Guest Post: Beautiful Experiment by January Valentine

beau_experiments_Large_bannerToday, I get the pleasure of giving my blog over to January Valentine, author of Beautiful Experiment.  She is also offering a wonderful giveaway that you can enter here. I’d like to thank Paranormal Cravings Blog Tours for letting me host January today.  I’m going to make today’s bit from me short and sweet so I can hand everything over to January.  So, let’s give a wonderful welcome to January Valentine.

Thank you, Book Maven, for hosting me and Beautiful Experiment paranormal romance Giveaway!!

Greetings from New York!  It’s a beautiful day for a … Beautiful Experiment!

I’m Victoria (January) Valentine, and I’m thrilled to meet you.

Why don’t you want to hear about my book?

Communicate. Communicate. Why do you refuse to communicate with me!!!

These are questions I’m constantly asking my kids, because they can no longer handle my perpetual rants and ramblings. I’m a mom first, but since I’ve been a writer since birth … okay that’s stretching it; I’ve been a writer since I could speak. Forget about reading and writing; I concocted, memorized, and recited.

I scribbled when I was two, and I’m still scribbling to this day. When my digital recorder is full, and I haven’t had a chance to transcribe my verbal reminders, I keep a pad and pen at my bedside. Just in case. Who am I kidding? Yes, I’ll be writing while I sleep. I dream scenes and dialogue. Wake up with a start to scribble my ideas in the dark, without my reading glasses, most times half asleep. If I can get to sleep, because when I’m into a book, it’s a curse. I cannot rest. My mind never stops. Neither does my mouth.

Hence, “Why don’t you want to hear about my book? How about reading a chapter? No, you say?” So, as many authors do, I read aloud to myself. Talk to myself, daydream a lot, getting my best ideas when I’m on the treadmill, in the bathtub, and yes, while asleep. The end result? Try reading the scribble with a morning squint, especially when it’s more difficult to decipher than a two year old’s. Try listening to a recording when all you hear is heavy breathing because you were jogging while recording. I hate my voice.

I eat, sleep, and breathe plots, characters, scenes, dialogue, internalization, narrative. Horror, thrillers, romance, children’s books, poetry. Paperback and Kindle formatting. How to promote and market. Delicious cover design and what I hope in the end evolves as a page-turning bestseller. I do these things while publishing books for others, and planning and airing my weekly blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, where I interview and promote other authors.

My kids are sick and tired of hearing about authors and books and radio shows, so they ignore me.

So, I’ve begun to put the shoe on the other foot. When my kids try to talk to me, and I don’t reply because my mind is in high gear, stalking a victim, killing a villain, creating a nightmare scenario or romantic interlude while typing like a madwoman … Ha. I mean, “Huh?” is my signature reply. Is a grunt considered a reply? How about agreeing to a pricey purchase because you unintentionally utter, “Okay,” when your daughter asks to “borrow” your credit card. Doesn’t borrow mean repay somewhere down the line?

I released Beautiful Experiment, my first paranormal fantasy romance, in June, and was 20K into book two of the trilogy, and just not feeling it. While celebrating Fourth of July, my kids came out of hiding and commented on my quandary, took pity on me and suggested, why not write about your first love. Horror, my all-time favorite genre.

Werewolves are my favorite creatures of the night. I love a cozy cabin in the heart of a dark, creepy forest. What’s more exciting than cuddling inside four logged walls shadowed by a smoldering fire when there’s thunder, lightning, rain pounding on the roof, and the howling of wolves outside?  I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Some of this, and a whole lot more is going into the current book I’m working on, which I wrote in less than a month breaking my record of four months for Beautiful Experiment.

To touch upon Beautiful Experiment, it’s not about werewolves. It’s about kids. No, not my kids. Well-to-do parents who need a break are sending their entitled problem children to an upscale facility in Louisiana. On the way, they’re kidnapped!  Who in his or her right mind would want to kidnap a problematic teen? The shady characters who plot to send them to an uncharted island where the kids are about to learn something they’ve never been exposed to before: discipline, among other things. They argue. They fistfight. They ban together trying to find a way out of their predicament.

The moment Brook (hot island resident teen) sets eyes on Gabriella (gorgeous kidnapped-by-mistake sweetheart) sparks fly. Literally for Brook, who has begun to see flames in the sky. While shadows surround him, the air whispers warnings; sometimes it howls. He’s clueless about these occurrences, as well as his past, because he doesn’t remember having one.

