Friday, September 17, 2021

Book Feature: Forever Winter by Amber Daulton

A perfect Christmas wedding, a snowstorm, and a shocking secret. What could go wrong?

Susanna Lorican must marry the man she loves before the truth is discovered, or face the gossip of the ton. With an unexpected snowstorm injuring the minister, her future hangs in the balance.

Viscount Camden Beckinworth vows to keep his bride safe, even if he must betray her confidence. When their love is put to the test, how will he uphold her honor without jeopardizing his own?

Sweet and cute romances — a big all genre giveaway

Enjoy the swoony September weather with these cute, sweet and clean romantic reads. Giveaway ends 1st Oct 2021.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Is it really September already?

We're more than a fortnight into the month, and I still can't believe it's September already. I still remember the goals I set at the start of the year — finishing The Guy from the Library was certainly one of them — as well as all the projects, scheduling troubles, and other personal admin follies I knew I'd be contending with. I guess I just can't believe a brand new year will be starting soon.

Right now, I'm working on another Somerville Story, The Guy from the Park, though I really should get a wriggle on with The Guy from the Wedding. But I've hit a snag with that one. The old outline I was using when I started that story isn't working for me anymore. It didn't give me enough room to explore the characters' personalities enough to let them shine through in the story.

I stumbled upon a new planning system, and now that I've reconsidered Wedding in that light, I may go back to the drawing board. Hopefully a revised outline will mean faster chapter updates once things get going again.

Hopefully 🤞

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Guest Feature + Giveaway: An interview with Kerry Evelyn, author of Cruising on Ice

On the blog today, I'm pleased to feature Kerry Evelyn, author of a newly released sweet friends-to-lovers hockey romance, Cruising on Ice.

Remember to enter the giveaway — you'll find details at the end of this post!

Kerry, what are your favorite hockey teams, and do you have a favourite player?

My favorite teams are the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and my hometown Orlando Solar Bears! Don’t laugh, but my assistant asked this question recently, and I named off 15 players! Here they are, in ABC order by last name: Noel Acciari, Ray Bourque, Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, Wayne Gretzky, Spencer Knight, David Krejci, Nikita Kucherov, Pat Maroon, Cam Neely, Bobby Orr, David Pastrnak, Brayden Point, Luc Robitaille, and Tyler Seguin.

How did you choose your pen name?

My grandmother, Evelyn, was my best friend and greatest encourager. She died while I was writing my first book. Now our names are linked together on books, swag, social media; everywhere! I miss her so much.

Can you, for those who don't know you already, share something about yourself and how you became an author?

I’ve been an avid reader since I borrowed Boy Crazy Stacy from my friend Kate in fourth grade! I’ve always been a writer; at three years old I wrote letters to my nana in heaven. By middle school, Zelda inspired me to draw my own fairyland maps and write stories about the characters who lived there. In high school, I wrote a children’s book and wrote for the school paper, and was co-editor for a year. I wrote feature articles for my college’s newspaper, and when I graduated, I wrote children’s stories for the kids in my elementary school classes. I was always the one to offer to write the newsletter in the groups I belonged to. But it wasn’t until 2015 I decided to give writing a novel a go. I always wanted to, but I lacked the skills and confidence to do it. When I was challenged to put on my big-girl pants and butt-kickin’ boots and do it already, I decided to take some classes and give it a try. Six years later, I’ve published eight novels and over a dozen short stories. I pinch myself daily. 

What is something unique/quirky about you?

I put ketchup on my mac-n-cheese. I really love the tomatoey sweetness on melted cheddar. It’s not so weird, I think – lost of people put ketchup on cheeseburgers, haha!

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who drive in the rain without their lights on. It’s the only way to see a white car in a snowstorm and a silver car in a steamy Florida summer deluge!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dartmouth, on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts. It’s a charming college town on Buzzards Bay, halfway between Providence Rhode Island Cape Cod. It’s got everything – farms, a state park, beautiful beaches, a mall, and Padanaram, a gorgeous historical village right on the water. Across the peninsula is Clark’s Cove and the city of New Bedford where I lived and taught elementary school for a couple years. The Covewalk, “floating” lighthouse, and coastal geography partially inspired my fictional town of Crane’s Cove.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

If I was healthy, I’d take everyone I knew to Disney World and spend the day soaking in all the magic, until the last firework fizzled out. If I was bed-ridden, I’d want to be on a balcony overlooking the ocean, with my family and friends holding my hands and praying over me, and drift off to the peaceful sounds of the waves. 

What kind of world ruler would you be?

I’m a Hufflepuff, so I’d need a second-in-command to keep me from ruling with my emotions, which would end in disaster. 

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I like to just sit. With a book, with a drink, with a person, with my laptop or notebook, etc. Just sit and enjoy the peace of being content. 

How to find time to write as a parent?

Every year has been different! At first, I’d write while my kids were napping or after they went to bed. Then, while they were at school. Now I’m the study hall monitor at their school, and I get a lot of writing done while I’m watching the kids!

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Takes the road less traveled! I never do anything status quo. I felt Dumbledore’s words when he spoke about choosing what is right versus what is easy. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve been writing my whole life. I had work published in high school publications and wrote for the school newspaper and became co-editor-in-chief my junior-senior year. I always thought I would go into journalism, but it was too heart-wrenching for me. I wrote feature articles for my college paper, and took a children’s writing course when I graduated. Teaching elementary school gave me a ton of opportunities to make up stories and curriculum, and for a while it was enough. In 2015, after being challenged at a conference, I decided to finally write that novel I’d always aspired to create. 

Do you have a favorite movie?

Depends on the day! My top two are The Sound of Music and Gone with the Wind!

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

Oh, any of them! They’re all such feel-good stories. But I think Love on the Edge would do the best in the theaters. The added element of suspense combined with my characters’ emotional wounds and kickass determination to get the bag guy would translate awesomely to film!

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Every place I travel to is a literary pilgrimage! If it’s not a place I’ve already written, I treat it as a future setting. I read all the things, visit all the things that interest me, and make note of everything I love about it for possible future reference. 

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Definitely a swan! My grandmother, Evelyn loved swans. They’re beautiful, full of grace, and mate for life. Perfect for a romance novelist!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Some things you can't duck — a guest post from Vida Li Sik

Visiting today is author Vida Li Sik, author of sweet South African romances Remember Me, Caught and Bowled, and Bowled Over. She's here to tell us a bit about love in the Rainbow Nation, and share the story of her latest release, Curveball.

Here in Africa, there is an interesting custom to pay lobola—a dowry for the bride based on her education, job and skills. This age-old tradition is meant to build a bridge between the two families, but it's a process that can become quite stressful when the woman's family sets the "price of cows" too high. These days, there is even an app to help you calculate how much a bride is worth!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Romance Book Giveaway on StoryOrigin

A reader lives a thousand lives before they die. This is an all-genre, all heat level giveaway for romance reads. Ends 1 Oct 2021.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Guy from the Library is here!

Well, now! It seems like the most effective way for me to get things done is not to share them as goals on this blog. After finishing a couple of big projects in July, I finally got a chance to put my head down and finish The Guy from the Library, a short sweet romance featuring two sensitive souls ready for their next chapter.

Check it out:

The Guy from the Library

She's ready for a new chapter.

Andrea trusts books more than boys. After all, they don’t embarrass you or make mean jokes, and they’re certainly clear about their intentions. But Jackson from the library seems genuinely friendly amidst this sudden puppy situation. Is it possible he could be her next chapter?

"The Guy from the Library" is a short and sweet sudden puppy story, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

If you're already subscribed to my newsletter, you can download your copy for free on StoryOrigin. You'll be asked to confirm the email address you're signed up with.

If you're NOT subscribed to my newsletter and would like a free copy, here's where to find it.

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.