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Showing vs Telling by Kemberlee Shortland (@kemberlee) #erotica #romance #giveaway

tourbutton_onenightindublin

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose editor has said, “This is telling. SHOW your reader . . . “. Have you ever wondered exactly what this means?

Here’s an example —

Telling: Mary showered before dressing.

Showing: Mary stepped from the steaming shower and wrapped herself in a thick white terrycloth towel. Her hair was bound to keep it dry, but now she let it down. She watched the coppery curls fall about her bare shoulders in the foggy mirror, her reflection an apparition in the haze.

In the showing example, the reader is in the bathroom with Mary. While her actual features are blurred in the foggy mirror, we know she has coppery hair and it’s long enough that if falls about her shoulders.

Here’s another one —

Telling: John played the guitar.

Showing: The sound was as gentle as a pleasured woman’s moan yet seemed almost too big for the tiny room. John closed his eyes, enjoying the erotic sensation of the hum of the cords reverberating through his belly. He let his fingers slide over the strings and listened to the slow gut-twisting refrain.

This example shows us John is an experienced guitarist. We see him playing the instrument in a small room, possibly a recording studio. The piece he’s playing awakens particular emotions in him, which the reader also gets a sense of.

How do we know any of this? Because we’ve been shown through the narrative.

We can also be shown a story through dialog. Look at these examples —

Telling: Mary paled, as if she’d seen a ghost.

Showing: “Mary, you’re white as a sheet. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Telling: John loved dogs, but not jumping all over him.

Showing: “Mary, you know I love Spike, but would you mind controlling him?”

In the business of writing fiction, writers must tell a story in such a way that readers can see, and feel, what’s happening in the story. But does this make us storytellers or story showers?

Traditional storytelling goes back well before the written word — to a time of oral storytelling. This is the most intimate form of storytelling, as both the storyteller and the audience gather in a close environment to hear the tale. I won’t go into a history of oral storytelling here, but give you some examples of how this art is used.

Imagine you’re a medieval trader of exotic spices or fabrics, and you’re visiting a town to sell your wares. The local lord invites you into his home where he trades a hot meal and a bed for the night in exchange for you telling him tales of your travels. What tales would you tell? One of a dangerous ocean voyage? Perhaps, exotic people from other countries? Maybe you’ll relate some of the ancient stories you were told while in that foreign country.

What if you were a time traveler who’s gone back in time and you must explain about where you came from and how you found yourself in the past? How do you explain cars, planes and walking on the moon to someone who wants to know what the future is like?

As writers, we take these stories and write them in such a way that readers are pulled in, much the same as listening to traditional oral storytellers, and become part of the story. The biggest difference is that oral storytelling relies heavily on watching the storyteller, as he/she may become animated or perhaps sing to embellish the story. With fiction, the reader only has the page filled with words and their imagination. Their imagination is fueled by the words we put on those pages. And while a simple story, such as Cinderella, might be enough to entertain young children, an adult wants a story with a lot more meat in it. We want to tell a story to keep our readers up all night turning pages, not tell a bedtime story that puts them to sleep.

4One of my favorite stories is an ancient Danish ballad called Hellelil and Hildrebrand. It was translated into English in 1891. The ballad, or a story written as poetry, tells the story of forbidden love. Kind of the Romeo and Juliet of Denmark, if you will. In my next example, I’ve pulled a scene from the ballad in which Hellelil explains how her father, the king, has twelve knights watching over her safety, and how she’s fallen in love with one of them. Hildebrand happens to be the son of the King of England. Son of royalty or not, he’s still just a knight and she’s a princess. Read this scene from the original ballad and see what you get from it —

My father was good king and lord,

Knights fifteen served before his board.

 

He taught me sewing royally,

Twelve knights had watch and ward of me.

 

Well served eleven day by day,

To folly the twelfth did me bewray.

 

And this same was hight Hildebrand,

The King’s son of the English Land.

 

But in bower were we no sooner laid

Than the truth thereof to my father was said.

 

Then loud he cried o’er garth and hall:

‘Stand up, my men, and arm ye all!

 

‘Yea draw on mail and dally not,

Hard neck lord Hildebrand hath got!’

