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.

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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.

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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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My Review for Renee MacKenzie’s ‘Pausing’

Hello Everyone and welcome. Today, I am sharing my review for Renee MacKenzie’s ‘Pausing’. For those of you who don’t know her, she was here on 12-May-17 for an interview. You can read it by clicking the below link. Her new book is doing very well on Amazon and one that I know you’re going to enjoy. Read on.

Renee MacKenzie’s Interview

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The story is set in Naples Florida. There are three main characters – Jordy, Liza, and Kiera. The first woman, Jordy, works in a criminal mental hospital and takes her job very seriously. No one crosses her during working hours.  She really cares about the clients and extends her heart out to the community by using her talents.

However, she looks to the past for answers, which may or may not be a good thing. Her character draws out the readers emotions with her insecurities. At one point, I was angry with her over something she did. At the same time, I had to remember that this was needed for the direction of the story, not to mention add some ravishing drama.

Next is Liza, whom in my eyes, is a little girl in a grown woman’s body. She loves to overstep other people’s boundaries and not seem to care. She is sneaky and never accepts no for an answer. She’s the one who will call you at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning just because. Her role is brilliant. It created intense stimulation for everyone. She drove me crazy. I couldn’t wait to turn the page.

Kiera’s family owns a family business and she is very successful. She is forced to make a choice and soon finds herself rather isolated. She takes action and reaches out. Her tender heart draws the best out in people and with the difficult ones she makes an effort to just be kind. I could imagine her speaking in a soft, but direct tone, while maintaining a gentle vibe.

 At the same time, she’s dealing with her own family issues. Although she is able to maintain a positive outlook, I could clearly see her sorrow and friction. I give her credit for being such a strong woman during these circumstances. Well done!

I was also impressed with another particular scene (find where). Both women’s feelings are explored. Anticipation of how they were going to come off to the other was a main factor. This totally touched my heart and I felt how special it was.

If you love sensual scenes, this is the story for you.  The love is clearly there and the author shows us the emotional attachment. Be prepared to be swept away.  It was sexy as the lovers flirted with each other throughout.  It will make you starry-eyed and feel the passion of the players.

I applaud the author for providing history and fun things about the city of Naples.  Her descriptions made me want to go there to visit. She includes many special moments that further expressed the love whether it be people, places, or things.  These added depth and intrigue to the story.

 There are more page turning parts to keep you on your toes. The story is well written and believable. I wouldn’t recommend squeezing it in during breaks, Instead, devote a few hours so you can savor the full flavor without interruptions. Enjoy.

Book Cover

Excerpt

 Jordy got a beer from the fridge and popped off the top. She took a sip of the Killian’s, and then turned to go back into the living area. She stopped at the corner of the kitchen countertop and watched Keira standing by the front window. In silhouette, she was perfectly curved. Jordy wanted to take her in her arms and make love to her, but knew it was too soon. She didn’t want to mess things up by moving too quickly.

The sound of piano came out of the speakers, and Keira stiffened. Jordy stood and watched as Keira grew rigid. Charlie Puth’s voice filled the room as he sang the opening to “See You Again.”

Jordy took several steps in Keira’s direction when she saw Keira’s shoulders heave. Keira turned then and Jordy saw the tears running down her face.

“Hey,” Jordy whispered when she stepped closer and pulled Keira into an embrace. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Can you just hold me, just like this, just for a minute?” Keira asked into Jordy’s neck.

“Yes. Yes, of course.”

Five Stars

Purchase ‘Pausing’

Stay tuned for next time as I will be sharing another book review with you. If you love modern western romance, you’re going to love Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

#Flashback Friday #FF My Review for Linda Bates’ ‘It Drew Pale’.

Hello Friends and welcome. I recently caught up with author Linda Bates, author of ‘It Drew Pale’. She is hard at work with her next book, which is under wraps. Later on this summer, she will be publishing some poetry. I will keep you updated. Today I am going share with you my review for It Drew Pale, originally posted on 25-Nov-16. Enjoy.

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, for those who chose to join in.  Today  am featuring my review for Linda Bates’ It Drew Pale.  This book recently debuted, just in time for this holiday season.  Come on in and join us for this fun journey.

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Her greatest asset was her determination, and if you wanted to succeed in something in Oregon, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you had to have plenty of spirit!

Linda Bates

 

It Drew Pale takes place in the 19th century in the rural west. A lad named Jack Preston was moving to Oregon to start a new life. Jack is tough, but even keeled. Jack is witty, has a nice sense of humor, and is respectful of others. Jack is as honest as much as possible. However, this person has a big secret that your going to need to read the book to find out.

Eleanor and Marianne are sisters who enter Jack’s life. They are daughters of a shop keeper and they dress very well. Their beauty radiates and they are both very nurturing.   it’s no wonder that their family business is doing so well. These two women reminded me to stay optimistic. You can’t help but feel good when you are around them. They are both attracted to Jack’s charm. It’s no wonder that Jack is attracted to them. The question is how are they going to feel once they learn Jack’s secret.

All three players are solid. They are brave in their own ways. Marianne, under pressure, never showed any weak characteristics.   Nor did she cry out for a man when she was in an unpleasant situation. Marianne’s heart is as big as the world. Her strength is very visible and I applaud the author for creating her.

Eleanor doesn’t put up with nonsense. She knows how to hold her own ground and get her point across clearly. She isn’t afraid to use force either. She knows what she wants. No isn’t an option for her. If she wasn’t so attached to her family, I could see her going out on her own and starting a life someplace else. I found her to be a bit standoffish, but after learning a few things, I understood.

Jack has inner strength that is comparable to a super human. Jack isn’t afraid and doesn’t allow physical pain to slow him, especially when fighting for justice. Emotions are well tamed and never take over any situation.   I could see Jack stealth across a battlefield unnoticed.

This story is quite an adventure. There is a little bit of violence that made me pause from reading for a moment. The read itself kept me at a slow pace and I had to backtrack a few times so I wouldn’t miss anything. The story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. You are going to want to carve out time so that you can fully experience the entire story without interruptions. And don’t forget to read the introduction before the story. I found it to be very inspiring.

Here are two excerpts from this fine story for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Stepping onto Oregon soil, Jack immediately began to feel the familiarity of it all. It had been eight months since the tired legs had set foot on some good old honest earth. It felt wholesome and fresh. And firm, too, after the bobbling about on the schooner. People were still around to trip over in the busy port-side, yet already Jack felt free. It was certainly a welcome contrast from the life Jack had led back at the claim. There were some real women milling about! Jack was not the type who discriminated against those women who wore trousers and flannel open-necked shirts. After all, in the gold fields it was more practical for a female’s needs, but in Jack’s mind, there was no female figure that was not the embodiment of nature in crinoline and frills! It was the way of it, and Jack had no mind to change the laws of nature. The others, Jack observed, were also viewing the magnificent local scenery.

Excerpt 2 

The busy storekeeper and her sister heard the slam of a door, but were too busy to attend their aggrieved relative. Besides, they had experienced the tantrums of the twenty-year old, and were quite used, after years of the same, to Eleanor’s behaviour. Her father always had the same answer when Eleanor was ‘in a sweat’ as he would call it, and deduced she would desist being out of sorts as soon as she found herself a strong man to calm her temper. And that would anger Eleanor the more her father would vocalise his philosophies. They would never see eye-to-eye on the ideals that matched the general populace, because Eleanor did not see herself as one of the crowd. Rather she was an individual, with needs of her own she had not quite worked out yet.

 

Four Stars!

Purchase ‘It Drew Pale’

Stay tuned. Next week I am sharing my review for Renee Mackenzie’s ‘Pausing’. You don’t want to miss out with this one.

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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My Review for KA Moll’s ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion’

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. You don’t want to miss today’s post. I am writing my review for KA Moll’s ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion.’ If you like feeling the hairs of your neck curl, this one’s for you. The three points of view move smoothly and keep the story in full swing. The author will draw you in and keep you the entire ride. Here you will discover whether one moment can change the course of time.

For a Moment's Indiscretion cover

She was the only one she could trust now; the only one she could count on to keep her safe.

