The Rebel’s Hero Synopsis

trh_smallDear Reader,

I kept with my ROW80 goals again this week, yay! I hit 750 words, and in so doing, changed an aunt to an uncle, rewrote sections of three chapters, and wrote the first draft to the back cover copy, as shown below. I’d love your feedback! I styled the back cover content on the back covers I’ve seen from other historical romance authors who went back to rewrite a beloved story.

The common way for authors to address the fact that the book in hand is a rewrite includes making it a personal letter from the author, explaining the history of the book, and giving a synopsis for new readers who don’t know of the original version. Have I covered my bases?

Dear Reader,

I began The Rebel’s Hero as a rewrite of my high school senior thesis, a Civil War romance called Catching the Rose. The original was written with all the innocence and energy of a seventeen-year-old. I was flattered and gratified that so many readers picked up Catching the Rose, not expecting a book by a teenager, but a first serious attempt at being an author.

After publishing my second book, Haunting Miss Trentwood, my thoughts drifted to Catching the Rose. I itched to begin it again, this time with a tighter plot structure and deeper character motivations. Out of that reworking came The Rebel’s Hero.

When Tempest Granville’s step-father announced he was marrying her off in between slurps of soup at dinner, she knew right then that her home was no longer a safe haven from the impending war between the states.

The night of a successful slave smuggling mission leaves Daniel Ritter exhausted, but jubilant. When a bedraggled Tempest appears on his doorstep, her presence does more than spark alarm. Suddenly Daniel is having visions of his past, the very past he has struggled to reclaim memories of for nine years.

Join Tempest and Daniel as romance flares, the war begins, and urgency builds as they realize Daniel’s missing memory is the key to a wicked and heartbreaking family secret.

Happy reading,

Belinda Kroll

Intrigued? Subscribe to the newsletter to receive a free, pre-release ebook copy of The Rebel’s Hero once it is ready for publication.

Love or Lack Thereof Progresses

Dear Reader,

And so I write my second check-in for Round of Words in 80 Days. I know this is supposed to be the writing exercise that remembers you have a life, but goodness, it’s still tough because I expect so much of myself.

Love or Lack Thereof goals

  • Weeks 1+2: Edit short stories 3, 4, and 5

Over the weekend I completed the edits for another short story for Love or Lack Thereof, the anthology of poems and short stories I will be releasing in February. I’ve determined the book will be in two sections: Sweet and Savory. I determined the order of the stories that are ready for professional editing, etc.

I am starting to kind of freak out because I want the anthology in my editor’s hand by this weekend. I’m participating in a startup weekend event beginning Friday evening which lasts until Sunday afternoon. Which means writing this upcoming weekend is out. Argh! It’s frustrating how my professional life conflicts with my writing life. I have to change my goals for this week yet again.

Fingers crossed I don’t stress myself out trying to get this anthology to Cindy (my editor). She’s already booked for late January and all of February. Gah!

Catching the Rose goals

  • Week 2: Finalize updated blurb, tightened outline

I have completed the blurb, I’m fairly pleased with it. However, I think I’ll have to drop the other goal of writing 750+ words a day until I complete work on Love or Lack Thereof. No outline work will be done until LOLT is done. The new blurb is available below for your enjoyment, however.

CATCHING THE ROSE

Accustomed to getting her way as a privileged southern belle, Veronica Vernon is outraged when her step-father arranges a marriage to her childhood bully. Desperate for a way out, Veronica runs north in search of her childhood love, Jonathan, to convince him to marry her instead.

Intrigued by similarities between her memory of Jonathan and the description of her friend’s cousin, Veronica ventures into Yankee territory only to find Brad Williams is nothing like Jonathan. But that won’t stop Veronica from trying to convince her step-father otherwise!

Refusing to let others run her life for her, Veronica embarks on a headstrong quest to find her Prince Charming before war takes him from her forever.

Belinda Kroll crafts a tale of lost love and determination during the exciting first year of the American Civil War.

Thoughts?

Check out how the other Round of Words in 80 Days writers are doing this week.

Rewriting a Back Cover Blurb

Dear Reader,

It’s time for the first check in for Round of Words in 80 Days. I have two projects for this first week:

Catching the Rose goals

  • Week 1: Finalize new blurb

Well, I’m making progress on the new blurb for Catching the Rose. I’ve written and rewritten it four times so far and I’m still not pleased with it. That’s ok though, because I have until Saturday to wrap it up, which I think I’ll be able to do. This has been more difficult than I expected. I haven’t touched this story since I published it seven years ago. As I was in high school when I published it, I never went through the motions of making marketing materials like a tag line or back cover blurb.

At its core, Catching the Rose began with the question, “What happens when a southern belle’s childhood Prince Charming grows up to be a Yankee?” What makes the story fun is that the “Prince Charming” character has no idea he is anyone’s prince charming in the first place, and is fairly resistant to the idea.

The existing tag line is…

It was her responsibility to marry as her family wished, but she never lost hope of finding her childhood love.

That is still true. I want to shift my thinking for the rewrite, though, so I’ve made a tag line just for me…

A southern belle embarks on a headstrong quest to find her lost Prince Charming before war takes him from her forever.

I like this because it has more action, and reveals Veronica to be the assertive young spitfire we all know and love.

The biggest issue with writing back cover blurbs is how to reveal enough—but not too much!—of the plot to intrigue readers. It took me a week to write the back cover blurb for Haunting Miss Trentwood, and we’re only at Wednesday, so I’m fairly confident I’ll have a blurb I like by Saturday for Catching the Rose.

I need to focus on setting the scene and adding intrigue at the end so readers think, “Ooh. Wonder what that means?” So difficult.

Love or Lack Thereof goals

  • Weeks 1+2: Write 750 words a day

I am not writing 750 words a day on the short story anthology because of other things going on in life. I already have first drafts for each of the short stories I want to include in the anthology. So it was perhaps kind of silly to say I want to write 750 words when in actuality, it’s more like I need to be editing the stories. Haha! Week One and I’m already changing my goals.

  • Weeks 1+2: Edit the four new short stories

I don’t know what I was thinking about the 750 words a day since I’m not making new content, I’m cleaning old-ish content.

Check out how the other participants are doing! Since I’m a sponsor, I’ll be checking in on the participants whose submission number ends in a 7 (7, 17, 27, etc).

Time for My Second Chance

Dear Reader,

Joe Konrath says the best part about self-publishing is if something isn’t working, you can always redo it. As much as we like to think a book that has been released to audiences is a finished product, we authors know better than that.

I wrote Catching the Rose (CTR) when I was in high school. Seven years later, I released my second book Haunting Miss Trentwood (HMT) with awesome reviews. CTR has made some sales since its re-release in July, but nothing compared to HMT.

This information, coupled with the fact that Wulfshado took a look at it and had so many suggested changes within the first couple of pages has convinced me.

I must rewrite CTR if I want it to get the attention I think it deserves.

Perfect timing, because I’m a sponsor for the Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), led by Kait Nolan. Below are my goals for the first round of eighty days, which should keep me busy as I’m working on two projects.

Round of Words in 80 Days Goals

Catching the Rose goals

  • Week 1: Finalize new blurb
  • Week 2: Finalize updated, tightened outline
  • Weeks 3+: Write 750 words a day

Love or Lack Thereof goals

  • Weeks 1+2: Write 750 words a day;
  • Week 3: Send clean draft of anthology to my editor, Cindy
  • Week 4+5: Review edits, prepare for publication
  • Week 6: Release for publication, just in time for Valentine’s Day

The thing with ROW80 is that if I accomplish all my goals, or find that my goals are too much for whatever reason, I can change them. I think this is a manageable effort, though. I’m excited to make CTR more into the Civil War-based fairy tale I had imagined originally. And I’ve never released an anthology before, so I’m interested to see how that goes, too.

Seems like 2011 is going to start with me as a busy little bee. All the best,

Belinda