NaNo, Anyone?

AKA_ the month I wish i'd wanted to be an accountant-1
NaNo starts today! Who’s in? NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It’s held every November, only the second most inconvenient month of the year. Apparently December was taken. So in between the normal activities of November (shopping, eating turkey, napping, standing in long lines at midnight at Wal-Mart for a set of Egyptian cotton sheets for 9.99 your cat’s just going to shred anyway), we’re supposed to write 50k for the month, which averages to 1667 words, a bag of M&Ms, and one pound per day. I’ve never successfully completed NaNo but THIS IS MY YEAR. I’m excited because at my school we have a small group of NaNo’ers meeting a few times a week after the final bell (get out, children). We’re gonna write. Or assign each other detention slips. Whichever.

Some tips for NaNo:

1. Turn off your inner-editor. Crap words count. If you write literary gold, it counts toward your word goal. If you write nothing more one day than “Ryan Reynolds wants to marry me and just doesn’t know it yet,”  it counts. This 50k draft is your crap draft. If you’re aiming for perfection, your odds of making it are slim. Just get some words down.

2. Register at This is where you log in your daily word count. I’m about as competitive as a six-year old, dandelion-picking outfielder, but there’s something about that progress meter that motivates me. And seeing that friends are pulling ahead and working motivates me. It usually motivates me to toilet paper their homes, but that’s another story and not really part of the NaNo philosophy.

3. Google: Goal, motivation, conflict. I recently purchased a one hour plot-coaching/refining session, and prior to the call I had to fill out a very basic GMC chart for my book. I put it off until the very last minute because I dislike those and avoid the, but OH MY GOSH. When I finally sat down to complete it, things fell into place. I did a GMC chart for my heroine, hero, and one antagonist, but you can customize that however you like. Maybe you just need to fill out one for your hero and heroine. A better explanation is here:

If you’re on the fence, just try NaNo. We’re all writing total drivel this month, so join us. By the end of the month, you’ll have the first draft of a book, a feeling of accomplishment, and a jpg of a medal you’re never going to use.

Who’s in?!!!

Just One Summer Giveaway

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW before jumping in

Hey, y’all! To celebrate JUST ONE SUMMER on sale for the awesome price of 99 cents for the next three days (Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, GooglePlay), I’m doing a giveaway. We have a few adorable, cute, fantastic, I need to stay out of them locally owned stores where I live, and when I saw this bag, journal, and sassy tumbler, I immediately thought “I gotta buy that and give it to someone.” And that someone should be you. I’m also throwing in a paperback copy of JUST ONE SUMMER signed by all four authors. This bag couldn’t be more fun unless Ryan Gosling popped out of it. (And I’m sorry. He’s not. I asked him to volunteer, but he reminded me that he lives in Los Angeles. And then he reminded me of the definition of restraining orders.)


So how do you enter? I’m glad you asked. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. We have lots of options to give you extra entries, so have at it!

This contest ends Saturday, August first. Plenty of time to go crazy with the entries and clear out some closet space for the loot. Fingers crossed for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On Sale Til July 27!

summer deals!-1





Google Play:

Just One Summer Is Almost Here!

JustOneSummer BN Kobo-1

Hey, guys! I’m excited about a few things. First, today was our students last day. We teachers are never quite sure we’ll make it ’til the end. It’s always a sweet blessing to still be alive and conscious at the bitter end. And of course, I’m excited about a fun New Adult book coming your way June 10th.

Just One Summer is a novella collection written by four authors, about four young women. It was a lot of fun to write (maybe not nacho-eating fun, but in the creative sense), and really cool to work with friends.

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives–summer. Every June the girls have chosen a destination to reconnection. Only this summer is different. Now each one must face life’s challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time.

You’ll love the novellas from authors Amy Matayo, Nicole Deese, and Tammy L. Gray. And then there’s mine! And I wrote about a hot cowboy! Does it get any more summer than that? (Okay, yes, if hot cowboy was in a pool. With sweet tea. And Coppertone. And ice cream. But that’s a story for another time.)

Here’s a little peek into my story, Wild Heart Summer:

Twenty-one year old Avery Crawford has had to fight for everything in her life, and this summer is no exception. When her culinary internship in a chic restaurant falls through at the last minute, she gets an unexpected offer to work on a dude ranch in the quaint town of Sugar Creek. The problem? The ranch is owned by the grandfather she’s been kept from all her life.

Avery is completely out of her element with the cattle drives, trail rides, and most of all–cute ranch manager Owen Jackson. Not in the market for romance, Avery still finds herself tempted by the cowboy’s Southern charm and sweet kisses. But as secrets unravel on the ranch, Avery  will have to let go of the old wounds if she wants to hold onto the love Owen offers her. When the summer’s over, Avery must risk it all–or lose much more than her heart.

