8 Key Female Archetypes to Consider for Your Novel

WritersWednesday

I found two awesome articles about Archetypes on C.S. Lakin’s blog and with her permission am sharing them for all you lovely people to see! Thank you so much C.S. for your insight and great resource! Here is the second article!

8 Key Female Archetypes to Consider for Your Novel

Last week we took a look at a number of diverse male archetypes that might inspire the characters in your fiction. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the female archetypes.

Archetypes can spark great ideas for characters because they are classic “types.” While one character might wear a particular archetypal “mask” throughout a story, sometimes characters will switch masks, depending on the situation and relationship involved.

You may think that fashioning a character to match all the qualities of a particular archetype might be like stereotyping, but that’s not necessarily so.  Within a “type,” there is room for much originality in personality and traits.

The idea here, when borrowing archetypal characteristics, is to look at the purpose as it relates to your premise, protagonist’s goal, and themes of your story.

We want to populate our novels with a diverse cast of characters, all of whom have a specific—purposeful—role to play. It may feel like generalization to turn an ally character into a Magi or Mentor archetype, but try to look at the markers of these types and see who might embody them and when and why and how.

I mentioned in a prior post that as I fleshed out my idea for my new novel that I just released, Colorado Dream, I’d already worked out who my hero and heroine already were—what personalities they’d have and what things were important to them.

After I’d done that important work (so that my characters would be just right for my premise), I researched archetypes to see just which ones might fit best. All in order to get deeper insights and spark plot and conflict ideas.

I found that my hero, Brett Hendricks was a perfect representation of The Protector (described in last week’s post). And it wasn’t hard to come up with the best archetype for my heroine, Angela, an aspiring musician.

Just knowing music was the center of her life made it easy to link her to the Mystic, who has a rich internal world, is extremely sensitive, and can feel the emotions of others.

The Mystic fears not having a place in the world, doesn’t want to depend on others, and covets her privacy and solitude. She needs to connect with something greater than herself.

Choosing this archetype for Angela promised much conflict, for Brett, as a Protector, would clash in many ways with his focus on his physicality, heedless to danger, and lack of creativity.

The challenge for me (as always, and one I love) was to find common ground between two seemingly unalike characters. When it comes to writing romance, to me, the trick is to make the hero and heroine as different as possible in many ways, but find common ground. Usually this is tied in with past trauma, and the big “fear” each has, as well as core need, is the same.

With my characters, both have abusive, domineering fathers. They both know what it’s like to yearn for parental love and instead get a slap instead of encouragement. They are both passionate about their gifts, and they see and respect the passion they see in the other.

So I hope you’re starting to whirl with ideas for your characters as you read these posts on archetypes. Let’s now take a look at the 8 key female archetypes.

8 Female Archetypes

1) The Seducer (Aphrodite): She cares about men, but loves being in control. This type rarely has true female friends. Women are competition. She is all about her body and appearance. She fears losing her beauty, being passed over. She is motivated by wanting to experience life sensually, to the full. She isn’t always “bad.” She can embody the powerful attractive woman who is seeking true love, but an extreme of this archetype can be a very vicious, backstabbing, manipulative woman.

2) The Amazon (Artemis): This type is the outdoors gal. She, in contrast to the Seducer, loves the company of her female friends. She is supportive of women and children, sometimes a feminist, one who stands up for causes, likes being self-sufficient. In extreme, this type can be headstrong, pushy, want instant gratification with no regard for others’ needs. She might be reckless, easily enraged, stubborn, or boastful.

3) The Father’s Daughter (Athena): This woman aligns herself with powerful men and supports them. She yearns for male approval and wants to be accepted into their circle. She values work, dresses professionally, is smart, but often can’t see or accept her female side (which she might consider weakness). She fears loss of control and might feel trapped in relationships. In extreme, she’s wholly self-centered, caring only about her needs and advancement, and because of that might lie, cheat, or destroy another to get to her goal.

4) The Nurturer (Demeter): As the name implies, she’s all about caring about others, often to her own detriment. She might work for children, charities, rarely considering her own needs. She’s a good listener and is generous. She fears losing those she cares for, and she just wants to be loved and have a sense of belonging. In extreme, this type might be passive-aggressive, angrily codependent, manipulative to appear unselfish and nurturing. The over-controlling mother.

5) The Matriarch (Hera): Being a wife is her life, and everything she does is to please her husband and family. Family is everything. She might be highly controlling of her “empire,” and enjoys entertaining to a fault. He biggest fear is losing her husband or children, or losing their love. She fears being alone in the world, being abandoned. In the extreme, this character type might become suicidal, threatening, paranoid, doing everything to save face—even destroy her family—in order to keep up appearances.

6) The Mystic (Hestia): The Mystic likes to be alone, and often doesn’t want to marry or have a family. She is very sensitive, creative, and fears constriction on her freedom and creativity. She longs to connect with something greater than herself. She is spiritual and fears not having time to be alone and pursue her creativity. She’s motivated by a need for balance and order in her life, and she’s sensitive to the plight of others, but she tends to live in a dream world. In the extreme, she is a loner or sociopath, is socially inept, afraid to take risks or make friends, feels so inadequate that she tries to please everyone around her.

7) The Female Messiah (Isis): This type of character is concerned about the plight of women and all living things. She wants to help others grow spiritually, find their path, be healed in body and soul. She fears being persecuted or misunderstood. She’s motivated by a sense of purpose, and in extreme, she’s dogmatic and unbendable, heartless at times, pushes others and punishes them.

8) The Maiden (Persephone): This type of woman cares about fun, not worrying about daily affairs. She feels carefree and invulnerable to trouble, and her self-confidence rubs off on others. She’s the party girl, regardless of her age, and hasn’t grown up. But she can have a big heart and helps others. She’s your BFF that stands by your side. She likes to meet new people and she takes care of her mother. She fears being trapped in a job or relationship, and she doesn’t want to appear naïve. She’s motivated by a need for safety and being different, and in the extreme, she might oppose authority (rebellious teen), get depressed, act out with bad behavior, and can’t seem to love anyone.

A Seducer might charm people to get her way. She might be a cool, calculating nemesis or a siren who entices.

The Amazon might be your boss, someone trying to climb the ladder, a confident and dynamic woman who seems to take charge and achieves big goals.

The Father’s Daughter might be a fun, loyal friend, team player, the one who sticks by your side and tells everyone else where they can go. She might be the girl next door or a coworker.

The Nurturer is ever the optimistic, telling you that you can do it. She might be the trend-setter, impulsive (let’s stop moping and go shopping!), and is often funny.

The Matriarch, controlled and clever, is analytical, detail-oriented, and often rigid in her manner and beliefs. She can be a know-it-all or a bookworm, a perfectionist that can drive you crazy.

The Mystic is sensitive and gentle. She might be that quiet, trusting, encouraging friend or someone who is just plain innocent and naïve.

The Female Messiah fights for your cause, meets her commitments. She is the stubborn sister or friend who is determined, quick-tempered, and says it like it is. She will tell you what you need to do in no uncertain terms.

The Maiden is the woman who brings peace and calm to a crazy situation. She is all about making peace, helping others get along. She inspires by her example of being capable, optimistic, and selfless. She might be a caregiver or a teacher.

Do any of these types sound like your characters? Can you find a place in your novel for a few of these female archetypes to make your story richer and push your conflict higher? Which type do you especially like?

A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

WritersWednesday

I found two awesome articles about Archetypes on C.S. Lakin’s blog and with her permission am sharing them for all you lovely people to see! Thank you so much C.S. for your insight and great resource! Here is the first article!

A Look at 8 Key Male Archetypes for Your Novel

While we don’t want to create cookie-cutter stereotyped characters, learning about archetypes can be tremendously helpful in character development. We’ve been talking about archetypes over the last week, so if you’ve missed some of these posts, start with this one.

The idea here is to find a type and go from there. Archetypes are all about personality and motivation, and by bringing in some of the traditional, established characteristics of specific archetypes, you can craft believable characters.

As I’ve mentioned in many posts, your novel or play or short story needs a cast of characters, unless your plot is about one person alone in the world (or some world).

These characters play various roles, and while the basic roles are ally, enemy(nemesis or antagonist), and lover, there is much more to consider than these general descriptions.

Some look at Greek gods as archetypes that can be utilized in character development, and if you modernize the qualities of these gods, you can see how you might transfer those over to your novel.

8 Basic Types for Male Characters

Let’s take a look at eight male character types, and as you read through them, think of how these types might possibly fit into your story. Don’t just pick a type because it’s interesting. Every character needs to serve the interests of your plot.

1) The Protector (Ares): He is all about being physical, spontaneous, impulsive. He will act first and think later. He wants to win, and he’s fiercely protective. He fears being constricted, bored, having to use his mind over body. He’s motivated by survival, and the extreme of this character can be violent, yearning to fight, with a poor self-image and bad temper.

2) The Businessman (Apollo): He is entrenched in his career, planning his life, competing, success. He fears failure in the workplace and getting too intimate. He keeps his emotional distance, afraid of rejection. He’s motivated by a need to succeed and a drive to compete. The extreme of this character tends to feel betrayed, wants revenge, is viciously competitive, and uses people.

3) The Recluse (Hades): The name tells all. He wants to be left alone, shuns others. He’s afraid of crowds, his emotions, of spinning out of control. His motivation springs from his need to understand himself and his world. In extreme, this type of man is antisocial, psychotic, terrified of rejection, intimidating, and shuns all affectionate relationships.

4) The Fool (Hermes): This character is a free spirit, seeking freedom, reckless adventures, often an eternal child (Puer Aeternas). He can also be very positive in his childlike, accepting ways. He fears losing his freedom, getting bored, being committed to relationships or deals. His motivation stems from the need to know and the desire to try everything. The extreme of this character is seen in the con man, one who hates authority, is self-absorbed, disregards law and propriety, lacks empathy.

5) The Lady’s Man (Dionysus): He’s all about sex, romance, flirting, pleasure. Physical satiation above all else. He fears losing appeal, losing his youth and virility, and avoids commitment or feeling trapped. He’s motivated by a deep need for love and acceptance, or a drive to win or seek fleeting pleasures to give him a sense of fulfillment. The extreme of this character can be possessive, abusive, disloyal, explosive.

6) The Messiah (Osiris): The male face of this archetype is all about being male, the power of the male personality, and the male psyche. He is concerned with healing the soul more than the body. He fears failure of his quest or purpose, being misunderstood or not taken seriously. He’s motivated by his desire to help others, sacrifice himself for the greater good. He’s driven by great purpose or vision and willing to battle whoever stands in his way. The extreme of this character is harshly critical of others who oppose his views, overly passionate so that he breaks others’ spirits and egos. He feels he is always right and all should believe the way he believes, and those who don’t, he punishes.

7) The Artist (Poseidon): He cares about his creativity, expressing his emotions. He worries what others think of him and wants to be treated fairly. He tries to appear he’s in control and is strong, though he often suffers self-doubt. He’s motivated by a drive to be admired, to be important, to stand out from the crowd. The extreme of this character is deceitful, manipulative, playing games with people’s hearts, reckless and angry, without boundaries and easily enraged. He’ll also hold a grudge forever.

8) The King (Zeus): He rules his kingdom—those in his life. He longs to be admired and in charge, respected, even worshipped. He wants to be the best of the best and pushes himself to get there. He fears competition—that someone will rise above him—someone younger, faster, stronger. He’s motivated by a strong need for approval and recognition and power. The extreme of this character is domineering, arrogant, oppressive, harsh, and often humiliates others.

