giveaway

September to Remember Giveaway

Thank you to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting!

While the shortening daylight and outdoor pool closures sadden me, I am excited for cooler walking temperatures in September.

What are you looking forward to this September?

I’m giving away a $10 gift card and an audiobook (US or UK) and ebook (international) of my latest release, sports romance Rivals.

She’s a Buckeye. He’s a Wolverine. It’s a romance with balls.
a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hop over to these participating blogs to win more stuff!

insecure writers support group, writing

Writing Success #IWSG

Created by Alex Cavanaugh, join us here.

Many thanks to the cream-of-the-crop co-hosts for September: Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

This month’s question:

How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

For me, this image speaks to the essence of writing success:

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay 

It’s the pure joy of your words capturing an idea and connecting with a reader. When your words elicit deep emotion from readers, you’ve made it.

How do you define success?

cover reveal, new release

Cover Reveal: WHAT THE TREES KNOW by Nancee Cain

Congratulations to my pub sister, Nancee Cain, on her latest release! Can’t wait to read this magical realism story.

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design



Is magic real?

Jed doesn’t think so. Forced to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he’s mad at the world. He doesn’t believe in God, much less the folk magic his grandmother practices in the isolated mountains of Appalachia. He doesn’t fit in, and anger simmers within him, ready to explode.

Then Skylar arrives—a girl who’s experienced evil firsthand. Though lost in silence, she forges a connection with Jed, his grandmother, and the neighbors who come for potions and spells. Even without a voice, she embraces her new life.

Eventually Jed flees, but not for the right reasons. And his insides still burn with rage, leaving him hollow and even more unhappy—until the day he feels compelled to return home.

Skylar understands why Jed has returned. It has nothing to do with her summoning spell. He’s come home to heal. She’s known for being a healer and can consume his sins so he can find peace. But the only way she knows how requires death…

The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.







Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.



HOSTED BY:
insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Mental Blocks and Resilience

Holla, writers! Happy August to you.

Join us at IWSG or Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to the wonderful August co-hosts: PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

Have you been watching the Olympics? I’ve binged on coverage of my two favorite sports: swimming and volleyball. American swimmer Caleb Dressel was electrifying!

Credit: Los Angeles Times

I’ve also felt inspired by stories of resilience in multiple sports, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Athletes like the brave and lovely Simone Biles have strived to handle challenges such as mental blocks.

We’re all familiar with writer’s block, but what about mental blocks? Overcoming them in sports like gymnastics, diving, and equestrian is one such opportunity for resilience. Mental blocks, also known as balking or the yips, occur when athletes struggle to complete skills they’ve done hundreds of times before. They try to force themselves, but they just can’t go. Every gymnast has experienced mental blocks. But how difficult to face one on the world stage at the Olympics!

Sport psychologist Alan Goldberg frames mental blocks as a trauma response. The traumas can be a serious injury, scary fall, or even witnessing another athlete survive a near miss. If I made a mistake in swimming, I swam slower. When gymnasts make mistakes, they might sustain horrific injuries. And their bodies remember the past fear, creating the fight, flight, or freeze response. No matter how hard athletes try to throw the skill, their bodies freeze. It’s so frustrating for them.

Traumas can also be personal, like a severe car accident or sexual assault. For an athlete who has experienced multiple traumas, their bodies may lock up. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s a survival mechanism. I applaud any athlete experiencing this struggle who takes care of herself and puts her health first. These superstar athletes are human, with needs for safety and respect just like all of us.

This month’s question: What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique.

Speaking of trauma, The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is enlightening.

I also enjoyed the classic On Writing by Stephen King.

writing

Behind the Scenes of Sports Romance RIVALS

How important are critique partners and editors? If writing is a sport, then . . .

My critique partner, Nicki Elson, is the helmet that prevents my concussion:

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay 

And my editor, Jessica Royer Ocken, is the kneepads that stops floor burn.

Image by Tania Van den Berghen from Pixabay 

I’ll demonstrate with a scene from my latest release, sports romance Rivals.

Ohio State volleyball coach Lauren is angry with Michigan Wolverines football coach Jeremy for a thoughtless request. Jeremy’s star quarterback, Evan, is struggling, and Jeremy asked Lauren to bring Evan’s twin, Emma, to console him. However, Emma is Lauren’s star player, and both Lauren and Emma would’ve had to miss an important volleyball match to help Evan.

Here’s the original scene when Jeremy tries to make it up to Lauren. What do you think of his apology?

 “I care about Emma!” Jeremy says. “What’re you talking about?”

“You care about her? You wanted her to miss her match tonight, all for Evan!”

His forehead creases. “Listen, I—”

“You think your sport’s the only one that matters! You’re so smug up there in your TV tower, wrinkling your nose down at the little loser sports playing their trivial, meaningless games, deluding themselves that they’re important when we all know they only exist because of their football team.”

“Are you done?” His nostrils flare.

“I’m just getting started!” I roar. “I—” 

He crosses over to me in a second, engulfing my next words in an impassioned kiss. I place my hands on his chest to push him away, but when I feel the vibration of his rapid heartbeat, I let go of my resistance and massage his muscles instead. He cradles my face in his hands as he deepens the kiss. The flush of anger on my cheeks morphs into a flush of arousal as I inhale his strong, masculine scent.

He tucks me into his solid body. “I’m so sorry,” he murmurs into my ear. “That was really douchy of me to ask that of you.” He pulls back and looks down at me. “Volleyball does matter. And you’re a fantastic coach.” He swallows. “This kid…” He angles his head toward his car. “He just drives me insane. So much talent…but if he doesn’t pull it together like his sister has, he’s going to wash out.”

Is that excuse good enough? Should I let Jeremy off the hook? I have to concede that his solid arms holding me feel so right. I’ve missed him, and I don’t want to have to leave him again.

“Evan and Emma brought us together,” says Jeremy. “And I won’t let them pull us apart.” He gathers my hands in his, warm and firm on a cool September night. His tired eyes crinkle at the corners. “Will you forgive me, Coach Chase?”

~*~

My critique partner, Nicki Elson, thought his apology didn’t go far enough. This is where characterization edits can really help. I know my characters’ intent, but sometimes their motivation gets lost in translation between my mind and the manuscript. I incorporated Nicki’s suggestions to beef up Jeremy’s apology and explain what it means to Lauren.

Editor Jessica Royer Ocken helped tighten and clarify my writing throughout the manuscript, including changes to tense, spelling, and word deletion in this scene.

Here’s the edited version:

“I care about Emma!” Jeremy says. “What’re you talking about?”

“You care about her? You wanted her to miss her match tonight, all for Evan!”

His forehead creases. “Listen, I—”

“You think your sport’s the only one that matters! You’re so smug up there in your TV tower, wrinkling your nose at the little loser sports playing their trivial, meaningless games, deluding themselves that they’re important when we all know they only exist because of their football team.”

“Are you done?” His nostrils flare.

“I’m just getting started!” I roar. “I—” 

He crosses over to me in a second, engulfing my next words in an impassioned kiss. I place my hands on his chest to push him away, but when I feel the vibration of his rapid heartbeat, I let go of my resistance. He cradles my face in his hands as he deepens the kiss. The flush of anger on my cheeks morphs into arousal as I inhale his strong, masculine scent.

He tucks me into his firm body. “I’m so sorry,” he murmurs into my ear. “That was really douchey of me to ask that of you.” He pulls back and looks down at me. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking. That was one-hundred-percent desperation. But there’s no excuse.”

Damn straight.

“Volleyball does matter. And you’re a fantastic coach.” He swallows. “This kid…” He angles his head toward his car. “He just drives me insane. So much talent…but if he doesn’t pull it together like his sister, he’s going to wash out.”

Is that excuse good enough? Should I let Jeremy off the hook? His solid arms holding me feel so right. I’ve missed him, and I don’t want to have to leave him.

We let go of each other but still stand close.

“But Evan doesn’t matter as much to me as you do, Lauren. I’m so sorry I put him ahead of you today. I promise I’ll never do that again. You come first with me, okay?”

Something shakes loose inside of me as I listen to his words. I realize he’s the most important person in my life, too—ahead of my parents, Sam, Alex, and my assistants. Here I was, so scared to let any man in, worrying he’d hurt me like Paul did. And somehow this Michigan Wolverine has burrowed his way into my heart, inch by inch. His prominence in my life is the very reason his earlier actions hurt so much. But his apology seems sincere. I can see the fear in his eyes as he begs for my forgiveness.

“Evan and Emma brought us together,” Jeremy says. “But I won’t let them pull us apart.” He gathers my hands in his, warm and firm on a cool September night. His eyes crinkle at the corners. “Will you forgive me, Coach Chase?”

~*~

What do you think of Jeremy’s apology? I hope it resonates better with the reader on my second attempt. How do your critique partners and editors help you as a writer?

Links for Rivals:

Amazon US https://amzn.to/3cOoZDu

Amazon CA https://amzn.to/36Omdu0

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/3rsHG3K

Amazon AU http://amzn.to/2LtL2UT

insecure writers support group

#IWSG Writing Future

Join us HERE and thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the group.

Much appreciation to the co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG: Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

This month’s question: What would make you quit writing?

This question hits deep because I haven’t written fiction for about eight months. And I’m not feeling a current urge to write. But I won’t go so far to say I’ve quit–there’s a finality to that statement that doesn’t fit me right now. If I speculate about reasons for taking a break or even quitting writing, here’s what comes to mind:

  • Lackluster sales. There are so many books out there that it’s hard to capture reader’s attention. Still, I’m disappointed by sales of my last two novels, Rivals and Twin Sacrifice. I’m thankful for lovely reviews by readers devoting time to my books–I just wish there were more of them. Reviews, even critical ones, spark motivation in me.
  • Consuming career. I have high productivity goals and a fast pace in my psychologist position at an academic medical center. Therefore, I want to decompress on weeknights and weekends by swimming, reading, walking, socializing, playing volleyball, and watching TV. (Swimming laps outside in the summer is so relaxing!) The demands of my career have felt even more relentless this past year due to the pandemic worsening mental health for many, especially teenagers.
  • Time for a break. I started writing in 2007 and publishing in 2010, and maybe it’s just time to slow down. I like to write only when I’m inspired, and I don’t want to force it.

How are you feeling about writing? What inspires you to jump back into writing after a hiatus?

Image by AI Leino from Pixabay 
insecure writers support group

#IWSG Letting a Manuscript Percolate

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh, and join us for the IWSG here.

Thank you to the co-hosts for the June 2 posting of the IWSG: J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

June 2 question – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

I’m more impatient than a toddler awaiting ice cream, so my first draft doesn’t stay on the shelf for long. In fact, I can’t even write one chapter without some serious editing as I go. I marvel at authors who shelve their stories for months or delay publication for years. As soon as I’m done with my manuscript, I’m shipping that puppy off to my editor!

Although impatience has stayed constant over the 11 years I’ve been publishing novels, I hope the clarity and tightness of my writing have improved. I’ve observed that at least my critique partner and editor suggest fewer edits with each successive novel.

On another note, how’s your writing motivation these days? Sales for my latest novel have pretty much sucked–not awesome for inspiring my muse. But I am enjoying reading engrossing books like We Are All Made of Stars and watching riveting TV shows like Mare of Easttown.

insecure writers support group, new release

Ten Steps to Create an Audiobook #IWSG

Happy May, writers! Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.

Join us here.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine.

Have you heard about the 7th annual IWSG Anthology Contest? I’m excited it’s a romance theme — specifically, first love. But I’m even more stoked to serve as one of the judges. So dust off your heartfelt, lovesick memories and submit a short story!

While you’re at the IWSG Anthology website, check out the brand new anthology, DARK MATTER. Congratulations to these contest winners:

Artificial – Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Space Folds and Broomsticks – C.D. Gallant-King
Rift – Kim Mannix
The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans
Sentient – Tara Tyler
One to Another – Deniz Bevan
Resident Alien – Charles Kowalski
Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim
Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller
Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert

~*~

Instead of answering the suggested question this month, I’ll discuss what I learned in creating my first audiobook, Rivals.

Do you like audiobooks? I’m more of a visual learner, so I didn’t think I’d have the focus required to track a story for hours. But once the pandemic hit, listening to audiobooks from the library while I walked for miles became my JAM. Now, audiobooks are the only way I read.

So when I planned to self-publish my latest sports romance, I just had to create an audio version in addition to ebook and print.

Did you know audiobooks have different-sized covers? Me, neither!

I’m so lucky that I know an audiobook narrator who guided me through the process, including these steps:

  1. Choose a publisher. Despite the problems of the monolithic juggernaut known as Amazon, I decided to go with ACX (Audible) to make things easier my first go-around.
  2. Decide on the narration. Most audiobooks use one narrator. Because I had chapters alternating first-person point of view between a female and male coach, I chose dual narration. (This differs from duet narration, where two voice actors narrate together.)
  3. Identify scenes for auditions that total five minutes or less.
  4. Select payment options. You can choose royalty share where the narrator gets 50% of the royalties, or per finished hour (PFH) rate, or both. For self-published authors, this can get pricey, but even offering $200-400 PFH may total less than $50/hour for the narrator due to all of the editing and technical aspects.
  5. Solicit auditions. I included information about the story and characters, my background as an author, and my marketing plans. I set a deadline for auditions.
  6. Review auditions. I received over 140 auditions (!), and many of them included the female and male narrators together. It’s a trip to hear so many versions of your characters. The talent was stellar! I sought narrators who sounded like the characters in my head, and I was thrilled to hire Laurie Carter Rose and Ryan Lee Dunlap.
  7. Make an offer to a narrator (ACX calls them “producers”.) With two narrators, I hired Laurie as the producer, and she subcontracted wth Ryan.
  8. Select 15 minutes of the novel for the narrator. This is the last chance to listen to the narrators’ takes on various situations and dialects before they produce the audiobook. I made sure to choose emotional scenes with young and old characters.
  9. Sign the contract between the author (“rights holder”) and narrator (“producer”).
  10. Edit and publish. Typically the producer edits as part of the per-finished-hour rate. Because my dual narrators recorded in different studios, I hired a third-party editor to help the novel sound cohesive. Eric West did a fantastic job!

The whole process took only two months or so, and now my baby is available on ACX here!

Audible gave me free download codes for readers in the US & UK, so if you’re interested, hit me up.

Also, please let me know if you have any questions about audiobooks. I still have much to learn, but I’m pleased by the outcome.

Happy writing, reading, and listening!

giveaway, new release

Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy’s Island for hosting this fun giveaway!

I’m giving away an ebook and audiobook of my latest sports romance, Rivals, which includes a beach volleyball scene. Also up for grabs is a $10 gift card!

He’s a Wolverine. She’s a Buckeye. It’s a forbidden romance with balls.

Enter to win on the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paddle over to these participating blogs to win more beach gear!

insecure writers support group

#IWSG Taking Risks in Writing

Happy spring, northern hemisphere writers! Join us for a monthly venting of our hopes and fears at the IWSG, Alex Cavanaugh’s brainchild.

Thanks to our helpfulco-hosts this month: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton.

April 7th’s question: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Sometimes anxiety prevents me from being brave in my personal life, but I have taken some risks in writing. My March release, sports romance Rivals, was the first time I wrote a novel in present tense. I like it! It’s fun! And another risk with Rivals (especially financially, eek) was the creation of my first audiobook. I’ll share more about the wonderful world of audiobooks in May.

As a psychologist, I need to broach uncomfortable topics to be effective, and another way I take risks is to incorporate squirmy themes into my stories. Twin Sacrifice dives into recovering from childhood sexual abuse, and the Blocked trilogy explores falling in love across the political aisle.

One big motivator to take risks: the support of fellow writers! Thank you to Nicki Elson, Ellen Jacobson, Shannon Lawrence, Pat Garcia, Valerie Ullmer, Sheri Hollister, Natalie Aguirre, Alex Cavanaugh, and Diane Wolf (I hope I’m not missing anyone) for your great support.

What risks have YOU taken?

giveaway, new release

New Sports Romance RIVALS

I’m thrilled to launch my 9th novel into the world! Many thanks to awesome early reviewers for taking the time to read this sports romance.

Title: Rivals

Author: Jennifer Lane
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Cover Design: Dan Irons, Designs by Irons

“I embrace my rival. But only to strangle him.”
~Jean Racine


After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates.

Jeremy detests his boss, and he hopes that signing the nation’s #1 recruit is the ticket he needs to become a head coach himself one day. Lauren Chase is already a head coach, and Jeremy has to admit that she intrigues the hell out of him. He wants to know why her performance has tanked after winning a national championship. He wants to see beneath Lauren’s fast pace and dirty mouth. But he can’t get with a Buckeye, right?

Maybe rivals don’t have to remain enemies. Maybe they can learn to appreciate their opponent’s strengths. And, if they’re lucky—if they excel at the game—maybe rivals can bring out the very best in each other.
 



“Absolutely loved this book. The rivalry was spot on. This book has it all, humor, love and sports.” ~Michelle from Besties & Books

“The uncanny portrayal of recruiting high-profile athletes in Rivals completely transported me into the story. I became so invested in Lauren Chase’s success! When Coach Chase met Coach Trent, the chance of finding love on the recruiting trail turned into such a charming contest–a game more meaningful than they could ever imagine on the court or field.” ~Gwynn Harrison, Head Swim Coach, Bridgewater College

“Fun read that captures the best of the greatest sports rivalry in the midst of a smoldering romance.”~Kevin Kropf


Psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane invites you to her world of sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist!

Jen fell in love with sports at a young age and competed in swimming and volleyball in college. She went on to become the Honda Award Winner for Division III Athlete of the Year. She still gets high from the smell of chlorine and the satisfaction of smashing a beautiful volleyball set.

Jen’s latest novel is Rivals, a romance between coaches from rival universities. Her Blocked trilogy also explores the transformation from hate to love. Particularly in this time of division, Jen’s favorite theme is finding common ground.

A romantic suspense trilogy (The Conduct Series) and a psychological thriller (Twin Sacrifice) complete Jen’s collection of stories. She calls Ohio home and shares writing space with her two trusted feline collaborators: Tuxedo and Tessa.

Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time, she likes to exercise and visit her amazing sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.

HOSTED BY:

insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG Favorite Genres

Join our group to share our insecurities and writing progress. Thank you to Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh for creating this wonderful community.

The clever co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah – The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose. Thank you for co-hosting!

March 3 question – Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

While I still have a soft spot for the genres I write (sports romance and romantic suspense), my book club and Goodreads friends have helped me branch out:

Science Fiction like Dark Matter and Ready Player One.

Historical Fiction The Nightingale and The Dutch House.

Magical realism such as The Snow Child. (I’m not a fantasy fan, mostly because I find real life so damn interesting, but a touch of the fantastical can work for me.)

Reading fascinating psychological thrillers like The Silent Patient even encouraged me to write one myself.

I’ll read anything that has compelling characters who make me laugh and cry. How about you? How closely do your favorite genres match your writing and reading preferences?

I’m gearing up for the release of my new sports romance, RIVALS! If you’d like to spread the word before the launch on 3-19-21, you can sign up HERE.

Thank you to IWSG author Ellen Jacobson for reading an ARC, and for author Darcia Helle hosting me on her blog today.

giveaway, new release

Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting!

In addition to a $10 gift card, I’m giving away an advance reader copy of my new sports romance, Rivals. It’s only $.99 to preorder HERE.

She’s a Buckeye. He’s a Wolverine. It’s a romance with balls.

Enter on the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And hop over to these lucky blogs!

cover reveal

Cover Reveal: Dark Creation by Kelsey Ketch

Cover Reveal! 

Dark Creation (A Dark Reflections Short Story #2)
Release Date: April 30th, 2021
New Adult Dark Fantasy Short Story
 

(I love the colors on this cover! Well done, Kelsey.)

Summary:
Long before Charissa began her murderous rampage through history, she was a young woman living in ancient Alexandria.

Oppressed by society and cursed by the color of her hair, Charissa had hardly seen the world beyond the four walls of her home. So, when her husband leaves for extended military duty, she takes the opportunity to tour the city her brother once loved. Little does she know the Fates have other plans in store for her when she runs into an exotic woman in the Rhakotis District. The encounter will change her life forever.

 


About the Author: 
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading. For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

Goodreads | BookBub | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Cover Reveal created by YA Bound Book Tours

cover reveal

Cover Reveal for New Sports Romance RIVALS by @JenLaneBooks

*drum roll* I’m happy to reveal the cover for my ninth novel. Thanks to Dan Irons for designing the cover and to Ena and Amanda from Enticing Journey for hosting! Join us for the review tour.

Title: Rivals
Author: Jennifer Lane
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Cover Design: Dan Irons, Designs by Irons



“I embrace my rival. But only to strangle him.”
~Jean Racine


After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates.

Jeremy detests his boss, and he hopes that signing the nation’s #1 recruit is the ticket he needs to become a head coach himself one day. Lauren Chase is already a head coach, and Jeremy has to admit that she intrigues the hell out of him. He wants to know why her performance has tanked after winning a national championship. He wants to see beneath Lauren’s fast pace and dirty mouth. But he can’t get with a Buckeye, right?

Maybe rivals don’t have to remain enemies. Maybe they can learn to appreciate their opponent’s strengths. And, if they’re lucky—if they excel at the game—maybe rivals can bring out the very best in each other.







Psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane invites you to her world of sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist!

Jen fell in love with sports at a young age and competed in swimming and volleyball in college. She went on to become the Honda Award Winner for Division III Athlete of the Year. She still gets high from the smell of chlorine and the satisfaction of smashing a beautiful volleyball set.

Jen’s latest novel is Rivals, a romance between coaches from rival universities. Her Blocked trilogy also explores the transformation from hate to love. Particularly in this time of division, Jen’s favorite theme is finding common ground.

A romantic suspense trilogy (The Conduct Series) and a psychological thriller (Twin Sacrifice) complete Jen’s collection of stories. She calls Ohio home and shares writing space with her two trusted feline collaborators: Tuxedo and Tessa.

Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time, she likes to exercise and visit her amazing sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.



HOSTED BY:
insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG Blogging Buddies and RIVALS

Happy February, writers! Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group here.

I’m thrilled to co-host this month, along with Louise – Fundy Blue,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

February 3 question – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?  

Blogging has been wonderful for building relationships! The best part of IWSG, for me, is the community of writers I’ve come to know. And blogging offers more freedom and ownership than social media.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

In 2010, authors from my small publisher started a blog hop– the beginning of my friendship with awesome author Nicki Elson. Since then, Nicki and I began a productive and fun critique partnership! She recently helped me select audiobook narrators.

I’ve also befriended quite a few warriors from the IWSG Ninja Army: Alex Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolf, Natalie Aguirre, Chris Fey, Ellen Jacobson, Anna Simpson, Roland Yeomans, Pat Garcia, Stephen Tremp, and Feather Stone.

(I apologize in advance for my difficulty commenting on Blogger from my MacBook unless there’s a pop-up comment form. Clearing my cache doesn’t seem to work anymore.)

I appreciate all of your support in writing and publishing! If you’d like to spread the word about my new release, sports romance RIVALS launching 3-19-21, please sign up on this form.

In addition to Nicki Elson critiquing my baby, I’m grateful to Diane Wolf for her book design! You can find Rivals on Goodreads and pre-order on Amazon.

I’ll share my adventure creating my first audiobook for Rivals in a future post. It’s been so cool.

giveaway

$100 Gift Card Giveaway!

Love is in the air! We hope you’re the lucky winner of our February monthly gift card event featuring Victoria’s Secret!

This event is HOSTED by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It and sponsored by the awesome bloggers, authors, and Etsy shop owners!

Find Your Way Over To The CoHosts!
Still Blonde… after all these YEARS!, Raising 3 Savvy Ladies, Versatileer, Angie’s Angle, This Frugal Family, Beautiful Touches, Deliciously Savvy, Dine Dream Discover, The Frugal Grandmom, Simply Sherryl, Sonya’s Happenings…, It’s Free At Last, and Mom To Grandma!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=a3325ea8d75a7b860d96

Enter the Giveaway!
ONE entrant will be selected by the entry form to win a $100 Victoria’s Secret Gift Card! Open for entry WW, 18 years and older from 02/01/21 at 12:01 a.m. ET thru 02/28/21 at 11:59 p.m. ET. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. A winner will be chosen after/around March 01, 2021. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. See Rafflecopter for official rules. The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island are responsible for sending the winner their prize.

Dummy/fake accounts including Twitter and Facebook are ineligible for entry and will be blocked. Authentic accounts only are eligible to win.

Remember this is an OPTIONAL giveaway and you DO NOT have to enter if you do not like how many entries there are. The bloggers listed have come together as a collective to give a gift card to a winner. Rude comments and complaining will not be tolerated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

insecure writers support group

#IWSG Countdown to Launch and Reading Pet Peeves

Happy 2021, writers! Join us for this supportive monthly gathering to vent our hopes and fears. You can sign up at our founder Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s collegial co-hosts: Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

How’s your writing? I’m gearing up to publish my next sports romance, RIVALS. We’re working on the cover design, and I’m scheduling a day off work in March for the release. Since I’m self-publishing, I want to avoid the typical Tuesday of traditional publishing launches. What do you think of releasing a book on a Friday? I’m considering 3/19/21.

Question: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Ooh, I like this question. My first two pet peeves as a reader are the very errors that plagued my early writing:

  1. Adverb abuse. I hope writers won’t waste my precious reading time with She left swiftly when it’s more fun to read She skedaddled.
  2. Cliches. Don’t “beat a dead horse” by using phases like “every cloud has a silver lining” or “it’s raining cats and dogs”. My aunt told me that good writing is poetic–fresh, lyrical, and unique.
  3. But most of all, I’ll abandon a story that lacks an emotional connection to the characters. If I don’t care about the people inhabiting the story, the writing quality doesn’t matter. I love vulnerable characters who grow through facing intense conflict.
giveaway

Bath and Body Works $100 Gift Card Giveaway

2021 is a year of new possibilities! I’m joining a group of bloggers to offer this giveaway. Enter to win by adding my new sports romance, Rivals, to your Goodreads shelf along with other entries on the Rafflecopter below. We hope you’re the lucky winner of our January monthly gift card event featuring Bath & Body Works!

This event is HOSTED by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It and sponsored by the awesome bloggers, authors, and Etsy shop owners! Find Your Way Over To The CoHosts!Still Blonde… after all these YEARS!, Raising 3 Savvy Ladies,Versatileer, Smarter Home Cooking, Angie’s Angle, This Frugal Family, Beautiful Touches, Deliciously Savvy, Dine Dream Discover, The Frugal Grandmom, Simply Sherryl, Sonya’s Happenings…, It’s Free At Last, and Mom To Grandma!

Enter the Giveaway! ONE entrant will be selected by the entry form to win a $100 Bath & Body Works Gift Card! Open for entry WW, 18 years and older from 01/01/21 at 12:01 a.m. ET thru 01/31/21 at 11:59 p.m. ET. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. A winner will be chosen after/around February 01, 2021. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. See Rafflecopter for official rules. The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island are responsible for sending the winner their prize. Dummy/fake accounts including Twitter and Facebook are ineligible for entry and will be blocked. Authentic accounts only are eligible to win. Remember this is an OPTIONAL giveaway and you DO NOT have to enter if you do not like how many entries there are. The bloggers listed have come together as a collective to give a gift card to a winner. Rude comments and complaining will not be tolerated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
insecure writers support group

IWSG: Writing Productivity

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and the congenial co-hosts for December: Pat Garcia,Sylvia Ney,Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

December’s question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

In the past, the demands of my university day job used to lighten in the summer months, and I would write more then. Now, my day job is steady throughout the year, so my writing has the same pace year-round: LEISURELY.

Although my writing pace has slowed, I’m thrilled that the wonderful Jessica Royer Ocken took less than two weeks to edit my latest novel, Rivals. Thanks to the speedy critique of Nicki Elson as well! I’m now working on cover design, formatting, and…

creating my first AUDIOBOOK *squee*

Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

Audiobooks are the only format I read these days, and I’m eager to develop one of my own. If you’ve made an audiobook, any tips for me?

Happy Holidays to all writers!

new release

New Release: Damned When I Didn’t by Cherie Colyer

Damned When I Didn’t
Cherie Colyer
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: November 18th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Death isn’t the end for eighteen-year-old Avery Williams, and her final resting place isn’t beyond the Golden Gates. No, the Queen of the Damned has plans for her and, unbeknownst to Avery, fought hard to gain possession of her soul.

As Hell’s newest succubus, Avery is expected to siphon life from the living. It only takes a long, meaningful kiss, but for a virgin like Avery, kissing guys she barely knows isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Avery focuses on the upside of her fate—she’ll be returning home, or so she thinks. When the Queen of the Damned cuts her off from her old life, Avery is determined to find a way back to her family and friends, even if it means facing Hell’s fury if she’s caught.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

I kicked my sneakers off near the kitchen stools and dropped my purse on the floor.

“What’s your problem?” Cole asked. He stood a few feet from me, eyes narrowed.

“Nothing.” I breathed in deep, trying to calm myself. The stench of cheap perfume invaded my nostrils. I covered my nose with my hand. “You reek of imitation lavender and…and…onions.”

Cole tossed his keys onto the counter. Obvious confusion flittered over his features only to be replaced with the realization that I was referring to the scents of the waitress.

“You’re one to talk!” he spit back. “You stink of Sport Goofy.”

“Sport Goofy, I mean Marcus, barely touched me.” Cole gave off such a strong odor, I was sure the waitress had put her hands all over him.

Cole stepped closer, placing his hands on the counter on either side of me, caging me in.

“And I barely touched her,” he growled. “When a human’s life force flows from them to us, our souls grow brighter and—”

“We smell like them,” I said, finishing his sentence. He’d told me that once.

“And because our senses become sharper, we know when our kind renews.” The blue in his irises was more pronounced than I’d remembered. I bit my lip to keep from asking him if that was because of my heightened vision or because he’d renewed, as he called it. “Now, do you want to tell me what’s really bothering you?”

I felt my face warm, and I had to fight to keep my gaze from traveling to his lips. Did I want to admit that I was irrationally jealous that he’d kissed another girl? Nope. So, instead, I said, “Her smell makes me want to puke.”

“Eau de Jock is doing the same to me.”

“You’re the one who called Sport Goofy,” I reminded him.

He smiled, clearly happy that I’d called Marcus by the nickname.

“You’re the one who pissed off the Queen of the Damned,” he countered.

I twitched a shoulder. “I still can’t stand how you smell right now.”

“Fine!” He grabbed me just under my butt and lifted me over his shoulder. I screamed. He held my legs, keeping me from falling.

“What are you doing?” I grabbed his waist from my upside down position.

“You think I smell?”

“Reek. And you said I do, too! Now put me down!”

“Let’s fix that.”

He marched to the bathroom with me slung over his shoulder. The next thing I knew we were standing in the tub. He continued to hold me like a sack of rice.

“Cole?”

He slid me down his chest so I stood in front of him with his arms keeping me from moving.

“Cole?”

He reached behind me.

I glanced up at the showerhead, then to the knob next to me. “You wouldn’t!”

“Want to bet?”

Author Bio:

Cherie Colyer is the author of Challenging Destiny and the Embrace series. When she’s not getting the fictional people in her life into trouble, she can be found solving network issues at work, spending time with family and friends, reading, or exploring the great outdoors.

Cherie lives in Illinois with her family.

To learn more about Cherie and her novels visit http://www.CherieColyer.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

insecure writers support group

Insecure Writers Support Group: Why I Write

Happy November, writers! Kvetch with us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to the wonderful co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG: Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

November 4 question – Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

Fantastic question! I never expected to become a writer. What I didn’t realize, however, was that I lived the writer experience long before publishing novels. As a psychologist, I write a case note after every psychotherapy session. These are narratives about the past, present, and future; narratives about tragedies and triumphs. I’ve also written a few scientific journal articles and book chapters.

So, maybe it wasn’t so far-fetched that I started writing novels, since they share a common motivation with my case notes: trying to make sense of why we do what we do.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
Image by Foundry Co. from Pixabay
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

Over time, I’ve developed other reasons for writing:

  • Demystifying psychotherapy
  • Sharing the healing power of love
  • Exploring how functional and dysfunctional families work
  • Creating happy endings when I can’t find them in real life, and…
  • CONNECTING with the reader. I think we’re all seeking connection.

What about you? What motivates you to write or read?

Uncategorized

IWSG: Feels So Good to Type “The End”

Happy October, writers! Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh.

Thank you to today’s commendable co-hosts: Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!

I’ve plodded through my ninth novel for the past 18 months and *finally* finished a few days ago. It’s a sports romance titled Rivals.

When an Ohio State volleyball coach meets a Michigan football coach as they recruit twin star athletes, the hot rivalry begins. How will it end? Find out in early 2021.

Rivals is up at Goodreads.

I have an awesome editor, but my book designer is busy with her day job. I’m searching for a cover designer and formatter who communicates effectively. Who’s your go-to for self-publishing?

My quick response to today’s question: According to the IRS, writing is a HOBBY for me! 😀

new release

New Release: Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space by C.D. Gallant-King

Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.

Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry’s Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.

Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.

Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?

There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II…

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Beast-Outer-Space-Harbour-ebook/dp/B08BY2XGBC

AMAZON CANADA:

AMAZON UK:

BIO:

C.D. Gallant-King writes comic horror and fantasy stories in a variety of settings and genres. He is a proud Newfoundlander and Canadian currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. He lived in Toronto for 10 years and tried to be an actor and a rock star, but we don’t talk about that. He is now a happy husband and father of two. 

C.D. has previously published two novels, and a third book, PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE, is set to be released September 28. His book HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN was a semi-finalist in Mark Lawrence’s 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. His work has also appeared four times in Mystery & Horror’s STRANGELY FUNNY anthologies of comic horror stories, an upcoming issue of The Weird and Whatnot magazine, and in two anthologies from Dancing Lemur Press. 

LINKS:

Website: https://galeharbourbooks.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdgallantking.ca

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/book/show/54746956-psycho-hose-beast-from-outer-space

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDGallantKing

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdgallantking

insecure writers support group

IWSG Blurbs…Blech!

Is it September already? Waah. Good thing it’s time for the Insecure Writers Support Group to boost my mood as the days grow shorter. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and all of the supportive writers in this group.

I’m grateful to the awesome co-hosts:  PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Ideal beta partner? I already have one! Nicki Elson is the bombdiggity. She even helped me edit the blurb for my upcoming sports romance, RIVALS. Just about every author hates writing blurbs, and I suffered through this one. What do you think?

“I embrace my rival. But only to strangle him.” 
~Jean Racine 


After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates. 

Jeremy detests his boss, and he hopes that signing the nation’s #1 recruit is the ticket he needs to become a head coach himself one day. Lauren Chase is already a head coach, and Jeremy has to admit that she intrigues the hell out of him. He wants to know why her performance has tanked after winning a national championship. He wants to see beneath Lauren’s fast pace and dirty mouth. But he can’t get with a Buckeye, right?

Maybe rivals don’t have to remain enemies. Maybe they can learn to appreciate their opponent’s strengths. And, if they’re lucky—if they excel at the game—maybe rivals can bring out the very best in each other. 

Add Rivals to Goodreads HERE.

insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG: New Releases by Nicki Elson and Chrys Fey

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

iwsg2badmin

Congratulations to my critique partner, Nicki Elson, on the launch of her 8th novel yesterday: MOLLY UNPLANNED.

Here’s my 5-star review of Miss Molly.

I’m thrilled to co-host today, along with: Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

Speaking of the lovely Chrys Fey, I’m part of the blog hop to celebrate her new release, Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout. Congratulations to Chrys! Scroll down to read my own experience with these issues.

KWWF

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

  • Writer’s block
  • Depression
  • Writer’s burnout
  • What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
  • Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love – writing.

(The table of contents of this book looks fantastic!)

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo

Goodreads

Chrys Fey Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop: Share your story about writer’s block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal.

Since writing is secondary to my work as a psychologist, I write only when I feel like it. Therefore, I don’t experience much writer’s block or burnout. But I have turned to writing to deal with feelings of depression from painful events in my psychology career.

For 15 years, I have worked for two different university departments, and I don’t seem to fit well with one of them. Twice, that department has chosen to work with another psychologist instead of me. (I guess I’m a masochist for returning after the first time they let me go.) The process has been all the more agonizing due to their lack of direct communication. It was a gradual ghosting instead of a kind cutoff.

Therapy has taught me that self-talk is important for healing. When hurtful events happen, we can benefit from compassionate narratives. Since I write romance novels, some of my narratives compared getting fired to romantic rejection:

When reality sucked, I turned to fiction.

They don’t know my strength.

I won’t let one person determine my value.

We separated, then reunited, but the bitterness and poor communication continued, leading to a divorce.

A relationship breakup doesn’t mean either person is wrong or bad; it’s just a poor fit. I can find a better fit elsewhere, or I can stay single by going into private practice! 😀

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


What is YOUR experience with writer’s block, depression, or burnout? Thanks for stopping by.

Uncategorized

Writers, Have You Heard About The Occupation Thesaurus?

Hi everyone! Today I feature a new book for writers…a treasure trove to enrich your character authenticity.

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!


Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE

To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.

(Jennifer Lane here: Check out the job profile I added for SPORTS COACH. The heroine and hero in my work-in-progress both work as coaches for rival universities.)

Happy writing to all!

 

cover reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: DROWNING IN STARS by Debra Anastasia

GiVEAWAY + COVER REVEAL: Drowning in Stars by Debra Anastasia

Congratulations to Debra, my pub sister! LOVE the cover.

Picture1

… he walked a tightrope five stories up just to hold my hand. 

Gaze: I moved into the building next to Pixie when I was eleven. She blew bubbles through my window. I shot my Nerf gun through hers. We both had secrets, but one of us was fated to get hurt. I wanted it to be me. 

Pixie: When I was afraid of the dark, he would shine a light in my window. We shared our popsicles and I taught him how to get a good swing on the playground. I never imagined I’d have to decide who got to live and who didn’t. I chose him –and he could never know.

She walked a tightrope five stories up just to save my life…

COMING AUGUST 9th

★☆✶⭑⭐✩Drowning in Stars is a full 100k standalone.✩★⭐✯⭑☆★

Sign up here for first live notification:  https://bit.ly/NewsletterDebra2020

                             Add Drowning in Stars to your TBR list: https://bit.ly/DISGOOD

Follow Debra on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2ZtTlCV

Sign up for the Newsletter here:  https://bit.ly/DIStars

Get in on the giveaways in the Daredevils: http://bit.ly/DebrasDareDevils

picture2Cover by TJ Designs

Debra Anastasia’s writing is imaginary, dark, comedic, and the perfect sexy. Drowning in Stars is the perfect representation of her! — Tijan NYT Bestselling Author

Full of gut wrenching angst and poignant emotion, Drowning in Stars is a hauntingly beautiful must read. –Helena Hunting NYT Bestselling Author

Picture3

To celebrate this cover release go here for a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway by Debra: https://www.debraanastasia.com/drowing-in-stars-giveaway

Excerpt: 

And then he came in for the kiss. It was him and I was so used to him, but in a totally different way. A new way. Changing everything and realizing that nothing really had to change. He was already mine. His kiss was just ours. Incredibly different from the accidental kiss when we were kids. 

His lips tasted good. Slow and gentle, but my heart was racing so fast. He stopped and checked my eyes. I nodded slightly. I was good. This was good. He was making my mouth mine, letting me be the one that decided to be kissed. And then I wasn’t thinking anymore. 

I was just a girl kissing a boy and free falling into the beauty of permission.

About the Author

Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and writes new adult angst and romantic comedies. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two amazing children.

Picture4

Connect with Debra

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debra.anastasia/

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DebrasDaredevils/

Newsletter: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Debra_Anastasia

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/debra_anastasia/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraanastasia/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vVuo45

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-anastasia

 

insecure writers support group, Uncategorized

#IWSG Publishing Changes and KITTIES!

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for convening the monthly IWSG, where we share our neuroses to help us feel less alone.

iwsg2badmin-1

The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 question: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I rarely follow publishing trends but I did find some predictions in this article. Self-publishing is already flooded, and all the writers pumping out words during quarantine will drown the market. I can’t wait to read the brilliant creations!

The demand for screenplays will likely increase given all of the streaming services. I hope to learn more about writing screenplays.

For those of you with a work in progress during COVID-19, are you altering your story to include the pandemic? I’m not. I believe many readers want an escape from this dreary reality.

Speaking of WIPs, mine is plodding along, up to 62K words out of about 80K. How’s your WIP?

My biggest excitement this month is KITTIES! I adopt two kittens tomorrow, a brother and sister. It’s been five years since my cat, Izzie, crossed over the rainbow bridge, and I’m finally ready.

I fell in love with tuxedo cats when author Jayne Rylon posted photos of her foster kittens on Facebook. Did you know tuxedo cats are smarter than other color patterns? So, I’m adopting a male tuxedo cat and his sister.

 

I’m thinking of the names Tux and Tessa. Got any fun bro/sis cat names to suggest? Whatever their names, I’m sure they’ll be excellent writing companions.

 

Uncategorized

#IWSG Writer Secrets

Happy June to all writers! Join us at host Alex Cavanaught’s blog to share our neurotic fears.

iwsg2badmin

Thank you to June’s cohosts: Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month’s question: Writers have secrets! What is one of yours–something readers would never know about you?

Well it won’t be a secret for long if I share it with you, will it?

Okay, okay, I’ll answer the question. The secret I’ll share relates to this line:

My life is like a romantic comedy, only there’s no romance and it’s just me laughing at my own jokes.

My secret: I suck at romance! (Interesting that I write romance novels, eh?) I’m perpetually single. I have rich, fulfilling friendships, but when it comes to romance, I seem to be commitment phobic. Strange dating encounters have included my puzzling attraction to gay men, as well as the time eharmony set me up with a pig farmer (not that there’s anything wrong with that–I mean, non-stop access to BACON, baby.)

pigs-1507208_960_720

Maybe I turn to fiction to find what’s lacking in my real life? Maybe my annoying habit of laughing at my own jokes drives away potential suitors?

Can’t wait to hear YOUR secrets!

Also, I finally got around to reading On Writing by Stephen King (recommended by several of you), and here’s my 4-star review.

Uncategorized

Life’s a Beach #Giveaway

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting…

2020LifesABeachGiveawayHop700

I hope beaches across the world open for the summer!

To help you with your beach reading, I’m giving away a $10 gift card and a Jennifer Lane ebook of your choice. I write sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Enter on the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swim on over to these beachy blogs to enter their giveaways:

Uncategorized

#IWSG Walk into the Writing Zone

I hear birds chirping in my backyard…it must be time for the May edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

iwsg2badmin

Thank you to the co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG: Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

This month’s question: Which rituals help you get into the ZONE?

One of my duties as a psychologist is to help high performers enter the zone. I practice two quick skills to work toward achieving a state of flow:

  1. Diaphragmatic breaths (belly breaths). When we’re anxious or overwhelmed, our breathing becomes fast and shallow. What do you notice about your breath right now? Inhale through your nose and out your mouth, and allow your breath gently to become slower and deeper. Inhale into your belly, and pull your belly button to your spine as you exhale.
  2. Cue words. Repeat a phrase with each breath to focus on one thing at a time. The phrase is about the process, not outcome; something simple and under your control. What are helpful phrases for your writing? Maybe, “One word at a time”, “I’m the only one who can write this story”, or “I got this.”

In my short story for the IWSG anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited, I had a baseball catcher help an anxious softball pitcher take deep breaths and repeat the cue word, “Open hips.”

Beyond these two skills, I find that taking a walk is the best way to inspire writing ideas. Cerebral blood flow from exercise sparks my writing synapses.

Speaking of walking, the fragrant perfume and brilliant colors of Ohio spring flowers have captivated me on my neighborhood jaunts:

 

What helps YOU get into the zone?

Uncategorized

#IWSG Writing Virus-Free and BLOCKED Sale

Wow! The world is a wild place right now. We definitely need a support group this April—thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting.

I appreciate the hard-working co-hosts for the April IWSG: Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe,and Lisa Buie-Collard!

How’re you holding up through the COVID-19 crazies? I strive for a balance between caution and optimism; between flipping out and resilience. I’m lucky to be healthy and to keep working as a psychologist. I spend my workdays video counseling.

Since I’m not traveling or socializing on the weekends, I’m writing more. Happily, I passed the halfway point (~41K words) on my WIP, sports romance Rivals.

Here’s a good article about our grief during this time. But most of all, memes keep me going! Here are a few favorites:

88257466_10222503512955910_5584849831592984576_o

91399081_2974805429229057_1197153749290713088_n

7f444bdbe937a60d1434141ca6b06c19e5a133ffcaa0d85151627d8d8fa60ff6_1

Hehehe.

My BLOCKED trilogy is on sale from April 1-8. If you have the time to share, here’s a social media post to paste:

Sports #romance BLOCKED on sale–get the entire series for $2.99!

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CF2CVC

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MYB9H42

blocked free promo no date

BlockedThreeCovers sale

Uncategorized

#IWSG Sharing Family Traditions in Writing

Time for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group. Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

IWSG Admin

Thank you to our co-hosts: Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

This month finds me still tinkering with my new site/blog. I’m grateful to Kassiah Faul for helping me choose a WordPress theme called Dara, which allows a larger cover image but still maintains the two columns that I like.

This month’s question: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your writing?

My family enjoys competition in many forms. My older sisters started competitive swimming and recruited me to join the team at age eight. When they were in 9th grade, they both left the sport to pursue theater and other interests, but I was the sucker who stayed with swimming through college (and added in volleyball for good measure.) My writing has featured many different athletic pursuits that began in my family.

But sports aren’t the only games my family and friends play. We love euchre, a popular Midwest card game. My best friend, Gwynn, and I took on two older football players in college, and when we emerged victorious, one guy told Gwynn that she was “the worst winner ever.” She tends to gloat. 😉

playing-cards-167049_1280

Here’s an excerpt from my sports romance, Blocked, featuring a euchre game between Dane/Lucia and two female Secret Service agents, China and Allison:

Lucia and I were up six-five when it was my turn to deal. I hid my grimace as I looked at the hand I’d dealt myself. Total crap. To my left, China passed, and I waited to see if Lucia would pass or instruct me to pick up the top card of the blind.

She frowned at her cards for a long moment from across the table. “Pass?”

“You don’t want to order me up?”

“Table talk’s beneath you, Dane,” China said.

She thought I’d hinted that I wanted the card in my crapola hand? No way. “I’m just making sure Lucia knows what she’s doing.”

Lucia nodded, and this time her voice was stronger. “I do want to pass.”

Allison passed too, meaning it was my decision if I wanted to call trump. I slapped the card face down on the blind. Now China had the option of naming trump, but she passed again. I looked at Lucia, who smiled deviously. “I want to go alone. Trump is hearts.”

My mouth dropped open. “Are you sure?”

China hissed.

“I’m not trying to table talk.” I held out my hands. “But Luz, you know that means I don’t play this hand, right? You’re on your own.”

“That is implied with the term ‘alone’, yes.” Her eyes glimmered.

Whoa. Her sudden confidence stoked a fire in my belly. I set my cards face down on the table and crossed my arms over my chest, grinning like an idiota.

China led with an ace of clubs, which Lucia promptly trumped with a ten of hearts. That put her in the lead, and she won the next three tricks. My heart pulsed with excitement as she held her last card in her hand, her eyes darting back and forth from China to Allison. If Lucia won the last trick, we earned four points and won the game. If she lost, we only earned one point.

Lucia closed her eyes, and I heard a muttered prayer in Spanish. Then she set down her king of spades. Allison frowned as she played her king of diamonds—Lucia’s card beat hers. China’s eyes narrowed. Her queen of spades wasn’t good enough to beat Lucia’s king.

Lucia gasped as she looked up at me, her mouth open wide with joy.

“Hell, yeah!” I bolted out of my chair and initiated a victory dance. “We got a loner! We win ten-five, baby!” I sloped and shimmied my right shoulder, then my left, and snapped my fingers, mixing in some hip-hop moves Josh had taught me.

Lucia’s giggle drew my attention back to the table. I ignored China’s murderous scowl and grabbed Lucia’s hand, yanking her up to dance with me.

“You got a loner your first time playing?” I marveled. “You’re even better than Josh!” I jabbed my finger at the agents. “Eat that, Secret Service!”

Lucia’s cheeks flushed as she laughed at my moves. “You’re the worst winner, ever.”

“Isn’t it awesome?”

Her smile was so bright, so pretty. “I guess.”

Uncategorized

New Release: The Realization of Grayson Deschanelle by Nancee Cain

Release Date: January 24, 2020

Cover Design: Shannon M. Lumetta

Synopsis

Despite a high-profile clientele, fashion photographer Grayson Deschanelle prefers being behind the lens, away from public scrutiny. After his movie star girlfriend dumps him, he flees to his stepbrother’s remote cabin to hide from the paparazzi.

Related to Grayson by marriage, Lissy Carlton decides his plan to run from his problems might work for her, too. And perhaps he can help her out of the predicament that tanked her grades this semester of college as well. Caught by surprise, Grayson finds Lissy much different than the girl he’s known for years. She’s no longer a child—though her teenaged crush is still very much intact. Snowed in with her, he tries to fight his growing attraction. But being with Lissy

brings what his life is lacking into sharp focus. The ice melts, and they return home. When their families discover their secret, Grayson must decide what kind of life he truly wants—and whether he’ll fight to keep Lissy by his side.

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

Purchase Links

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/5aRHo

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35CL157

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2tEzswC

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2Qx1cfF

 

Available Now

 

The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie (Pine Bluff – Book 1)

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/gNnEh

 

The Rehabilitation of Angel Sinclair (Pine Bluff – Book 3)

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/B9zs1Av

 

The Redirection of Damien Sinclair (Pine Bluff – Book 4)

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/6qssg9j

 

The Reinvention of Jinx Howell (Pine Bluff – Book 5)

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/dmVt

 

The Reintroduction of Sammie Morgan (Pine Bluff – Book 6)

Amazon Universal: https://geni.us/1AWbzO

 

About the Author

During the day, Nancee works as a nurse/counselor in the field of addiction. This supports her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Readers say her stories are character driven and full of angst with humor. She is represented by Stephanie Phillips of SBR Media.

 

Connect with Nancee

Website: http://bit.ly/31iMxbz

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2IzKmaN

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2XC9qV5

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2F1w3Lt

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Wyz1BZ

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2KA9zom

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2R3dnzN

BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/31psubu

Uncategorized

#IWSG Writing Journey

Happy New Year, writers! Join us for this supportive monthly group–sign up at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

You may have noticed I have a new website! It might also be evident that I’m just starting to spruce it up. Hopefully my blog will look prettier come next month.

Thanks to this month’s cohosts: T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/ coach/ spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?  

I enjoyed creative writing as a child, but it wasn’t until my 30’s when I became obsessed with the TV show, Prison Break. I scarfed down the entire first season before binge watching was a thing. Then I fell into writing fan fiction for the show, and I’ve been hooked on writing ever since. Wentworth Miller (yummy actor) was quite the inspiration!

Uncategorized

Updated Site: jenniferlanebooks.com

New home of Jennifer Lane Books

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

― Lao Tzu

I’ve wanted to move my author blog from Blogger to WordPress for some time, and when my old site’s designer’s images became inaccessible, I found my opportunity! This site is still under construction.