February newsletter

Happy February 1!

Well, hello there

It’s been a week and a half since Acting Up went out into the world, and wow. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as a debut indie author. I tried to manage my expectations as best I could, but I’m a hopeful soul and sometimes that makes me prone to making disappointment worse.

Spoiler alert! I was not disappointed! What a ride. People have said some amazingly lovely things about the book and I couldn’t be more thrilled. One of the nicest things has been people I’ve never met personally reading it and saying wonderful things:

And Marika Bailey’s fantastic cover was used in some “Covers As” memes on Twitter and Instagram, which takes the visual aesthetic of a cover and matches it with a photograph on a theme - for example, “Romance Covers As Betty White” (HOW COOL)!

Also…I’m in libraries now! As a librarian, you can’t know how much this means:

Lastly, Acting Up was featured in the January list for independent bookstores that carry romance (there are a lot that don’t, sadly). As a self-published author, there are a lot of decisions to make with a lot of tradeoffs. Two of my priorities were: being shelved in libraries and to be able to be shelved in independent bookstores. Which meant foregoing a very much larger royalty share if I went solely with Amazon. That involved a lot of tedious back-end stuff I won’t go into, but I’m not sorry I made the decisions I did.

If you’ve read it and have a couple of minutes to write up a quick review on Goodreads or your favorite vendor site (or both!), I would be most grateful. And if you already have, a very heartfelt thank you!

Books I’m looking forward to

I’ve decided to make this a monthly feature. So for February…drum roll… (affiliate links to Amazon below)

Charish Reid’s (Trust) Falling for You. (February 19) I read my first Charish Reid in 2020 and knew it wouldn’t be my last. She writes academia from the inside, so as a fellow academic, that really appeals to me. The blurb:
Yolanda Watson is the "fun professor."
She makes literature exciting, she brings students donuts for Finals Week, and her colleagues love her. The only thing that will make teaching better is if she can learn how to write a grant and skip those boring committee meetings. In short, a History professor is her problem. He stole her grant and he chairs the most boring committee on campus.
Sure, he's cute... but he can afford to loosen up.

Samuel Morris is a work-horse.
He puts his head down and proves his worth at Franklin University. That means no inane chit-chat with colleagues, no treating students like friends, and no shenanigans during the Assessment Committee. But a certain English professor happens to be full of shenanigans. She's late, loud, and disorganized.
Sure, she's sexy... but she can afford to tighten up.

They'll both have to compromise.
A university team-building retreat to the woods of Wisconsin will ensure that. After a lodging mix-up, the opposites are forced to share the same cabin for six nights. As Team-Building Buddies, they will: sleep together, eat together, and play embarrassing bonding games together. One of them will have to budge. The sexual tension will get harder to ignore, especially when one Buddy requires rescuing from spiders, grasshoppers, and bears. Oh my...

Kate Clayborn’s Love at First. (February 23) I have already read an ARC of this one and absolutely adored it. The main characters are like distillations of Clayborn’s previous heroes and heroines, making them complicated, quirky, and utterly compelling. I plan on re-reading it via the audiobook when it comes out. The blurb:
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can't work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .

Sarah Mayberry’s Sweetheart. (March 1) I love Sarah Mayberry. She writes such deeply satisfying books. She’s got a pretty extensive backlist, too, which has been good because she’s one of my “in case of reading slump, break glass” authors. In this case, she’s writing within Sarina Bowen’s “True North” expanded universe, which is doubly exciting to me, as I love those books (Bountiful is an audiobook I’ve probably re-listened to about five times). The blurb:

I just wanted to get my hands on his beans

Four years ago, I had a ridiculous crush on my sister's boyfriend. But when they moved away together, I put Beck out of my mind and my heart. But now he's back, and roasting the best coffee in Vermont. I need to convince him to supply the Busy Bean. And I need more of those kisses we accidentally shared outside the coffee shop. He still makes my heart race faster than a triple shot of espresso.

She should be off limits, but instead she's pushing mine

Her sister burned my life to the ground, so Haley Elliot is the last woman I should bring into my bed. Although our business relationship is giving way to something more than a fine grind. Neither of us can help ourselves. And what’s worse, I think I’m falling for her.

But it’s a small town, and ours is a big secret. And when her sister blows back into town, suddenly the coffee isn’t the only thing brewing...

Looking forward to something? Feel free to let me know by responding to this email. I love anticipating good things…

Thanks for reading!

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