On Saturday I celebrated a “first” (for me, anyway). Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort was the featured book for a Tallahassee book club meeting, and I was invited to say a few words and answer questions from those in attendance.
It was a virtual meeting, so there were no worries about masks or social distancing. But I did pour myself a glass of Merlot, because what’s a book club meeting without wine?
I was a bit nervous at first, but the experience was so much fun that I soon forgot about my nerves and just relaxed and enjoyed myself. The funniest thing was that some attendees knew my book as well as, and in one instance, slightly better than I did! That was humbling and a little scary. Now I need to reread Mayhem before any future book club adventures.
The threat of impending thunderstorms has resulted in the cancellation of many of the scheduled Word of South events; therefore, I shall not be hawking my book to festival attendees this weekend. Instead, I shall parade around Doright Manor speaking formally to the resident feline and to the gentleman with whom I sleep.
Thankfully, today’s virtual book club meeting should proceed as planned, unless lightning intervenes. What is the old Yiddish proverb? “We plan; God laughs.” Alas, ‘tis true.
Carry on, fellow travelers. Weep not for me, for the heavy skies have taken on that task in your stead.
Yesterday I was pretty sure my car had been stolen from the Target parking lot near the Florida State University campus. I’d gone into the store for one item, and as most Target runs go, I ended up buying a shopping cart full of stuff.
When I finally checked out to the tune of more money than I should have spent on a random Thursday and went to load my purchases into my little Chrysler 200 my car was nowhere to be found. I knew exactly where it was supposed to be, but clearly it had been stolen.
I wandered around the parking lot for a few minutes before remembering to hit the panic button on my key fob. In vain I listened for the annoying alarm sound. I turned this way and that to no avail.
My heart dropped into my stomach. As I returned my key to my purse, though, my fingers brushed against another key chain. Oh! I thought. I didn’t drive the Chrysler today.
I looked up to realize I was standing mere inches from our Lincoln SUV. I stood there and laughed long enough that people around me were beginning to stare. They were all college students, though, so who cares, right?
The Chrysler is on loan to a friend, and since we seldom drive the Lincoln I’m likely to “lose” my car many times over the next couple of months. I won’t chronicle every episode here, but my sanity might go missing, as well.
I’m looking forward to a fun weekend of doing author stuff. On Saturday, I’m attending a virtual book club meeting hosted by the Tallahassee Women’s Social Meetup group. Guess whose book they’re discussing? Mine!
Yes, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort will be the topic of discussion, and I’m pretty excited. Just keep your fingers crossed that I don’t say something so stupid that everyone in attendance will want to immediately burn their copies and dance around the bonfire.
Then on Sunday I’m working a table at the annual Word of South festival in Tallahassee along with other members of the Tallahassee Writer’s Association. The festival snuck up on me this year and I didn’t get my tickets before they sold out, but at least I can be part of the fun and maybe let folks know about my book. By nature, I’m not a joiner, so again, please send me some good vibes as I embark on this adventure.
If anyone ever writes my biography they should use the title “A Day Late and A Dollar Short.” Truly everything I’ve ever done has been “assbackwards” to use my mother’s terminology.
Case in point: I published my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, on Amazon on November 30, 2020, but it didn’t occur to me to create an author page on Facebook until March, and now it’s April and I finally realized I probably need an author page on Amazon, as well. Every other author I know created both prior to publishing,
On Saturday morning there were a couple of charity sales that I’d been looking forward to attending, so I got up early and drove into Tallahassee. On my way into town, I called my mother-in-law, Saint Helen. When we were in Texas last month, she was still recovering from some health issues and wasn’t her usual feisty self.
We hadn’t chatted since that visit and there was a lot to catch up on. So much, in fact, that we talked all the way across Tallahassee and I was almost in Monticello, a good 35 miles northeast of my intended destination, before I realized what I’d done.
Saint Helen thought that was hilarious, and when she laughed she sounded like her vibrant self again. I’d drive way out of my way any day just to hear that laugh.
I neglected to post anything on Thursday and my stats dropped like a boulder attached to an anchor around the neck of a bull elephant. Pretty dramatic.
There was a time that would’ve caused me considerable consternation, but now I’m like “so what.” I’d love to tell you I was just too busy to write anything, but that would be a lie. Truth is, I worked on revising my romance all morning and then took a nap in the afternoon. And what a nap it was! Full color dreams about something that I can no longer recall. But it caused me to drool, so it must’ve been good, right?
Anyway, I’m feeding the beast now. I don’t think it’s all that nutritious, but surely any post is better than none.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. Let me tell you, sequels are tricky. At least this one is for me. It’d sure save me a lot of time and consternation if everyone would just read book one.
How much backstory do I need to give? How do I tell folks what happened in book one without boring them to death in book two? I’ve considered writing a prologue, but I’m not a huge prologue fan. It’s not that I’m anti-prologue; I just become annoyed when I have to read one.
I’ve read a great many books that are parts of a series. Some authors do an incredible job of filling in backstory and others, even good authors, sometimes offer too much, assuming that readers haven’t read the previous books in the series. I’m hoping my editor helps me figure out the right combination.
Anyway, I titled this “Sneak Peak” for a reason. Here’s a little tidbit from Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. Let me know what you think—it’s still very much a work in progress.
Sneak Peak of Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort:
Mark walked Paula to her room. The tequila she’d imbibed at dinner emboldened her enough to rise up on her tiptoes to give him a hug.
He grinned. “What was that for?”
“Just because I wanted to,” she said. Then she wobbled and frowned. “I probly should’ve stopped at one margarita, though.”
Mark smiled down at her. “I’m glad you didn’t if it meant getting a hug. Goodnight. Sleep tight.”
She waved a hand in the air as Mark turned and began walking the few steps to his room “Don’t let the bug beds bite. Wait, the beg buds. That’s not it either. Just don’t let anything bite.”
Paula fumbled with her room key, and the old-fashioned plastic green fob slipped from her fingers where it clattered as it bounced off the porch. The noise brought Mark back to her side.
“Whoopsie!” She said.
“Here, let me.” He picked up the key and unlocked her door, his head nearly touching hers as he bent to the task. “I’d really like to kiss you right now.”
She put a finger to her lips. “Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but I’d really like to be kissed right now.”
“You’re a little drunk, though, and I’m not going to take advantage of that, but tomorrow, all bets are off.”
Paula grinned a silly grin and began humming the tune Tomorrow from the musical Annie.
He pecked her on the cheek and opened the door. “Goodnight, again. I’m right next door if you need me.”
“And I’m right next door if you need me,” she said, poking a finger in the general direction of his chest.
She thought she heard him chuckle as she locked the door behind her. The room seemed to be off-kilter, and she had to concentrate to make everything stay still. As Paula meandered to the bathroom she picked up the lyrics where she’d left off. “I,” she hiccuped. “Love ya’….”