Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ahhh, beginnings…

Happy Sunday. :) 

Some of you may already know this, but I have good news. I officially have blurbs for my Intermix series, coming out the end of this year. The blurbs are officially up on all the distribution sites (Amazon, iTunes, etc), so I can officially share. I shared on Facebook a few days ago, though, so I won't bore you by posting them again here. They're on my "books" page, which you can view here. We also have an official series title: A Morgan Family Romance. I adore that title. It fits perfectly. 

You know, it's been so exciting watching the books evolve. Getting to work with a Big 6 publisher (well, I guess it's Big 5 now) is a bit like watching a dream come true. Reading the blurbs again as I put them up on my website had me thinking about beginnings, about where I began and where each of the books began. I’ve been studying and honing my craft for the better part of thirteen years now, and I do this often. 

My journey began on a little iVillage.com message board. I remember being so excited. I’d had this dream that begged to be written down. That dream is still as vivid in my mind now as it was then. It was just a snapshot. A boy in a wheel chair. I decided one day I was going to write his story, and being a long time romance reader, I decided it was to be a romance. Oh man, I wish I still had some of this to show you. 

I’m laughing as I write this thinking about this book. This was the book that made me realize I didn’t write YA. You see, it was about high school kids. A boy’s struggle to fit in and the girl who loved him. And then I put a love scene in it. Not fully described. It was closed door. But I recall this being the advice of one of my mentors, though I realized after the fact that maybe putting a love scene in a Young Adult romance wasn't such a good idea and maybe YA wasn’t my cup of tea.  lol

But I did learn a lot about myself. These lovely people on this message took my crap and helped me learn to shape it. I remember them teaching me POV, how to properly format dialogue, GMC, all of it. Mostly what I've learned over the years is who I am and who I'm not. I'm coming to love the fact that I don't write what everyone else is writing and different happens to be what I love to read. My favorite authors are the ones who dared to take a chance. I loved Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. One of my favorite authors, Vonnie Davis, (you tired of hearing me spout about her yet? lol) writes with a humorous flare and what i love about her writing is that it reads like she just had a ton of fun writing it. 

That's what I want my readers to take away from my books, that feeling, that rush of finishing a book that sucked you in. It's what I try to do in my writing. We'll see if I'm actually succeeding. I suspect I'm a bit more traditional than I realize, but I still love the books I write and I think that's important.

On a humorous end note, through this process I also learned I don’t write romantic suspense, and I thought I’d share a snippet from the book that taught me this. This book was my third book, and it was originally titled Safe in His Arms, because that was the whole idea: a woman in trouble falls in love with the man entrusted to protect her. I still love the idea of this book. When I read through it, I still laugh and I still adore these characters. But it needs more help than I can give it. It needs so much help it would be far easier to simply write it from scratch.

And so it sits. But I still adore the sizzle between these two. She was the spoiled rich girl with a chip on her shoulder, and he was the ex-cop hardened by life’s disappointments. This is the book where I first met Kyle Morgan, the hero from my upcoming release, Risking It All

Now, I had a different snippet picked out, but something about it nagged at me. I had a feeling I'd shared pieces of this book before. They say the memory is the first to go and mine is beginning to be horrible. My goodness, half the time I sit here for minutes--minutes!--just trying to remember a single word stuck on the tip of my tongue. Lord, I hate it. lol So, I did a search on my blog, and as it turns out, I have shared a snippet from this blog. Apparently I shared at the end of last year. Who remembers these things? Not me. lol 

But, reading through this book again (tell me I'm not he only one who does this?), I found a snippet that made me laugh. The end of chapter one. I’ll warn you now, none of this may make any sense. There’s bound to be telling as well. Having worked with my agent for a while now, the sheer amount of dialogue tags in this book makes me cringe. This story has bits in it that I don't think make any sense logically, but I had so much fun writing it, and I miss that. Some day, I'm going to get that feeling back or die trying.

On that note, I leave you with this snippet. Don’t judge. It’s okay to laugh, however. ;)

“Like what you see, Mr. Morgan?” She arched a brow in challenge and squared her shoulders, nonchalantly thrusting out that part of her anatomy that held his attention.

Back stiffening, her father cleared his throat, his eyes narrowing as he darted a glance back at her. He didn’t even have to say anything. She already knew what he was thinking.

“Mind your manners, missy,” he would say. The same line as always and said with a stern frown.

She upheld her well-practiced smile. Chase’s look irritated her like nails on a chalkboard. His steel-grey eyes, now on her face, were narrowed, studying her with an intensity meant to make a weaker woman squirm. He looked at her as if he could see right through her. Knew what lay in her heart of hearts and didn’t like what he saw.

Yet another person, she thought with a sigh, who’d already made his up his mind about her. She was getting damn tired of people always looking down their noses at her. It reminded her entirely too much of the way she felt whenever she was with her father—weighed, measured and coming up short.

When Chase was the first to look away, jerking his gaze to her father, a surge of triumph rang through her. A little mischief now and again felt good. Besides, she hadn’t said anything that would ruin her vow to reform. That had to count for something. Right?

“I’m sorry, but you must have the wrong house,” Chase said, each syllable clipped. Without another word, he took a step back and tried to close the door.

Lauryn couldn’t contain the triumphant smile that spread itself across her mouth.

Her father, never one to take no for answer, reached out and braced his hand against the jam. “The detective warned me you might say that. Said to tell you ‘Grace Kelly,’ and that you’d understand.”

Chase froze in his spot. His back stiffened, his narrowed eyes taking on a glassy, faraway look. A tiny muscle in the right side of his jaw jumped as he clenched his teeth. Finally, with a slow, deep breath, he gave her father a curt nod and took a step back.

“Come in,” he said, pulling the door open again.

Her father, as usual, didn’t need a further invitation, and strode with purpose into the house.

Lauryn let the smile drop from her face, cursing her father’s stubbornness. She didn’t need a bodyguard, least of all this one.

As she followed her father inside, she could feel the heat of Chase’s gaze. He was taking his fill of her assets again. What was she, a piece of meat? Her anger, along with that mischievous side of her, surged again, and damned if she couldn’t resist. She’d put this particular cowboy right back in his place. Lauryn Maxwell style.

She stopped in front of him and turned to him. With one perfectly manicured nail tapped against her bottom lip, the other hand on her hip, she stood back and studied him. From his jaw down his chest straight down to his toes, she scrutinized every intimate detail of his lean body. Exactly the way he’d done her only moments before. Except with one added touch.

As she met his gaze again, she licked her bottom lip—a slow and deliberate tease—leaned forward, and whispered, “I’m not wearing any panties.”

4 comments:

  1. LOL What a hoot, Joanne! I cracked up at that last line and would love to read the whole story. I have so many 'beginning' stories myself. I call them my eye-bleeders. LOL Thanks for sharing your good news and this fun snippet.

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    1. Eye-bleeders! hahaha. Yes! That's a perfect name for them, because I swear that's what my eyes do when I read them. Ugh. lol Thanks so much for stopping by and having a laugh with me, Calisa!

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  2. Whoot!!!!

    I. AM. BLOWN AWAY.

    Oh you have to use this scene somewhere. If you don't want to redo the book, this interaction...that last line. Can I steal it? LOL You must, MUST use this. I can see your readers chuckling right now, just as I am.

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    1. Ahahaha. V. I do adore that last line. There's another scene like this, further into the story that I was tempted to share instead. Lauryn's a bad girl trying to reform. I had so much fun with her, but there are too many pieces to a murder that I don't understand how to put together. But that's a wonderful idea to save this for later. In fact, I think I *might* be able to use it in my next book. Hmmm...fodder for the muse! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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