Come Visit me at Writer Zen Garden

I’m over at Writer Zen Garden finishing up the second to last #atoz challenge post. If you haven’t read these come over and browse. And if you are looking for a writing group to join. Check out the tabs above. We’d love to share your writing journey.

https://writerzengarden.com/

AuThursday – You could be here!

If you are an author looking for some promo opportunities, this space has over 850 subscribers. Most of the viewers here are aspiring writers or fans of romance.

If you write Romance (any genre) I’d love to interview you. If you write another genre but like to talk about writing and your process, again, I’d like to interview you. Are you seeing a pattern?

I have this FORM you can fill out and send to me along with a head shot and or book cover and I can get you schedule in the next available spot or we can post close to a release date.

Thanks for your time. Hope to hear from you soon.

AuThursday – Jacie Floyd

Please Welcome Jacie Floyd to the Clog Blog! Jacie, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

From the time I read my first Nancy Drew mystery, I’ve been an avid reader and writer. The public library was my happy place when I was a child. Throughout my professional career, I utilized my non-fiction writing skills in business and legal writing, but the desire to create my own stories became a secret obsession. While polishing my craft as an unpublished author, I was lucky enough to be named a six-time Golden Heart Finalist and two-time Golden Heart winner by the Romance Writers of America. After years of scraping together whatever time I could to generate one manuscript after another, I gave in to the inevitable, abandoned my day job, and moved away from the chilly Midwest to Florida in order to write full-time and self-publish the kind of stories I like to read. 

How do you make time to write? 

Now that I’m a “full-time” writer, I can structure my writing time to fit my schedule. Outside activities and travel do interfere, but I’m a night owl and don’t need a lot of sleep. I’m often at my desk writing from 10 PM to 1:00 or 2:00 AM. I realize not everyone has that kind of flexibility.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

No, not for me. It’s a real thing that some people do experience, but I always have three or four projects going on simultaneously. If the words don’t flow for the one I’m currently slaving over, I switch to one of the others for a while. I believe that if I just keep writing, the right words will break free.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

Since I’m currently writing four series (The Good Riders, Sunnyside, The Billionaire Brotherhood, and The Billionaire Brides), I’d have to call myself pro-series. I prefer to write books that stand alone in the series but are loosely related by some unifying element like setting, club, friend group or family relationship. The main characters appear in multiple books, but their conflict or story arc don’t necessarily overlap. I consider series the most reliable way for an Indie author to build an audience—the theory being that if readers like Book One of the series, they’ll want to read Book Two and so on. Hopefully, if they happen to stumble on Book Four, they’ll go back and look for the previous ones.

I see you are Indie Published.  Why did you choose this route?

I think it’s safe to say that my daughter chose it for me! Back when I started writing seriously, the Indie route wasn’t a viable option. I tried for years to get a traditional publisher or agent interested in my books through standard queries, conference attendance, and contest entries because those were the only options. I got really, really close several times, before receiving soul-crushing rejections. In 2013 I was a Golden Heart finalist, and my brilliant, tech-savvy, librarian daughter went to the RWA conference with me. Indie publishing was really starting to boom, and after attending a lot of workshops, she encouraged me to go in that direction—with her technical help. I sorted and revised my existing completed manuscripts into series, published MEET YOUR MEET in 2014, and things grew from there.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Now I always have to consider my readership and ways to keep that number growing. I have to determine which characters from the existing series have the most compelling story that needs to be told next. And I have to stick to a schedule, so I write better, sharper, clearer first drafts than I used to. And even when the book is finished, I have to allow time in the schedule for social media, promotion, and even occasional personal appearances. Writing is a business for me now instead of a diversion, but the writing part is still fun.

How do you relax?

Time on a beach with waves lapping the shore, clear, sunny skies, sand in my toes, and a book in my hand is absolutely my happiest, most relaxing place. Luckily, I live close enough to the beach to make that happen as often as necessary.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

I have seven pieces of advice:

  1. Complete a manuscript and then another one. Until you know for sure you can get from the start to the finish, all you have is a hobby. 
  2. Don’t overlook the necessity of learning your craft and polishing your manuscript. 
  3. Whether you’re planning on Indie or Traditional publishing, a competent editor is a must. 
  4. Establish a media presence for your author name BEFORE you have anything to promote. 
  5. Have clear career goals, not just writing goals. 
  6. Join writers’ groups and make friends with other aspiring authors. 
  7. Don’t take rejection too personally.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’m everywhere! I love to talk to readers and authors, old friends and new about reading, writing, books, travel, cooking, shopping, you name it! Feel free to reach out to me on your favorite social media platform and sign up for my newsletter on my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub, Goodreads 

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

Absolutely! Thanks for the opportunity to visit with you and your followers. This excerpt is from my latest release ALWAYS ALLIE, the first book in The Billionaire Brides series.

-Jacie Floyd

As Allie slipped into bed, a familiar form emerged from the shadows. Her hand went to her heart, and a gasp escaped her.

But not from fear.

She propped herself on an elbow. “How did you get in?”

A light twinkled in his eye. “It wasn’t so hard.”

“Why are you here?”

Wearing the same jeans and T-shirt he’d had on earlier, Buck took a step toward her. “Wyatt called. He thought you could use a friend. I told him you’d made it clear you didn’t want to see me tonight, but he said that might have changed.”

And just like that, the tears Allie had been holding back all night filled her eyes and spilled over.

He rushed to her side. “Sweetheart! What’s wrong? Don’t cry. Are you all right?”

With her shoulders shaking, she nodded. “I’m fine.” Wiping her eyes with the corner of the sheet, she shrugged. “I’m sorry. That’s not like me.”

“Don’t be sorry. If you’ve had a bad night, you’re allowed to cry.” He scooted her over and climbed into the bed beside her. “How can I help?”

“I’m shocked to be saying this but having you here has helped.”

“Good.”

She’d had to be strong for Xander, and Mother hadn’t been sympathetic.

But Buck was here to support her, not lean on her. He had no expectations whatsoever about how she should behave, and he’d let her vent in whatever way she needed. All of that was a rarity. She knew they had issues to discuss, but for now she just wanted to breathe him in.

He stacked her pillows behind them and put his arm around her. “Can you give me a clue? Is it Xander? Something with the business? Your mother? Are you sick? I’m not trying to pry, I need to know what kind of support to offer.”

“How many kinds of support are there?”

“There’s the goofy, silly kind where I bring you a Beanie Baby.” He pulled a little green frog wearing a crown out of his pocket. “That often works for Bella.”

“Cute, but I don’t think a frog will do it.”

“There’s the huge soul-crushing disappointment where I buy you a Lamborghini.”

“Thanks, but I don’t need a new car.”

“There’s the small heartbreak or scuffed knee where I offer you a chocolate kiss.” Yep, he dug in his pocket and pulled one of those out too. Taking the candy out of the shiny silver wrapper, he held it to her lips. “There’s emotional distress where something unfixable has happened, and I give you a big hug and sit quietly with you while your head wrestles with wrapping itself around the new normal.” He put his other arm around her and pulled her against his chest. Holding on tight, he rested his chin on her head and rocked her back and forth. “Like this.”

“Ding, ding, ding, ding. That one works.” She listened to the reassuring beat of his heart against her ear, but she wanted more. “If accompanied by a real kiss.”

“Happy to oblige, but what kind? Sweet, sexy, comforting, hot?” He stopped between words to bestow a sample of each one.

With her hands cupping his face, she leaned in. “The kind that makes me forget everything else.”

“My favorite.” Sitting up, he pulled off his shirt and tossed it over the side of the bed. “And for the record, that’s always my goal when I kiss you.”

When he tapped her hip, she lifted up, and her gown followed the way of his shirt. “Not fair. I’m naked, and you still have on jeans and who knows what else.”

“Jeans and nothing else, but hang on, we’ll get there. I’m concentrating on you first. I can see I’ve got my work cut out for me.”

“Take your time. I’ve got all night. My trainer doesn’t get here till six.”

“You won’t need him,” he assured her as his lips teased hers. “You’ll get your workout tonight.”

Saturday Spotlight – Volatile Love by Dani René

Volatile Love BannerTitle: Volatile Love

Series: Gilded Sovereign #2

Author: Dani René

Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Day: December 5, 2019

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2meFr7S

Vote Now on Goodreads >> http://bit.ly/35gfXJj

Volatile-Love-eBook-complete (2)Blurb: 

From USA Today Bestselling Author Dani René comes the second book in the bestselling Gilded Sovereign Series. A new adult romance filled with violence, blood, and a lot of steam! 

 I want to be Rukaiya’s hero, but she’s made it clear she can take care of herself. Her fire burns me. Her fierce nature lures me in. She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I want her to devour me. She enjoys defying me and I love to taunt her.

 I always get the girl. 

Every. Single. Time.

And this time is no different. 

 He’s trying to be my knight in shining armor, but I don’t need him to be. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. Etienne doesn’t give up easily. He’s adamant to change my mind. Only, he doesn’t realize that being with me could get him killed. 

 As I push, he pulls, and one of us is about to get wounded.

Secrets. Desire. Violence. 

Our love is volatile. 

 When secrets are spilled, nobody is safe.  

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2P6z2Gx

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Y77XXY

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2LeuI6W

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2P5VvDx

 In The Series: 

Cruel War (Gilded Sovereign #1)

US: https://amzn.to/2ZtSDDH

CA: https://amzn.to/2Po6SKy

UK: https://amzn.to/2PhN9vY

AU: https://amzn.to/2ztECeF

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Praise for the novel: 

  “The second book in this mind blowing series will captivate you from the very beginning.” – Linda, Early Reviewer

 “I loved Etienne and Rukaiya’s story. We get a lot of answers in this book…. and even more questions!” – Amber, Leave Me Alone I’m Reading

 “I was glued to every word on every page and cannot wait to see what comes next!” – Dirty Digital Girl Book Blog

 “Dani has once again pulled me into a dark and twisted world” – Michelle, Early Reviewer

Hashtags:

#VolatileLove  #GildedSovereign #GildedSovereign #Goodreads #EtienneAndRukaiya #NewAdultRomance #BookTwo #DaniRené #addictedtobooks #amwriting #authorgram #author #authorlife #teasertuesday #becausereadingissexy #bookboyfriend #bookbuzz #booksofig #newromance #newbooks

 Author Bio: 

Dani is a USA Today Bestselling Author of a variety of genres, from romantic suspense to dark erotic romance and even BDSM romance. She loves to delve into the raw, emotional journeys her characters venture on, and enjoys the dark, edgy, and sensual scenes that fill the pages of her books. Dani’s stories are seductive with a deviant edge with feisty heroines and dominant alphas.

Social Media Links:

FB Group: http://bit.ly/2spZmBq

IG: http://bit.ly/1UnYDbH

FB Page: http://bit.ly/2pN100b

GR: http://bit.ly/2qsdXZG

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qdauCg

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2sAy5dU

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2qtefC2

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1QHuMUQ

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2rM3Gvn

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/2rcy2Gy

AuThursday – Christina Lynn Lambert

christina-lynn-lambert-author-bio-pic.jpgPlease welcome author Christina Lynn Lambert to the Clog Blog!  Christina, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I didn’t originally plan on being a writer. I went to school for psychology and then got an MBA. I worked in sales, then as a case manager for people with disabilities. I was also a running coach and a personal trainer. I liked to write poetry and short stories in my spare time but considered any writing I did just a fun hobby, not something to ever share. When I was studying to take a certification in personal training, intending to take my small business to the next level, I had this idea for a story. The idea wouldn’t leave me alone until I began to write it out in my composition notebook. 

Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. I look forward to writing many more stories with strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, and a sweet, hairy monster of a dog. 

Where do your ideas come from?

For me, the ideas always begin with the characters. I create heroes and heroines who have survived tragedies, who have made mistakes but haven’t lost their humanity. Working in sales and other hectic jobs helped me see the uglier side of human nature. The greedy, lost, warped out villains I create are often caricatures created from different interactions I’ve observed.

What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?

The books I have written so far are a paranormal romance with a major suspense element. I like the paranormal genre because I can bend reality to create a strange, extraordinary version of our world. I add a dose of suspense to everything I write because I have always loved to read stories that keep me wondering what will happen next.

How do you make time to write? 

It’s hard to find the time I need to go into the deep concentration mode it takes to create the plotline for a story and write the first draft. My kids interrupt me repeatedly even though they can clearly see me at the computer, either lost in thought with my head in my hands because an idea is evading me or I’m trying to push a pen across paper or type as fast as the words are forming in my mind. I try to manage my writing time carefully and use moments where I am doing something solitary like going for a run or taking a shower to reflect on ideas. 

