Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Post: Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson


Who said tempting a sweet Southern belle would be easy?

When rebel biker Bullworth Clayton gets tangled up with pastel-and-pearls-clad April Church, sparks fly. Sure, April would clearly rather work with anyone else, but if teaming up with Bull means a successful charity event for a sick little boy they both care about, then so be it.
April is baffled at how drawn she is to the leather-wearing, tattooed Bull—he just doesn’t fit with her simple, safe, country-club life. And as much as the handsomely rugged man tempts her, she still can’t shake the images of the tragic motorcycle accident from her past, which left her scarred and her father broken.
 Bull tempts her to don a pair of leather pants and go for a ride with him, while April desperately tries to resist her attraction to the wild side and keep her exploits hidden from her small town. Will they be able to navigate their differences and find a middle road to love?

About Vicki Wilkerson:
Vicki is a native of the Charleston, South Carolina, Lowcountry and loves to share her enchantment with the area with readers through her writing. Even in childhood, she enjoyed penning stories and poems—no doubt fueled by her grandfather's enthusiasm for telling tales himself. Where else—but in the South—could one find the interesting blend of salt water, eerie swamps, unwritten traditions and unique characters? In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending weekends at her family's lake house, playing golf and cooking (with lots of wine). Visit Vicki at .

More Than Words
By Vicki Wilkerson

By the nature of your reading this, I know you love books and, therefore, words. Have you ever analyzed why you like certain books over others? The answer may be more complicated and convoluted than you might think. Of course, one must have a great story—that’s a given. But there’s more to it than that. Readers have affinities to voice, diction, characters, genres, style, and the list goes on. Readers’ tastes are very complicated matters and are often difficult to describe. It’s a good idea, however, to pause for a moment and examine why you like something so that you can explain it more easily to others to find even more great books!

With all the reasons and explanations you may have as a reader to love a particular book, I’d like to proffer another that you may not have even considered—literary devices. Literary devices are those tools that writers have been using since stories were first etched into stone eons ago. They are used in fables, folk tales, biblical stories—and, yes—even contemporary romances. A good writer uses them in a way that does not intrude upon a story. In fact, she uses them in a way that invisibly enhances a story.

What are some common literary devices authors use, you ask? Foreshadowing, irony, flashback, symbolism, allusion, point of view, conflict, metaphors, paradox, mood, satire, understatement are just the beginning. The list goes on. All writers use some, like conflict and plot, but a really good writer will pull out the more obscure devices and use them seamlessly in her story so that the reader hardly knows they are there. The reader may only know that she really likes that book or that author. Sometimes I enjoy a story so much that I hardly notice the literary devices until I’ve slowed down and read the book a second time!

Literary devices are the reasons classics are classics. They don’t get to be placed into that category without a healthy dose of literary techniques and devices. Even if you don’t notice, really good contemporary authors do the same today. Sandra Brown, Stephen King and even Nora Roberts use them, stealthily and sparingly. Your favorite authors are probably using them, too!

I am a recovering high school English teacher and am hyper-aware of literary devices and my affinity to them because I had to teach them for so many years. Now, I easily recognize them in the literature I love. In fact, if I read a book and don’t feel compelled to put it in my lap to think about a line or a passage, then that book will not last long on my shelves. Inevitably, those places I’ve paused are imbued with literary devices.

Because I’m aware of literary devices, I try to infuse my work with them to add humor and depth. Though I’m no F. Scott Fitzgerald, I hope I’ve added some degree of literary depth for the reader with Bikers and Pearls, my contemporary, Southern, sweet romance. In it I’ve included motifs, irony, flashbacks, symbols, and even humor to the story. At its heart is a theme or lesson about acceptance, forgiveness and not judging others by their appearances. 

What better characters to choose for such an undertaking than April, a Southern belle who is a risk-assessment manager at a local insurance company, and Bullworth (Bull), whose looks are dangerous and whose past is dark and difficult to overcome. When they are thrown together to help a sick boy they both love, they clash; they burn, and they learn.

I am hoping that readers enjoy the world I’ve set up for April and Bull and enjoy their emotional journey to personal healing. And along the way, I hope readers are barely aware of the work I’ve put into enriching the story with a variety of literary enhancements. Happy reading and remember to always look for the pearls between the lines.

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