31 January 2019

A Book that has Influenced my Life


This week's topic is difficult because I can name three books that have greatly influenced my writing but only one that influenced my life so much that after I read it, I decided I wanted to be a romance author. That book was Web of Silk by Yvonne Whittle, a Harlequin Presents set in South Africa. The heroine, the romance, and the beautiful setting blew my very young impressionable mind. 


As for the three books that influenced my writing, the first was "Avarayan Rising" by Judith Tarr. I've often cited that it's a must read for people wanting to learn how to write. The second book is actually a series of books, the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling. The journey I went on reading these books taught me how important it is to connect the dots. And the last book was "The Boundless Deep" by Kate Braille. I loved the first person narrative and how the author invoked such emotion within the pages. 

There are many romance books I love and many I still have in my library, where I'll grab and read over and over, but these four have impacted my life so much that I couldn't write about just one. Some of my favorite authors are Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Amanda Quick...Each and every one have influenced my writing over the years. My books are very much a part of me, of who I am, and I would never get rid of them. I still have that very first one, Web of Silk, and it's still my absolute favorite.




30 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise


Got Writer’s Block?


Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in? 

Perhaps you need to jumpstart your creative mojo, and that's what this series is designed for. Not to explain writer's block, but to help you move in a different direction.

A lot of times I talk out my character’s dialogue. I downloaded a recorder onto my phone and when I’m driving, or in the bathtub, or anytime I have a moment I talk out my story ideas. Sometimes I even give them accents they wouldn’t have. Then, all I have to do is type out what I said. It’s a great way to work out a difficult scene or hammer out interesting dialogue. 

Narrator

Imagine your story as told by an omniscient narrator. What would Morgan Freeman say?

>Tell your story out loud with your best storyteller voice. Try to use a lot of “althoughs” and “meanwhiles”.

> What if your narrator is lying, or otherwise unreliable? Consider ways you could misdirect the reader.

> List three characters who could narrate the story. How would it change with each of them?

> Imagine your story narrated by a famous actress, a famous rapper, or a cartoon character

A writer is the narrator of their character’s life. Perhaps writing out that story can’t be linear. For instance, Lisa McMann wrote a book titled “Wake” in which the main character’s story was written like a diary with date and time stamps. Just remember, you hold the master pen to shape your character’s world, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a typical layout.



Happy Writing!

 




***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

24 January 2019

What Would I do if I Couldn't be a Writer?

If I couldn't be a writer, I'd have to think back to the beginning of my career, when I was first published in 2009. From the moment I got the phone call from my then publisher, my whole world changed. I'd been reading romance novels for a long time, even writing my own blurbs to stories I thought up...and now I a lifelong dream had taken root. Being a writer is all I had ever wanted to do with my life, and I was determined I wouldn't be a one-book wonder.

Unfortunately, you only make money by writing more and more books. It takes a while for a writer to build up their backlist as well their reputation. I had to have a day job. I've worked in the medical field in various positions for about 26 years. I've been a surgical tech, a medical assistant, a histotech for a Mohs surgeon, and now I'm a pharmacy tech. If I couldn't be a writer, I'd be working a thankless job without any way to siphon off my creativity. I think I'd been pretty miserable.

A writer isn't just a writer because we wake up one day and decide to string a bunch of words together. Storytelling is in our souls. It's who we are, not just what we do. It's probably the only profession where having conversations with imaginary people is perfectly acceptable and doesn't make us insane.

I do have a Plan B, and that's what I'm doing now. Working in a pharmacy, standing on my feet for 10 hours a day, hoping my muse doesn't strike during my time in work hell. One day I hope to break free and devote all my time to writing. For now, however, for forty hours a week, I schlep to work in light blue scrubs and fill prescriptions. So if I couldn't be a writer, I'd probably be doing this same old thing, and living vicariously through the books of authors I wish I could be.


23 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise

Got Writer’s Block? 


Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  Perhaps you need to jumpstart your creative mojo, and that's what this series is designed for. Not to explain writer's block, but to help you move in a different direction.

What jobs have you given your hero or heroine? Whatever it is, you have to write it believable. Don’t write your hero is a math genius if you are clueless in mathematics. I once read a time travel story, set 100 years in the future, where a bacterial meningitis outbreak broke out and the heroine broke into a vet office to find the injectable antibiotics needed. First, medicine expires and second, a 100 years will have any liquid evaporated. Since I’m in the medical field, this completely took me out of the story. 

Not My Job

Give your hero new responsibilities, including a chance to prove himself/herself.


>List three interesting jobs in your world, then brainstorm how your hero might fill them.

> Imagine your hero is drafting a resume. What would he/she list for “career goals”?

> If your hero were to pretend to have another occupation, what might it be?


Sometimes it’s makes for great drama to take your hero/heroine out of their comfort zone and plop them into situations that leave them scrambling to figure out. Like Ally Sheedy in the movie “Maid to Order”. It’s a reverse Cinderella story where she’s a spoiled rich brat whose fairy godmother turns her into a maid in her own home. Perhaps take your hero’s strength and turn it into his or her weakness, and let your imagination run wild with that. 



Happy Writing!

  




***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

21 January 2019

Q & A with Katherine Wyvern!


Hello Katherine!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?

How did I ever? Good question! I am always a pantser but this was the most serious bit of pantsing I ever did. This story galloped out at top speed and half of the time I had no idea what was happening. Rikko’, my pirate, was supposed to get romantic with a certain wealthy powerful lady in the book… but he didn’t. He was adamant that he was gay, and I had to come up with a boy for him. And because Rikko’ was outrageously sexy and a bit of a dark character, I thought I’d write a softer, sweeter counterpart for him. That is how Gael came to be. And whereas Rikko’ has a secret wound, Gael has a secret strength to match. They are very complementary, which I think works well for them.

Q) Is this book part of a series?  If so, can you tell us about it?

This is a spin-off from a novel that was published in 2014, called Spellbreakers, based in a sort of fantasy version of Europe. It came about as it’s one story to begin with but then fell into that universe really well.

Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

There is a very opinionated ring-tailed lemur in it… she is very jealous... but only of other females.

Q) What do you think is your strongest asset as a writer? …what is your weakest factor as a writer?

My strongest asset? Possibly my voice, which is very lyrical in parts, and very… well, very “voicey”. It’s the thing people immediately remark upon. My weakest factor? My voice, again. It’s a love or hate thing. Some readers find it vivid and engulfing and  are enchanted with it. Others find it antiquated and distracting. You can’t please everybody.

Q) Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I can’t say I actively try to be original, but I don’t really think of readers when I write (something my editor keeps nagging me about). I think I mostly write for my characters, and myself. I want to give them the best story, and live alternate lives through them. If the readers appreciate that, of course, I am over the moon (and always a little surprised, because I am such an oddball).

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Oh dear, no, I could not plan a character to save my life. Usually it’s them who decide what to do. Rikko’, the pirate in this story, really wiped the floor with me. He was out of control start to finish. I wanted him to be light and funny, and he became dark and brooding. I wanted him to have a menage, and he said, he was a man who only loved once (which is really unusual for my characters!). I wanted him to be the Queen’s Pirate and he said he’d be the Pirate Queen. I gave up. *throws hands in the air*. He is just his own man. I am not responsible for his antics. I really ain’t.

Q) Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Both. And it can change. Spellbreakers was supposed to have a sequel, which didn’t come, but then sprouted this incredibly fun spin-off, In the Eye of the Wind.

Black Carnival was supposed to be part of a trilogy, but so far only two novels happened (BC itself and White Sands) and two short stories (Head Shy and Hell’s Mercy).

