I’m very excited to announce the release date of my first contemporary women’s fiction novel – A Second Chance House published with The Wild Rose Press. Drum role please…
March 7, 2018
The book will be available in print and digital formats from Amazon and all major online retailers. I’ll provide links from my books page when the links are live. In the mean time, mark your calendars.
For those of you who reside near me, I will be hosting two launch parties at the end of March at local pubs with live bands. More details on that to follow.
I want to thank all of you for being a part of this writing journey with me. Thank you for your support, and for your visits to the blog. I love interacting with my readers. You are all amazing.
Here’s an excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure:
A pickup truck glided off the road and stopped behind her car. The sun’s glare bounced off the windshield, making it impossible to see the driver. She shielded her eyes with one hand and gripped her keys with the other.
A tall male hopped out of the driver’s side. “Do you northerners make it a habit of running out of gas?”
Grace loosened her grip on the keys, but she looked around for a way to escape. Maybe a tornado would appear and suck her up in its funnel. She’d hoped Blaise would never find out about her stupidity.
“Did Beau make you come?” Her voice wobbled.
Blaise swaggered up to her. “Nah. After he was done yelling about women and cars, I offered. Figured I’d save Pete the drive and Beau the call to bark at him.”
“Beau was yelling?”
“Whole neighborhood could hear him. Where were you coming back from anyway?”
She turned and looked toward the woods. That might be a good place to run and hide. “I’m sorry I inconvenienced you. I’m not the kind of person who runs out of gas.”
“Lighten up, Grace. Ain’t no big deal.” He pumped up his southern accent. “Pop open your gas tank. You know where that button is?” He laughed. “You weren’t trying to get out of dinner, were you?”
He poured the gas into the car, and she held her nose. “It would’ve been easier to call and cancel, don’t you think?” she said.
Hello my faithful readers! I’m very excited to present the cover for the second book in my women’s fiction series with The Wild Rose Press due out fall of 2018.
Harley Kenyon has guarded a secret for eighteen years. Telling would only hurt her son, and Harley would do anything to protect Knox. Colton Savage—the wild, impetuous rock star—is back in town to clean up a few of his messes. She could never resist his charms. His promises prove empty, and more than once, he’s left her for his seductive music career. But when the high school orchestra needs Colton’s skills, he promises to stick around. He’s not the man he was before and vows to spend his life proving it. Does she dare to believe him? Being with Colton means telling her secret.
Will Harley finally reveal what she knows and risk losing her second chance at happiness, or will she keep her secret and send away the only man she ever loved?
The first book in the series – The Second Chance House – arrives in March. Stay tuned for the exact date, book launch party invitations, and a sneak peek at Grace and Blaise.
A friend recently asked me if my publisher for my women’s fiction/contemporary romance series would be marketing for me. Common question. As much as I enjoy working with my publisher, and my editor rocks, the majority of the marketing is my responsibility. Doesn’t matter who your publisher is; one of the big five or yourself – marketing your book is your job.
And that’s no easy task. Not only am I not experienced in marketing ( I was a director of special events before I had kids) I don’t have enough hours in the day to write multiple books, and market them well. But I’m trying. Believe me.
What I am is creative. Creative people think outside the box because usually their box looks a lot different than the standard, beige, cardboard, rectangle with four flaps.
I attend many conferences for writers and readers. Often the conference offers a “goody room.” The goody room is a place for authors to display promotional items to get buzz out for their books. I’ve seen everything from pens to candy penises. I don’t know if any of this stuff sells books. Especially the pens, bookmarks, and chocolate. (I love bookmarks. Don’t get me wrong.) Personally, I won’t read your book just because you gave me a nail file for free. I have a nail file.
At the RWA conference in Orlando this past July I wandered the goody room and saw pretty much what I’ve seen before. I even passed over the candy penises attached to a card for an erotic romance. Yeah, I get it, book with explicit sex and a penis made of chocolate. Boring. Next.
Later I thought – if that chocolate penis had been attached to a card for a contemporary romance whose cover had a vase of flowers, a cute dog, and colored in pastels then I might pick up the book and say, “what’s this all about?”
I knew I had to do that for my book A Second Chance House.It’s a women’s fiction/contemporary romance coming out in early 2018. The cover shows a wrap around porch and a porch swing. What could I create to make someone say, “what’s that all about?”
I needed a light-hearted scene from the book. I needed a promo item that wouldn’t cost a fortune and would get people’s attention. My heroine runs out of gas. She’s mortified because the hero comes to save her, which is exactly what she didn’t want. I had to find gas cans. Nothing else would do.
I brought those bright red cans attached to a card with my cover on the front and the excerpt on the back. I heard, cute, clever, I love it, who came up with that for you? (I tried not to be offended. I don’t think she meant it maliciously.) All my cans went. I was very excited.
Will my gas cans sell my books? I don’t know. I can only hope that someone said, this author is creative and when her book comes out I want to read more.
For the second book in the series, A Bridge Home, I’m thinking a men’s razor. Or maybe a kit for stitches. That chocolate penis might work too. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m proud to share with you, my constant supporters, the cover for my next book A Second Chance House. Due out soon.
Grace Starr plans. She likes order, organization, and the smell of bleach. When her ex-husband evicts her from her predictable life, she’s faced with the hit-you-between-the-eyes realization she’s been a bystander in her own life. Then a letter arrives. An anonymous donor gifts her a worn-out house in a small town.
She’ll have to put up with the neighbor. Blaise Savage is an incorrigible, nearly washed-up drummer in a rock band. His unbridled personality challenges everything she holds dear. He’s sexy, and that wicked wink probably had half the female population in his bed. For Grace, his lifestyle is out of control.
Is the woman who never takes a risk willing to risk it all–and possibly fall in love?
Merriam-Webster defines sane as mentally sound; especially: able to anticipate and appraise the effect of one’s actions.
She defines fiction as an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth.
Here’s the problem: as an author I’m able to anticipate the effect of my character’s actions because I’m their God, and in my mind anything they do always contains the possibility of fact. You’ve heard the old adage: there’s truth in fiction. I can’t have my readers say, “that could never happen!”
The line between sanity and fiction is a blur for me.
Two summers ago I struggled to finish Welcome to Skull Mountain, the third book in my middle grade series. While I forced the words onto the page, a man and a woman started talking to each other in my head. They would talk when I should’ve been writing WTSM. The spoke when I was reading for pleasure, driving in my car, and taking long walks.
I heard songs on the radio that meant something to them. I found myself creating a sound track of songs fitting their story. When they popped up in my head I played the music suited to their relationship. I listened to them fall in love, have arguments, and was even a voyeur while my male main character came down with appendicitis. The entire time they invaded my space I thought – Shut up! You’re driving me crazy.
They made me nuts because I couldn’t think about anything else. I wanted to know what they were up to next. I decided the only way to quiet the noise in my head was to write their story. They became Grace and Blaise in the first book of my women’s fiction/contemporary romance series. Thanks to Grace and Blaise I sold that book, A Second Chance House, to The Wild Rose Press in a three book deal. (Due out probably early next year. Still waiting on a publication date. Publishing doesn’t move quickly.)
I’m very attached to my characters. I spend a lot of time with them. I hear what they hear, see what they see, smell what they smell, and feel what they feel. I’ve developed a crush on Blaise because of the many hours I’ve spent in his company. (Hopefully, Grace will forgive me. If she doesn’t, I can just knock her off. I am still her God. It’s not insane to think you’re a God, is it?)
Author, Editor, Social Media expert Kristen Lamb says authors play literary Barbies. We make them move, say, and do whatever we want them to do. (Often times, they do what they want to do no matter how much we try and force them to do our bidding. Kind of like having kids.) But, we basically pose them, tell them what we want them to say, wind them up, and set them loose.
Recently, I played music from off my phone. The Coffee King came in and asked who I was listening to. I told him. I added that this guy wrote a song that would be perfect for Colton and Harley. (The protagonists of book two in the same series.) CK scrunched up his face, looked at me and said. “It’s like you’re playing with Little People.” Yup. Just grown up versions who curse and have sex.
I worry about myself. While I’m deep in the worlds of my characters I can be found laughing out loud at something they’ve said or done. The other day my writing buddy KM Fawcett looked across the table at me and said, “Are you crying?” I was. I couldn’t help it. Colton often makes me laugh and cry.
The good news is many other authors react similarly to their characters. I know authors who have cried when a character dies. I haven’t killed anyone I cared deeply about. I’m sure I will cry then too. At the moment, I’d rather someone cut my arm off before I had to hurt Grace, Blaise, Colton or Harley in a tragic way. (There’s so many people to worry about.)
Do you see what I’m saying? Insanity? Or possibly good at what I do? I’m going with the former. No offense to my author friends who cry and laugh through their work. I can only speak for myself.
I’m not sure how to handle my situation. Should I seek therapy? Do therapists lock people away for thinking someone is in your head talking? I don’t talk back. That must be a good thing.
Until I find a support group for my mental illness, I’ll return to Heritage River. I left Harley in a parking lot in the middle of a very important conversation with her BFF.