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Hey, friends!

I’m trying something new. It’s a new forum, a new way to get your feedback, and a new way to involve my readers in the process. So if you’re interested in seeing a lot more of the nitty gritty of writing and being an indie author, check out my introductory video over on Patreon. We’re going to have some fun.

Want to help me write a book? Because that’s an option now. 🙂 Want to receive early copies of my books before they even go up for pre-order. That’s an option too.

Give it a look. See what you think. And join me if you’d like to participate!

https://www.patreon.com/annetteklarsen

 

 

 

All Our Broken Pieces

Hey y’all! Ready for the 4-1-1 on my new book? Well, here you go!

The story of Ginny and Alex will be coming soon (end of August or early September). It’s a novella—about 1/2 of the length of my other books—and will be priced accordingly.

BLURB:

Ginny and Devin have been best friends for most of their lives. They’ve relied on each other, laughed with each other, kept each other sane. Continue reading

If I Could Stay Deleted Scene

It’s time for a deleted scene from If I Could Stay!

While the final plot line had Leila leaving her go-bag in the trunk of her car, my original plan was for her to lose her money belt/wallet/purse in Jack’s truck. And since she can’t ask him for help due to the illegal nature of her fraudulent IDs, she ends up taking matters into her own hands. This ultimately didn’t work out for a lot of reasons, but I do like this scene and wanted to give y’all a chance to read it.

 

I hadn’t stolen anything since the first year I’d been on my own, but I was out of options. Jack was a cop, and if he decided to do some kind of investigative voodoo on me, then something was bound to end up in the system. If that happened, there was a good chance it would tip off my father. And I could not let my father know where I was, especially if I had no resources to run. Plus, there was always the chance that Jack would put the pieces together and figure out who I was. Then I’d really be screwed…

If you would like to read the rest of this deleted scene, please sign up for my newsletter and you will receive a link giving you access to all of my bonus content. Those who have already signed up should look for the email that was already sent out. (If you have gmail, it will be in your “promotions” inbox.

Sign up here!

The Mushy Stuff

Have you ever been reading a book, and when someone asks you what genre it is, you kind of wince as you admit that it’s “just” a romance? I know I’ve had this inclination. Heaven forbid I be caught reading that mushy love stuff. What a waste of time, right? Except that, no, it’s not. The romance genre shouldn’t be viewed as less than any other genre, but somehow that’s the hand it’s been dealt.

But where did this need to undermine the value of the romance genre come from? Somehow action and comedy and sci-fi feel more acceptable. Is it because they’re more male-centric? Well…yes. I believe so. Action is about being tough. Science fiction is about sciency stuff. Comedy makes you laugh. But romance. Ooh. Geez. Romance is all about feelings. That’s girly stuff. As if men don’t experience emotions. As if valuing and discussing and wanting love someone makes a person less than. Continue reading

FBI. Research. Oh my.

Just like all of my other books, If I Could Stay involved a lot of rewrites. I’ll write a scene as I imagine it and then I’ll realize that I don’t know enough about a subject to be sure that the scene is realistic. For Painting Rain, it was the painting scenes. I had to go out and research renaissance painting techniques and then go back and incorporate them. For Keeping Kinley, it was how to tend an orchard. What fruit should I use? How can you tell if a pear is ready? And then I went back and rewrote. Continue reading

Point of View

I write from one perspective. All of my novels are told from the point of view of one character only—the heroine. I do that on purpose, and I’ll tell you why.

  1. With a romance, I feel like dual perspective can slow down the story-telling. You end up rehashing portions of the same action from both points of view. That can turn into more words telling less of a story.
  2. If I were to do dual perspective, I would need to write half of the book from a male point of view, and I simply don’t think I’m good enough at that to commit to it.
  3. My biggest reason, though, is this: My books are—first and foremost—romances. The big question that is going to be answered at the end of the book is always:

HOW WILL THEY END UP TOGETHER? Continue reading

Fun Facts about If I Could Stay

Happy release day!

IF I COULD STAY is officially out. Those who pre-ordered should have their ebooks waiting on their Kindles, anxious to be read.

If you haven’t picked up your copy, it’s available in ebook and paperback here.

Now, I thought I would share a couple fun facts about the details that I included in my book.

Locations

I needed a small town setting for a good portion of If I Could Stay. I chose Cameron, Missouri because I was familiar with it. I spent my High School years in St. Louis, and during that time, my cousin (who happened to be one of my best friends) was living in Cameron, which is on the other side of the state. I would go to stay with her several times a year and enjoyed the hospitality and quirkiness of that small town.

Flagstaff, Arizona is another location in the book, and it’s a city that holds a very special place in my heart. I lived there for eight years of my childhood, riding bikes, playing in the snow, and admiring the blue sky.

People

There is a side character in my book named Adeline. I won’t give anything away, but suffice it to say that she is based on a real person. All of the quirky details I included—totally real.

