Archives

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 Back when I wrote the novel, I entered it in the Romance Writers of America’s contest for unpublished writers.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.

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!

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?

Forgotten Christmas Tree on sale for 99 cents

I’m writing today because I wanted to be sure my blog readers know that The Forgotten Christmas Tree is on sale for 99 cents for the next few days. After that, it will go back to the regular price of $3.99.

forgotten christmas web copy 3The Forgotten Christmas Tree is the fifth book in the Barbourville Series, but it can also be read as a stand-alone book. The story of the main characters, Jim Markman and Abby Grant, starts and finishes in this book.

The Forgotten Christmas Tree was first published in the latter part of 2013 and took first place in the short contemporary category of the prestigious HOLT Medallion contest (see all winners in the 2014 contest by clicking here). It is available on Amazon where it has an average of 4.6 stars.

So, if you’re in the mood for an uplifting Christmas book and haven’t already read The Forgotten Christmas Tree, this is a perfect time to download it. You can go straight to the Amazon site by clicking on this link: The Forgotten Christmas Tree. Enjoy!

Get your beach reading here

Many people heading for the beach enjoy having some light reading to take along. I suspect that’s why Amazon is running a special on romance novels for the next couple of weeks. Their Kindle Summer Romance Deal features 200 books for only $1.99 each. My book, Falling for Dallas, is included in the 200. If you’re looking for Falling for Dallas on the Kindle Summer Romance Deal page, it’s currently the 13th down from the top. (Good thing I’m not superstitious. 🙂 )

FallingforDallasFYI, Falling for Dallas is the second book in the Barbourville series (following A Summer Sentence), but it is also a stand-alone book. There’s no need for you to have read A Summer Sentence in order to enjoy Falling for Dallas. Following is a brief description.

Beth Ann Stanfield realizes that she’s no man’s dream girl. She’s a young widow with a son to raise, a huge medical debt to pay, and a monstrosity of a house that gobbles up all her extra cash. So when sophisticated, educated, and wealthy Dallas Vance moves in across Redbud Road, Beth Ann knows their mutual attraction is headed down a dead-end street. Can determination, stubbornness, and an abundance of love bridge the gap when two people are from such different worlds?

And while I hope you want to read Falling for Dallas, don’t forget that 199 other books are on sale right now too. Find your beach reading by clicking on the following link: Summer Reads.

And happy summer reading!

Thanks, HOLT Medallion readers!

Sometimes success sneaks up and blindsides you when you least expect it. That happened to me recently when I received a phone call telling me two of my books had placed first in their categories in the 2014 HOLT Medallion contest. The HOLT is sponsored by the Virginia Romance Writers, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Other winners and finalists can be viewed on this link: http://www.virginiaromancewriters.com/Contests/holtwinners.html

The really exciting feature of the HOLT, for me at least, is that it is judged by readers—some 250 across the nation. I’ve entered the HOLT in the past and some of my books have been named Award of Merit winners, meaning they ranked in the top five or six. But I knew the competition was stiff, and I didn’t really expect to come in first, especially for two books in the same year.

forgotten christmas web copy 3So which of my books won? (Only books published in 2013 were eligible to be entered in the 2014 contest.) One of my Barbourville series, The Forgotten Christmas Tree, won in the short contemporary category. I am delighted to know that readers enjoyed this story of a woman down on her luck who travels to Barbourville as a last resort. With her sister’s young son in tow, she is desperate to find some way to provide him with a Christmas tree, something she forgot the year before. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about this young woman’s struggles and successes, and I’m glad to know that readers enjoyed the story too.

cupcake-web-copyMy second winning book also centers around a holiday, Valentine’s Day. My Cupcake, My Love—which placed first in the romance novella category—is set in a fictional mountain town near the Great Smoky Mountains. The heroine owns a bakery and with Valentine’s Day coming soon, she’s busy working on goodies appropriate for the holiday. Her routine is interrupted by a former classmate, a successful novelist, who has recently returned to the area with his six-year-old daughter. The two clash over cupcakes, and it’s all Cupid can do to get them together by Valentine’s Day. 🙂

There’s nothing more rewarding to writers than to know that readers enjoy their work, and my most sincere congratulations go to all the winners and finalists in this year’s contest.

And special thanks go to the many readers who took their time to read and judge the entries in the 2014 HOLT Medallion. This contest would not be possible without you! Thank you so much!