Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’
The “Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me” post has been going around Facebook lately — and I thought it’d make a great post for the ol’ neglected blog. (I’m trying to blog more regularly … really I am.)
Here they are, in no particular order.
1. After reading Gone With the Wind in seventh grade, I spent several years wanting to live in a restored plantation house in Georgia. It would have a music room and large library, the walls all lined with books. And I’d have three cats: a black one named Rhett, a white one named Ashley and a tiger-striped one named Scarlett.
2. My first car was an ’83 (or maybe ’85) Mazda GLC sedan. It was really my mom’s car, but I drove it until my senior year of college, when it died on my way home from Evansville. We were just down the road from the Mazda dealer in Terre Haute, and I had to pay $60-plus to have the darn thing towed two blocks. I replaced it with my friend Angel’s Chevy Cavalier because she was moving to Florida and refused to have a car with no air conditioning in Florida. I didn’t mind the lack of air conditioning — but the absence of a rear window defroster was a real pain. My Mazda — named “Third” because it was the third name he went through — was the color of the one at the right, but I don’t remember it being quite that shape.
3. I started playing flute in the fifth grade, and later also played piccolo. I loved marching band and playing in the pep band for basketball games — but hated concert band. I started marching with the high school band in sixth grade. The director let me play my flute. Then we got a new director who relegated me to the color guard — so I’m handy with a flag and streamers. Not so much the rifle. I could never get the balance right.
4. Speaking of “get the balance right,” I’m a big Depeche Mode fan. My iTunes has 66 DM songs from 10 albums. DM lyrics often creep into my everyday conversation, and I used to quote “New Dress” in college poli sci papers. (What can I say? It illustrates how a vote can change the world.) “Wrong” is the theme song of one of my most favorite heroes ever, Mike James. (Sadly, he has yet to see published status. Someday.) One quirk: I prefer the darker Depeche Mode — the happy, peppy stuff off “Speak and Spell” doesn’t do it for me.
5. I do not like horror movies (big surprise there, right?), but I can watch Lifetime “woman in peril” movies for hours on end. I also love “Criminal Minds,” and any of the the true crime shows on ID.
6. I once did a phone interview with Pauly Shore. Yes, this is my one and only brush with Hollywood greatness. He was sick and kept asking for soup.
7. I have a collection of board games, including several versions of Monopoly. My “Loganopoly” is set in Logansport, Ind., the town where I spent my first five years after college graduation. “Star Wars” Monopoly pays out Imperial Credits instead of dollar bills, and the top properties are on Coruscant (if I remember correctly). It came out with the 1990s re-release of Episodes 4-6, when I couldn’t get enough of everything “Star Wars.” I devoured the “Jedi Twins” books, in which Luke ran the Jedi Academy and was educawhich told the story of Luke’s niece and nephew, and the Han Solo trilogy. I watched and re-watched Kevin Smith movies just for the “Star Wars” references. “Dogma” was the reason I first fell in love with Alan Rickman — loved him as the Metatron. (His portrayal of Snape further cemented my crush on him.) Why couldn’t I have had a phone interview with him?
Bonus: I have a black thumb. My parents had a garden where they grew their own corn, beans and tomatoes — but I can’t even keep a windowsill herb garden alive. It’s sad, because cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine, warmed by the summer sun, are the best tomatoes ever.
Cheryl “Cher” Stanton is about to discover home is where the hunk is …
My indie publishing debut joins DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, which was released last month by Turquoise Morning Press.
The musician heroine of HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS leapt out at me, fully formed, last year when I read Carina Press’ open call for holiday shorts. I clearly saw the story’s beginning and end … I just wasn’t sure how she got from Point A (singing the blues because she’s forced to return to the hometown she couldn’t wait to get out of) to Point B (singing the town’s praises).
This being a romance, a man had to figure into the transformation. Enter Derrick Mullins, one of her two best friends throughout middle school and high school. Cher had always had a thing for Derrick—and even went so far as to put the moves on him on graduation night—but she left town on the 6 a.m. bus the next morning convinced he didn’t know she existed.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, of course. And now that Derrick’s no longer young and stubborn, he’s ready to pick up where Cher left off all those years ago.
I knew I wanted Cher’s hometown to be a small town, one a high-school girl with big dreams would find stifling. And I knew just the place: Langley, Indiana. I’d already written one story where Langley figured into the equation, so I had a clear picture of the town. Nestled in the Indiana cornfields, it had just one stoplight. A high school (Langdon High, Cher and Derrick’s alma mater), a barber shop and Dottie’s Diner (the town hangout) dotted the main drag.
It was the kind of place from which Cher couldn’t wait to escape. She returns only because her health demands she get some R&R, and she figures she can hide out at her folks’ house, so far off the beaten path that her fans will never think to look for her there.
And it works. She’s getting her much-needed vacation … until she runs into Derrick. Things heat up and Cher finds herself developing a new appreciation for her hometown.
Why set a story in a tiny Indiana town? Well, they say write what you know. I grew up in small-town Indiana. My high school was in Albion, which had one stoplight—at the intersection of state roads 8 and 9.
Langley is not Albion, but Albion is part of Langley. So are a lot of other small Indiana towns, places I’ve come to appreciate now that I’ve been gone from them for more than a decade.
I hope you enjoy Cher and Derrick’s story, and your stay in Langley. (I have three other stories set in nearby Willow’s Grove, including OPERATION SNAG
MIKE BRAD, the manuscript in which Langley was born.)
Does anyone say stoked anymore? Probably not. I’m hopelessly uncool—and mathematically challenged. (More on that in a future post.)
To celebrate my upcoming indie debut, I’m dedicating this week’s My Sexy Saturday snippet to HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Since I’ve been too busy to play for a couple of weeks, here’s a quick refresher on the My Sexy Saturday rules:
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
In this sweet and sexy holiday short, singer Cheryl “Cher” Stanton reluctantly returns to her tiny Indiana hometown for Thanksgiving—and some forced R&R. When her mom’s SUV swerves into a ditch to avoid a cow in the road, she hits her head on the dash. One of the paramedics answering the call is Derrick Mullins, her high school friend and the one guy who didn’t know she existed … or so she thought. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
In this scene, Derrick has—at his best friend’s urging—returned to the scene of the accident to talk to Cher, whom he hadn’t recognized at first. She was more than a bit put out that he’d called her “ma’am.”
… She found herself hurt and angry he hadn’t seen through the disguise. “You know me well enough.”
His eyebrows shot skyward. “After ten years? I don’t think so. A lot’s changed since then.”
“Well, excuse me for not peaking in high school.”
The smoldering fire in Derrick’s gray eyes set her soul ablaze, offsetting the chill in the crisp November air. “Sweetheart, you can trust me when I say I’ve improved with age.”
To distract herself from the flash of desire his comment sparked, she lowered her lids and tapped her inner smart-aleck. “You think so, huh? You’re not wine or cheese.”
That was a line of crap and she knew it. Even in the watery gray earlymorning light, he looked as good now as he had in high school. Better even, if she took into account the broader shoulders and more masculine presence. He knew it, too, judging by his sly grin. Damn the man. Why couldn’t he have developed a paunch orbetter yet, started balding?
A low, sexy laugh rumbled from deep in his throat. “Wine and cheese aren’t the only things that get better with age, Cher.”
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, coming to Amazon and Barnes & Noble Nov. 25 … just in time for the holidays. Can’t wait to read more? Find the first chapter at TheCheapEbook.com.
If you know me on Facebook at all, you’ve probably seen it already — but I’d be a Bad Author if I didn’t post an official cover reveal here on the blog.
So here it is: the cover for HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Cover artist Rogenna Brewer did another beautiful job! And Ruby Slippered Sister Kelly Fitzpatrick gets props for suggesting the tagline. I was on vacation last week, but taking the task of coming up with one way too seriously — until Kelly came up with that gem.
This cover wasn’t quite as simple to choose as the ones for BRIDE and PARADISE, though. Right before Rogenna sent me her initial idea, I’d just read a piece of advice: Don’t sign off on a cover until you get at least 5 people to say they love it.
With her permission, I posted the cover on my Facebook author page (and a few other places) and asked for opinions. I did get quite a few “love its.” Then Rogenna sent me a different take. It, too, went up for input — and got some definite love.
Unable to decide which one I liked best, I made a side-by-side comparison of the two covers and solicited votes.
Right up until I decided to go with the pink background — mainly for the pop of color, reasoning that it’ll stand out more in thumbnail view — the vote was dead even. A couple of extra votes for Cover B (on the right) showed up on the thread AFTER I told Rogenna to go with the pink.
I’m still happy with the decision. With so many votes for both, I think either cover will be a winner.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a 30,000 word novella, is my first indie release, slated for mid-November — just in time for, well, the holidays.