In Love With My Characters

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Belle Ami. Today, Belle reminisces about the characters in her novels and shares her latest release, One More Time is Not Enough.

Here’s Belle!

bellamiLet it be known, I do not like saying farewell to the characters in my novels. After all, I’ve slept with them, dreamt with them, fought with them, empathized with them, hated them, and, of course, loved them. They are like my children, oft times difficult, doing things I don’t approve of and a real pain in the ass, but when all is said and done, they are mine, and just like my children, I will defend them with my last breath. However, there does come a time when, as Kahlil Gibran wrote in The Prophet, you have to let them fly on their own. I quote, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”, which can easily be applied to your characters. Even though you’ve created them and breathed life into them, there comes a time when you have to let them go. Mr. Gibran also wisely wrote: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” If that’s not true of your characters, I don’t know what is.

My new book published on July 13th by Soul Mate Publishing is actually the third book in my The Only One series. It is a stand-alone romance/suspense/sexy novel that is the last in this three book series. I love my characters for their optimism, their cynicism, their idiosyncrasies, and their flaws. I like to think that they are fully developed people who reflect not only what life has dealt them in the past, but people who wish to change and improve who they are in the present. That’s what brings them to life and that’s what places them with their feet firmly on the ground as living, breathing beings.

Miles Bremen is a billionaire who has fought his way to the top. Everything he has gained in this life he has earned. Perhaps that accounts for his possessive nature, his inability to trust, and his desire to keep what he considers his. His flaws are many, but he attacks life with an unbridled passion. His failed marriage to Adelia Lindstrom is a stain on his otherwise perfect world, a world in which he is usually in control. Adelia is the one woman he ever loved and he lost her. He is determined to do whatever it takes to win her back.

Adelia Lindstrom seemingly has everything, wealth, beauty, perfect twin children, and a career she loves. But, beneath the veneer of success and prosperity lies disappointment, tragedy, and unending lies. Her parents were murdered, her marriage ended in a custody battle, and she is confused by the feelings she has for the two men in her life. Her ex-husband who betrayed her in an unforgivable manner is back on the scene determined to win her back. Her best friend and lover, FBI agent David Weiss, has always been there for her, but his new career with the bureau has made him unavailable and removed. What’s a girl to do? In the beginning of the series, she was a young, trusting, vulnerable woman, but her trials and tribulations have matured and wizened her. She is no longer a girl, but a woman who knows who she is, and isn’t afraid to risk everything for what she wants. But, what does she want?

Throw in an added obstacle for good measure, she’s about to become the target of a serial killer. Can David protect her? Can Miles win her back? Can she have her cake and eat it too? Is there a happily-ever-after for these three. You bet there is, but not without pain, discovery, and overcoming obstacles. There is a Zen saying that I like to apply to my characters: Leap and the net will appear.

I digress, getting back to letting go of your characters. It turns out I’m not very good at it. In my new series that I am writing, in the second book which I’m writing now, I’ve decided to bring back FBI Agent David Weiss. He with his firecracker partner, Cassandra Saladino, are investigating a terrorist attack on the United States. I’m very excited about bringing back one of my favorite guys.

Oh, the joy of not having to say goodbye to a character, to allow them to live and love again.

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Excerpt

Northern California

Route One

The sports car hugged the road as David down-shifted into a hairpin curve on Route One. Adelia brushed the wind-blown wisps of hair that had escaped her braid from her eyes. She leaned her head against the headrest and absorbed the late Summer sunshine. The radio station The Highway blared over the radio, competing with the engine’s roar. At the academy, David had fallen in love with country music thanks to Preston. A song came on the radio next, and he turned up the volume.

“Listen to the words, I believe this is our song.”

She turned to look at him but his dark aviator sunglasses hid his eyes. With her curiosity piqued, she listened. A sexy baritone voice filled the air.

When you walked through the door
I knew…you were the one
My heart said hello, but my head said run
Before I knew it I’d asked you to dance
Time stands still in the arms of romance
Pulled you close, kissed your lips, felt your fingers
in my hair;
Turning slowly, falling fast, trying hard not to care;
You’re like whiskey and music
With your hands all over me
Turnin’ me on, like a sexy song
Making it hard for me to breathe
I should have seen the writing on the wall
One more time is not enough
When there’s nowhere left to fall

Adelia switched off the radio and turned away from him as she fought back her tears. “Are you trying to hurt me? I don’t remember you ever being cruel.”

“No, I’m trying to be honest with you. We both know this magical escape is an illusion. A week from now I’ll go to Washington and you’ll go back to your kids, and Miles will convince you to remarry him. Just like the song says, One more time is not enough, when there’s nowhere left to fall. We were never meant to be.”

“You don’t know a thing, David Weiss.” Frustration simmered inside of her. “Can’t you for once just live in the moment?”

“One of us has to try and keep the moment real.”

“I still don’t understand why you had to joined the FBI? You’ve made it impossible for us to be together. It’s as if you’re doing everything in your power to put obstacles in our way. All your professed love for me, was it all a lie?”

He reached over and took her hand, raising it to his lips, then kissed her knuckles. “I’d take a bullet for you, and you know it.”

“Then show me what you feel, show me you love me.”

“I’m here, aren’t I? Isn’t that enough.”

She turned away from him. “No, it’s not. Like the song says, it will never be enough.”

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Where to find Belle…

The One | The One and More | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website


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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I’m happy to spotlight author Tema Merback/Belle Ami and her books.

Here’s Tema/Belle Ami!

First off, thank you Joanne for giving me this opportunity to air my dirty laundry, well not all of it. I have to save something for those titillating sex scenes.

Every writer’s journey is fraught with humorous anecdotes, stumbles, pitfalls, and miracles. Yes, it is a journey that perfectly mirrors this adventure we call life, and just like life, you better hold on tight, because as the country western lyric says it’s going to be “one Hell of a ride”.

IntheFaceofEvil_FrontCover_12-03-09 (2)I have always been a writer, or at least dabbled in it, whether it be speeches, short stories, poetry, screen treatments, it was my sideline not my profession. However, my serious journey began in 2010, when I published In the Face of Evil an historical novel based on my mother’s survival of the Holocaust; I should say self-published, as no one showed any interest in doing it for me. Much of that was due to the lack of editing, and not knowing the publishing business. It took me three years to write, and a stack of rejection notices wasn’t going to stop me from publishing it. Call it beginners luck, but that book became a Finalist in the National Jewish Book Awards. Not bad. Imagine if I would have had it professionally edited? To this day it is one of the highest rated books on Amazon and Goodreads, not easy to maintain with those angry trolls that cruise the virtual world and live and breathe to contribute those abusive one and two star reviews. Anyway, after toiling, suffering, through one of the darkest times in human history I definitely needed to write something lighter, less taxing on my psyche.

Just around that time I read this little book entitled Fifty Shades of Grey. Well, it doesn’t get lighter than that. Not a particularly well written book, but it definitely held my interest. I began to study the romance genre, reading voraciously, everything from paranormal to BDSM. Oh, my goodness those sweaty nights of reading, who wouldn’t be hooked. I was literally infected with the romance germ and the only cure was for me to pass it on through my writing. In February 2014 I self-published (at this point I was fairly turned off by the publishing industry) my first book in the Romance/Sexy/Suspense genre The One, which became the first in my The Only One series. In June, I published The One & More, bringing me to my upcoming release with Soul Mate Publishing One More Time is Not Enough coming March 2016, keep your fingers crossed on that not written in stone date.

theoneThe One and More Front Cover (2)ONE MORE TIME IS NOT ENOUGH (2)-1

What I’ve learned along the way could fill a book, however, I have no interest in writing that one. Suffice it to say, I’ve spent a lot of money on poor editing, PR, advertising, the list goes on-and-on. I’ve tried the self-publishing route and it has not worked for me. Yes, I’ve sold books in a vacuum, despite myself. What I wanted was a home, a place to hang my hat. Fellow authors to communicate with, share ideas, brainstorm, all of which had been lacking in my creative world.

My goodness, what an inspiration it is to finally develop a writing family. I have a notebook filled with review site possibilities, book tour companies, rafflecopter events, marketing tips, and a whole slew of new Facebook and Twitter friends. I’m learning what works and what doesn’t work, from writers who’ve walked barefoot over the burning coals and are kind enough to share, preventing me from burning my Tootsies. My thanks you to all who have come before and who continue to be an inspiration. It just keeps getting better, and the future looks ever so bright. I’ve just finished another book, working title No Way Out, tweaked my genre from Romantic/Sexy/Suspense to Romantic/Sexy/Thriller and can’t wait to see where the road will lead.

Where to find Tema…

Amazon | Twitter | Facebook

Where to find Belle Ami…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest