Thanks, Dana, for inviting me to guest on your blog! I’m thrilled to be here.
When I was asked to describe what makes a page-turning romance, I shut off the writer side of my brain. J This isn’t hard…because I tend to write with it off. Well, sometimes. By that I mean, I started reading romance novels before writing them (which, of course, should be the natural progression), and I read at least a thousand before trying to write my own. I’m still a HUGE reader/lover of the genre, so my thoughts here are my own as a reader. And when I write, I write novels that I would love to read.
CHARACTERS. For me, a page-turning romance starts with characters that hook me from page one. Interesting and complex, they should call to me. I love a mix of vulnerability and strength. Especially with the heros. Mine tend to be very angst-ridden, often torn between desire and responsibility. For instance, in TIDES OF LOVE, Noah Garrett loves Elle Beaumont, but their past and his resistance to trust and believe in love perplex and trouble him. A marine biologist, he goes with his head, not his heart, at least initially! He thinks like a scientist instead of a man in love.
SETTING. Characters require a stage to perform on and setting is also a wonderful way to guide the theme of the story and enhance emotional drama. TIDES OF LOVE and TIDES OF PASSION are set on the Outer Banks (NC), and I used the lushness of this setting in many ways: to heighten drama, to highlight character, to sharpen conflict.
SEXUAL TENSION. Ah, a biggie! There is nothing like great sexual tension to turn the pages! (Try one of my favorites of all time: DANCE/Judith Ivory for a wonderful example.) As a writer, I love that we can insert sexual tension in any scene or setting. Crowded ballroom…moonlit balcony…dusty bookstore. J
What else? For me, believable, sharp dialogue! Rapid-fire and witty, this hooks me as a reader like nothing else. Also, humor between the lovers is a key aspect to a page-turner. We need this, as readers, to settle down from all the angst. Provides great contrast!
Happy reading! Let me know what YOU think makes the marvelous page-turning romance.
TIDES OF PASSION, the National Reader’s Choice for Best Long Historical, debuted in October 2011. The second novel in the Tides series, TIDES OF LOVE, arrived in November. Tracy’s holiday novella, which begins the new Southern Heat series, TO DESIRE A SCOUNDREL: A Christmas Seduction, released mid-December 2012. The next in the Heat series, TO SEDUCE A ROGUE, released in February. Next on the agenda? The start of the True series, about the True men. TRUE FATE arrives mid-May!
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Tides of Passion:
She is his greatest temptation.
He is her forbidden desire.
A battle of wills leads to love.
Spirited Savannah Conner is passionately committed to stamping out social injustice. Yet when she arrives in the seaside town of Pilot Isle, North Carolina, ready to take up a new cause, she quickly finds herself on the outs with the town constable. Zachariah Garrett is the most arrogant, infuriating, maddeningly attractive man it’s ever been her misfortune to meet. And suddenly, Savannah is fighting a whole new battle – this one against her own yearning for a man who is impossible to resist.
Ever since his wife’s death two years ago, Zachariah Garrett has dedicated his life to keeping the peace. So when he sees the pretty newcomer atop a wobbly wooden crate stirring up the crowd, he doesn’t hesitate to haul her off to jail. But Savannah Connor isn’t any ordinary law-breaker. She’s a beguiling beauty with the power to awaken emotions he thought he’s never feel again, and the tenderness to help him forget his fears…and risk his heart once more.
Will he be able to return and win her heart?
A SPURNED WOMAN
Elle Beaumont has learned life's lessons the hard way--by foolishly exposing her youthful heart to love, only to have it broken when her true love fled Pilot Island, North Carolina. Now Noah Garrett is back, rekindling dreams she'd given up for lost, and turning her world upside down. Elle's girlish yearning for him has become something more powerful than she'd ever imagined.
AN HONORABLE MAN
A man dedicated to science and rational judgment, Noah rejects all notions of romance...until the girl who used to cling to him like a shadow begins haunting his every thought. But even as he struggles to resist Elle's sensuous beauty and the wildfire attraction erupting between them, Noah cannot deny that their passion is as irresistible and endless as the tides of love.