Monday, March 16, 2020

The Scarlet Dove by Beth D. Carter

Historical Romance Ménage

Date Published: 1/27/2020

Publisher : Beachwalk Press


Can Liza find her place in a lawless world?

When Liza Trent decided to become a mail order bride out west, she never imagined her fiancé would die before she arrived. His death places her in debt, and the only way to pay off the money is by auctioning off her virginity against her will. When she’s rescued by two handsome men, she mistakenly thinks they’re assassins. Despite her reservations, she accepts their protection.

Only the two men, Apollo Beck and Blue Hawke, aren’t assassins. They’re Texas Rangers sent after a man who preys on women, and their dangerous hunt has just brought Liza into the line of fire.

Confused with the attraction she feels for two men, Liza has a difficult decision before her: commit to loving Apollo and Blue or commit to her burning desire to become a doctor…unless she’s found and taken for revenge first.

Guest Post:
Tips for Becoming a Better Writer  by Beth D. Carter

There is perhaps no other creative outlet that bares an artist’s soul quite like writing.  Whether it’s writing penning, songs or stories, the modern-day bard has to tap into deep recesses of the soul.  Writing stories can be a rollercoaster journey, full of emotional ups and downs as the writer tries to convey believable characters and situations.  A writer pours their very essence into their creation, much like Dr. Frankenstein into his monster.  Add a little electricity and pretty soon the author is shouting “It’s Alive!”.

And then the writer turns in the manuscript, along with his or hers heart, hopes and dreams.  So what happens when it’s out of the hands of the writer?  Well, I’m sure an editor or an owner of a publishing house can answer that question precisely, but I’m here to give the writer’s point of view. 

First of all, the manuscript can’t raise the red flags that initial readers look for. Initial readers are those people who have to wade through the tons of manuscripts looking for something that captures their attention and thus will turn over those they like to someone higher up. That’s why it’s important to send a relatively clean manuscript. Give it to a friend to beta read and point out any typos.

Read other books. This is a very important step…read, read, read. Writing is an organic process, meaning you should always learn how to write better. What better way to learn than by reading?

Give different characters different voices. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read stories from friends and each character was basically the same. People are different and writing them should be the same way.

Be careful of point of view. Since you are an unknown you can’t switch POV’s from person to person within the same chapter. Once you’re Lisa Kleypas it’s perfectly okay, but until you sell 14 million books you have to watch the POV. And lastly, don’t have your hero or heroine be something that you know nothing about! If you aren’t a genius and don’t know how to write mathematical equations, then don’t have your hero be John Forbes Nash, Jr. Characters need to be believable and if you can’t pull that off then you won’t have a wonderful manuscript.

Lastly, listen to your characters, they will usually tell you which way to take the story.  I never ignore my characters or my intuition.  Your novel is only as good as they are, so don’t be afraid of the voices in your head.  Happy writing!

As a published author I get asked many questions along the lines of “What tips can you give me so I can get published”.  For each writer, this is different journey. First of all, no matter what road of publishing you travel, the first thing you need is a completed manuscript.  Most publishing houses, even the small press ones, usually accept a minimum of 20,000 words.  This translates into about 85-90 publishable pages.  Dialogue has to be sharp, content has to be relatable, and characters have to have an Arc, with believable tension and drama.  If you feel you have a great manuscript, then I suggest finding critique partners who can give you honest opinions, and not your mom or dad or best friend.  One of the hardest things a writer can do is accept criticism.  Writing groups are great, either online or in person, and sometimes there are people you can pay to read and “proofread” your work.

Next, is editing.  One of the biggest complaints I read or heard is how self-published books have horrendous grammatical and spelling mistakes.  Remember, a self-publishing company simply takes your emailed submission and prints it out, without taking one look at the content.  Readers HATE obvious editorial mistakes and will badmouth your work from here to Doomsday even if you’ve written a Pulitzer Prize worthy novel.

These are the steps of editing I go through for getting any of my stories to print, whether ebook novella, short novel, or paperback.  First are the read throughs with the assigned editor, to make sure it’s as sound as possible.  Then it goes to the Senior editor for a yea or nay, and then off to line editors who basically are editors that read your stuff line by line marking any grammatical, spelling or continuity problems.  Then it goes through one more round called proofing, making sure any facts are true, double checking the line editors, and whatever else the proofing round does.  Yes, the editing process can be hellacious, but take it as a learning curve for the next project.

Self publishing can be very expensive for the author because you’ll be the one buying everything you need, including the printing of your book.  When a novel is accepted by a publishing house, no money is fronted by the author.  The house provides everything, including all the ISBN numbers and the translations into all the ebook formats like Kindle and Nook.  Also, be wary of the self-publishing house that say they will market you.  Even I, through two small press houses, have to market myself.  It’s hard, long, and frustrating work getting your name out in the internet social media circus.

