D. F. Krieger

Monday, January 30, 2012

Must Read Monday: Sinful Urges

I can't express how excited I am over this book. It doesn't even release until this Friday, but I simply must pimp it now!

Follow the confessions of Juan and Maria as they fall prey to lust at first sight. Can they stop themselves before it's too late, or will they become victims of their own sinful urges?

A new neighbor sends Juan running to confession to rid himself of the lustful thoughts he experiences. Each confession becomes more erotic, more sinful than the last. Can Juan stop himself, or will he give in to the desire that threatens his very faith?

The man across the street causes Maria to question her own morals. When she seeks out a priest for confession, she weaves a tale of exotic kisses and stolen moments. How can Maria find sanctuary in her prayers when her body demands she finds solace in her neighbor's arms?

When this manuscript hit my inbox, I read it in one sitting. I was caught up in the internal, emotional, and spiritual struggle that Juan and Maria face. And trust me, the author does a hell of a job in portraying those things.

Normally, I don't like books about an affair. Affairs are ugly things and hurtful, not a romantic tryst with angelic music in the background. But the way this author weaved the tale, the way the book ended...Wow. Just wow. I was sitting there, staring at my screen thinking, "I will do anything in my power to make certain we publish this book." Yeah, it was that good and the ending was that unexpected. I will warn you, this book is not your average romance. It does not contain an HEA, but it is a sizzling read that will stick with you long after you've finished reading. ~ D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writer's Wednesday: Mary Sue

Oh my, where to begin on this subject? I suppose a simple, "Don't do it!" won't suffice? No? Well, hell. Alright, *rolls up sleeves* let's get to it then.

Mary Sue - Much like the term "Jane Doe", Mary Sue is a faceless, indistinct creature that is suffering an identity crisis.

Oh fine, I'll give you a real definition.

Mary Sue- A writing term used to describe a character (often the heroine) who has no distinct features, personality, or character traits. The character is flawless, unrealistic, and one in which readers can not identify with.

I read manuscripts, a lot. Readers read books, a lot. What do we have in common? We're both more likely to read the entire thing if we see a character that really clicks with us. What makes your hero/ine so different, so unique, so unlike everyone else's?

The trait that defines your character can be emotional, physical, or an ability. In Wings of Obsidian, a work I'm currently writing; Lisandra (my heroine) has a scar running down her cheek. She's suffered from rape and abuse, which has left a nasty chip on her shoulder. She hates dragons with a passion, yet she's the best dang mother you'll ever meet...to her half-dragon daughter.

Why yes, that does create a world of conflict. That's why it has a strong basis for a story. Now I'm not saying everyone should be this extreme, but for the love of all, give us a character that isn't just like that one person in that one book/movie/TV show.

And for god's sakes, give him or her a flaw (because Mary Sue can be a man too, ya know)! Even Superman had his Kryptonite. In Sail My Oceans, Lucy Verr has orange and yellow hair with vivid orange eyes. Now granted, she's only half human, but her physical features allowed her to stand out in the galaxy of Emerald Solis and probably in the minds of my readers. Colten from Maybe Baby is almost 40 years old and has graying temples and a scar on his thigh. He's been in the military for years, he's not going to look perfect. In Midnight Masquerade, Anya is a powerful witch, but even she can't see the details of her own potential love life. Her power is limited.

Here's a check list I'm throwing out from the top of my head:

Is your character living off money trees? (Aka-Do they not have a job but they can spend as much as they want to do whatever they want? Double points if they are a billionaire.)

Is your character physically flawless? (Double points if they have a physical ailment but it in no way affects their lifestyle.)

Is your character so powerful that no one can defeat them?

Can your character suddenly defend themselves during a fight with an item, creature, or ability that was never previously mentioned?

Has your character ever experienced anything emotionally traumatic? (Double points if they have and didn't even bat an eyelash.) (Note: It drives me crazy when "normal" people are introduced to a paranormal creature/society/etc and they just accept it.)

Does he/she have traits that are unrealistic to her realm or species? (Aka- Modern society, completely human, but has purple eyes.)

Does your character have an unusual name compared to their background? (A human raised in a Catholic family is not likely to be named Azreal or Lucy Verr.)

If you answered yes to most of those, you might be in trouble. It would be best if you investigate further by taking an official test here: The Original Fiction Mary Sue Litmus Test.

That concludes the lesson for today! Questions? Comments? ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, January 16, 2012

Must Read Monday: The Arcane

I must admit, I don't have any author's releasing again until February. My New Years Resolution was to find balance between work and pleasure. With this in mind, I decided to search through Breathless Press' site to find a book that I wanted to read out of sheer pleasure. What I found, was this...
Summoned to earth by a witch demon prince Adame must survive and return to his own world in time to battle for his throne...but that means leaving his witch behind.

Roseline hasn't had the best of luck with magick. When she accidentally summons a demon prince to earth, things spiral out of control. Her coven wants to banish him, his rival sends assassins to kill him, his brothers are hunting him, and she has to figure out how to send him back where he belongs in time to battle his sadistic cousin for the throne. The last thing she expects is to fall in love with him.

Adame, enraged at being summoned and enslaved by a witch just days before the tournament for the throne of the underworld, finds himself falling in love with the witch. Though he doesn't want to leave her, he knows he must. The fate of both planes hangs in the balance.

First of all, look at that cover. Is that not the most interesting cover you have ever seen? Yeah, it caught my attention instantly. I sat down with high expectations...I was not disappointed. I read this book in one sitting, I kid you not!

Now, I will warn you, the pacing is a little fast. It isn't as detailed and languorous as I would have liked, but it wasn't the sex fest I feared it would be either. I loved that. The heroine didn't go, "Oh, sexy demon prince!" and jump into bed with him. YAY for realism. If you want a quick, enthralling read that makes you hope for a sequel, I highly suggest this read. ~ D. F. Krieger

Friday, January 13, 2012

Naughty Nights Blog Hop!

Welcome, Hopper!

I understand you are here for the free goods baby. Can't say I blame you. Looking at the list of fellow participants sparked excitement in my own blood, a sensation of lust for the need...to read! I'll make you an offer you can't resist (or at least one I hope you can't).

<--- See those three book covers over there? Yeah, the ones that have D. F. Krieger as the author (or in the case of the anthology, one of the authors). I'll be giving away one .pdf per ten commentors. So if thirty people leave a comment, that's three chances to win. Which one, you ask? The winner gets to choose which book they receive off my list to the left.

I'd also really, really, really appreciate it if you followed my blog. It isn't completely necessary, but it would mean a lot to me, just the same. Cause, let's face it, I'm one of those people who judges her popularity by how many hits she gets on her blog per day. ;)

So, Hoppers, you know the routine. Leave a comment with your e-mail addy and on Monday the 16th, I'll be contacting the winners. If you want to get back to the Naughty Nights Blog Hop, just click the badge over here ---->

Thanks for stopping by!  ~ D. F. Krieger

~Romance From One Realm to the Next~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Show & Tell

Yes, today we are going to talk about that dreadful topic: Showing versus Telling. Oooh, aahhh--Ack! I do believe this is one of the hardest subjects to understand, spot, and tackle. Let's start with something easy first, shall we?

He closed the door firmly.

Now, this is where I would leave my authors a comment that looks something like: "ly" words are often a sign of telling. Try rephrasing and replacing please. Here's an example of what could be done:

With a firm grip on the handle, he shut the door and ended the conversation.

Yay word count! Yay visuals. Because now we know he's probably angry or upset and we know he's walking away from a dispute of some sort. Yeah, yeah, I know we would have already gotten that from the surrounding paragraphs, but isn't this more fun? And doesn't it underline his emotions so well? (Nod and smile, people!)

Let's try another one. Mannerisms (those things that aren't dialogue tags but action after or during dialogue) are often riddled with telling in many manuscripts. I'll throw one at you I see a lot!

She blushed.

*Yawn*  Boring! Now we know our heroine, or at least the female being discussed, has a Pikachu effect going on (and I just proved to my 6 year old that I can make Pokemon references in my posts!). Moving on--There are two ways to change the above. If we are in the heroine's POV then we need to be sure we avoid head-hopping so:

Her face heated, her cheeks prickling as she blushed over his compliment.

If we are in the perspective of someone else, say the hero, it would look different. Because he can't feel the sensation of the blush, it would be physically described.

Redness crept along her cheek bones as she began to blush over his compliment.

One way to spot telling is to look at your actions. Do you merely state what the person is doing without any emotion? Did you use "ly". Could you give us more feed via sensations? Using the senses is a wonderful way to combat telling.

The man who stole her person began to run away. "Oh no you don't!" Carina ran after the fleeing criminal. She wasn't going to let him get away with stealing her favorite purse.


The man who stole her purse took one look at her, sneered, and fled down the alley way. "Oh no you don't!" Carina narrowed her eyes and sprinted after him. Her heart pounded in her chest and a lump formed in her throat as she drew in each ragged breath. Her track days were certainly long behind her, but she wasn't about to let this petty thief get away with her purse. That was her favorite one!