You’ll be spending three-hundred and thirty pages with these often obnoxious teens. Be ready for disappearances, spider bites, sharks and demons. Book one is mostly about discovering the island, themselves, and each other.

Kids can be passionate, inventive, resourceful, and of course, entertaining.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, take my advice. Listen to your kids. They might be more perceptive than you give them credit for, and gift you with a great idea now and then. Another aspect is, paying attention before shopping trips you’re writing through may save you cash.

Now that I’ve shared a bit about my new book, and some of my quirks, what are some of yours? Don’t have any? Okay, how about rituals and pet peeves? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a message!

Thank you for listening to my rant 🙂

Beautiful Experiment is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.  As soon as it’s out of the KDP program, BE will also be available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and others.

Another gripe for another post. How difficult is it to write a synopsis?  Holy cow, shrinking 98K words into one page is nearly impossible for me.

Here is the synopsis I managed to come up with:

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Thank you Book Maven, members, visitors, friends and fans. I hope you will check out my books, blogs, and websites.  I’ve had a lovely visit. I hope you have too:-)

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://www.januaryvalentine.blogspot.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine

https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/boards/

DefianceCoverValentineBeautiful Experiment
Book One of Island of Defiance Trilogy

By January Valentine

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Pages: 330

Isbn: 978-0615828596

Blurb

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Excerpt

The surging tide is tempting. I’m concentrating on the foam that is quickly erasing my footsteps. It’s not the caw of gulls that alerts me, because the winged creatures have vanished. In their place, the air is filled with my name. I lift my face to something startling, and my heart begins to pound.

The sky has burst into flame. Red and gold, it’s raging. The sun is the sky. Scorching. Shooting stars, like flaming spears, are dropping all around me. If I don’t shut my eyes, I’ll be blinded. If I do, I’ll be nothing but a solid target. The wind wails like a mother who has lost her child. “When the third moon falls, the beast will devour the sky.”

As suddenly as it started, it ends. I’m standing beside Father, totally disoriented. Am I standing? I look down at my feet, because I feel legless. I’m floating. Struggling to regain control of my mind, my body, the shock.

I grip the clipboard and pen with my knees, so that I can draw my palms across my twitching eyelids, astonished that I’m actually still holding onto anything.

“Did you see that flash? Did you hear that creepy voice?” I’m breathless, massaging my pounding temples with burning fingertips. “My head feels like it’s about to split open.” I rattle each eardrum with a pinky, then plug my ears to listen intently. Was the urgent whisper that turned me to stone inside my head? Phantom sounds? I’ve never experienced this kind of phenomenon before. “My eyes pain.”

Father regards me with a mix of surprise and concern. “You have a migraine?”

“Migraine?” I scoff. What the fuck, loops through my head. I’m freaked out, left with a strange feeling this is not going to be like other days. I try to shake it off, like I shake him off.

The sky is now clear and so perfectly blue, it looks as though it’s been painted by deliberate strokes of an artist’s brush. It is a seamless dome of beauty. If we were not receiving today, I might be lying on the pristine beach, permitting my thoughts to wander far beyond my own boundaries. Maybe I’d be lounging on my bluff, or climb my watchtower tree, burrow into its welcoming arms where I collect my years, watch over all that is mine.

“Feeling better?” His voice is buffered, but coarse enough to jar me from thought.

Skimming Father, my gaze snaps back to the waves, the skiff that is almost upon us. “I’m fine.” I don’t mention how bad my body aches, and feels like it’s being torn apart. I stretch my arms, then my neck, trying to pin down what I did to cause these muscle spasms. The bomb that’s about to explode in my head.

When the ocean is calm it’s translucent, sparkling with sunlight as though it’s coated with billions of precious gemstones. Today it’s not much more than rolling waves and seaweed.

“I’ve never seen it this rough.” Between wind and thunderous surf, I have to face him or my voice will be useless.

“Storms.” His reply is blunt.

“You wouldn’t know it by the sky.” I bring my gaze to a more pleasant sight.

“There’s one brewing out there. You’d feel it if you had my knees.” Staring gravely at the ocean, his body is rigid.

“Are you in pain?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Let’s hope the weather holds off until we’ve settled them.”

“Rain or shine, we’ve got our work cut out for us, Brook.”

“As always.” My stomach rises to my throat as I watch their approach. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this way of life. Do I want to? Of course not. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing right now, like hopping onto that boat, and for starters, checking out the other side of this island.

Beyond the boat, a floating veil of mist rolls in like billows of steam from a tremendous boiling kettle. I am no longer able to see the large vessel from which the skiff was launched.

The atmosphere of the island is as such, inviting one moment, rejecting the next. Father calls it a gentle beast, with characteristics and charm like the women he has known. My glance shifts, falling upon the shoreline curve where a jetty, composed of rocks chiseled and stacked by nature, projects like the nose of a dolphin and the forest begins. This is as far as my eyes pan.

“Thank you for cutting your hair.” For a moment his eyes wash over me, then his gaze refocuses on the others who are struggling against the relentless current. “I know it pains you.”

“Don’t you mean shearing?” I huff. “I don’t understand why I can’t grow it long. I have awesome hair, or so I’ve been told.” I smirk.

He shoots me a phony glare. “You’ve been told, huh?  No cozying up to any of these girls. I don’t want another batch begging to stay.”

“I’m not a womanizer. Just good company.” I shrug.

“No nighttime jaunts to the lagoon, either. And I mean it this time.” Now his glare is authentic.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Stay out of the lagoon. Out of the forest. Out of the lockers. Pretend to like my boring life.”

He almost looks sympathetic. “One of these days you’ll understand.”

“What? Why I can’t swim at night?”

“You’re impossible sometimes, and the reason I ask you to cut your hair is to set a good example.”

I let out a tired sigh. My hand runs over my smooth scalp, the shadow of bristles so short and sun-bleached, my reflection in a mirror looks hairless. If not for my deeply tanned skin, I would look anemic.

“Seems a waste. Six or more inches of attractive dark hair again and again swept into the trash.” My jaw sets as our discussion continues. “I like my hair long. It makes me feel …”

“Like a rock star?” He chuckles, scrubbing my head playfully. “In so many ways you remain such a child, yet you desire to be worldly. Do you admire them?”

“Not as you might be thinking.” My eyes lower, landing upon my anxious toes digging through a mound of sand.

I swing my gaze across the vast horizon which is now shaded with purples and blues, fantasizing about the places beyond. The order of the world not contained within this globe of existence called Defiance Island. I know the temperament of the waywards, but wonder what others are like. Are they beautiful? Intelligent? Kindhearted? Do they possess the nature that can make a man want to tear another to shreds?

About the Author

VictoriaJanuaryValentineJanuary Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and indie book publisher. See Victoria’s Author page: amazon.com/author/victoriavalentine

I chose to use a pen name because Love Dreams was originally going to be a red hot erotic story, and I wanted to separate Victoria, who writes contemporary fiction and children’s storybooks. Since my birth month is January, January Valentine seemed an appropriate pseudonym.

I also host a blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, every Wednesday evening at 7 PM EST where my co host Jill and I interview other writers and poets and discuss writing in general: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

I just released my first paranormal romance, Beautiful Experiment, book one of Island of Defiance Trilogy. I’m so not good about talking about myself, but I’ll give it a shot.

I publish books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which I founded some years ago. In the past, I have written poetry and song lyrics, but now I focus on fiction. I’ve created multiple websites and blogs that I don’t have time to manage very well.

My desire to be in a rock band brought me into a recording studio … where my lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together, we produced a CD.

I enjoy designing book covers and youtube videos. In summer, I enjoy hiking and swimming. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality.

I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks and swag.

My sites and pages.

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://januaryvalentine.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine
https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3198304.Victoria_Valentine

A bit about my books:

Love Dreams (Romantic Drama) is a story about a handicapped young man who secretly falls hopelessly (and helplessly) in love with a young woman who hides herself, and her past, beneath a grim but beautiful exterior. This gentle romance builds into a powerful “reality”.

Sweet Dreams is a novel about a serial killer who is on the loose, working his way up the east coast. Readers get a glimpse into the killer’s mind, as well as the hero’s.

Head Over Wheels, (New Adult Romance/Drama) focuses on Jewelia, whose lifelong dream of becoming part of the NYPD is derailed by hot medical student, Indigo.

Beautiful Experiment details above.

All book covers, videos, information and buy links can be found on my website:  http://www.januaryvalentine.com

I also have an online store: http://waterforestpressbooks.miiduu.com/

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Shellie Hedge
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 17:04:57

    You are just one of the best authors that I have had the pleasure of getting to know. You did a wonderful job. Keep up the good work

    Reply

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