Today I am so pleased to welcome Sam Burns to Joyfully Jay. Sam has come to talk to us about her latest release, Adder and Willow. She has also brought along some great giveaways! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

A few years ago, I read a novel recommended to me by a friend. As I read, I found myself increasingly irritated with the protagonist. This didn’t make sense, because my friend and I had similar taste in books. Something about this character, though, made me grit my teeth and roll my eyes, to the point that I nearly gave up in the first chapter.

It took until almost a month later, when discussing the book with my friend, to realize why.

“I don’t know why you didn’t like her,” she told me. “She’s just like you.”

And there it was. I couldn’t stand the character because she was just like me. I saw every poor decision I’ve ever made reflected in this fictional person, and it made me uncomfortable.

Here and now, writing a series with multiple protagonists, I find myself in a similar position. My favorite is the one least like me: the main character in today’s release, Fletcher. This makes him harder to write, but it also makes me more inspired to make sure I get him right, because he deserves it. (Yeah, I’m one of those writers. He’s as real to me as anyone.)

What about you? As a reader, do you like reading about characters like you, or do you prefer characters you have little in common with?

All answers will be entered in a drawing to have a character in my next series named for you—as like or unlike yourself as you wish.


Fletcher Lane has a problem. His boyfriend’s parents are coming for a visit, and they want to meet up. He’s ready to commit, so what happens if his prospective in-laws don’t like him? And how is he supposed to keep Rowan Harbor’s unique nature a secret when he might be the worst liar ever born?<br /><br />To make matters worse, when he finds and helps two strangers stuck on the road, it leads him to a new threat: the man who’s been terrorizing the town has set events into motion that endanger more than just Rowan Harbor. Can Fletcher and his friends stop him before there’s nothing but a smoking crater where the Oregon coastline used to be?

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

45,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series

Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


Sam has brought two great giveaways!

One lucky Joyfully Jay reader will be selected to have a character in Sam’s next series named for you—as like or unlike yourself as you wish. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Monday, October 15th at 11:59 pm ET.

Readers can also enter the tour-wide Rafflecopter giveaway. Just follow the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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  • 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. In order to facilitate prize distribution, the winner name’s and email may be provided to a third party awarding the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post