Monday, August 27, 2012

Which cover do you like?

I have a dilemma.  My cover artist Tracy Stewart did two different covers for my print edition of Breaking Through. I need your help in deciding which to use. So, please vote for cover 1 or cover 2 and let me know.

 Cover 1

Cover 2

I know there isn't much difference between them.  The differences are the placement of the tag line. the second cover has more red in the background and the image is a little larger.  I'd really like to hear your opinion.

Teresa R.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What's Next When The Book Is Done?

I finished my book on Thursday.  Breaking Through is finished. And I had a wonderful group of ladies at my crit group, Lethal Ladies, who have gone over every chapter.
They weeded through some of the little stuff like missing commas and extra quotation marks and addressed sentences that might need restructuring.  Even formatting issues.

And now the editor has it. And I'm in waiting mode.

The high you get after you finish a book is unbelievable. It's the culmination of months and months of work. In my case, seven and a half months. You've put other things you've wanted to do on hold. You've allowed your house to GROW into a cluttered wreck. You've made excuses to family and friends about accepting invitations. All because you are obsessed with your imaginary characters and your story. (Or at least that's my process.)

And now it's done. And you get that rush of excitement and satisfaction because you've accomplished something monumental.  Four hundred and eighty-six double spaced pages.  127,529 words. It's also part of my process to print the whole document out and keep it in a three ring binder. In this case a three inch binder. There was no room left for even a single page.

The story is with my editor. I've sent my baby off to her to be read and analyzed,  poked and prodded. And she'll weed out every missed punctuation mark, misplaced punctuation mark, redundant sentence, and a million other issues.  And if there are any holes in my plot, she'll find them and let me know.

I've also sent the finished piece to a few friends as beta readers to give me some feedback on how they like the characters and story. Got my fingers crossed.

I have my beautiful covers!!! For both my print and epub edition. Thanks to Tracy Stewart at ALL ABOUT THE COVER.

As soon as I get the edits back from my editor, Faith Free-woman, at DEMON FOR DETAILS , and she is a demon for details,  I'll jump into those. She'll do one more read through to make sure everything has been caught. She's really wonderful about that.

Then I'll send it to the formatter, Lee, at IRON HORSE FORMATTING . He'll work his magic and get my document looking beautiful and publish ready. He does all the different formats and I don't have to do anything but send him the doc file. THANK YOU, LEE.  Because I've done them myself before and it's a real PAIN.  He'll even set it up for my print edition and I'll be ready to upload. The uploading is nerve racking for me. But that's another blog.

I'm sooooo thrilled to be finished!!! Just had to share.

Below is an UNEDITED excerpt in case you'd like to read part of the new book.
Write and Read on,

