Spotlight on author Laekan Zea Kemp

bio1I’m pleased to be promoting my fellow author Laekan Zea Kemp on my blog today. She has just released her new novel The Girl In Between, which will become perma-free on October 31st. See the links below for where you can download copies for free! And I am appearing on Laekan’s blog later on today too. She’s interviewing me about my writing process and my experience of self-publishing. Click here in a while to check it out.

Synopsis: Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23124500-the-girl-in-between
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NQL0LRC/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1GT1AKPRWGQ1B9VMPF3A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846
Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-in-between-laekan-zea-kemp/1120421881?ean=2940150744608

TheGirlInBetween1600x2400Author Bio:

Laekan is a writer and explorer extraordinaire who grew up in the flatlands of West Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BA in Creative Writing and is the author of the multi-cultural New Adult novels The Things They Didn’t Bury, Orphans of Paradise, Breathing Ghosts, and the Young Adult novel The Girl In Between, which is the first in an upcoming paranormal romance series.

Blog: http://laekanzeakemp.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaekanZeaKemp

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6577467.Laekan_Zea_Kemp

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/laekanzeakemp

Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions or share some flash fiction and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

If you’ve joined me from J. J. Devine’s blog, welcome! For this week’s blog hop, we’re doing a spooky special. Jo Richardson asked us to write a spooky story of no more than 300 words. So without further ado here is my contribution. Enjoy!

She shivered and pulled her coat more tightly around her. Where were they? They’d told her they’d be here in ten minutes. But from what she could see of her watch in the moonlight coming through the threadbare curtains, half an hour had passed. The house around her was so dark. This just wasn’t fun anymore.

Damn you, Brooke and Dale, where are you, she thought. It was all very well arranging to go ghost watching in the creepiest house in the neighbourhood, but why the hell had they left her to wait on her own?

There was a sudden bang; it sounded like a door slamming. Kelly heard a shriek and was petrified until she realised it was her own. That’s it, I’m getting out of here, she decided. She strode towards the door which led to the hall. It was open, but as she reached it, it slammed in her face. Kelly screamed, feeling a cold breath on her neck. When she spun around, no one was there.

Frantically she grabbed the door handle, shaking and pulling it violently. But it was no good. It wasn’t budging. She looked around her for another way out. Seeing the windows, she dashed towards them, but before she could reach them shutters, which she hadn’t even noticed before, banged shut across them.

She was now enveloped in complete darkness. When she tried to scream again, no sound came out of her mouth. Coldness came over her, like the coldness of the dead. As despair washed over her she heard a voice speaking in a loud whisper.

‘We have her now. She is ours.’

I hope you liked that! Why not head on over now to Kim Handyside’s blog and read her spooky tale?

A lift home – part 2

Hello everyone! Welcome to the always wonderful WIPpet Wednesday. I hope this week finds you happy and well. How’s your writing going? Mine’s going pretty well, and I’ve written a lot lately. The only problem is that the plot of Teaching Mr Leavis is still unravelling. What I mean is I need to catch up with it and reel it in a bit. This novel is going to need SO much editing!

So anyway as the title of this post suggests I’m sharing with you some more from the scene I shared last week. And don’t worry – Rebecca isn’t getting in the car with a drunk – I’ve amended it to Jonathan Leavis assuring her that he’s only drunk a glass of NON ALCOHOLIC wine! If you don’t think that works, let me know in the comments below.

OK so how much to share? I think I’ll share 14 paragraphs following immediately on from last week’s. My maths goes like this (I’m manipulating things a bit): 2+2+10=14 Simple! In this scene Rebecca has accepted Jonathan Leavis’s offer of a lift home, now she knows he hasn’t been drinking. But she’s awkward and during the drive to her house Jonathan isn’t exactly doing his best to put her at ease…

‘If you want to follow me, my car’s this way,’ he informed her.

Rebecca followed Jonathan as he led her down the dimly-lit street towards a car park behind the club that she hadn’t known existed. Suddenly aware again how short her dress was, she had to fight the urge to pull it down in case he noticed.

She kept her distance making sure she stayed a few feet behind him as they walked, her face warm with the awkwardness of the situation. You could have just got a taxi, she reproached herself. But that would have meant waiting longer in the cold, with only her flimsy black dress and jacket to protect her against the elements.

‘It’s here,’ Jonathan announced abruptly. He waved the key at the car and it unlocked automatically. I bet he loves doing that, Rebecca thought. Probably takes loads of girls home in his car. If he hasn’t already scared them off beforehand.

