These pillows are a must have for a nerd girl. Lindsey Gray always imagined these lying across Emma’s bed or on the couch in her nerd cave. Emma actually receives a superhero pillow at one point in the novel. Wonder if you can guess which one.
To find out about the rest of the story, read Nerdy Girl Nation today!
Who knew the girl who spent most of her Saturday nights watching Doctor Who marathons with her best friend would end up becoming a reality television star? Not Emma MacLean.
Emma tried to leave the nerdy girl behind as the Vice President of Operations for billionaire venture capitalist, Terrance Hunt, on the hit show Hunt for Life. When double tragedies occur on the same day, Emma is out of a job, but the cameras and a nation of fans continue to follow her.
Rob “Bobby” Breyer lived and breathed the professional wrestling circuit for five years. Rob happens to be a devoted Hunt for Life fan due to a chance meeting with Emma while in high school. When he reaches out to Emma in her time of crisis, he never imagines how much it will change his life.
After twelve years, their attraction still sizzles and this time, Rob’s not letting Emma get away. As the cameras roll, Emma’s new career and Rob’s quest for glory are in the spotlight. When the heat is on, they’ll need all the support they can get from the Nerdy Girl Nation.
About Lindsey Gray
Lindsey Gray typed her first complete novel at the age of twelve and dreamed of making her writing into a career. When her eighth grade class wrote a twenty year reunion story, casting her as a mystery novelist, she wasn’t sure she could make it a reality. After years of writing off and on, she decided to make a go of it. In December of 2010 she finally made her dream come true with her first published novel, Lies Inside. Five years and thousands of written words later, Lindsey released her seventh published work, Nerdy Girl Nation, in October 2015.
When Lindsey takes a break from writing, she spends time with her husband of thirteen years and their two children, reading all kinds of romance novels, and hosting her own weekly radio show, Gray Matters, on TMV Cafe Internet Radio.
Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Jenna Da Sie’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!
This week’s topic comes from author Leslie Hachtel – and we’re talking rejection letters (boo!!)
When I saw this topic I jumped at the chance to answer it. It coincided with going out to lunch with a lovely group of writers from my local RNA chapter where we talked about writing for magazines in the old days. I’d completely forgotten about this stage in my writing career (blame old age) but boy did it bring back memories. At that time I was working around the clock (it was in my pre-mummy days) and dashing home every evening to write short stories on a very old, clunky laptop which sounded as if it had little men inside, stoking the engines.
This was back in the days when the internet was a wild west frontier, and companies put you on a training course to work out how to use it. Dial up connections at home were rare, and broadband just a dream. On the plus side, I seemed to have a lot more time on my hands back then.
Anyway, so back to rejections. As I said, I wrote a lot of short stories back then, which I submitted to magazines. They were well-paid gigs, around £350 for 1500 words, which wasn’t something to sniff at. So I wrote, I printed, and I sent off sheafs of paper (pre-internet, remember?), and waited for an offer letter to come back through the door.
Instead, what I got was these:
A few of my rejection letters, ’90s style!
So these were my first rejection letters. And thank goodness they came, because I re-read some of those short stories yesterday and they were truly terrible. They’ve been filed away in a box under my bed for the last seventeen years, and that’s where they’ll be staying!
I can laugh about it now, of course, because time is happiness’ friend, and it can give you a perspective like no other. But the first time I got a rejection letter it really hurt. I think it’s because I had been writing alone for so long, I thought I was really good. I thought I was going to take the world by storm. These are pretty much the same feelings I always get whenever I launch a new book. This time, everybody’s going to see inside to my real genius.
And yeah, that feeling usually lasts for five minutes, until I double over and laugh at myself uproariously. But that’s the thing about writing. You put yourself out there for rejection over and over again, in small hope that somebody — anybody — might find something they like about your words. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people, it doesn’t have to be an agent or publisher, you just want your story to touch somebody’s heart. And when they do, it’s as though all your Christmases have come at once, and it spurs you on to write more.
So I’m happy to keep on getting the rejection letters (or emails are they more often are nowadays), because the communication I can’t live without is from my readers. A Facebook message, a comment on an Instagram post, or like yesterday, a tweet where somebody says they loved my book. These are the things that make my day.
I’m so excited to finally be sharing this new book with you. A year in the making, it was one of my very favourites to write. I hope you will enjoy Amy and Callum’s story as much as I have!
Here’s what advanced reviewers have been saying:
There is just something special about this story, Carrie has managed to interject the right levels of drama, twists, mean-girls, silly-boys, sexy-times and snarky asides and two really likeable and relatable characters that just keep you turning the pages. – Claire, Goodreads reviewer
I loved Amy; young and sweet with a quiet strength and temerity and she has a realistic outlook on life. And Callum; every time the man opened his mouth I fell a little bit more for him. – Nicola, Goodreads reviewer
This was a really great read and I can’t wait to go back and read Carrie’s other books. I could not put this down. The characters draw you in and refuse to let got until you have their entire story. –Joanna, Goodreads reviewer
Secrets have a way of coming out…
Amy Cartwright isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she’s flighty, her ex believes she’s a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she’s plain crazy. But there’s a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.
Callum Ferguson isn’t looking for excitement; he’s had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it’s as though the light has come back into his life, and he can’t get her out of his mind.
Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They’re soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, including each other.
Author note: Canada Square is the third in the Love in London series, but can be read as a standalone book.
Today I’m delighted to welcome fellow writer, Brenda Margriet, to my blog. I first got to know Brenda through the Romance Writers’ Weekly bloghop we both participate in, but then we started to beta read for each other, which has been a wonderful experience. Brenda has a new book coming out very soon, one I really enjoyed reading. More details are below Brenda’s post!
So without further ado, let’s see what Brenda has to say about writing!
Writing is a lonely business. Most of us sit in an empty room, being taunted by a blank screen and bombarded by the silence – at least until the voices inside our head start talking.
I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. At first, my only goal was to finish the damn thing. I told myself I didn’t even care if it was ever published – I just wanted the satisfaction of putting thousands of words on paper in a semi-coherent format that told a story. Preferably a good story, and one that people might want to read some day. But finishing it was the goal.
I achieved that goal five years ago, and since then I’ve written four more manuscripts. My first two were published by a small press, and my third, WHEN TIME FALLS STILL (my first foray into the world of self-publishing) was released in all formats yesterday!
But here’s the point I’m trying to make: while the first draft of the words on the screen was done in solitary confinement, none of these books would have come to fruition without the community of writers I’ve discovered online, including the lovely Carrie Elks.
In a world dominated by cats on youtube and ridiculous memes on Facebook, social media is also a life-saver for those of us writers in smaller communities. I live in a good sized town in Northern BC, but finding other romance writers is difficult. Online, however, the chances to connect are endless, and I’ve made some very good virtual friends, both writers and readers, who are truly my support and my inspiration.
And one more thing! I’m giving away 5 copies of When Time Falls Still. Enter here http://gvwy.io/t9drasv by April 15th for your chance to win!
Professor Charlotte Girardet is focused on one thing – securing tenure at a large, prestigious university.
Her career is firmly on track, but her life is complicated by her attraction to rough and rugged security guard Justice Cooper. It isn’t only Charlotte’s heart in danger, however. Tensions blaze on campus after several students are viciously attacked.
Struggling to balance her ambitions and her growing passion, Charlotte takes a leap of faith, and trusts Justice with her deepest secret. But when the assailant’s attacks escalate to kidnapping, will Charlotte have the chance to decide between her long-held dreams or a new life with Justice?
Charlotte braced herself against the motion of the elevator, but not before her breasts, protected only by thin fabric and thinner lace, brushed Justice’s chest. He was standing so close she felt overwhelmed. Not intimidated—he didn’t scare her—just…swamped by his nearness.
Or maybe it was the heat in his eyes.
Ocean depths had nothing on the blueness searing into her, she thought wildly. Vertigo weakened her knees, but she couldn’t look away.
