You Are What You Were When

You Are What You Were When

By Kathy Clark

 

Great characters…that’s what several of our REALITY ROMANCE Blogs have been about.  What makes characters memorable and what makes people love or hate them?  They have to be real.  They have to be people you want to know or who are similar to people you already know.  Nothing kills a book faster than a character you don’t care about.  Love them or hate them, they have to make an impact.

The lead characters of most romance novels are in their early twenties to late thirties range.  But the supporting characters can be all ages, shapes, colors, and personalities.  If there wasn’t a variety, the story would be pretty one-dimensional.  You’ll see authors add babies, teenagers, parents, grand-parents, and even animals.  They all make interesting additions as long as you, the writer, makes sure that they’re consistent, real, and important to the plot.

When we were creating our Austin Heroes series, we knew the three books were to each feature one of the Archer brothers.  How do you balance a cocky DEA agent, a golden-boy Texas Ranger, and a prodigal son Homeland Security officer?  One of our favorite TV shows is Blue Bloods that each week ends with a big family dinner.  Well, we decided to adapt that meal idea to a family of alpha men who are supposed to leave their guns at the door, but almost never stop talking shop.  Who could be strong enough to counteract these powerful personalities?

Their feisty grandmother, of course.  Grammy grew up in the Sixties as a young musician turned hippie, immersed in the culture of Haight Asbury.  She still enjoys smoking pot on the porch and living on the edge of society.  What better conflict for three grandsons who have sworn to uphold the law?  One even has a drug dog who definitely has a conflict of interest every time they come for dinner at Grammy’s.

The fun part about writing Grammy was that we could make her bigger than life.  The challenging part was that we had to keep her in character and have her appropriately represent her generation.  There are plenty of Baby Boomers out there who would spot anything disingenuous or incorrect.

Equally important was when we were writing Another Chance, the third book in the series.  The premise is that Luke (the Homeland Security officer) returns home to Austin on an assignment and bumps into his high school sweetheart, Bella.  So, while not actually having two sets of characters, we had to deal with Luke and Bella as emotional teenagers and as cynical adults.  That involved going back to the Eighties and staying true to that era, as well.  Do you remember that there were no cell phones, DVDs, CDs, or internet back then?

Working with all those characters at various stages of their lives was a lot of fun.  Their lives, loves, emotions, heartbreaks, and ambitions were all woven into the plot, making a complex, but realistic view of a family.

My husband heard a wonderful speech by a man named Morris Massey, a marketing professor and sociologist.  His decades-long work is focused on values, generations, and what he calls Significant Emotional Events, or SEE’s.  Some of his most noteworthy, useful and entertaining topics include:

  • The Original Massey Tapes – 1: What You Are Is Where You Were When
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 3: What You Are Is
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 4: What You Are Is Where You See
  • What You Are Is What You Choose…So Don’t Screw It Up
  • Dancing With The Bogeyman

They tell how to make characters that are true to their backgrounds and beliefs.

Authors tell you character background by several means:

  • What their pop culture is about [music, words, films, books, art etc.]
  • Reference points [age of family members, what grade they are in school, if they are on social security or in the military are the obvious examples]
  • And the obvious clue, the author just tells you

Dr. Massey’s findings will help you create wonderful characters that are consistent with their age and upbringing.  When a senior citizen acts like a teenager or a college student dresses like a grade school kid, the reader is thrown out of the book.  These incongruities, unless there are “payoffs” later in the book, just show you didn’t do your homework and you didn’t really know your own characters.

Following are some quotes from Another Chance that illustrate our point.

“Grammy took us everywhere in that bus.  When the engine burned up for the third time just two years ago, she had it towed back to this field, then held a wake for it.  Hundreds of people came out.  It was the event of the year.”  Nick shook his head and smiled as the memory of that crazy party flashed through his mind.

“She has lots of friends?”

“Everyone from the 60s who was involved in music…that is, anyone still alive…showed up.  It was…colorful.”  Nick glanced over at Jamie.  “I have to warn you…Grammy is not a typical grandmother.”

“And this must be Harley.”  She looked down at the dog that was sitting at attention next to her, his gaze focused on her with burning intensity.  She wore a long prairie skirt and tie-dyed T-shirt with her curly steel-gray hair pulled back into a ponytail.

“Grammy, you’re killing me,” Nick said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’ve got a joint in your pocket, don’t you?” Nick asked.

“I might,” she admitted with an unapologetic grin.

 “I’m a DEA agent, and Harley’s a drug dog.  What are we supposed to do with you?”

“Arrest me,” Grammy challenged nonchalantly.  She leaned over and petted Harley whose concentration didn’t waiver.

“I should.  Maybe a night in jail would be good for you,” Nick retorted.

“Ha!  Like I haven’t been to jail before.”  She chuckled.  “The first time was back in ’67…or was it ’68?  Anyway, me and a bunch of other women burned our bras in the street outside The Playboy Club in San Francisco.  I haven’t worn a bra since.”

 

So what does the teaching of an expert in this field, Dr. Morris Massey, tell us?  Dr. Massey’s credentials are on line.  In his book What Works At Work (Lakewood Publications, 1988) he was cited as one of the most influential workplace experts of the time.  And to fully understand why people believe what they do and have the values they do, you have to understand where they’ve come from.

Morris Massey has described three major periods during which our values are developed.

 

The Imprint Period

Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems. The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become).  If parents are poor their kids often will value wealth.  If they’re jobs are a t risk and they’re unemployed the kids will value job security and when they’re older days off without pay is a significant.

 

The Modeling Period

Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people. Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel. We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable—maybe even more so than your parents.

 

The Socialization Period

Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with the values of our peer groups.

 

So your kids or even you at about age seven, between eight and thirteen or between thirteen and twenty one, are primary time periods that mold us.  Is it any wonder therefore that kids growing up in the fifties explained a lot about the existence of the hippies of the sixties and seventies and the push back the baby boomer generation always seemed to be doing in the sixties through to today.

 

Kind of makes you wonder what imprints kids in the early twenty-first century will value as adults.  The point of this blog?  Be sure your characters are consistent with their age and era.  Of course, not everything you know about your characters will come out on the page.  But it impacts who they are and how they will react to whatever conflicts you’re going to throw in their path.

 

Our series novels are in three different age ranges for example:

  • The young adult series, TIME SHIFTERS, is about four sixteen year olds.
  • The new adult series, SCANDALS, is about five adults age eighteen to twenty five
  • Romantic Suspense, both the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes series, is about characters in their mid to late twenties.

 

AFTER LOVE COVER

SEX AT WORK Or LOOK WHO’S MAKING COFFEE!

 

By

Kathy Clark

 

What do Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Zuckerberg, and Brad Pitt have in common?

They all had a workplace romance with one or more of their co-workers.  In Reality Romance novels, workplace romances are often central to the story.  Even Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele start out in his office…and we all know where that story ended up.

So what’s happening on the job while people are working nine-to-five?

The facts, based on surveys from Vault.com and Forbes give us facts about the reality of office romances.  Who’s doing it?  55% of women surveyed and 56% of men have been willing participants in some type of workplace relationship.  Career climbers?  Hardly.  Only 3% did so with the expectation of gaining pay, stature, or position.  That leaves 97% who did it just for fun or personal reasons.

How do these relationships start?  Why does it makes a good plot for a Reality Romance  novel?

  • 19% happened while traveling out of town
  • 12% “ran into each other” outside of work
  • 11% the relationship was sparked at a happy hour get together
  • 10% evolved after late nights at work together
  • 10% were lunch buddies first
  • 9% said it was love at first site

The survey leaves 29% who either didn’t volunteer how their workplace romance started.  On the other hand, we all know people who have had multiple office romances and therefore the above statistics may also include some double dipping, so to speak.

The survey led us to investigate further.  When sex was involved, here’s what people claimed:

  • 19% have done it on the job
  • 89% of those admitted to having been caught doing it

The conclusion must be that if you do it on the job, there is a very high chance of being caught.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Some people’s libido is heightened by danger or risk.

The breakdown statistics of where the romance takes place when on the job are not as clear.  The most common places to be discovered having sex at work were in the board room, the engineering lab, the stairwell, and the office kitchen.   Surprisingly, the breakroom was not a highly frequented place and the employee’s vehicle wasn’t mentioned.

 

By now you’ve got to be asking why?  In a word…attraction.  And there are three factors that lead to work place romances developing:

  • We gain attraction to others based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and three waking hours with your spouse, this can give an office mate the advantage.
  • We spend one-third of our lives at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create the illusion of a deeper bond.
  • The average coworker comes to work well-groomed, nicely dressed and on their best behavior. Believe it or not, you are actually seeing the best of those you work with.

Before you toss all the research and surveys away, one more set of statistics.  Which businesses or industries are the most fertile, so to speak?

  • 72% in the insurance sector
  • 70% in education
  • 60% finance and banking
  • 59% manufacturing
  • 56% technology
  • 55% energy
  • 49% law
  • 49% accounting

Are there lessons to be learned by these eager office scoundrels?  Regardless of how things turned out, men and women would likely participate in another office romance, with 70% of men saying they would do it again.  While that number dips slightly among women, with only 62% saying they would pursue another workplace relationship if the option became available.  The general consensus on office romances amongst both sexes is clear.  Why not?

One major facet of on-the-job romances is the part that stretches beyond bosses and subordinates and co-workers. The workplace includes customers, be they clients, victims, or suspects.  That is real life which is what Reality Romances are all about.

On-the-job romances are a fact of life and, therefore, are juicy subjects in Reality Romances.  We’ve written and had published 14 novels since 2012.  Discounting the four YA time travel mystery romances in our Time Shifters series, here’s where our Reality Romance novels fall as regards work place romance stories –

  • Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]
    • Due Dates
      • Our heroine, Killeen Ames, discovers her new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  Doubly unfortunate, the man is a co-worker and now her boss.
    • Killer Date
      • Our hero in this second book in the series, Reno Marks, loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love. In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is. His love interest in this heart stopping Romancing the Stone like adventure and romance is not a co-worker but a client. I guess we’re expanding the Reality Romance genre to include customers and clients.
    • Worst Date Ever
      • Tulsa Wiggins, our heroine and smarter than smart, is forced to stake out a suspected perp by moving into his luxury apartment. The Reality Romance genre expands further to include suspects in more than one way. 

 

  • Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]
    • Master Suite
      • Together our heroine and hero explore the sensuous world of BDSM game play. Unknown to him, they work at the same medical facility.  The office romance begins.
    • Fantasy Suite
      • Alright, plain and simple, there is no office romance here. Just more of the Fantasy Island meets the Love Boat activity that takes place at the exclusive Fini Luxury Resort & Spa near Aspen, Colorado.

 

  • Romantic Suspense [Random House LLC published 3 of the 6 to date]
    • After Midnight
      • Our Denver, Colorado Cop, Sam Morgan, gets sideways with an on-the-job attacker and his “office romance” turns out to be his only clue to the killing of a fellow officer…providing he can keep her alive.
    • Cries In The Night
      • Our heroine, Julie Lawrence, is a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department and through her involvement of helping the people in the city experiencing their worst nightmare, she becomes involved with both the love of her life and the one who is out to end her life.
    • Deep Night
      • A deeply touching story of a woman’s profound healing, and the amazing man, her co-worker, who’s with her every step of the way.
    • After Love
      • One of most beloved characters in the last few years is DEA agent Nick Archer. His love interest, Jamie Chambers knows how to sniff out trouble but as you will see execution of a plan is harder than the plan. In this story, Jamie is neither a co-worker, boss nor subordinate. But it could be argued that he is her client as she provides him with his new K-9 partner, Harley.

 

Find all about these novels and all our books on our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and here are the links to the books mentioned in this blog.

Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]

Due Dates amzn.to/1RG22gd

Killer Date amzn.to/1VQiH6N

Worst Date Ever amzn.to/1LUTRQY

 

Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]

Master Suite amzn.to/22apRTb

Fantasy Suite amzn.to/1TAc481

 

Mainstream romantic suspense

[Random House LLC published 4 of the 6 to date]

After Midnight amzn.to/1ZGWCYs

Cries In The Night amzn.to/1ftgfBA

Deep Night amzn.to/1pFZeJu

After Love amzn.to/1RTJIq6

 

 

 

 

What just happened?

We’ve taken the time to refresh the novel blurbs for eight of our most recent books and we wanted to update everyone about this.  They should be up to date on Amazon by early Monday morning and are up to date on our web site at http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com .

Here’s the latest on our New Adult series, Scandals.

Due Dates, book #1 in the Scandals Series

DUE DATES

Killeen Ames is an overachiever.  Beautiful, smart, athletic, and living with the star quarterback of the ASU team, she has it all.

Then, in the blink of an eye, her world implodes.  Her boyfriend graduates and leaves her alone and pregnant which also puts her full-ride scholarship in jeopardy and leaves her homeless.

An unlikely inheritance gives Killeen a do-over and the freedom to choose her next step and what she wants to do about the baby.  But the new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  She realizes what’s truly important when she has to make a life or death decision.

 

Killer Date, book #2 in the Scandals Series

KILLER DATE FINAL

Reno Marks has never lived by the rules.  After he escaped from his alcoholic mother,  he moved to Vegas to become a professional magician.  Forced to live underground for a while, he sees life at its lowest level.

Reno loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love.  In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is.  When Jenny, a beautiful pre-school teacher, comes into his life asking for help, he is struck by an emotion he’s never felt.  Could it be love?

Unfortunately, Jenny realizes he’s a bad boy she doesn’t have time to tame.  It’s going to take Reno stepping way outside his comfort zone to convince her he’s worth saving.

 

Worst Date Ever, book #3 in the Scandals Series

WORST DATE EVER

Tulsa Wiggins was abandoned on a doorstep by her mother.  She has always been alone, whether trying to survive in a foster home or making her way in the world.  Her talent for computer technology has made her an expert in cyber security, which is perfect for a person who doesn’t know how to get along with others.

When she’s forced to move in with Cody, a super-hot fireman, Tulsa discovers how it feels to love and be loved.  But he’s a player who might also be a killer.

Can she handle the challenge of falling in love while her heart is at risk and her life is in danger?

 

Here’s the latest on our Young Adult time travel mystery romance series, Time Shifters

Change The Past, book #1 in the Time Shifters Series

TIME SHIFTERS Change The Past

Kelly Welch’s sixteenth summer was supposed to be the best ever.  Long, lazy days with her friends and her horse in Texas.  But her life changes in an instant.

Her unexpected move to Fort Myers Beach, Florida leaves her lonely and frightened.  Living with a workaholic aunt she barely knows and looking to start a school where she’s the new girl makes her anxious and unhappy.

Until she meets Scott.  He is smart and nerdy, sort of like her, and they hit it off right away.  His best friend, handsome, athletic Austin joins them on a surprise adventure back to the past and adds an unexpected complication.

The summer that began so badly becomes the most exciting and dangerous one of her life when she is faced with the dilemma of risking her own life to save someone she doesn’t even know.  Is she brave enough to risk it all…especially now that she’s felt the first promise of love?

 

TIME SHIFTERS Day At The Beach

Austin Burke lives for football.  He’s the star quarterback at South Beach High School with the bright future in college and maybe professional football.  He isn’t looking for a girlfriend, but then he meets Kelly.  She’s brave and funny and can beat him at their favorite video game.

When Austin and Kelly get together with their friends Scott and Zoey for a fun day at the beach on what they think is a deserted island, it goes wrong from the very beginning.  They are surprised to find a group of people led by a very frightening man.  As they try to find a way off the island, Austin discovers his attraction for Kelly, but he thinks she and Scott are a couple, and he won’t do anything to hurt his best friend.

But then they are attacked by a crazed criminal who is determined to leave no survivors.  The teens must work together, and Austin takes charge to attempt to bring them home safely.

 

TIME SHIFTERS Runaway Lover

Zoey Chandler is popular, beautiful, and rich.  Her most important achievement is that she is on the cheer squad.  That is, until she accidentally is swept along on a crazy adventure with Austin, Kelly, and Scott.  She discovers there is more to life than having a good hair day.

Their newest adventure takes them to a travelling circus where Zoey falls in love with a charming young man named Jesse who trains tigers.  Kelly and Austin get closer as the teens learn new jobs and experience a lifestyle very different than they’ve ever known.  But love is complicated, especially when there is a time change of almost a hundred years and Jesse is the target of a jealous killer.

If they can save him, how can Zoey make the difficult decision of whether to give up the life she knows and loves for a boy in a different time who has stolen her heart?

 

TIME SHIFTERS Forever Love

Kelly and Austin are left alone while everyone else is on vacation trips with their families.  They celebrate the Fourth of July together and grow closer than ever.

But as soon as Scott and Zoey return, the teens take off on an excursion to the past to visit the historic Stanley Hotel.  Their goal is to save a little girl named Emma from a kidnapper, but as they celebrate another Fourth of July, Kelly is swept away by her first real kiss.

The teens experience a new and hard lifestyle, all the while hoping to see if the stories about ghosts are true.  They meet a lot of interesting people, even some very famous ones, but everyone seems normal.

As they face their first defeat, they are caught by surprise when the same danger that takes Emma also threatens the teens when one of their own is captured in a killer’s web.  Will they be able to save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

 

Finally, our single title, Life’s What Happens

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

The email about the gathering popped up on Don Williams’s smart phone and he found himself obediently driving back to the small college town where events years ago shook the world and changed his life forever.  A morbid curiosity or a second look from a more mature point of view, he found himself driving up the long fraternity house driveway.  It took him longer than expected as his driving tour of the campus pulled his imagination back in time.

What happened next rocked his belief in the past and present.  The recollections of his past lovers, friends and events raced into focus and quickly overlaid the reality of now.  His ability to change the past and influence the present blurred the lines between what he knew and what he remembered and his trip consumed him.

He relived a college life that spiraled out of control in spite of his best efforts to graduate.  With everyone who mattered to him then, he mourned and celebrated the changes that have occurred since.  For college life then and now more has stayed the same than not.  LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS is their story, as each is faced with questions much more complicated than any generation past. It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

Based on actual events, this is the unwritten story of what really followed the summer that became the most famous summer ever in song and memories.

 

Please remember, all these books and all the blacklist of classic romance novels are free.  Simply leave a review on Amazon on any book and fill out the form on the first age of our website and you’ll receive your FREE book direct via email.

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BEHIND THE BOOK #2: Life’s What Happens

In our first Thrill Of Suspense Blog we told you about how we’ve undertaken the publishing of a new blog series we’ve titled Behind The Book.  And while it was inspired by the VH1 Behind the Music series that focused on the music industry the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.  

It isn’t about the author.  It is about the book.  For our second blog in the series we selected our single title New Adult Romance Life’s What Happens.

BEHIND THE BOOK #2:

Life’s What Happens

BEHIND THE BOOK LIFE

Life’s What Happens is a difficult book to slot into a genre.  It is a contemporary story told in flash back about college age adults who lived through the  anti-war movement in 1969 to 1970.  Is is as new adult as any new adult that takes place today but the angst suffered is way over the top.  A million people were impacted by what happened in  Washington D.C. on December 1, 1969.  The entire country learned of what that one night led to on May 4, 1970.

