NaNoWriMo Newbie!

Between the end of 2016 and May 2019 I wrote around the grand total of fifteen thousand words, most of which were utter shit. I just couldn’t do it, I had nothing of me to give to a sentence let alone a page. My marriage had broken down and I left the family home, agreeing to joint custody of my two children, that marked the start of my dry spell. 

I’d had relative success in previous years, penning Falling to Pieces, my debut novel releasing mid 2013, Falling into You in 2014, Kissing Cassie in 2015 and Kissing Katie in 2016! I then wrote a book with another writer, which finished in 2016 but unfortunately we had a huge falling out on the account that he was an utter wanker. Therefore, that was a waste of both time and effort. 

When I left, I moved into a quaint little cottage, the end one of several and the largest. You would have thought it would have been idyllic and tranquil, but it turned out to be anything but. My next door neighbour was a nightmare. I left the property within four months. 

When I moved to the next place, I vowed to start writing again, even though I was due to start Mental Health Law  at Northumbria University. Life simply kept getting in the way.

So, what does this have to do with NaNoWriMo I hear you ask? 

I finally, oh my God, you have no idea how divine it felt, finished the first draft of a novel at the end of September 2019. But, I still feel so desperately behind and people talking about NaNoWriMo seemed to flood from everywhere. 

Of course, I understood the basics of NaNo, write at least 50k in the month of November. I’ve been a writer for long enough now to have full knowledge of what 50k means in terms of time and effort and honestly, I couldn’t think of anything worse. For me, the pressure of that would kill my creativity and freedom. There would be no way I could ever do that…

Then, this is number one…I remember a cold beginning of 2013, telling people that I was happy writing short stories and I could never write a novel. Sooo, I figure that I was completely wrong there, on six accounts actually. I got to thinking maybe I could write 50k in a month! Well, I can if I try.

Number two, the thought popped into my head that I could do NaNo if I set my mind to it, I picked up my phone to reach out to my FaceBook pals and find out their experiences with NaNo and caught a notification on the front screen of my phone, ‘Beckie Pavia shared a video to your timeline.’ Nothing unusual about that, I hear you say? 

Beckie lost her battle with cancer on 21st August 2016 and when I hit the notification there was nothing there. I’m a superstitious person by nature and I honestly believe that was a sign. For anyone who didn’t now Beckie, she was inspirational and positive to the end. I don’t know if she ever did NaNo, but if there was anyone who had the willpower to do it, it was her. That’s why ‘Falling from Grace’ will be dedicated to Bex who went by the pen name of R.K. Pavia.

Preptober has been a completely enlightening situation for me, too. I’m a loud and proud pantster, it’s in my soul and how I function best. I have saved the cat and plotted out the entire novel, if it doesn’t fly out of my fingers that way, then so be it. There’s a part of me that hopes it doesn’t, because that will mean flying by the seat of my pants was always the correct road to travel on.

Also, this awesome board has rocked my world…

I have never spent an entire month prepping a novel. All of my research has been done on the job. I have done tons of research for my NaNo project which has led to richer ideas, or so I hope. I will definitely be taking a month out for research in the future. I mean, I don’t know how I even came up with the idea of setting some of ‘Falling from Grace’ on the Scottish border, but my research has suggested that the place is absolutely heaving with inspiration. I’d love to visit.

Are you participating this year? If so, please send me a friend request. I’m ‘TheLTKelly.’ Have you entered in previous years? I’d love to hear about your experiences, good or bad.

Thanks for reading :).

Lucy

4THEWORDS – Sprinting Tools – Part 3

Admittedly, I had every intention of slipping in another gaming style writing site. If you want to game in the way I’m going to describe below, but for free, I totally encourage you to try out Write to Smite (link this up). However, I cannot urge you enough to at least take the free trial for 4THEWORDS, especially if you’re taking part in NaNo. It’s literally the best site, ever! I adore it and I cannot impress on you enough the amount of productivity I have had since I started using it.

4THEWORDS is a great storage system for your work, too. Even if you allow your subscription to lapse and then want to come back to it, it will all still be there. A lapse in subscription merely makes your content read only, and obviously you won’t be able to take part in the game. You can create single files to work in, don’t attempt to write your entire book in one file as it will slow down the save rate of the file as you work, and 4THEWORDS helpfully lets you know this. I have created projects for my writing, which also allows you to create goals for the projects. Each file could then form a chapter, or a part of the project you’re working on.

The game is based on quests, the main game which allows you to progress into parts of a world as well as local quests, pertaining to the world in which you’re playing and global quests. In order to win your quests you must battle against the monsters! Which looks something like this:

I’m a gamer, always looking to get to the next level, and when achieving that next level involves having to write a huge amount it motivates me. I haven’t written this much in years! This game is a huge part of why I am taking part in NaNoWriMo this year!

This is what you can expect from the quests:

Each quest is rather varied when it comes to the main quests, but in ‘town’ there are repeats such as bi-weekly monster hunts which challenges you to defeat a certain amount of monsters to win something like a golden or wooden chest. 

Each monster has certain drops, so if you need essence you’d probably select to fight a Wignow. Each monsters drops can be discovered by clicking on the monster. You can also add monsters into a battle list and set it up so that each battle automatically commences at the end of one battle, or each has a break in between and t=you have to click to manually start the next. You can add up to ten battles in each battle list.

In order to maintain your streak you must write 444 words per day. A perfect amount to ensure you get into the habit of writing on a daily basis. However, if you have a mishap you can repair your streak with stempos. You need two stempos to fix a break in streak after the event, or one stempo to book a future day off, as it were. You can earn and win stempos by taking quests and keeping up your streaks. You can also purchase them using core crystals!

Core crystals is 4THEWORDS currency. It’s also how you subscribe. 44 crystals cost $4 and that’s also how much your monthly membership costs.There are options for core crystals, gift cards and subscriptions, as pictured.

There are more options available on the site. The above are examples of what you can expect.

 I have given you plenty of freebies to use on this blog, however, this platform really works for me and $4 a month is absolutely nothing to me in exchange for the most productivity I’ve had in years. Also, you can also win core crystals through quests and by sharing your referral code. All payments are made through PayPal presently. If I’ve sold this site to you please do use my referral code, we both win core crystals for utilising core crystals for using a referral codes:  BBUHM17241

Another beautiful and welcoming part of 4THEWORDS is its forum. I’ve posted several times and received nothing but helpful and polite responses. That, you have to admit, can be somewhat of a rarity these days!

4THEWORDS also runs special events. At the moment there’s the Halloween avenger hunt which directs you to useful blogs and social media pages in exchange for codes where you get FREE STUFF!

Don’t delay, start you FREE trial today, and please don’t forget to use my referral code 🙂 Happy writing!

https://4thewords.com/home

My Write Club – Sprinting Tools – Part Two

 This is part two of my four part series on ‘sprinting’ sites for writers.

If you’re anything like me, you work better under a little bit of pressure, and if you’re even more like me you don’t have anyone hounding you for your next work of fiction to come to fruition.

With NaNoWriMo upon us, I decided to review handy sprinting sites, one, so you don’t have to and two, so you’re not reliant on finding another writer to sprint with!

Today, I’m bringing you something that’s completely different from anything else I going to show you in part three and four, so it’s a real contender depending on what you’d like from a sprinting application. My Write Club does not have a gaming aspect to it. I adore gaming and it spurs me to write so I can keep streaks and win items as part of a game. If you’re currently rubbing your hand together, thinking that you’ll wait for parts three and four, I urge you to at least take a peek of My Write Club, it truly is a very clean and functional site.

Click to sign up and then you can add a goal, this could be anything you like and a very nice feature is that you can choose how to measure your success in words, pages, lines and depending on how you work best! You can also set yourself a deadline, again, a great feature even if only to trick you into striving to smash it!

Note: If you’re British and you’re trying to in put a date, remember that Americans put the month first and then the day…

Okay, now onto the actual sprinting part. In the top left hand corner there is the ‘running person.’ At this point you can choose a custom or the global sprint. I think that the custom sprint maybe a private sprint between friends utilising the same site. I may be wrong and I admit I haven’t utilised this site enough to be aware of all the finer details. I have always opted for the global sprint. Sprints start every thirty minutes and last for twenty-five minutes. There is a handy timer at the top of the page so you know where you are in the sprint. Down the right hand side of the page you’re able to see the progress of your contenders. This is great, especially if you do have a real life friend to sprint with because they can’t cheat!

Please note, there is usually a list of names at the side with their live word counts, but I took the screenshot early this morning…

However, if you find the competition distracting you can hide it while you complete your sprint by clicking on the arrow on the top right hand side.

As you can see you can earn stars for your sprinting efforts, however, these don’t really do anything for you as far as I can see. I guess it’s sort of like getting a gold star when you’re at school, you don’t get a prize, only that warm fluffy feeling that you have done a job well done!

You’re words save in your account, if you move sprint, your words come with you which is a great function.

This is a great site for those who want to sprint in a more traditional sense, you, your words and a bunch of other people just trying to create. I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to do the aforementioned. However, if you love colour, flair and game playing, I think you’ll be pretty impressed with the next two sites I have to show you, so don’t forget to subscribe by e-mail!

