Game Changer – Characters

We’re about eight weeks out from release of Game Changer. I’m super excited for you all to read this new story, the first in the Ruled Out Romances. Today I thought I’d introduce you to the main characters.

Character-MerideeMeridee Mansford

She is my shy, quiet heroine. A hard-working college student who studies whenever she’s not working at Ferdinand’s, the campus ice cream shop, or a shift at the hospital to keep up her nursing assistant certification. She’s seriously a busy gal.

Being in the spotlight is worse than a case of the hives in her book. She likes to blend into the background and watch life happen around her. She’s been too hurt in the past to dip her feet in the pool again.

Meridee loves being a manager at Ferdinand’s (a place I really want to visit in person after studying it and seeing all their cool ice cream flavors and Cougar Gold cheese). She has an older brother, Mark, who would do anything for her. She comes across as serious and strict at work–a little intimidating–yet really, she feels intimidated and is as timid as a mouse.

character-Parker (Luke Kuechly)Parker Harrington

AKA Sticky Fingers, is my fun-loving, loud, popular football hero. This picture is of Luke Kuechly  of the Carolina Panthers. I thought he made for a good Parker character. Parker plays for the Washington State University Cougars, and has glided into the national spotlight after his first two preseason games. Great things await him, but first things first. He needs his huckleberry ice cream from Ferdinand’s, his favorite dessert Mecca.

These two characters are as different as night and day. Meridee doesn’t even think Parker’s ever really seen her, even though she scoops his ice cream order at least twice a week. She feels invisible. Overlooked. And Parker is the opposite. Everyone on campus recognizes him and wants his attention or autograph.

They’ve both ruled each other out. But that’s why these books are so fun…seeing how they come together and meet…and how their hearts mesh over time. What has to happen to make the stars align for their unique happily ever after?

You’ll have to discover Parker and Meridee’s secrets when you read the book in September. Squeal!!!

Book cover is being designed as we speak, and the book goes to the editor next week. I can’t wait for you to learn more about Meridee and Parker when Game Changer releases next month.

Now go enjoy the rest of August. Summer is almost over. Make the most of it…and read good books.

I’ll be back with a book next week.

char

Pinterest & Polls

pinHello my favorite blog readers. I’ve made Pinterest boards for a couple of my new books coming out later this year. I love this part of the writing process…pinning pictures of who I think fits my characters and different settings to help me write true and not change hair color of something trivial like that. Those kind of small mistakes can bug readers big time. Here are the links so you can check out visual ideas for the characters and settings in Game Changer and Package Deal.

Also, I have two new polls to vote on today. My third book didn’t have a true winner last time I tested titles, so there are new titles for your input.

Also, I’d like your help to whittle down good titles for Book 5 in the Ruled Out Romance series. Vote for which title catches your attention first.

 * * * * *

Book 1 in the Ruled Out Romances (Game Changer–you voted and your title won by a long shot) should be ready for release at the end of September if everything goes smoothly. Package Deal (Book 2–also voted best title by a landslide by all of you) should be out in November or December.

Thanks again for your help. Your input is invaluable. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

char

Blessings

IMG_20170204_133331Sorry for dropping off the blog planet (besides book reviews). My mom died a month ago and it’s been difficult getting back into a routine again. I miss her. It’s that simple. I’m grateful for the beautiful life of service she lived and for all that she taught me. She was the best of moms. We’re all moving on, but it’s hard to not have someone around who has always been there for you your whole life. But God is merciful and has comforted me a lot over this last month. There are times when I just must cry, but He has wrapped His arms around me and helped me remember all that I still have. And truthfully, I still have Mom. She’s just not here in body for now. But her spirit can still touch mine. And I am grateful beyond measure for Christ’s sacrifice on this earth so that that is possible, and that I can live with Him and her again. Feel her hugs. Bask in her smiles.

Book 1-Playing for Love.jpgI’ve been staying busy writing and reading–my two favorite hobbies. My latest story, Playing for Love, is out to a few beta-readers. I already can tell there are some slight plot points I’ll have to adjust, then I’ll send it to a few other new readers for their opinion. After that, I’ll send it out for editing in the summer and get a final cover made for it. Here’s my latest idea. It could change though. Parker and Meridee’s story makes me smile. Hopefully, it will do the same for you when it comes out in the fall.

