The NINTH NIGHT Sweepstakes is Over

Congratulations, Kari L. for winning the FREE ebook copy of NINTH NIGHT!!! I know you’re going to enjoy the book. Thank you everyone for entering the sweepstakes! More sweepstakes to come over the summer!

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How a Date Night Lead me to the Title for NINTH NIGHT

Early in our marriage my wife and I instituted a Thursday night date night. We were too tired from work by Friday to go out, and if we went out earlier in the week we were too tired at work. (Any other teachers find this to be true?) Our favorite local date night spots to dine were the Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s Little Italy, or Ricardo’s Family Mexican Restaurant.

One of our inexpensive destinations was Costco. We could both eat dinner and dessert for under six bucks. We’d then walk through the warehouse store to do our shopping and inevitably make a couple impulse buys. THE FANTASY ENCYCLOPEDIA was one of those impulse buys.

I had recently finished early drafts for what would become VERVE STONES and UNDER. I sent them out to publishing houses, literary agents, and even submitted it to a writing contest. Everyone passed. Being new to writing as a hobby, I desired to push myself and write a new genre. Something my wife would enjoy reading. Something for her.

When I flipped through THE FANTASY ENCYCLOPEDIA at home, I discovered something mysterious to include in my summer romance story set at Cannon Beach, Oregon. This discovery also allowed me to produce adversaries to influence Liam’s growth as the main character. A detail from this book ultimately became the title of my book. (I left that vague on purpose. Don’t you want to read the book now? Wink wink.)

Do you have a favorite date spot or a fun memory from a date? Writers, where have you found your inspiration? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

NINTH NIGHT Sweepstakes

In honor of the beginning of summer break, I started a sweepstakes to win a FREE summer romance ebook called NINTH NIGHT. Nothing better than curling up with a good story to pass the lazy days of summer.

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Ninth Night (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e5e59bd825087725 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Jun 29, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

Description

Kite-flying, barbecues, and walks on the beach: this is what Liam Davidson is expecting when he visits his hometown of Cannon Beach for the summer. He is looking forward to spending time with his childhood best friend, Penelope, and his grandparents, uncle, and cousin. But the night he meets the mysterious and beautiful Genevieve, his summer takes a different turn.

Genevieve has no memory of her past or how she got to Cannon Beach. The only thing she seems certain of are her feelings for Liam. Who is this mysterious girl? A traumatized teen suffering from amnesia, a con-artist trying to fool the town, or perhaps something even more unusual?

Ninth Night is part mystery, part romance, and full of surprises. Follow Liam as he learns to follow his heart and discovers what mysteries the ocean holds on the ninth night.

Bracing Myself for February

james_mom

My mom died on February 15, 2015. Hard to believe it’s been nearly three years. Missing her comes in waves, chance moments, and random memories. A few of these times bury me. Most of them leave me in a gloomy mood.

Mom died at the age of 57 from an aggressive case of Huntington’s Disease. Mom loved family, friends, baking, gardening, sunbathing, reading, and visiting our family’s cabin. My friends insisted we hang out at my house because of Mom. She kept a spotless home, the cupboards were filled with snacks, and a fire blazed in the stove ten months a year. The lemon bars, fresh bread, cookies, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and various others baked goods cooling on our counter didn’t hurt either.

My sister, Chrissa, and I learned to adore sweets, family time, and holidays from Mom. Mom loved Christmas most of all. Each December, the three of us would drive through town hunting for decorated houses, watching Christmas movies, and helping her fill bags of baked goods to be given as presents.

Like I mentioned above, Mom loved to read. Mystery and Romance were her preferred genres. She always had a book in hand at home, at the cabin, or on vacation. I won’t say her reading directly influenced me to write. I can say Mom would’ve loved reading my sorties. I’m certain NINTH NIGHT would be her favorite. The story is a romantic mystery that is set in Cannon Beach, a place she enjoyed to vacation.

I survived her passing because she accepted Jesus as her savior. During the weeks, days, and hours leading to her death, I repeated, “New body in Christ,” each day I witness HD deteriorate her body. The promise that I’d see Mom in heaven kept her death from crushing me. Barely. The same promise allows me to move forward each day without her in my life. Or my daughter’s life.

Miss you, Mom!
PS If you wish to donate to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America just click the link.

Anyone Else Feel This Way?

No matter how many times I send them to Dustin, Dawn, Taylor, or Robin. No matter if it’s a first or final draft. I always think my latest draft is perfect. This draft is a best seller. I justify my overactive pride with the fact I’ve been writing for a hobby since 2006. My skills have improved immensely. I’ve finally figured out this writing thing. Then a friend returns the draft with more red text than black.

I crash back to earth a few days later. I read their comments first. Try to take in everything without getting upset. Some feedback is in areas I knew needed to be fixed. Most are changes I never noticed. Ones that totally enhance the story. Or edits which keep me from writing like one of my third graders.

What I’m trying to say is thank you to my friends who edit my drafts. Without you, VERVE STONES, NINTH NIGHT, UNDER, and BACK OF BEYOND would never exist!