Friday, August 21, 2009

Free Fic Friday - Chapter 3

You know the drill by now. But this week, I'm sweetening the pot with a little contest. Somewhere in Chapter 3 of Code Name: WILLOW, I reveal how long it's been since Maggie's seen her father. How long is it? The first person to post the correct answer here wins a free $20 gift certificate.

Now go read! Then come back and comment!

Update: Because I still want y'all to have reason to revisit this thread even after the $20 Gift Certificate is gone, I'll sweeten the pot a little here. I'd like for those of you reading to comment on what you've liked, what you haven't liked, what themes you see, what characters intrigue you—because I'm a feedback addict. And by the end of this weekend—10 pm central time on Sunday evening—I'm going to draw two names randomly from the commenters on this thread. The winners get signed copies of any one of my backlist books I still have available. (I think Forbidden Territory may be out of stock, even here, though, just to warn you).

So, come on, folks. Show me a little comment love!


Anonymous said...

It's been two years since Maggie has seen her father.

Paula said...

It has, indeed. But I can't send a gift certificate to "anonymous."


Jemi Fraser said...

Hi Paula - another great chapter. I'm really enjoying the story. I love the way you're building suspense by dropping us new info. LOVE the "detail" about the knife!

I also like the way you put in enough details to have us feel we know the characters, but leave us wondering and wanting more. Why did she talk to him a year ago, and not see him for another year before that? What kind of yucky man was elected pres?

Lots of fun - I'm looking forward to next week :)

Paula said...

Thanks, Jemi.

When I was thinking about Maggie's father, I wanted to explore the idea of a character who, on the outside, seemed ideal. Smart, accomplished, with an Ivy League education, sympathetic ideals--a guy with a great "story"--grieving widower/single father who keeps going, representing the people, all the way to the White House. But can the public really know who the man is in private? What he's like when the door to the East Wing closes and it's just him and the family?

Also, I think you have to remember that Maggie's seeing her father from a very specific point of view. She has a very jaundiced opinion of her father that, while it's probably grounded in some very real experiences, may not really be the full picture of him, either.

She always assumes he has the worst of motives for everything he does. But is that any more realistic a reading of her father than the public's idea of the perfect, admirable public servant?

I look forward to hearing if y'all think I've given former Pres. Cole some layers as a character.

So, what about Remy? I think he's probably one of those characters you either love or hate. Clearly, I love him, but I'm curious to hear what the rest of you think.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love characters who have more than 1 dimension. They are so much more fun to read or write about. :)

I like Remy - I've worked with lot of kids with mental /social /learning difficulties over the years --teacher here :). They tend to worm their ways in to special places in my heart. Remy's reactions seem true to what most kids would do. Makes him likeable and vulnerable - a winning combination.

Louise said...

Thank you for posting such a great novel up on your website. I stumbled upon it and thought I would just read the first chapter, but I was hooked! And, I don't normally like reading romance books although I love mysteries and thrillers. Now I have the frustrating wait until Friday!

The characters are very likeable, especially Remy who is like a kid one minute and then a streetwise young man the next.


Cathy Phillips said...

Hi, Paula! Thanks so much for posting an online read. I just found it 2 days ago, and couldn't get into Chapter 4 this morning. LOL!

The last time Maggie saw and talked to her father was a little over a year ago, but the last time she really visited him was 2 years ago.

You really know how to draw a person into your story. We feel like we know the characters personally and are going through everything they are. As well as waiting for the bad guys to strike...

I love the seething and underlying lust/love that Maggie and Jack have for each other. I'm just wondering when they will finally act on it. LOL!

I love the interactions between all 3 of them: Maggie and Jack, Maggie and Remy, and Jack and Remy.

I like the characters very much. Remy reminds of an unloved, scared, and unhappy young man who wants to be protected by Maggie as well as protecting her.

As far as the papers go, it sounds like Maggie has a father who didn't know how and couldn't show love, just like my own father. No matter what you do, you're never good enough. James Cole has a lot to answer for! Of course, I could be way out of line here. Maybe he genuinely cares for Marguerite Cole, but for some reason hasn't told her so.

As far as the others will fit into your story, I'm sure we will be delighted to see where we are led...

Am wondering a lot about Jack's old girlfriend who just happens to show up in a phone message when Maggie and Remy are with him. Is she somehow tied up with the bad cop and thinks Jack knows where they are, so that she can leak their story?

Questions, questions, and more questions.

Paula said...

Thanks everyone for the comments! Since there were so few of you, I'm going to give EVERYONE who posted a comment a free book from my backlist! The books I have available are Forbidden Touch and Cowboy Alibi. Email me at and with your mailing addresses and I'll send you a copy of whichever book you choose.

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome news, Paula - thank you :)

Paula said...

Using Laura, Jack's ex, in the story was actually one of the sticking points for getting the book published by Intrigue. But I thought the character was important to the story, not only to help develop Jack's backstory but also because I thought putting that relationship to rest was important for Maggie as well. So when the time came to make the decision to rewrite to fit Intrigue or leave it as it was, I really thought I had to leave it how it was. It worked for me. I believed in that choice.