For Fun!!

The Writer’s Tag

Huge thanks to J.W. Martin for this tag! If you do anything after reading this post it should be checking out his!

https://www.jwmartin.com/the-writers-tag/

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What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I write primarily adult contemporary romance and dark erotic thrillers, but there are elements of romance, suspense, mystery, paranormal phenomenon, unhealthy paranoia, love, and drama in all my stories. They are written for ages 18+ and each touches on a variety of important topics.

How long have you been writing?

A long time. Haha. I co-wrote my first novel in grade four. It was a fantasy-thriller. But seriously, writing has been a life-long passion of mine. I’ve always had a diary, journal or book of poetry that I added to when I was growing up. After a brief period of “life experience” (going off to college, falling in love, marriage and the birth of two little aliens that have a striking resemblance to my husband and I), I starting writing my first series. It was in 2011 when I started considering posting my fictional works for publication.

Why do you write?

To keep my sanity. It has always been my emotional release. It’s a cost-effective form of therapy for me. It’s a way to express happiness, release sadness, direct anger, exact revenge without harming any one (except perhaps your fictional characters). You should really try it sometime. It can help you come to terms with your feelings, among other things. Who knew you could rework all that energy into fictional stories that people might actually like to read? I certainly didn’t, or I would have tried it much earlier in life!

When is the best time to write?

For years it was at night after the kids went to bed. Now they stay up until all hours of the night, so I try to squeeze in half an hour every day over my lunch hour and a couple nights a week, if I’m lucky. Saturday used to be my go-to day for writing, but my daughter’s competitive dance team practices are out of town every Saturday. From September to December she danced from 9-5. Yes, that’s 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. She also dances two other nights of the week. At least now that the Nutcracker performance has ended, I will find some reprieve. Plus, I do have a car pool partner. That still means I’m stuck in Windsor for the better part of every other Saturday… sometimes more.

What parts of writing do you love and hate?

I love…

  • Brainstorming;
  • Writing first drafts;
  • World Building; and
  • Blurb writing. (“Back cover book blurb writing???” you ask. Yes! I love it!)

I hate…

Hate is such a harsh and unnecessary word in my vocabulary, but for the sake of answering this question…

  • Self-editing;
  • Researching;
  • How little time I can dedicate to writing; and
  • My uninspiring shared work space. (I need to work on this one the most. It’s an inspiration killer!)

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I don’t get writer’s block because I currently feel like I don’t write near enough. I only write when I’m inspired by events, ideas, or sprinting over lunch. Now that I outline my stories, it’s become easier to stay on track when I do finally sit down to write.

Like J.W. said, distraction blocks are another animal entirely–like You-tube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, needy children, my husband, his toys, my mother… I could go on. Lol.

Are you working on something at the moment?

Yes. At the moment, I’m finishing the last chapters of my NaNoWriMo project, titled Perfectly Ruined, which happens to be the third and final book in the Destiny Series. It’s set in a fictional town in Northern Ontario where a country boy has returned to his hometown after a failed relationship only to find himself unexpectedly wrapped right up with a new girl. A firefighter, a city girl, and a country road. It’s a small town romance with a hint of heat… contemporary romance at its finest.

What are your writing goals this year?

For 2018 my goals include:

  • Being true to myself and respecting the entire industry and readers everywhere… I’m publishing my books wide again (Although Amazon pulled a fast one on me, and of all books for them to auto-renew in Kindle Unlimited, re-enlisted Twisted for another 90 days. So, yeah. My January 1 perma-free plans went out the window real fast. Back to the drawing board for me!);
  • Publish 3 novels (one is written, one is almost complete in rough draft, and the other is up in the air until I sit down and hammer out my entire year (scheduled around my family priorities).
  • To complete number two above, I think I just decided which series should come next. To finish and submit a book to a certain publishing company. My ultimate goal has always been to be published by a certain renowned company and get into bookstores worldwide. I’ve started the perfect three book series that I expect is just what they’re looking for. It’s three Canadian romances with alpha heros and quiet, misunderstood heroines. Book two is more complete than book one, but I have a feeling this series will practically write itself once I lay out my plan with this amazing strategy I’ve discovered. It works for me like a charm EVERY time.

That’s all, folks. I’ve not tagged any writing buddies, because I don’t want to pester any one, but I’d love to hear your answers. Answer away and leave the link to your post in the comments or PM me privately if you don’t want everyone to know all your business. Me, I’m an open book. Any questions, ask away!

Fun fact about this post: I started writing it while sitting in the dentist office waiting room while my daughter got her teeth cleaned. I didn’t know how else I would find the time! My house is undergoing serious renovations right now and my writing space has been compromised. My family is practically living out of our hallway. Lol. The floors in my dining room, living room and kitchen are in the process of being ripped out and refinished. That probably doesn’t sound like much, but when your house is as old as mine there are a lot of layers to be removed, and nails in cement are always fun. Oh yes, removing baseboard heaters, even more fun.

It only took me three weeks to finally find a quiet 5 minutes to wind up this post. 🙂

Again, in case you missed it, here’s J.W.’s post: https://www.jwmartin.com/the-writers-tag 

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Liebster Award🌟2017

Okay, so Author J.W. Martin nominated me for the 2017 Liebster Award, and since he pointed out that I don’t do this kind of thing, I’m totally going to do it. It’s been years since I’ve done something like this, but it’s not going to stop me now. Thanks for the opportunity, JW!  Without further ado… let’s get to it.

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Boom, done.

2. Answer the 11 questions they gave you.

3. Nominate 11 blogs.

4. Give them 11 questions to answer.

J.W.’s Questions:

If you could have lunch with any author, who would you pick?

Stephen King. He fascinates me. I’ve read his book On Writing and I know he credits a lot of his success to persistence and life experience and pure dumb luck, but just to sit in his presence would be an honour.

What made you start blogging in the first place?

I wrote a book–a trilogy actually. Can you believe that was my first step?!  When I started to consider my publishing options, I read a few blogs that caught my interest. I was in the process of absorbing knowledge on WordPress and I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to document my progess? That’s how I got started with blogging back in 2012.

What’s the best post you’ve ever written? (in your humble opinion)

Oh jeez. I don’t know. I know which posts get the most traffic on my blog. I’d say the best posts I’ve written have not been published. Is that a fair answer? I have hundreds of posts I’ve written about the writing process, publishing and marketing, that I never get around to editing or posting.

Favorite stand-up comedian.

I can’t say I really have one. It’s not the type of thing I frequently watch, although I really enjoy comedy. I always get nervous going to comedy shows in person though, because I hate having the spotlight shining on me and I’m afraid the comedian is going to ask me a dumb question and I’ll have the perfect comeback come to me about five minutes after the opportunity has arisen. So, yeah. Comedy, I love. Stand-up comedy, not a super fan.

Name a hyped author you’ve never read and don’t plan on reading.

Hmm. When there’s a hyped author, I like to give them a chance and see what it is that’s got everyone’s panties in a twist. Having said that, sometimes I have to put books down. That’s a new skill I picked up a year or two ago, and I’ve been a much happier reader since.

So, to answer the question…

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Do you want to be a part of a street team? Join mine!

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I’ve updated the Facebook cover in my street team. What do you think? Are you not a part of my team yet? I’d love for you to join us! There are no minimum participation requirements, but there are lots of chances for you to win exclusive prizes, give your input for future book covers, read for review and talk books with other readerly people like you!

If you’re at all interested, feel free to join the closed group on Facebook and check it out. You’re free to leave the group at any time, but why would you?! It’s a judgment-free zone and we’re all there to have a little fun. We leave drama where it belongs–in our fiction!

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Are you thankful today? I sure am! Here’s why…

Another Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope you’ve taken this opportunity, as I have, to think about all the things and people you’re thankful for!

kindness-matters-promo-thanksgiving-christasimpsonMy bestie always calls me a Crazy Canadian for all our silly differences. This holiday is one of them. But, even it you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving right now, it’s a great time to remember what you’re thankful for. Me? I’m thankful for having a loving husband, healthy children, supportive sisters and good parents, a sister-from-another-mister who just gets me, a roof over my head and food in my belly.

You know who else I’m thankful for? (more…)

SINGING at the TOP OF YOUR LUNGS because it’s fun

For how much I love music, I never really talk about it on here. That changes today.

Valentines design - Locked Heart in chains. Love concept Illustration with heart hanging on chains with keyhole and vintahe key on wooden background.The first time I heard this song I didn’t like it. By the second time, it had already grown on me. Now I can’t listen to the damn song without belting out Meghan Trainor’s part at the top of my lungs. I just can’t. Is it just me? Yeah? Okay, just checking. 😉

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SUMMER SALE: TWISTED IS #FREE!!!

To celebrate the final days of summer, I’ve put my baby, TWISTED, on sale! Not just “on sale”, but for free! This means you can get this complete novel (all 99,000 words of it) for zero pennies, the price of nothing, for FREE!!! If you’re into friends-with-benefits, friends to lovers, new adult sass, and/or romances with a paranormal twist, then I have a feeling you will enjoy this story. Sad man enjoying his beloved girlfriend

 

Did you know that my newsletter subscribers were the first to scoop up this delicious deal? They’ll be receiving exclusive specials in the future, too. It’s not too late to join, if you’re interested. You can sign up here!

What readers are saying about Twisted.

Readers are calling this story sexy, entertaining and easy to read. The characters are a little crazy, but who isn’t? There’s never a dull moment in the Twisted Trilogy.

Check out that Amazon Best Sellers Rank!

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A Traveler’s Dream (True Story)

So I’m in Cuba trotting through a resort after dark. No, the resort is not mine. In fact, I haven’t a clue where I am, but we don’t pass a single sole and it looks REALLY nice.the lobby

After taking a leisurely stroll up from the beach and past their condo-style bungalows, my hubby decides to detour to their lovely washroom, so I take a seat on one of the benches that lines the walking trail, with my two girls seating themselves on either side of me. Keep in mind, there is NO ONE around. Not a single sole. We’re simply walking down this path surrounded by landscape and flanked by a two-storey building of rooms and a dream-like shanty with linen-coloured curtains tacked to each of the four posts.

Out of no-where, a golf cart comes flying toward us, like a bat out of hell. A handsome Spanish security man leaps from his post, approaches me menacingly and promptly asks:

“How old are you?”

I’m like: What the hell? I’m clearly old enough to be drinking, which I hadn’t been, much. But I had my two children with me, both obviously close to their double digits, and I probably had a couple of years on him to boot.

“My age?” I ask, wondering if I didn’t understand his English properly. Seriously, I was stunned.

“Yes. How old are you?” he repeats, with a rather attractive accent that tells me English is barely his second language.

“Um. 34?” I answer, posing it more like a question than anything.

My oldest daughter whispers to me, horrified by my response. “No, Mom! You’re 33!”

Haha. Oops. “I’m 33,” I correct, snickering to myself and a little happy to hear it.

He doesn’t look amused in the slightest. Nor does he understand my English. “33?” he repeats.

“Yep. My birthday’s next week,” I explain, hoping he’ll understand the confusion. He doesn’t, but at least he looks good doing it.

While he doesn’t get my language, I don’t get that it’s a rather luxurious ADULT ONLY resort. Bahaha. Yay for possibly being mistaken as a teenager?!

Next he states, with a rather forceful undertone:

“Come with me if you want to live.”

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My Interview with Tanya Vought’s “Big” Ben!!!

Character Bios for Granted Wishes Cast

Gracelynn Calhoun– A 32 year old widowed woman. She’s spunky, sassy, and on a new adventure she never thought she would experience.

Giovanni Antonetii – A hard working 32 year old man. He enjoys his family and dog, Holly. Never expected to have his life changed in an unexpected incident.

Cassie – Best friend and HR woman to Gracelynn. She’s sassy, spunky, bubbly and just wants the very best for her best friend and for her to be happy again.

Ben – Also Gracelynn’s best friend and boss. He wants Gracelynn to live and love life again. Wonderful sweet man, you would love to have as your boss. <– or love interest *wink wink

I don’t know why, but I really loved “Big Ben”. He only had a minor role in this story, but his introduction just sticks in my mind. What can I say, he’s a memorable man.  😉 Read on for our interview. 😀

Granted Wishes Cast

INTERVIEW (Ben & Cassie)

They both walk in, hand in hand, smiling radiantly at one another. And man, Tanya was right. Ben is one handsome man. He turns toward me with that honey blond hair and a devilish flicker shines in his eyes.