Give My Write Club a go: https://www.mywriteclub.com

Sprinting Tools – Part One – Fighters Block

As NaNoWriMo looms upon us, I’m creating a series of blogs over the next couple of weeks with a recent discovery which has helped me achieve more words in a month than I have managed to produce in a very long time.

I’m quite competitive in nature and I adore a good old sprint. If you’re anything like me, you’ve shouted out on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other forms of social media where you have good connections with other authors and asked someone to sprint with you, the highest word count wins. It truly helps me to keep focussed on that task for the agreed time, usually 30-60 minutes.

That said, I’ve found it difficult to pin down a time and a person to sprint with me.

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a reference to sprinting websites. I honestly knew nothing about them, but there are tons! Some free and some paid for.

This is part one of four I have used. Fighters Block is by far the simplest design.

You arrive at this page…

Select your character, the monster you wish to battle and your word goal for the ‘fight.’ I think there must be a minimum amount of words you can put in the goal box, because I’ve experienced issues getting in when I’ve placed a low number in that box.

We then move into the action. I logged in from this device and the work I’d previously done was there. I haven’t found a place to sign up or had to provide any details at all.

The next screen is ‘the battle ground.’

The green bars below the ‘fighters’ slide in real time depending on how fast you’re typing. It can either be a great motivator to watch it move, or a horrendous distraction depending on works for you! But luckily you can hide it and turn the screen into a blank writing space. Personally, I’m not entirely sure what the point would be in that case!

Talking of functionality, there is plenty of them which we can see in the picture below.

This menu is accessed by the cog in the top right hand corner of the page. I haven’t managed to work out the difference between ‘monster speed’ and ‘monster attack’ though they both appear to be able to slow or speed up you progress bar depending on how quickly you type.

There are a range of fonts available, mine is set to ‘roboto’ as well as an ample plethora of text sizes and themes as well as widescreen and thin screen. The arrow pointing upward is what you would use to hide the sliding scales and characters from view.

Admittedly, this is a nice, simple and functional site. Also it’s free.

I’ll be honest and let you know that this was my least favourite out of all the sites available out there. I thought there could have been a better visual cue on how you’re getting toward the end of your goal, such as your character moving toward the monster rather than the sliding scales! I’d love to hear your comments on what you think of the site, even better if you can suggest some for me to take a look at!

I have three more sites to present to you, so if you’re interested please make sure you sign up to receive e-mails when I post.

If you want to check it out for yourself it’s here: https://cerey.github.io/fighters-block/

Thanks for looking! 🙂

Guest Post with Francine Beaton

Rugby meets romance

What has Fourth of July, rugby and romance in common?

The obvious answer should be, absolutely nothing. It was, however, what led to the writing of the Playing for Glory series. On 26 February, I’ll release the third book in the series, and the first I’ve ever written, Leading from the Front.

A chance meeting with a rugby player from Jersey on a Fourth of July boat cruise on the Hudson planted the seed although I didn’t know it then. Before, and even during that meeting I not even dreamed about writing a novel, so a rugby romance was out of the question. It was only on the long flight from New York to Johannesburg while struggling through another rugby romance, the seed was planted.

I’m not mentioning the writer or the book, but it was absolute garbage. It felt as if the author knew nothing about the game, fitting in sex scenes on every second page to cover for the bad storyline. I suddenly thought that I’m sure I can write a better rugby romance than that. When we arrived in Johannesburg, I already planned a series. I’ve never written a book before and never dreamed of writing one either. It was just a random thought. But it seemed that I unpacked my muse along with my dirty laundry. Two days after our return from New York, I started writing. That was the end of July 2016.

I wrote non-stop for the next six months, finishing about six novels during that time. The first ones were just as bad as the one I read on the plane. It didn’t stop me though. In May 2017 I attended a Romance Master Class in Cape Town with writing coach Sarah Bullen of The Writing Room. Just before that class, I’ve finished the seventh novel in the series I called Taming a Buffalo. I took that book called Under the Mistletoe along to the course. During the course, Sarah read parts of the novel and encouraged me to continue. Over the next three months, Sarah helped me to polish the book. She also advised me to change the names of the books and the series name to something that relates to sport. Under the Mistletoe changed to Eye on the Ball, which was first published in April 2019 by Roane publishers who had closed their doors at the end of 2018. Since then I’ve got my rights back and started to self-publish. 

The series Playing for Glory, as well as the prequel series called Kick-Off, consisting of three books, all deals with the players and management of a fictional rugby team based in Pretoria. Because rugby is a professional sport, I had no choice than to create my own team called the Buffaloes, playing in a fictional series called the International Club Challenge. 

The Playing for Glory series was supposed to be typical sports romances with sizzling sex scenes. It didn’t stay that way. My characters seem to follow their own destiny and it doesn’t matter how hard I tried, they stay true to themselves. I still blame it on Jakes in Eye on the Ball. Although Jakes had the looks, the physicality, macho male image, the intelligence and other attributes to make him an alpha male, Jakes wanted to highlight important issues that had nothing to do with his looks. With Eye on the Ball I wanted to show the readers that even though men like Jakes are physically tough, playing a hard and physical game, they may struggle with the same insecurities other people suffer from. They may be emotionally vulnerable and that is okay. It is, however, important to talk about it, and sometimes show your sensitive side before it is too late.

Leading from the Front is my ninth book. Two of those nine books are in Afrikaans, my home language, and the rest in English. Leading in the Front was supposed to be the first book, but again Jakes had a different idea.

 

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

Temptation can come in any form.

 

As long as it wasn’t Melissa Roux. Daniel Cooper had known that since the first moment he’d seen the new physio for the Buffaloes. As captain, he had to set an example and falling head over heels for the feisty blonde with the endless long legs wasn’t the way to do it.

 

Melissa knew Daniel was going to be a problem from the first day she walked into Buffaloes Stadium. There was no way she was going to risk her career for an arrogant chauvinist who called her a blonde bimbo. For that, she worked too hard to get her dream job.

 

Neither had reckoned with the undeniable chemistry between them and the famous Cooper curse. When he couldn’t hide it anymore, Daniel made a simple request which had more repercussions than he expected. In his quest to find the truth, he made another error in judgement, risking not only Melissa’s career but also the loyalty of his team and the Club.

 

Daniel and Melissa both had to make important decisions: what’s more important? Your career or love? 

 

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***EXCERPT*** Kissing Katie by L.T. Kelly

Cover:

Kissing Katie

 

Blurb:

Iraq war widow Katie Simmons hasn’t considered giving love another chance since the devastating loss of her husband. She’s happy sharing her love with her six-year-old daughter, Jessica. What more could she want from life?

Evan Waters is headed for the big time. He’s plowing his time, money and energy into recording Spires’ debut album. Following on in his British rock legend father’s footsteps, he has big shoes to fill, a mission made more difficult by his alcoholic mother.

When Katie and Evan meet on the London Underground, she denies his advances. Evan must find a way to demolish the walls she’s built around her heart. But even if he’s successful, will he be able to provide her with the commitment she deserves and still fulfill his ambitions?

Excerpt:

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” she called up the street as Evan turned to look at Katie. His sea-green eyes homed in on hers, loaded with revelation as he glanced at Jessica then back to her. The realization that she hadn’t told him because she’d been scared he’d run slapped her already pink cheeks. Despite her protests, she hadn’t wanted him to go away.

“Hi.” She greeted him breathlessly, even though she’d stopped running long before the physical exertion had the chance to take her breath away.

“Hi.” He smiled as she stood there awkwardly and aimlessly fiddled with a stray thread on her work tunic. “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”

Jessica eyes popped from Katie to Evan, her face still screwed up, and her father’s bright-blue eyes flashing with confusion. Katie opened her dry mouth to speak, but Jessica got there first.

“Hi, I’m Jessica. Who are you?”

Evan walked around the car, stepped onto the curb and held out his hand. “I’m Evan. Do you enjoy going to the zoo?”

Jessica shrugged. “I’m six years old. Of course, I like the zoo.”

Katie chuckled at her daughter’s serious face. She could tell Jessica was trying to act grown up. Evan laughed, too.

“We could go, if you like?”

Jessica folded her arms and glanced around the street as though she were thinking about it. She loved the zoo, so she had nothing to think about. “When? Now?”

Evan nodded.

“It’s a school night, you know?” she stated matter-of-factly.

Evan nodded again. “I promise to have you back in time for bed.”

“Okay, then, we have a deal as long as my mom can come, too.”

Evan and Katie exchanged grins. “Is that okay with you?” he asked, his head dipped and his voice but a whisper.

“It’s a bit late to ask for my permission, but yes, as long as it’s okay with you?”

“Sure it is.” He opened the passenger door and pulled out a wicker basket. “We’ll have to take the train, though. I didn’t expect there to be three of us.” He nudged Jessica with his elbow and looked at Katie as though to indicate Katie might be the unexpected guest.

