Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Snowpocalypse 2019

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
I live in Michigan. It's January. Snow doesn't really come as any great surprise. When we get a really good storm, though, it's all over the news and the meteorologists act like we've never seen snow before. Frankly, there isn't that much snow in my area, despite the forecasters' doomsaying. What is odd this time is that a few days ago, temperatures were in the 40s  and this week we're looking at highs in single digits--with temps of -20-40 when wind chill is considered. Temps that cold and the snow yesterday mean no school for possibly the entire week. Kids are ectstatic. Parents not so much. As a grandparent with a live-in firstgrader, I've been seeing both of those--and it's only Tuesday.

Before I turned to writing, I was an environmental educator. Climate and climate change is something I've been following since I was a teen. I'm not going to get started on that, but it did get me thinking about how weather effects the things I write.

I'm not thinking about outside weather, although winter brings about a certain coziness that may leak into my words, while a sunny summer day brightens my outlook. What I was really pondering is the use of weather to drive a story or add roadblocks for our characters.

From lightning animating Frankenstein's monster, to the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, weather can become a character in of itself, stepping out of the background and getting in the author or reader's face. Having a couple snowed in together is a fairly common trope. Electrical storms can do everything from giving a character psychic powers to hurtling them through time and/or dimensions.

My recently re-issued paranormal romance Sea Change, there is a character who is an immortal wizard/sorcerer/mage (semantics aren't clear), and it's mentioned that his powers include some minor abilities to control the weather. Since the book is set in the semi-tropical areas of the Pacific, he never needs to use those powers, so more clarity wasn't needed. Now that I'm working on a sequel, however, with him as the hero, I really have to think about this power and how it's going to affect the story. Not having it come into play would seem like cheating, sort of like putting a gun on the set in the first scene of the movie and never having it used or even mentioned. I'm not entirely sure yet how he's going to use his powers to save the day. The possibilities are endless.

So do you have a favorite book with the weather as a character? Is there a weather-related trope you really hate? I'd love to hear it.

* * * * *

Look for Sea Change, winner of the 2015 Prism award for best paranormal erotic romance, available now in print and e-book, from all the usual retailers, and hopefully the upcoming sequel, working title, Sweeter than Wine.

Dead! Well, not quite. Yet.

Heidi’s day started out well enough, studying dolphins with best friend and research partner, but things took a turn when they got caught in the middle of a drug exchange. Her friend is missing, probably dead, and Heidi was shot at and left to die, too.

Girl meets…guy?

Then the hottest boat bum she’s ever seen rescues her. Tall, dark and handsome, Jake is every girl’s dream. Still, the last thing on her mind is romance. The drug dealers figured out pretty quick she wasn’t dead. Now, they want to finish the job, and her mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous rescuer might not be able to save her—or himself.


Jake’s got a fishy secret of his own—complete with fins. He’s exiled from his colony and cursed to shapeshift with the moon. As a merman, Jake can’t afford to be around humans, especially a marine biologist who might discover his species. But he can’t throw Heidi to the men after her. He’ll fight drug lords, pirates and even the gods to protect her. Piece of cake, right? It’s easier than the other problem, the biggest problem of all: the massive attraction growing between Jake and Heidi, an attraction neither can deny.

A centuries-old merman and an air-breathing, very human scientist might fall in love, but where would they live? And can that love even survive? 

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