Back To Me

Back To Me is my first full fiction manuscript.  It started out as a diary of sorts, but when I read the pages, I saw a novel.  So, many months later, it’s now a fiction manuscript.  I previously shared the first chapter over on my It’s a Swing and a Miss blog, but I have now moved it here.  

Here’s a little teaser for Back To Me:

Kate Dalton and Jake Bailey are each other’s boomerang love – the person who comes back when you set them free. At least that’s what Kate always thought, until one phone call changes her world forever. Now Kate must reevaluate everything she thought she knew about love and life.

You can check out the first chapter on the Back To Me page I created up top.  Come back this weekend if you’re curious about the “boomerang love” concept.  I think you’ll find we’ve all had one, and I’d love to hear about yours!

Book Review: Life After Yes

Life After Yes is the debut novel by Aidan Donnelly Rowley, who also blogs over on Ivy League Insecurities.  Somehow I missed her blog until I discovered the book, but it turned out to be a great read as well and is now loaded into my Google Reader.

This book caught my eye while searching for vacation reading at Target.  It wasn’t the pretty cover that pulled me in, however, it was the title.  I picked up the book because I dread reading books where I can predict the ending, and I correctly guessed this story would twist and turn in unforseen ways. 

Life After Yes is the story of Prudence Quinn O’Malley, who hates the idea of being prudent so much that she insists on being called Quinn.  Newly engaged, Quinn isn’t having the reaction expected of a bride.  First, she has a panic-inducing dream where she walks down the aisle to find three grooms (amongst interesting appearances by Britney and Nietzsche).  Quinn doesn’t pour over bridal magazines like a newly-minted bride-to-be.  She dreads picking out her wedding gown and has let the groom pick the wedding venue.  That’s the least of her problems though when she keeps finding herself attracted to other men: a guy at work, then her former boyfriend.  Add to it that she’s also still grieving over the loss of her father on September 11th, and Quinn is at a confusing crossroads in her life. 

Quinn is engaging and wonderfully flawed. Every woman will find some piece of herself in Quinn.  I was hooked when the back cover revealed she was a young lawyer, but that became the least of what made Quinn irresistable once I began reading.  Equally engaging was her hilarious, say-exactly-what-she-thinks (no matter how inappropriate) friend and colleague, Kayla, who I think deserves a novel of her own!    

I knew I would love Rowley as soon as I read the quotes that preceed the book’s beginning, which explain that she chose to break the “rule” that you don’t start a novel with a dream sequence.  She stubbornly (I would imagine) refused to follow the “rules” because this is where she thought Quinn’s story began.  She was right.

I also love to read novels told in the first person. Rowley does a great job of letting us inside Quinn’s head, while also developing all of the other characters into complex and engaging individuals. Not an easy feat when writing in first person!

I finished this one in 48 hours and would definitely recommend it to friends.  I’ll be adding Rowley to my list of attorneys-turned-authors (others include Kristin Hannah and Emily Giffin) that I can’t seem to resist!

Reed Callaway (Part 1)

Part of my idea for this blog was to play around with some characters in my head who haven’t warranted a full novel.  I’m going to have them each as a “guest blogger” of sorts.  I’ll label the parts of their story numerically so you can follow along.  I’ll also create a category for each character over on the right-hand sidebar.  I might do a Cast of Characters type page as well, once there are several residing here.  Until then, here’s the first one, Reed Callaway…

There is one word that has the power to repel any man, young or old, rich or poor, handsome or plain. 

“Lawyer,” I say, counting down: 3…2…he’s looking me up and down, trying to reconcile the long legs extending from a short red dress and the long, flowing blonde hair…1.

“You’re a lawyer?”  he asks, as if he could more easily comprehend a unicorn or a leprechaun appearing before him. 

Continuing the conversation is pointless.  It won’t last more than another minute or two.  Then he’ll retreat to the other side of the room so as not to catch whatever it is female lawyers exude from their being.  If you haven’t heard, this decade’s version of the black plague is carried solely by females with a law license.

I smile sweetly, “I sure am.  Do I not look like Perry Mason to you?”

“It’s just…” he says, stammering as he looks me up and down again, “female lawyers aren’t usually so attractive.”

“It must be that memo we get in law school, the one about how makeup and trendy clothes are grounds for disbarment.  Thanks for the compliment though.”  I flash another mega-watt smile at him.  I know better, but I secretly hope maybe this guy is different. 

He continues to eye me while he swigs the frothy amber nearly overflowing the glass in his hand.  I’m sure he never imagined I’d passed any bar other than maybe the one next door on my way in from the parking lot.

 There’s an awkward pause as he plans his exit strategy.  It’s easy to be psychic when you’ve relived the scenario night after night in every bar in town.

“Well, I just wanted to say hi.  My buddy, Reggie, over there,” he says, pointing back to his friends by the door, “it’s his last night before reporting to the Army.  Gotta go throw a few back for old time’s sake.”

I’m relieved when he scurries back to his buddies, no doubt telling them the crazy tale about the blonde who looked like a bombshell and turned out to just be a bomb. 

I finger the skinny straw protruding from my vodka tonic, rolling it between perfectly manicured red nails.  They’re fake, like my hair.  It’s not my fault I inherited weak nails and impossibly dark hair that makes my natural skin tone resemble paste.  As I stab at the lime in my drink with frustration, I wonder why maintaining my appearance means I can’t also be intelligent and successful.

Don’t men always say they want a smart, beautiful female by their side?  Who knew there were qualifiers?  She has to be smart, but not smarter than him.  She can make money, but he has to make more. 

Aubrey arrives and convinces me that it’s who I’m meeting and where I’m meeting them.  “Reed, honey,” she says, her voice as sweet and Southern as a Vidalia Onion, “you’re never gonna meet a man in a bar.” 

Continue reading “Reed Callaway (Part 1)”

Welcome!

There are three things in this world without which I cannot live: jeans, pearls and baseball.  Okay, so air, food and water rank up there too, but those are out of my control.  I dabble in control freak, so it’s those three things that I can control which define me. 

If I could only choose one item of clothing to live in for the rest of my life, it would be jeans.  I have them in every imaginable size, length, cut, and color.  I’m equally enamored of ones that adorn my backside with rhinestones as I am of pairs with button-flap back pockets.  If I really love a pair, I buy them in short and regular.  If you’re 5’2″ or 5’8″, that probably sounds crazy.  Try being 5’4″ and trying to find jeans that work with both flip flops and 3-inch stacked heels though.  I’d say it was annoying, except it gives me an excuse to buy more jeans.  A quick glance in my closet tonight found 28 pairs of jeans.  I prefer not to comment on how many of those I actually wear.

Perhaps it’s because I was raised in the South (by the grace of the big guy upstairs), but there’s nothing I love more than dressing up my favorite pair of dark wash jeans with a silk sleeveless shirt and a strand of big fat pearls.  I’m also prone to buying those in every color, length and size I can find.  You can never go wrong with classic white, but I instantly feel exotic when I slip into my Tahitian pearls and a slinky black dress. 

On a normal day though, you’ll find me pairing a baseball cap with jeans.  Especially if I’m flying.  My uniform for traveling by air is a pair of jeans, flip flops, a tank top and a baseball cap.  The hats have almost outnumbered the jeans in my closet at 22 and have their own dedicated shelf.  The Braves, Red Sox and Gators stacks are the highest, but I don’t discriminate; I have caps from the Cubs, Dodgers and Angels as well.

So, that’s me in a nutshell.  I wear jeans…a lot.  I think pairing dark wash jeans with pearls passes for evening wear.  And no one knows when I’m having a bad hair day, because I own enough hats to outfit two little league teams.  If you simply must know more, you can check out my About page.

As for what this blog will become, only time can tell.  What I can tell you is that I have a short story I’m going to put up in somewhere around four parts.  It’s my little way of bringing suspense to the short story.  I’m thinking I might play around with character development by creating a few characters who will live here at the blog and “guest post.”  I may also post the first chapter of my current manuscript BACK TO ME in the next few days.  You’ll just have to check back and see!