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Savanna Kougar: The Lure of ShapeShifter Erotic Romance
Friday, January 11th, 2019

Power. Prowess. Virility. Women want a powerful man. This is basic biology. It’s psychology. It’s human mating nature.

That is the shapeshifter hero, or my shifter heroes, anyway.

Yes, confession, I love writing shapeshifter heroes and heroines.

I’ve always been fond of animals, felt a closeness, a connection with them. And, I adore alpha heroes who cherish their heroine—a hero who can be the perfect gentleman and the savage beast. So, it’s a natural for me to write shapeshifter erotic romance.

And after all, who is more protective, more devoted than the shapeshifter hero once he’s discovered his forever mate?

The alpha man who claims a woman as his, who is steadfast no matter what, that is my type of shifter hero. Yes, even when my heroines are alpha-tough, they desires their love match. They want a hero or heroes who match their fiery untapped passions—the man or men who arouse their sensually uninhibited natures.

Because, whether my heroine knows it or not, whether or not she has to be lustily convinced, she wants the raw, tough, primal hero who is, or becomes madly in love with her.

And, at heart, she’s attracted to the man who possesses an alpha predator side. Or, the wolf, the big cat shapeshifter—yes, I love them both.

Often, it becomes a battle for who gets the starring role, the canine or feline shapeshifter. Given there are endless shifter-breed possibilities—half-breeds, hybrids, and much more—I like exploring those flights of fantasy in my flash scenes. Over the last several years I’ve created my own shapeshifter, supernatural, paranormal world, and timeline, known as Wolf Peak Territory, Montana.

Nowadays, the variety of shapeshifters in romance novels, is highly imaginative and beautifully wondrous. Dragons seem especially popular with many readers. I have several flash scene starring dragon shifters, but haven’t written that erotic romance for publication. Not yet.

I also enjoy writing stallion shifter heroes. ‘Cause I love horses. Yeah, who can resist the wild stud who chases after the woman he desires until he wins her? Not me.

The appeal of creating a shapeshifter hero…well, he’s stronger and faster, more committed, bravely powerful. He’s deadly with claw and fang. He will morph to his animal side, his beast side, ferociously defending his woman from all of their enemies.

Of course, I don’t leave out shapeshifter heroines. I do love writing the warrioress heroine. In fact, my first erotic shapeshifter romance was a sci-fi starring Sun Rocket, a kick-ass red lioness shifter.

As human beings we have animal instincts, our primitive side. Genetically, we are very close to the animal kingdom/queendom. Few degrees of separation, as they say.

Writing a shapeshifter romance allows for that primal animal side, inside us all, to be fully expressed by the hero, by the heroine. The rigid norms of society can be cast aside. We are empowered to act boldly as real heroines and heroes—to save our mate, to save the day for our families—and if need be, to save the world for ALL.

On a final note, as I assess it, there are current and unfortunate societal trends that encourage men and women to be pussified-wussified. To become the domesticated sheeple.

Romance novels, as a creative expression, will naturally counteract these trends with alpha-powerful men and alpha women. Thus, another reason for the “The Lure of ShapeShifter Erotic Romance.”

~~~~~~

HER MIDNIGHT STARDUST COWBOYS

An Erotic Romance Ménage

A woman desperate to save herself and her prize horses.
Two shapeshifter cowboys who want her as their woman.

When Zance, a timber wolf shifter,
and Dontoya, a black cougar shifter,
find Sherilyn dying due to a reckless driver,
there is only one way to bring her back to life.
But, that’s only the beginning…

Sherilyn hides out on her small ranch near the odd town of Talbot’s Peak, Montana, determined to save her prize horses from being stolen. She has no time for men. Besides she’s been down that heartbreak road one too many times. The hitch: she didn’t bargain on two shapeshifter cowboys who decide she belongs to them.

Zance, a timber wolf shifter, and Dontoya, a rare black cougar shifter, are longtime pardners. Having built up their immense ranch in the supernaturals community, they’ve settled into a cattleman’s lifestyle. Now they’ve finally found the one woman they both want as their mate.

EXCERPT/BUY LINK http://savannakougar.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Talbot’s Peak, Montana
December 2011, After Christmas

Enchanted, in a semi-trance, Sherilyn stared…

Enchanted, in a semi-trance, Sherilyn stared at the graphically gorgeous poster advertising a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Pleasure Club. The large poster looked out of place hanging next to the community board, just inside the small-town, somewhat odd grocery store in Talbot’s Peak, Montana.

“It’s the grand opening of the Midnight Stardust, Dante’s new supperclub. Are you thinking of going?” Brenda chattily asked, as she rang up Sherilyn’s purchases.

“Ladies are free like it says. Dante himself hung the poster. He’s such a gentleman,” Brenda trilled like a teenager with a crush.

“He made a point of telling me there will be plenty of dance partners,” she added.

“Is that right?” Sherilyn murmured, unable to force her gaze away from the oh-so elegant couple dancing beneath a galaxy of sparkling stars.

The forties era, swanky scene struck her as magical, and was everything she’d been craving of late. But that was not to be. Not for her.

Sadness welled up inside Sherilyn. She mercilessly tamped it down. That time in her life was gone, and all that mattered now was the harsh reality of her circumstances.

With the snow piling up, she needed to get on the road, get home. Mentally sighing, Sherilyn fished her credit card out her bag. “I thought Dante ran the biker bar outside of town. That’s what I heard, anyway.”

About the Author

Savanna Kougar lives on the tame prairie in the Midwest, and enjoys a quiet lifestye. She pens love stories because that’s her deepest heart. She writes in the futuristic/fantasy/paranormal *and shapeshifter* subgenres because that’s her fiercest passion. And, she writes erotic romance because she ferociously enjoys ripping the damn doors off.

You can find my books at:
Savanna Kougar ~savannakougar.com~
ShapeShifter Seduction ~shapeshifterseduction.blogspot.com~
Title Magic ~titlemagic.blogspot.com~

N.J. Walters: Resolutions (FREE Read)
Friday, January 4th, 2019

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I find it puts too much pressure on me and I end up abandoning them before too long. Instead, I resolve to take little steps to make my life better each day.

Almost two years ago, I started doing a half hour of exercise at least five times a week and I’m still doing it. I’ve lost some weight but still have some to go. It’s progress and I’m a lot more limber than I used to be.

This year, I want to cut back my sugar consumption. I have a huge sweet tooth. We’ll see how it goes. I know I won’t cut out sweets totally, but my goal is to cut back. It’s doable without feeling like deprivation. That’s the key for me.

I’m also trying to get more organized and even bought a new desk planner and am looking forward to using it.

What kinds of things are you doing to change your life this year?

As a New Year’s gift my publisher is offering Drakon’s Promise for FREE for a very limited time. It will be available at most but not all e-retailers. If you haven’t tried out the first book in the Blood of the Drakon series, now is the time. Don’t delay or you’ll miss it.

Blood of the Drakon, Book 1

Darius Varkas is a drakon. He’s neither human nor dragon.

He’s both.

He’s also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon’s blood can cure any illness and prolong a human’s life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.

When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she’s quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N74PYZR/
Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/index.php/drakon-s-promise.html
B &N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125114236?ean=9781633758001
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/drakons-promise/id1176306297
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/drakon-s-promise

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Holly Bargo: The Personal Experience
Friday, December 21st, 2018

Book signings have long been a promotional staple of an author’s life. Before the digital age, lucky authors traveled across the country or internationally to greet piles of books and enthusiastic lines of readers eager to meet their favorite writers and acquire an autograph.

I published my first book in those days and the subsequent book signings did not meet expectations. The publisher did not arrange the events; I did. The publisher did not cover any costs for travel or other expenses. Bookstores—not the publisher—notified local news media. I did manage to sell some copies, but mostly I sat at tables filled with books and perfected the art of being invisible as bookstore patrons pretended not to see me.

Decades later, the experience hasn’t changed all that much, except for the venue. For one thing, my hometown no longer has a “regular” bookstore (although we have a couple of used books bookstores).

In 2017, I dipped my toe into convention waters, first with a mid-size, 3-day event called CONglomeration held in Louisville, Kentucky. Attendance there hovered around 500 people, most of whom attended to participate in the gaming tournament. I had no idea what to expect, so that event served as my baseline. I sold five books, not nearly enough to cover my hotel, meal, and travel expenses. However, it served as a valuable learning experience. I attended GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana which commands attendance exceeding 50,000 people and spoke to several of the authors selling their books. They reported decent sales, although stated the costs for participating as vendors at such a large convention were, in a word, prohibitive. Another excursion to Louisville for a book signing/selling event proved nothing but a waste of time and money.

This year, I decided to stay local to minimize those outgoing expenses. I participated in author events in Columbus, Springfield, and Dayton, Ohio. The Columbus event captured a small number of attendees. The Dayton event had over 100 authors and probably fewer than two dozen attendees. The two Springfield events varied widely, despite having comparable numbers of participating authors. One event was held in August, the other two weeks before Christmas.

The mad rush of Christmas shopping did not impact attendance; the lack of any holiday shopping did not affect attendance at the August event. What I learned is that timing doesn’t seem to matter, but location does. The one factor that apparently determines the success of an author event is that it be held where people already gather.

In short, if you want your author event to succeed, then it must be held where the people are.

Hen House Publishing hopes to repeat the success of the Springfield Book Fair on February 10. Again, the Winter Book Fair will be held at the same popular gathering place: Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company. The goal is to take advantage of the brewery’s popularity as well as to bring in additional customers for the brewery. Wish us luck.

Bear of the Midnight Sun

After a thousand years, immortal polar bear shifter Sindre finally finds his mate—on a talk show. In the city where anything goes, an impromptu wedding is just a taste of what’s to come. Startled into going through the ceremony, Miranda can’t stop the big, virile man from staking his claim on her and releasing her bear. Sindre can’t believe his good luck and will do anything to keep his mate at his side, up to and including taking marital advice from Atlas Leonidus. An independent woman with a successful career, Miranda melts at his touch and shuns his control, except she can’t control her bear.

And here’s the buy link: Bear of the Midnight Sun (Immortal Shifters Book 3).

About Holly Bargo

Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist as a temperamental Appaloosa mare. The author still has horses—anybody looking for a wonderful pony? She lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband and menagerie of 4-legged critters. She and her husband have two sons, one graduating from university in 2019 and the other serving in the military. Holly writes primarily romance and fantasy, often blending the two. She has published over 20 books since 2014. She explains her prolific output by saying that if she doesn’t write, her mind will explode.

N.J. Walters: Birthday Celebrations Through the Years
Monday, November 26th, 2018

My birthday was a week ago today, but I’m still celebrating. I tend to make it a festival, a birthday fest, as it were. I figure another year alive is more than reason enough to celebrate. I’ll take myself out for breakfast one day and lunch on another. I’ll see a movie and go to one of my favorite stores and buy myself something…besides a new book, although buying a new book is always a good idea.

I write paranormal books, which got me to thinking. The number of birthdays I’ll have in my lifetime is finite, but that’s not the case with many of my characters. I’ve written werewolves, who live for about double a human lifespan. That’s not immortal, but it’s still pretty darn good. I’ve also written about vampires, who will survive as long as they drink blood.

Then there are my drakons, the hybrid sons of full-blooded dragons and human women. They have no idea how long they’ll live, although they’ve already been around for four thousand years and show no sign of aging. They may well live forever. I wonder what birthdays must be like after living all those years. Do they even mark the day? Do they even know the day? Back when they were born records of such events weren’t as meticulously kept as they are now.

That’s what it’s like in the mind of a writer. My thoughts wander down these paths asking questions most people never consider. I love my job.

Whether my drakons celebrate with cake and presents or if they just let the day of their birth pass by like so many other days before, I don’t know. But I do know that there is a new drakon book in my series, just released on November 26th.

Even if it’s not your birthday, you might like to treat yourself.

Drakon’s Tear
Blood of the Drakon, Book 6

Dying isn’t an option. I’ve survived a kidnapping, and now I’m on the run from the Knights of the Dragon who want my gift. There’s nothing a dragon loves more than treasure. I’m Abigail Owens, and I can sense gemstones. When I find myself drawn to a beautiful stone bracelet at a tiny shop in Moscow, I can’t help but have it — even though I can sense it’s power. But I didn’t realize with this one decision I’ve just put myself in the middle of a war between the Knights and a Drakon.

I guess I’m just lucky like that.

The only person I trust even a little is Vasili Zima, which is weird since I’m not sure if he wants to kill me or protect me. I’m drawn to him in a way I hadn’t thought possible, and he feels the same way, or he wouldn’t be risking his life to help me. He’s wanted by the bad guys just as much as I am, and staying with me, well, there’s a hundred percent chance I’m about to get us both killed. But I will not be going down without a fight.

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K6F5WC8/
Entangled: https://entangledpublishing.com/drakon-s-tear.html
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drakons-tear-n-j-walters/1129819271
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/drakons-tear/id1441318340
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/drakon-s-tear

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

N.J. Walters: Top 5 Movies for Halloween
Monday, October 29th, 2018

It’s only a couple of days until all the kids are out trick-or-treating. On Halloween night, I like to light the candle in the pumpkin, turn off the lights, and put on my favorite Halloween movies.

There are tons of great ones out there to choose from, but here are 5 of my favorites:

1. The Crow (1994)—One of my favorite movies of all time and probably the one I’ve watched the most. It’s so dark, yet so hopeful. Brandon Lee’s performance is incredible. Great cast and story, plenty of action, and one fantastic soundtrack.

2. Underworld (2003)—Vampires and lycans are at war. Selene, a vampire warrior, makes the mistake of falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

3. Dracula Untold (2014)—A fresh look at the traditional Dracula story. I love this movie. I mean, what’s not to love about Luke Evans as Vlad Tepes, the prince who must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect them.

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)—As promised, this movie closely follows Stoker’s version of Dracula. Great film. Gary Oldman plays a scary and seductive Dracula.

5. Lost Boys (1987)—It’s hard to believe this movie is 30 years old, but it holds up. It’s one of my favorite vampire movies of all time. And the soundtrack is amazing.

I know this is a top 5 list, but I have to mention Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp (1999) and the Disney animated version (1949). I love them both. The animated story is beautifully crafted. And while the Depp version of the story goes off the rails near the end, I still enjoy it. And Ghostbusters, because who are you gonna call when you need to get rid of some ghosts.

And if you’re looking for a book or two to read, might I suggest the Hades’ Carnival series.

Welcome to Hades’ Carnival, where a group of immortal shapeshifting warriors are imprisoned in their animal forms on a carousel.

Cursed by the very goddess they served—The Lady of the Beasts—in order to keep them out of Hell, now the warriors are being offered a chance at freedom and redemption. And it will take a very special woman to free each warrior.

Once free, they must stay alive for 24 hours if they want to save themselves from Hades once and for all.

Night of the Tiger https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TSB6Z8
Mark of the Bear https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TS79RK/
Pride of the Lion https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TSMST9/
Howl of the Wolf  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TSQ84M/
Heart of the Serpent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TST8PT/
Flame of the Phoenix https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TSF7KT/
Lure of the Jaguar https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TS717B/

SERIES LINK:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0742KNX25

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Reina Torres: The Wonder World of Shapeshifters
