Summer 2016 Updates

Wow! It is already the end of July and summer is winding down. It’s been busy, both personally and author-ly(?), and I realized after updating my social media accounts with my new author photo that I haven’t written a blog post this month. Now, that’s not a huge deal. I don’t have posts mapped out or scheduled, but I do have a book coming out yet this year and I want to keep all of you informed.

So, what have I been up to? Well, as I said, today I’ve been busy updating my social media accounts with a new photo of myself. Here it is below.

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I had a lot of fun shooting with Jaime Hough. I left the shoot feeling at ease and was really happy with the results. Jaime is easy to talk to, she’s funny and she knows what she’s doing. Here are a few of my other favorite shots from the shoot. They aren’t what I need for my book jacket/social media sites, but they are fun, casual photos that you usually don’t get to see of yourself. The photo on the left seems so relaxed. I think that’s what I love about it, while the photo on the right reminds me of a fairyland (you can see this one on my Instagram as well).

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On the book front, I have started writing a new manuscript. I haven’t gotten far, but this book is flowing pretty well from my head to my hands and I’m typing away. One difference with this story is that it is written in first person point of view. This has been more difficult than I originally expected, but a fun challenge nonetheless.

As I’ve begun this new manuscript, I have also been looking over my finished MS for Book #3. Editing and cover design are in the works, and I’m still aiming to release before the new year.

Currently, I am also running a Facebook contest through this Sunday for an autographed copy of The Blue Jay and a $15 Amazon gift card. You can find the contest on my Facebook page.

I hope you are all enjoying summer and reading some awesome books! I’m always looking for new reads, so leave your latest in the comments below!

Summer Reading Spots in Central Iowa

(This post is for my fellow Iowans and anyone who might find their way to this special place I call home…)

Imagine for a moment that you just picked up the latest bestseller from your local bookstore or downloaded a few indie reads to your personal reading device. Now, imagine you have some time to yourself (I know, this might be a rare thing!) and you’re here in Iowa…maybe you’re visiting family, maybe you live here, maybe you’re lost (I kid, I kid!).

Anyway, you’ve got a book. You’ve got time. And you’ve got beautiful Iowa sunshine.

So, where should you go?! Here are my top picks! Enjoy!

 

1. Pappajohn Sculpture Park – This artsy destination is smack in the middle of downtown Des Moines, surrounded by places to eat and the busyness of the city. Sprawl out on the hill above Nomade and get lost in a good book.

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Featured Book: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

 

2. Iowa State Capitol Steps – When you pause to contemplate the end of a chapter, why not look up from the pages to an awesome view of downtown? And since you’re in the East Village there are plenty of places to stop in the event you get a little parched from that summer sun.

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Featured Book: Eleanor & Park (swoon!) by Rainbow Rowell

 

3. Gray’s Lake – Shade trees will keep you from squinting and a breeze off the water will keep you cool. It’s a pretty great view, too.

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Featured Book: Faithful Place by Tana French

 

4. The Outdoor Space Between Starbucks and the Des Moines Library – Located on Locust Street, this spot is also in the heart of the city…right between the Des Moines Public Library and Starbucks. Let me say that again, it’s between the library and Starbucks. Books and coffee. Coffee and books. The perfect setup for instagramming your next reading session. #coffeeandbooks, anyone?

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5. Meredith Test Gardens – Sparkling water fountain? Check. Rich, floral aromas? Check. Tranquil atmosphere? Check. All you need now is the perfect book to enjoy in this cozy reading spot. Only open to the public on Fridays, but still completely worth it.

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6. Iowa Arboretum – A bit off the beaten path, this reading spot is located in Madrid, Iowa. Pack a blanket and spend an afternoon among the trees and flowers in this oh-so-scenic environment. A $5 per car admission is asked of non-members.

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Featured Book: My Brave Year of Firsts  (Tries, Sighs, and High Fives) by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell, Model: Sawyer🙂

 

Did I miss one of your favorite reading spots? Leave it in the comments below!

And one last Des Moines-focused tidbit…June 18-19 is the Wonder of Words Festival downtown and some of my favorite local authors will be there, including Stormy Smith, Michelle Eastman and more! I wish I could attend, but I’ll be out of town, however you definitely should!!

Happy summer reading, friends!!!!

Book Trailer | The Blue Jay

Better late than never! Check out the book trailer for THE BLUE JAY!

Also, keep an eye out this summer for the book trailer for my next novel! This time, it will be released BEFORE the book. 😉

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THE BLUE JAY by Michelle Schlicher I BOOK TRAILER

On sale now!

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Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1sT5aRw
B&N – http://bit.ly/1TJvLsG
Kobo – http://bit.ly/1Z5M7NC
iBooks – http://apple.co/1XCvRoA

A debut novel about a young woman and a young boy scarred by abandonment who find they share an unlikely bond.

Josie McCray was eight years old when her mother left. Now a young teacher, she guards her heart carefully but finds herself pulled to mentor a child in need.

Payton Runnells was 12 when his mother left. Now in foster care, he’s slow to trust anyone but senses that Josie might somehow understand the grief that grips him.

As Josie and Payton lower their walls and forge a friendship, they begin to open themselves up to all life has to offer.

 

Book Trailer | Gracie’s Song

I’m not going to lie. I did not think I needed a book trailer. In my mind it would just be one more thing to figure out. And I really didn’t need one more thing. Did I?

Yes, I really did. Now, I even want to read the book again…and I’ve read it more than a few times…what do you all think?!

Check the trailer out below:

And a shoutout to Shelby Stites who created this video for me!

8 Things You Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know About Me

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    Yum. Yum. Yum.

    I have a scar on one of my eyes from sleeping in my contacts back in high school. It didn’t affect my vision, but every eye appointment I go to they ask about it which freaks me out a bit. Don’t sleep in your contacts!

  2. Memes make me happy. I love it when I find the perfect meme to send at the perfect time to the perfect person.
  3. I have tried every possible hairstyle except the one hairstyle I’ve always wanted. Curly hair. Not curled hair. I’m talking late-90s “Felicity” hair. That is my dream hair. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s in my near future.
  4. I love chips and salsa. Like, really love chips and salsa. If a bowl of chips and a bowl of salsa are sitting in front of me and someone keeps refilling said bowls, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP EATING THE CHIPS AND SALSA.
  5. I can’t whistle. My oldest daughter thinks this is the greatest thing ever because she just learned to whistle and loves the fact that she can do something I cannot do. I’m cool with it. I still attempt to whistle on occasion, but I’ve mostly accepted the fact that it’s just not happening for me.
  6. I love the smell of cinnamon! I sprinkle it in my coffee and on my toast. It reminds me of the holidays and baking and sweets. It conjures up images of family and togetherness and tradition. There’s no spice quite like it.
  7. I throw away everything. My husband says it’s an obsession. He puts something on the counter, I immediately pick it up and throw it away. I don’t even realize I’m doing it so when he asks me later where something is I really don’t know (well, now we know to check the trash)! Once he pulled out a glass and set it on the counter and before he could even put something in it, I had put it back in the cupboard…oops!
  8. I love to hike. I wish I had more time for it! And the money to travel to all of the cool hiking spots in the world. Maybe that’s why my third novel features a character who is an avid hiker. That’s one of the best things about writing…you can live vicariously through your characters!🙂

What would you put on a list of things about yourself? Share in the comments below!

Sneak Peek of Gracie’s Song

We are less than three weeks away from the release of Gracie’s Song! I’m finding that the wait until drop day is one of the most exstressful times for me. No, that’s not a typo…that’s a made-up word that means exciting and stressful at the same time. Or, extra stressful if you read it that way. Both would be right. I am freaking out (in a good way) and so ready to get it out there, in large part because living in my self-made world of worry (it’s just what I do) is exhausting. So, as a way to ease into it, I’ve got a few hundred words for you all to enjoy. Check them out under the arrows!

Also, for a week after the release of Gracie’s Song, the eBook will stay priced at $2.99 and The Blue Jay will stay priced at $0.99. After that the prices will go up to $4.99 and $2.99. Order now and get both for under $4! Purchase links here!

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“YOU’RE IN ROOM 381.”

Gracie Brannen smiled politely as she reached out for the key. “Thank you.”

Brushing her hair behind her ear, she let her fingers run through the ends, which barely touched her shoulders. Her thick bangs were matted down by the baseball cap she had been wearing before she stepped into the hotel. She fluffed them, letting the air hit her forehead. It was hot for July. While summers in the south could be brutal, this one, especially unkind, seemed unrelenting.

The front desk clerk rambled on, but Gracie’s thoughts were elsewhere. She was back. After all these years she was finally back in Glenwood. She looked around the hotel lobby. It was clean, but that was about the only thing it had going for it. The colors were outdated. The lighting awful. But it was the cheapest place in town, and for now, it would do.

The clerk looked up from his computer for a moment, finally pausing after explaining every possible thing to do within a few miles from here. Gracie could have done the spiel herself, considering not much had changed in ten years.

“So, are you in town for business or pleasure?” he asked. Gracie eyed his nametag. Huck. How very Glenwood.

“Business,” Gracie replied. “Family business.”

“Ah,” Huck said, giving her a look like he knew what that meant. He didn’t.

“So, where am I?” she asked, changing the subject.

He leaned over the counter and pointed over her shoulder. “Just head down that hallway there. On the left, you’ll see stairs. On the right’s an elevator. Go up to the third floor and go down the hallway to your right.”

She gave him a half-smile and turned to go. She’d almost made it out of sight when she heard him call out to her.

“Let us know if we can help with anything—anything at all.”

She glanced back and nodded. “Of course. Thank you.”

“Oh, and welcome to Glenwood.”

She didn’t correct him.

As she headed up the stairs to her room, her legs began to ache from the long car ride. Somehow she’d managed to drive through the night, but she could feel herself hitting a wall. Not only did her legs feel like jelly, but her eyelids were drooping to the point that she thought she might not be able to read the room numbers on the doors she passed.

Arriving at room 381, she pushed the key card in and waited for the green blinking light. Nothing. She tried again, and this time she felt the heavy door push back against her as she leaned in to open it. She didn’t look around the room to check out what would be her new home for the next few days. She dropped her bag on the ground, placed her purse on the table in the corner, slipped off her shoes and sank onto the bed. It in no way resembled the plush beds found in more upscale venues. But, to Gracie, at the moment, it felt like heaven.

As she drifted off, her thoughts went back to the desk clerk’s last words to her. Welcome to Glenwood.

Yes, Gracie, she thought as she drifted off to sleep.

Welcome home.

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