Same People, New Story: When Series Expand

SeriesMeme

 

 

I’m working on a book right now that will be released toward the end of December. It’s not a book I planned to write, but it’s one that begged to be written.

When I wrote BEST SERVED COLD last year, I still labored under the delusion that I was capable of writing one-off books. Ah, silly, silly me. . .no. Before that story was finished, I knew it had another connected to it, and that’s why JUST DESSERTS came out this past summer. These two books were supposed to be a duo. A duo is two. I know that. You know that.

Clearly the characters and some readers did not want to accept that.

Because as soon as Ava and Liam’s story came out, I had messages and emails from readers asking me to please consider giving them more of this couple. I totally understood, because I loved these two crazy kids, too. But how to do this? Hmmm. . .

And then right around the time I was pondering this conundrum, Sarah Bareilles, one of my all-time favorite singers, released a single from her new album, and it was called I Choose You. The words were so perfect for Ava and Liam, and it dawned on me. . .of course. Ava and Liam needed a wedding book.

It’s been fun to play with where these two are two years after the end of their book. They’ve graduated from college, and we see that their relationship has grown stronger and flourished in that time. Since they had such a winding road to each other, it’s been gratifying to see what happened once everything came together for them.

I hope you’ll come along on their journey with me. We’ll be revealing the cover shortly–it’s gorgeous!–and I’ll have pre-order links for you. I can’t wait!

#Wednesday Meme: What Am I Reading? What am I Writing?

“Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.”
Alberto Manguel, A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader’s Reflections on a Year of Books

 

It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time to talk about what I’m reading and what I’m writing. Because nothing happens in a vacuum, least of all writing.

What I’m reading now: Blood Magick by Nora Roberts. It’s the third book in her latest trilogy. Once upon a time, Nora released these types of books more often, sometimes within a few months of each other. Her last few, though, have come out over a long stretch of time, and I find that difficult. I read so many books between-times that I have a hard time remembering what happened in the first two.

pjelT0EsThis particular trilogy has been a little more difficult for me, too. I love setting–Ireland–and the premise: three witches, two siblings and one cousin–who come together at the right time to fight against a particularly dark evil that has attacked their family over generations. For me, it’s the characters who are falling just a little flat. Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying it, just perhaps not quite as much as I have some of Nora’s other trilogies. Still, reading Nora is always a pleasure, and since she does release less often these days, I’m savoring every word.

I do have to say that I just finished Cora Carmack’s latest release All Broke Down, a Rusk University novel. I’d enjoyed the first one so much that I couldn’t wait for this new book–and I wasn’t disappointed. As a matter of fact, I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first. If you like New Adult romance, you’ll love this one. Especially if you also like football. . .and football players.

What I’m writing now: I’m working on I Choose You, the third book in the Perfect Dish Duo. Yes, I know: a third book in a duo is clearly messed up. But I Choose You is a sort of bonus book: it’s the story of two weddings involving the characters in the first two books, Best Served Cold and Just Desserts. I’m having a blast spending more time with these characters. The book releases December 21st, just in time for Christmas.

See what other people are reading by checking out the links on Literary Addicts here. Happy reading!

 

 

#Tuesday Tunes

MUSIC is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your

horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.

Charlie Parker

 

I love the quotation above because it is so true. Music is one of those transcending experiences for me. When I’m sad or mad or frustrated or stuck, music makes the difference. It can change a day, tell me what happens next in a story, or give me hope.

door-ornament-1002563In every book I’ve written, there’s been a playlist that inspires me and/or relates to the characters. The King Series tended toward angsty songs, because let’s face it, teenagers often bathe in angst. The most pivotal song was Come Back Down by Lifehouse, which told me what was going to happen in Restlesswhich is arguably the most controversial of the four books. (I still get reviews of people yelling at poor Tasmyn.) That song was one hundred percent what Michael was feeling, what he was going through. Finding that song changed how I looked at music with my books.

The Posse had a play list of all ’80’s songs, because those are what Jude listened to. They defined her generation and her character. In Best Served Cold, all the music was revenge-oriented. Just Desserts was 100% Frank Sinatra music, since he was Ava’s favorite artist. And in The One Trilogy, it’s country music, all the way.

What’s exciting about the book I’m writing now–I Choose You–is that it’s all wedding music. All the best marriage-centric tunes! I’m having a blast listening to it while I write.

I’d love to know what wedding/marriage/proposal song is your favorite.

