Cover Reveal and Excerpt: Ghost of a Promise

Sunday, May 25, 2014

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Here it is, the cover for my upcoming paranormal romance, Ghost of a Promise.  Isn't it lovely?  I couldn't wait to show it off.  A million thanks to the wonderful designer Carrie Spencer at Cheeky Covers.  I'm in awe of her intuitive skill in figuring out exactly what I wanted.

I'm working hard for a late summer release!  Here is a short excerpt from the beginning:


***


"Did she leave of her own free will?  That's the question everyone is asking, Tony."

"Yes, Barbara, that is exactly what the world is asking.  For five days, the Senator has emphatically said no.  His daughter could not possibly have left the Institute on her own volition."

Too busy painting her toenails to look up, Carrie Riley sat on the bed in a white plush robe and listened to the news with half an ear.  This is what I've been missing? After weeks of media isolation in a remote African village, the international news of the day appeared to be the disappearance of some spoiled Senator's daughter who'd skipped out on her rehab or some such thing.  Ooohhh, shocking.  "Give me a break," she mumbled, rolling her eyes.  She'd turned on the news hoping to hear something from her brother, Ben.  An investigative journalist, he wouldn't be caught dead reporting this kind of fluff.  No, he'd be somewhere that mattered, in the thick of things.  Last she knew, he was still reporting from Afghanistan.  He also wouldn't look like Tony...all slick and polished.  He'd look like he needed a shave, a haircut and a full day's sleep. 

 She tucked a damp strand of an errant russet curl behind her ear before unfolding her leg to start on the other foot.  Of course, she worried, but Ben could take care of himself.  They were alike that way.  Besides, her sixth sense had been quiet.   She glanced up as Tony the talking head continued, reporting from location.  Behind him, past a tall iron fence, loomed an imposing, pilloried structure she assumed was the Institute. "New security footage at the Elizabeth Burke Institute has identified a possible person of interest.  Personally, Barbara, I couldn't be more stunned, and I know you feel the same. "

"Yes, Tony.  Although we must stress that no charges have officially been filed, we are reeling at the possible connection our colleague Ben Riley has with Elizabeth Burke's disappearance."

"Holy crap!"  At the unlikely linking of names, Carrie's hand jerked and smeared bright red nail polish onto the hotel's bedspread.  The news story now had her full attention and shocking didn't begin to describe it.  Looking up, she got her wish to see Ben's face.

"Of course we can't forget this memorable footage taken weeks ago at the Press Corps Dinner."

Her jaw dropped.  On a red carpet, no less, dark hair falling over the collar of his tux, Ben carried a slender, fragile looking woman in his arms.  Long blonde hair streamed over his arm and dainty, slipperless feet peeked out beneath the hem of her apricot colored gown.  Her arms were wrapped around his neck as if hanging on for dear life and they had eyes only for each other, oblivious to the cameras flashing around them.  And the sirens.  What the hell?  Why were there sirens?  Had there been a fire? 

They didn't say.  The story looped back to Tony and they started over, saying the same thing.  The world thought her brother had kidnapped the infamous Elizabeth Burke. 
 
"Oh, Ben.  What have you done?"  Obviously her sixth sense had gone haywire. 

***
 

Solved Worries

Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 comments
.What do you do when...

..different characters find out the same piece of information, but at different times?  How is it re-presented?

...you set your characters in a familiar setting, such as a city, but still get lost?  How exactly do you get from A to B and how long does it take? 

...you select a book cover for your story, but the deal falls through.  You have to search again, but your brain doesn't want to move on.  What do you do?

***

I've asked myself each of those questions quite recently while working on my work in progress, Ghost of a Promise.  Fortunately, I've come up with some answers!  This is a good thing, because there's always another set of situations, inside and outside of the story, waiting to be figured out.  New worries.  But it's encouraging, I think, to look back on how the old worries were worked out. 

For the first situation, re-presenting the same information to a different character (or more), I worried about repeating myself to the reader.  I've run into this situation before actually, and I'm sure I will again.  There are just times when a character doesn't know a piece of information that the reader does -- because you've already told her that information in some different way.  When put that way, this can be a good thing...even a very good thing.  It's like realizing you've blundered into suspenseful storytelling.  So you go with it.  But intentional or not, it can feel awkward to re-present information.  For a long period of trial and error, I think I have to start at the beginning to bring a character up to speed.  Maybe I do.  Only, maybe the retelling is to get myself up to speed on how the character reacts to something new to them.  The information might be the same, but how a character sees it, through their point of view, will alter the retelling.  Eventually, I can see how to build on what has already been revealed...and yes, even cut what doesn't need to be revealed again.

For the second situation, getting my characters lost, I realized I didn't know the city I set my story quite as well as I thought I did.  I may have lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for more than a dozen years, but I didn't get around the city quite the way my characters do.  I took the Metro and I didn't drive.  For another thing, it's been several years since I lived there and my memory needed a refresher.  But I realized, other than going back for a visit, I remembered more than I thought...with a little prompting.  With internet map resources I could zoom in until it was almost like being there.  Eventually I resolved not to be intimidated by what I didn't know...or remember...at first.

I'm happy to say that situation number three is the best solved worry of the bunch! A few months ago I had chosen a cover for my story.  I admit, to date I haven't been too fancy, but I'd resolved this would change!  Only, to make a long story short, the cover I'd chosen became unavailable.  But in the meantime, I'd grown attached.  It really helped inspire me to keep writing while I thought of my hero and heroine as the cover depicted them.  Could I "replace" them?  Well, I had to try!  The new cover and the experience I had working with a wonderful custom designer exceeded my expectations.  I'm in love...and I can't wait to reveal the new cover very soon! 

Unsolved questions are always worrisome, but don't give up!  Eventually, with lots of trial and error, they can become solved worries.

Have you experienced any of my unsolved questions or something similar?  How did they become solved worries for you?

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