Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Writing the Final Book of a Series by Vonnie Davis

As a typical practice, publishers like to contract books in series of three. Sometimes more, but three seems to be their "go to " number. I'm writing book three of "A Highlander's Beloved" series. Book one of my bear-shifter romance came out in September this year.

Hoping it would eventually end up as book one of a series, I made it easy on myself and put three brothers in the storyline. I also made up a character sheet I opened every time I worked on a book. I made four columns--character's full name and age; occupation; role in the story; and physical description. I didn't want the mother to have blue eyes in book one and brown eyes in book three. Or a twenty-eight year-old woman be twenty-five in the next story. After all, I'm the only one allowed to get younger. All point of view characters were written in red; the rest in black. You can imagine by book three, the list is quite long, but my characters are consistent. The groomsman in book one is not the gardener in book three. I even list people who are only mentioned, but are never "on stage" in the book.

Book two releases on April 7th and it's available for pre-order now. The hero and heroine have a past history. There's a lot of pain to overcome and a lot of trust to rebuild. Love can be scarred and dented.

A wounded heart can take a lot of time to heal. One minute you feel good about the other person and ten minutes later, old doubts resurface.

I've also worked hard to make sure each brother has a distinct personality. Creighton, the eldest, is overly protective of everyone and blusters a lot. Since his dad passed when Creighton was ten, he's taken to heart being the head man of the family. Bryce is the youngest and feels the deepest. His wife died in childbirth and he's the single dad raising and worrying over his daughter, Colleen. He's also struggled with letting go of his grief of losing his wife at such a young age. Then there's the middle son--Ronan.

My Street Team's Slogan

Ronan is more of a loner. He gets tired of being polite to guests at the family lodge and, every so often, he and his inner bear take off for a cabin he built higher in the rugged Highlands. He needs the solitude. He needs to treat his bear with the freedom to run, which is what his bear was doing when a woman parachuted from an aircraft and landed right on him. Here's a sneak peak--

A sound snagged his attention. A whooshing. His bear stopped and tilted his head, seeking the direction of the unfamiliar noise. At first, he suspected something…a tree, perhaps…had fallen across the stream, blocking the natural flow of water and creating the strange racket but, nay. This was different and growing louder.

He stood on his hind legs to get a better view.

“Oh shit! Oh holy shit! Ohhh blessed mother of Prada, holy effing shit!” A strange human shrieked.

He glanced skyward at a person plummeting toward him, tied to a billowing red parachute.


Nay, buddy, ye take care of the intruder. Roar yer furry arse off.

The bear roared and waved his upper legs in a threatening manner.

The trespasser yanked like crazy on the ropes as if they’d swerve him in a different direction. It didna matter. He crashed into the bear with a potent combination of weight and the force of his speed, his knees ramming the beast’s shoulders to the ground. Fer an instant, the wind was knocked out of the bear as both he and the person from the sky fought to push away the silky fabric. Fer a few fear-filled minutes, the two made eye contact and the dark-lashed person screamed so loudly, the bear glanced back over his head at the forest behind them for a quick retreat from the infernal racket.

The skinny human’s heart beat like a frightened rabbit. It had an odor of wild strawberries and arms that wouldna be still as the person fought to escape the bear’s hold. And its persistent high-pitched screeching made the animal’s ears ring.

Finally, the person stopped screaming and spoke, “A b-b-bear! I’ve landed on a wild and wicked bear! Christ, I’ve escaped the CIA only to become a bear’s dinner.” The person reached between them and unclicked the belt holding the parachute apparatus before slipping his arms free, tossing more of the red silk over the bear’s head, and rolling away from the parachute.

Ronan’s bear fought to work his way from under the soft batch of fabric and with one eye exposed, lay still to watch his advisory roll toward a tree and stand.

The human was a woman.

A frantic woman with arms that waved as she grumbled.

“A bear! A freakin’, smelly, hairy bear. Survival classes never taught me proper procedure for landing from a jump with my crotch under a bear’s chin. Damn incompetent instructors. Hell, they claimed they were preparing us for anything and everything we’d encounter.” She slipped off her backpack. “Calm down.” Both of her opened hands made a pushing down motion. “Calm down. I’ve read several survival guides. I know what to do. I can handle this. I can.

“Do not run from a bear. Make yourself a large target and yell to scare the bear away. Bears are easily frightened unless it’s mating season.

“Oh, wouldn’t it be just my freaking luck to fall on a horny bear? Oh, hell and shit.” She stood on her toes, her arms upstretched, and her hands poised like claws. “Roar! Growl! Snarl! Hiss! Run, you hairy bastard!” She bellowed like Colleen, Ronan’s niece, when she was throwing a tantrum.

Even with his bear at the forefront of their dual persona, Ronan rolled over and laughed. Laughed like he hadna in years. Me God, what a gutsy woman. Funny and plucky at the same time.
I'm going to have a hard time saying goodbye to these characters when I finish this book. My editor mentioned if I started gaining a following, there would be books 4,5 and 6. Dare I hope?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Is Blogging Old Hat? by Vonnie Davis

When I started in this business 4 years ago, I attended a workshop about the importance of blogging. I was so na├»ve, I had no clue what a blog was, how to start one, how much would it cost me and who would ever read it? Cheap broad that I am, I googled free blogs and got Blogger and Word Press. As a newly contracted writer with The Wild Rose Press, I began to read other writers' blogs, paying attention to how they were set up and organized. I learned a lot. I fiddled and tweaked my blog until I got it looking just the way I wanted. And then the nasty rumors started...

Blogging is dying. It's old hat.

Well, that just can't be! I love blogging. I've met so many nice ladies while blogging. Say it ain't so!!! It's like working hard to learn all the rules of a game and then everyone changes the game they want to play. It's always been my sort of luck. With a deep sigh, I looked in the mirror. How many blogs was I visiting a day now that my writing career has picked up?

Initially, I visited from four to eight blogs a day and always left a comment. Now, I visit maybe one a day and some days don't have the time to leave a comment. Well now, I couldn't honestly complain when I was part of the problem, now, could I? My life was just too busy. For me, blogging was becoming old hat.

Some authors I know are abandoning their blogs. Some are saving them only for guests; to help other authors promote a release or announce a contract. I love Vintage Vonnie and can't see shutting it down. I might slow the rate of postings because of all the other social media I have to keep up with...might. Then again, I can be a stubborn old broad. I've been known to like old hats.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Character Interview with Jackson Kade, hero from Whatever It Takes

Folks, I have guests and it's been so long since I've had visitors, especially one who is so darn good looking. Author JM Stewart has brought along the hero from her book.
Thanks for having us today, Vonnie!
Oh my, aren't you the cutest thing. I mean, you're cute too Joanne, but he is drop dead gorgeous with a capital "G." Tell us a bit about yourself—name, age, job, role in the story… 

Hey y’all. My name is Jackson Kade. I’m thirty-two, and I’m the CEO of an advertising agency. My role in this story? *winks* The hero, of course.  

How did you meet Becca?

Lord. I met that little firecracker in downtown Seattle. I passed her on the street, heading to my car after work one evening. She got herself in a right pickle. Someone was attempting to mug her, and I thought I’d rescue her. Can you imagine? Turned out, she didn’t need my help. Pretty sure I fell in love with her that night.  

What do you like the most about Becca?

Big heart. Big blue eyes. And Lord is she strong. Isn’t afraid to put me in my place. 

What’s the sexiest thing Becca’s done?

*winks* A gentleman does not kiss and tell.

 Is there anything she does that annoys you?

Yes. She insists on calling me on all my faults. 

What would you say Becca likes most about you?
You mean besides my charm and my good looks? All right, all right. You want serious. Fine. My sense of humor.
What do you like most about her?

Her laugh. On a rotten day, that sound can right my world again, and I live to make her laugh just to hear it.  

What is the most embarrassing thing your author has done to you?

*sits back, folds his arms and frowns* Well, the cast certainly wasn’t the most flatterin’.

 Is there anything you’d change in the story?

*rubs the back of his neck, looks uncomfortable.* Well, the divorce certainly wasn’t fun, but I suppose that’s my own damn fault.

 Now let’s have a little bit of fun. Let’s do some favorites: 

Favorite car?

Has been totaled, damn it. My Mercedes. I loved that car. Sleek, black and gorgeous.  

Favorite scent?

Becca, fresh out of a shower, hands down. 

Favorite movie?

Have to admit I’m rather fond of those Disney movies Allie likes to watch. ’Cause I get to watch ’em with my girl. *winks*

Favorite dish?

A good pulled pork sandwich. One of the few good memories I have of my childhood. My mother didn’t cook. She was “above” doing what she considered menial chores. Hired help to do it and insisted on fancy-schmancy dishes. *rolls his eyes* Our cook, Ida Mae, would make barbequed pulled pork sandwiches for me and have them waiting when I came home from school. I miss Ida Mae. She died a few years back.

Anything else you’d like to share before we go?

*grins* Don’t mess with Becca. She packs of a helluva punch. I should know. I’m still sore from roughhousing with her. 

*Laughing* That she does, Jackson. Thanks for coming along to meet Vonnie today.

 Blurb for Whatever It Takes:

She’s been dying to hear the words…

Walking away from her husband was the hardest thing Becca Morgan has ever done, even if it was the only way to save her heart from being broken by a loveless marriage. Still, when a terrible accident forces her to stay at her ex’s house, emotions she thought she’d buried for Jackson Kade long ago start coming to the surface—and, to her surprise, seem to be reciprocated…

…he just doesn’t know how to say.
Jackson Kade has never known love like he knew with Becca, but his cold upbringing left him unable to show her how deeply he feels. When Becca winds up under his roof once more, he knows it’s his only opportunity to prove his devotion—and passion. But old habits die hard, and even one mistake could shatter their last chance at love…


“What are you afraid of, Jack?” She stiffened her spine and stood straighter. “That you might actually feel something?” 
As quickly as he’d shut her out, he pivoted and stalked across the deck toward her. She took a step back, but in a few long strides, he reached her, seized her waist, and dragged her against him. As her body hit his, a gasp escaped, but she could only stare at him, stunned. A war raged in the depths of his eyes. More emotion than she remembered seeing there in a long time. Desire, anger, pain, frustration, all fighting for supremacy. 
She braced her hands on his chest, to push him away, but his head dipped down, his lips brushing over hers, the barest of kisses. 
“Or else I may do something I’m pretty sure you’ll hate me for in the mornin’.” The low huskiness of his voice washed over her like a heated caress, sending shivers down her spine, and obliterating whatever defenses she’d manage to build against him. “The feel of your hands on me about drove me mad. Do you have any idea how aroused I am right now? I’m two seconds from picking you up and carrying you upstairs.”
Buy links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Try it before you buy it!

The ENTIRE 1st chapter of WHATEVER IT TAKES can be read on Barnes and Noble:
Also available on Amazon:
Simply click "Look Inside!"


About the author:  JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

 You can find out more about JM or her books here: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

For the Love of a Fireman by Vonnie Davis

Book two of the "Wild Heat" series is out, having released on New Years Day.

One reviewer has said:
"I am giving this book 5 Stars but it deserves so much more. I have never laughed so much or so hard when reading a book as I did with this story. I love Barclay and Molly. They are two broken people, learning to live and love again. Throw in several colorful characters, murder, drugs and the combination becomes explosive

Barclay Gray, known as “Ice Man” to his coworkers and friends, is a fireman and diver for the marine rescue unit in Clearwater and is trying to learn to live and feel again after losing a child and going through a bitter divorce. We meet Barclay at the local Walgreens purchasing douche for his three girls and this is where the fun begins.

“It's gonna take at least 2 boxes for Lola. She's big. Got wide hips. Skinny legs, though”... “Make it five or six. And they have to be Massengill, don't forget. God, I don't know which girls smells worst.”

Of course, this does not set well with Molly Devon, the cashier.

What an ass, talking about his girlfriend like that! ... Well, quit putting your nose in their hootchies.

Molly is another lost soul, losing her mother, her dad in early stages of dementia, a broken heart and looking over her shoulder for her ex because he had become abusive. Then, in steps the protector, Barclay when Wade, the ex, tracks Molly to Florida and attempts to kidnap her.

Can Barclay and Molly grow together and learn to laugh and love again and find their HEA? If you're looking for a great read that will make you laugh, angry and pull for the hero and heroine, this is the book. A great read to start the new year. Kudos to Ms. Davis on another hit in the series. Look forward to the next book and all the colorful characters involved."

An awesome review isn't it? But who can help but be attracted to a handsome, muscular fireman who has a soft spot for stray dogs? Then, there's his peculiar habit of naming them for song titles and singing a few lines of each one's song before giving each her treat. "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets..." She was skin and bone when Barclay took her in and loved her.

Maggie Mae
Do you remember Rod Stewart's tune, "Maggie Mae"? Barclay's little beady-eyed Chihuahua is named for that song. She has a way of getting what she wants. She just stares her owner down. But then she meets Molly's dad and forges an attachment to him, something the lonely, often confused, man needs.

Caroline was named after Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."  She'd rather spend time with her master than with anyone else. She's the baby, after all. Someone had dumped her at the shelter and they'd called Barclay because they knew his weakness.

Turns out he has other weakness, too, Molly Devon and her dad. Two people he feels need his help. Turns out he needed theirs just as much.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Hammer, A Drill and A New Plot

Calvin's bedside lamp broke. The darn thing wouldn't stay turned on. Then in the middle of the night, the crazy thing would decide to pop on and scare the daylights out of us. So he went to Home Depot to buy a new socket, or whatever you call that round thing you screw the light bulb into. He was confident it would be an easy fix.

He went out to the garage shortly after breakfast. It didn't take long for the grumbling to start. Then the pounding of a hammer commenced. I shook my head. I could see a new lamp purchase in our future. There was more racket and the grumbling became rather colorful. Then, for some unknown reason, the electric drill roared to life. So did the cussing! When what sounded like a zillion lamps hit the garage floor, I knew his "easy fix" was done. Well, there was the whirl of the shop vac. He just left to go buy a new lamp--and I shudder to think what it'll look like. My tastes run to the coordinated. His to the cheap.

Still, I could identify with it all. I've had storylines like that. A bright idea popped into my head, got my creative juices flowing and then everything stopped. When I was awake, nothing worked. When I tried to sleep, ideas flitted through my mind only to be forgotten by morning.

Characters I thought were great turned out to behave one way in one instance and a different way in another. You know, bi-polar jerks. And I couldn't see it. My critique partners could point it out, but I was plowing ahead, oblivious to his or her inconsistencies. Then, whammo, it would hit me. This story is nothing but crap.

Or, as one truly good writer recently complained about her current WIP, it's like I've drawn the box, but there's nothing in it.

But there was something in mine...and it stunk...stank...ah...smelled like a complete rewrite.

This is why we need to know our characters before we begin--their pasts, their hurts, the reasons they react to things a certain way. And keep it consistent until we reach their character arc where we can show their point of personal growth and change...and no, it won't happen over night, but it will make them think about things, help them move three steps forward, even if they sometimes make two steps backward. None of us makes a complete, positive change overnight. We do it in steps and stages.

We also need to know how the story will end. What do you envision the ending scene as being? The ways your characters reach that point is your creativity at work. I can envision my ending scene of my current WIP. Now, how I'll reach that point will be the fun part or the agony. Perhaps that's what we should call the writing life--THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY.

Keep writing, folks. If it's junk, it's junk. Better a screen filled with gibberish, than a blank one. We can hammer a bad story into something readable. Or drill out the bad parts with our Delete Key. I've discovered the Delete Key is my best friend.

For a fun Christmas novella, think of purchasing SANTA WORE LEATHERS, the introduction to my firemen's "Wild Heat" series.

Book one of my "Wild Heat" series HOW TO SEDUCE A FIREMAN is available now.

For a dash of paranormal in your Scottish Highland romance, try book one of my contemporary "Highland Beloved" series, A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION.