Happily Ever Never Available Now!

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Janna Hargrove’s life wasn’t a fairy tale, not even close. She’d never imagined her life would have it’s happily ever after moment. Until she met Ryan. The moment their eyes met, everything changed. She knew he was the one – he was her happily ever after.

Five years into their two-year plan, Ryan finally popped the question. The moment was everything Janna had dreamed of. She had the man, the ring, the wedding date, the house, the career and the plan for 2.5 kids living in suburbia bliss. Everything was just as she’d always dreamed, designer dress and all.

Everything she’d ever wanted was within reach.

Until it wasn’t.

Happily Ever Never

“Deep down, I knew that you were too good to be true
But every piece and part of me wanted to believe in you
But now it’s happily ever never”

The words played over my car speakers as I sat in traffic. I’d been listening to “Peter Pan” by Kelsea Ballerini on repeat for weeks now.  I’d crank it as loud as my Camry would allow and sing along at the top of my lungs (horribly, sorry fellow commuters).

On this particular day, sometime in early 2017, I heard those two lines a little louder than normal. I started the song over and listened again. The wheels in my brain started turning; a story was unfolding. Who was this girl and how had she fallen for this Peter Pan? How had she ignored the voice that nagged at her?

I sat in traffic and pictured this girl, a girl I’d now named Janna, and the boy, whom I called Ryan. What was their story and how did it fall apart (no spoilers here folks, the book is called Happily Ever Never, you know it’s coming), and more importantly, how does Janna grow?

As I pulled into the parking garage at work, I had a good idea of their story. I pulled out my phone and started making notes as I walked to the elevator and then through downtown Nashville. Their story was so perfectly clear.

When an idea or story comes to me, usually as snipers of scenes or conversations and, almost always inspired by a song, it consumes me (more apologies to those around me) until I get their stories out. The characters nag and nag, filling my brain with dialogue and backstories.

To some, this idea may seem foreign. But, to my fellow imagineers, this is the process. For so long, I ignored these stories or simplified them into short lyrics or stories I told myself and then let fly away. Every once in a while, these stories become too big to stay in my brain and I start writing. And writing. And writing.

That’s what happened with Happily Ever Never. It happened when I wrote it in early 2017 and again now as I’m editing it to share with you.

When I was trying to decide which book to publish next, I’d initially chosen a different manuscript. I had it printed, started editing and stopped. I didn’t love the characters, they didn’t speak to me anymore. Janna kept nagging. I opened the preface that I wrote and started reading. Then chapter one, two, three … you get the idea. She pulled me right back into her story and I knew this was the book I had to share. I’ve now read it four times in the editing and revision process. Four times in a month and I still love it.

My plan is to release in October, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get early access to the first three chapters (starting 9/21, I’ll be sharing the first three chapters exclusively with my subscribers).

Stay tuned 💗

 

 

The Manuscript

LIBAD Manuscript

Ladies and Gentleman, I present the 274 (wide margin & double spaced) manuscript for Life is But a Dream. Let the editing fun begin! By fun I mean, I might punch myself in the face 🙂

I started looking into the process of self publishing last night – I think I will enjoy the editing process first. Looks like it will be sometime early next year before I get the e-book version ready for release. So, stayed tuned!

Fin.

That’s a wrap folks – well, unless you consider the long hours of editing and rewrites ahead. All twenty-two chapters and 54,698 words are now posted under the fiction tab. I would love to hear your thoughts on the story, feel free to comment below and share your thoughts.

The End is Near

With over 43,000 words now under my belt, I am approaching the last few chapters. While, it is a little bittersweet, I am a little excited. Why? Because as I am wrapping up Rebecca’s story, another story has creeped its way into my subconscious and I am ready to start telling a new story. Hopefully, this will give me time to separate myself from Rebecca and Life Is But a Dream so I can come back and edit with fresh, unbiased eyes.

So, for those that are following along, we are up to Chapter Seventeen and let’s just say, Chapter Eighteen will be nice and juicy (I say this before writing a single word). You’ve got  little time to catch up before Chapter Eighteen goes up (hopefully tomorrow).

Side note, this might be my favorite Rebecca outfit to date.

Chapter Seventeen

Thirty Five Thousand & Stalling

The feverish pace I was on last week as slowed a bit. A few of you have let me know the slower pace is not sitting well (sorry Audrey and Christi). I have sat down to write Chapter Fourteen a few times and pecked out a few words but did not make significant progress.

Let’s be honest, a slow down was inevitable. I am sitting at a little over 35,000 words right now and have about eight chapters left to write. The story has hit the turning point where I know where things are going (sorry, no spoilers), but am struggling for the words to get there. So, be patient with me while I work through this process. In the meantime – Chapter Fourteen is finally posted on the Fiction tab.

Chapter Fourteen

Halfway Mark

My goal for the day was to hit 25,000 words and with a little morning and after work session, I was able to hit it. These two chapters were a little harder to write, since one of the catalysts of the story occurred in Chapter Eight. I debated adding in another chapter delving into detailed aftermath, but opted to advance the story and let the revelation sink in a little.

The next few days will likely see a slow down in writing as I have a concert tomorrow night and school work to catch up on.

While Chapter Ten didn’t have an outfit muse, I am posting two that tie in to Chapter Nine. First is the outfit Rebecca wears to Christmas with Kyle’s family and the second is the wedding dress Kyle’s mother picked for Rebecca.

Chapter Nine
Rebecca's Dress

Monday Morning

This morning, I was up at 4:30 to work out. I drank my pre-workout and put on my sports bra. I was ready to get my TurboFire ON! And then I thought, wait I can write a few words before I work out. So, I busted out my laptop and proceeded to sweat out over 2,800 words and complete Chapter Seven.

Workout will have to happen tonight. (Also, full confession: I am eating candy corn for breakfast. I think I fail at being healthy this morning).

Chapter Seven