Tag Archives: action adventure

New today: RELEASING THE CATCH by Jeny Heckman

One of my favorite writers has a new book out TODAY!!! Award-Winning Author Jeny Heckman’s new book, RELEASING THE CATCH drops today and she graciously gave me a sneak peek at it…

Women. Crab fishing. The Bering Sea. Some men don’t think they belong together. One woman wants to prove them wrong.

Mack Carter’s life is circling the drain. When he hears about how lucrative the fishing industry is in Alaska, he decides to try his luck on the frigid Aleutian Chain. There he meets, Nels Pearson, who teaches the younger man how to be a crab fisherman on the deadly Bering Sea and becomes the friend and father-figure Mack’s never known. Carter must learn to navigate both the foreign world on the water and home life on land, finding a tenuous balance with both.

Through circumstances beyond her control, Faith Pearson is inserted into the dangerous life the men live in. To most fishermen in this high-velocity world, women onboard a crab boat is a bad omen. Faith finds life on the sea difficult to maneuver, not just the conditions but the men and superstitions she must also endure.

When tragedy strikes her life again, Faith strives to overcome great obstacles, and prove herself worthy mentally and physically, as she navigates self-discovery in a man’s bleak yet adventurous world. She also discovers lessons about love from a delicious new co-worker and just how deadly the Bering Sea can be when her own life is on the line, possibly never releasing her from the catch.

Releasing the Catch, is a story of fathers and daughters, letting go of the past, self-discovery, and overcoming odds made harder simply for your gender. It’s the story of two individuals at different times in an intertwined and extraordinary life, with so much to teach one another.


“Oh no, I think we’re good here, thanks sweetheart,” Andy said, mistaking her for the waitress and darted a questioning gaze back at the men. “Unless anyone needs another round?”

Faith drew in a deep, irritated breath, lifted her chin and peered down her nose at Jake, who gazed back with a hesitant twitch at the corner of his mouth. Oh, yeah, he’s getting it. At least she’d give him marks for some intelligence.

Squaring her shoulders, she shifted her eyes back to Andy and stuck out a hand. “Actually, I’m Faith. Mack says you’re looking for a seasoned deckhand to help you through the winter, that, right?”

Confused, Andy’s stared first at her face, then her chest region, then at her outstretched hand. In complete bewilderment, he checked Mack’s face, then his brother’s.

Jake, long legs sprawled out in front of him, an elbow on the table, and hand supporting his chin, serpentined a slow, genuine smile across his face. He flicked his index finger up over his lips and used only his eyes to measure his brother’s reaction. Since the skipper didn’t appear to snap out of it any time soon, his younger brother outstretched his own hand, and shifted his gaze back up to Faith.

“That’s right. I’m Jakob Rassmussen, deck boss. You can call me Jake. This is my brother, Andy, he’s capt’n.” They shook hands and Jake returned his observation to Andy, whose face started to turn colors. A gurgle of laughter escaped from the younger man, before covering it up with a cough. Mack never stopped peering into his drink.

“Oh, for chrissake!” Faith said, disgusted, and all three men jerked their attention toward her, as if slapped. “My father,” she gestured at Mack. “Is an asshole. It’s not his fault, he was just born that way. He didn’t tell me about any of this,” -she waved a hand at them and the table- “Until I got here, a little over an hour ago.”

She flicked an accusatory glare at Mack, who had the excellent sense to stay quiet. “Look, I don’t have time for any of your good-ole-boy superstitious bullshit. I’ve lived on a crab boat since I was eight-years-old. I became a full share deckhand at sixteen, and I’ve worked as deck boss and as an engineer.” Her glare now fell on Jake, who stared back in fascination. “I just left my last job because it was time for a change, not because I couldn’t hack it. I work well on the hydraulics, stack, rail, bait, wherever the hell you want to put me. I’m a fast learner and I don’t expect to find your boat to be the space shuttle. Either you want me or not. I’ll be on the pier tomorrow at seven a.m., so you have the night to decide. Right now, I’m tired and I want to go to bed.”

She grabbed Jake’s drink, the closest and fullest, with three fingers of some strange, yet horrific alcohol, she discovered. She drained it in one large gulp, turned on her heel and left the bar. All three men stared in her wake, open-mouthed. Her stomach roiled by the time she got upstairs, and puked.

“What the hell was in that?” she asked the room at large. The idiot didn’t even have the sense to drink whiskey. She shuddered with disgust and lifted a hand to her mouth at the lingering taste of vomit and licorice, before sitting down next to the toilet, and flinging her arm across the closed lid. At least the first pissing match went to her. She reached up and grabbed her toothbrush off the counter, smiled for a few seconds, then put a hand back to her stomach as it roiled again, lifting the lid for another digestive pyrotechnic experience.

Get your copy here: Amazon

A little about Jeny…

Jeny Heckman is the award-winning author of the paranormal-romance series, Heaven & Earth. When she isn’t writing, you will find her boating with her husband, enjoying game night with her kids, cocktails with her friends, getting frustrated with photography or dreaming and plotting her next adventure. Jeny lives in Washington state with her husband of over twenty-eight years.

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Filed under Writing

Are you driven by plot? And I don’t mean in the literal way…

Plot driven stories are just that: stories that are fundamentally about the…wait for it…Story.

The world is going to blow up unless the hero can save it and defeat the evil scientist. The largest diamond in the world has been stolen and the heroine needs to get it back. An island volcano in the Pacific Ocean is primed to blow and destroy half the world. Who or what can stop it? There’s a contagion on the rampage killing off half the world’s population.

All of these stories are plot driven. Something is going to happen ( or already has) and something needs to be done about it. There’s a lot of action, a lot of external maneuvering of the cast of characters, and hopefully a resolution of the problem in the end. There isn’t what you find in character driven stories – namely the deep internal conflicts, the emotional descriptions and the development of internal/external changes of the main characters.

The easiest way for me to remember the difference between character driven and plot driven stories is this way: In character driven stories, the people ( characters ) change. In plot driven stories the outcomes change, such as, potential earth destruction is now world peace.

Okay, that example was a little corny, but appropriate for this discussion.

In romance, plot driven books are usually the old standard lines, called tropes.  Tropes are  familiar or recurrent themes in stories.  For romances, some – but not all – include: Marriage of convenience, a surprise baby,  damsel in distress, opposites attract, love triangles. Writer Romy Sommer did a great piece on listing romance tropes in an article from 2012, that you can read by clicking on the link with her name. Suffice it to say that any  number of tropes can be categorized as being plot driven. So even in romance, plot can be the motivator for the story.

Before I wrote romance novels I wrote mystery and suspense. These books were totally plot driven. I would come up with the idea first and then get my characters to join in the fun.  I always had to keep the ultimate goal in the forefront of my brain, though,  because it was too easy to start slipping in the emotions and desires of the characters. I needed to save the world, not the individual characters! Once I made the switch to romantic fiction, I was able to do what I loved doing and wish I could have done with the other books: delve into the characters.

Plot drive books have a lot of action. They need to because SOMETHING needs to propel the book forward and keep you turning the pages. Action adventure movies are typically plot driven. Not a great deal of time or effort is put into developing the characters. Instead, the big money is spent on the special effects and the blowing up of things. By the way, I know that last sentence sounds a little snarky,but it’s not meant to be. I actually enjoy action adventure movies. I just don’t enjoy reading them as much as watching them.

So if you’re basically a plot driven writer, good for you!  Keep that action flowing, save the universe and defeat the bad guys.  Or, if you’re plot driven and you write romance, make that surprise baby REALLY a surprise – even to the mom! Save that damsel from the international jewel theft ring. Make those two opposite personalities have to marry to save the family business. Just don’t forget that the ultimate goal once you have written all that is for the happily ever after.


Filed under Characters