Three Reasons I’ve Been MIA (aka Exciting News)

Hello, dear readers! No, I haven’t forgotten you, I promise. After working so diligently for years to write two blog posts a month, I’ve dropped the ball this past month. I’ve thought about writing to you on several occasions, but I just couldn’t make it happen. The good news is, I have three great excuses, which will bring us to some exciting news.

Excuse #1: Vacation

We’ll start with the least climactic. My family runs on a college schedule thanks to my husband’s job, so we took our spring break trip in March. After 14 delightful hours in the car with four children, we reached our chilly destination of Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburg is one of our favorite places to visit, both because it’s (usually) warmer than Michigan, and there’s so much to see and do. I won’t bore you with details, but here are a few pictures of things we saw.

Governor's Palace

The Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Gloucester_bridge

Bridge over the York River

spring_flowers

Spring does exist!

Excuse #2: The Call

Yes, writers, you know those two words. The two words everybody wants to be able to use. Well, it happened to me–I got THE CALL. My kids had the day off from school (snow day? winter break? I can’t remember). We’d just finished lunch, and thankfully the toddler was sound asleep in his bed. The phone rang.

I never answer the phone. Especially during naptime.

But my kids always check the caller ID. My 11yo raced to the phone. “Mom, it’s HarperCollins!”

He had no idea who HarperCollins was, but I did. “Guess I’d better answer this one,” I said, all cool and collected-like, even though my heart was trying to hammer its way out of my chest.

Lo and behold, it was Dina Davis from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, calling to let me know they wanted to publish my Daphne-winning romantic suspense FLASHBACK. I’d received a revise and resubmit from Dina about a year earlier, and resubmitted back in January. After eight months of waiting the first time around, I hadn’t expected to hear back so soon! I could barely hold it together long enough to get all the details, but the end result is, my book will be published in December of this year. Just in time for Christmas!

The funny thing is, for about two weeks afterward, every time the phone rang my kids would yell, “It’s HarperCollins!!” 🙂

LIS_contract

On my way to being a published author! Too bad you can’t hear the toddler screaming in the background while I signed the contract. 

 

Excuse #3: Another Call

No, I’m not making this up. My month has been INSANE. I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not on the blog, but I entered both FLASHBACK and my contemporary romance THE INN AT MILL CREEK in the RWA® 2019 Golden Heart® contest. I submitted both to the Romance with Religious Elements category. I felt the romantic suspense was the stronger submission, but because the category didn’t get enough entries in 2018, thought I’d do my part and enter the other one too.

THE INN AT MILL CREEK had been languishing in a computer file for a long time, so before Christmas I sent it to a couple of critique partners. They got back to me over Christmas, which left about two weeks to tear apart and rewrite the truly awful first 60 pages. (The rest was pretty good.) Since the contest is judged on the first 50 pages only, it was a major undertaking. But I crammed in some serious writing time during the first two weeks of January and got it submitted in time.

I knew they’d make the finalist calls during my spring break trip. I’d given them my cell phone number, hoping I might get a call. But two years ago when I entered and didn’t final, I’d been pretty disappointed. I didn’t want to get my hopes up this time around, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

Thursday morning. We were stuffing some breakfast into the kids before heading to the Virginia Air & Space Center for the day. I unplugged my cell phone from the recharger around 8:45 AM, and my eye caught on a new email notification. The subject, “Tried Calling You…”

It was from an RWA board member, who’d left a message on my home phone and had “some news to share.” I had a pretty good idea what that meant! My husband looked at me a little weird when I told him I had to make a call, but he kept feeding the kids while I snuck into another room. I couldn’t have been more surprised or excited when she told me THE INN AT MILL CREEK was a finalist!

So, how’s that for three solid excuses? The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of editing, signing up for special Facebook groups, making announcements, and meeting a bunch of great new writers. I’ll keep updating you on both my upcoming book and the Golden Heart news in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be continuing to work toward getting that third call I’m dreaming about–from a literary agent.

Header image credit: Pexels.com, CC0 license.

 

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