Wendy May Andrews is celebrating another book! So of course I told her I’d help share the news!
Wendy hosted my blog a while back, sharing her Path to Publication story. And now she’s got another book to celebrate, Sweet Surrender.
Can a lost love be rekindled?
When Lady Julianna ended her engagement to Lord Ackerley, Viscount Beaumont, during her first Season, she left London vowing never to return.
Seven years later she returns as chaperone to her niece and unfortunately Lord Ackerley is also in Town for the Season. Moving around the small circle of the ton stirs up feelings she has kept hidden. Embarrassed and ashamed that she made a mistake in ending their previous relationship, she tries to avoid further contact. Ackerley, stunned by her second rejection, pursues her to discover the truth.
Is it ever too late for a second chance at love?
Julianna felt herself grow faint for a moment at the sound of her name spoken in that deep baritone. Despite the incredulity coloring his tone, she would recognize that voice anywhere. Of course, it was easier to handle due to the fact that she had been both expecting and dreading just such an encounter.
“Good afternoon, my lord.” Proud that her voice did not betray any of her weaknesses, she prayed that her face did not give away her reaction to his rugged beauty. Time had been kind to Viscount Beaufort. He was handsomer than ever, blasted man. Gone was any trace of youthful fleshiness. His high cheekbones were highlighted by the traces of laugh lines around his eyes — eyes that were not laughing now. Their grey depths were a block of ice.
During their previous association, one of the things that had attracted her to him was his size. She had enjoyed feeling dainty and feminine next to his athletic build. Now it felt as though he towered over her, and she felt it put her at a disadvantage. Julianna tried to ignore the sensation.
“Rumor had it that you vowed never to return to London, but here you are.”
Julianna wanted to cringe at the coolness in his voice but managed to contain her reaction. Offering a polite, cool smile of her own, she wished fervently that she had remained inside the fripperies shop with her niece and their maid instead of escaping to the busy street for a break from the tedium of shopping. She had thought the cool air of the spring afternoon would be a relief. It would have been if she had remained alone.
“Yes, I had made that vow in my youthful haste, but the need has arisen to be here, so here I am.”
“Are you here for the Season?” he asked, or rather demanded, his tone turning fierce and his arctic gaze sharpening to scrutinise her.
His almost insolent examination made her wish she were wearing some of her newly acquired finery instead of a less than fashionable, though still serviceable, frock. She was glad that her maid had at least taken pains with her hair before she left the house for the day. She had to remind herself quickly of his question in order to answer him, hoping she would not appear a simpleton at the delay.
“I am,” she answered simply but then felt compelled to elaborate. “My niece is here for her debut, and I am to be her chaperone.”
It would seem the viscount could not keep the incredulity from returning to his face. “You are going to chaperone your niece?” he asked with unmistakable emphasis on the “you” as though he considered her completely inappropriate for such a role.
Julianna squelched her residual feelings of anger and attraction toward him, maintaining her dignity with an effort of will. “That is correct, my lord. So no doubt I shall see you about. I wish you a good afternoon. I must return to my niece.”
With those coolly uttered words, Julianna turned her back on her former fiancé and returned to the shop. As the door closed behind her with a small tinkle of the bell, she braced herself against the wall in order to rally her senses and bring the frantic beat of her heart under control.
Rolling her eyes heavenward she asked herself rhetorically, Why does a man I vowed to hate forever have to be the only one who causes this reaction? It is nonsensical! And I will not have it.
Pasting a smile upon her face, she entered fully into the shop and collected her niece and their purchases.
About the Author:
Wendy May Andrews has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. This is Wendy’s fifth book with Clean Reads.
Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, on Twitter or Facebook.
I’m trying to get my blog going on a regular schedule again (Writing posts on Tuesdays, Path to Publication posts on Thursdays, and occasionally do a Writing Fun post on Fridays) so here’s my “Tuesday” post…only a day late 🙂
Our pets, dog and cat, like to start the day running around the entire house at early o’clock. As if this wasn’t enough, they’ve started playing hide and seek from each other.
Here’s my cat. Do you see her?
What about you? Do your pets do anything in particular to make you laugh?
So this has been me the last few months. I focused everything I had on finishing the 3rd and then the 4th draft of my current book.
Now that I’m on the 5th draft I feel I’m deep enough into this book that I can get back to a blogging schedule again. I’m hosting other authors with Path to Publication stories on Thursdays and will get back on track with some Friday writing fun like the meme above. I’ll throw in an occasional update about the book, and other writing news.
So, how have you been doing?
You first met L.K. Kuhl when she shared her Path to Publication story (CLICK HERE to read about her journey to publication). Today she’s here to share news of her latest release…
The Decision’s made. The choice is simple. Or is it?
The guests are invited. The cake is all set. In just a few short hours Sophia Bandell will be saying “I do” to a guy she isn’t sure she loves. But where does she go from here? She feels her life is headed in a downhill spiral. Her first and real true love, Tate Forester, is a ghost. But he’s the man she wants to be with…the one she can’t live without. Sophia is faced with the toughest decision of her life. Does she forget about Tate and marry the egotistical lawyer, Aaron Stuart? Or does she take the plunge and join Tate to be with him for eternity?
Sometime through the night, Tate’s kisses woke me. They landed on my cheek like a soft sigh. He began on my cheek and traveled down my neck, resting delicately on my shoulder. But each one felt like he was snuffing out a candle flame. I knew that this would be the last time I’d ever feel him again. He was telling me goodbye in the gentlest way he knew.
I held in my sobs but couldn’t stop the silent tears from sliding down my cheeks. They spilled to my neck and pooled there in the deep, hollowed indent above my clavicle. Tate kissed them away, and wiped a wet strand of hair from my face.
“Don’t cry. I was hoping I could slip away without waking you. I need to go. Aaron will be home soon.”
My throat ached. I grimaced and tried to swallow away the soreness, but it had its claws dug in too deep. There was no way to release it, to ease this massive tumor that kept growing inside of me each time it was time to say goodbye.
“This is the end, isn’t it? Your kisses told me everything you can’t say. So do your eyes.”
“It has to be. It’s time.”
L.K. Kuhl is the author of the Young Adult Paranormal Romance Series, The Everlasting Trilogy. The Decision is book two of this trilogy. She has also penned Chasm, a Romantic Suspense novel. Chasm was released in May of 2016.
L.K. lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg and Will, their furry dog kids. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kuhlreads
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01BXDJGIY
Readers of this blog first met Ashley when she did a Path to Publication post in March of 2014. CLICK HERE to check it out.
And now, she’s celebrating another release!
You have to have the dark to see the light.
Over a month has gone by since Melina won her internal battle between good and evil. She and the elders have been vigilantly waiting for Maura and Adelia to enact their plan, but there have been no signs of them anywhere. Then one day, Melina sees a Noxin demon lurking behind an old building. As more and more demons start to appear around town, she begins to worry that their plan may have already been put into play.
While Melina tries to figure out what the demons are up to, she starts to notice a sudden increase in her negative emotions, which in turn seem to be amplifying her powers. At first, she likes how strong it makes her feel. But when she realizes that her newly acquired demon powers are the cause of her sense of empowerment, she wants nothing to do with it. Even though she has reversed her demon powers to do good, she still sees them as coming from an evil source and fears that by using them the evil she fought so hard to overcome will rise up in her again.
But as the demon activity increases, and the people in her town, including all the people she cares about the most, start to display strange and violent behavior, Melina finally understands that if she wants to stop the demons and help her friends, she must embrace not only the good in her but also the bad. Because the only way to truly empower herself is by finding a way to use them together.
She turned to look at the front of her store and saw that the huge front window had been completely busted in, allowing the chilly winter air to blow right through the room. The rest of the store wasn’t in any better shape. Broken glass, splintered wood, and burnt, ripped up books and paper covered the entire floor. She felt like she should be having déjà vu, seeing as how her store had been destroyed by Noxin demons before, but there was a difference this time. She didn’t have her friends to help her pick up the pieces.
Before she was able to get teary-eyed again, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She turned around and saw that Walter was back, and he had Phinneas, Cecil, and Helene with him. They all nodded at Henry, who nodded back at them, and then they all returned their focus to Melina.
“Hi,” Melina said as she gave them all a slightly confused look. “What are you all doing here?”
“I thought it was necessary to tell them what’s happening with you,” Walter said.
Melina pulled her robe a little tighter around her and turned her gaze down to the floor. She wondered if they were disappointed in her for not telling any of them sooner.
“Melina,” Phinneas said as he took a step toward her. “None of us blame you for feeling the way you do. The fear you have of your anger and of your demon powers is completely valid. But it’s nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of. I’ve told you before, not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have good and evil in us.”
“Yes,” Melina said as she nodded her head. “I remember you saying that. But then you also said that we just have to choose which one is going to win, and I chose good.”
“And I’m so glad you did,” Phinneas said. “But just because you chose good and were able to reverse the demon powers to use them for good, doesn’t mean that the bad aspects of the demon powers aren’t still a part of you, too.”
“Melina,” Walter said as he took a step toward her. “To truly embrace all of your powers, you must accept not only the good aspects of them but also the bad. I can only imagine how strong it must make you feel when your emotions amplify your powers, but instead of fighting them and trying to stop them, feel all of those emotions and use them in a good way. Use them to empower yourself.” He paused for effect and then continued. “You have become a force to be reckoned with. You just need to learn to accept them and then control them.”
Melina’s eyes were filled with tears again. His words reminded her of what Lee had told her—that she needed to accept all of herself. She knew they were both right, but she still couldn’t let go of her hesitation and fear.
“But what if it makes me susceptible to being taken over by evil again?” She bit down on her lip as she stared over at Walter with eyes full of distress.
