I’d like to preface this guest author interview by telling you all LJ Harris is one of the first friends I made through writing. We met on an amateur author site through reading each other’s stories and our friendship grew from there, and yes, she is among those I thanked and acknowledged in both Same Page and The Race is On.
In all the time we’ve been friends, I’ve never known her to be anything other than supportive, encouraging, and helpful to fellow writers. And I must admit, I admire her so greatly that when she used to leave me comments on my writing, I’d have serious fangirl moments. I could scarcely believe that someone so talented was reading my work.
To say I was ecstatic for her when she told me Bottom Drawer Publications were publishing her short story, Heart of Glass, as a stand-alone, is an understatement.
Please do yourselves a favour and snap this beautiful story up—you won’t be sorry!
Click HERE to be taken to Amazon!
I thought it might be nice for you all to get to know LJ, the person, a little first so let’s start with some of the basics, shall we?
Lily: Okay, an easy one to begin with, LJ. What’s your favourite colour?
LJ: I loved blue for a long time, but these days I really like and wear a lot of earth tones and black. I think I’m an older version of a Goth.
Lily: LOL, you have me picturing you running around with dark eyeliner and piercings galore now!
LJ: Well…I do have a couple of piercings, but I won’t tell you where they are though…I’ll just leave it to your imagination.
Lily: Hmm, what about the weather? Are you a Hot or Cold girl?
LJ: Can I say neither hot nor cold?
LILY: You can say anything you want… no censorship here!
LJ: Hahaha. Ain’t that the truth! Okay, back to the question. Here in Canberra we get the extreme of both. I love spring and autumn the most…seasons that not only bring about a sense of renewal, but more temperate weather always feels most comfortable. However…if I was offered a holiday on a warm tropical island with…oh I don’t know, perhaps a bare-chested butler and internet access I wouldn’t mind putting up with a little heat…rawr.
LILY: Let me know when you book your flights—I’ll join you!
LILY: Do you have a favourite place to read?
LJ: Favourite place to read is anywhere I can. If I’m out and about, I’ll read on my phone, but only if I’m alone – not on a hot date or anything (cue laughter). For the most part, though, my reading’s done in the same spot where I write…on the couch, under my blanket with a coffee sitting on the window sill. I have a great outlook of the garden outside the window too. My dream is to have an extensive library and office to write in.
LILY: I hope you get your dream, LJ—I want you writing lots!
LILY: Here’s a PG question. Favourite non-alcoholic drink.
LJ: Best give a PG answer, then! Coffee. Flat white with one sweetener, strong and milky.
LILY: What is a talent you wish you had, but don’t?
LJ: I wish I could knit, sew and paint or draw. Several people over the years have attempted to teach me these things only to have given up. I do draw a great stick figure though.
LILY: LJ! That was a deep psychological question and you give me knitting??? (Thud as head hits desk) I can see we have some work to do…
LJ: Oh, you want deep and meaningful then? Okay…well I wish I could touch my nose with my tongue. LOL.
LILY: Okay, let’s try again with the deep stuff. Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
LJ: Wow, um no pressure, right? You said this was going to be fun! God, Lily, there’s too many to mention, but one that comes to mind is ‘you’re only as old as you feel’. How’s that?
LILY: Much better! I’d have ad-libbed ‘only as old as the guy you’re feeling’ but hey…
LJ: How’d I know you were going to say that?
LILY: Methinks, you know me too well…
LILY: If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
LJ: Well if fairy tales count, I’d love to own the Goose that laid the golden egg from Jack and the Beanstalk.
LILY: See this is why you are going to succeed – talented and sensible. I’d have gone with something pretty but not practical, like a unicorn or a flying horse.
LILY, Continuing with the fantastical. If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
LJ: Hmmm….that’s a tough one. The only thing I’ve always wanted to be able to do is fly. I used to dream about soaring above the street where I grew up quite often. Oh and if I could fly, it would’ve come in handy this morning when I got caught in traffic on the way to work.
LILY: Or to that tropical island with the bare-chested butler…
LJ: It’s like you read my mind…
LILY: I suppose I’d better ask some serious questions. Hmmm… Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
LJ: I’m working on a new m/m novella, and then it’s time to finally finish the novel I’ve been writing for three years.
LILY: Excuse me, I’ll be back in five… need to go off and do a happy dance…
LJ: Dancin’ right along with you, Lily.
LILY: Describe your writing space for us, so we can get a picture of the where the magic happens.
LJ: It’s a couch with the shape of my bum in one of the cushions. I have a window behind me and to my left, with gardens around them both. It makes for a tranquil setting.
LILY: Okay… magic comes with imprints… Not that I can talk—I’m often propped up in bed with my laptop!
LILY: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
LJ: I tweak. A lot. It’s a habit I’m trying to break, but I find I can’t help but write a few thousand words then go back over them. Repeatedly.
LILY: LJ, you have made my day! I’m the equivalent of an Olympic Gold Medalist when it comes to tweaking. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone!
LJ: Perhaps someday we could tweak together. Is it just me, or did that statement sound dirty?
LILY: Well, my brain certainly went south!
LILY: Now I know you write both HET romance and M/M. Tell us, when writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
LJ: Hmmm…I think I start with eyes and/or hair. It really depends on what’s going on at the time though. Someday I hope to describe a naked butt first.
LILY: Ooh, that would be good. Your character could see a sexy bum at the beach, or in a sauna or something and decide he/she just has to get to know the owner of such a perfect arse!
LJ: Even better…I could write it from the arse’s point of view. Okay, now I’m getting a hundred story ideas…
LILY: Forget Plot Bunnies, we have Plot Bummies!
LILY: Okay, mind back above navel… Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
LJ: I rarely listen to music while writing, mostly because I’m located in the living area and the TV is often on. I also chat to the hubs between all that too, and having earphones in isn’t conducive to conversation.
LILY: Ah-hah, but proof that women can do two things at once!
LJ: Yes! I can also pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time…above or below the navel. LOL.
LILY: Last but not least, LJ, tell us something about Heart of Glass that is NOT in the blurb.
LJ: The character of Heath is a combination of two real life people (not looks-wise but in regards to circumstance).
LILY: Wow, well I hope they too, found someone and/or something to help them turn their lives around.
LJ: I hear ya…
LILY: Thanks so much, LJ, for stopping by and letting my readers know a little more about you.
Now for some of the practical stuff!
You can find LJ Harris HERE.
Bottom Drawer Publications: http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net/#!l-j-harris/c1xvq
HEART OF GLASS
Bottom Drawer Publications
Days after arriving in Australia for a working holiday, Zack Doherty is blindsided by the connection he instantly feels to Heath Connors, but circumstances don’t work in their favour. Zack is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath to accept a date when fate gives him a second opportunity.
Heath has only recently had the courage to admit his true self, walking away from his marriage and a good job when he could no longer lie to himself. The attraction he feels for a stranger that fleetingly crossed his path confirms he made the right choice.
Will Zack be the one to mend Heath’s heart of glass?
IT WAS EARLY on Friday morning, and I was beat. Ever since I’d touched down in Sydney on Tuesday, I’d been sleeping during the day and lying awake at night, having not quite adjusted to the time difference. Although the jet lag was literally killing me, I needed to start the newest phase of my life, and my first plan of action was to get the hell out of bed and look for a job.
I already missed the life I’d built back in San Francisco—my family and friends, even my crappy job at a local bar I’d taken after cutbacks forced me to leave the job I loved. But after suffering a bad break-up with Trent Forster, the man I thought I’d one day marry until I found him in bed with his ex-boyfriend, I had needed a little time and a lot of space to rethink the direction my life was headed.
It had been more than six months since that day, yet I still hadn’t managed to move on. Everywhere I’d looked, Trent had been there; our social circles colliding so often that his and his lover’s presence had worn me down. Eventually deciding enough was enough, I’d packed my bags, my tail tucked firmly between my legs, and departed for Australia for a working holiday, leaving behind the only life I’d ever known.
My father had returned here to Canberra, south-west of Sydney, the place he was born, when I’d moved out of the house to finish college, a year or so after he and Mom divorced. I was looking forward to not only making a fresh start but also reconnecting with him, having only managed to visit a mere handful of times since he’d returned here ten long years ago. I was giving myself six months to find a job, and if I liked it, I’d probably end up extending my stay and finding a place of my own.
Dad had returned to the job he loved since coming home. It was the very same job he’d had when he first met Mom—working in public affairs for the US Embassy—and it kept him extremely busy. So busy, in fact, that he rarely had the opportunity to take his beloved Mustang out for a spin, especially since the Embassy provided him with a car for work purposes. I’d only been in the house for a few minutes when he handed me the keys to the Candy Apple Red ’67 Fastback, telling me it needed to be driven around town from time to time to keep it in running order.
After a quick reviving shower and shave, I grabbed the car keys from the dish on the sideboard, happy that I finally had the chance to oblige him.
It had been five years since I’d sat behind the wheel of this particular vehicle. No matter how many times I opened the door and jumped in, the familiar smell of tobacco, mint, and leather never failed to invoke many happy memories … so many, in fact, that I had a hard time keeping a smile off my face whenever I slipped into the driver’s seat and turned the key.
But when I decided to go for a drive and check out Dad’s place of work, stopping off at the store on the way to buy a newspaper so I could check out the local job market, I thanked the gods for their gift, because if not for my father’s generosity, I’d never have encountered … him.
He was washing car windows at the traffic lights. He was tall, tanned, and lean with broad shoulders. I could tell his hair was long, thick, and wavy by the wisps of light brown hair that peeked out every which way from underneath his black, woollen hat. A smattering of stubble across his jaw and his long, narrow nose enhanced his features perfectly, and when I caught sight of his bright blue eyes as he moved closer, the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen, roving over the entire car before they met with mine, I was hooked in an instant.
I had to suppress a laugh when I noticed he was wearing one of those god-awful green glow-in-the-dark vests, and as he stood there, holding a squeegee in his hand and looking at me like I was something to eat, a strange but exhilarating combination of embarrassment and elation flowed through my every cell. Even as the light turned green and the traffic began to move, I continued to devour every inch of him. Shooting him a nervous wink for good measure, I watched as he turned and walked away, his ass swaying hypnotically with every step he took. It was in that moment as I sat there, ogling the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on, that I felt as though I’d been struck by lightning.
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