It’s RELEASE DAY for Fighting for Anna! Woot! Get your ebook copy before the price goes up from 99 cents to $4.99!
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Before we begin the third part of this four-part installmentStory Behind the Story Series, I have an announcement. Remember how I gave away a little fox charm/pendant with the launch of Hell to Pay? Well…I’m giving away a little BUTTERFLY from Jewelweed Sprouts to celebrate Fighting for Anna’s release! Pictures coming soon. Enter through the Rafflecopter, below.
And now, the third installment in the Story Behind the Story of Fighting for Anna (F4A), the 8th novel in the What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series, featuring Michele. This week, I’m sharing the story behind Gidget, Michele’s charming neighbor at the beginning of F4A. [Next week, I’ll close the series with a look at the practical magic behind F4A.]
When my husband Eric and I became empty nesters, we moved into our dream house on our dream property in Nowheresville, Texas. We expected to love our place. What surprised us was how much we loved the people in our community. They welcomed us warmly.
One night we were at an opening for an antique mart. There was a display of 70s-80s women’s clothing including a long white linen gown. Something about the gown called to me. Not as an art piece. I wanted to put it on myself and wear it. I picked it up, admiring it, and Stephanie—the most authentic, open, empathic creature I’d ever met—walked up to me and told me the story of the dress, which goes something like this:
A woman appeared in a house in Nowheresville, moved there by those “close” to her, suddenly and somewhat forcibly. They’d packed up dirty dishes in her sink, they were in such a hurry to exile her from Houston—where she’d lived and been an art gallery owner until she started experiencing health issues. She wasn’t in great shape. People got to know her, a little. Enough to know she was never seen without her devoted little dog.
She hadn’t been seen for a few days, when her little dog broke out a window in her house and went for help. Neighbors found her collapsed. She survived, but moved into a facility that could provide her greater care. Some time after her death, Stephanie’s family bought the house the woman had lived in, the one her dog had broken out of to save her. Stephanie spent weeks going through the woman’s things, getting to know her, connecting to her, and, ultimately, telling me her story.
The story she told me summoned the muse, and instantly a fictional version was born in my head. I bought the dress and wore it while I drafted F4A. I wrote an ending for the dog, whose story no one seemed to know.
I’ve left out most of the good details Stephanie shared with me, and possibly better ones that she didn’t. But that’s okay. My story to tell was Gidget’s. The other belongs to Stephanie, and I hope she writes the true account some day.
p.s. New stuff to get excited about: subscribers-exclusive novella, Act One, coming out next month. It’s a prequel to the series (which started with Saving Grace) featuring all of my protagonists, past, present, and future. Cover reveal soon! Be sure to let friends know that the only way they can get their hands on it is by subscribing on my website.
p.p.s. November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Before I was published, I did it several years in a row. I wrote the original drafts of Saving Grace, Finding Harmony, and Going for Kona during NaNoWriMo. Well, this year, my schedule called for me to draft my next novel during November. So . . . I’m NaNoWriMoing this month, writing BOMBSHELL, #9 in What Doesn’t Kill You and my first novel featuring . . .AVA!! Yippee!! Here’s Eric prepping my writing tent, with a photobomb by Horse Feathers. Note no tent on the frame. We lost it in storms May 2016. Someday maybe we’ll re-tent the tent.
p.p.p.s. A cougar has killed the last three surviving baby goats from this year’s crop. We suspect it is a female with yearling cubs, because there are no birds, rabbits, or deer in our area. Something is HUNGRY. So we got three donkeys to help defend the goats (and the big scaredy-cat horses, who, at 1500 and 1800 pounds, are not cougar-bait). Aren’t they cute? Their names are Fitz, Annabelle, and Kathryn.