Sunday, March 26, 2017

Romance Tropes by Christa Tomlinson

Tropes. What are they? They’re what helps us recognize what a story will be about. They also help us identify whether or not we’ll like the general plot that the author has created. Or as Wikipedia says: The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichĂ©s in creative works. Here’s a small sample of tropes in the romance genre. I bet you’ve read or can recognize them all.

Secret baby

Friends to lovers

Enemies to lover

Office romance

Opposites attract

Mistaken Identity
Fake Engagement

Tropes get a bad rep, especially from outsiders to the romance novel world. People set them up as a way to show how romance novels are all the same. But I disagree. First, although the general idea may be the same, no two novels are alike. You can ask five different authors to write you a secret baby romance, and you’ll wind up with five very different stories. One of them might have an alien baby. One of them might have a single dad. One of them might have a woman who found an alien baby abandoned by its single dad.

Second, tropes are everywhere, not just in romance. Good looking fella who goes on a quest for treasure and artifacts, facing danger along the way? The Mummy. Or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or National Treasure. Or Three Kings. Or… well, you get the idea. 

For creative types, tropes are a great way to build the foundation for the book, movie, or play that will spring forth. For readers, they offer a sense of familiarity. They let us know if it’s something we’ll enjoy. For example, when I’m book browsing, I can tell right off from the back cover copy if it’s the type of story I like or like to avoid. Some of my favorites to read are hurt/comfort, friends to lovers and forbidden love. 

As I plan out my stories, I definitely think about what tropes will be included in the plot. Because I love tropes. I'd roll around in them like a puppy in clover if I could. If nothing else, they at least give me a starting point to build from.

What are some of your favorite tropes? Which do you think are over-done in the romance world? Are there any you'd like to see more of or wish would disappear off the face of the earth? Let me know in the comments! 

*Repost from 2014

Thanks for reading!
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Friday, March 24, 2017

It's (Re) Release Day! by Felice Stevens

At long last, I have reached the final re-release of my previously published titles. Embrace the Fire, the third book in the Through Hell and Back trilogy releases today and I couldn't be happier with the way the series turned out after all the edits and re-writes and additions. 
Embrace the Fire is a May-December romance between the sweet, yet steely-willed foster brother, Brandon and the lonely psychiatrist Tash, who still suffers with the guilt left over from losing his lover. 
This book has my most favorite epilogue ever! You all know how much I love a Happily Ever After, and the brothers, plus a few extra characters all get theirs.
You can purchase Embrace the Fire HERE for the special release week price of $3.99 or read it FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
This series needs to be read in order, beginning with
A Walk Through Fire:
After the Fire:

Have a great week and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Favorite Drinks with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean

1- favorite starbucks drink
2- favorite alcoholic drink
3- favorite non-alcoholic drink
4-favorite childhood drink
5-favorite guilty pleasure drink

1. almond milk latte
2. today? bloody mary
4. goat milk
5. what's guilt? 😉

1. Caramel frappucino- I allow myself one a month
2. vodka and tonic
3. iced tea or sprite
4. chocolate milk
5. Kahlua and cream (makes my gall bladder galled)

1- Hot double shot dirty chai tea. Yum, and enough caffeine to animate the dead.
2- Melon coladas, frozen. Basically, they're just pina coladas minus the rum, with the addition of Midori melon, but they're a pretty green, and totally yummy.
3- COFFEE. Coffeecoffeecoffeeshutupcoffee.
4- That's tough. It's a tie between chocolate milk and that fake grape drink we used to get in little paper cartons at school.
5- Coffee with a shot of Baileys and KahlĂșa, topped with no sugar whipped cream. *drools*

1. Passion Iced Teal Lemonade with an extra pump
2. frozen lime margarita - especially the ones served at the Lone Star
3. Coca-cola - but I haven't had one in over three years
4. milk
5. Tang - heavy on the powder, with cold cold water and lots of ice.

If you have any questions you'd like us to answer, or a theme for us to riff off of, please let us know!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Blurb Reveal: To Touch You by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday! The next/last book in my Mates collection is done and today I'm sharing the blurb with you. I hope you like it!
Blurb: To Touch You by Cardeno C.

“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”

By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.

Have a terrific week.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Release: An Officer's Submission by Christa Tomlinson

An Officer’s Submission is now live! That’s right, it released this past Thursday. So if you haven’t snagged your copy yet, head on over to your favorite online bookseller and snap it up! Today is the last day that it’s on sale for .99. Still need to read the first three books in the series? Don’t fret, they’re on sale for .99 too. 

Of course, I’m already hard at work on the next (and last?) in the series. But I can’t mention who it’s about just yet, because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Once a few weeks have passed I’ll share that with you. I’m excited to write this guy’s story. 

When I first published The Sergeant, I had plans for what I wanted to do with the series. Those plans changed and I abandoned that original idea. I was going to end the Cuffs, Collars and Love series with An Officer’s Submission. But then as I wrote the last few chapters of The Detective’s Pleasure, I looked at one of my characters and realized he needed his own story. So far I’m 21,000 words in and really like where it’s going. So hurry up and read An Officer’s Submission so I can tell you all about it! 

An Officer’s Submission is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. It’s is .99 this weekend only. Buy links are below. Be sure to let me know what you think once you’ve read part two of Logan and Clay’s story. 

Thanks for reading!
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Letting Go by Felice Stevens

I've finished a new book, entitled The Shape of You, and handed it into my editor and so now the waiting begins. What will she say? Will she like the characters, the plot....what if it sucks???

But sometimes you get a connection with characters and you find yourself unable to let go and move on. This is what I'm feeling now. The story was one that popped into my head and I needed to write it before any of the others on my list. And it was wonderful. I knew these guys, their hopes and dreams and it all just happened. I'm thinking it will be okay.

Then there are the books that you anguish over. You know what you want to say, but they DO NOT want to talk to you. AT ALL.
That's what I had writing One Call Away, which is in final edits now and will be released the end of April. 

One Call Away took me a year to write. One year. That's unheard of for me, because I write fast. But Noah, one of the MCs, would not reveal himself and I tried to push him and he laughed in my face and was all "Nope." So I left him and Oren hanging and went on the write other books, but always in the back of my mind, I had them sitting there, him and Oren, just staring at me with their woeful eyes until one happened. Their story became such an emotional journey for me, I was at a loss when I finished their book. I sat around, wondering what story to write next and nothing interested me because I was still thinking of Noah and Oren and what they were doing.....okay. Deep breath.

In case you haven't realized it yet,  I have relationships with fictional characters.  

So there you have it. I have a hard time letting go of my guys from one book to the next. But those are the next two books after next week's release of Embrace the Fire.  I can't wait for you to read Brandon and Tash's story and the epilogue to all the guys.  

And in case you missed it, Rescued is now out in audiobook, narrated by Charlie David!  Here is the link: RESCUED.  And A Walk Through Fire is in KU and on sale for 99c and the audiobook is only $1.99. You can pick that up here: A WALK THROUGH FIRE  

Have a great weekend and happy reading and listening!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Writing with Riley: Collaborations

This week I'm going to talk about collaborations. I've co-authored books with three other authors, between the two names I write under. For me, the process has always been pretty similar, though I have to say that all authors do it differently. I've heard from authors who write at the same time in Google documents, authors who go by word count--two thousand words at a time, and I also used to be friends with a couple of ladies who were roommates and writing partners. They took certain parts of the book, like one would write all the sexy times and the other would write all time or whatever. LOL.

Every book that I've co-written has been a two character point of view book, and each of us has taken a different character. But, what you have to understand about that is even though one character is "mine" and the other is my co-authors, we are both still heavily involved with each character. We alternate chapters so even if it's a chapter in my character's point of view, I'm still the person who writes all the dialogue and action for the other character. That being said, we each have ultimate control over our character, so if I write some dialogue and my writing partner doesn't think that's how their character would say something, they change it.

When Christina Lee and I decided to write a book together, for personal reasons, we knew we wanted to write about mental illness, so the topic came first. From there we came up with specifics--boys who knew each other online when they were little and lost contact. I created my character's backstory, and she created her character's backstory. We have to discuss it, of course, because it has to fit with the story and we have to have a way for our characters to connect. When I wrote Weight of the World with Devon McCormack, he had a list of different book ideas that he shared with me. One of them jumped out at me instantly--a man who plans to commit suicide, meets another man on the roof, who talks him out of it and he later discovers the man jumped when he left. Filled with guilt, he searches out the man's brother but doesn't tell him their connection. I knew that's what I wanted to write and I knew I had to be the brother. Tommy's backstory came to me instantly. I knew that guilt of letting a loved one down. I understood the need to take care of those you love, and luckily, Devon really wanted to be the man on the roof. Everything fell into place from there. The difference here was there was a third character's POV, and we shared that. Some Rob chapters were Devon, and some were me.

Luckily, we all have a similar writing process so while we know our character's goals, motivation, and conflict, we don't plot out the whole book before we start writing. We have some key scenes, but then we just...begin. There's often those conversations where we're like, "Help! I don't know where to go next!" or "Wait...I think we should do this instead..." If we don't think something works, we talk about it, and I've never had a situation where we couldn't come to a conclusion we both agree with. There are also times we have to talk because we just don't understand something the other character did or we haven't fully grasped exactly who their character is, and of course, we just talk about it until we're on the same page. I couldn't write a book with someone I didn't know well or get along with well.

If you have any questions about collaborating, feel free to post them in the comments.