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Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Laura Brown

Tuesday, 29 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

holiday-guest-post

This past year has been filled with lots of wonderful writerly thrills for me, and it’s taken me some time to think back and pick out one of those special moments. From landing my agent and publisher, to the debut of my first New Adult Romance, SIGNS OF ATTRACTION, to helping out with contests, there was so much to choose from. All of the above has made this a year I won’t forget. But there was one other unique moment that happened, and that’s the moment I want to talk about.

Actually, there were two.

As is the case with most writers, we develop a community with our peers. And some of these peers become critique partners (CPs), those brave souls that read our crappy drafts, let us know where we suck, and send heart eyes when the words shine. Thanks to the Internet, these CPs are usually not local. My closest one is still a plane—or long car—ride away. Yet that hasn’t stopped me from emailing, messaging, or texting them almost daily. And what had started with words being exchanged has grown into true friendships.

In June, I learned that a family vacation would bring me not too far from one CP. Months of juggling logistics yielded an airport greeting. A week after my book’s release, I stood on an observation deck, waiting to see a face I had previously only seen through a computer screen. And let me tell you, it’s the weirdest and most magical thing when you recognize this person you’ve grown so close to walking towards you. I was a floor above, so I may have yelled and squealed and then paced in front of the elevator, as only the cool people do.

The trip was way too short, but I truly enjoyed the opportunity to hug someone who had held my hand through my crazy year!

A month later, I learned another CP would be travelling close to my area of the woods on the way to see family. Since there were four children to consider between the two of us, I planned for the meet up to happen at a playground so the kids could play. Our sons are the same age, and both boys were looking forward to hanging out with their mother’s friend.

The kids hit it off, running around and having a blast as if they’d known each other for years (kids are amazing that way!). And I got to hug the person I dedicated my 2016 release to—and realize she’s quite a bit taller than me.

This visit was also far too short, but our sons sent video messages for a few weeks afterwards, which was the cutest thing. I hope one day they’ll get the chance to play again.

There are so many more people I’d love to meet, and to spend a longer time catching up in person with these two CPs. I’m already looking forward to an opportunity to see one next summer, and dreaming of one day planning a writing retreat together. May it be just the beginning of real life meet ups.

 

Giveaway: Enter to win one ebook of SIGNS OF ATTRACTION (currently on sale for 99¢).

SIGNS

Do you know what hearing loss sounds like? I do.

All my life I’ve tried to be like you. I’ve failed.

So I keep it hidden.

But on the day my world crashed down around me, Reed was there.

He showed me just how loud and vibrant silence can be, even when I struggled to understand.

He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever known. His soulful eyes and strong hands pulled me in before I knew what was happening.

And as I saw those hands sign, felt them sparking on me, I knew: imperfect could be perfect.

Reed makes me feel things I’ve never felt. It’s exciting . . . and terrifying.

Because he sees me like no one else has, and I’m afraid of what he’ll find if he looks too closely.

The only thing that scares me more than being with him? Letting him go.

 

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Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.

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