Unlocking the Mystery of Your Readers #readers #writers #stories #MythicCafe

Reader

In case you’re wondering, I do actually read other blog posts, often. As a matter of fact, for the second week I’m going to send you off to see the full article here (Mythic Scribes, Understanding How Readers Read by Nils Ödlund) before we begin.

I love Mythic Scribes, they have a great collection of posts, and this one by Nils discussed why he only lends half an ear to writing rules as a newbie writer, and then an ear and a half to his readers.

He makes a clear distinction on writing rules:

“The rules of writing tell me how I should write, but they don’t really tell me why. That’s something I have to figure out on my own.”

And what he can learn from readers:

“I think – and this is just a hunch – that understanding how readers read can take my writing a lot further than any rules for how I ought to write. When I understand how words and sentences turns into images and emotions and stories I can take that into account and I believe my writing will be better for it.”

I like my writing rules as much as the next writer, but it’s impressive that Nils nailed this particular point early on in his writing.

Writers are generally avid readers, which may explain our instinctive ability to grasp what makes a story, well, a story. Since this is my blog and I haven’t conducted any scientific polls on this, I can only offer my personal opinion here. It may not fit all, but I’m willing to bet most writers will get it.

Because I devour books faster than chocolate (quite a feat!), I know what keeps my attention riveted on turning the next page until the wee hours of the morning. When I write, I try to recreate that same level of sorcery fascination in my stories. I have been (lovingly) accused by my writering partners of not giving my readers or my characters a chance to catch their breath. My characters tend to run from one big “oh shit!” moment to the next, barely taking the time to bend over, hands on hips and choked a few lungfuls of air down, before dashing over to the next catastrophe.

While this hits the writing rule of making sure every chapter, every scene moves your story forward, it also keeps my readers, reading.  Because my readers love fast paced, action packed, tension mounting stories, where there’s no time to second guess your the characters’ actions before you they are faced with the next situation.

Knowing what our readers enjoy, it helps us craft our stories. When I read, I want to be able to put my face on the main character, feel my pulse race with the MC’s, my heart break with the MC’s, and I want to triumph with the MC.

As a writer, to share this magic with my readers brings me joy and helps me sit down for another round with the keyboard.

Who Are You Racing Against? #writercompetition #writinglife #rachelleayala

Back on March 22nd, I read a blog post by author Rachelle Ayala,(click here for post) regarding what she learned after four years of being a self published writer. It’s a great article, so I nudge you to go read it.

She hits four basic points about being a writer, traditional or indie, and the one that hit home for me was point four, “You Can’t Keep Up with the Jones.”

I have been heard to say I’m not competitive. Of course, it’s hard to hear me over my Knight’s strangely re-occuring coughing fits, but I’ll share a little secret with you.  I am competitive. Not in many areas, but when it comes to my writing, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Now, I don’t go out and challenge authors to a duel or anything, instead I find myself talking to my writer-self. “Two books a year? You’re falling behind, girl.  What are you doing taking a shower? Get yo’ ass in a chair and start another book. You want to make it, you’re going to give me three books a year. Do you hear me?” (Yep, I’ve morphed into a screaming drill sergeant during this rant).

So, imagine how grateful I was when Rachelle said in her post,

“Even if you are one of the superstars of 2014, you are one book away from oblivion. Yes. That’s true, IF you are comparing yourself to others. There’s always going to be that book about space vampires steampunk BDSM billionaires that’s going to surprise the world and blow up your carefully crafted series with the bazillion brothers, sisters, cousins, and the entire state of Virginia family saga for the #1 position. It came from nowhere! And you, my goodness, you slaved and slaved for twenty hours a day, you wrote your fingers to the bone, and you can barely open your eyes and drag yourself to your laptop one minute longer, and blammo. That book beat yours! You’ve lost the brass ring, the lucky charm, the golden crown. You’re a HAS-BEEN!!! Ahhhh… kill me now!”

Because, sometimes you need to hear the truth. You really are one book away from oblivion. Doesn’t matter where you rank today, you have to keep writing, at your own pace, because true craft takes full fledged committment, not a teeth-gritting “I’m going to win” attitude.

It gets better. TOUCHED BY FATE, the second book in the PSY-IV Teams, is now in my brillant editor’s hands, and my type-A personality means I am now scheduled to start the next Kyn book in May. Maybe. Because, like every writer, I am afflicted with new ideas, ideas I want to explore. Unfortunately my “scheduled” writing makes me worry about taking that time to follow through.

Sigh. You’d think I’d have learned by now, but no, because I’m ON. A. SCHEDULE.

But…there’s this idea digging in, and it’s not letting go. It’s a story, and the only weapons I have as a writer are stories, my stories.

My schedule may have to be adjusted.

I leave you with another of Rachelle’s pearls of wisdom:

“What writer doesn’t want to be read? Everyone wants recognition or a pat on the back or even someone to scream, “I hated your characters. Kill them off.” Who wants to yell into a vacuum? I mean, if a book is unread, does it mean it doesn’t exist? So do what you have to get discovered. Write lots of books, hang out, socialize, and take feedback. Then let it go. You can only affect how well you can be discovered, not whether you’ll be read.

*raising a mug of coffee* Here, here, Rachelle.

*Rachelle Ayala’s post can be found here: http://www.rachelleayala.com/2015/03/what-i-learned-after-four-years-of.html

Releasing the Saftey Line #writerlife #misconceptions

Right vs Wrong Way - Two-Way Street Sign

*Deep breath, brushing nervous hands over jeans* I don’t normally make a deliberate decision to step into hot topics. Like many, I was warned to avoid topics of politics, religion, and sex if I wanted to escape social interactions unscathed. Being fairly open-minded, I tend to keep my opinions on heavily discussed topics (of which I have many), to myself. So far I’ve done pretty good. Today, I’m going to skirt that edge because there is a misconception out there which has found a way to burrow under my mental skin, causing cuts of self-doubt.

Insecurity exists in each of us, there is no way to avoid it. It helps drive us up and over hurdles plunked in front of us by a merciless hand of Fate. It’s the crux of determination, without it you wouldn’t push yourself to accomplish what others tell you can’t be done.

I am not exempt. At all.

I’ve been seeing a huge discussion rise about writers, specifically women writers, following a “hobby” with their chosen career path, because their big, manly husbands are carrying their family’s financial security.

*honestly stunned* What the hell, peeps?

Not the manly husband aspect (mine fits), but carrying our families’ financial security because “we want to indulge in a hobby”? Are they really that uninformed? Granted, the biggest crock came out of a mouth use to causing issues, but much like when you’re on a diet and suddenly everyone’s eating chocolate, the echoes of this nonsense kept getting my attention.

Writing is not easy.  It is not a hobby. It is a CAREER. It is WORK. Writers–female or male–don’t make writing their career lightly. They’re the brave ones, the ones to be lauded for their courage. Even their families deserve a round of applause. It’s just as hard to give the one you love a chance to rise or fall on their own, while your family is buckled in for the ride.

I’ve spent the last twenty plus years in the corporate hamster wheel, where 60-70 hour weeks were the norm, office politics were trickier than a seeded minefield, and game playing was a necessary survival skill. While I danced my way through, I decided to replenish my soul with something that was solely mine, my writing. In 2011 I published my first novel, and by the end of this year I’m hoping to have my sixth out. By no means has my writing come close to replacing my “professional” job, but the dream existed. However, so long as I had the security of being able to be an equal partner with my Knight in our family finances, I wasn’t inclined to give up the “professional” aspect.

Until I was politely laid-off  after 18 years of service, and came to the realization I no longer wanted to put that much effort into something or someone who could give a crap less.

My Knight, being the manly man he is, sat down with me and we began to talk. We discussed our finances, our family, our boys, our goals, and then my brilliant beloved said, “We have a little bit of breathing room. What do you want to do that will make you happy?”

I opened my mouth to answer, “Write”, only to close it. I was already writing, being laid-off wouldn’t change that, and like most writers, I know that sales don’t magically appear on your doorstep with an oversized check. Writing is work, but the rewards take time–marathon vs. sprint, peeps.

Which meant I needed something else, another avenue to generate an income. Not equal to what I was making, but enough to live. So, I turned to a lifelong passion I’d just begun to indulge in–editing. Freelance editing, to be exact. Discussions abounded, a partnership struck, a business plan developed, a marketing strategy set in place, and I unhooked the safety line of a guaranteed paycheck and leapt into the wild unknown.

Am I scared? Oh, hell yeah, I’m shaking in my damn shoes. Success, or failure, is all on me, no big bad to point fingers at later, just little ol’ me.

Not to say I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, I have a deadline for determining if this will work or not. In the meantime, I’m passing around my “professional” resume.

Am I relying on my husband’s financial contributions for our family? No more than I was when I had a scheduled paycheck coming in, but we both know the ROI (return on investment) won’t show for the next few months.

Doesn’t mean in the darkest hours of night, while I’m staring at the shadow covered ceiling unable to sleep, I’m doubting myself and my choices. I’m haunted by the nasty voice of my insecurities who mutter, “Do you have the right to take this risk?” or even worse, “You think this is a job? You’ve been writing for years, look how much that’s gotten you. What makes this different?”

As they laughingly circle, there’s a kernel of furious determination fighting back.

Yeah, I do deserve the chance to find out if I can do it on my own. If I’m going to put 70 plus hours in a week, it’ll be because it’s for me, my company. You try to tell me something can’t be done (You’ll never get published–You’re too old to be adopted–Odds are against you having a normal, loving relationship–You can’t start a successful business after forty), and I’m going to shove your ass into a chair and say, “Watch me.”

 

 

DESTINY MINE’s Nana Prah Asks, How Hot Do You Like Your Scenes? #DestinyMineBookTour #multiculturalrom #romance

Nana 2

The beautiful and talented, Nana Prah is here today, and she has her latest romance release in her Destiny Series, DESTINY MINE, in tow. Now, I don’t gush (much) about my friends, but she is one of mine that I love to help support (and not just because she makes me blush about my own works). Nana’s writing will keep you hooked from the get go. Although she’s setting her baby (DESTINY MINE) lose upon the world, she’s asking an important question many writers (myself included) wonder about:  How hot do you need your romance? 

Before I turn it over to Nana, I must share the intriguing, DESTINY MINE:

Destiny Mine-coverMed

Extraordinary midwife, Esi Darfour, is looking to get married.  She’s a master matchmaker but has no luck when it comes to her love life and has yet to find a man worthy of her. Until she has to deal with gorgeous Dr. Adam Quarshie outside of work.

Adam is a player who refuses to get married—ever. His interest lies more in getting her into bed than in having any kind of committed relationship. Esi’s matchmaker instincts warn her to run in the other direction as quickly as possible, but her heart insists she stay…get closer…and see if what they feel for each other can change his mind.

I know that I’m supposed to be bragging all about myself and my latest book, Destiny Mine, but I have to let you all know just how much I LOVE Jami’s work. I’m addicted to her Kyn Kronicles. I pretty much harass her for the next story once I’ve read the previous one. She can’t write them fast enough for me.

The last time I was on Jami’s blog I did an interview so I thought I’d change it up a bit and write a post sharing my experience with writing a sex scene.

My latest release, Destiny Mine has a sex scene in it. My first three published novels were sweet. There’s only one reason why I decided to open the door.

My characters were gagging for it.

First of all Adam is a man who’s had a lot of sex in his life. A lot. A man whore who gives it away for free (I love him, but I have to be honest). A blazingly handsome man who exudes charm and a bit (okay a lot) of arrogance. And yet he has this soft spot in his personality that will make your heart melt.

Esi is a spitfire. She’s passionate about life, not only hers, but the ones she escorts safely into the world as a midwife. She lives life with gusto because she knows how fleeting it is.

So what happens when you put a spunky intelligent woman with a hot sex loving guy? Yup. The answer is full on intercourse. It wasn’t as difficult to write as I thought it might be. My intention was to make it different, and that occurred naturally because of the personalities of the characters.Nana's

Will I write another book with sex in it? Let’s just say that writing a sex scene is like eating a potato chip. You can’t write just one.

Do you prefer a romance with or without sex scenes?

