Fall Favorites Giveaway

To celebrate fall and my extreme gratitude for those who have helped spread the word about With No Reservations’ e-book sale, let’s do a giveaway!

One winner chosen in the Rafflecopter below will win a fall-themed bundle including:

  • Signed paperback for a friend
  • Bath & Body Works LEAVES Candle
  • Pumpkin Campfire mug generously provided by the super talented AstroBarn Design. (You’re going to want to follow her on Instagram pronto!)
  • Cozy fall blanket scarf generously provided by my favorite clothing boutique, Sashy Pants (Visit their website or find them on Facebook or Instagram to see their cute offerings!)

Ways to spread the word:

I can’t thank you all enough! Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

scenes from a first book signing

Before kids, I was a full-time book publicist for several years. And boy did I hear the local author event horror stories. Fortunately, my first book signing last Saturday was far from that. It was a magical bucket list experience, thanks to my amazing community of family and friends.

The staff at Barnes & Noble had a table and sign situated close to the entrance. The better for awkward eye contact with unsuspecting shoppers 🙂

I lured them in with freshly baked treats — or at least freshly picked up from The Fresh Market. And my people showed up <3

I’m seriously still smiling from how fun it was that day. My husband was out of the country, so my sister-in-law Bethany stayed with me all day as new and old friends came by.

After the event, I reunited with my favorite littles for a special date night downtown with pizza and the most magical strawberry cupcakes.

And thus concluded my first book signing! Thank you so much to everyone who came, whether we got to take a picture or not, and to the fabulous staff at Barnes & Noble for taking the chance on a debut author! It was an amazing first experience 🙂

With No Reservations Kindle Fire Giveaway!

My debut novel, With No Reservations,
releases NEXT MONTH!

It’s a clean contemporary romance I originally wrote three years ago that features a reclusive food blogger and a high-profile chef whose pasts hold them hostage in the present, a restaurant opening, a dash of OCD, a Ferris wheel, a farmers market, an unlikely romance, and a lot of food. For character profiles, the story behind the story, and more bonuses, click here! You can pre-order by clicking the button below, but seriously. Don’t read on an empty stomach 🙂

Get Your Copy Here

Enter the With No Reservations Kindle Fire Giveaway!

With No Reservations Kindle Fire Giveaway

To celebrate and spread the word, I’ve giving away a Kindle Fire, signed paperback, and my favorite Daily Grace Co Daily Notepad! Enter here:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

the ultimate book news (!!!!)

Last week, I got an important phone call.

This weekend, I went to a restaurant and signed an important piece of paper.

Today, I mailed an important envelope. 

FullSizeRender-11

I’m thrilled to announce my debut book contract with Harlequin Heartwarming!

They are a clean romance line in the general market under the Harlequin umbrella, and the book they purchased is my second manuscript, tentatively titled Just Breathe. 

IMG_5772

To say that I’m excited is an understatement!

This is a moment years in the making,
happened in the most unexpected way,
and the perfect answer to prayer!

I can’t end this post without saying thank you to my agent, Rachel Kent; the editor who showed so much excitement for my book and offered great revision notes, Dana Grimaldi; and my acquiring editor, Victoria Curran!

This book might still be a work-in-progress without the support of my husband and children, lots of babysitting help from our families, love from my wonderful writing sisters, lots of advice from my mentor Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner + veteran authors Kristin Billerbeck and Carla Laureano, and the prayers and encouragement of so many friends!

IMG_5775-2

God is faithful.

And I’m ready to get to work!

If you’d like {occasional} updates on the book, such as release date, cover reveals, and things like that, you can sign up for my newsletter and follow along on my author Facebook page

 

I wrote THE END {vol. 3}

IMG_3940

I just wrote THE END on my first draft/first edit of book 3!

And around here, we celebrate every little thing that gives us a somewhat viable excuse to throw a party. This is my first story to finish with two kids! Most of it was written with an infant and a preschooler between my day job, sleep regressions, preschooler valet services, trips to the coffee shop, and a few Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups for good luck. Here’s the scoop:

How can someone write a first draft and do a first edit in the same round?

Well, like all good things, it’s complicated.

This book was my second manuscript but was shelved at about 25% complete in 2013…until Mary Weber’s class at the 2015 ACFW Conference revived my love for these characters and the message behind this story.  So I wrote 30K during the first half of NaNoWriMo 2015 before I had to shelf it to complete a revision request on Book 2. My agent gently reminded me that an editor had requested to see the full after this manuscript placed second in the RWA Lone Star Contest, so I have been reading for flow, writing 15K of new scenes here and there, and editing/making editorial notes as I go.

Why did I shelf it?

This story is best suited for the audience between Young Adult and traditional contemporary romance. Like my first manuscript, I call it Inspirational New Adult because the coming-of-age threads are just as important as the romance, yet the term “New Adult” carries a very edgy stigma (four words: 50 Shades of Grey) though my story is obviously clean enough for the inspirational market.

Based on the advice of my agent and the general consensus of publishing professionals in 2013, there were no proven sales patterns for CBA publishers to take a risk on a story geared toward that audience, so I decided to pursue a different story that became Just Breathe.  It was absolutely the right advice and best move to make!

But while I had two manuscripts on submission, I decided I really, really wanted to finish Book 3 before moving forward with my next contemporary romance project. (You can blame Mary Weber and you can blame my characters for being ridiculously irresistible so I couldn’t stay away.)

aren't they pretty?

here’s who I would pick to play them. aren’t they pretty?

I have SO much respect for the brave lovelies learning how to navigate the adult world and going through so many transitions.  So here we are! Hopefully two years later, the inspirational market is ready for a story like this 🙂

Like you, I will probably read this next bit later and want to punch myself in the face…

But I was stuck at the corner of Here and Where-To-Go-From-Here last week when a plot thread fell into my lap while I was driving my daughter to school. And it wasn’t just a normal plot thread, it was a ribbon to tie my ending up in a neat bow AND strengthen two other storylines. Yes! It also explained my random urge to listen to classical music all week, and you’d better believe I think it was very much related 🙂

So note to self and note to you, dear reader: When you’re stuck with no clue what to do in your story, sometimes it can come to you when you least expect it — when your stereo is blaring children’s worship songs + two kids are exercising their lungs in the back seat + BEFORE you’ve had any caffeine. It could happen to you!

What’s next?

I am going to do one more read-through to fix some editorial notes I gave myself and then ship it off to critiquers! After I press send, I am going to take a nap. And read 393990394 books. And then get started on my next contemporary romance, which I’m super excited about!

What can we celebrate for you? Please allow me to cut you a thick slice of chocolate cake with extra sprinkles.