Julieann Dove Blog Tour

I’m pleased to feature Julieann Dove‘s new contemporary romance The Secret He Keeps on my blog today. I’m doubly impressed by her work because she’s managed to juggle writing five books this year with raising five children. Read my Q and A with Julieann below along with a excerpt from the book. Then go out and buy it so you can curl up with a good romance on a cold winter’s night.

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What the genesis of The Secret He Keeps? How did you come up with the story idea?

The story came from an idea of what would happen if a shut-in, grieving woman was saved by an electric repairman. I was driving down the highway and passed a cherry picker repair truck, and poof, there was the idea! I never know where I’ll find my next idea.

You’re a prolific author, publishing five books in 2016. How do you keep up the momentum?

I have to put a lid on my mind sometimes. It wanders to all kinds of places and situations that I could write about for hours. Writing is one of my favorite pastimes! I do have to get up from the computer and come out to the light of day, though, or my family might forget what I look like.

You say you like to write about messy people encountering love. Why are messy people so interesting?

I try never to write in a box. People are more complicated than boy meets girl and falls in love after overcoming a hardship. I include the hardship, but spotlight the imperfections of people, too. We all have them, and the more I include in my books, the more relatable my characters are to readers. Waking Amy astounded me with the reviews by women who identified with Amy’s insecurities. I feel my job as a writer is to take the reader on a journey of self-discovery through my characters. The problems they encounter are only a part of the story. Messiness makes it more believable.

Where do you find inspiration for the characters you create?

A lot of my characters have pieces of me in them. Elise, in A Reason to Stay, represented my inability to commit to a guy, and the hardship of not having a relationship with my father. Amy, in Waking Amy became a little reflective of my best friend, who, after the first book was published, was left by her husband. In the third book, she was someone I used as inspiration. It was very important to give her a happily ever after—even if it was in fiction.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

From other authors telling me I can’t possibly please everyone. Reading poor reviews hits me in my soft spot. I realize what I write is not the taste of every reader. Not everyone is going to agree that the heroine is imperfect. “The Secret He Keeps” has made a few readers a bit upset with me. Reading is subjective, and I have to keep that in mind!

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Her neck was flawless, almost angelic. Soft and white, with tiny curls at the nape. His hands began to shake and he couldn’t fit the clasp together. He moved in for a closer smell while she was unable to see what he was doing. It was faint, but it drew him in for a better whiff. He closed his eyes, imagining he was able to do more than just inhale her.

“Are you having trouble?” She turned her head sideways to ask him.

“No, I got it.”

She turned back around and showed it off. “How does it look?”

His eyes never left hers when he answered. “Simply beautiful.”

He must have said something wrong because she kept quiet and walked to the mirror. “Thank you again. I really love it.”

He shouldn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve. He never used to have a problem with that. In his younger days, he rotated women—he didn’t even know their last names or occupations. But Rachel was different. A different class of her own. She didn’t let him get by with anything. He grew to like it. By the time he knew he loved it, along with her, she was engaged to his best friend.

“Well, I’m glad. I guess I’ll get going. Do you have any plans for tomorrow? It’s Christmas, Rach.”

She put her hand in her back pocket and leaned against the wall. “I know that, Dane. I don’t have anything pressing, no. I’m sure Mom will call and put me on speakerphone for the family to all wish me Merry Christmas.” She raised one of her fingers. “Which brings me to a favor.”

“We are all caught up on favors, Rachel. No more dates.” He was at the door, pulling up his boots. He figured she still felt uncomfortable with him hanging around, and the snow was coming down pretty hard.

“No, it isn’t a date. It’s a mission of mercy. I have to go home for New Year’s and Mom is planning to parade all the single men in the fifty-square-mile radius to our house. She promises she’s not, but I’ve been fooled before by her.”

“How could I help?”

“You could fly with me, all expenses paid, to Savannah, Georgia and pretend to be interested in me.” She quickly added, “Not like wildly interested, just like smile at me and seem fond. No, that’s a better word. Fond of me.

Special Guest Post: Author Dianne Duvall

I’m pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall (A Sorceress of His OwnPhantom Embrace) to my blog today. Dianne is on tour promoting her second novel set in the Gifted Ones world, Rendezvous With YesterdayThe book will be released October 17. If you preorder it, you can win some awesome prizes. Just fill out this form. Go to Dianne’s website for more details.

I asked Dianne how she goes about the always difficult challenge of blending genres. (In Rendezvous‘s case, romance, fantasy and action.) Welcome, Dianne!

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Dianne Duvall

Thank you, Kelee, for letting me visit and for helping me celebrate the upcoming release of RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY.   And thank you, readers, for joining us.

One thing I have always liked about the romance genre is that it contains all of the other fiction genres as subgenres. (This, by the way, is something I frequently point out whenever someone tries to look down his or her nose at romance, because no other fiction genre can make that claim.) And romance has expanded so much in recent years that even its subgenres have subgenres now. This gives writers the exhilarating freedom to weave multiple genres together in their tales in whatever combination they desire. So how can they do this with success?

My answer, I fear, is not very groundbreaking. I think if a writer loves the genres she or he combines, blending them together is something that will just come naturally. I have always loved the romance genre. I loved it when I was a child and sighed over the happily-ever-afters in Disney movies. I loved it when I discovered young adult romance novels. And graduating to adult romance novels just solidified my addiction.

But I also can never resist a good (or bad, or even a so-bad-it’s-good) horror movie. Old. New. Big budget. Low budget. It doesn’t matter. I’ll give just about any horror movie a chance. And action-packed films are no different. So it’s only natural that some of the elements I love so much in horror and action films always manage to work their way into my novels and novellas.

It may surprise some to learn that when I sat down to write A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN, the first book in The Gifted Ones series, I actually intended to write a traditional medieval romance novel. But my love of fantasy, the paranormal, and action wound its way into the pages until the romance between the hero and heroine grew amidst action-packed battles and the shadows spawned by a despicable enemy. It was the same with my time travel romance RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY, but Bethany’s bold, teasing nature and lively sense of humor enabled me to throw more comedy into the mix. And in my Immortal Guardians books, my love of horror tends to creep in a bit more, adding a darkness that provides a nice contrast to what readers often call the laugh-out-loud moments.

If anything, the challenge of combining multiple genres—like romance, fantasy and action—is finding the right balance. Too many action scenes can leave little room for the development of the romance and disappoint readers who really wanted to watch the hero and heroine get to know each other and fall in love. And too few action scenes may bore readers who are less interested in the romance and more interested in high-octane battle scenes. (Not interested in the romance? What? Tell me it isn’t so!) But a balance can be found. And when it is, the resulting story will give readers an entertaining and exhilarating ride. J

So what genres do you like to see combined in your romance novels? I’d love to hear some of your favorites.dianneduvall_rendezvousteaser_imagine

 

Goddess Blog Tour Now On the Road

Goddess, Book 1 is now on sale at Amazon and my blog tour is underway. Thanks to all all my fellow bloggers and authors for your support.

Today I’m guest blogging on Reading Romances Goodreads Group about how I fell in love with romance. Check it out here:

Reading Romances

After you read it, don’t forget to hurry out and buy Goddess!

Best wishes,

Kelee

Goddess: Three Days and Counting

It’s been very busy over here at Goddess world. (If only it were theme park; it would make for a very satisfying visit.) I’ve submitted my guest blog posts to my lovely fellow bloggers/writers, Melanie Moxon, Leigh Anderson, and Nat at Reading Romances. My first reviews are out, I have author questions to answer for Deal Sharing Aunts, and tomorrow I’m giving readers a little preview of the book by posting the first chapter right here on my blog. So check back here over the coming week and enjoy the ride!

Best wishes,

Kelee