The Other Side of the Page
Finding the perfect hero and heroine for a romance novel can turn a writer’s hair gray—that’s why I advertise for them. Interviewing characters can be exhausting, and getting them to stick to the plot? Well, it doesn’t always work that way. And then you find out they’re talking about you behind your back…
Meet Randy and Sarah, the hero and heroine of FINDING SARAH and HIDDEN FIRE, in a funny and illuminating look at what goes on behind the scenes of the romance writing process.
The Other Side of the Page, by Terry Odell
As a writer, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” And running a very close second is, “How do you come up with your characters?” My answer to the first is usually, “Everywhere.” For the second, the reply is obvious. I advertise. How else would I find them?
Of course, handling the job interviews as the applicants come in—well, that’s another story. This is what happened when I interviewed an applicant for the heroine’s role in FINDING SARAH.
* * * * *
“Thanks,” I say, my face aching from the polite smiles I’ve been forcing all day. “I’ll be in touch.” I escort the interviewee to the door, take a deep breath and go back to my desk. I pick up the last yellow file folder and scan the first page of the resume within. Sarah Tucker. Thirty-one. A little old for what I have in mind. I wonder how long ago her picture was taken. I lean across my desk and push the intercom button. “All right, Jess,” I say to my assistant. “Send in the next applicant.”
The door opens and a perfect girl-next-door stands there. Wearing a navy-blue suit with a blouse buttoned above her collarbone. A refreshing change from all the silicone enhancements I’ve been staring at all day. She even has freckles across her nose and cheeks. No problem casting her in her twenties.
“Come in,” I say, my smile a little less forced. “Have a seat.”
She steps into the room. Pumps. She’s wearing pumps. A little worn in the heels, but polished. It’s as if she’s read my synopsis—which is impossible because I haven’t written it yet.
She sits in the seat across from my desk, clutching her purse—which matches her shoes, for God’s sake—on her lap. “Thanks. I’m Sarah Tucker. I’m here for the job interview. For the romance novel heroine.”
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PAGE is a Free Read from Cerridwen Press. You can find it and my other titles here:
The Other Side of the Page
Or in Kindle format on Amazon at:
In a winter world where blood and loyalty are everything, how can Tora avenge her father's death when a handsome Mutant challenges her bloodline, and his offer to help can get them both killed...
In the vortex of war, treason and intrigue, among blizzards, avalanches and ambushes, will Tora solve the mystery of her father’s death and unveil the secret of her birth? Can she and Dragomir escape persecutions long enough to save their planet from the alien invaders and fulfill their destiny?
"I was hoping it would be you." A dazzling smile revealed pure white teeth. "Please come into the warmth of my humble home." He let her in and closed the door, eyes sparkling with intelligence, and something else Tora could not define.
"Do we know each other?" Tora had to ask, although she would never forget such a striking man.
"Not yet." He grinned. "Let me help you with your coat. It's warm in here."
Tora handed him coat and hat, noticing the pleasant temperature of the room. The small fire burning in the hearth could not provide such even heat, but she saw no other fire. "This must be the most comfortable cottage in the village. I feel no draft at all."
The young man smiled as he spread Tora's fur by the fire. She removed her mittens, sat on the fur and accepted a bowl of hot kawa.
"Who are you?" Intrigued, Tora tried to sound neutral.
The striking man sat facing her. "My name is Dragomir. What might be yours?"
Unnerved by the stranger's nearness, Tora tried to collect her thoughts. Dragomir looked about twenty-five. His melodious voice, smooth skin, foreign look, the unique quality of the white clothes and the refinement of his manners screamed high nobility. This was no farmer.
"I'm Tora, White Tiger." She felt a strange vulnerability in his presence, as if he could read her most intimate thoughts. She had to steady her voice. "What are you doing here? This is a dangerous place to be alone. Bands of Zerkers have been spotted just south of here. When the lake freezes solid, their invading army will launch itself onto the plain."
"I know." Dragomir held her gaze. "I can see why they call you White Tiger."
"Really?" Amused at his pretense of knowing her, Tora settled on the fur. When she changed position, the jewel on her sword handle caught the light of the flames.
Dragomir reached for the hilt.
Hand on the sword, ready to draw, Tora froze. In the grip of his hand immobilizing hers, she sensed great physical strength. For an instant, their eyes locked, then Dragomir relaxed but didn't move. Tora now stared at the offensive hand covering hers. It had six fingers like hers!
