Archive for January, 2012

Proofing and Literacy Autographing

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The proofs for the audio book version of WHERE SHE BELONGS arrived in my in-box yesterday from AudioLark. I proofed four chapters right away, so am about 25% through. I’m really enjoying the audio book! The narrator, R.E. Chambliss, also narrated BORROWING ALEX. She did such a great job capturing the romantic comedy tone of BORROWING ALEX that I wondered how her narration of an emotional romance novel would compare. My verdict? R.E. is every bit as good at narrating serious, emotional stories as she is at narrating romcom. Jess, Adam, Nora (Jess’s mother), and the secondary characters are all coming alive for me. I think that’s what I love most about my novels being made into audio books–how they feel to “come alive.” It’s a different experience listening to a book you’ve published, and I am so pleased with the audio rendition thus far. I hope my readers (listeners?) will be, too.

As for the Five Star Expressions library-hardcover edition of WHERE SHE BELONGS, I’ve registered for the RWA National Conference in Anaheim this July. I signed up for the Librarians’ Luncheon on Wednesday, July 25th, and I just found out today that Five Star is donating a box of my books to the Literacy Autographing that will occur in the convention center next to the Conference hotel. So I’ll be signing copies of the book for the public.

I am excited about this. I have only signed as Cindy once before, and that was a long time ago, when HEAD OVER HEELS was first published. I donated ten of my own copies to the Autographing, however, because there wasn’t a box of books by my station, my name placard and place were removed. Then I arrived with my books in my arms, and the volunteers setting up the stations realized they’d made a mistake. There was no room for me in the Ps, so I sat at the end of a table in the Ms. I managed to sell all ten copies of HEAD OVER HEELS that I had brought along, but it was a little weird to be sitting among the Ms.

I have signed as Penny once, and the publisher in question always donates books to the Literacy Autographing. Apparently, they had donated a box of Penny’s books plus had stuffed two more copies into a box of another author’s books. Good thing they did, because the full box of books was nowhere to be found and all I had to sign were those two measly copies. I quickly “sold out,” heh heh, but stuck around to speak to readers regardless.

So…my third Literacy Autographing is approaching, and this time cross your fingers it goes off without a hitch!

Eye Report – Six Weeks

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Bad blogger. Lazy blogger. Intermittent blogger.

Yeah, yeah.

Okay, we have two things goiug on here.

  1. I hurt my rotator cuff about 15 months ago and REALLY whacked it all to heck nearly 7 months ago, and I’m still recovering. I’ve made great progress since July, but I’m not 100% by a long shot and I am still in treatment despite having had a cortisone shot in August.
  2. My laser eye surgery resulted in very dry eyes that curtails my computer time. Whine, whine. Yes, I know, I’m ungrateful. But I’m sharing my experience in case you’re considering eye surgery, too. You might find it helpful.

Six weeks ago today, I had SBK laser eye surgery. SBK is supposed to combine the benefits of PRK (where they remove the surface layer of the cornea before the laser gets to work) and LASIK, where a corneal flap is created by use of a surgical instrument. PRK takes up to 6 months to heal/achieve best vision, and day 3/4 is a bear (I can attest to this because Eldest Son had PRK last year). In SBK, they create the corneal flap with the use of another laser, instead of a surgical instrument. This is supposed to be safer than LASIK, but it’s also more expensive. At least in my part of the country. But apparently you can “go back to work” 72 hours after SBK surgery, and I loved the idea that I would be able to drive within 3-4 days, so despite the extra cost I went with the SBK (also the clinic now no longer offers LASIK). I went with Monovision. This means that my right eye was corrected for distance and my left eye for reading/working on the computer.

The first day, as the eyes thawed out after surgery, was very, very painful.

We had to drive to another town for my surgery, so I couldn’t quickly go home and “sleep through it.” During my one-day follow-up, only one fellow reported that he had been able to sleep through the de-freezing process, and I think it was because his mom filled him with more drugs than we were provided at the clinic. So, day 1 was pretty much a horrorshow.

