Interesting writing prompt for this week’s blog challenge, a really relevant one for me. Just when I thought I couldn’tpossibly become a better writer than I already am, (just kiddin’ 🙂 ), I discovered the beauty of a prologue (not kiddin’ about that), and highly recommend using them to writers who have not tried it. (Not kiddin’ about that either).
Seriously, though… prologues?… no. Up until recently, I never used one in any of my works, not in the true sense of one. Then I did in my last novel I finished this month, from the experience I realised it’s a game changer for the story, reader and me as a writer…. yes, it improved all three elements of the latter.
When I published the first book I ever completed, the publisher at the time really encouraged prologues in books, but what I have learned since then is that how they encouraged their use, was not really a prologue in its true form. It was more like a copy and paste of an existing part of the book, to ‘grab the reader’ , I was told at the time. So I went with it, it really made no difference to me, the story I don’t think or even the reader. As they re-read the same thing later in the book. From research, from what I understand and correct me if I’m wrong, a prologue is an introduction or scene setting and not something that appears again later down the line.
In my most recent works Sacrifices a romantic suspense, with a hint of history to it, once it went through a round of editing, my editor pointed out ‘Kim, this really needs something here.’ I walked away like ‘hmm, okay so I need to add a new scene to ‘introduce’ the story.’ This is largely as, if you have seen the film Pulp Fiction, I have ‘stolen’ ‘been inspired’ the talented movie director Quentin Tarantino’s, excellent story telling technique. I start my story twenty-five years ago, but not twenty-five years ago from the present day…from the 1960s! Which makes the opening scene the mid- late 1980s…then tell the story ‘back to front’ if you like, to end up in the present day, while moving through different points and key events from 1960s- 1980s in different countries, and then the present day!
I know I’m nuts, right!? Imagine how much fact checking and challenge it was, to give birth to a story like that. Thankfully, and very proudly it works, it came together finally. So anyway, once I got that feedback I reflected, then decided I do need a prologue in the present day, before we head back and move forward. I really researched into what the general feel is on prologues, and the use of them as I never worked with one, or used one before properly. I’ve simply never needed to. A lot of what I read, stated that ‘you should be able to tell the story without a prologue or a epilogue.’ I reflected, I saw this point of view and understood it, as that’s how felt before, I wrote Sacrifices.
I also read a lot of articles that advised romance writers to ‘stay away from them’! One very popular romance author wrote a very interesting article advocating using one, also stating that in her experience ‘readers loved them’, especially epilogues. Yes…I used an epilogue also, but this was already there due to the nature of the story, and ending.
So in all honesty, I believe that as a writer, experimenting with a prologue has actually made me a bit of a stronger writer. It feel it has also added an extra layer of ‘wow, that’s a cool story, and not a rehash of current romance themes’ to my current work. I also feel that readers will be able to keep up with the pace, and connect with the story, due to the technique I used to write it with the addition of the prologue.
Now, I’m a strong supporter from this experience, and I’ve learned what a true prologue is, not a copy and past to ‘grab someone’. It’s a whole new scene, setting, part of the story or peel of the onion to unwrap, to draw a reader in. It’s also very very helpful when writing from a historical perspective, where you are not always in the present day.
Yeah…I think I’ve convinced myself that I am a prologue lover, as well as a epilogue lover and I would do it all over again, if the story called for it with no hesitation. I’m always one to happily break rules to…so as a romance writer, I won’t ‘stay away’ from them as generally in the genre it’s not something that is used often or supported, so they say. I’ll do what the story is calling me to, and allow myself to become better and write stronger stories by not being bound to rules! So in response to this week’s writing prompt for romance writers ‘ prologues helpful, or hurtful?‘…. Helpful 100%. I recommend you all do too, look at your last or current works, regardless of what you write or your genre. Do you need a prologue, what about an epilogue? It might just help, and change the game.
One year ago this weekend, I released the first in my Romance Set in Paradise series novella- Havana Heat. The second , Lover’s Retreat quickly followed and the third… well my friends I sent the first three chapters to a literary agent , she responded positively and wants the full book when it is done!!! Now I just need to write it in between everything else! Wish me luck, I’ve set myself a deadline.
Havana Heat is FREE to download on Amazon happy Mother’s Day and I hope you enjoy
Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.
When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.
5:00p.m. James & Clarkson Partnership Manhattan, New York.
Richard looks forward to tomorrow’s business trip to London. His excitement made him personally organise the hotel reservations, for him and his business partner, rather than have his personal assistant do it. He has not been to London for several years. The city and its vibrancy excite him. The last time he recalls was shortly after his divorce, when he went through his celebrational ‘I’m free and single’ phase. At thirty-nine he is happily divorced, and doesn’t intend on exploring if he can get marriage right a second time. His ex-wife was a handful to say the least. She spent his money faster than it came in, to his surprise the vow of faithfulness was not high on her list of priorities either. Richard has always deep down been a one-woman man, prior to his experience with his ex-wife, he’d look by all means but never touch. Divorce changed him and his willingness to commit, in fear that he’d be taken for a fool again. Three years have passed since he received his divorce papers from his lawyer, women have come and gone. He has moved forward from his ex-wife emotionally; however, he remains hesitant to trust anyone with his heart or fully commit. Yet he longs for companionship, of late it has felt like a constant catch twenty-two battle, between his logical headstrong attitude and his real wants and desires.
While marriage is off the cards, if he is honest with himself, he would not turn down the chance to spend time with a woman who not only pleases him between the sheets, but also has half a brain. In New York while there is no shortage of beautiful looking women ready and willing to please him, the deeper level of connection just has not happened. For now, he put dating –serious dating to one side. He plays the field as and when he feels fit, or lust takes over him.
The last memory he has of London he and fellow shareholder in James and Clarkson Partnership, Dan James, along with a few mutual friends hopped on a flight across the Atlantic to ‘The Big Smoke’ three years ago. The diverse people, the narrow, busy pavements of central London, and most importantly the women are all vivid in his mind. To Richard, there is something alluring about British women, they ooze class, intelligence and style. More than what his ex-wife oozed. Why he had been so blind to marry her is still a mystery to him.
“Excuse me sir, sorry to bother you Mr. James is here to see you.” Richard spins around from the coffee machine to Nina, his personal assistant. Nina is stunning and of Mexican descent. Her mocha skin, delicate features, curvy figure and chestnut brown shoulder length hair, send all the right signals to his lower region. He has a hunch Nina has a ‘thing’ for him, it’s written all over her face. Every time she comes into his office the look she gives him makes it clear. As he watches her just as closely from across his office, he never fails to notice the extra sway in her hips or undone button at the top of her blouse each morning.
He thought about starting something with her, dinner, a movie, nothing fancy. Dan James his partner warned him off. ‘Don’t fuck with the help.’ Has been his motto for years, he learned his lesson when they were young and just starting out in business. Richard had to manage a female employee who wanted more from him, right after he bent her over his desk and had his way with her.
Richard sighs with lust as his gaze washes over Nina, in a black pant suit with a sharp white fitted shirt tucked in. The curve of her ample breasts strain against the buttons. As she plays with a string of pearls around her neck, his eyes focus on her chest. Richard shakes his head and clears his throat, somehow hoping it would remove his ex-rated thoughts from his mind.
“Sure Nina, send him in.”
Nina turns on her high heels and sashays out of the room. On cue the extra sway in her hips returns. Richard’s core lights up as he watches through the glass partition how inviting her behind looks, as she moves across the open plan office outside his own. There she goes again, what a prick tease.
About The Book
The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.
Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.
After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.
It’s dark already and it is only 6:00p.m London time, autumn has truly set in. So, you probably remember I wrote a story for a anthology called Code Redhead- A Serial Novel, with thirteen other great authors. My old publisher donated the sales revenue to charity for a year, I was thrilled to use my passion to write to help a charity cause and raise money for cancer, this was in 2016 … remember? Good. Well I checked my contact and it has expired, I’ve decided not to republish my work as a standalone under them, I now I have my rights back over my work. So what does this mean?… Instead I will revamp this story a bit then it will be book #1 of another romance series I have in mind. e.g. my new release! As well as my Romance Set In Paradise series, I want to write a some romance novellas set in cities around the world… more like ‘sin in the city’ to be exact,these stories will be a little steamy. 🙂
I was going to send my work out on query to other publishers and agents, then after some thought I realised as it has already been published once (and I don’t plan to re-write the whole story I rather like it as it is, I’ll just expand it as the word limit all authors had for the anthology was only 13,000… tiny!) Most publishers won’t republish in this case, as some of it has already been published once… never mind I’m happy to do my own thing! This one will be a self-publish to kick off the series.
Right now, I looking for Beta Readers to add to my list I already have. I wish to send out a draft of this short steamy novella over the next few weeks, once I’ve combed over it, Beta Reader feedback would be great. If you’d like to Beta Read a free copy of book #1 of my ‘Sin in The City’ romance series then contact me here. Send me an email via ‘contact Kim’ and let me know. I am not a touchy writer, ( which you probably know already if you have followed me for some time). I don’t need praise I need some honest feedback even if it’s “Kim this is shit… because.” I have thick skin, so don’t think I want praise, I want honest feedback to better the reading experience, based on your reading experience of the draft before publishing. That said if your feedback is ” Kim this is great,” then I’ll dust off my shoulders, do a happy dance and continue to spin some sinful romance for this series.
The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook’s Christmas release.
Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette’s paperbacks!
WHAT’S THIS BOOK ABOUT? An affair. Heartbreak. Consequences. Absolution, redemption, and love… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced.
Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal, a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the “tragedy of her life” to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.
A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.”The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.
Today, we bring you Chapter 2: PINK PANTIES.
“Help! I can’t listen–I don’t have headphones handy, I’m at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I’m more of a reader than a listener, you know?”
PREFER TO READ? We’re on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants’ eyes only. Your password is erotictragedy2, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 2: PINK PANTIES.
FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!
TODAY’S PRIZE: For a chance to win your very own copy of Consequences (of defensive adultery) by M. Jane Colette, enter here:
KIM’S GIVEAWAY: As part of the Pink Panties tour hosted here, I’m giving awaySixAmazon Gifted copies of my Romantic Suspense Novel A Stranger in Franceawarded “Best Romance 2017”, (by Visual Fantasy Con Literary Arts Award). Enter below, winners drawn at random on the final date of the Pink Panties tour (Nov 22nd). Also right now Havana Heatbook #1 of my romance series Romance Set in Paradise is now free to download on Amazon.
GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 2: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette’s novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:
put #ConAudioTour Day 2 in the subject heading,
ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you’re already on her mailing list, and it’s awesome, when’s the next love letter coming?) and,
answer the question: “Whose pink panties are we talking about here?”
Hint: The answer’s contained in today’s chapter.
(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.)
Jane Colettewrites tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.
As you know guys, my romantic suspense novel A Stranger In France has been nominated for the award, “Best Romance Novel 2017.” I found out today, this is so amazing just to be considered for such an award. I was in the lead, now I’m neck and neck in second place ,just seven votes under the present author… WHO IS TEAM KIM? GIMMIE YOUR VOTE! I’D LOVE IT.
I’ve read a lot of this author’s work and I always really really enjoy her writing style, and plot lines. In my view she excels at paranormal romance. I read her last novel The Homecoming which is part one of a series. You can read my review here. When it comes to contemporary romance what I love in her work is the drama jeeezz… and steamy sex scenes! Let’s get into the review.
You guys know me by now, I hate to giveaway all the spoilers. As a brief outline this is a novella length book. Reader’s follow Tori’s story she was once a super model, before she had an accident that left her unable to work. She has scarring on her face. Her path crosses with Mr. Burns (Mark), enter Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. He’s rich, witty, demanding, and I kinda liked him a lot for all of this, his personality really shines. So like I was saying… Tori applies for alternative work, as she can’t be a traditional model. She lands a job as his assistant. Mark is now blind, he too had an accent that left his sight reduced.
After some serious push and pull, drama that takes them from the countryside, to another state in the USA, to a Valentine’s Day ball and an old admirer puts in an appearance, these two likeable characters find a very heart-warming happy ever after. Both professionally and emotionally as a couple.Oh… yeah the hot sex is there too that’s not missing! *grins.*
I’m giving Valentines Vision five well deserved stars as firstly I have to tell you, this is a NOVELLA length book. Taking an educated (writer’s) guess looking at page count, I would say maybe about no more than 20,000-25,000 words. Within this small word count the author’s writing packs a punch! What I love about Tammy Tate’s style generally is she’s fast paced and engaging with it. The character development is good, you get a sense of who they are as people. I’ve not read a book where I’ve not experienced this. In this short novella she delivers again for me personally as a reader. The story line has some very realistic issues that could crop up for two people in this situation, a blind man and a scarred ex- model with their own insecurities. This is another thing I like about this author’s work, as a romance writer she crafts stories about love that are realistic.
The steamy scenes are always good too. I’d be lying to no one but myself, if I tried to deny, that I breakout in a girly giggle when I read her well crafted scenes. In this novella she delivers again.
Overall this novella is well worth the read, has a great male lead, packs a punch with the story line and has a lovely HEA every romance lover and reader seeks. Great job five stars.
Valentine’s Day is approaching and Tori signs a five-year modeling contract with a high-end perfume manufacturer. The ink isn’t even dry when she’s thrown through the windshield in a horrific car accident. Despite a deep laceration to her face, the doctors say it’s a miracle she’s alive.
Tell that to a Dallas girl who was on her way to becoming America’s next top model.
With her funds dwindling, Tori scans the classifieds for a job. Preferably, one that doesn’t require a pretty face to sustain a decent wage. One ad stands out among the others. A Personal Assistant to the blind son of an oil tycoon. What more could she ask for?
Tori didn’t expect her new boss to be witty, buff and extremely handsome. Mark didn’t expect to be captivated by his new assistant’s gutsy mindset. When his eyesight is restored, will Tori still be the desirable woman he envisioned? Or, will tragedy strike twice for the ex-model?