Life is But a Dream

This book right here represents so much for me. I wrote in during NaNoWriMo in 2012. As I wrote, I posted it live to my blog. LIVE TO MY BLOG. Do you have any idea how scary that was?

As terrifying as it was, it helped keep me motivated. I knew people were waiting for the next chapter. Now, I have two friends that read as I write and ask questions or point out inconsistencies. They also help pester me when I get off track.

Life is But a Dream (November 2014)
Poised. Graceful. Organized. Yes, Rebecca Jane has it all – Kyle, her handsome, loving fiancé, her dream career and her five-year plan. She is successful and driven and up for a promotion as long as her evil co-monster Hannah stays out of her way as they tackle an interesting, new client together.

Rebecca is on the verge of greatness – at least in her own mind.

As it usually does, her past finally catches up with her. Now, at thirty, Rebecca is questioning who she is and the choices she made along the way. Is she really ready to settle down and be Mrs. Kyle Turner?

Rebecca is forced to reevaluate everything she thought she ever wanted and to finally face the fact that she never really let go of the past.

Available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

Happily Ever Never

Between Life is But a Dream and Happily Ever Never, I wrote two other books. Both were okay, but neither inspired me like LIBAD had. I started writing HEN in February 2017. My son was almost two and we were trying for a second.

Then it sat on my Google Drive for over a year. One day, I decided to reread it and something miraculous happened. I didn’t hate it. In fact, I love it. I sent it to a few friends to read and they loved it too. Happily Ever Never was really the first book that made me feel like an author. For that, it will always be my favorite.

Happily Ever Never (October 2018)
Janna Hargrove’s life wasn’t a fairy tale, not even close. She’d never imagined her life would have its happily ever after moment. Until she met Ryan. The moment their eyes met, everything changed. She knew he was the one – he was the happily ever after she deserved.

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.

Available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.

Lie Baby Lie

Lie Baby Lie was one of my favorite books to write. I loved both Reese and Caroline. They’re two beautifully flawed women who are unlikely friends.

It was also the first book that I wrote without knowing the title. For me, I almost always have a title the instant I start writing. It comes to me right along with the character or opening scene. I spent weeks agonizing over the title. Ultimately, I landed on and loved Lie Baby Lie. It just fit so perfectly.

Lie Baby Lie (February 2019)
Caroline has a one track mind. She wants a baby, and she’s willing to do anything to get what she wants. Her husband promised her she’d have her wish. When a secret from his past threatens to ruin Caroline’s plans, she takes matters into her own hands. His lies soon become her own web of lies and deceit.

Reese is desperate for a child too, but years of infertility and loss have jaded her. Secrets and lies have become second nature. The secrets she’s kept from her daughter. The lies to her husband about pregnancy tests. Reese hides behind these lies, protecting her family from truths that could hurt them and her.

Their lives are woven together in a way neither women understand. An unlikely, fragile friendship is born. Can it withstand the secrets and lies?

Available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle

Writing & Marketing as an Indie Author

The hardest part of being an author is sucking it up and being you’re own hype man. Sure writing and editing are hard too, but having to sell yourself with confidence when you used it all pouring yourself into your books? That’s like function on two hours of sleep without a drop of coffee.

As an independently published author, 100% of the marketing is on me. Should be easy considering I am a marketer by trade, but it’s not. Self-promoting is difficult. It feels icky.

But it’s necessary.

I write because I want to share stories about every day people whose lives are like our own. I want readers to see themselves on the pages. I want you to relate.

A friend recently challenged me to share and promote my books. I resisted and argued. She didn’t back down, and I eventually saw her point.

Over the next few days, I’m going to be sharing a bit about each of my books. Why I write them and what I hope the readers connect to.

I hope you come along for the ride and fall in love with the women on these pages just as much as I did.

American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

**Review**
American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A good friend forced to read this book. She surprised me with it on my birthday after casually texting to see if I’d read it. When I told her I hadn’t, she replied, “don’t, it’s horrible.” Imagine my surprise and amusement when it arrived at my house a few days later. (Side note: get you a friend like this because they’re the best). American Wife started slow, but once Alice and Charlie Met, I couldn’t put it down. I also couldn’t not picture Laura and George W. Bush (the book is a fictionalized version of Laura’s life). So, that was fun during the intimate scenes.

This book was raw, emotional, honest and also amusing (even my son would’ve enjoyed all the fart and poop mentions). I laughed and almost cried a few times.

American Wife also shows what can happen if you learn to put aside differences and focus on the good.

Definitely recommend. Both the book and my friend.

SLAY, Brittney Morris

**Review**

SLAY, Brittney Morris

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m a white, middle-class suburban working mom who’s never gamed a day in her life. I also don’t read YA.

I loved everything about this book. The characters. SLAY. The story. The writing. All of it was amazing.

Keira is a strong, brilliant teenager. She recognized a need and rather than wait for someone else to build the game she needed and wanted to play, she built it. She created the community wanted to be a part of and gave a home and safe place to so many. I’m doing so, she found her voice and gave a voice to the hundreds of thousands of SLAY players in the world.

This is the universal story of SLAY—what everyone can connect to—the desire and need to be seen, understood, celebrated, and to be a part of something. To belong.

SLAY is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’ll be waiting anxiously for Brittney Morris’s next book.

Right After the Weather, Carol Anshaw

**Review**

Right After the Weather, Carol Anshaw (10.1.19)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Right After the Weather is like a beautiful slow burn, except you never quite touch the fire.

Cate is a dynamic, rich and relatable character. Her circle of friends and family are equally dynamic.

While the story didn’t propel me forward, the prose and characters did.

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

9.25.19 – InstaShortie – Over-Expectated Chapter Two

Need to catch up? Check out Chapter One here.

CHAPTER TWO

Darkness met me when I opened my eyes. No light from outside, which meant it was still early. I stretched my arms over my head, arching my back and yawning. My bladder begged me to get out of bed, and I’d tried unsuccessfully to ignore it. The room, though fully equipped with the wonders of modern central heating, felt just a few degrees warmer than the air outside. Shivering, I slipped out from under the covers and braced myself for the cold, laminate floors. Not hardwood, of course, not in this cheap apartment.

I ran to the bathroom, not even bothering the flip on the light. As I sat on the toilet, I closed my eyes and replayed the events of last night. I opened then quickly. There was absolutely no need to relive any of that. Still single. Now unemployed. But, hey, I did win a two-week cruise with my best friend. After I flushed, I made my way back to the bed. The smell of fresh-brewed coffee wafted in my room, which was odd considering I hadn’t made it and I didn’t have one of those fancy coffee makers with a timer.

Mom. It had to be, unless the world’s nicest intruder was currently in my house brewing me coffee before sunrise on a Saturday. 

“Ugh,” I groaned and grabbed a pair of flannel pajama pants off the floor.

“I can hear you,” my mother called from the other side of the door.

“Good morning,” I said, forcing as much fake enthusiasm into my scowl as possible.

“I made coffee. You really should change the password on your computer. Took me all of two tries to guess it. Also—”

“Nope,” I said. I held my hands up in surrender. I wasn’t ready to talk about why that name was my password, or how she’d figured it out so quickly. Geri Yancey didn’t do boundaries. No locked door could keep her from breaking into her daughter’s apartment to make coffee and hack into her only child’s computer.

“Anyway, I took a look at your resume.”

“Can I have coffee before you dive into how pathetic my life really is?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to say the words, Mom. I can hear it in your tone and the fact that you hacked into my computer to fluff up my resume for Uncle Ted.”

“Carrie, I just don’t understand why—”

“Coffee first. Then you can shame your little heart out.” I padded into the kitchen and pulled open the cabinet. Grabbing the largest clean mug I could find, I pulled it out and filled it with coffee. No cream. No sugar. Just black. 

Mom was sitting on the couch with my laptop perched in her lap. I reluctantly made my way over to her and sat beside her. No matter how much I wanted to avoid whatever conversation we were about to have, I knew resistance was pointless.

“Well, the one bright spot is that you have agency experience. Though, I’m not sure we can put Jake down as a reference.”

I cringed. It was far too early to hear that name. As long as she didn’t dive into details, I might survive this conversation.

