Thursday, March 26, 2015

Paranormal Romance/Fantasy?

I remember the day I picked up my first romance novel. It was one of the 'those' novels. You know the ones. Cheesy plot line, cardboard cutout characters and tons of sex scenes. I was 11 years old and filched it from my mom's stack of library books. I'd read my own pile and wasn't due to go back to the library for 2 more days.

My young, voracious reader self may have been desperate...

That fateful day started a habit that lasted all of 6 months when I realized all of the stories were basically the same, the authors had just changed the hair color, the sexual position, and the setting. (Yes, 6 months! I was only 11. I spent the first few months just getting past the forbidden feeling of what I was doing.*blushes*)

These books left me with a negative view of the "romance" genre and a low opinion of my mom's reading preferences. Then the inevitable happened. I ran out of books...again! (Thank God today for e-readers and e-books.) My mom's stack of books beckoned to me, but wary from my previous experience, I tried re-reading my own books. Very few books are good enough for me to enjoy re-reading them and I soon turned to my mom's stack with a resigned sigh.

Instead of a repeat of my last experience, my mind was blown thanks to the books by Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan and Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz that happened to be in that fated stack of my mom's library books.

Has anyone else noticed how amazing some of the worlds created in today's paranormal romance genre are?

Authors like Nalini Singh, Meljean Brooks, Evangeline Anderson, G.A. Aiken, A.W. Exley and many others have created worlds that are well developed enough to belong in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of the book store with that added bonus of a steamy sex scene or two(or 10).

Yet despite my current appreciation of these romance authors, I still find myself uncertain of the paranormal romance novel I've been working on. I'm afraid of being pigeon-holed as 'just a romance author' if I go ahead with publishing this one.

Until the last few years, I didn't even admit to the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels because of people who think like this:

Peer shaming of any kind is just wrong, by the way!

You see, my dream has always been to be published in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. It was my first love. The genre out of which was born my love of books. My first 3 published novellas are YA fantasy. I have an epic fantasy I've been working on for the last 5 years, and plans to publish another YA fantasy series and an urban fantasy novel.

Then this idea for a paranormal romance came to me one night in a dream. It's a really good idea and I REALLY want to publish it.

Am I worried for nothing? Has the romance genre come far enough to negate the old stigma that used to be associated with it? Should I publish any romance novels I write under a pseudonym? These questions plague me with uncertainty. I'm hoping some of my writer bloggy buddies will give me their perspective on the issue. I want all of my writing to be published under my name, but I can't help my worry. What do you think?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Easing back in...and an Excerpt from my next Shine novella #blogging #Shine #YAFantasy

Hi friends! I hope this finds you all doing well and getting ready to tackle the A to Z Challenge in April. I took a much needed break from blogging, but now I'm ready to slowly get back into it. I'm still trying to decide if I'll participate in this year's A to Z, but regardless, I look forward to seeing all the great posts by those participating.

Don't know what the A to Z Challenge is? Here is the link and button.
If you're a blogger, I'd definitely encourage you to check it out. I always enjoy it when I participate.

I've recently finished my 3rd Shine novella. *happy dance* I'm hoping it'll be published in April or May. If you've been following Camille and her gang of Shine friends, you'll be excited to know she's kept her promise and found a way to get Sophia to Russia. In fact, the whole gang is going to check out the claims about Russia being a Shine safe haven. If you haven't read my first 2 Shine novellas, you can click on the covers for both on the right.

To celebrate this accomplishment, I've decided to share a snippet from my 'still being edited' manuscript for The Gilded Cage, the 3rd adventure in Camille's story. I hope you enjoy it!

***
Sophia appeared, tears flowing down her face, with Dahlia cradled in her arms. Camille met her stricken gaze. A hard knot formed in her stomach.
"Daisy collapsed."
The battle raged in her ear. A gun went off. Camille gritted her teeth. "Take me there. Now."
"I'm about used up, Cam."
Camille nodded. She met Brenna's devastated gaze. "Karen is waiting at the park. Get V, Dahlia, and the rest to Ohm. I'm going to help Rachel put down a rabid dog."
Sophia gently laid Dahlia's body on the couch then stood and wrapped her trembling arms around Camille. She rested her forehead against Camille's back and said in a voice clogged with tears. "Close your eyes."
Camille's body grew light until she couldn't feel her own skin or the bones it covered, then an instant later gravity returned. She opened her eyes and found herself in a dark hallway. Using her Shine, she hid herself and Sophia from everyone except Rachel. Taking a deep breath, she edged into the chaos of the living room. Rachel saw her and smiled. A brown haired Shine crouched behind the overturned dining room table. The woman's eyes narrowed. She scanned the room, hesitated over where Camille stood, but continued on.
Camille paused. Did the other woman have the ability to see past Camille's Shine? Unwilling to take a chance, Camille stepped back into the shadows of the hallway. Rachel sent a butcher knife flying through the air at the woman. As if she could read Rachel's mind, the brown-haired Shine pulled the table between herself and the knife.
Camille thought of the loud gongs of a watchtower clock. Keeping the gongs uppermost in her mind like Daisy had taught her, Camille pulled out the syringe Fear had given her. She nodded to Rachel. Rachel's smile widened. Every item in the house that had any type of iron in it flew through the air to whirl around the brown-haired woman and the table in a vortex. Camille edged around the whirling knives, pipe, tools, sculptures, and debris until she was directly behind the woman. She lifted the hand with the syringe and nodded.
The vortex froze and Camille slammed the syringe into the woman's back without letting her own skin touch the other Shine's. The brown-haired woman whirled around and lurched toward Camille. Right as her fingers grasped Camille's arm, her eyes rolled up in her head and she dropped to the ground.
***

Every story has an event that catapults them onto a path they may not have taken otherwise. In The Gilded Cage, Camille's crew loses a member of their little family. This devastating loss sets them onto a path that ultimately leads to Russia where they learn the hard way that some things really are too good to be true. I hope you liked this peek into my upcoming novella and thank you so much for stopping by to say hi!

Are you participating in the A to Z Challenge? Have you read my first 2 Shine stories, Lost Haven and Road to Nowhere