What I’m Writing these Days

If you follow me on Facebook, you get a monthly update of my writing projects. If you don’t, you’re going to get one now.
I’m an author so I write. I wish I could say that I only write things I LOVE and am jazzed to sit behind my laptop day-in and day-out pounding away on my wireless keyboard (which is missing seven letters and throws me off when I look at it to type).
I write blurbs and other marketing copy. When I’m selling or pitching a book to agents and editors, I pen query letters, outlines and synopsis (*cringes typing the word*).
What I write most often: blog posts.
You know, like this one.
Sometimes I even have interesting content or “high concept” ideas. Most of the time I feel like I’m shooting a post into the dark abyss of virtual space…hitting nothing, reaching no one.
So if there’s something you wish I would blog about, please complete the contact form here on the site…or leave a comment on this post.
My love is fiction and especially fantasy. Unfortunately, the market for that is rather soft and in order to “sell” a manuscript now and again, I write romance.

But I’m usually working on multiple projects at one time.

Fiction Projects

Unfortunately, there is no fantasy writing on my horizon. Even though I have an amazing dragon-covered Write Mind planner waiting for the magic of a new world with quests and magicians, I don’t know when I’ll get to write fantasy again.

I need to focus on writing things that sell.

At the moment, I have two projects that I’m guaranteed to sell.
The first is a short story (really more of a novelette) for the ONE SULTRY AFTERNOON anthology my publisher is planning for the summer of 2018.
Here’s a quick summation:

Ivory is in Leavenworth to earn money for her college education by guiding rafts on the river. Her boyfriend graduated and headed to the East coast without a backward glance, so Ivory isn’t looking for romance. Not even a sumer fling.
Prescott survived leukemia as a child only to become touch sensitive as a teenager. When he dropped out of college to pursue his painting, his photographer uncle opened his home in Leavenworth, in exchange for help manning the gallery and gift shop. The rugged beauty of the Alpine village of Washington inspires his creativity.
When they run into each other on a hiking trail, all their plans derail. But love is always a choice, and unless Prescott can overcome his fear of living he’ll never convince Ivory to choose him.

The second project is a novella for a 2018 release in the First Street Church Kindle World of Sweet Grove, Texas. While writing my debut in this world (coming November 15), I stumbled upon a minor character who’s about to run headlong into LOVE’S LITTLE SECRET.
Read on for the brief overview:

Norma Wells works at Sweet Grove High to nurture students, always aware of her own barrenness. She doesn’t understand why God didn’t grant the desires of her heart. At her Silver Anniversary party, she learns the reason her husband had no desire to pursue fertility specialists.
Herman Wells doesn’t deny that the Hispanic boy who crashes the Silver Anniversary party is his son. When he’d been the District Manager, he’d spent half of every month in New Mexico where he’d rescued Osaria and fallen in love with her. Or at least the idea that she needed him while his wife seemed content to build a life without him.
When Herman’s secret rocks their world, Norma has to decide if she can forgive her husband and welcome his now-motherless son. Herman wishes dealing with this fallout was the worst of his problems because when the pink slip comes, everything he build his life around tumbles around his ears.
An unlikely matchmaker seeks to reignite the love that life’s hardships snuffed out. Will Norma’s wish for motherhood come too late? Can Herman discover the most important truth before he loses everything?

Both of these are rough sketches, but hopefully they give you an idea.
I’m also working on edits for:

  • Love’s Late Arrival (due to release on November 15, 2017)
  • Reality Ever After (due to release on January 22, 2018)

My plan is to draft another two novellas in Sweet Grove for National Novel Writing Month OR to write the sequel novel to the women’s fiction novel I need to flesh out before trying to market it again.
What to write? What to write?

Nonfiction Projects

In my original business plan, my goal was to write two Bible study books each year. Unfortunately, that has never happened.
At the moment, I have four or five scattered ideas for studies but nothing concrete enough to begin working on. So it looks like there won’t be a new study in 2017.
The other nonfiction project I’m working on is the Christian living book about struggling through the aftermath of grief. I’ve been writing vignettes and Bible expository segments since 2015.


