Thursday, March 5, 2015

Friday - Joan Hall Hovey is talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

1.      Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
The suspense genre allows me to explore the deepest and darkest corners of the human psyche.  It’s such a wonderful genre to work in because I can weave in paranormal, romance, mystery… I’m only limited by my imagination, which is pretty active..   The one genre I’m not likely to attempt writing in  is  erotica.  I don’t enjoy reading it,  so wouldn’t do it justice..  
 
2.      Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
None of it comes easy to me.  I find writing a novel to be very hard work,  though it’s work that I also find more satisfying than any other.  A big part of my difficulty is that I tend to get in my own way, and start second – guessing myself.  It’s not easy putting your work (yourself) out there, never knowing if it will be praised or ridiculed. You just have to rise above the fear and do what you know how to do when all cylinders are firing.  Those times are the rewards of being a writer and well worth fighting through the droughts.

 As for a preference between writing from a heroine’s point of view or the villain’s,  – .they are all people and their emotions run the gamut from love to jealousy, envy and hatred – emotions we can all relate to.  It’s all a matter of degree.
 
3.      Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
I don’t think you can create a hero, or a villain for that matter, that every reader will love so I don’t try to do that. Instead,  If I create characters that I find appealing and interesting, there’s a good chance others will too.
 
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?   The characters and the story thread sort of weave themselves into one another, constantly changing and shifting until a story begins to solidify in my imagination.  During this time I’ m making copious notes and my subconscious, now that it knows I’m serious because I’m showing up for work everyday,  is also working to help me.  Now I begin writing.   That can take weeks, even months.  And then come the revisions and edits. 
 
4.      Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

I draw deeply on my own life.  That’s really all we have.  Who we are in large part is how we respond to our life experiences.  Having said that, the heroine isn’t me –  she’s generally thinner, prettier, stronger and smarter – but she’s in part me.  You can learn a lot about an author from her work.  Her likes, dislikes, philosophy of life, are all left on the page.
 
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

My latest release is The Deepest Dark.   Telling you a bit about it seems the best way to answer this question.

 Following the deaths of her husband, Corey, and ten year old daughter Ellie in a traffic accident, author Abby Miller sinks ever deeper into depression. She contemplates suicide as a way to be with them, and to end her unrelenting pain.

In a last desperate effort to find peace, she drives to Loon Lake where they last vacationed together, wanting to believe they will be waiting for her there. At least in spirit. Barring that, the pills Doctor Gregory gave her to help her sleep, are in her purse.

The cabin at Loon Lake was her and Corey’s secret hideaway, and not even Abby’s sister, Karen, to whom she is close, knows where it is. But someone else does. He is one of three men who have escaped from Pennington prison. They are dangerous predators who will stop at nothing to get what they want - and to keep from going back to prison. Having already committed the worst of crimes, they have nothing to lose.

Unknowingly, Abby is on a collision course with evil itself. And the decision of whether to live or die will soon be wrenched from her hands.

 
7. What are you working on now?

I’ve just begun making notes for Gone Missing (a working title) about a woman whose husband has disappeared seemingly, into thin air.    
 
8. How can people find you?
                Websitehttp://www.joanhallhovey.com
                Blog
                Twitter:  https://twitter.com/joanhh
                Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/joan.h.hovey

The Deepest Dark: http://amzn.com/B00K9E7EHY    

  

Thursday's Heroine - Kalia from Lines of Fyre by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Kalia watched the stranger walk to an empty table. The few moments when their gazes had meshed filled her with a need she couldn’t express. Who was he? The lines of fire on his skin glowed. During the short time she’d felt a connection she wanted to explore, yet she was afraid. He was a Defender, a man who dueled with sword and knife. Just like her father. Did the stranger also revel in causing death? She couldn’t live with such a man. Was he the one chosen as her bondmate?

Her hands tightened. Why would the Swordmaster not choose a man she could gladly accept? Though she had mastered the knife and sword skills, she had refused to join a patrol and be forced to duel.

She wanted to explore the tricks she had discovered. Stopping a wound from bleeding, drawing blood away from or to an area of the body where it was needed and how once she had changed a clot to flowing blood, saving a man’s life. Her mother had warned her not to tell her father how she used the lines of fire. Only Lasara had known and had also succeeded in halting the flow of blood.

“Dreaming of Ingathering Day?”

With a start her head jerked up to meet Petan’s leering stare. His knowing smile raised an anger and fear she dare not express.

“No.” She turned to her brother. “Walk me back to the Women’s Quarter.” Her tolerance for another moment in Petan’s company flew like birds migrating in the autumn.

“I’ll do the honors,” Petan said.

Kalia stared at Robec. The thought of being alone with Petan roiled her stomach. Would her brother agree?

“Not today.” Robec rose. “Being alone with my sister would compromise her. I’ll see her back. Meet me in the salle. Must practice in case I’m challenged tomorrow.”

The burly man ran a finger along Kalia’s arm. “Won’t be long before we’re together.”

Her skin prickled. She stared at the lines of fire on her arm. They had faded just like her mothers appeared after a visit to the Swordmaster’s suite. Petan’s words chilled her. She watched him swagger away.

Robec rose. “Why were you in a trance earlier?”

“That man.” She pointed. “Who is he?”

Robec grasped her arm. “He isn’t anyone you want to know.”

“Why not?”

“Our father dislikes him. Tried to get him banished on several occasions but couldn’t prove he’d done anything wrong.”

“Why?”

“Does the Swordmaster need a reason? I’m afraid it’s my fault. During our training days, he was the best with sword and knife. Father didn’t like me to be second so he set Petan and me against him.”

Kalia whirled to face him. “Not fair. I don’t like Petan. There’s something wrong with his lines of fire.”

Robec grasped her shoulders. “Those aren’t to be mentioned where someone might hear. Seeing other people’s lines is forbidden. Didn’t Mother warn you?”

“She did but you and I both see them. Petan’s are almost black. I know he’s your friend, but open your eyes.”

“Kalia, put your dislike aside.”

“What do you know?” Her throat tightened and she could barely choke out the words.

He stared at the ground. “Father has promised you to Petan as his third mate.”

Her legs buckled. She pressed her hands against the table for support. “I’ll refuse.”

“Can you? Father will force you. He has his plans for us. When I’m the next Swordmaster, Petan will be my Right Hand. Lasara’s bondmate will be my Left.”

Kalia pushed away from the table. “And you’re happy with the plans?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

She rubbed her arms. “What you’ve been promised goes against tradition. I found some forgotten records from the early days. The best dueler among the Defenders is to be the next leader. Instead of a duel where Father allows you to win, you should have a real challenge. Petan should be banished. He’s already killed two bondmates.” Though angry her voice barely rose above a whisper.

“You don’t know that’s what happened.”

“And you don’t know if what he reported was true. There were no witnesses.”

Kalia ran from the refectory and dashed down the hall. Robec’s friend was a leech just like Father. Petan had sucked vitality from her lines. He had done the same to the two women chosen as his mates. Though the first had died after falling into an icy stream and the other had been killed during a duel, Kalia knew he had been the killer. But there was no proof.

“Kalia, wait.” Robec called.

She continued her frantic race through the winding corridors of the central area of the Hall until the door of the Women’s Quarters appeared. She opened the heavy oak door leaving her brother behind. She wouldn’t listen to his attempt to make his friend’s case.

She dashed across the large lounge and nearly collided with her mother. The older woman wore the clothes she donned when she went to meet her bondmate. Her lines of fire showed health and vitality but when she returned they would be drained.

“Daughter, what’s wrong?”

Kalia grasped her mother’s arm. “Don’t go. This time he might kill you.”

“Roban called for me. My honor is to serve him. He seeks another son should Robec fail. What troubles you? Did you quarrel with your brother?”

Kalia shook her head. “Father intends to bond me to Petan.”

Her mother backed away. “He mentioned he had chosen a mate for you. He said the man would be a power among the Defenders. Why are you angry? Your brother trusts this young man.”

“He shouldn’t.” Kalia grimaced. “I don’t like him.”

“How can your father be wrong?  He’s clever at choosing those who are heart bound.”

“This time he failed. Years ago Father ordered Robec to become Petan’s friend. That was before they entered training. Who is Petan? No one knows where he was born.”

“Does that matter? He has shown skill with the sword and knife.”

“Don’t you worry about me? Petan killed two bondmates.”

“Rumors spread by men jealous of the favor this young man has found with your father.” She reached into her pocket. “Since you are to be bonded, this is for you.” She drew out a glittering bracelet.

“Where did you get this? I’ve never seen another like it.”

“My dearest friend passed it to me before she entered the abyss. Her bondmate was your father’s best friend. He fled to the rebels and broke their bond. Your father brought the news to her and offered comfort. She turned away and only spoke to her young children. They were sent to be fostered. There had been a third child who was stolen by his father.”

Kalia felt the weight of the bracelet with its links of silver, gold, electrum and copper. She had read of bracelets of other metals in the ancient records but they had been just made from a single metal.
“It’s beautiful.” She kissed her mother’s cheek and prayed the older woman wouldn’t be drained to death during her stay with the Swordmaster.

She watched her mother walk to the door. Robec had remained outside. Kalia wondered why her mother stayed in these quarters. Many bonded woman whose mates didn’t go on patrol lived with their mates.

A thought occurred. If her mother remained with the Swordmaster she would die. If I am bonded to Petan, so will I. She darted into her sleeping chamber and threw herself on the bed. What am I going to do?

The special knock announced her younger sister. Lasara didn’t wait for an invitation. She crossed the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “Are you excited? In three days you will choose your first bondmate.”

Kalia wiped her eyes on the blanket. “Excited, no. Scared, yes. I intend to refuse the man Father has chosen for me.”

“Why?”

Kalia sat up. “Would you bond with Petan?”

Lasara’s eyes widened. “Ugh. Why does Father get to choose?”

“Some plan of his to make sure Robec follows him.”

“What will you do if he tries to force a duel?”

“Saddle my bihorn and ride away.”

Lasara’s shoulders slumped. “Won’t you be afraid? You’ve never been away from the Hall except during the training exercises.”

“I will be frightened. Better scared than bonded to a man with tainted lines.”

“Where will you go?”

Since she had no real plans she shrugged. “Just away from here.”

Lasara stayed for a bit longer. After she left Kalia found the pack she’d used just once when she trained. She’d refused to be part of a patrol and only bonded women were sent with their mates to tour the sectors. She sat on the bed and tried to plan an escape.




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - More on building tension in Romances #MFRWauthor


Still garnering tips from Karen Wiesner's From First Draft To Finished Novels. These particularly concern love scenes.

What's your sub-genre of romance? This is a good way to build the tension. Look at what action is occurring that is particularly specific to that particular type of story. Writing a suspense story or mystery and perhaps the heroine isn't sure the hero isn't the villain. She feels attracted to him but she shouldn't be until she is sure of his motives. Writing a science fiction romance and have the two being on opposite sides in the conflict. Looking at what's right and what's wrong with the pair finding a romantic bond can add tension. So consider your sub-genre.

What are their backgrounds. Use the language specific to their chosen careers to build a picture that's different. I often use people involved in medicine and they have a different way of looking at the human body than say a teacher or a lawyer. Knowing where your characters were born and the kind of life they've lived can add a layer of difference to your love scenes. Making them belong to the characters' natures is important.

Now we come to point of view. Is the love scene written from the hero's or the heroines' view. This can make the scene more vital since the character you choose can only know what they're thinking and feeling. They can also gain clues from people's physical reactions. For me when I sit down to write a love scene usually one or the other of the characters decides this is their scene. I'm usually more comfortable in the heroine's viewpoint but have done the hero's view in some. For me when I come to this vital kind of scene I usually know who must tell the scene. What I don't do is switch viewpoings several or many times during the scene. These kind of scenes always make me feel as if my attention is being batted like a tennis ball during a game.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration based on a quote by Arthur Koestler #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove


When I first read what Mr. Koestler a lightbulb went on. Here goes.  "The reader must identify himself not only with the hero but with the villain  if he is to share fully the dramatic experience of the story."

