|Cathy and Liz Isaacson|
In November, I went to a writers’ conference in Las Vegas. Liz Isaacson, one of my favorite authors, challenged us to publish a book by Christmas. She said lots of readers get gift money at Christmas and they buy books.
I didn’t really have any book ready. In fact, I had been writing for years but had never published a novel. But a seed was planted. I decided to revise an unfinished cowboy novella. And why not turn it into a Christmas romance?
It sounded simple enough.
It turned out the manuscript was full of highlighted passages in different colors, all comments made by my mentor in 2018 when I’d started writing the story. I thought I’d deleted them after I read them. Sadly, my mentor had died unexpectedly in late 2019, and reading her words was bittersweet.
So I began to revise, following her advice, and it felt like she was cheering me on. She’d written “Good,” and “This is a very nice section,” and “cut this.”
During one late night session, I reached this comment: “Cathy, hang on to this moment a little longer,
with the right emotion, it could be pivotal.” I let that sink in and kept going, inspired by what she was telling me. I was still at the computer when the sun filtered in through the windows. After catching a few winks, I hadn’t been up long when there was a knock on the front door. This was weird. It turned out to be my mail person and she handed me a box addressed to me.
My late mentor’s niece had sent a photo of her aunt, mounted on a heart- shaped piece of wood that read, “Friends are always together in spirit.”
I finished the short book and hired an editor to go through it with me to help polish and make it better. I had a friend who had designed a cover and she agreed to add Christmas touches. On Christmas Eve, I published Her Billionaire Cowboy’s Twin Heirs: Christmas in Fair Creek.
If you’d like to read the book, or if you know someone who might enjoy it, I’m offering it for free over the next week or so. There’s a website that offers all books for free and mine will be on there for three days starting July 8th. The link is here https://hellobooks.com/ It’s currently free at all online bookstores.
What are some of your favorite things to read about in books? I’d love to know. I also really enjoy knowing what people are tired of reading about! ☺
All she’s ever wanted was another baby and he’s got two that landed unexpectedly in his life. He’s wounded by a bad break-up with someone only interested in his money.
Single Mom Annie York and eight-year-old Chloe live above the diner, where she works for her cousin. She’s given up on finding love and is hiding a secret. She’s a subpar housekeeper, in the extreme. When Annie has a surprise reunion with Caleb Galloway from high school, they must join forces to care for his sister’s twin babies.
He’s a guy with everything in its place. She has no idea where anything is. But seeing Annie with his niece and nephew has him wondering whether he belongs right next to her.
Annie held her breath, turned the knob to let them in, and swung the door open. “Ta-da,” was all she could think to say.
Caleb’s eyes widened. His jaw dropped. She’d seen that reaction before and it was the reason she didn’t have people over. He appeared to arrange his face into a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Maybe a dump truck to go along with that shovel?”
She let out a shaky breath. Two bowls with dribbles of milk and the cereal box sat on the large kitchen table, among papers strewn all over its surface. Chloe’s pajama bottoms were on the back of one chair and Annie’s T-shirt and jeans from last night’s practice were draped on the sofa.
Annie sprinted in, grabbed her sports bra that was snagged over a lampshade, and tucked it under a sofa seat cushion. More discarded clothes covered her one upholstered, yard-sale chair.
“To be honest, I used to kind of beat myself up about this…I mean, sure, I really wish things were neater right now. Who wouldn’t? But part of me sees some advantages to being impulsive. Spontaneity is good sometimes. She looked at Drew and then Ella, who wouldn’t be here with two adults caring for them if Annie hadn’t acted on impulse. “So I’ve gotta take the good with the bad. And sometimes I can’t tell the difference myself. I’ve accepted that I’d rather be flexible and messy than rigid and neat.”
She did a one-arm sweep with the papers layering the table, sliding them into a nearby chair. Then she gestured for Caleb to set the babies in their car seats down on the cleared table.
“So that’s what people mean by ‘there’s a fine line between a weakness and a strength,’ huh?” he asked
He had listened to her, really heard her. There was something really attractive about a man who paid attention.
“That’s exactly my point.” She was talking too much but couldn’t stop, like her life depended on him understanding.
Cathy Shouse writes inspirational cowboy romances. Her Fair Creek series, set in Indiana, features the Galloway brothers of Galloway Farms. Much like the characters in her stories, Cathy once lived on a farm in “small town” Indiana, where she first fell in love with cowboys while visiting the rodeo every summer. Please visit cathyshouse.com for more information on discounts and new releases or to sign up for her newsletter.