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February 15, 2013

Friday Fun with LJ Harris

I'm a mother of teenage twin boys who I love with all my heart. My family is my life, my soul, and the very reason I get out of bed every day. Coming a close second to that, is my writing.

I've only just discovered my passion for writing in the past 2 or so years. I'd always written little poems in birthday cards for family members, but that was as far as it went...until I decided to write poems and give them to family members as homemade gifts.

It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, I have been unable to switch off the urge to write.

After a close family member fell ill, I began search for answers...I knew I was going through some kind of mid-life crisis, and began to question what I wanted. Unable to sleep one night, I sat up and just kept typing out my feelings on the laptop. My husband read what I had written and then encouraged me to write more, and that was when I knew I wanted to share my thoughts with others. I started writing my life story, but I just couldn't get into it, so instead, I decided to write about something not based on fact, but fiction, and wrote a dream sequence which I showed to my family. They encouraged me to add more, and that sequence is what my novel was eventually based around. The working title is Heart of Darkness, and I'm about half way through putting it together.

My manuscript has been read by a few family members and friends, and by a published author, who has also encouraged me to stick with it. As much as enduring pain, loss, betrayal or any other negative thing in our lives can be devastating, I have since discovered that if I hadn't gone through it, I not only wouldn't have found some lifelong friends, I doubt I would have been able to write the feelings of anguish and loss that my characters have had to endure.

My Novel in Progress:

Set in Sydney, Australia, this is a supernatural, fish out of water romance about a girl finding the one she's destined to be with. Jade is a girl who has always been out of step with the world around her, keeping to herself and having few friends, her father the only real family in her life. When celebrating her 21st Birthday, Jade's life changes forever when she meets the enigmatic but handsome, unsettling but at the same time intriguing, Johnny.

Published Works:

I’m very excited to let you all know about my contribution to the Second Chances Anthology, Heart
of Glass.

You never know when or where inspiration will hit, and the storylines I come up with are often based around often insignificant events, but events that capture my imagination and cause it to run away. Heart of Glass came to me in that way, and was inspired by several window washers who frequent the busy intersections of the main road that leads into my home town, Canberra, Australia.

I often used to see them on my way in to work, toiling away, and it got me thinking. What were their lives like? What led them there? If they had been given other opportunities, would they still be there, braving all kinds of extreme weather conditions to make a living? I jotted down a few ideas, and it wasn’t long before the character of Heath Connors was born.

Not long after that, I spotted a left hand drive Mustang (we have right hand drive cars here in Australia) driving down the highway and sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb among the luxury cars that normally travel into the city, and the story solidified. That car stood out so much that I just knew that one of the characters would own it, and that’s when I came up with the character of Zack Doherty.

Heart of Glass is a story about a man who has always lived his life to please others, and somewhere along the way he loses himself so much he finds he’s unhappy with his choice and can no longer continue travelling the same path. Heath’s journey of self-discovery finally begins when he breaks free of the shackles that have always tethered him to a life he didn’t want, and when he finally feels as though his life is going in the right direction, life throws Heath another curve ball, when he sees Zack for the first time.

And when they encounter one another again…let’s just say the sparks fly. While Heath feels out of his depth, at the same time he’s unequivocally attracted to Zack…

Though he seemed nervous, there was no mistaking the fire in his deep blue eyes, so I decided to go for broke and whispered in a low, seductive voice, “I know we’ve only just met, but I really want to see you again. Can I get your number?”

“You don’t have to … I … mean, um … I don’t exactly have a number, and I’m sure you have more important things to do than waste your time with someone who can’t even afford to buy their own phone,” he stammered nervously, his prominent Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed several times.

I wanted to lick it.

Instead, unable to resist touching him, I ran my hand up the smooth skin of his arm until the tips of my fingers touched the soft skin of his throat, then gently grazed them along the skin of his freshly shaven jaw.

“See, that’s where you’re wrong. I’ve got nothing else to do, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in your company, Heath Connors. So how about I call by your office in the morning and we take it from there?”

“You … want to go out? Wi-with me?” he asked, stumbling over his words, the apples of his cheeks turning a delicious shade of pink.


“I’d love nothing more,” I answered with a smile, my fingers gently caressing his beautiful, flushed face.

“I don’t … I don’t know what to say,” he blurted, his glorious smile almost taking my breath away as his body called to me, and his sweet breath wafted across my face. Without further thought, I leaned in closer until my lips were a hairsbreadth from the shell of his ear.

“Just say yes,” I murmured.

This is the story of how two people get their second chance to find happiness, and how important it is to live your life the way you want it, no matter the risks.

I hope you enjoy the very wonderful stories that comprise the Second Chances Anthology.

About the author:

L. J. Harris is the mother of two teenage twins and a contributing author to Second Chances anthology.
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The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.


  1. I LOVE L J Harris and her writing! So glad you've showcased her here!

    1. Thank you for all your love and support over the years, M. B. Feeney. xxx

  2. I am honored to call L J Harris my friend. She is an amazing person and talented writer. I can see her going far in the writing world and accomplishing everything she has ever dreamed.

    Love you L J,

    1. Thank you so much Sarah for your kind words. They have touched my heart more than you'll know. xx LJ.

  3. Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog.

    L J Harris.

  4. Everything that LJ Harris touches is golden in my experience. I'm honored to call her friend and humbled to have been by her side these last few years as she's honed her craft. I read, edit, & even write myself: I guarantee LJ doesn't disappoint!

    1. Thank you so much R E! You have held my hand, and I want to thank you for your support. xx