My guests today are, Gabriel Raines and Mattie Baker – please, have a seat on our lovely couch! – from Dallas, Texas. Their tale can be found in Against the Fire, a novel creation by Kat Martin.
Before we begin, I must remind everyone to please try and keep your responses to a PG-13 atmosphere – the Moonlight Mistresses' rules, not mine *eye roll*. Double entendres are acceptable and widely encouraged for events and phrases we don’t want our young readers to really know about. Oooh, it will be so much fun trying to guess what you’re really saying!
*Settling comfortably onto the sofa, draping his arm over the back and sipping his bubbly* That Miss Havana in Reaper’s Domain is one hot teacher and boy would I love to get into her…class! I might actually learn something…oh…did I say that out loud? *Clears throat* Sorry. Let’s get back to the interview.
You two make one fine pair! I did a wonderful job pairing you two up if I do say so myself! Then, I just love all of my matches!
Cupid: Please, Gabriel, tell our readers how you two first met. Was it by your design, or hers?
Gabriel: It was Fate’s design--a chance meeting at the police department, though seeing as Mattie is an architect, maybe she had a hand in it.
Cupid: Mattie, would you say it was love at first sight or did you find him repulsive?
Mattie: Repulsive? Ohmygod, the man is a flat-out hunk. Not the kind of guy I should have liked, him being such a macho type, but then again, sometimes things just happen.
Cupid: Too true! This one’s for both of you. Since chaotic happenstance tends to put characters like yourselves in situations where they must work together or live together for one reason or another, tell us what chaotic happenstance “forced” the two of you to work or live together. How did you feel about this?
Mattie: I had to live with Gabe. He demanded it, since he feared for my life. Seems an arsonist was trying to burn him out and he was afraid I might become one of his victims. He also demanded that if I slept there, I slept in his bed!
Gabriel: A wink and a grin. Tricked her, didn’t I?
Cupid: Ah, a man after my own heart! Nice one! *they exchange high-fives* This one is also for both of you. How long did it take you to know your true feelings for the other? At what point did you know, “this is the one”?
Mattie: I tried to fool myself for a long time. I just didn’t trust my feelings--or any man I had ever met. So it took me a while. Maybe it was the time I realized Gabe’s life was in deadly danger.
Gabriel: I was beginning to get the idea when we took off for a weekend at my little Hill Country ranch. But Mattie was tough to convince.
Cupid: Gabriel, what would you say was your biggest obstacle to overcome before you could settle into a relationship with Mattie?
Gabriel: Convincing myself it was time to settle down.
Cupid: This is for either of you. Would you like to thank anyone – other than me, of course – for getting you two together?
Mattie: Well, Angel, I suppose. He is such a sweet young boy and he worshiped Gabe.
Gabriel: My brothers--pain in the...that they are. They knew before I did that Mattie was the one for me.
Cupid: *uses a right pinky to wipe a tear from his right eye* Such touching devotion! I know our readers have enjoyed learning about you two so far, but I’m getting a little bored, so I’m going to heat things up. Mattie, how would you end this sentence, "I wish Gabriel would just____." *leans forward to eagerly hear your response*
Mattie: Take me to bed...Oh, that sounds just about right.
Cupid: You're no shrinking violet! Gabriel, would you prefer to give Mattie a bubble bath or a back massage? Why?
Gabriel: Oh, I’m all for a bubble bath...those nice slick bubbles and I get to rub them all over her lovely little body.
Cupid: Good choice! I wholly agree! How many of you remember that old show, The Newlywed Game? Well, these next questions are going to help us play a similar game. Gabriel, what would Mattie say is your aphrodisiac? *waggles eyebrows*
Gabriel: I know Mattie’s secret. She needs a real man. I’m man enough to give her exactly what she needs.
Cupid: Mattie, is he right? How would you have answered that question?
Mattie: (fanning herself). There is no way I can argue with that...(sigh...)
Gabriel: I believe in show don’t tell.
Cupid: *crosses ankles and rubs his chin* Gabriel, what would Mattie say is a spot guaranteed to drive you crazy with passion? Is she correct in that assumption?
Gabriel: All she has to do is get up on stage and wiggle that pretty little...of hers.
Mattie: Why should I contradict him?
Cupid: Mattie, as far as you know, what is Gabriel’s idea of a perfect date?
