Friday, May 29, 2015

How I 'show not tell,' or that's what I hope ... #amwriting #romance #writing

Show not Tell the modern writers' lament ...

 I've noticed, particularly in romance with all its sub-genres, the requirement to show not tell has become a source of stress. Maybe I've just seen more posts and comments in social media from romance authors about this.

What's brought me to the point of writing a blog about the issue? In a recent manuscript I had two places where it was important to tell, shock horror, my editor wanted me to show not tell. I ignored her. It seemed to me that in 25K of words if I only had two places she could identify as telling then she could fuck off. In every story there will be some telling. It can't be all show. 

I recently read a few erotic romances that also helped force this blog post from me.
I read romance, mystery, detective stories, adventure stories, science-fiction, in fact, I read heaps, but only in all the romance genres do I see some of the most ridiculous ways the author has obviously devised to show not tell.

I can't say I blame them. I never write a bad review or denigrate their work in any way because, hell, I'm doing the same. Maybe I found it harder to show not tell in the beginning because a lot of my day job involves factual descriptive writing. The showing in this case is a picture of the item in the brochure or auction catalog.

Try to always show the action instead of using the word , was, and you simply can't. 

Try to dream up more than say ten ways of showing someone feels something without resorting to curly phrases. 

Here are some ways to show not tell and other things I've learned over the years.

I've developed a way of making things easier over the last few years of writing romance. I lead with action where I possibly can. I use an active voice. (describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb.)  I use specific details and sensory images. It's helped me, but as a tactic to totally eliminate telling it hasn't worked. The reason ... you can't eliminate it, or the writing becomes so detailed, so long that readers can be turned off. I've seen it become boring, too. 

I mix the length of my sentences, some long some short. For loads of emphasis I will sometimes have a handful of short sentences together. 

From Rescuing Cade a mix of tactics,

She put out a hand to his upper arm.
“Don’t leave yet, Cade. You came here for a reason. Maybe I can help you discover why.”
Her hand on his arm burned right through his suit jacket and shirt, forcing goose bumps to raise all the way to his jaw. He glanced at her hand and shrugged it off, eager to rid himself of the strange effect, but he didn’t leave. He gazed at her. Could he tell another woman what Jayne had said? Maybe it will help. I won’t see Marissa again. I’ll never be back here.

“I came with a friend, a member of The Club, who thought the lifestyle might help me, to, well, to regain confidence …” Cade saw Marissa’s expression change. A flicker of amusement passed through her eyes. Cade’s heart sank.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2015 Evernight Publishing

I mix showing with telling. This is a story I'm writing after all. I also write in scenes. I use dialogue as a way of building a picture where appropriate.
My work is never in first person and I think that helps me show not tell.

The whole point of showing is to engage the reader in a picture of what's going on. Instead of telling them, make them feel it with sensory words and descriptors. Sentences that paint the picture of what a character is feeling interspersed with a little scene descriptor and a sentence or two of telling, makes the story flow. Dialogue between the characters helps, too.

Here is a passage from The Summer Heat that mixes all the tips above to give what I hope is an interesting, engaging picture of the two heroes.

Evan narrowed his eyes with suspicion. “Not seeing Annabel tonight then? Look, don’t stop seeing her for me. Don’t think you have to keep poor, lonely, Evan company like I’m some lame duck.”

Nate winced. “That’s not it. You’re still my best friend. You think you’re in love with her don’t you? Maybe you are. Ask her out, check out your feelings.”

Evan snorted. “Will you stop? Maybe this, maybe that. I’m not happy about the way I feel. It’s a fucking shock if you must know.”

Nate pushed his coffee cup to one side and leaned close to Evan. “Don’t screw up our friendship. She likes you. We’ve said she gave us both come on signals. Test it out. Don’t storm off from where you live to a houseboat on the river.” He cast around for the right words as he compared the usually happy, even-tempered way Evan met life with his outburst. “This isn’t like you. Hell, Evan, frankly I’m … distraught.”

Evan silently stared into Nate’s eyes, until Nate looked away.

He traced a wrinkle in the blue checked tablecloth with his finger. “Evan, I’m just saying. I love her, but I could stand to see you with her, too. You’ve noticed she’s attracted to you. We could both see her. It happens.”

Evan stood abruptly, gave Nate a look of incredulity, and then stormed off along the seafront toward his boat sheds. His coffee cup rattled on the saucer as the table shook from the force of his departure.

Nate took a deep breath. Well, that went just fucking great. About to return to his office, he froze when Evan strode back and dragged the chair to the table from the yard or so away he’d tossed it on leaving.

“Let me get this straight. You’re saying you wouldn’t mind if I asked Annabel out … that we could both see her. Assuming she wants that. You do know I’d make love to her? We’d share her? I don’t know how I feel about that … yet, but we could try it. Once it started though, I couldn’t go back to not seeing her. Just sayin’.” Evan frowned and ran his hands through his hair.

Nate nodded. “I wouldn’t mind …if she agreed. I love her, but hell, look at the shape you’re in. You mean a lot to me. We might as well be brothers. There are things I couldn’t have got through without you being around.”

Evan leaned back in his chair, his frown gone. He picked up a napkin and blotted the coffee splashed on the table top.

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2014 Evernight Publishing The Summer Heat, contemporary menage erotic romance


She pulled back her quilt and invited him into bed.
Jason dropped his towel and cuddled Simi close.
The softness of her skin had increased even further with her shower. Her hair was damp, and Jason wound the length around his hand and pulled her head to his for a kiss. A light herb fragrance surrounded him. Her returning kiss was deliciously sexy. He crushed her to his body.
He left his face close to hers when he finally ended the kiss. He wanted to make love to her, but his heavy eyelids closed.
Simi stilled beside him and he fell asleep.

©Elodie Parkes: Siren Publishing


Ten tips to avoid telling can be found at

There's even a Wiki page about show not tell,,_don%27t_tell

A cool list of ways to show not tell can be found at,

For a run down on show not tell that backs up what I've said above visit,
This post also goes into detail about writing styles and POV, but it's a good post.

I'm leaving you with this thought. Sometimes it's a fine line between show and tell. Sometimes writers get told not to do this and that. I think if readers love what you've written then you've got something right. Good luck to you all.
If you know any better tips and websites for help, please comment on this blog for others.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Romance from guest author Natalie Money and a $25 gift card #giveaway

Many might envy Alixandra Quinn. She rubs shoulders with the rich and famous at glitzy society balls and fund-raisers as a photographer for a popular magazine. But, do the envious notice Ali always goes home alone? She has cut herself off from personal relationships and emotional entanglements. It’s a strategy to cope with her past, and for ten years, her strategy has worked.

That is, until she meets Bryce Steede, a young and bold Silicon Valley entrepreneur. When Ali becomes the center of his attention, suddenly her world gets turned upside-down. She may have convinced herself that life is fine the way it is, but he is determined to break down her carefully constructed walls, free her mind and body, and show her pleasures that she couldn't have imagined.

As Ali navigates through this uncharted journey of self-discovery, she must find the balance between her head and her heart. Is Bryce just another heartache waiting to happen? Will a secret from her past come back to haunt her? Or will Ali make peace with her past and find true happiness . . .

