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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Christie L. Rich, author of Five

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Christie L. Rich's Five Tour hosted by Dark Mind Book Tours.

About Christie: 

I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing now. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. We live in a quiet community under the Wellsville mountains in Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest| YouTube | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Christie! 

Christie has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!

What is Voice Anyway?
By Christie Rich

A good friend of mine came over a few weeks ago.  She is an aspiring writer and we enjoy discussing books.  While we were chatting on my back porch, she turned to me and asked a simple question:  What is voice?

She was a bit embarrassed to ask such a thing since she has been writing for a while, but I think this is a question most writers and readers, for that matter, might wonder about.

As a reader, I didn’t know I was connecting with a book because of a voice, but I was.  I happen to love first person narrative.  It creates an immediacy in my mind that isn’t readily reproducible with third person.  There are technically several types of narrative, but voice is different.

Unlike some writers, I didn’t go to college to learn to write.  It might even surprise some of my readers to learn I have never had a creative writing class.  I was focused on business in college and ended up pursuing a career in health care.  The fact of the matter is, when I typed my first words of fiction a few years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing.  It still probably don’t, and that just might be a good thing.

Before all you literary graduates out there throw your arms up in protest, I want to clarify.  I’ve read all the suggested books on style and grammar.  I think for the most part I can string sentences together.

A writer has to understand words create worlds.  So what does this have to do with voice?

I’ve come to learn that Voice is the specific way we string words together.  It’s our phraseology, our unique take on where to place emphasis within a sentence.

What I told my friend was voice is personality.

I’m not talking about a character’s voice which is different than a writer’s voice.  I’m talking about the way you put a sentence together.  The fact of the matter is, in fiction, voice matters.  As readers we usually connect with a voice that feels familiar.

If we are serious, we might feel more comfortable with a narrative that isn’t full of snark.  On the other hand, if we enjoy humor and are sarcastic ourselves, we might just want that in a book.  Whatever our interests, one thing I’m sure of is we can find writers with voices we connect with.

Before I began writing, I kept looking for stories with a similar feel.  I wanted to be able to melt into a book and ride along with the characters.  Once inside the book, I could decide if I wanted to step in as the protagonist.  Unfortunately that isn’t possible if a writer has kept a distance between the reader and the action.

For me the most relatable books are those that take me right up to the front row.  When I’m immersed in the story so deep, I hold my breath when the protagonist does.  I cringe when something embarrassing happens.  I engage with the story.

So what does voice have to do with connecting to a story?  I don’t think it really matters if the book is written in first or third person for the voice to capture us; it is in the telling where we get catapulted into the story.

I’d like to share some examples with you.  Same story, different result.  This comes from one of my works in progress:  Dreamscape (Netherworld Book I).

Not much surprises me anymore.
This girl does.

She is delicate in every sense of the word except in her bold stare.  Instead of cowering in the corner pleading for her life, she hugs her knees to her chest and watches me.

I watch her in return, wondering if she could be my salvation.  After a long while she lowers her face, not out of fear or rage; it is indifference I catch in her smoky blue eyes.  Even though this girl has seen me every night for the past few years, no recognition lingers in her expression.

Despite the calm exterior she presents to me, her heart thuds against her chest like a bird trapped in a cage.  I stare, fascinated, as a single drop of sweat escapes her dark hair and tracks a line down her forehead—the only outward hint of her reaction to her fiery surroundings, or is it to me?

She is beautiful—the most beautiful of those I had to choose from.  If I am being honest, it is the main reason I have called her here; yet, something about her draws me nearer that has nothing to do with the fine outward shell she dons.  Pink lips move, but nothing comes out.  I imagine her voice is as sweet as those lips muttering incomprehensible phrases.

Is she praying to a god that cannot hear her in this place?  Is she saying goodbye to loved ones?

I shake my head.  Impossible.  She has no one.  Another reason she is here with me.

Her body tenses when I step closer.  Finally, I make out her words:  Wake up.

I smile.  She thinks she is dreaming.

Now if I took this same concept and wrote it in third person past tense, I would have to use a different approach.  For me it is less immediate:

Not much surprised the man anymore.

This girl did.

She was delicate in every sense of the word, except in her bold stare.  Instead of cowering in the corner pleading for her life, she hugged her knees to her chest and watched him.

He watched her in return, wondering if she could be his salvation.  After a long while she lowered her face, not out of fear or rage; it was indifference he caught in her smoky blue eyes.  Even though this girl had seen him every night for the past few years, no recognition lingered in her expression.

Despite the calm exterior she presented to him, her heart thudded against her chest like a bird trapped in a cage.  He stared, fascinated, as a single drop of sweat escaped her dark hair and tracked a line down her forehead—the only outward hint of her reaction to her fiery surroundings, or was it to him?

She was beautiful—the most beautiful of those he had to choose from.  It was the main reason he called her here; yet, something about her drew him nearer to her that had nothing to do with her fine outward shell.  Her pink lips were moving, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying.  He imagined her voice was as sweet as the lips uttering incomprehensible phrases.

Was she praying to a god that could not here her in this place?  Was she saying goodbye to loved ones?

He shook his head; that was impossible.  She had no one, which was another reason she was here with him.

Her body tensed when he stepped closer.  He could finally make out her words:  Wake up.

He smiled.  She must have been thinking she was dreaming.

So I think both of the examples show personality, but what if I were to strip this to the bare words.  This excerpt could look something like this.

The man looked at the girl from across the room.  He was surprised by her.  Instead of being afraid of him, all she did was stare.  He stared back, wondering if she could help him.

After a long time, she looked away, but he didn’t think she was afraid of him.  She seemed more indifferent.

That was weird because she had seen him every night for the past few years, but he didn’t think she recognized him.  The sweat on her face was the only thing that made him think she was uncomfortable.

She sure was beautiful.  He’d picked her because of it, but something else made him want her with him that had nothing to do with the way she looked.

Her lips were moving, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying.  He wondered if she was praying or saying goodbye to loved ones.

That couldn’t be it.  She didn’t have anybody left in her life.  That was another reason he’d picked her.

She stiffened when he walked closer.  He could finally see what she was saying.  “Wake Up.”

He smiled because she must have been thinking she was dreaming.

So what do you think?  Can you see a difference even though it is the same scene?  Which voice resonated more with you?

The next time you read a story, ask yourself if you are connecting, then ask yourself why.  I think you might be surprised what you learn about your reading preferences and why it is you like certain books while others fall flat.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Christie!

Five (Book 1 in the Elemental Emnity Series) is free on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, so go grab your copy and enter the giveaway for your chance to win Books 2 & 3!

Rayla Tate’s life is about to turn vertical…again. As if it wasn’t bad enough her mother disappeared under questionable circumstances leaving Rayla to be raised by her aunt in a horrendously small town. Her overprotective guardian is determined to ruin Rayla’s life. She refuses to let Rayla out of her sight or out of the state. Provincial living might be what her aunt demands of her purposely sheltered niece; but, Rayla has other ideas. In a desperate attempt to follow her dreams she flees the safety of her home and runs away to college with her best friend toward a bright future in the art world.

However, excitement over her newfound freedom turns into terror when she is chased by a mysterious stranger on her way to school. When his motorcycle suddenly morphs into a fire-breathing pegasus, Rayla questions her sanity. Worse, the man riding next to her stirs a burning desire in her soul she has never known or could have ever imagined. Using all the will she owns, she manages to resist the compulsion she feels; yet, as he disappears into the night, she is certain he hasn't gone far.

Rayla quickly dismisses the encounter to her overactive imagination. She is determined to settle into her new life, yet the images and feelings of that night still haunt her. To make matters worse, her aunt seems to be in on the act, insisting that Rayla will soon be hunted by a pack of fae lords for a power over the elements she never knew she possessed—a power that could change the world. Quicker than she ever thought possible, she finds herself surrounded by stunning men that all seem determined to win her heart. Why does she feel drawn to each one of them? More importantly, what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using whatever means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.
Buy Links: 
 Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Goodreads

Rayla Tate’s dreams for the future shattered when she discovered she was an Elemental capable of manipulating matter. Thrust, once again, into the magical fae realm of Faeresia, she has an important choice to make. But now that she has Heath to contend with, deciding between Zach and Luke is the least of her concerns. Tall, dark and lethal to her will, her attraction to Heath eclipses all she has experienced with any other lord, but he is using compulsion to wear her down. If only she could trust her feelings?

In a desperate attempt to escape Heath, she accepts the help of a little troll and finally gets what she wants; however, her relief is short lived. Things go terribly wrong when a dark force closes in on her, threatening to steal her burgeoning power before she even has a chance to test her abilities. Now, with Rayla as their captive, the Order will stop at nothing to create a male Elemental, and willing or not, Rayla is the key.

Caught up in the age-old battle for dominance between human and fae, only one question matters to her now—will she be able to save those she loves most without losing herself in the process? Or will she be forever haunted by the choices she alone can make?

Having just escaped the nefarious plans of the Order, Rayla Tate thinks all she has to do now is rescue her family and sort through her feelings, but bonding with five men might just be her undoing. Not only does she have to deal with all of them reading her mind, Rayla must choose a bondmate before she will be allowed to venture into the mortal realm to save those she loves most.

She has three weeks to get to know each lord, but her journey turns into far more than a simple choice of the heart. Rayla comes face to face with the underhanded dealings of the fae political system where good is a matter of taste and evil lurks under beautiful shells. Long held judgments crumble when she discovers the heart beneath the men she has come to count on. Rayla must overcome long held fears, discover the truth behind the creatures of the dark realms, and conquer her greatest weakness before she can take her place as the new queen of the fae.

However, her world crumbles when she discovers following her heart’s desire might just mean the destruction of the world. Will Rayla have the courage to choose the man who has risked everything to win her, or will she succumb to the manipulations of the fae council and those who would use her power for evil?

One choice: five men. The stakes have never been higher, but which one will prevail?

 To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on November 8, 2012.

 Tour Participants

October 17th, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway)

October 18th, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt)

October 19th, 2012
(Review, Guest Post, Giveaway)

October 22nd, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt)

October 23rd, 2012
(Guest Post, Giveaway)

October 24th, 2012
(Author Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway)

October 25th, 2012

October 26th, 2012
(Review, Excerpt, Giveaway)

October 29th, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway)

October 30th, 2012

October 31st, 2012
(Guest Post, Giveaway)

November 1st, 2012
(Guest Post, Giveaway)

November 2nd, 2012
(Review, Author Interview, Giveaway)

November 5th, 2012
(Author Interview, Excerpt. Giveaway)

November 6th, 2012
(Review, Guest Post, Excerpt)

November 7th, 2012

November 8th, 2012
(Author Interview)

November 9th, 2012
(Guest Post, Giveaway)

November 12th, 2012
(Review, Giveaway)

November 13th, 2012
(Review, Character Interview, Giveaway)

November 14th, 2012
(Review, Giveaway)

November 15th, 2012
(Review, Excerpt)

November 16th, 2012
(Excerpt Giveaway)

November 19th, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt)

November 20th, 2012
(Review, Author Interview, Giveaway)

November 21st, 2012

November 22nd, 2012
(Guest Post, Excerpt)


  1. Thanks so much for having me here today, Darlene! Your blog is so cute! I love the design.

    I'm going to have to come back to see if you liked Raven Boys! It looks interesting.

    Anyway, happy almost bloggerversary!

    1. You're welcome, Christie! It's my pleasure!

      I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time getting into The Raven Boys. I'm hoping it is just a slow starter!

      Thanks for the warm wishes!

  2. Oh, man, I'm glad I asked about that one. I'll wait to see what you think before I pick it up:)

    And I wanted to make sure all your readers knew that Five is also available for free download on Amazon US.

    I hope you'll all grab a copy on me.

    Thanks again, Darlene! This was such a fun article to write :)

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