By: Nina Pierce
Congratulations to "Jane", the winner in Nina's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
It seems authors are looking for that breakout story. The “different” that will make them stand out among all the books shouting for readers’ attention these days.
Like everything, the boundary of what is acceptable and what isn’t is being challenged. Werewolves, vampires, angels, demons and even zombies are competing in the paranormal world, sometimes to the detriment of the human species. Serial killers and stalkers are being chased in crime novels with the gore and horror factors bordering on blood baths. And in the world of romance, it seems every combination of human relationship is available and love is not always found in the bedroom.
But I wonder … how much will readers accept before they throw the book against the wall?
Is a flesh-eating heroine acceptable? How about a serial killer looking to change his path? A cheating partner who wants to be forgiven? Are these characters “redeemable” and how far would you read before you decide you can’t take it anymore?
I ask, because my newest romantic suspense novel, IN HIS EYES, has a hero, who at first glance, is a cheating husband. As a matter of fact, through most of the story, the reader is left to wonder what his true intentions are toward his soon-to-be ex-wife. I fussed and fretted over this premise, not really sure if readers would accept that the hero is truly head-over-heels in love with the heroine. Would they actually make it to the end and discover all the truths?
*** Giveaway ***
So what do you think? At what point is a character not worth your time? How much leeway are you willing to give a hero/ine before you decide not to finish a book? Are there things that are absolute “will not finish” for you?
One commenter will be chosen at random to win a $10 Amazon gift card to buy your own copy of IN HIS EYES or simply feed your romantic suspense book buying habit.
It’s always wonderful to be noticed … or is it?
To those around her, Maggie Callaghan appears to have the perfect life…a handsome husband, three beautiful children, and her own business. But beneath her thin veneer lies a dark past and self-doubts. When evidence of her husband’s infidelity surfaces, Maggie leases a cottage on the Maine coast and prepares for her inevitable divorce. But a serial killer is on the hunt—and he’s marked Maggie as his next victim. Now her beachside retreat is the focus of an undercover FBI investigation targeting the murderer who’s left a trail of bodies across two states. As lies and secrets are revealed, Maggie realizes her life depends on knowing who’s protecting her—and who’s got her in his sights.
Maggie stood awkwardly at the back door, grateful her children were tucked far away from them. Muffled TV dialogue floated down the hall and spilled into the dimly lit kitchen.
Disbelief washed over her, then humiliation, but it was anger that finally settled around her like a warm fog.
Her husband stood with his palm open, her wedding band set—including the ruby anniversary band Alex had given her the night Hannah was conceived—winked menacingly in the soft light. He hadn’t said a word since pulling them from his pocket.
“How dare you go through my things, Alex.” Fury boiled inside her and spewed out with the words. “I may not be living here, but it gives you no right to—”
“That’s right Maggie you aren’t living here. But that sure as hell isn’t because of anything I’ve done.” Fisted around the rings, Alex’s hand shook with fury. “I’ve given you everything. Worked my ass off for this family to provide a loving home for you and the kids. And what did you do? Throw it all away because of some foolish notion that I’ve got another woman.”
Maggie looked over Alex’s shoulder, praying the television was louder than her husband’s voice. “Alex, that’s enough. You’re going to scare the kids.”
“The kids? You walked out on them last week and now you’re worried about our children? Are you shitting me?” Alex paced back to the sink, his voice calmer when he turned and spoke, “Really Maggie, I don’t even know where to go with that one. All I keep thinking is how selfish you’re being.”
Maggie couldn’t hold back her laugh of disgust. “Now isn’t that the black pot talking.”
“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?”
“You don’t get it. You’ve never gotten it. This marriage has never been about me, Alex. Everything that’s happened in our lives has been orchestrated by you.” Her arms crossed instinctively over her heart, fortifying her resolve. Maggie had opened the door and now she had to be brave enough to walk through it. “The move from Connecticut the year my mother died? Since I was still finishing my Master’s and Luke was brand new, I’m thinking that wasn’t for me…oh, right Tom had a professional opportunity you couldn’t pass up.”
She tapped her finger on her temple as if she hadn’t been stewing for months over every hurtful thing Alex had done over the years. “How about when you and Tom opened your own firm and you had to work all those hours building your client base? Seems to me that was right after I started work at Summit, which left me juggling the boys and a new career.”
She snapped her fingers at him. “No, wait, I’ve got it! Maybe I was being selfish the year you and Tom decided to expand the firm?” She held up a finger as if contemplating the idea. “Mmmm, no, that wasn’t it. I’d just signed the ownership papers on the clinic, and suddenly we didn’t have enough money for my expansion.”
Maggie glared at him, too pissed off to swallow the venom dripping in her words. “So don’t tell me I’m being selfish in all of this. I’m finally taking care of me. And I thought long and hard about how to make this less confusing for our kids. There were a lot of straws gathering in my basket before the whole sordid mess with Denise. That’s just the one that finally broke our marriage.”
Alex stepped toward her, anger and resentment glinting in his eyes. “Mags, I can—”
“Don’t, Alex.” She threw her hand up between them, cutting him off. “I just don’t think I can stomach any more empty platitudes and promises you’ll never keep. Not tonight. Not ever again.”
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-his-eyes-nina-pierce/1117544616?ean=2940148950561&itm=1&usri=nina+pierce
USA Today bestselling author, Nina Pierce, resides in New England with her high school sweetheart and soul mate of twenty-nine years and several spoiled cats who consider her staff. She spends her days at the keyboard writing romance stories, blissfully creating chaos for her characters by throwing in a villain or two, a little murder and a whole lot of mayhem as they struggle toward their happy-ever-afters. You can check out all her books on her website (http://www.ninapierce.com) and follow her day-to-day happenings on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/author.nina.pierce) or twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ninapierce).
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Feb. 17th. 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 maureen@JustRomanticSuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.