Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 10 Comandments of Romance Writing

After reading MANY MANY romance novels, I have been in mulling over what attracts and repulses me about this genre. With further reflection, my trouble is not necessarily the writers themselves, but the stylistic and creative choices they make. I'm a huge fan of YA, NA, and contemporary romance, but I think a few errors need to be addressed when writing romance novel. 

The 10 Commandments of Romance Writing

1. Thou shalt not be overly creative with anatomical synonyms for body parts. Chances are if you have to think really really hard to find one, it's not a good one. And if you're not sure, read or have someone read that part of your book. If you falter over the word or have to pause to think it through...don't use it. A good rule of thumb is if it is an item used in construction...

2. Thou shalt not write sex scenes like a prepubescent teenager. I cannot tell you how many times I've read the phrase "my special place" or "down there." (eye-roll) You make me embarrassed for you. Get over it! Great place to get writing advice about sex is Randy Susan Meyers blog post.

On a similar note, don't write about love like an naive teenager. If your characters are in that age range you can present scenes with actions illustrating immaturity, but when you're writing something only the reader will see or know you can illustrate a more mature level of understanding. I've read books where the author seems to have forgotten their job is to paint a visual and emotional picture for the reader and end up with a very one dimensional description. "I feel so much for him, words can't describe it." or "I feel some much all at once, my mind cannot focus on one single thought."

3. Thou shalt not describe your character(s) by referencing famous people. Nothing ruins a book more then when I'm reading along and imagining the features of a character and you suddenly rip out George Clooney or Channing Tatum as a reference...
As beautiful as both men are, there are millions of ways to describe someone's hair, nose, jaw line, eyes, and body. (This goes for female characters too.) Please use your artistic ability and do so. 

I'm also going to take a moment and address a personal preference. When you are writing a scene that includes a restaurant or movie DO NOT use real movies, actors or restaurants as references. The only book I have ever read that did this appropriately was the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover and it was used indirectly to describe the atmosphere of where some of the characters worked.

Paint a picture my artists!

4. Be involved in the cover of your book. (Sorry, I couldn't think of a way to make it sound very Biblical.) I know we are all taught not to judge a book by its cover, but trust me, we judge a book by its cover. Long gone are the days of Fabio's rippling chest and a scantily clad maiden clutched in his arms. No. I am looking for the provocative thought educing cover or the modern day, fresh looking title.   

5. Thou shalt not write a relationship that purely relies on the element of insta-love. Nothing does the human emotion and intelligence a grander disservice than explaining the reason for romantic relationship with insta-love. There are so many different layers to human emotion why would you skip all of that to just sum it up to instant love or love-at-first-sight? And how creepy is that really!? 


And I know what you're thinking...and yes, there is a difference between insta-interest and insta-love. Insta-interest is attraction to a person with possibility of a relationship and insta-love skips over all the things that make a person real to the reader and turns them into this infallible sex machine. Which is stupid. Who wants to read about perfection only?  BORING! Do Not "Mary Sue" your female or male characters!

6. Thou shalt not write a female character so blatantly self-deprecating. Yes we are all human and speak for women out there we all have issues with self-confidence. Whether it be our appearance, bodies, intelligence, etc. and it's fine to hit on those issues, but making obvious statements...it gets old. 

Having a heroine who is confident or develops into someone who is confident is more sexy than having a meek woman who is a push over. Those stories have their place, but not among my anything I like to read.

7. Thou shalt not write abrupt scenes. It's called planning people! I have read more than one book where a scene unfolds awkwardly. It can be a characters, dialogue or setting but it is difficult to read.

Example: I opened the door to the dining room and am greeted by darkness. I listen closely to the silence before entering slowly and sliding the door shut. The only light in the room comes from the moonlight seeping in through the windows on the opposite side.

WTF! You just said the room is completely dark. Then you randomly throw in descriptors about the room recanting your previous statement! Oh also, you can't listen to silence!

8. Thou shall write great dialogue. It's hard. I know. But it's even harder to read when an author is boring the crap out of you. Some of the most common mistakes can be identified here: Dialogue. I read a book where a group of guys who are friends were drinking beer at someone's house and talking about their relationships. The scene literally read like bad acting.
Guy 1: How is Sarah doing now that you are together?
Guy 2: She doesn't talk about her past much and keeps mentioning how different we are financially. She doesn't realize that I do not care if she was homeless. I love her.
Guy 1: Yeah, you need to stop that shit right away.
Guy 3: Jessa was that way when we first started dating. It took a while to get her to stop putting herself down.
Guy 2: Yeah, I'm working on it. 
#1 What group of guys has a heart to heart like this? #2 Just UGH! Use good AND realistic dialogue people!

9. Thou shalt not write useless information. What makes me write this commandment specifically, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller book I recently read. This book had so many freaking analogies! It was like trying to get the story from Sheldon Cooper while he simultaneously gives you facts about random things. If it's not pertinent to the story and moving the plot...leave it! 
10.  Thou shall explain all major plot decisions made by characters. Again, coming from experience of reading I some pretty awful stuff, but is extremely mind numbing. Illustrating a character(s) struggle with a decision, whether internally or not, needs to be resolved with a believable and well planned thought process. The book that committed this infraction and therefore dictated this commandment was written by an author with multiple novels published in the romance genre. The characters pretty much developed like this:

Girl: I cannot love you. I am too broken to love anyone.
Guy: Yes you can. Because I love you enough to make you whole.
Girl 1: Ok.
Me: WTF just happened here? 
 She was too broken to love anyone and she went on for a whole page about it and then he says one thing, ONE and she's says, "OK?!" And I'm all...

Because that's accurate and believable.

I'm certain I'm missing a few commandments of romance writing so feel free to comment with your own. The more informed we all are the better writers and books will be.  Thank you for reading my list of greivances.


**Read more writing tips here:Terrible Minds 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Georgia Cate's A Necessary Sin Cover Reveal

Stop what you are doing, just STOP! Georgia Cate's A NECESSARY SIN has just revealed its cover!

A Necessary Sin- Book 1 of The Sin Trilogy
Release Date: Dec 29, 2014

Bleu MacAllister is consumed. A horrific childhood incident has caused every decision in her life to revolve around bringing a monster to justice. With years spent studying The Fellowship, an organized crime brotherhood of liars, thieves, and killers, Bleu will rely on her skills as a special agent to cut Thane Breckenridge off at the knees. But walking hand in hand with retribution means risking collateral damage, in the form of Breckenridge’s son Sinclair—until Sin becomes so much more than Bleu bargained for. She’s always known this undertaking would place her life in danger—she never imagined her heart would be as well.

The Next Sin . Release Date . Feb 9th, 2015 . GOODREADS

One Last Sin . Release Date . March 23, 2015 . GOODREADS

Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her iPod and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Representation: All questions regarding subsidiary rights for any of my books, inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights should be directed to Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich.

Monday, November 17, 2014

For the Record By: K.A. Linde

For the Record (Record #3) 

By: K.A. Linde


With Congressman Brady Maxwell up for reelection and journalist Liz Dougherty about to graduate into a promising career, the ambitious couple’s future is brighter than ever. They share a passion for their work…and for each other. But when Brady holds a press conference to officially introduce Liz as his girlfriend, reporters hungry for a scandal bombard her. Now, her every move is under a vicious magnifying glass, and her life feels like it’s falling apart.

On the road to reelection, the passionate bond between the congressman and the journalist gets tested at every stop. Threatened by shameless media sensationalism and jealous exes, Brady and Liz now have to learn to trust each other despite what they read in the papers.

In the finale to USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s sexy Record trilogy, Liz and Brady may be setting off fireworks along the campaign trail, but can their love transcend politics as usual?


