A Simple Lady gets a second chance

We’ve all heard stories about manuscripts being stored under the bed or in the back of a drawer for years, then pulled out and published.

a-simple-lady-webWell, my newest release, a Regency titled A Simple Lady, has a similar history, although, in addition to my having relegated around 300 printed pages to the back of a drawer twenty years ago, I also had the manuscript stored on floppy disks. What? You don’t know what a floppy disk is? That’s okay. I barely remember them myself, but fortunately I had hung on to mine along with the paper copy. More about that later.

But back to A Simple Lady’s history. Back when I wrote the novel, I entered it in the Romance Writers of America’s contest for unpublished writers. The manuscript finaled and was kicked around in New York by a major publisher for a while before being rejected. By this time, I’d moved on to other books and decided there really wasn’t anything else I could do with A Simple Lady.

Fast forward to 2015. I ran across the paper manuscript and decided, what the heck, I’d get some use out of it by printing my current book on the back of the sheets, which I did. Then, as I was proofing my new book, I started reading the backs of the twenty-year-old pages and discovered I really liked that old story and wanted to publish it myself (an option that didn’t exist twenty years ago).

Fortunately I remembered that I had those floppy disks that contained various revisions of the earlier version of A Simple Lady. I also had a reader for the floppies and an older computer that worked with the reader. It took a while for me to locate the original version of the manuscript (before I’d messed around with it trying to satisfy the New York publishers). After that, I realized the original needed quite a bit of work. Two more revisions were required before I was happy with the final product, which went live on Amazon today (July 11, 2015) as an ebook. A paperback will be available soon.

I always had a soft spot for this story but allowed others’ opinions to convince me that it wasn’t worth pursuing publication of A Simple Lady. I’m so glad I ran across that old manuscript and decided to give it a second chance. If you enjoy historical romance, I hope you’ll give A Simple Lady a chance too! To get the ebook, simply click on the following Amazon link: A SIMPLE LADY.

Barbourville series prequel now available

Okay, I’ll admit it: my main reason for writing this post is so I can show off the cover for my latest Barbourville novel, Celebrations of Joy. I think it’s gorgeous, and major thanks go to my cover designer, the extremely talented Dar Albert.

While I’m at it, I’ll mention that this ebook is on sale on Amazon as an introductory special for 99 cents but will go up in price soon. In addition, I’ll add that this book is a prequel that serves to introduce the Barbourville series. Following is a brief summary of the book.

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The day Melody Mills buried her mother was the day she vowed to save enough money to buy herself a one-way ticket out of Barbourville, Tennessee. Trouble is, she has no job, no home, and very few possessions.

Enter Judge Robert McCray, the most influential man in Barbourville, not to mention the most annoying, at least in the opinion of Connor Webb. The judge wants Connor to hire Melody to manage the bed and breakfast that Connor is trying to establish in the neglected Kessler mansion. Connor can’t really afford an employee, especially one he doesn’t need, but he can’t turn his back on this frail, impoverished woman who, for some strange reason, packs her depleted wardrobe in luggage that’s worth at least half a year’s wages.

With both Melody and Connor working hard and exploring new options for the old Kessler estate, the launch of a promising business is just around the corner. Unfortunately people they thought they’d left behind suddenly reappear and seem determined to derail their plans.

Will their love for each other be strong enough to help them overcome the challenges from their past and secure their dreams for the future?

Be sure to take advantage of the sale price by clicking on the following link: Buy Celebrations.

And thanks!

Bow Wow is now 99 cents!

bow-wow-web-copyI’m pleased to announce that The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign, the most recently published book in the Barbourville series, is on sale for just 99 cents for the next few days. Here’s a little about the book:

Casey Trent is on the fast track as associate manager for an upscale department store in the city. Josh Preston is owner of a rundown farm in the country outside Barbourville, Tennessee. Casey is known as an up-and-comer; Josh, who takes in abandoned animals, is known as the cat-and-dog man.

Casey figures they have nothing in common, but when Josh tries to interest the citizens of Barbourville in building an animal shelter, Casey offers to help. The town can’t afford to support the center, so she suggests that she and Josh collaborate to raise funds for an endowment. Thus is born The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign.

As they work together to plan their campaign, Casey begins to realize that there are depths to Josh she hadn’t previously suspected, but nothing has prepared her to learn the full truth about his past. Once she does, can she find a way to forgive him, or is their tenuous relationship doomed to fade away?

If you haven’t yet read a Barbourville series book, this is an excellent opportunity to try one for just a small investment. To take advantage of this special price before it disappears, click on the following link now: The Bow Wow and Meow Campaign

Thanks, and enjoy!

90-year-old Valentine cards: A look back

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A few years ago, my mother gave me some Valentine cards she had received when she was a girl in school. Most were not dated but one was: February 14, 1926. I’m sure all were from around the same time period. It’s interesting to look back at the styles and to read the verses. One read,

I want to send a Valentine

A friendly one to you

But it takes a bit of courage

Such a bold bold thing to do.

Another verse read,

I like to hear the birdies sing

Because it is the sign of spring;

I like to hold your hand in mine

Because you are my Valentine.

Valentines2Another feature of these old Valentine cards that I found interesting: Apparently some students reused cards from previous years. It was easy enough to see where one person’s name had been erased and a different person’s name added. In our throw-away world today, that may seem strange, but I suspect it was not uncommon almost ninety years ago when people often had to make do with whatever they already had rather than going out and buying new.

In any case, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

What I’ve Learned from other writers- Perseverance

Carolynn Carey:

I can relate to Kate McKeever’s experience with publishing and second her comment that writing requires perseverance. Very nice blog, Kate!

Originally posted on Romance Author Kate McKeever:

Writing isn’t what I imagined it was when I first started. No, I didn’t expect it to be all bon bons and dictating to a secretary or getting rich on my first book, but I didn’t expect the changes that occur with the publishing business. Over the past twenty years or so that I’ve been writing, the ebook business has emerged and bloomed, self publishing has evolved from a “vanity” business to a thriving avenue for writers, another choice to make. And the “big” publishing houses are no longer the only businesses in town.

I’ll not go into my personal travails that I’ve gone through in my writing career, just suffice it to say, I’ve been around when two of my publishing houses closed down or were bought out. The thing is, my story isn’t that unusual. Other authors, some very well known names, have “closed down” houses, have had…

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Valentine-themed novella on sale

My Cupcake, My Love, which took first place in the Romance Novella category of the 2014 HOLT Medallion contest, is on sale through Valentine’s Day on Amazon. Priced at only 99 cents, this represents a savings of $2.00. Following is a brief outline of the story.

cupcake-web-copyBriana Galen is perfectly content operating her bakery in her hometown of Cedar Hollow, Tennessee, near the Great Smoky Mountains. She’s content, that is, until famous novelist Devin Morris moves back to town with his six-year-old daughter. Devin seems determined to think the worst of Bri, even accusing her of canceling her cupcake decorating class for children just to spite him.

Devin’s move back to the mountains from New York City was designed to comfort his daughter Kaitlin, whose mother deserted her to move to Europe with her lover. The last thing Devin wants is to become involved with another self-centered female, and Briana Galen appears to be just that. But if she thinks he’ll let her cancel that cupcake decorating class just because she’s busy, she’s got another think coming.

At the same time, who could have guessed that his volunteering to supply Valentine-themed cupcake decorations for Bri’s class would leave him with his own heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow? Now he can only hope that Cupid has Bri in his sights too.

So if you’re looking for a fun read that’s priced right, click the following link to get your copy: My Cupcake, My Love

Short Christmas story now available at most ebook stores

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short (15,000-word) Christmas story and priced it at 99 cents. For most of its life online, it was available only for the Kindle, but now it is available at most ebook stores. In addition to Amazon, Christmas with Tiffany is also available at Apple iBooks, for Barnes and Noble, for Kobo Books, and Inktera. To buy, just click on the name of your preferred vendor in the previous sentence, and you should be whisked right to the appropriate store.

For those who haven’t yet read Christmas with Tiffany, following is a short description. And if you haven’t read it, be aware that it’s a sweet, second-chance-at-love story that’s set in a small town in Tennessee.

Tiffany-web-version

Tiffany Elwood’s small-town gift shop has become her refuge. The quiet ambiance she created there helps her find peace after losing her father to cancer and her boyfriend to the sophisticated lures of California. Now, with Christmas fast approaching, she has high hopes that the profits from her annual open house will help her support her mom and little sister through the coming year.

But her peace is disrupted when her tiny shop is inundated with ten times the number of ornaments she’d ordered, not to mention the return of that old boyfriend, Bain Lyndhurst. Every time she turns around, the former man of her dreams is in her shop, and there’s no accounting for his sudden affinity for purchasing Christmas decorations.

With the magic of the Christmas season to aid them, can the two star-crossed lovers rediscover the passion of their youth and establish the trust they need to face the future together?