Tag Archives: romance

Glo Column November: I’m Thankful for Kelly Jones

boy-in-love     When I was in the second grade my teacher came up with an end-of-the-week ritual in which the class gathered at the front of the room, held hands and shared aloud those things for which we were especially thankful. It was an exercise designed to fill our hearts with gratitude, but filled the teacher with regret the day that Davy Williams* confessed his feelings for fellow seven-year-old Kelly Jones*.

Davy was a transfer student who joined our class at the end of October. He was a tall boy with a sandy mop top and before he could turn in his lunch money or sharpen a No. 2 pencil, he fell head over heels for Kelly, who was my best friend at the time.

It was easy to see why he was smitten. With her long blonde hair and clear blue eyes Kelly was not only the most popular girl in the second grade, but she was by far the prettiest. Unfortunately Kelly didn’t know Davy was alive, that is until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when we assembled for a special holiday version of our Sharing Circle.

Although there were no hard-and-fast rules about what we could and could not say during this event, our teacher expected us to take it seriously, offer up a heartfelt intention, and be respectful of one another. While little kids are not known for their deep philosophical thoughts, we managed to come up with a motley assortment of responses ranging from the superficial to the significant.

There were always one or two students who could be counted on to rattle off something eloquent and profound while making the rest of us look bad. (Usually the same kids who ruined the grade curve for everyone.) There were also a few wise guys who incorporated a lot of crude humor in their thoughts (seriously, who is grateful for the ability to belch?) and naturally, there were those blatant suck-ups who waxed poetically about the school, teacher and principal in hopes that their abject appreciation would win them a few extra brownie points. (It never worked.)

And then there was Davy, who after weeks of pining over the girl of his dreams, decided to do something about it. I have no idea if he actually planned this caper or if he acted on impulse but when his turn came, he didn’t say he was thankful for anything normal like frozen pizza or his favorite sports team. To everyone’s surprise he blurted out, “I am thankful for Kelly Jones.”

Kelly turned a brilliant shade of scarlet and her hand clenched around mine like a vice. The room erupted in whoops and catcalls you expect from such public declaration of affection and it took the teacher several minutes to settle the class so that we could continue. As we worked our way around the room, everyone waited with bated breath to find out how Kelly would respond. Would she reciprocate Davy’s feelings or would she break his heart?

“Kelly?” The teacher prompted. “What are you thankful for?

Kelly squared her shoulders, put her hands on her hips and glared daggers at the lovesick boy across the circle from her. “I’m thankful for my cat,” she snapped.

Davy and Kelly never got together and we never had another Sharing Circle after that incident. Officially, the teacher said we lacked time in our schedule but personally, I think she hated to see her simple gratitude session segue into a second grade soap opera. Nonetheless, it remains one of my favorite holiday memories and the reason I continue to be very thankful for a precious thing called puppy love.

*Names changed to protect the innocent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It: Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper (Hilary Lifton)

Movie Star    Everything about this story will sound a little familiar if you followed the courtship, marriage and fallout of TomKat in recent years. In this fun fictional biography (not unlike my own FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME) Hilary Lifton introduces readers to Lizzie Pepper, a young actress who made a name for herself in a television series and a few forgettable movies before being thrust into the spotlight when she begins dating mega star Rob Mars.

It’s hard not to get caught up in Mars’ romanticism. He says all of the right things. He is the king of the over-the-top gestures and while it’s tempting to hurl at some of the things he does, deep down inside most people would love to have someone do that for them as well…but of course, things aren’t always what they seem. Mars claims he owes his entire life and career to the philosophies of One Cell…a cult-like organization that caters to celebrities and runs ordinary mortals into the ground. He convinced Pepper to get involved and before long, she’s drank the Kool-aid.

However, Pepper is not as blind as one may think. She is, after all, the daughter of a high powered lawyer who has served as her manager up to her marriage and who even arranged her meeting with Mars. When Pepper begins to question a few things about One Cell and see the man behind the facade of Rob Mars, can she stay with him? More importantly, can she escape?

I really enjoy novels that take a true story and fictionalize them. It’s unlikely that we will ever know for sure what went down between Tom and Katie and to be honest with you, I don’t really care, but I do like it when an author takes the time to play with the story and come up with a plausible plot line. They are calling this the beach read of the summer and I can see why. It’s fast, you don’t have to think to hard and the story feels familiar. I say Buy It. You’ll enjoy the characters and seeing where Lifton takes the tale.

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Author Spotlight- Kate Roth Natural Harmony

Today, I am thrilled to present Kate Roth, a fellow author and a dear friend who was a student of mine when she was just starting out! Her first two releases, The Low Notes and Reckless Radiance were so successful that she is continuing the momentum with a brand new series she can’t want to tell you about! 

Name: Kate Roth

NaturalHarmony_ebookcover      Title of current book: Natural Harmony  (ISBN: 978-0991151400

1. Tell our audience a little about yourself: I’m a writer inspired by music, film, art as well as the wealth of stories I’ve heard through my career as a professional hair stylist. My first two novels, new adult romance The Low Notes and new adult paranormal romance Reckless Radiance were originally released by Rebel Ink Press. Natural Harmony is my third novel and the first in a series of stand-alone romances called The Confession Records Collection. I’m a small business owner and I live in Indiana with my husband, Adam and our dog, Sampson.

2. Tell us a little about your latest release: Suddenly named the acting president of her uncle’s record label, former pop princess Sabrina Walker is finally ready to grow up. While her professional life moves forward, she still clings to the last fragment of her past life in the form of an uncertain relationship with her manager, Beau.

When Sabrina hires handsome, young assistant, Wade Lawson, he awakens in her the hidden confidence she’s always desired. What starts as a casual affair quickly intensifies to something much more.

Sabrina must decide—return to the familiar life of an insecure one-hit-wonder, or embrace Wade and the woman his passion has helped reveal.

3. What was the inspiration behind the story? I’ve always been fascinated with fame and the music industry and for a while I even had dreams of being a singer. I wanted to tell the story of the girl who comes in second and how that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes when one career fizzles, you see another golden opportunity in front of you.

katepic    4. How long did it take you to write it? The initial seed was planted back in January 2013 I think, but I didn’t start writing it until the spring. My first real sprint on it was in May 2013 and I was finished by September. I was living and breathing this book in that short span of time. It just moved right through me.

5. How long did it take you to find your publisher/agent? This book is my first independent novel! I started with a small press in 2012 and as I watched the romance genre and, honestly, the whole of the industry over the last two years, I realized the careers I most aspired to were that of indies. It was a completely new experience and so far I’m loving it. I was recently released from my contracts with my small press for my first two novels so I re-released those as indie works too and I’m very happy right now with the way it’s all playing out.

6. How are you marketing the book? Facebook is probably my biggest marketing tool. I love interacting with my readers and fellow authors. I have a blog tour starting on Jan. 20th and I’m hoping to gain some attention there as well.

7. Did you always know you wanted to write? Yes. I wrote my first ‘chapter book’ in sixth grade and from then on it was always something I did for fun and for my friends to read. As I got older, I took it a lot more seriously.

8. Do you have a traditional “day job” or are you a full time writer? I am a hair stylist by day. I own a small studio where I do hair four days a week. I would love to be writing full time but for now I’m sticking to two jobs.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors? Growing up I loved Judy Blume and Katherine Applegate. I really love Emily Giffin, Gail McHugh, Joe Hill, Kim Karr and about a thousand more!

10. What’s next for you? I’m working on the next two books of the Confession Records series and after that another New Adult romance set in my fictional town of Wexley Falls. I have a lot of other projects started, including an erotic romance, a Confession Records novella, James’s story from The Low Notes and a handful of others. I have plenty to keep me busy!

11. How can our readers get in contact with you? My website is the best place for finding my purchase links and info about the books. www.katerothwrites.com My Facebook page is where I post a lot of fun teasers, giveaways and what I’m working on daily. www.facebook.com/authorkateroth. I’m also on Twitter @KateRothWrites and have a blog www.katerothwrites.blogspot.com

 

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Author Spotlight- Charlotte Howard author of FOUR LETTER WORDS

Today, Charlotte Howard (a fellow Rocking Horse Publishing author) has stopped by to share a little about her book FOUR LETTER WORDS. I haven’t known Charlotte long, so I was very excited to get to know her a little bit and I know my readers are going to love her as well. Be sure to check out her latest release. I don’t think you will regret it! Be sure to post your thoughts or ask questions and I know she will be happy to respond.