Friday, October 26th, 2018

NOTE: I know the first book is up at $0.99 already, but Reina is working with KDP to get the deal going for the other too! So check back!


One of the other writers in my local Nano-writing group* wrinkled his nose at the news that I had published Shifter Romance. “What does that even mean?” He wondered out loud. Really loud. “How is that even real fiction?”

Okay, so I want you to know he is still alive and breathing, but only because jail is real.

I’m used to the rolled eyes when I talk about romance, but hey… to each their own… and I love myself some romance. And there are people who are uninformed and then there are people who are willfully ignorant. I chose to believe he was part of the first group and asked him.

“Have you read stories about Greek Mythology?”

“Of course!” He seemed affronted that I’d even ask him such a silly thing. “Greek Mythology is classic storytelling!”

He knew I had him when I smiled. Not my normal smile, but that teeth-baring alligator grin that usually makes my son cringe and walk away, because he knows I’m about to take a bite out of someone.

“Oh good… well let’s talk about Greek Mythology. The obvious start is King Lycaon. Some forms of his myth tells the story of how Zeus turned him into a wolf as punishment for trying to trick him into eating human flesh.”

“Sure,” he shrugged, “but that’s just one—”

“Well, what about Arachne. Athena changed her into a spider.”

“Okay, but—”

“Apollo mourned the death of the youth Hyacinth, changing him into the flower we know today.”

He gave me a sullen look. “And?”

“There are a ton of examples, but let’s just remember how many times Zeus had to change his form or the form of others just to get some love… physical love. So…”

Yes, I verbally beat him into submission with examples of what he considered “real fiction” — but what am I getting at here…

Mythology… origin stories… are a human way of trying to understand ourselves and where we come from. We see ourselves in nature, sometimes ascribing attributes of nature’s other creatures to understand what we feel inside. We’re skittish as a colt. We’re hungry as a bear.

We even roar like lions.

We find animalistic characteristics as both desirable and undesirable in ourselves… of course we’re going to seek them in our heroes… our lovers…

I guess that’s why I love writing shapeshifters so much. Heroes and Heroines who can not just dabble in those behaviors, but come by them naturally.

A shapeshifter trio of brothers, bears from the Orsino family who search for their perfect mate and find them in equally amazing women…

A tiger shifter who finds himself with the Catch 22 of all time—keep the secret of his kind… or save the woman who is his perfect match?

Where wild nature and the cultivation of love collide and co-exist…

It gives me the warm fuzzies… You too?

*NANOWRIMO – November is National Novel Writing Month – the group of writers I’ve belonged for more than ten years started as folks who participated in this event

Her UnBearable Protector

The head of Orsino Security was hired to protect her for a week. Instead, his bear wants to claim her forever.

It takes one look for bear shifter Salvatore Orsino to know that Natale Durante isn’t just his client… she’s his mate. His first instinct is to lay Natale’s curvaceous body over his shoulder, find a den, and claim her with his bite. But, this beautiful head-strong woman only grudgingly endures his protection even as she welcomes him in her bed. He’ll have to set aside his bear’s need to mark her until he’s eliminated the threat to her life. Once she’s safe, he’ll turn all his energies convincing her that he isn’t after a short-term dalliance, he wants her, with him… forever.

Natale Durante knows that Durante Fashion House is on its last legs. Her new line, designed for women of every size and shape, is her last attempt at saving her family’s legacy. But there are those in high fashion who prefer that things stay the same—curves belong on the road, not the runway. When complaints and hate mail escalate to threats of bodily harm, her father hires a bodyguard—Salvatore Orsino. He’s over six feet of deliciously seductive muscular male and a distraction she can’t afford. One look from him and she wants her infuriatingly persistent protector to rip off her clothes with his teeth, or she might do the same to him.

Can Salvatore eliminate the threats to Natale or will he lose her before he has a chance to claim her?

Get your copy here!

The Tiger’s Innocent Bride

When he saw his mate for the first time, her life was in danger. Keeping his Tiger a secret was no longer an option.

Every day was a struggle for Tiger Shifter, Devlin Kerr. Booted from one Police Department due to his ‘questionable attitude,’ he’d landed in Sylvan City determined to give the career another go. What was an Alpha to do?

Three weeks of even more bull and inside politics was already souring him on law enforcement all together when his Captain suckers him into working extra security at a society event.

A society event that ends in gunfire and blood.

And smack dab in the middle of the crosshairs? His mate.

Secrets be damned, Devlin did what it took to save her and suddenly danger is coming at them from everywhere.
Death, he could handle. Mayhem? Sure, just another walk in the park.

People going after his mate? That wasn’t going to fly. He was going to do whatever it took to keep her safe from danger…
…but who was going to keep Paige Lundin safe from him? Less than a day after they’d met, she was The Tiger’s Innocent Bride.

*This is Book 1 of the Sylvan City Alphas Series. As the series goes on you’ll meet Alphas of a number of different species who will find their mates amongst the citizens of this city, complete with lush woods and fields as well as a concrete jungle. These hard-edged heroes and their lusciously-curvy mates are turning this island into a shifter paradise filled with Happy Ever Afters*

Get your copy here!

Holly Bargo: A Good Idea’s Not Enough
Sunday, October 21st, 2018

I make my living as a freelance writer and editor. Therefore, I find that my standards for professional quality content differ from that of many self-published authors, because I cannot separate the quality necessary for my clients from the quality necessary for my own stories.

Being an avid reader as well as a writer and editor, I encounter far too many self-published books that make me cringe. From misused apostrophes to malapropisms to incorrect grammar to tense switches between past and present so frequent as to give H. G. Wells whiplash, these writers lack understanding of what I call the mechanics of language.

However, correct grammar in itself does not translate into good writing. Writers who commit the sins attendant upon poor language mechanics also and often fail to grasp the intricacies of good storytelling: minimize passive voice, avoid information dumps, use adverbs sparingly, reduce expository description to only that which is necessary, and eschew obfuscation. (If you didn’t get the two instances of irony in that last sentence, then you probably shouldn’t consider yourself a professional writer.)

The hallmark of a professional writer lies in the skill with which he or she executes an idea.

If one subscribes to the literary authorities regarding story plots, then one must also admit that every overarching plot has already been written. In his 2004 book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, Christopher Booker declares that literature has only seven basic plots that storytellers everywhere and in every medium continuously recycle: 1) overcoming the monster, 2) rags to riches, 3) the quest, 4) voyage and return, 5) rebirth, 6) comedy, and 7) tragedy. (Yes, the plots can and do overlap within a story.) Other authorities cite the number of distinct, archetypal plots to six, nine, and thirty-six. The Guardian reported on an academic study, conducted in 2016, that analyzed commonalities among the plots of 1,737 stories. According to the article, the two most popular plot archetypes basically fall into two general story arcs reminiscent of Oedipus and Cinderella.

For those who write romantic fiction, the Cinderella archetype reigns. Look at practically any story within the umbrella genre of romance or its myriad sub-genres and you’ll find that requisite happily ever after or HEA ending. Sometimes, the HEA is temporary, labeled in the industry as happy for now or HFN. Regardless of whatever tragedy befalls the protagonists throughout the story’s journey, the story ends on a note of hope and happiness.

Those who write romance then ought to understand that their overarching plots are not original. What is original is how the author treats that selected plot. The permutations upon a well-used plot often fall within the parameters of certain sub-genres, of which the most obvious copy of the Cinderella story is the billionaire romance. The tired old plot becomes fresh with the addition of unusual circumstances that affect the characters, with the writer’s skill in creating witty repartee, and the writer’s ability to convey emotion and ambiance such that that reader shares the main characters’ experiences.

Great storytelling requires more than a good idea, because all the good ideas have already been used. Great storytelling demands expert execution and manipulation of language to refresh the old idea and give it new vigor.

Bear of the Midnight Sun

After a thousand years, immortal polar bear shifter Sindre finally finds his mate—on a talk show. In the city where anything goes, an impromptu wedding is just a taste of what’s to come. Startled into going through the ceremony, Miranda can’t stop the big, virile man from staking his claim on her and releasing her bear. Sindre can’t believe his good luck and will do anything to keep his mate at his side, up to and including taking marital advice from Atlas Leonidus. An independent woman with a successful career, Miranda melts at his touch and shuns his control, except she can’t control her bear.

Pre-order your copy here!

About the Author

Holly Bargo has over 25 years of professional writing and editing experience. She has published 20 books spanning the fantasy and romance genres and writes from the perspective of having made all the mistakes and helping other writers learn from those mistakes. Her latest book, Bear of the Midnight Sun, will be released on October 31, 2018, in both e-book and print format. Holly lives on a small hobby farm in southwest Ohio.