Studly Period: An Exciting New Addition to the Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen!


Studly Period

A brand new serial delivered straight to your email inbox from bestselling author

Sarina Bowen

About Studly Period…

She’s a brilliant writing tutor. Too bad she’s tongue-tied every time he sits down in front of her…

There are 1016 people in the freshman class at Harkness College. I can’t be the only socially awkward nerd girl virgin among them. Right?

It’s time I learn to talk to guys without blushing and stammering. So I take a confidence-building job at the student tutoring center. Twelve bucks an hour, plus human interaction. What could go wrong?

A fun-loving French Canadian hockey hunk, that’s what.

When Pepe St. George sits down at my tutoring table, my brain shuts off and my mouth goes right into hyperdrive. Even the sound of my name on his lips—Josephine—gives me a mini orgasm.

I want to hand him my V-card. But all I manage to hand him is…my thesaurus. And my dignity. All seems lost, until I hatch a plan to get him alone…

How it works…

Beginning on Tuesday, March 20th, you will get one chapter each week, straight to your email inbox! Anyone who signs up midstream will immediately receive links to previous chapters. No reader will be left behind!

An excerpt from Studly Period…

“Bonjour.” The deep voice—from right above me—startles me so badly that I jump. My phone goes clattering to the desktop as I whip my chin upward to see whoever snuck up on me. 

Désolé!” he says. “I should come back later?”

“No,” I say, fumbling my phone back into my bag. “Please sit down.” 

My heart is banging against my ribs, and not only because he startled me. If possible, I’m even more awkward with men than with women. It’s worse if they’re attractive.

And this guy? Very attractive. Wow. He has a wide, handsome face and coal-dark eyes ringed by impressively thick lashes, and a broad face. Broad shoulders. 

Broad everything. Wow. He must eat a lot of protein. And now I’m staring as he arranges himself in the chair opposite me and draws out a folder. He’s really handsome. One of the BPs, for sure. 

I can’t stop staring. There’s something rugged about him that’s hard to describe. There’s color in his cheeks—at least the part that’s not covered with dark scruff. And his biceps bulge from the sleeves of his T-shirt. He reminds me of a superhero going incognito, concealing his identity among the ordinary college students. 

Though the muscles can probably be explained by the logo on his T-shirt—Harkness Hockey. 

It’s always the jocks who need tutoring. I swear. Nadia I have a disagreement about this. She says that jocks are used to coaching, and thus accept tutoring help more readily than the general population.

“I think they’re just not as smart,” I always tell her.

She just shakes her head. “You say that, but you’re still intimidated by them. So which is it?”


“How can I help you,” I whisper up at this handsome giant. 

He frowns, and then folds massive hands onto the desk between us. “Excusez-moi?” 

People always tell me my voice is soft. That I’m hard to hear. He must agree, because he leans forward, those big, dark eyes blinking in close proximity. It doesn’t help the knee-knocking, teeth-rattling nerves that overtake me whenever a beautiful man looks at me.

Get a grip, Josie. “How can I help you today,” I ask carefully.

Bon. I have the paper due for English. And my English is not so excellent. So I hope you will help me find all the places I fuck it up. I bring it…” He opens a folder and rifles through some papers.

For a long moment I just blink at him. “Your English…” Did he just say that he didn’t speak the language?

“When I come to Harkness last year? I don’t speak much English at all,” he says, dropping a rough draft of an essay on the table between us. “Please help me find zhe places where I fuck up the grammar.” 

His honesty has stunned me. The Harkness students I’ve met so far would never admit to any kind of weakness. In fact, they tell me that most students wait until their grades are in jeopardy to find the tutoring center at all. 

And I don’t blame them. Struggling? That’s shameful. Harkness is a top-notch school where everyone worships at the alter of intellectual exceptionalism. With an admissions rate that hovered around nine percent, having a big brain is the only way to get in. 

Or at least I thought it was. Every year, something like a thousand valedictorians get rejections from Harkness. Who would dream of implying that he isn’t as qualified as the next student? 

This guy.

More in this series…

The Ivy Years novels are a series of inter-connected stand-alone stories. The first book is The Year We Fell Down, available at:

The Man in the Black Suit – Another Masterpiece by Sylvain Reynard

The Man in the Black Suit-Promo Photo

It’s Here at Last!

The Man in the Black Suit

Author: Sylvain Reynard

Publisher: Argyle Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance-Suspense, Standalone

Release Date: December 19th

Format: eBook, Paperback, Audio


Front Cover, The Man in the Black Suit, by Sylvain ReynardAcacia Santos excels at her job as concierge at the prestigious Hotel Victoire in Paris. When her superior, Marcel, is attacked in a supposed random mugging, she is tasked with serving one of the hotel’s most mysterious and attractive guests.

Nicholas Cassirer checks into the hotel under an assumed name every three months. Usually, he stays in the penthouse suite with a beautiful female companion but on this occasion, he arrives alone and is displeased in having to deal with someone new. A match of wits ensues as he tests Acacia’s expertise with a series of almost impossible demands. Her intelligence and creativity rise to the challenge, earning his respect.

They strike a tenuous accord until Acacia discovers a famous stolen painting in his suite, she contacts a former boyfriend who works for the elite BRB, a unit of French law enforcement that deals with art thefts.

Nicholas is questioned by police and released when it is revealed the painting is a reproduction. Irked with her behavior, Acacia’s supervisor demotes her threatening dismissal and the cancellation of her work permit.

But Acacia has already attracted Nicholas’s attention. Remorseful that she may lose her job on his account, he offers her a choice – she can wait until her supervisor dismisses her, or she can leave the city of lights behind and become his personal assistant.

Acacia initially refuses his offer, but Nicholas is persistent. He reveals himself as a man who quietly acquires stolen art in order to restore it to its rightful owners. Faced with mounting familial debts and the possibility of dismissal and deportation, she agrees to work for him.

Nicholas opens up a whole new world of beauty and intrigue to Acacia as they travel the globe. Soon the line between employer and assistant is blurred, and the two lonely people embark on a passionate relationship.

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Buy The Man in the Black Suit — Available today on Amazon

Amazon eBook:
Amazon Print:

other platforms to follow…

My Review of The Man in the Black Suit

The Man in the Black SuitThe Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As much as I love to read books by this author, words often fail me when it comes time to write a review. I never feel up to the task. But reading, recommending, and promoting his work is such an honor and a pleasure that I am compelled to do my best to capture the intensity of the reading experience and the inspiration I feel every time I pick up one of his novels – to read for the first time or to re-visit them, as I often do when I need to feel fully alive.

That being said, his latest novel, The Man in the Black Suit, is a triumph: an intricate, complex romantic journey that seamlessly weaves history, art, culture, suspense, and romance into a visual, visceral reading experience that will stay with you long after you finish the last chapter. I’ve been anticipating it for nearly a year, finished it in a day, and I already long for more. It was, in a word, stunning. I don’t know that I’ve ever used that descriptor before, but it’s the first word that came to mind when I closed my Kindle. I had–and still have–a book hangover that will last through the New Year.

As with all of Sylvain’s body of work, TMITBS deals with our deepest human failures, urges, and complex emotions: guilt, fear, shame, hate, racism, the desire for vengeance and the desperation for redemption. It exposes our greatest conflicts and darkest weaknesses; but ultimately highlights the very best traits humanity has to offer: hope, strength, courage, compassion, forgiveness, passion, tolerance, and abiding love. It is impeccably researched and flawlessly written in third-person, lyrical prose that is uniquely Sylvain Reynard. It is the best standalone I’ve read in 2017, and I would love to see Nicholas and Acacia again in a future story.

View all my reviews

About Sylvain Reynard


I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

Twitter: (@sylvainreynard)
Join “SR’s Fox Den” on FB:
Instagram: @sylvainreynard

Dirty Rich One Night Stand — A HOT New Standalone from Lisa Renee Jones!

Lisa Renee Jones is back with a sexy, stunning STANDALONE:


GENRE: Contemporary Steamy Romance

RELEASE DATE: October 18, 2017



That’s all it was supposed to be. Her. Him. Pleasure. And then a fast goodbye. He’s a stranger. And yet, he’s not. She knows him even though he doesn’t know her.

He’s the powerful attorney, now world-renowned after coming off the trial of a century which was publicized across the country. And I’m one of the reporters that sat in his courtroom.

I watched him, studied him, got to know him from afar which isn’t hard since I know his exact brand of confidence, arrogance, and wealth.

I know his type. I’ve dated his type. Which is why when I happen to come face to face with him, when sparks fly and heat simmers between us, I know what happens if I say “yes” to Reese Summer.

I know he’ll taste like sin and sex, even before he kisses me.

I know he’ll feel like pleasure and passion, even before he touches me.

I know he’ll demand more than I wants to give, and yet, because I dare to give myself to him, the result will be deliciously hot.

I know that I will not leave his bed without being utterly, completely sated.

And I know that I will leave the next morning anyway.

And so, I do.

And so, he follows.

And as chase begins my question becomes: Is Reese Summer THE one or is he really just a dirty, arrogant lie that should have stayed a one night stand?

teaser for Dirty Rich One Night Stand


Special Release Day Price — 99 cents — will go up to $4.99 shortly after release!

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“You’re as perfect as I knew you would be,” he says, his voice managing to be both sandpaper and silk on my nerve endings, as he adds, “and almost as naked as I want you to be.”

The idea that he has wanted me as much as I have wanted him does funny things to my stomach, but more so, delivers an unexpected wave of illogical vulnerability. This is sex. The end. I don’t want or need to feel anything more. I want and need him naked and fucking me now, fast, hard. That’s safe. Desperate to find that safe place, to shift the control from him to me, I push to my toes, my breasts molding to his chest, and press my lips to his lips. They are warm, and he is hard everywhere I am soft.

And his response to my kiss, the answering moan I am rewarded with, is white-hot fire in my blood that he ignites further with a deep, sizzling stroke of his tongue. He slants his mouth over mine, deepening the connection, kissing me with a fierceness no other man ever has, but then some part of me has known from moment one that he is like no man I have ever known. Which explains why he is everything I want. And nothing about this night is what I expected, any more than this man is anything I can control.

But there is something intensely arousing about the idea of trying.

As if claiming I am reaching for the impossible, he molds me closer, his hand between my shoulder blades, his tongue playing wickedly with mine, but I meet him stroke for stroke, arching into him. He cups my ass and pulls me solidly against his erection. He wins this one. Now I am the one moaning, arching into him, and I welcome the intimate connection. I burn for the moment he will be inside me.

But I also want him to burn for this just as much as I do, and I need to touch this man. Really, really, need to touch him. My hand presses between us, and I stroke the hard line of his shaft. Reese tears his mouth from mine, pressing me hard against the pillar supporting the window again, and when his hands leave my body, when his palms press to the concrete above me again, I sense his withdrawal is about control. I was winning. I confirm that as reality when our eyes lock, and the dash of fire in his eyes is lit by one part passion and one part challenge.

“If I slide my fingers between your legs right now,” he says, “are you wet for me? Are you ready for me?”

“Why don’t you find out for yourself?” I dare him, testing him, pushing him.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling the bestselling DIRTY MONEY and WHITE LIES series. And will be publishing the first book in her Lilah Love suspense series with Amazon Publishing in March 2018.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned a multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.


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Am I What I Write? (Posted for the IWSG Monthly Blog Hop)

IWSG logo

It’s IWSG Day Again!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. This month’s question is:

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

My Answer … ABSOLUTELY, and it’s always purposeful.

Why? Because I am inseparable from my writing. I believe that’s what “finding your writing voice” truly means, at least what it means for me. Writing is an almost magical combination of intent and imagination, a mental and spiritual place where your life experiences and creativity combine to create something that is uniquely yours.

If you’ve ever entered a contest where you’re given a storyline (or even just a keyword), you know it’s true: one hundred different writers will deliver one hundred distinctly creative entries, each one influenced by his or her own experiences, preferences, and personal characteristics. That’s what makes writing such a beautiful, life-affirming experience. And why I will keep writing until I can no longer hold a pen or use a keyboard.

Writing Inspirational Quote by Jeff Goins
Source: Jeff Goins on Pinterest


The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

Blog Hop Link:

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About IWSG: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.


Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder, noticed a lot of blog posts from writers mentioning their doubts, concerns, and lack of confidence. He also saw the positive replies they received and realized that the writing community offered an abundance of support. Writers want to see other writers succeed, which is how he came up with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This group would act as a form of therapy, letting writers post about situations where they need encouragement, or to offer words of encouragement to others if they have experience.

On September 7, 2011, Alex launched the monthly blog posting of the IWSG and it has been going strong ever since.

On the first Wednesday of every month we share of thoughts about writing on our blogs. We also have an optional monthly question to assist with member’s posts, which can be found on the Sign-Up page.



The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has grown since conception. Over 250 people are a part of the blogging community that posts on the first Wednesday of every month, known as IWSG Day.

The group has expanded beyond blogging into other forms. We have a Facebook Group with 3,000+ members. Our free monthly newsletter, which has featured industry experts like Jane Friedman and Sandra Beckwith, has 600+ subscribers.

We offer a free guide for writers: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Guide to Publishing and Beyond. We have an annual anthology contest, and the first book is available now – Parallels: Felix Was Here. The second, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, will be released in May, 2017. We even have our own merchandise which include pens, magnets, and T-shirts!

Alex and the nine other administrators are actively pushing the group to greater heights. Nothing is impossible when insecure writers band together.

Rescued, An Elkridge Novel by Lyz Kelley: Blog Tour & Review!


(An Elkridge Series Novel)

by Lyz Kelley

Release Date: 12th September
Genre: Contemporary Romance 




What happens when you realize too late that you’re in love?
Karly’s animal shelter business is failing. Right now, she has too many animals, and not enough foster parents, trainers, or adopters to keep food in the bowls, and she’s desperate to find options. When her first love returns home from Afghanistan wounded and alone, she offers Thad a win-win situation—a job in exchange for training a special needs dog.
Thad wants to be left alone. He feels responsible for not spotting the IED before it killed his friends and his war dog. When Karly drops off a dog for him to train, memories of their deaths swamp him with guilt.
Corruption is tearing the small town of Elkridge apart. Thad is brave enough to give his life to save Karly, but is he brave enough to live? Will she be strong enough to survive? Will fate allow them a happily ever after?

RESCUED is a sensual, contemporary romance about a brave woman and a heroic man who fulfill their dreams. If you like heartfelt characters, deep topics with powerful emotional cores, and happy endings, then you’ll love this sixth book in Lyz Kelley’s tales of strength, love, and survival. Buy RESCUED to unlock the emotional tale today!

Read my 5-star review of RESCUED and add it to Goodreads HERE.

Buy The Book on Amazon (UK) 
or Amazon US

Release Promo Ad for Rescued, by Lyz Kelley

Meet Lyz Kelley


Award-winning author Lyz Kelley resides in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. She’s a lover of board games, gardening, and painting, a disaster in the kitchen, a compulsive neat freak, and tea snob. She loves writing about strong women who have endured challenges and the men who enrich their lives.
A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy through her masterfully written stories.

To keep tabs on her award-winning novels, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at Members receive an exclusive copy of Regrets, (the prequel to the Elkridge Series), learn about thoughtful giveaways, and get a sneak peek at upcoming releases. Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out for more information.


Newsletter Sign Up:

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An Interview with Lyz…

Why would I want to read the Elkridge Series?  Each book in the Elkridge series is a piece to a puzzle—a suspenseful mystery involving the murder of a small-town sheriff. You get six contemporary romance books to figure out the mystery and a bunch of happy ever after (HEA) endings. Two novels in this fiction series—Blinded and Orphaned—are award-winning romance books.

Where is Elkridge, Colorado?  Elkridge exists only in my mind. On any given day, I can stop at River Creek Café for Jenna’s fresh baked cinnamon rolls, or shop for a birthday present at Mara’s Blooms, or get my nails done at Kym’s nail salon. Sitting in the park eating lunch, I can watch the kids play and hear the latest gossip from neighbors. Later, if I want, I can stop at Mad Jack’s to hear a local band play and get some dinner. Elkridge is a great small town where the sun shines 360 days a year, and people do their best to make ends meet.

Would you tell us about your writing process?  It takes me awhile to write each stand-alone story because I am passionate about creating the very best stories for my readers. These contemporary romance books have complex plots and sub-plots and include suspense romance threads, with deep emotional women’s fiction elements, humor and even a bit of quirkiness. I’m so excited to see the 5-star ratings because it means I’ve created the ideal mix to provide readers with a few hours of enjoyment.  
Many of your books have challenging topics. Why? The easiest explanation is that I believe everyone can be honorable, brave and loved no matter the circumstances. Blindness, domestic violence, and abuse can create fear and insecurities, yet each situation can be overcome with a gentle, patient, and healing love. In my heart, love begins with respect and the willingness to listen to gain mutual understanding. Without those two components, a relationship filled with love is hard to build.
How did the Elkridge story line develop? I don’t want to spoil the series ending, but the series story arc started with Colorado legalizing marijuana, then it went from there. Question after question started popping into my head. The first question was, “How will the illegal drug trade change?” I started researching news articles on drug trafficking to find answers. Then one day a story formed. I’m glad I had my research notes when I talked to an FBI agent to nail down technical aspects of the story. Otherwise, he might have been a little more curious about why I was asking such in-depth questions. There is a saying, “Don’t judge me by my search engine history, I’m a writer.” {grin}
You say you write about honorable men and brave women, but your characters are so flawed. Everyone can be a hero just by offering a smile, holding a door for another, or opening a medicine bottle for a person with arthritis. Heroes aren’t only those individuals who accomplish grand gestures. We may feel a smile is insignificant, but to the person on the receiving end, we might just have made that person’s day. Being a hero isn’t always about rescuing a child, or stopping a bank robbery, it can also be about the little things in life that bring joy.
Would you ever do a spin off of the other characters introduced in the Elkridge series?
I love this question! What a great way to introduce the Lonely Ridge spin-off series. I chose to differentiate the Lonely Ridge series from the Elkridge set because this group of books will not have the mystery thread included in the Elkridge series. Each new book will be a stand-alone love story and will include the quirky characters from the town I’ve come to love. I’m hoping to have the first book in this new series out in time for Christmas.


Head to Lyz’s website to enter the giveaway –

Other Books in the Elkridge Series

Blinded – Buy Here

Spurned – Buy Here

Abandoned – Buy Here


Orphaned – Buy Here


Exposed – Buy Here

Thought for the Month: Elements of Surprise in the Life of a Writer

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I’m one of those people who doesn’t like surprises — even good ones. However, as with other facts of life, surprises are inescapable; and the majority of them, at least in my experience, are welcome. It’s the fear of the unexpected that repels those of us who ascribe to the myth that we have control over what happens in our lives. We enjoy inflicting the element of surprise on our loved ones (who may not necessarily appreciate them), and we enjoy seeing those surprise wedding proposals on the KissCam at sporting events, but surprises are for other people, primarily those outside our private bubble.

When I saw this month’s optional question, “Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?” the answer was easy. Every. Single. Day. As a debut author, whose only previous works have been unpublished attempts at fan fiction, the inspiration for my first “serious” work might have been the biggest surprise of all.

After dabbling in a disastrous attempt to co-write an erotic suspense novel with another indie author, I thought I might close up my laptop for good. I’d been burned–badly–by someone I trusted like a sister. My contributions were torn apart and ultimately deemed unworthy by my co-author, and I believed her. I felt like a failure, a fraud, and a fool. The betrayal was the worst kind of surprise–the kind that makes you question your self-worth, or worse, abandon your dreams.

I loved that story–and its principal character–so much, letting it go was like burying a loved one. Later, seeing it retitled and published by my former friend added salt to the wound that burned from the inside out. Then came the second surprise.

As I drifted off to sleep one night, a long-buried incident from my past turned into the story that only I can tell, and Where Angels Sleep began to unfold, like buds on a grapevine after the cruelest of winters. At that moment, as I frantically captured thoughts on paper, the characters came alive and guided my pen. The bitterness of previous experience faded and the surprise of self-discovery took hold.

Every time I’m tempted to give up–when I get blocked, the middle gets muddy, or yesterday’s prose reads like utter crap–I remind myself that this story is mine alone to tell. That the tragedy that inspired it infuses every paragraph, but its happy ending is mine to imagine. I remember the young man–my beloved cousin Paul–to whom the book is dedicated, and I resolve to finish it as a personal tribute to his memory. To devote the time, effort and money it takes to make it the best it can be. To publish it and to love it, even if it never hits a list.

As it turns out, the book’s theme has everything to do with what happens when life spins out of control, and how the right surprise, at the right time, can change our destiny. For a woman who’s not fond of surprises, this amuses me to no end.

Today I took a long walk to consider what to write for this month’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) post. (BTW, It should come as NO surprise to those who know me that I’m an insecure writer!) As I walked, enjoying the first cool, sunny day in weeks, a song from the Where Angels Sleep playlist came to mind. It deals with the memories–and associated feelings–that we bury “down deep in our souls.” To me, this speaks to the essence of authentic writing–the surprise of what emerges when we take ourselves to new depths and explore that which we most fear.

Please listen and enjoy. Think about what unique life experiences have led you to tell your stories. Leave a comment about them, if you please. Then go forth and write your next story.

About the IWSG

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting:  The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Check out the details and sign up on the IWSG website!

The awesome co-hosts for today’s posts are Tyrean MartinsonTara TylerRaimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.

#ISWG Thoughts for August: Pet Peeves While Reading, Writing & Editing

#ISWG logo

Q: Do you know an insecure writer?

A: Well, now you do…

I confess that I’m a devoted follower of the ISWG (aka the Insecure Writers Group),  a community of writers whose purpose is “to share and encourageeach other. It’s a place where “writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” If you haven’t discovered #ISWG, click the link above and check us out!

The first Wednesday of every month is #ISWG Day. Members post a response to a pre-determined question, reaching out to readers and fellow group members, sharing their thoughts, support, encouragement, doubts, and fears about a writing-related topic. This month’s question is,

What are your pet peeves while reading/writing/editing?

Our #ISWG Day co-hosts for August are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner.

Be sure to visit their blogs and see what they have to say!

And, after I’ve shared a few of my personal pet peeves, feel free to comment with your own, as a reader, writer, or both.

Pet Peeves While Reading…

Pet Peeves while Reading-Interruption

I know I’m not alone in this one, but being interrupted while I’m reading is the worst. Sometimes I resort to putting my noise-cancelling headphones on, if for no other reason than to broadcast that I’m not available for conversation. Or texts, phone calls, cooking meals, or basically anything other than running from a fire. I will signal my willingness to be interrupted by closing my book. Until I do that, approach at your own risk.

Pet Peeves About Writing

Again, interruption is the worst, and in our house, with an extrovert husband, a greyhound, and two neurotic lap cats, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. I unplug the landline, turn off notifications, activate my Freedom App, and even post a sign outside the door, but some days I’m lucky to get a paragraph done without interruption. I’ve found that I write best on a long airline flight, because, again, noise-cancelling headphones, and a look that says, “back away slowly. There’s nothing to see here.”

I have one other writing peeve, and this one concerns being a writer. Simply put, I’ve found that many folks just don’t think writing is a serious job that requires work and time. Lots of work, lots of time, all the time. When someone asks what I do for a living, and I say, “I’m a writer,” I can feel the blank stare before I see it. And those who show enough interest to ask what I’m writing seem to have no idea what to say when I tell them it’s a contemporary romance. Even when talking about writing with other authors–presumably those who don’t write or read romance–I’m usually on the receiving end of a sigh, followed by an awkward pause. And then there’s the inevitable, immediate assumption that I write smut, which I don’t . . . but if I did — and I might someday — deserve the same respect that every other writer does. Whether it’s Hemingway-level prose, a travel blog, a children’s book, poetry, or Writing for Dummies, it’s hard work. Even more, to serious writers, it’s an investment of the mind, heart, and soul.

**steps off soap box**

And Finally…Pet Peeves About Editing

1) Editing Causes Wrinkles


2) Editing inevitably includes an extended period of time during which my insecurity comes out to play. But I’m not alone in that, either …

Having said all this, the truth is I live for the experience of reading and writing. (Editing my own work, not so much, so I work with an amazing editor who “gets me.”) But, despite the drawbacks, the awkward moments, and the crippling self-doubt, when my debut novel is finally published, it will be totally worth it.

P. S.

If you’re so inclined, you can read the first few, unedited chapters of my work-in-progress, Where Angels Sleepon Wattpad and Goodreads.
Thanks for reading this month’s #ISWG post!