Tagged: Humor

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books) (Volume 1) – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

About the Book

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books),  Gwen Hayes 

Teen/Adult, Research, 98 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 2, 2016)

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre–something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc–not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.

About the Author

Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real-life hero and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world.

Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012.

In addition to writing, Gwen is a freelance editor at www.fresheyescritique.com.

For more information, please visit http://www.gwenhayes.com or sign up for her non-spammy newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/v-4Xj

Gwen is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency.

Jenn’s Review

I’m pulling my writing craft books off the shelf and reading them as November draws near. I picked this particular book up, hoping to clarify plot beats for my romance writing. When I received it, though, I lost hope. It’s so slender, how could it possibly help me straighten out my messy storylines?

I took my time reading it, though, and have all but chained it to my desk as a permanent part of my writing toolkit. The author of this slim book on romance writing packs so much into this volume in a clear and concise way, and then throws humor and music playlists in on top of it! I’ve been able to sit down with my manuscripts and walk through each, with this book, and identify what’s missing and what needs to be cut. (Hallelujah!)

Of all the books on my shelf, this one tops the list for helpful. Aspiring romance authors, grab this one and don’t let go!

Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions. [affiliate link]

When I Grow Up – Book Review

About the Book:

It’s Show-and-Tell time in Mrs. Krupp’s class, and Billy just can’t wait for his turn! Today the class is discussing what they want to be when they grow up, and our exuberant eight-year-old hero is bursting to tell everyone about his future career plans.

In dazzling wordplay and delicious rhymes, Billy regales his patient teacher and amazed classmates with tales of the variety of careers he wants to pursue—each more outlandish and wildly imaginative than the last!

Brian’s Review:

This book is very funny, with a great lesson in it.  Mr. Yankovic better known as Weird Al Yankovic delivers in true to fashion Weird Al form.  Very similar writing to Dr. Seuss. So if you enjoyed Cat in the Hat, then you’ll love When I Grow Up.

Jenn’s Review:

I absolutely adore this book, as did Sam when she was younger. Admittedly, though, if you are a parent and you let your youngster read this, be prepared for some odd questions. Yes, there is such a thing as giraffe cheese and chocolate mice are not a “thing” (mousse, mouse… these strange words of our language!).

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle, Hardcover, paperback and audio format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Incoherent Gods – Promo and Excerpt

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

About the Book

Incoherent Gods, Gabriele Russo (GODS, INC.)

Adult, Fantasy, 276 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC (November 13, 2018)

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Hercules, guardian of the Lemuria Zoo, has a big problem: the Zoo’s divine animals have been going crazy. To make things worse, Queen Louhi, the CEO of Gods Incorporated, has just arrived for her yearly visit… with a new fiancé in tow (along with his yenta-minded grandfather Jupiter). Of course, the fact that Hercules is desperately in love with her doesn’t help his plight in any way whatsoever.

His attempt to cover up the situation quickly blows up in his face and they finally realize the animals’ madness is caused by artificial means. Cue in the bodiless god Mimir, who reveals that the real target of the mind-altering poison is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if the Tree loses its cohesion, then so will the barriers between the worlds, crumbling the foundations of reality. Who in gods’ names could be crazy enough to want to do something like that?

About the Author

Gabriele Russo

 Gabriele Russo was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors. 

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. 

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, teaching French and Creative Writing, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.SOCIAL MEDIAWebsiteFacebookTwitter

Excerpt (Reprinted with Author & Publisher permission)

MIND OVER MATTER (reprinted with special character)

IÞs eye!

The pain!

IÞ’d never felt such pain!

How was it even possible? No one knew about the eyes except IÞs guardians.

Had one of them betrayed the secret?

Told it to that presence felt earlier?

Had IÞ felt a presence earlier?

Yes. Yes, IÞ had. IÞ was… almost certain IÞ hadn’t imagined it. So, which guardian? Ratatosk?

Yggdrasil threw the squirrel off. Foolish squirrel, always squirreling around.

Someone pulled at the syringes.

Pain seared through the eye. Sap leaked out, life seeped out.

Nephtys! Why was she hurting IÞ?

And Loki and the Monkey, not doing anything.

Who did they all think they were anyway? As if they could just replace IÞs usual guardians…

Yggdrasil waved a few branches around, perhaps IÞ could hit Nephtys, even pierce her with a tendril.

Damn! She was getting away.

Too bad Loki had gotten off IÞs roots, IÞ could have swallowed him whole, and the Monkey too.

Now they were all standing out of reach, looking at IÞ. Always looking at IÞ.

What about the guardians on the other planes? Could they be complicit?

Yggdrasil lashed out at them, but they were too quick to get out of the way. IÞ barely managed to slash at Heidrun’s side, pierce one of Sinmora’s eyes and nick Pegasus’s wing.

They must have been warned! Proof!

All were involved, responsible for this suffering!

IÞ would exact vengeance!

Despite the atrocious pain, the idea of retaliation brought

Yggdrasil a measure of happiness.

They would pay dearly.

And the best way to get revenge was to die.

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Jupiter stood with the others, watching Yggdrasil trash about with dismay. He’d seen Louhi approach; he’d tried to yell a warning. Stupid cone of silence.

Ratatosk was crying with big strident sobs. He didn’t seem hurt; was he feeling the Tree’s pain? Nephtys, back to human form, was holding out her hands in front of her and whispering with her eyes closed.

Was she conjuring something? She became transparent and some kind of mossy substance slowly took form in her hands. She was getting something.

With a final drooping shrug, the Tree finally stopped shaking.

Nephtys, solid once more, opened her eyes. “It’s a poultice made from the moss growing on the far side of the moon. It freezes the pain and heals wounds.”

“That’s great,” said Loki. “But how do we get it on him?”

“I’ll go,” said the Monkey.

He took the stuff from Nephtys’s hands and disappeared.

Reappeared on the far side of the clearing. Disappeared again. Reappeared outside the dome, and disappeared… Jupiter was getting dizzy.

Loki took him by the shoulder. “He’s confusing the Tree. Don’t look at him. He’s fast and wily; he’ll get it done.”

And suddenly, there he was, at the eye, putting on the poultice. The Tree reacted, but not fast enough. The monkey ran back to them, easily evading the thrashing branches.

There was a sigh that seemed to come from everywhere at once. Ratatosk stopped crying.

“So that’s the pain taken care of,” said Jupiter, “but what about the madness?”

As if to answer his question, one of Yggdrasil’s limbs shriveled before their eyes and fell to the ground with a tearing noise.

Another one began to shrivel. Ratatosk hopped as close as possible and started to sing. It went slower this time, but the result was the same: a dead, ashen piece of wood crumbling to the ground. Ratatosk closed his tearful eyes and kept on singing.

Nephtys turned to Jupiter. “I think you better go tell Mimir to hurry up with that antidote.”

Buy the Book

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Related posts: 

Sam’s Review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s Review of Inclement Gods

Author Interview with Gabriele Russo