Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday Snippets: The Bride's Curse, Paranormal Romance

Here's a snippet from The Bride's Curse, my paranormal romance from Crimson Romance. This is the first time wedding planner and owner of Wedding Bliss Kelly Andrews meets her match in the sexy Brett Atwell:


Kelly blinked to adjust her eyes to the store’s interior after being
out in the bright sunlight. She pushed the old man on the bench out of her mind as she stepped forward to introduce herself to the young man who stood in the middle of the store as if he were
befuddled by all the lovely frilly, lacy, silky things.
     “Good morning. I’m Kelly Andrews. Can I help you find what you’re looking for?”

He turned and gave her a friendly smile. Kelly was momentarily dazzled. This guy was hot. Older than she first thought, probably thirty or so, with blond hair and the kind of tan you only get from working outdoors. Briefly she wondered if he’d been in the military like herself, but nothing else about him suggested military work.
      His eyes widened as looked her up and down and he gave a low appreciative whistle through his teeth. “Well, hello, there, Red!”
      The dazzle swiftly turned to irritation. No one had mocked her red Scottish coloring since she was old enough to make them wish they had never tangled with her. Tucking an unruly curl behind her ear, she sidled forward until they were almost nose to nose. Then she rose up on tiptoe, her mouth close enough to his ear that her breath tickled his skin and murmured: “The last guy who called me that is still in the hospital.”
     His deep brown eyes widened. Then he laughed a low, deep sexy sound. “Sweetheart, I love a woman with red hair and the temperament that goes with it.”
      She stepped back a pace and gave him a feral smile. Obviously he wasn’t intimidated by her threat. The fool.
    “So, all flirting aside, can I help you with something?”
     The slow, lips to feet and back again appraisal he gave her made her palms itch to thump him. She reminded herself of Rule #1 of business: Do not slap customers.
     “I’m looking for a wedding dress.”
      “Oh!” Laughter licked through her like a sudden rain. She returned the long, slow, head to toe and back again stare. “I’m not sure we have anything in your size. Maybe your partner … ?”
       He actually blushed. “No, it’s not for me—” He stopped when he saw her laughing. In fact, Kelly was laughing so hard she had to drop onto one of the chairs.
     “Oh, lord—you should have seen your face! Gotcha!” Revenge is so sweet.
       He grinned. “I suppose I deserved that, Red.”
      “Keep on with the Red, and you’ll see the nasty side of me.”
         Brett Atwell was tempted to say he’d like to see any side of her at all, this drop dead gorgeous woman who’d followed him into the store. His busy imagination conjured up images of all that lush red hair spread across his pillow like wildfire …
        “You’re staring.”

        Oops. He needed to shake himself out of the lust that had swamped him and to focus on the job at hand. It wasn’t like him to let his mind wander, but then it wasn’t every day he met a woman who appealed to him like this one did.

The Bride's Curse is available in ebook and print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other good booksellers!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wednesday's Writing: A Word About Dialogue....

Dialogue is the stuff your characters say (exterior dialogue) or think (interior dialogue), usually found in speech marks or italics. Dialogue is immediate, it is what your characters are thinking or feeling as the story unfolds. It helps strengthen the reader’s sense of participating in the story and helps the reader become attached to the characters and care about them. It is also a vehicle for putting across information and backstory.
Dialogue is an especially wonderful tool for introducing information without long and wordy passages of exposition that would lose your reader. Dialogue can be used to move the action along, inform the reader of backstory, explain the character’s actions, show their feelings, and show their character traits.
Never, ever use dialogue in the same way you might chitchat to the person next to you in the supermarket queue – like every word in your story, dialogue should have meaning, should take your story ahead. It should be woven into your story.Here's an example of how NOT to do dialogue.

        She:  Would you like a cup of tea?
        He:    Yes, please.
         She:  Would you like sugar?
         He:    Yes, please.
         She:   Would you like milk?
          He:    Yes, please
          She: Did you murder my sister?

See what an unlikely bit of dialogue that would be? But when we combine it with description: 

           Steve poured two mugs of coffee, holding one out to her. Kelsey struck the mug from his hand, snarling: “Did you kill my sister?”

That's better!

Dialogue is ingenious for giving backstory:  

Ted handed her a wad of tissues. “Kelsey, everyone’s worried about you. I know you’ve been upset since your sister died, but isn’t it time you pulled yourself together? You can’t go around accusing people of murder.”

 What do backstory do we learn from the above piece of dialogue?

* Kelsey’s sister has died.
*Kelsey is still very upset.
*She believes someone murdered her sister
*She’s investigating
*Her friends are worried about her
*Ted is very concerned about her
* Ted is close enough to her to be able to speak to her like this, possibly her boss, a close friend, relative, or lover.

 See how much information we’re able to get in using dialogue? To put this backstory, etc., in as narrative would have taken several paragraphs, whereas it’s very immediate as dialogue, and moves the story along without interrupting the action.

Dialogue properly and imaginatively used can deepen your characters, give backstory in tiny bites without boring your reader, move the plot along, add very versatile!

This blog is an excerpt from my writing book, Naked Writing: The No Frills Way to Write Your Book!