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Monday, September 5, 2016

Have You Been Enticed?

When the Romance Books '4' Us authors got together last year and decided to put together a boxed set, I was overjoyed. I love writing short stories and novellas. For those who think writing short is easy, all I have to say is that you must never have tried it! There were days when I wished I had more wiggle room so I could include at least five thousand more words but after agreeing to a word count, I knew I had to write tighter.

First of all, I had to rein in the impulse to give secondary characters too much page time. Some secondary characters will waltz off with the story if you let them, which only means they need a story of their own. Take notes and move on but don't give them their head or you might be cutting five thousand words, which takes time you might not have. It's also aggravating!

Next on the agenda was determining how complicated the plot needed to be. I tend to give my main characters a previous relationship so I don't have to set up why they interact the way they do. In I'LL BE SEEING YOU, my hero and heroine, Jack and Lulu have a war-time fling and she never expects to see him again. This is a romance, so I knew that wasn't going to happen!

Before all of this was actually decided, I knew I wanted a story set in a period in history that has always fascinated me. The men and women who lived through the WW2 era are considered by many to be the Greatest Generation. These people had just come through a depression and were still struggling with the after effects. Did you know that the armed services had a difficult time filling their ranks because the Great Depression the country had just been through had devastated the health of so many? Do you remember the scene in Captain America where Steve Rogers was determined to be 4F? That happened more than anyone liked to talk about back then. Just another reason that this generation has never ceased to amaze me.

The time period was ripe with different settings and since I'm an "old movie" buff, Hollywood beckoned. I love nothing better than a fun "mash-up" so I threw in a little Hollywood and included a paranormal twist. Believe it or not, the plot isn't all that complicated. Handsome hero with a secret meets Plain Jane for what seems like a war-time fling. Love, mad scientists, a creepy sanitarium and a little howling at the moon are in the offing. Enjoy!

Blurb for I’ll Be Seeing You by Paris Brandon
©2015 Paris Brandon

20th Century historical romance with a paranormal twist…

Jack Howland, part of an elite group of OSS special agents can’t resist the pull of the moon or widowed USO hostess, Lulu Lane. After the war, while chasing a Nazi war criminal, their paths cross again. Will the truth about what Jack is send Lulu screaming into the night or back into his arms?

Heat Rating: 2 chili peppers


I’ll Be Seeing You by Paris Brandon (PG)
© 2015 Paris Brandon

May 1944
USO Club, Los Angeles, California

There were girls in soft summer dresses, all pink and flowery, smiling and perfumed. None of them would have turned down the handsome lieutenant. Why ask her?
She placed a hand on his solid chest. “Did somebody put you up to this? Did you lose a bet or something?”
He loosened his grip and took a deep breath right before he slid her left hand to his shoulder. When his fingers brushed over the third finger of her right hand, and detected the evidence she was a widow, he uttered a harsh, whispered word that might have been a vehement curse in another language.
“Or something,” he said very clearly, his breath warm against her ear. “Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your mind?”
“Daily. What’s that got to do with you asking me to dance?”
“What’s your name?”
“Lulu Lane. What comes after Lieutenant?” she asked, trying not to get lost in the sensation of being moved around the floor by a handsome man while people stared.
“Jack. Jack Howland,” he snapped, but then he snugged her tighter to his chest and his hand drifted over her back as if he were soothing a wound.
“Asking me to dance doesn’t seem to be making you very happy. Why did you?”
He looked as if he were losing an argument only he knew about.
“I leave in two days. I shouldn’t have spoken to you, let alone asked you to dance, because no matter what I say, it’s not going to come out right.”
“It’s not going to come out at all if you keep talking in riddles.”
He looked surprised for a moment and she was gratified that she could at least break through his maddening, mysterious behavior. “I’ve got forty-eight hours left on a three-day pass and I want to spend it with you. Clear enough for you?”
It took a few moments for what he’d said to sink in, and even then she had trouble believing him. This had to be some kind of a joke.
“You’re smart, Howland; I’ll give you that. You picked out the only wallflower in the bunch—”
“I don’t want to scare you, Lulu, but you don’t fool me. I’m glad nobody else has sense enough to see past the glasses and sensible shoes. You’re an open book for the lucky somebody willing to peel back the cover.
“I’m not looking for romance. I’m looking for forty-eight hours with someone who looked back at me the same way I was looking at them.”


I'LL BE SEEING YOU is just one of nine, count them, nine stories included in the ENTICE ME boxed set that can be yours for the incredible price of $.99! Grab your copy today that also includes stories from Cara Marsi, Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Gemma Juliana, Janice Seagraves, Jean Hart Steward, Marianne Stephens and Cindy Spencer Pape.

Did I mention that ENTICE ME was a Top 10 finisher for Best anthology in the 2015 Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll? Enticed yet? I didn't have a birthday drawing last month so while this is a little late, I'd like to gift someone who makes a comment today with a copy of our ENTICE ME, boxed set.

Before I get out of here, I need to tell you that the wonderful cover for I'LL BE SEEING YOU was made by our very own, Rose Anderson. Thank you, Rose!

Until next month,
Happy Reading, Everyone!
Paris Brandon


Cara Marsi said...

Paris, I love your story, and I'm proud to be in this anthology with you. I, too, love that period in history. I didn't know about how the Depression devastated the health of so many and made it harder for the military to get recruits. I have an easier time writing short than long. I run out of story when I try to write long. When I do a novella or short story, many times the characters will have had a relationship in the past.

Melissa Keir said...

I love love love the shorter writing. Maybe because I started with poetry! But each time I get a chance, I'm writing tight.

Your story sounds amazing and the music and people of the era always have called to me! I wish you many continued sales!

Tina Donahue said...

How right you are, Paris - writing short is murder. I did one story this year with a word count of 5000 or less. I tend to write tight, but that was a challenge. Great excerpt. Congrats on your success with this wonderful antho. :)

jean hart stewart said...

Good for you for mentioning our wonderful boxed set. Love your story in the set. I find I prefer writing long, but can do short if I have to. Just a slight correction, on the wild chance someone might want to google me. I know, I'm an optimist. My last name is Stewart with a 't', not a 'd'. Tina, I salute you...5000 words sound HARD! And Paris, it's an honor to be pubbed with you.....

Paris said...

Cara, Melissa and Tina and Jean

Thank you all so much for commenting and Jean, I do apologize for my clumsy typing!

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