AuThursday – Lesanda Moore

20201126_141648Please welcome Lesanda Moore to the Clog Blog,  Lasanda, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a mother of 3, a lover of nature, and an avid reader. Oh and I love to travel. I’m a licensed educator as well.
How do you make time to write?
By making it a priority and scheduling writing time.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write romance, women’s fiction, and children’s picture books. I love telling stories about love and life lessons with relatable characters.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I’m an indie author. I’ve only been published since January 2021. I want to learn as much as I can about the industry before pitching to a traditional publisher.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I think I’m a bit of both. Sometimes I write alone and other times I participate in live sprints with other authors. It depends on my mood.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
It’s gotta work or it’s gotta work!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Start writing
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
what the heart wants ebook cover #1What the Heart Wants
Chapter 1: Cheers to Summer Break
Cirilla
June 2018
Sweat dripped down my forehead as the afternoon announcements blared through the loudspeaker. It was the last day of school before summer break, the last day in hell, both literally and physically. The air conditioning system conked out a week ago and the whole school was riddled with fans to combat the Virginia heat.
“Boys and girls, make sure to grab all of your belongings or else they’ll be going in the trash,” I said, fanning myself with a piece of folded construction paper.
As I watched the fifth graders interact with each other, I counted down the seconds until the final bell rang, until I was a free woman.
“We’re gonna miss you, Miss Matthews.”
“I’m gonna miss you guys, too.”
They lined up against the wall and waited for the principal to dismiss the bus riders. I walked to the front of the line and handed each student a bag of treats. After the last rider left, I escorted the remaining students to the front of the building for parent pickup. While waiting, I made small talk with the other members of the fifth-grade team.
“Are you ready for some fun in the sun?” I asked.
“Yep. Me and somebody’s son,” said Maddie.
“Girl, you are too much.”
“I’m tryna get like you. I want to go to South Beach and get my booty rubbed by that fine-ass boss of ours, too.”
“Shhh,” I said, looking around to see who else heard our conversation. “Are you tryna get me fired on the last day?”
“My bad,” she whispered.
The last two students dashed across the grass to meet their parents and I headed back to the classroom to gather my belongings. Looking around the room, I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I made it through another stressful, but successful school year and now it was time to go home and pack for my much-needed baecation to Miami. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach just thinking about how much fun, and sex, I was about to have.
“See you later,” I said, turning off the lights and closing the door behind me.

AuThursday – Emersyn Park

Please welcome Emersyn Park to The Clog Blog!  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve always loved to write: plays, poetry, and stories. Covid kept me from leaving the house so I decided to check something off of my bucket list. Turns out people liked my boredom buster.
How do you make time to write?
The best time of the day for my imagination is at night when the house is quiet and no one “needs” me.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I can’t force imagination or creativity. Some people can, but I work best with no pressure. Writer’s block for me happens when I push it.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
My first two books are Women’s Fiction, leaning toward family drama. I hate drama in my real life, but love to create it on paper.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Initially, I wrote “He Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” just for myself. No intention of sharing it with the world. But a good friend encouraged me to publish it- I did self-publishing because I had no idea that it would progress this far.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Before Covid, I would have said EXTROVERT for sure. But now I hate to make plans to leave the house. I would like to believe I am more selective of who I spend my time with.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write the book!!! Don’t make excuses.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

AuThursday – David Bridger

David Bridger author picPlease welcome my friend David Bridger to The Clog Blog!  David, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Twenty years in the Royal Navy until I got hurt and then caught a virus in hospital that left me housebound/bedbound with lifelong chronic illness. Cue: my second career as a novelist. Twelve written to date, nine of them still in print, with three more on the way in this next year or two plus my first non-fiction book.
How do you make time to write?
I have all the time in the world (Thanks, Louis) but very limited energy, so managing that to allow my writing is a job in itself.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
For me, thankfully, it hasn’t happened.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Science fiction and fantasy of a literary style.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Over the years, I’ve done traditional and then self-publishing. Enjoyed the creative freedom of the latter, but eventually had to admit that all the extra work was damaging my health. Fortunately, a friend introduced me to his small independent publisher, who turned out to be a treasure. She and I get on, personally and professionally. She asks no more of me than that I write my books then edit them with her, which is the perfect usage of my available energy. All my available books are now with her house, and I hope that all my future ones will be too.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m a contemplative. Extrovert in my younger days, growing less so as I age. This might perhaps affect my writing, although I’m probably not the best person to judge that.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I trust my intuition.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep going.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From my most recently released novel, Wild Times:
DavidBridger_WildTimes_1600x2400
Magic is a marriage of hope and rebellion.
It’s everywhere in the world. Always has been. But in most of the world, it’s unknown. People stopped using it, believing in it even, thousands of years ago, and hundreds of years ago, and tens of years ago. It seems that each culture and each generation rejects magic a bit more than the one before. Some cultures more or less than others, but the general trend is to ignore magic and eventually to forget it. In every culture, though, in every generation, there are people who don’t ignore it. Some of them stick around in the normal world, and they are often persecuted because of what they know, what they practise.
But many don’t stick around. They go into the Wild.

AuThursday – Cynthia Terelst

Welcome Cynthia Terelst to The Clog Blog!  Cynthia, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I work full-time as a Document Controls Manager. I loved reading as a child and began writing in earnest when I was a teenager. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. It is still unpublished but I do work on it every now and then.
How do you make time to write?
I am very structured. My day job takes a lot out of me, both mentally and time-wise. I write after work and on weekends. I am fortunate that I don’t have any children at home. Writing is me time. I try to do it every day.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. I am sure that a lot of authors feel stuck at times. When I do, I try to just keep writing. Even if it’s just a few words. It helps me think about what is coming.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write contemporary romance. I have always enjoyed reading romance, even as a teenager. Back then the books I read were more sweet, nothing more than a kiss. I love romance because it gives you feel-good vibes. Love is what makes the world go around.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
All of my books are indie published. The traditional route did not meet the speed at which I wanted to publish. Indie is a big investment in time and money but I feel that it is worth it. I don’t skimp on anything – covers, editing, proofreading – because I want to give my readers the best possible book.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m a bit of both. I am a shy person unless I am confident in a situation. I don’t think it affects my writing.
Sometimes being quiet allows you to read situations. But when you are an extrovert you can be in the middle of those situations.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Today’s is –
You are your only limit
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Practice, practice, practice. Learn, learn, learn. Get feedback on your writing. It will help you become a better writer.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
The four of us were ready to leave camp. Rosanna and Mak each had a towel and book ready to hit the beach to read. I was disappointed Mak wasn’t joining us. As we walked past them, I paused. I leant in to give her a kiss. My lips embraced hers, once, twice, tasting as much as I dared. She tasted good, like bacon and the sweet taste of Makayla.
I wanted her to know that although I was leaving there was a promise of my return and more kissing to come. Could all that be conveyed in one kiss?
“Enjoy your book,” I said as her eyes met mine.
“Thanks.” She gave me a small smile. Her complete attention was on me, like no one else existed. I wanted another kiss but that would be overkill. I walked away. I don’t know what possessed me to kiss her. Sure, I’d kissed plenty of women before. But nothing like that. Nothing meaningful.
The people making the footsteps behind me were silent. I knew each of them would have something to say but not one of them uttered a word. Not until we hopped into the four-wheel drive.
“What was that?” Manny asked from the front seat.
“What was what?”
“Don’t be difficult. That kiss.”
Nicki who sat next to me turned her face to mine, as did Harrison beside her.
“It was a kiss. No big deal.”
“Since when do you and Mak kiss?” Nicki stared at me like she was trying to decipher unexpected results from an experiment.
“Since we decided it was a fun thing to do.”
“In all the years I’ve known you, I have never seen you kiss someone like that,” Harrison said.
“Time to try something new.”
Nicki sat back and stared straight ahead. She clutched her hands in her lap. Then she looked at me again. “I hope you’re not playing her. Mak spent ten years with the wrong person. I don’t want to see her hurt because you think she’s a good experiment, or just something frivolous and fun.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“What did you mean then?”
“Mak’s different to anyone I’ve ever met.”
“We’re all different to anyone you’ve ever met.” Jeez she was a hard task master. I thought she was all for this with the way she and Rosanna acted. Maybe they were all for it until there was risk of Makayla getting hurt. A kiss wasn’t a promise of forever or even ten years. We weren’t putting our hearts out there, just our lips. Of course, it was just our lips…
I needed to show Nicki what I meant about Makayla being different.
“She can be so distant one moment, stubborn to a fault. And then she loses control. Something comes out and I see a glimpse of the person hiding beneath.” Were these words actually coming out of me? I sounded love struck…but I was nothing of the sort.

AuThursday – Chelsea Williams

Please welcome Chelsea Williams to the Clog Blog!  Chelsea, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Chelsea, I’m a single mom living in a small town in Indiana and I’m an upcoming children’s book author. My book, There’s Something About “I Love You”, will be available for preorders next month! My hope for the book is to remind people of the power of love. I’ve struggled with my mental health, and feelings of unworthiness for a long time, but becoming a mom helped those negative feelings start to heal. I felt like there was no way I would have been given the opportunity to be such a special little girl’s mom if I wasn’t worthy.
How do you make time to write?
I work a full-time job where the hours are early so I usually come home and take the time I have before school pick up to write. But I also make sure to just make the time. Writing is something I love, and it’s really like therapy for me so it’s important to me to make time for it.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely! You’re talking to someone with self-diagnosed ADD so writer’s block, mental fog, I definitely struggle sometimes!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
So my first book coming out is a children’s book, and I think it came to me because I have a young daughter. I’m such a kid at heart and I’ve always loved a good animated film and still cherish the books I read as a young girl. It just made sense to me to write a children’s book where I can write something with an important message while also having it be fun and light-hearted. I also have a couple novel ideas rolling around in my head though so I’m hoping to bring those to fruition as well! I’ve always loved reading and writing. Immersing myself in a story has been a way for me to escape life at times. And my imagination can run pretty wild so I’d love to work on a novel next!
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I’m indie publishing my children’s book. I think for me when I wrote my first manuscript, I had sent it in for a review and the feedback I got was good, but they wanted to know why I wrote it in rhyming format. They said it’s not popular and I’d need a reason to do it that way. My reason was, that I liked it that way. And so many books I’d read as a young girl were in rhyming format. I love it! And I truly think it helps kids read, it’s a form of poetry and I really feel like it’s an art. So after years of not working on my book because I kind of felt like I’d hit a roadblock, I just decided I’m going to work hard and publish it myself. I didn’t want to have to wait for someone else’s approval.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I’d say I’m both. I’m about 3 months away from 30 and the older I get the more introverted I become. I think I’m just a homebody. But with the small group of friends I do have, I’m super outgoing and love to laugh and just be myself. I’ve also been working on my social media presence to get the word out about my book and I do find myself coming out of my shell more and more. I guess it just affects what I write about. Sometimes my introverted side wants to shy away from sharing the REAL thoughts and feelings I’m having.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Probably,
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”
I’m really good at telling myself I’ll never change or I’ll never get through something. So I like that one because it’s kind of the kick I need to be like, well yes, actually I can. I just have to decide to and work on it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you want to start writing, just do it. Period. Don’t let fear or other people’s opinions stop you from doing something you love.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Www.chelseawilliamswrites.com is where you’ll find my blog and you can keep up with my children’s book (which is my main focus right now) at www.Instagram.com/writerchelseawilliams
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Love is a powerful thing, so strong,
like a hero saving the day!
When all seems lost, it swoops right in,
and makes everything okay.
For nothing is lost forever
when love is leading the way.

AuThursday – Libby Webber

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a mom, martial arts instructor, and program director. I’ve been writing my whole life. I write thriller and action stories.
How do you make time to write?
A good support system. And hard boundaries.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No. I believe that’s there our aspects in life that preoccupy us, or other stories that are needing our attention at that moment.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am currently writing in the thriller and action stories. I love these genres because it deals with the darker side of life.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
I indie published my first book, The Assassin’s Legacy, and it is available on October 26, 2021.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
A mix of both. It allows me to get the life experience to make great stories, but also the downtime to write those stories.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Words have power.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
It’s your timeline. Do not be on anyone else’s schedule but your own. No one’s habits are the same as yours, no one’s mind works the way yours works, so no one‘s journey will look like yours. I Worked on my book on and off for 10 years, doing the querying doing the pitchwars, and it wasn’t that I wasn’t dedicated, it’s that I was living life, and waiting in the wings for other people to recognize me. I got good feedback on my book, but it was too long for industry standards for a new author. I couldn’t cut the book without losing the story, and I didn’t want to put it away and try to write something shorter to appease big publishers.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Or
TikTok libbywebberauthor
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
IMG_6658Aeron glanced around the familiar hallway, the hardwood floors, crappy lighting, and fake potted plants coated in dust. Nothing about it indicated one of the world’s most influential political players lived just on the other side of the faded wooden door in front of her.
She took a deep breath and smoothed out her skirt, fingers skating over the blade strapped to her thigh, the reassuring pressure reminding her this was not a social call.
“Showtime,” Luke’s low voice whispered into her earpiece. A surge of nerves jetted through her bloodstream.
Should anything go wrong tonight, Luke and her brother, Decius, were perched in a sniper’s nest and guaranteed her a swift death.
She pulled the earpiece out, tucked it inside a pocket on her bra, and knocked. Her heart pounded a few times before the practiced breathing calmed the nerves. This should be like any other mission, he was a target to be eliminated.
But it wasn’t like any other mission. Shaun Brinks was a Legacy Member—a trained assassin like herself. And the man she was sleeping with. Shaun pulled the door open, hair tousled and his brown eyes blinking with sleep.

AuThursday – Jamie Dalton

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve done bits and pieces here and there. Several years ago I decided to fully commit to a book. To really see if I could do it. I got 20k words in, realized it wasn’t working, and started over. I got 30k in and decided to look for a book cover. That got me into making book covers which took over everything. I got so booked up that I dropped out of college to focus just on writing and making book covers. Now I have my first published work coming out on Halloween and my first full-length book coming out soon after.
How do you make time to write?
Lol about that. I’m a wife, mom to a 2-year-old, and take care of my disabled mother and uncle. I do my book cover business in the middle of the night and write using Google docs on my phone usually during naptime instead of doing the million other things that I should have been doing. It’s definitely been a balance of learning that priorities have to shift sometimes to make everything possible.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write high fantasy. I’ve always used books as an escape and when I escape I need to do it from everything. Plus I’m a sucker for fae, dragons, magic, and retellings

How are you publishing your recent book and why? 

I had initially planned to do traditional but the more that I learned as a book cover designer the more I realized that I would prefer indie. I like making the choices myself, I like marketing (I know I’m weird) and my book cover business can cover my editing and hiring someone to do formatting and a cover so I thought why not? I can do this.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Honestly, this really depends on the day. I’ve become much more of an introvert over the last few years than I ever was which has helped me focus on writing, but I still get my extrovert vibes from social media and marketing myself.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
We always judge our worst self to someone else’s best as they do the same to us.
I think as writers this is especially true. It’s hard not to compare especially since how someone views are book is so personal to them.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Always stop writing while you know what’s next. Stopping even mid-sentence can completely change if you get anywhere the next day and get those juices flowing to keep going through writer’s block.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Excerpt of the Black-Backed Mirror by Jamie Dalton from the Season of the Witch Anthology
Kalob shook himself as he snapped out of his memory. “Not yet. I want to see something first. Every mage can do any spell, but most have one or two types that they are naturally attuned to. Let’s figure that out for you first so I can see what we should focus on.”
Before she could even process what he had said, a stone smacked her square in the face.
“What on earth was that for?!”
The laughter that erupted from the bent-over wizard only fueled her anger.
“I’m sorry. Truly I am.” Wiping tears from his eyes, he picked up a stick. “You’re definitely not naturally attuned to earth, or that wouldn’t have hurt you. Don’t worry about the blood. I will patch you up when we’re done.”
She glared at him as she wiped her lip and eyed the stick with distrust. “What are you doing with that?”
A twinkle in his eye told her she wasn’t going to like this. The stick poking into her side told her that that assumption wasn’t wrong. After investigating the end of the stick, another jab followed into her hand.
She jerked herself away and screamed, “What is wrong with you?! Stop stabbing me!”
He shook his head and ignored her fury. “No, You’re definitely not attuned to be a nature mage. The stick would have sprouted leaves if you were.”
Claire could practically feel the steam coming from her head. “And you had to poke me twice to figure that out?”
He turned his head towards her, and with a shrug of his shoulders, he casually replied, “I didn’t hit skin the first time. I had to be sure. Give me a minute. I need to get something for the next one.”
The thought of escaping crossed her mind as she watched him turn the corner toward the back of the cottage. She walked to the edge of the clearing and into the forest. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she noted the chirp of birds overhead and a family of rabbits carrying the spoils of Kalobs garden towards their burrow. Wouldn’t she have noticed by now if she had a magical ability? She certainly wouldn’t have let herself become a victim if she had found a way to protect herself. She could only hope that once he was through with this testing, things would be quieter. This really wouldn’t be the worst place to live.
A chill rushed from her head down her spine as water crashed against her body. Droplets flung from the tips of her hair and edges of her skirt as she rounded on the culprit. “What in the nine realms are you thinking?!”
Kalob ducked behind a nearby tree to create distance between them. “I swear I needed to do that. You’re definitely not water attuned. In fact, it’s almost like water is your weakness.”
She shot daggers from her eyes while wringing out her hair. “It took an entire bucket of water to figure that out?”
“Probably not, but you smelled pretty terrible as well, and this took care of that.”

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 – 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 – Elaine Sveet

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Elaine Sveet, a pastor, life coach, speaker and author. I’m the founder of Chasing Abundant Life, which is an outreach supporting an online faith community, and offering mental health and stress support in schools through professional development and coaching services for school staff and private clients. I live in Minot ND, and am a married mother to three middle school children. I have a BA in psychology, an Masters of Divinity, and I am a trained ICF Coach (International Coaching Federation).
How do you make time to write?
I set aside certain times in the week. Deadlines are a very helpful motivator for writing. My writing is mainly focused these days on weekly blog articles, Bible studies, and book proposals.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I’ve never had it seriously. I believe in ebbs and flows in writing motivation and energy. I usually have multiple writing projects going at the same time. I find switching between projects very helpful.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write about faith and life. My aim is to support people in growing spiritually and personally so that there is greater joy in the everyday.
How are you publishing your recent projects and why? 
My Bible Studies and published prayers have been through traditional publishers. They were publications I was familiar with and my submissions were accepted. I’m looking forward to expanding my writing and pitching to other publishers both traditional and Indie.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
I’m borderline. I love interactions with others, the learning and stimulation this brings. I also love quiet and work most productively this way.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Find a writing group for collegiality, motivation, and support.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
The Farmer Next Door – The Art of Writing Show touring galleries in ND
When I look out on my neighbor’s field, I see their tilled rows looking smooth and deep. I see their grain bins standing tall. It all looks perfect. Does the moon shine a little brighter on their field? I know I should be happy for my neighbor, and content with my own field. But I struggle. It feels some nights as if the dew is heavier for them, the drought lighter, sun more merciful, and winds less harsh.
Lord God, I’m stuck. I feel myself averting my eyes from the view. Yet surely, their blessing should be hope for me.