Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Song of the Moment: Molli's Choice - Sam Hunt




Song of the Moment is a new feature on The Authorteers where we each take turns sharing one of the songs inspiring us lately.


When we all decided to start this feature, I was basically in Heaven. Unless I'm at work, I almost always have music playing: in the car, in the house while I'm cleaning, even while I'm writing. The only problem with a Song of the Moment is that I'm ALWAYS listening to a lot of songs. But! I finally chose just one. ;)

Sam Hunt - "Make You Miss Me"



In case y'all somehow don't know, I'm Sam Hunt's biggest fan. Well, me and Eliza Boyd. Sam does this awesome mix of country music with a bit of hip-hop mixed in, and it makes me swoon. "Make You Miss Me" is probably the most played song on my AS YOU BREATHE AGAIN (aka Farm Boy Book) playlist. I mean, THAT VOICE. His grin. His cute accent. 

It's a dream of mine to see Sam live one day. :D 


Do you like Sam's music? Is this the first you're hearing of him?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Marie


Hi everyone! Marie here. I have a teaser for you from my current work in progress, Something in the Air, a standalone new adult novel that will hopefully be out late this summer or early fall. You can learn more about Something in the Air and add it to your TBR here.

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“So…” He drew out the word. “I’m not allowed to know your name, but can I know anything else about you?”

“Well…” I thought back to what I’d told Alex and was suddenly incredibly glad I hadn’t told him what diner I worked at.

“Shall I guess?” Declan asked. When I nodded, he rubbed his chin, his eyes narrowing in my direction. He really was cute. I didn’t exactly have a type since I’d only dated two guys in my entire life, but Declan was definitely the kind of guy who would catch my attention. Not the type of guy I’d normally have the courage to talk to, though, so it felt almost surreal sitting across from him.

“You’re a college student,” he said finally. “Taking…nursing. You live off-campus in a big house with a group of other students and you normally go to Copperfield’s on Front Street, but tonight you decided to come here instead.”

“Wow.” My voice shook slightly with suppressed laughter. “You’re good.”

“Not even close, am I?”

I shook my head. “Not even a little. Sorry.”

He shrugged. “I’ve always been rubbish at guessing games.”

“Let me try you.” I rubbed my chin as he had a moment before. “You’re from Ireland.”

“Great deductive skills.” He nodded and twirled a finger for me to carry on.

“Let’s see…” I looked him over. He leaned forward on the table, his face easing into a slow, sexy grin. His movement made the lights glint off the hoop in his ear. “By your earring, I’m guessing you were a pirate in your youth. Only, a life at sea wasn’t for you, so you came to Canada to escape your past and settle down.”

His eyebrows winged up, drawing my attention to a ragged white scar in the left one. That definitely fit with my pirate theory. When he remained silent, I was worried I’d offended him, but then I noticed his shoulders start to shake, and he sat back in his seat, laughing. “A pirate!” he said between laughs.

I tried not to giggle. I wasn’t usually like this, especially with guys. Maybe it was the alcohol. “Am I close?”

“You know…” He shook his hair back, touching the earring. “You’re closer than I’m sure I was with my guess about you.”


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Friday, June 19, 2015

Special Group Discussion Post: On Letting Bad Things Happen to Your Characters


A couple months ago I was watching a TV show while in the midst of one of my marathon TV on DVD watches. On a particular episode, a main character has her moving van stolen. It contained literally everything she owned except for the clothes on her back. The idea of this happening to me is a completely scary thing... then it got me to thinking about writing. What if this happened to one of my characters? Would I let this happen to one of my characters? Hence, today's special group discussion.

On Letting Bad Things Happen to Your Characters


Do you let bad things happen to your characters?


Marie: Yes. I think it's inevitable and necessary in a way. Some stories call for it more than others, but some stories almost require it to teach the character something or show how strong and resilient they are or how they react to bad things. If bad things didn't happen, where would most of the conflict come from, you know?

Lilly: Yes, I do! In my latest novel, Unexpected, it starts out with Alina having a bad day. Throughout the story, there are a few other things that happen to her along the way. Some are minor things, some are major things. But they are not fun... at all.

Jessica: With If Only We, the whole premise is bad things happening and wanting to change them, so, yeah, I have let bad things happen... even though I didn't really want them to.

Molli: Like Jess, one of my books (One Song Away), starts with my main character having a terrible string of bad luck. So sometimes I realize that something bad has to happen in order to get the story going, or move it along from one point to the other.


Do you try to prevent it, or do you let it happen in the name of the story?


Molli: Oh gosh, yes. Sometimes. When I was writing my first book, As You Turn Away, I had an idea of something that was going to happen and I fought it so hard. Ultimately I knew it needed to happen, but I didn't like it. But like Marie said, sometimes it's necessary for character development.

Jessica: Considering I wrote a book about a complete second chance, I have to say the desire to prevent it is really strong. But if a story is going too smoothly, the book becomes boring.

Lilly: Exactly... It's not easy, that's for sure. Sometimes I get a little twitchy as I'm writing when an idea comes to mind for a conflict/scene. And it hurts to write it into the story because, well, you love your characters (the good guys anyway) so you want them to be happy.

Marie: Right, you love your characters, so it does hurt. For me personally, my characters often feel like some alternate version of myself, so it's hard to have truly horrible things happen to them, for that reason, and because they become so real in my mind, I want to protect them from bad stuff. That being said, I don't try to prevent bad things - within reason. And that line is different for everyone, but my books tend to be quite emotional as it is, so I don't want to put my characters through too much. Like I said before, sometimes it's necessary for plot and character development.

Would you avoid writing a situation entirely just because it would frustrate you in real life?


Jessica: There are some stories you can get away with it... others, not so much. I'm a fixer by nature, so it's hard not to want to make the changes. Even though I did "fix" things in If Only We, there were some things that Adrienne had no control over. That conflict made the story better, even though it was very frustrating.

Marie: Probably not. If an idea comes to me and it fits the story and I think my character(s) can handle it, I'd likely go ahead, even if it's painful. I can't tell you how many tears I've shed over my characters and the stuff I've put them through. It makes me laugh to write that because it sounds crazy, but it's true - I've cried buckets.

Molli: I don't think so. I've written some really tragic characters before! Haha. I do try to be aware of things that could trigger readers, and talk about that before hand (for example, I have a book down the road that deals with the aftermath of a sexual assault).
     For the most part though, even though like Marie, I've definitely cried my share of tears over what my characters go through, I also realize when it's necessary for the book. And I always have a happy ending I focus on, knowing they will come out stronger, having earned it.


Lilly: Probably. Just kidding! Like I said before with getting twitchy. It's an annoying feeling, but when you reach the end of the book, you know you've done the right thing.




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Monday, June 15, 2015

Discussion Post: What Advice Do You Have for Writers?




Today, we're talking about advice we have for writers. The thing about writing is, it's so subjective and so personal. A lot of the "tried and true" advice is relative. I'd never tell someone, for example, "write what you know," because that's super restrictive. However, each of us Authorteers DOES have a few words of wisdom to share and inspire writers at all stages of the game.


Molli 

If you're a writer, then my advice to you is always keep going. Whether you're a debut writer or an established one. Write that first book. Write your next book. Tell the stories of your heart. Sometimes starting is the scariest part, especially if it's your second or third or seventh book. You think it gets easier, but it really doesn't. You just get used to breathing around the fear to start telling that story. 

If you're a writer, you're a writer. Stopping, or not starting, isn't something you can think about without having a different kind of fear. If you're a writer, it's in your heart and head, and those words WILL find a way out, in some medium or another. So let it happen. Let yourself write that ugly first draft. Have fun with it! You can make it pretty later, but if you don't start, you can't fix it. ;)


Marie

My best advice for any writer is simple: WRITE. Write consistently and make it a habit, whether it's 200 or 2,000 words. Don't let fear stop you. I've had so many people tell me they want to write but they're too afraid. I get that, believe me, but if you don't at least try, you'll never know. It's easy to say you don't have time or you're not a 'good enough' writer or you don't think anyone will want to read your work. As writers, we're often our own worst critics and are full of doubts, fears, and even excuses, but if you've got the words in you, you owe it to yourself to write them. And once you've started, don't stop. Don't let people tell you to stop, that you're wasting your time, that you'll never get published. Believe in yourself, believe in your writing, and tell the stories that are whispering (or screaming) in your ear, begging to be written.


Lilly

One of my biggest things is this: Don't censor yourself. I don't necessarily mean that you need to swear (but whatever floats your boat). What I mean is you need to get those words down however you see fit. You can always edit later. It's one thing that can hold you up on your writing if you're stopping to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed.

Also, work at the pace you need to. This is critical. Some people can write thousands of words every day and keep at it consistently. Not all people can do this, though. There's nothing wrong with setting goals--in fact, goals are great. But don't stress yourself if you can't meet a goal. For some of us, writing 300-500 words a day is easy to achieve. Don't balk at the small number because it adds up faster than you think. It's better to set a reasonable goal than to burn yourself out. I've had 1,000 word days followed by 100 word days. The best thing for you and your writing is to write, even if it is just a little bit. Even if it's one sentence. If you make writing a habit, you'll be less likely to break it later.

 
Jessica

Don't give up on yourself. When I started seriously writing in 2011, I would continuously hit a wall. Not necessarily writer's block, just that I wouldn't write. I'd make excuses, put it off, tell myself I'll get to it later. It took me two years to finish/publish my first book. Some of the time I feel was necessary for me to grow into becoming a better writer, but a lot of that time felt wasted because I kept putting it off for one reason or another. When I actually hit "publish" the first time, I felt something change in me. I can't NOT write now. It's scary to put yourself out there, but once you do and nothing horrible happens, it's less scary. It doesn't go away because, trust me, I was still nervous when I published my second book, but it's better than the first time. Don't put it off, don't let fear take control, and don't give up on yourself. Stay positive, stay consistent, and be your biggest cheerleader.



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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Words to Live By ~ Wanderlust Edition

Words to Live By is a monthly feature here on The Authorteers where we share some of our favorite quotes. We hope they inspire you, touch you,  make you laugh, and make you think. 
 
This month's theme is 'travel' in honor of our very own Marie Landry, who leaves next week to spend two weeks in Europe! Marie will share bits of her trip with us when she returns, but if you're interested in following her adventures in real time, be sure to follow her on Instagram
 
All of us Authorteers have a yen to travel, and we hope these quotes will touch you if you share our wanderlust. 
 
http://suabroad.syr.edu/interestedstudents/
 
https://www.ricksteves.com/



http://www.liveluvcreate.com/image/more_than_seeing_the_sights-565028.html

http://ellenbarone.com/the-internal-traveler/new-year-new-chapter-20-quotes-about-life-creativity-and-tra.html




http://www.fodors.com/news/travelquotetuesday-on-seeing-sights-6270.html



Which of these is your favorite? Do you have a favorite travel-related quote of your own? Do you like to travel?

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Song of the Moment ~ Marie's Pick: "Song for Someone" by U2

Song of the Moment is a new feature on The Authorteers where we each take turns sharing one of the songs inspiring us lately.


Marie Landry's latest inspiration...

"Song for Someone" by U2



If you know me at all, you'll know U2 is my favourite band, and has been for many years. Their music is the soundtrack to my life, and features prominently on all my books' playlists. There's a song on almost every U2 album that makes me really emotional, and "Song for Someone" is that song from their latest album, Songs of Innocence. It's just so beautiful, I can't help but tear up when I hear it. And while it's not featured on the playlist of my current book, Something in the Air, I want to write a book inspired by this song, and every time I hear it, my mental gears start turning.  

My two favourite lines, the ones inspiring future stories:

You've got a face not spoiled by beauty
I have some scars from where I've been
You've got eyes that can see right through me
You're not afraid of anything they've seen
  
~and~

You let me into a conversation
A conversation only we could make
You're breaking into my imagination
Whatever's in there is yours to take

Don't those lines evoke powerful mental images? And when you actually listen to the song, Edge's masterful guitar playing just adds that extra special something that hits me right in the feels. 


What's your song of the moment? Any songs or even albums on repeat lately? Is something inspiring your recent creative endeavors? 
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Cover Reveal -- Unexpected by Lilly Avalon


Hello everyone!! I'm so super extremely excited to share with you the cover to my upcoming new adult novel, Unexpected. The book has been a long time coming, but I'm very pleased to say we're reaching the final stages and there is a release date in sight!

The ever-so-lovely Marie Landry (yep, that Marie Landry, the wonderful one from The Authorteers herself) designed my pretty cover. I have to say, this is the prettiest one as of yet!



Synopsis:
Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.

An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?

Only one way to find out.

Add Unexpected to your shelf on Goodreads!


What do you think of the cover?
Didn't Marie do an amazing job??

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Molli


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday...on a Wednesday. I hope you guys will forgive me for getting my days mixed up. ;) At any rate, I'm here to tease you with a swoony scene from my upcoming release, AS YOU BREATHE AGAIN. It's the second companion book in my The Walker Boys series, and you can find out more about it here.

For now, enjoy this teaser! (Fair warning: it hasn't been heavily edited yet, so please ignore any mistakes. :))



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Killing the engine, Reece got out of his truck. He strolled around to Lanie’s side, opening the door for her. “Come on, let’s do some actual star-gazing.” He gave her a crooked smile.

She put her arms around his neck and drew his head down to hers. She teased his mouth with hers, her tongue seeking entrance. While she was kissing him, she wrapped her legs around his waist.

“You can’t see the stars from here,” Reece mumbled, backing away from the truck, cradling her.

“Shut up.”

He carried her to the truck bed, setting her down long enough to lower the tailgate. Then he went back to the truck, pulling several blankets from behind the back of the seat, left from the last long trip he’d made with Jamie. It was a warm night, but that didn’t mean he wanted her laying on his uncomfortable truck bed. He spread out the blankets, then helped her up into the back of the truck. She looked so damn right there that he almost couldn’t believe this was actually happening.

Fucking finally.

Reece laid beside Lanie, watching her smile up at him. “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” he murmured.

“Reece.”

“Yes m’am?”

“You’ve got me.” She reached out, her palm to his cheek. “You don’t need any more lines.”

“That’s the thing,” he answered, ghosting his lips across her jawline, “it wasn’t a line.” He pressed kisses down her throat, looking up at her. His heart felt like it was in his throat. “It never is with you.”

Sighing, Lanie wove her fingers through his hair. “Goddamn, you’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?” She mumbled something about “death by farm boy” under her breath, but he heard her.


Reece straddled her, hands braced on either side of her body. He put his lips to the shell of her ear. “If you go, I’m going with you, Delaney.”