ihodt with chill and 2020 recommended read awards
Character Traits

Character Traits: Meet Serenity Layne

A new year and a new character to feature on my blog. Meet Serenity Layne, created by author Melanie Robertson-King. It Happened on Dufferin Terrace, a holiday novella and a perfect escape for readers who are hunkering down during this pandemic. Plus this is the first in a planned six-book series. And check out Melanie’s impressive list of books she has published way below.

Here, I will let Melanie take over.

Melanie author photo cropped

Melanie Robertson-King

Thanks, Joan, for letting me introduce you to Serenity Layne, the main character from It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. The book is a Christmas novella set in beautiful old Quebec City.

Think Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle. She’s married to her career, and he’s a widowed father.

I came up with the name Serenity Layne on my way home from my sister-in-law’s house in Northern Ontario. It was a street name. I added the “y” to her surname, so it sounded more like a person than a part of a city.

While not based on a “real” person, I modeled Serenity after Doris from the movie Miracle on 34th Street. She’s had a rough life, and anything she’s gotten, it’s been through her hard work and no help from her family. After the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company closed in Etobicoke, her father turned to the drink. Her mother was unable to cope and spent her days in her bedroom watching television. Her brother, Erik, got mixed up with drugs and disappeared so and the responsibility for cooking, shopping, and cleaning fell to Serenity.

She worked her way through school and is now a successful business consultant with the firm, Thacker, Price & Associates. Along the way, she had no time for intangibles and never had any relationships with men. While she’s not materialistic, she has a comfortable condo on Yorkville Avenue in Toronto, is well-dressed and perfectly manicured.

It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is book one of a six-book series featuring the Scott and Layne families. Serenity also appears in the second book, It Happened in Gastown, and will be in the third, It Happened at Percé Rock, which I’m currently writing.

An EXCERPT:

Snow, packed down from shovelling and plowing, made the boards slippery. High-heeled shoes were inappropriate for the conditions, but escaping that room was paramount.

Why did she allow that man to antagonize her? Any other time, any other meeting, and she would have let comments like his roll off her. This action was out of character.

Struggling to maintain her balance, she picked her way to the handrail. At least she had gloves in her pockets. After extracting the knitted mittens, she pulled them on her hands and tried to regain her composure so she could go back to the meeting. She would have to create an excuse for her sudden departure.

Arms resting on the railing, she took in long, slow breaths. Each time she exhaled, a puff of steam formed in front of her.

About to go back into the warmth of the hotel’s conference room, she let go and turned. A massive black dog charged at her with a man and a boy in pursuit. The ear flaps of the man’s trapper hat resembled wings. Stretched out horizontally, how he managed not to take flight astounded her.

“Tori, bad girl. Halt.” The man shouted commands to the canine, but the animal was oblivious to them.

Before she had an opportunity to react, the black Lab launched itself in the air and hit her square in the chest, knocking her to the ground. The impact sent her eyeglasses flying, and they crashed on the granite ledge beneath the handrail. The child dove for them but couldn’t get a proper grip. His fingertips brushed the frames, and her eyewear skittered away from him on the icy rock and vanished.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. She grew up an only child, and many happy hours were spent with her face tuck in books from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through The Orphan Homes of Scotland. Melanie has been fortunate to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

AUTHOR LINKS:

 Website: https://melanierobertson-king.com/

Celtic Connexions Blog: https://melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelanieRobertsonKingAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertsoKing

 BUY LINKS:

mybook.to/dufferin-terrace

mybook.to/it-happened-in-gastown

mybook.to/The-Secret-of-Hillcrest-House

mybook.to/yesterday-today-always

mybook.to/A_Shadow_in_the_Past

mybook.to/shadows-from-her-past

mybook.to/Tims-Magic-Christmas

mybook.to/aboard_the_Canadian

 

 

 

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James Fant

6Ws with Author James Fant

James Fant, an author from Charleston, South Carolina, is a member of my BooksGoSocial team. His latest novel is COED, which explores whether a man and woman can be best friends without crossing that line to intimacy. Yes, I read COED eBook Coverand enjoyed his novel very much.

Here are James’ responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (Yes, how does end with a W.)

Who is author James Fant?

James Fant is a creator of fake worlds that make real people ask interesting questions. For example, in my latest novel, COED, the reader will ask: Can a man and a woman be just best friends without at least one of them wanting more than mere friendship? I love to entertain readers; however, I also like to make them think.

What does he write?

I write romance, science fiction, historical, and even mystery. I guess, I’m just a storyteller. I tell stories about everyday people because I want my readers to relate. I write stories about flawed people because aren’t we all striving for perfection and making mistakes along the way. So if I write about a character with a specific flaw, and I show how that character dealt with his/her issue, perhaps readers can identify and say, “Hey, I should approach it this way.” Also, I try to keep it spicy. Keep the prose moving. Give my readers something to look forward to as they turn the page, or swipe the screen.

When does he write? (Alternative question: When did he begin writing fiction?)

I started writing fiction professionally in 2006. I started off with short stories; in fact, my first novel, AN ODE FOR ORCHIDS, was originally a short story called Shawties. I began writing and the characters told me that they had a lot more to say than the confines of a short story could contain. So that story turned into a novel and in doing so, took me completely by surprise. If you would’ve told me that I was going to be writing novels when I graduated from college in 1999, I would’ve laughed at you. Hey! There’s an interesting idea for a novel: a time-traveler going back in time to tell someone that they were going to do X, Y and Z and they were amazed at this because they’re busying doing A, B and C. Hmmm…

Where does he write?

I write wherever I can get to an open document. On the express shuttle while on my phone. In my home office. In the recliner beside my bed. I write while I’m standing in long lines at the grocery store. Wherever! That’s why I am so happy to have cloud computing in my life. Man, where would I be now if I had to lug around a flash drive wherever I roamed. I write it on my phone, it’s saved to the cloud, and I can pull it back up on my laptop. The cloud is where it’s at!

How does he write?

My first draft is always written with my heart. What do I mean by that? Well, one of my favorite movies is FINDING FORESTER, which starred Sean Connery (William) and Rob Brown (Jamal). In the movie, there’s this scene where William and Jamal are writing and Jamal is just sitting there. William asks what’s the matter and Jamal says that he’s thinking about what to write. William admonishes him to just start typing. The first draft is written with the heart, basically whatever your mind tells you to write at that moment. No thought. No pondering. Just write. That’s what I do. Of course, I have a rough outline that I follow. But for the most part, I just start writing without stopping to think about the words I’m typing. Then, the second draft is written with the brain, analyzing what my subconscious mind delivered freely. Keeping things. Deleting things. I love writing in this way because there is essentially no writers’ block. Every day is productive, even if I delete what I wrote.

Why does he write?

I write because I want to make people smile. I write to brighten people’s day. I write to entertain. But above all else, I write to edify.

 Here’s the synopsis of COED.

Can a man and a woman be best friends without somebody catching feelings? Travis Barber and Sade Styles are best friends of the opposite sex. Despite what everyone thinks, they are not getting busy…yet.

Co-owners of a popular barbershop/salon named CoEd, Travis and Sade spend the bulk of their days together. But when Sade’s apartment lease runs out and Travis offers her the spare bedroom of his newly built house, will they end up sharing more than just the utilities?

Best case scenario, nothing happens. Worst case scenario, they get to know each other a little too well and end up hating each other! Are Travis and Sade making the best move for their friendship?

Other works: Simon’s Splinter, Fourteen Pages, An Ode for Orchids, The Mended Fence, The Secret Branch, and Close the Door.

More about James Fant

Website: jamesfantbooks.com

Facebook: Facebook_JamesFantBooks

Twitter: @jamesfantjr

Blog: jamesfantbooks.wordpress.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jamesfant

Goodreads: goodreads.com/James_Fant

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: Amazon_James_Fant

Barnes and Noble: barnesandnoble_James_Fant

Kobo: Smashwords_James_Fant

 

 

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