Top Five Writing Books by Katee Robert – Guest Blog

6_4 katee The-Marriage-Contract-Release-Blitz

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher.

Top Five Writing Books
Like anything else in life, writing is part idea, part craft. It’s one of those things that the more I do it, the more I realize I have left to learn. I don’t know if there’s a point where suddenly it all makes sense and there’s nothing left to figure out, but I haven’t reached it yet (and I’m definitely not holding my breath). That quest for more knowledge leads me to conferences with panels full of authors who have been in this game longer than I have, to blog posts, and to books on writing. There are some amazing books on writing as a craft out there, but there are five that have impacted my personal journey in a huge way.

On Writing by Stephen King. This book is part biography, part writing guide, and it’s full to the brim of useful advice. Being able to get an inside view on one of the most successful authors in the last few decades is worth its weight in gold as far as I’m concerned. Now, my writing process is very different from Stephen King’s, but I’ve been able to take bits and pieces and make myself a better writer as a result of this book.

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. However you feel about Orson Scott Card personally, this is one of the first writing craft books I read when I was just getting started, and I found it incredibly useful. Now, I don’t write much in the way of SF/F these days, but the same rules of worldbuilding apply whether your characters are running around in space or in Boston, so it’s good to read widely because you might stumble across something that you never had considered before and be able to use it in the genre you’re writing in.

Writing a Killer Thriller by Jodie Renner. My copy of this book is so full of sticky notes and highlighter notes, it’s nearly double the size. Jodie Renner doesn’t go in and say “This is the correct way to do things.” Instead, she provides several methods of plotting that can be used to create a thriller novel, as well as certain pitfalls to avoid. It allows for the fact that no two writers have the same method of getting the story out of their head and onto the page, and that’s incredibly invaluable.

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. This is technically a screenwriting book, but the same rules that apply to screenwriting apply to making your novel as tightly woven as possible. Now, I usually only use the Save the Cat method of plotting for my category romances, but the way Blake Snyder demonstrates how you find each character’s greatest fear/weakness and use it again them was eye-opening for me. It might go without saying for some people, but I’d never actually mapped out character motivation on paper before I read this book.

Story by Robert McKee. This is another screenwriting book, but it is downright brilliant. Robert McKee cuts to the heart of plot and character, focusing on tension and ruthlessly removing anything that isn’t moving your story along. If you only pick up one book about writing as a craft, this is the one I would shove into your hands.

There are countless books on writing out there that are phenomenal and, if you talk to five different authors, you’ll get five different books that heavily influenced their journey. That’s the beauty of this industry—and why I’m constantly asking people for recommendations!

6_4 katee Robert_The Marriage Contract_MMNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert begins a smoking hot new series about the O’Malley family-wealthy, powerful, dangerous and seething with scandal.

Teague O’Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family’s name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a “business” alliance, Teague’s ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.

Enjoy an excerpt:

She was so wrapped up in her misery, she didn’t realize she was no longer alone until a rough male voice cut through her spiraling thoughts. “Want a smoke?”

Callie opened her eyes to a man offering her an opened pack of cigarettes. He was attractive in a brutish sort of way, his jaw square, cheekbones to kill for, and shoulders filling out his expensive suit in a way that didn’t look the least bit comfortable.

“I don’t smoke.”

“Now’s as good a time to start as any.” He shook one out and handed it to her, and then lit the one dangling between his lips. “I hear we’re going to be married.”

This was Teague O’Malley? She tensed, but he seemed content to stand in this dark alley with her and share his cigarettes. Now that she knew what to look for, she recognized the same coloring that his father and older brother had—sun-darkened skin and near-black hair. His dark eyes weren’t as cold as Seamus’s, but that didn’t comfort her in the least. All it meant was that he was a better liar than his father was. “What do you think about that?”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter what either of us thinks, does it?”

“No, I suppose it doesn’t.”

She wanted to know why he’d followed her out here—if there was something he’d wanted to say that couldn’t be said in front of both their combined families—but he seemed content to enjoy his cigarette in silence. Maybe he’d needed the respite as much as she had?

All too soon, it’d be time to step back into the chaos and let the events neither of them could stop begin, but right now they were just two strangers, sharing a moment of silence.

Can we really be strangers if we’re already engaged?

She pushed the thought away, determined to enjoy this stolen moment in time before reality set back in. By the time she finished her cigarette, her hands had almost stopped shaking. She crushed the remaining bit under the toe of her sky-high heels and turned for the door.

Only to find her way blocked by Teague.

He was taller up close, well over six feet, and broader as well. The man looked like a bruiser, which was fitting because it was exactly what he was. He stared down at her with beautiful dark eyes, and her demand that he get out of her way died in her throat. While she was debating her options, he reached up, quick as a snake, and snagged the silk scarf around her neck. She made a grab at it, but it was too late.

Teague took a step closer, and then another, backing her against the wall, his eyes narrowing at her neck. “Show me.”

“Leave me alone.” Was that her voice, weak and wavering? She took a shuddering breath, all her hard won calm disappearing. “Get out of my way.”

He kept going as if he hadn’t heard her, stopping less than an arm’s reach away. God, he seemed big this close up—bigger than Brendan, bigger than her brother had been. He cupped her chin, his grip painless but completely unmovable, and tilted her head back to bare her neck. “Who hurt you?” There was a promise of violence in every line of his body.

“No one.”

“Now, I may not be the smartest man in the world, Callista, but I know what the imprint of a man’s hands on a woman’s neck looks like.” His thumb moved, tracing the line of Brendan’s fingers that she could still feel digging into her skin. Teague’s touch didn’t hurt, though. It felt…almost good.

She swallowed, the move pressing her throat more firmly against his thumb. “It won’t happen again.”

“You’re right. Because I’m going to kill the bastard.” He kept stroking her skin, his touch doing strange things to parts of her body that weren’t anywhere near her neck. “Tell me his name.”

She wouldn’t, even if the man who’d hurt her wasn’t already dead. Even in their messed-up world, murder was a last resort—something to be avoided at all costs—not something you did for a woman you barely knew. “No.”

“Your father hasn’t been keeping what’s his safe.” Another stroke, this one closer to her jawline. “That’s his mistake—one I won’t be making as well. His name, Callista.”

She’d never considered herself one to crack under pressure, but this man put his hands on her and spoke in that quiet, confident way that promised violence to anyone who touched her, and she was dangerously close to losing control. Which kind of control was up for grabs, so she went with the least likely to reveal her secret.

She kissed him, her heels giving her enough height that she barely had to go up on her toes. Her lips brushed his and for one interminable second she was sure neither of them took a breath.

That was all it took.

He let go of her throat to cup the back of her head, and then she was in the middle of the single most devastating kiss of her life. His tongue stroked hers, claiming her mouth—her body—as his own. His hands stayed in place even as he continued the assault on her mouth, his touch headier than the nicotine. She arched against him, tilting her head to allow him better access, and he growled in approval.

Whatever she’d expected from this kiss, it certainly hadn’t been desire. Though desire was too tame a word. She’d felt desire before, and this wasn’t it. This was…need. All-consuming need that devoured everything in its path, leaving only destruction in its wake.

About the Author:6_4 Katee RobertKatee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back. Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way-as it often does-and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published. Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people? She now spends her time-when not lost in Far Reach worlds-playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Buy the book at Amazon, B&N, iBook, GooglePlay, Kobo, or BAM.

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