Romance Writing Tip of the Day: #8
Contributor
Written by
Yuwanda Black
April 2014
Contributor
Written by
Yuwanda Black
April 2014

About Writing Romance Series

 

My next romance, Return to Me, is a two-part series. It didn't start out that way, but the characters wouldn't shut up, so it turned into one. So just a couple of things ...

 

(I) if the book lends itself to a multi-part series, give it its due. Let the character, the story lead you;

 

(II) Make each part a standalone story. I hate stories that leave me hanging -- even if I KNOW there's a second part coming. Just in case your readers don't want to pick up the second part, leave them "complete" as readers; and

 

(III) Put a preview to upcoming parts in each part before. This way, if readers DO want to pick up the rest of the series, they get excited about it -- and look forward to it coming out.

Note: Read all parts of the "Romance Writing Tips" (see end of the post).

Here's a preview of Return to Me, Part I ...

PROLOGUE

 

What if you lost the love of your life, and they came back to you? Would you know how to grab ahold of a second chance – and make it work?

 

Zeke did, and he wouldn't screw it up this time.

. . .

 

"It can't be; my eyes are playing tricks on me … Brooke Lakelyn Tobias. That really is you!"

 

At the use of her full name, which very few people knew, Brooke turned. She was thinking the same thing, It couldn't be. It just couldn't be. She'd know that deep baritone anywhere.

 

Zeke Laird Granger.

 

He'd broken her heart five years ago, and had nearly broken her. She hadn't experienced a searing pain like that since – and vowed she never would again.

. . .

 

"Our timing is just not right, Brooke."

 

"But I love you, Zeke," she said, blinking back tears and trying to swallow past the lump in her throat. "I love you so much. We can find a way; if two people really love each other, they can always find a way. Please, please, just …" she begged.

 

"I'm sorry. I just can't do this right now. I think it's best we just go our separate ways, Brooke."

 

Tears coming in rivers, Brooke felt like her heart was going to explode.

 

The sun streamed through the windows of her fourth-floor apartment. It was a beautiful fall day in New York City. But all she felt was darkness, as black as the bowels of hell.

 

"Zeke please, please don't do this!"

 

He had to listen. He couldn't leave. He just couldn't. The three years they'd spent together had been the happiest of her young life.

 

Brooke had automatically assumed that they'd one day get married, although she wasn't one of those women who dreamed of her wedding day. In fact, she never gave much thought to getting married. The only time she thought of it is when yet another one of her friends or his friends tied the knot.

 

Brooke was just happy just to share her life Zeke, to wake up next to him almost every day. And she thought he felt the same way. She didn't know how she was going to survive without him.

 

In spite of hear tearful pleas, Zeke walked to the front door of her apartment, opened it and walked out of her life.

 

He didn't even look back, she thought through gulping sobs. Not once.

 

Brooke crumbled down the inside of the front door of the apartment, her body pooled in the fetal position on the floor. Heaving, animal-like moans escaped her until there were no tears left. There was nothing left.

 

Three hours later, eyes swollen and throat parched, she'd dragged herself up from the floor, took a sip of water from the kitchen sink and climbed into bed – where she stayed for the next three days.

. . .

 

Every time she relived that day, Brooke was embarrassed. She'd been a sniveling, begging, broken shell of a woman. No one in her life today would have recognized the person she was five years ago. She barely recognized that person.

 

"Well what brings you back to the Big Apple?" Zeke asked, snapping her reverie, as if nothing had happened between them five years ago.

 

"Of all the gym joints, in all the boroughs, in all of New York City, she walks into mine," he continued, playing on the infamous line from Casablanca.

 

One of the things that Brooke had always loved about Zeke was his sense of humor. She could never stay mad at him because he kept her in stitches most of the time. But, he also knew when to turn it off and get serious. It was a rare combination she found intoxicating.

 

She'd never met a man who had such a powerful hold on her.

. . .

 

Damn she was more beautiful than ever! he thought. She'd let her hair grow out. The last time he'd seen her, she was wearing a short, Halle Berry-like style.

 

Brooke had the kind of face that could pull off short or long hairstyles. He preferred it longer though. An exercise enthusiast, her body was always in perfect shape. Her best asset, in his opinion, was her perfectly curved bottom.

 

He never tired of looking at it, and as they always slept in the nude when they were together, he would admire it as she bounced out of bed each morning to begin her morning toilette.

. . .

 

His nature starting to rise at the turn his thoughts took, Zeke forced his mind back to the conversation at hand, saying, "Well, what brings you back to New York? Are you here to stay, or just visiting?"

 

Was that a flicker of pain in those captivating, dark-brown, doe-shaped eyes? If it was, he had a shot because it meant he still had an effect on her. He desperately wanted a chance to erase that pain.

 

Answering, she said, "I'm back for good. LA just wasn't my scene."

 

"I knew it when I heard you left. You're a New York City kind of girl Brooke; I just couldn't picture you in LA."

 

I can't believe he has the balls to stand here and have a conversation with me like nothing happened. Doesn't he know he almost destroyed me?

 

 "… Sooooo, speaking of scenes, how about we check out some in the greatest city in the world sometime?" Zeke said, feeling he might be pushing his luck, but anxious not to let her go without knowing when he'd see her again.

 

Manhattan, where the gym they were in was located, was a relatively small city, at just over 13 miles. But, it had over one and a half million inhabitants and this didn't include outer boroughs like Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, which residents fanned out to via subways, buses and taxis. It was easy to lose someone and not run into them again – forever – in New York City. Zeke was not about to let that happen. Not with Brooke.

 

Did he just ask me out? Brooke thought. The unmitigated gall of the man!

 

It took all of Brooke's resolve to carry on a civil conversation with Zeke. It had been five years since they'd seen each other, but now that she was back in his presence, it seemed like five minutes. She was shaken by how quickly and forcefully all the pain he'd caused her came rushing back.

 

But she wasn't the naïve little 25-year-old she'd been then. She'd learned a thing or two about relationships since he'd broken her heart all those years ago.  And now was the perfect time to put that knowledge to use.

 

"Sure, Zeke. Why not," Brooke responded, hoping he didn't hear the tautness in her voice. Two can play this game, she thought. He's interested and that puts the ball squarely in my court this go round.  Zeke Granger would pay dearly for the pain he'd caused her five years ago.

 

While Brooke plotted revenge, Zeke had a different plan in mind altogether.

 

He'd hurt her badly. It had nearly destroyed him too. But now that she was back in the same city, he vowed he wouldn't make the same mistake twice. He would win her back … and this time it would be for keeps.

 

Can his love overcome the revenge she seeks, or will the scar left by Zeke's betrayal prevent them from ever having a future together?
###

You can find it on Amazon, and soon on Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

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