Do you ever get Writer’s Block?

When I get stuck in writer’s block hell, I try to do something else other than stare at a blank page. Often, I’ll work on another book or poem when I can’t figure out how to move forward on a current work in progress. Sometimes I fall into the procrastination trap and avoid the writer’s block issue by cleaning my whole house, reading a book, or watching something on Netflix.   

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any? 

Rejection is all part of the process. The first book I wrote received a rejection but the letter I received had some really helpful suggestions on how to make the book better and I used those suggestions. The rude rejection letters that basically say “thanks but no thanks, your work is trash” aren’t fun for anyone to receive and I recommend not taking that kind of thing personally. After any type of rejection, I look at my work again to see if there’s anything I can do to improve the manuscript and after changes are made, I start sending it out again elsewhere. 

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

I’m probably closer to being an introvert. I’m not really shy but I am quiet, though I find that works out alright for me. I get a lot of story ideas just by observing the ordinary things people do and how they do them, then I ask myself how those people would react if something amazing or catastrophic happened right then and there.  

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Joining writers’ groups can help put aspiring writers in touch with people who can share great advice on writing, publishing, and marketing. Joining groups, whether online or locally also helps writers connect with one another, which can make the writing journey seem less daunting and isolated. I also suggest reading books about all aspects of the writing process, including marketing. Take writing classes if you can. Most importantly, don’t give up. 

There are days when I want to throw my computer out the window because I’ve rewritten the same sentence twenty-five times and can’t think of what should happen next in the story. When this happens, I take a step back, maybe work on a different story or find any number of other ways to distract myself. Every stage of writing has the potential to be hard or overwhelming, but don’t stop writing. Even when you’re faced with piles of rejection letters, keep writing! 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinalynnlambert

WordPress: https://christinalynnlambertwordpress.com 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chris4lamb

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15900423.Christina_Lynn_Lambert 

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lynn-Lambert/e/B01MCYK0K7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinalynnlambert

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

I would love to share an excerpt from steamy, suspenseful paranormal romance, Bear’s Edge, which is book 2 in my Stranger Creatures series.

Bear's Edge-sc-Amazon-NEWWhat is it about Grant? Looking at the man beside her was no hardship; that was for damn sure. He had the tall, broad body of a heavyweight UFC fighter, but he never used his size to intimidate the people around him. Shayla wanted to sweep his wavy, slightly shaggy dark hair out of his gorgeous brown eyes. His dark hair and eyes complemented his bronze skin. He was hot, in a serious, dangerous kind of way. But in the two and a half years he had worked for her, she had hardly learned anything about him. 

The waitress at the popular nature-themed restaurant, the Greenhouse Effect, showed them to their table. The plants growing around all the walls and columns made the place look like a wild garden. The smell of lavender and jasmine mixed with the delicious scents drifting from the kitchen. She tried not to drool, but breakfast seemed like eons ago. Shayla sat next to Sydney and across from Grant. A too-tall centerpiece of yellow-and-purple flowers blocked most of her view. Being short occasionally sucked. Grant moved the centerpiece to the side and gave her a shy smile. His smile made her want answers, among other things. 

She knew he was from New Jersey and had gone to school in Wisconsin before moving to Richmond, Virginia, to work with Brook’s Comprehensive, a huge company that did everything from urban development projects to financial management for celebrities and politicians. 

“Why do you want to make such a big change from a large corporation to a simple start-up company?” she’d asked him in the interview. 

“Honestly?” He had paused then, the question hanging. 

“Yes,” she’d assured him. She’d take honesty over smooth-faced, calculated interview answers any day. 

“I want to live somewhere I can have a house and some land. Maybe spend more time outside. Also, I want a job where I can do more than just run numbers for projects where I never see the outcome.” 

The last part had seemed to come as a surprise to him. Maybe he hadn’t really known he wanted something more than a change of scenery until he had said it out loud. 

His answer had been simple and honest instead of a long, drawn-out elaboration about the projected success of new companies in the area or an extensive list of projects he had helped to fruition. She could look at his résumé for those kinds of details. He had wanted to be there, so she’d hired him. Simple as that—after a clean background check and drug screening, of course. 

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on…. No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile slipped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself. 

She had really wanted to hug him this morning after seeing him so frustrated but decided it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him there were a few people on his side. Seeing him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch him pretending to be fine, but all she could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully, Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. And Shayla did care. Because he’s a friend. Just a friend. 

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half-smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In his dark eyes, she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and she did her best to ignore it. He might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense. 

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to behave and remember things could never go any further than a panty-melting gaze.

 

AuThursday – Tricia Schneider

Tricia Schneider author picTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a single mom of four children. I worked for several years as Assistant Manager and bookseller at my local Waldenbooks until the company closed its doors. I took that opportunity to focus full-time on my writing career in between naptimes and baseball games.

How do you make time to write?

It’s not as easy as it used to be! Before I had children, I would write during my lunch breaks at work or when I got home after my shift. For the last several years now, I write during naptimes and try to squeeze some writing time in when most of my children are at school during the day. Summer vacations get trickier. I typically write early in the morning before they all wake up and late at night after they go to sleep.

What genre are your books?

Paranormal and Historical Romance. Some are a combination of both.

What draws you to this genre?

I love happily-ever-afters. In the romance genre, HEA’s are a guarantee.

What are your current projects?

I have several shifter romances in the works. Also, a fantasy romance and a couple gothic romances. I always have a couple of projects going at the same time.

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

Introvert. Although I learned how to talk up a good storm with just about anyone from my days as a bookseller, I feel most comfortable on my own or with a few close friends. Writing is a very solitary job which I enjoy.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I have a couple. Is that bad? Laundry is one for me. With four kids, I have to take care of a lot of laundry. Then that usually leads to tidying the other messes that my adorable little sugarplums make of my house. A messy house drives me crazy. It’s difficult to focus on writing when I see so much that needs to get done around the house.

Self-doubt and perfectionism are others. I think these two go together. I’m always thinking that my writing can be better, so I’m constantly striving to make my writing stronger, more emotional, more action-packed, more…everything. I put a lot of pressure on myself which leads to procrastination, which leads to getting more laundry done.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read. Read everything you can get your hands on and then read some more. Reading in your chosen genre gives you a sense of what readers expect and helps you learn about the genre as you go. And then when you feel ready (or even if you don’t), write and keep writing. Don’t stop. Just keep writing. With every piece of writing you do, your writing gets stronger. Keep reading and writing.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website: http://www.triciaschneider.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/triciashneider

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authortriciaschneider

Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/triciaschneider

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/triciaschneider

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

This excerpt is from The Wolf’s Bride, included in Guardian: A Collection of Wolf Shifter Romances http://www.triciaschneider.com/books/paranormal-romance/guardian/

 

GuardianMadeline’s fingers tightened around the pistol. She approached the figure reclining in a wooden bathtub lined with linens from behind. With his head resting against the rim, he faced the windows making it easy to approach with him unaware of her presence. She measured each footstep so as not to make a sound, all the while keeping the pistol pointed in his direction.

She was only a few steps away when he spoke.

“Do I owe you money?” His deep voice reverberated through her bones. Madeline stopped moving. Her hand clenched around the pistol, continuing to aim it at the back of his head.

“No.”

“Then why are you here?”

He didn’t move a muscle. He made no attempt to stand. He remained exactly as she’d found him when she entered the room, reclining in the bathtub.

She tilted her head wondering how he had sensed her.

“I have it on good authority that a woman was killed here last night, and you are the man responsible.”

His head lifted.

“How did she die?”

“She was torn to pieces. They say she was ravaged by a wild animal.”

He turned his head to the side as if to see her better, but she stood directly behind him. Madeline suspected he might see her silhouette, but he couldn’t view her completely. Even if he could, he’d have difficulty identifying her with the hood of her cloak pulled low over her face.

“Why would you think I am responsible if they’re saying it was an animal attack?”

“Because I know what you are.”

He inhaled softly. She might have missed the reaction, but beside the crackling of the fire within the hearth nearby, there was nothing but silence in the room.

“And what am I?”

“The stable boy found bloody clothes buried near the edge of the forest. He identified those clothes as belonging to you. They were ripped apart. Shredded.”

The man considered this for a moment. “And how does that condemn me?”

“Because I’ve been searching for you,” Madeline whispered the words, but she knew he heard her when his back stiffened against the rim of the bathtub. “I recognize the signs of a werewolf.”