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

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The Rules of Romance Before The Thrill Of Suspense

Going back to my ROOTS w/ this 16 book CLASSIC ROMANCE NOVEL promo from my back list.  Since 2011, I’ve been focused on the Thrill Of Suspense…but like others in my author generation I started out following the Rules of Romance.

So here’s some of my sweet, formulaic romances  all promo priced at $0.99 starting Sunday night, August 24th.  So if you liked the early stories of Brown, Dailey, Evanovich, Roberts or me this is for you!

Head to my author site at http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com  [the QR code] and click on the CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE link  to go to Amazon to acquire any of these books.

Hope you enjoy some of my earliest  books.  They’re appearing on social media starting today:

00CLASSICROMANCE 00CLASSICROMANCE4 00CLASSICROMANCE3 00CLASSICROMANCE2 00CLASSICROMANCE1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile…back to writing two more books between Bob and I inside the suspense fence.

Book #3 in the DENVER AFTER DARK series, DEEP NIGHT.  The opening ripped me apart and book #5 in the CUL8R [see you later] Teen Time Travel series. , DJM [Don’t Judge Me].

Here’s the covers for these two as it stands now.

DEEP NIGHT DJM [WORKING TITLE]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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#dailey #evanovich #roberts #clark #contemporaryromance #romancenovel #contemporaryromancebook #contemporaryromancenovel

The Thrill Of Suspense and the Humor Of It All

Bob and I just finished and released the second book in the New Adult Scandals suspense series.  When Bob completes his first draft of our plot and character study, his anxiety is over.  As he would say, his book “is now in the hands of the professional, the real author, to do her thing and make it read like a book.”  Killer Date ramped up the suspense from book #1, Due Dates.  While Due Dates had to spend a lot of time on introducing the characters and the situation, Killer Date was able to jump immediately into the case…and the romance.  Once Reno, Jenny and Nick were hot on the trail, it became a race against time with a life-or-death finish.

DUE DATES

KILLER DATE amazon

As I neared the end of the rewrite, blow-out work and polish that I do to each book, Bob always asks, “How do you like the book?”  And I always say essentially the same thing.  “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”

This kind of got Bob wondering if that ever happened to Alfred Hitchcock, the amazing filmmaker, director and writer who will forever be known as The Master of Suspense.  Much like an amateur golfer will dive into golf lessons and suddenly discover their 20 handicap can’t be improved without first tearing apart every aspect of their existing game, Bob explored how Hitchcock managed to improve the genre with each film.

11hitchcock

The first thing Bob’s research discovered was this quote that clearly justifies how I feel when I finish a book.  Hitchcock admitted to an interviewer, “It’s only after a picture is done that one can judge it properly.”

Sort of sounds like “I can’t tell.  I’m too close to it.”  Right?  Maybe I’m on the right track.  But while my books pulse with suspense, they always have a touch of humor.  What would Hitchcock say about that?

He was credited to having said “In the mystery and suspense genre, a tongue-in-cheek approach is indispensable.”

Many have said that his films were the equivalent of a roller coaster ride in which the passengers scream wildly on the way down but laugh when the ride rolls to a stop.  He also said, “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible” and that “there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”  I love roller coasters, and I love Hitchcock.  Now I understand why I my characters always have a sense of humor, even when they’re knee-deep in blood.

11hitchcock

So blog fans, let’s look at the five most commonly found elements of humor buried in the foundation of Hitchcock’s stories.  He found a way to make his suspense unbearably fun for his audiences in five ways.

I appreciate the work of Bays J. M., 2007, Humor: Hitchcock’s Secret Weapon, Borgus Productions,  <http://borgus.com/hitch/hitch-humor.htm&gt in providing this information. 

Exploit trivial character traits

“I’ve always found that, in a moment of crisis a person invariably does something trivial,” said Hitchcock, “like making a cup of tea or lighting up a cigarette. A small detail of this sort adds considerably to the dramatic tension of the situation (Gottlieb, 1997).”

 

Create situations of irony

In the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “One More Mile to Go” (1957, directed by Hitchcock) a policeman has stopped a man because of a burned out tail light on his car, completely unaware there is a dead body in the trunk.  The more obsessed this policeman gets with fixing the light, the more uneasy the murderer gets.  Hitchcock pushes this situation to the level of unbearable absurdity as the policeman continues worrying about the light, and gets closer and closer to noticing the body.

 

Surround drama with a happy setting

“The more happy-go-lucky the setting, the greater kick you get from the sudden introduction of drama,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb, 1997)

One of the best examples of Hitchcock’s use of whimsical environment is in The Trouble With Harry (1955).  All is normal in this small town with grassy meadows, sunshine, and orange autumn leaves, until a dead body shows up.  Harry Warp becomes everyone’s problem – what can be done about Harry?

“It’s the juxtaposition of the norm, of the accurate average, against the fantasy… that’s what makes the thing interesting.”

 

 

Include a burlesque character

One of Hitchcock’s characters must never take murder seriously, mocking it in full delight.  The most memorable is probably Henry Travers and Hume Cronyn in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) getting laughs around the family dinner table figuring out various ways to murder without getting caught.  The shocking sense of humor often disturbs and confuses a gullible person nearby, unsure of whether they are serious.  In Stangers on a Train (1951) Robert Walker teaches a woman at a party how to strangle someone, and she gets quite a laugh out of it.  In Rope (1948) Constance Collier laughs hysterically at Rupert’s (James Stewart) idea of murdering people for sport.  In Rear Window (1954) Thelma Ritter is having a great thrill out of the possibility of a murder across the courtyard.

 

Balance laugh and tension

Hitchcock used a delicate combination of tension and relief in his suspense sequences.  Often a laugh was inserted at a key point to release some tension.  “…when you have comic relief, it’s important that the hero as well as the audience be relieved,” said Hitchcock. (Gottlieb) This assures that the audience maintains sympathy for the character.

North By Northwest (1959) is one of the best examples of the use of humor involving a chase.  Early in the film Cary Grant is intoxicated and becomes comical as he nearly drives off a cliff.  He looks down over the edge and laughs drunkenly as he pulls away.  Later when he is held by captors at a public auction he becomes a heckler in order to get picked up by the police.

From the suspense master who really knew people well and who said “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” there are three interesting questions that will not be answered here.

  1. Obviously we find suspense to be very appealing.  What is so appealing about uncertainty?  In our everyday life uncertainty is anything but an inherently pleasant experience.
  2. If suspense is uncertainty, then why is it possible to enjoy seeing a movie or reading a book more than once?  Have you ever read a book two or more times or sat down and watched the same film more than once?  You already saw the movie, you know what is going to happen, but were you still sitting on the edge of your seat. How can this be?
  3. Why is it that we can care so much about the fate of a movie or book hero that we know perfectly well does not exist?

I can’t give you the answers, but it should be in your book.  I try very hard for it to be in all of mine.

 

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

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

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

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www.TheThrillOfSuspense.com

Next Romantic Suspense in the Scandals Series – Tramp Stamp

Hello all and welcome to the post-Christmas  / pre-New Years post about my next Romantic Suspense, aimed at the 18 to 30 year old new adult crowd.  I put book #1, BABY DADDY on sale this weekend for everyone.
So you know about the 18 to 30 year old crowd a little better I have been doing research in the US and UK abut new adults.  Over the past few weeks I have focused on my new adult romantic suspense series with blogs about a number of new adult related realities of the world…

* What do the Eagles, New Adults and Facebook have in common?

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

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

* A mental basis for The New Adult Fiction

The top ten book sellers is Baby Daddy  Book #1 in the Scandals Romantic Suspense series and that link to the Amazon version is in this post.