Mattie: Gabe’s a man’s man. Probably a pizza, a beer, a football game and a long night of hot, steamy--
Cupid:*clears throat, coughing, "PG-13 rule!"* Gabriel, is she correct? If not, what is your idea of a perfect date?
Gabriel: I like to think I’m a little more sophisticated than that--at least some of the time. The last part is just fine.
Cupid:Can't argue with that! Gabriel, your turn in the hot seat. What is Mattie’s idea of a perfect date?
Gabriel: She’d like to go to an art opening, maybe supper at a fancy restaurant, then a long night of hot, steamy...you know. (Grin) So you see we aren’t all that far apart.
Cupid: Mattie, is he correct? If not, what is your idea of a perfect date?
Mattie: I’m flexible. I can go fancy or not. The last part of the date is always the best part.
Cupid:So true, even if you're getting spanked!*smirking* The next two questions are for both of you. What's the most romantic thing your lover has ever done for you?
Mattie: Gabe sang a song just for me, knowing he has the worst voice on the planet. It was really sweet.
Gabriel: I’m not about to tell you the things, my lady has done to please me. Let’s just say it was hot, and that’s my idea of romantic.
Cupid: If you could change one thing about your relationship, what would it be?
Mattie: We haven’t been together long enough for me to find that out. At the moment, I’m still in the Gabe’s Perfect stage.
Gabriel: She could be a little less independent, I suppose. Though I’m kinda getting used to it.
Cupid:Oh L'amour! Have the two of you had time to settle into any Valentine's Day traditions?
Mattie: I better get roses and candy and a great night in bed.
Gabriel: I expect two things. I want to see my lady in a pair of red thong panties, And I want a great night of--
Cupid:*coughing, "PG-13 Rule"* Thanks to Gabriel and Mattie for joining us today. We hope you’ll check out their story, Against the Fire.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
My guests today are, Gabriel Raines and Mattie Baker – please, have a seat on our lovely couch! – from Dallas, Texas. Their tale can be found in Against the Fire, a novel creation by Kat Martin.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Want a chance to win a KINDLE? Well, here's your chance. Decadent Publishing will be at Coffee Time Romance (http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/) all day on February 1st. They'll be giving away a KINDLE with 6 preloaded books. So don't miss your opportunity to walk away a winner!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Joss Ware !!!
a.)What area of the country/world are you from?
b.)What are the average temperatures of your area?
c.)What type of clothing would most residents be wearing today?
d.)What tips do you have for people to “survive” the weather where you are?
To learn more about Joss Ware, click on her name at the top of the blog or visit:
her website: www.josswarebooks.com
on facebook: www.facebook.com/joss.ware
Readers are in luck because right now there is a sale on her books!
Click image to find out more!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Whispered by Carrie at 4:49 PM
Friday, January 21, 2011
Run Devil Run, an L.A.-based rock band well known locally for their dynamic live performances, diverse musical talent, and humorous video antics has lent their faces, titles and lyrics as inspiration for a five-book series with the publisher. The stories are penned by popular and award-nominated authors Rachel Carrington, Mari Freeman, Susan DiPlacido, Valerie Mann and Becca Dale, and will be released first in ebook format, then later in print.
“I’ve seen RDR play live several times and they are impressive. When this idea came to me, they were a natural fit. Paranormal romance lends itself easily to the Rock vibe,” says Heather Bennett, Co-owner of Decadent Publishing. “Customers who buy the series off our site will be treated to a free download of the coordinating song so they get the whole multi-media experience.”
Mari Freeman writes,” Music has always influenced my writing, but creating a story, characters and an entire world based on the lyrics of a song has been one of the most unique experiences. The collaboration between Decadent Publishing and Run Devil Run has found a creative way to take that musical influence and share it with readers. Read the book, get the song that inspired it. That rocks!”
Remarks Jackie Joyride of Run Devil Run, ”The fact that our music could inspire authors of this caliber to bring characters to life, I mean, it’s a thrill for us. It’s been great working with Decadent Publishing and to see these stories come together around our music…it’s an ego boost for sure!”
Thursday, January 20, 2011
By most writerly-type accounts, I have a dream job. Or - more specifically - I don't have a job at all. Cue the tickertape parade, ya'll, because I'm a full time author. A full time author with a bill-paying spouse and absolutely zero income requirements.
