Tuesday, September 20, 2022

As promised last month, this is the first part of the first short story from The Art of Proposing. A preview of the next story will be posted on October 20th. Don’t forget to check it out.

Logan’s Turn

    Logan almost expected Violet to hand him a script when she opened the door.
    She said, “Hi. Come on in.” There was nothing in her hands.
    Logan followed her inside and closed out the chill.
    She sat in the old armchair and nodded for him to pick a spot on the couch. It felt like a performance review. When those were obligatory and unhelpful. “So I’m not sure how much I should beat around the bush here,” Violet said. “What exactly did Audra tell you?”
    “Too much,” Logan said. Audra had told him too much.
    “She wants you to propose on Valentine’s Day.”
    “Yes, I know.” He sounded more irritated than he’d intended.
    Violet smiled understandingly. She knew it wasn’t directed at her. “I kind of thought sending you to me for advice was overkill, but I didn’t realize she’d already spelled it out so clearly.”
    “You know Audra,” he said. Violet had been her best friend for almost five years. “She always spells things out more clearly than she thinks she does.”
    Violet laughed. “You should’ve heard her trying to tell me how to casually slip in how she mentioned she was hoping for a proposal without saying that was the whole reason you were here. I mean, I gave you credit for knowing I wanted to talk to you because Audra told me to.”
    He’d have felt a little weird about accepting an invitation to come over when Audra wasn’t home if he hadn’t known exactly what it was about, but knowing what it was about was the problem. “Since I am here, maybe you wouldn’t mind trying to offer some real advice?”
    “I can try.” Violet looked interested but not eager, which made it easier to put her in the middle.
    Not that Logan would have put her in the middle if Audra hadn’t already done it. He punched at the pillow next to him as he spoke. “This is what Audra said. She said, ‘You didn’t do it at Christmas. You didn’t do it on New Year’s or my birthday. I know you know what day is Monday.’ Then she moved on like she’d just dropped a little hint for me to ponder when I knew what she was saying even if she didn’t use the word propose and even before you wanted to talk about ‘something.’”
    “Hmm. Now I’m wondering how Audra got to be so persuasive. I mean, we both knew this was unnecessary and yet here we are.” Violet motioned between them with a bemused expression, as though she was trying to remember how she’d agreed.
    It was simple. Audra always tried to make other people happy, which made them want to return the favor. “I was already… I got the ring before Christmas,” Logan said. “But then I worried it was too soon after I…” He paused, not sure if Audra had told Violet about his accidental proposal and not wanting to go into it if she didn’t know.
    “After you sort of accidentally proposed?” she supplied, not bothering to hide how funny she thought that was.
    Audra had definitely told her. He nodded and continued. “I thought she’d want me to ask on a day that was already significant, but if it was too soon after the other thing, it might sound like a joke. Valentine’s Day is the last in a string so… But then she pointed that out. She told me when to do it and that she’s looking forward to being surprised. I can’t do both.”
To read the rest of the story, preorder the ebook on Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Bonus Content

Q. When was the last time you interviewed yourself?

A. Are you sure I’ve done that?  It sounds a little crazy.

Q. You definitely have.

A. I’m not admitting anything except that I don’t remember the last time.

Q. I think that means it’s time to do it again.  Don’t you?

A. No.

Q. It’ll be fun.  People love your self-interviews.

A. I don’t even know if self-interview is a real thing.

Q. It is.  And people love it.  This is an opportunity to spread joy.

A. You’re going with spreading joy as the reason I need to do this?

Q. Don’t you want to spread joy?

A. Go ahead and ask a question.

Q. When is your next book coming out?

A. The Art of Friendship will be available very soon, on August 27th.

Q.  Hey, that’s real news.  This interview thing was a great idea.  That’s book four in the Romance Arts series, right?

A.  Yes.  It’s the last book in the series but not quite the end of the series.

Q. Wait.  It’s not the end of the series?  That sounds like bigger news.  What do you mean?

A.  I’m writing a collection of short stories, proposal stories, one for each of the four guys in the books.

Q. Proposal stories!?  Where and when can I read those?

A. The first part of the first one will appear…

Q. Wait!  Can I guess who is going to propose first?

A. You could, but I wouldn’t be able to say if you’re right or not.  We don’t want to spoil anything if anyone else wants to guess.

Q. I’ll guess later then, but I think it might be the guy who sort of almost proposed in the book.  What were you saying about the first part of the first one?

A. It’ll be posted right here September 20th.  And then in October, I’ll post the first part of the second story.

Q. What about the rest of the first one!? 

A.  Well, this is where some people might think I’m being a little mean.  I’m going to make you wait until December.  A sample of the third and fourth stories will be posted in November and December.  And right after that, just in time for Christmas, the full collection will be available as an ebook.  I’ll provide links to make it easy.

Q. Can I guess what you’re calling this ebook?

A. Sure.

Q. Is it Four Amazing Proposals from Four Amazing Guys?

A. Uh… that’s a little long and… Remember how the other titles all start with The Art of?

Q. Right.  Theme.  Is it going to be called The Art of Popping the Question?

A. I actually thought about that for about five seconds.  But it’s too… not right.  The collection will be called simply The Art of Proposing.

Q. That would have been my next guess.  So when do we get to do this again?

A. Well, I did just explain how the posts are planned through December.

Q. Cool.  More joy in January?



Sunday, July 24, 2022

Quick Summer Update

The last Romance Arts book, The Art of Friendship, will be released on August 27th. A new book is always exciting. This time it’s also a little scary. I discovered a few continuity issues rather late in the game. Anyone who has read the earlier books knows the guys get together to play Tichu. (Fun fact: All the files for this series are still stored on my computer in a folder called Card Club Guys because that was the original subtitle.) They sometimes get distracted if the love interests come in when they’re playing, and they end up asking each other questions about the score or whose turn it is. Someone needs to know the answers to these questions. The writer needs to know the answers to these questions.

I got it wrong at least once when a character told someone he just dealt when in fact he had not. At another point, a character pops up in a scene he never entered. Someone else specifically said there were six people shortly before he shows up as a seventh. Oops. Oops. Oops. For the record, other people read the book and missed those things so it wasn’t just me.

Not that I’m trying to blame anyone. Whenever I have to go back and rewrite something, I run the risk of writing in typos and I thought I was past that point. The book will still be ready for release, just cutting it closer than I’d like.

In other news, the CMA book awards were announced this month. I was very happy to see The Art of Introductions earned an Honorable Mention. Anyone who hasn’t started the series (I’m sorry you’ve been so busy.) can take advantage of a 99-cent kindle copy. But only until the end of July.