Wuv, True Wuv: Writing a Plausible Romantic Storyline

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soireadthisbooktoday:

Some good concepts on writing romance novels. Personally, I prefer action/adventure/suspense with my romance. What about you?

Originally posted on A Shot and a Half Pint:

How do you write a plausible romantic storyline? This is the question I’ve been chewing on the last few weeks. My protagonist has met the man she’s destined for, who is of course, from across enemy lines (I can’t make it too easy for them, after all). She has been taken prisoner and is currently shackled in a tent being questioned by the enemy aka, Prince Charming.
The circumstances I’ve thrown my protagonist and her romantic interest into aren’t exactly the most fertile ground for a budding romance. It’s caused me to sit back and think about what makes a believable romantic story arc.
What have I seen done before?

  • First, of course, is the love at first sight trope. Their eyes meet across a crowded ballroom (or battlefield, or public house common room), and the rest is history. Romeo & Juliet, practically every old school Disney movie, Twilight, we’ve…

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What Dogs Know About Women

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Who needs a man when you have a Dog??! ;-)

Originally posted on Stuff my dog taught me:

woman and dogThe other night I had an argument with the husband so I harrumphed up the stairs and went to bed early.  (Actually, I harrumphed up then back down then back up, since I had forgotten the ipad in the living room.  This took away a fair bit of the effect from my initial harrumph but it also allowed me to watch a new season of The Vampire Diaries in bed, so…).

Buster the Schnauzer did not have even a moment of angst over what to do in such a situation.  Without hesitation, my loyal friend followed me up the stairs, AND back down, AND back up.  As I settled under the covers, he sat upright on the bottom of the bed with a look that clearly said, “You are everything wonderful and perfect in the world and HE is an ass.” (Buster has a very expressive face).  As we shared…

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The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

Originally posted on Beginnings and Book Ends:

I have always half seriously said I wanted to be a farmer.  I have maintained a meager garden.  I know the thrill of seeing two small starts produce 40 green cucumbers. I know the frustration of weeds and disappointment of a small or failed yield. However, I never knew the intensity of the time, labor, and grind on one’s body to run a working farm.  After reading this book I knew, and you will too.  Farming is more than kitchy decorations and fresh eggs.

To order this book on amazon click here:  The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love

the dirty lifeI adored this book from the first page to the last.   The author and her boyfriend, Mark pursue their dream to become farmers on a run-down plot of land.  She follows us through their first seasons of restoration, reviving, planting, harvesting, and an unrelentless amount of work.   I fell…

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Review: Chronicles of Steele By Pauline Creeden

Be as gentle as a dove but as cunning as a viper.
Preserve one’s self with intellect,
and know when it is time to be either the dove or the viper.

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person. – Tennessee Williams

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. – Dr. Seuss

ravenHere is an admission. As much as I have been interested and charmed by the concept of Steampunk, I have never read a book in the genre. Given the opportunity by the publisher to read Chronicles of Steele: Raven I can say that I am glad I waited. It is, in a word, delightful.

Raven Steele lives in a world of contradictions and extravagances of the surreal kind. Steam powered horses and mechanical humans live alongside flesh and blood beings. Dirigibles crowd the air while Victorian dress resides alongside leather and sword bearing private guards. Medical advances proceed alongside alchemy, and witchcraft is very real, in a sort of ‘physics meets alchemy meets herbology’ mashup. Sword and sorcery meets Victorian in an utterly enjoyable manner. The contradictions are charming and well written, a perfect introduction to a genre I was unfamiliar with.

Raven is a Reaper. Once the private (and very fatal) bodyguards and assassins to the Duke, they were disbanded when their leader, Raven’s father, refused to murder the Duke’s wife on his order. Hounded from the castle, his own men set upon him, her family flees, only to lose her mother to murder at the hands of the other Reapers. Trained by her father to be a Reaper in order to ascertain her safety from those who would murder her, Raven has travelled the lands, searching for redemption. A tenant of Reaper training, redemption is given through giving back a life for every life taken – and Raven’s balance sheet is nearly complete.

But freedom and real life are jerked from her grasp when she rescues the young Baron of New Hope, Darius. The child is handed over to Raven by his elder brother, Baron Solomon Goodhope, who entreats her to save the child from his murderous father. The evil Duke means the boy to die for supposedly being infested by a demon. But the story is much more, and much less, than the Duke believes. And when he sets his guards on Raven and Darius’s trail the consequences will be deeper than he could ever have expected.

Friends will become enemies and enemies possible friends as Raven begins a desperate cross-country race, by dirigible and train, horse and on foot, first to find the Witch she has been tasked to locate to cure the child, and then to save him once again from those who would murder him. Those who should by all rights keep him safe, but will kill in the name of the Duke, no matter how insane the order may be.

His conscience could not agree with what he was about to do. But orders were orders. And as captain of the guard, Jack always followed them to the letter.

Honor is found in the oddest places – but the boundless knee-jerk bone-headedness of mindless adherence to command structures and orders, even when deeply twisted and evil, is readily apparent. As well as a type of debilitating naivety on the part of people who should know better. But there is also a smile around every corner at the unexpected, the quaint, and the captivating. All of these things make the story appealing on so many different levels. Not only that, but there is an undercurrent here, another story line lying just below the surface which makes me eager for the next installment to the series!

While all these things are wonderful, there is one thing that bothered me. It may seem a small thing, but to me it is important to the presentation of the book. I was completely discombobulated by the cover. It presents as the cover for a Shamanistic Fantasy novel more than anything else. It is gorgeous, without a doubt, but it has absolutely no continuity with the story line. It is disconcerting to say the least. Without looking at the blurb I automatically expected the book to be on par with Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, or possibly Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series. Not for a true Steampunk novel. But again, it is a small thing that will possibly be of no interest to other readers.

I highly recommend this book for its strong heroine, well written story, and (yes, here is that word again) charming world building. Oh, and I was surprised to find that this is listed as “young adult” – but not in a bad way. It is a great story for young and young at heart. I will be watching anxiously for Darius’s story, the next in the Chronicles of Steele. And I will definitely be checking out others in the genre. I am hooked!

I received Chronicles of Steele: Raven from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

If you like my reviews, it would be great if you could “Like” it on Amazon as well! Thanks all…

Friday Reads [11/21]

Originally posted on Falling Down the Book Hole :

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887877I have hit a slight reading and blogging slump. I have been busy with work and taking some time to see my best friend/relaxing. I have the next week off and with the horribly cold weather and snow that has graced us with its presence is going to be keeping me indoors. I might end up holding my own little read-a-thon to get through some books that I have gotten a little stuck in and books I need to catch up on for review. I just got my hardback copy of Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch and I think it will make continuing reading it easier. I love the book so far it has just become difficult to try and read the mass market paperback. I also started The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. 17347389I really enjoyed The Raven Boys and I am so excited to get…

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Kindle Daily Deal Sale TODAY – The Light Who Shines by Lilo Abernathy @Lilo_Abernathy

Originally posted on A British Bookworm's Blog:

lilobook

The Light Who Shines
by Lilo Abernathy
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
Regular Price: $4.99
Sale Price: $1.99 (One day only)
Kindle Daily Deal Sale Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Amazon Link: amzn.to/11sqD5Y

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it’s obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and…

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Free Today: How To Kill Yourself In A Small Town By Eden Hudson

9640626It’s Snarky Humour Day! In the tradition of Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series, meet Eden Hudson and her new series The Redneck Apocalypse.

Free today on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I couldn’t resist adding it to my “must read” pile! If you read it before I get a chance to, don’t forget to review!


How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town (The Redneck Apocalypse Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

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eden Hudson


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Book Description

February 19, 2014
The holy champion chosen to save the world is enslaved to a beautiful, sadistic fallen angel and losing the battle for his sanity.

The guy chosen to save the holy champion is his binge-drinking redneck brother.

So, basically, the world is screwed.

Meet the Whitney boys:
Colt—a mentally unstable holy soldier with a rapidly deteriorating hold on reality. His last plan to rid the world of evil either failed horribly or went off without a hitch. With the constant torture and brainwashing, it’s getting hard to be sure of anything but the sick attachment he’s developing to his beautiful tormentor.

Tough—a smart-mouthed honky-tonk hero trying to drown his problems in music, women, and good times. He hasn’t spoken to Colt in five years—not since their disagreement over a nymphomaniac vampire turned into a drunken slugfest—but they’re still brothers. Tough knows he can’t leave Colt fighting for his life and his sanity alone. The question is whether Tough can fight off his personal demons long enough to save Colt from the literal ones.

How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town is the first book in The Redneck Apocalypse series.

Review: Mind Sweeper: Mind Sweeper #1 By AE Jones

22733969An angel, a demon and a vampire walk into a bar.

OK, now tell me. Who wouldn’t want to read a story that starts with that line? You see, an angel, a demon and a vampire did walk into the Erie Bar. And wreaked havoc and destruction, totally ignoring the ‘don’t let normals know you exist’ rules. So, Kyle McKinley and her partners, a Vampire and a Shamat demon, have to come in and clean up the mess. And if that wasn’t enough, poor Kyle has now been saddled with a human partner of all things. And her cop partner is not only handsome as all get-out, he is also a pushy, overbearing MAN to top it all off! As if she didn’t have enough on her plate …

This is a really wonderful first entry in the Mind Sweeper Series. The story is one of those I am always looking for – it is out of the typical for the genre. Though there are vamps, shifters and demons, they are put together in a much more interesting method than the usual found in urban fantasy. The main character, Kyle McKinley – (yes, at first I thought it was “Ky-lee” but no, it is really Ki-al” the male pronunciation – which is interesting in and of itself) but anyway, where was I? Oh, yes! Kyle is human, but not your common and garden sort. Kyle can change memories. Which is a good talent to have when the supernatural world is trying to hide in a world where cell phone cameras and security cameras are the norm rather than the exception. With her partners, Jean Luc the vampire and Misha the Russian demon, she works to keep supernatural secrets. She has worked for ten years with her best friends, and is not really happy at all when yet another human is assigned to the team. Well, you can’t blame her when the last one tried to stake Jean Luc. Idiot. (Insert big sigh here)

Soooo. . . it isn’t just the way-too-handsome Dalton being added to the group that is the problem. It seems that the vampire mixed into the vampire/angel/demon fight in the Erie lost his head – literally. And the darn head is just gone. Poof! And now there are more dead bodies lying around. And why in the world are angels going around cutting off heads with swords? Hum?

The vampire leader Sebastian is up to no good – but what exactly is it he is up to? And what is the Pavel demon leader hiding? Then of course, as much as the angels claim to be holding themselves outside of the fray, well, chopping off a vampire’s head with a big ol’ sword in a bar in front of humans is not exactly standing on the sidelines!

I had spoken to AE Jones about possibly reviewing her third novel in the series, Shifter Wars. Instead, I wheedled a copy of Mind Sweeper out of her, and I am so glad I did. Starting a good series at the first volume is always for the best (to my mind) and I was in no way disappointed. Put this on your list of series that will remain on your “keeper shelf”!

I received Mind Sweeper from the author in exchange for a realistic review. I can hardly wait to start the next in the series, The Fledgling: A Novella. Recommended!

About the Author:

Image of AE Jones

Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural–their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE lives in Ohio with her eclectic family and friends who in no way resembles any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

 

Review: Playing Santa By H.Y. Hanna

23531443Time for another Christmas book review – and this time, it has an Aussie twist!

Holly Scott hasn’t had it all that easy in life. Growing up in foster homes left her lonely, and her simple life in Missouri consists of a trail of part time jobs and a tiny shared apartment. When an older couple from Australia show up in the restaurant where she works, and the wife becomes ill, Holly helps them out, helping them find a hotel room and bringing needed items to make their stay easier.

Now, the couple, the Goldblums, have asked her to house sit for them in their home in Summer Beach, Australia. And what a nice way to spend Christmas, the beginning of the summer in Aussie land, than in a beautiful house on a cliff above the ocean?

On her first full day in Summer Beach Holly is woken by screaming laughter and wanders outside to find a kookaburra laughing in the tree outside the front door. Then, hearing a quieter sound, she finds a box of abandoned puppies at her feet.

What happens next is a lovely little Christmas romance, short and sweet, complete with the power to bring a bright smile to your face. No, this isn’t great literature, it isn’t meant to be. Instead, its power is in its ability to make you smile and uplift the heart. Grab it for a stocking stuffer for your favorite hopeless romantic (even if the hopeless romantic is you!)