Does it get any better than that?
Now, before you go thinking I've got it made – or, even more laughable – that I've "made it," I'd like to invite you to be me for a day. Brace yourself for the glamour, my friends - this is one reality show yet to make prime time.
5:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off a full hour before necessary. It's the "writing alarm" – the one you set so you can get up and amass wordage before the kids invade the day. You are excited. TODAY is the day you'll get your characters off the floor where you left them and out of the first chapter. You can feel it! Today will be different!
5:01 a.m. – You're still listening to the alarm. The bed is warm, you're comfy, and you know the H will get annoyed and cut off the alarm so you have zero motivation to move. Your characters will be perfectly fine on the floor for another hour.
6:30 a.m. – The H is late for work - his fault for doing the whole alarm-cutty-offy thing. He's not amused when you mumble this from beneath a thick, fluffy pile of blankets while he pulls on layers after layer of long underwear to face a 20 degree morning.
8:00 a.m. – You awake to the distinct odor of a three-year-old wearing a wet pullup sitting on the bed somewhere in the vicinity of your head. If you're lucky, you only smell pee. He repeats "Good morning, Mommy" – louder each time - until he wakes up the baby.
8:10 a.m. – You're up, the baby is up, the offender has been banned from your bed for life. You need coffee or, rather, Sam's Club brand vanilla cappuccino. It's instant, so you put a cup of water in the microwave.
8:11 a.m. – There's not a whole lot you can get done in the two minutes it takes to heat water in the microwave, so you unload the dishwasher.
8:12 a.m. – Then you load it.
8:30 a.m. – Feeling accomplished with the dishwashing thing, you open the handy dandy netbook to add more brilliant words to your WIP. A mere two seconds after you vow not to go online until you've written at least a full page, you are so distracted by what you might be missing in your inbox that you decide it's more prudent to take a quick look than it is to lose writing time to incessant curiosity.
9:30 a.m. – Still online. 'Nuff said.
9:35 a.m. – Kids want pancakes or French toast. You feel guilty knowing you're going to try to make up that lost writing time later in the day, so as a pre-emptive strike on your conscious you agree to make pancakes or French toast. (Well, there's that and there's the idea of a steamy, buttery stack of stuff covered in syrup.)
11:00 a.m. – You're still flipping breakfast over a hot stove. You vow to use the griddle next time, because getting it out can't possibly be more trouble than making 30 whatevers one at a time for a herd of five ravenous children (plus a baby with only two teeth).
11:30 – You find the forgotten cappuccino water in the microwave. Reheat.
12:00 – Two of your six children are still asleep. You've yet to find time to eat your cold breakfast, and now the other kids want lunch "because it's noon." The pan is still hot from breakfast. You threaten them from the kitchen with it.
1:00 p.m. – The kids are working on their home school assignments, no one has questions, and there's peace on your two acres of Earth. Time to tackle your manuscript.
1:05 p.m. – A squabble erupts over a pencil (you don't know why because they each have a set of 24 personalized pencils that promised to put an end to this). You referee. The sound of the world ending wakes up the baby.
2:00 p.m. – After almost an hour of howling interrupted-nap-woes, the baby has returned to peaceful slumber. The other kids are (literally) in their corners, Pencil Gate resolved, accomplishing things. You experience a twinge of envy.
2:02 p.m. – The computer is open. You can't remember the file name of your manuscript. (Yes, I'm serious.)
2:10 p.m. – The mailman is at the door. It is at this point you realize you are still wearing pajama pants and have yet to corral the girls with a bra.
2:11 p.m. – Everyone went careening from their work stations to see what package came today, so you go ahead and do the group lessons. Ancient Assyria, here we come.
3:00 p.m. – Writing time. And this time you mean it. Right after you check your email.
3:45 p.m. – You've just finished telling every friend, message board, and social network you know about the stellar review or awesome reader e-mail you just found in the inbox you were not supposed to be anywhere near.
4:30 p.m. – … and now you've squealed in turn over their great news, fab reviews, and left comments at their blogs. You know you haven't made adequate rounds, but it's past time to start the bread dough for dinner.
7:00 p.m. – The meal rivaled anything Paula Deen might put on the table to acquiesce the guilt you're about to feel about shutting the bedroom door so you can work on your manuscript. After piles of homemade mashed potatoes, fresh baked bread, home-grown veggies, and a roast worthy of Sunday dinner, you realize you didn't exercise today.
7:10 p.m. – Your readers and peeps have left emails and messages in response to your emails and messages. You reply.
8:00 p.m. – You remember you have a blog / guest blog / interview to finish. Yesterday.
9:00 p.m. – One of your delightful offspring is asking for the 10th time in two hours if you'd like anything to drink. You give up on "no thanks" and ask for cappuccino, at which point you remember the cup of water in the microwave. You hope the kid is smart enough to reheat the water.
9:05 p.m. – Cappuccino comes, and with it word spreads that the barrier of the closed door has been successfully breached with no fatalities. Bringer-of-cappuccino demands a quarter for his services. You decide you like his business acumen and glare until he goes away, quarterless.
9:06 p.m. – Having seen a sibling return from your territory unharmed, ten-year-old boy comes in to discuss the garden. (The one that's a good three months from going into the ground.) You close the computer and give him your full attention because (a) your kid is beyond excited about gardening and doesn't care a lick about video games and (b) not only is he still speaking to you in these tween years, but he clearly values your opinion. This is way better than fiction.
9:34 p.m. – You really don't care this much about the garden.
11:00 p.m. – The other writing stuff is done. Rather than opening your manuscript at this late hour, you set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. and vow you'll get up early to write. You don't have to go to work, so you'll have all day to get those characters off the floor and out of chapter one. And you're almost too excited to sleep.
Tomorrow will be different.
Sarah stays at home with her six precious children, each of whom are adorable when they're asleep. Contrary to what you might expect after spending a day in her life, she only contemplates murder within the pages of a book. The cast of her first romantic suspense, RUN TO YOU, is getting killer reviews ( click here ) while the characters from her new novel are getting cramped up after a few weeks in the same position on the floor. But no worries. She'll work on that … tomorrow.
Whispered by Gracen Miller at 12:00 AM
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
What do I write about in this post?
I'm late with it because I wasn't sure what to write about last night, and I had an appointment to have my sinuses scanned today. Not to mention the fact that I woke up with a headache at 6am and it's been snowing all day. That meant leaving the house much earlier than planned to arrive early...
To make matters worse, it feels like a Tuesday to me because the Packers played on Saturday night. Sorry, but when you get a pattern going, sometimes one tiny change can throw off the whole thing. Seriously, I woke up early Sunday morning thinking that it was Monday, but it didn't feel right, so I had to turn on the computer to verify that it was indeed Sunday.
Well, I felt off all day yesterday, and I still feel off, lol! :)
On a better note, I'm happy that the Packers won. At first, it seemed as though we were going to fall apart, again, but the team pulled their act together and beat the Atlanta Falcons.
Currently, as I write this, the Milwaukee Bucks are struggling with the Houston Rockets. So yeah, I've been very distracted by sports.
On a different note, I finally watched Akeelah and the Bee. I really liked that movie and thought it was well done, even if the end was a bit Hollywood. The kids did a great job playing their parts, all of them. I hope to see more of them soon.
I got distracted looking up the kids on IMDB. The one that hasn't done anything else was the kid that played Dylan Chiu. Which is kind of sad really, because I really liked his character and thought he played it very well. Both Sean Michael Afable (Dylan) and Tzi Ma (his father) did very well at playing these rolls. Very talented and worked well together.
Oh, and I love Lee Thompson Young! The entire movie, I couldn't figure out where I knew him from and it drove me crazy. Finally looked it up - he's in the TNT TV Rizzoli & Isles. He plays Rizzoli's new partner, Detective Barry Frost. Besides being a couple years later, Young has hair on his head and a mustache, so it was hard to make the connection, lol!
Anyway, I really liked the movie.
What about you?
Watch any good movies lately?
Friday, January 14, 2011
Insert "EDITS" for "PC" in this photo! :P
Are edits a hair tearing frustration for you? Or a joyful ride down memory lane relearning all the delightful quirks of your characters?
For me, it is a smidgen of both. I'm exhausted from a week of edits, so I really have nothing to say. I sent in the edits yesterday and I feel brain dead, like I need to reboot my brain so I can actually focus on something else.
These edits weren't minor (at least not to me). They were overhauling edits that altered the storyline. Altered so much, I'll have to fine-tooth my way through book 2 to make the necessary changes. In the beginning I was frustrated by the request to alter the storyline somehow. After being forced to rethink my story, I started to see what the editor was saying. So, I cranked up my creative dial and demanded Muse spew forth something awesome. (Muse was not happy with me. *evil giggle* It's always fun to get him back for the torture he inflicts on me.) Not sure if I came up with something awesome, but I'm very proud of and excited about what my Muse did create!! That's progress, right?
But...what will my editor think? Yikes! I feel like a fresh-faced teenager whose bestfriend has just told the hot boy in third period I like him. My belly is twisting with excitement and dread. Because what if the boy doesn't like me back? Ahem...I mean what if my editor doesn't like the changes as much as I do? You see my dilemma? I respect my editor's opinion (even if she thinks I don't) and I really, really want her to love this new storyline! *bites nails as I endure the wait*
Share your editing misery with us! Or editing joy if you're brave enough to rub it in our faces. ;-) I'd love to hear from our editors too!! Come tell us how awful us authors are, how irrational and whiny. LOL I know we are and so do you!
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!
(All photos were snagged from Photobucket. I do not own these photos and no copyright infringement was intended.)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Now, it's time to create a little mayhem and get to the good stuff by revealing all of A. Faris' deepest darkest secrets in the moonlight. LOL Yeah, you wish! ;-D Grab your favorite wicked drink, sink your teeth into something decadent, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know A. Faris.
MLM: Do you have any holiday memories from 2010 that you would like to share with us? (Memories can be nice and sweet, naughty, or just plain goofy!)
A. Faris: My sister loves to travel and when she came to visit me last December, she insisted on going around in the dead of winter. I refused to take any part in such foolery but sisterly affection has a way of working on one. Which was why I had found myself at the top Broadway Tower (in the Cotswold) in the middle of the coldest winter England has seen. My three-year old hugged me tight, too cold to whine, just burrowing into my neck, trying to escape the wind.
My sister took one look around at the fantastic view, then said, “Let's go back.” This, the woman who helped build a school in Cambodia despite a gastric flu bug, travelled in deep snow to get to Avebury, and climbed the Jungfrau with no winter coat (having forgotten it, bless her).
Finally, something has defeated the tourist who knows no illness, weather or inconvenience. English weather. Gotta love it.
MLM: With the beginning of each New Year, many people make resolutions to change something about their lives. Do you make resolutions each year? Why or why not? In other words, what’s your philosophy behind your decision to make or not to make resolutions?
A. Faris: No. There's no philosophy, just plain laziness. I have a vague life plan and that is enough for me.
MLM: The buzz all over Tweetland and Facebook is how stressful many of us tend to find the holiday season (Thanksgiving through the New Year). This year they’ve seemed to be even more so with everything that’s been going on in the US and abroad. Stress isn’t usually conducive to writing, so we need to shed that stress, clear our minds so the words will follow. How do you plan on recharging your soul? Any relaxation tips you’d like to share?
A. Faris: The television is very good for numbing the brain, I must say. But sometimes, even that can get to be too much for me. What I like to do is spray on a comfort scent (Ambre Narguille by Hermes is my favourite at the moment but anything that makes you happy works), put on some music (KYO, a french rock band, Andrea Bocelli and Maria Callas are some favourites), and lie in the dark.
MLM: One of the greatest things about the Internet is that we can connect with writers of all kinds from all over the globe so we want to know:
a.) What area of the country/world are you from?
A. Faris: I live in Oxford, England.
b.) What are the average temperatures of your area?
A. Faris: 2-3 C
c.) What type of clothing would most residents be wearing today?
A. Faris: Thermal underwear, sweaters, winter coats, hats. But there have been a few nutters in short-sleeves and short skirts (when I say short, I mean really short). Really, someone should explain to me how these people keep warm.
d.) What tips do you have for people to “survive” the weather where you are?
A. Faris: Good boots. I had bought a cheapie which fell apart on me in one month and my feet weren't exactly happy with me in that month either!
MLM: Say you’re at a cabin in the mountains, and it’s not exactly warm out and you had the option of where you wanted your hot tub to be. Would you have the hot tub inside or outside the cabin? Why?
A. Faris: Outside the cabin. It sounds insane, but I can vouch for this option, having actually gone for a dip in a hot tub in winter while in Rotorua, New Zealand. The cold against your face while the rest of you is wonderfully warm, and the litter of stars above you. Fantastic.
MLM: If you could go anywhere in the world for the holidays, where would you choose to go? Why that destination over others?
A. Faris: Mexico. Why? Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza. That's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?
MLM: We’ve had our fun, now it’s time to switch the focus to your writing. Why time travel and fantasy? What was the draw for you?
A. Faris: I am just starting out, so I am actually experimenting with many sub-genres of romance. I can't say that I will always write fantasy romances, or time travel romances, although I have had a great time with both. The former was an off-shoot of an idea I had while telling my son the fairytale 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The former...I think I might have been watching too much Dr. Who at the time!
One thing is for certain, though, I LOVE writing romance. You won't find me apologizing for it, years down the road, I hope. LOL. I find the character development love can bring (in real life and in books) fascinating and the draw of romance, for me, is that change love can bring, despite the circumstances.
MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please look beyond words hot, steamy, mysterious, paranormal etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
A. Faris: Believable.
No matter what story I am writing, at no point do I want the reader to think “Jeez, that is just stupid. No one would ever...*insert character's behavior*” Even if it is a fantasy, time travel, space age, apocalyptic (and other variations thereof) romance, I wish for the readers to be able to identify with the heroine, want to meet the hero, and pretend to inhabit the world I have created.
MLM: Earlier we discussed stress and the holidays. While stress may not always be conducive to writing, do you find that the holidays disrupt your writing schedule? If so, how? How tough is it to get yourself back in writing mode? What does it take to get you back on track?
A. Faris: Holidays are a paradox. While I find it disturbs my schedule, the forced break from writing always produces many ideas for exploration later. It is actually quite good for the creative process, but not for the actual writing itself. But I don't really find it hard to get back into writing mode. I get back on track as soon as I get over jet lag!
MLM: Who decides what the characters/creatures you write about do, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one pouring the soap in the Jacuzzi?
A. Faris: I like to think my muse and I are in a partnership. She gives me ideas and I make sure they are presented in the best way possible.
MLM: Of all the stories you’ve written, which character did you have the most fun creating and why?
A. Faris: Jack in The Golden Harp. I have a tendency to favour beta-males with strict codes of honour in my stories and Jack is unlike my other heroes. It was fun to write an alpha-male with an uncertain moral compass. He could act in ways that is less than ideal, yet I found him appealing. Maybe I am developing a taste for bad boys? :)
MLM: Thanks so much for joining us, A. Faris! It's been a treat getting to know you better!
Buy Link: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/
You can also find me on Facebook:
“Out of Joint”
Rebecca Guthrie is a governess in the Wentworth house. In love with Bennett Wentworth, brother to her young charge, she does not realize the family harbours a secret, well beyond the scope of her imaginings. Ashamed of the family curse, the werewolf hero has vowed never to marry, denying the very real attraction he feels for her. It takes a tangle in time to uncover their secret passions, and bring the two together. The only problem is the same glitch in time threatens to tear them asunder.
“The Golden Harp”
Serving a bond of debt, Callie Harper chafes under the rule of the ogre, Alfred. When a new girl escapes Alfred's clutches, Callie is sent to retrieve her from the protection of Jack Spriggins, the upstart looking to undermine Alfred's rule of the criminal world.
All Callie has to do to gain her freedom is to overcome her conscience, and her blossoming love for Jack.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Definition of adventure (taken from dictionary.com):
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
Considering this, indicates most romance novels I've read contained adventure as a major ingredient. No, not all of them have been futuristic, sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal. Many of them have been historical romances.
Yep, many historical romances tell tales where the characters go through adventures. From Mary Jo Putney to Nora Roberts to Amanda Quick - adventure seems to be a favorite story additive, especially when you consider the huge popularity of certain movies:
Star Wars (IV, V, VI)
Pirates of the Caribbean
Harry Potter Saga
These are some of the biggest films out there, and they've been enjoyed by viewers of all ages.
What do they have to do with anything? Despite the fact that they're paranormal, fantasy and/or sci-fi, the adventure is what makes them popular. Yes, they add to the escapism, transport you to another place or another time, but that's not all they do. These movies take the reader on a fantastic adventure with danger and excitement around every corner.
What these movies do is no different from what Mary Jo Putney did in her story, Silk and Secrets. I don't have the book in front of my because I read it quite a bit ago, but I remember that I liked it, I remember that the main character, Ross, went on an adventure, why this time, I can't remember. I just know that this adventure takes place in foreign, dangerous lands and there are some very well-done action scenes with desert tribes.
Ice Blue, a contemporary novel by Anne Stuart, takes place in the US (California, I think, but I can't remember exactly where) and overseas, sort of. Basically, the two main characters are enmeshed in a dangerous web and need to survive. Sure, you could say it's "survival," but isn't that just a fancy name for adventure?
No matter the setting, adventure is adventure, and that seems to be what I seek. However, I've come to expect certain things from regular adventure stories. Story staples I guess you could call them. The best adventure stories I read usually have the following with them:
1. Map of the area the story takes place in, to help the reader orient themselves and get a feel for the terrain.
2. Glossary of terms and/or people - not required, but when there are a lot of different terms whose definitions are integral to understanding the story or a lot people to keep straight, a list can be essential and prevents the need for repeating certain information, unless it's absolutely necessary.
For example, this latest book I'm reading, Servant of a Dark God by John D. Brown, both references are handy because there are a lot of different types of races to keep straight, and the relationships from one race to the next can be complex. Plus, the territory isn't something you're automatically familiar with, so the map helps to orient the reader within the setting.
Not all adventure stories have these two things, but they do a superb job of creating the setting with narrative and dialogue as well as developing the characters through dialogue and actions.
That being said, every time I read an adventure story - historical, contemporary, futuristic, etc. - if there isn't a map and the characters travel to multiple locations during the story, I always wish there was a map so you could get an idea of where these different locations are relative to each other. I don't know, I guess I just like to look at maps, know where the characters are going because, generally speaking, I'm going along for the ride and I always like to know where I am! :)
Besides a map and list of terms/people, something else extremely important to an adventure story is character development. Sure, yeah, I know that most of you say this is a must for any good story, but I say a requirement for an adventure story.
Why is character development more important for an adventure story over others?
Well, as with stories in other genres, as lame as the adventure itself might be, the characters will be carrying the story, but that's not the only reason. Given any adventure, there are lulls in action - down times - for the characters while they wait for the next part of the adventure to begin.
Well-defined characters will always present interesting situations during those "down" times. For example, in a romance novel, the down time is usually when the first (or expected) sexual/sensual connection will occur. But that's not usually the case with non-romance adventure stories. Down time does not have that kind of fallback to move the story along. Sometimes, the chapter ends when the character goes to sleep and picks back up when they're awake or a scene break occurs and the reader gets a glimpse into something happening in another area of world.
However, resting points for the characters are great way to inject chaos and mayhem. One of the characters may run into an old friend who happens to be able to supply information that seems unnecessary at the time. Or, bump into someone, making them angry. Of course there's also one of my favorite ploys - a bounty hunter or someone the character is trying to avoid shows up, forcing some funny or dangerous situations.
These ploys are not unlike some of the situations in Amanda Quick novels. In one of them (sorry, can't remember the name), the main characters (man and woman) find themselves trapped in a brothel they were searching by the villain(s) of the story, so the pair hides in a prostitute's room, but realize that bad guy(s) isn't leaving, so they need to change the plan a bit - they pay the prostitute for some of the clothes she has, dressing the high society lady as a brothel wench, effectively disguising her enough to get her out of harm's way for the moment.
Injecting chaos and mayhem is important to most stories because it adds some humor, but it also complicates matters and makes the end goal that much harder to reach. Adventure stories need obstacles and side missions to stretch out and interfere with the task at hand to add complexity and depth to the story line.
However, these scenes don't work if the character isn't well-defined. The last thing an adventure reader wants to do is question why a character does what he or she does. By this I mean that the character's actions must match their personality. Do they apologize to the guy they bump into...stare them down into silence...ignore them?
Of course, what the character does here will reflect the personality painted from the beginning.
If a character is quick to believe something about someone or believe information from them, readers want to really be able to understand why. If a character doesn't confront another character about something, they want to know why, and that reason must make total sense to the reader and jive with what the reader knows of the character or the reader may not continue reading.
I'm getting sleepy now, so off to nap!