Deleted Scene and Giveaway!

Hey Everyone!Saving Marilee Deleted Scene

I’ve got a deleted scene from Saving Marilee for you to read. And as a bonus, everyone who signs up in the next week will be entered into a drawing automatically.

How to enter: Go HERE and sign up for my free content. Not only can you find all my bonus scenes there, but you’ll also be notified when I add NEW bonus content.

What do you get: Firstly, you’ll get access to all my bonus scenes, including a new scene with Marilee and much of her family. You can get a glimpse of Lylin and Rhys, Ella and Gavin and others. You’ll ALSO be entered into a drawing.

What’s the prize for the drawing? If your name is selected, you’ll get a signed paperback of whichever of my books you choose. Or I’m happy to send you the ebook if that’s your preference.

Drawing ends Tuesday June 30, 11:59 pm.

Be sure to tell your friends, share it on Facebook or tweet about it. Happy Reading!

Inspiration for Heroes

Another question from my FB page. Someone asked where I get inspiration for my heroes. So here’s my attempt to answer:

Firstly, none of my characters are based on real people. I have utilized little quirks from people I’ve known and incorporated them into some of my characters, but that’s the extend of it.

I don’t predetermine a guys personality and it usually takes me a couple of scenes to get to know them. Their character will be based on what the heroine needs, and not necessarily what she thinks she wants. More often than not, I don’t know what it is the heroine will need—or be drawn to—until I’ve been in their head for a while.

I think we all know that a lot of times what we want in a relationship can turn out to be a disaster. And sometimes the line between functional and dysfunctional is a little thinner than we’d like. When my husband and I were dating, I introduced him to some friends of mine that were a couple. After meeting them, he commented, “I’m not sure they’re exactly what each other needs, or exactly what each other don’t need.”

It’s all about finding that line. Does the couple balance each other out or drive each other to the brink of insanity?

My heroes’ personalities depend on the heroine’s personality. For Marilee I knew I needed someone quiet and thoughtful. He needed to be observant, someone who would know when to back off. An alpha male who wanted to walk in a sweep a girl off her feet with his charms and good looks would have made Marilee lock and bar her doors. I needed a hero who would recognize her vulnerability and not take advantage of it.

Fotolia_25517972_Subscription_Monthly_M 2For Ella I needed someone sturdy, someone willing to jump into her adventures with her, but he had to be a protector as well. Her want of adventure and her willingness to go find it was dangerous some of the time. Gavin needed to recognize that and be willing to keep an eye out.


Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 3.18.40 PMRhys ended up being the closest thing to an alpha male hero that I’ve written. He’s a little bit brooding, and has that air of mystery. Lylin is probably the most even-keeled of my heroines. She didn’t feel out of place in her world, and hadn’t been traumatized, so I liked putting her with someone who had that underlying current of intensity. At the same time, he couldn’t be the signature brooding guy, and I loved being able to show his more lighthearted side in scenes like the picnic and laying under the stars.

And of course it’s not all about what the girl needs. The relationships need to be balanced, so I need my heroines to have characteristics that will be helpful to the hero. Gavin had been ignored by the upper class for so long that it was easy for him to think of himself as less-than (I imagine most people in his position would feel the same) and I enjoyed having Ella see him for who he was and not what he was.

Rhys had lived with his deceptive brother for so long that what he really wanted was sincerity and honesty. I loved writing Lylin’s penchant for just saying what she was thinking.

James needed someone who could love him in an overwhelming, hold nothing back kind of way. He’s sensitive by nature and has a huge heart. He’s used to taking care of people and does a great job of taking care of Marilee. But I love that after she’s healed, I know that she won’t hold back from loving him with her whole soul.

Aaaaand this is the part where I awkwardly clear my throat and shuffle my feet because I realize I really am one of those people that talks about her characters like they’re real, like I’m not the one that made it all up in the first place. That’s just the way it goes, I suppose.

Missing Lily Playlist

A reader pointed out on my Saving Marilee Playlist post that I never posted my Missing Lily Playlist. Whoops! It’s not like I don’t have it. So, here it is.

Homage for the Suffering by Matthew Perryman Jones—Chapter 1, trudging through the rain.

Turning Page by Sleeping at Last—Lylin and Rhys’s song.

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard—Chapter 4, Star Gazing.

Run to You by Pentatonix—Chapter 11, overlooking Fallon Manor.

With Or Without You by U2—Chapter 14, the Library.

The Living Sculptures of Pemberley from The 2006 Pride and Prejudice soundtrack—Chapter 22, meeting at the pond.

Say Something by A Great Big World—Lorraina and Tobias’s song, chapter 25.

Saving Marilee Playlist

During my 2 1/2 day writing retreat with my critique group last October, I ended up writing 22,000 words on my Saving Marilee manuscript. A lot of that success was due to my determination to plug in and write. No excuses. Just writing. And most of the time I would have my headphones on, listening to my writing playlist so that I could tune out anything else going on around me.

