Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Take Me As I Am by Charmaine Ross - Win a free eBook!


BLURB:
Forget the whole billionaire tycoon thing: Kate Moore is a billionaire’s daughter, and she knows first-hand that they’re not all romance novel worthy. Her father is brilliant, inflexible, and brutal – and nothing she’s ever done has been good enough for him. Her one chance to take over the massive Moore’s Hotel Corporation is restoring the run-down Burnham Beeches in beautiful Sassafras to its former glory. To that end, she hires David Wright, a talented landscaper with an unparalleled eye for beauty and an unparalleled talent for distracting her from her goal.

David really needs this job. He needs the contract, the Moore’s name on his portfolio, and the money to pay for his ailing father’s health. Everything he’s worked for is now within his grasp, and he’s going to reach for it with both hands. What he doesn’t need is the diversion, or the temptation, presented by his new boss.

Neither David nor Kate are free to follow their own desires, but they’re powerless to fight their growing attraction. But they come from very different places; perceptions will have to crash, misconceptions will have to collapse, and they will have to face their own personal challenges before they find their space to meet in the middle.

Excerpt:
She rested the side of her head on the doorframe and yawned. Her eyes half closed as she watched him and he was caught in a lasting gaze that made his stomach clench. She was all soft and luscious and a sexy woman beneath that bristly exterior.

‘David?’

He hadn’t realised he’d been standing here, staring at her. ‘I want to talk to you about tomorrow’s plans. I need to make an early start. I want you to tell me if you don’t like something. I like to be up-front.’ He stepped towards her. One small step. So close he felt her body warmth reaching for him.

‘So do I.’ Her voice was so soft. So gentle it seemed as though it caressed him.

He shouldn’t be standing here so close to her because that would mean he had no control over what his body wanted and he couldn’t let that happen. The reasons. Remember them. His mind searched desperately. The first one. It was …

But when he breathed in, her scent was in the air. It was sweet and feminine and warm and set his blood on fire so that it raced through his veins screaming with an unquenchable need. He couldn’t move, was hypnotised beyond physical ability.

‘If there’s anything you think of I can do …’ Like take her in his arms and kiss her. Just a little kiss. A taste. The slightest of touches. Lips to lips.

‘I’ll tell you.’ Kate’s gaze dropped to his mouth and flicked back to his eyes. A quick movement, but one he didn’t miss.

Feminine perfume stirred in a slight breeze. He almost groaned out loud. He needed to keep space between them. She was off-limits. Beyond touch. He needed to keep himself in line. Reaching to the depths of his most steadfast will he stepped back.


Guest Post: Writing supporting characters
I like to write supporting characters, but they can’t just be plonked into a story without a reason. In Take Me As I Am, David has a supportive brother who he can bounce ideas off, and who watches him carefully and says thing to David he really doesn’t know he’s doing – like, ‘Did you know you can’t keep your eyes off your boss.’

Kate also has a best friend she’s known since school. This friend can say anything the Kate that other people wouldn’t dare. She ruffles Kate up, but also completely understands her. But both characters are there to totally support my main characters. She says things like, ‘Wow. Who’s the hunk outside in the heat stripping off his t-shirt?’ And, ‘Wow. He’s got a six pack.’

They are also really good for tormenting your hero. Call them adversaries, villain or the boy that teased your heroine in childhood, secondary characters flesh out your hero. The protagonist pushes buttons not-one else can, puts obstacles in your heroes path. They help propel the story forward, build your plot to the black moment and gives your hero something to work against to bring out their better sides.

As a mean supporting character, I gave Kate a super horrible, controlling father. Basically she had to overcome a childhood of brainwashing to find the strength in herself to take what she wants from life, otherwise she’ll suffer a life-time of regret. And she’ll lose David forever. Her father pushes all of her buttons to thrust her into making a decision. She has to choose her father and a lifetime of subservience or David for a lifetime of love.

When you get into the writing, if you want secondary characters to play bigger roles, you can flesh them out. This is particularly helpful if you have a trilogy in mind. A second book can be about your hero’s best friends and his road to find the love of his life. Or it could be about the sister to your heroine. A cousin. A workmate. A friend. A business associate. In fact, it can be just about anyone.

My tips for writing supporting characters:
·         They can act as a sounding board to your hero’s problems, next acts
·         They can assist your hero – emotionally, physically
·         They can advance the plot – make them think, bring in a key piece of knowledge, have a skill
·         They can give insight into your hero – they have known them since forever
·         They help to make your character face their problems head-on – a brother would make his brother/sister come to that distant cousins wedding for the sake of their parents
·         They flesh out your primary character – they know their girlfriend likes cappuccino instead of a latte, or they’re messy or have OCD traits
·         If they don’t have a purpose – cut them

I like to use secondary characters to add authenticity to a scene. The waitress in a café, the nurse at a hospital. They fill out scenes and scenarios to be more real. You wouldn’t have an empty airport. People would wait in line at the supermarket. I find it helps if I imagine myself in that scene, yes, even if a werewolf was nipping at my heels and then I know what and who might be around me. Like the super-hot sheriff who saves my life from the jaws of said werewolf. Sigh!

I hope you like my introspection about secondary characters!

Thank you so much for having me here and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about me. As a thank you to your readers I’m offering two free fun and flirty novellas on my web site when you subscribe to my very sporadic email. I also have free sample chapters on my web site. It’s worth a look @ www.charmaineross.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My first foray into romance was as a fourteen year old where I fell hopelessly and eternally in love with my hero as only a teenager can. Instead of watching movies and staying up late, I would go to bed at eight thirty and continue my very romantic, very safe, love affair. Since then, I have fallen in love with many heroes, some less safe than what my teenage brain could possibly imagine. After earning a Fine Art’s Degree, a Diploma of Secondary Education and a Diploma of Marketing, I worked as a Graphic Designer in various advertising agencies as well as in-house marketing roles and am currently involved with digital marketing and everything web in my current position. But I always return to writing. Although I have travelled, I always return to my home town of Melbourne and live with my husband, two children and two cats in the ferny-greens of the Dandenongs. If I'm not working on my latest romance and falling in love with yet another hero, you’ll find me reading, watching and basically indulging in my addiction to any story on any media type I can get my fingers on.

Contact information: charmaineross44@gmail.com

Charmaine will be awarding a copy of the e-book Take Me As I Am (international) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops and Dates:
Follow the tour for more chances to win!

February 29: Christine Young
March 1: Erin Cawood/Beyond my writing space - review only
March 9: T's Stuff
March 10: Urban Girl Reader
March 14: Book Bling
March 16: EskieMama Reads - review only
March 17: Full Moon Dreaming
March 22: Buried Under Romance – promo
March 25: It's Raining Books

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