Lindi here. I hope everyone is enjoying an amazing May Saturday. I hope warm weather is amongst all of you! (Unless it’s your winter. :))
Reading update. I’ve. Been. A. Terrible. Reader. I hate confessing that! But it’s true. Again, I’ve started some books, but haven’t finished. I’m reading non-fiction-Bible Study Methodology, which is very interesting. I’ve also started, (and probably will have finished by the time this post airs) Hope Heals, by Kathryn and Jay Wolf. If you don’t know their story, check out their story here. Amazing.
So there you go, confessions of a reader. And I love reading. Love where it takes me. Love the people I meet, the places I visit.
Don’t you love reading a book where the story still haunts you later? I’m using the word haunt here in a good way. Memories linger, feelings still remain. I was talking with someone recently about Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I still tear up thinking of that book, and I read it over 5 years ago. I remember all the emotion I had reading the ending of that book.
Emotion. It’s not only important for a writer to have that in the book they are writing, but it’s important to take the reader on an emotional journey. I know we all have genres we like. Genres that we may not read, but all books should create some sort of emotion in the reader.
In mysteries or thrillers it might be fear, anxiousness, nail biting time! In romance it may be heartbreak, or joy at that happy ever after. Even reading non fiction, like Hope Heals, you are on a journey with the words in the book.
As a reader, I know I want all the feels. Laughter, tears, the oh-no moments.
The one emotion I don’t think authors want to create is the “throw the book across the room” emotion. I’ve done that with books. It’s been a while, but the ending was, let’s say, unsatisfactory, and I tossed the book against the wall. (No worries, the book was undamaged!)
I have 2 novellas coming out in June. One Spring Promise and One Summer Sunrise. I’m working on One Summer Sunrise right now. My heroine, Evee, is dealing with loss. She’s a sad little thing at the beginning of the story my job as an author is to create empathy for her regarding her situation. I want the reader to feel her sadness along side her, then rejoice as she begins to heal from her sadness. But, ah, we don’t want it to be so sad that the reader is depressed and doesn’t want to read further, so for me, as an author, I tend to have a bit of humor in my stories.
They’re good, too.
Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the novella One Summer Sunrise. My heroine, Evee, is outside because she smelled smoke in her house after lightning struck during a storm. The firefighters are inside checking things out. Evee has just moved in and hasn’t met any of her neighbors.
She shut her eyes blocking out the bursts of red piercing the dark. When she opened her eyes she saw a light come on from the porch at the house next door. They were probably wondering what was going on.
Evee hoped they would stay inside. She didn’t feel like being a friendly neighbor just yet.
But she sucked in a breath as she saw the front door open. A girl zipped up a hoodie before walking down the porch steps, making her way toward Evee.
Even in the dark Evee could see that the girl was young. Maybe eighteen?
“Hi. What’s going on?”
“I smelled smoke after that huge lightning strike a few minutes ago. The firefighters are inside making sure there’s no fire.”
“Cool. I’m Pressley. I’m sure my brother’s inside checking it out.”
“Hi Pressley. I’m Evee. Why would your brother be here?”
“He’s a fire fighter. And he’s working today.”
Evee thought of the older man she met moments ago. “I’m not sure. I only spoke with an older gentleman. The other guys were all suited up. Couldn’t tell much about them.”
“He was probably freaking out at the address since he lives next door.”
“Oh, you live with your brother? Do your parents live there, too?” Evee wondered how old her brother was.
Pressley laughed. “No. They live across town. I’m living with Trey, my brother, to help with Henry until he can make other arrangements.”
“Who’s Henry?” Evee asked.
“Trey’s son. He’s ten month’s old.”
Chills which had nothing to do with the night or the situation ran down her spine. She shifted her gaze upward. God, what are you doing?
Calm down heart. Calm down. He lives next door. You don’t even know him.
And you aren’t going to.
“I’m starting college in the fall, but for now I’m helping Trey out. He’s done so much for me I couldn’t turn him down.”
“That’s nice of you,” Evee choked out, hoping Pressley didn’t notice the edge in her voice. Evee knew it was there.
The edge would always be there when talking about babies.
So there’s my heroine’s biggest fear right now in her life. Babies.
In a few pages, Evee is asked to help with the baby. Yes, torturing our characters is good! This isn’t an overly humorous scene, but I think it has a couple of smilable moments.
Evee shoved her keys and phone into her back pocket then shoved her sunglasses on her head. She took a deep breath as she locked her door, thankful it was still early in the day. At least it wouldn’t be a hot walk.
Evee stopped and turned to find Pressley running across the yard. “Hi.”
“Hi. I’m glad I caught you. Can you help me out? Please?”
“What do you need?”
The girl’s cheeks were red and she was breathing hard. “I need some help with Henry. He won’t quit crying.”
Evee looked around Pressley. “Where is he?”
“He’s in the playpen. Crying. Just crying. I’m about to cry.”
Evee’s heart went into defense mode immediately. “I’ll see what I can do, but I don’t have long.”
“Anything will help.”
Evee followed Pressley across the yard and into the house. Henry’s cry greeted them. He was sitting in the playpen, eyes puffy, face red. Pressley went over and picked him up which did nothing to sooth him.
In fact, in Evee’s opinion, he started crying harder.
“Here, let me try.”
“Glady.” Pressley handed Henry to Evee. “There, there,” Evee cooed. She rubbed his back while whispering the words over and over. Moments later there was silence.
“Dang. That was fast. How did you do that?” Pressley was strewn across the couch, her hand over her eyes.
“Prac—” Evee started, but stopped realizing that might require some sort of explanation. “Not sure. Maybe just luck. Beginners luck.”
“I don’t care what it is, just stay for a few minutes, please?”
“He’ll sleep I’m sure.” Evee turned around so Henry was facing Pressley. “Are his eyes closed?”
Pressley drew her hand away from her eyes. “No. Wide open. Wide open and staring at me. I swear he’s daring me to hold him again. Ugh.”
Her hand went back covered her eyes before she turned over like she was about to take a nap. Evee needed to handle this situation carefully. “He’s probably just tired. I’ll walk with him for a minute, then I’m sure he’ll be fine for you.”
Evee’s heart beat fast at the smell of baby shampoo and fresh tears. She was glad she couldn’t see his face. Little faces can pull a heart in quickly. Too quickly.
After five minutes of silence, Evee spoke softly. “Pressley. Are his eyes shut?”
It took a moment but the words, “nope” came from Pressley.
So here we have a few lighthearted moments with a teenager caring for a crying baby. Again, hoping to bring a smile from the reader and let them relax for a bit.
What are your favorite genres to read? I know we all love to read about love. After all, this is a romance blog, but are there any other genres out there that make your heart race? That make you feel “all the feels?” We’d love to know!