When I’m working on a story, I also have the tendency to listen to the lyrics of all songs to see if they apply to my character or stories. Thus I end up accumulating a list of songs that I associate with my work in progress. The list isn’t terribly long, but I think it’s easy to see why I would choose these songs to represent Marilee’s story.

07Fix You—Coldplay
Marilee’s song

Keep Breathing—Inglid Michaelson
Chapter One

Gravity—Sara Bareilles
Marilee and Damian

Begin Again—Taylor Swift Marilee and James

Not About Angels—Birdy
hapter 8—Realm of the fairies

Instrumental songs I would listen to while writing:

Infra 8—Louisa Fuller

Liz On Top of the World—Pride and Prejudice soundtrack

Casper’s Lullably—James Horner

The Kiss—The Last Of The Mohicans

Historical Accuracy (Or lack thereof)

It makes me giggle when my books are criticized for not being historically accurate. So, for the record: I don’t write historical fiction. It’s just not in my wheelhouse.

Do I try to maintain a historical feel? Absolutely. But I end up taking details from whatever bygone era catches my fancy and mashing them all together. If I do want to check on a historical component, I’ll research the renaissance era, but I know that the dress, architecture, speech, food, etc… of my books don’t match up to any one era. If that bothers you, I’m sorry. I certainly never meant to suggest that my books were historically accurate. However, I absolutely understand why people might go into my books with that expectation. My books get categorized as Historical by Amazon sometimes. In fact, last night I saw that Saving Marilee is the #1 Best Seller in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance. SEE!!!

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Of course, I am beyond thrilled and may or may not have done a little jig when I saw this. To be #1 in ANY category is more that I ever aspired to. But at the same time, I’m slightly worried that when people see it categorized as historical, they expect it to be really, truly, genuinely, historically accurate. And it’s just not. It’s more like…Historical Fantasy. Or a Fairy Tale without the fairies.

Granted, my books also get categorized as inspirational.

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I don’t have much control over what categories they end up in. Yes, I suggest appropriate categories when I set them up to be published, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to those that I choose. My only claim is that my books are clean and they are romance.

And also that you should read them. But that’s just the girl-doing-the-jig talking.

The Original Idea for Ella and her Sisters

I had a reader ask on my FB page where I came up with the original concept of Ella and her sisters.

The first few scenes that I wrote for Just Ella were so bad. They were stilted and awkward, the dialogue was contrived, and I was trying to write in the style that Jane Eyre was written in, which didn’t work since I’m not Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t have a handle on the old timey speech, and I didn’t really know who Ella was.
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Will Lorraina’s Story be Next?

Short answer: Yes.

I’ve been surprised at how many people ask this question. I doubt it will come as a surprise that out of all of the sisters, Lorraina was my least favorite. But I couldn’t just keep her as the token brat throughout the books. It didn’t feel realistic. So when her storyline started to progress in Missing Lily, I appreciated the chance for her to grow. Yes, she was still selfish and overly critical, but I started to better understand the reasons behind it, and I was able to make some headway with her character development. However, by the end of Missing Lily, I still didn’t like her enough to want to write from her point of view. I couldn’t empathize with her enough.

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Deciding to Save Marilee

43While I was still in the middle of writing Missing Lily, I started contemplating my next project. I decided that I didn’t want to do another princess story. I was done with those. I tried starting the story of Gavin’s younger sister, Kinley, but it never grabbed me. I thought about telling the story of Brinna, Gavin’s jilted fiancée, but I barely got beyond a couple of paragraphs with her.

As you know, my decision to not do another princess story didn’t pan out.

I had always liked Marilee because she was fun and made me smile, but I knew that she wasn’t mature enough for me to want to be inside her head for an entire book. I knew that if I was going to make her a heroine, she’d have to grow up, and she’d have to do it the hard way.
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Link to Purchase Paperback

I approved the paperback proof and was expecting it to take several days for the amazon link to go live. Happily, I was wrong about the timeline.

You can order your paperback copy of Saving Marilee now!

It will still take a couple of days for the kindle version and the paperback to link up together, but it IS there. So if you’ve been hoping to get a paperback into your hot little hands on or before May 1st, now you can!

Click on the amazon link below:

Archery Competition – Rhys’ POV

Third scene from Rhys’s POV. When I asked on my FB page which scene readers would most like to see rewritten from Rhys, this scene was the winner. I was surprised, because I hadn’t considered this one, but once I got into it, I was so glad that readers had suggested it! It was so fun to get into Rhys’s head for this one. Enjoy.

Caution: If you have not read Missing Lily, please don’t read these scenes! They will spoil the plot for you. Go read Missing Lily first, then come back and enjoy these extras.Archery

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