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Submitting To The Devil Dom Now Available For Pre-Order! #sirenauthor

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The latest in The Martinis and Chocolate Book Club series is now available for pre-order!

Tori Cordell’s dating the sexy cop who moved in next door. She’s dated some losers in the past, but Ian Taggert is a winner. When she finds out he’s known as the Devil Dom, she’s surprised and a little angry. He better have a damn good reason for his lie of omission.

Ian Taggert has waited a long time to find a woman like Tori. She’s smart and beautiful, but clearly a vanilla-type woman. If it means holding on to her, he’s willing to leave his Dominant side in the past and start a new life.

Ian’s floored when Tori wants him just the way he is, dominance and all. They fall more deeply in love as she learns the heaven to be found in submitting to her Devil Dom. But heaven can quickly turn to hell. Tori is attacked, and Ian will need to solve the toughest case of his career if he wants to keep her safe.

So You Want To Write A Book? Part 3 – Character Arcs #writingtips

This is part three of our So You Want To Write A Book series.  So many people tell me they want to write a book, but simply don’t know how to get started.

There is no “one way” to write a book.  What I’m sharing is simply a method that’s worked for me.  It may or may not work for you.  Tweak it, make it your own.

So… here we go!  Last week, we discussed creating characters. This week we’re going to talk about character arcs.

What is a character arc and why is it important? 

I’m so glad you asked.   According to Wikipedia, A character arc is the status of the character as it unfolds throughout the story, the storyline or series of episodes. Characters begin the story with a certain viewpoint and, through events in the story, that viewpoint changes.

In other words, you character should change and grow.  Hopefully, for the better.  Your readers want to see and feel this growth.  You want to create characters that people care about, root for, and have an emotional investment.

Yes, some characters don’t change and grow.   Usually, these characters are in high-concept, action movies such as Die Hard, Rambo, or Terminator.  The end the movie they are pretty much the same person they started the movie as.   But, it’s hard to write a book without character growth, even if you are not writing a “character driven” book.

Can I pause for a moment to tell you how much I hate those terms?  Character driven versus Plot driven?

You have to have both, people.  You can’t have a book without a plot, or characters.  You need both.  You can lean the book one way or the other, but you can’t get away with leaving one out.

Whew!  Thank you for letting me vent.  Okay, so where were we?  Oh yes, change and grow.  Your characters need to evolve and grow.  How do they do this?  By the action in the story.

This is starting to sound like plot. 

Kind of.  As you decide what your character arc is going to be, it will affect your plot.  Don’t get the two confused!  If your character at the beginning of the book is afraid to open herself up to love and at the end you want her to be in love with someone… hey, something is going to have to happen to her to get her there.  That’s going to be part of your plot.

See how this is all intertwined?

I always decide on my character arcs before I do my plotting.  It makes plotting easier.  If you’re a pantser, understanding your characters growth will make it easier to write also.

Let’s do some together.  It’s a little clichéd, but let’s take the tortured hero who has been unlucky in love and cannot bring himself to love again.  It just hurts too much.   At the end of the book, you want him firmly in the arms of your heroine.  Something is going to have to happen to change your hero’s mind.

  • He has to get to know the heroine.  In our plot, we need to get them to spend some time with each other.  Preferably, he’ll see how trustworthy and wonderful she is.
  • Perhaps he could face his past by his ex coming back into the picture?
  • Perhaps he could almost lose the heroine to another man?
  • Perhaps he could almost lose the heroine to an accident or illness?
  • Perhaps a mentor or friend could talk sense into him?

We could go on for a while here.  The character arcs will help dictate what needs to happen in the plot.  Not all of it, of course, but some of it.

Just remember, the more character arcs you have going in a book, the more you will have to “tie up” by the end.  Don’t have ten characters all growing in a different way.  Yeah, The Big Chill was a great movie and each character had an arc, but it’s probably best not to try it on your first book.  (Just my two cents)

Character arcs don’t have to be big, and dramatic.  I like to choose growth arcs which are universal in nature.  Low self-esteem, bad relationships,  lousy careers, fear of getting older, fear of change, fear of death, impulsive personality to more deliberate, caution to spontaneity, are a few.   They’ve all been done before so don’t kill yourself trying to think up something new.  It’s the spin you’ll take that will make it fresh and new.

By the way, not all your characters need a growth arc.  Some of my books are menage, and I always have one “fully formed” character.   My secondary characters generally don’t have arcs either.  I save them for my main characters.

Well, that’s it for character arcs.  Next week, we’re going to talk about plotting.  Thanks for stopping by!

So You Want To Write A Book? Part 2: Characters #writingtips #authorgoals

This is the second in my series about writing your first book. I’ve spoken with so many people who yearn to put words to paper (okay, computer) but really don’t know where to begin. Since I had to learn it the hard, painful way, I’d like to save some of you the stress and heartache.

Last week, we talked about your “Big Idea” and how it can translate into an overall theme. You can read it here:
https://eroticromancewriting.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/so-you-want-to-write-a-book-part-one-the-idea-writingtips/

This week, we’re going to talk about characters. For me, a book needs great characters. If I care about the characters, I’ll overlook poor plot every time. I want a character who makes me fall in love with them. I want to care desperately about what happens to them.

Some people start writing and know very little about their characters. Some fill out detailed character sheets before they write a word. Where do I fit? Comfortably in the middle. You need to know enough about your character to get going, but you don’t need to know every freakin’ thing that ever happened to them in their childhood including if they preferred X-Files to Smurfs.
Personally, I liked X-files…

Start with your character’s name, age, and physical characteristics. Then add in their background. Did they grow up, rich, middle class, or poor? Married parents or divorced? Were they the smart kid in school or barely skate by? Did they play sports?
Now, how did this background shape their worldview? I had a character whose parents were drifters who rarely worked. The family often lived out of their car and didn’t always have enough to eat. It made her a workaholic who felt money and security was the key to happiness. Maybe your character grew up in a comfortable, middle class family out of Leave it to Beaver. Would this make them naive? Maybe restless?
What is their greatest fear? For Casey, my character above, being poor and hungry was her greatest fear.
What is their greatest desire? Casey wanted security and love, something in short supply in her childhood.
This is a pretty good start. If your character is a “bad guy/girl”, these items are still important. Make your villains three dimensional by not making them all bad. A friend of mine has a saying, “Even Hitler love his dog.” Crude, but it makes a point. Your villain will be less believable if he’s all evil.
Hey, I know. No one enjoys writing an evil guy more than I do. Let’s face it. The bad guys can be really fun to write. But, they’ll seem less cartoonish if there’s a speck of humanity in them. Maybe the bad guy loves his mother or his kids. Maybe the bad girl is wreaking havoc for revenge of someone she loved.
Oh, and your heroes and heroines. Don’t make ’em so perfect we want to take a sledge hammer to them. (See villain’s motivation above) Maybe they have a temper? Maybe they’re insecure or they’re an adrenaline junkie scaring the you know what out of their loved ones? Personally, I love a wounded hero. Someone who is damaged by life, but finds the courage and the love to move on with their life.
So, you now you know your characters? Write it down. Trust me. You’re going to be writing your story and come to a fork in the road. Would my character do this… or that? Or perhaps you have the dreaded “writer’s block”? Maybe you’re trying to get your characters to do something they simply don’t want to do. Let the character talk to you. As you find out more about your character, make a note. I just finished writing a book where one of the heroes grew up poor with a single mother but got a scholarship to Harvard. I knew he wasn’t ashamed of being poor but when I typed the line “Being poor was the best thing that ever happened to me”… Heck, even I was surprised.

Okay, got your characters? Next time, we’ll talk about character arcs. In other words, how will your character grow and change during your story.
Thanks for reading this! Happy Writing!!

His Submissive Jewel is on Amazon! #BDSM #Cowboys

ec-lv-tmacbc-hissub3His Submissive Jewel is finally on Amazon!

[Siren Everlasting Classic: Erotic Consensual BDSM Cowboy Romance, older hero, spanking, sex toys, HEA] Noelle Carter is in Montana to help with her sister’s wedding. She didn’t plan on needing to be rescued from a dangerous storm, nor did she plan on falling for the sexiest man she’s ever met. When she finds out he’s the head of a family of Dominants, she knows she should move slowly, but her feelings are too great. She plunges into a relationship with him, reveling in the passion he can arouse with just a simple touch. Cam Hunter knows he’s a strict Dom. He never thought he’d find the perfect woman and submissive, but Noelle has stolen his heart. She’s turned him inside out and upside down. One minute he wants to kiss her senseless and the next he wants to spank her bottom bright red. When Noelle is hurt, he knows it’s no accident. Someone is targeting her, and if Cam wants a lifetime with his woman, he’ll need to find the person responsible.

Valentine’s Day… It’s Too Much Pressure! #sirenauthor

I tend to get a little stressed this time of year. It seems like society has placed a great deal of importance on a holiday that’s not even really a holiday. We don’t get the day off work and we still get mail. It’s not a REAL holiday.

But, billions of dollars are pumped in to the economy based on a cherubic toddler shooting arrows and the colors red and pink. Who am I to judge?

So I go along… I’ll head out to my favorite chocolatier this Thursday and buy my hubby and son some fancy chocolates. I’ll stop at Target or Publix and pick up a couple of cards, too. I’ll bow to societal pressure and make the day as special as I can. A special dinner and maybe a fancy dessert. It’ll be a great excuse to break out a new recipe.

And I’ll try and not be stressed. It’s not even a real holiday.

Are You A Valentine’s Day Believer? #sirenauthor

For some people, Valentine’s Day is right up there with the High Holy Days. It’s a day to send Valentine’s to not only our “special” someone but to family and friends, too. I know some of these people and I admit that I smile when I get a valentine in the mail. BE MINE, it usually says or some variation. And I am their friend so I guess it’s okay. It reminds me of when we decorated show boxes in grade school with red and pink construction paper and paper lace doilies in anticipation of getting all those little valentine’s from our school friends. Maybe, just maybe, we might get a valentine from him. You know, the really cute boy in school. If we did, we’d look at the valentine over and over again as if it had some special meaning. It may have, but it probably didn’t. Little Johnny probably was told to send a valentine to every classmate.
Other people look at Valentine’s Day as a day to be romantic with just one special someone. A day to send flowers or candy, go to dinner, send a card, buy a funny stuffed animal. Restaurants are packed with those people on Valentine’s evening. The card section at Target looks like a war zone and Godiva and the flower shops make a killing. This is what romance is, we are told. Flower allergy? Take a Zyrtec.
The, of course, there are the Valentine’s Day Non-Believers. I dated a particularly militant one in my youth. He was a nice guy but felt that society shouldn’t tell him when to be romantic.
“I don’t need Hallmark telling me to be romantic on a specific day.”
I would have supported his right to be romantic on other days, but that was the problem. He was never romantic. Ever. On any other day. I told him that Valentine’s Day was for guys like him. Guys that never remember to be romantic. It was society’s way of reminding people to appreciate someone if only by buying them silk boxers or overpriced flowers.
I’m somewhere between a believer and a non-believer. I hope that I treat my husband well every day and appreciate him all the time, not waiting for a day in February to do it. But just in case, I always make sure I mark the occasion in some way.
Which are you?

His Submissive Jewel is Available for Pre-Order #sirenauthor #BDSM

So excited about my upcoming release – His Submissive Jewel, the third in the Martinis and Chocolate Book Club Series!  It’s available for pre-order from Siren-Bookstrand at a 15% discount.

Noelle Carter is in Montana to help with her sister’s wedding. She didn’t plan on needing to be rescued from a dangerous storm, nor did she plan on falling for the sexiest man she’s ever met. When she finds out he’s the head of a family of Dominants, she knows she should move slowly, but her feelings are too great. She plunges into a relationship with him, reveling in the passion he can arouse with just a simple touch.

Cam Hunter knows he’s a strict Dom. He never thought he’d find the perfect woman and submissive, but Noelle has stolen his heart. She’s turned him inside out and upside down. One minute he wants to kiss her senseless and the next he wants to spank her bottom bright red.

When Noelle is hurt, he knows it’s no accident. Someone is targeting her, and if Cam wants a lifetime with his woman, he’ll need to find the person responsible.

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