I awaken with a jolt, thinking I’ve fallen out of my seat. As usual, when I fly, I end up scrunched all the way down on the seat as far as I can go. If I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt, I’d be on the floor. Did we hit something? Confused, I sit up, trying to assess the situation only to notice we’re in some awful turbulence. Angry, dark, purple to black rain clouds surround us. My heart starts pounding in my chest. The plane rocks side to side, bouncing us all over the sky. I pull out my earbuds hoping to hear the Captain’s voice saying everything’s okay.
Bryce pries my hand off the armrest and interlocks our fingers. I look over at him, my eyes wide with terror. He’s talking to me, trying to give me reassurance. The only thing going through my mind right now is how afraid I am.
“Shhh, it’s going to be okay, Ali.” He has such a soothing voice when he’s not being an ass. I try to say something, but I can’t speak. Nothing will come out of my mouth.
“Focus on me.” His thumb strokes the back of my hand. It’s serene and has an instant calming effect on me until we hit another pocket of air. Images of the Captain fighting for dominance over the weather and control of the plane against the storm flash through my mind. I know he’s doing all he can so we don’t spiral downward.
Other passengers cry out in panic. My head jerks back toward the window. I can barely breathe. I don’t want him to see me like this - raw emotions, so vulnerable. Weak.
He places his hand on my face, turning it towards him. “Don’t cry. I’ve got you. Just keep looking at me, okay?” He’s trying to calm me but the only thing I can do is nod. I tighten my grip on his hand and he lets me know it’s all right.
My heart is beating so fast, so hard, I can feel it in my ears and can hear each beat. Tears roll down my face and he gently wipes them away with his thumb. In this moment, as much as I despise him, I’m glad he’s here with me.
“I need you to take deep breaths. Can you do that? Do what I do, okay?” I watch his mouth and listen. We hit another pocket of air, but not as violent as the others. My eyes grow wider as more tears stream down my face.
“I’m here. I’m not going to let anything happen to you. Keep looking at me. Ali, I need you to focus on me and listen. Breathe with me.” All the while, he’s still stroking my hand.
When my breathing gets under control, he leans over the armrest wrapping me in a blanket of calm in the comfort of his arms. I collapse into him. My cries are silent as he holds me and strokes my hair. He inhales deeply, gripping me tighter.

(PLEASE note this book may be 18+, read blurb and free try out on Amazon before purchase if worried)

Natalie Money is a former corporate travel agent, a wife, and a cat wrangler. As far back as she can recall, she has always loved to people watch and make up stories about their lives. After many years of creating and getting to know the characters and their stories in her mind, she has finally decided to bring them to life on paper in her first novel, Closely Guarded Secret.

With her husbands job, they're known to relocate often, so when people ask where she lives, she describes herself as a World Citizen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Adele Downs, tours with #contemporaryromance 'Lip Service' #giveaway

Lip Service - Banner

Some ghosts won’t take “yes” for an answer.
Jack Harris has loved Legs Anderson since they were kids. Now that he has her in his bed, he has no intention of letting her go. Aunt Ada has other ideas, even from the grave.
Orphaned at a young age, Legs Anderson owes her Aunt Ada everything. The stoic old lady raised her, and Ada’s warnings about men—and the Harris boys in particular—have stuck, even after her death. Of course, that could be because Ada stuck around, too.
Patience is not one of Jack Harris’s virtues, and he’s waited too long to start a life with the woman he’s loved since childhood instead of them just knocking boots. Now Ada is interfering from beyond the grave, haunting the old Victorian house she bequeathed to her niece and reinforcing Legs’s fears of commitment. But Jack won’t give up. No matter what trouble may follow, the house will be renovated, Ada will learn to let go, Legs will put her money where her mouth is…and then Jack’ll put his lips everywhere else.

Lip Service - Book Cover


The roar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Rachel’s block and the rev of a throttle in her driveway announced Jack’s arrival. Legs tried to appear nonchalant when he walked through the poolside gate, but the sight of his sun-streaked hair and tanned, muscular good looks nearly knocked her off her seat. She eased her sunglasses down the bridge of her nose to get a better look.
When he stepped into the pool area dressed in black jeans, black biker boots, and a white muscle shirt that framed his pumped-up shoulders and biceps, she caught her breath. Everyone in the group said “hey” and Rachel offered him a cold drink, but his focus had remained on her. He slid his sunglasses on top of his head and nodded in her direction.
Legs remembered his gaze meeting hers before his attention strayed to her gold and black bikini then savored every inch of her skin. An appreciative smirk curled his lips and desire flashed in his beautiful blue eyes. He took a long pull of the soft drink someone handed him and then set the can down on the patio table. He looked her way and said, “Want to go for a ride?” The invitation came out like a dare.


