Tag Archives: love

In Love With Your Characters? I Am.

Author Belle Ami Wants Characters To Live
First Published on

Release Date June 16, 2016

Release Date
June 16, 2016

Stacy Hoff’s Nights of Passion Blog

Hello, Passionate Readers! Today I’m having author Belle Ami talk about a subject near and dear to my writer’s heart—the pain of having to let go of the characters we create. It’s tougher than you might think! Don’t believe me? Here’s Belle in her own words:

Let it be known, I do not like saying farewell to the characters in my novels. After all, I’ve slept with them, dreamt with them, fought with them, empathized with them, hated them, and, of course, loved them. They are like my children, oft times difficult, doing things I don’t approve of and a real pain in the ass, but when all is said and done, they are mine, and just like my children, I will defend them with my last breath. However, there does come a time when, as Kahlil Gibran wrote in The Prophet, you have to let them fly on their own. I quote, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth,” which can easily be applied to your characters. Even though you’ve created them and breathed life into them, there comes a time when you have to let them go. Mr. Gibran also wisely wrote: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” If that’s not true of your characters, I don’t know what is.

My new book soon to be published by Soul Mate Publishing is actually the third book in my The Only One series. It is a stand-alone romance/suspense novel that is the last in this three book series. I love my characters for their optimism, their cynicism, their idiosyncrasies, and their flaws. I like to think that they are fully developed people who reflect not only what life has dealt them in the past, but people who wish to change and improve who they are in the present. That’s what brings them to life and that’s what places them with their feet firmly on the ground as living, breathing beings.

Miles Bremen is a billionaire who has fought his way to the top. Everything he has gained in this life he has earned. Perhaps that accounts for his possessive nature, his inability to trust, and his desire to keep what he considers his. His flaws are many, but he attacks life with an unbridled passion. His failed marriage to Adelia Lindstrom is a stain on his otherwise perfect world, a world in which he is usually in control. Adelia is the one woman he ever loved and he lost her. He is determined to do whatever it takes to win her back.

Adelia Lindstrom seemingly has everything, wealth, beauty, perfect twin children, and a career she loves. But, beneath the veneer of success and prosperity lies disappointment, tragedy, and unending lies. Her parents were murdered, her marriage ended in a custody battle, and she is confused by the feelings she has for the two men in her life. Her ex-husband who betrayed her in an unforgivable manner is back on the scene determined to win her back. Her best friend and lover, FBI agent David Weiss, has always been there for her, but his new career with the bureau has made him unavailable and removed. What’s a girl to do? In the beginning of the series, she was a young, trusting, vulnerable woman, but her trials and tribulations have matured and made her wise. She is no longer a girl, but a woman who knows who she is, and isn’t afraid to risk everything for what she wants. But, what does she want?

Throw in an added obstacle for good measure, she’s about to become the target of a serial killer. Can David protect her? Can Miles win her back? Can she have her cake and eat it too? Is there a happily-ever-after for these three. You bet there is, but not without pain, discovery, and overcoming obstacles. There is a Zen saying that I like to apply to my characters: Leap and the net will appear.

I digress, getting back to letting go of your characters. It turns out I’m not very good at it. In my new series that I am writing, in the second book, I’ve decided to bring back FBI Agent David Weiss. He with his firecracker partner, Cassandra Saladino, is investigating a terrorist attack on the United States. I’m very excited about bringing back one of my favorite guys.

Oh, the joy of not having to say goodbye to a character, to allow them to live and love again.

EXCERPT: One More Time is Not Enough – Release date June/July 2016

Northern California

Route One

The sports car hugged the road as David down-shifted into a hairpin curve on Route One. Adelia brushed the wind-blown wisps of hair that had escaped her braid from her eyes. She leaned her head against the headrest and absorbed the late Summer sunshine. The radio station The Highway blared over the radio, competing with the engine’s roar. At the academy, David had fallen in love with country music thanks to Preston. A song came on the radio next, and he turned up the volume.

“Listen to the words, I believe this is our song.”

She turned to look at him but his dark aviator sunglasses hid his eyes. With her curiosity piqued, she listened. A sexy baritone voice filled the air.

When you walked through the door

I knew…you were the one

My heart said hello, but my head said run

Before I knew it I’d asked you to dance

Time stands still in the arms of romance

Pulled you close, kissed your lips, felt your fingers

in my hair;

Turning slowly, falling fast, trying hard not to care;

You’re like whiskey and music

With your hands all over me

Turnin’ me on, like a sexy song

Making it hard for me to breathe

I should have seen the writing on the wall

One more time is not enough

When there’s nowhere left to fall

Adelia switched off the radio and turned away from him as she fought back her tears. “Are you trying to hurt me? I don’t remember you ever being cruel.”

