Oct 31, 2012

Five Blog Tour : Guest Post


Today I have Christie L. Rich author of Five the first book in the Elemental Emnity series on the blog with a guest post and a giveaway! This blog tour is being hosted by Dark Mind Book Tours. Make sure to go to their site to see the full tour and all the awesome posts that are going on with this tour. 

How To Make Your Characters Believeable (or Not) 


I’d like to thank my gracious host for having me today.  This guest post thing is kind of neat.  I get to go on and on about my opinions and no one can stop me, muhuahahaha.  No really.
To be honest, I don’t know if I’m qualified to give you advice on making characters believable.
Not too sure you want to read on, are you?
Well, here’s what I mean.  Characters don’t often do what a writer tells them—if they are real.  Me commanding any of my characters to do anything seems rather pointless.
From my experience, characters tell their own story.  I’m just the conduit.
What that means is I didn’t make Rayla Tate (The female lead in my Elemental Enmity Series) up.  She came to me all drawn out and filled in.  She also came with her own belief system (that doesn’t always mesh with mine), a hot temper, snarky attitude and a whole lot of gumption.  That doesn’t mean I knew her right away.  I had to work to get to know her, and the way I did that was writing her story her way.
I’ve had a few people tell me that Rayla (at times) acts out of character.  Looking back, they are right, but Rayla’s the one that did it, not me (Wow that sounded whiny).  In my mind, it was her right to act out of character, and honestly, who among us hasn’t made a choice we regretted later?
A real character leads the story, and if you (as the writer) get out of their way, it will astonish you how well your story will flow.  The hardest part of writing for me has been when I have questioned my characters.  When I’ve done that, I’ve halted the story, and it’s taken quite a bit to get it on track again.
Characters, like anyone, don’t like being told what to do.  I actually had a near tantrum when I learned that one of my favorite characters was going to play an antagonistic role in my series.  I honestly couldn’t believe it, and I started crying when I learned what was going to happen, but you know what?  Those parts of the story are powerful.  They resonate truth, which is what we expect from a believable character and, more importantly, a believable story.
I’m not saying that a writer is not involved in the story telling.  We are.  It is our experiences—our looking glass, if you will, through which our character’s story is unfolded.
As a writer, I make certain choices.  I’ve had many characters come to me since my first introduction to Fexlie (a fiery little pixie in the Elemental Enmity Series that showed up one afternoon while I was on my way home from work).
The great part of being a writer is I never know how deep a story is going to go until I invite a character into my mind.  I get a snippet of who they are and what they want, but I get to choose who I take on.  I’m usually not sure why I’m the one that particular character approached (No I’m not out of my mind.  At least the last time I checked, lol.), but there is always a deep seeded reason for me to be the one to tell that particular tale.
Writers in general have something to say to the world.  It’s why we write.  We’re opinionated, but it is not only our opinions that end up on the page.
I was surprised when I started to see a pattern unfold in Rayla’s story.  Here I was, writing a feel good Paranormal Romance, yet a theme emerged that had been interwoven throughout the books.  The weird part is, I didn’t intentionally put the message there.  It just appeared.  Rayla’s story is ultimately about freedom and the cost of our choices.
The more I explored Rayla’s world the more real it became.  From the deceptive fae council to the greedy Order, I realized whenever I started typing I was falling into a different world.  Just because that world lives in my imagination doesn’t make it unreal.
So, getting back to that believable character thing.  What makes a character believable?
Every reader is looking for something when they open a book.  Even if it is simple escapism, we have to connect with a story and the characters within the pages on some level.
I’m still of the mind that if I’m doing my job as a writer, I’m out of the way.  The story is telling itself, using my hands.
The problem is, when you first start out writing, you don’t trust yourself enough to just let the words flow.  We all have insecurities we have to face.  The worst for me was, what if readers didn’t like my books?  What if I really suck as a writer?
The truth is I have had to struggle through parts of the writing process.  I’ve had to learn how to trust myself to write the story the way it is supposed to be.
I’ve fiddled around with plotting and pansting.  (For those of you who might not know that last term, it just means I figure it out as I go, flying by the seat of my pants.  It still makes me laugh when I visualize that.  Try it and see if you don’t smile.)
What I’ve come to understand is every writer is different and our processes are different, but ultimately, we have to figure out how to get to know our characters then how to get out of the way and let them tell their story.  If they fall flat on the page, it’s because we haven’t asked them enough questions.  We haven’t allowed their motivation to sink into our minds.  We’ve failed to get to know them.  Sometimes even when we have a good connection with our character, we won’t initially know why they make a certain choice, but I’ve found that given enough thought, the motivation becomes clear.
Believable characters are relatable characters.  One of the funniest things I’ve encountered with my current series is I’ve had a few people tell me they don’t relate to Rayla at all, while others rave about how real she is.  Either way, Rayla is Rayla.  I didn’t create her.  I’m just telling her story, and I’m honored to do so.  But the one thing I’ve realized by reading such statements is that Rayla is real, and people react to her as such.
So maybe instead of crafting believable characters, we writers should be opening our mental doors for our characters to waltz through and stay a while.  I’m convinced if we let them tell their own story, we will have a believable character.
What do you think?  Have you had a different experience?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  Thanks for reading.





Rayla Tate’s life is about to turn vertical…again. As if it wasn’t bad enough her mother disappeared under questionable circumstances leaving Rayla to be raised by her aunt in a horrendously small town. Her overprotective guardian is determined to ruin Rayla’s life. She refuses to let Rayla out of her sight or out of the state. Provincial living might be what her aunt demands of her purposely sheltered niece; but, Rayla has other ideas. In a desperate attempt to follow her dreams she flees the safety of her home and runs away to college with her best friend toward a bright future in the art world.

However, excitement over her newfound freedom turns into terror when she is chased by a mysterious stranger on her way to school. When his motorcycle suddenly morphs into a fire-breathing pegasus, Rayla questions her sanity. Worse, the man riding next to her stirs a burning desire in her soul she has never known or could have ever imagined. Using all the will she owns, she manages to resist the compulsion she feels; yet, as he disappears into the night, she is certain he hasn't gone far.

Rayla quickly dismisses the encounter to her overactive imagination. She is determined to settle into her new life, yet the images and feelings of that night still haunt her. To make matters worse, her aunt seems to be in on the act, insisting that Rayla will soon be hunted by a pack of fae lords for a power over the elements she never knew she possessed—a power that could change the world. Quicker than she ever thought possible, she finds herself surrounded by stunning men that all seem determined to win her heart. Why does she feel drawn to each one of them? More importantly, what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using whatever means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever. 



 



I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing now. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. We live in a quiet community under the Wellsville mountains in Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.

Where you can find Christie:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest
YouTube | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Book's Links:
Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Goodreads Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Createspace

Thanks so much for stopping by today Christie! Christie was kind enough to giveaway e-copies of both the second and third book in the series to one lucky winner. And what's even better is it's open international! There is one more thing you should know before you go Five (Book 1 in the Elemental Emnity Series) is free on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Perfect right? You get book one and now you have the chance to win  Dark Matter (Book 2) and Genesis (Book 3)! All you need to do to enter the giveaway is fill out the raffelcopter below! 



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Oct 30, 2012

The Succubus Gift Tour: Excerpt


Today I am taking part in The Succubus Gift blog tour hosted by Dark Mind Book Tours. I'll be sharing with you chapter one of B.R. Kingsolver The Succubus Gift, an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance novel and The Telepathic Clans Saga. Hope you guys enjoy it make sure to check out the rest of the tour. There are lots of fun other posts going on.



Excerpt



 Chapter 1
We have been burned at the stake, locked up in asylums, drugged into a stupor. We are secretive for our own protection. - Seamus O’Donnell

She noticed the young man immediately when he walked past her, head down and in a hurry, but not only because he was so good looking. He had no thoughts, no mental activity, and that grabbed her attention in a way nothing else could have.
Following him, she stepped into a shop doorway when he stopped and looked around. She didn’t need to keep him in sight. She could feel his emotions, so strange coming from someone with no thoughts she could read, different than all the other people on the streets. Checking her mental shields to make sure they were as tight as she could make them, she followed him around a corner. He didn’t look back, seemingly not aware she was there.
Moving closer as he turned another corner into an alley, she stopped when he hesitated at the other end. He looked about before stepping out onto the street, but he never looked back. Realizing he couldn’t feel her, she closed the distance between them.
Scanning the area with her mind, she discovered two other men, farther away, who also were mentally shielded. Their emotions were completely different than his, and she shivered at the malice radiating from them. Every time the first man changed direction, the others soon followed. Although they couldn’t see each other, it was almost as though they could feel each other, just as she could feel them. Through the maze of streets in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, they danced across the city in the summer twilight.
He walked into a bar just a block off the water. She knew it had entrances on two different streets, and rather than follow him, she walked to the corner, out into the street, and stood in front of one of the unusual old triangular houses in this part of town. From her vantage point she could see both entrances.
Coming out the other side, he walked in the opposite direction, away from the harbor. He was doubling back, hoping to lose his pursuers, but they weren’t tracking him by sight or sound. She watched a man hesitate in front of the door the young man had used to enter the bar, stop, and then turn around.
He was walking faster now and she was forced to break into a run to keep up with him. He stopped in a small park, in a dark area near a building, turning and waiting for her.
“Why are you following me?” he asked as she approached him. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes in his early twenties.
“Those men are following you. Do they want to hurt you?” she asked, looking up at him. “They don’t feel the same as you do.” His blue eyes widened. “They’re coming. They can feel you.”
“I can’t feel you, and I doubt they can either,” he answered with a puzzled tone in his voice. “You’re an O’Neill.” He took a step toward her. “Who the hell are you?”
She felt the other men at the edge of the park. “Why are you afraid? Are they going to hurt you?”
 “I don’t know. They might try,” he answered, smiling nervously.
She covered him in her shield and saw his fists clench as the other men approached. The sense of menace radiating from them increased as they drew closer, moving stealthily. In the darkness, she couldn’t see them clearly. Large men, even bigger than the young man she was following, they had a rough look. One passed within only a few feet. He turned and looked directly at them, but continued on. She could see he held a pistol close to his body.
 “Holy Mary,” the young man breathed when they were well gone.
She stepped close to him, out of the shadow, and looked up at his face. It was the first time he could see her clearly. His eyes widened in shocked surprise.
“Who are you?” she asked. “What are you? Do you know what I am?”
He stared at her pale face wreathed in black hair. His mouth opened, then closed. He swallowed and shook his head.
“Please,” she said, her voice cracking, “can you help me? I’ve been alone for so long. Are there more people like us? Do you know where to find them?”
Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward and in a low voice said, “Come with me. I’ll take you to someone who can answer your questions.”
He started off, then turned back when she just stood watching him. “I know what you did to make those men miss us. Thank you. I promise no one will hurt you if you come with me.”
They set off across the city together. After several blocks he turned up a street, similar to many in the area, where all the row houses looked exactly the same. They walked to a house halfway down the street and rang the doorbell. When the door opened, he entered, pulling her after him.
“Jared, what the hell?” the man inside stepped back frowning, his eyes scanning over her, lingering on her chest. “Who’s this?”
“I’ve been playing hide-and-seek with two thugs half the afternoon,” Jared answered. “Their shields and strength were pretty much a match for mine, and I just couldn’t shake them. Then I ran across this lovely lady who graciously extended her shields to hide me from them. Where are Seamus and my mom?”
“Shielded you?” She felt him attempt to read her mind. Her blue eyes flashed and she pushed back, feeling his shields bend under the pressure she exerted. His eyes widened. “I see. Seamus is probably in his office.”
Jared took her by the arm and led her down a corridor. They took a turn, then turned again into another corridor. Bewildered, she let him guide her. She had been in dozens of Baltimore row houses and they were small, open structures. She felt like she’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
They stopped in front of a door and Jared knocked, then entered when a deep voice said, “Come in.”
Inside a spacious office, a very large man with shoulder-length gray hair and a bushy beard was seated behind a desk. A tall, thin woman with sandy colored hair in her late thirties or early forties stood just inside the other door to the room. She took a tentative step forward, the blood draining from her face, and the man sat up in his chair, eyes riveted on the face of the young woman with Jared.
The young woman wore a white tank top and hip-hugger blue jeans that outlined her wasp-waisted hourglass figure. Thick, wavy black hair cascaded to her waist, contrasting with her pale complexion and sapphire blue eyes.
“I’d like you to meet … I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name,” Jared said, turning to her with a slight smile.
“Brenna,” she said.
“Of course. This is Brenna. I had a couple of stalkers follow me tonight. She helped me get home. Brenna, this is my grandfather, Seamus, and my mother, Callie.”
“Thank you for seeing my grandson home, Miss, uh,” the man said slowly. He had a faint but distinct Irish accent.
“Morgan,” Brenna supplied.
“Miss Morgan. I didn’t know he was lost, but thank you for your help,” he said with a faint smile.
“She shielded me,” Jared said. “Covered me to invisibility without touching me.”
Seamus’ eyes narrowed at this assertion, studying her closely. “That’s very interesting.”



The transition between teenager to university to graduation is difficult and confusing for everyone. As an orphan and a prodigy who entered college at sixteen, harboring secrets she dares not reveal, Brenna Morgan’s journey is more complicated than most. Then one evening she stumbles across a young man who promises to answer all her questions if she’ll trust him.

The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.

That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course.

Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance. The Succubus Gift is a completely different take on the succubus myth. Beautiful women and hot men in a world with a hidden telepathic subculture.


Hope you guys enjoyed that excerpt! I really love this books cover and know that I will be reading it at some point. What do you guys think? Going to read it after that excerpt? Well guess what today you have the chance of winning a copy of the book but first here's a little bit about the author before the giveaway.


Author Bio: I write books combining Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Science Fiction. I believe in fiction as an escape, with devastatingly beautiful women and incredibly sexy men.

In my books, you will find characters with psychic abilities, such as telekinesis and telepathy, and a completely different view of a succubus than you've ever encountered before.

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master's in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I've skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I've hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven't done enough of it. I've seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I'd like to see Banff.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I'm currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.




You can find B.R Kingsolver on her website, facebook, and twitter. You can purchase her books on these sites Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, KoboBooks, Diesel-Ebooks, Indigo.CA as well as it's available on Apple iTunes bookstore. And now for the giveaway! This giveaway is open international and one winner will win a copy of The Sucubus Gift. Good luck to everyone who enters! 





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