Author Services Giveaway

The Indie Academy’s Author Services Giveaway

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Authors – It’s your turn to win some prizes!

The Indie Academy is hosting an author services giveaway with over $2000 in services from 15 different providers.

No matter what stage you’re at with your career, there’s a prize to suit your needs.

Win your next book cover, formatting, editing, teaser graphics, web design or promotional service. Enter one or all of the giveaways and spread the word to earn more entries.

Giveaway runs August 1st – 31st.

Visit the giveaway page now

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Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley – New Release

Sasha Wasley is one of my best writing buddies and over the past two years I’ve watched her work tirelessly on her books. She has an amazing talent for creating living, breathing characters no matter the age or genre. It’s so exciting to see such a huge launch come to life with the release of Dear Banjo, the first in a rural romance series.

Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to read the excerpt!

DB 1000 wide

They were best friends who were never meant to fall in love – but for one of them, it was already way too late.

Willow ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Tom Forrest were raised on neighbouring cattle stations in the heart of the Kimberley. As young adults, sharing the same life dreams, something came between them that Willow cannot forget. Now ten years have passed since she’s even spoken to Tom.

When her father falls ill, Willow is called home to take over the running of the family property, Paterson Downs. Her vision for a sustainable, organic cattle station is proving hard to achieve. She needs Tom’s help, but is it too late, and all too complicated, to make amends?

Tom’s heartfelt, decade-old letters remain unopened and unmentioned between them, and Willow must find the courage to finally read them. Their tattered pages reveal a love story like no other – and one you’ll never forget.

Dear Banjo is a wildly romantic and utterly captivating story about first love and second chances from an exciting new Australian author.

 

Buy Links

Dear Banjo is now available in paperback and e-book editions. Visit your local bookstore or department store to pick up a copy. Some purchase links are below or search your favourite outlet.

About the Author

Sasha Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia.

She has completed a PhD in cultural theory and loves nature, Jane Austen and puns.

Sasha is a farming wannabe, with a passion for animals and the land. Although she’s in her forties now, she still wants a pony.

Her debut novel, a young adult paranormal, was published in 2014. Today, she lives and writes in the Swan Valley wine region with her partner and two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens.

Sasha writes mystery, paranormal and young adult novels as S.D. Wasley.

Follow Sasha

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Somehow she managed to pack up the entire apartment overnight. On the way to the airport the next morning, Willow got the taxi driver to drop in at Tanya’s place. Her friend was still in her pyjamas when Willow gave her the keys to her apartment and a couple of hundred dollars. Tanya tried to refuse the money but Willow pushed it into her hand.

‘No, Tan, I’ve booked professional cleaners and I need you to pay them for me. Keep whatever’s left over as a thanks. And could you possibly go in and get rid of the boxes I’ve left behind? You can have anything from them or just donate it all to charity. And then if you could just drop the keys off to the real estate agent, I’ll be grateful forever.’

Tanya nodded and her eyes went a little glassy. ‘You’re really going, aren’t you? For good, I mean.’

‘Yeah. Going home at last. I can’t believe I stayed in the city this long.’

Tears spilled down Tanya’s cheeks. ‘I’m going to miss you.’

‘Oh, Tan. You should come visit.’ Willow hugged her. ‘I’ll stay in touch.’

‘It’s not the same,’ Tanya sobbed.

‘I’ll call you in a couple of days, okay?’

Tanya nodded and gave her another tearful hug before letting Willow leave.

Jeez, Willow thought as she ran back to the taxi. Shows of emotion had never been her thing. Okay, she was moving a couple of thousand kilometres away, and she’d miss seeing Tanya at work, but surely it wasn’t worth crying over.

A memory of her sessions with a psychologist surfaced. Willow, you tend to hold people at arm’s length. Why don’t you try letting people in a little more? Willow snapped her attention back to the present, logging into the power company’s website on her phone to cancel her account.

She checked in for her flight and paid an exorbitant amount for her excess baggage before watching it glide away on the conveyer belt – the sum total of her adult life in two large suitcases. No, she remembered. 3700 square kilometres, 6500 head of cattle, a ground­breaking, humane, organic beef operation. That would be the sum total of her adult life.

She settled into her seat and thanked the heavens she’d been placed next to a young fly-in-fly-out type, probably contracted to the Herne River catchment project. He was already plugged into his tablet and watching a show involving zombies, so she wouldn’t have to talk to anyone during the flight. She wanted to write a to-do list. As soon as they were in the air she reached into her bag for a note­pad and her hand met something unfamiliar. Not her notepad.

Tom’s letters.

Willow considered them, her heart rate bumping up all over again. Wouldn’t it almost be an invasion of Tom’s privacy to read them now, so long after he’d intended her to? Maybe those sleeping dogs should just be left to lie?

Yes, she would bin them all – drop them into the roving rubbish bag the next time the steward came around.

But she would be living next door to the Forrests again once she got home. By now, Tom would soon be taking over Quintilla, just as she was about to do with Paterson Downs. Their families were as close as ever. She’d need to resume some kind of relationship with Tom Forrest, no matter how difficult the initial patching up phase would be.

Maybe she could use this three-hour flight from Perth to Mount Clair to read all of Tom’s letters at last. She hadn’t even given the poor guy a chance after looking at the first couple. She’d been so absorbed in her own pain; grappling with the panic she felt every time she thought about what he’d done. Perhaps there had been an apology in one of those letters – an apology she should have acknowledged by now. A retraction of that awful moment when he’d said those words . . .

Tom’s handwriting was scrawled across the front of the topmost envelope – always familiar, no matter how long it had been. Willow took a shaky breath. Seven-thirty in the morning was a little early for a stiff drink, so she requested a coffee and pulled out the first two letters; the ones she’d opened and read ten years earlier.

 

Dear Banjo,

Happy New Year. I guess you’re settled in at the student hall by now. You sure went early. The other kids who got in aren’t leaving until February. I don’t know where you’re staying so I asked Beth to send this on to you. You might have heard I’m probably not going to take up my offer of a place at uni. I’m thinking I’ll defer my course – for now, anyway. Dad’s not fazed. He won’t have to hire extra help this way, not to mention the savings on the tuition fees. Mum’s not overly happy but I keep telling her it’s only for the year. She asks a lot of questions. Not really sure what else to say to you, Banjo. It’s weird without you. Whenever I’m on the quad I turn towards Patersons before I remember you’re not there any more. I keep thinking I’ll see you at the eastern gate, sitting on Rusty, ready for a fenceline race. You knew I’d always beat you but you’d have a go anyway. So, yep. Really weird. You’ve always just been there. I guess it doesn’t quite compute yet. Take care of yourself in the big city, okay?

Tom

P.S. We should probably try to sort this mess out.

 

Dark Legends Author Spotlight – Shelley Munro

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by
Rebecca Hamilton,
T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil,
Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
GK DeRosa,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub,
HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage,
Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner,
D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

blurb11

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

dc612-dl-titles2526authors2

Rebecca Hamilton
T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker in the North

199ca-14329917_1251498718228846_1745396227627875944_n3

buy-links1


Amazon
| iBooks | Kobo | Nook

preorder-now1

author-spotlight1

Claimed and Seduced
by
Shelley Munro
@ShelleyMunro
Award-Winning
and
Int’l Bestselling Author

blurb2

One step out of routine changed everything…

Shapeshifter Prince Jarlath Leandros of the planet Viros is a man who understands duty. As heir, he’s had his future as leader of the House of the Cat mapped since childhood. Boring! Jarlath yearns for an indefinable more.

Keira Cloud is beautiful and sexy, she’s independent and confident, and not only is she an enemy from the House of Cawdor, but her stepchildren accuse her of murder. Not a suitable woman for the prince, but Jarlath aches to claim her.

When the House of the Cat comes under attack, Jarlath is thrust into the middle of danger where life or death is the only option. A war is brewing, one that brands Jarlath and Keira enemies, yet their hearts shout otherwise and their animal selves—the leopard and the crow—care nothing for conventional barriers. Right or wrong, passion blooms out of control and with the city under siege soon Jarlath’s life is anything but boring. Now all he
needs to do is survive…

excerpt1

“Jarlath! You should let me go first.”

He ignored Ellard, examining their surroundings instead. Ah, there was someone on the path. The disturbance wasn’t his imagination. He signaled his mount to slow but the cambeest increased his speed.

“Halt, beest!” Jarlath shifted his weight and hauled on the harness reins. Black ignored the command and bolted, the cool air whistling against Jarlath’s face. His cambeest shot past a tree. Too close! Jarlath gritted his teeth at the friction of leg and coarse trunk. Pain reverberated down his limb. He gripped Black’s shaggy hump with pincher fingers to right his balance. “Stop, you cantankerous beest!”

Without warning, Black screeched to a halt. Jarlath shot forward, flipping over his beest’s head. His world slowed, lurching back into place when he struck the ground. Packed earth and gravel punched his head, his shoulder, smacked the breath from his lungs. Fire burned along his cheek. He struggled, wheezed to get air. A groan rippled up his throat as he lay there. Then a familiar snort had him attempting to move. Pain streaked along his arm, and he realized he still held the reins.

“Oh, dear,” a soft, feminine voice said. “Are you injured?”

A murky shadow obscured his vision. Jarlath squinted, desperate to see the source of the musical accent. Another breath sawed down his throat. The roar in his head subsided to a dull throb that sat behind his right eye. Flowers. He could smell flowers. Something cool stroked his cheek, wiped across one eyelid and the darkness lifted. He blinked. Once. Twice, and his world came into sharper focus. A woman? A third blink brought the shimmer into one unwavering vision.

A beautiful, exotic woman.

Her skin was pale, and bore a tinge of pastel green while her sable-brown hair hung in loose waves around her shoulders. He dragged in a breath, his mouth dropping open. She was no figment of imagination. Not with the soft ends of her hair tickling his cheek. Black trews constructed of synleather covered her legs and a white tunic clung to the swells of her breasts. A black vest and knee-high black boots completed her masculine attire. The scent of berries and sugary sweetness, greenery and female filled his nostrils. An enticing combination.

Fascinated, he continued staring. Rude, of course, yet his mind catalogued the differences between her and the women he interacted with at the castle. This one wore a blaster strapped to her thigh. The hilt of a knife peeked from the top of one boot. No doubt, her means of protection against wild animals or the brigands who sometimes frequented the forest. His rapt gaze returned to her face, her berry-stained lips and higher to stare into green eyes flecked with gold.

“Have you addled your head? Beest, shift out of the way, so I can tend to your master. You have blood on your face.”

“No,” Jarlath cried, panic overtaking the pain hammering his shoulder and eye. Black would hurt her. His cambeest disliked contact with strangers and several stable hands bore the scars from his beest’s uncertain temper. He’d raised Black from a youngster, and like all cambeests, Black had bonded with one person and one person only—him.

“Out of the way, beest.” To his amazement, the woman scolded Black and shouldered him away so she could crouch on his other side. Black behaved like an inside pet and nuzzled the pockets of her vest. His cambeest rumbled—the equivalent of a feline purr—and Jarlath felt his mouth go slack.

“Jarlath, my prince.” Ellard thundered into the clearing and was off his cambeest in secs. His weapon cleared his holster, his homely face set in ferocious lines. “Take your hands off him.”

“I’m checking him for wounds,” the woman retorted and brushed Jarlath’s hair from his forehead. Her fingers were soft and stained from picking berries. “Hush your prattle, man. It’s undignified.”

Ellard spluttered, and the chuckle that escaped Jarlath would have shocked his brother. Blood and liver pills, even he was a bit stunned at his amusement.

“Ah,” the woman said in satisfaction. “You were winded. Let me help you sit up. The cut above your eye is still bleeding. I’ll fix it in a thrice.”

Her full breasts brushed his shoulder as she slipped an arm around him to lend him aid.
Something bright and unexpected flared in him then that stole his breath, something inconvenient since his father was discussing alliances with him as a bargaining chip.
Jarlath dragged in her scent again and his cock saluted her proximity, but even more astonishing, his slumbering feline stretched beneath his skin. He hissed, gawking at her in shock.

“Prince Jarlath, it’s my honor to assist you.” She pulled a clean handkerchief from her tunic pocket and pressed it to his eye.

Something about her husky voice tickled his memory. “Have we met?”

“Keira Cloud,” she said. “I’ve attended several of the court gatherings with my husband.” She lifted the handkerchief. “Ah, I think the bleeding has stopped, although you might get a black eye after a bump like that. Can you stand on your own?”

“Yes. Thanks.” She was married. Some of the excitement fizzling in his gut dispersed in a swell of disappointment. Unusual and exotic. Beautiful. A smart man would have snapped her up at the first opportunity.

“Marcus Cloud?” Ellard shoved his blaster back in his holster without taking his gaze off her.

Something in his friend’s attitude made Jarlath study her more closely. As he pushed to his feet, he watched every hint of bright expression drain from her features.

“That’s right.” She drew herself up to her full height and her chin lifted a fraction before she stomped over to a nearby container of berries. The crackle of dried leaves beneath her booted feet signaled her irritation. Black nudged her arm and she absently scratched behind his long rounded ears before scooping up her container.

Ellard scowled and fingered the onyx cat he always wore around his neck. “We should go, my prince. We have the formal ball to prepare for tonight.”

“Everything is in hand,” he said with a sharp glare at his friend. “There’s no reason for haste.”

“I think it would be best,” Ellard persisted.

author-interview1

Shelley Munro

Featured Book: Claimed and Seduced

Kia ora from New Zealand. That’s welcome and greetings in Maori. My name is Shelley Munro. I’m a romance writer, an animal lover, a world traveler and I like to bake bread. Oh, and I love to read. That’s what started me on my author journey—my love of books.

Hi, Shelley!! I have never been greeted in Maori! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
Way back in 1998, I woke up one morning with a single thought on my mind. My dream of writing a book would never happen if I didn’t put my butt in from of a computer and start writing. That day, I came across a romance writing course at Auckland University. Kismet, I decided. I enrolled immediately so I’d have a vague idea of how to start. Later that week, I read an article in a local women’s magazine about Romance Writers of New Zealand. I joined that day and thus began my romance writing journey. I wrote my first book in a month, and was very excited to send it off to Mills & Boon, sure that I had written a masterpiece. LOL My heart was broken when I received a rejection letter, but undeterred, I wrote my next book and kept trying. I wrote for another six years, collecting many rejections, before selling to several different publishers during the same month. Exciting times! These days, I’ve embraced self-publishing, which is perfect for me since I like moving swiftly, if need be, and having control over all facets of the publishing process.

How did you come up with this storyline?
Initially, I wanted to write a story about an Earth woman kidnapped by aliens. The House of the Cat series all flowed from this initial idea—feline shapeshifters in space.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
For me, the best part of writing is sitting down and writing a new book, watching all my vague ideas knit into a solid plot. I don’t have a worst aspect of writing, but there are areas that I find challenging such as the marketing and business side. Indie writing is not for the faint-hearted, and I spend as many hours each week completing business-type tasks as I do on the creative side.

What inspires you to write?
I love books and reading and always have since I was a child. Writing came as a natural extension of my love of reading. I wanted to write my own books. Heck, I thought it couldn’t be that difficult. LOL It didn’t take long to disabuse myself of that idea. Writing takes a combination of determination, persistence and imagination. It’s a challenge, and that plus the creative outlet keeps me going each day and inspires me to write each successive book.

How did you conduct your research for Claimed & Seduced?
Claimed & Seduced is at heart a paranormal romance, although the action takes place on a planet called Viros. For the world-building part of the story, I used my imagination, but I researched crows and their mating habits during the writing of this story. I used both the
internet and my local library for research and my imagination did the rest during the writing of Claimed & Seduced.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Claimed & Seduced?
“You will choose a wife and marry before this cycle ends. You must follow tradition and do your duty.”

* ~ *

Keira stared at Prince Jarlath, took in the black eye in the aristocratic face, the ruddy cheeks, the dusting of stubble and the curtain of
untidy black hair before his firm lips with the hint of sharp canines distracted her, brought a flash of a warmth. A tingle.

He was real. He was here—standing right in front of her—and he wanted pie.

*~*

“I like the sound of my name on your lips.”
“You’re flirting with me.”
“Yes. Am I doing a good job?”

*~*

What do you do when you don’t write?
I was born with itchy feet, and luckily, my husband enjoys traveling and exploring the world as much as I do. We try to fit in as much travel as time and budget allows, and quite often, things or experiences from our journeys wind their way into my books. When I’m not writing, I enjoy walking and playing with our dog, Bella, cycling and baking. Nothing better than a batch of cookies fresh from the oven!

Tell us about your other books?
I write both paranormal and contemporary romances and have been known to dabble in historical romances too. The common thread between all my books is humor, often adventure, and I like to throw in the odd dead body to make things interesting. Many of my books are set in New Zealand. I have four main series at present. Middlemarch Shifters features a community of black leopard shifters who live in the New Zealand country town of Middlemarch. The Mitchell brothers are the stars of this series. Claimed & Seduced, my story in the Dark Legends box set, is part of my House of the Cat series—stories with
leopard shifters and settings that vary from New Zealand to planets in outer space. I also have my Military Men series, a contemporary series starring military heroes and my Alien Encounter series about aliens who crash land their space ship in New Zealand. You can find details of my other titles plus excerpts at my website http://www.shelleymunro.com

Thanks very much for letting me spend a little time with you. I am thrilled and excited to be part of the Dark Legends box set. Over 20 tales of paranormal romance, urban fantasy and adventure in store for readers. A million words of heart-stopping action. Not bad for 99c, right?

I hope you’ll grab a copy of the Dark Legends box set and join us on the Dark Legends journey.

Best wishes,
Shelley

author-bio1

shelleymunro2Shelley lives in Auckland, the City of Sails, with her husband and a cheeky Jack Russell/mystery breed puppy.

Typical New Zealanders, Shelley and her husband left home for their big OE soon after they married (translation of New Zealand speak – big overseas experience). A yearlong adventure lengthened to six years of roaming the world. Enduring memories include being almost sat on by a mountain gorilla in Rwanda, lazing on white sandy beaches in India, whale watching in Alaska, searching for leprechauns in Ireland, and dealing with ghosts in an English pub.

While travel is still a big attraction, these days Shelley is most likely found in front of her computer following another love – that of writing stories of romance and adventure. Other interests include watching rugby (strictly for research purposes), cycling, baking bread and curling up with a good book.

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author.

Dark Legends Author Spotlight – HJ Lawson

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by
Rebecca Hamilton,
T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil,
Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
GK DeRosa,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub,
HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage,
Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner,
D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

blurb11

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

dc612-dl-titles2526authors2

Rebecca Hamilton
T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North

199ca-14329917_1251498718228846_1745396227627875944_n3

buy-links1


Amazon
| iBooks | Kobo | Nook

preorder-now1

author-spotlight1

New Order
by
H.J. Lawson
@HJLawson1
Award-Winning
and
Int’l Bestselling Author

blurb2

They were born to fight.

Created to win.
But the question remains…
Who’s the real enemy?

When Sadie heads out for the night, she hardly expects to witness a murder–much less a murder committed by a dangerous vampire with a thirst for vengeance and destruction. Within a few hours, Sadie and her boyfriend Aaron are pulled into a violent vampire world. Searching for a way to survive, they know they must fight, but this might be a battle they just can’t win.

excerpt1

A door slams open, startling me from my deep sleep. I shiver. It feels like Aaron is brushing a feather over my cheek. Blindly, I pat the side of the bed where he was lying. He’s still there, sleeping.
I don’t feel alone. I don’t think we are… I listen carefully for any foreign sound in the room. There’s a God-awful smell, like something crawled up somewhere and died.
I can hear heavy breathing by the door. There is someone else in our room.
“What the hell?” I try to shove Aaron awake.
I reach for the light, knocking down empty cans on the nightstand. The lights buzz as they
warm up before turning on.
“Aaron!” I scream just as the lights come on and illuminate the horror in front me. My
screams startle Aaron awake.
It’s the man from earlier this evening, the one whose crisp white fangs were dripping with blood. He’s in our room.
He’s here for me.
I’m next.
His eyes burn into my soul as if he’s trying to control me.
“You are mine now,” the intruder says.
“This room is taken,” Aaron says as he rises from the bed and stands with his naked chest puffed out.
He’s just wearing his boxers. I’m wearing his white button-up shirt and my panties. It was the only thing I could find last night without turning on the lights.
“I can see,” the intruder says, raising his eyebrows at me. He rakes back his hair.
“It’s the man from the street!” My voice breaks as I yell. My heart races. I pull my legs up towards me and away from him, my hands trembling.
He cracks his neck sideways, leers at me, and steps forward, his eyes locked on mine, as if he’s an eagle hunting his prey.
“Dude. Get out of our room,” Aaron says angrily.
The man’s attention remains on me.
A bloodcurdling scream rips through the uncomfortable silence of our room. It sounded like it came from the room next door. Who’s in there? What’s happening? The need to get out of this room is overwhelming.
Our intruder smiles at the sound of the scream as if it’s his favorite sound. My body is shaking as if I have been outside all night and the blood in my veins is frozen.
Aaron’s shoulders tense up as he stands in front of the man.
“If you know what’s good for you, you’d leave.” He tries to push the intruder, but before Aaron can touch him, the intruder grips Aaron’s forearms.
My heartbeat races. My heart feels like it’s going to explode. “Get off him.”
With one swift movement of the intruder’s wrist, Aaron is launched through the air. Aaron’s body crashes against a wooden wardrobe; splinters fly out as it crumbles under his weight. The remains of the wardrobe collapse forward, pinning Aaron to the floor. The movement is too quick to process. “Aaron!”
His hand is sticking out. Crimson blood drips down Aaron’s wrist.
The intruder’s head turns towards Aaron’s bloody hand so fast that it looks like his neck could break. His mouth opens, revealing his sharp white fangs. He lazily drags his tongue across his top lip.
This cannot be real. Vampires don’t exist.

