Gina Writes Words: March 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Submission Call for Three Worlds Press!

We want small town romance. So imagine a cross between Gilmore Girls and Hart of Dixie set in the fictional Midwestern town of River Bend, Missouri.

River Bend is a typical small town with quirky characters, and (usually) friendly faces, and we’re looking to populate the town with fantastic people and enjoyable stories.

In town, the streets are named after US president, and the River Bend Diner sits at the corner of Washington and Van Buren, with a view over the river, and a large deck out the back. At Christmas, the owners go to town with fairy lights on the deck, and it’s a perfect place for quiet chats all year round. Please note: The diner must be featured in at least one scene per book.

In this quiet little town where everybody knows everyone else, and their business, the diner is the hub of all gossip. As mentioned, at least one scene in each book must take place there and include at least a mention of the owners, Darla and Eli Johnson. Darla and Eli were high-school sweethearts who still believe in love at first sight, and are the kind of people everyone loves and will go to for advice on love and life. If you need a room, they can advise you, if you need an ear, they can lend one. 

The River Bend diner is a 1960s, leather-boothed diner with mini jukeboxes on the tables and milk-shakes made with real ice cream and always served with two straws. With a red and white striped awning in front, and the deck in the back that overlooks the river, the diner is a meeting place for businessmen, citizens of the town and newcomers looking for good food.

There is also a ‘haunted’ mansion hotel with rooms to let. Three are rented on a long term basis and four on a short visit basis. These will also be advertised on the blog, as ‘Rooms to Let’. The house used to be owned by ‘Old Nell’ McQuade but no one knows much about her, and even hotel residents don’t see her very often – not that they should see her at all. No one can say for sure if the Newbury Mansion is haunted, and the town is divided. Some townsfolk and visitors firmly believe, and others don’t. This is one subject Eli and Darla won’t be drawn on. A knowing smile and a quick shrug of the shoulders is the only reply they’ll give when questioned.

To get you started, please see the included issue of the River Bend Register for inspiration of the positions vacant and the local gossip. Please do let us know, though, before you start in your story, in case the position has already been filled. (Email:  We will also maintain a River Bend authors’ group on Facebook so you have the benefit of chatting to other authors about the town and ensuring consistency and continuity for the characters appearing in multiple stories, and the representation of the town.

River Bend is a town harking back after more gentle times, and will have a heat level of 3 maximum (according to the following ARe Guidelines), with little-to-no kink:

1 flame- Stories will either not have  consummated love scenes, or if the loves scenes are consummated detail is not  given.
2 flames- Stories will have some love scenes.  These will be more sensual than graphic and will mostly rely on euphemism.
3 flames- Stories will have sensual, yet more  explicit love scenes, and the language used to describe them may be more  graphic and direct.

In line with Three Worlds Publishing, any stories with a 3(+) heat level will be printed on the erotic imprint, I Modi, under the name River Bend: Nights so people know the content of the book and can choose according to their reading preference. 

Obviously the town lends itself well to contemporary romance, but any romance story could also contain a hint of the supernatural/paranormal—ghosts, or cleverly done time travel, for example, but not shifters or vampires—or stray more towards Women’s Fiction, if an author wanted to write a story about a family or marriage.

To add a sense of fun and consistency to the series, we have created an inspiration map for the town. Notice the town has plenty of scope for expansion, and also for stories – we have river front properties, weeping willows trailing their long branches into the river, potential for a beach for long summer day dips, and also a trailer park.

We will be keeping an up-to-date bible for common characters (waitresses, doctors, etc.) as they move into town, so that authors wanting to send their children to the doctor for a scraped knee, for example, can remain consistent.

Word count is currently set at a 30K minimum, apart from by arrangement with existing series authors for companion shorter novellas and short stories. We want as wide an appeal as possible, so hope to produce a range of full-length novels, novelettes, novels and short stories, or short story anthologies over time.

Please contact: with questions. 

See the Help Wanted "ads" below for inspiration!

Currently, the following positions have been filled:

Live in Nanny
Psychic/Wedding Planner

If you don't see a story for you here, let us know what you'd like to write for the series. 

Full disclosure: I'm helping to co-ordinate the call, build the town 'bible', run the author discussion FB page and edit come of the finished stories. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Craving Cameo by TL Reeve - Cover Reveal

The daughter of the Sentinels pack and MC Alpha, Cameo Cruz moved across country to escape her pack—and the wolf she can never have. Making a new life, she embraced her freedom and went to school. One partying night with her best friend shatters her bubble of safety, and she’s forced to do the one thing she swore she never would…ask for help.
Quade Rainwater lives for his pack and the life the Sentinels Alpha gave him when he took him in. He’d do anything for them, even cut himself off from the she-wolf he’s loved for as long as he’s known her. When all hell breaks loose and someone puts a bounty on his girl, Quade will cross the country to protect her. Unfortunately for him, he’s the last person she wants to see.
All he has to do is keep her safe from the bounty hunters, the locals, and himself….

“Why? Why are you here?”
“Do you really think I want to be here?” he asked. “Do you think I find it fun leaving my home to drive clear across the fucking country to find you? Huh? I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here, but your fucking father—” He snarled and began to pace. “He’s losing it where you’re concerned.”
“Well.” She gave a humorless chuckle, turning away from him. “You can tell him I’m perfectly fine.” She wouldn’t give her father or him the benefit of seeing her fear. She’d take care of the other problem on her own.
“Little girl, don’t start.” He laid his hands on her shoulders, and she shrugged them off. “Don’t you know you have a bounty on your head?”
“What?” She whirled around and stared up at him.
“The other night when you called Hui, Xavier also found out about a bounty on your head.” Indifference seemed to coat his unreadable expression and words. “There are more coming. They’ll be here by tonight. We need to leave. If I can get you to your dad—”
“Cameo,” he snapped. “This is not a fucking game.”
“You’re right. It’s not a game. I will not forfeit my life for some bounty. I’m staying.” She wouldn’t add he could stay and watch over her.
“Well, you’ve got two choices, sweetheart. Come with me or wait to be picked up by the guys who are out for your bounty.” He didn’t blink. He didn’t get angry, nothing.
“My answer is still no.” Crossing her arms, she arched a brow, daring him to say something to the contrary. She played with fire, knowing full well what might happen if she pushed him too far. Quade was not a wolf used to hearing the word no. His nostrils flared. His body tightened.
“Damn it, Cameo,” he growled, while taking a step toward her. “Why are you being so damn obstinate?”
She blew him off and pushed past him, crossing the room to her small fridge. “I’m sorry if I seem obstinate to you, but this is my life we’re talking about.”
“Is this because I wouldn’t give you the time of day?” Typical wolf. Always thinking with their penis.
“Not hardly.”
“What in the hell do you want from me?”
Want from him? She didn’t want anything from him. She hadn’t even wanted to see him again.
In two strides, he closed the distance between them and dipped his head. “Is this what you want?” He nuzzled her neck and groaned. “Tell me,” he demanded. “Do you want me to drop to my knees and beg for forgiveness? To tell you I’ve wanted you since the moment you turned eighteen?” His lips were only inches from her ear. His warm breath brushed against the shell, causing her to shiver. “You ran away from me.”
“Ran away from you? I left home so I could get an education and be someone better than a thug.” She grimaced inwardly when he flinched and withdrew from her. Quade wasn’t a thug, neither was her father.
“So, I’m a thug now?” He shook his head while clenching his fists at his sides. “Are you saying when you were on pack lands you thought so low of me…of your father and our friends?”
“Now you’re twisting my words.”
“Am I? Didn’t you say you left home so you didn’t become one, meaning we, the members of your pack, are thugs?” He cocked a brow, daring her to say something else stupid. Insert foot in mouth, dummy.
“Look, I didn’t storm into your home and pick a fight with you. So…so why don’t you leave?” Brilliant! Way to go you.
A dark sinful chuckle passed his lips as he pulled her to him, engulfing her in his embrace. “You never did know when to shut up.”
His lips slammed down on hers in a brutal kiss. He tasted of danger and excitement. Of raw masculine power. Cameo’s wolf preened, desperate to rub all over him and submit to his dominance. He swiped his tongue across hers, and she became a puddle of goo. “Would you like to know where my mark will go when I mate you?”

Author Bio:
TL Reeve, a muli-published author with Decadent Publishing, Cobblestone Press and Evernight Publishing, was born out of a love of family and a bond that became unbreakable. Living in the south, TL misses Los Angeles and will one day return to the beaches of Southern California to ride the waves at Huntington Beach. When not writing something hot and sexy, TL can be found curled up with a good book, or working on homework with a cute little pixie.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Saturday Shout-Out

I wanted to do a quick shout out to the people who helped reveal my cover for 'Her Dollmaker's Desire' on Wednesday. I've collected the blog URLs of those who let me know they posted it, but if I've missed you from the list, please let me know and I'll put you in this post, too.

Thank you so much for your help.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Melissa Shirley - Author Spotlight

This is my completely unofficial unsanctioned article about my critique partner. :-) Happy Critique Partner Anniversary, Missy!

I 'met' Melissa (Missy) Shirley through the website on 13th March 2014. I'd been plodding along on a story and needed an opinion on whether it was worth continuing. (That story is currently the one I refer to as my dead horse. The one I take it out of the drawer every so often and dust off... and Missy still loves it, so that feels important.)

I've been thinking back over our year, and Missy has achieved an incredible amount. She is like a writing machine. Seriously. I keep joking with her that she's able to sneeze stories out, but part of me wonders if that's kind of true. Either that, or she somehow writes the things in her sleep, or has a time machine that she hasn't granted me access to, because I'm not sure how she's doing it, otherwise. Best of all, her writing - great to begin with - just keeps getting better. She'll start finding me far less useful at this rate.

In the past 12 months, she's had her book For The Love of...Geese? published via the Decadent Publishing Beyond Fairytales line, another contracted by them and due for publication next month (scroll down for an exclusive cover reveal!), and she has a third contract in hand with the pre-order up on Amazon. She has multiple works in progress at various stages, some in need of overhaul, and some just that final polish. Possibly, she is secretly a machine codenamed Missy, and no one told me my CP is an automated cyber person.

I am privileged to get to read her stories at their very earliest stages, and to comment on them, or laugh at the jokes and suggest additional ones. Her small town characters are engaging and quirky, witty and loveable. She writes excellent book boyfriends and towns where you'll want to live.

If you're looking for a fun read, try something of Missy's... and keep your eye on her. She's going places. :-)

Seriously, Missy writes great stories and has been my biggest cheerleader and nag for the past 12 months. Her support has been totally above and beyond - anyone fancy helping me edit 65K in three days? Thought not... but Missy did. I'm sure she reads until she's ready to rip her eyes out, and then she just reads some more. If I could bottle her, I'd let you all have some.

It's been a fun year - here's to all the rest!


So, as promised... here is the cover reveal for Missy's next book "Reading His Mind". It's due for publication by Decadent Publishing on 14th April 2015.

Are You Ready?


Keep going...

Nearly there...


Blurbs and excerpts and all that good stuff to follow, soon.

Lastly, and she might kill me for doing this if she didn't live an ocean away...

Missy in her own words:

I have been married for 23 years and together we have 8 kids. While both a blessing and sometimes a curse (think Christmas shopping), I find them each to be beautiful and smart and wonderful and exhausting. 

I have always written, but with life, and the kids, writing fell by the way side. When a horrible tragedy struck our lives, I found that it was easier to get through each day if I could leave my own life for a bit and escape somewhere wonderful and magical. I read a ton of books looking for that place, and while a lot of them were simply amazing, I thought, hey, I can do this. I can create a haven for myself. And thus, Storybook Lake was born along with all the wonderful characters that I have grown to love.

Through writing, I have met some really spectacular people - both real and on paper and I wouldn't trade any one of them. For that reason alone, I will continue to write, both to share my life with the real friends I have met and to keep the love blossoming for the characters I create.

Keep in touch with Missy in the following ways:

Twitter: @missyshirley2

I just can't say enough how much I appreciate my great CP. :-) I bug her literally all the time... chat, chat, chat over our hangout from the moment I wake up, until I finally turn my light out at the end of the day.

Thank you, Missy. :-) I'm super-lucky to know you, and seriously proud of all you've achieved.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Elysium by Thea Landen: New Release


Two years have passed since April Patterson’s husband was shot and killed in the line of duty, and she’s trapped in a haze of grief and uncertainty. Having grown frustrated by all other efforts to engage her in activities where she could meet new people, her cousin pays for a date via 1Night Stand. Not thrilled with the idea, April nevertheless contacts Madame Eve and requests the impossible: a date with her deceased husband.

Brilliant software engineer Drew Monroe created his company, Elysium, to help give closure to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, through the use of virtual reality. Though passionate about his work, being constantly surrounded by heartache and death has taken a toll on his mental health. When he accepts the case of a young widow referred to him by Madame Eve, her tragic tale depresses him further, but he commits himself to programming April the romantic date she desires.

April arrives at Elysium and prepares to enter Drew’s virtual realm. Will she find the solace she seeks within? Or will she discover she doesn’t need a fantasy world to discover happiness again?


We sat in silence. It was the first time a client had asked me so many personal questions. On one hand, I worried about coming across as unprofessional, but on the other, it felt good to verbalize those thoughts for a change. Putting that aside, April hadn’t come to play psychiatrist with me. I had a job to do.

“Anything else before we get started?” I pushed off the edge of the desk and straightened.

She didn’t get up. “Do you ever go into your own virtual realities?”

“Actually, I don’t.” I ran a finger along the top of one of the screens. “First of all, it needs to be monitored from the outside. I can’t do both at the same time.”

“Got it.” She nodded. “What else?”

A clammy feeling crawled over me. “Nothing.”

“You said ‘first of all.’ That means there must be a second.”

She’d paid attention, I’d give her that. I tried to backtrack. “Forget it.”

Sliding her arm off the chair, she leaned forward, ginger hair spilling over her shoulders. “I want to know what I’m getting into. Tell me.” Face upturned, she stared at me and I struggled to breathe in a normal rhythm. “Please?”

Don’t say it, don’t admit to it, she doesn’t need to know…. Talking to her eased a little of the tension that had been twisting tighter and tighter over time. I ignored the voices telling me not to make a confession, but the words spilled out faster than I’d intended.

“With all the misery and heartache I see in the world, the temptation exists to disappear into a painless fantasy.” The chill spreading through me intensified. “I’m afraid I’d lose myself and never want to come out.”

April blinked her long lashes and straightened in the chair. “That’s one of the reasons I’m anxious about going in there.”

Buy Links:
Google Play:
Barnes & Noble:
All Romance:

Decadent Publishing

Date Published:
March 6, 2014

Erotic Romance, Sci-Fi, Contemporary

Heat Rating:
4 out of 5 Flames

Page Count:

Review Excerpts:
“Judging from the pile of tissues, this short book is at least a five tissue book if you're a crier; however, it's laughter, as well!” – review

Author Bio:
Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and a variety of houseplants. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.

Contact Details: