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About Ghost of a Chance by McKenna Dean:
At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.
A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.
With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart.
Ghost of a Chance is a paranormal romance story.
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2nbVC33
For some reason, he glanced back at Sarah where she waited by the door. The backlight of falling snow through the glass in the shadowed hallway created the suggestion of a black-and-white photograph. The only spot of color was the bright red scarf at the collar of her coat and the wine-dark lipstick she wore. She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Something inside him clicked, as though recognizing a scene from a movie. His heart stopped a beat, flipped over, and thudded again with increased intensity.
No. It couldn’t be. Not her.
He hurried away, head still reeling at his reaction.
When he returned with an armload of clothing, she was nowhere to be seen. Her laptop sat by her shoes, one pretty little pump turned over on its side. As expected, he discovered her in the living room, staring at the pictures on the wall. “There you are.”
She jumped at the sound of his voice.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” He adjusted the heap of clothing piled over one arm and held out a pair of snow boots.
“She had so many photographs of me.” Sarah took the boots almost automatically, and indicated the walls covered with pictures, ones Casey had seen many times.
That had to be it. Why she felt so familiar. Why she seemed to be the one. Relief washed over him. Obviously he’d spent too much time alone if he thought Sarah Atwell was his destined mate.
Ten Rules to Writing a Paranormal Romance
Disclaimer: There are some great guides out there as to how to write paranormal romances. This is by no means meant to replace the advice or experience of authors in the genre. This is just how I write a paranormal romance.
1: First decide on your shifters. Honestly, that’s the best part of the process as far as I’m concerned. I’m a biologist, so I love putting my knowledge of different animals to use when selecting shifters for my characters. To a certain extent, the choice I make becomes incorporated into the character’s personality and physique as well. A bear shifter might be a big burly guy, or a cheetah shifter may also be a runner in human form.
Because opposites attract is so much fun, I enjoy making my pairings different shifter species as well. A panther and a dragon, or a hawk and a raccoon. The dichotomy between the animal shifters and the human personalities is meat and drink to me.
2: Decide if your shifters are comfortable with their inner beast. There’s SO much scope for storytelling if one of your characters is on the outs with his or her shifter. I love stories about self-acceptance and empowerment, so this is a big one for me.
3: Pick your setting. Location can be almost as much as a character as anyone else, particularly when it comes to shifters. Are your characters able to shift whenever they want or are they constrained by society to stay in hiding and only shift when they are alone in the woods? In the Redclaw Universe, shifters keep their identities secret because of public hostility and fear toward shifters, which means many long for a private, safe place they can truly be themselves. There’s a lot of built-in tension and potential plot material right there!
4: Figure out what the heck you’re going to do about clothing. Because while having to strip down before shifting can lead to some fun, sexy times, it can also be a big pain in the storytelling patootie. Where did they leave their clothes? Can they get back to them? Are they just going to walk around naked now? *sigh* That’s why I invented the very rare, much-prized shifter clothing—made by special tailors out of cloth only dragons can produce, it has the ability to shift with the shifter. Ergo, no more inconveniently naked people when you’ve had your Redclaw agent shift into a tiger to chase down a bad guy. *buffs nails against shirt in fake humility*
5: Liberally add tropes to the mix. Fated mates? That’s always a good one. Snowed-in at a remote location? Love it! Duking it out for a joint inheritance? Sign me up! Pretend relationship while undercover? Yes, please! You don’t have to stick with just one, either. Mix and match!
6: Turn those tropes on their heads. Say what? You heard me. Have one character scoff at the idea of fated mates. Make the heroine the more powerful shifter. Have a real boyfriend/husband waiting in the background. Make one of your characters ignorant of their shifter background. Offer the formula but change it up just enough that your reader is breathless trying to race to the end to find out what happens.
7: Give them a common/enemy to face together. Someone trying to kill them is always good. Someone trying to stop a witness from testifying, or an heiress from coming forward. Create a dangerous situation and throw them in the middle of it. I like putting my characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.
8: Speaking of which—sexy times! That fated mate thing can come in handy here. So can surviving something terrible together. MAKE THEM KISS. And whatever else they feel like doing.
9: Make them fall in love. Passionately, fiercely. Willing-to-die-for-each-other love. This is above and beyond the sexy times. This is TRUE LOVE. It can come before the sexy times, during the sexy times, or after—it can come after much trials, tribulations, and misunderstandings but it must come!
10: Figure out how you can turn the whole thing into a series and start all over again with the next installment. Because by this point, you’re invested in this universe, and you want to see more of it yourself.
The Panther’s Lost Princess
Redclaw Security Book 1
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2LSf9UL
About McKenna Dean:
McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.
She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock.
She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.
McKenna Dean’s Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/McKenna-Dean-Author-262328784224302/
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