New Release! Knights of Stone: Calum by Lisa Carlisle

Title: Calum

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Highland Gargoyles #5

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb

When a short-term mission turns into a battle between love and duty…

Calum lives for thrills both on and off stage as lead singer of the Knights of Stone. During a night flight, he witnesses a dragon chasing a pegasus and his gargoyle instincts kick in. When the rescued pegasus turns out to be a beautiful shifter named Arielle, he sets off on a dangerous mission to help her.

Arielle never should have wandered from her pegasi herd. Not only did she attract the attention of a dragon who wants to steal her magic, but they’ve ended up lost in another realm. If she even makes it through the night, how will she ever return home?

Calum and Arielle’s chance encounter in the Scottish Highlands turns into something more. Can Calum help Arielle return to her realm, when he wants to convince her to stay?

For a hot Highland shifter series set on a mystical isle shared by gargoyles, tree witches, and wolf shifters, meet the brothers in the Knights of Stone today!

Buy Links

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

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/knights-of-stone-lisa-carlisle/1126429290?ean=2940157340803

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/knights-of-stone-calum/id1249743965?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

All others: https://books2read.com/calum

Excerpt

Calum needed to fly, to escape the claustrophobic confines of the pub in Inverness. Only flight could provide relief from the stuffiness closing in around him. The stale stench of beer and perspiration tingled his nostrils. The din of voices around him reverberated in his head. The Knights of Stone, the band he and his brothers had created, had played until midnight. Although the lassies surrounded him after their set, as they often did, he avoided their attention to head for the exit.

“You’re not leaving again, are you?” his older brother, Gavin, asked.

“I need air.”

“It’s the third time in a fortnight. Something’s definitely off with you lately.”

Maybe Gavin was right. Calum’s usual restlessness had shifted recently. Instead of chasing the lasses after the rush onstage as front man of their band, he’d been escaping to the wide-open space of the night skies.

He searched the shadowy area behind the brick building for a hidden spot where he could shift to his winged form. Humans were out this evening, but none were attracted to the dark alley.

Calum cloaked himself before shifting. He flew away from the club up toward the crescent moon, which was clouded by a swirl of mist. Nothing like soaring through the night to invigorate him. Flight calmed him, as it did for most gargoyles. While he spent much of the day restoring his energy in stone form under the sun, at night he came alive. He’d then pursue one of his three favorite activities — flying, performing, or—entertaining. He smirked. He and Gavin relished the female attention, especially after their three brothers had found mates. Since their brothers had placed bets on who’d be next to find a mate, both Calum and Gavin pushed to the extreme to avoid it.

Although Calum still burned from the rush on stage, something was missing. He had everything he thought he’d wanted with the band and living with his brothers in their small clan on the Isle of Stone, yet he sought solitude in flight more often.

Why he did plagued his mind as he sought the clarity during the flight. A short break had turned into a longer flight, full of introspection. Calum soared farther than he’d planned, along Loch Ness and then inland. The shadowed mountain peaks ahead framed a foreboding entryway under the lingering fog that clouded the night.

He paused, hovering in the air. His gargoyle instincts flared. Something was off. He engaged all his senses, listening for a sign of distress, anything to identify the source of his unease. He flew deeper inland, the rolling fields darker than emeralds under the stars, and the disturbing sensation heightened.

Meet the Author

Lisa Carlisle is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance and suspense. She loves stories with dark, brooding heroes and independent, caring heroines. Lisa feels very honored to be a multi-published author since she’s wanted to write since the sixth grade. Her travels have provided her with inspiration for various settings in her novels. She backpacked alone through Europe, and lived in Paris before returning to the U.S. Now she lives in New England with her husband, two children, a cat, and many fish.

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Giveaway

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Review: Loving Jade by Roya Carmen

Ah, this is a bittersweet review to write. Loving Jade, the third (and final) book in Roya Carmen‘s The Riverstone Series has released and, well, I have a book hangover after reading it.

Loving Jade was a bit different than the other two books in the Riverstone Trilogy. It was filled with Roya Carmen’s signature angsty characters and steamy sex scenes, but I also noticed the author’s growth as a writer in this book.  I think what struck me most about how different this book was from the other two books before it, is it’s more of a romantic suspense than the other two books and I feel this subgenre fits Roya’s writing style very, very well.

At the beginning of the story, Jade is married to a handsome, powerful man named Micheal. On the surface it appears they have a fairy tale life, but in reality Michael is controlling and abusive. Jade has had enough of his ways and flees her abusive marriage. She arrives at the Riverstone Estate and begins working through her issues with Flynn Riverstone’s use of equine therapy.

There are moments in the book that are rife with tension and emotional turmoil. Jade knows she deserves better than her abusive husband but still has moments where her heart tries to make her remember only the good times with Micheal. She also struggles with her attraction to her therapist Flynn.

The second thing that I felt was different from the other books, but again, something that made this book work well, was I loved seeing the Riverstones through the eyes of an outside character. In books one and two we get glimpses of what it’s like to be a part of the Riverstone family through the eyes of another when we’re in Aiden and August’s POV, but I felt like we got a deeper viewpoint from Jade.

I don’t want to say too much more, but I will say readers can expect hot love scenes, angsty prose and of course, a HEA. Get Loving Jade today!

I never thought I’d be able to leave Michael, but I finally worked up the courage. I’m not sure where I’m heading but I feel safe here with the Riverstones. This place is lovely and serene. There is so much beauty and love here.

Yet, I still don’t feel free – I know Michael will find me. It’s just a matter of time.

Love is the last thing I’m looking for, but Flynn is such a beautiful man, inside and out. He makes me believe that I can be stronger, that I can be fierce. He believes he can fix me with equine therapy but he has no clue how much damage has been done.

Yet, somehow, he manages to get through to me. With patience, love and understanding, he slowly peels off the hard layers of self-doubt and fear that have held me captive all these years.

Just as I finally start to get stronger, Michael tracks me down and sends us all into turmoil, and threatens not only me but the family I’ve come to love.

Author’s note:
Loving Jade contains sexual scenes and some coarse language, and is intended for a mature audience. Loving Jade also contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence which could be a trigger for some. The central theme of the story however, is female empowerment and self-love.

Loving Jade is the last book in The Riverstone Series, and can be enjoyed as a STANDALONE. However, if one intends to read all three books, it is best to read them in chronological order to avoid spoilers.

US: http://amzn.to/2pX7W6O

Canada: http://amzn.to/2qfqXkA

UK: http://amzn.to/2qKZkDn

Australia: http://amzn.to/2qQOsUI

Add it to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/2pzpVDS

 

Book Blitz! Nudes by Author Sarah Robinson

 

NUDES: A Hollywood romance standalone from bestselling author Sarah Robinson!

ONLY $0.99!

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Blurb

Ben Lawson is making a comeback…

After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don’t know a damn thing.  As CEO of a movie production company, I’ll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I’m unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I’d never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything.

Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her…love her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Aria Rose is baring it all….

I knew better.  I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world.  He even promised me his heart.

 

But he destroyed everything–my heart, my career, us.

 

Excerpt

“Aria?” A deep voice cut through the crisp nighttime air.

She turned to see Ben approaching her, the shadows from the upper deck of the yacht moving across his face as he came closer. “Oh. Hi, Mr. Lawson.”

“Please, like I said, call me Ben,” he reiterated, leaning against the railing next to her.

“Right. Ben. Sorry, the last exec wasn’t quite so…”

His lips curved into a smile. “So, what?”

She wasn’t sure what to say, because her honest answer was sexy. That didn’t seem like the best thing to a man who now funded and controlled her film. “Approachable?”

Ben laughed—a deep chuckle that she felt vibrate through her bones. “I hope that’s a good thing.”

“It definitely is,” she assured him, placing a hand on his arm. The moment she touched him, she pulled back, immediately embarrassed.

He. Is. My. Boss. Get it together, Aria.

He didn’t chide her, or look uncomfortable, which she took as a good sign.

Aria returned to her original position beside him, and they stared out at the darkened water lapping the sides of all the boats docked around.

“Want to hear something funny?” Aria finally broke the silence, but kept her voice low. So low, he had to lean in to hear her.

“Tell me.”