Day 2, back to the clinic I went, and I was pleased that I could read 20/20 “minus one” on the eye chart with my right eye. This means I missed one letter. But…the letters I was reading weren’t super clear, and I thought that would improve over time. Meanwhile, my left eye was nearly reading the smallest line on the reading chart, and I had never expected it to be able to do that. I thought, at best, my left eye would do me well for computer and desk work, but that I’d still need reading glasses to read a book or pill bottles (this has been the experience of friends who’ve done LASIK monovision).

I had another follow-up on Day 4, with a local optometrist this time. I was doing okay but my vision hadn’t changed since Day 2.

Fast forward to 1 Week follow-up. Because it was Christmas and Boxing Day, I didn’t actually see the optometrist until Day 12. And my regular optometrist was still on holiday, so I saw his colleague. At 7 days post-surgery (a few days before this follow up), I was to stop using the steroid drops and anti-bacterial drops. And so I did. To me (the uninformed), my right eye was healing nicely, but my left eye felt like it had something in it, and it hurt! No matter how many drops I put in, this irritation continued until the day or two before my follow-up (10 days). I thought it was part of the healing process for left eye. But the optometrist told me I HAD probably had something in my eye. But now it was gone.

At this one week (12 day) follow-up, I had realized my eyes were very, very dry, which is a side effect of the surgery. They felt like contact lenses I couldn’t take off. But it turned out that as well as having dry spots on both eyes (especially the right), there was a haze on my right cornea. I had to go back on the remainder of the steroid drops and keep up my regimen of fake tears, various brands so I wouldn’t develop an allergy (some brands have no preservatives and some brands do). I also had to book an extra appointment for the following week. That unnerved me.

Day 18. Because of New Year’s Day, I had to wait until Tuesday for this extra follow-up. The good news was that I no longer had a haze on my right cornea, but my eyes were extremely dry and I could sit at the computer for maybe 20 minutes at a time. So the “you can go back to work after 72 hours” thingie? Not! Maybe if you work outdoors or even inside in a store. Maybe if it’s not an extremely dry winter (December and half of January were horribly dry where I live). Maybe if you aren’t middle-aged and so produce more natural tears. Maybe if you aren’t a writer! Maybe just if you aren’t me!

On Day 18, I still had the dry spots on both eyes, though not as bad, and I was told to continue taking eye drops (various brands depending on the time of day) every hour and to use an ointment at night. I was told to do this until the 1 Month follow-up.

Day 18, the vision in my right eye had decreased, but my optometrist hoped it was a result of the dryness. The vision in my left eye had improved. I could read the tiniest print they gave me.

Those next couple of weeks, I used so many eye drops that it began affecting my skin below my eyes. So, not only have I not worn mascara since before the eye surgery, but I now had a bit of eczema (which might have happened regardless because of the cold dry air, but I’m sure the constant use of tissues didn’t help). (I finally wised up and found some super soft cotton and cut it into “hankies” to use, and then the eczema cleared up…with the help of a skin ointment.). I was, as my husband likes to say, “a wreck.”

My One Month follow-up occured at about 4.5 weeks post-surgery. So, mid-week last week. I was relieved that the hourly use of eye drops had eliminated the dry spots on both eyes and I could now begin reducing my use of eye drops. And I have, but working on the computer (like writing this blog post) REALLY makes me need the eye drops, so you can understand why I’m rationing my computer time.

The good news at One Month was that my left eye thinks it’s bionic, and I only have to use cheap drugstore readers for super tiny pill bottles. I can work at the computer and at my desk and read before bed no problem, except that my eyes get more light sensitive after working on the computer and so I’ve been hitting the sack early pretty much since the surgery. I’ve also discovered a night eye ointment (Lacrilube) that I really like. It’s like wearing Vaseline on your eyes. You can’t see, but, man, the moisture.

The bad news at One Month…well, to me it’s bad news…was that my right eye no longer sees distance as well as it did at Day 1 and Day 4. And the astigmatism doesn’t appear to be letting up. My optometrist advised me that if the distance is the same at 3 months, I will likely need driving glasses for night.

If my right eye continues like it is, if it doesn’t improve, personally I feel I will also need driving glasses for daytime use. And that would be okay except sometimes I even feel the need for them when I’m walking the dog. The strange thing is, I can see the houses on the hill across the lake well enough to satisfy me. There’s an odd mid-range that’s escaping me. And…my dumb right eye, which is supposed to allow the left to work on the computer…the longer I’m at the computer, the more my right eye thinks it should get in on the act. I’m just starting to realize this. So after working on the computer/at my desk, I go to walk the dog and my distance vision, IMO, is crappy. I am not at all happy with that turn of events.

To me, I feel that if right eye continues being a rebel, I might need what they call an enhancement (my mother needed an enhancement following her laser eye surgery, so maybe we both have rebel eyes). But you can’t get an enhancement until minimum six months post surgery. So for now I’m working on the computer when my eyes allow, faithfully taking eye drops in hopes the dryness will continue to improve, and trying very hard not to squint when I’m walking the dog and see a street sign. Plus, I’m talking to my right eye and trying to get it to understand it’s meant to see distance, NOT the computer. Shape up!

Hey, if you can talk to plants, why not your eye?

If you’ve had laser eye surgery, I’d be interested in hearing your healing experiences., whether you’ve had PRK, LASIK or SBK.

I’ll follow up again at 3 months.

Lovely RITA

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I finally received my RITA packet of books to judge today. For those not in the know, the RITA is RWA’s annual contest for published books, and it’s judged by your peers. That’s what I am, I guess. A peer. Because I’m judging.

I’m looking forward to digging in to the books. In fact, I think I’ll start reading the first one as soon as I post this minuscule update.

This Friday will mark 6 weeks since I had my eye surgery. Will do an Eye Report then.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to share what they’ve been up to, I’m all ears. Just not eyes. The eyes, they still need TLC.

Oh! I registered for the RWA conference in Anaheim this July. It’s in my time zone, so I couldn’t pass it up. If you’re a member, are you going?

I’m At Everyone’s Story

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I’m over at Everyone’s Story for the next week. Blog owner Elaine Stock asked me some excellent questions. Pop on over and share your philosophy on having a positive attitude (or a crappy attitude, your choice).

For My Birthday, I Received A 4-Star Review from RT Book Reviews!

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

I know, I’m always talking about my book lately. But there’s been a lot to talk about! And I’m putting in eye drops every hour as a result of my laser eye surgery 4 weeks ago. The computer monitor is not nice to my “new” eyes. Right now I’m blinking away really heavy eye gel as I type.

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a good one. Partly because the day before I learned that RT Book Reviews (formerly known as Romantic Times), awarded WHERE SHE BELONGS with a 4 Star review! I am thrilled about this.

Here’s the review:

Procter-King has written a “home” for all of us. Destiny Falls is the place that holds your first love, your first triumph; it’s where you lost a person you cared about. Jess is a character who women will identify with, having to forget a past that is beyond difficult to do. Coming to terms with loss, while attempting to understand that a parent is also a person who needs their own life and love, is a tough road. But the author has done a good job of showing readers that out of anguish can come hope.

RT also saw fit to post the cover near the review. I have no idea how they decide which covers to feature on the review pages. But thank you, RT, for choosing to highlight my cover!

Now I need to write a newsletter and update my website pages. But I can’t stay on the computer long enough. So I’ll do some filing. Maybe even laundry.

Yes, the life of a writer is glamor, glamor, glamor.

Audio News

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve sold the audio rights to WHERE SHE BELONGS to AudioLark, which published the audiobooks of HEAD OVER HEELS and BORROWING ALEX.

Renee Chambliss, who narrated BORROWING ALEX, is also the narrator for WHERE SHE BELONGS. The audiobook should be available from AudioLark and third party sites like Audible, iTunes and Overdrive in mid-March. That’s the tentative release date. I’ll let you know if things change.

Meanwhile, the BORROWING ALEX audiobook has hitherto only been available from the AudioLark website, but now is in the queue to upload to Audible, iTunes and Overdrive.

I am very excited about getting both BORROWING ALEX and WHERE SHE BELONGS onto Audible. HEAD OVER HEELS has done very well there for sales, and hopefully my other two books will measure up.

Meantime, I’m finishing up the second of five short stories in an romantic comedy series I intend to self-publish. I’ll take a break between stories 2 and 3 to write a short for Penny. At least, that’s the plan for now. We’ll see how Elle Muse cooperates.

How are things going in your corner of the world?

This Has Collector’s Edition Written All Over It

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

No one ever accused me of not trying to look at the bright side when it comes to the rollercoaster world of publishing. Looking at the bright side has seen me through plenty of ups and downs…like selling a book to a publisher and then that publisher announcing that your book will be the last of their romance line.

How can such news have a bright side?

Because WHERE SHE BELONGS could be said to have some value as a collector’s edition. Who wouldn’t want to own one of the last two romance novels ever to be published by Five Star Expressions? In hardy hardcover and with a beautiful dust jacket? I mean, even if you hate the book and throw it against the wall, it’s not likely to get hurt. Thereby ensuring its “collector’s edition” status.

Yes, folks, I believe in serving lemonade.

My third and final excerpt from the novel follows. My laser eye surgery recovery is coming along, but I still need to restrict my computer time as the bright screen is very drying on my eyes. However, next week, please return for some exciting subsidiary rights news! (What are subsidiary rights, you ask? You’ll find out next week!)

Excerpt 3

WHERE SHE BELONGS isn’t only Jess and Adam’s story. It’s also about Jess and her mother re-establishing their relationship. The book features three points of view—scenes told from Jess’s viewpoint, scenes from Adam’s, and scenes from Jess’s mom’s viewpoint. The following scene is from Jess’s point of view but is between her and her mom, rather than her and Adam. Jess woke up early to find the door to the back porch open. Her mother is sitting in one of the porch chairs, watching the horses in the pasture and stroking her deceased husband’s sheepskin coat on her lap. While Jess and Pete did not have anything approaching a healthy relationship, Jess is about to learn that her mother has also had her own heartaches to bear.

Sitting in the second chair, she tucked her bare feet beneath her robe and clasped her mom’s hand on the armrest. “Is that Pete’s coat?” she asked quietly.

Her mom nodded. “I only came out to pick the flowers. After I put them in water, something urged me to go outside again, almost like Peter was calling me. I went around the corner, and that’s when I found this coat . . . hanging on the outside hook.”

“It looks like an outdoorsman’s coat.” Like her dad might have worn. Not Peter Olson, bespectacled supermarket manager.

“Peter wore it on our walks. We walked several times a week, even in winter. He must have left it out here before he died.” Her mom’s gaze shifted to the pasture. The breeze ruffled her short, graying curls. “Peter and I had our routines. Every morning before he went to work we’d have coffee, watch the horses. It was his idea to lease out the fields and barn, you know.”

Jess squeezed her mom’s hand. “It was a good idea.”

“Peter was a good man. I know you haven’t always believed that, Jessie, but it’s true. Yet, he could be difficult at times. I realize he was often rude to you.”

Her chest pinched. “Because I reminded him of Dad,” she whispered.

“Yes. That didn’t excuse his behavior—or mine. I should have stood up for you, honey. I knew you were hurting.”

“Mom, please don’t do this to yourself. None of us were blameless.”

Her mom shook her head. “Peter and I were to blame. You were so young.”

“I was old enough to decide I wanted to marry Danny. Old enough to realize that suddenly leaving home would hurt you. I didn’t have to act out around Pete, but I—” She swallowed. “He took you away from me.”

A tear trickled down her mother’s cheek. “Because I allowed him to.”

“That’s water under the bridge now, isn’t it? I want it to be. Because, despite how upset I was with you back then, despite all my old hurt and anger, I do know that Pete was a good man. I know that you loved him and he loved you.”

Torment drenched her mother’s sigh. “And I know my love for Peter has always bothered you, Jessie. There are many different kinds of love, though. My love for your father was strong, so strong sometimes that it wore me out. Frank gave a lot, but he demanded a lot, too.”

“I think I can see that now. I remember Dad as larger than life, full of exuberance and vitality. I imagine it was difficult keeping up with him.”

“Yes. Peter was much more my equal. My love for Peter is . . . was . . . softer than the love I felt for your father. Peter was my husband, but he was also my friend . . . what I needed most.”

“It wasn’t that way with Dad?” Jess asked through a tight throat.

“Don’t misunderstand me, Jessie.” Her mother glanced at her, hazel eyes imploring. “Frank was a powerhouse, and I loved him deeply. Even when it was to my detriment—and yours—I put him first. Just like I did with Peter. You know your father and I wanted more children. But not because we didn’t love you. I hope you realize that.”

Jess blinked back tears. “Dad wanted a big family. I heard him say so countless times.” In the pasture, the horses nickered, and the morning sun polished the dry grass gold. Soon, new spring growth would replace winter’s remnants.

“Yes.” One tiny, quiet word. “But I couldn’t give him more children. We were married ten years before I became pregnant with you.”

Jess shook her head. “How do you know it was you? Was your fertility tested?”

“No. Neither of us were tested, which makes my crime worse. Frank would have considered testing an insult, so I didn’t push it. With my erratic cycle, it was easy to assume—”

“That it was your problem? Mom, it doesn’t matter whose body was responsible. It was yours and Dad’s inability to have more children, not yours alone.”

“In hindsight, I understand that. But when you were little, I let my guilt come between us, between me and my sweet daughter.”

“You did?” Jess asked hoarsely.

“I’m ashamed to admit it, but yes. Your father loved you so much . . . ” Her mom’s hand slipped out from hers, and the cedar armrest grazed Jess’s palm. Then her mom’s hand settled on hers. Smooth, gentle, the touch of love. “Frank didn’t ask me to fade into the background. Because of my guilt, I pulled away from you. I thought he would be happier that way, so then you’d be happier, too.” A sob broke free from her. “But I messed up everything. I sacrificed your love. Can you forgive me?”

“Mom, there’s nothing to forgive. I love you.”

Her mother smiled, but it quivered. “Your father burst into my life and stole my breath away. I wanted to give him everything, and I did, including you. When he died, and then Danny . . . Jessie, you were so lost and alone, and I was such a failure.”

“Mom, you were never a failure.”

“Yes, I was, and I need to accept that. I wasn’t there for you. My sweet daughter, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.” She couldn’t deny the absolution her mother obviously needed. She lifted their joined hands and kissed her mom’s. “I mean it, Mom. I love you.”

***

One last time – buy links!

Amazon

Amazon Canada

Barnes and Noble

Five Star/Cengage Winter 2011 Catalogue for Librarians

The End of A Line

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Okay, so it’s a tad later than initially promised, but I’m now extremely happy to present a second excerpt from WHERE SHE BELONGS, which is currently shipping from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon Canada. Librarians can order from Five Star/Cengage. You can download a PDF of the Five Star Winter 2011 Catalogue here and present it to your librarian to make ordering (and reading!) easier and faster.

While I’m thrilled to finally see WHERE SHE BELONGS published, it’s kind of a sad time, too. Because the Five Star Expressions line, which published romances and women’s fiction, is ending with the publication of my novel and another by author Stacey Coverstone.

I didn’t kill the line, I promise! I know it looks that way, but I swear it’s not true. Five Star will continue to publish mysteries, and some romantic supsense novels and mystery romances will be included in their Mystery line. But no more Expressions novels.

I have no idea how large the print run is for my book. Or when it will sell out. So if you’re itching to read it, I’m not feeding you a line when I say it’s best to buy it now–or ask your library to order it in for you.

Enough with the doom and gloom! It’s time for another excerpt.

Excerpt 2

The first scene posted on my blog December 16th was from Jess’s point of view, so now  here’s one from Adam’s.

Jess and Adam have just taken Jess’s mother’s car to a mechanic. Adam has an SUV and a bush pickup, so he’s lending Jess his SUV while her recently deceased stepfather’s classic car is in the shop. Trouble is, she hasn’t driven a standard stick shift since she was a teenager. Adam gives her a lesson in the garage parking lot, then, well, he’s supposed to give her directions to his log house, where she’ll drop him off (that’s where his pickup is). But he wants to spend time with her, so…

“I’ll let you know when to turn. Relax.”

“Easy for you to say.” But she slackened her death-grip on the steering wheel and took two more loops around the garage, engaging and releasing the clutch in better synchronization with the gearshift. She released a breath. Pride wreathed her face as she pulled onto the highway and accelerated to a few kilometers below the posted speed limit.

Adam clapped and whistled. She shot him a humor-filled glance.

“Another milestone!” he declared when she turned onto Destiny Falls Crossroad without riding the clutch.

“Oh, shut up,” she tossed back lightly. “Can’t you see I’m driving?”

“Yes, Mother.” He slouched against the armrest like an insolent teenager. Pretending to watch the scenery, he monitored her progress from the corner of one eye. She returned her attention to the road, which curved and wound at a steady incline. The spruce and fir trees lining the shoulders increased in size and density as the houses facing the Crossroad gave way to treed acreage and forested mountains. The road narrowed, and soon thick brush obscured the signs.

“Shouldn’t we have reached Red Rock Road by now?” she asked.

“We passed it five minutes ago.”

“What? Why didn’t you say something?”

“You told me to shut up.”

“Oh, for—” She glared at him as if he were frustration incarnate. He wiggled his eyebrows like Bugs Bunny outfoxing Elmer Fudd. “Adam Wright! You tricked me on purpose!”

He showed his teeth. “Guilty.”

“I don’t believe this! I can’t turn around now without taking us into the ditch. What should I do?”

“You tell me, Jess. You’re in the driver’s seat.”

“Cute, Wright.” Twin spots of color flared on her cheeks, giving her a just-been-kissed-and-not-too-thrilled-about-it look. “As if I’m not nervous enough learning to drive this behemoth, you have to play word games.”

He shrugged. “You’re tense. I’m helping you loosen up.”

“I’ll loosen a can of kick-butt on you if you’re not careful.”

“Come on, Jess, you’re doing fine. The turn-off for the waterfall is up ahead. We’ll drive around the campsites, check out the local wonder of nature. Have you visited the falls since you came home?”

“Mom’s car hasn’t exactly been reliable, remember?”

“So, I found a way around that. I thought you’d appreciate it.”

“You’re hopeless, you know that? The only reason you didn’t breathe a word is because you knew you’d never get me in the middle of nowhere with you like this without resorting to another of your dirty tricks.”

“Dirty tricks? Moi?” He crossed his heart over his shirt pocket. “My intentions are as honorable as my gender allows.”

“Well, at least you score points for honesty.” Reducing speed, she downshifted smoothly into third gear. “Where’s this turn-off, anyway? My memory’s rusty.”

“That long, huh?” He pointed out a sign. “Take a left. Quick!”

Shifting jerkily into second, she swung the truck onto a narrow road. It bounced over a pothole, engine wailing like a wounded animal. “Sorry.”

“Did I complain?”

“No. Thank you.” She chose the fork to the right, following the loop of empty campsites nestled amid tall evergreens. Tourists rarely descended on the area until May. He and Jess would have the falls to themselves.

Good. He didn’t feeling like sharing the scenery. Or the woman.

At his suggestion, she parked parallel to the viewing deck. As if stretched to the limits of her endurance, she crumpled against her seat and sighed. “We made it.”

He laughed at her woebegone expression. “Who’d have thought it? Jessica Morgan—busy merchandising executive and world traveler—humbled by a standard SUV.”

“Humiliated is more like it. And please don’t call me Jessica.”

“Why not? It’s a beautiful name.”

“Maybe, but it’s not mine.”

“What’s Jess short for, then?”

“Plain Jessie, with an ‘i-e.’ Mom named me for her father, Jesse Banks. She always said she didn’t see the point in calling me Jessica when she never planned to use the name.”

“So your birth certificate reads?”

“Jessie Noreen. Corny, huh?”

“I think it’s great. Although unusual around here, a girl being named for her grandfather.”

“Thank God his name wasn’t Marvin.” Her voice brimmed with warmth.

Adam liked her wit. Too bad she didn’t display it more often. “I was named for my mom’s father, too—Tom McLean. My middle name is Thomas.”

“Really? I thought it was Perseverance.”

“Very funny.” He lowered his gaze to her lips. What he’d give to silence her smart mouth with a slow, deep kiss. Unfortunately, the last he knew, mature, adult “friends” didn’t hook up in parked vehicles like a couple of sex-starved teenagers. “Now do you want to see the falls or what?”

If she’d replied “or what,” he would have gone ahead and kissed her—damn the friendship. It was a farce, anyway. He knew it, and so did she. She just didn’t want to admit it.

***

Want buy links? I got ’em.

Amazon

Amazon Canada

Barnes and Noble

Information for Your Librarian to Order from Five Star/Cengage

Out With A Bang

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

2011 ended on a high note for me. On December 30th, I discovered that my new release, WHERE SHE BELONGS, was finally shipping from Canadian Amazon, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. However, Canadian Amazon had an extra surprise in store. My book, which features the healing of a mother-daughter relationship as well as a romance between Jess, the heroine, and Adam, the hero, reached #6 on the Canadian Amazon Women’s Fiction Hot New Sellers list (it might have gone higher, I don’t know, but that’s where it was sitting when I learned the news, so that’s all I have to go on). This might not mean much to someone who isn’t Canadian, but I’m Canadian so it means a lot to me. Thank you to the readers who ordered the book and helped make my first day on Canadian Amazon memorable. Because not only did WHERE SHE BELONGS reach #6 on the Women’s Fiction list overall, alongside major American authors like Nora Roberts and Kristin Hannah, but my book reached #2 on Hot New Sellers, Women’s Fiction – Mothers and Children sub-category and #10 on Bestsellers for Women’s Fiction – Mothers and Children.

I’m pretty happy about all of that.

As a writer, I know that bestseller lists are subject to all sorts of nuances. Ten people buying your book in one hour can jump it up a bestseller list. And I’m the first to admit that the Canadian book-buying market isn’t in the same league as American book-buying markets, so appearing on a Canadian Amazon bestseller list isn’t in the same league as appearing on an Amazon bestseller list. But as a writer buddy said, stop making excuses for your work appearing on a bestseller list (how typically Canadian!) and take a screenshot. I did. I took three screenshots, one for each list.

However it happened, whatever computer algorithm was at work that made it happen on opening day, the year ended on a high note for me.

Technically, the “on sale” date for WHERE SHE BELONGS is January 6th, so I’d be curious to learn, when that time comes (or beforehand if you find out), if anyone finds the book in their library or at a bookstore. If you do, drop me a note. I’d love to learn how it’s making the rounds. Five Star/Cengage sells primarily to the library market, so especially if you spot the book in a store, I’d love to know. This goes for Americans and Canadians, although probably primarily American libraries and bookstores, if I’m being realistic.

Now that the book is readily available on-line, you can look forward to excerpts appearing on my blog this week that I’d had planned for the week of December 16th. In the meantime, an excerpt from the beginning of the book can be found on the Books page and an excerpt featuring a scene leading up to Jess and Adam’s first kiss can be found a few blog posts down, in the post titled Happy Book Release To Me!

Enjoy!