by Anna Campbell
I went looking for a line of nice male rear ends to illustrate this post - and do you know what? I couldn't find one! Plenty of girls but no guys! Clearly we need to man (or woman!) the barricades of sexual equality, girls!
Anyway, I thought the elephants illustrated my point well enough although nowhere near as prettily!
Actually this isn't anything about nicely shaped rear ends! It's about taking your story to its most basic elements so when people ask you about it, you can answer them without stuttering or spending an hour recounting the whole plot. I've tried that - the glazed eyes have to be seen to be believed!
By the way, stop press, thanks to Avon, I've got another ARC to give away today! Yes, comment on this post and you can win an advance reader copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER! Get commenting, people!
Double stop press! I couldn't find a line but I did find a very nice single example of getting to the bottom of things! For your viewing pleasure, ladies!
Just recently a friend of mine emailed me in a panic because she needed an article for a newsletter and for various reasons that were nobody's fault, the person she'd lined up couldn't do it. Could I help? I was having the day from the proverbial but because she's a friend, I put something quick together about MY RECKLESS SURRENDER.
And I realized that sometimes it helps not to over-think stuff!
One of the wonderful things about promoting CAPTIVE OF SIN, my last book, was that just before it came out, I worked out that it was a classic marriage of convenience story in Regency noir guise. Nice little soundbite to deliver when people asked - and intriguing enough to get readers interested in the story which is just what you want.
MY RECKLESS SURRENDER is about a dangerous seduction in Regency London which is an OK description as far as it goes but I want something to draw a reader in. I stewed and stewed about what I could say about this book - we all know the popular themes in romance. Secret baby. Cinderella (actually there's elements of that in this story). Marriage of convenience. Revenge plot. Fish out of water. Friends into lovers. There's a stack of them - and I think we've covered most of them in Bandita blogs at some stage.
Anyway, writing this piece for my friend while juggling various tradesmen (none of whom looked like the guy in the photo, sadly!), I sat down to do a quick description of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER and I automatically described it as a 'ticking bomb romance'.
Diana Carrick makes a deal with the devil which will give her everything she’s ever wanted. To make her dreams come true, she agrees to commit what she believes is a victimless crime and seduce the notorious rake Tarquin Vale, the Earl of Ashcroft.
But of course, there's no such thing as a victimless crime...
Tarquin and Diana find themselves caught in a liaison that is nothing like either expected and which plumbs dangerously profound emotional depths. With every moment, Diana is trapped more inescapably between her deception and her growing love for this man who is nothing like the careless, heartless rake she expected. Her secrets threaten to destroy both of them, but she’s gone too far now to retreat.
I love ticking bomb plots! You know, the ones where the readers know more than either the hero or heroine and are just waiting on tenterhooks for that moment of revelation where everything blows sky high. Then of course, the characters need to gird their loins (nothing like that moment when the characters gird their loins!) and deal with the fall-out which takes all their courage and strength and love. Great high-stakes romance!
I’ve seen my first review for MY RECKLESS SURRENDER and it’s a beauty. Romantic Times Book Reviews chose the book as a June Top Pick and called the story ‘enthralling’, ‘complex’ and ‘passionate’ and finished the review by saying “Quite a book!”
Clearly they like ticking bomb romance plots too!
So thinking back over one of the books you've read recently, how would you describe the story at its most basic level? For example, Annie West's wonderful FORGOTTEN MISTRESS, SECRET LOVE-CHILD (which recently hit the USA Today list - huzzah!) is an amnesia/secret baby story with a dash of Cinderella thrown in. CLAIMING THE COURTESAN is Beauty and the Beast. Christine's debut SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER is friends into lovers. So how would you describe your recent reading?
Don't forget there's an ARC of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER, now christened a ticking bomb romance, up for grabs! Good luck!