After meeting with a memoirist and getting feedback from two agents, I’ve got fresh ideas for how to approach this book. Now to be in the right state of mind to work on it.
What do I mean?
This project is an emotional vampire. I can never write more than one section on a given day. And it might drain me so I can’t touch the project again for a week.
But it’s the project I know God wants me to write, so I will do it. But it isn’t a project I can force myself to work on, so I have to pray and trust that He will guide me through it.
Eventually, I’ll market this book to Christian agents and publishers, but I’ll give myself a deadline for acceptance. If I don’t get it, then I’ll indie publish it.
But that is a LONG way off. Probably somewhere in my three-year plan.

A Three-Year Plan

In the coaching session of the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference, Susan May Warren challenged her students to do the math and figure out how many novels, novellas, short stories, whatever they could write in a year.
When I’m on a roll, writing 1,000 words an hour is pretty common. Which means I can crank out 5,000 words in my five-hour writing day.
When we’re talking about the short fiction I’m writing for my publisher’s summer anthology, that means I can draft the story in a week. Those novellas I’m writing for the Kindle World? It will take five or six days to pen those first drafts.
You do the math. How many novellas could I write in a year at this rate?
Except for drafting them is the easy part.
According to Warren, I need to plan an equal amount of time for rewriting, revising, editing and polishing. (So the 25,000 word novella will take 10 to 12 days to be ready for beta readers.)
Still, if I focused on writing only short fiction, I could realistically churn a novella out each month (as long as my editor and cover designer could match my pace).
Whew!
If people purchased these, and I was an indie author earning 70 percent of the sale price, I could make some money. Maybe even support myself solely by writing.
Of course, that’s a big IF.

And rather than dream about this possible paycheck, I’d better get back to writing.

What would you like me to blog about? What genre would you like me to write in? What advice or encouragement do you have for this bumbling author?

Like reading this? You’re a click away from getting Hero Delivery, a bulletin with deals and new releases from Sharon Hughson.

Maybe you like romance or some of my other books. I’m sure there’s something worth reading on my page.

Already read one or more of my books? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. A review is the same as the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

My Fantasy Debut: Masked Hearts is available

Masked_heartsI’m a fantasy author. I’m a fantasy author. *dances around the desk singing* Read my debut story in Masked Hearts today.

Join the fun on the blog tour for the next two weeks. There are reviews and interviews and chances to win prizes. I know you don’t want to miss any of that.

I’m excited to introduce the world to my beautiful woodland elf, Alyona Wyrden, who travels to the earthen realm (you know, where we humans live) in search of her missing brother. I hope you’ll fall in love with the amazing magical artifact detective, Agent Camden Kerr. His job is to protect humans from dangerous magically charged items.

Items like the amulet Alyona is using to travel between realms and track her brother’s location. Will he get the artifact? Will she find her brother? What sort of choices will they make between “Duty and Desire”?

Here’s a sneak peek of their first meeting:

Agent Camden Kerr shoved his fingers through his hair, long layers, mussy. Nothing like he’d worn when soldiering full-time. Staring into the nearly spotless icebox encouraged his stomach to growl. Looked like he needed to grab groceries or head out for dinner.

He shuffled across the kitchen. As his hand covered the coil of keys holding down the newspaper he’d yet to read, a click from the hallway stopped him. He tilted his head toward the sound from the laundry room, and his right hand sneaked along his chest until his fingers rested on the handle of his service sidearm.

Service. As if working as a Recovery Agent for the Magical Artifact Reclamation and Quarantine Society amounted to service. That bunch of stingy, wealthy sponsors had some interesting conspiracy theories about magic. Working for MARQS hardly gave him the same feel-good sense of accomplishment he’d felt while recovering stolen weapons, formulas and documents for the government.

Woodsy air wafted into the room. Hair on the back of his neck prickled. If they were in his office, he knew exactly what they were after. But how did they find him? He’d been careful when he’d lifted the medallion from the evidence room at the police station. Seriously. A drugged-up prostitute shouldn’t have anything so valuable in her possession in the first place. Whoever killed her hadn’t known what it was, or the police wouldn’t have been bagging and tagging it with regulated routine.

Cam eased the gun from its holster. His booted feet slithered over the kitchen tiles as silently as a rattler on rocks. Waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim light wasn’t an option. He had a better idea. A grim twist of his lips, and he slammed open his office door with his shoulder, smacked the light switch beside it with his left hand.

“Hands up!”

