Sign up to Win – Contest through 8/8/18

Just dropping by the blog to let you all know that I’m still alive, and still writing. Even though I presently have NOTHING to show for my efforts. Except, you know, six children that are still alive and well. I’m counting them double this year. New books? NOPE. But the oldest is starting his senior year and the baby is starting the first grade and we moved from North Carolina to South Carolina and settled into a new neighborhood and new church family and new school community and good grief has it been a lot of work. So I’m not apologizing, I guess. I’ve been busy! I DO have a couple of projects in the work though, and I hope to have news that I can share with you very, very soon.

In the meantime, want to win some free books? I’ve recently partnered with five other romance authors to bring you the chance to win SIX different prizes. The contest only runs through August 8th, so don’t miss out! All you have to do is sign up for a few newsletters and you’ll be entered to win. (I know. Newsletters can feel invasive and spammy. I promise none of these authors are of the “I will write you everyday” variety. I think I just sent out my first newsletter in more than a year. I’m not proud. Or maybe I AM that I finally sent one!) I wouldn’t recommend these authors if I didn’t love and have complete faith in the quality of the books up for grabs. Find the giveaway on Rafflecopter through the link below!

Untitled design (1)

FIND THE GIVEAWAY HERE.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whitney Finalists and other Happenings

Wrong for You - more comps3What’s New? Back at the beginning of February, the 2017 Whitney Award Finalists were announced. I’m so happy that Wrong For You was selected as a finalist in the Romance Category. Love at First Note was the winner in 2016, so it was extra exciting to make the cut for a second year in a row. I really love Lane and Simon and the other characters in Wrong For You and am so happy that the book is getting a little bit of love. You can see all the finalists in all ten categories here.

WHITNEY AWARDS finalist 1

Winners will be announced at the Whitney Award Gala in Provo, UT on May 5, 2018. I’ll be there, exhausted from a weekend of networking and learning at the 2018 Storymakers Conference, but I’m sure I’ll still be smiling. Because that’s what Storymakers makes me do. The conference is sold out this year, but if you’ve EVER considered attending a writing conference, this is the perfect one to start with. It’s welcoming and inclusive and inexpensive and the quality of instruction blows me away every single year.

I’m throwing my own class into the mix this year–about conflict in Romance and keeping your characters apart in just the right way. If your characters could solve all their problems in one five minute conversation of truth telling? Yeah. That doesn’t cut it.

story geniusWhat am I reading? I’m plowing through (and enjoying!) fellow Whitney finalists. In progress: Sarah M. Eden’s Love Remains. Next on deck: Jeff Zentner’s Goodbye Days. In addition, I’m working on my novel writing with Lisa Cron’s Story Genius. With a tagline that reads: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before you waste three years writing 327 pages that go nowhere) I figured this was a book I could benefit from. My productivity has taken a hit lately, what with moving and . . . moving. So I’m hoping this will jump start and inspire me back into actually making some progress.

What am I loving? This is not book related. But I’m sharing anyway because I love it that much. DHC Lip Cream. It makes my lips very happy. Keeps them moisturized and DHC lip creamsuper soft and I promise even though it seems expensive, it is so worth it. Treat your lips. You’ll thank me later. And it comes in a two pack, so you can keep one for you, and give one to a friend. I actually made this a part of my Christmas presents this year. It’s just. that. good.

 

What am I eating? This recipe for Pork Tenderloin Sliders from my lovely friend, Randi, as frequently as possible. And Kale Salad made with White Peach Balsamic Vinegar from Spice It Up. Also. I finally made it down to Sweet Belgium (a Belgian waffle bakery that landed on my to-do list fourteen seconds after moving to Charleston) and OH was it worth it.

What am I listening to? 

Leslie Odom Jr.’s soulful Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out) 

Sara Bareilles singing She Used to Be Mine from the Broadway musical Waitress.

Imagine Dragons covering Taylor Swift’s Blank Space

James Arthur singing Say You Won’t Let Go

What am I working on? A YA Contemporary called The Summer of Nell, with another contemporary romance for Covenant simmering on the back burner. And! Starting this month, a collaboration with three of my FAVORITE fellow authors. More about that coming soon!

Romance Written Right

It’s been a season of transitioning at the Proctor house. We’ve transitioned into our new life in Charleston, SC, thanks to a work promotion for my husband (Hooray for the beach!) and me? I’ve transitioned into . . . SOLITUDE. For the first time in sixteen years all of my children are in school. I admit, it was a day I thought I would celebrate, but in truth, I spent several weeks feeling weepy, not knowing exactly what to do with myself. It wasn’t so much that I missed my kids. The youngest was ready for Kindergarten. He’s thriving. I know he’s where he needs to be. I just didn’t know how to be alone. How to make choices when the only person I had to consider was ME. How to spend my time effectively.  So I didn’t. I watched hours of Netflix. And took really long naps. And of course, I read stacks and stacks of books.

And so, in an effort to dust off this, an infrequently used writing space, I’m here to recommend a few of those reads to you. We’re focusing on Romance for today–romance that in my estimation is written just as it should be.

The Fall of Lord Drayson (Tanglewood, #1)The Fall of Lord Drayson, by Rachael Anderson

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they’ve called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. 

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

Guys, I loved this book so much. I often complain that Regency novels all feel the same. You can only tell a Regency Romance so many ways when limited by the social constraints and customs of the time. But this novel felt fresh and entertaining and funny, which is something you don’t always see in this genre. I can’t wait to read more of Anderson’s work. FIVE out of FIVE STARS.

Buy The Fall of Lord Drayson on Amazon

22429350

The Start of Me and You, by Emery Lord

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live? 

This one is an adorable Young Adult Contemporary romance that was nerdy and sweet and pretty much perfect in every way. The chemistry was so good, the characters felt authentic and oh, so real, and the writing was effortless. I wouldn’t call this one fluffy–it has some depth because of the personal struggles the main character faces, but it’s not heavy either. It’ll make you swoon in all the right places and leave you smiling and happy. A sweet feel good love story perfect for fans of contemp YA. FIVE out of FIVE STARS.

Buy The Start of Me and You on Amazon