Category: Blog (Page 1 of 6)

How I found my literary agent

Two weeks ago, I got “the call.” 

You know, the call writers who have agents always talk about? The magical moment a literary agent calls them on the telephone and offers to represent their work.

Most authors believe “the call” will never happen to them. I was no exception. 

Let me explain.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that every author must experience rejection. And not just a single rejection, but continuous rejection over and over throughout their career.

Several years ago, I attended a talk where the speaker—a multi pen name, multi-published author and Golden Heart (a prestigious contest for unpublished romance authors) winner—talked about rejection. She said she won the Golden Heart, found an agent and was offered a three-book deal by a big press. She thought she’d made it until she was…well…rejected after the third book released and had low sales. 

She then went on to sign another book deal for a series with a different large publisher and…you guessed it…was later rejected. Eventually, she self-published a series, which offered her a big advantage over the traditional publisher. No one can tell you no when you self-publish—you’re your own boss. You can’t be rejected unless you reject yourself and who in their right mind would do that? So, self-publishing worked out well for her.

About the time I heard this author’s talk, I was in the throes of dealing with a painful rejection. It was from an agent I had high hopes would fall in love with my work in progress. She said she didn’t see anything worthwhile in the work, and it would be a hard sell to publishers. 

I appreciated her honesty. Really. 

But at the same time, I had also been rejected by my current publisher for my second book in my series. She said my plot needed more work, and what I had in my head wasn’t coming across on the page. She said I was telling and not showing enough in my writing, and she just didn’t “feel” the characters. She said she wouldn’t offer a contract.

Wow.

Harsh words from someone I thought liked my writing. 

If I hadn’t already published two books with two different publishers, I would have probably been crushed at this point. But I reminded myself, if I did it before, I could do it again.

And therein lies the rub. Sometimes the world will give you a resounding “no.” Sometimes you have to block the noise. You have to look deep inside yourself and listen to your heart.

Last year, I picked myself up and finished a new manuscript. The story, SWEET STUFF, finaled and then won its category in the 2019 Stiletto contest.

Great news. 

I figured someone would offer for the book, right? Wrong. The judges liked the book, but apparently, not enough to offer for it. I gave myself a healthy dose of positive self-talk and started my agent search for SWEET STUFF last September.

And got rejected. And rejected. And rejected some more. 

I scratched my head. 

If a contest win and great reviews by critique partners and beta readers didn’t generate results, what would? Maybe I should give up?

I took a breath, ate large amounts of Malley’s chocolates (they’re big in Cleveland), and continued querying. Every time I got a rejection, I sent out two more queries. Every time someone said no, I told myself yes (after shedding a few more tears and eating more chocolate). 

And then one day, an agent I queried asked to read the full manuscript. 

Yay! 

But it was only one request and was followed by five rejections. Then another request came in to read the full followed by more rejections. Then another. And so it went. Soon it was five requests from agents wanting to read my manuscript.

This had to be a good sign, right?

But would any of them actually offer for the manuscript? Two of the agents sent me a nice email indicating they liked the manuscript, but ultimately, it wasn’t quite right for their lists.

What a bummer. I swallowed painfully and sent out more queries.

Soon another agent asked for the full. Would she be the one? Six months had now passed since my first query, and I’d gotten six requests with no offers. I doubled up my research. I loved Hallmark movies, and had a favorite Hallmark writer. I googled and read an interview where she credited her agent with getting her a movie deal. Maybe I should send my manuscript to this agent? It’d be a stretch, but what did I have to lose?

Late one night, I sent my query zipping across the Ethernet. A day and a half later, I received a request for the full. I responded with the manuscript the same day.

And waited.

A week or so later, I was eating lunch with my husband and a friend, when an email notification flashed on my mobile phone. I caught the words “arrange for a call.”

My heart jerked inside my chest. Was this “the call?” 

I texted my critique partner, who’d just landed her own agent, and she suspected it was. Now I was really excited. 

The next day I took “the call.” The agent, Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein with McIntosh & Otis, loved the book, read it in a weekend, wanted to represent my work.

I don’t remember all we talked about during the call, but I do know we discussed a few tweaks (minor) and other ideas I had for new work. We seemed to click. I signed the contract and mailed it off this week. 

And that is how I landed my literary agent.

If you’re a writer looking for an agent, wondering if you’ll ever get “the call,” keep trying. Don’t give up. Rejection is a part of this business. It’s true what they say: writing is subjective. I suspect I’ll be rejected again before too long.

Take it a day at a time, be persistent, have faith in yourself. And when you feel like giving up, which we all sometimes do, reach deep inside, dig for courage, and keep going. Your heart knows the truth, and the truth will carry you to where you need to be.

How I found my literary agent #amwriting #ampublishing #books #book Click To Tweet

Just in Time for Summer! 99 Cents Earns You a Fantastic Beach Read

MIND WAVES, my award-winning paranormal novel, is 99 cents for the ebook through June 14! You can find it on:

Awards & Honors
It took me a year to write the book, a year of endless edits, and another year to pitch an editor successfully, sign a contract and publish the book. I am endlessly proud of this story.  The book has garnered a number of awards, including:

  • Bronze medal,  Paranormal Category, 2015 Rudy Contest.
  • Second place,  2015 Central Ohio Fiction Writers Ignite the Flame Contest in the category of Paranormal/Fantasy/Time Travel/Futuristic.
  • Runner up, 2015 Music City Romance Writer’s Pitch Contest.
  • Finalist, Paranormal Category, 2017 I Heart Indie Awards
  • Finalist, Paranormal Category, 2017 Kathryn Hayes When Sparks Fly

What the reviewers have to say
Critics also have great things to say about the book. Here are just a few of the comments:

  • “It was a mixture of genres and it was woven together in such a way that you did not see the distinction between genres. It just works!”  www.thegenreminx.com
  • “I look forward to reading more books by this author! The concept is intriguing, and I loved how she incorporated it into the modern world. Great book!” www.ladywithaquill.com
  • “What a spectacular story for a debut book and definitely a book I would love to see converted into a movie or a mini series on TV! Yes, it was that good and didn’t fall into the cookie cutter PNR mold.” www.starangelsreviews.com

Cross Waves is coming soon!
As I gear up for the release of the second book in the series — CROSS WAVES — I thought it would be a great idea to offer MIND WAVES at 99 Cents for a limited time. So, if you haven’t read the book, now’s the perfect time to do it. Read an excerpt from Cross Waves.

 

 

 

99 Cents Earns You a Fantastic Beach Read May 31 - June 14 #beachreads readromance #wrpbks #HEA #paranormal Amazon —> http://amzn.to/2tP9L71 Nook —> http://bit.ly/2c78i4y iBooks —> https://itun.es/us/ce0Feb.l Click To Tweet

 

Want a Chance to Win Free Ebooks and Kindles?


Summer brings beach vacations and (hopefully) down time. If you like to read romantic suspense then I’ve got a great deal for you. 
This month I’ve joined with 23 other authors to bring you a special giveaway. 

Win a pack of your favorite mysteries, thrillers, or suspense books on Amazon! If you’re among the four ebook prize pack winners, you could decide which books we’ll buy for you from the millions on Amazon. Even better, you could take home one of two Kindle Fire 7 tablets we’re giving out as grand prizes!

Enter here —>    http://bookwrapt.com/intrigue-giveaway/

(Sponsored by the 24 authors listed below)
Amanda Uhl • Anna Hub • Anne McClane • Authors Billboard • Bethany-Kris • Calinda B • Cathy Perkins • Ethan Jones • Genie Gabriel • Greta Boris • Inge-Lise Goss • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Vester • Julieann Dove • K A Servian • Kathy McIntosh • Laura Haley-McNeil • Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra • Michelle Grey • Naomi Bellina • Sahara Roberts • Soraya Naomi • Tamara Ferguson • Taylor Marsh

Bonus:  Shope the book fair for can’t-put-them-down books in the genre all at $2.99 or less.

2 Kindle Fires, 4 Ebook Prize Packs! Enter the TARGETED FOR INTRIGUE GIVEAWAY for your chance to win! https://goo.gl/LAkNG7 June 19- July 9 #bookwrapt Click To Tweet

 

First Time EVER! Charmed By Charlie $.99 Cents, May 2-22

It’s May, winter is over, and the sun is—hopefully—shining. I’m in a great mood and celebrating with a special deal. For the first time ever, the award-winning Charmed By Charlie is on sale! May 2-22, 2018, you can find the book for just $.99 cents on:

This is a great price but it won’t less forever. But if that doesn’t convince you, here are five great reasons why you might want to check this book out:

  1. It won a bronze medalist in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest.
  2. It was the recipient of Books & Benches Reviewer’s Choice Seal of Excellence.
  3. Library Journal calls it “A lighthearted and engaging read.”
  4. Long and Short Reviews gave it five glowing stars and named it “Book of the Month” for November 2017.
  5. It may be a long while before you see this price again.

But if that’s not enough to convince you, the book is featured as part of this special Love and  Laughter Contemporary Romance Giveaway. Enter May 2-22 for your chance to win. You could be one of 7 lucky readers to take home a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire 7, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card.

(Sponsored by the 34 authors listed below)

Allyson Lindt • Amanda Uhl • Chiquita Dennie • Christine d’Abo • Daphne James Huff • Diane Louise • Donna R. Mercer • Eva Winters • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jennifer Vester • Joanne Dannon • Karina Kantas • Karly Morgan • Kat Drennan • Leigh LaValle • Lori Sizemore • Lucy Lakestone • Marlow Kelly • Michele Barrow-Belisle • Michelle Jo Quinn • Mimi Barbour • Monique McDonell • RM Alexander • Robyn Neeley • S.L. Sterling • Shaniel Watson • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Tara Wyatt • Victoria Pinder • Weston Parker • Aileen Harkwood

Plus, shop the book fair where you’ll find Charmed By Charlie for 99 pennies and plenty of other books for $2.99 or less. There’s  even  a bonus giveaway!

Enter the LOVE & LAUGHTER GIVEAWAY at Bookwrapt.com and you could win a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire 7, Ebook Prize Packs, or Amazon GCs. https://bookwrapt.com/love-laughter/ #IARTG Click To Tweet

Wisdom for new authors: Don’t rush the process


“I finished writing my first book…now what? Any advice?”

I saw this post by a new author in a writing group yesterday and felt compelled to comment. I prepared a lengthy response and was all set to offer my advice when…poof. I got distracted and my amazing, insightful words vanished under my fingertips.

“Nooooo!” I bellowed, exchanging a few curses with my mobile device. Was that how this would end? Would the world never know the incredible wisdom I had to offer?

Then I remembered I have a website and a blog—a ready platform to share my views on writing or whatever else is on my mind. And I haven’t written a post in some time. So I got busy.

Why do I feel compelled to offer advice?

Not that long ago, 2015 to be exact, I was a new author. Fresh off the high of finishing my first manuscript, I stared at my keyboard wondering: What next? Who should I send this labor of loveliness to? How do I publish my first book?

Lucky for me, I joined a writer’s group with members able to offer advice. Still, no one told me what I’m about to tell you now.

Take your time.

Three little words but they’re critical to success. They spell the difference between good and great, between ho-hum and amazing, between a simple pedicure and the deluxe, between a slice of cheese pizza and one loaded with your favorite toppings, between a single taco and the entire enchilada…okay you get the picture (and now I’m hungry).

I know making it to the end of a manuscript is a miracle akin to welcoming a child into the world. You’ve dreamed about this moment most of your life, never thought you had it in you, and spent many years dredging the courage to begin let alone finish. You want nothing more than to see your finished cover and book in the hands of readers.

But please, take a deep breath and go back to your manuscript.

Did you rush the ending? Even a little? Did you catch every possible mistake? Did you eliminate clichés and make sure your writing is fresh?

Once you’re certain that your ending is as fantastic as your beginning and there’s no saggy middle, take your manuscript and send it to as many contests as you can find.

Yes, you heard me.

Don’t send it to a single agent or editor until you’ve entered contests…lots of them.

Why? Because contest judges provide a whole lot of feedback from professionals. Feedback you can use to evaluate and shine your manuscript until it sparkles. You will need this pizazz to compete with the millions of books in the marketplace and the thousands of new ones released every day.

Your book must be the BEST you can write. Only then should you share it with agents and editors and hopefully, one day with readers. You’ll know you’re ready when you place in your first contest.

Which brings me to my second reason why you shouldn’t rush into publishing.

The publisher.

Part of the learning curve to becoming a successful author is to find the best venue for your work—one that will give you the greatest reach in every format (print, electronic, audio, etc.). Roughly sixty percent of book sales are impulse buys. This means a reader happened to see your book somewhere and decided to buy it. Your book needs to be everywhere your readers are—which is literally everywhere. Will the publisher you sign with provide that kind of reach? Is this something you can garner on your own if you self-publish?

You get one chance to make a first impression. Once you publish your work, it’s out there. You can’t take it back. The publisher holds the rights to your book for the period of time in your contract. No agent or editor will touch it—the same holds true if you self-publish. What’s more, most publishers have the right of first refusal in their contract, meaning they get first dibs on every other book you produce in that series.

So why not take your time and make sure you find the venue that will give your book the biggest boost?

Keep writing while you pitch, and when you find your dream agent and publisher, you’ll not only have one masterpiece, but two or three or more in the making.

Don’t settle for the temporary thrill of seeing your words in print. You only get one shot to wow your readers and keep them returning for more. Perfect writing, like fine wine, takes time.

Don’t aim for a field goal, go for the touchdown. Shoot for the stars but don’t settle for anything less than the moon.

‪Wisdom for new authors: Don’t rush the process #blogpost #Writer #books #AuthorTip #writingtips #writerslife ‬ Click To Tweet

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Expect the Unexpected: Top 5 Surprises from RWA17

My writing buddy Joyce and I celebrating our first ever RWA conference.

From the moment I joined my local writing group, I heard about the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference from fellow writers.

“It’s the largest conference for romance writers on the planet,” they said.

“Everyone goes there,” they said.

“It’s the place to network with everybody who’s anybody in the romance world,” they said.

“Hmmm,” I thought, shrinking a little inside. “I think I’ll just stay home.” I mean, no sense putting myself in front of a crowd of authors, agents, editors and publishers until I’m further along in the publishing process, right?

Little did I know over a year later I’d have two books released in two different genres with two different publishers. The time had come to experience another first in my writing journey: My first RWA conference. So, I talked it over with my writing friend Joyce, and before I knew it, we had booked two tickets to Orlando, Florida, and a room at the Walt Disney World Swan for the end of July.

What to expect?
Before we left for RWA, experienced conference-goers offered a lot of advice.

“Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes,” they said.

“Don’t worry about attending every workshop. It’s not possible to get to them all,” they said.

“Bring a sweater—those conference rooms get cold,” they said.

I imagined myself in a mass of authors, trying to navigate through long corridors into frigid, packed conference rooms in a short-sleeved dress and heels.

“Good advice,” I replied and packed my suitcase with comfy flats and an extra sweater.

Off to the races
Joyce and I soon found ourselves using the handy-dandy RWA conference app on our cell phones to plot our schedule before flying the friendly skies to Orlando.

We arrived in Florida at midnight on a sauna-like Tuesday night, a little tired but definitely ready to experience all the conference had to offer. Little did I know RWA17 would reveal a few surprises—here are my top five:

Surprise #1
It’s the People — Sure there are plenty of workshops on a variety of topics. But the greatest value for me came in the form of people—new authors and New York Times best sellers, rising stars and award winners, agents, editors, and owners from small and large presses, bloggers, librarians, readers, vendors, photographers and a top-notch wait staff. People from all aspects of the business and stages of development seemed willing and even eager to interact with little ole me.

Case in point: Wednesday morning, veteran author with more than 100 books under her belt in five different genres, Sharon Sala, treated Joyce and I and four other first-timers to breakfast. This was Sharon’s way of passing it on, and we couldn’t have been more grateful recipients. Not only did we get to enjoy a sumptuous Disney buffet, but Sharon also shared personal stories, offered advice and was genuinely interested in each of us.

Veteran author Sharon Sala treated me and several other first-timers to breakfast on day one of the conference.

Surprise #2
The RITA Ceremony Was Something Special — And not only because it was like The Oscars, although it was. I write this because I didn’t know one of this year’s award winners, but I shared in their excitement like it was my own. Seeing these authors and editors who had worked so hard to write an exceptional book receive their awards was in turns gut-wrenching and inspirational, adrenaline-pumping and emotional. Hats off to whoever wrote the scripts and put together the videos for the event because they were all of the above as well.

Enjoying the RITAs as VIPs–we innocently sat at the wrong table. Lucky for us, the other occupants (editors and agents) were gracious.

Surprise #3
You Really CAN Meet Your Favorite Author — I’m not much of a “fan girl.” But anyone who knows me will tell you that Jayne Ann Krentz is my favorite author. You see, Jayne and I go back—far, far back—as far back as the 1980’s when I read my first paranormal and fell in love with her work. Jayne says she was too ahead of the genre, and it wasn’t the greatest career move. I know because when Joyce and I decided to take a little break from all the RITA excitement and grab a Sangria at the bar, Jayne was sitting at the table next to us…all alone…nursing a drink. A perfect invitation for me to introduce myself and ask a question or two…or in my case, at least twenty. Jayne confessed she worried no one would show for her workshop the next day that she was doing with her best bud, New York Times best seller and all around rock star Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Really? Jayne Anne Krentz suffers writer’s doubts just the same as I do? Yes, she does. And what’s more, she has the same concerns I have as a new author. Stuff like how to best market her books and create publicity. Jayne even gave me a tip, advising me to “claim” my books on BookBub, as they promote them with emails.

Jayne Ann Krentz and I bonding in the restaurant bar at the Walt Disney World Swan hotel. I managed a calm facade, but my stomach was doing somersaults.

Surprise #4
I Fan Girled Over the Founder of Sourcebooks — Okay, “girled” may not be a word. But, it’s true. She wooed me with data, bowled me over with insight and inspired me with her passion—not just for publishing books but for helping authors succeed in a crowded marketplace.

The company tagline? “We publish authors. Not books.”

This from someone who started the company out of her home with a $17,000 loan from her 401K. The company is now the #10 publisher in the country.

When someone asked her how important it is to Sourcebooks that authors have a social platform, she replied, “The job of publisher is to make it public. We don’t need you to do it. Make great work! What we need from you is to be coachable and to write an extraordinary story.”

I was so pumped after her data-driven workshop, I literally chased her down in the lobby to tell her how truly amazing I thought she was. She was on her way to catch a flight but graciously posed for a selfie with me. How cool is that?

Dominique Raccah is not only the visionary leader of publisher Sourcebooks, she also takes a great selfie.

Surprise #5
The Literacy Signing Was Well Worth It — I debated over the literacy signing. Should I attend? It’s a great cause. But hundreds of authors partake in this event, most with much bigger names than me. Besides, no one knows me in Florida…who would possibly buy my book? Not only did I sell two copies to strangers, several attendees took pictures to purchase later online. Plus, I was fortunate to be placed next to Rachel Van Dyken, a popular author who was generous enough to give me a free T-shirt, put me on her live video and pass along her business card so I could reach out if I ever wanted to cross-promote. A win-win all the way around.

Receiving support and a hug from fellow Boroughs Publishing Group author, Michelle Pashko from Canada. Michelle and I met up for the first time at the conference.

Home, Sweet Home
I left Orlando early this morning, my brain buzzing with ideas and my heart full of excitement.

Was RWA17 worth it? You betcha.

Will I attend again? Most definitely.

Should you pack a sweater and comfy shoes? Don’t leave home without them.

 

Joyce and I with the fabulous Jennifer Probst, who writes contemporary romance. I can’t wait to read the book she signed for me.

P.S. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I also managed to pitch three agents while I was there, each offering to look at my next manuscript. Time to get busy.

P.P.S. If you are a member of RWA and you were not able to attend the conference, be sure and download the data driven session sponsored by Sourcebooks.

Expect the Unexpected: Top 5 Surprises from #RWA2017 Click To Tweet

The Lesson of My Mother’s Hands

“Those hands,” my sister says, picking up one of my mother’s gnarled hands where it sticks out from under the sheet of her hospital bed. She holds it a moment and then sets it down gently. My weary eyes follow the movement, stopping to rest on the familiar knuckles, knotted and curled from years of hard physical labor, arthritis in every joint.

It’s hard for me to see my mother like this, so still and silent, this tiny woman who bore and raised fifteen children. In life she was always moving, always busy. My brother said she’d been shelling peas the evening before she had a massive stroke in her sleep.

This morning, the doctors remove her from life support, telling us she probably has no more than 48 hours to live. My father is heartbroken. After 68 years of marriage, he does not have the chance to say goodbye.

One by one, her children and grandchildren, come to her side. Some stroke her cheek. Some kiss her face. Up until this point, I do neither. I find it hard to equate my active and talkative mother to this still, quiet figure alone in the hospital bed.

Now the others have returned home.
Only my husband, sister and I remain, keeping vigil. It’s in this moment, when all is lost, and there’s little hope she can hear me, I cannot resist reaching out and touching my mother’s hand. If she knows I’m there, she gives no sign.

Her hand is warm and solid in mine, surprising me. Can she really be near death? How many tasks have these hands completed?

I run my thumb across her knobby knuckles, worn with 88 years of living. A fragment of memory surfaces. I’m a toddler, tugging on my mother’s skirt while she does the dishes. She talks to me, but her hands keep moving.

These hands changed dirty diapers, cooked meals, washed dishes and scrubbed toilets—all without a word of complaint. And when one of us didn’t feel well, which was frequent, it was these hands that felt our foreheads for a temperature and whipped up batches of strawberry jello or poured Ginger Ale.

More memories burst forth from a well buried deep within my heart.
Her hands rolling out dough to bake pies in the old kitchen in the century home where I was born. As she works, she gives me instructions.

“The secret to pie is to touch the dough as little as possible,” she explains. She gives me a piece of dough and tells me to roll it out and smear it with butter and cinnamon and sugar to make what she calls tootsie rolls. I do it, trying to handle the dough as little as possible.

I watch as my mother makes her signature design in the top of the pie crust, a curved line with individual grains of wheat. Sunlight streams through the window.

“How did you learn to make such good pies?” I ask.

“My grandmother taught me when I was a little girl. She would give me a piece of dough to roll out and put in a little pan. My early pies did not turn out so well.” She laughs, and I smile as I picture the scene she describes, right down to the tiny toy pie pan she must have used.

We put the tootsie rolls in the oven and when they come out a short while later, they are so hot and bubbly, I burn my hands and mouth trying to eat one. But man are they worth it.

Someone coughs, and I’m back in the hospital room, still holding my mother’s hand. I lay it gently down, wondering if I’ll ever make a pie as crusty and flakey as my mom’s. I never expressed much interest in cooking as a child, and as an adult, I’ve been far too busy to make a pie from scratch. Little did I know that early lesson would be my one and only.

But wasn’t that always the way of things?
My mother’s lessons were never planned. They came in the midst of a multitude of tasks.

Once during canning season, I asked my mother how she could possibly enjoy her life of constant chores and sacrifice. “How can you like this?” I asked. “Don’t you get bored?”

In a rare instance, my mother set down her vegetable peeler and turned to face me. “Never,” she said. “I am very happy with my life…with Daddy and you kids. I can’t imagine a different life. I’ve never once been bored.”

And that was that. She picked up the peeler, finished the mountain of carrots in front of her and went in the house to make enough cheeseburgers and french fries to feed a small army.

I swipe at my blurry eyes that haven’t seemed to stop watering once since I heard the news. My head understands what is happening, but my heart can’t seem to keep up.

Two days later, she is gone.
The day before her funeral is July 4. I don’t have the heart for fireworks, but I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts. I decide to invite the neighbors over for a picnic.

In a rare instance of domesticity, I ask my daughter, who is named after her grandmother, to cut some daisies from our backyard and find a vase for them. She returns from the kitchen, a vintage blue canning jar in her hands. Where she found it, I don’t know. In must have been buried in the back of a cupboard. I gasp when I read the familiar writing, so bittersweet in this moment. Organic Mixed Beans.

In death, my mother’s hands send me a final reminder.

“Life is meant to be lived,” they say. “A life well-lived can be a simple life of baking and canning and taking care of others. In simplicity, we discover true happiness…we find fulfillment.”

The Lesson of My Mother's Hands wp.me/p6dMeM-pt #SundayBlogShare #blog #memories #hands #mom Click To Tweet

Charmed By Charlie Release Day Has Arrived

Everybody Loves Marketing Whiz Charlie Solanger…except the woman he really wants.

I fell in love with Charlie Solanger the moment I dreamed him up one afternoon while bingeing on Gilmore Girls Netflix episodes with my thirteen-year-old daughter. He’s good-looking, intelligent, rich and charming…what more could a reader ask for in a romantic hero? And he just won’t leave the heroine Valerie Wilson alone, despite the fact that she wants nothing to do with such an obvious flirt.

I shared the first chapter with a few beta readers, who like me, wanted to know more. Was Charlie only a ladies’ man? Or beneath his charming veneer, was their depth and substance?

I kept writing and before I knew it, things were heating up at Reynolds Paint Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Poor Valerie doesn’t know what to believe as Charlie knocks her off kilter and keeps her (and readers) guessing throughout the story.

What exactly is Charlie’s story? And will poor Val ever be able to discover the truth and find true love surrounded by such quirky office companions?

At just $3.99 for the ebook and $9.25 for the paperback, it won’t cost much for you to find out!

Available at these retailers:
Amazon
Boroughs Publishing
Smashwords
Kobo
Nook
iTunes

About Charmed By Charlie

PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION
Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.

Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.

Join me!
What’s a new book without a party? Come and learn about CHARMED BY CHARLIE! This award-winning contemporary romance placed third in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest. Enjoy light refreshments and appetizers, giveaways and prizes. Browse the stores for unique items for sale! Signed paperback copies will be available for purchase.

Wanna win a free paperback copy?
Sign up for my giveaway on Goodreads starting April 21!

#CharmedByCharlie Release Day Has Arrived! #NewRelease #mustread @Boroughspubgrp #Books #Romance #Contemporary #paint Click To Tweet

Cover Reveal: Meet Charlie!

Spring has sprung in Cleveland, Ohio. The days are getting longer and brighter, the birds are chirping in the trees, flowers are blooming everywhere and there’s a new book in town!

Check it out:

Everyone loves marketing whiz Charlie Solanger…except the woman he really wants.

PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION
Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.

Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.

Purchase your copy today!

Join me!
What’s a new book without a party? I’ll be hosting two launch parties this time around, and everyone’s welcome:

Come and learn about CHARMED BY CHARLIE! This sassy contemporary romance set at the fictitious Reynolds Paint Company in Cleveland placed third in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest. Enjoy light refreshments and appetizers, giveaways and prizes. Browse the stores for unique items for sale! Signed paperback copies will be available for purchase.

SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2017, 1 – 4 p.m.

The Front Porch Cafe & Store
936 West Maple
Hartville, Ohio 44632
330-877-2706
Don’t miss the many handcrafted items for sale!

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017, 2-5 p.m.

The Salvaged Boutique
13383 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-416-1461
Unique, refurbished items are a must see!

A note from the author
Charmed By Charlie was born out of a moment of pure frustration. I had been shopping my first novel, Mind Waves, around and dealing with rejection after rejection. Would I ever see the book published? Maybe I ought to write something new — something totally different, something witty and fun and lighthearted. My teenaged daughter and I were watching Gilmore Girl reruns at the time, so I thought why not something like this show with all the silly banter between characters?

I began to type and the first chapter rolled onto the page effortlessly. As the characters came to life, they drove the story line and nagged at me to keep writing. So I did. Soon I had finished ten chapters.