Don’t forget to take part in my Rafflecopter Giveaway, where you could win a $20 Smashword or All Romance eBooks gift card!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know you want to find out what happens next, so please click any of the following links for your copy:

AMAZON     Barnes&Noble    All Romance eBooks (ARe)   iBooks    Smashwords

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

If you want to connect, reach out to Nana…

Blog : www.nanaprah.blogspot.com           Twitter: @NanaPrah

Facebook: Nana Prah, Author                      Goodreads: Nana Prah

Google + :  Nana Prah

Need an Editor? Need Two? Check Out Wicked Dragon Solutions #editing #editors #WickedDragon

If you’ve been following me for the last month, you’ll remember how my corporate road came to an abrupt end last month. While it may not sound like something to celebrate, it did provide me an opportunity to strike on and blaze my own professional trail. I’m not one to sit around, so I partnered up with my co-conspirator, Amber Kallyn, and we began planning our latest adventure.

On April 1st (no, not an April Fool’s joke), we will be opening our virtual doors to our writer friends and ushering them inside Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions, where you can get two editing beasts for one smoking price! 
WD JPEG

 

Between Amber and I, we have 13 hard-won years of word crafting experience, not just in published work, but in editing for other authors. While we’ve been doing this without gathering our fees, we decided it was time to put our pens to work for us. We know how vital editors are to Creators of the Written Word, and what’s better than one editor? How about two editors putting their eyes to the jewlers loop to examine your precious treasure, and you’ll only be out the gold for the price of one. Think of it as an Editorial BOGO (buy-one-get-one-free).

Feel free to come on over and check us over at Wicked Dragon Writer Solutions (www.wickeddragonsolutions.com)! Doors officially open April 1st, but if you’re anxious to start your epic journey, feel free to reach out to wickeddragonsolutions@gmail.com and we’ll get you set for your editing adventure.

 

What’s your Pink Elephant? #writing #writingtells

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Are you scratching your head yet? Good. In a recent discuss with my fellow writing geeks, it was brought to my attention that I have a unique tell in my writing. If I submitted a story, so long as this was part of it, they would go, “Ah-ha! This is Jami’s piece.”  Further ribbing discussion revealed I wasn’t the only one with this little habit. Oh no, we managed to pinpoint a unique fingerprint in each story. I have decided to name this phenomena, the Pink Elephant.

The Pink Elephant can be a person, place or thing, or even phrase. (Yes, I realize this is not a game of Charades). Mine can be traced back to my obsession with HGTV and the Property Brothers. You see, in every book, someone, somewhere owns a *drumroll please* Flat screen TV. Not some measly little thirty two inch either. Oh no, we go for the gusto. It’s always a “large” flat screen TV. Because being able to see the on screen action from any room is a must.

When this was first pointed out, I came back with, “No I don’t.” because my inner five year old just couldn’t believe it. Sure enough, it was proven time and time again. And because the competitive curious spirit moved me, I  discovered my fellow word slinger tended to express his love of all things related to the big, shiny, red apple, in his stories by peppering  i this and i that with flagrant abandon.

Hmmm, coincidence? Perhaps but let’s move on to our next contestant…why lookie here, her love of all things plush has created Pink Elephants of overstuffed couches. No room is complete without the luxury of being able to sink into a couch cushion. Her characters tooshies must be supported by many layers of fluffiness. Uh…

And our find contender, what was her Pink Elephant? It wasn’t hard to identify, not at all. Right before her heroine headed off to face down the big baddies of the world, she’d ensure to fuel up first with a nice homemade meal. Feeling a little discouraged you couldn’t fight off that soul sucking demon without losing a sidekick? Have a nice cupcake, it’ll make you feel better. Still hungry? There’s a nice hand tossed salad in the fridge, help yourself while I get rid of this pesky ghost.

Now that you, too, can identify Pink Elephants, what’s yours?

 

When Characters Have Had Enough #writing #storyarc #writingtips

Between a rock and a hard place.

I’m finishing up TOUCHED BY FATE before sending it off to be polished and prettied for consumption, and as this is my sixth book, you would think I’d know better than to try to force my characters to do what I want, right?

*sigh* Okay, so I’m a slow learner.

I’ve mentioned I’m not much of an outliner, which is mostly true. I use signposts, big, obvious ones that state “They shall walk in on a bloody corpse here” or “They must be ambushed here”. So what happens when my characters don’t agree with my signposts? When they decide to redesign it in their own, personal graffiti?

Stubborn writer meet even more pig headed characters. *sound of boulders colliding*

I had the last third of the story figured, main points at least. I even started this book saying the seer will see her death at the hands of her lover. I shall never again presume to know what my characters will or will not see/do/say.  Risia took issue with this, and when I didn’t listen, she decided to make me listen.

First, the story kept stalling. The scenes weren’t working. It was too stilted, too contrived, and I was getting downright pissed. I finally had time to dedicate to pounding out some serious word count and THE WORDS WOULDN’T COME. What the hell is up with that? Then, she kept twisting things around until I was sure she’d see her death at my hands.

I slammed around, throwing things at both Risia and Tag, determined to get them where I needed them to be. Risia smirked, and Tag kept ducking while muttering, “WTF?”  When my temper tantrum died down, I realized a new player had hit the pages, with his own agenda, and his own way of ensuring he got what he wanted.

And my idea of one of the bigger stumbling blocks for Tag and Risia, shifted under all of our feet, turning over to show a different outcome. Funny thing, suddenly the remaining path of our story readjusted into a clear road, and I’m able to gun the gas without puttering to a stop.

So what happened? Somewhere along the writing line I forgot to stay true to letting my characters tell the story, versus making them fit the story. Our job as the writer, is to ensure we throw our characters into situations where they will either rise and shine, or go down in a flaming ball of glory, because their evolution is vital to our story. There is no getting around that. If your characters don’t evolve, if they don’t take chances or risks, they can’t fail, can’t triumph, can’t learn, can’t grow. Which means they might as well be Flat Stanley’s.

For Tag and Risia’s story, I needed to put Risia in an unenviable position, you know the one, the fabled Rock and Hard Place. By doing this in a natural way that rises from her current situation versus creating an artificial one, she ends up dragging Tag into his own Rock and Hard Place. Now, they have to figure out their escape routes–whether individually or in tandem, that’s where your story gets interesting. Which is why you really should let your character led. They know what it will take to push them over the edge or drop them into the deepest pit, and they know what they need to do, to become who they must.

 

And Tag and Risia, well, they may not like me right now, but I know the destination will be worth the ride.

Unexpected Changes May Lead to Daring Choices #change #writing

Risk

Be careful what you wish for.  We’ve all heard it, and most of us can probably point out numerous occasions where this well polished adage proved true. After a very tumultuous (hey, I’m a writer, I like my descriptive words) end to 2014, I had considered my obstacle strewn path fairly safe to proceed forward. Last week, a big, ol’ giant boulder plummeted right smack in front of me. The stomach dropping words of “workforce reduction” left me choking in the dust.

Eighteen years with the same organization. Thirty years of never, not having a job (yes, I realize what a huge blessing that is), and suddenly I find myself–unemployed. It’s a very strange feeling, similar to the free fall fear when I step out to do something really scary.

After the initial shock wore off (three hours later), my need to keep things safe for me and mine kicked in. No time for administering chocolate first aid. Healthcare was switched, bills were re-evaluated and reduced where possible, and unemployment was filed.  Day two, up before dawn, get the Prankster Duo out the door and on their way, get the Knight off to battle his dragons, and then I scampered into my office and spent the morning revamping my resume and cover letter, reaching out to old colleagues and scouring the job boards.

Resumes sent, I came up for air in the afternoon, took a breath and realized I could spend the next few hours catching up on word count. Done. By evening of day two, my mental chaos was settling and plans were in initial stages.

I know the Big Man Upstairs doesn’t do things without good reason, and I’m trusting Him to help me forge my path here. When I finally let myself deal with what had happened, I cycled through the anger at the way my organization handled things, admitting that this is how the current corporate environment works, and logically understanding what has happened to cause this reaction. While my stomach churned at this sudden change, there was also a weird sense of relief.

For the last couple of years, my writing has become more and more important to me. However, I had a job that pays the bills, I was contributing to my family’s financial security and helping Knight shoulder the responsibility of our family. To suddenly shift that to him and give myself permission to dare reach for a “dream” wasn’t something I could comfortably do without risking my job.

Obviously, someone was listening and decided to nudge me (rather abruptly) out of my rut of comfortable safety. Now, as hard as this circumstance change may sound, I have to admit, the timing was the best we could hope for. Between the severance package and the fact our family had been preparing for the worse for the last six months, I actually have some breathing room to reach out and see if I can make what makes me happy, support my family.

Now, I know you’re all thinking, “You’re going to write full time.” Um, well yeah, but that’s not it. I’ve always written, that won’t change, but I need something else to take place of the job-that-pays-the-bills. So I’m going to keep this stomach churning edge and I’m going to start something else that I will allow me to make what I love, my career. I’m stepping into editing.

Scary as this is to strike out on my own with no safety net, I’m not doing this alone. Remember that whole thing about timing? Seems I’m not the only one at a crossroads. My partner in crime and I are in the initial stages, but since we complement each other in our editing styles, we’re going to offer writers 2 editors for the price of 1. The business plan is in the initial stages and we’ve set a deadline for expected results, which means the next few weeks will be quite hectic.

However, because I recognize the risks, I’m still out there submitting resumes and exploring other job opportunities. While I understand the nerve wracking journey I’m about to begin, I’m also not one to put all my eggs in one basket. However, I’m trusting the Big Guy to know more than me, and I’ll wander through this door and see what it brings. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted on what happens next.  

What’s the Real Story? #writing #writers

Story

Normally I don’t share much about my Prankster Duo, namely because they believe its equivalent to sharing naked baby in the sink (or on the rug) pictures. Yet, this particular happening had me thinking about what writing really means to me.

Here’s the background:  One of my friends is mom to one of their friends. This young man matches the Prankster Duo in their love all things electronic. But where mine find their artistic outlet in audio/visual for one, and mechanical design for the other, their friend finds his in writing.

His mom, knowing I write, asked if I would take the time to talk to him.

Um, sure? I know all about being a teenage writer, but I was a girl, and well, teenage boys are still a strange creature to me (and I have two). But writing recognizes no boundaries, so yes, I could share some writing tips.

Actually, she persisted, do you mind sharing with him why you write?

Okay, that’s pretty personal, but she’s my friend and her son is a sweetie, so I’m sure I can manage it. Of course, considering her question, I had to ask, Why?

Beacuse he feels maybe something is wrong with him, because he made the mistake of sharing something he wrote with a friend who told him he was weird.

Okay, but writers are weird, it’s why we write people. So yeah, I can let him know he’s not alone out there. So the next time the boyos were hanging out, I invited him and his mom to my writer cave. First I had to figure out where he was in the process (900 pages of world building/character development/possible story arcs).

*blinking* Ooookkkaaay. *deep breath* Instead of diving into do you know who your characters are? What story are you trying to tell? What are they facing that’s so interesting that you have to share this story? I decided to change tactics.

Do you know what a story bible is? (Nope). Let me show you. So began a show and tell of how to organize your worlds/characters/story arcs into a cohesive whole with an acutal story bible I created before Scrivner stepped into my life. Then I showed him all the magic that is Scrivner.

We chatted about story development, character motivation, I shared a couple of workbooks so he could get it coralled. Then, I decided to broach the real concern behind his mom’s intentions. So, you’re friends think your stories are weird. (Uncomfortable shrug, and a mumbled explaniation that’s it just what’s in his head).

I wanted to hug him, but that would cause a major embarrassment meltdown. Instead, I shrugged back. “You know what, those stories, they’re yours. You tell them the way you see them in your head and don’t you worry about what anyone is going to think about you. Here’s the thing, every writer uses their stories to explore aspects of things they’re feeling/dealing with. It doesn’t mean, that the murder mystery writer is out there plotting someone’s death, but they will delve into what true rage may make a the average joe do. I do dark urban fantasy. My characters aren’t skipping through roses and riding unicorns. Generally they’re the ones hunting the unicorns. My characters are not smiles and sunlight. No one is always smiles and sunlight.”

By this point, he’s actually paying attention, no signs of his previous embarassment. So I kept going.

“The story in your head is real to you because you’re trying to explore something you’re feeling and to do that you’ve created a character who can do that safely. In the end, when your story is done, maybe you’ll have figured out what was tweaking at you. It doesn’t make you weird, it just means you’re a writer.”

He smiled, reilef visble to both his mom and me.

Afterwards, my own words stuck around. Wish someone had shared the same thing with me when I was younger.

I started writing at twelve when I moved in with my mom and dad after escaping a sexually/physically abusive situation. My mom handed me a journal telling me it was somewhere I could keep what was running through me head in. So I did. In those pages I would spill all my darkest thoughts, purging them onto paper, while in reality I had to learn not to be a people pleaser, to fight for my own wants/needs and not back down. On printed paper, I raged, I fought, I won. Each and every time.

