The Increasing Challenge of Reviews on Amazon

As an editor, and owner of this review site, This is where I choose to review my favourite reading books, and promoting the books I’ve edited.
As I edit for two publishing houses, I’ve always “held off” on reviewing books I’ve edited on Amazon. They know I’ve not bought a copy via their site.
My reviews and promos here get flicked to my facebook page and to my Twitter account, thus giving three-for-one exposure to my followers.

But “my authors” do need reviews at their sales sites – Amazon being the most popular global sales outlet. It annoys me … {no, I’m a kiwi, so – “it pisses me off”} to learn of their reviews being controlled, vetted, dumped, rejected at Amazon.

Who do they think they are?
Oh yeah, they have their own puiblishing “arm” in the barrel, so to speak.

For one interesting read of one author’s experiences,
follow this link to a post at
THE BOOKSELLER blog
by Heloise WOOD

 

Interviewing author Deborah Garland

Deborah Garland, author of Must Have Faith, agreed to the following interview. Welcome again, Deborah.

Red: Can you name and explain two books which inspired you to write in the romance genre?

Deborah: Thanks for having me, Lynne. I originally wrote Women’s Fiction with romantic elements. But often, there wasn’t a happy ever after between main hero and heroine. Which is the vital ingredient for ‘romance.’ When I chose to write one, I had already been reading mostly historical romances. So I had to understand the rhythm of dual-POV (point of view). As well as understanding the ‘dance’ the characters must do. One step forward, two steps back.
When struggling to put together, my first romance novel, Must Love Fashion, I kept referring back to Seven Years to Sin, by Sylvia Day. I’d read it years earlier and I would classify it as my favorite romance novel. But it really helped me ‘figure out’ what the romance reader was expecting. After that I would say, the Nora Roberts, Bridal Quartet series helped me to identify what ‘heat level’ I was most comfortable writing.

Red: How long did it take from when you began writing this manuscript to the book launch?

Deborah: I began writing Must Have Faith on March 17th, 2017. (No, I’d not been drinking, though it was St. Patrick’s Day. It was just the day I started.) I completed the first draft forty-five days later. Compared to the first book in the Darling Cove series, Must Love Fashion, which had to be re-written again and again, Must Have Faith was written straight through. While I’d made some changes, the integrity and flow of the story in the final draft mirrored my vision.

Red: Tell us about an exciting, surprising or stressful aspect of the lead-up to or after your first book launch.

Deborah: My first official book signing/launch was about two months after the release of Must Love Fashion. A friend of mine who owned a restaurant offered me his bar area for an hour and helped me advertise. He put out food and lots of people showed up. I sold thirty books in one night. That was surprising enough, but my mother flew in from Florida without telling me to be there for me on my special night.

Red: What is your latest project?

Deborah: After I completed and submitted Must Love Fashion, I picked up a paranormal romance I’d had in very early draft stages. That novel, Drawing Bloodlines is being published as well and I am anticipating an April 2019 release. I am currently working on the second book in that series, Guarding Bloodlines. (Can you hear me screaming?)

Red: and now… What question have you always wished an interviewer had asked you?

Deborah: My Dream Question? So, now that your Darling Cove books are being made into a television show on HBO, who do you want to star in the roles of Andrew, Greg and Edward?
My Fantasy Answer- To write a hero, I need a vision in my head. It needs to be tangible. It needs to be a real person. Someone whose picture I can drool over — I mean… I can look at someone. I need to have a voice in my head. Andrew came to me right away: Chris Pine. Greg, too, Bradley Cooper.
Edward was tough. I gave him dark auburn hair and tried to keep my vision true, but I couldn’t find an actor or a model that ‘inspired’ me enough. I finally settled on Josh Lucas. And the minute I did that, Edward Mendelsohn (Must Be Crazy– 10.22.18), exploded on the page for me. Now, I can’t get Edward out of my head. 😊


About the author:
Deborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, and when she’s not writing she’s either in the gym, or reading-cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.

Deborah Garland can be found at…
Her website: on FaceBook: at Twitter:

New Release: “Must Have Faith”

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
MUST HAVE FAITH!

Must Have Faith – A Darling Cove Novel
by Deborah Garland
 

It’s easy to think the jilted groom is probably a jerk.
But what if he’s not? MustHaveFaith_cvrWhat if he’s the good guy?
 

Faith Copeland has moved back home to the North Fork, where she has to live with stares and
whispers behind her back. In Darling Cove, she’ll only ever be Greg Mallory’s runaway bride. 


Darling Cove Police Officer, Gregory Mallory has been living with the scars and shame of
being left at the altar. Since Faith took off, he’s not wanted to settle down, putting the Mallory name in jeopardy.

When his runaway bride returns, Greg’s tough façade begins to wear away. 

Can Greg and Faith deny the attraction still burning inside them after so long? Will they survive this time around if it doesn’t work out?

Roane Publishing – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Smashwords – iTunes

EXCERPT:
 
Plastic, metal and breasts.
Greg mentally inventoried everything he felt against his skin. His bare skin. It’d taken several seconds to process that he was standing in his underwear. With Faith’s body pressed into his chest, his arms around her shoulders prevented her from falling. His Faith. Her fingers twisted around the camera to secure it, causing long fingernails to scrape against his stomach.
“I have it,” Faith whispered as the pressure of her body against his began to wane.
Not so fast.
His fingers settled under her elbows holding her in place. The bottom of his chin brushed against the top of her head. All these years of imagining what he would say if they were in same room was lost to him at that moment.
Her head tipped back to meet his gaze. Months of distant glances all crashed down into a full-on eye locking stare. Smokey colored eye shadow swept across the beautiful blue eyes he’d gazed at for so many years. Pink lips she’d sunk her teeth into while watching him walk around his house as a young man had driven him to distraction. Her mouth…what he’d done with that mouth. Before…and after he took her virginity.
But one day, uncontrollable tears fell from those eyes. The astonishing words that had tumbled from her lips and mouth still burned in his memory after all these years: Greg, I can’t marry you.
He’d been too proud to beg and was brought up that a gentleman doesn’t raise his voice to a lady. There were so many restless nights he’d lie in bed speculating if Faith’s strange behavior a few weeks before the wedding shouldn’t have been dismissed as jitters.
The white-hot anger had melted away years ago, and even the mild taste of bitterness diminished. All he was left with was burning curiosity. He knew why she left. It was how she could leave that left him bewildered. An assignment in Iraq had come up. It’d been scheduled to leave two days before the wedding. She had sheepishly asked if they could postpone. Although he was quite annoyed, he’d been polite enough to hear her out. Until she dropped the bomb that it was a three-year assignment!
That topic however didn’t seem appropriate at the moment as he held her in that small office.
Greg was ready to speak, but Skye stood in the doorway with wide eyes and an open mouth.
“I’ll be out in a minute,” he repeated, but this time over Faith’s shoulder.
It forced her to spin around. “Oh my God.” She broke away to pull the camera strap over her head and took a giant step towards the door. “I just came in here for water.”
“A big tall glass of it I see.” Skye smirked with her arms crossed.
“What’s taking so long? Son of a—” Gwen rushed into the room as well.
It was enough to have a breakdown over! He was standing in tight boxer briefs in front of his two sisters and the woman he almost married. He dropped his hands to cover the nervous erection that liked to pop up at such inopportune times.
“My father’s getting too many calls, we have to get this moving.” Andrew came up behind Gwen and glanced at Greg. The panic he felt must have been all over his face. Andrew took immediate charge of the situation. “Ladies, let the man get dressed. Come on. Out. You too,” he said to his wife tapping her on the behind.
That’s my sister.
Andrew closed the door but stayed inside the room. He walked to the garment bag hanging on the coat rack. “I’ll give you a hand.” The man ran fashion shows and was used to seeing both men and women in all stages of undress.
Still, it was a little unnerving to have him there while Greg was battling his emotions. “I know how to put a suit on.”
“Prada suits can feel awkward at first. I wish you would have given me your exact measurements. I could have had it altered for you.”
“That’s not necessary. I doubt I’ll wear it again,” he said quickly, then inwardly choked, realizing that may have been an insult to the man’s livelihood.
While Greg had been quietly admiring Andrew’s sleek sophisticated look, he preferred jeans, flannel shirts and work boots. And a Glock tucked into his waistband. But he suspected Gwen didn’t want him packing heat in her engagement photos.
“Gwen filled me in on what happened with uh…that woman.” Andrew handed him a tan dress shirt, breaking the awkward silence. “I’m sorry. That must have been difficult.”
Greg had been ready to respond with a touch of sarcasm. Except Andrew had been widowed before he met Gwen. “Yeah. Well. Shit happens.” He tugged the dress pants to get them to fit over his thighs.
Andrew smirked touching his chin. “I have the same problem with Prada’s slacks.”
Greg turned toward the mirror. The fabric stretched tight across his butt. But the waist fit nicely, and the length was perfect. He buttoned up the shirt and stuffed it into the pants. His eyes rolled at the tie. “Purple?”
Andrew opened his arms. “Your sister made me wear a lavender shirt. You’re lucky you only have to wear the tie.” He smoothed his own, bright sapphire blue to match Gwen’s eyes.
A knock pounded on the door and it opened. “Seriously we have to… Oh my God!” Gwen squealed as her hands flew up to her face. “Greg! You look so handsome.”
Considering a former model was standing next to him, Greg took that as a huge compliment.
 
ABOUT DEBORAH GARLAND:
 
Deborah GarlandDeborah Garland is a former computer and sports journalist, turned romance and women’s fiction author. She likes to write about love and the struggles of complicated relationships. Her heroines are strong, and the heroes fall hard for them. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband and when she’s not writing, she’s either in the gym, or reading, cuddled up with their two pugs, Zoe and Harley.
FIND THE AUTHOR
at her website, on FaceBook, and at Twitter

 

Interviewing author Deryn Pittar

deryn-croppedI asked Deryn Pittar, author of this week’s featured new release Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South, to share her thoughts on her writing with us.

 

Deryn, tell us about the first book you had published.
Love’s Bright Star was published by Secret Cravings in 2012. It was a huge thrill and from that experience I learned about the editing process, prior to publication.  They also published the following four books in the Future Movers series; but unfortunately Secret Cravings closed down in 2015. These futuristic romances are being republished over a six weeks’ time span in June/July this year with Junction Publishing. I am reading through them again (yet another editing process) and I’m delighted that I don’t have the desire to change anything. Because they are set in the future, luckily, nothing has dated!

Six years later, with their republishing, I will have had published a total of eight novels, with a ninth one coming out in October. But I have had many short stories and poems published in between times, in a variety of genre.

Was ‘Love’s Bright Star’ the first novel you’d written?
I’d love to be able to say ‘yes’ but in truth it was about the fourth. One of them I rewrote five times and it still sits in my files. (I can’t bear to delete 70 thousand words. I might need a bit of it one day.) I tried to write for Mills and Boon to begin with, but my mind refuses to stick to a formula; this is probably why I often set my stories in the future, where there are no restrictions on my imagination. However, I consider all those original unpublished manuscripts as a learning curve I had to travel, and not one word was a wasted effort.

Do you write today in the same genre as your first published novel?
Sometimes, but I jump about. I’ve written and had published a few contemporary romance novellas and lots of short stories, some sci.fi., some a comment on a serious subject and a few light romances. I tried to write horror (with a friend) and we ended up with a black comedy. I like to put a twist at the end of my short fiction. I’ve also dabbled in haiku and other forms of poetry, plus I love a writing challenge. Often a contest’s premise is a good reason to try another genre.

What authors have  influenced your choice of genre?
Asimov’s science fiction novels gripped my imagination as a teenager, opening up the possibilities available to a writer. Then Anne MacCaffrey came along with her Dragons of Pern series, which introduced dragons instead of robots.

LutapoliiHow long did it take from when you began Lutapolii’s manuscript to launch date?
I wrote Lutapolii – White Dragon of the South quite quickly, over a few months, about two years ago. He grew from a short story, which became chapter one. He took on a personality and had a life plan I simply had to follow. Once told, his story lurked in my files for a year as I searched for a cover, then Junction Publishing said they’d like to take him and they found his picture. I had to change one scene to fit in with his final appearance, but he’s such a magnificent fellow I didn’t mind at all. I’m thrilled with the response to his story. It’s not often you get to read a story written by the dragon himself. It’s written for adults, but it fits just as well into the Young Adult classification. There is a mating scene in it, but that’s all noise, smoke and frightened sea birds. I don’t know how dragons mate and Lutapolii refused to tell me.

What is your latest project – or projects?
I recently co-wrote a novella with Meg Buchanan, about an angel who falls in love with a soldier. It centres on Halloween, her brother’s plans for that night and the soldier’s decision to prevent her being harmed. Angelfire is a quirky love story and was fun to write. I had a short story which became the premise for the story. We shared further plot lines and wrote the scenes we each had ideas for; then shuttled the manuscript back and forth to be read, changed and added to until it all hung together. This will be released in October this year, with promotion beginning in September. Perhaps when Meg has time in her busy publishing schedule we will write a sequel.

I have just finished a novella for a winter anthology submission call for Roane Publishing. I called it Thunder Makes Me Cry and I’m hoping it will get accepted. I wrote it with a winter theme, just for their submission call. Heaven knows what I’ll do with it if they don’t want it. They are releasing another novella of mine, Escorts for Hire….Heartaches Free, in their summer anthology in August.

What question do you always wish an interview would ask you?
You often hear writers moan about ‘writer’s block’ (no ideas) or the editing process and how they hate cutting out words and scenes; and how dreadful it all is. Yet no one actually asks them if they enjoy it!

I‘m asking you now. Do you enjoy being an author?
Yes, I love it. Sometimes I run out of ideas, but I never panic. Eventually something will pop into my mind; a kernel that grows into a scene, which might develop into a novel. I love the craft of tightening a story, getting rid of extra words, paring it down to say as much as possible with as few words as you can. Of being able to give the readers a time, place and setting that will drag them into the story and, best of all, hold them there.

Through writing I’ve met a wide group of people I can correspond with, and share work and ideas with. To know there are like-minded people out there, tapping away, feeding their mind-pictures onto the page is a comfort because writing can be a solitary hobby – if you let it. I don’t.

What are you currently reading?
I belong to two book clubs, so often have to read a book that is not of my choice. This doesn’t do me any harm and often leads me to discover new authors. I’ve just read The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons. It is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, with beautiful language. At page 30, I decided I was reading too fast, so I began again and took my time to savour every page.

Daniel O’Malley has written two fabulous science fiction/fantasy novels: The Rook and Silhouette. I’m waiting for his next novel. I also enjoy Robert Galbraith’s series (JK Rowling) and I’m waiting for Lethal White to be released. I think the lady at the library is tired of me asking if they have it yet.

Thanks, Deryn, for giving us this time. I’ve learned more about you than I knew!

 

Interviewing author G P Gadbois

crop-soft-portrait_G D Gadbois

G P kindly spoke about herself after the launch of her latest novel, Trust Me, released on Monday. She is shown here reviewing her earlier novel Caught Between Worlds.

What made you choose to write in the romance genre?
The idea for my first novel came from a reoccurring dream I had a few years back. At first, I thought I’d purchase a dream analyser book to find out what the dream meant. Instead, as I wrote down the highlights, and shared my dream with family and friends – it became clear, I had to write the story. So, the genre kind of chose me.
Like many women I work full time, so when I read I want to relax and escape.  Although I enjoy suspense and mysteries, I love a story with a happy ending.

