Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hostile Takeover VBT

P.I. Bellamy Vale isn’t your everyday investigator. Moonlighting as Death’s earth-bound envoy, he specializes in the weird, wacky, and slightly unhinged.

When a mysterious beast savagely mauls random residents of Cold City, the police assume that these are the killings of a rogue wolf. But experienced private investigator, Bellamy Vale, is unconvinced.

Ordered by Death herself to investigate, Vale has no choice but to obey, for his boss is not someone to disappoint—if he wants to keep breathing, that is.

With friend and computer hacker Zian, nosy journalist Candice Kennedy, and homicide sergeant Melanie Ramirez by his side, Vale has no choice but to end the killings or face the wrath of the demon who holds his life in her hands.

I’d just got out of the shower when she showed up. Same entrance as usual. One second she wasn’t there; the next, she sprawled languidly on my bed. That always gave me the creeps. And how in all the hells could she always have such perfect timing? But I knew better than to question how she appeared from nowhere, disappeared without a trace, or knew the things she knew.

We were old acquaintances and she had seen into my soul and beyond. I had no problem with her seeing my nakedness. And even if I did, I was too worn down to care anyway. I flicked the bedside table lamp on, walked past her, ass-naked, and reached for a shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Someone else may have tried to educate her on social behavior, but I’d long ago given up on the hope that she would ever come to grips with a concept as trifling as privacy.

“I wasn’t expecting to see you tonight,” I said as I shrugged the clothes on. My sore shoulder protested and I winced.

“Why would you?” she replied with a slight accent that was impossible to place.

I glanced at her for clues. Her hair was loose and dark brown again. She had a little makeup on, looked to be anywhere between twenty-five and forty. Her feet were bare and she wore a long and oh-so-thin black dress.

I recognized the look. It was the one I’d dubbed “the Mediterranean” and I knew what it meant. She sat up and her gaze darkened to a coal shade as she took a good, long look at me.

How to Build a Story

When I outline a new story, the characters are always at the centre of it all.

Some people are more focused on events, or specific plot points that they want to see happen, but for me it’s always the characters first: who are they, where are they (psychologically, in their personal life) and where are they going (still talking on an emotional level here).

For each main character, I define an emotional goal (point A/point B style)
          i.e. At the start of the story, a kid (lets name him Johnny) is scared of going into the basement. At the end of the story, Johnny isn’t scared anymore.

Craft the path your characters will have to take to get from point A to point B.
          i.e. Johnny will have to enter the cave, he has to find the incentive to do it, the courage to do it, and only when he has entered the cave will he understand that there is nothing of which to be afraid.

Make the path a real path. Throw some rocks to trip over, some trees to contour, some indicators to follow.
          i.e. Johnny’s friend Melissa drops by, she cuts her finger with a knife while both kids bake a pie. It’s Sunday, all the shops are closed; the doctor’s out of town at a seminar; oh and the story takes place on a desolate island so the closest human being lives some 50 miles away. Johnny’s mum told him one day that there’s a first-aid kit in the basement. Johnny’s older brother has told him many stories about the monster that lives in the basement.

Congratulations, you now have the backbone of your story. Time to add some muscles to those bones, if you want your story to be able to walk.
          i.e. Johnny’s got a thing for Melissa. He doesn’t really understand it, but there are butterflies dancing in his belly when he looks at her. The pie will be an apple pie, because it’s Melissa’s favourite. Melissa likes Johnny too, but she thinks he’s not mature enough for her. Johnny always tries to impress her, he wants to be her hero. They decide to put cinnamon on the apple pie because that tastes better. If Johnny fixes Melissa’s finger, she will think highly of him and she might decide to give him a peck on the cheek, and maybe hold his hand. Johnny’s older brother is a douche. There’s no monster in the basement.

Time to flesh it out. It’s time for you to write. Take your ideas and string them together with some nouns, some verbs, some adjectives (to use sparsely) and some adverbs (even more sparsely).

It’s alive!!!! It stands, it walks, it dances the conga. Okay, you may need to give it a good shave, trim its hair a little, cut its nails, brush its teeth and put some clothes on its back (just imagine how scary Frankenstein’s creature dancing the conga would look like). In other words, edit, edit, edit, edit some more, and then craft a nice cover.

Your book is all grown up now, time for it to leave the nest and enter the real world. Get a handkerchief to dab at that tear falling from the corner of your eye, and start getting busy on the next one.

I sincerely hope this can help some of you. I’m not the best to explain stuff. The process is clear in my head, but getting it out in words, is difficult (and the irony of that statement and my being a writer is not lost on me). But I guess, what it boils down to for me, is this: characters and emotions.

Invent likeable characters (they don’t need to be perfect; if they’re humans, they’re bound to have flaws) and make them feel real (make them fall in love, make them ache, make them happy, make them sad).
If your characters are compelling enough, people will care about them. They will experience the emotions alongside them and they will thank you for it.

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Official Website: www.cristelle-comby.com
Twitter: @Cristelle
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Cristelle-Comby/e/B00EAWEODS/


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. I enjoy getting to read about books we had not known about previously for my family. We have found some great ones through these tours so thanks so much.

  3. Sounds like a great book! Best wishes on your tour.