Gorgeous Graphics

I wanted to share two teaser quotes from my upcoming release, HOT SHADE. Aren’t they gorgeous? The wonderful artist at Bookin’ It Designs made them. I’m so thrilled with how they came out. Feel free to download and share on social media! And if you’d like to order the book, click here for the Amazon Pre-Order site:

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Fiction update

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I’m thrilled to report that I’ve signed with Boroughs Publishing Group for Uncovered, my romance novel. Kudos to my agent, Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates, for handling the contract.

Going with this publisher is serendipitous. When I first started writing romance, I decided that I should take a class. I didn’t have the confidence to craft a fiction tale. My background is in journalism and news writing. In college, I took broadcast news writing classes, not literature courses. Hell, I never took a fiction writing class, although in retrospect, I probably should have, since my school has a great writing program. I was focused on being a journalist.

I love to read, but me? An author? No way.

But after a series of extremely difficult and tragic news events, I felt like writing a story that ended happily. I wanted to write a sexy love story set in Florida.

So I looked around online and found a class through Media Bistro. The 12-week romance writing class was taught by Susan Squires, the author of many award-winning romance novels. I was convinced that she would laugh at my writing. She didn’t. Instead, she was the kindest, nicest teacher and mentor one could hope for. She encouraged me to write a full draft, then go back and edit. She painstakingly read my story and made suggestions. She got me to think about emotion and conflict.

Susan helped me become a better writer and a better journalist.

During class, she would often talk about her first editor, a man named Chris, and how he took a chance on her at Dorchester Publishing years ago. She talked about how much she learned from him during the editing process. I hoped I would someday have a similar experience.

I began querying Uncovered in November. I participated in Twitter pitches, online events and sent it unsolicited to various agents and editors. In the end, I received 10 publisher rejections, two solid revise and resubmits and four offers. One of the offers was from Boroughs. What I didn’t know when I queried Boroughs was that Susan’s first editor, Chris Keeslar, was now in charge of that publishing house.

When Chris made the offer of publication to me, I had one question for him: Will you be my editor? He said yes, and I was ecstatic. I know my book needs work, and that he’s taking a chance on me.

I suspect that the difference between a mediocre novel and a good novel is a solid editor. I’m really looking forward to working with Chris and the rest of the Boroughs team to create the best book possible.

Today’s news

Same-sex marriage is legal now in Florida. Here’s my story, written with AP’s Curt Anderson:

Lesbian and gay couples were married in Miami on Monday by the same judge who said she saw no reason why they couldn’t immediately get their licenses ahead of Florida’s coming-out party as the nation’s 36th state where same-sex marriages are legal statewide.

The addition of Florida’s 19.9 million people means 70 percent of Americans now live in states where gay marriage is legal.

It also reflects how much the nation’s third-largest state has changed since the days of Anita Bryant, the former beauty pageant queen and orange juice spokeswoman who started her national campaign against gay rights in Miami in the 1970s.