Continuing my writing journey

What’s next on Palm Court?

I’ve been busy writing books two and three in the Isle of Palms Suspense series. As you recall, in the first book, The Haunting on Palm Court, the story follows Blake Nelson and her journey to banish her ex-fiancé, Parker’s evil spirit, to the Other Side.  The next two books will follow different members of the Mason and Nelson families. Of course, I’m still promoting the first book to book clubs and across all of the major social media platforms.

Returning to Palm Court
My editor just sent her changes for book two in the series, Return to Palm Court. This story shares the perspective of Blake’s youngest sister, Brittany, who returns to the cottage to help manage the family bed and breakfast and care for her unruly niece. After a short time, Brittany realizes that the ghosts of their past may not have been laid to rest after all.  I can’t wait to see what these early readers have to say and get the book to my beta readers and editor. I’m hoping to release this novel in May 2021. 

Book three–don’t forget the middle child! 
While I’ve been waiting to hear back from my alpha readers, I’ve started working on the third book. It’s still early to share very much about this project, but readers will learn more about the middle Nelson sister, Elaina – as well as how her gift differs from the rest of the family. I had to show the middle child some love!  

Embracing family connections 
All of the Nelson sisters are different, and the books reflect these differences. However, readers will find one constant–sisterhood, love, and strong relationships, especially among the women who kick butt while protecting their family. 

I published a book!

I released The Haunting on Palm Court on Sept. 1, 2020. Read the synopsis and more information below.

After Blake Nelson catches her abusive fiancé, Parker, with another woman, she seeks serenity at her late grandmother’s beach cottage. He follows Blake to the island and attempts to kill her, but instead, he dies in an accident while fleeing the police.His malevolent spirit returns to the cottage to finish what he started. The haunting intensifies when Blake reconnects with her first love, Clint. Will Blake discover how to banish Parker before it’s too late?

Thank you for reading my synopsis of The Haunting on Palm Court! You can view my book trailer here. Check out my blog for updates on my writing career. Also, I created a fun, companion coloring book, Pearls of Wisdom, which features the Southern sass of grandmotherly guide to the paranormal Nancy Parsons.

Share this:

Writing with my funny galentine

When you meet some people, you know they’re meant to be your friend–call it friends at first sight. For me, this is my pal, Kelly. We’ve worked together in our corporate comms day jobs for a few years now. Despite living almost 1,000 miles apart, we’ve always found ways to support each other’s interests outside of work.

This week, we’ve had the opportunity to share two collaborative projects. First, I got to share the story of how she fell in love with a golden retriever, then, his human, at her local dog park on the Chewy.com PetCentral blog. Kelly and her husband have been married for almost five years now and have made a loving home for their sweet dogs.  Seriously, this is the cutest of meet-cute stories I’ve ever heard.

Secondly, Kelly asked me to write about what recharges me for her Happiness Recharge blog. You can read about my love for the ocean and how it restores my soul.

I’m continuing to query my novel, and I’ve been working on a couple of other fiction projects. Being a published author and a great friend, Kelly has supported me throughout the process. I’m thankful for her friendship and the many ways we’ve been able to work together.

 

Writing news

Local beauty

Whoa! Where have the past two months gone? So many great things have happened, and I’m excited to share the news.

For my day job, I had the opportunity to share the story of my co-worker, Joram Kimenyi, who has started a nonprofit to help farmers in Rwanda grow crops in less than ideal conditions and terrain. Also, I covered an article about encouraging women to use their “super powers” to affect change.

Travel writing has been a life-long passion of mine, and I jumped at the chance to do some freelance work. I wrote articles about Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, the Southern comfort food at the Grit Counter in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and, just in time for Halloween, the Ghosts of Charleston tour.

The most exciting news is my first book, the Cottage on Palm Court, was selected as a suspense romance category finalist in the San Francisco Chapter of the Romance Writers of America Heart-to-Heart contest. I received some valuable feedback from the judges who are literary agents, editors or published authors. Since my book hasn’t been published yet, I plan on applying their recommendations to polish my manuscript.

 

 

Nashville hot chicken — the spice of life

Nashville day-trip visitors looking to choose a hot chicken restaurant might find themselves in a bit of a pickle–selecting just one spot. So what’s the solution? Make more stops and share with a friend!

There are solid standbys like the trendy Hattie B’s and the original Nashville institution, Prince’s. And there are at least 10 other restaurants that specialize in hot chicken, with the firey entrée popping up on even more menus more every day.

This weekend, my husband and I decided to have hot chicken from Helen’s and Big Shake’s delivered to our Music City hotel room.

My husband, a fan of spicy foods, jumped at the chance to order Helen’s Hella Hot. While eating the first couple of bites, he seemed to be enjoying the flavor. However, a few moments later, I couldn’t help but notice him gulping down his Splenda-sweetened tea and reaching into our mini fridge for some Halo Top ice cream. After I teased him a little, he admitted the chicken had earned its name. Knowing he has a high tolerance level, I was afraid, but, when in Nashville, eat the hot chicken. Indeed, the Hella Hot bit back. I joined him in extinguishing the flames with ice cream.

After our tongues stopped smoldering, we dove into a piece of Big Shake’s next-to-hottest flavor, Rambo, and the medium spice-level Stop-Drop-and-Roll. Rambo did not leave either of us breathing smoke but did have a very good flavor, and Stop-Drop-and-Roll’s heat was even tamer. We shared the opinion that Big Shake’s breading and amount of crispiness were perfect. Also, we were impressed by the extra cheesy macaroni and cheese and the Belgian waffle we used for sopping up the extra sauce. Big Shake’s also boasted what my husband referred to as probably the best beans he’s enjoyed in his life — no small praise!

While not an inferno ala Helen’s, Big Shake’s was delicious. We look forward to visiting both restaurants in-person and continuing our mission to try as many Nashville Hot Chicken restaurants as possible. 

If you find yourself in the greater Nashville area, there are several Helen’s Hot Chicken and Big Shake’s Hot Chicken locations dotting the map. Check their sites for business hours, current pricing and a list of affiliated delivery services.

Writing about my forever home

As a journalist I was taught never to write about myself or from my perspective unless I was writing an opinion piece. Needless to say, writing about my husband’s and my decision to stay in our starter home, as a retirement planning tactic, was unchartered territory for me. However, I am proud of our decision and the resulting article. If you haven’t read the story, you can check it out on the U.S. Bank Newsroom.

Horizontal-IMG_4088

Writing my first novel

Header

I am refining the second draft of my first novel, The Cottage on Palm Court, a Southern paranormal romance. I would like to thank all of my beta readers, especially my husband, mother-in-law, sister and my dear friend and talented author, Kelly Stone Cramer. You have helped me take my first draft and turn it into a captivating manuscript. I am grateful for your support!

Stay tuned for more details about my novel. I am excited to see where this journey takes me!