Fiction vs. Reality

Do you ever look at someone or read about something that happened and think, “that belongs in a book?” I love basing characters and situations off of real people and things. Plus, when someone pisses me off in real life, I can kill them off in my book and not get arrested. ;o)

In my newest release, Death Do Us Part, my main character Nick is a Detective in Florida. In one part of the book, he’s talking about some of the cases he’d worked, like this one below:

Thankfully, there wasn’t too much traffic, but that would change in just a couple of weeks. By the end of October, all of the snowbirds would have flocked south to the warmer climate, clogging up the roads. He supposed he shouldn’t complain, since it brought a ton of money into the state, but they always got an influx of calls during ‘season’ and he wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. It’d been busy enough as it was without the Sheriff’s Office fielding calls about stolen dentures. Nick rolled his eyes. He still couldn’t believe that one. An elderly man had left his dentures in a glass on the front porch and gone inside for a few moments. When he’d come back, they were gone, apparently stolen by the resident next door as part of an ongoing feud. Nick had been with the force for over a decade and that was one of the strangest—and most hilarious—calls they’d ever received. He chuckled softly. People never ceased to surprise him.

Believe it or not, my friends, this is based on a true story. Years ago, I used to peruse the police log of our local newspaper just to see what the crazy people of our small town were up to, And, yep, the police responded to a call about stolen dentures.

Sometimes you just can’t make shit up!

Marvel vs. DC

Yep, so you all know where this is going. Lol

Is there anything better than superheroes looking super-sexy and saving the world? Probably not, no. I’ve always been a DC girl myself and I absolutely adore Batman. He’s been my character crush since I was four years old and if I’d ever wavered at some point in my life, Christian Bale in the role of the Dark Knight totally sealed it for me. He’s British. AND he’s Batman. Seriously. Ace.

It’s a little gritty and totally dirty, but Deadpool is freaking awesome. I’m also totally in love with Ryan Reynolds, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth. I just want to stare at them all day. Lol <3

Social Media <3

Social Media is an incredible thing. I’ve had Facebook for years now, probably since I was in high school. I’ve met a ton of great people there and the support groups are amazing. You can find almost anything you want on Facebook.

Twitter is pretty awesome, but I hate that they limit the number of characters in each post–typical writer problem, I know. Admittedly, I’m not very good at Twitter yet. It’s still pretty new to me, since I’ve only had an account for a couple months, but the support I’ve gotten so far is pretty incredible.

Another new platform to me is Instagram. I honestly thought I’d hate it, but it’s become my absolute favorite over the past month and a half since I’ve had it. It sounds crazy because, really, how many pictures can you take? The answer: a crap ton. I LOVE playing with photos more than I ever thought I would. I play with covers of my books all the time, adding captions and quotes. It probably drives people crazy, seeing the same thing all the time, but hey. It happens. I’m not a huge selfie person (since I generally prefer to not terrify my audience) but I post a few pics of me here and there.

If you’re on any of these, look me up! I love meeting new people 🙂

Favorite Genre to Read (and Write!)

So, it should come as no shock that my favorite genre to write is Romance. I love everything about it and I’m a huge sucker for a happily ever after. There’s enough bad shit going on in the world. All I want is for my two characters to be happy – is that too much to ask???

I love romantic suspense, because (as a reader) it keeps me involved in the story. I get sucked into it, like I’m trying to sleuth out the killer, and I NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW. Romance in general is great, but I find myself skimming through the sickly sweet ones, just waiting for something to happen. And right now, I’m really over MC romance. Don’t get me wrong – I love a bad boy, and bring on the sexy tats, the more the better. But for God’s sake, give the dude an occupation.

Historical romance is an all-time favorite of mine, too. I sometimes widh I could transport myself back in time and get swept up in the world of balls and Society. I find the Regency period particularly fascinating, but I really think that’s just my inner little girl screaming to play dress up. 🙂

When I was younger, I LOVED horror and I collected YA horror books like they were going out of style: Goosebumps, Shivers, Fear Street. You name it, I had them all. I think it was this particular fascination that turned me to romantic suspense as an author. I’m drawn to the dark, scary side of life that we all know is out there – but I can at least give my characters the ability to overcome it and find their happily ever after. <3

Character Mock Ups

I recently posted a meme on social media about characterizations that went something like this…

“I’m a writer. If I’m staring at you, I’m not being rude. I’m trying to decide if you need to go in a book. If you’re being a jerk, I may be trying to figure out how to kill you.”

You guys have nooooooo idea how true this is! Lol Literally every time I’m out in public, I’m watching and listening. (It’s really not as creepy as it sounds.) People can be extremely rude sometimes, and every once in awhile (okay, a lot) I sit back and fantasize about choking the out of them just for being a jerk.
I love romantic suspense, because I can come up with all these creative ways to kill people without being arrested in real life! Lol

On a more serious side note, though, a lot goes into building my characters. Sometimes they’re inspired by people I know or have interacted with, other times they’re from TV shows, movies, magazines. I’ll scour the internet for pictures of people that my characters look like, then I’ll slowly begin to build their lives. Where do they live? What do they do for a living? (Usually this is fairly obvious since most of my heroes are in law enforcement or security), but the ladies… that’s where it gets fun. The beautiful thing about this is – they can be whatever I want them to be. Or whatever they want to be. I let my stories guide me. If something doesn’t feel right, I mix it up and try again until I feel like it works for them.

My character building is slowly getting better with experience, and I hope it shows in my writing. I’m always open to suggestions, so if you have any crazy ideas for awesome heroines or sexy alpha males, drop a line my way and let me know! <3

Family, Friends, and Pets I’ve Written Into My Books

Ugh… It’s been awhile. Admittedly, I’m pretty terrible at keeping up with my blog, but it’s been a crazy month – getting Escape published and getting Death Do Us Part rolling (which is due out in June! Yay!). Now I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. This week’s topic is people that I’ve written into my books.

First and foremost – Me. There is a lot of ME in my main characters. People tell you to write what you know… Since Escape was my debut novel, we’ll start with Eve. Despite a bad experience with an ex-boyfriend, she was able to overcome it and find true love. Eve loves to bake (watch for some recipes over the course of the year – Maple Iced Pumpkin Cookies are the BEST!) and she’s a little shy, a little quirky, just like me. My husband is the charismatic kind of person that can walk up to anyone and start a conversation and be their best friend in minutes. Me? I just want to sit over her and read (or write) my book in peace. This journey is definitely pushing me outside of my comfort zone, forcing me to do try things I’ve never done before. But I have to admit – I’ve been loving it. I’ve never been more thankful for anything in my life. It’s absolutely incredible to do something I love. But I digress.

My husband. Nick – from Death Do Us Part – is the fictional version of my husband (with bigger muscles!). He’s kind of an asshole, but sexy and lovable, and I love the dynamic between him and Savannah, who’s sweet and sassy, the perfect offset to Nick’s brash brawniness. Blake (The Devil You Know) is all alpha-male, but he loves Victoria unconditionally and will do anything for her, a quality that I admire in my husband (no matter how often I drive him crazy with my ridiculous antics). I try to write little bits of my husband and our relationship into each character’s story, blurring the lines between reality and fiction to make it feel real.

Pets. Not yet – But keep an eye out for Bella in my current work in progress, Frozen in Time. 🙂

Chase Your Dreams

Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated with writing. When I was about seven, my dad bought our first desktop computer, and I would spend hours writing short stories—amid playing “Ski Free” and getting eaten by the abominable snowman…  😊  There are probably two dozen half-finished ramblings stored on that old hard drive, and it makes me so happy to see how far I’ve come.

Writing isn’t really one of those things that most people consider a career. It’s hard. Really hard. But I love it. If it weren’t for my husband, I probably would still be stuck in the same boring cycle—get up, go to work, come home, go to bed and then do it all over again. Day after day, year after year. But I wanted something more—I wanted to find something I really loved to do.

About a year ago, my husband and I were having a conversation about what I wanted to do when the kids go to school. I could go back and finish my degree, or I could start a totally new venture. He suggested doing some part-time editing because I love to read so much. I reluctantly told him that my dream was to write a book, and he proceeded to hand me his laptop. I rolled my eyes and opened Word… and started writing.

Just over a year later, my first book, Escape, has been released. Now my second book, Death Do Us Part, is already being sought out by a couple different publishers. I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am for this experience. It has completely changed my life. My books might not be for everyone, but they make me happy—and that’s my hope for my readers. I hope that you’ll read my stories, get transported to a new world, and fall in love with my characters. Know that true happiness is out there—and you will find it.

Never be afraid to chase your dreams. Find something you love and go after it wholeheartedly. It’s true that we’re not all made the same. Not all of us are meant to be doctors or lawyers or astrophysicists. And that’s okay. Take criticism with a grain of salt—don’t listen when they tell you you’re not good enough. If you truly love something, your passion will shine through. Learn from your experiences, but never give up. When you get knocked down, get back up. You can do it. Keep pushing forward and never look back.

 

xoxo

Danger…

When Eve receives a threat from her ex-boyfriend, she turns to the only person she can trust… Michael.

See below for an excerpt!  <3

She walked around the small building, keys in hand. At the base of the stairs, the now familiar feeling of being watched crept over her and she scanned the area. She turned in a circle, examining every car, person, and object she could see, but nothing stood out. Damn it. This was driving her crazy. She remained there for several for moments, then blew out a hard breath and sprinted up the stairs to the apartment. Eve unlocked the door and took a step inside, reaching over to flip the switch. The fluorescent fixture illuminated the small kitchen and she froze in the doorway as the bright light fell over the kitchen counter and a huge bouquet of roses. Red roses.

Panic assailed her and she stumbled backwards, catching herself on the doorframe. Her vision clouded as blackness crept into her peripherals and her lungs constricted tightly in her chest. She took a breath, forcing oxygen into her burning lungs, and she slammed the door. Eve turned and fled back down the stairs, unlocking her car with the key fob. She jumped inside, hitting the lock button with her left hand and shoving the key into the ignition with her right. The car turned over and she threw it into reverse, quickly backing out of the spot and heading out of the parking lot. She fished her phone out of her pocket and called Robert.

He picked up on the second ring. “Eve? Is everything–”

“He’s here. He was in the apartment. I went upstairs and they were right there.” She knew she was rambling hysterically, but the words just kept pouring out as she sped out of town, driving blindly. “I didn’t see him, but he must still be there somewhere.”

“Okay, just take a deep breath.” Robert’s voice filtered over the line. “I’ll go over and take a look.”

“No! Please, Robert, don’t. I don’t know what he might do. Oh, God, why is he here? Why now?”

“Hey, everything’ll be okay. You’re safe, that’s all that matters. We’ll figure something out. Where are you now?”

She relaxed her grip on the steering wheel, stretching her fingers for a moment, and she looked around her. “I’m near the interstate.”

“Okay. I’ll keep an eye out over here, make sure no one follows you. Do you have somewhere you can go for a while?” he asked.

Eve debated for half a second before flipping on her blinker and merging into the right lane. “Yeah. I’m going to Michael’s. I’ll call you when I get there.”

Eve + Michael

I had a blast writing ESCAPE, and I hope you guys love Eve and Michael as much as I do. See below for a sneak peek… <3

His dark mood was intensified by the sound of gravel crunching in the driveway and he swiveled in his chair to glance out the window overlooking the front lawn. An older Toyota sedan pulled around the circular drive and came to rest directly in front of the wide steps leading up to the wraparound porch. Probably some salesman making rounds. He didn’t recognize the car, and Aaron Timmons delivered his groceries every Wednesday morning around eleven o’clock in his beat-up Cavalier.

The driver unfolded from the car and his eyebrows lifted as he took in the unmistakable female curves. Her blonde hair glinted like gold in the bright afternoon sun, but her face was hidden behind a pair of giant sunglasses.

Something about her niggled at the back of his brain and his eyes swept over her, trying to determine the source of his disquietude. While on tour, he’d learned to trust his gut. Call it intuition, instinct, whatever the hell else, but it had saved his ass several times in combat.

Michael shook off the thought. Seriously, he was losing his damn mind. How dangerous could one tiny woman be? Apprehension coupled with anticipation snaked through him as he continued to watch her. He’d been home for the better part of a year and, though he didn’t venture out often, he could if he had to. He was adjusting to his prosthesis and he didn’t jump at every loud noise anymore, but there was one thing he just hadn’t been able to do yet. He still couldn’t bring himself to be with a woman. He was tired of jerking off in the shower, but he sure as hell wasn’t willing to jump back in the dating pool. He’d had enough blows to his self-esteem and he wasn’t sure he could handle any more rejection at this point.

The woman walked around the car and his groin tightened in appreciation. Her loose white blouse billowed away from her body in the slight breeze, and her capris stopped just below her knees. She was dressed primly, almost business-like, but he could tell even from here that she was gorgeous. And that ass. Perfection. She opened the passenger door and retrieved something from the floor board, then made her way to the front door.

Probably pamphlets, he thought to himself as he rolled his eyes. Take a hike, Lady. God and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye these days.

Fortunately, he’d had the foresight to have an intercom system installed for this reason alone. He didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t really even want to talk to anyone. He could just push a button from the comfort of this chair and tell everyone to go fuck themselves. He smiled in a sort of twisted satisfaction when the buzzer sounded a moment later, and he barked into the receiver. “Yeah?”

He knew he was being kind of an asshole to this poor, unsuspecting woman, but his bad mood was spilling over now and he just couldn’t rein it in. The woman was silent for so long it started to grate on his nerves. “What do you want?” he growled.

“Um… Mr. Donovan? You probably don’t remember me. I’m Eve—Evelyn—Walsh, Suzanne and Edward’s daughter…”

Michael didn’t hear the rest. He vaulted from the chair, stumbling down the stairs as fast as his bum leg could carry him.

She was still stuttering into the intercom when he wrenched the front door open, and her big blue eyes widened as they locked with his, her full lips parted in surprise.

Holy Jesus. It was her.