I’m really excited to share my short story, Summer Healing, out today!
Title: Love Unlimited Anthology
Authors: Bryana Beecham, Geralyn Corcillo, Laura Chapman, Katie Leonard, Kelly Cain, Anne Hamilton, Zainab Muhammad Shahid, Samantha Bryant, Lizbeth Durano, Therese Gilardi, Amy Gettinger
Release Date: August 23, 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction
About LOVE UNLIMITED
Explore the unlimited nature of love and its many incarnations in the Love Unlimited Anthology, featuring eleven stories that cross generations, cultural backgrounds, and borders. Love Unlimited will warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and envelop you in the wonderful and complex human emotion the world calls “Love.”
In Déjà You, five authors share stories of second chances, as varied in telling as the writers themselves.
Kelly Cain’s We’ll Always Have Oahu takes us on a whirlwind New Adult romance set in the 80s between a young woman on a high school graduation trip and a handsome Navy sailor.
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 You
About 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.
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.
For more information on Déjà You or the Book Besties, visit their website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.
I’m excited to host another good author friend, Amanda Linsmeier. During her interview, I discovered we have way more in common than I originally thought. I’ve been guilty of calling her a girly girl (which she is), but we do share a love of cooking and apparently the same types of movies of television shows.
If you haven’t read her debut novel, Ditch Flowers, I highly recommend you picking it up immediately. See my review here – an enthusiastic 5-stars.
Author name: Amanda Linsmeier
Book title: Ditch Flowers
Tell us a little about yourself and your background: I have always loved reading, but didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was about 22. I am a part-time stay-at-home mom, and also work part-time at my local library. I write in several genres, and hope to get a literary agent for my MG fairy tale next.
Tell us a little about your novel: Ditch Flowers tells the story of one woman’s quest to find out the truth about her husband’s fidelity, while at the same time struggling with the very raw experience of infertility.
Have you written anything else (including novels, short stories, novellas, etc.): Yes, I have written, and had published online, a few short stories, as well as a creative non-fiction piece, and a poem. But I have lots more things that haven’t been published (yet)! I am querying a MG fairy tale, as mentioned above, and editing a witchy women’s fiction. I also have a short story collection that is in need of polishing, but soon will be ready to query or self-publish. I haven’t quite decided yet.
Do you have any writing rituals: I have so little free time at the moment that I am less picky about that than I used to be. Honestly, if I get thirty minutes to write I will do it anywhere, any way. But if I have a chunk of time carved out, I like to write with a (semi) clean house so there’s no distraction, music on low, a big iced coffee, and that’s when I really get my writing groove on.
If you were abandoned on a desert island, which character from your book would you want to be trapped with: Probably Megan. She is sweet, and fun, and she wouldn’t worry too much. We could chat about our kids to make the time go faster.
I tend to put a lot of cooking in my books because I love to cook, do you have a hobby that made it into yours: Decorating, for sure. But I also snuck some foodie stuff in. I LOVE food writing (and you do a great job in Altered!) so I hope to write a baking-themed novel someday.
If you were writing a book about yourself, what would the title be: Oh, that’s a tough one. I would need a lot more time to think of that, haha.
What are the big themes in your book: I think resilience, communication, forgiveness are all big themes. I also think acceptance is a key theme.
Favorite book: Beauty by Robin McKinley
Favorite author: J.K. Rowling, or Carolyn Turgeon
Do you have any pointers or advice for aspiring writers: Keep going. Discover who you are as a writer, and push yourself even harder. Never stop growing.
Favorite song: Right now, I am in love with Alessia Cara’s song Overdose. Actually, I adore her whole album.
Favorite movie/tv show: Too many! Somethings Gotta Give, Lost in Austen, and Easy A are all favs. TV show, I will forever and always love Friends.
Chosen superpower: Teleportation?
Toilet paper: over or under: Under
Real book or tablet: Both
Star Trek or Star Wars: Star Wars
By the middle of July, Wisconsin brings a kind of quick heat I wasn’t expecting since moving from the south. Temperatures soar into the mid-nineties and the close of each day brings hot, heavy rain and thunder and heat lightning. Mosquitoes swarm in the moist areas of shadows. But the sky is still blue every day and the grass is green, green, like Kermit the Frog. Greg leaves for his standard three-mile run and I use the time to flip through a paint sample deck sitting in front of a fan. The old house doesn’t have central air, something I am somehow surprised to learn is needed in Wisconsin.
I have cold water waiting when Greg returns. Sweat has gathered on my upper lip and I’m not surprised to see him bathed in perspiration.
“You sure you should be out there in this weather?” I frown. I always hated when he ran in the Louisiana burning heat. But at least there he came home to air-conditioning. It somehow seems more civilized that way.
“Love it.” He smiles, his hair damp along the hairline. “The run is a beast but after, I feel damn good. And when I don’t do it, you know I feel shitty.”
He guzzles the glass of water and then points to the entry table.
“I picked you some flowers.”
“Oh?” I get up and walk past him. On the table, I see a large bundle of wild flowers, even weeds and grasses, large and bountiful enough to fill my arms.
“Oh, Greg,” I say. “Where’d they come from?”
“The ditches along the far road I run are filled with them. I know they’re not roses or anything real pretty but I thought you’d like them.”
“They’re better than roses,” I defend his gift and the weeds’ existence. “They couldn’t be any better. Thank you.”
I kiss his salty lips and gather the flowers in my arms. The scents reach my nose: tangy, grassy, sweet, and spicy. I carry them to the kitchen and using a kitchen shears, I cut down each straggly stem and arrange them just so. I recognize Queen Anne’s Lace in its dainty patterns. I see many others I don’t recognize: some kind of spiky, light purple flower, a deeper purple, a mustard-yellow with a brown center, maybe some kind of daisy? There’s even a delicate grass with a light greenish brown top, almost like a feather. I put one vase on the living room coffee table and carry one up to our room, so we can fall asleep with the scent of summer in the air.
Amanda Linsmeier’s work has appeared on Brain, Child Magazine, WOW! Women on Writing, and Portage Magazine. She works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside with her husband and children, two dogs, and half-wild cat. Ditch Flowers is her first novel.