12 Days of Writing, Blogging, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

12 Days of Writing

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Last year, I created a blog series called 24 Days of Writing 🙂 This year, I thought it might be more manageable to have 12 days instead. I’m excited to kick this series off starting tomorrow. I hope some of you will join me.

Throughout this series, I will find fantasy submission opportunities. I’ll share the opportunity here and challenge myself and others to submit a finished story. Last year I was accepted to a few spots. One of my shorts turned into a much longer piece. You never know what you’ll come up with 🙂

If this sounds interesting, check back tomorrow ❤

Talk soon,

Loie

Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

The KILL CLUB by Wendy Heard Blog Tour

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  • The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
  • On Sale Date: December 17, 2019
  • Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological 

 

Synopsis

A haunting thriller about a woman who attempts to save her brother’s life by making a dangerous pact with a network of vigilantes who’ve been hunting down the predators of Los Angeles.

 

Jazz can’t let her younger brother die.

 

Their foster mother Carol has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time.

 

Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution. There are others like her, people the law has failed. They’ve formed an underground network of “helpers,” each agreeing to murder the abuser of another. They’re taking back their power and leaving a trail of bodies throughout Los Angeles—dubbed the Blackbird Killings. If Jazz joins them, they’ll take care of Carol for good.

 

All she has to do is kill a stranger.

 

Jazz soon learns there’s more to fear than getting caught carrying out her assignment. The leader of the club has a zero tolerance policy for mistakes.

 

And the punishment for disobeying orders is death.

Author Bio

Wendy Heard Author Photo_Credit Courtest MIRA Books.jpg

Wendy Heard, author of Hunting Annabelle, was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores. Connect with Wendy on her Author website

You can also follow her here:

Twitter: @wendydheard

Instagram: @wendydheard

Facebook: @wendydheard

Excerpt

THE CEILING ABOVE the crowd sparkles with strings of golden lights. They twinkle just bright enough to illuminate the faces. I adjust a microscopic issue with my toms and run my fingers through my bangs, straightening them over my eyes. The guys are tuning up, creating a clatter of discordant notes in the monitors. When they’re done, they approach my kit for our usual last-minute debate about the set list. Dao humps his bass in his ready-to-play dance, black hair swishing around his shoulders. “Dude, stop,” Matt groans and readjusts the cable that connects his Telecaster to his pedal board.

“Your mom loves my dancing,” Dao says.

“You dance like Napoleon Dynamite,” Matt retorts.

“Your mom dances like Napoleon Dynamite.”

Andre raises his hands. “Y’all both dance like Napoleon Dynamite, and so do both your moms, so let’s just—”

I wave a stick at them. “Guys. Focus. The sound guy is watching. We’re three minutes behind.” I have no patience for this shit tonight. This all feels extra and stupid. I should be doing something to help Joaquin. His dwindling supply of insulin sits at the front of my brain like a ticking clock.

The guys get into their spots, the distance between them set by muscle memory. Andre leans forward into the mic and drawls, “Arright DTLA, lez get a little dirty in here.” His New Orleans accent trickles off his tongue like honey.

The room inhales, anticipates, a sphere of silence.

“Two three four,” I yell. I clack my sticks together and we let loose, four on the floor and loud as hell. I’m hitting hard tonight. It feels great. I need to hit things. My heart beats in tempo. My arms fly through the air, the impact of the drums sharp in my joints, in my muscles, the kick drum a pulse keeping the audience alive. This is what I love about drumming, this forcing of myself into the crowd, making their hearts pound in time to my beat.

Dao fucks up the bridge of “Down With Me” and Andre gives him some vicious side-eye. The crowd is pressed tight up against the stage. A pair of hipsters in cowboy hats grabs a corresponding pair of girls and starts dancing with them. I cast Dao an eye-rolling look referring to the cowboy hats and he wiggles his eyebrows at me. I stomp my kick drum harder, pretending it’s Carol’s face.

The crowd surges back. Arms fly. A guy in the front staggers, falls. A pair of hands grips the stage, and a girl tries to pull herself up onto it.

Matt and Dao stop playing. The music screeches to a halt.

“What’s going on?” I yell.

“Something in the pit,” Dao calls back.

Andre drops his mic and hops down into the crowd. Dao and Matt cast their instruments aside and close the distance to the edge of the stage. I get up and join them. Together, we look down into the pit.

A clearing has formed around a brown-haired guy lying on the floor. Andre and the bouncer squat by him as he squirms and thrashes, his arms and legs a tangle of movement. Andre’s got his phone pressed to his ear and is talking into it urgently. The bouncer is trying to hold the flailing man still, but the man’s body is rigid, shuddering out of the bouncer’s grip. He flops onto his back, and I get a good look at his face.

Oh, shit, I know this guy. He’s a regular at our shows. He whines and pants, muffled words gargling from his throat. Some of the bystanders have their phones out and are recording this. Assholes.

The man shrieks like a bird of prey. The crowd sucks its whispers back into itself, and the air hangs heavy and hushed under the ceiling twinkle lights.

Andre is still talking into his phone. The bouncer lifts helpless hands over the seizing man, obviously not sure what to do.

I should see if Andre wants help. I hop down off the stage and push through the crowd. “Excuse me. Can you let me through? Can you stop recording this and let me through?”

I’m suddenly face-to-face with a man who is trying to get out of the crowd as hard as I’m trying to get into it. His face is red and sweaty, his eyes wild. “Move,” he orders me.

Dick. “You fucking move.”

“Bitch, move.” He slams me with his shoulder, knocking me into a pair of girls who cry out in protest. I spin, full of rage, and reverse direction to follow him.

“Hey, fucker,” I scream. He casts a glance over his shoulder. “Yeah, you! Get the fuck back here!”

He escalates his mission to get out of the crowd, elbowing people out of his way twice as fast. I’m smaller and faster, and I slip through the opening he leaves in his wake. Just before he makes it to the side exit, I grab his flannel shirt and give him a hard yank backward. “Get the fuck back here!” I’m loose, all the rage and pain from earlier channeling into my hatred for this entitled, pompous asshole.

I know I should rein it in, but he spins to face me and says, “What is your problem, bitch?” And that’s it. I haul back and punch him full in the jaw.

He stumbles, trips over someone’s foot and lands on his ass on the cement floor. His phone goes clattering out of his hand, skidding to a stop by someone’s foot. “The hell!”

“Oh, shit,” cries a nearby guy in a delighted voice.

“Fucking bitch,” the guy says, and this is the last time he’s calling me a bitch. I go down on top of him, a knee in his chest. I swing wild, hit him in the jaw, the forehead, the neck. He throws an elbow; it catches me in the boob and I flop back off him with a grunt of pain. He sits up, a hand on his face, and opens his mouth to say something, but I launch myself off the ground again, half-conscious of a chorus of whoops and howls around us. I throw a solid punch. His nose cracks. Satisfaction. I almost smile. Blood streams down his face.

“That’s what you get,” I pant. He crab-shuffles back, pushes off the ground and sprints for the exit. I let him go.

My chest is heaving, and I have the guy’s blood on my hand, which is already starting to ache and swell. I wipe my knuckles on my jeans.

His phone lights up and starts buzzing on the floor. I pick it up and turn it over in my hand. It’s an old flip phone, the kind I haven’t seen in years. The bright green display says Blocked.

Back in the pit, the man having a seizure shrieks again, and then his screams gurgle to a stop. I put the phone in my pocket and push through the onlookers. I watch as his back convulses like he’s going to throw up, and then he goes limp. A thin river of blood snakes out of his open mouth and trails along the cement floor.

The room echoes with silence where the screams had been. A trio of girls stands motionless, eyes huge, hands pressed to mouths.

The flip phone in my pocket buzzes. I pull it out, snap it open and press it to my ear. “Hello?”

A pause.

“Hello?” I repeat.

A click. The line goes dead.

A set of paramedics slams the stage door open, stretcher between them. “Coming through!” They kneel down and start prodding at the man curled up on the concrete. His head flops back. His eyes are stretched wide and unseeing, focused on some point far beyond the twinkling ceiling lights.

Next to him on the concrete lies something… What is it? It’s rectangular and has red and—

It’s a playing card.

 

Excerpted from The Kill Club by Wendy Heard, Copyright © 2019 by Wendy Heard. Published by MIRA Books.  

Pick up your copy here:

Harlequin

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

Books-a-Million

Google Play

Indie Bound

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Blogging, Book Love, national novel writing month, writers life, writing

Happy National Novel Writing Month

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Hi friends,

I hope you are having a good month so far. Good luck with National Novel Writing Month. I’m a little behind on my writing goals, but that’s okay 🙂 Some months are busier than others, for reasons we can’t anticipate.

I’m heading to Punta Cana with my family next Saturday and am looking forward to the sunshine 😀 We had a snowfall yesterday here in New Brunswick, hah!

Talk soon,

Loie

Uncategorized

This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman

This Earl of Mine cover

Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?


Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?
Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?

Author Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a HeartA Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.

Author Q&A 

Q: What inspired you to write This Earl of Mine?

A:  Most of my books are inspired by real historical events, but for the adventure subplot in This Earl of Mine I was looking up something completely different, fell down a research rabbit hole, and stumbled upon an outlandish plot to rescue Napoleon from exile on Saint Helena using a submarine! I’d had no idea submersibles were even in use in the Regency, but a little digging soon revealed a tale far stranger than fiction—with plenty of smugglers, spies, and underhand skullduggery thrown in. Of course, then my writer brain couldn’t help but wonder WHAT IF . . .? 

What if someone loyal to Napoleon stole the plans for the submarine from the Admiralty? And what if London’s fledgling police force, The Bow Street Runners, were tasked with finding the vessel and foiling the scheme?

The main plot, of course, is the romantic one between shipping heiress Georgie Caversteed and Bow Street Runner Benedict Wylde. They try to piece together the clues, while trying to ignore the inconvenient attraction that sparks between them. (Spoiler alert: they succeed at the former, and fail miserably at the latter!)

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: You mean apart from a new appreciation of early19th century submarine development?! Why, yes! I firmly believe in happy-ever-afters for everyone, and while none of my characters may be perfect, they’re certainly perfect for each other. A successful romance should be a true partnership between equals, with love, respect, humor, and kindness. I hope that’s what readers see develop between Georgie and Benedict.

 

 

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct? 

A: I have quite a bit of overall historical knowledge from my life as an antiques appraiser and auctioneer; I’ve handled plenty of Regency-era artifacts, like scent bottles, reticules, clothes, letters, furniture etc. And I’ve visited (and lived in) plenty of historic houses when I lived in England. So I have a pretty good idea what that world is like when I’m describing it. I do lots of random research online too, though. I suspect I’m on a secret CIA watchlist because of my weird internet browsing history, which currently includes such gems as: ‘does Prussic acid smell like almonds?’ ‘18th century jewel heists,’ and ‘chloroform, first use.’

 

 

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Apart from the crazy submarine plot, I found out what the chapel of Newgate prison looked like in 1816, discovered more about the founding of London’s first true police force, the Bow Street Runners, and found a new book boyfriend in the wonderfully roguish Benedict Wylde!

 

 

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of This Earl of Mine in three words each.

A:  Georgie is resourceful, determined, and curious. Benedict is amusing, loyal and scoundrelly!

 

 

Q: What was the hardest scene to write in This Earl of Mine? Your favorite?

A: My favorite scene was the sexy banter between Benedict and Georgie as they listen to the terrible poetry written by Juliet’s fiancé. Almost every sentence is a double entendre, and Benedict is shameless in trying to say something utterly inappropriate to make Georgie laugh, and I just giggle every time I think of it. I hope readers can feel the ridiculously flirtatious, slow-burn teasing in that scene. Yum!

The hardest was the sexy scene inside the tiny submarine. It’s a confined space, and I had to think about the technicalities of which body part was where, and whether they had enough space to do the scandalous things I wanted them to do. (Of course they did!)

 

 

Q: Why do you write historical romance? 

A: Because it can be total escapism. A reader can travel back in time to a different world and encounter situations that just don’t happen today. As a writer I like the challenge presented by the historical parameters; lots of great conflicts arise because of social, cultural, or economic factors. Plus, there are so many real historical adventures out there just waiting to be discovered. . .

 

 

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading? 

A: SO MANY AUTHORS! Laura Kinsale, Connie Brockway (As you Desire is a favorite), Loretta Chase, Judith McNaught, Anne Stuart, Joanna Bourne, Tessa Dare, Eloisa James, Suzan Elizabeth Philips, Julie Garwood, Galen Foley, Kerrigan Byrne, Julia Quinn, Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, Joanna Shupe, Johanna Lindsey, J.R Ward, Janet Evanovich, Georgette Heyer, Mary Renault, Jane Austen, E.M Forster, Leo Tolstoy, P.G. Wodehouse, Antoine de Saint Exupery, Jean M. Auel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez,  . . . Ok. I’ll stop now. But there are plenty more.

 

 

Q: What’s next for the Bow Street Bachelors?

A: Two more books! Those bad boys Alex Harland and Sebastien Wolff each get their own adventure and I can’t wait for everyone to read them! Alex meets his match in half-French jewel thief Emmy Danvers –AKA The Nightjar– in To Catch an Earl, (Bow Street Bachelors #2). And Seb gets a sexy cat-and-mouse game of his own when he’s forced to protect the infuriating Anya Denisova – a feisty Russian Princess who’s faked her own death in The Princess and The Rogue, (Bow Street Bachelors #3). 

 

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: Only that if you haven’t already preordered This Earl Of Mine, the paperback is currently at a special preorder price of $6.79, so snap it up in time for the release day, October 29th! Happy reading everyone!

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Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

MEANT TO BE YOURS by Susan Mallery Blog Tour

Meant to Be Yours cover

In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Q&A with Susan Mallery

 

What was your favorite part about writing Meant to be Yours

Ohhh, that’s a hard question! I love everything about writing romance. The first kiss is still magical to me. The passion, the emotional intensity. It’s a moment that changes the course of a person’s life. When you fall in love, your life is bisected into before and after. Love is transformative, and the greatest pleasure of my life is to write about it.

 

Jasper and Renee in particular were a lot of fun to write because Renee is just such a mama bear when it comes to protecting her brides. She’s a wedding planner at Weddings Out of the Box, a theme wedding venue in the town of Happily Inc. Jasper is a bestselling thriller writer who wants to set his next book at a wedding. Renee’s response made me laugh so loud that I’m pretty sure I scared my pets.

 

Jasper continued. “I thought I could follow you around for a few weeks, learn about the business and—”

 

“No,” she said firmly, as all thoughts of them having another close encounter faded from her mind. “You’re not getting your serial killer cooties on my weddings. I’m a big believer in keeping the energy positive and flowing forward. Do you know what a serial killer would do at a wedding?”

 

He stared at her, his gaze intense. “That’s what I was thinking. I want the serial killer to be a wedding crasher.”

 

“No,” she said firmly. “Just no.”

 

When Jasper goes behind her back to get intimately involved with one of her weddings, Renee vows to keep him from bringing darkness to her bride’s special day.

