Carina Press Author Bonnie Paulson is giving away a book!

UPDATE:  Congrats to Maw25 for winning the copy of BREATHE AGAIN!  Bonnie will contact you with details. 🙂

!I’d like to welcome my friend, Bonnie R. Paulson, whose book BREATHE AGAIN will be released next month by Carina Press.  I asked Bonnie to blog a bit about emotion in contemporary romances.

I’d love to give away a copy of BREATHE AGAIN to one commenter today–there’s a question at the end, but you can comment on anything you want.

Romantic suspense and paranormal romances own a level of intensity to their emotions. Dark, deep, dramatic feelings with highs and lows and rare in-betweens pushed with urgency and fear.

Contemporary romances have the capabilities of exploring the subtle nuances of growing love among responsibilities, day-to-day difficulties and modern conveniences without the drama of fangs, claws or mind-reading (which I’ll be the first to admit I like a bite here and there).

World-building is important in the contemporary style but word count can be used more for scene building since the reader already understands the rules and idiosyncrasies of the time period. Plus, the laws of physics aren’t altered, so we don’t have to worry about the hero sucking her neck for sustenance, instead for pleasure – hello! And the heroine is strong but not enough to break a telephone pole in half. Characters are easier to identify
with… although let’s be honest. I ripped apart a telephone pole last week and no one, not one person, was impressed. I guess it’s been done.

There are still rules in contemporaries. You don’t want to read a book where the heroine sleeps with everything male. Too much sluttiness makes it hard to believe the sexual relation with the hero is special. And the hero doesn’t want to be too roughly physical because then wouldn’t he be physical with her or in jail all the time? And, let’s face it, wooing the heroine is difficult when he’s strapped to anger management classes.

My favorite aspect of contemporaries is the chance to take a controversial subject, spin it and then make my characters live it. Maggie deals with suicide in Breathe Again.

Breathe Again will be released August 22, 2011 from Carina Press.

Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she’s suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend, Ryan Stewart, offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn’t want to like Maggie, not when he questions Ryan’s feelings for her.. But it’s hard to deny the attraction he feels for her when she’s sleeping under the same roof.

Being so close to Brodan awakens something in Maggie, something she never felt during her marriage. But as long as she’s haunted by the past, she can’t open herself up to the future… 


I remembered my promise to stay away. Kneeling beside the pool spotted with lily pads, I pressed my fingers into the soft ground beside the mirror surface. Numerous large fish colored with brilliant orange, white and black highlights shimmered under the water. Lazy swimmers, the beautiful creatures hid in the shadows of the random leaves, the sparkling afternoon light finding their gliding bodies in the dark.

Watching the fish, I avoided being the first to speak. Why waste my time getting familiar when I planned to distance myself the first chance I got? I bit back a laugh. Not that I’d get the opportunity while I joined him on walks to sweet

My hair escaped again from the ponytail and fell past my shoulder. I pushed the mass behind my back.

“You’re part Irish, right?” Brodan’s deep voice fit in with the outdoor surroundings, rumbly and rugged.

“Yep. How’d you guess?” I smiled, lightening the sting my words could bring.

“Your mom or dad?” He stretched his legs out, crossing them at the ankles and relaxing his arm along the backrest.

“Dad.” I stood, feeling mulish for not sitting beside him. Wandering around the water, I asked, “Brodan sounds Irish. Can you claim the luck?”

“Not a lot. Dad drank Guinness, does that count?”

Humor between us, how odd. A few steps and I was beside him, attempting nonchalance.

We sat together, studying the man-made scenery, the silence long yet somewhat comfortable. A fish surfaced, poking its mouth into the air only to disappear into the shadows once more.

“I don’t want to like you, you know?” His quiet voice shattered the calm with more impact than a scream.

My favorite part of writing Breathe Again would be the fight Brodan and Maggie put up against the attraction between them. Sometimes I would laugh and call them both idiots
as I wrote. Other times, I would actually tear up a bit – no one thinks true loves should be apart. 

I was pregnant when I wrote it and tears came easily, but writing a scene at the end, outside the hospital, tore me up, even more than the Allstate commercials I’d been watching.

When you read a novel do you enjoy sad parts throughout or do they create bitterness toward the author?

Thank you so much to Rebecca for allowing me to swing by today. I would like to offer up a digital copy of Breathe Again for a randomly selected commenter today. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks about Brodan. 

BIO:  Inland Northwest bred, Bonnie has a degree in radiology technology as well as multiple experiences in the medical industry. Four children and a terrific husband ground her as they rev around the countryside on their dirt bikes. Food, reading/writing romances and family make up just a small percentage of her favorite things. 

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21 thoughts on “Carina Press Author Bonnie Paulson is giving away a book!”

  1. maw25 says:

    I like the emotional, sad parts in a book. It makes the story more real to me. Plus, without the sad, emotional parts, where is the conflict? Now, I will cry in a book, too if it gets to me. Breathe Again sounds wonderful. Thanks for the post.

  2. Lynn Rush says:

    What a fun excerpt!! I’m not so much into sad parts, but super emotional parts, such as fighting attraction, first kisses, things like that, I really love. 🙂 I just want to fall in love with the character and pretty much everything else will fall into place. Great post.

  3. What a fun discussion with Bonnie. I love sad in a novel. It feels so much more real to me than everything working out perfectly.
    Good luck with your release Bonnie!

  4. Yadira A. says:

    I like getting emotional throughout the story. To me, it makes it all the more unforgettable. Granted I may not re-read the story again, but I am definitely putting that author on my auto-buy list:) Breathe Again sounds incredible… definitely putting it on my wishlist!

  5. maw25: I couldn’t agree more. I love when the sadness is the conflict – not the guns or blood and guts. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the drawing.
    Lynn Rush: I LOVE first kisses. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
    Maggie Fechner: Thanks Maggie, I love realism too. I feel captured by the characters and stories then. Good luck with the drawing!
    Yadira A: Unforgettable is good. Have you ever reread a story that made you cry? I have read a couple when I was looking for that particular melancholy feel. LIke a rainy day. Thanks for the sweet comments. Good luck in the drawing.

    Thanks everyone and thank you a ton, Rebecca, for having me. This was a blast and I love the site. Can’t wait for Claimed!

  6. Amanda says:

    the sad parts make the happy endings, so you have to love those parts too! 🙂 I really enjoyed the excerpt =)

    1. Thanks Amanda! Good luck with the drawing!

  7. Jel says:

    i tend to be angry at first because i dont know why it has to be sad like that, but towards the end i know that there is a reason for the story to be sad or emotional 🙂

    1. Oh, Jel. That makes my heart hurt! 🙂 I totally understand. You know what’s worse? Writing the sad parts. ugh. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the drawing!

  8. Sayde Grace says:

    Congrats on your upcoming release!

    For me I like a little sad, not a lot but just enough so there’s emotional tension between the main characters.


    1. Thanks Sayde, I agree, A little goes a long way!

      Good luck in the drawing and thanks for stopping by!

  9. I enjoy the emotional parts as long as they aren’t overdone. I think they usually make the stories more relatable. Let’s face life isn’t all happy sunshine and rainbows. This isn’t saying life is anything like what happens in books but you know…

    I also think the emotional scenes show the connection between the lead characters and that is what makes a story great to me!

    1. Maria, Thanks for stoppin gby. I wish life was all rainbows, but it’s not and yes, seeing that in books makes them great to read.
      Good luck on the drawing.

  10. Shannon J. says:

    I don’t mind a few sad parts throughout the book. I don’t like overwhelmingly sad books though. I feel books are my escape and I want my escape to fun and something out of the ordinary.

    1. so well balanced! LIke an ice cream sundae. Shannon, you’re my kind of girl! Good luck with the drawing and thanks for stopping by. (it always turns to food with me) 🙂

  11. Brooklyn Ann says:

    Mmm, Brodan sounds yum. I have a love/hate relationship w’ the sad parts in a book. On one hand it’s torture to watch the characters suffer, but on the other, it makes the happy parts so much more worth it!

    1. Brodan is YUM! Good point! Everyone on here has opened my eyes to the significance of the sentimental parts. Love it.

      Good luck, Miss Brook

  12. jwitt33 says:

    I would say as long as the sad parts don’t outweigh the happy parts, I can handle it. I read a book recently that had a good story but I swear, the characters never had any fun! I felt bad because I thought the book had such promise, but in the end I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to because of this. I hope that answers the question 🙂
    jwitt33 at live dot com

    1. Great answer! One thing about romance, all romance, is there has to be good stuff too, you know? you don’t fall for the villain, you fall for the hero and the hero has to be GOOD.

      Good luck with the drawing and thanks for coming by!

  13. Thanks again Rebecca for having me on! I appreciate your hospitality.

  14. Marika Weber says:

    Thank you so much Bonne and Rebecca. I just got back from vacation. I can’t wait to read Breathe Again.