While this excerpt is telling an interesting story, it’s not what today’s mass market readers want. They want authors to show them the story through the protagonist’s eyes. Read my excerpt, showing what you’ve just read above —

“You must go.” She pushed her lover’s shoulders, yet he would not release her.

“I’ll not leave you, Hellelil. I love you. No one will keep us apart.”

Her heart pounded in her breast, but she couldn’t tell if it was from the danger they were both in or the thought of never seeing Hildebrand again. Most likely it was both. He was her one true love, but she knew if her father found them together like this, his anger would know no end.

“Please, Hildebrand. If my father catches you here, he’ll show no mercy. You know I’m promised to another.”

“I’m a Prince of England, and I will have you.”

He embraced her within the safety of his powerful arms. The scent of their recent lovemaking clung to his skin. One more kiss, one more embrace, certainly laying with him one more night would do no harm. She knew they were both already meant for Purgatory. He’d taken the virginity she so gladly gave him, for she loved him too, and would rather him have the gift of her innocence than a man she didn’t love.

Yes, one more night . . .

Just then, there was no mistaking the sound of her father’s voice bellowing below stairs.

“Hildebrand has gone too far. I will see his head on a pike at my gates before the day is out.”

The sound of clanging metal grew louder as her father’s knights ascended the narrow stairs.

Hellelil’s tear-filled gaze flashed across Hildebrand’s face. She sought to memorize everything about him. The color of his eyes, the wave in his hair . . . his kiss-swollen lips.

She stroked her fingers across those lips, remembering the feel of them on hers not moments before. Her chamber door was locked, but it would not remain closed for long. One more kiss was all there was time for.

She pulled him down to her. “Kiss me, Hildebrand. For if I’m to die this day, I will take the sweet memory of your kiss with me.”

Hey, I write romance so you knew that would be schmaltzy! But, as you can see, the modern day version is the same scene, but it’s written in such a way as to flesh out the scene. It puts you in the room with Hellelil and Hildrebrand, and lets you into Hellelil’s head, and heart, by showing the story through her point of view. You feel her anxiety of being torn between her love for Hildebrand and the fear of their being caught together. Her heart pounds, she touches his lips with her fingertips, her love races through her in a desperate attempt at showing one last act of that love. We feel a great sense of urgency in this piece that we don’t feel in the original ballad.

The reader also knows Hildebrand’s feelings toward Hellelil by his words and the narrative action. Hildebrand holds Hellelil within the protection of his strong arms, his declaration of love, and his promise to have her as his own. We sense because he’s a prince of another realm that he holds some stature in the household where he is. He’s not just a simple knight who’s taken the virginity of the lord’s daughter in a heartless dalliance — he loves her. Hildebrand is a man of honor and breeding, and he knows his own heart and mind. So what if she’s promised to another.

Did you get any of that from the original ballad? Didn’t think so. Why? Because the first version tells the story. My version shows it to you.

One Night in Dublin by Kemberlee Shortland - sm banner

ONE NIGHT IN DUBLIN

Kemberlee Shortland

City Nights Series, #9

Tirgearr Publishing

ISBN: 9781311609366

ASIN: B00RY20282

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Shortland_Kemberlee/one-night-in-dublin.htm

 

One Night in Dublin by Kemberlee ShortlandBlurb:

At her mother’s prompting (nagging) about grandchildren, Sive wonders if it really is time to settle down. She’s just finishing college so she should be thinking about her future. But is she ready to settle down? Is she ready for kids? And more importantly, which of the three men she’s been seeing does she want to spend the rest of her life with?

Sive has a choice to make, and only 24 hours in which to make it.

 

Extract:

Choices.

We all make them. From the moment we wake up, it’s: “do I get out of bed now or hit the snooze button . . . again?” “shall I wear this outfit to work or that one?” “tea and toast or grab something on the way?”

It’s all mundane bullshit. They’re all choices we make on the fly without even realizing we’re making them.

Think about it. What choices do you make when you’re not thinking about them? Like going home from work. You get on the train, find a seat and wait for your stop. But when you get there, you wonder how the hell you got there because you don’t remember making the journey.

What I’m trying to say is that we often go on auto-pilot and just do what needs doing without any real thought, because there are usually more pressing things to think about—the important things.  Or seemingly so. Like, what movie to see, what restaurant to eat in, where to go on holidays . . . and for some girls, this pair of sensible shoes on sale or another pair not on sale but immensely sexier?

For me, today, my choices aren’t so mundane, and they’ll require a lot of conscious thought. I have an important decision to make. One that could change my life forever, pardon the cliché.

They—whoever ‘they’ are—say there is someone for everyone, that we all have a ‘type’ of person we’re attracted to. I’m still figuring it all out . . . exploring to see what is my type . . . that someone just for me. And it doesn’t help that my mum’s voice is in the back of my head, asking . . . i.e. nagging (yes, I just said i.e.) . . . when I’m going to settle down and give her grandkids.

First, let me say this: I’m not a slut. I’m not loose, I don’t carelessly sleep around, and I don’t do one-night stands. I just love men and all of their vast differences.

What can I say about my boys that every other woman out there doesn’t already know about men? Charmers, every one of them. But they all give me something I need.

Tonight I need to decide what, or who, I need the most—Fitzy, Moss, or Sully.

 

Kemberlee Shortland authorBio:

Kemberlee Shortland is a native Northern Californian who grew up in a community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. It’s no wonder she’s loved telling stories since she was very young. Kemberlee completed her first novel at 21 and hasn’t looked back. In 1997, she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was there she met the man she would marry, and permanently relocated to live in Ireland. While always writing, Kemberlee earned her keep as a travel consultant and writing travel articles about Ireland. In 2005, she saw her first romance sell, and to date, she has nine published romances. When not writing, Kemberlee enjoys spending time with her two Border Collies, who feature on the cover of A Piece of My Heart, and also knitting, gardening, photography, music, travel, and tacos!

Website – http://www.kemberlee.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKemberleeShortland
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/kemberlee
Hearticles – http://www.hearticles.blogspot.com
HeartShapedStones – http://www.heartshapedstones.blogspot.com

 

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/kemberlee-shortland-2/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

City Nights: One Night in Madrid by JD Martins

One Night in Madrid by JD MartinsBlurb:

Danny left Dublin for Madrid two years ago, but still scans the crowd in the Irish pubs for the face of someone from home. Though doubtful he’ll ever recognise anybody, one evening he sees Aisling, a girl he’d known – or wished he’d known – at university. Beautiful but haughty, she’d always ignored Danny, and though he’d fantasised about making love to her, she’d never so much as smiled at him.

To his amazement, Aisling is extremely friendly when she meets him all these years later and away from home. She is still snobby and condescending, but Danny decides to make her night as enjoyable as he can, hoping for one last chance to impress her and make his teenage fantasies come true. As the sultry Madrid night progresses, mere lust grows into affection, and Danny begins to see her snobbery as something else entirely. Will Aisling see Danny as more than just a way to pass her night in Madrid?

Purchase links for all formats:

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Martins_JD/one-night-in-madrid.htm

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/15OOFtu

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/161xgxx

Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00RY328RY

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00RY328RY

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/508086?ref=cw1985

iBooks US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-night-in-madrid/id955923487

iBooks UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/one-night-in-madrid/id955923487

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/one-night-in-madrid

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-night-in-madrid-jd-martins/1121018278

 

Excerpt:

releaseblitz_madridDraining the glass, Danny placed it on the bar, debating whether to have another pint, or stroll home and have a glass of wine while he prepared dinner. The plan was just one pint, but he needed to tell himself that twice; once when he went into the bar and again when he’d finished the drink.

And then he saw her.

She stood quite near, surrounded by a tight knot of people at the edge of the dance floor that had parted momentarily. She wore a cotton summer dress that showed the sweep of her shoulder blades and spine. The dress was floral, red with splashes of black and dark blue. She wore soft brown leather sandals that were almost invisible against her tanned feet. Her toenails were painted red but her fingernails were French polished. A silver or white-gold bracelet hung from her right wrist, and on her left she wore a silver wristwatch, which a discreet look later told him was a Patek Philippe. In her ears she had diamond stud earrings, and on the ring finger of her right hand was a silver ring with a blue stone he couldn’t identify.

He didn’t see her face straight away, yet something deep inside him said it had to be her.

