Tag Archives: Series Novels

A visit with my good friend and author, Gina Leuci

I am so pleased today to have one of my favorite people, favorite authors, and much-loved NHRWA chapter-mate, Gina Leuci, visiting me! She’s got a brand new book out from The Wild Rose Press and she’s here today to give us the 411 about it. CAPTIVE HEARTS is the continuation of last year’s release CAGED SOULS – a book I devoured in one afternoon because I simply could not put it down!!! I’m planning to free-up another afternoon for CAPTIVE HEARTS as soon as it downloads on my Kindle! Here’s Gina – show her some love and support, peeps!

Thank you, Peggy, for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Captive Hearts, book two in my Well of Lies series. This story was incredibly fun to write. The characters spoke to me constantly, and there were days when I would be at my day job with the next scene forming in my head, that I would grab scraps of paper to get the proper wording down while it was fresh so I could go home and write late into the night. I got to the point where I was afraid to write anymore because the story had become so massive that I was way over my word count, but my critique group told me to keep writing and let the story out, editing would come later. They were right, of course. In the end, there was a natural place to split the book at the middle of the story.

First a quick recap: in Caged Souls, we meet Grace and her friends who decide to go on a summer internship from their hometown in Vermont to a farming community in Pennsylvania, where they believe they will be living off the grid – no phones, no internet – for a summer working farms and playing with horses. When they arrive in the town of Wellington, gates lock behind them and they are forced to wear electronic tracking braces and Grace is quick to realize she is trapped and not allowed to leave. Despite the attention and pursuit of the Town Manager’s son, Grace finds herself attracted to the Police Chief, Caleb, whose job is to keep her from going home. At the conclusion of Caged Souls, Caleb agrees to help Grace to escape the locked community.

So that brings us to Captive Hearts, which starts where we left off. Despite the promise of a return home, Grace and Caleb are very quick to discover that the members of the town council will go to any and all lengths to keep those inside the gates from leaving. Without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that security is increased and even the police chief is put onto high security watch, making escape for either of them near impossible. Being forced to live in close proximity, the two fall in love, but they both know Grace needs to go home to her family in Vermont, and Caleb has his own family behind those gates. Happily ever after seems an impossibility for them.


CAPTIVE HEARTS by Gina Leuci ( A Well of Lies, Book Two)


Grace Adams has discovered the true reason she was brought to the gated town of Wellington. Now she wants to leave more than ever. With the security level of the town raised to fortress level she is forced to marry the town’s police chief. Hoping to gain the trust of the townsfolk, they pretend to make their marriage look real. It isn’t long before their game of deceit and reality blur together.

When Police Chief Caleb Wellington returned to his hometown, he had his own reasons for increasing the town’s security. Now, he sees the town for what it is: a prison. His relationship with Grace opens feelings he hasn’t had in a while. The last thing he wants to do is say goodbye. But he made a promise to get her home and he is a man of his word.


Caleb shifted again as he reached over and took another sip of tea. “I’ve been giving that some thought. Do you remember what you said to me on your second day here?” He shook his head. “Probably not, you were stoned. Anyway, you said you needed to pretend to fit in so no one would know you planned to escape.”

I remembered making that plan with Jake, I didn’t remember spilling that to the chief.

He continued. “I think we should pretend to get along. Build trust. Act as though we are trying to make our marriage work.”

I swallowed, but had no saliva left. I grabbed my tea and gulped down the now tepid, bitter liquid. “How far are you planning on taking the farce?”

“Don’t go down that road, Grace,” he said softly. “You know I won’t disrespect you.”


About the Author:

Gina Leuci started reading romance at the age of thirteen and never stopped. She met her soul mate on a blind date and married him – not once, but twice: they eloped then had a church wedding, giving them two anniversaries to celebrate. They live in Southern New Hampshire with their son who makes them laugh every day, and two dogs who vie for control as queen of the residence.

Visit Gina at: www.ginaleuci.com or facebook: www.facebook.com/GinaLeuciAuthor

And look for book 1, CAGED SOULS

Plus, here’s my review of  Caged Souls. And a spoiler: it’s a 5star review!!!



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Character? Plot? Setting? What drives your writing?

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I’ve been re-reading some of the books I consider ‘Bibles’ for writing and writers. One of them is Karen S. Wiesner’s book Writing The Fiction Series . In it, she sets forth the mechanisms you can use for writing a series of books. The series can be based on the characters that reappear in each book, they can revolve around a quest that threads through each book, whatever connects them all can be considered a continual series.

One of the questions she asks the author to think about when envisioning a series of books is whether they are character, plot or setting driven, and which format the author himself/herself uses. This got me thinking about they way I write my books. In the past I did mostly stand alones, or one and dones. The story ended on the last page. Once I started writing romance novels, I realized there were so many fun and wonderful characters  drifting on the page that had their own stories, that I knew I needed to start writing them down. I currently have two separate series in production, both involving multi-member families and story lines. So, to answer the question are they character, plot or setting driven, I’d need to say character for the most part. Although all three facets must come into play for a cohesive and interesting book, most of the time when I write a romance I find my characters first and move through their development above all else.

The basic – and I mean BASIC – plot line of every romance novel is that the hero and heroine get together in the end, find that they love one another, and live happily ever after ( HEA ). Like I said: basic. Most romance plots are really much more than that, but if you start with that core nugget, you are golden. In both of the series I am currently working on, love and dependence on family is the central theme. Mixed into that theme are various subplots and  topics dealing with stalking, cooking, television  production, ice skating and veterinary medicine.

I know. But, it’s me, so remember that.

Family stories are great to write about because there are so many varied dynamics in each one. Birth order always plays a big role for me with my characters. Since I am an only and married a man with a clan, I love the idea of who is what in the family food chain. Which sib is the closer? Who is the baby – and it doesn’t necessarily mean the last to be born. Which kid is the pleaser? The go-between? The fighter? The people pleaser? And where do they fall in the order of their  birth? With a large family, you can find so many different ways to tell each individual’s love story and how it effects the family as a whole unit.

For the next several blogs I’ll be breaking down each facet : character, plot and setting –  for how to develop a book series, with some advice from Ms. Wiesner thrown in along the way.


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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance