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This is a deeply personal post. If you’re looking for light ‘n’ fluffy, come back to this another day.
Writing has been compared to many things. Here’s a new analogy to toss onto the heap.
It’s like struggling to get to the top of a hill and then seeing another, a bigger hill hiding right behind it. Ever done that? You were convinced you’d be on top of the world when you got there…only you weren’t, because it was only then you realised how much further you had to climb.
And the further you climb, the higher you get, there are still more to be tackled.
Five years ago, I dreamed of being a published author. That was my goal. My first hill (well second, maybe. The first was completing the novel in the first place).
Three years ago, I was gearing up to tackle that first hill. Getting my support crew in place. Scoping out the trail that would take me there. Readying the bubbly for celebrating with.
The following January I plonked my flag on the Published Author hill, and sat back to gaze at the rocky slope behind me. It had been a long, loooooong time coming. There was no time for celebrating though, my second hill beckoned, and then the third. They were a breeze in comparison to the first one, and I lifted my head high. I’d achieved my goal three times over. Already! In just six months.
I sat down for a breather and swapped tales with the climbers all around me. Some were just waving hello as they zipped through, others were going at a similar pace to me. Buddying up was good. Confidence inducing – and fun.
Getting published was cool. Getting published by a more influential press would be a much bigger hill. Likewise getting an agent (abandoned that as a non-starter). The Great Sales Mountain was scary to look at, with hundreds of tiny figures flailing around at the bottom. Every now and then, one writer would leap up, but they fell back again after a brief moment of glory. Did I really want to tackle that one?
I did some research. Compared notes with other climbers. Different routes, they all said, but each one offered different advice too. Slow and steady appealed to me, but even then I needed more equipment. More training. More support people around me. And none of it came for free.
So here I am, three and a half years into my current climb. When the sun shines, I sometimes take a pause, find a comfy spot to sit, and admire the view. I’ve come a long way, but I know that the minute I turn around and pick up my track, I’ll see the mountain in all its ugly glory again.
There are days, lots of them if I’m honest, when I think I’ve had enough. I’m battling the elements on a daily basis, going without sleep, neglecting my family and completely bypassing anything close to a social life – all in order to climb the next ridge. When it rains, and every step is trudging through mud, when covering even a few yards feels like more than I can dream of, I ask myself why?
Thing is though, I know when I break that ridgeline and peep over the top, I’ll be thrilled again with the view. The sun will shine, the peak will twinkle in the distance, and it will look achievable.
Having fantastic climbers buddying with me makes all the difference. They make the gloomy days fun. They hold my hand when I slip in the mud, and I grab theirs when they are floundering. We’re roped together tight.
We’ll make it. * HUGS *
If you want to read my first published work, a sexy little story about a psychic and a ghostly cowboy, take a peek at Come To Me.
$0.99 on Amazon
Summer Meadows is a gifted psychic, and used to seeing ghosts, but sexy cowboy Jack McKane is unlike any spirit she has ever encountered.
He doesn’t know he’s dead.
It’s a gorgeous sunny day today, and I’m feeling generous. If you’d like a gift copy of Come To Me, leave a comment and it will be yours 🙂
Summer, Lisa and the client – a middle-aged woman called Ellie who wanted to contact her recently dead father – settled around a small table in the client’s kitchen. The candles burned smoothly, their hands were linked and Summer had barely started to call in her head, when the cowboy appeared.
He stepped up to the table as calmly as though he’d walked through an invisible door. “Hello, darlin’.” His smile was for her alone, and his honeyed words washing over her made her stomach flip. .
Summer tried to hide her excitement. This time she wanted to keep him here longer, keep him talking.
“Hello, Jack. Nice to see you.”
He wore the same clothes as last time, the same wicked grin and look… That sexy little dimple flashed enticingly again. Her thoughts drifted towards salted caramel and doing sticky things with messy fingers. Her mouth dry and her nipples on full alert, she tried to order her wayward imagination. “We’re looking for Peter Fry this time. Can you help us?”
He stepped closer and then raised both arms above his head, stretching, before yawning. “Every time I dream about you, Shu-gah, you ask me some strange things.” He reached the edge of the table, mere inches away from them.
Summer feasted her eyes on his image. He looked solid – real – as though he were flesh and blood. She could practically feel the warmth pouring from his skin.
Hang on, what had he just said?
“You think you’re asleep, Jack?”
“Well, sure.” His smile dazzled her, literally made her weak at the knees. “How else could you be here? You’re hauntin’ my dreams, darlin’.” He moved to the side and stood next to her, close enough to touch.
