AuThursday – Luke Ganje

 
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Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
 
I don’t think there’s anything I hate more than talking about myself, so I’ll try to make this as painless as I possibly can. I’m Luke Ganje and I’ve been writing seriously for over a decade, not just because I love to do it but also because a writer is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be. It wouldn’t be any great exaggeration or burst of dramatic flair to say that I have no interest in a life that doesn’t include telling stories. It is, in a sense, everything I am. As such, I’ve written five novels (seven if you count the two I’m not proud of), somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy short stories, and hundreds of poems, and they range in tone and genre from absurdist humor to horror to contemplative fiction. Someone asked me once what I want out of this, what the goal of my artistic pursuit was, and to be honest the answer was simple enough: In time this life will end and in the blink of an eye who we’ve been and what we’ve done will be lost to an inevitable decay. I write because, while I’m here, I want to experience this life just a little bit more and feel and understand things I might have otherwise missed.
 
 
 
How do you make time to write?
 
For me, it’s all about routine and dedication. I set aside two hours a night to work and no matter how trivial the project of the day, I fill that time. I no longer work a day job on Fridays, having set aside that day for a sort of mini marathon in which I can make significant headway in whatever novel happens to be my primary focus, and that’s been a joy to experience. In those moments I almost feel like the full-time writer I aspire to be, whether it’s a self-constructed illusion or not. The time to write, to pursue what you love, is always there. Sacrifices simply need to be made or else that pursuit and the work that stems from it will only ever wind up being hollow, empty, and dead.
 
 
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
 
My process in this regard has changed over the years. When I first started, I spent a great deal of time wandering down the unmarked roads of exploratory writing but as the years go by and my attention span and memory continue to falter and fade, I find myself having to outline a little more each time. These days I tend to write all my dialogue in a notebook, filling pages as if I’m script-writing, and then rewrite the entire thing as a finished and detailed experience on my laptop. It works well enough and tends to give my dialogue a lived-in edge that I prefer, so I’ll continue down that path until I have to tinker with my process again for the sake of clarity and not driving myself completely insane. 
 
 
What are you working on at the minute?
 
Frustratingly enough, I’m torn between two projects that both demand my full attention and yet I haven’t quite decided which one to focus on. I don’t mean to treat trivially the perils of wartime, but I’m almost positive this is precisely how Meryl Streep felt in Sophie’s Choice. As it stands, I’m splitting my time between my first ever horror novel and a more quiet and contemplative piece of magical realism. The former will be bitter, vicious, and unforgiving. The latter is a character piece about a young man whose life begins to fall apart because he continually sees one small thing no one else can, and believes without a shadow of a doubt that it is real. Both deal with family, loss, and our uncomfortable relationship with mortality, but neither is the clear front-runner and so I’m a bit adrift at the moment. I keep trying to reach out to Mrs. Streep for advice, but sadly she won’t return my calls.
 
 
I’m almost afraid to ask, where do your ideas come from?
 
I suppose it would be abhorrently trite to simply tap the side of my head, doubly so seeing as how this isn’t that kind of visual medium. Nevertheless, this is something that I think about a lot. Sometimes you write things that push you to places you don’t want to go and yet you have to for the sake of the story, so in that sense a French term comes to mind: l’appel du vide. The Call of the Void. Known also as “High Place Phenomenon”, it’s the little trigger in your mind that kicks in when you’re standing on a ledge and tells you to jump, or while you’re driving down the highway and you suddenly have the urge to whip the steering wheel into oncoming traffic. It’s an ordinary part of the human experience and something I’ve felt in waves my entire life, heightened as it is by anxiety (of which I have plenty), so it weaves almost constantly in and out of the stories I tell. Complicating things is the manner in which I tend to process even the most mundane aspects of everyday life, where everything shows as infinite spirals in which I find myself reliving conversations dozens of times right after they happen, following them down rabbit holes until I find myself having visceral emotional reactions to things that never happened and words that were never said. That’s probably where my stories travel from, I suppose. Out of the void and along an incessantly spiraling road.
 
 
Do you ever get Writer’s Block?
 
Put simply, no. I view writing not just as my passion but also as work, as a job, and the funny thing about work is that responsibilities don’t just magically go away if you’re not feeling it. So I’ve had bad days where the words don’t flow quite like they should and there are definitely days where I haven’t managed to write much of anything at all, but it’s never been a lingering thing in the form of that towering “Writer’s Block” wall. Doing what you love is hard work and I’ve never once found that it gets any easier by avoiding thought obstacles that inevitably pop up along the way.
 
 
 
It looks like you independently published “It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time”. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
 
Put simply, I have a hate-hate relationship with self-publishing. It’s not something I ever really saw myself doing as I tend to see life as overcoming obstacles and there’s little about the process that I see as anything more than an end-run around the publishing world’s absurd hurdles. It’s like running a marathon and then taking a taxi from mile three to mile twenty-five, expecting the same accolades when you cross the finish line as those who’ve traveled the road of the established process. So that’s my annoyed sense of the disadvantage. There’s a stigma around the whole affair and, while there will always be exceptions, the framework of stigmas exists for a reason. Then again, there’s a fairly sizable advantage as well and one that made me put all my annoyance and irritation into my anthology that was released in August: It takes away the chance of you dying before any of your creations are unleashed on the world, and that was always an odd little fear of mine. So it’s not how I saw things going and to be honest I’m unsure whether or not I’ll self-publish anything again; there might be another anthology but my novels are reserved for the traditional road I will always pursue. That being said, it was a nice experience and for the most part it was undertaken so that all the people who’ve supported me over the years could have a memento of my time here sitting comfortably on their bookshelves. In a way, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
 
 
What is your writing Kryptonite?
 
I have two actually, which would make me the world’s worst version of Superman. It’s basically a two horse race in which both the horses have to be euthanized because they’re rabid and ate a jockey. But I digress. The first is that I will always possess a crippling self-doubt when it comes to my work, to such an extent that (with one exception) I’ve never finished anything without feeling like it’s the worst thing ever committed to printed page by a functioning adult. That may sound like an exaggeration but it’s not. As much as I’m driven by the love of the written word, I’m just as driven by the creeping sense that I’ll never write anything of note and anyone who’s said differently has been lying for the sake of some strange social etiquette I don’t understand. As you can imagine, this makes me a joy at parties. The second piece of Kryptonite is at least functionally more problematic and can be found in the slow but inevitable decline of my memory. It’s frightfully true that, no matter what I write on a given day, I will not remember what it was by the time I sit down again twenty-four hours later. Characters, plots, names, descriptions…they vanish as soon as I close my eyes, and so every day when I sit down at my desk, my process begins with an hour spent re-reading all that I wrote the previous night and hoping I still know where I’m going. It’s scary, in a way. What a terrifying thing to forget the friends I’ve made.
 
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
My work is most prominently displayed on my website www.keywordnovelist.com and that’s where you can find a lot of my short stories and poetry. There’s also a blog, because blogs go with writers about as reliably as pumpkin spice lattes flock to their own comically specific demographic. There’s some good stuff on there and, if all you know of me is the absurdist comedy found in my anthology release, it’ll be sure to raise some eyebrows. I can also be found on Twitter and Instagram under that very same moniker: Keywordnovelist.
 
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
Certainly. This snippet is taken from the story that leads off my catastrophically absurd debut, “It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time.” Author’s Note: It only gets weirder from here.
 
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“Hello? Hello? How’s the reception up there?”

Artemartedoxtorix, called Art by his friends, squinted at the blood in the sand as it rolled like the weeping tides of humanity and also heavy cream. It danced with static before it eventually flared to life when the sound of screaming filtered through. Art looked around but no one was really paying attention. He covered his blood screen anyway because he wasn’t the type to make a scene if he could help it. Some jobs you just don’t want to draw attention to yourself while performing and his hallowed position of receptionist was one of those jobs. 

“Art? Is this Art? I was told to call Art,” screamed the voice from the other end of the line.

“What? Well yeah of course it’s me. Is this…” he looked at his sheet of paper. “I’m sorry, I can’t pronounce your name.”

“It’s Dave.”

Art stared blankly at the dancing blood. “I’m sorry, that doesn’t help,” he said. “What does that rhyme with?”

“I don’t know…Cave?” 

“What about Potato?” asked Art. “I know that one.”

“My name doesn’t rhyme with Potato, Art,”

“Ah…” said Art. “Well can I just call you Potato? It’d make this a lot easier.”

For a long moment there was silence on the other end of the line. 

“Can I talk to someone else?”

“I’m afraid not. Everyone else is out on assignment,” said Art. “What’s the problem?”

“Well, I put the kid in the burlap sack but he doesn’t seem to be drowning and now the whole thing is wet,” said Dave, also known as Potato. 

“Do you have the blood already?” asked Art. 

“The what?” he asked.

“The blood. You know you can’t kill him until you have his blood, right?”

“Oh yeah. For sure. Totally,” said Dave. “I was just about to do that.”

“While he’s underwater and suffocating in a sack?”

“Yep. I’m thrifty,” said Dave.

Art looked around the receptionist center and threw a rock at a winged adder. This wasn’t his fault. The project had been passed on to him by someone with a better castle in the aftermath of one of Potato’s many mistakes, at which point his superior decided that temptation and possessions were more his bag. He’d said Art was on track for a promotion if he succeeded, so the receptionist who’d always seen himself as more of a hero type leapt at the opportunity. It was only a matter of time until greatness was his. 

“Look, Potato,” said Art. “We’re in this together so all I need to know is one thing.”

There was silence on the other line. “What?” asked the human.

Art rubbed his temples and winced when he pricked himself on a horn. 

“Can you find a rock?” he asked. “I just threw a rock at a flying adder and that seemed to work.”

“What’s an adder?”

“A snake,” said Art, and for a moment Potato was silent. 

“Wait. There are snakes down there?” he asked finally. “If there are snakes down there I don’t think I can do this.”

Art looked up at the swarms of flying adders that soared through lakes and clouds of fire. 

“Are there what?” he asked, a master of changing topics. 

“Snakes. Are there snakes in hell?”

If a demon could look awkward, Artemartedoxtorix, Demon of the Fourth Degree, definitely looked awkward. 

“What? Oh yeah no, definitely not,” he said. “You misheard me.”

“Well what did you say then?

Art looked around for anything his mind could seize on. 

“Pits of endless despair,” he said finally when his eyes fell on the pool of weeping where acid carved canyons in the faces of the suffering.

“Well hold on now, that actually sounds worse.”

“Look, Potato. Do you want eternal glory or not?”

 
 
 

Happy Birthday to Me

Since today is my birthday, I decided to let a few of my friends from Facebook interview me.  Here are their questions.

What do you feel is the hardest part of the publishing process? (From Vania Rheault)

Rejection – The hardest part for me is finding a home for finished work.   I haven’t been brave enough to enter into the Self-Publishing world because that all seems hard to me.   So finding a home for whatever completed project I have is hard in the sense a certain amount of prediction for agents and editors on what readers may want a year or more out makes it difficult.  I’ll send out a query and then get a rejection and if I’m lucky they will tell me why.  Sometimes I get a form letter or even worse that they liked the writing but it wasn’t a good fit.   

How are you just so damn adorable all the time? Inquiring minds want to know. (From Lyn Armstrong)

Lyn is biased, her and maybe my husband.  I love and miss you, lady. 

Do you work plots out with writing buddies or plot all by yourself? (From Marie Johnston)

Normally, I plot by myself.  But recently I asked for some input on a finished Regency I just finished and my local critique group helped me come up with a plot (it involves murder) that I will weave back in through the story.  This isn’t uncommon for me to finish a manuscript and then change one, maybe two, things, and then have to layer those elements back in. 

When you write so many books, what’s your strategy for keeping plots, characters, and settings fresh? (from Natalie Pierce)

It helps that I write in a few different sub-genres of romance.  Once you change the setting everything else can be fresh or new based on a new place or time.  I have started keeping series bibles so I can remember how old someone is at story X so I make sure to age them by story Y. I usually keep these in either Pinterest, Google Keep, or in a Notebook. 

Happy birthday! Let’s see. I’d love to know more about how you got started writing stories. How much of real life is included in your books? Do you have other business ideas you might work on in the future? (from A. Catherine Noon)

Figures A. Catherine Noon would have the most questions.   Here we go.  

I have been writing since childhood, before my grandmother passed she gave me a collection of stories I wrote for her about the various mythical holiday creatures, like the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, A Leprechaun trying to find Baby New Year.   Unfortunately, they didn’t find him because I had only gotten as far as writing their origin stories.  I loved info dumps even as a child. 

I include much of real life in my contemporaries, including some of my friends (you know who you are).  Of course, I changed their names to protect the not so innocent.  I’ve used their professional knowledge among which include a pilot, an architect, a nurse, firemen, and of course a writer.   Most of my paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy stories are entirely fiction.  

Future Business Projects – Writing Wise I’m working on my Brave the Elements Series – Wind Resistant is my Nano project.  I will be querying my Regency this month and maybe a bit in November.   I take December off because I find I need the break for the holidays.  Non-writing wise – I’ve thrown my hat in on a contest in ND pairing artists and writers.  Long Term I’m hoping to get a North Dakota Writers Conference so if you are thinking about something like that my fellow writers, let me know.   There are far more of us than the world knows about. 

I’m wondering what percent of your writing is actually non-fiction, in a fictional book. (Brian Daly)

It depends on the fiction.  In my Steampunk Series, I’d say 50%.  I altered parts of the timeline significantly.  

My Regency is fairly historically accurate but I did change a few things – my hero knows cane fighting which isn’t really a thing until closer to the Victorian period and was invented in France, not England.  So those are pretty liberal. My Contemporaries including my paranormal books are about 25% fiction accounting for characters and the mythology of fairies.   But the career choices are based on people I know. 

And I would say my Post-Apocalyptic books are 75% fiction the only real elements being geography and locations in the future. 🙂 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Q&A.  If I missed your question here leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer it.  ~Tina

Cover Reveal – Lights Out by Kat Ransom

Title: Lights Out
Series: Donington Racing #1
Author: Kat Ransom
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations



Time moves fast on the racetrack. 
It moves even faster when you’re being chased.

Kinsley

It’s a transpacific flight, my fresh start thousands of miles away from the danger that’s imprisoned me. Producing a new Formula 1 docuseries is my way out. I’m done cowering, hiding, and being afraid of what lurks in the shadows.

Nothing can touch me now.

Except maybe him…

Embedding with this Texas racing team just became a lot more attractive. The way he’s looking at me, with eyes so blue they should be illegal? I recognize a sexy smolder when I see one. Can sixteen hours on an airplane really change my life? Let’s find out…

Alexandr

This chick is insane. Hot, but delusional.

She’s prattling on about some documentary, says she’s moving in with me. 

I’m an F1 racing driver. I’ve heard every pick-up line there is, but this takes the cake. 

It’s a long flight in tight quarters. The way she’s blushing is doing things to me. 

She’s just a stranger on a plane. I’ll never see her again. 

She doesn’t know the real me, the monster that I am.

She’s being hunted.

I’m being chased.

Neither of us anticipated what started on that flight. Neither knew the stakes were so high.

Now, hearts, families, and lives are on the line. We’re in for a hell of a collision when the lights go out.



Kat Ransom writes steamy romances filled with strong, sarcastic men and the sassy women who bring them to their knees. She lives in the Southern US and is owned by two janky rescue cats. When she isn’t writing, she’s exploring isolated corners of the world or curled up with a wool blanket and a stiff whiskey trying to warm up her perpetually cold toes.



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AuThursday – Eliza Peake

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I write steamy, heartfelt, small town contemporary romance. I like to call it happily ever afters with sexy times, a healthy dose of snark, and all the feels.

I’m also a podcaster, co-hosting The Misfits Guide to Write Indie Romance with Adrienne Bell.

For fun, I read all the panty-melting romances I can get my hands on and drink gallons of coffee. I also love tacos. And the beach.

Currently I live in North Georgia, but I hope to move to the beach in the next few years. 

By day, I work in finance. One of the things I like about being an indie is that I’m able to use my business skills and created a small press that I do all of my book things through. 

How did you come up with the idea for your “Madison Ridge” series? 

Originally, it was going to be set in a small island resort town off the coast of GA. But then I had this idea that ended up being Trouble Me, which was what if a recovering alcoholic is forced to work in a winery? So I moved the setting to the small mountain town I live in that is touristy and has several wineries. It was great fun researching and easy since I’m about a ten minute drive to about a half dozen wineries and tasting rooms. As much as I love the beach I don’t live near it right now, so it made research a little more difficult.  

What are your current projects?

Currently, I’m working on a story that will be part of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s Cocky Hero World as well as a novella for the Madison Ridge series. I’m also getting the process started to have my second book in the Madison Ridge series turned into an audio book. So I’ve got my hands full!

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Not really for me. I think that your mind can make you believe you don’t have a word to say, making you feel “blocked”. But in my case, that’s usually a symptom of some other issue I’m having. It can be a story issue I can’t see yet or it can be an issue with the story that I don’t want to acknowledge for whatever reason. Once I get past that, I’m good to go. But getting past that is the hard part.

I see you wrote a non-fiction book, “30 Days to the End”.  Do you actually write most of your books in 30 days? 

No, I wish! But I have done several novel length stories in 30 days. The purpose of the book was to offer writers 30 days of inspiration. It can be a long and sometimes tedious road to write a novel in that time-frame. We all need a little cheerleader!

I see you are Indie published, what would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Advantage: being in control of what you publish, when you publish, how you publish, being able to pivot and keep up with trends while they are happening. Better royalty rates. 

Disadvantages: being responsible for what you publish, when you publish, how you publish, and having to cash flow it yourself.

What is your favorite positive saying? 

To help remind me with time management and priority, I say

“I can make more money, but I can’t make more time.”

So when I’m short on time, I try to prioritize the things that I know will move the needle (such as writing) over items that need to be done (like admin items) but can be done when I have more time.   

But my all-time favorite positive saying that I apply in all places of my life is

“One Day at a Time.”

You can apply it to anything and in reality, it’s really the only thing we have semblance of control of, the present time. If I think of the past, I get depressed and if I think of the future, I get anxious. So I try to stay in the one day at a time. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Take the time to learn the craft and a process that works for you. You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you do that first.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

They can find me at elizapeake.com and on Facebook where I have a page and a reader group, as well as Instagram.

New Release – Impossible Odds by Jill Ramsower

Title: Impossible Odds
Series: The Five Families 
Author: Jill Ramsower
Genre: Mafia Romance
Release Date: October 20, 2020


He was a vision of power and privilege.
Ruthless arrogance personified.
A total stranger and an irresistible challenge.

I approached him in a busy casino and felt the sting of his brutal rejection.
Then I did something incredibly brazen. Impulsive. Reckless.

I stole from him.

The object was inconsequential, only worth a handful of dollars.
I didn’t do it for the money; it was about making a statement.

I went back home thousands of miles away without giving him a second thought until I spotted those quicksilver eyes glaring at me across a busy nightclub.

It was too impossible to be a coincidence.
Yet, there he was, seething with a violent promise of retribution.

He thought he’d intimidate me.
Hunt me down and make me pay.
What he didn’t realize was I don’t scare easily.
My name is Giada Genovese, and I’m a goddamn mafia princess.

**Impossible Odds is the fourth book in The Five Families Series but can be read as a standalone novel. This book is a mafia romance containing adult themes and may not be suitable for sensitive readers.











Within a year of self-publishing her first book, Jill Ramsower quit her job as an attorney and dedicated her days to churning out romantic adventures. She likes to think of her books as contemporary romance with a touch of fantasy—at its core, her writing is about the connection between two people. Sometimes that connection involves a little magic…

With Jill’s books, you can count on confident heroines, plenty of steamy tension, and deliciously assertive leading men. There are no guarantees in life, but with her books, you know everything will work out in the end. However, a perfect ending would not be nearly as satisfying without a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Jill loves to add plenty of adversity in her stories, creating unforgettably dynamic characters and sneaky plot twists you will never see coming.

Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s a travel junkie and loves to read when she is not lost in her own stories.



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New Release – Saving Her Target by Danielle Pays

Title: Saving Her Target
Series: Dare to Surrender
Author: Danielle Pays
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 20, 2020


If your true identity would cause you to lose the woman you love, would you tell her?
Zach Brannigan escaped his crime family years ago. Now, as owner of a small town pub, he’s living life with the freedom he once craved. Life is simple until he’s mistaken for another criminal and tackled.
Tackling mountain men is all in a day’s work for this special agent, but this time Jessie Doyle has the wrong perp. While she can’t find the one running from the law, she keeps running into the wrong one and he’s getting under her skin.

Zach’s family finds him, and they make it clear they won’t let him go again. This lands him right in the middle of an FBI sting. Led by Jessie. And here he thought it was his charm that led her to his small town.
He’s fallen for his Macushla, his darling. But if Jessie learns who he really is, it’s over.
He escaped his family once. Can he do it again?





🚨3 Bonus chapters in the book for anyone who preordered, purchased, or check out Saving Her Target through Kindle Unlimited >> Links to those chapters is IN the book


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I was hooked from the first scene and couldn’t put the book down. Plenty of suspense, drama, and hot sex. If you love romantic suspense, you won’t be disappointed.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ roller coaster thrill ride you’ll never forget

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ As ever Danielle Pays grips you from page 1 and defies you to try putting the book down without finishing it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved this page-turning, suspense. The story is full of drama, betrayal, and love. I was hooked from page one.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I FREAKING LOVED this story!! I’m totally loving this series and can’t wait for more. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Well if Zach isn’t my favorite bad boy I don’t know who is!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A great story with enough twists and turns to keep you drawn in until the very end!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It didn’t take me long to read the book, because I just couldn’t put it down.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved it! It’s a story with betrayal, family history, best friends, steamy bed sheets and the love of a good man. Definitely recommend reading.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved It. …drama, action, emotions, good guys, bad guys and LOVE. Oh yeah, throw in a psycho and cheating ex too. It’s all here, all wrapped up in a page turning storyline.




Zach: Can you send me a photo of you?

Jessie: Why would I do that?

Zach: It’s only fair.

Notification that he’d sent a photo flashed on her screen. Nothing could have prepared her for it. It was a photo of Zach, lying in bed. Holy shit. She knew he felt muscular under his clothes, but damn, he had a six-pack and that V, that drool-worthy V that men have. The sheet was so low, she could see his happy trail. It was hot. Holy hell, it was hot.

Now he wanted a photo of her? There was no way she could give him anything that hot and sexy. Her mind wandered to what she could do. A photo of her… she couldn’t help herself. She grabbed her license out of her wallet and snapped a close-in shot.

Zach: Is this your driver’s license photo?

Jessie: You’re welcome.

Zach: Really not what I had in mind.

She knew exactly what he had in mind. As long as her face wasn’t visible, there’d be no harm. What the hell. With one hand, she pulled her shirt down exposing her cleavage and she snapped a photo. Then sent it before she could change her mind.

Zach: Mm. That will work just fine. Thank you.

Work? Was he? Would he tell her?

Jessie: Work? What are you doing?

A second photo of Zach came through of Zach with the sheet still barely covering his lower half. It was clear he was gripping himself. But it was the look on his face that got her. Pure desire.








Danielle Pays writes steamy romance novels with a touch of suspense. When not trying to write her characters into some kind of trouble, she can be found guzzling coffee at her kids’ soccer games. Black coffee is a requirement as she lives in the Pacific Northwest.


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Cover Reveal – The Princess and the Jester by A.D. McCammon

Title: The Princess and the Jester
Series: Westbrook Three #3
Author: A.D. McCammon
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 16, 2020
Cover Design: Abigail Davies at Pink Elephant Designs



Cole Masterson is an imposter.
Fake. Phony. Liar.
And, once upon a time, he was mine. He’s the fearsome jester of Westbrook High, and I’m the spoiled princess.

They don’t know the real Cole—not the way I did. He’s been a stranger to me for years, pretending to be one of them. And I’m desperate for him to see me again.

Until he moved in down the hall. Now, there’s no escaping his hungry emerald gaze or wickedly sexy smile.

Gwendolyn Rhodes is one of the rich elite.
Privileged. Entitled. Pampered.
She’s out of my league. No matter what I do to fit in, they’ll always see me as the housekeeper’s son. I’ve tried to forget about her—to move on with my life.

But I let her games pull me back in. All bets were off the second I got too close to her.

She’s been messing with my head, but I’ve changed the rules.
She didn’t plan to wager her heart.
But I’m playing for keeps.















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AuThursday – Sadie Torrance

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I have always been a creative type even as a child. I would write to entertain myself. It was my favourite pastime as a child and remained my favourite pastime as an adult. When I started my own family, I shared my love of stories with my children. I would write fantastic tales of magic and adventures and regale my kids with stories designed just for them. At the same time, I would write books to amuse myself. When my kids became adolescents, they discovered Wattpad and suggested I post my work so others could enjoy it. I gave it a go, and it took off. Within a year, I was approached by an editor from Dreame and was signed as a paid author on their site. Again, my work was well-received by readers. Encouraged by this small success, I decided to try publishing and hopefully build a professional writing career.    

How do you make time to write? 

I find it easy to make time because it something I love and am passionate about. Even when the day demands, my attention be focused on family, work, or errands; the writing is always in the back of my mind. When I am genuinely inspired, and on a roll, I will sacrifice sleep to write.  

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I absolutely believe in writer’s block. I have suffered from it many times. It’s frustrating when you sit there and stare at the black page, knowing you should write, but nothing good comes to you. When I’m faced with writer’s block, and I can’t work past it, I turn to other amusements. I have a passion for music almost as much as writing. So, I put on my headphones, crank up the music, and lose myself in the private concert in my head. More often then not, it gets my creativity flowing once more and sparks inspiration, curing my writer’s block. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

My chosen genre is Romance/Adventure. I don’t limit myself to one type of romance style. I have written historical romances, contemporary romance, science fiction romance, and even paranormal romance. I like romance because I enjoy the emotion and the banter between the characters. I love throwing in aspects of adventure and plot twists to keep things exciting. I find a story is always more gripping when the reader has no idea what is going to happen next.

How are you publishing your recent book, and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) 

I chose self-publishing. I had often tried to publish traditionally but found it impossible to get any publisher or literary agents to even speak to me. It was incredibly frustrating and discouraging. Every time I thought about giving up, I told myself, “even Harry Potter was rejected thousands of times before it was published.” Just because someone else couldn’t see my worth didn’t mean I wasn’t a good writer. So, I decided to do it myself. I went online and collaborated with professional freelance editors and formatters, making sure my book was polished and professional. It took some time, but once I had a professional finished product, I uploaded it and put it up for sale.  

  Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

I am an introvert. I enjoy my own company and the company of family and close friends. I keep my circle small. Since I spend most of my time at home with my husband and children, I have plenty of time to write. I choose the people I interact with carefully. Those I let into my life are all interesting and wacky people. Their life stories and crazy antics often inspire characters and situations in my work. 

What is your favourite motivational phrase? 

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ―Confucius 

It reminds me that the only way to succeed is never to give up. Setbacks happen. Obstacles present themselves. The only people who reach their goals are the ones that fall, but get up and try again. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Write for yourself. If you love the story, someone else will love it too. Believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will either.  

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

I have four e-books available on Smashwords.com and AmazonKDP.com.  

https://www.smashwords.com/THE BARBARIAN KING SAGAS (historical romance) 

PROJECT HELLFIRE (contemporary science fiction romance) 

RUTHLESS (contemporary crime romance) 

THE CARIBBEAN’S MOST WANTED (historical romance) 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

The Barbarian King Sagas: 

“She is not a witch; she never was. She lied to me, and my father paid the price.” He confessed, knowing that Finn would keep his confidence. 

“Oh,” Finn sighed as he finally grasped the gravity of his woe. “Cain, do not dwell on it. I know you wanted to save him; we all did, but Regin was very sick, and he was going to die no matter what you did. He knew that, we all knew that, the only person that had not accepted that was you. Do not hate the girl. She did what she had to do to survive. She is a strong woman and a strong man needs a strong woman behind him.” 

“I cannot excuse her lies.” His father was dead, and it was Zahra’s fault. 

“You threatened to kill her if she were not a witch. What would you have done in her position? 

“I would have fought,” he said with defiance. “And I would have won.” 

Finn snickered, “Well, that is because you are a man, but she is but a small, frail woman.” 

“I will never forgive her.” 

“Forgive her or not unless you throw her overboard you, my dear friend, are stuck with her. The joys of marriage.” Finn laughed and slapped Cain on the back hard. 

He was right. Why his father chose Zahra for his wife, Cain would never understand. What about her made his father believe she would make a good queen? “Throwing her overboard has merit.” He grinned, knowing he would never do it. Zahra’s deception left him fuming, but he did not wish her harm. After all, she had saved his life when the snake had bitten him. She could have let him die and escape, but she had saved his life and stayed even though she had no reason to. He supposed not tossing her overboard was a fine way to make them even. 

“Come now, lad. It is better to kiss and make up. War is fine, but when women are concerned, peace is preferred.” 

Tina’s Touring – ValleyCon

ValleyCon Logo

I’ll be attending ValleyCon October 16th – 18th. I’ll be on some panels, visiting with readers and my fellow writers. If you live in the Fargo/Moorhead area and are looking to attend this event here is some more information.

http://valleycon.com/