Catch and Release

fish

 

The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer. Spring is on the horizon. I love spring, with the flowers starting to bloom and the trees budding out. It’s like nature wakes up and comes alive.

It’s also when I get the urge to sit on the bank of some body of water and cast the old fishing pole out. There’s something very soothing about just being outside and watching the sun glisten off the water. Sometimes, if the fish aren’t biting, I’ll put my pole aside and just sit down and enjoy a quiet moment with the birds and turtles. There’s probably snakes too, but I don’t like to think too much about those! Lol.

This weekend, I found another benefit to fishing. I was sitting at the computer working on Once and For All, my next novel, and I got stuck.  So, I sat there for a bit, trying to figure out how to get unstuck. It wasn’t happening. It was so pretty outside that I decided to take a walk down to the pond and cast a few times to see if anything was biting.

You know what? I didn’t get a single fish, what I did get was the inspiration to not only finish the scene I was working on, but three other scenes as well! I have enough to write ALL week! So, I’m definitely thinking about adding fishing to my brainstorming repertoire. On a side note, I did go back after I got some words in and I caught a two small fish. So, I have to say that day was a win-win situation!

One of my characters, Carly, likes to fish too. Only most of her fishing is for men. In my novella, Catch and Release, Carly goes on the search to find the perfect man by Christmas. She goes on all kinds of horrible dates in an attempt to find Mr. Right. Will she catch the prize fish or will she end up releasing them all?

Here’s an excerpt…

Joey is sitting at the bar. As always, he’s wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and a ball cap. Joey is quite the looker, and he’s been known to turn heads. He’s a little bit taller than me, has dark hair, dark eyes, and an olive complexion. But my favorite thing about Joey is his dimples. Which he flashes regularly.

“Not much. Been thinking about writing again,” I say. I usually spend a few hours in the morning pondering ideas and writing some down. So far, the only thing that has stuck is something about dating and men. I haven’t completely figured a story out yet, but I will.

“It’s about time,” he says. “So whatcha thinking of writing about?”

“I’m kind of thinking about writing a book about dating.”

He almost chokes. “You? A book on dating? Are you writing about what not to do?”

That gets him a punch in the arm, which he and Ryder get often. Someone has to keep them in line.

“No, I’m serious,” I say. “It’s the holidays. I’m tired of being alone. I want someone to trim the tree with. I want someone to kiss under the mistletoe and to kiss on New Year’s Eve. I’m thinking about seriously looking for Prince Charming for Christmas. I’m thinking about keeping a journal and seeing what I can come up with for writing ideas. In fact, I already put my profile back online. They promise plenty of fish. I just hope they have some fish worth keeping.”

“You know what I told you about bringing home those shad.”

One night when I was complaining about my love life, Joey told me about shad, a type of throw-back fish that no one wants. He told me that night, “Carly, you’ve got to stop bringing home those stinky, no good fish. Look for something you want to keep.”

“You can’t catch a man by Christmas. I don’t care how well stocked the pond is.” I punch him in the arm again. “Oh really?”

“Oh really what?” I smile when I hear Ryder’s voice. I saw him when I came in. He was playing pool. I didn’t want to interrupt so I went to sit with Joey by the bar.

I sigh. “I need a man.”

He smiles mischievously and winks. “Well, you got one right here. What exactly is it that you need?”

My stomach flutters, my mind seizes up like cement, and I blurt out, “Fishing. I need to go fishing.”

He cuts his eyes at me. Ryder is gorgeous. He has a genuine smile that lights up his face. But what gets me is his eyes. He has the most amazing brown eyes of anyone I’ve ever seen. They sparkle with his mischievous sense of humor. When he cares for you, you know it because you can see it. So, I know he cares about me. I just don’t know if it’s more than friendship.

“You? Fishing?”

“Yes. I like to fish.” I stare into his eyes for a moment more, then stammer, “Music. We need music.”

Want to read more of Carly’s search? Check out Catch and Release! It’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

https://amzn.to/2vUQdFv

CatchReleaseeBook

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2vUQdFv

https://amzn.to/2vUQdFv

https://amzn.to/2vUQdFv

https://amzn.to/2vUQdFv

“Saving Grace”

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Last year, my publishing company, Bienvenue Press started an annual charity anthology. Hometown Heroes was the title and we included short stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. A portion of the proceeds go to the Cajun Navy Foundation.

This year, our stories are about rescue animals, a subject near and dear to my heart. Donations from Finally Home, will go to various animal rescue programs. I had originally planned to do a Chateau Rouge story, but no ideas just jumped out me. Then it hit me, Grace, from Running on Empty had a story to finish. Her happily-ever-after wasn’t complete yet. Her sidekick is Furby, a dog she rescued, and a perfect subject for a story.

Furby was actually one of my dogs, as was Sammy, and Oscar, all who have passed on. Furby, the last one, crossed the rainbow bridge just a little over a year ago.  And man, did I struggle with this one. It was tough to write. However, I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I was also pleasantly surprised when it took the Boonies in a different direction. You’ll have to read it to find out what this is though. 🙂

For now, I have an excerpt for you. Release date is set for December 10th, so you don’t have to wait long!

“Saving Grace”

Grace hesitated a moment before sliding her key into the apartment door. She took a breath to calm herself before facing Gabe and his sweet but concerned eyes.

He always had that look when she came home from visiting with Dr. Melancon. As if he wanted to ask what they had talked about even though he already knew. These sessions had been his idea when her random outbursts of anger had almost caused them to break up at one point.

It was all Brent’s fault, she thought. Although Dr. Mel had told her that it was reactive thinking and she needed to be proactive.

Grace rolled her eyes. Proactive would be driving to New Orleans, finding him and punching him in the throat.

She heard a bark from inside and knew she had been discovered. With a sigh, she opened the door and pasted a smile on her face.

Furby, the little white ball of fur she had rescued years ago came running up to her. His paws tip tapping on the hard wood floors of their small Austin apartment.

When he reached her, he jumped, then did his welcome home dance on his back paws. She laughed then, as she always did, and picked him up. She buried her face in his soft fur and squeezed him tight.

Gabe wandered in behind Furby, his lanky form filling the entry way. His green eyes were soft when he smiled at her. “He’s been watching the door for you.”

She held him out so she could look him in the eyes, “You did, Furb? You’re such a good boy.” With that, she placed him back down on the ground gently and he ran away. Back to the comfort of the dog bed they’d placed beside the sofa. He liked to turn it around so the high back faced the front. He looked like an overgrown rat defending the Queen’s castle.

Be sure to be alerted on release day!

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Peace! I’m out!

A.L. Vincent

The Shoes!

Red Shoes

As I write Once and For All, which is Carly’s story, I find her story really and truly starts in Tangled up in You. She is still in mourning after her brother’s death, and she comes home one day to find her fiance’ in bed with another woman. It’s then that she becomes “stuck”. She doesn’t really move forward with her life. Fear becomes her constant companion. She’s afraid of change of any kind. Her routine is her comfort. Little does she know that a hurricane is about to come and shake up that routine and completely force her out of her comfort zone.

Here’s the scene in Tangled up In You, when Carly comes back from Biloxi. The shoes? They become a very important part of Carly’s new story.

-from Tangled up in You

Emily sipped the drink and considered getting another bowl of gumbo, or jambalaya, or red beans and rice. She was eyeing the table when the door opened again.

A younger blonde walked in, followed by a dark haired man of the same age. Carly and Joey. Grace and Ryder followed. Now everyone was here. Everyone except Noah. And Benjamin, Emily thought, wincing as her heart contracted. A year later, Ben’s loss still hurt.

“If he thinks I’m going to sit here and be sad, he’s got another thing coming. He can be replaced,” Carly said, flopping down on one of the couches.

“What are you talking about, cher?” Daniel asked, getting up from the table.

“Don’t get her started,” Joey said. He went to the bar, poured himself a big shot, then fixed a drink.

“Drink this,” he said, handing the drink to Carly.

Uncomfortable, Emily grabbed her own drink and went to stand beside the fireplace.

“Well, isn’t she a ray of sunshine,” Ryder said to Gabriel as they shook hands.

“Who is?” Carly said, blue eyes flashing. “You didn’t just walk in on your fiancé all fragrance de lecto.”

“Do you mean in flagrante delicto?” Daniel asked.

“Yeah, whatever,” Carly said. “I caught him naked.”

“I’m assuming not alone,” Daniel said.

“No! He wasn’t alone. He had a woman! With shoes!”

Carly started pacing the room, grumbling to herself. Her blonde ponytail bounced behind her, flip-flops slapping on the hardwood floor. Emily caught the words “douche bag” and “throat punch. The others left her alone, so Emily did too.

Have you read the first book in the Bon Chance Boonies series? If you haven’t, you can find it on Amazon. And it’s FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2TsN4Hx

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Rescue Me!

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I love Mardi Gras! As an Oklahoma transplant, it’s not something I grew up with. My first MG experience actually happened many years ago, and I was in New Orleans for the first time. First NOLA experience and first MG. It was then that my love for Louisiana began to blossom. Years later, I would end up moving down here and have experienced many parades and celebrations. I even rented an apartment on the parade route here in Lafayette so I wouldn’t miss a thing! I’ve ridden in a few parades. Want to feel like a rock star? Ride in a Mardi Gras parade. Everyone is vying for your attention for those precious throws.  Throws can be anything from fake roses, to stuffed toys, to the coveted plastic beads of all colors and shapes. These things usually end up in a storage container after the season is over, but for the Carnival season, they are displayed with pride.

One of my favorite parades is the Krewe de Chien parade. This is a day when the dogs get to strut their stuff. There are best costume awards and the royal court gets to ride in awesome looking cars and be celebrities for the day. The best part of this is that the money raised from this event goes to pet charities. Adoptable dogs are shown off before the parade starts, and get to walk in the parade in hopes of finding their forever homes.

Rescue dogs are near and dear to my heart. My last three dogs were rescued. Sammy the dachshund was being shifted from vet to vet to keep from being euthanized. She had been in a very abusive situation and had her moments when she was hard to get along with, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a better protector. Oscar was next. He was given to a family who left him out in the cold on a chain without even a dog house. He was quite the character. Then there was Furby, named because when we got him, he looked like a little furball. Furby had been headed to the shelter when my son grabbed him up and brought him home. I had just lost two pugs, bonded brother and sister, and had sworn never to have another dog. I immediately told my son to find Furb a new home, but that new home turned out to be ours. These three eventually became characters in my Boonie books. Sammy is Carly’s dog, Oscar is Emily’s, and Furby became Grace’s rescue in Running on Empty. 

If you’d like to read more about these “characters”, I’m including pics and the links to the book they star in. 🙂

Tangled Up In You 

Oscarpromo

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2VYMTQU

Running on Empty

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Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2JvVcmf

Catch and Release

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Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2Fj0blV

Are you a writer who would like to help out with rescue charities? Bienvenue Press is looking for submissions for Finally Home, a charity anthology benefitting pet rescues. Click the link for more information! 

https://bit.ly/2SdDcAJ

finallyhome2

 

 

 

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

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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

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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!

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