Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of their writing on Sunday. Be sure to visit other participants at http://www.wewriwa.com/ and read and comment on their #8sunday posts.
Spread the word: Twitter hashtag #8sunday
Enjoy our next snippet from The Heist. This excerpt immediately follows his thought so much for a repeat hug from last week.
He shook her hand, giving it an extra squeeze. “Is it always this hot in Lincoln?”
“In early August? Most of the time – I recall it getting quite hot in Chicago, too. Do you need to stop for luggage?”
“You’re right, it does.” He gripped his carry-on bag and briefcase tighter. “This is it – I travel light whenever possible.”
“Good idea. Let’s go, then – it’ll take another hour and a half to get to Elk Grove.”
“That’s fine with me. We’ll have an opportunity to get reacquainted.”
She gave him a sharp look before lengthening her stride and heading for the exit. “I didn’t realize we were acquainted.”
A Heist? A Murder?
It’s villain’s choice.
A special-order art theft? Tedious, but seamless – until small town museum director Kara Daniels calls in the experts. Furious her favorite trio of priceless impressionist paintings has been stolen from its traveling exhibit on her watch, Kara is determined to save not only the paintings, but her future in the art world. She’ll stop at nothing to entrap the thief.
Ted Springs knows the underbelly of the criminal world a little closer than he might like—but he’s turned it to good advantage, first as a police officer, and now as detective for the Upper Midwest Arts Council. His job? To guarantee the security of the valuable paintings in the Council’s traveling exhibits.
Heat sizzles when Ted and Kara collide—can they work together, before it’s too late?
Five stars at Goodreads: “The sex is hot and I loved the phone sex scenes. Never did I expect the ending. It was brilliant. The Heist is a winner!” Sheila G.
Five stars at Amazon: “Very hot…engaging, entertaining, funny and serious, well written and extremely enjoyable to read.” Donna H. “A true ‘romance novel’! Adriana Kraft at her best.” Mama
o ~ o ~ o
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Weekend Writing Warrior posts–you’ll be glad you did!
Guest H K Carlton: Dark Erotic Paranormal Romance and an Irish Castle @authorHKCarlton #MFRWAuthor #EroticRomance
It’s St. Patrick’s Day – the perfect time for a guest whose latest series involves an ancient castle in Ireland… Take it away, H K!
Thank you so much for having me today, Adriana Kraft! I’m delighted to be here and excited to share with your readers a bit about the re-release of The Lustful Possession series, new to eXtasy Books. These short stories have been re-edited and outfitted with some new artwork.
Bucking the Rules
~ H K Carlton
Imagine you are a publisher.
What would you think if one of your authors [me] pitched a dark erotic paranormal romance series. No wait, multi-generational saga. Sound good? On board so far?
Okay so what if the series starts out contemporary, then mid-way through takes a sudden medieval, time-travel twist, but then switches back to contemporary, then back to historical.
Am I losing you? Sort of like tennis match, right. Sore neck?
I rush on, excitedly sensing the “You can’t do that” to come—
Me: What if there are also m/f and m/m pairings? And m/m/m, f/f, and m/f/f encounters. That ticks the erotic boxes, right?
Publisher: But readers who read only m/f won’t appreciate the m/m content and m/m readers won’t tolerate the m/f components.
Me: But there are also readers like me, who just plain love to read and will read anything. No matter the genre, sub-genre or pairing(s).
Publisher: True… but… that really cuts down on your reader base.
I learned a long time ago, you can’t please everyone
Wringing hands — take a deep breath —
Me: There might also … possibly be … borderline infidelity?
Publisher: Hard No! Cheating in a romance! No way, no how. There’s no such thing as borderline. You’ll lose your audience, for sure. Not to mention get some nasty comments on Goodreads and in reviews.
Me: Okay, so maybe it’s not “true romance” then. We’ll adjust the tags and genre categories, even put a warning along with the blurb. Perhaps it’s a dark erotic paranormal series/saga with romantic elements.
But seriously—I justify—can having sex with a ghost who has taken possession of your boyfriend’s body, technically be considered cheating? Especially when said boyfriend is also cavorting with a female ghost who has overtaken the girlfriend? Not cheating, in my book. — LOL! See what I did there—All bodies used in the sexual acts are still that of the boyfriend and girlfriend, how can that be infidelity?
Publisher: Splitting hairs.
Sheepishly, I continue—full disclosure
Me: Though… in the third instalment, The Fall of Cairnnon Castle, the lines really get blurred when there are brothers involved. Twin brothers, no less. Chiselled, rugged, Irishmen, fighting for the love of the same girl. And, um, this book sort of verges on horror, too.
Publisher: You’re pushing it. There are just way too many genres, sub-genres and pairings.
Me: Is this a bad time to mention the demons?
Publisher: Now let me get this straight. You are proposing a dark erotic paranormal romance, that isn’t a romance in the true sense, with a contemporary, historical, time-travel…
Me: Mhh-hmm, and U.S. and Irish settings.
