Tag Archives: paranormal romance

Kimberly Leigh Wheaton, combining love for animals and video games to write paranormal romance

Do you ever wake up, drag yourself to your computer, stare blankly at the screen and think, “Oh God, if I can just write one more page?” For moments like those, I find myself just wishing for a pick-me-up, and I’m not talking bourbon, but inspiration.  This Lighthearted, fun interview is what Kimberly Leigh Wheaton provides when she opens up about her passion for animals and writing. At the end, I was smiling while thinking, “Yes, I can finish my book! And it will be fun!”

Kimberly Leigh Wheaton

Author Kimberly Leigh Wheaton

 

Interview: Combining love for animals and video games to write paranormal romance

 

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kimber Leigh Wheaton. I’m a wife and mother, as well as a book blogger and writer. Writing is my passion, and I feel blessed to have the time now to write to my heart’s content (for a few hours each day). I love animals and have a tendency to rescue all sorts of critters (mostly cats… I have seven right now). I’m addicted to video games, love reading, and spending time with my family.

Can you talk about your new release, Shadow Fire?

Shadow Fire is a lighthearted, fun adventure with a touch of whimsy and a sweet romance. It definitely takes its cue from the RPG video games that inspired it. It’s the first novel in a series of standalone fantasy romances. Written for readers who like their characters silly at times and their ‘ever-afters’ happy.

How long did it take to finish? What was the process like?

I wrote the first draft in about 4 weeks. It was quite rough and went through numerous revisions. The first four chapters were completely rewritten. The time between writing the first word and the release date was just under two years.

What are some editing tips?

If you don’t want to read your entire manuscript aloud, at least read all of the dialogue aloud. Sometimes what looks good in print to our mind won’t sound natural if spoken. Dialogue is so important to character development, and it’s easier to hear the character’s voice if spoken aloud.

I catch so many typos and punctuation errors by transferring the manuscript to my Kindle. While reading in one of the larger fonts, it’s tough to miss the errors I glossed over while reading on my laptop. I used to print the manuscripts, but I hate wasting paper… and I was still missing some of the errors.

I read in your bio, you love animals. Does this love ever make it into your writings?

Yes! Shadow Fire is filled with all sorts of creatures, including a wolf who accompanies Ashlyn on her quest. My paranormal romance, Tortured Souls, coming July 14 also features a couple animals (though they play a much smaller role than Ashlyn’s wolf, Shadow). I especially like shapeshifters and just finished the first draft on an urban fantasy with all sorts of animal shifters.

What is your favorite animal?

Just one?! I guess I have to pick the giraffe. They are very sweet and friendly (especially when you have a handful of Romaine lettuce). This is a really tough question… I have so many favorites.

What is Romance Writers of America? And why are you a member?

Romance Writers of America is an organization for… you guessed it… romance writers. It’s an opportunity to connect with other authors all over the United States. They hold a yearly convention, and many local chapters host their own events as well. There are online writing and marketing classes available to members. Writing can be rather solitary and lonely at times. It’s great to have an organization where I can connect with others going through the same trials and tribulations I am.

If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?
Don’t give up. If you love writing, then do it. Don’t let that bad review or a rejection letter discourage you. There will be pitfalls… life is full of them. If you’re looking for something easy, writing isn’t it. Keep moving forward. Keep writing. Keep trying. There are some days where I find myself repeating Dory’s mantra in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”.

Can you share a sample?

Shadow Fire by Kimberly Leigh Wheaton

 

From the beginning of Chapter One—
Every step I take is one step closer to death.
Hiking through the dense underbrush, I try to calm my frayed nerves and control the fear threatening to overwhelm me. Twigs and tendrils of ivy grab at my ankles as I continue to forge ahead, forcing me to wrench away from their skeletal grip. The sunlight is fading, signaling the end of another day, but this is no ordinary day.
A loud crack pierces the air. I freeze in my tracks, my breath catching in my throat. Whipping my head around, I try to locate the source of the sound. My heart pounds in my chest, the erratic rhythm painful. These woods are full of predators, some animal, some monster, but the worst… human. Taking a deep breath, I listen to the surrounding woods: birds chirp, insects hum, and small animals scurry about as if they have no care in the world.
Lungs burning, I force myself to continue walking. I didn’t collapse three weeks ago when this whole fiasco started, and I won’t give in now. My family needs me to be strong.
The trees become sparser as I approach the edge of the forest. My shoulders slump when I pass the tree house we used to play in so many years ago. Any other day when I’m this close to home after a long day of hunting, I’d smile, breathe a sigh of relief, and perhaps look forward to dinner. Today there will be no raucous family meal, no solace in entering the peaceful village, and nothing to smile about.
The villagers will be awaiting my return, skulking in the shadows, desperate to catch a glimpse of the walking dead girl.
I’ve dealt with the whispers and pointing for three weeks with my head held high, my anxiety hidden behind a mask of indifference. I don’t want them to see me like this, trembling in fear, broken. They’ve taken everything I am, every hope, every dream I’ve had for the future and smashed them to pieces with little hope of salvation. The townsfolk of Verdane decided my fate and they chose death.
The elders told me being Chosen is an honor. Either they are ignorant or apathetic. Every five years for the last twenty, a teenage girl has been chosen by the town, via secret ballot, to undertake this dangerous quest, never to return. Perhaps if the elders had to forfeit their lives instead they wouldn’t be so quick to label it an honor, they’d call it what it is… a sacrifice.

What do you hope to achieve next in your writing career?

Enough money to buy a Corvette with no guilt. No, while that would be nice, all I really want is to find a regular audience who enjoys reading my books. I have two more books coming out this year. Stolen Moon, a standalone sequel to Shadow Fire is expected to release in August 2014. Tortured Souls, a YA paranormal romance will be available on July 14, 2014. I have a third, Bitter Envy, a YA urban fantasy that may release late 2014.

Must Love Vampires – 2 out of 5

Must Love Vampires

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Nightclub dancer Chloe Lamoureaux just met the man of her dreams: Aidan Raines is charming, considerate, rich, and hot. Of course, he’s a little mysterious about his age. And his favourite drink. And he’s not much for sunlight. But he’s asked her to marry him, and she’s ready to do it. Her identical twin sister, Chuck, isn’t so sure. Maybe being a tabloid reporter has skewed her judgment, but to Chuck, Aidan and his brother Sebastian look like honest-to-Dracula vampires. Especially Sebastian: beguiling, seductive, and just a hint of dangerous. Maybe she wouldn’t mind him taking a little taste. But with Chloe’s life in the balance, she has to know – do they want hot love or hot blood? Or maybe…a little of both?

Review Must Love Vampires – 2 out of 5

If you are looking for a light, easy read then Must Love Vampires is perfect for you. I could not get through the book.  The characters just did not fit my personality. Add a weak plot, and I could not make it to the last page.  On the other hand, Heidi Betts has a huge sense of humor and it showed in her tone, making it a possible selection for those avid romance readers.

For the rest of us fellow plot fiends, here is why I am such a downer on Must Love Vampires.  Within the covers are two short stories that equal one book. Both short stories are tied together by the protagonists, Chloe and Chuck, two twin sisters running around a Las Vegas casino. Even though the stories are separate, the plots amount to the same thing.  A financially distressed, beautiful woman having embarked on a quest for financial stability, meets a wealthy stud in the process. After discovering her mate is a vampire, she freaks out only enough that sex is still an option.  Happy ever after with the possibility of marriage.

So the plot has some potential. However, although I will date a guy solely for looks and material reasons, if he turns out to be a blood sucker I would probably hold off on my wedding plans. At least until I made sure the guy was the next Edward Cullen. Not the next Dracula 2000, a terrible movie by the way.

To make matters worst, Chloe has a child. Does this give me the conflict I crave? No. Chloe just happens to not be the most responsible parent on earth.  It makes sense for her character, but does little to intensify the conflict.

This book is not for those who enjoy true-to-life characters and strong plot. Still, heavy readers of romance should find this to be cute read.

Left amazed and wanting more: The Tears of Elios – 4.5 out of 5

Book Cover

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Shape-shifters’ Rule #1: Don’t let the humans know you still exist.

Rule #2: If a human finds out about you, silence them.

Some rules were meant to be broken…

Ranealya ruthlessly plays by the rules and has outlived most of her race because of it. If she wants to survive, she’ll have to stick to them, especially with a genocidal tyrant hell-bent on destroying all the non-humans in the realm. But everything falls apart when a human saves her life. Gregor knows he’s inviting trouble when he helps a wounded shape-shifter, but he can’t pass up the opportunity to study one before they become extinct. She disturbs the quiet order of his scholarly existence, vexes him in more ways than he can count, and encourages him to break enough of the kingdom’s laws so that not even being the king’s cousin will save his head. The problem is, he’s already lost his heart.

Left amazed and wanting more – 4.5 out of 5

The ending was blah, there were a few grammar problems, but did I care? No way. The Tears of Elios by Crista McHugh was honestly one of the best books I read in a long time. The nonhumans of the world are being hunted to extinction by the King. In retaliation, the nonhumans have formed a resistance. All have chosen a side, but Renealya, a shape-shifter. Being that shape-shifters are the most hated creatures in the realm, she has learned if she wants to survive she can trust no one.

When she is attacked, something happens to make her change her values. Left alone to die in the woods she finds herself saved by the most vile creature she can think of, a human. A handsome, but socially awkward magician named Gregor, his encounter with Renealya sets him on a most unlikely path to saving the magical races from being overpowered by the King.

Honestly, you cannot help, but laugh out loud as you watch Gregor and Renealya’s relationship unfold. The two might be extremely attracted to each other, yet they get on each other’s nerves.

McHugh has this wonderful ability to create engaging characters, and that is what keeps her story going. Somewhere in the middle of the book she forgets her overall plot. If one really thinks about what their reading, they realize the King is a lot of angry emotion and very little action. Few things actually occur in the story to push the resistance into war, but they feel they must fight. And by the end of the book they do. Plot fiends might notice this (yes, I am a plot fiend). Everyone else will simply leave this book amazed and wanting more.

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim Review

“The author has wonderful command of language”

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is a bright well-written paranormal novel. The characters are lively and engaging. Caught in amazing circumstances, they are believable and real. The author has wonderful command of language and writes with a fresh voice as she describes the characters’ journeys from everyday university students to heroes intent on saving the world.

Though the circumstances of the plot are often dire, there are moments of comic relief, especially as the major characters try to balance their university experience with their global responsibilities. To complicate matters more, the students must also deal with a variety of non-human characters with their own agendas.

It is a great read. I look forward to more books from this talented author.

– Sharon Drane

Faded Denim Excerpt: a day of death and shopping

 

Excerpt from Chapter one: Vendetta

Blissany’s heart skipped a beat. He was referring to her dreams. Am I in another? She could very well be. It wasn’t like her dreams gave her any warning. Coming sporadically, they were plane rides into other realms. Sometimes they caused her to sleep for a couple hours, sometimes several days. There a Roman boy with verdant eyes and curly hair black as fresh paint lived. Named Gabriel, he told her she was created to fight a grandiose war between good and evil. She ignored her dreams even though they caused her to oversleep for classes. What a mistake that had been. As soon as she awoke from this nightmare, she was seeking a neurologist. Such an endeavor took a lot of money and time. As a college senior, those were two things she didn’t have. Yet she was going to find it. She could not continue living with this mental disease.

“You don’t want to do this,” Wanikiya said. “If you did you wouldn’t have waited till the curse ate your heart.”

“I’ve contemplated my choices. I know what I’m to do.” Temeluchus asked Blissany the question again. “Will you fight or not?”

“I don’t believe—”

“Wait until you have all the information, Fairest. You have two choices. If you say yes, even though you’ve shown selflessness, you have waged war. War means a fight to the death, and I will slay you right here. If you say no, I will slay this clerk behind the jewelry counter. So the question really becomes lucid. Who do you want to live more, yourself or others?”

“This demeans you,” Wanikiya said.

“Answer the question, Fair Cherry,” Temeluchus said, ignoring Wanikiya.

Blissany’s lips trembled. She looked at Kristie frozen in time. Out of all the dreams I could have. Kristie’s mouth was slightly agape. Her eyes still wide with excitement. They matched the emerald towel she held in her hands. She was so young she only had a few smile wrinkles around the corners of her mouth. Blissany wanted Kristie to live just as much as she wanted to live, but she knew this was all a dream. For it to end, she would have to give an answer.

Read more in Kindle and print version on Amazon.

Jocelyn Adams: When writing’s as simple as watching a movie

To me writing what you know is key to completing the novel.

Yet everyone knows just because you completed a novel does not mean it will be great.

To write a truly phenomenal novel, you should care deeply about what you are writing.

Jocelyn Adams, author of The Glass Man and Crossing Hathaway, talks about being a paranormal and contemporary romance author, genres she chose for love instead of money.

The Glass Man, a paranormal romance, was released in October of last year. Crossing Hathaway, a contemporary romance, will be released August 6, 2012.

She talks about both of these novels below, while also providing a unique, but welcomed perspective to editing and outlining.

This author does not outline, she watches the ideas of her novel unfold like movies in her head.

For all you non-outliners out there, you have the chance to make a new friend.

After you check out The Glass Man and Crossing Hathaway, connect with the author through social media.

Straight From The Author’s Mouth  

1.       Can you tell us about your novel The Glass Man and Crossing Hathaway? Why did you choose to write Romance and Fantasy?

Thanks so much for having me today!  Hmm, yes, The Glass Man.  My very first published novel,  my baby.  It came from a dream of a man with ice blue eyes.  The next day, in my twisted little mind, my villain was born, and the rest of the story exploded around him.  This is a trilogy opener about a woman, Lila Gray, who is trying to survive in a dystopian world after The Glass Man murdered her family.  They sacrificed their lives to run interference when he first came for Lila at the age of thirteen.  She doesn’t know what she is or why he’s hunting her, so the reader learns about Lila and her situation as she, herself, does.

Crossing Hathaway isn’t my typical genre of book.  I wrote it on a lark a few years ago just to see if I could write contemporary romance, and I’m just now contemplating submitting it to publishers under my other persona, who writes mainly erotica, to keep it separate from my UF & PNR works.  Crossing Hathaway is steeped with humor, and is about an I.T. girl, Evangeline Ross, who’s sworn off men.  She comes up against the big cheese of her company, Ben Hathaway, who is reclusive, charming and gorgeous, and doesn’t usually allow women into his office.  Let the sparks of sexual tension fly!

Romance, specifically paranormal romance, and urban fantasy are what I love to read, so naturally it’s what I write best.  I’ve tried writing other genres, but my lack of interest bled through into the writing and it just didn’t work.  I have three full novels in my laptop that nobody will ever read.  Learning tools is what they were, a rite of passage of the author I was becoming.

 

2.       Can you describe your writing process? How long does it take you to finish a novel?

My writing process is pretty simple, actually.  I don’t outline anything.  Ever.  Well, except in the case of the Muskoka Novel Marathon, in which I participated in last year (write a novel in 3 days – satisfying but totally exhausting). 

Normally an idea pops into my head and I let it stew there for a while.  At night, when the house is quiet just before I go to sleep, my mind starts chewing over scene possibilities and general story arc, like movies in my head.  The next day I write the scene(s).  The following night I contemplate the next step in the path along the story, and so the pattern continues.  I let it drive me, take me wherever it wants to go even if it doesn’t make sense to me at first.  In the end, it always comes back together somehow.

The first draft is always a bare skeleton with very little description and detail.  During the editing process, I flesh it out with color and texture, add quirks to my characters, furniture to rooms and such.   I know most authors cut tons during editing, but I usually add 5-10,000 words during the process.

