#AbuseTalk Forum Opens Today

I’m delighted to share a message with you today from Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings, in which she announces the Grand Opening of her Abuse Talk forum. Please read on to discover a bit more about Jennifer, her advocacy for women in abusive relationships, why she decided to open the Abuse Talk forum, and how you can join the forum.

Grand opening image

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Up to date information on the day on virtual opening event: https://www.facebook.com/events/227612351343912/

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

A bit about my journey:

circle jenny-smMy debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, it’s opened many doors, it’s connected many people, it’s supported lots of individuals and it has created a community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

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Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. That’s when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

FORUM final

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

 Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? That’s not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the time zones most used.

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

Jennifer Gilmour

Jennifer Gilmour

Jennifer Gilmour

 

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TGB Presents… H. A. Leuschel

The Geeky Bibliophile Presents...

I’m delighted to welcome H.A. Leuschel to the blog today for a guest post and an excerpt from her new book My Sweet Friend.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading this guest post as much as I did. Enjoy!

Lies Change Lives

There are small lies and big lies but 18th Century moral philosopher Immanuel Kant famously declared that one should ALWAYS be honest, never tell lies, no matter what!

No matter what? You may ask. Does honesty stand above all other moral premises? Could a range of exceptions not require the debunking of his claim at the very least in extreme situations such as when a person has the power to decide between life or death?

I would argue that white lies can be excusable even when voiced simply to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or to help someone out of a gloomy mood. However, there is a fine line between laziness and the more flagrant goal of deception when lying. The latter can be the reason for families breaking up, spouses divorcing or the cause for deep-rooted hurt. The longer a person has been lied to or the longer someone has been lying, the harder it will be to find a redeeming excuse.

Lies therefore have the ability to change loyalties that until their discovery seemed solid and they hence have the ability to fundamentally change lives.

Lying is a symptom shared by the most convincing, cunning and ruthless individuals such as psychopaths and narcissistic manipulators. They have an invincible sense of self-importance and an addictive urge to project an image of power and perfection at all cost which are fueled by the rewarding tools of charm, diversion and … clever deception.

Hence, coming back to Kant, he most likely had a good inkling when he suggested that ‘you should always treat another as an end and never merely as a means to an end’ and that even small seemingly innocent lies always have the risk of becoming bigger ones, especially when the guilty itch isn’t quite itchy enough or your intentions simply turn out less honourable than they initially appeared. If further the bigger lies become a habit and don’t rob the liars off their sleep, worse, leave them feeling satisfied, it is hard to define under what conditions lies can be defendable. Like anything in life, whether the skill is morally laudable or not, skills require training, effort and hard work. The danger lies in the brain progressively adapting to the dishonest behaviour and the longer the lies, the harder it would seem to be able to change the conditioning of one’s sensitivity to telling the truth. The truth and nothing but the truth or at the very least the intention to do so most of the time therefore appears to be a basic requirement for any interpersonal trust.

In my new stand-alone novella, I explore the idea that when crossing the line between truth or lie too often, it becomes a curse the person is eventually unable to shed …

About the Author

H. A. Leuschel

H. A. Leuschel

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

For more information about the author and her upcoming books, please visit:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

About the Book

My Sweet Friend cover

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

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Purchase on Amazon

 

Excerpt from My Sweet Friend

CHAPTER 1
Alexa, Biarritz
Monday, September 18

I breathed a sigh of relief as the sea air ruffled my hair, and then slipped on a pair of large-framed sunglasses in an attempt to hide the dark shadows under my eyes. They were the result of many long working hours; weeks and months of relentless efforts to live up to the high expectations at work and the desperate struggle to always stay on top of my game.

Here, no one knew me. No one would judge me for skipping my usually elaborate make-up routine. No one would notice that I’d chosen unremarkable outfits on purpose to blend into the crowd, and had donned a pair of comfortable sandals instead of the achingly-high heels that complemented my typically carefully selected office clothes. If I’d learned one thing over the years, it was the fact that both immaculate looks and controlled behaviour could go a long way towards influencing people’s impressions of me.

I swatted a fly away from my calf which then tickled my neck and, after a few moments, returned to my knee. I sniggered about the analogy – I felt somewhat like a fly myself: swatted, and in danger of being crushed whenever I made a mistake. The corporate world was ruthless, especially in the competitive field of sales and marketing where I belonged. It was an area I’d come to love and hate in equal measure over the last ten years, the high point being that it allowed me to move to exciting and trendy places such as Paris, my latest stop in a long string of jobs.

The cappuccino in front of me emitted a delicious aroma. I picked up the spoon and mixed the white fluffy top which was sprinkled with chocolate powder, into the dark strong coffee. It had been a while since I’d had the leisure to sit on a beach café’s terrace, lick sweet white foam off my lips, and watch the world go by.

I slipped an elastic band off my wrist, pulled my long blonde mane into a ponytail and then, in a few swift moves, lifted the hair into a loose bun at the top of my head. The hot coffee warmed me from within and sweat trickled down my back.

The sun had been scorching all morning, much to my surprise, as we were well into September already. I was on a week’s sick-leave for which I had rented a small, inconspicuous apartment in the centre of France’s southern seaside town of Biarritz. I needed to clear my head and allow myself the space to think. What had brought me here was exhaustion, maybe a burnout as my doctor had suggested, the result of working too hard for too many long shifts. A yawn escaped my mouth at the thought, and I craned my neck to catch the waitress’s attention. A warm, sugary smell suggested that a fresh cake or a plate of pastries had just come out of the oven. The idea of having a sweet appealed to me.

Just as I was about to signal to the staff again, my mobile vibrated with an incoming call and I smiled weakly when I saw the caller’s name on the display, then grudgingly tapped to respond and lifted the phone to my ear.

‘Hi Rosie, dear,’ I said, my voice calm and cheerful, yet inwardly I felt slightly on my guard.

From the moment Rosie and I had first met we’d seemed like two peas in a pod. There’d been an instant solidarity between us, but it was a friendship that appeared to have recently cooled, for reasons I could not yet fully understand. Leaving my colleagues to do my job as well as their own was the most likely reason. It couldn’t have been easy to accept my demand for an immediate break, especially when it had happened so suddenly. I’d had no choice though. I stifled another yawn, then focused on Rosie.

‘Hi,’ she said, her voice sounding far away, so I slid my finger along the side of my phone and increased the volume. ‘Where are you? You sound distant … or maybe it’s a bad reception. How are you feeling?’ Her choice of words was benign and casual; however her tone of voice was anything but. Instead of the usual warmth I would feel when she enquired about my well-being, I felt a stab of pain in my stomach. She wasn’t being genuine and I thought I could detect suspicion.

‘Yes, all’s good. I’m resting. I can’t believe how much I need to sleep but hey, it’s just what the doctor ordered.’ I suppressed my irritation, keeping a jokey undertone in my voice.

Everything had been going so well this time. I reminded myself just how helpful and supportive Rosie had been. I admit that sensing the camaraderie between her and the team had irked me. I wanted to be the focus of Rosie’s quiet, attentive gaze, her head set to one side when she listened. Now that I was included in her circle of friends I couldn’t let anything jeopardize that.

‘That’s good. I hope you recuperate quickly because it’s tough without you.’ Was there a slight whine in her voice?

‘I know, and it’s sweet of you to say that. I’ll do my best. Look, I’m sorry, darling, for leaving you in the lurch like that, I really am. I do understand how you must feel but my health is more important than …’

‘Than what, Alexa?’ Rosie cut in. I was lost for words, and unsure about how to explain my current state of mind. My free hand closed in a fist as I pressed it down on my lap.

‘Well, health is everything, don’t you think?’ My question sounded desperate, so I added another few comments for good measure. ‘You hear about more and more people dropping like stones because of a sudden heart attack or a nervous breakdown. It’s awful to feel so utterly exhausted.’

‘Of course it is, it is for all of us …but you’re still new to the team. It doesn’t look good to take time off like this, doctor’s certificate or not. But, as you say, health is everything. I know that more than anyone.’ Rosie had softened; I heard her sigh. ‘You do what you have to do and rest. We’ll weather it,’ she said with her usual compassionate warmth and what I believed to be her insatiable source of understanding. I exhaled with relief.

‘I just had to get away for a bit. The pressure in the office is inhumane. From the word go I was out with clients, writing reports, even taking stuff home to finish. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but maybe I need to get my heart checked with a cardiologist. The GP mentioned that, too, what with my Dad suffering a heart attack.’

