Summertime…

…and the livin’s easy!

I mean, it’s actually pretty busy. I didn’t think the crazy mom calendar would start so soon – the kid is only four – but man, between vacation, summer camp, my upcoming school trip, my husband’s upcoming work trip, and swim lessons… This summer is flying by pretty fast!

We spent just over a week in Barcelona last month. A week was definitely not enough time, but we had a lot of fun exploring as much of the city as we could! You can read more on Go With The Goodwins.

IMG_5408
Harvard last year

I have the summer off this year, except for a three-week workshop coming up. It includes a week-long writer’s residency on campus. I’m kind of nervous (it’s the longest I’ve ever been away from the kiddo!) but I’m also really excited about this trip!

Since I don’t have any school work due at the moment, I’m currently sifting through the mess that I made of book number 6. I wrote it last year. (A year ago?! Already???) I used it as the premise for the TV script I wrote for school last semester. Then I dismantled it so that I could rewrite it. I’m in the middle of doing that now, and whew… I’ve never torn a book apart like I have this one. Once I cut out the now-irrelevant chunks, rearranged pages, and took all my notes, I stepped away for a while because I wasn’t sure where to start. The ideas are all in my head, but trying to get them on paper was daunting. And it’s summer. And I have been totally lacking in motivation.

Until I looked at the calendar one day, and realized that, hello, it’s almost JULY. An entire month, poof! Gone.

So I sat down in the living room, spread my chapters out all over the floor, took more notes, rearranged some more, organized my thoughts, and created my plan of attack. I’m about 30,000 words in so far and feeling good. Still have about 18 chapters to get through, some of which I will be rewriting from ground zero. But that’s okay… I’m enjoying it. I’m busy all day. I’m sleeping great at night. (Hasn’t happened in ages.) That’s what writing does. It makes me so happy, but it wears me out!

 

The Last First Date is LIVE!

The Last First Date is now LIVE on Channillo!

Head on over there and read the first installment absolutely free!

Last First Date

Beth Mulligan is single and kinda, maybe, possibly, ready to mingle. The recently divorced English teacher is all set to spend her summer relaxing and repairing her broken heart, but her friends and family have other plans. Her best friend sets her up on one awkward blind date after another. Her well-meaning brother tries to hook her up with some of his friends. Even her dad thinks she should sign up for a dating app.

As Beth spends the summer meeting and going out with new guys, her dates don’t always go as planned. In fact, most of the dates are awkward, comical, and downright disappointing. Still, once Beth gets back into the dating game, she’s hopeful that the next guy is the right guy and that their first date… will be her last first date.

Category/Genre(s): Romance, Humor, Adult Fiction, Short Stories
Updated: Every Other Week

If you’re not familiar with Channillo, the way I’d describe it is it’s like NETFLIX for BOOKS. For just $4.99 a month, you can subscribe to and read as many series as you like. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial membership!

Sneak Peek

twitter order

 

 

“I can’t do this,” Cookie said, throwing up her hands.

“Mommy, are you all right?” Emma asked, tugging on her skirt.

“I’m going to go lie down,” Cookie said, suddenly feeling very tired. She brushed Emma’s hand away from her hemline and, with her eyes down, made her way out of the kitchen and down the hall to the master bedroom.

She closed the door and locked it behind her, then slid down to the floor with her back against it. “I can’t do this,” she said to the empty room. She held her head in her hands and stared at the framed family picture sitting proudly on the dresser. “How am I supposed to do this, Scott?”

Cookie knew that Scott had probably left them a small fortune. She wasn’t worried about the house or the bills. She was worried about being alone. With three kids. With a teenage son who was just hitting puberty and would probably need his dad more than ever as he got older. With a young girl who was just old enough to understand what had happened and that her daddy was gone and was never coming back. And with an even younger girl who probably grow up and not remember much about her daddy because he’d been taken away so soon. How was she supposed to take care of them when she wasn’t even sure that she would be able to take care of herself?

There was a knock at the door. “It’s just me,” Connie said softly from the other side. “Can I come in?”

“No.”

There was a long pause, and Cookie hoped that her mother had left. But after a few moments, Connie asked, “Can I get you anything? Do you need anything?”

“I just need to be alone, Mama,” she said. “I just need to lie down.”

“Okay. I’ll check on you later.”

Cookie got to her feet and kicked off her pumps. She pulled back the covers on the bed and slid underneath them, pulling them up to her chin. She stretched out her arm and placed it in the middle of Scott’s spot on the bed. She had no idea how she would be able to sleep without him. The tears started falling again.

 

Pre-order – Amazon US  Amazon UK  Add it to Goodreads!

Check out some of the interviews I’ve done recently for Starting with Scratch!

Writing and Wedding Crashing: with Lacey Dearie

Author Interviews: Starting from Scratch with Jessica Goodwin

Coming to Channillo!

Besides working on a couple (very different) projects for school and trying to work my way through book #6 revisions, I was asked not long ago if I would consider writing a series for Channillo. I checked it out and thought it sounded pretty cool, kind of like Netflix for books! I contemplated taking book #6 and just running with it there, but the rewrites are so crazy, I decided to come up with something new. (I mean, why not?! What’s one more writing project!?)

I pitched my idea and the series was accepted. I’m hoping to publish installments every other week beginning in mid-late April. I’m trying to get ahead of my posting schedule and have been having fun coming up with Beth’s story.

Check out The Last First Date!

Last First Date

Beth Mulligan is single and kinda, maybe, possibly, ready to mingle. The recently divorced English teacher is all set to spend her summer relaxing and repairing her broken heart, but her friends and family have other plans. Her best friend Jen sets her up on one awkward blind date after another. Her well-meaning brother tries to hook her up with some of his friends – at his bachelor party. Even her dad suggests she start swiping away at a dating app.

As Beth spends the summer meeting and going out with new guys, her dates don’t always go as planned. In fact, most of the dates are awkward, comical, and downright disappointing. Still, once Beth gets back into the dating game, she’s hopeful that the next guy is the right guy and that their first date… will be her last first date.

Basically, each story will be another one of Beth’s disastrous dates… until she finally finds the one… and goes on her last first date!

You can read the first installment free! Channillo subscribers can read the whole thing. It’s only $4.99/month for access to all the Channillo series. All different genres, all different authors.

 

Spring Break Update and a new project!

It’s Spring Break! Time to get crazy!

Just kidding, I’m a mom.

So… a few months after I finished Starting From Scratch, I got this idea for another story that I wanted to write, but I was somewhere in my second semester of school, taking two classes, and I kept starting and stopping and then finally just trying to cobble some notes together so that if I decided to get serious about writing the story I could be super organized about it… and then the sleeplessness started.

Oh, the ideas. They just would not quit. I knew I had to get this story out or it would just keep bugging me.

For Mother’s Day, my super-awesome-thoughtful husband got me this novel planner. It was just what I needed to help me get my story organized. I mapped everything out. And I told myself that I would do my own NaNoWriMo in June. I would give myself some time off once classes ended in May, and then I’d get to work. I was taking a class over the summer, and we were traveling, but I wanted to see if I could bang the story out in like a month because it had been on my mind for so long.

I finished it on August 3, 2018.

And I’ve sat on it ever since. Haven’t reread it. I figured I would get around to editing it this summer.

EXCEPT… I decided to use it as the basis for the TV series I’m writing about in my TV class. I only have to write the script for the show’s pilot, but I started thinking…

If this was an actual TV show, what would it look like? What else would happen? How could I keep this story going?

And, oh my God, I haven’t slept right since the semester started.

Okay, that could maybe be the hormones or stress talking, but seriously… I try to go to sleep and think up some other new plot twist or story line every night. The rewrites on this story are going to be nuts. I have pages and pages of notes and ideas. So many ideas. I can’t freaking wait to get started!

And on top of that… I have a series coming to Channillo soon!

And there’s school stuff, of course.

It’s going to be a crazy spring break!

And by that, I mean… I’m going to be writing like crazy!

Currently reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Listening: Snow Patrol – Wildness
(Binge-)Watching: Parenthood

 

Since my last book…

I am always so envious of the authors that I see cranking out books left and right. And I am always so excited when I finish writing a book, but it usually takes me a while before I can start up another project. My last release was in 2016, nearly 3 years ago!

I actually started working on Starting from Scratch in the fall of 2016, but a lot happened and the project stalled for a long time.

In 2016, we lost our house (and everything in it) to a fire. We had to relocate to a temporary apartment for almost a year while the house was rebuilt. I didn’t feel much like working on that story for a while.

In 2017, I did a little writing here and there for BabyGaga, MotherHustle, and our local paper. I decided to go back to school. I started a master’s program in creative writing and literature.

Somewhere around this time I decided to start a family travel blog, called Go With The Goodwins.

We returned to our house in October of 2017 and I decided, despite being in the middle of my first semester of grad school, to do NaNoWriMo.

I think I finished Starting with Scratch in January of 2018.

Since then, I have also:

Taken a trip to Canada, Boston, and Florida.

Celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary with my husband.

Kept my kid alive for over 3 years. (Way longer than most houseplants.)

Written another book (number 6!) and am getting ready to revise it.

Taken 5 more of my required courses and started my last 2 required courses.

Started planning my thesis!

Handled the social media/publicity for my MOPS Moms group.

And volunteered to be one of the room parents for my kid’s preschool class.

Which is precisely why I need to remind myself of what I talked about in this MotherHustle post…

I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people. I’m doing the best I can, with the time that I have, and with everything else that I’ve got going on. And there’s even more coming soon… stay tuned!

