I’d like to thank my book designer/illustrator, Karin Star for her beautiful work on the cover. She captures the romance and magic, not only of the characters but the landscape as well. She even gives you a sneak peek of the four witches on the back cover.
If you enjoyed my debut novel, Ghost of a Chance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Just Lucky to ring in the New Year with romance! And I’ll leave you with a little video I created. Hope you like it. And as always, thanks so much for your support.
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season–however you celebrate. I’ve been as busy as Santa in his workshop trying to wrap up my most recent novel, Just Lucky. I had hoped to release it in time for Christmas but the stars just didn’t align. But I’m happy to report that within the next few weeks–maybe even days– I’ll be releasing it on Amazon. Watch this space for the book cover preview and your chance to win a signed copy of Just Lucky!
In the meantime, I wish you a safe and happy New Year filled with joy, peace, and most of all ROMANCE!
Hello friends! It’s a cold and rainy day in my corner of the world as I put the finishing touches on Just Lucky. There is a lot that goes into self-publishing in addition to the writing. I’m a one-woman author/marketer/business shop, and when I’m getting ready to publish there’s a massive to-do list.
Right now I’m working on the very important BOOK BLURB. That’s the text that goes on the back cover and engages potential readers–YOU! It gives a glimpse of what the story is about without giving away too much. The hardest part is the blurb should only be around 150-200 words. Believe me, once you’ve been living with a story for a year, reducing the sales pitch to 200 words isn’t easy.
Here’s where you come in. Below is the draft of the Just Lucky book blurb. Give it a read and let me know in the comments if you would pick up the novel. I appreciate it!
Oh, and I’m still aiming for a early holiday release–hopefully by December first. As always, thanks for sticking with me on this adventure and I hope you enjoy the stories I deliver. Oh, and I promise there will be a few give aways too!
How would $365 million change your life?
After winning the mega-millions lottery, recently divorced Lily Vincent fulfills a lifelong dream of owning a lighthouse on the west coast of Ireland where she can spend her days writing and looking out to sea. What she doesn’t expect to find is Evan Connor, her only tenant who happens to be a drop-dead gorgeous movie star.
Evan has been in the movie business since he was twenty years old, but now all he wants to do is focus on his fledgling whiskey distillery and enjoy some peace and quiet. The idea is even more appealing when he meets his new landlady—the tall, dark-haired American who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
Set against the backdrop of the pretty seaside village of Ballymeade, Ireland, it isn’t long before Lily and Evan realize there is an undeniable spark between them. Everything should be smooth sailing until an aging starlet sets her sights set on getting Evan back in her life. Lucky for Lily, she discovers four witches from centuries past who give her sage advice on trusting her instincts and living her best life.
A lifelong dream, new friends, and some sexy romance leave Lily believing she’s just lucky but maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s fate—plus a sprinkling of magic.
Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s spooky season after all, and there’s nothing I like better than a dark night with the moon peeking out from behind the clouds while the wind rustles the leaves that still cling to the branches. The crisp temperatures and the vibrant colors add to the magic. Plus, there’s nothing I love more than a cozy sweater and a hot chocolate–or perhaps a wee dram of my favorite whiskey–while curled up with a good book. What about you? What’s your favorite season?
On the writing front, Just Lucky is on its way to my editor for a final pass. I want to thank all of the people who volunteered to beta read for me and I’m sorry I couldn’t use more of you. Hopefully, I can tap into your skills on the next novel, which is well underway. Once the edit and the cover design are complete I plan on releasing Just Lucky in mid-to-late November–just in time for the holidays. I’m super excited about this novel and I’ll keep you posted once the release date is set.
If you’re wondering about my next novel, the title is Grace Under Pressure, and I’m already in love with my characters and the location. I promise lots of sexy romance and fun with my protagonist Grace Moretti and her hot Scotsman Mac Galbraith, set in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York. I don’t know about you but I’ve never been one to resist a man in a kilt! More coming on that soon. In the meantime, enjoy the change of seasons!
Can you hear my cheers of happiness from where you are? That would be me putting the final touches on my next novel, Just Lucky. I’m making a few final tweaks before sending it to beta readers.
Are you interested in being part of my team of beta readers? For your efforts you’ll receive a signed copy of the paperback and my undying appreciation! The novel is currently running around 71,100 words and is a contemporary romance with hints of the paranormal. There are also tasteful but explicit sex scenes.
I gave a brief synopsis of the storyline in a previous post but here’s a reminder:
Lily Vincent is a forty year old, recently divorced, Midwesterner. One day, while out trying to find an apartment on her meager salary, she stops in the local convenience store and buys a mega-millions lottery ticket. Later that night, she is stunned to discover she has won $365 million.
Fast forward to the town of Ballymeade on the southwest coast of Ireland where Lily has purchased, sight unseen, a large parcel of land that includes a lighthouse, cottage, and two large outbuildings–one of which is a whiskey distillery. The first night on the property she meets her tenant, Evan Connor, a forty-two year old, drop-dead gorgeous movie star who wants nothing more than to get out of the movie business and devote his time to making whiskey and having a simpler way of life.
Sparks fly from their first meeting, and while Lily and Evan are mindful of their hearts, it isn’t long before romance is in the air on the beautiful shores of Ireland. This story is about two people, both searching for their purpose in life, all with some spicy romance for good measure! Add in some local characters from Ballymeade, an aging starlet who has set her sights on getting Evan back in her life, and four witches from centuries past who give Lily sage advice for living her best life.
Lily thinks for once she’s just lucky–but maybe now fate plays a hand.
If you’re interested in giving me feedback on the draft, all that’s required is your honest appraisal of the novel: character development, pacing, story flow. Basically, is it something that you enjoy and holds your interest? Let me know by dropping me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you more details and a contract to sign.
First of all, Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day! If you’ve read my novel Ghost of a Chance, then you know how much I love Ireland. My husband and I were lucky enough to visit in October of 2017. We had plans to return in 2020 but a certain pandemic changed our plans. I’m really hoping we’ll be back in 2023.
Why do we want to return? There are several reasons:
First, the people! Everyone is so kind and welcoming and I really appreciate their sense of humor. Plus, the taxi drivers in Dublin are the best! They kept us laughing with their running commentary on just about everything as they navigated the chaotic Dublin streets.
Second, the country itself. As the photo above shows, it is one of the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited–and I’ve traveled a lot.
Third, would have to be the libations. Irish whiskies and beer? Yes please! Nothing is finer than sitting in a pub, sharing in the craic while sipping a fine Irish whiskey or a pint of the black stuff-Guinness.
Fourth, but definitely not last, the sense of magic that seems to permeate the air, land, and the buildings. History is a living, breathing thing in Ireland and you can sense it wherever you go. A few days into our 2017 trip we arrived in Cashel after a few hair-raising hours of learning how to drive on the left-hand side of the road. There was a soft rain falling as we stood on top of the rock, the sounds of birds calling to each other bouncing off the stone walls of the ruin. I felt such an overwhelming connection to the place and those who had lived on the land. It was emotional, spiritual, and beautiful–one of those magical moments when you travel somewhere new and yet you feel as if you’ve been there before.
So, is it any surprise that my next novel takes place in Ireland? I’m still figuring out the title, and I’m in the process of wrapping up the ending–happily ever after of course–but it’s almost done. Here’s a quick sketch of the characters/plot:
The main character is Lily Vincent; a thirty-seven years old, recently divorced, Midwesterner. One day, when out trying to find an apartment on her meager salary, Lily stops in the local convenience store and buys a mega-millions lottery ticket. Later that night, she is stunned to discover she has won $365 million.
Fast forward to the (fictional) town of Ballymeade on the southwest coast of Ireland where Lily has purchased, sight unseen, a large parcel of land that includes a lighthouse, cottage, and two large outbuildings–one of which is a whiskey distillery. The first night on the property she meets her tenant, Evan Connor, a forty year old, drop-dead gorgeous movie star who wants nothing more than to get out of the movie business and devote his time to making whiskey and having a simpler way of life.
Sparks fly from their first meeting, and while both Lily and Evan are mindful of their hearts, it isn’t long before romance is in the air on the beautiful shores of Ireland. This is a story about two people, both searching for their purpose in life, all with some spicy romance for good measure! Add in some local characters from Ballymeade, an aging starlet who has set her sights on getting Evan back in her life, and four witches from centuries past who give Lily sage advice for living her best life. You knew I had to throw in some magic and ghosties somewhere, right?
Stay tuned for more updates and as always, thanks for your support!
I’m thrilled to announce that my debut contemporary/paranormal romance novel, Ghost of a Chance, will launch on Friday, September 3, 2021 on Amazon. More details to follow on pre-orders, as well as other available online retailers, but I can confirm that there will be both paperback and digital downloads available.
One of the most exciting aspects of launching a novel is working with other artists. Believe me, there is no way you can do this alone. The illustrator for Ghost of a Chance (or GoaC for you cool kids into acronyms) is none other than the super-talented Karin Starr. I was lucky enough to meet Karin virtually through the ALA Book Club on Facebook. Seeing her beautiful illustrations influenced by the Discovery of Witches trilogy made me realize that only Karin could bring my characters to life. And WOW! She captured Kate, Pete, and Abigale just as I imagined them. When she sent me the final illustrations I cried tears of joy.
So, without further delay… drum roll please. I am honored to share with you the cover art for GoaC.
I’m writing the copy for the back cover of Ghost of a Chance (the book blurb). I’d love to know what you think!
Kate doesn’t believe in things that go bump in the night.
Pete is a true believer.
Focused and practical, Kate Murphy spends her days pouring over endless streams of spreadsheets. She thinks putting career over everything will heal her broken heart, but soon realizes there is more to life than working 24/7. When Kate’s best friend asks for help to turn around a floundering occult bookstore in Salem, Massachusetts, she says yes to the challenge and a chance to start a new life.
An assistant professor of Irish history, Pete O’Brien is an academic who is open to the unknown. When he’s not researching Celtic gods and goddesses in his bid for tenure, Pete wanders around old buildings, in the dark, talking to ghosts.
A chance encounter in Salem’s oldest cemetery leaves Pete thinking he’s seen the embodiment of a Celtic goddess, while Kate thinks she’s being followed by the town’s handsome stalker. When a matchmaking apparition named Abigale arrives, she changes Kate’s perceptions, not only about the paranormal but also about love.
From Salem to the shores of Ireland, Abigale works to bring Kate and Pete together. But even with paranormal help, does romance stand a ghost of a chance?
Roll out on the novel is moving along nicely. Cover illustration is in the works and I’m now in the process of choosing my author photo. Watch this space for publishing date!
Hello, friends! It has been a busy couple of weeks. Graduation is over, the summer is beginning, and I’m getting ready to publish Ghost of a Chance. As I get closer to publication my anxiety is ramping up and I keep asking myself, “Are you ready for this?”
I’ve incorporated my business, hired Karin Star, a kick-ass, super talented illustrator for my book cover, and finished a final edit on the manuscript. Next week I’ll be doing a shoot for my author photo with my all-time favorite photographer, Albert George. I’m now working on the back cover copy and setting up accounts with Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon, and all the other digital storefronts.
It’s been fun during the writing and planning stages but like I said, the anxiety is ramping up—big time! What if after all this work, all this blood, sweat, and tears, people hate it? Ghost of a Chance has been my baby that I’ve nurtured along for almost two years. I’m not saying everyone has to love it, but what if…. What if no one buys it? What if someone (or many) leaves a dreaded, awful Amazon review?
I’ve performed in front of thousands of people without a moment’s hesitation. I feel more myself onstage—more confident, and more in command of my talents. But this whole publishing thing is not for the faint of heart. Nothing has felt more personal than publishing this novel. Maybe I’ve spent too many years reading incredible writers… how can I hold a candle to them?
Now, I realize this is turning into a REAL buzz kill so I’m going to stop wallowing in the muck and mire of self-doubt. Instead, I’m going to do what I always do when that voice in my head tells me I’m not good enough. I’m going to channel my inner diva and say, “Get out of the way, bitch. I’m driving!” I’ll close with these beautiful flowers and a reminder that Ghost of a Chance will be released in August/September 2021. Watch this space!
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.
Hello friends. It’s official. A little over a week ago I defended my master’s thesis and passed! I will be collecting my diploma on May 15th and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a lot of hard work but it was worth it. I was so fortunate to have a kick-ass thesis committee who allowed me to embrace my love of all things romance.
But now it’s time to move forward with publication of Ghost of a Chance. I was excited to receive a notice from an agent a few weeks ago who wanted to see more pages. I dutifully sent on the manuscript but in the end it wasn’t in her wheelhouse. While I’ll continue to query agents, I’m not going to wait around anymore. By June/July 2021 I will start the process of self-publishing through all of the major retail digital storefronts. There will be quite a few hoops to jump through as far as registering my business license, marketing plans, hiring an illustrator for my book cover, and setting up the all important newsletter mailing list.
In order to send out emails through Mailchimp I will need your permission. A link is below if you want to be on my mailing list–and I KNOW you want to be on my mailing list, right? Of course you do! After all, where else will you find out when and where you can purchase your very own copy of Ghost of Chance? Do a gal a favorite and sign up.
In addition to completing my master’s degree and getting ready to launch my debut novel, I’ve also been working on two exciting new story ideas. One of the novels, “Grace Under Pressure,” takes place in and around New York City and the Catskills, and centers on my first passion–theatre! The other novel with the working title, “Luck of the Irish,” takes place in Ireland and it involves a lighthouse, a psychic, a handsome movie star, and magic. Romantic? Of course! As you may be aware from past posts, I love all things Ireland. Fell in love with it when my husband and I visited in 2017. So be on the lookout for lots of activity from yours truly. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this photo. One of my favorite places in Ireland. Doesn’t it just signify everything romantic and mysterious?