• Did you see the gorgeous cover for STEALING HOME?


    Have any of you seen Mary Poppins Returns yet? It’s adorable. And there’s an entire scene dedicated to not judging a book by its cover. I agree with that 99 percent of the time, but if you wanted to judge STEALING HOME by it’s *cough* glorious *cough, cough* cover that would be just fine by me.

    This cover makes me think warm, flirty, fun, summer romance. And that’s pretty much what will be on the pages too.

    What do you think?

    STEALING HOME_Page Street USA Today’s Happy Ever After did the reveal a few days ago, and so many lovely people said so many kind things about it.

    I have to thank my publisher, Page Street, and my cover designer, Rosie Stewart, for doing such excellent work!

    If the cover teases you enough to want to know what the story is about, here’s the official back cover blurb:

    Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell can’t afford to strike out on her dreams.

    Ryan has life perfectly planned. She’s going to take over her family’s team, the Buckley Beavers, and become one of the only female General Managers in minor league baseball.

    Then Sawyer Campbell shows up, and Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, though fraternizing is against every rule in the Beavers’ handbook.

    But after figuring out the desperate state of the team’s finances, Ryan will have to take risks in order to save her future. She teams up with Sawyer, using his star power to draw in sponsors. But the more time she spends with him, the harder it becomes to play by the rules. Is his partnership the key to saving the Beavers, or a distraction she can’t afford?

    You can (and should) add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

    And if it sound like something you’ll like, you can pre-order it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or your favorite independent book store!

    More news to come!

  • I Took a Three-Week Break from Social Media and Here’s What Happened

    In early October, I decided to join many of the women from my church in a 10-day break from social media. And after that ten days was up, I realized that I love being disconnected. I stopped watching the news years ago because it was depressing, so I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that social media was bringing the same darkness into my life. I know it’s important to be informed, but neither Twitter nor Facebook should be my go-to sources for information. I didn’t join those platforms for information, but as social media has evolved it’s become a lot more about pseudo-news and a lot less about being social. Being social is good. I love people. I love interacting with people. I want to continue interacting with people on social media. And the one thing I really missed these last three weeks was the PEOPLE. Okay, okay. If we’re being totally honest, I also missed the dogs. Instagram is great for dogs. And food. And books. Please send me all the pictures of your dogs, food, and books. Thanks ever so much. There are a few other lessons I learned during my vacation:

    • Social media doesn’t affect the number of words I write in a day. Shocking, I know. I filled that time with other things…like reorganizing. You should see all the closets in my house. They are gorgeous.
    • I read 18.5 books in the last three weeks. Let’s agree that is a ridiculous amount of reading, and at least a portion of that time would have been devoted to social media. Reading makes me happy. I need to keep doing that.
    • I missed Instagram more than any of the other platforms. I think that’s partially because it’s less devoted to “news” and more devoted to images. I very rarely stop and read someone’s entire post.
    • Taking a break from social media did not affect my self-esteem. I think I’m an outlier on that one.

    Moving forward, I want to spend more time focusing on people, on building friendships, on sharing the highlights (and sometimes lowlights) of our lives. Here’s to the people.         And to the dogs.  

  • How I Got My Agent: An Atypical Story

    There are always rumors floating around the internet that an author has to “know” somebody to get an agent. You guys, that’s not a thing. The vast majority of writers get their agents the old fashioned way: querying. My story is a teensy bit different. About eighteen months ago I found myself mucking about in the query trenches. It’s not a happy or hospitable place, and it wasn’t my first campaign to find an agent. I know all about the grit and fortitude it takes to send out ten, twenty, fifty queries and how every rejection knocks you down. Querying is hard. Luckily this time, I didn’t start this adventure alone. I have a lot of good writerly friends. People that I read for and share sorrows with and trust with the darkest thoughts of my head and my heart. I was brave enough to ask a couple of those author-friends to refer me to their agents. Refer means your query gets moved closer to the top of the slush pile and that you may get a more personalized rejection. Which is exactly what happened to me. Did you read that? Even though I had a referral from another author I still got lots of rejection. All of the agents said the problem wasn’t my writing. The market was simply saturated with that particular type of fantasy. Even though it was a well-written story, it lacked the punch/hook/oomph to make it stand out from the market. Three of the agents asked me to query them again when I had something else completed. Lindsay Mealing, then of Emerald City Literary, asked what else I was working on. I took a chance and pitched her the story I’d been writing while I was querying. I only had about one-hundred pages complete, but I was proud of what I had. I knew it was good–even better than what I’d queried with. PAUSE: I feel like I need to remind everyone new to this business that my situation was atypical. You never, never, never, never, never, never–are you getting the point?–never query an agent with an unfinished manuscript. Lindsay liked the pitch and asked to see the pages even though she knew the story was incomplete. She read the sample very fast, scheduled a call to discuss the direction the story was headed, and agreed to represent me even though it wasn’t finished. Now you’re all like, “Wait. Your agent is Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Lit. How did that happen?” This summer Lindsay got an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, which meant she had to leave agenting. She’d sold STEALING HOME a handful of weeks before, so I was rolled onto Mandy’s client list. Sometimes clients are kept, sometimes they’re let go. And I’m so grateful that I was one of the few kept. Obviously it helps that I’d just sold a book. 😉 I know blogs are sort of a sad, dying art, but if you stumble upon this post and have questions about querying, slushpiles, whatnot, I’d be happy to answer them. If nothing else, I can direct you to other articles that will help!