Breaking Men Once Again

When I first sought out to write Once Written, Twice Shy (OWTS), I never knew that inspiration would strike me where I sat. Nowhere near half-way done with writing the book, it became clear to me that I had wakened some sort of dragon.

Here’s a little secret about me…I love a challenge. And OWTS proved a big one for me. Little did I know that a plethora of new yet delightful hurdles awaited me along with it.

First, I was writing from a male’s perspective.  Second, I chose to do it in first-person to boot! For anyone who’s done this, you know your characters need a certain amount of depth and substance to keep the reader engaged. Taking up the challenge, I strove to portray the everyday aspect of a man’s life: the loves, the losses, the gains, the dramas, the in-betweens and yes…the heated passion.

As I wrote Paxton’s journey, I knew that I was writing a character that everyone could relate to in some shape or form. The fact that the rest of the cast was lovable (for the most-part–one must have a villain or two in the mix, right?) also helped. Suffice to say, as I moved along with OWTS, certain characters became deserving of their own story. And thus The Broken Men Chronicles series was born!

The Broken Men Chronicles (BMC) series features men, in their 30’s. They come from all walks of life, successful in their own right but there’s just something that’s missing. Trading on various life circumstances that have led them astray, thus miserable, each novel carries a journey toward self-discovery and happiness with a few bumps along the way. What’s great is that much like television, we have cross-overs which means some of your favorite characters from previous novels return for another fifteen minutes of fame.

And this leads to the long awaited news of the next book in the the BMC series!

Let me introduce you to Almost Forgotten (AF). Here’s a short synopsis to whet your appetites.

Jake had it all: money, women, and great looks. He was happy. Well, he thought he was.

Then, a series of women and a ghost from his past made him re-evaluate everything.

Why had she come back? Why was she standing in his firm’s boardroom with his opposing counsel? And the burning question – why did he give a damn after fifteen years?

She had broken his heart all those years ago, and Jake chose to live the life of a bachelor from there on out. Along with his fast-paced career, he maintained a fast-paced social life. It’s what worked for him. At least he’d convinced himself it did.

The loneliness of his large home the minute the housekeeper clocked-out and the women warming his bed deserted him left him wanting. Could he get what so many of his friends already had: the woman, the family, the house with the white picket fence? Maybe. But just because he desired those things, things he’d sworn off ages ago, doesn’t mean they were destined for him.

One thing was for sure; with Danica back in town, Jake’s life was never going to be the same again…

In the upcoming weeks and months, stay tuned for additional information on this winter’s release of Almost Forgotten, Book Two of The Broken Men Chronicles.

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  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 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…