Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SAND - The Saga Continues!

As I 'm deep into the second book in my YA Paranormal Romance Saga, SAND, I can’t help but ponder the advantages and disadvantages of writing “the second book”.

There is a certain straightforwardness to continuing the saga:  For one thing, main characters are established; their physical descriptions, personalities, quirks, speech patterns, humour, values, relationships. Hopefully, readers will already care enough about your characters to be excited to see them resurrected, so to speak, to stick with them through the long haul.

Then there’s the settings; initil settings have been established and described in the first book, but this will likely expand, and transform. New sights, sounds and smells will have to be imagined and described.

The theme is usually carried on – theme is soul; it permeates the entire saga; it’s your very reason for writing (at the risk of sounding dramatic!).

The challenges arise when faced with “topping” the first MS; giving your readers a reason to carry on reading, to say, "I can't wait until the second books comes out!"

New and improved plot, characters’ newborn hopes and dreams, imaginative rising action and climax. Just like real life, things never stay the same.

The real challenge is the conflict. Conflict will have to be original, and exciting enough to make a continuing story worth reading, of course. Without fresh conflict, there is no fresh story; without fresh story, there is no second book.

It’s a huge commitment, a second book, but it’s an exciting challenge, and a chance to bring your beloved characters - your friends, so to speak - back to life!

And so I say, Flynn, Dante, Kevan, Shiobhan, Dylan, Pippa, and yes, even Lix, welcome back!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fierce Dawn by Amber Scott

Snarling teeth, glowing eyes.  Someone - something - is after Sadie Graves.

Elijah Stokes, the man who haunts her dreams, enters her reality claiming she’s transforming into a changeling - not quite immortal but no longer human.

Battle lines are drawn and blood spills as the two fight not only for Sadie’s life, but for all of mankind's as well.

Fierce Dawn is a fabulous Adult Paranormal Romance that has it all:  Seekers, Vampires, Elementals and Feeders, and is punctuated with steamy romance scenes between the main characters, Sadie and Elijah (the man of her dreams - literally - she dreams of a man with wings).

I loved the skilled writing, and the characters were full and well-developed.  I loved that Sadie was so complex, instead of the usual one dimensional protagonists we so often read about.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fierce Dawn, and highly recommend this original and polished novel!

Fierce Dawn Excerpt:
He stepped closer, so close he could see thin gold flecks in her sky blue eyes. “Do you remember the night something chased you past the park?” Her eyes widened. She perceptibly swallowed. “A werewolf?” “No,” Elijah said, not wanting to correct the mortal term and create even more confusion. “I thought she was a shapeshifter, but she claimed to be a changeling. And that you are, too.” “It doesn’t sound like you’re sure I am.” “I wasn’t. Until now. The changeling has been following you. I can’t get a strong enough trace to hunt her again.” “She wants me dead?” “I don’t think so, but she wants something. She’s waiting, watching.” Her hand went to her throat but her gaze hardened. “That’s why you want me to come with you?” “Yes,” Elijah said. “There are immortals who would kill you just to keep the realms pure. Half-breeds aren’t tolerated in the immortal realm. They’re seen as inferior, tainted perfection by many. A changeling would be far worse. Right or wrong, your existence threatens both realms. The fact that I’m not the only one who knows you are transforming puts you in higher danger.” She threw her hands up and started yanking drawers open, tossing clothes aside. Impatient but not angry. He took in her every move, listened to the even keel of her vibration. She sounded resolved. Elijah’s worries subsided. She was far sturdier than he’d first assumed. She paused but didn’t face him. “And?” “And there is a faction—The Illeautians—who consider humankind parasitic. They want the human realm destroyed. If humans start evolving….” She pulled off her tee. The smooth bare skin on her back, two crescent shaped scars at her shoulders, filled his vision. Elijah couldn’t look away as she strapped a bra around her slender ribcage and put her arms through the straps. His gaze caressed the slope of her back. Two hollows above her ass peaked out from her bottoms. His imagination filled in what he could not see. His body tightened against his will. He had no business wanting a mortal. Even a changeling one. Because a part of her might always be human. Humans died. Immortals lived. “If you’re right and I’m not going to be human anymore, why would anyone care what I am?” She brought a snug blue shirt over her head then glanced meaningfully over her shoulder. He should turn around, give her privacy. “Because, what are realm lines for if humans are evolving? Mortals live, they die, they do not become immortal. In human terms, it could be seen as the first stages of Armageddon. Only this wouldn’t be a war between Heaven and Hell.”