What this means to me is no cardboard villains but ones with good and bad traits, just like the hero, or the heroine and villainess. Sometimes this is hard to do. Showing the human side of the villain can be hard but he or she needs to have a bit of vulnerability. I'm working right now on a villain who is rather nasty but I also needed to show that he had a human side. This is a hard thing to show. I hope I manage this by showing his desire for a son to follow him to become ruler of his land. But he has some really nasty moments. I also had to show his love for a woman who is now dead and consider how the love she gave to another man might have troubled him.

What those words did was to make me look at my characters especially the lead ones to make sure they weren't all good or all bad. A truly interesting look at what I've written. One of my mysteries shows the killer was trying to protect others who needed protected. Yes, he murdered but I felt sympathy for him during the story.

What this means to me as a writer - I must love the bad guys as much as I do the good guys. Other wise the story won't intrigue the reader and make them want to read my other books.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove


Meander 1 - Promoting Pen by Pen - I have pens that give my name, the kind of books I write, my website and my blog. Today I gave two away. They were to the PA and the nurse who was caring for my husband. Will they buy my books? Maybe. Will they look me up? Perhaps. Sometimes they do buy my books and that's always a plus. Pens aren't that expensive, especially from the company I use since they always add ten percent more than you order. Other people give away things like magnets and paper book marks. Magnets. I do have them on my refrigerator but they're always ones that strike my fance not ones advertising books. Paper book marks are relatively useless for me since I throw them away and I don't read many paper books these days. But pen by pen I'm getting my name out to other people. I do know one person who received my pen not long before Christmas purchased all my YA ebooks for her daughter.

Meander 2 - Decision making. Sometimes this is very hard. I nearly had to make a decision that would have affected my life dramatically. Thank heavens I didn't have to make that one. There may be others I will have to make before this event ends in my life. I only hope I'm strong enough to make them.

Meander 3 - My writing is going well and in a strange way. I'm preparing two rights books back to send them to my current publisher. For both of them there will be at least another book. There are four series I must complete and I will.. One is involved with medicine and nurses but I'm talking them out of the hospital. I'm working on the latest of the Dream series and it's going fairly well. Am up to a Gemini hero to go with my Cancer heroine. This will bring four to the series so there will be eight to go and I have the ideas for two to follow. Finding time has been difficule since there ae stressful times but I'm forging ahead.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunday's Book and Reviews - The Doctor's Dilemma by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove





Take one doctor who’s made a career of temporary positions and avoiding commitment. Add a nurse who dreams of security and a settled life. Stir in infant twins bequeathed to him by his dead foster sister. Pour them into a small Texas town that wants the doctor to stay. To Dr. Neal McKay, it’s a prescription for a dilemma.

By Liispet
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! The storyline was well thought out, characters were believable. The book is very well written, easy to understand even if English is not your first language.
4.0 out of 5 stars I REALLY LIKED THE STORY January 31, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I REALLY LIKED THE STORY. I HELD MY INTEREST ALL THE WAY THROUGH. PLAN TO READ MORE BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a really fun read. The main characters wear believable, endearing, vulnerable & loving. The supporting characters were funny, nosy, busy bodies & totally in your face but in a loving way. Once again this is fiction if an author were to research every single thing that they said/wrote in passing no book would ever be published they would all be in school learning the correct procedures. Holy cow people. FICTION! Remember creative licensing. Enough said. All in all a cute storyline with solid characters. 

Saturday's Blurbs featuring books by Margo Bond Collins #MFRWauthor

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.




Day 2
For this day, send me the blurbs of books you have available. Not them all since there are some of us who have many books, but if you write in several genres or subgenres, send one. Include the buy links so people can find your books. Limit this to five or six blurbs.
           
Sanguinary Blurb:

Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city's vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.

But she didn't know then what she knows now: there's a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.

So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.

But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?





Paperback:



Bound by Blood Blurb:

Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real...

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....

Buy Links





Waking Up Dead Blurb:

She expected heaven or hell. She got Alabama.

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to heaven, or maybe hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?


Buy Links:
Paperback from these booksellers:


Legally Undead Blurb:
A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs--not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.


Buy Links





Universal Kindle Link: http://bookShow.me/B00KKV44BK



Taming the Country Star Blurb:

He'll do anything to win her heart. She'll do anything to keep him away.

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.

Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…

Buy Links