Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the #giveaway for Attractive Nuisance!
Our winners, drawn at random via random.org were:
Congratulations! I will be contacting you with your prizes–a copy of Attractive Nuisance. Yay!
Now, I’m going back to work on the second book in the Legally in Love Series. Wish me luck!
Lucky you, all you Irish folk and non-Irish folk, it’s giveaway time!
Just for St. Patrick’s Day week only, I’m giving away three copies of my latest book ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE (LEGALLY IN LOVE BOOK #1). Hooray, right?
How do you enter? Easy. Three things.
1) If you haven’t already, “Like” my author page on Facebook.
2) Tweet or post on Facebook or somewhere else on social media about one of my books that you either already read or would like to read. Use hashtag #AttractiveNuisance.
3) Leave a comment below telling me you did these things.
I’ll pick three winners at random from the comments and send you a book!
Here’s the info about Attractive Nuisance, which Golden Quill-winning author Donna Hatch reviewed on Goodreads and said was “the best contemporary romance I’ve read this year.” Nice, right? I love her.
But when a notorious criminal is caught in their county, Camilla must focus on getting the thief convicted and not on Zane, who smells heavenly and is bent on distracting her with lunch offers and wacky Boy Scout stories that may melt her many resolves.
It’s going to take incredible willpower to ignore this attractive nuisance.
Attractive Nuisance is the first book in the Legally in Love Series by best-selling romantic comedy author Jennifer Griffith.
It’s over. Once again, the ANWA Conference has come to an end. I’m always totally saturated with new knowledge and completely wiped out by Saturday afternoon and dying to get home to sleep, but by Monday morning I’m wishing I was back there again.
I’m just going to make an abridged list, a top ten list, of things I loved at this year’s exhausting extravaganza.
10. Heather B. Moore’s class on how to hit a top 100 list on Amazon. Can I say what I’ve said many times before? I think this woman is a genius.
9. Helping CJ Anaya shop for her Cat Woman shoes for the Antagonist Ball and Gala, which was delightfully fun and planned expertly by Sarah Daley.
8. Getting feedback at the critique camp on my little fluffy romance from none other than Lisa Mangum, Editorial Manager at Shadow Mountain Publishing (and then pitching another, different piece to her later.) She … just knows stuff. And her class on character motivation totally changed how I am going to write my WIP.
7. Getting to finally meet the man behind the hilarious and insightful blog that is Middle Aged Mormon Man. Read this blog post about his experience at the conference and cringe along with the truth it exposes.
6. The weather in Mesa, Arizona, in February. (Makes YOU want to sign up for next year, doesn’t it, snow-bound writers of the Northeast and Midwest.)
5. Finding out that Julie Wright bought my novella. What? And sitting with her at breakfast. And almost laughing so hard that I was afraid I’d snort milk from my cereal out my nose. That is one funny chick.
4. Receiving expert feedback on my book covers from John Wincek, an expert at book covers. And feedback. Thanks, John. You never did give me your card. Dang it. Now who is going to design the interior of my upcoming project?
3. Watching Sarah Eden quote/lip synch long stretches of dialogue from the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice when the audio on her presentation went out. Quite impressive knowledge on the subject.
2. Near the top there must always be food, so eating delicious salmon at Mimi’s Café with CJ Anaya and the ever-hilarious Stephany Robinson, and in the process getting introduced to Kelly Oram. Oh, my word. When I saw her books, I thought, “This woman? She is my people.” I can’t wait to read all those YA Contemporary books. My favorite brain candy.
1. Meeting the keynote speaker Regina Sirois. Not only is she loveliness itself and a gifted, poetic writer and speaker, she’s grounded. She’s has climbed an amazing mountain– being an Amazon Breakout Novelist winner and published by Penguin–and yet she taught us all that we can be happy with our own mountain we choose to climb. So grateful to have made a new friend.
I’m already getting excited about the prospect of next year’s conference, wondering who I’ll get to reconnect with, and happy that I can be part of a great organization that’s so uplifting, nurturing and supportive. I thank Marsha Ward for being inspired to organize it, and for making it what it is today. Love all of you, ANWA friends!
Now I guess I’d better get to work implementing the stuff I learned!
Okay! After 2 1/2 years of hiding behind the red and white cover, Buck Cooper is at last on view for all the world to see!
Is this how you pictured him? I tell you what, this is so much more how I pictured the cover originally. It makes me snicker just thinking about it. Way to go, Jolly Fish Press! To celebrate, they put it on sale for the week – dropping the Kindle price to just $2.99. Now’s the perfect time to get it if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a five-star book, according to readers that I’m not even related to!
Soooooooo…. Ta da! What do you think?
Oh, and it has a new little blurb, too.
Because I was on national radio (Bill Martinez Live — Rapid Fire Radio) this morning talking about the year I home schooled my son, I remembered this post I’d written at the end of that year. It’s still pretty tender and close to my heart. I decided to re-post it here for anyone who hasn’t already read this story. It was a winner of the Arizona Mothers Inc essay contest and received a runner up at the national contest, so I guess that makes me “an award-winning author.” Mostly, this post makes me feel like God cares about me, even as an imperfect mother.