My most recent books, Woman as a Foreign Language, Spice & Vanilla and A muse to Live For are all stand alones, but subtly interconnected. I think of them as “loose trilogy”. Some stories are just “isolated incidents”, like my free-read The Nymph in the Stolen Garden, or my fairytale romance The Garden of a Thousand Nightingales.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

I am a little burnt-out to be honest, right now, but I hope to get to work on a very thrilling sci/fi story I conceived last year (and wrote a few pages of). It was supposed to be a cooperation with my husband, but he chickened out and I am on my own now. It is a time-traveling story with a slightly heart-breaking twist on the concept of fated mate. If the muse helps I’ll try to get to work on it after A Muse to Live For is released, probably in February (I apologize for the number of muses in this sentence, but such is my life).




 Blurb:
Born in the northern wastes of Kaleva in the middle of a devastating war between light and darkness, Rikko’ has found his way south to the warm shores of the Circled Sea, the first elver to ever turn pirate.

Forbidden by the rules of the Andalouan court to pursue such an ungentlemanly career, Gael can only dream of ever becoming a doctor, and his medical studies remain unfinished until his aunt the Queen sends him on a covert mission to the pirate city of Beyas’kahl.

And here, after one night with Rikko’, all his loyalties are put to the test.

Queen Amata has reigned for three decades, and she always used her men cunningly. But even the best player can miscalculate, and her blunder places Gael first in slavery, then in a naval battle, and finally, worst of all, face to face with Rikko’s darkest and deadliest side.

From such darkness, is there any coming back? Is there any hope of love for Gael, or redemption for Rikko’?




Excerpt:

“Come, Puna, sweetie,” he said, plucking the lemur off Gael’s shoulder with one hand.

He placed her on his chest of drawers, on a pile of freshly laundered clothes, her favorite bedding in the world, after himself. She grumbled a little but soon settled down. “And as for you, my boy, you come here to me,” he whispered, drawing Gael to the edge of his bed, where they both tumbled down together, kissing.

Gael was still frantically pecking at him, with those tight-lipped clueless kisses that drove Rikko’ to distraction. He let himself be kissed like that for some minutes—it was so ridiculously lovable.

Ah, it is a pity to teach him anything, he thought. I wish I could keep him like this forever. He knows nothing, except that he has this need…

But you can’t have your cake and eat it, I suppose.

“Wait, sweet, wait,” he whispered finally, and laid Gael on his back, pinning his body down with his folded leg as he lay beside him, and took his cheek in his palm. He put his mouth to Gael’s mouth, and gently, slowly, savoring every minute instant of it, he ran the tip of his tongue along the seam of those tightly closed lips, lightly at first, then harder, until the lips finally parted, like two halves of a plum, and Gael gasped in surprise and then lust. His body arched in desire when Rikko’s tongue met his, and he groaned with hunger, welcoming the new intimacy of that tongue-to-tongue kiss with an adoring fierceness that had Rikko’ near to tears with emotion. He groaned again, hugging Rikko’ closer, sinking his fingers in his hair, touching his face and neck and ears, pursuing his mouth when Rikko’ pulled back to breathe, licking Rikko’s lips.

Rikko’ had never met any grown man (Gael was young, sure, but not a child—Rikko’ despised child lovers, and never, ever went close to the little creatures himself) both so inexperienced, so shy, and yet so wholeheartedly passionate. It was enchanting, and utterly enflaming. He laughed softly and pulled back from the kisses. This was just too much. He could not wait any longer. He needed to touch this boy properly all over; he had to have his cock in his mouth, and maybe, if Gael was so inclined, inside that beautiful, taut little butt.

“Too many clothes,” he said, in Gael’s ear. He kicked off his flip-flops, and realized, with a bit of a shock, that he was still wearing his dagger, stuck in his sash, and his sword belt. He had forgotten all about them. He crossed the room to lay both weapons on his chest of drawers and untied his sash, and felt Gael’s hands on his hips.

“C—can I? Sir? Please?” whispered the boy, and Rikko’ smiled as Gael, with almost religious awe, unwound the length of silk from around his waist and hips and let it fall to the floor around his feet.

Rikko’ stepped out of the puddled folds and murmured, “You too.”

He finished undressing in a few seconds. He never wore a lot. It just got in the way.

Gael took off his clothes, and Rikko’ watched him from the bed, waiting. Under those strangely unattractive breeches and shirt, he was every bit as delicious as Rikko’ had always known he would be, not particularly muscular, but sleek and quick, and just a little awkward, like a young animal, full-grown but still uncertain of his body.

Rikko’ pulled him close, pressing that lithe soft form against his own, and their cocks met halfway, both hard and quite ready, so that they had to be pulled up against their bellies for them to embrace. Rikko’ smiled and palmed Gael’s butt, and kissed him, deep and long, and then put a hand between them and took the boy’s member in his fingers just for a bit of a feel, a bit of foreplay.

He tugged at the lovely taut cock once.

Gael gave a sort of astonished yelp, tensed all over, and then moaned wildly against Rikko’s shoulder, oh, oh, ooh, and suddenly Rikko’ found himself awash in hot, splashing, dripping jets of sperm, all down his belly, lap, and leg, a veritable, goddamn, bleeding flood of it.

He let go, dumbfounded, and then burst into laughter.

“Wh—well, I’ll be … what the…” he began, but, really, he could only laugh. I just barely touched him!

“Damn it, doctor, our ship sprung a leak,” he said finally, still laughing. “I’m drowned!”

“Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods,” said Gael, absolutely frantic, “oh gods, sir, I am so sorry!” He jumped out of bed, fumbling around. “I’ll find my handkerchief, sir, I’ll mop it up this minute…”

Rikko’ laughed even harder and stretched out to pull him back in bed.

“Stop that. Leave it. Leave it, damn it! It’s all right. I’m joking. It’s all right! It’s all good! Stuff’s good for the skin, it is known. Leave it.” He couldn’t stop laughing.



Visit In the Eye of the Wind’s web page with maps and an exclusive excerpt:




Bio:

I have entered that age when looking at beautiful male models in their prime makes me a cougar, ahem. 

Almost all my heroines are short: that’s because I look at the world from hobbit level. Being so small I am three times more concentrated (read: obsessive) than anybody I know. I am exhaustingly creative in writing, arts, crafts... Sometimes my brain gets friction burns from hurtling at such speed from one universe to the next.

I love animals, plants, and occasionally even people.

Like the Highlander I come from a lot of different places. I was born in Italy but lived here and there and consider myself simply and deeply European. I love Europe passionately, its antiquity, its diversity, its quirkiness. All my books are set in Europe, or alternate versions of it.

I have been writing since I can remember.


Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern


20 January 2019

Blast from the Past Spotlighting...Landra Graf's "Raven Pirate Assassin Spy"


Once Upon A Time...

Sorella Corvino lost her brother to The Cursed years ago. Sorella is so determined to find him, she'll make any deal, rescue the outcasts and those like him, and risk flying into any port to rescue him. When her latest pirate efforts partner her with a bounty hunter who's too charming, sexy, and handsome for his own good, she knows she's in trouble.

Ian Marshall no longer believes in fairy tales…

Disowned and a marked criminal in the United States, this merchant turned bounty hunter, is one bounty away from freedom; and freedom's price is handing over one person to the most cutthroat gang in the world, The Cursed. Yet, he can't get to them without Sorella's help. Too bad she's gorgeous, aggravating, and a little trigger happy.

As the attraction mounts, the danger grows and the pair find themselves invading a skin trader den, the ballrooms of dictator-ruled Germany, and fighting battles in the sky in the hopes of getting everything they want. Only thing they didn't plan on... falling in love.

Q & A  

1.       Did you plot this book out or write wherever an idea took you?

a.       This book is one I call a percolator. I wrote this story for a special call, it’s based on the Grimm Fairytale, The Seven Ravens. Once assigned, it took months for this story to develop in my head. I let the characters emerge and the tale, in the end I found myself in a new type of world with lots of action, adventure, and a dash of romance.

2.       Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

a.       For sure! This book’s cover is one of my most popular and commands a lot of attention. I always look at covers when I am doing my personal book shopping.

3.       Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

a.       There will be many rejections, many bumps in the road, and many life interferences, but never give up on the dream.

EXCERPT

“I already paid off the police, at least for the moment. Until your cousin offers them more.” The words rolled off her tongue matter-of-factly as if this sort of situation occurred every day. His pants tightened at her words. A woman who feared nothing, who didn’t believe in danger.

“Very generous of you.”

“Hmm?” She stopped playing with her balisong knife and looked at him.

He came toward her, arms open, expecting her to move away from the door and put distance between them. She didn’t. “You protected me at your own expense.”

“I thought you might take my generosity as replacement for me losing the bet.”

Less than six inches separated their bodies. The pulse point at her neck fluttered, her breath shallow. Her knife stilled in her hand, closed, but ready to deploy. She waited for him to make a move.

The distinct possibility existed he’d be dead in the next minute, but her lips were deep red, like cherries he’d eaten in late summer. To leave them untouched would be a crime. “You thought wrong.”

He leaned in. She gasped, and then he kissed her.

She’d been kissed before, but it had merely been her parents’ chaste touches to her cheeks or forehead, and, once, her fiancĂ© had brushed her lips with his. Otherwise, she had remained untouched until now. As he touched the tip of his tongue to her closed mouth, a sinful sensation swamped her body. Gooseflesh broke out underneath her clothes, and little hairs stood up on the back of her neck.

Sorella grabbed the lapels of his coat and opened her mouth. Something carnal took over, an instinct to engage his tongue in some primitive dance. If this was considered uncivilized, she’d gladly abandon society and all its norms.

As fast as the moment began, it ended, and Ian pulled back a few inches. “You taste amazing.”

He did, too; like peppermint, and…. “You taste familiar.” Not as if she’d tasted him before, but somehow the aromatic tang of his mouth and the scent of his breath on an exhale resonated within her. She’d bottle it if she knew how. “Kiss me again.”

“As my captain commands.”

WHERE TO BUY



Author Bio: Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Author Links:




Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Landra-Graf/e/B00IESJED4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440641120&sr=8-1

18 January 2019

Kait Gamble Visits Today!


Hello Kait!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Hi Beth! Thanks for having me!

Q) Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

A) A bit of both. Authors becomes favourites for a reason. Readers expect certain things that you should try to give them while at the same time you have to stretch and grow as an author or else things get stagnant. It’s a balancing act.

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

A) Characters usually come to me in pairs with their conflicts already brewing. Since I’m a pantser I explore and build the dynamics as I write. I love when something new about the characters pops up while I write.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

I’ve got a hitman romance on submission and am working on the next in my Sensation series as well as the first full story of my paranormal Fated series.

Blurb:
Lies tore them apart…
Tamara Roberts only wanted to live her life and write her novels. After living hard and fast in her youth, life now happened almost exclusively on the page for Tamara. Her carefully constructed life is torn apart when her long estranged husband makes an appearance on her doorstep looking too sexy for comfort.
Peter Worthington has one request before they part ways for good. That Tamara comes to make peace with his dying father. But the simple request comes with a huge tangle of complications. He never expected devastating revelations to be uncovered or for the chemistry between them to still be explosive. But will the truth bring them back together?
Extract: 

“Don’t you ever do anything but work?”

Tamara Roberts looked up from her screen at her assistant and gave her a mild smile as she pushed a stray lock of dark hair out of her eyes. “The last I checked, yeah. I eat, sleep, breathe, watch the occasional movie.”

“Very funny.” Angela Parsons, PA par excellence, slumped into the chair on the other side of the table to smile at her boss and friend. Gentle concern was clear on her face. “You’ve got to get out there. Live a little.”

“I’ve lived plenty.” Hard, fast, and stupidly when she was younger. Tamara viciously stabbed the keyboard with her fingers as she finished a paragraph. They’d been through this many times before. Angela couldn’t seem to understand that not everyone needed—or wanted—to date wildly inappropriate men and party every weekend.

There was nothing wrong with wanting a quiet life. Work was more than fulfilling. Her writing was both a living and an escape. And it gave her a comfortable life. All pluses in her book.

“I’m just saying that being cooped up in the house all the time with nothing but your screen and the voices in your head for company can’t be great for you.”

“It’s more than enough, Angela.” Tamara picked up one of the many pens on her desk and jotted a note on a pad before she forgot about it. “Besides. I have you.”

“You need to find a man like the ones you write about.” She leaned forward, her beautiful red hair bouncing with her movement. “Smart. Sexy. Handsome. Won’t take no for an answer. Worships the ground you walk on. You know, the perfect man.”

Ignoring the man that came to mind at that description, Tamara shook her head. “There’s no such thing as a perfect man except on paper.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that. The guy I’m seeing this weekend seems promising.”

Tamara tapped her pen against her glasses. “You’ve said that about the last four men.”

“It’s different this time. Caleb is a winner. I can feel it.”

Tamara smiled as encouragingly as she could. Why Angela felt the need to go through the hassle of a relationship, no matter how short, was beyond her. “So…”

It took her almost a full three seconds to remember what they had been discussing before she went off on a tangent. Angela nodded. “Of course. I’ll get your blog sorted out. Was there anything else you needed?”

“Milk?” Tamara was already thinking about the hero’s final grovel. Angela didn’t usually need things spelled out for her. “I have a list on the fridge.”

“I’m on it.” She stood and stretched sinuously.

How can anyone be so innately sexual? Tamara shoved her glasses up her nose. Apparently, some people were just born with it. She, on the other hand, preferred to fly under the radar.

Angela made no move to leave, however.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just thought you might want to talk about what your editor said.”

Tamara bit the inside of her cheek. “It’s all good, Angela.”

“Really? Because it looks like your head’s about to explode just thinking about it.”

Why would she be upset over the fact that her editor said that her latest projects felt a bit ‘samey’? That her heroes lately were all barely redeemable jerks? That she needed to get out of her comfort zone and try something different?

Not upsetting at all.

Tamara was so okay with it that she had cried for a little bit. What was half an hour spent wallowing? Okay. It was an hour of wine and tears in the bath, but it was all part of a writer’s life, right? She knew she needed to evolve. And that was exactly what she was going to do with this new book.

Her PA’s voice cut through the reverie.

“If you say so. But you know I’m always here if you want to talk.”

Tamara couldn’t help but smile. “Thanks.” Angela was a true friend.

One who was currently distracted by something she saw outside.

When Angela continued to stand and stare, Tamara had to ask, “What’s up?”

She pointed. “If you wanted to get out of your rut and try something new, you should take a run at the guy outside,” Angela said approvingly. “Very hot.”

There was someone outside? Tamara couldn’t imagine who would go out of their way to search her out. True, she had some diehard fans, but she wrote under a pseudonym and, thanks to her reclusive nature, people who lived nearby had no idea who she was besides being the quiet writer. That was if they ever saw her stray farther than the mailbox.

She pushed her chair back and strode over to stand next to her friend. The instant she saw the familiar tall, broad-shouldered build clad in a fine dark suit, Tamara’s knees wobbled a little.

Even after nearly a decade, she still knew him on sight. She didn’t even have to see his face. And her body reacted with a force only he’d even been able to elicit from her.

No. It couldn’t be.

As if he could hear her thoughts, he turned his head slightly to peer at the window where they stood. Tamara’s heart stuttered to a stop. What she already knew was confirmed.

Dark hair shorter and his face leaner than she remembered, he was still a fine specimen of the male of the species. One look at him always had the ability to knock the breath from her lungs.

Peter Worthington.

Impossible. What would he be doing there?

Her first impulse was to hide. It would have been so easy to get Angela to answer the door and deny her being there, but it was obvious he knew she lived there. Why else would he be there?

“Tamara? Are you okay?” Angela’s bright green gaze bounced between her and the man outside. “Who is that?”

“No one.”

“You’re not reacting like he’s no one.” Alarmed now, she put her hand on Tamara’s shoulder. “You don’t think he’s a stalker or something, do you?”

“No.” Tamara watched him take long-legged strides up the boarded path with growing dread. “It’s my husband.”

Buy Links:







Author Info:

An inveterate traveller, Kait has set foot on three continents and has the other four on her bucket list (yes, even Antarctica). Until she can see them all, she writes romances that take readers to far flung locales, often to places she’s been or hopes to one day go. For now, she’s settled in England where she spends most of her time plotting, scribbling ideas on every available scrap of paper and trying out dialogue on her cat.

Where to Find Me:







16 January 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Bypass Exercise

Got Writer’s Block?

Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in? 

Communication is, perhaps, one of the most important parts of a story. Not only between the good guys, but between the bad guy and good guy as well. Does this show how alike they are? Or does this conversation make it very clear how much the good guy needs to defeat evil? One thing to point out is that exposition can be very boring for the reader, so find a clever way to communicate what needs to be said in a way that doesn’t lose your audience. 


Talk it Out

If your hero and the antagonist had an honest discussion, what would they say to each other?

>List three locations or situation in which your hero and your adversary could talk at length.
> Brainstorm three characters your hero could confide in.

> Imagine a conversation between your hero and his/her younger self. What advice would he/she give.
> If your antagonist is a non-human (e.g.: a storm, an island, the alien in Alien) imagine it as a person. How does it speak? How would it describe what it wants?



Keep in mind that sometimes you don’t need to include these conversations into the story, but as the author, it could help you understand your protagonist and antagonist better. The best stories are when the two clashing forces have equally believable and necessary missions. You root for the hero but you also root for the antihero. Building dialogue can be a bridge that lets your readers choose which path to go. That’s great drama right there. 

Happy Writing!




***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

13 January 2019

Blast from the Past...Spotlighting Raven McAllan's "Master"


Caden McCourt did not expect to find his estranged wife Diana at a BDSM club. When he does, the renowned Master is determined to claim back his errant wife. 

When Diana left him fifteen years prior, she lost a part of herself. Seeing Cade again throws her into a tail spin. 


She cannot be the sub he needs, but she can't walk away either. When she's challenged by Cade to face her demons, her old nightmares resurface. Can they overcome the chasm between them, or are the nightmares simply too strong?

The book is Master, book one in the Dommissimma series


Q & A

Did you plot this book out or write wherever an idea took you?

I guess it was a bit of both. The subject…whether someone who was a sub could be all her Dom wanted and how they could sort any problems out, fascinating. They told me what to write and how. I said as I wrote it people would love or hate the book, the heroine, the hero… you get the idea. Yes she wimps out and that peeved a lot of people, but I tried to put myself in her lace. If you worry so much and love someone too much to admit you hate some things they do… How would you cope? I think it all worked out in the end. Perhaps they didn’t get there conventionally, but then what’s conventional?

1.       What was your hardest scene to write in this book?

When they both had to admit to their short comings. I cried, sulked, put it off… got a good talking too from my bestie, Doris O’Conor who told me to leave it alone, let them sulk. It took six months before I was able to carry on.

2.       Since the publication, what would you say has improved in your writing?

Everything. If you don’t grow and improve then you’re just marking time. I hope I’ve improved in every area. Mind you my typos when I am in  hurry to get the words down can be interesting to say the least. Luckily I or Doris catch them. Though I did once send an email to an editor saying, ‘I know you are busty, but…’ ooops no wonder I never got a reply.

3.       Did you leave out anything in this book that you wished you hadn’t?

I maybe should have delved into their thoughts a bit more. But at the time, I did my best.

4.       Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

Oh yes, what I say to anyone. Write as you can, not as you think you should. And believe in yourself, because if you don’t why should anyone else?

EXCERPT 

She stopped speaking again. Bloody hell, we'll be here for a week come Tuesday if she doesn't get a move on. Cade held his tongue. He'd wait for a while.

"Um, okay, I've done a lot of thinking. And I know now, that it wasn't everything we did that I hated. In fact, quite a lot made me more than hot and bothered." She giggled, and Cade saw the younger woman she'd been, before she sobered suddenly. "And a lot made me feel sick. It's sorting out which is which that's difficult. Will you help me?"

She stared at him, and his body tensed as if he was waiting for a blow. That was stupid. It was Di … no, Anna, for goodness sake.

"Anna, love, I'd be proud to. Tell me what you need, what you want, and how I can serve."

His choice of words made her giggle—or something did. Yeah, that'll be the day. "Okay, I need to try to see what I can do. No worse than that. Oh hell, Cade, I need to see what would satisfy you. Therefore." She took a deep breath, and Cade watched as perspiration dotted her brow. "Um, I want … will you do things?"

How the hell could he answer that? "What sort of things, love?"

Anna nibbled her nail. Cade forced himself not to grab her hands and demand she stop. This had to be her show.

"Well." She tucked her head to one side, something he remembered her doing when she was deep in thought. "Will you handcuff me and make me come?" she asked in a hurry, her words tumbling over each other. "I bloody loved that."

He waited to see if she would say anything else. She didn't, so it was all up to him.

"If I do that for you, what else?"

She stared at him like a rabbit caught in a trap. "How do you mean?"

"If I handcuff you, how do you want me to make you come?"

It was obvious she hadn’t thought that far. Anna stared at him and licked her lips. "I don't understand. I mean you'll make me come."

Cade closed his eyes so she wouldn't see his frustration. "Oh I understand that. But in what way? Tied?  Over a bench, blindfolded? Making you fuck yourself? You need to be more explicit, Anna. I don't know at which point the 'I loved it' became the 'I hated it'. If I'm to help you here, I need a little bit of direction."

Anna looked startled. "But you're the Dom. Don't you tell me?"

Oh shit.

"If I do, love, we might not get any further. What I want could perhaps be three steps too far. So you tell me. Do I shackle your handcuffs? What do you want?" He paused took out a bottle of water from his desk drawer and had a swig of water.  "This time, let's assume there's no Dom and no sub and only a beautiful lady asking her man to play." Would she go for that?

Anna wandered around the room, not really looking at anything, but he could sense her mind whirling. Then she stopped dead, swiveled, and walked to stand in front of him.

"If I cry ‘red’?" she demanded. "What then?"

"Then we stop. I'm past trying to persuade you. What I want here is secondary, I reckon. You know what I want. We need to work out what I need." Who the hell knew if that chasm could be breached? It seemed as unlikely as snow in the Sahara. Cade stopped talking. "It's up to you, love. We need to see what you want to give as well. I'm happy to follow your lead for now. But we both know, for me to meekly sit back and watch as you destroy anything we might have is so not going to happen. I want to fill you, bind you to me with more than physical ties, and hear you cry out for me. Can you cope with that?"

He watched her go through the colors of the rainbow on her skin, and swallowed. Hell’s bells, she does that a lot, and it sends my body to high alert. Promises, promises.

"Can you, love?" He pressed her for an answer, because he had to know. His skin was so tight that he thought if she touched it she'd bounce.

God almighty, even the air held its breath. It was getting to be a habit.

Slowly, Anna nodded. "I need to try. Hell, Cade, I love you, and I want you. Whether that's enough, who knows? But really, honestly, I want to try. So can we?"

His heart swelled, and he wanted to punch the air. Yes!

"I reckon so, love. I reckon so. Now, if I say assume the position, just for me, can you? Will you?"

Ana smiled, the enticing smile of a siren home from the sea. With a graceful movement, she knelt in front of him, put her hands behind her back and dipped her head.

"Oh, I reckon…" The muscles in her neck moved convulsively. "Well, I reckon. Yes, Sir."

Cade thought all his birthdays had come at once. Surely, surely this was a good start. He hardly dared look at Anna in case he saw desperation or negativity on her face.

Come on, act the part. Look and help her, that's your remit. You're a bloody Master, for goodness’ sake, so be one. Cade gave himself a minute to collect his thoughts before he turned to the woman who kneeled in front of him. As he watched, a faint tremor shuddered through her. So she wasn't really comfortable. That little movement made him stiffen his resolve. He would push and prod, and see if they could come up with a compromise.

WHERE TO BUY






Happy reading,
Love Raven x