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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.

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My Birthday

video-hello-my-name-is-doris-coffee-videoSixteenByNine1050I got all my birthday wishes today! Usually when it’s time for my birthday and I have a chance to see a movie, nothing is playing that I want to see. This day was different. I got the Asian lunch, the movie, the popcorn, the dinner out with family, and my favorite shake! And knock on wood, I’m not sick from it all yet. (The kiddies even went home with Grandma for the night!)

Hello, My Name is Doris was really good. Not what I thought it would be, but I’m not sure what I expected. There were some scenes that I thought, what? But it was all good. (Doris had a very active imagination). Basically, for people who haven’t seen the trailer, it’s about Doris who is an older lady and she has a hot crush on a younger guy. It made me laugh out loud a few times. It’s so typical of what women think and do.

I enjoyed it most because it reminded me of how crucial it is to walk out of your comfort zone every now and then…experience things you’d never do before…be someone different for a change. Life can be so much more fascinating when you take chances. New worlds unfold themselves right before your eyes. Life is short…just do it!

I hate to bring this around to my books, but it really enhanced my awareness for writing the third book in the Amy series. Amy is so routine. Work, home, farmer’s market on the weekend. She rarely ever veers from her daily routine. But, you get molded into things when you stay walking in the same footsteps every day. Living is not habits…it’s trying new things on. I think I’ll keep that in mind when I’m formulating Amy’s final chapter. Wings are what lift you from walking in those same footsteps! 🙂

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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 Amy Whitfield

depositphotos_82452768-Portrait-of-beautiful-woman-with-red-hairAmy Whitfield is the wife of Wesley Whitfield. It’s how she introduces herself….how since she was in high school, she dreamed of being introduced. That’s how long she’s had a crush on that guy. But she wasn’t the first one to date him. No, her twin sister Ashley was his high school sweetheart. Unlike Amy, Ashley had no desire to stay around and get married. And after tragedy struck and both Wesley and Amy’s parents lost their lives, it was just the two of them left behind. Nature took over and after a brief courtship, they married.

Lately though, something’s been missing in her marriage. That’s why Amy is in a lingerie shop buying things she doesn’t even know how they work. It’s no surprise, Amy’s always been a good girl to a fault. That’s how her high society mother raised her. Amy knows nothing about what her friends are talking about at work when they talk trash about their men. She chokes on pudding when they ask how many times a week she has sex. A week? She’s only interested in when the next Hallmark feature presentation comes on. And she smiles, knowing that Wesley will be downstairs viewing boxing while she watches it. Their marriage has been working like this since pretty much the beginning. Until lately…

Wesley has been coming home late in the evenings. And when he finally gets there, he’s already eaten dinner. He’s got another out-to-town seminar to attend in two weeks. And he’s been less attentive to her stories about work.

Amy takes all of that in account as she straps on the nighty that she hopes will begin to capture Wesley’s attention again. But she’s too late…  As she stumbles downstairs, wearing fishnet stockings and three-inch heels, she sees the note on the fridge. He’s left her. Now what?

Read what happens to Amy, as she tries to change herself to be the woman Wesley can’t possibly leave. It’s a change that will forever alter her life, unlike she ever thought.

Enter to win a copy of “Waking Amy” on Amazon. Follow this link:

Share this link to let the world know.
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/acb114c641d497ca

 

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Writer’s Block Denial

writers-blockSo for about a month, I haven’t really written. Okay…maybe a few pages. But even those felt forced. And don’t they, whoever ‘they’ are, say that you should write every day, whether you want to or not?

Perhaps the reason I couldn’t write was because of all my release things going on. Perhaps it was because my chair felt uncomfortable, I had too many clothes to wash, the moon wasn’t out…I don’t know. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening when I lit up the ‘Word’ function of my keyboard.

Let’s face it, you can’t force inspiration. It’s either there or it isn’t. Specifically, I’m writing the third and final installment of my Amy series. I marvel that I finished the second one. It’s such a relief to know it’s finished. It even passed the beta reader tests. Two thumbs up, they said.

I know what it is! It’s the pressure to get it right again. Look at “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That girl has got to feel the pressure. Incidentally, I’ve heard not so rave things about the second book. I mean, once you did it amazingly right the first time…    And “Harry Potter”? Didn’t she write the next book unaffiliated with it, under a different pen name? Did she feel the pressure, too?

Not saying that “Waking Amy” is all that. But, I felt strained to do the second one. Albeit, it’s over with and I like it more than the first…but then I have a third one to contrive. I need this one to be the best of all three. End with a bang. Shrimps on the Barbie!, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s a series thing. I don’t feel this pressure for writing standalones.

Whatever the reason, I identify myself with being a supreme procrastinator. (see previous blog post on this problem) I have to have someone breathing down my neck, a gun pointed to my piggy toe…just to get it moving.

But good news! I wrote an outstanding 7,000 words today. And it wasn’t that difficult. Once I get all the imaginary people in one room, they tend to start talking. Then the buzzer rings, and I have to put the dinner on the table! Oh well, I’ll start again tomorrow. Hopefully, Amy will remember where we left off, and the lines she’s supposed to be saying. 🙂

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The Day After

clean upThe anatomy of book writing:

1. You have an idea.

2. You write it down…adding with it, a plot, a problem, a climax, and a conclusion. All in a neat and tidy bow. Ha-ha.

3. You have it edited. And revise it. And revise it, and revise it. Then you write it one more time. Edit it again.

4. Pick out a cover for it. Write a blasted blurb that summarizes 260 pages, down into a lengthy paragraph.

5. Send it out to beta readers, so they can let you know what’s not working with it. You revise a little more. Send it to a proofreader.

6. Schedule blog tours. Send it to bloggers for reviews.

7. Release day! It goes live. Post on every venue you’ve got, and pray it does well. Then it hits you…people are going to be reading this. This. The thing I’ve worked on for a year. What if they don’t like it? What if I get bad reviews, telling me how it sucked? Fear….

8. Then it’s the day after…today, in fact! I just got off Twitter, where a lovely “twitter friend” tweeted me about reading my book. And how she can’t put it down. And then there’s the friends I went to high school with, and they’re posting how they’re glued and can’t wait to get home and finish it.

9. A smile gets stuck right on the front of my face. (where else could it get stuck, you ask?) Point is, I’m overjoyed by the comments I’m receiving about this book child of mine. The one I sent out into the world, via Amazon. Overjoyed that people are liking it. Now, I’m no dummy. I know there will be some that don’t. And that’s fine. I don’t like every book I read. It’s what we call individual taste. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the quality or word choice…it’s just not our cup of tea. So far, I’m loving that everyone who’s contacted me, is enjoying this cup of tea. Go Amy!

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Launch Day!!

ballI can’t believe this day has finally arrived! I’m releasing Amy. My heart couldn’t be happier. I actually saw a new review on Goodreads last night, and a smile spread wide across my face. Someone read Amy!! And liked it! Well, she did say Amy drove her a little crazy with her naiveté. But she is naïve. Haven’t you known someone who was…to the point  you wanted to palm their face and say ‘wake up!’

Anyway, she does wake up and that’s the point of the story. I hope so many of you enjoy the book. I was so pleased to have continued her story into the second book, “Leaving Amy.”  I have decided to release this in April, so no one has to wait long to see where it goes with Amy.

But first…”Waking Amy.” Enjoy this excerpt and remember today is the release! I thank you in advance to the moon and back!!

“I’ll have a whisky sour, please.” He told the bartender.

I looked at him, amazed that fate had such a sense of humor. I laughed.

“What’s funny?” He sipped the drink the prompt bartender had sat down in front of him.

“It’s just that we’ve already danced together, had a heated discussion in a bathroom hallway, and here we are again. I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.”

He moved closer to me, situating his entire body to mirror mine. He couldn’t seem to get close enough. My eyes fell on the stitching of the inside seam on his pants. “Fate is funny like that.”

“My thoughts exactly.” I tried on a look that would best soften the blow of what I was about to say. “I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, Tom, but have you missed the fact that I’m wearing a diamond on my left ring finger? I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of me.”

“I did see it. I see it now. But when it didn’t bother you, I thought, why should it bother me? When I didn’t see one on your friend’s finger, I figured there was a story behind you, and a ring wasn’t the main component.”

I laughed as though I had just seen the wolf’s tail hanging out from my grandma’s nightgown. “It’s not that it bothers me or not. I’m married and I’m not out looking for anything. The guy I was with last night is just a friend.”

He tilted the glass back and finished off his drink. Was he playing a dial tone in his head during my speech about not being interested in bed sheets and notches?

“So, you’re here to just have a drink?” His tone questioned my honesty.

“Sadly, yes. I lack alcoholic beverages at my house.”

“And last night? Were you there because your home doesn’t have a dance floor and a bride and groom? Who was the guy? By his tone and sense of ownership toward you, he was obviously someone who also didn’t care about your ring finger.”

My story suddenly had more holes than a hooker’s stockings. Or so I imagined. “He is a friend. And we were just out.”

“I see.” He signaled for the bartender to refill his glass.

“I know it looks and sounds like I’m some type of confused, married call-girl, but I assure you, last week I didn’t even know that guy or own this dress.”

“Have you eaten dinner?” Again, am I invisible here? Are you missing a hearing aid?

            “I haven’t. I’ll probably eat later. Did you hear me?” I leaned over to him, waiting for recognition. I could smell his aftershave and it trapped me momentarily.

“Would you like to grab a table and we get something to eat?”

Suddenly, I remembered where I was, or rather who was likely to be dining there. Talking to Tom and inhaling his manly smell had taken my eye off the door. For all I knew, Mark and Ashley could be here already. I tried to see through the fuzzy partition to the other side. The smell of food from the kitchen taunted my appetite. I was starving, but to have dinner with this guy would give him the impression I didn’t mean that gibberish I had just said. And it would jeopardize my plan of not seeing my sister in the main dining room. “I think I’m going to pay my tab and go.”

“Please don’t.” He put his hand on top of mine. Sincerity somehow found its home on his face.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have dinner.”

“Because you don’t eat, or you don’t think it’s a good idea to eat with me? I’m harmless, I assure you. Just ask that table full of people over there. They’re my friends, and they can vouch for my reputation. I’m nothing but a gentleman. Now, what do you say? Sit across the table from me and eat. I promise not to cross the center line.”

He was too charming for his own good…or mine. I found myself basking in the attention of this fascinating, older gentleman. Enjoying his infectious smile and wondering why he seemed to be enamored with my company. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t supposed to be out. So what if I picked the same restaurant as my whore sister and her choice in hand-me-down men. Served both of them right to see me having a little fun.

“Well, if you put it like that, I’d be ridiculous if I didn’t. I guess I could share a table.”

 

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

Waking Amy Digital

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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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Onward, to Number Three!

female-writer-typewriterI haven’t written an organic word in what seems forever. Editing and revising doesn’t count. Today I’m beginning the third and final book in the “Amy Series.” I’ve just got word from my loyal Beta readers that they enjoyed the second one. Which made me screech in my tracks. “Oh yeah, I better get started on the next one.”

And so I shall. Of course I have to re-read the last few chapters of the second one in order to put me back in the story, but I took care of that this morning at six. Yes, six. A.M. I knew time was precious today, so I started early. It’s a good sign that I’ll be super exhausted when I get off from work tonight at nine. Whatever. I’m young, right? I can take the exhaustion. Certainly knowing that tomorrow is Saturday will help.

I wanted to post an excerpt from the first one that is releasing February 23. Some type of sample so you can decide if it’s your cup of tea. Seeing as not everyone enjoys the same kind of beverage. “Waking Amy” is a chick read. It deals with the ups and downs of a thirty year old girl who’s dealing with trying to salvage her declining marriage. The guy who’s coaching and helping in the mission is sort of a distraction. Taking her mind a little off the goal. Still, she tries to remain focused. Here is a sample:

My routine was off-kilter the next day. Not only wasn’t I going to work as usual, and Wesley wasn’t home like every day, but my core felt different. I barely slept the night before, replaying the moment that stood out from any other in my life. As if someone had finally found the cord and plugged me in.

Today I felt like a ripped sheet, fluttering in the wind. It was only yesterday that I had a plan. Heck, last week I thought I had a husband and a future. Nothing was a sure thing anymore. Nothing but this feeling of chronic jitters I had adopted that came from kissing Dr. Mark Reilly. Comparable to a dope addict who no longer had a fix or a way to find a fix. I was now ten steps from the direction I had started out. Turned around and still spinning. The roller coaster ride was compliments of Mark, too. I grabbed my journal next to the bed and opened it to a blank sheet. Visual evidence of why I couldn’t think of him and that kiss would have to be realized and written down.

  1. Mark Reilly has probably slept with half of the female population in the greater part of Portland, never having gone on a second date with any of them.
  2. I’m married.
  3. He’s a player. I’m his quest. I’m tomorrow’s trash in his female recycle bin.
  4. I’m married.
  5. I’m married and Wesley will be a different man when I become a different woman. We will be happy.
  6. Forget Mark Reilly. It’s only business.

Waking Amy Cover (1)