5 Things You Didn’t Know About Game Changer

This Sunday is my new book’s birthday. Game Changer will turn 1 month old. Ahhh, how cute. I thought I’d tell you 5 things you maybe didn’t know about this book:

  1. It’s based at an ice cream shop. Really. I was hungry and wanted to go to Dairy Queen for a Hawaiian blizzard. But I couldn’t, but I still wanted ice cream. So I started writing about it. That’s the next best thing. When I got more serious, I had to research college towns to find the best ice cream shop to base my story’s setting. Once I found the cute little ice cream shop on Washington State University’s campus, I fell in love and Meridee and Parker caught their spark. Because they had ice cream. Right? Everyone is happier when ice cream is involved. If you ever drive through Pullman, Washington, stop at Ferdinand’s and try their ice cream or Cougar Gold (cheese). In my dreams, I’ve tried every flavor and love them all.
  2. Football isn’t the main plot of the book. I know. I can hear most of you girls saying, “Thank goodness!” and the guys all groaning and saying, “Why is there a football on the front then?” Well, a character DOES play football in this story. There aren’t any major football play scenes in the book or the smell of turf, but I did have you smell the locker room a couple times. You’re welcome.
  3. The goofy work attire Meridee has to wear is based on my own McDonald days. Meridee’s silly paper hat and hairnet at work reminded me of my teenage days when I had to wear a brown polyester uniform and a hokey hat. My future husband, who was kind of crushing on me at the time (wink wink), would come in and purposely order a quarter pounder without cheese just so it’d take a long time and he’d have a reason to stick around and talk to me. (I found this out AFTER we married years later). I’d always curse him under my breath for ordering a special order and prolonging his time because I was horribly embarrassed to be seen in my awful uniform. Meridee feels the same when Parker comes into her ice cream shop and teases her about her head-gear.
  4. This book went through at least 12 revisions. That’s the ones I wrote down. I read it through way more than that and made changes each time. Even the day it was released, I read back through and realized one scene mentioned in one chapter had something the day before that wasn’t quite accurate from the last chapter. It was just a few words I needed to change, but I was hitting my head as I changed it wondering why I hadn’t caught that in all my other read-throughs. It takes lots of rewrites to make a book shine. So be nice in your reviews. We writers word HARD!
  5. The line about orange chicken came to me lots of years ago.  As I played around in a competition on another writer’s blog, she had us write down 5 one liners, and my one about blaming everything on orange chicken moved to the final rounds of the contest where I had to flesh it out into a paragraph, then a page, then a story outline. It stuck around in my mind every since, and seemed to fit this story well. And a story bloomed from that seed. The story isn’t anything like what I’d planned it to be in that contest. This goes to show you never know what little nuggets will turn out to be gold later on.

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Fall Giveaway!!!

giveaway

Want to win some prizes? I’m giving away 20 PRIZES in my FALL GIVEAWAY to celebrate the release of Game Changer, the kickoff for my Ruled Out Romances set.

What can you win? 

Lots of Goodies & Treats

  • 1 – $25 Amazon cash
  • 2 – $10 Amazon cash
  • 3 – $5 Amazon cash
  • 2 – Paperback books (by other authors; you must live in continental USA)
  • 2 – eBook sets – Bending Willow Trilogy
  • 5 – eBooks – Between Hope & the Highway
  • 5 – eBooks – Game Changer

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5 Reasons to read Game Changer

If you’ve already read my new book, Game Changer, then Thank You! If you haven’t, I brainstormed five reasons to get your copy and read it immediately. Hold onto your britches, because I know you’re excited to read these. Here you go.

Reason #1 – You’ll lose weight!!!

scaleGame Changer is a good substitute for food that might make you fat. Oh my! I said the F word. Sorry. 2 F words, in fact. Food and fat. Oops. I said them again. Shame on me. But really, this book gives you the sense that you’re eating yummy food like sticky, sweet orange chicken or huckleberry ice cream without all the calories. Who can pass that up? Not me. Just ask the chocolate chip cookies that were on my counter this morning. Continue reading

More Book Love

huckleDoesn’t this picture make you salivate? It does me.  And it goes right along with my new book, Game Changer. Huckleberry ice cream plays a huge part in Meridee’s and Parker’s friendship-turning-into-more relationship. Ice cream usually does help any romance along, at least in my opinion. And this one, from Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shop in Pullman, Washington, looks especially divine. My cookie/ice cream/chocolate monster appears, and I say: ME WANT SOME!!!

The book monster inside me has been especially happy as well with all the kind reviews being left about Game Changer. If you haven’t written a book before, you might not get an author’s fascination over reviews. But let me tell you. We crave them. Like Cookie Monster craves cookies. Like I know you’re craving that huckleberry ice cream. Continue reading

Sweet Reviews

5-1012 (2)Thanks to everyone who has bought and read Game Changer since its release. And especially thank you to those who have reviewed it as well.

Leaving a review on a book you read and like is one of the best things you can do to help an author spread the word about their book and whether it’s worth reading. I know my husband is the kind of reader who goes to Amazon and looks only at books that have a certain number of reviews. So when a book sits there with only 10 or so reviews, even if it’s the most amazing book ever written, most readers won’t give it a chance. Reviews are the lifeblood of authors’ success or doom.

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Here are some snippets from some 5 Star reviews that have made me smile.

…The reader will enjoy getting to know these two college students. Both have more depth than they first appear to, and both are wrestling with personal demons. The writing is sharp and the scenes fluid. Though not my typical genre, Game Changer added some sweetness to my normally dark salty fare. A little lightness is always welcome. “(Carrie, Amazon reader)

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One Week til Game Changer

2-928We are just seven days out now until Game Changer is released on Amazon. If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, do so while it’s discounted.

Here are a few snippets of what early readers are saying about this first in this stand-alone series:

“Opposites attract when the overlooked sweet girl lands herself the popular football star in this quasi Cinderella story.  It’s the perfect read to keep you up way past your bedtime—and leave a smile on your face when your head finally hits the pillow.” – Taylor Dean, author of Chasing Fireflies Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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.

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Reading Year in Review (2016)

dsc04045It’s a new year. Whew! 2016 was rough for me and my family, but reading-wise, it was wonderful. Thank goodness for books! They save my sanity. I read 108 books last year. That’s down from 2015, but still nothing to spit at. My favorite genre is romance, so the majority of my books fell somewhere in that category. But I did branch out and read a few different genres, and some of those turned out to be my favorites. Here is a breakdown of how many books I read in each genre. At the end, I’ve listed my top picks and links to find them. There are a few FREEBIES, so grab them if you’re interested. 

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Merry Christmas

DSC04007.JPGI love this time of year. There is snow on the ground and anticipation in the air. The holiday decorations are out and lights twinkle everywhere. The house smells of baking happiness and the kids want to do something fun as a family or take goodies to others.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the white stocking.  Continue reading