author-interview1

H.J. Lawson

Featured Book: New Order

Hello…

Hello, Hayley, welcome. So happy to have you here today, so let’s get started. How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

I’ve been writing for two and a half years. I had a story in my head and just couldn’t get it out of my head. Since that day I’ve had more ideas everyday.

How did you come up with this storyline?

I liked the idea of a new twist on a vampire story, one in which the vampires aren’t the really enemy, but the government is.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

Best is getting lost in a world, researching new ideas. Worst is all the ideas! I really have too many, I could write a new book every day if I had time.

What inspires you to write?

Readers, I love reading reviews and reading how they enjoyed the adventure that I took them on.

How did you conduct your research for New Order?

I research locations, characters, and vampires.

What would your friends say is your best quality?

That I never give up.

Are reader reviews important to you?

That’s why writers write, to entertainment readers.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I work as a designer, and in my free time hang out with family and like watching movies.

Tell us about your other books? I’ve got a fun adventure time travel series, science fiction, thriller, I have a book for everyone.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?

I’m hoping one day my dreams will come true and I will be a full time author living in Spain, enjoying time with my family.

Thank you so much for sharing a little piece of yourself with our readers and fans. We loved having you here today.

Happy reading.

Thank you

Hayley

author-bio1

hayley12

H.J. Lawson is an English author who currently resides in New York. When she’s not writing, she spends her time watching movies and hanging out with her family. She is the author of the following young adult books: The War Kids Series and The Sanction Series.

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author.

Dark Legends Author Spotlight – Emma Nicholls

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by
Rebecca Hamilton,
T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil,
Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
GK DeRosa,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub,
HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage,
Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner,
D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

blurb11

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

dc612-dl-titles2526authors2

Rebecca Hamilton
T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North

199ca-14329917_1251498718228846_1745396227627875944_n3

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Amazon
| iBooks | Kobo | Nook

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author-spotlight1

Blood Moon
by
Emma Nichols
@EmmasErotica
Award-Winning
and
Int’l Bestselling Author

blurb2

Autumn and her boyfriend were on the outs. After six months together, he’d decided they weren’t compatible. Determined to prove him wrong, she agrees to go hiking one October weekend. While she pictured a romantic stroll around the lake, he booked them a grueling weekend in Yellowstone, where he promptly humiliated her, dumped her, and left her all alone in the wilderness. Yet again, she’d fallen for a guy who treated her like a project. All she wanted was love and acceptance. By the time Autumn dried her tears, snowflakes covered the trail, darkness had fallen, and her demise appeared imminent.

Ronan Cormac had some decisions to make. Though he’d become one of the most sought after agents in Hollywood, years of superficial relationships had worn him down, making him long for a meaningful connection. In other words, the wolf shifter was ready for a mate and LA made it impossible for him to find one. When his sister called him home for a family emergency, Ronan rushed back to Yellowstone. In order to save the Druids, his pack, he’d have to find a mate and become the Alpha before the Blood Moon.

excerpt1

I watched as she curled up more, then I lay on her, my warm furry form offering much needed protection from the snow. Still, her teeth chattered. “So cold,” she murmured as she buried her head in my fur. For a moment, I froze. So did she. She glanced at me as if trying to process she’d bedded down with a wolf, then she took my head in her hands and stared me in the eyes. I was struck by how delicate her features were, the smattering of freckles around her nose, her small full lips, and most of all, the intensity of her emerald colored eyes. “Thank you.” She planted a kiss on my cold wet nose.

Then my wolf licked her face. I had nothing to do with it. Somehow, my once fierce beast had become a puppy in her arms.

“Stay with me?” She blinked back a few salty tears.

I would know, since I’d inadvertently tasted them while offering wolf kisses. My wolf whined in response. She must’ve taken it as a sign of agreement. Next thing I knew, she had curled up into me, and wound herself through my legs.

“You don’t mind that I’m fat and ugly, do you boy?” She let out a hollow laugh. “You wouldn’t call me names and abandon me in the wilderness would you?”

My wolf whimpered. Who would ever be cruel to this sweet creature? Her perfume would forever be imprinted on my memory, along with those amazing eyes. As I inhaled the different smells attached to her, I picked up on cat and my ears went back.
“You smell Sir Purr?” She giggled as she ran her hands through my fur like I was some common domesticated beast. Actually, I rather liked it, until I picked up on some other scent. A male. I could feel a growl forming in my throat.

She sighed. “That must be Joel.” She shook her head. “He has that effect on a lot of people. And wolves, too, I guess.”

Now I had a name and a scent. Joel was in pretty big trouble when I met up with him. I caught her yawning and laid my head on hers to encourage her to sleep. She was safe now. The elements were no longer a threat. If I had my way, Joel wouldn’t be, either.

author-interview1

Emma Nichols

Featured Book: Blood Moon

Hullo! Care for a spot of tea? Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Penny Dreadful on Netflix in preparation for my next series. Okay. Never mind. I watch it because it’s dark and different and every once in awhile I need some downtime.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
Well, I first published in June of 2013. Inspired by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, I wrote the naughtiest story I could think up. Sin at Sea spawned The Sinful Series, and I was hooked on the whole process.

How did you come up with this storyline?
While scrolling through Facebook one day, there was a video about wolves returning to Yellowstone. The wheels started turning. What if they weren’t really wolves, but wol fshifters who saved the park? The Druids were born.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
I love coming up with the story ideas. The hardest part is working through all the plot holes to make the story work.

What inspires you to write?
I have to. Seriously. If I take too much time off from writing, I feel it. Writing keeps me balanced. It has become part of my identity. Some people exercise, I write. If I didn’t write, I’d eat more. No one wants that.

How did you conduct your research for Blood Moon?
I watched videos, I surfed the net. Good times.

What would your friends say is your best quality?
My sense of adventure. Okay…I love to travel. Is that the same thing?

Are reader reviews important to you?
Reviews are everything. I’m lucky to have built a really wonderful tribe named Emma’s Elite. I share a FREE book every week. They read and review. I recently published a book they helped create through a series of polls.

What do you do when you don’t write?
I’m all about some travel. I prefer cruises, which is why my first book was set on a cruise ship and the rest of the series were all destination romances. In fact, I’m eyeing a 10-day cruise in May.

Tell us about your other books.
As of today, I have four series and five standalones. They’re a variety of genres, like romantic comedy, romantic suspense, paranormal, and contemporary romance. The settings vary, although most of my recent stuff is set in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I live, and the surrounding areas. I write about whatever interests me at the time and try to create characters readers can relate to.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know, what would it be?
Chocolate should be a food group. White chocolate is blasphemy. My life should have more wine in it.

Thank you for hanging out with me today. I usually have these conversations over sushi, so I’m going to go get some now. No reason for both of us to miss out. Have a wonderful day!

author-bio1

emma1

What made her decide to be an romance author?

Simple.

How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career?

Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn’t believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life’s cliche moments spicy.

Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.

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author.

Dark Legends Author Spotlight – Vivienne Savage

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by
Rebecca Hamilton,
T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil,
Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson,
GK DeRosa,
Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch,
Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub,
HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage,
Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner,
D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

blurb11

This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

dc612-dl-titles2526authors2

Rebecca Hamilton
T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark
Monica Corwin with Soulless
J.L. Weil with White Raven
Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption
JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns
Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily
GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series
Marilyn Peake with Shade
Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed
Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss
Vivienne Savage with Making Waves
Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows
HJ Lawson with New Order
Emma Nichols with Blood Moon
Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced
J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs
Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon
Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift
Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty
D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread
J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North

199ca-14329917_1251498718228846_1745396227627875944_n3

buy-links1


Amazon
| iBooks | Kobo | Nook

preorder-now1

author-spotlight1

Making Waves
by
Vivienne Savage
@MsVSavage
Award-Winning
and
Int’l Bestselling Author

blurb2

Curvy beach babe Alessa Kokinos has scored the perfect life at the Yucatán’s hottest island resort. She has a dream job caring for ocean wildlife, and every spring, her best friend, Dante, returns to the island as a surf instructor. The only thing that could make her happier would be if he finally realized how much he means to her.

Dante isn’t the typical human Alessa believes him to be. He’s a hippocampus, a water horse shifter from the Mediterranean. Each year, his herd migrates back to the island to feed and bear their young in the tranquil turquoise waters. There is no safer place in all the world for the hippocampi – but for Dante, time is running out.

excerpt1

Author Note: Dante has never watched his friend Alessa perform in the mermaid tank. In this scene, he arrives and realizes something is changing about their relationship.

Desire hit me hard and fast, a sudden freight train sweeping away my common sense and ability to reason.

Alessa is my friend, I repeated while approaching the glass to stare at her. As I watched her perform for the crowd I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She twisted and turned through the water, a beautiful sea nymph who enchanted the younger viewers and enraptured the adult males.

I didn’t want them watching her. Hot jealousy washed through me followed by the urge to charge all the leering men in the room. My wild, animalistic instinct called for me to drive off the other male contenders. Only then, could I dive into the tank to claim my mate.

Whoa. The reckless path my thoughts took made me step back. It’s Alessa. This can’t be right. She’s a human.

author-interview1

Vivienne Savage

Featured Book: Making Waves

Hey, everyone, I’m Vivienne, or Vivi if you prefer. I’m happy to answer your burning questions about my work.

Hello, Vivi!! It is great having you join us! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for about 3 years now. Wow, that time has flown by. Before that, though, I would write for fun. Stuff that should probably never see the light of day, if I could ever find it.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best is really getting to put my ideas and thoughts out there in a tangible way. I get to share my stories and most of the time, people to seem to love them. As for the worst, I’d have to say marketing. It takes up a lot of time – time that I could be using to write instead of filling out endless forms. A necessary evil, I’m afraid.

What inspires you to write?
Life. Things that have happened to me, whether with my family, friends, or while attending school or work. I have friends, too, who will tell me a funny story about what their significant other did. After we’re done laughing I’ll ask if I can use that for a character.

How did you come up with this storyline?
You know what, I don’t remember exactly what inspired Making Waves. I wanted to show more supernatural creatures in the world than what you normally see, and I was bored with the usual bears and wolves. So I got to thinking about mermaids and water horses, which led to a fun, beachy read.

Eventually, I want to do an entire series of mythological beings like unicorns and phoenixes.

How did you conduct your research for Making Waves?
I watched a few documentaries on deep sea research and marine biology. One of my children is a Nat Geo lover, so we spent hours watching videos about ocean life and the food chain. Between that and movies like Happy Feet, I cobbled together my own ideas. By the way, if you’re a David Tennant fan, I recommend Dolphins: Spy in the Pod. He narrates the entire thing for the BBC and his voice is ear-sex.

What is one of your favorite funny scenes from Making Waves?
In this scene, my heroine Alessa is convincing her boss to expand the resort’s mermaid attraction by including men. I love this scene because the resort owner is actually a dragon shifter, and they love money.

“If you really want to expand the attraction, you’ll have Kekoa or one of the other hot guys squeezing into a tail. The ladies want mermen. We want rippling abs and Adonis belts on display while hot guys perform their best Michael Phelps impressions.”
Teo rubbed his chin, his eyes lighting up with interest.
Bingo. The girls were going to owe me for this one.
“Teo, do not listen to her. No one wants to see me in a merman tail,” Kekoa disagreed.
“Rippling abs, Teo. Think of how Marcy loves to touch yours. Think of the Return on Investment as needy women hemorrhage money to see his pecs.”
I stole a glance at Kekoa to find him glowering at me. “I win,” I mouthed to him.
No one could change a dragon’s mind once money was involved.

Are reader reviews important to you?
Reviews are important to every author. Not just so we can qualify for certain promotions or get better views on retailers, but because they also help me improve. I will go through my bad reviews and make a serious effort to improve where they say I’m weak.

What do you do when you don’t write?
What’s free time? Kidding. I spend time with my kids, play with my pet menagerie (I have two dogs, guinea pigs, a pair of geckos, and a conure who might as well be a toddler), read, and play video games.

Tell us about your other books?
I started off with dragon shifters and they’ve quickly become a beloved series. In fact, my newest title – Crush- released today (9/28). Pssssst, go get it!! I also have a trio of books featuring some sexy military vets who are shifters in the same world as my dragons. Sometime this year I hope to get the next Wild Ops novel written. It will feature Sasha, who is a lioness shifter. Also in the same world, I have werewolves, witches, and other mythological creatures. You get to meet my hippocampi in Making Waves, as well as a cameo from a dragon or two.

Thank you so much for sticking with me. Readers really are why I write and publish. If you
want to know more about me and follow my books, you’re welcome to join my
readers group on Facebook – Vivienne’s Sirens

author-bio1

vivienne-savage21

Vivienne Savage is a resident of a small town in rural Texas. While she isn’t concocting sexy ways for shapeshifters and humans to find their match, she raises two children and works as a nurse in a rural retirement home.

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author.

A True Vacation From Writing Is Actually Hell

Life consists of writing or thinking about writing.jpgWhenever I finish a book, I feel like I’m bled dry. That’s it. I’m no longer a creative person. It’s gone away.

And I’m terrified of that possibility.

I spend a couple of weeks living my life without a project and this strange emptiness surrounds me. I become restless and irritable. I pray to the writing gods to give me something I can use and sometimes I can feel ideas trying to reach me but can’t quite catch them.

Perhaps each of those near collisions help to break down my wall, until finally, something clicks into place. And as soon as it hits, I know it’s my new book. Although just a fledgling, I can always tell when it’s the one. And that’s when my creative energy ignites.

The idea grows by the day – the characters coming to life bit by bit as I go about my daily routine. In those moments when everything else is still – when I’m out walking, or stuck at traffic lights, sometimes waiting for the kettle to boil or that surreal space in time just before I fall asleep – the idea is with me and I finally feel like I’ve found myself again.

It’s time for a new beginning.

The Making of The Ninth Hunter

283023157802043716HcoiiWnKc

I’ve recently published my fifth novel. It’s no longer an idea, a dream, a goal or (and I hate to admit this) a frustration. It’s a book. I can hold it in my hand and flip through all those pages—the thousands of words neatly printed, side by side, barely representing the agony I went through to get them there.

Now that it’s over, I can finally sit back and congratulate myself for making it. Because until publication day—the finish line—everything else is just one tiny step in an impossible journey. And no matter how many times you’ve done it before, it doesn’t get easier. Of course, there are elements of certainty that only experience can bring. Like knowing you have the resilience to make it through the drafting phase and various edits, but with that experience also comes expectation. Because you’ve done it before, you expect yourself to do it faster, you want your characters to be stronger and your plot to be a thousand times more intriguing. But realistically, every book is different and they can’t be written the same way.

If I’d gone into this book with that in mind, perhaps I would have saved myself a lot of frustration. But if I’m being honest with myself, there’s truly no point working within your capabilities. How will you ever grow if you don’t stretch yourself?

Where it all began…

So back on June 6th 2013, I started working on my humble little ghost story. I’d recently fallen in love with ghost stories and plots that moved away from the mainstream concept. Like Anna Dressed in Blood and the Graveyard Queen Series. I took inspiration from those stories and set to work on my own book, using the well known concept of ghosts and twisting it into my own unique mythology.

I didn’t want to write about ghosts of dead people who linger around earth until their unfinished business is settled. What if instead, ghosts were an extension of the human psyche? Ghosts of the living, who have the power to manipulate and destroy human lives. Wouldn’t they be far more terrifying?

I wrote extensive notes about world building and really focused on creating a strong main character with an intriguing struggle. Daniel Barrow, a young man with a sad past, who’s evolved into a ruthless ghost hunter. I fell in love with the idea of a character who could be a complete badass and a competent killer, but who also has a unique vulnerability. He’s done terrible things but ultimately has good intentions, and he’s fighting for a noble cause.

Out of all the characters I’ve written, Daniel instantly became my favourite. Although I can’t directly relate to the horror of his past, I think we’ve all felt trapped by some element of our lives before. And while he accepts his dark fate, it’s his ongoing struggle for identity that really brings him to life.

When it got tough…

I’ve drafted novels in as little as four months before, but this book, this neat little package of pages, took a whopping 2.5 years from concept to publication. And to be honest, I truly resented the time it took while I was stuck in the middle. But now that I’m finally at the end, I can see that it took so long because it’s far more than one novel. It’s an entire education. I learnt so much in the process of creating this piece, from the fortnightly critiques from the ever inspiring Ellenbrook Writers Group, the seven beta readers who pulled this book apart and helped me glue it back together, the professional content editor and the TWELVE rounds of editing it took to get to the finished product. In the process of writing this book, I became a real writer, and there’s a whole team of people who supported the process. They know who they are, and I’ll never forget their lessons!

Aside from the technical elements of writing, I had a few personal speed bumps along the way too. And I can assure you, dealing with a complicated mythology is hard enough when you’re spending regular time working on it, but any extended breaks you have, make it virtually impossible to remember your place and they’re a huge step backwards! So add into the mix, a year of living packed to the rafters with five adults and a baby (let me add, it was a beautiful distraction to be surrounded by family and to watch my niece growing into a little lady), a house move and six months of hideous migraines, I lost my place time and time again and there were days where I really didn’t know how this book would ever be finished. But I slowed down and stopped expecting so much from myself. Gradually life got easier. I chipped away and I called in encouragement whenever I needed it. I finally finished this book and proved to myself that being passionate about something is always stronger than any obstacle.

The result…

The Ninth Hunter ebook cover

Before I started this book, writing had always been a solo venture, but thanks to my writers group, I’m now surrounded by a wonderful group of extremely talented authors. These amazing people taught me how to use the English language in ways I hadn’t thought of before, they allowed me to understand how readers really think, they encouraged me when I struggled and were hard on me when I needed to be shown the truth. They’ve made me tougher, and wiser and one billion times better at doing what I love. And six weeks post publication, the response to The Ninth Hunter has been overwhelmingly positive. Every time I read a review that talks fondly about Daniel and his struggle, I smile and think, that’s my struggle too.

 

I’m A Writer, And It’s Time To Soldier On

743999b762023e24ec8c8912992be61eYears ago I saw a documentary on SAS training. During the interviews one soldier said when you feel like your body has given absolutely everything it has, you’ve actually only used 30% of its capabilities. That concept has stuck with me, reminding me that most battles are lost within the mind not the body and whenever I feel like I’m ready to give up, I quietly tell myself, I have another 70% to go.

This idea applies to so many things in life but when it comes to writing a novel, you really have to reach within yourself, pull out everything you have to give, and then some.

People often ask about the challenges an author faces. They’re curious about the daily hurdles, the hunt for inspiration and the motivation to continue working on the same project for years. It is hard but sometimes those three words aren’t enough to explain the enormity of the task. So I wanted to give you a snap shot. To show you the true magnitude of how deep we need to dig as authors to make it through some of those last obstacles.

I’m 2 years into my current writing project, The Ninth Hunter. And the truth is, this is the hardest book I’ve ever written. But it’s not the first time I’ve said those words and it certainly won’t be the last. Which is a good thing. It means I’m pushing myself, I’m learning and I’m getting better at this job every day. But momentum is everything in this craft and this is officially the longest time I’ve spent on one novel. Why? Mostly because of challenging and adapting life circumstances that couldn’t be avoided. All those hiccups dragged me away from the book and made it harder to keep my head in the game. And when you’re working slowly, your perspective warps and it’s easy to lose consistency with your characters and plot.

Despite the hardships, I powered through. Over two years, I submitted 24 chapters of this book to my writers group and received detailed critiques from lots of talented people. I went through their suggestions fortnightly and updated my novel every step of the way. I finally completely the draft. I read the book from start to finish and rewrote my female character. TWICE. I sent the book out to 6 beta readers. I evaluated their feedback and edited the book once more. Then I began my last edit. The final step, the search for spelling and grammar mistakes. The sense of completion drew near, and I was more than ready to let this book go. It had been a long journey, but I’d given everything I had.

Then I received final notes from a seventh beta reader and a couple of significant flaws were brought to my attention. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a crushing moment for me. Not because the feedback was harsh—it wasn’t. The review was honest and constructive but experiencing that shift from visible finish line to realising the marathon wasn’t over was a difficult moment.

At first, disappointment took over but within a few minutes I realised how grateful I was to have a friend tell me what was wrong with my book before I published it and got bad reviews. And I had no doubt in my mind where I would go from there. I didn’t work for 2 years only to ignore a problem and release work that could have been better. If I didn’t fix the flaws, all the time I’d already invested in this book would be wasted.

So today, I’m back at the writing desk. I thought I’d reached my limit but now the challenge has kicked in and I know I have another 70% to spare. Ultimately, this is what I love about writing. I love how it replicates life, throwing curve balls and forcing you to push yourself right to the edge. And to the seventh beta reader, if you’re reading this, you already know how grateful I am for your help. It’s too soon to say exactly how long it will take me to patch up the holes, but there’s no doubt this book will be better because of it. Thank you!