24 July 2013

My Fantasy Novel: Dark Heritage

Dark Heritage by Beth D. Carter

The first “novel” I ever wrote was back in the late eighties and I hand wrote a story in a spiral bound school notebook.  It was a historical love story about a woman named Amanda whose mother owned a whorehouse and would soon force her to work there too.  Amanda meets the handsome hero and the two fall in love, forcing Amanda to choose between the man of her dreams and the mother who worked as a whore to pay for Amanda’s education. 

I don’t remember what I’d named it and obviously there were some plot holes but the sweeping Zebra romances of the time were a big influence on what I was writing.  Out of embarrassment because of the “racy” theme, I ended up throwing it away, something I still regret to this day.

Two decades later, even though I had had many story ideas and story starts, I was still struggling with completing what I wrote.  I had already fleshed out my book An Innocent Heart (except at this point in time it was a Vampire story) when I went to the movies and saw Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  I was in love.  I’d always been drawn to epic adventures and this was the grandest of them all.  Immediately I began trying to conceive of my own epic adventure and began working on Aria’s story.  The world of Asgeirr was slow in building and for two years it changed a lot. 

Over two years I struggled with this story, although the foundation had always remained the same.  It was a fantasy take on Pandora’s Box, except this time, hope was alive in a child.  To guard it against the forces of evil, innocence could hide it, protect it, although the downside was that the child could only live to age sixteen.  Then the child dies and hope is reborn inside the next vessel. 

I had of why’s, how’s, what’s and when’s to get through.  And it wasn’t until I was living in Baton Rouge that I finally finished it.  Yet as I was finishing this monster of a story, I was finding success in another genre of erotica romance.  So Dark Heritage has lingered in my document files for a long, long time. 

Now, I’ve finally managed to get it out there, although I decided to go the Indy route and use Smashwords.  I haven’t totally figured out their “premiere” uploading due to wrong formatting, but oh well.  My lovely boyfriend Brian made me cover and it makes me happy that my story has finally found the light of day.


On the world of Asgeirr, hope is legend born from the war between the gods. In order to hide it from the evil god Kiradon, his brother Baldric places it in the body of a child where innocence can shield it. But the child can only live to the age of sixteen, and then hope will be born into the next chosen child. Baldric uses his power to bind his evil brother, until the day he begins to die, giving Kiradon an opportunity to curse hope itself in an attempt to find the current possessor.

Tobias becomes a wolf by the full moon, destroying everything in his path. Aria, the lone survivor from the Wolf's attack, recognizes who he really is and decides to go on a quest to save him, despite her own fears. She's joined by Quillian, a mighty warrior from the Ranevgh province and Sinjin, a Beast Tamer with secrets of his own. Magik may be for men only, but only Aria can save the world of Asgeirr.

19 July 2013

Creating McKnight, Perth & Daire

Before I began creating McKnight, Perth & Daire I was going through a Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium phase mainly due to the traumatic experience of watching my father die.  I’m sure a shrink would just love to psychoanalyze that but at the time those shows helped me deal.  And from those shows I thought up Charlotte Perth.

At the time, however, the story was vastly different than the finished product.  When I first thought of Charlotte I had envisioned she lived in the Victorian era and was a woman ahead of her time.  Her benefactor would be a rich lord or mister and a ghost would be her way to finding out certain facts or particulars to further the story along.

But in the early drafts Charlotte wasn't flowing the way I wanted her to flow, so I began to rethink her.  I came up with the concept of Otherworldly as a stand alone, but as I wrote I wound up introducing a character by the name of Nash McKnight and suddenly I had to rethink the plot again. 

It took me a week or so to come around to the idea of turning my M/F story into M/F/M in an organic way that wouldn’t sound contrived.. I decided to turn the love story into three books and book one would be with Jonas Daire, book two would be with Nash, and book three would be with both men coming to conclusion that they could survive a ménage relationship. 

The mysteries were something different.  I knew I had to resolve Charlotte’s near death experience in the third but for the first and second, I turned to a trusty idea advisor…the ID Channel.  Book two, Hereafter, is very loosely based off a murder mystery I saw on one of those programs. 

But the greatest influence I put into the stories were the back stories I’d already written (quite unintentional too!).  Jonas Daire has ties to The Song Bird while Charlotte’s long suffering brother-in-law Alastair is from The Scarlet Dove.  To give me a wide writer’s berth, I needed a fictional law enforcement to rival the FBI and so I borrowed Hawke Securities. 

Each book took me about two months to write and I had a ball giving Charlotte her sassy attitude.  While Otherworldly is a stand alone, there are one or two unresolved issues which continue through Hereafter and finally play out in Breathless. 

Happy reading!

Otherworldly (McKnight, Perth & Daire 1) Blurb:

Charlotte Perth is all about sass because her job reminds her all too well the limits of human life.  She’s clairvoyant but her gift is unique.  She can only summon murdered souls and interprets the visions they send her.  When she’s hired by a wealthy woman to determine the fate of her great nephew, little does Charlotte realize this is one ghost that refuses to cross over.

Detective Jonas Daire feels Charlotte is a fake, out to swindle money from his rich aunt.  When Charlotte proclaims the nephew is not only dead but has been murdered, Jonas feels especially disgusted at Charlotte’s “profession”.  But when his cousin’s body is discovered in the place that she said it would be, with detailed accounts of how he died, he places her under suspicion. 

Jonas and Charlotte work together to find the killer.  As the two grow closer together, another malevolent force won’t stop until the truth is buried…until Charlotte’s ghostly visions are her own.

**Available now www.bethdcarter.com

11 July 2013

Cover Reveal...Once Upon A Love Story


Caleb Tasker lost his wife to cancer but it took him a long time to put her memory to rest.  Deciding he needs a vacation, he accepts the gracious invitation of living in his friend’s Malibu home for an over due holiday.

Delilah Ward grew up in rural Mississippi and ran away when she was sixteen, moving to Los Angeles with thoughts of being anything but the person she was born to be.  But reality settled in quickly and the bright lights of Hollywood soon faded into the dark abyss of dancing on a darkened platform.

Caleb is used to love being easy and Delilah is used to fighting against everything.  They have nothing in common except a wildfire attraction that won’t let go of them.  But when tough choices need to be made, will they both be able to be honest to what they really want?

The Vanilla Romance

The first romance I ever read was Web of Silk by Yvonne Whittle, a Harlequin Presents set amidst the lush background of South Africa.  Morgan, the heroine, was a titan haired beauty and her hero was an American blonde Adonis.  I devoured my mother’s collection of Harlequins the summer before I started fifth grade, not only enraptured by the romance and love but also by foreign locals I was transported to through my imagination.

Growing up in rural Missouri, in a town of about eight thousand people, it never entered my mind that all the romance books out there only featured white couples.  A decade later, when the 1990’s rolled around, I found myself living in Baltimore working at John’s Hopkins Hospital and taking the bus to work.  My Harlequins, at this point, had graduated to sweeping Zebra Historicals.  One morning I happen to see an African-American woman reading a Zebra novel, with a white couple brazenly displayed on the cover and it made me start to wonder why there weren’t black love stories.

Now, this wasn’t a negative thought by any means.  When I went back to the bookstore I started looking at all the covers…and all were, well, vanilla.  I couldn’t help but see a wide gap that even romance novels wouldn’t breach through mainstream bookselling and I thought that was pretty sad.

The internet was just emerging by this point but used mainly for emailing friends because the information highway was a pain the ass since dial-up it took half a night to download anything.  So I didn’t know the name of Elsie B. Washington, widely regarded as the first woman to publish an African American love story in the mainstream romance market.  Nor did I know of Harlequin publishing the first collection of African American romance novels featuring Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, and Mildred Riley. 

And then the Nineties gave way to a new century; the internet took off and people started realizing how small the world actually is and how beautiful other cultures are.  And then I started seeing more and more romance novels with African-American heroes and heroines on the shelves of Waldenbooks and Barnes and Noble. 

Fast forward to the later part of that decade (early one of this decade) and the explosion of ebook publishing.  Finally, love is able to dominate.  Interracial couples are in demand and suddenly love is no longer vanilla. I’m so very happy about that.  I have had the delight of reading the most amazing stories, not just about interracial couples but even interspecies couples, ménage stories, and gay romance.  I am so happy and thankful that I live in a time when love can be love, in any flavor.  

In Once Upon a Love Story, Caleb is an Alaskan boy with dirty blonde hair and sky blue eyes while Delilah is an African-American girl who grew up in rural Mississippi.  Both are as different as they can be but they find a wildfire love that takes them by storm.  I loved writing their story and hope you enjoy their romance.