We’ve all had them. The dreaded book slump. The ones where even our reliable go-to authors don’t work. The three books mentioned here were my best reads this past month in a crowd of just-okay books.
Worth The Fall ~ I was pleasantly surprised how this worked for me. The premise shouldn’t have worked. I woman who is pregnant with 4 kids in tow. It help that the hero was a Navy SEAL. I was sucked in from the first word.
* My Goodreads review
Black Lies ~ Alessandra Torre is a hit or miss for me. Some times her angst is such a mind f*ck that just doesn’t work for me. But the original plot in this one, although far fetched had me applauding the risks she took with this one. If you’re not one with many triggers, and if you’d read anything, I recommend you give this a try. It’s best to go in blind, and even if you think you’ve hit one of your triggers, I advice to keep on reading.
* My Goodreads review
The Hook Up ~ the title and the cover doesn’t do justice to the story. I do not read much new adult nowadays, but the couple in this one certainly had a more mature connection. I was pleasantly surprised and I enjoyed the writing. No over-the-top contrived drama. Thank God!
* My Goodreads review
My thanks to Hot Tree Promotions for organizing this wonderful blog tour. Tour schedules will be available on my Facebook Author Page.
So I’m 75% done with Always #2 first draft. The plot stalled a bit when I hit 50-75% mark because I was deciding what to reveal, what clue to add. There maybe some truth that exercise stimulates the neurons in the brain because my best plot twists crystallize when I’m running. It’s a win-win.
For the first book, “It’s Always Been You”, I finally got it on Barnes and Noble and Apple iBooks store.
Barnes and Noble
Where in the world do I come up with ideas?
It all starts with the news. I remember around two years ago a woman shot an intruder five times and he still managed to run away.
Georgia mom shoots intruder five times
It turns out some stories like this are more common than you think because usually a perp is amped up on drugs and pumped so full of adrenalin, they’re unnaturally strong and don’t feel pain.
Anyway, this reminded me of the movie WANTED with Angelina Jolie. This movie was about assassins who could perform superhuman tasks because they could produce excessive adrenalin when stressed.
So I thought what if the adrenalin surge was drug induced instead of natural. Surely it’s not far-fetched with the CIA given its secretive programs. ;)
There’s also the case of military amphetamine. This drug is to battle fatigue, it is called the “go-pill” and is used to keep pilots alert and sharp-eyed.The side-effect is the inability to sleep so they’re issued a “no-go pill” afterward to help them sleep. Yes, it’s kind of whacked, which is why the practice is under fire because of an accident. But that’s a whole other story.
This was a stroke of luck. I’ve always had a fondness for Berserker legends. William Wallace (Braveheart) was a rumored berserker. I really wanted to use the name but wanted to make sure it was appropriate at least. This was what I found out.
Berserkers were Norse warriors who are primarily reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk. Berserkers are attested to in numerous Old Norse sources. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods.
Some scholars believe certain examples of berserker rage to have been induced voluntarily by the consumption of drugs such as the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria or massive amounts of alcohol.
I just love it when things fall into place. ;)
Eight chapters into Always #2. I still suck at writing everyday life and I don’t think I’ll ever get it. Those who’ve read my books since Fire and Ice know my love for multiple threats, multiple villains kind of deal. Blame my love on the series “24.” By the way, did you all watch “24:Live Another Day?” Do you think we’ve seen the last of Jack? I hope not.
Back to the book . . . with less explosions and terrorist encounters, I thought I could make this book an easy read. It’s turning out to be an espionage kind of thriller, and I’ve written myself into a twisty knot that in the past few days had me frustrated to resolve. But from experience, it’s in the end game that will unfurl this mess I’ve created. And I think I’ve sighted it and it’s what makes writing so rewarding and exciting. ;)
The recent headlines in the news are also making my fiction read more real. It’s scary.
Oh, here’s another one of my favorite badasses.
Just finished 5 chapters of rough draft of Always book#2. Gabe is a hot mess. :)
Now that “It’s Always Been You” has been out for a few weeks, I’ve been getting questions about Caitlin and her past. I’ll spoiler it below. If you have not read the book, you probably shouldn’t read past the spoiler lines.
It’s been brought up in passing in the book. Now that I’ve seen some questions, in hindsight, I probably should have written more to explain this part.
In the rolling car meeting between Porter and Travis, Porter said specter agents are recruited at a young age from foster homes. This is so they have no link to a past, no identity at all. They’re “ghosts.” I guess with this in mind, I’ve projected on Caitlin into acceptance that she was raised in the CIA to have no identity, no past, no real friends or family except fellow specter agents who also, do not, technically exist.
Her life with Travis was the only one that was real, yet was still a lie in itself. This was something Travis had to accept and is the main message of the book. Travis LOVED Caitlin unconditionally, he will ALWAYS love her no matter what.
Caitlin can’t dig into her past because everything to do with her past is classified even Porter said he couldn’t divulge much about the specter agent program. With no memory, what can she really do? Caitlin was pragmatic enough to move forward, get everyone who wants a piece of her (except Travis once she began to trust him) off her back and move forward with the man she loves.
Thanks to everyone who has read my new book “It’s Always Been You.”
Thank you for the awesome reviews! Many times I almost wanted to leave a comment on the review because I was so thrilled how the review captured exactly how I wanted the book to be perceived. But as a reader myself, I feel a review is really for another reader to make an informed decision whether to read a book or not. So I controlled my twitchy fingers and decided to thank everyone in this blog post. :)
I know the book didn’t work for some; I know my writing style is not for everyone.
I’m so excited to start working on Gabe and Bee’s story. The plot is developing nicely and there’s nothing more exciting than to see connections snap into place.
I’m finding that Travis and Caitlin’s characters were easier to write than our next couple. I’m not sure if you all noticed in book #1, but Bee doesn’t fit the “self-sacrificing, goody-two-shoes” mold. I discussed this with my friend about how Bee’s character may not be entirely likable. She flat out told me: “You don’t have to make her likable.”
Which means I’m going to have fun with her character. It’s always a challenge to make the character stay true to who she is but still have that one redeemable quality that firmly puts her on the heroine column.
This reminds me of the time when I wrote my alpha of all alphas—Viktor Baran—his book is Smoke and Shadows. He is cold, calculating, ruthless. How the hell can I make that man say “I love you.” It took some work and some friends here on Goodreads saw my status updates when I was drowning myself in a bottle of wine because Viktor was being such a pain in the ass to write. But that man—he’s the guy I’m gonna stick to in a zombie apocalypse. He may be terrifying to contemplate having as a book boyfriend, but he’s such a badass; one reviewer said he has enough badass in him to go around the world twice! :)
Okay, back to Bee. I foresee some frustrated status updates here on Goodreads. Gabe, well, for those who’ve read the opening scene let me tell you, I’m cackling like a vindictive witch here. He’s got a lot of groveling to do—the alpha way of course.
My husband and I were laughing when my book made #2 on Amazon’s hot new releases for military thrillers. It’s so funny to see this sweet cover among all those testosterone-charged covers.