Writing Wednesday - My Author Origin Story


Happy Writing Wednesday, folks!

First off all, thanks to everyone who stopped by my first Memorable Monday post, and showed Kyra Lennon some love! I'll be back next Monday with a guest post from Beyond Starlight author Diana Dawn.

Today, I'm going to talk about when and why I started writing, the journey I took to self-publishing, and what writing means to me.

 

Memorable Monday - An Excerpt from ALL OF YOU, by Kyra Lennon

 

Happy Memorable Monday everyone!

I'm super excited to share a steamy excerpt from Kyra Lennon's recently released, opposites-attract, badboy, contemporary-romance ALL OF YOU.

And be sure to read the full post to see my review of the book. Spoilers: It's five stars!


Letting go of his hand, I shifted my position again, moving my leg over both of his so I was straddling him. I wanted to look him right in the eye, and I placed my hands around the back of his neck to make sure he was focused on me. “Cal, listen to me. I’m pretty sure if anyone was to look at me and you and the way our lives have gone, nobody would ever dream of putting us together. And yet, we met, and however nonsensical, there’s something between us. So, as long as you can promise not to lie to me, cheat on me, or keep anything important from me, I really don’t mind that we haven’t been on a real date yet. I can wait.”

Cal’s hands slid around my back, pulling me tighter against his chest before pressing his lips to mine. “I can promise that.”

Smiling softly, I kissed him again, and his muscles relaxed beneath my fingers. As our mouths moved together in a perfect rhythm, my own tension ebbed away, and I lost myself in him the way I’d wanted to when he arrived at my flat earlier. We weren’t in a rush to be anywhere now, and his lips danced with mine with a slowness and sensuality that sent my heart racing and my body melting against his.

I never want this feeling to stop. It was consuming, the way his soft lips touched mine over and over. Hungry but not hurried. Passionate yet tender. I’d never felt how much someone wanted me through a kiss until Cal, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever put so much of myself into a kiss either.

His hands moved up my back, and I shuffled my hips forward, needing to be as close to him as I could get. We finally had some time alone, and I wanted every second of it to be spent with us glued together.

Cal’s lips drifted across my cheek towards my ear. “Stay,” he murmured against my skin. “Stay with me tonight.”

My heart pounded harder at the possibility of an unexpected night together. “I want to,” I said, closing my eyes as his lips lowered to my neck, making me shiver. “But… tomorrow… you… you have to…”

My point that he needed to be up early in the morning fell completely out of my mind when his mouth found my collarbone.

He paused, looking up at me, the need in his eyes almost flooring me. “We’ll wake up early and I’ll take you home before anyone else gets up.”

Cal’s lips went back to my collarbone, feathering kisses there as his hands slipped underneath my top, his rough fingers on my back.

“I don’t… I don’t have anything to…” His teeth grazed my neck, his hands working higher up my back to my bra strap.

His throaty chuckle sent another shiver through me, his breath hot on my neck. “Be a rebel, Shannen. Go home with your knickers in your pocket. Nobody will ever know.”

His husky tone and dirty words caused my skin to heat and the fluttering sensation to stir in my core. His ability to read my thoughts and counter my protests was sexy as hell. When his fingers unclipped my bra, I raked my hands into his hair. “What kind of girl do you think I am?” I teased, tugging to pull his face back to mine.

He smirked, then brushed his lips against my own. “The kind who’s going to let me spend several hours inside her, then fall asleep beside me, fully satisfied?”

I tilted my head to the side as if thinking, and he flipped me over onto my back and climbed on top of me, making me laugh.

“Say yes, Shan,” he said, smiling into my eyes. “Please.”

Winding my arms around him again, I said, “Yes. I guess I am that kind of girl.” 


Book details: 

One night was all they ever intended. They soon realise the old saying is true—opposites do attract.

Callum Lewis lives a no-complications life. No long-term women, no staying overnight, and absolutely no commitment. Keeping emotions at arm’s length is his number one skill—that and trying to navigate life as a single dad to a five-year-old.

Until Shannen Morgan changes everything.

As lust turns to feelings, Cal fights an internal battle between keeping Shannen in his life and pushing her away to protect her from his dark past. But when the skeletons are forced out of Cal’s closet, can he keep his girl and the future he’s started to want?

Shannen has never known anything as frivolous as a one-night stand. Her professional image as a primary school teacher just wouldn’t allow such a thing, not to mention her country club, upper-middle-class upbringing. She certainly wouldn’t dream of having a quickie with the stubbled bad boy she meets in a bar.

So, why can’t she keep away from him?

As Shannen falls hard for the rugged charmer, she struggles to balance the relentless disapproval from her judgemental best friend with the freedom she's found in the arms—and bed—of a man who wants her for who she is and not as a suitable little housewife. However, when secrets from Cal's younger years bubble to the surface, will Shannen be able to overlook his sins, or will she retreat into the safety of the predictable life she’s always known?

With friendships, a career, and family ties on the line, is love really enough to overcome all they stand to lose?

You can get a copy of All Of You from all major book retailers here https://books2read.com/allyou


My Review

TL;DR - If you love spicy, opposites-attract romances with plenty of twists and turns, this book is for you.

Disclaimer: I've known Kyra Lennon for 20 years and have been following her writing career since it began. I was privileged to read a pre-release, beta version of All of You.

However, all opinions expressed in my review are my own and are not influenced by outside factors.

With all that said, if you've been a reader of Kyra Lennon for any amount of time, you come to expect certain things in her books:

Real Characters: From the main characters to the side characters, each and every one feels like someone you could know. All of You is no different, and I found myself connecting and empathizing with almost every character in the book.

Real Emotions: Even though I haven't been through some of the things Cal and Shannen go through in All of You, Kyra writes their emotions (and the emotions of the side characters) so wonderfully that you feel every tear, every bit of heartache, every rush of excitement.

Twists and Turns: In some ways, romance books are very formulaic. Two people meet. There's a mutual attraction. Obstacles stand in their way. Where Kyra shines is with these obstacles. Her love stories are never straightforward. All of You is no different. Cal has a deep, dark past that he hopes to keep hidden. This isn't a bad-boy romance for no reason. And it's not just Cal bringing the drama. There were moments in this book that left me gobsmacked and fuming!

Something new for All of You that Kyra hasn't dived too deeply into before is the steam. I'm not saying her previous books are 'clean,' but sex certainly wasn't the focus of the stories. While All of You isn't pages of smut without any plot, there are plenty of steamy scenes that really get your pulse racing. For someone 'fairly' new to steamy scenes, Kyra did an excellent job of describing the emotions and feelings of a steamy scene without making it vulgar or too clinical.

I have to be honest, if you had to ask me what my favorite Kyra Lennon book is, I'd be hard-pressed to give you an answer. I love them all for different reasons. All of You is no exception. Another five-star, couldn't-put-it-down masterpiece.

Now hurry up and write book two, Kyra. I need to know what happens next!!


Thank you for joining me for the first of many Memorable Monday posts here on my blog. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for my first Writing Wednesday post, where I discuss my author 'origin' story.

Until then,

Take care and stay creative!

T.T.F.N



New Content Coming to My Blog at claredugmore.com

 


I just wanted to provide a quick update for anyone who follows me here.

If you're a long-time follower, you may remember when I used to post regular-themed content. I miss that, and plan on reviving that on my website.

Mondays will be Memorable Mondays - in which I blog about memorable authors, books, and book-related services from around the web, including many of my bookish friends. The first post will be Monday 15th July, and I'll be hosting Kyra Lennon with a steamy excerpt from her latest release ALL OF YOU, as well as my review of the book.

Wednesdays will be Writing Wednesdays - in which I blog about my writing. What progress I'm making on various projects. What inspires me. What struggles I face. Basically, anything to do with writing from my perspective.

Fridays will be Favourites Fridays - in which I blog about my favourite things. That could be other books I've recently enjoyed, TV shows I'm loving, video games I'm having fun with, and other non-writing things like that. It will be part review, part just me musing and talking about media I love.

I hope some of you will join me there. https://claredugmore.com/blog


I have moved!

 

After more than ten years on Blogger, I have made the decision to move my blog over to my new website and mailing list host HubSpot. I have nothing against Blogger, in fact, it's been great, but I love having all my writerly things in one place.

