Thursday, August 1, 2019

Team Clean Romance Book Group Is Here

     I'm excited to announce that I'm part of a new group called Team Clean Romance Book Club. It debuts today (8/1) on Facebook, and will be hosting author takeovers, giveaways, and other fun activities for readers on a daily basis. Today and for the rest of the month each of the 50+ participating authors will introduce themselves, offering a look at the books they write and an inside peek at the things that inspire their stories. I hope you'll join us!
     I'm revising the last book in the Hearts in Hendricks series at the moment and will have it in the editor's hands by the end of the month. I'll start working with the cover designer in a few weeks, too, so I hope to reveal it sometime in early September. Stay tuned!
   My middle-grade novel, THE UPSIDE OF DOWN, is now in Kindle Unlimited so if your tween reader likes realistic fiction, this would be a great addition to his or her library. The story was inspired by an article I read in Parade magazine years ago, about an NYC ad exec who befriended a homeless boy. Long story short, they became friends and because of her encouragement and belief in him, he grew up to become a successful business owner with a family of his own. I read this article and the "what if?" questions started popping in my writer's brain. Check out more about THE UPSIDE OF DOWN.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Book a Trip Hop in Progress & Other Bookish News

It's sweltering here in central Illinois, but I've been working this week on the fourth and final book in the Hearts in Hendricks small-town romance series inside at my desk. I love writing on the deck, especially on a book series which focuses heavily on the natural setting. So listening to birds and feeling the breeze as I write grounds me in those outdoor scenes. Not this week though--too HOT! 
I'm participating in the Facebook Book a Trip hop at the moment. It's running through July 21st. There's a couple dozen sweet romance authors lined up to talk about their book's setting and offer a chance at prizes each day. One winner will win the Grand Prize (a Mar Y Sol beach bag filled to the brim with summer goodies). Each author is offering their own prizes too! You'll have to join the Book a Trip Facebook group to participate. I'm having loads of fun interacting with readers on my own page.

Hope you're having a good week and that it's filled with good books and time to read!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wrestling the WIP

The rough draft is always the most difficult for me, conjuring a story from the fragments of dialogue, setting notes, and bits and pieces of research that make up the outline I put together before beginning  Chapter One. I'm a little more than halfway through this book, but I've been sharing with a critique partner as I go. I've never shared my books this early in the process, but so far it's working. I'll have a much cleaner first draft when I go through it again at the end of the month. Playing with the creating process is something all artists do, I think. I can't imagine ever settling into a routine that doesn't change from one book to the next. I wholly believe the process of creating is always a work in progress in itself. Scouring the internet, one can find articles on a five-step process, an eight-step process, and a 25-point checklist. Others will just say wing it. I fall somewhere between the eight steps and flying by the seat of my pants. Yes, there is order to my chaos.

So, this is the finale to my four-book sweet romance series. I'm anxious to share this one, then move onto another project. I had several manuscripts started, one completed, so it's a matter of planning what book I want to come first.

Before I go, here's a heads-up to a Kindle Countdown Deal I have going on for LOVE LIKE AIR, Hearts in Hendricks #3, until Friday.

I hope your beach bags, Kindles, and other forms of to-be-read piles are filled with good books!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer Is Never Long Enough for the Books I Want to Read

Longer days and new releases generally means the list of books I want to read reaches unreasonable proportions. The pile on my nightstand is so high it touches the lamp shade, and that doesn't count the books I've recently loaded onto my Kindle. It's not a bad problem to have really, unless you're a slow reader like me. 

I'm reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens at the moment. Though I'm still a few pages into the book, I know this one will be one of my all-time favorites. Owens writes about the natural world with the sort of passion I adore. It's no wonder: her educational background includes degrees in zoology and animal behavior. She grew up running through the Georgia woods and thinks of nature as a "true companion." Her descriptions of the landscape in the first chapter alone had me rereading portions because of the lyrical beauty of her prose. I'll let you know how much I loved it when I come up for air.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman has been on my radar for months because, well, BOOKS. I'm a big fan of quirky, and this forthcoming title (July 9th) has it in spades. I mean, poor introverted Nina has a cat named Phil and wants to hide her nose in books from her newly-discovered crazy family after the father she didn't know she had unexpectedly dies. Can't wait for this one!

If You've Got Mail was one of your favorite '90s rom-coms, then I've heard that Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey is the literary equivalent. As if the cover isn't cute enough, WFTH sounds like it's going to deliver a sweet & funny good time. When main character Annie finds out there's a movie set to film in her neighborhood, she gets her dream job working on it. She's convinced it's the perfect chance to find her dream man. That is until she finds that the object of her affection isn't so swoon-worthy after all. 

Another title that will keep me reading throughout July is Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, a title from 2017 which popped onto my screen the other day when I was on Goodreads. It sounded so good that I downloaded it right then, and now it's waiting patiently in my Kindle. It has been compared to Garden Spells and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, two novels I adore, because of its magic realism elements. 

What are you reading at the moment?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Happy Book Birthday, Love Like Air

Where's the cake? There's a book birthday happening here! 

     Love Like Air, the third book in the Hearts in Hendricks series, officially celebrates its release today! Set in the Northwoods, main characters Mick Graham and Debi Thomas wonder if a second-chance romance is worth the risk while each of their livelihoods is affected by an intrusive local mining company. Debi's popular donut shop is at the heart of the story, where Mick and his surly preteen daughter, Stella, have been coming for years. 
     I enjoyed writing this book so much. The setting was a little more challenging to write than in the previous two books since Debi's and Mick's story is more closely connected to the land. I've mentioned before that Hendricks is inspired by my trips to the Northwoods, so this time I was able to indulge my curiosity about the area's flora and fauna. That's the most fun for me⏤the research. I poured over state park maps, noting the names of trails, rivers, and other natural landmarks. I looked at the Minnesota DNR site for help with plant names (Scorpidium cossonii, anyone?) and the geology of the area. Of course it helped having a geologist living at home to field my endless questions about the mining industry.
     If you're new to the series, no worries. Each of the three books work as a stand-alone novel even though some of the characters make repeat appearances in other books. During release week, Love Like Air is only $0.99, too!

     What I'm reading this week: a non-fiction book called Spark: How Creativity Works by Julie Burnstein. Each chapter explores a different creative master from the twenty-first century and their roots of inspiration.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Love Like Air Coming May 20th

The third book in the Hearts in Hendricks series follows some of the same lovable characters introduced in the first two books, but this time it's Mick's and Debi's story. 
Love heals a broken heart unless secrets stay untold
Running a bakery and staying one step ahead of a mining company determined to buy her family homestead keep Debi Thomas busy in the lakeshore town of Hendricks. Since her ex-husband ruined her desire for romance, she’s more content selling donuts than dating anyway.
Widower Mick Graham has long admired effervescent Debi, and not just for her baking talents. But keeping his preteen daughter out of the principal’s office and his mother-in-law out of his hair have made dating a low priority.
When an accident thrusts Mick and Debi together, she wonders if Mick is the one to heal her heart. However, trouble brews for their budding romance when she discovers Mick might be behind the mine president’s lucrative offer for her property, an offer almost too good to refuse. Can Mick make her a better one—a second chance at love?
Coming May 20th, available for pre-order now

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hearts in Hendricks Series Now at B & N, iTunes, Kobo

It's about time, right? 

Now you can try out this sweet romance series at any of your favorite retailers. 

Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Baker & Taylor & more:

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