Cover reveal! Title reveal! Contest! Exclamation points!

Thank you guys so much for being so supportive of the Three Girls and a Baby sale! The book was downloaded quite a bit yesterday and it was so fun to see it show up on some best-seller lists. For a while Baby was the #16 ebook on BarnesandNoble.com! Weee! The sale will continue through next Monday so if you haven’t grabbed a copy yet there’s still time to get it cheap;)

The big news for today is that I am finally ready to reveal the title and cover of my next book. Without further ado, I present…

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Lizzie Medina went to London to reinvent herself. Tired of being the quiet baby sister, and in no hurry to settle into a boring existence in surburbia, she escapes from home at the first opportunity. When she settles in London for a year of post-graduate studies, Lizzie is sure she’ll be able to start a whole new life. Immerse herself in the books she loves. Explore a new country. Work on her dream of writing a novel. She might even be able to find a little bit of excitement for once.

But falling unexpectedly in love with up-and-coming actor Thomas Harper causes Lizzie to re-think her wishes for excitement. When Thomas’s career suddenly explodes to superstar levels, Lizzie finds herself forced to navigate the fame game of red carpets, catty co-stars, gossip magazines, and paparazzi. When she wished for a new life, she had no idea it would be anything like this!

Lizzie must now determine if her love is strong enough to get her through the complications of dating a movie star. Even if she and Thomas are able to pull through before she leaves London, how will she deal with the inevitability of returning to a life at home that no longer feels like her own? Will the changes Lizzie made in London be enough to help her find true happiness?

Find out in Lovestruck in London, available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore Tuesday, May 21st 2013!

I am so excited to release this book! I researched it and started writing during my trip to the UK last fall. It seems so crazy to me that a book I started while sitting in Hyde Park one afternoon, worked on while cruising across the ocean, and finished after moving into my new house will actually be published. I really hope you guys like it as much as I do! I think the thing I’m most excited about is introducing a whole new set of characters. I tend to get really invested in my characters–in fact, I kind of refuse to believe that Kiki Barker Thompson is not a real person and my actual friend. I hope you guys will enjoy meeting Lizzie and her friends because I’m so excited for you to get to know them!

To help spread my excitement, I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon.com gift card to one of my readers. To enter, all you have to do is comment below and let me know your email address and who your favorite literary character is. The contest is only open to those living in the United States, sorry!  I’ll randomly select a winner the day of the book release, Tuesday, May 21.

I’ll be doing at least two more contests throughout the week in anticipation of the release. One will be open to newsletter members only, so if you haven’t already, sign up to be on the email list here. I only send out *occasional* emails regarding new releases, sales, and contests, promise! I will not clog up your inbox because I hate that as much as the next girl;)

I’m still working on the last minute polish of the novel so I better get back to work. Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday. Good luck with the contest!

CONTEST NOW CLOSED. CONGRATS MARY DOWNING ON YOUR $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Book sale and other fun news!

I have so much exciting news to share!

Okay, first things first, you can now find ALL of my books on Barnes and Noble for your Nook! I’m a big Nook fan myself, it was my first e-reader, so I’m very happy readers can now find me over there. I’d like to be able to say the same about the iBookstore but I’m still missing one book on their site (An Unexpected Love Story). I hope to rectify that soon, keep your fingers crossed that Apple cooperates! You can still find the entire Three Girls series there as well as In Search of a Love Story and An (Almost) Perfect Love Story. My books are also up over on Kobo.

The second bit of news is that Three Girls and a Baby is now on sale for only $.99. Baby is the first book of the Three Girls series. If you haven’t read about Ginny, Jen, Annie, and Kiki yet, this is where you should start! The sale is being featured on Bookbub today so hop over there and get the link for the bookstore of your choice (the sale is happening on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords). The sale lasts all week because I’m celebrating. More on that later…

P.S. If you’re not subscribed to Bookbub yet, you really should be! They send you a daily email with free and cheap ebook finds. They are very selective in what they promote, so you know you’re only looking at really good books. And they let you personalize the kinds of books you see, so you’ll only get the genres you like. I love them! Since I signed up I’ve found so many great cheap and free ebooks (too many, really. My book budget is out.of.control).

The most exciting news I have to share, and the reason I’m celebrating with a book sale, is because my new book comes out NEXT WEEK! I cannot wait to share it with people! It’s been a really long time coming and, for some reason, this book was really a struggle for me to finish the way I wanted it. I’m so happy that it’s FINALLY ready!

I’ll be posting about the release all week. I’ll be sharing a sneak peek at the first chapter, interviewing some of the characters, and offering several contests. Tomorrow will be a big day: I’m revealing the cover and title and explaining how you can enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Make sure you check back throughout the week for the latest information on the release!

I hope you guys are enjoying the spring, wherever you are. Michigan decided we’d had enough of lovely 70 degree days and turned on the cold this weekend. I am NOT happy about it. But the Red Wings won their first round series and are moving on in the Stanley Cup playoffs, so it’s not all sad around here.

See you tomorrow!

How is it April??

I’ve been a very bad blogger in 2013! Sorry that I fell off the face of the Earth, guys. Things have been nuts but I’m finally settling down. Yay!

One of the biggest reasons I’ve been MIA is because I’ve been working very hard on a new book. I’m having trouble choosing a title and I really need to get on that, because the book should be ready to publish in May. So what can I tell you about this book if I can’t give you a title? Let’s see…It’s set in London, it features a cute British boy (who just so happens to be a movie star), lots of references to Jane Austen novels, and a love story that I am particularly fond of. It’s very strange to write a book not set in Michigan but I loved writing about London. I hope you guys like it as much as I do. I promise to do better about updating in the next few weeks.

In other news, I am working to get all of my books available for nook, kobo, and iTunes. I’m also getting audiobook versions made, which I’m very excited about! It’s not a difficult process, but it is tedious, which makes it hard to do when I’m so focused on writing and editing. Again, I’ll update the site when the books are ready everywhere.

The other thing I’m working on is a prequel to the Three Girls series. I’m VERY excited about this! I think you guys know how much I love those girls, and how much I miss them when I’m not writing about them. The story I’m working on will be a novella (meaning it’s shorter than a novel) and will take place prior to Three Girls and a Baby. The best news about this prequel is that I will be offering it for free! I’m hoping to  have this out sometime in the late Spring.

I think that’s all the book news I have for now! Besides for writing I’ve been staying busy watching The Walking Dead, Dr. Who, and Community. I’m kind of obsessed with Community, actually. Joel McHale is so very dreamy and I’m more than a little bit in love with Danny Pudi and Donald Glover. Sigh. If you don’t watch this show I highly recommend giving it a shot (before NBC, in all their infinite wisdom, cancels it).

Oh, I also moved! I bought a new house with a great back yard for Lucy. It is also very near a park with walking trails and a little nature center. Lucy LOVES it! But she now gets even more annoyed when I spend all day writing. She just wants to be in the park all the time!

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Lucy says, “Hey, stop writing and take me to the park!”

I hope you are all doing well and that spring is arriving where you are. It was a whopping 35 degrees today. Woohoo :/

Talk to you soon!

New Book!

The final book of the Love Story series is here and I’m so happy!

An (Almost) Perfect Love Story, the third and final book of my new series, is available to purchase on Amazon.com right here.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00030]

Ashley Phillips always believed she would live the perfect love story.

And why wouldn’t she? After all, Ashley’s been witness to her own parents’ perfect marriage, having been sweethearts ever since they met in high school. With their fairytale example to guide her, Ashley was sure that she would eventually find her very own prince charming. When she falls in love with one of her best friends, Chris, Ashley is sure she’s on her way to happy-ever-after.

When Chris proposes, Ashley is more confident than ever that her love story will be a perfect one. With the help of her mother and her best friends, Emily and Ryan, Ashley is determined to plan the dream wedding that she has always imagined.

But a devastating revelation will soon prove that the Phillips family is not as perfect as Ashley has always thought. When the cracks begin to show, Ashley will be faced with betrayal so strong it will cause her to doubt everything she’s always believed about marriage, love, and family. Now Ashley must decide if it’s time to give up the dream—or if true love is really worth fighting for after all.

 

First of all, didn’t Scarlett do a lovely job on the cover? It expresses Ashley very well, I think. Unlike Emily and Brooke, Ashley is all about the girly stuff. And as you can see from the items on the cover, there’s a wedding in this book. I think we all know how much I love writing about weddings!

I’m very excited to get this book out there, and to complete the Love Story series. It was a challenging set of books for me to write. I had so much fun writing about the Three Girls and spent a lot of time with Ginny, Jen, and Annie. Branching out to write about new people was hard at first. Of course, by the time I was finished I found I loved Emily, Brooke, and Ashley just as much.

I hope you do too!

To celebrate the new release, I have some great sales going for the first two books in the series. One of my favorite kindle websites, the Kindle Fire Department, did a very nice feature and explained the special deals you can take advantage of today. Check them out here, and please bookmark them for future use. They help authors connect with a lot of readers and help readers find a lot of sales!

I hope everyone enjoys this new release. If you have the chance to check it out, I’d love to know what you think. And keep an eye out for the Three Girls–they have a tendency of popping up in this new series;)

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I love, love, love Christmas Eve! This is the night when we get together with my huge extended family. We eat yummy food, sing carols, exchange presents, and generally have a wonderful time. I look forward to it all year and I’m so happy my family has this tradition.

What traditions do you enjoy celebrating this time of year?

Since I’m in such a festive mood I wanted to share something cool with my awesome readers. Today only the entire Three Girls collection is available on Amazon for just $2.99. That’s three full length books for the price of one! Check out the link below. The three Girls series would make a nice gift for any fans of chick lit or romantic comedy.

Three Girls Collection

I hope you all have a lovely holiday with your friends and family. I am so blessed to have such amazing readers. Thank you so much for all of your support!

What I’m Working On

I am so happy to see December on the calendar. I’m really, really happy. November was a bit rough. NaNoWriMo fell smack dab in the middle of me trying to get two books ready for publication (Don’t know about NaNoWriMo? You can read more about it here or in my blog post from last November). In addition to editing and lining up marketing stuff, I managed to write 64,813 brand new words during the contest. Some of those words were for a short story collection (more on that in a minute), some were for something brand new (a project I’m calling The London Book in my head), and a lot of the words were for rewrites on the last book in the Love Story series. I know, I know, NaNo is supposed to be 50k words of one single novel, but my schedule didn’t quite work out that way this year. One of the things I love about NaNo is the sense of freedom surrounding the project. I decided to exercise that freedom to do things my way this year. NaNo is so good for getting me productive, and this year that was more true than ever.

So let’s talk a little about the various projects I worked on in November. The first was a short story for this awesome collection:

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Holiday Wishes, a short story collection to raise money for children’s charity.

Fourteen bestselling indie authors have come together to write a holiday short story collection to benefit a children’s charity this holiday season. These authors, who write in genres ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction, have joined in the holiday spirit to write all new stories for this anthology.

The collection includes contributions from the following authors: David Adams, Jason Brant, Elle Casey, Deanna Chase, Kate Danley, Dee Ernst, Ashley Mackler-Paternostro, Becca Mills, Dalya Moon, Christine Pope, Deanna Roy, Rachel Schurig, Jack Sheppard and Amber Sweetapple, with cover art donated by Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Artwork.

Holiday Wishes was the brainchild of Amber Sweetapple, a really great author I’ve been lucky to get to know over the last few months. Amber and her husband, Jack Sheppard, write really cool books AND they’re from Michigan! You can check out their author pages here and here. I was so stoked when Amber asked me to contribute a story. There are some seriously talented people involved in this! I decided to write something about the Three Girls and I’m so glad I did! It was so much fun revisiting Ginny, Jen, and Annie. The Christmas themed story takes place after Annie’s book. It was really fun to write and I hope you’ll check it out. All of the proceeds benefit a great children’s charity. The paperback is lovely and would make a lovely gift! You can get it here:

Kindle

Paperback

In addition to working on the short, I also spent a lot of time last month getting two new books ready to publish. Have you checked out In Search of a Love Story yet?

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It is the first book of my new project, the Love Story series. I’ve been hard at work getting the two sequels finished. The next book, An Unexpected Love Story, will feature Emily Donovan’s best friend Brooke and her life running an inn in northern Michigan. The third and final book of the series, An (Almost) Perfect Love Story, will feature Ashley Phillips, who you may remember as Emily’s roommate. Like the Three Girls books, this new series celebrates love and friendship, with a dose of laughter mixed in. I really hope you’ll check them out! I should have cover art to reveal very soon! Oh, and if you look very closely, you may spot one of the Three Girls in each of the Love Story books;)

One more fun piece of news: I’ve been working on getting the Three Girls books put into a digital boxed set. I’m hoping to have this ready for Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying December as much as I am! It’s been rainy here in Detroit, and not very cold, which is strange. I’m hoping for some real snow by Christmas!

Crazy Dreams

Okay, I’ve been awful at keeping up with my blog lately! I’m sorry! I kind of have a good excuse. First of all, I’ve been writing like a mad thing. Kiki’s book came out in July and it’s been selling well. I love the feedback I’ve gotten from readers. I really love Kiki and it makes me so happy to hear that other people enjoy reading about her too. I’ve been working hard on the sequels to In Search of a Love Story. I like how they’re coming along so far and I’m hoping they’ll both be ready by the new year.

Another reason I’ve been MIA relates to a very fun adventure I got to go on earlier in the fall. I got home a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post this. It’s a blog entry I wrote while crossing the Atlantic ocean on a cruise ship. Here goes:

Last September I was heading back to the classroom after a summer of amazing, fulfilling, humbling writing experiences. I remember a feeling of almost desperation. I had been able to focus on my writing all summer long, and it made me so happy. While I was excited to get back to my students, a huge part of me badly wanted to continue to write full time. I had published my first book over the summer and had finished writing and revising the second. The excitement of those experiences was unlike anything I had experienced. The thought of regulating the writing stuff to after school hours made me feel so sad—and scared, in a weird way. What if I never got to write full time?

What a difference a year makes.

When September rolled around this year, instead of heading back to the classroom, I got on a plane. Many hours later I landed in Scotland, a grand UK adventure ahead of me.

I’ve always wanted to write a book set in London. Most of my favorite books are set in England, from Jane Austen’s classics to Sophie Kinsella’s chicklit to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I’d been to London before, years ago, but I knew that to really do justice to a book set in the city I would have to spend more time there. Now that I’m not teaching, I finally had the opportunity to do it. I would spend some time in Edinburgh Scotland, London, and Winchester, before heading home on a transatlantic cruise (The cruise doesn’t really have much to do with the book research, but it seemed much more romantic and interesting than just flying home).

The experience was everything I wanted it to be. All three cities were amazing. I saw castles and churches, museums and markets, parks and palaces.

Buckingham Palace

Big Ben

Westminster Abbey

Edinburgh Castle

I went to the house where Jane Austen lived, where she wrote and published her books. I went to the church where she is buried and cried as I read her sister’s correspondence announcing Jane’s death.

Jane Austen’s house

Miss Austen’s writing desk

Well said, Jane!

Winchester Cathedral

I met interesting people everywhere I went and got enough material and inspiration to fill several books. Cruising home across the vast Atlantic I spent hours sitting out on deck, writing and watching the waves.

It was the trip of a life time. When I first arrived in Edinburgh and went through customs, the agent asked me my profession. Without hesitation, I told her: “I’m an author.”

Before I left home my best friend made me a series of CDs to listen to in the various cities I would visit. There was a moment listening to that music in London that I will remember for the rest of my life. As I walked along the Thames, in the shadow of Big Ben, a song came on my iPod called Crazy Dreams. Do you know this song? I guess it was originally done by Carrie Underwood, but it was covered last season on the show Smash. You can hear a clip of the Smash version over here on NBC’s site. Anyhow, the song is basically all about not giving up on stuff and how amazing it is when our dreams come true. It’s a little cheesy, but totally appropriate for walking around in London on a grand adventure of sightseeing and book writing. Ooh, and the actress who sings it on Smash, Megan Hilty, is who Andrea and I would want to play Kiki if they ever make a movie of my books.

Doesn’t she look just like Kiki?

It was such an amazing moment, walking along the river in this amazing city, hearing those lyrics randomly start up on my ipod.

Here’s to you free souls, you firefly chasers
Tree climbers, porch swingers, air guitar players
Here’s to you fearless dancers, shaking walls in your bedrooms

There’s a lot of wonder left inside of me and you

Thank God even crazy dreams come true

I think sometimes of what would have happened if I had given up last fall. My books weren’t selling well, teaching was taking a lot out of me, and it was difficult to write as much as I needed to in the limited amount of time I had after school. Writing the third book of the series was hard for me. I remember feeling tired and frustrated. The writing didn’t flow the way it did with the previous two books. What if it was no good? What if I never got my chance, if my books never started selling? Would it be worth it to continue to work so hard when the rewards seemed so little? A voice in my head told me it was time to slow down a little, stop writing so much, take a break.

Thank God I didn’t listen.

And thank God even crazy dreams come true.