‘You never said, Alexa.’ Rosie’s voice was solicitous.

‘You know me better than anyone, Rosie. I would never moan or tell others about my family issues.’ The line went silent for a moment. ‘Sorry, darling, did you take that the wrong way? I wasn’t implying that you can’t talk to me about yours. You know that, don’t you?’

‘Sure I do. Listen, I need to head off, got to pull the campaign together, remember?’ Rosie’s voice trailed off. I had to admit to myself, and myself alone, that staying in control had become increasingly harder.

‘Of course. Anything you need, just text or call me.’

‘Okay. I really hope you get better soon. Let’s speak later, right?’ She clipped off our conversation and hung up. There’d been a glimmer of hope at the end of our chat that she’d come back round to me, the tone of her voice mollified.

I smiled and slipped the mobile into my bag and wiped my forehead with the back of my hand.

‘Well, well, you never really know people,’ I muttered under my breath, eager now to eat the small square of dark chocolate that had come with my coffee. I slipped the flat tablet out of its packaging and placed it on my tongue to melt, pleased with myself. The waitress looked in my direction, so I lifted my hand to ask for a glass of sparkling water and the bill.

As I left the café, the heels of my sandals clicking on the pavement, another call made my phone vibrate again. I decided that it was best not to answer it and let whomever it was believe that I was asleep or under the shower. It was most likely another office enquiry and, if so, they should struggle to work out the problem themselves and see just how invaluable I was.

I squinted, sheltering my eyes with one flat hand against the sudden brightness of the sunlight, and then swung my bag over my shoulder as I continued on my way, still feeling the vibration of my phone through the fabric until it went silent. All I could sense was the breeze tugging at the loosened strands of my hair, and the sound of the waves luring me in.

I walked towards the sea and stopped when I reached the edge of the pavement where the beach began. A walk in the warm sand was just what I needed to alleviate my frayed nerves. Do something good for yourself, the doctor had advised – a break, a weekend in a spa, anything to de-stress. Okay, doctor, I responded to his comment in my head. A walk along the shore was exactly what I was going to have. My hand snaked into my bag and I pushed the phone’s off button to silence the other world, the one I’d gotten away from for now.

TGB Presents… Andrew Joyce

The Geeky Bibliophile Presents...

Happy Saturday, everyone! I’m delighted to host a guest post from Andrew Joyce today. Andrew is no stranger to TGB; I hosted not one, but two, guest posts from him last November. It’s a pleasure to work with Andrew again in promoting his new book, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. The anthology was published  September 21, and Andrew is kindly sharing one of its many short stories with us today. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Thank you for joining us today, Andrew!

The Geeky Bibliophile Presents… Andrew Joyce

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Andrew Joyce

What you are about to read is a true story. It’s from my book, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, a collection of short stories that are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. My hitching adventures are true. The Danny narratives are also true, but written from a perspective different from mine. The fiction stories are a jumble of genres.

There are a whole lotta stories in the book—700 pages worth. Enough to keep you reading for the foreseeable future.

Here’s one of my hitching adventures. By the way, in the hitching tales, I use my real name, Billy Doyle—Andrew Joyce being my pen name.

John, Kris, and Me

It was 1968; I was eighteen-years-old, and I was hitchhiking from Miami to New York. I had gotten off the beaten track, so to speak. I should have stayed on US 301 (this was before the Interstate Highway System), but instead found myself just south of Memphis, hoping to catch a ride into Nashville by noon and then catch a long haul out of that city.

It was early morning. The traffic was light, and I wasn’t having much luck when, suddenly, a black Mustang screeched to a halt, and the guy driving leaned over and said through the open passenger-side window, “I’m headin’ to Nashville, that do you any good?”

Of course I said, “Yes,” and jumped in.

As he’s accelerating, he’s looking straight ahead, not saying anything, which is kinda strange but not unusual when you’re hitching. So I said nothing and stared out the windshield at the fast approaching skyline of Memphis. Then it hit me. I know this guy; I should have tumbled from the voice.

At that time in my life, I was not into different types of music; I liked rock n’ roll. Since then my taste in music has matured to encompass all types. But even though this guy wasn’t a rocker, I knew him and his music. A couple of his songs had crossed over and were played on the top forty stations.

The driver was intent on what he was doing, but I think he caught me looking at him out of the corner of his eye. I noticed he had a firm grip on the steering wheel, his knuckles were white. After a few minutes, he turned to me, saying, “Howdy, my name’s John.” At the same time, he raised his right hand from the wheel and stuck it out in my direction.

We shook hands, and I said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Cash. My name is Billy.”

Once John and I shook hands, he became more talkative. Hell, he became downright verbose. He told me about his hitchhiking adventures and asked me about mine. We were three hours out of Nashville and I don’t think there was another quiet moment for the whole three hours. We talked about life, women, and we even got into a metaphysical discussion. He told me about his army days and the time he was arrested in Texas. Just to keep even, I told him stuff that had happened to me while on the road. We didn’t talk about his music or anything like that. I’d been around enough to know that coming off as a gushing fan would have been a major turn-off for him. And besides, at the time, I was not a fan, gushing or otherwise. But by the time we hit Nashville, I was becoming a fan… of the man if not his music.

As we neared Nashville, he told me he’d just gotten married a few months back and was dying to see his wife. “I’ve been gone two days and it feels like two years,” he informed me. Then he said, “It’s about dinner time; why not stop in and get something to eat and then hit the road. June’s a great cook.”

Dinner is what country folk call lunch.

I accepted his kind offer, and we got off the highway and headed for his home, which was only a few blocks away. When we got to his house and as we were pulling into the driveway, he said, “Looks like June is out somewhere, but don’t worry, we’ll rustle somethin’ up.”

I told him not to bother, that I could cadge a meal down the line. He looked at me, shook his head, and in that deep voice, he asked me if I had any money. Of course, I didn’t and I told him so. He told me that he’d been on the road and hungry, and that if I didn’t get my butt in the house pronto, he’d drag me inside.

So in we went, and we walked right back to the kitchen. John told me to sit at the table as he opened the refrigerator and looked around for a moment before saying, “Ah ha! It’s still here.” And he pulled out a platter with a ham on it. I mean a real ham, bone and all! He also came up with a jar of mustard and a hunk of cheese. As he started to slice the ham, he told me where the bread and plates were kept and asked me to get them.

When the sandwiches were made—two of them—he asked me if I’d like a beer.

“Yes, please.”

So there I am, sitting in the kitchen of a man I’d met only a few hours before, and I’ve got two thick ham and cheese sandwiches and a can of beer in front of me. Not a bad score and the day was still young!

I asked him if he was going to eat, and he said beer would do him fine.

We’re sittin’ at the kitchen table, shooting the shit, when the doorbell rings. John gets up, but before he leaves, he takes a long swig of beer. “Be right back,” he says. A few minutes later, he comes back into the kitchen with this guy.

“Billy, I want you to meet a friend of mine. This here is Kris.”

I had my mouth filled with ham sandwich, so I mumbled a hello. He waved and smiled, “Glad to meet ya, Billy.”

John asked Kris, “How about a sandwich and a beer?”

“Just a beer, please. It’s my lunch hour, and I’ve got to get back to work. But I have a new song I’d like you to hear and see what you think of it.”

By now, I’d eaten my two sandwiches, and I had nothing to add to the conversation, so I figured I’d just finish my beer and get the hell out of there. But before I could say my thanks and hit the road, John leaves the room and returns a moment later with a guitar.

Prior to my going any further, I’ve got to lay the scene out for you. We’re sitting at a round kitchen table. To my left is John and directly opposite me is this guy, Kris Kristofferson (before he was famous). John and I were hitting our beers and watching Kris tune the guitar. Then he picked at the strings and started to sing. I don’t remember what the song was. I wasn’t really paying attention. In my mind, I was rehearsing my good-bye speech to John.

When Kris was done, we all three sat there looking at one another. I didn’t say anything because it wasn’t my opinion Kris sought. Kris didn’t say anything because he was waiting for John to say something, which he finally did.

“It’s not bad. But I don’t know if it’s for me.”

I’ve got to hand it to Kris; he smiled broadly and said, “That’s okay. I just wanted you to hear it and get your thoughts.” Then he lifted his beer and said, “Prosit.” That was my cue to leave. I stood and told John I had to hit the road. He said he’d drive me back to the highway, but I told him not to bother, he had company, and besides, it was only a few blocks away. Kris said if I could wait a few minutes, he’d drop me off at the highway on his way back to work. I declined his offer. I didn’t want to wait around. I had a full stomach and New York City was calling to me. I said my good-byes and walked out the front door, retrieved my case from the Mustang and headed off for further adventures.

Just one last thing: When I got to New York and opened my case, there was Benjamin Franklin staring up at me from on top of my clothes. John must have put the C-note in there when he went to let Kris in.

About the Book

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups cover

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction… some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

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Purchase on Amazon

About the Author

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.

Author Lance Morcan on Silent Fear + ARC Offer for TGB Followers

I’m delighted to welcome Lance Morcan— who has co-authored several books with his son, James— to the blog to tell you all about the writing duo’s upcoming novel, Silent Fear. Lance has kindly offered to provide free ARCs of the book to any TGB follower who is interested. How awesome is that? (Details about the ARC offer can be found at the bottom of this post.)


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Guest Post: Behind the Title (Creation of a Love Story) by Cynthia Roberts @CynthiasRomance

I’m happy to share a guest post by romance author Cynthia Roberts with you today. In it, Cynthia discusses how music and literature are connected, and how she made use of that connection in her Love Songs Standards book series. As an added bonus, Cynthia also tells you how you can access a FREE download of the first book in the series, Unchained Melody. Enjoy!


Behind the Title
(Creation of a Love Story)
By Romance Author Cynthia Roberts

Romance Author Cynthia Roberts

Author Cynthia Roberts

Creating romantic fiction has been a passion of mine, ever since I was old enough to understand the connection between the sexes.  I think I was twelve, when I wrote my first love story and like most young minds; I truly thought it was a masterpiece.

There’s another masterful connection that has been going on now for centuries, and that is the one between music and literature.  There is a full alphabet of songs that have been written retelling a work of literature as far back as the 18th century.

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was based on a poem, Lady of Shallot.  “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet.  The artist Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was based on an Anne Rice novel, Interview With A Vampire.

More interesting though, the anatomy of a song has also within its lyrics a pretty fascinating back story as well.  For more than five decades, authors have been creating fictional pieces and bringing readers deep inside the lyrics.  I grew up listening to my mom’s collection of romantic ballads from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Those lyrics have forever been embossed into my brain, I still sing along whenever I hear them.  Lyrics like those back then told a story, and they were so strong, and emotional, their affect were everlasting.

I have a library of love songs on iTunes I listen to religiously, while I write, as a source of inspiration and a tool that gets me in the mood and mindset I need to be in.  It is from this list, I began to formulate a series of ideas, followed by cryptic notes on paper, and finally the creation of my Love Song Standards series.  I made a list of the songs I connected with personally, whittling it down to thirty-five.  That number was quite overwhelming and I thought virtually impossible to create that many scenarios.  So, I chipped away at the songs and their lyrics, until I decided on a top ten.

I had made a commitment to myself to finish one book a month throughout 2016, writing a chapter every day, leaving me ample time to polish and edit each one.  I knew from the on-start, what I wanted my covers to look like.  They had to resemble each other in a way that would tie them together, but strong enough for them to stand on their own.  My designer Covers by Ramona did an exceptional job tying all my ideas together.

Love Song Standards series covers

After Book 6, Chances Are, was completed, my brain was fried.  I took a short reprieve and switched it up a bit with a romantic suspense, A Pawn for Malice.  Happily, the first two books of my series received a 5-Star Readers Favorite Award, which ended my promotion efforts.  I was forced to take an extended break due to personal issues that had set me back both physically and emotionally.  My focus now is to both promote my series and finish the final four titles All The Way, It’s Impossible, Sincerely, and Unforgettable.

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, please do check out my Love Song Standards series.  I know you’ll be pleasantly pleased.  Buy links and descriptions are available on my website at RomanceAuthorCynthiaRoberts.com.  If you subscribe to my mailing list, we can stay in touch as to when the other titles are completed PLUS you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Book 1, Unchained Melody.  All that I ask is for you to please, please share an honest review at the online retailer you use most. It will help me dramatically towards promoting my book and the series.

Hugs from me to you. ❤

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5star-flat-web

“This is definitely a novel that I would read again. It is going to stay on my bookshelf for a very, very long time.”  —Readers’ Favorite