kalquor series, is a blend of my youthful wishes and the struggles that hone the female survivor of any era. Yes, there is a Prince Charming. In fact, there are three alien Prince Charmings, the heirs to the thrones of Kalquor. If I’m going create a fantasy, I’m going to pour it on, okay? As tough as we are, we each deserve at least three heroes, ladies. Trust me on this.

There is also a damsel in distress, a product of a future dystopian Earth. Yet she’s no shrinking violet. The heroine is a woman of fiery temper and indomitable will. She is us, a member of the sisterhood engaged in the continued struggle to determine her own destiny. She knows how to survive and thrive no matter the obstacles.

Alien Rule is fairytale meets future, a grown woman’s romantic fable set in a science fiction universe. It’s the realization that women can indeed have it all, and on their terms. Sure, the heroine recognizes that it’s nice to have a trio of big, strong fellows eager to kick butt on her behalf. Maybe she’ll even let them get in a lick or two on their shared enemies. They need their hero moment, after all.

They’ll also be there for her when her strength fails her, as it fails all women and men at some point in their lives. The heroes won’t think less of her for it, because they truly are Prince Charmings. They know that at the end of the day, she’s a leader in her own right, a force to be reckoned with, and that she still deserves her happily-ever-after. Just as we all do.

About Tracy St. John

Tracy St. John

Tracy St. John lives in coastal Georgia with her husband and son. You’ll often find her haunting train museums with her locomotive-loving son. Besides writing, she has also worked in video production both in front of and behind the camera. She’s usually cast as the gun-toting bad gal, getting handcuffed in the end. She has no complaints.

Clans of Kalquor

WEBSITE | TWITTER

ALIEN RULE by Tracy St. John

Alien Rule

The mighty Kalquorian Empire trembles on the verge of extinction. After watching a virus decimate their female population, Kalquor is desperate to find a way to survive.

Marked for execution, Jessica McInness knows joining the enemy is her only hope for survival. When Kalquor’s crown princes arrive to rescue her, she discovers the three alien men aren’t quite what she hoped for in lifelong mates. Arrogant and brutish, the royal clan infuriate her—and awaken passions no other men have.

The Kalquorians are determined to seduce the temperamental woman who inflames their lusts. They relentlessly pursue the hesitant Earther, resorting to forceful means to claim her as their mate. But love comes at a high price when the princes’ choice of a princess incites a rebellion on Kalquor and endangers Jessica’s life.

Reader Advisory: This book contains BDSM situations including bondage, D/s, spankings, and multiple partners.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Totally Bound Publishing outside of the USA.

Romance Science Fiction | Romance Erotica Sensual | Erotica Paranormal [Totally Bound Publishing, On Sale: October 25, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781786860675 / ]

Judy Alter | Weaving research into fiction

Researching the Columbian Exposition for The Gilded Cage, I was fascinated by the history behind George Washington Ferris’ gigantic, people-carrying wheel. I took copious notes.

In 1889, the city of Paris erected the Eiffel Tower, an iron structure that stood 300 meters (well over 900 feet) tall and cast its magic over the city. In 1890 in Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, planning the Columbian Exposition, knew he needed a spectacular attraction, something that would outshine the Eiffel Tower. Engineers tried, suggesting crude toboggan schemes and all sorts of things. Eiffel offered to build a taller tower. None of it appealed until a young engineer sketched out a huge wheel with cars to hold people while they leisurely enjoyed a birds’ eye view of the city on their circular trip.

At first, Burnham rejected the wheel as too fragile, and Ferris spent his own money on safety studies. He hired engineers and recruited investors. Then he submitted the plans to Burnham again. His plan was chosen.

The first wheel had more than 100,000 parts, including the almost 90,000-lb. axle required to turn the wheel. Thirty-six passenger cars held 40 revolving seats plus a small serving area which offered champagne and light refreshments. The wheel took two revolutions in twenty minutes, making six stops for passengers to get on and off during the first revolution and no stops during the second so that passengers could marvel at the view. A ride cost fifty cents.

The wheel was placed, on strong and deep foundation pillars blasted out of then-frozen land in Jackson Park, in the Midway section of the fairgrounds. The Midway was adjacent to the luxurious grounds of the White City, as the principal buildings were called. These magnificent buildings were surrounded by lagoons featuring sculpture and fountains by such illustrious artists as Augustus Saint Gaudens. Buildings were hung with paintings by American artists Mary Cassatt and Edward Moran, Paderewski played a concert, historian Frederick Jackson Turner spoke as did novelist Theodore Dreiser.

On the Midway, the Ferris Wheel competed with less sophisticated but equally popular attractions such as Little Egypt, featuring belly dancers, and Wild Bill’s Wild West, deliberately kept just outside the grounds proper. But the wheel held its own, carrying 38,000 passengers daily at the height of the fair and over the wheel’s lifetime some two-and-a-half million.

World's Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893.
World’s Columbian Exposition: Ferris Wheel, Chicago, United States, 1893.

The exposition closed in October 1893. George Washington Ferris immediately found himself entangled in lawsuits. Heavily in debt, he sued the city of Chicago for his fair share of the over $7 million the wheel brought in. The brief remaining period of his life was spent fighting for his wheel; he died, bankrupt, of typhoid fever in 1896.

The wheel was first dismantled and moved to an amusement park in Lincoln Park on Chicago’s North Side. In 1904 it was dismantled again and moved to St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair. Eventually a wrecking company bought and dismantled it. Ferris and his great dream both came to a sad end.

What was I to do with this history that fascinated me so? Nothing brings fiction to a cold stop like pages of factual material inserted into what we hope is the ongoing drama of the story. Yet many authors can’t bear to discard any of their research and cram it into their novels and stories.

The original Ferris wheel figures casually in several scenes in my novel of the exposition, THE GILDED CAGE. In one of my favorite scenes, Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison persuades (politely bullies?) Cissy Palmer, president of the Board of Lady Managers of the fair and wife of wealthy Chicago hotelier Potter Palmer, to ride the wheel with him, though Mrs. Palmer frowns on the Midway in general and Little Egypt in particular. Cissy Palmer, it turns out, is afraid of height, but Harrison calms her and by the time their cage reaches the apex of its first revolution, she is ecstatic that she can stand and see the Palmer mansion on the city’s North Shore. Harrison encourages her to remain seated.

This scene, created by my imagination, accomplishes several things: it speaks to the increasing illicit attraction between Cissy and the mayor, it emphasizes the enormity of the wheel and the massive work behind it, and it puts the reader, briefly, inside a cage in the largest Ferris wheel ever known and the only original Ferris wheel built by Ferris himself. Riders of today’s wheels, with two seat in a cage, should find it eye-opening. But I also hope it advances the dramatic arc of the book a bit.

About Judy Alter

Judy Alter

An award-winning novelist, Judy Alter is the author of several fictional biographies of women of the American West. In The Gilded Cage she has turned her attention to the late nineteenth century in her home town, Chicago, to tell the story of the lives of Potter and Cissy Palmer, a high society couple with differing views on philanthropy and workers’ right. She is also the author of six books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series. With the 2014 publication of The Perfect Coed, she introduced the Oak Grove Mysteries.

Her work has been recognized with awards from the Western Writers of America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame. She has been honored with the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement by WWA and inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame and the WWA Hall of Fame.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | BLOG

THE GILDED CAGE by Judy Alter

The Gilded Cage

Born to society and a life of privilege, Bertha Honoré married Potter Palmer, a wealthy entrepreneur who called her Cissy. Neither dreamed the direction the other’s life would take. He built the Palmer House Hotel, still famed today, and became one of the major robber barons of the city, giving generously to causes of which he approved. She put philanthropy into words, going into shanty neighborhoods, inviting factory girls to her home, working at Jane Addams’ settlement Hull House, supporting women’s causes.

It was a time of tremendous change and conflict in Chicago as the city struggled to put its swamp-water beginnings behind it and become a leading urban center. A time of the Great Fire of 1871, the Haymarket Riots, and the triumph of the Columbian Exposition.

Potter and Cissy handled these events in diverse ways. Fascinating characters people these pages along with Potter and Cissy—Carter Harrison, frequent mayor of the city; Harry Collins, determined to be a loser; Henry Honoré, torn between loyalties to the South and North; Daniel Burnham, architect of the new Chicago—and many others.

The Gilded Cage is a fictional exploration of the lives of these people and of the Gilded Age in Chicago history.

Historical [Author Self-Published, On Sale: April 18, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780996013123 / ]

Happily Ever After Holiday Favorites

SMP ROMANcE Holiday preview
We had a chance to ask a couple of questions of the SMP Romance authors about two of their favorite things: holiday movies and Halloween costumes. Here’s what they had to say!

Favorite Holiday Movie

Ruth Logan Herne

Ruth Logan Herne

Best-selling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of nearly thirty novels and novellas through traditional publishers and her own independent works. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone.

Seeker Collection

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | BLOG

It’s a Wonderful Life

Donna Alward

Donna Alward

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. You can visit her on the website and join her mailing list.

Cadence Creek Cowboys | First Responders | A Jewell Cove Novel | A Jewell Cove Novel | NotMy1stRodeo.com

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | BLOG | TWITTER

WHITE CHRISTMAS

Nancy Naigle

Nancy Naigle

Love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense

Nancy Naigle writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. With a career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, Nancy spends her extra time writing the kind of stories she likes to read, in hopes that just maybe other career gals can find an escape from their hectic lifestyles in the make believe worlds she creates.

Adams Grove | The Granny Series

WEBSITE | BLOG | BLOG | GOODREADS | TWITTER

Oh gosh! My favorite Holiday Movie is pretty much the last Hallmark movie I just finished watching. I’m a Hallmark Movie junkie, and I’m proud of it! My favorite holiday show not including Hallmark is Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. When the Abominable Snowman knocks poor Rudolph on the head and his eyes going rolling around …. you know the scene…I still cry. Poor Clarice.

Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, “Maybe God’s calling you to write fiction.”

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she’s written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. “I love writing about characters at different stages of faith,” she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, “and I’m here to stay.”

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.

12 Brides of Christmas | Undercover Ladies | A Match Made in Texas | Second Chance at Star Inn

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

This is a hard one since there are so many good ones. The movie I wasn’t prepared to like as much as I did was Elf.

Tara Wyatt

Tara Wyatt

Tara Wyatt is a romance author who’s been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys and Hanson almost twenty years ago. Not content with merely daydreaming about Nick Carter and Taylor Hanson, she grabbed a notebook and wrote what she now realizes was fan fiction.

After outgrowing her boy band obsession and obtaining an Honours B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from McMaster University, her love of books and reading led her to pursue a Masters’ degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario. Currently, she works for a large public library system, where she has the arduous task of selecting books for children and young adults for the library’s collection.

Bodyguard

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

A Christmas Story. I’d never seen it growing up, and the first Christmas we were dating, my now husband introduced me to it. It had always been one of his favorites, and he was excited to watch it with me. We have a tradition of watching it together at least once in the days leading up to Christmas now.

Opal Carew

Opal Carew

Hi. I’m Opal Carew and I write erotic romance for St. Martin’s Press and Samhain Publishing, and I self–publish stories. I also write romance as Amber Carew.

So why do I like writing erotic romance? I like being able to push beyond traditional boundaries. I like dealing with a female character who is growing and evolving – questioning her sexual boundaries and pushing past them. My stories usually include menage a trois. It is great fun to write a heroine choosing between two equally appealing heroes… or more.

These aren’t women who just jump into bed with anyone. They find themselves in an unusual situation – something exciting and erotic – but a situation where they have to push themselves beyond their comfort level. As a result, they grow as a person. So often fear holds us back – of what others will think of us, of what we will think about ourselves – and we don’t follow our hearts. These women push past that fear.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER

It’s a tie between WHITE CHRISTMAS and Holiday Inn. I know they’re really old, but I used to watch them with my mum when we wrapped Christmas presents together, so it keeps those wonderful childhood memories with me, which is so nice since neither of my parents are with us anymore.

Emily March

Emily March

Like thousands of other Texans, author Emily March grew up fleeing the summertime heat at home for the beautiful Colorado Rockies.  The daughter of Colorado natives, Emily spent her summers at the rustic, 1930’s era family cabin in the mountains west of Denver, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and availing herself of the facilities (an outhouse) only when she could no longer avoid it.

As an adult with a family of her own, Emily continued the tradition of spending summers in the Rockies, and she insists that her sons were not permanently damaged when she made them wear matching Oshkosh red-and-white-striped overalls with coordinating caps to ride the narrow-gauge train from Durango to Silverton at ages 6 and 3, respectively.  Emily still visits the mountains every chance she gets, and she’s happy to announce that the family cabin now sports indoor plumbing.

Writing as Geralyn Dawson, Emily is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels.  She is a three-time finalist for the prestigious Romance Writers’ of America’s RITA award and a recipient of their Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year award.  She received Romantic Times magazine’s Career Achievement award and its Reviewer’s Choice award.  In 2009, the American Library Association named her romantic suspense novel, ALWAYS LOOK TWICE, as one of the top ten romances of the year.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapano relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Eternity Springs

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

It’s a toss-up between It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas Vacation.

Melissa Cutler

Melissa Cutler

Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.

Bomb Squad | One and Only Texas

WEBSITE | BLOG | GOODREADS | TWITTER

Die Hard (hehe)

Mandy Baxter

Mandy Baxter

Mandy Baxter lives in rural Idaho. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshiper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

US Marshals | US Marshalls | Billionaire’s Club: Texas Heartthrobs

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

The Holiday. I watch it whenever it’s on. I’m obsessed with Jude Law in that movie!

Laura Trentham

Laura Trentham

Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she majored in Chemical Engineering (in order to avoid becoming a starving artist!) and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

Now living in South Carolina with her husband and two children, she writes historical and contemporary romances that are a little dark, a little funny, and a whole lot of sexy.

Falcon Football | Spies and Lovers | Cottonbloom

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

I love Elf. It’s hilarious and heartwarming. But the season can’t pass with at least one family viewing of Christmas Vacation. Cousin Eddie is the best! Sometimes I’m in the mood for a classic like Miracle on 34th Street (with Maureen O’Hara, of course!) or It’s a Wonderful Life.





Michelle Major | Samantha Carlton’s story

Sometimes characters ease into a writer’s mind and other times they stomp through our brains and demand their story be told. Samantha Carlton, the heroine of my new release, TELL ME AGAIN, did a lot of stomping before getting her own happily-ever-after. She’d been the perfect sidekick in the previous two books in the series and her snarky comments added a bit of levity when things got too serious. She was the one who could always be counted on to say exactly what she was thinking , but that’s much easier to do when commenting on someone else’s love life than your own.

As fun as Sam was in the first two books, I quickly discovered her humor masked a lot of pain. This woman had a past to overcome, and when the niece she never knew she had showed up on her doorstep, it spurred her into action. One of the things I loved most about Sam was her big heart—or as her friends call it ‘her gooey center’. She’s all tough on the outside but she cares so much about the kids she works with at the summer camp she runs and, of course, about her girlfriends.

She also still has a soft spot for Trevor Kincaid, even though she’d deny it up and down. Trevor is a single dad and really protective of his daughter, Grace. It’s hard for him to let Sam back into his life, but once he does the sparks fly.

One of the best things about writing a series is getting to revisit characters from the previous books so it was great fun to turn the tables on Sam and have her friends from KISSING MR. RIGHT and RECIPE FOR KISSES helping her find her way to love. I hope readers have as much fun with this story as I did writing it!

I’d love to hear what you think and what your favorite part of reading romance series books is. You can find me at www.michellemajor.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MichelleMajorBooks/.

Happy reading!

Michelle

About Michelle Major

Michelle Major

I was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and for as long as I can remember I’ve loved books. Growing up, I wrote stories and plays and graduated with a degree in Journalism from Ohio University.

By then I’d also fallen in love with the mountains. After college I pointed my ancient Honda west until I came to Colorado. I worked on a dude ranch and then spent a month camping through the southwestern part of the state. Technically, I might have been homeless but that hardly seemed to matter while sleeping under the stars.

I settled down to a career in Human Resources and traveled across the country for my job. With my fear of flying, I needed something to distract me on all those planes. I picked up a Julia Quinn novel in an airport bookstore and was hooked. It dawned on me that the stories milling around in my head were actually romance plots. My passion for novel writing was born.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m now married, a part-time writer and a full-time Professional Wiper (noses, bottoms, tears, scraped knees, pet accidents – you name it, I’ve cleaned it up).

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

GIVEAWAY

One reader will receive a Kindle copy of TELL ME AGAIN plus a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate!

TELL ME AGAIN by Michelle Major

Tell Me Again

As a teenager, Samantha Carlton used a career in modeling to break free from her painful childhood—walking away from her reckless twin sister, an alcoholic mother, and the boy she loved. Yet she never outran the guilt of abandoning her family. When the past shows up on her doorstep in the form of her late sister’s daughter, Sam opens her home and her heart to the girl she never knew existed. But it’s not so easy to face the man she left behind…

Sam had shattered Trevor Kincaid’s heart, and he’d sought comfort in her sister’s arms. But he’d pledged to shield his daughter, Grace, from the drama that followed the Carlton women. Now Grace has tracked down Sam, and Trevor is forced to deal with the one woman he wanted to forget.

History has a way of repeating itself, and the sparks between Sam and Trevor reignite an old flame. But as much as Sam wants a new future, is walking away again easier than risking her heart for a second chance at love?

Romance Contemporary [Montlake Romance, On Sale: October 18, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781503939400 / ]

Fur Babies… Real & Imagined

As a kid, my family always had pets. Dogs, cats, a goat, a pig, ducks we called Salt and Pepper, a rabbit… you name it, I think we probably had it. Maybe that’s why animals appear in all my books. It’s hard to imagine not having a pet of some sort.

One particular dog stands out. Her name was Queenie, and she adopted us. I was eight or nine years old, and one day while playing outside, this little black and white dog trotted up to me. We later learned she was a purebred Boston terrier, but that day she was just a dog that wanted to play. She didn’t have a collar, and we’d never seen her around the neighborhood before, but she seemed well-taken care of. Our dad said not to get attached to her as she obviously belonged to someone. Ha! We were already attached to her.

We named her Queenie and as far as she was concerned, we kids (there were four of us) belonged to her. If one of us got in trouble with our dad and got a stern talking to, Queenie would go to a corner of the room, turn her back to him and refuse to look at him for hours.

Months went by, and then one day, a car stopped in front of our house where we were playing with Queenie. A man got out and said the dog was his, that she’d been missing for several months. My dad talked to the man, asking him questions, and finally decided the man was telling the truth. Tears fell down our faces as the man bent to pick up Queenie to take her with him. But Queenie wasn’t having it. She bit the man’s hand, then ran under the house. After some words with the man, my dad and the man came to an agreement that we could buy Queenie from him. So Queenie became ours for real.

In CRAZY FOR HER, the first book in my Men of K2 Special Services series, my hero, Logan Kincaid, adopted a Doberman named Luke. Luke didn’t appear until near the end of the story, but he played an important role in protecting my heroine, Dani Prescott. I’m giving away a Kindle copy of CRAZY FOR HER to one commenter. Tell me the name of your favorite pet.

CRAZY FOR HER by Sandra Owens

K2 Team

Crazy for Her

When his best friend and fellow Navy SEAL, Evan Prescott, died in his arms on the battlefield, Logan Kincaid gave his word to watch over Evan’s widow. But for two years he kept his distance…torn between honoring his solemn vow and succumbing to his secret love for his fallen comrade’s wife. But when Dani Prescott desperately reaches out to Logan for the help only he can give, he rushes to her side—determined to fight for her safety as fiercely as he fights against his own buried desire.

Someone claiming to be her husband is stalking Dani and her infant daughter, making them virtually prisoners in their remote country home. Logan’s elite military training and high-risk security expertise have outmatched more dangerous enemies. But the real challenge will be the burning temptation that threatens to overcome Logan whenever Dani is near…especially when she reveals her own hidden passion.

Romance Military | Romance Contemporary [Montlake Romance, On Sale: September 1, 2014, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781477824788 / ]

About Sandra Owens

Sandra Owens

A best selling, award-winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.

Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.

K2 Team

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Kris Rafferty | You Gotta Go There

Think about all your favorite authors, and I bet the attribute they have in common is their willingness to put everything on the page. They have authentic voices, tell stories of unique, yet relatable characters who are challenged by a set of circumstances that, though they might not be yours, you could imagine what you’d do if life threw that curve ball. To put that kind of story on paper, you have to be wired in a particular way. This fact was taught to me by my kind, talented, incredibly smart daughter.

A couple years ago (she was about sixteen), my daughter was asked to give a talk about mothers for a Mother’s Day event. She was nervous, but game. I spent all week looking forward to her magnificent dissertation on the glories of motherhood, using me, of course, as her shining example. I was very careful not to pressure her, not to even admit I was looking forward to this opus. Normally, as the writer in the family, I’d offer to edit the speech, but not this time. I wanted to be surprised, to hear it as a piece of performance art. My anticipation wasn’t giddy, but rather measured. Like eating gourmet, while eyeing the dessert tray. But everyone knew was a big deal. Every mother in the audience would listen to her words and feel they too, in a large part, were basking in the revelation of their many efforts, from gory labor stories, to breastfeeding debacles, to every challenge mothers face on a daily basis from cradle to…well, whenever. The vocation of motherhood doesn’t stop. It was our moment to shine. Keep in mind, she was sixteen, her task monumental. But her audience was friendly, and the bar extremely low. People just wanted to be moved.

So the big day came, Mother’s Day, and my mother sat to my right, my husband and my other children to my left, and we took a deep breath, waiting to hear my daughter extol the benefits of having a mother who loves her. What happened was a five-minute recitation of every dry definition of what a mother should be. Not a practical list, so much as a societal one. Not one moment of her speech had been devoted to acknowledging I existed. Afterward, I chided myself for my expectations, and…yeah, my feelings were hurt, but striving to be a good mother, I shook it off and didn’t say anything until years…yes, years later. Her answer?

Her feelings for me and what I mean to her were private, and if she’d shared them, she would have cried at the podium, so she purposefully kept it clinical. Sixteen. She was sixteen. Of course, I told myself. Why hadn’t I figured that out on my own? Bad mother. Bad.

Well…it just goes to show, we give birth to people who are NOTHING like ourselves. Given the task she faced, I not only would have delivered a speech that made me cry, I’d have had the audience sobbing or felt myself a failure. I’m the girl that published a review of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” at sixteen. It dripped emotion, (though full disclosure, my girlfriend reviewed my review as being incoherent.)

Everyone is different, and thank heaven, but the balance of emotional vs clinical delivery matters in writing. Sometimes, you just gotta go there. Be authentic. Not necessarily authentically you, but pick and choose who your characters are, and have them be authentically them. It requires a bit of a multi-personality disorder, and a proclivity for acting, but it’s a necessity or the bottom falls out on your characters and they become cutout versions of people, clinical depictions of a type, rather than a living, breathing person who your readers want to come alive outside of the book. I had a reviewer declare she wished my character was real so she could hit on her. Ha! I loved that! It said my heroine read real. That’s what it’s all about.

You have to be willing to cry, or the work will suffer.

About Kris Rafferty

Kris Rafferty

Kris Rafferty was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After earning a Bachelor’s in Arts from the University of Massachusetts/ Boston, she married her college sweetheart, traveled the country and wrote books. Three children and a Pomeranian/Shih Tzu mutt later, she spends her days devoting her life to her family and her craft.

An Unlikely Hero

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

TEMPTED BY A TOUCH by Kris Rafferty

An Unlikely Hero #2

Tempted by a Touch

People keep dying around Harper MacLain. Try as she might, she can’t stop bad things from happening to those she loves. When her closely guarded secret lands her in the middle of her ex-boyfriend’s investigation, she’s in over her head. She hates that Detective Lucas Sullivan is in her life again, tempting her to fall back into bad habits…and his bed.

When Harper left him, Lucas tried not to care, burying himself in his job instead. Then Harper became the job. Now they’re on the run, and all he can think about is keeping her safe…and his hands off her. Lucas knows she’s the key to solving his case, if he can keep them alive long enough to do it. And that’s the trick…because falling in love can kill you.

Romance Suspense [Entangled Select, On Sale: October 24, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757691 / eISBN: 9781633757691]