Sunday, September 21, 2014

Meet Laura Palmer, the Likable Villian from THE REUNION

Photo courtesy of CanStock photo.
Sometimes certain characters can be problematic because of who they are. Such was the case for Laura Palmer, Ian Palmer's ex-wife in The Reunion.

We all know that in real life, ex-spouses can be a headache, so it would have been all too easy for me to make Laura into a stereotypical bitch. But then again, life isn't always what we expect, and being eternal optimist that I am, I'd like think there are some ex-spouses out there who are like my late grandmother--good people trying to make the best out of awkward situations. Besides, I didn't want to make Laura too common and too predictable.

Laura bursts onto the scene as soon as she learns about her ex-husband's new romance. Of course she wants to check out Gillian, the leading lady. Her motive, however, isn't a scheme to try to win Ian back. She's found someone else. She doesn't want Ian back. Her motive is her children, and because she's a good mother she wants to meet with Gillian to draw up the "ground rules" regarding the kids. Naturally, she'll bring up Ian during the conversation. Laura is nothing if not direct.

As the story unfolds readers will see Laura not as a witch, but as a woman mislead into a marriage by a man who now admits he married her for all the wrong reasons. She may have looked like Gillian, but she wasn't Gillian, and for too many years he made her miserable because of it. Fortunately for Laura, she's found happiness with her finance, Will, and she's built a new life for herself, helping him run a horse ranch near Steamboat Springs. For a "villain" she came out surprisingly likable.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Romance Reviews Fall into Love Party

Sorry to be late with this post. The hint for the Romance Reviews Fall into Love Party can be found in Chapter One of The Reunion. Please click on the link above and good luck with the contest.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Okay, So Maybe It Was Watching Detective Shows, Along with Those Soap Operas

Funny the things that inspire us as writers. Back in December, 2012, I posted about how many years of watching soap operas has influenced my writing. (Blame It On Too Many Soap Operas and My Misspent Youth.) Yes, growing up in the golden age of television had an effect on me, but it wasn't just watching the soaps. I watched a lot of detective shows too. I was even reminiscing about it the other day with a friend.

As a teen and young adult, I loved watching Columbo and the original Hawaii Five-O. Both shows were very well written, and even though both used formula writing, the scrips were still good enough to keep me coming back week after week. And, unlike detective shows of today, there were no overtly graphic images. No bodies laid out on the autopsy table. No gory, mutilated or half burned corpses appearing on camera. Good writing doesn't need that kind of visual imagery. Facial expressions or comments made by other characters will tell us what we need to know, and our imaginations can do the rest--probably better than the guy who designed that fake corpse.

What made Columbo great was the bumbling title character, brilliantly portrayed by the late Peter Falk, along with all the bad guys who thought they could outsmart him. What made the show fun was the way Lt. Columbo solved the crime by seizing on some obscure, overlooked detail that even surprised the audience. And along with spectacular scenery, Hawaii Five-O also had well thought out plot lines. While the characters may have been as well developed as Lt. Columbo, there was one unforgettable nemeses named Wo Fat. Kudos to the script writers of both.

Crime stories make for great drama as they create the ultimate conflict. That's why I've always included crime subplots in my novels. Whether it's Gillian's murderous ex-husband on a rampage in The Reunion, Scott's jilted wife's twisted scheming in The Deception, or the revenge seeking Denise wreaking havoc in The Journey, these crime subplots create the tension, and the drama, that keeps you turning the pages. Look for more in my next novel, The Betrayal. Until then, happy reading. (And by the way, you can rent old episodes of Columbo and Hawaii Five-O from Netflix.)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet Allison Santiago, Supporting Character from THE DECEPTION

Photo by Can Stock Photo
Someone reviewing The Deception once commented about how we should all be so lucky to have friends like Steve and Allison, two of the supporting characters. Well, guess what? I really do have friends who are just like Steve and Allison, that's why I'm paying homage to them in the book.

Allison Santiago has known Carrie Daniels, the leading lady, since high school, and their friendship has lasted into adulthood. That friendship, however, will be soon put to the test when Allison introduces Carrie to Scott, a man she's also known for several years. Allison thinks he might be a good match for Carrie, who's recently ended a long-term relationship. But unbeknownst to Allison, Scott has a secret, and it could be Carrie's undoing.

Allison was inspired by several of my friends, but she resembles one woman in particular. She's much like her literary counterpart as she's been steadfastly loyal friend for almost ten years now, and she's someone I can always count on. Friends like her may be hard to find, but they really are out there.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's Time for a Time Out From My Time Out

Photo by Marina Martindale
My how time flies. It's been such a hectic year between doing some much needed work on my home, traveling, making new friends, and catching up on life in general. I've also been working on the manuscript for my next novel, The Betrayal, but I've been having a hard time keeping up with that as well. I think I need a time out from my time out.

I know people who love to retreat into their man cave, or their woman cave, or just their cave in general. Some stay home, pulling the blinds and shutting off their phones and computers. Others like to retreat to the mountains and pitch a tent in the wilderness. I prefer to travel. My favorite cave is a beach, or a cruise ship. Cruise ships are great because no one can bother you when you're out in the middle of the ocean, and for me there is something about a large body of water that soothes my soul.

Retreating to our caves can be a good thing. We all need an occasional time out to gather our thoughts, analyze, and regroup. But there's also too much of a good thing. Analyzing your problems is one thing, running away from them is quite another and it solves nothing. Ignoring things only makes them worse. Trust me on that one. Nor do we want to make the people around us worry. Yes, family and friends can be annoying at times, but the fact that they worry means they care. And in a good way. It's not the same kind of worry your mortgage company gets when they don't hear from you.

So that said, it's time for a time out from my time out from this blog, and I'm going to start posting once again. See you soon.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

New and Improved Book Trailers for THE REUNION and THE DECEPTION

I know, I know. Life happens, and I've been busy. One of my latest projects has been a slight revision of my book trailers. I'm still using original music, but it's now from a different artist; my good friend, Malik Alkabir. Malik is a jazz saxophonist here in Tucson and I hear him play every Sunday night at Old Pueblo Grill. He and his companion, Stephanie, are two of my biggest fans. Thanks for being a contributor, Malik. Here here are the links to my new, and improved, videos.

The Reunion video:
The Deception video:

Photo: Malik on Sax
Photo courtesy of Tucson