Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Amethyst by Emily Mims 💕 Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Amethyst by Emily Mims 💕 Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)


Deke Gregory has a type – petite, feminine, pliable. His ex-wife was his ideal, but she wasn’t his, obviously. Faced with the realities of joint custody and a family “village” raising his son, Deke sets out to find a woman who ticks all his boxes and thinks he walks on water. Enter Doctor Taylor De Witt: tall, strong, willful, opinionated, and too busy to be bothered with soothing his rough edges. Imagine his surprise when he falls for her – hard.


Taylor De Witt knew she would be a heart surgeon since college. Now a single mother with a schedule that requires roller blades, she has little time for her family, never mind a social life. When she meets Deke Gregory she thinks he’s a Neanderthal – yummy, but from a different era. Little does she know what their mutual attraction will bring, including examining her life to include an everlasting love.

(as featured on Plain Talk Book Marketing)

Creating a Believable Villain

Moriarty. Iago. Lex Luther. Hannibal Lecter. The Wicked Witch of the West. Just the sound of their names brings the thought of evil to mind. These are some of the more memorable of the numerous villains, or ‘bad guys’ if you will, created by skilled authors to pit against the heroes or ‘good guys’ of the story. Villains appear in many different literary genres, from political thrillers to science fiction to mystery to romantic suspense to serious literary work. They can be supposed friend or former friend turned enemy, an ideological opponent, a thug or a psychopath with a bone to pick. They can be a lone wolf or the tip of a much bigger iceberg. They can be thieving or murderous or diabolical. Their ire can be personal or they can hate what the hero stands for. They can be out to destroy the hero personally, financially, or by destroying what our hero loves most. They all have one thing in common-they are up to no good. But they are a necessary foil to the goodness of our heroes and heroines, and a carefully crafted, well-written villain can be just as memorable as the hero or heroine they are created to challenge.
Back in the early days of my career I wasn’t overly worried about creating a good villain. Most of my books were straight romances, and while there was the occasional rotten apple I was not creating true villains in that genre. Even the books with a slightly suspenseful theme did not have a villain as such. But when I decided I wanted to add the elements of danger and suspense into my stories I had to sit down and think about what made an effective villain in literature and how to bring that villain to life. And then I had to figure out how to bring that character into the story in such a way that neither the hero, heroine, or reader knows until the end who their nemesis is nor why they are doing the things they do. This takes some careful plotting-no flying by the seat of one’s pants-and occasionally it takes going back into the story and adding hints and clues that were not included in the first draft.
So what makes a villain in a romantic suspense novel believable? I try to make sure that my villain first and foremost is a villain, not a hero who does bad things or antiheroes such as the Corleones in the Godfather series. My villains have to be doing something evil, something that is going to bring harm to my protagonists or others in the story and they are not to be admired for it. However, it is very important that the villain have a reason for doing what they do. Sometimes having them a thug or a greedy titan is enough, especially if our hero or heroine gets in the villain’s way, but it is infinitely better if the villain has a specific bone to pick with his or her victims. That issue might seem unreasonable to everyone but the villain, but it has to be reasonable to him or her. And it is never enough, at least in a suspense novel, just to declare the villain psychopathic or ‘crazy’. There has to be a reason the villain is what he is and doing what he does.
So what else do I include when I craft the bad guy of the piece? My villains are all smart-scary smart in some cases, and I make sure that they would have the skills to carry out whatever crimes they commit in the course of the story. In an early version of ‘Solomon’s Choice’ my villain Cissy was a vindictive but weak alcoholic dependent on someone else to carry out her nefarious plans. After it was pointed out to me that Cissy as I had portrayed her could not have carried out the crimes she is guilty of I turned her into a cunning, manipulative loner who by guile got others to do her bidding. I make sure the villain has the skill set to carry out the crimes they are perpetrating. (I would not, for example, have a mild-mannered chemistry teacher shooting someone from a hundred yards away or strangling them with her bare hands, but I could and did have her poisoning people with chemicals from her stock room.) A careful matching of character to skill set not only makes the story and the villain more believable but also provides valuable clues to the good guys trying to track them down.
Should a villain have a conscience? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. My villains in ‘Solomon’s Choice’ and ‘Daughter of Valor’ did not. They loved and they grieved and in their minds that made their heinous behavior acceptable. My villains in ‘Never and Always’, on the other hand, do have consciences. They know that they are hurting innocent people and even come out and say that to one another, but make the decision to go ahead and deliberately do things to innocent people in order to destroy the woman they hate. Either scenario works, depending on the context of the story, and in the hands of the right author it’s great fun to watch a villain with a conscience destroyed by his own actions.
A strong hero and heroine deserve an interesting, believable, bad guy, a villain worth besting in the end, and I always do my best to make sure that they get one.

Taylor parked in front of Deke’s house and rubbed her sweaty palms on her skirt. It had been three days since he’d returned from DC and she’d not heard a word No phone calls, no texts, no nothing. He was angry. Not that she could blame him. But she’d had no choice. She’d had a patient who needed her. She’d had a life to save.
The porch light was off, but light filtered through the drawn drapes and she could hear the muted sound of a television. The air was icy and a light layer of snow dusted the ground, but the air was still and the moon was trying to peek out from between the clouds. She rang the bell and was about to ring it a second time when the porch light came on and a minute later the front door opened. Deke stood in the door, barefoot and dressed in sweatpants and a loose T-shirt. He looked through her. “What can I do for you?” he asked as if she were a stranger.
“You can start by letting me in out of the cold,” she said quietly. “We need to talk.”
Deke raised his eyebrow. “Seems to me you said all you needed to say in the text you sent me Tuesday afternoon.”
Taylor’s temper flared, but she tamped it down. “Please, Deke. I want to explain.” “Whatever.” He let her in and shut the door behind her.
She followed him into the living room. He turned off a basketball game and sat down in his recliner, leaving her the ugly sofa. She clenched her hands in front of her as she searched for the words to make him understand. “I’m sorry I missed the ceremony. Was it nice?”
Deke looked at her disbelievingly. “That’s all you have to say? You’re sorry and was it nice? You miss one of the most important things that’s ever happened to me and you want to know if it was nice?”
“What do you want me to say? I missed the ceremony. It nearly killed me that afternoon, knowing I wasn’t going to get to go and that you were going to be angry.”
“Angry doesn’t cover it, Taylor. I invited you to something that meant the world to me and you didn’t give a big enough damn to make sure you could come.”
“I sure as hell did give a damn. I paid for a plane ticket and spent almost a thousand dollars on an outfit.”
“But the bottom line is that you didn’t show up.”
“What could I do? Dr. Sanchez went AWOL and Dr. Sam was in the hospital and the ER called and I had to install an LVAD.”
“You want to know the answer to that?” Deke stood up and faced her. “To start with, you could have had someone besides your flaky newbie and a sick retiree covering for you. Maybe you could have gotten down off your high horse and called one of those inferior cardiologists who might have actually been able to cover for you. Or maybe, just maybe you could have told the ER you were off-call and to call in someone else. But you didn’t do any of that. No, you when you got the phone call you went sailing in and decided that you and only you could save the patient, and to hell with the commitment you’d made to me. How’m I doing?”
Taylor reared back like she’d been slapped. “That’s a shitty thing to say. I had no idea Dr. Sanchez would pull a stunt like that or that Dr. Sam was sick. And I’m sorry I missed the ceremony. But I was not going to risk the life of a seriously ill patient by trusting her to somebody I don’t have total faith in. I don’t care what high horse I’m riding. Jesus, Deke. A woman’s life was at stake.” She twisted her hands together. “A forty-two-year-old single mother with three teenagers to raise. I couldn’t turn her over to the first yahoo who came through the door. Do you have any idea how shitty I felt writing you that text? Do you have any idea how badly I did want to come?”
“Forgive me, but I don’t care who it was and I don’t care how bad it made you feel. Tuesday wasn’t an isolated incident. There’s always somebody’s life at stake. Always somebody who’s going to be more important than me, Charlie, your mother, and sister, who’s getting married,” he roared.
“Fuck you, Deke. My patients have to come first. Every damned time. How would you have felt if Brian had been the one in trouble? Would you have been okay with me turning his care over to someone less qualified so I could catch a plane?”
Deke’s face was mottled with anger. “I don’t know what to say to that. But I know I’ve had enough. I don’t matter to you and I’m tired of it.”
“That’s not true. You know you matter.”
“I know no such thing. You know what Brian said when he heard you weren’t coming? He wasn’t surprised because you do it to Charlie all the time.” Taylor flinched but he went on. “I guess your mother and sister choose to put up with it and poor Charlie has no choice. But I do have a choice and I’m making it. It’s not going to work between us and I’m tired of trying.”