What people are saying about Fierce Dawn:

“X-MEN action meets True Blood heat.”
-Ann Charles
Nearly Departed In Deadwood, 2010 Daphne Winner

“Intensely satisfying!”
-Carolyn McCray
Kindle Bestselling author, 30 Pieces of Silver

"I loved that Sadie was so complex, instead of the usual one dimensional protagonists we so often read about."
-Cynthia Watson
Young Adult Paranormal Romance Writer, WIND

About Amber Scott:
In between nap times and dishes, Amber Scott escapes into her characters’ addictive lives. She often burns dinner, is a sucker for chocolate and still believes in happily ever after. She makes her home in hot Arizona with her two children, husband, and one day, two cats.
Contact info: amberscottbooks@gmail.com  (for readers)
 amberromances@yahoo.com  (for main contact)
Twitter: @amberscottbooks
Weblog: http://amberscottbooks.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmberScottBooks

Fierce Dawn Giveaways:
Amber Scott will be giving away an Amazon Kindle to one lucky winner who purchases Fierce Dawn during the promotion on May 18th and fills out the form located on the http://bestsellerforaday.com site. Signing up the for event newsletter earns readers extra entries toward the Kindle, too!

Additionally, any reader who purchases Fierce Dawn through May 18th can request a signed ebook copy of it after submitting proof of purchase in the form of a five word phrase from the middle of the book sent by email to amberscottbooks@gmail.com

About Bestseller For a Day:
Making authors dreams come true one promotion at a time.

Each month, for one day, readers, friends, family and peers rally together to drive an ebook up the Amazon Kindle rankings with a goal to pierce the top 100. The aim of the program is to help indie authors get a foothold in the traditionally published dominated market. Authors coordinate with book review sponsors to show readers that the 99 cent promotional price is worth every penny.

As thanks, each author creates give aways for participants and drives traffic to participating review sites. Additionally, readers are offered Bonus Buy reads discounted to 99 cents for the event with that price offered to be rebated back by the participating authors when readers fill out the relevant form.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy "Marmee's" Day!

This morning I started thinking about my own Mother's favorite childhood book, and remembered it was "Little Women."  How perfect to write about it today, Mother's Day, because Little Women had one of the best "mother characters" ever!

Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott, and published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.  The setting is Concord, Massachusetts, during the Civil War, and follows the lives of four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March - and their mother, whom they call "Marmee".  Marmee is head of the household, as Mr. March is a chaplain in the Union Army, and rarely at home.

Little Women is a coming-of-age story about family love, loss, and struggle. The young woman at its center, Josephine, or "Jo" March, is outspoken, brave, and a tomboy at heart.  She is a dreamer and a writer (sound familiar?), and happiest in the attic, reading or writing stories and plays. She loves to write, direct and star in flamboyant dramas.  To use a modern-day term, she's a teenage drama queen!

Margaret "Meg" March is sixteen and the oldest sister. She is the beauty of the March family, and she is genteel and well-mannered.  Meg runs the household when her mother is absent.

Elizabeth "Beth" March is thirteen years old when the novel opens.  Beth is a sensitive, quiet, and kind girl, but her health is precarious, and the other girls protect and nurse her when she becomes seriously ill.

Amy, the youngest sister, is twelve when the story begins.  Amy is the artist in the family.  She is somewhat spoiled, and more than a little vain (she sleeps with a close peg clamped on her nose!).

My favorite character is Abigail March, the girls' mother, whom they all call Marmee.  She fills her time with charity work, but her main occupation is guiding her girls' morals, and shaping their characters.  Marmee is kind, wise, graceful and dignified (she never loses her temper), but she is also warm, loving and gracious.  But, what I really love about Marmee is how she gives her unconditional love and support to her girls.  She is deeply spiritual, and teaches her girls how to survive in a particularly harsh time for their family.

I highly recommend this lovely, beautifully written book.  When you read Little Women, whether it's for the first time, or if you are re-visiting it, pay particular attention to the character of Marmee.  She is a mother to whom we can all aspire!

Happy Mother's Day!