This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Ina Carter will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
See below or Click on "read more" to sign up for the Giveaway.
The Greeks had seven words for LOVE. I felt all of them for ONE MAN…
My name is Lauren, and I was a stolen baby.
They found me in a trailer park in rural Texas when I was eight years old. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but then I had Kevin. He was my everything…
When they returned me to my biological parents, we were torn apart.
My new family desperately tried to fix me, make me forget him… My father kept me on a short leash and controlled every aspect of my life. The one thought keeping me afloat was to find Kevin, but he vanished without a trace.
I searched for him for twelve years, but the man I found was not the boy I lost. He is a college baseball star, tattooed, moody, and dark… And he hates me.
Can Kevin help me defeat my demons, or does he have too many of his own?
read an excerpt...
“The Greeks had seven words for Love, Laurie. And somehow, I know I’ll experience all of them with you… Philautia is the only selfish love and for a long time I didn’t love myself. When I doubted myself, I remembered you, and how you used to look at me. To you, I was a giant, someone who could move mountains and conquer dragons. Even now, you look at me the same way, and I feel stronger in your hands, and want to be a better man…”
He was telling me things that were making my heart hammer in my chest, but at the same time, his fingers were burning fire on my skin, because with every button he undid, he caressed the skin underneath. Kevin was seducing me with his words, and I was melting under his fingers.
“When we were kids, my love for you was Philia – a brotherly love, that innocent feeling you have for a friend. It might have been platonic, but just because you are small doesn’t mean your capacity to love is less. In fact, a child’s love is unbridled, unconditional, the purest form of emotion I can think of… And you and I will always have that… To this day, I feel Philia for you, and I always will.”
Kevin then leaned and placed a kiss over his name on my chest, leaving an imprint more permanent than the engraving on my skin.
“Philia, baby, is also the love of the mind, and it is what makes us feel safe in each other’s presence. With you, I am not afraid to share any of my struggles, and you freed me. I carried so much pain internally, but you took it away…”
Then Kevin took my face between his palms and kissed my cheek, in the same gentle way as the young boy of my childhood did when I was sad – he always kissed the tears away.
about Ina Carter...
Ina Carter has always been an avid reader. She discovered her love for writing at an early age when her first poem was published in a literary magazine at age twelve. As a lifetime collector of inspirational stories, Ina believes that love is the most powerful force in the Universe. She writes in multiple genres – romantic comedies, contemporary and paranormal. Ina lives in Southern California with her husband, two kids, and one very temperamental cat. You can find more about Ina and future book releases at www.InaCarter.com.
Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KQKNZJ
more personal "stuff" about Ina Carter...
Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
With Crimson Snow I wanted to explore the healing power of love. The final idea didn’t come to me at once but evolved organically during the writing process.
A few years ago, I was looking through some old books and stumbled upon one of my childhood favorites - Astrid Lindgren’s “The Brothers Lionheart.”
It was a
heavy story exploring the ideas of loss and grief, something not typical for a
children’s novel. The love those two brothers shared was one that defied death
and reunited them in the afterlife, to embark on another adventure. Initially,
I started writing Crimson Snow based on that premise – a story about two kids
who shared a love so deep that they spent years searching for each other when
fate tore them apart. I wrote the first three chapters, but I didn’t have a
complete plot outline, so I left it unfinished.
At the beginning of this year, I re-read those chapters, and the idea evolved into something else entirely. I remembered from my college classes the Greek philosophical concept that there were seven or eight forms of love we feel. It somehow clicked for me that the love between Kevin and Lauren in Crimson snow was what the Greek’s called Philia - the type of love you feel for parents, siblings, family members, and close friends. I asked myself – Is it possible to feel more than one type of love for the same person? What about experiencing all of them with someone?
I continued writing Crimson Snow with that idea in mind, and at the end of it, Lauren and Kevin’s story stole my own heart. Lauren and Kevin became an expression of what people may call “true soulmates.”
Where do you get your storylines from?
Most of my storylines come from personal experiences or inspired by random events.
For instance, my romantic comedy series “In the dark” came to me at a low point in my life. My family dealt with a serious medical crisis, and as a distraction, we spent days watching reality television and football on the weekends. Somewhere between “The Voice” and the Pac-12 college football season, I started laughing, and the funny idea emerged. I thought - What if those college athletes used the premise behind the singing competition and wanted to meet people anonymously in the dark? Writing Big Gray and laughing at my own jokes was healing and a way to cope with depression.
My paranormal series “The Sodalis” was inspired by my childhood. As a kid, my grandmother used to tell me some scary vampire stories when she got tired of reading fairytales and wanted me to go to sleep. Thanks, grandma! Twenty years later, that mixture of vampire mythology and stories about princes and princesses turned into a modern fairytale about an immortal race fighting the evil Undead.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
I can’t say Crimson Snow was more difficult to write, but it was definitely a different developmental process than with the rest of my books. It was the first novel I wrote without a plot outline, and maybe this is why the story had so many twists and turns. Once I picked up from the initial idea, it took me less than thirty days to finish my rough draft. The story literary poured out of me into the pages. I was so immersed in my fictional world that I wrote for hours, went to bed dreaming of Lauren and Kevin, and woke up in the middle of the night to write more. During the developmental edit, a little bit changed, mostly towards the end of the book. I am extremely grateful to my editor- Jessica Tastet, who pointed out that Lauren’s character arch felt incomplete in my story's first version. I had to agree with her and rewrote the last few chapters, so Lauren found the courage to confront her abusive parents and became the strong and confident woman I wanted her to be.
Do you only write one genre?
When it comes to romance, I write in multiple subgenres – I have a romantic comedy series, Contemporary romance, and Paranormal.
I have a few other projects in development: A YA sci-fi futuristic novel similar to “Divergent Series, “a fantasy novel about the war between seven fictional kingdoms, and a murder mystery about a serial killer in a small rural town.
I am an avid reader and read books from almost any genre, and those sparks ideas for my own novels. Many of my friends have encouraged me to write a memoir because I’d led a very interesting life, and they were fascinated by my stories. Maybe someday? 😉
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
For the last few years, my favorite place to write was my living room couch. When I research for a book, I print out pictures of the places I am writing about or have a “mood board” of visual imagery related to my story. This can include symbolic objects related to the plot and pictures of people I think look like my characters. For instance, for Crimson Snow, I ordered all the books that Kevin and Lauren read and had them spread out on my coffee table, so I can “live” somewhat in their heads.
I write on two laptops. I prefer using Word for PC for my main story, and use my MacBook for design work, formatting, and marketing. I have a degree in Graphic Design, and I create all my book covers, website, and marketing materials.
During this crazy year and COVID quarantine, my favorite place got “invaded” by my kids, and writing on the living room couch became impossible. This motivated me to make a “home office,” where I can lock myself in and write in peace. Our oldest daughter moved out of the house a few years ago for college, so I converted her old room into my workspace. It was perfect because it was like a separate mother-in-law apartment with its own bathroom and separate hallway, which meant two doors separating me from the chaos in the house. It was a strange process to furnish and decorate a room during the quarantine. For the first time in my life, I ordered all of my furniture online, and it was crazy to find the boxes containing my couch on my driveway since the delivery guys followed social distancing guidelines😊
And finally, of course,…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
In middle and high school, I was known as the resident “Queen of Comedy.” It all started in my literature class. Our teacher Mr. Kolev hated literature analysis as much as we did, so he always gave the class a choice between analyzing Shakespeare or a creative writing essay on whatever topic we picked. I remember when he called me in front of the class and asked me to read one of my satirical essays in front of everyone. He was this laid-back guy, who sat back on his chair with legs propped on his desk, and when I started reading my crazy story, he couldn’t hold it and literally fell off his chair, laughing. The whole class found my satire hilarious, and from that moment forward, everyone wanted to read whatever funny thing I came up with. Senior year of high school, I teamed up with one of my classmates, who was a great artist, and we pulled a great senior prank – made caricatures of all teachers, accompanied with my funny poems about them, and plastered them around the school. I never forgot the feeling of bringing joy to others simply by sharing your sense of humor.
I didn’t pursue writing as a career, but I did major in Phycology and Social Studies, which taught me more about human nature and behavior. That initial spark about writing I felt as a teen inspired me twenty years later to start writing again.