Then she remembered what Nick had said about his wife dying. Maybe there were no women in his life. She shivered involuntarily and quickly walked over to the car. Jonathan had opened the door for her. So he can play the gentleman then, she thought raising an eyebrow.

‘Thank you,’ she said in a low voice, climbing into the car and willing her dress not to ride up.

In no time at all Jonathan had started the engine and they were off. Rebecca barely had time to put her seat belt on. Does he drive like this all the time, she wondered, then remembered her first encounter with him and decided he must do.

‘Where do you live?’ he asked her, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.

‘Coopers Close in Yarrick,’ she told him. The city of Stokington had many areas such as Yarrick, which had been a village once and had got swallowed up into greater Stokington.

He nodded, but said no more. Rebecca exhaled silently and gazed unseeing out of the window. Jonathan’s fight with Nick swam into her inner vision and she wondered again why they’d been fighting. She turned to Jonathan.

‘Are you going to tell me what that was all about?’ she asked, her voice blunt.

‘What was what about?’ came the terse reply.

‘Oh don’t give me that, Mr Leavis. Your argument with Nick.’

‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ he replied, glancing at her for a second with a furrowed brow before returning his attention to the road.

Hope you enjoyed that. :) Wanna take part in WIPpet Wednesday? It’s easy! Just post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise at the moment, then add your name to this linky. It should – in theory at least – relate in some way to the date. Don’t forget to check out what the other WIPpeteers have shared this week.

My thanks as always goes to the fantabulous K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :D

 

 

A lift home

Hi all. Hope your week’s gone OK so far. I’ve been doing all right. I’ve made some progress with Teaching Mr Leavis  and I’m beginning to have at least a vague sense of where I want the story to go and how it’s going to get there. Thank  you all for your advice re first drafts – it was very helpful to have my instinct to stick with the first draft until I’ve finished it confirmed.

So for today I thought I’d share with you 10 paragraphs for the month from Teaching Mr Leavis. This scene takes place about a page on from where last week’s excerpt finished which you can read here. To see the excerpt before that go here.

In this scene Rebecca has left the club and is making her way home when she hears someone call her name. When she realises who it is her heart sinks…

‘Mr Leavis,’ Rebecca replied, her voice coming out as a groan. She didn’t care if he noticed. He walked up to her until he was standing only a few feet away. The dull orange glow from the streetlamps didn’t give her much light to see by, but nonetheless Rebecca got another good look at Jonathan Leavis.

She had to admit to herself – albeit grudgingly – that he wasn’t a bad-looking man. He was tall and had a good figure. His hair was almost black and, although short, wavy. His striking eyes were the same colour. She surmised that he was in his early forties, though he was one of those people whose age was indeterminate.

He cut a powerful figure, although he seemed a little worse for wear tonight. Maybe it was just the poor light. But he looked almost a little haggard to Rebecca, and she wondered how often he went to his club, how much he’d had to drink.  

A half-smile was on his lips; his expression was friendly enough, but Rebecca really wasn’t in the mood to have a verbal sparring match. Feeling a wave of fatigue hit her again, she cleared her throat and tried not to sound hostile as she spoke.

‘Mr Leavis, what do you want? It’s late, I’m tired and I need to go home.’

‘Would you like me to take you home?’ Jonathan asked her, giving her direct look that made her feel as though he could glimpse her soul.

Rebecca said nothing, just gawped at him. Had she heard him right? Was that really the parent from hell, Jonathan Leavis, asking her if she wanted a lift home? He has been drinking, she reminded herself, shaking her head to try and clear it of confusion.

‘I’ll take that as a no then,’ he said, pursing his lips and beginning to turn away.

Rebecca thought quickly, weighing up the pros and cons. If she went home with Jonathan she’d have to put up with his questions and general talk. Also he would see where she lived, another downside. But if she chose to get a taxi home, she’d have to wait a while for one to turn up – they weren’t all that frequent in this part of town – and it would be expensive.

‘Wait, Jonathan,’ she said, wincing as she realised she’d used his Christian name without meaning to. He turned back; she saw a half-smile creasing his lips and silently berated herself for slipping up. But she swallowed any biting comment she would have liked to make. ‘Yes, I would like a lift home, thank you.’

WIPpet Wednesday is open to everyone who would like to share some of their writing on their blog. If you want to join in, just post some of your recent writing on your blog. Ideally it should relate in some way to the date. Then add your name to this.

K. L. Schwengel is our lovely hostess. :D

Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

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This is my first week of taking part in Romance Writer’s Weekly! It’s a weekly blog hop for us romance writers to answer questions about our writing and generally help each other improve as romance writers. So take a look.

If you’ve joined me from Brenda Margriet’s blog, welcome.

This week we’re answering questions set by Vicki Mixon. Enjoy!

1.) Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?

I don’t think there was ever a defining moment in my life when the mist parted and I knew I was going to be a writer. It was more a gradual process, a slow realisation that writing is what I enjoy and do best.

2.) When you write a story do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?

A bit of both if that makes sense. To begin with I think about the overall story, how I want it to unfold, and I plan for that. Then as I make a more detailed plan the story becomes clearer to me. But I do change and add things later, following the advice from my beta readers, but also thinking myself about what I feel is working and what isn’t.

3.) How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?

I write the first draft then go through it with a fine toothcomb to improve on it, creating a second draft. I often change scenes or add bits. I also check for spelling mistakes, typos and so on. That is the version that will go on to be edited.

Now why not go and check out Veronica Forand’s blog and see what she has to say about her writing process.

A review of ‘The Queen’s Jester’ by Mishka Jenkins

The Queen's Jester

I thought it was high time I shared another review of a book I’ve read recently here on my blog. The Queen’s Jester is the first book I’ve read by fellow indie author friend Mishka Jenkins. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. Here’s my review to have a read of:

When Queen Marie receives a beautiful gift of an emerald amulet at her wedding celebrations, she’s immediately captivated by it. Feeling neglected by her new husband, Warrick, Marie is entranced by the new jester when he arrives. He gives her the affection she craves, but as the story progresses Marie begins to realise that all is not as it seems.

I found this a hugely enjoyable story. The character of Marie was sympathetic and engaging, and the story pulled me as the reader along, with its ups and downs. The story had plenty of twists and turns and I thought the author did well to keep me guessing as to what would happen next. The descriptive passages were vivid and the imagery beautiful. I could easily picture myself with Marie in her winter gardens.

I liked the world that the author created, with the descriptions of the gorgeous gowns Marie wears and the festivities at the palace. The sense of isolation that Marie feels at times was well depicted too and I empathised with her in her predicament.

The one thing that for me didn’t work quite as well was the character of Warrick. I thought that he had a lovely personality, but I was unsure why exactly he wasn’t being demonstrative with Marie. At times I wondered if perhaps he wasn’t attracted to women and so this confused me as the story went on.

But overall this was a book that kept me reading on, wanting to find out what would happen to Marie and if she would find lasting happiness. I would definitely recommend it as a fun, gripping read.

The Queen’s Jester is available now on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

How the release of ‘Reunion of the Heart’ went

Hi all.  Just a quick line to update you on how my release of Reunion of the Heart went on Friday.

Well the answer is not bad.  I was tearing my hair out a bit (OK not literally!!) because of formatting issues with it and having to do a load of updates to it, but now I seem to be over that.  I say I – technically it’s my husband who’s in charge of the technical side of my self-publishing adventure. (No pun intended!)  The frustrating thing is that when we published The Inheritance there were no problems whatsoever.  That’s always the way I guess.

I don’t how those of you authors who are responsible for every last part of the self-publishing process do it!  I mean if I tried to do it I think I’d still be staring at the computer screen a year from now trying to work it out lol!  So I’m VERY grateful to my husband for doing that for me.

Anyway to go back to what I was saying, it was great to have such wonderful support from my fellow authors, family and friends.  The sales, while not exactly setting the world alight, are going well.  I’m hopeful that as I continue to promote my work and write more I’ll improve and become more established as an author.  And hopefully make my mark, if only in a small way.

It is so difficult to make a splash in the BIG pond that is the world of published and self-published books.  And yet the exciting thing is that while there may be lots of books out there that you or I are up against, there’s a whole load of people out there waiting to read them.  As indie authors we just have to find a way of reaching them, which I guess is the tricky part.  I think it’s also good that, what with the advent of self-publishing via Amazon etc., there’s so much more choice out there for readers.  Readers don’t have to be confined to only read the books that the Big Six have selected for them. (Cynical, moi?!)

So thank you all for supporting me and each other on this self-publishing journey we’re on. :)

BTW you can get Reunion of the Heart on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.  The Inheritance is available on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.