contemporary, fiction, romance, Uncategorized

Pressure Over Tom

tom-selleck-69606I’ve never had writer’s block before. Never. Until now. Thanks to my readers loving Tom, I feel a little pressure to bring him to the forefront with Amy. I’m getting a lot of grief from a few of my biggest readers. Little hints here and there, threatening not to finish the series unless Tom is the victor. You know, that sort of thing. But is this what I envisioned when I starting writing it? Will everyone be angry with me if I don’t do as they wish?

“The Best of Me”, by Nicholas Sparks, had two different endings. Thank goodness. The bad one had me extremely cross with the writer. Are you kidding? Kill off the main squeeze? I was so angry, I didn’t turn off the television until I viewed the alternate ending. Why even have the stupid ending as an option? To irritate people, I suppose. Who would raise their hand in a test group and say “kill the guy we’ve all come to love and hope to end up with the heroine?” Who, I ask? And if I remember correctly, it was like one o’clock in the morning when I finished the stupid ending. My eyes were half-shut when I flipped it to the right ending. My mate even rolled over, cursing it before going to sleep. I couldn’t do that. I HAD to see the right ending. Afterwards, I was at ease. All was right in the world then.

So what to do about Tom? I love the guy, too. Who wouldn’t? He loves Amy, he knows her very well, he’s got class, and he’s very handsome. To crush the poor guy for the sake of moving on seems harsh. And that’s all I’m saying. I’ve had heartburn over the whole thing. I get chastised weekly about putting Tom where he needs to be…but what about the story? Amy needs to grow. Can she with Tom?

No, really…can she? My writer’s block needs to know. If I’m going to make my deadline for book 3, someone needs to rest my mind that it’ll be all right either way. 🙂 No alternate ending necessary!

P.S. If you haven’t read “Waking Amy” and “Leaving Amy”, I apologize. You have no clue what I’m rambling about. Please get the books, read them, and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. 🙂

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I’ve Done it Again!!!

AgnesThat’s right, I’ve done it again! I’ve released another Amy book. I just love that girl. And I love writing! And I love publishing! And I love readers! It’s a dream come true.

For those who’ve been misplaced out of my reach for the past month, this is the day that “Leaving Amy” reveals herself to the world. You remember “Waking Amy” right? The book where the girl gets left by her husband…she goes in search to find herself and finds…

Well, if you haven’t met Amy, then you won’t understand what, who, or why she’s “Leaving Amy”. So please, walk, run, click, or read over someone’s shoulder, the beginning of the whole ordeal. Then after that…walk, run, or click to find out the second half. I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear some reaction to all of it. Will they want to shake her, squeeze her, jump in the car and give her a quick talking to? I don’t know. And it’s driving me crazy!!

But most of all, I’m just so happy to be here on the other side of the computer, looking at this accomplishment. For someone who didn’t have a clue what they would be doing now, I’ve come a long  way in a short time. I’m beyond measurable thrilled. I’m over the sun, the moon, and the stars- happy. I can’t believe Amy has a second book and it’s for sale. Thank you to all the people who’ve begun her journey with me and who’s sticking around to see what happens next. And just for the record, so am I! I haven’t quite finished her story, so I’m looking for some suggestions. Got any?

Leaving Amy digital

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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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Cover Reveal for “Leaving Amy”

Leaving Amy digitalI am sooo pleased to share with you, my cover for “Leaving Amy.” It is the second volume in the Amy series. I had so much fun writing this book. I was asked by a reader if I plot things out…do I know the ending before I even begin to write? I’m pretty amazed that my answer was no. That’s only because I’m a really organized person. Planning things is a small hobby of mine. I have 3 calendars dedicated to planning for things. With books, though I have only a general idea where I’m beginning, a so-so idea where it will go, but the ending is ALWAYS a surprise! The ending to this one will not disappoint. I hope.

Amy, as you know from reading the first book, is a bit naïve to the world without her husband. She’s unsure of herself living without an identity outside of marriage. And without spoiling the second book…she grows even more as the pages flip. You’re going to be proud how she handles herself. You’re also going to want to call her up and give her advice on doing some things differently in places. But, have no fear…she gets there! She really does.

