Category Archives: General blog

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Copy of Fearless!

Fearless CoverDiscover a new world of adventure and romance in the Survival Race series.

To enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of FEARLESS, click the link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearless Excerpt:

Angry red streaks snaked through his aura. “What manner of trickery is this?”

“Get off of me, barbarian.”

Name-calling? Really? Had her father taught her nothing?

“Barbarian? That’s funny coming from a savage.”

She gasped. “Savage? You’re the one on top of me.”

“As I recall, I wouldn’t be on top of you if I hadn’t needed to protect myself from your tricks.”

“I am a spiritual healer. I only wanted to repair your soul. You must release my people.”

“They’re free to go at any time. They choose to stay.”

His weight was crushing her, making breathing difficult, but she refused to let him see her discomfort. If she could calm herself enough, her spirit could reenter his, and she could try healing him again. This might be the only chance she got before he…What would he do to her?

She didn’t sense anything evil, vile, or malicious. Murder wasn’t present in his aura. The only thing she perceived was arousal. Typical male. Perhaps she could use that to her advantage.

There were three occasions when a person’s spirit was the most vulnerable: during sleep, during illness, and during sex—so she’d been told.

“You’ve invaded our peaceful village and took our people against their will. Forgive me for not believing you.” Her words were angrier than she wanted them to be. What happened to her shamanic training?

“Seems we have a lot in common, you and I.”

“We have nothing in common, barbarian.”

“Did you not invade my body against my will?”

“To heal your spirit.”

“So you say, savage.”

Would he stop calling her that? She was not a fierce, violent person. She was tranquil and at peace with the universe, dammit.

Well, at least she strove for peace.

“However,” he continued, “you needn’t concern yourself. My spirit requires no healing.”

“So say you. But our spirits have met, and yours told me it hid a deep wound. Let me back in. Let me into your body to heal you.”

His smirk surprised her. What could he possibly find so humorous?

“If anyone enters another’s body, it will be me.” His warm lips pressed against hers. As if to prove his point, his tongue coaxed hers to open for him.

She’d been kissed before, but not from a man so dangerous and commanding, or so good at it.

Well, she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to do what she came here for, especially since nothing in his aura indicated malicious intent. His spirit simply sought to demonstrate his male dominance in a kiss. Nothing more. Ha. He’d learn who the dominant one was when she connected with his spirit again.

She opened her mouth and kissed him back. His pause indicated surprise. He’d obviously expected her to resist. When she didn’t let up, his jaw relaxed and his kiss deepened. She couldn’t deny the freedom her soul felt.

But she’d come to heal his heart, and as much as she would like to give in to the pleasure she was receiving, she needed to heal him first.

Again retreating to that tranquil place in her mind, her spirit gathered energy and flowed from her body into his. Her spirit didn’t get further than the impenetrable stone wall before it was thrown from his body again.

His lips were off hers, the weight of his body disappeared. The influx of warm night air came as a relief.

“Savage,” he boomed. “Stay out of my body.”

“If you enter my body, barbarian, rest assured I will enter yours.”

Click to read Chapter One from FEARLESS!

Click to read Chapter One from CAPTIVE!

~K.M. Fawcett

Happy Holidays!

I know that many of us are busy with holiday prep so I’ll keep it short. From all of us here at Attacking the Page, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous new year.

happy-holidays-gif-i0hc4wez

Rayna

Cover Reveal for FEARLESS

When I’d received the cover for my debut novel, CAPTIVE, we had a little fun on Attacking The Page trying to guess the genre of the book based on cover alone. The poll resulted in most people guessing a genre different than what the book actually is. Click here to see that post.

Now that I have the final cover for FEARLESS, I thought we’d try again. Of course anyone who has read the first book will already know the genre, but I still want you to vote. And here is the reason why…I must be honest and tell you that although it’s a great cover, I personally think it misses the mark on the genre. Am I wrong? That’s what I hope to find out.

Based on this cover alone, what kind of Romance would you expect to read?

Fearless Cover

The poll closes at 9:00 pm EST on Wednesday 12/18/13. Don’t forget to visit again on Thursday to see if you guessed correctly. :)  In the mean time, does your answer match up with the book’s blurb?

TWO SOULS
Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. To hone her powers of prophetic visions and healing, the village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader’s heart and stop a brewing war. Myia’s mended many souls before, so this should be an effortless duty . . . until she meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord.

ONE DESIRE
Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe-a race that breeds humans for blood sport and genetic experiments. Fueled by his rage, Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when a raven-haired beauty with a body made for sin tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman’s touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed . . . and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace-but he can’t seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage-and his heart-for Myia’s love.

FEARLESS is available now for pre-order at: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books A Million | IndieBound

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

~K.M Fawcett

Sometimes Things don’t go as Planned

Angry, Frustrated WomanI’m at the end of a book. I  think. I  hope.

This story has been a pain in my butt since day one. I’ve already rewritten the entire first 40,o00 words. Today, 76,000 words into the manuscript, I have an epiphany about my hero’s character arc.

Seriously?

