The Leeward Files Giveaway— Don’t forget to use the hashtag The Leeward Files #theleewardfiles in order to be added to the drawing. The drawing is Sunday, October 25th. You have to use the # in order to be a part of the drawing.
Social media has no responsibility in this giveaway it is solely an author contest.
The Leeward Files Trilogy is a compilation of the first three books in the Leeward Files series: Chrome Pink, White Gold and Titanium Blue.
Leeward is the fictional small town in eastern North Carolina. The town appears idyllic but dark secrets lurk just beneath the surface. It is experiencing a bit of new growth as community development grants filter in and the town begins to rebuild. A new art gallery opens in the old, abandoned shopping mall, down town is flourishing with little shops, cafes and museums but everything is built on a house of cards and they will all come crashing down once the truth is revealed.
Chrome Pink is a suspense thriller with a little romance and women’s fiction. Rae Lynne Grimes, a rape survivor is accused of killing her dates and must prove her innocence but the only way to do that is put herself in the path of a killer. She has to learn to trust herself and believe she is worth loving. Logan Birdsong is the first man who has gotten past her defenses, but can she trust a man who works for her worst enemy?
Dana Windley, the diva in White Gold, is a vivacious woman who with a little more coffee and a few more sequins could probably take over the world. While organizing a local beauty pageant two of her contestants go missing. When she discovers them being forced to turn tricks at a local mall, Dana is determined to rescue them. With he help of North Carolina SBI agent Jake Monroe and her friends, Dana uncovers a sex trafficking ring. Clues lead them back to the cold case that brought Jake to town, and even more secrets. A multi-cultural romantic suspense.
Jenna and Tar Roberts are estranged and on the verge of divorce in Titanium Blue. This second chance romance suspense thriller brings former Marine, Tobias Anthony Roberts aka Tar back to his family. His leg wasn’t the only thing he lost due to the war in Afghanistan but losing his family was his own fault. Now, back in Leeward as a Police officer, Tar is determined to get his family back, but his second chance is threatened when their son, Toby goes missing. Is Tar once again to blame for ripping his family apart? Will they ever have their fairy tale life?
If you haven’t read the first three books of the Leeward Files series, you have missed how family isn’t always about blood, it’s the ones who are there to love and support you. For Rae Lynne, Dana and Jenna, these three best friends since middle school are closer than family.
The community of Leeward is much like the one I grew up in with less murders. Each year a beautiful young woman does events to promote breast cancer awareness as well as bring attention to other forms of cancer in the community. She celebrates the survivors and recently, she became a cancer survivor.
Each year we put on a fossil festival to bring more commerce and tourists to our community. Fundraisers such as the fossil festival beauty pageant are held to help pay for different attractions, games and rides. With our main source of revenue coming from the phosphate plant, our leading attraction the fossil museum, everything centers around fossil especially sharks’ teeth.
Another event is our annual 5K run to honor our veterans and our veteran’s breakfast.
Our community comes together to raise money for our school, our churches, people in need and things we believe in like finding a cure for cancer or supporting our veterans. This is small town America but like any other place on earth there is a dark side, drugs, alcohol abuse, sex trafficking, prejudice, bullying, rape and murder, and unfortunately a thousand other crimes and immoral behaviors. I use a lot of these bad things to and escalate them to make my stories more interesting but too often they are closer to the truth than we want to believe. But I prefer to focus on the good and show how the blue-collar worker can be the hero in the story, and how average people can have their happy ever after endings.
If you like suspense thrillers with a little romance, strong female characters, blue-collar heroes and heroines set in a small town, then come visit Leeward, who knows, you might like it.
I’d like to welcome the awesome M. Lorrox to my Creekside Café. M. Lorrox and I are both members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and I’m thrilled to have him at my virtual café.
M. Lorrox: Hi Sherri, I’m happy to be joining you, thanks so much for inviting me!
Sherri: If I ever win the lottery, I’ll build a café near the water where I can hang out with friends and talk about books when I’m not writing or reading. We’ve both been busy lately but if you’re like me you are seldom without a book. What are you reading right now?
M. Lorrox: Oooh, I’d take a lottery prize and start a cafe too, but it would be a half cafe, half rare-books library. I might call it Dusty’s Tomes or something, just for fun. I actually just started reading Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. It’s wild and has elements of horror and romance–the two genres I write.
Sherri: I had to chuckle when I read your bio, raised in a barn in rural upstate New York. My father-in-law was raised on a dairy farm just outside Albany. He told me he got here as quickly as he could. He arrived with the Marines. How did you end up in North Carolina?
M. Lorrox: Hey, small world! Another New York ex-pat. I first ventured to DC, where I was a producer for a while and then a professor. My brothers ended up moving to the Triangle, and I visited a lot. I loved it down here, and after a few years, I was able to make the move.
Sherri: You are preparing to launch your first romance novel, but this isn’t your first writing career. According to your bio you wrote your first book in junior high. Although you didn’t publish that book, you have published other books. What made you decide to switch genres? Are you excited about your new venture?
M. Lorrox: I’m super excited! My first books were action & adventure stories with vampires and zombies…a real mashup. I decided to write romance, because I wanted to see more progressive heroes and heroines in love stories—people like me. I wanted to read about sex-positive people having great relationships, and I didn’t want any of them to be millionaires or shapeshifters, so I decided to write the stories myself.
Sherri: Tell us about your upcoming book. When does it go live?
M. Lorrox:Trashy Romance – Curbside Pickup is the stand-alone first novel in the Trashy Romance series of scorching, blue-collar, sex-positive, LGBTQ+ inclusive love stories. It’s about a high school economics teacher and the garbageman who services her neighborhood… It includes a pansexual character, some very hot scenes, and a teeny bit of domination and submission. But it’s a romance, not erotica. There’s ‘loads of love’ in it, tons of emotion, and because it’s an M. Lorrox novel, there’s also some suspense and action elements!
Sherri: I love your website. You’ve done a fabulous job with it. I’m so excited for you and your new author platform, https://mlorrox.com . As authors, especially indie authors, our social media is a huge part of our identity. Your website shows you humor, intelligence and passion, it is very well done.
M. Lorrox: I really appreciate it! I have an MFA and was an artist before anything else. I’ve always loved web design, and I’m glad that I can use some of my visual arts skills in my writing career.
Sherri: You studied and taught Kung Fu? As a child of the seventies I grew up watching David Carradine and the show Kung Fu. I love the beauty and choreography of martial arts and the religious teachings. As an adult I’ve learned the falseness of television but with a Cambodian daughter-in-law who was raised with Buddhist parents, she has taught me more about the religion. Do you practice Buddhism? Do you still study martial arts?
M. Lorrox: I started learning Kung Fu in college, and it was a great fit. After a few years training, I started to teach for that school. It introduced me to Ch’an Buddhism, which is kinda like a Chinese precursor to Zen Buddhism, and from there, yes, I continued to learn about Buddhism. I don’t practice Kung Fu regularly anymore, but I do practice the forms now and then. More recently, I found myself teaching the kids of my friends some self-defense techniques, and it’s been quite rewarding to see them benefit from the ancient skills. Buddhism is important to me too, and I highly recommend that people unfamiliar with its deeper principles to read about it.
Sherri: You’re a motorcycle guy, crotch rocket or cruiser? We’re a motorcycle family. My husband is a mechanic. He restored an old Honda for me. I prefer a small bike, but he keeps trying to get me on a cruiser. Do you still ride?
M. Lorrox: Actually, I ride a naked adventure bike, which I like to think is the best kind of adventure, AND motorcycle! Ha! I used to ride a Honda Shadow though, a cruiser. It’s wonderful to feel the road beneath you, and although I don’t ride much on trails or gravel, my bike lets me, and it feels extra badass whenever I do! I ride pretty often, mostly on twisties or around town, but I always ride as safely as possible. Car and truck drivers: watch for us motorcyclists and don’t F-around on your phone while driving! Thanks. 🙂
Sherri: Your books are described as pan-sexual and non-monogamous, for an old-fashioned woman like myself, it is difficult to think of them as romance. How is the romance genre changing and how are we as members of RWA trying to be inclusive and accepting of more diverse romances? How do we interpret romance? Is it the traditional “Happy ever after” or “Happy for now” scenario or are we opening doors to something else? How do we reach the old-timers like me and open their eyes to other possibilities of what is romance?
M. Lorrox: Well, what is a romance story? Where people fall in love, right? There’s historical romance, gay romance, regency, inspirational, etc. These are just different settings that the romances take place in, or different themes, or different orientations of the people. Pan-sexuality is an orientation (for those unfamiliar with it, the big difference (to me), is that it rejects the notion of binary gender in bisexuality). Non-monogamy, I’d say, is a relationship style or choice. But they’re humans falling in love, and LOVE IS LOVE!
I think the romance genre is changing with more stories being published that reflect or highlight these alternative lifestyles. How to be more inclusive of these kinds of romances? Read them! Fall in love with the characters, even if they may not be attracted to the same gender of people, or if they choose to practice a style of relationship that’s different to you. Besides connecting with an interesting character with views different from the reader’s, the reader can experience a different kind of emotion as the characters face different kinds of challenges. Just like more traditional romances, the emotional journey of the characters is the most important. I think we should interpret romance genre stories as love stories, and so I don’t see why a story about person X or Y or Z or Q falling in love with _____ can’t be romance genre.
Sherri: As a member of RWA and Heart of Carolina we felt the impact of the recent upheaval and both of us along with many others debated leaving the organization. I know my reading habits are not as inclusive as perhaps they should be. When I read for pleasure, I want to read what I like but in the hope of educating myself and becoming more understanding of other authors and their needs, I’d like to widen my reading pallet. How do we go about finding authors of differing viewpoints, ethnicities and ableness in order to read and show our support?
M. Lorrox: First off, you’re doing it right now by asking questions and opening a door. There are plenty of people that want to walk through, but it’s so much easier if someone on the inside opens that door for them, especially in a historically not-inclusive situation. I’ll thank you again for inviting me on, because you’re doing the work that RWA aims to do!
I’ve got a great suggestion on how to explore these new kinds of stories, and it’s not just ‘read them,’ although that’s certainly key. That book I mentioned, Gideon the Ninth, was a huge success, and I’d be surprised if most readers hadn’t either seen the cover or read a blurb about it. It topped the charts, reaching #1 in various LGBT romance categories on amazon, but it was also a top seller in a number of other categories. By browsing the top seller lists, or Amazon or Goodreads, you’ll be exposed to books that other people are loving. While there’s no subcategory for non-monogamy or pansex yet, LGBT subcategories will suffice to give you lots of options for what kinds of inclusive stories other readers are loving–and that you might too! Bloggers who cover queer media are also a good resource for learning more about the community and its creatives.
The ARC is available until 11/15/2020. Links to it are on the site, and I’d love to have you, and any of your readers, read it!
Sherri: Thank you M. Lorrox for taking the time to talk with me and readers. Time is getting away from us quickly, if you enjoyed our chat follow M. Lorrox on social media you can find his links below and stay tuned for his upcoming book, Trashy Romance-Curbside Pickup by M. Lorrox due out November 15, 2020! Thank you M. Lorrox for stopping by my Creekside Café, I think it’s time for a drink. Name your poison.
M. Lorrox: I’ll have a kombucha cut with seltzer, please!
My novel, Chrome Pink, is fiction. Unfortunately, cancer is not. Few of us haven’t had someone we know or love diagnosed with cancer. Many of us have had to watch someone we care about die.
In eastern North Carolina the cancer rate is higher than it is in the rest of the state. It is the leading cause of death in Beaufort County. At twenty four percent, we in Beaufort County have a higher cancer rate than the state’s average. We also have a higher rate of death from cancer, targeting males and especially, African American males. But cancer is the great equalizer. It cares not if you are rich or poor, old or young, black or white. Cancer affects us all.
In my novel, Chrome Pink, I have two characters dealing with cancer. My former agent dinged me on this but in my world, it would not be uncommon for one friend to lose her grandfather to cancer, while another’s mother is dealing with breast cancer. Chrome Pink’s first chapter opens with a funeral. Rae Lynne is devastated after the death of her grandfather.
The motorcycle Rae Lynne restores in this novel is to raise money for cancer research. The title, Chrome Pink, represents the motorcycle. The idea for the motorcycle came from a combination of people and events. My friend’s husband passed away and she gave his old motorcycle to my husband’s boss, her cousin. Because of the family connection, the boss was compelled to restore the bike as a tribute to his friend’s life. While the bike was not painted pink nor used to raise money for cancer, this was where the idea for restoring a motorcycle for cancer research came from.
I chose breast cancer because of its visibility and because several friends have gone through this frightening and devastating illness. We’ve all seen the pink ribbons, the tee shirts that say things like “Save the Tatas,” and the color pink is easily recognizable as being for breast cancer. I have trouble remembering what the other color ribbons represent but I have no doubts when I see a pink ribbon.
A pink Harley. The idea of using a masculine bike like a Harley Davidson and painting it such a feminine color made me smile. Most young people would think nothing of a pink Harley, but older dudes and hardcore bikers responded with, “Nah, that’s just not right. A Harley shouldn’t be pink.” It’s that reaction I’d hoped Chrome Pink would create. If people are talking, they’re aware. If they’re aware, then they’ll react. If we want a cure for cancer, we have to do all we can to make it a reality.
While Chrome Pink is a work of fiction, and the money Dana and Rae Lynne raise for cancer only in my imagination. I hope to use this story to help bring awareness for cancer research. I am raffling off a copy of Chrome Pink with a matching Chrome Pink (13 x 13) bag, candle, and “pink ribbon” jewelry to raise money for the Beaufort/Hyde Relay for Life. Tickets available for a $2 donation, three for $5. The drawing will be held on April 15th, 2018.
My novel isn’t going to change to the world but perhaps I can make a difference in one life. My only hope is that I can use my work to raise money and do my part as a member of my local Relay for Life team. Each team member must raise at least one hundred dollars, all of the proceeds go to Relay for Life and stay in Beaufort and Hyde Counties.
Together, we can make a difference.
Sherri Lupton Hollister
Southern Suspense/Thriller with a touch of romance and attitude
Rae Lynne Grimes returns to Leeward, North Carolina to care for her dying grandfather. Together, they restore an old Harley and paint it pink for breast cancer awareness. Her grandfather succumbs before seeing it finished.
Alone, Rae must face the town of Leeward who blame her for sending her stepbrother to prison, costing their high school football team one of their champions. Now, her fate lays in the hands of the man who orchestrated her rape and shame, former football captain and elected mayor, Todd Bryant.
When she rescues Logan Birdsong from a canal, she starts to believe she can have the fairy tale but when she learns he is working for Todd, she tries to get as far from him as possible. She joins her friend’s dating club and that soon turns to disaster when her dates start turning up dead.
Logan is just trying to keep his stepfather’s company from filing chapter 13. He has over-extended and needs the new spa and hotel Bryant plans to build to put the company back in the black.
Prostitutes at business meetings and Todd’s attitude make Logan wary. He is torn between his affection for Rae and his need to protect his stepdad’s company. When he becomes a murder suspect, that choice becomes easier.
Together Rae and Logan must prove their innocence, but they must stay alive to do it. Thrust together, they soon give in to their desires but someone doesn’t want them to have their happy ending.
Have you read the new category of romance? You don’t know what I’m talking about. The Motorcycle Club sub genre. This is a genre with a rough and ready cast of characters. The MC is about a different kind of family, where your true friends/brothers are determined on who you call to help hide the bodies. Joanna Wylde brought this sexy, romantic thriller to life with real people. I felt as if I knew Ruger and his club, each with a different personality, voice and reaction. Ruger was the sexy romantic hero who if he were set in a pirate story would be the noble but notorious gentleman pirate and rogue. Sophie was a true heroine, she was a citizen, not part of the MC world yet she proved she was tough, determined and every bit the match for Ruger. This is a must read book for anyone who likes a little adventure. It was an edge of your seat ride, sexy, sensual and unforgettable. I want more. Forget 50 Shades of Grey, you want great sex, interesting characters and a real intense story, then come over to the 1%.
As a mother of 6 sons, I related to this book in so many ways. I think most of us need to be a part of a tribe, a family. That is the real story I got from this book, the overall theme, don’t judge what you don’t understand. We are all just people trying to survive the best way we can. Being part of a large extended family that consists of in-laws, out-laws and friends, I know I am blessed to have my tribe.
As a motorcycle rider I know the thrill of riding, that feeling of being free. Riding a motorcycle is like nothing else on earth, the feel of the bike between your legs is almost sexual, the wind in your face, the way others look at you and treat you. There is a power and pride that comes from riding that is addictive. Joanna Wylde gave us that power and sensuality in her Reaper’s series. Read it but warning, it may be too hot for a citizen to handle.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss