Psst! She Knows What Men Think?

And they thought women were complex creatures…  Ha!

After decades of reading an array of novels: thrillers, mystery, suspense, paranormal and yeah, romance (duh), I realized one thing… I hadn’t come across many works of romance where a woman had written in a male’s perspective, in the first person.

Since I’m some kind of masochist—okay, so I love to impose a challenge or two (or a hundred) where my writing is concerned—I took a leap of faith.  Thus began my adventure!

Once Written Twice Shy FullOnce Written, Twice Shy (OWTS) was inspired by a play on online dating and my love for reading and writing.  What I didn’t know, at the time, was that not only would one book be born, but an entire series would follow!

All interconnected, yet vastly different, the men of The Broken Men Chronicles series each have a unique story to tell.  From a divorcé, to a widower, a retired militant, even the age-old lost love scenario, and childhood nemeses, these men are scarred in some way (“broken” if you will) yet they persevere.  Some battles, both physical and emotional, are tougher than others but they all seek one thing…to come out on top.

I’m no shrink.  I’m no guy.  I don’t have some degree in male psyche What Women Wantanalysis of any kind.  And no, I haven’t suffered an electrical shock much like Mel Gibson in What Women Want where I miraculously know what’s going on up there.  Now, you’re wondering how in the world does a woman pull it off?

You see, there came a point in my life (as I entered my thirties), where I came to realize that what men and women want out of life isn’t all that different: a career, a family or at least someone to call theirs, a home, friends, happiness…need I say more?  So, I seized the gauntlet and began to write.

I’m the kind of writer that writes with inhibited emotion.  If I can’t feel it, it’s no good.  In keeping close with everyday life, I like to mix things up.  From the hot and sexy, to the Almost Forgotten Fullrage, the grief, the turmoil that uncertainty in one’s life can cause, not to mention the humor, my readers are thrust into a world where they can relate.  Personally, I love nothing more than a work of fiction where I can picture myself as being part of the character’s experience. It’s that proverbial fly-on-the-wall syndrome.

Reading is an escape.  It’s a way to detach yourself from your world and immerse yourself into another’s.  Should you laugh, feel angered, annoyed, overjoyed, not to mention, thrilled at any point in a read, then the author’s done their job efficiently.

Play Me FullSome may say that I have feminized my male leads.  I disagree.  Inspired by people in my life, I wrote characters that have a certain degree of respect toward the opposite sex (yes, even players can have some).  In true guy fashion, my men’s dialect can be crass and inappropriate at times as it can be loving, sweet and endearing at others.  Same goes for their behavior.  I wasn’t looking to write up a slew of Stepford characters.  Realistic means with fault and I strive to capture that no matter who the character may be.  Of course, writing first person also means that your characters need substance and delving into each of these men’s lives, you’ll quickly come to find out, there is no lack of it.  With that said, male readers are able to relate to these characters as much as their female counterparts.

To Forgive FullIn closing, I have to say that my experience in writing from a male’s perspective has been a
humbling one.  I’ve loved the self-imposed challenge, not to mention the humorous discussions I’ve had with my male friends and husband while entertaining the task.  For those of you reading this post, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the insight to my inner writer workings.

 

Play Me to Infinity – Sample Chapter

As this next week trickles by and you’re undoubtedly growing more and more impatient for the release of Play Me to Infinity, I figured you could use a heftier dose than a simple teaser. Enjoy!

Play Me
Release Date: March 29, 2016

Chapter 1

 

I sat at Fairfax, checking out the flavors of the evening while unwinding from a grueling day at the office.  It was slim pickings in the crowd, but the night was still young.

Sitting in the back corner at a table by herself, I spotted her.  Nicole.  I might have turned her unsavory attitude around where my brother-in-law, Jake, was concerned, but the woman now had a gun out for me.

Okay, so you’ve surmised that I’m single, perhaps even a player, and I’ll admit that you’re somewhat right.

I enjoy my bachelorhood… well, sort of.  I wouldn’t say that it’s the lifestyle I’d have chosen for myself, more like one chosen for me, thanks to my ex-fiancée.

Loving Tracey with everything I had hadn’t been good enough.  Despite the numerous warnings from friends, I had been living by the ‘denial is bliss’ adage until one day, the flip of her hair, the wiggle of her tight ass, and the batting of her lashes no longer clouded my perception.

After six months of dealing with her deceit, I shredded my devoted fiancé card and moved on.  I’ve been playing the field for a year and a half since.

Truth be told, I don’t have time for a relationship, as much as I’d prefer one.  I’m the CEO of Withers International, a multi-million-dollar company that specializes in public and government relations.  Need I say more?

Ben knocked me back into the present as he dropped himself in the seat across from me.  “Rough day?”

“Rough few months is more like it.”  I huffed out a breath.  “I need a new assistant.”

The man’s brows furrowed.  “You still haven’t gotten rid of Karen?”

A dry laugh escaped.  “You mean Tania.”  I didn’t have the gall to look at my friend, knowing I’d be met with his disapproving look, and rightly so.  As of late, there was quite the revolving door where my PA’s were concerned.

“Why do you do this to yourself?”

Okay, so I may have overstepped the boundaries on employer-employee relations.  In my defense, they were the ones who approached me, not the other way around.

Ben shook his head at me.  “Tracey really did fuck you up.  This is ridiculous.”

I took a swig from my beer and let out a loud tension-filled sigh while leaning my bottle in my best friend’s direction.  “You don’t know the half of it.”

 

It was late, and despite the fact that I’d made it out tonight, my interest in entertaining a possible suitor to cap off my day was lost once Ben returned to his bartending duties.

What about Nikki?  As soon as the thought occurred, I almost choked on my last sip of beer.  I would have to be desperate – no, insane – to even approach that man-eater.

Despite my intent on ignoring the woman who had eyed daggers at me all night, I turned my gaze toward the table she had been occupying to find that she was no longer there.

Nicole was a beautiful woman, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t remember much about her from our childhood.  Hell, she’d practically been a sister; and harassing her and my sister had been one of mine and Ben’s favorite pastimes.  In our later years however, she became skittish, always quick to leave the room as soon as I entered it.  The teenager I’d been had always wondered about the possibility of her having a school-girl crush.  I have to say that I enjoyed cornering her to see that blush, especially that last summer before Mom and Dad picked up and moved us all to Austin.

Shaking the memories from my mind, I left my empty bottle on the table.  As I turned to leave, I plowed into a tiny body.  Bracing my hands on the soft skin of slim shoulders to prevent the person from toppling over, I found myself staring down into bright green pools laced with flames that were Nicole’s eyes.

What color do they turn when…?  I groaned at the imagery that flashed through my mind.  Forget it, bud, there’s no way in hell that you want to go there.

“Watch where you’re going.”

“Sorry,” I mumbled, my voice a few octaves lower than normal.

“D-do you mind moving?”

Her unsettled demeanor had me smirking.  “Do I make you nervous, Little Nikki?”

As I let go of her shoulders, she stepped back.

“No.”  She gave me a saccharine smile, but her eyes showed mischievousness.  “You make me nauseous.  Now, get out of my way.”

As she made to pass me, I grasped her elbow.  “You know,” I leaned toward her ear, the subtlety of her scent clouding my thoughts momentarily, “if you’re ever looking for someone to help you get that stick out of your ass, I’d be more than-”

The claws came out.  “Bite me!”

“I’d love to, sugar.”  I grinned, pulling away just in time to see her face turn a delightful shade of pink.  Yes, that blush was still as much fun to bring about now as it was back in the day.

As quick as our interaction occurred, it ended when she turned and trotted off.

My gaze turned to follow her exiting the bar.  I let out a low whistle as I watched those hips sway in that skirt of hers.  Her rounded ass filled the material to perfection and images of that luscious derrière, bent over as I took her from behind began playing in my head.

Damn!  It’s too bad she’s as cold as ice.

And that was my cue to head home.

 

I came to a stop in front of my large four-bedroom house and sighed.  Purchased to avoid the cramped lofts and high-rise condos, it was a constant reminder of the dream I once had of a home filled with children and a woman to worship.  Nowadays, all I had to look forward to was the cold beer in my fridge, my comfortable furniture, and a house filled with silence.

Silence.  It was always there when you didn’t want it, and never there when you needed it.

Over the last eighteen months, I kept my new façade intact, my machismo held close to the vest in an effort to mask that I was a family man to the core.  Being honest, I was miserable.  Lonely.

Maybe it’s time to take a chance?  It had been two years since I’d left Tracey, a year and a half since I chose to have absolutely nothing to do with my ex.

Danica, Jake, and so many others disagree with the casualness with which I treated my suitors, but they understood why I did it.  Well, most of them, with the exception of my sister’s judgmental best friend, Nicole that is.

So why wasn’t I going for it after two years?

The answer was simple: I was scared.

As I settled into bed, I came to realize that maybe it was time I let go of my pessimism where relationships were concerned.

Want more where that came from? Pre-order your ebook copy of Play Me to Infinity right now and be one of the first to discover how Mike’s journey turns out!

Kindle | Apple | Kobo | GooglePlay

 

Cover Reveal!!!

Tis the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the cover reveal for Play Me to Infinity, Book 3 in The Broken Men Chronicles’ series – is here! Watch for it to drop live on March 29, 2016!

Play Me Full

Blurb

It’s all about misconceptions…

Burned by his ex-fiancée, Mike Withers traded in his dream of a family and home of his own, complete with the white picket fence, and submersed himself in work. And entertaining the occasional lady.

So, when he relocated to Jacksonville to take over as CEO of Withers International, and be closer to his sister’s family, he never imagined he’d find himself at a crossroads.

Once a player, always a player, right? Wrong! At least, that’s what Mike now has to prove to Nicole Baxter…

Combine Nikki’s games with a problematic mélange of exes, and Mike quickly realizes he’s heading down one of two roads – heartache, or the life he thought he had given up. Ultimately, the choice is his to make.

Maybe his ex wasn’t the one? Maybe he’d given up too soon? And maybe happiness lay in the form of a feisty, argumentative, tiny package in a tight skirt – with the ability to turn any argument into foreplay?

What people are saying about Mike’s journey…

“Her low key yet intricately crafted descriptions invite her readers in.”

“Decevito is quickly becoming an author who will stand out in a crowd. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this sinfully sweet story to anyone.”

“Play Me to Infinity is another great love story. I highly recommend the series as the writing is smooth, the story-line engrossing, and the characters are ones you want to get to know. Its a quick read and one that will leave you smiling.”

“I can read this story over and over again. This story was certainly not boring! I would compare it to an erotica romantic suspense. A little bit for everybody!”

Teaser

PM2I-Banner1

What else is there?

It may only be live as of March 29, but why not pre-order your own ebook copy at $0.99. Available for Kindle now!

As time inches toward Release Day – too slow for some of you I’m sure – stay tuned for more information about more pre-order links, contests, give-aways, and more about this series!

A Foray In the World of Canadian Literature

I know that this isn’t the type of posting I traditionally make but seeing as my absenteeism seems to have struck a question with my followers, I wanted to share a bit of insight on my goings-on over the last year and a bit, so here goes…

Since July 2014, I have had the pleasure of working on a special program at work. For those of you who are unawares, I worked for the Canada Council for the Arts in their Writing and Publishing section as a program assistant with various grant and award programs. And before you ask, no, I don’t make the decisions on who gets funding and who doesn’t nor will your affiliation with me be of any help. Can you say conflict of interest!

Some of you might already be familiar with the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Others of you may have heard of the Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGLA’s) but I suspect in not as much detail. The GGLA’s have been in existence since 1936 (historical list of winners) and it’s been my baby since July and stands – in most Canadian literary circles – as one of the most prestigious Canadian literary awards.

To say that I’ve been subjected to many works would be an understatement. Over 1,600 Canadian works have been submitted in 2014! Make that over 1,500 for 2015! Each book have been diligently evaluated by officers to meet the GGLA eligibility criteria prior to being put forth to a cast of three peer assessors who have been tasked with the decision on who will make the shortlist and which author/illustrator/translator would come up on top as their respective category’s winner.

Over these cycles, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting each winner in both French and English categories ranging from Children’s Literature-Text, Children’s Literature-Illustrated Books, Drama, Poetry, Translation, Non-fiction and Fiction. For one week, it was one of celebration – a week to discover new genres, new reads, new talent – for those of the general public it was a week that led to the discovery of an array of works that would broaden their literary horizons as a reader. For me, it was all of the above and MORE!

I’m not one to go out of my way to get to a book-signing event, nor have I ever been to a public reading but this is a little aperçu of what my first public reading/signing event was like…

First, as a program assistant, I was not only a spectator but I also oversaw a lot of the planning and logistical work with regards to each event that took place.

The winners first arrived on Monday and had an assortment of obligations whether it be with media for interviews, public events, a visit to Parliament Hill which included their very impressive and historic library, not to mention an evening at Rideau Hall – the Governor General’s residence – where they were celebrated for their winning works.

You want to figure out how to discover new genres and disciplines to read? Don’t go to your local bookstore and peruse the shelves. Nope! Go to a public reading! Trust me when I say that if you think you’re not one for a particular literary discipline, you might discover that you’re sadly mistaken. A public event such as a reading is not only a way to network with authors, but a phenomenal way to discover something new that you might have otherwise overlooked.

This is exactly what happened to me and boy do I feel foolish!

Not only did I purchase books that I had an interest in, but I also found a collection in my hands, myself lined up for the the register, purchasing genres and disciplines I would have never otherwise walked out with at a Chapters, Coles, Barnes & Nobles, whatever other XYZ-named store before. This is because those readings–the way the author spoke of their work, the excerpts they chose, the characters’ voices that were brought to life–the entirety was so captivating that their five minutes in front of the crowd simply just wasn’t enough! Heck, I have read one of the winning books already and I wound up with the urge to go back and read it again, feeling as if I would better connect with its characters if I did!

So with that said, hopefully I’ve given you the urge to go out and discover something new, to try a new route in discovering your next read, to open yourself to the various cultures in literature and experiences within it.

In the meantime, I’m just going to curl up on the couch, my cup of coffee in hand and dive in to some of my GGLA winning books I have yet to tackle!

Happy reading!

 

How to Put a Smile on an Author’s Face

For me, writing has always been a way to escape, to challenge my mind, keep my imagination alive and have a little fun.  In my teen years, it was a way to pretend being an adult before my time, and these days, it’s a way to stay young at heart no matter the age or gender of my characters.

Over a decade has passed since stuffing my love for writing away on the proverbial shelf.  You know how it goes, right?  Life takes an unexpected turn, you leave for college, you’re too busy with classes, exams, assignments, juggling a social life along with two part-time jobs…need I say more?  Nah, I didn’t think so.

Let’s just fast-forward ten plus years…okay, so maybe more like close to the fifteen-year mark for me.  I’m in my thirties, I have one incredibly imaginative four-year-old daughter who’s a chip off her mother’s block since she’s already creating stories at bed-time.  I’m married, I have a mortgage, a car.  I’m sure I don’t need to keep listing things here.  Plainly stated, life takes you for a long ride and if you let it, you lose bits and pieces of yourself.  Small sacrifices go unnoticed until something reminds you of the void.  That’s what happened to me.

In the Fall of 2011, I stumbled upon a site called Wattpad.com.  For those of you who haven’t been acquainted with it, it’s a site where amateur writers can write and post stories, poems, whatever written work long or short.  It’s free and to be frank, sometimes the works aren’t worth your time while if you’re lucky, you’ll find some true diamonds in the rough.  Needless to say, I joined the site and started reading.  Within weeks, I caught the writing fever in the form of sleepless nights.   Oddly enough, my insomnia and weird dreams halted the minute I chose to write things down in some kind of a written work. After a month of writing, I finally took the leap I never imagined I would and began sharing my stories thanks to some pushy friends of mine.  Suffice it to say, it’s a hell of a lot easier to share with strangers than with family and friends.  I say this mainly because of the nature of my writing.  For those of you who’ve read some of my works, it’s nowhere near PG-13 ;-).  Regardless of the hesitation, publishing on Wattpad.com was what lead me to my “real” publishing journey.

Now, you might ask: how does this all tie in with “putting a smile on an author’s face” as such the title of this post states?  Well, it’s quite simple. For me, the success of my writing isn’t necessarily measured in dollar amounts.  Of course that’s a plus but success, for me, is in the form of reading and hearing what others think about my work.  I love my work and I wouldn’t have published it if I didn’t so my opinion is moot–but not yours my friends.  I mean, why publish something you’ve worked tirelessly on if no one out there will read and appreciate it?  A writer spends countless hours adding emotion to scenarios, to paint a scene, a picture if you will, for the imaginary escape of the reader.

You want to know how to put a smile on an author’s face?  *whispers*  Leave an honest review after reading their work.  It can be a few words, it can be a novella.  Authors don’t really care on the length.  What we care about is the end opinion–feedback–about our work.  After all, greatness can only be achieved by those who strive constantly for improvement and improvement can only happen, to a certain extent, with someone else’s honest opinion of our efforts.

With this said, I wanted to take the time and share a wonderful four-star review I received yesterday which definitely put a smile on my face.  Why, you ask, would you blog about a four and not a five-star review?  My answer is simple…because the reviewer stated all that I had sought out when I began writing the book.  I wrote Once Written, Twice Shy to reflect a multitude of emotions within the reader and this review proved that I succeeded in my task. If you’re interested in taking a gander at this said review, please visit Pure Jonel‘s blog.

Until next time…