Release Day for SEEKERS OF THE PAST by Amy Valentini with #Excerpt

SEEKERS OF THE PAST

A Seekers of the Past Novel

by

Amy Valentini

Available NOW at

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks

 

Introducing a series like no other—the Seekers of the Past series will take you on a journey where the past meets the present and love lives forever.

Seeking the Past…
Emma Wells has uncovered clues that might prove an old family tale as being true. Strange things lead her to question whether her grandfather’s death may not have been an accident and goes in search of something worth killing him for buried on her property. When she asks an old friend to assist, the man who comes in his place is the last person she ever wanted to respond to her call for help. 

Seeking a Second Chance…
Sam Martinelli has been hoping for a reason to get close to the woman he still loves since he destroyed their relationship five years ago. His foolish actions drove her away then, but now he’s hoping his expertise as well as time working with her allows him another chance.

Uncovering Secrets…
When Emma’s suspicions prove to have substance, she convinces Sam to help her even if he still carries doubts. Being with him again, she begins to question her heart and past as well as her foolish pride. When things take a dangerous turn, Emma realizes she must trust the man she trusts least, especially when the past collides with the present and the truth of it all is uncovered.

 Be sure to add SEEKERS OF THE PAST to your Goodreads shelf

 

Excerpt:

Upon returning from the Jeep with more supplies, Emma discovered Sam digging dirt away from a fallen tree blocking part of the entrance to the tunnel. She noticed he’d removed his shirt and tossed it over a nearby bush. Dressed only in his denim jeans, which hung enticingly low on his slim hips, his muscles worked beneath smooth skin now shiny from the sweat he’d worked up with his exertion. The sight of his lean, muscular body took Emma’s breath from her for a moment. She stood at the edge of the clearing, holding the gear she’d retrieved from the Jeep. Frozen to the spot, she knew she was staring at him but couldn’t seem to tear her eyes from his broad shoulders, and arms as he worked. Her breathing had become even more ragged the longer she stood there, but she couldn’t seem to regain her thoughts. Even the weight of the gear didn’t seem to bother her anymore. She licked her suddenly dry lips.

As if he sensed her presence, Sam suddenly stopped his work, turned toward her and smiled. He rested his hands on the top of the long handled shovel. She watched his muscles relax in his shoulders and arms. Lifting his right hand, he swiped the back of his arm across his forehead.

“I hope you brought the water with you, kiddo. This is mighty hot work,” Sam said, his voice breathless from the strenuous work.

His words snapped Emma out of her trance. Setting the gear down on the ground near her feet, she reached into a thermal bag and pulled out a jug of cold water. She had made sure to freeze a couple of jugs, and chill the first of many she was sure they’d use. It was important to stay hydrated on any dig site, but even more so in the summer heat. She carried the jug over to Sam and reached it out to him, keeping a full arm’s length from him. Emma didn’t trust herself too close to Sam while he was looking so incredibly sexy.

Sam watched her and his dark brow furrowed. He leaned forward to take the jug. She wondered if she looked as uncomfortable as she felt. When he grinned and let out a small chuckle before taking a long drink of water, she knew he’d realized his state of half undress was making her uncomfortable. She wanted to kick him and herself. She hated still being attracted to him.

“It’s too hot to work with my shirt on. I hope you don’t mind my working without it?” Sam asked with an innocent smirk before lifting the opening of the water jug to his lips once more.

While taking another long drink of water, he wasn’t very neat about it and she felt herself scowl wondering if he was deliberately spilling water out of the sides of his mouth so it trickled down over his bare chest to his tight abdomen, and onto the legs of his jeans. Emma watched every trickle of water as it slid down Sam’s body and hated wanting to lick every drop from his skin. She could feel a flush of heat race over her body starting at her cheeks and rushing right down to that deep place buried between her legs. She watched as he finished quenching his thirst, lowered the jug, and wiped his mouth on the back of his arm. Of course, he did nothing to wipe away the droplets of water, which lingered on the mat of curly dark hair at the center of his broad chest. The drops slid down to travel along the line of hair, which snaked across a washboard belly before disappearing into the top of his jeans hanging entirely too low on chiseled hips. Emma thought her knees were going to buckle.

