Thursday, January 2, 2014

Guest blog and Giveaway with Paula Millhouse

Hey Roxanne and Readers. Happy New Year.

One of the pet peeves I have personally about the romance genre in general is, when, after the hero and heroine get together all of a sudden one of them decides to call it quits. Usually for some lame reason. God, I hate that part of the book and it’s like, in ALL of them. WTH?

This is a point on which a lot of romances fail, IMHO. It’s what drives me to read thrillers, and not straight romance. It’s why I like edgy dark paranormal romance, too. I just don’t think authors get that point straight.

I was chatting with my writing buddy Lynn about this very thing, and what she said I found remarkable. Her theory is that if the lovers are going to separate after they hook up in order to create tension for the reader it should be intimately tied to their external arc.

I think (I hope) I nailed this concept in Careful What You Wish For…

My hero and heroine, Nick and Evie – hell, once they get together sparks fly. And seriously, nothing is going to tear these two apart…until…umm, well, THIS is where the Suspense in the Romantic Suspense comes in.

See, Evie’s got some baggage. A psychotic mafia kingpin, Paulie Marino wants Evie’s head on his wall as his sixteenth trophy. But Evie’s smart, and she gets away from the creep even after he drugs and kidnaps her. Hell, she steals his mother’s Mercedes! (Boy, is Miss Aida Marino pissed about Evie stealing her car!)

Well Paulie, being the Sociopathic Alpha Male of his own personal psychotic ward, comes after Evie with Miss Aida’s top Hit Man, Tony Aiello driving the getaway car. Let’s just say that when the ultimate shoot-out happens at the climax in Careful, the reader is so tied to the suspense of will Paulie catch Evie, or will Nick ultimately save her, that, hopefully, they won’t be able to put the book down until they know how that chase turns out.

I want my readers going away from this book a breathless mess.

I mean, if you’re gonna write a romance, give it some backbone. Please.
Yes, it’s a Romance. Yes, it’s a Thriller. I hope like hell this story has enough interconnected suspense to propel the reader into dying to know what happens next.

Here’s a deep cut I hope shows what I mean by Putting the Suspense in Romantic Suspense:

Chapter 61


Evie held Meg’s pistol and stared Paulie Marino dead in the eye.

“Leave my family alone, you bastard!” She pulled the trigger three times before a hot stinging sensation tore through her left shoulder. She fell backward with the force of Paulie’s bullet, and the gun flew from her hands.

“You winged me!” Paulie laughed, showing off the blood streaming from the flesh wound.
He rushed her, kicked the gun away, and reached down for her. White hot blinding pain tore through Evie, and Paulie dragged her to her feet by the hair.

“Thrilled you missed, because, little Evie, you’re coming with me. We have some unfinished business back at my guest cottage.”

“NO! Nick! NO!” She screamed through the pain of him tearing at her hair. Paulie ground the barrel of his pistol into the wound on her shoulder. Evie’s knees buckled. Searing pain stole her breath.

Paulie snatched her back up to him, sneered in her ear with hot, revolting breaths. “He can’t help you get away this time, Evie. He’s down. Wounded, and she dies if he moves.”

Evie clawed up at him. Tore gashes in his arm with her nails. If you don’t get away from him he’ll kill you. Make no mistake – if things don’t change you are going to die.

He dragged her head around, forcing her to face Nick and Meg. “Look at what you’ve done to them. I’ll let you watch me kill them both. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Put them out of their misery fast. You don’t want them suffering, do you, Evie?”

Evie gagged. She screamed out, tried a kick, anything to get him to stop. She started to crumble when she realized Paulie excelled at this game. He’d probably thought it all out. Knew every move she could make. Her stomach crawled up inside her chest threatening to suffocate her lungs.

Paulie boomed laughter out in the afternoon air. “Which one first, Evie? You’re the writer here. Tell us how this story ends?”

She went for the only thing she had. Herself. “No! Take me! Leave them alone – I’ll go with you – just, please, don’t hurt them anymore. They never did anything to you.”

Reptilian snarls bubbled out of his throat. “They kept you from me. They have to die. We can’t leave any witnesses to this massacre. I wouldn’t have the time I’ll need with you if I let them live. You and I are going to spend some special time together, my little dove. You’ve seen my handiwork. That kind of production takes hours.” 

Evie wrestled against his grip, trying to get past the searing pain. She shrieked, clawing at the monster. She had to get away, had to save them. Just do something. If he takes you from them you’re going to die. She wrenched away from him, tried to claw at his face. She was simply no match for the madman’s strength. She offered up a silent prayer for Nick and Meg and Patrick and tried not to hate herself for bringing this pestilence upon them.

Paulie snatched her ear close to his lips. “Now, Evie! What do you want? Which one dies first?”

Thanks for hosting me today on your site, Roxanne. Fang-Tastic Books is the bomb. I hope your readers enjoyed our post, and I hope they find the suspense they’re looking for in some of my stories.

Happy New Year!


Careful What You Wish For…
The Wishes Chronicles
Book 1
Paula Millhouse

Genre: Romantic Suspense

ISBN 13: 978-1468029567

Number of pages: 368
Word Count: 66K

Cover Artist: Paula Millhouse

Book Description:

Author Evie Longfellow wants to stay alive long enough to write her fourth New York Times Best Seller. She accepts a blind date that changes everything sane in her life. Drugged, kidnapped, and horrified Evie escapes and runs for her life with evidence the FBI needs to nail one of their most wanted.

TV Psychologist Dr. Nick Franklin wants to help Evie with her goals. He hides her from a sadistic mafia kingpin, and even though he doesn’t trust his judgment when it comes to the diagnosis of love, he senses Evie may just be the story of his life.
Hit man Tony Aiello plans to do whatever it takes to protect Miss Aida Marino and her Fortune 500 company. He chases Evie and Nick from New York City to the wilds of rural Vermont to recover the stolen evidence threatening to take Miss Aida down, and faces off with evil in a showdown that brings hometown justice to life.

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All Your Wishes…
The Wishes Chronicles
Book 2
Paula Millhouse

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller

ISBN-13: 978-1468069402

Number of pages: 348
Word Count: 61K

Cover Artist: Paula Millhouse

Book Description:

A Christmas Story to warm your heart.

Dr. Nick Franklin finds himself falling hard for the love of his life, Evie Longfellow. Hunted by a mafia princess, Evie’s terrified something’s wrong, and revenge won’t let her rest.

Tia Marino figures the person who killed her father is his last victim - Evie Longfellow - the only one that ever got away from Paulie Marino. Tia plans to kill Evie in front of her grandmother just before she takes Miss Aida’s place as the new queen of Marino Industries. Hostile-takeovers have never seen the likes of Tia.

Nick’s not gonna have it.

He’ll do anything to protect Evie, even if it means aligning himself with Miss Aida’s hit-man, Tony Aiello.

Follow Nick and Evie from their simple home in the winter wonderland of Vermont down to New York City in their race to stay alive, and out of the hands of a new generation of criminals intent on tearing them apart.

ALL YOUR WISHES… Book 2 in THE WISHES CHRONICLES torches up 60,000 words with Romantic Suspense.

Christmas has never been so hot.

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About the Author:

Paula Millhouse grew up in Savannah, Georgia where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Writers specialty chapter, and the KOD Mystery and Suspense Writer’s specialty chapter. She achieved the opportunity to become a member of the distinguished RWA designation of PRO after submitting her first full-length romance novel for publication in 2013.

In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters. She writes fantasy romance and romantic suspense.
She lives with her hero, her husband of twenty-five years at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies.

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1 comment:

Paula Millhouse said...

Happy New Year, Roxanne!

Hope your readers enjoyed this deep cut from Careful...

Anybody else hate that part of the romance when the lovers just decide to call it quits for lame reasons?