Monday, February 1, 2016

A FREE READ: MY "FUNNY VALENTINE" TO MY READERS

“Forget February” is the latest release in my Forever Finley Short Story Cycle—and a perfect read for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. But what is a short story cycle, anyway? And how can a story called “Forget February” be so perfect for Valentine’s Day?

A cycle is, simply, a collection of short stories that all stand alone and can be read in any order. Grouped together, they present a different picture than they do when read individually. It’s kind of like a TV show that you don’t necessarily have to watch every single week. You can even jump in mid-season and become a fan. (Isn’t that freeing? To be able to sit down and read a satisfying short all in one gulp? Especially considering what busy lives we all lead…It’s also a great way to unwind at the end of a long day.)

In the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle, the connecting thread is the town in which each story takes place: the heart-warming, magical, legend-filled small town of Finley, Missouri. A new story will be releasing once a month throughout ’16. “Forget February” is the third story in the cycle:






“Come December,”
the story that started it all, offers a slightly mystical storyline that, on its own, explores the impact a person’s attitude has on their experience (both positively and negatively). It’s a little bit romantic, a little bit mystical—Natalie, our heroine, receives comfort from the spirit of a WWI soldier named George Hargrove.





In “January Thaw,” the town of Finley is explored in depth for the first time—the sweetness of it, the comfort of it. Young people, we’re told, return to Finley, often before their thirtieth birthdays. On its own, it’s a story of friendship and forgiveness. Of bonds that can be twisted or pulled to fraying, but never severed completely.





In “Forget February,” we get the history of Finley—how it was founded on one man’s broken heart. (Amos Hargrove’s heart to be exact—notice he has the same last name as our WWI soldier in “Come December”?) A story about a broken heart sounds about as Valentine-y as the title, I know. But really, it’s not just about heartache itself—it’s a story about the beautiful things that can happen after (or maybe even as the result of) a broken heart.

“Forget February” is not a perfectly pretty Valentine’s Day card; instead, it recognizes that love—whether it’s love of another person or your life’s greatest passion—is clumsy and comes with plenty of bumps in the road. It’s perfectly imperfect, just like the object of the singer’s affection in the old standard “My Funny Valentine”…

“Forget February” is available as a free read for a limited time. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORDQUAKE!



My first short story for young readers is officially live!


Wordquake
Or: The Day Izzy Ashby Removed All the Words from Her Entire School




Do you honestly need me to tell you anything else? 


Fourth grader Izzy Ashby has literally shaken every single word out of its rightful place in each textbook, worksheet, and bulletin board throughout Eastwood Elementary. And it’s a complete disaster. Seriously…

Wordquake offers an imaginative, action-driven short story that's a perfect fit for teachers searching for a new classroom read-aloud--especially well-suited for reluctant readers.


Grab a copy:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

Coming soon to B&N

Enjoy!
--Holly



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

GET IN THE SPIRIT OF VALENTINE'S DAY WITH A NEW SHORT STORY

 

Is Finley more than a quaint small town? Do coincidences ever really take place in Finley, or is every stroke of good luck actually the mystical work of the town's founder, Amos Hargrove? Explore the possibilities in the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle.

Just released: FORGET FEBRUARY


A SHORT STORY OF HAPPY ACCIDENTS AND MYSTICAL EVENTS, PERFECT FOR THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE HEARTSICK ON VALENTINE'S DAY.

The legend of Amos Hargrove is nothing more than a silly fairy tale, according to the two people who are arguably the most broken-hearted in the entire town of Finley. His spirit does not still exist, and he does not play matchmaker or bring luck to those who need it...or does he?

Available now:

Amazon
iBooks
Kobo

Coming soon to:

B&N

The short stories in the Forever Finley Cycle are all stand-alones, and can be read in any order. Previous releases in the cycle include:

 

Come December


A SWEET HOLIDAY SHORT STORY ABOUT OPENING YOURSELF UP TO MAGICAL POSSIBILITIES.

Natalie is new to town, and feels invisible and painfully alone...until a mysterious stranger in a cemetery changes everything.

Available now:

Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
B&N

January Thaw


A SHORT STORY OF BIG DREAMS, SMALL TOWNS, AND FRIENDS WHO KNOW YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF.

Annie returns to her small hometown of Finley to celebrate her newfound success as an up-and-coming young artist...only to come face-to-face with Justin, her childhood best friend and a journalist who recently penned a scathing review of her work. Can an artist and her biggest critic find common ground--or have Justin's words destroyed their friendship for good?

Available now:

Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
B&N

--Enjoy!

Holly

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A NEW NOVEL: MILES LEFT YET



I’m delighted to announce that my latest full-length novel, Miles Left Yet, is now available. 

With Miles Left Yet, I move into yet another new genre, this time boomer lit.



Love Has No Age Limit


A road trip for a motley crew from the Granite Ridge Retirement Community—in a vintage Mustang convertible, no less—quickly turns into an adventure of second chances, fresh starts, and the discovery that love is never a landmark in the rearview mirror. No matter what the odometer reads, as long as there’s gas in the tank, there are always still new roads to explore...plenty of miles left yet.



Why boomer? 

In so many ways, it’s really a natural fit. This period of life (retirement or shortly thereafter) is often referred to as the “second YA.” It’s a time of redefinition, of finding and figuring out your place in the world now that the nest is empty and careers are coming or have come to a close. As many of you know, YA is the first genre / age group I published in—defining eras of life are extremely attractive to me as an author. It lends itself to great character development.

Miles Left Yet also allows me to indulge in a new kind of narration. A character has different revelations, different observations, a different sense of humor depending on their stage of life. A seventeen-year-old doesn’t have the same worldview as a seventy-year-old. In this book, my characters are more fully rounded—in many ways, my narration is richer because of their experiences and backstories.

I’ve got a bird’s-eye view of this time of life. I live with a boomer who is also my first reader and had a big hand in shaping these characters. One of the most powerful experiences in life is seeing yourself on the page—hearing your own thoughts being spit back at you, knowing someone understands somewhat the reasons behind who you have become. It was incredibly important to me that readers in this age group would find the characters to be authentic, and that readers of all ages would enjoy the heartaches and joys of my characters’ lives, which are no less now than they ever were—still full of verve, curiosity, and new beginnings. Nothing has come to a close in this stage of life. Instead, new chapters are just beginning. 


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