Contrary to the advice of other authors, I tend to read my books’ reviews. Yes, even the (blessedly few) negative ones. Often one of my books gets a review that makes me smile. I found this one about Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort on Amazon this morning and can’t stop giggling.
If you need something “stupidly fun” to read this weekend, may I suggest one of my novels? (Links at the end.)
I haven’t been faithful in writing posts for the blog lately. My mind is on book three of the Happy Valley series and I just haven’t had the time or the inspiration to focus on Praying for Eyebrowz. So it was a shock one day this week to see that my stats were booming.
On the 13th I hit a new daily high by a wide margin. Prior to that I think my best day was 290-ish. Of course I hit a new low the next day, but still…. I celebrated with an extra bite of hummus. Life is good.
When I was writing my third novel, Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I pictured a scene in which one of my favorite characters, Martha Murray, would recite, or have another character recite, a poem she’d written for her wedding ceremony. For several weeks I wrangled with writing a poem for Martha but nothing felt right. I was pulling my hair out and getting nowhere.
Then one afternoon my lovely friend and trusted confidant, Flora Diehl, called to visit and during the course of that call I said something like, “Maybe you could write Martha’s poem.”
I’m not sure what prompted me to say that. It wasn’t premeditated, it just popped into my head and immediately came out of my mouth. Regardless, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Flo thought about it and responded several days, maybe weeks, later with the perfect poem for Martha’s wedding. I cried the first time I read her poem, “Now,” and every time I read it I get teary-eyed. Flo perfectly captured what I wanted Martha’s poem to feel and sound and even look like.
I’m not printing it here. Maybe one day I will, but I feel like the poem fits best within the context of the whole story. There are also a few gentle spoilers embedded in Flo’s contribution to my tale, and we’d hate to give anything away.
Readers can find the poem “Now” on page 302 of the paperback and again after “The End,” but before the acknowledgements. In the e-reader version it’s anyone’s guess since font size matters you know, but it’s near the end of the book.
If you haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Mayhem at Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I suggest you do so before reading Wedding, but I think there’s enough backstory in book two that one wouldn’t necessarily have to read book one. (Although that would make me happy…)
Due to COVID, I haven’t seen Flo in person in over two years, but when I do see her again I’m going to ask her to read the poem while we enjoy a glass of wine. I’m stocking up on Kleenex for the occasion.
What are you reading this weekend? Hopefully something other than the directions for putting up the artificial Christmas tree you bought last year on sale and then forgot all about until you opened up the attic to get the Yuletide decorations down.
“Mabel, did you buy this 16’ pre-lit fake balsam?”
“No, Arnie, you bought that on account of little Barry’s allergies. Remember?”
Arnie doesn’t really remember, but he’s learned, after 50 years of marriage, that Mabel is always right about such things.
But that’s because Mabel keeps her mind sharp by reading. And what might she read this weekend?
Even though I have a perfectly good laptop, I do all of my blogging and social media entries on my iPhone. Using one finger. You see, I never learned to do all that fancy schmancy two-flying-thumbs stuff. So as one might expect I’m something of a predictive text fan. Not because it’s of any real use to me, but because of the often humorous ways it would seek to twist my sentences. Sometimes great adventures await if I just follow the suggested path.
For example every time I type one of the rather lengthy titles to one of my books, predictive text is helpful up to a point. Now, I’ve typed “Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort” hundreds, perhaps thousands of times since publishing it a year ago. One would think that predictive text could just reel it off by now. But no.
Mayhem said? No. That makes no sense. Let’s keep going. Mayhem said it was okay but I didn’t want to know what if I was wrong.
Then Happy Valley pops up. And logically, because I’ve typed the next phrase so often the words Motor Inn should be predicted next. But no…
Sometimes it offers church. Sometimes lunch. Once it suggested stream. But not once has Motor Inn magically appeared.
The final word pops up as a last option. All I can say is it’s a good thing I don’t write my books on an iPhone. Otherwise, “Nude juggling a book with a friend of mine” might’ve been a thing.
When I checked Amazon today to see how my books were faring, I felt a little tingle of motherly pride as my darlings were gathered together in a neat little line.
Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort has quite a challenge ahead of her if she’s going to catch up with her siblings, but she’s only been in the world for a few days now. Barely even has her little eyes open.
Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort is now available on Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback form. Yippee!
I’m going to celebrate the launch of this, my third book, by staying in bed with a cold. I’ll toast with hot tea instead of champagne while enjoying eucalyptus cough drops instead of canapés. But by golly, I’m celebrating.
GUESS WHAT?! The sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort should be out on Amazon one day this coming week. Yay!
I apologize for being so vague, but once the book is uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing it might not go live for a few days. My editor, Rachel Carrera, and I plan to upload the book, Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, sometime tomorrow (11/22/21) if we can get our schedules synced.
How am I feeling, you might ask? Excited and anxious. The first novel has done so well, and so many readers have asked about a sequel, that I feel the pressure. It’s a great feeling. I just hope readers will enjoy Wedding as much as they did Mayhem. I know I had a blast writing it.