Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Promise

Congratulations to "Susan T." the winner of Joan's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
*Contains adult content

At several points in my decade-old writer’s learning curve, I’ve heard the term “promise”.  The concept relates to a promise the writer gives the reader at the outset of a story and relates to the type of read a writer is offering the reader, whether it be a non-stop thriller, an investigative tangle or a tantalizing seduction.  And promise can be offered in a variety of ways, through content, voice, premise, structure.  That is up to the discretion and creativity of each individual author.

I was reminded of the promises we make our readers during an intensive writing course I took with Margie Lawson at her home in Golden, Colorado.  I was revising BLAZE at that time and after rewriting the beginning passage--several times--I read it aloud to the other participants.  This particular section, written in the point of view of my heroine, an FBI sharp-shooter, gave her no-holds-barred narrative opinion of another commander on the scene, which included expressions such as “he had a dick the size of a peanut and had to compensate by making everyone else’s life a living hell.”

Margie tipped her head, frowning.  “You’re making quite a statement there about your heroine.  You’re promising the reader something with her demeanor and her dialogue,” she said.  “Is she going to live up to it?”

I had to think about it, but only for a second.  “Yes.”  I nodded, resolute.  “She’s quite a handful.”
And she is.  All the way through the novel.  One I hope the reader can’t help but love.
Here is another quick peek at Keira…

Luke only half-expected a valid response to his demand, so it didn’t surprise him when Keira pushed back instead.

She narrowed her eyes and leaned away, as if the distance gave her a better perspective. “Who the hell are you? You sure as shit never talked to me like that before, and you have even less right to talk to me like that now. So curb your attitude, Agent, unless you want a big fat harassment write-up in your personnel file.”

“Save it for someone you scare, Agent, ’cause it sure ain’t me. We both know something ugly is going on here. Considering this involves me on a personal level, I’m owed an explanation.”

She snorted a disgusted laugh. “Good luck with that.”

“You’ve still got a talent for top-shelf sarcasm.”

“Reserved for the privileged few who earn it.”

He’d had enough banter. “Listen—”

“No, you listen. I am not one of your ATF groupies. I do not respond to your orders. You have obviously forgotten that you are no longer my supervisor—not that I ever listened to you when you were, but that’s beside the point. You have also forgotten that I don’t like being bossed around.” Her voice dipped in warning. “Let me assure you, that hasn’t changed.”

A wave of respect washed his anger down a notch. He couldn’t remember the last time someone talked back to him. All his relationships after Keira—if they could be called that—had been more about distraction than challenge. And watching her eyes sparkle at him with attitude and force now, he realized how much he’d missed it. Damn, he’d loved that spunk. That independence. The way she never let him get away with any bullshit. It still pissed him off, but with an edge of excitement that flipped a switch on his sorry-assed life.

He took a slow breath to tame his temper. “You have also, evidently, learned the politically correct way to tell someone to fuck off.”

What author or a book can you think of that makes a tough promise up front and delivers in the end?

Joan will be giving away a paperback of BLAZE to one winner in the US/Canada.

Book 2
The hotter they come, the harder they fall…
With a man like him, every mission becomes personal…
Ever since FBI agent Keira O’Shay started tracking a young boy named Mateo, she’s felt a connection even her empathic abilities can’t explain. Sheneeds to save Mateo from the cult leader holding him hostage. Nothing can interfere with that—not even the reappearance of Luke Ransom, the hot-as-hell fire captain she’s regretted walking out on for three long years.
Losing Keira left Luke vulnerable—in every way. When they were together, the powers each possesses were mysteriously enhanced. But it’s the sexy, surprising woman beneath the tough exterior that Luke’s really missed. Even if she betrayed him utterly. And even if agreeing to help her uncover a government conspiracy means watching his life and his heart go up in flames again…
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Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 30th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. First of all thanks for the free download of Intimate Enemies yesterday. I enjoyed the blog yesterday and all of the fun fireman quotes. :)

    What a juicey exceprt from Blaze on today's blog. I know I'm going to love it. Here's wishing you continued success with all of your books. malvernolsonatgmaildotcom

    1. Thanks Mal! Hint: in the back of Intimate Enemies there is an offer for my next self-published book free if you leave a review for IE...preferably on Amazon, but other sites are great too. Check it out. :)

      Hope you love both books!!

  2. Wow that is a tough question. I think there was so much hype surrounding Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, it really could of disappointed bur thankfully it lived up to it's billing (and the long wait after book 4).
    Congrats on your success. I've seen some good buzz about Blaze in the last couple of days and of course I would love to win it.


    1. Hi Judi, Shadowfever must have been top notch to live up to the hype that was built. That's fantastic!

  3. Boy, I really don't know the answer to this one because I find all the authors I read are a bit insecure. They really don't need to be but they all seem to worry about the success of their current work. I can't imagine the stress you are all under. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

    1. Hi Victoria, Yes, it's very stressful. And the reason it's stressful is because the sales of our current work dictates whether or not we'll get a future contract. Because when we try to sell to a publishing house, the first thing they do isn't look at the work...the first thing they do is ask about prior sales, or research prior sales. If our current work isn't making the sales numbers, we know when we go to sell our next work, it either won't sell or it will sell for far less than it's worth.

  4. Excellent-- and tough-- question! I tend to take promises (authorial or otherwise) with a grain of salt to avoid unrealistic expectations from both sides, but often find that hype messes with those 'promises'. Case in point of hype (which is not necessarily the author!) promising more than was delivered: the 50 Shades trilogy. And Twilight. *shudder*. On the opposite end of the scale: Sylvia Day's Crossfire trilogy. And J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter: talk about promising a lot from book #1! [And, regardless of my opinion on some of the middle books, and whether or not the ending & epilogue were pure fan service, I think she did remarkably well delivering with all the pressure, the hype, and the 10+ year span of the series!]

    I'm sure BLAZE delivers at every turn :)


  5. I read the Fever series and it is one of my favorite UF series. There's a cliffhanger at the end of every book and I think the "promise" I took from it is expecting the event to be a big or exciting one. It was! It's disappointing when there's a big hype over the next book and a cliffhanger and when it comes time to read it's not such a big deal.

    Sometimes I read a series and the story is about a character I may not have liked but I will read it anyways because of the series. Many times I'm surprised at how much I do end up liking the characters. The author did a good job in redeeming the character :)


    1. That's tough to do -- redeem characters in a readers eye!

  6. Thanks for the free download of Intimate Enemies. I got it. I do feel that nearly every author I read, delivers what they promised.

    1. YAY! Fantastic Tammy! Hint: in the back of Intimate Enemies there is an offer for my next self-published book free if you leave a review for IE...preferably on Amazon, but other sites are great too. Check it out.

      It's great that you're reading such awesome authors!

  7. I didn't know there aS a politically correct way to tell someone to fuck off, LOL! Thank you for your awesome blog tour and for the chance to win!
    ehaney578 at AOL dot com

  8. I've read Fever and enjoyed it very much so I'm glad there is a secind book.

  9. That is a tough question. Usually when there is a series, the story continue on. But once in awhile, a book would appear and the story just doesn't deliver all that wonderful storyline in the previous books. It's almost as if that particular book which received not so good a review, the next book really redeems the storyline.

    Anyway, I am enjoying reading Intimate Enemies. It is my first book of yours.


  10. In terms of feisty heroines, Kresley Cole has them in spades. She makes that promise every time she releases a new book (some heroines might be more mouthy than others, but all of them are forces of nature), and I have never been let down. Hopefully that continues, but she's got a great track record. :)

    Julieguan at gmail dot com

  11. Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld characers.


  12. I think J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood fits that bill. They always live up to their promise.

    seriousreader at live dot com