I’m almost done.  Now my muse is telling me I have it all wrong?

I hate my muse. She’s a moody bitch.

OK, so she’s also right (which makes me hate her even more).

I plotted this book before I started writing it, just like I do every time. But as the writing progressed, something wasn’t right. The story didn’t flow. Half-way through, I decided to let my muse have her way. I replotted the ENTIRE book and rewrote nearly 175 pages.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way they’re planned. Sometimes characters have other ideas, or the story takes on its own life and MUST have its way.

Anyway, you won’t be hearing from me again until this WIP is done.  I’m not going to make my muse’s demanding changes yet. I’ll push through and finish the draft, but my list of project notes is PAGES and PAGES long. The editing stage will be lengthy and painful with  this book.

Going back into the cave. Wish me luck,

Melinda

Audio Books

I have very little time to read these days. So I’ve taken to listening to audio book while driving and while I’m at the gym. The cons? It takes forever to finish a book. I read very quickly, about a hundred pages an hour, so listening to someone read a book aloud often makes the pace of a book feel slower. However, audio books also force me slow down and appreciate the prose–or not–depending on the book.

Two of my favorite listens so far have been Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan and Pines by Blake Crouch. Both had great stories, but also terrific voice actors that brought the story to life and let me forget I was climbing an endless set of imaginary steps at the gym.

Cons to audio books? Enjoyment is affected by the narrator.  There have been a few instances when I’ve switched back to reading because I hated a narrator’s voice or the way he or she depicted a certain character.  (Amazon has a feature on some kindle books called Whispersync for Voice that allows you to buy the audio book at a reduced price if you already own the kindle version. You can then switch back and forth between the two versions. The Kindle and Audible apps sync automatically.  I can’t say how much I love this feature.)

What do you think about audio books?  Love them? Hate them?  I’m always looking for a good story to listen to at the gym. Does anyone have a recommendation for a great audio book?

Melinda

No More Bookstores?

The mere title of today’s blog sends me into cold sweats because I am a lover of books. I shudder to think what a life without bookstores would be like. A few words that instantly come to mind are: cold, sad and depressing.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was young, so I didn’t venture into a bookstore until I got my first job in Manhattan. Entering that store was an out of body experience for me. I spent more lunch hours than I care to admit, surrounded by books, than living breathing colleagues.

As a writer, it’s important to keep up with your genre, and the quantity of new releases can add up quickly, and I was running out of shelf space. So, my husband gave me a kindle last year. I find it extremely helpful especially when traveling, instead of packing five or six books, which take up a lot of room, I can pack more clothes.

Now, a few year’s later after the battle of the big bookstore’s, I find it ironic that after putting all the small bookstore’s out of business, these large conglomerates have also put each other out of business, leaving us with one bookstore chain. One.  And I can’t help wonder how did this happen?

I talk to a lot of people who don’t buy ebooks. They want a print version. Not everyone has a computer, not everyone is going to buy a computer, and not everyone orders books on-line. So I think its always going to be important to supply readers with what they want. To do this, Amazon just isn’t going to be enough.

And one bookstore chain? Nope. I don’t think so.

Last week, a very good source told me that B&N closes twenty bookstores a year in the U.S. Call me an optimist, but I think it’s time for the re-emersion of the small bookstore. It’s time to get back in the game, boys. Whether they offer a little bit of everything, or specialize in certain genres: Children’s books, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, Suspense, etc. I think people would welcome them back with open arms.

What do you think? Do you miss your local hometown bookstore? I know I do.

Best,

Cathy Tully

The Synopsis

The other day an editor I know asked permission to use my latest synopsis as part of a talk she had to give. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, because up to now, I always thought I stunk at writing synopses.

Who knew : ) She went on to say that it was the kind of construction she looked for but rarely received, so I thought I’d share the steps I take to write a synopsis with you.

When I began writing I was a pantser who  believed that plotting  inhibited my creative process. That’s probably why it took me a year and a half to write my first book, which I never sold.

As time passed, I began to realize that if I wanted to write more books faster, I needed to plan more and if I planned more, writing the synopsis at the end of a project might just be easier.  I’ve played with a few variations of my process over the years but here’s what I’ve found works best for me:

1- Before I start to write a book, I write a character analysis for my hero and heroine because the more I know about who they are, where they’ve been, and what they want, the easier it is to move onto the next step–

2-  I write down my hero/heroine’s goals/motivations & conflicts. Keep in mind, it’s very effective if your hero/heroine’s goals oppose each other (ex: he wants a stay at home wife and she wants a career).

3-Once I’ve established their goals/motivations & conflicts, I write a  chapter by chapter outline. Sometimes this is a bare bones outline, sometimes it’s in depth.  Now I can begin to write the book.

Once the book is finished, I pull out the chapter by chapter outline I did months ago. I pinpoint the most important plot points in the finished book, (only those events and motivations that moved the story forward in a major way), and incorporate them into the outline. Don’t forget to reveal the character’s emotions and motivations. (Leave out secondary characters, you’re only using bare bones here.)

Once I’ve tweaked the outline, I begin to write the synopsis (in present tense) by picking up all the important elements from the outline. I introduce the hero/heroine each in their own paragraph. As they’re introduced, I identify their goals, motivation and conflict in as few words as possible, 1-3 pages maximum.

Wow, talk about pressure.  But take heart. Writing a good synopsis is tons of work but you’re also creating a valuable marketing tool. A good synopsis may even help you discover your blurb or pitch, and in the end, you’ve honed your writing skills too.

Best,

Cathy Tully

What Are You Reading?

I’m in crazy writer’s mode this week, but I also need some downtime every night before I go to sleep. Reading something another person wrote is the best way to clear my head.  This week I’m lucky enough to be reading an advanced copy of Alone by Kendra Elliot (romantic suspense).  I’m only a quarter of the way thru, and I tell you, I’m dying to know who did it and why already!

Alone releases in January 2014.

Because I hate to waste time, I’m also listening to book on audio in the car and at the gym. This month’s choice is Shadow’s Edge by J. T. Geissinger (paranormal romance).  The gorgeous cover has tempted me  for a long time. I’m happy to say that the prose is simply beautiful, and the story is making me actually want to climb on the elliptical trainer – quite an accomplishment.

Now, tell me what you’re reading this weekend. Anything good?

 

Forbidden Love by Ellis Carrington

Forbidden LoveAs you all know, I’m a huge fan of gay romance. I love to read it and I write it. So, I figured I”d use my post today as a bit of blatant promotion for my my good friend, Ellis Carrington.  Ellis’s latest release is a novella entitled Forbidden Love (Amor Prohibido).  It’s a great story, in English not Spanish as the alternate title might imply, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Jacob Freehan has no job, no man, and no motivation. In pain both from ending a long-term abusive relationship and a severe back injury, he escapes to the sunny seaside town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a little yoga, a little R&R, and possibly a place to quietly end his own life.

Pakal is a centuries-old immortal Mayan spirit guide who has been charged with getting Jacob on the path toward healing. Romantic involvement with a spirit charge is strictly forbidden, and it has never been a problem…until now. Pakal sees something special in Jacob, but failure to keep a rapidly growing attraction at bay could result in Jacob losing his life and Pakal being condemned to the Underworld forever…

Now meet Ellis:

Romance requires a hopeful ending and that is why Ellis Carrington is driven to write it. She loves to create original stories that are gritty, witty, and a little unexpected, just like the heroes who inhabit them. Her guys come in both human and non-human form because spirit guides and vampires deserve love too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her laugh and cry like there’s no tomorrow. You can find out more about Ellis at her website, Twitter, or Facebook.

If you’re looking for a little man love mixed with your paranormal romance then check out Forbidden Love.

The Adam & Eve Approach to Character Development

“The Creation of Eve” by Paolo Caliari (1528-1588)

About a month ago I’d been asked the following question in an interview. “When you decided to develop a hero and a heroine, how does that process come about? Do you do the character sketch? Do you use real world influences?”

Sometimes I get an idea for a character and then create a story around them. Sometimes I get an idea for a story and then create a character to fit the story.

In Captive (book #1 in the Survival Race series) I had a story idea first and then created the characters to fit the story. The plot required a tortured alpha male whose humanity is stripped away. I created Max–the poor hero believes he’s nothing more than a beast–to fill this role. Then I had to figure out what kind of heroine could make him see he’s not a beast. He’s a good man worthy of love. So I created a strong, spirited heroine who could inspire Max.

The hero of Fearless (Survival Race #2) was introduced in Captive. His character was already partially formed so I needed to create a story around him. As I brainstormed the plot, I also brainstormed the kind of heroine he required. Since he wants revenge, he needed a heroine who could tame his lust for war and bring peace into his heart. His heroine was created especially for him, and new to the series. This couple was exciting to write about. The warlord and the spiritual healer have opposing goals, but we all know what happens to opposites, right? Sexual tension! The heat level is a bit steamier in Fearless than Captive.

While plotting Survival Race #3, I realized once again that I have a hero and a partial plot but no heroine. I actually went through three different heroines trying to figure out who would work best! The first two weren’t getting the job done. They were already established characters, but were not right for what the hero needed or what the plot needed…or, quite frankly, what I needed. Those heroines weren’t getting me excited to write the story. After much cogitating, I came up with a new character. This kick-butt alpha heroine is exactly what the hero needs, and boy is she going to be fun and exciting to write about. I can’t wait to see their tension ignite the page.

So what have I learned about my character development process? Apparently I take the Adam and Eve approach. I create the man first and then from the man create the perfect woman for him.

No matter how the character is born, I always do a character sketch to get to know each one better. A character sketch answers questions like what do they look like, what is their history, what are their fears/ likes/ dislikes, etc…  I’ve also taken bits and pieces from real world influences, but don’t tell my family or friends that. ;)

Readers – have you ever read about characters that were perfect for each other? Have you ever read about characters that weren’t and wondered why the author forced them together? Writers – What’s your process to character development? Do you do the character sketch? Do you use real world influences? Please leave your answers in the comments section.

~K.M. Fawcett