Pay It Forward Friday – Keira Andrews


Pay It Forward Friday is my way of thanking authors who have done something that has helped me either personally or professionally in some way in the past years. Some I’ve only met online, some at conferences, and some have become long-term friends. Others may not know what they did, or even who I am, but at some point they said or posted something that helped me or inspired me in some way.

They have no idea they are being featured here; I’ve secretly gone to their website and gathered their information. I hope you’ll look up their books and support them by buying a book (or a whole series) because they’re not only great authors but great people too!

I first met Keira Andrews through my friend Mary — and now we make it a point to meet up for lunch at least twice a year now. (Keira is the one on the left, Mary’s the one on the right. I’m the one who didn’t get the “wear a blue top” fashion memo standing next to Mary. (The lady beside Keira is Anara Bella, who I featured on PIFF back in January.))

Keira is a funny and warm person — and she’s been so great at helping me find my way through the self-publishing maze. She’s also a huge “you can do it, stop doubting your writing” coach.

Why should you continue to read about her? A) Keira has a blog that is made even more fun to read because she is the gif queen, and b) she is a fantastic m/m writer. USA Today agrees with me:

USA Today raves about A Forbidden Rumspringa:

 There is great chemistry between David and Isaac, and once they admit to each other their true feelings, we get a lot of romance scenes. Their affection is intense and warm and made me smile. While there is a happy ever after at the end of this book, their story will continue in a second book coming out early next year. I can’t wait.

Anara Keira Mary and me



After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy and paranormal fiction, and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said: “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”





Amazon page:


(I’ve presented her latest series in the reading order, starting with Book 1. These are not historical books, but contemporary.)

A Forbidden Rumspringa

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

a-forbidden-rumspringa-web-copy-200x300In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

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A Forbidden Rumspringa is for sale at the other vendors, but for full price:

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A Clean Break

They’ve escaped to the outside world—but can they really be free?

a-clean-break-200-300David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

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A Way Home

Will returning to their Amish roots renew their faith in each other?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]Isaac and David never thought they’d go back to the Amish world. But when Isaac’s younger brother is stricken with cancer, they don’t hesitate to return. Their relationship is on the rocks after insecurity and fear drove a wedge between them in San Francisco, and David is determined to make things right. Yet if they thought navigating “English” life was confusing, being back in Zebulon is even more complicated.

Their families are desperate to bring them back into the fold, and pressure from the community builds. Isaac and David yearn for a future together, but each day it becomes harder to hide the truth about who they really are. They’re caught between two worlds, and if they’re not careful it could tear them further apart.

Can Isaac and David make their way back to each other—and find a place to call home?

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Romancing the Capital a total success

Romancing the Capital conference 2015I just got back from the Romancing the Capital event in Ottawa Ontario. The fantabulous Eve Langlais put together an amazing conference for both readers and authors — there were no glitches, no drama llamas, everything ran wonderfully (from what I saw, though Eve may have a different experience).


Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and me wishing a fan Happy Birthday

Fans were there in abundance, and they brought so much positive energy with them that the authors I talked to were equally enthused and over-the-moon, especially after the best book-signing I’ve ever been to.

I ran a Romance Pictionary game that was one of the opening events and I admit I was a little concerned that people might not show up, but the room ended up filling up. The readers were so smart that they guessed most words with barely a squiggle — I ended up going through the bags of swag I’d made up for the winners, moved on to Amazon gift certificates, hand-knitted fingerless gloves and plush toys (polar bears, bears and moose–in honor of Eve’s shapeshifters.)  Tthe REALLY good ones got tiaras to wear too. (Yes, Chris– the guy in the front — ended up wearing one for us — and was happy to do so.) And a huge shout out to author Zoe York for helping me out – her help was invaluable.


Romance Pictionary

Leah and Zoe York


I’d brought a basket to give away — it contained all three print copies of my Hauberk series books, along with some Canadian-made items, like a wooden reindeer ornament, and some fun Pier 1 ornaments, as well as a hand-knitted beaded scarf I’d made myself.


I was in a couple of other events too — Clockbusters with Amy Ruttan, Tina Christopher, JK Coi/Chloe Jacobs, and Karen Blake-Hall, as well as Author Speed Dating arranged by Kali Willows. Readers and authors chatted for two minutes (boy, did it move fast!) and then moved on to the next author. It was a loud and boisterous crowd and we all had a blast!

Author Speed Dating RTC2015 Kayleigh Malcolm
I gave away another basket, this one a cowboy hat and sign, along with lots of other pieces of swag.



There were the parties — with the fantastic costumes. I was in awe of the work that went into some of them.  They have set the bar high for next year. (I’m angling for a western themed dinner for next year. Who’s with me?)RTC2015 costumes 2 RTC2015 costumes1

The best part was Saturday’s book signing. There was a long line of readers waiting for the doors to open …RTC2015-Lining-up-for-the-Booksigning-via-Kayleigh-Malcolm


For the first time ever I had people lining up for my books — I sold out of all the print copies I brought with me within an hour. That’s never happened before and it made me feel like a rock star.

So by the time it was done, the half dozen or more boxes that I’d brought up were completely empty. Empty of swag, empty of books, empty of … everything. And for some reason, my phone was almost empty of photos because I was having so much fun I forgot to take pictures myself and have had to rely on others for most of the photos above.  But you can believe I am already in the line-up to come back next year.  I hope I will see you there!

Pay It Forward Friday – Deborah Cooke


Pay It Forward Friday is my way of thanking authors who have done something that has helped me either personally or professionally in some way in the past years. Some I’ve only met online, some at conferences, and some have become long-term friends. Others may not even know what they did, or even who I am, but at some point they said or posted something that helped me or inspired me in some way.

They have no idea they are being featured here; I’ve secretly gone to their website and gathered their information. I hope you’ll look up their books and support them by buying a book (or a whole series) because they’re not only great authors but great people too!

Today’s guest author writes under several names — Deborah Cooke, Claire Delacroix and Claire Cross. I first met Deborah back in 2007 when I joined the Toronto Romance Writers. As a newbie, I initially found Deborah a little…intimidating. She knew so much about the writing world I was just entering and she has an air of confidence about her that I envy. I’ve attended several author panels with her–some where I was in the audience, some where I sat beside Deborah on the other side of the table, but seriously, even when I’m part of the panel, I want to just sit back and take notes when Deborah talks. She’s an amazing lady. And, better still, she knits! Deborah is attending the Romancing the Capital conference this weekend, and I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance to sit down with her and soak in more of her knowledge. Both about writing and knitting.


Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, #1 Kindle Bestselling, KOBO Bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ Bestselling Author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and of Novelists Inc.

Currently, she’s writing the Dragonfire series of paranormal romances as Deborah Cooke, and the True Love Brides series of medieval romances (with fantasy elements) as Claire Delacroix.

Deborah thinks a lot about publishing and writing, and also knits too much.

Find Deborah and her books online on her website or:

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Find Claire and her books online:

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The Warrior’s Prize

The maiden was just another treasure to be won—until she stole his heart and changed his life forever.

clairedelacroix_thewarriorsprize_200Outraged that her beloved brother’s soul is to be the Fae tithe to Hell, Elizabeth knows that she must save him. She is the only one in her family who can see the Fae, after all, and is already cursed by their king herself. Malcolm may have offered to replace his comrade out of honor, but Elizabeth knows who better deserves to live—and it is not the handsome rogue, Rafael, who is concerned with his own welfare alone. It should be easy to make a wager with a mercenary, especially as Elizabeth does not care about the cost to herself. To her surprise, though, Rafael proves to be the man who not only takes her dare, but banishes the Fae king’s curse with kisses that turn her blood to fire. Could this hardened warrior, who appears to have no heart, be the destined love she has awaited?

At first glimpse, Rafael believes Elizabeth to be an angel sent to judge him—and he knows what her verdict will be. He has made choices in order to survive, and is not proud of them. But Elizabeth dares him to change, with an audacity that awakens a nobility of purpose that Rafael has forgotten he possessed. Can this bold maiden heal the wounds of his past? Can Rafael earn the right to grant her the life she deserves—and do so before the Fae king springs his trap, making Elizabeth his captive forever?

Reader Letter from The Warrior’s Prize.

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Buy directly from Deborah:


Firestorm Forever

Coming May 13th

This flame will burn for all time…

firestormforever_400x600Three key firestorms mark the culmination of the Dragon’s Tail Wars, pitting the dragon shifters known as the Pyr against the evil Slayers. The Slayers have struck a blow against mankind, in bringing a pestilence from the ancient world, which is spreading like wildfire through the human world. Sloane Forbes, the Apothecary of the Pyr, knows it is his duty to find the cure, but the solution is elusive, his beautiful neighbor is distracting, and time is running out.

In moving to a remote farm in the California hills, Samantha Wilcox has left her demanding career behind by choice and on principle. It’s too painful to remember her own failures as both mother and physician, and not a point of pride that she fell short of the measure, so she’s determined to start fresh. She’s going to live differently, following her instincts and savoring life’s pleasures—like the hot sex with no commitment offered by her mysterious, sexy neighbor. He’s no more of an herb farmer than she is a tarot card reader, but Samantha is determined to keep their illusions intact—at least until she discovers not that Sloane’s one of the Pyr, the dragon shifters are responsible for the epidemic that stole her son’s life. When the firestorm sparks between these estranged lovers, can Samantha resist its dangerous attraction on principle alone? As Slayers andPyr gather for the final battle, can Samantha and Sloane work together to save the world and build themselves—and their respective kinds—a future?

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You can also download the first chapter of the book as a free read from Deborah’s online store. Here’s the EPUB and the MOBI.