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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trope-tastic Thursday: Audience Surrogate

Trope: Audience Surrogate (#3)

Description: In this type of Audience Surrogate, the character is crafted so audience members can easily picture themselves in his/her place. Obviously, great writing (or film-making, or theater) is supposed to make us feel like we're right there amidst the action, but this is a bit stronger than that. Sometimes it's just a natural effect of how the character is presented in relation to the other characters and the plot, while other times it's an intentional goal of the writer. The Audience Surrogate can be tied into other tropes, such as the "Everyman" or the "Straightman" (aka "one sane person in a room full of crazies").

Examples: Bella from Twilight (confirmed by Stephenie Meyer), Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Jim from The Office

Pros: As stated above, when done well, this is a great way to pull your readers into the story and make them feel like they're really there. It can be a fun way of developing the supporting cast of characters through the eyes of the Audience Surrogate. Most people read fiction as a form of escape - isn't it fun to pretend we're in the middle of all this super-exciting drama?

Cons: If you're making a main character a "blank slate" in the hopes that your audience will self-insert, you run the risk of creating a bland character they might not relate to. As with any point of view issue, there are pros and cons; one potential con here is the limitations of seeing the world through the eyes of the Audience Surrogate. Also, what happens if you're imagining yourself in a character's shoes and he/she reacts to something in a way you don't expect, or disagree with? Does that disconnect remove the label of "Audience Surrogate"? (Now my head's spinning....)

Would/Did I Use It?: I thought about doing this in Disintegration, making Callum a character who could really be anybody. Ultimately, I decided not to focus on that while writing, though I suppose it could be argued that his POV pretty much aligns with anyone who might find themselves in similar situations. This could be a big "mileage varies" trope.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

And here we are yet again! I just sent in the first round of edits for the upcoming Defying the Skies. As I went over the document one more time to make sure I didn't miss anything, I was struck by how much this exchange resembled last week's HDH! However, it's pretty obvious that there have been some *cough* changes between that moment in Searching the Skies and now. Happy reading, and don't forget to read more scintillating hooks from the other awesome authors!

The imprint of his lips and Marcus’s hands on her body made his requests impossible to ignore. She slithered into his lap and they tumbled onto the covers. “So much for straightening up the room for you,” she mumbled as his mouth returned to her neck and chest.

“I noticed.”


“Okay, I didn’t. But I appreciate the effort.”

Geneva wriggled out of his grasp. “Let’s at least fold back the bedspread before we create a wrinkled mess.”

“Whatever you say.”

She turned back the covers, revealing the pristine sheets underneath. As soon as she was done, Ash grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down next to him. “I thought you said we weren’t going to do much without Marcus!” she said.

“We’re not. I’m just making sure you’re warmed up.”

“Uh-huh.” With his soft lips and deft fingers, he erased her reasons for resisting. “This isn’t fair,” she half-heartedly argued.

His kisses traveled between her breasts and traversed her abdomen. “Do you want me to stop?” he asked.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

[Working Title]

I've written about my title woes before. Even when I don't have a title for the book I'm working on, I still need something by which to refer it when I'm talking with friends, other than "that book I'm working on". And even when I do have a title, sometimes a snappier name comes up in conversation and sticks.

When I was writing Disintegration, I was discussing it with one of my husband's friends. I'd joked that it was going to be like "50 Shades of Grey meets RoboCop" and he said, "so...RoboCock?" From then on, it was ALWAYS RoboCock in casual conversation. (Except when discussing the prequels, for some reason.) Hell, if it hadn't been such a dark book, I might have considered it for the real title! Actually, I'd be very very surprised to learn there wasn't already porn out there with that name.

Readers of this blog are familiar with the issues I had coming up with a title for Defying the Skies. I just referred to it as "the StS sequel" or even just "the sequel". Boobulon decided to refer to it as nothing but "Searching the Threesome" until I got off my butt and came up with a real title (which, as you'll remember, didn't happen until it was time for me to submit it). Ah, friends....