Normally, as a rule of thumb, I don't review for a series out of order. However, from the  release of K.A. Linde's first book "Off the Record" I have been anxiously waiting for my chance. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from receiving an advanced copy for review. So naturally, my cheap ass waited anxiously for my library to receive its copy.

Then the second book of the series appeared, "On the Record." Excited as ever, I kept waiting for my chance to  read the first book...and I'm still waiting.

When the third book for the series was announced, I hesitated all of 3.4 seconds before I signed up to review. I had been waiting and hoping and wanting this series to become available to be me...who was I to refuse it just because it was the third book?!

In the beginning of the book, I was thrown off by the relationship of Brady and Liz. It was obvious that a lot had happened with their characters and relationship in the previous two books and that made it a bit difficult to catch up. After reading a few chapters and much inferring, I was able to understand more of Liz's character. Liz is a hard working, middle class, college senior with a passion for politics and journalism. Easy. What left me perplexed, however, was Liz's past connection with Brady. It is evident Brady had some unique relationship stipulations for Liz the first time they were together. (What they were, I have no idea.) How was it that Liz, a seemingly confident and independent woman, got mixed up in a secret relationship with Brady? I guess I'll either have to spend the rest of my life in wondering or bite the bullet and purchase the first book.

A much more difficult character to understand is Brady. Growing up in a political family, he seems to have inherited his political position without passion. In this book, Brady's character doesn't display any real interest for anything other than his relationship with Liz. It is evident, however, I am supposed to be experiencing a new, committed, long term relationship Brady who has transformed out of the previous books. My experience of him being restricted to the "For the Record" limited the impact of the development of his character and has distorted my perception.

The million dollar question...would I do it again? Hell yes! Some of the sex scenes were a bit awkward, but overall "For the Record" is a decent new adult romance read. I would recommend this book to readers of Maya Banks, Emma Chase, and Sophie Jordan.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I am very EXCITED for the cover reveal of K.A. Tucker's BECOMING RAIN! 

BECOMING RAIN is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel, and the second novel in K.A. Tucker’s Burying Water Series, published by Atria Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster. BECOMING RAIN is set to be released 

March 3, 2015!

  Becoming Rain


Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** Books-a-Million ** IndieBound ** Apple ** Blio ** Books-a-Million ** Google


Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** Apple ** Google ** Waterstones ** Foyles

  About BECOMING RAIN: Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain. Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps. As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to.  

And don't miss the first book in this thrilling series BURYING WATER...

Burying Water

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo ** IndieBound

About BURYING WATER: The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away. Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him? Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried. The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.    


Author PhotoAbout K.A. Tucker: Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.        

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube ** Pinterest ** Instagram

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Out Now - The Redemption By: S.L. Scott

Release Date: Nov 3

He was everything she never wanted. Yet, she couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Soulful, amber eyes

A sex, drugs, and rock n’roll reputation

A body that beckoned for sin

Three years ago Rochelle Floros was living her dream come true… then lost it all. On the worst day of her life, the last person she expected to be there for her was a rock star and tabloid favorite. Now, she’s trying to rebuild her life after the tragedy that destroyed her fairytale. Slowly, she found herself captivated by a sexy, bad boy drummer she had known for years.

Rochelle was caught between the grief that shrouded her heart and the charismatic man that made it race. What she didn’t know is if he was being sincere or toying with her heart. The Redemption is about finding the pulse of your soul in the most unlikely places and giving love a chance to grow.

Can what she wants really be what she needs? With his rhythm and her passion, can they make music together? Or will their harmony be lost forever?

About S.L. Scott:

S.L. Scott is a former high-tech account manager with a journalism degree pursuing her passion for telling stories. She spends her days escaping into her characters and letting them lead her on their adventures.
Live music shows, harvesting jalapenos and eating homemade guacamole are her obsessions she calls hobbies.
Scott lives in the beautiful Texas hill country of Austin with her husband, two young sons, two Papillons and a bowl full of Sea Monkeys.
Her novels include Naturally, Charlie, Good Vibrations, and A Prior Engagement.

