I love creating new worlds. Granted, I do it every time I decide to sit down and write a story. But my newest sexy romantic suspense, A TOUCH OF LILLY takes place in deep space. This is a whole new world which meant I could let my imagination soar free! I thought I’d share a little bit about how I created this world and its inhabitants.
First of all, I’m a VERY visual writer. I need to see a scene before I can describe it. Usually I have it in my head, but sometimes it requires a walk around the internet. In one of the scenes the hero, Dallas is leading the heroine, Lilly into an alley. I wanted something dark and I wasn’t sure I could describe it well enough, so a quick image search and I found this picture to the left. This really set the tone for the entire feeling of the dark planet, Garalon Five (with its three moons and lack of sun).
Next, I needed to populate the setting. And since we’re in deep space I wanted to give the reader a real sense of aliens. Of course being a die-hard Trekky my mind went to all kinds of scenes from the series. Supplement that with Star Wars and Total Recall and my mind was just bursting with ideas. I kept the different aliens to only 5 or 6 life forms so I could describe each one in detail. I didn’t want so many as to confuse me or the readers, but enough to make it different from earth.
I actually scoured the Internet for pictures of aliens and then morphed and melded them together to create my characters. (Due to copyright laws, I can’t include the pictures I used for my character sketches. But suffice it to say every one of my aliens comes complete with a photo for visual cues while I’m writing.) The Ickbatas play a significant role in this story. They have a soft snout, jade eyes, smell like leather, and have two penises (it is an erotic story after all *g*), My notes actually read … head of Jar Jar Binks, body of Jaba the Hutt.
Then there is the two headed Xerick with its beady eyes, eight holes for hearing and royal blue skin. I’ve also got a couple of villains including a Znedu who is tall and skinny with large eyes and hoofed feet for walking in the desert and a Braugtot (which can take the shape of any inhabitant, but has a unique facial tattoo much like a fingerprint).
Though I really enjoyed finding new types of characters, none of them play prominently in the romance part of this novel. Only the very human looking Ka’al, Theagan, with his mahogany skin, long dark braid, golden eyes and nose ridges gets up and close and personal with the heroine ;~)
My muse had a wonderful time creating this galaxy and its inhabitants. But don’t misunderstand, A TOUCH OF LILLY is at its heart a romance with a couple of very hawt heroes falling in love with a kick-ass heroine.
And now A TOUCH OF LILLY is part of an 11 author boxed set WHAT TO READ AFTER FSOG (Fifty Shades of Grey), Boxed Set #2 available for a LIMITED TIME for ONLY $0.99!!!
Belong To You by Vi Keeland — New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author. My honeymoon was almost everything I dreamed it would be…a tropical paradise, turquoise water, romantic walks on the beach, and loads and loads of mind shattering sex. The only thing missing was the groom.
Surrender by Adriana Hunter — New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author. When Jake agrees to take Abby as his submissive she must give him all that he demands of her until she has surrendered completely. But when he pushes her to her limits she wonders if she’ll ever be the same again.
Fade Into You by Kate Dawes — New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author. Olivia Rowland moves to Los Angeles to work for a Hollywood talent agent. Life in L.A. is a culture shock, but nothing compared to the jolt she gets when Max Dalton enters her life.
His Need, Her Desire by Malia Mallory — New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author. Tabitha didn’t come to Hawaii to be spanked, but that’s the cost of being saved from drowning by Marcus and the start of an affair so intense they must decide – is this a holiday fling or the real thing?
A Touch of Lilly by Nina Pierce — USA TODAY Bestselling author. Detective Lilly D’angelo has given up finding a soul mate and thrown herself into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien and is shipped into deep space. Now she’s working as a bounty hunter and hell-bent on revenge.
Brie Learns the Art of Submission by Red Phoenix — This #1 Bestselling erotic novel follows the sensual journey of Brie Bennett as she attends the Submissive Training Center – an institution famous for its elite instruction. Brie will discover her deepest desires, darkest fears, and the intense love of several of the Center’s talented Doms.
Hot Ink by Ranae Rose — Mina never meant to fall for her sexy tattoo artist, Eric, or to become a model. But when she’s asked to pose with him in a photo shoot for the Hot Ink tattoo studio, she can’t say no. In a few breathtaking moments, an on-camera kiss turns the passion they’re asked to fake into something very real, leaving them both wanting more.
Broken by Christa Cervone — After four years of no contact and lots of self-destruction, Garrett’s back in her life. Can they put back together the pieces of their shattered hearts? Or are they destined to remain Broken?
Seduced by Michelle Hughes — Four gorgeous billionaires and one woman who believes that pleasure is the biggest lie men use to get women into bed. Welcome to Fantasy’s Bar & Grill. What we’re serving up behind closed doors is hotter than anything on the menu.
Master of the Inn by Ella Jade — Pleasure Inn… Where all of your fantasies become reality. Elyse gets more than she bargains for when she meets Logan a sexy, reclusive innkeeper. Logan’s dominance in the bedroom makes all of her fantasies a reality.
Summer’s Journey, Vol. 1-4 by Summer Daniels– Join Summer on her journey of sexual self-discovery; a well written, intelligent and sexy series about the beginning of her sensual, sultry love affair with life, and all the joys of being a woman.
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As a writer all I have is my words. Words to bring the reader into the setting. Words to convey danger or passion. Words to make the reader fall in love with the characters even as they fall in love with each other. It’s not like a movie where a well orchestrated soundtrack strokes the viewer’s emotions, carrying them … biting their nails into the epic battle … or sighing with satisfaction into the first kiss.
Each word and phrase should create a visceral reaction in the reader. A reader whose emotions are involved in your story is a reader who continues to turn the page. No needy pet, ringing phone or burning dinner will pull a readers who’s emersed in your story from finishing the chapter. Hell, if you’ve done it really well … finishing the book. (Oh, come on, it’s happened to all of us. Raise your hand if you stayed up all night just to finish a book … yeah, I see you out there.)
As authors we have all kinds of tools in our writing kits to create our story and bring our characters to life. Dialogue, both spoken and internal is an immediate way to portray a character. The words they choose and how they’re spoken take a two dimensional character and give them depth. Are the words strong and bold or nervous and tentative? Are they quick to respond or thoughtful and use few words? We must think about all of that. A CIA agent might see the sun setting and think only of the convenience of night’s arrival and how that will help them hide their actions. An artist type would take time to notice the colors, how they mix with the clouds and take a moment to enjoy the scene.
What the characters are saying and what they’re thinking is important. But you can add another layer by including how your characters act and what their body language communicates. Especially if what they’re saying isn’t really how they’re feeling. Let’s look at some body parts and actions and the emotions it conveys.
Lifted and tilted back = arrogance
Ducking head = submission
Head in hand = boredom
A smile quirked to the left = lying
Tight-lipped smile = keeping a secret
Licking lips = nervousness or attraction
Biting lip = shyness, insecurity
Trembling lip = sadness
Long, hard stare = anger
Furrowed brows = confusion
Slow blinks = hiding, avoiding scrutiny
Rubbing finger over eyelids = working to deceive
Wide eyes = surprise
ARMS AND HANDS
Clenched fist = anger
White knuckles = strong negative emotion (nerves, anger)
Steepled fingers = confidence
LEGS AND FEET
Dragging toes = reluctant
Tightly crossed legs = in a woman it’s protection
Crossed ankles = won’t compromise in an argument
Shifting weight from foot to foot = lying
Everything your characters do, every thought you share with the readers creates memorable characters. From the dating dance to the first kiss to the ultimate night of passion we offer our readers cues to the emotions of our characters. Skip the body details and you miss the opportunity to make your characters jump off the page and into the hearts of your readers.
So are there any body language moves I’ve missed that you really enjoy in a story? Any that are overused? And tell me some of your most memorable characters and why you just can’t get them out of your head and heart.
One of the reasons I love reading and writing romance is falling in love with hero even as he chases down a criminal, fights his internal demons and of course … falls in love with the heroine.
But my sexy romantic suspense sci-fi A Touch of Lilly has TWO heroes to love! Dallas, a human FBI agent and his sexy humanoid partner, Thaegan aren’t expecting the human bounty hunter they interrogate will become their willing partner …
Dallas swigged the last of his Regent’s ale. Anyone who’d been watching would believe the human’s alcohol consumption would have him waxing the floor with his face. The fact he staggered away from the bar barely caused a ripple of interest. But when he bumped into the Braugtot alien disguised as a human female on the dance floor and made a rather lewd body motion—several aliens took notice.
“Baby! How about you dump this loser Ka’al and come home with me?” The words slurred from Dallas’ mouth as he wrapped himself around the Braugtot’s body. From the smell he even wondered if it was really female. But whatever the sex, the jealous Ka’al reacted just the way he’d hoped.
“Rrracht narctch, rraollk.” She’s with me, asshole. Beefy hands grabbed his shirt and flung him through the air. Dallas landed unceremoniously on the nearest table, breaking up a quiet conversation between two Xericks.
Sometimes he hated this part of the job. Dallas came up swinging. A left hook to one head and a right uppercut to the second and the male Xerick went down, taking out several unsuspecting Drikspa dancers. Dallas ducked as a chair flew.
Alcohol, male hormones and boredom created the diversion they’d hoped for. The fight spread like a virus through the tavern. Dallas avoided a tussle between two Ka’als, took down another Ickbata and made his way toward his partner, hoping Thaegan had managed to stop Lilly before she got through the door with their man. A very unladylike scream from the front of the bar confirmed that the alien had things under control in that area.
Dallas pushed his way to the door, watching Grebetz slip out onto the street, a Xerick close at his heels. “Gamma Team. Phase two. Znedu loose. Track him and report.” It was all he got out before meeting up with Thaegan and Lilly.
“Roger that,” echoed in his ear.
“I’ll let you up if you stop fighting me.” Thaegan had the woman face down on the floor, her arms behind her back. The Ka’al was more than twice her size, still Lilly kicked and bucked, trying to work herself free. As the fight around them escalated, Lilly’s body stilled, but not her mouth. Dallas didn’t know many dialects, but it was clear Lilly knew the word asshole in all thirty-two common languages of the Nebulae Galaxy and several more he’d never even heard of. He had no doubt the words she strung with it would have gotten him several weeks detention from the nuns at St. Christopher’s Academy back home.
He bent low and met her eyes. “Lilly, we have no intention of hurting you.”
The fear in her eyes softened to confusion and immediately hardened to anger.
Well, didn’t this just suck? Lilly had no idea how’d she’d gone from mentally counting her reward to a face plant on the sticky floor of the tavern. No amount of maneuvering had budged the three-hundred-pound Ka’al holding her down. And now the man who would star in her nightly fantasies for the next month stared at her with an amused expression.
Though Lilly knew fighting wasn’t going to get her anywhere, she screamed her frustration and kicked out, trying to dislodge the monster holding her down. She only managed to slam her foot into a table leg, which just pissed her off all the more. Dallas didn’t do a very good job of hiding his amusement.
“If you know the asshole doing chiropractic on my spine, could you kindly ask him to let me up?” she asked, her tone dripping with sweetness.
Dallas nodded and the Ka’al stood, hauling Lilly to her feet in one effortless move. The alien’s mahogany skin glistened with the coppery sheen of a man under stress. His muscular chest, barely covered by the deeply V’d tank top, heaved. Holding her down had taken no effort, but the energy she’d tried to use on the Znedu was still high and the Ka’al was paying the price of touching her.
Lilly’s body pulsed and throbbed. Her nipples were oversensitive and her sex tingled. There was no way in hell these two guys weren’t also feeling the effects of the current snapping in the air. If the residual energy she’d pulsed through the Znedu hadn’t done it, then her anger at being stopped at the door would be enough to have these males dropping to their knees. If only the Ka’al would let go of one of her hands, she might be able to do a little more work up close and personal.
Lilly leaned toward Dallas and yelled over the confusion, “I didn’t need saving this time either, but thank you again.”
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Also available in PRINT and AUDIO formats
I think finding the right profession for my heroes is one of the toughest jobs. (Get the pun?) I mean there are stories like “Deceive Her With Desire” or “A Touch of Lilly” where a profession like being an alphabet guy just flows naturally from the plot. But sometimes that’s just not the case.
In my novella, Divine Deception, Nicholas Gradin is a chemical engineer. It just seemed to be a natural offshoot of growing up on a vineyard and learning to mix wines. And although I think he’s pretty irrisistable, an engineer in and of itself just isn’t sexy.
But I have to say there are just some heroes I can’t resist:
Demons (Fallen Angels)
They just scream alpha to me. Totally in charge. Totally ready to square off with a fiesty heroine and rock her world.
So what about you? Are there any heroes that make your knees go weak just because of their day job?
