Cover Reveal – Raise the Curtain

Hi All,

I know it’s been awhile, but rest assured I’ve been working like crazy. A Face In the Crowd is now available in audio book format and there’s a new book on the horizon. In less than 8 weeks you’ll be able to check out my debut YA novel, Raise the Curtain. It’s always been a dream of mine to publish both adult and YA novels and that dream is coming true in June. Check out a little bit about it below.

RaisetheCurtain_400

Blurb:

Seventeen year old Alexa Cross is desperate to get to Broadway, but when she receives a failing math grade, hopes of a scholarship disappear. Now, she’ll need her father’s help to achieve her dream. The only problem is he doesn’t consider her choice of careers to be sensible and after the pain her family has suffered, Alexa can’t go against his wishes. Trapped between a family she loves and her love of the stage, Alexa will have to find another way to achieve her dream or settle for what her father wants.

West Howell does his best to keep his head down and go unnoticed. It’s easier to be cut off than to try to explain to people why he’s so screwed up. After all, he can’t afford to get into any more trouble. When he’s recruited to tutor the hot, prissy girl from math, he never expects to fall in love with her. Or that she might be the one person who can relate to him.

Together, they may find a way to heal each other and get what they both desperately need, as long as Alexa’s father doesn’t decide that the one thing worse than his daughter’s love of the stage, is her love for West.

I hope you’ll follow me in this new endeavor and as always thanks for your support.

Hugs!

When You’re Stuck In A Rut

Hello, long lost readers. *waves* It’s been awhile and for that, I’m sorry. While the leaves changed colors and we pulled our cute boots out of the closet this author got caught in a rut. Some people may call it writer’s block or maybe they feel their muse isn’t in the mood to work, but whatever the case, I couldn’t seem to put the right words on the page. So, you know what I did? I gave myself some time off. After all, isn’t that one of the perks to being my own boss? I can take the time I need to get back to a place that will allow me to write a book people may actually want to read because isn’t that the whole point?

That may seem like the opposite of productive, but you know what? It worked. I let myself off the hook. I Christmas shopped, got coffee with a friend, and watched cheesy Hallmark movies while I wrapped gifts. At first, it was hard. Writer me wants to write, NEEDcat-spaS to write every day. When I don’t, it’s like the entire day has been a waste. I had to remind myself that I’ve put out four books in two years, more than I ever thought possible, so why not take a break? Why not regroup so I don’t just write to write, I write a story I can by proud of?

My writing hiatus, just like a vacation from a desk job, had an end date. The deal I made with myself was that as soon as the kids went back to school, I went back to work. I’m proud to say that I stuck to it and in the last two weeks since we’ve all returned to the real world, I’ve signed a contract for a YA and started a new book. The point of all of this is to remind other writers out there that it’s okay to take some time off. It’s okay to take a break and find inspiration out in the real world. Let yourself off the hook and then come back with a vengeance.

Then, together we’ll shout, “Look out 2017, we’re coming for you!”

Finding Inspiration

keep-going1There are days as a writer where the words flow to the point I forget to eat lunch and then there are those other days, the ones where you spend more time staring at the wall than actually getting any writing done. Those days are the worst. I read an article about writing by Kristan Higgins and she mentioned that one way to combat writer’s block is to stop writing for the day in the middle of a scene that way when you return to your work in progress, you’ll know exactly where to pick up. It’s good advice, but what happens when you’re ready to write the next book and the words won’t come. Or maybe the brilliant idea you thought you had turned out not to be so brilliant. What then?

That’s when you need a shot of inspiration, but where do you go to get it? Do they sell inspiration at the liquor store? Maybe, but there are other ways to find it. The first thing I like to do is walk away. That’s right. Stop sitting at the computer and do something else. For example, you could take a walk, or go to a coffee shop, or if you have the time, go out for drinks with your friends. The reason this can be good is because it puts you in the land of the living and there is no better inspiration than getting out there. The waiter has a terrible tattoo? Great! Ask him about it. Your girlfriend had a bad date? Even better (for your writing, not her love life). There are stories to be had and characters to meet out there in the world of people.

Maybe you don’t need something as dramatic as all that. Maybe you just need a little kick start. That’s okay too. Try making a playlist of some of your favorite love songs. Is there a line in one that sparks something in you? What about your favorite movie? Why is it your favorite? What about the characters speaks to you? Pinterest boards of favorite couples? Brilliant. There is no wrong answer. You just have to open your eyes and give your muse a kick in the butt. Inspiration is everywhere. What are you waiting for? Get out there and find it.

Feeling inspired? I hope so.

Getting Back to Work

The temperature is still high, but since school is back in session the summer break is over. While I miss hanging out with my little guys and sleeping in a little later, I also miss working. I long for the chance to get to work on the next story that’s been circling my mind for the last couple of months and escaping into a world of make believe. Sure I stayed up at night on occasion to get a little time in, but I’m a morning person. And let’s be honest, trying to work with a bunch of loud, rowdy boys in the house is impossible. I can’t hear my muse over the sounds of Nerf wars and super hero battles.

Today, that all changes. I’m back in my writing cave and peace is restored, unless you’re one of my characters. Those guys are going to get put through the ringer.

thCMTL2VSE

Cover Reveal Time

As promised there’s a new book on the horizon just in time for your summer vacation. I’m thrilled to finally get to share a few details for my latest book with everyone. I hope you’ll follow me from the small town of Warm Springs into the heart of Atlanta where you’ll meet sexy, rocker Oliver and hardworking Lexie as their worlds are turned upside down.

AFaceIntheCrowd400

Alexis Hightower considers trust a four letter word, and she has no intention of getting serious with anyone. After all, her day job as a nurse is plenty serious enough. On one of her nights off, she attends a concert for her favorite band and ends up on stage. She never expected to meet the legendary singer in person or that he would be the one to make her question her way of life. But how do you learn to trust again when the one you want is desired by thousands?

Oliver Honeycutt has it all, success, fame, admirers, but when his family is faced with the unthinkable, none of it matters. Stranded in Atlanta, he meets Alexis who’s unlike any woman he’s known before. As his attraction grows, plans for the future change which leaves someone desperate to keep them apart. But Oliver won’t be easily discouraged. To have a future with Alexis he’ll do whatever it takes to make her see the man behind the image.

Mark your calendars for July 20th and have a wonderful summer.

My First Book Signing

So, this post is about a month late, but tis the season, right? It seems that if you don’t A. work at Target, B. work at Barnes N’ Noble, or C. aren’t singing dressed as either a snowman or reindeer, I probably haven’t spoken to you in the last month. Why you ask? Because on top of being an author, I’m a mom, and like those of you with kids know, moms are responsible for putting the magic into the holidays.

Before all the Christmas crazy took over my life, something awesome did happen. I had my first book signing in Warm Springs, Georgia, where my trilogy is set. It was wonderful. Several members of my family stopped by as did some of my friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. I also had the privilege of meeting some new, wonderful people, who I hope will enjoy the book. It was everything I dreamt it would be and more. Easy peasy, right? Well, sort of.

December 2015 162

One thing to remember is that as a writer, I spend lots of time alone in my writing cave. I’m happy there. In fact, I’m comfortable in my solitude, but this whole book signing thing forced me out into the big, wide world. Was I scared? Oh yes. Did it go smoothly? Yes and no. While there were lots of faces and hugs, there was also a shortage of books.

Gasp! A lack of books you say? That’s right. I had a place all lined up and a banner printed, but the books coming from my publisher didn’t arrive on time. It was through no fault of theirs. They did everything possible to get them there, including expedited shipping, but as we all know shipping can be a funny thing with a timeline all its own.

Now, since I’m a crazy person with no trust for the shipping world, I ordered a handful of my own copies to drag along in my suitcase and boy was I glad. They made it to my house the day before I jumped on the plane. So, with my handful of books I went to my signing where I sold them all and then some. I handled the drama by shipping books to close friends and family because they still love me snafus and all. It was quite a day.

December 2015 160

After it was all said and done was it worth all the stress you ask? Definitely. The store owner is now selling my book, I added a few names to my newsletter list, and I picked up a few new readers along the way, which is what we all want in the end, am I right? If you have the chance to do a signing, no matter how big or how small, do it. Get out there and share yourself and your story with the world. Who knows, you might meet some interesting people who would make excellent future characters along the way.

 

RWA Nationals is Coming… Are You Ready?

It’s that time again…

Summer is upon us. It’s easy to tell because I can’t get into my car without melting and it seems to rain a little every afternoon. Not that I mind the rain. It keeps me from having to water my lawn. But, aside from swimming pools, shaved ice, and sleeping in, there’s something exciting on the horizon that only comes around in July, RWA Nationals!

IMG_0762

This year, two thousand romance authors will descend upon New York City in hopes of landing an agent, editor, learning from those who’ve made it, and to network. Based on past experience I can honestly say it’s exhausting, but it’s wonderful. I left my first Nationals conference in Atlanta, overwhelmed, invigorated, and reassured. I found solidarity among my fellow writers, along with a wonderful critique partner. If this is your first Nationals, I have a few tips I’d like to share that I either learned the hard way or that other brilliant veterans shared with me.

  • Wardrobe – 3 things – comfortable shoes, layers – sometimes rooms freeze you out, sometimes they’re so full it’s hot, no yoga pants – by all means be yourself, but remember there are a lot of industry professionals floating around and it is after all, NYC

IMG_0754

  • Get to classes early! They fill up and this conference is sold out. It won’t be different. Sometimes you may find yourself standing against the wall or sitting in the floor.
  • Pace yourself. Make sure to take breaks. This was one thing that I took to heart and I think it made a better conference. Making small talk, learning, the full schedule of events, there’s a lot going on. Make sure to take some time for you. Eat lunch in your room one day. Leave the hotel for a few minutes. It’s okay to leave an hour open to recharge.
  • Have fun!

If you’re going to New York in a few weeks, I hope you’ll say hello. There’s nothing better than belonging to this wonderful group of people. You won’t find a friendlier crowd.