He gave her a reassuring smile. “I know you’re scared, but I also think that you know, deep down, that you’re not going to be taken over by evil again. This is just how the demon powers are going to work in you. We all experience negative emotions, Melina. But it’s what we do after the emotions arise that matters. We can act upon those negative feelings and let them control us, or we can feel them, acknowledge them, but then choose not to act on them. And instead of letting them control us, use them as motivation for something good.” He was silent for a moment then said, “You have to have the dark to see the light.”
Melina sat quietly as his last words sunk in. She had never thought of it that way, but he was right. She had both light and dark in her, just like everyone else, but she just needed to make sure that her light always shone brighter.
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About the author
Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.
Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.
When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.
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Today’s Path to Publication is by Emily Steward. Without further ado, here’s Emily…
Even before I knew what a writer was, I loved to tell stories. One of my first memories is telling bedtime stories to my mom and brother. After they fell asleep, I would continue to tell the story for a long time afterward. I even used to tell stories to God because I figured he got tired of just hearing everyone’s problems all day.
In kindergarten, I discovered the people who create stories are called writers. I decided then and there, that one day I would become a writer. My teacher was extremely encouraging and I attribute a lot of my early writing passion to her.
Over the years, my dream went by the wayside, but it was always in the back of my mind. After taking a few writing classes from a local college, I got the confidence I needed to feel like I had at least some talent.
I kept waiting for the perfect idea, or for inspiration to strike, but it never did. Finally, I’d had enough waiting and decided it was time. I started writing with nothing in mind except I wanted something magical to happen to this young boy named Bobby Brown. Well I managed to write nearly a third of my novel before I decided it might need some sort of loose outline. It took me several years and a lot of revisions including changing Bobby Brown to a girl named Penelope Gilbert (RIP poor Bobby) and switching my audience from young adult to middle grade.
When I was ready to start submitting my manuscript to agents, I drove down to the local office supply store and bought a bunch of manila envelopes, paperclips, and stamps. Then I went to the library and printed off several copies of my first chapter. I soon realized the majority of agents now prefer digital submissions. Oops! I think I sent one whole submission through the mail before I dropped that and started sending emails. At least I’m well stocked with manila envelopes and paper clips in case I have a postal emergency one day.
After a few weeks of sending queries, I received my first rejection. I was elated. It made me feel like an official writer! When I received my second and third rejections, it wasn’t quite as thrilling. But I knew this was all part of the process, so I pressed on. My inbox was soon full of lovely, (only slightly) soul crushing rejections.
I got a glimmer of hope when an agent requested my full manuscript. I continued to refine my book through critique groups and submit more queries while I waited for the agent with my full to get back to me. It took over a year before I heard back from the agent. No feedback, no comments, just a simple, “This isn’t right for me.” After that, I started delving into a new project, thinking my novel might just not be publishable.
That’s when I got some interest from a publisher during a contest. Well I’d been looking for an agent, but since I hadn’t gotten any takers, I thought I’d go for it. Plus, I loved the company and their cover art. We had a really good Skype chat, but they decided to put their middle grade lineup on hold. They were still interested enough to ask if they could contact me once they started putting out middle grade books again. That was tough to get my hopes up, but it was nice to know they still wanted it. Just not now.
After that, I finally got the email I’d been waiting for. An agent read my book in just a few shorts days. She loved it, and wanted to set up a time to talk! We scheduled the call and I read a bunch of articles on what to do when receiving “The Call” which is usually a call to see if you are a good fit before they offer representation. I tried not to get my hopes up, but all signs pointed to her becoming my agent. The day of the call, I got up really early because I knew her time zone was ahead of mine. I kept my phone at full volume while the morning turned to afternoon, and afternoon to evening. I was on edge all day, but the call never came.
That was really disappointing to say the least. I may or may not have wallowed a bit with a carton of ice cream and lots of chocolate.
Another opportunity came up to do a Twitter contest called Pit2Pub. I didn’t know if I was ready to go through it all again, but friend convinced me that I had nothing to lose. A publisher called Clean Reads asked for my work. I sent it in and a short time later had a response sitting in my inbox. I had to read and reread the simple message for what they were saying to actually sink in. “I think your book would be a great addition to Clean Reads. I’ve attached a contract below, email me if you have any questions.” I couldn’t’ believe it. Just like that? After all this time, just like that? Seemed too good to be true.
I researched the publishing company like crazy. When I felt comfortable, I took the plunge and signed. Now everything’s been a whirlwind. My husband Chad got to do the artwork, which may not have happened with another company, and I love the idea of being a part of a publishing house that puts out quality material without compromising their values.
My path to publication didn’t go exactly as I envisioned, but what in life does? There were a lot of ups and downs, and things in the publishing world move so incredibly slow. However, God had a plan all along. I just needed to be patient, and persistent. I love so many things about the company I signed with, and I think there are great things to come. Now I can finally say that I’m a published author! How great is that?
When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.
Author Bio: Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.
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