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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Books Imitate Life: Inspiration for Characters

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies for writers. 

BOOKS IMITATE LIFE: INSPIRATION FOR CHARACTERS
by J. Rose Allister

Careful, or you'll wind up in my next novel.
You've probably seen a variation of this joke on memes, t-shirts, or coffee mugs. While it may bring a smile to the lips, it might also prompt the question, "But is it true?"
It kind of is.
This confession may conjure images of writers killing characters remarkably similar to the guy who stole their parking spot. Or the nosy neighbor who reported them to the HOA for not trimming the lawn. OR the mailman who always dents the box marked "Fragile." Some may take deliberate delight in cranking out untimely ends for Specific Individuals. For the rest, it's a bit more complicated.

I've had people who, upon learning I'm a writer, ask me to make them a character. To  that I smile. I don't take Jane Smith and toss her whole-hog into a personalized adventure. But Jane's line of work, the way her mouth quirks when she smiles, or her habit of standing outside at precisely five a.m. to await the morning newspaper might be fodder. The first romance hero I wrote, Trenton Dane, is an amalgam of several men. I mashed traits together to give him the  right blend of down-to-earth vs dashing movie star. Other times, the influence of real life on my fiction is accidental. It doesn't become clear until later on.
This isn't to say that all I'm after are fun little nuances. Villains in romance may not meet an untimely end, but it's still satisfying to give them a comeuppance. In my current work in progress, the antagonist is a cheating ex-fiance who's out for revenge. Who wouldn't want to dish out a dose of hard consequences? And in a past werewolf series I wrote, one of the recurring antagonists is a grizzled former colonel type.  My son was injured during a tour with the military not long before this character was created. Though I had no clue at the time, I realized later just what demons I was exorcising when I wrote that guy. (You can imagine that things didn't go well for him by the end.)
So Yes, Virginia, you could wind up in my next book. Parts of you. Hopefully that doesn't sound like a horror novel in the making.


~*~*~*~
For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Camera Fire -Snippet Sunday

Today's snippet features a hint of brief mature content.

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. This week I'm moving on from the WIP I was thinking about reviving (and probably will, thanks to your feedback!)

Current WIP: I've been hard at work giving Their Secret Paradise, an urban fantasy that dovetails into my Immortal Paradise series, a thorough thrice-over. I'll be offering this 2009 release free to readers. A brand new cover is in the works, and I'm stoked about the design my ARC Team voted for hands down! (It's not quite ready for a blog reveal yet, though. No one else has seen it.)

Quick synopsis: Parapsychology graduate Gina Munson finds her uncle's island resort fascinating-but romantically dangerous. Where the gods Love and Lust reside, none will leave untouched, but the supernatural seduction of the island backfired on her before. Her only interest is to study the paranormal without falling victim to it’s “charms.”

Contractor David Gilroy wouldn’t believe in that power even if he knew about it. He cares only about his building job...until he discovers Gina sunbathing topless. But Gina knows she can’t trust what they’re feeling. How can David convince her that his passion is real? What if it isn’t?

The snippet...
(Edited to fit the snippet format)
This is from the opening chapter, a little ways in. David is snapping photographs of the resort he's been hired to do a construction project for when his camera lens discovers something unexpected...

David pushed into the press of exotic flora, hoping his mosquito repellent was enough to keep hungry tropical critters at bay. Fronds snapped back in place behind him, and he popped out into a generous, cylindrical nook. With interest but no conscious thought, the camera came up again. His finger depressed the shutter automatically for a rapid-fire round of photos as he took in the space. Maybe ten photos had already snapped off when he peered over the top of the Nikon just a bit too late. An occupied lounge chair was straight ahead, featuring the most luscious, mouth-watering pair of...
“Hey!”
He jumped as the heavenly mirage swung around on her lounger, the woman’s feet swooping into delicate sandals as she rose. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”


...So what do you think?


For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No-Flour, No-Fuss Chocolaty Goodness Cake

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious!


After going pretty much off the rails with my diet over the holidays, I've been trying to be super good with my diet...and bam, Valentine's Day rolls around, taunting me with all its chocolaty goodness. I wanted a treat I could indulge without guilt, and this flourless chocolate cake is just the thing!

This batter whips right up in the food processor and produces one small round (9") cake that is fudgy and pretty dense, not tall and fluffy like other cakes. This I like, because the richness satisfies. After seeing the premise of a flourless/black bean cake elsewhere, I grabbed this version from the Hungry Girl website. I'm not a fan of the artificial sweetener she calls for, so I adjusted the sweetening here.  I'm also not opposed to egg yolks, especially coming from nice, fresh organic/cage free eggs. 

If you don't have applesauce on hand, double the amount of canned pumpkin and you should be okay. If you're out of pumpkin, on the other hand, doubling the applesauce will change the texture and affect this setting up a little. But you could give it a try. Maybe drain the applesauce a bit first? 

If you're not "too" concerned about calorie count, serve with whipped cream. I like strawberries sliced on top.

No-Flour, No-Fuss Chocolaty Goodness Cake

 Ingredients

One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs OR 4 large egg whites
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar or alternate sweetener (honey, maple syrup)
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life vegan chips)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a round cake pan (9-inch) with foil and grease generously (I use coconut oil. Gives a nice, bare hint of flavor...and I found it in spray form).  Put the above ingredients in a food processor except the chocolate chips, and pulse until batter is smooth.  Gently stir in 1 tbsp. of the chocolate chips. Spread mixture into pan, smoothing with spatula or back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle on remaining chocolate chips, lightly pressing into batter. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out pretty much clean, 35 - 40 minutes.  This will remain fudgy no matter what, so don't worry about a smidge of batter clinging to the toothpick. But if it's coated in the stuff, bake a little longer.

Let cool completely before cutting into this, if you can stand it. Otherwise you might find yourself digging in with a spoon. Enjoy!

~~~

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night. Connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads. She loves talking to people!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Valentines, Hard Work, and Half Time Catch Up

On (usually) the first Monday of the month I gab about what's going on with me, my writing, and life in general.

February again! I've been enjoying the lovely rain our drought-ravaged Southern California desperately needs, along with only minor brushes with cold/flu season in our house thus far.  Here's what's been going on...


Happy Valentines


I was telling my newsletter readers that Valentines Day for me isn't about one special person (well, not ONLY about him), but a time when I feel warm fuzzies for all those out there who share my love of books in general and romance reads in particular. You could say I consider it a sort of Thanksgiving for romance writers.


So here's wishing all of you a happy Valentine's Day, because without all of us devouring books and sharing our favorite reads, I wouldn't likely be here blogging about writing plans, the weather, and my latest recipes.


Hard Work

I've been putting in long hours working on projects for upcoming J. Rose Allister as well as my other pen name, and I've got some free reads and a boxed set coming up. 

Meanwhile, I also just got some brand new covers posted for my Sons of Herne series! The only one who didn't get much of a tweak is Tallisun's, and I'm thinking that will get done soon. And Devinmar might get another overhaul to better showcase his large chest/arm tattoo. I think Anduron's cover might be my favorite. What do you think? 






Half Time Catch Up


(By half time, I mean mid-season hiatus for some favorite TV shows.)

Since my "free" time is limited, I have to mete out my R&R in bits and pieces. To do this, I binge several shows, catching up a couple times per week while the rest are on hiatus or finished. So recently, while awaiting Game of Thrones, Reign, and Fear the Walking Dead, I caught up with Teen Wolf and am about to dive into the current season of The Blacklist. 

For books, I'm reading The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. I just finished Entwined by Heather Dixon a fantasy/historical with romance features that is rather captivating. For fans of alien brides erotic sci-fi, I read Claimed by Evangeline Anderson. A hawt and intriguing read.

What have you been reading and watching?


~*~*~*~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Too Much Interest -Snippet Sunday

It's Snippet Sunday, a Weekend Writing Warriors'  blog hop!

I'm alternating snippets between this blog and my mainstream romance pen name. This week I have another snippet from Compromising Connections, a contemporary erotic romance that I asked you guys to help me with last time. It was a previously pubbed work that I was thinking of reviving. Thanks to the great feedback I received, I think I'll go for it!

Quick synopsis: When Gillian receives an erotic striptease video text meant for someone else, she winds up in a sizzling cell phone romance unlike anything she ever dreamed of. Kent stirs things inside her that are too good to be true. Then she gets a company transfer…and Kent turns out to be her new boss.
She wants to show him she’ll take any position he offers, but his one hard, fast rule is no company fraternization—a policy he won’t even bend for her. Lonely nights are destined to return for them both unless there’s a way to steam up the boardroom without jeopardizing their careers.



Setup for the snippet...
(Edited from the original to fit the snippet format)
Last time, Gillian arrived at her new job to hear the boss refused to see her. She burst into his office, took one look...and we finished with this:
When the chair swiveled to face her, the mouth already open to spit out a reply dropped wider. “You?”


Kent sat in the chair, even more awe-inspiring in person than in cell phone images or video chat. His crisp white shirt was rolled to the elbow, and the top buttons were undone. “Please, have a seat,” he said, gesturing to a pair of cream-colored leather armchairs in front of his desk.

She adjusted the oversized purse on her shoulder, but she didn’t move. “Well, this isn’t quite the way I’d envisioned our first in-person meeting.”

His blue eyes slid over every inch of her, and she flushed when she realized she was dressed in the same outfit she’d described to him during their naughty lunchtime phone call—right down to the prim-and-proper bun. Her hand flew to her head to smooth down flyaways, but she dropped it when his eyes followed the movement with too much interest.

“So you were just going to have your secretary toss me out in the street without me even knowing you were here?” she asked.

A flicker of guilt clouded his gaze. “I’m sure you can appreciate why I didn’t think this was the right place for a…confrontation.”



...So what do you think?


For more awesome snippets, check out 


~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ *~ 
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over thirty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!