I have a Facebook Group!

I’ve found my Facebook author page to be a bit shout-y. Facebook structures things so that anything shared to the page is hidden in a corner unless it’s by the page’s administrator, i.e. me. I don’t like the monologue effect that policy creates. So I’ve started a Facebook group where everyone’s posts appear on the front page. Woohoo! for equality :)

If you’re interested in joining and chatting about paranormal romance novels, the group is The Collegium series. Into the Wild Woods we go!

The Collegium series, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance,

Writing Paranormal Romance

paranormal romance, kindle unlimited,In 2016 I’m concentrating on my paranormal romance series, The Collegium, and have an ambitious publishing schedule up for all the world to see on the front page of this site. Focussing on one project, if multiple different stand-alone novels, builds its own momentum. I live and breathe paranormal romance, and this post falls out of that obsession.

What does a paranormal romance novel need?

In writing, there’s probably no rule that shouldn’t be broken, if you know why you’re breaking it. That’s definitely true for paranormal romance, but…you really do need to honour readers’ expectations. But what are they? As a long-time paranormal romance reader, this is what I look for and what makes a book a re-read:paranormal romance, kindle unlimited, djinn justice,

  1. fundamentally hopeful
  2. some banter/engaging dialogue
  3. curious world that somehow critiques real world
  4. alpha male hero
  5. strong heroine
  6. charm

Every reader’s list will be different. And how do you measure (or write) charm?

Writing a paranormal romance novel

There are four key things to concentrate on when writing your paranormal romance: characters, conflict, plot and world building. Your writing style is also crucial, but you’ll develop your voice your own way. I think dialogue is vital, and working on crafting it so that the hero and heroine’s style are distinct is important to me.

Characters – The hero and the heroine are the focus of the novel and must have bold developmental arcs. Paranormal romances are fantasies, and most fantasies are quests. Quest tales set characters on an external journey, and an inner, personal one–and sometimes the two mirror each other. Readers have to be committed to the quest, and part of this is forging an emotional connection with the characters. Make the characters’ motivation for their quests irresistible, give them quirks (flaws as well as strengths) and remember that fictional characters are larger than life. Draw them slightly oversize and they’ll ring true for readers.

Conflict – Paranormal romance, being part of the romance genre, has to have an emotional plot as well as an adventure one. The characters have to fight to change, to grow and to achieve their quests. The tension really ramps up if the hero and heroine have opposing goals where one will have to sacrifice their absolutely essential goal for the other to achieve theirs. Force the stakes as high as you can go, then double them!

Plot – I tend to think of paranormal romance novels as quest stories, but sometimes they’re quests for truth, as with mysteries, or quests for identity, as with trying to get home, find a family member, or attain knowledge. The important point is to put your characters on a journey. There should be successes and failures that hit hard. Each unresolved issue should ramp up the tension till it’s excruciating at the disaster point that hits just before everything is happy ever after. Be aware of any dangling plot threads. Paranormal romance readers demand a satisfying happy ever after (or at a minimum, happy for now). Anything that doesn’t drive towards that memorable ending–well, why is it in the book?

World Building – Work on your world building. Be imaginative! Readers crave new ways of seeing the world–or escaping it. But make sure it’s coherent. What is the theme of the world you’re building? Dystopian? Arcadian? Industrial? The world should support and intensify your characters’ quests. Add in small details–remember the charm I was talking about earlier? You want to make your world special, and one that readers want to invite other readers to enter, and to return to themselves. It can–and arguably, should–challenge readers. After all, in re-imagining the world we are implicitly critiquing it. Think about adding a touch of humour to lighten things, even dark irony. Humour builds a relationship with the reader. It draws us together, bound by our shared recognition of life’s absurdity.

No matter how unique the constructed world of paranormal romance is, the emotions keep it real.

Enjoy the fairytale

Paranormal romance novels are modern fairytales, stories we tell and retell about surviving the tough times and risking everything for love.

 

 

Cover Reveal – Doctor Wolf

I can’t wait any longer to share the cover for Doctor Wolf, the fourth Collegium series paranormal romance novel. It will be out late April. More details – like a sexy snippet and a pre-order link, soon!

paranormal romance, kindle unlimited, urban fantasy,

Liz Jekyll might be the most wanted wolf-were in London—wanted for dating, that is—but she doesn’t take it as a compliment. In fact, it’s a wretched nuisance because Liz has a vital secret to hide. What she needs is a disinterested wolf-were who could pretend to be her boyfriend.

Carson Erving would be very interested in Liz if it weren’t for Gentiana Aeternae. The botanist wolf-were from Alabama has found the legendary Elixir Gentian, and ruthless people will do anything, kill anyone, to get their hands on a plant that can grant an extra hundred years of life.

As danger explodes around them, two very independent wolf-weres will have to do the unthinkable and rely on one another. But when Liz’s secret is revealed, who will die?

Dragon Knight, kindle unlimited paranormal romance,

Don’t forget! Dragon Knight is out Feb 27 and available for pre-order now!

Dragon knight Gina Sidhe serves Earth’s only resident dragon, and she’s been issued with a quest. She must return with Lewis Bennett, President of The Collegium (the world’s magical order of peacekeepers), so that he may learn the Deeper Path of Magic from the dragon. A path that has been denied to Gina, and one she desperately wants.

But Lewis isn’t interested. He knows his magic has gone, burned out amid a terrible tragedy. Which makes his current task all the harder. He must restructure and repurpose The Collegium in the wake of a shocking and sly demon attack. He doesn’t have time for Gina’s quest, until she offers him the one thing he can’t have: a hidden route out of his Collegium life.

Because Lewis has his own quest, one secret and lethal, to save the world from a threat no one else believes in.

dragon knight, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance, urban fantasy,

Sky Garden Book Tour

Edited: The winner of the gift card is Kat! Congratulations, Kat, and thank you to everyone who participated in the tour. It was fun!

Sky Garden book tour, Sky Garden, Jenny Schwartz,

Be sure to check for the new link every day for the next three weeks. Apart from my intelligent and hilarious posts (I exaggerate 😉 ) there’s a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

January 25 — Talking Books Blog

January 26 — Christine Presents

January 27 — The Reading Addict

January 28 — Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

January 29 — Room With Books

January 29 — Straight From The Library 

February 2 —  Independent Authors

February 3 —  Writers’ Wonderland

February 4 —  Queen of All She Reads

February 5 —  T’s Stuff

February 8 —  Long & Short Reviews

February 9 —  Harlie’s Books

February 9 —  Musings & Ramblings

February 10 — Archaeolibrarian

February 10 — Harp’s Romance Book Review

February 11 — Welcome to My World of Dreams

February 11 — It’s Raining Books

February 12 — Where the Story Comes First

Book Events

Sky Garden book tour, Sky Garden, Jenny Schwartz,Next week I begin a three week book tour for Sky Garden, my contemporary London thriller that released late last year. It will include a chance to win a $25 gift voucher, so be sure to check in often. I’ll be posting a link to a new post every day. Thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing it and to all the bloggers participating. I answered a lot of interview questions for the tour, and some of my answers even surprised me! Other times I wrote posts on some surprising topics. Look out for the 5 things you’d never guess about me post.

dk2Almost as soon as the Sky Garden tour ends, I’ll be gearing up for the release of Dragon Knight on February 27.

Dragon Knight is the third book in The Collegium series, but as always, is easily read as a stand-alone novel. It’s available for pre-order at 99c, and on release will be free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Dragon knight Gina Sidhe serves Earth’s only resident dragon, and she’s been issued with a quest. She must return with Lewis Bennett, President of The Collegium (the world’s magical order of peacekeepers), so that he may learn the Deeper Path of Magic from the dragon. A path that has been denied to Gina, and one she desperately wants.

But Lewis isn’t interested. He knows his magic has gone, burned out amid a terrible tragedy. Which makes his current task all the harder. He must restructure and repurpose The Collegium in the wake of a shocking and sly demon attack. He doesn’t have time for Gina’s quest, until she offers him the one thing he can’t have: a hidden route out of his Collegium life.

Because Lewis has his own quest, one secret and lethal, to save the world from a threat no one else believes in.

dragon knight, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance, urban fantasy,

I’m currently hard at work on Doctor Wolf, the fourth Collegium book. There’ll be a cover reveal and draft blurb soon! Its release is scheduled for late April.

Time and How It Runs Away

Has anyone else noticed we’ve nearly finished two weeks of 2016?

I have been so busy writing and am now deep into revisions. By the skin of my teeth I’m keeping to my ambitious writing schedule. There are so many things you have to do as a self-publishing author.

My neighbour doesn’t help. Power tools outside my study window – from 6:30am one day! His wife was similarly unimpressed. I could hear the shouting. But man + power tools = noise. Maybe I don’t really want to live a suburban life? *contemplates moving to Antarctica*

Have I mentioned it’s mid-summer here and HOT? The air con is getting a work-out. And before it gets too hot in the mornings, I’m trying to go for a walk. Not everyday (I loathe exercise), but I’m trying.

Then friends and family are having lives — which means there’s been some knocks already in 2016. It’s really hard when all you can do for someone is be there.

All of which is to excuse the lack of blog posts here. I’m kind of keeping up with Facebook and popping into Twitter, but everywhere I can save some time, I’m saving it! I wish we could time hoard for when we need extra hours.

How’s 2016 treating you?

 

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of 2015 here in Australia. I think I’m ready for 2016. I know it will contain a lot of writing  :)  You should see my publishing schedule for the first half of the year! Ambitious puts it mildly.

I hope you have a lovely and safe New Year’s Eve and that you dance into 2016 with joy and energy to achieve all your dreams.

2016 ha