Summer heard Lisa’s steady breathing, felt Ellie’s palm sweating in her own, but ignored them both, every atom focused on the man staring at her.
“I hope I didn’t hurt you last night. You sure are a pretty little thing, Sum-mah.” Slowly, gently, he lifted one hand, touched her braid and stroked gossamer light over her hair.
She felt it.
Like standing next to an electricity pylon, she tingled all over. The breath caught in her lungs, the words dying in her throat. She blinked – and he was gone. What the… She looked down. Her hands were still linked with the other women’s, the candles burning. Lisa and Ellie stared at her with matching bemused expressions.
“Did you see him?” It came out as a squeak.
Lisa shrugged. “See who? We’re still waiting for you to start.”
I adore Lisa Kleypas’ writing. If she published her shopping lists, they’d be worth reading.
When I told my book-buddy she HAD to read Dream Lake, she was unconvinced. An alcoholic builder for a hero? How was that sexy? Trust me, I replied. This book is way more than the sum of its parts.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
They say that opposites attract. But what happens when one has been devastated by betrayal and the other is so jaded that his heart is made of stone? Enter the world of Friday Harbor, an enchanting town in the Pacific Northwest where things are not quite as they seem and where true love might just have a ghost of a chance….
Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of the three Nolan brothers who call Friday Harbor home, he’s nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; they think the risk of pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him, Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?
Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startling gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoë, and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.
The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here.
Zoë and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space, and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it…
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There are few authors I’d pay more than $5 for. That tends to be my upper price limit for Kindle books, but Lisa Kleypas is on that list, and is pretty much a one-click no-brainer for me. Whether she’s writing contemp or historical, I know I’ll get believable characters, delicious sexual tension, and a story to make me lose track of time.
She weaves several stories together in Dream Lake. You have the primary romance between Zoe and Alex, the ghost and his search for his lost love, and then the stories of Alex’s brothers, Sam and Mark. They have their own books in the series, prior to Dream Lake, but this book plays catch-up a little, and their romances are woven through like shining strands of gold thread in a scarf. Just a hint though, and from Alex’s jaded perspective.
I love the Friday Harbor series. More than a contemp romance, there is just the tiniest hint of something other-worldly. Lucy and her magical stained glass that changes color, depending on mood. Justine and her spell-book, and Zoe, with her cooking. Her food heals souls, or at least, that’s how it seems.
“Maybe it’s something to do with the impression people have gotten lately… that if your life was graphed in a pie chart, half of it would be ‘shitfaced’ and the other half would be ‘hungover’.
When he sees the ghost in Sam’s house, at first he thinks it’s an alcohol-induced illusion. When the spirit sticks with him, he has to accept that either he’s insane, or there really is some kind of spirit world.
I loved the way the ghost gradually started to remember things:
the feel of sunlight, the hot slight weight of it on his skin
coffee, its bittersweet, earthy scent, the way a spoonful of cane sugar and a dollop of cream turned it into liquid velvet
Lisa Kleypas has a beautiful way with words. Her books are lyrical, almost melodic, the way they dance across the page. Her description of Alex, through Zoe’s eyes, is haunting.
How could she explain her reaction to Alex Nolan? Striking, unsettling, his features austerely perfect, his eyes bright as if lit with the last spare voltage of his humanity. He looked thoroughly disillusioned, everything that had been tender and hopeful in him now crushed into diamond hardness.
She felt as if she had to relearn how to breathe.
Thirty-two bars of music. The length of an average song. That was all the time it had taken for the earth to spin off its axis and go tumbling into a net of stars.
Falling in love with a man who doesn’t understand the meaning of love is catastrophic.
“You are my everything that’s ever been my favorite thing,” she wanted to tell him. “You are my love song, my birthday cake, the sound of ocean waves and French words and a baby’s laugh. You’re a snow angel, crème brulee, a kaleidoscope filled with glitter. I love you and you’ll never catch up, because I’ve gotten a head start and my heart is racing at light speed.”
Sometimes silence was easiest, when the only word left was good-bye.
There are some truly heart-wrenching moments in this book. I reached for the Kleenex several times.
“I found all your memories tonight. I’m keeping them safe for you – they’re waiting inside me like a heartbeat. And I’ll give them to you when the time is right.”
You don’t need to read the preceding books to be able to enjoy Dream Lake, but if you love intense contemp romance, you’ll definitely enjoy them.
Plot – beautiful
Characters – delicious!
Warnings – tissues may be needed…
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: August 2012; $5.99
Publisher: St Martin’s Press (a Macmillan imprint)
Author website: LisaKleypas.com