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inkRipples Tropes

#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary WaibelKatie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on this page, and link back to their three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.

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“The certainty that everything has already been written annuls us, or renders us phantasmal.”

  • Jorge Luis Borges

 

I often feel phantasmal (in Borges’s sense) when writing. What can I write that hasn’t yet been written? Not much, it turns out. Fiction is full of tropes, it consists of tropes. Just look at any genre you like to read – aren’t the books just endless variations on a theme or several themes at best? Happily ever afters in romance, the fight of good versus evil in fantasy and sci-fi, the whodunit in mysteries, enemies to lovers in YA etc.

Every now and again there comes a book so radically different from everything I’ve read so far that it will stun me. Harry Potter, anyone? Or the Illuminae series? They blew me away. Like, waaay away! But if you analyze them, after your heartbeat gets back to normal and your initial head-over-heels feelings pass, you realize they use the same tropes as any other book in their genre. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t make them any less good, in fact, it makes them even greater.

When tropes abound, what starts to really matter is the voice. The VOICE. That is why when you ask any agent or editor what they’re looking for in their future clients, they will without a doubt mention the voice, regardless of whether they’re looking for any other specific premises and stories, the voice will be on their list, and probably very high on their list. It’s the voice, the writing style, the way you make a story individual that sets it apart from the other stories even when using the same tropes.

In Illuminae we see teenage romance gone awry, rogue AI, plague, hacking, escape on improvised evacuation ships, the fight to survive and save others etc. We’ve all seen it before. Just not in the form of reports, emails, doodles, illustrations, commentary of video footage, graphics, transcripts, censored words (I found this hilarious). And not told from the perspective of the super smart, pink-haired Kady and Ezra. Illuminae is the story of an apocalypse, yet it is very personal and intimate. It makes you forget about tropes and focus on that which differs from anything else you’ve ever read.

Valentine romance

Valentine Day is D Day for Valentine Kisses. It’s out in the world now, and the feeling is pretty great. To celebrate, we’re having a Facebook party tonight. Come join us. We’ll have fun and there will be giveaways!valentinekisses-v2-1

Some wonderful reviews have already come in for the anthology.

An Anthological Triumph! Even if you have a partner to kiss on Valentine’s Day, this anthology of love will melt your heart! (Tracy at Sourpussreviews)

I was surprised when I turned the last page! I was hoping for more. (T.Longo)

Each author did an exquisite job at presenting, laying out, and find a wonderful conclusion to each of their novellas, with the limited space a novella allows. Definitely recommend this book of novellas. (Tthomas1028)

You still have a few hours to enter the Valentine day blog hop GIVEAWAY. My giveaway, however, has ended and the winners of ebook copies of my YA novellas are:

Emily E.

Kelly D.

And just because I love it, I have to post the cover for my novella Hearts Must be Broken. Get your copy here.

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#InkRipples: Genre

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I’ve written about genre recently, and about how difficult it sometimes is to fit a book into distinct genres. While knowing the genre of a book helps me decide whether it’s something I’d want to read or not, sometimes it can be a deterrent so I end up not reading a book I might have liked if I’d have given it a chance.

I don’t like to label things all that much in general, and same goes for books. I’m an eclectic reader, only avoiding Christian fiction and hard core science fiction.But when choosing my next read, I usually first check the blurb (apart from the cover, of course). Naturally, one doesn’t always have to check for the book’s genre because often it’s apparent from the cover and/or the blurb or even because the author is already familair to us.

I will more often check out books in my preferred genres, like young adult, romance, contemporary, but I’ll read in other genres when the blurb or reviews convince me that the book is worth my while. So it seems that genre labels only work together with other information about a book, like the cover, blurb, author, reviews, recommendation from someone.

And since the topic of last month was book covers, I’d just like to give an example of when book covers and genre can be  a bit at odds with each other.

6553175This cover made me think the book is a fluffy romance, an easy read with fun characters. But it’s so much more than that. Yes, it’s a romance, it’s funny, but it also deals with mental illness and all the sadness, stress and anxiety that that brings with it. The chracters are complex and well written and the story is compelling.

So it’s not just about the genre, or the cover, it’s the whole package. And essentially, it’s about what you like.

Romance and recipes #giveaway

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Welcome to my blog, one of the stops on the Valentine blog hop – A time for Love, organized by Casi McLean. Follow the links to different blogs for some great reads, fun posts, and awesome prizes but before you do that, take a minute and read an excerpt from my newest novella, get a delicious winter recipe and a chance to win free eBooks.

Valentine Day is near and with it the release day of Valentine Kisses, Inkspell’s anthology for all romantic souls out there. It’s a collection of diverse romance stories, from fantasy to suspsense, from sweet to steamy.

Hearts must be broken is a bit darker than my other stories, but despite the mystery and suspense, there’s a sweet love story at its core.

When a ghost from her past wants to take revenge on twenty-year-old Anais, the only onheartsmustbebroken-v01e she can turn to for help is Damon. But things quickly become complicated because he has feelings for her and she doesn’t want a relationship.

Excerpt

He said quietly, “I’ve always thought you were perfect, Anaïs.”

“Damon …”

“Is it because I’m stone broke?”

His bitter words scattered across the pillow between them like glass shards, shimmering with the promise of heartache.

The past few days, she’d felt closer to him than she’d been to anyone in much too long. The problem was it was too close. She couldn’t have him read the emotions off her face like sheet music. She couldn’t give him that much power over her. She’d given up too much, lost too many people in order to become free and independent, to waste it on a pair of soulful eyes and a few heartfelt words. Regardless of how good they made her feel.

“No. It’s not that,” she said, and the lie slowly turned into the truth as she dug the hole in her heart, deepening it with every fib she uttered, uprooting everything which was decent and tender in her.

He turned away and didn’t look at her even after she called his name twice. She leaned closer and wanted to kiss his cheek, but then he turned and her lips touched his.

~*~

This is just one of the six stories. For a taste of the others, check out the anthology website or pre-order the book. The $0.99 offer will only last till end of February so go grab your copy!

~*~

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And while the stories warm up your soul, you’ll need something warm and delicious for your body. So here’s a recipe for a red kuri soup.

Finely chop one onion and saute it in a bit of olive oil until it softens (around 5 min). Add one medium red kuri squash (works equally well with other winter squashes, such as butternut), peeled and diced, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add enough vegetable stock (or simply water) to cover the squash and a few sage leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer for about ten minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove the sage leaves and pure the squash in a food processor. Add half a cup of cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.

Serve with a few drops of cream and croutons or pumpkin seeds. Eat warm and in good company!

~*~

For a chance to win an ebook copy of either my snowboarding novella On the Slopes, road trip novel Letting Go, or roommate romance My Summer Roommate, enter the first Rafflecofter giveaway below. Plus, by commenting on my blog you can enter the blog hop wide Rafflecopter giveaway for two $50 Amazon gift certificates (enter below). So comment and enter!

Thank you for joining me on this stop of the blog hop, now on to new adventures and discoveries! Spread the love, my friends!

 1. The Perfect Time For Love ~ Casi McLean 2. Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3. Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan 4. Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5. He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but… ~ Peggy Jaeger 6. Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7. Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont 8. 50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9. Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler 10. Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11. Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch 12. Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13. Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day ~ Barbara Bettis 14. A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15. Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight 16. Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17. Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott 18. Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19. An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin 20. Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21. Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale 22. Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23. A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton 24. ‘Out Of This World’ Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25. Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt 26. Valentine’s Day – A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27. Historical Heartbeats

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#Coverreveal for Tainted by H. C. Harris

 

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon

Kobo

ITunes

  

Blurb

Whoever said college was easy? Certainly not Faye Johnson! With shadow creatures stalking and hunting her from the depths of the darkness, Faye soon realizes that being a Light Soul and destroying the evil that lurks in the shadows, won’t make her freshman year any easier.

With the help of her wisecracking best friend Jack, Faye discovers that her ordinary life is about to change drastically. She has an ancient power that the darkness desperately desires. But being untrained, she can’t protect herself for long. That’s when Gabe, a dangerously gorgeous ex-Dark Soul enters her life – seemingly out of thin air.

Jack and Faye’s friendship is put to the test when she starts training with Gabe. Jack warns her that Gabe is dangerous, but she can’t seem to resist her electrifying feelings for him. Events become deadly when the Dark Souls attack and Faye discovers Gabe’s horrifying secret.

Can she count on Jack to be there for her? Can she trust Gabe with her life? Will she be strong enough to protect herself from the darkness that is desperate to kill her?

…And you thought college was easy.

 

Excerpt

I jumped to my feet, feeling restless as my mind continued to speculate. He didn’t even know me. Why was he being such a major stalker? My rage tempted me to find him and demand he start answering my questions. But some sensible part reminded me that probably wouldn’t be a very good idea.

I took my frustration out on my pillow, slamming it against my wall and then falling face down on my bed. This helped me cool off a little bit. But thoughts of Gabe, Jack, and my weird connection with fire still danced in my head.

An idea occurred to me.

All this time, I was in my room, I had bought the candles, I had put them away. But none of them were lit! I got up from my bed, and made my way to the closest one.

“Light,” I commanded.

Nothing happened. The candle just sat there, perfectly untouched and brand new. I felt a little bit relieved. Maybe if my old one had been defective, then maybe everything else Jack and I had been worried about wasn’t true?

“Light!” I commanded again, a little bit more forcefully. Still nothing happened. Before giving up and giving into my endless pile of homework, I gazed at the candle and concentrated my focus.

I blocked out the sounds of the people in my hall, the cheers and laugher flowing in from my open window, and the smell of pizza originating from the dining hall around the corner. It was just me and the candle. We were the only two things in this world. It was just us.

“Light.”

It burst into flames!

I stumbled back against my bed, shocked. I had made the candle burn, without a lighter or matches. I did that: I’d lit it. How was that possible?

I felt the heat from my anger begin to boil my blood as I realized everything Jack and I were fearful of, was true. I was in trouble. I had no idea what I was, or what it meant. I had no idea why Gabe was stalking me. I had no answers and I didn’t know what to do or who could help me. All of my confusion just further fueled my anger. I felt myself begin to lose control. As my anger grew, so did the flame.

I stood up straight, a determination igniting in my veins. I might not have all the answers, but I sure as hell knew someone who did. Without thinking, I gave into temptation and ran out of my bedroom, down the hall, and burst through the front doors of the building. I ran past all of the buildings on Redstone Campus and into the surrounding woods. I felt the branches and leaves scrape against my skin, but still I kept running. I didn’t stop. Not until I was deep enough into the forest to find I was alone with the darkness.

He’ll come, I thought. Soon enough, he will find me.

 

About the Author:

H. C. Harris has been daydreaming, imagining stories, and composing music since before she could even write! She was born and raised in New Hampshire before moving to Burlington, Vermont for college. During her senior year at the University of Vermont, she discovered she had a passion for creating fantasy stories that transported her readers to mysterious and romantic places.

H. C. Harris shared samples of her work with her online audience. Fans have described it as, “addicting,” “a page-turner,” and “swoon-worthy.” With their encouragement, she submitted her work to publishing companies and is now contracted with Inkspell Publishing!

She currently lives in Hartford, Connecticut where she is working on her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She teaches Spin classes, loves playing the piano, drinking coffee and taking her German Shepherd and Black Lab for runs!

You can follow H. C. Harris on Twitter at: @writeforlifehch, on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/hcharris.tainted/ and follow her book updates on her personal website: www.hcharris.net

#teasertuesday Hearts must be broken

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Excerpt

“I’m hungry,” Damon said, reminding her he was still splayed out on the floor beneath her.

Why was he even here and not running as fast as he could away from her after she’d hurt him so terribly and so often? Why did he bother? It didn’t make sense.

“Why?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Because the last thing I ate was a sandwich yesterday noon. Plus you seriously zapped my energy last night.”

She huffed. “I meant why, after I’ve treated you like shit more times than I care to remember, you still care?”

When he just stared at her for a moment, she wondered if he was trying to come up with a lie.

He pushed himself up into a sitting position. Being so close to his serious face and intense eyes was frightening. She had never before been so vulnerable, not even with Ralph. Because with Damon she cared, and he had the power to rip her apart with mere words.

“Sometimes, when I look at you, you are so utterly sad. And it’s like you’re not even aware of it. It’s like you only let yourself feel anger and disgust because they’re your crutch and if someone took that away from you, you’d fall and shatter. You deserve to be loved, Anaïs.”

Pre-order Valentine Kisses while the $0.99 offer lasts!

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When our worlds collide by Kellie Wallace

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Are you craving a story with action, love, sex and drama? When Our Worlds Collide is a new adult military dystopian set in a fanatical world. Inspired by historical events, it’s the perfect story to curl up to in bed or read as you sit by the pool. 

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/gt2hgad

Goodreads – http://tinyurl.com/zrsflaw 

As one city’s fate hangs in the balance, a woman’s destiny is about to be determined…

Amira Frost is forced to watch her home be invaded by the warmonger state, Argos. Divided into multiple class zones, the city’s once peaceful existence is threatened.

When an opportunity arises for Amira to get close to the General, she accepts with the hope that her new position as his personal food taster can help reclaim the municipality, but she is pulled deeper into his regime than she initially anticipated.

For every controlling force, a resistance is born…

The Ravens’ elusive leader, Grayson Roe, has one goal—to lead the resistance to victory against the barbaric military. Dedicated and ruthless, he sets out to use Amira to their advantage by offering her a proposal she’s unable to refuse.

Nothing will stop him from regaining control over his city and its people—not even the dark haired beauty whose loyalty seems questionable.

A city threatens to fall and a decision needs to be made…

As the battle rages, Amira is caught between two opposing forces and reevaluates her allegiance when her loyalty is tested. Her home is under attack, her friends and family are dying, and she is faced with a grueling decision that has the power to save or bring down an entire city.

When worlds collide, she must choose between saving her home or surrendering to the one man who threatens to destroy it all—including her.

coming-jan-2017

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New adult author Kellie Wallace

Cover reveal #giveaway for Valentine Kisses

Here it is — the stunning cover for Valentine Kisses, an anthology of romance novellas, and a GIVEAWAY (look for it below).

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Naj has done phenomenal work yet again.

You can pre-order the box set on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, Amazon.ca.

To convince you that you have to read it, here are the stories:

Lola Flannigan by Abigail Drake (sci-fi)

Hairdresser Lola Flannigan has a little electrical problem. After getting struck by lightning seven times, her hands now shock everyone she touches, except for one person; the very sexy, very wealthy Morgan Slade. But is Morgan really looking out for her, or is he just planning to use her to get what he wants?

~*~

Hearts must be broken by Bridie Hall (suspense)

When a ghost from her past wants to take revenge on twenty-year-old Anais, the only one she can turn to for help is Damon. But things quickly become complicated because he has feelings for her and she doesn’t want a relationship. Can she learn to trust him and can he forgive her past?

~*~

Lost & Found by Shilpa Mudiganti (sweet)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and Aisha, who is still grieving for her ex boyfriend John is in for a surprise. Liam, John’s bestfriend, who has had feelings for her but had to keep his feelings in check is ready to prove his love for her. But is she ready to risk her heart again?

~*~

Avalanche by Kim Briggs (sweet with a side of steamy)

Lexi returns to her first love, Wolf Creek Ski Resort, with ambitions of becoming a ski instructor. She soon finds herself in the middle of a longtime feud between Gabe, a snow groomer who gives off the broken vibe Lexi finds irresistible, and Harrison the fourth, playboy son of Wolf Creek’s owner who always wants what Gabe has. Tensions boil at Wolf Creek, and Lexi’s heart might not be the only thing at stake.

~*~

What’s better than a book boyfriend by Sarah Vance-Tompkins (small town contemporary romance)

Shy librarian Charlie Bishop has spent every Valentine’s Day in the company of one of her beloved book boyfriends. Despite his many attempt to gain her attention, Charlie is absolutely certain she has nothing common with hunky construction worker Hank Carter. So how far will Hank have to go to prove to Charlie he’s better than any of her book boyfriends?

~*~

Not today by Lisa Hahn (contemporary)

Emily Scott is mourning the loss of a parent. Ezra Cavanuagh is ready to give up on his dreams of literary success. Will their new connection be enough to help them pull through these trying times?

GIVEAWAY!

We have a giveaway too! We are giving away 5 copies of the boxset and 1 $10 Amazon gift card! If you would like to participate in the draw, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/cxARrv

But this is not all. Each story in the box set has an individual cover, and here’s the one for my story Hearts must be broken by Eva Talia.

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Cover reveal

I’m so excited to share our new cover for Valentine Kisses in a couple of days. If you’d like to help us spread the word, you can still sign up here:

https://goo.gl/forms/xWgPrDloLtVODiw02

cover-reveal

Valentine Kisses includes novellas by Abigail Drake, Lisa Hahn, Kim Briggs, Shilpa Mudiganti, Sarah Vance-Tompins and moi. They’re all romance, but, oh, so different! From sci-fi to small town romance to new adult. A little bit of something for everyone. Coming soon!

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