Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Blog: Raine Thomas

I was so excited when Raine agreed to write a guest post for me. For months I've been drooling over the covers of the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy, Raine's YA Fantasy/Romance novels. We've been chatting back and forth, constantly interrupted by our "real" lives, for awhile and now she's here, on my blog, sharing a never-before-seen excerpt from her soon to be released novel, Defy.

What could be better than that?


I'll stop rambling and hand this space over to Raine now. Enjoy!

Hello, all. I’m Raine Thomas, a young adult fantasy/romance author and a big fan of Krystal’s blog and her writing in general. It’s a delight to meet you!

*looks around* *nods*

Yep. I can definitely get comfortable here…

I’ll admit that there’s a certain pressure when thinking of guest blog topics. I’ve done my fair share of them, and every time, I find myself tapping my chin in search of The. Perfect. Topic. Much like when I’m writing a book, I never know when inspiration will strike.

Tonight, it struck while I was walking my dog, Poe. I live about seven miles from Walt Disney World, and I can see the fireworks above Cinderella’s Castle from my house. I decided to use my time walking Poe to clear my head and watch the fireworks.

And suddenly—BAM! I knew what blog topic to write.

Fireworks. When considering them in a figurative way, fireworks are essential to telling an effective story. Let’s break down the “firework” aspects of writing to clarify this point. To tell a good, driving (fiction) story, you need the element of surprise, bursts of intense action, attention-grabbing brilliance and a spectacular finale.

Huh. The firework thing kinda makes sense now, doesn’t it?

When writing romance, the “fireworks” in the story take on a slightly different, but no less significant, meaning. In particular, the fireworks in romantic fiction center on the chemistry between the main characters. What good would a romance story be if the couple’s relationship didn’t result in fireworks, after all?

Now, because I write young adult fantasy/romance, I have to balance the “fireworks “with age-appropriateness. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it totally depends upon who you ask.

My target audience is high school age and up. My characters interact in romantic and sometimes sensual ways because I believe that love, in part, involves physical connection. Besides, we all know that teens explore romance and intimacy, so pretending otherwise is rather silly. And that brings me right back to fireworks and their importance in writing.

As a way to further illustrate my point, I’d like to share a previously unreleased sample from Defy, book one in the upcoming Firstborn trilogy about the Estilorians. Warning: this is a love scene that involves some rather “loud” fireworks:

“His hands remained on her shoulders in a firm clasp. She had instinctively reached up and grasped his upper arms when he grabbed her, and she felt the hard muscle of his biceps beneath her hands. Because he was bent over her and his mouth was so close to hers, the memory of her attempted kiss flashed through her head. She had the unavoidable and mortifying thought that she wished he hadn’t stopped her.
She watched his expression change as they continued to stand there staring at each other.

“When you want to kiss someone,” he said, making her realize she had been speaking her thoughts again, “don’t talk it to damn death.”

And then he pulled her against him and captured her mouth with his.

He didn’t kiss her. No, that was far too sedate a term for it. He
claimed her.
This was no gentle brushing of lips against lips. This was an undiluted assault of the senses. This was lips and tongue and heat and urgent, roaming hands. This was erratic breathing, bodies pressed together, skin touching skin, bursts of unbelievable and unexpected pleasure. This was beyond her wildest imaginings.”

Does this scene push the envelope regarding what’s appropriate in young adult fiction, considering my target audience is teens and up? Perhaps. I certainly welcome your thoughts on that.

It’s not a sex scene. What it is, rather, is a passionate kiss that finally brings to bear all of the simmering feelings the two characters have developed for each other throughout the book. If there’s one thing that disappoints me in a book, it’s having all of the build-up without a satisfying conclusion.

In firework terms, that’s like firing a dud. Thus, I do my best to avoid that in my writing. I’m curious what things you as readers and/or writers consider a “dud” in a story. I hope you’ll let me know!

Wow. Who would’ve thought that my nightly venture out the front door would lead to this point? It just goes to show you that every day is an adventure, and we never know exactly where it will take us.

Thanks so much for joining me on this mental journey and indulging my extended metaphor. And thank you again, Krystal, for having me. I’ll leave you all now with the hope that your own journeys today are full of inspiring fireworks!


I don't think that scene was too much at all. Teens are not immune to emotions! Quite the opposite, they seem to be too emotional.

So folks, if you liked Raine's excerpt, check out her current novels. You'll devour them!

Becoming -- Central -- Foretold

You can find more out about the author at her website:


  1. Thanks, Kelly! And thanks, Krystal, for having me along for the ride today. It's been a blast!

  2. Isn't that scene great, Kelly?! Raine is awesome. And I love the pun, Raine!

  3. I'd say the pun was intentional so that I don't look like as big a dork, but it wasn't. *grin*

  4. Hello!!!! *waves* great guest post!! :)

  5. Raine, that scene was awesome!! I don't think it was too much, if anything I thought it was just right!!

  6. Isn't she awesome, JKP? :-)

    The scene was perfect, Jess, like you said. We cannot deny that teenagers have feelings. I know I did!

  7. teenagers...forget them, it's us, the ones with all the boring responsibilities that need to be reminded that kisses like that exist! Nice passage.

  8. There's something to be said about a first kiss! All that build up of emotion.

  9. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and comment, JKP, Jess and Angela! (Krystal, you're going to make my head swell, gal...). ;)

  10. Give me a hot kissing scene over sex in a book any day! Good to meet you, Raine.

  11. Lovely scene! Nice guest post! Awesome that you can have Raine Thomas for a guest post! I love YA with sensual scene any time!

  12. A pleasure to meet you, Emily! Thanks so much for the kind words.

    And, Proserpine, you always make my day! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

  13. Thanks for stopping in Emily and Prosperine! I'm so glad to hear you guys like juicy scenes in YA. I've got a few. Maybe I'll share one on Raine's blog if only my responsibilities would give me a break for a few minutes. ;-)

  14. Hello Ladies! Thanks for hosting Raine, Kystal. I love the way you lead into your excerpt using the Disney fireworks as inspirations. Nicely done. I completely agree, teens have emotions and urges and they shouldn’t be swept under the rug. They are going to be exploring them so we might as well explore them, deal with them, etc. in our writing. If we don’t, they’re going to go find it somewhere. Besides, we all love reading it, don’t we?!

    Great post ladies!

  15. Awesome comments, Debra! Thanks for chiming in. I certainly know that I enjoy reading (and writing) it, so cheers to that!

  16. Krystal and Raine in the same place? Very cool! *waves to both*
    I write and read horror, but for films, tend to race back over to my romantic comedies because of...the fireworks! I might have to start reading the works of Thomas and insert some of that into my reading as well, huh?
    You ladies have a great week and weekend.


  17. Awww, thank you, James! :-) You should definitely check Raine out! Not only is she a great writer, but she's a great friend!

  18. Oh, thanks for stopping by, James! Horror and romance can definitely share the same spotlight on occasion. I think we've all had one of "those" dates...


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