 

What Order Do I Read These In?

 

One question I get asked a lot is what order people should read my books in?

The thing is, even though they’re not a series, you’ll end up finding that sometimes major characters from one book end up becoming minor characters in another book, or a minor character in one book ends up being a major character in another book.

With that being said, I’d read them in the order I wrote them. If you go out of order you might read something about a character you didn’t want to know just yet!

Start with Here We Go. It’s the story of Sam and Julia and their boyfriends/ex-boyfriends and their guy-friends who want to be more than just friends.

My next book, The One Who Got Away, is the story of Lucy and Jackson, high school sweethearts who find their way back to each other years later, only to learn that each of them is now involved with other people. Lucy’s best friend is Kate.

Kate is the main character of my third book, One of the Guys. Kate is an event planner who works for Julia, from Here We Go. (See what I mean? These people are everywhere.)

My fourth book is Clarissa Jean, Homecoming Queen. It’s the story of a woman who ditches her long-term boyfriend and heads back to the small town where she grew up. She tries to reconnect with her old friends – Cooper, Justin, and Polly, to name a few.

My newest release, Starting from Scratch, is all about Cookie. Cookie is Clarissa Jean’s sister, and they live in a small town, so if you’ve read CJHQ, then you’ll probably recognize a bunch of names in this one!

You can pre-order Starting from Scratch now! It will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on April 20th! And don’t forget it to add it to your Goodreads list!

Check out some of the interviews I’ve done recently for Starting with Scratch!

Writing and Wedding Crashing: with Lacey Dearie

Author Interviews: Starting from Scratch with Jessica Goodwin

New Release: Cover Reveal!

1546801482

Starting from Scratch is a story about dealing with love, loss, and new beginnings.

When Caroline “Cookie” Walker loses her husband unexpectedly, she doesn’t know if she can start her life over without him. He’s always taken care of everything. She’s only ever been a housewife and a stay-at-home-mom to her three kids. Her family, friends, and the gossipy PTA moms at her daughter’s school are worried about her…
and they don’t know how she’s going to do it, either.

When she finally decides that she needs to start her life from scratch,
she has to make some big changes. A new house, a new business! Her family undergoes some changes as well as her three children adjust to life without their father.

With all that going on around her, Cookie starts spending a lot of time with Dylan Cooper, a friend of the family who is in the middle of a nasty divorce. While Cookie is glad to have found someone who understands her feelings of loss, she’s oblivious to the fact that Cooper has developed romantic feelings for her. He eventually makes his feelings known and Cookie has to decide if she is ready to juggle three kids, a new business,
and a possible new romance… 
something everybody in town is talking about!

I started writing this a few years ago. But in December 2016, my family lost our home (and basically everything in it) in a fire, so for the longest time, I felt like all I’d been dealing with was loss. Usually, when things get tough, I can turn to writing as an escape, but not this time. It took me ages to go near this story again.

But once we got settled back in our house almost a year later, I decided that maybe it was time to pick up where I left off. I used National Novel Writing Month to hold me accountable and wrote 50,000 words in November. I finally finished this one in December 2017 or January 2018. (I was at the end of my first semester of grad school; it’s all a blur.)

After sitting on this one for months and reading and rereading and editing for over a year, I think it’s finally time to let this one out into the world!

You can pre-order it now &  it will automatically be delivered to your Kindle on April 20!

Check out some of the interviews I’ve done recently for Starting with Scratch!

Writing and Wedding Crashing: with Lacey Dearie

Author Interviews: Starting from Scratch with Jessica Goodwin

 

Back to School!

Tonight, I start my spring semester. I’m doing a creative writing independent study with a professor I adore and a television pilot writing class with a group of friends that I’ve “met” through our online classes. I am so looking forward to the next few months! I haven’t taken a screenwriting class since my undergrad, and that, sadly, was 20 years ago, so it may take me awhile to get my feet under me, but I have lots of ideas and am eager to get started! All the time off from school was nice, but it will be nice to get back into the swing of things.

I did get a lot of stuff accomplished, though. I’ve had lots of little itty-bitty things to work on, blog posts to write, and other projects around the house. It was also really nice to just hang out… We got a lot of snow a few weeks ago, so the kid and I played outside every day. Walks in the snow, a snow fort, snow balls, a conversation about yellow snow, a snow couch, three big snowmen, and soooo many snow angels… I read and watched a lot of TV, too. Some of it is for my TV class, but I also got caught up on a bunch of stuff I have been meaning to watch. I feel like I was a lazy college student on winter break, but I still got stuff done, too.

More on that coming soon! 😉

Listening: Matt Nathanson: Sings His Sad Heart
Reading: William Rabkin: Writing the Pilot
Watching: Friends from College season 2 on Netflix