Marcus laughed with delight at Malik’s wit. “I think you’ll have the opportunity to decide for yourself. Now, come to bed.”
Here’s where you can connect with Jo:
“They say if I care about myself
I’ll pay for this product, that gym membership
work hard and burn my candle at both ends to get ahead
oh, and don’t forget my beauty sleep because YOLO!
You. Only. Live. Once.
Is that living?
Same pattern, day after day –
Go to school, get a job, get married, have kids – here’s a box
fit yourself into it and don’t forget to be yourself.
Who am I?
Mother, Wife, Lover, Friend, Performer, personality without end…
Move, Breathe, Heave something so I can feel deeper…
They ask: What do you do?’
How do you put a price on priceless work.
So I devalue myself because I don’t know what I’m worth.”
Full version of the new spoken word piece on YouTube.
Preorder link: Rebound
“This is a powerful and marvelously told story. I never saw the first version, so I have no idea what was missing from Claire’s story/experience, but whatever it was, this full-on revision will knock readers’ socks off. Kudos to you for reaching deep and putting it on the page. Very real and moving.”
**This book was previously published. It has been re-edited, re-formatted, and re-released.**
An award-winning choreographer faces her biggest heartbreak when she’s teamed up to coach with her former lover at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.
Claire LeMay is at the top of her game—she’s head coach for a top gymnastics facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she’s avoided for three years after rejecting his offer of coaching under his command at his club in Ottawa, Ontario.
After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire’s presence invades his space, he realizes she’s the one thing that’s missing. Clueless about why she didn’t accept his earlier job offer, he is determined to discover why she turned him down.
Will they be a rebound romance, destined to repeat the same old routine, or can they choreograph a new one?
“Nice, eh?” Shelley said. “Want to check out the second floor?”
Tamping down on the rising emotion, Claire nodded and turned, following Shelley up the stairs. At the top, they walked straight into a viewing area equipped with enough chairs to seat an army and a bunch of toys in one corner. A small canteen filled the opposite corner, complete with vending machines.
She stroked her chin thoughtfully and smiled. Justin knew the parents and other family members of gymnasts had a place in the gym, and he wanted them comfortable, albeit from a distance. She’d heard he trained his own coaches and made sure they received coaching certification. If the rumor held true, his club had upwards of a thousand members, from preschool to elite.
Tears pricked her eyes. And he did it all without me.
The murmur of voices drew her attention to the left, and she walked down a small hallway with a boardroom and a door marked Dance Studio off of it. Claire blinked her tears away and swallowed the lump in her throat.
I’ve got to pull it together. She moved toward the boardroom, where the coaches were gathering. Some of the coaches were here to observe, like Shelly, while the rest coached the attending athletes. Since almost everyone knew each other, they took turns shaking hands and giving hugs. Everyone greeted her with hearty hellos, and she turned to greet another coach only to find herself face to face with Justin.
Her heart skipped a beat, and she froze on the spot. With a roomful of eyes on her, she did the only sensible thing she could think of—she hugged him.
His surprise registered in the way his body tensed, but to save face, he brought his arms around her and gave her a manly slap on the back that made her cough. “Good to see you,” he said.
“Likewise,” she murmured. “Shall we begin?”
Justin leaned up against a wall, arms crossed over his chest, and watched as Claire led the girls in a warm up. Compassion filled his heart for her. She gave a hundred percent effort into everything she did. Anger flickered in his gut. Why hadn’t she given their relationship just as much effort?
He continued to watch as Claire instructed the girls on a series of still exercises designed to work on their posture, poking and prodding them into position. Then she made them perform successions of leaps across the floor.
He gave an imperceptible shake of his head. None of the gymnasts leaping across the length of the floor had half the grace Claire possessed, nor did they have her presence. A mere five feet one inches tall, when she stood with that impeccable posture and spoke in her clear voice, she could be mistaken for a giant. Too bad she hadn’t been given her chance to shine.
Heat flared in his loins as he watched her perform a leap to demonstrate. Jesus. Fuckin’ perfect. Disgusted with his body’s traitorous response to her, he distanced himself by heading upstairs again.
He snagged a bottle of water from the refrigerator in the canteen and, unable to resist, looked down from the upper level window as Claire led the gymnasts through a short choreographed routine to a pop song. He knew they’d add to it each day, and at the end of the week, the girls would perform it for the coaches. Since the girls had come from all over the country, it provided a good way for them to get to know one another while they did something fun.
