Exciting News!

This is the time I usually post a Weekend Excerpt, but I’ve posted several snippets this week, all in the name of promoting Rannigan’s Redemption.

So instead of another excerpt, I want to tell you some exciting news.  LOST & BOUND, the second novel in my Dream Dominant Collection, has been nominated for a 2017 Reader’s Choice Award for Romance.  I’m just thrilled!

In LOST & BOUND, spoiled Hollywood badgirl Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law and is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  That’s where she meets Dominant mountain man Blake Walker, who is none too impressed with the sole guest at his family’s remote lodge.  But there’s something about her petulance that calls to his Daddy Dom soul.  Could she be the baby girl he’s been looking for?

Now I’m asking for your help.  I need votes.  If you would take just a moment, I’d be forever grateful.  Here’s the LINK for voting.  Once you get there, you’ll see a gray bar that says ‘1/16’.  (I’ve included a screenshot for reference.)  Click the arrow on the right side of the bar to get to 7/16, Romance.  The books are listed in alphabetical order by title.

I’d really appreciate your support.  Voting closes Dec. 10.  If you haven’t read LOST & BOUND yet, it’s available at your favorite online bookseller at this universal link.
books2read.com/LostandBound

How to Have a RED HOT #4thofJuly !

I know.  You have plans.  Cook-outs, beach outings, family gatherings, and fireworks.  But you’re going to want to squeeze in a little ‘Me Time’.  Because the Wicked Pens and KinkCrate are partnering up to give you a Fire Hot Fourth.

Check it out.

That’s right.  From 3:00-4:00pm EDT, Wicked Pen authors are having a panel discussion on adding heat to your romance.  We’ll be discussing a variety of steamy topics, and we’ll be answering your questions.

Plus, one lucky attendee will walk away with a couple of kinky prizes: their very own ball gag and flogger, courtesy of KinkCrate.

In order to attend, you must be a member of the Wicked Pens Facebook group, so hurry on over and sign up so you can join us for a hot, sizzling 4th of July.

Book Launch–Luka’s Dawn by A.M. Manay

If you adore paranormal author A.M. Manay’s award-winning November Snow series, and were heartbroken like I was when it ended, you’re in LUCK!

At the very end of She Marches Through Fire, Manay gave us a tiny glimpse of what happens next.  Now, she’s released the first November Snow epilogue story, Luka’s Dawn.  Luka is nothing if not the bad boy you hate to love, and he’s back.   Along with all your favorite characters.  And it’s brilliant!  I know, because I read an ARC.

Here’s the description.

What’s a failed supervillain to do when the object of his obsession dies?
Luka Lazarri, vampire terrorist and would-be dictator, faces life without November Snow. He now inhabits a world in which he is utterly defeated, sick and living in hiding, jailed by his own family. He waits for November to be born again, clinging to the hope that he will have the chance to know her. Will the consummate survivor succumb to despair, or will he build himself a new life? And if the reincarnated psychic finally lays her eyes on him, will she see a monster, or a friend?

I don’t want to tell you much more than that, it’s a shortie, one you’ll devour in an afternoon, then beg for more.  And, once again, you’re in luck, because this is just Episode 1.  More are on the way.  Cue extreme happy dance, y’all!

AM Manay Luka's dawn pre release

Get your copy of Luka’s Dawn at this LINK.

On Writing Great Characters

Couple IndoorsWhat is it that makes for a great romance story?  Interesting plot lines, right?  Sexy settings.  Hot love scenes.  All true.  But for me, I have to care about the characters if I’m going to get into a story.  I need to feel their emotions, to relate to their motivations.  And while we are sometimes invited into their thoughts, it’s really the words of characters that tell us about them.

So how do you write great characters?  Make them relatable, believable?  They have to have great dialogue.  I think the thing you have to do is to listen to people.  A lot.  Listen to conversations around you, listen to characters in movies and on television.  I’d bet that every character you write has his or her origin in someone you know.  Delve into the motivations of that person to give your characters believable reasons for what they do, what they say, and how they are.

Characters have back-stories, whether or not you include them in your book.  But those back-stories inform the way the characters are in the present.  Inhabit the minds of your characters, feel their emotions, then express them in the character’s own words.

I rehearse conversations between my characters before I ever write them.  I run lines while I’m in the shower.  I hold entire conversations while I’m driving through town.  I can only hope that other drivers think I’m singing along to the radio.

I always try to make sure that a character’s words are authentic to his or her personality.  Sometimes, characters have potty mouths.  You don’t plan it, it just turns out that way.  Maggie Flynn, from Rannigan’s Redemption, is like that.  And although it’s not the way I talk, day in and day out, I couldn’t shy away from it just because it’s not me.  It’s Maggie.  Backing off of that rings inauthentic.

Here’s an example from Book 1 of Rannigan’s Redemption, Resisting Risk:

It was noon when Maggie exited the elevator on the 50th floor.  She’d dressed in a purple turtleneck and charcoal slacks, a scarf with a purple paisley design accenting her neck.  Karen wasn’t at her desk.  Probably at lunch, Maggie thought, and she went directly to her office.

Opening the door, she started to toss her bag on the desk when she realized someone was sitting there.  Her arm stopped mid-swing, her eyes wide, and she looked back at the door, frowning.  “May I help you?” she asked.

The guy was about her age with brown hair and eyes.  He looked startled.  “Um, no, thanks.  I’m okay for now.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow.  “You’re in my office.”

“Oh, you must be Maggie,” he said.  “Mr. Rannigan said you wouldn’t be in until tomorrow.”

“And yet, here I stand today,” Maggie replied in an irritated tone.  She turned and marched down the hall to Michael’s office.  At his closed door she hesitated.  He might be with a client, she considered.  Fuck that!  Some dude is in my office. 

She threw open the door with enough force to swing all the way open and it crashed into the wall behind it.

Michael, seated at his desk and concentrating on his computer, jumped.

“What the fuck, Michael?!” Maggie demanded.

“And it’s nice to see you, too, Mags,” he replied with a grin.  “Welcome back.  We didn’t expect to see you until tomorrow.”  He met her at the door and ushered her into the reception area.

“I can tell you didn’t expect me until tomorrow.  I didn’t expect some guy to be in my office today,” Maggie ranted.

Michael put up both hands in defense.  “Calm down, Mags, everything’s okay.”

Maggie shook her finger in his face.  “Don’t you tell me to motherfucking calm down!  If you were going to fire me…”

“Fire you?” he frowned.

“You could at least have done it on Wednesday instead of waiting until I come in and find my office occupied by some…”

Michael continued to guide her down the hall.  “That’s Josh, we just brought him up from downstairs,” he explained calmly.

“I don’t care where he came from, he can just take his skinny little ass right back…”

“Mags…”

“Because as far as I know I still have a contract…”

“Maggie…”

“You can’t just push me out, I’ve worked way too hard…”

“Mary Margaret!  Stop talking,” Michael interrupted.  They’d stopped in front of the door to what used to be John Hemphill’s office.  He pushed it open.  “This is your new office.”

Maggie stopped mid-sentence.  She was looking into the most beautiful room she’d ever seen.  It was a confection of lavender and cream and eggplant.  On the far side of the room next to the floor to ceiling windows, there was a silver chandelier over a small ecru French desk.  On the desk was a white and purple orchid in a shallow lavender bowl.  Purple drapes and cream sheers framed the wall of glass.  Nearer the door there was a seating area with a cream sofa accented with lavender and purple pillows fronted by a glass coffee table.  On the other side of the room was a small glass conference table and four purple upholstered chairs.  The new pale hardwood floor was arranged in a herringbone pattern.

“It looks like an office in Paris,” Maggie breathed.  She crossed the room to examine a pair of large framed photographs.  Gasping, she looked back at Michael.

He smiled at her.  “Florence,” he said.  “This is why I wanted you to wait until tomorrow.  The furniture was delivered this morning.  We literally just got it finished.”

Maggie’s eyes were wide.  “I don’t understand,” she said.

“Let’s go to lunch.  We’ll talk about everything,” Michael said.

Great characters are believable.  You can relate to them because you understand their feelings and motivations.  And you gain that insight from meaningful, authentic conversations.

Resisting Risk is available everywhere for just .99.

books2read.com/ResistingRisk

But you can get it FREE when you subscribe to my Newsletter.

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EvsRs

rannigan1