Meet Author Erin Wade

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have Author Erin Wade with us to chat. Erin’s new book, Three Times as Deadly is now out and is doing exceptionally well. At the bottom, I have included a nice excerpt for you to read. I know you’re going to enjoy it. Erin is an imaginative story teller whose books lure in the reader. She is also an adventurer and isn’t afraid to take risks. Come meet this amazing woman whom you’re going to love.

erinheadshot

“We all have our own realities.”

D.J. Jouett, Must be Murder

I want to thank Lynn Lawler for inviting me to be the interview today. It is an honor to be associated with Lynn and her blog.

Tell us about yourself.
I live with my wonderful wife Alex, my dog Tank and our cat Candy in Austin, Texas. I am thirty. Alex is a year older than I. We met while attending the University of Texas in Austin. November 5 will be our ninth anniversary.

Alex is an educator and I am a land developer. My day job didn’t require much time so I often found myself with time on my hands. Alex suggested that I try my hand at writing fiction. My first books were murder mysteries written for mainstream readers. Last year (2016) I was writing a book called The Destiny Factor. I intended it to be a mainstream murder mystery but somewhere along the way it assumed a life of its own and morphed into a lesbian romance/thriller. I had never thought about writing lesfic, but discovered that I enjoyed writing about what I knew and had experienced. So, a lesfic author was born. In January 25, 2017 I released my first “intentional” lesfic novel, Too Strong to Die. It shot to number ten the same day it was released and reached number one on Feb. 1.  I had the bug. On my birthday, May 9, I released Death Was Too Easy which went to #1 in Hot New Releases. Currently, all three of my 2017 books are on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List for Action/Adventure/Romance and The Destiny Factor has stayed on the Top 100 Best Sellers list for the past fourteen months.

What inspired you to write professionally?
My wife convinced me to write fiction.

What is your new book, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ about?
‘Three Times as Deadly’ is about Sloan Cartwright, who awakens from a coma, in an African hospital. She has no memory of her past or the three women who claim to be married to her. The book is funny, exciting and filled with action and romance. It also deals with the plight of rhinos and elephants who are being hunted into extinction.

3XadSloan

What is your advice about staying in the positive?
I am a very positive person, so I don’t know much about negativity. I think that the most important think in any individual’s life is the person they select to spend their life with. A good partner can build one up or tear one down. I can honestly say that my wife makes me be the very best person I can be. Life with her is amazing. 

Do you go out into nature to meditate or quiet your mind? Where have you been and how was it for you?
We built a home in 2015 that Alex designed. It is a sanctuary for us both. I have an office that overlooks our pool and waterfall. Tank’s toy chest is built in and doubles as his window seat. It is right beside my desk so he is close to me. Our home is very peaceful and inspiring for me. Alex has decorated it beautifully. There is truly no other place in the world I’d rather be. 

Are you a dog whisperer? What was your dog, Tank like as a puppy?
I’m not a dog whisperer. I think Tank may be a human whisperer. Tank is a rescue dog and has always been precious. When he was tiny, he was just a little ball of fur. We used to call him our little dust bunny. I have had dogs all my life and I loved them, but Tank is truly the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had the privilege to belong to. At first, I thought he might be blind because no matter where I went he was right behind me with his nose touching my ankle, but his eyesight is fine. Now he is tall enough that his nose touches the bottom of the calf of my leg. He always stays that close to me. I think I’m his security blanket.

Tank settled

Where is a good hang out place to kick back and socialize with friends?
We are homebodies. We have two other couples we share fun times with. We have been friends since college. We rotate to each other’s homes on Saturday nights where the hostesses serve dinner and we play high-stakes poker. The maximum bid is twenty-five cents with a two-bump maximum so the most one can lose on one hand is seventy-five cents. Pretty high stakes, huh?

We have two other couples who are very active in our lives. We rotate hosting dinner in our homes every Saturday night. They are professional women in completely different fields from us. One couple consists of a mergers & acquisitions attorney and a doctor. The other couple is a forensic scientist and a psychiatrist. Both couples are fascinating but I have to admit my favorite stories come from the forensic scientist. She owns her own facility and is hired by smaller law enforcement agencies who don’t maintain their own forensic facility. She will show up in one of my books one day. Her stories are sometimes hysterical, sometimes very sad, sometimes unbelievable, but always entertaining. These four people open a new world to us every week. We have been friends since college and they are still so interesting to me. I think my wife wins the prize for funniest stories. She is an educator and some of the things children and their parents come up with are just laughable. I have learned so much from these five people.

We have my family over once a month and on holidays. My wife is a terrific cook and enjoys trying out new recipes on them. They love it.

Alex’s family lives in Alabama, so we don’t see them as often as we see my folks.

Where is the next place you’re going to visit? Share all you want about it.
We are taking my brother’s twins to Branson, MO. It is a fun city with a lot of live theater and entertainment. The best thing is the Duck Boats. Everyone should ride the Duck Boats at least once in their life.

Would you want to write a non-fiction book? If so, what would it be about?
No, I don’t think I would be a good non-fiction writer.

What is the most daring theme you’ve written about?
I am an action/adventure/romance writer. Lesbian romance is probably as daring as I get.  I don’t delve into things I know nothing about. I would never write a 50 Shades of Gray type book. I did notice that one reviewer gave me four stars because I don’t go into details in my sex scenes, but I figure we all know where those end up and I like to let my readers us their imaginations. Also, sometimes my mother reads my books.

Erin’s Amazon Author Central page

 
What types of live music do you like to listen to. Who was the last performance you saw?
We love musicals, reviews, plays, etc. The last live musical we attended was last month in Fort Worth at Bass Hall to see The Carol King Musical, Beautiful. We do fly to New York several times a year to see musicals there.

Have you won any awards for your writing?

Not yet! 

What is a fun attraction to visit in Austin, TX? What would be a good restaurant you would recommend?
We love taking the twins to The Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels. It is about an hour from Austin. Great fun for the entire family.

The best restaurant in Austin is Truluck’s Seafood, Steaks and Crab House.   There are two of them, but we always go to the one downtown on Colorado St. They have live music with a female singer and a band. She is dynamite.

heading for the ship

Do you have any advice for new writers?

GRAMMARLY & MS WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH!

If you read my reviews, you will find that I was lambasted by a few reviewers about grammatical errors In Too Strong to Die. I started searching for an editor. Even with an editor, I still critical comments about errors in Death Was Too Easy.

I became a woman on a mission. I asked questions. I inquired about who was the best editor I could hire. When I read a very clean book, I checked to see who edited it. After two months of intense searching, I narrowed my search down to Susan Hughes. As busy as she is, I was able to get Susan to accept me as a client.

Susan is—I can’t say enough nice things about Susan—awesome. We worked through Hurricane Harvey to release my latest book Three Times as Deadly on Sept. 17. It jumped to number one on the first day of release and has continued to hold that position. Three Times as Deadly has received several positive reviews and no one has been critical of the writing.

If I could give a single piece of advice to new writers it would be, Get a good editor. If you think you can’t afford one, you’re wrong. You can’t afford to be without one. As authors, we pour our heart and soul into our “masterpieces”. Believe me they become so much more with a great editor.

I know the burning question in the mind of any new author reading this is, “How much will a good editor cost me?”

A good editor will cost between $1,500 to $2,000, but you will make it up in sales. They will pay for themselves.

The other thing I would suggest to new writers is get a seasoned Beta Reader. They are worth their weight in gold. I am pleased that Julie Richards has agreed to be my beta reader on future novels.

If you are lucky, an experienced writer will take an interest in you and become your mentor. I am fortunate that Kathy Brodland took an interest in my books and has given me guidance. Kathy is the one who told me to hire the best editor I could find.

I feel that I am fortunate to have assembled a small but exceptional team. With Susan, Julie and Kathy, I think 2018 will be the year of Erin Wade. 

Me: I agree with Erin. You put so much effort into your work that it deserves the very best. I can also lead you in the direction of some good beta readers too if you are interested.

What is next for you?
I am currently working on a book titled Living Two Lives. It is about a fan, Jules Devine, who has a tremendous crush on a lesfic writer named Darcy Lake, even though the writer is happily married. Jules attends a national convention so she can have Lake autograph books for her. Secretly, she hopes to spend time with the author. A weekend with Darcy Lake is so much more than Jules dreamed and it changes her life forever. Jules is pulled into a world she never knew existed. A world of passion, deception, and death. It is a nail biter.

With all this said, Erin, you’re going to definitely keep us all posted about your new upcoming thriller. As promised, here is a nice excerpt from, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ for everyone. Enjoy!

Book Cover

##

“Hello, Sleeping Beauty.” A tall, stout nurse smiled at me. I squinted to shut out the bright light she was trying to shine into my eyes.

I slowly realized I was in a hospital bed, hooked up to all types of machines, and my head was killing me.

“What happened?” I asked

“We have no idea.” The nurse smiled as she wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my upper arm and pumped it tight enough to cut off all circulation to my hand. “Someone dumped you at the emergency entrance of the hospital. You’ve been in a coma for about ten days.

“You looked like a pride of lions played keep-away with you.” She grinned at her own humor. “You have a concussion, couple of broken ribs, and various and sundry other cuts and bruises, but you’ll live.

“I am glad to see you awake.” She ripped the cuff from my bicep. My hand tingled as the feeling returned to my numb fingers. She ran a temperature wand across my forehead. “I need to get some information from you.”

I nodded, and my head kicked me hard. The pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and opened them to find a name tag with Sadie engraved on it blocking my view. “Can you give me something for my headache?”

“I will as soon as I complete my paperwork.” Sadie wrinkled her nose and logged into the computer on the stand beside my bed.

“Date of birth?” Her attitude was efficient and direct.

“I don’t know.” I said.

“We’ll just skip the hard stuff and start with the easy questions,” she said with a smirk. “What is your name? I need the middle initial too.”

I stared at her in disbelief. This is a joke, right?

“Your name, sweetie,” she insisted.

“I . . . I don’t know,” I whispered.

Loud arguing in the hallway outside my room sent Sadie charging toward the door. Before she could reach it, two different, but equally stunning women burst into my room.

Sadie took a stance between the women and me. I raised my head and tried to look around my nurse.

“You two do realize you are in a hospital, don’t you?” Sadie scolded the women. “Keep your voices low, or I’ll have you escorted from the premises.”

The women looked contrite and edged around Sadie, but my protector wasn’t letting them get close to me.

“Who are you?” Sadie glared at them.

They answered in unison. “I’m Sloan Cartwright’s wife.”

“Well, I’ll be damn.” Sadie laughed as she turned to me. “Is that what happened to you? You got caught between these two.”

“No!” I blurted out. “I mean, I don’t know them.”

Both women glared at me as if I had defamed God.”

“Honey, I’m glad I’m not in your shoes right now,” Sadie said, chuckling. “Sloan Cartwright, is that your name?”

I struggled to sit up so I could get a better look at the two visitors. Obviously, I had good taste in women.

“Why don’t you introduce yourselves.” Sadie grinned, enjoying my predicament too much.

The beautiful blonde stepped forward. She was tall and slender, like a runner. She wore black slacks that hugged her perfect hips. A short-sleeved lavender blouse was tucked into her waistband. Toned arms and a flat stomach testified to her workout regimen. She wore a gold watch and pendant. Her green eyes seemed to change color as the light reflected from them.

“Sloan, honey, it’s me. Leigh.” Distress filled her eyes as she moved toward me. “Leigh Redding-Cartwright, your wife. We make our home in the United States. I’m here to take you home.” She blushed and added, “You call me LeeRee.”

“No! No!” Sadie intercepted her. “We still need to hear from this black beauty.”

Book Cover

She was a beauty indeed. Her features were fine and chiseled. Her ebony hair was stylishly cut. She reminded me of the actress Halle Berry. When she spoke, her French accent mingled with a touch of high English. I loved her accent. How do I know who Halle Berry is?

I looked from one woman to the other. Apparently I am an equal opportunity lover.

The black beauty smiled. “I am Amarosia Cartwright.” She bowed her head slightly. “You call me Amy. We live together here in Africa.”

Both women were earthshaking beauties.

As I gazed at them, mouth agape, the door to my room flew open, banging against the wall a couple of times as if doing a drum roll to announce the arrival of the gorgeous brunette who burst into my room. “Where is Sloan?” If the woman was also my wife, my taste in women had just shot off the Richter scale.

I realized I was holding my breath when the cardiac monitor attached to me went crazy. I didn’t know if the brunette or my predicament caused the increase in my heart rate.

“Tachycardia,” I muttered, one hand to my chest. I didn’t want the other two women to know how the brunette was affecting me. If one of them was my wife, I didn’t want to hurt her.

“Bullshit.” Sadie laughed gleefully. “You have your butt in a crack and can’t get it out. No wonder you have amnesia.”

“What is going on here?” The brunette demanded, glaring at the other women. “Sloan, what have they done to you, baby? I begged you not to come to this heathen hellhole.”

“Who are you?” Sadie demanded.

If looks could kill, Sadie would be pushing up daisies any minute. The brunette narrowed her icy blue eyes and moved to stand toe to toe with the nurse.

“I am Alexander Roland Cartwright.” She tilted her head, tossed back her long, dark hair, and stared down Sadie who stepped back to allow her access to me.

My heart jumped to triple time as Alexander Roland Cartwright moved closer to me. “What do I call you?” I gulped.

“The love of my life,” she said with a mischievous smile. “When you aren’t acting grandiose, you call me Alex.”

“What’s going on, Sloan?” She lightly stroked my cheek. “Ross managed to sneak a call to me before he disappeared. He said you’re in trouble and to trust no one.”

“I . . . I honestly don’t know,” I whimpered. Something about Alex’s soft touch brought out the baby in me.

“I flew all the way from New York to take Sloan home with me,” Leigh declared.

“Our home is here,” Amy said. “We have always lived here. Sloan is going home with me.”

Alex possessively pulled my hand into hers. “I am not letting Sloan out of my sight.”

I leaned forward to stare at the three women, and my front opening hospital gown took the opportunity to expose my ample breasts. I must admit, I am nicely endowed. Determined to resolve the uncomfortable situation, I pointed out the obvious. “You all seem to be missing something, ladies. I am a woman. I doubt that I am married to any of you.”

I didn’t miss the way each of them licked their lips as they ogled me. I pulled the treasonous gown tight around my chest. I felt like the most succulent lobster at the lobster fest.

I tried to bring some sanity to my situation. “Look, I’ve been in an accident and had a loss of memory. I don’t even know my name, much less to whom I’m married.”

The women looked at each other and then began talking all at once,

“You can take turns sitting with her,” Sadie instructed, but all of you can’t stay here all the time. You can sit in eight-hour shifts. You work it out among yourselves.”

Sadie pushed the women out the door and shoved it closed behind them. I was glad I wasn’t involved in the arguing taking place in the hallway outside my door.

##

I want to thank Erin for stopping by to talk. It was a pleasure having you. I want to encourage all of you to check out Erin’s links so that you can see all of her work. I’m going to be starting in on one of her books so maybe we could all have a future discussion.

Erin’s Website: http://www.erinwade.us/

Erin’s Blog:  https://erinwadeus.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.wade.129142

Amazon Author’s Page: Author.to/ErinWade

Purchase ‘Three Times as Deadly’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017
Printed with Permission

Meet Author Anne Hagan

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Anne Hagan, creator of the ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series. I have included a nice excerpt for your enjoyment at the bottom of the blog. Anne Hagan is brilliant in her writing and will catch your attention on the first page. Her writing motto is – Family, Friends, Love, Murder and Mayhem. Come on over and meet this creative artist. You can’t help but fall in love with her.

Also, do be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the interview Anne is doing in conjunction with author E.A. Kafkalas. E.A. Kafkalas is the author of ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart’. Anne’s books in the giveaway are ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart’.

30 Authors. 43 Autographed Books. 3 Lucky Winners! #EpicLesficWin

Introducing author Anne Hagan.

Author profile picture

Tell us about yourself.
– I’m over 50…nearly 51, the mother of one, a son, a postal worker and a 22-year military veteran of the Army and the Ohio Army National Guard. I’ve been married to an amazing woman who is my polar opposite in many ways for nearly 7 years. We’ve been together for almost 11 years. We’re different but our differences are our strengths. We complement each other well.

How many books do you plan to write for ‘Loving Blue in Red States’?
– The ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series is a short story series. There are currently five 9,000 to 11,000-word stories. Four are new and complete romance stories and one focuses on a young but already established couple trying to find their place in the world. There are lots more red states. I plan to continue the series with at least five new stories coming in the late Spring of 2018.

Book Cover

How did you feel when the first book in the series was first released?
– ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ is a great series but it wasn’t my first series. The Morelville Mysteries series is a lesfic mystery/romance series that currently stands at nine books. It was my first series. I spun a cozy mystery series off that, ‘The Morelville Cozies’ that will number three books and counting sometime in September. I also have a couple of full length lesfic romances.

Which genres do you like to write in?
– I love writing mysteries featuring strong women. Romance is a little – okay, a lot – tougher for me to write but I do enjoy it. Writing a romance is such a different art form from writing a mystery; even a romantic one. I plan on continuing with my Loving Blue series…and maybe someday turning some of the shorts into full length stories as my vehicle to keep writing romance.

What is one thing you like about the town you live in?
– I live in a tiny village, population about 450, out in the middle of nowhere. Farms are all around outside the village. My wife grew up on a small family farm a few miles out of the village. Her grandparents lived in the house that used to be right next door to us here in ‘town’. Everyone knows everyone here and just about everything about them. That would make some people uncomfortable but, here, in this little burg, it draws everyone closer. Neighbors help each other. Neighbors pull together for the good of the community. We have our detractors, being a lesbian couple in a very conservative, ‘red’ area, but most people here take a live and let live attitude with us and with just about everyone they encounter.

GCLS Chicago 2017

Can you elaborate on your visit to Golden Crown Literary Society?
– I went to the Chicago GCLS Convention (Con) in July. It was my first time going to a GCLS Con, so I was a con virgin. Being among so many luminaries of lesfic for several days was an amazing experience. I met so many authors whose books I’ve read for years. I admit to fangirling a little bit. I also met some fans of my books and maybe even made a few new ones. I learned a ton in master’s classes for authors and at panels focused on different genres and issues surrounding lesfic.

It’s definitely a con that’s worth going to if you’re an author. I do have some heartburn though with the costs for pure readers to attend the con. Ticket prices, whether for one day or for the run of the con, are steep compared to cons in other industries and even other literary cons. A literary con needs to be as much about the reader – if not more so – than about the care and feeding of the authors. The readers should be the focus. The GCLS Board is considering ideas to become more reader focused and I’ve certainly voiced my opinion. Over the long run, for the continued life of lesfic, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of changes.

One thing that was very clear at the con was the fact that lesfic doesn’t have the appeal to younger generations of readers that it has had for women who are over 35 or 40 years of age. Younger women can see themselves as lesbians everywhere; television, movies, online in forums, on user sites and in videos and video games. They don’t have to turn to literature to find other women who love women or to see themselves reflected.

Describe a perfect day.
– I can’t even begin to speculate. Ask me again in five years when life has settled a bit and maybe we have the 2nd home on Douglas Lake in Tennessee, right outside of the Smokies that we’re dreaming of! Right now, no matter what we plan, our plans always change, at least a little bit.

What was the last live music performance you went to?
– There were two notable ones in 2015. My wife is a huge Reba McEntire fan. We saw her at the Ohio State Fair in the Summer of 2015. She’s a phenomenal performer. Also, I’d always wanted to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We saw them the day after Christmas in 2015. They were everything I hoped for and more. Since late 2015, life has been more than a little crazy. Concerts haven’t been high on the ‘must do’ list.

Anne's Puppy

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
– I really would like more time to write! We spend so much time with family, especially my spouse’s family. I love them all to death, don’t get me wrong, but writing often takes a back seat to whatever the latest thing my nieces, nephew and my great nephews are doing. We’re constantly on the run for all things family related. The things we get into though do make great fodder for stories. 

Did you do any writing in school?
– I did a little in high school but I didn’t really feel the writing bug until I took a creative writing class in college.

Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited? How was it?
– I’m not much of a world traveler. I’ve been all over the U.S. and into Canada. It’s not that I don’t want to travel the world, I just haven’t had the opportunity. There have been other priorities. I’ve been to Hawaii. I found that to have exotic elements but it was very laid back. We’re doing a Bahama’s vacation in 2018…24 of us. That will probably be as ‘exotic’ as it gets for me for a while.

Blue-Lagoon-Bahamas

What is the most daring thing you’ve written about? Can you share?
– I guess it would be writing lesfic at all. When I started writing Relic, my first book, Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane wasn’t going to have a foil or even a mention of her sexual preference. It was just going to be a mystery, period. The story didn’t work. Making it lesfic and bringing Special Agent Dana Rossi into Mel’s world changed everything.

Can you share with us your passion for your Hagan’s House of Horrors?
– My wife and I both acted in Haunted Houses in the past. My time in one was in my distant past. Her experiences doing that are a lot more current. Anyway, it’s always been her dream to own and operate one. I enjoy it but it’s really her dream. For me, it’s a lot of work supporting her, advertising, dealing with vendors, doing the accounting and taxes and doing all the other things that come with being the chief administrator. She’s the creative brains behind the haunt. It’s all about the business behind the scenes for me.

Hagan's House of Horrors

We ran into a snag in 2016 with some fire codes that changed significantly. We’re sitting out 2017 and trying to decide how or if we want to move forward. We have a couple of options but one involves a large expenditure of cash and the other a huge investment of time (and a little cash) to get back to code for what is really a seasonal business with a very short season.

Me: I love haunted houses and everything having to do with Halloween. I’m looking for some great haunts for my Halloween entry in late October 2017.

Besides writing, how do you participate with the LGBTQ community?
– We moved from suburban Columbus, Ohio to a small village in a rural area more than an hour out of Columbus in October of 2013. Since that time, we’ve participated less in LGBT focused activities in that area and more in supporting the needs of our new local community, as a whole. There is a tiny LGBT support network out here but we’ve found acceptance within the community we live in by being active participants in the things that matter more to people here than political activism. Things like hanging (and taking down) Christmas lights, throwing spaghetti dinner benefits for those in need, collecting clothing and food for families that could use them and so forth. It’s activism in our own way…one heart and one mind at a time.

Christmas Time

Me: Anne took this picture of her nieces and nephews participating with a raffle to raise money for the village Christmas lights last year. They got $650 worth of donations and they sold over $1,100 worth of tickets. The village population is about 450 total people. Way to go!

 What is next for you?
– That’s another tough question. I’ve got lots of ideas for books and plans into 2018 and beyond. Ideally, I’d love to quit working a day job and focus only on writing but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Instead, I see me spending at least a couple of more years working with the U.S. Postal Service and writing when and where I can around family events and obligations. I’ve been talking with a couple of other authors about leaving the indie life and starting a publishing company. We may very well do that but it’s going to take a few years to build a foundation and to gain author clients and momentum. We’ll see where we are in 2020 or so.

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Now for the giveaway Anne is cohosting with author E.A. Kafkalas. There are over 30 authors (43 books), including Anne Hagan’s ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Women’, and E.A. Kafkalas’ ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart.’

Included in the lot is S.W. Andersen’s ‘Switchback.’ I am currently reading this one, so stay tuned for my upcoming review. Enter for your chance to win this collection and see how great Lesfic literature is.

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The Grand Prize winner will receive 24 signed books, chosen at random from the collected works, the 2nd & 3rd prize winners will get 12 & 7 signed books respectively.

Winners will be chosen randomly.

These two authors are 2017 GCLS winners:

Karen D. Badger – 1140 Rue Royale
Ana B Good – The Big Sugarbush

Also, I’d like to mention author Lori L. Lake, who was a GLCS winner last year. She has three books in the giveaway that you are going to love.  ‘Eight Dates,’ ‘A Very Public Eye,’ and ‘Jump the Gun’. Lori has written professionally for many years and her work is well known. When she’s not writing, she coaching other writers. At the same time, she serves as the head of the Governance Committee for the Board at the Oregon Writer’s Colony.

Click here to enter the giveaway.

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Thank you so much, Anne, for your time and enthusiasm. Anne’s books are available on Amazon and I am recommending ‘Loving Blue in Red States – Sweetwater Texas’, which I have included an excerpt below. You’re going to love this one. Be sure to check out Anne’s links so you can keep up with her and reach out.

Website: https://www.AnneHaganAuthor.com (you can read her blog and sign up for her email list from the pop up or from the sidebar on the site)

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAnneHagan @AuthorAnneHagan

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annehaganauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9851500.Anne_Hagan

Book Cover

As promised I have included a nice excerpt for ‘Loving Blue in the Red States – Sweetwater Texas.’ Enjoy.

“Whatever you say,” Cass said. “I didn’t come back here to argue with you.” “Why did you come back here?”  

Cass held up the release form, face out. “This. I need just a little bit more information before I become someone’s guinea pig.” 

Emmie did her best to control her temper as she addressed the brash woman. “It’s not a requirement. You’re free to skip participating and just go on your way whenever I’m… well, whenever I’m doing the things I need to do with the class for my research.” 

“Not very confident in yourself, are you, Emmie?” She said her name with added emphasis. 

Emmie threw her hands up. “I thought you didn’t want to argue? Look, if that’s all, I really do need to get going. I have a little bit of a drive to get home and I have work to do yet this evening.” 

“Abilene?” Cass asked, as Emmie gathered her things.  

“Other direction. Other side of Sweetwater, here, out a little ways.” 

“Really?” Cass tilted her head and cocked an eyebrow. 

Emmie glanced at her and then glanced quickly away. Rather than answer, she made a show of winding up the power cord for her laptop and stowing it in her bag. 

“My nephew is a Junior on the team this year.” 

“That’s nice for him. They’re looking pretty good,” she conceded as her tone went from sarcastic to monotone. 

“You didn’t even ask who he is,” Cass pointed out. 

“I’m sorry. Who, pray tell, is your nephew?” Emmie asked as she picked up the laptop bag and started for the door. 

“Wow, you’re something, you know? You’d catch more flies with just a little more honey, honey.” 

The strawberry blond whirled to face the other woman. “Don’t call me honey!”

“Whoa! Sorry!” Cass held up her hands in mock surrender. She still had the release form in her left hand. 

“Just give me that. I’ll dispose of it on the way out.” 

“I’ll walk out with you. Wouldn’t do to have you walking out alone tonight.” 

“I can take care of myself.” 

“And I’m absolutely sure that you can but there’s more safety in numbers and, besides, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to participate; only that I want more information.” 

Emmie sighed and started walking. Cass followed. 

“What’s the topic of your thesis?” 

Emmie slowed and waited for the other woman to come alongside her. “How economic failure influences adult education.” 

“Ouch,” Cass said. 

“Is that a problem?” 

“Not for me. I’m not an ‘economic failure’.” 

“I never said you were. It’s just that programs like this appeal to people trying to better themselves, get out of the cotton fields, off the ranch…” 

“What’s wrong with working on a ranch?” 

Emmie groaned. It was coming out all wrong. “Nothing. I grew up on a ranch. It’s practically the only life I’ve known.” 

“Obviously not; not if you’re in a Master’s program. You’ve probably been a student most of your life… never had a real job.” 

“Now who’s making assumptions?” Emmie flung back at Cass. She reached the door going out, pushed it open hard, then strode ahead toward her car. She wanted to put as much distance between herself and the insufferable Cassandra Prater as she could, as quickly as she could.

Click on the link below for your copy of ‘Loving Blue in Red States’

Purchase ‘Loving Blue in Red States’

Check out Anne’s Amazon Author Page to purchase her other books, including ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Meet Lacie Harmon and Robin Greenspan from the YouTube hit show ‘Lacie and Robin show’

Good morning everyone and welcome. As I promised, I have invited Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon from the hit YouTube Lesbian show, “Lacie and Robin”. These two women talk about everything under the sun, while being as hilarious as ever. If you haven’t seen them, you have to check them out. You you’re going to be amazed!

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Audrey Matos – True Moxie Photography

Tell us about yourselves, each of you.
Lacie: At this point, there is no “each of” us. It’s one big organism. Just kidding (kind of). Robin’s from L.A. I’m from Jersey.

Robin: We met 21 years ago doing stand-up comedy. We were cast to play lovers in a play and we took it too far. We accidentally fell in love . . .

Lacie: If you really wanna know how we met, you can see it in our movie, “Girl Play”, on Amazon. It’s the movie version of our two-woman show and we star in it, along with Dom Deluise and Mink Stole. (If you’re over 40, you know who those people are.)

What is the ‘Lacie and Robin’ YouTube channel about? How did it come into being?
We lesbian-splain everything from relationships to personal development. One of our most popular segments is called “Ask a Lesbian Couple”. People ask us questions about the lesbian lifestyle that they maybe don’t have a lesbian couple to ask or maybe have been too afraid.

Lacie and Robin Show  – New shows every Wednesday.

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Audrey Matos – True Moxie Photography

What was it like being on the beach when you visited Cancun, Mexico?
Robin: It was an all-inclusive resort and Margaritas were served on the beach. The water was warm and it was only waste-high so you could drink and pee at the same time. It was perfection.

Lacie: God, I can’t take you anywhere. I’m not a beach person. I experience the beach as a burst of indignities, from my toes touching the sand until the last salty particle has gone up my crotch. All that aside, I had a good time. We were with family and it was a great group of people.

Who do you relate to most from Absolutely Fabulous – Edina, Patsy, or Saffron and why?
Robin: I still struggle with being Saffron but Eddie’s my spirit animal. Although, I think it also bears mentioning, I took an online quiz once that said I was most like Bubble.

Lacie: I think I’m Saffron but with a little edge of Patsy. I’m definitely a schemer like she is. I have a sneaky side.

Lacie and Robin and Dom

How long have you been vegan? Can you share with us your favorite dish?
Robin: We’ve been vegan a little over 5 years now. We saw a documentary that had, like, a two-minute visit to a factory farm and that was it. We looked at each other like, “Okay. I guess we’re vegan now.”

Lacie: We made a vegan nacho cheese recipe for a recent video. It was just supposed to be for fun but we got so addicted to this stuff that we’ve eaten it every day for a week. It’s not really a dish but since we pour it over everything we eat now, it’s become more of an entrée.

In addition to your show, in what other ways do you reach out to your community?
We’re big Twitter and Facebook lovers. We’re “Lacie and Robin” on both and we have a very engaged crowd who comment and retweet. And, we love talking to everybody on those platforms.

Where can we get a great cup of Joe in LA?
We’re not sure it’s the best cup of coffee, but the hippest cup of coffee is at Highland Park Café, which is close to our home. You must have multiple piercings, sleeve tattoos or the skinny lumberjack look (men only) to enter. They let us in, we assume, because we’re lesbians, which is its own type of hip nowadays. And they have three types of non-dairy milk.

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Audrey Matos – True Moxie Photography

Have you ever volunteered for a cat rescue sanctuary? If so how was your experience?
We’ve always had at least two cats who we got at the pound at any given time, so we consider ourselves a bit of a small-scale cat sanctuary. But, we’ve never volunteered at one.

Tell us about your experience in making your movie, ‘Girl Play’. Have you done any other writing? Where can it be found/purchased?
Lacie: Making “Girl Play” was a magical but nerve-wracking experience. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to star in a movie by and about us. But, it was also scary as shit to star in a movie by and about us.

Robin: Nothing in life prepares you for doing a topless love scene with a legend like Dom Deluise in the room. But, in all seriousness, he was delightful. The hardest thing about working with him was trying not to crack up during our scenes with him. We both just absolutely adored him.

Lacie: Mink Stole, who played Robin’s mom, was also a total blast to work with. We also got to meet and work with Sara Bareilles who made a cameo and contributed her awesome music to the soundtrack. If you want to see it, you can buy it on Amazon.com or stream it on Lesbian.com.

In terms of what’s next, we’ve since written a screenplay that we sold. And, Robin has written a musical comedy called “Beguiled” in which Adam and Eve travel through time to present-day San Francisco, where Adam becomes America’s favorite bad-boy, and Eve is put on trial for the downfall of humanity. So, it’s pretty timely. The show had a very successful staged reading in Hollywood, and we’re really looking forward to taking it to the next level.

Which LA beach (SM, Malibu too) is your favorite to walk along the water’s edge?
Actually, when we go to the beach out here, it’s usually Venice. We love it for the freaky people factor. A total hippie hang. This is the kind of place conservatives are deathly afraid liberals want the whole country to look like: every race, religion, creed and lifestyle on full display. That’s why we love it.

What would you attribute as the number one factor for the success of a long-term relationship?
Robin: We feel like the thing that has made our relationship the most successful is that we never forget how lucky we are to have found each other.

Lacie: We treat the relationship like our child. It’s something we devote ourselves to and take excellent care of. And we feel like we’re both on a team. So, if there’s ever a question about what to do, we always ask ourselves, “What benefits the team?”

Which one of your past jobs offered a lot of fun?
Robin: When I was a teenager, I worked at a movie theatre with a bunch of my friends. We got free popcorn and got to sneak our friends into the movies for free. So, we were pretty popular. I also memorized every line from the movie “Tootsie.”

Lacie: I liked waiting tables. I met some of my best friends for life there. There were constantly celebrities and fancy people coming through and we would sneak food constantly.

Robin: So, any job where there was free food.

What is next for you?
Our plan is to keep growing the YouTube channel and expanding our content, possibly to other platforms. Our mission is to spread as much love, compassion and acceptance as humanly possible. If you’re reading this, come check out our YouTube channel and subscribe! We’d love to have you in the family!

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Lacie and Robin Show

Here are their links for more news:

Lacie and Robin Twitter

Lacie and Robin Facebook

Lacie and Robin Instagram

I want to thank Lacie and Robin for joining us today. It was a real pleasure having you. Be sure to check out the link to their show today and watch a few episodes. Feel free to ask them question in the comments. Enjoy! Stay tune for next week as I will be featuring a book review for a popular lesfic author – Suzie Carr.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017
Printed with Permission

Meet USA Bestselling Author Julie Morgan

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have a special treat for you. USA Today Bestselling author Julie Morgan has stopped by to chat with us. She is the queen of steampunk literature and has published fifteen books that are all available for sale. Come stop by and join us. If you have questions for this amazing woman, you can ask in the comments.Author Photo 2 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Tell us about yourself.
I currently live in Winter Haven, FL, and am originally from Burleson, Texas. I’m married, going on 13 years to an amazing man, and we have one child together, who will be 10 in August. Growing up in Texas, there was no shortage of fun to be had with rodeos! Although I’ve since hung up my spurs, I do occasionally enjoy a horseback ride.

How long have you been writing professionally?
Since 2013.

Let’s talk about your book, Deadly Alchemy. How did you come up with the title?
The story is about an Alchemist and what she created because so deadly for her, the name came about that way.

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What part of the steampunk culture do you like the best? Why?
I love the Victorian era with the corsets and bustles! With the gadgets worked in, you’re able to create a world where only your imagination is the limit. Steampunk you can make anything happen.

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Would you describe your protagonist as a strong and wise woman?

Strong and smart, yes. I feel wise comes toward the end of the story.

Did anything significant come to the surface as a result of writing this book?
Nothing in particular, no. 

What has been a great life accomplishment? Tell us about it.

I would have to say my daughter. She’s my daily inspiration to want to be a better person. She is the best thing I have ever done in my life.

Julie and daughter2

What types of music do you enjoy listening to?
I’m all over the board from classic rock to Mozart. It really depends on my mood.

Where is a great family oriented place that you can recommend for everyone?

If you’re visiting Polk County, Florida, give Manny’s chop house a try. Amazing food and the staff are always super friendly!

Do you follow Lesfic literature? If so, who have you read?
I don’t necessarily follow one genre over another. I enjoy reading to escape. I have read so many authors it is hard to nail it down to one.

What has been the greatest gift from becoming a mother?
Aside the love of my daughter? Learning more about myself.

Julie and daughter3Autism Awareness 2

 

What intrigues you about paranormal stories?
It pushes the boundaries of what real life is. Imagine having the ability to fly, or grow gills to swim under oceans, shift to run through woods, or never having to sleep? It would be something different for sure.

Where is the most exotic location you’ve ever visited?
Europe. My husband took me to Venice back in October, then we took the Orient Express train to Paris. It was SO amazing!

How has your family been supportive of your success?
Yes, absolutely! My husband has been my number one supporter since I started this adventure.Family Photo 2

Describe the feeling you had the first time you made the USA Today Bestselling list. What, you didn’t hear me scream? HAHA! Excitement. Thrill. Disbelief. Amazement!

What is next for you?
I’ll continue writing and discovering new worlds and new characters. I love world building and bouncing ideas off my fellow authors and readers. As for what is coming next, I’m going to be working on two different series storylines, both paranormal. I’m pretty excited for them!

Purchase Deadly Alchemy

Keychains

Before you go be sure to check out Julie’s blog where you can read more about her. Her book series, Symphony of Night received a facelift, although the story is the same. She has worked with Desiree Orto and the two of them rebranded the series.

juliemorganbooks.com

In addition, she has social media sites you for you to read.  She welcomes new followers to don’t forget to follow her:

webpage: www.juliemorganbooks.com;

Facebook: www.facebook.com/juliemorganbook;

twitter: www.twitter.com/juliemorganbook;

Instagram: www.instagram.com/juliemorganbooks

I want to thank Julie for stopping by to talk with us. It has been a real pleasure. Stay tuned for next week’s blog as I will be featuring Lacie Harmon and Robin Greenspan from the Lacie and Robin show, which is on YouTube.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017
Printed with Permission

Meet Author Jaime Clevenger

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have a real treat for you. Jaime Clevenger, author of Party Favors has stopped by to chat. You are going to love her and will want to read her book. This book is really unique and nothing like anything I’ve read before. Come meet this creative and amazing artist. IMG_8578Tell us about yourself:

Well, to start, I love being active and also love my down time. I am a writer, a veterinarian, a swimmer, a karate teacher, a parent, a reluctant romantic and a pragmatic scientist.

I live in Colorado with my wife, two kids (both daughters aged 4 and 8) and a resident dog and cat. My family loves it when we foster kittens and puppies so the number of pets in our house varies a bit from time to time. My dog, Curie, is a Golden Retriever and simply put the best dog ever, but my cat Mango thinks he’s the favored pet in our house. I have a very faithful fish named Peter who sits at my desk and watches me intently every time I sit down to write. I’d like to say that we’re close but I think he’s only hoping for food when he stares at me.

My life is full and yet I still take every opportunity to daydream, watch every sunset and steal a peak at the moon each night. I love cuddling and a good story–which I’m fortunate to say there is plenty of both in my life. As both of my kids can tell you, I am both serious and silly. Dinner in our house is full of story-telling. We have early morning dance parties and it’s never exactly quiet around here. There are books literally all over the house. As of late, Harry Potter is a frequent bedtime story. By the time the kids are in bed, I’m ready to fall asleep but that’s when I get to sit down and write.

In the lesbian fiction world, I enjoy writing romance, erotica and fantasy. I’ve published with Bella Books since 2004 and am currently working on book number 10 due out this Fall.

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Did you enjoy writing in school?

I’ve always loved to write but I spent most of my time in school studying math and science related subjects. My third-grade teacher told me that I should become a writer–but then warned me that I might need to have a fall back plan if I wanted to feed myself. By fourth grade, I decided to become a veterinarian though secretly I hoped I could juggle both careers. As luck would have it, being a vet means you hear plenty of stories and meet some crazy characters, all good fodder for writing!

What is Party Favors about?

Party Favors is an erotica novel and unlike anything else I’ve written. The premise for this book is that the main character has been invited to a formal dinner party filled with the city’s most attractive and available women. Believing this is a costume party, she comes dressed as Batman. It’s not a costume party–everyone else is wearing ball gowns and tuxes. The hitch in this story is that the main character is you.

As the story is set up, you make the decisions as to how your night will go. You can choose to leave the party or stay, change clothes or stick with the Batman costume–and depending on your choices, you will end up sleeping with one of twelve different women. The story has multiple endings and is meant to be enjoyed in short bursts.

Party Favors was a blast to write. Without rules to follow, I let myself have fun with this one and took many liberties with the main character (you). I’ve heard some great responses from readers–including someone telling me that the book led to an argument with their girlfriend because of perceived cheating issues that came up and then another reader saying they enjoyed reading the book out loud with their wife and took turns deciding which choice to make. Suffice it to say, I’ve gotten more feedback on this book than any of the others combined!

How would you describe your protagonist in ‘Party Favors’?

The protagonist in Party Favors does not have many significant physical characteristics and there are few personal details. I did fall in love with this character (you) primarily because of everything I put her through. Despite having a lot of sexual encounters, she goes through a lot of embarrassing moments.

It was challenging to not give any background details to the character but I wanted readers to identify with the protagonist closely. Still, I snuck a bit in here and there–for instance, you play the piano, live alone and drive an expensive car. Depending on the choices you make at the party, to leave or stay for instance, I tried to plan the outcome based on what I figured would realistically follow if a person was likely to make that decision. In other words, are you the type of person to leave the party early, slip over to a sex shop and then when your best friend calls on the phone, do you go to her house and admit what a failure your night has been? Or do you stay at the party in that Batman costume and flirt with the hostess? These two endings are very different and I tried to keep “you” in mind as I planned out your evening.

Would you ever go skinny dipping in a waterfall in Hawaii?

Interesting question… I have gone to a few nude beaches–there’s Little Beach (next to Big Beach) on Maui where you can slip off your suit and swim free–and yes, I did partake. The sensation of swimming without anything on your skin is amazing. But that was before kids! Now with kids in the mix, I’m not likely to go to a beach without lots of sunscreen and good sunhats!

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What do you love about being an author?

Being an author isn’t exactly glamorous. Most of the time you are in a room by yourself staring at a computer screen moving words around in a sentence that you will likely delete the following day. But some moments are gold–when your character says something you didn’t expect, when the plot turns and you have no control over the outcome and are only along for the ride, when you have an epiphany on how to fix a tricky point in the storyline, when the perfect words materialize on the page as if someone whispered them in your ear… Writers live for these moments. But I could be a writer and never publish. Why be an author? I do like getting feedback from readers on my stories and I love the connections that you can form in the lesbian fiction world. Sometimes one bad review however is enough to make me think that I shouldn’t try to publish at all. But then some stranger comes along and says something you wrote touched them in some way and that makes all the work worth it.

Which authors have you met in person?

I’ve been to several Golden Crown Literary Society conferences over the years and have had a chance to meet many authors in the lesbian fiction world. To those who don’t know, all of the authors at the conferences are awesome. Well, maybe not all of them but I haven’t met any I didn’t like or anyone who seemed too cool to chat. While it’s true that a lot of us writers are big introverts and people watching is more our style than direct human interaction, I’ve had great conversations with too many authors to pick favorites.

Let’s give a shout out to Bella Books. What would you like to say to them?

I’m so thankful to all the folks at Bella Books. Linda and Jessica Hill are two amazing women who contribute so much behind the scenes in book production. Becky is fantastic and is totally sweet. From the proof readers to the type setter to the cover designer, so many people are involved in the production of a book and I owe them all a great deal. The editors that I’ve had over the years have taught me a tremendous amount about writing (especially since I came into this without any formal training) but I am especially in debt to Medora MacDougall for all of her tireless work. She never shies from the crazy stuff my characters get into in their love scenes, is forgiving with my ridiculous schedule, and boy does she know the rules on commas.

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What was the last live musical performance you saw?

Hamilton! My wife and I got to see Hamilton while we were in Chicago celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary (fourteen years together). It was awesome and I’ve been singing bits of the lyrics ever since. I’m a big fan of musicals and also recently got to see Fun Home which should not be missed. As for live music, the last show that I went to see was a Brandi Carlile concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. And yes, I gushed over Brandi quite a bit. We took the kids to that concert (with ear plugs) and we all danced and sang along. So much fun! Concerts at Red Rocks are truly an experience and Brandi Carlile is lovely live.

What’s next for you?

My next book, A Fugitive’s Kiss, is due out this September (really soon) and I’m excited about this one though it has been a lot more work than Party Favors. This is a romance fantasy complete with kings, horses and sword fights. The two women who fall in love in this story are messy complex characters (my favorite type of people) and I loved following along on their journey.

With A Fugitive’s Kiss off to the printer, I get to start writing a new romance story. Beginnings are always a rush–thrilling and a bit scary–much like the feelings in a fresh relationship. I often wonder if I’m crazy to start in on another book but then my mind gets to working on the story and the characters don’t let me sleep–I have to write!

Before you go, take a look at Jaime’s links:

http://www.bellabooks.com/Bella-Author-Jaime-Clevenger-cat.html

https://www.amazon.com/Jaime-Clevenger/e/B001JP8DQI

Party Favors Cover

Purchase ‘Party Favors’

I want to thank Jaime for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out her book Party Favors. You are going to be in for a pleasant surprise and are going to love it. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be speaking with USA Today Bestselling author Julie Morgan.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Ali Spooner

Good afternoon, friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Ali Spooner who is here to talk to us. I recently read her latest book, “Back in the Saddle” so stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks. For those of you who don’t know Ali, she is the author of sixteen books that are available for purchase. Come on over and join us and if you’d like to ask Ali a question, you can put it in the comments below.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

Samuel Jackson.

To me that says it all. As a storyteller, I relay the events of characters, and hopefully the reader emerges from the story with new experiences or knowledge, that meets their expectations of an adventure.

Tell us about yourself and what gets your creativity flowing?

I’m a native of Florida, but have lived in Alabama, Tennessee, and Wisconsin for short periods. I live with my partner of 22 years, Rhonda in our home in Pensacola. I began writing as a hobby to entertain myself and some online friends while in hotels on the road for work. I fancy myself as a storyteller who is learning to write, so I’m still a work in progress. I travel frequently for work, so driving, or flying gives me a great deal of time to think about story lines and often I’ll see a sign or an object that triggers a story idea. For instance, I was driving through Mississippi a few years ago and saw a crop duster pilot spraying fields of cotton, in preparation of harvest and it spawned a story I self-published on Smashwords around 2010, called The Painted Cat, and of course the main character was a thrill seeking, female, crop duster pilot. Sometimes a vivid dream will trigger a story or character and I never have difficulty coming up with story lines. I have on average 3-5 stories in various stages of development at any time and I work on whichever character speaks the loudest in my imagination.

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What inspired you to create the prequel, ‘Cowgirl Up’?

Growing up in central Florida, my family had several businesses. My father and uncle shared a grove caretaking business, managing orange groves for investors and our family groves as well. Our second business was the Crescent A Land and Cattle Company where we again managed herds for other’s as well as our own. During my childhood, I spent a significant amount of time on horseback as we “worked” cattle, moving them to different fields, penning them to provide healthcare or sending them off to market. So Cowgirl Up was a natural story for me to write. Many of the events the crew of the MC2 experienced from the long hours of baling hay, to training young horses were experiences from my youth. The title Cowgirl Up came from a sticker I saw on the back window of a truck pulling a horse trailer, presumably going to a rodeo or horse show somewhere in Florida. It was fun reliving some fond memories of working with my family.

Back in the Saddle cover

What is ‘Back in the Saddle’ about?

Back in the Saddle is a continuation of the journey the crew of the MC2 is experiencing. Coal, Stormy and Gene, the youngest of the crew get to live out a dream of participating in a live cattle drive in the mountains of Montana. Coal continues to struggle in her battle with PTSD, and in Montana, the flirtation of a beautiful cowgirl tempts Coal to stray in her relationship. However, Coal’s heart, is claimed by her partner, Mary Leah, and she stays true to this love. Melissa, the widowed owner of the MC2 and Mary Leah’s sister, for years after her husband’s death, felt she was satisfied with her life until a surprisingly new love interest steps into the picture.

Rhonda and I had a winter vacation in Montana years ago, and I fell in love with the country and it’s beautiful, wild nature, so the use of that setting for the cattle drive was easy for me to use.

How much of Coal is actually you? Or do you relate more to Mary Leah?

A bit of both actually. Coal has a bit of my younger spirit, with her love of horses, being a cowgirl and an out of doors type person. Like Mary Leah, I am also a cancer survivor, so there’s a part of me in her character as well. I think it’s natural for every writer to inject a bit of their personality or life experiences in their stories.

Are you an animal lover? Tell us about your experience.

That’s an understatement!  I learned to ride a horse before I could ride a bicycle and we’ve always raised animals or had a variety of pets. As kids, we experienced showing steers through 4 – H or the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We did our share of horse shows and loved to go to rodeos. As an adult, I have mainly had cats and dogs as companions, and they have graciously allowed me to live in their homes. I spent four and a half years living apart from my family for work and my two rescue cats kept me sane during those times and came home to live with us in our forever home. Just recently, Kiwi, our 9 year-old blue heeler, lost her battle with cancer and traveled across the Rainbow Bridge. She was considered Rhonda’s dog, but she was my snuggle-buddy and playmate. In her younger years, she would wear me out throwing a tennis ball for her to retrieve. She spent hours beside me in my office as I worked or created stories and was always the first to greet me when I came home from a trip. Rascal, my first rescue cat in Memphis, was the beautiful, tiger cat in The Painted Cat, and Kiwi has certainly filled her share of roles in stories, especially, Cowgirl Up and Back in the Saddle in the blue heeler puppies Bo and Dolly that Coal purchased as Christmas presents for Mary Leah and Gene. Kiwi has a special place in my heart and her spirit will grace futures stories as my companion in writing.

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Kiwi

If Coal could go anywhere for a first date, where would she choose to take her beau?

Probably the first date setting she helped Stormy arrange for Del when they first met. A beautiful spot on the MC2 where they looked across a valley and watched the sun set, the final rays of sunlight creating a brilliant palette of colors across the landscape, while she grilled a meal for them. They would share a meal, maybe a bottle of wine and then stretch out in the bed of a truck to watch the stars emerge in a sky free from manufactured light.

Do you like live music? Which bands have you seen live?

I love music of all types, but country music holds my heart. I’ve been lucky to see most of my favorites such as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and so many others. I’m still hoping to see Garth one day, but as of yet, our paths have not crossed. There are many other artists I’d like to see, such as Fl/Ga Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town…and the list goes on, so I have catching up to do.

What is your favorite musical instrument? Do you play? If so, tell us about it.

I can’t play a lick of music, but I love the sound of a banjo, and if I ever learned to play an instrument, it would probably be the one. Deirks Bentley, put out a folk album with a song on it called Up on the Ridge, that I love. It has a great feel of Appalachia to it.

Me: One of your characters plays a mean flute which I heard as I was reading along. Very well done.

What was your inspiration for choosing the settings for these two books?

I love the wide open, ranching space in Texas and thought that would make a perfect spot for the MC2. When I think of large ranches, I automatically think of Texas. There’s a few left in Florida, but I thought readers would relate more to Texas. As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the beautiful scenery in Montana, and would love to return there to see it across all seasons. The deep green of the woodlands against the backdrop of majestic, snowcapped mountains seemed the perfect setting for a cattle drive adventure.

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Tell us more about your passion for college softball.

In high school, I played every sport. My first love was basketball, and I played my freshman year in college. Softball was the one I played into my thirties, but only slow pitch, as the fast pitch craze didn’t catch on in the southern states until years later. I was born and raised a University of Florida Gator and follow our sports teams as a die-hard fan, win or lose. We are fortunate to have a great coaching staff and great softball team. I love watching the South Eastern Conference teams in all sports and hope to be able to attend the College World Series of Softball in the next few years. I’ve also found this to be a great way of finding new and different names for characters. I was amazed, but delighted to see a young woman named “Bubba” on a team this year. I enjoy college sports over professional ones because I believe college athletes play for the pure love of the game. It’s not a career for them and they don’t make millions or have products named for them, but they truly love their sport and appreciate the opportunity given them to play.

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Have you ever gone on a rustic outing in nature? If so where?

I enjoyed camping, but will now admit my camping is limited to a pull behind camper or cabin, as these old bones can’t tolerate sleeping on the ground. Some of my favorite spots are in western North Carolina and middle and eastern Tennessee. As a kid, I was a member of the Trail Riders Association in central Florida and we would camp long weekends in the summer with our horses in and around the Ocala National Forest. It was great fun swimming with your horse and cooking meals by campfire. Hmm, sounds a bit like Back in the Saddle.

Who was the last Affinity author you read?

I was honored to do some beta reading for Annette Mori on a couple of her upcoming titles. I love her quirky characters and the variety of her story plots. I also read Renee MacKenzie’s, book Pausing, which is an excellent read. I’m fortunate to publish with some fantastic authors, so I’m never at a loss for great stories to read.

Me: Stay tuned for my review of Renee Mackenzie’s Pausing next week.

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Can you share with us your love of photography? Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled to take pictures?

Photography is creating a visual story or record of memories I’ve experienced or shared with loved ones. I enjoy wildlife and landscapes as well as capturing family and friends. I have two grandbabies that give me plenty opportunities to photograph, as well as my fur family. With the creation of digital photography, I find myself taking hundreds of photos on a trip, so I have plenty memories to choose from as favorites when we return home.

One of my most exciting places to go was to Stonehenge when I visited London. I was in awe of the power of the setting. I could feel it vibrating through me as I walked amongst the monuments. Rhonda and I also traveled to Alaska in 2015 and the scenery there was amazing. I also love the waterfalls of western North Carolina, especially Whitewater falls. The falls are gorgeous no matter what season you choose, but I love it in the fall with all the foliage, turning colors. Yes, before you ask, these falls will be the ultimate destination in a short story, scheduled for release in February of 2018 called Shotgun Rider. These falls hold some special memories of my Mom and Rhonda, my partner.

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Do you have beta readers read your manuscripts?

Absolutely! I couldn’t live without good betas. I have a variety of readers who volunteer to read the drafts of my stories and provide excellent feedback on how I can improve the story. I try to mention them in the acknowledgement for each book, as they have been a tremendous help to develop it into the published story.

What is next for you?

I am currently working to develop a new series of books I call the Strong Southern Women series. There are five stories under development as a part of this series, but more to come. The first, Diamond Dreams, contracted by Affinity Rainbow Publications, will be published in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the first of three books regarding the lives of the St. Angelo sisters in rural Louisiana. Diamond Dreams follows the eldest daughter, Cameron (Cam) St. Angelo as she follows her dream to play college softball at LSU.

I believe in the concept of strong, southern women, as they have been the basis for most of my stories. These women are the characters that I know, and have grown to love. Ordinary people, that I feel that many readers can easily connect.

I’m also working on some other stories as well. A third book in the Hunter series is about two thirds of the way drafted. The fourth and final book in the Sasha Thibodaux vampire series is also underway. A sequel to the Cowgirl series has also begun to percolate in the back of my mind. So many stories, so little time to write!

As I mentioned earlier, I read ‘Back in the Saddle’ and have an excerpt to get you started.

Back in the Saddle cover  

Harley watched as the two women stepped off the porch. When they’d taken three steps, the clouds opened up. As they dashed for the house, laughing, Harley couldn’t help but smile. Melissa skidded to a halt when she reached the porch and waved to him. Harley waved back and returned to the kitchen, shaking his head. 

“Whew, that was cold,” Melissa cried out when they entered the house, and then broke out laughing again. They were both sopping wet, but Cam couldn’t prevent herself from joining Melissa’s infectious laughter. When she could finally stop, she looked at Melissa, who was still bent over laughing. Her wet hair framed her face when she looked up at Cam, whose chest tightened, making it hard to breathe. Cam slid down to the floor, unable to look away from Melissa. “What in the world are we laughing at?” 

Melissa sat down in front of her. “I have no clue, but I’m having a hard time stopping.”

Here is an excerpt from Diamond Dreams. As a baseball lover, I’m definitely going to check this out when it debuts next March.

The sound of the ball hitting the leather of the catcher’s mitt made a loud pop as it whizzed past Cameron St. Angelo. The inside pitch was meant to brush her back from the plate, but Cam barely twitched as she felt the air moving in the flight path of the ball in front of her face. After the umpire bellowed out “Ball two,” Cam stepped out of the batter’s box, and tapped the aluminum bat against her metal cleats. She turned her head toward the pitcher’s mound and grinned. “Is that the best you got Bugsy?”

“You damn well know it isn’t,” the angry pitcher growled back.

“Are y’all gonna play ball or jabber the rest of the game?” 

Cam stepped back into the batter’s box. “Sorry Blue.” She twisted her right foot in the packed clay until she felt comfortable and dropped her hand indicating she was ready for the next pitch.

“Bout damn time St. Angelo,” the catcher barked at her. “This gear is hot, so let’s get a move on.”

“Bring it,” she called out to the pitcher.

Ursula Bugg, or Bugsy to Cam, was a top ranked pitcher on the opposing team, and Cam knew she had a wicked fast riser. She also knew that Ursula had a weakness and it was Cam herself. They had competed against each other in every sport since they first met in high school, and Cam had always won the battle as the superior athlete. As hard as she tried, Bugsy had never bested her in any sport, and facing her now as the opposing pitcher, would make no difference. Yes, Bugsy was good, but Cam was better, and she understood how much she got into Bugsy’s head. They battled through three years in high school and by their senior year, Bugsy’s condition had grown to an obsession. 

It didn’t matter that Cam was an All-State shortstop and team leading cleanup hitter, bound for Baton Rouge in the fall with a full ride to play softball for LSU. Bugsy was determined to strike her out. Cam could almost hear the grinding of Bugsy’s teeth as she reached deep down inside for extra strength as she released the next pitch. 

“High and wide,” the umpire called out, “Three balls and one strike.”

Forced to throw a strike, or risk walking her, Bugsy stepped off the mound to wipe her hand, as Cam waited on the fastball that would be nestled in the center of the plate. She watched Bugsy step up to the pitching rubber, digging the hole beside it deeper for more traction and power, then begin her wind up. Her movement seemed like slow motion to Cam and the ball looked the size of a cantaloupe as it approached. Her eyes locked on their target as she tucked chin to her chest, her eyes glued on the ball as she started her swing. Her teammates were probably holding their breath, but Cam had no doubts. She caught the ball on the sweet spot of her bat, and that ball was going out of the park for a walk off home run. She rushed out of the batter’s box toward first base as the left fielder backed toward the fence until she realized there was no keeping the ball in the field of play. Cam rounded the base and slowed her pace to a jog as Bugsy glared at her from the pitcher’s mound. When her cleated foot touched home, the umpire called, “Ball game.”

Welcomed by her teammates with high fives and slaps to her helmet, she made her way to the dugout to drop off her gear before joining her friends in congratulating the other team on a game well played. When she approached Bugsy at the end of the line, she smiled, “See you next fall.”

“You better believe it,” Bugsy answered finally cracking a smile. She too, would also be attending LSU to play ball. “Maybe we’ll meet again next week if we make it to the tournament.”

I’d like to thank Ali for stopping by. Be sure to check out her links below for more new and exciting news. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is available and I’m encouraging you to check it out.

Ali’s Facebook Profile

Ali’s Amazon Profile –  Here you can check out her sixteen books.

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Printed with Permission.

Copyright 2017

#FF Flashback Friday – Meet author Missouri Vaun

Hello friends, today is #FF Flashback Friday and I am featuring an interview from Missouri Vaun, originally posted on Feb-27-15. With the arrival of her new book, ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ (debuting Jun-01-17), here you can get to know her. Come stop by and meet this magnificent multi creative woman. Enjoy.

‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ excerpt

 

Crossing the Wide Forever Cover

Purchase ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’

 

Good afternoon and welcome my friends.  I have had a very busy two weeks.  During this time, I got to chat with author Missouri Vaun.  Her most recent work is her upcoming novel, ‘All Things Rise,’ from Bold Stroke Books, which she will be discussing today.  It is a f/f romance and is planned to be released this May.

All Things Rise 150 DPI

“Feeling unable to let Audrey go, Cole pulled her close and kissed her. It was as if the two of them together were able to create a space that only they inhabited, from which the world fell away, the sea of pedestrians separating to move around their embrace as if they were a craft upon the open sea.”

Missouri Vaun grew up in rural southern Mississippi, where she spent lazy summers conjuring characters and imagining the worlds they might inhabit. It might be a little-known fact that Mississippi breeds eccentrics, and eccentrics make for good storytelling. Missouri spent twelve years finding her voice as a working journalist in places as disparate as Chicago and Jackson, Mississippi, all along filing away characters and concepts until they seemed to rise up, fully formed. Her stories are heartfelt, earthy, and speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. She and her wife will celebrate their sixth anniversary this summer.

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What is ‘All Things Rise’ about?

Cole rescues Ava, a pilot from the Cloud City of Easton who crash-lands near her farm, setting in motion events that will alter the course of her life. It’s a hundred years after peak oil and the rich have risen above the Earth, inhabiting great Cloud Cities, while those left behind live a rural existence, off the grid. After suffering a vicious attack, Cole is transported to the Cloud City of Easton for emergency surgery. While recuperating and adrift in the unfamiliar social landscape of Easton, Cole begins a journey of discovery. When she meets Audrey, a beautiful doctor, the attraction they share is penetrating and possibly life altering. Explosions, staged by a ruthless underground movement, nearly bring Easton to the brink of collapse. The crisis that rocks the city forces Cole and Audrey to weigh what truly holds meaning and what each is willing to sacrifice for love.

Because of an injury, the main character, Cole (featured on the cover), who is from a rural area is transported to a city for medical care. She finds herself in a world that she’s never experienced. But she’s not the only one changed by the encounters she has there. Those she comes in contact with are changed as well because, by just being who she is, Cole challenges long held stereotypes.

What or who inspired you to write ‘All Things Rise?’

Initially I think it was coming to the realization that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We are living in a time of increasing disparity. And I thought, what if this keeps moving in the same direction until the rich leave all of us behind altogether? In my future world, the super rich have completely separated from everyone else. So the elite live separated from the ground in these big urban centers. The middle class and lower classes have been left on the ground for a hundred years basically living a 19th century existence because oil has peaked and the power grid no longer exists. (And I had this idea on paper two years before that lame movie, “Elysium” came out.)

After I submitted my manuscript there was actually an article in Vanity Fair about these new super high, very narrow skyscrapers for the extremely rich in NYC. In the article they said something about the rich separating from the earth and living in the clouds and I thought, wow… that’s basically what happens in my book.

I don’t want the future setting to make this book seem like it’s pure science fiction. It’s really not. In fact, a lot of the book takes place where Cole lives so those parts are almost like reading a story set at the turn of the 20th century. The “science” in this book is a minor character. The book is really about the relationships that develop between the three main characters.

What was the deciding factor for you book title?  Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?

The title is a tribute to a book by Flannery O’Connor, “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” It was really my first idea and it just sort of stuck.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?

I tried to create a trio of very different characters. In the beginning they had more of a love triangle but as the story evolved that thread dropped away and while all three characters have very strong feelings for each other the primary romance ended up developing between Cole and Audrey, even though Ava is the person who brought them together.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I didn’t do much writing in school. I was a fine art major. I actually did the illustration of Cole that Bold Strokes Books ended up using on the cover. After graduation I worked for a string of newspapers for about 12 years, both as an illustrator and as a staff writer. But if anyone does a search for Missouri Vaun they won’t find the name listed on these projects because that is a pen name. Missiouri Vaun was my great-grandmother’s name. All my other writing has been published under Paige Braddock.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?  If so what did they do?

I think great writers inspire me, although, my own work doesn’t come anywhere close to theirs. In my favorites list I would put: Eudora Welty, James Agee, Cormac McCarthy

I think of myself as more of a storyteller than a writer.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?

My goal would be for readers to emotionally connect with the characters I’ve created. That would be my wish. That these characters seem real to the readers in such a way that readers become invested in what happens to Cole and Audrey and Ava.

Do you have a favorite quote from a favorite author?  What does it mean to you?

I have a few… from Cormac McCarthy: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” This quote actually inspired the second book in this series, which will be released later this year.

What hobbies do you have?

My biggest hobby is drawing. I probably spend every spare minute either writing or drawing.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?

I think my favourite part of being a writer is the freedom it gives you to create characters and worlds. There’s nothing more fun that starting with a blank slate and building a world. In terms of least favourite, I don’t think I have anything yet… ask me again next year.

What was the last movie (theatre or dvd) you saw?  Would you recommend it?

‘I Origins’ was the last movie I watched. And I would recommend it.

Where would you go for your dream vacation?  Would you ever use that location as the main location in a future story?

I love the desert of southern California. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places as is Death Valley. I would definitely set a story there at some point. I actually have a western on the back burner at the moment, some of which would take place in the arid places in northern New Mexico. Cormac McCarthy wrote “Blood Meridian” and set it in the same borderlands area. That’s a great book if you’re into that genre.

What is in the works next for you?  If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.

My second book is titled “The Ground Beneath.” It’s a novella that focuses on one of the secondary characters that I really liked from the first book. I wanted to give her a happy ending. This novella will be a digital release in August.

The third novel, “The Time Before Now,” will be out in October. It’s a prequel of the first book. After one of my beta readers finished the first manuscript, she said she’d love to know more about two of the older characters in the story, so book two is their story. It takes place twenty years prior to the first book and focuses on the story of how they met and fell in love.

Missouri’s hard work and dedication is really evident.  In addition to working on her next book, she has done some really incredible interviews. This one is a live chat with Liz McMullen and if you haven’t checked her out, you are in for a real treat.  Liz is the creator of The Liz McMullen Show and Lizzy’s Bedtime Stories.

Live Chat With Liz McMullen

Also, take some time to check out Missouri’s blog.  Here she writes about fun things, including her story, “Jane’s World” and other news in her life.  While there, feel free to add comments and join in her conversations.  Also don’t forget to like the blog.  If you want to connect with Missouri, sign up to receive blog updates.

Missouri’s Blog

Missouri has been kind enough to provide an exciting excerpt from “All Things Rise.”

Cole placed the basket and fishing rod on the ground and walked slowly toward the ridge where she’d noticed the glowing object. Dry twigs snapped underfoot despite her best efforts. She didn’t want to make too much noise, not knowing what to expect. And then Cole saw it clearly. It was a shiny capsule of some sort. The glow was coming from a glass window in the center of what looked like an oval door. For what seemed like longer than a minute, Cole stared at the gleaming object. It was all slick metal and glass, the only modern thing for miles in any direction, and here it was, less than half a mile from her family’s cabin. 

Cole took a few steps closer and saw the dark shape of someone inside. The cruiser must have crashed, but it looked none the worse for wear. There was a pile of upturned dirt at the front of the vehicle. The crash landing had cut a ditch of sorts through the brush before it abruptly stopped right next to a giant oak. There were scratches all along its sides, probably from tree limbs, but no punctures were easily visible. Cole had never been this close to an aircraft, but had seen photos of various kinds in old books. She’d always wondered what it would be like to fly one, to get a bird’s eye view from something higher than the old fire tower on Black Mountain.

There was a handle on the exterior of the vehicle that seemed like it would open the door. It was colored red as if to say, “Open here.” Cole reached for it and then stopped her hand midair. She had a momentary thought that this felt like one of those times when you knew you were doing something that you couldn’t take back. When you knew you were doing something that would change everything that came after this one action. Ignoring her fears, she pulled the release.

Here are Missouri’s links where you can follow her.

Missouri’s Facebook Page (Don’t forget to like the page)

Missouri’s Twitter Page

I want to thank Missouri for stopping by today.  It was a pleasure speaking with you and we are looking forward to the release of ‘All Things Rise.’  I can’t wait to read this incredible story!

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Thank you for joining us today. Like I mentioned above, Missouri’s new book, ‘Crossing the Wide’ is now available for purchase. Feel free to use the comments to talk about both of these books, as I am looking for discussion. In the meanwhile, check out her website under Paige Braddock displaying her artwork. It is very amazing as you can see from the above pictures.

Paige Braddock Art

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2015/2017

Meet Author Renee MacKenzie

Good Afternoon friends and welcome. Today author Renee MacKenzie has stopped by to chat. Her book, Pausing, is out and has people talking. I am currently reading the book, so you have to wait for my review. Come on in and meet this amazing woman.

Author picture

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Anonymous

What is “Pausing” about?

Pausing is a love story. Pausing is about letting love happen, even if that love falls outside the boundaries you once thought mattered. Jordy Chapman, Emergency Service Coordinator at a mental health facility, is falling fast for the owner of Yeager’s Furniture, Keira Yeager. Jordy has a new zero-tolerance policy in her personal life for any kind of mental instability which is just fine, until she meets Keira.

What was your inspiration behind the book cover for “Pausing”?

Running and sushi were a big part of my life while writing Pausing and I let it spill over into the book itself. The silhouette of a runner just made sense for the cover. I’d like to give a big shout out to Nancy with Irish Dragon Designs for the wonderful cover. The colors are amazing, provocative.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I played with sappy love poems when I was in high school. Then while studying business administration at the community college in VA I took a creative writing class as an elective and was immediately hooked on short story writing. I had a few short stories published in the college literary magazine while I was there. I left college for many years and returned when I was in my 30s. This time I majored in Creative Writing at Augusta State University. I’d submitted to a small scholarship fund for that school and won it. I also had a few short stories and poems published in that university’s literary magazine.

Is there anyone or anything in your life who encourages you to write?  If so, tell us about it?

I am encouraged every day by so many people. My coworkers at Big Cypress National Preserve have been amazingly supportive, as have my friends and neighbors. One of the first people who encouraged me was my friend Pauline Rushton when I lived in Augusta, GA. She’s the one who encouraged me to submit to the writing scholarship, and was the first person to ever call me a ‘writer.’ She passed away in 2009, years before I’d published my first novel, and I often think about her and how much she encouraged me.

Book Cover

Are you a traveler?  Where is your favorite vacation spot of all time?

Most of the traveling I do these days revolves around writing conferences or author reading events. So far, I’ve really loved Austin and Palm Springs. I don’t believe I’ve been to my all-time favorite spot yet. Maybe northern California after I go there in October? I’m dying to go to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Above all – Thank You. At the end of the day, it is all about the readers. Readers, both in the Lesfic community and my personal circle of friends, family, and neighbors, have been simply amazing.

Can you elaborate on what has worked for you that gets you into a creative zone?

Sometimes all it takes is a long walk with my dog, Sabrina, or a leisurely shower. Other times it comes down to staring at a blank wall (sometimes for hours) and letting my mind wander. If I am having trouble really getting into a character’s head, I put them in bed with their love interest. Nothing jump starts a story for me quite like a sex scene.

Sabrina

Let’s give a shout out to Affinity Press books.  What would you like to say to them?

Thank you, Affinity, for taking a chance on me. Thanks for letting me tell my stories, my way. We always have a good time when we are together, but never lose sight of the fact that in the end, it’s all about telling our stories. We might be spread all over the globe, but when we get together it feels quite fluid and natural.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least favorite?

My favorite part of being a writer is making shit up and not getting in trouble for doing so. I also really enjoy research, and get quite hands-on when doing so. While writing Anywhere, Everywhere, I took python handling training multiple times so I would know exactly what Gwen felt when she held a python. When I was writing Pausing, I interviewed a friend’s husband, who held the job Jordy holds at a similar mental health facility. Even though I’d driven the Colonial Parkway in Virginia hundreds of times, while writing 23 Miles I drove it again, putting myself in Talia Lisher’s head while doing so.

My least favorite part is promotion. It’s hard to find the balance between effectively putting yourself and your work out there and being, well quite frankly, obnoxious about it. I’m not sure I’ve found that balance. Public readings were once the hardest part for me, but I’ve gotten much more comfortable with them. I still get nervous, but nothing like it was in the beginning.

Here’s a videotaped interview I did in Virginia shortly after 23 Miles, my novel that fictionalizes the real life Colonial Parkway murders of 1986:

Interview with Renee

Me: This is a must watch video.

Do you follow other Affinity Press authors?

I follow most of the writers with Affinity as much as time constraints will allow. I spend a lot of time with Ali Spooner thanks to our involvement together with Sappho’s Scribes of Florida. She’s an amazing writer. I have also spent quite a bit of time at conferences with Annette Mori and Jen Silver, both also great writers. We are very much like a family, even if we only see each other a few times a year. I love the Lone Star Lesfic Festival in Austin, and it’s extra great that so many of the Affinity family is there – JM Dragon, Erin O’Reilly, Nancy Kaufman, Alice Plough, Lacey Schmidt, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, Del Robertson, and myself.

What is your favorite restaurant in Naples, FL?

My favorite restaurant in Naples is probably Sushi Thai – the one on Airport Pulling Road (best service and best outdoor area for my dog). My characters Jordy, Steph, and Keira spend a lot of time in Tokyo Inn in the novel Pausing, but that is on Marco Island, not in Naples.

Tell us something about your Alma Mater? Were you part of any clubs?

I went to high school at York High in Yorktown VA, but was too busy partying to be in any groups (or at least to remember if I was…). For college I went to two small schools (Thomas Nelson in Newport News, VA, and August State University in Augusta, GA) while working multiple jobs, so I didn’t do much with any clubs.

Renee2

Do you go to the beach often? Do you prefer sunrise or sunset visits? Why?

I live quite close to the beach but don’t go often. I prefer to spend my time in the swamp. My favorite beach is Tigertail on Marco Island. It is part lagoon and part gulf beach and has the most amazing birds. But whether it’s beach or swamp, I always have my camera with me.

I am a sunrise person all the way. I love mornings.

Swamp at sunrise

What was the last movie that you saw in the theatre?  Did you love it or not and why?

The last movie I saw in a commercial (public) theater was Jurassic World, in July of 2015. It was okay. Before that, the last movie was Rent, ten years earlier. I’m not a big fan of movie theatres. We have a 21-seat theater, in our community clubhouse that I go to occasionally. The last movie there was The Secret Life of Pets.

The secret live of pets

What is in the works for you?

I’m currently working on a sequel to Pausing, a dystopian romance, and a thriller. Jordy and Keira will join me for the still unnamed sequel, but the main characters will be minor ones from Pausing. I’ll be hanging out in a downtown Naples art gallery to get ready for this one. I’m 47k words into the dystopian romance, with at least two others planned in that series. And the thriller has been started but put aside for the others right now. That will be set in Big Cypress and include Gwen and PJ from Anywhere, Everywhere. Once upon a time I would never think about writing on more than one project at a time, but these days I can’t seem to help myself.

Here is an excerpt from Pausing.

I wonder if I could get some measurements.” Keira gave Jordy a hopeful look. “Some idea of the size of the furniture in there now?”

Jordy glanced around. “I need something to measure with.”

I have a tape measure,” Keira said. She pulled one out of her shoulder bag. “Never leave home without it,” she joked.

Jordy laughed. She liked this woman. But she also didn’t want her out in the dayroom. Not while it was occupied.

Donte was standing at the back of the room. Jordy waved him over.

Yeah, boss,” he said.

Give me a hand with something in the dayroom?”

“Sure.” He turned to Keira. “Hi, I’m Donte.”

I’m Keira,” she replied back.

Keira smiled at him, the smile Jordy couldn’t help thinking was warm and sweet and… whoa, really, Jord?

Keira, do you have paper and pen?” Jordy asked her.

Book Cover

She nodded and retrieved that from her bag as well. That was when Jordy noticed the dainty ring on Keira’s right ring finger. The stones were arranged into a rainbow of colors. Now, this is interesting.

Can I see your cell phone?” Jordy asked.

Keira raised an eyebrow before pulling her phone from her bag as well.

Jordy took the phone from her and dialed her own cell number. She answered when it rang and then handed Keira’s phone back to her.

Jordy put her phone up to her face and said, “Can you hear me now?”

Keira laughed into hers. “Yes, I can hear you.”

Jordy and Donte went out into the dayroom and Jordy measured and told Keira the numbers via cell phone. Donte was mostly there to watch Jordy’s back. She couldn’t concentrate on measuring, talking to Keira on the phone, and being sufficiently aware of her surroundings all at the same time.

She’s pretty,” Donte said when no one else was close.

Yes, she is, and she’s also still on the phone,” Jordy answered.

Donte’s light brown skin started glowing red and Jordy laughed.

Keira asked for Jordy to measure the back wall in its entirety. Jordy did. Then they wrapped it up.

Jordy walked Keira out to the lobby.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for me today,” Keira said.

It’s the least I could do. Thank you for your generosity.” Jordy didn’t understand the feeling that washed over her then. Her mind started reeling; she desperately wanted to make an excuse to see her longer, or again, or something.

Keira smiled. “I will be in touch if I have any questions. It will probably be a few weeks before I get it all ready to be delivered.”

Will you be coming by on delivery day?” Jordy asked, knowing she must sound like a hopeful school girl with a blossoming crush.

Keira looked like she was considering that for the first time. “Well, I do believe I will.”

 

Let’s give a big thank you to Renee. For more about her, don’t forget to check out her links below, including her blog which you can follow.

Renee’s Blog

Renee’s Facebook Page

Renee’s Instagram Page

Purchase ‘Pausing’

Purchase ‘Pausing’ – Affinity

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Meet Author Breanna Hughes

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today author Breanna Hughes is here to talk about her new book, A Fine Mess. For those of you who missed it, you can click on the link for my review. Come on in and join us.

My Review of ‘A Fine Mess’

Author photo

What is A Fine Mess about?

While picking up the pieces after a family tragedy, 24-year-old singer/songwriter Harper Foley tries to fix her relationship with her estranged sister, Emily, get closure on her relationship with her ex-fiancé, Finn, and sort through her confusing feelings for her best friend, Kiley, all while trying to come to terms with who she is. A twist on the traditional coming of age story, A Fine Mess is a story about navigating through the chaos and finding yourself among the wreckage.

Book cover

 

What was your inspiration behind the book cover for A Fine Mess?

I wanted to keep it simple. A girl and her guitar. The plot is obviously more complicated than that, but Harper’s one constant in her life is her music.

Was there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   If so, what did they do?

When I was ten years old, my grandmother wrote me a letter on my birthday telling me what a great writer I was and that maybe that’s what I should be when I grew up. She had read a few things I had written for school, along with a letter I wrote to her and I guess she was impressed. I kept that letter close to me all these years. I lost her just a few years after she gave me that letter, but I still keep it with me and keep her in my heart. I ended up dedicating my book to her.

Can you elaborate on what has assisted you with your creativity?

What assisted me with this particular book was the fact that I wanted something that young LGBT women could read and relate to, especially those who are just coming out and figuring out who they are.

LA Pride

 

How has your own music influenced your writing?

I started writing this book when I was travelling around different clubs in different cities trying to make it as a songwriter. It helped put me in the mindset of the lead character, Harper. I ended up including several of my own songs in the book. The lyrics to those songs really helped me form the story.

Did you name your book after your song, A Fine Mess, and why? 

Actually, I named the song after my book. I wanted to include some original lyrics in the book, so I wrote the song based on Harper’s relationship with her sister. I didn’t think I would turn it into an actual song, but I was really excited about the lyrics, so I created a melody for it. I kind of love that my novel-writing inspired my own song-writing.

Me: click on the link below to see Breanna perform her song.

Breanna Performing ‘A Fine Mess’

Breanna performing

 

Let’s give a shout out to TriPub books.  What would you like to say to them?

Without Triplicity, not only would I still be struggling to get this book published, but I definitely wouldn’t have the confidence in my writing that I have now. The fact that someone saw something special enough in A Fine Mess to publish it is a great feeling.

Breanna Hughes’ Tri-Pub page 

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least favorite?

The answer is the same for both questions: The reviews. I’ve had people say that the book is very relatable and that they had been through similar experiences. I love reading and hearing things like that. And then there’s the other side when people write what they hate about the book. That’s never fun to read. But in the end, all reviews help me to become a better writer.

Me: Everyone please leave a review when you finish a book. Authors really appreciate it.

On your FB page you liked Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. How did you like it? Which one is your favorite movie?

The first one will always be the best. My fiancee was actually the one who got me into those films and I’m glad she did. I love the character of Alice and how badass she is. The Final Chapter was a great way to end the franchise, but there were a lot of very glaring plot holes and changes from earlier films. It took me out of the film a bit, but it was still pretty awesome. It’s hard to complain about a film with a strong female lead.

Ireland

 

What video games are you into? 

Honestly, I’m not a gamer. I used to have Super Nintendo and loved Mario Kart. That’s the extent of my video gaming experience.

Being a SoCal girl, what is your favorite attraction and tell us a bit about it?

Pierce Brothers Cemetery in Westwood. My two favorite actresses are buried there: Dominique Dunne and Natalie Wood. A lot of other famous people are buried there. I’m really into old Hollywood, so I love visiting that place. Sometimes I go there to write, as well. It’s a beautiful, rather small cemetery surrounded by huge buildings and it’s really hard to find unless you know exactly where it is.

Who is your favorite Anaheim Angel?  Have you ever been to an Angels-Dodger’s baseball preseason rival game?  If so, how was it?

Current: Mike Trout. All Time: Toss-up between Wally Joyner, Tim Salmon, and Garret Anderson. I’ve definitely seen a few freeway series games. I will always root for the Angels first and foremost, but the Dodgers are a close second.

What is next in the works for you?

I’m working on a new book featuring a lesbian lead character. It takes place in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear war, in a hidden away bunker. It has the lead character trying to find answers to what happened and solving the mystery behind the bunker and why she, along with everyone else there, happened to survive. There will be a featured romance in the book. It’ll be somewhat of a love triangle.

Book cover

I have included two excerpts from A Fine Mess:

Excerpt 1:

Sinking lower into the couch, Harper hesitated briefly before she picked up the phone and called the one person she had been avoiding. It only rang once before a voice answered on the other end.

“Oh, so NOW you wanna talk. I’ve called, left you messages, been waiting by the phone…but when it’s convenient for YOU, ‘Miss 2:30 in the morning’, then you suddenly wanna talk.” Kiley was still slightly hurt at Harper’s reluctance to speak to her, but she was trying to lighten the situation by gloating a bit.

Harper knew she was joking, but wasn’t exactly in the mood to play along.

“Kiley…”

“No, no. It’s fine,” Kiley dramatically interrupted. “It’s not like I have a life, or anything. I don’t need to spend my time thinking about how you’re mad at me and…”

“Emily’s home.”

There was nothing but silence on Kiley’s end until she could muster up one word. “What?”

“Emily. She came back.” Harper waited while the news sunk in for Kiley, then heard the words that pretty much could have gone without saying.

“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

Excerpt 2: 

Kiley contemplated for a moment. “So…where do you think she was all this time? I mean, what could she have been doing? How did she make money?”

Harper shook her head emphatically. “I don’t know. I don’t wanna know. I don’t wanna think about it.”

“I can’t even imagine what she’s been through. When you’re young, you never really have that goal of ‘I want to be a runaway and live life day to day not knowing when or if I’m going to eat again.’”

“Yeah, I guess that’s not really one of the options when people ask you what you want to be when you grow up.”

 Book cover

“What did you want to be?”

“Me?” Harper chuckled to herself. “Oh man, I don’t think I wanna share that with you.”

“Why not,” asked Kiley.

“Because you make fun of me enough as it is.”

“Okay, now you have to tell me.”

“I know I do. I was just hoping to prolong it. Ugh, fine. There was a time when I was eight years old, for about three weeks, when I wanted to be a hooker.”

Kiley looked over at Harper. “Okay, are you taking notice of my blank stare? Details please, before I start laughing so hard, I can’t hear your explanation.”

 “Hey, it was before I knew what it actually entailed. My parents had rented ‘Pretty Woman’ and I just so happened to watch it while they were away and my babysitter cared more about talking to her boyfriend on the phone than actually watching Emily and me. So I watched it and I just loved how glamorous Julia Roberts was and wanted Richard Gere to pay me to hang out with him and…I really had no idea. My friend Amy was much more mature than me, and her older sister told her everything. So she set me straight on what exactly a hooker was. I really had no clue. So after that, I just decided I wanted to be an astronaut. I knew what that meant.”

Kiley sat staring at Harper, awestruck.

“Shut up,” said Harper.

“I didn’t say anything.”

“Well, you were going to, so just don’t. There’s a reason eight-year-olds shouldn’t watch R-rated movies.”

“That’s for damn sure.”

A sudden flash of fear washed over Harper. It had been in the back of her mind ever since Emily left, but she never brought herself to actually consider the option. “You don’t think Emily ever…I mean. I know she needed money but she would never have…you know…”

Before you go, make sure you check out Breanna’s links and friend her on social media.

Breanna’s Amazon page

Breanna’s Twitter page

Until next time,

Lynn

 

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Copyright 2017

 

Meet Author SL Gape

Good morning Everyone and welcome.  Today author Louise Gape has stopped by to chat with us.  Her new book, ‘Too Soon’ is getting very positive reviews. I invite you to stop in and meet this amazing woman and get to know her.

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 “Live life to the full. We only get one chance at it!”

Louise Gape

 What is ‘Too Soon’ about?

‘Too soon’ is about Brooke a detective from Oxford, England who is currently off work from her job as a detective following a shooting. Her life is pretty much in turmoil with the exception of her boss/girlfriend; until Maria shatters her life and tells her she’s leaving her for their best friend and insisting Brooke leaves their home.

Brooke’s best friends Kate and Jo are there to back her and get her through everything and suggest getting away for a while. Alas, Brooke ends up in A holiday park in Anglesey.

Enter Chloe, driven, dynamic, spunky and finds it impossibly hard to not poke fun of the uptight Brooke at every opportunity. Brooke’s life slowly starts to unfold, revelations of the relationship becoming clear and each weekend spent with her new friend Chloe when she comes to spend time at her holiday home.

Their bond grows, but the uncertainty of all against them lingers as to whether it’s meant to be or whether it’s simply ‘Too Soon.’ 

It’s obvious by your book cover that you love the beach, tell us more why you chose it.

Creating my front cover is almost as exciting as writing for me. I have a tendency to envisage my cover prior to choosing the title. I knew I wanted it to be very surf orientated as that was the drive I got whilst writing Too Soon.  I love the beach, the sounds of the ocean, and the surf. I love that release and escape that it brings, as with writing. It’s completely my happy place, which is unfortunately the downside of living in the U.K. But I guess it makes me appreciate it all the more when I go on vacation. 

Book Cover

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?

No I didn’t. I was very sports focussed in school. I love Shakespeare but I never did anything like this. In fact, I only started writing less than two years ago, by way of release and it resulted in this.  Which is completely surreal and strange to me, but I’m loving it no less.

Is there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   What did they do?

I guess not. I did my first book as a way of avoiding having to face change that was going on in my professional life.  It began as a story I’d write on the numerous occasions I was living in hotels and away from home, and ended up being 100k words.  This in turn resulted in being offered a few publishing deals. After that I realised I loved it and … yeah, I guess I’m engrossed in it. The escapism of it is what captivates me. I love that.

Does your writing include aspects about you?

Yes, I think any writer subliminally includes elements of your life but it does frustrate me when people say “oh that’s such and such a person” I feel the need to redo it.  (This could be my friends thinking they’re funny though haha) But that’s my perfectionism I guess. I actively try to refrain, although my first book The Life of Riley, was very much about my life experience as a holiday rep. Which is a big thing in Europe and not so much in the US, but I spent 7 years doing the job and lived in Spain, Greece, Egypt, Lapland, Dom Rep and Bahamas so there was a lot of infusion from those experiences; not that it was about me per se. 

Have you ever had a fantasy come true?

Well I guess it depends in what the reference of fantasy is? If you mean a fantasy dream something I wished would happen then yes, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have many. If, however, you are referring to more of a ‘romantic’ fantasy then no not really.  I guess there are times when I’ve wanted something to happen and it has but I’m a complete romantic so I’d probably never see it as a fantasy happening as I’d probably never deem it as being impacting enough. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity?

Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity? I guess I hope they like my books.  It’s difficult for me as I’m very self-critical and nothing is good enough, throw into the mix the fact I’m new to this, don’t do this full time as a career and have never had any steer or direction, I can only go off what the readers think. And as I said I hope they like it and I hope I can sustain that enjoyment for them. In terms of creativity, I’m not so sure things really do just come to me and I run with it.  That can sometimes be difficult as at present I’m in the middle of writing three different, and very different novels, and dependant on what mood I’m when I sit down to write I’ll go to that book. It can sometimes get very confusing. I’m a complete home girl I’ve been and done the partying and I enjoy curling up with a glass of red, my candles and my laptop and that fires the creativity.

Where is the last place you traveled?  Can you tell us more about your adventure?

Cancun. One of my favourite places for a vacation. I’ve been every year for the last 5 years. I have a fairly stressful job so I’m very much about downloading as many books on my kindle as possible and laying in the pool with my margaritas and reading. Equally I tend to get a lot of inspiration overseas, so I managed to write 75% of Worlds Apart which is the book after Fight to the Top which will be out next month.  I love travelling whether it be a beach holiday or even just a visit to Anglesey. 

Do you follow any sports teams?  If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them?

If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them? I love Miami dolphins.  People often assume I’m in to football because I’m from the UK and London.  But personally, not my thing. My favourite thing is to go to Florida for Super Bowl and hit up a sports bar and watch Super Bowl with some wings and wine.  I love how embroiled everyone gets in it. I have spent a lot of time in Florida both work and pleasure and despite them never doing as well as I’d want (aside from this year) I still root for them.

Louise Gape

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to travel and I do that frequently. I go to Jamaica in April and am super excited. Outside of that my favourite things are photography and cooking.  I love just driving off and finding awesome things to photograph but I’m not a fan of greenery so the UK is wasted on me.  However, getting up at 6/7am on a Saturday morning putting the radio on and cooking/prepping some Indian or Mexican food is my total happy place.

Have you seen the now syndicated English series Absolutely Fabulous?  Who do you relate to the most, Edwina, Patsy, or Saffron?

Yes of course I’m British haha. I’d love to say Saffy the well-mannered bright one; in actuality I’m probably more likened to Eddie the ditsy, uncoordinated drunk (for clarity I’m not a drunk).

What was the last musical performance you attended?

Wicked.  I bought it for an ex-girlfriend years ago, and we split up pre, but still went… Erm Slightly awkward. 

Can you give us a shout out about your hometown (or it can be the one you reside in now)?  What is a fun and interesting attraction to visit there?

I live in a village called Stockton Heath, Cheshire and it’s awesome. My local pub the Lion is very English where we all know each other and has the best sun trap looking out onto a bowls green. The village is very Mediterranean in summer which is difficult to not be coaxed into venturing out. I love it, I love how quaint it is and calls in a lot of people especially over the weekends. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?

Negativity. It appears everywhere, relationships, family, religion, money. I mean don’t get me wrong personally I’d get trump out and Obama back in (personal opinions sorry) but if you take negativity and focus on positivity then I genuinely believe the world would be a better place… I’m a romantic novelist though I guess I could be deemed as being unrealistic

Me:  Making a gratitude list each day is very helpful in achieving positivity.

Heart in the Sun

What types of service work have you participated in.  How was your experience?

I’m ashamed to say I don’t really get involved in too much.  I spend a lot of time either at work, writing with my nieces and nephews and my partners 101-year-old gran.

Me:  Wow.  This is so sweet. You know your loved ones appreciate this.

What is next in the works for you?

My next novel Fight to the Top is out next month. Triplicity Publishing already have Worlds Apart my novel after that and I’m currently in the process of writing some other material which will all be out later in the year.

 Book Cover

Here is an excerpt from Too Soon:

“So, you see a poor girl upset, sad and distressed and you make fun of her? This will be an amazing six weeks?” she said smiling a little.  She felt at ease already, and was glad of that fact.  “Now, please, mystery surf woman, it’s taken me forever and a day to get here, please show me where my room is?” she said seriously.  

She watched the woman lift her eyebrow smirking.  “The good news is, that’s your palace, princess” She pointed behind her. “In front of you, therefore, you park up here and you’re good to go” she said smiling and walking off.  She shouted behind her without even turning around “and FYI, the mystery surfer’s name, is Chloe.  In case you were wondering?” she said turning and disappearing off, surfboard in hand.  Brooke watched Chloe leave, her long dark hair, wavy from the water. 

At last, you have found your home, she thought.  She parked her car up and went to unlock the door, deciding not to move a single bag until she had opened and got into the right place.  After today’s traumas, she was clearly very pessimistic.  Luckily for Brooke, she was good. It was the right place and she was home free. Walking in, Brooke was amazed by the size of it. Regardless of the fact it was sold as a static and not a tourer, which she didn’t understand, she couldn’t help but assume it would be a small room with a bed, settee, fridge and mini oven in. And a toilet and sink in the corner.  It wasn’t like that though; it was a small house, a small flat. It had a full kitchen, a full lounge and dining room, a full two bedrooms and a full bathroom.  She was completely astounded. It was lovely and so cute.  She walked to the end of the lounge and opened the blinds to reveal the patio doors.  Opening them out onto her balcony, she took in the most spectacular sea views. Brooke sighed, and for the first time in nearly two weeks she realised it was a sigh of happiness, she couldn’t believe it, this was all completely perfect she thought. 

Before you go check out SL Gape’s links:

SL Gape Twitter Page

SL Gape Facebook Page

SL Gape Amazon Page

 

Until next time,

Lynn

 

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Photos subject to copyright.

Printed with Permission.

Copyright 2017