 

#Monday Blogging: A Day in the Life

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

 

That’s one of the most popular quotations floating around social media boards frequented by writers. And it’s true. Writing is only as hard as the author’s ability to be open, to lay herself naked to a world of readers.

Uncle Ernest had it easy. He lived in the days before the internet.

In so many ways, today’s authors are very fortunate. We can interact with our readers instantly; we don’t have piles of letters to answer, and we can share new information right away. But at the same time, that accessibility is a curse, because it can be a very big drain on our limit time and strength.

Let me show you what I mean. I wake up in the morning, and immediately I’m given a report on yesterday’s sales. That can be good news or bad news, but I know it, right away. And I usually wake up vintage-typewriter-100234507to messages and emails from readers (especially those around the world, whose time zone is different than ours), from promoters, from fellow authors and from other people in the industry.  I respond to the ones requiring immediate answers and flag those I’ll handle later.

Each day, I chat with readers. That’s the part of the job I love. I follow up on the commitments I’ve made to bloggers and other on-line personalities. And then there’s the event work.

I’m committed to attend six events next year. Each event requires me to spend time promoting it to readers, building up ticket purchases and hotel reservations. I love to share the information with my readers, and because I care about the events and the people making them happen, it’s a privilege to do this. But it does take time. “Just five minutes” here and there turns into an hour.

I talk with new or about-to-be-new authors, giving them information and advice. I try to calm nerves and encourage.

I love what I do. Writing is a joy, and sharing it with others is beyond the telling of it amazing. Every part is something I enjoy doing. . .it’s just that when you put them together, they add up to a more than full time job. I’ve known authors who get so wrapped up in the extras, they lose sight of the reason they’re doing this. It’s important not to do that.

And now I’ve got to get back to it. To the pure writing part. . .which is the point of all of this, right?

 

 

 

What the heck is #Paramystery?

Tomorrow the first book in my new series releases. It’s called DEATH FRICASSEE, and I’ve said its genre is paramystery.
What does that mean? Well, these books are paranormal. Their world includes vampires, death brokers, advocates to both light and dark. . .witches, QuestMarknecroloquitors, psychics. . .but there’s also an element of mystery in each book that may or may not have anything to do with the paranormal element.
These books are not deep, dark or tragic. They’re lighter. A little more fun.
They’re also not books about teenagers or young adults, or even new adults. Jackie and Lucas are both in their thirties. Love and romance look a little different at that age, but never fear, there’s just as much passion.
DEATH FRICASSEE may leave you with a few questions. It’s not a cliff hanger, but not everything is revealed. Some of the mysteries will unfold over several books. . .so stay tuned.
Here’s a sneak peek of Jackie and Lucas. . .

“So what do you write? Jackie O’Brien. . .I don’t know your

name off the top of my head. Or do you use a pseudonym?”

“No, I don’t. And I haven’t actually published a book. Not

yet. I’m a columnist for Food International.”

“Oh.” Understanding dawned on his face. “So the cooking.

. .” He pointed down to the basket. “The writing and the cooking

go together for you?”

“Yeah, it’s kind of my thing. I review cookbooks by making

a few of the recipes in them, and then I talk about how easy or

difficult it is for the average cook to translate the meals in their 

own kitchens.” I grinned. “Full disclosure: your meal tonight is

going to show up on the magazine’s web page next week. You

know, two birds, one stone.”

“One chicken, in this case.” Lucas smiled, too, and I had

to get a grip on myself to keep from melting into a puddle right

there on his front porch. I struggled for something witty to say.

“Sorry about my dog this morning. He’s never taken off like

that. At least, not first thing in the morning. I usually keep him

on a leash if we’re outside, but I’m not used to anyone being

over here. No one has lived here for a while.”

He nodded. “No big deal. I like dogs. Just glad he didn’t get

run over by the moving men.”

“Nah, only crushed by their derision.” I smirked when Lucas

tilted his head. “You know, they said he wasn’t much of a

dog.”

“Oh, did they? Well, those two weren’t exactly the Westminster

Kennel Club. Hell, they weren’t even the greatest movers.”

He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “You 

should

see how much broken crap I have now, thanks to them.”

“Moving sucks.” Standing on the stoop was getting awkward,

and I shifted to lean against the railing that ran along the

edge of the porch. Lucas started to say something, but before

I could hear him, the wrought iron creaked and gave way. My

balance gave way with it, and for one moment that would be

burned into my mind forever, I struggled to keep from falling,

arms wind-milling in what must have been a cartoon-like fashion.

I lost the battle and tumbled ass-first into one of the overgrown

bushes that surrounded the porch.