TITLE – LIP SERVICE AUTHOR – Adele Downs GENRE – Contemporary Romance PUBLICATION DATE – April 28, 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – Short Novel 40,550 PUBLISHER – Boroughs Publishing Group


AdeleDownsPublicityPhoto (2)Adele Downs writes contemporary romance novels, some with a touch of magic, inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.
Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report) and has presented workshops for writers.
When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.


$10 Starbucks Gift Card $10 Amazon Gift Card 2 eCopies NATURALLY YOURS by Adele Downs 2 eCopies KISSING HER COWBOY by Adele Downs
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Amanda Bretz visits the blog today and tells us about her vision of the celebrity world as Totally Bound releases , 'Life of Privilege'

Another Side to Celebrity in Life of Privilege

Hi Elodie, thanks for once again hosting me on your wonderful blog. I’m very pleased to be here today discussing my new release Life of Privilege, released by Totally Bound Publishing. The novel is the newest in their best-selling What’s Her Secret? imprint, which are books that focus on a woman with a secret.

The tagline for this novel is Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems. As that short sentence alludes to, this is a story that shows there’s another side to being a celebrity beyond what the public sees. I know nothing about being a celebrity. I’m happy just being regular ol’ me, but when I set out to create this story, I did what writers do best: I used my imagination.

I envision celebrity worlds being not as glittering and glamorous as they’re often made out to be in media. When celebrities and reality TV stars end up in the news because of ill-behavior or some sort of scandal, I often wonder if there’s not a deeper reason for their actions beyond what the media reports. That mode of thought was the real jumping off point for me in creating this story and the book opens with a rather scandalous situation: a woman leaving a man at the altar.

Of course, since my heroine is a celebrity, it’s not as easy as just slipping out the back door of the church and going on her merry little way. The wedding takes place at one of the most prominent cathedrals in New York City and it’s being televised. The paparazzi is camped out in front of the church and in order for her to escape the situation, Katherine has to go through what I very well believe hell may look like. The path from the cathedral doors to the limo waiting to take her away is lined with members of the media, armed with huge cameras and tons of spectators.

I’ve brought along an excerpt from the beginning of the book and I hope your readers enjoy the opening of my novel.

Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.
Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.
When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.
Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.


Katherine Dawson’s voice echoed off the stone walls of St. Patrick’s cathedral. As one of New York City’s oldest churches, the structure had enough prestige and beauty to hold Sunday service, memorials, and it provided the perfect setting for storybook weddings.
When her father didn’t answer right away, Katherine gathered the heavy material of her wedding gown in her hand and walked the few steps to reach her dad. She looked down at the enormous bouquet of flowers in her hand and almost lost her nerve. Yet the longer she stared at the arrangement of white roses, calla lilies and orchids, the more it reinforced her gut reaction to this day. Like the stunning flowers arranged so perfectly in the bundle, she was also trussed up and made to look pristine. She too was arranged at her peak, the moment in her life when she was likely most attractive. She knew if she went through with this decision that just like the flowers, soon she would wither and lose her beautiful essence. Through the heavy wooden doors, she heard the faint strains coming from the fifteen-piece orchestra. They were preparing to play the wedding march. It was now or never. If she had any chance at escaping the glamorous affair, it was in this moment.
“Daddy.” She stood in front of her father and knew she must look as panicked and frightened as a wounded animal. “I have to get out of here. I can’t go through with this.”
Tears welled in her eyes, but she blinked fast to push them away. Once the waterworks started, she didn’t know when they might stop. She dropped her hold on the dress and reached for her father’s hand.
“I’m leaving. If you want to stay and deal with mother’s temper tantrums when she finds out I left Nathan at the altar, so be it. Daddy, I just can’t do this. Well, won’t you say something?”
Her father cleared his throat and it was then she noticed the tears that had formed in his eyes. She hated that she’d let him down, but she couldn’t go through life with such a momentous lie hanging over her head. She stood on tiptoe, wrapping her arms around him for a quick hug. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. I don’t want to be a disappointment to you, but I have to stay true to myself. You won’t see me for a while. I’m going away, but I don’t know where yet. I’ve got to go find out who I really am without all the pressures of being Katherine Dawson hanging over my head.”
“Kitty Kat,” he whispered, using her childhood nickname, “I could never be disappointed in you. I’m crying because you’ve made me happy. Go find yourself. Follow your dreams. That’s what I’ve always wanted for you. I love you.”
“Daddy, I love you, too.”
She turned her head toward the heavy wooden doors again. The wedding march was playing. She had to go now. Preparing for the sprint she knew she’d have to do to make it to the limousine that waited outside, she kicked off her silver-sequined Louboutin heels. Dropping her bouquet on the ground and gathering her skirt in her hands, she hurried out of the front door and down the church steps.
In her haste to escape the wedding, she’d forgotten about the crowd of reporters and spectators gathered along the sidewalk and in the street. At least fifty black cameras took aim at her and several eager members of the paparazzi stood right in her path, their camera flashes going off. She refused to look into their lenses, even as they called out to her by name. Her gaze was locked in on the back door of the limousine. Once she got there, she’d be home free.
“Katherine! Katherine! Why are you running?”
“Have cold feet, Katherine?”
“Where’s the groom?”
Ignoring the inane questions from the media, she opened the door to the back seat of the car. Franklin, her family’s driver, jumped from the front seat, prepared to help her into the vehicle. Katherine met his gaze and she shook her head. He took her unspoken command and hopped back behind the wheel. She could handle the paparazzi. After all, she’d been dodging the vultures since she’d been a teen. Pulling the door closed behind her provided a moment of peace. However, her relief was cut short as half of the camera-wielding men formed a semi-circle around the limousine while the rest scattered to nearby cabs. The car had to move before they got trapped—or worse—were followed by the bloodthirsty press.
“Where to?”

Buy Life of Privilege in ebook and print

There’s currently a contest being held by Totally Bound until May 18, 2015. Enter to win a copy of Life of Privilege + 3 other What’s Her Secret titles of the winner’s choice. Contests can enter the prize draw here:

Also, I’m going to be taking over the Totally Bound Facebook page on Friday, May 15 at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT. During the hour-long event there will be prizes, discounts and lots of fun. To join in, just ‘like’ Totally Bound on Facebook:

About Amanda:
In addition to being an author of contemporary, historical and erotic romance, Amanda Bretz holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. She has worked as an online and print journalist, but her first love is creating romantic stories with a happy ending. When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book. She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband.

Where to find her online:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Romani Realms #coverreveal and #giveaway as Mia Fox celebrates the upcoming release of the latest in the #series Returned

Cover Reveal Banner

Returned - Book Cover

Returning to the Romani Realms was the last thing they wanted...
Samantha defied death and returned home from the Romani Realms, but a piece of her heart remained. She never expected to find love in the forsaken purgatory, but meeting Daniel, a permanent resident of the Realms, was a salvation she cherished.
Charlotte wants nothing more than to make a life with Phineas, the demon gypsy who holds her heart dear. They have finally put past atrocities behind them, along with Phineas’ allegiance to his former lover, Raven. But their future depends on finding their way back to Shadow, the infant that will one day be born from their union, but for now resides as a young child in the Romani Realms.
As a genie, Suki has watched over Samantha and Charlotte, while James, her Shade and supernatural protector, has patiently supported her. But his duty to her and their entire relationship threatens to end when one Releasor is discovered to harbor corrupt wishes.
Each one has reasons to stay, but is equally justified in wanting to go back. Their choice may be an irrevocable one, but ultimately they decide to be...Returned.