I finished the first draft of The Glass Man in just under six weeks, and Crossing Hathaway wasn’t much longer.  The first draft of book one of my new Ironhill Jinn series, Stone Chameleon, I wrote in seventeen days.  Sometimes the story just comes bursting out so fast I can hardly get my fingers moving quickly enough to capture it all.  It’s awesome.

3.       Any editing tips? 

I usually do several passes of editing.  The first pass, the rough pass, is where I tidy up story holes, stuff that doesn’t work for one reason or another, details that don’t mesh, etc.

The second pass is where I look at sentence structure to make sure it’s varied enough, while adding in description and personality to everything along the way.

The third pass is for punctuation, spelling and flow from sentence to sentence, scene to scene, and chapter to chapter, as well as ensuring I have character reactions everywhere they’re needed.  I tend to follow the scene and sequel method of writing scenes as much as possible.  (goal, crisis, disaster, emotion, thought, decision, action).  Not all elements are in every scene, but the ones that are I try to make sure appear in the proper order.

The final pass I read on my Kindle, looking for the last few straggling errors.  I was shocked at what a great tool that is, at what I found on the Kindle that I didn’t see while reading on my computer.

Then the story goes to my beta readers (who are made of awesome, by the way!).  Once I receive their feedback, I make the story changes and start the editing process over again.

4.       If you could share one tip you learned with self-published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?

Hmm, I think I’d have to say don’t be seduced into writing what’s currently hot for the market.  If you aren’t enjoying the story you’re writing, nobody else will, either.  You need to feel it in your bones, in your heart and soul.  Let your enthusiasm spill into the words, and it won’t matter what genre it is, others will enjoy reading it, and word will spread.  If you’re in it for the money, chances are you’re not going to go very far in the industry.  You need to be writing because you love it.  If you end up getting paid, great, it’s gravy on the top.

Perseverance is the key.  You’ll get rejected.  A lot.  It’s the nature of the beast.  Let it thicken your skin.  Sub out some short stories to begin building a resume and your confidence.  Start a blog and develop an author “brand” that suits you and the genre you write.  These are all building blocks that can lead up to publishing a novel.

Good luck to you all!  Please feel free to ask me anything, just stop by my author blog for my contact details.  I’ve also started a book review & author feature site, http://www.booksandeatsbistro.wordpress.com for anyone who would like their book reviewed (PNR or UF only) or to have a stop for their book release blog tours.

 

 

Excerpt One:

Enraged, Tabbruis threw a punch at the blood-hunter and knocked him across two car lengths.  The blood-hunter turned and with superhuman speed knocked Tabbruis into another car, denting the door.  Growling with a roar, Tabbruis grabbed the blood-hunter’s arm, spun him around and pinned his fist behind his back.  The blood-hunter bent down and kicked Tabbruis, throwing him up into the air and Tabbruis landed on his back.

Tabbruis had underestimated the blood-hunter’s skills and was not going to do that again.

With a loud grunt-growl, the blood-hunter threw a punch intended for Tabbruis, but he rolled over quickly and the blood-hunter’s hand smashed into the concrete breaking it up in pieces leaving a big hole.

Tabbruis got up and threw a kick swiping the blood-hunter’s face.  The blood-hunter spun as he went down on the pavement.  Tabbruis leaned down and the blood-hunter growled swiping his legs and threw Tabbruis on the ground where he growled loudly. 

Charleen woke with a start, darkness and pain was around her.  She heard growling and punches being thrown.  Groggy from the blow to her head, she put her hand up and tried to stop the bleeding.

Charleen thought she had to get out of there now.  Trying to stand, she saw two figures battling in the parking lot.

The man who attacked her was being overcome by a tall man.  She felt instant relief this stranger had come to her aid.  Something was different was about him.

Charleen dizzily started to fumble for her cell phone to call 911, but she couldn’t make fingers work.

With a loud growl, the man who attacked her got the upper hand on her hero, the stranger.  Charleen felt sick and nauseous and reached her hand out to the stranger as he growled in pain from the blows that he was receiving.

Straddling Tabbruis pinning his arms at the side, the blood-hunter rained a barrage of punches into Tabbruis’ face and jaw.

That is when a glow emerged from Charleen’s hands and it became like a flow of electricity.

Tabbruis was growling in pain and losing consciousness when he saw a light, then his eyes rolled back in his head.  A bright white light hit the blood-hunter.  Tabbruis could hear him crashing into a car.  The blood-hunter made a loud growl and moan, and he melted like he was butter into the pavement, knocked unconscious from the shock.

Tabbruis could not move his head.  He was dizzy from the beating and his body was not responding to any commands.

As Tabbruis closed his eyes, he saw the face above him.  It was the face from the steam, from his dreams, from the clouds.

As he lost consciousness he thought, ‘I have found you.’

 

Excerpt Two:

Before Charmeine knew it, she felt fingers on her chin rousing her from her sunbathing induced sleep with a sweet voice saying, “Honey, it is time for dinner.”  She looked up, and it was Tabbruis standing above her.

Charmeine said, “Oh!”  She shot up saying, “I slept the whole afternoon away?”

Tabbruis chuckled and said, “Yes, it looks like you did and…”

Charmeine said interrupting him, “OUCH!”

Tabbruis started laughing in earnest now, “And you got a little sunburnt!”

Charmeine went into the bathroom looking and howled, “A little sun-burnt?  I look like a frigging cherry!”  She was trying to touch her skin, “It’s November 4th how in the heck did I get this burnt?  Ugh!  Darn-it!  What about practice?  I can’t go like this?  I can’t even put on clothes.”

Tabbruis was in the bathroom with her in an instant leaning into the door with a big smile on his face like the cat that ate the canary, “Only one thing to do to help that…” 

Seductively Charmeine smiled, “Oh…. You are such a bad boy.”

Tabbruis, with a glint of hope in his dark green eyes, said, “Yes, but you like bad boys.”

Charmeine said with her hand caressing his face, “Correction, I only love one bad boy.”

With desire rimming his deep green eyes in black, eagerly and haltingly Tabbruis said, “Do…. you want to bite…. my neck?  Or… do you want to bite… my wrist?”

Charmeine said seductively running her hands down his chest, “I have something else in mind… but we don’t have time for that.  So…I guess… your neck!”

 

Excerpt Three:

Tabbruis gently touched her head and said, “I can heal the cut and bump. Please let me heal you?”

Charleen said, “I trust you, but how?”

Tabbruis looked into her eyes and said, “Trust me, I will not hurt you.” Charleen not knowing what to expect agreed. Tabbruis took her head and leaned it over to him with her forehead on his chest.

Suddenly, Charleen felt a warm, wet bolt of lightning going through her which did not hurt. She grabbed Tabbruis around his waist to steady herself.

Tabbruis did not know why but her blood was exquisite. He had never tasted someone’s blood which fired his passion. He pulled her closer to him.

She could hear him softly growl as he licked the wound which thrilled her. She started to moan gently with feelings of pleasure.

He felt her chest swell and her heart race.

Tabbruis fought to keep his fangs in his gums. Her blood was like an answer to his hunger which had burned in him for centuries.

Tabbruis felt incredible power in her blood. The blood was intoxicating him with her sensuality.

Tabbruis’ feelings were intensifying, and he could not control the overwhelming urge to take her into his arms and never let her go until they both had sweet relief.

She moaned again louder digging her nails into his back.

Tabbruis knew she was as excited as he was. His breathing became heavy, and her body hummed with desire.

At that moment, Tabbruis felt his fangs had appeared! He quickly moved away from her turning around and covering his mouth.

Charleen opened her eyes. She had a hunger she never had before, a hunger for this man in front of her. She said breathlessly, “Why… did you… stop? What’s the matter? Have I done something… wrong?”

Tabbruis’ fangs retracted and he took his hand down. Tabbruis turned around panting and saw her brown eyes full of desire; he knew she wanted him also. 

Charleen could see the desire in his deep green eyes which had black rings of smokiness in them. He shook his head trying to catch his breath and said, “In my life, I have never tasted blood so powerful and intoxicating.”

The fun does not have to end just yet . . .

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