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Archive for March 27th, 2023

Gabbi Powell: When Characters Make Demands of Their Own (Contest)
Monday, March 27th, 2023

The Redemption of Remy St. Claire was the third book I ever typed ‘the end’ on. Really, though, it should’ve been the first.  I had a story in my mind – two single people, responsible for toddlers, finding their way to each other.  I was so new to writing that I didn’t even know what a trope was.  Truthfully, single-parent was big a decade ago and remains so today.  With more than half of all marriages ending, it’s inevitable people wind up parenting solo.

I realized early on that this story would have a bit of angst – another thing I inherently understood but had never put a name to.  Most of my books have some degree of angst.  I’ve also learned a lot about warning people what might be in my books.  I won’t get into the debate about trigger warnings.  As an author, I’ve been called out for not warning people against things I didn’t even realize could be hurtful.  Sometimes those mentions in the synopsis give away the critical plot points – but I don’t want someone to read the book who might be hurt by it.

Now, because of this book – and several others – I’ve learned to be careful what I name secondary characters.  To me, Rusty’s wife was a throw-away character.  A drug addict who’d endangered her baby. Someone who needed to be kept as far away from their daughter as possible.  I even gave her what I considered to be a throw-away name.

I was so so so wrong.  I was barely a chapter into Remy and Rusty’s book when Rusty’s soon-to-be ex-wife stood up and said hey, over here!  Notice me!  You need to tell my story! I’m not a throw-away. I have reasons why I am the way I am and I want you to tell my story. Right now, goddamnit!

I’ll admit I was at a low point in my life and, frankly, had never had a character talk to me like that.  I pivoted.  I tucked away Rusty and Remy and endeavored to write Sissy’s story.  You want angst?  I went there – prostitution, on the page drug use – I sank her as deep as I was.  And then sank her lower.   Even as I wrote her story, though, I knew she’d survive.  That she’d find love. That she’d be redeemed.  I don’t know if that book will ever be published.

Moving on, a story in the headlines caught my attention and I wrote the book that wound up as book 2 in the series.  Finally, I was ready to move on to Remy and Rusty’s story.  Sissy plays an integral part in the story, and I feel like her character is better fleshed out for having written her book.  I rarely do that anymore – write out of sequence.  But I’m glad I did, and I hope readers enjoy Remy and Rusty’s book.

I would love to give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card.  How much angst do you enjoy in your stories?  Is there such a thing as too much?  A random commenter will win the prize.  And thank you, Delilah, for hosting me!

The Redemption of Remy St. Claire

What’s better than love in the beautiful Cedar Valley in British Columbia, Canada? Find small town romances with a touch of angst, a bit of heat, and a lot of heart…

Each novel is a standalone, but they are best read in order:

The Luminosity of Loriana Harper (A small town interracial romance)

The Making of Marnie Jones (A small town enemies-to-lovers romance)

The Redemption of Remy St. Claire (A small town single-father fake-marriage romance)

Love without limits…

Remy St. Claire is engulfed in grief, overwhelmed with caring for her three-year-old sister Calleigh after the death of their parents.  As an assistant crown prosecutor, she works to put monsters in jail. She can go toe-to-toe with the most hardened of criminals, but a distraught toddler might be her downfall.

Rusty Stevens has his hands full raising his three-year-old daughter Miracle on his own.  Applying for the job to be Calleigh’s nanny solves two problems at once—more time with his child while still earning money, and a playmate for Miracle. He worries his new boss works too hard, but he’s proud to be able to provide a stable home for all of them.

Then Rusty’s wife appears, and secrets from both Rusty’s and Remy’s pasts threaten the fragile relationship that has developed between them. When all the secrets are laid bare, will their trust survive, or will the truth drive them apart forever?

The Redemption of Remy St. Claire is a second-chance, single-parent, marriage-of-convenience romance with a touch of angst and two adorable three-year-old girls. There is mention of a previous sexual assault. The book is the third in the Love in Cedar Valley series set in a small town in British Columbia, Canada.

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About the Author

Gabbi Powell has been a lover of romance since she first put pen to paper in the eighth grade to write her first romance.  She writes her novels while living in Beautiful British Columbia with her trusty ChinPoo dog a as companion.  She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey and contemporary dark erotic BDSM novels as Gabbi Black.

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