Sarah, I’ve been waiting for today, eager to be a guest on your blog. Thanks for having me. To celebrate my visit here, I’m giving away a copy of Storm’s Interlude to one lucky commenter who fulfills the requirement listed below, so read on.
Consequently my rump has spent more hours on hard gymnasium bleachers than it cares to remember. Yes, I am a Wrestler Mom and proud of it! **wink** I’ve also read a gazillion romance novels as I’ve sat on those bleachers waiting for my son to wrestle. And my son still recalls how there was always a Snickers and a Mars bar tucked into his gym bag and a note of encouragement slipped between the laces of his wrestling shoes. Odd the little things kids remember.
Needless to say I love the sport.
Last night while rewriting some scenes, trying to make them less jerky and more fluid, I was also watching the PIAA Collegiate Wrestling Scholarships. One of my favorite commercials came on—author and screenwriter John Irving, ex-national wrestling champ, comparing writing to wrestling. Makes sense, doesn’t it? How often have we wrestled with our plots, our characters, our endings? For me, too often.
John Irving says you have to earn the ending. One earns it by learning the craft and then rewriting and rewriting.
How often have you read a book and marveled at how well the story flowed, how the descriptive imagery created a mental picture or how quickly you came to care about the characters? Drawing the reader in is not easy, yet it’s something I strive for, as do all writers.
Our characters have to be flawed, just as we all are, and yet likable. Three main tools for doing that are deep point of view, internal dialog and zippy verbal dialog.
Here’s a scene from a novella I have coming out June 27th, Those Violet Eyes.
Win is a veteran, having lost part of his leg and hearing in Iraq. He’s come back to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul and open a ranch for children with amputee limbs. Evie can’t wait to get out of Texas and works as a waitress at a honky tonk to earn “get away” money. Win has just started working there part-time as a cook. Kiera, who helps Gus run the honky tonk, tells Evie to go back to the kitchen to introduce herself to the new cook.
Evie charged through the swinging door to the kitchen and skidded to a stop. It couldn’t be. Although his back was toward her, there was no mistaking the height and broad muscled shoulders. This mystery nephew of Gus’s was the guy who’d remarked on her eyes. Her stomach did a little twitchy dance, nerves no doubt.
She ran her suddenly damp palms over her short skirt and cleared her throat. “Excuse me. Win?”
She took a couple steps closer and noticed he was washing vegetables under a spray of water. “Win?”
Evie rolled her eyes and stepped behind him, tapping him on the back. The metal strainer clattered in the sink and a blur of motion barely registered before steely hands gripped her forearms. Oh my God! In a flurry of movement, he snatched her off the floor and backed her against the stainless steel counter. Cold wet hands viced her arms. Her eyes snapped wide and the air whooshed from her lungs when his body slammed into hers.
Win’s eyes were narrowed, his breathing rapid through a clenched jaw and a vein bulged in his forehead. “Don’t do that.”
The man was every inch the warrior, every hard tensed inch. He held her mid-air, so close they were nearly eyeball to eyeball. As his gaze traveled over her face and awareness evidently crept in as to the sex of his attacker, several inches of his frame hardened even more.
Evie swallowed. Oh, good Lord.
He glared and his nostrils flared.
“I…I’m sorry, Win. I called your name, but…but you didn’t answer. I was only trying to get your attention.” Her lips twitched at the humor in the situation—hadn’t Keira told her the man lost part of his hearing? Evidently she’d startled him. Poor soul. She felt a portion of herself return. A portion she’d hidden for so long; that light-hearted part of her soul that teased and cajoled. “Honest, I wasn’t trying to attack you.” She placed an open palm on his defined pecs and patted. “You’re safe with me, big guy.” Just to rattle him some more, she winked.
Win’s hazel eyes flashed for a second, then he slowly leaned in and whispered in her ear, “You’re not safe with me.”
A shiver galloped pell-mell through her. He smelled of pine soap and musk. His short, spiky, straw-colored hair tickled her neck when he lowered his head a fraction. Warm lips barely grazed her skin, igniting a sensual fire in her system. Her eyebrows furrowed in question. Had he just kissed her below the ear? It was so brief, so feather light her mind wasn’t sure. Her nipples, though, piped up in confirmation. Hell yeah, he kissed you! Me next, me next!
Buy links: TWRP ~ http://bit.ly/zBsUyl
Amazon ~ http://amzn.to/wWibTe
To enter the drawing for a copy of Storm’s Interlude, hop over to my blog and sign-up to follow and also leave a brief comment with your email address at the bottom of the post “Keep Your Fingers Crossed.” I’ll need your email address to notify you should you win. Good luck! http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com