Thursday, April 11, 2013

A to Z Challenge: J is for Jealousy AND the Cover Reveal for Dana Mason's Precious Embrace

Welcome to the 2013 A to Z Challenge!

This year, I’m focusing on two themes:  Emotions and grammar,
depending on which letter we’re on each day.

I’ll be sharing mostly what I’ve learned about writing emotion into a novel, but I’ll also be throwing in a few key grammar lessons, pet peeves I’ve picked up while working as an editor.

Today’s an emotion day!


J is for jealousy:  a feeling of resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantage, or against that success or advantage itself; mental uneasiness or fear of rivalry or unfaithfulness.

Jealousy is based in insecurity.  We fear losing something, or not having something someone else has.  Jealousy is unhealthy and all-consuming.  It makes people irrational and ill-content.  It’s different from envy, in that envy is all about coveting, whereas jealously is about fear and animosity. 

When showing a character’s jealousy, it’s best to rely on concrete details, focusing not just on what she is jealous of, but why.  So instead of simply telling the reader that Karen is jealous of her boyfriend’s old girlfriends, show why they threaten her, what exactly it is she fears, her own insecurities and confusion about herself, and how she believes the other women outweigh her in ways she might be lacking.  It’s all about comparison.

Having said that, most people don’t want others to know when they’re jealous, so the character has to exhibit physical signs that show her hostility to the reader.  Because jealousy is a defensive mechanism, use the character’s body language to express that, like crossing her arms over her chest, or scowling and sneering as she puckers her lips, swearing ugly insults or criticisms.  But inside, her stomach is tied in knots or filled with anxious foreboding, so she vows to get even and somehow make her rival appear ugly or obscene.

No matter what the character is jealous of, it’s her fear that should be concentrated on and how that fear diminishes herself in her own eyes.



Cover design by Okay Creations

Book Two in the Embrace Series
Coming July 11, 2013

“A new love, a missing child, a family found.”


A second divorce and a new baby wasn’t the vision Alison Hayes had for her future. Now a single mother with two young boys, she wants to focus on her kids and what’s left of her stagnant career.

When Detective Johnny Rhay Bennett breezes into her life with his country-boy accent, she wants to run. She doesn’t need another man in her life, or another reason to make people talk. But when her worst nightmare becomes a reality, Johnny is the only person who can pull Ali out of her despair, forcing her to stay strong and not give up hope of finding her missing child.
Who falls in love after a one-night stand? Johnny Rhay doesn’t believe it’s possible until it happens to him. With Nashville in his rear-view mirror, he’s determined to convince Alison she loves him, too, even if it means moving to the West Coast.

Ali’s not easy, and she’s living on just this side of bitter after her divorce, but Johnny doesn’t care. He’s up for the challenge. At least, he believes he’s up for it, until baby Micah is stolen right out from under his nose. Now Johnny has to keep it together and get that sweet little boy home safe before his dreams of having a family vanish, too. 

Find Book One, Dangerous Embrace, on:

My pub-sister, Dana Mason, started writing to prove to her computer geek husband and her math and science geek kids that she actually has a brain; it’s just a right functioning brain instead of a left. She’s lived all over the country and uses that experience in her writing and character studies. 

Her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace is the first in a contemporary romance series about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don’t hold on to what’s important.

When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She’s also a board member on the local Art’s Council and does what she can to support the art community

Find Dana here:


Suzanne Furness said...

Some good points to remember here, thanks Nancy.

Rhonda said...

As a reader, I agree, the why helps with believability.

Visiting from AtoZ #41

mooderino said...

A lot of our culture seems to feed off this emotion. Sometimes feels like our whole economy depends on it.

Moody Writing

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Dana!
Jealousy really does boil down to insecurity and a threatened self-image.

LuAnn Braley said...

Interesting. I enjoy getting more of the theory behind the practice of writing. Even if it is something I already knew, it's nice to have a refresher. Thanks! Keep on rockin' the A to Z!

Summer Ross said...

Beautiful cover.
I have a antagonist that is seriously jealous. I'll keep in mind what you said as I dive further into her character. Thanks for posting.
My A-Z

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Jealousy can be a very powerful emotion.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Nancy! Thanks for taking part in my cover reveal.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I think everyone experiences a little jealousy now and then. It's the suspense leading up to the ultimate act, that makes an exciting story. Great tips Nancy and congrats to Dana!


Heather M. Gardner said...

I am happily jealous to see this beautiful cover!


Donna K. Weaver said...

Yeah. Jealosy is all about insecurity. Love the cover!

Chuck said...

I have to say jealousy is uglier than envy. And harder to control. I think you have spelled out the differences perfectly.

Good luck to Dana!!

Chuck at Apocalypse Now

joylene said...

Excellent post. Thanks. And big congrats!

Tia Bach said...

Great post (and cover reveal). Jealousy is quite the beast, and there are very few of us that it hasn't affected at one time or another.

Natasha said...

I picked the same J-word too, and used it and Envy interchangeably. Chuck told me that you had explained the difference, but I never quite got down to checking it out. I'm glad I did, because I didn't really know the difference between the two words till now, and kept using them interchangeably.