“No, I’m trying, to be honest with you. We both know this magical escape is an illusion. A week from now I’ll go to Washington and you’ll go back to your kids, and Miles will convince you to remarry him. Just like the song says, One more time is not enough, when there’s nowhere left to fall. We were never meant to be.”

“You don’t know a thing, David Weiss.” Frustration simmered inside of her. “Can’t you for once just live in the moment?”

“One of us has to try and keep the moment real.”

“I still don’t understand why you had to join the FBI? You’ve made it impossible for us to be together. It’s as if you’re doing everything in your power to put obstacles in our way. All your professed love for me, was it all a lie?”

He reached over and took her hand, raising it to his lips, then kissed her knuckles. “I’d take a bullet for you, and you know it.”

“Then show me what you feel, show me you love me.”

“I’m here, aren’t I? Isn’t that enough.”

She turned away from him. “No, it’s not. Like the song says, it will never be enough.”

Tema Merback

Writing as Belle Ami

http://bookshow.me/TheOne

http://bookshow.me/TheOneAndMore

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/belle.ami.96…

Twitter: @BelleAmi5

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/belleami96/

Website: http://belleami.us

The Power of Music

There is nothing that inspires me more in my writing than the power of music. I can be suffering from writer’s malaise, a failing of words or ideas, and hearing the words of a song, will release a plethora of fresh ideas and direction. It really is uncanny, the connection that occurs. It often feels as if the music forces the computer to reboot, untangling the knots of inertia that are strangling creativity, and like an infusion of nourishment the brain’s neurons fire up and the engine once more chugs forward. I have pretty well convinced myself that there is no such thing as “writer’s block”, only a temporary clog that calls for a dose of writer’s Drano—musical catnip.

In every book I write there is always a song inspiring the emotion of a scene. Oft quoted, inserted, like a love object, it breathes life into the scene. In my first book, The One, my heroine Adelia’s marriage has imploded, she faces a bitter custody battle with her wealthy ex-husband, she is at the lowest point of her life. Her best friend, Detective David Weiss, is determined to help her pick up the pieces of her broken heart. Believing in her, he knows that she must fight to live again; that the curtain of darkness dropped into her life will disappear if only she can see her way through to pull the cord and raise it, flooding the room, hence her life with light.

He brings her a compact disc and the printed words of a song that he hopes will better express the depth of his feelings, whereas he fears the ineptitude of his words might fail. The songwriter is Peter Gabriel, the CD version I use is sung by P!INK and John Legend, the words are simple:

Don’t give up

‘Cause you have friends.

Don’t give up,

You’re not the only one.

Don’t give up.

     She cries, they embrace, and she gains the fortitude to fight.

In the third book in The Only One Series, One More Time is Not Enough, which is in edit with my publisher Soul Mate Publishing, my hero and heroine, now divorced, are thrown together again and sparks fly. In a romantic scene, where what they still feel for each can’t be denied, they dance to John Legend’s “All of Me.”

EXCERPT:

Adelia hit a button on her iPod and the romantic lyrics of John Legend’s “All of Me” filled the silence. She lit candles, and then took a bottle of champagne from the wine fridge in the bar and poured two flutes with the bubbly vintage. Handing him a glass, they sipped and listened until their glasses were emptied.

My head’s under water

But I’m doing fine

You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

She didn’t know if what she was doing was wrong or right, and she didn’t care. She felt an inexorable need to follow it through. She had once loved him so completely. Perhaps it was possible to love him again.

You’re my downfall, you’re my muse

My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues

I can’t stop singing, in my head for you

She stood inches from Miles, and when he opened his arms to her, she walked into them. She clasped her hands around his neck, and his arms encircled her waist, pulling her close to him. They slow-danced, turning in circles to the music.

Love your curves and all your edges

All your perfect imperfections

Give your all to me

I’ll give my all to you

“Did you pick this song for a reason?”

“Maybe.”

Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts

Risking it all, though it’s hard

‘Cause all of me

Loves all of you

“What happens when it ends?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t end. Maybe it just continues.”

“The song or us?”

She smiled, “The song.”

His brows furrowed.

She placed a finger on the deep vertical line between his brows, smoothing the tension away. “What if I said, us?”

“I’d think I was dreaming.”

“Why do you love me, Miles?”

“I’ve tried not to.”

“I know. Me too. I’ve tried not to love you.”

I give you all of me

And you give me all of you

“We belong together.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.” His hands encircled her face, he bent to kiss her. “It’s playing again.”

Her eyes were closed, and her lips held a shadow of a smile. “Is it?”

“It is.” His kiss was like the song. It swept through her taking with it all of the debris of the past. She could feel his body tense against hers. She released her hands from his neck and slipped them beneath his shirt resting them on his strong muscular back, encouraging him.

***

It’s easy to understand why so much of our lives and memories, are linked to and recalled because of the lasting imprint of lyrics and notes; the creative coalition called music that reflects who we are, or where we were, at any given time in our lives.

 

 

 

What’s So Bad About Loving Two People at Once?

Choosing the characteristics of a perfect love interest seems like an easy task. Most of us would say gorgeous, smart, rich, devoted, thoughtful and romantic. Okay, I did say perfect, but I suspect most of us would probably settle for a hell of a lot less. In a romantic novel, however, we are free to dream.

In my new erotic romance, suspense series The Only One (The One #1, and The One and More #2, May/June 2014 release) I asked myself what irresistible traits a perfect lover should possess. I concluded that perfection is unattainable, and probably pretty boring. So I tweaked my concept of one perfect lover and decided that two might be more fun than one.

Given the eroticism of these novels each partner’s sexual proclivities and passions are never stagnant, but grow and evolve over time. My heroine begins the series as a sexual novice, but by the end of the series, she has mastered the skills and becomes a formidable partner. She tries to act with emotional clarity, and has a better understanding of what her needs and preferences are. In the end she realizes that she is satisfied in different ways by each of her lovers which leaves her with the impossible choice of which one to make a life partner.

You might think, why choose? In a conventional society we are encouraged to mate with one person at a time. The “proper” way is to find that compatible someone, marry, have children, and support one another as we navigate the rocky haphazard road of life. If, or when, a relationship fails, then, at least in our contemporary world, we are free to divorce and hopefully find another suitable companion and start the process all over again; which has not always been the case throughout history. One has only to look back to the tragic love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mahmah Borthwick Cheney to understand just how unforgiving and destructive stepping outside of society’s norms can be. Married to other people, they made the mistake of falling in love with each other and acting on it. With spouses that refused to grant them divorces, they were vilified, run out of town, and hounded by the press, which nearly destroyed the career of one of the most important architects of all time. All because they dared to live outside of what was acceptable. The very idea of sharing oneself with more than one partner at the same time, even today, remains one of the great taboos of a civil society.

Fifty plus years later Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher would create their own love scandal when Eddie divorced Debbie Reynolds and married Taylor three-and-a-half hours after his divorce became final. For her part in the scandal, Elizabeth would carry the crown of “Homewrecker”. In 1963 when she met Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra, Taylor garnered a new crown when the Vatican condemned their union, calling it ‘erotic vagrancy’, I love that one. Whereas Mahmah and Wright were scorned by the press, Taylor and Burton were immortalized.

The notion of loving two people at once is nothing new, we do it all of the time. We love our child, or children, and have no trouble distributing our love in, hopefully, equal measures to one or more of them. The same is true of our parents, we love them both, whether or not they live up to our expectations of parenting. This proves that we are capable of loving in many different ways, and many different people. It is only when romantic, sensual love is added to the equation that we are told, at least by society’s mores, that we are incapable of loving two people at once, and we are most certainly discouraged from loving two people sexually at the same time.

Just as we change throughout our lives, our relationships change with us. What might have begun as a heart stopping embrace, will undoubtedly modify over time. The bright inflamed embers of new love have a habit of burning out, or at least burning with a reduced flame. What remains usually between long time lovers (marrieds) are bonds of trust, unwavering support, mutual respect, friendship, and a shared life. United as one, the longtime partners share cherished memories and the knowledge that no matter what comes they face it together. Hopefully, they are still having sex even if it’s not that all encompassing feeling of passionate desire. If a new exciting love interest enters the picture and a love affair begins, it sparks a fire. With a new love every cell in the brain and body is rejuvenated with a memory of what it feels like to be mad and crazy in love. Our pulse quickens, and we feel fully alive. Is one better than the other? Probably not, it’s just new. To be fair, each has moments of shared joy and happiness. Besides, most of us have learned through experience that over time all things become more or less equal. The new love will most certainly lose steam in the passion and the desire department as we settle into a more lasting union. In other words, over time a new love is likely to become much like the old love.

Sometimes, though, life presents circumstances in which a relationship with deep feelings and great sex is somehow blown apart beyond the control of the two lovers and the relationship is brought to an end. The two that were one must now build new lives without ever really resolving the situation. They are still attracted to and in love with each other, but no longer bound to one another. They meet and see new people; one of them might even fall in love with a new person. Now we’re talking about being in love with two people, even if  sex is only happening with just the one. But, what if the one partner that hasn’t fallen in love with anyone else, and has never relinquished their love decides that no matter what the cost, they will do whatever it takes to regain the love that was lost to them. That is exactly the dilemma that faces my heroine Adelia Lindstrom. Although she is still in love with her former husband, Miles, she knows that the relationship is over. Life goes on and she falls in love with someone else. When  Miles inserts himself back into her life, she finds herself incapable of denying him access. Hence, she is in love with two men at the same time and enjoying the different pleasures that both deliver. What’s wrong with that, you might ask? The problem is, she eventually has to make a choice. Multiple lovers are a complication that can get ugly. Then there is that ticking bomb of what other’s think, not to mention human nature’s propensity for jealousy.

Ah, life, the beauty of it is that the one thing you can count on with certainty, is that it will undoubtedly present you with obstacles and choices. Writers count on it, for without difficulties and challenges, there would be nothing to write about. What is the solution for my heroine? We’ll just have to wait and see. However, it will be fun exploring the possibilities of sustaining two separate love interests. Damn, if that doesn’t sound like the next book.

Sex, And Why Not Write About It?

The first book in my romantic/erotic/thriller series entitled The One is nearly ready for publication. Part of me wants to woohoo with joy. For the heck of it, I looked up the word ‘woohoo’, and discovered that it is also a euphemism for sexual intercourse. Who knew? Considering that my book has plenty of steamy, romantic intercourse in it, oh, and sex too, I guess woohooing is the perfect reaction to completing the first in this series.

What I discovered by exploring and writing about the behind closed doors side of people’s lives is that it is a hell of a lot of fun to write, and even more fun to read. How many times have you read a book, and just when the hero and heroine are about to finally get some serious physical interaction in you find that all you get is an innuendo of what is to come, and then…the chapter ends? You’re left on edge, wondering, what happened when the lights went out, and why you were left feeling gypped and unsatisfied. For instance when Scarlett woke up with that titillating grin and stretched languidly with pleasure as she recalled the night before when Rhett swept her up in his arms and carried her upstairs to bed. Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall during that earth shattering consummation of passion? I’m pretty sure Mitchell’s heroine wasn’t having a “fiddle dee dee!” moment with the macho Rhett Butler.

Real life doesn’t stop, why should a novel? If sex is written well it can only enhance the story and reveal nuances of the characters and their lives that otherwise would be missing. The film and television industries have figured it out, and as for the visual arts, painters have been obsessed for centuries with the object of desire and fulfillment.  So, what’s different about the written word? If sex is an integral part of the narrative then by all means let the reader experience it.

The negation of that argument is, yes, the world has changed and the reading public is far more adventurous than in the past, but aren’t you degrading the art of literature, and more importantly can one dare to even call it literature? The answer is, of course one can? If there is an exciting plot, a worthy theme, compelling characters, stylized writing, and a clear voice, there should be no deterrent to enjoyment.  After all, a good read is a good read.

How you may ask did I come to write in this genre? First, after hearing all of the fuss about Fifty Shades of Grey I was intrigued just like everyone else. I read the first two in the trilogy, and even though I pooh-poohed the quality of the writing, I found I couldn’t put it down. Fifty Shades led to my reading a few others in the genre. Some were better than others just like in any genre. I did find that the novels I read that were romantic and erotic also tended to be a quick read, absorbing, and oft time’s funny. When an idea came to me for a new novel that had a subplot of crime and murder, I thought why not. Why not enhance the erotic, obsessive angle of the story. After all, so much of the story I had in mind was about passion gone wrong. Why wouldn’t that passion be realized within the pages of the book? Without the development of the sexual relationship between the main characters the driving force of passion would be missing and the story would never ring true.  It seemed a worthy challenge, and one that deserved to be attempted. What I didn’t know is how difficult it is to make sex scenes feel fresh and new. That, however, will need to be addressed in a future blog, perhaps entitled ‘Reinventing Sex’.

The fact is, even with my own convincing argument fresh on the paper before me, I still find it necessary to use a penname. Why you may ask? Are you ashamed? No not ashamed, but cautious. I have an award winning novel that I wouldn’t want to tarnish in any way. He who reads one genre doesn’t necessarily read another genre. Why muddy the waters. Then there is the question whether family and friends might find themselves in an uncomfortable situation because of my public persona. Children, grandchildren, wow this really could get ugly. It all added up to my decision to free myself from the fetters of convention and take on a second persona, and so Belle Ami was born. After all who wouldn’t want to be Belle Ami?