NEW RELEASE: SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY: A CHRISTMAS AT RUBY’S PLACE

A few years ago—about the time my hometown of Springfield, Missouri decided to ban cigarette smoking in all public places—the local news ran a story of a small downtown bar and the woman who owned it. She was pretty upset about the new ordinance; her clientele came for affordable drinks and a smoke (and a bit of camaraderie and good conversation) at the end of a long day. She was older, and had been running this bar for I forget how many decades, and she insisted she knew how to do one thing really well—run that bar.

For some reason, the image that ran in the story—a closeup of her face peering from the front plate-glass window—really stuck with me. I kept coming back to that image, playing with possible scenarios for a story.

In 2017, I drafted a novella titled Christmas at Ruby’s, about a woman who had also been good at running a small-town Missouri bar…so good, in fact, that she was still running it, years after her own death.

My fictional Ruby’s Place is a bar populated by the ghosts of Christmases past. A nightspot where the term “spirits” refers to far more than just the top-shelf liquors…and it’s also a place where, on Christmas Eve, the living can enjoy one more evening with a long-lost loved one. Where it’s possible to connect with the dearly departed—to finally express what you never got to say. Perhaps to show gratitude. Express love. Explain a wrong. Even tell them you’re sorry.

After all, I thought—what would be a better Christmas gift that one more night with a loved one you had assumed you would never see again?

Readers connected with the Christmas at Ruby’s novella—so much so, I wrote and published another installment in 2018 (I Remember You). And now, this year, I’m releasing yet another Ruby’s Place novel, Sentimental Journey. The stakes are higher than ever in Sentimental Journey—the bar is in danger. A face from the past has returned to the small town of Sullivan, Missouri. And he’s determined to get his revenge…

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You can snag your own copy of Sentimental Journey at:

Amazon 

B&N

Kobo

Apple

Each book in the Ruby’s Place Christmas series is standalone, and you don’t need to have read the other two releases in order to dive straight into Sentimental Journey. But for those who are interested in the full series, I have placed the entire collection to date on Amazon in a single download:

Ruby's Place Collection

You can snag the full Ruby’s Place Christmas Collection on Amazon.

DELUXE SUPERHERO WRITING JOURNAL

 

I’m delighted to announce a deluxe edition to my writing guide, INVENT YOUR OWN SUPERHERO, is now available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback.

What makes it deluxe?
Superhero Deluxe Edition Cover 3

A new cover! This one’s brighter, and features a wider array of kids’ faces. I wanted to make sure all kids had a better chance to see themselves represented on the cover.

The deluxe edition still uses the superhero story structure to hook kids on writing. I’ve included all the same story prompts to introduce young writers to concepts like protagonists and antagonists, conflict, backstory, etc.

In this edition, I’ve also included the full text of my own original superhero story:

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPER SUSAN

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I invented (and illustrated) this character when I was a young author: a hero with superhuman kindness!

 

I dusted off the Super Susan character and wrote a new story featuring her last year. (I felt that nothing was quite as timely as a hero whose superpower was kindness!)

The deluxe edition includes reading questions that illustrate how the concepts introduced in the superhero journal come into play in Susan’s tale. It proves all those prompts and concepts really do gel into a single cohesive story.

Susan’s story and the reading questions will help young authors who have worked their way through journal prompts but still aren’t quite sure what to do with all the ideas they’ve brainstormed.

The deluxe edition truly is two books in one! Part fiction, part how-to…and the supplemental reading questions help tie the whole thing together.

Great for classrooms or individual use, the book will be available in wide-release. If you’re a wholesaler, it will also be available via Ingram. You can snag an e-book or paperback at Amazon now.

NEWS, NEWS, NEWS – REVIEWERS NEEDED!

I feel like I’ve been posting incessantly about copyediting and polishing…now, I’m finally ready to start talking about publishing!

I’ve got a couple different projects–for two different age groups–about to release.

ADULT

The first is an adult general fiction novel. I’ve been working on this one in fits and spurts for more than a year. I know, I know–on blogs and on social media, us writers (yep, myself included) have always had a tendency to slobber over pending releases like proud parents. How many times have you heard all of us proclaim, “This is the book of my heart!”?? I’ll soooo be guilty of this if I spend too much time describing the work. (In fact, that sentence popped into my head as I started to write this post.) I’ll just say here I’m really excited about this one. I’ve experimented slightly with overall structure, and my main characters are again somewhat non-traditional.

I’m also looking to expand my pool of reviewers. I’ll be distributing my initial review copies through my newsletter. I hope you sign up for my adult newsletter–which will also provide early cover reveals, etc.–here.

MG

The second soon-to-release book is a new MG work. It’s a blend of fiction and how-to; if you’re a teacher or tutor or a parent who knows you’ll soon be looking for something to keep your kids’ minds engaged over the summer months, I hope you’ll sign up for my MG-specific newsletter. Again, I’m looking to expand my pool of reviewers, and I’ll be offering opportunities for newsletter subscribers to get their hands on a copy for review. Sign up for the MG newsletter here.

NEWSLETTERS

My newsletters are a great place to get in touch.  It’s how I let my readers know about new releases, of course, but I also want to hear from you.  If you’re a teacher or librarian, I want to know about your students—what they’re interested in, what issues they’re facing. As a hybrid author, I can release work quickly, and can help you fill the holes on your classroom or library shelves in a timely manner.  I also want to hear from my adult or YA readers—and aim to make each specific newsletter as interactive as possible.  Sign up for the newsletter(s) of choice below:

Adult Fiction

Steamy Romance

Sweet Romance

YA News

MG News

Picture Books