 

I also adored the animals in this book. In the beginning, Jasper doesn’t trust himself to let a woman into his heart. His simple but profound act of kindness to a dog who needs a home leads to him finally being ready to fall in love. The dog, Koda, is based on a reader’s real-life dog. I gave Koda the same adorable quirks and characteristics that make him special—and I gave Renee the reader’s last name in her honor.

 

Did you find out any funny or interesting facts about wedding planning when writing this book?

 

I have learned that brides and wedding planners are some of the most creative people in the universe. I can’t tell you how much time I spent on Pinterest, looking at pictures from theme weddings. There are some really beautiful themes, and some that are charming and humorous. Every theme uniquely reflects the bride and the groom in the most beautiful way. In Meant to Be Yours, Renee designs several lovely theme weddings with beautiful touches I think readers will enjoy. Here’s a snippet from one:

 

Jim and Monica Martinez were a sweet couple with a fun firefighter theme for their big day. There was a long tradition of firefighters on both sides of the family and plenty of cute touches in the wedding and reception.

 

Monica’s dress laced up the back and instead of white ribbon to cinch her gown, she’d used bright red. The centerpieces were ceramic boot vases painted to look like firefighter boots, filled with red, orange and yellow flowers. There was even a walk-through fountain at one end of the reception area, created with fire hoses, a pump and a lot of engineering.

 

Pay attention to that last sentence because I also discovered that a lot can go wrong when you invite a few hundred people to a party. Imagine a room filled with people who aren’t used to dressing up, plus a fountain made with fire hoses, and a wedding planner who will do anything to protect her bride.

 

Did Renee or Jasper surprise you while you drafted this novel? 

They did! When I started this book, I thought Jasper was the more wounded of the two. But as I wrote, I discovered that Renee’s scars went deeper than I thought. She’s been keeping a secret from her friends in Happily Inc, a secret about her mother that has cost her jobs, friendships and romantic relationships. Just when she starts to feel safe and accepted in her new home, her mother comes for a visit. . .

 

Can you share about what you’re working on right now? 

I’m working on revisions on the next Happily Inc book, a Christmas book that will be out next year. No title yet. It has all of the humor and heartfelt emotion readers love in my books—plus Christmas! I invited members of the Susan Mallery All Access group on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/susanmalleryallaccess) to suggest random items for me to incorporate into the story. When the book comes out next year, I’ll share a scavenger hunt list with my readers so they can find the objects as they read. It’s just a fun way for me to stay connected to my readers as I write. 

063-Susan Mallery Head Shots 2015-Annie Brady-mass market

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

Author Website

Twitter: @susanmallery

Facebook: @SusanMallery

Instagram: @susanmallery

Goodreads

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You can pick up a copy here:

Harlequin 

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Amazon

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Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge: Day 24

mountain and trees reflection
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Adventure

 

A faint brush of hope

whisks across my painting,

and I watch an image form

of a crow and a sparrow,

myself and another

embarking on

an adventure beyond the mountains.

*

Happy Thursday, friends! Hope you’re having a good week so far ❤

Loie

 

Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge: Day 23

abandoned ancient antique architecture
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Escape

 

The stone feels foreign beneath my fingertips.

Dirt crumbles, moss glares, the wind accuses me.

A loud-mouthed crow dives forward.

 

My foot slips on a loose brick,

but a helping hand steadies me

I won’t be devoured by the ravenous bramble this time.

*

Hiya friends, I’m a bit behind on the poetry challenge because I traveled to Nova Scotia last weekend to visit my family.

We went to a pumpkin farm with giant pumpkins (some of them weighed over 1000 pounds), visited pumpkin people in Kentville, and stopped at the cutest tea room called Tangled Garden.

It was a great little getaway, and I returned with a new story idea for my NaNoWriMo project 😀 I’ve already written two chapters, haha. When inspiration hits, I follow ❤ I’m going to save my notes for this project and tackle it in December or January.

Happy writing and see you tomorrow!

Loie