Blogiversary Guest Post: James from This Is My Truth Now @jamescudney4

Today I celebrate three years as a book blogger. It has been a wonderful three years and I love this community and I wanted to celebrate the community this week by asking five of my fellow bloggers to write guest posts to help me celebrate. I purposely asked these bloggers to write posts that reflected them and their blogs so that each post was unique and stood out on it’s own merit, and I think they have each done a fabulous job.

 

 

At the end of the post you will find a giveaway, this is my thank you to everybody who has been by my side through the past three years, whether you were there from the beginning or are a newer reader I appreciate your support.

 

 

I asked James aka Jay to write a post for today because he is not just a blogging friend, since we connected he has become my writing partner and true friend who next month I will be meeting up with when he travels to the UK for a few days. His advice and encouragement has helped keep me focused and is probably the reason I’ve finished writing two books, even if I haven’t quite reached the point of publishing either of them yet! And the odd day we have where we don’t talk feels empty. I felt choked up when I read this post for the first time, I wasn’t expecting this and will definitely making sure to buy him a big slice of cake next month!

365 Bonus Post: Unexpectedly

Although the 365 Daily Challenge ended just about one month ago, it’s been unexpectedly resurrected for a day to celebrate a good friend’s blog’s third birthday… and for that reason today’s word is unexpectedly – meaning ‘in a way that was not likely or planned.’

It all began (from as far as I can tell) on April 22nd, 2017. No, my math isn’t wrong as that’s clearly less than three years. I didn’t mean when Claire’s blog began – instead, I refer to when our friendship unexpectedly began. Her blog appeared about two years beforehand, but I didn’t know her then. And from what she tells me, I kinda wonder what it might have been like to know her all those years ago! When she mentioned her blog anniversary was coming up, I had to check the date to see when we first started chatting as I knew it was at least 8 or 9 months ago, but I never realized it is coming up on 1 year in a few days. Yikes, did we age a whole year too, or was it just a day or two during that time?

I ask that question only because both Claire seems to age much less quickly than the rest of us. I thought about roasting her in this post, but then I realized it’s about her blog, not about her. Gosh, who wants to gush all about her – -it isn’t her birthday. So I’ll leave one compliment about her, then move on: she’s a beacon of strength when it comes to taking care of herself and helping others, and we should all be honored to have unexpectedly become her friend.

When I first started chatting with bloggers, there were a handful, Claire at the top of that list, who had these brilliant sites and voices in the words and style. I admit, I was jealous. I thought… how do they find the time, energy and creativity? After a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t something to be afraid of, rather something to embrace. And so I did… Claire and I began chatting a few times per week via WordPress comments on different posts. Then we chatted about books and writing reviews. We read in opposite genres – how funny is it that we can still connect? She loves romance and fantasy, but those are the two in which I hardly know anything. Of course, she tried to convert me by sending me a bunch of romance ideas, including her own in-progress novels. Guess what I learned?

Girl can write! And she even made me a fan when it comes to pushing my genre boundaries. Between the great relationships she develops and the emotional connections she builds in her work, it’s no wonder I feel the same kindred spirt with Claire when we chat. Which by the way… is every day on Facebook Messenger. Sometimes we’re both busy and it’s just a “Yo, you okay?” and a “I hate writing” or a “Can you help me understand what Twitter is?” and… okay, I’ll stop as I am probably embarrassing myself over the things I didn’t know anything about one year ago. Although, we’re probably both showing our age now because I don’t think it’s cool anymore to chat there; aren’t we supposed to send SnapChat and Instagram stories? Yeah, she does that more frequently, but I’m not there, yet. I do rather enjoy all the videos and photos she shares telling us what’s going on in her world. And that’s one of the key reasons to get to know her and subsequently follow her on all the social media sites.

Let’s get back to her blog. I’m unexpectedly off-topic again, right? And that never happens, so… I digress. Let’s talk about her actual blog content. Like the TBR Topple. What a cool name! At first, I didn’t know if it meant topple the TBR so we vote to pick which book should come off the TBR or which she should read on the TBR. I eventually figured it out, but I won’t tell you. Don’t be lazy. Go find out yourself! 😊 Yeah, I never used to be sarcastic, but I have to keep up with Claire who douses me with humor every day. When it comes to her TBR Topple, I vote strictly on cover. It’s usually either some crazy futuristic thing I don’t understand (I’m a bit boring) or some shirtless (or almost entirely naked) hunk that I get distracted by. Nonetheless, I vote and usually pick the right one from her posts whether I’m reading them on Facebook or the blog or Twitter or Instagram. Is there really a winner or loser is this poll?

What about those author interviews and model Q&A sessions she was doing for a while? Or the awards she’s won? Or the bookshelf pics? Or the insightful rants/vents/brilliant discussions about book reviewer approaches? Those always grab our attention and provide a lot to think about. But that’s Claire, as least as far as I’ve come to know her via the vast Internet space between us. However, here’s the next unexpected thing… I’m going to London with my other half for a business trip where I’ll have a few days to myself. Claire and I will be meeting in person and traipsing around London for a couple of days together. I’ll actually get to meet her and share a few posts together about the trip. How cool will that be?