Katie smiled, shaking her head while pulling her keys out. She took Jessica’s school bag from her and placed it in the hallway. “Come on then,” she said, taking Jessica’s hand and pulling her alongside Evan on the way to the underground.

kissing katie 3

“What’s your favorite animal?” Evan asked Jessica as they leaned on the railing outside the monkey enclosure.

“It has to be the penguins,” she replied after appearing to give it much thought.

“Why so?”

“Because they’re cute, funny, they’re good swimmers and they like fish.”

“Ah, just like you then.” He reached out and patted her white-blonde head.

She rolled her eyes at him. “How do you know I’m a good swimmer?”

“I saw the swimming badges sewn on your school bag.” He dramatically rolled his eyes back at her, forcing her to giggle.

Katie had stepped back. She’d hardly spoken a word since they’d embarked on the trip. Her stomach hurt, and her heart ached. Evan had been nothing but spectacular with Jessica since they’d met. He hadn’t even questioned why Katie hadn’t mentioned her daughter’s existence, but she knew the questions would come later. She’d been glad her daughter had good taste in food when Evan had produced bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon from the picnic basket. Not your usual children’s dinner, but Jessica devoured it.

“Shall we head back?”

Katie nodded. “I hope Al’s car is still there.”

Evan laughed. “It’ll be cool. Knowing Al, there’s probably a tracker on it that would blow the thief up.”

Katie laughed and grabbed Jessica’s hand. “Aw, do we have to go, Mommy?”

“Yes, bunny, remember, Evan said he’d have you back in time for bed, and…” She glanced down at her watch. “He lied. We have fifteen minutes to get home.”

“Oh man, my bad, I’m sorry.” He pressed his palm to his chest in mock horror.

Jessica giggled and grabbed his hand. “I like you. You talk like you’re off the television.”

Katie’s eyes traveled from her hand to his, also being held firmly by Jessica. Her stomach constricted. They must look like a family, walking along hand-in-hand. Tears burned behind her eyes as she squeezed the little hand, stared straight ahead and tried to pretend this wasn’t happening.

The last thing she wanted was to start playing happy families then have it all snatched away from her…again.

They arrived back, and Evan kind of invited himself in. A bottle of wine remained in the bottom of the picnic basket, and he insisted on them drinking it together.

Jessica whined until Katie gave in and allowed Evan up to say goodnight to her before they went downstairs together.

Kissing Katie 1

Katie’s limbs moved awkwardly once they were alone, her emotions were all over the place. She didn’t know what to say, how to act, and consequently was relieved at the sight of the offered bottle of wine. She hoped it would soothe her frayed nerves. She grabbed the bottle and busied herself trying to locate the corkscrew in the kitchen drawer.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered as she turned to face him.

“Why are you sorry?” He cocked his head.

She mirrored his movements and leaned against the counter opposite him in her tiny galley kitchen. “Because I should have told you.”

“Yes, you should have. What did you think I’d do? Run?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I think I probably would have told you if I’d thought you would take off,” she lied, trying desperately to resurrect her protective walls.

He sighed heavily and looked away from her. “You keep saying that. The problem is that you’re not giving the signals that you want me to leave you alone. They’re just words, Katie.”

“I’m fucked up, Evan. I can’t risk getting any more fucked up than I already am. Trust me, you don’t want to get involved with me, not romantically anyway. Besides, I can’t afford to feel that way ever again.”

“What way?”

“Utterly destroyed, heartbroken, completely shattered.”

“What happened to you, Katie?” he growled.

She flinched. “It’s a long story.”

He leaned forward and shifted beside her. Her fingers burst with electric energy as he wrapped his large hand over her fist and slipped the corkscrew from her hand. She turned to look at him, finding sadness in his eyes, but luckily no pity. She couldn’t stand pity. His ragged breathing picked up a notch as she stared into those amazing clear green eyes. Her breathing quickened as he smoothed his warm fingers along her jaw line.

“It’s a big bottle, and I can get more if we need it. Tell me what happened so I can understand.” His fingers reached her chin and stopped.

She blinked back tears. His head moved slowly toward her face and broke its descent down her cheek with his lips. She knew she should move away, but he still clung to her chin, and the feel of his velvety lips fluttering gently over her skin had her paralyzed in the sweetest of ways.

“Where are the glasses?” he asked, finally stepping away.

Her head spun as she shot him a look of confusion. “Oh, yes, the wine.” She brought her palm up to her forehead, trying to disguise the heat rising from her groin to her face. “I’ll get them. Take the wine through.”

He nodded, grabbed the wine and went to the living room. After he left, she steadied herself, clutching the kitchen counter and trying desperately to cling to her resolve. He’d done an excellent job at battering it. She smoothed her hands over her face and ran her fingers under her eyes in an attempt to wipe away any mascara that might be there then grabbed two glasses from the cupboard. She took a deep breath in preparation for baring all and followed Evan into the living room.

He’d taken a space on her couch, his solid arm laid out along the back and one knee perched up on the cushion. She placed the glasses on the coffee table in front of him. He’d already removed the cork, so he poured the wine into the glasses as she sat beside him, her knee pressed against his. She sipped the wine gratefully.

“Where do you want me to start?”

“The beginning is always a good place.”

Kissing Katie 2

Buy links:

About the author:

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L.T. Kelly lives in rural Lincolnshire with her husband, two children and a mentally unstable Cockapoo named Mylo. She enjoyed a successful eleven-year career in the Royal Air Force which put plenty of stories in her writing cap. 

L.T. now divides her time between writing, being a wife, mother and an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the ambulance service. 

It’s the writing that keeps her sane.

Connect with L.T. Kelly:

Video Interview with MK Meredith

 

This is probably the worst video interview in the world EVER! Please forgive me, the editing is awful but we sort of had fun. I should have had wine first!

Please check out MK Meredith and her books! You will not be disappointed. Also, read the post about my visit with her, HERE. 🙂

Connect with MK

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For all information on all of MK’s books please check out and subscribe to her Amazon author page.

Amazon U.S.

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Malibu Betrayals

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Her chance to write a whole new ending…

Hollywood screenwriter Samantha Dekker spent the last year picking up the pieces after her husband’s suicide. Along with grief, guilt, and tabloid hell, she’s had to watch helplessly as the film industry slammed its doors in her face. Now Sam has the rarest of Hollywood opportunities – a second chance…working with the one man she swore never to see again.

Hunktastic A-lister Gage Cutler knows that Sam blamed him for his part in her husband’s death. Still, Sam is the one woman he can never forget. All he wants is a second chance of his own – to prove he’s not the player she remembers. And Malibu is the perfect backdrop to make a girl swoon.

Except they’re not alone. Someone is watching Sam and Gage’s steamy off-screen romance with the most dangerous of intentions…

Malibu Secrets

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Every girl has a secret (or two)…

On the verge of losing the Malibu home she inherited from her great-aunt, Addi Dekker is completely failing to prove to her family she can make it as a writer. Not exactly how a girl proves her independence. If she doesn’t want to give up her dream and go back to the soul-sucking job she just left, Addi has to swallow her dislike of Hollywood and rent the house out to the sexy-as-hell film producer.

And maybe (shhhh!) save money by secretly living there, too.

Roque Gallagher is pouring his heart and savings into his first independent film to make the industry acknowledge him for his talent and not just his family name. Addi’s home is perfect for the shoot, but she’s far too tempting. He’s never been able to handle work and a relationship, and this is the film of a lifetime. Between a shrinking budget and his director quitting, the last thing he needs is a sexy-as-sin tease like Addi. And he has a feeling there’s something she’s hiding…

Seducing Seven

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Romance author Seven Michaels believes in love to her very core. She has to—not only for herself, but for her readers. So when luxury salesman Blake Turner insults not only her books but the people who read them, Seven’s ready to throw down. How dare a playboy like Blake insinuate romance lovers are full of crap? He wants proof? Fine. She bets Blake she can make him fall for her by using the rules in her latest novel before the end of the convention, or she’ll denounce love in front of all her fellow authors and fans at the Romance Lovers Convention ball. A dangerous game to be sure, but humiliating Blake is worth the risk. But when Seven realizes she’s the one who’s being seduced, she’s no longer sure who is playing whom…or whether she’ll have a career when the bet is over.

 

Meeting MK Meredith

In a gloomy 2015 April after rather a lot of wine I came to a decision. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, and that moment felt like the right time.

Having had the aforementioned wine, I rose from my desk with a steely determination and swaggered into the kitchen where my husband was busy cooking dinner. Leaning precariously against the wall I took a deep breath before uttering my question. “Can I go to America?”

Of course, he realised this was more of a statement rather than a question. He heard what I meant to say, “I’m going to America, live with it.”

As soon as I got the supportive nod I was there, on Facebook, basically inserting myself into the Meredith household. I booked my flights and promptly filled Facebook with countdowns (to the second) on a regular basis.

MK and I had become great friends over the past two years or so. Apparently I replied to a mutual friends status. The subject matter I don’t recall, she heartily agreed with me by all accounts. I’d not long since penned Falling to Pieces. The first I actually remember is reading MK’s Malibu Betrayals as a beta, prior to its acceptance for publication with Entangled. Anyone who’s read a Meredith book knows what a fine, smooth, writer she is. It’s enviable. However, in that first draft of the book she wrote ‘drug’ instead of ‘dragged’ on several occasions, that caused me to threaten her with violence! That’s where the friendship began in earnest.

I touched down at Washington Dulles on the 22nd of November 2015. One would expect a slight amount of awkwardness between two people who’d never met in the flesh, but honestly, strangely there was nothing. Not an hour after arrival in VA I was sat, feet up, wine in hand, and chatting as though we’d been best buddies for years.

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The next day I embarked on a journey to see my cowriter, Matthew Peters, that’s another blog post. I suffer with driving related PTSD and took the road trip to North Carolina in a hire car under the blessing of my therapist. Well, she must have been as crazy as I was because it was awful! Of course my coauthor offered to return me to DC for Thanksgiving. However, that didn’t happen for a number of reasons, and MK was the best friend in the world ever for coming to get me!

We were upright and lofty for Thanksgiving and went around to a friends to spend the day. Brian, MK’s gorgeous husband, and his beautiful friend invited me out to the sidewalk whilst the turkey deep fried to reminisce over military days gone by. It was truly awesome :).

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They were wonderful hosts. However, I apparently said something inappropriate and fell asleep with hilarious consequences. It was over twenty-four hours later that I would find out about the pictures…

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BASTARDS! 😉 Of course, I was thinking very hard about the plot for my next book!

There is a Meredith household tradition called Finger Food Friday. I’ve been obsessed with it since the start of our friendship. I was not disappointed! FFF is amazing and was well worth the £500 airfare! (Just in case you’re considering it!)

Talking of being inappropriate, we went to a child’s birthday party a few days later. The adults were talking about what I might take back with me. They suggested I might  smuggle wine back if I affixed ladies towels to the bottles, because no-one wants to touch them. I added, “Especially if it’s red wine and the bottles break.” To say the audience were horrified would be putting it mildly. However, MK looked as though she wanted to high five me! LOL! That was pure British humour, so forgive me for thinking she was born in the wrong country.

Later that night we frequented a gorgeous, famous DC steak restaurant, The Palm with the lovely couple, Sean and Gabriel. Again the perfect hosts and an amazing night out. I’ll look forward to my next night out in about a years time. 😉

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Days seemed to fly by so fast while I was there. It was soon a very sad Monday for different reasons than usual. It was my last whole day in the US. We decided that it was probably time to see some sights. It was raining and we decided to start with lunch at the very posh NOLA. I enjoyed a delicious burger and a glass of wine (of course). That sort of set the tone for the day. We walked over to The Whitehouse in the horrible grey drizzle. MK stopped mid-stride with a horror filled expression. I immediately asked what was wrong. “I left my umbrella at the restaurant.”

I furrowed my brow and looked up at the umbrella above our heads and back down at MK’s still horrified gaze. I raised a brow and pointed up at it. “Do you mean that umbrella?”

My cackle could probably have been heard in The Oval Office! I laughed so hard. I love that girl…

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So, I was entirely unimpressed by The Whitehouse. It’s tiny. I stated my opinion to a guy standing on guard, and said our palaces are much better. He told me that when it was built they wanted a peoples house, not a grand palace. I scoffed and walked away, feeling a little chastised. When I was ten metres away MK admitted that The Whitehouse is huge and that it goes quite far underground. I had to force myself to continue walking in the other direction so I didn’t go and tell that bad man off for spinning his lies! At least our palaces are honest! Luckily, I spotted a bar which, of course made me walk toward it.

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I was devastated to leave. I adore Target, the petrol and cigarette prices. All the laughs I shared with MK and Co were priceless memories to treasure for a long time to come. I couldn’t have had a better trip if I’d tried. I can’t believe that will be the last time we all get together. I know MK and Brian want to visit Europe! I hope they make it to Old Blighty! ❤

Make sure you check out my video interview with her HERE ❤

 

 

****ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE EPIC KIND****

So, I finished Kissing Cassie in March of this year and submitted it to publishers.

My heart has skipped many a beat, tears have been shed, and my confidence knocked out of the ring as though it’s been ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

However, I’m so thrilled to announce that Kissing Cassie has been selected for publication by Resplendence Publishing.

They promote themselves as a boutique publisher only accepting 1% of their submissions, so I’ve done extremely well to pique their interest let alone snag a contract with them!

Although I’m an author, there simply aren’t the words to describe how I’m feeling right now. I think I may just have to go ahead and have a sapphire ring tattooed on my butt! (That’s the Resplendence heat level that Kissing Cassie is at.)

I can’t thank my beautiful beta readers enough, they have all been contacted to inform them of the books success and I hope they’ll all enjoy a well deserved acknowledgement!

For now, Lucy’s Lit Lovin’ Blog will be closed for submissions for review due to the vast amount of work I’ll have on my hands to get Kissing Cassie ready for publication, plus an energized view at getting Kissing Katie written.

To all of you, thanks a million for your support. You’re all worth a million dollars in my eyes. :-).

Fifty Shades of Shit?

This blog post was originally intended to be my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie. It will be, but after all of the internet savaging from both sides of the fence on the subject matter, I wanted to get my point across.

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I rushed to my local picture house two days after the movie was released. I wanted to love the movie and everything about it. I think most people were worried it wouldn’t have the right mixture of story and sex.

They were right to be worried, for me there wasn’t enough of both. I was astounded at actually how much nudity there was in the film. Now, I’m all up for nakedness, but I was a little sad at how much story we missed. I think most fans thought there wouldn’t be enough sex…

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Dornan as Grey was always the wrong choice for me personally, but I’m not sure they would have ever have got it right to suit everyones tastes. FSoG fans are nothing if not precious over who played the part of Mr. Grey whilst they were reading. Dornan has made his personal views on BDSM quite clear in the media, that has spoilt my ideology on who could pull off such a part. I feel he has held back from playing the role to the fullest.

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However, the casting of Ana made the film, she was perfect. My friend pointed out that the film was almost a dark rom-com in places…I couldn’t agree more. We were both a little taken aback that the word vanilla was never used during the movie, when it played such a big part in the book.

In summary, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. The producers have successfully pulled off a rather shocking film adaptation…I think that was probably their goal, they’ve achieved that much. In doing so they’ve skipped out rather a lot of story, a story that I rather enjoyed. I would award it three stars for shock factor at least.

I read the books at the peak of their hype. I was a field marketing manager at the time, and I’d never seen such a phenomena. We, as a company, were contracted to place books on shelves in the correct chart position for a leading UK supermarket, keeping them topped up. During FSoG’s peak phase this was impossible, we were only contracted to do so many hours a day on that task…those hours simply weren’t enough to keep that section of shelf even half full.

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I read all three books within a week, I can’t say I was wowed by the writing, okay not even a little bit impressed. I’d have to agree with the critics and say the language was childish, some sex scenes were unrealistically written, and the dialogue a touch unoriginal and repetitive. I couldn’t stand Christian Grey for the most part of book one, but there was something that kept me hooked. Maybe it was knowing that there was more to the story than met the eye? Perhaps, it was wanting to watch Anastasia catch the uncatchable man? Whatever it was, the author did most of her job by keeping me reading.

There are hoards of people out there that hate FSoG, they will tell you every time you mention it that Christian Grey is in fact a physically and emotionally abusive, rapist. I honestly think that’s subjective. I never got the impression that Ana was being raped or abused. I think if you stepped back and read every smutty book with a strong male character and a weaker woman you could say the same for each one, it’s down to how you view it.

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To say that FSoG promotes rape and abuse is down right ludicrous. That’s like saying that I promote biting, blood drinking, sleeping around, and murder in my books. Although, I do like a nibble every now and then ;). Or, if you want to go further you could say that any works of fiction containing evil, murder, and violence are promoting the contents therein. What I read when I read FSoG is clearly very different to what others have read. I saw a girl enraptured by a man, a man who most definitely and undeniably a control freak with some different sexual tastes. I didn’t see Ana resist his pursuits, I saw a girl who wanted a man enough to go along with it all in the hope she could change him. Guess what…I see that everyday.

To me, the FSoG series promotes compromise, Ana wants a ‘normal’ relationship, Christian wants a submissive. By the end of it all they both get exactly what they want somewhere in the middle. They are both consenting adults and I’ve seen people do stranger things in the pursuit of love.

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I’m not misguided enough to believe that FSoG portrays a true reflection of a BDSM relationship. But then again, I’m also not misguided enough to believe that there are helicopter flying, twenty something, multi-millionaire CEO’s hanging around the roof tops of Seattle waiting to usher young impressionable women into rooms filled with whips and chains either. Much the same with Ana…looks like that, is a virgin, and never masturbated? Get real.

I think it’s very important to keep things in perspective. I feel like people are losing their shit over this book/film more than needed. I’ve stared domestic violence/abuse in the face, it’s a very emotive and upsetting subject. I didn’t see that within the pages of this book.

I do welcome all comments on this blog, in a structured way. I will not allow petty, nasty behaviour. An opinion and how you arrived at it would be constructive for either side of the argument.