Research Tips for Authors by Olivia Night #amwriting #romancewriters #Authortips

Research can be like a four letter word for some authors. However, here are some tips from author Olivia Night to make the sometimes daunting task a little more bearable.

RESEARCH TIPS

When I started my very first novel, I knew immediately that I was going to need to do some a significant research. I knew nothing about the arms business, Sierra Leone or its vibrant customs and culture. Research was not something I had considered a necessity before I got serious about writing novels. But now it’s one of my favorite parts! (Dork Alert!)

Poorly researched novels stick out like sore thumbs and can sometimes communicate to the reader that the author just really didn’t care all that much to get things right, even if that isn’t the case.

Research can a dreaded task when writing, so here is a list of research tips that I live by.

Tip #1 – It is totally okay to type “(need information here)” in your manuscript as you are write instead of stopping at that moment and finding the answer you need. I do this quite frequently, especially if I am on a roll – so to speak. This leads naturally to the next tip.

Tip # 2 – Commit and then sit down and do the research. It’s much harder to get a clear picture of political environment of say, Tunisia, if you research five minutes here and ten minutes there.  Tell yourself you are going to research the hierarchy of wolf packs for thirty minutes and research not only what you need but as much as you can.

Tip # 3 – Notes, notes, notes.  Just doing a copy/paste into a new document isn’t going to actually give you the knowledge that you need to write. Or write well. Of course you want the information on hand when you need it but, you need to understand the information as well. At this point in our lives we are all pretty aware of how we best learn. Do that. Because it’s important to…

Tip # 4 – Do more than regurgitate information. It is pretty easy to spot information within a novel that is simply reworded or paraphrased from somewhere else. As the author of your book or series it’s important to have a real understanding of what you are writing about.

Tip # 5 – Google Earth! I have spent so much time on google earth. I want to get even the smallest details correct. This includes street names, landmarks and restaurants. I’ve used it to chart a hero and heroine’s trip from Hungary to Scotland, to describe the street view of downtown Asheville and to paint an accurate picture of the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia and Maryland for my most recent work, Bad Blood, with Crave Publishing

Tip # 6 – Ask questions. When I was researching human trafficking laws within the European Union tons of questions came to mind. I spent the time and researched to find those answers. Then when I was writing about the human trafficking ring in one of my novels the words just flew off the tips of my fingers. Of course, a lot of what I learned was not included, but that didn’t matter. I felt confident in my knowledge as opposed to nervous that I may be getting something wrong.

Research may not be the most favorite pastime, but it’s a necessary evil to create a well written book.

I think of it as a way to really immerse myself in my characters world. From that lens, it becomes fun!

ABOUT OLIVIA NIGHT

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid reader and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Men of FTI  eries sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, drinks wine, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, whom she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.

Website: http://olivianight.weebly.com/

 

Romance Heroes Are Real… 

Romance heroes are real, aren’t they? We at Crave think so!

Romance Heroes: Fantasy vs Reality by K.L. Ramsey

I was talking to a friend, a few days back, and she just finished reading one of my books. The first thing she wanted to know was if any of my characters are based on real life people that I know. Every time someone asks me this question, I want to tell them yes, just to see their expressions. How many hot, built, alpha males do you know? I know that my honest answer is zero. Although occasionally, I stop at a red light, look over into the car next to me and swoon at the guy driving. But, I digress.

The question of how real my characters are always makes me wonder what they think my life is truly like. Sure, we all know a guy who likes to work out and is easy on the eyes. Some of us have that gorgeous girl friend who makes guys a little tongue tied. But the characters in a romance novel are a lot to live up to, for us real life, plain old humans, that are just trying to remember to brush our hair in the morning before heading out the door. And, isn’t that the point? What hard working mom wants to sit down to read a romance novel about a new mother who hasn’t showered for three days and has baby spit-up on her shirt? We want to be swept away by the characters in a romance novel and escape from reality, for at least a few hours.

I’ve recently started listening to country music and my favorite songs are by men who sing about women being their angels, or these mythical, perfect creatures who don’t exist in real life. While my teen son sings along to the lyrics, I try point out that what these men are looking for is a perfect woman, and they don’t exist. It’s a lot to live up too and a whole lot of pressure for us regular, non-angelic females out here, just trying to get by. Of course, the same could be said for the alpha male hero’s that romance writers love to come up with, to make our female (and male-hey guys!) readers swoon.

Maybe we have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to imagining the perfect male or female lead, to swoop in and sweep us off our feet, but why not? So, the next time one of my readers asks me if my characters are real, I’m going to tell them that they are. They are real to the readers who are looking for an escape from reality, if only for a few hours. They are manifestations of everything we think that we want in our significant other. Because, lets be honest- a sweaty, smelly guy from the gym, is only sexy on paper.

K.L Ramsey’s story Untouchable will be featured in the upcoming anthology, Craving Forbidden releasing September 25, 2018.

K.L. Ramsey was born and raised in Maryland. As a child she struggled in school, having to attend speech and reading therapy. Her teacher told her that she would never be a very good reader; that English was just not her thing. She continued to struggle until eleventh grade, when she signed up for a Creative Writing class. Her high school teacher saw her potential and submitted a short story, that K. L. had written for class, to a local literary publication. The story was not only published but won an award for best short story. Knowing that someday she wanted to become a writer, K. L. received her BA in English from Salisbury State University.

K.L. Ramsey currently resides in West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!). She lives with hunky scientist, two now not so little people, and six fur babies. In her spare time, she likes to read romance novels, attend WVU football games and drink wine with girlfriends.

To connect with K.L. visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/k.l.ramseyauthor/

Limitless Publishing, LLC Reader’s Choice Award Winners!

Congratulations to the Winners!

Thank you to all those that voted in our first Reader’s Choice Awards. Congratulations to all our winners!

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Carnival of Fear FINAL paperback

Best Short Story in a Horror Anthology – Carnival of Fear: Smoe by Erin Lee

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Young Adult/YA Romance – Nowhere Girl by Fiona Keane

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Best Short Story in a Romance Anthology – Craving One Night: At First Sight by Rita Delude

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Horror and Dark Fiction – The Rest Will Come by Christina Bergling

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Contemporary Romance – Unexpected Love by Evan Grace

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Romantic Suspense – Demons by J L Drake

Hot for Teacher? Write for Crave Pub!

Crave Publishing, LLC is looking for short stories for our new anthology, Craving: Teacher

It's Back! (3)

Crave Publishing, a division of Limitless Publishing, is accepting short stories for the contemporary romance anthology Craving: TEACHER. Completed stories should be 10,000 words (7,500 minimum, 12,000 maximum, with 10,000 as the ideal length).

There’s always that one teacher or professor, the one who’s a little too hot or looks at you a little too often. And there’s always that one student, who is as precocious in the bedroom as in the classroom. And we love those steamy, sexy, forbidden stories about how the rules don’t stand a chance against chemistry.

Your story should involve a setting of college or graduate school, with a student and a professor, thesis advisor, or other similar position. The student must be over 18. You might have a male student and female teacher/instructor, or female student and male teacher. High “heat” levels are encouraged, but please don’t stray into hard erotica, and you should have a “happily ever after” or a “happy for now” ending.

NOTE: Please be very sure your authority character does not use any degree of coercion or undue influence on the student character.

Interested authors should email with a short summary (not to exceed 250 words) of their story in the body of the email and attach the following in two separate Word documents:

  • Document 1: Your complete, edit-ready short story of approximately 10,000 words. Format as follows…
    • 1” margins, 12-point Times New Roman
    • Auto indent for paragraphs of 0.2” (Do NOT use tabs)
    • Single space, with NO additional line space between paragraphs
    • If your story contains chapters, use a page break (control+enter) to move to the new page. (Do NOT hit multiple line returns to reach the new page)
    • Please include a short bio of approximately 100 words at the end of your story, including primary social media links.
  • Document 2: Author’s recent publishing history and current social media links

STORY DEADLINE: Please submit your story by 5:00 p.m. US Eastern time, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2018. (Hard deadline, no exceptions.)

Complete, edit-ready stories should be sent to lori@cravepublishing.net.

Authors will be notified on or about OCTOBER 15, 2018 if their story has been selected.

PLANNED RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 22, 2019.

Please email lori@cravepublishing.net for more information.

NEW RELEASE: Covet by Rosanna Leo #amreading #romance @cravepub

35387774_1722079734584892_6619466835693666304_nCrave author Rosanna Leo stopped by to give us an excerpt and an in depth look at her new release, Covet.

A review of Covet By Rosanna Leo

I’ve been asked by the good folks at Crave Publishing to do a different sort of book feature. In short, I’ve been asked to review my own book, Covet, Vegas Sins 2. Of course, this won’t be the sort of review in which I give myself a star rating or tell you how fabulous my book is. Actually, this is meant to be more of a deep dive into the story.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. Covet was actually a book I never intended to write. You see, when I first penned Vice, book 1 of this series, I envisioned it as a standalone romance. However, Jennifer O’Neill and Lori Whitwam of Crave Publishing kindly suggested I consider expanding it into a series. I was so honoured by their suggestion that I began work right away. At the end of Vice, I resolved the romance between earlier characters Kate and Liam but there was definitely some wiggle room to continue the story of my fictional casino hotel and the people who work there.

