I’ve said it before, but 2022’s been rough. Really rough. But I was lucky in that I had a place where I could go to get away from it all. A place that makes my heart feel warm, makes me believe that happy endings are on the way: the fictional Sullivan, Missouri, where my Ruby’s Place stories are set.
And now, Rare Gems, the latest in the ongoing series of Ruby’s Place stories, is officially live!
This time around, the story focuses on Elizabeth, Ruby’s best friend. I hope readers will feel as warm and happy reading this one as I felt writing it.
My literary love story, The Art of the Kiss, released in ’19–and the original edition had an incredibly short print run. I’m talking fewer than fifty copies. I still do have some on my author copies shelf, and have decided to sell them at my Etsy store, as a collector’s edition.
The book will also come signed–and you’ve got a chance to let me know how you’d like your copy inscribed (if left blank, I’ll just sign the book).
I am now in the midst of writing a mystery. I’ve been working on this for several months now, and I had to share the one thing I wish I’d done from the get-go. The thing I will always do, every time I write a mystery from here on out:
Write the Crime First
I don’t mean some one sentence “Professor Plum did it in the kitchen with the candlestick” either. I mean write the crime as a story. Do not include the detective or p.i. or cop or amateur sleuth or whoever is going to solve the thing. That’s not part of this at all. This is the crime. From the point of view of the person who did it. Write it as a story. Doesn’t matter how long–a short story, novella, novelette. Write how this person manages to steal or kill or abduct or whatever it is they’re guilty of. Write why. Write what brought them to it. Write how they carried it out, and write how they covered it up.
Then, after you’ve written the crime, and have full understanding of it, write the mystery. Introduce your detective who will now try to solve it.
I started thinking more and more about Ruby herself: How did she come to Sullivan? What’s her backstory? Who is she really? There were just so many questions that hadn’t yet been answered.
All those questions became a book (and a new series)!
Ruby’s Story opens on a Christmas Eve, as Ruby finds herself at the end of her dance career. On a whim, she heads back to her girlhood hometown. Once in Sullivan, Ruby relives her past and the love she lost there. Will memory drive her to make a leap of faith, changing the course of her life, and that of the entire town of Sullivan forever?
Ruby’s Story is a prequel to the Ruby’s Place Christmas Collection, but I’m also planning for this to be the first in a new series: Ruby’s Regulars. Each new installment will focus on another Sullivanite, and how they became one of Ruby’s tried-and-trues. In fact, Ruby’s Story also focuses on Ruby’s very first regular (but you’ll just have to snag yourself a copy to find out who it is).
The book’s available in print and e-form. (Well, it’s available in print via Amazon; I distribute the wide-release print through Ingram, and they’ve already warned that the end of the year’s gonna be a slow one. So paperbacks at B&N etc. are forthcoming; it’ll just take a while to go live.)
In the meantime, I’m so delighted to share this new book–and thrilled to continue on with Ruby’s Place tales!
…and Gus and I are hard at work. Here, we’re working on the next installment of Ruby’s Place–the big finale! It’s taken some serious mental gymnastics. But there’s something about writing outside that just works.
I’ve got a couple fun new things to share: a fun new read and (hopefully) a fun new way to buy it!
THE NEW READ:
This release is called Funny Meeting You Here. It’s comprised of six sweet, humorous shorts. I don’t know about you guys, but the entertainment I’ve been gravitating toward lately is all light and often comedic. I want to smile and chuckle. I’ve been loving Fallon each night—watching his informal interviews and his daughters playing. When I sat down to write during our weeks of isolation, all I wanted to write was something equally sweet and funny. Also, as far as I’m concerned, the best part of any story is the point at which the main characters meet. I combined that hunger for light entertainment with my love of chance encounters to write Funny Meeting You Here. These are quite literally stories of meetings—funny scenarios that bring two characters together. It’s my hope that when you read them, regardless of what the world is like just beyond your door, it will bring two smiles: one to your face and one to your heart.
THE NEW WAY TO BUY IT
Recently, I’ve been hearing from readers wanting to better support authors during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have contacted me to tell me they’ve bought paperbacks rather than the lower-cost ebooks. That’s incredible! But that’s a big leap between a .99 ebook and a $10 (or more!) printed book. So I’ve started a Payhip store (payhip.com/HollySchindler) as a kind of “tip jar.” At Payhip, you can absolutely still buy Funny Meeting You Here for the listed price of .99, but if you want to set the price to chip in an extra few cents, that’s fantastic, too. I just wanted to give readers a way to offer support and still have enough money left during these lean times to buy themselves another read. One of the best parts of Payhip is that it allowed me to integrate with BookFunnel! When you buy from Payhip, you’ll receive two emails: one from Payhip and one from BookFunnel, both with download links. You can download from either Payhip or Bookfunnel, whichever you’re more comfortable using. Since I’ve been distributing my ARCs and review copies via BookFunnel, and you’re all familiar with that site, I definitely wanted to give you guys that option.
AND, OF COURSE, YOU CAN ALSO BUY THE BOOK AT ALL THE OLD FAVORITE SITES