“Daniel, don’t take any stupid risks...not for me.”
“What do you mean? ‘Not for you’ I don’t offer these superior surroundings to just anybody.”
“Seriously, Daniel. I heard what you did. Be careful.” Raven looked him in the eye, and then, surprising both of them, tears started to slide down her cheeks. “Oh, not again. Damn I hate how this place wreaks havoc on one’s emotions. doesn’t mean anything.”
Daniel reached a hand and ever so slowly wiped the tears off her cheek. But then, he was unable to just remove his hand. He couldn’t bring himself to break the contact with Raven. “It’s not true, you know.”
“What’s not true?” Raven punctuated the question with a hearty sniff and slurp of her tears.
Daniel chuckled at the lack of her normally reserved demeanor. Normally so in control of her emotions, Raven sobbed once more. “You’re crying because you care for me.”


TITLE – Returned SERIES – Romani Realms AUTHOR – Mia Fox GENRE – Paranormal Romance PUBLICATION DATE – June 13 PUBLISHER – Evatopia Press COVER ARTIST – Eden Crane


Mia Fox is a Los Angeles-based novelist who writes across varied genres including Contemporary and Paranormal Romance, Chick Lit, and Satire. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from U.S.C.
Trust - Author PhotoBefore writing full time, she worked as an entertainment publicist, a career she chronicles in her novel, “Alert the Media.” However, she is happy to leave that world behind her, preferring that any drama in her life is only that which she creates for her characters.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three children, Casey, the Wonder Westie, and Bean, his brother.


A signed copy of “Released,” the first book in this series.
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Si-Fi romance new release from guest author @DorisDmartin #inspiration for the story

Kailiri Summers narrowly escaped an arranged marriage by fleeing to another planet. She has artistic ambitions, but life isn’t cooperating. Bartending seemed like a good option to stay afloat. She thought her future bleak until Matt Lorins walked into her bar. 

One dinner with the charming and wealthy space trader binds her into a passionate marriage bargain. But he’s a man surrounded by mysteries that she can’t unravel. It's while she's traveling alone with him on his star ship, isolated far beyond all help, that he reveals a terrifying secret. She must choose between battling the darkness—or losing Matt forever.

Read an Excerpt:

Matt kissed the top of my head and then both my temples. I
drifted off into a drowsy bliss until his quiet voice pulled me back into

“Don’t fall asleep yet, doll. We haven’t toasted our union with
champagne yet.”

I didn’t open my eyes, but I’d known him long enough by now
to at least hazard a guess from the gentle, indulgent tone underlying
his words that his dark eyes must have been sparking with bright
amusement. “Mmm,” I answered, rubbing my cheek against his hard
shoulder. I didn’t want anything but to stay snuggled in his warmth
and addictive, light spice-musk male scent. Although my arms
tightened around him, he slowly pulled away anyway and slipped
from the bed with a parting kiss.

My drowsy brain distantly registered running water coming
from the bathroom. Then the distinctive pop from uncorked
champagne roused me momentarily. Before I drifted away again, Matt
had returned to the bed with two crystal goblets three-quarters full of
golden effervescent wine.

“It’s a Harnaru vintage from seven years ago. I’m guessing
that was a good year for the lucky winery’s grapes back then.” His
lips quirked with a wry smile as he carefully settled on the bed’s edge
near me.

Fruity aromas teased my nose. I sat up, pushed back tumbled
curls from my eyes, and accepted the delicate stem on the crystal he
presented to me.

“To the missing part of my soul that Fate has sent me,” he said
with his gaze boring into mine.

“To you, Matt,” I whispered in a husky voice, acutely aware—
despite the past few hours and our recently shared intimacy—that I
knew little about him. I didn’t dare add anything complacent and
optimistic like “to our future” or “to love.” This impulsive
relationship was surely short-lived, and we’d never mentioned
anything about love between us. Only that troubling imprinting

Buy Links:
Heat level 2 

Doris answers some questions for us today
What was the inspiration for the story?                                                                    

A trip several years ago to Las Vegas inspired the novella. The steady stream of newly arrived visitors that swarmed the casinos from all parts of the world lent a sense of unreality to the city each day there. Virtually every single one of them—myself included—imagined themselves as high rollers and dreamed of the big lucky strike. And everyone seemed focused on forgetting all their stresses and worries back home for a little under the spell of the surrounding glitz and glamour.

My hotel’s location was such that it allowed me a unique vantage view of the Strip. I loved to stare out my hotel window from a high top floor across at the undeveloped desert wilderness that surrounded the brilliantly illuminated island city back then. The fantastically glowing city underscored the manic undercurrents of excitement that rippled through it and seemed to pulsate like a live wire within the atmosphere, itself. A certain assurance also thrummed through the air that everything was possible.

Then it hit me that this was precisely what a colonized boom-planet might look like. I fantasized that the planes zipping in overhead to the airport to McCarran Airport to unload and retrieve passengers could well be starships. That sealed the deal—I had to write The Dark Places—a story of mystery, passion, and taking chances in the gamble on love.

If you could tell anyone in the world five things about yourself that really define “you,” what would they be?    

1) I try not to make assumptions about people, and I appreciate it when they don’t leap to assumptions about me. A person’s inner spirit is boundless when it’s unhampered by another’s preconceptions. We’re all complex living books with contents of great stories and big surprises inside.
2) I’m curious. I’m always seeking the secret(s) of the universe and why we’re here. I question reality and keep peeking behind the curtain to see who’s running the ‘show’.
3) I value books, music, and my writing time—next to family, of course. Reading is my favorite pastime. As a kid, I often wished I was accidentally locked inside a public library overnight. And yes—I adored the movie, Neverending Story. I find it amazing that there seems to be a book for every taste, whim, question, or ailment in the world. And music for every mood from all over the world.
4) I’m an admirer of the Arts and Sciences. Both disciplines have impacted and improved our lives. Well—most of the time. I have been lucky enough to enjoy participating in both.
5) I’m a peaceable person—most of the time—and my greatest wish is for more harmony in the world.

Thank you very much, Elodie, for hosting me today. I enjoyed sharing some of the inner workings that drive me and also went into creating The Dark Places

About the author:
D. Martin likes science and finding out how things work. She was one of those annoying kids, who drove her mom and teachers nuts with continual questions of “Why?” Her career as science researcher gave her the opportunity to play in labs and create some pretty neat stuff—and maybe advance technology a little.

She believes a person can never have too many books. She reads everything, but is fond of science fiction, fantasy, and romance. World cultures fascinate her. She loves science fiction movies and once wanted to be an astronomer to find out what’s ‘out there’. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter, who are both very understanding when she’s off the planet writing
Twitter: @DorisDmartin

Friday, May 1, 2015

#contemporaryromance from author @BatesNatalie 'Amii's Angel' excerpt and a $10 #giveaway

Amiis Angel - Banner
For years, Amii Sloan has held a burning grudge against Ryan Maine for his cutting cross examination during her sister’s murder trial. Now, a chance encounter brings Ryan back into her life, along with a very interesting proposition—to work as his personal assistant in the idyllic town of Unity.
Down on her luck, and supporting a mother with early onset dementia, Amii doesn’t have much of a choice but to accept the job Ryan offers. But can she overlook the past to possibly open the door to a brighter future?
As she spends time with the handsome, successful lawyer, she realizes that maybe first impressions can be wrong, and that just maybe she and Ryan could share a whole lot more than she ever imagined.
Amiis Angel -Book Cover


From the instant he first saw her, Ryan Maine sensed she would be his wife.
“I’m usually very good with faces, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where I know you from.” It sounded like a cheesy pick up line, but it was the truth.
He smiled at the raven haired beauty before him. He had been off the dating scene for way too long. Now was the time to get back into the game.
His smile deflated when he saw the hard, cold look in her dark eyes. “You may not remember, but I sure do. As a matter of fact, I’ll never forget it. You cross examined me at the trial of my sister’s murderer.
You destroyed a part of my soul that day.”


TITLE – Amii’s Angel AUTHOR – Natalie-Nicole Bates GENRE – Contemporary Romance PUBLICATION DATE – March 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 35,000 words PUBLISHER – Books To Go Now Publishing
Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at


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