He chuckled as they tried to copy Claire’s movements. With the patience of a saint, she went over the steps again and again, watching them intently, giving instruction on arm placement and hip movements. Watching her dance had always captivated him, and it did so now. She had the amazing ability to observe a routine and then perform it near-perfectly.
The grace she possessed spilled into other areas of her life, too. He recalled how she’d accepted defeat that day at the Canada Olympic Trials, never shedding a tear, or swearing, or calling the other girls down as some gymnasts did when they lost. She had made a mistake and accepted it stoically.
The dancing stopped, and the lack of movement on the floor brought Justin back to the moment. Claire stared up at him. He nodded and smiled at her. She tucked a non-existent stray lock of hair back behind her ear and grinned shyly in return. Her cheeks flushed, and she bit her lips together.
His heart thudded in his chest. Ah, shit.
He knew right then he hadn’t succeeded one whit in putting behind him what they had shared. In the past, ignoring her had worked, at least somewhat, because he’d known that once the meet was over, they’d both return to their home provinces. Now that they were working alongside each other they’d be expected to field questions and converse with each other, not to mention everyone else. Time to let bygones be bygones.
How the hell do I do that? So much remained unsaid between them, and he didn’t know where to start—anger at her for walking out on him, anger she hadn’t shared his dream. And if he were honest—pissed at himself for letting things get so far off course.
Staring at her now, his heart pounded hard, like a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway. He heaved a sigh. Could he be man enough to call a truce? Would she believe his intentions were sincere? She had no reason to, and he didn’t blame her, but he’d never be able to move on if he didn’t try.
She gave him another half-smile, her blue eyes shining up at him.
He scrubbed a hand over his face and turned away, expelling the air from his lungs.
She’d be here in his personal space for a week. He wouldn’t be able to ignore her this time, and he knew it. So much for not examining my emotions.
Pondering goodwill gestures, he turned and jogged down the stairs to the gym.
It’s important as an author to have fresh pairs of eyes look over your work once it’s completed. Other people see things you might miss, even though as authors we can be the most critical of our work. When I’m re-writing a book for instance, I have someone beta-read for me to make sure I’m not missing plot points, or to make sure I don’t have parts of the story that should have been deleted still in there!
Beta-readers are important because these are people you trust that are fans of the genre you write. They will be able to tell you what they liked, what they felt fell flat in your book, and give you good suggestions because they read so many books in the genre. If you don’t know any readers of your genre, I’m sure you know someone who loves books. An avid reader will be able to do the same because they know what makes a good story flow for them while they’re reading.
A critique partner differs from a beta-reader in that your critique partner is usually another author you trust to read your work – someone you know will give you good advice on plot points, editing, character development etc.
When I joined a writer’s organization, I met a lot of great authors at a conference and some of them became my critique partners for a time. Now that I’ve been published for a few years, I use beta-readers more often than critique partners, mostly due to the fact that I’m not a new author anymore, my confidence at being able to write a good story has increased, and I have great editors I work with on a regular basis with my publishing house. Nowadays, I want to know if a reader feels anything is missing for them, and I take their feedback and feel out how or if I want to change anything.
I get asked a lot to critique people’s work, and unfortunately these days my answer is ‘no’ for the simple fact that my writing schedule is busy. I do critique samples when I host workshops. My advice to authors is to join groups in-person or online. Be open to constructive feedback. It’s difficult to have someone be critical of your work, but if you’re serious about being good at what you do, you need to be able to hear what others have to say about what you’ve written. Be wary of people who tear down your work. There is a difference in constructive feedback and picking apart everything you’ve done.
I recall the first time I hired an editor to edit one of the first books I’d ever written. It came back with so many red track-changes that at first I cried! Then I saw what she’d done, and I knew I could learn. I encourage everyone to love what you do, but step back and let others help you make your manuscript shine. Be open to how others view your work because there is so much to learn, and another perspective gives you a fresh view of what you’ve done. You do not have to always agree with a beta-reader or critique partner, but more often than not, if these people care about you, they will want you to become better.
**Please subscribe to my Youtube channel to keep up to date on the latest performances, writing tips and more!
Author Cameron Allie has a special promotion this summer! Check out the post!
For the months of July and August if you purchase one of the novels in the Unexpected Changes series (My Mistletoe Master, Not His Type, The Perfect Fix, or Somewhere to Belong) directly from the publisher (EXtasy Books) and send me proof of purchase, I’ll send you a FREE copy of Neptune’s Passion.
Hot Greek male looking for roommate for tropical vacation. Must be female. Must be sexy brunette, with a passion for reading. Must be Natalie Donovan.
When Griff asked her whether, to cut costs, she’d like to room with him at their friends’ wedding, Natalie should have said no. But now as they sip margaritas on a white sand beach, Natalie finds flirting with her long time crush a little too easy. And finds sleeping next to him, night after night, to be too much temptation.
A few chapters further, Natalie got interrupted when water was dripped onto her legs. Frowning she glanced up and found Griff looming over her. With his Greek ancestry, dark features, and sharp blue gaze he resembled the Roman God Neptune. In the fading daylight, water glistened on his body. The only missing pieces: the big beard, and the trident.
“If you want to keep your book safe I recommend you put it away.”
Confused she asked, “Why?”
She shrieked, when without warning Griff squatted down, placed one hand under her bent legs, the other behind her back, and lifted her into his arms. Natalie struggled to get away from his cold, wet body. “Put me down.”
In the pool, their friends laughed and cheered him on.
“You’re going in the water. You can do it alone or with the book.”
“Fine.” She huffed. “Put me down, though.”
He did as she asked, but suggested, “You might want to lose the cover-up too.”
Natalie growled her displeasure over that, but set her book on the chair and dropped her white beach cover-up over top of it. She went a step further and put her glasses on the table. If she was reading the situation correctly, it would be safer if she left them behind. She stared up at a now slightly fuzzy Griff. “Better?”
His gaze ate her up, and with deep male appreciation he replied, “Much.”
Feeling playful, Natalie crossed her arms under her breasts. “I’m not going in the pool.”
He grinned. “Oh, yes you are.”
Deciding she wouldn’t make it easy, Natalie deked around him and darted away. She wasn’t nearly fast enough. She hadn’t even made it passed the end of the pool before he caught her around the waist. Hoisting her up once more, Griff stood at the deep end of the pool. “In you go.”
She squealed in protest as he stepped off the ledge, dropping them both into the water.
As part of the pro series, A Novel Creation, I welcome author Lorette Moore to my blog today to discuss what she’s learned in the publishing industry.
Begin the new year by changing the story of your life by learning to write the novel in your heart!
**Please note this is a THREE workshop series. Participants may register for all or for the workshop(s) of their choosing. A discount applies when registering for all three. These workshops are for beginners or more experienced authors, fiction or non-fiction.
INVESTMENT: $40 for 1 workshop
$110 for all 3 workshops
Payment may be made by eTransfer, PayPal, cash or cheque. To register, please email or call Kellie: email@example.com or 204-996-0440.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Workshops tend to fill quickly and are capped at 15 participants. A $20 deposit for one workshop, or a $45 deposit if registering for two or more will be required to hold your spot. Deposits are refundable only in case of emergency.
LOCATION: 1016 Marion St. Winnipeg, MB (Back addition with the Ancient Design sign in the window)
DATES & DESCRIPTIONS:
Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
Stuck on a plot point? Experiencing writer’s block? Have a great idea, but not sure how to begin? Author’s in all stages of their writing ask me how I overcome these obstacles all the time. In this workshop we will focus on discovering the blocks to our creative process, and how to develop our process in order to keep creativity flowing even when our process changes over time. Participants examine the question: What IF? And learn how to apply it to their storytelling to begin an outline for their first short story or novel.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
SEVEN POINTS TO PROPEL YOUR WORDS INTO CREATION
Participants create or strengthen an existing outline of a short story or novel using seven plot points. Discover how this simple outline tool can be used to plot a novel or short story, write a synopsis, and ensure you’ve got everything you need to bring your story to life, as well as pitch it to an agent or publisher. Participants will leave the workshop with a working outline of their book.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
POLISH ‘TIL IT SHINES!
In this workshop, authors will develop their editing toolbox, learn how to use the five senses to enhance their story scenes, and discuss publishing options for their finished product. Authors are encouraged to bring the first two pages of their book to begin the editing process. Discussion on the publishing process will continue, and we will focus on what to do once you’ve polished your manuscript.
Visit the Facebook Events page for updates and postings! Hope to see you there!
Click on the above link to join the event page on Facebook, for updates, teasers, and information on the writing workshop I will be holding in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday, May 2 from 10:30am-12:30pm. Join us for a fun-filled, interactive morning!
This workshop will be run again one evening, with the date to be determined. It will also be held online at the end of May.