“Considering how badly you screwed that one up.” She clearly had no intention of avoiding painful memories.

“Mom, please,” I whined. I didn’t want to talk about my lack of experience in my field any more than I wanted to drudge up the ex-boyfriend that sent me crying back to minimum wage and stocking shelves. “Not today. Besides, I didn’t screw anything up.”

“Sure, dear.” My mother patted my knee and turned to face me. Her brown eyes studied mine for a moment. I got my eyes from her, as she liked to remind me. The mousey blonde hair came from my father’s side of the family. “Who was your boss at Tabor and Associates?”

“Jake,” I replied. His name spilled from my mouth like venom. “His boss was Robin.”

“Can we put her down?”

Considering Robin was the reason we broke up, probably not. I shook my head. “Can we just leave that one off? I was only there two years.”

“It’s your only relevant experience.”

“This is Uncle Ted we are talking about. Your brother won’t dive into his niece’s resume.”

“And if Uncle Ted doesn’t hire you?”

I laughed. “Mom, Uncle Ted once paid me two hundred dollars to tie his shoes because I needed a new tire on my car, I’m pretty sure he’ll hire me the second I ask.”

Mom smiled and said, “You’re probably right but can you take this seriously, just in case he doesn’t?”

“Sure,” I replied, “oh, by the way, I’m going on a cruise on Monday.”

“What?”

“With Aaron.” I held my breath as I waited for her response. The only thing she hated more than my lack of career growth was my friendship with Aaron. Ever since she found him standing naked in her kitchen digging through the refrigerator our sophomore year of high school, she hadn’t been able to say his name without gagging just a little. The visual of Aaron’s naked ass was forever etched in her mind.

“Excuse me?”

“Mom, I know you heard me. Aaron won, well, I won, a two-week cruise through the Mediterranean.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Not even a little.”

“Do you think now is a good time for you to be galivanting halfway across the world with … Aaron.” Her nose wrinkled and her lips curled in disgust.

“Aaron,” I said, repeating his name just to watch her squirm, “won the trip for us, so yeah, he has to go. And, I’m unemployed now, what better time to escape reality for a little while.”

“And if Uncle Ted hires you?”

“Then I start in two weeks like any other normal job.”

“This is a bad idea.”

“But what if I meet some hot Greek guy, fall in love, get married and squirt out a few grandbabies.” Mentioning Aaron was guaranteed to produce a reaction of disgust. Mentioning future grandbabies was sure to elicit my mother’s approval of anything.

She thought for a moment. Her eyes twinkled at the possibilities. She was probably naming her grandchildren as she sat there.

Smiling, she said, “I suppose you’re right. Two weeks is a normal lead time before starting a job. Do you have clothes? Formal dresses for dinner? Bathing suits? Maybe we should go over to Green Hills today.”

And just like that, I went from winning a cruise to winning a new wardrobe. “That sounds like an excellent idea, Mom.”

A Dear John Letter

Dear Fear,

I’ve given you nearly 38 years of my life. I’ve let you guide and dictate nearly every move.

You’ve made decisions for me that I’ll always regret. You’ve made me wonder what if far too many times.

You’ve made me say no when yes was all I wanted. You’ve pushed me to say yes when I needed to scream no.

But this relationship isn’t working anymore.

It’s not me. It’s you.

Of course, we’ll always be friends. Perhaps not the fondest of friends. After all, we’ll never have Paris as you’ve forbidden me from flying over the ocean.

So, while this isn’t goodbye, it is a departure. I’m sure we’ll meet again soon. More likely than not, our paths will cross when I most expect it. I’ll be ready and waiting. A quick hug. A peck on the cheek. But that is all. Nothing more.

I’ll always carry a piece of you with me, but you’ll never have all of me again.

The Stillwater Girls, Minka Kent

**Review**

The Stillwater Girls, Minka Kent

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow. From page one I was hooked. I needed to uncover everything and kept making guesses along the way. Some right. Some wrong.

The voice of this novel was amazing. The writing flowed easily and allowed me to immerse myself in the characters.

I absolutely loved this book and I need a sequel. Maybe even a where are they now novella.