Friday, November 6, 2015

Luke spotlight!!


ONE night, back in 2012, I went to bed.
Nothing out of the usual there. I went to bed almost every night back in 2012. As I did every night in the years before that and the years after. I say almost every night, because a fair share of those nights may have really been early mornings.
However, I digress...
On this particular night, that welcome sinking sensation eluded me. I’d just gotten to the point where your body becomes heavy, completely relaxed and ready to succumb to six to eight hours of blissful darkness, when a sequence of images started filtering through my mind – a movie reel on repeat. Over and over the same section of film would play.
I spent hours, night after night, tossing and turning, trying to shut them off. I’d fail every single time.
My husband, having had enough of my restlessness, very nicely – with a hand pushing in the middle of my back and me out of the bed – suggested I write the images down to hopefully get them to stop.
115k words later I had my first full-length manuscript.
That’s how I got started.
My husband’s desperate need for sleep.
I was first published in The Australia Times online magazine with one of my children's stories, Imagine If and have gone on to have a flutter of short stories in the adult genre published also.
I'm also a mum with weird kids and wouldn't want them to be any other way.
I have been lucky to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends - they know who they are - who are kind enough to not question my sanity when I refer to my fictional characters as real people.

Love Big & Love Hard
Love like it's you last day on earth.

Luke ...the second in a LOVE story
Sandra Fitzgerald

I’m balancing an armful of drinks and attempting to carry two large bowls of chips outside when Maggie comes stumbling in, giggling. She throws an empty Canadian Club in the general direction of the rubbish bin, covering her mouth and mumbling something that I think is supposed to be an apology when it lands in the sink.
Smiling, she sways over to me – clearly a lightweight in the alcohol department – and dives a hand into one of the bowls I’m trying not to drop. She clips the edge and knocks both the bowls off balance, sending the salt and vinegars flying, scattering them over the bench and the floor. Some even land on top of the fridge. Maggie’s bug-eyed expression is priceless and no matter how hard I try, I can’t hold back my laughter.
Mortified, she drops to her knees, crushing anything within reach, and starts scooping up handfuls. Handfuls of chips, rubbish, pretty much anything within her reach.
Pinching back my grin, I kneel besides her and help, watching the strain on her mouth as she tries to hold back her reaction. Knocking my shoulder into her side breaks the seal and has us both cracking up. Maggie’s laughing so hard she curls up and lies down on her side, clutching onto her stomach.
“Stop making me laugh.” She’s pretending to be angry with me, but she sucks at the angry, so I don’t get offended. “You’re killing me.”
“What? You did this?”
“But you don’t have to make it so damn funny.” Maggie gasps for breath, pushing her bare feet into my side.
Oh, she wants funny, huh? I happen to be an expert on funny.
I grab hold of her ankles and drag her so I’m kneeling between her legs. Then I lean forward, raising her arms. I hold them in one hand over her head and attack her ribs, tickling her until she’s squealing and thrashing beneath me. She accidently knees me high on the inside of my leg, just below my balls. Reflexively, I flinch and end up lying on top of her, my mouth almost touching hers.
Her warm breath brushes across my face and fill my lungs. Then, just like that, Maggie’s all that I can see; all that there is. And now I don’t want to breathe anything else for the rest of my life.
Her eyes lower to my mouth, her tongue snaking out to wet her full lips, and I’m done. It’s a dog of a thing to do and we’ve both been drinking, but I can’t help it. I’m so gone on this girl.
My face lowers, jaw slackens, and my lips rest on hers. I mean to be gentle – the perfect first kiss – but the second I get a taste, my sensors explode; my nerve endings burn and zero in on my dick. My tongue’s in her mouth, invading her with all the passion that’s been building for as long as I can remember. All the wet dreams, the long cold showers that never worked, all the hard-ons – everything detonates into this one kiss.

Blog Interview Questions

Me: How have you gotten to this point with your stories?

Sandra:I started writing another manuscript (which hasn’t been published yet) a few years ago when the idea for Maggie’s story (Maggie’s Five ...the first in a love story) came to me. The moment I was done with the manuscript, I opened up a new word doc. and started writing.
Literally – I typed the magical words: The End. Saved the doc. Started Maggie.
When Maggie’s was done, Luke began to develop. It’s funny because I had my Maggie blinkers on during her story, and those things were dark. I didn’t really know much about Luke at the time other than he is a sweet, sweet man with blonde hair and blue eyes.
When I stared writing Luke and thought, ‘is he? Is he really that nice? Is anyone really that nice?’ He blew out to over 180k words, so I ended up splitting him in two.
Poor thing. ;)

Me:When did you first consider yourself a writer?

SF: Ha! I don’t know if I do yet.
Words come to me and I put them down. I let them evolve and see if they’ve got legs or not, then go from there. Sometimes they do and end up as short stories, sometimes they end up as more. Sometimes they become uncompleted pages in my computer.

Me: Now I love music just as much as reading, I normally listen to music while I am reading, cleaning taking a shower pretty much when I do anything. Do you think that your characters have theme songs? What would they be?

SF: I love music too, much to my family’s dismay. We seem to have a differing opinion on what’s good and what’s not. Obviously they’ve got it wrong.
I always have something playing in the background, and yes... the hum has been known to become more of an ear-ringing sound-fest.
I don’t know if Luke and Sophie have a song(s) as such. I like to mix up what I’m listening to. I do have a play list though that includes, The Kings of Leon – Don’t matter, Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul, The Veronicas – You ruin me, One Republic – Love Runs Out, Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This. There’s also the Foo Fighters, Milky Chance, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Muse... the list could go on...

Me: Are the experiences in your book fact based or from your imagination?

SF: Sometimes I’ll catch a word, or phrase, a sentence, and something clicks, sparks my imagination. The rest just comes.
The hill race actually came from my nephew bantering with some friends. Of course I embellished fantastically. It grew into the beginning of Luke’s journey. Now whenever we’re all sitting around talking, someone ends up calling out, ‘Careful, you might end up in one of Sandra’s books.’
Everyone laughs... it’s so funny... and looks at me out of the corner of their eyes.
I think there might be a few people that would be okay with being in one of my books. Guess they better be nice then, so I don’t kill them off or make them ugly, huh? :)

Me : Which comes first? The character's story or, the idea for the novel?

SF: The characters story, for sure. I get a visual of what they look like and a feel for them. I start to put words down; sometimes I stop after a couple of chapters. Other times I keep going to the end.

Me: What kind of writer are you? Do your stories come to you in dreams? Or do they play like a scene from a movie over and over again in your head until you write it down?

SF: Definitely a movie reel on repeat in my head. That’s actually how I got started. I couldn’t sleep. I’d go to bed and toss and turn so much my husband, very nicely – with a hand pushing in the middle of my back and me out of the bed – suggested I write the images down to hopefully get them to stop. 115k words later I stopped and I had my first full-length manuscript.

Me :What was your motivation for Luke’s story?
SF:I needed to get to know Luke. I had this random guy staying with an old acquaintance after she lost her family. Weird, right?
I needed to find out more. What got him there? Why did he stay? Why didn’t he do something about Red? That was a big one. Why didn’t Luke do more to protect Maggie from Red?
I also didn’t want this book to be Luke’s version of Maggie’s events. I needed him to have his own story.

Me: Was there a point when you were writing that you stopped and thought to yourself no that character wouldn’t do that or that character wouldn’t say that?

SF: Absolutely, yes. My editor, Meg Hellyer brought it a few times too... ‘Do you think he’d really say that?’ ‘It doesn’t sound too much like a Nana Mouskouri song?’
Hey, The White Rose of Athens rocked in it day!
For me, Jon has a majority of the good lines, he’s charismatic and outgoing, a lot of fun to write. I had to make sure I kept his words separate to Luke’s.

Me: Are you one of those writers that follow a strict plot line and write how you draft it? Or do you let the characters do the writing for you?

SF: The character’s write themselves. I don’t know if this is ideal. I’d like to be better at plotting and using a timeline to keep me on track. But at the moment, this feels like the right way for me.

Me: Lastly how do you plan and moving on from this point? What else can we expect to see from you?
SF: I’m currently doing re-writes on the rest of Luke’s story.
Yes, there’s more. Boy, is there more.
The third book does need to be read after the second, but still not necessarily before Maggie’s Five. It was important to me that the first two books are separate journeys and can be read as stand-alones. Given I didn’t plan on Luke exploding into so many words, he does need to be read in order. Be prepared though, there’s no preamble, no soft and fluffies, when the third books starts, it starts.
I also want to get back to my original manuscript and polish it up.

I am in a state of utter shock!!! I have never done this before and I hope that I never ever in my life do this again and to such an amazing book I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is. The books release was Oct 11th and I didn’t get my review up or my blog spot light or anything and I am so freaking unbelievingly sorry Sandra!!!

Luke’s story is one of the most heartbreaking stories ever it just makes you feel so bad, I just want to jump in the book and hold the poor guy. This is book two in a love story but you don’t have to read one but I definitely want to after reading this one. Luke just can’t seem to catch a break the poor guy.  From the very first page you instantly fall in love with Luke as we meet him as a High Schooler just messing around with his friends. As his life moves on he is hit with one thing after another. I have read a many of books with crazy cliffhangers but nothing I repeat nothing has prepared me for a cliffhanger of this magnitude. I love that this story wasn’t all glitter and rainbows, it felt real like this was someone’s real life I was reading about and there is no way that I’ll not read number three when it comes out.  When you read books about love and romance you expect the character to have happily ever afters. Well let me just tell you this up front things don’t alwys work out the way we think they should!! Go grab your copy like now!! Have a great day and read a good book. I know I will *~~Gabby~~*


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stacey Mosteller Nashville U halloween

Meet the Nashville U Crew
Here's a fun little scene that Stacey wrote to intro you to the characters coming this winter. Enjoy - and Happy Halloween!

Peyton rushes around her small apartment putting out bowls of food and bags of chips wearing a long, ice-blue, sparkly dress. In the month since I forced her and Max binge watch Disney movies with me, the nickname of the popular ice queen has caught on with our little group. Luckily, instead of plotting my murder, she’s embracing it this Halloween and dressing the part for the Halloween party she just had to have.
“I can’t believe you wore that for the party,” she complains, still frowning at me when she comes back to the kitchen.
I look down at my black t-shirt and black skinny jeans in confusion. “What? I’m dressed up.” My voice is defensive, because I know I put way almost no thought into my costume. I thought it was clever though - Kat being a cat for Halloween.
“You’re dressed like it’s any normal day,” Peyton says with a roll of her eyes. “The only difference is, you don’t usually look like a goth wannabe with cat ears.” She ignores my glare as she continues trying to make sure everything is perfect for tonight.
I don’t know why she’s so concerned, the only people who are going to be here are our usual crew. SarahBeth is out with her brother, his girlfriend, my sister and her baby daddy. Surprisingly, Livvie and Emmett are coming here instead, but they were the only unknowns aside from Annabelle. I’m still not sure if she’s coming. She hasn’t been much for parties as long as I’ve known her.
“Hey! I have whiskers too!” I say, pointing to where the black lines are drawn on either side of my nose. She waves me off in exasperation just as the first people arrive.
Wyatt is the first one to get to the door, and when I see who’s on the other side, I grimace. Clay walks in wearing a t-shirt and Meghan. She’s vapid and shallow. Peyton can’t stand her, but she’s been hanging all over Clay since football season started. She’s dressed in an extremely unsurprising “sexy” nurse outfit, complete with a skirt that barely covers her considerable assets, and hanging on Clay’s arm like she’s afraid he’ll desert her.
Max walks in behind them, thankfully alone, and pulls me into a quick hug when he sees me. He kisses my forehead, much like a favorite uncle would, before grabbing Peyton around the waist and smacking a loud kiss on her lips. Wyatt jerks him away from her with a scowl. “Get your own girl, asshole.” Max laughs at his possessiveness, but I can’t help but feel a little jealous. Peyton just got more romantic attention from Max than I ever have.
I watch them sadly, not noticing when Clay comes to stand beside me until I hear him laugh. “Aw, Kitty Kat, you look precious.” I turn to glare at him, and he’s grinning broadly. Reaching out a finger, he drags it along the tail attached to my jeans and smirks. “You know what would make this better?”
I narrow my eyes at him, sure I’m not going to like whatever it is he says. “What?”
“If this tail was a little more … attached.” He winks, but I don’t get his meaning. When he sees my confusion, he laughs. “I mean; I’d be more impressed if there was a hole right here.” He pokes the seam of my jeans, right where the tail is pinned on. “A cat tail plug would be way more fun to tug.”
It still takes me a second to get his meaning, but when I do, I gasp, my eyes going wide as saucers and my face bursting into flames. “You’re so gross, Clay!” I slap him on the arm and scrunch my nose up in disgust. “That’s disgusting.”
He starts to laugh, and soon he’s bent at the waist and gasping for breath. “Oh my God,” he wheezes, “you should have seen your face.” Clay laughs harder and I cross my arms over my chest, turning so he can no longer see my tail.
For the first time tonight, I notice what he’s wearing. “What are you supposed to be?” He’s wearing a pair of loose jeans and a yellow t-shirt with big white buttons and a cowhide vest printed on it. It looks familiar, but I can’t place it.
Looking entirely too proud of himself, he says, “I’m Woody. Get it?” He’s such a child.
This time I’m the one to roll my eyes. “How old are you, three?”
“Nah, I’m eight … inches.” He gives me an exaggerated wink.
Meghan laughs before she tugs on his hand, prompting both of us to look at her. It’s obvious neither of us remembered she was even there, and that makes me feel crappy. “I’m hungry, Clay,” she says, pushing out her bottom lip and twirling a lock of dark hair around one finger. I start to snort, amused by her actions, but I manage to hold it in.
“Hey Meghan, I like your costume.” It’s a total lie, but I’m trying to be nice. She just stares at me, not saying a word. For some reason, she disliked me immediately. It’s like she thinks I’m out to take Clay from her, something that couldn’t be further from the truth. Clay lets her lead him away, leaving me standing in the middle of the room alone.
Thankfully, I don’t stay that way for long. “Kat!” a voice shrieks before a whirlwind of red and black wraps her arms around me and hugs me tight.
“Hey Scar,” I say when she pulls back, letting me see her full costume. She’s dressed in an almost obscenely short dress that matches her two-toned hair. Red horns are perched on the top of her head and the grin on her face shows her for the devil she is. “Where’s Annabelle?”
The smile falls from her face, and I wish I hadn’t said anything. “She’s at the dorm. I tried to get her to come; I even went so far as to offer to do her homework for the next two weeks. She wouldn’t take it though.” I laugh, understanding why that wasn’t a good bribe. Scarlett barely does her own homework, let alone anyone else’s. I don’t get the chance to reply because Peyton’s yell grabs my attention.
“Okay, y’all. It’s movie time!” Shuddering inwardly, I wonder why I agreed to this. Scary movies are my least favorite thing ever.
Somehow, I end up sandwiched between Clay and Scarlett on the smaller couch where we’re packed in like sardines. Peyton and Wyatt are on the couch along with Max, and Emmett and Livvie settle in on the floor. Peyton starts the movie, and I look around for Meghan. When I don’t see her, I lean over so only Clay can hear me to ask, “Where’d your girlfriend go?”
He gives me a WTF look before answering. “Meg isn’t my girlfriend. Her sorority is having a big party with Sigma Phi, so she just came in for a minute to say hi and grab something to eat on her way over.”
“Oh,” I say dumbly. He turns back to the television and when I look over, I groan loudly. Peyton has a sick sense of humor. When we were at the store looking at movies, I mentioned that my mom wouldn’t let me watch the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. She was adamant I stay away, even when my friends were all watching them. Once, when I was about eight, I told her I was going out to ride my bike when I was actually sneaking over to my best friend Laura’s to watch the movies. She found me out and came right over to drag me home again. I was mortified.
Not even halfway through the movie, I’ve decided I’m never falling asleep again. Every time one of the characters falls asleep, they’re chased by a madman. The first time someone dies, I practically jump into Clay’s lap, causing him to laugh. Embarrassed, I slide back into my seat, but the next attack has me grabbing his arm and shrieking.
“Calm down, Kitty Kat,” he cajoles. “It’s just a movie.” His shoulders are shaking with his laughter, but I’m beyond caring.
Hiding my face in his arm, I mutter, “I don’t care. I hate scary movies.” I sound just as pouty as Meghan did earlier, but right now, all I can concentrate on is the bloody visual in my head. Still chuckling, Clay pulls his arm away from where my fingers are digging into him, but before I can protest, he drops it over my shoulder and pulls me into him. I burrow closer, burying my face in his side and squeeze my eyes shut. I cover my free ear with a hand and try to calm my breathing. Clay’s hand strokes my arm from my shoulder to my elbow, relaxing me slowly and all too soon, he’s shaking me awake.
“Hey sleepyhead. Movie’s over.” Once I’m sitting up, he stands, stretching his arms over his head. His shirt rides up, showcasing his taut abs and trim waist. I look away quickly, meeting Scarlett’s grinning face. She says nothing, raising one eyebrow as she looks between Clay and me.
“Don’t even start,” I tell her sharply.
Her smile widens. “Wasn’t gonna.”I hope you enjoyed this little bonus scene. If you'd like a sneak peek at the first chapter of Looking for Trouble, the first book in the Nashville U series, make sure you pick up the Nashville Nights Collection. It's a box set including the first four books in the Nashville Nights series, along with the novella Never Wanted More. It's on preorder for 99¢ and released on Black Friday!