Author Spotlight ~ L.J. Harris

A warm welcome to today’s Spotlight Author, L.J. Harris.

Thank you for joining us and sharing more about yourself.

LJ HARRIS

 

Introduce yourself and your writing

Hi! I’m L.J. Harris, and I’m an introvert as well as a mother and an author. I’d rather stay at home than go to parties, and prefer my own company when given the opportunity to be alone (PS that never happens)

How long have you been writing for, and what inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing for around 10 years, starting with small poems for family, and I haven’t looked back since.

Tell us about your forthcoming release. What inspired you to write it?

After the release of a few shorter anthology stories (Heart of Glass and Just Like Pulling Teeth) I decided to dive right into my first novel. I liked the idea of a romance between two people from different worlds, and that was when His Personal Assistant was born.

How did you decide on the title?

It was the same title I’d always intended to use – and throughout the entire time I’ve been working on it, I have never deviated from that. At first I thought the story would be a standalone, but then a few other characters decided they wanted their tales told as well, so there will be a second book.

Would you like to share a snippet? 

His Personal Assistant ~ Synopsis

Kade Hutchins is a man at a crossroads. At the tender age of twenty-one he has endured enough hardship to last a thousand lifetimes. With money tight and his career at a standstill, he’s running out of options, so he applies for a job that isn’t exactly in his field of expertise to make ends meet. The day he meets his new boss, Luke Preston is the day his fate is changed irrevocably.

Luke Preston is the kind of man others envy. Rich, successful, handsome, and unattached, his no-nonsense, take no prisoners attitude makes him one of the highest profile litigators in Manhattan. He also is a man with secrets. Secrets he wants to keep under wraps since tragedy shook his privileged existence to the core. That is, until Kade Hutchins, a man fifteen years his junior, steps foot into his office and into his life, turning it on its head forever.

Excerpt

“Thank God you’re here!”

“Um, what?” I muttered.

“Please tell me you’re Kade Hutchins.” Her tone sounded desperate.

“Oh. Yes, I am,” I answered with a tiny bit of reluctance.

She held out her hand and I took it in mine, her firm grip taking me by surprise. “You have no idea how relieved I am to see you.”

“Uh, thanks?” I answered, and she gave me a warm smile that made her round, hazel eyes sparkle. I couldn’t help but grin back, her hospitable attitude making me feel at ease in an instant.

“The name’s Kimberly O’Connell. I’m the paralegal around here.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Ms. O’Connell.”

“Oh, please, I insist you call me Kimberly.”

“Okay.”

Releasing her hold, she pointed a manicured finger at the closed office door located behind the desk. “Come on, Kade. Let’s get you in to see His Highness.” Covering her mouth, Kimberly giggled.

“Who?” I stopped myself from laughing as well, but it wasn’t easy.

“Luke Preston. The ass you spoke to on the phone.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know whether it was appropriate to agree with her or not, but decided it would be best to err on the side of caution.

“Sorry about him, by the way.” Kimberly knocked, before lowering her voice to a faint whisper. “I had no idea he was going to answer the phone when I went to make him his coffee. He usually lets the machine pick up, but I didn’t think to switch it on since I was only going to be gone a few minutes.”

The moment I let out a nervous chuckle, the door to the office flew open.

Dressed in a navy suit with a lime green tie knotted tight around the collar of his crisp white shirt, he looked more like a model than a lawyer. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had a strong jaw and high cheekbones. I’d have placed him to be in his mid-thirties, his dark brown hair slicked back so not a lock was out of place. Startling emerald green eyes fringed by long, dark lashes stared at me with such intensity that, for a split second, I forgot to breathe. Hardened features were softened by flawless, pale skin and full lips that looked so plush, I wondered what they would feel like pressed against my own. In that briefest of moments, I knew I was in trouble, my head waging a war with my heart so fierce, I didn’t know whether to pull him in for a kiss or run for my life.

I decided all I could do was wait for him to say something… anything to break the tension.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Having time to write when the characters start chatting away.

 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?

This story in particular has been the hardest to write. I lost a close friend and my father, and my mother fell ill during this time. There have been long stretches of time where I haven’t been able write a single word.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never stop honing your craft. Listen to others more experienced, and take on board what is important to you in order to improve. Research as much as you can, and ask others for help about subject matter when google doesn’t help. There are challenges to putting your work out there, from finding a publisher to the right editor, to marketing and everything else in between. Writing is by no means a guaranteed money making endeavour either. But as long as you have a story to tell and love what you’re doing, don’t ever stop.

Are there any genres you prefer to write and if so, why?  

My wheelhouse is contemporary romance, but I’ve also written a few paranormal stories in my time (with a romantic theme of course).

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Oh, so many I couldn’t name them all, but as far as world building goes, you can’t beat Harry Potter.

Why M/M?

I’ve always been inspired to explore the struggles that same sex couples face each and every day of their lives.

Do you have any genres you prefer reading, and if so what are they?

As with my writing, I love to read a good contemporary romance, but will also read paranormal when the mood strikes. I love a good YA story too and have never had a problem with ‘fade to black’ stories. I also don’t mind a bit of kink, and have read several BDSM with fantastic storylines as well as high levels of heat. I also adore a good tear-jerker.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just finishing reading my first shifter story, T.J. Klune’s Wolfsong, and I loved it!

What other writers you follow?

I have a ton of favourite authors, but among them are NR Walker, Jay Northcote, Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Devon McCormack, TC Orton, Ella Frank, KC Wells, Parker Williams, Jaclyn Osborn, Kora Knight, Max Vos, Cody Kennedy, Renae Kaye. The list is endless come to think about it! 😊

Are any of your characters based on you or people you know?

A tiny trait or memory here and there may come from people I know, but for the most part they’re as fictional as they come.

What’s your favourite book you’ve written?

The Haunting of Angus Macgregor will always own a special place in my heart, as it is the first story I self-published.

Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about and planning them?

Plots tend to strike from nowhere, especially when I’m out and about or having meaningful conversations. The shower is another place where ideas seem to appear out of nowhere, and I have often had eureka moments whilst shaving my legs (no lie!) 😊

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser. Once a basic plot hits, I discover the characters’ traits (and therefore actions and where the story will end up) as I go along, which is as scary as it is exhilarating.

Do you have a writing schedule?

With work and family demands, I don’t have a set schedule. It’s why I don’t release a ton of books each year, as I write when I find a few peaceful moments (and due to my perfectionist streak tend to tweak as I write which slows me down) and hope that during those rare moments the characters start talking.

And a few non-writing questions…

Tell us about your pets.

I’m between pets right now, but have owned only one feral cat, which I was highly allergic to. I’ve owned guinea pigs, birds of varying kinds, fish and dogs.

If you could choose any superpower or magical ability, what would it be and why?

What would you do with it? The ability to fly (even though I’m afraid of heights) because there is a sense of freedom there, soaring above the clouds without a care in the world. Or predict the future so I could get the lotto numbers and write full time. LOL.

If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take with you, if anyone, and why?

My bucket list is long and varied but New York City, where my current novel is based, is on the top of that list.

Thank you for stopping by and telling us more about yourself.

 

UPDATED POST FEATURE

HIS PERSONAL ASSISTANT

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Editor – R. E. Hargrave

Cover Designer – The Graphics Shed

Genre – Contemporary Gay Romance

Series – Book 1 – Men of New York

Length – 76k

Release Date – January 26, 2018

 

BLURB

At the tender age of twenty-one, Kade Hutchins is at a crossroads, having endured enough hardship to last a thousand lifetimes. With money tight and career at a standstill, he’s running out of time and options. The day he applies for a job that isn’t exactly in his field of expertise and meets his new boss, Mr. Preston, is the day his fate is changed irrecoverably.

Luke Preston is the kind of man others envy. Rich, successful and unattached, his no-nonsense, ‘take no prisoners attitude’ has made him one of the highest profile litigators in Manhattan. He’s also a man with secrets. Secrets he wants kept under wraps since tragedy rocked his privileged existence to the core. When Kade, a man some fifteen years his junior steps foot inside his office, Luke wonders if his heart will survive.

EXCERPT

I brushed an errant piece of fluff off my shoulder, straightened the hem of my shirt, and took a deep breath. Not that it did much good. By the time the elevator doors opened on the tenth floor, my nervousness was at an all-time high.

With less than a minute to spare, I stepped inside the plush, modern offices and was met by the sight of a striking woman sitting behind a large reception desk. Though she appeared business-like, what didn’t make sense was the way she seemed ready to pounce the second she saw me. I was surprised she didn’t fall flat on her face, considering she wore a pencil-thin black skirt and high-heeled shoes and was on her feet and running toward me like a crazy person.

“Thank God you’re here!”

“Um, what?” I took a wary step backward. She was kinda scary.

“Please tell me you’re Kade Hutchins.”

“Oh. Yes, I am.”

She held out her hand and when I took it in mine, I was impressed by her firm, assured grip. “You have no idea how relieved I am to see you.”

“Uh, thanks?” The warm smile she gave in response caused her round, hazel eyes to sparkle, while her hospitable attitude made me feel at ease in an instant. As she released her grasp, I couldn’t help but grin back

“The name’s Kimberly O’Connell. I’m the paralegal around here.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Ms. O’Connell.”

“Oh, please, call me Kimberly.”

“Okay.”

She pointed a manicured finger at the closed office door located behind the desk. “Come on, Kade. Let’s get you in to see His Highness.” Covering her mouth, she giggled. I stopped myself from joining in, but it wasn’t easy. She had an infectious laugh.

“Who?”

“Luke Preston. The ass you spoke to on the phone.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know whether it was appropriate to agree with her or not, but decided it would be best to err on the side of caution.

“Sorry about him, by the way.” Kimberly knocked, before lowering her voice to a faint whisper, and adding, “I had no idea he was going to answer the phone when I went to make his coffee. He usually lets the machine pick up, but I didn’t think to switch it on since I was only going to be gone a few minutes.”

The moment I let out a quiet chuckle, the door to Luke Preston’s office flew open.

Tall and broad-shouldered, he had a strong jaw, high cheekbones, and dark brown hair slicked back so not a lock was out of place. That, coupled with the way his body filled out the navy suit he wore, made Luke Preston look more like a model than a lawyer. My guess was that he was in his mid-thirties, but holy shit, did he wear it well. Startling emerald eyes fringed by long, dark lashes stared at me with such intensity that, for a split second, I forgot to breathe. His sharp features were softened by flawless, pale skin and full lips, and I wondered what they would feel like pressed against my own. In that briefest of moments, I knew I was in trouble as my head began waging a war with my heart so fierce, I didn’t know whether to pull him in for a kiss or run for my life.

All I could do was wait for him to say something… anything to break the tension.

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

Universal Link

 

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J. HARRIS is a mother, wife, an introvert and author. Her family is her life, her soul, and the very reason she gets out of bed every day. Coming a close second is her writing.

She discovered a passion for putting pen to paper in her later years, jotting down poems in birthday cards for family members.

It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, she’s been unable to switch off the urge to share her stories.

L.J. Harris discovered that as much as experiencing pain, loss and betrayal can be devastating, capturing the feelings of anguish and loss that some of her characters have had to endure without firsthand knowledge would have proved difficult.

L.J. has been previously published and has shared several online stories and looks forward to continuing to share her work.  She can be found at:

CONTACT LINKS

Blog   Facebook   Goodreads  Twitter

All books can be found on her Amazon profile HERE

 

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