Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category
My book baby has been out there for 12 months. 365 days.
Wow. It’s been a crazy year.
In its 365 days “in the wild,” it’s gotten some attention. Among the notice: six reviews on Amazon (nothing below a 3-star) and 24 ratings on Goodreads (3.79 average). A 3.79 average might not seem that impressive, but then I remind myself that some of my favorite authors’ books have similar scores.
No matter how beloved they are, no author can please everyone. DIVA garnered my first one-star review. I know, I know. I’m not supposed to read the reviews. Confession: I did it anyway. It was thoughtful and I can respect the opinions it expressed.
Back to DIVA’s wild year. It hovered on various Amazon bestseller lists for months. I learned to love that “Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sports” designation. “Kindle ebooks > Romance > Sports” is also pretty sweet.
DIVA also garnered attention from my publisher. When Turquoise Morning Press celebrated its 2013 Best of TMP this summer, I was recognized three times.
It received a nod in the 2013 TMP Readers’ Choice awards, too. Ultimately, it didn’t win—but like all the movie stars say, it was an honor just to be nominated. A nomination meant that enough readers enjoyed DIVA so much that they thought it deserved to be included on the list.
And when I decided to enter the RITA competition, it became a print book. It’s definitely selling better in its ebook form, but it was a thrill to hold my book baby in my hands.
(No, it didn’t receive a RITA nomination. Too bad. You only get one shot at “best first book.”)
My debut isn’t perfect. I know that. For example, I didn’t resolve Dave’s issues with his father. I realized it on one of my read-throughs and figured my editor would call me on it. When she didn’t, I let it slide. That turned out to be a mistake. More than one reader has pointed out the omission.
Another confession: I set the story in Texas because I wanted to sell to Harlequin American and so many of their stories are set there. I picked a part of Texas I’d driven through on my move from Indiana to Arizona, but still…I should stick with writing a place I know. That’s why most of my stories are set in either Arizona (like BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, SLIDING INTO HOME and the upcoming BREAKING ALL THE RULES) or the Midwest (HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and BLIND DATE BRIDE). I lived the first 28 years of my life in northern Indiana and have been in northern Arizona for the last 15.
Still, DIVA is an entertaining read. I fell in love with Dave and Mel, and their daughter Tara. I hope you will, too.
To celebrate, this week’s My Sexy Saturday snippet is from DIVA, the first book in my All Is Fair in Love & Baseball series. Arizona Condors shortstop Dave Reynolds is one of baseball’s bad boys, but the death of his mother has left him wondering if it’s time to change. An ultimatum from his boss to clean up his act or lose his job at season’s end further fuels his desire for something different. In this scene, Dave has discovered that a one night stand five years ago with a woman who wouldn’t tell him her name resulted in a child he had no clue existed—until now. The girl’s mother was the only woman to sneak out on him in the middle of the night.
Melinda Cline had her reasons for not exchanging names with the sexy ballplayer she picked up in the bar she sneaked into with a fake ID. And she’d lived with the consequences of her rash decisions ever since. She loved her daughter, but she hated being the subject of town gossip. And now the man she’d never planned to see again insisted on being a part of their daughter’s life. Even worse? She wanted him in her life, too.
Let the games begin!
Melinda glanced down at the big hand engulfing hers. That same hand had once helped her forget the humiliation of being dumped for a woman twice her age. She coughed and raised her eyes back to the face she’d never forgotten. Muscles—Dave—hadn’t changed a bit. He still had the same chestnut hair and eyes that looked straight into her soul. She suspected he also had the same easy smile, even if he wasn’t laughing now. She saw it in the crinkles at the corners of his piercing hazel eyes.
She swallowed hard against memories best left forgotten. “I’d like to say I’m pleased to meet you.”
“Why don’t you?”
Because I’m not. Mel was polite enough not to speak the words aloud. “Excuse me for having mixed feelings.”
Dave’s answering bark of laughter didn’t reach his eyes. “You have mixed feelings?”
“I never planned on seeing you again.”
“Obviously. Please tell me you didn’t get yourself pregnant on purpose.”
Hi, friends. How was your week?
My week—my second full week of being (f)unemployed—was spent waiting for my severance check and writing feverishly. I’ve been drafting a novella. On Friday, I crossed the 20K mark, giving me about 10K to wrap up the story. I hope to be able to divulge all the details soon.
Until then, let’s get to this week’s My Sexy Saturday fun.
Fall is officially here. With the change in seasons comes a new emphasis on holiday romance. Seems every time I check my tweet stream or Facebook feed, someone’s talking about their new holiday release.
Not to be outdone, my sexy 7 this week comes from my holiday novella, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. In this story, rockstar Cher Stanton reluctantly returns to small-town Indiana for some much-needed R&R. Things get much less relaxing when she bumps into high school crush Derrick Mullins, the one guy who never paid her any attention—or so she thought.
Here, Cher and Derrick are on their way to dinner. They stop to clear the air and she ends up kissing him.
Story of his life. One missed opportunity after another, starting with Cher. Med school— nope. Not going there. Being a paramedic was as close as he’d ever get, and it was plenty. Doctors dealt with way too much stress.
Seemed he wouldn’t get any answers from Cher unless he demanded them. He cleared his throat. “What was that?”
“What was what?”
His gaze locked on her mouth. “That.” He waved his hand between them.
“That kiss?” Her tongue darted over her plump bottom lip, leaving shine in its wake.
Shifting in the Porsche’s bucket seat, he nodded. “Yeah. That kiss.”