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Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood

#Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood with #giveaway


Title: Wild Hearts
Author: Vivian Wood
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

WARNING: The below excerpt contains sexually explicit content. 

Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood
About the book:

In order to find love, you must set your heart free.


All her life, Faith has lacked a true, deep connection to someone. Her parents are long buried, her friends are too busy, and all she has is her job in corporate law to make her feel grounded. Each day is like the last with no telling if there will ever be something more for her. When a distant aunt passes away and leaves Faith her land, Faith has to put her empty life on hold and travel across the country to settle the estate.


A West Coast girl used to a fast paced lifestyle, Faith is ready to be entirely unimpressed by what she finds on the Georgia coast. That is, until she meets Alex.

Strong, tall, and decidedly anti-social, Alex is everything that Faith has been dreaming of her whole life. The fact that he scowls as he shows her the wonders of her new land doesn’t bother her… not like seeing him without his shirt does, anyway.

Alex has a lot of ground to cover before he can learn to trust someone again, but Faith is a lovely temptation. Slender, raven-haired, and smart as hell, she calls to him on a primal level… if he can get over the ghosts of his past.

Distrust, uncertainty, fear of change… In order to find their way to each other, they will each have their own demons to overcome.

Excerpt:

Alex wasn’t sure if she kissed him or if he kissed her. All he knew was that suddenly his lips were on hers, and they were softer and sweeter than he could have ever dreamed.
He felt her hands on his chest, and somehow his arms were around her waist. They fit perfectly in that deep curve right above her hips. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he felt the tip of her tongue against his. Alex let out a noise in the back of his throat.


She closed her eyes as he began to work the lotion into her back. Alex started at her shoulders and slid a finger underneath the strip of her halter top. He worked his way down, across her shoulder blades. She let out a moan as he hit a tense muscle in her lower back.
Alex paused, and a flicker of embarrassment washed over her. She expected him to stop, but instead he did it again, deeper. She moaned again, and the rest of her body started to respond.
His touch didn’t just release that tight muscle in her back. It started a fire throughout her entire body. Damn, she thought. She could drift away, let this man touch her all over like he was touching her right now.
His thumbs expertly glided across her lower back as he worked out the kinks. Faith’s breasts tightened, and she felt her nipples pebble. She sucked in her breath, head bowed, and could see her nipples as they responded to him.


Alex’s gaze dipped down to Faith’s lips, glazed with a gloss and smelling of Christmas. He wished he’d had the time, the mind-set, to enjoy those lips the first time he’d tasted them. His eyes continued downward to her breasts. From this angle, he could see straight down the button-up gingham shirt to the pink lace bra below. Her cleavage was deep and deliciously tempting, though he was disappointed he couldn’t make out her nipples. When they’d hardened in that little swimsuit, he was so turned on he could almost taste them between his lips.
He was tempted to kiss her to the point it was almost unbearable. To nibble on those lips and run a thumb across her breasts. Hell, I even know what she tastes like. But this time it would be different.


“Alex,” she started, but he couldn’t hold himself back anymore. It took less than a second to close the distance between them. His lips were on hers, exploring. Faith parted her lips farther to welcome his tongue against hers. God, she tastesd sweet.
With one hand, he cupped her chin upward to him. The other pulled her close against him. His hardness slipped with ease between the heat of her soft thighs. Those little shorts really are good for something besides a tease.
Alex needed more, wanted more, and by the way Faith responded, he knew she did, too. He started to walk her backward, through the open bedroom door.


Purchase:

There's also a FREE prequel - Broken Dreams:


Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood
About the Author:

Vivian likes to write about troubled, deeply flawed alpha males and the fiery, kick-ass women who bring them to their knees.

Vivian's lasting motto in romance is a quote from a favorite song: "Soulmates never die."

Be sure to follow Vivian through her Vivian's Vixens mailing list or Facebook group to keep up with all the awesome giveaways, author videos, ARC opportunities, and more!

Author links:
Vivian’s website: http://vivian-wood.com
Add Vivian on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2oD56WQ
Vivian's Vixens on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2wMWjSX
Add her on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AFIzfJ
Add her on BookBub: http://bit.ly/2wzompJ
Add her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/viviankwood

Get a FREE Vivian Wood secret office romance by copying and pasting this into your browser window: http://vivian-wood.com/get-news.

Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood


GIVEAWAY




POV: My Final Frontier

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller


Before I received any acceptance letters for my writing, I knew my work was missing something, but I wasn’t sure what. My characters were interesting. My prose was sufficient, even descriptive. My plots were engaging. So, what was wrong?

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller
Everyone who read my work reacted with mediocre praise. They agreed it was “good,” but something was missing. No one could put their finger on it.

Luckily, as the rejection letters kept coming (and my writing kept improving), a few editors started leaving personalized feedback. A few of them mentioned that I needed to learn about point of view. Like many inexperienced writers, I wrote in either first person (which is naturally limited to that character’s perspective) or omniscient point of view. I had never considered using third person limited, or switching by scene.

After researching several sources on POV, something finally clicked. I received my first acceptance letter, and before long I had acceptances coming in multiple times per month. Now, when I work with students, I ask them to consider point of view before they begin writing. Here’s what to keep in mind:

1.      Generally, a short story is told through only one point of view. First person tends to be the easiest perspective to write in, since it necessarily limits the narrative to one character’s perceptions. If a short story isn’t working, I often rewrite it in a different point of view, and sometimes, that was the missing element. Some characters might know too much; others, too little. Some characters have a voice not suitable to tell the tale; others change the way we perceive the tale. What about telling it from the perspective of the villain? What about a character who doesn’t know as much and thus would add a veil of mystery, forcing the details to reveal the story as it unfolds? It’s more of an art than a science, so it’s important to consider various perspectives and their influence on the tale. 



2.      No head-hopping. One of my first editors got on my case about this one. I had finally “mastered” point of view (so I thought) and decided to use third person limited, switching perspectives as needed. But I still didn’t get it. 


When using third person limited, it’s okay to switch perspectives by chapter or scene, but each hop should have a purpose. More importantly, a writer needs to be consistent in staying in one particular point of view for the scene. So if my main protagonist is the point of view character for a chapter, she can only speculate on what other characters might be thinking or what their motivations might be. This is what adds tension to scenes: sometimes readers know (or suspect) more than the point of view characters. 

What this means is for each chapter a writer plans, s/he must careful consider the most appropriate point of view, balancing voice, tone, style, and plot. 


3.      Everything should be intentional. Someone asked me if, when I read books, I tend to re-read them, or simply read them once and move on. I told them that as a teacher, I do re-read classics and modern classics as I teach them. The reason? Each time I read, I find some different detail, a hidden gem that helps add to the meaning of the work as a whole. I don’t tend to re-read “beach reads” or genre fiction simply because it seems the biggest consideration is plot. I don’t trust that the authors have put enough consideration into their work to allow me more insight during an additional read. Whether you’re writing an entire novel in first-person point of view or very carefully switching perspectives by chapter, it’s important that you have carefully considered how each choice will impact the reader. After all, there are so many books out there that we can never assume a captive reader.

All writers go through their journey differently. For me, point of view was the last step I had to master. But maybe for you it’s characterization or plot. In any case, don’t wait to improve your work. Seek articles on writing. See if there’s a creative writing class you can take or coach you can work with. I have learned at least one important skill from every single editor and teacher I’ve worked with, and those are the layers that build up to provide a solid foundation to a life of writing. 

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller
Teacher, writer, and editor, Val Muller grew up in haunted New England but now lives in the warmer climes of Virginia, where she lives with her husband. She is owned by two rambunctious corgis and a toddler. The corgis have their own page and book series at www.CorgiCapers.com.

Val’s young adult works include The Scarred Letter, The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and The Girl Who Flew Away and feature her observations as a high school teacher as well as her own haunted New England past. She blogs weekly at www.ValMuller.com.


The Girl Who Flew Away:

The Man with the Crystal Ankh:

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller

GIVEAWAY


Interview with Chris Karlsen


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Interview with Chris Karlsen

What genre do you write and why?
Interview with Chris Karlsen
I write in two different genres, historical romance with a time travel element. Those books are my Knights in Time series. My other genre is historical suspense with a romantic element. Those are the Bloodstone series. My latest book, Snifter of Death, is the second in that series.
I enjoy reading books with a contemporary setting but my favorite stories have historical settings. My father was a history professor so that was a major part of my life growing up. I especially like English history, which is why I use England during the Medieval and Victorian time periods in my stories.
The settings become another character, often a dangerous one for the hero or heroine. I like recreating those worlds as I picture the people and events. For the Bloodstone series, I love using Victorian London as a setting. It is so rich in atmosphere. There’s the class structure, the elegance vs. the poverty, the politics of the time, and the colorful nature of everyday life.
Who are your favourite authors?
I think Bernard Cornwell is the best historical fiction writer hands down. His Saxon Tales series is brilliant. It’s told in the first person and a remarkable reflection of the brutality of the times. His battle scenes are both difficult at times to read but always compelling. But it is his protagonist, Uhtred, who has a great sense of humor while being an astute observer of the political dangers in the fight for England between the Danes and Saxons.
In the romance area, my two favorite authors are Julie Anne Long and Julia Quinn. Long writes excellent love scenes that are hot without being raw to the point of losing the romance. Quinn always includes a lot of humor in her stories and I love to laugh along with a character.
As for suspense, my favorite is Michael Connolly. As a retired detective, I appreciate his Harry Bosch character and Mickey Haller. I think Connolly portrays the detective mindset the best of all the authors I’ve read in the genre. Joe Wambaugh, absolutely.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Find a good critique group to join. You need someone other than family and friends to read your work. Your family and friends won’t be as honest as others. Fresh eyes are a must. If you can’t find a local group, then pick up a writer’s magazine and often in the back there will be online groups advertised. Make sure it is a group that is giving you constructive criticism and not just being cruel.
Develop a thick skin if you’re submitting to any of the NY publishers or agents. There’s a very strong likelihood you will be rejected and rejected a lot. Stephen King said in his book “On Writing,” that Carrie was rejected so much he threw the manuscript in the trash. His wife retrieved it and made him continue to submit.
If you choose to self-publish, you should have the manuscript professionally edited first. Clean grammar and proper formatting is important. Spend the extra money for that and for a good cover design. Your cover is what draws the reader to your book to begin with. If it is cartoonish or amateurish, the reader won’t bother to look further.
Who is your favourite character and why?
That’s an easy question: Rudyard (Ruddy) Bloodstone. As a retired detective, I suppose on some level he’s my alter ego. I like that Ruddy has a sometimes healthy, sometimes problematic disregard for both influential politicians and administrators. I like that he’s not perfect the way Sherlock Holmes was. He’s astute and clever and not much gets past him but Ruddy follows the wrong leads at times.
What was especially interesting and fun for me is the fact he is working during a time when there was no science to help him. The first book is set in 1888 and Snifter of Death is set in 1889. This is before even the use of fingerprints comes into practice. I did give him the use of a police photographer, which allowed me to bring in a young constable who admires Ruddy. The lack of science means that Ruddy must glean evidence the old fashioned way. He must go through a crime scene and gather information by what he sees, hears, feels, etc., plus what witnesses say. I had to walk those crime scenes with him and it do the work the same way.
I also thoroughly enjoy creating a world of colorful support characters for him. For me, building his world and in turn being able to flush out his personality by having him respond to those people and events makes him my favorite. *Although, I do love many of my other story charactersJ
Who designed the cover?
JA Miller of Romance Novel Covers Now:  http://www.romancenovelcoversnow.com/
I work closely with JA. She knows my concept and I submit sample photos from stock image sites to give her ideas of what I like. She has a wonderful design eye.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
How do you research your books?
If the topic is one I will return to several times, like knights and their armor or the music halls of Victorian London or maps of medieval London and/or Victorian London, then I purchase reference books that contain that information. I have a decent library at home to rely on for much of what I need.
My Knights in Time series I require a goodly amount of medieval information on everything from armor, to jousting rules, to information on the Battle of Poitiers, the City of London, foods and spices, and the parts of a castle. For the Bloodstone books, I need the rank structure for the British Army (Rudyard was in the 24th Regiment of the South Wales Borderers), the rank structure of the London Metropolitan Police Service, he likes music halls and has relationship with an actress so I need that information within easy reach.
I don’t rely on Wikipedia as I understand it can be tampered with. I use articles that it refers to in their copy. I buy DVD’s on specific topics, again, if I am going to use the information more than a few times. I buy archived material from magazines or use the library. I also utilize any experts in a particular field that I know. One of my personal doctors helped me with an injury I had a knight suffer in Knight Blindness. He recently gave me advice on battlefield triage for my wip.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m working on book 5 in my Knights in Time series. As I mentioned, that is a historical romance series with a time travel element. My heroine is a modern English doctor. A group of scientists where she lives are engaged on a time travel project. When she is accidentally swept into one of their experiments, she is caught in a time tear and sent back to medieval England.
While the scientists continue to try to find a way to bring her home, she begins to fall in love with a medieval knight. As she and the knight are working out if they have a future, the scientists are able to utilize their system again to bring her home. However, there’s a glitch. She and the knight don’t make it to modern England but find themselves in 1815 and surrounded by the French and English armies at Waterloo.
The hero and heroine have to escape before they’re killed by one or the other of the battling armies. Then they have to figure out how to get back to England and send word to the scientists who now have no idea where they are in time.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
My mother was a voracious reader and started me reading at an early age. By the time I was twelve and thirteen I’d read books like Jamaica Inn, Anya Seton’s Katherine, and Les Miserables. The way those authors and others brought different worlds to life enchanted me. I am an only child and like many only children, I had a vivid imagination anyway.
It was the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir that really stoked the fire under me to write. I was broken hearted for them that they never had a “life” together. I always swore if I had the chance, I’d write my version of a ghostly love story with a happy ending.
After I retired, I didn’t know what to do with myself. My husband said, you have talked about writing-well start the book you always wanted to write. I began my ghost love story. That book is Heroes Live Forever, book 1 in my Knights in Time series. At the same time, I started attending conferences, and workshops, and taking seminars from well-known instructors to learn the craft. I’ve been writing ever since.
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Sharpe’s Rifles by Bernard Cornwell as my current wip has a section that is set in the Peninsula War. I wanted to get a feel for the war. Behind it, I have The Crossing by Michael Connolly. It has my previously mentioned favorite characters Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. After that, I have a Julia Quinn book, The Girl with the Make Believe Husband,” in the queue.
Interview with Chris Karlsen



Writing a Book: Tips for NaNoWriMo

Writing a Book: Tips for NaNoWriMo, guest post by Amy Korman


I love the idea of the hardboiled detective writer who sits up late in the night, smoking and writing, but personally I can’t stay up that late! I like to head to the computer as soon as the coffee is ready, hopefully before 6 am. This might be the only time to write for anyone with kids, dogs, and another job, which is me and most writers.

Writing a Book: Tips for NaNoWriMo, guest post by Amy Korman
http://amzn.to/2xoa7Ed
A first draft for me starts with an outline, quick chapter highlights, and notes. It’s a Google Map for a book! I know where I’m going, and have an idea of how I’ll get there. I can stop for food, coffee, and scenic detours along the way, too, and might meet some surprising people along the way (those weird characters who pop up while I’m writing and who always help move the action along).

Having an outline makes the process a lot more focused for me, and then I really enjoy those left turns while I write. Structuring the plot and chapters also allows the characters themselves to do some unexpected and funny things.
It also helps to set your book in a place you know really well, and maybe even is right outside your window. Set up rewards for yourself (Starbucks mochas and dog walks work well for me), and anytime a new idea or plot twist comes to you, immediately type it up or email it to yourself, because life is busy and you can’t afford to forget a great idea.

If it’s in the middle of the night, make sure you write it down anyway! And have fun—if the book isn’t offering you a lot of joy as you’re banging away on your keyboard, take a quick break and throw in something unexpected for your characters to wrangle with.

Everyone approaches writing in their own way, but for anyone starting a NaNoWriMo project, I’d suggest moving forward at full speed without stopping to edit oneself too often until the end of the writing process. It’s important to push through with a positive, slightly insane passion and drive while you’re writing!

Writing a Book: Tips for NaNoWriMo, guest post by Amy Korman
Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, and Men’s Health. She is the author of KILLER WASPS, KILLER GETAWAY, and KILLER PUNCH.

Catch Up With Ms. Korman On: amykorman.com 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!



GIVEAWAY

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Book Showcase: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser

Book Showcase: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser


Title: Jack & Hyde (The Tracings Series Book )

Author: Cloud S. Riser

Genre: YA Paranormal

About the book:

Book Showcase: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser
Double, or.... Something

For the most part of his life, Jack Anderson has been plagued by a mysterious disease that makes him a weakling and unable to live the normal life of a teenager. Over the summer, he is shipped off by his parents to a special hospital located in a remote desert-like area where he is to undergo a groundbreaking treatment. After enduring months of questionable medical experiments performed by a group of doctors who are supposed to help him get better but in reality are keeping him sick on purpose all in the name of medical research, Jack escapes from the clandestine medical facility and heads for home. 

While Jack was being experimented on against his will, a clone of himself named Hyde was sent to his hometown as an imposter. Enter Jack’s good friend Kayle — “The Freakazoid” — and Claire — Jack’s longtime girlfriend — who begin to see the chinks in facade. To complicate matters, Hyde can’t stand the sight of Claire and begins to develop romantic feelings for Kayle. 

When Jack returns home, he comes face to face with his clone and while at first the two boys can’t stand the sight of one another, they soon stumble upon the plan to destroy them both and become allies to fight for their right to co-exist. ​

Book Links:



About the Author: 

Book Showcase: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser
Cloud S. Riser is a Minnesota native. She has lived in Minnesota her whole life. She will probably remain there for her whole life too. The mother of The Squid, Skyscraper, and two cats, her life is definitely never dull. An adventure she braves with her husband. In order to stay sane, she creates massive amounts of fiction which she has decided to share with the rest of the world for the simple reason of: she is a storyteller. 



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Book Showcase: Jack & Hyde by Cloud S. Riser



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