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Posted in Guest Post

Guest Cover Reveal

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TITLE: Déjà You
PUBLISHER: Emerald Lily Publishing
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017

In Déjà You, five authors share stories of second chances, as varied in telling as the writers themselves.

Kelly Cain’s We’ll Always Have Oahu takes us on a whirlwind New Adult romance set in the 80s between a young woman on a high school graduation trip and a handsome Navy sailor.

Bianca M. Schwarz transports us to 1760 in The Pearl with the story of Marcus Landover, who attends a card party and ends up with more than he bargained for in the beautiful Sophia Chelmsford.

Amanda Linsmeier’s Joy and Sorrow reunites lovers separated by death in a Women’s Fiction tinged with the unusual.

The Eyes of the Heart by Jamie McLachlan gives us Rosalina, who is forced to confront her attraction and the truth about her blindness when a new gardener is hired at the Greystone house.

Finally, C.H. Armstrong brings us Mr. Midnight, where tragedy reunites two star-crossed lovers, but misunderstandings soon rip them apart. Now, six years later, the stars are realigning with the help of the smooth voice of a late night radio DJ.

Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, some steamy, but all carry the same theme. Déjà You is a collection of stories for those who believe in love, but most of all, second chances.


The Birth of Déjà You

About two years ago, a group of five novice writers signed with the same small publisher, each inexperienced in the publishing world yet committed to understanding the process and finding success. Through their mutual dive into unchartered territory, Amanda Linsmeier, Bianca M. Schwarz, C.H. Armstrong, Kelly Cain, and Jamie McLachlan reached out to one another and became instant friends, sharing laughs, tears, and the struggles of life and writing. We soon dubbed ourselves “Book Besties.”

During the fall of 2016, we decided to write a book of short stories together. As friends, we wanted to combine our talents to create a collection that would inspire hope and happiness. After much deliberation, we chose the theme “Second Chances” and decided to title this anthology, “Déjà You.” Though each story contains the same theme, they all are as unique as the author who wrote it. Including New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, and Contemporary Romance, each short offers a different take on the theme and involves varying heat levels, from sweet to steamy.


About the Authors

kellycain200x200Kelly Cain has published a multicultural adult and new adult romance, but she writes across genres and age groups, currently penning book one of a young adult urban fantasy series. Most of her stories are set in Texas with frequent travels to her home state of California, and all of her stories have an excess of food weaved throughout.

If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Or maybe cooking. Check out her website for recipes for dishes featured in her books, and some other fun stuff. She has two adult daughters and lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas.

Kelly is the author of Altered, a new adult multicultural romance and Connections, a steamy short story exclusively available on Amazon. Visit her on her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumbler.

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Bianca M Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and has a US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that’s where they make movies and she used to work on them. She writes novels because that’s kind of like making a movie in people’s heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that’s all she can handle and she tolerates her husband because, well, she loves him and there is no help for that. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

10254015_492271840927359_9159417025130441003_nAmanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairytales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. She can be found blogging about writing and books at amandalinsmeier.com. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. You can Amanda’s blog for book reviews and random musings, or check her out on Twitter or Facebook for more information.

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Jamie McLachlan is the Canadian author of Mind of the Phoenix, an Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy and the first novel in the Memory Collector Series. The third, Rise of the Phoenix, is set for release in summer of 2017. When not writing, Jamie reads, dabbles in various crafts, and spends time with her family. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

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C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma-native transplanted in the Midwest. A life-long lover of books, she made her author debut with the 2016 release of her historical fiction novel, The Edge of Nowhere, which was inspired by her own family’s struggles during the one-two punch that was The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. Armstrong is currently working on two young adult novels and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota-based women’s magazine, Rochester Women. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.


For more information on Déjà You or the Book Besties, visit their website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

Posted in Writing Process

Careers, Spotlights, & Dreams

Growing up, my dream was to be a singer. I went to college on a vocal performance scholarship but quickly realized I disliked the constant competition and auditioning. I saw that pinning my hopes and dreams on someone else’s opinion was a quick path to not being able to put food on the table.

So halfway through my freshman year, I dropped my vocal performance major with little idea what I wanted to do with my life. I took career assessments to see where my skills and interests met up. I’d taken these tests in the past, and I’ve taken them since. One thing I can say, I’m fairly consistent. What I always got was actor, artist, writer, singer, dancer, teacher, counselor, psychologist, and editor.

Never once in my life did I want to be a teacher, so I did not shift over to music education. I ended up on the path to being a Marriage and Family Therapist.

In our new city and state, I took a very part-time job as a teacher because that was the only job available. The next year I worked as a home visitor, doing in-home sessions with families, which was my focus in grad school. It was a good fit. My final year in that job, I was pregnant with my daughter.

My kiddo was born mid-July, and I had planned on going back to work in the fall. That didn’t happen because kiddo needed multiple operations. She was in the PICU for two months, the NICU for several more, and when she wasn’t in ICU, she was out on the pediatric floor. In the end, she was in and out of the hospital for over a year.

When I first learned of kiddo’s diagnoses and called my employer to tell them I couldn’t come back to work until October, I was told I no longer had a job…with a brand new baby, who ended up being a million dollar baby in a matter of months.

In January I took another teaching job, 2 evenings a week in towns 15 and 30 miles from home. My new boss allowed me to bring kiddo with me on the job. I was teaching parents of infants-preschoolers, after all, so she ended up being one of the kids enrolled in the class while I did my parent education in the room next door. It was a pretty sweet deal.

The next school year, they asked me back for more classes. I doubled my hours, and a month later, I was hired by another school district. Eventually, kiddo and I were going to eight classes a week and putting a solid 400 miles on the car each week.

Then we moved from our small town back to the city, so my mileage increased again. Kiddo was a great traveler and we had lots of fun driving, but we live in Minnesota. Snowy roads, much of the time, and our drives were at prime deer feeding times. I worried about accidents. The last thing I wanted to do was risk my daughter’s life for a job I never wanted in the first place.

I looked into doing family therapy again, but that would’ve meant working full time. Kiddo sometimes needed me at the drop of a hat, so I ended up letting that idea go, promising myself I’d come back to it once kiddo’s life was more stable.

The following school year I was hired in my city. Kiddo went to preschool and eventually elementary school. I started writing for fun. And I worked as a parent educator just a few miles from home.

Again, I never wanted to be a teacher, but I taught for sixteen years so I could have a schedule similar to my kid’s. A few years ago, I quit teaching to take a stab at being a full-time author. That meant inviting in all those things that had me running away from being a singer. It meant “performing” but in a very different way.

At least when I was singing, I had proof that I was skilled, something to fall back on. Musical professionals told me I had what it took to make it, which was reinforced with awards, scholarships, and honors.

I had none of that when it came to writing, but I took the leap. I submitted my first book to my publisher and then another. They kept signing me, so I figured I was doing something right. What, I’m not exactly sure. I’m still not sure five years later, but I keep busking for change by putting out more books.

In order for books to sell, they must first be noticed. To be noticed, I have to get reviewers to read them. Or give a few away. Or write an amazing tagline and pay for a fantastic cover to encourage people to click BUY. I need people talking about my books so other people will give them a chance.

It’s not as easy as singing on the street corner and grabbing the attention of passersby. There’s no applause after I type The End. No one is there to tell me I did a good job. Yes, there are reviews, but those are not written for authors; they’re for potential readers. And I do my best to avoid them, even good reviews. Especially bad ones. They can put me off my writing game for weeks because self-doubt too easily creeps in.

Writing is a very lonely job, very different from singing and teaching. I’m unable to see where I’m hitting my mark or where I’m totally losing someone. I don’t know if my stories have left someone with a book hangover or if they read The End, shrug, and then move on to another book, never thinking about my characters again.

I want to give people book hangovers. I don’t know if I do because I’m sitting behind a keyboard and a screen, blind to how my stories affect people.

Being so isolated makes me miss the stage. It makes me miss teaching. But only in a nostalgic way. I’m done living in the spotlight. See, it’s the spotlight part of writing I don’t like; the marketing is hell on my soul.

And I’ve come to see a pattern emerge.

😁 Write > Edit > Rewrite > Edit > Format > Proof > Finalize

🙂 Publish

Marketing 🔆 😑 😒 😔 ❓

After I hit publish, there is always a huge let-down. The act of being done is disappointing, partly because of the huge build up to publication day. *Cue sad trumpet* Then the marketing begins. The spotlight shines in my eyes, blinding me to the story I wrote and making me look, instead, to the audience.

And as a writer, if I’m too focused on the audience, I’ll lose sight of why I wrote the story in the first place. If I’m paying too much attention to what readers think, that changes how I write my next story.

It also makes me play to the person in Row 3, Seat 17 or the group in Section C rather than to the entire auditorium. I end up pinning my hopes and dreams and self-worth on someone else’s opinion.

And that’s no way to write.

So today, for old time’s sake, I’m going to get in the car with my kiddo and drive. We’re going to talk and look at the beautiful, snowy landscape slipping by. We’re going to talk about the story she’s currently writing and listen to her favorite songs. We’re going to do mother/daughter things.

And that whole time, I’m going to be thinking about how grateful I am that I get to write. I work from home, have a flexible schedule, and can call the shots, like taking an afternoon drive to the Mississippi River and back.

I love to write and I’m going to keep on with it, likely for many years to come. Someday I’m going to figure out how to get through the week after a book release without wanting to hide under a rock. Maybe I’ll master that with my next book. Maybe it will take another eighteen. Who knows?

But today I drive.

Posted in Uncategorized

Momo is Here!

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🍑 Momo is out today! 🍑

Brave the spotlight for the man he loves, or stay alone in the shadows…

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/Momo

Title: Momo
Subtitle: My Everything
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Gay, Multicultural
Novella: 27,000 words, 95 pages.

KU Exclusive for 90 days

🍑 🍑 🍑 🍑 🍑
William Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.
Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?
🍑 🍑 🍑 🍑 🍑
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9B9B1V
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X9B9B1V
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06X9B9B1V
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06X9B9B1V
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06X9B9B1V
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/Momo
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34229394-momo

Posted in My Novellas

Momo – Preorder

Momo is on Amazon for preorder. It will be released February 28th.

Brave the spotlight for the man he loves, or stay alone in the shadows…

momomyeverything-f-webWilliam Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?

Amazon Buy Button GR Add Book Button

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Posted in Uncategorized

Bookbub Sale – Spark

Spark is 99¢ for 2 days. February 21 and 22nd. You can pick it up at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Google Play.

https://www.bookbub.com/books/spark-by-posy-roberts?ebook_dealsparkbookbubinstagram

#MMRomance #SecondChance #Bookbub #Sale

Posted in Cover Reveal, My Novellas

Momo, My Everything

I sent a manuscript off to my editor last night, spent nearly the entire day writing the blurb, approved the finalized cover today, and then reworked the blurb to my upcoming release, Momo, My Everything. It will be out February 28th, 2017, so YAY! Buy links to come.

Novella, 25,000 words, about, ~125 pages.

contemporary romance, gay romance, opposites attract, interracial couple, businessman, actor/artist, drag queen, closeted, semi-out for you, slight kink.

GR Add Book Button

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William Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?

*Extensively reworked from a previous short short, The Measure of a mn with 15k new words added.

Posted in My Novellas, My Novels, sales

30% off Books at PayHip

To help celebrate the new year and to get things off to a good start, I created a coupon for all my books currently for sale at my new storefront on PayHip. You’ll get 30% off when you enter in the code Renew2017 at the checkout. This is a limited-time offer, expiring January 7th, 2017.

Happy New Year!