Meets the Hero in MUST LOVE BREECHES–Weekend Writing Warriors – 11/23/14

wewriwa_square_2Welcome to Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors! For those new to this, fellow writers post eight sentences from one of our works.

MUST LOVE BREECHES is on sale for 99 cents!

Oops, I’ve been absent for a while from this blog hop! Last I posted, she’d just met the hero but has no idea she’s travelled back in time. Now she’s dancing with the hero and asks him if he comes to these reenactment parties a lot. The first line is from him:

“I am not at all sure what you believe we are reenacting, but unfortunately, I find I am expected to be at these balls with an appalling regularity.”

He had the period syntax and cadence down pat. “Wow, you’re quite good at this. Don’t worry, I’ll try to play along.”

Her partner did the eyebrow-slanting-up-in-the-middle thing and looked away. She could have sworn he muttered ‘Colonials’ under his breath.

Huh? Wait, he was referring to her. “Hey, no need to be rude, and I’m not a Colonial. We soundly beat your hides and settled that score, like, two hundred years ago.” She gave him a playful swat on his shoulder. “Man, you British can sure hold a grudge.”

To join in the fun and see the other wonderful writers, go to Weekend Writing Warriors! Thanks for stopping by!

MUST LOVE BREECHES now available on all major retailers

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She’s finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.

“A fresh, charming new voice” – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

HOW FAR WOULD YOU TRAVEL FOR LOVE?

A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.

Available for order:

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Or add to Goodreads

Join my new street team

I’m forming a street team to help create buzz on my release, so if you’d like to join, contact me and I’ll add you to my super secret facebook group 🙂

Cover and Pre-Order Reveal for STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY + 99c Sale on MUST LOVE BREECHES

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Super excited to reveal today, the cover for STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, Book 1 in my new series Mint Julep and Monocle Chronicles. It’s a New Adult steampunk romance, and boy did I have so much fun writing this! Once again, I hired the fabulous Kim Killion for the cover, and couldn’t be more pleased! 

I wrote the first draft in May of 2012, and after many revisions, it’s close to being ready! It is also available for pre-order. I picked the farthest date out I could, just in case I had some unforeseen circumstances with the editing rounds, so it says February 3, but I hope to put it out before then. The copy editor has the manuscript and she’s scheduled to have it back to me by first week of December, so with the turnaround time from the proofreader, and then formatting, I’m crossing my fingers for an early January release. Of course, y’all will be the among the first to know (first will be my street team and mailing list).

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Here’s the details:

Steam Me Up, Rawley
New Adult Steampunk Romance
Series: Book One in the Mint Julep & Monocle Chronicles
Projected Release Date: Jan/Feb 2015
Length: Novel (94,000 words)
Ebook Pre-Order Price: $3.99
ISBN: 978-0-9905400-3-8
Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex
Cover artist: Kim Killion

The print cover:

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Blurb

Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying?

In an alternate Deep South in 1890, society reporter Adele de la Pointe wants to make her own way in the world, despite her family’s pressure to become a society wife. Hoping to ruin herself as a matrimonial prospect, she seizes the opportunity to cover the recent Jack the Ripper-style murders for the newspaper, but her father’s dashing new intern suggests a more terrifying headline—marriage.

Dr. Phillip Rawley’s most daring exploit has been arriving at his new home in America in a hot air balloon. A tolerable sacrifice, if it means he can secure the hand of his new employer’s daughter in a marriage of convenience. But Adele works, she’s spirited, and she has an armored pet monkey running her errands. Not only does she not match his notions of a proper lady, she stirs up feelings he’d rather keep in tight control.

With Adele hunting down a headline and Dr. Rawley trying to protect and pursue her, a serial killer is spreading panic throughout Mobile, Alabama. Can Adele and Rawley find the murderer, face their fears, and discover true love?

Originally, this was meant to be the sequel to Must Love Breeches, but my agent wisely advised me to make that into a time-travel series, so Steam is a spin-off from Breeches instead. The events that take place in Breeches make the world that Steam is set in.

To that end, to celebrate the cover reveal and pre-order ability for Steam, I’m putting Breeches on sale this week for 99c on iBook, Amazon, B&N, and Kobo! Thank you to Free Kindle Books & Tips and The Fussy Librarian for helping me to promote this sale!

MaggiesWinner of the Unpublished Maggie for the Paranormal Category!

Last month, I was ecstatic to learn that Steam Me Up, Rawley won first place at the Georgia Romance Writer’s Annual Conference. Someone at the awards ceremony posted this pic of the program.

Steam Me Up, Rawley Available for Pre-Order

Amazon| iBook Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

You can also put it on your virtual shelves:

Goodreads | Library Thing | Shelfari

Steam Me Up, Rawley board on PinterestOfficial Book Page

Tweetables/Shareables

Help me spread the word! Click on any of these links below to automatically generate that tweet:

twitter-24x24 Tweet: MUST LOVE BREECHES, a #timetravel #romance by @AngelaQuarles, on sale today for #99cents #books #kindle http://ctt.ec/a8COy+

twitter-24x24 Tweet: MUST LOVE BREECHES, a #timetravel #romance by @AngelaQuarles, on sale today for #99cents #iBook #Apple #iPad http://ctt.ec/5XUEf+

twitter-24x24 Tweet: MUST LOVE BREECHES, a #timetravel #romance by @AngelaQuarles, on sale today for #99cents #nook #deal http://ctt.ec/my16G+

twitter-24x24 Tweet: Jack the Ripper might be in town. But is marriage more terrifying? #PreOrder STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY #steampunk #romance http://ctt.ec/a5g73+

facebook-24x24 Link to share sale on Facebook. Suggested content: To celebrate Steam Me Up, Rawley’s cover reveal, Angela Quarles has MUST LOVE BREECHES on sale for 99 cents!

facebook-24x24 Link to share pre-order. Suggested content: STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY, a New Adult steampunk romance, is now available for pre-order!

pinterest-32x32 Link to share cover on Pinterest

Do you like to read steampunk despite the industry saying it’s dead? Do you think New Adult has room for non-contemporary genres?

Deep POV: Befores and Untils, do you need them? Truly?

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I haven’t done a writing craft post in a loooong time and since I just sent Steam Me Up, Rawley to my copyeditor, these types of considerations are fresh in my mind. For the last week or so, I’d been doing searches for particular words that can signal that my prose is telling. Sometimes I leave it, because telling in that part of the story was what needed to happen (typically at transition points).

First, my standard disclaimer: These are not rules to live and die by. Using ‘before’ and ‘until’ is not wrong, and sometimes it’s exactly what’s needed. Like any craft tip, absorb it and then see if it applies, or not, to your prose and that particular point in your story.

Like many other romance writers, I like to write in what’s called Deep POV, which means we try as hard as we can, in either first or third person POV, to eliminate as many filters and barriers between the reader and the POV character so that the reader can be as immersed as possible. There are a lot of tips and tricks, and some of them are well-trodden in writing craft posts on Deep POV, like eliminating filter phrases, not naming emotions, etc. But I thought I’d dedicate a post to two words that don’t get as much attention: ‘before’ and ‘until’

The potential problem with BEFORE

BEFORE is a word that can cause what Margie Lawson calls a mini speedbump and can be a form of telling when it’s used to describe what the main POV character is doing. It might only take a split second for the reader to parse what you mean, but why make them do this? Instead of moving forward, the reader stops to absorb what happened before something else happened, as if the order wasn’t right to begin with. If you use subject and verbs, in the order it happens, the story moves forward without the reader having to take that micro-pause. Not only that, but as a sentence structure device, it can certainly get overused. I’ve read some books where the author used this all the time, like every paragraph, sometimes even in the same sentence, and it developed into a predictable habit. Especially in action scenes, you want the action to be straightforward and full of power, and loading it down with ‘befores’ and ‘untils’ can make your action scene lose steam.

What about UNTIL?

UNTIL is also another word to look out for, as it often shows up in told prose. It’s a good word to search for because then you can look at what is around it and see if it can be made more active-it’s a good ‘flag’ for possible telling. Oftentimes, it’s putting distance between the reader and the POV character because the narration is subtly telling the reader that the narrator already knows what’s about to happen, instead of dropping them more into the moment. Again, sometimes telling is what you absolutely want to be doing–just make sure that when you’re telling it’s because you’ve made the conscious decision to tell, and not because you accidentally did.

Some examples

Here’s some examples of sections I revised last week in Steam Me Up, Rawley. These might change even more once they come back from the copyeditor, but here’s how they stand as of now.

Before

She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she took her first bite.

Okay, several problems here. The word ‘until’ was higher up in my polishing checklist, so I got to this sentence first from that search, but notice that it also has the filter phrase ‘realized’? That is also on my list, so I would’ve gotten to this sentence from that word search too, but I’ve noticed that a lot of times, these words like to hang out together, like they’re all telling buddies or something, like they’re huddling together, sheltering from the fear that they will get nixed on the next Deep POV sweep.

To fix it, I didn’t angst over it too much, as it was not a pivotal scene. It just needed to get the job done, and didn’t need to be told, and could be stronger with a slightly deeper POV. So I switched out the realization that she was hungry to show her taking the first bite and showing that realization instead:

At the first bite, she groaned. So good.

Sparkling, award-winning prose, this isn’t, but the sentence didn’t require fancy. It just needed to be a bit deeper, that’s all.

Here’s another:

He angled up toward Dauphin Street, and she waited until he disappeared around the corner before she set off after him.

She peeked around the corner. His tall form weaved through a light crowd.

This is an action scene, so I definitely didn’t want these in there. Notice I had bother words in there. Again, I didn’t belabor the prose when I changed it:

He angled up toward Dauphin Street, and disappeared around the corner.

She scurried to the corner and peeked around. His tall form weaved through a light crowd.

These are just subtle tweaks, that when applied throughout your novel, can help keep the reader submerged in your POV character. A reader might not know why they weren’t fully invested in the characters and story, but chances are, fixing things like this can go a long way to helping.

In this example, I was telling something that didn’t need to be told at that moment. Since she didn’t know what she was about, since this was something she did without thinking, I shouldn’t have the POV character conscious of this.

Before she realized what she was about, she found his hand near hers and clasped it, entwining their fingers.

I simply changed it to this and left the realization to several paragraphs later, when she actually becomes conscious of what she did, and I showed it, instead of saying ‘she realized’:

His hand lay near hers, and she clasped it, entwining their fingers.

 Wrapping Up

These are just small subtle things that can add up to a lot of impact. Yes, it is tedious to do word searches for these, but the payoff is great. Like anything with Deep POV, I don’t worry about this when I’m drafting, only when revising. And I only do this checklist search as the last polishing step before handing it to my copyeditor.

What about you? Do you have any questions? Do you also search for words like this?