She'd never met anyone else with six fingers before. Who or what was this man? What was she, for that matter? Questions filled Tora's mind but her throat constricted, and she couldn't talk.
Seemingly undisturbed, Dragomir removed his hand then casually opened his silky shirt on a well muscled, hairless chest. Tora skipped a breath. On the smooth copper skin hung a faceted gem, a twin to that on her sword hilt.
Dragomir's eyes flashed. "Where did you get it?"
Challenged, Tora finally found her voice. "It was my mother's. Where did you get yours?"she asked, a little too eager. "I've never seen another one before. I was told it was the work of the Godds." Barely containing her excitement, Tora hoped she would learn something about her mother.
"I received mine from the proper source." Dragomir looked grave, older despite a youthful face. "But I can't tell you about it."
Tora had no patience for games. "You can, but you won't. What are you hiding, Dragomir? You are obviously no peasant, so who are you?"
"A man on a mission." He looked away.
Tora sighed. "I wouldn't doubt it. Whose side are you on?"
"There are more than two sides to this war, Tiger." Dragomir raised one eyebrow and took a sip of kawa. "Do you know which side you fight for?"
What Happens in Vegas
In Vegas on a week-long business trip, attorney Steve Elliot isn't as interested in buxom strippers as his co-workers, Jake and Dylan, seem to be. Steve has other interests, and at the first opportunity, leaves the strip club for a nearby gay bar. To his surprise, Dylan follows him there, hoping for a chance to get Steve alone. After a quick battle with his conscience about dating a co-worker, Steve relents and goes back to the hotel with the younger, sexy man.
Their night of passion ends abruptly as Dylan's past comes back to haunt him in Sin City. Will Steve and Jake be forced to pay the price for Dylan's prior indiscretions? (m/m)
_ _ _ _ _
~ Read an excerpt or purchase here from Noble Romance Publishing.
The bathroom wasn’t all that big and when Mike stepped further into the room it shrunk even smaller. “Sorry if I frightened you.” As he spoke his eyes moved around the room, searching for a good place for her to sit. There was only one place high enough. “Up.” He patted the vanity top.
"Do you always get your way?” There was a slight tremor in her voice, which didn’t go unnoticed by Mike. He couldn’t help wondering if she was as effected as he was by their close proximity. He began questioning his common sense. Her sitting on the vanity brought them almost at eye level.
She stiffened immediately. “Ouch.”
“Are you okay?” There was nothing at all innocent about her question. Not when she used that low, seductive tone and was looking at him like something she wanted to lap up.
No One But You
Contemporary m/m romance
available at Amber Allure
Lovers Stacy James and Levi Wright keep their relationship hot and spicy by enjoying the little things in life. Levi welcomes Stacy home from a business trip by delighting his partner with a quick trick in the men’s room of a local pool hall. An offhand comment by a stranger cools Stacy’s ardor, and sets in motion a chain reaction that rocks the very foundation of Levi’s world. He’s never cheated on Stacy, but Stacy has sudden doubts.
On his own, Levi is tested in his discoveries – about Stacy, their relationship, and about the kind of man he wants to be. One thing he knows for certain. He’s not losing Stacy over a careless whisper that isn’t true, but will the only man he’ll ever love forgive his angry words?
Stacy made the worst mistake of his life telling his lover to find another place to sleep. Levi might be younger, but he’s a man, with a man’s pride. Stacy draws on all his experience to walk a road full of detours and pitfalls to meet Levi halfway, and bring him home. Because for Stacy, there’s no one but Levi.
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Join KC's mailing list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
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“Can you just let go of your notion that I’m missing out on life? I don’t feel like I am.”
“Okay. But here’s the thing, Levi. I want…”
“Just stop. I love you.”
To my utter shock, Stacy grabbed both my wrists, his powerful grip tight enough to bruise. His gaze bored into mine, freezing me cold.
“You stop, Levi. You listen, just this once. You’re so afraid I’ll be pissed if I see you get a hard-on for some other guy, you run from me when I want to talk about it. Do you think that in five years I’ve never seen another man that gave me a little tingle? It happens to everyone, lover. It’s not something to be ashamed of.”
My voice didn’t want to work. “I’m not you.”
“No, you’re not. I’ve never cheated on you, Levi.” He looked at me for the longest moments of my life, his eyes gone black with some emotion I had no name for.