A slender woman with eyes glittering like emeralds twisted toward him, hands flailing toward the ceiling in a hypnotic, graceful arc. Her chin was a sharp point in her heart-shaped face. High cheekbones, slashed with ruddy shades of sunset, offset her peachy complexion. The mass of beige blonde hair topped off a perfect picture.

“Where’s my brother?” Her accented English wasn’t difficult to understand, its cultured tones free from panic.

His fingers tightened on the pistol’s grip, index finger straightening away from the trigger. He raked her lithe figure with a single glance, noting no suspicious bulges to indicate a concealed weapon. The rise and fall of full breasts beneath some sort of leather tunic didn’t escape his attention. Or the slender legs encased in form-fitting leather, down to the moccasin-like booties on her narrow feet.

“You’ve got the wrong house.” Cam kept the gun aimed center mass, even as he felt the tension drain from his shoulders.

“I don’t think so.”

She shifted away from the desk. Cam stiffened again, finger dropping onto the trigger, eyes honing in on his target.

And a fine-looking target, too. Messing up that chest with an armor-piercing round would be a total waste.

Buy your copy now at Amazon | AmazonUK | ARe | B&N |Bookstrand Createspace  | Roane  |  Smashwords

Not to hog the stage in my excitement over my own story, here are the blurbs for the other four fantasy romances.

What secrets do the Masked Hearts hold?
Dragons, elves and shifters abound in these five sweet, romantic fantasy tales. But, no matter the realm of origin or the race of the species, one theme resonates throughout. To find a love that’s lasting, one must be willing to take off the mask, and reveal their true heart.
Affinity by Dana Wright
Behind the shadows lies the truth…
A magic mirror and a houseful of ghosts await Kristen when fate leads her to Wanderly House. Secrets and spirits consume her days, but one look in the magic mirror and her heart falls fast. A mask, a cloak, and a key leading her to an enchanted evening in the faery garden might be Kristen’s end as all that glitters may well have sharp teeth.
Magic mirror on the wall…
Connor is trapped in Faery. With only a view through a bewitched mirror to the real world, his attention is nabbed by a curious cat shifter with a ghostly following. Can he find a way to break the spell that binds him so he can reach the girl that haunts his dreams?
When the forces of Faery and Wanderly House collide, will Kristen and Connor’s love be enough to save them?
Water Woman by Claire Davon
Sparks fly when a Spanish water woman, and an African two-horned horse shifter meet at a masquerade. Kimoni has gone to ask Isidora to use her skills to aid him with his ailing grandfather. When strangers claiming to be Isidora’s relatives try to force her to share her powers, the pair is plunged into danger. Isidora and Kimoni look for a way to fight the ruthless intruders, while also saving his grandfather.
Using their combined powers, they meet the challenge, all the while conscious of the growing attraction between them. It has been a long time since Isidora has met a man who calls to her as Kimoni does. The strong, handsome horse shifter sings to her senses, and she sees a matching spark in his eyes. Can love between them blossom? Can a water woman and a horse shifter find happiness together?
Dragon Law by Nemma Wollenfang
The kingdom of Baelin is under attack. A terrifying dragon rains fire down on the capital city, burning all in his path. The people’s one hope lies with the Princess Draxa, who – in accordance with an ancient rite – must willingly sacrifice her future to sate the beast’s wrath.
For her kingdom, Draxa will do it. She will leave Andre, the fierce soldier she loves with all of her heart, don her red cloak, and make the treacherous trip into the heart of the mountain, to face the monstrous Lord Siouxlian in his lair.
Feather Fall by Sheryl Winters
Brooke Adair’s autism has turned the world into a constant puzzle, especially when it comes to men. When she meets fellow swan shifter Blake Landen in a dream, though, Brooke feels a potential connection to someone who could understand her. If she lets him.
But trusting in Blake takes a whole lot more courage than Brooke has. After all, if she doesn’t take this leap, Brooke might miss out on meeting the one man she could actually learn to understand.
Add it to your Goodreads list
Enter the Giveaway to win a $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Join the rest of the tour stops. Read reviews and excerpts. Click on the button.
Masked_hearts_tour_button

Summer’s Sweet Embrace – Blog Tour Stop

SummerEmbrace_CVR_FinalToday, I’m thrilled to introduce you to SIX great romance authors. Each of these ladies has a short story in the recently released Summer’s Sweet Embrace romance anthology. Most of them also have other publishing credits. (Clicking on a name will link you with all that information.)

One of them was published with me in Accidental Valentine. Two of them are friends of mine through a fantastic online critique website. I’m happy to have all of them here today.

So, ladies, do tell. What is your most romantic summer memory?

Michelle Ziegler says:  “Who is going to believe that my life has been rather uneventful during the summer months?  I never had any romantic summer flings in high school or college. Most of my boyfriends were pretty sad and non-romantic also. Growing up has some benefits.

I got married in summer, and I can’t think of anything else more romantic than walking down the aisle. It’s most every little girl’s fantasy to pick out a white dress have walk towards a man that is so happy he looks like he might burst. I really don’t think my husband had ever looked so happy, not even on the day he proposed.”

*sighs* Ah, yes, weddings are SO romantic.

Laurie Treacy says: “My most romantic summer memory is attending summer concerts with one particular boyfriend. Since music was so important to both of us, spending time together, being outdoors under the stars, with him holding me couldn’t have been more romantic. Later on, I married him. ”

Holding each other beneath winking stars on a summer’s night is romantic indeed!

Christa MacDonald says:  “Summer was just beginning and my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Nova Scotia.  We decided (after much cajoling on my part) to leave our secluded spot and travel to Prince Edward Island.  I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan so this was like a pilgrimage to me.  I was probably annoying the entire time we were there, dragging him all over the island, fan-girling at every turn in the road.  After hours of exploring, instead of demanding we go home, he took me for a walk down Lover’s Lane. Since it was so early in the season, there wasn’t a soul around us.  He held my hand and gave me this soft, half-amused, half-sweet look, and I knew this whole day had probably been a complete bore for him, but he’d stuck with it, because he enjoyed my happiness, because he loved me.  It was as perfect, storybook moment.

(And yes, my husband is totally a Gilbert)

My husband would do the same thing. You have a winner there, Christa. Don’t let anyone tell you Gilbert isn’t romantic.

Jaylee Austin says: “In college my boyfriend at the time, Chris, lived in Newport Beach. We spent almost every day together. He worked in an exclusive DVD/CD store, which in the eighties was a new concept. Records were the norm. We’d sit and talk for hours. He lived close to the beach so we’d spend time there. Music, dinners, and each other made it a delightful romantic time before school started in the fall.”

Summer romance at it’s best. That’s what this anthology is all about, right?

Niki Mitchell says: “My most romantic summer memory was a night at the beach. I took a stroll along the beach with my date, and he kissed me under the moonlight for the first time.”

First kiss beneath a summer moon on the beach *swoons*

Melissa J. Crispin says:  “One summer morning, I hopped on the back of my husband’s sport bike and we rode up to the Bear Mountain Bridge area in New York. For me, there’s nothing quite like the contentment of being on the motorcycle with him. It’s always too loud to talk, impossible even with our helmets on. So, with my arms wrapped around his waist, I leaned in close and enjoyed the ride. He took us through a fun mix of twisty streets and wide-open roads, and with it being so early, no one else was in sight. It felt like it was just me and him, and it was as if the rest of the world was still sleeping. The views of the Hudson River were gorgeous, and we were able to stop and take a few pictures.

After we were finished admiring the beautiful scenery, we made our way to a small place off the beaten path that served an awesome brunch.

Perfect weather, good food, and the best guy a girl could ask for—it doesn’t get much better than that.”

You’re right, Melissa. Sounds like a perfect day all around.

Sheryl Winters says: “There is a hotel on the beach in Homer Alaska called ‘Lands End.’ My dream vacation would be a room on the second floor. I could write to my heart’s content peeking out the window every now and then at Kachemak Bay. The hotel has tiny balconies where you can sit and watch the Eagles swoop by. Boats drift into the harbor, seagulls fly, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.”

Sounds like a perfect writing retreat, Sheryl. And what’s more romantic to a romance writer than a writing retreat? Nada!

SE Tour Button

Check out Summer’s Sweet Embrace and hold onto the romance of this sultry season just a little bit longer.

Click on the button at the left to check out the other stops on the tour.

Thanks so much, ladies,  for stopping by today and chatting with us.

What’s your most romantic memory (summer or otherwise) reader? Anyone remember which of these ladies co-authored with me? Any of my guests want to claim me as your “writer friend” via Scribophile?

Embrace Summer Reading with Summer’s Sweet Embrace

Happy Book Birthday to Summer’s Sweet Embrace!

Make sure you scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book (TEN breath-taking romances, perfect for those long summer nights) and a $10 Amazon gift card. And don’t forget to come back next Thursday to discover each author’s MOST ROMANTIC summer memory.Summer’s Sweet Embrace
A Sweet Romance Anthology
by Various Authors

Release Date: August 19, 2015
Genre: Romance Anthology (Short Stories)
 Summertime love is always the sweetest. These eight sweet tales of summer romance are the perfect companion for a day at the lake or the beach.
Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler

Waiting for the right one can be torture. 
Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman. 
Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousins wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy
Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonaldAnnie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live up there year round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually the boy she had a huge teenage crush on.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.

For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.

Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford

A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin

What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.

Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.

One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell

Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?

Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.

Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures. Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation.

Miserable, Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin

Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.

When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters

Executive Secretary, Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul, Garrett Reynolds.

A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.

Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.

Roane Publishing                      Amazon
Amazon (UK)                       Smashwords


GIVEAWAY!

A paperback copy of Summer’s’ Sweet Embrace and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Tour Schedule

Cover Reveal: Summer’s Sweet Embrace

SummerEmbrace_CVR_Final

Summer’s Sweet Embrace

A Romance Anthology
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2015

Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler
Waiting for the right one can be torture.
Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman.
Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousin’s wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy
Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.

The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonald
Annie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live there year-round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually her teenage crush.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.
For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.
Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford
A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin
What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.
Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.
One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell
Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?
Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.
Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures.
Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation. Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin
Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.
When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters
Executive Secretary Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul Garrett Reynolds.
A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.
Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.
Get ready for summer romance. Summer’s Sweet Embrace available at your favorite retailers on August 19, 2015.

Welcome to my Publishing Debut

Today is Release Day!

AccidentalValentine_Cvr (1)It’s here! The day I’ve been anticipating for many years.

I am a published author. You can order my book at Amazon, CreateSpace or at my publisher’s website.

I hope you’ll join the festivities and check out the different blog posts on the tour over the next two weeks.

Some things you’ll find:

  • What authors like to eat
  • Prize giveaways
  • Inspiration behind the stories in this anthology
  • More romance writers to love

Here’s an overview of the stories you’ll find in this anthology:

Guiding Hearts by Claire Gillian
Description: Is a lonely woman’s GPS sentient or is her subconscious taking her by the hand to help heal a scarred heart?

When Jemma Ernst’s GPS malfunctions and sends her to the home of handsome and engaging Gabriel Nash, she writes it off as a fluke. But she can’t seem to reprogram him out of her thoughts nor her GPS.

Better Latte Than Never by Katrina Sizemore
Description: Single and cold on Valentine’s Day, Hailey Merritt is not looking forward to working all day at the coffee shop while everyone around her is cheery with romance and she’s stuck trying to figure out her next step in life.

But, when a special bouquet arrives for her from a secret admirer, she decides to reserve judgment on this holiday and find whomever sent the flowers.

Maybe Cupid has a plan to make this her favorite Valentine’s Day ever.

Dream Architect by S.L. Hughson
Description: Taylor and Sons Custom Design keeps ASHLIN TAYLOR at arm’s length from her dream job. If only she were a son, she could follow her architectural dream. In the Taylor creed, girls get married and boys have careers. DYLAN CUTRIGHT focuses on finishing college and landing an architectural engineering job in a large firm. Minus emotional ties.

After their accidental encounter, their attraction is amplified during their work interaction. Unlike her family, Dylan encourages Ashlin to pursue her dream by enrolling in college. He even argues her case with Uncle Mike. All of this support confuses Ashlin because when she moves closer to him, he rebuffs her for reasons she can only speculate about.

Valentine’s Day might be the perfect opportunity for Ashlin to make him notice her. They are working together – alone – on the most romantic day of the year. Dylan builds her dream of career, but will he ever lower his walls and become more than just the man IN her dreams?

One Hot Angel by Jaylee Austin
Description: Oblivious to Tiffany Jenkins in three short weeks her life will end—unless she makes the perfect choice. Will she chose revenge and expose her ex-husband? Or chose love and surrender her heart to the only man who can save her?

Rock My Bones by Wendy Sparrow
Description: Jared has been eyeing the sexy mural painter from inside the museum’s paleontology lab, but she’s way out of his league. He can’t let her paint that obviously misplaced fern, though…even if it means initiating contact.

You could call her a paleontology groupie, but Shay Meyers is interested in a more modern specimen. An adult male Homo Sapien to be exact—one who needs to be dragged out of his lab for a practical course in mating rituals. If she’s lucky, this will be the Valentine’s Day she rocks his bones.

You can find my review of the stories I didn’t write in the anthology here.

Buy the collection now by clicking here.

Link for Accidental Valentine on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24264581-accidental-valentine

 Link for the tour button:

http://www.roanepublishing.com/accidental-valentines-anthology.html

Click here to check out a Rafflecopter giveaway and win your copy!

I’m a published author – Almost

published author

If you follow me on any form of social media, you’ve heard me scream, shout and dance (okay, you probably couldn’t hear that) about this fact. I have a publishing contract. I will be a published author in two weeks.

It’s so official that I have an author webpage attached to my publisher’s site. Goodreads permitted me to claim the name of S.L. Hughson, and I am an official Goodreads author.

Someday, I might even get a royalty check.

But you all know I don’t really care about that. It has never been about the money for me. And I hope it never will be.

So, how did this event transpire? I know some people want the complete scoop.

First off, my awesome writer friend Jenny shared a link to an open call for submissions. It was for an anthology of fantasy short stories. I was all over that.

Except I didn’t have the time to focus on creating and completing a compelling story. What I did do was like the publisher’s Facebook page so I would see future announcements in plenty of time to respond with a story of my own.

Six month later, guess what I saw?

This lovely page

So I started brainstorming. I don’t want to say too much about this because I’m answering a question about it during the blog tour in a couple weeks. I will say: biker, car crash and new adult.

I drafted a story. It was supposed to be between 7,000 and 12,000 words. Mine came in around 16,000. And so I let it sit.

When I came back to it, the scenes which didn’t need to be part of the story screamed it. They didn’t progress the relationship between my “Accidental Valentines” in the least.

That brought me to about 12,000 words. Whew! But I wasn’t done cutting – or tightening the writing. In the end, the story I submitted ran about 9,900 words.

I submitted it about two weeks prior to the deadline because it was November and I was doing that whole National Novel Writing craziness.

I figured I’d find out about the acceptance in early December. Shows what I don’t know.

Here’s the email that changed me from pre-published to published:

Sharon:

Thank you so much for your submission, Dream Architect, to our upcoming Accidental Valentine anthology. I’ve had a chance to read your story and really enjoyed it. Roane Publishing would be pleased to offer it a place in the anthology. Congratulations!

If you are still interested in having the story included, just let me know by return email, and I will have Rebecca send over a contract.

Warmest Regards,
Acquisitions Editor
Roane Publishing

I received it on November 22 – exactly TWO DAYS after the submissions deadline. So, they obviously had a shortage of submissions and that’s why they chose my story.

Or not. My editor at Roane Publishing has remarked several times about enjoying my story. After rereading it and red-lining it three or four different times.

Soon enough, you’ll be able to decide if it’s any good for yourself. On release day, February 13, I will have all the links here to the blog tour, release giveaway and the booksellers.

I signed the contract the next day (a royalties-only agreement which suited me fine). A few weeks later, I got a questionnaire to complete for my biographical information. I wrote a blurb for my story and went on vacation.

Just after Christmas, I got the first round of edits. They were more about cutting excess words than anything else. A couple of clarifications needed to be made because my wording sucked. Back to the editor.

At the beginning of January, I got the manuscript to review for a second time. Again, only minor wording changes. I’m starting to think I write pretty cleanly by this time.

That’s it. That’s my exciting journey to becoming a published author. Not a single rejection from this publisher.

Now, if I could say the same thing about my novels, you’d hear me dancing like a mad ballerina.

Can you find me on this list?

As I mentioned on my home page, on Facebook and in passing in articles in this blog, I’ve signed a publishing contact. Roane Publishing, a small press in New York, will include my short story in an anthology of romances.

Check out the announcement on their blog.

Feel free to do a happy dance. Or is that just me?

My dream is coming to life. Thanks for sharing the ride with my, friends.