How to Make a Writer Happy in Five Easy Steps

1. Buy their book(s). (Links below)

2. Read their book(s).

3. Tell others about their book(s).

4. Review their book(s).

5. Sing “Soft Kitty” to them.

Peace, people!

Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort
The Cowboy and the Executive: A West Texas Romance

The End or Something Like It

On Monday afternoon I typed the words “The End” on the first draft of Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. The denouement came with little fanfare. I was sitting on the sofa drinking a glass of water when I realized the book’s ending had been written for several days—it was just buried in the middle of a bunch of other stuff. I grabbed my laptop, searched for a specific phrase, and voila!

Not for the first time did I thank the powers that be for word processing programs. A bit of copy, a smidge of pasting, and a big fat dollop of deletion, and I had something that closely resembled a book. Well, the roughest, rawest version of a book. If I were laying it out in cooking terms I’d say that the ingredients are all there and they’ve been mixed into a batter, but before it’s ready for consumption it’ll need to be baked and frosted. Sprinkles are optional.

I gathered all my gumption and sent the batter, er manuscript off to trusted beta readers. That’s such a scary feeling. One would think it would be easier now that I’ve published two books, but it’s not. I’ll be a mess until I hear something from my readers.

Now what? Well, while I’m waiting to revise Wedding, I have a sequel to The Cowboy and the Executive running around in my head, and I’m almost certain there will be at least one more story in the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort chronicles. It’s a scary thing, this creation of characters. They take on lives of their own and they depend on me to tell their tales. I wonder if I’d have even begun writing if I’d known how that worked. Deep thoughts for a Monday evening. I believe I’ll have some wine.

Peace, people!

Spicy or Sweet?

I have two books on the market—now, that’s a phrase I thought I’d never type. I must admit, it feels pretty good. And with summer upon us, everyone needs at least one of them to read. Both would be better, right?

One is a romance set primarily in the Texas panhandle where I was born and raised. As I was writing The Cowboy and the Executive I fell in love with my male protagonist. Barton Young is good looking, he can sing, and he likes to dance. What more could a girl want? But does D’Aun Gilman dare fall for him when doing so might cost her the job she loves? This tale is definitely on the spicy side.

Available on Amazon and Kindle

My first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, follows the adventures of newly widowed, Paula Jean Arnett, and her best friend, Cassie Campbell, as they attempt to get to the bottom of why Paula’s husband bought a rundown fishing resort in East Texas from a mysterious woman who might have been more than a business partner. Part cozy mystery, part road trip, Mayhem is a lot of fun, and definitely sweet.

Coincidentally also available on Amazon and Kindle.

So, take your pick. Or make me really happy and pick both. Now excuse me, I’m going to go drool over Barton—just don’t tell my husband, Studly Doright.

Peace, people!

Self Doubt

People are buying my first romance novel, The Cowboy and the Executive, and I couldn’t be more delighted. So far, though, there have been no reviews. Yes, I know it’s still early. The book went live just last week, and it typically takes a few days for Amazon to post reviews. Still, I’m getting antsy.

To an author no review is almost worse than a bad one. We begin thinking readers hate it and are just too kind to say so, or they didn’t finish it or are currently using it as a coaster or as kindling. It’s torture.

Okay, back in the day I didn’t always leave a review even on books I really enjoyed. Is this karma? I promise I’ll do better!

May be the theme of my next post…

Failing the Clucking Test

Who hasn’t dreamed of being back in a classroom and finding oneself completely unprepared for a test? For years I had those kinds of dreams fairly often, but it had been a long time and I guess I thought I was finished with them. I guessed wrong.

Last night I dreamt that I was in a class for sports broadcasters and the final test consisted of doing the play-by-play for a major league baseball game. In the dream I watched my fellow students step up to the microphone, and with varying degrees of success, put their own special spin on the broadcast. I wasn’t worried even a little bit. Then it came my turn.

First. I lost the microphone. It was right there, and then, poof! Gone. I searched and searched, all while the instructor tapped his foot and looked pointedly at his watch. Finally I found it—under my shirt of all places. I plugged the mic in and began my broadcast, only now there weren’t baseball players on the field, there were chickens.

I looked helplessly at the instructor. He just said, “Banter and schtick!” Or maybe he said “banter and chick.”

So I launched into a weather report interspersed with a great many “ums” and “uhs.” The chickens were running about cackling and clucking as chickens do, and the instructor made a slashing motion across his throat. “Cut!”

I’d failed.

I curled up on the baseball field in the fetal position and cried.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius (thank goodness) to interpret this dream. Having just launched my second book—and my first attempt at a romance novel—I’d had a failure dream. One could say my field of dreams was a massive cluck-up.

The book’s doing okay, though. I’m anxious about first reviews, but hopeful, too. Mainly I hope the chickens don’t come home to roost again tonight.

Peace, and sweet dreams, people.

The Cowboy and the Executive

Hot off the presses, my first romance novel, The Cowboy and the Executive, is now officially available in paperback form from Amazon and as an e-book on Kindle.

The Cowboy and the Executive: A West Texas Romance

Nice horse, am I right?

D’Aun Gilman is determined to prove she’s worthy of her recent promotion. If she can close a deal to acquire Young and Sons Ranch in the Texas panhandle, her new position as Vice-President of Acquisitions for Cattle King Industries and the corner office that comes with the job will cement her place in the business world. The only thing holding her back is Barton Young, the handsome cowboy who will stop at nothing to obtain his family’s ranch for himself. Between balancing her emotions with her career, D’Aun soon finds her job in jeopardy. Worse yet, she fears her heart might be broken beyond repair. Will fate step in and allow D’Aun to keep her career and her heart’s desire?

This book was so much fun to write. I hope you’ll give it a look!

Peace, people!

Exciting Stuff

Last night’s book club meeting was great. I don’t think I said anything too embarrassing, and for the most part all the attendees seem to have liked my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort.

When the first question I fielded was, “Will there be a sequel” I knew it was going to be a fun evening. Then when participants offered suggestions as to what should happen in the sequel, I got tickled, since the sequel is about 90% finished. It was really tough to stay mum on the details, but I managed. Mostly. Keeping secrets is not my strong suit.

They also seemed pleased to learn that my romance is just days away from being published. If all goes well, The Cowboy and the Executive will be available for purchase next week.

I’m so excited! The Cowboy and the Executive is a fun and flirty story featuring a fantasy-worthy hero, and a not-so-typical heroine. I hope folks enjoy reading it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it. As soon as it’s available on Amazon I’ll post here.

Peace, people!

Books on the Horizon

Just a reminder that my friend, the other Leslie Noyes (Leslie Morris Noyes), has a book coming out on March 23rd. Check out the piece I published about Leslie and her book, Willing, back in December:

If you enjoy steamy, smart romance I promise you will be smitten with Willing. I know I was.

Super hot cover, too!

I spent the weekend reading the soon-to-be-published sequel to Lori Roberts Herbst’s debut novel, Suitable for Framing. Her new book, Double Exposure, continues the adventures of photographer Callie Cassidy who seems to be a magnet for mystery. I adore her characters, and I always think I know whodunnit, but she fools me every time.

I don’t think there’s a fixed date yet for publication, but I’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime, read her first novel, pictured below, if you haven’t already.

Carl, the cat, and Woody, the dog, feature prominently in Lori’s novels.

And then there’s me. I didn’t get a lot of writing done this weekend, so engrossed was I in reading Lori’s book, but that’s not to say my books didn’t get some attention.

My novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will be featured at two different Tallahassee book club meetings in the next couple of months! I’m so honored to have had my little book selected by these clubs and excited to have the opportunity to visit with readers in real time about Mayhem.

My romance, The Cowboy and the Executive, available on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.

http://The Cowboy and the Executive: A West Texas Romance

Lots of fun stuff going on in my world!

Peace, people!

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