Sometimes perfect is what you least expect.
Brigid Marino lives and works in Edgewater, a neighborhood that’s seen better days. But now that things are looking up, she’s not happy about it. It was bad enough when newcomers started renovating homes, but now a developer is buying up the business properties. Fearing urban renewal will ruin Edgewater and threaten her family’s business, Brigid’s determined to stop him. But handsome newcomer Alex Connor is a major distraction from her crusade.
Though Alex’s sapphire eyes and smoky laugh are doing things to Brigid she can’t ignore, he not only symbolizes the Edgewater changes she wants to stop, he’s urging her to risk some major changes to her life—a life she feels is perfect. Now Brigid must decide whether to trust the charming, but evasive, Alex who’s challenging her to rethink her idea of perfection and open her eyes to new possibilities.
My publisher has put novels from my two extreme sides on sale this week. Written by my light side, you can get the first ebook in my romantic comedy series, High Tea & Flip-Flops, on sale for only $.99 at Amazon.com though July 13th.
Yes, I’m talking about Kindle Scout again! If you’ve missed my previous appeals for help in winning a publishing contract through this program and would like to know what the heck I’m talking about, read this.
My campaign for High Tea & Flip Flops is nearing the end—only four more days to go. So far, my book has been on the Hot List more days than not, but I need your help to keep it on the list for the big finish.
Reasons why you should nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:
- You love romantic comedy.
- You love getting a free book, which you will if Kindle Scout publishes it.
- You know I try always to support my fellow authors.
- You’ve learned something from my blog.
- You admire my perseverance in trying to get my writing out to the public.
Reasons why you should not nominate High Tea & Flip Flops:
- You think I’m a terrible writer.
But wait, you say, what if I don’t like reading romantic comedy? So what? Even if it’s not a book you’d like to read, but you think it’s worthy of being published, nominate it. If it shows up on your Kindle, give it to a friend or family member who will enjoy reading it.
So, if you haven’t nominated High Tea & Flip Flops, may I ask why?
If you have already nominated my book, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And may I suggest you tell a friend to nominate it too? Here’s the link to my campaign page: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3QR8C2LJAU1XU
I’m struggling a bit with the first draft of one of the books I’m writing this year. The story is meant to be lighter in tone than those I’ve written previously, which means I have to stop myself from delving too deeply into the dark side of my characters. But I entertain myself exploring that off page.
The main character in this novel is Chelsea, who’s twenty-three but having a hard time moving into adulthood. I’m long past that age. At twenty-three, I was married and the mother of two. So even if I could remember my thoughts and feelings back then, they would bear little resemblance to hers.
But I know how to research. I’ve done a good portion of that by reading books and watching movies and TV series featuring characters who are young, single, and funny—and looking for love, of course. Life is all about our relationships.
You might recognize the photo accompanying this post. I’ve recently discovered New Girl. Yes, I know it’s been on the air for three seasons, but I don’t watch much TV and when I do it’s usually drama. Yes, I know the characters in New Girl are in their thirties, but they’re still single and immature and funny. And the show is many years more current than Friends.
Via Netflix, I watch a couple of episodes a night before I fall asleep. So far, that hasn’t inspired any dreams directly related to my book’s plot, but I’m sure my Muse is paying attention. Plus, laughter is good medicine, which helps with my chronic pain. And that describes what I’m writing—a little light pushing back the darkness.
I wish you a week filled with laughter and love.
Once upon a time, I decided to finally keep the promise I’d made to myself many times in my life: I’d write a novel. The year was 1999. At that time, most of the books I read were written by Stephen King or Maeve Binchy, so I guess it’s logical that I set out to write a character-driven paranormal story. I started writing in September and finished in the spring of 2000.
Somewhere during those months, I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) not because I was writing a romance, but because they were the only writing group I could find in my area. After that I did start calling it a paranormal romance and even entered the first three chapters in a national contest. The judges’ comments were unanimous: This is not a romance!
Okay then. I revised it to straight horror … or paranormal … or whatever you call a novel about reincarnation and an evil spirit.
And now, fourteen years later, I’m revising that novel again. In the intervening years, I pulled up that file and played at revision, but never got very far before real life called me away. So, when I pulled it up again this year, the beginning chapters seemed in pretty good shape. I even blogged at the beginning of this month that I’d looked through it and found the writing quality not as bad as I’d feared.
I just didn’t look far enough or read closely enough.
About halfway through, I hit the chapters that hadn’t been touched since 2000. Oh my, was I in love with dialogue tags back then. I used them for about sixty percent of the lines … in a conversation between only two people! And some of those tags were “telling” ones: “he growled” or “he huffed” or “she begged.” But even when I used plain old said, often I tacked on an adverb: “he said angrily” or “she said brightly” instead of making the dialogue and action do the work.
But the worst error, the one that really made me cringe, is in a love scene. No, I didn’t use silly euphemisms for body parts, though I did make the mistake of having the main character, a construction worker, use unlikely flowery language. But most egregious is the messy point of view. Though I’ve used three viewpoints in this novel, those are confined to one per scene or chapter (third person limited.) But in this love scene, the POV ping pongs from his to hers throughout (omniscient.)
Fortunately, I’d found only an occasional POV slip in all the previous chapters. But this scene … wow! Now, I have to decide from which character’s viewpoint the scene is best told and get to editing. The most rewarding thing about this revision is catching these mistakes. I’ve learned a lot about the craft in fourteen years … and I’m still learning.
When you look back at your older work, whatever that is, do you see progress—or were you great from the beginning?