The Wonder of Your First Crush

I was once a teenager. This may not come as a shock to most, but to my kids, it’s a bit weird to think of their mom as someone not much older than they are now. As I watch my munchkins grow older and taller, it’s a bit weird for me to think they’ll soon be going through puberty and all the lovely stuff that goes with it. Aside from those first glimpses of love (aka. infatuation), there’s nothing truly glamorous about adolescence. Oh, but to be able to experience all the giddiness and wonder of your first crush? That’s something worth remembering.

I remember my first crush back in third grade—yes, I started a bit young, but that might explain how I ended up being a romance author. 😉 Anyhow, my first crush was on a cute Asian boy in my class. I don’t remember his name, but I do remember that I stood next to him in our class photo. Fast forward to high school, and I fixed my sights on a blond football player who played the trumpet in band class. His name I do recall, but I’ll keep it to myself so as not to embarrass anyone. 😉

The great thing about these crushes was how innocent and endearing they were. There was no drama, only moments of daydreaming and hoping.

This is the kind of love I tried to capture in my newest release, Romantically Ever After. Gracie and Brady’s story is just plain sweet and maybe a tad bit naive, but I love how their relationship develops in an organic and genuine way. Not too much drama, but lots of tenderness and blushing. Just the way young love should be.

Here’s an excerpt:

Brady Hansen shook off his puffy winter jacket and fell onto his bed. He covered his eyes with his hands, his palms quickly warming from the heat in his face. Great. If he had a penny for each time he blushed in front of Gracie, he’d have enough money to buy her a couple dozen roses. Not that he ever would do such a thing. Nope, that’d be way too obvious. He was already sure she thought something was up with the way he escaped her company as quickly as possible. He sighed. It was either escape or confess how he felt about her, something he wasn’t ready to do. Not today, tomorrow, or ever.

 

He dug his phone from his jean pocket and switched it on. He clicked on his photo album and scrolled through the pictures he had saved to a folder titled with a simple letter “G”. G for Gracie, of course. Scrolling through the pictures, he stopped at ones they had taken a few months ago when they happened to both be wearing their green Oregon Ducks hoodies. He remembered that day well. They were sitting together at a cafe off campus and playing around with her new selfie stick. They’d taken a series of photos, each one showcasing a different expression. The faces they made ranged from normal to serious to downright silly. The last photo though was the one he loved the most. Gracie called it his trademark Brady face, also known as his “make a mental note” face. When they took it, with the two of them squeezing one eye shut and twisting their mouths to the side, he’d realized something.

 

He was in love with his best friend.

 

Brady loved that Gracie got him. She saw his goofy side and his clumsiness, and she accepted him for who he was. But that was the problem. Everything that she accepted about him was everything she wasn’t looking for in a guy. How did he know? It was obvious from the way she went gaga over the actors in those chick flicks she watched. They were all tall, handsome, and charming. Oh, he had the tall part down, but with it came feet that were too big for his body. Handsome and charming though? He’d need a fairy godmother for that.

 

That’s how he knew Gracie would never feel the same way about him that he felt about her. And why he couldn’t tell her how he felt. And also why he couldn’t be near her because every time he was, he ended up going gaga and doing something so not cool. Like falling onto her in an elevator and squashing her.

 

She had smelled so good though. Like fresh strawberries on a stack of homemade pancakes, the fluffy kind his mom used to make for him as a kid. He missed his parents and even his two older brothers living back in California, but not as much as he longed for his best friend down the hall. He missed hanging out with Gracie and studying with her. If only there was a way to turn off his heart, so it’d stop trying to fly out of his chest like those old cartoon characters’ did whenever they saw the girl they liked.

 

Knock, knock!

 

“Brady, open up! I have something to tell you!”

 

He shot up and almost fell off the bed at the sound of Gracie’s voice outside his door. Whoa. She sounded more excited that he’d ever heard her. Could it be? His heart started pounding as he wondered what she wanted to tell him.

I hope you’ll check out Romantically Ever After! It’ll for sure get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a sweet song about young love, Kenny Holland’s “Less Than Three” that matches this story perfectly.

Do you remember your first crush?

Cover Reveal: Romantically Ever After

I’ve had romance on the brain for a few weeks now because I’ve been writing a Valentine’s themed story. This doesn’t mean I don’t always think warm-fuzzy thoughts, but reality and fiction are very different, in case you haven’t noticed. 😉 During the day, I do a lot of “mom-ing”, but at night after the family is in bed, I get to relive falling in love again along with my characters. Writing a Valentine’s Day story seems even more romantic than usual because I get to mention the colors red and pink (I love pink!), heart-shaped everything, stuffed bears, engagement rings, and more—all in one story. (That was a major spoiler alert if you didn’t notice. LOL). I also included my favorite romantic trope—friends to something more—to make the falling in love part of this story as sweet and organic as possible. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, and hope you’ll love it, too!

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Gracie Sutton and Brady Hansen of Romantically Ever After!

If you read Chasing Romance, you’ll remember Izzy’s daughter, Gracie. Well, it’s now her turn to find her happy ending (but not without a few bumps along the way first).

Two best friends find romance in the most unexpected place: each other.

Despite her parents’ broken relationship, Gracie Sutton still believes in love. Even though her first year at college hasn’t turned up any romantic prospects, an unexpected message gives her a chance to reunite with a loved one. With her best friend, Brady, by her side, Gracie returns to her hometown to meet her estranged father.

Spending Valentine’s Day weekend in Romance, Oregon should be a wonderful occasion, but the tension between her parents and her mom’s new boyfriend makes her heart weary. Gracie questions whether or not happy endings exist anymore … until Brady helps her discover her own romantically ever after.

Romantically Ever After is now available for pre-order HERE! Release date will be February 1, 2018. There are also 2 other books from the Welcome To Romance series releasing with mine for Valentine’s Day. Find out more about the series HERE!

I’ll close with one of the songs I listened to on repeat while I wrote this story, Kenny Holland’s “This Dance”. It’s such a sweet song about young love, which is what Gracie and Brady experience.

An Ode to Winter Break

Oh Winter Break, how I loathe—ahem, love!—thee. Let me count the ways.

One, you arrived so quickly after Thanksgiving break, which only ended twenty-four and a half days ago.

Two, you bring me ample amounts of time to spend with my children and make it too easy for them to invade my bubble morning, noon, and night.

Three, you trick me into thinking bedtime is near when the sky grows dark at five o’clock … when in reality, there are many hours left to endure.

Four, you actually last long enough (2 weeks, baby!) to the point where I’ve gotten kinda used to having my routine thrown off.

Five, you make me appreciate not having to pack lunches every night or rush around every morning.

Six, you force me to slow down and just be present with my kids, even as I fight the urge to check my phone.

Seven, you’ve given me plenty of chances to play board games, take silly selfies, do crafts, play video games, and eat lunch with two of the most important people in my life.

Eight, you help me rethink my priorities and encourage me to make decisions I won’t regret (years from now when the kids are grown).

Nine, you challenge me to be a better parent—one who chooses relationships over rules, routines, and rigidity.

And ten (the reason why I love you the most): You are SO MUCH shorter than summer break. 😉

On a more serious note (haha), I have been mostly enjoying winter break with the munchkins at home. Spending time with them during the day means lots of late nights so I can catch up on work, but it’s all good. They are totally worth it. I’m not saying I always choose wisely or even feel loving and patient all the time (I’m human after all!), but I’m much more mindful of making my relationship with them a priority. It’s not easy or natural for me to do this, which is why I’m SO grateful I recently came across the parenting blog, Untigering.com, and its Facebook group. Every one of Iris’s posts has resonated with me and moved me to reconsider my parenting style. I highly recommend checking it out (especially if you’re needing a sanity saver during winter break).

On another note, for this new year, I’ve decided to adjust my posting schedule on my blog from weekly to bi-weekly. This is mostly to save my sanity as I try to balance my roles as writer, wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My author career really picked up last year and I’d love to continue to grow that part of me. I’m trying to focus my energy and efforts on doing what is sustainable because, as I’ve come to realize, there is only one of me and only 24 hours in a day. I thank you so much for following along with me on my blogging journey, and I hope you will continue to do so every other week. 🙂 As always, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.

I’ll leave you with this powerful song from The Greatest Showman, “This Is Me”, sung by Keala Settle. The heart and raw passion that she sings with will blow you away. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat ever since I bought it, and the munchkins are even listening and singing along! Now I just have to watch the movie. 😉

How do you remind yourself to value relationships over rules, routines, and rigidity?

What Contact Lenses & Q-Tips Reminded Me About Marriage

I had an eye-opening—quite literally!—experience recently. Midway through my bedtime routine, I found myself with two contact lenses stuck in my eyes. They were plastered to my eyeballs to the point that they wouldn’t come out, no matter how hard I tried to pull them off. I had stayed up quite late the night before writing so my eyes were dry, and it didn’t help that this pair of contacts were a few days past their lifespan. The lenses were stuck, stuck, stuck! It felt like my eyeballs would never breathe again.

What did I do? Call for back-up, of course!

I went running downstairs to where hubby was standing in front of his computer screens (yes, multiple ones because an IT guy can’t have just one) and told him my plight. He looked into my eyes and troubleshot the situation (did I mention he’s an IT guy?), suggesting everything from using eye drops, to moving the contacts around in my eye, to lying down and relaxing. After I’d done all of the above and my eyeballs were still trapped behind their round plastic prisons, hubby knew that desperate times called for desperate measures.

And that’s when he pulled out these babies …

and stuck them in my eyes. Yep, I’d never felt more vulnerable or closer to hubby than in that moment. There we were nose-to-nose, looking into one another’s eyes as he used two Q-tips to gently pluck the contact lenses from my eyes. Yes, it was as unromantic and scary as it sounds! In between my attempts at staying still and busting out in uncontrollable laughter, I joked that this was prime material for a blog post on marriage. So, ta-da! Here are some marriage truths I was reminded of that I’ll share with you today. 🙂

  1. Marriage is all about being close. Okay, so it doesn’t require you to literally be in one another’s faces (except when you kiss or need to do an emergency contact lens removal!), but your spouse is quite possibly the one person whom you know the best and who knows you the best. When another person lets you into their world and shares all his/her dreams, fears, longings, and regrets with you, it’s a big deal. It’s a privilege not to be taken for granted.
  2. Marriage is all about being vulnerable. Trust is such an essential part of a relationship, but it’s one of the basic foundations of a marriage. Marry someone you can be yourself with, someone who is your safe place from the craziness of the world. Someone you would trust your heart with (and possibly your eyeballs, too). And be someone who offers that same kind of cozy and comfortable haven to your spouse.
  3. Marriage needs to be fun. And funny. Because laughter, inside jokes, and memorable stories you’ll talk about years from now help keep the spark alive when life gets hard or mundane. You can bet I’ll never look at Q-tips the same way again.

I’m happy and relieved to say my contacts finally emerged from my weary, bloodshot eyes thirty minutes later. What worked? Thanks to Google, I found out the best (and easiest) way to get contacts unstuck from your eyes is to use two fingers, and place one on the upper lid and one on the lower. With the finger on your upper lid, press straight down. With the finger on your lower lid, press straight up. The lens should pull away from your eyeball and come out! Trust me, it’s much more pleasant than sticking Q-tips in your eyes. 😉

I’ll close with a sweet song I’ve been listening to on repeat: “Rewrite the Stars”, sung by Zac Efron and Zendaya, from the upcoming movie, The Greatest Showman.

What truths have you learned about marriage?

The (Not-So) Glamorous Life of an Entrepreneur (+ How to Add a TOC Page to Your eBook)

It occurred to me today that entrepreneurism runs in my family. Both of my parents were self-employed before they retired; my dad had his own insurance business and my mom did home loans and real estate. It kind of makes sense now that I also embraced the all-so glamorous life of an entrepreneur.

I’m so kidding about the glamorous part, if you can’t tell. 😉

If there’s anything I’ve learned about having your own business, it’s that you—and only you—end up doing everything to keep the business going. (That is until you make it big and can afford to pay people to do things for you.) I’m talking about a lot of manual labor and blood, sweat, and tears (especially the last bit!). As an indie author, this means learning how to do everything from making your own book cover, editing your story, formatting your manuscript for publishing, and marketing your book once it’s published.

Eeks. It’s so not a glamorous life. 😉

The boy in the photo is pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to do one of the above tasks. But (here’s the silver lining, folks!), I’ve grown so much in my skillset over the years that I could actually provide these services to other authors and charge them for it. See what a savvy entrepreneur I am?! LOL. I’m totally kidding though because I’m not a fan of self-torture and I still want to have time to write books (oh, and take care of my family, too!). However, since I’ve gained so much support from other indie authors and know how important it is to have “a village” as an entrepreneur, I’m more than happy to share what I’ve learned with other authors.

One thing I can do fairly well now is create a Table of Contents page for an ebook, which I’ll share below. There are several steps to navigate through, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it without too much moaning and groaning. Trust me when I say if I can learn how to do this, anyone can. 🙂

How to Add a TOC (Table of Contents) Page to Your eBook (for Microsoft Word documents):

  1. Insert a blank page in your document where you would like the TOC to go.
  2. Type “Table of Contents” at the top of the page and list the chapters and additional back matter pages underneath it. (See the image for an example.) 
  3. Go to Chapter One in your story and select the words “Chapter One” (place your cursor at the first letter and drag the mouse to the right until you reach the last letter).
  4. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Bookmark”. Type in a name (an abbreviation such as “Ch1” is a good idea since you’ll be doing this multiple times) and click “Add”.
  5. Go to the TOC page in your document and select the words “Chapter One”.
  6. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Hyperlink”. Click on “This Document”, then click on “Bookmarks”. The bookmark name you added in step 4 will appear. Select the name and click “OK”.
  7. The words “Chapter One” on the TOC page should now be underlined. Check to see that the hyperlink is working by clicking on it (it should take you to Chapter One in your story).
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for the remaining chapters and any additional back matter pages.

Easy peasy, right? 🙂 If you have any questions at all or if anything I wrote is unclear, please leave me a comment and let me know. I’ll try my best to help and share a virtual tub of ice cream with you if needed.

Here’s a song by Jason Chen called “Blank Check” to inspire you while you work.

Are you an entrepreneur or know of someone who is? What pros and cons do you see about having your own business?

Love’s Choice is Born!

My newest book baby, Love’s Choice, has arrived! 🙂 I shared a cover reveal a few weeks back, and am so excited, anxious, and relieved that the story is out in the world now. It’s always a strange love/hate, thrill/fear relationship that authors have whenever we publish a new book. Will readers like the story? But more than that, will the message we tried to convey through the story be heard?

These are two big questions I have about Love’s Choice because, to put it simply, it’s not an easy story to swallow. It’s very different from my other books, which tend to be lighthearted and fun (it does have funny moments though!). This story deals with the tough issues of abuse and an unplanned pregnancy, and also gossip within the church. Not happy topics people usually want to talk about, right? But I felt strongly that these are things we need to address. And there’s no better way to do hard stuff like this than in a fictional setting. (That’s one thing I love about writing fiction.)

So, I hope and pray you will give Nate and Missy a chance and see what truths you pick up from their story. You can preview it below and buy it for only $1.99! And please support all the other authors of the First Street Church Kindle World. Melissa Storm wrote the core series and there are now 40 books in the Kindle World. Yup, that’s a lot of books, but you can take this nifty online quiz HERE to see which book may interest you more (besides mine, haha). The best part is that all the books are part of Kindle Unlimited, so you can read them for free with your subscription. You can even try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days (click HERE)!

I’ll leave you with the playlist for Love’s Choice, which includes a High School Musical song I listened to on repeat while I was writing the story. (Yes, I’m such a teeny bopper at heart). 😉

What tough issues do you appreciate authors addressing in their stories?

Thoughts on Turning 21 (x2)

It’s November, which means it’s the best month to have a birthday. Any other November babies out there agree? 🙂

I’ll admit I hated turning 40. Thirty didn’t seem so bad (I was also too busy and hormonal being pregnant with my first munchkin at the time to care), but 40 just sounded old. (No offense to anyone over 40!). Now, 2 years later though, 40 doesn’t seem so bad. To be honest, 50 doesn’t seem as scary as it used to be either. The thing is, I’ve finally gotten okay with aging. Not so much with the white hair, wrinkles, and memory loss(!), but other than that, I don’t mind adding another candle to the birthday cake. Because the reality is, aging is a blessing and a privilege. To be able to experience one more year of life is HUGE. It means I get to spend time with the people I love and I get to do a lot of amazing things that I love. It doesn’t mean that each day is perfect or even “new” (’cause dishes, cooking, and laundry get old real quick, let me tell ya!), but over the course of days, weeks, and months, I get better. Better at trying, better at loving, and better at living. My physical body may be sagging and lagging, but my heart feels lighter and stronger and fuller. I’m reminded of these verses:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Yup. Age is just a number. Peace, joy, and love are timeless. In Jesus, we have the hope of eternal life. There’s so much to look forward to that outweighs all the human stuff that bogs us down today.

I hope you’ll celebrate each moment you have and each breath you are given. I know I will be as I blow out all 42 candles on my birthday cake (haha, just kidding; I think that might be a fire hazard!).

Here’s a video I’ve been grooving to (does using the word groove show my age? LOL), Kurt Hugo Schneider’s Evolution of Boy Band’s Mashup. It’s fun to see how many songs you know, which may or may not have something to do with your age. 😉

How do you feel about growing older?

Whose Life Will You Change For The Better? (The Pay It Forward Giveaway)

As an author, a lot of what I write is based off what I know. There may (or may not be, haha) references to real-life places, events, and products. My characters may (or may not be, don’t ask!) inspired by my family, friends, and even acquaintances I’ve met online. The thing is, I want my fictional stories to be relatable and realistic but always with a thread of hope woven into them. That’s what makes books worth reading, right? They give us the ability to escape for a little while, but also cause us to think about issues and problems and resolutions.

Well, one of my next books releasing in November is set in a fictional town of Sweet Grove, Texas. I’ve been to Texas once in my life, about fifteen years ago (eeks!) before I had kids, to visit a dear college friend. We spent the weekend watching the 6-hour version of Pride and Prejudice, drinking tons of boba tea, and we also swam in the ocean at Galveston Beach (the water was as warm as bath water!). I had a grand ‘ol time in Texas (did I mention this was before kids? haha), so when I was given the opportunity to write a story for the First Street Church Kindle World set in Texas, I went for it.

Fast forward a few months to when I had finished my story, Love’s Choice, and there was news that a major hurricane had hit Texas and its surrounding areas. The images I saw on the news of the disaster were heartbreaking. So many people literally standing knee-deep in filthy water in their own homes. They all needed help, but with us being over 1,000 miles away in California, it was hard to know how to offer support.

Enter Convoy of Hope!

I came across this organization online and was immediately impressed with their efforts and ethical standing, and most of all, their heart for the hurting. Just a quick glance at their website shows how they are in the midst of natural disasters, providing  food and supplies to people, not only to those in the U.S. but abroad as well. In a nutshell, this is what they do (as stated on their site):

As a faith-based, nonprofit organization Convoy of Hope has helped more than 80 million people throughout the world by sharing food, water, emergency supplies, agricultural know-how, and opportunities that empower people to live independent lives, free from poverty, disease and hunger.

Convoy of Hope does this through:

Mobilizing tens of thousands of volunteers each year.

Partnering with churches, businesses, individuals and other humanitarian organizations who are intent on doing good work among the impoverished and suffering.

Transparency — we have received the prestigious Four Star Charity Award from Charity Navigator for 14 years.

Their name says it all, don’t you think? 🙂 They provide help and hope to those who need it the most.

My hubby and I were thrilled to partner with Convoy of Hope and help in the little way that we could to hopefully make some people’s lives a little better in Texas.

I highly encourage you to think about whose life you will change for the better. Perhaps it will be through a partnership with a group like Convoy of Hope, or maybe it will be the kind act you do for your neighbor, family member, or friend. Whatever it is, know that God can use anyone to be a blessing! How will you choose to be a blessing today? Let me know in the comments below!

*This post was done in conjunction with my fellow Sweet Grove Books authors for The Pay It Forward Giveaway. To enter this giveaway for a free Kindle and a gift card, please go to this link: https://www.litring.com/the-pay-it-forward-giveaway/

Thanks for visiting my blog and for supporting the First Street Church Kindle World!

Thoughts about Nutella (+ A Cover Reveal)

So, author confession time. When I started out 2017, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to join two boxed sets. Both releasing towards the end of the year. I had no idea, however, of the other things that would pile up on my platter this year, too—platter, because I need something bigger than a plate to fit all my responsibilities! 😉 Long story short, I’m helping with the PTA at the munchkins’ school; I’m blogging regularly at three book-related sites in addition to my own; I babysit my niece once a week, so my mom gets some time off—funny how the tables have turned!; I have a family to feed, clothe, drive around, and listen to; and I have books to write, edit, and market. I realized I was pretty stressed out when I had a dream the other night that I was buying groceries and I couldn’t pay for them, but when I finally got the money to pay for them, the groceries had vanished! It was crazy, folks, like heart-pounding crazy! 😉

I’m not complaining though (okay, maybe I am complaining about having to feed my family every day). 😉 The thing is, I’m a bit tired. Tired because there are a lot of things I want to do, but there’s so little time to do them. (I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!) But when you also add my perfectionistic mindset to the mix, you’ve got a recipe for … nutella!

Yup, you read that right. I have been trying to be nutella. You know that rich, creamy, nutty goodness that goes good with everything and makes everyone happy? Yup, that nutella.

The thing is, no one can be a jar of nutella. Because sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with chest pains and headaches and waking up thinking you left your groceries at the store!

Here’s the truth (and doesn’t it look good?!):

I’m striving to remind myself to breathe and to do my best, but not to demand the best. Because when I demand perfection from myself, I only end up stressed out and frustrated and not a fun person to be around.

The big lesson here for me is grace. We need to give ourselves permission to say no. To mess up. To take a day off for our mental health. To do something for fun, not work. To be nice and kind and gentle to ourselves. To extend grace to ourselves because we’re human, after all.

I’m not saying we need to slack off (that would probably be torture, haha), but it’d be good to take it easy once in a while. Doing so may be hard at first, but everything (including being an anti-perfectionist) requires practice. And remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes better. 🙂

And oh, before I forget, here’s the cover reveal for my story that’s coming out November 7th in Winter’s Kiss, a new Christian romance boxed set.

Tropical Kiss and Tell

Micah Chan has loved Lucy Choi ever since they were kids, but life—and some regretful decisions—stopped him from pursuing her. Now he has a choice to make: Let her marry another man or break up her engagement to make this Christmas the most memorable one of their lives.

You may recognize Micah and Lucy’s names from two of my other books, Tropical Kiss or Miss and Drawn to You. They were kids in those stories, but now they’re all grown up and getting their own happily-ever-after. 🙂

Pre-order your copy of Winter’s Kiss today for only 99 cents!

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0767LWGCL/

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/winters-kiss/id1293778445

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winters-kiss-elaine-stock/1127196238

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/winter-s-kiss-10

Google Play: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/winter-s-kiss-10

7 Fun Facts about Chasing Romance

Fall Into Romance, a boxed set of ten sweet romances, has been a project in the making for about half a year now. It’s been a fun journey and I can’t wait for its launch so you all can experience romance in the fictional town of Romance, Oregon. With only one week to go before release day (squeal!), I thought I’d share 7 fun facts about my story from the set.

7 Fun Facts about Chasing Romance

  1. I got the idea to make the main characters songwriters because I used to write songs waaaay back in the day (aka. college). I wrote the lyrics and my best friend created the melodies. It was something fun we did that took our minds off studying. Along with a couple of other friends, we came up with a song for our college fellowship group called, At the Crossroads. I believe they were still singing the song a few years after we graduated!
  2. I returned to my songwriting roots and wrote the lyrics for two songs in this story. Unfortunately, the words don’t have music to go with them, but that means you get to make them up as you read. 🙂
  3. The teenaged girl in me might have a slight crush on singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes, which is why Chase Lockhart is based off him. I also might’ve listened to his songs non-stop while I was writing this story.
  4. Izzy Sutton was inspired by Rachel McAdams and the strong and sassy characters she usually plays. While I was researching for this book, I found out that Rachel McAdams is actually Shawn Mendes’s real-life crush! Talk about art imitating life. 🙂
  5. Thor, the black lab/pit bull mix, that Izzy adopted in the story is based off my sweet fur-nephew of the same name. He went through some rough times (the injuries I wrote about in the story are real), but is now so happy in his forever home with my sister, bro-in-law, and niece.
  6. I’ve never been to Oregon before, which meant I had to do a lot of research to make it seem like I knew the area well. Thankfully, one of my beta readers who had lived in Oregon for a few years said I managed to fool her. 😉
  7. Why did I write an older woman/younger man story? Um … I don’t have a good reason, other than wanting to try something different. LOL. I personally don’t think I’d fall for a man eleven years younger than me, but it was fun to toy with the idea as I wrote this story. I made sure though to keep the romance believable and grounded in more than physical attraction. There is some of that, but ultimately, the characters’ shared passion for music keeps them together.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Fall Into Romance, make sure to do so before the price goes up! This set of ten stories will for sure get you in the mood for pumpkins, apple pie, hay rides, and more! And if you love animals of all types—dogs, cats, pigs, horses, and even roosters—you’ll enjoy the ones featured in these books.

Welcome to Romance! Pies are baking and leaves are falling. This fictional Oregon town has plenty of love in the air. Fall Into Romance, a box set of 10 heartwarming romance novellas by USA Today and National Bestselling authors, will bring you the best of the autumn season. It releases October 5th. Order it today for just $4.99.

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0749T1Z89

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fall-into-romance-stacy-claflin/1127045367

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fall-into-romance

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fall-into-romance/id1264676338

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=6mouDwAAQBAJ

And Chasing Romance is now available as its own novella, with a never before published exclusive interview with Chase Lockhart!

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076QHB5CJ/