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Gabbi Grey: Sometimes Letting Go is Really Hard (Contest)
Monday, January 22nd, 2024

UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!

Hello Delilah!  Thank you so much for letting me visit.  I have something super special and close to my heart to share with you and your readers today, so hang tight for a crazy story.

I’ve shared before my writing journey – after dabbling for what felt like forever, I sat down in my 40th year and put my nose to the grindstone – or literally pen to paper in this case – and finished my first book.  I sent it off to the publisher and while waiting to hear back, I repeated the process (best advice I’ve ever received and the one I share with all newbie authors).  So I wrote the next one. And the next one. And I kept going until (eventually), I got my rejection.  By then, I had fifteen completed books and three partial manuscripts.  In case you’re wondering, I wrote a million words in 2014 and close to that in 2013 and 2015.  So, I had books.

By that point, I knew I needed help. I found this AMAZING freelance editor who whipped me into shape. Her patience was phenomenal, as I just wanted to learn by doing instead of reading articles (drove her nuts, but she stuck with me).  As she helped me fix up the old manuscripts, she would pass along writing opportunities. One, Delilah, was for an anthology of yours.  You rejected my story – appropriately – but I fixed it up and found a publisher. That was a great experience for me (even the ‘no’) because I learned I could write short.  The next time my editor showed me a call, the publisher was looking for a friends-to-lovers short story (5-18k).  For some reason, the image of a nurse helping birth a baby in a pub bathroom sprung to mind and, within moments, I had my story.

Caressa’s Homecoming was an 18k friends-to-lovers story.  My freelance editor fixed it up, and I submitted it.

And was accepted.

Holy Lord, was I over the moon excited!

Interestingly, one of the beta readers commented about halfway through that she worried the story was going to be a ménage.  At the end, she commented she was pleased it wasn’t.

That comment triggered me, though. Caressa and Michael were tight with their third best friend, Cole.  All three met in first grade and, through harrowing childhoods, were always there for each other.  Only when Caressa went overseas as a nurse did Michael and Cole realize their feelings for her.  I won’t give too much of the story away, but yeah, you can sort of tell by the cover what kind of book this wound up being. (MMF throuple)

I dabbled with the story between publication (2016) and this new version coming out (2024).  For instance, the original short story was in 3rd person.  Generally, I write in 1st.  Let me tell you, swapping forty thousand words with a POV switch is much harder than it sounds.  I had also, by this point, included Cole – an actor – in several of my books (Catch a Tiger by the Tail and Valentino in Vancouver).  The logistics to put everything together took a spreadsheet and a lot of hard work. You know me, that was the fun part.

And so, I give you the new and improved Caressa’s Homecoming. The rights reverted to me a few months after the anthology was released, so I didn’t face any problems with bringing the story back to life and turning it into the vibrant and somewhat angsty story I’m publishing. (Side note: I knew I couldn’t tell the entire story in one book, so my publisher gave me permission to finish their story – taking it from a Happy for Now to a Happily Ever After – so Cole’s Reckoning will be coming out in the summer).

Okay, long story, but one I wanted to share.  I love giving readers an insight into the writing process – convoluted as it might be.  To thank your readers for having read all that, I’d love to offer a $5 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter.  Have you ever read a short story and wanted it to be longer?  Or can you read something compact and be satisfied?  Let me know and the random number generator will select a winner.  Thanks so much, Delilah.

Caressa’s Homecoming (Bonded by Love Book 1)

Three inseparable friends—now three insatiable lovers?

Nurse Caressa Klein returns home to a quieter life in Vancouver, Canada, after five grueling years of working with patients in Africa. She’s ready to settle back into her relationship with her two best friends.

Engineer Michael Dubois has been in love with his best friend since the day she announced her departure overseas. He’s glad she’s back—now he wants to hold on to her forever.

Actor Cole Hamilton is also in love with his best friend. Or rather, both of them. They supported each other through harrowing childhoods. Cole wants to bring Caressa and Michael into his life and, more importantly, into his bed.

Can they move from friends to a throuple, or is their relationship destined to fail?

Universal Link:
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About Gabbi Grey

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

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12 comments to “Gabbi Grey: Sometimes Letting Go is Really Hard (Contest)”

  1. Pansy Petal
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 9:54 am · Link

    I don’t mind a well written short with a happy for now ending. They can be very enjoyable. However, so often these days, anthologies often contain snippets, teasers, or parts of an unfinished story in the bid to have one buy another book. I have stopped reading anthologies for that reason. That being said, this book sounds fun. I didn’t read the original short you mentioned though, so I will be reading this cold. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  2. Mary McCoy
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 1:31 pm · Link

    Well written short stories that are not cliffhangers or teasers are fine, but hard to find.

  3. Colleen C.
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 1:42 pm · Link

    I have read a few short stories that I wish had a bit more to them… in general, I like short stories as long as they are not a partial tale… I truly dislike unfinished stories or cliffhangers.

  4. ButtonsMom
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 2:43 pm · Link

    My answer is yes to both questions. I love a good short story and have a few favorite authors who do those well. But, I’ve also read more than one or two books where the ending was just too abrupt and, in one case, I actually shouted out loud “NO!” (I still remember what book that was.)

    I have enjoyed all of your books that I’ve read, short, longer or in between. Thank you for writing great stories.

  5. Mary Preston
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 4:34 pm · Link

    Yes, I’d like all good short stories to be longer. The longer the better actually.

  6. Sara D
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 6:59 pm · Link

    I love short spicy stories which are great to read at lunch. But there are times that more of the story needs to be told, and as I am not a fan of serials, then a longer book is welcomed.

  7. BN
    · January 22nd, 2024 at 9:58 pm · Link

    yes to both

  8. Debra Guyette
    · January 23rd, 2024 at 7:04 am · Link

    I have read a short story I wish was longer but I have also read some that feel quite complete.

  9. Deb
    · January 23rd, 2024 at 3:14 pm · Link

    Love that insight, thank you

  10. Jennifer Beyer
    · January 23rd, 2024 at 3:47 pm · Link

    I read a lot of short stories and there have been a few I would have liked to be longer but most of the time they are good as they are written. I like the short stories in between longer books kind of like a palate cleanser or sometimes because I’m so busy that I can’t invest the time in a longer book.

  11. flchen
    · January 28th, 2024 at 8:21 pm · Link

    I really think it depends on the author and the story–sometimes a short story is just right the way it is, and other times, I want more, whether it’s more depth or just more time with the characters.

  12. Delilah
    · February 4th, 2024 at 10:48 am · Link

    Thanks to Gabbi for another fun post!

    The winner of the GC is…Colleen C!

Comments are closed.