Tangled up in You

“How long has it been since this storyline began…”

“When did you start writing?”

It’s one of the questions I get asked most when I tell people I’m an author. The real answer, is that I started writing when I was in the ninth grade in Linda Riggs’ class. I’d sit in the back and write my stories after I had finished my English classwork. My first novel? A really, really, bad story I called Summer Love. It was about a girl going to summer camp and finding her first love. I kept that manuscript in a box for I don’t know how long. But after a few moves, it’s history.

I wrote off and on after that. I never finished anything. I’d start one idea, play with it, work on it, and then another idea would hit and I’d abandon that one. One day, I just simply stopped writing altogether.

About ten years ago, I met someone who would become a great friend of mine. I was hanging out one night at a place I used to like to go to. We talked about writing, and he wrote me a poem on a bar napkin. I told him I’d write a poem back, and I did. A really horrible one, I’m sure. Today, I don’t even remember what it was about.

It did spark something in me and I started playing with words again. I found out about this thing called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I set out on a journey to write a novel in thirty days. I didn’t make it. But, I did start this wonderful story about this girl named Carly, this guy named Joey, and the Redbird Inn.

I set that story aside, but I never really forgot it.

A couple of years later, I was bartending and a friend of mine brought me a newspaper clipping about a story contest for a writer’s conference. All I had to do was write the opening scenes of a novel. That seemed easy enough. It was only a couple thousand words. So, I did it. I started the story of a woman who was tired of her alcoholic husband and the damage he was doing to not only his life, but hers as well.

I sent it off. Went to the conference. And won third place. I was ecstatic.

And motivated enough to finish the novel. I titled it Crossroads.

I finished this one, but it wasn’t the end for this story. I re-wrote it. Submitted it. Recieved rejection after rejection. I eventually put it away and started the second novel.

In 2014, I decided to give it a try one more time. If nothing happened this time, I was going to quit. I dusted it off, literally, and read through it again. I sent it out to some readers who had some pretty tough words for me. I was going to have to rework it. Again. Determined, I learned everything I could about story structure and mapping. I made a huge poster on my wall and moved the scenes around until it flowed. That poster is still on my office wall.

As I worked on it, I would listen to music. Every time that Aaron Lewis’ “Tangled up in You” came on, I would think that if Emily and Noah had a song, that would be it. When I started submitting the novel again, it not only had been completely redone, it had a new title as well.

I participated in PitMad on Twitter that summer. A publisher I’d never heard of before, Limitless Publishing, liked my Tweet, and I guess you could say that the rest is history. The story that started so many years ago, finally found a home.

And I haven’t quit writing since….

Cheers!

I’m out!

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/0d6mJGU

 

Holding on to Someday by K. Leah

Holding on to Someday

By: K. Leah

“An amazing debut novel from author K. Leah. A heartfelt, heartwarming story that would make a fantastic Hallmark movie! Clara and Brady are a sweet couple you can’t help but cheer for.”

kleah

Synopsis:

Clara had it all planned out… graduate from college, get married, find her dream job and start a family of her own. When she met Drew during her senior year of college, she was certain he was the Prince Charming she had been waiting for, the one to complete her fairytale life. Turns out life had different plans.

Now a single, middle-aged workaholic, Clara has poured herself into building her career, and those dreams of finding love have taken a backseat to her success. She’s been holding out for someday, but when that day finally comes… will she follow her heart or will fate step in yet again?

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/dJ82yqB

About the Author:

K. Leah is a writer of sweet romance. She is a hopeless romantic who loves a happily ever after. She grew up in the South and wears many hats including being a wife and mom, and she also likes to dabble in graphic design.

www.kleahbooks.wordpress.com

Follow K. Leah on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter @ kleahbooks

 

 

Must Read Monday 12/4/17

Must Read

#1 Fan

By: Andrew Hess

ah#1

Synopsis:

Living the life of an aspiring author is tough. Nothing written is ever good enough, everyone’s a critic, and no one believes the dream will work. Evan Taylor takes on all of it as he struggles to make himself known. He’s on the verge of being the next big thing when he meets Sara Reed, his biggest fan. Her love took him by surprise, making life on the road more difficult. With books being Evan’s life, will they cost him the love of his life?

#1Fan

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/8hs0ic6

Have an author you’d like to nominate for Must Read Monday? Check out my FB page on Share the Love Saturdays!

https://www.facebook.com/ALVincentAuthor/

I’m a Loser, Baby. A NaNoWriMo Loser.

It’s November again. National Novel Writing Month. I can’t count how many times I’ve attempted to write 50,000 words in one month and not once have I achieved this lofty goal.

This month, I decided not to even try to reach 50,000 words. I set my own goal. Eleven days into it, I’m giving up. I’m done.

Why?

Last night, I went out and was listening to karaoke and enjoying some time out. Sitting at a bar, even in a restaurant, has always been my brainstorming time. I write notes on napkins and log things in memos on my phone. Last night was no different. I was getting all kinds of future writing ideas. What was I not doing? Writing. I wasn’t logging those word counts. As I realized this, I knew that NaNoWriMo was simply not working for me.

You see, when writing starts to become a “job” for me, I start to lose interest. I know that to write books, you have to sit and write, but I want it to be because I enjoy it. Putting those words down is a stress reliever for me. When it becomes something that causes stress, it’s time for me to take a step back and reevaluate. I did that. In doing so, I realized that even when it’s not NaNoWriMo, I’m pushing myself too hard. There are many things I want to write, blogs included, and I’m not doing it. It’s time for me to slow down and enjoy the process.

I so admire the people that can win NaNoWriMo.  And I enjoy doing word sprints and the camaraderie that results from those. I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad thing. Writer’s supporting each other to reach their goals and words being written in droves can never be a bad thing. It’s simply not MY thing.

I’m a loser, baby. And I’m okay with it.

Peace!

I’m out!

 

Must Read Monday 10/30

I finished this book last week and I couldn’t wait to blog about it. It really is a must read. You laugh, you cry, you cheer on the main characters, and you identify with them. I highly recommend this book by Lori Leger.

Running Out of Rain

by: Lori Leger

lorileg

Synopsis:

Eventually, all storms break for a little sunshine.

Dr. Cynthia Ellender is devastated when her husband of thirty-three years dies suddenly. A revelation at his funeral leaves her bitter, angry, and determined to leave Oklahoma for good. Maybe a move back to her hometown in south Louisiana is just the right prescription for the good doctor.

John Michael Ferguson has weathered some serious storms in his fifty-three years. At sixteen he lost a sister, and at thirty-nine, a wife. Now, he’s forced to watch his mom lose her battle with Alzheimer’s. A chance meeting with “Cyn” has the semi-retired businessman wanting to bury his past and look to the future. Armed with questionable advice from his wise-cracking, seventy-seven year old father, he vacates the “widower’s bench” to re-enter the dating world with his old classmate.

RUNNING OUT OF RAIN is a mature love story that proves just because there’s a little silver in the hair doesn’t mean the pump isn’t primed for passion.

Amazon Buy Link: http://a.co/faeuTL2

 

Cover Reveal!

SeDream (2)veral years ago, I started writing my first paranormal romance book. I’m in love with all things New Orleans, and the town and ghosts go hand in hand. I started writing, or playing around with an idea that I called That Voodoo That You Do. I even entered it into the same contest that Crossroads (later to become Tangled up in You) won first place in. I won again in the paranormal category so I decided to keep it going.

I signed with Limitless Publishing to publish Tangled up in You. Then Running on Empty. Then Catch and Release. You see a trend? Voodoo got pushed to the back room of the voodoo shop.

I never forgot about it though, and sometimes when I would hit a wall with writing, or simply need a break from the serious story lines, I’d pick it back up and write a few lines, or an idea or two.

A few months ago, I decided to try my hand at self-publishing. And I knew just the project I wanted to put out there. My paranormal. I dusted it off, did some research, and decided to release the books as a series of novellas that will eventually be combined into a single book.

Dream a Little Dream of Me is the first installment that will release next month. I hired the awesome Ashley Byland from Redbird Designs to create this simply stunning cover. What do you guys think? Gorgeous, huh? Makes me want to don a little black dress and dance the Charleston.

The Jolie St. Amant? That’s still me, just a little spicier. 🙂

It’s been an exciting and scary journey so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. I’m even more thrilled to see what the readers have to say about it. It’s such a different tone, story, and theme than the Boonie books. Speaking of the Boonies, I have some news on those characters, but you’ll have to wait until next time. 🙂

For now, here’s to new projects!

Peace,

I’m out!

For the latest news on the Jolie St. Amant books, be sure to follow me on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/JolieStAmant/

A House Divided, by Deborah Leblanc

ahdA House Divided

by: Deborah Leblanc

Book Synopsis:

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family- a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

My Review:

5 STARS!!!

I saw Deborah LeBlanc at a writer’s conference, and knew I wanted to read one of her books.  How could a ghost hunter not have a great paranormal novel? I picked up A House Divided, and once I started reading, I could not put it down.

First, I love books set in south Louisiana written by local authors. LeBlanc does a great job of capturing the local color and character of Cajun country. Her characters feel like people I would meet while standing in line for groceries.

Second, the storyline moved at a perfect pace. I was able to read this book in two days, its flow was so smooth. I kept turning pages wanting to see what was coming next. The story was also unique. Haunted house stories can become clichéd and predictable, and this book was neither.

The story is about a house that is literally split in half. A local contractor purchases the huge house and moves it to another town. In the process, he divides the house into two sections. Each has an apartment on the top floor and a business on the bottom. Lara and Tawana, take one section and open a beauty salon. Matt Daigle opens a new location for his successful café. Soon after opening, the euphoria of new beginnings is replaced with fear. Waking up one morning, the inhabitants of the house find flocks of dead birds littering their yards. And that’s only the beginning…..

What happens later is a journey through a family’s history that will leave one of the characters reeling.

I give this book five stars for a flawless Southern ghost story.

Buy Link:

Link: http://a.co/bOXqOdD

Confessions of an Old Lady by Christina Morgan

Book Review

Confessions of an Old Lady

By: Christina Morgan

cool

Book Synopsis:

Olivia is eager to earn her undercover stripes with the deadliest biker gang in the country…

 Agent Olivia Rockford is doing well for herself. Twenty-something arrests and more than a dozen convictions in her first year alone has her ranked among the top DEA agents. Olivia is chosen to go undercover to bring down the notorious Lords of Chaos, a motorcycle gang in her home state of Kentucky. Her mark is the good-looking bad boy VP, Sonny Jackson.

Olivia transforms into the badass Trish Sanders and snags Sonny’s attention. Now she has to keep it…

Dubbed Sonny’s “old lady,” he begins to confide in Olivia about the gang’s illegal activities, as well as their feud with rival gang, the Monsters of Mayhem. When the feud escalates, and the Monsters assassinate someone close to Sonny, Olivia uses her agent training to convince Sonny to set up a meeting to resolve their disputes.

Despite her growing feelings for Sonny, Olivia doesn’t have a choice but to pass along the details of the meeting to her supervisor…

When the DEA raids the meetings between the two gang powerhouses, Sonny quickly puts two and two together and realizes who his old lady really is. He puts a gun to Olivia’s head and demands the truth. Olivia realizes she has to tell him the truth…her real name, her assignment, and most importantly, her feelings for him despite everything.

Will Sonny be able to forgive Olivia for her crime of betrayal, or will she simply become a cautionary tale in…

Confessions of an Old Lady?

My Review

This is my second Christine Morgan story. And just like the first one, I found that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I’d sit down to take a break and read one chapter, next thing I knew I had read four. It’s the kind of book I like to read. The character’s are extremely real, they have their flaws just like everyone else.

Olivia rushes head-long into this undercover situation because she’s not happy with her own life. She sees it as an escape and soon finds that it may be a little more than she bargained for. I like seeing her grow and change as she becomes this new person she’s created for herself.

I like that Sonny isn’t too rough around the edges. He’s got his soft side and I like that. I think there’s a good balance with him.

The flow is great, like I said, you pick it up and before you know it, you’ve read a few chapters. This author has a very smooth writing style, that I enjoy. I will definitely be reading more of Morgan’s work.

***5 Stars***

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com

Link: http://a.co/9CvSHfK

Books, Reviews, and More for the New Year!

One of my resolutions for the new year is to read and review more books. I guess I shouldn’t really call it a resolution, who really keeps those anyway? This is more of a  real goal. I spent so much time writing last year, that I didn’t read as much as I wanted to or should. After all, isn’t the major advice for writers is to read, read, read, and read some more?

Also, to be honest, I abandoned a whole lot of books last year. For the longest time, I knew who I was as a reader. I knew exactly what I wanted to read. I voraciously sucked down all things vampire. I loved to get lost in a good Heather Graham paranormal. Don’t get me wrong, I still love those books, but I think I needed a break from my norm. I needed a palate refresher. I needed something new!

What finally got me out of my reading rut and gave me something I could sink my teeth into? Reading genres I don’t usually read. I read a couple of fantasies. That’s one genre I usually avoid, but did find a good read in Jennifer Allis Provost’s Heir to the Sun. I also read a really awesome YA paranormal, that will be the first book I feature this year. I’ll be sharing that book in my next post.

This year, I will make it a priority to read, review, and blog at least once a week. I have one book and a novella under my belt already, and I’m about to dive into an ARC by one of my favorite romance authors.

Now, I just need a catchy name. Weekend Reads? Nah, too plain. I’ll think of something. 🙂

Here’s to a great new year full of awesome new books and blogs!

Peace, love, and crawfish!

I’m out!

 

Coming Soon! More by Karen Hughes

Coming July 19th 2016 from @LimitlessBooks… More by @Keren_Hughes

#ComingSoon #NewRelease #NewAdult #Contemporary #Romancekarenhughes

Synopsis:

Drake Anderson is all the man Annalise Duncan ever wanted…

Annalise has it all. The perfect husband. The perfect son. The perfect life. After the father of her son Ayden abandoned her to be a single parent, she finally felt like she hit the romance jackpot. Her boss, Drake Anderson, turned out to be more than just a friend. He’s the love of her life, and an amazing stepfather to her son.

But the picture perfect marriage is merely an illusion…

After seven wonderful years, Drake leaves. He doesn’t give her a reason, or even the courtesy of a return phone call. Six months go by without even a single acknowledgement. Annalise is devastated. Her heart and soul belonged to Drake, and he was the only father Ayden ever knew. She’d dedicated her life to him and the family they built together, and she isn’t willing to let that dream go easily.

When Annalise spots Drake out at a café with a woman, her heart shatters all over again. But it’s not what Annalise thinks. He isn’t cheating on her. There are things about leaving that Drake just can’t or won’t explain. Some things should remain a secret.

He wants his old life back, but Annalise won’t accept anything but the truth…

Drake has to find a way to convince his wife, his Cariad, to take him back, but it may mean facing a truth he wanted to keep hidden. He must prove to Annalise that despite his past, he wants her…

More.

Add to your Goodreads TBR here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29093984-more

Don’t Miss Out…

Keren is hosting a Release Day Giveaway on July 19th over on her author page.

1 lucky winner will receive:

  • 1 signed paperback of More <can also include autograph of cover model>
  • 1 *exclusive* swag pack <including a miniature bottle of JD & shot glass>
  • A cocktail shaker + accessories
  • A cocktail recipe book
  • 1 signed photo of model Amanda Renee <the stunner featured on the cover> with handmade frame

 

And for the Runners Up…

There will be eARCs of More sent direct to your Kindle

Also, there will be swag aplenty!

To be entered into the draw, go to https://www.facebook.com/kerentshughes and see the pinned post. There you will find the T’s & C’s of entry. The closing date to enter by is August 2nd 2016. <giving you TWO weeks to get your entries in>