And then a wonderful thing happened. The Wild Rose Press offered a contract for Mind Waves. The long wait was over. My frustration eased. But still, I couldn’t stop writing Charmed By Charlie. The characters hounded me to tell their story.

Lucky for me, I did, because in a stroke of luck, Boroughs came calling. “Did I have anything to show them?”

I did. They signed Charlie on the spot.

I can’t wait for you to meet the whole cast of characters at Reynolds Paint Company. I hope you love them as much as I do!

P.S. I’m happy to say, I’m no longer frustrated.

Check out the #coverreveal for #charmedbycharlie release day April 18 from @boroughspubgrp! Click To Tweet

Saying Goodbye Is the Hardest Part


There’s not much more I can say. It’s all been said. Your sister sang you a lovely song at your funeral. My husband and countless others expressed beautiful and funny sentiments during the service and on social media. My daughter–your Goddaughter–played her violin accompanied by your cousin on the ukulele. You loved the ukulele so much you painted one and gave it to my daughter. She pulled it from the chaos that is her bedroom shortly after we learned of your passing. “Mom, will you restring it for me?” she asked through her tears.

The restaurant in North Carolina, where you loved to eat, gave out your favorite biscuits free in your name.

You were a surfer who claimed the ocean, or at least one small part of it by the old lighthouse in Buxton, for your own. It kept you sane through bouts of epilepsy and depression. And then it claimed you for your final resting place.

There’s not much more I can say or tell. And yet the words come pouring forth this cold January morning just a day after your funeral. Words are my canvas and so Jordan, from the bottom of my heart, these words are for you.

In memory
You were my cousin by marriage, so I didn’t witness your birth and early years. I first met you when you were five years old, running down the family cabin lane in search of salamanders or snakes or some other critter in the woods. Your cousin, a pastor, read a touching letter you wrote your parents once, begging for a snake. You got the snake. Who could resist your natural charm and boyish enthusiasm? Certainly not your parents, whose hearts are full of sorrow and grief.

I remember telling you and your cousins ghost stories in the tent at the cabin, your eyes big and wide. You didn’t sit still for long, though, always moving, searching for adventure.

You must have been eight when we got married. You were thrilled to be the ring bearer in our wedding. You did the job proudly, walking up the aisle intent on your mission and with a big smile on your face.



And then the teenage years hit, and the small mischievous boy I remember grew into a gorgeous heartthrob. The girls came in droves. You seemed to take it all in stride. You didn’t dwell on your looks. Beneath them pumped a kind heart, filled with compassion for the weak and innocent. You went on mission trips and loved the Lord, often speaking with candor and openness about your faith. I loved that about you.


You chose to work with children after college. I was not surprised. You gave them your attention, and they responded in kind. When it came to selecting a Godfather for our daughter, I couldn’t think of a better man for the job. You took the role seriously and soon were bringing our little girl gifts from the ocean, poems you wrote for her, amazing surf photos and drawings or paintings. She reciprocated, baking you cookies, sending you drawings, and searching you out at every family event. You always had a big hug and kind word for her.


Until we meet again
Once when you came back to Ohio for a camping weekend, you and I had a heart-to-heart chat. You shared with me some of your struggles, and we talked about our mutual faith in God. I was touched to relate to you on such a deep level and grateful for the spiritual support. You understood as only another true believer can.

You reminded me of that talk on several occasions afterwards. I found this note in my messages: “You always have been awesome to me,” you wrote. “Do you remember our long talk that one night at the cabin?”

Jordan how could I forget? And now that you are gone so suddenly, I find myself dwelling on that single moment in time, so grateful to have it in my memory banks. Thank you for gifting me with that. I will carry it with me the rest of my days.

Thank you for reaching out to an older cousin and wanting a relationship. Thank you for sharing your love of God through your words and paintings and videos of the ocean. Thank you for being YOU — unique, compassionate, gifted.

I love you and will miss you Jordan, more than you’d probably guess if you were still alive. I’ll think of you often, surfing the friendly skies, laughing at the wind, and giving the hang loose sign to the other angels in heaven.

Saying Goodbye Is the Hardest Part #surfing #remembrance Click To Tweet


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