Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book 4 - Nearing the Finish Line!

It's been awhile since I've posted an update, so here goes...

My summer officially begins on Friday afternoon, and I'm ecstatic.  Summer not only means no more grading of essays (yay!), but it also means I will finally have time to finish Book 4 in my Chilton Crosse series.  I've been pecking away at this manuscript for two semesters, and I'm currently on page 327.  I think I have about six more chapters to go.  After that, I'll do some fact-checking and polishing and several read-throughs.  Then, it's off to the publisher!  

I have to say, this book might be my favorite of the series so far.  Each book seems to have a different tone, a different flavor, and this one is no exception.  Before I started writing the novel, I wondered if I'd end up liking the main character, Julia.  She's a bit stand-offish, keeping to herself, but it's partly because of her taxing job (owning/running the bakery). As I've written her, I've discovered she has a lot of heart.  She also takes excellent care of her aging father, Mr. Bentley (the elderly man who sits outside the bakery).  Julia is deeper than I'd imagined, and there's a reason she's not very prominent in the other novels.  I hope readers will really respond to her and her situation.

As I get closer to THE END, I'll post more updates.  Plus, I'll spend part of this summer brainstorming Book 5!

I hope 2016 is another exciting year for this Chilton Crosse series! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Back at BarnesandNoble.com!

For those who have contacted me about my series being available on Nook -- it's back!  

The series is now out of Kindle Unlimited at Amazon (for 3 months, the books had to be there, exclusively), so now all three books are available on Nook, too.

Here's the link.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Availability - Explained

I was recently contacted by a couple of folks who read/enjoyed Book 1 (Painting the Moon) in my series, but who had trouble finding Book 2 (Finding the Rainbow) and Book 3 (Seeking the Star) on BarnesAndNoble.com.

I wanted to explain why my books are currently unavailable at BN.com (for a brief time only).  My publisher recently put the whole series into Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program (it's a book-borrowing subscription program that's pretty neat!).  The only catch??  The series has to be pulled from other online venues (including BN.com) in order to stay in the KU program for three months.

So, unfortunately, those who purchased Book 1 on Nook won't be able to buy Book 2 or 3 on Nook until March.

But the good news is, there are still other options, if you don't want to wait that long.  All my books are available in paperback here:

Book 1 - Painting the Moon
Book 2 - Finding the Rainbow
Book 3 - Seeking the Star

If you still prefer a digital copy, there are some other options (including special apps to read ANY ebook on your computer or device).  Here are the instructions

I hope this helps a little. If you bought Book 1 and are searching for Books 2 and 3 -- THANK YOU!  It means so much!  :-)




 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

After-Sale Stats!

As a reader, I love a good book sale. But as a writer?  I love a good sale even more!  It's fun to watch those numbers climb, but mostly, it's wonderful to know that people are buying my book(s)!  After years in the "rejection trenches," I still have to pinch myself that ANYone is reading my book. Seriously.  (Read my whole road-to-publication story here).

So, if you've bought my book, either through the most recent sale, or sometime in the past -- truly, genuinely, THANK YOU for taking a chance on me and my book(s).  It's incredibly appreciated.  

Well, here are the stats from the big .99 sale (now ended).  PAINTING THE MOON made it to #43 in Amazon Kindle, and #8 in Women's Fiction, wow!



At Barnes & Noble, PAINTING THE MOON reached to #5!  Wow again!



I just re-read a blog entry of mine from 2013, right when I'd first signed the publishing contract with Red Adept.  This is still true today:


Probably the main reason I want to get published is this:  I love the idea of other people reading words I wrote.  I love the notion that someone, somewhere, maybe in Maryland or New York or California, will see the cover, read the blurb, and decide, for some reason, to spend hard-earned dollars to purchase it.  Even more, I like the idea of that person going home after a difficult work day, maybe even with personal burdens, and escaping his/her life, momentarily, through reading my book.  Because that's a huge part of the reason that I read.  I would love for someone to experience what I experience through books--the escapism, the intimacy, and even the reflection of oneself through a character or situation.  The notion that I, somehow, could be any part of that process for someone else is incredible to me.



In the end, it's not about stats and spreadsheets and profits.  It's about knowing that people I've never met are buying and reading my book.  And I can't even begin to say how amazing that is.  Thanks again.  :-)


Monday, December 14, 2015

Interview with USA Today!

USA Today's "Happy Ever After" blog has just posted their interview with me, about SEEKING THE STAR, and about a writer's life.  It was great fun answering the questions, especially the one about my writing rituals, hee-hee...

And my Corgi, Darcy, even got a mention and a photo, too!

Here's the link

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blog Tour!

My awesome publisher, Red Adept, has set up a blog tour for my newest novel, SEEKING THE STAR.  It's a Christmas-themed book, #3 in the Chilton Crosse series.



Special thanks to Sage's Blog Tours for putting this tour together!  Here are the specific dates:

November 2nd Zigzag Timeline ~ GUEST POST
November 3rd The IndieView ~ INTERVIEW
November 5th BigAl's Books & Pals ~ REVIEW
November 7th T&L Book Reviews ~ GUEST POST
November 8th MHDean Collectibles ~ REVIEW
November 9th BigAl's Books & Pals ~ GUEST POST
November 10th Book Babble ~ REVIEW
November 11th Christy's Cozy Corners ~ REVIEW
November 12th Thoughts in Progress ~ REVIEW
November 14th From the TBR Pile ~ REVIEW
November 15th Literary Musings and Manuscripts ~ REVIEW
November 16th Kelly Smith Reviews ~ REVIEW
November 17th enthrallingdimple ~ REVIEW

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Release Day!

The third book in my Chilton Crosse series has just been released, with a special $2.99 price (ebook) for today, only.  

It's a Christmasy book---a tale of redemption, hope, and the power of love.

Here's the link to buy
 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

New Book Trailer!

Here's the trailer for my new Christmas novel, Seeking the Star.  

Thanks to Mary Fan for putting together a beautiful trailer, and to John Hobart for composing the gorgeous music!  





Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book 3 Paperback -- Available Now!

Even though Seeking the Star's ebook won't be released until October 6, the paperback version is available right now.  How exciting!  

Here's the link to buy.

Hey, I guess it's Christmas in July!  




Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Have a Newsletter!

So, I finally did it.  I finally figured out how to create an official author newsletter!  The form to join is now part of my author page, so you can find it by clicking "Newsletter" in the top menu.

Or, here's the direct link to the form.

I've also decided to use the newsletter carefully, sparingly.  I know that people are inundated these days with junk mail and spam, so I'll be sure only to send a newsletter/email out when I'm sharing special news, like future release dates or cover reveals.

I like the idea of a newsletter.  Of sending people information who want that information, people who signed up for it of their own accord.  So, if you're one of those people --- thanks!  :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cover Reveal!

I think one of my most favorite events has to be a book cover reveal!  As an author, I usually tend to "see" a cover in my mind by the time a book is finished.  And, thankfully, Streetlight Graphics and Red Adept Publishing have easily met those cover expectations for all three of my novels.

So, without further ado, here's the cover for Book 3 in the series (release date will be August or Sept. of 2015):



I adore the gorgeous night sky, the soft glow of cottage lights, but most especially, I love the tiny detail of the footprints in the snow.  Here's why:

Book description:
  One December night, in the sleepy Cotswold village of Chilton Crosse, a drifter with a mysterious past collapses on George and Mary Cartwright’s snowy doorstep.  During the next few weeks, as Christmas cheer spreads throughout the village with decorations and a Dickens-themed festival, Mary nurtures the stranger, Ben, back to health, and becomes curious about the secrets he’s been holding so tightly.   

   As Ben gains his strength and begins to trust Mary and George, he lowers the wall he’s so carefully constructed.  But when Christmas Eve arrives, one of his secrets accidentally comes to light, forcing him to confront the darkness of his past—and to rediscover the faith he’d lost months before.  And on that holiest of nights, he finally begins to understand that mercy and forgiveness are meant for him, too.
 

You can add SEEKING THE STAR to your Goodreads bookshelf by clicking here.

For fun, here are all three books (so far) in the series. They look so beautiful together:



 Now, it's time to focus on writing Book 4!  I wonder what that cover will look like......



