I stumbled across this Challenge today and thought it might be fun to participate.
As most challenges (and I) go, sticking it out to the very end (after coming in part-way) will prove to be . . . a challenge.
I'll try to do this every week.
Today, and every Friday through December, I'm expected to blog about the topic assigned (which you are welcome to do, too, and each is explained in the image posted below).
Your only obligation is to use the hashtag #LifeBooksWriting and remember to include the below-mentioned image with each post.
My Recent Book
The last publication for me was Love Over Time, which is currently in 2nd Edition stage, but for today's post I'll discuss the book and include an excerpt I hope you will enjoy.
This is a Contemporary Romance with a Fantasy element that includes the ability for one of the two leads to see the past transgressions of her ancestors.
Kaisa Dalen is a freelance photographer on assignment in South Korea when a series of ominous events lead her to believe that 1, her life will soon end and she'll never experience true love, or 2, she's about to embark on a journey she's longed to travel in the hopes of discovering the secrets of her family's cursed past.
She opts for #2 but remains overly cautious about #1
Perry Lindstrom is a former Air Force pilot turned entrepreneur, owning a fleet of private jets and small planes to taxi and transport everyone from the famous rock star to the ordinary business traveler.
How They Meet
He's in South Korea to shore up the last of his slot allocation negotiations for rights and privileges to land and take off at Incheon Int'l Airport.
Like Kaisa, he's never been in love before but has plenty of experience dating and indulging in the one-night stand. And like Kaisa, he's interested in the idea of finding that special someone but will not hold his breath waiting.
They both survived cold, unaffectionate upbringings.
Kaisa knows that to fall for a man means heartache for her and tragedy for him. Perry watched his grandfather and father go through a few caustic marriages and relationships to know that he's part of a bad gene pool. He's almost convinced himself that the line of arrogant, stubborn, and foolish ends with him and that it might be best for everyone if he forgo love and breeding.
Then he sees Kaisa at the airport and everything starts to change.
And with Kaisa in the midst of one calamitous occurrence after another, she sees the handsome pilot as her latest victim and tries her best to avoid having 'those feelings' take over.
The connection between Kaisa's visions, the semi-disastrous instances, and meeting Perry are tied together.
They share an ancient past, and it is their ancestors who are responsible for causing the calamities.
As Kaisa puts the puzzle pieces together, she begins to understand the curse and why her mother and grandmother behaved as they had, and the stories they shared take on new meaning.
But Perry is becoming crippled by self-doubt and his awful memories of the two volatile men who raised him. He's afraid for Kaisa and doesn't want to end up like his father. He's seen the way the Lindstrom men treat their wives and lovers and doesn't want to be that way with Kaisa.
It becomes Kaisa's job to show Perry that they were both wrong in their thinking and that their mindset about the past needs to evolve.
In the end, they reach a compromise and agree to start over but by each other's side.
Method in Madness
I love to fly as much as I love to watch planes fly overhead (we live close to Metro), and late at night, when I'm outside looking up at the stars, I'll see the occasional high flyer and start to wonder where it is headed, who is on board, and what adventures they might encounter.
Perry gave me the opportunity to climb aboard his jets and go places, soar above the clouds, and get even closer to the stars.
Then there is the family curse: an ancient gypsy curse poxed upon my father's East Slav family a few generations ago (at least).
My upbringing and those of a few friends with similar dysfunctional families are incorporated in both Kaisa's and Perry's memories, and I decided it was time to lay this curse thing to rest in the form of a romantic ending to a tragic beginning.
I wanted both leads to be attractive yet flawed, and where anyone seeing them together would agree that they make an ideal couple even if the two being complimented aren't ready to commit. The 'looks aren't everything' scenario with a few twists.
A majority of the story centers around Perry's internal struggle with fear, doubt, and the past that need overcoming in order for him to move forward -- and Kaisa's having to deal with the startling visions and unexpected disasters that keep occurring whenever she is near Perry.
She's unwittingly watching the past unravel and can't do anything to stop or change it, but as a result, she learns how to do those things with her own life.
Perry's good friend from his days in the Air Force -- an attorney about to be wed -- and Perry is Best Man. He'll be there for Kaisa's good friend when the time comes.
Kaisa's good friend, a celebrity chef of sorts, loses his NYC restaurant and starts up a new, smaller place in Chicago. He's going to have another tragedy befall him on opening night, and Kaisa will wonder if it is her fault prior to the truth being revealed.
Since I published my first novel three years ago, I've received consistent complaints about Telling and less consistent complaints about POV.
I've tried over the years to study, tackle, and overcome these obstacles but apparently my best isn't good enough, so I am reluctant to put either published novel out there and attempt to market if no one is going to like what they read.
Which is why both Sing to Me and Love Over Time are in 2nd Edition mode as I'm working diligently to rewrite the stories in a way that the reader seems to want and will better appreciate.
Having to let go of ones own style isn't easy, and I tend to fall back on myself from time to time, which makes the editing process all the more daunting.
I also refuse to rewrite either novel so that it turns into something else entirely, and that has put the brakes on both projects numerous times.
But I prevail while also working on a 3rd novel in 4-part series form.
It's a lot of work, but it is what I enjoy more than anything else in my life.
So, without further ado, I am sharing a bit of Love Over Time with you and hope you like what you read.
From the end of Chapter 5
Somewhat embarrassed about the lack of interest on his part, Perry glanced at Jill, wondering if she might be faking it as well when she suddenly transformed before his eyes. Now it was Kaisa who ground her body against his, moaning and whining with erotic pleasure.
It didn't matter that the first thought to enter Perry’s mind was to zero in on her bared breasts. The luscious mounds had been on his mind for a while now.
Gulping, he let his hungry gaze trail along her slender, shapely body, stopping where they had joined as one.
“Holy hell,” he muttered.
Sitting up slowly, his eyes wide with shock, Perry cautiously reached out to her. It amazed him how badly he wanted to touch her face again and feel the warm softness of her smooth skin against his trembling fingertips. He wanted to run them through her gorgeous hair and offer a reassuring smile to let her know she was a definite keeper.
Instead, he cautiously slid a thumb along the outer rim of her beautiful face.
He could feel himself grow and pulse inside her sleek, supple body, and he slid a hand behind her slim neck, wanting to draw her to him for their first kiss.
Release overpowered him, and he struggled to keep his eyes open so that he could continue to stare at her. The last thing he wanted was to blast off too soon.
Kaisa’s sultry eyes turned vicious, the enticing grind of her curvy body came to an abrupt halt, and before Perry could react, he watched in dread as she twirled that heavy purse of hers overhead.
“No,” he breathed, extending a hand to block the blow. “Wait! You misunderstand! This is just a dream! We’re not really . . . doing it.”
The bag connected with his temple and Perry fell onto his back, dazed and in pain. When he came to, the impulse to rub where the side of his face burned him couldn’t be denied.
He noticed Jill stomping in place at the foot of the bed, and he knew that she was angry; even yelling at him, but the words made no sense to him.
“Who the fuck is Kaisa?” Jill demanded, holding her high heels near a bared shoulder and glaring at him sideways.
Perry sat up with a start and blinked. “H-who?”
“Shut up!” Jill dropped the shoes and stepped into them without looking or needing the insertion of a finger at the back of her heel. “How dare you!” she cried. “I was having the time of my life, Perry! She must be real ugly to make you go limp that quick.”
Heat burned Perry’s face, and mortification made him hesitate before glancing at his crotch. It was more stiff and throbbing than it had been when they started, so he shot Jill a look of utter confusion.
"Go to hell," Jill mumbled as she turned to leave.
Perry scrambled to zip up his trousers, the urge to let Jill walk strong, but he bounded off the bed anyway and started toward her, needing to apologize.
Jill slapped his face before swatting at his outstretched hands.
Stunned, Perry slowly reached up to touch his burning cheek, realizing it felt similar to the purse blow Kaisa had dealt him in his too-vivid imagination.
“Get away from me, you creep! I don’t ever want to see you again!”
Another minute passed before Perry came to, and after a good shake of his fogged head, he turned to beg Jill to listen but she was already down the stairs.
“Jill, wait! Let me explain!”
Jill didn’t wait and apparently wasn’t interested in whatever it was he intended to say. Without looking back, she grabbed her faux fur off the sofa and stomped to the door, throwing it open and disappearing before it clicked shut behind her.
Groaning, Perry dropped to his haunches and set his palms against the sides of his flushed face.
“What the hell just happened?”