Saturday, February 28, 2015

March Noteworthy Events

As February comes to a close, we’d like to thank you for another great month. Love was the theme this month and it’s for sure we love our readers. Each and every one of you. If you left a comment on a story or two, shared a link with your friends, bought a book from one of our authors, we want to say THANK YOU for your support.

As usual, the LQR authors have been busy with more than writing! There are some exciting things happening in March and we hope you will make it a point to participate.

March Noteworthy Events

Clock Strikes Midnight Virtual Book Review Tour (click link for tour schedule)

February 26- March 19 Presented by Goddess Fish

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the fa├žade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.
March 9 - 11:30 a.m. Joan C. Curtis will be discussing Clock Strikes Midnight with a book club in Athens, GA. If you are interested in Joan visiting your book club, contact her a 
March 12 Finding Thor by Kai Strand - Book Release

This book is so exciting, it’s being released ahead of schedule!

Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely is her guilt. Until Nik Rock.

Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again. 

But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.

When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik? 

Romance, mystery, and high stakes – just another day in high school.

You don’t have to wait until March 12 – pre-order your copy today: AmazonBarnes & NobleWhiskey Creek PressAll RomanceBookStrand
March 25 - Our very own Katie L. Carroll invites you to celebrate the publication of The Great Connecticut Caper at this FREE event! Teachers, librarians, parents and educators of any sort are welcome! Bring along the kids too!

The Great Connecticut Caper Mid-Launch Party
March 25, 2015 from 4-6 p.m.
Peabody Museum, New Haven, CT

Free with tickets. Order your tickets HERE

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reader Flash - Share Your Own Story

Now it’s your turn. We’d love for you to share your own LOVE inspired flash fiction. In no more than about 200 words share a story of first love, crush, unrequited love, or broken-hearts.  Make us fall in or out of love with you.

Show us your writing chops. Post anonymously if you want, but keep it PG-13 rated. A good test is to ask yourself if you would want to read it to your teenager.

Leave your story in the comments and feel free to leave encouraging comments for other flashers!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Time to Talk Love

photo credit
Because LIGHTNING QUICK READS is a themed, blog we like to encourage discussion about the monthly theme. To encourage some give and take, we raise a few questions of our own that we'd love to hear your input on, but we want you to feel comfortable to ask a question of your own. So, let's talk about love!


This is a discussion I had with my daughter a few times when she was younger. I never, ever wanted to dismiss her feelings or belittle them, but I felt it was important to explain that I believed the love a teenager experiences isn't the same love they will experience as an adult. I do think teenagers can fall in love. BUT I don't believe the love we fall into as a teenagers is the same kind of love needed to endure without some growth and maturity. There are so many life events that teach us to value our love, loss, struggle, helplessness - just to name a few.

What do you think about teen love? Go ahead and throw tomatoes if you feel I deserve it, but tell us how you feel about teenage love. Real or pretend?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spotlight on YA/Adult Author, Stuart R. West

We're spending time getting to know LQR author, Stuart R. West.

LQR: Thanks for hanging out with us today, Stuart. Can you tell our readers a little about you, please?

Stuart: Well, hey, Kai and readers, what’s up? Afraid I’m not very interesting. Nothing as cool as what’s going on in my writerly head, I mean. I was a graphic artist for 27 years or so and the corporate world wore me down. Now, for better or worse, I’m writing, sharing my insanity with the public-at-large. I guess you could say it’s kinda’ interesting that I’ve delved into the worlds of music, performance art, illustration and writing, but, honestly, the most interesting thing that ever happened to me was when I was 13. Frank Gorshin (aka, the TV show Batman’s “Riddler”) offered me a cigarette. I declined the smoke, still carry the memory.

LQR: I think many authors lead a very mundane life. Thank goodness for all the excitement we create in our heads, huh? If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining or inciting?

Stuart: Um, probably when the lousy company I worked for as an artist for 25 years closed the doors due to incompetence. If that doesn’t work, let’s go with my sixth grade teacher giving me a blank book as a gift and told me to fill it with imagination.

LQR: Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme?

Stuart: Somehow, I’ve found myself in the position of writing Midwest tales, stripping away the Norman Rockwellian veneer of “solid middle American family values.” Wait! Don’t run away yet, it’s not nearly as dull or creepy as it sounds. Well, yeah, it can sometimes get a little creepy. But someone has to do it. And since I’ve been stuck in a Kansas City suburb all my life, who better to do it? I also like to bring the funny. Even when I’m writing about spooky stuff. I strive to bring the humor, heart and sometimes, horror; the “Three ‘H’s.”

LQR: Tell us about your newest release and what you’re currently working on.

Stuart: My newest tale of trauma, Rapture of the Living Dead, will be out by MuseItUp Publishing this year. I took the zombie mythos, twisted it, came up with my own warped spin. Expect suspense, pathos, searing emotion, romance, and humor. Up next? A lot of stuff. A thriller taking place at a bed & breakfast during a horrific winter storm; a darkly comical thriller about a corporation that sponsors serial killers; a historical thriller spanning two decades entailing the downfall of a mining town; and a darkly comedic novel about a stand-up comedian who crosses a demon. Also contemplating a new Tex, the Witch Boy book, this one set in college.

LQR: Well, you won’t be running out of material any time soon. Share with us a favorite authorial moments from your career so far.

Stuart: Several teens have contacted me regarding the Tex, the Witch Boy trilogy. They’ve said how much it helped them with bullying and with, well, life. That meant more to me than sales or stellar reviews.

LQR: Last month’s theme here on Lightning Quick Reads was goals. Can you tell us a writing career goal of yours five years down the road?

Stuart: Gah. Tough one. In three years, I’ve written eleven novels. So, um, doing the math (not my strong suit)…let’s see…25 novels within five years?

LQR: Let’s lighten the mood a little. Do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Stuart: Yes and no. I enjoy dark thrillers. But some of it’s a little too much for my tender sensibilities. Not a fan of gore. Regarding movies? I LOVE me some awful bad ‘70’s and ‘80’s genre films. Sure, they’re terrible. But that’s the fun. More laugh out loud moments than any Adam Sandler comedy.

LQR: I agree about those campy movies, though I have to limit the amount of them I watch in order to maintain my appreciation. If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Stuart: Clearly, I’d want to rule the world, doling out candy to good citizens. Or, wait…is that Santa Claus? I get confused.

LQR: You always make me laugh, Stuart. Anything else you’d like to add?

Stuart: The acclaimed (by more than just family and friends!) Tex, the Witch Boy series will be out in paperback this year, 2015!

LQR: How exciting. Congrats! Where can our awesome stalkers readers find you online?

Stuart: Hanging out here all the time:

Surgeon General Warning: The blog’s irreverence may cause you to feel immature.

LQR: Thanks again for visiting with us today, Stuart. Readers, Stuart is happy to answer any additional questions you have, so fill up that comments section and he'll respond when he can!
Be sure to return tomorrow for Katie Carroll's Love short.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February's Theme

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken…
-Shakespeare Sonnet 116

Hello! Welcome to Lightning Quick Reads, where each month our awesome authors bring you stories, in a flash! We each have our own day, so be sure to check back often.

Last month our theme was GOALS, where we each wrote many and varied tales on the subject. Can you guess what the theme is for this month? Hint: It's the month of roses and candy and hearts and first kisses. Yes! It's LOVE, in the glorious and sometimes hurtful guises of first love, unrequited love, or star-crossed love.

While my story will be the tale of unrequited love between a wizard and his apprentice, there's no knowing what our talented authors will come up with. It might be a contemporary or mystery story of star-crossed lovers. An epic sci/fi of unrequited love between aliens. Or maybe a sweet fantasy of first love between the fairy prince and the girl he rescues from the ogre.  It could even be a non-fiction. It's hard to say! With the many twists and turns love can take, who knows where our imagination will go?

But one thing you can count on with my stories is that there will always be a happy ending. Sometimes there's an unexpected turn or my characters move in a direction you might not want, but they always end up content with their lot. Love is an intense, scary, wild, heart wrenching, beautiful emotion that doesn't always bring us the joy we imagine. But when I'm writing, I figure, I'm the one creating this story and these people are darn well going to get their happily ever after.

Which reminds me. Start thinking of a story of love you'd like to tell. Later this month on February 25th. we'll open the blog up for our readers to share their own flash fiction pieces. Will yours be a fantasy? Contemporary love story? You chose! I love to write flash fiction and am really looking forward to reading yours.

Okay, I have to ask, what is your favorite Valentine's Day gift, even if it's one you're saving for the future? Is it candy and flowers? Jewelry? A nice dinner out? Being a floral designer, the best gift from my sweetie is dinner ready and maybe chocolate and wine by the fire afterwards.

So glad you stopped in! To keep track of all the great stories and fun happenings this month, you can follow this blog. And if you like, follow us on FACEBOOK, a great way to keep up with what’s going on with our authors, which story is up for your enjoyment, and join in our lively discussions. I'll see you back here soon!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  -Lao Tzu

Artwork by Marcel Stevahn  -One Good Eye Photography