Pulsing Patrol [An MFRW Post]

Click here to check view the other great blogs on the MFRW hop!

Do you ever have a moment in your writing when a character’s actions feel so right? They’re so perfectly aligned to the personality that you can almost picture your hero sitting in your bedroom doing the thing. Then, a month later, when you go over the draft for the very first time, you realize that they’ve waggled their eyebrow, quirked their lips into a smile or leaned against a doorframe more times in a single chapter than most people do in a lifetime. Of course it feels natural while you’re writing it, they’ve already done it three times in as many moments! 

woman-typing-writing-windows.jpgI’m that way with words, especially dirty words. In my own defense, there aren’t nearly enough dirty words to properly express my thoughts, so I do have to reuse them from time to time. Or time to time to time. One of my early editors, who has since become a dear friend, brought this to light while editing one of my erotic romance novellas. The book just hedged 22,000 words, certainly not long enough to warrant seeing the word moan 33 times. Whisper showed up 37, hot 35 and move/ing a whopping 88.

I know all this, because Rebecca, patient, wonderful woman that she is, made a full page list of all the words that had no business appearing in quite such abandon in a director’s cut of a fantasy film, let alone a novella. And, though it was a massive pain in my ass, I searched each of the 32 offenders on the list and edited the context and word choice, until I’d chopped down their appearances to something a little more reasonable.

writing-828911_1920And thank God she made me do it. It wasn’t just a matter of changing a few words around. Ultimately, using more diverse word choice required a shifting and evolution of sentence structure and formatting. The flow and readability of the book got better and, of course, you didn’t have to read he smiled 35 times in a row.

There are many things I still owe my editors apologies for – my offensive use of commas, the moments when I try and squeeze just one more clause into a stuffed sentence, the every once in awhile when I straight up just use the wrong word (cough, den of iniquity, not inequity…). But I like to think that looking at a sheet of overused words taught me a lesson – especially since I was the one who needed to go through and get rid of most of them. I find myself much more cognizant of my use of words in a way I’ve never been. Because it really does make the book better. Editor does know best. (Most of the time…)

badge-blog-challenge-updated

Murder, Thieves and Unresolved Sexual Tension [An MFRW Post]

Click here to view the other great blogs on the MFRW Hop! 

miss-fisher-jackThere’s nothing quite like flirting over a dead body. In Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – the Holy Grail of will they or won’t they, title character Miss Phryne Fisher and Inspector Detector Jack Robinson, know how to make murder sexy.

It’s little surprise that I can’t get enough of this show. There’s fantastic jazz music, the early women’s lib movement, and two main characters that could turn a morgue into a boudoir with a naughty wink and a pair of handcuffs. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has become one of my all time favorite television shows. It’s the feel-good show I turn to when I’m home sick or in a funk, and I’ve been treasuring my last unwatched episode like a golden nugget. Honestly, it’s a must watch for anyone who loves great costumes and hot detectives.

102114_d_00471b_0But where I treasure Miss Fisher, I binge Criminal Minds. There are still dead bodies, still unresolved sexual tension, but definitely an altogether different viewing experience. I could easily watch four episodes of this show without even realizing it, and I only recently figured out why.

I was scanning some author related posts on Pinterest, when I got caught up in a loop of Myers Briggs and Enneagram tests, personality quizzes that delve deep into the factors that make up human personality and individuality. Somewhere in my black hole of self-examination, I realized that I love Criminal Minds, a television program that focuses on the behavioral analysis unit of the FBI, because despite the lack of bullets, serial killers and paycheck, our jobs are not so different.

I’m not likely to do a deep psychological analysis on a mass murderer anytime soon, but the role of an author requires many similar tactics. It’s absolutely necessary for me to delve deep into the characters I write, to understand who they are and why they do what they do and say what they say. Is there something in my hero or heroine’s past that would directly affect how they perceive situations, actions or questions? Are they open to their environment, or closed off from the people around them? Criminal Minds is a fun, fictional way to engage those same skills in a different environment. While I recognize that, like many police procedurals, Criminal Minds often sacrifices fact for a better story, it’s still a fun and interesting program – and Derek Morgan certainly doesn’t hurt to look at.

leverage_parker_1st_davidThere’s one more show that I’ve become so damned obsessed with that we’re literally going through our second binge-watch in less than three months. (It’s a five season show! We’re talking over one hundred episodes here!)

Leverage.

Go out. Watch it right now. For anyone who loves imagination, white collar crimes, and bad guys getting what’s coming to them, you have to watch it. A modern Robin Hood, with stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, Leverage is fun, exciting, full of absurdities and altogether how I wish my life had turned out. It’s a show you just can’t be sad while watching.

I’ve been trying to redirect my bedtime routine towards reading, rather than watching, but there are some fantastic shows that I’m pleased to say I love. I certainly won’t deny that they’ve have impacts on my storytelling, characterization and world-building – the most fun kind of research there is! We’re very lucky to live in a time when television has become such a remarkable and creative genre all its own. I look forward to finding my next favorite show.

badge-blog-challenge-updated

New Release!

perf5.000x8.000.inddNew teacher Emmy Lange is adjusting to life at the Redding Boarding School. She can’t shake the giddy feeling that the handsome headmaster, Marcus Powers, is attracted to her. Underneath his stern and commanding demeanor is a spark that beckons to her.

When he asks her to his office to review her progress, she can’t help but wonder if the intimate setting could lead to some sinful discipline, especially when he takes her to task for her improper usage of his title. His deep voice makes her shiver, and Emmy might find it all too easy to enjoy a “hands-on” lesson on how to properly address the handsome headmaster.

Excerpt:

But it might not be the letter that’s making me shiver. Marcus is standing so close to me now that I can smell him, a delicious combination of coffee and book pages and fireplace, and the scent of his body is so overwhelming that I nearly lose my balance.

“Are you quite all right, Miss Lange?” He cups his hand on my shoulder.

The warmth of his hand has a less than calming effect, and I feel hot and slightly dizzy with his proximity. He reaches for the letter and places it on a side table, but leaves me trapped between him and the desk. I’m starting to think that the nature of this evening has changed completely, and that it’s unlikely that this is all in my imagination.

At that passing thought, Marcus runs his hand down the length of my upper arm. I try to suppress a shudder, but it comes anyway, my whole body responding to the surprisingly delicate touch of his hand.

“Marcus,” I whisper, and his name seems to echo around the room like a prayer.

He caresses the skin on my other arm, and I feel like I’ve stumbled into some crazy dream, because there is no way that this gorgeous headmaster is touching me, looking at me like he’s hungry.

“I admit,” he says slowly. “I find myself quite drawn to you, Miss Emily Lange.”

Read More at The Wild Rose Press!

New Release!

A Winter Want_300X454

For as long as Nina Kingston has known Elijah Heyward, they’ve competed across the boardroom table. He may be sexy as sin, but she won’t let get in the way of her successful career.

When works sends them together to a client’s location, she knows it’s going to be a long weekend with her irritating yet attractive coworker. To make matters worse, a storm knocks out the electricity and plunges the small cabin into a den of glowing firelight and palpable lust. Will Nina’s self-control last the night, or will she finally give into Elijah and her own desperate desires?

Excerpt:
A Winter Want by Gemma Snow
“You’re fucking joking.” Nina Kingston looked at her boss and longtime friend, Madison Harrison, before adding, less confidently than before, “You are joking, aren’t you?”

Madison’s expression remained steady, and she shook her head, a small smile playing across her lips.

This did not bode well for Nina’s weekend.

“I need you both there,” Madison explained patiently, looking utterly unfazed by Nina’s miserable expression. “Unless you’d prefer to forfeit your candidacy for the campaign, I suggest you pack your winter boots.”

Nina didn’t grumble despite how much she wanted to. She was a top creative director in a top advertising firm in New York City. She could handle this.

As though the thought of “handling this” had somehow created the physical presence of the problem, Elijah Heyward walked straight into Madison’s office without knocking.

Nina had been in professional competition with Elijah for more than three years. Equals in rank at Mechum and Mechum, they were known to steal campaigns, turn clients, and do just about whatever possible to fuck the other over. Nina rarely felt guilty about it. Advertising was a dog-eat-dog world, and she hadn’t gotten this far by being nice. Plus, Elijah had always made it easy to dislike him. He was powerful, smug, and arrogant. Coupled with his unfortunately attractive looks, Nina thought petulantly, he was the walking, talking, textbook definition of male ego.

Of course, it didn’t help that she frequently found herself staring at his firm ass in those finely pressed, perfectly tailored charcoal slacks or watching the broad stretch of his shoulders from across the room. He was tall, so much taller than her. He had a chiseled jaw, usually with the perfect amount of stubble, and the kind of arms one could tell were strong, even through his button-down shirts and suit jackets. He was also a jackass, and just because she found him to be a good-looking jackass—something he couldn’t know in a million years—it did not change the fact that Nina had no desire to spend the next three days in some cramped motel with him in the middle of bumfuck nowhere.

“What are we not fucking joking about?” Elijah asked drolly, looking at Madison and then lazily scanning the papers in his hand, as though he had far better places to be than his boss’ office.

His very presence goaded Nina. She’d just have to steal this campaign too.

“I’m sending you two on a trip,” Madison said.

Elijah’s head actually moved in surprise.

So he is capable of human emotions after all, Nina thought. This would be an interesting conversation.

“And why on earth would you do that?” he asked.

Madison raised an eyebrow and looked pointedly at Nina. “You two are both after the new Rellington campaign, yes?” she asked.

Elijah nodded.

Rellington was an exclusive resort and spa complex opening at the top of a mountain in upstate New York. The package included nearly all logos, fonts, designs, and advertising, down to the decorative foils on the chocolates they placed under guests’ pillows. It would be an enormous job, and both Nina and Elijah were well enough qualified. The decision process would come partially from Madison and partially from the uppers at Rellington once they had seen proposals from several contestants.

Watching the expression on Elijah’s chiseled, stubborn face now, Nina knew she had to win because there was no way in hell and damnation she was going to let him beat her.

“The Rellington plot has been finalized,” Madison continued. “I think it would reflect very well upon Mechum if you two made a pilgrimage to see the area and views before starting on your proposals.”

Elijah didn’t say anything.

Nina looked towards him with some curiosity. Usually, it was rough going to get him to stop talking. Rendering him speechless was a rather remarkable feat.

Madison shifted some books around on her desk and clapped her hands together. Her rings sparkled in the early afternoon light, and the expression on her face was far too happy, in Nina’s opinion.

“So it’s settled,” Madison said, giving a Nina grin that she had no intention of acknowledging. “Clarissa will shore up the details, and I’ll see you both back here on Tuesday.” She pointed toward the door and turned back to her computer.

Nina was halfway to her escape when her friend added a cheery note.

“Don’t forget to dress warm. You’ll be staying in a cabin together.”

Shit.

Read more at Cobblestone Press! 

New Release!

Captains Quarters-700x1059

Captain’s Quarters

Six years ago, Alexander Wellesley, Duke of Fife, rescued stowaway Lady Mary Clementina Phillipa, as she fled upon a ship bound for the Americas. Their easy friendship changed, however, when she slipped into his chambers and asked him to make her a woman. Alexander agrees, but he will only satisfy her desire on the day when she can best him at chess.

X
Six years have passed, years in which she has become Marianna DuPonte, the reigning pirate queen of the sea. Now she has returned to salvage her pride.

Buy the book here!

About Gemma!

IMG_7236Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories.  She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.
X
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers