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  • Guest Post and Giveaway: Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart by Cate Ashwood and Skylar M. Cates

Hello everyone! Today I am so pleased to welcome authors Cate Ashwood and Sklyar M. Cates.  Cate and Skylar are here to talk to us more about their new release, Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart.  They also have brought a copy to give away. So please join me in giving them a big welcome!

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Thank you so much for having us here today! We are so excited to be visiting Joyfully Jay to help us celebrate the release of our first co-written novella, Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart.

Here’s the official blurb:

Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your HeartWhen Trey and Liam meet in boarding school, they couldn’t be more different. Liam is a classical violinist with a scholarship, and Trey is a punk rocker with famous parents. Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they hit it off and bond over their love of music. But after spending every waking hour together, Liam is devastated when Trey leaves school without an explanation. Worse yet, Trey capitalizes on a song they wrote together.

Seven years later, they bump into each other at a charity benefit in New York. Old sparks fly, but Liam hasn’t quite recovered from the pain Trey caused. Liam doesn’t know if any explanation Trey can offer will be enough, or if he can find it in his heart to forgive the only man he’s ever really loved.


And here’s a quick little snippet from the first chapter:

Trey returned to the bed and sat facing Liam, the guitar cradled in his lap. He strummed a few chords, testing out the pitch, turning the shiny silver keys meticulously until he was satisfied that it was in tune.

Playing guitar was the only time Liam wished he had no musical talent. The first time Trey had handed him a guitar, it had felt clumsy and awkward in his hands. He was used to strings, but they felt different on his violin, more natural somehow. The angle of his wrist had made it difficult to change the chords, and he couldn’t seem to make his fingers cooperate. It had only gotten worse when Trey had slid in behind him, pressing his solid chest against Liam’s back.

The world had gone still as Liam had tried his best to concentrate on the words Trey was saying rather than the way his breath danced over the back of Liam’s neck. The blood that had momentarily frozen in his veins had resumed pumping at a wicked pace, making him feel hot and dizzy. Trey had slid his hands over Liam’s, urging them to move with his. It had been the most perfect moment of Liam’s life. Making music in Trey’s arms, everything had felt right in the world.

Unfortunately, as much as he’d tried to prolong the experience, Liam was a fast learner, and Trey knew it. Now he would have to be satisfied with sitting across from his best friend, watching him fall into the music. It really was beautiful to watch; his whole body moved with the notes flowing from him, and when he sang, it never failed to make Liam shiver.

He strummed a few chords, testing out the sound, and then he began to sing.

“What do you think?” Trey asked when he’d finished the chorus.

It took Liam a moment to register Trey had stopped singing. The sound reverberated through him, numbing him and encasing him. “I think it’s perfect,” he said, finally. He scrawled the lyrics Trey had written across the center of the page, beneath the previous verse.


We thought it might be kind of fun to do a little interview where we ask one another the questions, so here you go, an interview with Skylar M. Cates and Cate Ashwood!


What is the scariest and most rewarding part of writing for you?

Skylar: The rewards of writing? Escaping into another world is a big one. I love the process of getting lost inside my own head and creating these characters. I always fall in love with them. I enjoy seeing them change and grow internally as they fall in love with each other, too.

The scariest part? Everything else! Submitting the story and waiting for an answer is very tough. Cate asked me to write Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart at the time that I’d submitted The Guy From Glamour  to Dreamspinner. I was so relieved and grateful to have a project to focus on because I was biting my nails over whether or not Dreamspinner would want the story. I was convinced they might reject it. Waiting to see how a publisher, reviewer, or reader judges your novel is always frightening for me.


What is the hardest part, the most fun, and what did you learn from writing together?

Cate: The hardest part was trying to mesh our schedules and honestly to keep up with Skylar! She really kept me motivated and writing as much as I could. When we began writing, I was just starting to work at the hospital and was keeping some weird hours, on top of being the newbie, so I was coming home exhausted. But seeing that she had written another chapter made me want to try to get some writing in before bed.

The most fun was the scene planning. I get excited when I’m starting a new story, but nothing compares to getting excited with someone else for what you’ll be writing together. We fed off of one another’s ideas and enthusiasm and it made the whole process that much more enjoyable.

From Skylar, I learned to slow down and pay attention to the details. Skylar is far more detail oriented than I am and it was amazing to see how much she truly cares about her stories. She is careful and meticulous with word choices and all the little specifics that I had never really taken the time to stop and think about before. I think our styles complemented one another quite well and we made a good team.


What special challenges did you find with co-authoring?

Skylar: Cate was fabulous to work with and made co-authoring seem easy. It can be a really bad experience, though, and I think it helped that Cate and I were friends first. It also helped that our styles meshed well. Sometimes, no matter your best intentions, that aspect of co-authoring doesn’t come together. We did have a few differences of opinion, but that only served the story as we found compromises that satisfied us both.  I am curious how readers will see this novella and our work together. Hopefully, they will enjoy it. In any case, I would definitely write another book with Cate (we have one in the planning stage).


How do you prepare to write a really hot love scene?

Cate: Usually, I make sure no one is home before I write a love scene because I blush very easily and my face is bright red while I’m writing sex scenes. If there are other people around, I try and pretend I’m not writing the dirty words that are flowing from my fingertips. I’m not one of those people who could write in a Starbucks. I would die of mortification, even though no one had read what I wrote.


Which of your characters is most like you and why?

Skylar: I’m pieces of all my characters. This might sound like avoidance, but it is the truth. I relate a great deal to Dean. Although I’m not a hunky military man (sigh), I can relate to his feelings of being an outsider. On some days, I can relate to Trey’s cynicism and sadness.  I adore my crazy family as much as Anthony does his family. I can be as shy and outwardly reserved as Daniel at times, but if I know you well, I can be impulsive and a  funny smartass like Rafe. This book won’t release until after May, but I relate quite a lot of Jesse from The Only Guy, who escapes into a world of creativity when things fail to make sense to him or are hurtful.  So yeah, I’m a little piece of them all.


If you could be any drink, what would you be?

Cate: Oooh, I’d love to say I’d be something like a Lava Flow—sweet, kind of exotic with a bit of a zing, but alas, I would likely be something more like tea. Warm and comfortable. That’s not so bad, right?


Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t?

Skylar: If I could do anything new, I would travel more with my family. My husband and I want to take our kids to South America and New Zealand. Of course, this is a dream where money is not an object. I do want my kids to experience the wonderful diversity in the world. So far, they have mostly traveled to Disney World. As for something new in my writing life, I’d like to try a contemporary fiction story that is not a romance, a romance where the two men have superpowers (this one would be for my husband), or another family centered trilogy.

Author Bios

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Skylar can be found on Facebook, Goodreads, or her website: http://skylarmcates.wordpress.com.


Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Cate loves to hear from readers. You can find her at:

  • Website: http://www.cateashwood.com
  • E-mail: cateashwood@gmail.com
  • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cate.ashwood
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/cateashwood


Cate and Skylar have brought a copy of Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, February 18th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
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