Charlotte Howard     Four Letter Words (Rocking Horse Publishing ISBN-10:0-9910695-2-8 ISBN-13:978-0-9910695-2-1)

1. Tell our audience a little about yourself: I was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of my life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, I live with my photographer husband, two children, dog and two cats. I enjoy reading and writing (of course), spending time with my family, and watching action movies, whilst eating curry and drinking tea.

2. Tell us a little about your latest release: Four Letter Words is the sequel to my debut novel, Seven Dirty Words. It’s a contemporary romance based around the life of Paige Holmes. In the original novel, Paige finds herself torn between two men – Vance Ellery (Tall, Dark, & Smouldering, or TDS) and Matt Jackson. In Four Letter Words she has made her choice, but after she finds herself in trouble once again she is forced to question her decisions.

3. What was the inspiration behind the story? I will admit that I wrote Seven Dirty Words after reading the FSOG trilogy. I’d never tried to write romance before, always interested in crime, but after FSOG, I decided to give it a go, and it worked! I knew from the word go that it would be duet story, and just let the words flow from my fingers to the keyboard.

4. How long did it take you to write it? Four Letter Words took 3 months to write, but several more to edit and polish it.

5. How long did it take you to find your publisher/agent? Not very. I was lucky enough to have worked with Robin (RHP) before she started the publishing company, and she took on Seven Dirty Words with a view to accepting any sequels.

6. How are you marketing the book? The usual routes – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest… I have several blog tours and interviews lined up. I’m also hoping to get some local coverage through newspapers and radios as I did with the first book. I will also be attending Smut by the Sea, in Scaborough, UK, in June to do a reading.

7. Did you always know you wanted to write? Short answer: Yes. I’ve been writing from a very early age. Mainly poetry, but short stories developed, and in 2010 I wrote my first full-length novel which was self-published (and now out of print).

8. Do you have a traditional “day job” or are you a full time writer? Sort of. I’m a full-time Mum and housewife. I also volunteer for the local Girl Guiding Association and work part-time as a midday supervisor at the local school.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors? I’m not sure I have a favourite author as such. I have a wide reading range and will give anything a go. I read a lot of Tami Hoag’s books, and am currently obsessed with Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series.

10. What’s next for you? I’ve just finished a shorter novel, which is currently under submission, and I am writing a fourth contemporary romance. I also plan to have a go at a fantasy series under a pen-name.

11. How can our readers get in contact with you? 

Website: www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @Shy_Tiger

Facebook: facebook.com/charlottehowardauthor

What others are saying about Charlotte Howard:

” A steamy romance within a great story!” -anonymous on bn.com

“I loved the main character, Paige. She was really easy to relate to and the story as a whole was fast-paced and super easy to get into. I’ve been struggling more to get into books lately but it was really hard to put this one down! I was really surprised by a few of the plot points and the ending of the book. Howard gives some great descriptions and not all of her wording is cliched or overused by other authors like in some books — her voice feels fresh and new. Can’t wait ’til the sequel!” -Rachel on amazon.com

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Author spotlight and GIVEAWAY from Jim Cangany, author of FALLEN STAR

Today, I present to you Jim Cangany. I met Jim ages ago when we were in a musical together but only recently reconnected when I learned that he had a new book out. Come to find out we were kindred spirits in the stories we wrote and I am thrilled to introduce him to my readers as not only a fellow author, but a friend. Today, Jim has offered a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky respondent to this posting so be sure to leave a reply in order to have a chance to win! Also…be sure to get a copy of this book. I have a thing for rock stars on the run! 🙂

Fallen Star     Fallen Star (Uncial Press ISBN: 978-1-60174-163-9)

1. Tell our audience a little about yourself: Like you Julie, I’m an Indianapolis native. My wife, Nancy, and I have been married almost 23 years and we have two sons. The older is 17 and the younger is 12. When I’m not writing, I love following bicycle racing and college basketball.

2. Tell us a little about your latest release: Fallen Star is the first installment of the North Star Trilogy. It’s a sweet, contemporary romance that asks what might happen if you met a mysterious stranger on a cross country vacation.

3. What was the inspiration behind the story? I’ve had the basic story idea in my head since I was in college, but didn’t act upon it until a few years ago.  My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and when she successfully completed treatment, we decided life’s too precious to spend it asking what if. Instead we decided to embrace things we’d always wanted to do. Nancy became a huge booster of Butler University’s women’s basketball team and I started writing.

4. How long did it take you to write it? I started writing Fallen Star in September 2011 and finished the first draft in six weeks. It took a lot longer to get it to a finished product, though. It wasn’t until the following July that I started submitting it to agents and publishers.

5. How long did it take you to find your publisher/agent? In the grand scheme of things, not long. I signed with Uncial Press on October 6, 2012, almost three months after I started the submission process. That was an angst-filled period of time, though.

6. How are you marketing the book? As an author who is signed with a small press, most of the marketing and promotion is on me. I have a website and am active on Faceboook and Twitter. I also do a lot of blog visits, like this one.

7. Did you always know you wanted to write? Actually, yes. I’ve dabbled in it over the years, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I made the commitment to get serious about it.

8. Do you have a traditional “day job” or are you a full time writer? I have a day job…for now. My goal is to write full-time, hopefully sooner rather than later.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors? There’s you of course. I mean come on. You wrote about the Irvington neighborhood, where I grew up and the personalities of Channel 4, who I grew up watching. I also love Alex Bledsoe, the fantasy author who writes the Tufa novels and Firefly Witch stories. John Green is fabulous and from Indianapolis, as well. And for the record, I do read quite a lot of romance novels, but I don’t want to name anybody in particular because there are too many romance authors I like.

10. What’s next for you? Book two in the North Star Trilogy, Lucky Star, comes out February 14–Valentine’s Day–the perfect day for a romance. The final story, Wish Upon a Star, will be out in October, 2014.

12. How can our readers get in contact with you? You can find me at:

My website: www.jimcangany.com

Twitter: @jimcangany

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-Cangany-Author/193385657452953

Or you can always shoot me an email at: jim.cangany@yahoo.com

What others are saying about Jim Cangany:

“‘Fallen Star’ is the first book in a contemporary romance trilogy that follows main characters E.J. McCarty and Annie Wilson as their lives are thrown together during a train ride across the country. The characters of E.J. and Annie are realistic – they both have strengths and weaknesses – that make them easy to identify with throughout the book. I enjoyed watching their characters get to know each other and to see how their relationship would grow in the book. The setting is a perfect one for this type of book – what is the best way to get two characters who might never have met in other circumstances together? Put them somewhere where there’s no escape – like a cross country train ride. It’s not a completely original idea, but I did enjoy the descriptions of the scenery and the way the characters acted with one another. There’s the obvious and a bit cliched issue of one of the characters have issues with trust or having walls put up to protect themselves from getting hurt – it seems to be a recurring theme with romances like this – and I did get a bit bored with it at times. The author included more to the story than just the romance factor – it deals with issues like trust, failure, hope, love, faith, and family – among other things. I felt that these deeper topics gave the book a more layered story line and made it more interesting for me as a reader. Overall, this is a good contemporary romance with heart that fans of the genre will enjoy reading.” -Stephanie Ward Amazon.com

“What a treat to read a romance from a male author who’s captured this love story with grace and charm. Fallen Star is a beautiful story as EJ and Annie fall in love on a cross-country trek on a train. I’m looking forward to more books in this series from Jim Cangany–a most romantic man!” Nan Reinhardt on Amazon.com

“If you like to fall in love with the characters in a book, then Fallen Star is for you! Cangany is a master at creating characters who are so real, you expect to meet them on the street.
Fallen Star is a delightful mix of romance, nostalgia, adventure, and a touch of mystery. The main character, E.J., grabs the reader’s interest from the start. As he begins his traveling adventure and works through his grief to find a surprising new love, it’s a pleasure to cheer him on.
The story line is so smooth, it’s hard to believe this is a debut book. I’m looking forward to more from this author.” -Brenda Maxfield on amazon.com

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