Taking the Types a Step Further

What could you do with a Protector type? I mentioned last week how my hero in my new novel, Colorado Dream, is a perfect protector. He’s a kind of bad boy, walking on the wild side. This type might be very charismatic, volatile.

A Businessman type could be a leader of a bank, an Army platoon, a think tank. He might be a workaholic. He might be the guy who makes great decisions, motivates others, takes on responsibility.

The Recluse could be a troubled coworker. Or a serial killer. He might be the outcast in a classroom, tormented, brooding. A great “red herring” character who all tend to blame.

The Fool could also be a strong, quiet good friend who advises. Who’s faithful and supportive, doesn’t cause waves and is unassertive. He could be Mr. Nice Guy or the listening ear at work.

The Lady’s Man is a charmer, smooth talker. He might get so lost in his fantasies, his “real life” is falling apart. Some other possible characteristics are his flair for drama, his enthusiasm, ability to manipulate.

The Messiah might be a knowledgeable professor or scientist that has the answers. He might be a computer nerd who is neurotic about getting all the answers. He can be amazingly creative but stubborn and inflexible. He could be picky, hating change or anything that disrupts his life.

The Artist is the guy in the room who adds the spark. He’s adventurous, fun-loving, craving excitement, and can be wholly unreliable and foolhardy. You see in him the daredevil or the explorer. He can spur on your protagonist to make a scary choice, or he can be an antagonist that leads your hero into trouble.

The King might be your hero, idealistic, a champion, acting with honor. Or he might be your heroine’s love interest or a character who noble ideals and principles inspires your hero. He might be the avenger of wrongs or the knight in shining armor.

Supporting Friends

Other archetypal roles can be found in The Magi (the voice of wisdom, the one who helps empower your hero), the Mentor (who freely offers good advice and wants to come alongside your hero), and the Best Friend or Lover.

Think about all the male characters, major and minor, you have in your novel. See how these various traits might enrich them and create conflict. You might need to add a few more characters in there, to create a wider palette of character dynamics.

What archetype intrigues you the most? Which one best fits your primary male character in your story, and which particular characteristic do you like in him? (And can you sing the Underdog theme?)

21 Day Countdown to Halloween! Ten Scary Books for Halloween

I read a post the other day about the top best Horror books of the 21st century. And it got me thinking of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I don’t read horror anymore, but I used to read it when I was in high school and college, so I get that some of these might be oldies, but it doesn’t make them any less horrifying! So here are my top picks for scary books to read for Halloween.

It by Stephen King
It took me 3 tries to get through that book. It seriously scared the crap out of me. Now the ending wasn’t as I’d hoped it would be but the book is never the less a scary one. Of course Stephen King is the master of horror so what do you expect?

The Stand by Stephen King
Now, I know today this wouldn’t seem as scary. With all we know about biological weapons, they seem pretty much common place. From mutagens, to dirty bombs, they are everywhere. But back in 1992 when I read this book, the idea that a super virus could spread by just someone sneezing on you, let’s just say I was paranoid for MONTHS!!!! I loved this book. It is one of my two Stephen King favorites, but it scared the crap out of me back then.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
This book is not for kids! My daughter asked me if she could read it and so I read it and I was freaked out. It was dark, it was scary and it was awesome! I loved it! If you want a great scary classic, read this one. It’s worth it.

Grimm’s Fairytales
Have you ever read those things? They are seriously messed up! Originally the princesses weren’t all happy and light and their stories didn’t come with happy endings. Some are really dark and gory. Some are sad and tragic. But most of them are pretty scary actually when you think about them. And if you want to get even darker read the origin stories that the Grimm stories came from!

Anything Edgar Allen Poe

Literally anything. You could pick up any of his stories and be scared. Fall of the House of Ushers, The Pit and the Pendulum, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell Tale Heart. All of them are enough to give you chills. Poe is one of my all time favorites and he’s scary as hell.

Anyone of these books is enough to get your blood chilling and have you looking over your shoulder when you climb the stairs at night! So tell me, what are your favorite scary books? Which do you love the most? And if you want to see an article about the best scary books in the last 200 years, go here:

http://www.the-line-up.com/40-scariest-books-of-the-last-200-years/

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite
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Reclaiming His Mate: ‘Coming In Hot’ Author Spotlight Tour!

Sometimes going back is the only way to move forward ~Reclaiming His Mate

‘Coming In Hot’
 Author Spotlight Tour!

Reclaiming His Mate

 By
Rebekah R. Ganiere!

@VampWereZombie

Coming In Hot Paranormal & Contemporary Medical Romance Boxed Set: Paramedical meets paranormal: Shifters, Werewolves, Vampires, and More!
 
Paramedical meets paranormal in this steamy set filled with doctors, nurses, paramedics, shifters, werewolves, vampires, and more!
Get a dose of romance, STAT! 
Featuring NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, we’re Coming In Hot with paranormal to contemporary, and sizzling to seductive bedside manners by the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and more in this boxed set.
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Griffin has tried to move on since his separation from his mate Dakota– but that’s easier said than done when your inner wolf refuses to let go of his soul bonded mate. Now in pre-med school and dating a human doctor he’s ready to put his past behind him and look toward the future. Or so he keeps telling himself.

Dakota has been living in hell since she made a horrible mistaken when Griffin was overseas. Thrown to the curb the moment he got home she’s spent the last year getting clean and sober and trying to pick up the pieces of her disastrous life. But what she really wants is the man she’s never gotten over.

When a fateful accident puts Dakota in trouble the only person she can turn to is Griffin. Forced to allow her back into the home they shared as man and wife, Griffin finds himself torn between the memories of her betrayal and his desire to get her back in his bed. But Dakota’s secrets do deeper than Griffin can imagine; and when the fog clears on their steamy reunion one of them will find that the betrayal that tore them apart, was really their own.