The story was inspired by Bob, who witnessed Kent State first hand, who asked the question would his life have been different had his draft lottery not been #98.  For that matter would the over 1,000,000 men who had their birth date capsule pulled from the glass box been different with a different lottery number.  The obvious answer unfortunately for several thousands of young men who were drafted and ended up in Nam and died. But there were hundreds of thousands more who made decisions regarding finishing college, going to college, dropping out and moving to Canada or even just changing their major so they had a chance to snare an occupational deferment to avoid the country’s most unpopular war ever.  And oh yeah…the deferments that Nixon stopped.

Life’s What Happens is a love story about everyday college kids who were part of the largest incoming college class in history and who had planned for four years the next step in their life, often times with their first true love.  How do you overlay everyday college angst, love, anti war demonstration and college shootings and military conscription into a single cohesive story?  You write Life’s What Happens. True story on top of true story on top of true story.

Before we tell you about the story here’s a retro activity that pulls on what kids today call classic rock of the mid century.  First, go to our author home page and on the lower left click on the Kent State flower child…and listen to the music that inspired the times.  Click on http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com , find her picture on the lower left of the home page and her picture below will take you there.

Girl with flower

And, assuming you buy the book be sure to listen to the recommended song at the start of every chapter.  The play list includes –

“Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers

“It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers

“Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

“I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

“Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

“Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots

“The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees

“Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks

“Those Were The Days” – Mary Hopkin

“Catch The Wind” – Donovan

“My Way” – Frank Sinatra

“Come Together” – The Beatles

“Time of the Season” – The Zombies

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary

“Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson

“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka

“Day Tripper” – The Beatles

“It Takes Two” – Kim Weston

“Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs

“Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival

“Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams

“Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

“Always You” – The Sundowners

“Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam

“Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee

“1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry

“The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark

“We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals

“This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans

“You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes

“P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles

“It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

“Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins

“Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy

“Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge

“Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade

“The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies

“For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield

“Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys

“98.6” – Keith

“Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension

“Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel

“Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the 1st Edition

“One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste

“Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees

“The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher

“When I Die” – Motherlode

“Things We Said Today” – The Beatles

“In My Life” – The Beatles

As side note, Steam’s song Kiss Him Goodbye was the original working title for the book.

Here’s the blurb for Life’s What Happens.

He is too young to drink (legally) but not too young to die. Don Williams is a senior at Kent State University and lives in an off-campus fraternity house. He and his girlfriend Lisa are making plans for their future after graduation when suddenly, it’s all taken away. His career, his freedom of choice and even his frat brothers who have become his family.

Life’s What Happens when you mix the hormone-fueled emotions of youth who have left home to experience the mind, mood and physical freedoms of college life with the cultural and political changes of the late 1960’s. For the brothers of Phi Psi Kappa fraternity their biggest worries should have been how to pass their classes with the least amount of studying and the greatest amount of partying and girls. Instead, they are faced with the life-and-death decision of whether they should face their fates head-on, change their plans or just run away.

It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

There have been so many amazing awesome reviews but here’s a couple from readers who just got the book and the message.

Life’s What Happens does for Kent State students what Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake did for WWII pilots in 1939. A large cast of characters, often irreverent, teasing, hard-working and hard-playing, comes to life in the first part of the novel where students ponder what the future might bring, and threats of a draft lottery begin to loom large. The photographer, the dissector of dead cats, the poor rich guy and the newly successful poor friend, and more, live out their everyday lives against a backdrop of eateries, drink, tests and dreams. Girlfriends abound, and the relationships have that vivid teenage immediacy of indestructability and rebellion. But destruction looms large.

 

Life’s what happens encompasses the lives of a few students who were present during the Kent State University shooting in 1970. Set up on the backdrop of college campus in Ohio; the story moves further and retraces the ramifications of the Vietnam War and draft on the lives of 9 fraternity brothers and their families.

The book starts off with a prologue. Though it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention for a while, until the characters are introduced in the flashback; it sails once we get past the first few pages. Each character is so realistically portrayed by the author that it brings out life in the book. These fictional characters are in love, they joke, play ball, get angry, fight and most of all they make the readers feel that it’s all real, that they are real.

“The girls rarely lasted long in the games because the guys played for blood, and it took only a broken fingernail or a knock to the floor to discourage all but the most determined young woman.”

One of the laughable sentences giving an insight on author’s ability to create humour and entertain its readers.

“I don’t get how people wake up one day and all their feelings for someone are suddenly gone.”

A sentence I loved. Doesn’t every youngster at one point or the other goes through the same concern?
Hats off to the author for making the characters look as real as they can be in a fiction. Unlike other stories, this one starts off happily but becomes sad in the course of time; still a touching tale. The only issue being too many characters in the beginning makes it hard for the readers to catch up.

The book is a good reminder of a past tragedy which should never be forgotten. I would definitely want to see a movie adaption on it.
Worth it!

 

You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.

Here’s how to acquire your own copy of Life’s What Happens or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE

When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE 

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’ve always been a storyteller.  I was four years old when I wrote my first one.  And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk.  Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.

Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell.  Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.

The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process.  I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later).  The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards.  For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

                                             AUTHOR KATHY part way  AUTHOR BOB part way

 

LET’S STAY CONNECTED

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

LINKED IN:   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-wernly-kathy-clark/a/357/597/ 

GOOGLE +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/bob%20wernly

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

Kathy Clark’s Writing Resolutions and Plans for 2014

The year is 14 days gone and I’m just getting around to telling everyone about my plans for 2014.  Here we go…

First, thanks for stopping in.

Second, thank you all for your support of me and my books.  I’ve had four of my 2013 releases reach the top 10 on Amazon in the past 12 months.  Each one is better written and accepted, more advance reader copies are sent out [see how to get yours below] and sales have improved.  Again, thank you.

This year I have four books planned. 

The Young Adult Mystery Series CUL8R [See you later] will release of book #4, RIP in February.  Fresh from their return from the 1927 circus that saw Zoey fall in love with a guy  for the right reasons but from the wrong era, the four time travelers find themselves even further back in time to 1911 and on the outside of the life of the rich and famous lifestyle at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado. And yes this is the same Stanley Hotel that Jack Nicholson helped to make famous in the Shinning and that’s all I’m going to say.  I can assure all my readers that this is a twisted tale that will keep you in the dark.  How do I know?  I’ve crawled through the basemen of the Stanley in the dark with the Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant.  Trust me, that is not a place you want to be in the dark at but the research first hand was vital to this story.

In March, 2014 the second book in the Scandals New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Tramp Stamp, has Reno front and center and with lives on the line his passion for the client could be the end of him.  The B-plot in this book is amazing and taken out of the fall 2013 headlines and I apologize now to all college football fans.

Later in the year you will find book #3 in the Denver After Dark series titled Graveyard Shift release. The third brother in the family, Chris, is a Denver, Colorado paramedic.  His job has its own issues to deal with and he finds the morality of the job is not as black and white as it is for his brothers, the cop and the fireman, the heroes in books one and two.

Finally, if all goes well, 2014 will see the release of book #3 in the Scandals New Adult Romantic Suspense Series with Worst Blind Date Ever.  In this third book Tulsa will get her own story and while the title sounds humorous the story is at the core of societal issues and early discussions with Tulsa tells me that you will see Tulsa’s passionate side!  It’s in there somewhere I think.

We’ll see some of you in Round Rock at the end of January for the Inside Track To Indie Publishing Workshop.  That will be January 25th and there are a smalls number of available seats.  Then in San Antonio in July at the National RWA Conference we can connect up and we’ll be around in other places.  As always we will be seeking willing readers to read and provide an honest review in support of the book release of these four 2014 books.  Just send me you email address and we’ll make sure you are on the list to participate.

Wishing you a safe, prosperous and healthy 2014…I now have a Wikipedia page and the usual social media sites.

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.nightwriter93.com

BLOGhttps://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

If you haven’t caught all my books released in 2013 here they are.  Throughout the year they will be on sale ahead of the release of the next book in the series and of course you can have the latest release just send me your email address.

THUMBNAIL BION 071613 Amazon final_edited-2  THUMBNAIL BRB eBook SMASHWORD_edited-2  THUMBNAIL CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013 Amazon_edited-2  THUMBNAIL SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013_edited-2

A Novel about Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, Net Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Peter Pan Generation, and The Lost Generation.

How much fun or suspensful could a book be about five men and women in the middle of this generation?

Exactly.

When we sat down to write a new adult series about someone between ages 18 and 26, we discovered those who came of age in the last ten years are saddled with an overabundance of titles. First came Generation X, then came Generation Y, The Millennials, The Net Generation, Generation Next, Echo Boomers, Peter Pan Generation, and finally, for those who graduated college in the current recession, The Lost Generation. If Generation X was the undefined, the generation that follows is the over-defined.

We quickly decided that we don’t want to write about those that are muddled in the middle of this population but rather those that stepped over or better yet broke out of the ties that bind them together.

I mean who wants to write and read about an entire generation that has been characterized by these kinds of statistics?

In the 1960s in the United States, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had attained traditional markers of maturity by their 30th birthday –
• They had left home,
• Finished school,
• Gotten a job,
• Married, and
• Started a family.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2000 less than 50% of 30-year-old women and just 33% of 30-year-old men had attained similar markers of adulthood.
The new adult series SCANDALS, written by Kathy Clark, is about five men and women typical of the in their late teens to late 20s. Their story is not untypical of this generation –

• One is through college and three are in college…sort of
• Three have jobs but not in their planned or chosen career
• No one has gotten married or started a family

They have the herd or pack mentality of this crowd and this helps them bind on several levels with four others who they never met but now are literally their brothers and sisters.

The first book, BABY DADDY, is Killeen Ames’ story. The opening of the book sounds as though she is a victim.

“He left me with two broken DVD cases, a pair of worn-out Nikes and a plus sign on my pee stick.”

By the end of the book her inner drive as a competitor at the college level causes her to outlast, out wit and outperform those that are trying to kill them.

BABY DADDY is on sale this week end for 99 Cents. It is currently available on a number of book retailers:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/
SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379398
iTunes / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id757465403
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-daddy-kathy-clark-aka-bob-kat/1117448913?ean=2940149013364&itm=1&usri=2940149013364
Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343672
All Romance – https://www.omnilit.com/product-babydaddy-1360180-149.html
It is available but not discounted in paperback at – http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Daddy-Scandals-Volume-1/dp/1493512978

* CONNECT * CONECTAR * TRANSITIVO * VERBINDEN * RACCORDER * CONECTAR-SE * 〈二つのものを〉つなぐ, 結合する, 接続する *

For more about me either as Kathy Clark, author of romantic suspense or new adult romantic suspense or as Bob Kat, author of the young adult mystery / suspense…

Author site of all 30 books – http://www.nightwriter93.com
Young adult site for the CUL8R Series – http://www.cul8rseries.com
Blog site – https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/ The blog site is mainly behind the scenes with the last blog post titled Friends, Debt and Tattoos; New Adults, the Educated Homeless
I can’t visit everyone in few bookstores that are left on the planets so let’s keep in touch…I’ll friend, follow, tweet, email or whatever…connect, connect, connect, connect, connect, connect….

EMAIL – kathy@nightwriter93.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r
Twitter – https://twitter.com/93NightWriter
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/102535903520839039578/posts/p/pub

PLEASE NOTE PRICE REDUCTIONS WERE SUBMITTED TO ITUNES/APPLE AND KOBO BUT THEY SOMETIMES ARE VERY SLOW IN RESPONDING. THE 99 CENT PRICE HAS BEEN VERIFIED AT AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, ALL ROMANCE AND SMASHWORDS.

* CONNECT * CONECTAR * TRANSITIVO * VERBINDEN * RACCORDER * CONECTAR-SE * 〈二つのものを〉つなぐ, 結合する, 接続する *

SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013

Friends, Debt and Tattoos; New Adults, the Educated Homeless

There’s been a lot of discussion over the reality, need and description of the new adult genre.  This age group, at least in the Euro-western culture is between about 18 years and 25 years old usually and is characterized by several items most notably has been termed “an age of transition”.  A time to transition by moving out of their parent’s house, to their first serious relationship, or transition to their first meaningful job in their chosen career, and of course transitioning from high school to college and so on.

In the UK for example earlier this year, psychologists have even discovered additional reasons why this is a uniquely different group of people when compared with those in their late teens or age 30 and over.  But I believe there is yet another set of circumstances that make the 18 to 25 or maybe even 35 year olds different than those younger or older.  In fact different than how anyone born before 1960 were when they were in the 18 years to 35 year old range.

In a word, ECONOMICS.  TIME Inc. has supplied the lion’s share of the next set of facts.  Facts that cause the 18 to 25 year old age group to be different culturally and therefore represent a unique genre to be addressed in literature, music and entertainment.

My blog, like all blogs, has a global reach so this is being written from an American perspective.  In the U.S. the “kids” coming of age in the last 5 to 8 years have overall not been typical of the generations before them.

For years, retailers, marketers and businesses of all shapes and sizes have gone out of their way to try to win over that “all-important” 18-to-34-year-old demographic.  Now that this age group is broke and facing huge student loans and a lackluster job market, though, the realization is setting in that perhaps it’s not such a good idea to focus on a bunch of consumers with little disposable income and increasingly frugal habits.

The perfect customer is one who is young (and has the potential to keep being a customer for decades), hip (so others will follow in his footsteps and also become customers) and always supplied with plenty of money to blow on the latest products and services. Thanks to the Great Recession and its fallout, however, it’s unlikely that someone who is young and hip also has all that much cash to throw around.

Here’s a handful of facts about this age group:

It’s no mystery why so many young Americans are now living with their parents: What with unemployment rates high, and the jobs that are widely available to young workers tending to be those with meager salaries (and few or no benefits), more of today’s young adults are too poor and ill-prepared to leave home and head off on their own.

These factors have trickled down to the young adult generation as well.  If you were born before 1955 for example one of the rights of passage was to get your driver’s license.  The number of teen drivers has dramatically decreased over the past couple of decades. Consider this:

  • In 1983, 69% of all 17-year-olds had driver’s licenses.
  • By 2008, only half of 17-year-olds had licenses.

How can these kinds of changes where first upward mobility was impacted and now horizontal mobility is being impacted not impact their leisure time entertainment?

Pew Research provided even more background for this blog.  The 18 to 29 year old age group is unique in other ways as well and these differences drive their “new adult” genre needs:

  • 75% have created a profile on a social networking site.
  • 20% have posted a video of themselves online.
  • Almost 40% have a tattoo (and for most who do, one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more).
  • Almost 25% have a piercing in some place other than an earlobe — about six times the share of older adults who’ve done this. But 70% say their tattoos are hidden beneath clothing.
  • About 90% either say that they currently have enough money or that they will eventually meet their long-term financial goals. But at the moment, fully 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds are unemployed or out of the workforce, the highest share among this age group in more than three decades.

Research shows that young people who graduate from college in a bad economy typically suffer long-term consequences — with effects on their careers and earnings that linger as long as 15 years.

When my husband and I sat down to develop our new adult series, SCANDALS, we factored as much of this background into the story lines of the books as possible.  The voice of the new adults is different, decisive and entertaining and any author who writes these characters as just another adult age group is missing real opportunities as well as a very large market that will remain unique for decades.  Book #1, BABY DADDY, was released a couple of weeks ago.   Here’s the blurb for the new adult book, BABY DADDY, a SCANDALS Romantic Suspense, book #1.

An inheritance brought her more than she ever could have imagined…

Killeen Ames has it all…beauty, brains, a college softball scholarship and a rich and handsome boyfriend who has helped to stretch her college funds and fill her social calendar.  He is the only boy she ever allowed past second base and now he’s her baby daddy.  However, being a father was not in his short-range plans.  He graduates, then he splits, leaving Killeen to decide what she wants to do about the pregnancy…and to worry about how she’s going to keep her scholarship.  With no marketable skills, no job, no home and medical bills for her and the baby on the horizon, she knows she must move forward.  A knock at the door of her boyfriend’s apartment changes the game forever when an attorney gives her the news of an inheritance from an unknown dead relative.

After traveling to Austin, Killeen walks into the meeting and is surprised to find out that the relative was actually her birth father, and he had been a popular music star who recently died of an overdose.  Even more shocking are the four strangers who share the same absentee dad.  He has left them a highly successful private investigation agency, Scandals.  The catch is…they have to make the commitment to work there.

Their introduction to the P.I. business almost gets them killed when a bomb goes off in the warehouse that sends Killeen to the hospital.  She has kept the secret of her pregnancy from everyone, including Christopher, the totally irresistible manager of Scandals.  Their hot night of wild sex in the office was a one-time thing…right?  She chalks up her attraction to him as just raging hormones.  They have no chance of a future together.  He’s gorgeous, intelligent and successful.  He would never want anyone with so much baggage.

Christopher has a secret of his own.  He’s been investigation the possibility that, despite popular opinion, their father’s death hadn’t been an accidental overdose.  He thinks it was murder.

Even though the five siblings still haven’t accepted the fact that they have a father who made no attempt to be a part of their lives, they join together to discover the truth about his death.  The search throws Killeen and Christopher together and their passion grows hotter.  As her feelings for him slowly become more serious, she knows she must tell him about the baby.

After a fun day in the sun, an event happens that outs Killeen’s secret.  Christopher, as expected, doesn’t take the news well.  But they must continue to work together to track down a killer, especially since the killer has now focused on them.

Someone doesn’t want them to stay and take over the business.  In fact, someone wants them all dead and now the decision on whether or not to be a part of the agency seems very unimportant compared to the job of trying to stop from being killed.

They set up a trap that goes terribly wrong.  Suddenly, Killeen must make a big decision.  Who should she save?  Her baby?  Christopher?  Her new brothers and sisters?  Their lives are in her hands.

Baby Daddy is the first book in the Scandals New Adult series of romantic suspense.  Each book of the series will focus on one of the offspring of Roger Elliott, a famous musician who left them with a legacy they weren’t expecting.  This book is about Killeen Ames who must deal with an unexpected pregnancy, an absentee baby daddy, an irresistible attraction to a hot new guy and four new half-brothers and sisters.  Tramp Stamp, the second book in this series will be released in Spring, 2014 and will tell Reno’s story.

It is currently available on a number of book retailers:

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379398

iTunes / Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id757465403

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-daddy-kathy-clark-aka-bob-kat/1117448913?ean=2940149013364&itm=1&usri=2940149013364

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9780988343672

All Romance – https://www.omnilit.com/product-babydaddy-1360180-149.html

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/

PAPER BACK – http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Daddy-Scandals-Volume-1/dp/1493512978

This blog only touches the surface of the impact of the economy on growing up in America.  Bottom line “kids” 18 to 25 or even 30 are a unique demographic and authors and screenwriters are ahead of the curve in many cases but some publishers and studios have yet to invest.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, BABY DADDY, like many of the new adult genre books, is written in first person.  While it changes the way the book has to be written the ability to place the reader deep inside the story is amazing.  It’s one thing to describe how someone is attacked by a killer it’s totally another to describe how the character felt about being attacked.

WEB TILE BABY DADDY