Monday, August 22, 2016

My Inspiration Behind Rapid Falls

Franschoek, South Africa
So many of you have commented how much you love Rapid Falls, the setting for my Keepers series. I love that my fictional town felt so real to you and that many of you cared enough to get in touch with me to share that.  Thank you!

I recently chatted to Emma from Star Crossed Reviews about the town that inspired Rapid Falls but as I frequently get asked about this, I'm re-posting it here.

I knew when I started plotting my Keepers series that the setting would be as important as my characters. I envisioned a small town with a small group of people set within a beautiful valley.

My character, Jenna, from The Keepers: Ethan summed it up perfectly:

“A peaceful, close-knit town where everyone was up in everyone's business and things like home-baked pie, honesty, and solid friendships still existed.”

Throughout the books, I used multiple settings in an attempt to keep it interesting and fresh. New York, New Orleans and in the final book in the trilogy, a fictional world called Ameera.

But despite these exciting settings, my characters always returned home – to Rapid Falls. A fictional small town set in a valley surrounded by mountains, vineyards and natural beauty. It’s familiar – to my characters as well as my readers – and it’s home. My Keepers own a wine estate, complete with the rows of vineyards and the beautiful, old homestead. They specialise in the production of Ice Wine and come from a solid generation steeped in history and meaning, so this setting seemed perfect for them.

Also, it provided a lot of opportunity for creepy scenes and characters – bridges, forests, tunnels etc. and of course, the isolation that comes within these settings. I live in the mountains, surrounded by forests and dams and magnificent sunsets on surrounding wine farms so this setting felt very natural to write too.

I don’t live in an isolated village like Rapid Falls, my town is much bigger but I drew a lot of inspiration from a small town in Cape Town a few hours away from me – Franschoek.

Set within a valley, the town consists of about 15 000 people and was established in the late 1600’s. It’s known for its annual festivals like the Bastille Festival, Champagne Festival and the SA Literary Festival.

Surrounding the town are many wine estates with rolling hills of vineyards that not only add to the beauty of the town but also produce magnificent wines and champagne. Many of the farms still have their original buildings or farm houses on them, many of which are the traditional Cape Dutch houses.

The town itself has a charming main road consisting of quaint gift stores, a variety of restaurants, art galleries, book stores, and coffee shops.

So although Rapid Falls is fictional, I frequently envisioned this small town as the basis for my setting. I developed this concept into an imaginary home steeped in magic and folk lore. Then I added three hot brothers, three lovely heroines, a few villains, danger, secrets, three beautiful love stories and an epic adventure!

Thanks for reading.
Rae Rivers

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Release Day for The Keepers: Ethan!

FINALLY, after months and months - years, considering when I started this series - of plotting, planning and hard work, it all comes together today as The Keepers: Ethan is released into the world!

I'm hopping with excitement to share this story with you - not only because it's well, Ethan's story, but also because it concludes my Keepers series (which I know many of you have been waiting for!).

I've been holding onto this hottie for so long as I wrote and rewrote and tweaked until I'd told the story the way it needed to be told. It's been a fun and exciting journey and I so LOVED the characters in this book (so many of them to enjoy!) but it's also been a huge challenge too!

But I did it! And I'm so immensely proud and thrilled with how it all came together.

So what can you expect?

You’ll meet old favourites again – Archer, Declan, Sienna and Kate. But more specifically, you'll also get up close and personal with the youngest Bennett brother, Ethan. Previously, he was very much in the background with his two older brothers in the spotlight, but this is his story, his book and he truly owns it! :) You'll get to know a new character, Jenna, who is different to the other heroines in the books. Where Kate and Sienna are witches, Jenna is a Keeper. She's feisty and strong and super confident - and a perfect partner for Ethan! I so loved Ethan and Jenna together and writing their journey was very different to that of the other couples in the trilogy. And of course, I had to put them both through lots of trials and hardships too!

To celebrate Ethan's release, we have several awesome book bloggers participating in a blog tour. There'll be guest posts, Q&A's, reviews, and excerpts from the book so please pop in and show your support. I'll be posting links on my Facebook and Twitter pages as we go.

If you're new to the series, The Keepers: Sienna, the prequel to the series is FREE. And if you're already a Keepers fan, then The Keepers: Ethan can be found at Amazon or any online retailer.

Thank you to every single one of you for your support, enthusiasm and cheering along the way. I really hope that the wait for this final book was worth it!

With love and thanks (and huge excitement too!),
Rae Rivers

Monday, March 28, 2016

Giveaway - The Keepers: Archer

Hey guys!

In celebration of Ethan's upcoming release next week (NEXT WEEK! :) my publishers are giving away 15 paperback copies of The Keepers: Archer.

Included within each paperback is also The Keepers: Sienna, the prequel to the trilogy.

That's a chance to win one of 15 paperback copies of the first TWO books in the series! 
So if you're keen to start the series, or you're already an existing fan of my Keepers and would like the chance to win a paperback, please head on over to the Goodreads Giveaway.  (Terms and conditions apply.)

Best of luck!

Rae Rivers

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ethan News!

There's been so much happening behind the scenes as we've been prepping The Keepers: Ethan for release day and I'm afraid the wait will be a little longer than we'd hoped.  

I'm so sorry for the delay as I know it's been a long wait (and you've all been so wonderful and patient!) but there were several factors that influenced this decision and it made sense to shift the release date slightly to accommodate everything.

Fortunately, it's only two weeks - so Ethan will be ready to hit your eReaders by the 7th April '16

The last few weeks were packed with edits, emails back and forth between my editor and myself, and a lot of reading.  But the great news is that the book is complete!  All the edits are finished and the book has been finalised.  At the moment, the book is with the production team who are preparing it for release.

As I signed it off this week, waving goodbye to months and months of hard work, I'm left with a bitter sweet feeling ... sad that my journey with my Keepers and their lovely women have come to an end but also immensely excited that Ethan's story - and the conclusion to this trilogy - is finally ready to be shared with my readers.

So what can you expect?

An awesome new heroine, Jenna, who we met at the end of The Keepers: Declan.  She's a little different to Sienna and Kate who appeared in previous books as Jenna isn't a witch, she's a Keeper.  (A perfect match for Ethan!)  I loved these two together and so enjoyed Jenna's character as a female Keeper.  And of course, we get to meet the three handsome brothers again!  Together, their journey is filled with love, loyalty, action, suspense, and many twists and turns.

Looking so forward to sharing this one with you!

Thanks for your support,

With love,
Rae Rivers

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ethan's Editing Process - Part 1

I've had a few readers asking me what's happening behind the scenes for The Keepers: Ethan at the moment so I thought I'd share a little more about this process.

And yes, it's a process.  I blogged a few weeks ago that Ethan's book is finished.  Happy high fives and champagne all around.  

But what happens after that?  Here's a glimpse of my experience with the editing part of my books:

1. The book is sent to my editor for her to read.  It's usually 2-3 weeks before I hear back from her - and all I can do is take a breather from the deadline madness and W.A.I.T.  (Whilst trying to keep my fear monster and doubt crows under control and reminding myself that the book is great and the parts that aren't so great can be fixed during the edits :)

2.  My editor loves it!  More champagne and high fives!

A glimpse of the line edit during The Keepers: Declan
3.  The book comes back to me with structural and line edits - this is usually to check that the structure of my story makes sense, that timelines add up, and that everything flows.  My editor's suggested changes are highlighted in red - and sometimes has this weird ability to make me cringe!  But there are often encouraging or excited comments in the margins too that are always fun to read.  This part of the editing process is possibly the hardest for me. Sometimes it requires a lot of changes and for other books - like with Ethan - there were only a few.  Once I've worked through this, I read the book again before returning it to my editor.

4.  My editor (or a freelance editor) will proofread the book.  This is to check for comma placements, repetition, spelling errors etc.  

5.  After 2-3 weeks, the book bounces back to me and I have about a week to accept or reject any suggested changes.  This is a much quicker and easier process.  When I'm done, I read the book again and return it to my editor.

And step 5 is where we are now!  I'm busy with the last of my edits and I'm aiming to return to my editor by the end of the week once I've had another chance to read it.

Again.  :)

Although this process is tiring and long and often challenging, it's fun and I'm slowly starting to appreciate the edits rather than dread them.  I'll explain more of this in another post.

If you have any questions or comments about this process, please leave a comment or get in touch via my contact page.

I'll be back soon to explain the rest of the process as we go along.  We're almost there!

Thanks for reading!

Rae Rivers

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Author Spotlight: Jane Hunt

If you're a fan of romantic suspense books, then you might want to check out the latest offering by lovely author, Jane Hunt.  I haven't read this one yet but it's been added to my reading list.  Such a gorgeous cover!  


After a tragic plane crash kills Jennie Taylor’s guardians, she returns to her childhood home—and her first love, Jared Stewart. 

At just eighteen years old, Jennie had left the Unicorn Ranch in Texas to seek a life in the outside world. But she wasn’t just running toward independence. Heartbroken and confused, Jennie fled her home after Jared harshly rejected her on the eve of her birthday. Now she must choose between making a new life on the ranch she has grown to love, or returning to her simple but empty life in England. 

The choice seems obvious at first, but nothing in life is simple… Jared is forced to share control of his beloved ranch with the woman he wants but can't have. When Jennie receives an anonymous note, she goes to Jared for support. But what she finds is more than she was prepared for, driving the two further apart than ever. When an old friend is murdered and suspicious accidents escalate, endangering Jennie’s safety, Jared becomes her reluctant protector. Jennie knows Jared is hiding something, but does he really want her gone from the ranch? And if so, could he be the one behind the ominous threats? Determined to prove Jared isn't involved, Jennie turns detective. Can she succeed in her courageous but reckless investigation…or is the truth a dangerous gift she won’t survive? 

And for readers interested in the author behind the scenes of The Dangerous Gift, Jane's here to share a little more about her writing journey: 

"The publication of ‘The Dangerous Gift’, my third book, made me look back over my writing journey so far, which I would like to share with you. Most authors asked, 'When did you first start writing? Answer, something like, ‘As soon as I could hold a pen’, but for me the story is a little different. I loved reading from any early age but only started creating stories when I was about seventeen. At nineteen, I took a writing course and wrote my first stories. None of these were ever published because 'Life Happens’, as they say. 

I went to University and then worked in health service management, until I had my children. During the nineties before the ‘eBook’ revolution, when I was lucky enough to stay home with my kids, I wrote two books. Both rejected by a well known publisher. Disillusioned, I gave up writing for a while to go back to my health service career. Busy years followed; bringing up my children, enjoying a busy career and caring for my mother, until her death in 2004. An Illness ended my career abruptly but rather than look at this as a setback I viewed it as an opportunity and I started writing again. 

By 2012, I was a full time writer. ‘The Dragon Legacy’ was published a year later with the sequel in 2014. 'The Dangerous Gift' my first romantic suspense was published last week. Set in Texas, it has a sexy cowboy hero and an amateur detective heroine. I love reading mystery thrillers, with a strong romance thread running through them. ‘The Dangerous Gift ' is my interpretation of these. I am currently finishing my first historical novel, working title ‘Past Shadows' which I started a couple of years ago. I am also looking forward to writing another romantic suspense story."

About Jane:

'Writing has touched my life in every decade. At fifty, I took a risk and made writing my career, fulfilling a lifetime ambition.' I enjoy writing blogs, book reviews and especially stories. Vivid imagery, atmospheric settings, strong females and sensual males are essential for my stories. Everyday life and ordinary people inspire me. How would someone react, if faced with something extraordinary? A thread of romance runs through my all my books, whether they be suspense, fantasy or historical. I want to let my readers escape their lives for a while, experience new places, new people and most importantly, new emotional lows and highs My favorite parts of the writing process are; finding a person, event or place that makes me want to write a story about it and the writing itself; when your fingers cannot type fast enough, to transcribe your thoughts. Family is very important to me. My two children are my greatest achievement to date. I am an animal welfare supporter and regularly use social media to promote animal welfare issues.

Buy Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Keepers: Ethan has a release date!

Since my last update about The Keepers: Ethan, my editors and I have been working quietly behind the scenes preparing the book for publication.  

I love this process as it involves dozens of chats with my editors about the book, the blurb, release dates, marketing plans etc.  It's such a fun time and rewarding too as the book is written.  Done and dusted.  Now it's just polishing it so that it's shiny and perfect so that I can share it with my eager readers.  So exciting! 

The great news is that we finally have a release date and a blurb!

The Keepers: Ethan

"Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?" he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he'd kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, "Then let's go."

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.

One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company… infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

So when will The Keepers: Ethan be available?

If you're a fan of my gorgeous Keepers, please look out for Ethan's story on the 24th March 2016, available at all online retailers!  I'll be posting links soon.

I am so excited to share his story - and the final book in my Keepers series - with you all.  Thank you for your patience, support and messages.

And for sharing my excitement with me.  You guys are so awesome!

Rae Rivers