I’d like to share with you something that came from one of those foolish emails that gets forwarded so many times you’re not sure where it began. So I’m afraid I can’t give any particular man credit for this. But as a public service announcement I thought I’d share with women what some silly men actually believe to be true. Now here are 13 “rules” from the MAN BOOK (and since all of them–in a man’s opinion–are all equally important they are all numbered 1). Please ladies be gentle with the comments. There are men who read this blog.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
2. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
3. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
4. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
5. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
6. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
7. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
8. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really.
9. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.
10. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
11. Crying is blackmail.
12. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.
13. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
WELCOME! I’m so happy you found your way here. This weekend, over 40 authors are offering fun, and prizes and lots of sexy spring love in our “Fool for Love” blog hop. If you’ve stumbled upon my blog without finding your way to the “bus”, then click HERE to join in all the fun and see what fun other authors are offering.
Since writers are always looking for the hero that will grab a reader by the heart, I’m wondering what romance hero tugs at your heartstrings every time …
1. Cowboys are one of my favorite heroes. Just a few weeks ago one of those sexy men walked into my dreams and decided perhaps I should write a series set out west. Who doesn’t like a sexy man in a hat and chaps and a reeeeaally slow smile and eyes just for you?
2. And who can resist a man in (or out) of uniform? Like say … a fireman? My vampire firefighter, Reese Colton in SHADOWS OF FIRE is one of those sexy men you want showing up at your house, but not when he’s on duty … maybe just a social call?
3. Oh, yeah … why choose one hero when two can be so much naughtier! I’ve never written a book with twin heroes … but seriously … why not?
4. *sigh* That durn horse of mine is always running off and the neighbor is such a hero for bringing him back. I’m a lucky gal! (Actually, I call that good training!)
5. My favorite hero is that alpha male with soft gooey center only the heroine sees, like Cole Takoda in my SHIFTING BONDS series. This wolf shifter is both the police chief and the keeper of the heroines heart … what more could a woman want? Tattoos are just a nice perk.
6. And this guy is so bad … you know he’s going to be really goooood! That scars tells me he’s wounded and ready for some healing. He reminds me of Dallas Sawyer, the futuristic FBI agent in my sexy ménage A TOUCH OF LILLY
7. When I’m feeling down, I would love to have a musician to sing to me. Damon Corey in BLIND HER WITH BLISS is a concert pianist who pays the bills as a bad boy shock jock. *sigh* Yeah, that’s a lethal combination!
8. And when you’ve had enough of the city, a hero like Nicholas Gradin from DIVINE DECEPTION will take you for a ride on his motorcycle through the vineyards of New York to forget all your troubles.
9. Puh-lease, you didn’t think one of my badboy heroes wouldn’t be wearing a kilt? Have you ever visited my blog?
10. I grew up on the coast of Maine. I love the beach. And a man bare foot and bare chested in just jeans walking at the beach … oh yeah, it makes my knees weak every time! Rainmaker, the FBI agent in my novel IN HIS EYES spends a lot of time hunting down a serial killer on the beach.
11. And then there’s a hero like Jonathon Brierton in MAID FOR MASTER, the real estate magnate who will push you to limits you didn’t think you’d enjoy …
12. What fun is a romance without a hero who makes himself comfortable while he’s waiting for his woman to come home?
Now get out the Windex and paper towels and clean off the monitor and your keyboard. I only offer the eye candy and prizes, you need to clean the drool up off your own chin! LOL!
So what type of romance hero is your can’t-resist-must-read-because-he-makes-your-knees-weak-and-your-heart-race-and-make-you-seek-out-your-man-must-buy-the-book hero? Curious writers want to know.
**** THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED ****
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Sometimes it’s hard to give something up. Especially when you’re totally in LOVE with it. For yeeeears I worked with a prologue to my latest romantic thriller release IN HIS EYES and though I REALLY wanted to keep it in, beta readers, writer friends and eventually my editor all told me … let it go Nina. So I did.
Though it didn’t make it into the book, I’d like to share it with you.
The wooden coffin rested eerily over the wounded earth, the deep hole as hollow as the hearts of the two mourners. The man stared past the spray of wild flowers adorning its lid to his stepmother cowered on the opposite side. The reptilian slit of his eyes and the malevolent smile communicated loathing—and power. The widow’s eyes, puffy and glazed from weariness, watched him with a melancholy sort of understanding. The corner of her mouth lifted in a tremulous smile of acceptance. There were no tears when her husband died, none came now, and none would fall later.
Though the heat rose in currents from the tar road nearby, the young widow shivered. Standing in the shade of the oaks, the minister was the sole witness to the exchange. Reading from the book of Psalms, he faltered only momentarily, but finished the ritual graveside prayers without acknowledging what had passed between them.
Perhaps the minister also imagined how things would unfold.
Her life had not been hers for a very long time—now it belonged to him. She deserved no more love than he doled out to her in meager portions. No one thought she was worthy of anything, least of all her. She believed her life—each wretched day she survived, right up to her last breath—was preordained by this path she’d chosen to walk years ago. The way it would end was also a foregone conclusion.
Just days after the funeral, he sold his father’s house and packed their meager possessions into the old Cadillac. Crisscrossing the country, they stayed in seedy apartments where no one looked them in the eye. It was easier to ignore their pain that way. No one asked any questions, provided the rent was on time each Friday. She had no idea where they were and didn’t really care as long as he kept the needles in the bedside table filled with liquid heaven. He was gone most days and used her in unfathomable ways long hours into the night. He’d learned from the best and added new tricks of his own. But she accepted it all as her lot in life.
Now, he no longer needed her. She’d outlived her usefulness. They both understood that. She’d taken him into her bed only to prolong the inevitable. She didn’t plead or cry out with fear. She was just numb—or perhaps relieved it was going to be finished. Maybe it was the sweet wash of drugs coursing through her veins. Whichever the case, she didn’t care.
From the moment his father had fallen ill, everything had been destined. She may have been four years older, but her stepson had the maturity of a man twice his years and he dominated their relationship in every sense of the word. There hadn’t been any questions when he replaced his father at her side.
During their time together, she accepted his beatings, the verbal and sexual abuse, and the neglect. It was all either of them knew. Somewhere, in the back of her brain, she understood this wasn’t love, but she didn’t know what was. She had no yardstick with which to measure her worth. They’d cut her off from the rest of mankind so long ago, she barely remembered anything existed outside the confines of the world where they held her prisoner. She had no immediate family, so there would be no one to miss her when this was finished. Only he knew she still walked this earth and after it was done, only he would know she no longer did.
On this day he’d roused the woman early. Bathing with her in the communal bathroom of the apartment building, he’d taken great care washing her hair and body. With touches so gentle, he’d acted as if he’d felt something for her. His skilled hands had pleasured her without pain. He’d held off his own need until they were back in their room on the soiled sheets. With a passion neither of them knew existed, he’d made love to her. Whispering into her ear, he’d apologized for all that had been and all that would come.
Mutely, she let him brush the black waves of her hair and masterfully massage lotion over the yellowed bruises his fists had left. She watched him tenderly put the needle into her arm. He held her while the liquid worked its magic on her body and mind, taking her to that blissful place of detachment. He took her again, more urgently, but still with great affection. That’s when she’d known for certain that it was finished. She would not live to see another sunrise, never again feel a gentle breeze caress her skin, nor feel the pain of brutality.
He dressed her and took only a few of his belongings. When they climbed into the car, she didn’t ask where they were going. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered.
They traveled for hours, waiting for the blackness to cloak them in its secrets. She looked over at him now. In the green glow of the dashboard lights, his rugged features were contorted with grief. Turning from the road, he smiled at her. A heartrending smile filled with regret. Even in her drug induced fog, she could see the tears welling in his eyes.
They stopped somewhere. A city perhaps, but she couldn’t be sure. He’d fed her pills and alcohol for her last meal, so the edges of her reality were blurred. He lifted her from the car, carrying her like an infant into the darkness. He laid her down gently and her body melted into the lumpy surface. The stench curled around her nose and brought bile to her throat, but giving into the retching would displease him, so she swallowed it down. Hiking up her skirt, he removed her panties. He hacked off her hair with the knife he perpetually carried. Plastic rustled as he moved her. He’d laid her with the garbage. How appropriate. The cold sting of his tears fell upon her face as he pressed his lips to hers for the last time.
She wanted to touch him, to tell him she understood, but she couldn’t lift her hand or form the words on her lips. She was tired, so very tired.
His face was a smooth canvas of detachment when he pushed the final needle into her vein. With one last caress of her cheek, he left.
The cold rain continued to fall long after he turned his back on her, long after she slipped into oblivion.
I am very blessed to have found an awesome cover artist in Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs. She’s helped me design all the book covers for my self-published books. Not only is she talented, but she’s also patient through the design process.
Since I’m sooooo in LOVE with my covers, it won’t surprise any of you that I entered two of my covers in the Houston Bay Area RWA’s JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER contest. Covers are judged by a panel and separately by readers. Voting for the Reader’s Choice Awards is open now. Click HERE to vote.
A TOUCH OF LILLY is entered in the Science Fiction category.
IN HIS EYES is entered in the Romantic Suspense category.
There are some amazing covers. What I love about this contest is that you judge each cover individually on a scale of 1 to 5, not against other covers. You also don’t have to vote for all covers, though they do prefer you judge all covers in a category.
If you have time … it’s totally worth checking out the covers and voting!
It seems this time of year many RWA chapters offer published authors the opportunity to enter their releases from the previous year into contest. And mind you, these contests aren’t cheap. At $25 to $30 for each book entered, the bottom line can balloon really fast. How do I know? Weeeellll … I’ll admit it … I’m a contest whore. I can’t stop myself!
So, I fill out the entry form, package up my book and plunk down that check in hopes of scoring well enough to final. Oooookkkaaayyy … I’m competitive enough to want to win. I said it. I WANNA WIN! But this isn’t new. Not only am I a type-A personality, I’m hoping a final in one of these contest might add some credibility to my self-published books.
Before I was published I entered my first manuscript in all kinds of contests. The bummer was the same entry would score a 97 and a 56. Bleh. But after I got over the disappointment of not finalling (in one contest I had the second lowest score), I took time and read the awesome comments of the judges. And you know? They were extremely helpful. In their very polite way they explained that I sooooo wasn’t ready to publish, but if I worked on my craft and more specifically, these couple of things then chances are, I’d make a go of it.
And they were right.
Now, I’m published. The contests are very different. There are no comments on the writing, (since the book is already printed) but there are score sheets that you can look at. And you know, sometimes that still helps. If I find out a character isn’t sympathetic or the motivation for my villain isn’t clear, that kind of information is invaluable.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ll say it again. My purpose for entering these contests is to win. Not come in second … win. It’s who I am. But it’s no different than hoping my book gets a 5-star, “recommended read” review. I am thrilled for weeks and tell anyone who will listen. Writing is a business for me. I want people to like my books and in turn buy the next one. If a reviewer is willing to say my book was a great read, here’s hoping others will see that and follow suit. I’m pretty sure contests don’t help with sales, but it sure feels good.
I know there’s lots of talk about contests. I’m wondering how you feel about it either as an author entering or as a reader. If a book says “WINNER OF XYZ CONTEST” does that affect your buying habits?
Like many authors, I’m an avid reader, albeit a slow one. Mostly because I don’t allow myself the pleasure of reading until I’m settled in to bed for the night and I then read until my face falls into the pages. Sometimes an hour, but more often, about fifteen minutes. *g*
95% of what I read is romance, though I do try to mix up the genres. I’ve been on a real paranormal romance kick so I went and picked up several contemporary romances. And you know what … I could barely get through them.
Now don’t misunderstand me, the writing was stellar and the characters had great chemistry (in and out of the bedroom), but the problem for me is that nothing happened. Nothing blew up. No terrorist tried to end the world. No dragon flew in to breath fire on the town. Nothing. Nadda. Zip. Zilch. Just two people falling in love. And quite frankly, I was bored. I skimmed whole chapters and (something an author hates to hear) skipped pages at a time. I think because I kept hoping something interesting would happen to grab my attention. In both cases I got to the end and happily shut the book and tucked it into my “give away” pile.
I do like television, but I don’t sit and watch very much of it. (Mostly because Mr. Nina is a channel surfer, flipping stations at random intervals and driving me insane And I refuse to go in the other room and run another television.) I do go to the movies and though I like an action flick now and again, I’m more the romantic comedy, sweet family entertainment kind of gal. And I mention this because I don’t have to have things moving quickly to keep me focused. I’m of that generation with a pretty good attention span which is why I found this whole phenomenon interesting.
I do think my taste runs more toward the mystery/suspense end of the romance spectrum. But I’ve read my fair share of traditional romance stories in the past and really enjoyed them. I’ll even read an historical and completely fall into the story. But contemporary? Meh. It doesn’t seem to sugar my cookies anymore.
What about you? Have your reading tastes changed? Am I the only one who’s thinking traditional romances don’t have the appeal they used to have?