Heroes With Mommy Issues

psychoOne of my old favorite romances is a medieval that the hero was a bastard (figuratively and literally). His distrust of women stemmed from his mother’s abandonment when he was a child. That theme ran through many romances back in the seventies and eighties, probably for centuries before that too. Nowadays we see less of that (the bastard resenting the mother who had them out of wedlock), but we still see it in other forms.

The hero whose wife or mother cheated on him or his father or the wife that didn’t want children or did want children when he didn’t. Or the hero with a step-father he hates and the mother he resents because she married the man. You get the idea. The list does go on.

It’s really a shame that moms get such a bum wrap. Being a mom, I can tell you that most of us try not to make mistakes but we all do.

But moms (and dads) are so important to our lives and using them as the deeply rooted reason for the hero’s (or heroine’s) actions could be considered an easy out for some, but really that’s right on track. Our parents have a tremendous impact on how we react to stress and challenges, and how we deal with and love others.

One thing about writing, the author almost has to be a psychologist.

Perseverance or The Need To Scream At the Top Of My Lungs

MM900046560Last year was a turkey of a year and let’s leave it at that. I rather dwell on good things, and that’s how I’m looking at 2014.

I’ve written a novella. The hero is Ice from The Circle series.  His lady love isn’t even mentioned in the books. A totally new character. And since it is a novella, it concentrates on the discovery of love more than on the suspense. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Next on my agenda is to complete Jack’s story. As you may know, I had already started on it but got sidetracked by many things including the novella.  Plus I’ve decided that Jack’s will be a novella too. Maybe a little longer than Ice’s, but still short.

Then I plan to work on Liam and Charlie’s. They so deserve a happy ending. After that I might do a short story for Ty Roman with a thread revealing what happened to Brody and Lucian Reilly. (How many people know who he was and what book he appeared in?)

You’re probably wondering why am I writing the rest of the series as novellas? Because I have two series that I would like to sell to publishing houses and my time should be and hopefully will be spent completing them. Besides, I didn’t want to wait on writing the rest of The Circle Series. So novella is the second best thing to do.

I have so many stories to write. I can’t wait until I retire so I can do this full time. Please hang in there with me.  You won’t regret it. I think.

Where’s Carla?

Beautiful Woman Enjoys CoffeeGuess what I found out today? My workshop with Lexi George and Heather Leonard has been picked for the Moonlight and Magnolias conference in Norcross, GA this October. We’re so excited. Twice we’ve presented it (and I was so freaking stiff – got to work on that – so unlike me) for groups of writers.

It’s called The Pitch is Back. Yeah, yeah. Not very original, but it works and I plan to play the Elton John song (appropriate considering he lives in Atlanta part of the time) The Bitch is Back while waiting for people to sit. Anyway, it will be a lot of fun to attend as we actually act out how to behave and not behave with an editor and agent. Not just telling you BUT REALLY SHOWING IT! HA! It’s a lot of laughs.

So come and join in the fun. Click here to find out more about the conference. It’s probably one of the three largest RWA chapter conferences.

And don’t forget I will be signing my book, CIRCLE OF DECEPTION, at the book fair October 11 there.

See you then!

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Young model
John Takahashi
also known as Ice

Thanks to the fabulous Katherine Bone (Katherinebone.com) for inviting me to take part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. And I’m told this post will also show up on Novels Alive TV [updated 7/11/2020 – no longer valid website]. Pretty neat website. You need to check it out.

Now for the first question. What am I working on?

I’m completing CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE. For those who have read the other Circle books, this is Jack’s story but in novella size. Before DEFIANCE, I had finished Ice’s story, CIRCLE OF DISHONOR.

They should be out this summer. Here are their blurbs.

CIRCLE OF DISHONOR:  After the death of her husband, Lena Matthews wants to explore the dark, sensual side of life. She dreams of having the mysterious martial arts teacher, John Takahashi, in her bed. His every move screams of how well versed he is in carnal knowledge, and she’s willing to be the perfect student.

John, known as Ice in the more deadly parts of the world, wants the shy woman watching him from the coffee shop. But if he introduces her to his lifestyle, the trap he set for his enemy may snap shut on them both. Yet, he’ll risk it all to make her his.

CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE: Katerina Savalas hates to ask anyone for a favor, especially The Circle operative, Jack Drago. She needs his protection, and he’s the only man in the small town capable of fighting off the local criminal demanding that she handover the treasure map she’s found.

Only problem is Jack rather drink and wallow in self-pity than be the hero she remembers. Being assigned in the hayseed town, he’s aware that his days are numbered, and he believes she’s making it up. Treasure maps, yeah, right. But when someone burns down her house and almost kills her, he refuses to let his curse kill another woman on his watch. Or he will die trying.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I guess every author likes to believe their books/series are different from everyone else’s.  Let’s see. When I’m asked what I write, I normally answer Romantic Suspense. But that’s not totally accurate. In fact, recently I started branding myself as Action – Adventure Romantic Suspense. My books are fast paced, sexy, and often violent. Usually I say they’re like James Bond or La Femme Nikita. So how many romance books out there can say that?

Why do I write what I do?

Because they’re the type of stories I love to read and watch on TV and in the movies. The guys are alphas and know how to handle themselves. They’re willing to protect women in a heartbeat. While the heroines can kick-butt or at least have the sense to stay out of the way if they don’t know how.

How does your writing process work?

At the start, I begin writing the book with a general idea of where I want to go. Then about halfway through I check my white board where I have written several notes of what should be happening in each section of the book. It’s broken down to twelve parts with the usual highs and lows for a three part story. I use Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CATand  Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plot Structure (both are for screenplays but can be used to write novels) to make sure I’m on track. Then I go back and tweak what I missed in the beginning and then finish the book. Sometimes, if I feel stuck, I’ll write out a short synopsis and add a few bios of the characters. That usually clears my head and I can finish without worrying what I forgot.

I know, I know. Not a very exciting post. But I leave all the excitement to my characters.

Something New to Add

I have something new to add to my website. Such a nice way to start the weekend. CIRCLE OF DECEPTION is a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!





Final Hi-Res Cover web

If you want to pick up a (e-format or paperback) copy, click on a link below.