Posts Tagged romance writer

WRITING CHRONICLE #22: ATTN Authors

Via: Daily Prompts – Wheel

submission

I actually don’t have any pompous writing tips or savories for this week. Rather, I have been contemplating a conundrum regarding genres and I’m just going to throw it out there to see if any of you fellow novelists will pick it up and get it rolling:

How important are trending subgenres in selecting the premise for the stories you write?

Allow me to explain a bit more on why this question has been niggling me. I have noticed more and more publishers these days send out CTA for romance novel submissions in very specific subgenres such as:

“Big high concept contemporary romance”

“Sexy alpha-alien science fiction romance”

“HEA or HFN erotic romances without major focus on character development, extreme conflict or drawn-out plots”

Not to sound like a genre snob or anything but I don’t actually know what the first submission call is asking for, haven’t ever read anything from the second one, and regarding the third, well, really? But whatever these subgenres are, they seem to be selling like hotcakes. Somewhere along the lines of Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey, my commune with the genre of romance picked up a crossed connection.

Of course, because I write romances, I searched out CTAs for romance novel submissions but I get the feeling that authors from other genres must face similar dilemmas: to succumb to the trend or write what holds meaning for me as a storyteller?

Any advice, authors?

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TUSH

Via: Daily Prompt – Massive

 

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Image: Wikimedia

To say she had an hourglass or pear-shaped figure would be euphemistic; voluptuous downright misleading. Hourglass was what Lexi’s body looked like when she was fifteen years old, while her bottom had expanded to resemble that of a pear’s before she even turned twenty. Now, at the age of twenty-four, all hopes of ever becoming voluptuous was lost and she was fated to lament over centuries gone by where fleshy women were the vogue. If she was one of Rubens’ Women, Michael would not have left her.

Michael cheated on you, you stupid cow! Thank your lucky star that you dodged that bullet.

Unfortunately, this detail was lost on her mother.

~ Zaireen Lupa, Still Falling for You, work-in-progress

 

 

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Squandered

Via: Daily Prompt – Instinct

Image: Pixabay

“Animals tend to demonstrate natural instincts of self-preservation. So why don’t women when it comes to philanderers?”

~ Zaireen Lupa, Still Falling for You, work-in-progress

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The Schedule (01 min read)

Via: Daily Prompt – Rhythmic

 

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Image: Pixabay

 

 

05:30 – Wake up, freshen up

06:00 – Go for a run at the park

07:15 – Return home and shower

08:00 – Have breakfast, go through the news

09:00 – Sit down to write

12:00 – Prepare lunch

13:30 – Eat lunch while reading or watching movie/TV shows

16:00 – Take writing outside for a walk or a cafe; on Mondays and Thursdays, do the groceries

19:00 – Prepare dinner and eat while reading; on Fridays, meet up with Joan at a location of her choice

21:00 – Write some more

23:00 – Go to bed, read until falling asleep

Rinse and Repeat.

Life is down to a science, a slow dance to the rhythm of humdrum.

Like the thumps of a ball hitting the wall during a steady game of squash.

On Friday, February 24, 2017, at approximately 20:35, Michele will meet Bob at a bar in Soho.

And her walls will fall apart.

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WEDNESDAY REFLECTIONS #06: The Art of ‘Trembling’ in Romance

Via: Daily Prompt – Tremble

 

Romantic Roses Book Read Book Pages Literature

Image: Max Pixel

 

If the word ‘tremble’ came up during a word association game, my first answer would be ‘romance novels’. But if anyone really gave me the time to come up with one single word, it would be ‘containment’. That’s what I always have felt trembling results from – the inability to contain. Whether describing earthquakes or human emotions, trembling essentially describes something that is ready to burst, that which cannot remain hidden.

No one brings out this better than romance novelists. And here are sixteen quick quotes from some of my favorite books:

“He leaned forward and kissed her softly, his mouth fitting hers so perfectly that she trembled. She tasted the heat of him and licked the chocolate off his lip and felt his tongue against hers, hot and devastating, and when he broke the kiss, she was breathless and dizzy and aching for more. He held her eyes, looking as dazed as she felt, but she wasn’t deceived at all, she knew what he was.

She just didn’t care.”

~Jennifer Crusie, 2004, Bet Me, Chapter 05

“He trembled. She loved that she could make him tremble.”

~ Julia Quinn, 2013, The Sum of All Kisses, Chapter 15

“He looked well. Truly well. Not just handsome, but vigorous and strong. After feeling him groan and tremble beside her last night, this came as profound relief.”

 ~ Tessa Dare, 2012, A Week to Be Wicked, Chapter 09

“The scarlet hibiscus bloom on the front of her T-shirt trembled with  indignation.”

~Sandra Brown, 1988, Adam’s Fall, Chapter 02

“She trembled as his searing lips pressed against her throat and beneath her breasts her heart thumped wildly.”

~ Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, 1972, The Flame and the Flower, Chapter 01

“Her hand on him trembled. She had never done this to a man, but suddenly her hand wasn’t enough. It was too distant from her heart.”

~ Susan Elizabeth Phillips, 2000, It Had to Be You, Chapter 17

“Her lip trembled, darkening to a deeper pink, a sign that his strategy was working.”

~ Laura Lee Guhrke, 2015, Catch a Falling Princess, Chapter 12

“Her insides trembled as she recalled how he’d leaned down and she’d thought, nay, she’d wished with everything she possessed that he would kiss her again. Leave her so breathless and insensible that he’d pick up the reins and steal her away, take her far from London before she ever gained the wits to protest.”

~ Elizabeth Boyle, 2012, Along Came a Duke, Chapter 13

“Then she trembled, and he forgot to be amused at both of them. When he eased back he saw that she was still pale, her eyes dark and clouded. Testing, he pressed light kisses on either side of her mouth and watched her lashes flutter.”

~ Nora Robert, 1996, Holding the Dream, Chapter 07

“When she looked up into his steel blue eyes and saw the promise of just how she’s pay, she trembled with anticipation.”

~ Jenna McKnight, 2007, Witch in the House, Chapter 13

“‘You came,’ she said simply, and he recalled that as she had coughed up water and trembled with relief in the moments after he’d rescued her, she’d whispered the same words. You came.”

~Sarah MacLean, 2011, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, Chapter 06

“He glanced up then, his eyes dark and hidden. She tried to smile, tried to look back at him alluringly, but her lips trembled imperceptibly. His gaze dropped to her mouth and stayed there, his face brooding. She caught her breath. She did not know this man. Not really.”

~Elizabeth Hoyt, 2013, Lord of Darkness, Chapter 03

“She had trembled when he touched her. And for one moment, she’d thought his hand trembled, too.”

~ Sophie Jordan, 2014, A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin, Chapter 14

“Afterward Paul kissed her briefly. Although his mouth had barely grazed hers, a riot of sensations came rushing at Leah. She trembled in his arms and prayed he hadn’t guessed how strong her response had been.”

~Debbie Macomber, 1995, Stand-In Wife, Chapter 07

“It seems his wife had truly mourned the death of her father. Vander didn’t like how much her tears had affected him. Mia’s soft mouth had quivered, and he’d wanted to kiss her until she trembled all over for a different reason. The moment he’d realized she was crying, he had wanted to take her into his arms and kiss her until she cheered up.”

~Eloise James, 2015, Four Nights With the Duke, Chapter 16

“She wanted to run to him. She wanted to touch him. The effort of standing motionless caused her muscles to tremble in protest.”

~ Lisa Kleypas, 2010, Love in the Afternoon, Chapter 07

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I’ll Be True (Chapter 26)

Read Chapter 25 before you continue…

It was a beautiful wedding ceremony and the happiness shining on the faces of the bride and groom proved that they were a match made in heaven. But then again, no other couple had ever been cheered for by all of Lainie’s Creek as much as this one – not even the iconic love affair between tragic Lainie Corey, after whose demise the town had been named, and her infamous beau William Brant. But that was a tale of long ago and, thankfully, without any repeat performances. In fact, the only couple other than the just-married Tyler and Ahyoka to draw the eyes of the guests was Elaina and Matthew, who were currently laughing through a lively jig, making a fool of themselves with their disarrayed dance moves.

Brooke felt no envy by their glowing mirth, only relief. She watched Matthew pull Elaina back into his arms and whisper something in her ear. It must have been funny too because Elaina threw back her head in an unladylike guffaw. Brooke had never seen her former best friend so full of cheerful abandon, not even when they were children. Amazing the changes true love could bring in a person. She hoped she too would find someone one day to share such connection with but for now felt content just to watch Elaina finally bask in the affection she deserved.

“Why are you sitting by yourself here, moping?”

Brooke turned to see Hayden drop down onto the folding chair beside hers. “I’m not moping. I’m watching people dance.”

Hayden raised an eyebrow. “Any couple in particular,” he inquired, knowing full well the answer.

Brooke turned away from him, her eyes trained on Elaina and Matthew once more though seeing little of their dance this time. Hayden had always been critical of her, even when she was little more than a child. He always lorded over Elaina and her, impressing the fact that he was older than them and therefore more experienced – as though being older equated to being wiser. Brooke was sure she would have liked to see a lot less of Hayden growing up. If only it hadn’t been for the fact that he was her former best friend’s older brother and whom said former best friend idolized. Of course, it was always Hayden who protested first whenever Elaina wished to accompany her twin brothers on their outings, bringing up their age difference as the main reason, but Brooke had also felt that his unwelcome attitude was especially directed to her.

But they were all now much older, each an adult who came into his or her own. She no longer needed Hayden’s approval. “Tyler and Ahyoka look very happy to be finally married,” she answered, purposely being elusive because she did not feel the need to dignify his question.

“Not the couple I meant and you know it.”

She remained silent. She would not rise to his bait.

“Elaina could never dance to save her life. Matthew seems to be cut with two left feet as well.”

“But they are charming together so it doesn’t matter if they can dance or not,” she automatically defended. Damn it.

“If they are so charming together, why do you look like the baby that got her lollypop stolen?”

He always made it so difficult to ignore him. “What the hell are you talking about, Hayden?”  Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ll Be True (Chapter 25)

Read Chapter 24 before you continue…

Matthew tugged her into a dark room, locking the door behind them. The moment he had reached for her on the stage, hell broke loose. Despite the fact that he had the presence of mind to contain his emotions to a polite peck on the cheek, the media was not fooled and made sure to record plenty of visual proofs. Their chemistry belied their attempt at a nonchalant greeting and the nature of their relationship became one of the primary lineups of inquiry. She dreaded to imagine the kind of reaction a stronger display of affection from Matthew would have generated. His eloquent speech before her arrival had not helped the situation either. Fortunately, Matthew was able to volley the questions like the expert he was and even had tackled a few aimed at her.

There were, however, two questions he could not have answered on her behalf. And although Brooke had helped her anticipate them, allowing her time to prepare responses, when actually posed by the first query, having finally seen the magnitude of the exhibition, she shook to her core by newfound revelations.

“Matthew is a duly renowned artist in his genre. How did it feel to be under the investigation of his lens?”

Matthew’s eyes had sought hers in that moment. It was looking into the blue-green lagoon of his gaze, she had replied, straining her brain to find justifiable words. She remembered stringing together words such as flattering, gratifying, life altering and special into a tangle of sentences. Later, she had returned her attention to the journalist, in a final bid to disguise her more private emotions with banter. “I wasn’t his sole subject at the time but, seeing how it’s turned out, it’s a bit disconcerting really.”

The next question should have been easy. A reporter had asked, given that she had been exposed to the experience if she would consider future modeling offers, which she vehemently negated. However, the reporter had been persistent and went on to ask if she would remain strict on that decision if the request came from Matthew. She had blushed profusely, stumbling for the appropriate answer, and, in the end, mumbled a vague “time would tell”. Yet, she knew even then she would not refuse Matthew. She couldn’t.

She was grateful for the moment when their time on stage came to an end. Matthew wasted no time in whisking her away to more private quarters of the gallery’s back office. Now she blushed again as she stood in the dark with him, close enough for their breaths to mingle, and remembered the power he had to draw her in. In more ways than to just sweet talk her into sitting still for his camera.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ll Be True (Chapter 24)

Read Chapter 23 before you continue…

 

Elaina’s mind tumbled through the tide of enlightenment that washed over her. She had never tried to work through the range of emotions surrounding the event before, though five years was plenty time for private musings. Her thoughts had been consumed by two phases of that watershed moment in her life. There was the horrific replay of Brooke’s confession and the harrowing sense of betrayal that took over later, accompanied by a myriad of emotions. Feelings of pain, confusion, mortification, anger and, worst of all, being second-rate had drowned out any reason for recovery. They had kept her from considering there might be a third component, gluing Brooke’s action to her reactions. Withheld contemplations of the loss she had also experienced though she was aware the loss was lurking in there too. Now, while standing before Brooke, the missing piece clicked into place. Talking to Brooke was what it took.

“What do you mean?” Brooke asked again, even as some new realization shone through her eyes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ll Be True (Chapter 23)

Read Chapter 22 before you continue…

 

“I’m so glad y’all came!” There was a giant grin on Brooke’s face, as though she was genuinely happy to see them. Even Elaina. “C’mon in.” She led them through the small foyer of her Garment District factory-turned-flat to the living room.

“Oh, Brooke,” moaned Ahyoka very appropriately. “I do declare, this here is charming!”

A cavernous sitting room opened up into a dining area, behind which sprawled a shiny stone-and-steel kitchen. Picture windows lined the broadest stretch of wall in the expansive space, through which they had a panoramic view of New York City’s high-rises, from the concentration of industrial buildings across the street to the tip of the hotel they were staying in. It was the brightest, cleanest room Elaina had ever set foot in and she immediately became conscious of how dusty her boots were.

Everywhere she looked, gleaming white furniture occupied the prospect. Here and there, accents of gold and silver peeked out from metal and fabric articles ornamenting the alabaster scheme. She even spotted a pair of sequined throw pillows on the snowy leather couch that looked as though it was hardly ever sat on. On principle, Elaina knew she should feel revolted by its almost sterilized appearance. Yet she could not help admiring how tasteful it truly was – much like the image adapted by its resident. This was Brooke’s domain. The refined Brooke. Not the unruly, spirited best friend of her childhood.

She glanced at Brooke’s matching attire, which was a short white peasant frock cinched at the waist with a fat gold chain. Gold hoop earrings, bangles, and sandals completed the look. Elaina was ready to bet her horse that even the underwear was color coordinated with the living room. As usual, Brooke was showing off and Elaina once again wondered if this was not the worst plan that Brooke had ever had and she agreed to. She could never compete with the gorgeous Brooke of then, much less the glamorous Brooke of now.

Beside her, Elaina felt downright dowdy in her trademark plaid shirt and faded wrangler jeans. The newest item on her was the Suede jacket she had thrown on out of respect for the city’s cooler weather, the oldest were her spur-less boots and Stetson. The latter, she could not leave behind in her hotel room despite much deliberation because stepping outside without it made her head tingle too much to see whether she was coming or going. The overall effect drew too many curious glances down the four blocks they walked from the hotel to Brooke’s apartment building. Even Ahyoka had managed to citify her appearance, as indicated by the admiring smiles from the suits they had passed on the way. The knitted wool turtleneck in rich terracotta with grey-green safari pants and some kind of laced up heels perfectly suited the honeyed colorings of her exuberant companion.

“Thanks, the agency set this up for us,” Brooke was saying in response to Ahyoka’s profuse appreciation.

Ahyoka cocked her head inquisitively. “Us?”

“I have four roommates. We model through the same agency. The girls are all out now but they will be back in time for dinner. I told them y’all were coming and they canceled their plans to join us. Also, they usually try to stay in on nights I cook,” added Brooke with pride.

Elaina couldn’t help raising an eyebrow. “You cook now?”

Brooke smiled sheepishly, seeming to lose a bit of her nerve at the blunt question. “Yeah, had to teach myself when I moved out here. There was a lot of spare time in the first year while I was getting acquainted with the industry. I can make only a few dishes but I practiced them enough to make them edible.”

Elaina noticed again how Brooke’s drawl kept slipping in and out when she spoke. Must be a side effect of life on the East Coast, she concluded.

“I’m sure dinner will be delightful,” Ahyoka encouraged.

Brooke visibly relaxed. “Well, don’t just stand there. C’mon. I’ll show you my room. Then y’all can sit at the kitchen while I ready dinner and we can have ourselves a chat.”

Ahyoka made to follow but Elaina hesitated. “I better not walk in here with my boots on. They’re dusty,” she explained.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ll Be True (Chapter 22)

Read Chapter 21 before you continue…

“Absolutely not!” Elaina stared down her three opponents. She was on to them. Their speech on trying out new things, with a side order of an attempt to make her feel obligated towards the bride’s wishes as maid-of-honor, was as transparent as the glass wall birds flew into. Well, she was no bird brain and she had never before heard of Ahyoka’s dream to have her bachelorette party in New York City. Convenient, this dream should reveal itself so soon after they had all received invitations to a certain photo exhibition. “Y’all are just trying to get me to Matthew’s show. I ain’t falling for it.”

“She saw right through that one, didn’t she?” muttered Ethel from where she was attending the stew simmering on the stove in the Coreys’ kitchen.

“It was Brooke’s genius plan, I was just enacting it,” Ahyoka defended herself, sitting down across from Elaina in dejection.

“It got us all down to the business of talking about the subject all the same,” June tried to pacify the situation, looking kindly at her future daught-in-law. “Better out than boiling in our heads.”

Not a chance in hell. “What’s this about Brooke?” Elaina demanded, trying to curb her surprise at this new piece of information.

“The cat’s outta the bag now and here comes the hissy fit,” Ethel alerted, turning her back to the rest of the tableau as though seeking cover from a battle field.

“No one’s going to have a hissy fit,” June talked over Ahyoka who was beginning to stammer another protest at being chided for the plan and its source.

“I will if no one explains to me what’s this about it being Brooke’s plan,” warned Elaina.

“June, meet your only daughter,” threw in Ethel like an aside. “She’s blonde, blue-eyed, beautiful and likes to stomp around the ranch with an angry cloud of steam over her head, picking fights with anybody and everybody willing.” No one paid her much mind. Sarcasm was part of their housekeeper’s charm – her snarky comments, an embrace.

“You have been a tad bit hard to live with recently,” her mother added tentatively, trying to iron out the harshness in the appraisal.

“Try more like in recent few months,” Ethel put in.

“Just shy of three months actually,” Ahyoka tidied up, ever the banker with her penchant for numbers. “Since about the time that photographer we’ve all come to admire vamoosed.”

“I have not,” Elaina challenged across the kitchen table.  Read the rest of this entry »

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