Thank you for this opportunity to talk about my new release ‘Reclaiming His Mate’ and help my readers get to know me better.)
Tell us about your title featured in this set:
The book is the first of five books in the series and I love for my titles to match. I thought about what the book was about, a werewolf trying to deal with past hurt and betrayal in his marriage and realizing he still loved his mate and wanted her back. So the title seemed to flow naturally from that theme.

Tell us something about yourself:
I live in Los Angeles, CA. My husband is a Television and Movie Producer and two of my four children are actors in Hollywood. If you’ve ever seen the Subaru commercial with the little blond boy driving the car and getting a parking ticket and dropping his groceries, that’s my baby boy. I am a huge geek at heart. I love everything Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Star Trek and Fantasy. I cosplay with my family at over 5 Comic Cons a year where I speak. I’ve gotten pretty good at foam armour this year and next year I’m going to tackle even more elaborate cosplays. We’e gone as Star Wars, Steampunk Alice in Wonderland, X-Men, and this year we are DC Villians and Heroes.

Tell us about your writing process:
My process is different. Something will strike me out of nowhere and I’ll think, that was be fun to write. A cowboy in space. (My current WIP) Then I jot down a small summary, maybe one page. From there I think about the characters I need and then I write a 20 chapter outline. Some chapters are no more than one sentence. Finally, I start writing. I don’t plot out too much, I let the writing flow where it wants to go. It takes me about a month to write a book, but then 3-6 months up to a year to edit.

What is your favourite genre to read?
Paranormal Romance and Fantasy Romance. Though I do love YA and sci-fi as well.

What would you say is the one thing are you most passionate about?
My family. I love my 4 amazing kids and my husband and my 2 dogs, 2 tortoises and bearded dragon. They are everything to me.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
Hang with my kids. I home school them. Watch movies, read, sew, go out to lunch with friends. Go to Comic Cons. Boring stuff.

If someone who hasn’t read any your books asked you to describe your story in this set (the elevator pitch!) what would you say?
After a fateful accident throws estranged mates Dakota and Griffin back together, they must decide whether to forgive each other and give in to the passion that still burns between them, or walk away and lose the love of their lives forever.

Where can readers connect with you?
www.rebekahganiere.com
www.facebook.com/vampireswerewolveszombies
www.twitter.com/vampwerezombie
www.instagram.com/vampwerezombie
www.goodreads.com/vampireswerewolveszombies

Thanx for coming out and meeting me today! I hope you enjoy Reclaiming His Mate and Comin in Hot! Have a great week!

Dakota washed her body, wrung out her hair and stepped out of the shower. Wrapping the towel around herself, she realized she’d gone in without any clothing. She opened the door to find Griffin standing at the dresser. He turned and his eyes widened slightly.

 “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were in here.” She started to close the door.

“No, it’s fine. I just wanted to grab a sweatshirt.”

She opened the door again and stepped out. His gaze raked up and down her barely covered form. She swallowed hard and wrapped her arms around herself.

“My… uh… underwear is in the top drawer.”

“Huh? Oh, yeah.” He opened the drawer and pulled out a white lacy thong with the tags still attached. “I uh… I mean… these are uhm… nice.”

Her cheeks heated as he crossed the room and held them out. Her fingers slid over his while taking them from him. He ran his thumb over her knuckles and tingles shot up her arm. Warmth spread inside her and he took a step forward. She backed up and hit the wall.

His fingers still cradled hers and she swallowed hard. He stopped inches from her; his body radiating so much heat, she wondered why he needed a sweatshirt.

His hand ran up her bare arm raising goosebumps on her skin. She stared at his hard chest, unable to move. Fear trickled down her spine. It’d been a long time since she’d let anyone touch her. Sure she let friends hug her, but that was all. Alarm bells rung out in her head and she fought a sudden wave of nausea. This was Griffin. Her Griffin. Images flashed into her mind but she locked them away.

He leaned in and smelled her hair. A rumble escaped his chest that made her knees go weak.

“Dakota.” His soft, gentle voice caressed her entire body like warm lotion.

He pushed her chin up, making her look at him. Her heart pounded like a drum circle beat at the yearly Pow Wow. She was okay. She was in charge. She could stop any time she wanted to.

A tear leaked from the corner of her eye and he brushed it away with his knuckles. He loomed closer, his lips mere inches away. The fragrance of his skin, so familiar it was like it was a piece of her. She wanted to feel his lips on hers. To feel his weight on top of her.

No. They couldn’t. If they went there again, she would lose all control and everything she’d fought to become over the past year.

“Griffin. We shouldn’t.”

His lips danced softly over hers. Tingles lit up her spine and her wolf howled and then roared to life. A dominant scent rolled off Griffin and she pressed her lips to his, sucking in his warm breath. His taste sent a ripple of need coursing through her. Sensual memories flooded her. The feel of their bodies joined. Making love under the stars the first time before he’d gone to boot camp.

Griffin ran his hand up her leg to her hip and grabbed onto her. His lips parted and he coaxed her tongue with his.

She shouldn’t do this. She shouldn’t.

But her resolve broke and she leaned into him. Every line of his body so familiar it was like going home.

He cupped her face with both hands and she dropped her panties then wrapped her arms around his waist. He kissed her with long languid kisses, just the way she liked them. He placed kisses over her cheek and down her neck, stopping just below her earlobe. She sucked in a sharp breath and grabbed his firm rear. He leaned against her harder, and even through his clothes, she could feel he wanted her.

“Dakota. I’ve missed you so much.”

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Rebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author and Screenwriter. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list on release day. Her Fairelle Series, released in 2014 and has won several awards including the Golden Palm and a finalist for Rone Award as well as Best Fantasy Series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Her trilogyThe Society was released by Kensington and her new series Shifter Rising is released in 2016. Rebekah is a prolific author releasing upwards of five books a year and is currently working on six different series.