Taylor’s vision was getting blurry. “I’m sorry.” She willed her tears not to fall. “I thought maybe I’d found a man who wasn’t going to insist on coming first all the time.”
“You know, I wouldn’t have minded not coming first all of the time. But I wanted to come first some of the time. You’re not willing to offer even that, and it’s a shame. I thought we could have had something really special.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that I can’t.”
Deke’s lips tightened. “If you really, really wanted to, you would have found a way.”
“I did the damn best I could.”
“No. Actually, you didn’t.”
Taylor felt the tears overflow and run down her cheeks. “I wish you could walk in my shoes for a day or two. See what I see and feel what I feel. You might not be so quick to judge.”
“I’m not judging. I’m stating the truth.”
Taylor swiped at the wet on her face. “I see a different truth.” She stood up. “I hope you won’t use this as an excuse to discourage Brian’s friendship with Charlie. The boys have been good for one another.”
Deke’s lips firmed into a grim line. “I’d never do that.”
“All right, then.” She stood, gathered her handbag and managed to walk out the door without breaking into sobs.
Her tears chilled in the icy wind as she got in the car. He’d refused to understand. He hadn’t even tried. Her dedication to her patients looked like indifference to everyone else in her life. Her absences to care for them looked like neglect. He refused to see how torn she’d been, how badly she’d wanted to go, how disappointed she’d been to have to stay behind.
He could see only the bottom line.
She hadn’t gone.
She rammed the car into gear and backed out of the driveway. She’d tried. She’d done her best and it hadn’t been good enough. Damn, damn, dammit. He’d been right about one thing. They could have had something special.
He’d been bright and funny and wonderful in her bed and out of it. She’d loved every minute she’d spent with him. She loved his laugh, his dry humor, his sharply honed intelligence and the way he made her come apart when she was in his arms. She loved everything about him.
She loved him.
Taylor made it to her driveway before breaking down entirely, tears flooding her eyes as she sobbed for long minutes. She’d fallen in love with him. But she would never be the woman he needed or wanted and still be the doctor her patients needed her to be. It hurt like a son of a bitch to admit, but Deke would be better off going back to the sweet, pretty women he’d favored before she’d come into his life. Sooner or later he’d fall in love with one of them and spend the rest of his life with her.
And she would be better off with no man in her life.
No man would ever be willing to take second place to her patients.


The author of over thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons, she and her husband split their time between central Texas, eastern Tennessee, and Georgia visiting their kids and grandchildren. For relaxation Emily plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele for two different performing groups, and even sings a little. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman—if she’ll just let it.”


Win a $10 Amazon gift card!



  1. Thank you for posting about Wayfarer Resolve! Wayfarer - the first book in the series - is only 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords. Wayfarer Aegis - the prequel - is free on Smashwords with the coupon code UH58J.

  2. Sounds good can't wait to read it.

  3. Nice cover. Hope to read more.

  4. I need more. This is definitely going on my TBR.

  5. No questions - the cover is interesting

  6. Thank you so much for hosting me today. I love to hear from my readers.
    Best, Emily

  7. I love the cover. The colors are beautiful.

  8. This sounds a bit of a comedy with Deke being attracted to women who are completely opposite to Taylor. But if they fall for each other, I would like to know how she handles him and his Neanderthal ways.

  9. The book cover is gorgeous! Made me want to read this book without reading the synopsis! I enjoyed you guest post Thanks so much for sharing your words and for offering a giveaway.


PLEASE NOTE: I do not moderate comments, but some go to Spam anyway. Rest assured, I check regularly and will publish non-Spam comments shortly!