Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guest Post: Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle #romance #YA #giveaway #guestpost

Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle
  Release Date: 7/10/17
  Published by Entangled Teen

About the book:
 It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

 So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.   But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.

  Buy Links: 

  About the author:
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

Read below for an excerpt from Artificial Sweethearts:

The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them.
Their opportunity for escape was lost. 
Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. 
He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people. 
The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.” 
Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. 
Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. 
Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered. 
“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said. 
The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on. 
“Thanks. I like it.” 
Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?” 
He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. 
“We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.” 
She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.” 
“My boss?” 
He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?” 
“Your father owns the landscaping business?” 
“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” 
He gestured toward the back door. Jane dropped her face into her hands. 
“Oh my God, Tinka.” 
Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.” “I did so.”
 Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.” 
“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam. 
“None taken.” 
Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.

Guest Post:
How To Plot a Romance

The past year has been a romance-writing boot camp for me. Since I had to write three new books over a twelve-month period, I’ve had to become pretty proficient in plotting, just in order to keep my own head on straight.

When outlining a romance, I start with this book, The Love Plot. It was the first resource I went to when I learned I’d be doing the North Pole, MN series. Since romance is so trope-driven and follows such a specific formula, I knew I needed a pretty structured template.

For each of the North Pole books, I used the first template at the end of The Love Plot. It calls for sixteen chapters, each divided into two parts—heroine and hero. A call and response. The heroine does something, then the hero answers in his POV. For my first two North Pole books (Any Boy But You and Artificial Sweethearts), I adhered pretty close to this structure. I went a little rogue in the third book—the male character starts each chapter, and there are mini chapters interspersed here and there. You have to know the rules before you can break them, I guess. J

I apply the Save the Cat rules to the sixteen-chapter structure. Each chapter plays a specific role in the plot, and I always keep in mind the tropes that I’m trying to highlight. For example, in a fake relationship book like Artificial Sweethearts, what scenes would I reader expect to see? Probably a moment where they have to kiss in public, the moment where they connect on an emotional level for real, that sort of thing. When in doubt, go back to the trope.

Here’s how the chapters beat out. (That reads dirty.)

Chapter 1: Introduce both main characters, see the meet-cute. What are they missing in their lives?

Chapter 2: Set-up, introduce other characters, theme is stated

Chapter 3: Inciting incident. The catalyst. Show us a bit of the debate here…

Chapter 4: …and here. Plot Point 1/Break into two. What’s going to keep these two together for the rest of the book?

Chapter 5: B-story. What’s happening outside these characters’ romantic lives?

Chapter 6: Pinch Point 1/Fun and Games

Chapter 7: A little bit of B-story, escalating tension

Chapter 8: Midpoint/the KISS (or first big emotional connection)

Chapter 9: Fallout from the KISS, B-story resolves

Chapter 10: Pinch Point 2. How is what’s keeping these two apart still a threat?

Chapter 11: “You get me” moment

Chapter 12: Spending time together, things are almost right…except. Bad guys close in. And it ends with the all is lost moment.

Chapter 13: Dark night of the soul, check in with the mentor

Chapter 14: Plot Point 2, break into three. “I see the light! We were meant to be!”

Chapter 15: Climax. The lover who’s had the longer journey toward love (usually the guy, but not always) makes a grand gesture

Chapter 16: Happily ever after.

I also write a paragraph for each scene, outlining the action and whatever else I need to know. I do some of the worksheets from Outlining Your Novel to make sure I’m on the right track.

I don’t start writing the actual story until the scene paragraphs all make sense in succession, which doesn’t mean nothing changes as I write. Because writing is exciting, and your story will go where it wants to go. 

Singed copy of Any Boy But You (US Only)   

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