I knew right away my hero would be Alex Markov, the man we get a peek at in Vice, but I wasn’t sure about who his heroine would be. It wasn’t long before I met my heroine Dana Hamill. She appeared to me out of the blue, as these characters often do.

In every book I write, I try very hard to come up with a fresh angle or conflict. I also try to tackle topics I’ve never tackled before. This time around, I decided to address the subject of infertility.

Why? Because I don’t think we see it often enough in romance. Very often, when a fictional couple falls in love, we hear about their plans for marriage and children. However, there are alternate endings out there. Not everyone has kids. Not everyone can. And there are plenty of people who choose not to. I really wanted this story to speak to them and to the readers who wish to read about them.

Heroine Dana learns she cannot bear children at the start of the story (no spoilers, I promise.) The knowledge throws her world into turmoil, especially regarding her fiancé Tommy. She is a proud, successful woman who knows her own worth and yet she has to grapple with unexpected emotions when the man she loves rejects her. In many ways, this is Dana’s story, her journey to acceptance and peace.

Along the way, she meets hero Alex. What begins as a steamy, surprise hookup with a handsome stranger ends up turning into a months’ long obsession for both of them. Alex is grieving and suffering from a secret shame and is definitely not looking for a new romance. But life has a way of surprising us.

How can I break Covet down for you? It’s an emotional ride. You may cry a few tears but I hope I leave you feeling all the love between these two characters as well. This book is about hope and acceptance and forgiveness, and I hope you enjoy it.

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Purchase Covet here: https://amzn.to/2uJqUT4

Also Available FREE with KindleUnlimited!

EXCERPT FOR COVET, VEGAS SINS 2, BY ROSANNA LEO

“Ms. Hamill?”

“I’m sorry. What were you saying?”

“Just that we do work closely with a number of the other hotels on the Strip. It’s a busy teaserweek in town, but I’ve heard there might be openings at the Flamingo and Excalibur. I would be happy to see if we can find you something at one of those properties.”

Okay. The time for calm was officially over. “Excalibur, huh? We booked Vice, the most sophisticated hotel on the Strip, and you want to send me to a place that has a fire-breathing dragon in the lobby?” Dana checked the clerk’s name tag. “I’m sorry, Cecilia. That just won’t do.”

“But we have no rooms.”

“Check again. I bet if you try really hard, you’ll find a couple.”

“You don’t understand—”

“Oh, I understand, believe me. Did I mention I work for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association? I’ve spent the last few years bringing major conventions to the Strip. I have worked with every hotel and have sent a great deal of revenue in Liam Doyle’s direction.”

“Mr. Doyle no longer owns Vice. Mr. Markov is the new owner.”

Dana’s frustration erupted in a crazed laugh. “You’re missing the point, Cecilia! I’m trying to tell you I have done this before. Now I’m not blaming you. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, someone else mislaid my reservation. Mistakes happen. Systems go down. I get it. I’m just asking you to fix it. Maybe you could bump someone else and send them to Excalibur.”

“Ms. Hamill.”

“Look, we’re wasting time here. I want to speak to a manager.”

“I’m sure my manager would be happy to talk to you but she’s in a meeting.”

“Great.” Dana’s voice cracked. “Please. I don’t like causing scenes. I’ve had…a lot on my plate lately. Woman to woman, help me out here.”

A deep voice sounded over Dana’s shoulder. “Maybe I can help.”

Dana froze.

That voice.

The last time Dana heard a voice like that, it was cursing softly in her ear as its owner fucked her into oblivion.

Help me, Jesus.

She turned, degree by degree. It couldn’t be.

And yet, everything she remembered was there. The cat eyes, the sun-kissed hair, the long, hot body.

This Alex looked different, though. The stubbled, jeans-clad creature from Joe’s was gone. He’d been replaced by a man who held himself with an easy authority. Dressed in an expensive grey suit, he looked as if he’d be just as much at home on a catwalk as in a casino. His short hair shimmered under the hotel lights, a deep golden color that would make most trophy wives salivate. His lips compressed as he took in the shock on her face.

Various emotions flickered in his pale eyes. Disbelief, concern, even anger. She understood them all and would have felt them too.

It was the last emotion that caused her heart to sink.

Indifference. The Alex from her fantasies now looked at her with indifference.

Don’t miss Rosanna as she takes over our Facebook group: What Are You Craving! Join the group HERE.

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