An Abundance of Characters

Characters! I love characters. In fact, I love them so much my favorite stories are the ones where the plot is actually the characters themselves.

As a reader I need to connect at some level with the characters or I just end up hating the book no matter how riveting the story might be. Memorable characters for me span  many genres. Markus Zusak broke my heart with the amazing characters he created in The Book Thief. So did Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Kate Morton has a knack to wow me with her characters and do I even have to mention J.K. Rowlings and my beloved Harry Potter? One of my new favorite romance writers, Samatha Harris, has my reader’s devotion because her characters, Alex and Drew, are so likable and well-developed I feel I know them personally. And who does not like Prince Po in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling or Mare in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen?  Who could forget the  great young characters in any of John Green‘s books? Too many to mention…

I’m the same way with TV shows and movies. Action does not attract me at all. Give me a good British drama or comedy where the focus is on the characters and I am a happy camper. Of course, Joss Whedon is like my hero when it comes to creating memorable TV characters. To this day, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains my all-time favorite show. His short lived Firefly comes right behind it. For that same reason, I am a sucker for Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Grantchester and Call the Midwives have currently my undivided attention.

Maybe that’s why Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters are my favorite writers of all times. They wrote about the people, their way of thinking, their heartaches and their desires. My biggest wish as a writer is to be able to create characters that will hold the same pull so many have had on me.

What do you like the best in a story? Who are some of your favorite characters of all times?

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Paranoid Writer

Writers are weird—or at least, this writer most definitely is.

I go to the library on the weekends to have a solid two hours of non-interrupted writing. I am normally joined by one or more members of my Sippy Cups and Semantics writing group. But once in a while, I end up being here by myself.

When that happens I can’t use the private room I always have reserved for us (the rules are that you have to have at least two people to be allowed to use it), so I end up in one of the cozy rooms of this amazing neighborhood library. It’s quiet and there aren’t that many people wandering around.

Today I am in the library alone. I set up just as I normally do, very anxious to go back to my WIP. You see, I am at the point in my novel where things radically change between my two MCs. It’s that moment that both the writer and the readers wait for more than half the book to get to. It’s the moment when your heart grows legs and climbs up your throat, grabs you by the neck and holds you hostage. I had started it at home and now I plan to finish it in this beautiful, sunbathed library.

Except, I can’t do it! Writing a love scene in a very public place is nerve wrecking. It’s almost as if you are the one making love right in front of everybody else. Every word you write has you looking around in all directions, paranoid, fearful of prying eyes, scared that one of the patrons may have developed telepathy.

catwatcher

Instead, you sit down and you write this blog to tell everyone what a weirdo you are, and wait anxiously for the time you leave this amazing place, so you can finish the beautiful, heart-wrenching scene—at least that’s how it sounds in your head—at home.

Has this ever happened to you or am I the only weird one in the world of fiction writing?

Name that Setting

 

My first novel, We Will Always Have the Closet, was set in beautiful Seattle and surrounding areas. I lived there for a few years, so the places and the atmosphere of my setting came naturally to me. My second novel is a fantasy and still the setting is very clear in my mind. When I lived in Africa I noticed how the big cities were in some places being reclaimed by the jungle, and how the animals still wondered the sidewalks as if they owned it.  So I used that image, fused with bits and pieces of folklore, to create a world in my head that it was every bit as real and clear to me as the place I live today.

So what happened with my current project? Why is it that over forty thousand words into the story, I still don’t have any idea where it is set? I have some places down pegged, such as the coffee shop they often go to, or the place where they are held, and even the forest where they hide. But where in the world exactly is this place? It’s here in the US for sure, but it really could be anywhere where there are urban areas and woods. Anywhere where there are coffee shops and yoga studios. Not very specific at all.

coffee shop

How come I had such a clear vision of the setting in my two first novels, but when it came to this one I got so lost in my characters and their relationships I forgot to pin point their location? Another good question is, is it really that important to know the story is in So-And-So city or is it more important to know the characters like to meet at the little quaint coffee shop down the street from the yoga studio they attend? Or that around the corner there is a unique little shop where the quirky owner will sell you potions to solve just about any problem in your life? Or that somewhere out of town, there are such thick forests, one could be lost within them for days?

As a reader, how much does knowing the exact location of the story’s setting really mean to you? For me it has never really mattered to me as a whole. It’s the details that have always caught and held my attention, but I often wonder how it is for others.

So, I hereby am asking you for your help in naming the city where my main characters and their sidekicks live. You won’t win anything but you will have the dubious satisfaction of seeing your choice of name featured in a possible future published book. Suggest away in the comments section. Remember. No real places and it will be the setting for a romantic comedy with a healthy dose of action and danger. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

 

 

Red Night – Cover Reveal

RED NIGHT by RK Close
The Vampire Files Trilogy, #1
Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs
— SYNOPSIS —
For five hundred years I have feasted on the blood of the innocent.
For centuries I have seduced beautiful victims into my bed.
And all this time, I have never gone without…
I am Zachariah…
While enduring endless days as an immortal, only one urge soothes my savage need.
 
Blood. 
I have consumed countless humans—I have witnessed mountains of corpses piled beneath my feet. But none more significant than the woman I once loved.
My heart was not the only one she captured, but it would be the last…
An inferior creature turned her heart against me—Adam. Such a pathetic identity to be named after the original creation of God, and always besting me in life. But in death—I am king.
I am far more treacherous.
I should be feared.
I demand to be remembered. 
And I am, for being known as the immortal who slayed the woman we both loved, and my rampage continues…
Now in the scorching desert, I find prey well worth the chase…
Samantha.
And my interest in this mortal runs deep. Adam has pursued me over the globe in search of revenge—but his own weaknesses have made him vulnerable. He’s taken to the striking mortal, which means only one thing.
She will be my next target. 
But this time, not for the taste of blood. I will take her as my own mate, and neither Adam, or anyone else, will stop me…

 

— MEET THE AUTHOR OF RED NIGHT!
Hello! I’m RK Close, author of ‘The Red Trilogy’. ‘Red Night’ and ‘Red Moon’ are the first two books in the series. I write paranormal-romance & urban-fantasy with a hint of darkness and a dash of humor. Creating characters that my readers will fear, fall in love with, despise or cheer for, is what I love most about writing.
Ann Rice gets all the credit for my vampire addiction which started in my early twenties. Like so many others, I fell in love with her vampires first.
Originally from Kentucky, I’ve lived most of my life in Arizona where I met and married my true love. We were late to the game so we knocked out three ankle-biters in quick succession. We often joke that parenthood saved us from ourselves. Now we need to be saved from parenthood. *just kidding* We love our darling spawn.
When I’m not writing, I’m taking care of a busy family, dragging my butt to CrossFit, thinking about my stories or spending time with family and friends. My dream is to sell enough books to hire someone to clean our house and cook our meals. Okay, maybe that’s my family’s dream. I tend to get a little obsessed when I write.
Truthfully, I would love the opportunity to pull you into my world of strong independent females, mysterious vampires, noble hunters, hungry werewolves and seductive yet deadly fae. If you like paranormal-romance in a modern-urban setting with plenty of romantic tension, mystery and suspense, then my novels were written for you.
CONNECT WITH RK CLOSE: 

Breaking Promises- Cover Reveal

BREAKING PROMISES by S. Briones Lim
Series: B-boy #1
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Release Date: MAY 31, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane’s collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…
Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…
Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…
An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.
When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.
When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…
Breaking Promises.
— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.

Marianne Rice – Interview

I am so pleased to have Marianne Rice here  with me today, celebrating the release of her new book, Then Came You, the second in the Wilde Sisters. I have read the first book in the series, Sweet on You, and I’m telling you; you are in for a treat 🙂

Marianne, welcome to my humble blog. When I write, I’m afraid I am not much of a planner. I normally start with an idea and a couple characters and I just let it develop as I write. What about you? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

M- I like to “cook” my stories in my head. I run through my main characters, the internal and external conflicts, and the resolution a few times before I actually sit down to write. I don’t plot anything out on paper…just sit down and go. But the story is pretty well thought out before I start Chapter One.

What genre do you write? What made you want to write in that genre and for that age group?

M- I write contemporary romance. It’s my favorite genre to read as well. U.S. History is my history of choice so if I ever write a historical it would probably be a western. Cowboys are pretty darn sexy.

LOL.  Something about those Stensons. When did you decide you would like to be a writer? Have you always liked to write?

M- When I was on maternity leave with my newborn son and my two and four year-old daughters. It was my means of escape. I always read a lot and the more I read the more I created stories in my head. Then one day…I wrote the story.

I know what you mean. It’s like going on vacation without ever leaving the house. What book do you wish you would have written? Why?

M- The Great Gatsby is my all-time literary favorite. Such a classic full of love, mystery and drama. As for contemporary romances, geesh, that’s hard. I’d be honored to have my name slapped on the cover of pretty much any book by Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery or Kristan Higgins.

Have you written or plan to write in other genres?

M- No plans yet, but as I mentioned earlier, maybe a cowboy series someday.

 Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

M- Love scenes are definitely the hardest, although I’m getting better at it. Each book seams to increase in heat rating.

I’m sure your readers appreciate that, lol.  What’s in your reading list right now?

M- I currently have 234 books on my Kindle, and more than I can count that I need to review. Time, please freeze for me!

I hear you. I’m on the same boat. Looking forward to the Summer so I can get through some of those TBR books. Now, I know your books are going to be extremely successful and one of these days a big Hollywood producer is going to want to make a movie out of it. Who will play your main characters?

M- Well, my hero inspiration for Grayson Montgomery in Then Came You is Liam Hemsworth (his brother Chris was my inspiration for my football book, False Start). And the lovely, adorable Rachel McAdams would play the ever bubbly youngest sister, Thyme Wilde.

Do you write full time? How do you find time to write and do you have a special place where you write?

M-  That is my dream. I teach high school English and am a mom to three children (9, 12 and 14) who are all very active in sports. Oh, and there’s the husband as well! I am fortunate to have school vacations free, which is when I get most of my writing done. I spend the in-between months “cooking” up my story so when I have a moment I can bang out a pretty high word count in a short amount of time. I have a lovely office space off the living room, but my children find me too easily there. I tend to be more productive when I retreat to my bedroom with my laptop.

I have to “hide” in coffee shops in order to get away from my family and write, so I totally get it. Do you ever feel attached to your characters as if they were real? How do you come up with them? Do you base them off people you know or something else?

M-  Oh, so very much. But the sad thing is, as soon as I delve into my next book I sort of forget about him/her. I guess that’s a good thing, right? You want to love your next characters even more.

 Do you have any advice to give new writers? When you first started writing for publication what were your expectations and were they met?

M-  Don’t stop. I wrote for seven years before I seriously pitched and queried my books. I’m glad I didn’t rush my first book and try to put it “out there” for the public. It wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. Join writer’s groups, attend writer’s conferences, network online. Never stop learning. I learn something with each book, with each editor, with each publisher. That’s a good thing. And when you type THE END, don’t rush back to edit. Give yourself some space, maybe start your next book, then go back and edit. And edit. And revise. And revise. And then send to beta readers and then edit and revise. Then, if you’re ready, send to an agent or publishing house. Too many writers are rushing their work and not giving themselves the time or the credit they deserve.

Just my two cents.

And great advice it is. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you, Marianne and I wish you all the success in the world. And readers, don’t forget to go show her some love and check out her author’s page–and buy her book, of course!

See you all next time!

 

 

 

Then Came You-New Release

Title: THEN CAME YOU
Author: Marianne Rice
Series: The Wilde Sisters, Book #2
Thyme Wilde doesn’t make long-term decisions—until she falls in love with one…
Easily bored and quickly distracted, Thyme enjoys her freedom, so being a temp at her sister’s company is the perfect job. But when she takes a position as a nanny, she instantly falls in love with the five-year-old princess named Maddie—and just two months later, Maddie’s parents are killed in a plane crash, leaving Thyme in an unfamiliar role of responsibility.
Multi-millionaire architect Grayson Montgomery lives in the lap of luxury—but at a cost…
Being the sole heir of his family’s fashion empire and his father’s architectural firm, Grayson has never lacked for anything. But in return, he must stay subservient to the matriarch of his family—his grandmother—and date the heiress of their largest business partner. The only freedom Grayson has is his architectural designs, which are his true passion.
One day changes Grayson’s future forever…
A lawyer summons Grayson to Maine for the reading of the will of a woman he once knew. He doesn’t expect to be named the father of a five-year-old orphan. Then he meets his newly-discovered daughter—and her incredibly sexy nanny.
While acting as Maddie’s loyal nanny, Thyme develops feelings for her new employer that are more than professional. And after several passionate nights with Grayson, it’s clear the feeling is mutual.
When it’s made evident Grayson sees her as a convenient placeholder, Thyme must push aside her desires and put Maddie above herself—even if it means sacrificing her heart to do it.
|| PURCHASE ||
 
|||||| THE WILDE SISTERS ||||||
SWEET ON YOU, Book 1
|| ABOUT THE AUTHOR ||
Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

Cover Reveal- When First They Practice Deceit

 

✦✦ ✦✦ COVER REVEAL ✦✦ ✦✦
WHEN FIRST THEY PRACTICE TO DECEIVE

 

Author: Carolyn LaRoche


Series: The Secret Lives #3
✦SYNOPSIS✦

 

All Jessy Wallace wants is a happy marriage, but her husband is a liar and in over his head…


Jessy has spent the last decade happily married to her husband, Sam. But when she finally lands a job at Dixie’s Place, a hole-in-the-wall diner, she learns not all is well in paradise. Officer Sam Wallace has been spending the majority of their marriage in the beds of other women. Fed up, Jessy kicks her husband to the curb.
The last thing she wants is another messy relationship…
Uncertain if her husband ever truly loved her, Jessy gets caught completely off guard by the intense attraction she feels for Trey Smith, the night cook at Dixie’s Place. But she recognizes some telltale signs, and discovers he’s an undercover FBI agent. Jessy curses herself for falling for another lawman. To make matters worse, her soon-to-be ex-husband might be involved with Trey’s case.
After the death of his wife, FBI agent Trey Smith has spent the last four years married to his work…
But when Jessy starts waitressing at the diner where he is working undercover, he falls head over heels for her. Her ex-husband, however, is one of the top suspects in Trey’s case, and all Trey wants to do is protect her. He can’t lose this once in a lifetime chance at love.
Jessy is the soon-to-be ex-wife of a suspected criminal.
Trey Smith is an undercover FBI agent.
Can their love overcome the odds, or will it all come crashing down under the weight of lies and deception?
✦ COVER DESIGNER 
WICKED BY DESIGN
✦✦ ✦✦ CAROLYN LAROCHE ✦✦ ✦✦ 
Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

 

No Law- New Release

NO LAW by Camille Taylor
The Law Series #3
══ SYNOPSIS ══
At just twenty-four years old, Carey Madigan was made a widow—by the Russian Mafiya…
Years after her husband’s murder, Carey relocated from Russia back to U.S., where she works as an assistant curator for a prestigious museum. Her past seemingly left behind, she no longer looks over her shoulder or jumps at shadows. That is, until her boss is murdered—by the Russian Mafiya.
Carey’s past comes back to haunt her…
When the police discover the nature of her husband’s untimely demise, Carey becomes the prime suspect. But worse, the Mafiya is again pursuing her, and now that she’s seen their faces, they’re out to silence her for good. Frightened, she turns to an old friend—CIA agent Elena Gates.
Dmitry Ivanov is a tech legend in the hacker underworld…
Russian born and raised, Dmitry uses his skills to help the CIA. Filling in for his sister Elena, he is intrigued when Carey walks through the door. When he sees her reluctance, he realizes he has to win her trust before he can help her. And if anyone has a chance of clearing her name, uncovering the motives behind her boss’ murder, and protecting her from the men determined to end her life, it’s him.
Together, Dmitry and Carey uncover a trail that leads them to the discovery of a priceless artifact. Now they must fight to keep it—and themselves—out of harm’s way, and convince the authorities Carey is not a cold-blooded killer.
When the Mafiya is out for blood…No law will keep them safe.
═══════ PURCHASE ═══════
KINDLE UNLIMITED: http://amzn.to/1RyrAMf

PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/1W7K9gv

 
 
══ THE LAW SERIES ══
Book 1: RUSSIAN LAW: http://amzn.to/1SQ7hPu
Book 2: AMERICAN LAW: http://amzn.to/1UKAdX8




══ MEET THE AUTHOR ══

Camille Taylor is an Australian author who resides in the Nation’s Capital with her small dog. She was the typical 90’s kid and was raised on Goosebumps, Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings. In her teens she began reading the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie and in later years found Christine Feehan, Janet Evanovich and Julie Garwood.
She started writing at sixteen and enjoys spending time with her family, doting on her nieces and nephews, writing the many stories floating about her head and working on her genealogy where she can trace her heritage to England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia.
Her other interests include, anything creative – such as scrapbooking and drawing and has travelled across Western Europe, New Zealand and the UAE, after spending a year living in London. She’s also dabbled in tae kwon do.

Chasing Dreams -New Release

“He has no control with her…and she doesn’t want him to…”
★★NOW AVAILABLE★★★
CHASING DREAMS by Alison Mello
dd668-chasing2bdreams2bebook2b-2bamazon
★ SYNOPSIS 
Young, gorgeous, and with the voice of an angel, Skyler Jones dreams of becoming a singer… 
After the death of her parents in a tragic car accident, there’s nothing to tie twenty-five-year-old Skyler to the East Coast. But if she’s learned one thing, it’s that life is short. So with aspirations of landing a record deal, she moves to the land of champagne wishes and caviar dreams.
Sexy, rich, and wildly successful, Logan Michaels’ club is the hottest nightspot in Los Angeles… 
While at his club, Logan spots a stunning woman ordering a drink. In L.A., beautiful women are a dime a dozen, but this one’s different—and so is their connection. He’s never been so infatuated, and he’s determined to know more about the striking stranger. After pulling some strings, he finds out where she works and asks her to dinner.
They find more than love—they find opportunity… 
After a few dates, Logan convinces Skyler to perform at his club. But when Skyler dances with one of Logan’s connections, he’s unable to contain his explosive jealousy. However, his major screw-up with Skyler is the least of his problems. When a scorned ex-employee seeks revenge in the most deadly of ways, it puts both himself and Skyler’s life in danger.
Will Logan be able to protect Skyler from the growing threat? 
Or will she run…and write off this chapter of her life as chasing dreams?

★ PURCHASE ★ 

Kindle Unlimited: http://amzn.to/1Vharfx

Paperback: http://amzn.to/21XuLTf

★ ALISON MELLO 

Alison Mello is a wife and stay at home mom to a wonderful little boy. She lives with her amazing family in Massachusetts. She loves playing soccer, basketball and football with her son.

After having her son, Alison started reading again and fell in love with Contemporary Romance. Reading made her happy and gave her something to do when she had downtime. As she started to read more, she started to noticed things she really enjoyed in a book and things she didn’t. She began to have ideas for writing one of her own. One day she literally woke up and started writing. She realized that if there was ever a time for her to write, it was now. She had a part time job to give her something to do. The hours at work were slow and she was bored with what she was doing, so while her son was off enjoying his friends over summer vacation she got started.
Alison finished the first book in two weeks and decided that she really enjoyed writing, so she kept going. She already had ideas in mind for books two and three, so she kept writing. That is how the Learning to Love Series was born. Somewhere along the line, one of my Beta readers convinced me that Michael, a character from Finding Love, needed his own story. That is when Alison added the fourth and final book. Alison hopes you enjoy her books as much as she enjoyed writing them.
She’s so glad she started this writing journey and hopes you will stay with her for the ride. Chasing Dreams is scheduled to release in April and the first two books of the Love Conquers Life series will be out this summer!