See the difference? You get so much more swept up in the story when you can identify with the emotions and sensations. Thus is the art of showing versus telling. Questions? Comments? ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, January 9, 2012

Must Read Monday: Timeless Heart

This is a story I read a good six months ago and it has stuck with me. No, I didn't edit it, but I highly recommend it. I like time travel romances, though I don't read many of them (something I'm really going to have to change). This is Timeless Heart.

Sandra Cranston, an elementary teacher on leave, discovers a carriage deep in the woods. Inside is a man, Jerrod Ross, who fuels all of her wicked Regency dreams and fantasies. 

Ross has been torn from the only world he has ever known—1821 Cornwall, England. How will he adjust to the future and his growing desire for the lovely lady who found him? More importantly, how will he ever return to his time?

I enjoyed this read because of how well she stuck to what would be Jerrod's normal customs. He wasn't a modern man and he didn't have modern habits. He treated what we consider every day objects with complete puzzlement. Some of his reactions were downright hilarious.

Also, shave scene. You can find it in the excerpt if you click the above cover image. Wow, I never knew something like shaving could be so darned sexy! Yes, please k thanks! Plus the emotional conflict "Should I stay, should I go" really tears you in two for the characters. This is certainly a must read! ~ D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Dialogue

Dialogue can be the hardest or easiest thing to write, depending on how moody your characters are. For some of us, we can hardly get the characters to shut up long enough for us to write the pertinent story line. Other characters need liquoring up and (occasionally) the administration of illegal substances *cough*truthserums*cough* before they will even tell us their name. Regardless, dialogue, like many things has rules. Yes, rules.

As an editor, I can tell you that one of the biggest and common mistakes I see are dialogue "tags". Dialogue tags are used, along with the speech itself, to enhance what a character has said. However, actions do not qualify as dialogue tags.

"I love you," she murmured against my throat. <--That is correct. We know her voice was soft and slightly muffled by the intimate placement of her mouth.

"I love you," she kissed his throat. <--Red Flag! Here is where I would be inking my authors. Kissing a throat is an action. It is NOT a dialogue tag. So the appropriate form is:  "I love you." She kissed his throat.

Does this make sense? Okay, good, moving on to mistake number two.

Snarled, hissed, growled, laughed, giggled, grinned, smirked, etc.

No, no. *Whack* Bad! I know your shapeshifter is sexy and alpha and all kinds of grrr protective when he's around your heroine, but I don't care how close to his beast he is-- he cannot literally growl words. Go ahead, try it...

So unless you are super-talented, that didn't work out so well, did it? You can try the others now, if you like. No? Well, let me make one admission. You can hiss words...sorta.

"S-s-so, sh-h-he wants-s-s to write?" he hissed. <--Words with an "s", "sh", "th" and sometimes "ch". Though this is still under debate, I'd strongly suggest using common sense in the situation.

"Not now," she hissed. <-- Sharp syllables and clipped sounding words do not allow for hissing. Even Smeagol couldn't hiss all his words, precious.

And that concludes today's lesson. Any questions? ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, January 2, 2012

Must Read Monday: Breaking Delia's Rules

My greatest apologies for the lateness of the hour. To be honest, I completely forgot today was even Monday. If I may, I would like to present to you a wonderful novella titled Breaking Delia's Rules.

Five days, three rules and one sizzling seduction.
Delia has just three rules for dating. First, a man should never assume he’s the only one. Second, he must stick to his scheduled day and time. Third—and most important—no sex. Enforcing the rules has never been a problem until she meets the hottie from the pool.
Jace has only five days to make every moment count. The more time he spends with Delia, the more he realizes she may be The One. With the clock ticking, he realizes there is only one course of action to take if he wants Delia's heart. Can he convince Delia that rules are meant to be broken?
Can I just make one statement? I LOVED that this book was about a woman who was in her twenties and...wait for it...Still a virgin! Yes, that's right. No slutting around for Delia. That alone made me adore this heroine. She was attracted to men, enjoyed dating, but didn't put out just because. This is a concept sorely needed in today's society, if you ask me.
I also enjoyed the setting of this book. Beautiful beaches, a cruise ship, foreign islands - It made me long to take a cruise myself. I like it when settings aren't a dime a dozen. Plus, the twist at the end had me smiling because this author makes you believe in fate and love at first sight, even for a skeptic like me. ~ D. F. Krieger