- She welcomes your notes at sl@slscottauthor.com.

Excerpt 1:

I pull my hand away slowly, leaving all the feelings we were developing behind in
the palm of his hand. “The timing is wrong.”


Startled, I jump in my seat.

Lowering his voice, he says, “That’s a cop out. I know you feel something for me. I see how you react because I also feel it when I’m around you. There’s something here and you’re just scared.”

“Scared of what?”

“Scared to have a life without Cory and thinking you have to justify it to others. The problem with that is that when you start justifying it, it will make you feel like your love for Cory was less. It wasn’t. It’s just different. He’s not here, Rochelle.”

“Stop it. Stop talking about Cory and take me home.”

“Now you want to stop talking about him?” He looks surprised. “I can’t win with you when it comes to him.” He shifts the car into drive. 

“This is not a competition, Dex.”
Disappointment slides onto his face. “Then why is he being shoved in my face every time we make a move?”

“This is one of the reasons why we won’t work. We see things very differently.”

“One of the reasons? Name another because from where I sit, we fit like two puzzle pieces clicking together.”

“You’re a supposed recovering addict. You have sex with anyone who offers."

“That’s it. Right there. You play like you know who I am, but you don’t. That’s why the lies are so easily believed. I can tell what you’re doing. You’re giving me an out that I don’t want. You’re allowing yourself to believe the worst about me to ease your conscience, but it won’t—”

“You know what? Not everything is about you and your past. You lost a band mate and friend, but I lost my soulmate!”


“Here’s the truth of the matter. If we do this... again, there’s no going back to square one tomorrow. Not for me. I won’t be able to act like I don’t care about you, like I haven’t thought about you every day since we were together last. So it’s easier to stop now than later.”

With a discouraged sigh, I say, “You’re stronger than me, Dex.”

“No, I just know my greatest weakness is the woman beneath me right now.” He rolls over sighing in a way that shows frustration has set in. Turning his head to me, he says, “I want to fuck you so bad, but I also want to do all that making love stuff too. And if we do that, I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.” He sits up and walks to the other side of the room, leaning his back against the wall.

I prop myself up on my elbows, caught by the heaviness of the emotions I’m suddenly feeling for him.

“Go to sleep tonight. Fly home tomorrow.” He walks into the shadow of the entryway. “I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

I hear the door open as I fall back on the bed, my own sexual frustration setting in.

But just when I hear the door close, the weight of his body lands on top of me and he kisses me hard. Surprised, my eyes fly open, but then I go for it just like him and kiss him back with just as much passion. He pushes off of me again and stands between my legs. “I make very few promises in life, but this one I can make to you. Rochelle Floros, I’m coming for you. It’s our time, so get ready for me.” He turns abruptly and leaves me sitting there stunned... and tingly.

I want to be honest, I did not finish this book. I wanted to stop at 2%, but I forged on and made it 20% before I called it quits. I just couldn't.

I know I know, "What happened at 2% that was so bad!?" I'll show you...
The double doors of the master bedroom are closed along with the other bedroom doors down the hall. Taking the knob in hand, I turn slowly. It opens and I'm greeted with darkness. I'm hoping no one is in here doing something I don't want to see or hear, so I enter with caution. Although there is no light except for the moonlight coming in from the balcony doors, I walk in when I hear silence.
See!? See! I told ya! If your brain doesn't go "Wait! WTF did I just read?" you may need to wake up.  
But that's not all folks! I'm all for drama, but when it is written as superficial and flimsy as Dex and Rochelle...I can not do it. In the short amount I read, Rochelle changes her mind/feelings so frequently it was hard to follow any sort of storyline. 

If you have read S.L. Scott before and like her, please continue. I, however, cannot recommend this book.