Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: It's Always Been You (Always #1) by Victoria Paige

Description: 18+

I’ll wait forever, sunshine. I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll always love you.

Former Navy SEAL Travis Blake is a rising star in the security business. In two short years, Blake Security Inc. has become highly sought after by the who’s who in Washington DC.
But unbeknownst to many, Travis is haunted by the mysterious death of his wife three years before. He carries with him the guilt of not being there to protect the one person who meant everything to him. He has buried his wife, but his heart refuses to accept that the body six feet under is hers. His obsessive search for her leads him deep into the trenches of covert ops—and everything is not what it seems.

Caitlin Kincaid has been on the run for a while. The sum of her memories began three years ago when she awakened with a broken arm and leg and a severe concussion. Hunted down by a secret group within the U.S. government, her companion persuades her to stay off the grid because of the standing kill order on their heads. One night, while fleeing assassins, she is left on the side of the road with a cryptic message: “It’s time for you to stop running. I’m not the one you love.” 

When Travis receives news that the woman who has turned up at the American Embassy in Berlin could be his wife, he wastes no time getting to her. He is unprepared for the devastation that shreds him when Caitlin looks at him with no recognition in her eyes. Amnesia is a challenging enough obstacle for winning the love of his life back. But with lies defining the past three years of her life, Caitlin becomes wary of anyone’s help.

Love was never the problem. A marriage cannot survive without trust. As sinister forces threaten the bond they are trying to rebuild, trust must come quickly or one of them will die.

Strong sexual content and language. Disturbing situations.

Top Ten traps to avoid in a romantic suspense/ romance story

1. A perfect character is boring. The most interesting characters are flawed. I may write the anti-hero or the anti-heroine. Also to develop characters, they need to have something at stake or inner demons. Although readers may hate it when you hurt their favorite character, you need to take risks to keep the plot interesting.

2. Clichéd villains. Evil ex, anyone? There was an article I read on how to develop a villain, and you have to remember that they are people, too.

3. Easily resolved conflict. To keep a romantic suspense riveting, there needs to be conflict which can be internal or external or both. A serial killer is an external conflict, but if it’s obvious from the beginning who it is then there is no suspense at all

4. Wrong point of view (POV) for the story. I write in third person because the first person POV has a tendency to get into too much internal monologue which I dislike. That said, if it’s a story about a detective trying to solve a crime, then first person might be effective because you’re seeing the clues and solving the crime with him. This leads to ...

5. Balance between narrative and dialogue. I love great banter. For a romantic suspense, it’s important to keep the plot moving forward. I believe if you break down a page with some narrative interspersed with dialogue, it would help the eye move down the page easily and keep the reader interested. If you have blocks of paragraphs for pages and pages, this might encourage skimming and the reader may miss important information.

6. Information dump. This took me a while to learn. Even now I have to remember that the reader doesn’t know what the author knows so I hand out information in tidbits. This is where pre-edit betas are helpful. They can tell you what part needs more information or if there’s a plot hole.

7. The old show vs. tell scenario. Classic writers are taught to show, but I’ve been talking to my readers recently and sometimes they want to be told exactly what is happening and how the characters are feeling. Again, it’s balance.

8. Not labeling warnings on your book properly. I had to learn this the hard way. If there is violence, disturbing situations or strong sexual content, warn the readers in the blurb.

9. Forgetting the suspense. Sometimes in writing a romantic suspense, there’s a tendency to get so caught up in the romance, you forget the suspense part and tacking it back toward the end will make the plot feel disjointed.

10. Clichéd resolution. This is kind of tied to #3. Sometimes it’s okay to build into a known resolution—like the serial killer will get caught or the bomb will be disarmed—it’s the journey getting there that will make your story richer and more complex.

About the author:
I work as a freelance database administrator, and when I’m not geeking out, I write romantic suspense novels. I live in Richmond, Va—less than two hours away from Washington DC—so most of the settings of my books are in the nation’s capital—of course, I’m not averse to creating fictional towns and cities. ;)

When I’m not arguing with the alpha male characters in my head, I love to watch high-octane action movies. I think Jack Bauer is the shit, which is why most of my characters are such badasses bent on saving the world from evil doers.

I love reading adult contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, historical, romantic suspense, and a few new adult fiction as well as military non-fiction.


Marta K said...

Is this international?
Thank you!

CCAM said...

No restriction and the prize is suitable for INT, so I presume that it is,

Marta K said...

Yep, just wanted to confirm. Thank you!! :)