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FEARLESS Release Day

Fearless CoverHOORAY! Today is release day for FEARLESS, book 2 in the Survival Race series. I’m super excited to share Fearless’ awesome first review (4 stars) from Goodreads!

“This is the follow up book to Captive and a fantastic piece of sci fi romance…I found the world building here to be truly fascinating…. Very good follow up to Captive. The first book explored being taken prisoner by aliens and trying to survive whereas this book explored the idea of living as a native on a planet dominated by a brutal race. Fans of the first book will be delighted to catch up with characters from the previous book and new readers will surely be clamouring to catch up! Recommended”- Marta Cox

You can read a sexy excerpt from the book and enter to win a free copy at Taking Time For Mommy’s blog today. Here is 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…or 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.

Please join me on these other stops during the FEARLESS blog tour.

1/7     Taking Time for Mommy     Excerpt/Spotlight
1/8     The Avid Reader                    Top 5 List
1/9     Manga Maniac Café              Q&A
1/9     Tyra’s Book Addiction           Top 5 List
1/9     Fab Fantasy Fiction               Q&A/ Excerpt
1/10   The Fiction Enthusiast         Top 5 List
1/10   Deluged with Books              Spotlight/Review/ Excerpt
1/10   Alyssa Alexander                   Excerpt & Blurb
1/11    Danielle Gavan                      Q&A
1/12   Bitten By Love Reviews        Spotlight/Review/Excerpt
1/13   The Book Pushers                 Spotlight/Review/Excerpt
1/15   Star-Crossed Romance
1/22   Caridad Pineiro

FEARLESS is On Sale Now: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books A Million | IndieBound

~K.M. Fawcett

Smugglers, Covers, & a Free Giveaway

Today on the blog we’re excited to welcome romance author, Alyssa Alexander, who will  be giving away an Advanced Reading Copy of her debut novel, A SMUGGLER WORE SILK to one lucky commenter. But before we get to Alyssa’s post, here are the results of the FEARLESS cover poll from Monday. Out of 222 visitors, there were 31 total votes broken down as follows:

  • Historical Romance               0 votes      0 %
  • Erotic Romance                      11 votes     35.48 %
  • Paranormal Romance            7  votes     22.58%
  • Contemporary Romance       8 votes      25.81%
  • Sci-fi/ Futuristic Romance   0 votes      0 %
  • Romantic Suspense                5 votes      16.13%

Though the majority of votes were for erotic and contemporary, you may be surprised to learn that FEARLESS fits best into the Sci-fi/ Futuristic Romance genre (which received 0 votes). Though, I think it could also be categorized as a Paranormal Romance (which received the 3rd highest votes). Either way, it’s clear to me that this book can’t be judged by it’s cover alone. That’s okay. Most people read a book’s blurb, right? They can also read an excerpt on my website and peek inside at Amazon. Fearless is available for pre-order now and releases January 7th (less than 2 weeks away!).

Guess who else has a book releasing that same day? Our guest blogger, Alyssa Alexander. Welcome Alyssa!!

9780425269527_medium_The_Smuggler_Wore_Silk(1) Thanks so much for inviting me to be on Attacking the Page, Kathy! I was delighted to discover we share a book birthday. Having read CAPTIVE, now I can’t wait to get my hands on FEARLESS!

Since we’re only a few short weeks away from our shared release day, I thought perhaps I would give readers a chance to get to know the hero and heroine of THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK: spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, and smuggler Grace Hannah. And, while I’m at it, how about some fun facts about me, as well?

First, a little about the book:

After he is betrayed by one of his own, British spy Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, refuses to retire without a fight, vowing to find the traitor. But when the trail leads to his childhood home, Julian is forced to return to a place he swore he’d never see again, and meet a woman who may be his quarry—in more ways than one.

Though she may appear a poor young woman dependent on charity, Grace Hannah’s private life is far more interesting. By night, she finds friendship and freedom as a member of a smuggling ring. But when the handsome Julian arrives, she finds her façade slipping, and she is soon compromised, as well as intrigued.

As she and Julian continue the hunt, Grace finds herself falling in love with the man behind the spy. Yet Julian’s past holds a dark secret. And when he must make a choice between love and espionage, that secret may tear them apart.

Now, let’s get to know Julian and Grace!

Five Fun Facts About Grace:

  1. Food: She usually has a glass of good French red wine when she visits the local pub.
  2. Weapon: She carries a pocket pistol, and she knows how to use it.
  3. Medical Skills: If you have the croup, megrims, need stitches, or need to set a broken bone, she’s your girl.
  4. Activity: Grace is an accomplished horsewoman and even rides astride. Shhh…don’t tell! It would ruin her reputation!
  5. Secrets: She tries very hard to hide behind the mask of poor relation, but you can’t hide a rebel smuggler forever.

