I was fortunate to meet Stefanie through the Harlequin forums and was not at all surprised when she landed a contract with the Harlequin KISS line. This lady knows how to write! Her debut novel Only the Brave Try Ballet is fantastic and I'm pleased as punch that she was able to stop by and share a bit about what being a writer means to her.
I've always wanted to be a writer. It sounds so cliche, but it's true! I took as many English subjects in high school as were available, and I crammed a for English Lit subjects into my Bachelor of Business. I claim this was a move to protect my sanity from the accounting and economic subjects that were part of the core curriculum.
Writing a book is no easy task. It takes hours and hours of work, it eats into your social life and it keeps you awake into the wee hours of the morning. But writers have this drive that surpasses the need to keep a clean house or the need to get adequate sleep.
Here are five signs that you've got a writer's mind:
1. You constantly think 'what if'...' and follow the thread of thought until a scenario builds in your mind
2. You lay awake at night thinking about imaginary things
3. You listen in to conversations on the train/in the office kitchen/at cafes and make up histories for the people talking
4. You hear voices (and they don't tell you to kill people...or maybe they do?)
5. You get invested in characters (whether they're from TV, movies, books etc) and you wonder about them past the conclusion of the series/show/book.
If you've always wanted to write, if you've wondered why you imagine strange things, if you love telling stories then put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. You never know where it might take you.
Only The Brave Try Ballet:
Step up, Grant Farley…not your typical ballet student!
Football pro Grant Farley is nursing an injury and needs to get back into shape—fast. Ballet wouldn’t be his first or even his last choice, but he’s desperate. Enter tantalizingly prim teacher Jasmine Bell—one disapproving arch of her eyebrow and Grant knows he’ll enjoy getting her tutu in a flutter!
But it’s not only Grant’s flexibility that Jasmine’s pushing to the limit! He knows she feels the heat between them, so why won’t she give in to it? Time to convince Jasmine that if she’s brave enough to dance en pointe she can certainly handle a fling with him!
‘Once more from the top.’
As the music started he followed her lead, bending with his feet in first position. The teacher in her couldn’t ignore the fault of his technique, as he bent his hips moved out of alignment and his feet rolled inwards. She instinctively reached out to correct the error but retracted her hand when her brain kicked into gear.
‘I don’t bite.’
His wolfish grin seemed at odds with the promise of safety, but Jasmine wasn’t going to let some arrogant joker mess with her head. Shewas the teacher; she was the one in charge here.
‘You need to keep your hips steady.’ She stepped forward and placed a hand on each hip. His muscles were tight and flame-hot beneath her palms. He bent down into plié once more and she guided him, ignoring the frisson of electricity that shot through her.
‘Make sure your core is pulled in. It will increase balance and stop you rocking forward.’
‘Like this?’ He grabbed her hand and placed her palm against his stomach. She could feel the ripple of each muscle through his T-shirt. His sports tights moulded every curve of his muscle, every bulge…
Jasmine gulped, her blood pounding as though she’d run a marathon. Get it together.
‘Yes, like that.’ She withdrew her hand, the heat of him still burning her fingertips.
She was going to strangle Elise, her soon to be former best friend, for roping her into this disaster waiting to happen. She was going to—
‘Earth to Bun-Head.’ Grant waved a hand in front of her face, chuckling when she returned her focus to him. ‘I don’t see how this is helping my hamstring. Shouldn’t we be stretching or something? We need to speed up this flexibility thing. I’ve got an important game coming up.’
He shook his leg and rubbed at the muscle.
‘Flexibility is a slow process. You can’t turn up to one ballet lesson and expect to be a contortionist. It takes time.’
‘I’d settle for being injury-free,’ he replied. ‘But if you want to show me how you can put your ankles behind your head then be my guest.’
‘This is not Cirque du Soleil.’ Jasmine bit each word out through gritted teeth.
Sparkling, contemporary romances with a pinch of spice