When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancé with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.
Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.
But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for . . .
In this book, Kat Martin weaves together compelling characters and well-crafted plots, all to culminate in a thrilling, immensely satisfying ending.
When Josh Cain meets Tory Ford (aka Victoria Bradford), he quite likes her fiery red hair and cute behind. But that’s after we’ve already seen Tory’s true worth: her strength and courage shine through in the opening scene when she stands up to her monster of a fiancé Damon, a man who believes he owns Tory lock, stock, and barrel. Tory survives his nearly fatal beating, escapes, and keeps on surviving.
Once she gets to the Iron River Ranch, the attraction between Tory and Josh simmers and sizzles. We get heart-wrenching and thought-provoking glimpses into Josh’s heroic military career, a career that haunts him… in more ways than one. We meet the tough and charming Clara Thompson, the baby-sitting neighbor who can be trusted to the hills and back. We get to know the eminently likable Cole and Noah, former marines who work on Josh’s ranch. And we are introduced to Satan’s Star, a troubled stallion who has suffered, like Tory, at the hands of an abusive man.
But this warm, romantic, and exciting story becomes chilling as chapters from Damon’s POV begin creeping in as he hunts for Tory. He beats women, rapes women, and kills with abandon. When Damon gleefully and arrogantly kidnaps and rapes one of his victims, this scene is intercut with the sexual culmination of the flirtation between Tory and Josh. While the juxtaposition of sickening brutality with incandescent romance is viscerally disturbing, it is also ingenious in how it undercuts the romance, shifting the focus of the book away from the relationship between Tory and Josh and onto the battles both are facing as they try to elude and conquer the bad guys in their lives. The lovers must stop the villains and the story kicks into hyper-drive.
Josh’s friends and family circle around Josh and Tory, helping them both ward off and fight the evil blasting at them from all directions. The camaraderie is heartwarming; the suspense is so compelling it will have you flipping pages with the speed of a stallion.
And the ending? It is breath-taking, comprised of brilliance and absolute perfection in the narrative. And even to hint at it would be to do this tightly woven story a disservice.
Beyond Control is available in two days, on May 29. Happy reading! Pre-Order here.
Teddy bears cuddle.
Who is in more need of a cuddle than a writer staring at the empty page?
So on Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day, grab those wonderful teddies and sit them next to your computer. Then watch the words fly onto the page as they whisper into your ear. Helping you write that love scene with more oomph…or googling research for you.
But if your teddy bears are like mine, they don’t work for peanuts.
Nope. It’s got to be double lattes. Pumpkin spice and a salted caramel mocha.
Who am I to argue? I think I’ll join them…delicious.
PS — I’m working on a new Royals of Monterra Kindle Worlds for Christmas called Royal Noel.
Here’s a video with my current Monterra novels available on Amazon:
Everyone who attended the OCC Meeting back in 2007 when Stephen J. Cannell was our main speaker will never forget it.
I still have the notes I took that day…
And I have the video. So as a special tribute to Mr. Cannell who passed away recently, here is the video I did with him that morning after the Published Authors Workshop.
He was a great friend to OCC and to all writers everywhere.
The Blonde Samurai: â€œShe embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.â€
A novel is like my friend, Uccello.
Writing is a solitary profession and taking a break from sitting at my computer is important to me. I like to walk. Every day I walk through a park on my way to the beach, smelling the flowers, enjoying the shade of the trees and listening to the birds singing.
One bird in particular captured my attention. He doesn’t sing better than the others, he’s not prettier, and he doesn’t fly in a soaring pattern. But we’ve formed a bond, Uccello and me.
I call him “uccello” (bird in Italian) because he reminds me of the birds singing outside my hotel window in Venice. I fell in love with the magical city with all its sights and smells when I spent time in Italy speaking and performing about Body & Eros at La Biennale dance festival.
Watch a short clip of the view from my window in Venice, Italy.
Seeing Uccello every day takes me back to Venice and reminds me of the evocative perfume I inhaled there.
I learned to recognize Uccello from the other birds, little things about the charcoal grey bird that caught my eye. He has a little white belly that wiggles when he preens himself like a de’ Medici grand duke and his chirping is short and musical like breathy notes on a flute. He follows me through the park, flitting from one perch to another, poking his head around to see if I’m dallying.
I’ve gotten to know his idiosyncrasies, like how he chirps twice when he sees me, then how he likes to show me what path to take by flying in front of me. The park has many winding pathways and I look forward to seeing where he’ll lead me on my walk each day.
To me, a novel is like Uccello. Something about it attracts your eye–it could be the title or the cover–you get closer, open up the book and it takes you on a journey. As you follow its winding paths, you breathe in its uniqueness. That’s part of the fun for me. I like to inhale the scent of the story.
It’s not something you can smell in a physical way, but it evokes an odoriferous response in you that makes you aware of the scents the author has created in their world, whether it’s fragrant roses, the salty sea, cinnamon, oil, pine cones, or the smell of sex.
The next time you read a novel, think about what you smell. It may surprise you.
I’m off to see Uccello.
Want to come along? It’s easy.
Open a novel and join us.
The Blonde Samurai: â€œShe embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.â€
Writing a book is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it.
Itâ€™s not like writing a term paper. Yes, it requires hard work and research, but the thing that makes a book special is the heart and soul the author puts into it. It really is like childbirth. Thereâ€™s a lot of pain and sweat and maybe some cursing, and then finally a new project is brought into the worldâ€”a unique and wonderful project that is nothing like anyone elseâ€™s. Just like a baby.
When a writer first decides to write a book, most of the time he or she is not quite sure how to go about it. The non-writing part of the population figures you just need to sit down and put in some time and poofâ€”a book is born (See term paper reference above). Yes, writing an entire book does take time. How much time? That depends on the writer. And you can speed up your writing time by accepting and loving your Process.
What is your Process? It is how you write your book. Not how I write my bookâ€”thatâ€™s my Process. You need to figure out your own processâ€”what works for you that gets you from Page One to The End. And the best way to do that is to write a book, all the way through.
Every writer has his or her own process. Iâ€™ve written and published twelve books over the past ten years or so, and I still call up my friend when I get stuck. And I still get stuck at the same place in every bookâ€”between chapters five and nineâ€”where I spend a long time banging my head against the wall and wondering if I will ever finish another book in my lifeâ€¦EVER. And you know what my friend says? â€œOh, thatâ€™s just your process.â€
For some reason, knowing that this is my process immediately makes me feel better.
â€œYou do this with every book,â€ she says.
â€œIâ€™ve been studying your process. Iâ€™m trying to learn from it.â€
You are? Can you clue me in?
I have learned some things about my process over the years. Thereâ€™s the chapter 5-9 problem. Usually when Iâ€™m in the middle of a frustrated, Tasmanian Devil spin, the realization that I am at the end of chapter six calms me down. Okay, this is what I always do. Grit teeth and tough it out.
Then thereâ€™s the fact that I am sort of an organized pantser. Iâ€™ve been selling on synopsis for about eight or nine years now. I write a synopsis and get approval from the publisher, and then I start writing the book. I write the first couple of chapters. Go back, change them. Decide no, thatâ€™s not where the story starts. Write a different beginning. Okay, this one might work. Write some more (usually just up to chapter 4 or soâ€”donâ€™t want to hit the No Manâ€™s Land of Chapters 5-9 while still wrestling with the beginning). I might even write a third incarnation of the beginning of the book. Send to writing friends for review. Get comments. Maybe I hear a speaker or read a writing book that makes me reconsider the beginning. Maybe I try storyboarding, but something still isnâ€™t right. In the end, nine times out of ten I will end up going back to my first version of the beginning of the book. Turns out that was the right place to start after all.
Once I have accepted the beginning few chapters, and I have wrestled with my chapter 5-9 issue, I usually get to the first love scene in the middle of the bookâ€”around chapter 10 or so. Writing love scenes and sexual tension is easy for me, so once I get to that point, the rest of the book flies. I am able to surge forward at warp speed and finish the book on time.
With every book I write, the frustration is still there. The certainty that my last book may well have been my LAST book. Every beginning I chase myself in circles. Every second quarter of the book I bang my head against the wall. Then I hit the middle and suddenly the words fly almost faster than I can type them. And when itâ€™s all over, I have a book to submit.
Then I have to do it all again for the next one.
Understanding my process definitely makes it easier to accept while I am in the midst of deadline angst. Loving my process is harder, but the two of us are joined irrevocably. We create wonderful stories together, and that makes it all worthwhile.
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