“My parents met in this very marina. She was a caterer and he was a deckhand—still teenagers. Barely old enough to know who they were, let alone what they wanted out of life. Still, they knew what love was when they stumbled upon it, and they knew enough to never let go.” Aria’s heart beat a little faster, warming at the memories.

“Wow. Are they still together?”

Aria nodded. “Barely spent a day apart since. My mother is actually my manager, and she works insanely hard for me, but my father always comes first. He’s the love of her life.”

“Love like that is special. Rare.”

“Is it?” Aria tilted her head to the side. “I’m not sure it’s as rare as it is a choice, a commitment, and the strength to follow through each and every day. There were times they could have given up—maybe lived an easier life with someone else—but they made a decision that this was the love they wanted, this was the life they wanted, and in that choice comes a confidence, a happiness, that most people deny themselves.”

Ben was quiet for a minute. Finally, he inhaled loudly, then blew it out in one long breath. “That’s really beautiful, Aria. Hits a bit close to home, I have to admit.”

“I’m sorry.” Aria frowned, turning to face him and just leaving one elbow on the railing. “I didn’t mean—”

He shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I just finished going through a divorce about six months ago, though we’d separated the year before that. I think you’re right—love is a choice. Making love work is a choice. And yet…if it’s not with the right person, then it’s the wrong choice.”

“Soul mates.” Aria raised one brow. “You believe in that?”

Ben stared at her for a moment…a long moment. The kind of moment that made her shift her weight from one leg to the other, her skin heating under his gaze. “Yes. I believe in soul mates.”

She tilted her chin up ever so slightly, going for lightheartedness. “Well, we all have our flaws. You couldn’t be entirely perfect.”

Ben laughed again. “Believing in soul mates is a flaw?”

“Buying what you’re selling is definitely a flaw. You’re a movie producer, so you sell fantasy to the world.”

“I think we can have the fantasy.” His eyes danced, but his smile was gone. “Don’t you want the fantasy?”

Aria turned back to the ocean, looking out at the waves. This was too much, too real, too soon with a man she barely knew. A man who was pretty much her boss. “Who wouldn’t want the fantasy?” she said dismissively. “Some would say I’m already living it.”

“That’s certainly true. Everyone on this yacht, everyone in this city…Hollywood. It’s all a fantasy of some sort.” Something in his tone sounded so…sad? A small ache pulled at her heart, and she felt like they’d opened the door to something different. Something different than studio exec and actress. Something more than strangers who just met today.

Her humanity connected to his, and they were just two people standing on a boat wishing it could float them away from their picture-perfect lives.

“Do you know why I love Scarlet’s Letters?” she said softly, her voice barely above the whistle of the wind around them.

He stepped closer, his elbow pressed against hers on the railing now. “Why?”

“It’s something I can be proud of. A story I’m proud to tell. The strength of a woman in wartime, a French woman saving innocent people during the Holocaust…a woman picking her truth over a man, over love. Have you read the script?”

Ben nodded. “I have. Two years ago, when it was making the rounds. It’s powerful, and from what I’ve seen, you do an amazing job in it.”

“Thank you. When I first saw this script—or rather, read the book it’s based on—I knew I had to play this part. No matter what I had to give up. This was mine.”

She’d never connected to anything more than she had this script. It was empowering, and taught courage in the toughest of circumstances. It was a tiny snapshot of a much larger scale event, showing the decisions and atrocities suffered at such a human, personal level. It was a woman denying her own privilege and luxury to help fellow humans who didn’t have that reach.

“The way you talk about it…I’m jealous,” Ben admitted.

That got Aria’s attention, and she turned to face him. “Jealous? Of what?”

He pushed off the railing, looking up at the stars before settling on her gaze. “Passion. Excitement. Purpose. You know what you want. You know who you are and what your goals are.”

“And you don’t?” He had to be nearly thirty, if not over. Striking and fresh faced, but his features still said experience. Aria was only in her twenties, but at times she felt decades older.

Ben shook his head. “I thought I did. I built a life. Got married. Worked my way up in Maguire Industries. Everything was mapped out. Everything was…easy.”

The ache from earlier was back, the sadness in his voice. Aria placed her hand on his forearm, a comforting gesture. Partly for him, but mostly for her. She needed a physical connection when they were connecting on so much more.

“What happened?” she pried, squeezing his arm ever so slightly.

Ben looked down at her hand, his eyes lingering. He didn’t move or pull away, and when he lifted his head to face her again, there was a need in his eyes that made her insides heat. “The woman I trusted with all my secrets? She sold them to the highest bidder the moment I wasn’t able to be a stepping stone for her career.”

Aria didn’t reply, sensing there was more.

“She used every connection she had to get me blacklisted. Took everything. Now Maguire Industries acquired Shepherd Films, expecting me to fail. Pushing me out.”

“Not many would call being the CEO of a film studio a demotion,” Aria pointed out.

“When you’re used to being the landscaper, it’s hard to become the rose.”

Aria laughed, letting go of his arm. “First, soul mates. Now, roses. You’re a poetic man, Ben Lawson. A true romantic.”

Suddenly, his fingers intertwined with hers, pulling her to him. Pressing her body to his, chest to chest, heartbeat to heartbeat. His eyes never left hers, and she watched him wrestle with something…doubt, uncertainty. As if he didn’t know why he’d just hugged her to him, but then need. Pure need darkened his eyes as something deeper pushed the rest away.

Her breath was lost as she concentrated on standing, her knees already threatening to buckle. She’d taken every second of the journey with him, and now she wanted more. Something about the way he smelled ignited every nerve ending in her body. The way he held her, one arm wrapped around her back, was so secure, so comfortable, so protective, so intimately. No one had ever held her like that in her entire life.

She didn’t want him to let go.

He was fire. She wanted to leap into his flames.

“And what are you, Aria Rose?” Ben’s fingers tipped her chin upward, her eyes finding his. “Who are you?”

The words rumbled in his chest, vibrating against him as he spoke. There was a genuineness to it that terrified her, unnerved her, and completely overwhelmed her. Their souls were laid bare and he was asking for more.

A perfect stranger. A moment of truth. An absolute mistake.

She couldn’t do it. Her walls shot up and she let go of him, fear coursing through her. “I’m an actress, Mr. Lawson. Just an actress.”

And just so much more.

 

About the Author

Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in clinical and forensic psychology. She is married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

 

Stalk Her:  Website | Facebook | Author Group | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Instagram | Tumblr

 

GIVEAWAY

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Dangerous Fling by Crystal Kaswell

He’s my rock star crush, my go-to fantasy. And he’s offering to make all my dreams come true…

 

NOW LIVE & FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pRk0GS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rmYLgl

Amazon AU:  http://amzn.to/2qoAhGa

Amazon CA:  http://amzn.to/2rmTh5c

Full Blurb

 

Lacey

Malcolm Strong is the perfect rock star wet dream.

Broad shoulders, inked arms, those piercing blue eyes….

His words are poetry.

His voice is s*x.

He could have any woman he wants.

And he wants me.

No feelings.

No strings attached.

I’m game.

But my heart won’t get in line.

 

Mal

Lacey is as sweet as she is sassy.

Her innocent brown eyes call all my attention.

She’s supposed to be working on our music video.

Which means I’m not supposed to be picturing her naked.

Spread eagle.

Screaming my name loud enough to wake the neighbors.

I only have one rule: this is staying physical.

But there’s something about Lacey…

I want her heart as much as I want her body.

 

***Dangerous Fling is a standalone romance set within the Dangerous Noise series***

EXCERPT

I’m not supposed to get ideas about Mal and I being together.

About this being more than sex.

But my head is flush with thoughts of the future. Of more. Of all of him.

His gaze shifts from my eyes to my lips to my chest. “Where has that dress been?”

“Waiting for a nice occasion.” I push past the flush in my cheeks. “I don’t think I’ve ever worn it.”

“Why’d you buy it?” His eyes lock with mine. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“Every so often, I get these ideas of some fantasy life I could lead. Maybe it’s the filmmaker dreamer thing. This one… well, it came with these heels and black lace lingerie.”

He raises a brow like he’s considering demanding a look at said lingerie.

“I thought, maybe, this would make Adam want me.” I pressed my lips together. Already, I can feel the sting of rejection in my fingertips. I can taste its bitterness on my tongue. “It didn’t.”

“That’s on him.”

I swallow hard. “Maybe.”

Mal’s voice drops an octave. “Lacey, tell me what I have to do to convince you he was an idiot and I’ll do it.”

“I don’t know.”

“You were right to leave.”

My breath catches in my throat. This is not the conversation I want to have right now. Already, my skin is crawling. “I don’t know—”

“I do.” He shifts out of his side of the booth and slides next to me. His knee presses against mine. His fingertips skim the hem of my dress.

Thoughts slip away at an alarming rate.

I can’t think with Mal this close.

God, he smells good.

He leans down to bring his lips to my ear. “You have any idea how much you drive me out of my mind?”

“No,” I breathe. I’m not sure I have any ideas right now. I’m not sure I’ll ever have another idea with the way my thoughts are screaming Need. Mal. Now.

He wants me.

Even though it’s clear as day, it feels impossible.

“I was hard the entire drive to your place.” He pushes my dress up a few inches. His fingertips skim my inner thigh. “Thinking about sliding my hand between your legs.” He drags his fingertips higher. “Thinking about driving my fingers into your slick cunt.”

I shudder from his touch.

“Thinking about bending you over my knee and rolling your dress to your waist…” He presses his lips to my neck with a soft kiss. Then a hard one.

His fingers mover higher, higher, almost. Fuck.

“Mal,” I breathe.

“You want me to spank you, baby?”

“I… yes, I think so.”

“To tie you up?”

I nod.

He drags his lips over the edge of my jaw as he pulls back. His blue eyes fix on me. He studies my expression like it’s poetry. “You liked the mix of pain and pleasure.”

My cheeks flush. My sex clenches.

Mal’s pupils dilate. I’m reacting to him. He’s reacting to me. It’s fucking poetry.

He rubs me over my panties. His expression screams I bet you wish you followed orders right now.

“I love how earnest you are about this.” His voice is a low growl. “It drives me out of my mind.”

“Really?”

“Joel always says I like ingenues.”

“Do you?”

“I like you.” He drags his lips over my neck. “You’re the sexiest woman in the entire universe. You should feel it.”

I swallow hard.

“I’m going to make you feel like you deserve every drop of my desire.” He strokes me over my panties. “I want to make you feel so much pleasure you can’t take it, Lacey.”

God, that impossibly soft touch, the heat of his breath, the low, demanding voice… It’s official. Mal’s a sex god. My fantasies were right.

 

Meet Crystal

Crystal Kaswell is the author of the Sinful Serenade series. She writes steamy new adult romance with flawed characters. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband.

http://www.crystalkaswell.com/

https://twitter.com/CrystalKaswell

Sins of the Father by Avelyn Paige

IT’S LIVE!

Model: Alfie Gordillo

Photographer: Michael Pacis of R+M Photography

Cover Designer: The Final Wrap

 

“The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity.” Ezekiel 18:20

Absolute power corrupts absolutely; it was a harsh lesson that my father learned too late.

Now we’re all going to burn for his mistakes.

As the prince of the Heaven’s Rejects MC, I had a life of luxury, a life I paid for with my father’s blood. Now the burden to get us out of this mess has fallen on my shoulders, it’s a job I never asked for, nor wanted, but I’ll rescue us all from the pits of the hell he cast us into.

I am the Devil’s son, but I’m not going down because of that bastard.

 

Amazon US: http://a.co/9xdfbNT

Amazon CA: http://a.co/2EkeH5b

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/gatnmTg

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01MSWR60R
Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/lbTuPn
Kobo: https://goo.gl/fV7K8n
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1192118382

 

 

Avelyn Paige is a born and raised Indiana girl. While she may be a Hoosier by birth, she is a Boilermaker by choice. Boiler Up! She resides in a sleepy little town in Indiana with her husband and three crazy pets.

 

Avelyn spends her days working as a cancer research scientist and her nights sipping moonshine while writing and book reviewing. Avelyn loves everything paranormal, Cajun culture, and wants to try tornado chasing as a hobby when she finally grows up.

 

She just has to get over that pesky fear of thunderstorms first. Avelyn also enjoys collecting voodoo dolls from her trips to New Orleans.

 

Website: http://www.authoravelynpaige.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAvelynPaige

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13914653.Avelyn_Paige

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AvelynPaige

Avelyn’s Angels Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/356568577879636/

 

 

Hot new M/M Novella Just .99! Behind His Lens by Beth Michele

BLURB

A fast-paced, fun, dirty M/M Novella.

Sometimes life throws us curve balls.

Jake Donovan was mine.

It was supposed to be a one-time thing. A birthday gift for my sexy Willow. He wasn’t supposed to have this effect on me.

But he did.

He wasn’t supposed to consume me.

But he did.

He wasn’t supposed to touch me in places no other man had before.

But he did.

And I wanted him to do it again.

 

BUY LINKS:

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New Release! Blinded by Liz Kelley

BLINDED (Elkridge Series, Book 1)

by Lyz Kelley

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense

The first book in the ELKRIDGE SERIES debuts a quirky cast of characters. Follow along in the series to gather evidence to solve Sheriff Sam murder. Book #1 starts off with a double-bang! Sheriff Sam is murdered. Joey returns to Elkridge. Does that mean Mara will get a second chance at love?

A FLORIST WHO REFUSES HELP…Mara dreams died the night a drunk driver killed her parents and sister, and left her permanently wounded. After months of therapy, she’s finally adjusting to her new reality while working to save her mother’s floral business. When the first boy she ever had a crush on walks back into her life, she wonders if she’s getting a second chance to find happiness.

A DETECTIVE WHO WANTS TO PROTECT…Somebody killed Joey’s brother. After a ten-year absence, the big city detective returns home to Colorado for the funeral knowing he will be pressured to find Sheriff Sam’s killer. Joey’s instincts say whoever murdered his brother is part of something more sinister than the Elkridge deputies can handle. When Mara is stalked, Joey wonders if the mystery man is the killer.

BUT, WILL THEY LEARN TO COMPROMISE? Joey’s boss is pressuring him to return to Seattle. Mara refuses to leave Elkridge. Neither wants to be apart, but will they take the risk and make the necessary sacrifices to be with each other?

ON SALE FOR 99¢

Amazon – http://geni.us/LyzKelleyBLINDEDwlk

Meet the Author

Would you like to know when Lyz Kelley’s award-winning new releases are available? Sign up for Kelley’s Heroes: http://www.LyzKelleysHeroes.com. You’ll get an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, release news, learn about giveaways, and receive exclusive previews of her new books.

Lyz loves to tell stories about strong women who have faced extraordinary challenges, then pair them with men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it. Exploring these wounded and strong characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—takes Lyz on an incredible, and sometimes unexpected journey. Lyz’s books have received high accolades in numerous writing contests. Lyz loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.LyzKelley.com.

Brand: Honorable Men, Brave Women, and a Healing Love

Mission: To write about emotional subjects and help the world heal through the written word.

Author Interview

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? How old were you when you decided to pursue writing professionally?

When I was 8, I began writing a story, first in my head, and later in my diary. The world I dreamed about was big and complex; filled with interesting creatures. When I turned 40, I tried to translate the story I’d lived with all those years to the page…and couldn’t. So I sought help. Romance Writers of America was the only group that said, “Come on in. We’ll help.” So, I started writing and learning and exploring the craft of writing. One day, when I’ve learned enough to write such a complicated story, I will write about the world that exists in my head.

 

Why do you write about Honorable Men, Brave Women, and a Healing Love?

I used to think I wrote about strong men and women. After all, some of the men in my stories are modeled after my husband, a former military guy, and the strongest man I know. But then I realized I write about characters that are healed by love. The characters I write about aren’t just mentally or physically strong, but brave and honorable and willing to do the right things, even if loving someone comes at a personal sacrifice.

 

What is your writing process?

Over the years my writing process has changed. When I first started, I plotted and plotted, making massive spreadsheets of every little detail. I knew everything I could about my characters and story before I began, but my books turned out stiff and emotionless. My process has evolved into a story structure outline, which works much better. Now, I write my first draft and focus on story structure and let my characters do what is natural. After I get the bones of the book down, I start several edit passes to deepen the emotions and add flavor to the book. Normally, before the book goes to an editor, I’ve done at least 4, maybe 5 passes of the book. After that, I work with content editor, line editor, and a proofreader to make sure I’m putting out the best book possible.

 

Have you won any awards for your writing?

Yes, actually. During my journey to write the best book possible, I’ve won several awards for three of my books. There is one book that has won an award that I don’t intend to publish. There are four other books also sitting in the archives of my computer. These, I call my practice books, and will remain in a folder to be looked at when I need to reflect on how far I’ve come on this writing journey.

 

How do you develop your characters?

Character development is the driving force in my writing process. I start with what the character fears the most, and then move onto the false belief that character has created to cope with that fear. Then I start building a growth arc to help that character resolve their fear through a healing love. After that, secondary characters are used to entice main characters to reflect, either by mirroring bad behavior or “calling out,” essentially creating a catalyst for change.

If you couldn’t read or write for a day, how would you spend your time?

I love spending time chatting with friends on Facebook or Twitter, or researching new words for my Word Wednesday posts. I also enjoy designing little notes for my quotes and sharing them on Pinterest. If my husband isn’t traveling for his job, I like spending time with him, playing with my four-legged fur babies, or exercising. Several times a year, I like to get away to explore, usually to international destinations. I enjoy experiencing new cultures, visiting museums, or studying the city architecture or landscapes. My favorite trips so far have been to Machu Picchu and Prague.

How do you come up with character names?

Don’t laugh…I usually just Google professional model names, or use an iPhone app called, Name Dice. Name selection is always hard because each character in a book needs to start with a different letter. In fact, in the book, Orphaned, I had a Rachelle and a Michelle in the book and beta readers kept getting confused so I had to change Michelle’s name to Caitlyn.

 

If I wanted to be a Beta Reader or one of your Advanced Readers, how do I sign up?

That’s an easy question. You sign up on the website http://www.LyzKelleysHeroes.com. All the information is available. I’ve created a VIP Club for those special members who provide feedback or leave reviews. In return, this special group is the first to see my covers, hear release news, and receive freebies. If readers have additional questions, they can always contact me. I am the human on the other end of that email, and will respond.

 

If you wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

I love one-word titles for my books, so I would believe the book title would be, Determined. My husband always says I’m the most determined person he’s ever met.

 

What do you find the hardest about writing?

I think it’s the mental anguish that goes into the writing process. Each word, each sentence is a struggle to get right. Every day I push, push, push to get better, and then I get edits back or read a review and the person on the other end of the keyboard has just ripped my heart out and crushed it without even knowing how much their words hurt. Even so, I do appreciate the feedback. Feedback helps me get better. Over the years, I’ve gotten a much tougher skin, but there are days that are hard. For me, no actor, singer, artist, photographer, or anyone who is brave enough to share their creation with the world, will get a negative thought from me. I know what it takes to put myself out there. It’s hard, but there’s something in all creative types that compel artists to keep reaching for their nirvana.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about writing, or life?

The best advice I’ve received was from my great-grandmother. She said: “Set your goals high. If you don’t, you will never know what you might have been capable of achieving.” And boy, did I set my goals high. When I first started writing my stories down, I figured it would take me two, maybe three years to write my book. Ten years later, I have my first viable project. Most writers will tell you that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint—a very accurate description.

 

If you could go back and change one thing about your writing journey, what would it have been?

Nothing. Each mistake I’ve learned from. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before you started writing your first book?

Find your tribe. Find the people who will help you achieve your dream. Writing is a community effort. You need people who give you constructive feedback and help you to understand if the story in your head has translated well onto the page. You also need people who can make you laugh or pull you back from the edge of the cliff when something happens. There are so many things that can chip away at your confidence and create insecurities. Friends help provide the perspective you need to keep writing.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

When I was young, I used to love to write poems. I loved the struggle to find the right word that rhymed, and the beat of each line. Maybe, that’s why it takes me so long to write my novels. I still love using the English language to it’s fullest, and finding that perfect word to communicate exactly what the character is feeling. It’s what makes writing exciting, exhausting, and euphorically fun.

 

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