Monthly Archives: July 2013

David’s Beautiful Struggle

Today is the official launch day of Too Close: The Beauty in Between, so it is now available to purchase on the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo

And to help celebrate the release of his story, David has kindly agreed to post on my blog about his side of the story in A Beautiful Struggle.

Welcome David!!

David: Um, yeah, thanks. Where did you get that photo? Have you been advertising my chest everywhere?

Lilliana: What? Oh, ignore that *laughs nervously* It’s just something I had laying about…

David: Okay…well, hi everyone out there. This is the first blog post I’ve ever done, so bear with me. I’m a little nervous.

Lilliana asked me to talk a bit about what life was like for me after Trina’s accident and while she was dating Elliot. It wasn’t the most favourite part of my life so far, but here goes…

After Trina was released from hospital, I spent as much time with her as possible. I was there to try and cheer her up, to help her catch up on uni work – anything she needed. I wanted to be around her, I wanted to show her that she was still the same person to me.

The attack changed her though, she spent a lot of time being angry, and she directed a lot of it toward her mother. Mrs Mahoney was just trying to be positive. Although, she went about it the wrong way, insisting that Katrina just needed to get out of the house and go and meet new people to put the whole ‘Christopher episode’ behind her.

This however, prompted Katrina to think about my behaviour since the accident.

“David?” she asked about a month after the attack, when we were lying about in her family’s rumpus room watching a movie.

I reached over and grabbed the remote, hitting the pause button before I turned my attention towards her. “What’s up?”

“You can go out you know.”

“Yeah baby girl, I know that,” I smiled, sitting up properly and facing her. “I just don’t want to right now.”

She sighed and adjusted herself on the couch so she was facing me as well. “Do you remember the conversation we had in the hospital? I said I wanted things to be normal.”

“I remember Trina. How am I not acting normal?”

“Well, you’re not flirting with the girls at uni anymore. You’re not going out and being your usual man-whorish self. I feel like I’m stopping you from living your life, and I don’t want that.”

“Trina, it’s fine. I don’t want to go out right now. I want to hang out with you.”

“David, please don’t take this the wrong way but, I want you to go out.”

“Maybe I don’t want to go out unless you’re going out too,” I said with a shrug of my shoulders, while I fingered the play button on the remote. I wanted this conversation over.

“I don’t need you to babysit me. I’m not going to go all depressed if I’m on my own for a few hours. Go out, have fun, pick up girls. I want normal David – you partying and being a ginormous flirt is normal. Please don’t change your life, or it will be like Christopher wins.”

“What about you? Staying home isn’t normal for you.”

“I know that. I’m going to start training again. I’ll focus on uni and training. I think that’s enough for now. I’m not ready for the whole party scene, but when I am, you’ll be the first to know ok?”

“Alright Trina, I’ll go out more. No problem,” I said, hitting play to focus on the movie.

“You’re upset,” she stated.

I hit pause again. “I’m fine. I said I’ll go out more and give you time to yourself. It’s fine ok – can we watch the movie please?”

“Ok… I’m not trying to be mean David. I’m just trying to get my life back.”

“I understand Trina. Really, I do,” I told her, hitting play again.

The truth was – I didn’t understand. I didn’t want to go out and hook up with girls anymore. The moment I realised how in love with Katrina I was, was the moment I stopped sleeping around. I would rather spend the rest of my life watching movies with her, than spend a night at a bar, picking up some drunk girl to screw. That just wasn’t me anymore.

When I went home that night I spoke to my mum about it, she was the only person in the world who knew how I felt about Katrina.

“You know, you can always just go out and not pick up. Plenty of people do that you know.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Or you could just come home. Spending the night with your mum wouldn’t be the end of the world would it?” she suggested.

“No Ma, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.”

So that’s what I did, occasionally I went out to the uni bar and hung out with a few of the guys. Of course they noticed that I wasn’t picking up, but I just shrugged it off and alluded to having an arrangement with someone like I did with Monica.

Of course, the girl I went home to was my mother. We had started reading a new series together, so I spent a lot of time transported to a realm filled with dragons, elves and other magical creatures.

I entered into a bit of a routine, going to visit Trina early in the evening and then heading off to the uni bar later. I avoided night clubs because they weren’t any fun if I wasn’t dancing, and I only wanted to dance with one girl.

She seemed to be a lot happier training, and was glad that I was going out again. We’d always had the rule that we didn’t ask questions about relationships, so while Katrina assumed that I was seeing other girls, I said nothing to confirm or deny anything.

Half way through our second year of uni, I started to think it would be a good idea to get an entry level job in a law firm to help secure a junior solicitors role when my degree was done. I told Trina of my plan and she decided it would be a good thing for her too.

I was lucky, and I got the first job I went for as a filing clerk. I started work straight away and even went out a couple of times with some of the other juniors around my age.

When Trina got her first interview, I took her in and showed her where she needed to go. Neither of us had spent much time in the business part of the city before, so it had taken me a while to figure out my way around the streets.

I showed her the building I worked in too, it was my day off but we went up so I could introduce her to some of the new people I’d met. I wanted to share my world with her.

One of the guys I work with was kind enough to tell Katrina that I’d gotten caught in the filing room with the receptionist, during one of the Friday night drinks. Admittedly, yes that did happen, but it didn’t happen the way everyone thought – I never slept with her.

I still had some work to do and I was in there, finishing up, before heading over to the conference room for drinks. Ella, the receptionist, was a 19 year old girl with a body to die for, she was really nice and I got along with her really well. Obviously though, she took my attentions the wrong way and came to find me.

For a while we were talking and then she started to move closer. I realised what was happening and tried to steer the conversation toward more neutral topics. But, when I bent down to put a file on a low shelf, she took the opportunity to kiss me, which of course is when we got busted.

While I’m sure that the partners and solicitors in the firm were all very professional, the support staff were not. The majority of us were aged between eighteen and twenty-five, and that led to quite a lot of gossip spreading around the office.

It was like being in high school again, but this time I just laughed it off. They could think what they wanted. I told them nothing happened, but they didn’t care. They saw her kissing me, so that was all the confirmation they needed.

Katrina laughed about it and just said it was ‘typical David’. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later when she’d started work at another law firm that I realised that she actually thought I’d slept with the girl.

I should have corrected her but I didn’t, I was just so happy to be spending time with her. It was the end of her first week of work and she’d agreed to go out clubbing with me to celebrate. Also on the upside I noticed her perving on a guy from her work, so I knew that her interest in men was returning. Things were looking more positive for me.

We went out with a bunch of people from her work to this bar in Darling Harbour called Pontoon. It was there that everything turned to total shit. She started hooking up with this Irish guy on the dance floor, but when he went to kiss her, she took off outside.

I fought through the crowd to get to her and when I finally made it outside she was fucking making out with this huge muscled guy from her work. I was like – fuck my life! – as I stood there, open mouthed watching her practically dry humping him on the wharf.

A few moments later a couple of the others made it out too, and the Irish guy called out to her, shocking her and the guy, Elliot, and causing her to flee.

Elliot started to give chase but I yelled, “No. I’ll go!” and ran after her myself.

When I caught up to her, she was a wreck. I did my best to be a good friend and be understanding of what she was going through, but when Elliot came and spoke to her, I couldn’t stop myself from seething inside.

I waited – I’d waited so long for her and some other guy had her – again.

When I got home that night, I was in a foul mood. My mum had been waiting up and was obviously hoping that things had gone well with Katrina and I. So when I told her about what happened, she was really upset for me.

“Well, maybe it’s just a passing fancy?” she said to me.

“I hope so mum. I fucking hope so.”

Katrina’s work had a no dating policy. So she decided to back off pursuing anything with Elliot after they’d gotten dragged into the manager’s office and questioned about Friday night. It seemed as though someone had dobbed them in – secretly, I was elated.

So, we started going out, and it was just me and her. We would drink and dance and have a great time. But there was still a slight stand offish-ness whenever I got too close to her. I felt that she still wasn’t really ready for a relationship, or at least she wasn’t ready to hear how I felt anyway. Although, perhaps I was just scared myself and stalling.

About a month later, we went out with her friends from work to Pontoon again. I met her at her work and we had a few drinks there to start off with, before walking there together as a group.

I don’t know what the hell it is about that place, but off she went again, dancing with that Irish guy. Only this time, I could tell she was leading him on. I was really pissed off with her, so when she took off outside with him, I started to accept the attentions of another girl she worked with called Beth. We went for a walk and started talking.

Beth had this major crush on Elliot, who was actually her boss. She told me that I should watch out for Katrina around him, he had a thing about bedding all the pretty new girls. She said he’d done it with her too and I grew really concerned.

When we got back, I couldn’t find Trina anywhere. I freaked out thinking she’d gone home with Irish, but when I saw him there alone I immediately questioned him.

“She couldn’t find you mate. We looked everywhere. So I ended up taking her to meet up with someone so she didn’t have to catch the train home alone.” He leaned in close to whisper. “I promised not to say anything to the people she works with, but since you’re her best friend, I think it’s safe to tell you. She went with that guy we caught her with last time you two came out with us,” he said.

“Are you serious?! Why the fuck didn’t she wait?!”

“She tried calling you, but you weren’t answering.”

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and saw that the battery had died. “Fuck!” I yelled, getting the attention of Beth again, she suggested that I went home with her instead.

“I’ve barely had a couple of drinks. Catch the train home with me to keep me safe, and then I’ll drive you to your place.”

I agreed and on the train ride and the drive home, Beth and I kind of came to an understanding. I think the fact that we were both the people on the outside of what was happening with Elliot and Katrina, it caused us to have some sort of bond. Misery loves company, so they say, and nothing fights off misery like sex.

We did it in the back seat of her car in the parking lot of Penrith station, where she’d taken me to pick up my car.

Afterwards I felt like I’d done something horribly wrong. But in the end, it didn’t matter. Katrina had moved on. She’d move on with Elliot.

After that night, I started dating Beth, and started fighting with Trina. I just couldn’t stand to be around another of her relationships again. I was angry that it wasn’t me. I was angry that she didn’t seem to get how much I cared about her – how could she not see that I loved her? How could she not feel the same?

Eventually Elliot came to see me, and told me how upset she was that I wasn’t speaking to her. He assured me that he wasn’t going to be an obstacle in our friendship, and when I reminded him about the way he acted when he first met me, he laughed it off and said that he just wasn’t expecting that I was a guy – it kind of threw him off a bit.

I went to see Trina and tell her that Elliot had come to see me, and that I was willing to try and fix things between us. I tried to tell her then how I felt, but it all came out wrong. I just bumbled my way around the truth and told her that I couldn’t handle seeing her with anyone because of what happened with Christopher – it changed things. But she didn’t get what I was trying to tell her, so I gave up and left again, completely disheartened.

I continued seeing Beth, it was the first time I had actually dated someone and it was alright. I wasn’t as horrible at that boyfriend stuff as I thought I would be. We worked because she was angry at Elliot, and I was angry at Katrina. Together, we found comfort for a few weeks.

When Trina and Elliot broke up, I did my best to stay away. I didn’t want to go running back to her this time. Especially when I was at the point where I felt that there was little hope for us as a couple – I obviously wasn’t her type. I couldn’t compete with those big guys she went for. That just wasn’t me.

Although, my resolve was completely shattered the moment I ran into her when I was meeting Beth for lunch. She had come down in the elevators on her own and was such a huge ball of emotion, that when I tried to see if she was ok, she lashed out at me, insisting that I didn’t care enough about her. It was the opposite though – I cared too much. I cared way more than she knew.

When Beth came down, I told her I couldn’t see her anymore. I knew I wasn’t being fair to her.

“You’re breaking up with me? I thought we understood each other?” she said.

“I’m sorry Beth. You know how I feel about Katrina,” I tried to explain.

“That’s just great. I love how she gets everyone and I end up with nobody.”

“I’m sorry.” What else could I say?

She stomped off out the doors without a backward glance. Besides feeling bad for dumping her, I was glad it was over. Neither of us were really that into each other. It was all about having someone so we weren’t left out for a change. It was ok, but she didn’t fit me like Katrina did.

I decided that night that I was going to go and see Katrina and tell her once and for all how I felt about her, and blow the consequences. If she didn’t feel the same way, then so be it, I wouldn’t be any worse off than I was right then.

When I went to her house, her mother told me that she was out at the local Irish pub, I drove over and found her there talking to Christopher – I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was talking to the scumbag who beat her up! All I could think was What the fuck? as I walked up to her and tried to get her to come with me so we could talk.

Of course, Christopher had to get in my face, and I had no reason to be nice to him anymore, so I called him a few choice names and once again, he punched me. I don’t know why, but for some reason, as his fist kept hitting into me, I started laughing.

I don’t know what happened, but somehow, he was hauled off me and Trina was by my side, looking all concerned and saying sweet things to me.

She was visibly upset about what had happened and while we were sitting in the emergency room waiting to get some scans done, I told her how I felt.

After eleven years of friendship, I told her that I loved her. Miraculously, she loved me too.

Finally, I had my girl, and this time – it was forever.


David: Where did that song come from?

Lilliana: Oh, I added it. I thought it suited you and Katrina. Did you like it?

David: It’s a bit sappy, but yeah, I liked it. I’ll show it to Trina when I get home.

Lilliana: I hope she likes it too! Thanks so much for being on my blog today David, and thank you so much for letting me into your world with Too Close. We knew you in A Beautiful Struggle, but it’s been great to spend time with you.

David: It’s no trouble. Thanks for having me.

Lilliana: Any time David! mwah!

Ryan-Kwanten wet

David: Hang on. What? Where are these photos coming from?

Lilliana: Huh? Didn’t you know I had this one? It’s from when you and Trina had that water fight. Remember?

David: Yeah, but, I don’t remember any photos being taken…

Lilliana: Well! Thanks again for being on the blog David! Maybe you’d like to come back some other time! Bye for now! *pushes him out, closes door and locks it* Hmmm… Just one more I think…

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Friday Feature – FROM LEATHER TO LACE by Jasmine Hil

Today I have the great pleasure of hosting Jasmine Hill. She is just about to publish her début novella ‘From Leather to Lace’ through Total-E-Bound Publishing.

From Leather to Lace Cover

BLURB

Sarah Maddox has a secret—she is a Dominatrix. Will her deception threaten her first chance at love?

Sarah Maddox is a beautiful, intelligent and sexy journalism graduate—she isalso Mistress Kitty the Dominatrix. Sarah loves her Dominatrix role at Fantasy—the exclusive Sydney BDSM club. Only her best friend knows what she really does each evening and her secret is safe until she meets the charming, handsome and successful Maxwell McIver who turns her world upside down. He has Sarah questioning her priorities and wondering—has she finally met the man for whom she would be willing to compromise?

Handsome Maxwell McIver at 35 is one of the richest men in the country. Sophisticated and powerful, Maxwell is accustomed to getting what he wants and after meeting Sarah at a party, he decides that he wants her. He has always avoided serious relationships but Sarah has captivated him and once their romance starts to heat up he decides that he doesn’t want to let her go. But like Sarah, Maxwell is also hiding something, a secret that will threaten their newfound relationship and have Sarah reeling with indecision and uncertainty.

Sound interesting? Pre order here http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=2253 or read on for an excerpt and a little about Jasmine.

EXCERPT

Sarah Maddox zipped up her thigh-length stiletto boot and stepped back to study her reflection in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. She looked pretty damn good. She had piled her dark hair on top of her head and the eye mask she wore made her look almost cat-like, her full scarlet lips a startling contrast. A leather choker was around her neck. Below the choker her cleavage spilled out of a corset tied gaspingly tight. The black leather mini she wore barely brushed the tops of her thighs. Two inches below started her stiletto boots.

“Perrrfect,” she purred. “Goodbye, Sarah. Hello, Mistress Kitty,” she said to her reflection.

She removed her mask and tucked it into her handbag and after donning a full-length black coat she left her apartment. When she arrived downstairs the car was already waiting.

“Hello, Monty,” she greeted the driver as she slid into the back seat.

“Good evening, Mistress,” he replied as he pulled away from the kerb and smoothly merged with the traffic.

Her place of work was normally only a ten-minute drive from her apartment if the traffic was light, and about eleven minutes later Monty pulled to a stop in front of an understated multi-storey building. After parking, he made his way to the back door and assisted her out of the car.

Kitty thanked him, punched in the security code and entered the building through a discreet doorway. As she did so, she stepped into Fantasy.

From the outside the building looked identical to many others and could have been a typical office complex but on the inside it looked magical. Glittering chandeliers hung from the high ceilings, the walls were adorned with mirrors and expensive pieces of erotic art, plush lounge suites were expertly scattered to ensure privacy, and crystal glasses and expensive bottles of champagne and liqueurs adorned mirrored tables to be enjoyed with caviar and oysters. A selection of Venetian-style masks was also provided in which the clients could relax anonymously. Music was piped in through discreetly hidden speakers—never obtrusive, the music was selected for its mood-enhancing qualities.

Another very important detail about Fantasy was that all clientele were assured absolute privacy and discretion. No real names were used and no contact details recorded. Madam Boudica followed a strict booking system and, whilst convoluted, it ensured that a customer’s privacy was guaranteed. Clients booked under an assumed name that was used for all subsequent bookings. Another assurance against identity exposure was the wearing of masks. There was also one particularly important rule—no sex with the clients.

Mistress Kitty made her way over the plush carpet to the office to check her diary. Each of the girls had their own diary listing their clientele for each evening. The left-hand column recorded the client’s pseudonym, the middle column listed the particular fantasy the client wished to indulge, while in the right-hand column was recorded any particular requests or special instructions. She ran a manicured finger down the list of clients. All were regulars except for her first client of the evening—a Mr X.

Picture 61 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jasmine’s alter ego lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and their Border Collie. She enjoys cooking, travelling with her husband, outdoor activities and skiing. She loves reading all genres but in particular she enjoys romance novels and thrillers and her Kindle is never far from her side.

Jasmine loves writing and is always looking for new ideas for stories that will provoke inner passions, stimulate the senses and ignite the imagination.

She has won some short story competitions but now she is excited to be publishing her first novel, From Leather to Lace through Total-E-Bound publishing. Later this year, also through Total-E-Bound, Jasmine’s second romance, Serena’s Submission will be published.

Twitter handle: Jasmine_romance: https://twitter.com/jasmine_romance

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Editing – When to get help and how to find a good editor

This week, I thought I would answer one of the most common question I get asked – Can you recommend a good editor?

editing2

My usual answer is – while I edit my own work, I can recommend the services of one of my beta readers. She does a basic editing service that she tries to keep affordable for new authors. You can find her at www.makingmanuscripts.com .

If that’s all you wanted to know, then feel free to stop reading – because I’m about to start rambling, and this could possibly get really boring.

As I stated above, I do edit my own work. I am by no means perfect – no one is – but I feel I do a decent job, and have been complemented on my editing (which is why I get asked about good editors a lot).

So, here is how I edit – first I write my manuscript from start to finish. When I go through it again, I do a quick edit, reading it in my mind and changing things around that stop the flow of my reading. I also flesh out my story this time around (it’s already been beta read) which is when I consider my story ‘finished’.

At this point, I send it back to my beta readers and ask them to please point out any errors they find, or any sentences that just don’t make sense.

While they are busy reading for me again, I start to go through the manuscript myself. I use a program called ‘Whitesmoke’ (if you download this, say ‘no’ to the toolbar – you don’t want it), it’s a grammar and spelling checker that is much better than microsoft word. However, you can’t rely on it to do the editing for you. I find it useful, as it points out words that I’ve used repeatedly, suggests comma and full stop placement and also puts the text into a new window, so you have to look at it outside of your manuscript.

Once I have finished going through the manuscript, I collate all of the errors my beta readers found, and check that I caught all of them. I then spend a couple of days reading other books to get my mind away from my own manuscript, that way, I can look at it again with fresh eyes.

Next, I convert my MS into kindle format and read it on my kindle, making notes as I go along and find errors. Normally, that’s where I’ll leave it, but if I have enough time, I’ll run it through a text to speech program – like coolreader (on android) and listen to it read in a robotic voice. Doing that is a great way to find any errors you might not be seeing, because in cool reader, the voice pauses at commas and fullstops, and you can hear if the text flows or stalls.

I write fairly succinctly the first time around, so this method works well for me. Although, as I am starting to get a lot busier these days, for Too Close, I have enlisted the help of an assistant who helps me with the day to day running of my business and also edits for me. So this time I stopped after my first major edit (the one with my beta readers and Whitesmoke) and then sent it to her – this way I’ll have more time to start working on my next manuscript, I’ll be much more productive this way (I hope!)

Now, this method may work for you if you’re fairly confident in your own ability to edit your work. If you did some sort of literature/ linguistics degree at uni/college, you may feel that you have a fairly good eye. But, if you are reading your work and you can’t wrap your head around all of those grammar rules you’ll find at websites like http://www.grammar-monster.com/ or http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl, then it may be time to find some help.

If you are friends with other writers on Facebook or some of the other social media websites out there, then you may be able to get a recommendation from one of them. Although, if you don’t have any connections yet, a simple Google search, will bring up a bunch of different editing services.

A good editor will be very busy, so be sure to find one early. However, a big question is – how do you know if an editor is any good?

A great way to know, is to read a couple of the books they have worked on – every book you read will have a couple of errors in it, simply because humans work on it, and not one of us is perfect. But, if you can find errors everywhere, then move on – try out someone else.

Also, have a look at the reviews of the books they have worked on – some reviewers LOVE pointing out that there are grammatical errors in a self published book, so you’ll find out if there are any problems that way.

Well, I think that’s it! If you made it this far, you just got all the advice I can come up with on this subject – HOPEFULLY, it has been somewhat informative.

Next week I’ll post a new FAQ. Until then, happy writing (or editing as is most likely the case if you happened upon this post and don’t even know who I am).

Take Care,

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10 days to go!!!

The final countdown is on! Too Close will be releasing in 10 days!! I’m so excited!

(If there’s a big black rectangle below this post – it’s supposed to be a countdown widget. If it doesn’t work and you want to see the countdown visit this page to see it displayed on your screen http://countingdownto.com/countdown-page/show/Too%20Close%20releases%7C51f67560%7C1)

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Friday Feature – WEATHER WITCH by Shannon Delany

 Today I have the pleasure of featuring Shannon Delany and her YA book, Weather Witch.
WeatherWitchCover
Blurb

The first in an exciting new young adult series from 13 to Life writer Shannon Delany, Weather Witch is about a young woman enslaved for being a weather witch, and who must fight for her freedom to be with the boy she loves.

Some fled the Old World to avoid war, and some fled to leave behind magick. Yet even the fiercely regulated New World–with its ranks and emphasis on decorum–cannot staunch the power that wells up in certain people, influencing the weather and calling down storms. Hunted, the Weather Witches are forced to power the rest of the population’s ships, as well as their every necessity, and luxury, in a time when steam power is repressed.

Jordan Astraea hails from a flawless background with no taint of magick, but on her seventeenth birthday she is accused of summoning an unscheduled storm. Taken from her family, Jordan is destined to be enslaved on an airship. But breaking Jordan may prove to be the very thing her carefully constructed society cannot weather.

Book Trailer link:
Buy Links:
Excerpt for Weather Witch:
The knock roused Bran from his reading, and taking the lantern, he stumbled to the door of his modest apartments on the tower’s thirteenth story. Listening for any sign of trouble (because a summoning at such an hour was highly unusual) the Maker slid open the peephole and peered out at one of the town’s watchmen. He was a great beast of a man, tall, broad, and with a wicked scar that turned his every expression into a sneer.
“Mister Maker, sir. Seems we’s got a late night delivery of some import for you,” the man said, his rank breath seeping in to sting Bran’s eyes.
Bran slammed the peephole shut, squinting. “There is no delivery of such great import that should pull a man from his privacy at this hour. Find me first thing in the morning,” he ordered. As he turned away, more knocking sounded. A distinct and rapid knocking. “Sir, good Maker,” came the high-pitched voice of Maude, the head servant. What brought her to his door at such an hour raised many questions in his mind. He and she had parted ways weeks ago and he had already seen her enjoying the attentions of another man.
“Good Maker,” Maude tried again, “I really must insist…”
He rubbed his eyes and fiddled with the locks on his door, grumbling his way through each. “Dear God, Maude, what could possibly have been delivered at such an indecent hour and of such great import as to cause you and a watchman to be at my door demanding my attention?” The door groaned open and he glared at them both with equal vitriol.
One hand tucked behind her back, Maude looked over her shoulder and made a soft cooing noise. The watchman shifted his substantial weight from one foot to another, peering behind Maude’s back.
“What?” Bran demanded.
“Have a care, you’ll frighten the poor dear…”
“The poor–?” He dodged around her, shoving Maude aside.
There was a squeal and a blur of movement as a child dashed behind Maude’s skirts to hide again.
About the Author:
ShannonPicture
Shannon Delany grew up in a community that was traditional and respectful of superstitions and old religions and was very creative. She was surrounded by arts, crafts, and other languages from a young age and enjoyed sampling everything that atmosphere had to offer. Her childhood directly impacted her fascination with myths, legends, and the paranormal and has enjoyed using that information to write her 13 TO LIFE and WEATHER WITCH novels and her short stories.
Also by Shannon –
13toLife(3)

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Decisions

So, I need a little help deciding here. I wrote a bit of bonus material for A Beautiful Struggle. The whole point of it is to give you David’s side of the story.

In A Beautiful Struggle, Katrina assumes a lot of things about David’s activities away from her, but we don’t get to actually know what it was he was doing – he always kept his private life away from Trina, and as Struggle was in Trina’s voice, it was kept away from us too.

Recently, I said that I would post a blog on Friday that is basically A Beautiful Struggle – David’s side of the story. It’s very short, but it tells you what he was doing and how he felt about things.

My problem is – do I post the short this friday, or do I wait until after Too Close has released? It might be better to read it after you have read both Too Close and A Beautiful Struggle.

I will leave it in your hands – do you want it now? or do you want it after you’ve already spent some time in David’s head and know him better?

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Getting all your ducks in a row – Focusing on timelines

editing2

I have recently had quite a lot of questions about my process. How do I write? What advice can I give? Can I recommend editors/beta readers? etc.

I’m always happy to answer the questions of budding authors, and I thought that perhaps I should answer some of the questions publicly as well – especially for those of you who are like I was in the beginning of my writing journey and feel a little funny asking an author for advice (I used to stalk blogs for info)

Today, I thought I’d talk about focusing on timelines. It’s an easy thing to mess up and one that you really don’t want to (lest you get flamed in a very public way).

I only have my own experience to go on, so here is what I do  –

I write my entire first draft and simply let the events unfold in front of me. I have my timeline in mind, but I try to simple write instead of worry (that’s kept for later).

Once I’m finished, I grab a piece of paper or I use the writing tool on my phone, and go back to the beginning of my manuscript. There, I work out exactly what time of year it should be and what season it is. I want to make sure my characters are dressed appropriately for the season they’re in. I want to make sure they’re ageing correctly. On top of that, I need to make sure that I’m giving everyone enough time between events and I need to also make sure that when I’m referring to past events, that I reflect the correct about of time passed. 

I then systematically work through my m/s, writing down each event, as well as when and where it occurred, checking that I have ‘all my ducks in a row’.

It all seems very simple, but when you’re writing a book that spans a year, or even a decade – you can very easily get your facts mixed up and leave your reader feeling confused, and very few people enjoy confusion.

Key Points –

Think about exactly when your book starts.

What season is it?

How old is your character at each point?

How much time does your book cover? 

Have you addressed the change in seasons? (this may seem really silly, but as a reader, I’ve often questioned why characters are wearing next to nothing in the middle of winter)

Have you made sure the appropriate amount of time has passed between ‘events’? (Don’t have something life changing happen one day and then have everyone acting ‘normally’ the next day)

I had a quick search on the internet and came across this interactive timeline – perhaps someone will find it helpful  http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/timeline/

I’ll pick another question to answer next week. Although, if you have a specific question you’d like to ask – feel free to leave a comment or contact me via www.lillianaanderson.com

Hope this has helped on some level! I’m possible really crappy at this advice giving jive.

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The Beauty in Between – Beautiful Series Novellas

While we’re all awaiting the release of Too Close, the first Beauty in Between novella, I thought I would take some time to talk about exactly, what, the Beauty in Between books are, and what’s in store for them.

When I created A Beautiful Struggle, it was meant to be a stand alone book. It was just a book about a girl and a guy who get seriously sidetracked on their way to finding each other. But, after it had been released for only a couple of weeks, I started getting emails asking me for a continuation of the story.

As a result, I wrote A Beautiful Forever, thinking that that novel, would be the end of the series. I thought they would be A Beautiful Duo, and I’d end it there. But after releasing Forever, I continued to get emails and comments about both books.

Readers wanted to see more of Katrina and David, both before and after A Beautiful Struggle. They also wanted to know more about Paige and her past. On top of that, I was getting emails asking me to continue the series with Naomi as the centre of the next book.

My answers to most of these questions/comments are The Beauty in Between novellas. As the name suggests, they slot in between the Beautiful novels, to show you what happened.

Right now, I have three novellas planned. First, of course, is Too Close (Katrina and David’s friendship before ABS, releasing July 30), second is Phoenix (Paige’s story, releasing September 30), and third is Commitment – I’ll bet you can guess what this one is about, although, I’ll tell you anyway. Commitment will follow on after A Beautiful Forever, it will follow David and Katrina home from the BBQ and explore their relationship leading up to their wedding.

I don’t have a release date for Commitment as yet, because I’m also working on Naomi’s story, which is called A Beautiful Melody and is due to release November 30.

So, get ready to have all your questions answered and more. Looks like the Beautiful world is going to have a fairly long life. I’ll write it, at least, until you’re all sick of it – that’s how much I love you all! MWAH!

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First Two Chapters of Too Close

Prologue

“Oh god Trina. Open your eyes, please be ok,” I beg as I burst through the doors to the emergency room at Nepean hospital, carrying her in my arms like she’s a baby.

Frantically I look around, ignoring the shocked gasps. I’m so overwhelmed that I just yell. “Somebody help me!”

The entire room turns to stare at us, it’s as if all the sound is removed from the room for a moment and all I can hear is the sound of my own heart thudding in my ears.

Thump, Thump.

Then all of a sudden, the sound returns to me as Katrina is pulled from my arms and placed on a gurney being swarmed by people who are asking me questions that I’m only babbling answers to.

“Oh god! Trina!” I yell out as they wheel her away from me. I try to follow but there’s a man who’s holding me back. My hands go to my hair as I grab chunks of it, trying to somehow stop the thudding of my heart in my ears. It’s painful, and I desperately want to be with her. “Please tell me she’s going to be ok,” I say to the man in front of me.

“She’s in good hands mate. You look like you’ve been through a bit too, why don’t you let me have a look at you and you can tell me what happened.”

I nod once and follow him in to the general treatment area of the emergency room, where he gives me an ice pack for my swollen face and cleans up the cuts and scrape marks on my hands and arms.

“I can’t lose her. You don’t understand how important she is to me,” I ramble. I guess I’m in shock because all I can think about is the sight of all that blood over Katrina’s beautiful face. “She’s my world. I can’t lose her.”

***

I’ve been sitting in the waiting room for at least two hours now, I don’t think my leg has stopped bouncing once. I lean forward on my knees and that’s uncomfortable, so I sit back and rest my head against the wall, but that feels horrible too.

My guts just won’t stop swirling and I need to see her. But no one will let me – I’m not counted as family, even though I’ve known her virtually all of my life.

“David!”

I look up and see Katrina’s whole family rush through the automatic doors with frantic looks on their faces. After answering all of the questions I could about Katrina to the doctor, or nurse – I don’t know what the hell he was – I called them.

As they move closer to me, Mrs Mahoney gasps upon seeing my swollen face and blood stained shirt.

“Oh god, is that your blood? What happened?” she practically whispers.

I drop my head, feeling responsible for what happened and shake it slowly from side to side.

“Where is she?” her father asks urgently.

“I don’t know, they won’t tell me anything.”

Mrs Mahoney spins on her feet and heads straight to the reception desk, asking after her daughter, with Mr Mahoney hot on her heels. Her brother Tom stays with me.

“What happened?”

Closing my eyes as the images of that day’s events flash through my mind, I shake my head in an attempt to clear them away. “Christopher happened.”

“I knew I didn’t like that guy,” Tom says through gritted teeth.

“He came home early, and you know he isn’t a fan of mine. But Tom, I never expected him to lose it like he did. You should have seen his face. It was all twisted up and vicious. He decked me and threw me out of the flat, locked the door. Then I heard her scream…” the rest of the words seem to lodge themselves in my throat as a weakness overcomes me and I drop back into my seat.

“What happened?!” he repeats, more desperately this time.

“He put her through the glass sliding door. I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop it.”

Chapter One

I remember the first time I ever saw Katrina, I was probably ten years old at the time and she was a little younger than me – the new kid at the school. I noticed her because she was so much taller than all the other girls and she had two long plaits that sat over her shoulders and were tied with blue ribbons.

Something inside me, made me really want to either pull on her plaits or undo the ribbons. But I restrained myself – experience had told me that girls didn’t really like that. Even though it was all in good fun.

We both lived out in Cranebrook which was the last stop on the bus route travelling from Penrith Primary School and it took me a couple of weeks of watching her to finally decide that I was going to sit next to her.

She just looked too lonely to me and I figured that we may as well be friends since the bus was completely boring once everyone else got off.

“Can I sit next to you?” I asked her. She had her bag sitting on the seat next to her, it meant that she didn’t want anyone to sit there, but I was going to try anyway.

“I guess,” she said, bouncing her shoulders and pulling her bag onto her lap, hugging it close to her chest.

“I think you get off at the same stop as me,” I told her, even though I knew this for sure.

“Do I?”

“Yeah, I see you get off the bus before me every day.”

“Oh. Where to you live?”

“Etchell Place, what about you?”

“Tornado Crescent.”

“We’re only a couple of streets away from each other,” I informed her. “How come you don’t catch the bus in the morning?”

“My dad drives me.”

“Lucky you…” I commented, thinking for a moment before I came up with, what I thought, was a brilliant plan. “Hey, if we become friends, do you think he could drive me too?”

“I don’t know…maybe.”

“That settles it then. Besides, you look like you could do with a friend.”

“I do?”

“Yeah. I’ve seen you around school. You don’t really talk to anyone much.”

“I don’t have much to say.”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve got plenty to say. You just haven’t found the right people to talk to.”

“Maybe. Those girls don’t want to listen to me anyway.”

“I want to listen you. You can talk to me all you want,” I said, attempting to peer into her face. She shrugged and turned her head and was watching the world fly past us through the bus window.

“So how do you like catching the bus?” I asked, just trying to get her to talk a bit. I remember thinking it would be really cool to know someone from my school who lived near me. Not many kid’s parents were happy to make them travel so far for school, especially when there was a local one within walking distance of our house.

“I hate it,” she said, turning to look at me. “I hate that my parents moved so far away from my school. I hate that I have to catch the bus. It stinks. It smells like armpits and buttholes and rotten fruit. The fabric on the seats prickles the backs of my legs and itches. It sucks!”

I was a bit shocked when this tirade of words spilled from her mouth, but when she finished, I started laughing.

“What so funny?!” she demanded, her face set in a scowl.

“You’re right.” I laughed even harder at the indignant look on her face. “It does smell like armpits, buttholes and rotten fruit!”

She looked at me for a moment. I guess she was trying to decide if she was angry with me for laughing, or whether she thought it was funny too.

Thankfully she chose to laugh along with me, because it was that moment our friendship started.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads or visit the iBookstore to preorder – release date July 30, 2013

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Friday Feature – Almost Yesterday by Dennis Higgins

DHAlmostYesterday3

Today, I’m featuring Dennis Higgins and his new release ‘Almost Yesterday’ 

Blurb

Beautiful, Cathy Callahan found love at the most unexpected time and place…1906 in San Francisco. It was during the most
destructive earthquakes in US history. The trouble is she fell in love 110 years before she was born. Could her best friend Dawn, keep her from staying in the past?

Meet the most powerful time traveler of them all, a lovable Golden Retriever named Hickory Dickory Doc. Discover his unique and
surprising origin.

Follow the adventures of the Time Pilgrims as they travel to many fascinating times of the past. Go with Katya and Cyrus to England
where they investigate the appearance of the Titanic in the Southampton docks, meet the Beatles and experience the London Blitz firsthand.

Chase a mysterious man across time with Lesley and Seth as they experience three romantic world’s fairs in Chicago, 1893, 1933 and 2033.  During one, Lesley runs into her teenaged self.

Dennisme

As a native of Chicago, Illinois, I have always possessed a romance with things of the past that are gone but not forgotten. I now live in the suburbs with my lovely wife, two dogs and four canaries.

Among my influences are: Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Dean Koontz, Joan Wester Anderson, Peter S. Beagle and Audrey Neffenegger .

The Time Pilgrims series is exciting and is treasured and loved by YA, NA as well as adults.

Other books: Katya and Cyrus Time Pilgrims

Parallel Roads (Lost on Route 66)

More about the book…

Chapter 1

The Mouse Ran Up the Clock

Sussex, England, March 23, 2037

She followed him up the steep hill. He was able to run much faster than her but she trudged on, climbing higher and higher. He stopped at the top and turned to wait, his eyes fixed on her. Once she reached him she fell to her knees, out of breath, and threw her arms around his neck. He panted and nudged his head into her chest, then wagged his tail.

“You have to slow down, boy,” Katya said to her companion. “I just can’t run uphill that fast. Now take me to Cyrus. Come on, Dickory; show me where Cyrus is, boy.”

Katya’s new friend was a large yellow mixed-breed of the canine variety. He was probably part Retriever of some sort. Although she didn’t know his breed mixture, Katya saw him asone hundred percent lovable. She and Cyrus found him wandering around there in Sussex, England after their car had broken down. On his collar was an old tarnished brass tag that had the inscription, Hickory Dickory Doc, KC 06, but no address could be found. Cyrus had said the natural thing for him would have been to call him Doc but for some reason, Katya started referring to him as Dickory.

He led her onward as if with urgency. When they approached the town square around the castle, music could be heard. Katya blinked as she saw medieval people dancing with merriment and playing instruments. She stood there with her mouth opened in amazement. Had she time-traveled over a thousand years in the past without even knowing it?

Interested? You can pick up a copy of Almost Yesterday via these links

http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Yesterday-Time-Pilgrims-ebook/dp/B00DQGMMR4/ref=sr_1_3_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372985896&sr=1-3

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/almost-yesterday-time-pilgrims-book-2-dennis-higgins/1115915255?ean=2940016453460

 

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