Chicklit, Drama, Fiction, Romance, women, writing

I Hate Rom-Com’s

I hate romantic comedies. Other than a select few most of them are predictable.

The couple meets in some cute way, most times with the desperate and single woman doing something to look like a complete idiot. Maybe she knocks over an entire table of food at a restaurant and he helps her clean up the mess. Or she gets her dress caught in the door of a cab and has to run along the side of it until the hero swoops in and saves the day.
After the cute meet the couple starts to date and all the woman’s flaws and insecurities come to the surface while most times the hero remains as clever and attractive as ever. Everything is fine until some conflict either internal or external threatens to break them up for good. One of the two has an epiphany and realizes they can’t live without their soul mate and by the end of the story everything is neatly tied in a pretty little pink bow and the happy couple lives happily ever after.

No wonder audiences have been staying away from romantic comedies in droves. Who wants to watch a story that’s that predictable? As a reader, it’s a tired formula I’ve seen repeated over and over again in a number of romance novels and it’s the reason I don’t read those types of books anymore.

As a writer, especially with a series, making things unpredictable is something you have to consider, especially when your story has romantic elements. Though the reader may say they want the heroine and her love interest to be happily married with kids, don’t believe them.

I can testify that I’ve thought the same thing with the TV series Castle. As soon as Detective Beckett and Richard Castle got together I was done. That was last season and I haven’t watched it since. After watching two characters who have been pining for each other for years finally get together, it’s boring now that we have what we wanted.
What keeps your reader interested is the tension between the couple. Move their relationship forward slowly. If you put them together as a couple, tear them apart soon after and have them find their way back to each other all over again. Introduce that best friend who’s been yearning after the hero since they were kids. Maybe one of them has an unforgiveable secret? What if her jealous best friend is a liar and spreads a nasty lie that breaks them apart. Unbeknownst to the hero, maybe his lady love has been replaced with her crazed, long thought dead twin sister. The longer you can keep your couple from that happily ever after the more the reader is pulled in. Make them wait!

Just because you’re following the romance formula doesn’t mean you have to play it by the book.

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audience, Author, Chicklit, Fiction, Indie Author, punishment, Uncategorized, villains, writing

The Villain Must Pay

There’s a lot of injustice in the world. All you have to do is turn on the news and here about someone being victimized. As we all know, sometimes the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. How many times have we seen someone get a slap on the wrist for some heinous crime that’s left someone badly hurt, emotionally scarred or even dead?

I once read a book that started out promising. It was a good read, up until the end when the antagonist got away with his misdeeds. The two main characters were coerced into letting him get away with a slap on the wrist. I still hold a grudge against that author for that ending. Although it may not realistic when it comes to the real world, people want to see justice rendered, especially when they’re invested in a story.

As a writer, it’s something I take into consideration. Maybe it’s some form of vigilantism, but I personally want the bad guy to suffer and I know our readers feel the same way. Even though the antagonist is nothing but a combination of ones and zeroes in my computer, I want them to get what’s coming to them. Sometimes getting carted off to jail won’t do it, sometimes the punishment has to be extreme to satisfy the reader. Sometimes for punishment you have to think outside the box. It’s Raven Newcastle’s world and she can do what she wants.

If only things in real life were so simple.

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Chicklit, Fiction, Indie Author, Multicultural, Murder, Paranormal, supernatural

Aiden Stone FBI Agent

Please enjoy another short story on our hero from The Body Hunters and The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied.

The Body Hunters by Raven Newcastle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009X971ME/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_N6xQrb13R6TGQ …

The Body Hunters: Paradise Denied by Raven Newcastle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CODG81Q/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_r7xQrb0RWBN1N … … the fun continues in the sequel.

The chorus of a thousand cicadas surrounding him, child predator Chester scrambled through the marshes of the Florida Everglades.  He was covered in swamp muck and the stink of his own fear, rivers of sweat pouring down his body. His heart jack hammered against his ribcage. Pushing through wild grass and reeds, the police bloodhounds howled at his back like the hounds of hell. He could feel the jaws of the law slowly closing in on him.

He wouldn’t be caught, he couldn’t. Chester may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he knew he could not let the authorities catch him. He knew what happened to men like him in prison. With his scrawny physique, there was no way he’d survive life in prison with muscle bound inmates with a penchant for taking their frustrations out on child killers.

Chester slipped into a grey puddle, while the FBI helicopter hovering over his head like a hawk lost track of him.  He nervously pulled himself out of the marsh as discreetly as possible, mindful of the gators that resided in the area.  He turned his head to his left to see the flashlights belonging to police and Feds getting closer.  Chester escaped down a path through the brush he’d been familiar with since he was an adolescent.  He smiled to himself as he eluded his pursuers.

FBI Special Agent Aiden Stone was separate from the pack of law enforcement agents, tracking his quarry on his own.  A walking mountain of solid muscle, Aiden was six foot four, his skin the color of damp Hawaiian sand, a compromise of his native Hawaiian father and his biracial mother’s heritage.  A grinning skull that symbolized his time with the Marines was tattooed on his right bicep. Ocean blue eyes inherited from his Irish maternal grandfather were wide and searching the area for the child murdering beast. Dressed in his Kevlar FBI vest, t-shirt and jeans, Aiden large hand clenched a plastic charm bracelet that belonged to Chester’s latest victim.

After the sixth child murder, two weeks ago by this particular serial killer, the FBI was called in to investigate. Tracking serial killers was Aiden’s specialty. Along with the usual detective skills required by the Bureau, Aiden was also blessed or cursed with another set of skills; he was a physical medium or psychic. By touching an object belonging to a victim, he was able to access the memories attached to the item.

Through his psychic forensics, Aiden was able to obtain evidence linking Chester to the brutal crimes. With a warrant, they entered Chester’s seedy apartment, finding all the evidence they needed to convict him, but before the suspect could be arrested he’d attempted to abduct another victim that very morning. Luckily the grade schooler knew all about ‘stranger danger’ and was able to get away. The incident sparked a county wide manhunt for Chester who’d vanished into the Everglades after a high speed chase.

Aiden kneeled, his black Timberland boots squishing the mud under his feet as he ran a hand over his close cropped hair.  Closing his eyes, he squeezed the bracelet a little tighter in his fist.  Like a television that needs an antenna, he saw static at first and then the picture in his head started to make sense, but still with interference.  He closed his eyes tighter, hoping that would make the image easier to decipher.

In the spirit realm, the place between life and death, Aiden opened his eyes.  What he sees is still grainy, but he’s able to see the original owner of the necklace; a seven year old girl with brown curls, still in her Disney Princess pajamas and bare feet, the charm bracelet on her wrist.  They’re standing in the Everglades and the little girl is pointing to a barely visible path and a triangular shaped boulder.  A small cabin can be seen in the distance.

He took me down there.” The child informed him.

Aiden nodded, looking down on the child. “I’ll take care of this.”

The little girl nodded her understanding and Aiden’s blue eyes snapped open in the real world.  The image of the path the little victim pointed out is burned into his memory.  In minutes, Aiden located the triangular boulder and headed down the path.

Chester has just reached his destination, nearly tumbling down the hill to the small shack where his rusty pickup truck is parked out front.  It would take the police hours to locate the ramshackle cabin where he takes his young victims and has his way with them before dumping their broken bodies in dumpsters or roadside ditches.  By the time the cabin was discovered he’d be well on his way to Mexico. He shoved open the door, ready to change into a clean set of clothes before making his escape.  The cabin contains ‘trophies’ from his young victims, connecting him to each of the child murders over the past five years.

While Chester was in the back of the cabin changing, Aiden stealthily entered the premises, his flashlight and Glock handgun aimed in front of him.  His flashlight falls on the ‘trophies’.  A toddler’s Crayola red tricycle, a pair of tiny patent leather shoes, a child’s backpack, and several other items belonging to victims are scattered throughout the large room.  Beside each item stands the ghostly, semi-transparent form of the corresponding victim.  Seven little victims filled the cabin for Aiden’s eyes only, including the owner of the charm bracelet who was standing directly behind him.

Pulling a relatively clean shirt over his red hair, Chester stopped in his tracks upon seeing the FBI agent in his hideout.  Aiden levels his Glock at Chester’s chest.

Aiden’s baritone voice echoed in the nearly empty cabin. “Chester Drummond, you are under arrest.  I want your hands on top of your head NOW!”

Chester’s eyes shifted from left to right as if considering his options.  He became skittish and antsy, like a cornered animal.  His eyes are aimed at the front door, his body poised to move.

Aiden didn’t miss a beat. “I said get your hands on top of your head!  On your knees NOW!”

Instead Chester screamed, leveling a large plank of wood at Aiden.

The ex-marine easily blocked the attack with a large forearm, putting the perverted killer on his back.  Aiden stood over the twisted killer, weighing the option of putting a bullet in his skull and ending things right here and sparing the taxpayers the cost of a trial. He was an FBI agent after all and he could make up any excuse he wanted as to why he had to shoot the suspect.

“Kill me. Please kill me!” Chester pleaded, his dirty grey eyes wide with fright as he looked up at Aiden.

Aiden had nephews and the things this animal did to innocent children sent chills down his spine. Leaning heavily on the side of vigilantism, Aiden considered pulling the trigger, but the appearance of Chester’s ghostly victims stayed his hand, the children were watching his every move. Sighing heavily, Aiden shouldered his Glock and slapped the cuffs on Chester.

As he was leaving the cabin with Chester in tow, FBI and police swarmed the area, having gotten the call from Aiden before he entered the premises.  Aiden escorted the predator to other agents who took him off to a Bureau issue Suburban. 

Aiden walked over to his superior officer.You may want the Crime Scene Unit to go over the cabin.  It looks like he has trophies from his other victims.”

The older man nodded. “The forensic team is en route.  Good job, Agent Stone.  How did you find him?”

Aiden shrugged “Just a hunch I guess.”

Looking back to the cabin, he saw the ethereal forms of the seven little victims, who quickly dissipated into the night.

 

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