LIVE: Me & Milo the Great

It’s pub day!!

I am beyond excited for this baby to be out in the world.

Holiday wasn’t always an easy character to write, but her story poured out of me once I decided I wanted to write it. Keep in mind, prior to December 2016 I’d only written a little over 15k and was back and forth on whether I wanted to work on this particular MS or another I had started (that other MS may never come to be as I began a completely new story shortly after finishing MMTG).

I sat down at my computer and wrote a few scenes. Before I knew it, the holidays had passed and my character’s story was well on its way. Holiday Sanchez had come to life.

The journey Holiday goes on is difficult to read at times because you will want to fix her. It was important to me that she came across this way because when you are faced with a loved one going through something, all you want to do is fix it for them. At least that’s my first reaction to their distress. How can I fix it? But you can’t always fix things, and this is where Milo grew from.

The idea for the story also grew from the fact that I find magic fascinating. I know that tricks are illusions, but WHAT IF THEY WEREN’T? I so love the IDEA of magic and I don’t think I’m alone in this, seeing how far some of the magicians went on AGT this season. (My family loves that show.)

It’s always hard to explain where an idea comes from. You see something, remember something, experience something. Small parts of your story come from all different places. In this case, my mind pulled from several things I loved to create this book.

I truly hope you enjoy it.

Here are the order links for MMTG:

Amazon     |     B&N NOOK     |     iBooks     |     Kobo     |     Play

And don’t forget to leave a review, tell your friends, spread the word. I appreciate your support! ♥ 🎩

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End of Summer Update

Me & Milo the Great will launch in less than a month! I am so proud of this novel and can’t wait to share it with you. If you are an e-reader you can pre-order the book on all channels. Here are a few of them:

Amazon     |     B&N NOOK     |     iBooks     |     Kobo     |     Play

You can also read a few early reviews of the book on Goodreads. Speaking of review sites, I joined a new one this week. It’s an app called Litsy that is supposed to be a cross between Goodreads and Instagram. I’m not sure what to think of it yet. It might be more work than it’s worth, but for now I’m there so look me up, follow me and if you’re a Litsy pro, teach me what you know! 😉

This summer has flown by! While I’ve been so excited about launching my fourth book, I am also busy with a number of other things. I started freelancing again this spring. I’ve been working on book number five. My girls learned how to swim. Justin and I took an amazing trip to Concord where I got to tour the Little Women house and the site of Louisa May Alcott’s (among many other noted authors) grave. Squee! (See photos below). While Justin attended his workshop on Thoreau every day, I took tours, wrote in the public library a few blocks from our hotel and enjoyed some “me” time. As a mom, that kind of time is hard to come by and I relished being able to write without distraction and just enjoy my surroundings.

As we head into fall, I’m trying to determine a timeline for my next book. I’ve got about 1/4 of it written and hope to be able to get quite a bit more done in the next few months. I’m also working to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 20 books. I’m reading #18 right now: The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. It’s fitting that the word beautiful is in the title because it’s a beautiful book—an empathetic book—and I’m enjoying it. Any advice on what my last two books should be? Here’s a look at my “Read” list so far:

  • The Marsh King’s Daughter, Karen Dionne
  • A Book of American Martyrs, Joyce Carol Oates
  • American Street, Ibi Zoboi
  • Still Alice, Lisa Genova
  • Not a Sound, Heather Gudenkauf*
  • Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Bryn Greenwood
  • Marlena, Julie Buntin
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
  • Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
  • Tell Me Something Real, Calla Devlin*
  • Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  • My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem
  • Birds in Fall, Brad Kessler
  • Caraval, Stephanie Garber
  • Bone Gap, Laura Ruby

* Iowa Author

Have you read any of the same books? Comment below!

Pre-order Links and a New Review

The eBook pre-order links for my new novel, Me & Milo the Great, are now up!

Amazon     |     B&N NOOK     |     iBooks     |     Kobo     |     Play

 
Cover

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.

But I’m not the only one.

There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I’ll finally get past it.

Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.

 

 

This past weekend, Me & Milo the Great also received its first review. You can read it here. Avni is a book blogger from India and she graciously agreed to read my fourth book and review it after I contacted her. This process continues to surprise and amaze me. Not only did someone I don’t know want to read my book (somebody pinch me!), but someone in a country I’ve never been to (though I’d like to!) read it.

I published my debut, The Blue Jay, in September of 2015. In September of 2017, Me & Milo the Great will become available. I have learned so much over the two years that I’ve been an indie author. I hope that learning only continues, and that I’m able to keep building awesome relationships with book bloggers, other local authors and readers in my community (and beyond)! I feel so lucky to be where I’m at today and am anticipating this new release with gratitude and, still, a bit of awe.

Thank you, Avni, for your kind words about Me & Milo the Great! I hope its future readers love it, too!

Book 4 Title + Cover Reveal

I have been patiently waiting to share information about my fourth book with you, and now I am finally far enough in the process that I can!

My fourth book is called Me & Milo the Great. It’s a contemporary novel set in a fictional city on the East Coast. Here’s the synopsis:

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.
 
But I’m not the only one.
 
There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I’ll finally get past it.
 
Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.

I don’t want to give too much away, but yes, there is a magician in the book. And yes, his name is Milo.

And now, for the cover…

MILOcoverfinal

I’m so excited to share this book with you all Thursday, September 14!

Add the book to your Want to Read shelf on Goodreads!

I will be holding a signing at Plot Twist Bookstore in Ankeny (502 N Ankeny Boulevard, Ankeny, IA) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 in conjunction with the book’s release.

Book 4 Update

Yesterday was the day! I finished writing book #4!

That doesn’t mean the book is finished. It means draft one is complete. It means I still have a long way to go.

I originally started writing this book last summer. I wrote about 15,000 words and then, because it was summer and my girls were at home, I didn’t write any more after that. I was planning on writing a whole lot, but I ended up writing very little. Our family had some amazing days together, but that meant that book #4 suffered for a while. In the midst of everything, I was also preparing for the launch of Come This Way. That meant poor book #4 lost its mojo. Luckily, after I’d decided I did want to finish this particular story, it didn’t take me long to get into it again. fullsizerender

And because writer geeks like me love this kind of stuff, I’m including how my total word count tally grew each day. I kept track of it on these colorful post-its. >>>>>

The scribbles are where I recorded my word count and ended up writing more so had to go back and update the number. What can I say? My system is a little archaic. Here it is, in text form:

12/5/16 – 16,690 words
12/6/16 – 18,101 words
12/8/16 – 20,295 words
12/9/16 – 21,102 words
12/12/16 – 25,030 words
12/13/16 – 27,113 words
12/15/16 – 28,402 words
12/16/16 – 31,002 words
12/17/16 – 34,135 words
12/18/16 – 37,006 words
12/20/16 – 39,168 words
12/21/16 – 41,044 words
1/5/17 – 47,104 words
1/6/17 – 50,438 words
1/7/17 – 51,909 words
1/8/17 – 54,132 words
1/9/17 – 58,224 words
1/10/17 – 59,068 words
1/12/17 – 63,206 words
1/19/17 – 64,622 words
1/20/17 – 65,933 words
1/23/17 – 68,583 words
1/24/17 – 72,185 words
1/26/17 – 74,543 words

You can see there was a fairly large gap between the end of December and the beginning of January where I just didn’t get a chance to write. Crazy doesn’t even begin to describe those few weeks with everyone at home.

I assume I will add to the manuscript once I get into editing. That’s what usually happens. I add in more detail throughout and really start to sculpt everything so that it plays out as it did in my head.

I hope to be able to share a release date within the next month. Stay tuned!

ALSO…if you haven’t read The Blue Jay, my debut novel, get the eBook now for just $0.99 through the first week of February!

I’ll sign off with a short (motivational?) writing quote from Hemingway:

The first draft of anything is sh*t.

Here’s hoping I can turn it into…not sh*t. 😉

 

Come This Way Available Now

Come This Way is now available!

You’d think with each new book, the actual book release would get easier. I have found the opposite to be true. This has been the most stressful one yet (mostly because I know what needs to be done and keep adding more things to my to-do list with each book). But here we are. The book is complete. You can order it RIGHT NOW!

Thank you, readers, for all of your support. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get one book out and now I’ve released three in just over a year. I’m proud of what I’ve learned, what I’ve accomplished and where I’m at now. I’m also proud to have YOU. You all have surprised me in the most amazing way. It’s always been difficult for me to put myself out there. These books have allowed me to combat that fear. That has been truly special and I don’t take it for granted. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here’s the book blurb again for anyone who is new to my site!

A hiking and outdoor enthusiast, fifty-year-old Fern Conrad can’t imagine spending her time doing anything else, much to the dismay of her daughter, Colby.

Kara Dawson, a twenty-five-year-old student therapist, has shut life out to focus on her sister’s illness. That is, until a chance meeting pushes her to confront the possibilities—by letting go and moving forward.

Eighty-three-year-old Nettie Campbell heals in the hospital while facing the consequences of her actions. Can she repair relationships and forge new bonds as she comes to terms with the truth?

Come This Way is an emotional, honest look into the lives of women who are discovering their own strength. It is a story about difficult choices and the people around us who help us find our way.

Order Links: Amazon | B&N NOOK | iBooks | Kobo | Play

Come This Way Cover Reveal + Giveaway

My latest book, Come This Way, will release in less than a month! This book release is especially exciting because it will happen on my oldest daughter’s birthday! Needless to say, there will be donuts….or cake…or maybe both.

I can’t believe I am about to publish my third book. It was this time last year that I was FREAKING OUT about releasing The Blue Jay. It’s truly amazing to look back at how far I’ve come since then. I can’t wait for everyone to meet these new characters and read their stories.

We went in another direction with this cover. While my first two covers were dark, this one is light. It has an airy, feminine quality which I think suits it. And don’t worry…if you are partial to the Michelle Schlicher book spine, this book will still look great lined up on the bookshelf with the others! Hanna knocked it out of the park and I’m thrilled to have another one of her creations to highlight my book.

Here is the cover!

ctw_amazkdpA hiking and outdoor enthusiast, fifty-year-old Fern Conrad can’t imagine spending her time doing anything else, much to the dismay of her daughter, Colby.

Kara Dawson, a twenty-five-year-old student therapist, has shut life out to focus on her sister’s illness. That is, until a chance meeting pushes her to confront the possibilities—by letting go and moving forward.

Eighty-three-year-old Nettie Campbell heals in the hospital while facing the consequences of her actions. Can she repair relationships and forge new bonds as she comes to terms with the truth?

Come This Way is an emotional, honest look into the lives of women who are discovering their own strength. It is a story about difficult choices and the people around us who help us find our way.

Giveaway: Share the link to this cover reveal post for a chance to win a signed copy of Come This Way. Leave a comment below stating where you shared it. I’ll pick two winners who will be notified October 1! THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WERE CHOSEN USING RANDOM.ORG AND NOTIFIED ON 10/1/16.

eBook Pre-order Links: Amazon | B&N NOOK | iBooks | Kobo | Play