Category Archives: Something in the Air

Update, Cover Art & Sleazy Goodness

Mornin’.

It’s been awhile, I know. That whole real life thing keeps getting in the way. I’m still working valiantly to finish up with the cowboys – we’re in the home stretch! I’m only a chapter and an epilogue away from the finish line and then it’ll be ready for a good proofing and submission. That makes me very happy.

Oh, and it officially has a title:  Homegrown Hearts. Kinda cheesy? Definitely. But it fits because I’m writing light, fluffy contemporary romance with just a little bit of sultriness. It’s all good.

Also, as many of you may already know, one of my publishers shut down last month. That left me scrambling for homes for quite a bit of stuff – most of it the non-romance titles – and that has been mostly accomplished. Nicole at Mocha Memoirs Press was kind enough to give shelter to my poor books left out in the rain, and she’s really moving on them too!

Take a look at the shiny new pretties!

Huntress Cover

I’m so freaking in love with this cover it’s not even funny. The story shall make its debut at some point in the next week, and I’ll be sure to spam links everywhere.

This one is damn sexy if I do say so myself. Vanessa is definitely jonesing for some action, but it’s not the action she ends up getting at first. I can’t say much else or I’m going to ruin it all. If you want to know what happens, you have to buy a copy when it comes out.

[Insert sweet smile here.]

To go along with it, I’ve been playing on Spotify again. There’s a fabulously awesome playlist I’ve created called Hair Metal Hell eating away at my brain. I have this nutty idea for a rock star romance, and I’m working on the outline for it. It’s in the writing queue, immediately following book three in the Something in the Air series.

If you haven’t caught up on that one yet, I suggest you pick up both books and have a read. The third should be on the e-shelves by the end of the year.

But back to my rock stars…

There have been quite a few conversations recently about various 80’s rock stars and their hair, and it led me to this book about damaged people rebuilding their lives, surviving the hard life, and finding the love they don’t believe they deserve. It’s going to be rough, and it’s going to be deep. I suppose this is the point where I ask you all to wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Satisfaction… and how to get it.

Two weeks ago I unleashed THIS POST on the world. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about the over-criticism the romance genre as a whole takes and I find myself wanting to talk more and more about the elements of a good romance novel. As I am often wont to do, I’m starting at the end.

The end of the book, I mean. I decided to start there because the ending is the most important part of a romance story. When writing romance, you have two options:

  1. Happy Ever After, in which your characters hook up and will live forever in whatever bliss they create. It is not just implied that they’re happy – we know for a fact they’re happy and will continue to be happy forever. Hence the ever after portion of that tag.
  2. Happy For Now, where your characters are satisfied with the outcome, whether it’s forever or just for the night.

No matter what you do, the only way to satisfy your audience is to make absolutely certain your characters are happy in the end. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. They have to be happy and the story has to be tied up in a nice, neat little package.

Yes, there are exceptions. There are always exceptions, but if you want to be one of them, then you’d better have a damn good reason why your characters aren’t happy.

So you want to write a series and it requires your heroine go missing at the end of the first book? Okay. This is not unusual and something I intend to discuss in more detail later, but for the purpose of this post it’s on the no-no list. But if you insist that she be missing, then make her missing. Just remember that your readers have to know two things before you stop the story:

First, that there WILL without a doubt be a second book. Second, that your hero will stop at nothing to get her back. And I do mean nothing. If he’s required to face Hell itself to get her back, he better be putting on his flame-retardant gear when the curtain goes down.

Nothing disappoints a romance audience faster than a one-and-done ending with no emotion and no satisfaction. Like I said in that original post – the whole point of reading romance is to fall in love over and over again. The best way to accomplish that is by giving the audience the illusion of eternal happiness.

[INSERT DISCLAIMER HERE: I’m getting ready to ruin the endings of two of my books! Consider yourself warned!]

Marked CoverPersonally, I’ve written both endings. In Marked, Russell and Tabitha have their moment of post-coital afterglow, but they’re both satisfied. They’re both happy. And even though there’s not a hard and fast commitment, the implication that they’re going to remain more than friends is there.

I did that for a reason. It’s a stand-alone story but I love Tabitha. One day (and I’ve been asked!) I might get a wild hair and decide to write a sequel. And that’s fair. I’ve not left loose ends, and there’s no unfulfilled anticipation.

I’ve also given my characters Happy Ever After. In Something in the Air, it’s a Something in the Air by Siobhan Kinkadeshort courtship, yes, but Nic and Kelly Ray take it all the way because they know it’s meant to be. But just because a beautiful wedding in the Cayman Islands is right for them doesn’t mean wedded bliss is right for every couple.

It all comes down to personality and timing. Not every scenario needs happy forever. Sometimes they just need happy for now, and that’s okay.

Just make sure they’re happy, and your readers will be too.

“Romance” Doesn’t Mean Trash

I’m kind of a book nut. I read a lot, and I write a lot. And I’m also a girl, and that means I like a bit of lovey-dovey happy-ever-after mixed into my stories. [Obviously…I’m a romance writer!]

Romancew tih Heart

I’ve noticed lately that us romance writers tend to take a pretty bad rap. It amazes me that anyone can think that what we do is easy, and it saddens me to think that we have to put up with such nonsense.

I hate to break it to the masses, but no writing is actually “easy.” It doesn’t matter the genre. The technique and basic processes are still the same. Just because we romance writers choose to manipulate emotion instead of worlds or elements doesn’t mean we’re taking the easy road. We’re building a mood and a theme, just like any other author. Only we have to make it tangible and believable because we’re messing with people’s feelings. We want to make our readers feel what our hero and heroine feel. Deep down. On a fundamental level. It’s the whole point of romance – to fall in love over and over again.

And then there’s the sex.

Sex throws romance into a whole different category, because reviewers – at least before the coming of 50 Shades of Grey – had a bad habit of looking at romance with erotic elements as “lowbrow” or “trash” and I’m so very sorry… but it is neither. Sex is a tool used to convey emotion without speech. If it’s done properly, it’s a very powerful tool. Granted I don’t believe in sex for the sake of sex in fiction – it has to move the plot along in some way – but I don’t see anything wrong with a physical display of emotion.

Obviously. I have kids.

If you want a good article that shows exactly what goes into writing a successful romance novel, Read This Article. This says it more eloquently than I ever could.

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I recently received a review for Loki’s Game that struck a nerve. Actually I think it was an unconscious catalyst for this post now that I think about it. The review itself didn’t bother me in the slightest because I’ve learned to take them with a grain of salt. It was a snide comment the reviewer made in the review about being unwilling to admit to college friends that my book was on her list because of its genre and plot content. Honest, yes, but overall an unfair and unnecessary comment. Oh, and a low blow to someone struggling to gain ground in an over-saturated market.

I completely understand that not everyone is going to like everything s/he reads. I definitely don’t.  That doesn’t bother me at all because I’m very much the type that will admit if something isn’t my cup of tea. To be perfectly honest I’m not the biggest fan of reading romance novels because they seldom live up to my expectations. However, I know what goes into writing a romance novel, which means I respect the trade.

And we don’t just manipulate emotions. If we’re writing contemporary romance we have to worry about believable settings and situations. If it’s historical, then it has to be accurate. If it’s paranormal, then we’re bouncing between romance and whatever particular mythos we chose to write about.

Something in the Air by Siobhan KinkadeSuffice it to say, writing romance is not the cakewalk many believe it to be. It takes careful plotting and planning. For example: take my contemporary Something in the Air series. It will eventually be four books, and all for happen simultaneously. It’s tough to keep so much straight at one time!

I have four separate sets of characters that all revolve around each other. They’re on a cruise ship together, so they can’t venture too far and they’re all working on the same time frame. I have to make sure that Kelly Ray and Nic in Letting Go Book Cover by Siobhan KinkadeBook 1 don’t do something to upset the timeline Eva has spread before her in Book 2. At the same time I have to keep watch on Dani, because her story intertwines with their stories in Book 3. And Book for gives Trevor his moment in the spotlight.

In addition to a series-based plot, yes my characters do, in fact, have sex. However, the sex isn’t the focus of the story. Nor is it so frequent that it becomes routine and boring. It’s a delicate balance, but one I hope I’ve managed to achieve. My publisher liked it well enough to accept the books, so hopefully my audience will too.

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In the end I only ask for two things from the peanut gallery:

(1) Don’t think any sort of writing is any easier or harder than the other. We all go through the same trials to get to the end result.

(2) If you feel the need to criticize, please make sure it’s constructive and the comments you make are something we as authors can learn from. Otherwise you’re just insulting us, and none of us benefit from that.

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Oh, and one more thing… Purple Sword Publications has both books on sale 20% off! Click on the pictures and go buy a copy. And while you’re at it, leave me a comment or review to let me know what you thought!

BOOBS!