I smile and extend my hand to them. “Please take a seat. Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me.” I watch as they both sit beside one another on the sofa across from me. When Ben smirks at me, I fan myself. Whew!

“You’re most welcome,” he answers me.

Clearing my throat and knowing it’s wrong to gawk at him, I ignore my professional composure and continue to gawk! “How long have you and Gracelynn been friends? I don’t believe we ever were introduced,” I say, directing all my attention to Ben.

Ben catches Cassie’s eye and whispers in her ear. Man, what I’d do to know what he’s said that’s left Cassie nodding and blushing like a school girl. She sits up straight on the sofa before answering.

“I’ve been friends with Gracelynn since we were in Elementary School. Ben was Angelo’s best friend. We all met in college and have been together ever since.”

I’ve clearly said something wrong. How was I to know that they were friends with Gracelynn’s deceased husband? “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to sadden you”. I really hate that I’ve upset her.

Cassie surprises me and smiles graciously. “You have nothing to be sorry for. We were the very best of friends and there’s nothing sad about it.”

I chuckle with relief. “Speaking of best friends, Gracelynn tells me you two were dating for months before telling her? Why wait?”

I watch as Ben squeezes Cassie’s hand and chooses to answer this one. “I chose that. Gracelynn had been in an emotional mood since Angelo died and I didn’t want to unload more stress onto her. If she was in a better frame of mind, I would have told her right away.”

I nod sincerely at Ben. “I know you sent Gracelynn on her trip. What was the hardest part about it all?” I turn to Cassie, although it’s tough to look away from those gorgeous eyes.

“It was hard,” Cassie admits. “But she needed it . . . badly.”

“She needed it,” Ben agrees. “I think the hardest part was watching the once vibrant woman day in and day out become so broken.”

I twist a strand of hair around my finger before asking the next question. Geesh. They’re so serious! “Enough about Gracelynn. What more can you tell the readers about yourselves?”

I smile deviously at Ben and they both laugh, knowing I want the goods on their steamy relationship.

“Us? You want to know more about us?”

I nod eagerly.

“Well, we enjoy sitting at home, taking walks. I love having Ben cook for me . . . he’s the best cook,” she gushes, glancing up at her man. “We just enjoy being together and want our best friend to have an amazing life filled with love and happiness.”

“Wow, a man that looks like that and can cook,” I mumble to myself. So what if I’m a little jealous. “One more question before you go, since I know you’re here on your lunch break. Will Gracelynn ever get her happy ever after? Please tell me because I’m dying to know!”

Ben and Cassie look at one another, mischief playing in their eyes before they turn back to me. “Let’s just say, Tanya doesn’t disappoint…. ,” Ben tells me. “But happy ever after? You will have to find out for yourself,” Cassie finishes.

They’re so darn cute together, finishing each other’s sentences. I stand and shake their hands. “Thank you so much for your time and answering a few questions.”

“It was our pleasure,” they answer in unison. Can they get any cuter? Seriously, gag!  

“Oh, and if you would ever like to interview us again, you know where to find us,” Ben says to me.

Excitement flairs in my eyes and all I can think about is the Big Ben comment Gracelynn told me about.

“But now, we are heading back to the office,” Ben says, interrupting my thoughts. “Later, I’m cooking Cassie a nice meal and maybe even a nice desert too.”

Cassie playfully hits Ben on the arm. Is he teasing me?! Even if he is, I’m happy to get some insight on Gracelynn’s two best friends. I can’t wait to meet with them again!

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Excerpt

Chapter 1 (© 2014 Tanya Vought)

The dark, somber sky matches Gracelynn Calhoun’s disposition. Her heart beats rapidly in her chest as she grips the steering wheel of her Hyundai Accent. From her windshield, she notices the barren trees that once held her favorite fall foliage. Looking at them makes her feel just as empty as the trees in the Layton Hills Cemetery. She releases her right hand from the steering wheel, and clutches her angel necklace as tears pour down her cheeks. She closes her eyes, continuing to hold the necklace, remembering the day her beloved gave it to her. She lets go of her necklace, opens her green-grey eyes and wipes her cheeks.

While walking to her beloved’s tomb, leaves crinkle under her favorite pair of black, high-heeled shoes. As she reaches the stone, tears trickle down her face and she drops to her knees. She immediately starts cleaning around his grave, removing all debris.

She stares at the gravestone, and drags her fingers over the intricately carved angel wings. She reads aloud, even though she doesn’t need to. “Angelo Grant Calhoun. 11/28/1980 – 11/30/2012. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” More tears stream down her face. She reaches up and touches the top of the stone, resting her hand in the middle of the stone, like she’d be touching Angelo’s heart.  “I miss you so much, Angelo. How can I move on with my life…move on without you?” she cries to the gravestone. “I love you so much. I wore your favorite dress and shoes, hoping that you’d see me today. How crazy is that?” She laughs through tears, wipes her cheeks with her hand and grabs her necklace. “I still remember the day you gave me this,” she expresses to the gravestone. “How can I move on when you were my whole life? I’ll love you forever and always.” The wind picks up suddenly and all the leaves that she had just cleaned up go flying around her. She looks around now, with the leaves in her hair, and hears disembodied laughing. She tries to pick the leaves out of her hair, now full of dead foliage. She looks around the stones, but spots no one else. “I’m losing it. No one is here, Gracelynn. Get a grip,” she tells herself as she stands back up, and continues to clean herself off.

She bends down to wipe her beloved’s stone again, and her phone rings. Startled, she falls down and lands on her butt. “Good grief,” she shrieks. Her phone rings again, and she opens her small purse to take out the phone. It’s Ben calling.  She stands up and looks around, hoping there isn’t anyone around who witnessed the entire ordeal. “Hello, Ben. What can I do for you?” she asks as she brushes the back of her behind, wondering what he wants.

“Hello, Gracie,” he purrs into the phone. Oh boy. This must be a doozy for him to talk like this on the phone. “Cassie and I have some things we’d like to go over with you. When are you

coming in?”  This time around, he sounds monotone, neutral. She glances at her watch, and realizes she’s late for work. “Oh man, Ben, I’m sorry I’m late. I didn’t realize the time. I’m at the cemetery and I’ll be there as soon as I can,” she tells him while wiping her right hand down her dress in a nervous gesture.

“Oh, Gracelynn. I’m such an ass,” Ben says through the phone. “I forgot you were going there this morning. Take all the time you need and I’ll see you in say, a half hour?” he asks her and hangs up, leaving Gracelynn more confused than before.

READ MORE TODAY!

My Two-Year Indie-versary!!!

Guess what today marks?!? It’s my two-year indie-versary!!!

I’ve been published for two whole years now. A little scary when you look at it that way, really! I didn’t throw some huge bash or anything, but I have been wanting to do something to celebrate such an accomplishment. You’re probably wondering what that means to you!

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As a thank you to my loyal fans and followers for sticking with me, I’m offering the first book in the Destiny Series, FINDING DESTINY, FREE!!!

That’s right! 100% FREE!!! No strings attached.

PICK UP YOUR COPY ON AMAZON BY CLICKING HERE!!!

Of course, like any author, I’d love you long time if you were to enjoy the book and leave a rating/review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or your sales channel(s) of choice! And now that Amazon has changed their policy to allow super short reviews, why wouldn’t you?!

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For those of you super loyal fans who’ve already read, reviewed and enjoyed Finding Destiny and haven’t yet had the opportunity to purchase Beautifully Broken, Matty and Felicia’s story in the Destiny Series, I have a SPECIAL OFFER for you!!! Here’s what you have to do, if you’d like a free kindle copy of my latest book:

  1. Add my publisher blackwidowpub@gmail.com to your list of approved senders;
  2. Email them the link to your Amazon review for Finding Destiny;
  3. Request an e-copy of Beautifully Broken with a promise to read, rate and review the story within 90 days after receipt.

That’s it!! That’s all you have to do!*

If you’re extra sneaky, you can read and review Finding Destiny for free now and get the next book in the series free too by making your request!!! This offer is open to followers of this blog only! – and will expire in thirty days, so act now! 

*Black Widow Publishing reserves the right to refuse this offer to any reader for any reason, in its sole discretion.

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If you prefer paperbacks, I have a Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY happening right now! Enter for your chance to win!

Thanks to you all, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me make my dream a reality! ❤ ❤