first kisses to melt your everything

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There's a bit of kissing going down in this week's chapters of IT FALLS APART--okay, there's A LOT of kissing cause, come on guys, KISSING. Fun fact: There is a folder on my computer called "Kissing". It's a wonderful place, where kissing-related images and inspiration go to make out. 

ANYWAYS, in addition to all the kissing (did I mention there's KISSING?), IT FALLS APART also hit #1 on the YA/Teen list last night AND flew past 50k views this morning! I AM DEAD. 

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You guys. That's a lot of views! I'm not-so-kinda blown away. You guys are the best. Seriously. You're right up there with my kissing folder. Okay, you're better than my kissing folder.  I can think of no better way to celebrate these milestones (and the kissing) than with a rundown of some of the best TV kisses to ever lock lips. If you're not swooning by the end of this list, you're dead inside. Or a robot. Or something. 

(Disclaimer: I wanted to include even more swoony first kisses, but couldn't find all of them online so if your fav kiss is missing, I apologize!)

In no particular order, let's get romantic:

Logan and Veronica, VERONICA MARS

Tim and Lyla, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Fitz and Simmons, MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD

Mindy and Danny, THE MINDY PROJECT

Chuck and Sarah, CHUCK

Jeff and Annie, COMMUNITY

Chuck and Blair, GOSSIP GIRL

Hanna and Caleb, PRETTY LITTLE LAIRS

Cosima and Delphine, ORPHAN BLACK

Josh and Donna, THE WEST WING

Pacey and Joey, DAWSON'S CREEK

Blaine and Kurt, GLEE

Betty and Jughead, RIVERDALE

Castle and Beckett, CASTLE

Luke and Lorelai, GILMORE GIRLS 

Jim and Pam, THE OFFICE

Mulder and Scully, THE X-FILES

What's your favourite TV kiss?

home for a rest excerpt II

To celebrate being in the revision stage (yes, revisions should be celebrated!), here's an excerpt from HOME FOR A REST, my adult contemporary romance.

"But Kate, you already shared an excerpt wth us here!!" 

First off, whoa, calm down, guys. The second exclamation mark really wasn't needed. And second, yes, I did already share an excerpt, but this book is new and exciting territory for me, so you get more! If you plan to read both excerpts in a row, read the one I've linked to above first, because the below selection is from later in that same chapter. Enjoy!

Jamie kicked off her boots and hung her coat on a hook by the door, the same one she’d been hanging it on since she first befriended Ryan back in high school. But a lot had changed since then. A lot had changed since earlier that evening.

Ryan flicked on a few lights as they moved through the house toward the kitchen.

“It’s been a while since I was last here,” Jamie commented. If she’d been nervous before, it was nothing compared to what she was feeling now.

Ryan glanced back at her as he flicked on the coffee maker. “Yeah, I suppose it has. BBQ?”

“Christmas party.”

Recognition washed over his face. “Ah yes, I remember. Josh brought that guy who openly complained about everything.”

Jamie nodded. “That was the one.” That guy had been a dick.

She suddenly found herself doubting all of it. Ryan's motivation for bringing her here, the possibility of what might happen, the fact that he’d said anything about kissing her in the first place. And even if she wasn’t misreading the situation, she wasn’t sure this was even something she wanted. Sure, there was a big part of her—a huge part of her—that really, really wanted it, had wanted it for years, but how did that fit in with the person she’d become over the past few months? Was this her moving on? Was she even ready for that? Because nothing about this felt like the casual fun her sister had insisted she needed. Besides, Ryan had said he was done with one night stands. And that was the last thing Jamie ever wanted to be to him anyway.

“You’ve got your pick of desserts.” Ryan turned around from the fridge, his strong arms loaded down with trays of squares, cookies, and entire pies.

“Holy crap,” Jamie said as he lay them out on the kitchen table. “You weren’t kidding about the food.”

He grabbed two plates and two forks. “I never kid about food.”

Her eyes roamed over the options, happy to focus on something other than their current situation for a moment. “Can I have a little bit of each?”

She hadn’t really meant it as a serious question, but Ryan smiled and nodded, his eyes locking with hers. “You’re welcome to have anything you want, James.”

And with that, it was game back on. God, the way he looked at her. So transfixed. He’d always managed to make her feel like she was the only girl in the room, even when she wasn’t. He excelled at focussing on people, addressing their needs. It was part of his undeniable charm—and probably why he was so good at his job. He’d probably made dozens and dozens of girls feel that way. But even knowing that, he still somehow made Jamie feel exceptional. Maybe it wasn’t real, but it still felt so damn good. And right now, that was what she wanted to focus on. Not what she should be feeling, but what she wanted to be feeling. And as Ryan stared at her from across the table with a wicked grin spread across his lips, she knew exactly what she wanted to be feeling. 

 

 

meet jamie and ryan

Finally (I normally do this earlier in the process), a WIP pitch for my current WIP, which is happily in revisions! Excerpt coming soon too--stay tuned!

HOME FOR A REST | adult contemporary romance

It’s been three months since Jamie Elmslie came home to the idyllic lakeside town of Port Ophelia, having lost her fiancé, Owen, in a tragic car accident. With no job and no direction, Jamie feels like she’s been sleepwalking for months, but the wake-up call she’s been waiting for finally arrives when long-time crush, Ryan Maher, returns home for his father’s funeral and the two reconnect over their grief. Jamie hasn’t seen Ryan for years, but the long-buried feelings he rouses are as welcome as they are swift. Simply being around him makes Jamie feel like herself again; he makes everything that’s broken inside her feel less damaged.

Ryan initially has no plans to stay in town despite his mother’s wish for him to take over the family business, but one look at Jamie, the only girl who ever got away—the only one who ever mattered—has him strongly reconsidering. Then Jamie discovers Owen had been cheating on her prior to his death, sending her slowly healing world into a tailspin. She can’t deny the feelings she has for Ryan are real, but how can they possibly have a future when she’s unable to escape the ghosts of her past?

friday5 for November 11, 2016: 2016 nanowrimo edition

I just realized this is the first Friday5 I've done since the summer. That right there is a real measure of how busy I've been. But despite it being such a long time since I've done one, today's Friday5 is not going to be a return to the usual format because we're in the midst of National Novel Writing Month (when you write a 50k novel during the month of November), one of two reasons (the other being that December is crazypants) there's a good chance I may not do another Friday5 until January. Just kidding. Kind of. But probably not... Anyway, for this month at least, I'm making serious writing progress, and sorry, but that wins out over blog-writing. 

So in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as it's more briefly called, here are five things I've learned as a YA author writing her first adult romance for her NaNo project: 

1. I'm writing without thinking too hard about what I'm writing and it's actually working. 

This has always been my biggest challenge when it comes to NaNo, as I'm sure it is for many people. I tend to edit as I write, which means fussing over dialogue tags, finding just the right word, and worrying over whether there's enough stuff going on beyond the dialogue (setting, mood, tone, etc). It's very hard for me to not ruminate on these things as I write, but the first thing I've done every day that I've sat down to work on my NaNo project is to remind myself that when it comes to NaNo, quantity is more important than quality. And it's actually working. I'm not sure if you can call managing to keep up with the expected word count for NaNoWriMo "crushing it" but if you can, I'm totally crushing it. Which feels kind of amazing cause I haven't done that in a long time. I'm writing without worry because I've kept reminding myself that I can go back and fix things later. That's what editing is for and while I've always found it easier to edit as I go, I don't have to. I can crank out words without them being perfect. Things are rarely perfect in a first draft anyway. 

2. My small town somehow feels ready for the big leagues.  

I've been working in the romance industry for the past eight years. I know romance novels pretty well. But this is the first time I've ever attempted to write one and despite how much exposure I've had to the medium, I'm still learning things through this process. I've always known books that fall into a series, with continuity and connected characters, are very popular within the genre, but I always saw those series as something that were extended because they were popular and because they sold. And while that's definitely part of it, I don't think I ever truly appreciated the author's likely compulsion to tell more stories in the same world until now. I've written first books in a trilogy before. I've written books meant to be the first half of a duology. But this is different somehow. When I set out to write this book, I had an idea for a story set in a small lakeside town here in Ontario. It wasn't until I started writing that I realized there's definitely more than one story here. The secondary characters have taken on lives of their own. I almost feel like it's my duty to tell their stories one day too. And that makes me feel like I now get it in a way that I didn't before. Series romance authors aren't searching for stories to tell--the stories are begging to be told. And there's something kinda wonderful about that. 

3. Tone is so important, especially when your story has potentially dark elements.

Aspects of my plot are a bit dark. There's death. There's infidelity. There's family drama. But most importantly, there's love. A lot of love. I mean, it is a romance, right? And I'm finding a big part of my focus with regards to crafting the story is going toward maintaining that hopeful, romantic tone all good romance novels need. It would be very easy to take the plot I've mapped out and turn it into something darker. The same story could easily be a thriller if I tweaked a few things. But one thing I've learned about romance over the years is how important it is to pin down the tone of the genre. And writing my first adult romance has only reinforced that fact a dozen times over. 

4. My adult characters are adult versions of my teen characters.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about writing adult characters. Until now, all the novels I've written (short stories of the past aside) have been YA, with teen characters and teen issues. The adults in those books were parents, teachers, side characters. They were never the focus. And now I have this heroine who's 28 and at a serious crossroads in her life and I'm realizing, she's actually not that different from some of my YA characters. Sure, a lot of that has to do with my own voice while I'm writing, but I think it also has to do with the fact that both YA and adult romance have elements of self-discovery to them, of "figuring it out". And I love exploring those themes. One of the reasons I love writing YA is that I love the excitement of first loves and first experiences. Adult romance is less likely to dive into "first" territory, but it definitely explores experiencing something very other for the first time.  The first love to come along that changes you, that makes you see the world in a way you didn't before. I'm really enjoying the writing process so far, and while there are times that my adult characters feel like grown-up versions of my YA characters, I know the differences are what will make this book stand apart--the careers, the adult life problems, oh, and the sex. Not that my YA books don't go there, but this is the first time I'm writing a book that's going to go there. Good times :) 

5. I'm really enjoying writing something different.

It's been a rough road. I know I've written about this on the blog before, but publishing is a journey. For some authors, it's shorter than others, but mine, unfortunately, has been something of a long, winding path filled with very talented editors saying "thanks, but no thanks". It's definitely not easy, and as with all long journeys, you get tired after a while, you get discouraged, despite your best efforts not to. Sometimes it's nice to change things up a bit. YA is still my first novel-writing love, and I have a lot of great ideas for YA stories that I can't wait to explore, but for now, I'm really enjoying writing something different. I feel like it's giving me something of a recharge, one that I desperately needed. I still have high hopes that there's an editor out there who will love my YA novels enough to publish them, but now I have something else to focus on, to hope for. I'm doing the work. I'm always doing the work. And you've gotta do the work if you want to succeed. 

Are you working on a NaNo book of your own this month? If so, I've love to hear about it in the comments and/or friend me on the NaNo site! My username on there is earthcrosser. Happy writing and

Happy Weekend!