Well, 2015 is proving to be a spectacular year! I’ve been really quiet, and I’m never quiet. That’s because I’ve been super busy! I’ve seen the release of my second book in Italy. The Italian translation of Love Me for Me is now in bookstores over there. (Coming Home for Christmas was published there this past Christmas.)
I’ve also written my latest novel, Summer by the Sea, which will be released next Friday, June 12th. (I can’t believe it!) It’s currently available for preorder (links below), and it’s hitting lists in the UK already! I’ve reached number 72 in Romantic Comedy and number 82 in Romance!
So, what am I up to now? Resting? No way! I’m busy writing my next Christmas book. Draft one is due at the end of June and I’m over half way there! It’s shaping up to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to finish it so I can share it with you!
I look forward to the second half of 2015! I’ll keep you posted on the happenings. Until then, back to writing… 🙂
Summer is coming, and so is my latest novel! It’s set to be released June 12th. If you can’t wait that long, you can preorder it in eBook now on Amazon!
Summer by the Sea is a beautiful, heart-warming summer read about sisters, first love and not always getting what we want – but sometimes ending up with exactly what we need.
They say there’s always one summer that changes you.
For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday at their childhood beach house, where it all began.
Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.
Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?
Summer is Coming
Well, hi there! It has been a while since I’ve done a blog post. I’ve been hunkered down at my computer, writing this summer’s release, Summer by the Sea! Editing is underway, and I should have it ready right about the time you’re unpacking your flip-flops and rummaging in the closet for that beach bag.
Summer by the Sea is about sisters, first love, and not always getting what we want, but sometimes ending up with exactly what we need. In the novel, Faith, the main character, faces many memories when she gets a chance to return to the seaside cottage of her childhood. That’s all I’ll tell you for now, but to get you in the summery mood, I thought I’d share with you my top ten favorite memories of summer when I was a kid. Can you relate to any of them?
1. I remember running barefoot outside all day until the sun finally set and the grass started to feel cool under my feet.
2. I caught lightning bugs. I punched holes in the metal top of a glass mason jar, and tried to keep them as pets, making beds of grass and leaves on the bottom of the jar.
3. I rode my bike down the big hill one street over from my house, and I remember taking my feet off the pedals and feeling the wind against my face on the way down the hill. I can also recall the burn in my legs as I had to ride back up on the way home.
4. I remember swinging by my knees on the U-shaped bar of my swing set.
5. I covered the end of the garden hose with my thumb to make rainbows against the sunlight.
6. I ran through the sprinkler in our front yard until the ground underneath the grass was puddled with muddy water, and I had to rinse my muddy feet before I could come inside.
7. There were days when I wore my bathing suit all day long.
8. I made my own special fort in the clearing in our back woods and named it “Camp Rainbow.”
9. My cousin and I opened a whole bunch of different cans of soda, mixed them together, and made new drinks in the pool house after swimming.
10. I rode around the block with all the other kids on the back of a local fire truck every summer during the town Fourth of July party.
I can’t wait to share Summer by the Sea with you! In the meantime, you may want to start packing your beach bag!
7 Facts About Me
The other day, my fellow Bookouture author, Lindsay J. Pryor tagged me for this award. (Thank you, Lindsay, for tagging me!) I immediately set out thinking about what to say. The problem was that I talk so much, I couldn’t think of anything that I hadn’t already shared at one point or another. So, if you follow me on Twitter or have read my blog interviews with different folks, you’ll have to see how many of these you could have guessed.
For those of you who don’t know, these blog awards are for fun only, and they’re a way to share our appreciation for all the wonderful blogs out there!
For this award, those who participate have to:
- Display the award logo
- Thank and link back to the nominator
- List 7 facts about oneself
- Nominate 7 fellow bloggers to carry forward the relay (don’t forget to let them know)
Here are 7 Facts About Me:
- I love music—any and all genres. In college, I took a class—I think it was called Music Appreciation—where we dissected and analyzed music across all genres. It prepared me in no way for my future, but it was one of my favorite classes. (And I loved the idea of my white-haired-nearing-retirement professor sitting in the front row at rock concerts, because he did!)
- I am a teacher. I teach English to students who speak other languages. One of the highlights of my career happened the same year I was offered my first writing contract. (It was a good year.) I was recognized by the school system because I had contributed to the education of a student who went on to achieve academic excellence. When this student came to me, she was nine. She’d just moved from Peru, and she only spoke Spanish. My Spanish was very rusty, but she stayed in from her recess many days to help me as I helped her with English. She wrote in a letter to the school that she chose me as her recognized teacher because, she said, “It took me a few years to realize not everyone is as nice as Mrs. Hale.” That made me cry. She is currently attending college.
- I’m not a picky eater. There are only a handful of foods I don’t like. Among them are mushrooms, anything with vinegar, and, as I found out—feel free to ask author, Holly Martin about this—I do not like Marmite.
- As much as I like to talk, I am actually the happiest when I’m silently reading or writing, and I tend to really enjoy being around centered, quiet people.
- I don’t watch TV. I can’t even work the remote control most of the time. Every now and again, my husband can pull me into an episode or two of something, but when he’s away for work, the TV stays off. As for movies, I refuse to watch anything sad or stressful. When we go to the movies, I always say, “Why do I want to pay money to cry?” (So, when Hubby takes me out, he knows he’s gonna get a chick flick.)
- I secretly love writing handwritten letters and thank-you notes. Unless I’m rushed for time, if I have to send anything to anyone, I always include a handwritten note.
And the very last one! (Those of you who know me on Twitter may find this quite amusing.)
- When I first began my writing career, social media was slightly new for me, and I was terrified to post anything. While I love knowing about everyone else, I don’t like drawing attention to myself. (I’m getting better.) To begin with, I did have a Twitter account. My photo was the egg with the blue background, I had zero followers, and I followed one person: Robert Pattinson. (I had to set up an account for a class I took, and that was the result.) I also had a personal Facebook account, but that was it.
I nominate the following wonderful women to share seven facts about themselves:
Can’t wait to read yours, ladies!
I’m happy to announce the winners of the Library Giveaway! Congratulations to Clifton Library in York, England and Dunwoody Library in Dunwoody, Georgia! These libraries will be receiving a paperback copy of my latest novel, A Christmas to Remember! I’ll be in touch with the winners via email and/or social media!
Merry Christmas, Librarians!
Hello librarians! I love the public library! So, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m giving away one copy of my book, A Christmas to Remember, to 2 lucky libraries this Christmas! If you’d like your library to be considered for this giveaway, please comment on this post below with the words “ENTER MY LIBRARY” and be sure the email address (yours or the library’s) you’d like me to use as a contact if you win is included. The contest will end on Christmas and the announcement regarding the winner will be made via Twitter, Facebook, and my website on Monday, December 29th. (Winners must provide the shipping address of the winning library as books will not be sent to private addresses.) Book and shipping are completely on me! Good luck and Merry Christmas!
(Entries can be made via Twitter, Facebook, and this post. Please check your local library’s donation policy.)
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
At the end of October, it is finally cooling off in my part of Virginia. Most sunny days, we still don’t need a jacket during the day, but in the mornings and at night, it’s quite chilly. I’ve had my first cold, and I’ve even dusted off Ugly Sweater (the biggest, frumpiest sweater I own–It’s so ugly that my hubby looks away when I have it on, but it’s warm!) The leaves are changing color, and the skies are that cold, bright blue. We’re inching toward winter, and the buzz of the Christmas season for us authors has already begun!
I’ve made many friends on Twitter from all over the world, and it was this cold weather that got us thinking one day about the recipe and candy I’m about to share with you. This summer, when I released Love Me for Me, a book blogger said that if the cover could be a candy, it would be Parma Violets. Fellow Americans, these candies do look like our Smarties, certainly, but they don’t taste like them! (I was lucky enough to receive some from her.) They have a sort of floral flavor–perfect for this cover!
So, back to the cold weather we’re having…
We got into the candy-conversation once more on Twitter, and decided to come up with suggestions for all my books! Here’s what my Twitter friends and I have decided:
A Christmas to Remember: Mentos Mint
Coming Home for Christmas: Mint Humbugs
We’ve also created a warm, cozy drink that I’m sure would go with either Christmas book. I call it Hazelnut in Pajamas! I figured, Oprah has her own drink at Starbucks, why can’t we?
Hazelnut in Pajamas
hot chocolate with hazelnut and cream and a shot of espresso
I tweeted that if Coming Home for Christmas made the top 100 in the US, I’d go get one of these. It hit number 6! Off I went to Starbucks. The drink was delicious!
I’d love to hear what you think would be the very best treats to complement my books. What do you like to have while curled up with your favorite read and a fluffy blanket? Please drop me a line in the comments or send me an email and let me know! In the meantime, happy reading!
Parma Violets Photo Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/12/draftdispatch-from-the-uk-parma-violets.html
Mentos Photo Source: http://www.mentos.com/uk/products/?tpl=chewy_dragee&art=mint
Mint Humbugs Source: http://lovisweets.co.uk/sweets/mint-humbugs/