Amy Atwell is on a writing retreat, and she recruited the talented Liberty Blake to stand in for her. I was blown away by Liberty’s guest blog, and now that I know her, I’m looking forward to reading her books. One lucky commenter will win an ecopy of THE COUNTERFEIT BRIDE. Enjoy!
Congrats to Xoun J. for winning an ecopy of THE COUNTERFEIT BRIDE!
The Life of a Late Bloomer
It’s Never too Late to Follow Your Dream
I didn’t get my period until I was sixteen. I didn’t grow breasts until I was pregnant with my first child. Child number two and I started college at the same time as child number three started high school, child number four entered kindergarten, and child number five went to pre-school. I didn’t get published in fiction until after my fifth grandchild was born.
I am a late bloomer.
But being a late bloomer never stopped me from living life.
The Period! Even though all my friends had “become women” years earlier. I didn’t have to worry about leakage or cramps in front of everyone in school. I was able to dance and enjoy life, even though the other girls teased me about my womanly status. (Back in the old days, they hadn’t done the research that showed that girls who were dancers, gymnasts, or runners tended to have very little body fat and so didn’t get their periods as do their heavier counterparts.) Once I got my period I realized it was not all it was cracked up to be!
Breasts! There have been many times, especially lately, when I look back fondly on those days of having small, perky breasts. The toll of five pregnancies with a year of nursing attached to each made my cups overflow and make mammograms more uncomfortable than they need to be!
College! I loved college!!! In spite of being a “non-traditional” student, I was my class president for all four years. I had my own radio shows, and my student government sent me as one of their representatives to Texas A&M for a leadership conference. I also took a cross-discipline class in Ancient Greece and for spring break we went on an academic field trip to Greece. In spite of my advanced age, (remember I had one daughter in the work force, one in college, and another in high school, one in kindergarten and a son in pre-school) I had the time of my life!!! I worked my way through college as an office clerk, a dance teacher, and I delivered Chinese food. I was even made an honorary member of a fraternity. (I went to bat for them whenever they were in trouble with the Dean, which was a lot.) I gave the speech at graduation with my children and grandchildren in the audience.
Through all this, there were two constants in my life. My love of books and my soul deep desire to write.
Writing! As a busy working Mom I read anything I could and I would try to squeeze writing in whenever I could, but I was too easily distracted by life and to be honest, my early efforts left a lot to be desired. I didn’t stop. I continued to write. I took refresher English classes at night school. (I didn’t want to lose my grammatical skills.) I religiously devoured The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. I felt it was important to teach myself to be a better writer. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again. (It wasn’t easy, I started my journey in the days of manual typewriters, and I am a lousy typist, which meant sometimes I would have to type out the same page over and over again.)
After college I finally found two writing groups, NECRWA and Rhode Island Romance Writers. My soul had found its home. Every month I attended meetings, took extensive notes at workshops, and I continued to read.
I wrote and rewrote. My skills were improving daily. Then I had two babies handed to me!
I learned that you can indeed write with Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse playing in the background.
A new publisher had put out a call for short Christmas stories. I wrote Christmas Spirit in less than a month (which for me is fast) and rewrote it so many times it flowed like warm oil over a well-muscled body. I sent it in and went to Canada with a friend for a writers retreat. While I was in Canada I received an e-mail offering me a contract. I had just made my very first sale on a story I wrote while singing the “Hot Dog” song to a toddler and dancing with a baby in my arms!
I recently took a realistic look at my age and the publishing community. I decided that it was lovely to have the validation of having a publisher want my work, but waiting upon their pleasure and their time schedule was not the best route for me.
I have worked for decades, in fact a lifetime, honing and improving my craft. I was ready.
On April first I published my first novel The Counterfeit Bride.
I utilized my college travel and based my heroine in Texas and my hero is a Greek tycoon. I love reading category romance, and that is what I wrote. I hope you will give Cassidy and Theron a chance to steal your heart the way they did mine.
The Counterfeit Bride’s Blurb & Links:
Texas rancher and bar owner Cassidy Flynn is shocked to learn the bride’s name in an upcoming high society wedding – Cassiopeia Dolmides. Cassidy is a woman of secrets; the deepest is the identity she was born with and thought she had escaped long ago. If this bride is impersonating Cassidy, what trouble will that cause Cassidy and her infant son?
Greek tycoon Theron Christofides needs to gain possession of Dolmides Cruise Lines and the little Greek island where it left a shipwrecked eyesore. A lot of people are at risk without his intervention. Old man Dolmides will sell on one condition: Theron must marry Dolmides’ illegitimate daughter. Seeing no other way to rescue the island’s people, Theron agrees to sacrifice himself and his future.
As Theron stands at the altar with his bride-to-be, a fiery-haired woman in snakeskin boots and a cowboy hat interrupts their vows by calling his bride a fraud. In order for the wedding to continue, Theron must convince Cassidy Flynn to drop her lawsuit. Can he withstand Cassidy’s allure while he gains her cooperation? Or will they both be consumed by the fire of desire?
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