AuThursday – Gabriella Balcom

QOl9KLjv-2227000682Please welcome Gabriella Balcome to The Clog Blog!  Gabriella, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I live in Texas with my family, work full-time in the mental health field, and I’ve loved reading and writing my whole life. I write fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance, literary fiction, children’s stories, and more. I’ve had 360 works accepted for publication and was nominated for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award in 2020. Clarendon House Publications awarded me a publishing contract when one of my stories was voted best in the book in which it appeared. My anthology of short stories, On the Wings of Ideas, came out afterward. In 2020, I won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Publishing’s Open Contract Challenge (a competition in which around one hundred authors competed for cash prizes and publishing contracts), after which my novella, Worth Waiting For, was published. I self-published a novelette, Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time and Black Hare Press released my sci-fi novella, The Return, in 2021. Five others pend publication.
How do you make time to write?
I work full-time but plan in writing time before and after work.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Writer’s block isn’t something I’ve had trouble with. I usually have the opposite problem, with ideas flooding my mind all the time, to the point it’s hard to keep up with them.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I love several genres and write in each of them, too. Many things appeal to me, and all types of ideas come to me, so I don’t restrict myself to just one genre.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional, or both)
I’ve published both ways, but mainly via traditional publishers. That’s been easier this far because I haven’t had time to publish more myself.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert. It makes it harder for me to publicize my acceptances and ongoing steps, not to mention handling marketing.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Never give up.
I also like:
You can do anything.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and NEVER give up. Also, having your work edited is always a good idea.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

AuThursday – Rachel D. Adams

BW normPlease welcome Rachel D. Adams to the Clog Blog! Rachel, tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in the US South/Bible belt and my research and writing grew from wanting to dive into subjects that many in my culture saw as taboo. I’ve been writing since age 11 and am just now going out on a limb to publish some of my collaborative fiction.
How do you make time to write?
I write for work. I write content for websites and freelance while also managing with the use of HB90 and sprints to keep myself on track – to write, edit, and revise my manuscripts.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. But so far mine has rarely lasted more than a week and it is usually focused on one type of writing.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write multi-genre fiction. However, the first series I plan to publish is Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance. I love these because I used to read Christopher Golden and Anne Rice. Then, I got into some writing groups (fan fic) and someone told me I wrote like Laurel K. Hamilton. So, I had to look her up and that’s when I realized…maybe I liked these kinds of worlds, but with character-driven scenes. I also like steamy scenes (though this 1st book in the series is kind of tame…slow burn folks…) and I love dragons. Being pagan and a previous TTRPG enthusiast, I’ve put a lot of research into the magic systems in my worlds, too. So that makes it a load of fun. The reason I love the Paranormal Romance setting is because all of my books will have a relationship if not more in it. And they are not all conventional romances. Some are LGBTQ, some are polyamorous, some are reverse harem, some are BDSM… and paranormal romances don’t tend to limit the author.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
I’m going indie publishing because I like the idea of having control of my work.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert – though I often come off like an extrovert. I’ve got anxiety and depression along with ADD – so if I’m over social, I have to go dark and build up those “social batteries” again before I can keep going. As an introvert, I prefer to stay home and don’t like being the center of attention. So…it can be bothersome for any kind of work. But since I work remotely, it doesn’t affect me as much as it used to.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one’s self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – This is to have succeeded. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Give your best.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
racheldardams.com has all of my links and my newsletter sign-up on it. Everyone who signs up for the newsletter will be getting a copy of our prequel eBook as soon as it’s published and ready. I spend most time on Twitter and Facebook right now.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Doppelgängers-&-Deceit---bonus---promo-post-comingThe idea frightened Gabriel – being taken and someone replacing you?
How many human lives had already been taken by the doppelgängers? Had this one not made a mistake, shining a light on other odd deaths or murders in recent months, no one would’ve thought about it. As Gabriel placed the notebooks and scribbled on pads in his briefcase at the desk, he thought back over the unusual amount of missing person reports in Whitley. Reports he hadn’t even had time to peruse. For a college town, the possibilities were deadly. Students could go missing and not be reported for weeks.
He heard the phone vibrate on his desk. Regarding the device, Gabriel sighed heavily. “Jean-Michel Raudine” was on the screen. The Councilor answered the phone immediately. “It’s about time. What use is having a Tasker assigned to me if he never responds? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for two days.”
“This Tasker was on assignment for someone on a higher pay grade than you, Councilor Kennedy,” The sound of ice and sloshing liquid could be heard. “Take my absence up with him.”
“Apparently, the Director is too busy to be bothered. And you’re my Tasker, not his.” All Gabriel heard was a grunt and the sound of liquid being poured from the other end of the call. “Are you drinking, Jean-Michel?” Gabriel flattened the palm of his free hand on the desk while he waited.
“Yes. If you had a day like mine, you’d be drinking, too.”
“No. I would be doing my duty,” Gabriel heard a release of air from the other side of the call. “Sorry to be so boring, but there are things to do besides getting drunk. There may be lives on the line.”
“There are always lives on the line with you lot. You should be taking that stick out your arse and pouring your own drink,” the Tasker chuckled.
Gabriel’s eyes glared down at the phone he had just pulled from his face. Why did this man always get his goat? He took a deep breath, swallowed, and continued.
“In case you were blissfully unaware, there’s a possible emergency happening here. I’m trying to save people from a horrible end.”
“Let me guess, human lives?”
“Well, yes, but it could also be argued that I’m trying to save supernatural lives. Who knows why doppelgängers are doing what they’re doing? So,” Gabriel took another pronounced breath. “I’m trying to save both supernatural and human lives. And for that, I need a Tasker who is available to me. And not drunk.” If it were any other person…
“Oh, come on, Gabriel. Surely you don’t think the Council and Crimson are here for supernatural benefit?” Jean-Michel took another drink.
“It is stated in the vows and pledge of duty….”
“Fuck that! I want your opinion, not some fuckin’ vow!” The Tasker growled from somewhere close to his soul. “Stop hiding behind someone else’s words and empty promises!”
Gabriel’s voice caught. Large brown eyes waited, trying to overcome the sudden catch in his throat and his chest. There was a flash of memory, a sleeker, younger version of his Tasker…using that voice while arguing with his father. The Councilor could feel the anger and tension in the room that day – years ago – and he swore to himself he’d just felt it again. After all, Jean-Michel had been the Tasker assigned to several human Councilors over the years – Kennedys all in a line. He was definitely not human, though he was listed as such. Perhaps, human magi? They had longer lives.
No. he knew better. His eyes moved to the cart where the books had been. He swallowed. “Crimson just wants supernaturals cleaned up and out of sight, so their precious humans don’t ever have to be burdened by knowing supernaturals exist,” the Tasker scoffed. “And you know what the funny thing is? Humans, who know about supernaturals? They want to become them or wipe ‘em from the face of the earth out of jealousy. So which are you?”
“You…are…drunk…” Gabriel spoke with measured patience. “You know how I feel about drinking and being drunk.”
“Why are the rules all made about you creatures? Humans don’t even treat one another properly. Consider all these murders and wars. You use one another and us! Skinner’s a fine example, using Crimson to herd supernaturals and keep’em under control. We’re not the ones out of control.”
“That’s news to me, considering I just got a report of a doppelgänger in Whitley taking the life of a human and becoming him. Supernaturals have the upper hand. A balance must be kept, Tasker. Crimson and the Council are about balance.” This wasn’t the time for a philosophical discussion. He needed to reel this conversation in. “Jean-Michel, I need you to come back here. The supernaturals in question are killing humans, replacing them, and wreaking havoc on other people’s lives,” Gabriel whispered every phrase in the sentence slowly. His hand was popping his thumb against his thigh.
“Yeah, well, I’ll get right on it.”
“Raudine!” Gabriel shouted the Tasker’s last name as if that would better get his attention, but the call had ended before he’d even finished the second syllable. He stared down at the phone. Where had that much venom come from? Why the sudden indignation? They had both taken vows, had they not?

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 – Karenna Colcroft

Kim Ramsey-Winkler headshot smPlease welcome Karenna Colcroft to the Clog Blog!  Karenna, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I live in Massachusetts with my husband and split time between the home he and I share and the home of my committed partner. I’m a nonbinary, polyamorous human, mother of two kids and a son-in-law, and grandmother of three. I’ve been writing since I was five years old, and I love stories that take place in “the real world” but have fantasy elements and things that (probably) would never happen in reality. Like werewolves.
How do you make time to write?
I’m partially disabled, so I don’t have a “real job.” Writing and holistic wellness practices are my full-time work, and I drive rideshare to support my writing habit. Since I set my own schedule, I can write whenever I want, and work the other things around it.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely, though I have a different take on it. For me, “writer’s block” means “my brain is occupied with mental health issues or other things, and I can’t spare the bandwidth to think about stories right now.” I just came off a nearly 7-year period where that was the case; my July book release is the first new romance I’ve written since 2016!
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write paranormal romance (and occasionally contemporary); as I said above, I love stories that take place in “the real world” but have fantasy elements. Under other names, I also write contemporary fiction for preteens and teenagers, and metaphysical nonfiction.
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
Indie publishing. The July release is a new book but is part of a series that was published previously. Those rights were reverted to me in 2016. Since the books were published before, and I’m a bit of a control freak, I chose to self-publish this time around, including a few new books that I’m working on that will be part of the series.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
Introvert. The biggest effect is in trying to connect with readers and other authors; I find that very difficult. It’s also reflected in my writing; my characters often have very little social life, because I simply don’t think about that kind of thing.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
I don’t have one…
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you feel blocked, write something. Anything. It might not be part of what you’re “supposed to be” working on, but even a sentence is more than nothing. Also, if you plan to pursue publication, do your research on the companies you hope to work with.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
My website is karennacolcroft.com;

AuThursday – Suzanne Baltsar

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up a dancer and theatre kid, always into the arts. In grades school, I wrote NSYNC fan-fiction which was my first step into what would become me writing romance. After college, I formed a film company and produced a couple of things, including a feature that I wrote and directed. After that I thought, if I could write a movie, I could totally write a book. My debut book, Trouble Brewing, came out in 2018, and now I’m in an MFA program, always working on the next project.
How do you make time to write?
I have two little kids at home and recently left my job to actually have more time to write while they are at pre-school. Being in school for writing forces me to be more disciplined about it because I have papers to write, but I need to write. It helps clear my head, so I just put aside time to do it. If I don’t, I get cranky.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. HAHAHA. For sure.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I currently write romance and women’s fiction. I love romance because there is always a happy ending. It’s a comfort in this wild world to find joy.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
I am indie publishing a 4 book series this summer because the last few books that my agent had in the submission were all passed on so I figured I have nothing to lose.
Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
I’m an extroverted introvert, and I’ve never really thought of how it affects my work. But now that I am, since I have always had jobs that require me to be “on” all the time when I come home I’m very quiet and need my space, which is what writing provides for me. It clears my head of clutter.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
What’s the worse thing to happen? You can fail. So what? Try again.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Run your own race. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
I literally wrote this line a few minutes ago and it still has me giggling…
“She was out there crying over you, so I’d say so, you fucking potato.”

AuThursday – Adele Buck

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
 
I’m a self-published author of five romance novels and one novella. I’ve recently started writing more in my age range (>40) and I LOVE it! I’m also querying a non-romance (women’s fiction).
 
How do you make time to write?
 
I don’t have kids and my husband loves to cook. It’s as disgustingly simple as that.
 
Do you believe in writer’s block?
 
I believe that there are places in various stories were writers get stuck, for sure. I’m not sure I’d call it writer’s block for me – it’s more that I have lost track of something (stakes, motivation, conflict usually.).
 
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
 
I write mostly romance and I love the challenge of it – it’s harder than it looks to take two people (or more, though I only write couples) and believably get them through the story so that they fall in love on the other end!
 
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
 
Indie. I had an agent for a few years, but wasn’t selling anything to New York publishers. We finally amicably split and now I’m looking for a new agent while I self publish.
 
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?
 
I’m what I call a “performative introvert.” I definitely need alone time to recharge, but I was also an actress and a singer in my younger years, so I also love applause!
 
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
 
I don’t have one.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
Surround yourself with astute, generous critique partners – and be one in return.
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
“I’m serious.” Vati took a long pull of her drink. “You have a leaky pipe, you call a master plumber. You want to bait your ex-husband into looking like the dumpster fire he is, you—”
 
“Hire a master…baiter?” Tove broke in, laughing in spite of herself. “What, like a boy toy? Do Anthony one better by bringing someone even younger than Emily?” She snorted and rolled her eyes. “Even if I wanted to do something like that, Anthony would see straight through it. It’s absolutely not my style. Also utterly hypocritical, considering how I’ve been rolling my eyes at his increasingly younger wives for years.”
 
– From The Wedding Bait (an >50 romance novella)

New Release – Snow by Any other Name

Title:  Tales From the Frozen North Anthology featuring “Snow by any other Name,” by Tina Holland

Series: A Brave the Elements Short Story

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date:  Kindle Anthology March 15th. 

Editor: Robin Pope Cain

Cover Artist: Anthology Tiffany Fier 

Blurb:

Holly Frost has a problem. She can’t make it snow in Innocent, Minnesota. As a descendent of Jack Frost, she should be natural, but something is very wrong. She needs help so she goes to Sheriff Andy Finn.

Andy Finn is a grouchy, not-yet hibernating bear shifter. All he wants is for the snow to fly so he can get some sleep, but it’s forty degrees in December. When Holly Frost approaches him for help, he sets aside his dislike of the Frost family and does his job by taking her to a powerful elemental.

Excerpt: 

Sheriff Andy Finn watched as trouble—AKA Holly Frost—made her way towards him. What did the woman want?  Why did she look as if she had him in her sights? All he wanted was to manage this town of shifters and humans and make sure everyone got along. Having the fae parked in his backyard didn’t help, and he didn’t want to tangle with them any more than necessary. 

Andy had a job to do, and he did not need the distraction of Holly. It was bad enough he was still awake. As a bear shifter, he needed to hibernate, but his clock was off until the weather dropped below thirty-two degrees. It was nowhere near freezing, not even a frost—unless he counted the Frost standing in front of him. 

“Sheriff,” Holly sounded out of breath. “I need your help.”

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09T3N12GG/

About the Author:  

Tina studied journalism at University and then went to work for a fortune 500 company working Logistics for over 20 years.  She now writes full-time and helps her husband run his Crop Dusting business in the summer months.  When she’s not writing she likes to travel, read and spend time with her farm critters.  

Social Media Links:  

Website – www.tinaholland.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/author.tina.holland

Twitter – https://twitter.com/haveubeenaughty

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/tina_holland

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/haveubeenaughty

Author Central – https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Holland/e/B003OLKLA6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1647117774&sr=1-2

AuThursday – Miriam Newman

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I began publishing poetry in my twenties but never attempted a novel until I was in my 50s, life as a wife, stepmother and social worker having gotten in the way. I’m now 30 books in, attempting my second retirement so I’ll have more time to write! Many of my books were written or started in Ireland, my second home. They range from historical romance to fantasy, fantasy historical romance and science fiction.
How do you make time to write?
Primarily by doing it when I should be sleeping, LOL.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. I have learned not to fight it. It will cure itself when it is ready. I think of it as incubation, because when it breaks, I write like a demon. So I know all those books were just churning around in there, unseen.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am a true history geek. My reference library is somewhat staggering. I love writing historical romance because I can draw on some of the more fascinating nuggets I have discovered to craft a story. I say that I write “romance with realism.” Equally, I love fantasy historical romance because I can create my own worlds.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
My most recent release, “The Eagle’s Lady,” is through a publisher who published its predecessor, “The Eagle’s Woman.” I have also indie published a number of books, most notably The Chronicles of Alcinia. The Chronicles are a continuing project.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Totally an introvert. Because I thrive in solitude, it produces books at a rate that sometimes surprises me.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep doing it! Even when you don’t think it’s good or what you want at the time, keep those scraps in your documents file. You will be surprised how many times they will come out just when you need them.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
The prologue to The King’s Daughter, Book I of The Chronicles of Alcinia, reflects my writing style:
“I was the King’s daughter once, so many years ago that sometimes now it is hard to remember. Before the tide of time carried away so many things, so many people, it was worth something to be the daughter of a King. Our little island nation of Alcinia was not rich, except for tin mines honeycombing the south. It wasn’t even hospitable. Summer was a brief affair and fall was only a short time of muted colors on the northernmost coast where my father sat his throne at the ancient Keep of Landsfel. Winter was the killing time and spring was hardly better, with frosts that could last into Fifth-Month. But from the south, where men cut thatch in a pattern like the bones of fish, to the north where rock roses spilled down cliffs to the sea, it was my own. One thinks such things will never change, yet all things do.”

AuThursday – Karen J. Hicks

COVER IMAGE
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
A Wisconsin farm girl now retired and living in Green Valley, AZ. Worked for author/comedian Steve Allen; comedian Richard Pryor; and the Oak Ridge Boys. Have published 7 books. Complete info on my website!
How do you make time to write?
By saying NO to things. It’s a small word that’s hard to say sometimes, but essential.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yep. Been there. Found THE ARTIST’S WAY a good book of exercises to work past it. Also STIRRING THE WATERS.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I’m all over the place. lol I’ve got a self-help book on being organized, another more spiritual self-help book on what birds can teach us, a biographical novel about the first woman to run for U.S. President (1872!) , a collection of O’Henry-type short stories, and a three-book romance series I call my Dream Series.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
First two books were published by traditional books-on-demand publishers. Now I self-publish through KDP.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
People think I’m an Extrovert because I am very social, but I’m actually quite shy and very introspective so I’d call myself an Introvert.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
This too shall pass.
Works for both positive and negative situations to keep me on track.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write from your heart. Don’t overthink. Spew it all out on the page and then edit, edit, edit.

AuThursday – Faye Hall

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
 
Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love. Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books. Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart. When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.
 
How do you make time to write?
 
With such a large family, it’s difficult to plan where and when I’m going to commit time to writing, so I’ve learned to be happy with a few lines here and there on my busiest days. Most of my book ideas come while I’m waiting to do school pick ups, and then it’s a series of late nights and early mornings to piece the rest of the story together.
 
Do you believe in writer’s block?
 
I do, yes. All you need sometimes is one bad review, or some snide remark about sales and it can really deflate you so much the brain just freezes. I’ve learned that for me, I go back over old notes, or try to edit some forgotten about manuscript to try and snap myself out of it. My husband and children are also incredibly supportive and try to get me talking or thinking about new story idea – even humorous ones – just to get my back on track.
 
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
 
I write Australian Historical Romantic Suspense. I’m a born and bred Aussie girl, so it made sense to me to set my stories in and around my hometown. As for the rest, I’ve always loved history, and a good mystery so I wrote the kind of stories I wanted to read.
 
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
 
Carnal Transgression was released in June through a small traditional publisher names Beachwalk Press. They’ve done all of my current releases and gave me hope after I got burned by another publishing company.
 
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
 
I’m very much an introvert and spend a lot of time lost in my own thoughts. Of course, having children at school forces me to be more social then I would be by choice, which is also good because sometimes ideas come from the strangest of places.
 
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
 
A bad first draft is better than a blank page.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
Learn to take criticism and write what you want, not just to please people.
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
Fear of exactly what her sister might have seen directed her steps out of the hotel and into a run down the street. Constance needed to collect her belongings and find a place to hide until she’d found justice for her sister and discovered if her death was connected to her investigation into the boats docking at Lynch’s Beach.
 
She hadn’t gone far when she abruptly collided with the firm figure of a man.
 
“Are you all right?” he asked, his hands on her hips steadying her.
 
Recognizing his melodic brogue, Constance looked up into his green eyes.
 
“It’s you,” he uttered softly, looking confused. Lifting his hands to her face, he gently wiped away the wet tracks on her cheeks. “What’s happened to drive a wee little beauty into my arms again so soon?”
 
His innocent question was the last reality needed for the true horror of what was happening to wash over her.
 
Losing all control, tears streamed down her cheeks, and her lips trembled as she surrendered to her grief.
 
“Now, lass, whatever it is, surely it can’t be that bad,” he said, his arm going around her, holding her tight as he led her to a street bench. Sitting her down, he brushed her hair back from her face. “Where’s the lady you were with last night? Your sister, wasn’t she? I can take you to her if you think that will help.”
 
She struggled to hold her tears at bay. “She’s dead.”
 
“What?” he gasped.
 
“Her body was found washed up on the beach this morning,” Constance blurted out, still unable to believe the words.
 
He squeezed her tight, holding her against him as he rocked her slightly. “My poor, sweet beauty. I’m sorry for your loss.”
 
He felt so strong, so safe, his words comforting her far more than she believed anything capable of in this moment.
 
“I think I should take you to the police station,” he stated, brushing her hair from her tear-drenched cheeks.
 
His words startled her. She didn’t want to be taken anywhere near the police station or Robert. She pushed away from him and stood up, wiping at her cheeks and straightening her dress. “You’ve been most kind, sir, but I can’t ask you to do any more than you already have.”
 
He stood, stepping toward her. “Someone has to investigate what caused your sister’s death.”
 
“And I will,” she assured him firmly.
 
“Please, I want to help you.”
 
Constance’s hands stilled, holding his gaze for several moments, her tears flowing down her cheeks again. How she ached to accept his offer, but she was too scared to put her trust in anyone.
 
“You can’t.” Her words were barely more than a whisper, but she could tell by his scowl he heard her.
 
“Where will you go?” he asked.