Monday, April 10, 2017

#Win Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak (US)




BRENDA NOVAK, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has penned more than 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $2 million. 








Ten Things Every Novel Needs

The beautiful thing about any creative endeavor is that there is no one “right” way to accomplish it. Everyone’s imagination works differently, and that’s what provides such great variety in art and literature. Just when someone thinks there’s an easy formula or “recipe” that must be followed if a book is to be “good” or “successful,” some author will invariably break one or more of the “rules” and wind up with a blockbuster. That said, there are certain elements that help to make one story better than another.  These are the ten I believe to be most important.

  1. A great hook. These can be really fun to come up with. I got the idea for THE SECRET SISTER, which was nominated for the prestigious Rita Award, from an episode of Dateline. I was mesmerized as I watched a brother and sister, now adults, talk about the vague memories they had of another child. They were certain that child had been a sibling, but their mother claimed otherwise. They decided to dig deeper, and I was hooked! I wanted to know where that child was and what had happened to her—and why the mother had lied. Then I wanted to write a story that explored the same premise (although my book develops and ends in a completely different way than the incident that inspired it).

  1. Layered characters. What’s interesting about characters is that they can’t be “too” real, or they will seem fake. I know that’s a paradox, but real people are too inconsistent to make believable characters. On the other hand, flat, two-dimensional characters are unengaging. So finding that middle ground can make all the difference, and that often involves creating characters who are flawed—because that’s what makes them sympathetic.

  1. Tension. In almost any kind of book it’s tension, created from conflict, that propels a story forward. Without something to conquer, something to overcome, there is no journey, no reason to read on.

  1. Solid Research. In a way, an author has to be a “jack of all trades.” Although she may have only limited experience with certain things (like the adoption process and what it takes to unravel a closed adoption such as what I wrote about in FINDING OUR FOREVER), it becomes encumbant on her to do enough research to be able to write with authority, which is what makes the book convincing. A single error can throw the reader right out of the story with the thought, “That could never happen!”

  1. Pacing that fits the style and genre of the book. While a romantic suspense novel might need to move fast, a contemporary romance seems to have a relatively moderate pace and a straight historical novel or a literary novel might be able to withstand even more introspection. Either way, the pacing must be appropriate to the story.

  1. Chapter/scene hooks. An author who builds her chapters and scenes such that she ends on an an up beat, instead of a sense of denouement, propels her reader into the next chapter—and the next and the next and so on.

  1. Active writing. Avoiding passive verbs like had, has, was, seemed and looked, and using stronger verbs in their place, will help bring the story alive. We’ve all heard, “Show, don’t tell.” This is part of the same thing. You want your readers to actively experience the story, to live the story, and that won’t happen if you’re standing back, telling them what’s happening from a distance. You need to bring them close in order to ignite their imagination and emotions. Then they will be right there with you, participating in every event.

  1. Tone. Hold to a sense of mystery as your tale unfolds.  I never thought much about tone until I read a book that was light and funny at first (just like what was promised on the cover and blurb), but suddenly turned dark and angry. The change so unexpected and so sudden it nearly gave me whiplash, and it made me slightly angry. I felt like the author had broken her contract with me, the reader, which made me realize that holding fast to the correct tone as a writer is important.

  1. Unanswered questions. Why is the heroine doing this or that? Will she escape? What will the hero do when he finds out? Are they going to make it? What’s going to happen next? Knowing how much information to convey—and when—is key. Posing such questions will build a sense of urgency that should escalate through the novel to the black moment, making the “big finish” that much more exciting and satisfying.

  1. Subtext. Sub-text makes everything richer, more intriguing. According to fellow author Alicia Rasley, “A layered  conversation is always more interesting than a simple one. Make it obvious that your characters are really saying more than what is on the page. That engages the reader’s thoughts and imagination as they try to puzzle out the subtleties.” I wholeheartedly agree with her!
Special Edition: March 21, 2017
$5.25 U.S.; 224 Pages
ISBN-978-0-
373-623389


The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch's owner, that she's really her daughter? Cora's not sure she can do that, not unless she's confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner—Aiyana's adopted son and ranch manager—that decision becomes even more difficult.

