I just want to play baseball, but unless I seek out some help that won’t be in the cards for me. I’m not sure what I expected when my father made arrangements for a tutor, but it definitely wasn’t her. I should know her. Everyone in town knows her family and their story. But until she rolled her eyes at me, I hadn’t noticed her before. I don’t know what to do with myself, because now? The girl who’s spent so long faded into the background of this town is someone I can’t unsee. I want to protect her. But more than that, I just want her. But I’m not positive that’s in the cards.
Athletes needing my help, to qualify to play, isn’t anything new. I’ve been academically coaching varsity since I was a freshman. But never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated this particular offer. Malcolm Kade is an all-star shortstop, arrogant prince of the castle, and son of the mayor. And I’m pretty sure that while he has ties to my family, he didn’t even know I existed until his father hired me. Now, fading into the background is impossible because of his proximity. Being caught like a deer in headlights, on this town’s social radar is not what I wanted. Now that I’m here though, I can’t help but wonder: will it be worth it?
“Are you even listening?” I roll my neck and huff at Malcolm, who has been staring out my window for several minutes. Not getting a response, I throw my pen at him. Without even looking at me, he catches it before it hits his arm; like fucking Spiderman or something. “Oh, good. So you’re not completely unaware. You’re literally just ignoring me. Malcolm!”
His eyes lazily find mine as I push my glasses up my nose. “Welcome back. One, you never told me you had Spidey-senses. And two, if you want to pass your exam this week? You’re going to have to pay attention.”
“I don’t listen with my eyes, Frenchie,” he deadpans. My jaw clenches at the name. I haven’t figured it out yet, but now is not the time to ask. He hasn’t been openly hostile since the party, but he’s been mostly silent unless asked a direct question.
“Clearly, you don’t listen at all.” His eyebrows shoot up at my accusation. “Then what did I just say?”
“On the personality cult and its consequences, the secret speech Khrushchev gave in February of 1956, was an attempt to further distance himself from Stalin. The speech caught blame for having a part in the end of political relations between the USSR and China, but it was a major catalyst in Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization.” When he’s finished parroting my words, he tilts his head in challenge. It takes me a second to process that he quoted me verbatim.
“Is that why you don’t take notes in class?” I have to ask, surprise blatantly evident in my voice. But my question is met with laughter.
“Oh, no. I don’t listen in class,” his eyes search my face for a second, before the humour on his twists into something else. “You, however, would make a killing with a sex hotline. You’re definitely not boring to listen to.”
My eyes widen at his words and I blink a couple of times. “Right,” I breathe, looking back at my papers, unsure of how to even respond to that. I look at the words but see none of them.
I grew up in a tiny place in rural Alberta, Canada. I plan literally everything, except my plotlines. I have a stationary addiction and I read about 100 books a year. I married my husband a month before I turned 21, eleven months after we started dating (19 months after the first time we met) and we’re coming up on 15 years, in September 2023. We have a 5 year old spitfire of a girl and most of my world revolves around the two of them.
I’ve been writing since I was a child. Mostly essays about my thoughts/life experiences, but I also dabbled in short stories and attempted a couple of novels in my early teens that were heavily influenced by teen movies. But they never amounted to much. Then, during a particularly groggy middle of the night feeding for my newborn (in 2017) I scribbled a scene that had been playing on repeat in my head, onto 16 post-it notes and forgot about them. In October 2020, I found them in a notebook and while I re-read them, more and more scattered scenes played out in my head So I sat down to write every night until I finally typed The End. And that’s how Showcase (my dark debut) was born.
Chaotic, at best. I’m what I’ve heard referred to as a quilter. I write scenes out of order and then stitch them together. Also a pantser, through and through. When I sit down to write a book, all I am certain of is the characters. Their personalities, how they look, how they think. But I often have no idea, outside of a vague trope direction, of where their story will go until I’m actually writing it. I also almost exclusively write in my car (waiting for school or extracurricular pickups) or after midnight.
I’m currently a SAHM to my hurricane of a girl, so I spend most of my time with her. I play video games with my husband and I read a lot, too. I will always be a reader first and an author second, because I wouldn’t have ever sat down and finished my debut novel, had I not started ARC reading for indie romance authors.
I don’t really celebrate that part. I honestly panic for a day or two, that it’s terrible before I send it to my own kindle for a read-through and my first round of basic edits. Once those edits/additions are complete, it’s off to betas. And then it’s on to the next book. I usually have 2-3 books I’m working on simultaneously.
On release day, I bake with my five year old. I did it for my first release because I had a cake to make anyway. And then it became a thing because it serves as a good distraction from the fact that I have new words out there for public consumption again.
Banana bread, usually.
The Grey girls bloomed in my mind unexpectedly and I started taking notes on their characters before I had even finished the last book in the previous series. Then scenes started distracting me from the other book I was trying to finish and this series became a beast of its own. It wasn’t until book one was finished and book two was almost there too, that one of the characters decided that he needed to change the game, so the prequel novella was born too.
Every one of my characters shares at least one trait with me and with someone I love in real-life. Those traits can be anything from a part of their appearance, to whole swaths of their personality. Some have more in common with real-life people than others, but only two characters I’ve ever written, were actually (loosely) based off of individual people that I’ve known at some point in my life.
Haha. I originally intended for this particular book to be a bully romance, but the characters definitely had other thoughts. It wound up being exactly what it should have been all along, but letting go of my hope of writing a bully romance (because that’s sort of what the market tends to want) was a big challenge on this for me. And also writing the characters dramatic enough to do their personalities in my mind justice.
A little bit of everything, really. Between the various rabbit holes of research I went down, to mapping the town, to documenting the angsty thoughts. I also had a lot of fun creating VERY detailed character profiles for every character. I loved watching
This book, in particular? No one specific. But I’m a huge Meagan Brandy fan. The way she weaves stories is literally goals for me. Samantha Lovelock, Lindsey Iler, Kandi Steiner, Ilsa Madden-Mills (and so many more) are all big inspirations to me as well. I love their writing and I probably wouldn’t be writing at all, without authors like them.
This one is hard, without spoilers because my absolute favourite, would definitely fall into the spoiler category. But this is a close second, particularly the last line:
*Holding her tight in my arms makes me feel better, lighter than I have all week. When I set her down and drop my arms to my sides, she retracts her own, tilting her head at me with so many questions flashing behind her eyes. “I can walk you out, I’m sure you have places to be,” Lennox whispers eventually, turning to open her bedroom door.
Not really Len, I seem to have demons lingering everywhere that you’re not, and I don’t really want to play with them right now.*
I’d give almost anything to spend a day with Flynn and Evie (from my previous series), I think that everyone needs people like the two of them in their lives. I’d probably ask what took them so long to figure it out. But also, Grant. I have no idea what I’d say, but the guy has the most restless mind I’ve ever stumbled across and can make a pop culture/history reference for just about anything. I think meeting him would be an adventure.