Monday, March 31, 2014

Off to Camp with Morning Glory

Yep. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo! I'm still participating in DOOM, but I figured they could overlap since both are supposed to conclude at the end of April. And being involved in Camp NaNoWriMo might give me extra motivation. Plus, I always loved the virtual camping theme!

As I was putting together my camp info, I came across the section for sharing your novel's synopsis. This prompted me to finally write one for Morning Glory! It's subject to change, as I just put it together tonight, but I'd love your feedback. Do you think it fits well with the other blurbs for this series? Does it make you want to read the book?


The depths of fear. The dawning of hope.

Summer 1887

Felicity Lute's family is on the run from scandal and sorrow, but their "vacation" isn't bringing Felicity and her sister, Helen, together the way it should. Hope - or at least distraction - comes in the form of Myghal Tamblyn, a Cornish man wandering the West. When he joins them on their journey to Crater Lake, Felicity begins to believe her heart and her dreams will heal. Just as long as she and her two sisters can keep their secrets hidden.

Myghal has fallen in love - and been forced to let go of love - twice. He's intrigued by the flirtatious and flamboyant Felicity, but he's also wary of the obvious tension in her family, despite their welcome. An adventure with new friends might be just what his lonely heart needs, or it could be the path to a third and final heartbreak.

When tragedy plunges Felicity and Myghal into the very depths of their fears, will they find anything strong enough to help them rise again?

Inspirational Historical Romance


I'm registered under my heroine's name (Felicity Lute), if you want to connect with me at camp!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Writing Update and Giveaway Notice!

Just popping in to give a brief update and announcement. :) So... I definitely didn't get as far through Morning Glory as I had hoped in March. I could say that I was swamped with marketing and client projects and family stuff and choir practices and a couple of square dances, which in some ways is true. But I know I could have fit more writing time in - I think I just let it overwhelm me to the point of procrastinating. (I'm very talented at procrastinating. I perfected the skill in college.) I think at some point I decided to let March go to the dogs, so to speak. I kind of went a little crazy this month with the book-acquiring, as well. *sheepish grin*

However, there's still one month left of the 2-month DOOM writing challenge. So I've got a good start for the story - several thousand words - and now I can treat April like a NaNoWriMo sort of month, right? I'd like to get as far through this first draft as I can. I do want to honor the Summer 2014 release commitment I made, so it would be good to make a lot more progress this next month. ;)

In other news, I've got a book giveaway going on at my personal blog, Seasons of Humility! If you'd like a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Forget Me Not (US only due to shipping costs) or an ebook copy of any of my books, please do stop by. :) While I wanted to have a separate blog here to share my author news without going overboard on my personal blog, I do sometimes talk about my books there, in addition to sharing book reviews (Christian fiction and some mainstream YA and NA - usually with at least a bit of romance!) and other life updates and bookish things. Plus, I host my publicity clients' blog tours over there, so there are some fun events and giveaways coming up in the next couple of months that you won't want to miss!

Here's a pic of the lovely Forget Me Not paperback taken at my alma mater:

I'm grateful to have my books included in their "Author's Corner" at Corban University. :)

Remember, if you'd like a chance to win your own signed copy, hop on over HERE. See you there!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dancing on Fairy Slippers

I'm so thrilled to officially announce the release of Fairy Slippers! Yes, I was originally going to wait until May and do a separate ebook release, similar to what I did for Bellflower. But I have such an awesome proofreader and cover designer who work so quickly - and after seeing what my cover designer did for her new short-story collection, Take a Picture, I decided I'd try something similar with Bellflower and Fairy Slippers. So the 2 have been combined into 1 $.99 ebook with a lovely updated cover (designed by Lena Goldfinch)!

You can purchase the ebook for only $.99 on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), or Smashwords (other e-book formats)!

I'm hosting a special little Cinderella-themed giveaway and talking a bit more about the ebook and book blast on Seasons of Humility today, so I do hope you'll stop by there! AND, to celebrate the occasion, I'm offering Forget Me Not FREE for Kindle today through Friday (March 21st) - so don't forget to pick up a copy and maybe let others know, if you're willing to spread the word. :)

To do something a little different here on the series blog, I'm going to give a little background/share some extras for Fairy Slippers. Enjoy!

Fairy Slippers Story & Setting

As some of you already know, Fairy Slippers was written with the Five Glass Slippers contest (hosted by Rooglewood Press) in mind. A blogging friend, Rebekah, shared in her review of Bleeding Heart that she wanted to read more about one of the secondary characters - a cook named Zachary Taylor. So I thought, "Why not try to give him a little sequel while writing something up for the contest?" It was a lot of fun putting together a Cinderella-themed story set in a redwood lumber town! 

First things first, though, I had to pick the right flower (in keeping with the flower theme of "The Heart's Spring" series). Somehow I came across the fairy slipper orchid in my search, and I knew it was absolutely perfect - not only for the title of the contest, but also for the story's setting. According to ARKive, "the fairy slipper orchid...has been called the most beautiful terrestrial orchid in North America," and it's noted that it can be found in Northern California. 

Interestingly enough, ARKive also notes, "Habitat destruction is a threat for the fairy slipper orchid in California, where logging for the timber industry is the primary cause." People picking the plants or accidentally harming them are also reasons the fairy slipper is more rare nowadays. So, fairy slippers would have been a treat for my characters to see near the lumber town, no question! But they'd be even more of a treat to discover today. I haven't noticed any before, but it sure would be neat to come across one in the forest. :)

Curious to see what a fairy slipper looks like? You can check out pictures at the site mentioned above, and here's a time lapse of the flower's growth and death that I found on YouTube:

As for the setting, I've discussed Falk briefly on my personal blog: A Walk Through the Past and A Walk Through Falk. But here's a short video on the history of the town, if you'd like a quick overview:

It's really a fascinating place, kind of haunting in its exuberant life and then utter disappearance. Definitely ripe for a story...

The aspect of town life that especially caught my attention, of course, was their Saturday night dances. :) I love me a fun barn dance! So we've got fairy slippers, a dance, and a Cinderella-type romance waiting to be told - I hope you'll enjoy Fairy Slippers!

You can learn more about the story and find links on the Short Stories page.

What's your favorite flower and fairy tale?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not Forgotten - The Paperback is Here!

For those of you who have been waiting... I didn't forget! There really is a paperback version of Forget Me Not, and it's finally here:

While there's nothing quite like holding your very first paperback in your hands, you can bet I still smiled big when I found the proof copy in my mailbox. And when I brought the book (in its package) to the care home where my grandpa's living, one of the caretakers remarked on how I clutched the box close, LOL. What can I say? She's my baby! ;)

If you'd like to see a few more pics and hear me ramble on some more about the paperback, check out Seasons of Humility today. I thought I'd do something a little different here on the series blog, so here are some fun facts about Forget Me Not! (Note that the list includes SPOILERS.)

Forget Me Not Fun Facts

  • Annabelle's name (if I'm remembering correctly!) was inspired by this song from Huckleberry Flint. David's real name was inspired by this song by John Denver. (I grew up with John Denver's music, and I think it really fits well with this series - very emotional.) "Casey's Last Ride" brings to mind the scene in Chapter 13 with Sally...
  • In the first complete draft, Amos was Sarah Anne's son (thus Elizabeth's "brother") - and he was the one who traveled to Virginia City to attend Elizabeth's wedding instead of Sarah Anne. I agree with my proofreader that it works well motivation-wise for Elizabeth not to have a brother figure/sibling before learning about Jacob, and I do like how it all works out for the "brother" theme, as Amos is the one who talks to David by the grave instead of David's mother. I definitely had to change up the beginning, as I rambled on for a while about David's past and Elizabeth's home life before having the two of them meet up. But I have a special place in my heart for the "first" Amos who loved food, teased Elizabeth, took her shopping, dreamed of working at the livery, and planned on marrying a girl named Daisy. ;)
  • Elizabeth was originally supposed to be from Kansas. When editing the manuscript a few months back, I decided to start the story at the river-rescue scene - and in so doing, I was able to cut out the whole stagecoach ride from Kansas to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was happy with my Internet research and the new picture I got of the Colorado scenes. I think it simplified things and made events perhaps a bit more plausible. (Although I realize that my stories are still very imaginative!)
  • Seth's name used to be John. Actually, that was his name in the first draft of Bleeding Heart, as well. But I had too many J-names (I still kind of do, but I wasn't as willing to change Jacob or Joe or Jack...). My mom suggested Seth, and I think it's perfect for him. Not only did it fit him as the husband of Naomi (who was Jewish), but the name means "placed" or "appointed" (according to Behind the Name). It was the name given to the son Eve bore after Abel was killed by Cain: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Genesis 4:25). If you know Seth's story in Bleeding Heart, you understand the significance.
  • Like I've said before, there was once a "contemporary" version of Forget Me Not. I feel like I got pretty far along (at least plot-wise), but maybe that was just because I was rather young when I wrote it, and it seemed long, hehe. The basic premise was similar: Elizabeth learned she had a brother she'd never met, and she ran away from home. She meets up with David, who was a drifter, I guess? Like Harry in The Journey of Natty Gann, although I don't think my story was set during the Great Depression, so I'm not sure how that worked! Anyway, I remember that they did make it to Virginia City, whereupon Elizabeth discovered her brother was a drunk. She was devastated, naturally. There was something about her going to church or meeting a preacher, and David being there for her. I *think* I left it at the point where they had to decide where to go from there... I don't think I ever officially finished that version. (We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, LOL.) I know I lost some of my attempts at writing Forget Me Not (gotta love computers), so I'm not sure if this was a casualty of unrecovered/unsaved documents or if I just gave up and tried a different version. It's kind of all a blur in my mind... 
  • I took "Novel Writing" in college, and I had some of Forget Me Not done at the time. (I don't think I finished the first draft until the following school year.) But I didn't share any of it in class. Instead, I chose to work on different stories specifically for the course. I just didn't think I could handle my classmates or professor critiquing my baby... I was probably right (for where I was at the time). After all, it took me until just a few month ago to finally edit the manuscript!
 And I'll end there for now!

Do you enjoy reading "the story behind the story" for books you've read? Is there anything you'd like to know about the writing process for Forget Me Not?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meet the Characters of Morning Glory

I'm getting to know the main characters of Morning Glory as I write, and I'm excited to explore their stories - their history and hopes and heartbreak. Here's a quick introduction to the handful of main characters (so far)...

Myghal Tamblyn
 (Photo of Stefano Masciolini; pinned from "For Redheads" on Tumbler)

Most of you already know Myghal - he was a prominent secondary character in both Forget Me Not and Bleeding Heart. He's Cornish, with a bit of an Irish accent picked up from his mother. (His accent is a little mixed-up from his heritage and all his wanderings...) My understanding is that the name should technically be pronounced Ma-hail. To me, he's Mee-gall, so that's what everyone else in the books think of him as. You know Americans - we butcher everything. ;) He's 34 years old at the start of Morning Glory.

Felicity Lute
(Photo of Astrid Berges-Frisbey; found on Pinterest - according to this pin, it was an edited pic...still, I like it for Felicity!)

(Photo titled "She's running and she can't stop II" by Snowfall-lullaby on Deviantart)

Felicity is the middle sister in the Lute family - 25 years old at the start of the story. She has blue eyes, and her hair is the darkest of the three sisters (yes, it's a family of redheads!), with auburn curls. She's a little flirtatious, and she's also a night owl and a poet. There's a rift between her and her older sister...

Glory Lute
(Photo by Aiste Tiriute; included in this post about her photography and titled "and in the dark, she glowed" on Flickr - you can also see more on the photographer's Flickr page and website)

Glory is the youngest in the family - 20 years old at the start of the story. Her hair is the brightest/most vivid. She's quiet, longs for touch (cuddling and the like), and has a tragic past.

Helen Lute
(Photo found on Pinterest, apparently from a Tumbler page...not sure who the model or photographer are.)

Helen is the eldest at 26. She's also quiet like Glory, but for a different reason. She's more severe, aloof, and bitter, at odds with Felicity.


The sisters' parents are Sean and Ava Lute. And there will be other characters, of course! This photo from the Native American Encyclopedia Pinterest page offers a hint at some future scenes I'm currently pondering...

Remember that you can see more of my visual brainstorming on Pinterest (no guarantee that all those pics represent elements of the story, as I haven't finished writing it yet!). And you can now find the book's "soundtrack" (or the early version of it, anyway - it might be tweaked as I write) on the Morning Glory site.

Which of these characters interests you the most? Do you like learning more about Morning Glory as I write, or would you prefer to wait until closer to the release date?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Forget Me Not is Blooming...

Happy March, dear readers! Today I wanted to give you the first glimpse at the paperback cover for Forget Me Not:

I'm so very pleased with it, and I think the colors and layout are gorgeous! Both the print cover and the print formatting were done by Lena Goldfinch of Stone Lily Design. Working with Lena is truly a dream come true!

I ordered my proof copy of the paperback today, so once I receive that and approve it, the book should be available to order - first on Amazon and CreateSpace, and then on Barnes & Noble and hopefully other bookseller websites. So we're looking at just a couple more weeks, I believe. Not too much longer!

In other paperback news, we might do an updated version of the Bleeding Heart paperback sometime this spring. Now that Forget Me Not will be available, I'm hoping to have the spine, back cover, and interior of Bleeding Heart tweaked a bit to show that the book is part of a series, having it more closely match Forget Me Not. We'll see how that goes! And as for Morning Glory, I've pretty much locked myself in to a summer release, so I think I've passed the point of no return, LOL. Remember that Morning Glory's paperback cover is going to be extra be sure you're signed up for my newsletter to hear more about that this summer!

How do you feel about paperbacks? Do you prefer them to e-books?