Grab ‘Em Quick! Now’s The Time… 84 Left. #amreading #romance #giveaway

Hi guys,

If you want one of 100 free downloads of Havana Heat, now’s the time to grab it. My giveaway has just been shared on Facebook, by Coffee Time And Romance on their fan page! They may disappear quick.

Blurb:

Havana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradises series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

Master-Paperback-Havana-Heat-

Free download on line here.

Win Signed Paperbacks x 10 ! #amreading #suspense #romance #giveaway

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I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed writing this romantic suspense story, all 90,000 odd words  of it! It was my first EVER novel. I’m celebrating the rebirth of A Stranger in France,  since I took back creative control , whipped up a new cover, re-edited and republished it! I have ten copies to give away to ten competition winners.  You can enter by one  or all of the below ways. If you entered my last giveaway, and you have done all of the first three (thank you),  just drop a comment on this post  to say you wish to enter. I’ll ask Raffata to enter your name manually, or share the competition to enter. Note that winners are selected at random by  the Raffata system  I do not  pick them closing date 30th July 2017. Good luck!

  • Give Kim a like on Facebook.
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Book Blurb:

In A Stranger in France readers are taken on a fast paced, modern day romantic journey, that spans across the city of London, the glitz and glam of France, and the beautiful English coast. There’s enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat turning pages.

Career driven and successful thirty two year old Kate Brown travels to southern France to visit her best friend Tanya Adams, for a well deserved short break, and to forget her worries in London. Her path crosses with tall, dark, devilishly handsome and wealthy Nicholas D’Coix. As a young man, Nicholas turned himself around and built an empire of wealth, he’s now one of Paris’ top three entrepreneurs. In a whirlwind of steamy romance Nicholas and Kate fall in love.

Kate returns to London leaving Nicholas behind and the two are still very much in love. Kate faces a few surprises of her own on her return to London. She makes a bold life changing move, to make the most of her life changing dilemma. Touching on real life issues these two strong characters battle it out, against all the odds in the name of love for a beautiful happy ever after.

Enter on the link below your details are safe, secure and will not be shared with anyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kim’s Call: Who is Listening? #amreading #betareaders #reading #romance

Beta Readers

This is a re-blog guys I’m getting ready to unleash Lover’s Retreat book #2 of my Romance Set in Paradise series, I’d love a few more Beta Readers Chapter preview on link above more details…. See below!

Afternoon!

I’m putting out a call for Beta Readers. This call is for myself and also a Best Selling Romance author friend of mine. I won’t say who it is!! (Yet). We both would love a few quality, honest and reliable Beta Readers, who would be interested in reading samples or all of our novels/ novellas before they go to publication. You can be an author yourself or just a lover of fiction.

Do you like these genres/themes within stories:

Romance .

Suspense.

Paranormal (not my genre).

Time Travel genre.

Contemporary fiction /romance.

Thriller/ crime (that’s yours truly).

A multi cultural / diverse line up of characters.

Strong, likeable women.

Modern day Romeos for men.

Location based stories all around the world.

Stories that touch on real life issues.

Are you okay with:

My use of British English? If this will annoy you I’m sorry I may not be the author for you. I spell organised with a S! Favourite has a U… got it?

Are you:

Over 18 …..things can get a lil’ steamy in our stories. Both myself and the other author are not really into all that sweet wholesome romance. We write about love and sex in tasteful ways. Our characters do more than hold hands and walk in the park. *Wink

Have English as your first language.

Honest & reliable.

Able to keep things confidential?- This is important.We will send you our work before it’s published…don’t let the cat out the bag!

What does a Beta Reader do?

In a nutshell read and critique, in a constructive way. Offer their views on what’s been placed in front of you good or bad.

If you’re interested in being a Beta Reader for me, and/or the other author contact  me here. Send me a message.  We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you!

Oh we’ll throw in signed paperbacks of every book you Beta Read!

 

 

 

Calling All Authors! #author #amwriting #newrelease

THIS IS A RE-BLOG… MTA HAS BEEN POPULAR! I’LL FEATURE TWO AUTHORS PER MONTH. LOOKING FOR AUTHORS FROM JULY ONWARD. SEND ME A MESSAGE IF YOU’D LIKE A FEATURE.

Calling all authors who would like a spotlight feature. I’m preparing my first feature for April ! I am excited to feature this author in particular. Stay tuned on Tuesday 25th. If you’d like a feature contact me here

Features can be

  • Interviews.
  • promotions/ offers/discounts/free download days
  • New release info.
  • Read and review of your book.
  • Anything you can think of…meet-the-author

Wk #6 Short Story: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To Surface. #fantasy #kdsuspense #amwriting #amreading

Three Day Quote Challenge 3

 

“The ones who live at the bottom of the ocean come to the surface.” 

Fantasy Week!

 

AUTHOR ONE: SCENE ONE

 

It’s approaching midnight here at Chania’s Port, Greece. I’m not usually one to stay up late on a school night, but I just moved to the area. Learning a new language has really been kicking my ass. I’ve been studying the Greek language for months. I thought I was doing great, until we actually made the move. The people talk so fast here, their words spew together in thick choppy waves. I’m completely lost. That’s not to mention the embarrassment of having a translator follow me around like an eager puppy. He’s trying to please my father no doubt, hoping for a bonus.

I need sleep, I don’t function well without it. Not like other sixteen year old girls do, anyway. My friends used to tease me about it all the time, calling me names like Zombie Zoe every time we snuck out at night. God, I miss my old friends. I’d never actually tell them, or my family for that matter, but I blame my dreams for the weird necessity I have of sleep. They consume me, rejuvenate me, and without sleeping deep and long enough to have them, my body wakes up lacking. My friends are really the only thing I miss about Canada. Well, them and the dry air. It’s only been a week since we settled in, and this damn humidity has already enlarged my pores and permanently shortened my hair with unmanageably tight frizzy curls.

My father is a businessman, he was born and raised in New York, and my mother is the daughter of a very prominent Import and Export leader of China. They met in secret during a business merger, and of course I was born just over nine months later. It goes without saying, I’ve never met any of my mother’s family. She was disowned after the news of her pregnancy by an American stranger. His African American ancestry made no difference. The affair all was a disgrace. She was sent away with the first plane ticket available, never to be seen or spoken of again. In my opinion we’re all better off, especially my mom, it sounds like my grandma was a real dick.

I power down the Greek tutorial that’s blasting into my head from a You-Tube lesson on my iPhone, and pull out my earbuds. If I put off bedtime any longer then I won’t have enough time. I need my fix, to see my little monster babies in my sleep, or else I’ll be completely useless tomorrow. I open my window to let the sound of the ocean waves chopping against the shore make their way into my room. I love that my father chose a Venetian Island to expand his business for the next several years. The water here matches the color of my eyes perfectly. I feel more at home in the darkness of night than I have my entire life. The sounds of my ocean whisper to me from outside of my window, cradling me, like a familiar lullaby. It’s pure, and I feel it deep inside my bones. The way the moon lights up the sand on my beach, and the way the night breeze here in Greece blows a calming song into my lungs. It tells me that I’m finally where I’m meant to be. My mom claims that I have an ‘old soul’ whatever that’s supposed to mean, but for some reason I’ve felt the truth of her statement on the beaches here in Greece.

I lean slightly out of the window and pull in a long draw of the thick salty air, and listen. The voice from my dreams always sings in the most delicate tone, it’s smooth and flawless. Since our move I’ve heard it whisper that name while I’m awake too. Every night before I doze off she speaks to me, calling me the name given by my dreamed sea beasts.

Ceeeettttttooo”, her voice is beautiful. It’s high in pitch and as soft as the breeze, as if sung by a Goddess flowing around me from every angle. Automatically, my mind wanders to the thought of a Dietie whispering the name underwater. The sound matches that of my dreams, and of the voice calling to me from the night air swirling atop the water, it’s perfectly distorted.

            I smile a little with contentment. It’s exhilarating to hear that intoxicating sound outside of my ulterior consciousness. I crave it like a drug, it fills my veins and leaves me to linger in a joyous question, and a sleepy pull to the monsters calling me from sleep. I love them, they’re mine. At night when I place down my head, I come alive in a distinct way. The way I care for the bottom dwelling sea beasts in my sleep is intimate in a maternal way. Every night I feed them, I sing to them, I even rub the fins on their toes and fingers the way a mother would tickle the back of her toddler’s neck to relax them. Finally, I open my eyes and reach for a hair-tie before taking a seat in front of my make-up station.

I take a long look at the reflection staring back at me from the large mirror, with a Victorian antique finished edging, that’s mounted to the wall of my new room. I have a lot of my mother’s small dainty facial features, with high cheekbones and a distinctly square jaw line. My skin is very lightly kissed with a smooth darkened tone, compliments of my handsome dad. My distinct look isn’t as exotic here as it was in Canada. In fact, if it weren’t for the language barrier I’d blend right in.

My looks make absolute sense given the polar opposites that my parents are to one another. I’m a perfect blend of the two, as is my little brother. The only part of me that doesn’t quite fit are my eyes. They’re almost fully round and blessed with extremely long, thick lashes. They radiate a deep sapphire and are outlined with a bright lime green border. Even I can get lost in them if I stare for too long. Sometimes, the color in my eyes seem to move like waves on the water. I can’t be sure, and maybe it’s only me who sees it, but I swear there’s even been a few times that I’ve noticed a half white circle appear in them. It moves around the color, like the kind of wave a surfer would spend his whole life waiting for an opportunity to ride. As I run my long skinny fingers through the mess of hair on my head, there’s a light knock at the door. It’s followed by a tiny sound that’s hardly audible.

“Zoe?”

My little brother’s timid voice can barely be heard through the thick cedar of my door.

“Yeah?”

“Are you awake?” He whines.

I smirk in adoration, I just love the little guy.

“Yeah, it’s okay Drake, come in.” I tell him.

There’s a twelve-year gap between my brother and I. He was a ‘woops’, as my father calls it. With the amount of traveling he and my mom do, I’ve picked up the role of Drake’s primary go-to. I’m the one he seeks out when there’s a scary thunderstorm, and it’s always been my lap he climbs onto when he wants a story or a snuggle. I don’t mind. He makes me feel needed. Much like the sea beasts that I care for in my sleep. They love me, they’re mine, much like Drake.

He pushes the door open slowly and stumbles in, half asleep. Drake is small for his age, he’s most likely inherited our mother’s size too, just like me. His skin is a shade darker than our dad’s, and his lips are identically as full and luscious. I welcome him onto my lap and wrap his light silk lined blankie around his shoulders, to shelter them from the breeze blowing in from my window.

“Sing me song?” He asks, batting his eyes sleepily.

“I’d love to.”

A tight ringlet on the back of Drake’s scalp practically calls to me. My hand complies by twisting and circling each finger through his hair. He snuggles in close, and then rests his head sweetly in the comforting dip, between my neck and shoulder. The same secretive song that I sing to my beasts flows out of my mouth, matching the tone of the voice from the wind. The Deitie’s tune from underwater is mimicked and it doesn’t take long for Drake to doze off in my arms.

“Hush my Scylla, son so handsome. Rest your rage and sleep.

Quiet Sirin, daughter so. Soon revenge is yours to reap.

And to you my favorite Triton, locks and binds will fall.

Kraken keep you anger still, for when I wake it’s you I’ll call.”

 

I look down at Drake’s peaceful little face. There’s so much innocence and love. I hug him tightly to my body and carry him to bed before slipping on some loose cotton shorts, and resuming my place at the window. Hopefully I can hear her voice again, one last wakeful time before I retire and let it consume my sleep.

My window faces the most beautiful light house. A rock wall snakes through the waves, leading up to its tall white rock facing. Tonight’s full moon kisses everything it touches and forces the lighthouse to leave a shadow reaching all the way to the beach. The view is stunning. Again, I close my eyes and let the feeling of home resonate deep inside while I listen. The voice blows in, but with more than the name Ceto I’ve grown so comfortable with. The words are shocking and the sound of them send a lasting jolt of painful energy through my veins.

“It’ssss tiiiiiime Ceto, to waaaaaake them.”

My eyes snap open and an ice- cold chill runs slowly through every part of me. It feels like I’m being frozen from the inside out. Pain courses in my fingers and toes, I look at my hands to see the joints popping in and out in a pulsating pattern. The burning ice in my bones rushes outward and escapes from my skin. I try to scream out in pain, but only silence escapes me. After only a few short moments of the pulsating cold liquid ache in my body I crash to the floor.

I pant for air and peel myself from the plush carpet that cradled my fall. I feel different. Like myself only stronger. I’m not afraid, it seems right, like I’m exactly where I need to be and my water home is calling me. Colors are more prominent, and I can feel the humidity in the air absorb into my rapidly drying skin. I look down to see that my legs no longer hold the healthy mocha glow that they had this morning. There is a shimmery film covering my skin, no thicker than paper, and it’s slightly tinted with a turquoise shine. I feel strong, but my lungs are pulling breath at an alarming rate. I’m thirsty, I need salt.

I glance into the mirror, I drink in the beauty of a Goddess. She looks just like me, only older, and is surrounded by an iridescent light. The waves in her big round eyes dance violently. She speaks to me in that voice, the voice of the wind, of the ocean, of the dreams, my voice.

“It’s time Ceto. Let’s go and wake our babies.”

I nod at her with an involuntary compliance. I’ve been waiting all my life for this comforting moment.

It’s time for the ones who live at the bottom of the ocean to surface”.

AUTHOR TWO: SCENE TWO

The voice rings back at me. Is it in my head, or is it me talking? I can’t make out what’s real or not. Looking in the mirror I still can’t believe this is me. I study myself some more. My short frizzy hair has relaxed itself into perfect dark ringlets, around my shoulders. My turquoise skin has small raised bumps, my eyes are alive with their natural green color intensified.

“Ceto… let’s go.”

I look around my room, Drake is still fast asleep on my bed. Before I even know what I’m doing my feet take on a mind of their own. They walk me over to the open window. I look out at the deep navy-blue sky, scattered with stars. The ocean’s waves calmly roll back and forth over the shore. Ordinarily, I’d never feel brave enough to leave the house on my own, especially not this late at night. And as for jumping from a second-floor window, never in my wildest dreams would I do that. Tonight, I feel like if I jump I’ll land and be perfectly safe. My body feels different in a good way. I take the risk and I leap out. On the ground, I land on all fours. Our house is set back a short distance from the beach. Strangely, I don’t automatically

go to stand up and walk toward the shore. My first instinct is to walk along as I am on all fours, so I do, toward to ocean that’s calling me.

***

From the dark attic with just a candle for light, I watch my daughter’s slow and steady pace across the sand toward the beach. I knew this day would come, the day I’d be forced to explain to my only daughter exactly what she is. It irritates me that the day has come so soon, only by chance as Dane decided to relocate to Greece for business. The day he announced proudly the whole family is set for an adventure in Europe, I held my breath and hoped for anywhere but Greece. Mine and Zoe’s true home, if you believe in Greek mythology. Snatching up the phone, with a sigh I dial China’s international dial code.

“Nǐ hǎo.”

“Mother, it’s me.”

An uncomfortable silence passes between my mother and I over the phone line. In the background, I hear familiar sounds. It’s the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong’s market waking up. It brings back childhood memories.

“May- Li nǐ wàngle shuō zhōngwénle ma?”

“No mother I have not forgotten how to say hi, or speak Chinese.”

I try my hardest to suppress my annoyance at mother’s question. She raises her voice to me again. Her broken English meets my ear in a rage. I pull the phone away.

“Then where manners and respect child? Why you call this early in morning? I left strict instruction no contact… until time come.”

“Mother, I-”

“May- Li, there better be good reason for call.”

“It’s time Mother.”

I listen to my mother mutter and curse in rapid Chinese. Once she comes to her senses she addresses me in English.

“Hmm, okay, tell truth to child. She be okay and stay far from water.”

“But Mother, I-”

She places the phone down before I can finish, the line is dead.

“Pìyǎn!”

I curse her out, in Chinese. Yes, mother dear, I still remember my mother tongue. What an ass hole. My mind drifts back to my first ever calling. I was at my aunt’s house in one of rural China’s farming towns, I was just twelve years old. A few years younger than Zoe or Liu -San I like to call her by her Chinese name. I remember I was playing by a stream and running in and out of the long grass, as my aunt watched from a distance while she inspected the crops. I remember her standing there in her large straw sun hat and kimono. It was one of China’s usual hot humid days. At times it was so hot, women would use umbrellas to shield themselves from the strong midday sun. The water spoke to me in a way that it had never before. It almost felt like it sang to me, enticing me to come closer. When I edged closer to the stream and gazed down, all I saw were fish, rockery and then a set of eyes staring out at me. Bright green eyes, that did not belong to any human. That night as I tried to sleep my aunt came into my room. She started telling me stories about the sea and what’s beneath it. I remember she spoke to me about myths, folklore and legends that have been around for thousands of years. She schooled me on each one, and how the manhunt for the truth lives on. She was preparing me for what was ahead. She was right to, a few nights later I looked in the mirror and never recognised myself. My poor baby probably experienced the same thing tonight.

It was Mother’s decision to send me way from Hong Kong, once I fell pregnant with Zoe. It was more out of anger and punishment, for diluting what little was left of our heritage as sea monsters. She planned for me to marry “one of our own kind” to keep our bloodline strong. I upset her and that was unforgivable. As the wife of one China’s leading men, she always got what she wanted. Sue-Li was never crossed by anyone in all of Hong Kong. According to her I was damaged goods, no respectable Chinese man of our bloodline would look at me now that I had a child. She paid me off with a million Yen and I was disowned. I decided I didn’t have much choice but to head to New York with Dane. Life has been good, we made a home in Quebec, Canada once Zoe turned one. I went back to school did a master’s degree in Linguistics and became fluent in French, Russian, Spanish and Italian. I started working as an interpreter, even though Dane’s business thrived I never needed work. Once Zoe started day care, I had an urge to exercise my brain and feel useful.

Dane has no idea about mine and Zoe’s heritage. I’ve managed to keep it away from him. I’ve learned to control myself around lakes and rivers. Something Zoe will need to learn too. I look out the window across the beach, I search the ocean for a sign my baby is okay.

***

All around me I see darkness, the deeper I swim under the sea the darker it becomes. I’m shocked at how strong a swimmer I am, and how far ahead of me I can see, it’s almost pitch black. My body quickly takes on a new form. My legs disappear completely and morphs into a beautiful fin. It whips behind me as I swim deeper toward the sea bed. I move quickly through the water. I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m pulled to the sea bed for some reason. I’m comfortable, it feels right, as if I’m driving a familiar road home. I reach the bottom, it’s pitch black, but I can see clearly through the darkness. The little sea creatures rushing toward me all speak in a strange high- pitched scream. The language feels familiar like I’ve heard it before, but where? My gosh, it’s Greek, these small tiny creatures call to me.

“Welcome home, you’re home.

I understand it, for the first time Greek feels like a comfortable language for me. I hear myself respond to the small creatures in fluent Greek.

“What am I doing here? And why do I dream about you each night?”

“You mean you don’t recognise us?”

“Recognise you? I don’t even recognise myself, where am I and how come I can speak Greek so well?”

“You’re home … Mama. But we were calling Ceto, we thought you’d bring her too.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, Mama. You don’t remember us? It’s good to see you but you better get back and ask Ceto’s daughter to explain.”

I watch the tiny turquoise creatures swim off into the distance. I try to follow them but I lose them. I slowly make my way back up to the surface, I pass sharks, fishes and mysterious looking creatures lurking at the bottom of the sea bed. They don’t bat an eyelid at me as I move quickly through the water. I better speed up, Mom may notice I’m gone.

****

I open the attic window and breathe in the salt air, she’s okay I can sense it, but she’s confused. I keep watch for her petite figure making her way up from the sand. My enhanced vision will seek her out regardless of the dark navy sky. Two minutes later I see her. I close the window, open the large chest of draws in the corner, and then dig out my precious but tattered book on myths and legends. The same book aunt Jia- Sun showed me when I was twelve, back on the farm in rural China. Holding the book close to my chest I then make my way to Zoe’s bedroom, and wait.

“Mom, what are you doing here? Please don’t be mad I sneaked out, I…”

I cut her off and address her in Chinese, using my “mom voice.” You know the one all moms reserve to calm children down, or lay down the law. I only speak to her in Chinese when there’s no time to play. Having spent all her life in Quebec, Canada, on an everyday basis we speak French mainly at home. In firm Chinese, I tell her to sit down I must share something.

“Zuò xià wǒ yǒu dōngxī kěyǐ gàosù nǐ.”

Mom, what’s wrong?”

“Liu – San, sit now!  I won’t tell you again!”

I sigh as I make use of her Chinese name too. Back in Canada she started to call herself Zoe to fit in. With her exotic looks and green eyes. It’s not often you see a child of mixed heritage with a Chinese name. Dane and I agreed for her to have an English name too. I open the large tattered book and place it between us on both of our laps. I revert to Chinese as I question her, this is serious business.

“Do you know who this is?”

I ask pointing at a picture of a woman under water with turquoise skin, four arms, a fin for her legs and black Medusa type hair whipping around her. Liu- San responds respectfully, with a small nod of her head in perfect Chinese. One thing Chinese culture boasts is a natural respect for elders. My heart swells I feel proud of her and her ability to pick up  Chinese and address me properly when she hardly speaks it. She’s been practicing somehow.

“Yes mother. This is Ceto the Greek Goddess of the sea.”

“Good. What else do you know?”

“Well she’s a myth apparently, we learned about her at school. Just some old folk tale.”

I fix my dear naive daughter with a stern stare. The Chinese language spills out of me with a loud shrill, high pitch voice. I sound just like my own mother… Ceto herself.

“No Liu -San. Ceto is not a myth, this is your Grandmother. You’ve never met her. She’s alive and well in Hong Kong.”

She lets out nervous laugh. Out of respect Liu- San tries to respond in Chinese. This time it’s not perfect but I understand.

“Mom, stop kidding around.”

“Liu- San, I know where you have been and I know what happened to you tonight. Your body changed it happened to me too when I was a few years younger than you.”

She looks into my eyes and I can see the tears threaten to spill over. I place an arm around her and point back at the picture of my mother, Ceto.

“Your descent is more than you think Liu- San, your biology also makes you part sea monster. Those tiny creatures you saw tonight are your children. My Grandchildren and Ceto’s great Grandchildren.”

“What? Mom I’m sixteen how can you say that?”

“It’s true. For thousands of years many have thought Ceto is a myth something to be dismissed. She’s a powerful woman. Both in her sea form and human form. She rules the land underwater and Hong Kong for that matter. Your father knows nothing of this, and it’s to stay that way. It’s been too many years.”

Liu- San looks down at her lap. In a muffled voice that threatens to break with tears, she tries again in Chinese. I can just about make out what she’s saying.  Now I see she can understand the language better than she can speak it. This must change.

“Mom, I’m really scared.”

I hug my baby tight.

“I know, I was the same. Tomorrow night you’re taking the evening off from your studies. I will call the nanny over. Once Drake is in bed and your father’s at work,we’re heading to the beach. I’ll explain more and I will take you to Hong Kong’s sea underworld.”

“Mom, we’re going to Hong Kong?! How? we need a plane.”

“Hmm. Yes we’re going. And no, we will get there faster than any plane. You’ll see tomorrow.”

“Mom, why did you keep this from me?”

“Because I was not sure if your time would come, your father is full human. I never knew if my genes were strong enough for tonight to happen. I had to wait it out and be sure.” “Get some sleep I know you’re tired, tomorrow all will be clearer.”

Liu-San gets to her feet and bows neatly toward me, before she hops into bed.

“But Mom, what that just happened to me?”

I stand up, smooth over my red and gold kimono, before I adjust the chopsticks in my hair in the mirror. I walk toward the bedroom door and turn slowly to Liu- San on the bed. In basic simple Chinese, so she can understand fully, I explain to my first born…

“Life sweetheart, that was life. You must learn to live a double life. When the urge calls you to the sea you can go, but you must never get caught. You’ll end up in some researcher’s laboratory, for years. Those who believe in Ceto’s myth have been searching for evidence, and you’re it. We are the ones who live at the bottom of the ocean and come to the surface, now you know who you are.”

Thank you for voting and thank you for reading our first attempt at writing the fantasy genre. We hope we’ve somewhat done all our author/writer friends of this wonderful genre proud!  Didi  and I both love to read this genre.

Who wants part #2 of this story?…. Didi and I are kinda feelin’ this story :).  We enjoyed writing our scenes. I think we can whip up a few more scenes in Hong Kong.

Don’t forget... this is the last story for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collectionfor two weeks! We have a new twist, all will be revealed when we return with week #7’s writing prompt voting poll. If there are any stories you’d like to read part #2 of , please leave us a comment. We know Lisa Vanacilli has a lot of votes for part #2 for the story  “It was the first time I killed a man.” Thank you!

 

Read week one- six stories here, click me.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.
 
All comments on the story posts will be open. We love feedback, and I’m willing to bet you will never guess who wrote what!! Therein a challenge of your own! (Yes, one of us writes with  British English spelling, and one of us in American English spelling. We are well aware, and ready for some trickery. Trust me, we are brilliant at adapting styles.)

Kim and Didi's Suspenseful Collection

 

 

 

I’ve signed up to #NaNoWriMo. Can I write 25,000 words in July & complete book #3 of my Romance Set In Paradise series?? #amwriting #romancenovels

nwm.pngThank you fellow author Kristina Stanley for posting her sign up! You reminded me about Camp NANOWRIMO (that’s national novel writing month). I joined in last year also. This is my second time. If you’re an author/ writer will you also sign up? And try to pen a short novella or finish off your current one in July?

 Book #2 is released in July. My goal is to write book #3 of my Romance Set in Paradise Series  In July. I cooked up my idea for the story over the weekend, something just came to me for the next stand along story.  I noted it down in my notebook as always and thought I’ll come back to this story for book #3. As the Romance Series is short novella length books, my goal is about 25,000 words max to write in July. Could be less but around  25,000 that is a good length for short stories. (if you’re a novel writer) this seems short!

Good luck if you join in. Leave me a comment if you do, I’d love to connect with fellow participants again this year.

Daily Prompt: Fortune Wheel Of Life. #amwriting #excerpt #romancenovels

via Daily Prompt: Wheel

Wheel

I’ve not done a WordPress writing prompt for what feels like ages. Today’s word is wheel. For Yasmin life is like a wheel of fortune… here’s an excerpt from Lover’s Retreat released in July. More excepts can be read here.

CHAPTER ONE: FORTUNE WHEEL OF LIFE

Yasmin sits uncomfortably on the stiff chair in her late mother’s solicitor’s office, in Victoria central London.  Her hands are folded in her lap and her gaze fixes firmly on them. She can’t believe the news she has just heard, she is rich, very rich. Her mother left her entire estate to her only daughter.

Yasmin’s mother passed away in a restful sleep, she was diagnosed with lung cancer five years ago. It was a miracle to her and her family that her mother held on for so long. Mr. Daniels breaks the silence.

“Ms. O’Neil are you okay?”

Yasmin looks up from her lap.

“Oh yes, sorry I’m a little shocked. Have I understood right? Fifty thousand pounds cash and the four bedroom house?”

“Yes, correct Ms. O’Neil. Your mother had the house valued just before she passed, you can include three hundred thousand pounds for the house also.”

Mr. Daniels fixes Yasmin with a concerned look. He imagines a thirty something year old female who receives news that she is more than financially stable, would be over the moon with happiness. Yasmin’s body language is reserved and hard to read.

“Okay, thank you for the confirmation. So what happens next?”

Mr. Daniels removes his round framed glasses and leans back in his chair.

“Well it’s completely up to you Ms. O’Neil, you are the only beneficiary your mother was very clear in her will, you have access to the money. As for the house you decide how you wish to proceed.”

“Right, thank you. For now I think I’ll keep the house I’m…  was I should say living there with Mum. I’d like to hold on to it.”

“As you wish, my secretary will give you a call by Friday with an update. In the meantime, here is your copy of your mother’s will.”

Yasmin reaches over the large oak desk as she nervously reaches for her mother’s will.

“Thank you Mr. Daniels. I’ll see myself out.”

“It’s a pleasure, take care.”

Mr. Daniels offers Yasmin his hand which she shakes timidly across the large desk.

Yasmin rises from her seat and smooths over her brown curls, slightly frizzy from the afternoon drizzle and damp air.

Once outside on the pavement Yasmin is greeted with the hustle and bustle of London. City workers and tourists spring from all directions. She feels dizzy and suddenly hot, even though it’s December and less than ten degrees today.  For comfort she unzips her tattered old winter coat, and ducks her head under her coat from the light rain starting to fall again. Glancing around she quickly crosses the main road, she keeps an eye out for taxi drivers whizzing past the station. Once she is safely across the road, she heads inside Victoria station and makes her way over to Starbucks for a Latte. As Yasmin opens the door of the busy coffee shop she’s greeted with Christmas cheer. The décor inside reflects the holiday season with tinsel and Christmas songs playing softly in the background. The warmth from the coffee machines and human bodies are welcome in contrast to the crisp bitter December winds outside. Joining the queue, she looks around and wonders what she will do for Christmas this year, now her mother has passed. Is there much point in celebrating? She wonders.

“Hello madam, what can I get you today?” A tall, eastern European male smiles at Yasmin from behind the counter.

“Just a small Latte please.”

“Coming right up, is it to have here or take out madam?”

“I’ll have it here please.”

“And your name madam?”

“Yasmin.”

“Thank you it’s on its way.”

Yasmin watches him place her name on her cup. She pays for her drink and stands by the side of the till, she watches the baristas make quick work of her coffee, and hand over a steaming cup. Yasmin spots a seat over in the corner by the window and heads over. The warmth of her Latte and the caffeine hit relaxes her, as her mind starts to race over the last five years of her life. She was married and separated by the age of thirty two, technically she is still married. After just three years of a short lived marriage her husband up and left her. He was heartless and blunt in his reasons for deserting her, for two and a half years the pair had tried to conceive a child, test after test concluded that there was no fertility issue with either of them. Yasmin just could not fall pregnant. It put a massive strain on their relationship and marriage, their communication broke down and Yasmin became the nagging wife. Her and her husband’s lovemaking became a routine operation, with an aim of reproducing rather than for enjoyment. A month later her mother was diagnosed with cancer. It was a terrible time for Yasmin, she lost herself completely as she threw herself into her new role as sole care giver for her ill mother. Her work suffered, she disconnected with her friends, her appearance took on a life of its own. Most importantly her love and passion for dance slowly disappeared, she no longer had the time or desire to attend dance classes, or polish her ballet technique with a terminally ill mother.

On the odd occasion when she did somehow carve out the time or find the desire to attend the dance studio, she experienced blackouts of sound. This is what disturbed Yasmin the most, she feared she was losing her hearing.

Over the years her fear has materialised, she now is almost deaf in one ear. For five years, she has been hiding it as best as she can.  Quite soon after her blackouts started she learned to pay attention to lip movement when she is spoken to. She made up every excuse in the book internally for not going to the doctors. She was too busy, work was demanding, her mother’s care was more important.

For five years Yasmin put her mother’s care and needs before her own, now it shows physically. She feels less confident than she was eight years ago aged twenty nine when she married David. Back then she was proud of her toned ballerina’s figure, her petite five foot five frame would stand confidently, she wore the latest fashions, figure hugging dresses, sky scraper high heels and make up. These days she’d barely run a brush through her hair or put on some mascara. Life took a toll on Yasmin in a mean way. She faced all her life changing experiences alone mainly out of choice, she did not want to feel as though she was a burden on her girlfriends.

Looking out of the coffee shop window Yasmin’s mind reverts to her mother’s funeral. The day was grey and overcast, it drizzled as she stood by her mother’s open grave as her casket was lowered into the muddy soil. She feels she has done her mother proud, by giving her a send off that she would have wanted. An intimate service at the local Catholic church her mother attended each week without fail for the twenty years she lived at the same address in south London.

The service then moved over to the local cemetery in Nunhead for her burial and final goodbyes. Close family and friends attended on the day, they did their best to comfort her as her mother’s only child. Yasmin started to grieve heavily over her loss and lack of siblings to turn to.

“What am I to do now?”

Yasmin whispers out loud to herself in the corner as she sips her coffee and mulls over life.

Friday afternoon Yasmin stares at her laptop screen, she is now fifty thousand pounds richer than she was last night. Her mind boggles over why her mother never shared with her how much she had in savings. She glances away from her screen to look around the large kitchen, her late mother was so proud of it. With modern tiled floor, white work tops and fitted appliances, one thing her mother was known for is quality. Everything Mona did was done with style and flare, that was her mother. Yasmin’s phone buzzes on the glass table next to her, she smiles as she places the phone to her good ear.

“Hi Sebrina how are you?”

“I’m well Yas, but how are you? I’ve not heard from you in a while.”

“Yeah I fine, just taking each day as it comes.”

“Hmm, that’s the best way. Some days will be harder than others but you will get through it.”

“Thanks.”

“You’ve got to look forward now. A lot has changed, what are your plans? You must have a bucket list of things you’d love to do.”

“Funny you should say that, I’ve had a bucket list of things to do for as long as I can remember. I actually dug it out the other day.”

“Wow, interesting and what’s on the list?”

“Well, travel, dance goals and motherhood stuck out at me.”

“Great, there’s two there from the list you can work on right away, with the motherhood part don’t let the past turn you crazy.”

“Oh believe me I’m not! I don’t even have a man to work on that part of the to do list with.”

Both women chuckle down the phone.

“Yas I’m so glad you can see the bright side of life.”

“It’s either that or go crazy, I know which one I’d rather. But as it so happens I think I need a break, a long one too. The last five years I’ve been tied to London and the same routine. Not that I am resentful at all for caring for Mum.”

“Absolutely, no one can ever say you have been selfish for taking a break, no matter how long.”

“I’m thinking of going travelling for a while.”

“Where too? Sounds great.”

“I have no idea, that’s what I’m trying to work out, the world is a big place! But I could do with a beach, some sun and relaxing. The December weather is doing nothing for my mood.”

“So you won’t be around for Christmas?”

“I doubt it, who do I have to spend it with?”

“You’ve got me!”

“Thanks Sebrina but you have a husband and family, you don’t need a third while hanging on.”

“No way, don’t think that. You’re one of my oldest and dearest friends.”

“Aww, thanks all the same but I think I’ll pass.”

“Okay, your call.”

“If you need anything Yas, anything at all you just call okay?”

“Thanks of course I will, but I should be okay once I know where I’m heading. I’ll keep you posted.”

“Excellent, it’s just a quick call as I’m on lunch at work, I better get going I’ll talk to you soon okay?”

“Perfect speak to you soon.”

Yasmin put the phone down with a smile, what does the future hold for me runs through her mind. She contemplates the future fifty thousand pounds richer. Glancing at her bucket list she looks at the first point on the list, travel. Yasmin’s life has been more than isolated over the last five years, the last time she set foot on a plane was on her way to St. Lucia for her honeymoon with David. She smiles again, not at the honeymoon itself, anything to do with David is still painful, however her memories of the paradise she experienced in St. Lucia remain fond memories. The sounds, smells, feel and pace of the Caribbean makes her mouth water, as she recalls the ten days she spent on the island.

It had been her idea to visit the island, to seek half of her heritage from this exotic place. Her mother was born and bred in St. Lucia she came to the UK in her early twenties as a qualified nurse. A profession her mother loved to the core. Her father was a Scottish born doctor, he owned his own general practice in Hammersmith west London. The couple met while working in the medical profession when her father moved to London. The pair had spent a wonderful twenty years together, through thick and thin regardless of the stares and racial slurs they experienced while out together. In her mother’s day back in the sixties and seventies it was rare, and even frowned upon to enter an interracial marriage. Her father suddenly passed away following a serious heart attack. She was only young at the time, but she remembers her mother’s heartache as well as her own.

Yasmin opens a Google page and then types in “places to relax and discover yourself.” In the heat of the moment following her reflection on her life over the last five years, failed marriage and death of her mother she realises just how much she has lost touch with herself.  A list of potential links pop up, scanning through them she clicks on the third link “spiritual retreats in paradise rediscover one’s self.” The loaded webpage offers Yasmin a wealth of information of spiritualism, mediation and reconnecting with nature. She spends almost an hour reading through the information. She clicks on a link that directs her to a list of spiritual and self discovery retreats. The list is endless with locations in Thailand, Seychelles, China, and Sri Lanka all grabbing her attention. Her eyes settle on Sri Lanka, her mouth falls open as she gasps at the beauty of the island. The water is light aqua green with soft gold yellow sand, healthy green palm trees are scattered around the beach.

As she clicks again a second picture pops up showing a stream with a large grey elephant basking in the water, a local Sir Lankan sits on the back of the elephant smiling at the camera. A warm feeling comes over Yasmin as she smiles at the picture.

Pushing her chair back she heads over to the kettle and fills it with water, as she waits for it to boil she looks out the window. London’s weather has nothing new to offer this afternoon. The December weather is grey and dull, looking out at her mother’s pride and joy garden there are no flowers in bloom and the grass in wet. Flashbacks of her mother pulling up weeds, neatening hedges and organising plant pots spring to Yasmin’s mind. It pained her mother whenever she was too ill to tend to her pride and joy. All she could do was sit out and observe the garden. Yasmin would watch as her mother made note of what needed to be done, as soon as she could get on her feet. Yasmin turns her back with a sigh and starts to brew her tea, then heads back over to her laptop on the kitchen table.

She clicks on the “about this retreat” page and starts to indulge in the island of Sri Lanka. Before long she has learned about the country’s diverse inhabitants, religions and rich Buddhist heritage. She’s drawn into the country’s potential as a place to visit. As she reads on a link advertising self discovery retreats catches her eye.

Reconnect with yourself and nature at the At Peace with One’s Self retreat, in south Asia Sri Lanka. Guests will spend five days in Sri Lanka’s small coastal market town Dickwella South, within a small group of twenty guests all on a spiritual journey to self discovery, rest, reflection and reconnecting with their inner person. Dickwella South is home to the largest Buddhist statue at one hundred and sixty feet tall. Guests will have a chance to visit so please bring your cameras! During the retreat, you’ll be introduced to the Buddhist practice mindfulness, mediation, and practice self awareness activities with your peers. There will be time for fun and social activities, the retreat is located on Dickwella South’s long sandy beach. Retreat dates for the rest of 2016 are as follows:

 

1st – 5th December 2016- full

7th-12 December 2016- full

14th -19th December 2016- full

21st- 26th December 2016- limited spaces

28th -2nd January 2017- spaces available

 

Cost: £500.00 per person which includes a private room, all meals and drinks included, free materials, books, DVDs and a tour of the market town. Please note this is an over eighteen’s only retreat for single people. If you are a family or under eighteen please click here for other retreats.

Contact the below email or number for more details on the At Peace with One’s Self retreat. atpeaceretreat@gmail.com 0207 645 9548 – John (retreat leader).

Yasmin can’t believe her eyes a small price for such an amazing experience. She flicks back to her online banking page, to look again at the number of zeros on her balance. Smiling to herself she grabs her purse from her bedroom, and quickly rushes back to her laptop. She clicks on the 21st- 26th December 2016 date and books herself a place. She does not fancy a lonely Christmas, and over the last few days as she reflected on life, her new found fortune and sudden freedom she decides it is time to rediscover herself and have some fun.

Her boss has been very accommodating during the last five years, due to her care responsibilities Yasmin often requested time off for doctor’s appointments. Toward the end of her mother’s illness she’d often called in with little notice and informed him she will not make it into work, as her mother was too unwell to be left alone.

Yasmin’s job as a junior accounts manager for a women’s retail store is enjoyable most days, but if she had her way she’d be a dance teacher or a dancer touring all over the world showcasing her skill.

Glancing back down at her bucket list beside her, she has a sudden urge to take advantage of her new freedom, and desire to travel more widely comes over her. Travel is the number one item on her bucket list she wrote many years ago, as a fresh faced newlywed. After five years’ service with her employer she has the benefit of long term leave via a sabbatical or career break. Chewing the inside of her lip Yasmin picks up her cup of tea and ponders the possibility in more detail. It is a work related benefit, I won’t be asking too much of them runs through her mind. Glancing at the calendar she has just seven days until she leaves for Sri Lanka, her agreement with her boss on her return to work date following a period of compassionate leave to organise her mother’s funeral and pull herself together is open ended. She simply requested that she get in contact with an expected return date, once she has some time to adjust.

Yasmin firmly places down her cup of tea, glances outside the kitchen window to her right at the rain starting to fall. With a small smile she opens her email account and starts to draft an email to her boss. In her email she confirms she would like to cash in her work related benefit of sabbatical, and use half of it from the 21st December 2016 – 21st June 2017. Then return to London refreshed and ready to take on the world again. She apologises for the short notice, but given the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death and five years as her sole carer she hopes that he would understand.

Ebook-Cover-Amazon-and-Smashwords

Released July 2017

We Have A Winner & Final Week For Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection…. #kdsuspense #amwriting

“The ones who live in  the bottom of the ocean,come to the surface.”

 

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Thank you for voting, it’s fantasy week people. Yours truly is a bit on edge but excited about this week. This is one genre I know I love to read, but find it hard to write! So thanks for the challenge. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, it’s all about growth as a writer.

In other news, Didi and I will take a very short pause. This is the last story!

WTF 2

 

 Don’t worry we will be back. This is the quiet before the storm…Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection has a new twist. Ummm hmmm! We’ll see you Tuesday for week six’s short story. We’ll be back in about two week’s time with week seven’s story and a new twist. Join in with us for week six, write a story using the prompt you all voted for and #kdsuspense,  when you share it on social media, so we can find you. Or post your link to the story post on Tuesday.

See you soon thank you for voting!

Kim and Didi's Suspenseful Collection

 

HOW #kdsuspense WORKS:

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.
 
All comments on the story posts will be open. We love feedback, and I’m willing to bet you will never guess who wrote what!! Therein a challenge of your own! (Yes, one of us writes with  British English spelling, and one of us in American English spelling. We are well aware, and ready for some trickery. Trust me, we are brilliant at adapting styles.)

Read our previous stories here and see who is author one and two for week one-three.

 

 

 

What Are You Reading??

It’s Sunday my reading day, and now early afternoon. I’m slowly making my way through all the author review copies of books I have. I’m about to dip into this historical romance, before I start cooking. It was a pleasure to interview the author. You can meet Sara here.  I really look forward to meeting her characters, as I cosy up to read one of my fav genres. What are you reading?? Let me know

Happy Sunday! Have a great start to your week tomorrow.

 

 

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Meet The Author Kryssie Fortune- Erotica, Paranormal and Contemporary Author #amreading #author #romance

 

 

7mpAnother double hit this month, it’s the 25th and I’m thrilled to showcase another author.  Kryssie Fortune a British author who has the pleasure of living near the coast. What I love about Kryssie is, she does not let anything hold her back with her writing. I enjoyed interviewing Kryssie, I got a real sense who she is as a writer, we seem to have a few things in common on the “writer’s life” view point. Let’s get to know Ms. Fortune’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Lovely to meet you too. I’m Kryssie Fortune, an English writer of erotic romance, both paranormal and contemporary. I live on the Yorkshire Coast and spend part of each day walking by the beach with my husband. If I’m not writing, I’m baking or gardening.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I don’t think I’m creative. I just like to tell made up stories. Even as a small child, I lined my dolls up and made them listen. Apparently, I told friends I’d write a book one day back when I was in my teens. I’d won the occasional writing contest, but didn’t think much of it. When my heart valve collapsed and I almost died I knew I need to reach for my dreams. Thankfully, I’m fine now. I have eleven e-books on Amazon. 12 if you count my box set, and number 13 – Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf – is for release on May 2nd

Kim:  * opens up Amazon* wow that’s great thirteen books! I’ve got to take a look. Also, I think you are creative, you write- that’s creativity.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

It changes constantly. The one I go back to is Kresley Cole. I love her Immortals After Dark series.

Kim: We have something in common, if I’m thinking of the same author I too have an Immortals After Dark book on my Kindle. I’ve not read it yet, thanks for prompting me.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’ll read anything. Mostly I stick with romances. Any kind, from Regency, through military, to paranormal. I enjoy the occasional adventure / mystery too.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It gave me more self-confidence, but it didn’t change my process. I’m still a punster. The best description I ever saw was that a writer has a series of islands to swim to before reaching the mainland. I start with a scene in my head and work out things around it as I go. Oddly, in a couple of instances, the scene I used for inspiration never made it into my book.

Kim:  *raises an eyebrow*  I hear all of that and understand. I have a romantic thriller I’ve been working on for the best part of two years. I’ve ripped it to sheds many times, taken out scenes and gone through the same experience you describe. What’s funny is, once I ripped it apart, I now have two book ideas lols. I agree with the islands you describe, sometimes those islands are so bloody far apart! But it makes it all worth while when a project is complete.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I have two series. One is my Scattered Siblings paranormal series full of werewolves, Fae, and an ever-hungry dragon. The old Fae king was a lecher who left children everywhere. Now his son, Leonidas has taken the throne, he’s trying to find them. Much to his eire, they keep mating with werewolves.

The second is my Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge series. It’s about former military men building civilian lives in Westhorpe Ridge. Of course, for warriors like them, true love never runs smooth. There are kidnappers, arsonists, and even spies hunting the women they love.

Kim: I’ll take a peek at the Scattered Siblings, feel free to send me one of your Author Review Copies.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

Fun. I liked that the worlds were already built and readers would meet old friends as each stand-alone romance unfolds. The Scattered Sibling world I invented, but Westhorpe Ridge was harder. I’m a Brit who doesn’t do long haul but I needed an imaginary town in North Carolina. Fortunately, my Facebook friends don’t mind me asking them stupid questions about their state. For the town itself, I mentally transplanted the Yorkshire town of Whitby to America. Of course, since the stories are contemporary, I left the Dracula connection back in Yorkshire.

Kim: good job! Yorkshire to the USA, sounds good to me. 

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’d like to write a detective story or a Dan Brown type adventure. I have a couple of ideas, but I need to sit down and plot. I’ve never done that in detail, but maybe someday I will.

Kim: welcome to my world. Thrill and suspense is such a great genre to write. I wish you well keep us posted over at Meet The Author when it takes off.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

The day Loose id accepted my first story, To Wed a Werewolf.

I read their e-mail and screamed so loud my husband thought I was hurt. I remember leaping around like a loon. It meant the world that such a brilliant publisher was willing to invest time and effort in me. It still blows me away every time I get a new book accepted.

Kim: awww, yes I know that feeling! Good job and well done.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

When I did the writers course, it was aimed at magazine articles. My first few efforts were rejected. Looking back, I’m not surprised. I hated every rejection but it made my first accepted feature – a centre page spread on the history of York – so much more special.

Kim: Amazing, rejection can be a bitch. I had a rejection from a major romance publisher I’d love to work with last year, for my romantic thriller.  I sent over the first three chapters. Only because there’s a murder, they said nicely “we love it Kim but in this line we can’t feature murder in romance. Send us something else you have” 😦 . But another publisher picked it up right away! Turns out they’d love a romantic thriller story with a murder. I’ve just got to finish writing it. Sometimes, rejection leads to better things, and a better fit for your work.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Me and commas? We’re not friends. I was taught you put a comma wherever you pause for breath. I swear Americans breathe in different places. My editor moves nearly all of mine. But, to quote an Ashe Baker, an author friend of mine, “do I look like I’m the sort of person to worry about a comma.” That sort of puts it in perspective for me.

Kim: *cracks up laughing* OMG, you and I are on the same page. I was taught this in school also. When it comes to us Brits and USA editors and publishers, we can face some challenges. I’ve had my spellings changed to American English too, I go back and change it…. I’m British let’s stay real! I love your friend’s take on commas, what a refreshing view point.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

I’m dyslexic. I never knew it until my daughter became head of English in the school where she teaches. I do the classic d and b thing and I don’t see my own mistakes. Every word is a challenge for me.

Kim: but you keep going, love it. Thirteen books lady…. remember that!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  1. Practice Polish  3. Remember it doesn’t need to be perfect and let go.

Kim: such wise advice. We can be so hard on ourselves. Thanks for your view point.

So… where can we get your books?

Buy links
Loose id https://app.bitly.com/BebnjNZnvC8/bitlinks/2pFyQ5Z
Amazon USA http://amzn.to/2pLmmK4
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2pd1Hvt
Kobo http://bit.ly/2qBMdl5
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2q36rI5

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

My next release is Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf.

I guess the title explains the story, but it involves Spartans, Persian princes, and witches all in a modern-day setting. Hades and the Etruscan Hell god, Orcus make an appearance too.

Look out for a Vampire who likes to spank his immortal bride and a werewolf with a riding crop.

I’m currently working on another Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge story, Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier, but I haven’t submitted it to my editor yet.

Kim: Oh my. Did I mention I’m a True Blood Junkie? I could get into the Vampire story. Sounds very erotic. Do keep us posted on Meet The Author. I have massive respect for you paranormal writers, the talented.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Sex. I mean basically it’s insert part A into part B. The reader wants far more than that so I try to make my sex scenes so hot they burn the readers’ fingers. I was made-up when one review called my sex scenes sensual.

Kim: *giggles* you can’t beat a good sex scene. Yes inserting parts I agree with. You do need to transport the reader. Sensual is a massive compliment, shows you set the tone well in your scene. Good job.

Do you Google yourself?

Yes. I’ve found pirate copies of my books that way and had them removed.

Kim: Oh S*it! Really? I’d like to speak with you about this in more detail. This could be a good guest post on the topic, if you’re interested? A heads up for other authors.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’ve met Bella Settarra at a few conferences, and you won’t find a nicer lady.

I’m good friends with Ashe Barker and Jennifer Denys. We get together for lunch on a regular basis.

What’s your favourite movie?

I love Romancing the Stone. It’s an oldie but a goodie. When Jack Colton first kisses Joan Wilder it’s magical.

Back to the twenty-first century. I love the Marvel Universe films and recently went to see Marvel Live at Sheffield Arena.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Can I have a play instead? I love Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The mix of slapstick and romance always delights me. I’m greedy, so I’ll go for another play too. I recently saw the National Theatre production of Henrik Ibsen and Hedda Gabler. The woman was wrong in the head, but the consequences of her actions made fascinating watching.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Don’t laugh. North Carolina. I’ve learned so much about it while researching my Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge books. It has a mix of everything I love, from mountains to coast. I’d have to win the lottery and cruise there though. I’d love to explore their replica of Queen Anne’s Revenge – the pirate ship Blackbeard used. Yes. It does make it into one of the stories

I’d head to Washington after that. Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol gave me a tour of American treasures. I’d love to see them first hand.

Kim: I read a great story set in  North Carolina by Diane Chamerbaine it’s based on real life. There was a project in the sixties that allowed the state to sterilise women who they felt were “retarded”, or “over sexed.” The women were from poor backgrounds, and victims of rape half the time…. it’s Necessary Lies. Check it out, I followed up with my own research, I read about some of the victims.  This was the first book I read by this author a few years back. Since then I buy her books as they come out, without even reading the blurb I just see her name and click buy now! She’s so good.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

Over many versions. Remember the dyslexia? I have to check each manuscript repeatedly. The more I do, the better I know my characters. I keep adding to them with each reread.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Caleb the Cold. Now there’s a werewolf who is hot. He’s the hero of my first published book, To Wed A Werewolf. He can be a real pain in the backside but when he finally recognised Sylvie as his mate, he redeemed himself.

I love Jared Armstrong too, the hero of Marriage, Mobsters and the Marine. He’s cold and tough, a retired military sniper with an impressive kill rate, but he needs to marry money to get his family out of a hole. When Abigail Montgomery advertised for he husband he jumped at the chance.

Kim: sounds good!

And that’s a wrap I LOVED meeting Kryssie here this month, and I look forward to reading her work. I hope you enjoyed it  too.

Connect with Kryssie here:

My amazon Author ages are

Amazon USA – http://amzn.to/2oP9Yq9

Amazon UK   – http://amzn.to/2q6Hebx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryssie.fortune

Author site http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

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If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me via the “contact Kim” page.

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Meet The Author: Gavin Ough Contemporary Romance & Paranormal Author @gavinough1 #amreading #amwriting #author

 

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It’s the 25th so it’s time for Meet The Author. This month, I am very happy to feature author Gavin Ough. Gavin is a British author (like yours truly), he hails from Kent in the UK.  I read Gavin’s interview with a smile and real admiration, it’s so refreshing to see a male writer turn his hand to contemporary romance :).I feel warm inside at this thought. Gavin is clearly a writer who does not do what is expected of him as a man… not write about love, feelings or relationships. Or try to make a romance junkie smile with his humour in his stories. Gavin is multi -talented now he has published his first book, he’s creating a  paranormal romance genre novel. I’m intrigued by him and excited about his paranormal work, are you? Good. Let’s get to know his style, what does our male romance author have to offer us romance junkies… Over to you Mr. Ough.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, I’m Gav. I live and work in Herne Bay, Kent although I grew up in Whitstable. I’m married with three daughters; one’s a secondary school teacher, one works in a pre-school nursery and my youngest is in junior school.

Needless to say I love a good read, but my latest hobby is woodturning. I bought a cheap lathe and have been trying to create things of beauty – with varying degrees of success – ever since. I managed to make a walnut bowl I’m quite proud of so that’s going okay at the moment. Other than that I like playing video games with my youngest and watching The Amazing World of Gumball with her (don’t judge!)

Kim Haha Gavin, I’d never judge you, I have a three year old son I can quote Paw Patrol and Postman Pat theme tunes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’ve loved reading since I was just a liccle boy. I clearly remember reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in junior school so I suppose I must have been a precocious reader. I always had the dream of being a writer but never thought I had the talent (the jury’s still out as to whether I’ve got any now). So I trained in the horticulture industry before getting jobs cleaning other people’s muck off other people’s toilets, ended up as a landscaper for ages. Work dried up in about 2008 and so my wife said I ought to give writing a try. I’d been trying to write a fantasy novel off and on for about ten years but didn’t have any real idea how until I started reading other people’s hints and tips. Joined a few freelance sites and managed to get work with an online publisher called Serialities. They gave me the little boost I needed to realise other people thought I could write as well and the rest is history.

Kim: Oh your wife rocks, what support and encouragement. I wish you all the best with creating your “new world” in your fantasy book. Be sure to let us know when it’s released.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I was a fan of the old Fighting Fantasy game books, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone when I were a lad which probably fuelled my thirst for all things fantasy. David Gemmell and David Eddings continued the theme. For horror I love a good Stephen King (obviously) but the English Shaun Hutson is a master too as are Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz. As for chick lit authors, my wife recommended Trisha Ashley and I was hooked on the humour so started reading as many different authors as could. Sophie Kinsella, Sue Johnson, Dawn French to name but a few. Sorry if they don’t consider themselves as chick lit writers but I think they fit the bill.

Kim: *raise eyebrows* you’ve read Sophie Kinsella, now that’s refreshing. I’m sure she’d be thrilled to know she’s reaching male readers.

What Genre Do You Enjoy Reading?
Fantasy – end of. I like other genres as well but not as much as a well written and engaging fantasy. Swords, magic, dragons and killing – I’m such a bloke sometimes. I do like sci-fi but usually as a romance sub genre. Horror and paranormal but not vampire stuff so much as it’s been overdone. Needless to say I like a good old rom-com too.

Kim: Ya know, the only vampire stuff I got into is True Blood. I’m such a True Blood junkie. When it aired on TV in the UK, I would sit and watch back to back episodes with my mouth wide open. Love it.

 How Did Publishing Your First Book Change Your process of Writing?
The Spaces in Between was based on a twenty part serial story written for Serialities. I suppose the biggest thing I learned was about having some kind of an outline or plan to work to, even if it’s just a list of ‘things’ that are going to happen in your story. I was lucky as I’d been paid to write the outline over twenty weeks so just had to add a load of extra content to it.
And revisions – endless, relentless, repetitive revisions.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Just the ones I’ve mentioned. Fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal. Actually I’m working on a paranormal book now.

Kim: keep us posted.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Getting published by Serialities. Even though it hasn’t sold a billion copies I think that’s more to do with our combined marketing skills (or lack thereof) and the fact I haven’t quite reached a million followers yet. Not yet but I will.

Kim: A million copies, that’s every author’s dream we’re behind you with your vision! Good luck.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Not really. If I do have problems writing something, I just stop and do something else entirely, shut the laptop and cut the grass or let the dog walk me or watch something with the missus. By the time – usually the next day – I get back to it I can usually carry on without much hassle. You need to enjoy writing even though it’s hard, even when it’s hard so if it gets to the point you’re getting frustrated you need to stop for a while.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

More a pantster than a plotter I would say although I’ve gotten better at planning and plotting as the works have got longer. I started out by writing 500 word pieces easily read on a phone and the readers voted on the plot twists so I couldn’t so much planning. Now I write a few short character descriptions and a very brief outline with what I want to happen in each chapter then virtually ignore the whole thing until I hit a stumbling block. I suppose I’ve got a good idea of where it’s going when I start so the plan is in my head rather than on paper but I don’t spend weeks with worksheets and plot diagrams, no. A list of major events from start to finish and then I just start typing.

Kim: massive respect to all pansters out there!.. I sit there and plot my heart out then write like no one is looking. I’m learning with these weekly writing challenges  I’m doing with Didi Oviatt to be more of a panster.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I used to be a complete grammar Nazi! Everything had one way – the RIGHT way – and that was it. I think that was just the way I was taught and being born before the internet – fetch me pipe and slippers – was invented meant things didn’t change much. Language is fluid, always changing especially globally, so I’ve relaxed my perspective. I’ve gone all Zen and become enlightened, at peace with the world of the comma. Apostrophes though those little…

As long as what you write is easily readable and makes sense I don’t think there need be any hard rules about punctuation.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

It’s an odd one and just down to muscle memory but I find my writing peppered with ‘fro’ instead of ‘for’. It’s literally just down to the sequence my hands tap the keys in but as for is a word, the spell check never picks it up. I have to run a search/replace at the end of everything just in case I’ve done it again. Apart from that I’m a fairly good spellist but it also depends on what version of English I’m writing in. US publishers obviously want US spellings and grammar so I end up typing neighbour instead of neighbor but I set the language at the beginning of every document so the machine picks it up for me. I have got to the point I’ve been writing ‘realize’ with the ‘z’ no matter what version of English I’m writing in too.

Kim: Interesting, ya know I write and spell in British English only. It used to really annoy me when my publisher in the USA changed my spellings. I’d go back in and change them. In my head I thought, this is how I spell this so I want it as I spell it, see the logic.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Choose whether you’re writing for fun or profit and if it’s for profit, make sure you know the market you’re writing for. Don’t try to be different or quirky because you won’t sell. Find out reader expectations by reading as much in the genre as you can and emulate the style. Don’t plagiarise obviously but try to copy the style and voice of the top sellers in your chosen genre or, I’m afraid you’re not likely to get anywhere.

Believe in yourself. It’s cliché and trite and all that but if you don’t, you’ll give up. I did for years, never believing in myself, never thinking I was good enough but I think I am and I’m gonna make a living from being a writer.

Learn the business of marketing. I never bothered and again thought I’d be no good at it but I found out how much people were making from my ghostwriting just by knowing a few marketing skills. It’s a long, slow battle and takes away from your writing time but I think it’s the single biggest thing you need to know how to do whether you’re self published or traditionally published.

Kim: Amen to the last point, this is a must. Thank you Gavin great tips.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

A sort of paranormal romance I’ve called Time to Turn Back.  It features a guy, Xander, who can see the past by connecting with people and objects. The protagonist, Katriona, loses her Gramps (who raised her after her parents were killed) and discovers he had a secret family she never knew about before he married her grandmother. Needless to say she discovers Xander who helps her discover the truth about her Gramp’s past. It’s got Russian gangsters, a little bit of funny and a cat called Humboldt.

Kim: Ha! A lil’ gangster ha? As well as romance. It’s on the read list keep us posted. 🙂 I’m quite excited for this.

So…where can we get your books?

Amazon, unfortunately. I’m not keen on all their policies and how they treat authors but they’ve managed to become the biggest name in the book industry and by making it free to publish your own stuff they’ve just about cornered the market. So yeah, there it is until I can generate a massive following and publish elsewhere as well.

Amazon UK link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071CR7GS4

Kim: Take a look at smashwords.com good luck, shout me if you need a hand with publishing here.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

I think if I was able to pay all my bills and live the life I would like to – a humble one – from writing I’d call that a success. I wouldn’t want to be a celebrity but a few nice emails from fans would be nice. I actually enjoy what I do so in a way I’m a success already.

Kim: Gavin you’re just too cute, fan mail? Really? … I’ve read your first book I’m “a fan.” *chuckles*

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think big egos hurt anyone don’t they? I suppose it depends on how people handle the ego they’ve got. If they’re the kind of pleb that goes around belittling everyone they meet I expect it’s going to hurt them in the long run. Karma, baby! Watch out for it.

Kim: Yes, karma is very real.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Sickeningly little as I’m lazy. If I have to look something up I do it in the middle of writing then shut the internet back down. I’m one of the infuriating people who aren’t addicted to the internet. (sorry) I’ll let you into a secret as long as you promise not to tell anyone. I don’t have a mobile phone. Not even an old Nokia kicking about in a drawer somewhere. Here’s a funny story though, I’m just finishing up Time to Turn Back and it features the baddy, Dimitri, searching for this necklace his grandmother gave to Kat’s grandfather. When I had a brief search for the Russian royal jewels it turns out a few pieces went missing during the Bolshevik rule one of which was a necklace! Weird eh?

Kim: Ha ! That is so bizarre, it’s a sign you need to finish up that book. As for not having a mobile phone, I had to sit for a moment and imagine what that might feel like. Probably quite stress free I’d imagine. The internet will really put you as an author out there Gavin… join us friend!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ve only had a few so far and yes I’ve read them. Luckily they’ve been either positive or not so nasty they’ve ripped my heart out. You’re going to get bad reviews as you’re never going to please everyone but if you’ve put your heart and soul into a book and you believe it’s the best it can be, just let the bad ones wash over you. If the criticism is constructive – use it to improve.

Kim: well I bought and read your first published contemporary romance book. You’ll have another one on Amazon soon!

Do you Google yourself?

Not myself no. I do usually check to see if any new blog posts come up just after I’ve written them. If not I try and adjust the keywords until I come up somewhere near the first page. No one’s going to see you if not.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Couple of months for the first draft then about twenty years redrafting until I get it right! No, I try to get it done as fast as I can without reducing quality so I’d aim for about six months or less from idea to published.

What’s your favourite movie?

OMG how can I even pick ONE? If I was in some kind of ‘Desert Island’ situation I suppose it would have to be Love Actually.

Kim: *Smiles* you really enjoy romance don’t you. *chuckles with laughter.*

What’s your favourite book and why?

OMG again! It’s a series actually, The Redemption trilogy by Mike Smith. It’s one of those that I can read over and over without getting bored. The characters are like friends at the end and although it’s sci-fi it’s a romance too. The main character, Jon Radec, is so devoted to the woman he loves that he’ll do anything to get to her. And if he can’t get to her he’ll destroy anything or anyone in his way. Have a look, the first book, The Last Praetorian, is free so why not?

Kim: *On her way back over to Amazon.*

What music do you like?

A little bit of everything from Country to Heavy Metal, cheesy pop to love songs. I was a hardcore Dire Straits fan for a long time and love ZZ Top but just about anything goes from back in the day to current stuff.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Promised the wife I’d take her to see the Northern Lights so I suppose I’ll have to go somewhere cold. We both like the idea of Canada so maybe we can do both there. Italy to see the coliseum and other architectural marvels. Venice for the same reasons – tourist stuff. I quite like the idea of going to somewhere like Angkor Wat or any kind of ancient civilisations ruins.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I write a very (VERY) basic one page outline with physical appearance and basic characteristics. If they’ve got a catchphrase or particular manner of speech I note it down but other than that, I just grow them during the story. Like I said with the research bit, I’m lazy.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

I like Poppy in Poppy’s Proposal. I think I might have subliminally based her on me a bit more than I liked to admit at the time as I can actually recognise some of her flaws as mine. Of course she’s magnified a hundred times and put through the wringer for comedy effect but I relate to her more than other’s I’ve written.

What would you like readers to know?

Even though I’m a man I can write funny, romantic and realistic stories they’d like to read. Chick lit is so female oriented that the few men that do write it feel the need to use pen names or be relegated to the realms of obscurity. Like ABBA said, take a chance on me.

Kim: Gavin, us female romance readers and lovers of all things romance paranormal, suspense, sci-fi , erotica, comedy whatever … we salute you as a male author entering into this genre. I for one can’t wait to see what you publish after Poppy’s Proposal.  I I really enjoyed it. Very best of luck with with building your readerships and bond with romance junkies.

And that’s a wrap! I really enjoyed getting to know Gavin, I hope you did too. Let’s watch this space, I have a good feeling that Gavin has a good idea about what makes a romance reader swoon. This could be very interesting. Please go ahead and connect with him below and wish him well on his ventures.

Connect With Gavin:
Facebook – Gavin Ough
Pinterest: Gavin Ough

Next month: another fantastic author is lined up. Stay tuned! 

If you’re an author and you’d like to feature in Meet The Author contact me here.

 

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