The second book in the series is underway and tonight’s blog is a convenient way to avoid finishing chapter eight I guess.  Book #2 is titled Tramp Stamp and the title comes from the female client that walked in the door of Austin’s Scandals Investigations at the end of book #1.  The SCANDALS Series is the story of five brothers and sisters who inherited their biological father’s very successful PI agency in Austin, Texas.  By this time in their decision to take over the ownership and operation of the agency they have taken on multiple cases but the one that Tramp Stamp follows is of personal interest to Reno…not the town but the one son of Roger Eliot, former musician who had spent too many years as a bad boy on the road.

I hope you’ll come back and when I’m a little closer to the release in February…they’ll be free copies of the ARC [Advance Review Copy] available in exchange for your honest opinion.

http://www.amazon.com/BABY-DADDY-SCANDALS-Kathy-Clark-ebook/dp/B00GQC1S3O/
SCANDALS BABY DADDY 10282013
About me check out the Wikipedia link at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

My website is http://www.nightwriter93.com and the purchase links for BABY DADDY can be found on the page http://www.nightwriter93.com/SCANDALS.html

AMAZON Book Editor Selection for Book Of The Month {x 10!}

Yogi Berra once said “you can observe a lot by just looking”…or something like that.

So I started to look on Amazon and also found out that my many of my books were selected by the AMAZON BOOK EDITORS as a recommended BOOK OF THE MONTH.  In addition to STARTING OVER , here are NINE additional titles that the AMAZON BOOK EDITORS were kind enough to recommend.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS at http://www.amazon.com/COUNT-YOUR-BLESSINGS-ebook/dp/B008C9KVT6/ on Amazon and was named a BOOK OF THE MONTH by the Amazon Editors! Too cool..

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon

Excuse me while I look at the rest of them!

OH Myyyy…  GOODBYE, DESPERADO is another one that was selected  by the AMAZON EDITORS as a recommended Book Of The Month.

GOODBYE DESPERADO 062813 Amazon

Don’t take my word go to http://www.amazon.com/GOODBYE-DESPERADO-ebook/dp/B008E6SRSY/

UNREAL!  I need to go down the bookstore asile where my books are located more often!  http://www.amazon.com/ANOTHER-SUNNY-DAY-ebook/dp/B007510BFQ was also chosen by the AMAZON EDITORS as a recommended Book Of The Month.

Another Sunny Day 07112013 amazon

ALL RIGHT STOP IT!  ANGEL OF MERCY also was picked y the Amazon Editors!  Find it at http://www.amazon.com/ANGEL-OF-MERCY-ebook/dp/B0085RZPC8

ANGEL OF MERCY 062913 amazon

http://www.amazon.com/STROKE-OF-MIDNIGHT-ebook/dp/B008F9JKP4 Was yet another one that was slected by the Amazon Book Editors as a recommended book of the month!

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If you go on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/TEACHERS-PET-ebook/dp/B00759NGFK you will also find TEACHER’S PET asa recommended book of the month!  This is crazy!

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COLD FEET, WARM HEART is anohter monthly AMAZON recommendation and an be found at http://www.amazon.com/COLD-FEET-WARM-HEART-ebook/dp/B008K9FHA6

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A PRIVATE AFFAIR is a monthly recommendation also and is at http://www.amazon.com/A-PRIVATE-AFFAIR-ebook/dp/B007O26WW2

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For Holloween look for SIGHT UNSEEN at http://www.amazon.com/COLLECTION-ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE-Collection-ebook/dp/B00D6IS4NI yet another monthly Amazon recommendation

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Fins out about all 23 of my published novels through Harlequin, Dell and others and my five newest books being published as an Indie Author at http://www.nightwriter.com

 

 

Another Back List Book Excerpt – ANOTHER SUNNY DAY

Another Sunny Day by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat

Greetings!

Another Sunny Day  appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List and reached #3 on Waldenbooks Best Seller List of all paperbacks. When originally published, it sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.  The book is a steady seller today.  With the popularity of Nashville this and Golden Days makes it a great fit.

Here’s another one of my 23 back list novels that you’ll find on my website at http://www.nightwriter93.com  After 23 romance novels I dd take a break to do some screenplays and in the process develop an edge to be able to bring you four new books between December, 2012 and June, 2013 –

A teen time travel mystery series, CUL8R, [See you later]

** Book #1, OMG won the Best Indie Book fo 2013 award and a finalist int he Beverly Hills book awards for 2103

** Book #2, BRB [Be Right Back] was named one of 3 finalists in the Reader’s Choice Book Awards and the final awards will be released on September 1st.

*** Book #3, BION [Believe It Or Not] will be released in July, 2013

Details on the series can be found at http://www.cul8rseries.com

The Denver After Dark Suspense series

Book #1, After Midnight can be sampled n the main site at http://www.nightwriter93.com

A New Adult Romance, Life’s What Happens

So today’s book is Another Sunny Day.  Sarah and Sunny – the Day sisters – identical twins, a dazzling mirror image. It was Sunny who had all the talent and success as a singer. Sarah preferred to work behind the scenes as her sister’s tour assistant. But Sarah is ready to stop touring and make a life of her own. When Sunny commits to a publicity stunt of riding on a trail ride, she begs her sister to take her place, and Sarah reluctantly agrees. Sarah loves horses, and it sounds like a fun adventure.

How could Sarah know that the moment she landed in Houston bewigged, made-up, dressed in Sunny’s typical over-the-top country siren’s costume, a craggy knight in Levi’s and a cowboy hat would hand her a challenge. Tyler Ross dared the “spoiled superstar” to survive the ordeal. How could he know that horses and ranching were more Sarah’s style than star trips? How could she tell him without giving away the masquerade and ruining her sister’s career?

Read Sunny’s story in the sequel GOLDEN DAYS.

Finally…the excerpt-

Dillon could barely breathe, much less play the guitar. He wasn’t completely certain that he wasn’t having a hallucination. Only seconds before his mind had been filled with thoughts of the gorgeous woman who was now sitting across from him, apparently not thinking about the sight she was presenting to him. Her outfit was every bit as brief and sexy as the one he had seen her in once before, but this one was almost the same strange color as her eyes and teasingly translucent. Her shiny golden hair tumbled softly around her pale face, highlighting her delicate bone structure and the loveliness of her features. She reminded him of a water nymph who had risen from the depths of the sea, then slipped into his room to drive him wild. Swallowing raggedly, he forced his frozen fingers to move once again across the strings, pulling the melody from his subconscious.

Sunny listened, transfixed. “That was wonderful. But I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that song before. What is it?”

“It’s something I wrote. I seem to be having a lot of extra hours to kill lately, so I’ve been working on this,” he said with a sort of apologetic shrug. “I hope I didn’t wake you up. I tried to play softly.”

“No, you didn’t wake me. I haven’t been sleeping well either,” She smiled wryly. “I was in the kitchen getting a drink,” she added, lifting the half-empty glass that was still in her hand. “When I heard you playing, something came over me and I just couldn’t resist coming in here. I hope you don’t mind my barging in like this.” It wasn’t until that moment that she became aware of what she had done. Completely uninvited, she had walked right into Dillon’s room without even thinking that she was very underdressed for even the most impromptu of concerts. That fact didn’t particularly bother her, but the sight of Dillon’s half-naked body did. Since he was wearing only a pair of jeans, she was treated to her first real view of his broad bare chest and felt herself reacting to the unplanned intimacy of this situation.

“Have you written any words to go with it?” Her voice had lowered, becoming unintentionally seductive. Her eyes studied the multitude of expressions that were galloping across his face, and she couldn’t help wondering what action he would take, if any.

“Uh . . . yes, but I’m not quite through with them. There’s one part that keeps hanging me up. I know what I want to say but not quite how to say it.” He didn’t notice that he was gripping his guitar with such intensity that his knuckles had turned white and it was a miracle the fragile wood didn’t splinter beneath his fingers. She had caught him at a particularly weak and vulnerable moment. Like a soldier who was exhausted from fighting too many battles, he was beginning to lose sight of the ultimate goal. His will had been tested once too often, and this time he knew that if she offered any encouragement, he wouldn’t be able to hold back.

“That’s one thing I’ve never been able to do,” Sunny commented with admiration.

“What?” He had completely lost the thread of the conversation.

“Write music. I can sing it and I can pick it out on the piano and guitar, but I’ve never created a song.”

“You inspire it. This is your song that I’ve been playing,” he answered softly, standing up and laying the guitar back on his bed.

“Maybe I could help you finish it,” she offered huskily, the flirtatious look in her wide eyes telegraphing an unmistakable message.

Without appearing to move quickly, suddenly he was standing in front of her, his hands taking the forgotten glass from her, then gently pulling her to her feet before she even had time to react.

But her body, which had been aching for this moment for weeks, automatically responded, allowing him to pull her tightly against him. His fingers threaded into her hair, holding her head steady while his mouth lowered to meet hers. Her passionate reply left him no doubt about her feelings. She wanted him as badly as he wanted her, and nothing else mattered tonight.

“Dillon,’ she managed to murmur when his lips lifted for a second. “Please don’t make me sleep all alone in that big bed.”

“Sweetheart, I wouldn’t dream of it.” With a fluid movement one arm slipped under her knees and the other supported her shoulders as he swept her up and held her securely against his chest. “Actually I don’t plan on letting you sleep at all,” he teased, nipping her neck playfully.

“That’s the kind of sleep I won’t mind missing.” She giggled, tracing the intricate curves of his ear with the tip of her tongue as he carried her to his old bedroom.

Setting her back on her feet, he flicked on a lamp before returning to stand in front of her. His hands reached up and cupped her face, his fingers caressing the soft skin of her cheeks while his thumbs followed the rounded outline of her full, rosy lips. Their eyes were locked together, each searching the other’s for unspoken answers. Slowly his hands slid down her neck and along her shoulders, pushing the flimsy silken straps aside.

But Sunny suddenly and unpredictably suffered her first pangs of shyness. She had wished she would be in just this place with just this man, but now that she was, a wave of fear engulfed her. What if he was disappointed? Her body was firm, but surely it couldn’t compete with the eighteen- to twenty-one-year olds he was probably used to seeing.

“Would you mind turning off the light?” she forced herself to ask. A bashful blush colored her cheeks as her long, dark brown eyelashes swept down to cover the frantic look in her eyes.

“Yes, I would. I’ve been waiting too long to have you with me like this, and I intend to savor every second of it,” he answered softly but firmly.

“But you might . . .” She foundered, unable to voice her fears. She didn’t know how other women handled their younger lovers, but she knew she was doing it badly. There was only a five-year age difference, but never had she been so conscious of it. Wildly she thought that she would gladly give ten years off the end of her life if she could subtract five right now.

Dillon had been studying her troubled face. All he cared about was her and her happiness. “Sunny, listen to me,” he demanded, gripping her shoulders in a hold that was almost painful. “I’m in love with you. Not your stardom or your voice or your body, but the real deep-down you. When I look at you, there’s nothing that I see that would ever make me love you less. Can’t you let go enough to let yourself love me?”

Sunny’s eyes returned to his concerned face. He was such a dear, sweet man. And he spoke with such sincerity that it stripped away her timidity, replacing it with an affection that made her heart swell almost to the bursting point. Her hands, which had been resting flatly against his chest in unconscious restraint, now slid slowly down the hard muscles of his abdomen until her fingers found the snap of his jeans. She felt the sharp intake of his breath at her touch and the raw scrape of his zipper sounded extra loud in the quiet room.

“I’m all yours,” she whispered, letting her clothes fall to the floor.

Find more at my store on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20 

An excerpt from COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Hello…I’m Kathy Clark, author.  Welcome back to my blog site.

Some of you may remember me from long ago…like last century…when traditional publishers such Harlequin published my romance novels and printed them on paper and sold them through bookstores! No?  Maybe you have purchased one of my more recent novels that were released in 2012 and 2013.  No doubt my over 3 million in sales worldwide in paperback were one measure and one cause of the popularity of my new books.  And yes, they’re digital and trade paperback.

Today, I write my Romantic Suspense series, Denver After Dark under my name Kathy Clark and the young adult mystery series, CUL8RTM [See you later] under the pseudonym of Bob Kat.  CUL8RTM is co-written with my husband Bob Wernly.  Starting this fall, the New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Scandals, will be under Kathy Clark.

I am going to take space in this blog to publish excerpts from my romance novel back list to provide as they say, a deeper cut, into the stories beyond the samples provided by Amazon.  I did this last weekend at the virtual eBook Fair and I got great feedback to do more of this. So I will.  Readers rule!

Thank you for stopping…each blog post will have-

  • The summary of the featured book
  • The excerpt from that book
  • A summary of my recent books
  • All the links needed  to find additional information including how to order any of the books

Best wishes,

Kathy Clark

Kathy Square

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS BLURB

Luke Calloway is a turkey farmer in the heartland of Iowa. He has survived the loss of his wife, and is learning to cope with a drastic change of career (from big city dentist to the owner of Wishbone Acres in the small town of Greenhaven) while raising three rambunctious sons. He’s doing an admirable job and isn’t looking for love. But that’s exactly what he finds when Darcy Carson returns to town.Darcy Carson, a successful Los Angeles television reporter, had fled from Iowa as soon as she was able. Small towns held no appeal for her, but the glamour and excitement of Southern California certainly did. Following a suspension by the station where she’s employed, she returns home, telling herself that she’ll only stay until she wins her court case and can return to work.

But Darcy hasn’t planned on meeting Luke. She fights her attraction to him, telling herself he represents everything she ran away from. Luke, too, fights his growing love for Darcy. He knows he’s only a temporary stopover in her life, that soon she’ll return to California, breaking his heart, and those of his sons.

Neither Luke nor Darcy are prepared for the way love sweeps into their lives, changing everything.

REVIEWS:

“ROMANTIC TIMES” – (4) – “Watch as Kathy Clark creates two endearing characters who know they’re being manipulated, but are helpless to stop it.”

“HEART TO HEART” – Selected to be a Highlight of the Month – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is great fun.”

“COLORADO ROMANCE WRITERS PAL” – “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is a perfect story to enjoy during the holidays since it will fill your heart with the wonder and joys of learning that love truly conquers all.”

Count Your Blessings 062913 amazon
THE EXCERPT

Darcy and Luke stood a step apart, putting a cushion of neutrality between them. But as they turned and began to walk wordlessly toward the truck, their fingers brushed together and somehow became entwined. Separate, they would have been jostled apart, but united, they had no difficulty maneuvering through the crowded walkways to the parking lot.

Luke glanced at Darcy as the truck’s engine sputtered to life and backfired a couple times, drawing a dozen sympathetic stares.

“I’m sorry about this truck,” he began.

Darcy settled the goldfish bowl on her lap and smiled at Luke. “No one could accuse you of trying to impress me.”

With an unnecessary degree of concentration, he studied the narrow space that was illuminated in front of the truck by its headlights. His tone was casual as he asked, “So what would it take to impress you?”

Darcy sensed her answer might be very important to any future relationship, however temporary, that might exist between them. “Actually, I don’t impress easily,” she admitted.

“I guess you wouldn’t. Living in L.A., you’re surrounded by Mercedes and movie stars.”

She glanced at him sharply. “That’s not what I meant. Cars and actors don’t impress me.”

“Yeah?” he questioned skeptically. “What sort of car do you own?”

“Uh…,” she hedged. “Well, that’s not important…”

He challenged her with a steady look.

“Okay, so I drive a Corvette…”

“Red, I’ll bet.” He turned his attention back to the road.

“Okay, it’s red,” she conceded defensively. “So what? The station gave it to me. I wouldn’t care if it was a Toyota.”

Again, he pierced her with an unconvinced glance.

“All right, I’ll admit it.” She threw up her hands in defeat. The motion upset the brandy snifter, and she had to grab it to keep the fish from pouring onto the floor. “Yes, I enjoy driving that car. It’s a great car. But I’m not so shallow that I care what sort of car someone else drives.”

“So you don’t mind riding in this truck?”

She peered at the thick layer of dust on the dashboard and the worn blanket covering the seat. There were turkey feathers on the floorboard and a scattering of corn kernels as if a bag of feed had broken sometime in the ancient vehicle’s questionable past. Then she looked over the fluffy barrier of stuffed animals to the man behind the steering wheel. Only hours ago, she had never seen that face. And now she knew she’d never forget it. It was the man, not the truck she found disturbing.

“No,” she answered honestly. “I’ve ridden in worse. In fact, I learned to drive in a truck that belonged to my grandfather. But I will say that Gramps did wash his truck on occasion.”

They turned into her parents’ driveway and Darcy had to hold the brandy snifter up so the water didn’t bounce out when they crossed the cattle guard.

“And you could use a new set of springs,” she added.

A low, appreciative chuckle vibrated across the darkness. “Springs? This old pile of bolts wouldn’t know how to drive if it had springs. Why, there probably isn’t even anything left to attach them to.”

He stopped the truck in front of her door, but didn’t turn off the engine. When he began unloading the stuffed animals, Darcy reached out and pushed aside one of the panda bear’s ears so she could see Luke.

“I don’t need any more stuffed animals in my room. My mother seems to think everything should be left exactly as I had it.” Darcy shook her head. She had long ago given up trying to convince her mother she wouldn’t be moving back home. “Why don’t you give them to your boys? Greg may be a little too old, but Scott and maybe Adam would give these guys a good home.”

She nestled the brandy snifter in between a big bear and a fluffy dog.

“And the fish?” Luke asked.

“And the fish,” Darcy confirmed, laughing at his unenthusiastic expression.

“Great. Thanks,” he stated with good-humored sarcasm.

“Goldfish are terrific pets. They don’t make any noise, and they never make a mess on the carpet.”

“Or we can feed him to the turkeys.”

“Luke!”

He held up his hands to calm her. “It’s a joke. Besides, turkeys don’t eat meat.”

“I’ll bet they wish more people felt that way.”

“You’re not one of those animal rights’ activists, are you?”

This time Darcy’s chuckle was wry. “Funny you should mention that…animal rights is exactly why I’m on suspension, remember? But I was just reporting it, not participating. Actually, I can see both sides of the issue. I don’t like to see animals tortured for unnecessary experiments, but I don’t have a problem eating chicken … or turkey.”

“So how long do you think it’ll take to clear up your case?”

Darcy led the way up the porch steps and Luke followed. “My attorney thinks it’ll go to court after Thanksgiving.” She glanced back at the noisy truck. If he hadn’t left it running, she would have invited him to sit for a while on the porch swing.

“That’s a month away,” Luke commented nonchalantly as he stopped with one booted foot on the top step.

Darcy turned to face him, and, because of her higher position found that they were eye to eye. “More or less,” she replied. “But I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I have to fly back Monday or Tuesday for some depositions and the grand jury hearing, which means I’ll be gone most of the week.”

He thrust his hands deep into his pockets. “Then maybe I’ll see you around.”

“It’s a small town.” She responded with equal casualness, but inside she cried out, But I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you while I’m here.

“Well … I guess I’d better be going,” he said and backed down a step.

“I had a nice time this evening.” Don’t leave. I want you to kiss me again.

His eyes burned into hers, as if searching for an answer to an unspoken question. His gaze was so perceptive, Darcy began wondering if he might have heard her silent request. When he gave her one last little smile, then turned to leave, she felt her spirits droop with disappointment. On the dance floor, there had been a flash of magic. Had it been a fluke? A reaction to the circumstances around them? A moment of madness?

All she knew was that she wanted to feel his lips on hers one more time and to have him hold her tight in his arms. “Luke…” She moved toward him just as he wheeled around and bounded up the steps two at a time.

“Darcy…” he breathed as he cradled her face in his hands and covered her mouth with his. “I must be crazy,” he muttered against her lips an instant before they crushed against hers.

Darcy’s arms wound around his neck, her fingers feathering into the soft, dark hair at his nape. The banked fires that had built and died back…but never out…roared to life again. It had been a long time since a man’s kiss had affected her so much. Her body molded to his, automatically seeking the boldness of his response.

If she hadn’t been standing on her parents’ porch . . . if he hadn’t been a widower with three kids . . . if she hadn’t been so anxious to get on with her life in California . . . if he hadn’t been a livestock farmer . . . she would have asked him to turn off his truck’s engine, rev up his own engine and stay for the night.

Then, as abruptly as he had approached her, he let her go. After one last, lingering look that took away what little strength she had left in her knees, he pivoted on his heel and vaulted down the steps.

Darcy leaned against the heavy support post at the top of the steps and watched him leap into his truck, grind the gears into reverse, then head toward the road. She realized her hand was clenched against her chest as if she was trying to steady her rampaging heart. Somehow she knew that kiss would come back to haunt her during the long, lonely nights in her bed in L.A.

I hope you enjoyed this sample from my book.  All of my romance novels are available individually as eBooks on amazon and they have also been republished as Romance Collections with similar books in their original full length and unabridged.  The Romance Collections are at a reduced price and available by going to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Here are a few important links for your use.  Have a great rest of your day.  Again…thanks for stopping.

My author’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

To order any book on Amazon go to http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

To contact me my email address is info@nightwriter93.com

Recent books:

AFTER MIDNIGHT REVISED

Romantic Suspense series:           After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense      Book #1

What started as a routine contact stop turned into a brutal double homicide.  Hooker to lover or low-life to no-life. It’s all in his hands.

OMG eBook 3

Young Adult Mystery series:          OMG, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery      Book #1

Albert Einstein said about time travel “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

BRB eBook Cover 2

Young Adult Mystery series:         BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery     Book #2

It’s difficult to investigate a crime that hasn’t happened yet.

 

Life's What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

Life’s What Happens is a New Adult Romance for ages 18 to 25 and beyond.

New Adult Romance:                   LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS

How did one night change over a million lives of new adults forever?

TUTORIAL: OMG = Oh My God, BRB = BE Right Back

All four books are available on Amazon at http://astore.amazon.com/nightwriter93-20

Additional details on the CUL8RTM time travel series is at http://www.cul8rseries.com

 

2013 Awards

After Midnight, a Denver After Dark Suspense

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for suspense

Finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  for young adult [9/1 final decision]

OMG, A C CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

First place in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for young adult

Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book 2013 Awards for young adult

BRB, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery

Named finalist in the Reader’s Choice 2013 Award  [9/1 final decision]

Life’s What Happens

Finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2013 for literature

TUTORIAL: BION =Believe It Or Not

CURRENT PROJECTS


BION eBook 1

BION, A CUL8RTM Time Travel Mystery [Bob Kat]

Estimate a July 28, 2013 release

Cries In The Night, a Denver After Dark Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Estimate a October 1, 2013 release

Scandals, a New Adult Romantic Suspense [Kathy Clark]

Set in Austin, Texas

Estimate a December 1, 2013 release

Check the progress on this blog or Kathy’s website at http://www.nightwriter93.com