Category Archives: Publishing

Truly, Madly, Deadly…Finally it’s here!

truly madly deadly

This isn’t the first time I struggled to get a book written, but it’s the first time that the other aspects of getting a book into the world have been fraught with challenges. From editing to book cover design, to getting into my Amazon account, I’ve had little bumps in the road from start to finish.

Hopefully…the road is smooth and clear from here on out because Truly, Madly, Deadly: Valentine Book Six is set to release on July 17, 2018.

On a trip home to San Francisco to officially take over her trust, Tess is drawn into family drama when her father is arrested for his mistress’ murder.

Along with the murder, is the banter and passion you’ve come to enjoy in a Valentine Mystery. Here’s a snippet:

He kissed her, tenderly, yet with promise. “So how does it feel to be one of the richest women in the world?”

“Is that why you married me? For my money?”

“Ah, honey, you know I married you for the lingerie.”

Pre-order Truly, Madly, Deadly and have it first thing on July 17, 2018.

How a Sassy Southern Gal and Aloof New York Man Made it to Publication (almost)

Drawn to Her: Southern Heat book 1...coming in April

It’s taken some time to get Southern Comfort, now renamed Drawn to Her, ready for publication. But all of a sudden, things have picked up. The cover is nearly finished. I just received an ARC to proof. My publisher has posted the blurb for Drawn to Her online. The release date is set for April 12. Now it’s time to get the word out!

What started out as a little story idea I jotted down nearly ten years ago, is about to enter the world!

Just for fun, I thought I’d share the history of Drawn to Her:

  1. The idea: I can’t actually remember how the idea for this story came about, but it’s probably because it was so long ago. The original story had a scene in which Drake Carmichael (the male lead) has a phone line installed into his grandfather’s home so he can access the Internet (way back when you needed to attach the computer to the phone line to get online). Eventually it was changed to DSL and in this final release, he uses his phone as a hot-spot. But as you can see, this story started long ago. So long ago, I was a little worried it end up being a historical romance.
  2. The completed work: When I sent the three chapters to the first publisher, the book was a very rough draft. In fact, it wasn’t even done. I finished it in about 3 weeks, hoping she’s ask for the full manuscript. My effort paid off, when she asked for the full manuscript about 4 weeks after that.
  3. The rejection: The editor of the first publishing company was very positive, which is probably why I let it sit for two years while I waited for a response. In that two years, I published at least three, maybe even four, of the Valentine stories.
  4. The agent: Two months before I received a rejection from the first publisher, I submitted it to an agent. I figured an agent would have an easier time getting a response from a publisher. Plus, if it didn’t sell to the current publisher, the agent could get it out to other publishers.
  5. The fix: After the rejection, my agent sent back ideas for making the book better. New scenes were added. Old scenes were fleshed out, cleaned-up and improved.
  6. The sale: During the summer, while on a family reunion in the Outer Banks, I got the call. Penner Publishing wanted to buy this book, as well as two others in a series. Whoop!
  7. The fix number 2: Although I thought the book was in pretty good shape, first round edits came back in November with several suggestions to improve it. So after a few more tweaks, it went back to the publisher.
  8. Approaching the release: I received mock up of the cover last week, and was very excited about it (you’ll need to stay tuned for the reveal). I also got the release date (April 13). This week I received a copy of the book that had a few more edits and questions, which I dealt with and sent back the next day. Today, I received the mobi ARC to proof. This is exciting because it’s the completed book, with formatting, drop caps and all the stuff that makes it look like a book, instead of a Word doc. I’ll review the ARC this weekend and send back.
  9. Gearing up for release: What many people may not know is how much work goes into the marketing a book, particularly the release. There are reviews to get, tours to arrange, and buzz to build. The next few weeks will be busy, but I’m excited. Finally, my sassy southern belle and cool, aloof New Yorker will make it into the world.

Annoying Characters

I’m breathing an tentative sigh of relief as To Love, Honor, and Kill: A Valentine Mystery Book Five receives its first reviews (three 5-star reviews so far). It’s always nerve-wracking to release a new book. Will people like it? Will they hate it? In this case, I was especially nervous because I included two other points of view.

Conflict is an essential part of any story, but as I’m sure you’re aware, there is a fine line between establishing realistic conflict and crossing over into annoying. This is a concern for me in most books, but especially so in To Love, Honor, and Kill. For one, I had to have a realistic reason for Daniel to avoid Kate for so many years, and an even better reason for him to finally notice her. At the same time, I didn’t want Kate to be the type of woman to simply fall into Daniel’s arms simply because she’d loved him for so long. The conflict and times of ease between the two of them needed to feel real, not forced. To be honest, I’m not sure I completely succeeded.

Fortunately, even the reviewer that said Daniel and Kate were annoying at times, enjoyed the book overall and gave it 5 stars.

Your Valentine Questions Answered and More

To Love, Honor, and Kill: Valentine Book Five

What chocolate confection will Tess make Jack for his birthday? Is the Senator really Jack’s biological father? What car did Tess buy to replace the one totaled in Old Flames Never Die? Will Daniel ask Kate out? All these questions and more will be answered in To Love, Honor, and Kill: A Valentine Mystery Book Five.

The first draft of Valentine five was written in November 2014 as part of NaNoWriMo. But plot issues and a busy scheduled prevented me from getting the book ready for release until now.

Not only will the book come out this week (watch for it Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015), but also, all the other Valentine books will go on special from Wednesday through Friday. Deadly Valentine: A Valentine Mystery Book One will be free and the other three will be $0.99 cents! That’s a whole lotta lovin’, murder and chocolate for very little price!

If you’re not yet a member of the SweetHarte street team, please join as I’m planning some fun stuff and freebies to celebrate the release.

I Promise to Do Better…

Last week while I was on vacation with my family, I got a call from my agent that a publisher was interested in buying Southern Comfort. Whoop! Happy dance. At the same time, I had this sense of dread because the offer included a three-book deal (another whoop), but I still haven’t published Valentine book five. Guilt! On top of that, all my traveling left me little time to engage on social media or be involved with the Sweet Harte Street Team.

I’m home now and in a few weeks my kids are off to college, which I hope means more time to write. My goal is to have Valentine five published in September. And because I feel so bad that it’s taken so long, I hope to have a short Valentine Christmas novella for you in December.

I hope you’ll be excited about Southern Comfort. It’s a romance that will be part of a series that take place in Central Virginia. Many publishers like the southern setting and had great things to say about it, even when they didn’t buy it. Once that series is done, I hope to move on to a cozy mystery that’s been peculating in my brain. That doesn’t mean the Valentines are done, though. I have several story ideas for them.

Although the writing (and revising and editing) are foremost, I hope that I’ll do better staying connected with you. If you’re a member of the Sweet Harte Street Team, I’m working with my virtual assistant to come up with fun stuff, giveaways and more. (If you have ideas, I’d love to hear them).