From Noah Fielding

August 24, 2009 at 2:00 am (General, Rebecca York) (, , , , )

MoreThanAMan-244There’s a scene in my August Harlequin Intrigue, MORE THAN A MAN, where Noah Fielding wakes up weak and confused.  He’s survived a near-death experience, but he doesn’t know where he is–or what time period he’s in.  I don’t have room in the book to go into his thoughts in depth.  But I’ve written them here, from his POV in first person present tense.

Captivity.  Again.  But where and when?

Disjointed thoughts swirl through my head, and I can capture none of them.  I hear a woman crying.  Who is she?  Does she weep for me?   I try to grab a memory, but it slips away, and I want to scream in frustration.  But I cannot speak.  Cannot move.  Cannot even open my eyes.  And my body is on fire.

I fight the agonizing pain in every cell of my body, praying for death.  But death eludes me–again.

Where am I?   Do the Franciscans have me in the cellars below the abbey, confined because they think I’m in league with the devil?  No, that can’t be true.  I escaped from the monks long ago.

Has the Doge of Venice arrested me for shipping treasures out of his city-state?  But didn’t I bribe my way out of his prison?

Am I in the clutches of the Nazis–because they think I’m spying for the Allied forces?  No, I remember escaping from their transport van in a hail of bullets.  They left me for dead by the side of the road.

I lie in the dark, trying to clear my head as  jumbled images dance like scenes from a nightmare behind my closed lids.  So many centuries.  So many lives.  And always I must hide my identity.  I was born in a small village in England.  Centuries ago.  But I am always apart, separated by my long life and the need to hide my true identity.  That was easier centuries ago.  I could pretend to die and disappear into the mist.  Today computers keep track of everything.

Computers.  Ah.  Finally I have a reference point.  This must be late in the 20th century–or the 21st.

A woman’s cries bring another stab of pain.  I have longed for love, yet over the lonely centuries each woman in my life has left me.  Some have run from me in horror when they learned my secret.  Some have tried to kill me in their anger when they learned my secret.  But the worst is when they grow old and die, while I stay the same.  Always the same.  Year after year.  I look like a man in my early thirties with a full head of hair, a vigorous body and a sharp mind.  Yet I am centuries old.

Finally, I know where I am and that Olivia, the woman I love, is with me.

My throat constricts as I think of the anguish I have brought her.  My eyes flutter open, and I try to speak.  But my throat is still too raw.

Oh Lord, Olivia.  I didn’t have the courage to tell you my secret for fear you would leave me.  You think I’ve sacrificed myself for you.  But now I’m coming back to life before your eyes.  I see the joy on your face.  The wonder.  But also the shock and the knowledge of my betrayal.  I couldn’t tell you the truth about myself, and now you’ve found out in the most horrible way imaginable.

Fear claws at me.  A monster of a man named Jarred Bainbridge holds us both captive.  Can I save you from him–or is it already too late?

Noah Fielding.

So would you like to live forever?  What are the disadvantages, do you think?

Rebecca

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I’VE GOT YOU COVERED

August 10, 2009 at 1:00 am (General, Rebecca York) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’VE GOT YOU COVERED
Sometimes just the author’s name is enough to make a reader reach for the book.  Or it can be the cover art.
I can control the content of my book–by writing the best story I can.  But contrary to what many people think, the writer has little influence over the cover.  Usually I love mine or I hate them.
Here’s my cover for WITCHING MOON, the third book in my Berkley Moon Series.  I’m always looking for suitable occupations for werewolves.  In this story, Adam Marshall has taken a job as the head ranger at a nature park on the edge of a Georgia swamp.  He finds out quickly that the nearby town harbors dark secrets.  And when botanist Sarah Weston comes to the area, powers she’s long suppressed come bubbling to the surface.  When I saw the cover proof, I loved the way Sarah’s image hovers above the swamp.  Then I noticed that one of the pine trees was sticking into her chin, making her look like the bearded lady in a circus sideshow.  When I pointed that out to my editor, the art department blocked out the tree with a green square.   At least they were willing to do it.  When I made a comment about the long dark hair in the heroine’s face in ETERNAL MOON, my editor told me it was there for the suspense element.  Although it’s not as bad as a pine tree goatee, I keep wondering why Renata didn’t reach up and swipe it away.
AMANDA’S CHILD is my story about a pregnant virgin. How did it happen, you ask?  Artificial insemination.  The cover’s actually a concept that I suggested.  And I love the way the hero looks so protective.  But why did they have to make the rocking chair into Mickey Mouse ears?
Another Harlequin Intrigue, CHAIN REACTION, is about a guy who gets caught in an explosion at a research lab and acquires paranormal abilities.  I guess the lightning is supposed to symbolize his powers. But I think the cover shot makes him appear to be walking on a tightrope high up in the air in a thunderstorm.
If the book cover of a romantic suspense novel shows the hero alone, I want that wow factor.  He should be really sexy.  Really good looking.  Really macho.  That’s what will make me reach for the book.
Which is why I think I lucked out with MORE THAN A MAN, my Intrigue out this month.  I love this guy.  (And if you’ve read my previous post about the book, you know I think he looks like my son.)  In my Intrigues, I get to explore all kinds of weird story lines.  In this one, the man who now calls himself Noah Fielding has lived for over 700 years.  Sounds like fun, right?  But his long life creates its own problem.  Like how does he have a relationship with any woman when she’s going to grow old and die–and he won’t.  And what happens when a dying millionaire is desperate to figure out his secret?
I hate to admit that I’ve sometimes bought a book because of the cover art.  How about you? What pulls you in?  And how much do the graphics influence your book purchases?
Rebecca

Sometimes just the author’s name is enough to make a reader reach for the book.  Or it can be the cover art.

I can control the content of my book–by writing the best story I can.  But contrary to what many people think, the writer has little influence over the cover.  Usually I love mine or I hate them.

Witching-125Here’s my cover for WITCHING MOON, the third book in my Berkley Moon Series.  I’m always looking for suitable occupations for werewolves.  In this story, Adam Marshall has taken a job as the head ranger at a nature park on the edge of a Georgia swamp.  He finds out quickly that the nearby town harbors dark secrets.  And when botanist Sarah Weston comes to the area, powers she’s long suppressed come bubbling to the surface.  When I saw the cover proof, I loved the way Sarah’s image hovers above the swamp.  Then I noticed that one of the pine trees was sticking into her chin, making her look like the bearded lady in a circus sideshow.  When I pointed that out to my editor, the art department blocked out the tree with a green square.   At least they were willing to do it.  When I made a comment about the long dark hair in the heroine’s face in EternalMoon-125ETERNAL MOON, my editor told me it was there for the suspense element.  Although it’s not as bad as a pine tree goatee, I keep wondering why Renata didn’t reach up and swipe it away.

amandas-child-125AMANDA’S CHILD is my story about a pregnant virgin. How did it happen, you ask?  Artificial insemination.  The cover’s actually a concept that I suggested.  And I love the way the hero looks so protective.  But why did they have to make the rocking chair into Mickey Mouse ears?

ChainReaction-125Another Harlequin Intrigue, CHAIN REACTION, is about a guy who gets caught in an explosion at a research lab and acquires paranormal abilities.  I guess the lightning is supposed to symbolize his powers. But I think the cover shot makes him appear to be walking on a tightrope high up in the air in a thunderstorm.

If the book cover of a romantic suspense novel shows the hero alone, I want that wow factor.  He should be really sexy.  Really good looking.  Really macho.  That’s what will make me reach for the book.

MoreThanAMan-125Which is why I think I lucked out with MORE THAN A MAN, my Intrigue out this month.  I love this guy.  (And if you’ve read my previous post about the book, you know I think he looks like my son.)  In my Intrigues, I get to explore all kinds of weird story lines.  In this one, the man who now calls himself Noah Fielding has lived for over 700 years.  Sounds like fun, right?  But his long life creates its own problem.  Like how does he have a relationship with any woman when she’s going to grow old and die–and he won’t.  And what happens when a dying millionaire is desperate to figure out his secret?

I hate to admit that I’ve sometimes bought a book because of the cover art.  How about you? What pulls you in?  And how much do the graphics influence your book purchases?

Rebecca

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Thanksgiving in Summer

July 30, 2009 at 8:58 am (General) (, , , )

Last week, I did something really different.  I made Thanksgiving dinner, four months early.  Lucky for me the house is air-conditioned, otherwise I would have melted in the heat with the oven on for hours.

I decided to have our holiday early because my son was home from Afghanistan for two weeks.  Thanksgiving is his favorite meal, and he’s going to spend the real deal at Kandahar Air Base.  Just by coincidence MORE THAN A MAN, my Harlequin Intrigue with the 700-year-old hero, is coming out in a few days.  And my son looks a lot like the guy on the cover.  Of course, he doesn’t think so.
MoreThanAMan-244
Turns out, the turkey was the big problem with the Thanksgiving dinner. They may be all over the grocery stores in November, but they’re almost nonexistent right now.  Other than going out in the woods and shooting them, you’ve got to buy them frozen at this time of year.  And guess what?  I’ve never cooked a frozen turkey, so I didn’t know how long it would take to defrost.  Unfortunately, we’re talking DAYS in the refrigerator.  And if you don’t have that much time, your best option is to immerse in cold water, according to all the Web sites I checked out.  But there’s one important fact they fail to mention.  You know how the wise guys need to put “cement shoes” on a body they’re trying to deep six?  Well, guess what?  A frozen turkey also floats.  So there I was in the early hours of the morning weighting down that sucker (with a heavy pot lid) so I could submerge it.  As you can see, it finally worked out.

So what’s your favorite holiday? And how do you make it special?

Rebecca York

food-200food-200-2

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ROOTS

July 9, 2009 at 3:00 am (Rebecca York) (, , , , )

MoreThanAMan-244When I was in grade school, the DC Public Library used to send a “library basket” to each classroom once a month.  The teacher would display the books on the chalk shelf below the blackboard, and we’d get to come up and choose which ones we wanted to take home.  One morning, when I was in fifth grade, she put up a book called RED PLANET, by Robert Heinlein.  On the cover was a picture of a person in space suit and a weird-looking creature.  As soon as I saw that cover, I knew I had to read that book, and I elbowed a couple of boys out of the way to grab it off the ledge.

That’s how my love affair with the weird began.  Until my early twenties, science fiction and fantasy were my chief reading material.  Just like with my first science fiction novel, I have vivid memories of reading my first shapeshifter story, DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson.  I was fifteen at the time, and he made me want to BE a werewolf.  But it took years before I dared to write my first werewolf book, KILLING MOON.  Looking for a unique theme, I settled on a werewolf detective who used his wolf senses to solve crimes.  (Yeah, like Moonlight for vampires.  But I thought of it first.)

I’ve been writing shapeshifter books ever since, but I haven’t given up my love of the paranormal in general.  MORE THAN A MAN, coming out in August, is one of those books that’s hard to fit into a category.  It’s about a man named Noah Fielding who’s lived for seven hundred years.  Of course he’s left a lot of lovers behind and escaped lots of dangerous situations, but he meets his match when a dying millionaire devises a diabolical plan to discover Noah’s secret.  And he’s willing to use any means, including kidnapping the woman Noah loves.

Living forever is such an appealing concept, but it brings a whole host of problems with it, as Noah has discovered over the years.  And it’s an interesting challenge for a writer.  Kind of like the Superman problem.  If you can’t die, what puts you in jeopardy?

RT gave MORE THAN A MAN  a Top Pick 4.5.
They said,  This top-notch mystery could be the best of the 43 Light Street series! . . . York has outdone herself with first-rate characters, a roller-coaster ride of a story and a plot that will keep readers holding their breath.

Needless to say, I was thrilled.  And I was astonished to see how much the guy on the cover looks like my son.

If you’re not reading shapeshifter books, which paranormal themes do you like best?

Rebecca

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