- Cheat on the heroine/hero(M/M) – You would think this was a given, but apparently it isn’t. While the acts of infidelity are usually small, in a romance novel they’re ALWAYS unforgivable. A hero never comes back from that. NOTHING can erase it. Prime example, Cabal from Bengal’s Heart (Breed Series).
He spends years whoring around while he knows she’s suffering without him. YEARS. Cabal knows Cassie cannot bear anyone else’s touch. But he goes on with his life like she doesn’t exist. He even considers getting serious with another girl. Even worse, he does it because he blames her for the actions of her dead husband. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he’d just abandoned her, but no, he leaves her in PAIN while he spends his days screwing every other woman he meets.
- Leave the heroine for her own good – This one really irks me. To make matters worse, it’s usually accompanied by some big misunderstanding. But we’ve already discussed that pitfall.
When the hero abandons the heroine because he wants to protect her or save her from himself, I tune out. My first thought is, Oh no, another soap opera melodrama. I’ve seen this plot scheme a million times. I’m tired of it. It’s lost its appeal—not that it ever had much.
While many authors have used this trite device, I’ll use one that everyone is familiar with, The Twilight Saga. While Edward’s I’m scared I’ll eat you angst was bearable in the first novel, it completely got out of hand in New Moon. Don’t these authors know that heroes who are assertive and go after what they want are so much more appealing?
As much as I love Lora Leigh, she’s really bad about using this one.
- Be a bad/virgin lover – While I’ll admit this one can have some exceptions, 98% of the time it should be a law of nature. These are a romancenovels people, and we like our heroes good in bed. If we wanted to be left unsatisfied or be forced to teach our lovers then we wouldn’t need romance novels, reality would do.
Right now, the only author guilty of this that comes to mind is Sherrilyn Kenyon. Although, I really hate to use her because most of the time she fits into the other 2% that actually make it work. Born of Night is one of her novels that she didn’t do as good of a job with making the inexperienced lover thing work out. While Born of Night is one of my all-time favorite novels, I just couldn’t get comfortable with Nik being such an inexperienced lover. And if I’m being honest, when I fantasize about him I always change that about him. (As a side note, Born of Night is also guilty of #2)
- Be ugly – Shallow, I know, but it’s a fact. He’s the HERO. This means better than the average man. This means that the heroine should find him attractive. I’m not saying he should supermodel hot, but he should be sexually appealing. Women have to want him.
I’m Sorry Phantom of the Opera fans, but I just can’t jump on board with this. When I read books with these horribly disfigured heroes, I just pretend like they’re good looking. I can’t picture them any other way, and I don’t even want to try. I know that’s awful, but it’s the truth.
- Have a small penis – Thankfully, I’ve never seen an author do this, but I don’t want it to become a trend. Heroes should be, at the very least, a millimeter larger than the average man. ALWAYS! NO EXCEPTIONS! They shouldn’t all have monster cocks either, but I’ll take that over the a tinie wenie any day.
- Be perfect – While your hero should be better than the average guy, he shouldn’t be good at everything. He can’t be independently wealthy, good looking, well endowed, extraordinarily fast/strong/intelligent, quick with words, moral, etc. He has to be flawed.
I love paranormal romances. I love my alpha males. But let’s face it, the genre is bad about this. Some of my favorite heroes are guilty of this one—Barrons and Bones. While they may be a little too perfect, they too have their flaws. Bones—jealously. Barrons—lack of morality.
I usually only showcase 1 to 3 free novels on Friday, but today when I was searching I found so many that looked good that I decided to post them all. Below is a list of titles and their links.
If you are looking for a way to get noticed, or add some credits to add to your query letter, winning a writing contest is a great way to do it. Agents and publishers like to know that your manuscript has already received recognition. Not to mention, it shows that you probably have been networking and that will help them sell you and your book to prospective publishers because you’ve already made a name for yourself.
I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long! My sister finally had her baby, but she lives just across the street, so one stress has just been replaced with another. Her husband crushed his pointer finger, so he’s out of work for the week. My mother got in an altercation with the garage door and she lost. She can hardly walk on her ankle because the tendon was grazed. My dad is retiring, and my brothers custody hearing is Tuesday. Yes, things are crazy here!
I want to promise that I’ll be posting regularly again very soon, but I’m not sure fate is going to allow that. In the meantime, check out these free reads.
We all make mistakes, but too many can kill your chance of getting published. The problem is that no one can write a perfect manuscript. The article, How not to Yank Your Readers Out of the Story, points out some pretty massive flaws that even some NYT Bestselling authors have made. Check it out, you do not want to repeat these.
Finals are finally over! Thank you all for your patience and well wishes. I’m back, and with me I bring six beautiful covers from Total-E-Bound Publishing.
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with beautiful cover art, and I willingly admit that I judge books by their covers. That is why I urge all authors to check out a publisher’s cover art before you send them your proposal. If they don’t take the time to produce good cover, then they’re not marketing your book properly. To help save everyone some time, every Thursday I’ll showcase a different publisher’s artwork.
Below are a few selections from Evernight Publishing.
Draumr Publishing deserves a pat on the back for their Dangerous Curves line, featuring beautiful big women as their heroines. These stories do not focus on women losing weight to gain acceptance or to win the heroes attention, but rather on big women being loved for who they are. Dangerous Curves sells sub-genres of romance including, but not limited to: erotica, paranormal, contemporary, chick lit, lesbian, adventure, science fiction, historical, fantasy, suspense and horror. It’s about time a publisher realized that not all women are built the same, and neither are all heroines. Big is beautiful, too.
What truly impresses me is that Draumr is accepting genres outside of the normal “humorous” take on curvaceous romance. I like that the book can have a Gothic or suspenseful atmosphere. It’s books like these that will help beat stereotyping, and build the average woman’s self-esteem.
Draumr Publishing is actively seeking stories for this imprint. For more information on the Dangerous Curves imprint, and other themed submissions, check out my page, Open Call For Submissions.
I have to thank Caszie for introducing me to Duotrope’s Digest. It’s the go to place if you’re looking to get published in the fiction or poetry market. They have the most comprehensive list of publishers that I’ve come across, and they have a detailed search engine. You just type in all the details of your manuscript, and tada, you have a suitable list of publishers to submit to. Better yet, they have response time stats and acceptance rate stats, and they gather this information through their submission tracker; which could be highly beneficial to you if you’re looking for a way to keep up with all of your outgoing submissions, and publishers you’re interested in.