In college, he’d often stared at this girl’s long blonde hair from a few seats behind in the lecture theatre, while far below them a maths professor droned on about matrices. He knew the shape of her head and neck, had observed her tie up that hair, amazed at the beauty of the fine, straight filaments, the way the strands slid like silk over one another, yet held as one tight rope. When she was an infant her mother had clearly decided ever cutting such hair would be a sin, and she’d concurred. She plaited it, put it in a ponytail, tied it up around a clip made of what seemed to Danny like a piece of wood and two chopsticks, or simply a spare pencil. Sometimes it splayed out across her shoulders like a cascade of spun gold. Now it was pulled up in a silver clasp, to reveal the nape of a long, fine neck, and soft-skinned shoulders.

Those shoulders had been bared before, in a hot September of their freshman year, and later, during the intense study month when the cherry blossoms bloomed and fell across the lawns of campus. Danny had fantasised about slipping off that shoulder strap, letting the silky string fall down along her arm, trailing his fingers along her collarbone and ribs and pushing aside the top to expose her breasts.

When she turned around in the bar and he saw her face, Danny instantly searched through his memory to match her visage, and see all six numbers of recognition. It came out a winner. She stared back at him, her brain no doubt doing the same. Although still early, and most—apart from the pre-marriage revellers—were only on their second or third drink, Danny thought she must have been fairly merry already, because as she recognised him she smiled.

She’d never smiled at him before—not in four years of college. Then again, they’d not interacted much. They’d never really talked, never attended the same classes after second year. He’d always told himself she’d never smiled at him because she didn’t know him. Once or twice, of course, she’d turned around, casually, and seen him. But she’d seen lots of others sitting behind her, too. The back rows of the lecture theatre were filled with Danny’s friends, who’d varying levels of interest in her hair and the maths lecture; from zero to all-absorbed.

The chance to get to know her had never come around. She’d majored in chemistry, Danny in computer science. He had taken a chemistry class in second year, but she’d always seemed to sit on the opposite side of the theatre then. His gaze had often paused upon her face as he searched through those assembled in a lecture the way he did through the throng of a bar.

She was stunning. Her frame was that of someone who was fit without effort. A swimmer or a gymnast at some point, she had a fine body, breasts the way Hemingway described, wide womanly hips and a behind that eyes or hands could never tire of. She had crystal blue eyes like deep Antarctic ice, and a button nose. Her mouth was perfect. Her teeth had had money spent on them, but her lips were natural; she had a dazzling smile. But before that moment in a Madrid bar, Danny had only received the coldness of those glacial eyes.

 

 

Bio:

JD Martins has been called Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Philippine and English and Australian. He is none of these.

He’s lived in four cities in three countries on two continents, but he doesn’t feel like he’s travelled very much. His life in each city was rather mundane and he didn’t get out much – tending to move his pen more than his body.

He still aspires to see much more of the world – probably when his wife becomes rich enough to let him retire from day jobs.

He would like to live like Ernest Hemmingway: periodically sending novel manuscripts to his publisher from various far-flung corners of the world, though he’s not sure the quality will be quite the same. Until then, he has contented himself with living like Robert Graves – in a pleasant part of Spain with a quiet life – and being able to do some things that Hemmingway did – trout fishing in Spain, game hunting in Africa, watching bullfights and running with the bulls, – and a few that he did not get to do – surfing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and getting erotic stories published.

links:

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Martins_JD/index.htm

https://www.facebook.com/JDMartinsauthor

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/113993899494442135197/about/p/pub

email: jdmartinsauthor@gmail.com

 

City Nights: One Night in Edinburgh by Charlotte Howard (@Shy_Tiger)

One Night in EdinburghBlurb:

Chloe Shard has travelled to Edinburgh to meet up with a potential client, and has just twenty-four hours to convince them to sign her contract. But when she meets the delicious Ethan, he proves to be so much more than an enticing distraction. It’s not long before Chloe has some life changing decisions to make, and less than a day to make them in.

Buy Links:

Tirgearr Publishing
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Smashwords

releaseblitz_onenightinedinburghExcerpt:

Chloe squeezed her eyes shut as the plane’s wheels bumped along the tarmac, and her stomach lurched into her chest as the brakes were applied. Her ears flooded with the sound of her own heart beating louder than the squealing and screeching of the landing gear. Pressure built in her cheeks as she clenched her teeth together. The worst hour in her life was almost over.

“Welcome to Edinburgh,” said the captain over the speaker system. “We hope you had a pleasant journey and enjoyed the flight. Please remain seated with your seat belts fastened until the light is turned off.”

A chuckle emanated from nearby. Chloe opened one eye and peered at the man in the seat across the aisle from her.

“You can breathe again,” he said in an American accent, flashing her a grin.

“I think I’ll wait until my feet are actually on the ground if it’s all the same to you,” she replied, leaning back into the headrest.

A loud ping was followed by a Mexican wave of clicking as the passengers released their seat belts and fought to get their bags and rush off the plane. Chloe undid her own belt then hurriedly squished herself into the seat as an oversized belly, violently stretching at a pale green shirt, began its invasion of her breathing space. Her shoulder was nudged as the impatient woman beside her stood up, hunching under the overhead compartment.

She waited for the plane to empty. The impatient woman started huffing and tutting. Chloe looked up apologetically, but was met with a hardened glare.

“Here,” said the man from opposite. She turned her gaze towards him and was grateful to see him holding back a herd of cattle desperate to depart. She drank him in for a second. He was broad enough to act as a barrier between her and the crowd. A very attractive barrier. From the way his T-shirt stretched over his biceps, she could tell that his width was certainly not due to being overweight. Ink spiralled around his skin from beneath the short sleeve, tracing down to his elbow.

“Thank you.” She stepped into the aisle. Immediately, the woman from beside her shoved herself through the gap, knocking Chloe into the man’s chest with an oof!

“I’m so sorry!” she said, stepping back and turning to the overhead compartments, feeling her cheeks heat. Her fingers tingled with the memory of his muscular chest beneath them.
Charlotte HowardAuthor Bio:

British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.

Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.

During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.

Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.

 

Social Media / Website links:

http://www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk

http://choward2614.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/charlottehowardauthor

http://twitter.com/Shy_Tiger

Instagram: Choward_author

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/choward2614

 

 

City Nights: One Night in Paris by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) Just $0.99/77p on Amazon During November!

For the month of November, this erotic romance novella will be on SALE. Warm up those winter nights with this smokin’ hot read!

Grab your copy here: http://mybook.to/cnparis

One Night in ParisHere’s what it’s all about:

Jacob is nearly forty, and has recently come to the sudden realisation that he’s not doing much with his life. Sure, he’s got his own successful business, but what’s the point in earning lots of money and not doing anything or going anywhere to spend it?

He’s in serious danger of being all work and no play, so he starts to rectify this by organising a twenty four hour layover in Paris en route to a meeting in Dubai. Whilst there, he goes on a bus tour of the city, and there meets Annabelle, a fellow Brit who’s studying in Paris. There’s clearly an attraction between the two of them, so when the gorgeous Annabelle makes an indecent proposal to help Jacob fill his time in Paris, who is he to refuse?

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

Cover Reveal for City Nights: One Night in San Francisco by Cass Peterson (@casspeterson1)

One Night in San Francisco

Blurb:

Nicky and Liam have only twenty four short hours to find out if their instantaneous attraction can develop into something more than an electric mile-high fumble. San Francisco has everything they need to put their previous disastrous relationships behind them but when they lose touch with each other almost immediately, fate seems to have other ideas. As the precious hours tick away, Liam moves heaven and earth to find the woman of his (filthiest) dreams before she leaves the city. Will he get to her in time?

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22728019-one-night-in-san-francisco

*****

About the Author:

Cass Peterson is passionate about many things; her family, writing, chocolate, wine, cake, curry, gin, sunlit beaches, moonlit bedrooms and good novels to name but a few. At the moment she spends a good chunk of her time working on the day job, but she tries to fit the other passions in as often as possible.

She is a cat lover, an all-weather walker, a reader and reviewer of contemporary romance and an enthusiastic cook.

Cass likes to laugh, especially at Bill Bailey, Victoria Wood, Michael Palin and Eddie Izzard. She would happily live next door to any of these comedians.

http://casspeterson.co.uk
http://www.twitter.com/casspeterson1
https://www.facebook.com/cass.peterson.4

 
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