Saturday, September 10, 2011

Show & Tell Saturday

by Gracen Miller

Characters should breathe too! Let me tell you what I mean. My newly released Decadent e-book Pandora’s Box, book one in the Road to Hell series, is crafted around a world of demonic origins, some straight from mythology and Biblical principles, and others crafted from my imagination. Writing paranormal is the easy part. Breathing life into believable characters so that the reader empathizes with them and cheers for them…that is the hardest element.

When you’re working with a world crafted from your own imagination, every decision or reaction the characters make has to be plausible. The reader needs to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the characters. Even as the final edit on Pandora’s Box was accepted, I worried I’d missed a gaping obvious error in believability.

Channeling a mother’s love for her child was easy-peasy. I’m a mother and there is nothing under this sun that could shake my love for my boys or my dedication to them. Relating to Madison while she made difficult choices to help her son, Amos, I had no problem in making that feel real. Willing to do anything for him, she jumped through hoops and submitted to oddities she couldn’t bring herself to believe in. But how she reacted to the demonic influences in her life was the issue. When should she cry and when should she scream her frustration? Better yet, how should she react to the ultimate revelations? These were details that had the power to make or break the believability of the story. Putting myself in her shoes and pretending I was my heroine was how I approached the issue. What I’ve received in reviews, tells me I hit the mark dead-on and my characters breathe!

Here’s what readers have had to say:

Christina Baker Irelan from Intoxicated by Books said: “I have to say that I am DEFINITELY team Nix even though I did read ALL of the life lessons before reading the book. Nix is just such a good could you not love him! Micah completely caught me by surprise in the beginning of the book. I never expected him to disappear. Especially since he was always thinking about how much he loved Madison and Amos. He was so sweet in the "prequel" I thought he was going to turn out to be an angel. Boy was I surprised to find out what he actually is (although I wasn't completely wrong in my assumption)!”

I’m proud of what I’ve created and how my editors helped me polish it and make it shine for the readers. I hope you enjoy it too!

Thanks for joining me for show and tell Saturday. If you’d like to read the first 3 chapters of Pandora’s Box, please visit my blog at:

If you’re still interested, pick up a copy of Pandora’s Box, at the following vendors:

Now come stalk me—not really!—but I would love to meet and interact with you:

Pandora’s Box Blurb:

Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions? Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind's liberty has begun...

Pandora’s Box Excerpt:

“May I?” He held up the medical supplies.

She nodded and watched as he doused gauze with antiseptic. “Dr. Nix at your service,” he said with a grin, two adorable dimples charming her where words failed.

Madison rolled her eyes, and tipped her head to the side to give him better access. He brushed her hair off her neck, back behind her shoulder. Such a simple gesture, yet it felt terribly personal. The air grew thick and sticky with her awareness of him. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs.

Madison stared into his eyes. Green, she thought, his eyes were green, gorgeous and intense, with ridiculously long eyelashes women would fantasize about. If they didn’t, they should. A flicker of compassion, concern, and something else she couldn’t identify flashed in his eyes.

“Ready?” he asked.

The husky tenor of his voice forced her gaze to shift to his mouth. Nice, sexy lips, designed for kissing. She gave a mental shake but couldn’t resist wondering how his mouth would feel on hers.

“Madison?” Humor deepened his voice, a touch of a smile tilted the edges of the lips she’d been fantasizing about, and she realized she still stared at them. “You ready?” he asked again, and her eyes widened in embarrassment over her foolish stupor.

She swallowed hard. “Yeah.” She whispered past the lump in her throat and forced her vision to lock on the wall over his shoulder. Good God, what was wrong with her? Her pulse throbbed like crazy, and she felt woozy. Loss of blood! Must be why she reacted that way. No other explanation made sense.

Even though the antiseptic stung like hell, the gentle touch coming from such a gruff man surprised her. “It’s not bad,” he said, dabbing the blood away. “Just a nick.”

Well, she could nix the blood loss theory. Exhaustion and stress were the only other excuses she could come up with. “I’ve suffered worse.” Her voice sounded off, kind of hoarse. She tried to clear her throat delicately, but he must have noticed her unease, because his perceptive eyes met hers. Again, she thought she caught the edge of concern reflected in their green depths.

“This isn’t the first time he’s attacked you?”

“No. It’s the first time he’s tried to seriously kill me, though.” She sighed as she closed her eyes, ready to give up fighting, the sudden tears threatening to fall. Okay, woozy and acting strange because of strain…not because of him. Seriously, as far as first impressions went, she wasn’t impressed.


Barbara Elsborg said...

Wow, this sounds like an exciting read!! Congratulations, Gracen!

hotcha12 said...