So… if this anniversary celebration were about Claire, I’d continue telling you about the exercise mishaps she’s shared (there are plenty!), the eyebrow-raising beta reads she’s sent me (things she wrote!), or the amazing extent to which she gives herself to support other people… but like I said earlier, didn’t you listen? This isn’t about Claire… it’s about her blog. And its one of my favorite to follow… so you better start reading it more often because if I find out you are not, the next step will not be unexpected!

Ah, I send my happiest wishes to the three-year anniversary of BrizzleLass Books. I look forward to many more to come, including the evolution of the platform as she publishes her own future novels and begins to make even larger impacts on the book blogging industry. xoxo

Jay’s Links

Jay is one of my favourite bloggers…he is also a published author with his second book having just been released. I’ve read both of them and can say with certainty that you will all love them both!

https://thisismytruthnow.com/

https://twitter.com/jamescudney4/

https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Book: Watching Glass Shatter

Book: Father Figure

Giveaway

As a thank you to all my followers I’m giving away 3x £10/$10 Amazon Gift Vouchers at the end of this week. To enter just head to Rafflecopter.

#GuestPost: Behind the Title (Creation of a Love Story) – Cynthia Roberts @CynthiasRomance

I’m pleased to welcome romance novelist Cynthia Roberts to the blog today, she has written a guest post about creating a love story. I hope you enjoy the post.

Guest Post

Creating romantic fiction has been a passion of mine, ever since I was old enough to understand the connection between the sexes.  I think I was twelve, when I wrote my first love story and like most young minds; I truly thought it was a masterpiece.

There’s another masterful connection that has been going on now for centuries, and that, is the one between music and literature.  There is a full alphabet of songs that have been written retelling a work of literature as far back as the 18th century.

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was based on a poem, Lady of Shallot.  “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet.  The artist Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was based on an Anne Rice Novel, Interview With A Vampire.

More interesting though, the anatomy of a song has also within its lyrics a pretty fascinating back story as well.  For more than five decades, authors have been creating fictional pieces and bringing readers deep inside the lyrics.  I grew up listening to my mom’s collection of romantic ballads from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Those lyrics have forever been embossed into my brain, I still sing along whenever I hear them.  Lyrics like those back then told a story, and they were so strong, and emotional, their affect were everlasting.

I have a library of love songs on iTunes I listen to religiously, while I write, as a source of inspiration and a tool that gets me in the mood and mindset I need to be in.  It is from this list, I began to formulate a series of ideas, followed by cryptic notes on paper, and finally the creation of my Love Song Standards Series.  I made a list of the songs I connected with personally, whittling it down to thirty-five.  That number was quite overwhelming and I thought virtually impossible to create that many scenarios.  So, I chipped away at the songs and their lyrics, until I decided on a top ten.

I had made a commitment to myself to finish one book a month throughout 2016, writing a chapter every day, leaving me ample time to polish and edit each one.  I knew from the on-start, what I wanted my covers to look like.  They had to resemble each other in a way that would tie them together, but strong enough for them to stand on their own.  My designer Covers by Ramona did an exceptional job tying all my ideas together.

After Book 6, Chances Are, was completed, my brain was fried.  I took a short reprieve and switched it up a bit with a Romantic Suspense, A Pawn for Malice.  Happily, the first two books of my series received a 5-Star Readers Favorite Award, which ended my promotion efforts.  I was forced to take an extended break due to personal issues that had set me back both physically and emotionally.  My focus now is to both promote my series and finish the final four titles All The Way, It’s Impossible, Sincerely, and Unforgettable.

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, please do check out my Love Song Standards Series.  I know you’ll be pleasantly pleased.  Buy links and descriptions are available on my website at RomanceAuthorCynthiaRoberts.com.  If you subscribe to my mailing list, we can stay in touch as to when the other titles are completed PLUS you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Book 1, Unchained Melody.  All that I ask is for you to please, please share an honest review at the online retailer you use most. It will help me dramatically towards promoting my book and the series.

Hugs from me to you.

About Cynthia Roberts

My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn’t until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior . I really don’t fit into one specific niche.  Once a story starts to flow, it’s only then I know what genre/sub-genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later.  Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way.  Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, “Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities.”

“This is definitely a novel that I would read again. It is going to stay on my bookshelf for a very, very long time.” —Readers’ Favorite

  

You can find Cynthia’s novels by heading to the usual places…see the links below.

Blog Tour: Guest Post: City of Shadows by M J Lee

Welcome to BrizzleLass Books for today’s stop on City of Shadows Blog Tour organised by Neverland Blog Tours. There is a guest post from M J Lee below, I hope you enjoy it and pick up the book for yourself.

Description:
A family of four is found murdered in the heart of one of the new Art Deco estates in the city. It’s a brutal crime, committed without mercy.

Continue reading Blog Tour: Guest Post: City of Shadows by M J Lee

Blog Tour: Guest Post: The Dark Vampire by Kate Baxter

Welcome to BrizzleLass Books for today’s stop on The Dark Vampire Blog Tour. There is a guest post from Kate Baxter below, I hope you enjoy it and pick up the book for yourself.

Description:
The grave threat to the tortured race of vampires is greater than ever in Kate Baxter’s THE DARK VAMPIRE. An unforgettable, intensely emotional, and hot series for fans of J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione.

Centuries ago, the vampire race was almost destroyed. Now, salvation rests upon one – the last true vampire.

Continue reading Blog Tour: Guest Post: The Dark Vampire by Kate Baxter

Blog Tour: Guest Post: The Trouble with Seduction by Victoria Hanlen

Welcome to BrizzleLass Books for today’s stop on The Trouble with Seduction Blog Tour organised by Neverland Blog Tours. There is a guest post from Victoria Hanlen below, I hope you enjoy it and pick up the book for yourself. Oh and of course, enter the Giveaway at the end of the post, there’s a £15 Amazon Voucher up for grabs!

Description:
Sarah, Lady Strathford is ready for a little harmless frivolity with a man of her own age and her own appetites…surely that’s not too much to ask! After the death of her beloved husband years before Sarah is ready for an adventure… Enter the dashing, roguish – and baffling – Mr. Cornelius Ravenhill.

Ravenhill, however, is not the gentleman he seems, and soon Sarah finds herself battling against the corrupt and harsh world around her as it threatens to destroy all she holds dear. The question is, will her seduction at the hands of Mr. Ravenhill prove to be her saviour or her downfall?

The Trouble with Seduction - Tour Banner

Why I Love Writing Historical Fiction by Victoria Hanlen

I love writing historical fiction because I enjoy escaping into the past.

For me, sinking into a good historical is like visiting another world, an alternate reality as rich and tasty as the first spoonful of chocolate mousse.

I like creating a story that takes me out of the humdrum, day-to-day, same-old, same-old to a place and time where gallantry, courtesy and decorum ruled.

Who doesn’t love a witty rake or clever rogue or the romance of being swept up onto a horse and carried away by a handsome prince? And who doesn’t want to experience the perfect fantasy—love’s first kiss and hearts blossoming with forbidden desire?

In the past, society’s rules were harsher, more clearly defined. Rejecting them risked ruin, even death. But in the world of a historical romance the story will always end well—there will always be a happily ever after.

Another reason I likr writing historical fiction is the language. The words are often slightly antiquated with an almost poetic music and cadence. Their complexity is a clear signal that we’ve left the 21st century for the days of yore.

I find it thrilling when my characters come alive. When I feel what they feel—like the sensation of being whisked off to a ball in a golden carriage, wearing the most beautiful gown and shoes imaginable…a one of a kind gown and shoes no one else is wearing. (Yeah. It’s happened to me.)

And how about the clothes? In the mid-eighteen hundreds, (the time in which I write) a girl could be a girl. Women wore lovely gowns with intricate workmanship, tailoring, ribbons and furbelows, petticoats and corsets. Advances in dyes created a larger color spectrum for materials and textiles. The sewing machine made it possible for more than the wealthy to own comely gowns. Men sported livelier gear with fancy waistcoats and colorful trousers. Formal wear included black tailcoats with white shirts, cravats and waistcoats. Bonnets could be as frilly as the woman dared while the men usually wore a top hat.

Some might find the research daunting. I’ve always enjoyed it, as well as reading history books and biographies. It’s fun to explore historical sites where I might place my characters. There’s always something new to learn, and it helps me discover the finer details.

All in all, a good day for me is writing a great scene rooted in the past that urges me to work a little longer to find out what happens next.

The Trouble with Seduction - Tour Schedule

The Trouble with Seduction - Author ImageAbout Victoria Hanlen:
Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is stories with happily-ever-afters.

Additionally, she likes to bake (especially pies), paint (especially barns with cows), and take photographs (especially of sunsets and critters) Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:
Head to Rafflecopter and enter to win a £15 Amazon Giftcard (This is a tour wide giveaway)

Title: The Trouble with Seduction
Series: N/A
Author: Victoria Hanlen
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date: 25 April 2016
Format: eBook
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: TBD
Buy: Kindle | Nook | iBook

Book Blitz: Broken Fate by Jennifer Derrick with Guest Post

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours. I am featuring a guest post from Jennifer Derrick, and do check out the giveaway at the end of the page which is international!

Description:
Zeus gave her one simple job: Kill every human.

Continue reading Book Blitz: Broken Fate by Jennifer Derrick with Guest Post

Blog Tour: Guest Post: David Gilman on Author Habits for the Defiant Unto Death Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Defiant Unto Death blog tour which has been organised by Neverland Blog Tours. I’m very pleased to have David Gilman here as a guest blogger and hope you enjoy your time here.

Description:
A LEGEND FORGED IN BATTLE: Thomas Blackstone must face an implacable foe as the 100 Years’ War enters its bloodiest phase.

Continue reading Blog Tour: Guest Post: David Gilman on Author Habits for the Defiant Unto Death Tour