As mentioned in previous posts, I am in the planning stage of a (my very first!) romance-suspense novel, Storms of the Heart. Using Canva, I created a book cover. What do you think?
Here’s a draft of the story’s synopsis:
Kathleen Burman moved to the small town of Walden, nestled in the prairie valley near the Rockies, in search of a new life. There she meets the locals each with their own troubled past as herself.
Joe Tucker is one of the locals who deliberately keeps busy to keep his painful past at bay. Along comes Kat who reawakens something within he thought he’d never feel again. Dr. Weaver Teems, a city dweller who temporarily moved to Walden to help out a colleague, deliberately steps in between Kat and Joe, to convince her there’s a better life outside Walden.
Soon the past and present collide as storms of the heart erupt. Who will survive?
Question for this month: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?
When I discovered writing as a girl, my first story I ever wrote was horror. Ever since then, I’ve mostly wrote horror stories, or dark fantasy, or dark poetry. Nothing truly had a happy ending.
Was this how I really felt about life in general?
Yeah, for a long time, I did.
But, there was always this other side of me that dared to hope, and dream, and wonder about the magical and beautiful aspects of life; and many times these involved this concept called…love.
I’ve always enjoyed reading both fantasy and horror books.
Romance novels? I devoured them. I never could get enough. It was a wonderful feeling when you get to the end of a book, and there’s a happy ending!
Real life doesn’t always have a happy ending. In fact, for many there’s only sadness and pain and emptiness. It’s nice to be able to open up a book and get lost in it, in another person’s life, and be able to feel what they feel, and experience what they experience, and leave your own unhappy reality behind for a while.
These are some of the reasons why I love the Romance genre. And why I’ve decided to write in this genre for my very first book.
What about you? Which genre do you enjoy most, and why?
The four-some now seated in chairs around the large oval oak table as the waiter retrieves the menus.
“I will get your orders in.” And the short black man walks away.
Julie’s brown eyes carefully study the faces around the table as she slowly sips at her wine. “So, Brad,” and turns them solely to the man sitting to her right, “What on earth have you been up to since I last saw you?”
Brad grins as he leans back. “Nothing exciting. Just work.”
“Marketing, huh?” She purses her lips, “For whom?”
“Altvision Communications.” He replies as he bit into a breadstick.
“Wow, one of the four media giants.” Her smile widen as she fingers her glass. “You must be one of the lowly assistants working his way up the career rung by now.”
He chuckles, “Hardly. Try the Director of the Marketing Department.”
“Di-rec-tor…my heavens, that’s a far cry from being a lab rat with Dalton Co-Op.”
“A lab rat?” Eddie’s hazel-green eyes sparkle as he stares at Brad across the table.
Brad lets out a laugh, “That’s Julie’s way of calling any desk clerk who worked for Dalton back in the day.”
“They were directly responsible for polluting all the lakes upstate which cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars.”
“And you don’t feel the least bit guilty for forcing them out of business and driving hundreds of people out of work?” Brad asks, the smile now gone.
“What they were doing was criminal, and it was my job to expose them.” Julie’s eyes now slits.
“Yeah, well, the timing couldn’t have been worse.” Brad grabs another breadstick. “You could have at least waited until after Christmas to break the story.”
“Are you a reporter?” Eddie’s interest now piqued as he focuses on the curly red head between Brad and Laura.
Julie shrugs, “Yeah, a crime beat reporter,” and takes another sip of the red wine.
“You don’t sound very enthused.” He says.
“It’s a job.”
“Don’t let her fool you, Ed.” Brad points a half-eaten breadstick at his friend. “Journalism’s in her blood just like her father, and her grandfather.”
“I see.” Eddie drinks from a bottle of beer. “A generational legacy that you don’t seem to relish much of.”
“It comes natural, and it made sense at the time.” She says.
“Writing comes natural to Julie all right. Did you know she’s also a published author?” Laura smiles at Julie who frowns back.
“Oh, really?” Brad says, “What do you write?”
“Guilty pleasure. Let’s not make a big deal out of it.” Julie replies.
“She writes horror.” Laura answers for her friend.
“A crime beat reporter slash horror writer. Wow, never saw that one coming.” Brad sneers.
“Whatever.” Julie flicks her long hair off her shoulders and turns to face Eddie. “What of you? Let me guess, an international spy?” She asks in a leering tone.
“You’re not too far off the mark.” Eddie replies. “I’m a freelance Threat Analyst.”
“What the heck is that?” Julie’s nose crinkles at him.
“Mainly I hunt the web for any malicious activities, and put a stop to them.”
“That sounds–interesting I suppose.” Julie says.
It was Eddie’s turn to laugh as he drinks more of the beer. “Oh, it can get very interesting.”
“What about you, Laura?” Brad asks.
Laura leans forward as she studies the flickering candle at the table’s center which casts shadows across her fair face. “I’m currently doing my Forensic Pathology Residency at North Peak’s Regional Medical Center.”
“Fascinating. We have a budding doctor with us.” Brad smiles at her.
“You did it.” Eddie says. “You’ve accomplished one of your dreams.” His warm smile causes Laura’s cheeks to color.
“It’s still a work in progress, but yeah, I’m getting there.” She returns his smile.
His expression then grows more somber. “I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. I never meant to leave like that.”
Laura shrugs, “You had a family emergency that required you to leave the country. Besides, it was for the best. For us, anyway.”
Eddie nods. “You’ve always been so understanding, Laurie. You deserve someone to be equally so.” His accent now more pronounced.
“Oh my, here’s our dinner!” Julie blurts out as the waiter came to their table with a tray full of food. “I’m starving!”
End of Chapter Two
Be sure to vote below!
*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive 🙂
I’m looking for one-three (clean) Romance books to read between now and January, and am open for suggestions! I’d prefer it to be an ebook, but will take print versions as well. If you’re an author of such book, please let me know a bit about your book’s premise to help me decide. Whichever book(s) I decide to read, I plan to post a review on this blog by the end of January (if not, sooner).
You can let me know either via the comment section below, or through the Contact form.
🙂 🙂 🙂
*Am starting a new story, an interactive kind, which means feedback from readers will determine the direction of the story. Read the first chapter, and then answer the poll. Your input will determine the story’s results! Enjoy 🙂
Fluffy white flakes drift from the sky on to the urban landscape below. Mazes of paved and cemented pathways spread across the city like a grid, nearly all are inhabited by flickering white and red lights. While the heavens fill with solemn hushes, the earth brims with noise and movements among the living and their worldly gadgets and possessions.
On a particular street level, two women walk briskly, huddled deep in their coats and scarves. White mists emanating from their faces as they huffed.
“I can’t believe you talked me into going out tonight!” The shorter woman says.
“Nonsense, Laura.” replies the other. “You work too much. Besides, I haven’t seen Brad in years. I’m curious to see how rich and successful he became.”
“Really, Julie, you’re just too shallow.” Laura scoffs. “There are more to men than sex and money.”
“Don’t forget power.” Julie raises a hand covered in a black leather glove.
“You’re one to talk, dearie.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Laura smirks.
“Okay, how about Scott Mendler?” Red ringlets flickering across her cheeks.
“Him? The Pharmacist? Oh, c’mon! He didn’t know right from left!”
“Oh? Let’s try this one…Frank Aleman.”
“Computer repairman. Too boring.” Laura says.
“Kissed like a girl.”
Julie stops suddenly. “And you know this how?”
“Kidding!” Laura grabs her friend’s arm to prod her along once more. “I still don’t see your point.”
“My point is that you’re just as shallow as I am when it comes to men.” Julie says.
“Are you saying we’re hopeless?”
“Nah, just haven’t found the right ones.”
Laura shakes her head. “I’m starting to believe there’s no right one out there.”
“Perhaps we’ve been looking at the wrong ones.”
“Or perhaps I need to shorten my ‘qualities desired in an ideal mate’ list.” Laura frowns.
Julie suddenly stops. Again.
“Now what?” Laura asks.
Julie glances behind them. “Been having this feeling that someone’s following me all day.”
“Halloween’s long over.” Laura says.
“Yeah.” The red-head turns back around. “Probably just my imagination.”
“Comes with the territory for being a horror writer.” Laura replies.
“Well, that’s not all I do, honey.” She sneers.
“That’s even creepier.”
“Yeah, whatever, speak for yourself.” Julie pulls at her friend’s arm. “There it is. Let’s run…I’m freezing!”
The two women carefully jog across the icy road hopping from one section of tire-tread pattern on the ground to the next to keep from slipping. Once they reach the other side, they stood briefly at the wooden door with “Carroll’s Diner” etched in it.
And pushed it opened to enter inside.
Carroll’s Diner’s rustic interior immediately warmed up the women as they peer into the dining section for familiar faces.
“I think I see Brad at the bar.” Julie says as she immediately heads in that direction with Laura following close behind.
She quietly approaches a dark blonde-haired man and taps him on the shoulder which causes him to stir instantly.
“My god! Isn’t it jolly ol’ Julie!” His hazel eyes twinkling as he pulls her in to his arms for a bear hug.
“Easy there, Brad. You might break some ribs.” She giggles into his musky-smelling neck.
“Sorry, my bad.” And moves her to a more steady position, standing in front of him. He then notices a woman besides her. He blinks a few times before speaking. “Laura Hines?”
Laura smiles sheepishly. “Yeah, that’s me.”
Brad cocks his head slightly as he takes turns studying both women. “Friends?”
“Hard to believe, Bubba boy, but yep, we’re good friends now.” Julie smiles widely.
He shakes his head slowly and let out a low whistle. “I thought you two hated each other during college.”
“Old history.” Julie replies as she winks over at Laura. “It’s a long story.”
“I’ll drink to that!” He turns and picks up a shot glass and downs it in one gulp.
“Hey! Not so fast!” Julie pouts as she makes herself comfortable on a high stool. “I’ll have what he’s drinking.” She tells the bartender.
“Make that two.” Laura says as she sits on the other side of Julie.
Julie glances around Brad. “I thought there were two of you.”
He nods. “There is. He had a call but should be back any time.”
“Who’s back?” Comes a husky voice rich in accent.
The women both peer around Brad to see a gorgeous man taking his seat at the end of the counter. Golden brown skin. Dark black hair which even partially covers his face, but one could still spy the dimples in his cheeks when he smiles.
This time it would be Laura speaking first.
“Oh. My. God. Eddie?” Her voice rises several decibel.
“Hello, Laura.” His smile held as his deep hazel eyes meet her blue ones. “It’s been a long time.”
She shifts in her stool but never moving her gaze away from his face. “Yes.”
“Hello? Pheromone city!” Julie butts in effectively slicing the momentary connection. “You two know each other?”
Laura’s smile wavers as she fingers her glass that mysteriously appeared seconds earlier. “College.”
“History?” Julie whispers close to her ear.
Laura nods once.
“Well, I’m Julie Yourdon.” In her next move she turns to the dark hair man, and gives him her most alluring smile.
“Eduardo Santa Perez.” He bows his head to her. “A pleasure to meet you.”
“Pleasure’s all mine.” Julie mutters under her breath as she sips her liqueur.
End of Chapter One
*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive 🙂
To Trick a Hacker is a Romance Suspense book written by the gifted storyteller India Kells. It follows heroine Dylan Harris a loner who’s hiding within the fringe of society working as a hacker for a secret organization called Purgatory. With a tumultuous and traumatizing past she’s trying to hide from, she finds herself hunted by an unknown assailant who seemingly have ties to her painful past.
In comes Owen Sorenson, a gorgeous former Navy Seal, sent by Purgatory to protect her from further harm which she reluctantly accepts. Each battling scars of various kinds, they at first formed an uneasy team as they set out in search of a killer that soon grows into a passionate and emotional relationship. A relationship which gets tested time and time again threatening to send either one over the edge and into darkness. It’s a romance forged in pain and loneliness as they each face their personal demons from the past which keep returning to haunt them. Sprinkle in a killer bent on turning Dylan to the dark side by threatening all who she cares for and you have a riveting story that will keep you turning the pages till the very end.
To Trick a Hacker ultimately is a story about family, love, second chances, and sacrifices.
India Kells’ writing style can be liken to Sherrilyn Kenyon and Sara Mackenzie, and I definitely look forward to reading many more of her books!
You can find India Kells at the following places:
I’m so excited to have a very special guest here with us today: Alison Morton who is the author to the alternative history series called Roma Nova. Be sure to check out her sites below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been fascinated by the Romans since I was 11 and that’s a while ago! In between normal life events – earlier career in various sectors, marriage, raising our son, running my own business – I spent many of my vacations clambering over Roman Europe.
These days I live in France with my husband, write thrillers, cultivate a Roman herb garden and drink wine.
What aspects of your life led you to writing the kind of books you write?
I have a masters’ in history, six years’ military service and I love a good thriller. And I’ve always believed that a woman could run things as well as any man.
After the novel writing bug was triggered by a terrible film, all these came together and resulted in the Roma Nova thriller series.
What’s your favorite part about being a writer?
Two things: firstly, the research and the way you become diverted into looking up stuff totally unrelated to your work in progress and secondly, receiving an email or review from a reader who totally gets what you are trying to say in your books.
Tell us more about your books.
They’re adventure thrillers set in a modern Roman society run by strong women (Roma Nova). Of course, our heroines are fallible and of course they have strong love interests, but it’s the women who lead the action and call the shots. While the books are thrillers, there are no dripping body parts.
The first one, INCEPTIO, starts in New York when an ordinary girl, Karen Brown, is hunted by a government enforcer. But in steps an attractive Roma Novan spy who helps her escape. But Karen finds it isn’t just gratitude she feels towards him.
She discovers her Roma Nova heritage and her true name. Her new life in Roma Nova is shattered a few months later when the government enforcer crosses the Atlantic and comes after her. He has a very personal reason to pursue her …
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just sent the sixth book in the series to the copy editor and that will be out this April. Now I’m developing a novella, also set in Roma Nova.
How do you get into the minds of your characters?
I close my eyes and let them have conversations with each other. And sometimes I let them run around in my head acting out scenes. It’s important to establish each character’s separate personality from the start. Many people find it helpful to write out character profiles. Stories, whatever their setting and purpose, are all about people in the end.
What’s your favorite traveling destination? Any place you haven’t visited and would love to?
Rome is my absolute favourite – impressive in so many ways.
In 2015, we visited the US and Canada for seven weeks seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Washington DC, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Beverly Hills, New York, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Quebec and a lot else! Last year I did ten trips to the UK to speak at events as well as two here in France. In March I’m off to the London Book Fair and then to Dublin, Ireland to speak in June. That’s plenty of travel at present!
What do you see in the future for women in general?
I think we’ll keep nudging towards a more egalitarian world, but there’s a long way to go. We must continue to stand up for a truly equal place in the world and chisel away at ingrained and subconscious acceptance of stereotypes that surround us.
Any additional comments or advice you’d like to add for our readers?
If you’re a writer keep writing and be persistent. Make your work the best it can be – no compromise! If you’re a reader, the best thing you can do when you read a wonderful book is to leave a review.
Social media links
Connect with Alison on her Roma Nova site
Facebook author page
Alison’s Amazon page