Five Fun Facts About Julian:

  1. Food: He loves gingerbread, and lest you think authors often put themselves into a book, this author vehemently dislikes gingerbread.
  2. Weapon: Among the other deadly odds and ends on his person, he carries a knife in his boot.
  3. Medical Skills: Julian knows nothing beyond battlefield basics, which will do in a pinch. Particularly if you’re a spy.
  4. Activity: He’s in the business of espionage, which means he knows all those spy tricks about fading into shadows and hand to hand combat. You know, the fun stuff. Regency martial arts!
  5. Secrets: Julian has been carrying his secrets for far too long. But secrets have a way of being discovered, and his are very close to the surface once he returns to his childhood home.

Five Fun Facts About Alyssa:Alyssa Alexander

  1. Food: I love bacon. On everything. Actually, I just like food.
  2. Weapon: I have never touched a pistol, rifle, musket, or any other firearm. Nor have I touched a knife that isn’t intended to peel potatoes or chop onion. I’m sure I would be missing digits or limbs if I tried.
  3. Medical Skills: I’m very experienced at putting superhero band-aids on small children. Beyond that, I’m at a loss.
  4. Activity: I’ve ridden a horse only once, and it left me quite bruised. I know nothing of martial arts or any other tricksy spy things. But I do love yoga, and find it helps me balance a full time job, a family and a writing career. My favorite poses are Pigeon (when I can do it) and Warrior III. But my very, very favorite pose is the Couch Potato, preferably accompanied by Potato Chips.
  5. Secrets: If I have any, they’re so secret I’ve forgotten them—which is probably for the best!

Now that you’ve met Julian and Grace, I’d love to give away an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) to one random commenter! Good luck!

Alyssa Alexander spends her days working, her evenings playing with a kindergartener, and her late nights writing. She lives in Michigan, but is quite certain she belongs somewhere warm and sunny where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas.

THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK is available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Watch for Alyssa’s next book, IN BED WITH A SPY, coming in fall of 2014. In the meantime, you can visit her here:

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   Book Trailer

Thanks for visiting with us today, Alyssa! I have already pre-ordered my copy of  A Smuggler Wore Silk. I look forward to reading it! By the way…great book trailer!! :)  Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win an Advanced Reading Copy of A Smuggler Wore Silk!

~KM Fawcett

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Training Travis

My new contemporary romance, TRAINING TRAVIS, is now available!

TRAINING TRAVIS, available now!!!

TRAINING TRAVIS, available now!!!

Two professionals with a past they thought forgotten—can they keep their relationship strictly business when the passion reignites?

After the death of his ex-wife, Travis McGill becomes sole parent to his fifteen-year-old daughter. Determined to do what’s best for her—even if it means reopening old wounds—Travis moves back to his Pennsylvania hometown.

Rebecca Evans never forgave Travis for the way he dumped her. Not only did he break her heart sixteen years ago, but he and his daughter are a reminder of the family she never had. But when Travis asks her to redecorate his Victorian house, she can’t turn her back on him or his angry, grieving daughter.

Getting Rebecca back in his life might not be the easiest task, but Travis is determined to try. Can he earn the trust of the two most important women in his life? Or—will he need on-the-job training?

Best,
Cathy Tully
Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Training-Travis-Cathleen-Tully/dp/162830166X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386609462&sr=8-1&keywords=Cathleen+Tully

Fun with Tropes

Tropes. Tropes are commonly used themes or devices. The romance genre is full of them. Amnesia stories, marriage of convenience stories, Cinderella stories we’ve all read and loved them.  Why? Probably because they are so familiar. While new and different is great. Sometimes, as readers, we want the tried and true.

Personally, I’m a sucker for the secret baby trope. They’re practically auto buy stories for me especially if you toss in some sort of royalty. I think the idea of  an ordinary person being thrust into a world of titles and tiaras is a fascinating concept. It’s also great fun to watch a hero cope with both a sense of duty to his people all while trying to adapt to being a husband and father. A favorite story that always comes to mind, that includes both of these tropes is I Married a Prince by Kathryn Jensen. It’s a classic Silhouette Desire that I really enjoy.

Taking a trope and using it as the base of a story can be a fun challenge especially if you’re looking to put a new twist on an old, favorite story. So, tell me what are your favorite tropes? Are you a fan of the the boss and the secretary? The ducking to swan stories? Please share and tell us why?

~Rayna

 

 

 

The Doctor and River Song

The Doctor and River Song in The Name of the Doctor

If you are a Doctor Who fan then you either love River Song or you hate her. Is there an in between? I happen to love her. She is tough, smart, sassy, and can slap the doctor silly. (I hear actress Alex Kingston doesn’t pull her punches.) I hope to see more of her in the future with the 12th Doctor. Or would that be the past? Her past maybe. It’s all a bit wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey, isn’t it? Sorry if that reference doesn’t make sense to non-Whovians, but basically the Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through space and time in his TARDIS and protects Earth from alien invasions. He can live for hundreds of years and cheats death by turning himself into a new actor. ;) River is also a time traveler. She and the Doctor don’t always meet in the right order, which makes dating and marriage difficult though they seem to manage. It’s really quite fun.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to study the chemistry between the 11th Doctor and River to find out what makes them such a great couple. Definitely the banter.

From the Impossible Astronaut:

Doctor: [smugly, just after explaining how he determined where the mysterious phone calls to President Nixon were originating from] …And Doctor Song, you’ve got that face on again.

River Song: [bemused] What face?

Doctor: The ‘He’s-hot-when-he’s-clever’ face.

River Song: This is my normal face!

Doctor [even more smugly]: Yes it is.

River Song: Oh, shut up.

Doctor: [smiling] Not a chance.

Also from the Impossible Astronaut:

Doctor: Shout if you get into trouble.

River Song: Don’t worry. I’m quite the screamer. Now there’s a spoiler for you.

But what else is going on that draws viewers in? I ask because I’m creating characters right now where the hero is a scientist, a thinker, a brainiac and the heroine is a warrior. It didn’t dawn on me until a few days ago that my couple sounded like the Doctor and River…well minus the time traveling, and the living for hundreds of years…and oh, a lot of other stuff. The question is how do I make my pair a winning combination? How do you make a warrior heroine tough but not over the top? How do you make a scientist hero clever but not annoyingly so? How do I make each vulnerable for the other (yes, it’s a romance…with action-adventure and a bit of sci-fi)? I’d love to hear your thought in the comments section even if you don’t have advice to share and just want to talk about Doctor Who. :)

Anyone know what time the 50th Anniversary special is supposed to air in NJ?

By the way,  happy to report that my sci-fi romance Captive (book #1 in the Survival Race series) is now available at Amazon UK!

~K.M. Fawcett

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?

 

The Post Book Break

Aulani View

Most of September was a crazy month although the first week was pretty awesome. I spent the week in Hawaii.  Ah, so pretty and relaxing. While we were there we also went to Pearl Harbor. It was fascinating and sad all at one.  If you ever travel to  Hawaii it should absolutely be on your sightseeing list.

Then I came home and dove back into my manuscript. I am thrilled and excited to say that as of this weekend, I am finished and the book is off of my desk and onto my agent’s. I know it will boomerang back to me soon, but for right now I am taking a break.  This week it’s going to be me and my Xbox. I’m going into full gamer girl mode. Now that I’ve, at long last, hit the end I need to give my brain and my muse a vacation.  I’ll be refilling the creativity wells by immersing myself in the story of the game. That’s half the fascination of video games for me is the story.  The combination of the story and the fabulous graphics just transport me to another world. I can enjoy and relax and sometime get creeped out, but all in all I’m having fun.  While I’m distracted by games my subconscious is busy working on my next story.

So tell me fellow writers, what do you do for your post book break? Do you catch on missed television shows? Make a dent in the ever growing TBR pile? We all need to refill those creative stockpiles in between projects so please share how you recharge.

A Happy Ending

My need for a happily ever after is one of the reasons I decided to write romance; I can’t help myself, I love watching two people fall in love. From a writing standpoint, the most important thing about the ending of a book is that the issues between the hero/heroine all be resolved in a way that’s logical and satisfies the reader.

Two people who’ve hated each other through the course of the story and all of a sudden decide they’ve fallen in love halfway through the book, isn’t logical and doesn’t make sense. To prevent a contrived ending a writer must make sure the core vales of the hero/heroine are extremely different to the point that it’s impossible for them ever to compromise. For example, if he’s a cattle rancher, and she’s a vegetarian, there can’t be a middle ground for compromise.

In order for a happy ending to be believable and satisfying, the hero/heroine must make sacrifices for the sake of their love. Doing this establishes a basic equality, or meeting point. It also makes sense as to why they couldn’t solve their problems early in the story before they had a middle point and began to make sacrifices. Having your hero/heroine compromise gives a writer an opportunity to add an element of surprise to their story where the reader is left to think, ‘that’s a great ending, why didn’t I think of that?’

A clearly resolved ending doesn’t mean that only one of the characters can make a vow to act differently. A resolved ending must be when the hero/hero make sacrifices for the sake of each other and not just for themselves. This ending gives the reader satisfaction that the characters will be resentful later on about what he/she has given up. Also, the resolved ending must come about by the actions of the hero/heroine not through the interference of other secondary characters.

I like to test my happy endings by having a beta reader read the manuscript and ask them: Do you feel the hero/heroine are truly committed to each other?  Do you think they’ll be happy not just next year but in fifty years? Was there anywhere in the story where you weren’t satisfied? I find this feedback monumental to my editing process. Happy Writing!

Best,

Cathy Tully