An Introduction

It’s been a chilly, gray spring in New England, but not this cold, at least.

Ewan Lovatt woke to the kind of rural quiet he knew would be perfect for his next project.

He stretched and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. He’d long ago perfected the art of sleeping diagonally in a queen-sized bed to accommodate his six-foot-three frame. His feet struck the cold hardwood and he shivered. Pulling on cotton flannel drawstring pants and an NYU tee-shirt before he padded over to the window seemed a wise choice.

Ewan was an urban creature, but the stark allure of the Vermont countryside in January wasn’t lost on him. The nearby hillsides rolled smooth, painted in slashes of snow, granite, and coniferous green. The skeletons of cornstalks marched in the neighboring fields. At the far western point of his view, the Adirondacks were just beginning their craggy swell over the horizon.

By the time he left Thornton, Vermont, he hoped early summer would show a version closer to the one he planned to write.

He grabbed his advance copy of Reed Sharpe’s newest novel and headed for the bathroom. He had promised the man — or their shared publicist, anyway — a jacket review, and he couldn’t think of a better place to read the damn thing.

After a shower, his appetite called to him more clearly. The small reproduction mantle clock in the room told him he had twenty minutes before the innkeeper closed the kitchen, so he put his feet into his boots, hauled the laces tight, tossed the book and some papers into his laptop case, and started downstairs to meet his hostess.

***

Back to Thornton. The manuscript is officially with my favorite editrix, with a planned release date in the fall. I can’t wait for you all to come back to Thornton and get to know Ewan Lovatt. In the meantime, I’m working on a third Thornton novel, as well as a few other things.  I’ll be sending out updates via newsletter (if you’re not already subscribed, you can do that here), and if you’re a central Massachusetts reader, I have a new event coming up this month!

 I hope the four lovely humans still reading forgive me my long absence. I’ve thought about this space a lot, but every word I’ve had to spare has gone into novel writing. I look forward to being here more often as I get ready to share Sweet Pease with you.

It’s My Birthday and I’m Giving Away Damselfly Inn to Celebrate!

According to my mother-in-law, I cease to age today. Pretty good deal, I guess. Honestly, I’m not too fussed about staring down 40, (except for maybe those pesky wrinkles around my eyes and smile — turns out I’m a little vain about those). Truthfully, a great many of my friends, the women in my family, and my tribe of authors have rocked or are rocking their 40s pretty hard. I am psched to join their ranks.

Come at me, 40.

Just not until next year 😉

To celebrate this auspicious birthday, Damselfly Inn is free for your Kindles and Kindle apps until Sunday (Which is my dad’s birthday. Family partying!), and there’s a signed paperback to give away as well (just keep reading!).  Tell your friends! Your mothers-in-law! Your dads (if they’re into romances)!

If you want to give me a birthday present, please leave a quick review on Amazon if you like what you read. It’s super easy. Here are some things you might say:

  • Great characters!
  • I want to move to Thornton!
  • Despite the lack of aliens in time-and-space-traveling phone boxes, this was a pretty swell book!
  • Really enjoyed this read!
  • Where can I get the recipe for Kate’s chocolate-cherry cookies?

Easy! What better gift? You guys are fantastic! Now, back to finishing up Sweet Pease, so we can all go back to Thornton.

Damselfly Inn (Bannerwing Books 2015)

damselfly-inn-book

The picturesque college town of Thornton, Vermont is the perfect place to open an inn. Or so Nan Grady thinks until a late summer storm drops a tree branch through her roof and local contractor Joss Fuller into her path.

Romance has been the last thing on her career-oriented mind, but Nan can’t deny the attraction between them. Nor can she deny the history between Joss and her most important guest: a sophisticated Manhattan academic.

And then there is the mysterious vandal targeting her home and livelihood.

As summer fades to autumn and Joss becomes a fixture around the Damselfly Inn, Nan navigates the joys and complications of life in her new home town. But when the vandalism becomes increasingly upsetting, threatening Nan and her guests, as well as her budding relationship with Joss, Nan questions her place in the town, at the inn, and in Joss’s heart.

Julie C. Gardner, author of Letters for Scarlet (Velvet Morning Press) calls the romance between Nan and Joss “slow burning and delicious.” Andra Watkins, NYT Bestselling author of Not Without My Father and To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey Of Meriwether Lewis (Word Hermit Press) calls Damselfly Inn “a perfect beach read, a best pick for a vacation or a delicious page-turner to wile away any afternoon.”

FREE ON Amazon!
B&N | Signed Paperbacks

And if you made it all the way to the end? I’m giving away a signed copy of Damselfly Inn!. I’ll inscribe, sign, and mail it off to you or your recipient of choice anywhere in the USA. Just leave a comment here by April 27th, and I’ll pick a random winner using highly advanced techniques which will probably include letting the Not-So-Small Boy draw a name from a hat. Or a Lego bin. We’ve got loads of those.

A Gilded Promise for the Wordcount 50th

WCP_LogoI am The Worst. I started this post nearly a month ago, and only remembered that I never posted it when I finished drafting this episode’s story.

R. B. Wood’s Word Count Podcast turned 50 last month!

The fiftieth episode aired on its fifth anniversary, and my story A Gilded Promise (which is a teaser from the Thornton world) was included. The Word Count is great fun, and while I’m not consistent in submitting to Richard’s prompts, he is consistent is producing a fine collection of stories for your enjoyment.

Listening details can be found here, and watch this space. On Friday, I’m submitting a story to the Hallowe’en episode.

 

Sneaky Peeks

You know that feeling that you’ve run out of things to share?

No? Just me, then?

I’ve got some irons in the writerly fire, but they’re still pretty far from Kindles and bookshelves. I want to share, to invite you all in for a peek at the process, but it gets trickier the longer I’m in this to figure out if I should share early draft work, or just keep it all close until it’s ready go. Performance anxiety, I suppose.

Anyway, my friend Renee at Elsetime & Otherwhen has done that thing where she tagged people to share a specific bit of random draft-in-progress, and because she is Renee, I shall comply. And as penance, because I won’t be tagging anyone else (lazy, lazy, me)…

Bonus! Below are seven lines (give or take – my Scrivener files aren’t set up in pages or lines) from the seventh pages of both my current drafts.

…from Sweet Pease:

[Anneliese] blinked. “Is that a new Reed Sharpe novel? I don’t read him, but my h— my ex-husband did. Your books are more my type. I read The Orchard Gate when I was in the hospital after Chloe was born, and the nurses recommended a therapist because I was always crying. I finally gave them my copy to convince them.”

Ewan poured milk into his coffee, his eyes flicking nervously from the billows of dairy to Anneliese’s blue eyes as she spoke.

“And I’m babbling. I’m so sorry,” she finished with a small laugh.

The little girl — Chloe — clutched a strip of toast and peered into his face from across the table. “Did you bring the blue ox baby?”

He smiled in spite of himself. She was a beautiful child, and funny, especially since she didn’t know it yet. “No, Chloe. Babe stayed in New York for the semester.”

…and from Back Cove:

[Jessica’s] bungalow at the Fairmont Miramar was draining her savings at an alarming rate, but Jessica had needed a place to land after New Mexico and she was certain Cort wouldn’t be inviting her back after the Beverly Hills party and the incident with the Maserati in his swimming pool.

She stopped at the concierge’s desk on her way through the lobby. Peering out from under a pair of huge sunglasses and a faded Portland Seadogs cap, she pitched her voice deliberately high. “Any messages?”

The concierge caught her eye knowingly and produced two envelopes. “This arrived today, Miss Granger.”

I can make no hard promises about release dates, but I am eternally optimistic for early 2016 for at least one of them. While you’re waiting, though, don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Damselfly Inn!