It's official! The print version of Back to December is available on Amazon. Now, just so you know, I don't make the big bucks on the list price. Really, that's mostly the printing costs. I'm just offering it because, well, it's cool to think I might be in print somewhere (and you know I'm buying one, right? Because I want to see ME on my bookshelf!) and there are still people out there who want to feel a book in their hands. Me, if I can save $ and a tree by purchasing the Kindle version of a book, then that's what I'll do.
Anyway, to celebrate the excitement of the print release, I'm offering the Kindle version for $0.99, a price that's now good through the end of Tuesday, September 3. I wasn't sure exactly when the print edition would be live, but since it made its debut sooner than I expected, you all benefit by getting an extension of the Labor Day weekend sale. Act now! The offer only lasts through tomorrow.
In related news, I'm working on several other parts of the series at once. I'm in-progress with edits for book 2, Only One. I've made a few changes that I think make the story flow better and that should improve other, less tangible things. I had an early reader indicate that they didn't much like Jenna, the heroine. Well, we can't have that. I'm not going to change her, just show a little more of her true character, which may not have been as evident before.
I'm also making some edits to book 3, Right Here Waiting. Some of what I'm doing is structural alterations that don't really affect the plot itself but transform how the plot unfolds for the reader. I can't wait for you to finally get a chance to read those stories! In due time.
As for writing, I've been a slave to the muse of Charlie Ward's story, Better Be Home Soon. For those of you who haven't already read Back to December (who are you people? Get on it! Just kidding. Sort of), Charlie is Emily's youngest sister. She gets married at the end of that story - not a spoiler, since, well it's not Charlie's journey. What, pray tell, could we have to learn about Charlie? She's married, right? She already had her epic romance off stage, already got her happy ending! I knew when I wrote Back to December that things would never be what they seemed. They aren't in real life, are they? But until I started writing her story, I had absolutely no clue what would really happen with Charlie and her husband Dan.
This story is the end of the series arc - if you're familiar with episodic TV, you know the concept. Each show has its own plot line and with serial programs, that story somehow fits inside a bigger concept for the season, then the season fits into the bigger story arc of the show itself. The Ward Sisters Series starts with Charlie's engagement, the moment that changed everything in Emily's life. Once I realized I had a series here, I knew that it would end with Charlie. Where it took me on the journey was an interesting surprise.
And I'm still learning new, unexpected things. I've said this before, I had an 'aha' moment when I read Stephen King's On Writing and he compared authoring a work of fiction to the role of an archaeologist. The writer chips away at the story, brushing the dust from their find, until eventually, the whole thing is exposed. Sometimes, you get what you expected. Other times, you make discoveries that you couldn't have imagined in a million years. Emily's story was pretty much exactly what I had expected it to be, aside from the fact that it spawned an entire series of stories in my mind. But so far, there have been some crazy (okay, maybe not crazy - unanticipated) plot threads exposed for the other characters. And when that happens, I'm often amazed and exceedingly pleased.
We've got a while before you'll get to hear Charlie's story. After all, there are currently 6 full-length novels and two novellas in progress (often nearly complete) in this series, plus Back to December. And Charlie's story is, as I said, the final chapter. I hope when all of this is said and done, you're all just as pleased with how it turns out as I am.
For now, here's an updated list of the stories, their order and the main characters in each:
Book 1, Back to December, Emily Ward and Rob Deacon (out now!)
Book 2, Only One, Liam Neely and Jenna Ackerman (coming this fall)
Book 3, Right Here Waiting, Meghan Miles and Neil Murphy (coming late 2013/early 2014)
Book 3.5 Why Buy the Cow? (or Buying the Cow), Eddie Besson, Reggie Reynolds and Jill Daigle
Book 4, This Year's Love, Annie Ward and Josh Ricker
Book 5, Just Realized, Nina Jacobs, Owen Nichols and Noah Adams
Book 6, Think of Me, Noah Adams and Catie Neely
Book 6.5, Tell Me What It Takes, Aaron Wallace and Ally Carmichael
Book 7, Better Be Home Soon, Charlie Ward, Dan Williams and Jack Armstrong