Today is the day! Here it is, my 4th book, DESERT FLOWER. Wow. What an amazing journey it has been to get to this point in my writing career. There have been many ups and downs, but I'm thankful to say it has all been worth it.
When I wrote DESERT RICE, I'd never been so overcome by a character as I had been with Sam. She sat on my shoulder, day after day, whispering her story into my ear. It sounds spooky, but in all honesty, it was AMAZING. That book came fast and furious. It was also a very emotional book to write. It touched on subjects I'd never planned to delve into (that's the awesome thing about being a pantser and not a plotter).
So when I completed the book, I planned to take a writing break. I needed a breather. Just for a little bit. But dang it! Sam would not let me be. She kept knocking on my brain until I pulled out the laptop and started writing more of her story. I think my writing break/breather lasted all of two days.
With everything Sam had endured growing up, how in the world would she be able to navigate through boyfriends, love, and life now that she was nineteen? How would she handle sex if that situation presented itself? These questions, plus a whole lot more, spurred the writing of DESERT FLOWER. And once again, this book came spilling out fast and furious. It was also very emotional to write as well and several scenes were difficult to write. Now that it is complete, I have this little voice in the back of my head saying, "Write book number three." It's there and it's pestering me. So who knows? Maybe there will be more of Sam in the future.
I do have to say, Sam is by far my most favorite character that I have ever written, with Boone coming in a good #2, of course. She tugged at my heart strings and my greatest hope as a writer, is that she will capture your heart as well.
This book is being labeled as Upper Young Adult/Woman's Fiction. Yes, Sam is a teen. But keep in mind this book does deal with some adult topics. So parents, read it first and then decide if this is a good fit for your 16+ teen.
Now that this book is out, I'm looking for feedback. Good, bad, in between (fingers are crossed for good, though). I do think this book can stand on its own, with enough background for any reader to understand her situation. But in saying that, DESERT RICE should probably be read first just so you can get a feel for the characters and their history.
I would love to giveaway a few copies of DESERT FLOWER to anyone who has the time to read within the next week or two, and who would be willing to put up an honest review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc... THAT is the only way I will know if this book works and if Sam makes the impact I'm hoping for. The first 10 people to leave a comment, who truly want to read this book and help me out with a review, I will gladly give an ebook copy of their choice (ePUB or MOBI). So leave a comment, make sure to fill out the blank with your email addy and I will get you a copy right away :)
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in writing it.