Debut Novel Turns Ten!

Wow! Today, my first published novel turns ten years old. Unexpected Legacy, which combines general fiction and sweet romance story lines, was published after I meandered my way through a serious learning curve. I have a degree in Journalism and spent the first 30 thirty years of my career writing newspaper and magazine articles and communications materials, so I already had the basics of writing. But stepping into the world of fiction, I had to learn a new way of writing. I had to learn about working with critique partners and beta readers. I had to establish a social media presence and learn how to format a 99,000-word book for publication. That was an exercise in frustration, to be sure! All of the elements, from coming up with a title, to polishing the book, to creating a cover, came together after what felt like months and months of struggle. I still remember the nervous excitement of pushing “publish” and opening the package that held my first author copy. The fun payoff! 🙂

As my first novel, Unexpected Legacy still holds a special place in my heart. I re-read it last week and made some tweaks. Tightened it up. Took out some unnecessary words. It’s amazing how every time I read back through one of my novels I still find things I want to change, scenes I might write differently today. That said, when I got to the last page, I found that I still liked the characters and the story. I’m still proud of the accomplishment and happy to have it out in the world.

I also went back and read through some of the reviews and was touched that the book struck a chord a few readers. Here’s one of my favorite reviews:

UL review on balloons

In celebration of the anniversary, I’ve put the digital version on sale for just 99 cents. Have an E-reader? Hope you’ll add Unexpected Legacy to your library! It’s available at all the usual online retailers in both ebook and paperback versions.

Happy new year, and happy reading!


Unexpected Legacy:

Matt Dalton’s world is spinning off its axis. Without warning, he’s thrown into the world of parenting a teenager. Matt meets his son for the first time when the sixteen-year-old is dealing with the consequences of a tragic car accident. Not only has Brady lost his best friend, he faces disability and scars both physical and emotional.

Determined to do whatever it takes to give his son a second chance, Matt looks to his alma mater to step up and help Brady regain his athletic abilities and sense of self. But sparks fly when he meets the high school principal, the captivating Kate Austen. Kate is ready to take Brady under her wing, but to her that means helping him refocus and find a new passion – using his brains rather than his brawn. Kate fully expects the younger Dalton to come with issues and challenges . . . his father may prove to be the biggest one of all.

Though the chemistry is hard to ignore, Kate fights to keep her personal feelings and professional life separate. At the same time, Matt struggles to gain his son’s trust, and Brady must face the road to recovery and find a way to accept the changes in his life.

Unexpected Legacy is a compelling story of bravery, compromise and resilience.

Let the festivities continue!

Well, Christmas is over, but the festivities are not! Crossing my fingers in hopes that the weather will cooperate this week, and I’ll be able to attend two annual holiday events that are always full of merriment and camaraderie – get togethers with longtime friends with whom I have a history.

Tomorrow night is supposed to be my book club’s holiday dinner, dubbed the traditional salmon feast and winter solstice celebration. Last year we rescheduled three times, and finally gave up. It just wouldn’t have been the same in July. I ended up handing out the cute little individual gourmet teas I’d purchased as partxDSC_0715y favors at a random book club meeting several months later. Not the same at all.

On Friday, I’m supposed to have lunch with three friends I used to work with in corporate America. We bonded twenty-plus years ago over bad bosses and a ridiculous working environment – oh, and words. As writers and editors, we have common talents and interests. Now we have so many experiences in common. Kids and college are some big ones. Many years ago we went our separate ways, but we’ve kept up our annual holiday luncheon. We try to kick off spring with a Mother’s Day lunch, and until recently, we added in a family summertime event. Alas, the kids are almost all grown now and the last summer soiree was just us girls and spouses.

The forecast for Friday is a wintry mix. Temperatures are supposed to plummet. Our event is to take place at least thirty minutes away (that’s on a good day). We’ve rescheduled twice, and I’m hoping the bakery will indulge me one more time when I call tomorrow and change the date for the required chocolate dessert I’ve had on order. But mostly I’m hoping we can make our little get-together happen. I’m looking forward to laughing over the memories and stories that will undoubtedly surface, and to hearing updates on the college kids. And this year, for the first time, to hear about wedding plans. The first of our children is engaged.
More memories to be made. Fingers crossed!