*Spoiler alerts. Do not read below if you haven’t read either Looking Back on Forever or Dares, Lies & Geminis.*
Let’s talk themes.
Sex is one of the themes in Looking Back on Forever. We have a couple who are mature for their age. One is a virgin. The other was once very promiscuous. Because Noah was so promiscuous, he doesn’t want to demean his relationship with Claire by jumping into a sexual relationship with her. He wants to build a foundation first. He wants to prove to himself and her that he will not treat her as he treated others before her. Therefore, when they finally do have their big moment, I wanted it to stand out. It’s basically the conclusion to Part 1 of the book before a different theme takes over in Part 2—forgiveness and finding strength in those who love you.
Because sex is a theme in Looking Back on Forever, there is sex in the book.
Sex is also the main theme in Dares, Lies & Geminis. We have a woman using sex to conquer and gain control after a horrible attack. She knows it’s wrong, yet this is the only way she can feel in control after the attack that changed her life. She is conquering her fears. Because trust (the other theme) is needed during sex, and because Seraphina trusts no one, her sexual encounters leave her … unfulfilled. That is … until Nathan enters the scene. Though she doesn’t “know” Nathan, her instincts do, allowing her body to free the release she hasn’t had in six years. Furthermore, though she is very promiscuous, she has not experimented much in the bedroom. That would mean she trusted someone enough to do that, which we have determined she has not. Hence the sex scene at the end of the book where she put her full trust into Nathan.
Because sex is the theme in Dares, Lies & Geminis, there is sex in the book.
At this point, these are the only two books that share a sex theme. My current WIP, Lost and Attached, Kyle and Giuliana's story, does not have sex in it. It’s not important to the plot. Their theme is commitment and vows. Furthermore, multiple other books I have outlined do not have sex in it. That’s not to say I won’t write romance with sex again. In fact, under my other author name, I have outlines for an adult paranormal series about a goddess who elicits lust in anyone who touches her. Needless to say, yeah, there’s probably going to be a LOT of sex in that series.
I am also currently outlining a series that may possibly have sex. I haven’t decided yet. It’s an 8-book series that could technically be read as standalones, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Each book is about a different person, yet all the main characters’ lives are interwoven in one massive story. It’s a huge undertaking, and I do not want to release any of them until they are all done, or mostly done, because all their lives are played out across 8 books and it would suck if I changed something up later that should have been mentioned earlier. It’s going to be a study of personalities with situations that will be a dichotomy (ie. the narcissist who learns to care for someone else more than themselves. Like that’s possible. We’ll see.).
I know, I know. I have been blowing up social media, blowing up bloggers' emails, trying to get this book promoted. It's a lot of work, and I am determined to do it right!
I have paperbacks on the way. They are probably already live on Amazon. I should check that. To-do list ... and ... written down.
Anyway, this is about a little introduction video I made. So, without further ado:
Two women, different as night and day.
Tristana likes to keep to herself, devotedly working all day so she doesn’t think about all she is missing in life.
Seraphina, shrouded in mystery, hunts at night, surreptitiously looking for someone good, noble, and honest, while proving to herself they don’t exist.
Two men who won’t succumb to failure.
After his brother’s death, Peter spends his days trying to build a life as far away from the accusatory eyes of his hometown.
Nathan has a nightly obsession—Seraphina.
The truth that everyone is afraid to whisper.
As Peter starts to chip away at Tristana’s walls, one dare unknowingly releases something he thought he lost long ago.
And as Nathan moves in on Seraphina, one lie breaks apart the foundation of everything he thought he knew.
Meet the Geminis.
Add to your #TBR list on #Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/…/show/39332244-dares-lies-and-ge…
It's been exactly two months since Looking Back on Forever #LBOF was released! Now it's time for Lost and Attached, a story about Levi and Lucia (anyone else notice all the damn L names I have going on? Don't know what's up with that).
If you were to look up the meaning of Levi and Lucia, you will fine that their names actually mean Lost and Attached. That's also the theme of the book. Levi, the main protagonist, becomes a lost soul, and he is very attached to his wife Lucia. Life goes downhill in the worst way possible for Levi, while his wife remains oblivious. So far, the book will be written entirely from Levi's perspective. If I do write anything from Lucia, it won't be much. Just enough to glimpse life through her eyes. I won't say anything more, except that I already cried while writing and I only have 4-5 chapters written. I'm not kidding when I say Levi and Lucia's story is even more messed up than what I put Claire and Noah through.
Start looking for excerpts and teasers as time goes on. I can't promise when this book will be done, but know that I am trying my damnedest to get it out asap. Work is insane! Always insane. So insane, I almost quit last month. That was not a good week for me.
For now, you can see my storyboard being built on Pinterest. Character names are going to change. https://www.pinterest.com/katharineralexa/lost-and-attached/
In other news, Looking Back on Forever is now available on #KU! This was a hard decision to make. I didn't want to exclude it from other platforms, but I wanted to see what Kindle Unlimited was all about. So far, not impressed. I will make an announcement when #LBOF is on all platforms again. And the paperback is available everywhere, so there is that.
Okay, that is all for now. Thanks for reading my thoughts and following along on this journey! Loves! XOXO
Yesterday, I finally released Looking Back on Forever. Yay! I want to thank everyone who helped with the release, who critiqued the book, and those who took the time to read it before its release. Thank you.
A release is nerve-racking. In prior releases, I never hit publish. My husband did it for me, because I felt like I would puke if I did it. This time, all I had to hit was pre-order, knowing I wasn’t immediately sending it off into the world. That made the experience so many times better.
I hope everyone who reads Looking Back on Forever will feel what Claire and Noah feel; cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh. That’s all I want out of this book. Like Claire, I just want to give emotions. I hope to give you a respite to everyday life and let you escape into a life that is full of hopes and dreams. However, I will admit that Claire and Noah’s story isn’t filled with good times. Part 2 is a roller coaster ride that will (hopefully) crush you and piss you off. If it does, then my work here is done. You’re welcome. ;)
Looking Back on Forever is done, finished. I am not touching it again. Probably ever. Once it’s published, I am letting go, which is so sad because I adore Claire and Noah. They are my babies, and I don’t want to leave them. However, I am already outlining another book that will have Noah and Claire in it, but I have no clue when I will get to it. There are two, maybe three, other books I want to work on first.
I just completed another read-through (like the 4th one), and I love it just as much now as I did when I wrote it. I did manage to make a lot of cuts, but they don’t take away from the book. I hope.
After a long discussion with an author friend, I decided not to go with an agent. The horror stories I heard … Yeah, I don’t want to go that route. No thank you.
The book is completely formatted now. I’m waiting to get my paperback proof, and I’m waiting to hear back from a virtual book tour blog to set a release timeline. That’s where I am now. It’s a waiting game. Feels like all I have been doing is waiting, but I prefer it this way instead of rushing and sending out a subpar book. I can’t do that to Noah and Claire.
Levi and Lucia are next! I can’t wait to delve back into their world. Once you read Looking Back, if you think what I put Claire and Noah through is bad, you haven’t seen nothing!
I took the next step. I started the agent queries. Maybe I’m jumping the gun here (That’s how I feel). However, every self-published author tells me that’s their one mistake: they didn’t get an agent right from the start. I’m taking care of that now. And right in time for Christmas! *insert sarcasm* Not the best time to inquire, but it is what it is. NERVE-RACKING!
People are starting to finish their beta reads and things are looking good. Getting LOTS of positive feedback. The only negative (and this is only from me…so far) is it’s too long! Agents are going to see that number, the magic 169,000 words! and say, “Oh, hell no!” I’ll wait and see. I’m still going to publish as is, but if I have to, I’m going to have to cut 40,000 words. Noo!!!
I need to get this off my chest…
Fuck you, 2016!
This is why I refuse to release my book in 2016. It all started a year ago when my mother and both my grandparents were all hospitalized … repeatedly. And a friend had a stroke. This continued from November until January, when my daughter broke her arm for the second time, David Bowie and Alan Rickman passed away (yes, that needs to be mentioned because both men were influences in my life), followed by my great-uncle’s death, followed by my husband getting laid off—all in the month of January!
The storm that is 2016 started with a big fuck you. I knew this year would not be a good one.
February, my great-aunt passed away, followed by my husband getting laid off again! Months pass, shit happens I can’t even remember. June, my husband gets laid off AGAIN! Finances suck, kids are bored out of their minds all summer, my daughter won’t take her brace off in fear of breaking her arm again. Sad summer.
Then school starts, and September comes. The month of suicide attempts. Three people I know—one relative, one a relative of a friend, and one was someone I worked with—all within a week of each other. Stressed is not a word to compare how I felt in September. I swear my gray hairs doubled.
October looks better. Yay, all the bad is finally over! Right? My brother and sister-in-law welcome their first baby, my daughter got into a performing arts school. Things are looking up! Yay!
Then October hits. A friend of mine lost his father and my step-uncle passed away, way before his time. Now it’s November, and I just learned that my step-brother died last night. Oh, and my best friend’s four-year-old cousin was killed in a car accident last week. WTF! I can’t put into words how pissed I am at 2016. I am so sick of it, I wish I could sleep until New Year!
Shit happens, but we must embrace all the positives and not dwell on the negatives, something I find hard to do at the moment. My motto is: expect the worst and hope for the best. Not easy to do when all this news is just sprung on you.
Many things have been going on in the past couple of months. Work picked up, which keeps me going, going, going.
My husband was one of few local artists chosen to paint a full-sized bison, the local university’s mascot. Him and our daughter got to be in the Homecoming parade for its unveiling. We are all really excited for him and hope it gives him more opportunities to showcase what a talented artist he is.
Since my daughter got into a performing arts school two towns away, there has been a lot of driving back and forth twice a day. A week after getting into the school, she got a part in this spring’s Beauty and the Beast production! So happy for her. Plus, she’s already in this Christmas’s The Nutcracker with her ballet studio. She is a busy kid, who also just started playing the viola, and she has to continue her Mandarin Chinese studies after school (she was in a dual language program at her old school and has 4 years under her belt. Don’t want to lose that).
My son is almost a teenager now, and with that comes more time with friends and less time with family. But that’s okay, because my kid is a wallflower. I have to be honest here. He sucks at sports, except for fencing; has no interest in anything except Boy Scouts, and well, he is studying French on his own; and just likes to be himself, something everyone gives me a hard time about because I have one kid who has her hands in everything. Regardless of his lack of interest in anything, my son is happy. He loves to hang out with his friends, he studies and does his chores with little complaint, and is just a really good kid.
So there are my positives.
I hope everyone else is having a better year than me. I wouldn’t wish this much drama on anyone.
Betas have the book. (I guess I should add that news in here.) Cover is still set for 1st week in January, and hopefully we will have a release by the end of January.
I leave you with one of my husband's paintings, something spirited and hopefully something to cling to when times get hard.
You know that feeling you get when it feels like your whole body has an electric current of anxiety mixed with excitement? I totally have that feeling because … I just wrote The End!
My stomach is churning, and my nerves feel electrified. I am so glad to finally be done with the biggest part of this experience. I already want to dive into the next book and finish that one, but I’m not done with LBOF yet.
Now it’s time to go through all my comments and fill in the blanks. There were quite a few places where I couldn’t get my thoughts together to finish and just skipped over it to continue writing, not wanting to get stuck and stop the flow. They are just little pieces, so that shouldn’t take too much time. Then it’s on to making cuts and editing before sending the second half to the betas, and then all of it to the editor. Long process, but I refuse to rush.
In other news, this is day six of waiting for my husband to get his “inspiration” to start the cover. I have to remind him every day. Now the pressure will really be on him when I tell him the book is done…with the writing part, but I won’t tell him that. ;)
Been a while since I blogged about writing. Been a while since I actually wrote until about a month ago. And now, I am bound and determined to finish. Even though work keeps trying to prevent that, but it will happen!
These characters are the most thought out characters I have written. In fact, this is the first time I have written with an outline, character development page—anything thought out really. My other story just came out through my fingertips, and I let the characters take me where they wanted to go. I realize now how many holes that left in the story, so now I am constantly going back and forth, noting everything that has to come back around. I enjoy this process much better, and I have learned to take my time so I can think of what needs to be said or added. It’s time consuming, but hopefully that makes the story complete. Like, complete, complete.
With all the back and forth and tying up loose ends, I am down to four and half chapters left. The last one was added by the characters (the only chapter added by the characters and not a part of the outline). Tomorrow, I will finish the chapter, then I’m back to work, and then I have about a week to write more and hopefully have a rough, completed edition. Then it’s time to go back, add in all the notes I have marked along the way. And then … go back from the beginning and do a full read-through before sending it to my betas, and then … it’s off to my editor! I can’t wait!
In the past, way back when I first started writing this monster, I thought about breaking it into two books, each book being a different POV. It’s a tough decision. In the end, though, I’m going to keep it one book because that’s how it was written.
On another note, I talked a while back about covers and what appeals to me. I don’t think I’m going to go in that direction, though. My husband works in graphics (among other things), is an artist, and did my previous book covers. Saying that, he’s also not an expense in the very expensive world of self-publishing—marketing, editing, marketing, and more marketing, promoting. Therefore, I go with what he gives me. This time, I have an idea of what I want. I just hope he makes it into something that works.
Okay, I’m off to do mommy things now. I got a kid who found out today that she got a part in The Nutcracker! Super excited about that. And I got another kid who has been quoting The Princess Bride "as you wish" all day, which has me in giggles, while driving around in the Winchester’s car on GTA. My kids are awesome! ;)
This has not been checked for grammar errors. No time. We have to get to ballet class!
And...my outline has changed again. I can't decide if taking forever to write is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, it helps fine-tuning to get your book just right, with no regrets on what ifs you did this or that. On the other hand, well, it's just time consuming. That's all I got on that right now.
Between work and holiday excitement--baking, decorating, cutting down a Christmas tree, family coming into town, baking some more, Christmas shopping, kids not being able to sit still, wrapping presents, baking more and more, and all the mundane day-to-day tasks--there just hasn't been time to write. *sigh* I feel so unaccomplished; however, I keep moving forward. Just write something everyday, right?
Then, there's the blow to my character's persona. Nick Bateman. Do you know how hard it is, and time consuming, to scour the internet, searching for a face that's similar to the one in your head? I already visualized and described my characters before, on a "I need to do something else today," I decided to kill time and look for visual representations to base my characters on. Not knowing who Bateman was, I picked him, finding the PERFECT representation of my Noah. Now, it seems like I see him EVERYWHERE! So, now I must scour more pics via Google images to find another to represent my Noah. I just don't like being a cliche.
That's all for now. Merry Christmas!
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Author of Contemporary Romance and other Darker Writings to come.