Annie Nicholas writes paranormal and science fiction romance. Read about her hot vampire thrillers, werewolf romantic stories, alpha shifter and sexy alien romance.

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Hero's Journey

I've been very scattered this summer. I usually follow my writing schedule like it was written by God. I'm good at setting attaina...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Alpha Releases Today!!

New Blog look with a new release!


BLURB:



Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.



Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.

Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.

Buy 





Excerpt:

Sugar had everything Spice wanted; a loving man, friends, and a home.


“Daedalus let you cut your hair?” A short man built like a bodybuilder approached her.

The awe in his voice snapped Spice out of her self-pity and the protector inside reared its head. This was the second reference to someone allowing her little sister to do something. “What do you mean ‘let me’?”

What kind of relationship did Sugar have? She needed permission to cut her hair? Maybe destiny brought her back to Chicago to save her little sister from some monster. Again. All those bad things happening to drive her here couldn’t be coincidental.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Where is my sister, and what are you doing in her house?”

They glanced at each other, confusion apparent on their faces. “What?”

The man in the kitchen stuck his head out of the door, chocolate brown eyes wide as he stared at her. “Spice?” The smile he’d given to her when he thought she was Sugar returned but wider.

Her heart skipped a beat. In the light his face seemed familiar as well. “I know you.”

“You should, we were only neighbors forever as kids.”

“Eric!” He had grown. Stupid, of course he’s changed. But she never expected that the skinny, lanky bottle-cap-glasses-wearing nerd would develop into a charming, handsome I-wanna-snuggle-you-on-a-cold-night kind of man. “Hi.” The jobs as a hostess, a bartender, and the most recent, a stripper taught her how to talk to men the way they liked. But with him grinning at her like a happy puppy, her mind went blank.

He swept her into his arms in a bone-cracking hug.

“Wow, I’d forgotten Sugar had a twin.” The redhead scratched his chin. “You look exactly alike, except your hair is short.”

Eric set her back on her feet. “Let me take your coat.” He tugged on the belt and untied it. To her surprise, the small action sparked warmth between her thighs. Not like he took off her clothes but she began to wonder what it would feel like if he did.

Their eyes met. His pupils dilated, the chocolate brown faded to amber, and something feral peeked at her.

She gasped and stepped back.

The pretty oriental girl took her arm and dragged her into the living room. She chattered about making tea, but Spice’s attention riveted on Eric as he stood with the men surrounding him.

What the heck? She’d seen need in men’s eyes before but this was darker, deeper, and so much more alluring.

The redhead tried to take Eric’s arm, but he shook it off and stomped out of sight.

Spice sat on the overstuffed couch. “What did you say your name was?”

“Katrina.”

A dainty, petite girl with long black hair to her knees, yet she gave Spice the impression of great strength. Life in Vegas taught her to be an excellent judge of character. Too bad it had taken her so long to learn.

“I’ll be back in a minute. You stay while I make tea.” Katrina slipped away to the kitchen.

Every flat surface in the living room held a book. Soft cover, hard cover, tattered, or new, Sugar loved her books. The walls were lined with shelves filled with them. Spice picked up the closest one and smelled it. The scent of paper always reminded her of her twin.

The large, square coffee table in front of her held the game Risk. Different colored pieces lay scattered on the thick blue carpet.

Game night at Sugar’s house. She glanced at the hallway. With Eric. Many questions formulated in her head. What happened to her reclusive sister over the past two years? When did she get friends? Probably when her only one, me, left town. Did she hook up with Eric?

Hope sprung in Spice’s heart. Her attraction to him was out of character. She usually loved them tough and bad. Maybe he could be the new beginning she’d come home for.


To celebrate my new release I'm giving away a copy of The Alpha at Paranormal Romantics on 6/21. Be on the look out for my other guest blogs because I'll be giving other copies too!

Annie Nicholas
http://www.annienicholas.com/

Monday, June 14, 2010

Point Of View

When I first started to hang out on the net with other writers, I kept wondering what a POV was? Point of Venue? Practice of Verbs? Once, I found it stood for Point of View I realized I hadn’t a clue what it meant.

A little google search told me the definitions.

• a mental position from which things are viewed
• the spatial property of the position from which something is observed
• the narrative mode used by writers to convey the plot to the audience

Narrative mode? I did a little more digging.

-First person: is a point of view in which an "I" or "we" serves as the narrator of a piece of fiction. While first person point of view can allow a reader to feel very close to a specific character's point of view, it also limits the reader to that one perspective. The reader can only know what this character knows.
Example: “I loved the way he struggled to keep his eyes from wandering over my body as he lectured about the pros and cons of the insurance policy.”

-Second person: the narrator tells the story to another character using "you". The story is being told through the addressee's point of view. It is the least commonly used POV in fiction.
Example: “You opened the door to find an orange cat on your doorstep.”

Third person: uses third person pronouns such as "he" or "she." It’s the most versatile form of pov and can be sub-divided into omniscient and deep.
Example: “He ran around the corner, surprised to find the vampire waiting for him.”

Omniscient: in which both the reader and author observe the situation either through the senses and thoughts of more than one character, or through an overarching godlike perspective that sees and knows everything that happens and everything the characters are thinking.
Example: “He ran around the corner but he didn’t know a vampire had been waiting for him there all night.” (I find this the hardest pov to write in.)

Deep: is being so immersed in a character's head, his or her thoughts color everything in the story. It's got 1st person depth in 3rd person format.
Example: “He ran around the corner, his heart stopped as he came eye to eye with his worst nightmare, a vampire.”



So, point of view simply means where is your reader observing the story. If they ‘are’ the character then you want first or deep third. If you want them sitting on the characters shoulder as if watching then you want second or third. If you want them above as if on the ceiling or sky then third omniscient.



Once you chose a point of view, I recommend sticking with it throughout the story. I’ve read some experimental stories where the writer would switch from first to third depending on the character but it knocked me out of the story and I found it too distracting. The best writing allows the reader to get caught up in the story and not even notice what pov they are in.



Next week I’ll discuss deepening your point of view. Don’t forget we’re celebrating our first year anniversary at Paranormal Romantics and having daily give aways.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Show vs Tell

The nemesis of all new writers and, you know, even the ones who’ve been writing for awhile. LOL
To start I want to mention that I think how much you show your story versus how much you tell lends to your voice. It gives your stories a fingerprint, if that analogy helps more.

In my opinion, writing is about forging an emotional link to the reader. While some good fiction functions on a higher intellectual level, it’s the visceral stuff that sticks in our memories. The ones that made you feel the characters’ losses and joys. We’re drawn to these stories because it touched something deep inside and took hold. One of the best ways to grab someone with your story is by creating vivid images that immerse them in the world— by not merely telling readers what’s happening, but showing it to them.

“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” ~Anton Chekhov.



Like I’ve repeatedly said in this blog series, everything in moderation. I believe in showing more than telling but it’s not written in any writing rules book that is the way it has to be. This choice is part of my voice as a writer.

Every time I find emotional adjectives such as angry, sad, happy, etc in my WIP, I step back and ask if there is a way I can show what my character is feeling instead of telling the reader. This draws the reader emotionally closer to the character.

Ex: Angered by Sheila’s betrayal, Tom left the room. (TELLING)

Tom squeezed his fists until the nails bit into his palms. He stomped from the room and slammed the door behind him. How could she betray like this? (SHOW)

Another suggestion is to show time passing without telling the reader. This is simple but I didn’t get it until another writer told me, so for those like me here you go. LOL State what meal the character is eating, where the sun is in the sky, mention the stars or moon, piles of mail can grow, or have them check their watch. There are plenty of things that can be done and it’s better than stating, “three days later.”

Describing the setting can be considered showing as well but I’ll be discussing this at length in its own blog.
Use of everyday things you observe from people around you will help with showing. If my character is anxious, I’ll make her dialogue short and fast and sometimes it won’t make sense depending on how upset she is. See how this kind of ties in with sentence structure, which I discussed in another blog. Show isn’t an easy concept to jump onto. It’s not 1+1=2. It’s more like 3+2=7 except when there’s a full on the 4th of May but then again you can minus 1.

Once you do get it, I promise it will snap in your head and you’ll see all the possibilities.

When I finally grasped the power of show, I realized I told my readers too much in the aspect of my plots and decided to show them clues instead. Even if they didn’t pull them all together and solve my story on their own, when my heroine did figure it out the readers would have an ‘AHA!’ moment and hopefully think, “She wrote something about this in chapter three. OH! She also mentioned that clue in chapter seven.” I know as a reader, I LOVE those ‘AHA’ moments.

Let’s use an example for this. I’ll make up a plot for this example. Say the end of your story is that the hero saves the heroine by mixing a magic potion to cure her from an evil spell. He needed to gather all the rare ingredients to make it and use a recipe from his great grandmother’s spell book. Mention the spell book in ch 1 or 2 as hint. Have him notice ingredients here there in context with the rest of the story but not too obvious. At the end of the book when he’s in the process of saving her, the reader is more involved in the story because you showed them pieces of the solution. Mind you this is just a simple example to give you an idea of what I meant.

Last but not least, do not go crazy on the showing either. If your character needs to cross the kitchen and get a glass of water and if it is not relevant to the story, then by all means, just tell us. Megan walked to the sink and poured a glass of water.

I hoped this helped more than harmed your understanding of show vs tell.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Release by Ciar Cullen

Available now at Amazon!.
Emily Fenwick, former NYPD, is now reluctant defender of 1890 New York. Unfortunately for Emily, who hates "the creepy stuff," she ignored her inner voice, went to a carnival in Central Park, and entered a Victorian tent in hopes a psychic would have some encouraging news about her woefully boring love life. The guarantee she receives of meeting a tall, dark, and handsome stranger comes with a huge catch--he lives in an alternate dimension of the past.

Jack Pettigrew leads a quirky band of lost souls in a battle to save New York circa 1890. Nightmares have come alive and threaten to terrorize a fragile era. Jack leads the "punks," who have been sucked back in time through a vortex. Each has a fleeting memory of their own death--or near death--and must determine for themselves why they have been chosen for this mission. Is Steamside their Purgatory? Could an Egyptian obelisk in Central Park be the cause of the time rift, or is Emily herself to blame for the goblins, zombies, and other nightmarish scenes plaguing them?

If the Punks want to return to 2010, they must ensure there's going to be an 1891. If they conclude they're really ghosts, then it might be time to party like it's 1999.

Dear Reader, Please note that while this book has some adult content, it is not ultra steamy romance. If you prefer hardcore gadget laden steampunk--look away. While this book has some steampunk elements, it is primarily a fantasy romance. Best wishes!