In what other genres have you written / or can you see yourself writing in the future, and why?
Many, many moons ago, I wrote a weekly column, in the French newspaper of my hometown, describing the highlights of my high school. On my Facebook author page, I write and post a monthly short family story. It is nonfiction; however, my children have questioned some of the details…
One day, perhaps when I retire from my day job, I might try my hand at short thrillers or write a novel based on true story – I’ve started gathering information.

Of the two books you have had published, which would you most like adapting to see on screen? How would you adapt it?
I find this question amusing. When I finished the first draft of my first novel, Caught Between Worlds, I asked my youngest son to proofread it. I even bribed him; but when he saw the stack of papers I held, he said, “Mom, I’m sure it’s good, but I’ll wait and see it in the theatres.” – I told him not to hold his breath.
I have no idea how I’d adapt my story; however, I’d be willing to review the manuscript as suggested by the experts in that field. I’d also ask my son to be my date on opening night and he’d say, “I told you so.”

Tell us about an exciting, surprising or stressful aspect of the lead-up to or after your first book launch.
I stress over the unknown. Until the first book launch in 2016, my mind had a field day. I worried about everything, including the release blitz and reviews. I still do today, but at least I know what to expect. On this note, I enjoy hearing from readers, whether good or bad. I am after all a novice, and the feedback helps me improve.

Who is your writing hero/heroine (author)? Why?
Nora Roberts and Kathy Reichs. I love their characters and the stories. They make me laugh, they make me sad and they keep me interested.

What are you currently reading?
Your questions. 😉
Before I tackled the final round of edits for Trust Me, the last book I read was my own, Caught Between Worlds. I wanted to make sure my main characters had remained the same.

What is your latest project?
Book 3 of the series ‘A Moment in Time’. This one will be the story of Wendy, and I challenge you to guess who her happy ever after partner will be? 

What question have you always wished an interviewer had asked you? And, please answer it.
I have never given it any thought, but I’ll be creative:
Q: Which actor would you like to see as your main character?
A: A young Richard Gere. ❤


You can find Ms Gadbois at FacebookTwitter, and her publisher’s site


9aa15-trustme_slideshowimage

“Lutapolii – white dragon of the south”, by Deryn Pittar

LutapoliiA credible fantasy for adult and YA readers, featuring dragons in a new light. Don’t expect knights on a mission. The story’s lead is a dragon on a mission – to live a life of peace and lead his own Flight.

Lutapolii has fled his northern matriarchal flight’s malicious bullying and teasing – even from his mother.

 

Living alone deep in the south, he discovers a haven in which to shelter and feed through the winter as he develops new skills for life on, above, and in the island’s seas.cave_Lutapolii
Strengthened by the island’s environment, he returns home to find he has been declared officially dead.

 

“What absolute madness. He might be officially dead but he wasn’t stupid enough to become really dead. In the winner-takes-all stakes of the mating game, truly dead is what happened to the challengers that lost.”

With nothing to lose, Lutapolii goes about his plan despite being pursued and battled, eventually building a new Flight in the richly resourced southern part of the world. Not easy, given the cold, new creatures, and the ongoing drive of the old matriarch and his mother.

deryn-cropped

Author introduction:
I write futuristic and fantasy fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. This allows my imagination to run free, to create interesting characters caught in unusual circumstances and events. Sometimes I have the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with my imagination.

I also write Young Adult, short stories and flash fiction; articles on writing and I am published in these genre. I self-published a children’s rhyming book and once won a prize for a short screen script.
I’m a published poet and I endeavour to put my poetry skills into my fiction writing to enhance the word pictures I create.
I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand which lives up to its name. I belong to the Romance Writers of N.Z., Tauranga Writers, and Spec.Fic.NZ (speculative fiction NZ).

