Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A #WickedWednesdays Glimpse into the DNA of Evil Characters by Addison Brae #villain

Please join me in welcoming back Addison Brae to Discover... She always has a good take on subjects, and she's tackled one of my favorites--villains. Villain on!

Who are your most hated villains? My most recent favorites are Walter White from Breaking Bad, Gus Fring from Better Call Saul, Serena Joy from The Handmaid’s Tale, Kilgrave from Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Marlo Stansfield of The Wire. All of these characters have three things in common. They’re authentic. They’re interesting and unique. And they’re evil to the point of having no soul, even though they may earn your sympathy on occasion.

Authentic, interesting and evil make up the DNA of an effective villain. Then match the villains’ traits with what scares the main character most. The combination has the effect of oil and water or two like ends of magnets and hopefully makes it hard for readers to put the book down.

Developing villains is fun. Think about all the bad bosses you’ve had mashed together. Combine characteristics, traits, and wicked things they did. That’s very similar to how Kim, Gillian’s boss at her first real job at an accounting firm, came about in Becker Circle. Gillian has a horrible fear of controlling people and how they belittle her. Here’s how her fear plays out during a staff meeting. It’s after Gillian tells her boss she suspects embezzlement after auditing a client’s records.
“I know, Gillian, you’re doing your job.” Kim turns back to the table. “But someone with more experience needs to handle this one.” She pauses and scans the faces around the conference table. Everyone’s looking somewhere else but at her. “Get with Bryan this afternoon. He’ll take it from here.”

What? My body goes hotter than a raging bonfire. I found the problem but I’m not smart enough to finish? She’s just like Connor—controlling and always cutting me down. And Bryan? He’s about a minute more experienced than I am. My face must be as red as it feels because everyone’s looking at me. Sara’s expression reaches across the table like a warm hug. I take a few slow deep breaths and force a smile. “Okay. Bryan, come by and I’ll explain everything to you.”

He does. And I do. And whatever.

Kim is one of the kinder wicked characters that show up in different parts of Gillian’s life in Becker Circle. She also has a love interest with multiple personalities and few other evil people she encounters while trying to solve the murder she witnessed. The most fun part of writing great scenes for mean characters is how the author can write the ending they want. This is especially satisfying in scenes based on truth—events that you always wish you had that second chance for a different outcome.

Today’s Wicked Wednesday and a perfect day to change a bad outcome to something fantastic. I challenge you to chase down something wicked and turn it into good.

Connect with Addison Brae on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. You can find Becker Circle on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords.  

About Becker Circle
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.

A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer. Watch the trailer.   

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Wicked Hero aka Bad Boy by Amber Daulton #wicked #redemption


Please welcome Amber Daulton as the guest blogger today. Nothing like a wicked hero! Bad boys can steal our hearts. Enjoy.

Even though Mason Harding is the hero of his book, Arresting Mason, he can be a pretty wicked man. After all, that’s what bad boys are supposed to be. He appeals to me as both a reader and writer because I love redemption and second chance stories. Just because someone makes a mistake (depending on the mistake, really), I don’t think they should be ostracized from society, especially if they’re trying to make amends to live a better life.

The idea for this character and the book came to me in a dream. In my dreams, however, I’m always the leading lady, and I fell in love with a secretive ex-con with a dangerous past. I couldn’t stop thinking about Mason for days after that, and his seductive voice kept urging me to write about him as I tossed and turned in bed at night, so I finally wrote out a tentative plot.

For Mason, he was 18 years old when he and a few friends robbed a liquor store. Two innocent men were shot as a result, but Mason did what he could to save the men’s lives. He went to prison for it and has regretted that night ever since. While in the slammer, he joined a drug gang and used his fists more often than not. After a while, he made some changes and watched his attitude, but prison is no place for good guys. Now on parole, he’s left his criminal life behind, but the past has a way sneaking up on people and it’s definitely riding his backside.

Despite his mistakes, Mason loves his family and friends, and he’s holding down a respectable job. He’s a good example of someone turning their lives around for the better. Otherwise, his ladylove, Mia Eddison, wouldn’t be with him. According to Mia, and I quote: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It’s how you respond to those mistakes, or how you cope, that defines you as a person.” I think that pretty much sums this up. Everyone makes mistakes, but those who can move on and make a good life for themselves and those they love, in spite of any and all adversities, deserves a pat on the back. Even wicked boys like Mason.


Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?


“You’re not a bitch queen, but it is high and mighty of you to expect me to blurt out all my mistakes when you know I don’t trust people easily. I trust you—don’t misunderstand me—but women have stabbed me in the back before, so I took the safe road.” Her disappointment struck him hard, worse than her anger could have, and her gentle reprimand reduced him to feeling like the worst type of shit. “It goes against everything I believe in to tell you about my past.”
“Because I love you.” The words spilled from his mouth. As her eyes widened, he swallowed hard to soothe his rough voice, but he couldn’t take back those stupid words. “I love you, Mia, and I know you’ll stab me in the back any time now.”

Buy Links

Barnes and Noble –
Google Play –
The Wild Rose Press store –

Author Bio

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at

Social Media Links

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Finding my Hidden Heroine by Kate McKeever #heroine #romance


Opening your mouth with the suitable response can be pretty fearless. Read on and enjoy my guest, Kate McKeever.

Have you ever been in a situation where, after the fact, you wished you’d said something witty and sarcastic in reply to a criticism? Or have you looked on in a moment as an outsider and wondered, what would I do?

I have found myself in both situations a lot. As a writer, I tend to be someone who lives inside my head, with numerous retorts springing forth silently or only to be brought forth when I’m five minutes down the highway and clenching my teeth. And yes, I am one of those people that imagine myself as a masked heroine, only I’m clothed in so many layers, I’d never be able to respond to the emergency without getting tangled up in my shoes.

That’s why I write the strong but vulnerable heroines I do. In my current book, Sinner’s Redemption, my heroine is a woman who, in times of danger, responded bravely only to be punished and now bears inner scars, as well as outer ones. Every heroine I write, I find, has an inner core that may or may not be obvious to those around them. But, of course the hero sees it.

Sinner’s Redemption, a Brotherhood Protectors World book, features a woman who has built a reputation as a reporter who isn’t afraid to go into any situation. However, when she meets a man who, like her, has met the evil of men and carries his own wounds, she may face her biggest challenge, that of giving her heart to another.

For Val, the world has been something to conquer, to reveal its underbelly to the public and to find a way to make it better. She has the warrior’s spirit, as well as a touch of the crusader, with the need to heal the world.

So, what makes me write this type of heroine? As a writer, I think I leave something of myself in each book and even reveal something of my character, or the woman I would like to be. And I would like to be a heroine, finding something to fight for and something to heal.

For my upcoming book, Saint’s Fall, my heroine would never
recognize herself by that name. Jewel spent her youth making all the wrong choices to be with the boy she thought was her lifelong love. When she finally realized she was being used by the one man she trusted, she turned her back on everything she knew and is now trying to make a new life in a new place. Luc “Saint” Benatou may not see his own value after being maimed in the middle east, but he can see the wounded warrior in Jewel and is determined that she see the same. Saint’s Fall will be available in June through Amazon, as my latest book from Elle James’ Brotherhood Protectors world.

What kind of heroine do you like to read? And what kind of heroine are you?

Kate McKeever was born and raised in the south and spent her childhood rambling in the woods and reading, often at the same time. She spent a lot of time in libraries as a volunteer and reader, then as a perennial student, so her mother thought. She tried several careers before settling down on her current one. Writing is a passion and joy. Kate loves to write small town and paranormal romances.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Spirits, Addiction, and Romance with Claire Gem #haunting #romance


Please welcome by guest blogger today, Claire Gem.

I’m an author who is very much influenced by place. In fact, every one of my six novels is set in a location I have either lived in or visited—usually often. I think having spent time in a particular place, becoming familiar with the scenery, the history, and the people there, makes it easier for my imagination to take hold and blossom. Some, like Lake George, N.Y. of A Taming Season, holds many happy memories for me. We vacationed there often as I was growing up, and still try to make an annual visit to the quaint lakeside village.

Not all of those places, though, have happy memories connected with them.

Spirits of the Heart, one of my Haunted Voices novels, is actually set in my home town. Middletown, N.Y. was the site of a psychiatric center up until the late 1970s. That was the time of “de-institutionalization,” when the government closed many mental asylums all over the country. When I was a child, my father spent a few stints in Middletown State Hospital. Sadly, he battled with alcoholism all his life.

My brother still lives in Middletown, and whenever we visit, I like to drive around the old campus of the asylum. Many of the buildings have been razed or re-purposed, but some still stand eerily empty, crumbling under the weight of time. The biggest building was Talcott Hall. With its barred windows and caged patios, it was clearly the place where the most disturbed patients were housed. I thought—what a great place to set a story. A ghost story.

And so, Spirits of the Heart was born.

An addiction counselor and a security guard struggle to free a little girl and her father, two lost spirits trapped inside an abandoned mental asylum.

Addiction counselor Laura Horton returns from college to move in with an old friend and start her career. But her homecoming is jarring. Her friend moves out, leaving Laura alone with the gorgeous but intimidating ex-boyfriend—in a house that snugs up to an ancient graveyard.

Officer Miller Stanford is a man with a shattered past. His alcoholic dad destroyed their family, a weakness Miller is terrified will consume him too. The last thing he needs is a sexy, blonde addiction counselor watching his every move. When he begins to see specters in the dark, he starts questioning his own stability.

But Laura sees her too—a pathetic child-spirit searching for her father. Then Laura starts digging into old asylum records . . . Can Miller and Laura uncover the secrets of Talcott Hall without jeopardizing their love—and lives—in the process?

Spirits of the Heart Amazon Buy Link: 

Youtube Trailer:

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. Also in 2017, her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader's Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Her latest release, Spirits of the Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 "I Heart Indie Awards."

Creating cross-genre fiction she calls "supernatural suspense," Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

Claire is available for seminars & media interviews & loves to travel for book promotional events.

Find Claire here:
Amazon Author Page: