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Fingers Crossed…

e5abb3877ae2aba9fd72d0d298370b10…I can write this weekend. I’m editing/creating my new story, “Searching For Sarah”. Have you ever, well I don’t guess you have if you’re not a writer, but have you ever gotten to a point where the train you’re riding (book you’re writing ) seems to be riding parallel to the tracks that have been laid…over there, about four feet from where you’re soaring 70 miles per hour? That could be true in life, I guess. You could have very well envisioned your life moving in a different direction and over time, it’s veered. Ever so slightly so maybe you didn’t notice…..Until you felt the bumps, noticed it wasn’t as smooth, or the tree line is coming a little bit closer than a month ago.

Well that’s how my story felt like it was going. A bit off track. I was busy writing along, and all of a sudden, I look around and go, “say what? what am I doing here? what happened? what am I talking about?” Yep, it was that bad. So I had to retrace my steps, figure out what I was trying to say, actually draw a map on a white board. “You are here, and you want to be there.” (page 1 and page 300 respectively). Tangents are the death of anything. Books, people talking, books, people talking…. You, as the reader or listener, tend to doze off, meander in your head of a million things you could be doing while said tangent is taking place.

As much as I hate to admit, I’ve had to map this particular book. It’s taken more time, but hopefully I’ll hold the interest of the reader. I’m beginning to feel the tracks, and I’m seeing a glimpse of the train station. Nothing feels better in the creative process.

For all non-writers, and blog readers…I appreciate the opportunity to write this off my chest! Have a great weekend. 🙂

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Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway!

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I am so happy to be involved in yet another book hop! There are so many links to this one. So many chances to win things. And just in time for the holidays. Actually, it runs right through the holidays, up till New Year’s Eve! So you get all giddy before the presents, by entering for your chance to win, and then after all the hoopla is over and the wrapping is all over the place, you get the opportunity to enter a few more with more chances to win. It’s a win-win! Presents for Christmas…possible presents after Christmas!! And books, no less. 🙂 I’m joining in to give an Amazon gift card, valued at $10.00  ($10 US dollar PayPal for INT winner), along with an ebook of my latest release, “The Secret He Keeps”. I hope everyone hops along to all the links posted and best of luck in winning! 🙂

julieanndove_thesecrethekeeps_450x675The Secret He Keeps
Purchase: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Published: December 8, 2016

Dr. Rachel Miller has no recollection of what happened that night she climbed in the car with her husband and he drove recklessly into a tree. She has no clue as to why she survived and he didn’t. Nor does she understand why strangers are coming up to her on the street and telling her things she can’t recall about a life that seems so long ago. But Dane Stone knows.

Dane Stone is Rachel’s business partner…and her deceased husband’s best friend. He knows about the notes, the hotel receipt, and the reason she got in the car that night. It’s for her protection that he keeps the secret, but inside he’s dying to tell her.

Giveaway

Enter to #win a $10.00 Amazon gift card ($10 US dollar Paypal for INT)  and eBook of The Secret He Keeps
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Book Hop Giveaway

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Who doesn’t love giveaways? Now through November 29th, a group of lovely bloggers and myself will be joining together in a book hop. I don’t know about you ,but I’ve sort of stopped the whole not going to bed just to be first in line at the door buster sales. Yes, they are good door busters, but I’m at the age where I respect sleep a little bit more than a .99 blu ray disc. My goodness, what’s become of me?

I’m so delighted in being able to join this hop. Truth be known, it is my first. I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card and an advanced copy of my new book, The Secret He Keeps. It releases December 8, so you could enter for a chance to get it first…and free!

I wish everyone luck, and don’t forget to follow all the other hops in this great caravan of goodies and giveaways. Stay in your pajamas, sleep till noon, and click away for your chance to win books!
julieanndove_thesecrethekeeps_450x675

The Secret He Keeps
Purchase: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Published: December 8, 2016

Dr. Rachel Miller has no recollection of what happened that night she climbed in the car with her husband and he drove recklessly into a tree. She has no clue as to why she survived and he didn’t. Nor does she understand why strangers are coming up to her on the street and telling her things she can’t recall about a life that seems so long ago. But Dane Stone knows.

Dane Stone is Rachel’s business partner…and her deceased husband’s best friend. He knows about the notes, the hotel receipt, and the reason she got in the car that night. It’s for her protection that he keeps the secret, but inside he’s dying to tell her.

 

Giveaway

$10.00 Amazon gift card and an advanced copy of my new book, The Secret He Keeps
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e0c56be205/?

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Hurtful, Nasty Reminders

reminderReminders are usually for our benefit, right? Like when your gas light comes on it means, get gas. For me, it signals I’ve got 100 more miles to go. I am famous for pushing it to the last fume to get me to the pumps. One day I will regret passing the ten stations to find the one with five cents cheaper per gallon. (I know, it isn’t that much, but still). Or the reminder that your car insurance is getting taken out automatically from your account tomorrow. Which signals me to go by the bank and put it in! But there are a few reminders that one does not need. i.e….

Yesterday I received a card in the mail from the veterinarian. It had a heartfelt note in it of condolences for my dog that passed away a couple weeks ago. Yes, I was finally getting to the point where I didn’t break down once a day. Like when I go and look for his bed, or check outside to see if he’s lying in the sun. It’s finally becoming bearable. Not forgettable, by any stretch, but doable. And then the card. Which I opened while driving the kids up the driveway. And there it was…they sent Walter’s paw print along with the written sentiment. OMG. Why? Why now? I shoved it back in the envelope and took a deep breath. I’m still thinking about it.

Here’s another example of a hurtful reminder: When the lovely people behind Facebook send you a memory of your cheating husband as he kisses you on the cheek. Ah yes, that was just six months ago…before my friend’s rat turd husband cheated on her. And there she gets a reminder of better times. Or when you get a snap shot of your family member who passed away, and you’re not quite over that one, either.

Reminders….not always a good thing. 😦

On a happy note, because I need to always leave on one…I’m back to writing my new book. I’m feeling pretty good about it, too. Who wouldn’t like to imagine Kevin Costner all day? And be able to have him say the sweetest things to your heroine…which you imagine is yourself? LOL!! I’m down with it! 🙂

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New Release Set to Roll Out!

julieanndove_thesecrethekeeps_450x675I will admit…this is my favorite book. Well, of mine. I love them all for different reasons, but this one was the beginning of my journey as a writer. I can’t tell you how many drafts this thing has seen. It looks NOTHING like the first one. Or the second one, and certainly not the fifth and sixth one. This thing has morphed into…well, this!

“The Secret He Keeps” has had all kinds of different titles, as well. I entered it into a contest four years ago under the name “Gravity”. It was a finalist, but no cigar, by the way. And then I had “Side Effects of Widowhood”. That stuck for awhile. That was actually my favorite rendition. “The Heart Remembers” has  also been saved with some changes on my computer. Alas, this is the winner of all my indecisiveness. 🙂

I’ve loved writing this in so many ways, too. It began with way more people involved in the plot, too. Then it came down to just two! I so hope you’re going to like them. Rachel is another complicated, messy woman I’ve dreamed up. She’s lost her husband to a car accident. One that she survived. One that provided her with a selective memory of the past. And she has no idea that it’s the very fragile thread that keeps her sane. Not recalling the self-destruction her husband went through is protecting his perfect image she carries in her mind. It’s also protecting the image she has of herself. But someone knows all about it. And you’re not going to believe who it is!

Warning–I’ve written my first clue-type book. I wouldn’t really categorize it as a mystery, but it certainly has a tiny bit of suspense. And just 9 weeks until it releases…

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So Long, August

september-1August was definitely a challenging month for me. I had exactly two weeks before all the chaos began to take place. And who can rest when all they hear is the constant ticking of the clock…tick, tock…tick, tock.

I had to spend the first part of the month preparing for back to school for everyone, including the preparation of sending my first born off to fend for himself in the throws of college. At a place he’s unaccustomed to, without anyone he knows. It was horrific. Perhaps more for me than him. Yes, I got upset. Who doesn’t? For eighteen years I did everything for that boy. And now I’m lucky if I get a phone call from him every couple of days. Which I’m not complaining. Okay, so I am…but I’m happy he’s not homesick and burning the wires telling me he’s got nothing to do. In fact, he’s more busy with four classes than he was with six at home. He’s become very social. And so I’m most happy for him.

Then came the new classes for everyone else in the family. And new teachers. It’s been quite a learning curve to know who will tolerate what and who won’t let you use the bathroom. Can you believe my 10 year old isn’t allowed to use the bathroom in the afternoon? Hello? By then, all the juices and water fountain trips are beginning to settle in the bladder. So I have to endure the car ride home with him doing a jig in the backseat. I simply advised him, upon being told he can’t use the bathroom, to ask if they still keep an emergency set of pants on hand…and do it in his chair. Is this obnoxious? Un-called for? Probably, but come on. Let the boy go take care of business, for goodness sakes.

So the schedules are now in place and September is upon us. I’m getting in the groove of how it’s going to be for the ending months of the year. And September is the month of the release for “Finding Amy.” I’m so excited about this! I’ve had a couple people read it and gotten really good comments. Squee!! And I’m putting it out there for free, for a limited time…just to get everyone primed for the third release. So please feel free to take advantage of this! And of course, let me know what you think. I love to read reviews. …well, some of them. 🙂

With that said, welcome, September! I’m happy to see you back around.

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/rVURO

 

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Love Triangles

The Love Triangle SeriesThe Love Triangle….it’s what makes me want to read a book, and shockingly what I found out recently, people are turned off from reading a book. We all are our own person, I get it. But really? Who doesn’t love a good triangle? Squares are pushing it, I’ll give you that. And shamefully I seemed to have written this formula in my second Amy book, but it clears itself up quickly. 🙂 But a triangle? I love it.

I think that’s all I’ve written so far. And I think it stems from what I like to read and watch. It completely sucks when someone has to choose. And is it always a clear choice? Pretty much, but it grieves my heart to see the one not chosen to stay behind, licking their wounds. Sometimes. Then again, sometimes I add a bit of nasty…not too much, mind you…to their character, in order to not make you feel so sorry for them. To shed light on the clear winner of love.

“Wuthering Heights” started me out on this quest. Clearly there was a winner in love, but what was wrong with her husband? Nothing really, except he didn’t have her heart. Her heart lay securely, deeply-rooted in Heathcliff. Oh, the tragedy! In this case, Cathy couldn’t be with her true love. He was too wild, too un-catchable. Just the same in “Bridges of Madison County”. The heroine feels a deep draw to Kincaid but can never realize it. Tragedy, again! These books are non HEA, but they held such a spell over me. Does there have to be a third angle in order for a character to realize the deeper love she feels for the “real” one? Hmm…

I suppose that’s why people like the ol’ two people angle. Just one girl looking in the world for that perfect mate. The struggles it takes her to find him and keep him. The work-up to just the two of them to take on the world. No other guy to pull at her in the smallest way. Yeah, okay I could get into that. I have read and enjoyed books with this trope, but my meter for love will always pull toward the triangle. 🙂

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Love Comes Quickly

Love-Pictures-2How quickly does love really come? How fast is too fast? I was asked this question not too long ago by someone who thinks they love someone only after a few weeks of talking. There have been two dates, telephone conversations, and endless texts between them. Hmmm…could it be love? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s infatuation. Is there a litmus test for love?

I read a review for my debut book, “Waking Amy” and they stated that the love between the hero and heroine happened too quickly. Don’t you kind of have to write it quickly? I mean, there’s only 250-300 pages to establish love. Less, if you want to add in a problem, some climax, and a conclusion, too! Certainly we don’t have the leisure to drag it out for three volumes. But doesn’t love happen that quickly in real life? My friend seems to ponder the question. And I would figure her to only be on about page 50 of her romance!

I was watching Dying Young tonight. You know…with Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. Anyway, they were about 25% into the movie when it happened for them. Julia Robert’s character was about to leave when Campbell Scott seduced her and they slept together. BAM!! The next morning he declares his undying love and she returns the sentiment. Are you serious? Isn’t that a bit quick? Shouldn’t they date more than one time before sealing their fate with forever-talk? Couldn’t they’ve remarked how much they liked one another before diving into “here’s my heart, don’t break it”? It must be that I’m just so slow in coming to the conclusion about surrendering my soul to someone. But it works in fiction and movies. I get it. It has to. We only have but so long to convey the message. No heroine walks into a book halfway into a romance with the hero. How would the reader have empathy for anything they went through in the beginning of their romance? Where is the build? Oh yeah…it’s on pages 1-75. So, what makes it so unbelievable then to think my friend isn’t in love? I’m not sure, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Point 2 that I can quickly recall. The movie, “The Longest Ride”, by Nicholas Sparks. The girl dates him only a one time before she rips off her clothes and magically they can’t live without each other. What? I found her to be a little loose quite frankly. I know, I know…that’s what sells. But is it real life? I guess so. For some. I don’t hang around people who have these types of things happen to them…but I wonder…is my friend going to fall to this “fictional” fate of love comes quickly? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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Pre-Release Jitters

thZ14FT9JCMy newest book releases this Sunday. After a bunch of hype about getting it out there, it’s finally here. And like my first one, I’m a bit nervous about how it will be received. Will people like it? Hate it? Roll their eyes and say, ‘whatever’?

I’ll admit, I had a few comments from my beta readers about changing two things…and I didn’t do it. Not because I thought my way was right, but because…okay, I thought my way was right. But I gave a million reasons why. And it wasn’t like it was huge things. All right, one was. I justified my side of the story first, and let it marinade on her end for a bit. I mean, who knows Amy better than me, right? My reader semi-came around to my reasoning. She just thought it would make more sense her way. Yikes, I hope I made the right decision in leaving it. *jitter-jitter*  I wish I could dish what it was about, but it’s kind of a spoiler. And because the other reader sided with me, I felt better about leaving it the way it was.

I just hope it’s well received. And no one is disappointed. Let’s face it, you put your heart, soul, and complete imagination into an 80,000 word document and roll the dice someone won’t slam it. It’s a lot of putting yourself out there for ridicule. And love. I love it when people comment nice things about my work. Who wouldn’t? Still….I’ve got the jitters. Here’s to next week, when I begin hearing the feedback. Eekk…I’m a little scared now, too. Not to mention stressed about not having my final installment of the series finished. No, no pressure here. Oh, right! It’s anxiety I’m having now. I have to get this straight. First the anxiety, then the stress, then the pressure. All in the life of a writer. 🙂

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Life Imitating Fiction

narciso_zWhen I first began writing “Waking Amy”, it was a long time ago. Things were different…life was different. More importantly, different for my best friend. She is also one of my beta readers. She tells me like it is. Tells me when to flush the manuscript, bury it out back, and when she stayed up till past 2 in the morning just to see who ended up with who.

She enjoyed Amy…she had a few bouts of “why is she so weak”, but overall, found her to be a likeable girl. Flash forward a year later…to “Leaving Amy.” My friend began reading it as usual, and then something happened. Her marriage began to take some tumbles. She stopped reading my book, saying she just couldn’t do it. It reflected her life too much. All that happened in “Waking Amy” was starting to take form in her own life. She was becoming Amy!

This past month has taken a turn for the worst. Her husband left her like Wesley left Amy…and for the same reasons. Out of left field. How does that happen? I’m not naïve to the fact that there are two sides to every situation, and there must’ve been some writing on the walls, but to leave? When there are children? And not to go back? Not to try? To just throw your arms up, say “it’s been real for the last 15 years, but I think I’m going to go and do something different now.” ?

Needless to say, it’s been extremely painful to watch her go through this. To wake up one morning and know she’s a single mom, and clueless to what the next year will bring with custody and support. I dedicated “Leaving Amy” to her. I had no idea I was writing her story in bits and pieces. On a side note, she put my book away and has yet to finish it.

My third Amy book is about resolution. Without spoiling the second book, which releases on May 1st, Amy seeks to find herself in the final edition. As I sit and watch all the struggles my friend is facing, it helps me write. I will find her voice and I will give her courage. Even if it takes until whenever that she is able to read it.