New Release – Graduation Day by Dahlia Savage

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So it’s officially author’s week here at Quanie Talks Writing! Yesterday I helped celebrate the cover reveal for Melissa Maygrove’s debut novel, Come Back, and today, I’m celebrating the release of the short story, Graduation Day, by author Dahlia Savage.

Graduation Day is about a newly single college graduate. If you’ve ever pined (even briefly!) over a lost love, I think you’ll certainly identify with the main character in this story!

Here’s the blurb:

For Kendall Riley, the day of her college graduation is anything but happy, as she is still mourning the recent loss of a relationship gone bad with Mason, her boyfriend of the past three years. However, her roommate, Ameenah and her cousin Reese, come to her side to help her realize the benefits of being smart, attractive, and independent. On the biggest day of her life so far, will Kendall be able to see that the end of her relationship could possibly mark the beginning of a new life as a single woman?


The knock on my bedroom door breaks my train of thought. “I’m almost ready,” I call out.
“It’s Reese, let me in,” my cousin’s voice says on the other side. I open it and force a smile.
“Congratulations!” she exclaims, throwing her arms around me.
“Thank you,” I say blandly.
“What’s going on with you? You should be excited.”
“I am.” I force another smile. As much as I want my energy to match hers, it’s not happening.
Reese’s smile fades and she looks at me, her eyes intense. She says, “You never could lie that good. What’s up?”
“She’s probably going through cell phone withdrawal,” Ameenah calls out from her room. “She’s been checking that phone for you-know-who all damn morning.”
“Mason?” Reese asks, her face scrunching up. “Get the hell out of here. Seriously?”
“I just thought that maybe he’d call to congratulate me,” I admit. Funny, my reasoning had sounded good in my head, but now that the words have been spoken, I realize just how foolish I’m being. “I think I deserve that much,” I add.
“Well, you deserve a whole lot, but he’s not going to do any of it,” Reese says.
“Yeah, like a better reason for breaking up with you other than the bullshit excuse he used,” Ameenah says, leaning against the doorjamb to my room.
“Did you really think he’d call?” Reese asks.
“I don’t know, maybe,” I answer. Reese sighs, heavy and loud. The look she gives me, with almond-shaped brown eyes that match my own, says I should know better.
“Let me see if I’ve got the story in your head right,” she says, tossing her purse onto my desk. “He’d call, you two would talk, and he’d realize how stupid he was and ask not only for your forgiveness but for another chance. Because you love him so much and believe that he’s seen the error of his ways, you’ll take him back. He will then drop everything, drive eight hours through four states and two turnpikes all night long.”
“In the rain. Don’t forget the severe thunderstorm he’ll have to drive through. And because he forgot his umbrella in Detroit, when he shows up, he’ll be all soaking wet and shit, like Eriq LaSalle in Coming to America, minus the jheri curl,” Ameenah adds.
“Right,” Reese says with a snap of her fingers and a light chuckle. “Can’t forget that part.” She turns back to me. “So he’ll drive through tornadoes and hailstorms just to get to you. Then he’ll take you in his arms and make hot, passionate love to you for the next seven days. And then you two will go on to live ‘ever after’ in bliss and harmony. Did I get it right?”
“You two heifers are a couple of smart asses,” I say with a roll of my eyes.

Wanna buy the story? It’s available now on Amazon! And you can add the book to your TBR list on Goodreads.

Author Bio:

Dahlia Savage is a native of Detroit, Michigan. From a young age, she was gifted with an ability to combine her love for the written word with a vivid imagination. After graduating school with a degree in business, she entered the workforce and gained a variety of experience she would later draw from, including over three years of marketing and communications, a few years as a freelance business and journalism writer, and 18 months as a flight attendant. However, she would return to her first love of writing fiction to balance out the business writing involved in her day job.
Although she currently resides in Tampa, Florida, she is and always will be a Detroit girl. She is currently working on her next project while simultaneously attending classes towards a second degree and raising a son with her husband.

Connect with Dahlia online!


Cover Reveal – Come Back by Melissa Maygrove

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Today I have the pleasure of participating in a cover reveal for author Melissa Maygrove. Her debut novel, Come Back, is a Western Historical Romance and will be released on May 12th. But for now, let’s swoon over the cover, blurb, and excerpt below:)

Sometimes a single choice alters the course of a person’s life forever.

Come_Back_Ebook cover for bloggers

Book info:
Title: Come Back
Author: Melissa Maygrove
Genre: Western Historical Romance
Category: Adult / New Adult
Publisher: Truelove Press
Expected release: May 12, 2014
Cover design by Carrie Butler, Forward Authority Design Services


Left behind by everyone she loves…

Rebecca Garvey had the promise of a California future dreams are made of, until the wagon train her family was traveling with left her behind. Now she’s slowly dying in the wilderness, abandoned and stripped of her self-worth. Once the shock of her desertion turns to embittered despair, she doesn’t want to be found. Then a handsome stranger challenges her convictions and changes her mind.

Headed for Texas, chased by the demons of his past…

Seth Emerson knows exactly what he wants. Working to save for a cattle ranch of his own keeps him busy and keeps his pain buried. Rescuing a stubborn woman from the hills of New Mexico Territory isn’t part of his plan—but she’s exactly what he needs.

Making greater sacrifices than either of them could foresee…

Seth and Rebecca set off on a risky journey and a quest for truth, each healing the other’s love-starved soul along the way. Will they give in to their growing attraction?  Or will they honor their commitments when Seth returns Rebecca to civilization… and her betrothed?


Becca relaxed and breathed deeply as they cantered across the countryside. Clear skies spanned the horizon, and sunlight warmed her everywhere it touched. The heat of it was welcome in calm, cold air.

When the sun was nearly overhead, Seth stopped at a stream. He surprised her by stealing some kisses, saying he was getting his fill while the horses drank theirs.

She gently chided him as a proper lady should, then abandoned that insanity. Her fingers gripped his nape and her tongue sought his, turning his chaste kiss into something darker. They both groaned. Hands groped and bodies ground together in a futile effort to get skin against skin. Seth’s hat was knocked from his head, but he gave no notice.

He finally pulled away, panting. “Damn.” A smile curved his luscious lips. “I shoulda gone swimming instead.”

Author Bio:


Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she’s not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she’s hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Connect with Melissa online:

Twitter @MelissaMaygrove:
Goodreads author page:


#ChickLitLove: Romantic Excerpt from “It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy”

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It’s day two of #ChickLitChat’s Valentine’s Week Celebration and up today? A romantic excerpt from my chick lit novel, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. How does Jazzy meet her love interest, Reggie? Read below to find out!



I walked inside the mall and as usual it was jam packed with people walking faster than necessary. Some women were dressed in sweats, carrying hand weights and exercising. There were couples pushing baby strollers, teenage girls who had gone overboard with the blush and eyeliner, and those kiosk people who are always trying to sell something that I’ve either never heard of or certainly don’t need. I’ve learned that the best way to avoid these people is to not make eye contact because, if I do, they pounce on me immediately, asking if I want to buy a pair of shades, or a thumb massager, or whatever other ridiculous items they’re selling at the time. They always tried to find a loophole through whatever excuse I gave them. I’d even had one guy say to me, “Come on! I know you can afford this! Look at your purse!” The purse was a fake Coach bag that Annie had given to me after she bought herself some knockoff Gucci. Some hustler. He couldn’t even tell the difference.
I said, “First of all, this purse is stolen. Second of all, even if it wasn’t, I think my money could be better spent on something else.”
“Like what?”
“Something I can actually use.”
He leaned over and whispered, “We have dildos, too.”
I rolled my eyes and walked away. That day, I tried to skedaddle past him without catching eyes but for some reason, he remembered me. He shouted, to my dismay, “Stolen Coach Bag Lady!” I stopped short and did a quick about face. I walked over to him, feeling my face burn as several people looked at me. Some of them even clutched their purses. He was smirking, the bastard, and standing there eating one of those Red Delicious Apples, the name of which has always bothered me. Yes, it’s red, and yes, it’s an apple, but I, the consumer, will decide if it’s delicious, thank you.
He was about six foot two (give or take a couple inches) with a goatee, bald head, and a gorgeous smile. He looked like he knew his way around a basketball court. In another life, I would have been swooning because I have always had a thing for handsome men with skin as smooth and dark as whipped chocolate. But I had been reformed. My sucky dating track record had taught me that if I’m attracted to a guy, that’s a clear indication that I should run to the nearest exit. It took some time, but I had finally learned to ignore that very loud skadush sound that my vagina made when it saw someone it liked. I learned that a skadush does not a good boyfriend make. A good lay, maybe. Long-term relationship, probably not.
He took another bite of that apple and smirked some more. I said, “Do you always harass potential customers who are walking innocently by, minding their business?”
“I have a thing for pretty thieves.”
“First of all, I did not steal this purse. I only told you that so you would leave me alone.”
He gave me the “Chile, please” side eye. “Where’d you get it from, then?”
“My sister, Annie.”
“Right.” He tossed the apple in the trash and picked up one of the purses he was selling at his station. It was brown with white fur at the top. “Now, this is what you need.”
“Oh, really? I need a brown bag that looks like it should have been a cowboy boot?”
“This is hot. Everybody’s wearing this purse.”
“How much?”
“Normally, I’d sell this for fifty, but seein’ as how I like you so much, I’ll let it go for forty-nine ninety-nine.”
“How generous of you.”
“I try.”
“I think I’ll pass.”
“All right, but I’m tellin’ you, you’re missin’ out on a good deal.”
“Mmm hmm.”
“What’s your name?”
I was going to tell him my real name but decided against it. “Serai.”
“That’s pretty. All right, Serai. Maybe I’ll catch you on your way out.” He smiled. Okay, he was cute. All right. Beyond cute. The man was all kinds of fine. But I kept my composure and turned around nonchalantly, bumping into a large man with tattoos all over his hairy arms. He looked like he did a stint or two in Alcatraz and didn’t seem too unhappy about me being pressed against him.
He wiggled his fat fingers and smiled. “Well, hello.” I would probably have nightmares about those beer bottle opening teeth for years.
Sometimes when I got nervous, I spoke the little bit of French that I remembered from high school. “Je suis désolée,” I said, which means “I’m sorry.”
He licked his lips. “Oooh, you speak Spanish. I like that, girl.” He rubbed his hands together like he couldn’t wait to pour some gravy on me and sop me up with a biscuit. I hopped over a baby crawling on the floor, skedaddled past homegirl with the purple wig, leaped over a stroller, shook my head no at some guy with one tooth who was yelling at me for my number, and hauled ass to Macy’s.


Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

In the mood for something funny this Valentine’s? Get yourself a copy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy, available on Amazon.

Find some other great chick lit reads by following the hashtag #chicklitlove on Twitter.

Chick Lit Love Valentine’s Promo!

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It’s Valentine’s Day Week and the wonderful ladies of Chick Lit Chat have organized an uber fantastic Valentine’s Promo! Special shout out to Tracie Banister for this wonderful idea! And if you’d like to find out more you can follow Chick Lit Chat on Twitter: @Chicklitchathq.

There’s also a Pinterest page where you can see all the participants, their book covers, and the buy links for their books! Shout out to Laura Chapman for putting that together!

This promo event will be going on all week and kicks off today with a Valentine’s theme questionnaire for the main character of my chick lit novel, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. Jazzy had to answer 10 questions about, yep, you guessed it; her love life!


So here we go!

1) What three qualities do you find most attractive in a partner?

Anytime I find a quality attractive in a man that’s usually a sign that I should run for the nearest exit, but I’ll go ahead and list them anyway. If a man can cook then you might as well call the pastor because he’ll need to pray for my sins, and if he smells good then my underwear just may end up under the nearest coffee table, and if he’s chocolate, Lord have mercy pick me up on a stretcher and take me someplace safe because I am liable to lose all the sense God gave me. #justfacts.

2) What’s your idea of romance?

Oooh…that’s a good one. Well, on my last date (at a restaurant), I ducked under the table during a shootout. My date and I snuck out during all the chaos (with our plates, thank you very much). I had my man and my fried shrimp platter. If that’s not romance I don’t know what is.

3) Who’s your favorite on-screen couple (Film or TV)?

I’m just going to go ahead and say Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs in Brown Sugar. #fave.


4) What’s been your most embarrassing moment in regards to the opposite sex?

I actually have a few of those so it’ll be hard to narrow that down to just one….I guess I’d have to say that time I thought my ex was going to propose to me but he ended up proposing to my cousin, Mercedes (or, as I sometimes like to call her behind her back, broke ass Pinto).

5) What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?

Well, I was in the mall and he was working at one of those kiosks (selling thumb massagers or something else I probably didn’t need), and when he saw me he shouted, “Stolen Coach bag lady!” (long story). I turned around, and there he was, eating a Red Delicious apple and smirking at me. I thought he was a tad bit too normal but it turns out that normal is just what I needed.

6) How have you coped with break-ups in the past?

I typically enlist the help of my best friend, Serai, and we put peanut butter under the door handles of his car.

7) Which hot actor would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with and why?

And not get pregnant (or arrested)? Let’s see…I’ll go old school fine on this one and say Blair Underwood. I’d probably spend most of my time trying to convince him that his chances of survival would be much higher if he just took off all his clothes….

8) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

I’ve snuck into a boyfriend’s backyard to eavesdrop on him, got chased by a Rottweiler, tried to jump a fence, and got stranded there. But hey; I got my man!

9) PDA: How much is acceptable?

I think it depends; dark movie theater? Go for the grope. Grocery store? A light grope every now and then might be okay depending on the severity of the stares you get. It really just depends on the lighting.

10) What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?

My Grandma Dottie is the guru of relationship advice and has always said to me, “No matter how mad a man makes you, a woman should never, under any circumstances, turn down free food.”

Ha! Well, that’s it!  This looks like it’s going to be such a fun week! I’m so excited to hop  over to other blogs and see what some of the other ladies are cooking up!

What did you think of Jazzy’s questionnaire? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

American Specter Blog Tour!

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Today I am super excited to be hosting author Rasheedah Prioleau for the American Specter Blog Tour.

american specter cover


American Specter is a paranormal romance that finds FBI Agent Audra Wheeler battling a supernatural killer. Intrigued yet? You should be!

Here’s the blurb:

FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma.  Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a M.O. very similar to her sister’s attacker.   The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.

To celebrate the release of her novel Rasheedah is participating in a little Q&A here on Quanie Talks Writing. So sit back, grab some coffee, and let’s get to know Rasheedah!

Are you planning a series or is American Specter meant to be a stand alone?

I am planning for American Specter to be a series. I currently have four more books outlined.

How would you describe your writing style?

I don’t think I have previously taken the time to think about my writing style. I am most comfortable writing in third person narrative. I do believe myself to have a very passionate but fair voice. I try not to write people who are 100% good or evil. I try to be fair to every character’s point of view. Most of my stories are based on what I believe the market would like to see but at the same time it’s something I personally enjoy writing.

How would you describe your main character? Any interesting quirks that might pique our interest?

My main character is fierce but extremely vulnerable. At a young age she rescues her sister from a paranormal attack but her sister ends up in a coma and she gets boxed into a corner because people closest to her find it hard to believe her account of what happened. Until FBI Agent Cordero comes into her life and validates the story. This empowers her to look for the answers to what happened to her sister.

Audra herself doesn’t have any real quirks but the people around her do. One character in particular is another FBI Agent named Yolanda who is racially ambiguous so she’s able to blend into different cultures and environments fairly easily. So there is a part where she goes with Audra to the town square to gain information. They way she approaches each person in their store matches what would make that person comfortable. So in one store she’s an instant friend with a goth sales girl and in another store she’s properly dealing with a snobby “wanna be” socialite.

What was your favorite scene to write?

That is tough to answer. This book is full of twists and turns. I love all of the characters they all bring so much to the story. The first delicious moment in this book for me is when Agent Audra Wheeler meets the Mayor of this strange little town of Specter. He physically hoists his weight into the tiny Sheriff’s station, which is an old school trailer, to tell Ethan Cole, the current Sheriff, how he wants him to handle the Miller murder which brought Agent Wheeler to the town in the first place. As I wrote it I correlated his physical weight with the weight of his title as Mayor of the town. Even though he’s bossing around the Sheriff and belittling Agent Wheeler he has absolutely no authority in the situation. So, I’m hoping that he comes across as being ridiculous.

Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write?

The entire plot surrounds the death of Abigail Stevens, which was an unsolved homicide. The scene, where her sister, Rene, has to tell Agent Wheeler Abigail’s story was extremely difficult for me because I have three sisters. Putting myself in Rene’s shoes was extremely difficult.

Tell us about your writing process.

I always begin with a question that surrounds a situation I haven’t seen before. What if we lived in a world where ghosts were the norm? Then I map out what I think that would be like. I generally decide how close to reality it might be. Then I imagine a problem in that world where the stakes are high for the world in general. Then I relate that high stakes problem to a problem facing the main character.

How does inspiration come to you?

In many ways. Sometimes I can sit and just begin writing. I might be in the middle of doing a mundane task like laundry or dishes. Different books, different movies. Conversations and life experiences.

Why do you think people will relate to this story?

The heart of the story is about family. This story touches on the incredible love and compassion that family can share as well as the dark secrets a family can carry. It also touches on family not just being blood relatives but the people who matter most in your life.

Do you write in other genres?

I have written a Sci Fi novella series called Amullette Rose . I’m also working on a horror series Ebulastin’ which is Gullah for Everlasting.

What are you working on right now?

A lot of things. More books of course and a television project. I’m also managing a non-profit effort to help-at risk youth that want to pursue a career in writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Be prepared to work. Start from the bottom, network, write every day, take the harsh criticism, perfect your voice, go to school if you can. No matter what don’t stop writing.

Give us three fun, totally random facts about yourself.

I once hopped a turnstile to get on train from Versailles to Paris.

My signature dish is spaghetti with ground turkey.

The Seven Sisters is one of my favorite constellations.

How can readers connect with you online?




Rasheedah Prioleau is a Southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After an unfulfilling stent in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern at the age of twenty-six and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.

Well that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the interview with Rasheedah! The novel will be available February 4 but in the meanwhile, you can view sample pages by going to American Specter’s Goodreads page.

New Release – Indiscretion by Dahlia Savage

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Today I have the absolute pleasure of helping Dahlia Savage celebrate the release of her novella, Indiscretion, by featuring her on my blog. I was fortunate enough to read the novella in its beta stages and let me just say; this book is a real page turner!

What happens when a wife engages in an affair and ends up pregnant for the other man??? Well, you’ve gotta buy Indiscretion to find out!



Elisa Tinsley only wanted one night of passion from the handsome, powerful, and wealthy state Senator Carson Royal. What was intended to be a one time fling turns into something more complicated when Elisa discovers she’s pregnant. Her plans to keep not only her marriage intact but the baby’s paternity hidden from her husband combined with Carson’s decision that he wants Elisa for himself leads to a course of events which could be more than what either of them bargained for.


After the show and dinner, Carson and Elisa arrive back to the hotel. Walking through the lobby, he asks, “Why don’t you come up and check out my suite?”
She chuckles in response. “You know, we’re really close to the hour where only one thing happens when a man invites a woman to his hotel room.”
He laughs as the elevator doors open. “It’s just an invite to check it out since it’s one of the best suites in the hotel. No hidden agendas.”
“You’re a politician,” she replies, stepping inside. “There’s always a hidden agenda.”
“And you don’t have one?” he asks.
“Touché. Push the button,” she replies. He laughs quietly and enters his keycard before pressing the button for the top floor. Once they arrive to the suite, Elisa’s eyes widen. Carson’s suite is huge and immaculate, the furniture plush, the décor modern and ornate.
“Whoa, this place is massive,” she says, crossing the threshold.
“Yeah, it is pretty nice,” he replies.
“Nice? You’re living it up in the corner penthouse and all you can say is ‘nice’?” She spins slowly, taking in the luxury of the space.
He watches her turn, observing for the umpteenth time just how well her form fitting dress hits every curve on her body just right. “This wouldn’t happen to be on the state’s dime, now would it?” she asks. “I’m just saying, as a tax paying citizen, this would concern me.”
“If you must know, I’m hosting a bachelor party for the groom tomorrow night, so I called in a favor to get the room.”
“So, another lavish gift? Tsk, tsk, tsk, Senator Royal.” She walks through the living room area and stops at the bar when she sees an unopened bottled of champagne and assorted fruit sitting on a silver platter. She touches the champagne bottle. “It’s cold,” she laughs, turning in his direction. “No hidden agendas, huh?”
“What? I like to enjoy a glass of champagne and some fruit before I go to bed.”
“So why two glasses?”
“Comes standard,” he says, coming over to grab the bottle. “Would you care for a glass?”
“Since it’s here,” she says with a wave of her hand. She turns and heads toward the wraparound balcony.
“The view is great,” Carson says as she opens the doors. “You can see the entire strip.” Stepping into the warm Nevada air, she smiles at the sight of all of the bright lights that stretched on for miles down Las Vegas Boulevard, making it a perfect postcard picture. She walks to the other side of the balcony that overlooks the pool area. She immediately spots the space where she’d sat earlier in the day. She laughs quietly, realizing that he already knew she was alone. Knowing that he was the mystery man just adds to the fire that is building between them. “Here you go,” he says, stepping out to join her, two glasses of champagne in his hands.
She accepts the glass and takes a sip before asking, “You know what’s funny?”
“What’s that?”
“Is that earlier, I felt like somebody was watching me from one of these balconies when I was at the pool. It’s very odd that this balcony has a bird’s eye view of the very place I was sitting at.”
“Sounds like you have an admirer.”
“Or a stalker.”
They fall silent as they finish their drinks, allowing the tension in the air to speak for them both. “I won’t beat around the bush,” he says finally., “I want you, Elisa.”
“Ah, the agenda is revealed.”
“You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t feel the same.”
“I just came for the tour.”
“Of course you did,” he says, getting close enough for her to breathe in the Armani cologne he’s wearing.
Her pulse begins to race standing so close to him. “So, you’re really not going to try any games? Butter me up with compliments, get me drunk and vulnerable?”
“I don’t have to trick you because you know what you want. I don’t have to tell you how good you look because you already know it. And I have no interest in getting you drunk because I want you to be fully aware of everything I’m going to do you.” He pauses to gently caress her face.
“That’s a bold statement,” she says. “How do you know you’re going to do anything to me?”
“Time, space, and opportunity,” he answers.
He leans in to kiss her, and Elisa smiles and steps back, “I think I should finish my tour.” She steps around him and walks inside, her hips gently swaying to and fro with each stride. He watches as she walks, shaking his head.
He steps back into the living room and asks, “And what would you like to see next?”
She sits the empty champagne glass on the bar, then turns to face him slowly. “What’s through those double doors?” she asks, pointing.
He smiles., “That would be the bedroom.”
“Great, because that’s where I’d like to conclude.”

Elisa is awake just as the sun begins to rise. She slips out of the bed to go to the bathroom. She washes her face and rinses with the complimentary mouthwash, just in case she has to speak to anyone on the way back to her room. When she opens the bathroom door, Carson is standing there, wearing nothing but his boxer briefs. She feels her body begin to warm again.
“Good morning,” she says, walking past him.
“That it is,” he says, walking in. “So you were just going to slip out of here, huh?”
“Something along those lines,” she replies as she slips back into her dress. A few moments later, he emerges from the bathroom. He says, “Why don’t you stay for breakfast?”
“No can do,” she says.
“Why not?”
“Because breakfast would imply that there is something more between us than there is. Besides, remember Ryan? He should be here soon. Not a good look for me to come in the door in last night’s dress.”
“So when can I see you again?”
“You won’t.”
“Wow, that was blunt and to the point.”
“I’m a blunt and to the point kind of chick,” she says, putting on her shoes. “Look, last night was, as you say, ‘space, time, and opportunity’, so I took it. You were like a bucket list item, like bungee jumping or going on an African safari.”
“Now your agenda has been revealed. You used me.”
She raises her eyebrows at the look on his face. “Really? Your feelings are hurt?”
“No, but I feel there should be money left on the nightstand.”
Elisa laughs, “That’s cute.”
He crosses his arms over his chest as if to cover up. “I’m feeling a little vulnerable right now.”
She laughs again. “You’re kind of cute when you’re surprised.”
“I just can’t believe you’re seriously leaving right now.”
“Look, we both know this can’t happen again. All sorts of friend rules and moral codes got violated. So let’s just leave it where it is.”
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, huh?”
She snaps her fingers. “Exactly.”
“You know I’m usually the one that calls the shots, right?”
She doesn’t answer. Instead, she crosses over to him and pecks him softly on the lips. He pulls her to him and kisses her passionately. Elisa gives in for a moment before remembering that this wasn’t to happen more than once. “No no no no no,” she says, stepping back. Shaking her finger, she says, “No round two.” “If I recall correctly, this would be more like round four.”
“Leave it where it is, Carson.”
She turns to leave and he calls after her, “That’s what you say now.”
“See you at the next town hall meeting, Senator,” she replies, not looking back.

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About the author:

Dahlia Savage is a native of Detroit, Michigan. From a young age, she was gifted with an ability to combine her love for the written word with a vivid imagination. After graduating school with a degree in business, she entered the workforce and gained a variety of experience she would later draw from, including over three years of marketing and communications, a few years as a freelance business and journalism writer, and 18 months as a flight attendant. However, she would return to her first love of writing fiction to balance out the business writing involved in her day job. Although she currently resides in Tampa, Florida, she is and always will be a Detroit girl. She is currently working on her next project while simultaneously attending classes towards a second degree and raising a son with her husband.

How (Not) to Write a Novel – Guest Post by Editor Christie Stratos

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christie-stratos-authorUber fantastic editor Christie Stratos has been gracious enough to guest blog for me today! She did the proofreading for my novel It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy and was an absolute delight to work with. You can catch up with Christie here:

I’m sure Christie has seen a lot of no-no’s from authors so here are a few tips from her about how not to write a novel. I hope you enjoy!

How (Not) to Write Novel

There are tips upon checklists upon paragraphs of advice on how to write a novel. But how shouldn’t you write a novel? While it’s great to take whatever pearls of wisdom you can from seasoned experts and bloggers, it’s equally important to consider the things you shouldn’t do. Ever.

Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

Of course authors should never leave their readers hanging and should always tie up loose ends. One expert at that is JK Rowling in the Harry Potter series. At the end of every Harry Potter book, Rowling ties up loose ends you didn’t even remember existed. But beyond that, what about loose ends in the middle of the book? More and more, there are authors who get their characters into tricky situations, leave off right before the consequence is shown or the conflict occurs, and pick up afterwards, barely touching on what happened in that exciting scene the reader was waiting for. And they never go back to explain what happened. Not only is this a cheap way to get out of resolving a difficult situation for your characters and providing a scene that satisfies your reader, but it weakens both the story and the reader’s belief in you as an author. Don’t fall prey to this mistake – even if it takes several attempts and rewrites, write the scene.

Stop Following the Trend

Did you ever notice that the vast majority of historical fiction novels that take place in medieval times have a female main character who reads more books than society says is normal and always is more intelligent than expected for her sex? I don’t know about you, but it’s getting tedious and predictable. Once something has been done so often, it becomes cliché. Why write something thousands of others have written? Can you imagine how many readers you could attract with a premise or character who doesn’t follow the norm? Stop copying, start creating.

Cut the Extras

See how I did that? I didn’t name this section “Cut the Extra Words Out Of Your Novel”. Not only is that duller, but it’s longer and has unnecessary words. Your novel should be like the title of this section. Every word should count and every paragraph should move the story forward or develop the character. If it doesn’t, it’s unnecessary, and your reader will find unnecessary bits tedious. Cut every section, paragraph, sentence, and superfluous word. And don’t look back.

What’s the Point?

If you have to answer this question in more than one sentence about any given plotline or character, it’s not clear enough in your mind and, therefore, won’t be clear to your readers. Either something is not explained well in the plot or the character is superfluous. For the former problem, consider the following questions about your story: what are you as a writer trying to accomplish? What is going to happen to the main character? What mechanics could be missing in your story to help achieve your goals as a writer and sharpen the plotline so that the point of the story is clear? For the latter problem, sometimes adding in a subplot and referencing it relatively frequently can help add purpose to a character.



#IWSG – Trust Yourself

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Can you believe it’s 2014 already??? Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the first post for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group for this year.

Purpose: 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!

Today’s cohosts are Bob Milne, River Fairchild, Julie Dao,and Sarah Foster.  Be sure to stop by their pages and say hello.

And if you’d like to read about other IWSG members, you can see a list of participants here.

So right now I’m working on a new novel. I started this novel very reluctantly last May. I’d been “seeing” the main character  for quite some time but didn’t know who she was or what story she would belong to. I just knew that, whoever she was, she was very sad. So imagine my surprise when I’m sitting under the hair dryer at a beauty salon and a little girl goes running past me with a page she’d torn out of a coloring book. I didn’t see the picture. Only streaks of blues and reds, and all of a sudden, I see the sad lady’s nemesis; a beautiful socialite wearing a multi-colored party dress, running across the floor of a sprawling mansion to cover up this horrible crime she’d committed.

I outlined the novel, and I’ve been sitting on that outline for over 7 months! Why so reluctant? Because for some crazy reason I keep trying to limit my creativity. You see, my last novel was speculative fiction (one of my readers said she could even see it as horror!), and for some reason I thought that my next novel should be something along those lines. And this novel, without giving too much away for fear of pissing off my muse, involves something life shattering that happens to a woman named Lisa. I thought the novel was too “normal.” No magical realism? Pish posh!

So why have I been fighting against writing this book when, out of all the stories swimming around my head, it’s clearly the most ready? Because I didn’t trust myself. I kept telling myself that I should be writing a certain kind of thing, but Lisa clearly has other plans for me!

And I’m glad I listened to my gut. Even though this story takes place in a “normal” world, there are a lot of twists and turns that I think readers will enjoy and I’m having fun writing it.

So what about you? Have you ever had a story nagging at you that you were afraid to write? Why were you afraid and how did you handle it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!





Happy Holidays and Sharing Some Love!

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It’s almost that time of year and I can already feel myself slipping into holiday mode. All I want to do is watch Scandal and drink cocoa. Ah, life! I’m probably going to dissappear until after the new year so I want to take this time and wish all of my blogger friends a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

I also thought it would be a good idea to spread the love this time of year, so I’m going to shout out and promote some of my blogger buddies.

Dahlia Savage blogs over at She just revealed the cover for her upcoming novella, Indiscretion, and I have to tell you; the story is great! Check out her cover reveal here. You can preorder the novel on Smashwords.

Chrys Fey blogs over at Her novella, Hurricane Crimes, is now available! Buy it here on Amazon or add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Gina Stoneheart blogs over at She always has an encouraging word to share. Definitely stop by her blog and check it out!

Liz Blocker is working on a book that I can’t wait to read! She blogs over at

Kiersi Burkhart is a kick ass writer who blogs over at Check her out!

Misha Gericke is an author and blogger. Her novel, The Vanished Knight, is available on Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads shelf here. Her blog is

Melissa Maygrove blogs at She always has some fun grammar tips (I know she writes them just for me!:) and features authors on her blog.

Dawn Brazil blogs over at She writes young adult science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal. You should definitely check out her latest post: “Are you Sabotaging Yourself?” A must read!

Deanie Humphries-Dunne is a children’s author who blogs over at Find our more about her books here.

Michelle Wallace blogs over at She always has something fun going on at her blog!

Tyrean Martinson is the author of Champion in the Darkness, a Christian Fantasy novel. Buy it here on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads shelf here. Tyrean blogs at

Natasha Hanova writes YA paranormal. Her latest book is called Edge of Truth. You can buy it here on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads shelf here. She blogs over at 

J.L. Campbell is an author and blogger. Her latest novel is called Saving Sam. Buy it here on Amazon. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here. She blogs over at

Happy Holidays everyone!

Should Authors Write in More than one Genre?

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Lately I’ve been thinking about how to navigate writing in different genres. Everything I’ve read on the subject seems to indicate that, in terms of branding, authors should stick to one genre so that readers come to know what to expect (and so that you can focus on, and hopefully master, that genre). This seems true. When I think of Gillian Flynn I think of psychological thrillers. When I think of Stephen King I think of horror. When I think of Ernessa T. Carter, I think of light and entertaining chick lit. Then I think of myself. A newbie author who writes humorous fiction and speculative fiction (every time I tell people I write speculative fiction they go, “What’s that??? And scrunch up their noses). It’s an umbrella term for paranormal, horror, and the like. I like the term because it’s not so boxed in.

Now, don’t ask me why my two genres are light years apart. I guess all that R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike I read as a kid was working on one part of my brain while sitcoms like The Golden Girls and The Cosby Show were working on the other parts.  The novel I finished earlier this year was speculative fiction and the one I’m working on now is humorous fiction. Working in different genres actually gives me a change of pace that I enjoy, but now I have a dilemma; do I go forward, as “Quanie Miller” and write both genres? I’ve been building all of my social media profiles as Quanie. The thought of publishing under another name and building those profiles from scratch? Migraine. But (sigh), I think that’s what I’m going to have to do.

I read one article by an author who pretty much said that he publishes in multiple genres under one name because readers will decide, based on the book cover and blurb, if the novel is their cup of tea. He also mentioned that it was one of the perks of being an indie author (having that flexibility).

As writers and readers, what are your thoughts? Those of you who write in multiple genres; do you do it under different names or do you write everything under one name? And as readers; do you care if your favorite authors switch it up or have you come to expect a certain kind of novel from them based on what they’ve written previously? And if they write something outside of what you expect (and you don’t like it), how likely are you to read subsequent novels from them?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!