In an attempt to get her mind off Sam’s body, she turned her attention to the tunnel. “So, Martinelli, do you think this might be the old slave tunnel used by escaping slaves, or not?”

She noticed him watching her and hoped he thought the flush of pink on her cheeks was from carrying the supplies. She also hoped he wouldn’t notice how her voice shook because of her breathlessness when he moved closer to her. She tried not to inhale his masculine scent accentuated by his perspiration.

Lord, help me! If he took her in his arms right this moment, she was sure she would give herself over to him without hesitation.

When he turned his back on her to face the opening of the tunnel, she nearly sighed with relief. He put his hands on his hips, and took a deep breath before exhaling.

“Emma girl, I do believe this is it,” he said, breaking a branch off the fallen tree he’d been working on clearing when she returned.

“I knew it. I just knew it,” Emma exclaimed joining Sam at the opening. Having totally forgotten her discomfort over his state of undress, she came to stand beside him and almost hugged him with the excitement of the find. Discovering something like this was more powerful even than lust. “When do you think we can go in?”

—SEEKERS OF THE PAST by Amy Valentini

 

I hope you all will read SEEKERS OF THE PAST and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. I’ve added a sneak peek at book two in the series, FOR THE SAKE OF HONOR, at the end to give you an idea of how this series will proceed. I’m very excited about it, and I hope you will be too.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SEEKERS OF THE PAST, a Seekers of the Past novel by Amy Valentini, indie published, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and wherever digital books are sold.

 

Coming July 10th – I’m Making the Leap into the Publishing Pool

 SEEKERS OF THE PAST

A Seekers of the Past novel

by Amy Valentini

Introducing a series like no other—the Seekers of the Past series will take you on a journey where the past meets the present and love lives forever.

Seeking the Past… 

Emma Wells has uncovered clues that might prove an old family tale as being true. Strange things lead her to question whether her grandfather’s death may not have been an accident and goes in search of something worth killing him for buried on her property. When she asks an old friend to assist, the man who comes in his place is the last person she ever wanted to respond to her call for help. 

Seeking a Second Chance… 

Sam Martinelli has been hoping for a reason to get close to the woman he still loves since he destroyed their relationship five years ago. His foolish actions drove her away then, but now he’s hoping his expertise as well as time working with her allows him another chance. 

Uncovering Secrets… 

When Emma’s suspicions prove to have substance, she convinces Sam to help her even if he still carries doubts. Being with him again, she begins to question her heart and past as well as her foolish pride. When things take a dangerous turn, Emma realizes she must trust the man she trusts least, especially when the past collides with the present and the truth of it all is uncovered.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Expected release date is planned for July 10, 2018 but I’ll have it up for pre-order before then.
Can’t wait to share this story with you!

Happy Reading  and Writing Everyone!

New Client Release: BRAYDEN, book one in the Beckett Brothers series by Susan Fisher-Davis

BRAYDEN

A Beckett Brothers Novel

by Susan Fisher-Davis

available now at

Amazon 

and coming soon to Barnes & Noble | Kobobooks

 

First in a Brand New Series

BRAYDEN

Having lost five years to prison after wrongly convicted of murder, Brayden Beckett is starting over. Leaving Texas to return to Montana is step one, opening a rescue sanctuary for horses in honor of his late wife is step two, and doing whatever he can to protect his heart from the pain of falling in love again is step three.

Melissa Conroy has been in love with her best friend’s husband since the first moment she met him…so when he calls her out of the blue to offer her a job, she leaps at the chance. She knows how much he loved his wife but even if it only means being close to him, she is willing to risk the heartache of rejection until she becomes the other woman.

Terrified of losing someone he loves again and being left alone, Brayden pushes Melissa away even as he can’t help but seek her out, until he pushes her away one too many times and she says enough. Now he’s at risk of losing her forever and his greatest fear has come true. Is it possible to have two great loves in one lifetime—and love both at the same time?

 

About the Author:

Susan Fisher-Davis writes steamy, hot, sexy books that women love to read. Her stories always have a happily ever after and isn’t that what romance is about? After starting out with Secret Cravings Publishing, she decided to go indie when SCP closed their doors in August 2015. Now she writes and publishes with Blue Whiskey Publishing.

Susan was born and raised in a small town in the western part of Maryland surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. She moved to Tennessee in 1996 with her husband and two children where she enjoys walks in the woods, fishing, and dreaming about hot men to share with us.

She currently has two series out, The Men of Clifton, Montana and The Bad Boys of Dry River. Cowboys and bad boys…what more could any woman want? Her newest series, The Callahans, a series about four cousins, begins with A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, a novella – nominated for a RONE award in 2017. This wonderful and heartwarming novella is available now, and the following books in the series will be full-length. Then there is FIT FOR A KING, a standalone novel – nominated for a Summer Indie Award in 2017, and a personal favorite of mine.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Yes, I made this cover too! Amy V ❤

New Client Release: DAKOTA, book 5 of the Bad Boys of Dry River, Wyoming by Susan Fisher-Davis

DAKOTA

Bad Boys of Dry River, Wyoming Book 5

by

Susan Fisher-Davis 

Available now!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobobooks

She broke his heart once but now she needs his help.

Does he turn her away or risk his heart all over again…

When he returned to Dry River to pursue his dream of working the family ranch, being a district attorney, and fighting crime with his brother, Nathan, he asked the woman he loved to come with him. When she refused, he swore never to love again and to forget her forever.

Megan Carson regrets not moving to Wyoming with the man she loves but can’t leave her little brother who is all she has left of her family. When Aiden gets into serious trouble, the only person she knows can help is the last person she can ask, but she does. Now, after her brother skips bail, he is in deeper trouble than he knows but has put her there too. Dakota comes to her rescue even as she knows he wants nothing to do with either of them.

Fearful of risking his heart again, Dakota Walker doesn’t want to help when Megan comes back into his life, needing help with her troublesome brother but he can’t turn his back on her. She still has a claim on his heart and always will. Is this a second chance for them or will she choose her brother over him again?

 

About the Author: 

Susan Fisher-Davis writes steamy, hot, sexy books that women love to read. Her stories always have a happily ever after and isn’t that what romance is about? After starting out with Secret Cravings Publishing, she decided to go indie when SCP closed their doors in August 2015. Now she writes and publishes with Blue Whiskey Publishing.

Susan was born and raised in a small town in the western part of Maryland surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. She moved to Tennessee in 1996 with her husband and two children where she enjoys walks in the woods, fishing, and dreaming about hot men to share with us.
She currently has two series out, The Men of Clifton, Montana and The Bad Boys of Dry River. Cowboys and bad boys…what more could any woman want? Her newest series, The Callahans, a series about four cousins, begins with A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, a novella – nominated for a RONE award in 2017. This wonderful and heartwarming novella is available now, and the following books in the series will be full-length.

Website | Facebook Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Yes…one of my cover creations. 🙂

Happy Reading Everyone! 

Revisions: Writing Dialogue Part 3

dialogue-3

My apologies to everyone for being away for so long…family issues intermingling with a busy schedule have kept me from concluding this three part series…that and inconsistent Wi-Fi. Don’t get me started on that.

So…as I was saying in Part 2, interrupted speech can build action into dialogue but even more so having one character abruptly cut off another character’s words in an immediate manner—mid word—can speak volumes.

Dialogue abruptly cut off this way is handled the same way by use of the em dash. This takes a little more concentration as you’ll need to consider the sounds of words and syllables before deciding where to break the interrupted word. For example, if you’re asking someone to stop what he’s doing (Please stop…) but that someone cuts you off mid word as soon as you begin. You wouldn’t break off the word stop after the s (s—) because the first sound comes from the combination of the S and the T (st—).

Example:  “I love y—” Annabelle’s foot slipped off the step as she began to declare herself.

Sometimes a person is speaking and someone interrupts them but they ignore the interruption and continue with what they were saying, again the em dash comes into play.

Example:  “If I could have a moment of your time—”

“I love you.”

“—there’s something I need to ask you.” Damien smiled.

Sometimes a characters dialogue trails off because he’s lost his train of thought, doesn’t know what to say next, or in times of stress, doesn’t want to say what perhaps is best left unsaid. When you wish to show this, use the ellipsis (…) and remember, that’s only three (3) dots…not four or more.

Example: “I know we haven’t known each other very long…” He was so nervous that he forgot what he was going to say.

Creating a tension or an intimacy between the characters.

It’s best not to use names within dialogue too much but sometimes, when you’re building intimacy and/or tension, you’ll want to do just that—use the name of the person whose point of view it’s not to create a deeper connection. By the way, this is good advice in real life too.

Always use a comma before and/or after the name when addressing someone directly in dialogue—even if the name isn’t a proper name but an endearment, or curse. 🙂

Examples: “I love you, Damien.”

“Damien, I love you.”

“I love you, honey.”

“I love you, Damien, more than I ever loved my ex-husband.”

Dialogue within a paragraph.

When dealing with multiple lines of dialogue within a paragraph, make sure all the dialogue belongs to only one speaker. It’s best to put the dialogue tag at the end of the first sentence since tags are for readers so they may keep track of the speaker, but this a personal voice thing as well.

My greatest advice for a long bit of dialogue is that it is not left hiding at the end of the paragraph as that doesn’t help the reader and can make them backtrack—something you don’t want them having to do. Ever! Remember everything is about flow and moving the story forward.

Where to put the dialogue tag is something that you need to feel out for yourself. The feel of the dialogue or rhythm of the speech might require a different construction but as a rule, the end of the first sentence helps keep the reader on track. Especially, when three or more characters are talking in a group, readers might be able to guess who is speaking but there’s nothing wrong with helping out the reader either.

Examples:

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment. I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something I want to say to you,” Damien said. “It’s rather important.”

(This might work well if you want Damien to sound rambling.)

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. “I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something I want to say to you, and it’s rather important.”

(The reader knows it is Damien still speaking. He even sounds a little surer of himself too.)

It’s all about your voice.

Now beyond this, sometimes dialogue might stretch across paragraphs without another character speaking. This happens quite often when someone is dominating the conversation. When this happens, you will use proper punctuation, a terminal punctuation—i.e., a period, question mark, or exclamation point at the end of the paragraph but if the dialogue continues, there will be no closing quotation marks until the very end of the dialogue. Some grammar experts say to use an opening quotation mark to start the next paragraph, but this again is a personal choice. As long as the reader understands that the character is still speaking, it’s your choice to use opening quotation marks. But you must close the dialogue with closing quotation marks.

Example: Note the quotation marks.

I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something, I want to say to you, and it’s rather important.

The sky is looking a little like snow, isn’t it? Here, let’s sit over here and I’ll tell you what I have in mind. Oh, careful of that step, it wouldn’t do to have you fall and hurt yourself, he told her catching Annabelle’s arm as her foot slipped from the step.

However, when another character joins the conversation, each dialogue set must be opened, and closed, with quotation marks as well as a new paragraph begun each time the speaker changes, whether there are tags or not.

Example:

She glanced over at Damien. “I’d wanted to tell you for some time now but we’ve been friends for so long, I didn’t know if you wanted more. I just didn’t know what to say.”

“I’ve loved you nearly from the first moment we met. Being friends was the best way to stay close to you…even after you married.”

“Had I known that, I might not have married him. I never loved him like I love you, Damien,” Annabelle admitted. “I’m sorry I never said anything before.”

Mixing dialogue with narration in the same paragraph can work as long as the narration refers to the character speaking and preferably, the one whose point of view the scene is focusing on. Dialogue can go in at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the paragraph and the narration. However, if the narration refers to several characters or you can’t tell which character is the focus of the paragraph, begin the dialogue with a new paragraph and a dialogue tag. In other words, don’t make the reader guess who is speaking.

If the paragraph opens with a wide view of a group of people but then the focus narrows to a single character, you could introduce that character’s dialogue into the end of that same paragraph because the focus is completely on that character—or you can simply begin a new paragraph with the dialogue.

This is what makes your voice unique but the important key to good dialogue writing is to keep the reader in the flow of the story. Confusion over dialogue can and will pull the reader out of the fictional world you’re working so hard to create.

Example:

Annabelle exited the building, the cold wind blowing up under her coat as she walked along path toward the parking lot. Her steps slowed when she spotted Damien standing near the pedestrian bridge that stretched over the creek separating the building from the lot. Still embarrassed and somewhat angry at having walked in on him in the break room with Sarah in his arms, Annabelle decided ignoring him was the best course of action. Tucking her head down as if evading the wind, she quickened her steps to get past him without confrontation. When she saw him step forward, she said, “Not now, Damien.”

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. “Please, I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something, I want to say to y—”

“I love you,” she blurted out before she lost her nerve.

Remember…attributions can come before the dialogue, especially if you want the dialogue tag to be noticed but you can also hide them, put them in the middle or at the end of a sentence, however, although not always, you will want the dialogue, and not the attribution, to stand out.

I hope you now have a greater appreciation of how dialogue can evoke emotion, action, and create depth in a scene, sometimes without saying it all. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments or write me directly. I enjoy hearing from you and want you to succeed, grow, and be a happy writer. Let me know, if I may assist you in gaining success for you and your manuscript…it’s what I do.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Happy Release Day! FIT FOR A KING by Susan Fisher-Davis!

3-fit-for-a-king-cover_digital-front-1950-x-2850

Happy Release Day

to my talented client, Susan Fisher-Davis

FIT FOR A KING

is now available at

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobobooks

 

Wade King believes he’s worth nothing, especially in the eyes of the man who gave him a chance to be somebody. When Win’s beautiful teenage daughter kissed him on her eighteenth birthday, he refused her even though it was the last thing he wanted to do. He knew he was not the kind of man her father would want for her. Now she was back. 

Hannah Winston has always loved Wade King, even while she was married to another man. No man could live up to the man who had claimed her heart as a teen. Now she’s returned to Win’s Circle ranch to claim her inheritance only to discover her father had other plans and it involves the one man she tries so hard to hate, but can’t forget—Wade King. 

With no other choice but to work together, Wade and Hannah try to ignore the pull each has on the other, only to fall victim to their desires. Now Hannah wants more but Wade still refuses her. What must a woman in love do to make a hardheaded cowboy understand that he might think of her as duchess, but she’s only truly fit for a King? 

 

My thoughts—Wade is a real SOB but I suspect you’ll love him as much as I did while editing. Hope you’ll read FIT FOR A KING by Susan Fisher-Davis. And yes, I wrote the blurb and I made the cover. Very proud of it all too!

In the meantime, if you’re looking to bring your characters to full life through expert editing, please feel free to contact me and we’ll discuss your success. It’s why I’m here…to help you find success. 🙂

Happy Writing Everyone!

Revisions: Writing Dialogue Part 2

 

interruption-cartoon

In our last lesson regarding writing dialogue, we discussed simple rules that we can follow to assist us in writing dialogue. Just as writing can be more complicated, so can dialogue. In this next lesson, we’ll up the ante a bit and discuss some of those complications that not only bring our characters to life but might also have you pulling your hair out trying to create such dialogue.

It’s not as difficult as you might think. Let’s begin…

Every so often, your character may pause briefly, interrupting dialogue with a breath or hesitation. There are two ways you can deal with an interruption using dialogue tags and either one is correct. Everyone has their own style according to their voice.

The first is dialogue interrupted by a dialogue tag and continuing the dialogue following the tag but it all stays in the same sentence.
When using this method, a comma will end the first part of the dialogue remaining inside the quotation marks, and a second comma will follow the tag but remain on the outside of the quotation marks.

Example:  “If I could have a moment of your time,” he said, “it’s very important.”

“If I could have a moment of your time,” he said, grabbing Annabelle’s hand, “it’s very important.”

If this is something that doesn’t feel comfortable for you, you might also separate them into two complete sentences. The first sentence will end with a period following the tag, and the second will begin with a capital letter.

Example: “If I could have a moment of your time,” he said, grabbing Annabelle’s hand. “It’s very important.”

Questions in dialogue with no dialogue tags are done the same way as one with a period. The question mark stays within the quotation marks. The same construction applies to using exclamation points.

Example: “Will you marry me?”

“Marry me!”

When using a dialogue tag for a question, the question mark replaces the comma before the closing quotation marks and before the dialogue tag and the same capitalization rules apply.

Example: “Will you marry me?” he asked her.

If you put the tag first, the construction is the same as with a period.

Example: Damien took hold of her hand, and asked, “Will you marry me?”

Now…sometimes dialogue becomes a bit more complicated when your characters are interacting and action interrupts the spoken words. Or even in some cases, a character’s thoughts might interrupt their speaking. If we do it, our characters do it.

Let’s say your character is speaking and another character interrupts him.

Example:  “If I could have a moment of your time,” he said, grabbing Annabelle’s hand, “it’s very—”

“I love you,” she interrupted before she lost her nerve.

The Em dash demonstrates his words as being interrupted by hers. Sometimes, a character may interrupt his own words; the use of Em dashes will play into this construction as well but will be outside the quotation marks to show the action interrupting the speech.

Example:

“If I could have a moment of your time,”—grabbing Annabelle’s hand and pulling her close—“there’s something I need to ask you.”

This construction is very similar when a character interjects a thought within an action.

Example:

Annabelle walked past Damien—telling herself not to look at him—needing to get to the door before her tears fell.

Not sure how to make Em dashes – there are three easy ways to make them, you can choose which works best for you or simply hit dash twice, enter, then backspace but always make sure the Em dash follows the last letter of the word it connects to with no spaces. If you’re using Word, you can try one of these methods:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Minus (on the numeric keypad)
  2. Hold down the Alt key as you type 0151 on the numeric keypad.
  3. Choose Symbol from the Insert menu, and then select Em Dash from the Special Characters tab.
  4. Simply hitting the hyphen key twice directly after the word preceding the Em Dash then hit Enter then backspace and close the gap.

Sometimes, a character is speaking and will quote someone else’s words, this is easy to deal with and shouldn’t frighten you away from using it.

The entirety of the dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks following the same rules above only you’re going to add some single quotation marks (‘…’) with the dialogue.

When single and double quotation marks are used side by side, put a space between them simply to make them more easily read by the reader.

Example:  “He said, and I quote, ‘To be is not to be.’ ”

“He said, ‘To be is not to be.’ I heard it with my own ears.”

Indirect dialogue for the inner quote also works if you’d rather not use a quote within dialogue.

Example: “He said the line as to be is not to be. I heard it with my own ears.”

Direct and indirect dialogue emphasizes different elements of the sentence, so choose the one, which works best for what you want to convey. It’s your voice and either way works fine.

Next time, we’ll ramp it up a bit more with interruptions cutting off words and just how to make that effective. I hope this helps and if you ever have any questions or wish me to address another issue, please feel free to leave me a question, comment, or request I the comments below.

Happy Writing Everyone! Let’s get you success in the New Year!

AUTHOR AMY VALENTINI and ROMANCING EDITORIALLY

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