Tag Archives: A World of Gothic

Winner…winner… Congrats, Mary Preston!!

I am a few days late, but the winner of the $50 Gift Card for the A World of Gothic Giveaway is Mary Preston!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com to collect your gift card. Congratulations!

Thank you to all who participated. I hope you had a Happy Halloween and if you purchased any of the books, I hope you enjoy them.

If you didn’t grab them while they were 99 cents,  I think most of them are still on sale, so it’s not too late. You can find all the links here:

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Halloween Romance: If Christine Had Chosen the Phantom

Last year, my OKRWA writing chapter held a fun contest where participants were challenged to write a 500 word story with a ‘monster’ as the romance hero. I’ll be sharing a few of those on my blog between now and Halloween.  Enjoy!

FROM KATHY L. WHEELER

I am a huge musical theater lover! So choosing the Phantom as my monster was a no-brainer. I’ve seen the show eleven times! Yes. Eleven. 11. I was recently in New York City and saw three shows: Something Rotten (second time, both on Broadway); Wicked (seven times, first time on Broadway. Unbelievable!); and, School of Rock (first time ever) and another Andrew Lloyd Webber. (He also did Phantom). I did try to see Phantom of the Opera again, but they didn’t have Rush tickets, and well…. I have seen it 4 times on Broadway, and was once given a backstage tour! My daughter took a picture of me holding one of actors masks and said “She’s speechless”. Alas, it was true.

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(Side note from Alicia – Catching Kathy ‘speechless’ is a rare event. So sorry I missed it. 😉 – JK, Kathy, love ya!!)

If Christine Had Chosen the Phantom

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1905 Sewers beneath the Paris Opera House

“Make. Your. Choice.”

His raspy snarl filled the bizarrely decorated space. A carved out niche somewhere in the sewers beneath the Paris Opera House. Lighted candelabras sat atop a grand piano that had seen better days, a chair before a cracked mirror that distorted my image grotesquely. I glanced over my shoulder. Raoul, my childhood friend, begging me with his eyes, noose snug about his neck. I’d known him since childhood.

My fingers trembled. What if I made the wrong choice? This evil, half-masked man rose to his full height, poised for… Was that hate in his eyes? Or love? Would he kill me? Raoul? Dear God, help me, but I wanted him. Him, my angel of music. He, who sang to me when I slept. Could I really choose him, the Phantom of the Opera, over my childhood sweetheart?

Slowly, I stood. Crept toward him so as not to frighten him. Lifted my hands to that face. That beautiful, sad creature, who gave my voice song, night after night. His face so scarred was difficult to look upon, but when I close my eyes all I hear is his brilliant music.

“Christine! Christine!”

“Oh, Raoul, I’m sorry.” I lunged forward, trapped firm lips beneath my own. For a moment the Phantom froze. But I refused to be rejected. “You love me,” I whispered.

“Yes. Yes.” A damn broke. His mouth devoured mine. His tongue swept against mine with passion, with fever. Each stroke weakened my knees, but his arms kept me upright. His body was strong, hard, masculine. His hand hovered at my breast. I felt the heat but he didn’t touch. He broke away, his breathing labored. Wary, shock-filled eyes met mine.

“Let Raoul go. I shall stay.” My whisper echoed against the stone walls.

“If you are deceiving me—” Harsh words, yet I deserved no better. He had no reason to believe in others or me. Why should he? Ridiculed his whole life. No one looked past the scars to the cleverness of his wit and mind.

I placed my finger against his lips. “No,” I said. “I wish to stay.”

He whipped a knife from nowhere. In a single slash, the rope dangled above, felling Raoul to his knees. “Christine, you don’t have to, he can’t make you.”

The Phantom spun and dropped in the chair, draping one leg over the armrest. His manner appeared nonchalant, but I knew he held his breath, awaiting my response. I went to the door and opened it.

“He is not forcing me,” I said. “I’m sorry.”

“This is the point of no return. Christine. I beg you.” Raoul reached out a hand. I stepped back, his shoulders fell.

“This is goodbye. Think of me fondly. Remember me, once in a while.” I will not cry. I will not.

His knuckles graze my cheek. “There will never be a day when I won’t think of you.”

 

Check out Kathy’s Gothic Mystery Romance, which is part of a series, A World of Gothic, in which I also published a novella. 

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Blurb:

Can she live with what her memories may unlock?
She remembers nothing of her past except the sting of her aunt’s slap jarring her to the stained letter she held in one hand, the bloody knife in the other, and … her father’s lifeless body at her feet. Now she must face the truth…did she murder her own father.

Excerpt:

“With your assistance, Miss Ross, we’ll be tearing this house apart.” He glanced between his two companions. “When I learn who the dishonest party is, make no mistake, I will be pressing charges. To the fullest extent of the law.”
My stomach nose-dived a hundred leagues below sea level. Not only did I possess one of the Spanish coins, but my presence here was not exactly on the up-and-up.
“That’s just rich. Isn’t it, Adam?” Raven hissed. “Laughable to hear you speaking of following the law.”
He dropped his napkin. “I have matters to attend to this morning, Miss Ross. I’m sure you have ideas to present. Let’s meet in the library. Shall we say—” He eyed my crusted bread with an amused smirk. “—fifteen minutes?”
“Of course,” I responded, so relieved I almost slid from my chair to the floor. The library. I could handle the library.

Click HERE to purchase from Amazon – ON SALE FOR ONLY 99¢

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Bio:

Kathy L Wheeler (aka Kae Elle Wheeler) is the author of sixteen contemporary and historical novels and novellas that range from sweet to spicy and an award winning author. She has a BA in Management Information Systems from the University of Central Oklahoma that includes a vocal minor. She loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater, travel, reading, writing and just to scratch the singing itch…. karaoke. She is a member Romance Writers of American and The Beau Monde chapter. She currently serves as editor of both, the Regency Reader and Novel Notes Authors newsletters. Kathy lives in Edmond, OK with her attorney and musically talented husband, Al. She has one grown daughter with an adorable baby boy and another on the way, and one bossy cat, who acts as if she were the rescuer rather than the rescue-e!!
contact info:

kathylwheeler.com
https://facebook.com/kathylwheeler

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Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Does your Character Have a Mirror Moment?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Make sure you include a critical middle moment for your character…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

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Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

This is not actually ‘my’ tip, it came from James Scott Bell from his fantastic book, Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story  If you want to check out another of his writing books, he goes into more detail in: Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between

Super Structure is probably the best book on plotting I’ve ever read (including my own… :)). While the process is technically the same as in most of the other plotting books, the way the steps are laid out in this one clicked for me and made it easier to understand and follow. Even if you are a pantser and not a plotter, this book is fantastic. It teaches you how to basically go from signpost to signpost (14 in all), to create a tighter, more richly in-depth story that will keep readers engaged. He even speaks specifically to pantsers and plotters, explaining how both camps can apply his advice.

One of the most interesting things I discovered was what Bell calls the “Mirror Moment.” It is a moment, almost always halfway through a book or movie, where the character figuratively looks himself or herself in the mirror and states/questions/discovers what they need to do, how they need to change, in order to reach their goal, to survive. Some examples he gave were in Casablanca, halfway through the film, after Rick is mean and hurtful to Ilsa and she walks out, Rick is full of self-disgust and basically asks himself the question: “What have I become? What kind of man am I?” At that point, he knows he must change in order to preserve his humanity. Another example; about halfway through The Fugitive, Richard Kimball is holed up in an apartment, surrounded by police, with nowhere to run. He realizes that he’s going to die, and he wonders how he ever thought he could survive such odds. It was his mirror moment. Why did I think I could do this? I’m doomed… As it turns out, the police are there for someone else, Kimball escapes, and he now knows he has to make something happen in order to survive.

Bell suggests writers figure out the Mirror Moment for their main character before they write the book. If you do that, you will know what point the character must reach in order to change, and writing all the events up to and after this realization should come more easily.

I decided to take a look at a few of my books and see if my main characters had a mirror moment. In Devil’s Promenade, the below appeared about halfway through. My MC (main character) is intent on debunking a supernatural phenomenon, the Spook Light (which is a ‘real’ phenomenon in Northeast Oklahoma),  for a non-fiction book she’s writing. However, certain events unfold that make her realize she might be mistaken:

Brief excerpt:

Packing a blanket, a sandwich, cookies, a Coleman lamp, and coffee, I took the golf cart out to the road and parked on the shoulder, next to a wire fence. Nervous anticipation filled me at the thought I might actually see the spook light tonight. And, I now believed it, completely. How could I write a book debunking something that I knew to be true? Jillian would be furious. On the other hand, maybe she would be satisfied with a book written from another perspective, a book about true paranormal sightings? Not likely. Jillian didn’t have a reputation for being flexible.

I did know that I could no longer write the book I had planned to write. If ghosts were real then I couldn’t deny this spook light could possibly be real. I would stay out here all night if I had to. I wasn’t sure how I would keep from freezing to death in the process, but I was going to give it a shot.

The blackness around me was broken only by the blinking of the cell tower lights ahead and the glow of moonlight. In spite of my coat and the blanket I’d wrapped around my shoulders, frigid air seeped through my skin all the way to my bones. From a distance came the low rumble of cars and a keening sound I was growing accustomed to. The possibility of coyotes no longer frightened me—at least not as much as it had in the beginning—but the haunted wail still sent a shiver through my body.

The second paragraph ‘shows’ that she’s changed, it shows her new realization, and that her goal has now changed as well. Although I wrote this before I read Bell’s book, I suppose that, instinctively, we sometimes realize that a Mirror Moment is an important factor for the mid-way point of a book. I got lucky and just happened to include one. 🙂 I checked a few of my other books and didn’t find that specific moment, but going forward, I plan to pin it down in the beginning and see if it makes a difference in how the story flows and whether or not it makes the book stronger.

Try this…take one of your books (or a few), and flip to the middle. See if your character has a Mirror Moment, then let me know in the comments what you find. Come on, it’ll be fun! 🙂 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

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Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips