Calling All Coloring Enthusiasts!

I have a treat for you today! I’m happy to showcase a cool new product by an indie author friend of mine, Annie Douglass Lima. I’ve featured her books on my blog before (you can read the posts here and here). Today’s post is all about her coloring calendar Hide It In Your Heart in 2019. 

 

This 2019 calendar features a Bible verse for each week in creative fonts that can be colored in. A wide variety of holidays are listed, both traditional and unusual. (Do you know when Appreciate a Dragon Day is? How about Lost Sock Memorial Day?) You’ll have plenty of room to record your activities and appointments in the section for each day and week. After every month, you’ll find word puzzles featuring key words from that month’s scriptures and holidays.
 
Prepare for a year full of coloring and fun that will help you hide God’s Word in your heart in 2019 without even trying!

Now take a look at some sample pages! (In the actual calendar, each page is 8 1/2″ x 11″.) 
Clicking on a picture will open up a PDF of the left-hand page (just the part with the Bible verse, not the calendar week) that you can print and color.
Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

 

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

 

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

 

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

 

Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.
Click here to print the coloring page for this verse.

Click here to order a copy of Hide it In Your Heart in 2019 for yourself or a friend now!

 

Confessions of a Non-Stereotypical Asian

So here’s a joke you may or may not have heard of … A pediatrician, an obstetrician, and a scientist walk into an Asian restaurant …

To meet a romance author (me!).

Actually, to be honest, they were already seated and I was the one walking in (because hello, Asian time!). 😉

As soon as I sat down that evening, Sesame Street’s song, “One of These Things is Not Like the Other” began playing in my mind. I glanced at the faces of my friends, all of whom I’ve known since junior high, and immediately started thinking … They have real full-time jobs. They went to school for years and years to earn their Ph.D.’s in order to have these well-established careers. They actually have a title that you can check off on forms that’s more fancy than Mr. or Mrs.

And there was lil ‘ol me, a stay at home mom, with my lil ‘ol Masters degree working in a profession totally unrelated to said degree, who just wants to make enough money to support my boba tea addiction.

Yup. You can tell who’s the non-stereotypical Asian here. 😉

I wasn’t comparing myself with my friends because they think less of me—they are all very down-to-earth gals. I was comparing myself to them because I’ve been conditioned to believe all my life that Asians are supposed to be high-achieving, hard-working smarty pants in school who later on become high-achieving, hard-working adults in the working world.

But I’ve never been “one of those Asians”. Sure, I’m high-achieving and hard-working, but I’ve always been below the Asian standard for nerdiness. I only took one AP/Honors class in high school because anyone and everyone could get in (and I only passed, thanks to the help of some brilliant friends). I got accepted into UC Berkeley, but only for the extension program because I didn’t have the transcript or the SAT scores I needed to officially get in. I have never even taken a Calculus class (I dropped out the first week when I saw the syllabus!).

How’s that for being non-conforming? 😉

Instead, I ventured into the counseling field for a couple of years, even though many Asians shy away from anything having to do with mental health, and am now an author who often times feels like the “token Asian” among my author friends.

It’s taken me a few good years to feel more like a “real” author, someone who actually knows what she’s doing and has a job that is more than a hobby. And because I’m still a true Asian at my core (high-achieving and hard-working!), I want to do well as an author. I want to show people—Asians and non-Asians—that people who look like me and are from a similar background and upbringing can be successful without a Ph.D. behind their name. I’d like to pave the way for and inspire other Asians who don’t excel at math or science to do what they’re good at and what they love. I hope to see more Asians take a chance on being creative and to know it’s okay to not be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Asians can hold a variety of other professions as writers, directors, actors, artists, and dancers—and much more!

It always makes my heart happy to see people being creative, but it makes my Asian heart happy to see other Asians breaking out of the mold to be creative. Which is why I HAD to go support the movie, Crazy Rich Asians, on opening day. I even dragged an Asian friend to go with me. 😉 We are neither crazy nor rich, but we are Asians who express ourselves creatively, and we both truly enjoyed the film. I for one was blown away by the beauty of it all—from the soundtrack (which features Chinese covers of English songs) and the amazing set designs to the gorgeous costumes and jewelry. I also felt a bit nostalgic as I recognized some of the Chinese songs from the movie as ones my parents used to listen to when I was a kid.

The movie truly made my heart–both the creative part and the Asian part—happy, thankful, and proud. Happy because I love a good rom-com and the movie was well-done with just enough conflict, angst, drama, and laughs. Thankful because the older I get, the more I appreciate being Asian and all the craziness that comes with the culture. And proud because even though it’s hard to feel validated—by your family, other people, but most of all, yourself—as someone who is Asian and creative, this movie is living proof that it’s possible.

So, this is definitely a plug from me to go see the movie! If you’re Asian, and even if you’re not, Crazy Rich Asians is good entertainment. You won’t regret it!

In the meantime, enjoy this song from the soundtrack, Katherine Ho’s (no relation, haha) Chinese cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow”.

How does your cultural background influence your creativity?

Parenting for the Love of It

Happy August, everyone! And a warm welcome to those who are new to this blog. I’m so glad you’re here. I feel bad I haven’t been posting regularly, but there was a thing called life—and more specifically, kids—that grabbed my attention for the better part of three months! But school has started, so thank the Lord for that. 😉

Speaking of thanking God, there’s so much I’m grateful to Him for, even the life lessons I’ve struggled to learn. This summer was a big turning point for me personally in being able to tackle and overcome challenges. Because, for the first year ever, the munchkins spent their vacation at home instead of going to summer school. And I had to learn how to adjust my expectations and attitude—big time! Meaning, I had to throw my “me time” out the window and focus on my hardest, most challenging job of being a mom. For an almost only child who is a recovering perfectionist (aka. control freak) who happens to also be highly sensitive, this was no small feat. Mainly because I wanted to make my time with my kids enjoyable. Which meant saying no to yelling, to harboring resentment, and to putting my work first. Instead, I wanted—wanted, being the key word—to say yes to having fun together, to spending quality and quantity time, and to making my kids a priority in my heart, mind, and schedule. (Did I mention, I’m an overachiever, too?) But of course, wanting and doing are often two very different things.

So, did I make it?

Well, yes … and no. 😉 I was pretty amazed at myself (haha!) and would probably give myself at least a B+, maybe even an A-, for my efforts. My kids though? They’re a much harder crowd to please.

During our last week of vacation, I took them out for lunch to one of their favorite noodle places. While we slurped up noodles and crunched on fried won tons, I asked them what they thought of their summer. How did it compare to previous years when they had gone to summer school? How was it different this year since they got to stay home? I pretty much asked the question every which way possible, making sure to hint at the fact that it should have been a very different, totally more awesome, summer vacation because I, their amazing mother, had spent the better part of sixty days with them. I was practically shining my “Best Mother of the Year” trophy by the end of my speech.

And what did they say?

Nothing. *Cue the sound of crickets*

Maybe their mouths were too full to answer? Maybe they were so in awe of my sacrificial nature that they were speechless? Haha, nope! When my oldest munchkin finally swallowed his food, he replied with a straight face, “My mother yelled too much.”

WHAT?!?! How rude! (And yes, my kids like to refer to me in the third person for some strange reason. LOL)

When I relayed this conversation to hubby later, he tried to console me by saying, “The kids wouldn’t have said any of the things you wanted them to say.”

Hmph. Okay, fine. I guess it wasn’t realistic to expect them to break out in a round of applause and give me a standing ovation in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Or for them to break down in happy tears as they showered me with praise. Now that I’m thinking about this, I can see very clearly how out of my mind I was to have even asked the question in the first place. 😉 Especially since my pre-teens no longer think I’m cool and are more apt to roll their eyes and make sarcastic comments. (And for the record, I raised my voice a LOT less this summer! LOL)

Anyhow, I’ve come to realize that I can’t parent my kids expecting to receive anything in return. Of course there are appropriate times for good manners and etiquette, but when it comes to making sacrifices for my kids, it’s not a give and take situation. It’s a one hundred percent commitment on my part to be the best parent I can be. To care, lead, guide, teach, listen to and yes, to sacrifice for them because I choose to. Not because I’ll get anything in return.

You could say I’m parenting for the love of it.

Doing anything you’re passionate about requires time, endurance, and sacrifice. So much sacrifice. But it’s worth it. Because my kids are worth it. 🙂

What are you doing simply for the love of it?

Learning to Climb the Author Ladder

I realize it’s been a looong time since I last blogged, but believe me, it’s been on my mind! It’s just that what my brain (and heart) want to do often times don’t fall in line with that reality has to offer—which is 24 hours in a day. And boy, am I feeling the time constraints lately because I just realized my kiddos have about 2.5 weeks left of school! Where did the months go?! Eeks. I’ve come to accept that summer school may not work for us this year due to some things we have scheduled, not to mention, the enthusiastic cries of “Noooo!” that I get when I bring up the topic. 😉 So, what does that mean for me? I’m head-down, hunched over in the trenches of my laptop for the time being, trying to finish my current book.

The bad news is that I likely won’t be sleeping much for the next few weeks. The good news though? If I can keep up the momentum, I’ll be done with the second book in The Spark Brothers Series next month!

I owe a LOT to a group of four romance authors called The Writing Gals for everything I’ve been learning recently about writing and marketing. Thanks to them, I’m writing smarter and selling smarter. My productivity has improved six-fold (from writing 500 words a day to up to 3k sometimes!) and I’m actually excited about my job, even the oh-so dreaded marketing part of it. I’ve even been thinking about climbing the ladder—not the one on the munchkins’ bunkbed, haha—but the bestseller one.

When I worked in the corporate and non-profit worlds in my past life (aka. before kids), I never thought about, much less attempted, to climb the ladder. As an introvert, I’ve always liked to keep my head down and get the job done. It’s not in my nature to want to put myself out there and strive for promotions or advancements—I leave all the climbing to hubby who lives for it! But lately, I’ve been inspired to think bigger. To imagine and dream. To consider that I have what it takes—the skills, perseverance, and smarts—to succeed as an author.

What does this look like? Specifically, it means publishing more often and, to be frank, selling more. While I understand success cannot always be measured by numbers, it does help to see where I’m at and how I can improve. Selling more books means reaching more readers, which means spreading the message of love, truth, and hope I try to instill in my stories. If I can also earn enough to contribute to the family income in a substantial way (and thereby lessen hubby’s load), that would be the cherry on top of a delicious sundae.

So, this is where I’m at in my journey—learning to place one foot after another on the rungs of the author ladder. As you can see from the photo below, climbing requires a lot of planning and hard work, but most of all, support. Even someone as introverted as me sees the benefit of networking and learning from others who are further up on the ladder. I hope whatever journey you’re on, you’ll be able to find your village to help you grow. If I can help in any way in the area of writing and/or marketing, let me know!

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Here’s a fun and meaningful song about being yourself and letting your light shine, Sophie Beem’s “Glow”. It’s my go-to jam when I need a pick-me-up on the hard days of climbing.

What ladders have you strived to climb?

Behind the Scenes of My New Release: A Single Spark

In the midst of editing hubby’s sci-fi book last year, I got the itch to start planning a new romance series. The inspiration came one morning after I’d dropped the munchkins off at school. As usual, I had the radio on and happened upon the morning talk show of a top 40 station. The deejay had been sharing how she’d received a mistaken text from a man, a man she got very curious about.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

She did some Googling and located his Facebook profile. That’s when she pulled up his handsome photo and began spinning a wonderful romance in her mind. Guy texts girl by accident. Girl texts guy back. They strike up a conversation. One thing leads to another and bam!—they live happily ever after. Great, right? Except for the part where said guy is married. Oh, the disappointment! I really felt for the deejay as she shared her experience. It would’ve been such a great story if it all had worked out, right?

Right!

That’s when the wheels in my head began spinning out of control, leading me to come up with a story based on this very premise, and subsequently a whole series based on a family of five brothers.

Whoa baby!

It was my first time plotting out a whole series from beginning to end before I started writing. And boy, was it fun! I began searching for images I could use for the covers, and found five that worked perfectly. From there, I began coming up with character names, personalities and professions. Then I did some matchmaking and paired up each unsuspecting brother with a woman who would complement him well. I also had to figure out the obstacles to their happily ever afters and make sure they fell in line with some popular romance tropes. Here are some of the storylines you can expect in this series: frenemies to lovers, opposites attract, and marriage of convenience. I’m the most excited about this last one since it’ll be my first attempt at writing such a story.

This is also the first time I’m doing my marketing for a new release differently (thanks to the amazing advice of The Writing Gals!—if you’re an author, you gotta check them out). I won’t bore you with the details, but if you want them, feel free to ask!. Let me just say that each new book is another opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do, and this time around I’m a tad bit wiser and more patient. I actually sat on this book for a few months before I released it (I had another deadline to meet), and took my time getting the story “just right”. With feedback from my awesome beta readers, I spent hours fixing the beginning of chapter one and another few days making the last chapter believable and satisfying. I’ll admit I got frustrated a few times (or a lot!) in the process and wanted to throw in the towel more than once. But when I finally finished, I was thoroughly proud of myself and my stubbornness. Yay me! Haha.

I hope you’ll check out big brother Aiden’s story in A Single Spark. It’s at a special release price of 99¢ for a limited time!

Confessions of a Competitive Gal

Theodore Roosevelt was a smart guy. How do I know this? Because he’s the one who said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Image courtesy of flickr

Yup. And I should know. I may not appear like someone who keeps score (or maybe I do, haha), but I’m about as competitive as a quiet, non-threatening Asian girl can be. 😉

As you can imagine, this trait does not bode well for someone who works in sales. Yes, I spend a lot of time writing books, but the other part of my job is selling them. And boy, is that part hard.

Ever since hubby and I published the book we wrote together, he’s been asking me every day how many copies we’ve sold. When I showed him the latest results, all he could say was, “Wow, it’s not easy to sell books.” Haha. Amen to that!

There are so many methods that authors use to sell their books. Some spend hundreds of dollars on ads every month. Others release a new book every 4-6 weeks!  You can imagine how competitive this industry is.

For many authors, we write because we dislike numbers, but selling books is all about the numbers. The number of words you can crank out in a day, how many sales you make during any given week, your author ranking in your particular genre. It’s so, so easy to get caught up in the numbers.

I found myself getting caught up in this trap recently. I heard of some bestselling authors writing one to two thousand words a day, and wondered why I couldn’t do the same? Assuming I could keep it up, I’d be able to crank out a book every other month—at a minimum. Sure, it would mean some late nights, but I’m a night owl already, so why not?

Well, after attempting this kind of lifestyle for a few weeks, I realized why not. 😛 I realized the very reason that I had started writing—for the pure joy of it!—had all but disappeared from my heart. I had become a writing machine—cold and robotic. I no longer looked forward to creating characters and storylines. I had lost my passion for words. And it was sad!

After reevaluating my priorities, I took a step back—way back!—and decided to stop. To stop writing for the sake of selling. To stop staying up so late. To stop comparing myself to other authors who are able to write more and sell more than me.

And do you know what happened? I found joy in writing again. 🙂

The thing is, we are all on our own journey in life. No two people are the same. That’s the beauty and wonder of God’s handiwork, that we are unique beings created with our own set of abilities and passions and strengths. There’s no need to compare ourselves to another because how can you compare two completely different things? We are each meant to do what we’re good at and what we are able to handle. It’s as simple as that. (Kind of.) 😉

So, here’s to doing your own thing, wherever your passions lie, and to doing them for the pure joy of it.

What do you do for the pure joy of it?

Cover Reveal for Hubby’s 1st Book: The Time Rift

There were many things I looked forward to when I married my hubby nearly 17 years ago. I had hoped we’d have lots of fun together (check!), travel to warm destinations together (check!), start a family together (check!), and grow up through all of life’s ups and downs together (double check!). What I never expected us to do though was write a book—together. Yep, that’s a lot of togetherness in case you couldn’t tell. But that’s what marriage is all about, right? (Haha, gulp!)

So, the story goes (our story, not his story, which we’ll get to soon), hubby enjoys sci-fi movies, and about five years ago, he came up with his own idea for one. And since he doesn’t like to read or write (did I tell you we’re opposites?), he asked me to write it. Now, this is where I double checked the vows I made on our wedding day. Even though I hadn’t promised “to have and to hold and to write a book together”, I agreed to do so because I love my hubby.

Oh, how I must love him … because I had NO idea what I’d gotten myself into. LOL.

Writing this book together took five years to complete—that’s almost a third of our marriage. A lot of things happened during that time, including a big job change for him, a dozen books published for me, and the challenges both of us faced in raising our two munchkins. Whenever we could though, hubby would write a chapter here and there and I would edit (AKA rewrite) it. Thanks to the wonder of Google docs, lots of coffee shop visits (for hubby), some hair pulling (for me!), one title change, and some storyline revisions (thanks to the help of our awesome beta readers), we ended up with a grand total of 73,861 words.

Whoa baby. (Did I mention hubby tends to be on the wordy side? LOL.)

We are so relieved to be finished with this book. Now comes the exciting (and scary) part of putting it out into the world for all to see.

So, without further ado, here’s the cover reveal for The Time Rift!

Renowned physicist Lance Everett has two great passions: donuts and time travel. The only thing that rivals them is Juliet Bradley, the redheaded beauty who captured his heart at a college football game. After reconnecting with her a decade later, Lance can’t imagine his life being more complete. Even without a time machine, he foresees a happy marriage and a breakthrough in his scientific pursuits.

 

Until the unthinkable happens.

 

Now Lance is left searching for answers and questioning what he values the most. A chance encounter with a mysterious man offers him some unexpected solace, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime. But the stakes are higher than he ever imagined. Will he risk it all to gain back what he lost, even if the consequences can never be reversed?

You can pre-order The Time Rift now for only 99 cents*! If you enjoy sci-fi, especially time travel stories, we hope you’ll check it out!

*Release day will be March 21st, and the print version will be ready a week later.

4 Keys to a Sustainable Lifestyle

I’m going into my fourth year as an author, and while it’s not a full-time job (I’m still employed as a chauffeur, referee, and chef by day, haha!) it requires a lot more of me than I expected. Or, it could be that I tend to go “all-in” when I sign up to do something. If you didn’t know, us perfectionists have a hard time slacking off. 😉 So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I got very sick a few months ago during the month of November. Somehow (I say this sarcastically because no one was at fault besides me) I found myself with 3 book releases in the span of 2 weeks. On top of that, I had some extra family stuff to attend to, and I wasn’t sleeping much. Then … come to find out just last week … I had forgotten to pay a very big and important bill that month. Ouch! Realizing I had dropped the ball like that and then having to tell hubby about it—you can bet I’m not doing that ever again.

Can we say, lesson learned? Not only did I learn I have to write everything down these days (or else I’ll forget about it), I also learned the way I was living was not sustainable. I was barely getting by and my body knew it. Unfortunately, it took going to the extreme side of busyness for me to see this. But now that I know what is “too much” for me, I have a better sense of what is “just right”. And what helps me stay sane and healthy is holding onto these four keys to a sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Sleep enough. I hate to admit it when my hubby’s right, but he’s right about me needing more sleep. I used to stay up until 2AM to work, even though I knew I’d need to be up around 7AM to get the kids ready for school. Now, I make myself turn in at midnight, so I wake up feeling more energetic. More energy also means a less grumpy mama, which my kiddos really appreciate. 😉
  2. Let God in. The older I get, the more I realize letting God into my daily life isn’t about seeming more spiritual or feeling better about myself, it’s simply about survival. Life is hard, and being human is hard. Bible verses I used to skim through when I was younger make so much sense now and bring me peace and comfort in this crazy world.
  3. Ask for help. Eeks. Another thing that perfectionists don’t like to do is ask for help. Why would they when they have everything under control—or so they like to think. 😉 But asking for help is part of being human. And it’s good to give others a chance to love on you.
  4. Admit your limits. You don’t have to do everything. In fact, there’s no way you can do everything. And you’re not supposed to do everything. Even God took a day off. And Jesus rested. If you have any doubts, repeat these last two sentences again. 😉

This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but a practical way to start making some changes toward a more balanced lifestyle. I also highly recommend the following list of 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living. I recently stumbled across it online, and I loved it so much, I got it printed as a poster at Costco. I’m going to hang it up in our bedroom where I can see it every day. (You can click on the image if you’d like to print your own, too!)

Image courtesy of https://leoniedawson.com

The guideposts are a good reminder that we were made to be so much more than workaholics. We are meant to be authentic, compassionate, resilient, joyful, grateful, creative, and calm. So let’s let go of the things that suck us dry and cultivate the things that give us life. 🙂

I know I shared this song before, but it’s something that gives me life. And this particular performance brought me to tears. Here’s Keala Settle singing, “This Is Me”, from The Greatest Showman.

What things do you need to let go and what things do you need to cultivate in your life?

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.