I knew. I knew.
"I heard what the bartender said the other night. You need to know that if it ever happens, and you trick some guy, you don’t need to keep it from me. I
expect you to first, be safe, and second, to tell me so we can be more careful.”
Ice water tossed in my face would not have chilled me more than his words. "What the fuck is going on here, Stacy? I've never cheated on you. Never. And I'm not starting now."
“Levi, we've been together a long time, and as a couple, we've enjoyed unprotected sex for quite a while now. Do I need to be concerned?"
A fine trembling seized my body. This conversation was out of control, the potential for disaster increasing by the second. My stomach clenched in on itself until I fought back the dry heaves. The world spiraled around me, going black at the edges. I broke free of his hands.
"I love you. I never cheat on you. And yet you sit there and ask me if it's possible I could have given you the clap - or something worse? Maybe I should be the one worrying! And you have to do it here? You motherfucker! I have to go in there and work!" I choked, unable to breathe. "I never…"
Stacy's arms came around me. I shoved him away, holding him at bay. The words came as I managed a deep breath. Horrible words that I couldn’t stop from pouring out of me in my anger and pain that he didn’t know me well enough to believe how much I loved him.
“Why don’t you go get a fucking blood test since you can’t trust me! Now you listen to me. You decide whether or not you love me enough to have me hang around, because if I’ve gotten a little old for you, you should tell me. I’ll step aside so you can go find yourself another sixteen year old!”
He drew back like I’d struck him, which I had. I’d lashed out, hitting him with the most damaging words I owned. He’d been falsely accused of having sex with a sixteen-year-old boy when he was twenty. The boy had lied – Stacy hadn’t touched him – but the accusation had almost ruined Stacy’s life. The pain lingered, and I, who loved him so much, knew the wound lingered in him, unhealed at its deepest point.
And I used it against him.
I reached for him and this time he batted my hands away.
“I’m sorry, Stace. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean that.”
“You said it, so you did mean it. Now get out of the car. I can’t be with you right now.”
My stomach roiled. “Stacy, please. We need to go back home and talk this out.”
He refused to look at me. The cold rage in his voice didn’t completely disguise the hurt.
“No, we don’t. Going home won’t fix this, Levi. I need some time alone. Do us both a favor and find someplace else to sleep.”
NO ONE BUT YOU
#3 Best seller at Amber Allure, June 2009
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-530-0
GIVE ME ONE NIGHT
A TASTE OF VICTORY (PAPERBACK)
Coming soon - NETTING NEPTUNE
Coming soon - TANGO IN THE NIGHT
mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
The print edition of DREAM WALK is available beginning today!
“Dream Walk” by Meg Allison
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 288 Pages
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Some nightmares are deadly real.
The Sentinels, Book 1
Camille Bryant is a gifted medium being slowly driven insane by terrifying dreams. When she is forced to accept help from a Sentinel—a mysterious warrior of her race—her comfort zone is quickly invaded. Try as she might, she can’t seem to stop the erotic visions that fill her mind when her rescuer is near.
Ian Spain is a dream walker who’s been assigned to banish the dream demon from Camille’s restless nights. But complications quickly ensue. This is no ordinary demon and Camille is no ordinary woman: both are far stronger than anyone realizes. So strong, Ian suddenly isn’t sure he has the power to vanquish her demon—not when his own hound his every step.
Their passion ignites even as the body count rises and their courage is put to the test in a battle as old as time. Winner takes all.
Warning: Scenes of leather-clad hero may induce spontaneous drooling, erotic fantasies, and unfair comparisons to spouse or significant other.
A glimpse of a hero:
Camille jerked awake, her breath coming in short, shallow gasps. Images from the nightmare hovered like nebulous ghosts in her mind. Long damp strands of hair stuck to her face, the thin cotton nightshirt clung to her skin. Kicking off the sheet, she swung her feet to the floor and took a deep breath.
Nightmare. More like night terror. She’d had them as a young girl—moments of absolute horror that had her seeing things crawling up the dark, empty walls. Camille remembered little except the transparent images superimposed on the real world, and her mother’s soothing voice.
She clicked on the bedside lamp. Her shoulders drooped with defeat as she glanced at the clock. Five in the morning. She hadn’t gone to bed until two. With a heavy sigh, she rose and crossed to the adjoining bathroom. She stripped off the sweat-soaked garment and climbed into the shower.
Over the past four months, she had relived the same terrifying visions with the same conclusion. Camille had all but lost her ability to sleep. Lack of sleep made it hard to think, let alone write. Work suffered, not to mention her sanity which hung by a thread.
She jerked her head up from beneath the hot drizzle and glanced around at the swirling steam. With a sigh of relief, she shook her head.
“Don’t scare me like that,” she whispered.
“No worries, child.”
She closed her eyes as a warm, peaceful wave filled her from head to toe. Her guide, her spirit mentor, was the only man she trusted. The only man she’d let close since her nineteenth birthday over ten years ago.
As she allowed the blank screen in her mind to change, colors swirled like a kaleidoscope. An image formed of shoulder-length dark hair pulled back from a bronzed face. The features sharpened to reveal eyes as dark as pitch, a straight nose, heavy brow and full mouth. Camille’s breath caught. He was beautiful and frightening all at once. This man would help her overcome evil? He looked like a warrior or a fallen angel, not a savior.
Indulge your senses...
Both of my lesbian Cattle Valley titles have been put together for one print volume!
Sometimes love appears when you least expect it.
Truth or Dare: Naomi Rivers has the book store she's always wanted, but doesn't have one special person to share her life. Everything changes when a sexy blonde author walks into her store.
Courtney Cross is on a book signing tour, and decides to vacation in Cattle Valley. The laid back atmosphere provides a calm get-away, and the backdrop for her next novel. The cute red-head at the bookstore doesn't hurt, either.
They fall in love, but while Naomi thrives in Cattle Valley, Courtney has her own life in Chicago. The ultimate game of Truth or Dare helps them figure out their lives.
Fool’s Gold: Adeline Murphy heads to Cattle Valley looking for a fresh start. She's invested every dime and purchased the local bed and breakfast. With a cranky girlfriend in tow, Addie's devastated to discover the inn has been vandalised, no source of income and a mounting stack of bills.
Melissa Danes' quiet existence is shaken by the arrival of Addie and her surly tagalong, Chloe. Mel discovers Addie has several barriers to cross, including repairing the inn and her damaged self-esteem. She sees more than Fool's Gold in Addie, but needs Addie to see it too.
Buy now or read an excerpt here !
HUNTING WITH THE WOLF Rating v.sensual
Romona Hilliger www.thewaterfront.net.au/romona
Available BLADE PUBLISHING.ORG www.bladepublishing.org
WANTED: A killer!
As he lived and breathed he’d avenge his wife’s rape and murder. But the maverick, Buck Daniel, discovers that scouring the Australian outback with revenge on his mind, isn’t that easy. Hitting dead-ends and false information, keeps him just one step behind his quarry. And then, out of nowhere, he’s confronted with a young woman in distress.
Megan Ducass, is in desperate need of bush photographs to secure a contract of a lifetime. But securing a ride through the bush proves difficult, until Buck reluctantly, answers her plea for help.
But travelling with Buck is a dangerous business. Their campsite is invaded by two thugs on motorbikes, out to warn him off, none too gently. Meg teams up with Buck, and bringing her self-defence skills into play, together they handle their problems.
In the bargain, Meg is hurt, and in Buck’s gentle care, she senses the throb of desire running through him, well aware of the answering cry within herself. Dark secrets and stormy passions surrender to love.
Tortured with guilt, Buck believes he’s betrayed his wife’s memory and the quirk of fate that has brought them together now threatens to tear them apart.
With his wife’s murder avenged and Meg armed with her photographs, they are both ready to leave and go their separate ways.
They now, face the fight of their lives – the fight within themselves to acknowledge their love for each other. But will Buck’s past forever, haunt him? Or will the love he sees in Meg’s eyes prove the more powerful.
BLADE PUBLISHING. ORG
My historical family saga, Woodland Daughter, originally released by Hale, has now been released in large print in the UK and I've just seen the cover for it.
Throughout her years of devoted service to the Bradburys, Eden Harris has hidden a secret that would affect them all, a secret shared only with her husband, Nathan, and her grandfather. But an enemy returns, shattering her world and exposing her secret. Then, robbed of Nathan, she must flee from the country estate. However, her attempt to start anew is not so simple as the past haunts her. Now Eden must gather her strength and look into her heart to accept what the future offers.
Woodland Daughter can be bought in hardback here with free worldwide delivery, or in this large print version here.