 For a Moment’s Indiscretion

The three main characters are Jaina, Zane, and Amelia. Jaina has a few life challenges and is clearly frustrated on many levels. Due to some past poor judgement, she has suffered some consequences in her life.  Her truthfulness was heartfelt and her growing internal strength was amazing to watch develop.

The love of her life is her preteen daughter, BK.  The reader will appreciate her genuine spirit. BK shows her real feelings and isn’t afraid to ask questions to both of her mom’s. I’m glad that this young girl was a big part of the story because she is intelligent and has a loving heart. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for her parents. Kudos to the author for showing this. If you love tweens, there are some touching mother daughter moments.

Zane is Jaina’s wife. She takes things way too personally and is stubborn when confronted. She made rash decisions that were based on her feelings in the moment. She never takes ownership for any problems and hides her feelings in her work. I found this to be disturbing because of her career choice. I felt that she needed to stop what she was doing and take a break to work on her own resentment issues. She was clumsy with delicate situations which stirred up emotions as I read.

Deep inside of her are true feelings of love that are trapped under her thick coat of armor. Her likable qualities pop up throughout the story, which the author clearly shows.

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On top of all of this is Amelia, who immediately caught me as persuasive and sneaky.  She’s the type of person who will call you on a Sunday morning before you’ve had a chance to wake up.  In real life, I would steer clear of such a person. However here her contribution to the story is critical for some things to happen.  She is very well described.

Amelia is infatuated with one of the women. In the book, you’ll read more about her off-beat tenacious character. It is amazing what she was able to pull off and still not go away. There is nothing this woman would back away from.

In addition to the three women, there are Zane and Jaina’s trusted friends, Drew and Stacey and Anna and Gabe.  I liked these women since they are so down to earth, caring, and easy going.  Never once were they judgmental.  Always they sat in the space of love.  Like good friends, they do what they can to be supportive, especially when times are rough.

As I was reading, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. There is a lot of drama between the main players which was intense at times. It was like the true colors of the women suddenly surfaced. Some of the scenes were very chilling and kept my heart beating fast. There are apexes in the plot that will keep you guessing. At times my head was spinning.

There is plenty of steam in the story that will fog up the windows.

You are going to want to carve out some time for this read because once you get in you’re not going to want to put it down. The pace is fast and you can finish it in an afternoon.  Click below to get your copy.

Purchase ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion’

I am looking forward to KA Moll’s next work.

Five Stars

For a Moment's Indiscretion cover

Here is an excerpt:

“We all make mistakes,” Drew responded. 

“Yes, we do,” Zane agreed, “but I pray that this is the last one that I make that’s the size of this one.” Her eyes narrowed. “I allowed pride, pain, and anger to get the best of me, hefting all the blame for what occurred onto Jaina. I did that, knowing that I shared at least half of the responsibility. I dismissed her as if she weren’t trustworthy, knowing that in almost eleven years of marriage, she’s never lied to me.” She fought back tears. “Regardless of her transgression,” Zane choked, “my wife deserved better than what I gave her.” Her voice cracked with emotion as she finished her thought. “She deserved to be treated with the kindness and respect of a soul mate.” She crumpled onto the sofa. “I don’t know what to do,” Zane said, “and yet…” She caught back a sob.

Drew sat down beside her. “You remember that first conversation we had about you two being soul mates?” she asked.

Zane nodded. “How could I forget?” she answered with a half-hearted smile. “What happened afterward changed the course of my life.”

“If you remember that conversation,” Drew continued with an understanding smile, “then you know my advice.”

“I remember it as if you gave it yesterday,” Zane said softly. “You told me that everything is easier when a person is your soul mate. You assured me that what’s hard becomes simple with that person who makes you whole. You told me that you thought Jaina was my soul mate. And you were right.” Her eyes twinkled as she met Drew’s gaze. “Then,” she continued, “you looked me in the eye and told me to take a deep breath, square my shoulders, and do what I needed to do.” 

“That’s right,” Drew responded. “So what is it that you need to do right now?” she asked.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Jen Silver

Good morning everyone and welcome. Today I am featuring author Jen Silver, author of The Circle Dance and her new just released book, Running From Love. Jen has so many interesting things to share about herself. Recently I reviewed her book, The Circle Dance. Check out the link below to read more.

The Circle Dance Review

Come join us and meet this amazing woman, whom you’re going to love.

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“A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape. The place is there, the person is there. I didn’t invent him, I didn’t make her up; he or she is there. And my business is to get there too.”

From The Language of the Night by Ursula K LeGuin, an essay entitled ‘Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown’

Who is Jen Silver? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My parents moved around a lot and my childhood involved moving house numerous times and countries twice. I was born in England but they emigrated to Canada when I was four, then moved back a few years later after my younger sister was born. They then went back to Canada after deciding they weren’t missing anything here so my high school and college years were spent in Canada. Then I moved back to England myself in my twenties, stayed a few years and went back to Canada. My final move (probably) was back to the UK in the 1980s. I met my wife in 1987 while we were both working in London. So, this year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. We moved ‘oop North’, as they say here, twenty-three years ago and haven’t looked back.

I’d never considered myself to be a sporty person, so it was with some surprise that I found I enjoyed playing golf when I was introduced to the game in my mid-forties. I took up archery about seven years ago. I’ve also dabbled in martial arts—five years of Taekwondo, two years of Tai Chi. And nowadays, along with the golf and the archery, I enjoy taking part in boxercise classes.

I always loved writing and had drawers full of unfinished stories before I took the plunge and submitted something to a publisher.

It’s hard to believe that I now have six published novels to my name, and several short stories.

What is Running From Love about?

This is the synopsis:

Sam Wade returns home from a business trip to discover her wife of just two years has left her for another woman. Beth, a high school teacher, wants a divorce so she can settle down with her new (closeted) love, head teacher Lydia Carmichael.

To take her mind off the break-up Sam accepts an assignment to learn to play golf at the newly opened Temperley Cliffs golf resort in Cornwall. Beth and Lydia also plan their first summer holiday together.

Coming out, at whatever stage in one’s life, is never easy. Several characters in the story have to make decisions that will affect not just their respective partners but also how the wider world sees them. There is more than one way to run from love; from never having to make a commitment and say those magical three words, “I love you”.

Find out what happens when this diverse group of people find themselves together—and sport, betrayal, jealousy, and love form an unforgettable fusion of emotions.

The story is a mix of romance and golf. In the first draft, I got a bit carried away with the golf aspect and the beta readers indicated they wanted more romance and less about the game. I hope I got the balance right in the final version. I will have to wait and see what reviewers have to say about it.

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What was the deciding factor for your book title?

As with most of my books to date, it’s from a song lyric. I can’t recall which song this came from, but I was listening to Mary Gauthier’s albums during the time I was writing the book, so it may be one of hers. I thought of it as a working title and thought it might change by the time I’d finished the novel, but I found that it worked for the theme of the story.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?

I always look at trying to make them like real people. I’m sure most authors do as well. But I can’t really get too excited about the lives of highly successful rich women falling for each other as they are not really in my sphere of existence. So, I try for a mix of lifestyles, occupations, and backgrounds…and see how they connect.

What is your favorite attraction in Yorkshire and why?

I love the countryside. We live in a deep valley with a road, a river, a canal, and a railway running through it. There’s a lot of history here as well. The people are lovely too.

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

Read my books. Review them. Tell other people about them. If you like them, that is.

Me: Authors appreciate reviews and it shows them that you care.

Can you describe the moment the last time you got a hole in one on the golf course?

There hasn’t been a first time, yet.

Would you like to share anything about your love for archaeology? Can you tell us about your last dig?

I’ve had the pleasure of digging at a predominantly Roman site called Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall for the last four years. It was while I was researching pottery for my debut novel, Starting Over, that I came across the Vindolanda website and discovered they had a volunteer programme where you can sign up to excavate for two-week periods between April and September. People come from all over the world to take part and it’s a great experience.

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Although I had finished an initial draft of the book by the time I first went to Vindolanda, I was able to incorporate some of what I learned there in the next draft.

Who is your favorite character from all your books and why?

