Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hearts in the Storm by Elmer Seward: Tens List with Excerpt


A guest post by Elmer Seward

When people ask my why I became a writer, I struggle for an answer.  I think it's because the true answer is the same for any of life's endeavors.  (Why did you become a doctor?  Why did you become a teacher? etc.)  The real answer is, "I wasn't smart enough not to."  Yes, all too often we jump into things without having a clear knowledge of what that thing really is.  I think the better question is, "Why do you continue to write."  Why do you continue to do anything once the 'shiny new toy syndrome' wears off?  Now, after completing my second novel (and starting work on my third), here are my top 10 reasons why I continue to write.


I continue to write because: 

  • I can make up outlandish lies and it's considered acceptable.
  • I can sit and do nothing for hours and blame it on writer's block.
  • I can spend hours rummaging around Internet sites and call it research.
  • I can take a trip to the Outer Banks and call it research. 

  • After telling someone that I'm a writer, I can suffer the long, blank stare followed by the response, "That's nice." 

  • I can yell triumphantly at Word's auto-correct that, "Yes, I meant to write a sentence fragment!" 

  • On a warm Sunday, I can sit out on the deck, sip a cold drink, and listen to music while I stare at a blank word processing screen and call it inspiration. 

  • I can watch my wife's eyes glaze over as I tell her what I've learned about wind and wave action while researching for a novel. 

  • I can tell my wife that I'm thinking about killing off one of her favorite characters only to have her respond, "You better not." 

  • I can read a review of my novel that says, "I couldn't put it down," or "I didn't want it to end," and feel like it was all worth the long hours of agonizing over plot and characterization.



Title: Hearts in the Storm

Author: Elmer Seward

Published: May 2014

Word Count: 35,400

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Content Warning: Mild profanity and “off camera” sexual situations

Age Recommendation: 18+

Struggling with loss and regret, Trista sets out for North Carolina’s Outer Banks, hoping to find peace in her stormy life. Fate and an old golden retriever set her on a path toward healing with an unlikely hero, the man that the locals call “Duck.” Despite his careless and irresponsible behavior, Trista is drawn to him.

Trista discovers that Duck is haunted by the ghosts of his own shattered past. Desperate for help, she is faced with the necessity of placing her hopes and her life in the hands of this man that many blame for the death of his best friend. As Hurricane Renee bears down on the Outer Banks, Trista and Duck drive a wave-battered boat into the teeth of the storm. Each one hopes to conquer the tempest that rages around them and the tempest that rages within.

He was close now. He could see the figure. It was a girl, maybe in her mid-teens. She was flailing her arms, desperately trying to keep her head above water. She wasn't being successful. Alternately, she was choking, gasping, and screaming as her head broke the water. Then she was sucked down again.
As he swam to within feet of the struggling figure, the girl disappeared and did not reappear. He looked frantically for her. He dove hoping to find her. The dark, churning water was murky and obscured his vision. Then he saw her hand just below him. He swam deeper, his lungs burning. She saw him and was reaching toward him. Her eyes were wide with panic. He extended his arm as far as he could. His fingers were inches away. In the next instant, she was swept away in the shifting current. He peered through the darkness, his lungs about to burst. She was gone.

About the Author
Elmer Seward was born and raised along the Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia. Growing up, the cemetery behind his house was his playground. The metaphorical theme of death and rebirth that figures prominently in his novels is probably influenced in some way by the time that his mother heard, through the screened window, a small voice crying for help. Rushing from the house and through the yard, she discovered her all-too-curious six-year-old son at the bottom of a freshly dug grave. In that moment, he discovered that trouble is much easier to get into than it is to get out of. Sometimes we need help getting out of the hole that we jump into willingly.

He is blessed to have a blended family of six children and four grandchildren. He is also the reluctant servant of two crazy dogs, a Maltese and a Japanese Chin. All of these strongly influence the characters and events in his novels; however, his beautiful wife, Mitzi, is the true inspiration for the tender hearted but determined women in his stories.


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