This week, we have R. L. Naquin joining us for her blog tour in support of her latest release, POOKA IN MY PANTRY. POOKA IN MY PANTRY is the second book in her Monster Haven series from Carina Press, which feature an empath named Zoey Donovan, who’s just trying to figure out her powers and still manage the wedding planning business she runs with her best friend.
Please join me in welcoming R. L. to Tynga’s Reviews!
Tell Me How You Feel
by R. L. Naquin
Every urban fantasy heroine has to have a thing. You know, a unique skill or quality. Something she’s better at than anyone else. She might not even know about it herself. That special something might be as simple as a sharp intelligence that helps her think her way out of trouble. Maybe she shifts into cat form, moves objects with her mind, or has fairy blood.
It could be an inherited, wicked-sharp sword she calls Senor Shinyton Prickleblade.
If there’s nothing at all special about her, start to finish, why would we read her story? I can ask my neighbor how her day at work was and save myself the time. I’m sure her story will be every bit as exciting.
In my Monster Haven series, Zoey Donovan is an empath. She feels the emotions of the people (and creatures) around her.
In a sword fight, that’s pretty lame.
While empathy is a pretty crappy offensive skill (second only to the ability to eat Cheetos without getting your fingers dirty), Zoey learns to read a situation in order to handle it better. If you know somebody is yelling at you because they’re afraid of something and not because they’re angry, you can diffuse the situation rather than escalate it.
This poses a huge difficulty from a writing standpoint.
Since grade school, we’ve all heard the mantra “show, don’t tell.” Also, one of the words on the no-no list that authors are given is the word “felt.” (Yes, we have a no-no list which includes words like “just,” “like,” all adverbs ending in “ly,” and any references to “secret gardens” or “throbbing manhoods.”) It’s considered lazy writing to have the main character constantly say she felt sad or angry or nauseated. This is partly because the word “felt” would be overused, but also because it’s telling, not showing. If someone is sad, show it in body language. If they’re angry, make them throw something. We can’t simply write “I felt angry.” Yawn.
But feeling is my heroine’s thing. I could get special dispensation from the Department of Creative License Registration, right? Wrong. I had to get around it.
In order to show you what Zoey feels from other people’s emotions, I subject Zoey to all sorts of physical sensations. Anger might come across as a prickly heat against her face. Fear can ooze across the floor and suck at her ankles. Sadness settles heavy across her shoulders and weighs her down.
Sure. I could have Zoey tell you that somebody is terrified. But that would be lazy. I’m not going to tell you, and neither is she. We’d rather show you.
And then she’s going to somehow take that information and save the world with it. Or at least keep her friends alive.
Not an easy task when the Leprechaun Mafia, The Board of Hidden Affairs, an angry Grim Reaper, three sharks, and a herd of goats are all after her.
So far, nobody’s bothered to ask Zoey how she feels.
For a free short story set in the Monster Haven world (with a bonus peek at the first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry), visit here: Ill-Conceived Magic
Thanks so much for visiting us, R. L., and enjoy the rest of the blog tour!
You can also see the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour button below.
More about POOKA IN MY PANTRY:
A Monster Haven Story, book two
Zoey Donovan–empath, wedding planner, go-to girl for monsters with personal problems–has been marked twice for pickup by Death. On both occasions, Riley the smoking-hot reaper has refused to follow through. For his breach of protocol, Riley is now on probation. For her refusal to die on schedule, Zoey’s right to live is challenged. She will have to undergo a life-or-death trial, but she won’t know when or where it will happen…
Staying alive might not be so difficult if the Leprechaun Mafia hadn’t strolled into town. Now every business owner with the slightest connection to the supernatural community is being threatened with the most appalling bad luck if they don’t pay up. Mirrors are smashed, bodies are dropping, and Zoey’s still got clients waiting for fabric samples.
With a little luck, she might be able to save everyone and still have time for a second attempt at a decent first date with her favorite reaper.
Find out how it began in Monster in My Closet, available now!
And here’s the scoop on MONSTER IN MY CLOSET, the first book in the Monster Haven series:
I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn’t imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I’d seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?
After all, I’ve always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping people–and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course…
There is a tour-wide giveaway for R. L.’s tour:
One (1) person will get a set of Monster Haven ebooks (MONSTER IN MY CLOSET and POOKA IN MY PANTRY)
R. L. is also giving away five (5) e-book copies (winner’s choice of either MONSTER IN MY CLOSET and POOKA IN MY PANTRY)
To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!