Thursday, January 23, 2014

Of Dreams and Shadows: Spotlight, Review + Author Guest Blog

Hi!  Thanks for being a stop on my book tour!  I’m excited to share my thoughts on character development. 

Character development is crucial in building a story.  How we approach it differs from writer to writer.  I tend to spend a lot of time with my characters — when I’m driving in the car, when I’m out walking on the beach, when I’m cooking dinner.  I think about how the character might look and how he/she might react to a potential situation.  More often than not, if I’m quiet enough, the character starts speaking to me.

When I was writing Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (Book 1), one of the characters I spent a lot of time with was Chase Williams.  In many ways, he was a typical teenager.  He dated the obligatory “mean” girl.  He was popular and good-looking.  He wasn’t perfect but he let me into his world.  He shared his secrets and his fears. I understood why he acted the way he did.  I understood the appeal that he would hold for my main character.

But just to make sure I kept Chase true to character, I drew a sort of spider web.  At the center, I wrote his name.  From there, I branched off with several lines — on these I wrote down his attributes.  If I had a question about how Chase would react to a certain situation, I could always refer to my chart. 

Consistency is important.  In order for the reader to develop a connection to the character, the reader has to “know” the character.   If the character is all over the place, the connection isn’t going to happen.

With Chase, I hope readers not only connect with him but maybe fall just a little in love, too. 

Thanks again for allowing me to visit your blog and meet your readers!

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson's Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

Excerpt: “I said destroying it wouldn’t be so hard. But getting the
necklace isn’t going to be easy. It’s not like it’s going to be there
waiting for you to pick it up. Silas is very protective of his treasure.
Don’t underestimate him or his connection to Jenna.”
“What connection? The one where he enters her dreams and
scares the hell out of her?”
Sarah glared. “The one where he enters her dreams and seduces
her – because that is what he is doing.” She paused, allowing her
comment to sink in before continuing. “You don’t know him. You
haven’t seen him – not as he was before.”
“What do you mean?”
“Silas is beautiful and dangerous, all the more dangerous
because he is beautiful.”
Chase chuckled. “Men typically don’t describe themselves as
“I wouldn’t call a tiger good looking. It is beautiful – dangerous
but beautiful and Silas is just like a tiger. He sets his sights on his
prey then hunts and kills it.”
“Then why go to the trouble of seducing her if he just wants to
kill her?” Chase asked.
“This has gone beyond his normal hunt,” Sarah explained. “He
wants her to choose to stay with him.”
“Like that would happen.”
Sarah’s eyes narrowed. “You may be surprised.” Standing up,
she continued, “I’ve been gone too long. I must go. This visit stays
between the two of us. No telling Jenna about Silas visiting her
A muscle in Chase’s jaw twitched. “She has a right to
“You’re absolutely right. Tell her. Maybe she’ll move. But
Silas will still be here and then what? I can’t keep watch over him
forever.” Sarah’s appearance altered and she was once again the
image of her four year old self. “I am tired, Chase – tired of living
a partial life, tired of being tied to a past that is long gone and a
future that will never be.”
“Sarah?” Concern laced Chase’s voice.
“Good night, Chase.” Her voice faded away as did her image
until nothing was left but a tiny spot of light that flickered and
then disappeared.

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: A bit of paranormal, mystery and lots of page turning....Of Dreams and Shadows kept me at the edge of my seat! The writing keeps me on my toes. I really had no idea what to expect with the story. The blurb doesn't give much away at all, but what it does have intrigued me- and the story that went with it did not disappoint. Right from the start, my interest piqued. I needed to know more. The author did a great job setting up an eerie scene at first, and then tied in the plot.  It appears to be the first in a series, so I'm very curious to see how the rest pans out.  Definite recommended read. 

Author Bio:
When I was a little girl, I was afraid of my shadow - seriously afraid - running and screaming afraid. Perhaps I've always been a victim of an over-active imagination and maybe that explains the monsters hiding under my bed, the ghosts lurking in my closet, and the Shadow that inspired my first novel – Of Dreams and Shadow:  Forget Me Not.  I have always loved to write.  While in school, I dreamed of being a reporter, parachuting into war-torn places and getting "the story."  In reality I’m afraid of heights and would never jump out of a perfectly good flying machine.   I have been fortunate enough to have had a varied career - from working as a DJ for a small radio station to serving as the president and part owner of a marina.  I am married, have three sons and live in coastal North Carolina.

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  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for not only taking the time to read/review my novel but for also being a tour stop!