10 Random facts about me by Beth D. Carter

1) I co-wrote a country song with a dear friend titled “Don’t Talk About Luv” that’s on his second album, Native Son.

2) I attended the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2001 and walked down the red carpet.

3) I’m a complete sci-fi geek. I’ve sat on David Prowse’s lap. And my wedding anniversary is May the Fourth….

4) My middle name, Delene, is my Aunt’s middle name, even though my mom swears she never heard the name before.

5) I’m starting up a podcast about all things in the romance writing community.

6) I never went to my own Prom. 

7) I got to explore the Star Trek Voyager set during the episode "Vis à Vis".

8) I’ve traveled from Dover England to Calais France by both ferry and Eurotunnel.

9) I’ve visited New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Finland, England, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Monoco, Spain, and the Vatican.

10) My favorite food is seafood. 

“You owe me a lot of money, Miss Trent.”
Liza cast a quick glance at the man who spoke. The charm of his Southern twang barely concealed his menace. He had introduced himself as Mr. Reynolds, her travel benefactor, when the stagecoach had finally come to a halt in Diablo Hills, Arizona. With the swarthy undertones of someone mean, the lifelessness in his dark eyes hinted at a streak of cruelty. He stood tall, very thin, and dressed impeccably in silk brocade pinstripe complete with a top hat and cane.
Her face flushed, and she quickly looked back down at her hands.
“I know it’s a terrible shame,” he went on, “having your intended pass before the wedding, but business is business, Miss Trent.” He paused to fuss with some imperceptible dust on his left sleeve, letting his point sink in. Slowly, he lifted his eyes to meet hers. “Now you have business with me.”
Sweat gathered between her breasts. She shifted in her seat, trying to find some comfort in the stifling room from the oppressive heat, but she found little relief. With no windows, the room was nothing short of a tinderbox from Hell, leaving her to think she might pass out at any minute. Perhaps that might be best, considering.
“How much?” she whispered, barely able to speak past the lump in her throat. The new life she envisioned rapidly faded from sight.
“Well, let’s see, there’s the cost of your coach ticket, the chaperone services of Mrs. Nambaker, your hotel fees, your food fees, and of course, my fee of bringing you and your intended together. So total, Miss Trent, your balance is five hundred dollars.”
Something heavy landed on her chest, and for a moment, she struggled to breathe.
“Five hundred dollars?” she gasped. “I don’t have that much money!”
“Well, then, I guess you’re in a pickle,” said Mr. Reynolds smoothly.
She clasped her hands together tightly and focused on a particularly large freckle near her left thumb, one of the thousand she must have, and let her mind wander for a moment. When she had left Boston to become the bride of a man she had never met, it had seemed all her money problems had been solved. Upon her arrival, however, she had been informed her fiancé had succumbed to heart trouble, bringing the nightmare of the past year to a blistering head.
“Miss Trent?”
She blinked and jerked her gaze back to Mr. Reynolds. “I can work,” she said. “I can clean. Wash clothes. Sew. I know how to crochet.”
Mocking amusement lit up Mr. Reynolds’s fathomless eyes. “You could sew and wash and crochet for a hundred years and you’d still not be able to repay all that you owe me. In fact, there is only one profession I can think of that would repay the revenue I’ve invested in you. A job where your services are best rendered on your back. Do you understand what I’m saying, Miss Trent?”
She swallowed, her heart hammering heavily in her chest. Yes, she knew exactly what he implied. The very reason why she was here now, sitting in this hot, little room in the middle of nowhere Arizona, was because she had been trying to escape just such a fate.
“As it happens,” he continued, satisfaction dripping in every word, “I am in partnership with an establishment where you’d be able to ply the working woman’s trade, per se. I believe such a match would be advantageous to both of us, Miss Trent.” He bent down on one knee beside her and fingered her strawberry red hair that lay limp from sweat and travel dust. “You would certainly fetch a high price, my dear. Someone with your fair coloring is rare amongst the harsh Arizona land.”
Then he licked her cheek, the slick tongue starting at the corner of her mouth and traveling upward. Liza jerked her head away, and she jumped from her seat, wiping furiously at the saliva coating her skin.
He rose from his kneeling position, smiling with satisfaction. “You ply your trade well, Miss Trent, and perhaps we can work together in a more intimate setting.”
“I’d rather die.”

About the Author

I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Presents in the fifth grade, and from the first story I knew I wanted to write romance novels. I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers.  I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box.  I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting!