It’s been a while!

It’s been quite a long while since I’ve posted a blog entry, but I’m going to work on getting back at that.

If you’ve been following me on social media, you know that the last few months have been pretty wild for me. I had planned to release Secret Heart in January, but here I am, the first of April, still working on it.

It took me longer than I expected to get back into the normal swing of life after my wedding in October. November had birthdays and anniversaries to occupy my brain, and then the holidays started up.

About mid-January, I started feeling…off. I found it uncomfortable (not painful, just tedious) to sit up for long periods of time at my computer. I was suffering from terrible heartburn. After a couple of weeks, I mentioned these symptoms to some of my writer friends and Miss Sadie Haller insisted I should take a pregnancy test. Mr. Lassiter and I had talked about starting a family this year (in April, coincidentally, after we got back from our anticipated sun-and-alcohol-soaked honeymoon in Cuba), but we weren’t actively trying. As in, we were actively trying not to get pregnant (imperfect contraceptive use for the win!). I took the test, and sure enough, the positive line came in blazing red next to a pretty sad little control line.

February was pretty rough for me. My morning sickness, exhaustion, and heartburn culminated in me taking naps sometimes 4 hours long. The housework got behind (I’m not gonna lie, still waaay behind). I had had a scare at the end of January that sent me to the emergency room, and I’m not going to lie–that took up a big part of my brain power for a big part of February. I am the type of author that has a hard time producing when I have ‘life’ stuff on the brain. Fear of a repeat, or that this pregnancy was going to be difficult and end in heartbreak was really consuming for me.

And then at the beginning of March, we came into a position to purchase our first home. My parents and Mr. Lassiter and I finalized a purchase on March 31st, but getting everything together, the multiple viewings, inspections, accumulation of all the appropriate paperwork and legal stuff was doubled because we were two marital couples purchasing instead of just one.

But seriously, this house, right?

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Perfect for a writer. And I can’t wait to get out on that porch with a cup of coffee and go over my manuscripts. Moving is the tough part. We plan to do that inside of the next three weeks, so April isn’t shaping up to be any less busy than March was.

But soon it’ll be sunny and summery, and my horses will be in my back yard. Life is good.

Six years ago…

I love those Facebook ‘on this day’ apps that let you see what you posted on the same day in the past. (Let’s just call it what it is and say this: I love Facebook.)

This morning, I stumbled across this cute little gem from six years ago:

‘excited to start telling the story of the Baylor brothers – Noah, Finn and Dane. :)’

So they were a glimmer in my eye back then. In November of that year, I wrote about 30,000 words on Dane and Ren’s story, and then, it seems, I never thought about it again. At that point, I fixated on my mafia story, and forgot about cowboys.

Until this time last year, when I made the decision to jump into self-publishing. I finished Dane and Ren’s story and started thinking about the others. I released Runaway Heart in September 2014, and Noah’s story, Homecoming Heart, in January. I’m preparing to release Secondhand Heart, Finn’s story, in the coming months, and I have at least four more stories planned in the world of Three Rivers.

 

I write romance.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved stories. And the romantic ones were always my favourite. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a little bit embarrassed about the fact that I love love so damn much.

When I wrote my first novel, No One Else, a mafia-themed romantic suspense novel (unpublished), I worked hard on that sucker. I spent months writing, revising, and shopping it around to agents. It was legit work, effort. And yet, when people asked what I wrote, I said ‘oh, it’s just romance’. Just. Romance. As if romance and love isn’t something that the majority of people on this earth desire. As if love doesn’t motivate us to do crazy, admirable, (sometimes) stupid things.

It isn’t wrong or less than to choose to read stories about romance, where the ending makes you smile and your heart swell. It isn’t wrong or less than to write them, either, but somehow, romance doesn’t get taken seriously in so many circles. And not only does it not get taken seriously, it gets majorly looked down upon.

It is absolutely, perfectly okay to not enjoy something without putting it down. I don’t enjoy science fiction, but I respect and enthusiastically support your right to enjoy reading and writing it! Why can I not be afforded the same respect — to the point where I will pre-emptively put down my career — doing something I love that supports me financially (!! How many people get to say they do that?!)?

So if people don’t offer it, I’m going to demand it. No longer will I write ‘just romance’. No longer will I dip my voice and say ‘oh, smut’ when people ask what I write, as if nobody would be interested. I won’t stand around and let writer groups downplay my career because it’s ‘just romance’ anymore.

I write romance. And I’m damn proud of that.

Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop

One of my goals for 2015 is to read more (think I’ll add blogging to that, too!), so when Ev Bishop offered me the chance at an advanced reader copy of WEDDING BANDS, I jumped!

I first inter’met (that’s my new word for meeting on the internet!) Ev ’round about the time that I was preparing to release RUNAWAY HEART. She had written a sweet little book called BIGGER THINGS that, based on the blurb, I knew I could identify with (go read it and find out, it is a great story!). I knew WEDDING BANDS was going to hit the spot–I wasn’t disappointed! I devoured this book. Seriously. And isn’t the cover GORGEOUS?

 

Wedding Bands, Book 1 in the River’s Sigh B & B series.

Ditched by her high school sweetheart, Callum Archer, on the night they’re supposed to elope, Jo Kendall casts out on her own, brokenhearted.

Then her uncle dies, bequeathing Jo and her sister, Samantha, his rural property. Jo returns to Greenridge, determined to build a new business and permanent home—without the help of a man. Unfortunately Samantha wants her inheritance in cold, hard cash and hires a lawyer to get it for her, a lawyer who turns out to be none other than Jo’s long-lost love, Callum.

Jo’s fledgling plans—and her heart—are at risk once more.

If Jo can fight her insecurities, she might end up with a wedding band that doesn’t come with a sharp hook. But should she risk everything she’s worked for, yet again? Before she can decide, she needs to know: can a lost love truly be reclaimed?

You can buy Wedding Bands in eBook here:

Amazon.com ~ Amazon.ca ~ Amazon.co.uk

KOBO ~ For your NOOK at Barnes & Noble ~ Apple/iBooks ~ Page Foundry ~ Scribd

Don’t have an eReader and/or prefer print books? Wedding Bands will be out in paperback at the end of the month, available for order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore.

A bit about Ev Bishop . . .

She’s a longtime columnist with the Terrace Standard, and her other non-fiction articles and essays have been published across North America. Her true love, however, is fiction, and she writes in a variety of lengths and genres. If you’re a short story lover or read other genres alongside Romance, visit www.evbishop.com to learn more.

Some short story publications include: “Not All Magic is Nice,” Pulp Literature (forthcoming), “The Picture Book,” Every Day Fiction Magazine, “Riddles,” 100 Stories for Queensland, “On the Wall,” Every Day Fiction Magazine, “My Mom is a Freak,” Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls, “HVS,” “Red Bird,” and “Wishful,” (available through Ether Books).

Women’s Fiction novels include Bigger Things (Winding Path Books 2014), which is available in digital or paperback wherever books are sold, and Mosaic (forthcoming). She also writes romance under the pen name Toni Sheridan (The Present, Pelican Book Group, 2012, and Drummer Boy, Pelican Book Group, 2014).

Ev loves to connect with other readers and writers, so please consider subscribing to her newsletter and/or visiting her on Facebook and Twitter.

Two days away!

I am still leveling with the idea that something I have dreamed of since childhood is about to happen. RUNAWAY HEART will be released on September 23rd.

I will be visiting Cora Seton’s Release Party on the 25th to celebrate her new release in the Cowboys of Chance Creek series, share some excerpts from RH and give away some cowboy swag.

 

 

 

 

And then she let her baby out into the world…

And it was scary!

I sent out my first ARCs (advanced reader copies) of RUNAWAY HEART last night. My heart was literally racing when I clicked ‘send’. It was terrifying.

I’ve had about a dozen sets of eyes on it at this point, but they were all people that I knew in one capacity or another – either through online writing, or they were real life people, ranging from close friends to acquaintances. I intentionally chose people that I felt would be honest with me – but gentle. RH is, after all, my baby. The first baby I am planning to send out into the world on her own. Of the gathered responses, everything was positive… but there is still a concern that I’m way out to lunch and general opinion won’t be the same.

I have to just learn to let go… and wait for the reviews.

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Where the romance author gets a little romance in her life…

After living in sin for almost four years, Mr. Lassiter finally made it official and put a ring on my finger on August 3rd!

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.  We have been together nearly four years and I was pretty sure we would live in sin for the rest of my life, although we do talk about marriage often.

We went on a quick mini vacation camping trip to Prince Edward Island and at the end of a pier in North Rustico Harbour, he pulled out a ring pop candy for me. After I’d made a fuss of saying ‘yes’ to that (we are rarely serious or romantic!), he pulled out a canister from a toy jewelry vending machine and handed it to me. Inside was a pretty incredible ring that I immediately realized was way too heavy to be the toy jewelry that would normally come in the container. It took me a while to stop freaking out, and he finally said “You never gave me an answer.” — a multitude of yes’ followed!

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I always used to think it was foolish to talk about marrying your ‘best friend’, but I honestly have to say that Mr. Lassiter is my best friend. I feel 1000% comfortable being exactly the person that I am with him, and I have let him into parts of my life that I feel uncomfortable allowing other people into.

The best part is the way that he supports me and the (sometimes) crazy dreams I have, like independently publishing romance novels. He challenges me when I need it and gives me that little boost that I need when I don’t even realize I need it. He even introduces me as a ‘writer’ – even though it’s not my day job and I don’t put out Runaway Heart for another month and a half.

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Three Rivers

RUNAWAY HEART is actually not my first completed manuscript (insert the surprised gasps here – the vast majority of authors will tell you that they did not publish their manuscripts in the order that they wrote them, if their first one got published at all).

My first manuscript, NO ONE ELSE, is a gritty romantic suspense that focuses on a pair of star crossed lovers from a couple of mafia families struggling for control over the city of Port Sentry. While I really loved the world and the romance of Tristiano (Tristyn & Luciano), I knew I couldn’t sustain a series of stories in their world. I had developed many characters that I loved through that first novel, and someday, I want to see them each through to their respective happily-ever-afters – right now is not the right time for that.

Growing up around horses and around salt-of-the-earth small town people who take care of one another, I always knew I wanted to write cowboys. I love to read cowboys, and I particularly love the opportunities to include horses in cowboy romance. Two (nonconsecutive) years for NaNoWriMo, I started writing cowboys but stopped once the month was over, without finishing the manuscript.

This winter, I started trying to bring NO ONE ELSE up to snuff for publication. It was arduous and I wasn’t all that interested or invested, as much as I loved the story. I was stressed about the next book, who I would write it about, and how it would work out. I had no desire to continue writing in the series at this time.

I was literally shoveling up poop after my horse when I started thinking about my cowboys again. I know horses. I grew up loving cowboys. It only makes sense. Those firm but gentle, sweet alphas-who-you-would-never-know-were-alphas. That’s what turns my crank. I could write about them forever!

And so, with two partially finished manuscripts, I concocted Three Rivers, and I started with the Baylor brothers. Dane, Finn and Noah. A trio of hard-working, sexy ranch-grown men who value fidelity and passion.

Then came the others – Banks, Carter, Cutter. Characters I introduced in RUNAWAY HEART that just wouldn’t get out of my mind no matter how much I begged, pleaded and bullied.

I hope you enjoy reading about Three Rivers as much as I enjoyed writing about it!

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Getting to know you… getting to know all about you…

It isn’t any secret that I love blogs, especially fresh ones where we get to go over all of the new getting-to-know-you stuff!

So… without further ado…

 

What you can expect from this blog:

  • the cutest dog in the world
  • random streams of consciousness
  • information about releases, what I’m doing with my writing, etc.
  • playlists
  • random life stuff
  • and of course, writerly things

What you can expect from me:

  • coffee
  • wine
  • cowboys
  • randomness
  • impatience
  • country music

 

And hopefully that turns your crank!

 

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