 Facebook                          Twitter

Published in ebook and print by Junction Publishing, Lutapolii is available at Amazon

 

Reviewing “Scaredy Book” by Devon SILLETT & Cara KING

cover_Exisle_Scaredy BookThis story’s premise is that, to make a change and find new experiences one must have courage. Even though it may seem scary, it is worth it in the end. It is amusingly related through the adventures of ‘Book’ who reaches out at last to take its first step to meet a reader, Emma. Emma’s life is full of adventures she has found in other books. But up to now, Book has seen other books return damaged by readers, which is why he is scared. However, when he does take that first step, he gets to have his own wonderful adventures as Emma takes him to different places.

SILLETT could have done the ordinary – she could have written about a timid child (‘Timid Tabatha’?), but by using a normally inanimate object she has created a comforting distance between a nervous reader and his fears. It is a delightfully unusual approach to writing to help children.

Words such as potential, gumption, or pizzazz may not be in the independent vocabulary of many child readers younger than eleven or so, so an adult reading to a child will have opportunities to explain these, and extend the child’s vocabulary.

KING’s illustrations give delightful character to each book in Library, and to the imagery of Book’s and Emma’s adventures.

spread_Exisle_Scaredy Book

Exisle saysScaredy Book contains the perfect message for kids afraid of leaving their comfort zone (and hand-wringing helicopter parents too!).

It is written by Devon Sillett, a former radio producer who is now doing her PhD in Australian Children’s literature. Devon is passionate about the capacity for books to inspire the imagination, and about libraries as jumping off places for exciting voyages into the unknown.

These themes are explored in her latest picture book, Scaredy Book, in which Book lives at the library and desperately wants to go outside, but is intimidated by all the things that might happen ‘out there’. A page might get torn. Book’s cover might get dirty. Book might never be returned to the library! Meanwhile, Emma loves visiting the library and delights in the many adventures to be had in the stories she finds there. When Emma meets Book, they find they are just what each other needs. Together, Book and Emma move out of their comfort zone to try new things, meet new people, and enjoy a few quiet adventures — climbing trees, laughing in the rain, and even cheering along at a soccer match. Along the way, they discover that ‘out there’ needn’t be scary if you just take it one step at a time.

Children and parents alike will enjoy this story about being brave, taking risks, and living to tell the tale!

The Author: Devon Sillett is a former radio producer, turned writer and reviewer. She has loved books as long as she can remember — so much so that she even married her husband Matthew in a library! Currently, she teaches in the writing department at the University of Canberra, where she is also a PhD student, researching Australian children’s picture books. Her first picture book, The Leaky Story, was published by EK in 2017.

The Illustrator: Cara King is a designer and illustrator, who runs her own design business, Caratoons.

“Scaredy Book” (published 2018) by King & Sillett is available from E K Books as a hard-cover and teacher notes are available. Recommended age group: 4 to 8 years.

EKBooks NZ
E K Books is an imprint of Exisle Publishing, NZExisle Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-925335-68-2
RRP (NZ) $24-99

Releasing Today – “Trust Me” by G P Gadbois

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO G.P. GADBOIS
AND “
TRUST ME”!

Trust Me
A Moment in Time Novel
by G.P. Gadbois
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Publisher: Roane Publishing
 

The attraction Suzanne feels towards Bill is intense when their paths cross again. Because he is seeing someone else, she keeps her feelings bottled up and leaves. To heal from the heartache, she turns to family, her girlfriends, and her horse.

Bill knows he’ll never settle for another, but trusting Suzanne has its risks. He listens to his heart, breaks up with his current girlfriend, and takes a trip to Canada to woo Suzanne.

Bill must return home. Unable to deal with the separation and a long distance relationship, Suzanne makes a life changing decision and moves to Bill’s home town.

Will the nasty graffiti, the threatening notes, the interference of Bill’s ex-girlfriend, and the tragic break-in impact Suzanne’s decision and send her back home for good?

 
Excerpt:


The sky grew dark, the wind picked up, and it started to drizzle. Bill hurried, bought a burger, fries, a drink and returned to his bench at the top of the bleachers. On fairgrounds the further away he was from the horses, the better, he felt. He pulled his jean jacket on, put on a baseball cap, and kept his head down. He munched on the greasy food, and watched the Flag Races.

Suzanne’s turn came up once again. Her skill, speed and accuracy to pick up and drop off the flag into the barrel in 9.352 seconds got her the fourth place. Bill found her results amazing since this class had a larger number of participants, both male and female.

It poured rain during the Keyhole race. The spectators thinned, only the die-hard stayed to watch. Bill kept his eyes on the gorgeous cowgirl waiting near the gate. He kept his head down as Suzanne scanned the bleachers often. I’m a sitting duck here. To his relief, her name was called. She patted her horse’s neck and readied herself. She raced between the four barrels. Cinderella turned sharply, slipped and bumped into a barrel that wobbled but didn’t tip over. Bill stood holding his breath until he realized Suzanne was safe and the race was over.

Only a couple races left before I surprise her. Bill wiped his sweaty hands on his damp jeans. To calm his nerves and stretch, he left his seat. I should have brought flowers. The muddy path leading to the carnival area didn’t have one single wild flower, not even a dandelion. I’ll get her a teddy bear instead.

“Everyone wins.” The girl at the dart booth shouted, waving her arm. “Come here, give it a try. You can’t miss.” She convinced him.

He handed her five dollars and she gave him three dull darts. He burst two out of three balloons and walked away with a plastic mini-dinosaur. If this doesn’t win Sue over, nothing will. He shoved his prize into his coat pocket and returned to the bleachers.

The rain stopped, but the sky remained grey. In the arena, the Pole Bending races were taking place. Bill decided this race was his favorite. Cinderella and Suzanne raced to the far end of the poles, maneuvered around each pole with skill and grace once, then again in the opposite direction and raced back to the finish line at a high speed. Suzanne hugged Cinderella when she stood in the ring with her second-place ribbon.

The Dash Race was the last game of the day. Speed being the main objective, Bill thought it breath-taking. Cowboy hats flew off as riders and horses sped from one end of the ring to the other. All-in-all he found this race demonstrated the strength and speed of the horses more than the skill of the riders. Suzanne and Cinderella were good, Serge and Alexander the Magnificent were better in this race, finishing three seconds sooner.

Games are over, it’s show time. Bill followed Mr. Martin’s instructions and found Suzanne in between trailers, brushing Cinderella. Although the horses appeared to be tied safely to the trailer, Bill froze; too many horses in the small, confined area. You came this far, don’t let this stop you. Bill’s pep talk was interrupted.

“Sue, are you hungry?” A voice boomed from behind him.

“Only if you’re buying.” Suzanne replied without looking up.

“Come on, you won more than I did.” The man squeezed past Bill and stopped beside Suzanne.

Bill envied and hated the guy all at once. He’d moseyed in and stolen his moment.

“Brian, stop whining…” Suzanne said as she stood and turned to face the intruder. She closed, and then opened her eyes. “Bill!”

Brian followed Suzanne’s gaze and his eyes narrowed as he examined Bill.

“Is it really you?” Suzanne moved around Brian. “How long have you been here?”

“All day. Please come closer?” Bill ignored the intruder, and sprung his declaration for all to hear. “I’d like to take you up on that second chance offer.”

Her eyebrows rose for a split second before she smiled, and ran into his open arms.

“God I’ve missed you, Sue.” He lifted her off the ground.

“Sue, will this reunion be long?” Brian barked.

“I hope so,” Suzanne replied without looking at the guy.

Bill set Suzanne down and pulled her against him. She was finally where he wanted her.

“Fine, I’ll see you around.” The intruder took his leave.

Suzanne ran her hands up and down Bill’s back. “I’m so glad to see you, but I can’t believe you’re here.”

He’d waited so long for this moment, and didn’t want to waste it with explanations. There would be plenty of time later. He tilted her chin up and kissed her. She tensed, but didn’t fight it. A hint of peppermint lingered on her soft responsive lips and the combination excited his senses. Horses neighed and Bill’s head shot up. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath when he saw no one around. His promise to Mr. Martin would be hard to keep.

“Bill, are you okay?”

He nodded. “Let’s go grab a bite to eat. I’ll buy.”

~~~oOo~~~

About the Author:

G.P. is a Canadian wife and mother of three who works in school bus transportation. In her last year of high school, she enjoyed writing a weekly column published in the French newspaper in her home town. Writing took a back seat for years and now her children are grown, it’s become her favorite hobby.

Entertaining others is like breathing – it is part of who she is.

LINKS:

 

 

Choosing your Editor

The following are questions for you, the author, to ask the freelance editor you are considering approaching. Originally by Jenny, for the website Writers Edit

Pexels-photo-220312 onPixabay
Picture by Pexel, on Pixabay.com

What should I ask a prospective editor?

  1. If they have any qualifications or memberships.
    You might prefer someone with the theoretical grounding of a degree or certificate, or someone who upholds the standards of an editing society.
  2. If they have experience or a portfolio.
    Do you want the seasoned veteran who’s been in the game for twenty plus years, or the enthusiastic novice who’s just starting out?
  3. How and what they charge.
    {For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2IyGJ3n}
  4. What systems they use to edit.
    Are they on a Mac or a PC? Do they prefer MS Word, Adobe Acrobat or InDesign (or hard copy)? Be sure that your systems are compatible.
  5. If they respond quickly to enquiries.
    As we said, editing is all about communication, so make sure they’ll give you the time of day rather than ignore your email for a week.
  6. If they seem honest and respectful.
    You want your editor to be upfront, but not insensitive. There’s a difference between telling someone that their writing needs improvement and telling them it’s garbage.
  7. If they genuinely appreciate the story you have to tell.
    Editors who believe in your writing will be more committed to its success, and will thus be more likely to go the extra mile on your behalf.
  8. If they respect the boundaries between author and editor.
    At the end of the day, it’s your work: will they give you the final word, or will they try to steamroll you, based on what they think is right?
  9. If they know what they’re talking about!
    Do they know what a style guide is? Can they justify their editorial decisions? Or are you the one having to explain the difference between en- and em-dashes?

Eye on the Ball, by Francine BEATON

What would prove stronger? Love or Loyalty?Rugby player in a blue uniform on a stadium.

Top professional rugby player Jakes du Plessis desperately wants to keep his team’s vow of celibacy in order to win the new International Rugby Club Competition, but he didn’t count on meeting ethereal artist Angie Summers.  Even a promise to his friends and teammates, demons from his past, and a distance of more than 9000 miles, could not stop Jakes from falling in love with Ange.  In the end, it took teamwork, perseverance and a whole lot of grovelling from Jakes’ side for them to overcome these obstacles, and find their Happily Ever After.

#1 of Series – Playing for Glory
by Francine Beaton

A Contemporary Romance Novel, Published by Roane Publishing,
Released 19th March, 2018


Purchase Links
Amazon – Print & eBook      SmashWords       Kobo
Barnes & Noble – Nook      !ndigo
Roane Publishing Author Page


About the author:

portrait_Francine BEATONBorn and brought up in Pretoria, South Africa, Francine had no choice but to fall in love with rugby at a young age. With three older, rugby-playing brothers and a father who was a fanatic supporter of the local team and the Springboks, Francine adopted the motto, If you can’t beat them, join them. After trying to play one game, Francine gave up the idea to play rugby. She opted to watch the boys from the side.

At the tender age of ten, she discovered the romance section in the local library and that was it. She was a fan. By fourteen, she had read all the ones in the Afrikaans section and switched to the English section. There was a time when Francine briefly abandoned her favourite genre to lose herself in crime novels, but as they say: you never forget your first love.

Rugby, romance and writing is not all that keep Francine busy. If she does not spent time with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter either at home or travelling, Francine loves to read, or dabbles in photography and painting.

She is a member of the Romance Writers Association of South Africa (ROSA).

FRANCINE CAN BE FOUND AT HER WEBSITE, AND ON FACEBOOK