Monday, July 3, 2017

Make Your Own Romantic Suspense Mad Libs!

With: Shana Figueroa

Congratulations to "Janet K.", the winner in Shana's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Have you always dreamed about writing your own romantic suspense story? Well now you can!

In fact, it’s really not that hard. Here’s a plot line generator that any aspiring author can use to write their own bestseller:

Step 1 – Fill in the following info:
  1.     Precious stone
  2.     Profession
  3.     Number greater than 1
  4.     Animal
  5.     Relative
  6.     Verb ending in -ing
  7.     Ominous-sounding name
  8.     Manly name that can be shortened to something even manlier
  9.     Pick one: Navy Seal/Marine/Special Forces Soldier
  10.  Profession
  11.  Liquid
  12.  Vice ending in -ing
  13.  Noun
  14.  Shortened version of [8]
  15.  Body part
  16.  Display of affection
  17.  Body part
  18.  City
  19.  Body part
  20.  Pick one: burned by/not ready for/not deserving of
  21.  Verb ending in -ing
  22.  Noun
  23.  Body part
  24.  Meat item
  25.  Flower
  26.  Body part
  27.  Famous person
  28.  Relative
  29.  Reasons
  30.  Noun

Step 2 – Insert answers into this plotline:
TRIGGER WARNING for [4]s, [12], and [27]
[1] is a [2] taking care of [3] [4]s by herself after her [5] died in a tragic [6] accident. Though she’s lonely, she’s accepted her sad life as an unavoidable price she must pay in order to stay safe from [7], who she’s sure is responsible for her [5]’s death even if the police don’t believe her…

[8], an ex-[9], is a [10] battling inner demons after his partner died on a botched raid on [7]’s hideout three years ago. One day, he wakes up in a pool of his own [11] after another hard night of [12] to discover a mysterious message on his [13] from one of his old squadmates: “[7] is coming for [1]. Protect her!” What could it mean?? [14] has no idea who [1] is, but he can’t pass up the opportunity to face his old nemesis, so he tracks her down.

When [14] shows up on [1]’s doorstep with the most spectacular [15] she’s ever seen, as well as a warning that [7] is coming for her, she doesn’t know whether to run from him or [16] him. Despite how he makes her [17] tingle, she can take care of herself, thank you very much! However, when her house mysteriously catches fire, and she and her [4]s barely make it out alive, she admits she has no choice but to go into hiding with [14] while he figures out how to stop [7].

On the run together, [14] forms a plan to confront [7] at his secret hideout in [18]. Despite being constantly distracted by [1]’s luscious [19], he knows he needs to keep his mind on the mission. Besides, why would anyone want him? He’s been [20] love.

After teaching [1]’s [4]s the deadly art of [21] to protect [1] while he’s gone, [14] goes to [18] to confront [7]. But it’s a trap! [14] is badly hurt by a vicious [22], but manages to escape.
When [14] returns to [1], she patches up his [23] with such care that [14] cannot deny his attraction to her any longer. [1] admits she feels the same, and since her [4]s are conveniently somewhere else at the moment, he unsheathes his [24], and makes sweet, sweet love to her perfect [25].

Suddenly, [7] shows up! He put a homing beacon in [14]’s [26], knowing [14] would lead him to [1]. [7] then rips off an amazingly life-like mask to reveal he’s really [27], who is also [1]’s [28]. He’s always hated [1] for [29], and wants her dead. No one can stand in his way now – except [14]!

Unfortunately for [27], [14] is now filled with the vigor and energy only sexual healing can provide, and he uses his [30] to defeat [27] and save the day!
Now that [1] is safe and [14] has learned how to love again, they live happily ever after with [1]’s now-deadly [4]s, who [14] loves as his own. The end!
See? It’s just that simple. Change the pronouns for an LGBTQ angle, or throw in some kinky sex scenes for an erotic edge if you want, or some animal shape-shifting/vampires/werewolves/etc. for a paranormal twist. The possibilities are endless!

by Shana Figueroa
Pub Date: July 11, 2017

Hell hath no fury like Valentine…

Five years. It’s been five years of blissful peace for private eye Valentine Shepherd and her hot-ass husband, Max Carressa. Five years of watching their twins grow up healthy and happy, even as Val waits for Hell to unleash its fury. Her enemies have been planning, and Val knows she doesn’t have nearly enough weapons to protect her family…

Yet Val and Max have one advantage—their insatiable desire for each other allows them to see into the future, and the visions they share may just give them a chance. But as events are set into motion that endanger everyone Val’s ever loved, she’ll do whatever it takes to stop the horror she’s already seen.

Buy Here:
Val sat at the foot of the bed, sipping coffee and watching Max futz with a tie in front of the bedroom mirror. From the first floor, Lydia’s laughter reached them through their closed door. Hopefully that meant the kids were already warming up to Jamal.

“You’ve never heard of a group of guys who go to a secret smoking room or possible sex club after work, have you?” she asked.

Max’s hands stopped. He looked at her through the mirror, an eyebrow cocked. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Is that a no?”

“Yes, that’s a no.”

Thank God. She probably wasn’t dealing with an evil sex-slash-faith-healing cult again. Chances seemed slim, anyway.

He continued knotting the purple silk around his neck. “Is this related to Lacy Zephyr’s visit a couple days ago?”

“Maybe. Yes.” She’d told him Lacy came by, but had kept the details to herself out of respect for her first client in about half a decade. Now she realized she couldn’t get Max’s help without bringing him fully on board. She’d tried keeping him in the dark once before, during her investigation into Blue Serpent; it had turned out disastrously for them both. The specter of Lacy’s disapproval could take comfort that Max was good at keeping secrets. “How well do you know her husband?”

“Aaron? Not well. I see him at meetings sometimes.”

“So you don’t know what he does in his spare time, say after work?”

“No idea.”

She regarded him over the rim of her mug, drumming her fingers on the sides of the ceramic.

Max straightened his tie, glanced at her in the mirror, and frowned. “Don’t even ask.”


“No. Aaron and I aren’t friends.”

“But you could be.” Lord knows he could use more friends. Of course he could say the same thing about her, especially since Stacey took off five years ago for destinations unknown, but this wasn’t about her.

“I’m not palling up with someone I barely know just to find out what he does after work.”
“Okay, fine.” She took another slurp of her coffee. “Could you at least find out what his schedule looks like over the next week or so?”

Shoving the end of the tie under his vest, he turned to face her and shook his head.

“Then I’ll have to spend all day and night staking him out. Don’t know how long that’ll go on for. When my mom comes to visit in a couple days, you’ve got it covered, right?”
Max’s gorgeous hazel eyes drilled into her, his lips tightened in a half-smile. Hot damn, never had bemused frustration looked so sexy. She loved twisting his screws just to get that look.

“To state the obvious, you are manipulative,” he said as he snatched his suit coat off a loveseat in the corner and slipped it on. “I’ll see what I can do, alright?”

She jumped up and kissed him, careful not to slop coffee on his suit. “Thanks. You can punish me later.”

“You bet I will.” He slapped her ass and seized her lips with his, kissing her with such force she thought he might throw her on the bed and make love to her right then. When his kiss turned her insides to liquid and she started pulling at his belt buckle, a feverish desperation for him burning in her belly, he pulled away, stepped past her, and bounced down the stairs.

She gasped, the void where he used to be like a splash of cold water to her face. “Tease,” she called after him.

He snickered the rest of the way to the first floor. Yeah, real fucking funny. She’d make him pay for that. He wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight, that’s for damn sure.

Valentine Shepherd Series:
Vengeance (Book 1)
Retribution (Book 2)
Reckoning (Book 3)

Shana Figueroa is a published author who specializes in unique romance and humor, with occasional sojourns into horror, sci-fi, and literary fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two young daughters, and two old pugs. By day, she serves her country in the US Air Force. By night, she hunkers down in a corner and cranks out the crazy stories lurking in her head.

Connect with her at

Comment on any Character Portrait blog post on my website to enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 4th. 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. Hi Shana, When I read "collects teeth" I went to Julian's portrait to find out why!

    janet_kerr at msn dot com

  2. Awesome! Yup, Julian is a messed up guy, even though he's so, so pretty. Just the way I like my characters, personally. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  3. fun

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Very clever & informative.


  5. This is a new series for me. It sounds very interesting. There are some interesting and frightening characters in the books. I commented on Julian's portrait.

    library pat AT com cast DOT net

  6. Your plot line generator was interesting. If it were that easy, everyone would be putting out books. The important part is to have the talent and writing ability to do it well.

  7. amazing and unique outlanderstark at gmail dot com


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