Asking an author this is like asking a mother to name her favourite child. I have to like the characters to be able to write about them. Even the ones that readers may not find likeable, there’s always something in their character that’s redeemable. I think that’s why I would find it hard to write a detective novel. But if I do have to pick one character, I would go with Robin from Starting Over, and the other books in the trilogy. She kick-started the whole story and I know she’s often not liked by readers because she cheats on her partner, Ellie, over a long period of time. So, why would I like someone who cheats? Well, because I know that deep down she wants to change and through the course of the story she has that chance. I know in real life that may not seem too plausible, but I wanted to put a positive spin on it and maybe put some doubt in readers’ minds as to whether or not she can eventually maintain a monogamous relationship. (Robin is sexy as hell too, and rides a motorbike.)

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What was the last movie you saw in the theater? Would you recommend it?

I don’t often go to movies. I think the last one I saw was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, of course, I loved it because I’m a Star Wars fan – particularly of the original three movies.

Which authors do you follow and what do you like about their writing?

I read a lot and obviously follow a number of lesfic authors whose books I enjoy.  But I would like to mention a non-lesfic author because her books are rich in history with lashings of humour…and tea. This is Jodi Taylor who has written a series of books under the heading “The Chronicles of St Mary’s”. St Mary’s is a historical research establishment where they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’ (or what we call ‘time travel’). This premise gives the author a chance to revisit many historical events to find out what really happened. Some examples are: Troy, Battle of Hastings, Agincourt, the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, and the Cretaceous period to observe dinosaurs in the flesh. It’s all a bit mad, but good fun.

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

I enjoy writing, thinking about the characters, and seeing how the story develops. In common with most other published authors, the marketing is the hard part. Nowadays we have to rely on ratings on Amazon, maintain a constant presence on Facebook and Twitter, write regular blogs, and also try to get some reading gigs that may generate publicity.

What is next for you?

As of the timing of this interview, my next destination is the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference, which is in Chicago this year. There I will be joining other Affinity authors: Renee MacKenzie, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, and Angela Koenig…plus all the other delegates: readers, writers, and publishers. This will be my third time and I enjoy meeting up with old friends and new on each occasion.

Golden Crown Literary Society

I’m also involved with Happy Valley Pride, a weeklong festival held in Hebden Bridge, which is near where I live. This is only the second year for the event. It was well received by the community last year and the plans for this year have grown from that experience.

Happy Valley Pride

This year I’m hosting a reading evening, sponsored by Affinity Rainbow Publications. It’s called ‘Lesbian Writers Read’ and is taking place on 8 August from 7 to 9pm at Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. Four other authors are taking part: Lise Gold, Cari Hunter, Robyn Nyx, and Brey Willows. I think this is possibly the first event of its kind in the town so I’m hoping it will go down well.

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Excerpt from Running From Love (Chapter Six)

Andi felt awkward intruding on the other woman’s obvious sadness, but she didn’t want to just walk away. Although they had only met briefly, she sensed a bond between them. Nothing sexual, just a kind of kinship. And she hoped Sam wasn’t thinking of throwing herself off the cliff. She didn’t want that on her conscience.

“Um, look if there’s something you want to talk about, I’m here. Sometimes it’s easier to unburden yourself to a stranger.”

Sam gave her the flicker of a smile. “This is a job for me. I’m getting paid to do this. But I don’t know if I can now that she’s here.”

This sounded intriguing.

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“You’re getting paid to learn how to play golf?”

“Yes. I do in-depth research, usually for film or television companies. Sourcing locations, providing historical and cultural background as required. This job is for a writer who either can’t, or doesn’t want to, play golf herself. But she wants to sound knowledgeable when writing about it.”

“Couldn’t she get that from watching golf or reading magazines? And there’s loads of instruction videos on YouTube.”

“I know. But she wanted more than that. Maybe trying to understand why people do it, why they are so passionate about it.”

“That’s a tough one. But not easy for non-golfers to fathom.”

They stood together looking out over the ocean. The wind was starting to cut through the light jacket Andi was wearing.

“You said you didn’t think you could do this now, because…?” Andi wasn’t sure Sam would answer as she had gone quiet again.

With a heavy sigh, Sam finally spoke. “Because my ex is here. I didn’t know she was even interested in golf.”

“Ah.”

“Yes, ah. And her new girlfriend is joining her later this week.” Sam spat out the word “girlfriend” as if it left a bad taste.

“How long were you together?”

“Fourteen years. We got married two years ago in April.”

“Shit.” Andi didn’t know what else to say. Long-term relationships had always been a mystery to her. She had known Freya for many years but that worked because they only met up a few times each year. She wasn’t sure she could handle Freya’s intensity full time.

Andi touched Sam’s arm. “We should probably be getting back or they’ll be sending out a search party.”

Read the first chapter here.

Purchase ‘Running From Love’

Before you go, make sure to check out Jen’s links, including her blog, which you can subscribe to.

Amazon Author page

Affinity Author page

Blog: www.jenjsilver.wordpress.com

Twitter: @jenjsilver

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenjsilver

I want to thank Jen for stopping by to chat. Her new book, ‘Running from Love’ is now available and I’m looking for discussion on this story, so feel free to leave a comment below. We’ve enjoyed having you visit.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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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

My Review for SL Gape’s ‘Too Soon’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Recently I interviewed author SL Gape, who is part of the Triplicity Publishing family. Today I’m featuring my review for her book, ‘Too Soon,’ which debuted a short while ago. What got me first interested was the cover, since it features the beach, a favorite place of mine. In this story, the author takes the reader on a woman’s life changing journey. For those of you who missed the interview, you can take a look now.

SL Gape’s Interview

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Brooke and Maria are the couple that their friends aspire to be and are very popular.  Their friends don’t know the inside story. At times, Maria doesn’t think through things and is acts immature. There is more about this character to be revealed that peaked my interest to continue on.

Brooke felt suffocated with this relationship and at times she appeared to be a bit co-dependent with some of her behavior. No one knows the level of pain she carries. My first impression of her was a stiff and burned out woman who was craving a deeper meaning to life.

Then there was the accident that changed their lives and suddenly Brooke is all alone. To cope she goes into a shell and allows her victim side to take control. She is lost without Maria and the author shows us her anger and despair. Thankfully, her trusted friends are there for her. At their insistence, she goes away on a short holiday at a beach far away.

***

She changed and waited for their faces to appear. “Hey. So look at my view,” she said, turning the phone around to the sea. As she was turning her phone around she caught sight of ‘surfer girl’ in the log cabin next door to her. She nodded her head and raised her beer to Brooke, smiling softly. Brooke could feel herself get flustered. She quickly spoke into the phone, “Isn’t it gorgeous?” she said, trying her hardest to ignore the girl. Seemingly, her neighbour laid on the sofa reading her kindle.

***

Brooke now has plenty of time to analyze things. Instead of sitting on the pity pot, she gets out and explores new interests and meets new people. It is here where she begins to show strength. Her emotions began to heal.

Mitch, needs to be mentioned here since he played a big role in her growth; his support was critical for the story. Although apart, his love for her was the reason she woke up each day. This man has true character and is strong without being macho. He respects Brooke and her sexual orientation, adding to his sincere personality. He never gave up on her.

The last person to be introduced is Chloe and it took me a moment to realize she is one of the players. Her washboard abs boasted her passion for surfing. She seemed a bit cocky for my taste. Yet I had to know more about her. Chloe tells it as it is and only the truth. A softer side of her is slowly revealed, making her alluring and mysterious. 

Brooke watched Chloe leave. Her long dark hair, wavy from the water, bouncing as she moved. 

The author shows us a real romance between Brooke and Chloe. I appreciate the buildup of the friendship. I found it to be really hot. I got to know them both and was able to see their bond. The sex is very tender and loving and will get your hormones going.

Although this story kept my interest throughout, I had to read some passages more than once for clarity. The narration contains some profanity. The scenes will make you feel as though you are there on the sidelines. This is not a quick read, and you’re going to want to make time to spend with it. The serenity of this place took me into another world. At the end of the story, I had a smile on my face and am recommending this for everyone. 

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.

Purchase ‘Too Soon.’

Four Stars!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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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