“I—” She broke off, swallowed, and tried again. “I don’t know what to say.” He toyed with the end of her braid, and she swore she could feel the touch of his fingers fizzle up the strands, down her spine and into the soles of her feet.
“Did you honestly think I wasn’t attracted to you?” His voice rumbled, low and sexy.
The doors slid open. Thank God the hallway was empty. Her legs felt disconnected from her body, but she managed not to stumble. She unlocked her office, seeking refuge inside. Justice followed.
He wasn’t going to let it go. Perseverance was his greatest strength—and his most irritating habit, she thought peevishly. “I threw myself at you and you walked away.”
“I just about took you up against your front door.” Frustration coloured his tone. He scrubbed his hands over his close-cropped head.
“Fine. Maybe you were right.” She lifted her satchel off her shoulder and tossed it into a nearby chair. “Maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly enough.”
“Maybe.” He crossed his ankles and leaned against the wall, the casual stance belying the tension evident in the fists jammed in his pockets, the set of his shoulders. “Now what?”
“I don’t know.” The collar of his uniform jacket had kinked up on one side. Without thinking, she stepped forward to smooth it down. He caught her hand and held it. Her fingers curled into his.
The connection felt good. It felt right. Maybe she should stop thinking altogether, and just go with her gut.
She never did that. She planned and researched and debated and planned some more. Trying to regain her equilibrium, she tugged away and escaped behind her desk.
“Let’s look at this rationally,” she said. His scarred eyebrow arched and amusement flickered in his face, but she battled on. “We are both healthy, single adults. For some reason, we seem to have strong physical chemistry.”
“Some reason?” The amusement was uppermost, now. His lips remained firm and straight, but she could see it in his eyes, as usual.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are not the kind of man I ever thought I’d be attracted to.”
He lowered his lids and regarded her through narrow slits. “Right back at you.”
She bristled, but took her own advice and let it go. “Regardless, we could take advantage of this mutual appeal.”
“There’s the professor I know and…admire,” he murmured.
She ignored the sarcasm. “I’m only here for a few more months.” The exam today was the last she needed to invigilate. As soon as they were marked and the results submitted, she was flying out to spend Christmas with Sonny and family, returning a few days before the start of the winter session. “Are you in any of my classes next semester?”
He shook his head, watching her closely.
“Would you consider a short-term, exclusive relationship, with a predefined end date?” There, she thought. That sounded mature, sensible. No need to let emotions colour what promised to be a satisfying adult affair.
He straightened from the wall, looming to his full height. “Would this so-called relationship be strictly physical? Or could it involve social aspects as well?”
Once again, she sensed an underlying current of laughter, but she ignored it. “I can’t see why not.”
“And it would come to an end the same time as your contract?”
“Or earlier, of course, should either of us find it no longer meets our needs.”
“I thought English professors were supposed to be romantic.”
Romance. Love. That’s what hurt you. Sex, on the other hand, was just sex. “Not all of us.”
If you’re looking for a great contemporary romance, WHEN TIME FALLS STILL is the book for you. The romance between Justice and Charlotte was full of ups and downs but their connection, friendship and attraction a constant. A fantastic introduction to a new-to-me author, I will happily browse through Brenda Margriet’s backlist.
Margriet’s voice produces a smooth flowing narrative, intriguing sexual tension, and a well-plotted romance that takes it’s time developing as Margriet sets out to address and resolve the internal issues of the protagonists while flirting with a light suspense filled subplot.
Brenda Margriet write contemporary romances with heroes you’d meet at the grocery store. And by that she means real-life men – sexy, smart and looking for the love of their life. Her heroines are bold, savvy and determined to accept nothing less than the man they deserve.
A voracious reader since she was old enough to hold a book, Brenda’s idea of the perfect holiday involves a comfortable chair near the water (ocean, lake or pool will do), a glass of wine, and a full-loaded e-reader.
She lives in Northern British Columbia with her husband, three children (all of whom are taller than her) and various finny and furry pets.
Join Brenda’s newsletter and be the first to know about new releases and other exciting news! Plus, receive a free c-copy of her short story, The Life She Had Before.