For my WIP, I actually do have a title picked out. However, somewhere along the line when talking about it with my friends, this book has turned into THE LESBIANS. It must be said just like that. It's not even The Lesbians. It's THE LESBIANS. And all I can think of now is this series of recurring sketches from Saturday Night Live:

If you're looking for a point to this post, other than the crazystupid things that go on in my head and the heads of my friends, uh...well...I guess it just goes along with my life philosophy not to take things too seriously. I know there are plenty of writers out there who consider their works SRS BZNS and woe unto those who do not place the same weight on the words that flow forth from their fingers. Personally, I think those people are just setting themselves up for disappointment, but who am I to judge?

(I'll leave the judging to ROBOCOCK! Pew pew pew!)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trope-tastic Thursday: The Watson

Trope: The Watson / Audience Surrogate #2*

(*I was going to make this a three-part series, but I think Point of View has been discussed to death on writing blogs. Two parts it is! Don't forget to pop in next week!)

Description: The Watson serves as the voice of the audience, asking clarifying questions so everyone understands what's going on. Note that the Watson does not merely state the exposition, nor does he/she necessarily have to be the POV character. There are no limits as to who or what the Watson can or cannot be - they can be male or female, have any sort of occupation (or lack thereof), be brilliant minds or just smart enough to ask the obvious, and so on.

Examples: Dr. Watson from the Sherlock Holmes stories (obviously), Hermione in Harry Potter, Ariadne in Inception

Pros: If the audience is lost or confused, they're probably not going to think highly of the work in question. As writers, we're already at a disadvantage since we only have our words to convey what's going on and can't rely on visual cues. While you're never going to please everyone, we should at least try to keep the audience satisfied whenever we can.

Cons: At the same time, we don't want to treat the audience like complete idiots. And you know how writers are often told to "show, don't tell"? Yeah. Watsons kind of fall into the "tell" category. Care should be taken to not delve into a whole bunch of detailed exposition that may or may not be relevant.

Would/Did I Use It?: Tirani from The Edge of the Sphere probably counts. She helps fill in some of the "rules" of the fantasy universe when the narrative first switches to Liora's point of view. She also serves as the voice of the audience when, later on, she all but asks Liora, "Are you f'ing stupid? What's wrong with you?"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

So I finally got around to mentioning in my last post that Defying the Skies, the sequel to Searching the Skies, is set to come out in July (give or take a few weeks, as always). For this week's HDH, let's revisit Skies: Original Flava with Geneva and Ash!

(Don't forget to check out all the other talented authors once you're done flitting about in outer space with me!)

“I should come here more often,” she remarked.

“You should.” His gaze never left hers. “I can’t say that I’m happy about the events that drove you to this place, but I’m not going to pretend it’s not fortunate for me that I got to spend the evening seated next to a beautiful woman.”

She blushed furiously and had to look away from him. “I think you’ve had too much to drink,” she mumbled, taking a sip from her own glass.

“You know you’re beautiful, and you know that every set of eyes was upon you as soon as you set foot in the room. Just as they still are now.”

“Lies.” She still couldn’t quite make eye contact with him.

“Okay, fine then. They’re all staring at me with jealousy because I’m the only one who had the balls to approach you. Especially since we all know how you’re fully capable of killing a man with your bare hands.”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This, That, and Other Things

With all the events that have been going on, as well as the weekly features I do/participate in, it's been a while since I've actually written a typical blog post. In a perfect world, I'd sit down and organize my thoughts into a cohesive narrative...but I think we all know by now that our world is delightfully imperfect. So here's some stuff that's been going on, in no particular order:

 — I announced it on facebook, and I believe I alluded to it here, but if you haven't heard yet: I signed the official contract for Defying the Skies, and it should be published sometime in July. Yay!

 — Things are going well for my work-in-progress. I feel like I've hit that point where I've established the characters enough that they almost write themselves. I actually organized my sloppy list of "stuff I want to include" into a chapter outline. (Well, most of it, anyway.) I'm usually terrible at estimating these things, but by my calculations, I'm somewhere between a third and halfway through.

 — Also on the topic of my WIP: Again, I know I've been a little vague and coy in various places on the internet, but I'll say it outright here, in case anyone missed it - I decided to try something new and write lesbian erotica. It's been fun so far, but there have definitely been some challenges. The biggest one so far? Pronouns. Oh dear god, the pronouns. They're killing me. But we should always be challenging ourselves and trying new things, right?

 — Not completely relevant to writing, but relevant to my free time and what I do with it: I've been interning for a new job I spent a year and a half training for, so that's been exciting and a little scary and all that other stuff that comes with change. So far, I've still been finding time to write, and I hope that stays the same when I start working for realz. I also want to continue to maintain this blog, and maybe actually get off my butt and write real posts more often.

That list wasn't so bad. It's probably even neater than my chapter outline!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trope-tastic Thursday: Pretty Boy

And we're back!

Trope: Pretty Boy

Description: While usually handsome in his own right, the Pretty Boy isn't your rugged, muscular, lumberjack type. You know, the type that oozes testosterone with his every grunt. Pretty Boys are typically on the slender side (if not shorter than your average male), and have more dainty, delicate facial features. At the risk of stating the obvious, he's just pretty.

(Note: This doesn't mean that Pretty Boys can't be strong or powerful. It's just not as blatant.)

Examples: Legolas from Lord of the Rings, Roger in Rent, many of the male vampires in Interview with the Vampire. And Twilight. And the Anita Blake series....

Pros: Just like women, men come in all different flavors. What's attractive to one audience member can be wildly different to what's attractive to another, and why shouldn't we try to mix things up and cast a wide net? As mentioned above, this comes up a lot in vampire works, which means it can be used as a characterization shortcut. If a newly-introduced character is a Pretty Boy like the other vampires, some safe assumptions can be made.

Cons: That thing about different people being attracted to different types? Yeah, that can work against you with some folks when it comes to Pretty Boys. There is a reason that the typical "hero" is the aforementioned rugged type with the rippling muscles, and they still have a pretty big audience. Also, if a character is a Pretty Boy, he can sometimes expect to take some teasing for his softer appearance. Bullying isn't nice, yo.

Would/Did I Use It?: When writing Searching the Skies (the sequel to which has been officially confirmed, if you haven't heard the news!), I wanted there to be a big physical distinction between Ash and Marcus. While I don't think I've ever described Marcus as "pretty", he's definitely the, uh, prettier of the two, and has the shorter, slighter build. Whether or not he actually qualifies for this trope...I haven't decided yet. I'll also confess that when it comes to the Pretty Boy vs. the outwardly tough muscle-bound men...I do have a preference for the latter. *blush*

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

It's that time again! Today we'll revisit the first of the Disintegration prequels, available for free at Smashwords. Don't forget to visit all the other authors after getting hooked here!

She tilted her head back. His breath danced across her neck, and the scent of his skin wafted towards her nose. A combination of the dust on his uniform and the effects of the day’s exertion mingled in the cool air, yet it was not an unpleasant aroma. She breathed deeply, keeping her gaze focused on the illuminated desert. “There’s so much danger out there,” she whispered. “Do you ever get scared?”

“On occasion. Just don’t tell my teammates.”

Meyta smiled. “Your secret’s safe with me.”

“I can think of better secrets to share.”

Callum squeezed her shoulders and turned her around. With one hand, he brushed an errant lock of thick, dark hair away from her face. She closed her eyes as his fingers grazed her cheek, and leaned towards him.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Absolutely Erotic Blog Hop - Interview with Charley Descoteaux

Welcome to a stop on the Absolutely Erotic Blog Hop, where we’re showcasing erotica and
erotic romance authors from the Absolute Write forums. Each day, interviews will be posted,
and when it’s all said and done, some lucky commenter will win a huge prize! Click here for the entire blog schedule and details about the contents of the prize, and how to win an armload of ebooks, a $25 Amazon gift card, and more.

Today, I’m hosting Charley Descoteaux.

Thanks for having me, Thea!

A top question of a lot of aspiring writers is how to create characters the audience will be drawn to. So I'll start out by asking - what makes a character compelling?

I’m attracted to odd, offbeat characters. As a reader, if the main character is “typical” (unless
he’s a fire fighter—fire fighters are hot!), I usually start looking for a cool secondary character to follow through the story. When I’m writing I write the kind of character I’d like to read, they’re usually very flawed and maybe even broken, but hopeful.

Where do you get the names for your characters?

Anywhere and everywhere! Neil Sedwick, the main character in my summer release Directing Traffic, started telling me his story over breakfast while a Neil Sedaka song was playing. It's probably not a coincidence that I'd recently re-read Holly Black's Ironside! It’s not always so literal, though. I didn’t know Neil’s last name until his best friend called him Wicki. And Jake strolled into a story and introduced himself.

Inquiring minds must know - have you ever named a character after someone you knew?

Yes, but that story hasn’t been published (yet?). I named the fairy godmother character in a
modern fairy tale after my daughter. It seemed appropriate since she’s done a lot to help me with my writing—from talking about what makes a good story to reminding me to grocery shop!

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your

This is a hard one! I don’t want to sound too nuts, but for me it’s more like getting to know
a character than creating one. Ever since I can remember I’ve had a place in my head where they hang out and tell their stories. It started out as a beanbag chair in a paneled basement and somewhere along the way turned into a kitchen table—but it’s still the same space. I’ve learned to listen. And to resist the urge to change them too much, because when I do they have an irritating habit of disappearing. To answer your question, though, it’s a little of both. They come from some crazy hallway of my imagination, but I see people I know or have met in most of them.

Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written? Why is he/she your favorite?

Sunny White. She's Sam White's mom, and the first character to ever surprise me with a twist as I was writing one of her stories. That turned out to be my first published story. No sex or romance, but it was the first time I really felt like a writer.

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Every time I think about this question a different fictional character pops into my head.
Some days I lean toward Starfleet captains, others toward the loyal friends of tragic heroes
or flamboyant ladies who shamelessly work what they’ve got. Today, I’m leaning toward a
gunslinger: Roland Deschain from The Dark Tower series. Roland has just about everything I like in a character; he’s broken but not beaten, intensely loyal, and a great storyteller.

Let's change gears a little - what do you think is sexy?

I'm usually not impressed by things that are easily quantified, which can be a drag. But I am
fond of tall women who wear engineer boots because they're practical, and artsy men who aren't afraid to wear bright colors. Sexy to me is something one-of-a-kind, someone who is so much themselves it's impossible to say they remind you of someone else.

If one of your titles could be made into a movie, which would it be and who would play the lead roles?

Well, I’m usually most in love with the story I’ve just finished but right now I’m feeling it for
my upcoming release, A Sunday Kind of Love. It would be fun to make this movie, and not only because Ewan McGregor would be perfect to play Jake. I don’t know who would play Mason but it would be fun to bring in a bunch of handsome actors to see if they had chemistry with Mr. McGregor.

Oh, I agree. That would be fun. Along those lines - what's the most romantic scene you've ever written?

A scene where my two main characters are discussing boundaries. It doesn’t sound as earth-shaking as a proposal but it was pivotal in their relationship. I knew it could be romantic and a hot little tease—which is a lot to expect from one short scene. Not easy! Hopefully you’ll be able to judge whether I got it right sometime soon.

Lastly, do you think anyone can write a novel? Why or why not?

Sure. Anyone who’s determined enough, or crazy enough, to sit down every day for weeks/
months/years and pour out their innermost thoughts/feelings/insecurities knowing they're likely to be criticized and rejected. No sweat. ;)

Seriously, anyone who wants to write should try it and see if it's for them. Not only novels—for some of us the sweet spot is a short story or novella. It all depends on how you're wired, because a short story isn't just a shorter novel, it's a unique form and just as challenging. The variety of markets online is cool—both readers and writers can find just about anything they could ever want!

Thanks so much, Charley, for this informative interview!

Thank you for visiting this stop on the Absolutely Erotic Blog Hop! Please be sure to visit Charley tomorrow to read an interview with J.M. Keep, and comment for more chances to win the grand prize!

Rattle Charley’s cages—she’d love to hear from you!







A Sunday Kind of Love will be released on June 9th, by Amber Allure.

Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He retreated into the music after his lover died which didn’t hurt his career but turned the rest of his life into a train wreck. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. Could their celebratory trip to the salon be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason?

Until then, check out her debut, Comfort and Joy, M/M Erotic Romance, available now in all
formats from All Romance eBooks (Etopia Press).

Charley Descoteaux can’t remember a time when she didn’t have characters sharing her
headspace, because it probably doesn’t exist. She started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough, sometime around the third grade. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear. As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hump Day Hook!

(If you're looking for the Caliente Blog Hop and its associated giveaways, scroll down or click here!)

It's Wednesday, and we all know what that means! This week's hook comes from the third of the Disintegration prequels (which *cough cough* are FREE at Smashwords). After your attention span has recovered from this hook, don't forget to check out the other participating authors!

Ro stared at the ceiling, gasping for air. The wooden floorboards were rough and rigid beneath her, but the discomfort barely registered. “I have a feeling my back’s going to be killing me tomorrow,” Devan said from beside her. 

“My knees will probably hate me, too.” She blew an errant lock of hair out of her face. “Doesn’t matter. It was worth it.” 

“Agreed.” He turned towards her and ran a finger along the curve of her exposed breast. “When you’re on top of me like that, with that look on your face....” 


Devan sat up. “Let’s do it,” he said. “Let’s finally get out of here.”

Monday, May 6, 2013

Caliente Blog Hop!

I don't know where you're geographically located, but the weather's finally warming up where I am! Summer's just around the corner, and it's time to crank up the heat with the Caliente Blog Hop! Every blogger on the tour will be contributing a sizzling post and hosting a giveaway with some great prizes, so be sure to check them all out!

Disintegration takes place in the desert, so my mind naturally went there when thinking about hot, steamy fun. Keep a glass of ice water handy!

The sun’s glare was bright and oppressive, yet it wasn’t as painful to his sensitive eyes as it had been before. They exited onto the sand; no other creatures were to be found on the barren landscape. “Now we have a real cactus for you to shoot at,” Ro said.

“I’ve heard they’re especially vicious this time of year.”

“Smartass.” She chuckled. “What, you wanted me to lug the targets and other equipment all the way up here?”

Callum inserted the earpiece she’d provided him with. “I’m ready to start whenever you are.”
He followed all her commands, shooting where she directed and tearing down any shrubbery that stood in his way. While she shouted instructions, various noises cycled through the tiny speaker in his ear. Monotonous buzzing, raucous commotions, and the echo of gunfire all rang out, controlled by a device encircling Ro’s wrist. He did his best to ignore it. Sweat trickled down his cheek and neck, collecting in the collar of his shirt. Nothing stopped him.

At one point, Ro snatched his glasses off his face. “Keep going!” she yelled. His mechanical eye adjusted to the influx of light, and he continued firing at the designated targets. The previous breakdown of his functions during the battle with Tanith and her guards remained a mystery. He needed to demonstrate his skills and prove his worth. Not only was he never sure of Ro’s opinions, he wanted to regain trust in himself.

Assorted shards of plant fiber cluttered the sands. Callum only stopped pulling the trigger when he realized there was nothing left to shoot at. He lowered his gun and waited for further commands from Ro. None came.

He looked around. She had returned to the outside of the hidden chamber from which they emerged. Her eyes were hidden behind the dark glasses, and he couldn’t tell where she was staring as he approached. “How are you feeling?” she asked.


“If there were other people out here, you think you could tear them to shreds?”


“Good.” She pushed herself off the ledge she’d been leaning against, and climbed down into the elevator car. Callum followed her. He waited for her to push the buttons that would close the roof and send them back underground. When she didn’t, he reached for the illuminated panel.

She grabbed his wrist. “I didn’t say we were done here.”

“What else do you want me to do?”

Ro fiddled with the bottom of his shirt. Her fingers walked up his chest, dancing across the thin fabric that separated her touch from the firm muscles. “I did always enjoy watching you move,” she said. “When you get into that zone, when your body takes over….”

He glanced up. All he saw was the flawless blue sky, yet he was skeptical. “Here? But—”

“There’s no one else around for miles and miles.” She pressed against him. Droplets of sweat dotted her forehead, and her skin glistened with the lotion she had applied earlier. “Don’t you want to take advantage of the fresh air while we still can?"

You can enter to win one of two e-copies of Disintegration, plus a supernifty magnet by following the directions in the Rafflecopter*. (Impatient? Buy links are here.) Directly beneath that is a second widget for you to use to be eligible for the hop's grand prize! Good luck, and stay cool!
(*E-book prizes are international, magnets are US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Of Editing and Eyebrows, with Delena Silverfox

Today we're in for a special treat! Author Delena Silverfox has dropped by to speak to us about the importance of having a professional editor look at your work. (I myself turned both the eyebrow maintenance and the editing over to those who know what they're doing YEARS ago.)

Editing is like eyebrow maintenance. Some things you just shouldn't do yourself.

Now, before you get all up in arms and argue about pricing, or freelancers who don't do their job well, or any of the many arguments I've heard by butthurt indie writers who take that observation personally (man oh man, we writers are a sensitive bunch!), allow me to elaborate.

You can, indeed, edit your own work just as you can, indeed, tweeze your own eyebrows. It just takes a lot more time, work, and tools than letting a professional with a better perspective do it. If you really can't afford an editor, then you'll need a good mirror with satisfactory magnification, a good pair of tweezers, fantastic lighting, time, patience, pain tolerance, and a steady hand.

Funny as it sounds, you need those exact same things if you're going to edit your own work. Because everyone knows a first draft is crap. And no, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake who manages to crank out the only existing first draft that is a work of art. It's crap. Go through it slowly, line by line. Pull out what doesn't work; yank it out by the roots. It hurts, yes. So what? Grow tougher. Expose it in the full light of day to many different pairs of eyeballs. Qualified eyeballs.

And no, your mother, spouse, or besties don't count. Unless your besties happen to be editors, university English Professors, or Nobel laureates in literature. Then it's okay.
There are plenty of editors out there who are quite affordable, and very qualified. Do your due dilligence there, too. Ask for references, and follow up with them. Ask what their payment policies are, if your work is the only one they'd work on or if there are others they edit co-currently. Do they have a blog or email newsletter? Subscribe to it. Friend them on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. Read their reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. In short, get to know them. Are they kind of a Grammar Nazi? Good! When it comes to making your manuscript the best it can be, a Grammar Nazi is your best friend.

I promise, you'll thank me for it later. And your manuscript --and your eyebrows-- will definitely look better, too.


You can find more of Delena's musings and advice at her blog, The Printed Fox. Don't forget to check out her facebook page as well!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trope-tastic Thursday: Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette

Even though it's not part of the main trio, I decided to throw in one more hair-related trope for fun before we move on!

Trope: Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette

Description: Not to be confused with the Brainy Brunette, the Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette has very dark (maybe even black) hair and never ever sports a tan. Not only is there a stark contrast in her physical appearance that's jarring to the audience, she's got some characteristics that make her a little...odd. While this is a popular description for villains, the Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette can also be on the side of good. (But if she's fighting for good, she'll do something other than overpower her foes with physical strength. Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunettes are rarely, if ever, portrayed with rippling muscles.)

Examples: River Tam from Firefly, Severus Snape from Harry Potter, a large portion of the roles played by Helena Bonham Carter

Pros: There's something surreal and ethereal about these characters, and they can be depicted as physically attractive. Since they usually have to do something to fit the "eerie" part of the trope, they're most likely not going to be unintelligent. If your work is in the paranormal genre, this is one way to signify that something's up with this character without having to go into a lot of detail right off the bat.

Cons: Waaaaaay overused when it comes to vampires. Way. (Yes, I know, there are reasons, but still....) Also, as a naturally pale person (though I don't have dark hair), I kind of resent the idea that fair skin is "unnatural". (Hey, I never said this feature was going to be unbiased!)

Would/Did I Use It?: Near the beginning of Disintegration, Ro's described as having dark brown hair and very pale skin, leading Callum to assume she hasn't been out in the sun in a while. (True.) He also remarks on more than one occasion how, despite her outspoken nature, parts of her remain a mystery to him. That said, I don't know if I really feel comfortable labeling her with this trope. Enigmatic? Yes, to a point. Eerie? I'm not sure I agree. I wouldn't write this one off for future characters, though.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hump Day Hook (with giveaway!)

Let's see how good my hooking skills are this week!

...wait. I should rephrase that. ;)

This hump day's hook comes from Departure, available for free at Smashwords. Don't forget to check out the hooks from the other authors listed on the main page!

“Don't get involved with a man who has kids! At your age, you need someone who will focus on you!” a coworker had once told her, only half-joking. As John was several years younger than her, Clio hadn't thought this piece of advice would be necessary. She was surprised, however, the first time he introduced her to “his girls”, as he called them. He had created both of them himself in his spare time and exhibited the same fatherly love and pride she’d seen in her friends who were parents. Their little family was a departure from the norm, yet Clio was able to accept the situation. Said acceptance didn’t prevent her from wondering when she would be able to start a family of her own. 

Like this hook (or even this story)? Tell me in the comments! One lucky commenter this week will get a free ebook of their choosing from my list!