My book, Hands of Mercy, is FREE until the 23rd. So if you haven’t read that one, grab it now while the getting’s cheap. It’s the 3rd book in the Bending Willow trilogy, and is still one of my favorites.

I titled this post Blessings because though sad things have happened (Mom’s death and my father-in-law suffering from a incurable brain tumor), I still feel so blessed. After my mom had her horrible stroke that left her without speech and movement on her right side back in September, I felt God had given me such a great trial. My siblings and I had to take time out of our busy family and work schedules to care for her a week at a time because she needed constant help, and it just seemed so hard.

IMG_1699.jpgNow I look back and am so grateful God let us have six extra months with her, even though they were hard. I cherish the weeks I had with Mom one-on-one where I could feel her love through her smiles and soul-feeding hugs. I cherish the time I had to read to her. I read her my last book, Between Hope and the Highway, and she just beamed as I read each part. Though she couldn’t talk, she seemed to find ways to convey deep thoughts and feelings through her expressions and affectionate actions. She taught me clear to the very end, nourishing my faith as she made sure we said family prayers together and blessings over meals…and she always said Amen. She couldn’t say hardly anything else, but she quickly learned to say Amen and I love you. Those few words symbolized her Faith and Love. Two qualities that described her life perfectly.

So though I won’t purposely pray for God to flood my life with trials, I’m going to try to not be so quick to gripe or complain when trials come in the future. Because sometimes our trials really are our greatest blessings. We just have to faith to have our eyes opened to see the whole picture.

char

 

What’s on the burner?

Three gas ring burners on a home cooker.Thought I’d give you a preview of what I’m working on this year–book wise. Once this idea popped into my head, I have been busy creating sample covers and blurbs and outlines for stories, and have had a blast doing it. I’m so excited!!!

My next set of books will be stand-alone novels, but part of a themed set called the Ruled Out Romances. The first draft of Book 1 is finished, and outlines for the next two are mapped out. If I can keep to the schedule I made, I plan to release the first three books in September, November and December of this year. Yippeeee!!!

Here are the titles, blurbs, and sample covers I’ve made. Continue reading

December Deals

11-decMy books are FREE or discounted for a limited time. Between Hope & the Highway and Eyes of Light are absolutely FREE and books 2 & 3 of the Bending Willow Trilogy (Secret Keepers & Hands of Mercy) are only 99 cents. What that means is you can grab all 4 books & pay less than $2. Here are the links so you can grab these deals & make December merry & bright.

Between Hope & the Highway

Eyes of Light

Secret Keepers

Hands of Mercy

Biking Book Tour – Michigan

bike1My book is making the rounds in this great country. We left Kansas last week and now are pulling into Michigan to have a pit-stop visit with author Rebecca Belliston. She has written some great books which I love, including:

  • Sadie
  • Augustina
  • The Citizens of Logan Pond series (Life, Liberty and The Pursuit).

teaser2Today she is reviewing my book–Between Hope & the Highway–and conducting a short interview. Hop on over to her blog to join us. She’s great. And thank you to all who have read my book so far and left a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. I really appreciate your kindness and support.

I head into the hospital first thing tomorrow morning for a hip replacement surgery. Sounds yucky…but I’m excited for the end result where I can walk without pain again. I’ll be passing the hospital time and bedrest at home with some good books–including Bad Blood of Rosewood by Gina Barlean, My Stroke of Insight by Dr. Jill Taylor (because my Mom had a stroke recently and I want to understand what stroke does and how to recover better from it), and Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson (which I’ll review in another week or so).

Happy Wednesday…and may the rest of your week be filled with fun and chocolate.

char

Tour de Highway – Kansas

Well, Dorothy. We’re in Kansas today. We’ve zipped all over the U.S. on this biking book tour as you can see from the map below. From Utah to Texas and on to Nebraska. If you’ve missed any of the action, here’s a quick summary of the stops we’ve made so far:

biking-book-tour

Now we’re pulling into Kansas where my good friend, Michelle Terry, is spotlighting Between Hope & the Highway. Whoohoo!

I hope you’ll join my book and I over at Michelle’s for some more prairie-fied goodness. Michelle is the most genuine, authentic woman I know. Once I stumbled onto her blog, I couldn’t leave. She is one of the kindest people I know…and funny. I know you’ll love her too. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of my book  yet, it just went down in price this week…so lucky you.

Happy reading…and biking.

char