Monday, February 15, 2016

A cheapskate tip, a funny backstory, and a chance to be part of a secret club

If only my brain recharged as quickly as my FitBit.
I got a FitBit a few weeks ago. Since that time, I’ve realized about half the steps I take are the result of me walking from my office to another room to grab something, then forgetting why I did it and having to repeat the whole process again in a few minutes.

It’s possible I’m a little scattered right now.

But since I like to share, here’s a bit of what’s yanking my attention around these days. 

Want a top-secret look at one of my unpublished books? 

I’ve been asked to revisit one of my beloved early novels, A Tricky Undertaking. Longtime blog readers will remember this manuscript as one that’s not only near and dear to my heart, but to my agent’s heart as well, since it’s the story that hooked her many moons ago.

I’m super thrilled to dive back in with some of my favorite characters, and I’d love to have fans to do some focus group reading for me. This is your chance to finally meet Brad and Officer Max and decide for yourself who belongs with my quirky, offbeat funeral home owner, Willie.

Want to sign up? You can do it at this link: 

There are limited spots available, so register right away if you’re interested!

Get me while I’m cheap and easy

Entangled Publishing is celebrating five years in the biz, during which time I’ve published five romantic comedies and one novella with them.

To celebrate, they’ve put the whole freakin’ Lovestruck line on sale for 99-cents a book. That means you can nab the entire Front and Center series (Marine for Hire, Fiancée for Hire, Best Man for Hire, and Protector for Hire) plus the first book in my new First Impressions series (The Fix Up) for less than the cost of five tubes of generic KY Jelly at the Dollar Store.

The sale ends Feb. 21, so hurry up and do some one-clicking on all your favorite Lovestruck titles.

Funny how things work out 

Those of you who’ve read this blog closely for a few years might remember this post from January 2012 where I talked about getting through challenging things by taking it one bite at a time. One part in particular jumps out at me now:

…two weeks ago, I had one of the lowest points in my writing career. I can’t go into details, but suffice it to say, it’s the closest I’ve come to throwing in the towel as an author and becoming a shepherd instead. 

Wanna know something funny? The low point I was referring to was my editor telling me that Let it Breathe (which they’d originally acquired as the third romantic comedy in my three-book contract) wasn't the right next book for my career. There was too much melancholy mixed up with the comedy, and books with settings in bars or vineyards weren’t selling well at the time.

I was devastated. I’d poured my heart and soul into that book, working on it while I went through a pretty gut-wrenching divorce (which might explain some of the melancholy). But I sucked it up and wrote another rom-com, which went on to become Frisky Business.

But here's the funny part:  It turns out Let it Breathe was exactly the right book to follow About That Fling (my slightly melancholy romantic comedy that spent two months near the top of Amazon's bestseller list last fall), so Montlake Publishing acquired Let it Breathe for publication March 22, 2016. And almost exactly four years from the day I got the heartbreaking news that it wouldn’t be published, I got word that Let it Breathe received a starred review from Publishers Weekly (the highest praise from one of the most prestigious review sources in the biz).

While I’ll admit there’s a tiny, petty part of me that wants to thumb my nose at the previous publisher and be all, “See?! I told you it’s an awesome book!” I don’t think that’s the lesson here. The lesson is that it wasn’t the right time for that book four years ago, and now it is. It’s as simple as that. I couldn’t have known that then, just like I couldn’t have known the pain from the aforementioned divorce would eventually fade, and that I’d find myself in a new marriage that’s turned out to be the most amazing thing to ever happen to me.

So let that be the lesson. Well, that and never bring expired Reddi-wip into the bedroom.

Oh and also, you can pre-order Let it Breathe now so it’ll show up on your eReader right after midnight March 22.

So that’s what’s going on in my life lately. What’s new with you? Please share in the comments!

And don’t forget to sign up to be part of my focus reading group. Slots are limited, and here’s that link again: