Friday, April 15, 2016

Aftershocks

By: Natalie J. Damschroder

Congratulations to "Mary P.", the winner in Natalie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I’ve written a lot of different kinds of romance, and I’ll never write a book or story that doesn’t have romance in it. But I confess that I need more. That’s why all of the books I’ve written in the last decade or so are romantic adventure. The feelings the characters have for each other make the high stakes (up to “saving the world” level) more personal.

Occasionally, I need more complexity in the romance itself. A while back, one of my publishers said something about “me and my triangles.” My characters’ romantic triangles, that is. Now, I’ve written a LOT of books. And most of them don’t have triangles. So I protested that it’s only two! Okay, counting the YA, three. Oh, wait, four. *sigh* Okay. I like triangles.

There’s an evolution of reasons for that. Years and years ago, Silhouette launched a line called Bombshell. It was PERFECT for me. Romantic adventure! In every single book! But they were trying something new, and making the romances a bit less traditional and standard. Some of the stories had romantic triangles, and some were series (Stephanie Feagan’s Pink series was one of my favorites!). You know how everyone argues about Ranger versus Joe? It was like that for Pink, and I loved reading those kinds of romances.

I tried really, really hard to sell to Bombshell. Romantic adventure was perfect for me. My first attempt was too romancey. I tried a couple more manuscripts before the line closed. Most of those have been published, and some have won awards. But my publishers always want the romance to be made closer to standard and a bigger part of the story.

I get it. I want to know my characters wind up together at the end, too. Having a triangle can add a layer of uncertainty and excitement that can be great, but is risky because what if the reader is rooting for one guy and the heroine winds up with another?

Urban fantasy has a long history of romantic entanglement beyond one-on-one development. That’s where I started with both The Color of Courage, my upcoming superhero book, and Under the Moon. But I like to have resolution of the romance and not carry it out beyond that first book, which drags me back into the realm of romance, which carries certain expectations.

All of this is to explain why my latest release, Aftershocks, defies those expectations.

Remember the movie Sweet Home Alabama? Reese Witherspoon has set up her perfect life but has to finalize her past before she can step into her future. She has to choose between Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas, and of course the rough-and-tumble husband she’s trying to divorce is her “right guy.”

There are a lot of romances like that, where one of the characters thinks they want something/someone but it’s clear to everyone—from reader to fictional friends and family—that they’re wrong. But what if they weren’t? What if both guys defied expectations and turned out to be more than previously believed? What if they both seemed right for the heroine, but she had to figure out who she is and what she wants before she can make the right choice?

That’s Aftershocks. Zoe’s fiancé, Kell, is a Boston attorney. Her ex-boyfriend, Grant, is a beach bum when he’s not a mercenary. When her past roars up to threaten her present, protecting lives could mean destroying the future. She thinks Grant’s the only one who can help her, but when Kell refuses to be sidelined, he shows he can rumble in the dirt, too. And Grant, unexpectedly, polishes up well. She sees deeper into both men, and herself, and has a lot of hard truths to face before the end. (And of course, there’s plenty of action along the way. NO lack of adrenaline here!)

So the book defies romantic convention and is therefore out-of-genre. I want readers to know what they’re getting into before they start.

Giveaway:
So, tell me in the comments how you feel about romantic triangles! Include your e-mail address, because one commenter will be selected to win a copy of one of my backlist titles in digital format of your choice.

AFTERSHOCKS

Her past and her present collide with earthshaking results. Who will be her future…assuming she has one?

Sixteen years ago, Zoe Ardmore was abducted and held for a year before she escaped. After struggling to overcome the damage done by that year, she has put it behind her—completely. Her fiancé, Kellen Stone, doesn’t even know it happened. She has a successful career and social life untainted by the past.

Now her abductors have been released from prison, jeopardizing every part of that new life. She took something from them, a treasure they’ll never stop seeking, and they’ve threatened her new family if she doesn’t return that treasure. The problem is that she has no idea where it is. The solution? Grant Neely, the one person who knows everything about that dark time. He’s now a mercenary with the connections and skills to help her resolve this mess. He’s also the man whose proposal she refused ten years ago.

Zoe breaks her engagement and sells her company in an effort to remove the threat hanging over the people she cares about. But the only permanent solution is to find the treasure and destroy it so her enemies have no reason to come after her or anyone else. Grant’s the one man who can help her, even if it means dredging up old feelings. But then Kell shows up, refusing to be sidelined and showing Zoe that none of them are who they seem to be. At the end of her quest will be the hardest decision she’s ever had to make—if she’s around to make it.

Purchase From:
Amazon (exclusively for a limited time)


Read an Excerpt Here!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 16th. 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.

16 comments:

  1. Now and then, I like to read a triangle romance. I just feel bad for the one who is left out in the end. yenastone at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always feel bad, too, Tammy. But then maybe they get their own story and happy ending! Then it's okay.

      Delete
  2. Sounds exciting!! I don't read many romantic triangles...but sometimes when they are done in such a good way that they end up being so good!! Looking forward to giving this romantic triangle a try!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this is one of the good ones for you, Sue! :) And if it's not, that's just fine. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Congrats on the new release! I don't mind romantic triangles as long as there is eventual resolution. The Ranger V. Joe thing has gone on waaaay to long so I gave up. I like the idea of 2 gorgeous and talented guys chasing after me, but eventually, a choice has to be made or a 3-some understanding reached :) thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I hear you, Erin. In Aftershocks, there's resolution by the end of the story. I haven't given up on Joe v. Ranger yet myself, but it's definitely not as compelling as it was for the first 10 books or so. :)

      Delete
  4. I enjoy them as long as the characters feel like its the right thing for them... do not like to see major struggles and jealousy within... if one is left out, I want them to have their own chance to find happiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Understood, Colleen. I don't like those angsty emotions, either. Or at least, not that kind. In Aftershocks, Kellen and Grant's respect for each other overrides most of the jealousy. The fact that they're focusing more on the quest and protecting Zoe than on the romance itself helps temper that, too. It's why I like to read/write romantic adventure. It keeps everything balanced! :)

      Delete
  5. I normally don't go in for triangles but I also try to keep an open mind. A friend recently wrote a story about the king of a small country and a movie star. I told her I didn't like romances with royalty involved. No princesses, princes, kings, queens, etc. for me. However, since she asked me to read it and give an honest review I agreed. I actually enjoyed it because I love her writing style. So I guess it largely depends on who the author is and the premise behind the story. debbiemac73 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all have our preferences, and royalty (politics in general) is one that doesn't draw me, either. But you're right. It's pure joy when something you expect not to like turns out to be really good. If you win, I hope you find Aftershocks falls into that category! :)

      Delete
  6. I don't purposely look for triangles as a storyline but I have really enjoyed the ones I've read that fall under this category. I prefer one of the males to eventually do something unforgiveable to justify their not getting the girl in the end or to get their own happy ending by the end of the book or series. That way I don't feel sad for them. inishowencailin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inishowen, that definitely makes the choice easier! I usually fall on the "happy ending" side of things. :) Thanks for commenting, and good luck!

      Delete
  7. don't like them

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not a big fan of triangles, but I get how they work for a story. "out-of-genre" - love that.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. It really could be part of that conversation about whether a romance novel has to have a happy ending. To me (though I know not to everyone), it's a grayer area. Two of the characters *are* together and happy at the end of a triangle story, where there's nothing happy about a main character dying. But it's all part of "what makes a romance," right? :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete