Goals

My Guilty Pleasures

prologue goals july 8Goals

Collaboration by devikafernando and avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fiction

Professor Tom Hiddleston and Thalia Bareo place a wager on the FIFA World Cup 2018 outcome

Warnings: language, fluff, teasing

Word Count: 1725

This little drabble doesn’t offer any answers to “What’s Thalia been up to?” or “Who is Thalia dating?” This is just a summer Saturday, a little peek into her life…

If you don’t know the story of Thalia and Professor Tom, or how Professor Evans fits into all this, start at the beginning. Read Educating Thalia on WordPress.

Prologue 2018

“Bloody hell, that was clearly offside!”

With an indignant half-yell, Tom sets his chips bag down on the table with somewhat too much force. To his right, Thalia shouts her support.

“At least by a foot! Is the side referee blind or what?”

God, she truly is the perfect football companion, Tom thinks to himself with a grin…

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52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 17

Secrets of a Romance Writer: Favorite romance genre to read or write

 

Must I choose one? *whines*

It’s a VERY close tie between contemporary romance and paranormal romance, when it comes to reading as much as when it comes to writing. I love it that contemporary romance is comparatively easy and so broad that basically any topic under the sun and every heat level is featured. And I love it that paranormal romance allows me to think outside the box, to make the impossible possible, and to add a certain darker element without straight veering into fantasy, horror or sci-fi.

As to the heat level: I LOVE reading the really smutty stuff, and writing it too. BUT I also love every other heat level, even if it’s tooth-rotting sweet fluff. And when it boils down to it, I read all sorts of other romance novels too, so I guess I’ll just say my favorite genre is ROMANCE.

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 16 + Sneak Peek Sunday + Cover Reveal

All good things come in threes, right? So today’s post deals with the 3 things mentioned in the title.

 

Secrets of a Romance Writer: Family, friends and pets I’ve written into my books.

 

I can’t really answer this because then I’d reveal my true identity. Let me just say that real life and real people do inspire me while I write – and that a certain online sister of mine from the US will make an appearance as the heroine in a romance novel my ‘sweet’ alter ego is currently writing. I’m looking at you, Cass!

I also want to write a heroine one day who’s a crazy cat lady like me, so there’s that.

 

Cover Reveal

 

I’m using this #SneakPeekSunday post for an exclusive first look at the blurb and cover of my upcoming book Big & Brave, Book 2 of The Lancaster Werewolves. I’ve just started editing, so I’m planning a release in July. *excited bouncing, interspersed by agonized wailing and defeated groaning*

As obsessed and pathetic as that sounds, I’m in love with the cover, so here it is.

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And here’s the blurb! *drum roll*

His duty is to protect her – but he’s the real danger.

Gabrielle hates her sheltered life. As a senator’s daughter, she’s surrounded by journalists, staff and security. When a kidnapping attempt prompts her famous father to make her hide with her sexy, infuriatingly in-control bodyguard, her life is turned upside down. Why does this mysterious man attract her so much and bring out a wild side she never knew she possessed?

Damien is a powerful wolf shifter who keeps the beast inside him under control at all times because he knows what can happen if he snaps. What is it about this vulnerable, curvy heiress to a political fortune that tempts him to throw caution to the wind? He wants her desperately – but will his plus-size mate run when she finds out about his dominant nature and dark secret?

(Contains explicit sex scenes and light dom-sub content.)

* * *

Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 15

Secrets of a Romance Writer: How I celebrate completing my manuscript

 

I’m not the celebratory kind of person, neither in my real life nor regarding writerly things. Of course I feel thrilled and blessed whenever I finish another manuscript but I don’t do anything special. I share the great news with my author friends, might post about it on social media, and give myself a few days off before I tackle the first round of edits.

Boooring, I know. So here’s a little sexy something of how I wish I could celebrate…

* * *

“Yes, baby!”

Gisela whooped in exhausted delight, typing the almost sacred words THE END beneath her latest manuscript. This one had been quite a pain in the neck but also very close to her heart. She’d poured her sweat and tears – literally – into the story and knew that inevitably she’d feel ambivalent about putting her ‘baby’ out there. But there was time to fret, to tweak a million things, to doubt herself.

“What has you so enthusiastic?”

A shiver of awareness danced down her spine, pooling low. She’d never get used to his voice, so deep and purely masculine, velvet with a wild edge lurking beneath. It was the perfect voice for him, and his eyes were no less lethal in their fathomless depth and mesmerizing intensity.

“That sounded nearly orgasmic there, darling.” His low purr of a drawled taunt was deliciously wicked, accompanied by a slow smirk that made her belly flutter.

She knew she was flushing, already breathing heavier. But she wasn’t embarrassed. He inevitably drew that reaction from her, as if he was truly the master of her body, her heart and her soul.

“I…” She had to wet her suddenly dry lips, which drew his hungry gaze and made him prowl closer. “I just finished the first draft.”

For a moment, true pride broke through the teasing seduction, and he beamed at her. It made his face stunningly handsome, and her heart skipped a beat.

“That’s my girl.”

Hearing him say those words, in that possessively happy tone, fried her brain cells in the best possible way, sending heat through her veins.

“You’ll be wanting a reward then, won’t you?”

The hunger was back in his eyes, pupils blown wide with rising desire. Gisela swallowed thickly and resisted pressing her thighs together.

“Yes?”

“Beg me for it.”

God, how it turned her on when he went all dominant on her.

“Please, I’ve been such a good girl. I finished it, right on time. Please let me enjoy a reward.”

He stalked closer and lifted her clean out of her chair, with that quiet strength that never failed to surprise her.

“I love it when you beg so prettily. Let’s go get your reward.”

He hauled her closer, slanting his mouth over hers. It was a fierce kiss, one that awoke all sorts of wanton needs she’d never even known she concealed behind her prim and proper facade. His tongue tangled with hers, his teeth nipped, and his big hands seared a path of fire across her curves.

Oh yes, this was just the kind of celebration she needed.

teaser

Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

Featured: Release Blitz for “Stone” by Shannyn Leah

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Title: Stone (Bad Boys of Willow Valley)

Author: Shannyn Leah

Genre: Contemporary Small Town Romance

 

About Stone: Stone is the second book in Willow Valley’s Bad Boy stand-alone series. These hot contemporary romance books feature alpha males heroes and strong, independent women.

Fall in love with Stone Patino, a retired underground fighter turned mechanic in his best friends restoration business. He’s strong, solid, independent, until the woman who walked away, walks back into his life.

 

It’s hard to resist a Good Man who’s a Bad Boy

Stone Patino was once a bad boy, but not since moving to Willow Valley. He left that bad boy life behind years ago. Left it in the underground fighting ring he used to call his home. Now, he lives in the country and works on cars. He prefers the simple life without someone trying to put their fist through his face on a weekly basis. There’s just one thing about that life he misses.

Bowie Blake was once a bad girl too. But now she’s a socialite turned reality TV star who turned her back ten years ago on the love of her life, Stone Patino.

Full of regret and needing help, she seeks out Stone again. She drags Stone back into the ring to fight her battles and save her wheelchair-bound brother. Stone agrees, but must fight through his own demons and his love for Bowie. Both soon learn it’s not easy to fight the same battles they’d already fought and lost so many years ago. But now it’s a fight they both aim to win.

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BONUS EXCERPT :

“I called you because you have a visitor.” Stone’s dad said.

“A what?”

“What are you deaf as much as stupid today? You have a visitor.”

His dad nodded to someone over his shoulder and Stone turned, saying, “What the hell are you talking about?” His sentence was cut short as his eyes fell upon the one woman who had promised then him everything and left him with nothing.

His heart stopped beating like time itself had stopped and his inhale of air caught in his throat.

Was he imagining her?

Why the hell would he imagine her?

But why the hell would she be here, in his dad’s gym, walking toward Stone?

He could have pinched himself a dozen times and he still would’ve considered her a figment of his imagination, but then he smelled her. Long before she took her first step, the familiar smell of Bowie Blake, the cities well-known socialite, drowned his nostrils—designer perfume with a blend of island smell, jasmine, if he recalled correctly.

When the sudden realization that she stood in front of him as real as the men around them who didn’t hide their gawking curiosity, something deep inside him snapped—instant, dark, and familiar.

Each step she took toward him in her expensive high heels pounded layer upon layer of anger inside him.

What the hell was she doing here?

She had a lot of nerve showing up at his father’s business when she held a restraining order against him.

Now, he knew exactly who the Jaguar belonged to—the predator herself. Sauntering toward him, in a dress that dipped down her front and hugged her curves, she shared the animal’s sleek outer skin as much as it’s stalk and ambush qualities. Her expensive taste hadn’t changed much either. The oversized purse hanging off her shoulder looked bigger than the guy’s gym bags.

She looked like money.

She walked like money.

And when it came down to love or money, she chose money.

His body froze in the spot, paralyzed as he watched her approach. He dug deep within him for the strength to move, to walk away and not demand answers to questions that had plagued him all these years. To not damn well lay it on her for being the spoiled princess everyone had warned him about and not the woman he’d believed her to be behind closed doors.

Damn it. He’d been the fool and he sure has hell wouldn’t fall into her trap again.

Finally, his legs kicked in and he started moving, but there wasn’t a chance he’d be walking out of his father’s gym. This was his turf and no one had invited her.

She blinked the darkest, brownest eyes at his abruptness, as she should. He ignored the worry lines her face carried and even inwardly snickered at the reluctance he saw in her eyes. Reluctance and fatigue mixed with even a dash of hope.

What the hell kind of game was this?

She stopped, but he didn’t even slow as they reached each other. “I have nothing to say to you.” He continued straight past her and, damn, it felt good.

Screw being the victim this round.

But as he passed by, she caught his forearm with both of her cold hands. “Stone, please.”

He had to give his head a shake so he wouldn’t get lost in the sound of her desperate pleading. Knowing better, but unable to resist, he glanced over his shoulder. His vision landed where her frantic hands gripped his arm before rising to her now desolate eyes. No matter the emotions running through him, all he saw were lies, deceit, and pain.

He jerked his arm free, disregarding the gasp that passed her lips. “Get the hell out.” Each slow, calculated word looked like it thrust down on her already slumped shoulders.

Setting his sights on the men’s locker room as his escape, he stalked toward the door. Just as his hands lifted and slammed the swinging doors, he heard, “I’m in trouble.”

He stopped dead cold and watched the doors swing until they no longer could.

Son of a bitch.

He couldn’t walk away from that.

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WANT MORE WILLOW VALLEY STORIES (The McAdams Sisters):

Lakeshore Secrets (Marc)

Lakeshore Legend (Colt)

Lakeshore Love (Jake)

Lakeshore Candy (Riley)

Lakeshore Lyrics (Avery)

 

Get your copy of STONE today:

➜KINDLE: https://goo.gl/t24UWJ

➜KOBO: https://goo.gl/GnJLEH

➜NOOK: https://goo.gl/SFBqh6

➜iBOOKS: https://goo.gl/2FStoA

shannyn

About Shannyn Leah

Contemporary romance author Shannyn Leah loves olives, lip gloss and reading (and writing) romance novels. Her love of words started at an early age and soon grew until, during her teenage years, she’d started writing her own novels. When her mom pushed to finally publish some of the stories, she quickly amassed two complete romance series (By The Lake and Caliendo Resort series) and, in 2016, released her first Fantasy Romance entitled The Gatekeepers (Part One of the Winters Rising series).

When she’s not writing contemporary romance books into the early hours of the morning, Shannyn can be found antiquing with her two favorite people, her momma and sister, in their picturesque London, Ontario hometown.

Shannyn would love to get to know her readers as you get to know her (just don’t send her any carrots!)

Get 3 FREE books and never miss special promotions, brand new release or the inside scoop by signing up for her newsletter. https://goo.gl/JiHvXD

 

Connect with Shannyn

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/shannynleah

Fan Club https://www.facebook.com/groups/1225294704151277

Twitter https://twitter.com/ShannynLeah

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.ca/shannynleah

Google Plus https://plus.google.com/109479744974388680923

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/shannynleah

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Shannyn-Leah/e/B00U7L0WXC

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13577545.Shannyn_Leah

Website http://www.shannynleah.com

The Writer’s 52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 14

Lisa Andrew

Wk 14: What I learned from my worst review

Along with Gisela Grey’s lesson, I too grew from my worst constructive critical review ever received – and I’m going to call it that because I’ve recieved my fair shares of “you suck” and “you’re a bad writer” without any indication on what I could take seriously. I figure if someone has written a simple-minded comment intended only to get an emotional rise out of me and make me look bad to others at their first glance, they either 1) haven’t read my work they’re reviewing, 2) they’re trolls, or 3) they don’t like me personally. Or maybe it’s all three. In which case, it’s not about my work.

In all seriousness, my worst “serious review” happened during my practice time as a fanfic writer. Not taking it negatively, I published it. Personally, I had enough confidence in my…

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52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 14

Secrets of a Romance Writer: What I learned from my worst review

 

I’m only just starting with this alter ego of mine and I’ve been lucky to receive great reviews for Big and Beautiful (paranormal romance) as well as Her Seductive Spanish Billionaire (contemporary romance). I have, however, already self-published more than 10 books under a different name and I’m almost proud to say I got a couple of 1-star reviews for those.

It’s almost an initiation into the ‘real’ writer world, isn’t it? Until you’ve had someone trash your book – and thus draw more attention to it – you haven’t really made it. *lol* It hurts like a b*tch, though. The first one made me want to crawl into bed and hibernate while gorging myself on chocolate and doubting every word I’d ever written. The second one wasn’t any easier.

I’m a person who can’t handle criticism very well. It’s my biggest flaw, seriously. So basically every review has me on edge and ready to defend my book baby to hell and back. But especially in the beginning, negative feedback was helpful. It made me have a second look at pacing, at dialogues, at descriptive passages. While I still die a thousand deaths now when I see a less favorable review, I try to take it in stride. If there’s no real comment to work with, I just repeat the following mantra: YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE. Honestly, though. You can’t. Not ever. Be you, write you, and deal with it. And if there IS valuable criticism, then take it to heart and become a better writer.

Something else I’ve learned? It isn’t always about you and your book. It’s about the person who reads it. Their expectations. Their mood. Their preferences. Even, sometimes, their stupidity. Yes, that had to be said. And I’m not talking down to readers, I’m just stating that some people plainly don’t know what to expect from a certain genre – or they buy books they know they won’t enjoy and leave comments such as “I don’t like romance so…” – or they complain about something that isn’t the writer’s fault. That applies to movies and Amazon products as much as to books. See below, ahem…

TFJEbrH

Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

How Not to Write a Book Review with Reet Singh

This Writer's Life

One think I encourage my students to do is become a book reviewer. It not only helps you figure out what makes a story work (or not work), but it also lets you see who’s publishing what and where your story might fit into the current market.

Today’s guest blogger has some great tips on how not to review a book…

This post assumes that you are one of the precious few who write – or plan to write – reviews of the books you’ve read. I love you already!

A book is not just about the plot and the syntax and the characters, it is also the toil and sweat and blood of the author, so it’s always a great idea to let the author know what you like about their story. And also what you don’t like, but be aware that nobody writes a horrible story on purpose…

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52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 13

Secrets of a Romance Writer: What I learned when researching my book

 

Call me crazy, but I actually love all the research that goes into writing my books. I’ve always been someone interested in learning new things, especially if it relates to different cultures or countries, or is connected to history.

My latest book was Her Seductive Spanish Billionaire and I had to research a lot about Spain (I know some Spanish, so that was a bonus). I surfed the net for information on Valencia, vineyards and cava, as well as Spanish food. And boy did I ever enjoy all the FOOD. Tapas! Paella! Excuse me, I’m hungry… Here’s an excerpt from the novel to whet your appetite. Don’t blame me if you get drool all over your keyboard!

spanish billionaire

There was a burst of activity all around them, pierced at intervals by Alejandro being recognized by one of the diners and exchanging a few cordial words with him. Emily let herself be ushered to a table a bit to the side and drank it all in, her mind numb. This was a totally new side to Alejandro. The workaholic tycoon, the global-minded businessman, turned into a jovial Valencian who looked not a bit out of place despite his sharp suit and towering physique.

Before she knew it, he had sat down opposite her and the table was laden with traditional food which made her mouth water.

Of course there was a huge bowl of hot, fragrant tapa de paella, a form of the world famous Valencian dish of rice (yellow from a pinch of saffron) with seafood, tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic and olive oil. Accompanying that were equally typical and tasty dishes. To her left was arroz con costra (a rice dish covered with a baked egg crust) with a helping of allioli sauce with lots of garlic and olive oil. To her right was suquet de peix, a steaming stew made with potatoes, eel, fish and garlic. The feast also included grilled vegetables, cured sausages and picada sauce with crushed nuts, milk and parsley.

Emily could feel her eyes bulge and her mouth water. She stared at the food and blinked up at Alejandro, who was studying her closely. Her mouth opened and closed soundlessly. The sensory overload of the present combined with the memories of him persuading her to try all these dishes nine years ago rendered her momentarily speechless.

“Will this do, señorita?” he asked with a twinkle in his eyes, and for the umpteenth time she wondered what he wanted to achieve and which of all the faces and moods was the real Alejandro.

With an effort, she forced down the lump building in her throat. ‘Live a little. In the here and now,’ she told herself. Her smile wavered at the corners, but it triggered a smile on his side too.

“It’s way too much,” she protested, but her hand was already reaching for the serviette.

Alejandro filled her glass with water from a jug and tsked. “Nonsense. Tuck in. And don’t you dare tell me you can’t handle the calories, you have the figure of a beauty queen.”

There was a soft growling undertone to his voice that made her insides tingle and clench in want. She blushed, something that happened rarely.

This had to be the weirdest day of her life. First his many moods at the office, then their tiptoeing around each other’s feelings with reluctant forays into the past. Now this…this pseudo-date.

She had no idea how to handle it, so she chose the easy way out: digging in and making the most of it. At first she feared he’d make small talk or try to find out more about who she’d become, but Alejandro remained silent. They ate in amicable silence, punctured only by comments about the food or their surroundings. He mentioned what he loved about this particular restaurant and that he’d been coming here for years, and she thawed so much that she shared a funny story about how she’d tried to make paella in Germany once and achieved only a mushy mess with rubbery bits and undercooked rice.

Time flew by, and they moved onto the desserts brought personally by Tío Pepe, whose smile grew wider and wider with each time she praised him in fluent Spanish or Alejandro let him whisper conspiratorially into his ear. Although full to bursting, Emily enjoyed a bite here and there of almond candy, sweet potato candy, fruit pieces in sweet grape-must syrup, and ice-cream.

Emily leaned back in her seat with a groan. “If I eat any more, I’ll burst through my dress.”

Alejandro’s eyes gleamed, or maybe it was a play of the light. “I’d pay to see that.”

* * *

Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

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