Thursday, October 23, 2014

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ...

Forgive me while I break into song.

I'm excited that the sequel to Harte's Peak will release on January 23, 2015. It feels like it's been a long time coming. Jack and Maggie's story was actually the first book that I ever finished writing so it feels like a first born child.

No, really.

It took me 14 months to write the first version. It was submitted through the slush pile and turned down by Harlequin Love Inspired about three months later. By then I had started writing Vera and Ryan's story. I participated in a fast track submission with Harlequin and got a request for the synopsis, followed by a request for the partial, followed by a request for the full. Sounded pretty good, right? But in the end, it was rejected again. Cue the violins.

But then I subbed to White Rose Publishing and they offered me a contract. By that time I realized why Jack and Maggie's story had been rejected. It had many problems, most of them first book problems, including a lack of emotion due to weak POV. I worked hard to make it better and wouldn't sub to WRP until I felt it was good enough. They accepted the much better version of it earlier this year.

Sometimes the journey is worth the wait. I feel much better about having my name on this finished story. I would never want to put anything out that isn't the best I can do.

Here's an excerpt:

"That’s not a dog. That’s a walking furry garbage can." Ryan frowned.

"If you clean him up, I bet he’ll look like a dog again," Mrs. Jones said with a finger wag.

"That’s mighty optimistic of you, Mrs. Jones." Ryan walked to the other side of the office, holding his nose.

"It’s under control," Jack said.

Surely Calhoun would take pity on the dog. Man of God and all. How could he turn this poor animal down?

"I’ll be going home now." Mrs. Jones rose to leave, and both Jack and Ryan moved in her direction, but she held up a hand. "And I don’t need any help."

It took Mrs. Jones several long minutes to make her way to the door, during which Jack stared alternatively at the mutt and at Ryan, who stood, body wound tight as a new guitar cord. He wanted to open that door, but he also knew better.

"What will you do with that?" Ryan frowned in the direction of the dog after Mrs. Jones left.

"I thought you loved dogs." The mutt stared at him. Jack stared back.

"I love dogs. That thing isn’t a dog."

"Oh c’mon, stop exaggerating."

"We’ll need to have the station fumigated now." Ryan went around the office opening windows.

"Take him home, and tomorrow Calhoun will take pity on him," Jack said.

"I can’t take him home. I live in an apartment. At least you live in a house."

"I can’t have a dog." He stopped short of saying that he didn’t want any attachments even though it was the truth.

"Like you told me. It’s just for one night."

He lived in a house with no lease, a month to month arrangement with a landlord so desperate to fill the vacancy that she didn’t mind a short timer.

Because that’s what Jack was around here, and no amount of pitiable dogs, elderly ladies, troubled teens, or beautiful mothers would change that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Goodreads Give-away - three print books

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Harte's Peak by Maria Michaels

Harte's Peak

by Maria Michaels

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, September 5, 2014

Excerpt from All of Me ...

Here's a little excerpt from All of Me, coming to you this fall. It's a labor of love in more ways than one. My first effort at self publishing, and I've been involved in every part of its creation.

“No, it’s not a good idea. I need wide open spaces when I’m around you,” she added.

“It’s not like you have a lot of choices.”

“Wow. I’ve waited all my life to hear a guy tell me that.”

“C’mon, Ivey. Let me help. Just stay the night and we’ll figure things out in the morning. You don’t have much time to decide, because this offer is going to be rescinded in about ten seconds. And then what will you do?”

“I’ll figure something out!” But she took another pointed look in the direction of the FBI. One thing you could say about those men was that they didn’t look friendly.

“Yeah, and there is the park. Of course, the bench isn’t very comfortable, and Burt won’t let you sleep on it. I tried once.”

“Look, I don’t want to be any trouble.”

“Ten, nine, eight, seven . . . ” He began the countdown.

“Would you stop counting?”

“Five, four, three . . . ”

“Fine! If it will get you to shut up, I’ll stay with you. Temporarily.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome Author LoRee Peery!

Pelican Book Group author LoRee Peery has graciously agreed to my interview today. Her new release, Creighton’s Hideawawy, releases August 29th.

Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader.

Creighton Rice has been content to live alone with his God--until he meets Shana. He's drawn to her, but must fight the attraction. Getting close makes him face a lifetime's accumulation of scars. Plus, Shana doesn’t share his faith. But when Shana's life is threatened, Creighton must protect her--even if it means letting her in.

Will Shana discover that even when a woman loses everything, she can regain courage and strength through faith in God, and can Creighton allow God to heal scars and open the door to a lifetime with Shana?

Welcome to Romancing the Writer, LoRee. I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey to publication.

It’s been a long road. Ups and downs and curves and road blocks. Redirected routes and blessings.

How long have you been submitting your work to editors and/or agents?

The first embarrassing endeavors were twenty years ago. I had so much to learn and should have never sent a thing. Looking back, of course, it was all part of my learning curve.

How many years have you been writing?

Around thirty. I started with journals and a few classes and it took some time to find my niche is romance.

Which, so far, is your favorite character from one of your own books?

During the creative process my favorite has to be the heroine whose story I’m working on. I see the world through “her” eyes. There is something special about each one as she faces and overcomes the obstacles before her. One name did pop into my head when I read the question and that’s Geneva Carson from Rain on My Parade. I often giggled over her discoveries.

Do you have any advice for authors as yet unpublished?

Write. Write. And write some more. Read everything that catches your interest. Learn your craft. Study your favorite authors’ works. And don’t forget to pray.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Never give up if you believe in what you’re doing.

As long as you love it, keep at it.

What does your typical writing day look like?

It depends on what stage of the writing and what day it is. I’m fortunate to have one unbroken day a week with no appointments or obligations. My dream day would be (and it worked this way for six months after I retired): I wake up with coffee and a devotion or Bible study lesson. I walk. I write from 10 am to 2 pm (my peak productive hours of the day)

If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer for this. God’s timing is what I cling to. We each grow at specific rates designed for us as individuals. I believe the struggles and the rewards come when He wants them to, and they are all part of what we face and what we learn from.

What are you working on now?

Oh, I’m excited to say I’ve just submitted a time travel story that is so different from anything I’ve ever written. I mentioned a learning curve, this story is the first I ever wrote without editing until I typed The End. I’m looking forward to complete the brainstorming and plan to write another rough, unedited draft during the month of September. No details because I am reluctant to talk much about any WIP.

Thank you for being here today, LoRee. Here's where you can find Loree:

The Website

Facebook

Pelican Book Group

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Almost Done!

All of Me is in its final stages, and although I can't wait to release Jeff and Ivey's story, I must admit that I'm terrified. Just a little bit. This will be my first self published release, and although I have full confidence in the team I've hired to help me through it, it's still a bit daunting.

Self-publishing means I have full control. I'm in charge of covers, final edits, titles, galleys, formatting, cover reveals, blog tours, Facebook parties, and anything else I've forgotten.

But the best thing about self-publishing is dipping my toes in the Indie world, where I have many author friends who claim the water is fine.

Mostly, I hope that no one will see this little journey of mine as a slap in the face of traditional publishing. I still love that world, and will continue to be a part of it. This isn't an "us" versus "them" scenario. It's about choices. And funny, because this is a theme in All of Me and this is probably not a coincidence ...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal - ALL OF ME

Anyone like that song All of Me? "All of me loves all of you ..." Yeah, I love it.

This is Ivey and Jeff's story.

I've been working on different versions of All of Me for years. Feels like many more than two years, but it actually has been "only" two years. Waaaay too long for most books.

COMING OCTOBER 2014