Publisher: Dark, erotic, paranormal, contemporary, historical, time-travel, horror series, with m/f and m/m pairings, along with m/m/m, f/f and m/f/f encounters, which also incorporates demons, ghosts and supernatural possession, set in the U.S. and Ireland. Have I got that right?
Poised on the edge of my seat, I nod.
Me: Oh and cliff-hangers… nervous laughter…
Publisher: Is that all?
Me: Well, most of it.
Publisher: There’s more?
Me: Much more!
Publisher: … … … … SILENCE … … … …
So, my virtual publisher, would you take a chance on this series?
I know it won’t appeal to everyone but it was a hoot to write.
Readers who enjoy variety: Welcome to the Lustful Possession Series… the haunting saga that breaks all the rules. Well, most of ’em, anyway. We hope you’ll join us for the ride… one more time.
Here is a quick rundown of the installments in reading order, along with the sub-genres and pairings, for each:
The Lustful Possession Series – Parts 1 thru 7, in order
Meet Me in the Dark
(m/f, paranormal, erotic, contemporary, ghosts, possession)
Crishtin Davenport and newbie paranormal investigator Josh Hewes are drawn into a heady web of desire when two overactive spirits take possession of their unwitting bodies, and use them at their whim.
(m/f, paranormal, erotic, contemporary, ghosts, possession)
A foursome takes on a whole new aspect when a fledgling couple comes face to face with the two randy spirits taking over their lives.
The Fall of Cairnnon Castle
(m/f, time-travel, Ireland, historical, paranormal, dark erotic, verging on horror)
A team of paranormal investigators descend on one of the most haunted castles in all of Ireland. One of the renowned international scientists—unearths the secret behind the evil that haunts Cairnnon Castle but before she can divulge her findings, the castle crumbles, trapping her and the elemental, within.
Meet the O’Cairnnon’s—A fate most do not survive.
And Coming Soon…
Rising From the Darkness
(m/m, paranormal, erotic, contemporary with an m/m/m encounter)
(paranormal, erotic, contemporary, m/f story with m/m interaction)
(m/f, paranormal, erotic, time-travel, historical)
(paranormal, dark erotic, time-travel, historical, an m/f story with f/f and m/f/f interaction)
Follow The Lustful Possession Series at:
The first three books are available now
Pre-Order Book Four @eXtasy Books – Rising From the Darkness
+ 18 Excerpt from Meet Me in the Dark – Part One
Slowly, Crish came to the realization that Shelley’s spirit was no longer with her and now she hung in aching suspended need, right on the verge of climax with a ghost—a man long dead, balls deep inside her.
“Crishtin?” he panted, stilling. He sounded confused.
“Oh, god, Miles, don’t stop.” Crish couldn’t believe what she was asking, but the sensations he’d stoked in her were burning her alive. “Please!” she begged, working her own hips, encouraging him.
“You feel so good, Crishtin. I love your naked pussy. Skin against skin. Ahhh, I’ve never experienced anything so exquisite. I thought Shelley had shown me everything a man could possibly ever dream of. But this is beyond…”
His sentence was cut short when Crish pulled him down and planted her lips on his, shutting him up. She didn’t want to hear what he thought. She didn’t want to think at all. This whole experience was bizarre, and the only thing on her mind was mind-blowing bliss.
There’s nothing in the dark that isn’t there in the light…
Crishtin Davenport thought she was attending a simple Halloween event—a good scare to get the blood pumping. But instead she finds her pulse racing over one of the event’s organizers.
Josh Hewes loves nothing more than investigating paranormal activity, but after meeting Crishtin, the only thing he wants to explore is her.
However, getting to know one another takes an unexpected turn when some randy spirits get in on the act. Crish and Josh are inexplicably drawn into a heady web of desire and want nothing more than to possess each other. But they’re not the only ones.
Be careful what you invite in to play…
This series is a re-release
Warning: This collection of short stories contains m/f and m/m couplings and cliff-hangers. Instalments must be read in order.
H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.
Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me.
What makes a Page Turner?
Comments and reviews about my romance novels quite often contain phrases like:’ Couldn’t put it down’ (or ‘unputdownable’ as one person said) or ‘I was glued to it’ or ‘Once I started, I had to carry on until I finished it.’ In fact, one of my readers once ‘complained’ that I had kept her up late because she had to read ‘just a bit more’ until she got to the end of the book!
Obviously, these are very satisfying remarks for an author, but they made me think what aspects of a novel make it a page turner.
The first requisite, of course, is that readers want to know what happens next. This means that the plot must be intriguing enough for them not to be able to guess the rest of the story by the time they get to Chapter 2. Of course, with a romance novel, they know the hero and heroine will get their happy ending, but the author must introduce enough unexpected twists and turns to keep readers in suspense, wondering how that is ever going to happen.
Another important aspect is to keep the story moving forward. Long descriptions of people and places might be suitable for literary fiction, but romance readers don’t want to read a whole page describing the scenery, or the layout of a house, or exactly what the characters are wearing down to the last detail. A short paragraph with well-chosen words is enough to allow readers to use their own imaginations. Anything more can slow down the action – which brings me to another big turn-off i.e. irrelevant scenes where nothing actually happens.
There’s no need to describe the heroine’s shopping trip, or her day at work, or her cooking and gardening efforts, unless something happens during these events that advances the story. This may seem obvious, but I’ve read some stories that have contained scenes which seem to add nothing to the story. It’s worth remembering that every scene, indeed every page, should contain some kind of ‘action’. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something dramatic, but there should be a significant ‘something’ that relates to the plot or to the characters. This could anything from a major turning point in the story or the introduction of a new character to a subtle change of attitude or a character learning something about themselves or about the other person or the situation they are in. This applies to conversations, too. Skip all the ‘Hello, how are you?’ pleasantries and/or dialogue that rambles on with no real relevance to the rest of the story.
Cliff-hangers are a well-known device to keep readers turning the pages, especially at the end of a chapter. It’s been said that you should never end a chapter with a character turning off the light and going to sleep – because if your readers are reading in bed (which, of course, many people do) they will probably do the same! Instead, aim to ‘End each chapter with a bang, not a whimper’! Ask a question, foreshadow something that is going to happen (without giving it away), end with a dramatic moment for one or more of the characters – anything that will make your readers want to carry on reading – even though it might be after midnight.
An author can also drop hints during a chapter which make readers start asking questions e.g. Character A seems to have a hidden agenda – what is it? I used this in my novel, IRISH INHERITANCE, which brought this comment from my beta reader, ‘I’m dying to know what …. (no spoilers!) is up to.’ There are also times when readers can be one step ahead of your characters. In IRISH SECRETS, for example, the hero is not what he is pretending to be, and in IRISH DECEPTIONS something is revealed by the hero which the heroine doesn’t suspect. Hopefully, this makes people want to continue reading to discover what will happen when the heroine discovers the truth.
My final point is the characters themselves. Romance readers want to empathise with the heroine and fall in love with the hero, and the author needs to ensure that readers get to know the characters well enough to care about them. This means that’ll be interested enough to turn the pages to find out what happens to them, and how they will reach their happy ending.
(This is the cliff-hanger ending of one of the chapters)
‘I can’t imagine what we’re going to find,’ Jenna said as they walked along the corridor and past the balustraded landing to the bedroom on the western side of the house.
‘Dust and cobwebs?’
‘In which case, the first thing we’ll need is a vacuum cleaner.’
‘Of course, it might be completely empty.’
Outside the wide oak door, Guy stopped, and Jenna turned to him. ‘Go on.’
He gave her a wry grin. ‘I’m not sure whether I’m excited or scared.’
‘For all we know, there might be a dead body in the room.’
Her eyes widened. ‘Sheesh, I never thought of that.’
‘If this was a movie, spooky music would be playing right now.’
‘There can’t be a body. It would smell.’ She stared at him. ‘You don’t think—’
He put his arm around her. ‘You’re too easy, Jenna. I’m kidding you.’
‘Oh, you—!’ She flicked her fingers across his ribs. ‘Stop winding me up.’
His hand tightened on her arm, and she leaned against his shoulder. It felt good, so good…
She twisted her head to look up at him. The gentleness in his eyes, soft as a caress, sent a wave of heat rushing through her from head to toe. They gazed at each other for what seemed like forever, but could only have been a few seconds.
Guy was the first to break their eye contact. ‘Let’s open the door, shall we?’
With his arm still around her, he put the large key into the lock and struggled to turn it. She’d started to think it must be too stiff to open, when a loud click made her jump.
He reached past her to twist the brass doorknob. ‘Do you want to go in first, or shall I?’
After her wimpish reaction to his earlier joking, she decided on bravado. ‘Go on, push the door, and I’ll go first, but you’d better be right behind me.’
‘In case there’s a skeleton hanging from the chandelier?’
‘Stop it!’ She dug her elbow into him. ‘If this door creaks when you push it open, I shall probably scream.’
The door didn’t creak, but opened smoothly. Jenna took a small step into the room and clapped her hand to her mouth.
‘Oh my God!’ she whispered.
English actress, Jenna Sutton, and American artist, Guy Sinclair, are thrown together when they find they’ve jointly inherited a house on the west coast of Ireland. Neither knows their connection to their unknown benefactress, but they set about unravelling the intriguing tale of a 19th century love affair. Despite their personal reasons for not wanting romantic involvements, Jenna and Guy feel their growing attraction.
When local property agent, Eve Callaghan, appears to have her own agenda, friction builds over Jenna and Guy’s decision about the house and its contents.
Will their Irish inheritance bring them together – or drive them apart?
Links to all four of my Mist Na Mara novels are shown on my Amazon author page:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ELbXqo
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2om9MyM
and on my Tirgearr Publishing page: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Martin_Paula/
Paula Martin lives near Manchester in North West England and has two daughters and two grandsons.
She had some early publishing success with four romance novels and several short stories, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching, and is thrilled to have found publishing success again with her contemporary romances.
Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places. She has travelled extensively in Britain and Ireland, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her other interests include musical theatre and tracing her family history.
Galway Bay, taken at sunset:
Follow the rest of my tour here! http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/paula-martin/