Have you ever tried something that didn’t work? Whether work, a food recipe, a building project, a sport, or writing a book? That’s what happened to me, and it’s not an inspiring moment. My agent wanted me to try my hand at writing a romance novel for a certain publishing company. I finally agreed to give it a shot even though my genre is suspense and/or mystery (that should have been the first warning sign). It took me a few months to write all three, but finally they were done. My agent shopped them, but we found no homes for them (the second sign). Even I knew they were lacking something (the final sign), so I shelved them.
Enter the year 2015. An editor I had been working with asked if I had anything else I’d like to give a try at publishing– and my mind wandered to those three languishing books, collecting dust. My personality likes to use what I have and not waste. Although I am not
fanatic about that with certain things, my writing is one that I am.
Could I revive them? Better yet, could I rewrite them, give them new life? Hope bounced inside me. As I pondered and plotted, the idea blossomed, and I knew I could update them and add a mystery thread to give them some zest. Voila! It was the spark they’d lacked as romances. The proof came as people loved the first book, renamed Sabotaged Christmas (released November 2015), and are now waiting for Knight in Shining Apron, releasing this month. (Projected release date for the third book will be sometime in 2017, and it’s called Undiscovered Treasures.)
Sometimes adding another major thread is more difficult then it seems. You have to insert the clues, the red herons, the attitudes and scenes at just the right places. Even though this series– The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries– are lighthearted novels meant to warm the reader’s hearts, I still bring in serious issues– whether bitterness from betrayal, abuse from a past marriage, or stubbornness in wanting your own way.
No, they didn’t work the first time around. They flopped! But I’m so glad that editor encouraged me to see what I could do with them. Returning to the genre I do best made the difference. What satisfaction to re-create and bring to fruition stories that can entertain my readers, but more important, encourage them to keep reading.
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.
Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?
And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?
Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
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Check out Carole Brown:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Word Sharpeners: https://wordsharpeners.wordpress.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/