Rebekah is the President Elect of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA as well as a member of several local and online chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or at RWA. Rebekah is also known for her elaborate cosplays with her family and has been a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, Wondercon, Salt Lake Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con, Comikaze and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, RWA, InD’Scribe, Genre LA and Authors After Dark.

Cursed by the Moon Cover Reveal!

WritersWednesday

Cursed by the Moon is the second in the New Adult novella series – Shifter Rising

CursedFinal4

Cursed by the Moon is Releasing July 11, 2016

Blurb

If they can open up to love, they could save each other from their pasts.

Shifter Rising, Book 2

Noah was bitten by a werewolf in Afghanistan. Now back stateside he finds himself not only with new afflictions and nightmares, but a completely new creature. Noah wants nothing more than to end his pain, when the Night Shift steps in and relocates him to Malibu California to build a new life. The problem is, Noah’s beautiful new roommate Cara and her friends are what he hates most in the world. Werewolves.

Between being attacked six months prior, and her mother’s death, Cara struggles to keep herself together. But when wounded and broken Noah comes into her life she finds safety in his arms and opens herself up for the first time in years to the possibility of healing and moving on.

As Noah and Cara draw closer to finding the love that could heal both their souls, secrets from their pasts threaten to tear them apart. And when those secrets come to light it will take a bond beyond love to keep them together.

Beware: Contains a Hunky Alpha Marine with lots of baggage and a sweet hometown girl hoping to win his heart.

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Excerpt

Noah froze at the feel of her body pressed against his yet again. She looked up, smiled and his heart boomed like artillery fire at her nearness. She licked her bottom lip, moistening it. Her grip tightened on his hips, and her nails pressed into his sides, making his arousal spike.

Her arms slipped around his waist and he pressed into her. Without notice, she raised to her toes and pushed her lips to his. A million thoughts raced through his mind. She’d turned him down at the beach, but now…

She licked his lower lip and sucked it into her mouth. Every nerve in his body sparked, as if jumper cables had attached to his spine. He set the water and tea on the counter and wrapped her in his arms. He let all doubt drift away.

****

Noah’s hand fisted in her curls and he drew her to him. His lips clamped down on hers and she plunged her tongue deep into his mouth as she ran her hands around his back to his butt, pulling his hips into hers.

He groaned deep in his chest and broke away to kiss down her neck to her shoulder. Her bare skin flushed with every sucking kiss placed upon it. He ran his hand down the front of her t-shirt and she moaned as his thumb rubbed over her sensitive nubs. Desire thrummed through her core, pulsing, and begging to be sated.

No. She couldn’t do this. She had to tell him the truth. It wasn’t right.

“Noah,” she choked out. “Noah. I have to tell you something.”

He lifted his head back to her lips. “I don’t care.”

“No. Noah it’s important. Something you don’t know about me. About my past.”

He kissed her hard, his mouth tasting like the butterscotch lollipop he’d consumed after dinner.

“I don’t care,” he panted and lifted off her shirt. “I don’t care what you did. I only care about who you are now.”

He kissed her again and her brain grew fuzzy with desire. His rough, calloused hand squeezed and kneaded her flesh into submission until she was barely able to keep her feet. She stripped his tank top off and ran her fingers over the curved planes of his abs. Starting at his pecks, she kissed a trail over his skin. Scars marked the beauty of his flesh but they only added to her desire. She kissed each one as she lowered herself down and swirled her tongue in the dips between his muscles. He slammed his hands on the counter behind her, making it shake.

“We better get out of the kitchen,” he growled.

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Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books With A Bite

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Editors & Critique Partners & Beta Readers Oh My! Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

Hey Everyone!  So there are many things you need to do for your book once you finish it. Now I know that your first draft is amazing. It’s perfect and doesn’t need to be touched but let’s think for a minute that maybe it does. Let’s think that maybe it could be made stronger, nipped, tucked and polished a bit. 

 

A lot of authors make the mistake of trying to get their work out too quick. They query twenty agents and get standard form rejections. Then they move to publishers and get a dozen rejections and think, oh well, I’ll just self publish it. When what they should be doing is taking a step back to figure out why they are being rejected.

 

So here is a quote from Ernest Hemingway:

The first draft of anything is crap! 

 

Now I don’t necessarily agree with him. Not all of it is crap. Some of it is good. But never is it great. And never is it publishable. It takes time and editing to get it great and make it publishable. So what do you do? How do you know how what to do to make it better?

 

People are often surprised to hear how many times I edit a piece before giving it to an editor. So here is my process.

 

I write a draft. It usually takes about a month to write it. Then I let it sit and marinate. After that I edit it all the way through about two to three times. From there I go through my editing checklist and clean up the book. After that I send it out to get critiqued. 

 

Stage One – Critique Partners

You need one amazing or two awesome critique partners to look over your book and tell you exactly what they think. Not your mom or your best friend or your husband – Unless they are a published author. But people who know what they are doing and will tell you the total truth. They should tell you any character, plot, pacing, grammatical and typo issues. They should tell you what they like and do not like. They should kick your butt and tell you everything that is wrong with your book along with what is right. And you should not take it personally. They are trying to help you. They want you to succeed. 

 

Stage Two – You Edit

After you get those critiques back you edit it again with your partners’ notes. You don’t have to take all of their notes but you do need to at least keep an open mind to them. After you have edited the story again, you are almost done. You may feel at this point you’re done. That it is as good as it is going to get. But hold on.

 

Stage Three A – Editor 

At this point you may decide to hire a freelance editor to look at it. There are different kinds of editors so make sure you get the right one. A developmental editor will look at your overall story and plot and characters and tell you any problems. Copy Editors look for grammatical, plot, typo and other kinds of problems. Smaller than the big story or plot. Proofreaders simply look for typo and grammatical errors, that’s all. I suggest you get recommendations for editors instead of just picking one from the internet. Also most editors will do a free sample so they can see your writing and you can see their style. Always get a free sample. Look at their credentials and any recommendations they may have. There are a lot of people who call themselves editors that shouldn’t be. Be proactive in your search and make sure you find a good fit for you. What might work for your friend may not be what you need.

 

Stage Three B – Beta Readers

If you choose to skip paying an editor then you go to Beta Readers. Beta Readers are different than Critique partners. Your beta readers will give you their overall impressions of the book. Did they like it? Did they not? Where there characters they didn’t like or inconsistencies you missed. They will also grab any last typos for you. I usually have a minimum of 3 beta readers because 3 sets of eyes are better than one at this stage.

 

Stage Four – You Edit

This is it. Your last pass. You go through it and edit all the things your beta readers caught. Then maybe you go through it another time. Or maybe you want to never look at it again and you set it aside. 

 

So now are you done? Nope. Now you write a Logline, Tagline, Blurb and Synopsis. Then you polish the heck out of those. And when that is done, then you have a package ready to go. 

 

Now you notice I didn’t mention critique groups. Those are great but they are no longer in my process because I write too fast and they move to slow. Writer’s groups are a wonderful tool if you get into one with the following criteria. 1) There are published writers in the group. 2) The people are there to do more than just get your approval 3) They know how to critique.

Critique groups can be very helpful but beware because everyone has their own ideas as to what you should do with your story. You may end up with six conflicting ideas as to what you need to work on. But here is a piece of advice I got that I apply to all critiques and why I always use 2-3 people for everything. 

 

“If two or more people say you’re drunk. You’re Drunk! Sit Down!”

 

What that means is, if two or more people are telling you that you have the same problem with your work, you really should look at it because it’s probably a problem. If one person says it, then think about it and see if you agree. If two or more tell you, then it might have merit. If two people tell you your character has no arc, then they probably don’t. If they tell you that you could do away with a scene, you probably can. People will always have different opinions and they won’t always agree with you, it’s up to you to pick and choose what you want to listen to. But if you go with a publisher, in the end, they will probably have the last say.

 

So what about you? What’s your process after you finish a book?

Is Research Necessary? – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

Is Research Necessary?

Welcome to Writers Wednesday!

When I think of doing research the first thing that springs to mind is a historical novel. But I have learn in writing a dystopian series as well as sci-fi that research can be necessary for just about anything you write.

You hear people say all the time, “write what you know.” But what if you want to write about a sword wielding vampire? Are you a sword wielding vampire? Maybe, but probably not. So how do you write about them?

Or how about the fact that you live in Massachusetts and you want to write about Montana, but you’ve never even been to Montana. How do you do that? Or what if you want to write about a Hollywood Starlet or BDSM or Norse Gods?

The answer is simple. Research.

You have to do research in just about every book you write, unless you are writing exactly what you know. I live in California and even I had to do a few minutes of research when I wanted my characters to meet in downtown Los Angeles. I drive to downtown on a weekly basis. But I don’t drive from the 10 to Hollywood Blvd in rush hour all the time. So I had to research how long that would take. Research is inherent to your writing unless you are making everything up yourself.

So if you are going to research where do you start? How far do you go? How much do you use? When do you stop?

Well, how do you know if you need to research? If you don’t know something, you need to research it. That is, if you want to be accurate. If you don’t know the name of the Chinese dynasty from the third century, find out. If you don’t know the proper street names of the business district in Chicago, research it. If you don’t know the difference between a parry and a thrust in a sword fight, find out.

Yes, there are times you can try to fudge it, but unless you are creating your own world then I don’t recommend it. And you can never fudge it in a historical. They will crucify you. Same with science in a hard core Sci-Fi novel. Don’t even try.

So, now we know we need to research, the question is: Where do we go for the info? Yes, the internet is certainly easy to access and there are thousands of websites to choose from, but you need to vet your sources to make sure they are correct. Just because you google it doesn’t mean it’s true.

When I wanted to incorporate Tesla into one of my stories I first read about him on the internet. Then I went to the library and checked out half a dozen books on him. A library is a great place to get information. Google professors who know about what you are looking up and ask them. Ask on your RWA boards for help. There are dozens of places you can go for help if you just look.

But you need to be careful. I know many authors who research for years and never get their novel finished because of it. Sometimes it is hard to remember that research is there to help you with your novel. Not to become your primary focus.

Lastly, how much do you use in your novel? That’s up to you but I would say for all of the research you do you probably won’t use a tenth of it. And that’s okay. It’s you as an author who needs to know it.

For me, I need to know how to swordplay for my Fairelle series. I have done extensive research on weapons and fencing and battles and injuries and armor. Now you won’t learn about the armor my hero puts on, or how he ties every tie or the buckles he can’t reach that his manservant has to help him with. But you will read my fight scenes and see how realistic they are. You’ll read about the swords they use and not think, “There’s no way she could lift that.” When my guys get injured, it’s realistic. All because of my research. You won’t know why it’s so real, you’ll just know that it isn’t fake.

And that’s what we are going for as a writer and why we do our research. To suspend disbelief in our readers. Anything less with pull them out of the story and possibly write a scathing review about how poorly it was written.

Personally, research is not my favorite thing to do, but I do it to be better. I do it to write better and I do it for my characters. Because in the end, they will kick my butt if I make them look bad.

So tell me some of the most fun things you’ve ever researched for a book? This last week I researched baby names meaning: Devil, Demon, Malevolent, Poisonous, Evil.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, It’s Contest Season – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

Welcome back to Writers Wednesday! You know I started out not caring for blogging but over the last few months as I have started publishing the Writers Wednesday posts, I’ve really found that I enjoy talking about writing a bit. So I hope you are getting something out of my posts as much as I am enjoying writing them.

Well this week I want to talk about contests. As I worked on my last newsletter as the Editor of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA I went and looked up on RWA’s website for contests to list and found tons. Tons of contests being offered from cheap to expensive. Probably over thirty to forty contests being offered between now and the end of March. And those are just RWA contests.

Magic book

So when you’re looking at and thinking about contests, what should you look for and why should you do it and what should you be wary of? There are many factors that go into entering a contest and with so many choices there are some things to think about before you put money out there for them.

You enter because you want constructive feedback from industry professionals about your work. This is a good thing! If you make it to the final round agents and editors will most likely be the judge and even if you don’t win you could make some good connections or you could get some great feedback on how to make your book stronger.

  • You enter because you want someone to edit your book for you for free. This is not good. No one will edit your book. They may give you a few things to work on, but they won’t edit it. And most contests only read the first 10-30 pages anyway.
  • You enter so you can impress people with your win and get attention. Again, not a great reason. When agents and editors look at your wins they want to know what contest you won. If you win the Rita, or the Golden Heart, they will take a serious look at you. If you win the Idaho Sweet Potato Jingle award, not so much.
  • Maybe you have been dying to have an agent or editor look at your book and you can’t get their attention but they are one of the finalist judges. That’s a good way to go to get their input before you query.

When looking for a contest to enter there are also things you should look out for because there are a lot of companies out there just looking to make some money and they aren’t looking to help you as an author.

  • Did they solicit you? Run the other way. Companies that come to you and ask you to enter are looking to take your money, hands down.
  • Do they cost more than 50.00 to enter? Run away. Some contests cost 100.00 or more to enter. That’s just ridiculous. They are trying to make money off you. It’s a rip off. Also if they give you a bulk discount if you enter more than one book, also a scam.
  • How man categories do they have? If they are judging more genres than Amazon has, then it’s a scam. Good contests will have a limit to their genres and they will focus around a certain criteria. Maybe the first kissing scene. Maybe the opening of the book. Maybe the introduction to your hero. Or maybe the book as a whole. Good contests are focused.
  • If they won’t tell you who the judges are or their judges aren’t professionals in the industry, I wouldn’t recommend it. Anyone can call themselves a judge, but just like speakers at conferences, what makes them qualified? Make sure the company that is putting on the contest is disclosing all information. They should have the judges lines up for the final round and you should be able to look up those judges to make sure they are reputable.
  • How do you win the contest? Do you get as many of your friends and family to vote for you as possible or are you actually judged by people who read your work and do not know you. There are lots of popularity contests, and that’s fine, but just know what they are. They are different than actual judged contests.
  • What do you get if you win? A trophy? Money? A certificate? Nothing? Reputable contests will give you something if you win. If they don’t, again, beware.

So, should you enter contests? It depends. But one thing you need to keep in mind is, no matter how good or reputable the contest is, you are going to get varying opinions on your work. You will get initial round of 3 judges who will tell you what they think about your work. Sometimes they will say the same thing, sometimes they will say completely different things. Then you will get two or three final round judges who will do the same thing. One may love it, two may not. It just depends. And you have to decide, just like a writer’s group or critique partners, if you agree with what is said, or if you think it is just one person’s opinion and nothing more. Contests are a great way to get feedback. They are also a great way to confuse the heck out of you if you don’t know how to interpret what they are telling you.

But I caution you. 30.00 + 20.00 + 40.00 + 25.00 adds up fast! So be careful of how much you are spending and what you are getting for the money. Contests can also become addictive. If you start winning then you enter everything to try and collect as many wins as you can and you never actually do anything with the book that’s not a good thing. The object of writing a book is to get it out there. There are plenty of contests that can be entered with already published works. Plus all the time you spend searching out and applying for contests is time taken away from actual writing. And you want to limit that as much as possible.

Lastly, be aware of the rules of contests. Some are for published, some unpublished. Some you can publish your book but not until the end of the contest. Some you can publish but not before the final round starts. They all have formatting they require. They all have rules on when, how and who to send to. Make sure you follow those rules to the letter because a lot of contests will disqualify you and not refund you money if you do it wrong.

So, have you entered any contests? What did you think?

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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5 Things to do Before Your Book Publishes! – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

5 Things to do Before Your Book Publishes!

Welcome to the Fourth part of my series on Self publishing.If you missed the first blog post in this series you can find it HERE,
The Second is HERE, The Third is HERE.

So we discussed a few things to look out for when self publishing. And five things you need to do for yourself as an author before publishing. Now I’m going to tell you Five Things your book needs before you publish it.

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1)A Newsletter – A newsletter list is your best friend. The people on it WANT to hear what you are saying and doing. Unlike paid ads where you never know what you are going to get, these people went through the trouble of signing up. There’s a reason and those contacts are invaluable! When you set up a newsletter give people something free. A short story or article or something to help them get to know you and your writing style and to get them hooked. Then send one out every month to two months. Any longer and people might forget they signed up.

2)A Media Kit – Media kits for you and your books are also a must have. They make life so much easier when it’s time to send things out for promo. In your media kit, if it’s about you have your bio, headshot and accomplishments as well as a possible writing sample as be sure to include all your social media links for people to contact you at. If it’s for a book have the cover, ISBN, length and genre of book, links, expert (both long and short), blurb, your bio and headshot. Also include teaser graphics for them to put up. Put it all in a word doc and pdf. You never know which people will want.

3)ARCs – Get them out there! You need people to review your book. In the first week of release you need 15-20 reviews. It will help push your book up through the ranks. Ask bloggers, friends, street team members, reviewers to read and review your book. You will need to have it in different formats for people who read on kindle or nook. Instafreebie is a great website to use for this because people have to add their information to get a free copy. This is great for avoiding pirating and to get contact information to add to your newsletter.

4)Street Team – You need one. A street team is a dedicated group of followers that love your work and want to help spread the word about it. Start gathering street team members early so you can have people help you with promoting your book. Provide them with ARCs and teasers and links and ask them to post them on Facebook groups and pages.

