Every Now and Then…

…I have to pinch myself.

Here I am, a 65.5-year-old woman who, for most of her life told everyone who cared to listen that someday she’d write a book.

No one really believed me. Heck, I didn’t really believe me. And yet, late in my 64th year, I did just that. I published my first book. Six months later, I published a second book. Write and repeat two more times, and now there are four books with my name on them. Yes, I have to pinch myself.

So whatever it is you have dreamed of doing, start doing it. Don’t make me come over there and pinch you.

The three books in my Happy Valley series.
My sweet AND spicy romance.

Peace, people!

The Art of the Review

What makes for a good book review? It’s kind of like the old saying, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.”

Even as an author I struggle with writing book reviews: How much do I say? What will help someone else decide if this particular book is a good fit for them? I think carefully before posting a review of another author’s book. Here’s a good article on the topic by Kelly Gallucci: https://bookish.netgalley.com/bookish-lifestyle/02/2022/tips-for-writing-a-good-book-review/

Recently one of my books received a 2-star review. Then the reviewer went on to provide a spoiler without giving any warning. So, now what might have come as a shock or surprise to a potential reader is now revealed to anyone who reads the review.

Then just a day later, a reviewer gave the book 5-stars, and went on to tell a good deal of the story. Sigh. Might as well save a few bucks and just read the review, right?

In both cases if the reviewer had offered a brief Spoiler Alert caveat at the beginning of the review, the potential reader could decide whether to risk reading the review or not.

I know I’d save myself a few headaches if I just didn’t read the reviews of my own books, but a) the good ones stroke my needy ego, and b) the negative ones often help me improve my writing.

As a reader how much attention do you give reviews before reading a book? Do they matter more if it’s a new-to-you author?

Peace, people!

Just no spoilers, please!

Reunited and it Feels so Good

All systems are go for a great reunion!

I woke up to great news this morning! My third book in the Happy Valley series went live on Amazon in kindle format. I wanted to hurry online and let everyone know the good news, but the paperback wasn’t yet available.

Now, I’m not a woman of great patience. You have no idea how difficult it was for me to wait. So I got out of the house and drove to the nearest Panera and waited while having a half sandwich and a salad. Food always makes waiting easier—that’s likely why I’m sporting six extra pounds right now.

As I took bite three of my sandwich, the news came through: All systems are green for go.

Okay, it didn’t actually say that, but that’s the message I took away from the email.

So here I am, with a link to my newest book, and hoping my readers won’t make me wait too long before they head to Amazon to purchase it. Seriously, this waiting is taking an awful toll on my waistline.

http://Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2HMLBB4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_6JS4AX3N9C4FSCQ2ESAX

Peace, people!

Description 

Paula Arnett is ready to embark on a new adventure. To that end, she’s made some bold choices, and in the process, surprised some of her dearest friends–all in time for her high school class reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. While Paula hopes to reconnect and reminisce with her classmates, not everyone on the invitation list has come to party. And when one classmate goes missing, Paula can’t ignore the possibility that something terribly wrong has happened. Even worse, she suspects that someone from her class might be responsible. Add in her burgeoning desire for a reunion with a certain doctor, and the stage is set for mystery and maybe a little romance.

You’re Invited to a Reunion

In a very few days, my newest novel, Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will be available on Amazon in both paperback and in kindle and kindle unlimited formats. We’re hoping the book will go live on Monday, but the long weekend might slow things down. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll squeal first, then I’ll write about it.

Reunion is the third book in the Happy Valley series. It’s set fifteen months after the first book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, and the main character, Paula Arnett, is ready to make some big changes in her life, but she’ll need to survive her high school reunion in order to move forward.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Front cover
Back cover

Peace, people!

Sweet Review

I received the sweetest review for my Happy Valley series on Amazon today:

Hope. That’s what it’s all about, right?.

http://Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P76RBRD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_EVSJZR95Y0R5KRHCFMKD

http://Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M544HFH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_XD459WA2H9P977VHK9XX

Restructuring

Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort is in the hands of my editor. Well, to be more precise, it’s bouncing back and forth between my editor and me.

Edits for the first two thirds of the book went fairly smoothly, and then we hit a snag. I’m the snag. Now I’m involved in the delicate act of restructuring. Also known as “fixing all the stuff I did wrong.”

I did a LOT of stuff wrong. All I can say is, thank goodness for word processing programs.

Oh, if you haven’t read the first two books in the Happy Valley series, now would be a great time to do that. I’m hoping Reunion will be ready to publish by the first of June.

Peace, people!

http://Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P76RBRD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TYKFSJZ3B6S7QEJXPSAH

http://Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M544HFH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_24J10JVS86N13Z8HRP46

Pinch Me

Five Hundred?!

About a week ago I realized that Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort was nearing five hundred reviews on Amazon, and I took a moment to let that soak in. When I wrote the book I never dreamed anyone other than my small group of friends and maybe a few family members might read it. Okay, maybe I dreamed others might take a chance on it, but I certainly wasn’t making any bets.

I’d really thought of Mayhem as a stand-alone novel—that explains its length. For better or worse, I wanted to get as many loose ends tied up as possible. Chalk that up to being a rookie author.

Then, lo and behold, readers I’d never even met began reading the book and asking for a sequel. Of course no miracles were involved other than a generous fellow author, Lori Roberts Herbst, taking the time to show me how to advertise on Facebook. That she retains her sanity after working with me is the true miracle. Check out her award winning cozy mysteries on Amazon.

Mayhem remains my best selling book, but its sequel, Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort is gaining traction. And I’m hoping we’ll have Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort ready to publish in time for it to qualify as a summer read. Oh, and there’s a spicy little romance, The Cowboy and the Executive, with my name on the cover, as well.

Pinch me, but gently, please. I bruise easily.

Peace, people!

http://Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PDRH2Q9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_47JVD6SR1X1PRRYXQDJP

And So it Begins

Since I first realized that people were actually reading my debut novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, and that additional books were in order, I began contemplating a Christmas themed addition to the series.

Now that I’ve published one sequel and the third book is in the hands of my editor, I could no longer resist the thought of Christmas at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort for book four. So…

That pitiful first paragraph has no idea what changes it will undergo.

The hard part is getting those first words on paper. Oh, and coming up with a suitable ending. That and deciding what happens in between. You know—the whole enchilada is a challenge. And I can’t stop smiling.

Peace, people.

http://Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P76RBRD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_QRNAVKN45BTS0X5HRFE3

http://Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M544HFH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_QSQ6FNX7PPNJ9R6C3SYP

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