Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Three things I learned while writing "The Guy from the Internet"

When the blog coordinator from Romance Writers of Australia asked me to share three things I learned while writing The Guy from the Internet, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say. Truth is, writing that book taught me a lot about a lot of things, so it was hard to pick just three.

The post is up on RWA's offical blog now, and I'm most excited to be sharing it with you.



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Book Feature + Giveaway: Distracting the Deputy by Shanna Hatfield

Distracting the Deputy
Shanna Hatfield
(Summer Creek, #4)
Publication date: June 22nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Western

Trouble is coming, but for whom?

When he’s not evading grabby-handed octogenarians, mentoring troubled teens, or rescuing rascally youngsters from disaster, Deputy Knox Strickland can be found upholding the law in the eastern Oregon region he patrols. He avoids making plans for tomorrow, focusing instead on doing his best today. Then one chance encounter with a beautiful woman in a wheat field turns his world upside down. Knox is left questioning what secrets she’s hiding, and how hard he’ll have to work to scale the fortress she’s built around her heart.

Zadie Redmond isn’t like most women. A life spent looking over her shoulder has destroyed the promising future she’d once envisioned. Her days are spent leading hunting and fishing adventures or teaching tiny ballerinas the proper way to plié. She fills her evenings with do-it-yourself projects while worrying about the day her past catches up with her. In an unexpected moment, the local deputy swoops into her world like a storybook hero and she knows nothing will ever be the same. Zadie will do anything to keep Knox safe from the danger lurking in the shadows, even if it destroys her chance at love.

Will Knox convince Zadie she can trust him with her secrets and her heart?

A sweet romance full of quirky small-town fun, Distracting the Deputy is a story of hope, help, and hanging on to what matters most.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Something about the strong, square jawline seemed oddly familiar. Then he looked over his shoulder, and Zadie’s jaw fell open. The hunky guy in the hero costume wasn’t a stranger after all.

“Knox? He’s Captain America?” Zadie whispered, feeling things she’d rather not acknowledge or explain, even to herself.

“The one and only,” Jossy said in a sing-song voice, then gave Zadie a nudge forward just as a loud pop signaled the beginning of the parade.

Zadie found herself pushed along and glanced up to see Knox looking down at her. He’d somehow finagled his way back through the line to walk beside her.

“You are the most gorgeous fairy I’ve ever seen,” he said, giving her an admiring glance.

Her cheeks warmed as she tried not to stare at the muscles of his chest, perfectly outlined by the tight T-shirt. “You look …”

“Ridiculous,” Knox grumbled. “My friend Wes’ wife suggested this would be a good costume. I already had the pants. The shirt and other stuff were easy to find when I was in Portland. She told me to get the shirt on the snug side.” He sighed and swept a hand in front of his chest. “I look like an idiot.”

Idiot was not the first, or even fortieth, word Zadie would have chosen to describe Knox’s appearance. Hunk. Hottie. Captain Cutie all came to mind.


Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Pinterest / Bookbub


GIVEAWAY!

For a chance to win, fill out this form. The prize includes autographed copies of the Summer Creek series, Dilettante peppermint truffle crémes (these are SO good!), a cute notebook, a bottle of You’re the One lotion, a Hopeless Romantic dish towel and potholder set, and a swag bag to carry it all! (Value $100+)

One entry per person. Entries must be received by June 30, 2021. Winners will be notified by July 15 and will be given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. The giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Guest Post: 1st Anniversary of “Finding Love at Compassion Ranch” by Gayle Irwin

Visiting today is author Gayle M. Irwin. It's National Adopt-A-Cat Month where she's from, and she's here to celebrate the first anniversary of her animal rescue romance, Finding Love at Compassion Ranch.

Friday, June 18, 2021

What I would have liked to write for Jedda

Writing The Guy from the Internet was an odd personal experience. It's the first time I've ever drawn so much from real life for my fiction work. And one side-effect of trying to cram so much in was that I didn't get to dig into all the elements I would have liked.

Jedda in particular comes to mind. She is Holly's thoughtful, cheeky, confident best friend and colleague. I mentioned last month that I won't be writing Jedda's story, but I often look back on what I would have liked to explore. If not write, then at least research and learn about so I can understand the world a bit better.

Here's my top three:

1. Her life between separated parents and households

"Internet" gives us a couple of passing references to Jedda living between Perth and Bunbury. Sharp-eyed readers may already have guessed that between the lines, this means she lives between her white family in Perth and her Aboriginal family in Bunbury. Which entails a whole host of interesting challenges and circumstances she would have grown up with — racial, social, economic, regional, linguistic, dialectic, familectic, and more.

From hearing the experiences of my friends who grew up between households, it seems so different from my own single-household upbringing, and yet so similar to living as a transplant in a culture I wasn't born into. This may explain how Holly and Jedda became such good friends to the point where they're sending biscuits to each other's families.

2. Her unique life experiences

What were the factors in Jedda's life that made her so outgoing, take-charge and confident, and so proactively supportive of Holly's endeavours?

Though I'm fascinated by all the talk of birth order versus personality, I picture Jedda as a second-born whose early childhood experiences in the shadow of an older sibling (a brother, perhaps?) combined with a more independent stretch of teenage years, resulting in the strong, level-headed, witty woman we get to see in the book.

I would have liked to see what the dynamic would be between her and [SPOILER REDACTED] when Holly takes them both out to brunch. Those three personalities together are sure to spark a ton of fun and banter.

3. Her Noongar heritage

Like many Noongar women today, Jedda's relatives and ancestors would have been subject to the horrifying effects of colonialism. The more I learn about this, and how much still carries on today, the more I realise that what we do get told just barely scratches the surface of what really went on.

For example, one popular holiday destination an hour out of town is only a few minutes from an old interment camp. One that only closed down less than 50 years ago. How many tourists visit and make merry these days, and never know the truth about that place? And how many of them would really understand or think about what it means if you were to let them know?

There are so many stories to be told, and none of them belong to me. This is the number one reason I had to leave Jedda's character in peace, because as an Asian immigrant in Aboriginal country, I'm still just listening and trying to learn.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Book Feature: Duty Bound by Jessica James (99c until June 10)

When I first heard of Jessica James's new book, Duty Bound, it got me curious. And how could it not, with a review like this:
“It is a book that I think could have the impact of a ‘Gone With the Wind.” – J. Noyalas, Assistant Professor of History about Shades of Gray
Anyway, without further ado, here's the lowdown on this decorated romance author's latest release...


Friday, June 4, 2021

Goals for June 2021

Darn, I have really fallen off the goals wagon lately. Actually, that's not true. I've been working really hard on one particular goal — to clean up all the little messes that pepper my life. I have a long laundry list of unfinished business, unfiled paperwork, and someday to-dos that just keeps getting longer each year.

But I am writing. And I am cleaning things up (slowly).

For June, this little birdie has just one goal:

Work on The Guy from the Library.

Yes, there's another Somerville Story on the way. It's been in the works for almost as long as The Guy from the Wedding, but every so often, my schedule gets clear enough that I can move things along a little further. I hope to share a little excerpt with you next month.

Short and sweet, hey? Now, what are your goals?

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

An excerpt from Huntress by Christina Bauer (plus giveaway!)

 


Gage

Nine (And A Thousand) Years Old


Hide in the shadows.


Breathe low.


Stay alert.


With careful steps, I stalk my prey through the empty tunnels under the Bulwark Mountains. A stale and coppery smell fills the air. Around me, the rock walls glisten with condensation. Humidity presses against my skin. A single question repeats in my head.


Is an orcneas here?


My pulse beats so hard, I feel it in my throat. The metallic scent grows stronger. This time, the smell is undercut with the foul edge of brimstone. A bead of sweat rolls down my back.


The monster is close. 


A series of low hisses snap through the air. Up ahead, a lanky humanoid lumbers into a pool of pale light. Instead of skin, this creature is covered in exposed red muscle. A cowl of bone loops around its head and stretches down its back. I suck in a shaky breath.


That’s my target. An orcneas.


You wouldn’t think I stand a chance against this thing. Sure, I’m a glass dragon shifter, but I’m only nine years old. Orcneas claws can easily tear through my leather body armor. There’s nothing about my dark eyes, brown hair, or strong bone structure that could help in a fight. I do have a tail in both my human and dragon forms, yet that won’t cause much damage against an orcneas. Not much does.


This monster should be able destroy me, no problem. 


Only I’m not so easy to kill. 


I’m the last of my family line, the Beaumonts. As such, I inherited memories from my ancestors. It’s a special kind of magic called transference. I think of it as the last chance for a dragon shifter family to keep their history. Essentially, I was born with an ancient mind inside a baby’s body. You’d be surprised how often it comes in handy, though. The orcneas should fear me, not the other way around.


Up ahead, the monster speeds around another corner. I rush forward as well.


Sadly, I don’t get too far.


Guest Feature + Giveaway: The Somewhere I See You Again by Nancy Thorne

 

Latest on my blog

Out Now: The Guy from the Internet

A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.

Holly Chee does not have her life together. She's flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.

But she does have her streaming channel, where she broadcasts her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France... assuming he's even who he says he is.

The Guy From The Internet is a sweet #OwnVoices Asian-Australian romance novella, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

Now available on Amazon in digital and paperback.


Would you like to sample my work?

The Guy From the Library is a sudden puppy short story, free for my newsletter subscribers, available now on StoryOrigin.