None of my stories had normal, happy characters. Each had something they were struggling with–circumstances, emotional pitfalls, something. It took awhile for me to accept that these stories were mine to share because in the end, my character rage, fight and win. Every time.

And that’s why I write.

Dai’s Dark Valentine Swings by for a little love… #newreads #pnr

Everyone welcome the talented, Dariel Raye, as she brings along her wild, magical tale of historical love with Dai’s Dark Valentine… 

Don’t forget to join in her Rafflecopter Giveaway
Dais Dark Valentine Cover3

“Dai’s Dark Valentine” by Dariel Raye

Blurb

What happens when a sheltered cat-shifter and a dark fey come together?

Three-hundred years is a long time, but left to its own devices, what began as the vendetta of one man can grow to encompass even more formidable hatred.

Daitre Salons is a beautiful but naïve heiress whose true heritage has been kept secret even from her. Now, her abilities are emerging and her father’s enemies want her dead, but what bothers her most is that her new husband “in name only” insists on treating her like a child.

Joban Beaucoup, professional guard to the Salons family, and dark fey (alternate spelling from Vodouin origin), has chosen to leave the quaint yet suffocating French town of his orphan-childhood and venture to the Americas, but he needs one thing he cannot concoct, despite his magical abilities – a wife.

When Joban agrees to marry Daitre and take her to the Americas with him, he carries her three-thousand miles away, then whisks her three-hundred years into the future to assure her safety, but while Daitre struggles to adjust to this strange new world, manage her newfound powers, and make peace with her feelings for Joban, Joban learns that even here, their enemies have followed them, now more deadly than ever.

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Excerpt

New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. – Present

Daitre instinctively wrapped her arms around Joban’s neck, wonder overshadowing every other thought and emotion.

Before she could blink, he slid her arms from him and took a step back. She blinked again and glanced around, the environment too strange for comprehension. What seemed like millions of images flashed around her synapses at once.

She closed her eyes again and did her best to ignore the rocks in her stomach, but the feeling of rejection would not go away. She’d over-stepped. He made it clear he did not want to be touched. Apparently he’d meant what he said about their marriage being a union in name only, and God alone knew where he’d brought her.

The magical orb resurfaced in her mind and she watched Joban in awe. She’d always known he was a time bender, and he’d even flashed her from one place to another before, but his particular species of fey were so rare, she’d never met another, and no matter what she thought she knew, experiencing the phenomenon was no less overwhelming and amazing.

Everything seemed to happen in a flash, glimpses of familiar and unfamiliar things slowly registering as the light faded. Joban told her they were in The Americas, the United States of America to be exact, three-hundred years in the future, the twenty-first century, and he began showing her odd clothing.

“Things are very different here and now, Daitre. You will need to adjust as fast as possible. I got these for you after your father told me your size. They will take some getting used to, but dressing is much easier in this century, I imagine.”

“What part of America are we in?”

“We are in a place called New Orleans, Louisiana. I should have family here, and so should you.” He waved across his left hand and a picture appeared.

“This is a map of the United States. We are here,” he said, pointing to the bottom tip of Louisiana.

Daitre frowned.

“What is it, Princess?”

She placed her hands on her hips and folded her arms. “The picture in your hand. That’s something else I did not know you could do.”

“And why does this trouble you?”

She waved him away, the frown morphing into a scowl as she raised her voice. “I do not know. You are all I have, yet I know nothing about you for certain. I find it very troubling.”

He sighed, but otherwise said nothing.

Daitre fingered her gown and glanced warily at the pants, dresses, and other garments he’d purchased. All of her beautiful things were left behind – gowns, jewels, everything left in Monsieur Beaucoup’s carriage.

She wrapped her arms around her midsection. “No.”

“’No,’ what?” His ominous tone did nothing to help the situation.

“No, I will not wear those. They are the garments of a harlot, and all of my things have been left in another place and time.”

 

About the AuthorDariel Raye profile

Dariel Raye writes powerful IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety).

For more about Dariel, follow her blog or website. She also publishes a new release newsletter and daily newspaper. You can contact her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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