Thursday, April 30, 2009
Just dropping in to remind everyone that the contest runs until May 5. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog or send me an email at email@example.com and tell me where you first spotted RESCUE ME, store, city and state. And you'll qualify for a drawing for one of the following:
1) Signed copy of RESCUE ME
2) Signed copy of RETURN TO ME (this book doesn't release until May 19, so you would get it before anyone else)
3) A $25 gift card to Books A Million
4) A $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble
Easy and fun!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Day After...
Yesterday was wonderful. I heard from old friends I haven't heard from in years. Received several bouquets of beautiful flowers and felt like a celebrity. What a grand feeling!
If you picked up RESCUE ME yesterday, I do hope you're enjoying it. I received some very nice comments already and thank you all for them.
The contest on where you first spot RESCUE ME will run up until May 5. So you can comment on this blog post or yesterday's, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your name in the hat.
Now I'm off to write. My deadline was moved up for my new trilogy. We're now looking at release dates of January, February and March 2010! Woohoo! But I've got to finish them!
Until later, enjoy the wonderful warm weather and curl up with some good books. And hopefully one of them will be RESCUE ME!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
RESCUE ME is here!!!
RESCUE ME has arrived in stores!
I'm thrilled. delighted, humbled and bursting with excitement! Please join me in the celebration!
As promised, if you will comment on this blog or send me an email at email@example.com and tell me where you spotted RESCUE ME, store name, city and state, I'll include your name in a drawing to win one of four prizes:
1) A signed copy of RESCUE ME
2) A signed Advanced Reading Copy of RETURN TO ME
3) A $25 gift card to Books-A-Million
4)A $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble
Winners will be announced on this blog on May 5.
Thanks so much for sharing this day with me. I sincerely hope you enjoy RESCUE ME!
Monday, April 27, 2009
I have an interview posted by author Rebecca Chastain at: http://www.numberonenovels.blogspot.com
Drop by and say hi. There's a chance to win a signed copy of RESCUE ME!
ONE DAY TO GO!!!
Tomorrow is the official release date for RESCUE ME. Woohoo!
Be sure to check in tomorrow where I'll be running a contest for chances to win all sorts of nifty prizes.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Three Days Away and Guess What?
Three days until the release of RESCUE ME! However, I happened to drop by Books A Million today, just to see where they will be shelved and....THEY WERE ALREADY THERE!!! Oh my, it was a definite squee moment.
So, official release date is still April 28, but there are sightings. So be on the lookout!
I'll still be blogging on Tuesday for the official launch, giving opportunities to win all sorts of goodies. So be sure to drop by!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Having weird blogging problems again. But just wanted to say: FOUR DAYS AWAY!!!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Five Days Away!!!
Finally the days are flying! Five days until the release of RESCUE ME!
Tomorrow, Friday, April 24, I'll be blogging over at Fresh Fiction. Please stop by and say hey. I'll be talking about how a wish became a series and how Last Chance Rescue was born. Hope to see you there!
Here's the link: www.freshfiction.com
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Seven Days Till RESCUE ME is in Stores!
Busy as a bumblebee in July, but just wanted to pop in and say, RESCUE ME is almost here! Woohoo!
Seven short days away, those lovely dark blue books with the torn cover look and that attractive couple embracing, will be in bookstores!
I'll be running a contest next week. When you spot RESCUE ME for the first time, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know where you see it, store name, city and state. On May 5, I'll draw a name from those who responded and will give away a signed advanced reading copy of RETURN TO ME!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Ten Days Till RESCUE ME hits stores!
I'm having blogger problems, so no big blogs till it's fixed. However, I couldn't help but post a link to this fabulous review of RESCUE ME from Sabrina Marino at Fresh Fiction. Fingers crossed it comes out correctly.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Two Weeks...Can you believe it?
Exactly two weeks from today, RESCUE ME will be released. I'm both astounded and humbled that very soon I'll be able to walk into a bookstore and actually see a book with my name on the spine sitting on a shelf.
Of course I've been in several of my local bookstores to see exactly where my books will be. In many of the stores, I'll be shelved a row or two above Nora Roberts. Oh my. I'm hopeful that some people who are perusing her rows and rows of wonderful books happen upon mine and give me a chance.
Yesterday I received an awesome surprise. A box of my books. A whole box! I was tempted to take them out and stack them on a shelf and sigh. I didn't! But I was tempted.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sixteen Days and Counting
Sorry I missed a few days. Life and writing got in the way. But I do now have a completed synopsis for my first 2010 book. Tentatively titled Last Chance, it's turning out to be my favorite story yet. Since the synopsis is due in about six weeks, I was getting, shall we say, a bit anxious. Over the last few days the storyline began to coalesce and I just had to get it down. Now I'm much much happier.
I'm so excited about this book because, as I think I mentioned before, I wasn't sure I liked my hero. He's recently opened up to me and I can see not only where his problems begin, but that beneath the cold, gruff exterior beats a gentle and good heart. It's just been trampled on a few too many times. My strong, gutsy heroine is a perfect match for him in every way. Love it when my characters click so soon!
And while I was preoccupied with my new book and new characters, the countdown to the release of RESCUE ME continues. Woohoo!
There are a few blogs and a couple of interviews coming up in the next few weeks. I'll post them soon so you can take a look if you like.
Now, time for a little more writing. Until next time, enjoy the spring, watch out for stormy weather and take some time to read a good book.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Continuing the Countdown...
Okay, I admit. Math is not my thing but you'd think I'd be able to count correctly. Somewhere I miscounted but I think I'm back on track so...
Nineteen days till the release of RESCUE ME! Woohoo!
The countdown is now in the teens. Wow, this is getting serious. Concentration has become very difficult, which is a huge problem because I have three books due this year. Got to get back on track, so after this post, I'm shutting down everything but my work in progress and writing. Really I am...promise.
The other day I was thinking about my writing journey; what enhanced it and what stalled it. Here are a few of both you might be interested to know.
First, what stalled it:
1) Self-doubt. As humans we all struggle with this...some more than others. However, as a writer, I think it can be more prominent and possibly more corrosive. When you're questioning yourself, doubt yourself, the creative process can be destroyed. Believe me, I know.
2) Writing what I thought would sell as opposed to what I wanted to write. I'm not saying you shouldn't pay attention to the market, because you most definitely have to. However, you can't let that be your primary focus or guiding force when you're writing. If you do, it will show. Words are just words if there's no passion, no true feeling, behind them. Always, always write what you would love to sit down and read.
3) Allowing others to destroy your dream. This kind of goes back to self-doubt but not. See, everyone has an opinion. EVERYONE. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're right. And even if they are right, you can't let other people's opinions count for more than your own. That includes contest scores and comments, critiques and rejections. Take the information, filter it by pulling out the things that resonate with you. And throw the rest away...far away. Because if you don't, it'll pop up when you least expect it. Believe me, I know.
Okay, so those are some of the things that stalled me. Now here are some of the things that enhanced my writing and I believe led me to publication:
1) Support. Yes, I had a lot of it. Still do. Sure there were days when someone I loved or admired would say something that indicated I was wasting my time. But I knew those words stemmed from concern for me. There was love behind them. I knew they truly wanted me to succeed. That support helped tremendously.
2) Working in a bookstore. If you read my bio, then you know I left my career after eighteen years and started writing a year or so after that. What I haven't mentioned...and I don't know why, is that I worked in a bookstore for over two years before I moved back to Alabama. When I learned a Borders Bookstore was opening up just a few miles from where I lived in Indiana, I got excited. What writer doesn't love a bookstore? This was right up my alley. I had the privilege of helping set up the bookstore. There's a term for that but it escapes me now. Anyway, it was a wonderfully enlightening experience. Being around all those books and being around people who loved books as much as I do was a true pleasure. And I learned so much about what happens on the other side. Working there gave me insight most authors never get to see.
3) Anger. Yep, I got angry. How did anger enhance my writing? Well, remember all those critiques, contest comments and rejections? They really ticked me off. Of course they hurt and yes, they fed that self-doubt I battled daily. But they also made me more determined. I'm an incredibly stubborn person. Yes, I'm a Taurus. Also, if you knew my family, you'd see I come by it quite naturally. We're just made that way. I knew that my self-doubt could defeat me, but I was also stubborn enough to keep on writing, trying to improve. Taking on a "I'll show them" attitude can be quite motivating.
Didn't mean to go on like that, but thought you might be interested in a more personal glimpse of my writing journey.
Hopefully the blogger problems I had earlier this week have been fixed. If so, I'll come back tomorrow for another countdown update.
Wishing everyone a most blessed Good Friday.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Twenty Days and Counting
Just a quick note to say that it's now only 20 days till the release of RESCUE ME!
I'm having some blogger problems, so no long post today. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon and I'll be back for the countdown.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Twenty-one Days and Counting...
Exactly three weeks from today I will be a published author. Sometimes it's still so hard to believe that it will happen. I've seen the book; I've held it in my hand. I even looked in the back to see my picture just to make sure it was really me. Yep, my smiling mug. Wow!
So it brings to mind what happened when I got the call. I'll admit that I had fantasized about that day many times. Even though I really never thought it would happen to me, that certainly didn't keep me from fantasizing about it. After all, I am a dreamer.
Here's the gist of how it happened:
My agent had sent the manuscript out a few weeks before and I was on pins and needles. Couldn't sit still, couldn't think properly, certainly couldn't write. I mean, there were editors out there reading my stuff. How on earth was I supposed to concentrate on other things?
RWA nationals had been the week before and I was in serious regret for not having gone. I kept thinking if I had gone, something wondrous would have happened. I might have been in this huge tug-of-war with editors screaming and pulling at me, insisting they just had to buy my manuscript. See, I told you I was a dreamer! But seriously, I did wonder if it would have made a difference if I had gone.
My agent called me out of the blue to encourage me. She said she could tell I was getting a bit anxious and she wanted to reassure me. A bit anxious? Uh, yes, I calmly admitted, perhaps I was getting a bit concerned. She explained again--my poor agent had to explain a lot to me--that summer time was a slow time for publishing. I knew that. She'd told me that. Others had told me that. Knowing that didn't necessarily keep me from worrying, just made me aware that worrying was even more fruitless. She also told me she felt sure I would get an offer soon. My heart kicked up a beat. Okay, that was good news. Very good news.
Thursday morning, July 19, 2007 around 10:00.
I hate that I don't know the exact time because, well, I don't know, just because. I was in my office trying my best to be a grown-up writer and write. And then my agent called again. This time it was THE CALL.
'Ballantine has offered a three book contact. They want to do a back-to-back trilogy of your Last Chance Rescue series. How do you feel about that?'
How did I feel? Words cannot begin to describe how I felt. Ecstatic. Stunned. Terrified. Humbled. Every emotion you can imagine, and maybe some that haven't been invented, soared through me.
My dreams had come true.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Twenty-two Days and Counting...
It's a gloomy, rather chilly Monday here in Bama. What on earth happened to Spring? It's supposed to go down in the thirties tonight. Shudder....
I have a furkid on each side of my chair, blocking me in. They just devoured their midday snack and are enjoying an afternoon snooze. They look so peaceful and sweet, I'm tempted to join them, but I can't. When I take a nap, even a short one, I'm groggy for three hours after, so it's best for me to keep plugging away.
I did promise to share with you an excerpt of the first review of RETURN TO ME, which comes from Romantic Times Magazine. Needless to say I am totally thrilled!
RETURN TO ME - 4 1/2 Stars
The dramatic adventures continue in the second book of hot new talent Reece's trilogy. Book two sets its sights on the founder of Last Chance Rescue, Noah McCall. Emotionally damaged by his horrendous upbringing, this hero has his heart locked down, but heroine Samara Lyons is no shrinking violet. Together, these protagonists play with life-and-death stakes, and danger emanates from every page. Take a walk on the perilous side ... you won't be disappointed!
Woohoo! How awesome is that?
Tomorrow I'll blog about what happened when I received THE CALL!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Twenty-three Days and Counting...
I was going to post about the day I received my incredible offer from Ballantine but couldn't resist interrupting the regularly scheduled post to share this wonderful news. My first reviews for RESCUE ME are here and I'm thrilled!
Here's an excerpt of the review from Romantic Times Magazine:
4 stars HOT
A sizzling new suspense trilogy burst onto the scene as Reece invites readers to join the adventures of Last Chance Rescue Enterprises. Plenty of danger and intrigue make this a promising series launch!
And here's an excerpt of Harriet Klausner's review:
Mindful of the quality expected of Cherry Adair and Mariah Stewart, Christy Reece's first novel is a terrific romantic suspense thriller.
Also, if you get Romantic Times magazine, you'll see a beautiful ad on page 21. Check it out if you can. I almost passed out when I saw it...it's so pretty!
Tomorrow, I'll share with you the fabulous review Romantic Times gave RETURN TO ME.
Then on Tuesday, I'll tell you about that most wondrous day when I received THE CALL!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Countdown Continues...
Twenty-four days until the release of RESCUE ME!
So far, I'm three for three on my blogging. If you read the blog from a couple of days ago, you'll see that I promised to try to blog everyday until the April 28 release date. Wow, three days in a row-- a record for me!
Today I'm talking about how I met my amazing agent. I think there's a lot of truth to the right place, right time, right project theory. I met my agent at a conference. I had watched and admired her for a long while as she represents some of my favorite authors. And while I would have loved to have her represent me, I honestly never thought she would. See, I'm a terrible, and I mean terrible, pitcher. I can love a story, believe in it with all my heart, but when it comes to telling others about it, I'm horrendous. I used to think it was because my stories meant so much to me, but that can't be true. There are plenty of authors who love their books just as much as I love mine and they are able to coherently and brilliantly pitch their stories in a concise and exciting way. Me? I stumble, stutter, stall and then finally stop.
It was March 31, 2007 at the Southern Magic conference. I had two stories to pitch and couldn't decide which one I should go with. One was Golden Girl, the one I felt the most secure with and RESCUE ME, the one I'd finished just a few months before. Though I'd already started on RETURN TO ME, I still wasn't sure I was ready for anyone to hear about RESCUE ME. Fortunately a couple of my chapter mates convinced me otherwise. When I practiced my pitches with them, they thought Golden Girl was okay, but pointed out some flaws I hadn't recognized. However, they loved RESCUE ME. So, thanks to them, I chose the right one to pitch.
I was nervous but she instantly put me at ease. Of course I had to read the pitch to her. No way could I even begin to recite the story from memory. She listened and she said a word...something I'll never forget. She said, "Cool." LOL. Yeah, I know. But you would've had to have been there to really understand. This agent...my dream agent...said cool about my story line. And then she asked me questions: About the book, whether I planned to write a series and about my writing habits. Then she asked for the full manuscript. I left the meeting walking on air.
I took about a month to polish it up before sending it to her. On May 2, my birthday, I mailed it to her. My gift to myself. On May 14, I received an email from her. And what did I do when I saw it in my in-basket? Nothing. I couldn't open it up. I just couldn't. If I didn't read it...see that it was a rejection, then there was still hope. But, four hours later, after dinner and the house was quiet again, I crept up to my office. Taking a breath, I clicked on the email and prepared myself to read a rejection. Instead, she said she'd read RESCUE ME, really liked it and wanted to know what else I had. I cried. Told you earlier that I was a crybaby. And then, of course, I ran and told my husband that this amazing agent was actually interested in my work. He was suitably impressed...once I woke him up, that is.
We emailed back and forth for a couple of weeks or so. I sent her a synopsis of RETURN TO ME. Then, on June 5, 2007, she called me and offered representation. There are some moments that will live in my memory forever. That was one of them.
Okay, tomorrow, if you're still here, I'll blog about what it was like to get the amazing offer from Ballantine.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Continuing the Countdown...
Twenty-five days and counting till the release of RESCUE ME!
Today I was going to talk about how I met my amazing agent. However, my plans were interrupted by a wonderful event and I got sidetracked. I was sitting in my office writing when the Fed Ex truck passed by my house. And of course, I got excited. Sure it often passes by and doesn't stop, but that never keeps me from thinking it might just stop and drop off something wonderful...and it did!
RESCUE ME hot off the press. My very first copies! They're beautiful. And I did exactly what I knew I would do...I cried. Yep, I'm a crybaby. Definitely tears of joy though. I just never thought this day would happen.
I called my husband to share the joy. Then, I sent my editor and agent a thank you note. Without them, none of this would have been possible. And then, I signed one with a personal note and mailed it to my mom. She doesn't know it's coming and I hope it makes her smile.
Also I went to a book signing for my friend Jennifer Echols, an absolutely fabulous author. Her new book, GOING TOO FAR, a YA romance, looks fantastic. I can't wait to read it!
Tomorrow I'll check in and talk about how I met my wonderful agent.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
And the Countdown Begins...
Twenty-seven days until the release of RESCUE ME! It seems like I've been waiting for this day forever.
Starting with today's post up to the release date, APRIL 28, I'm going to share bits and pieces of my writing life. I'll try to post every day, but don't hold me to it. If I get excited about a story idea, I may forget to post. But, for right now, that's my plan.
Here's the start:
I always think of my writing career as a journey. I've seen peaks and valleys, traversed over rough terrain, dodged and fell into plenty of potholes and thankfully experienced the occasional level and smooth road. Fortunately I've had wonderful mentors and friends who have taken the journey with me and made it not only bearable but incredibly enriching. I've learned so much in the seven years I've been writing. And still have so much more to learn. But even as I consider my career a journey, each book I've written has had it's own journey too. And of all the books I've written, RESCUE ME probably has the longest one.
Here's the beginning journey for RESCUE ME:
I started writing the story in the summer of 2006. I had gotten some disappointing scores in a contest and some even more disappointing rejections of what I considered my best work to date, a contemporary semi-romantic suspense called GOLDEN GIRL. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound very suspenseful, does it? But I loved it and believed in it. Others didn't. So I came to a place in my writing journey where I began to question not only what kind of story I should write, but should I be writing in the first place.
For weeks I didn't write as I considered what I should do. Then, because I've learned that even when a writer doesn't write, stories continue in their head, I began to think of a story line. It was about a naive young woman who makes an incredibly bad decision and ends up paying a terrible price for her mistake. I started writing it, having no idea where I was going. Two chapters into the story, I stopped. Why? Well, because the author writing this story wasn't the same person who'd written the previous stories. The voice, complexity, seriousness and direction were completely different. And I have to be honest with you, it scared me. So what did I do? I put it away, of course. I had no idea where this new, darker voice was coming from and really didn't know if I wanted to continue.
For months, I didn't write but couldn't stop thinking about that story. Then, in January 2007, I took two online classes that changed my writing life. One was taught by the wonderful author and teacher, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, and it was about putting the joy back into your writing. It helped me to explore something I had forgotten, which was: why did I want to write in the first place?
The other online class was taught by the amazing Candace Havens and it was entitled Dream Big. It helped me to see that not only was my dream still there, it was evolving, gaining solidity and substance.
Both of those classes made me realize something monumental. In the three books I'd written before, my main focus had been on what I thought a publisher might buy. Oh, I knew I should write what I would enjoy reading, but that had never been my primary goal when writing. I realized that previously I wanted to sell a book more than I wanted to tell a story. And it showed in my work.
So after I made this amazing discovery, I signed up for another of Candace Havens' classes, Fast Draft. I took the chapters I had written the year before and in two weeks, wrote RESCUE ME. I was most definitely inspired and motivated. I wrote this book for the sheer joy and exhilaration of telling a story. Selling it didn't enter my mind. Of course, that changed after I finished it.
And in writing about this young girl who'd made this terrible mistake, I found not only my voice, but the story took on a completely different slant. The Last Chance Rescue organization she worked for became a character on its own. And then the founder of that organization came into my head. From there, all sorts of story lines and ideas began to fly.
Tune in tomorrow (hopefully) and I'll tell you how I met my amazing agent and what happened after that...