What comes next?

I’ve had quite a few people send me messages on Facebook or tell me in person… “I’m going to need you to write sequel to this book.” The book they are referring to is Holding on to Someday. *If you have not read it, you totally should.*

Honestly, I never had the intention to write a second book to make HOTS a series, but enough people have mentioned it, I feel like I should at least entertain the idea. So, I started looking through my Pages files earlier this week and found this little nugget.

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I did think about it for a brief period of time… in 2015 & apparently long enough to start the second book.

I’m making no promises on a second/sequel book, or even a date for it, but if you’ve read Holding on to Someday (HOTS), you will understand why people might want a follow-up.

And if you’ve not read HOTS… well, this is the perfect opportunity for you to read it!

Buy my book

 

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How does it feel?

Since I released my book last week, a lot of people have asked me, “How does it feel to be a published author?”

The answer: Surreal

I don’t feel any different than I did on May 7th… maybe a little less stressed – okay, that’s a lie – but I do feel accomplished.

So, you see, for me, this has been a LOOOOOONG journey. I never expected to publish a book. I typed some words in a Word document over the course of two years and that was the end of it.  At least, I thought it was the end. I was so nervous to release my soul words to someone else to critique. It’s truly like handing your baby over to a new babysitter and wondering how they are going to take care of this precious child you adore and have spent so much time growing and nurturing.

It was scary.

BUT… had I never taken the leap, I would not be typing this blog post today and sharing with you about all the wonderful words of encouragement I’ve received over the last ten days.

Writing is a hobby – a past time – so it’s not like life stopped when I published my book. I went to work that morning, as usual, worked an 8 hour day, came home to cook supper, took my daughter to a softball game, and did a couple loads of laundry. Just a day in the life of me. My phone chimed all day with Facebook alerts and texts messages of people telling me “happy release day” or “congratulations!”

Now that my book is live and people know, what’s next? You wait. And then you wait some more. You wait to see how many people buy your book. You wait to see if any ARC reviews come in. You wait to hear what people think. OH THE WAITING GAME!

I saw my first review on accident as I was uploading live links to my Goodreads page. I had a minor freak out. Oh my gosh, there is a review! Do I read it? Do I look away? *closes Goodreads*

*calls friend immediatley*… dials number… beep beep beep.

Me: “OMG I have a review!”

Friend: Well, what is it?

Me: I don’t know, I didn’t look.

Friend: Well, look!

*nervously opens Goodreads back up. Takes a deep breath. Goes to my book.*

Me: It’s 4 stars!!!

Friend: Yay! That’s great!

So there’s that. I was pleasantly surprised to find someone liked my book. *Whew*  Then more reviews started coming in, as well as Facebook messages, of people telling me they couldn’t put the book down and loved it so much! That feeling is what makes all the difference. The feeling of knowing you were able to capture someones attention for a few hours and give them a little escape, is priceless. To be encouraged to keep writing and have people wanting to read more of your words is indescribable.

My husband has bragged on me to friends, family, and co-workers. He’s telling everyone, “My wife wrote a book” with a sense of pride that makes me feel like a million bucks.

I’ll relish this feeling now and hope I can continue this ride a while longer. I’m not done telling stories, I just hope people keep wanting to read them.

 

 

 

It’s here…

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My very first novel is now a published work! I’m so excited to share my words with you and hope you will enjoy Clara’s story.

You can order at Amazon or read for Free on Kindle Unlimited:

TEASER ALERT!!! Holding on to Someday

Okay… so here’s my surprise for you. You can read Chapter 1 exclusively here! Remember this book is copyrighted by me 🙂 Please do not distribute.


PART I

CHAPTER 1 – Fall 1996

Julie runs into my room screaming, “Clara, I can’t believe you got a date with Drew Cason! I mean, he is THE star player on the football team, and like the cutest guy on campus! How in the world did you even meet him?”

Julie is my best friend, and one of my roommates. We met our freshman year of college at South Springs University during orientation when we were all forced to play the human bingo game. The object of the game was to go around and talk to other students, find out what you had in common, and initial the squares until someone yelled, “Bingo!” We had to get BINGO on paper by finding out facts about other people’s lives. We learned things about each other like, who had been bungee jumping, who had traveled abroad, and who could rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time.

Julie and I hit it off after we found out we were both only children. Being in a strange place, surrounded by people you don’t know, you latch on to what you can. We just kind of clicked that day, and the rest is history. We became best friends that first semester, and have been roommates through our senior year.

Making her way across the room, she jumps over our other roommate, Marabeth, who currently has her head buried in my closet, butt stuck up in the air, rummaging through my shoes.

“You need new shoes, Clara. These look like they came from 1985,” Marabeth yells as she throws every pair of Sam & Libby flats that I own into the middle of my bedroom floor.

If we weren’t such good friends, I might be a little offended. “What’s wrong with my shoes? I have a pair in just about every color so they will match any outfit I have.”

“My point exactly,” Marabeth says, dangling a pair of royal blue flats in front of her like they have cooties. “You need to get with the program and trash these suckers. These are not cool anymore. High school called, and it wants its shoes back.”

Julie ignores Marabeth and continues to prod me for details about my male companion for the evening. “So seriously, how did you score a night with the hottest guy on the football team? Dreamy Drew…” she says with a sigh as she falls back onto my bed. “He’s so dreamy and yummy, and kissableand dreamy.

Marabeth rolls her eyes saying, “Oh no, here we go with the mushy stuff.”

I think Julie zones out a few seconds before I bring her back to earth. Standing over her, I snap my fingers in front of her face and tell her, “It’s not a big deal. We are just hanging out together. Remember we DO have the same major. Dreamy Drew, and I have had plenty of classes together over the past two years,” I say, as I air-quote his name. “This is just a study date.”

“How many girls would be in a puddle at his feet if he asked them out? And YOU are all like ‘no big deal’… pfff… come on, at least get a little excited!” Julie says as she examines the clothing choices I have laid out on my bed. “So, what are you studying if this is a quote-unquote study date? Each other?… your lips?… his abs?” she giggles while making googly faces at me.

“Oh, come on! Are you going to be this way when he gets here? Because if you are, I’m locking you in the closet.” I tell her as I grab my sweatshirt off the bed and start to pull it over my head.

“Nope, nope, nope. No, you are not!” Marabeth says, tugging my sweatshirt off as I try to put it on. “Get that slouchy thing off and put on something that makes you look like a girl.” She picks up a miniskirt and shoves it at me. “This looks nice.”

I take the miniskirt and put it back in the drawer. “Like I said, this is not an official date; it’s a study date. I want to be comfortable. I also don’t want to give Drew the wrong idea. I mean, who shows up to a study date wearing a miniskirt and sequins?”

Marabeth snickers, “Sam wouldn’t mind if I showed up for a study date wearing a miniskirt.”

Julie chimes in, “Clara…He asked you on this study date, right? Like a ‘come-over-to-my-dorm-and-let’s-eat-pizza’ kind of date.”

I dip my chin, trying to hide the blush spreading across my cheeks. “Well, yes, but…”

Julie cuts me off, pinching my lips between her fingers. “But nothing! He asked you. It’s a date. If you are going to his dorm, it’s a date.”

I am not going to win this battle. It’s been going strong for 20 minutes; I need to give in at some point, or I’ll never be ready in time for my study date. Not to mention, she might have a point. I guess I don’t want to think of it as a date because it’s Drew Cason, the star quarterback for the Bulldogs, asking me to his place. This guy is dreamy hot, hence the nickname “Dreamy Drew.” Girls fling themselves at him all of the time. You’d think he would be your typical jock: cocky, arrogant, big-headed…all the stuff you tend to think about guys who play sports at the collegiate level…but he’s not. Drew seems to be a genuinely good guy. We declared the same major, Business Management, so we’ve been in many of the same classes together over the years.  I’ve gotten to know him reasonably well.  As much as I want to stereotype him as the typical college football player, he is different. Nice, actually.

When I see the other football players out and about, Drew is rarely with them. He doesn’t seem like the fame or hype phases him at all. It’s more like he is just ab ordinary guy who happens to enjoy playing the game. Apparently, he doesn’t do the party scene either. At first, I thought it odd, because most of the jocks all live in the same dorm and flock to every off-campus event together. No, Drew goes against the grain. He doesn’t take advantage of the all-too-willing girls, he is polite and uses manners, and he lives in a different dorm than the rest of the team. Best of all, he doesn’t walk around with a holier than thou aura.

An assignment in our marketing class prompted this “study date” tonight. We were instructed to choose a partner and come up with a presentation at the end of the semester. The professor gave us the freedom to choose partners, and to my surprise, Drew approached me right away and asked me to be his partner. I fell out of my chair. Literally. He caught me off guard when came up behind me, so I did this ugly fumble/lean/try-to-cover-up-my-awkwardness…thing. I don’t know what to call it, but it was embarrassing. Ever the gentleman, Drew extended his hand and helped me out of the floor while trying not to laugh.

After class today, he asked me to come over to his dorm so we could start discussing the project. He also mentioned something about pizza. Even though we’ve had many classes together in the past, we’ve never really talked outside of class other than the usual “Hi” when we pass each other on campus or in the cafeteria.  Funny, now that I think about it, I’ve seen Drew around a lot more this semester than I ever have before. Anyway, we are writing a business proposal for our project, so our plan is for me to go to his dorm tonight to start our research.

A pair of cream-colored stirrup pants fling by my head, and Julie squeals. “Wear these with your cream sweater.” She and Marabeth are still convinced that I need to wear something other than my high school cheerleading hoodie, jeans, and Adidas flops, which I am currently sporting.

“But these are my comfy clothes, and pretty much my daily apparel,” I say to her, but she’s telling me she doesn’t care with her evil glare.

I look at my reflection in the mirror and don’t see what’s wrong with what I’m wearing. My blonde locks are pulled up into a high ponytail, primarily because I didn’t dry my hair last night and it’s a little frazzled. Regardless, I look like I do almost every other day.

Hmmm… I might could stand to spiff up a little, I think to myself. So I cave and say, “I’ll keep my jeans, but I’ll wear the cream sweater instead of the sweatshirt. Happy?”

Marabeth crosses her arms in a pout of defeat, “and take that scrunchie out of your hair and actually use a curling iron,” she says while waving a brush in the air.

“Fine,” I huff.  Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to look a little better than my usual, frumpy self.

Julie is more like me.  She doesn’t care about making a fashion statement either.  Marabeth, on the other hand, puts on lip-gloss to go to the bathroom. You will never see her in sweats or hair scrunchies, and if you do, you know something is majorly wrong.  One time last year, she strolled into the living room wearing glasses so thick I thought they were glass bottles and an oversized neon green T-shirt with cut-off sweatpants.  Whoa.  It turns out she had an ulcer on her lip, so she deemed herself horrid and refused to leave the apartment for three days.

As I proceed to my closet to find a sweater that is roommate-approved, I decide to go ahead and make it worthwhile and do the whole kit and caboodle. So I put on makeup.  I figure, why not?  I should make myself a little more presentable…just in case this ends up being more than a study date.

Blurb Reveal!

The cover is coming soon but here’s a sneak peek at the blurb.

Holding on to Someday COVER REVEAL COMING SOON

Clara had it all planned out… graduate from college, get married, find her dream job and start a family of her own. When she met Drew during her senior year of college, she was certain he was the Prince Charming she had been waiting for, the one to complete her fairytale life. Turns out life had different plans.

Now a single, middle-aged workaholic, Clara has poured herself into building her career, and those dreams of finding love have taken a backseat to her success. She’s been holding out for someday, but when that day finally comes… will she follow her heart or will fate step in yet again?

You can add my book on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39809256-holding-on-to-someday

 

 

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Nostalgia

 

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Do you have certain places, songs, and smells that take you back to the past? I’m a child of the 80’s. “Retro” is my jam and you can often find me listening to an 80’s or 90’s radio station. I recently went to an 80’s birthday party where all the attendees wore clothes from this famous era. I was in my element. I wore original 80’s clothing {yes I still own some of it}, unlike many of the party-goers that had to scope out the twenty-first century’s version of the 80’s.

When writing my book Holding on to Someday, I slipped back in time. I relived the glory days of college and many of the places and experiences in this book are similar to my own. Little details about the latest fashion trend and even the sayings that were famous back in the day kept creeping back in my mind.

Do you write what is familiar to you or do you create a whole new experience? As I’ve been on this writing journey, I’ve found a lot of my inspiration comes from things familiar to me – past and present. I’ve also stepped outside my comfort zone and had to do some research for some of my projects as well. Writing is a learning experience I have welcomed.

What are some of the things that take you back to the past? What gives you the sense of nostalgia that brings comfort or things that bring a sense of dread or fear? I would love to hear from you!

This is My Story

In 2012, I had an idea for a story. People write books. People read them. This is a common occurrence – nothing out of the ordinary – unless you are me.

You see, I never, ever, in hundred-thousand years, would have imagined I would write a book. I didn’t even like books growing up. In high school, the only book I recall was The Secret Garden – because I had to read for English class – and I just felt mediocre over it. Everyone was all “this is so great” and I’m over in the corner eating hot fries and trying not to get orange seasoning on the pages. It’s not that I hated reading, there were better things to do with my time. {Like record mix tapes from the radio, talking on the phone for endless hours, and tease my hair – mind you I grew up in the 80’s}. I read what I needed to read to get through high school and college.

As the years passed, and I grew into adulthood, I began to grow out of my dislike of reading. I read a few books here and there – self-help, relationship builders, baby books, how-to-be-a-good-mom type books – all non-fiction. There were a few I enjoyed, but still, reading was not my first choice. I was a stay-at-home mom with 3 little kids and I did not have time to read books. I barely had time to shower each day, let alone sit down for 30 uninterrupted minutes to open a book. And when I even had just 15 minutes, I was definitely not going to spend it reading. I’d rather catch up on the latest TV sitcom I was 2 seasons behind. Or nap.

Then the Twilight and Hunger Games craze saturated the market and everyone was like “you have to read these books… they are so good!” No thanks. I’m good. I don’t read. The movies came out, and I still had zero interest to watch a movie (or read a book) about vampires and werewolves. That’s just dumb.

I remember the 4th Twilight movie was about to release and my niece was having her own Twilight marathon to get ready for the next installment of pasty white people and humans turned hairy giant-sized dogs. She begged me to watch them with her. Because she’s my niece, and I loved her, I caved. Okay, whatever, I’ll watch them.

While I ended up liking the movies *forehead slap* I still refused to read the books. Those books were like 5 inches thick and there were 4 of them. FOUR!

{Insert side note} Christmas break 2011. *spent the entire break with my nose stuck in the Twilight books. I read them all in two weeks.*

Needless to say, Twilight and The Hunger Games changed my view on reading. It was then I discovered I never delved into the fiction world before and I kinda liked it. Maybe the reason I didn’t like to read before was that I had been reading the wrong genre.

Not long after finishing these two series, I sought out similar types of books. I craved reading. I shocked myself at how much I enjoyed escaping reality for a bit and jumping into my book world. My husband thought an alien invaded my body and my children had to learn to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for supper.  I couldn’t get enough of a good story… and there were a lot of them. However, as much as I wanted to lock myself in my bedroom or stay up all night with a good book, I had to find a balance between reading and family.

So how does this all tie into writing a book? Good question.

Finding books I actually enjoyed changed something within me. It sparked a desire I had no idea even existed. I made friends with other readers and started getting book recommendations. I read a variety of fiction books to get a feel of what I really liked. And I liked a happily ever after.

So this brings me back to 2012.

After I began reading, a story sparked in my mind but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Once the story was there, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I would often think to myself: “Would this make a good story?” – “Maybe I should write it down” – “What if I wrote a book?” One day, I opened my computer, started typing, and the words flowed. I thought about things familiar and what I knew. I would sit in the wee hours of the morning typing away while all my people were sleeping. Three hours would pass in the blink of an eye. Before I knew it, I had half a book.

Still not sure what to do with a half-written book, I kept it a secret. I wasn’t trying to hide it, but never had any intentions of finishing it. I really just needed the characters in my head to leave me alone and until I started writing their story, it would keep me up at night. I put it aside and didn’t open it back up for months. Then a writing urge would hit and I would open it back up and add another couple thousand words. This cycle went on for a couple years while I still kept it a secret I had been writing for months.

A co-worker, who shared the same love of reading, and I had many conversations about books and book ideas frequently. We were constantly recommending books to one another and comparing notes on books we both read. She happened to mention to me one day that I should write a book. “Well… actually… I kind of… ummmm… I already have.” {I think those were probably my exact words with a sheepish look on my face}

Surprised and elated, she begged me to let her read the book. I had no intentions of doing anything with this book, so why in the world would I let someone read it? I was scared out of my mind, but I did it. I composed the email to her and after I clicked “send” I thought I might throw up. Let me just say there is no scarier feeling in the world than baring your soul to someone by letting them read your words.

She actually liked it and saw something in my writing, encouraging me to finish the book. I blew it off for a while, but she didn’t let it go. I was reminded over and over that I wrote a book and I needed to finish. So, I finished the book. Then she told me I needed to publish it. {I turned green at the thought}

I had kept this book a secret for over 2 years. Then I go and let someone read it, she liked it, and now she wanted more people to read it. {I was not prepared for this} After MUCH persistence, encouragement and other friends reading my book, encouraging me as well, here I am today, almost ready to hit publish.

I am so thankful to my very first friend who read my book and my editor who, both, constantly encourage me to keep going and don’t give up. These two ladies have been such a HUGE support to me along this journey!

The story, Holding on to Someday, was inspired by a dear friend. It’s near and dear to me and I hope you will enjoy Clara’s journey.

 

Debut Novel coming soon!

I am very excited to be in the process of publishing my very first book!

It’s been 6 years in the making! I’m anticipating the release will be sometime early 2018.

Check back for more details. I’ll try to keep you guys updated through the process.