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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Feeling Your Story

The smile Cadence bestowed upon him was undoubtedly the most brilliant he’d ever seen and for a moment, Curtis was certain heaven had opened its gate just enough to let a glimmer of light shimmer upon the mere mortals and sinners. For half a heartbeat he dared to believe she was one of the lost angels his grandmother had so oft spoken of. Surely she was one of them, fallen from the heavens, adrift on the earth to help lost souls find their way. No one had ever smiled at him that way, and when she plied him with those huge amethyst eyes, he wasn’t just lost…

He was wrecked.

Oh, but she shouldn’t look at him that way, as though he were some sort of hero, because he wasn’t. She shouldn’t look at him with all the innocent trust in the world glistening at the surface of her eyes because it was downright dangerous. And it was dangerous because, even though he knew he shouldn’t, he liked having her look at him that way. He wanted it. Craved it. Deep down in the farthest reaches of his soul he wanted to be her white knight, and it made him remember when he hadn’t been a total bastard, and it made him want a whole world of things he couldn’t begin to dream of having.

For many reading romance is the ultimate escape. We can lose ourselves in a story filled with love and emotion guaranteed to end well. Readers search for a story that tugs at the heart strings and authors strive to achieve that effect. Author Nicholas Sparks is without doubt a master when it comes to emotional story telling.

I’ve been told that my stories are emotional and asked what my trick is. To be perfectly honest I’m not sure I have a trick, but here are a few simple techniques I try to implement in my stories.

A good vocabulary is a must. I don’t necessarily mean big, impossible words that no one understands—nothing turns me off of a story faster—but rather a diverse word bank. For example there is more than one way to say “bad guy”—brigand, thief, thug, felon. On the same note use diverse sentence structure to make the story flow interesting.

Small details often help to make your characters relatable. Do we want to read about a glowing goddess of a heroine? Sure. As long as she’s a klutz.

Now I turn the floor over to you… As a reader what sucks you into a story? What makes your heart throb? As an author how do you work to achieve believable, heart wrenching emotion in your stories?

When murder suspect Cadence Jamison disguises herself as a boy and stows aboard the Heavenly Mistress Captain Curtis Langston may find his two past occasions for rescuing her more than he bargained for.

Bitter and Cynical after service in the Confederate Army, Curtis believes himself no more deserving of another's love than capable of returning it. Content to drift through life free of emotional and therefore romantic complications the once carefree and mischievous rogue may be forever gone. But when Cadence appears in his life Curtis finds himself smiling again, smiling and dreaming and feeling more like himself than he has in five years. Drawn with almost unnatural force to the sweet and innocent goodness Cadence offers, Curtis blunders again and again to resist the pull of what a life with her could be.

Can Cadence show this wounded soul how to love again? Or is he doomed to be forever unforgiven, haunted by the ghosts of his past?

Angel and the Unforgiven can be found at and for more information visit my web page at

Happy Reading!


Author Bio:

A Registered Nurse by night, Melissa battles the stresses of life and illness by enjoying uplifting tales of love and romance. A firm believer in true love united with an enduring fascination with history has prompted her pursuit of romance writing. She lives in beautiful Big Sky Country Montana with her husband and children.


Anonymous said...

And I think I forgot to mention...

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!


Kaylin McFarren said...

Never read a smile expressed quite so eloquently, Melissa. Beautiful writing!! And Happy St. Paddy's to you too. :)

Phyllis Campbell said...

Great blog! You always teach me something new!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kaylin and Phyllis!

Victoria Roder said...

I get sucked into a story when the character has a struggle or something terrible happened beyond their control. It makes me root for them.

Allison Knight said...


Great blog. I get sucked into a story if I immediately care about the first character.
And something has to be going on. A fight, a struggle, something internal or external that says I have to read more to find out what's happening.

Anonymous said...

Vicki and Allison,

Me too! I love action in a story and I have to be worried about my characters. Sometimes my biggest struggle as a writer is being mean to the characters, lol.


Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Wonderful blog. You have such writing talent. And your cover art is lovely!