Back in November 2012, I had a plan. I had already self-published one book but it wasn't moving much on Amazon and I wanted a way to keep my name out there until I could write my next novel. My plan? I was going to put a Christmas novella out there for free. So I was already participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and ended up writing "The Christmas Cottage" in eleven days. I went on to quickly edit it, designed my cover using free online programs and was ready to put it out there for the masses except...Amazon would not let me do it for free. So I rolled with the punches and put a price on it and hit publish.
It was a holiday bestseller.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself and went on to write the continuation of the book, "Ever After". It never did quite as well as "The Christmas Cottage" did, but I learned a lot during the process - how to market and promote and the importance of cover design - and "Ever After" was the book that really convinced me that I could be a writer, an author. Although I also learned that you have to have a pretty thick skin to be a writer because reviewers aren't always kind and if they don't like something about your book, they are going to tell you!
Basically, the story is about a family folklore about a cottage and how any couple who spends the night in it will have love everlasting. "The Christmas Cottage" opens with that line and Lacey Quinn is listening to her best friend Ava talk about all of the wonders of the cottage and how important it is for her to spend her wedding night there. Ava is...well...she's a bridezilla on steroids. She's obsessed with planning her wedding, but she's not so thrilled on who she's marrying. Lacey's job is to be the supportive best friend and to get the cottage ready for Ava's wedding night. But she's not doing it alone - oh no...- she is going to be assisted by Ean Callahan - Ava's brother and Lacey's long-time secret crush.
I won't give the story away but I will say that there is a snow storm and a couple DOES spend the night in the infamous cottage. But which one? Let's just say there are quite a few misunderstandings and confessions and in the end, there is definitely a happily ever after. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out exactly who gets it!
The following Christmas I re-did the cover for "The Christmas Cottage" just because people told me the original was lame and I have to admit, I loved the new look.
"Ever After" is really Ava's story and basically picks up about eight months after "The Christmas Cottage" ends. You'll get to catch up on Lacey and Ean's story but this time, our bridezilla is the heroine.
On October 6th, the two books are being re-released as a 2-in-1 duo in paperback and ebook. You can still get the books separately in ebook version as well, but I'm excited for readers who maybe haven't read either of the stories to be able to have them together in one book so the story can continue with ease.
Here's an excerpt from "The Christmas Cottage":
Curiosity got the better of him and he picked it up on his way to the table. “What’s this?”
Lacey let out a small laugh. “That,” she began, “is your sister’s dream of what this cottage should look like for her wedding night.”
Ean opened it and looked at the labeled tabs. “Food…flowers…lighting…” He looked at Lacey. “How many categories are there?”
His eyes bugged out a little on that one. “Are you supposed to completely remodel this place? Does this say furniture placement?” he asked incredulously. “How does she expect you to do all of this alone?”
“Oh, you mean you didn’t get the memo?” Lacey asked, ready to witness on Ean the same exact expression she’d had when Ava told her the news.
“What memo?” he asked slowly, not liking the look of mischief on her face.
“As best man and maid of honor, it is our job to get this place ready for the newlyweds.”
“You heard me; you and I get the great honor of setting the scene for your sister’s wedding night sex.”
Ean dropped the binder to the floor as if it had burned him and glared at Lacey as she laughed. Her face was full of merriment and innocence and she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Lacey had been a pretty girl, and even in the awkward teen years it was possible to see the woman she would become, yet none of that prepared him for the woman sitting across from him. She simply took his breath away, and right now, when she finally let her guard down, he felt like he was looking at the sun.
“I am not facilitating my sister’s sex life,” he began.
“Oh, lighten up. She’ll be married and she wants the cottage and her wedding night to be perfect. There are diagrams…”
“Please tell me they’re of the floor plan and not anything…else.” His appetite was slowly fading at that disturbing thought, but then Lacey laughed again.“The floor plan, color schemes, foods…she’s clipped things out of magazines, she’s very organized. Part of me loves her for it and another part of me wants to beat her with the binder. She’s fixated on this place.”
Here are the links:
Christmas Cottage/Ever After duo: http://amzn.to/1FxtFsv
Christmas Cottage ebook: http://amzn.to/1KGeRGL
Ever After ebook: http://amzn.to/1QJ5Myy
Barnes & Noble
Christmas Cottage ebook: http://bit.ly/1Rc43CG
Ever After ebook:http://bit.ly/1JyTYte
Christmas Cottage/Ever After duo: http://bit.ly/1MVlQzg
Christmas Cottage/Ever After duo: http://apple.co/1P2bfSz