I read all the reviews about what a rose-colored wearing glasses girl she is. How some would like to smack her. How others could identify with her. Trust me…Amy exists! I’ve known some Amys personally. But give her time, she unravels the cocoon that has had her trapped. She finds her legs and begins to stand on them. It takes time for people! It will take the third book for her to finally come full circle…but book 2, “Leaving Amy” will not disappoint! I hope everyone who enjoyed the first book will agree.

I left the guy off the cover intentionally. After all, it is “Leaving” Amy. But, I’ll leave this question with all who are following Amy’s journey…”Who’s leaving?”

“Leaving Amy” releases May 1 everywhere! Pre-order at Amazon today. 🙂

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Meet Tom McTavish

thZO9ADQYGI don’t know if you watch the show or not, but last night there was a Jesse Stone marathon playing on television. It was rather late before I realized it was on, but I stayed awake as long as I could, watching that man solve crimes. There is just something about Tom Selleck that lights a spark for me.Which is why I had to include him in one of my very own books, “Waking Amy” no less! I know, I know…he’s old. Well, not that old. But, he’s older than Amy. That’s okay. Anyone read Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl”? It works. Younger girls like older guys, and obviously the opposite is true. It doesn’t take too many examples to prove the theory. There is something to be said of an older gentleman.

There’s also something to be said about Tom. Something very relaxing….confident…alluring…mysterious. That’s why he’s the perfect Tom McTavish. I sometimes write using the person’s name just to remind me of the character I’m envisioning.

So a little bit about Tom, in “Waking Amy”. He’s a bachelor, and hasn’t really dated since divorcing his wife seven years ago. Work consumes him, which is probably why he’s divorced, and he’s fine with that. Or so he thought, until he met Amy…

He meets this younger girl (Amy) at a wedding. She has flowing red hair, freckles dotting the bridge of her nose, and a beauty that radiates from the inside out. He’s never seen her before—doesn’t seem to know her relation to the bride or groom. Incidentally, he’s the bride’s uncle. He approaches this free spirit, who seems to be there without a date, and asks her to dance. He can’t believe it after he asks—he hasn’t danced in years! There’s been no occasion or reason to. But, she says yes.

He takes her out to the dancefloor and suddenly a joy overcomes him. Starting as a dizzy spell in his head and moving its way down to his light-as-air feet.  He’s drunk with happiness. Suddenly nothing else existed around him. There were no other dancers, no toddlers hanging on the skirts of their mothers. Even the music was less blaring. All of the clutter that had loitered his mind about work and going home later to eat that stale muffin on the counter had disappeared. All he could think about was Amy. This girl with fair-colored skin, and blue eyes that twinkled in the candlelit canopies.

He watched as her shy smile peeked out when he raised his eyebrows and swung her around. How her hair bounced on her shoulders, and her dress had become something to be jealous of. Because it was able to touch her as he wanted. Small whiffs of her perfume drifted by every time she turned her head—making his eyes close and remember what it was like to smell the neck of a woman. How he wanted to get lost in her smell.

Alas, the song came to an end. He earnestly asked for just one more. Out of breath, she shook her head meekly, ‘no’. His lips pinched as he smiled and thanked her for at least that one. And then she disappeared into the crowd. It didn’t take long for him to go in search of this beautiful creature. He needed to make sure what had just happened, the new skip in his heart, was not a mirage. Not some slight of hand that only happened at weddings, when love was so thick in the air that it could be cut.

Excerpt from “Waking Amy”: (written in first person)

After I finished, I examined myself in the full-length mirror, pinching my cheeks for added color. They even had cloth napkins for drying your hands, displayed on a center basket on the shiny, black vanity. I think I’d have passed out if they had a sofa for lounging, equipped with a man holding a fan, ready to serve me at my beck and call. They didn’t, but the size of the room could have accommodated such a fantasy come true.

A lady held the door as I stepped out to the two-story, vaulted recreation room. I hesitated when I saw Tom waiting outside the bathroom door. “Hello.”

“Are you coming back to the party?”

He looked different in this light. More sophisticated, more grown up, older. Only by fifteen years, I thought. But still as good looking as he looked in the moonlight. He had a little Alec Baldwin to his look. Stylish and devilishly handsome.

“I’m actually on my way out. My friend is waiting for me.” I bit the corner of my lip. Had someone flipped a switch inside me and managed to turn on a light that had been off for the past ten years of my life? I never got this much attention before now. So, is this what Ashley felt like all the time?

“That’s a shame. I was hoping to have another dance with you.” He flashed me his best puppy-dog eyes. “What if I gave you a ride home?”

Before I could answer Mark came around the corner. He must have heard the last part of Tom’s question to me. “Amy, are you ready?”

I looked at the two guys, one and then the other. “I appreciate it, but I have to go. I don’t live close by.”

“That’s okay. If your friend is all right with it, I can manage to get you home safely.” He looked away from Mark and back toward me. “I think we could have a good time. They haven’t cut the cake yet. You can’t leave before trying the cake.”

“I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be all right with it. I can take her home just fine,” Mark said, interrupting him.

The match was struck. I felt a hot wind blow across me. This was what it felt to be the prom queen. It’s better than a roller coaster ride.

“Thank you though.” I interceded before any further male lingo was slung. The testosterone levels were reaching knee-deep. I had to find a way to clear the drain and walk out of there without any problems. Mark was stamping his ownership and I didn’t seem to mind.

Tom hesitated before saying anything else. My eyes told him to please let it go. “Let me give you my card. Call me when you don’t already have a chauffeur. I’d like to take you out sometime.”

            I took the card and pleasantly smiled at him. I knew I’d never see him again, but still, he was a good dancer and frightfully refined. Mark held out his arm and waited to escort me out. I suddenly felt like I was five-years-old and being punished for bad behavior. His silence led me to a million conclusions.

end of excerpt

Incidentally, Amy does bump into Tom again. He’s in all three books, and I’ve loved every minute of it!

https://www.amazon.com/author/julieanndove

 

 

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Writing a Series

thD2COL8XII just finished writing the second book in the series, “Waking Amy.” It’s crazy how all that happened…

I wrote “Waking Amy” and sent it out to agents and publishers for a contract. When I decided on the one I now have, the letter of acceptance included a suggestion of more titles in the series. What? I ended the story, I thought. What other titles? There were none. Amy, as far as I was concerned, was off doing whatever she was doing. I had put a period to the end of her book existence. Then I let someone read it. And she said the same thing…what next? I had to think about that.

With Bridget Jones Diary coming out with the third installment, I knew it made sense. I wanted to see what happened after the last page on that first book. Was Bridget going to truly have a happily ever after with Mark Darcy? I would like to know. Same with Amy. Sure, I ended the story, but there was so much more to Amy’s story. Like Bridget with Mark, would Amy continue with her Mark Darcy? How would life find her next year?

I had so much fun continuing Amy’s story. Who doesn’t love mini-series on television, anyway? The Thorn Birds for one was awesome. And shows like The Practice, or Nashville…if you wanted to you could continue all the books that were written as a standalone. It just takes a stretch of the imagination.

I’m looking forward to Bridget’s third installment. A baby? I’m not sure what Amy’s third sequel will bring, but for now I’ve got her settled in book two, “Leaving Amy.” I hope everyone who reads it will enjoy it as much I enjoyed writing it. It was great pushing my original thought of ‘The End’ to the limits:)

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The Lure of Downton Abbey

downton-abbey-05I admit, I might be one of the few that hasn’t been awaiting each week for the next episode of Downton Abbey. Crazy as it seems, I’ve yet to read FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Why? I guess I was never much for being a follower. I don’t have much more of an explanation than that. But, when my “boyfriend” bought me season one of this brilliant show for Christmas, how could I refuse? So, I watched it. And, by great surprise it took very little time until I was finished and needing to see the next season. And the next season. Actually, I’m only on season three at the moment, but since it recently had a finale, I thought I’d blog about what a gem it was to find and enjoy.

Who could disagree? If you’re into character development, you’ll love the bouquet of people this series has to offer. I’m certain that no matter who you are, you can identify with either someone from the upstairs or someone from the downstairs. And, I’m also certain that you can compare at least two or three of these amazing characters to people you know. You have the deceitful footman with the cunning maid; on the flip side, you have the valet with all the integrity of the man of the house with his girlfriend, the housekeeper who you just want as your best friend.

It’s been awhile since a show has held my attention as this one has proven to do. It’s worth a watch. It’s also free if you have Kindle Prime. Win-win!