Tag Archives: heroes

Writing SFR vs. Romantic Suspense – Guest Post & #Giveaway by Diane Burton #TWRP #MYAHA

Science Fiction Romance vs Romantic Suspense

Guest Post by Diane Burton

Thanks so much for having me back, Jessica. And I love the topic you suggested. Readers know me from my adventure romances that take place in space and other worlds. My latest book ONE RED SHOE is a romantic suspense. It’s an adventure romance that takes place in this world. Other than the locale, my writing in the two genres is very similar.

Setting (in SFR, sometimes called world building): Stories have to take place somewhere. Even though my SFR books take place in space, on a starship, or an alien planet, I had to research what those locales could possibly look like. (I sure wish I could have done in-person research of space and other planets.) In my romantic suspense, I also had to do research. Fortunately, I’ve been to many of the locales where ONE RED SHOE takes place, like New York City (I even researched the subway then had to rule it out as the place where the hero & heroine meet), Seneca, NY, Holland, MI, Chicago. Even my heroine’s hometown in Iowa is modeled after a small farming town where I’ve lived.

Suspense: All my SFRs have suspense and danger. Since I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, I often don’t know who the villain is until near the end of the story. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. In ONE RED SHOE, I knew from the beginning who but not why. By the very nature of the genre, romantic suspense had plenty of danger.

Villains: I don’t write about psychopaths. They creep me out. All my villains have logical reasons for why they do what they do. They rationalize their actions. In their minds, they’re justified. Whether those villains are in space or in NYC, they all have similar behavior in my stories.

Heroes & Heroines: What good is world building and villains if there aren’t any good guys? Somebody has to save the day, the country, the planet. I’d like to say my heroes are all tall, dark, and handsome. Since I’m tall, I do like tall men. I also prefer dark hair to blond (although Daniel Craig is making me change my mind about blond men). Handsome is in the eye of the beholder. But looks aren’t everything. Character revealed through action matters to my heroines. Same with my heroes. Being guys, they notice looks first. As they look deeper, they see the strength in the heroine. In ONE RED SHOE, my heroine doesn’t think she’s heroic at all. Half the time, she’s scared to death. The hero has to tell her how courageous she is before she realizes it.

Happily Ever After: A reader who picks up a science fiction romance or a romantic suspense expect a satisfying ending—a happy ever after. The villain is going to be caught. The hero and heroine will get together. Whether they decide to live in Iowa, Washington, DC or on a starship, my hero and heroine will always have a happy ever after.

So I don’t think writing science fiction romance is all that different from romantic suspense. No matter what I write, I always have a great time going on an adventure with my characters.

One Red Shoe by Diane Burton - romantic suspenseOne Red Shoe
By Diane Burton

Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt from One Red Shoe:

Sam found a door with a push plate and faded square where a sign used to be. This had to be it. He carefully pushed open the door. No noise to attract Grashenko & Company if they came back. Good grief, the restroom was an explosion of pink. Pepto-Bismol pink with black trim. Sam didn’t have time to find the men’s room now. He would stop the bleeding and get out of this potential trap.

Skylights, dirty like the rest of the windows in the building, let in enough light to see. Good. He didn’t want to risk turning on a light that would shine under the door. Around a corner, hidden from the door, he found a long counter with a row of sinks and a mirror above. All the better to examine the damage done by that trigger-happy fool.

Sam unzipped his jeans and worked down his briefs to expose his hip. What a mess. Not for the first time, he cursed Grashenko for showing up in that hotel room in Smolensk. Sam’s hasty departure, with Yuri and Korioff on his tail, meant leaving behind his gear. His clothes, sunglasses, and emergency medical supplies would bring top dollar on the Russian black market. He would have to make do with what he had. Carefully, he turned a faucet to wet his handkerchief. He blew out a breath in relief the plumbing still worked and was used on a regular basis. No air hissed or sputtered, which would’ve brought Grashenko and Korioff back in a hurry.

With much twisting to see, Sam wiped away the worst of the blood. Amazed that there were paper towels in a dispenser, he folded several and stuffed them inside his briefs. He tried to zip his jeans but the bulge in back pressed on his raw flesh. Hell, he’d zip up when he was done.

When he bent to check his calf, he nearly keeled over from dizziness. He grabbed the counter. His shoe had absorbed the blood. None on the floor, thank God. No trail. Sam patted his shirt pocket and took out his agency cell phone. He needed to find out where the hell Teller was. That idiot better have a damn good reason for doing a no-show. Didn’t he realize the consequences? Didn’t he realize how little time they had to—

The air moved—his only warning that the door to the restroom had opened. A whirlwind in beige blasted past him. In that split second Sam instinctively cataloged the intruder. Female, five-ten, weight uncertain due to voluminous coat, late twenties, long dark single braid, penny loafers. And a large button clipped to her purse. Shit. More dangerous than a Russian Mafia hit man. A wide-eyed innocent. The kind he’d sworn to protect. And here he was bleeding like a stuck pig, so dizzy he was going to fall flat on his face.

One Red Shoe is available for Kindle at: http://amzn.com/B00FDXRHZA

Author Bio:

Diane BurtonDiane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online:

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Diane Burton is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below or enter here. The winner will be announced on October 31st.

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Thanks, Jessica, for helping me celebrate the release of my newest book. (JES: It’s always a pleasure to have you here. Come back anytime!) 


Love Redeemed Blog Tour – Interview with author Sorcha Mowbray

Welcome back to my blog, Sorcha! It’s a pleasure to have you here during your blog tour. What can you tell us about your upcoming release, Love Redeemed?

SM: Well, Love Redeemed is book two in The Market series. It is about a high class prostitute who meets a handsome merchant on the street and is unexpectedly treated as a lady. Enjoying the novelty of such deference, she conceals that she is a prostitute. The merchant has been trying to work up the nerve to introduce himself to the beautiful woman he has seen on Bond Street and finally does. He is taken with her and loses his heart quite handily. Then she disappears and he must find and convince her that their love is enough to carry them through. (Read the official blurb and an excerpt at the end of the interview.)

Describe the heroine in three words.

SM: Stubborn, self-sufficient, honorable

What traits does the hero posses that makes the heroine swoon?

SM: He is steadfast, caring, and he takes control with a delicious ability to command without demeaning.

What was your inspiration for this story?

SM: I love the idea of historical romance that doesn’t center on the nobility. I wanted to write a prostitute who gets a happy ending and since I was writing a series set in a brothel it was the perfect opportunity.

What genres do you write in, and what appeals to you about those genres?

SW: I write historical, contemporary/western, and fantasy/science fiction. Well, historical is what I read forever! And I have a history minor from college. It has been a long time love of mine. Contemporary/western appeals to my sexy cowboy bone. It’s a real thing, Google it *grins*. How can you not like a man who generally keeps rope handy? And the fantasy/science fiction is something new for me so we’ll see how it works out. What I love about it is the freedom to create new worlds and cultural values that allow the characters to be so different from what life is like today. In all three genres the key is escape. I read to escape so I write for the same reason. I don’t want to be reminded of my day to day issues by what I’m reading.

What other titles do you have published?

Available November 27

SM: Love Revealed (The Market Series, Book 1) – A Dom and submissive meet as anonymous masked lovers at a brothel in Victorian London. As boundaries are pushed they grow closer together. When he discovers her identity he must find a way to reveal himself and convince her of his love. (Decadent Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe)

Taking Her Chance (One Night With A Cowboy) – Former lovers meet again through a dating service and unexpectedly reignite their connection. Question is, will they take a chance this time or let love pass them by again? (Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe)

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

SM: I’m a total hybrid. :) I typically do a quick outline, some character sketches, and then a synopsis. Then I write the story and if things go off in an unexpected direction I roll with it. The outline and synopsis will get changed and the story presses on.

Is there anything else my readers should know about you?

SM: Well, let’s see. I’m a former dancer, even went to college on a dance scholarship…and no it wasn’t sponsored by the local strip club. LOL! Although I did consider it briefly in college. It was the fear of one of my male cousins or their friends walking in and seeing me kept me from doing it. The money was very tempting. I am also the type who rushes to the defense of the weak. I hate bullies and I have a really hard time staying out of things when I see bullying or injustice of any kind going on.

Where can my readers find you?

SM: I’m all over the place! I’m in the usual places, plus I am on Kindlegraph for signed digital copies, GoodReads, Pintrest, and I have a group blog with some amazing ladies over at Silken Sheets and Seduction. Here are some of my links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pintrest | GoodReads | Kindlegraph

A question for your readers: What traits do you look for in the heroes you read?

Love Redeemed Blog Tour & Giveaway:

At each stop of the blog tour I will give away a copy of Love Revealed (Book 1) of the series. At the end of the 11 day tour a grand prize of a $25 All Romance eBook (ARe) store gift card and one copy of my back list will be given away to one lucky winner.

Rules (Cause you know there have to be rules!)

1. Winners of the individual blog stops will not be eligible to win the grand prize
2. One comment per stop will be eligible for the drawings (so be sure to answer my questions!)
3. The contest is open internationally
4. Commenters must include an email so they can be contacted
5. Any prize not claimed within 48hrs will be subject to forfeiture and a new winner drawn

Love Redeemed (Book 2, The Market Series)

Brennan Whitling wants for nothing but the love of a good woman. He has a close family, good friends, and a successful textiles import business. But, a beautiful and elusive young woman he has only seen from afar haunts him. Until a chance meeting leads to far more than dinner.

Serena Freemont has only ever known the life of a prostitute. When an invitation to dinner by a handsome gentleman provides her an opportunity to experience life as a young lady, it’s too tempting to pass up. Much like the man issuing it. After a night of passion she must disappear or face his reaction when the truth is revealed.

To find happiness Serena must shed her past long enough to realize she is worthy of a future. To win her heart, Brennan must show her the redemptive power of love.

Available November 27 from Decadent Publishing and other eBook retailers.


“Are you all right, Miss?”

For a moment, for this moment, she was a normal young woman experiencing the attentions of a handsome young man. Heat crept up her cheeks as he held her hatbox out, and the burning had nothing to do with the sun. “I-I— Yes, I am. Thank you.” His blue-gray eyes seemed to bore into her.

“I am so glad. I was sure you were a goner there for a moment.” He flashed a brilliant grin liquefying Serena’s insides instantly. “Please let me introduce myself. I’m Mr. Brennan Whitling of Whitling Textiles Importers and Wholesalers.”

“How do you do, Mr. Whitling?” Serena allowed her lips to curve up ever so slightly. “I am Miss Serena Freemont.”

“It is a pleasure. Might I interest you and your”—he glanced around the bustling street as his grin faded in confusion— “chaperone in a cup of tea?”

A wave of horror swept over Serena. Chaperone? Harlots did not require one of those. “Oh, Aunt Henrietta is in the bookstore, and I fear she will be in there a very long time. I am certain she won’t notice if we slip off for a quick spot of tea.”

“Excellent! There is a lovely little shop just up the street.” A beautiful smile spread across his face, causing her pulse to quicken.

He escorted her up the block where they stopped at a quaint little teashop. They settled in at a table and ordered a pot of tea.

“What has you on Bond Street today, Mr. Whitling?” They sat in semi privacy at the back of the shop.

“Oh, I was visiting some of my customers and taking new orders. I am very glad I was there to help you, and by virtue of said assistance make your acquaintance.” Did his already deep voice grow huskier? Their tea service arrived, dispelling the moment.

“As am I. Landing on my backside in the middle of the street would have been rather embarrassing. But in truth, thank you for your assistance today, and now the tea.” She lifted her freshly prepared cup to her lips and took a dainty sip from the delicate china. Through lowered lashes, she watched his graceful movements as he prepared his own.

“It is my pleasure on both accounts. You seem familiar to me. Have we met somewhere before? A ball perhaps?”

© foaloce – Fotolia.com

Author Bio:

Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a long time lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!