Thank you to everyone who has ever supported me here on Blogger over the years. I wouldn't be the author I am today without that help and support.

I will be keeping this blog to serve as an archive of my previous posts, but all new updates will now be made on my new site.

If you're still interested in my writing, I suggest following me over to claredugmore.com/blog, especially in the coming months as I'll be hosting lots of guest posts in the lead-up to the Beyond Starlight: An Alien FatedMates Collection, which releases this November.

Thanks again for the support.

Take care, and read on!

T.T.F.N



Promo Help Wanted: After the Rain, a charity anthology from the Write Here, Write Now Community

 

The Write Here, Write Now Community from Karen Sanders Editing would love to invite you to help us spread the word about our forthcoming charity anthology, AFTER THE RAIN, which is set to release on June 11th 2024.

All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to Hopefull Handbags UK - a charity supporting survivors of domestic abuse. You can find out more here: https://www.hopefullhandbags.org/about-us/

Participating authors: Clare Bentley and Kyra Lennon, Clare Dugmore, Toya Richardson, Louise Emerson, Drew Duncan, Donna Frank, Katie L Smith, TS Arthur, Samantha Lewis, Julie Archer, M.B. Feeney, HL Heidemann, Anna Edwards

Key Dates:

Cover Reveal: May 6 2024

Release Date: June 11th 2024

COVER REVEAL SIGN UP FORM: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfzlojP5WNJeB6O80-glS-kmh7hk4dZi5nYw4ZrOaYXDaUuYQ/viewform?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2xXQSvbZNx6GQq5KNFeU3Pj0wWHe03JIUGbTuz7hFyTnlnM47BHtzlebY_aem_AWXS55rB9qFJeMEr-kIZU7BwjxNhQYqBfvDfyWRPp04xRrGcmhdbu-wug4TLPcuc0rmf7qQh7rladC427etzpMx2

Promo Help Wanted for Beyond Starlight: An Alien Fated Mates Limited Edition Box Set

 


While I've been *vague* about my publishing plans over the last few weeks, the wheels are moving so it's time to talk a little more about what I've been working on.

As some of you may recall, I was serializing a paranormal romance called WINGS, WITCHES AND WONDER, but I felt the first draft wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, so I pulled it from Ream and other platforms.

At the same time, I heard of Beyond Starlight: An Alien Fated Mates Limited Edition Box Set brought to you by Storyteller Publisher 22, and knew with a little tweaking, the story I wanted to tell in WINGS, WITCHES AND WONDER would work perfectly for a sci-fi romance. Thus THE STARLIGHT PRINCE was born.

The first 30k * of THE STARLIGHT PRINCE will be released on November 19th, as part of the Beyond Starlight: An Alien Fated Mates Limited Edition Box Set.

*More news on the remaining ~60k of THE STARLIGHT PRINCE will be coming in due course.

Beyond Starlight will feature nine other awesome authors, and we'd love your help spreading the word about the box set. If you're interested in all the good things like cover reveals, release blitz and ARC sign-ups, all the information can be found on this helpful DS Book Promotions Google form. 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc60vLz_6pVs93YgNcqKzvOthGU1X-pdzcUy4L8NwDoHH5gcA/viewform

Thank you in advance to anyone who signs up to help spread the word in any way, and watch this space for more news about both Beyond Starlight, and my story, The Starlight Prince.

ADHD Brains Are Wacky


Hello!

If you've been a follower of my blog for any amount of time, you will know by now that I have a habit of announcing something, doing it for a few months, stopping, and vanishing. Rinse and repeat.

We're only three months into the year, and already I feel like I've changed my plans and goals a million times!

If it's confusing for you, how do you think it feels to be *me*?

I'm *trying* to be more consistent, or at least, I'm trying not to over-share/ over-promise on things I later go back on. It's tough, you know.

It isn't helped by the fact I believe I also have PMDD (think PSM on steroids, where you hate *everything*.) And yes, I know it seems like I have a bunch of health issues. Because I *do* have a bunch of health issues. And I'm not going to stop talking about them. They're part of me, but also, I hope that by sharing, I can help others who are experiencing similar things by letting them know they're not alone.

Anyway, as I was saying, this year already feels like a bunch of changes in direction. The problem is, when I make these blogs, I mean everything I say at the time. I can't help it that I feel differently a few weeks or months later.

And don't tell me *not* to share my excitement for a new project/ idea/ what-have-you, because that's like asking me not to breathe! :P

Along with ADHD and PMDD comes a fluctuating motivation/ desire for all things writing-related. Sometimes I can't ever imagine *not* writing. I eat, sleep, breathe, writing. 

Then *bam* I'm over it. I can't even bear looking at the computer. I'm never writing again.

It's infuriating and has caused me a lot of heartache. I want to do the things I say I'm going to do and live without regret for the things I didn't do.

I don't want to look back on my life in a year, five years, ten years ... and think "Oh, I wish I had done more of this. Or less of this."

Writing is a BIG part of that. I don't want to think I'm never going to release another book. But I'm also very aware of the times I've spoken about a project, started serializing a new novel idea, etc. and then just *stopped*. 

My poor PC is like a graveyard of half-finished stories. And 90% of them I do love and want to go back to in the future. It's just that, like I said, ADHD Brains Are Wacky.

I know this post is long and rambly, but what I am trying to say, I guess, is don't give up on me. Please. Don't forget about me and my stories. Even if I don't always deliver on my promises. 

Until next time. Take care, and keep reading and writing.

T.T.F.N.





RELEASE BLITZ: Leo Blessed (A Dawn of the Zodiacs Novel) by S Lucas

Happy Release Day Sam Lucas and her steamy, fated mates paranormal romance, πŸ’«Leo Blessed (A Dawn of the Zodiacs Novel)πŸ’«


Get it Now: https://books2read.com/leoblessed  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/198626454-leo-blessed

πŸ’« Why choose

πŸ’« Paranormal Romance

πŸ’« Bad guy turns good

πŸ’« Steamy

πŸ’« Fated Mates


BLURB

The constellations blessed the world with magic, but it’s running out. The Council of Supernaturals are blaming the twelve Zodiacs and doing everything they can to hunt them down. Now the race is on for the Zodiacs to find their relics, their men and complete the ceremony hoping they can heal the rift before it consumes the entire universe. 

Edana Fenix hasn't had an easy life. At first, she thought her parent's paranoia was because of her extraordinary powers, but it turns out they were hiding something far bigger from her. 

On the run from the Council of Supernaturals after her parents were taken, and having visions of a mysterious woman surrounded by fire. Edana soon discovers a secret that could put her life in mortal danger.

​​​​​​​When she finds the four men who were always fated to cross her path, her real journey begins. Evading capture from Council Enforcers while hunting for mysterious relics linked to the Leo Zodiac, Edana wonders if she's bitten off more than she can chew.

Will she be able to stop the world from imploding around her or will the Council put an end to her mission to save the universe and the men that she loves?


*Leo Blessed is a novel in the multi-author shared world, Dawn of the Zodiacs. Be sure to read all twelve books.*

The Trouble with First Drafts when you have ADHD

 


If you've been a follower of my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I often start a project, and dive in full steam ahead, only to lose my momentum a few months later.

I used to think it was a failure of mine. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I had so many incomplete stories on my hard drive.

Then I learned I have ADHD.

For those who don't know, ADHD is basically a dopamine deficiency. This means almost everything someone with ADHD does is in pursuit of that precious dopamine (and why we struggle with tasks that don't give us much/ any).

Writing, specifically starting a new project and sharing it with everyone gives me a huge dopamine rush. Sometimes I share details of a new story when it's barely past a half-formed idea. Then the dopamine wears off, and I lose interest.

I'm trying my hardest to find ways of generating dopamine differently so that I have more success with completing projects. Coaching is helping a lot.

But one of the pitfalls I've realized of my frenzied, dopamine-seeking early sharing of projects is that, sometimes, after they're shared I realize they weren't quite ready for the world yet.

You know me, I love a good food analogy, and when I was talking to my ADHD coach recently, I likened this problem to telling all your friends you're baking a cake. Halfway through cooking you announce, "The cake is ready, come and get it." Only, when you cut into the cake, there's raw batter in the middle.

When I get a new idea and start a new project, I get over-excited and want to share it with the world. So often, I do. Sometimes in the form of snippets or blurbs, sometimes in the form of serials ...

You can see where this is going, right?

I love serials because they give me that instant gratification dopamine I crave. BUT what if the serial I'm sharing is a first draft, and halfway through, I realize, crap, there's raw batter in the middle?!

THAT'S where I find myself with Wings, Witches and Wonder. I still love the story, and I still believe in the concept of serials and the platform Ream Stories. But, for me at least, I realize first drafts probably aren't the type of thing I should be serializing.

There are parts of Wings I love, and parts of Wings I hate and want to re-write. And I don't want to continue serializing a story with parts I know aren't as good as they should be. I want to give you my BEST stories. (As a side note, this is one reason I unpublished Truly, Madly, Deeply. But that's a story for another time.)

So yes, all that to say, I have unpublished Wings, Witches and Wonder. It will be back (this year, hopefully), and when I release it (I'm not sure if it will be as a serial or complete novel), it will be a version I'm closer to 100% happy with. No raw batter in the middle! ;)

As I said above, I still believe in the concept of serials and the platform Ream Stories, only for me, it works better with a story that is complete, and that I'm as close to 100% happy with as I can be. A story I won't want to later pull and re-write.

To that end, I will be serializing ALL IT TAKES. It was on Amazon for many years, but I want to reach new readers, especially as Kyra and I have been working to tie it into both her Game On Series and our forthcoming co-written wrestling-themed novel. And, as previously mentioned, I have plans for an age-gap rockstar romance also set in that shared universe (don’t worry, I won’t jump the gun serializing this one! lol).

Additionally, SEEKING THE TRUTH is also on ReamStories as it’s complete and I don’t foresee me making changes and/or expanding on that universe.

So yeah, that's where I'm at. If you've read/ commented on the previously published chapters of WINGS, thank you! Your support and encouragement means everything to me. <3 <3 <3 I hope you will still love the story when I've had a chance to work on it more.

From here on out, I will be posting weekly chapters of ALL IT TAKES and SEEKING THE TRUTH, and I'll have news about other projects -- including WINGS and the aforementioned rockstar romance -- when I'm sure they're properly 'cooked' as it were.

I'm also considering starting a blog series on my experiences as a writer with ADHD, so please let me know if that's something you'd like to hear more about.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep reading & writing!

T.T.F.N



Sometimes a Break Really is as Good as a Holiday

 


Yes, I know we're already one month into the new year, but honestly, it's taken me that long to settle into 2024!

The holiday period was great - we visited family, ate lots of delicious food, and were all very happy with our gifts.

As the new year started, I began thinking about what's really important to me, and two things topped my list:

Health and Writing.

I won't go into too much detail here, but I have a handful of health issues that are causing me some problems, and I want to focus on getting the right help so I can continue growing into the best version of myself.

But along with these health issues comes the realization I can't do everything. I had to remove something from my life, and I found myself having to choose between going forward with my planned proofreading business or continuing to push my career as an author.

And well ... I can't just stop writing. That would be like asking someone to stop breathing. Thankfully, I may be able to get some financial support due to my health issues, meaning I can focus on my writing without having to take on extra work (like proofreading) to pay the bills.

So, with writing firmly in the forefront of my mind, I've decided to make some changes to what I'm doing with Ream and my stories.

Both my contemporary-romance ALL IT TAKES and my urban-fantasy novella SEEKING THE TRUTH will be available in weekly serial format for $5 a month, or if you'd prefer to read it all in one go, you can 'unlock' the whole novella for $10 a month.

Fellow author Kyra Lennon and I are releasing a wrestling-based story later this year, and we want to build it into a shared universe that will not only include our co-written story, but ALL IT TAKES, Kyra's Game On Series (which you can read on ReamStories too!), and an age-gap, rockstar romance from me.

As my updated bio says, reading and writing has always been an escape for me, and I really hope my stories offer those of you out there in need of a little respite an escape too!

That's all I have for you this week. So, until Friday, take care and read on.

T.T.F.N!