The novella collection also includes…

ISLAND SUMMER by Nicole Deese:
Joss Sanders needs an escape, a reminder of a sweeter, simpler, and steadier time. Only her family’s cabin isn’t exactly how she remembered it as a child, and neither is the charming boy who lives next door. Change is everywhere. If Joss doesn’t stop living in the past, she just might miss the promise of her future.

WAVES OF SUMMER by: Tammy L. Gray:
Sydney Andrews wants nothing more than to get away from a controlling ex-boyfriend, find some clarity, and enjoy a drama-free vacation. But nothing in Sydney’s life is ever that easy. Especially when the sexy bartender she meets at her mother’s wedding wants more than just her friendship. He wants the girl Sydney’s forgotten how to be.

DARBY’S STORY by Amy Matayo:
Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life as a homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two overprotective parents. But she’s had enough. She wants to see the world and chase her dreams, so that’s just what she does–until she runs out of money. With limited options, Darby finds herself working for Lennon Dixon, owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. To call the job unfamiliar is the world’s biggest understatement. And to call her attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second.

WE’RE all very excited about this book. I love, love, love summer, and I’ll take a beach read any season of the year. This book allowed me to go back to my new fictional town of Sugar Creek and write my first cowboy. I kind of had a cowboy crush when the book was done. (insert yeehaws here.) You can pre-order Just One Summer now on most e-retailers, including Amazon. My Facebook friends got to read chapter one of Wild Heart Summer, and my newsletter subscribers got to read the first three. I’m sharing chapters all over the place. I hope you’re not missing out!

Have a great first week of June!

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Need some last-minute gift ideas? Have some folks on your list who are hard to buy for? Here are a few book suggestions.

1. Underwater Dogs, a coffee table book. I gift this quite a bit. It just makes people HAPPY to look at these pics of some very motivated dogs swimming underwater. If they already have it, my pick this year is Harlow and Sage: A True Story About Best Friends. (2 dogs made famous by their Instagram.) Need more words than pics? Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt is a wonderful memoir of an author who went to crazy lengths to save some dogs.
2. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Nonfiction, but reads like a Clancy novel. Espionage, intrigue, and plot twists galore. Fascinating (quick) read, especially for your history enthusiasts.
3. Girls who read on a middle school level? This year I LOVED Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and The Meaning of Maggie. Both so well written, both quirky and fun with lots of heart and “aw” moments. Both books receiving a ton of buzz.
4. Boy readers? My jr. high guys love anything by John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice), the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid, all things Percy Jackson, and The Last Apprentice series.
5. Another middle grade/elementary suggestion: The Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The covers kind of make me laugh, but I can’t keep them on my shelves.
6. For fun: Nail Candy: 50 Ideas for Totally Cool Nails.
7. The chefs in your family might like the NomNom Paleo cookbook. Sometimes healthy food is difficult to prepare or gross. This collection of recipes are really great and very normal. This is my favorite cookbook right now.
8. Know someone who likes to bake? Popular books in my library are: The Big Book of Cupcakes, The Big Book of Cookies, and Cakepops by Bakerella.
8. Picture book readers: Tuesday Tucks Me In and The Day the Crayons Quit. LOVE LOVE LOVE these books.

Happy Reading!!!

Can’t Let You Go


Hey, guys! Long time, no talk. Or write. Or book publish.
I’m very excited to tell you that Katie Parker’s story is finally here. Mostly here. Here in a lot of places.
What is Can’t Let You Go about? I’m so glad you asked.

An old love whose kisses make her weak, but whose secrets threaten to destroy all she holds dear…

Fresh out of college, Katie Parker had it all—a charming romance, a role in a famous stage production, and an idyllic life in London. Until she found her boyfriend cheating and got herself fired from the play. Leaving everything behind, Katie hops a plane home, only to run into her first love, Charlie Benson. As the couple returns to In Between, Katie questions everything she ever thought she wanted—including a renewed romance with her high school flame.

While she attempts to rebuild her life, Katie’s plan to manage the family’s theater meets a devastating obstacle, dragging her into a legal battle that will rock her small town. And the boy who once broke her heart seems to have the power to do it again. As Charlie’s secrets unravel, Katie must make a choice. Can she overcome her past and trust Charlie with her heart again?

It was a lot of fun to return to In Between and write these characters. I have missed Mad Maxine. If I could stick her in every book, I would. I’m excited about the book and very proud of the cover, created by Kelli Standish. For those of you who helped us make cover decisions on Facebook, thank you! (For those of you who don’t hang out with us on FB, where ARE YOU?)

It was also a lot of fun to write this age, something I’ve never done before. Though I’m not sure why, since I was only 23 a few years ago myself. *coughs*

I’ll talk more about the book later. I don’t want to be one of THOSE people who won’t shut up about it, won’t stop making you look at photos of cute things the book is doing, the book playing with the cats…

You can check out the book on Amazon HERE.
You can check out the book on Nook HERE.
CLYG will be at all online retailers hopefully by the end of the week, including paperback at Amazon.

I appreciate all of you. I have the best readers ever.
Have a great week!