And so I present to you (again) “Seeds Grow In Dirt.”
It was a rotten year and a half for housework.
My New Year’s resolution was to keep my house utterly clean. I washed walls, I organized closets, I dreamed of shininess.
Then, my oldest son had a problem with school. And pregnancy happened—never my finest hours. Within a short time I was a pregnant, home-schooling mom of four kids under ten with a perpetual headache. A major accomplishment for the day was setting out the cold cereal at mealtime.
The year went on. Home-school continued, and the baby arrived, and everyone knows how productive those first few months aren’t with a newborn. If her little white nightgowns were clean, I felt like queen of all housework.
Meanwhile, grime pockets formed behind doors, dust bunnies grew and had bunny families—several generations of them. The top of our old piano started to collect so many items it could open an antique store of its own. At a low point, there was a two-week period where someone broke a different item made of glass every single day. For some reason I got called to the Relief Society presidency, just to add to the chaos.
Months passed. Baby learned to crawl. My year teaching a bright, much happier, 4th grader wound down. The two preschoolers started to be a little less prone to break glass. But the house languished, nay, wallowed in its filth, especially the formerly light blue carpet. In fact, one spring afternoon after Little League, I had an argument with Zane, who insisted our carpet is grey. “Light blue,” I claimed half-heartedly, barely remembering the true color myself.
Summer came. All five kids tracked in roughly 75 pounds of dirt from their treasure pit in the sand pile and about a million squished leaves from their fort under the nectarine tree. My girls had birthday parties for their teddy bears that for some reason involved crumbling blueberry muffins into oblivion on the grey carpet, possibly in an attempt to turn it blue again. I got drafted to be the interim Webelos leader and actually sanctioned large messes in the house. Cousins came over and incited a game as destructive as it sounds: Toy War. We went through our twelfth 100-count box of Otter Pops and our second vacuum cleaner motor (due to renegade thread while the oldest three kids learned embroidery.)
When mid-August rolled around, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Stephen went back to fifth grade, and he found a niche in learning there. Zane opted out of soccer, so we now only had one uniform to find on Saturday mornings. Rachel started kindergarten, and Catherine dropped out of preschool after a month to stay home to paint and do coloring books with mom. Baby Zuzu could now walk around by herself, looking for stray popcorn kernels to gnaw on with her two teeth.
Things got quieter around home.
With a sense of newfound power, I conducted a yard sale, which made it so we could park inside our garage again. Miracle. Next I looked to tackle the house.
That first morning, however, I caught a glimpse of our kitchen sink, the drainer side. Whoa. How long had it been? A while, for sure. Gingerly I lifted the drainer.
Oh. My. Goodness. What was that green thing?
I pulled out the clean, drying measuring cups and lifted the rack from the sink. Yep, something was definitely growing there: a two-pronged leaf sprout, about four inches tall.
With a squeal of horror I plucked out the sink stopper and found the little white root ball and what looked like the yellow-brown transparent hull of a popcorn kernel around its base. Or maybe it was one of Gary’s gardening projects. Or an escaped food-storage black eyed pea?
No! How could I have let the sink cleaning lapse long enough for a seed to germinate and sprout—plus grow four inches? I wanted to cry. What a terrible housekeeper. My kids could probably get some kind of disease from filth this rampant! My word! A seed grew in my sink!
Then a thought stopped my self-berating rant.
Hey. Seeds grow in dirt.
In the past couple of years my most precious seeds, all five of them, had grown an awful lot in this dirt.
Now, I certainly hadn’t been a perfect mother by anyone’s definition. I hadn’t kept a cheery temperament every single day. I hadn’t nurtured my children in every way possible. Without question, I had not created an “antiseptic environment” for my little ones to play and learn in.
But they grew.
I know they say cleanliness is next to godliness. Whoever “they” are, they’re mean. That’s too much pressure. Seriously. Instead I find myself thinking maybe other things wedge their way into the lineup beside godliness. Maybe doing-the-best-you-can-motherhood is one of them. After all, God helps all things to grow. Maybe that’s what motherhood is all about.
Now, it’s not that I will henceforth refuse to scrub my tub or decide never to replace that ailing vacuum. But God formed Man out of the dust of the Earth. Perhaps I ought to be aiming to do that, too—to form men and women out of these sweet little seeds they are now, and remember that most seeds require all kinds of light, and water (that’d be Saturday night baths), and at least a little dirt. Because seeds grow in dirt.
This morning I sat down with my list of goals called “Stuff I Want to Do in 2014.” When I wrote it a year ago, I didn’t realize what kinds of opportunities and adventures would come my way this year. It made me reflect on some of the super cool unexpected things that happened this year to me as a writer. It’s just wild to think of all the things I’ve had happen.
1) Speaking at Comic Con
It was quite an experience to attend the Fan-X in Salt Lake City in April. Well, for one, I never dreamed of attending a Comic Con, let alone be asked to sit on four writing panels! Back to the Future, Japanese Culture, Is Disney Relevant to Adults?, and Writing for Young People. My husband went along with me to keep me company (and my cousin Lisa came and sat with me at the booth one day.) I met some really interesting people, and got to sit on those panels with authors who have been my writing idols for years. What an honor! I almost felt like an impostor, a fraud. But there I was. And I can’t believe what a neat chance it was. Plus, seeing all the costumes? Shazam.
2) Having a book optioned for film.
THIS was a dream come true. In September of 2013, I stepped way outside my comfort zone and went to Hollywood to pitch my book to movie producers. Holy scary! But the time and money and courage were worth it because I think I met the perfect person to get behind my project. He really saw the vision of the BIG IN JAPAN book and is working on getting funding and out shopping it to the money people. Cross your fingers and say your prayers for his success. He’s a great guy, and he deserves to have something great happen for his career. And those of you who’ve read BIG might agree that Buck Cooper deserves some time on screen. Call me ego-centric if you must, but this book would honestly be a really good movie.
3) Having another book be considered for film adaptation and being able to hand a copy of the book to the person I dreamed of having star in the movie.
While at that same conference, I met a different producer who loved the concept of SUPER DAISY. He had me revamp it to adapt for screen. It could die on the vine, but whatevs, baby. It’s just fun to get asked to the prom, even if you don’t end up going. Then, at Comic Con, I was able to cross paths with Mallory Everton of Studio C fame and plop a copy of Super Daisy in her hands. She would be the PERFECT Daisy. Ahhhh. Dreams.
4) Being invited to participate in two collaborations
Being part of the Ripples collaboration and writing IMMERSED opened my eyes to a million new possibilities and gave me courage to really branch out in my writing into some fun areas of romantic comedy. The project had such a quick turnaround that I realized a book doesn’t need to take yeeeeeeeears to complete and bring to print. What an awesome thing to realize as a writer. It pumps up the productivity and creativity level to new and exciting heights. I’ve had so much fun writing my own stuff since then. Even if some pet projects keep getting bogged down by plot changes. Ugh. But I believe! And the other project, STRANGE AND LOVELY, was such a great thing, learning and getting to be involved with other authors whose work and success I admire so much. What an honor.
Well, that’s not all the coolness of this year. But I just felt so blessed this morning as I reflected on the coolness. And I have all of you to thank too, as you read my books and supported me and encouraged me. You’re the best part of all of this. A big THANK YOU to you.
Yesterday I’d hit a wall in my writing, as I tried to push my NaNoWriMo novel forward. But it was awful. Sometimes I think bringing forth a novel is a lot like childbirth. Painful, a total body experience, a lot of work, and quite as much a spiritual effort as a physical and mental one. Labor. And sometimes there’s a mixture of gasping and prayer involved.
And yesterday was no exception. Finally, I resorted to breaking out my post-Halloween-stash of BooBerry cereal. When I was in Walmart one day, I noticed the price on the family size boxes of all the monster cereals had temporarily gone down from $3.48 a box to just $1.00. Guess who bought TEN boxes. Okay, maybe it was eleven. And they’re mostly gone now. Including the box I opened yesterday.
I am not proud.
And my tongue might be permanently blue.
But then I asked the “People of Facebook” for a bit of feedback, this time about paintings and what art they knew of that was instantly recognizable. Their responses, which related directly to some of the blocks I was facing in my book, went straight to the heart of my problem and broke the wall in pieces. My fears and worries about the direction I’d chosen dissipated and this morning I was off to the races again. Another few thousand words onto the page (after deleting about that many or more).
A hallelujah moment–one to be celebrated with the remainder of the box of BooBerry.
Thanks, friends. It’s nice to know that people have my back.
Now…a few more words on the page before my kids get home from school.
It’s done! Yay! It took a wild wrong turn partway through, but I rewrote from the blank page and then ended up improving it. (Pretty sure of that.) Feeling excited about the changes. In fact, I might have to make December in JenNoWriMo so I can finish the rest of the story. #amwriting #andwritingandwritingandwriting
Okay, I didn’t actually think this would happen, but all of a sudden, Immersed has a new cover!
I’m so excited. I love these models and the look on their faces and how well they fit the story. It’s just…awesome. Big thank you to Rachael Renee Anderson for her incredible skills. She’s pretty dang amazing, right? And if I told you how fast she whipped this up, you’d cry in your tea. I know I did. Well, it wasn’t tea because I’m kind of a weirdo and only, only, only ever drink water. But yeah. Cried in my beverage.
Okay, and do you know what I like best? Her hair. Big hair. I am a child of the 80s, when big hair was the only hair. In fact, there’s this picture of me, circa 1989, in a newspaper article for Utah Schools Sterling Scholars in English (that was me, just for my school, I didn’t win for the state, of course. I write fluff.) And my face was about 10% of the center of the rectangle, and my hair took up the rest of the frame. Someday I shall learn how to scan photos and then I will amaze you all with the fluffiness of this future fluff-writer.
What do you think? If you already read the book, does this look like Lisette and Erik?
If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s up and for sale and stuff already. Like, now. And it’s only $2.99. Cheaper than a cup of tea or a large dirty Dr. Pepper. If you drink that stuff. I’m the weird person only drinking water. In the corner. By myself. With the big hair.