Taylor sat up and leaned into his desk to rest his elbows on top of it. His thick gray hair, more salt than pepper, gleamed beneath the florescent lights.  “Sharper angles, huh? Any time you start talking sharper angles, I have to call the legal department and vet something to make sure we don’t get sued.”
“I’ll always have three dependable sources before I write the story, Mr. Taylor.”
He waved a hand in a dismissive gesture. “I know.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “The problem is for every story we find there are five people jumping on it, and it’s blasted across the television news, blogs, and cell phones before we can even get it into print. It isn’t the quality of your work, Tess.” His gaze raked her face. “You’d be better off trying to join some local news program and getting your face on camera. You’re pretty, young, and sharp. You’d probably make it to the top in nothing flat.”
“I don’t want my face on television. I’m a writer, not a public speaker.” She drew a deep breath. “Most stories are written in a hit, then move on format. The human element is totally missed. I want to delve more deeply into issues, not just skim the surface. Most of the stories we cover are about people. Why can’t we concentrate on bringing the human-interest angle to the forefront instead of the issues? Once your readers identify with the people involved, they’ll want to read more.”
His brows rose, speculation in his gaze. “What do you have in mind?”
Tess’s cell phone rang. She jerked it from her pocket and glanced at the ID. The number seemed vaguely familiar.  She pressed the on button. “Hello.”
“This is Brett Weaver.”
An instant rush of adrenaline surging through her system. Heat rose to her face, and her heart raced. “Yes. What can I do for you?”
“Will you join me for lunch at the Sheerwater today?”
Aware of Taylor listening to her end of the conversation, she hesitated. “Is there some specific reason you’re asking me to lunch?”
“Besides the fact that you’re beautiful, and have gorgeous legs?” His husky male tone shot sex appeal across the line.
She bit her lip to hide the instant response that triggered a flush to her skin and dampness between her legs. How could he do that with just his voice?
“There will be a story in it for you.”
Was he just playing her? Or was he serious? SEALs had a reputation for being players. But he was asking to meet in a public place. A very beautiful public place. A hotel.
An image of him and her in one of the rooms exploring— Oh shit. She couldn’t go there.
What kind of story could he possibly have for her? Nothing with too much political substance. He’d not risk his career to offer her any military secrets. But if she didn’t go, she’d never know what he wanted.
His patient silence on the other end of the line broke through her anxious speculations. “What time?” she asked.
“How’s eleven?”
“Eleven will be fine.”
“I’ll see you then.”
Tess hit the off button, and her attention shifted to Taylor. “That was,” she started to say Brett Weaver and changed it to  “a source. Possibly a lead on a story.”
“Was he asking you out on a date?”
A sudden shot of anger made her voice tremble. “I don’t date my sources, Mr. Taylor. You know we women are liberated enough that we don’t have to resort to using our bodies to –”
He raised a hand. “I was out of line.” Taylor said, cutting her off.
Tess took several deep breaths to calm herself. Had every man in this business remained stuck in the chauvinistic seventies— like her father? “He says he has a story for me.”
“An inside look at the SEALs. In particular, Brett Weaver.”
“The guy who did the speaking engagement yesterday.”
“Yes. People are interested in him because his buddy allegedly tried to kill Weaver and his sister along with some girl he was dating. This guy might be able to tell me about that.”
“If you can get info and corroborate it, I may be tempted to allow you to do the series, you’re angling for. You were angling for a series?”
She hadn’t been, but a series would be great. Female readers would eat up a series about SEALs. There must be something on Brett Weaver’s mind. Perhaps it had something to do with why he’ d been escorted back to base yesterday. He’d played it down, but there had been more than one tense moment between him and the two military policemen.
Excitement jogged through her system and her heartbeat caught the rhythm. Maybe he’d actually open up, and she’d find out what was going on.
And pigs could fly, too.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Nerve Racking Truth

Uploading a book to Amazon, or any publishing site, is a nerve racking experience. It doesn't matter if you have a wonderful, clean, well-edited document to upload. Just waiting for the process to finish, and agonizing over the possibilities of something going wrong, is enough to cause you to bite your fingernails down to the quick, grind your teeth down to the gum line, and sprout gray hair in a matter of moments.

But maybe it's just me.

The book I was reuploading is Timeless. I've added a Table of Contents and an epilogue. So if you bought the ebook be sure to go download the latest volume.

And I'm posting the epilogue here on my blog for those of you who can't wait and want to read it now. 

If you haven't read the book, this epilogue holds spoilers so be forwarned.

Read on,
Teresa J. Reasor 


Regan glanced at her watch and pushed the dentist pick and brush she’d been using into the painter’s apron tied about her waist. Her hands flew to untie the laces and she snatched off the canvas and stuffed it in a bucket.
“Are you quitting then?” Hannah asked, pushing her glasses up her nose, leaving a layer of dust across the bridge.
“Quinn’s coming and I’d like to shower off the dust and dirt before he gets here.” Her heart raced at the thought. It had been two long weeks since they’d been together.
“I know you’ll not miss the raising of the lid.”
“No, but I’d like him with me when it happens.”
“Well, I can understand that. He has as much invested in uncovering the stones as the rest of us.”
“I’ll be back with him in tow, I promise.”
Bucket in hand, Regan trotted across the scaffold toward the dock, though the urge to run was strong. The two weeks she and Quinn had been apart had seemed an eternity, despite how busy she’d been.
Once she reached the gravel path to the dock she turned to study the site. Several of the monoliths stood proud and tall but more than half had broken off at the base. Their lintels lay scattered about like Lincoln logs. The two large stones that had projected through the chamber roof and sunk deep into the floor had shattered and lay in crumbling pieces behind the altar. The Ogham carved into each stone remained, though some of the markings had eroded to the point of being unreadable.
Would their messages remain undeciphered? She hoped so. If nothing else, she had learned that some secrets were better left undiscovered.
Regan hopped from the dock into the small aluminum john boat. She gave the pull line a sharp tug and the engine fired. She grabbed the tiller and turned the vessel down the loch. A damp breeze gusted across the bow bringing with it the smell of the water and a crisp chill.
The row of cabins appeared from just around the bend. They remained much the same as before, as did her roommates, Helen, Sheary, and Hannah.
Without the dire mysteries of the henge hanging over them all, it had been easier to develop a normal relationship with her coworkers and Quinn’s brothers.
The shared memories of all she and Quinn had experience had bound Quinn and her together. Without danger hanging over them they’d been free to enjoy each other and the passion they shared.
She guided the john boat against the dock and tied it off. With no one there to comment she gave in to her excitement, jogged down the planking and up the path to the cabin. She’d just thrust her key in the lock when the door swung open.
Her gasp of surprise was compounded by Quinn’s quick tug as he pulled her across the threshold and into his arms. His mouth was hot and hungry as he kissed her.
“I have news,” he murmured against her lips, as the kissed changed into a more sensual heat.
Regan’s arms tightened around his neck and she wrapped her legs around his waist. “Later,” she breathed. “I’ve missed you.”
Quinn’s laughter morphed into a groan as she thrust her tongue forward to tangle with his. His large hands cupped her bottom holding her in place as his long legs made short work of the hallway. He kicked her bedroom door closed behind him and tumbled onto the bed with her.
They undressed one another, their frenetic movements driven by the need to be skin-to-skin, heart to heart. Once they were both naked he thrust into her. Regan cupped his buttocks and twisted her hips.
“I love you, Regan,” the words came unbidden. He said them often now and each time it stole her breath.
“Always,” she breathed, her voice stolen by a wave of emotion.
She gave herself up to his passion, and to the physical pleasure he inspired with his movements, his murmured words of love. The knowledge of how close they had come to losing one another fed their need.
In the aftermath of their lovemaking she raked her fingers through the coarse curls at the back of his head and held him close while they caught their breath.
“I’m so glad you’re back.”
He raised his head to look down at her. “Aye, I could tell.” His grin held just a touch of male satisfaction.
Her cheeks heated.
He settled next to her and drew her against his side.
Regan rested her head in the hollow of his shoulder and ran a hand over his chest. “What was the news you mentioned?”
“Well first I’ve put Rob in charge of the cleanup now that our cargo ship salvage is done so I can stay a few days.”
“Excellent.” She nestled closer.
“He seemed satisfied with taking on the added responsibility.”
“Good.” She ran a fingertip through the hair on his chest. “While we’re sharing, I’ve done some research and discovered there’s no record of Henry or Marissa ever having lived.” She tried to ignore the quick pang of grief. Despite what he had become, Henry’s loss still hurt. And it was sad that the people the two had impacted before they’d taken such wrong turns, like their parents and friends, would never know of his or Marissa’s disappearance. They’d never existed for anyone but her and Quinn.
“Is it not strange that even without Henry the same group of scuba divers discovered the henge?” Quinn asked.
“There’s something to be said for fate.”
“Do you think that’s what brought us together?” Quinn grasped her hand and raised her fingertips to his lips.
“I think Coira had something to do with our meeting. But I don’t know for certain, and I don’t care.” She rubbed her cheek against his chest. “I’m just relieved that we’re together.”
“If you don’t stop that, we’ll never get to the last thing I’ve waited to tell you.”
Regan raised her head to shoot him a smile.
“I made a wee stop at the National Archives before coming here,” he announced.
Her smile faltered and her brows went up. She searched his expression as wariness dimmed her happiness.
“I’ve brought copies of records I found.”
“What kind of records?”
“Birth records.”
She dragged in a breath. “Bryce?”
“And more.”
Regan wiggled up into a seated position a squeal of excitement escaping her.
“Let me get them,” Quinn said and threw aside the covers.
The long lean slope of his back, the muscular tightness of his buttocks lay bare to her as he scooped up his jeans from the floor. He stuck his feet into them and stood to drag them up.
“Careful there.” Regan said as he tugged at the zipper.
Quinn laughed. “I’ll leave them unzipped so your roommates can admire what they’re missing if you like.” He sauntered out of the room.
“Not if you want to live,” she said beneath her breath.
“I heard that.” His laughter floated back to her.
He returned with an envelope and set it in her lap. “I’ve highlighted the lines I thought you’d want to see first. I had time on the plane.”
Regan’s heartbeat rose in her throat as she drew the paperwork free of the envelope. She turned the pages one at a time. They were church records of births and deaths. She recognized Nathrach’s handwriting from the records she’d studied before. Bryce’s birth was recorded on August 12,1318. She braced herself for some record of his death and breathed a sigh when it never came. Three pages further she caught her breath, and tears stung her eyes. “A daughter as well.”
“Aye, named Regan, after you.” He sat down on the edge of the bed, and his hip brushed her thigh. “I searched for records of Braden and Coira’s death, but didn’t find them. I don’t want to Regan. I’d rather think of them living.”
Regan nodded, as tears flowed down her face. She set the documents atop the envelope and used the sheet to wipe her face. “Just knowing they survived and had children is enough.” The glow of the clock caught her attention. “Oh my God.” She struggled to escape the bedclothes. “Oh my God, I’m going to miss it. We’re going to miss it.”
“Miss what?” Quinn asked.
“They’re taking the lid off the altar. They think there may be something inside.”
Quinn rose, allowing her to scoot to the edge of the bed. “Like what?” he asked, his tone less than enthusiastic.
Guessing his train of thought, she shook her head. “Nothing human. They’ve done x-rays and think there may be some kind of stone tablet inside.”
Quinn’s green gaze settled on her face dark with wariness. “The last time you read anything on a stone, we damn near lost our lives and each other, Regan.”
She placed a hand on his arm. “The stones are destroyed, Quinn. They aren’t a threat anymore.”
When he continued to study her, she moved to encircle his waist with her arms and press close. “We don’t have to go. We can stay here together instead.” He was more important to her than anything else.
His arms tightened around her, and his fingers cupped the back of her head. After several moments, his lips brushed the top of her head.  “Get your clothes on, lass. You’ve said there was something in the damn thing from the first. You deserve to see what it is.”
Regan leaned back and searched his expression.
Quinn smiled. “Get dressed, love.” He pulled away, and gathering his clothing from the floor, disappeared down the hall.
Uncertainty dogged her movements as she put her clothes on and made a quick stop in the bathroom to wash up. If he was uncomfortable being there, she could live without it.
 Quinn stood at the window waiting when she came down the hall. “What time was it they planned to raise the lid?” he asked.
“Twenty minutes ago.”
“Come along then.” He grasped her hand.
They left the house. Now that they were on their way he seemed eager to get there and she had to trot to keep up with him. He kept a grip on her hand as she stepped into the boat. Once in the vessel he gave the pull rope a quick jerk, started the engine, and guided the aluminum boat out into the loch.
The cofferdam towered over the water, dark blue, hulking, its curved shape bowing out into the loch. They circled it and Quinn ran the boat up against the dock.
The sound of an engine running bounced across the site. Regan grabbed the bucket with her tools in it as they exited the boat. She and Quinn ran up the dock and followed the path to the scaffold. An enormous vehicle had been backed onto the site and the winch fastened to its frame hung above a pulley system suspended over steel beams. Metal cables were fastened to the twenty-ton stone slab that sealed the altar. The lines were already taut with pressure as the machine pulled against the weight. A group of three men held a guide rope attached to the stone.
Dr. Fraser and his wife stood with Dr. Malone in the center of the group. Her three roommates were clustered together with Stephen and Rick on one side. Andrew Argus, MacBean, and Lamont stood on the other.
Regan scanned the group for Nicodemus but didn’t see him. Finding him once again ill and in pain had been a shock, as was her fist glimpse of MacBean and Lamont after having watched them die in the chamber.
She and Quinn joined the archaeology students. Hannah leaned close to her ear to speak over the sound of the wench. “Nicodemus passed away this morning.”
The man’s second death had been less dramatic than his first. His life had been less gripped by his manic need to find a cure and more about leaving behind a legacy. She studied MacBean’s features and recognized the grief that drew the skin tight across his cheekbones and fastened his hard mouth into a tight line.
The winch turned and the slab began to rise. The group seemed to draw a collective breath as it rose and hung suspended five feet above the altar. The men holding the guide rope pulled against the weight and the winch reversed, lowering the stone slowly to the ground.
The massive slab kicked up dust as it hit the ground with a whomp. Dr. Fraser leaped from the scaffold, his lanky frame dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt. The stuffed suit had transformed into an archaeologist eager to learn the secret entombed in the altar. He leaned over the edge of the box-like stone structure and peered inside.
“It’s a stone slab just as we thought.” He motioned for Stephen and Rick forward with the cameras they held. The boys went to work documenting the interior of the altar and the slab.
Dr. Fraser approached them. “Regan, you’re the smallest of us. Would you bring your tools and get inside the altar to brush away the debris from the face of the slab? You can see a faint impression of words beneath the dried dirt.”
Regan’s breathing quickened and she nodded. “Certainly Dr. Fraser.”
Quinn’s fingers tightened around hers holding her to his side. She glanced up to find his features pinched with concern.
He’d described his vision of Coira trapped and dying inside the bunk with him and he’d insisted the altar was where she had been trapped.
“The lid is off. There’s no water inside,” she said giving his arm a squeeze.
He nodded, but his gaze held hers for several moments before he released his grip on her hand.
 Dr. Fraser took her bucket and offered her his other hand. She jumped down off the scaffold next to him. Memories of falling into the opening where the steps had been plagued her. The open pit in the center of the henge testified to its location since the ceiling had caved in exposing the chamber to the loch and filling it with debris. They hadn’t begun to excavate it.
Rick lifted her over the lip of the altar. She perched there for a moment to study the bottom of the container and then placing her feet carefully, she slid off onto the surface below. Dr. Fraser offered her the bucket and she quickly extracted the brush and dental pick from her apron and stuffed the rest back in. She kneeled and brushed at the sandy debris that covered the slab and immediately indentions appeared. Working in small areas she whisked aside enough of the dried residue to uncover the inscription and was surprised to see it was Latin instead of the Ogham that covered the stones. She studied the words, deciphering their meaning and a smile leapt to her lips.
“What does it say, Regan?” Rick asked.
She rose so her words could reach the crowd on the scaffold, but her eyes went to Quinn, and she held his gaze. “It’s Latin, and the inscription says, Love Is Timeless.”


Monday, August 6, 2012

The Poetry and Music of Voice

The Poetry and Music of Voice 
by Teresa Reasor
The voice of fiction sings to the reader as clearly as any vocalist who croons a melody.  But just as a choir is made up of a variety of strong and pure, or thin and reedy voices, so are the voices that speak through the written word.
Voice speaks through the devices of plot, character, dialogue, description, tone, style, pacing, and theme.  But how? 
Wanting to strengthen my own voice, I decided to find out.  I chose three writers who have distinctive, strong voices:  Joanne Rock, Catherine Mann, and JoAnn Ross.  All three are contemporary writers.  All three have voices that sing on the page.

In her rereleased September 2010, Harlequine, Blaze, Sex and the Single Girl, Joanne Rock’s turns of phrase jump off the page with an energy that’s natural and inherently part of her voice. Every sentence is constructed to convey a story within a story.

Real life collided with the image on the monitor as Brianne walked in on Aiden and the cigarette girl in a liplock to set a woman’s heart racing.  The stacked little blonde pressed every one of her considerable curves against Aiden and practically climbed her way up his tall body. 

In two sentences Joanne has nearly constructed an entire scene, but she’s also done much more.  She’s paced those two sentences in a snappy rhythm that invites the reader to jump from one to the other by using words that convey action--even when they’re not used as verbs.  Collided, walked, set, racing, stacked, pressed, climbed.  Her words punch the imagery she uses into the reader’s consciousness.
The word liplock, a colloquialism, has an onomatopoeic zing to it. It stamps an immediate image in the reader’s mind of two people kissing one another with the inseparable intensity of a suction cup on glass.
  The stacked little blonde pressed every one of her considerable curves against Aiden and practically climbed her way up his tall body. 

With the phrase considerable curves, Ms. Rock uses alliteration to enhance the rhythm of the sentence. The sound of the C is repeated in the verbs collided and climbed and the words stacked and practically tying the whole paragraph together.  
Do you feel the snappy beat of Joanne Rock’s voice yet? If not let’s continue a little further into the scene.

Instead, she steeled herself against the sultry overload of hormones in Honeymoon Heaven and took command of the room in her best director voice.
“Am I interrupting something?”
Aiden Maddock had been waiting to hear that throaty purr all night. 
He hadn’t particularly wanted to hear it while he had Daisy Stephenson clinging to him like a honeysuckle vine.

Once again look at the words that convey action.  Steeled, overload, took, command, interrupting, waiting, hear, purr, wanted, clinging. 
Listen for the alliteration again.   Hormones in Honeymoon Heaven.
Look at the concentrated imagery she conveys in the phrases sultry overload, throaty purr, and the Simile she uses in the last sentence, clinging to him like a honeysuckle vine.

  Do you feel that sassy sizzle in the tone she sets in just these few paragraphs with the word choices she’s made?  That’s her voice, completely natural for her and impossible to imitate, with any consistency, by anyone else.

Catherine Mann writes for Silhouette Intimate Moments.  Her special ability to weave emotional intensity into almost every paragraph through internal and external dialogue makes her voice rich and full.  Here’s an excerpt from her Wingmen Warrior, 2010 rerelease, StrategicEngagement.

“I’m so damned scared, Danny.”
Mary Elise’s thready words barely whispered against his neck until he might have questioned his hearing.  But he felt each word and all her fear soak into him along with the heat of her rapid breaths.
“Tell me,” he coaxed.  “Tell me what to do for you.”

Look at Catherine’s action oriented word choices.  Scared, whispered, questioned, felt, soak, coaxed, tell.
Feel the intimacy building between the characters in the turns of phrase, whispered against his neck, felt each word, fear soak into him along with the heat, and even in the dialogue tag, he coaxed. Even though the dialogue is about fear there’s a sensual push and pull going on the entire time that connects the characters on an elemental level.

She inched back, her hand sliding up his face again.  “Oh Danny, can’t you see that you and all this---“ she slipped her hand around his neck in a sensual glide “--- this tension between us that we can’t ignore is a big part of the problem?  You need to believe me when I say I just can’t risk staying here with you.”
His arms around her twitched, muscles convulsively tensing to hold her closer, safer.  As much as he wanted to reassure her, he couldn’t.  He knew himself too well.

Listen to the action words that once again convey sensual tension, inched, sliding, see, slipped, glide, tension, ignore, believe, risk, staying, twitched, tensing, hold, wanted, knew.  Her word choices impress upon the reader the sexual awareness between her characters in a tactile, natural tone that is entirely her own.  

Catherine Mann’s ability to build strong, tender male characters is one of the elements that make her voice resonate. 
But he felt each word and all her fear soak into him along with the heat of her rapid breaths.

“Tell me,” he coaxed.  “Tell me what to do for you.”

His arms around her twitched, muscles convulsively tensing to hold her closer, safer. 

The character is strong, willing to jump into the fray, and nearly vibrates with tenderness and a desire to protect.  He’s every woman’s fantasy, warrior, lover, husband, yet he still comes across as realistic.
Her choice of that kind of character is as much a part of her voice as the words she chooses to convey the emotional attachment between her characters.  


JoAnn Ross writes Contemporary Mainstream Romance and is published through Pocket.  In her book Out of the Mist, she weaves the element of theme throughout her writing and ties the entire story together with it. 
Her character’s are of Scottish heritage, her setting the highlands of North Carolina, the theme interlaced throughout the story Smokey mountain-Gaelic-Medieval Scot in texture.
To demonstrate what I mean I must jump around within the text instead of choosing a single scene.

Ian had seen that look before.  It was the look of his grandfather’s Westie, right before the dog grabbed onto the postman’s trousers and refused to let go.  It was also the look Duncan got in his eyes whenever he’d parade some local girl in front of his grandson in hopes of ensuring a MacDougall heir.

JoAnn Ross’s descriptive passage sings with the flavor of bagpipes and tin flutes melding the modern and medieval cultures together.  Her use of repetition places emphasis on the words It was the look portrays as much persistent determination as a Scotsman clutching a horn of ale. 
Her ability to pen similes with fresh appeal lends a melodic quality to her voice that’s all her own.

Her brain was washed as clear as the Star of Edinburgh tumblers she’d dusted today; color as rich and dazzling as Saxon Falconer’s blown glass flashed behind her closed lids.
She moaned, her hands fisting in the ebony silk of his hair, as he lifted her off the floor to deepen the kiss.  Her breasts flattened against his chest, which was as rock hard as the mountains of his homeland, their bodies so close together she couldn’t tell whether it was his heart pounding she felt, or her own.
His teeth nipped at her bottom lip, just hard enough to send desire surging through her like a bolt of lightning from a summer storm.     

By tying her character’s emotions to things both concrete and elemental, she anchors their feelings and responses in reality and gives the reader a point of reference making them more visual to the audience.

He flashed a grin as wicked as a devil’s wink, as dangerous as a Highlander’s blade.

The hyperbolic phrasing of this sentence uses dramatic overstatement with playful exaggeration and gives the reader the idea that the character is as larger-than-life as he’s intended to be.
Do you recognize the theme meandering through the story?  Do you hear the poetic lyrics penned through the use of similes, repetition, hyperbole?  Her use of these devices in her descriptive passages is part of what makes her voice distinctive.  
And last of all, look at all the action words that pepper each one of the lines and scenes I’ve just used as examples. Seen, look, grabbed, parade, ensuring, washed, dusted, flashed, lifted, deepen, flattened, pounding, nipped, surging.   Those words were chosen with an eye for visual or tactile appeal and an ear for the pacing of the story.    
Joanne Rock, Catherine Mann, and JoAnn Ross use all the elements of writing that I’ve mentioned, not just the ones I’ve focused on in their writing.  It is their unique way of interweaving them within the structure of their stories that constitutes their voices.  Their plots are as varied as their characters and their styles. But the similarities in the components in their writing are there to discover for anyone who picks up their books and opens their pages. 
Their choice of words, ensures the pacing of their stories, is always geared toward action, and tactile or visual richness.  Their use of similes or metaphors never leans toward the cliché and always offers a new and fresh visual clue to the reader.  Their characters remain constant and true to what the reader expects from them. The themes they ribbon through their story lines create symmetrical connections that complete their stories.  And their abilities to cast sensual, romantic spells that draw their readers in and capture their imaginations and emotions, through their use of description, are acknowledged by the success of the books they’ve produced.

Johnny Payne, author of Voice and Style, paraphrases an idea first penned by Aristotle when he says, “The ability to imitate, marks the beginning point of art.”   As writers, we can certainly attempt to imitate these writer’s voices.  But like so many Elvis impersonators who have tried to emulate the King, we’d most likely fall short of the mark.
But by studying their voices, any writer can learn and perhaps discover the poetic music of an original written voice.             
Joanne Rock, Sex and The Single Girl, Harlequin Blaze, ISBN 0-373-79108-9, 2003, released in ebook, 2010.
Catherine Mann, Strategic Engagement, Silhouette Intimate Moments, ISBN 0-373-27327-4, 2003, rereleased in ebook 2010.
 JoAnn Ross, Out of the Mist, Pocket Books, ISBN 0-7394-3824-7, 2003, released in ebook 2008.
Johnny Payne, The Elements of Fiction Writing Voice and Style, Writers Digest Books, ISBN 0-89879-693-8, 1995.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Edin Road Radio Experience

Last night I was on Edin Road Radio and had a blast talking about my books. Jessee V. Coffee the wonderful woman who hosts the show is a friend and is really supportive of authors. This month is Kentucky Indie Writer Month on her show. I read the Prologue from Breaking Through my current about to be completed book. It will be released the end of August the first of September.  

I had an absolute blast on Edin Road and will be back in November just to talk and possibly revisit Breaking Through since it will be out by then. Jessee let me talk like a house on fire, God Bless her. Bet she didn't count on me talking like that when I get nervous. I'm hoping next time I'll be a little more relaxed.

If you'd like to listen to the radio interview just click on the link below.

Below is a copy of the blog Edin Radio posted on their blog site.  Hope you enjoy it.

Writing About Heroes

My Dad was my hero. He was a Marine for twelve years of my life and twenty-two years of his. He survived deployments in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He loved the Corps. And lived the Marine Corps slogan, Once a Marine always a Marine.

He died in 2001 of prostate cancer after a three-year battle.

The first book of my SEAL Team Heartbreakers Series, Breaking Free, gave me an opportunity to work through a great many memories and feelings I had about his deployments (I was around for the ones in Korea and Vietnam.) Everything in the first book seems true to life because it is true to life. Some of the conversations in that book are similar to some my mom and I have had about our life in the military. Because if you think the man enlisted is the only one taking cover in a foxhole, he’s not. The family he’s left behind is right in there with him.

The Second book of the series Breaking Through has much more to do with what happens when a soldier comes home. PTSD, and the anger issues that go along with it, are just one heavy piece of the luggage men carry home after a long deployment. They all experience it. But that isn’t the only issue the book is about. It’s about Breaking Through those issues and returning to the life left behind when deployed. And where Breaking Free was Romantic Suspense with only one romance, this one has much more conflict because it has three romances and a suspense element going on all at the same time. It’s been a challenge to write, but it’s also been a joy.

And if you’re wondering if my father suffered from PTSD when he came home from that last deployment, I have to say yes. Back then they didn’t have a name for it. But when he left for Vietnam he weighted a hundred and seventy-five pounds, when he returned he weighed one-thirty. He was of a generation that didn’t admit or talk about what they had left behind in battle. But the memories were there on his face and the survivor’s guilt lay trapped in his heart.  He’d seen so many young men dropped in the jungle with a riffle and a pack and knew more than a few wouldn’t survive.  And he thought there should have been something he could have done about that.

After my father came home from Vietnam, he retired from the Marine Corps and went on to earn a degree in Architectural Drafting from the University of Kentucky.
He worked another twenty-five years before retiring the second time. But he never stopped being a Marine. He may not have worn the uniform, but it was in the way he stood and walk, in the code he followed, Semper Fi, and in the way he respected the service of his fellow soldiers.

I hope I’ve captured some of that in my book. It will be up to the reader to decide.

Teresa J. Reasor

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Cover- Breaking Through

I have my cover!!!! It's beautiful. And it follows the theme of the first one just wonderfully!!!

Here it is.

I'm doing a happy dance!!
Teresa R.

Live Radio and The Road to Promotion

I'm going to be doing a radio spot at Edinroad on August 2, 2012 at 6:30 Eastern Time. I'm a little nervous, but I'm sure Jessee Coffee, Radio Host Extraordinaire and Ms. Personality Plus, will make it easy for me. Jessee is great fun and she's been doing this for a while.

Obviously I haven't.  But I'm going to give it my best shot. So if you'd like to listen to an excerpt of Breaking Through, my latest Work In Progress, due out tentative date the end of August the first of September, I'd love for you to stop by and check it out.

I'll be reading excerpts and talking about my other books and how this story ties into the first book. This is the second book of the SEAL Team Heartbreakers Series. 

What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?

Ensign Brett Weaver knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?

Tess works hard to live up to her father's expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father's lap is a major scoop.  But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?

When Tess’s father is kidnapped, Brett’s team is deployed to find him. At the same time, a leak in the investigation puts Tess and Brett’s lives in danger. Will Brett be able to break through the lasting effects of his injuries and prove he’s once again a battle-ready SEAL? Or will he and Tess lose everything at the whim of a vengeful killer?

 Write on,
Teresa Reasor