Although Elijah can't deny his deep attraction to Cora, he's always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there's something about the ranch's newest employee that isn't exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he's long been waiting for.


DO YOU WANT TO WIN??

1 winner

US only

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




**No compensation was received for posting. Freda's Voice is not responsible for the prize shipment, lost, damaged or stolen prizes.

3 comments:

  1. I have read Brenda's captivating and wonderful novel. Thanks for this lovely feature and givweaway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brenda is a fantastic author that I have always enjoyed reading. I really liked the post about her process, certainly hooked me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have read most of Brenda's books as they are always sure to hook me early on and keep me riveted until the end. I am often disappointed to have to finish the story!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated due to spammers.
All opinions welcome. Be yourself, and have a blessed day!

Stella & Dot

ManyBooks Email Subscription (CA/US/UK)

Blog Archive

Labels

100+ Book Challenge (39) 12 (16) 12 Pearls of Christams (1) 12 Pearls of Christmas (26) 18+ (4) 1st chapter reveal (2) 2009 (1) 2010 (1) 2010 TBR (6) 2011 (8) 2012 (11) 2013 (18) 2013 TBR (1) 2014 (22) 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Submissions (1) 2015 (18) 2016 (18) A (2) a to z blogging (25) a-z (1) A. Horror (1) aboriginal (1) about me (1) Academy Award for Best Director (1) Academy Award for Best Picture (1) accessories (2) acne (1) acrylic block (1) action (7) activism (1) activity sheets (1) actor (2) adaption (1) adult (7) adult coloring book (2) advanced readers copy (6) adventure (18) advertisement (1) affiliate links (761) African-American (1) Air conditioning (1) air freshener (1) alcohol (3) all-natural (1) alphabe (77) ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (1) Amazon (1) Amazon Vine (3) amish (12) animals (7) animated (5) animation (4) Anna Karenina (4) anniversary (1) anniversary edition (2) announcement (6) annual (1) Anson Williams (1) anthology (3) anti-aging (2) Apple compatible (1) ARC (23) architecture (2) Armchair BEA 2012 (5) Armchair BEA 2013 (12) Armchair BEA 2014 (6) ArmchairBEA2015 (3) art (5) article (55) arts and crafts (1) arts festival (1) artwork (1) astrology (3) audiobook (21) author guest post (58) author interview (41) Author Writing Tips (3) authors' movie star cast (1) autobiography (7) AUX cable (1) Avon Voices (1) baby (1) back-to-school (1) bags and purses (1) Bakescapades (1) baking (4) banned book list (1) based on book (2) based on comic book (1) based on film (1) Based On Real Cat. early review (1) based on true story (1) bath (1) BBAW (10) BDSM (1) beauty (12) beverage (2) bewitching (1) Bewitching Book Tours (1) bible study (2) biblezine (1) biblical (4) biography (15) birds (1) birthday (2) black history (1) bladder control (1) Blind Date With A Book (1) blitz (6) blog hop (3) blogoversary (5) blogradio (1) Blogsplash (1) Blue Jeans Go Green (1) blues (1) bluray (27) blurb (11) body lotion (2) Bolse (1) bon apettit recipe (1) Book 1 (9) book 10 (1) book 13 (1) book 2 (21) book 3 (14) book 4 (6) book 5 (2) book 6 (1) book beginnings (98) book blast (202) book blitz (5) book to film (11) book trailer (3) book-to-graphic novel (1) booking through (1) bookmark (1) bookshout (3) booktofilm (4) borrowed copy (1) bought (28) bread (1) bulletin (1) Bullying (1) business (2) calendar (1) calypso (1) Canada (3) Canada Beef Ambassador (2) Canadian (1) Canadian author (4) candy (1) CanvasPop (1) car charger (1) Cardiac Disease (1) cardio (1) Cardiovascular disease (2) cards (2) career (1) cartoon (1) Casino (1) cd (11) celebrity (12) Challenge (363) character interview (1) charity (1) ChickAdvisor (4) chicnova (1) children (40) Children's literature (2) China (1) christian (69) christmas (31) classic (4) classic literature (6) classical (1) cleaning product (2) cleanser (1) clips (1) clothes (16) clothing (4) cocktail recipe (1) coffee (2) coffee machine (1) collection (1) coloring sheet (1) comedy (18) comic (7) Comic book (4) Competition (1) complete challenge (1) computers (2) conditioner (2) confections (1) conspiracy theories (1) contemporary (10) Contemporary romance (1) cookbook (61) Cooking (1) cooking tool (1) copycat recipes (1) Coral reef (1) corset (1) Cosmetics (1) costume (4) costume jewelry (1) Cotton (1) Cotton Incorporated (1) Cotton's 24 Hour Fashion Show (1) coupon (2) cover reveal (21) cozy (4) crafts (1) Crafts by Freda (1) crime (4) CSN (1) cuba (1) culinary fiction (1) culinary mystery (1) culture (2) customized (2) cuticle conditioner (1) daily (6) dance (1) day planner (1) death (1) debut (2) decoration (2) dehumidifier (1) delivering (1) DeLonghi (1) devotional (19) diabetes (1) diamond (1) diaper (1) diary (3) digital copy (1) digital photo art (1) digital photo keychain (1) discography (1) discount (1) discussion (5) Disney (1) DIY (2) DK Canada (5) Dog training (1) dogs (2) doodle (1) doomsday (1) Dorm Ideas (1) drama (3) drawing (1) Dreamworks (1) dress (6) dress shirt (1) drink (4) drummer (1) dvd (14) dysotopian (8) dystopian (19) e-book (9) e-novella (1) eArc (16) early review (6) earphones (2) earplugs (1) Easter (1) easy listening (1) ebook (129) ecowear (1) education (11) educational (1) egift cards (1) electronics (4) Ellipsis (1) Emotional Health (1) encyclopedia (3) end-of-the-month wrap-up (1) EntangledTour (1) EPA (1) epic (1) erotica (9) eShakti (2) essays (1) estate planning (1) event (7) excerpt (68) exercise (2) expressions (1) Expresso Book Tour (3) external giveaway entry (1) eye shadow (1) Facebook Fans (1) facial butter (1) fairytale (7) fairytale retelling (14) family (8) fantasy (77) fashion (15) fashion related (1) Fathers Day (1) Favorite Author (6) Favorite Cookbook (12) favorite movie (2) Favorite Poetry (25) Favorite Read (39) feature (5) features (1) Febreeze (1) feminine hygiene (1) fiction (601) film (5) First Book of the Year (2) First Reads Program (1) Fisher-Price (1) fitness (3) flower centerpiece (1) food (12) food and drink (2) Food Network (5) Food Network TV (3) foot balm (1) For Men (1) Fox Pictures (6) Fox TV (1) Fragrance oil (1) Freda's Voice Challenge (4) free (1) free blogger event (2) freebie (9) FreeRead (81) friday (12) friday 56 (396) frosting (1) FSB Associates (1) Fuji Film (1) fun (1) fun stuff (1) FVHGG (1) FVMDGG (7) G (3) gadgets (2) game (2) garbage bags (1) Garnier Review Crew (1) gemstone (1) Get to Know Freda (52) ghosts (2) gift (6) Gift basket (1) Gift book (1) gift cards (1) gift ideas (1) girls (2) Giveaway (617) giveaway blitz (1) Gladys Knight (1) Glamulet (1) Gluten-free diet (1) Go-GURT (1) Gospel music (1) graphic (1) Graphic novel (8) green (1) greeting (3) grooming (1) Groupon (1) growing (2) Guest post (22) guitar (1) hachette book group (1) hair chalk (1) hair dryer (1) hair extensions (1) hair pieces (1) haircare (3) Halloween costume (1) hand mixer (1) harlequin (2) harlequin presents (2) harlequin super romance (1) headphones (2) health (23) Heart disease (1) herbs (2) historical (33) history (7) holiday (5) Holiday Gift Guide 2014 (12) Holiday Gift Guide 2015 (1) Holidays (1) home (4) home decor (5) Hometown Author (1) horror (15) Hotel (1) household supplies (1) how to for writers (7) how-to (3) how-to advice (1) hubby review (3) humanitarian (1) humor (21) Hurricane Katrina (1) hygiene (4) I Am A Writer Tours (5) I.O Book Tours (1) IAARNAW (1) IAmAReaderTours (2) Iams (1) ID tags (1) idiot's guides (1) illustrated (2) illustrations (1) Influenster (1) infographic (1) inspirational (13) Instagram 56 (108) instructional (2) insurance (1) internet (2) interview (75) intro (20) iPad case (1) ipad compatible (1) iphone compatible (2) ipod compatible (1) Italian (1) Italy Book Tours (1) J. Crew (1) James Bond in film (1) Japan Funbox (1) Japanese Foods (1) Japanese Mythology (2) Japanese Proverbs (1) jewelry (9) jokes (1) Joni Mitchell (1) Jord (1) jumper (1) keychain (1) kids activities (1) Kids Toys (1) Kindle (22) kindle freebie (5) KitchenAid (1) kitchenware (1) lajupette (1) Lampe Berger (2) language (3) Larry the Cable Guy (1) launch party (1) launch team (7) leggings (1) legit lit book tour (1) leisure (1) Lent (1) letter from editor (1) LGBT (1) LinkVehicle (2) literary fiction (1) literature (1) LitFuse (2) Louisiana (1) Love Lessons Learned (5) lunch ideas (1) Lunch Makeover (1) luxury (1) M/F/M theme (1) magazine (1) make up (4) map (1) marine biology (1) Marvel (1) mash up (2) mathematics (1) Maybelline (1) Meat Cookbook (1) meditation (1) MEGA (1) Mega Brands (1) meme (1) memoir (49) memorabilia (1) memorium (1) Men's wear (1) menopause (1) menstruation (1) Mental Health (1) Mermaids (1) MG (5) MG/YA (1) Middle East (1) middle grade (18) mind and body (1) mineral make up (1) mini-review (7) miniseries (1) Mobile App (1) model (1) moisturizer (1) Monday (3) monthly (88) monthly box subscription (1) MONTHLY LINKY (36) mother of pearl (9) Mother's Day (1) mothers day gift guide 2014 (5) motivational (2) movie (90) movie #2 (1) movie trailer (1) movies (2) MP3 player (1) Multi-Grain Cheerios (1) music (16) music accesories (1) music videos (1) musical (1) musician (2) my book list (1) my guest review (3) my interviews (1) My Pacific Pearl (1) mystery (66) myths (1) nail art (1) nails (3) Namefully (1) Natural product (3) natural remedy (1) Neil Peart (1) Nestlé Waters North America (1) Netflix Original Programming (1) NetGalley (19) new release (1) new years (2) New York City (1) news (6) Nigerian Entertainment Website (1) Noise-cancelling headphones (1) non-fiction (187) novella (29) nutrition (2) Oasap (4) office chair (1) office supplies (1) One2One (10) online (1) online ordering services (1) Online Read (1) online shopping (3) online store (4) oprah book club (1) oral health (1) OrangeberryTours (2) ornament (2) orthotics (1) pain remedy (1) painting (1) paranormal (75) Paranormal romance (1) paranorml (1) parenting (2) partnered post (1) Party Favor (1) party planning (1) PC Nutrition First (2) pearl girls mothers day (9) pearls (1) perks (1) personal event (2) personal growth (1) Personal Story (2) personalized (1) pet clothing (1) pets (5) PG (39) philosophy (2) photo printing (4) photography (9) picture book (5) picture-book (1) pilates (1) pirates (1) plants (2) Playlist (4) poetry (13) poetry by Freda (9) pop culture (2) Portable Printer (1) poster (1) Posterjack (6) prayer (1) prehistoric (1) prequel (3) prescreening (2) preserves (1) press release (2) printables (1) Printer (1) printing (1) product (103) progress cards (1) prologue (1) promo stop (45) proverbs (1) psychology (1) puberty (2) PulseIt (7) PumpUpYourBook (1) purchased (1) Purifier (1) PUYB (3) puzzle (1) Q. A (6) quickie giveaway (37) quotations (1) quotes (2) R (16) Racetrack (1) Random Acts of Kindness (1) re-read (1) re-review (1) read-a-long (4) recipe (29) recipes (9) recycling program (1) Reebok (12) reference (32) relationships (3) release day (1) religious (19) remake (2) rented (1) Restaurant (1) restaurants (1) retail concept store (1) retelling (4) review (1211) Ridley Scott (1) Riveted Reads (5) roaster (1) rock (1) romance (108) Romwe (1) rough guide (1) Round-Up (1) rules (1) Rush (band) (1) Safety (1) sale (1) sampler (1) Samsung compatible (1) Samsung phone cover (1) saving (2) SC Johnson (1) Scent (1) school (1) school lunch (1) sci-fi (22) science (4) screener (40) season 1 (3) self help (1) self-help (26) selling (1) series (130) service (2) sex (2) Shakespearean (1) shampoo (2) shelving (1) shoes (1) Shogasm (1) shopping (1) short stories (32) short story (26) shorts (6) sign up (2) Simpsons (1) Single Jo Coffee (1) Skin (2) skin care (4) skin cream (2) sleuth (1) slideshow (2) small appliance (1) Smartphone Accessories (1) snacks (1) soap (1) socks (1) soft rock (1) software (1) sonnets (1) southern (2) special clothing (1) special deal (1) special post (27) spiritual (1) sponsored giveaway (101) sponsored post (100) sports (2) spotlight (12) stain remoner (1) staples (2) Star Wars (1) Stars On Ice (3) State Farm (2) SteamPunk (4) Stella & Dot (10) stimulants (1) stocking stuffers (2) summer festival (1) supplement (1) suspense (37) swagbucks (2) Sydney Festival (1) Sydney Festival 2014 Program (1) tablet case (1) take out (1) tank top (1) Tassimo (1) tbr checkpoint (1) TBR PILE (3) Tdiscs (1) teaser (314) technology (5) technology accessories (1) teen (4) television (2) Thanksgiving (1) The New York Times Best Seller list (1) theatre (1) thriller (37) Throw Back Thursday (1) Thyroid cancer (1) tie (1) time travel (1) timer (1) tips (3) tomoson (2) toothbrush (1) tour (110) tour dates (1) towel (1) toys (1) travel (5) Tribute Book Tour (1) trilogy (1) true crime (1) tshirt (8) Tuesday (15) tv (7) tv movie (1) tv show (4) TV shows (1) twitter party (1) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1) unauthorized (1) undershirt (1) United States (1) United States Environmental Protection Agency (1) universal charger (1) update (1) Urban fantasy (1) Valentine's Day (2) vampire (2) video (3) video review (1) videogame-to-film (1) vignettes (1) virtual author tours (1) visual arts (1) VoxBox (1) walking cane (1) Warby Parker (1) website (4) wedding (1) wedding anniversary (1) WeekendAssignment (2) weight loss (3) weight management (2) werewolves (2) wigs (1) will (1) winner (7) wishlist (5) Witchcraft (1) women (4) women's health (1) women's lit (7) won (78) wood watch (1) words (1) workout (1) Worst Cooks in America (2) Wrap Up Linky (2) wrap-up (1) wristband (1) written for (1) WWII (1) XOXO Reads (3) YA (122) yoga (1) Yogurt (1) Yoplait (1) Yoplait Go-GURT (1) young adult (54) Zazen Bear (1)
© Freda's Voice 2012 | Blogger Template by Enny Law - Ngetik Dot Com - Nulis