It has to be a good story too. It needs to move, have some suspense to it. I like it to be a page turner, make me want to read the next page. I also want to have romance. There needs to be a hero and a heroine who somehow manage to save each other. James Cameron’s “Titanic” had suspense and romance and both hero and heroine. As the old woman narrating the story said about Jack, “He saved me in every way a person can be saved.” There also needs to be a villain, one everyone can see and knows about. Then maybe one behind the scenes who is pushing all the buttons. No one knows of this villain until later in the book. If it has those characteristics, then I consider it a good read.
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And I love those bad boys. But I wanted something a little softer, and a little more delicate. Bad Boys not all in caps.
So that’s the type of bad boy I write. I write the bad boys that aren’t bad to the bone. I write redeemable bad boys who are doing bad things for the right reason. Bad boys that are inspired by beauty and passion and love as much as they’re shaped by the darkness that surrounds them.
I wanted to write about stories of finding light, even in the middle of a moonless night. Stories of romance that perseveres, and love that changes the hero and the heroine for the better.
I fully believe in the power of love and romance, and I love seeing characters who hit rock bottom, and who desperately need that softness in their life.
Because of my viewing/reading choices, it bleeds over into my writing. Even though I write romantic suspense, I add as much humor into my novels as I possibly can. And then I crank it up another notch.
I tossed a bunch of humor into my newest release, IN WALKED TROUBLE. The plot tackles a serious topic: drugs and gangs in schools, but I think I’ve managed to lighten the tone a bunch with flashes of comedy throughout.
Suspense and humor go really well together. Humor is the best way to break up the action and show the readers a glimpse of who the character really is. When your life is on the line and the proverbial shit hits the fan, how are you going to react? Well, the characters below didn’t wet their pants like I might have done if faced with their same situation. Instead, they handled it with grace and a ton of humor.
Peach Morales (Lost in Deception). Seducing a stubborn man isn’t hard but it does require technique. I found fishing works 8 out of 10 times. First, you need to know your man enough to pick the right bait. For mine, the classic little black dress and 3” heels is a sure thing. Next, dangle the bait just out of reach and every time he lunges forward, you pull it away. Not literally (where’s the fun in that), but metaphorically. Use what you have to keep him on the edge between hungry and aroused. Now a tame man will quickly give up but a stubborn man will keep coming and coming and (if you are really lucky) coming.
Carolina Walker (Lost in Shadows). Hey y’all. I don’t have much experience with men in general but my man definitely qualifies as stubborn. He had this great big hole in his heart and didn’t even know it. Stubborn men really do need to be handled with kid gloves. Oh, they think they’re all rough and tough but that’s nothing but a façade. Find the man beneath that thick skin and love him for who he is. The rest will fall into place. Good luck.
As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.
When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?
Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.
Five years. It’s been five years of blissful peace for private eye Valentine Shepherd and her hot-ass husband, Max Carressa. Five years of watching their twins grow up healthy and happy, even as Val waits for Hell to unleash its fury. Her enemies have been planning, and Val knows she doesn’t have nearly enough weapons to protect her family . . .
Check out the excerpt below!
Yet Val and Max have one advantage—their insatiable desire for each other allows them to see into the future, and the visions they share may just give them a chance. But as events are set into motion that endanger everyone Val’s ever loved, she’ll do whatever it takes to stop the horror she’s already seen—even if it means her end.
Val forced herself to relax. “I need to run an errand,” she said, though it came out a little bitchier than she’d intended. She tried to tone the hostility down. “Are you…going to be okay here with them? Alone?”
Jamal nodded. “Yes, ma’am—Val—uh, ma’am.”
She took a step toward the door, then turned back. “You’ve got everything you need, right? Their nap schedules, their favorite books, their lunch and snack foods—”
“Yes, I’ve got it. I wrote it all down,” he said in a gently reassuring tone. She’d need to get used to that voice, and train herself not to mistake it for condescension.
“And it’s one snack before lunch. Don’t let them trick you into giving them an entire package of Oreos. They’re more clever than you might think.”
“Oreos on lockdown. Clear as crystal.”
“You remember all the codes for the locks and alarms on the house, right?”
“And you’ve got my number if you need anything?”
“I sure do.”
She nodded, walked to the living room’s threshold, stopped, and turned again. “Don’t let anyone in here who isn’t Max or me, no matter who they say they are. I mean it.”
Jamal smiled again—he did that a lot, maybe because he had nice teeth—though a hint of uncertainty tainted his friendly gaze. Probably wondering what the hell he’d gotten himself into. “Yes, ma’—Val. I won’t let anyone in.”
“Got it. No one’s coming through that front door, not on my watch.”
She should’ve left then; instead, she stared at him until a bead of sweat trickled down his temple.
Simon broke the standoff. “We’ll be fine, Mommy. Go talk to the cop.”
Val softened a bit at that. If Simon knew he and his sister would be fine, then they’d be fine. As long as she didn’t inadvertently change the future, what he’d seen would come to pass. Val embraced them both in long hugs, kissing their foreheads. She thought they might cry when she left; they didn’t. They knew they’d see her again soon. Still, when Val walked to the door leading down to the carport and grasped the doorknob, she saw her hand shaking. She’d never forgive herself if something happened to her babies while she left them with an overpriced babysitter. Would they really be safe without her? They’d have to be. Max was right—she couldn’t be with them all the time. She’d have to trust other people eventually, and that time was now. God help Jamal if he screwed it up, though.
Swallowing back a lump in her throat, Val forced herself forward, away from her children, into her car, out of the house, and back into the world she’d been hiding from for over five years. Tendrils from its black underbelly would likely rise up and try to seize her again. But there was no way around it if she wanted any chance to save her mother.
Time to go see the cop.
SHANA FIGUEROA is a published author who specializes in romance and humor, with occasional sojourns into horror, sci-fi, and literary fiction.
She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two young daughters, and two old pugs. She enjoys reading, writing (obviously), martial arts, video games, and SCIENCE—it’s poetry in motion! By day, she serves her country in the US Air Force as an aerospace engineer. By night, she hunkers down in a corner and cranks out the crazy stories lurking in her head.
She took Toni Morrison’s advice and started writing the books she wanted to read. Hopefully you’ll want to read them, too!
Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Reckoning!
- They have a secret language.They trace letters on each other’s skin and can actually communicate. Have you ever tried that in real life? When I was a kid, my friends and I would try to write messages on each other’s backs and, let me tell you, it is
I or wait is it an A
P actually make than an R
- They’re already parabatai.
The Clave’s got it all wrong here that the fact they’re already bound together as parabatai is a curse. (Even though the reason why romantic love between parabatai is forbidden is still a secret at the time of this post so I really don’t know what I’m talking about.)
Of course, parabatai should be together. They know they can make a serious commitment to each other, because they’ve already done it.
Somebody make me a member of the Clave, already. I need some voting power. *Bangs gavel*
- They already know that they would be good parents. At this point, Julian is less of an older brother and more of a father figure to his siblings. Emma already fits into Julian’s family perfectly. Bringing someone else into the mix would just be weird.
- Their names sound nice together. (Is anyone else really hung up on names? Let me know in the comments!)
- Because of quotes like these:
“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”
“You’ll fix me, because we’re parabatai. We’re forever.”
“How long have you been drawing me?”
He sighed. A moment later his hand came to rest in her hair. His fingers twined in the strands. “My whole life.”
Memory is a tricky thing. Bad memories filter to the top while good memories settle to the bottom of a very deep well and we struggle to keep them alive. The key is to replace the bad memories with good—or drown the bad in that well, whichever works. I’m a violent sort, so I’ll be drowning those suckers. 🙂
Holidays in our house growing up were mostly good, but that means I have only this vague recollection and warm, fuzzy feelings for Christmas. Well, all but one. The year I turned five, my father was recovering from a major car accident. Money was tight and we ultimately lost the house and Dad’s business to medical expenses.
That was the year someone adopted us. Just for Christmas presents that is. We were the little angels on a Giving Tree. The night before Christmas, a group of men brought what seemed like a truckload of presents for four kids and two adults. They deposited them under the empty tree just like Santa. I bounced on my toes in sheer joy at the mass of goodies. Too young to read, I didn’t know which presents were mine, but my older brother pointed out a ginormous and awkwardly wrapped present labeled “girl, aged 5.” It was bigger than me and taller than my teenage brother. It was mine, mine, mine!
As many of my fellow romance writers and readers, I’m a sucker for a sultry, sex-on-a-stick Italian who knows how to handle his biscotti. Their dark, exotic good looks, the deep velvet of that damn accent, the promises of every Italian lover in history. Casanova anyone?
How are we supposed to resist?
Well, back in my early twenties, I was out at a club called Seville Quarter in Pensacola Florida. Pensacola had a naval air station in town that offered training to many of our ally military services, the Italian Airforce included.
One challenge for me with the Italian men was that I’m 5’9” who loves to where heels, so most places I go, I’m over six foot tall. Many of the Italian Navy Officers I met were much shorter than I. But, this one night, my three girlfriends and I were dancing on the dancefloor, Blue (Da Ba De) by Eiffel 65 blaring over the speakers, when a group of Italian Navy Officers came in. Sweet baby Jesus, there amongst them was a tall, dark, Italian drink of water.
It was as if the clouds had parted, and the sun had shone straight onto him—at 1 in the morning.
And all of a sudden, I was parched.
His name was Lorenzo. And he was everything my early twenty-something fantasies had imagined.
Dear EA Readers,
It’s me, site editor. Did I startle you? Good.
I’ve had the honor of reading some incredibly funny, thoughtful, and intimate writing on Romance the world might ever see, thanks to our (not so) little community of readers and writers alike. EA’s been home to brilliant genre talk, out of this world storytelling, and some of the kindest people I’ve ever worked with. It is my privilege and pleasure.
It’s also pretty greedy. Here I am, hungrily downing your stories of love, loss, passion, and hot dudes you would totally steal straight off of their book jackets—and I’ve put up none of my own.
It’s Read a Romance Month, and for us, that means celebrating Romance in every way we know how.
So here’s a story for the pile.
Picture, if you will: You failed another math test today. Your allowance, which was dwindling a few weeks ago, has been unceremoniously cut off. Whipped cream on top? This dork on the street made fun of your hair.
Oh, and the world’s kind of in peril and you’re kind of, sort of, a superhero. Like, a cat told you? And your powers bite. The only one you’re actually aware of is activated by your crying.
You’re not even sure if that’s a power.
So this fight against a monster you’re currently in? Not going well.
You’re about to try the crying thing again (and by “try” I mean “this is going to happen either way, so might as well pretend it’s on purpose”), when suddenly, you hear music swell.
A man in a tuxedo so handsome that reality gets its own Instagram filter for a moment appears at the window, holding a rose. “How did he get up there and why didn’t he use a door,” you start to ask, but there’s no time. Fast as lightning, he chucks it at the monster’s face.
He chucks a rose at a monster’s face.
And it works.
Defying all logic, this rose stops the monster in its tracks. It hits it like a migraine laced with holy water. You’d question this, but see, the monster also has knife hands? So this? Refreshing distraction.
But the fight’s not over, for you or the magic stranger in a cape. He turns to you, glint in his eye, and says:
“I believe in you, Sailor Moon.”