TITLE: Déjà You
Bianca M. Schwarz transports us to 1760 in The Pearl with the story of Marcus Landover, who attends a card party and ends up with more than he bargained for in the beautiful Sophia Chelmsford.
Amanda Linsmeier’s Joy and Sorrow reunites lovers separated by death in a Women’s Fiction tinged with the unusual.
The Eyes of the Heart by Jamie McLachlan gives us Rosalina, who is forced to confront her attraction and the truth about her blindness when a new gardener is hired at the Greystone house.
Finally, C.H. Armstrong brings us Mr. Midnight, where tragedy reunites two star-crossed lovers, but misunderstandings soon rip them apart. Now, six years later, the stars are realigning with the help of the smooth voice of a late night radio DJ.
Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, some steamy, but all carry the same theme. Déjà You is a collection of stories for those who believe in love, but most of all, second chances.
The Birth of Déjà YouAbout two years ago, a group of five novice writers signed with the same small publisher, each inexperienced in the publishing world yet committed to understanding the process and finding success. Through their mutual dive into unchartered territory, Amanda Linsmeier, Bianca M. Schwarz, C.H. Armstrong, Kelly Cain, and Jamie McLachlan reached out to one another and became instant friends, sharing laughs, tears, and the struggles of life and writing. We soon dubbed ourselves "Book Besties."
During the fall of 2016, we decided to write a book of short stories together. As friends, we wanted to combine our talents to create a collection that would inspire hope and happiness. After much deliberation, we chose the theme "Second Chances" and decided to title this anthology, "Déjà You." Though each story contains the same theme, they all are as unique as the author who wrote it. Including New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, and Contemporary Romance, each short offers a different take on the theme and involves varying heat levels, from sweet to steamy.
About the Authors
Kelly Cain has published a multicultural adult and new adult romance, but she writes across genres and age groups, currently penning book one of a young adult urban fantasy series. Most of her stories are set in Texas with frequent travels to her home state of California, and all of her stories have an excess of food weaved throughout.
If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Or maybe cooking. Check out her website for recipes for dishes featured in her books, and some other fun stuff. She has two adult daughters and lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas.
Kelly is the author of Altered, a new adult multicultural romance and Connections, a steamy short story exclusively available on Amazon. Visit her on her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumbler.
Bianca M Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and has a US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that's where they make movies and she used to work on them. She writes novels because that's kind of like making a movie in people's heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that's all she can handle and she tolerates her husband because, well, she loves him and there is no help for that. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairytales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. She can be found blogging about writing and books at amandalinsmeier.com. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. You can Amanda’s blog for book reviews and random musings, or check her out on Twitter or Facebook for more information.
Jamie McLachlan is the Canadian author of Mind of the Phoenix, an Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy and the first novel in the Memory Collector Series. The third, Rise of the Phoenix, is set for release in summer of 2017. When not writing, Jamie reads, dabbles in various crafts, and spends time with her family. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.
C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma-native transplanted in the Midwest. A life-long lover of books, she made her author debut with the 2016 release of her historical fiction novel, The Edge of Nowhere, which was inspired by her own family’s struggles during the one-two punch that was The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. Armstrong is currently working on two young adult novels and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota-based women’s magazine, Rochester Women. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.
Welcome to my blog Kat. Thanks for coming by.
What you write:
I write upper young adult and sweet new adult fiction, both speculative and contemporary.
This is a tricky one to narrow down, but if you held my block of milk hazelnut Lindt chocolate hostage until I gave you an answer, I’d have to say Melina Marchetta and Cath Crowley (for contemporary YA), Paula Weston and Rachael Craw (for speculative YA), Lauren Layne (for sassy New Adult) and Oscar Wilde’s ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’ as well as Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ as my classics influences.
Favorite writing snack and beverage:
When I’m feeling healthy: fruit and nuts, plus a cup of herbal tea or water
When I can’t spell ‘healthy’: chocolate and a double shot cappuccino and chocolate. Also, there’s chocolate. Did I mention chocolate? Seventy percent cocoa is borderline healthy, right?
Hardest thing about writing:
Words. On. Page. Here’s the thing, the story ALWAYS plays out quickly and crisply in the movie cinema tucked inside my head, but when it comes to transferring this onto the page, the words don’t always want to be found. Which makes the writing process sooooooo painfully sloooooow.
It doesn’t help that my internal editor seems to have discovered the secret to immortality. No matter how many times I try to kill the intrusive little bugger, he forces his way between the words on my page, pointing his accusing knobbly finger at all the things I could be doing better.
What you’re working on now:
Right now I’m working on the sequel to my YA paranormal romance due out with Entangled Teen sometime later this year / start of 2018. Both stories are about an Old Testament love curse that goes horribly wrong. Picture a hero who’s on the hit list of some ancient and very ticked off demons because of something he’s done in book 1 (I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it to find out). Things get worse for him when he indirectly causes the heroine’s brother to be kidnapped by the very hellhounds who are after him, and he reluctantly agrees to help her execute a rescue.
Apart from demons, there’s sword fighting and taekwondo (because the demons and sword fighting alone weren’t quite edgy enough). And kissing. There might be some kissing. Okay, there’s definitely kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? It’s kinda like chocolate only healthy!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Kat.
What really blows me away, every time I have a release, is how many people, including other authors, get behind me. I feel so incredibly lucky to have formed so many great friendships. I feel very lucky to have readers looking forward to the next book in the series. And I feel extremely grateful to the people who've already supported me in so many ways.
If you guys can believe it, both Carly Phillips and Kelly Moran read The Bad Boy Next Door and gave me lovely cover blurbs. That's just....I can't even explain how cool that is. Jessica Lemmon and Shannyn Schroeder are doing the bad boy showdown with me!
WHAT'S A BAD BOY SHOWDOWN?
On Monday, from 10:00 am PST to 1:00 pm PST, Shannyn, Jessica, and myself will be posting every half hour. We'll post a snippet from our books that show you how our bad boy rates in six different categories. We'll create a poll for each of those categories and you get to vote for the King of the Bad Boys.
At 6:00 pm PST, I'll pop onto the page to thank everyone for coming, voting, and playing along. I'll do a couple of giveaways of my own. We will each have an independent giveaway so there'll be at least three winners. They'll be chosen at random from participants and announced the next day.
I really think it's going to be a lot of fun and definitely unique. I hope you'll come by and vote. It won't be easy: Wyatt is in some pretty sexy company with Sean and Eli. If you'd like to meet them before Monday, check out our event page.
Welcome to my first installment of Who's Who Wednesday. Twice a month, I'll introduce you to some of the great people I've met through writing. I'll ask the same five questions and let you know how we're connected. Connections are an essential part of staying strong on the path to publishing. Having people who understand what you're going through and have been through it themselves is a huge support when you're feeling unsure, need a boost, or want to share something awesome. I'm very lucky to have so many great writing friends and I hope that I'm able to give back even a portion of the support others have given to me.
This week's Who's Who is Lindsey Duga. Lindsey is not only a fellow agency mate (Literary Counsel), but also a fellow Entangled Publishing House author. I'm currently reading one of Lindsey's manuscripts right now and I can tell you, she has a wicked way with words. Her world building actually pulls you right inside of the story. Lindsey was kind enough to take part in the release party I had for More than Friends and through that, I learned that she is also a very talented artist! Check out the drawing she did for my main character, Gabby, from More than Friends. You can learn more about Lindsey through the interview below and by visiting her at her website. Thanks for being my first, Lindsey ;)
Who's Who with Lindsey Duga
What you write:
I enjoy writing both Young Adult and Middle Grade, and with the exception of strictly contemporary, I write all subgenres. I’ve written fantasy, urban fantasy, and science fiction. I’m even hoping to explore historical fiction in both YA and MG in the future.
What I really love doing recently is crossing genres. For instance, I have a middle grade book that is technically sci-fi, but could just as easily be categorized as a mystery or a sports book since the world, plot, and characters have aspects of all three.
I’ve never tried to write for adults because, frankly, the thought terrifies me. Apart from the occasional thriller and high-fantasy, I don’t read many adult novels, but I read TONS of young adult and middle grade books. And of course, what I read influences what I write and how I write it.
So. Many. Things. Being a huge NERD, I derive almost all my stories from a random mash-up of books, cartoons, TV series, movies, video games, and comics.
I could literally go on and on about what show has given me an idea for what story, but instead I’ll try and be concise and just list them out:
Favorite writing snack and beverage:
I don’t usually eat when I’m writing unless it’s candy or something I can easily pop in my mouth and forget about. All of my favorite snacks make my fingers messy—not great for typing on a keyboard.
Almost all my writing sessions start with a cup of tea. Lots and lots of tea. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I make sure at least half the tea in my cabinet has caffeine. Some of my favorite tea blends are: African Autumn, Jade Citrus Mint, Youthberry & Indonesian Gold, Ginger Lemon Mint, Turkish Apple, and Japanese Cherry.
My all time favorite drink while writing is a Starbuck’s Green Tea Frappuccino made with soy milk. I get one every Sunday at Barnes and Nobles when I’m writing or editing. Because they’re $5, I only allow myself one a week. I look forward to it as much as I do writing—it’s like my special treat for making it through the week.
Hardest thing about writing:
There are a lot of things about writing that are difficult, like developmental edits where you worry about one change affecting almost everything else in the book, or pushing through the block you’re having just so you can finally finish that first draft. But I’d say the hardest thing is that writing is, by nature, a solitary activity.
Don’t get me wrong, I love putting in my earphones and banging away at my keyboard with zero human interaction for like three hours…if I’m on a roll. But if I’m not? Well, it helps to overcome that writer’s block, or talk about your edits, or your book cover, or your marketing plan, with someone who understands where you’re coming from. It’s hard to want to go on and on about your book when you might not have anyone available to listen or help you. Which, of course, is why critique partners and beta readers are so critical. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. If only just so I can randomly text them and say, “I’m obsessing over my new character. He needs a name. HALP.” And they’re there with a list of names we can go through together. After all, it’s FUN to talk about your story, and it’s hard when there’s no one there to help.
What you’re working on now:
Typically I have two projects that I work on at a time: one that I’m editing and one that I’m drafting.
The one I’m editing is another middle grade book and that crosses genres. It’s about a brother and sister team who are phantoms sent from the Netherworld to steal artwork in post-Victorian London. So it’s a little bit historical, fantasy, paranormal, with a touch of horror.
I’m drafting a YA paranormal romance dealing with nature spirits set in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I’m only a quarter of the way through, and have a very rough outline, so by the time my draft is done, it could be a completely different book.
…And separate of these independent projects I’m also working with my editor, Lydia Sharp, on my debut novel that’s coming out Summer 2018 with Entangled Teen. My book is a YA Fantasy in which a princess, trained to use her kiss as only a magic-enhancing weapon, must fight evil alongside a prince who is determined to prove that love isn’t just a fairytale.
If you’re interested how this book came to publication, you can check out my blog post about it here.
Also, follow me on twitter and instagram!
Thanks for having me, Jody!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Lindsey. I look forward to reading your debut from Entangled.
I feel so lucky to have connected with other authors online. They become champions, cheerleaders, and friends. To celebrate how lucky I am, I'm going to do a new feature on my blog two Wednesdays a month. I'll introduce you to one of my writing pals, tell you how I met them, and ask them a few questions so you can get to know them better. The very first Who's Who will feature Lindsey Duga, both an agency mate and a fellow Entangled author. Come meet Lindsey on Wednesday March 8th. On Wednesday March 22nd, I'll introduce you to another Entangled friend, Kat Colmer, who I share so much in common with, we decided we might have been split apart at birth. She landed in a much warmer climate :)