Find Your Joy.

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Can I be honest?

2018 has been a bit of a trash fire of a year, hasn’t it?

Stepping away from the chaotic whirlwind of bad news has been a struggle. Being creating in 2018 has been even more difficult. It’s important to write, even in the middle of the muck.

I think, more than any other time, it’s also important to find happy moments and pursue them.

For me?

This weekend, that meant baking, reading, and video games.

Baking? That went brilliantly. I made Mary Berry’s recipe for profiteroles, photo evidence above. They tasted AMAZING. They also didn’t last the weekend lol. Yum.

Reading? I finally got around to reading Alison Weir’s Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen, which I enjoyed immensely. I love a good historical fiction. And this one was definitely half fact and half fiction. Brilliantly done though.

Video games? I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Odyssey. Epic, brilliant, amazing. Love it so much.

Now, I’m back to writing on my new work in progress–an urban fantasy. Should be great fun.

How about you? What moments of joy are you finding for yourself this year?

Dun, dun, dun.

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Book two in my cottage mystery trilogy is out today.

Are you ready?

Are you?

POND LIVE BANNER
Killer on the loose? Check.
Frogs in the garden? Check.
Playing a twisted game with a killer? Not good.
Bishan Tamboli struggles to recover from his false arrest. He worries the police still aren’t as convinced about his innocence. With his longtime boyfriend, Valor, at his side, he intends to solve the puzzles and catch the murderer amongst their former schoolmates.
He’s fought hard for his independence as an autistic and refuses to throw it all away because of a nameless monster. With friends and family in the killer’s crosshairs, Bishan fears the mystery will bring the end of everything and everyone he loves.

A MelanieM Review: Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

Lovely review of Forged in Flood from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When one drunken night forever scars three best friends, will they ever find a way to pick up the pieces?

Eaten up with guilt, Ivan Black spends ten years hiding from the world. He retreats to his family forge to wallow in misery. Alone. So lonely his heart aches with it.

Wesley Cook and Rolland Spence have been together since university. They struggle through the physical scars of the accident, building a life in the ruins of their dreams. They find happiness but continue to miss their angry ginger Viking—Ivan.

In all the anger of wasted years, the three men find a way to forge a relationship as hot as the fires in the smithy.

I’ve long been a fan of the novels of Dahlia Donovan, but Forged in Fire may be her best story yet.  It is a deeply moving love story between…

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Author Friends: Kamery Solomon

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Are you a panster or a plotter?
I’m a little of both, actually. When writing time travel stories, you have to have your historical stuff right and that typically leads to having a bit of a road map along the way. I usually pick three or four major points in the book and plan them out thoroughly, then write blind from point to point.
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Absolutely! I usually try to push through a block with a variety of methods. If writing, listening to my writing playlist, watching movies or television that reminds me of what I’m working on, or going for a walk doesn’t work, I’ll usually leave it for the day and let my brain rest. Thankfully, that usually gets it taken care of!
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
Outlander or Harry Potter (two pretty different stories, I know!).
 
Describe your perfect writing space: 
A comfy chair, music, and something to drink. Writing makes me terribly thirsty for some reason! Thankfully, I’ve got a pretty good setup in my office right now and I just love it ♥
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
Most of the time I have the title first.
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:
 The concrete castle reached into the heavens from the earth of the jungle, the blue sky above it spotted with clouds. Despite the cheery, warm look of the place, I couldn’t help the chill that moved through me as I stared it from the roadway. It was as if someone were whispering in my ear, their voice low and hushed, full of fear. The thought my my heart grip with fear and I rubbed my arms, frowning as I found myself unable to look away.
 Something had happened in that house. Something bad.
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Author bio:
#1 Bestselling Genre Author, Kamery Solomon, has been delighting readers with her God Chronicles series, featuring modern day adaptions of Zeus, nominated for Book of the Year and Cover of the Year, Poseidon, Hades, Adrastia, & Exoria. Kamery has also wooed her readers with her #1 bestselling fantasy novella, Forever, and her contemporary favorites, Taking Chances and Watching Over Me. Her most recent blockbuster series and #1 bestseller in Time Travel Romance, The Swept Away Saga, has had readers captivated on the high seas of romance and adventure! Kamery lives with her beautiful family in the White Mountains of Arizona and can often be found singing something from a Broadway musical with her siblings.

Blog Tour: Mary Billiter

Title:Rule Breakers
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 16th, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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What happens when the rules and the heart conflict? In Mary Billiter’s witty novel of rule breaking and delectable romance, a red-hot suit and a beautiful computer geek are linked by heartbreaking loss and a passion certain to set fire to your pages.

 


From parking space to cyberspace, Waterfront Point hotel valet Carmen Gonzalez uncovers computer espionage at her own workplace. The independent, computer-whiz Carmen decides that the best way to fight the system is to hack it.
But when Hank Hughes arrives from the Oregon Coast to the Pacific Coast to take care of family business and avenge an injustice, Carmen’s “act first, think later” approach is called into question. Carmen soon realizes you can’t follow the rules and follow your heart, so one has to be broken.

 

Ohhhhhhh. Damn.
Bryce ran and grabbed the suitcase I’d dropped. “I’ll take care of the bags.”
I barely nodded.
Hank stepped toward me. “I was hoping to run into you today.”
I stared into the greenish-brown eyes that swirled together like his brother’s, but instead of spinning me for a loop, they bored into my heart. Hard.
“Carmen?”
I heard Hank, but I couldn’t respond. I’m falling for a giant.
He gently touched my shoulder with a massive hand. “You okay?”
“No one’s ever done that.” Suddenly I felt like a young girl. I wrapped my arms around him—or what I could of his waist. “You’re my hero.”
He tipped my chin toward him, looked longingly into my eyes, lowered his head, and softly kissed me. His lips melded into mine, his heart beat against me, and my body responded, pressing into him with a mixture of tenderness and desire that had no beginning and no end.
“Gonzalez!”
Nothing like hearing my surname bellowed across the front drive to completely kill a romantic moment. Time of death, 12:35 p.m.
I pulled away from Hank, but not before staring into his eyes. “I don’t want you to vanish again.” I finally let my heart and not my head speak. “I don’t want you to leave.”
A devil-may-care grin crossed his face. “Now, who said anything about goodbye?”
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Mary Billiter is a weekly newspaper columnist and fiction author. She also has novels published under the pen name, “Pumpkin Spice.”Mary resides in the Cowboy State with her unabashedly bald husband, her four amazing children, two fantastic step-kids, and their runaway dog. She does her best writing (in her head) on her daily runs in wild, romantic, beautiful Wyoming.

 

Guest Post: Heidi Mason

Title: Love at First Crepe
Genre: Humorous Romantic Mystery
Release Date: July 22, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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Born into the wealthy Simpson family, free-spirited Willow is determined to make her own way in life. Cooking is her one true love, and she is content to keep it that way. Romance has never been on her agenda, but she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deliciously decadent love triangle. With two gorgeous men vying for her attention, she vows to keep her distance from both, but the tantalizing chemistry is hard to ignore.
Unfortunately, it seems that someone wants to get rid of Willow, making her already tricky situation that much more difficult. One crazy night changes everything, and Willow’s life is turned upside down. Between thwarting her own murder plot, keeping her divinely tasty admirers at bay, and trying to stay on the good side of her finicky cat, Omelet, Willow’s plate is full. With far too many cooks in the kitchen, will she be able to stay alive long enough to figure out who wants to kill her?

 

 

As a singer and all-around music lover, songs inspire me. Sometimes there’s no better way to say something than a song with the perfect lyrics. When I am in the process of writing, I don’t listen to music, mostly because I can’t stop singing. Even though I do the actual writing without it, music deeply inspires my stories and my writing process .There are certain songs that become my own personal soundtrack for each book that I’m writing. Each one speaks to me on some level, whether it’s because it relates to a certain character, or sums up a situation that my characters are facing.

Here is my soundtrack for Love At First Crepe. The songs will take you on a journey through Willow’s crazy, irrational, meandering thought process throughout the book.

I hope you enjoy it, and be sure to grab the story that this playlist inspired!

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
Absolutely (Story of a Girl) by Nine Days
Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer
Pieces of Me by Ashlee Simpson
The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
Falling In by Lifehouse
Bright by Echosmith
Hold On Forever by Rob Thomas
I Choose You by Sara Bareillas
Better Place by Rachel Platten

 

Heidi Renee Mason is a passionate romance novelist and crafter of your next Happily Ever After. She loves listening to the voices in her head (from her characters, of course!) and creating worlds in which her readers can lose themselves for a little while. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters.

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Blog Tour for Back To You

 

Title: Back to You
Author: C.J. Miranda
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 25, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
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Four years after the most confusing summer of her life, recent college graduate Iris Tilley is moving back home with no idea of the repercussions waiting to greet her. Going home means reconnecting with her dad, facing her motherless home, and confronting her gorgeous neighbor, Weston Alcorn.
And all of this, unfortunately, has to be done in a small southern town where gossip is a prized currency.
As the summer forges on, Iris struggles to find her place in a town that’s changed as much as it’s stayed the same, and it doesn’t help that Weston doesn’t seem to know how to treat her. Through awkward encounters, tense conversations, and heartbreaking revelations, neither Weston nor Iris can ignore the spark they ignited four years prior. But as Iris’s past and the prospect of her future violently clash, it’s no longer a question of can they ignore it, but will they have the chance?

 

How Hating My Hometown Led to Back to You
by C.J. Miranda

In my debut novel, Back to You, I never mentioned a specific name for the small town at the core of the story. That was completely intentional. I didn’t want it to be some predefined mark anyone could find on a map. I wanted it to be adaptable to the reader’s mind like it was to Iris’, to give them the ability to hate it for its faults but then sometimes love it for its strengths. I chose to do it this way for the same reason I think I got into writing in the first place.

And that was the complete hatred I had for the small town I called home during adolescence.

Like Iris in the story, I grew up in a small town in Louisiana that was just a short drive away from its capital, Baton Rouge. I had neighbors that knew things about my family we didn’t tell them, places to go where it was guaranteed I’d run into people I didn’t want to see, and an experience at school that made me feel like a loser for wanting to get good grades.

I was shy, painfully sarcastic, and despised where I lived; all things I now ironically attribute to my being a published romance author.

Not only did my childhood inspire the setting in Back to You and the reasons why Iris left home for college, but it also gave me plenty of alone time to write and realize just how much I loved it. If I would’ve spent those middle school and high school years at the movie theater or mud riding like a lot of kids my age did, then I don’t think I would’ve fallen as much in love with writing as I am today.

Now that I’m older I realize some of my hatred for the town was self-inflicted, and that’s why, in Back to You, I also wrote about the good that can accompany life in a small town. The same good I overlooked simply because I already hated a few things about it, so why not hate everything? And that’s the abundance of care; the Saturday spent over a table of boiled crawfish, drinking beer and talking about the upcoming LSU football season. And there’s the people, the love, that make staying in a place like that worth while.

In the book, Iris had to take a step away to realize all of that.

And in real life, so did I.

Unfortunately I didn’t find my own Weston to keep me there. Instead I moved in with my best friend in a tiny apartment in a much larger city, but I think that I’ve been able to find the same peace with growing up there that Iris did. Would I ever want to move back? Probably not. But am I able to talk about the town without getting angry like I used to? Absolutely.

And now, whether living there actually helped me or not, I’m living my dream. I’m an author, and doing things that that introverted, awkward little girl I used to be, the one who spent weekends typing away on a crappy laptop, never imagined possible.

 

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CJ Miranda is a twenty-three year old LSU graduate with a romantic side she’s never shown to the people in her life. Having grown up quiet, shy, and incredibly sarcastic in a small town she never felt a part of, CJ spent her spare time writing multiple romance novels that she posted for free online. Having done that since she was thirteen, she now feels that it’s time to pursue what has always been her dream.
When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either working at her day job or drinking wine with her best friend/roommate and laughing at whatever their diva dogs are doing.

 

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