Ahem… now that I have your attention, let me tell you first and foremost that I have shamelessly tricked you to get you onto my blog today. That tactic is called a “bait and switch” for those who don’t know, and it’s all part of the social experiment. Yes, it’s a known psychological fact that certain words and phrases trigger automatic reactions in humans. I know. I studied psychology for a few years.

Throughout the month of March, I’m going to be conducting two experiments, which means the purpose of this post is twofold.

FIRST – I’m going to track which of my posts get more hits – the ones with raunchy, quirky titles, or the ones with normal, intelligent titles.

SECOND – For those of you that hang around and read this far, I’m offering a choice regarding romantic fiction. I recently had two books release within days of each other. One was contemporary romance. The other was paranormal romance.  I want to see which one sells better.

So to you, my readers, I present said choice. I want you to do two things now. First, I want you to choose one of the books below and buy it. Then after you read it, I’d like you to come back and leave me a comment telling me which one you chose and why. If you’re willing, I’d also like for you to tell me what you liked and didn’t like about the book.  If you choose to buy and read both, PLEASE come back and tell me which one you liked better and why.

Anyone who participates will be entered into a drawing (details to come!) at the end of March.

The point of this experiment? To see which of the romance subgenres has a bigger following. So, ladies and gentlemen…

MAKE YOUR CHOICE:

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

 somethingintheair_original

Something In the Air
Purple Sword Publications

Release Date: February 6, 2013

Kelly Ray Patrick is a sweet, southern girl who has never been lucky, either in finances or in love. But as the recent co-recipient of a lottery jackpot, she and her friends have set out on a Valentines-themed singles cruise in the hope of relaxing and meeting Mr. Right. Only, to Kelly Ray’s surprise, Mr. Right appears to be her best friend, Dominic James. Nic appears to be feeling the effects of the trip as well, and has discovered his own interest in Kelly Ray.

The only thing stopping them: their friend, Trevor, who has been carrying a torch for Kelly Ray since they were all kids. Will respect for that friendship be enough to stem the budding relationship, or will they throw caution to the wind and indulge in their desires?

Buy It Here: Purple Sword Publications
All Romance eBooks | Amazon

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

 Loki'sGame 200x300Loki’s Game
Sugar & Spice Press

Release Date: February 9, 2013

Unemployed museum curator Lily Redway responds to an advertisement in the newspaper, thinking she is applying for a job. On the other side of that small, black-and-white box awaits two things: a fantasy world come to life, and a man named Rowan Keir.

Rowan is a man with many secrets. He is a shape-shifter, a descendent of old world mythology, and the guardian of a rare and valuable Nordic artifact. He is also being hunted by the god Loki and has spent the last six-hundred years outsmarting and outrunning him.

With the fury of Asgard on Rowan’s trail, Lily finds herself caught up in a real-life fantasy story, a love triangle, and an ages-old war that pitches her into a different world and one very hard truth:

All is fair in love and war.

Buy it here: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS
SUGAR & SPICE PRESS

Letting Go Cover Reveal!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to reveal the cover for the re-release of Letting Go! Purple Sword Publications has been so kind as to give both Something in the Air and Letting Go a new home.


For those interested, Something in the Air is now available again!

somethingintheair_original


Amazon

All Romance eBooks
Purple Sword Publications Website


Now, without further adieu, I present my newest gorgeous cover, courtesy of the fabulously awesome Traci Markou herself!

lettinggo_original

Christmas Wishes!

Christmas-Wishes-button

Welcome to another blog hop, this one of the holiday persuasion! What we have here is a week-long extravaganza! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I’m feeling extra generous this year… I’m giving away three things! Hit up my rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the next three hoppers on the list:

Crazy Four Books
T.C. Archer
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Head Back to the Blog Hop Homepage

And last but not least, check out the sponsors!

Book Trailer Showcase

Coffee Beans & Love Scenes

Full Moon Bites

Backlist Blog Hop

Hey, everybody! Thanks for visiting!

Just for coming through, anyone who comments gets thrown in the pot to win a book. Any book on the list. Just leave me a comment with your email address, book choice, and whether you’d like Nook or Kindle format.

Now, what’s your pleasure?

Do you like Contemporary Romance?  I have three to choose from:

Or are you of the edgier crowd who enjoys a good Paranormal romp? If so, I have just the thing…

"Marked" by Siobhan Kinkade

The covers are gorgeous. The stories, even better (if I do say so myself). Click on any of the pictures…they’ll take you to my backlist page where you can get the scoop on what’s here.

Pick your poison. Any of them can be up for grabs.

Be sure to head back and check out the rest of the backlists!