Cecilia I moved to Orlando for a fresh start. Nobody could know my secret. Catching the attention of the hottest DJ in all of Orlando wasn’t in the plan. He’s got moves, and they’re not just good. They are good. Like the beats he spins in the booth, I fall fast for him and his crazy family. When he finds out about my past, it won’t just break my heart but also crush my soul.
Brock The third time I saw her at a crowded club, I had to have her. After our first kiss, I knew she was a habit I would never want to break. Knowing what she hid from me reinforces what I’ve known for so long. Women cannot be trusted. Even knowing the worst, I can’t stay away from her. But when push comes to shove, will I be able to keep her safe?
How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
How long I think about a book before writing it varies from book to book and series to series. In general, I stew on characters and topics for two months or more before I’m certain about what really drives a story. Since I used to work in research, I leave topics requiring more information until I’m closer to a first draft because I fall into the rabbit hole of research very easily. That helps me stay focused and prevents me from wasting writing time. I keep a notebook for ideas, and I have it with me all the time. However, my characters come to me with random scenes that must be written down on the spot and that’s typically what’s in the notebook. I prefer for characters to drive the story and only step in when necessary.
With Relentless Habit, I didn’t expect Brock and Cecilia to become a serious couple. My thought was that they would have a random hook-up, and that would be that – not pertinent to either of their respective stories. What turned into the first chapter was written as a piece of Flash Fiction for a writer/reader group on Facebook. It shocked me how much chemistry the two of them had with one another. Which of course meant, I had to see where that might go – but I didn’t start writing their book until five months after I submitted the Flash Fiction piece.
The more I toyed with them being a real couple, the more I realized they had a number of things in common. Not the least of which was Brock taking Cecilia’s sister out for coffee nearly a year prior, thank goodness he didn’t hit it off with Tennille.
With the next book in the O-Town series, I didn’t have to think as long about the story because in some ways Brock forced me into it. He says something to Cecilia about his brother, Gabe, and a woman Gabe is friends with, and I realized I had no choice. I didn’t want Gabe’s story to be a friends-to-lovers trope, but sometimes my characters know exactly what I never knew the book needed. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way because it keeps the writing fresh and it rarely feels like work.
Karen Renee is the award-winning author of the Riot MC
series, the Beta series, and upcoming O-Town series. She has been writing since she was a teen, but has only recently brought her dream to life. Karen spent years working in the wonderful world of advertising, banking, and local television media research. She is a Jacksonville native, as well as a proud wife and mother. When she’s not at the soccer field or cooking, you can find her at her local library, the grocery store, in her car jamming out to some tunes, or hibernating while she writes and/or reads books.
He Owns My Heart Genres:
(Owned Heart, Body, & Soul #1)
Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Publication date: August 11th 2020
Only true love can free a captive heart. Landon Jenks, retired four-time Golden Glove-winning shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, is lonely, heartbroken, and in desperate need of simple human contact. Trapped in the sticky fine print of an ironclad contract that forbids him from revealing his very-much-single status until the season finale of his reality show airs, he calls an elite male escort service that caters to the rich and wretched. Accustomed to servicing his often less than savory clients at more upscale locales, twenty-six-year-old Toby Carmichael is surprised when his handler sends him to a run-down motel off I-55. But “surprise” doesn’t come close to describing the shock that rocks his system when a delightful stuttering mess covered in tattoos and nearly ten years his senior stumbles into the room—and right into his heart. For the first time since Toby was forced into the life of prostitution, a kiss sparks a desire that has nothing to do with money and everything to do with genuine chemistry and the faintest beginnings of something so much more. But Toby’s dark past and troubled present make it impossible to see a future with Landon. And when the truth comes to light, a horrified and helpless Landon is determined to save Toby at all costs. Content Warnings: Discussion of childhood verbal abuse by an adult survivor, homophobia from a close family member, discussion of previous self-harm/cutting behaviors by an adult survivor, prostitution with dubious consent (all interactions between the main characters have full consent and there are no on-page depictions of dub-con situations), consensual and experimental Domination/submission play between mostly-novice characters, mild violence between a main character and antagonist, and human trafficking associated with illegal drugs (nothing explicit on-page, only discussions related to and psychological/mental ramifications of addressed in moderate detail).
Once upon a time, I used to consider myself a pantser. The idea of outlining gave me the writerly heebie jeebies. However, it was this story in particular that turned the tides on my aversion to plotting and planning. When I first set out to write Toby and Landon’s story, it was following a “dare” of sorts from a writing friend of mine who was trying to help me get out of a slump. She had recently discovered the joys of authoring short stories and challenged me to write one of my own. I agreed and decided to use a couple of characters who had been banging around my head for a while at that point. I thought their story could be told in a simple linear fashion without too much diversion into deep emotion or side plots. At the time, neither of them had spoken to me beyond the idea of a hot hotel tryst between a celebrity trying to maintain anonymity and the escort he hired for an evening of company.
The problem came once I really got to know the characters and realized, quite quickly, that their story couldn’t be told in the breadth of a short story. In fact, the deeper I got into their world, the more they had to say. By the time I’d wrapped up the very poorly paced short, I realized—for the first time ever—that I had to start back at the beginning… and actually do an outline. A few months of stress and overthinking later, and my short story had turned into a highly detailed and planned out trilogy, complete with an overarching story arc that I positively cannot wait to share with the world.
Toby and Landon were originally going to have a pretty easy go of it. I was going to follow the prostitute-finds-love-and-quits-his-job trope with minimal tension or conflict. You know, the necessary level of angst associated with novella-length stories. However, their journey has taken a much different path now that it’s been stretched into three books with distinct and involved storylines all their own. Above all else, I’m most excited about depicting Toby and Landon’s voyage into the world of BDSM. As a member of the lifestyle myself, I’m thrilled to portray a relationship where domination and submission plays a role in not only building their bond, but also in providing a place for healing, communication, and personal as well as relationship-based growth.
About the Author
Evie Drae is a registered nurse by day and an award-winning male/male romance writer by night. She has won first place in seven Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) competitions, including the prestigious title “Best of the Best” in the 2018 Golden Opportunity Contest. She is a double finalist in the 2019 Golden Heart®, in both the Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense categories, and finished as a second-place runner-up in four additional RWA contests.
One of Evie’s favorite things to do is encourage her fellow writers. To that end, she started the #writeLGBTQ and #promoLGBTQ hashtags on Twitter to support and promote LGBTQ+ authors and allies while providing a safe space to connect and grow as a community. She is married to the love of her life, is the mother of three wonderful fur babies, and runs almost entirely on coffee and good vibes.
Evie loves to link up with fellow writers and readers. You can reach her directly at EvieDrae@gmail.com or find her on her social media accounts listed below. Twitter is where she’s most active but be sure to check out her blog too. She focuses on reviews for LGBTQ+ authors and allies with the occasional quirky advice/recommendation post just to toss things up.
(Orion’s Order #1)
Adult, Paranormal, Romance
May 15th 2020
CALYPSO’S HEART is an adult paranormal wolf shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species!
You’ll feel right at home if you’re a JR Ward, Nalini Singh, and Dannika Dark fan.
By M.C. Solaris, paranormal romance author of Calypso’s Heart (Orion’s Order Book 1)
So, I was sitting at my desk with my story outline I’d been working on for years and a brand new, blank Google Doc page and—
*cue the record scratch sound effect*
Although that may be the way many books were born, that is so not how Calypso’s Heart was born… not in the least. You see, I was never “in the closet” about writing. I didn’t write in secret at night after work (and maybe drunkenly get the courage to anonymously post short stories on some blog a time or two). I didn’t harbor my story and character ideas notebook close to my heart (or rather, in the safe at the back of said closet). Hell, writing paranormal romance stories (let alone publishing them) wasn’t even a tiny blip on my radar. Seriously! Sure, I’m an avid reader of PNR and love it but it wasn’t in the realm of my conscious mind to write PNR.
So, how exactly was Calypso’s Heart born then?
This may sound weird but the honest answer is during the January 2019 super blood moon eclipse, I literally woke up and began writing bios for my imaginary friends (AKA the characters that were suddenly in my head introducing themselves and sharing their world with me). And as soon as I started writing, I couldn’t stop. The words and scenes were just in my mind, playing out like a movie and I decided to write them down. This is how Calypso’s Heart was born. This is also how the other books in the series were born (which I’m working on publishing as soon as possible).
So, I wasn’t an “in the closet” writer taking creative writing classes at night (or any kind of writing classes, in fact) and honing my craft for years. I’m just a person who woke up one day, saw a new dream, was over the moon excited about it, and decided to just go for it. And I’m sharing this because if you’re reading this (thank you 🙂 ) and you wake up one day with a new dream or desire, don’t be afraid to see where it takes you. Who knows what you’ll birth into the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).
On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.
Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com and sign up for the newsletter. Welcome to The Order!
If you enjoy Psy-Changeling and Black Dagger Brotherhood, this new series is right up your alley!
Sexy shifters. Hot vampires. Intriguing immortals. Strong heroine. Sizzling romance. Page-turning plot full of emotion and excitement. Modern and fresh take on fated mates.
Do you dream of ridiculously hot men? Okay, maybe you do. (And yes, I’m well aware I should lay off the romance books before bed.) But do you actually ever meet those men you dream about in real life? I didn’t think so. That’s probably a good thing though because I have… And these men from my dreams have done nothing but pull the rug of reality out from under me… which was how I fell and ended up in a world that I thought only existed in romance books.
My name is Caly (AKA Callie) and I’m just an ordinary single woman living the LA dream… paycheck to paycheck. Except whose dream is it? I’m not really sure… but it’s not my dream. Especially because I have really weird dreams… like really weird. Then again, everyone has weird dreams, right?
I am an alpha wolf shifter and leader of Orion’s Order, a pack of… well, not wolves. We’re an unconventional pack of highly skilled specian hunters that do one thing: hunt the evil in our world. And we were hired by SILE (Species Investigative Law Enforcement) to hunt a bloodthirsty criminal who is infamously untraceable. That was until an irresistible female brought an unexpected twist to our hunt and set things in motion… a motion that has left my pack and our world forever changed.
Welcome to The Order and a secret world of magic and mystery, where a pack of unlikely friends find love and fight against an ancient evil force.
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors
(The Guild Codex: Warped #1)
by Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: August 7th 2020
Synopsis: My name is Kit Morris, and welcome to my warped life. Picture the scene: Me, an average guy with psychic powers—not that my abilities are in any way average—just trying to scrape by in a harsh world. So maybe I’ve conned a few people, but did I really deserve to be thrown in MPD jail alongside magic-wielding serial killers? According to Agent Lienna Shen, one-hundred-percent yes. But her hardass attitude and “Arcana prodigy” status aren’t enough to bring down my former best friend, who slipped through the MPD’s fingers and is days away from unleashing untold horrors upon the city. Or he’s going to steal something. I don’t really know. Whatever he’s up to, that’s why I’m sitting in an interrogation room with Lienna. And that’s why I just offered myself as her temporary new partner for the purposes of thwarting my ex-accomplice. And that’s how I’m going to escape. I might even help with the case before I cut and run. — Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors is the first book in a new series set in the world of The Guild Codex. It can be read on its own or as part of a larger adventure.More series in the Guild Codex world: The Guild Codex: Spellbound The Guild Codex: Demonized
1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
I don’t know if I can pinpoint one specific author. Chuck Palahniuk had a lot of impact on my writing for a while, as did Laurence Sterne’s novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Even screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin and Diablo Cody shaped my writing style quite a bit. In terms of Kit’s voice in the Warped series, I’d have to say that Dean Koontz, especially in his Odd Thomas books, is particularly influential.
2. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
Oh, man. I have no idea. I honestly don’t read very many “funny” books. OH, I KNOW: Annette Marie. All the Guild Codex series are hilarious.
3. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?
I understood Inception on my very first viewing. (As much as anyone can truly understand Inception.)
4. Do you have an unusual hobby? Is it related to the books you write? Or is it for relaxation? Is itdangerous/ adventurous/ requires travel?
I am a very mediocre rock climber. I don’t think that qualifies as “unusual” because I live in Vancouver and everyone here climbs. I really want to write a rock-climbing scene in a Warped book but I have yet to convince Annette that it’s a good idea.
5. Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?
For the last few summers, I have spent at least a couple of weeks in Kananaskis, which is in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. There is a beautiful campground there by a lake, almost completely cut off from the world. There is no wi-fi, no cell phone reception, no TV. It is the perfect place to reset your brain and eat a lot of fire-cooked food.
6. If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?
It’s tempting to pick Dracula because he’s rich and immortal and talks with a cool accent. But then I remembered that he can’t eat garlic, which is an automatic deal-breaker. So I’m going to go with Captain Jack Sparrow. A life of adventure? Sign me up. Be half-drunk ALL THE TIME? Yes, please. Have an incredible fashion sense and eyeliner that never streaks? …why are we still having this conversation?
7. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?
Oh, god. I so badly want to travel more. I can’t pick a single location because I haven’t experienced enough places yet! I spent a couple of weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico last year for a film festival and I could see myself living there. The city was stunning, the people were amazing, and the food…sweet mother of taste bud bliss…the food was yumtastic.
8. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?
I’m going to go ahead and assume I’m gonna be on this desert island for a while and that I don’t require “How to Survive in the Middle of Godforsaken Nowhere” manual…
Does The Lord of the Rings trilogy count as a single book? Let’s say yes. That’s gotta be in there. A good collection of short stories, like The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury or Nine Stories by JD Salinger, would be on the list. I’d have to finish it off with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Not only is it a long (which is important on a desert island) and beautiful novel, but it is essentially six vastly different stories nested inside one another. They range from a 19th century drama to a 1960s thriller to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi; that kind of variety would hopefully keep me sane while I forage for coconuts, befriend scorpions, and make a man-kini out of banana leaves.
9. What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?
My writing playlist varies from scene to scene. For action scenes, I love listening to heavy music: Rob Zombie, Underoath, Static-X, Lamb of God, Bring Me the Horizon, and even some Skrillex. When I need something moodier, I’ll listen to Carrollhood, Holy Fawn, a bit of Billie Eilish, or the entire Gone Girl soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. For more general work, I have hours of Odesza and The Glitch Mob to keep me in the zone. While I’m writing this, I’ve got some Missy Elliot going in my headphones.
10. Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?
Totally! In order to prevent going stir crazy during isolation, my wife and I created a web series called Max and Mousee. It’s about a woman (Max) who is so lonely during quarantine that her imaginary best friend from her childhood reemerges to keep her company. Hijinks ensue. We made the whole thing with just two people acting as the cast and crew. It was a lot of fun, although there were some challenges. For example, after filming the first two episodes, I realized that I hadn’t changed the batteries in my microphone for like…seven years? So the sound quality is a little gross early on. But we also threw in a couple of Guild Codex easter eggs and references for any readers who come across it.
11. What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? Why? Why not?
Hard YES. Filmmaking is my first love. I’ve done some acting and made some of my own films. One of my dreams is to be a television showrunner. If I got the opportunity be involved in the film/TV adaption of my book, I’d be on that like Jack Sparrow on a fresh bottle of rum.
12. Is it easy to write humour?
I often find it easier to write humour than to be super-duper serious. It’s probably a coping mechanism. Maybe I should see someone about that…
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.
Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.
(Pixieland Diaries #2)
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Monster House books
Publication date: July 28th 2020
Book 2 of the Pixieland Diaries Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people. Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward. It’s totally awkward. ***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***
(Almost) Turning My Work Into A TV Series – My Story
By Christina Bauer
As part of the launch tour for my new book, CALLA (Pixieland Dairies #2), the lovely folks at the Bouncing Tigger Reads asked me to share my experience with turning my work into a TV series. Here goes!
Getting “The Call”
I’ve had a number of folks reach out to me about turning my stuff into a movie or TV show. The closest I got was when a producer wanted to turn my novels, The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, into a streaming series. The producers and I had some calls, we met for lunch, and then they asked me to write a script on spec (which means for free.) I have no track record in Hollywood, so that’s what I did.
Before becoming a full-time author, I worked in sales and marketing in many different industries. No matter what the area, it all comes down to a matter of numbers. Only a small percentage of opportunities turn into anything. So I didn’t want to get too cranked up about this. Still, the fact that I was asked for a script was a good sign. Also, we got into some details, too. The producer talked about my joining the writing team if the series got picked up. So I started to do some research.
And I fxxking panicked.
What Worried Me
One. Writing TEAM. TEAM!!! That means creating in committee. I hate this.
Two. Right now, I have control over my business. When I want to write a book, I just do it. When you’re a writer in Hollywood, you’re dependent on a ton of other people for your work to reach the public. And you must shepherd your writing through lots of edits that you (let’s face it) probably don’t agree with.
Three. You can make a lot of money. This shouldn’t seem like a negative, but it kind of is. The cash distracts from items number one and two. I’m a self sufficient writer. I pay my bills and run my own show. What do I really get out of more money and hassle? How much is enough?
Four. If I lose control over my work, I could start to suck. Not good.
Overall, I wasn’t crying in my soup when the producer told me that the streaming service took a pass. I sighed, filed the script in a folder deep in my MacBook, and focused on my next novel. Hope my experience helps to illuminate what you may (or may not) want to do with your own writing!
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.