Meet Lily Black.

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Lily Black believes in true love, but is also quite sure going after it is the scariest thing we’ll ever do!  She explores this dynamic in her romantic suspense novels, which are set in the small imaginary town of Willowdale, where people dream big, love deeply, and kick butt if necessary.  She has a black belt in Chung Do Kwan Tai Kwon Do, and has also trained in everything from judo to broadswords.  She lives in North Carolina, where she works as a content editor for a small publisher, and divides her free time between the mountains and the sea with her very patient and loving husband and their teen daughter. She is also the co-creator of the Book Ninjas’ Blush-O-Meter. Readers everywhere search the Book Ninja’s online catalog for romance, YA and chicklit novels in all genres, and find books that match their blush level!

Her debut romantic suspense–Storm of Attraction–launches February 13th, 2017 from Red Adept Publishing.  She welcomes you to join her on the journey!

BONUS breaking news! I’ve just learned that my publisher will be giving away three paper copies of Storm of Attraction on Goodreads!

Enter to win Jan. 31st through Feb. 12th, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Author Links:

Author website: http://www.lilyblackbooks.com/
Book Ninja’s Catalog: http://www.book-ninjas.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lily-Black-1713161408963150/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lilyblackbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16078435.Lily_Black

Guest Post – How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

February is all about love, right? So here are three ways to grow love in a romance: Iron-clad ways to make sure your characters’ love seems genuine, and makes your reader fall in love with your story as well.
1. Make sure your heroine loves your hero’s quirks, and flaws, too. This can be tricky, because ideally by the end of your love story the same characteristics of your hero that got on your heroine’s nerves originally will now seem endearing. This can be done by painting them in a new light, so what she originally saw as chauvinist and over-impressed with his own muscles, she now sees through the challenges they’ve faced in the novel as capable and reliable strength. This can also be true of his annoying habits. He has a tendency to fact-check her statements, and she believes he should take them at face value? If through the plot his fact-checking and thorough research proves invaluable, she may see it in a new light. Or, you can help her see inside his heart and learn why the quirk is there, and through that love and understanding come to value how his quirk represents his ability to overcome. The key is that you’ve shown how their love is powerful enough to change dross into gold, and your readers will love you for it. More importantly, they’ll love your characters!
2. Let their attraction sizzle, but keep it personal. There are certain things most of humanity find attractive in the opposite sex, and of course it’s smart to hit on those with your characters. But if their love feels generic the reader won’t feel it. By making him fall in love with the tiny curl that always escapes her hair when it’s done up, by having her ache to kiss the scar on the knuckle of his right thumb, their love will feel personal. Your readers will know not just any pretty brunette would turn his head—it’s this lady and this one alone. As an added bonus, readers will feel echoes from the times they’ve fallen in love–when we’re head over heels we notice (and maybe obsess) over the smallest details. When your characters act the same way, your readers will relate and know what they feel is the real deal.
3. Show your characters being loving, and show others’ love for them. This one can help when a character won’t initially be shown in a sympathetic light, or seem all that lovable. Maybe he’s an alpha with a chip on his shoulder, maybe she’s emotionally shut down. If he knows a sweet little old lady who works at the dry cleaner and he always brings her sticky buns when he picks up his clothes, that’s lovable! If you also show the old lady’s warmth and love for him, the moment will be that much more powerful and your readers will love him, too. The same is true for your emotionally damaged heroine, who has a mean-as-fiddlesticks stray cat she feeds and has coaxed to her hand. As my example demonstrates, this can tap into the ‘Save the Cat’ moment many writers are familiar with, showing your character in a positive light. When you also show your character being deeply loved by someone else—be it the old lady or a stray cat—the reader mentally categorizes the character as lovable regardless of their less desirable attributes.
Readers come to romances wanting to fall in love, it’s true. But many also want to believe that the Mr. Darcy’s of the world have a kinder, gentler side than first appears. That there is hope for the miscreant, and warmth in a human embrace for the sorrowful. You can give them that as you help your reader see your characters in a new light, and provide them the thrill of falling in love!

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