Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Can I Write After Love?

I've been a writer at heart all of my life, but I have only been calling myself a writer for the last 13 years, beginning around the time when I'd recently graduated from college and had decided that I would like to write professionally. I also decided, at that time, that romance was my genre of choice, and the type of story through which I could express my truest self. Knowing in my heart who I was and what I loved, I embarked on a journey that changed my life as I knew it and enabled me, in its own special way, to shape the world through plot, word and character. I had many concerns, as most writers do, and though one in particular stood out among the others I managed to keep the thought tucked away in the back of my mind. I  assured myself I'd worry about it when the time came, and that, when it did, this concern would not affect my writing, because I loved writing more than anything in the world. Then, much like the heroines in my stories, I fell madly, deeply and unexpectedly in love.

Anyone who knows me well could tell you that I am not a content person by nature. I spent the majority of my childhood asking my parents, "What are we doing next?" and "What are we doing after that?" My eagerness to see what is around the next corner is what has spurred me to breathe life into fictional characters and to shape their worlds and I've surrounded myself with enough fellow writers to know that this is a quality we all share. Imagine my surprise then, to find that when the greatest thing in the world happened to me, I was filled with great...contentment, contentment which soothed the restlessness in me, restlessness that had always fueled my desire to write. My sudden lack of interest in getting the words down both surprised as well as concerned me. It forced me to take a hard look in the mirror and to question why I had begun writing in the first place. What it was that had encouraged me to jot down those first few words, to create seven full-length novels while being an active part of a community of writers who love the craft as much as I do? What made me gravitate toward the romance genre, in particular?

In my short career as an author, I've given a number of interviews and spoken at many a panel discussion, at which, the same or similar questions are often asked. Questions I've always found interesting, perhaps because the reasoning behind the answers is not so cut-and-dry for me are, "Why do you write romance?" or "Would you ever consider writing another genre besides romance?" The short answer to these questions, or at least, the answers I've generally provided are that I simply love writing about love more than anything else, and that the desire in me, to do so, will never fade. I'd meant those words with all of my being and yet, there I found myself, for the first time since embarking upon my self-initiated journey to save the world through love stories, unable to write and rapidly losing interest in doing so. My love, my obsession at times, no longer drove me. My identity, which had been shaped over the course of more than a third of my life, was no longer clear to me, and for that reason I decided I needed to look even more deeply inside myself. Doing so, I realized, not at all to my surprise, that I've been in love with love for as long as I can remember. Much of my infatuation with the topic originally stemmed from my own desire to find love, thus, my concern that when I did find love, experiencing this wonder first-hand might quell the fire burning within me, had come to pass.

Indeed, finding love did ease my restlessness to a degree, as I no longer needed to write to create feelings that were now a part of my own world, the very best part, as it happens! Love is what a romance novelist's readers seek and in order to cater to these expectations we writers must become one with our characters, see the world through their eyes and tell their unique stories as only they (we) can tell them. Surely an author who has experienced love for herself could create such a scenario again and again, as real-life experience is often the greatest way to give authentication to our stories. I know this to be true. This want and this need is what inspired my love of the romance genre in the first place and yet, for months, this no longer seemed to inspire me. Having only just begun to get back on the horse after considerable contemplation, I share this with you, my readers, because I need to hear it as much as anyone else. Having experienced my first true bout of writers' block in over a decade, I am working every day to find my way back inside my stories. In the end, I believe I will be stronger for this (most wonderful) bump in the road, as I can say with every confidence that my love of plot, character and storyline still burns hot within me. New experiences shape who we are as people.  They change usin my case, unquestionably, they've done so for the better!

Every writer, no doubt, will experience a point in time in which he or she will question whether they want to continue writing. While the wheels in our creative minds are turning the world turns as well and sometimes the "real" world can take us so far away from our fantasy world, we forget what brought us there to begin with. Fortunately for me, sometimes all it takes is a glance back at what I was working on before I lost my concentration before I can pick up again from where I left off. There may come a time when life simply becomes too busy.  But today is not that day. In the meantime, I plan on making the most of my creative energy, which lives on, writing stories to share with everyone who appreciates romance as much as I do. Whether you're a writer yourself, or a reader, I hope your own creative spirit never dies. Thank you always, for your support and friendship! Write on!!

Amidst diamond heists, murder and deadly secrets, love still finds a way to take root. Danger lurking around every corner, five young men struggle against all odds to get whatand whothey want.

The Pinnacles of Power Complete Collection is on SALE now! Enjoy all 5 full-length stories for just $4.99!

*Individual stories also available in paperback at Amazon and B & N!!*

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Interview with Author Ava Lynn Wood

I am excited to welcome award winning children's book author Ava Lynn Wood to Passion Between the Pages! Ava and I discovered each other on Facebook and our mutual love of suspense and romance made us fast fans of each other's stories. Ava writes under two pseudonyms - Ava Wood, her young adult pen name and Ava Lynn Wood which she uses for her Adult Contemporary novels.

     I'll be sharing my review of Ava's In A Dream today, along with an interview with the author herself. 

    Welcome, Ava!

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What aspect of writing do you enjoy the most?

When I was about eight years old, I loved writing poetry, albeit quite juvenile, but I’ve always had a great love for writing. It is as if it has always called to me. I was an only child growing up living in the “middle of nowhere” and began creating worlds early on to entertain myself. So I guess it was only natural that I found my way to creating “friends” in my books.

In writing, I most love creating those relationships that speak to people. I love bringing characters to life that people want to root for and identify with. When I bring a character “to life” I want them to seem like someone that you could meet just walking down the street, someone that you would truly want to be friends with.

2. What kind of writer are you? Plotter?  Panster? Where do your ideas tend to come from?

I am definitely a plotter. When planning my first novel, I actually had close to 300 notecards with story ideas on them. Since then, I’ve condensed the process to about a paragraph of planning per chapter, but I typically have a story all mapped out before I begin writing. It helps to keep the story moving along and keeps me from getting tripped up on finding that perfect ending.

My ideas can be inspired by any number of things; a movie I’ve seen, a song I’ve listened to, a current event, a reality show, or even a friendship that my child has. I take my inspiration from the life that happens around me. There’s no telling where my next great story idea will stem from.

3. Heroine Emma Potter of In A Dream is incredibly strong, in spite of the horrific tragedies she's endured.  Was it difficult to write about the darker parts of Emma's past?  Were any of the events in this story inspired by real life?

Writing Emma’s story actually felt pretty natural. I think a little bit of all of my heroines comes from inside me. I’ve never experienced loss like Emma did, but her characteristics and her willingness to fight for another day are things that exist deep inside me. There was really no one specific thing that brought Emma to life, no events or great inspirations that created her story. She was just a story that came to life in my mind and wanted to be told.

4. Your books contain strong female protagonists who are at vulnerable points in their life when they cross paths with their potential knight in shining armor.  What story do you aim to tell your readers?  What do you consider the most important element of romance?

I feel like there are people who believe that you have to lose a part of yourself in order to fall in love and I don’t believe that to be true. I think it is so important to know who you are before you fall in love. Because if you don’t know and love yourself, you shouldn’t try to give yourself to another. I want my characters to be strong and to know who they are and to be capable of being whole without relying on another, but finding that while they are whole alone, they can be doubly whole with another. When you find that perfect someone, you become an even stronger version of yourself. You find inspiration to be the best you that you can be.

The most important element of romance (while my mother says sex) is the actual connection between two people, the relationship that exists. When two people feel comfortable enough to show their true self and are completely honest and open to their significant other, there is true beauty in that. Feeling comfortable enough to be vulnerable with someone is so powerful.

5. You've written 3 titles so far. Which one is your favorite and why?

Of my released work, my favorite is Irreplaceable. I love that Anna and Will get to experience a second chance. They’ve had time to grow up and really find themselves, but that great love still exists between them. I really enjoyed writing their story.

6. Who are some of your favorite authors?  What stories have influenced your own writing?

My favorite authors are Katy Evans, Rebecca Donovan, Colleen Hoover, Sylvia Day, Christina Lauren, and Autumn Jones Lake just to name a few.

As far as what stories have influenced my writing, I would have to say that after reading the Harry Potter series and Twilight as a young adult, I was inspired to put conscious effort behind my writing and to study the craft so that I could put out a product worth reading!

7. What's next for you?

In December, I’m releasing my next book, Silver. It’s a contemporary romance with a rock star who wants to run away from fame and all of the fake people he’s surrounded by. This story was a bit different for me as it is told from the female and male point of view, alternately. But this story has, without a doubt, been my favorite thus far. I experienced my first “writing hangover” after completing this book. I definitely fell in love with these characters and can’t wait to share them with the world.

8. Where can readers find you online?

The best place to find out about my books and upcoming events would be my webpage – You can find my newsletter there to stay up to date on my upcoming releases and giveaways as well.

You can also follow me on any of the following sites:

In A Dream blurb: 

Emma Potter has led a tragic life, witnessing her parents' murder at the tender age of five then being swept away to the Texas Hill Country to live with her grandparents. By the time she enters college, her uncle Peter is the only relative she has left and, while he's a bit unconventional, she treasures the familial bond they have.

But that familial bond is tragically ripped away when her uncle is killed in the night and Emma mysteriously witnesses the whole thing in a dream. While she's trying to sort reality from her nightmares, she finds solace in the arms of Aiden, her unexpected knight in shining armor. But Aiden has secrets of his own.

With Emma’s tendency to put up walls and keep secrets, she is hesitant to trust. Yet Aiden persists, even when Emma continually pulls away. She’s drawn to him; to his charm, his compassion, his smile, but she’s scared. She fears that falling for Aiden will only result in heartbreak once again.

While Emma fights to find her uncle’s murderer and decode the dreams that have become a nightly nuisance in her life, she must decide if she can accept the love she spent years trying to avoid, or if she’s willing to throw it all away to hide what she envisioned In A Dream.


My Review of In A Dream:

This was my first read by author Ava Wood and it definitely won't be the last! In A Dream is a suspenseful romantic mystery that keeps you guessing right up until the end. We have a strong heroine in Emma Potter. She keeps going, even when her loved ones are murdered one by one and seems a fitting match for hero, Aiden, who naturally has secrets of his own. Aiden is very charming. I greatly enjoyed the chemistry between these two!

I also love the dream angle as it is played out in this story - one of my favorite elements in fiction, but in romance in particular. Ms. Woods puts a great twist on this theme. Her tale is emotionally gripping and you will find yourself fighting right along with Emma and Aiden as things begin to play themselves out. These two never give up, and they left me feeling both determined and thoroughly satisfied after reading their story.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dragoon Serenade by Louise Roberts Releases October 26th!

I'm very excited to welcome author Louise Roberts to Passion Between the Pages!  Louise's latest work, Dragoon Serenade, releases October 26th!

Dragoon Serenade
[Romance in War Series – Book 2]
Louise Roberts
Historical Romance Adult Fiction – 38,450 words (100 pages)
Release date: October 26, 2017
Copyright © October 2017 Louise Roberts
ISBN: 978-1-370217-14-4
Cover design by Dawné Dominique
All cover art © 2017 by Dusktildawn Designs


On a dark night in July 1944, Special Operations Executive agent, Simone rows ashore from a submarine at the small fishing town of Golfe-Juan on the Côte d’Azur. She meets the Resistance Leader code name “Hibou” with whom she had a romantic affair during a mission in northern France several months previously. Once again, they engage in subterfuge operations against the German forces in the lead up to the Allied landings, code named Operation Dragoon, scheduled for the following month.

Although their relationship is reawakened, the tension of their exploits and the possibility of being caught by the Gestapo from information leaked by traitors in their midst causes some instability. However, love has a way to conquer doubt, but as their love deepens so too does the risk of them making mistakes.

Will Hibou be able to concentrate on the most important mission yet to come, or will his love for Simone lead to a moment’s carelessness that could be their undoing?

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The dim red light seemed to engulf the space around her as she sat quietly out of the way of the busy mariners. She had just been told they had reached their destination and the crew was making ready to resurface the submarine so that she could disembark.

When initially Simone had learned that she had been hand-picked for this assignment she had wondered what special qualities she had to offer. Then she had been told the name of the Resistance leader’s code name was “Hibou” — the French name for an owl — and her heart had caught in her throat.

It was toward the end of 1943 during the lead up to Operation Overlord where she had first met Hibou at the community of Saint-Lô located in North West France. Although at the time no one was privy to the date and actual location of the planned invasion, it was deemed prudent that all Resistance fighters throughout northern France were to be well-equipped.

Could he be the same man? She truly hoped so. Surely the Special Operations Executive wouldn’t use the same code name for someone else?

Simone closed her eyes to remember that mission. Her directive had been to reorganize a Resistance unit and to supply them with arms and explosives…

Hibou was tall and stockily built with dark curly hair. He had large gorgeous blue eyes, and she could plainly see how the code name fitted him perfectly. It had been love at first sight, and despite the dangers, they had managed to nurture a strong romantic bond. Even though their intimacy had let down their guard, they had never divulged their own real names. When it was time to leave it was as though her heart had been wrenched out, but now there was a chance to meet him again. Would they be able to rekindle their relationship? Would he even remember her? She tightened her eyes to concentrate on her memory and tried to ignore the noises about her.

At the beginning, their relationship had been strictly professional, but a close encounter with the Gestapo removed all pretense, and they found comfort in each other’s arms. One thing led to another, and before they could stop themselves, they were entangled naked on the soft straw of a stall in a barn. The only noise aside their heavy breathing was the sound of jingling bells that were tied around the necks of several goats nearby.

Simone could still ‘feel’ his touch and the sensation of fullness as his manhood slid within her. She subconsciously clenched the muscles of her lower regions as she conjured up those thoughts.

“Miss Dubois, the Commander would like a word.” The voice in her ear snapped her from the reverie. As she opened her eyes to regard the speaker she was grateful for the red light to help disguise the flushness of her cheeks.

Author Biography:

Louise Roberts grew up and was educated in London, England and has always held a passion for history and English Literature.

She has been writing since her teenage years, but only began writing fiction in the 1990s having been inspired by her mother, Viviane Elisabeth Borg, who is a published author.

Although Louise had immigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1988, she relocated to Europe in 2016 and today resides in the coastal town of Golfe-Juan in the south of France.

Louise retains membership of Romance Writers of Australia and Australian Romance Readers Association.

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