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First Sentence Friday


Still in catch up mode!  This week I’m sharing the first sentences in Chapters 5, 6, and 7.

CHAPTER FIVE

In the early spring of 1969, when the yellow dust of pollen was heavy in the air, I noticed Mama’s discontent had wrapped even further around her, covering her like a shroud, becoming something we couldn’t ignore.

CHAPTER SIX

While Daddy was still gone, Mama began what I’d call a campaign, intent on telling certain folks, mostly strangers, that while she was in Alabama, she’d never be happy.

CHAPTER SEVEN

When Daddy came back from his trip, I wanted to ask him if he knew anyone named Suggs, and why Mama was so godawful worried about not being known as white trash, but the bribe of ice cream cones and her warning were enough to keep my mouth shut.

Cover DIXIE DUPREE

***I’m using #FirstSentenceFridays on Twitter and tagging @Kensington Publishing Corporation.  Follow along and tweet out/share if you’d like!***

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Great Expectations


This wasn’t an easy post to write.  I’ve sat on it for days, thinking about it, and wondering if I should write about this topic at all.  It’s likely (probably) premature for me to even think the way I am, but I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m what I call an “advance worrier.”  Meaning, I worry about sh*t in advance, and likely when I shouldn’t.  Can’t.  Help.  It.  Blame Mom.  Hey, I blame her. Dad never got overly concerned about much, while Mom worries about EVERYTHING.  Here’s a snippet of our conversation recently:

Me:  Hey, what’re you doing?

Mom:  Oh, I just got this disclaimer in the mail from Medicare.

Me:  What does it say?

Mom:  That my MRI might not be covered.

Me:  Mom, we talked about this before, that’s just a standard form letter they send out.

Mom:  But they say they might not cover it.

Me:  They will.

Mom:  I don’t know.  I’m going to call them.

Me:  Do whatever you need to do for peace of mind.  So, what else is going on?

Mom:  I think I saw a snake in the yard yesterday.  I better not work outside today.

Me:  That was yesterday, it’s long gone by now.  Go get some fresh air.

Mom:  I don’t know.  The damn thing could be hiding under a bush somewhere.  Waiting.

I think I’m about a 50/50 mix of Mom’s worry and Dad’s non-ruffly nature.  Then I get something like what I’m about to say here in my head, and I even worry about my level of…worry.  Yeah, worry about worrying.  How’s that?  Then I feel that I start to sound like Mom.

Anyway.  Here’s where my head’s at.  There was a slow build up via social media comments and emails which ultimately led to my understanding my debut book is an in-house favorite with my publisher, Kensington.  (heart, be still.)  This is, in the words of a few, a really good thing and hopefully means the book will also do well once it lands in stores.  Like I told my husband, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, for the last several months, I’ve been working on my next project.  It’s a good story – if I can do it justice. (worry!)  Set in 1940, and told from the perspective of the fourteen year old daughter,  Wallis Ann Stamper, it’s about a singing family living in Appalachia who lose their home and all their possessions after a flood.  (the flood is based on historic fact)  Hunger and cold force them to leave, and try to make a living singing.  They eventually join a traveling show, where family bonds are further tested by certain events.

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, and this current book, working title THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET, are very different, yet I can’t help but worry about comparisons.  Stuck in my head is the idea DIXIE DUPREE is of a different caliber because I had years to work on it, tweak it, massage it, fluff it.  PERFECT it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the story of BITTERSWEET, but I won’t have the same sort of time to work, tweak, massage, fluff, and so I wonder – is it as good as it can be?  I don’t know.

I’ve still got some time here, and my intentions, of course, are to only send my best work – yet, (again) what if?  What if it’s not perceived in the same way as DIXIE?  No matter the stories being different, it’s about the writing.  Right?  There are expectations here – from myself, my agent, my editor, the publisher.  What if there’s head scratching?  Perplexity?  DISMAY?  Even a bunch of WTF’s?  The thought, “how did she write DIXIE DUPREE, then write…this?  I don’t even know what…this…is.”

You know what?  I hate to disappoint people, that’s what it boils down to.  I don’t like folks receiving something from me with a certain level of expectation, only to serve them up a good dose of disappointment.  What I want is for there to be the same level of enthusiasm, and excitement, and all that other great stuff – which came rather unexpectedly with DIXIE DUPREE – to happen with this story.  All the good things said about my debut have me worrying about the possible expectations with this new work.

Maybe I’m crazy to think this way – you know, before I’m even out of the gate, so to speak.  And thus, I begin worry about my worrying.  If only my worry quotient was a little more swayed, leaning more to Dad’s way versus Mom’s.  More like 80/20.

Pink room?  Softy cushy walls?  Is that what you’re thinking? 

creative-writing

 

 

Yet Another Post On Book Promo


Before writing this, I thought about how many other people have gone before me and shared about promotion and how it “sits” with them.  I’ve read tons of articles, tweets, FB posts, blog posts about this part of publication and how many authors have a kind of a love/hate feeling about it.  I’m on the fence, and really have no strong feelings in either direction (yet).

Here’s my strategy:

  • Try not to suck (this seems right as #1, don’t you think?)
  • Try not to annoy people (IDK…maybe this one ought to get #1)
  • Make promo interesting/fun (within my control)
  • *Build up a thick skin
  • *Realize I can’t fix everything

*more on these in a sec

Back when I worked at International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT, and tell me that doesn’t show some AGE.  Hello, telegraph???) now called Alcatel Lucent, I was let go after nine years with the company.  I got a job selling ITT key systems for a subsidiary known as Metro Telecom, Inc.  I HATED that sales job.  I had to “cold call.”  Walk into some business at random, ask to speak to the manager, or the person in charge, and try to tell them to spend thousands of dollars, just like that! (snaps fingers) on a new phone system.

You can imagine how successful I was.  It’s really the only sales job I’ve had – until now.

Granted, book promotion is different.  It’s not cold calling, for one, unless I decide to contact people in a mailing list to persuade them my book is something I think they’d enjoy.  That’s not my thing though.  I’d rather use a mailing list to send news about events, special prices, or share how the book is doing.  I don’t plan to email anyone and ask them to buy the book.  On my Ick Factor Scale (IFS) it ranks a -1 bazillion out of 10.  And notice that acronym?  IFS?  Yeah.  I can imagine people reading that email and thinking, uh huh, well, that’s a big IF, alright.

There are many ways to promote a book without sounding like a carnival barker.  As some of you know, I just did a traditional sort of ARC giveaway.  That’s a book promo I think works.  The publicist has suggested we do a Goodreads giveaway next month, and I think that will also be another wonderful way to promo.  In other words, when I can give something, it makes me feel better.  Be it time to answer questions, giving someone a book, or simply sharing news, I’ll always feel I’m on the right side of promotional efforts if I’m doing the giving.

That is the key word for me.  GIVING.

Now on to that *thick skinned part of the list above.  I am not thick skinned and I’m going to get bad reviews.  It is impossible to dodge that bullet because we already know reading tastes vary and are very subjective.  Not everyone is going to like my book.  That’s right, you there, you might not like it, at all.  You might even think, I can write better than this, how the hell did this happen?  I know.  How do I know?  Because I’ve had those same thoughts.  🙂

In order for promotional efforts to be authentic (hey look how much fun I’m having!), and to have the panache to face the public when I know there are 1 star reviews hanging around for everyone else to read, will require the ability to let those negative reviews go.  Or try not to read them.  (Good luck, Donna, you know you’re too nosy) Maybe I’ll just back up and re-read the good ones, and hope that sort of balances things out and move on.

On to *realizing I can’t fix everything.  For example, right now I’m very hands on with my Facebook Author page.  (www.facebook.com/donnadaviseverhart)  So, today, I was responding to a couple new comments, and I sent an invitation to a new contact to Like the page.  While I was poking around out there, FB has these analytics, and I checked that out.  I actually felt a little lurch in my heart when I saw an Unlike.  Geez.  Already???  Somebody liked my page, then unliked it?   My first thought was why?  And, what can I do?  I thought, well, if I know who, then I can reach out to them and maybe “fix” whatever caused them to unlike me.  Okay, not me, it.  But see?  That’s the thin skinned part of me, and the fix it part of me reacting.

Realistically, what can I do?  Nothing.  They have the right to do what they want.  And for all I know, this was an unlike that went right back to a like.  I just did that today.  I liked the Southern Independent Book Alliance site, and then unliked them because I wanted to “Like” them via my Author Page.  Of course I like them!  I’m a brand new member!  But, I think they would see that “unlike,” just like I did via the analytics.

Now that I’ve shared all this, I ought to print it out and keep it where I can see it.  then I should read it a few months from now and see if I still think the same way.

It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.  As a reader or an author, what do you think about book promotions?

 

Newsletter or Blog


You might have noticed I keep monkeying around with things “out here.”  Chalk it up to preparation.  Again, I go back to my need to be organized and have certain requirements for the new part of this writing gig called Promotion in place.

The latest and greatest?  WordPress helped me again this morning to change the pre-order hyperlinks to actual store icons and they are now located in a more visible spot in the Sidebar.  Yay!  (Here’s a heads up.  With the Kensington button, the book is not yet up on their site.)

As I mentioned before, I prefer to be ahead of the game and not scrambling around at the last minute.  With that, I’m also up in the air about keeping the Blog, or going to a Newsletter format.  I’ve talked about that here, and in other “places.”  You might notice the tab that was called Blog now says Newsletter – as if I’ve made up my mind.  I changed it so it will simply allow me to convert to doing the Newsletter – maybe once a month (or more as needed), if I choose to go that way.

I’ve also added back in my Twitter feed (recommendation by publicist) and a way for you to follow me.  That was a head slap moment.  And…I’m actually sort of curious about that feature.  WordPress seems pretty straightfoward, i.e., has a way for folks to follow if they aren’t on WordPress via email – so I hope it works!  If someone out there reads this and doesn’t know what WordPress is, then you are my perfect guinea pig!  Sign up to follow/receive the “Newsletter” currently looking like a Blog.  🙂

At this point though, this “Newsletter tab” is still all about me ying-yanging about whatever I like out “here.”  I will have comments open as always.  (CRAIG)

Also, if you could, hop on over to Facebook and “Like” my (also new!) Author page, I would be very grateful!  To find me, go here: http://www.facebook.com/donnadaviseverhart.  I’ll be on the lookout for the LOVE there too!

I’m always looking for your input, so if you have suggestions, want to weigh in on any of this, or simply have something to say in general, I’m here – with the little red eff!

DSCF1351

 

 

 

There Is Nothing There


Summer evening, late. The road traveled lies within city limits, moonlight over a pastured landscape, blackened shadows of barns line a ridge while cattle bed down within a barbed wire fence.  Along the road moves a car, sporty red, fairly new, the driver, a young woman.  She’s tired, her fatigue earned by a previous late night and then an all day job, followed by another late night.

She drives with windows down, a sultry breeze skims in and out, occasionally scented with mowed grass and wild lavender.  A pop station plays a top forty list, barely audible.  The road is as familiar as the rest of her routines.  It is the route home.

Her mind wanders over the day, and the evening.  She’s just left the home of a friend.  She should have been in bed hours before.  An internal thought floats, I’m too tired to be out driving, followed by a vague movement in her peripheral vision.  She automatically turns her head to see-only it’s not possible anything could be there, just outside a car going forty-five m.p.h.  She’s right.

There is nothing there.

Another thought blooms, I’m so tired I’m seeing things.  Seconds later, a row of mailboxes snagged by the car’s high beams also captures the surprising view of an old man.  He is bent over, as if to pick up something on the ground, while glancing back at her over his shoulder.  She swerves to avoid him, and looks at her rear view mirror.

There is nothing there.

Inexplicably, she is filled with a sense of dread.  As she passes an old abandoned house, she senses something, a presence, a nightmare quality awareness entering the car.  The passenger seat, she feels she shouldn’t look there.  She can’t explain why.  Heart rate elevates, hands get sticky on the wheel as she tells herself, act normal.  Act like nothing is wrong.  Turn up the radio.  Sing, if you can.  At the old grist mill, even if the light is red, go through it, DON’T STOP.  You can’t stop.

She can’t explain why she’s having these thoughts, yet, her hand goes to the radio and music fills the car.  She hums because she can’t form words.  She thinks of the word evilUninvited evil.  The stop light is at the bottom of a long hill.  It’s RED.  She swallows and her heart bumps erratically.  Foot on the gas, her driving is somehow steady.  She keeps humming.  The grist mill is to her right. The old wheel is turning, and frothy water spills in a cascade.  She hasn’t slowed down.  The light is still red.

Twenty feet from the light.  She is going too fast.  She plans to run it.

It flips to green.

Ascending the hill beyond the light, she is suddenly at peace.  The past minute or so dissolves into night air.  There is no explanation for what she just experienced, only relief she no longer feels that strange sense of foreboding.

If I wrote horror stories, I’d use this material in some way, as a beginning for someone’s world falling apart, where they can’t tell what’s real, what’s not, are they crazy, or are they really experiencing events which get more bizarre and scary.  But I don’t write horror, and in some ways I’m glad, I almost scared myself writing this.  🙂

And here’s the thing,  this is a true story.  This happened to me about twenty-five years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.  So why make a blog post about it now?  Because…about a month ago, I watched Abigail for the day.  I took her to my Mom’s for a visit, and the drive to take Abigail back home took me down this road for the first time in many years.  I thought about it for the first time in a long while.  My question has always been, what the heck happened?  What WAS that?

What do you think it was?

Dark Hwy

 

 

 

The Anatomy Of A Book


I’ve always loved books, but one in my hands today is not treated the same way as it was years ago.  When I used to start reading, I would sometimes peruse the dedication page, but most often I would jump right into the story.

Not now.  Now actually meaning anytime since about 2009.   When I pick up a novel these days, I virtually dissect it.  Like that stinky little frog, or God forbid, that ginormous EARTHWORM thingy we used to have to cut into and take apart bit by bit in biology class.  That’s how I go through a book, dissecting it bit by bit.

By dissect, I mean I read/look at everything.  When I’m enamored with an author, as I am with too many to count, it’s not just about being entertained that interests me.  It’s about the skin, spine, bones, heart, lungs, eyes (vision) and brains of a book.  (yes, this post will be filled with terms using various organs I decided on; cheesy but effective, don’t you think?)

When I pick up a book now, I study the cover (skin).  This used to be the very first thing that drew me in.  With a quick first glance over the shelves, I could immediately pick out one I thought I’d like.  Since deciding to write and pursue publication, I’ve dreamed about a cover for my own book.  Today when I look at covers, I still have a penchant for a certain vibe they carry, while knowing I like many different types.

Here are a few of my favorites:

With BASTARD, the picture of the young girl and the figure of a woman nearby, hand on her hip, plus the model of the car tells you this will be a story about conflict set in a time some decades ago.  COAL RIVER and ONE FOOT IN EDEN are covers I love, portraying darkish settings which, (IMO) tells you there’s trouble ahead.  The covers evoke a sense of heaviness/darkness, serious stories about serious topics.  With CEECEE HONEYCUTT, the book was pitched as STEEL MAGNOLIAS meets THE HELP.  The hummingbird and flowers just below the scrolled volute (?) makes you envision people with sweet Southern charm who get their happy ending.

I’ve become pretty consistent about flipping the book to look at it’s spine.  This is just to see who published it, and since I started doing that years ago, I’m now familiar with many of the imprint logos.

With the cover also comes flap copy or “bones.”  By reading that, I understand the story’s structure and what it’s about.  It will tell me (in some cases) if the author used first person, third, is it from multiple narrators or one.

Next, I take a look at the heart, which to me is the dedication and the acknowledgements pages.  I call this the heart because this is where authors will likely let you have a peek at their emotions.  I like to see who the books are dedicated to because it also tells me a little bit about the author’s relationships, are they married, with or without kids?  Dogs?  Cats?  The acknowledgements gives me an idea of a book’s journey.  Who did the author know?  Who helped them?  How long did it take?  Not all of these answers are given, but after reading many, many acknowledgements and dedication pages, I usually think I know a little something more about how a particular book came to be.

Next comes the lungs, that breath deep inside, that in and out movement which pinks up our skin, makes us gasp, or laugh, or literally stop breathing during a particularly tense scene, as in…the story itself.  Self-explanatory, no?

Then, there is the vision for the book.  How does the publisher see the marketing of it?  There might be blurbs by other authors of the same genre, for one.  Sometimes these are so abundant, they fill some of the inside pages at the front along with one or two on the front cover, and the entire back cover may have them.  There are reviews to go after, and sales people who contact distribution channels to place the books in stores.

Last, but not least, the brain.  This is where you are encouraged to think about the story with Reading Guides, particularly if a difficult social issue is written into the story.  Occasionally there will be a “Conversation With <insert author name>.”

Strange, but true, I look at all of it.  Even the ISBN #’s, copyright date/s, and print editions.  And disclaimers.

The other day I picked up my next read and I spent time looking at the list of books the author has finished since his debut.  I thought, “I’m doing it again.  Dissecting.”  But it’s fun, and all of it is there for a reason, whether for the reader or the authors themselves.  And I don’t smell like formaldehyde.  That’s a plus.

Do you spend time “dissecting,” books, or am I the only one with this quirky habit?

 

 

 

Out In Public


Recently, fellow writer Carolynn (in some circles we call her 2N’s) Pianta talked in a three part series about special “messages” on her blog.  Granted I’ve had similar “messages” throughout my life, but today I’m here to talk about three separate “events” over the course of this past week which are downright…odd.  Not oooooo, ghostly odd.  Or even freak out odd.  More like distasteful odd?

Because of what it involves, maybe it’s simply ridiculous or just weirdly coincidental.  Actually, if it weren’t for the fact of what it was about, I wouldn’t have even noticed.

This is likely considered in poor taste, but I was never one to dwell for long on things like that.  🙂

FIRST TIME:  In a too close to home incident, I caught someone urinating – out in public. In my head, I was like, ho boy, um, is that necessary?  Yeah, yeah, when you need to go…BUT.  I called up Blaine and said, “So, uh, I just saw someone [insert details].  I’m not sure what to make of it.”

He chuckled and said, “You know, men can do that.”

I said, “Ha ha, very funny.  But then again.  Not really.”

I mean, honestly?  I was all kinds of grossed out because it was, if you get my drift, “too close to home.”  I’m not inclined to want to encounter the remnants of THAT – no matter how much rain falls to distill it, disperse it or whatever.

SECOND TIME:  While out on my run, I entered Greenwood Cemetery to make my usual out and back loop.  I spoke to someone walking, and on my way out, they were ahead of me.  I was about one hundred feet from them when they suddenly veered off to the edge of the woods and what do they do?  Begin to relieve themselves in the doggone creek.  I immediately reversed course, killed some time doing an extra loop, and when I came back out, he was gone.

THIRD TIME:  Today I was on my way to meet a fellow author for lunch and what do I hear on the radio?  Evidently NYC is making public urination and drinking LEGAL.  Why?  Because the court system is overloaded with offenders and it’s clogging up the system for the more serious offenses.  I think that’s what I heard.  I came home and looked it up just to be sure and holy hell, it must be true because I found this, and this, and a whole host of other reads on this urgent gotta go topic.

They (the collective, the group, the other folks?) say three’s a charm.  Or, we all know the saying, it comes in threes.  There’s something about the number three which is, I guess, mystical?  And there, right there were three instances on my radar regarding public urination.  I can see this as being necessary when you’re stuck on the interstate in an ice storm for going on fifteen bazillion hours and no access to toilets.  But even many of those poor people tried to twaddle off to the woods to take care of business.

I am perplexed, make that STUMPED as to what the message is I’m supposed to get from this?  The strangeness of it, with only a couple days in between each “event,” of course brought it front and center.  However, if there is something there for me to discern, I’ll be darned if I know what it’s supposed to be, but hey, as a writer, I’ll have to figure out if there’s a way I can use this.  Maybe in a flash fiction story down the road.

Now, tell me this isn’t the strangest post you’ve read all day. 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas From The Family


Much like the previous post about White Trash, what’s Christmas without the song which actually is supposed to be the epitome of that?  A tune about dysfunctional families, and what many would say is a typical Christmas day spent carving turkey, watching ballgames, mixing up your favorite beverages, and a whole host of other shenanigans.

You know the song I’m talking about.  Personally I love it, not only the melody, but even from a writer’s perspective.  I relish the well written lyrics because I SEE the scenes in my head as I wail along.  Yes, I sing to this song, and loud too.  I’m alone when I do, much to the relief of family and friends.

One way or the other, Robert Earl Keen sure knows his rednecks.

For your enjoyment, (and mine!) turn the volume UP!

Now, if you don’t find that catchy, you might need to have yourself a sip of that Bloody Mary – you know you want one!

 

It’s Just Not Christmas Without White Trash


On another blog a writer friend said she wished she could send all of us a big bag of Texas Trash – which made me realize it was time for me to share my own version – White Trash.  Don’t I share this every year?  I can’t remember, but if I don’t, it ought to be a tradition out here on the blog.

I mean, just like what the title says…it’s not Christmas without it.

Admittedly, this is probably not considered being politically correct, but, hey, how ’bout we go with the idea this isn’t about someone’s lifestyle, but a treat.  And a darn good one if I say so myself.

And while I’m at the name thing, let’s list all the ones it goes by, the one I’m most familiar with being first on the list:

  1. White Trash
  2. Puppy Chow
  3. Muddy Buddies
  4. Monkey Munch (from Kate Plus 8)
  5. And the ever popular – Christmas Crack

I think that about covers most of the ones I’ve heard.

Don’t have time to bake and bake and bake like I’ve done this past week?  (Six pound cakes and counting…)  This is your answer!

It’s GREAT for sharing, and anyone who’s ever tried it will swoon at your feet.  All you have to do is get some of those decorative plastic bags, or pop-up boxes, ribbon, make this (takes minutes) and you’ve got yourself a homemade, tasty treat to share with friends, family and neighbors.  They will begin to stalk you once you introduce them to it.  Which may not be what you want.  You could just drop it off in the middle of the night on their doorstep signed, “Secret Santa.”

IDK.  Share at your own risk. (?)

Anyway!  Like I said, it’s easy!  There are many versions of the recipe to boot, but here’s a favorite.

White Trash Recipe:

  • 1 large box Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 box confectioner’s sugar

Melt peanut butter and butter.  Let cool.  Pour over over cereal and mix carefully until well coated.  Pour confectioner’s sugar into a bag (an old fashioned brown paper bag is perfect for this, but if you don’t have one, use a trash bag.  Seems sort of apropos doesn’t it?)  Dump coated cereal into the bag and shake vigorously.  Voila!  White Trash.

Here’s another version (this is the one I prefer personally.  Must have chocolate!)

  • 1 large box Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 large box raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts
  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 box powdered sugar

Combine first three ingredients in large bowl or pan.  Melt chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter.  Let cool a bit, then drizzle over cereal mixture to coat, then mix carefully to coated.  Next, dump box of confectioners sugar into…?  You got it, a trash bag or paper bag.  Then in goes the cereal mixture and shake until all is well coated.

White Trash (2)

Enjoy!

 

A Pause…To Introduce Author Susan Schild!


A  pause from my regularly scheduled “programming” to introduce a new author to you!

Let me start this with a little bit of background.  When my first novel sold, I joined the Kensington Author’s portal, a secure site where authors under Kensington can “meet” each other, ask questions, and participate in a collective swoon over publishing success.  I saw Susan Schild’s intro and noticed she was writing a series based in a fictional town in North Carolina.  I figured she must live nearby and wondered how close.  Turns out – really close, like thirty minutes away.  I contacted her via email, and we set up a lunch date.

The day we met I felt an instant connection.  I swear I almost heard a “click!” as I walked into the restaurant called Mannings in the historic downtown area of Clayton, N.C.  I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say instant connection.  That sense of ease and none of the awkward, just getting to know someone do-si-do that can stifle conversation and make one feel as socially inept as a five year old asked to say the blessing at a family dinner.

At this first lunch together, (first of many to come, I hope!) we eased into conversation like we’d known one another for years.  We talked non-stop about our books, our writing, our past work, and before we knew it, ninety minutes was gone, and I believe we could have kept on until they shut the place down.

As writers will do, we share our work.  During her revision, she asked me once to read the first fifteen pages of her debut, LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST.  By the end of the first couple of pages, I thought, wow, I know this character already!  And, I loved her.  Plus, Susan tucked in these little narrative quips that had me smiling as I happily read along.  The thing is, Susan’s writing flows.  And it carries the same sense of wit, humor, and down to earthiness she wore like a soft shawl the day we met.  Her writing style is like a sunny day, full of descriptive morsels that set you into the scenes solidly.  The dialogue spills onto the page as easily as sweet tea down your throat on a hot summer afternoon.

If you like bright, colorful, interesting characters with Southern charm, who aren’t boring, who read and sound as natural as birdsong on a spring morning, then you’ll love Susan’s writing.  I promise!  I hope you’ll get a chance to check out her website, where you can find out all you need to know about Susan’s Willow Hill Series, and her debut book –  LINNY’S SWEET DREAM LIST – release date early January, 2016.  It’s available for pre-order as an e-book from Kensington Publishing Corporation. 

Revised cover Linny's Sweet Dream List

 

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