Monday, May 25, 2015

My Book Review Tour Starts Today!

My wonderful publisher, Red Adept, has put together a blog tour for my second novel, Finding the Rainbow.  

So, over these next three weeks, various bloggers will be posting their reviews  of my book on their blogs.  Fun!  I'll keep updating this post as the new ones roll in.

Here are the links.  Please go visit these wonderful blogs!

The Daily Blog -- Run by multi-book author Erica Lucke Dean (go check out her novels!).

Christy's Cozy Corners -- What a beautiful blog!  If you enjoy cozy/clean books, you will love her site.

Adventures in Writing -- Both of my books are here--very thoughtful and detailed reviews.  I loved reading them! 

Kelly Smith Reviews -- Great blog!  She's an author, too, so check out her site! 

A Spoonful of Happy Endings -- Thanks to Jody for her lovely review!   

Biblioteca -- I loved reading this review. Melissa really "gets" the book, and this review is so well-written and thoughtful.  

Big Al's Books & Pal's -- I was a wee bit nervous about this one, and was so relieved the reviewer liked the book!  I really respect this review site.

Literary Musings and Manuscripts -- Great blog.  I'm so glad Cresta liked the book!  She really "got" the story.

From the TBR Pile -- Wonderful review site. Thanks to Kari for a lovely review!

Brooke Blogs -- She has a variety of product reviews.  I was so happy she liked PAINTING THE MOON.

Read Along with Sue -- Thanks to Sue for taking the time to review!

Novel Ink -- Thanks to Erica for the review. 

Gal in the Blue Mask -- Cool site!  Thanks for the review of both my novels.

My Life, One Story at a Time -- Donna reviewed both my novels!  I'm so glad she enjoyed them.  Many thanks to her for taking the time to read/review them.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book 3 -- In the Works!

I'm expecting a call from my editor tomorrow, about Book 3 in my Chilton Crosse series (untitled).  Can't wait!  This one's a shorter, Christmas-themed novel, so the goal is to get it released by year's end.



It's a bit of a departure from the other two books in the series, because of its Christmas and spiritual themes.  But I enjoyed writing it--the first time I've written from a male's POV.  Really interesting.  And challenging.

Some people have asked me how/why I'm so quickly churning these books out, but the truth is, I wrote them years ago, one per year, during my summers off from teaching.  I went through the process of trying to get published for years, and I got rejected MANY times.  But I kept on writing, kept on trying.  So that by the time Red Adept gave me a "YES!" for PAINTING THE MOON, I had three books ready to go.

This year, I plan to write Book 4 in the series.  I've already got the prep work and brainstorming done.  It will be wonderful to step back into Chilton Crosse and see what the characters have in store for me.  :-)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#1 -- What?!?!

In all the craziness of last week, I completely forgot to post the news on my writer's page:

Painting the Moon hit #1 in romance/women's fiction at Amazon and B&N on Sunday!  I'm still floored by it.  I was dancing around, so excited, knowing my book probably wouldn't stay there for long (I managed to snag a screen shot, lol).  Yep, that's Nicholas Sparks, to my right.  *pinches self*




But the best part of all this has been hearing from people about the books--people I don't know, people who've bought the book and want to let me know they're reading it.  That means the world to me.  Having my novels in so many people's hands is absolutely surreal.

A few people have asked me about Book 3's release.  That book (untitled) is a Christmas book, so it'll be released sometime before the holidays.  If you click "Follow" on this page, Amazon will actually send you an email regarding the specific date ahead of time. 

Link to Author Page


Mostly, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to my publisher, Red Adept, and to anyone who's bought either of my books.  I'm so grateful to you.  And I hope you enjoy them!  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Paperback for Book 2

My editor just sent me the proof for FINDING THE RAINBOW's paperback version (available shortly after the Kindle version of March 24).  
 
It's beautiful!!  I could walk right into that cover and stay there.

Thanks, as always, to Glendon of Streetlight, and to Michelle Rever, for their hard work on this, and on all my covers.

(Update:  Here's the link to buy (Kindle available, too)).  

Tah-dah!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Book Trailer!

I'm so excited about the upcoming release of Book 2, Finding the Rainbow.  It should be released in early March, available for pre-order soon.

Until then, here's the book's trailer.  Thanks to Mary Fan and John Hobart of Scorpio Productions for their hand in this.  I love how it turned out!

(Update -- the trailer was recently featured in USAToday!  Link here).



Saturday, December 20, 2014

End-of-year Reflections

It's natural to approach the holidays with a certain wistfulness--a looking behind, a looking ahead. An assessment, a taking stock.  Where have I been and where am I going?

As I glance backward at this past year, it's been busy, challenging, surreal, and overall amazing.  Publication-wise, my first novel, Painting the Moon, was published via Red Adept, an incredible group of professionals and experts.  My friends and family have been more supportive than I'd even dreamed.  I even had a book party launch in July, complete with book posters, a signing, and a cake with my cover on display!

As well, I've edited two books, and Book 2 in the series will soon be released (March or April).  I can't believe I just typed that sentence.  Especially after 20 years of rejections (for various novels) with frustrating close calls and heartbreaking "almosts."  But then, finally, came a "YES!" and away we went.

Also, this holiday season, I'm still feeling the tangible grief from my father's passing in September of 2013, and this will be my second Christmas without him.  And though he never got to see my novels in print, he read all three in this series and was aware that my dream of getting published had finally been fulfilled. That's special to me.

Looking ahead, I see busy days as a full-time writing teacher and full-time author.  I'm thrilled by the hopeful possibility of publishing Book 3 in future days, as well as writing Book 4 during my summer break.  Busy days.  Good days.  Blessed days.

So, this holiday season, wherever you are and whatever your life looks like, even through the ups and downs, I wish you peace and comfort and joy.  And good days ahead.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book 2 Update

Whew!  I submitted my final line edits to the publisher last week.  Feeling really good about them, thankful for my editors and their suggestions. 

Although I don't have a release date yet, it's looking like the book will be released in Spring of 2015.  I can't wait!  This whole experience is so surreal.  And, especially during this Thanksgiving week, I feel nothing but gratitude.  After years of waiting, of writing, of submitting, of sustaining rejections, I can't believe it's finally happening.  Two books released in a year's time.  

Someone pinch me!

And really, talking about Book 2 is just a hidden excuse to post my beautiful cover again.  The folks at Streetlight did such an amazing job.  I just want to crawl in and live there for awhile...




Monday, October 13, 2014

My Article Got Published!

I just got word that an article I submitted to the "Guide to Literary Agents" blog (part of Writer's Digest) was posted yesterday.  

The inspiration for my topic came as I was editing Painting the Moon. I'd written the novel a few years back, when texting wasn't so rampant or important to people.  But now, it is.  So I needed to update and modernize some of the scenes---add some technology!

Anyway, here's the link to the article.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cover Reveal!

My publisher just unveiled the cover for my new novel, Finding the Rainbow.  

Tah-dah!



I had no doubt that the team at Streetlight Graphics would do an amazing job.  Also thanks to Michelle, Kris, and Lynn, for making this cover a reality.  I particularly love the colors and that big beautiful English estate.  And the rainbow.  Okay, I love all of it.  :-)

And just look how perfectly it goes along with Book 1's cover:




Publication date for Finding the Rainbow, TBA.  I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Update on Book 2

I spoke with my publisher today, and things are on track for Book 2 in my Chilton Crosse series!  Here's what I know:

Title:  Finding the Rainbow

The cover art has been discussed (I cannot wait to see what the geniuses at Street Light Graphics will come up with!), a blurb is being formulated, and I'm heading into line edits this week (I've already finished content edits).



So exciting!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hometown Paper!

I grew up in a West Texas town called San Angelo, from age six to twenty-one.  I haven't been back for years, but a piece of my heart is still there.  Those were my formative years -- church and school, choir and band, summer camps and holidays.  In that town, I discovered my love for writing.  In that town, I listened to sermons and lessons from Sunday School teachers that have stayed with me.  In that town, I made friendships that are still valuable to me today.  At twenty-one, I moved away, but San Angelo will always remain important to me.  

Those childhood and teenage memories are deeply imbedded.  Which is perhaps why I leaned on some of them to write Painting the Moon.  Though the character of Adam isn't based on anyone specific, there were some important friendships I formed in San Angelo that I remembered as I wrote Adam and Noelle's flashbacks.  Deep late-night talks about God and life, study sessions that lasted for hours, campfires or New Year's parties or school dances, laughing with friends until my sides ached.  All these things impacted me in a powerful way, so that when it came time for me to write Adam and Noelle's teenage friendship, it was easy.  

And, maybe in a subconscious way, little pieces of my own hometown filtered through to Chilton Crosse (the Cotswold village in my novel).  That close-knit feeling of home and family--the sense that your neighbors care about you, have your back, will be there in a pinch.  Those strong, deep roots of family and friends. 

The lasting effects of hometown relationships became most evident to me last year.  Two decades after I left San Angelo, my father passed away (last September) and the outpouring from San Angelo friends was overwhelming---countless cards and emails and phone calls.  Some even traveled more than six hours, to East Texas, to attend the funeral.  Just to support our family.  I will never forget that.

So this particular article, a hometown article, is very special to me.  Thanks to Chelsea, from San Angelo LIVE!, for the interview.

Link here

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book 2 - Under Contract!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from my publisher.  They've accepted Book 2 in my Chilton Crosse series!  I'm ecstatic.

I'll start edits in the next couple of weeks, and if all goes well, the book could be available as soon as the holidays.

Book 2 focuses on Holly, Frank's assistant at the gallery.  In some ways, this book is lighter than Painting the Moon, more joyful.  Perhaps it's the Jane Austen overtones weaved throughout the plot.  

Here's a little teaser-blurb:

     Life seems nothing more than a quick succession of busy nothings.  ~Jane Austen


This is precisely how Holly Newbury would sum up her life. 

At twenty-eight, she lives in a charming-but-touristy Cotswold village, serving as caretaker to three younger sisters—a rewarding job, but a tedious one.  Soon, though, news of a Jane Austen movie filming nearby creates a snap of change in the air.  The villagers become involved as movie extras, and Holly starts up an Emma book club in honor of the film.  At the same time, Holly's own family drama plays out—her sisters experience heartaches and growing pains, while her widowed father finds new love in an unexpected place. 

The film also brings with it an American screenwriter named Fletcher Hays, who ends up becoming Holly's very own "Mr. Knightley."  But will she realize it too late?

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Very First Book Signing!

So, yesterday, my grandparents, mom, and sister hosted a book party and signing for me.  It met all my expectations.  It was busy, fun, exciting, and productive (lots of books sold!).

More than anything, it was amazing to hug and chat with such supportive people.  My family and close friends.  They're my cheerleaders, my biggest "fans."  Seeing their support together in that room reminded me of how blessed I am--that after years of trying to get published, it finally happened.  


Here are some pictures from the event:

These are my precious grandparents.  They hosted the event at their building.  Love them so much!


Here's the book poster that sat on an easel in the entrance:




Here's the front table -- that's my other grandmother's painting of "Chilton Crosse," the village in Painting the Moon, painted as a surprise for me in 2009.  I thought it deserved a special place at the party! 



And here's the cake!  The decorators were able to scan the book cover and create an edible piece of candy on top.  Isn't it pretty?



The only person missing from the event was my father, who passed away ten months ago with a sudden diagnosis of brain cancer.  He would've been at the party with bells on, happy for me, proud of me, supportive of me.  He read all three books in this series about a year before he got sick.  And before he passed away, he knew I had signed a contract--that I was getting published.  And even though yesterday was incredibly bittersweet because of his absence, and even though I missed him so much, he was still *there,* with us.  

Here's a favorite picture of him:



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

USA Today!

As if getting a book published wasn't already surreal enough, my book's trailer (created by Mary Fan) was just featured in USA Today!  Umm, squeee!  

Link here

Monday, June 16, 2014

Paperback Available!

I don't know if this whole publishing thing felt real until I held the advanced copy of the paperback in my hands.

The book is gorgeous in person--that beautiful cover just pops with color.  And the book feels so weighty and substantive in my hands.  Maybe I'm just old school, but a Kindle just isn't the same thing as an actual book.   ;-)




Click here to purchase the book.  And thank you!!