I Cleaned My Microwave

I guess it’s arguably better than carrying a large fruit to a hot, staff-only after hours party at a Catskills resort.

via GIPHY

Sweet Pease came out today. I know you’re all imagining me jumping in my private jet and flying off with my girls to drink champagne and eat macarons on my private island, but no… that #GlamorousAuthorLife looked more like tossing a coconut curry in the crockpot, going to office, and then coming home to clean the house, because we’re having our house appraised tomorrow morning and I figure if the place is clean, the appraiser won’t notice all the stuff we haven’t upgraded…

via GIPHY

(Buy more copies of my books, y’all. I’ll drink sparkling wine from a shoe. Promise.)

The image above will take you to Amazon, but I have it on good authority the print edition is also live on Barnes & Noble as well.

 

If you’re interested in a signed paperback from me,  please feel free to use the form below.

A Maverick Year, or my book comes out tomorrow, but I’m writing about something else entirely.

I’m pretty sure that on the day before your book comes out you’re not supposed to be blogging about a work-in-progress, but I’m having what I like to call a maverick year over here, so I’ll just do what I want.

(A maverick year, for the record, means I have blogged once in a year’s time. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)

I was in Portland, Maine, this weekend, for about 24 hours. Unremarkable, really, since I live about two hours from Portland, and have dear friends there who feed me and let me sleep in their house. These same friends own Rising Tide Brewing Company, which is the relevant (and remarkable–because how awesome is that?) part.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but some years ago on a similar visit to Portland, it was suggested to me by someone that brewing wasn’t sexy in the romance novel kind of way. I like gauntlets, so I pick up the shiny ones and take them home to mull over. Sometimes, shiny gauntlets get turned over so often, they end up resembling drafts of novels about a brewer and an actress, and they are set in Portland.

Now I find myself, on the eve of SWEET PEASE’s publication, pondering a delicious Pilsner I tasted over the weekend, one I completely coincidentally named my story after. Or one they completely coincidentally named after my yet-to-be published book. Either way.

I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of my return to Thornton and Kate Pease, but know that I’ve been hard at work on book three there, and this new thing, too.

I hope y’all are ready for more words, because I’m ready to give them to you.

And if you haven’t already: Click the image below to get your copy (print or Kindle!) of Sweet Pease, available Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

 

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!

Damselfly Inn Launches Today!

damselfly-inn-paperback-coverDamselfly Inn, releases today. It’s official. It’s all for you now. I hope you fall in love with the town and its people like I have.

The book is available right now both in paperback for Kindle/Kindle app on Amazon. Readers abroad, the book is being released in all of Amazon’s foreign markets, too! You can also order a signed copy directly from me

Want to hear me work on my public speaking? Upcoming Author Events Are a Thing.

Publishing a novel, even with Bannerwing Books behind me, still takes a village, and this is where I ask for your help. There are four main ways you can support my writing:

  • Buy the book. For yourself, of course. Or not. Not your genre? Buy it for someone who’ll enjoy it. For a friend. For your mom. Your neighbor. A stranger. Books make great gifts, and Amazon even has a Kindle book gift option if dead trees and ink aren’t your pleasure. Neat, huh?
  • Review the book. It can be daunting, but it’s so very helpful. Reviews and ratings are a kind of currency for authors, especially on Amazon. Goodreads.com is another great place for reviews. Reviews open doors for promotion and marketing opportunities. Reviews tell other readers what they can expect from my books. A review doesn’t have to be complicated: just be honest about your experience with the book. Not feeling eloquent? Star ratings are awesome, too.
  • Talk up the book. Tell people. Your book club, the cashier at the grocery store, the local librarians, booksellers. Word of mouth from readers and shoppers goes a long way towards getting my books into brick and mortar establishments.
  • Promote the book. Do you blog? Are you on Facebook? Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram? Share book links, images, and reviews. Tag me so I can interact with readers – and thank you! Your influence matters, and I will be eternally grateful.

And now… a little treat for those of you who’ve stuck with me to the end of the post. Thank you, my friends:

Nan Grady was tracing glossy lettering across a misdirected postcard when her house split open.

Greetings from Myrtle Beach S.C.! The card was a vintage-styled one, with each drop-shadowed block letter featuring a scene from the beach. She turned it over to read the note, to mull over the intended recipient. The handwriting was young – full and looping.

Danny, it’s not this pretty where we live, but the beach is awesome. I miss you. Maybe you can come down here some time. It’s warmer than Vermont anyway. Love, Ellie

The postcard was addressed to Danny B. (heart, flower, star), 203 County Road, Thornton, VT. It had arrived that afternoon, nearly lost in the myriad catalogs, flyers, and bills in the mail. Something about the sender’s bittersweet tone gave Nan pause. She carried it upstairs to her apartment, meaning to drop it in her purse for her next run into town. She suspected Gary at the Thornton Post Office would know exactly who Danny B. was.

Myrtle Beach sounded like a perfect alternative to the late summer collision of weather fronts currently heaving itself down from the Adirondacks. Outside, the early evening sky had gone gunmetal gray, roiling with clouds. The rain was static, punctuated by sharp cracks of thunder, and Nan could hear the wind buffeting the walls of the old house.

The storm continued its tantrum as it drove eastward, rushing up to and over the Green Mountains like water over a spillway. Rain pelted down, blown nearly horizontal, and the huge maple tree behind the inn groaned in protest.

There would be a mess to clean up in the yard in the morning.

She’d come upstairs to wait out the thunderstorm in the snug comfort of her apartment over the garage.

It was a disorienting feeling still, the newness of owning this grand old house, but living in two rooms that were only attached to it by the stairs off the kitchen, stairs whose walls framed the breezeway between the house and the garage. It was a heady feeling, though, owning the gracious yellow Victorian, opening it to travelers, hosting treasured memories, making a home for herself in this town she was quickly coming to love.

Nan turned the card over one last time, imagining thick South Carolina heat and the light tease of sea-breeze. White heat lit up her living room, throwing everything into Hitchcock-esque relief for a heartbeat; when the thunder shattered the air no more than a half-second later, the lights blinked and the house shook with the impact.

She was on her feet and running for the stairs, pausing only to grab her Maglite from the coffee table drawer, and the card fluttered, forgotten, to rest on the braided rug.

A cold wind tumbled down from the third floor to meet her in the foyer.

With a hard knot of dread already forming in her stomach, she raced up to the third floor landing. She yanked open the door to the Adirondack Suite with her heart pounding.

The scene inside the room struck her like a fist. Rain was pouring in through the remains of the gabled roof, lumber and insulation hanging down like broken bones and torn flesh. The hot smell of ozone was fresh in the air. Shingles and debris littered the floor. The silk drapes whipped and snapped at the sills. A limb from the ancient maple tree that grew next to the house lay across the sleigh bed, its raw end sizzling.

“Oh, god. No,” she said aloud to the empty room, her voice swallowed by the noise of the storm. “No.”

 ***