AuThursday – Beck Grey

66428869_padded_logoTell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m an LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance author with a day job to pay the bills and have insurance. I live in the NE USA and have two adorable fur babies. When I’m not working or writing I love to listen to audiobooks, play D&D, print and paint minis for D&D, and play RPG video games.
How do you make time to write?
I write on my lunch hour, most evenings, and on the weekends. I’m very picky with how I spend my time because writing is important to me, so I try not to participate in activities I don’t find rewarding because I’m usually wishing I could be writing instead.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. It’s real and has many different reasons. The trick is to find out what that reason is and fix what you can and accept what you can’t. I couldn’t write a thing during a certain four-year period when things were very scary in the world.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance. As a non-binary person, typical mainstream romances don’t represent me or how I’d like to envision my HEA. I enjoy reading stories that more closely reflect my self-image and ideal and LGBTQ Romance does that for me. I also think it allows authors to leave the stereotypical baggage behind that usually accompanies MF romance.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I’m an Indie published author because my genre still isn’t widely acknowledged or accepted by trad publishing, and LGBTQ+ Romance has a strong grass-roots base that is incredibly supportive and vocal.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m an introvert until I’m with my people. Put me in a room full of strangers and you’ll find me in the corner with the kids or the dog. Put me in a room full of my friends and you’ll never believe I’m an introvert. It actually helps me work because I don’t have a lot of motivation to go out and socialize. It leaves a lot of time for writing! 😀
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
In typical nerd fashion, it’s Yoda’s
“Do…or do not. There is no try.”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Find a group of like-minded authors and support each other. There is nothing like going through an experience with people who are at the same stage of career development as you are experiencing. There is an incredible amount of empathy and knowledge-sharing that can happen in a group like that. The support is incredible.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
This is from my new book Embrace Me. It’s the story of Quinn MacDougall, a hearing man unsuccessfully trying to juggle his career and the demands of a large family with romance, and Tadhg Byrne, a Deaf man doubting his instincts and fighting to make it in the Hearing world.
Embrace Me CoverEmbrace me is a 95,000-word contemporary MM romance about language barriers, loving but demanding families, crappy bosses, and sexy guys in speedos. It contains no cheating and a guaranteed Happily Ever After.
I glance back at Tadhg to find him watching me curiously. I drain my beer and jump up. ‘Need another. You want one?’
He finishes his bottle and stands. ‘I’ll come with you.’
Oh. Okay. That’s. Fine? Sure. It’s fine. We’re just two people who work together, getting a beer. Together. As co-workers. I spin on my heels and hurry into the kitchen, with Tadhg trailing behind me. I toss my empty bottle into the recycle bin and pull two fresh beers out of the fridge. When I spin around, Tadhg is so close I have to lean back so I don’t bump into him. “Oh!” His beautiful blue eyes look into mine and it sucks all the air out of the room. I stand there like an idiot holding a beer in each hand, panting as if I’ve just run a mile flat out.
He gently pulls one bottle from my hand and carefully opens it, his eyes never leaving mine. I hadn’t even noticed he’d picked up an opener. He hands the opened beer back and takes the second one, repeating the process just as easily, like he does this solely by touch all the time. It’s kinda hot.
We stand there, so close I can feel warmth rolling off his body, and he smells so damned good I want to press my face into his neck and inhale lungfuls of him. His gaze drops to my mouth and then snaps back up to meet my eyes. And oh god, he’s going to kiss me. He leans forward and I move closer, unable to fight his pull.

AuThursday – Raleigh Damson Snow

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi! I’m Raleigh, from Northern Ontario and a homeschooling mama bear to two. I thrive on coffee.
How do you make time to write?
Just like I make the time for anything else–it’s another ball to juggle. Sometimes that means getting up at 5 and joining in the #5AMWRITERSCLUB , sometimes that means saying, “in twenty minutes” to certain requests from my cubs.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I think “writer’s block” is over hyped to the point where it has lost a lot of meaning. I think there are certain things in life that can cause you not to have access to your creative brian…I couldn’t write for three years after I experienced trauma and loosing that part of myself was a loss. Regaining it took time.
BBebookfinalfrontcopyTell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am writing Steamy BDSM Contemporary Suspense Romance! I love that I get to play with fantasies, I love there is always a sense of danger lurking and most of all, I love giving readers the HEA they expect.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie! It took me a long time to get here-to releasing books in a series and I want all the control.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert! It affects my work because I work best if I can be immersive, in a silence house, lol-tand that doesn’t happen often.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” -Dorris Lessing.
These words remind me that there isn’t always going to be a quiet house or a good time or the dishes done, or other responsibiliteis I can put off…so I have to write, now however and whenever I can.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m most active on twitter @DamsonSnow

AuThursday – Shannon O’Connor

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a twenty something bisexual single mother from New York. I started writing full time during the pandemic and started publishing poetry in 2018, with my first romance novel in 2021.
How do you make time to write?
This is something I’m still figuring out, I honestly write when the creativity strikes.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do! It hits me more often than I’d like.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Poetry and Contemporary Romance. Poetry is something that has always been there for me and gives me a way to let out my feelings. It helps me process everything I’m feeling and heal. Contemporary romance is something newer for me. I’ve always written growing up but lately I have all these ideas and stories to tell that really feels like an escape. They’re stories I wish I had growing up or character’s who’s stories I feel I need to tell.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie! I like the control that indie publishing has. Being able to be in complete control of each step is really important to me.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Extrovert. I like to think this positively affects my work because I will go out and look for new experiences to be able to write about them first hand.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
You got this. (something my mother has always said)
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing, take breaks but then keep writing & write the story you wish you could read.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From my upcoming short story Christmas Sweets featured in the anthology, A Taste of You:
If there’s one thing to know about me it’s this; I hate Christmas. I’m not like a Grinch or anything, I’ll get the ones I love presents, spend the holidays with my family, but I just hate what it brings out in some people. I own a bakery and I have never seen people more hostile than they are at Christmas time. Something about the holidays bring out the worst in people. Because of this, I normally spend most of November and December in the back of the cafe. I’ll busy myself with paperwork, baking cookies, frosting cakes, anything to keep me from interacting with customers.
Except half my staff caught the flu this week so I’ve been forced to take charge of the counter. I guess that’s what I get for being in charge. I’ve already had several customers tell me they wouldn’t be coming back. Another customer angry that we don’t make cakes from scratch on the spot for their children’s birthday party they forgot to order a cake for.
I’m quickly making it through the line of customers asking for pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin flavored desserts. It’s one of our biggest sellers this time of year, and I can’t say I blame them, it’s one of my favorites too. Most other places give up on Pumpkin after October but this is when it really thrives. Half our front case is decked out in pumpkin flavored cheesecake, muffins, bagels, donuts, bread, and cake.
Although I do miss when just two weeks away I was decorating jack o lanterns and tombstones. Halloween is a much better holiday in my opinion, the chance for you to dress up with no fear or expectations. The day where it’s okay to be the most exuberant you, you can be. I sigh as I finish wrapping up a pumpkin cheesecake and pass it to the customer to pay. She thanks me with a smile and I’m silently grateful for her patience.

AuThursday – Paris Wynters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a multi-racial author who lives in NY. I have been a Pitch Wars mentor for four years. I am also a search and rescue canine handler.
How do you make time to write?
I make time to write to write by planning my days. Life always gets in the way but when I have things planned out I am more able to adjust then when I don’t.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. For me it can be due to stress, health, and even trying to hard.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I mostly write contemporary romance. I absolutely love it because I get to explore bits of the human condition, explore and represent the mixed race experience as well as some of the struggles with being disabled. And I absolutely love having happily ever afters.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Most of my books are traditionally published. I am currently working on a novel that will be self published because it falls into a series where my rights were reverted back to me. But I do have another new story I am working on that I hope will be going on submission soon.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert. It becomes hard to interact with people and ask for help. I find that it ends up being tougher for me to get that writer support group bc I feel awkward. But when I’m comfortable around people I do become more extroverted.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Do what works for you.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Everyone works differently. No one way is correct, so don’t force yourself to do something that doesn’t work for you even if 90% of everyone else is doing it. If writing every day doesn’t work for you, that’s fine.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
on IG and Twitter: @pariswynters
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
“Get your stuff,” Qara called over her shoulder, looking back at her grandmother and sister while grabbing for the door handle…only to hit something else. She spun her head forward, her gaze jerking down to see her gloved hand sitting atop another glove. A much larger one and suddenly felt the presence of a large body to her left.
She yelped, jumped, and slipped on an icy patch of sidewalk. A pair of strong hands landed on her shoulders. Steadying her. She lifted her gaze to meet a pair of dazzling blue eyes. Then, the rest of him registered. Tall. Broad shouldered. Cheekbones for days.
Qara blinked and tried to regain her focus, while her heart gave an unsteady thump. “I’m sorry, I thought the cab was pulling over for me.” The man smiled at her before releasing her shoulders and stepping back. He rubbed his chin, a motion that brought Qara’s attention to his sandy-blond beard. Her pulse fluttered again. She’d always been a sucker for a rugged man with facial hair. Apparently that appreciation extended even to taxi thieves.
The man turned up the collar of his wool coat and yanked his knit hat over his ears. “It’s okay. I can hail another one.”
Great. Now she felt bad for accusing him of being a thief. Even if she had done it silently. Qara fiddled with her purse strap and nodded, still feeling a little dazed. Was it just her, or did this guy look like Charlie Hunnam’s younger brother?
While she debated that very important fact, a familiar voice cut through the air. “Nonsense. Where are you heading?” Emee said.
The man turned to face her grandmother. “The Shangri-La Hotel.”
“What a coincidence,” Rose said. She lifted her eyebrows at Qara, and the corners of her mouth tipped up.
Qara’s eyes widened. Oh, no. She knew that look on her sister’s face all too well. Now was not the time for Rose to get involved in her dating life—or lack of one. Enough was said a few days ago at their grandmother’s birthday dinner, and she needed to put an end to this before her sister got any bright ideas. Like playing matchmaker.
Before she could protest, though, her sister piped up again. “That’s where we’re heading. Why not join us? We can all squeeze in.”

AuThursday – Amelia Foster

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have been a lover of the written word for as long as I can remember as a reader and began crafting my own first story when I was five. My biggest love is romance and I will greedily devour practically all sub-genres.
How do you make time to write?
I don’t sleep! Okay, that’s only partially a joke. I work more than full-time in healthcare which is a nightmare on a good day and an absolute study in insanity since COVID-19 hit. But I get up early and try to write for a few hours in the morning.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I feel like I need something a little more emphatic than yes for this question.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00006]
I primarily write contemporary romance more on the sweet side, but I have forayed into a few spicier works.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
TILMy current series is my first indie journey which is both the greatest and most overwhelming decision of my life. But even when my brain feels incredibly full, I still believe it was the perfect choice for me.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I am an introvert who is forced to extrovert as part of my day job career. So because of that I am a little more exhausted than I would be otherwise and I think that it affects my ability to write as much as I’d like because I need the time to recuperate from peopling.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Breaks are okay and your mental health needs to come first, but just because your passion needs to be on the back burner at times doesn’t mean you need to give up on the overall dream.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

AuThursday – Sarah M. Reed

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

When I was seven years old, I wrote a story for a contest and won a blue ribbon. I continued to write stories throughout my childhood and adolescence but didn’t enter any more contests or even show them to anyone! A few years ago when my parents moved they found some of my old things to send me and my old stories were in there. It inspired me to take up writing stories again. During the last year and a half due to being stuck at home with Covid and whatnot I have finally had the time to publish and put them out there. 

How do you make time to write? 

Writing is my favorite pastime and my best self-care strategy. I write because it feels good to write. I write because the stories come to me and I want to tell them. I fit in writing among my many other activities without any sort of schedule, just when I have the time and the inspiration I sit and I write. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe that inspiration comes and goes but writer’s block is usually from forcing a story or a character to go in a direction it doesn’t want to go. Usually by relaxing, taking a step back and reimagining the story, the block is removed. 

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

I write contemporary romance novels with strong women and good-hearted men. My books are slow burn, all of them, and character-driven. They include elements of suspense or intrigue or drama. These are the types of books I most like to read, and so these are the type of books I write. Ultimately, I write for me. I write a book I will love and characters I will fall in love with. I have written across several different romance tropes, though I have yet to write one in my favorite trope – enemies to lovers. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

I initially published as an indie author through Amazon’s KDP program because it’s easy and quick and virtually cost free. I began publishing just for me – in order to have my finished books on my shelf. The fact that others have read them and enjoyed them is really just a bonus! 

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

I think I am an extroverted introvert. I love being around people. I am an avid listener and like to hear people’s stories. But ultimately, people wear me out, and so I like my alone time too to girl up with a book or binge watch a little tv. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Be the change you want to see in the world. – Gandhi 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

WRITE. It seems simple, and really it is. You can’t edit something that’s not on the page. Even if it’s rough or stupid or grammatically incorrect, write it down and figure it out later. First drafts are always messy. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Facebook www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100054158571494

Or my Goodreads page www.goodreads.com/author/show/20514616.Sarah_M_Reed 

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

This is from my most recent novel, “Not Part of the Plan”: 

When the bell rang and it was finally his turn at her table, Simon slid smoothly into the chair opposite her and greeted her cheerfully. “Hi, Emma. Fancy meeting you here.” 

Scowling, she grunted, “What are you doing here?” 

He shrugged casually, a playful glint in his eyes. “Well, you made speed dating sound so interesting that I thought I would check it out for myself.” 

“This event is for people who have trouble finding dates,” she hissed through clenched teeth. “When in your life have you ever had trouble finding a date?” 

“Well,” he scratched his cheek as though considering. “There was this one time that this girl shot me down before I even got to say hello.” 

“Which you probably deserved,” she replied flippantly, “Seeing as how you were bugging her and she wanted to be left alone.” 

“And yet here she is, looking for a date among the sad and the lonely.” He shook his head. “It’s puzzling.” Grimacing, she crossed her arms over her chest. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” 

“Yeah? And how’s it working out for you?” 

Her eyes flashed. “Not as well as I had hoped.” 

Chuckling, he patted his suit pocket. “Not so bad for me. I already have four phone numbers.” “What? That’s not how it’s supposed to work.” 

He raised his hands defensively. “I didn’t ask for them. They just gave them to me. Was I supposed to say no?” “Yes!” 

“Why?” 

“Because that’s…” she scrambled to find the right word, “Cheating.” 

A slow grin crossed his face. “Admit it, Emma. You’re jealous.” 

“I am not jealous,” she denied hotly. 

Leaning his elbows on the table, he moved forward into her space. Lowering his voice, he asked, “What if I told you that the woman at table five had a very friendly foot that tried to make its way to the promised land?” 

“The promised land?” she scoffed. “That’s what you call it?” 

“Of course not,” he objected with mock offense. “But it seemed more polite.” 

Slapping her hand against her forehead, she exclaimed, “Seriously, Simon, why are you here?” 

The laughter left his face as he met her eyes directly. The intensity of his gaze in that moment stole her breath away. Quietly, he admitted, “I guess a six-minute date with you is better than no date at all.” 

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AuThursday – Cass Scotka

Cass-at-Pride-e1615253907974Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m a born and bred military brat turned military wife, a Texas Longhorn forever, and California is my soul’s home. I have a clinical doctorate in Audiology and by day work for a global hearing amplification company. By night, once my kiddos are in bed, I read, write, and create new worlds. I was chosen for PitchWars in 2016, landed my agent with a different manuscript in 2019, and my debut novel REVOLUTIONARY LOVE came out August 23, 2021. I’m also a die-hard Oxford comma supporter and will never give it up! 

How do you make time to write? 

I don’t sleep! Kidding…kind of. I do primarily write in the evenings after my kids are in bed. I’m not much of a morning person. I also take time on weekends to carve out a few hours and when I take the occasional work trip (pre-pandemic) I also snag the extra alone time for writing, too. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes!! I’m a pantser by nature so writer’s block can be a bit tricky. I’ve learned to use a very loose outline to help have at least a vague idea where I’m going with a story, and I’ve also learned it’s okay to skip sections or simply put [INSERT SCENE HERE] and circle back later. The main thing to keep in mind is don’t let it stop you from finishing your story! 

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

I write Romance! Contemporary, paranormal, historical – as long as it has love and an HEA I’m here for it! My debut novel is a historical romance set during the American Revolutionary War, I have a contemporary romance on sub, and am drafting a romance with light paranormal elements. My PitchWars manuscript is a YA paranormal romance that I hope will one day see bookshelves, too. I am a sucker for a good love story and I *have* to have a happy ending! Uncertain or sad endings are not my jam. I go into writing (and reading!) with the excitement of seeing how my MCs are going end up happily together! 

How are you publishing your recent book and why

My first book was published through Champagne Book Group and it was a great experience! As with many authors, I hope to land a deal with one of the big five and their imprints one day, but the Indie route was great for having easy and quick communication, one-on-one attention and mentoring, and CBG has been a great group to launch with! 

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

Introvert for sure! Writing is a great way for me to recharge and have alone time while still getting the vibes of spending time with friends. I always know I’m writing the right plot idea when my characters feel real to me and I look forward to my writing time to see what happens next! 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing!! Keep writing, keep querying, and keep participating in mentor contests and Twitter parties. Keep going with all the things and YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website/Blog: https://www.cassscotka.com 

Twitter: @CScotka; https://twitter.com/CScotka 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cass.scotka/ 

Instagram: @cassscotkawrites; https://www.instagram.com/cassscotkawrites/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2129915.Cass_Scotka 

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

revolutionary-love-cover-512x716-1

“This world?” A small shake of her head set the moonlight shimmering in her dark tresses. “As if we are living in two different places.” 

His voice turned hard. “We are. You have no idea what I’ve seen. What I’ve done in this blasted war.” He released her arm and looked away, afraid his sins would somehow show on his face. 

She touched his shoulder, but he refused to meet her eyes. “And you’ve no idea what I’ve seen and endured. The British soldiers in New York…they are not kind or decent men. I’ve seen how prisoners are treated. I’ve firsthand experience in how they treat women. Whatever you’ve done, the soldiers I know you’ve killed in battle, is all for the greater good of America.” 

He spun back to her, eyes flashing. “You don’t know what I’ve done! I murder men, Verity. Murder. Not fight in battle, but sit atop hills and cliffs three hundred yards away with my long rifle and shoot men without warning. They have no means to fight back against me. They never see me coming. My sharpshooting skills are exceptional and I’ve been singled out as Washington’s private killer.” His chest heaved from the force of his breathing. Hands shaking with rage and regret, he balled them into fists. “Go to bed.” 

Stay. God, he wanted her to stay, but he’d stain her sweet innocence. He wasn’t worthy of her attention. Not when she discovered— 

“Oh, you are too hardheaded!” She snarled with all the ire of a wet kitten. Plunking her hands on her hips, she scowled. Theo choked back his guffaw at the indignation she displayed. Even angry, she was delightfully charming. Her jaw clenched tighter, brows lowered a fraction more, and her eyes burned. 

Unease stirred within him. Perhaps he’d underestimated her vexation. “Don’t you dare patronize me.” She stepped closer so they were chest to chest. Her chin tilted up to keep their stares locked. “You believe General Washington is so morally corrupt he’d use someone as a trained killer on a whim?” 

“No, but—” 

She sliced a hand through the air. “Tell me, these men you’ve shot from afar, were they key soldiers leading troops into battle?” 

“Yes, but—” 

She poked a finger into his chest. “Did their deaths mean swift victories for the Continental Army without additional bloodshed?” 

“Most of the time, but—” 

“Then you saved lives, you daft man! By working with Washington to choose when and whom to target, you are saving countless American and British soldiers from death on the battlefield. I spent one dinner with the general and I know without qualms he is the very best of men. His Excellency would not be our chosen leader if he did not inspire unwavering trust in his decisions for the good of our country.” 

Theo blinked while his mind whirled over her words. A few points were fair, but still these men did not have the hope of fighting back against him. They did not see their deaths coming at his hands. “They could not fight back! The soldiers I’ve murdered did not even know from which direction death struck.” 

A frustrated growl filled the air and Verity stamped her foot. “As is so for most of us. Not everyone is fortuitous enough to see Death approach and have an option to fight back. People die every day and there is nothing to stop it. My father is proof. Redcoats dragged him from our field without warning. Tortured him for information. Beat him when he refused to pledge allegiance to the king. Hanged him and burned our home to the ground. All while I cried and begged for mercy. The only mercy I found was when they left me to spread the news of what happens to so-called traitors.” Theo’s eyes grew round as horror swept through him. The strength she held inside her tiny frame. It shamed him further to think of how he hid from afar behind his gun. His teeth ground together. He was a worthless coward. A worthless coward who could not provide her the life she so deserved. 

Her face softened. Shaking her head, she lifted a hand to his cheek. “You cannot blame yourself. No matter what your mind tells you, you are a good man.” 

Theo jerked his head away from her touch, afraid to sully her. “You are too naive, Verity.” 

“Stop treating me as a child. I am a full-grown woman, in case you hadn’t noticed.” 

Before he registered it, Theo reached out and swept her into his arms so their bodies touched from chest to thigh. “I am all too aware you are no longer a child.” He shifted his hips against her belly and she gasped as his erection pressed 

there. “There is no mistaking your lush female curves.” 

Their eyes locked and held. In the moonlight, he saw her pupils enlarge, her pulse flutter at her throat, and the small parting of her lips as her breathing quickened. Her body softened and relaxed into his embrace. “Theo,” she whispered and the tip of her tongue peeked out to wet her lips. 

New Release – Betting Blind by Loren Beeson

  

Title: Betting Blind
Author: Loren Beeson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Emily Wittig
Publication Date: June 18th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Cassidy Smith is desperate for some excitement. Her free-spirited best friend keeps her on her toes with the occasional misadventure, but deep down, she just needs… more. When the girls stumble into a bar known for its bad reputation and a tattooed, bad boy owner, Cassidy’s left daydreaming about what it would be like to ditch her boring life and find a way to fit in with the rough, rowdy crowd of The Pound.

 

Jack Campbell’s got a one-track mind. He works hard to provide for the guys who work for him and even harder to keep his bar running in tip-top shape. He can’t afford the temptation of Cassidy being more than just a temporary employee, but against his better judgment, he offers the beautiful blonde a job at his bar. Things get more complicated for Jack when his older brother starts stirring up trouble in town, etching a target on his back and forcing him into a world he promised never to turn back to.

 

With their hearts on the table and a deck full of secrets, will they bet it all… or give up their hand?


Loren is a dreamer, artist, radiologic technologist, and author who loves animals and people. Always writing short stories as a young child and young adult, she knew she wanted to become an author someday. The Art of Loving Ellie is Loren’s debut novel.

Loren can be found in her cozy home in Texas with her nose in a book, her corgi and mini aussie on her lap, and her son trailing along with her and her husband through their many adventures.

Author Links:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon






 

Cover Reveal – Cruel Summer

 

Title: Cruel Summer
Author: L.L. Hunter 
Genre: YA Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Cover Designer: Emily Wittig
Publication Date: Sept. 30th, 2021
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

Over the summer, Stacey Miller lost her innocence.

But it’s not how people think.

The pastor’s step- daughter has a dark secret, one she’d rather keep hidden forever.

But when recent events force her to open up and tell Darcie, her best friend, the truth, Stacey knows she can’t run or hide.

Besides that, there is still a killer on the loose, and Darcie might be next.

They’ll do anything to keep the town, and Darcie, from uncovering the truth.

 

The thrilling third instalment of the Summervale series.

L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens – everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog – http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.

Author Links:




AuThursday – Kim Findlay

_BAY4002-Kim_Findlay (1)Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a (mostly retired) CPA who now lives on a sailboat in the Caribbean and writes romance novels. I’m a Canadian, and previously lived there all my life, mostly outside Toronto, but for 17 memorable and cold years in Winnipeg, which is where you wind up if you go north of North Dakota.

My husband is the sailor, and he suggested we try the cruising lifestyle. The carrot for me was time to write. So I closed my accounting business, and we headed south. I’ve learned a lot about living on a boat.

My first two published books were hockey romances with Harlequin Heartwarming in 2018. I have five books being published in 2021, one in 2022, and a short story in a holiday anthology in November. 

So for me, this has been an awesome change in lifestyle.

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

I write contemporary romance. I do not have the imagination for paranormal or the patience for research for historical – though I enjoy reading those who do. I’ve always written stories in my head, and no matter what I start out thinking I’ll write, there always end up being two people falling in love. I think the draw might be that incredible feeling when those characters find their HEA. 

What are your current projects?6_MooU_Findlay_ebook_FINAL

I signed contracts for six books in 2020 and I’m just about done edits on the last one now. One was out in February, one in April, one in June, July, September and then January. I’ve submitted a proposal to Harlequin Heartwarming for three more books in the Cupid’s Crossing series. I’m fairly optimistic about the chances I have there. 

The non-Harlequin I released in April was part of Sarina Bowen’s World of the True North, featuring two college hockey players. Several people have asked for Cooper’s story (MMC’s friend) so I’m working on that, considering self publishing, and also a short story for the Christmas anthology featuring the FMC’s roommate Penny. 

Beyond that, I have about 20 stories battling for room in my brain, and I need to figure out which one to work on next!

Do you outline a plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I do a kind of hybrid. I start with the idea, and let it lead me, but my brain normally gets ahead of my hands, so I’ll do a plot outline or synopsis so that I don’t forget what I’ve thought of. For proposals, they require a synopsis, so I’ve learned to get the story plot set down even if I can’t get much of the story itself written. But I have friends who plot out chapter by chapter, and I cannot even fathom that. My first draft is just one big thing, and I don’t break it down into chapters until I’ve gone through it several times.

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

Are you a writer if you haven’t had a rejection?

I didn’t start querying, since I came into this a little differently, until after I’d been published. So after I work through the hurt feelings, resign myself to never being accepted by an agent or publisher again, sharing with my writing group (rejections are responded to with pics of hot men and women, and sometimes cute dogs) I remember that I have books out there, and I will again, if I’m willing to do the work. And since I don’t have an agent, I’m open to consider less traditional routes. I’m more aware of the fact that traditional publishing does have issues and limitations for writers, and I’m seriously considering self publishing.

Which means I can then look at dismal sales records to keep  my ego in check.

You are Traditionally published without an agent, how did that come about? 

Someone I knew wrote for Harlequin Romance. She seemed a normal person, but she was doing this. Writing, what I wanted to do! She would often post on social media about opportunities Harlequin had, including the annual So You Think You Can Write contest. I tried a couple of those, joined the forums to talk to other writers and writer wannabes. In 2016, I entered a Blitz Harlequin had for their Heartwarming line. My first chapter and synopsis led to a full request, which led to revisions, which led to “the call” and a two book deal, with of course, more revisions.

I really had no idea about the usual querying process at that time. Part of that was because I had so many ideas in my head, and not enough time to get them written that I didn’t have a complete manuscript, let alone a polished one. The Blitz meant that I had one project that had merit and I could focus on that.

I would still like to get an agent, because of writing opportunities that only exist for writers who have an agent. But mostly, I’d love to have someone look at all these ideas I have and say this is the one you should do. And then this one. Because focus is my problem. 

Since I was published with Harlequin, I have an editor, for whom all things Harlequin feed. I’ve got two Love Inspired Suspense titles coming out under the pen name Anne Galbraith this year, and that happened because I could approach my editor about an idea. 

And I’m now more aware that there are publishers you can approach without an agent. I’m working on some ideas for that now. 

Why was Traditional Publishing right for you vs. Self-Publishing?

A big part of that was because I knew nothing about self publishing. I still know very little, but I have a better idea of where to find the knowledge I need. It will require a big investment of time and some financial resources, but I’m considering it for a future option.

What I liked about traditional publishing was first, the validation. Someone, a professional in publishing, was willing to pay me money for something I wrote. As well, since I knew so little, I didn’t have to worry about the areas I was ignorant of, like covers and formatting. Harlequin especially, puts your books in hands because of the publisher, so it was an opportunity to get my writing out there, which I, with so little marketing knowledge and talent couldn’t do. 

And, as I mentioned before, I needed the focus. Someone else said, yes, that story. Finish it, because I want to read it. That was a big help. And the first edits I received? Were like getting a free class in writing craft. So much that I hadn’t thought of.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Obviously, write. A lot. You keep getting better. 

Also, read. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and from that I’ve learned the basic arc of a story without really working through from a how to book. As well, you’ll find comps, and learn what’s popular and not in your genre. There are books out there that can help you refine your writing skills, or marketing skills or whatever you’re needing.

Find people. I found a great group when I did #RevPit on twitter. We share opportunities and information on agents and publishers. We critique for each other, cheer-lead, and in case of R’s, post pictures of hot people to inspire and console. Writing is a solitary thing, so even if you don’t want to share your work, sharing your experiences with someone who’s been there helps.

Be willing to risk. Putting your work out there is a risk. Getting rejections hurts. But try something new, like sending something to a publisher without using an agent. Enter a contest like #PitMad or #RevPit, and see what happens. 

Finally, persevere. It’s not going to be easy. There are going to be rejections that make you want to curl up in a hole and never come out. Even if you get published, there will be hurtful reviews and one star ratings. But if you want to get your stories out into the world and find the readers that are going to say they love your characters, you have to pick yourself up and try again.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.kimfindlay.ca is my website. On facebook, KimFindlayAuthor. My twitter ID is @missheyer74, and on Instagram you can see pretty pictures of the Caribbean and my dog at authorkimfindlay. 

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

Here’s an excerpt from A Valentine’s Proposal, which came out in February. It’s the first book in the Cupid’s Crossing series. Nelson and Mariah are fake dating, for reasons, and she’s suggested they practice kissing in private so they’re able to make a convincing show in public.

9781335179760Nelson looked at Mariah, her cheeks slightly pink, her gaze on her notebook (had she actually researched bad kissing?) and her teeth biting her bottom lip. Maybe it was all this talk of kissing, but right now, he wanted to kiss Mariah.

         Not theoretical, pretty woman, kissing would be great, but kissing the woman sitting there, the one trying to make kissing an item on her list, something they could practice in order to demonstrate to people that they were falling for each other.

         Maybe some people kissed like that. But Nelson never had. He didn’t kiss for anyone but himself and the woman he was interested in. He wanted to kiss Mariah but kiss her so that she wanted to kiss him again, not to impress anyone else or critique his technique.

         He was going to make her love his kisses.

         Being overeager was something that would be on the bad kissing list, so Nelson shrugged.

         “Okay, then. Let’s do it.” He patted the couch beside him.

         He watched Mariah. He saw her swallow. Her teeth were scraping her lip now. She set her computer and notebooks down on the floor beside her chair.

         “I guess we should go ahead and get this taken care of.”

         Was she nervous? She totally was.

         “Mark it off your list.”

         She narrowed her eyes, looking like she suspected something. He smiled back at her.

         “Come on. No time like the present. Then I can get back to the game.”

         Her shoulders snapped back, and her teeth were no longer worrying her lip. He held back a grin. Unless he mistook the expression on her face, she was determined that he wasn’t going to shrug off this kiss and turn on the TV.

         Good. They were on the same page about this.

         She stood and crossed to the couch, dropping on the cushion beside him. He watched the expressions swirling over her face. She was staring at his lips, and leaned forward, starting to pucker. He could almost read the checklist in her mind.

         Unh uh. Kissing wasn’t a checklist.

         He put a hand on her cheek, soft under his palm, and kept her at a distance.

         “Hold on, Mariah. You all but accused me of being a bad kisser. I can’t have that. We’re going to do this right.”

         Her brow creased. “What do you mean?”

         His thumb brushed over her cheek. She blinked. His other hand brushed her arm, fingers running up and down from shoulder to wrist and back. Her gaze followed his hand, her expression confused.

         His fingers slid up her shoulder, across to her neck, gently stroking. He felt her soften under his touch. Soon he had both hands cradling her face. She drew in a breath, watching him intently. He caressed her bottom lip with one thumb, and her mouth parted.

         Bingo.

         He leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. Her skin was warm and smooth under his lips. Her perfume tickled his nose, and he could hear her breathing. He felt his own speed up. Mariah’s eyes fluttered closed as his lips traced a path down her nose, across her cheek, to one corner of the delectable lips.

         She sighed, relaxing fully into his hold.

         Then he touched her lips with his, softly. He pulled away, just enough to catch his breath, and she moved closer, seeking more.

         He pressed forward again, brushing his lips against hers, back and forth, as she pushed closer to him. His hands slid into her hair, and hers moved up his chest, gripping his sweater.

         Now he increased the pressure, feeling the texture of her lips, the brush of her breath, the slight moan that escaped her.

         Or maybe that was him. Because kissing Mariah was a pleasure he’d have hated to miss.