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Friday, June 5, 2020

Happy Thoughts! by Harlie Williams



Nothing to see here.  No politics, no Covid, no media, no nothing but things that make me happy.

Clifford

Yes, I dressed as Clifford for our school's bookfair.  Had a blast!

Cherry Adair.  She's a riot!




Our sweet Koko!  He loves his daddy!

My hubby

The teenager before the baseball season was canceled.



Be safe, be good to others, and take care of you!  Next month we are on the beach in Galveston. 



Another Summer Beach Read


Last month, I featured my newest summer read in the Key West Heat series, “Cuban Fire.” Today I’m going retro by revisiting the first story in that series, “The Last Sunset” (2017, eXtasy Books).

“Tess Carter went to Key West after being abandoned at the altar, intending to let herself be washed out to sea. Her attempt at ending it all is thwarted by a rugged beachcomber she encounters who has a unique outlook on life. Is he on the level or hiding something sinister? Will Tess decide to give life and love another chance?”

When I began this series of shorts, the only constant I had in mind was that they would all take place in or around Key West. Each story is self-contained, and so far, there are no recurring characters. That makes them challenging to write, since I have to develop new personalities with each installment. Here’s an excerpt from my maiden effort: 



Tess Carter stood alone at the rushing water’s edge on Broken Bottle Beach in Key West, watching the sun make its final descent over the horizon. A light evening breeze ruffled her long auburn hair as she looked from side to side, satisfied that she had the beach to herself. She fingered the engagement ring dangling on a gold chain around her neck, gave it one last lingering look, then shifted her eyes to the sunset. The sky had changed from bright blue to a mix of yellow and orange. We always liked looking at these together. Now you’ll be watching them with someone else, but this will be my last sunset. She kicked off her sandals and unwrapped her sarong, pulling it from her lithe frame. She folded it neatly, then set it on her sandals, followed by her small handbag resting on top.

She faced the ocean naked for a minute, finally wading into the white foamy surf. She stopped and stared ahead at the sea that stretched to infinity. The water pulled back to gain strength for another run at the shore. She took a deep breath, then slowly exhaled. I decided this was the best way, so let’s just do it. She waded tentatively into the surging surf but stopped when it was up to her knees. She let the warm water splash against her skin and choked back a sob. Before she could proceed, she was startled by a gruff male voice that called out from behind her.

“If you really want to kill yourself, I can show you a half-dozen great ways that are a helluva lot more fun.” 

She spun around and gasped when she saw a lone figure thirty feet away, sitting against the trunk of a palm tree with one leg drawn up toward his hips, the other stretched in front of him, his hands resting in his lap. She ran to the shore and gathered up her sarong, holding it protectively in front of her.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

The man tilted up the brim of his Panama Jack hat and looked at her. “Last I heard, it was still a public beach.”

Tess quickly put on the sarong and tied it tightly around her waist. She picked up her sandals and handbag, then began to make a fast, barefoot retreat along the white sands. She looked at the stranger, but he didn’t move. She stopped to stare at him for a few moments, then took cautious steps in his direction. When she was within ten feet, she stopped to examine him more closely. He was probably in his late thirties or early forties, but in the dimming light, it was hard to tell. He wore a sleeveless t-shirt that had once been white with a faded sunset adorning the front, along with a pair of black cargo shorts and no shoes. His lean, tanned face sported at least a day’s growth of beard. She found herself involuntarily intrigued and slowly took a few more steps. He looked at her through slate gray eyes and offered a small smile.

“Do you... uh... live here on the beach?” she asked.

He laughed. “Not everyone in Key West sleeps in a hammock beneath the palms. I come here to enjoy the sunsets and the solitude.”

“Are you a native?”

He shook his head while looking at her. “I’m what you’d call an expatriate northerner who got tired of freezing my ass off every winter.”

She looked at him for a moment while deciding if she should stay or run like hell in the opposite direction. The man didn’t make a move, so she decided to stay. “What’s your name?”

He shrugged. “Mack, Jack, Larry, Moe, Curly—pick one.”

She grinned. “Since you’re wearing a Panama Jack, why don’t I call you Panama?”

“Better than some of the things I’ve been called. What would you like me to call you?”

“Tess.”

“Very pretty. I always liked that name.” He gestured at a nearby stump. “Sit down. I won’t bite.”

 Tess hesitated, then sat. She kept her knees tightly together and her hands folded in her lap, ready to make a hasty exit. She glanced down. “How did you know...”

“That you wanted to end it all? A couple of things. For one, you kept hesitating when you hit the water. If you were planning a sunset skinny-dip, you would’ve dived in. The other was that monument you built to yourself, leaving your bag on top so someone would find it and know you were here.”

She raised her gaze. “What makes you such an expert?”

He hesitated while staring into her blue eyes. “Because I contemplated the same thing myself once.”

“Who stopped you?”

“Me, myself and I. I decided she just wasn’t worth it.”



This is a lighthearted read, similar in tone to a Lifetime rom-com. It also has a nice surprise at the end. You can find “The Last Sunset” at the link below, or anywhere excellent e-books are sold. Happy reading!


Amazon Kindle


Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

It's time for summer beach reads and I have one just for you! fREE!

TAKE ME TO BED

FREE   FREE  FREE  FREE  FREE  FREE 


A great title right?

During this crazy time in our lives when everything is so unpredictable and emotionally trying for us all, we’re honored to be able to offer a bit of comfort with a limited-time-collection of SIX naughty FREE books by award winning authors,

Spend the night with not one, but six leading men from

BESTSELLING & AWARD WINNING AUTHORS

Michelle Windsor | Lydia Michaels | Melanie Moreland

Desiree Holt | Ainsley Booth | Sienna Snow

The Winning Bid by Michelle Windsor

Billionaire Drew is rich, handsome, and dominant, runs an international chain of resorts and has little time to pursue pleasure so he buys it at an auction held at a secret club. The last thing he expected was to fall in love with a sub for hire.

Almost Priest by Lydia Michaels

Colin is making his Holy Orders at the end of summer. But when his brother brings home a woman, he’s suddenly rethinking his devotion to the church and his loyalty to his family. Big drama in a small town leads to one scandalous, taboo summer…

The Boss by Melanie Moreland

Terrified and on the run, I was lost. He found me. I witnessed his crime and he gave me a choice. Marriage or death. I never expected to love him. But the choices were never really mine.

Personal Delivery by Ainsley Booth

Jana’s got a crush on the new SwiftEx delivery guy, Jake. What they don’t know--what nobody knows--is that Jake Aston is not a regular delivery driver. When the billionaire goes undercover on the front lines to better understand his new company, the last thing expects is to fall for the cute illustrator on his new route.

Runaway Billionaire by Desiree Holt

When Kyle is sent to scope out a tiny B&B on the beach, he’s hardly prepared for Pepper, who launches herself at him with a hot kiss and introduces him as her intended. Maybe she can save him from his matchmaking parents before reality rears its ugly head and nearly destroys it all.

Sweetest Sin by Sienna Snow

She's the woman of my dreams. The one I never should have touched. The one who owns my soul. There is nothing I wouldn't do to keep her. Even play a game, where the winner takes all.

Grab it here!




Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Writing a Hard-boiled 40s and 60s Noir or Bust!




Hope this blog finds everyone well and happy this morning. It's been a go these last few weeks, keeping body and soul functioning soundly. I hope you're all managing okay.



To keep myself too busy to worry about the state of things, I got busy thinking about writing in a genre that has always interested me:



Hard-boiled Thriller Noir!


So, in efforts NOT to write a book no editor will consent to read, I decided to take some sound advice from a trusted friend, and QUERY first.



This is the Blurb I sent and got the coveted Green Light on less than two hours later!!! (First time ever and I'm so grateful! Just have to worry now about pulling it off!!! YIKES!)

CITY OF LIES by January Bain


It’s 1946 and World War II has ended with young starlets flocking to LA, along with Nazi collaborators effectively escaping prosecution under the guise of helping with the cold war. But stardom in Tinseltown takes far more than just a beautiful face, enthusiasm, and talent demonstrated in high school plays, it takes an incredible amount of luck that is in short supply on the backlots of Hollywood.



When one young woman with stars in her eyes is singled out by a madman, her child is stolen in the most brutal of ways and left on church steps in efforts to cover up the crime, the charade that is Hollywood is exposed as dark and twisted before it is quickly covered up by political favors.



Fast forward to 1967 and Claire Willoughby, after enduring a near death experience, is plagued with memories of a previous life. She goes on a journey in efforts to discover who she really is, and with the help of a hard-boiled private investigator who becomes her mentor, finds her past is far more complicated and terrifying than she could have possibly imagined.



The knowledge she gains awakens a fire for justice that burns to her core, but will Claire even survive, having brought herself front and center into the sights of a serial killer that has escaped prosecution for two decades?

Until July 3rd, I wish you adieu!


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

When it's okay NOT to write


Hey everyone.

First, I'll apologize in this post for not being as articulate as I would like, but I'm doing my best. 

Let me be clear. This isn’t a post about hanging up your career because of sales, bad reviews, or anything negative. This is about telling yourself when you might have to stop writing because of mental health.

When I started writing almost ten years ago, I believed I had to write all the time. I felt guilty for not writing, even giving up time to watch TV or movies, sometimes ignoring family time to write. 

I was so inspired. 

Plot bunnies nagged me all night and I wrote 500K in words and then some for years. But these days, times are different. I’m on track to write 200K this year already, but current events have prevented me from focusing.

As a black female author, this week has been especially challenging. I’m a wife to a Latino man, a mother of a 21 year old black man and a biracial young lady. So of course, my little family is a melting pot. Naturally, I’m worried for not only my husband’s safety as an essential worker, but my son as a young person of color in America. Try explaining to your 12 year old, that she will be biased against, and might see things unpleasant things. Although she has lighter skin, she might get picked on or even bullied because she’s multiracial.

When things like this go on, you must put things like writing and anything else aside to make sure they’re okay. My son doesn’t live with me, but we talked earlier today. Like any typical young person his age, he’s skeptical about everything. He understands the dangers, but like all of us, he’s angry. I told him, yes, we all are, but I’m glad you’re in the suburbs and not in the city. Not completely safe, but compared to being here in Chicago, I much rather have him out there with my mother.

Anyway, back on this topic. With all the anxieties of being a wife, a parent, being black and female, it’s difficult to focus. I’ve found many days where I didn’t have it in me to write, and unlike before, I’m perfectly okay with that. Although writing is good for the soul and frees your mind, publishing is the part that bugs me. Being self-published there are a lot of pressures and responsibilities. Surely, my pride won’t allow me to just push stuff out, so I much rather take off a day or two to read. Maybe if I write, I do fanfiction instead. I spend more time with family or feed my latest obsession for BTS. *laughs*

Either way, all of it is beneficial and can go a long way, especially now in these difficult times. Some days you just don’t have it all, and that’s okay. Your mental health is important, so please don’t feel guilty about stepping back. Writing is wonderful, but if you’re not feeling it, it’s fine to say no. It’s not supposed to be chore, but instead something that frees your mind. The moment it becomes a thing you dread, then it’s a problem.

So, in closing, please don’t feel guilty about taking days off writing. Practice plenty of self-care and leave time for friends and family. Besides, stressing out over your book or characters doesn’t end well. Give yourself the chance to let those creative juices grow.

Stay safe and take care everyone!

* * * *

Instead of promoting my books coming up, I'm just going to share my link tree. Please find out more information about me there! 
linktr.ee/authorsharitalira

Monday, June 1, 2020

Deadlines and me Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Writing @Deadlines


Deadlines

Bast's Warrior (An Alternate Egypt Book 1)

This is a book finished ahead of the deadline by two months, A rare happening,

Tira flees a threat to her life and encounters two elderly women who offer her the chance to be sent to an alternate ancient Egypt with no thought of return. She has had a fascination with Egypt and can even read hieroglyphics. Once there she will be given a task. Failure could mean death. Dare she take the chance and can she find the lost symbols of the rule before an enemy finds them?

Kashe, son of the nomarch of Mero is in rebellion. His father desires him to join the priesthood of Aken Re, a foreign god. He feels he belongs to Horu, god of warriors and justice. He decides to leave home, meets Tira and joins her in the search for the symbols of the rule. Will his aid bring good fortune and will their growing love keep them from making a fatal mistake?

Writers usually have deadlines. Some are self imposed and some are placed there by publishers. The one I nearly missed was set by myself. Having finished a book in November for a January release meant I had months to make the June deadline I told my publisher I could make with no problem. That’s when the fun began. With Christmas on the horizon, I put writing aside and did all those holiday things so I diddled. In January, I was ready to get moving and a family death held me back. But there were months. Then along came COVID that virus thing that shut me inside. Plenty of time, I thought but I became obsessed with worries about myself and my family and friends.

Along came May first and I will say I had the rough draft done and a second draft down. But there also came a note from my publisher. “How is Tangled Dreams coming. Will you be finished by June? I have never missed a deadline set by myself or others. Would it happen this time? I buckled down and got serious. Not having my critique group to keep me on target didn’t help. But I was able to finish and send the manuscript to the publisher and editor on May 26th. Hopefully the editor will find little wrong and the book will be available some time in June.

How about you? Have you come close to missing a deadline? Have you missed a deadline? I’d be glad to hear your stories.



My Places

Buy Mark
http://bookswelove.net/walters-janet-lane/

Sunday, May 31, 2020

HUGE Giveaway - Win $365 in GCs Plus Ebooks From Bestselling Authors to Celebrate My New Release #Giveaway #$365inGCs #FreeEbooks #NewRelease #TinaDonahueBooks

Hard Lust, my erotic PNR reverse harem will release June 15.

To celebrate, I'm hosting a mega giveaway with all your fave authors.





Blurb:

Three sexy demons—what’s a girl to do?

Don’t ever trust a demon. Unfortunately, Megan has learned that lesson too late. The deal she made to save her sister's life has landed her in Hell temporarily and about seventy years early. And now she has three sexy demons trying to tell her what to do.

Nope. Not going to happen.

These guys have never had to deal with such defiance. Andros figures she’s due for some erotic discipline, which he’ll happily provide. Racan’s pure alpha, his hardcore plans include bondage and submission. Quiet yet intense, Vespar expects endless kink to spice up their carnal play.

Who would have ever expected she’d end up falling for them? Too bad demons can’t be trusted…because someone is trying to kill the magic and threatening her stay in this lusty world.