5)Ads and Marketing – You need to market. Why? Because if you don’t no one will. There are lots of free promo sites out there that will blast out your book if it’s free or .99 for the first week. Find them. Use them. If you are going to spend money on ads and marketing, do your research and make sure that you are using people and places that will actually help you grow your fan base and sell books. Do NOT spend 2 weeks straight blasting on your Facebook page that you are SELLING A BOOK! Or on Twitter. People will Not appreciate it. Yes, find Facebook groups to promo in. Yes, you can even buy Facebook ads. But be knowledgeable about who you are using. Some blog tour companies are amazing and will work hard for you, others will take your money. Be sure to get referrals and use them.

Marketing your book should start 3-6 months before release. Cover releases, excerpts, extra tidbits and information, deleted scenes and teasers. All of them can be used to help get the word out there about your book. But it must be done in advance. If you wait till it’s released, your’e already doomed.

So what do you think? What are some things that you have done before release that I didn’t mention?

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Book with a Bite

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5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way – Writers Wednesday

WritersWednesday

5 Things I Learned about Self Publishing the Hard Way!

This is the third in my series on Self Publishing. If you missed the first blog post in this series you can find it HERE! And the Second is HERE!

So this week I want to give you a few tips on things that I learned the hard way when I started self publishing.

I started out 2 years ago with a small indie publisher with my book Dead Awakenings and then moved on and sold my series The Society, to Kensington. But soon realized that the only way for me to release 3 or more books a year in a series was for me to publish them myself.

My series, Fairelle is slated to be 8 books and a handful of novellas with possibly a short story or two as well. If I went to a traditional publisher I’d be writing that series for ten years or more; and with over fifty book ideas in my brain, I couldn’t wait that long.

So, I started reading what I could find on self publishing and what I needed to know and I became a wealth of information. Even so, with all the information out there, there were a few things that no one talked about that I think need to be. Things that can kill you if you don’t do them, or can at least take you a lot of time.

overwhelmed man asking for help

1) Editing is going to take you ten times as long as writing.

If you are going to self publish you need a professional editor, at least two critique partners that are great and a handful of beta readers. It isn’t enough to edit yourself or have your mom edit for you, unless she is an amazing published author. You need a professional editor to look at your work with an objective eye and tell you what is wrong with it, even though you may not like it. But before you do that though, you need to edit the book at least a couple times yourself and then have two amazing critique partners look at it for you. People you trust who have been published. Then after they’ve edited it, you need to edit it at least one or two times more. I tend to edit my self published works a minimum of seven times. Then you need beta readers who will go through it with a fine toothed comb and find all the mistakes grammatically and typos. This can take anywhere from two to four months. Possibly more. Do not skimp out on this or you’ll pay for it in reviews. Don’t go into this thinking that you’ll be in and out in two months. There is a reason that publishing usually takes six months. So be sure to have many stories to work on so you are consistently rolling them out several times a year.

Freaked out business woman with a hammer ready to smash her laptop computer

2) Format only if you REALLY know how!

Do you have Scrivener? No? Then pay someone to format your book for you. Seriously. I mean it. I am not joking! Formatting your book can take a lot of time if you don’t know how. And I mean, REALLY know how. You are better to pay 25.00 to Marie Force’s Formatting Fairies (No I am no affiliated with them at all) to format the darn thing for you.

However, if you have Scrivener, it’s super easy. So, get Scrivener. And then go on youtube and watch a few videos and you’ll be set. I used to pay Marie Force. Then I got Scrivener and now I do it myself because Scrivener makes it so easy. But before I did, I spent two months trying to format my first book. And in the end, I paid Marie.

Business concept Red life buoy with hands in the water High resolution

3) Using Draft 2 Digital is a lifesaver in the beginning!

(Again, I’m not affiliated with them)

So again, you can upload your book yourself to Amazon, BN, Itunes, Kobo, ARE and every other outlet on the planet and it might take you a month to do it all. Why? Because each system is different and each system has different errors and each system wants you to upload something in a different format, size, style, but really? Why bother?

You can upload to D2D and they take a small percentage and then click all the outlets (except ARE) and Bam! You’re done! They take care of everything. You don’t have to worry about if payments came in for this outlet or that outlet. You don’t have to fill out a million tax forms. If you want to lower a price you do it in one place, not every one individually. Yes, you could use Smashwords instead of D2D, but Smashwords and I have a hate/hate relationship. I never once got my books to go through their system correctly even when paying a professional and I find their customer service to be non-existent!

So for the beginning, starting out, I suggest you use a service like D2D and save yourself a lot of time. I still make more with them taking out their percentages than I do on Amazon, by far.

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4) It’s all up to you!

That is the good and the bad of it. You can set your own price. When you release. How long the book is. What you put in it. How you market it. It’s all your choice. But ultimately, it’s all on your shoulders as well.

Do you know what to price it at? Have you studied to see what price point is selling best? Do you know which months are the worst for a release? The best? Do you know the typical word count for your genre or what people expect from certain genres? Do you know bloggers? Or Marketers? Where to market and spend your money? Do you know what keywords to use? All of that can be a big burden and you need to learn it before you release, not after.

5) A Million people are doing it. Do you stand out?

I wish someone had told me how hard it was to stand out in a marketplace where there are over a million books a year being self published. The good, the bad, the ugly, it doesn’t matter. When you are self publishing you are competing not only against the other self pubs but the traditionals as well that are getting a lot more marketing dollars than you are. You have to find your niche what makes you stand apart and use it. I’m teaching three classes at Savvy this next year about these very things.

Self publishing can be fun and tremendously rewarding. But you have to go into it with your eyes open, otherwise you will drown. Best of luck! Feel free to ask any questions you might have!

Rebekah R. Ganiere – Books with a Bite

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