This is the first time that I’ve purposefully based a character on a real person. I don’t expect I’ll do it often, but for this character it was perfect.

Song

I always pick a theme song for my couple, but I don’t think I’ve ever found a song as perfectly suited for a couple as this one.

You Matter to Me, by Sarah Bareilles (sung with Jason Mraz) is not only a gorgeous song, but it applies—word for word—to my characters. Click this link to listen to it.

Or, you could watch this dance which was choreographed to a part of the song (though it doesn’t include the first verse which is the part that REALLY applies to Jack and Leila). When I saw this dance, it was the first time I had heard the song and (after watching it multiple times) I had to go find it on iTunes so I could buy it. Love, love, love.

I truly hope you all enjoy this book just as much as you’ve enjoyed my Dalthia series. Releasing a new book is always nerve wracking for me, but with the switch in genre, I really don’t know what to expect! So I’ll sit back and bite my nails (not really. I’m not a nail biter) and hope that sales are good and, reviews are good, and that I don’t end up crashing and burning.

If I Could Stay PRE-ORDER

If I Could Stayreleases in just ONE WEEK! It is now available for pre-order. Click here or on the photo to pre-order now.

 

AND! The Paperbackis available for purchase NOW. Yes, right this very minute.

Want to read the first couple pages??? Well, okay!

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1

Left. Right. One foot after the other. Keep moving. Ignore the cold. This was a road, and despite it being the middle of the night, that meant that at some point someone would drive by. Please, let someone drive by.

The large tree on the horizon was my focus. I was determined to at least make it to that tree. It was starting to snow, and I knew that the lack of feeling in my feet was a bad thing. My ballet flats were insufficient for this weather. Everything I wore was insufficient. But when Silas had shown up this morning at the salon where I ran the reception desk, I hadn’t bothered going home to gather my things. I’d seen him in the parking lot before he could walk in and spot me. I had felt the blood drain from my face and for a moment I was rooted to the spot, barely able to breathe. Twice in my teenage years, I’d seen the people that Silas had dragged back to my father. They were always bloody, and I never knew if they made it out of my father’s house alive after spilling their secrets.

My mind had clicked into gear. I’d grabbed my purse and asked Janelle to watch the desk while I went to the bathroom. Then I’d speed-walked to the back room and ran to the door that spit me out into the alley behind the salon. The old car that I’d paid cash for was there waiting for me. My go-bag was in the trunk with all the money I’d saved while working at the salon, along with clothes and a few other essentials.

I had pointed my car toward Kansas City and the bus locker that held everything I needed to start over. But less than an hour from my destination, my car slid off the road. Now it sat sideways in a ditch, stuck in the snow. Black ice and my exhausted brain had landed it there. I’d been lucky to get up to the road before my clothes could become completely soaked through with the snow. Unfortunately, the trunk had been crunched enough that I couldn’t get to my go-bag.

This morning, I’d been living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now I was somewhere in the middle of Missouri, on an empty backwoods highway in the dead of night.

I didn’t know what time it was, but it had been dark for hours. My phone was in the dumpster behind the salon, the SIM card snapped in half and tossed along the side of the road a couple miles out of town. It had to be left behind just like everything else. I would need to use another name, like so many times before. Nothing traceable would go with me. I had planned to abandon my car as soon as I had the new ID and cash from the locker. So even if it were found by the police, it wouldn’t do them any good. I’d left behind my license, passport, and all traces of Maggie Lawrence, just like I had with Claire Maguire, Jenny Tolman and Emily Chandler.

This time though, my departure was even more panicked than all the times before. None of my father’s people had ever gotten this close in the past four years. Plus, this was Silas. He was my father’s favorite pit bull—and a police officer. One of New York’s finest—so long as you ignored the bloodlust and corruption.

I looked up to gauge how much progress I had made. The tree didn’t look any closer. Was I even moving? Glancing down at my feet, I realized that each step moved me forward only a couple of inches. Perhaps I’d be better off just sitting down. But the ground looked icy and hard, so I kept shuffling, my small purse bouncing against my leg with every step. It was important to keep moving, right?  Wasn’t that what I had decided?

A hazy light flickered at the edge of my vision and I blinked, afraid I might be on the verge of fainting. The light grew steadily brighter, casting my shadow in front of me, and I realized it must be headlights coming from behind. I turned and stumbled into the road. Maybe that was idiotic of me, but it seemed the best way to ensure that the car would stop.

The headlights were all I could see, and they slowed as they came closer, then stopped. I blinked against the harsh light but could only stand there and wait.

A door opened.

“Miss?” a male voice called. His silhouette hurried toward me. He came right up to me and ducked to look me in the eye. He was tall and probably in his twenties. “You all right, miss?” He gave a little shake of his head, grimacing. “No, you’re not all right; you’re freezing.” He stripped off his coat and wrapped it around my shoulders, then yanked off his stocking cap and pulled it onto my head.

Oh, sweet warmth. I said thank you. Or at least I thought it. The words never made it to my mouth.

“Let’s get you in the car. I’ll take you where you need to go.” He put his arm around me, propelling me forward. I managed only a lurching step or two. “Are you hurt?” He looked me over, but I wasn’t bleeding, so he waited for me to respond.

I shook my head—a jerky, awkward movement. If I was hurt, it wasn’t enough to want to talk about it right now.

“I’m going to pick you up, all right? We have to get you inside the truck.”

Again, the words stuck in my throat, but I managed the slightest of nods.

He lifted me, and my mind wandered to his question. Was I hurt and just didn’t recognize it through the cold and shock? That would be very bad. True injuries required hospitals, and hospitals required names and a paper trail. There could be no paper trail.

My head lolled against his shoulder. He was so warm. Even though he was out of his coat and in this freezing air, I could feel the heat radiating off of him. I snuggled in, trying to get closer to the heat.

He sucked in a breath when my cheek touched the skin of his neck. “Sheesh. You’re freezing.” He fumbled for the door handle and got it open then hoisted me up inside. When he tried to pull away, my hand was fisted in his shirt and I was shaking so hard I didn’t know if I’d be able to let go.

“I need to get in the other side, miss.”

I shook my head, afraid of letting go of his warmth.

“We need to shut the doors. I’ll get in the other side and try to warm you up a bit before we start driving.” He didn’t wait for a response, but pried my hand away and shut my door.

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Hopefully that gets you excited. I know I am. Here are those links again.

If I Could Stay ebook preorder

If I Could Stay Paperback

Add to your Goodreads Want to Read shelf

If I Could Stay Cover Reveal

It’s time! It’s time!

I have a release date.

I have a blurb.

I have a cover.

I have an excerpt.

Release date for If I Could Stay: February 22nd.

The blurb:

They killed her mother, and if they find her, Leila could be next. Being pursued from one state to another, she has learned to constantly look over her shoulder, and when necessary, to become someone new. She’s burned through four cities and four identities, always managing to stay one step ahead.

Now Leila is left with nothing. No car, no money, and no choice but to trust the man who finds her, half frozen, wandering the back roads of Missouri.

Despite the fact that Jack seems to genuinely care about her, Leila knows all too well the danger she poses to anyone brave enough to get close to her. Her growing feelings for Jack force her to make a choice. She could risk staying and hope she’s not found, or she could do what she’s always done, and disappear.

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My cover!

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A little different from my other covers, huh? As well it should be! This is a new genre for me, and that deserves a spicy new cover style.

Excerpt:

I don’t know how long we sat in that pickup truck, two strangers wrapped around each other. One desperate for help, the other willing to give it without a thought for himself. But it was long enough that my shaking stopped, and my breathing slowed, and I started to feel very, very tired.

“You falling asleep on me?” he asked.

“Maybe,” I whispered.

“So you can talk.”

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath, realizing for the first time how good he smelled. “Yeah. I can talk.”

“You got a name?”

Hmm. I hadn’t decided on a new name yet. Now was as good a time as any. “Celeste.” It came out sounding like a question.

“You sure?”

I let out a little chuckle. “No, I’m not sure. What do you think my name should be?” I was feeling a little bit floaty, safe, like everything was suddenly fine.

He grunted. “Angel seems appropriate.”

My brow furrowed in confusion. I wasn’t an angel. I might not have been sure of much right then, but I did know that. “Why?” I asked as I was finally able to unlock my arms and wrap them around him.

“That’s what you looked like, standing in the middle of the road. Your hair looked like it was glowing. Though that might have been frost.”

I was guessing my white blouse, beige pants, blonde hair and pale skin all added to the image.

He cleared his throat. “Wow, that sounded cheesy. I swear I’m not trying to hit on you.”

I smiled, knowing that was true. “What’s your name?”

“Jack.”

“Nice to meet you, Jack. I’m pretty sure you saved my life.”

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Go ahead and add it to your Goodreads shelf.

 

And follow my author profile on amazon to get notifications when new books are release.

There is also a cover reveal giveaway that you can enter over on I Am A Reader. So hop on over if you’re interest.

 

It’s been nearly two years since I published Painting Rain, and I really don’t know how I let that much time pass without posting some bonus content from it. For shame!

I’ll try to make it up to you.

This scene is the first part of an entire chapter that was deleted from Painting Rain. I was several thousand words into this particular scene before I realized that I had no idea where I was going with this story line and that it really didn’t serve a purpose. So it ended up on the cutting room floor.

This scene happens during her trip from Dalthia to Faria. I hope you enjoy it!

I wallowed there until the carriage gave a mighty jolt and I was thrown from my seat. I fell to my knees, catching myself on the bench opposite where Sarah was trying not to slide from her own place. Then one side of the carriage dipped low, throwing me against the door, where my panicked gaze darted out the window and fell to the ground, which was much closer than it should have been. The leather strap that supported this side of the carriage must have snapped.

 

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