Saturday, September 27, 2014

Signings for TYING THE KNOT

October 4, 2014, we will be signing TYING THE KNOT for Ladies Night at Deseret Book (various stores), all on the same night. Come say hi! 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Josi S. Kilpack: Logan Deseret Book
1309 N MAIN ST STE 150

Julie Wright:  Las Vegas Deseret Book

Heather B. Moore: Fort Union Deseret Book

Annette Lyon: Fort Union Deseret Book


Monday, August 11, 2014

How Did You Know?

by Annette

Fewer things are as satisfying as a writer as when a reader comes to you and says something like, “How did you know what that’s like? You nailed it.”

I’ve had comments along those lines about a number of books. One reader, a woman who’d married a widower, asked how I’d known how it felt, because my main character in Lost Without You struggled with the very same things this reader had.

More than once, I had military wives email to say that surely I was a military wife too, because there was “no way” I could possibly know what it was like otherwise for Band of Sisters and the sequel, Band of Sisters: Coming Home.

No, I haven’t married a widower. I’m not a military wife. Nor do I have an eating disorder. I’ve never been divorced. I’ve also never dealt with racism personally. Or a dozen (more) things I’ve written about.

In most cases, it’s high praise to think you managed to create characters and events that ring true when they aren’t things you’ve personally gone through.

But I ran into a slightly different situation recently regarding my most recent contribution to the Newport Ladies Book Club, and it made me smile.

Someone I know beckoned me over and asked in a slightly worried tone, “I just finished reading Ilana’s Wish. And, um… How did you know so much about addiction?” Her tone clearly implied that maybe I had a problem, a dark past, to confess.

To ease her mind and lighten the moment, I said the first thing that came to mind: “I’ve watched a lot of Dr. Phil over the years.”

That’s actually true, in a sense. I really do watch the good doctor; his is one of the few shows I’ll bother recording and watching. One reason is that it’s educational, but another part is purely for characterization and research. Really.

So when I began writing Ilana’s Wish, I’d already seen a lot I could use. After all, Dr. Phil has had a ton of addicts on his show. After seeing enough of them, you start to see patterns.

I assured the concerned loved one that I didn’t personally have a drug addiction, but as the conversation moved elsewhere, I realized that I could have given her a fuller answer.

I do know what chronic pain is like. I drew a lot of Ilana’s experience with pain from reality in that way. I have had chronic migraines for over a decade (and no, please don’t give me your cure; I can guarantee I’ve tried it).

And I’ve seen people with various addictions in real life, some actively battling the addiction, others in denial, like Ilana.

I’ve come to see that most people in the world have something they cling to as a crutch that can easily become an addiction.

In the majority of the population, that addiction isn’t as menacing and scary as drugs or alcohol, but that doesn’t mean the addiction is any less real. I even heard a man say recently that his marriage had ended in divorce because of his addiction to fitness and to triathlons in particular.

Possibly the most common addiction, and one that’s publicly acceptable to a great degree, is food addiction. It’s what we celebrate with. Mourn with. De-stress with. Fight boredom with. And we can’t stop it cold turkey or even gradually. We have to eat. You can’t be “clean” of food. For that reason, I think food addictions may be some of the hardest to fight.

How many chocolate-themed memes are out there, with sayings like “Hand over the chocolate, and no one gets hurt”? And we just laugh. And we eat more chocolate. Sometimes it’s an innocent joke, but many women really are food addicts.

I’m guilty of laughing along, although the process of writing Ilana’s story helped me recognize the need to face own my emotions head on and to really feel them, even when doing so is uncomfortable and painful.

Numbing our emotions with chocolate (or potato chips or French fries or a shake or something else) isn’t the solution. It really isn’t, even when it feels good in the moment.

In that sense, I really do relate to Ilana, and that’s the part of myself I drew from when writing her story.

Having been on prescription painkillers for pain, I’ve faced thoughts of What if regarding addiction. What if I were to get addicted? What can I do to be sure I don’t? It’s a scary thing to consider.

In the same way, Ilana’s story came from that vulnerable part of me where emotions can be scary and hard to face.

I hope a lot of readers can see themselves in her story, as I did. Not in full-blown drug addiction (or I hope not, for everyone’s sake), but perhaps in an increased awareness that maybe, just maybe, there could be a healthier way of coping and managing our emotions.

But back to that reader, and to any other reader with the same worry:

How did I know so much about addiction? I researched it. I talked with a friend who is a recovering addict and picked her brain thoroughly. I really did think back on episodes of Dr. Phil. As I mentioned, I drew on my own experience with chronic pain. I observed other people who I believe are addicts with different types of addictions. I paid attention to their excuses and justifications and behaviors.

So no worries that I’m in Ilana’s situation; I promise I’m not. I just do my research and have a good imagination.

That’s what writers do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rafflecopter Winners!

We've emailed all of the winners, but if your name is below and you didn't receive an email, please let us know!

Winner of $100 Amazon Gift Card:

Cathy Jeppson

Winners of 7-book ebook series of the Timeless Romance Anthologies (we added a #6 winner):

Teddie Bateman

Amberly Stevenson

Gayle Humphreys

Jacqueline Stephens

Sarah Kelley

Christene Houston

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Launch week for TYING THE KNOT!

We are excited for the official release of TYING THE KNOT! This is the 9th and final book in The Newport Ladies Book Club series. We hope you'll love it!
We have a fabulous rafflecopter available for one week only! You'll be entered to win an $100 Amazon gift card and the complete E-book set of the award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology series, which includes romance novellas by all of us. a Rafflecopter giveaway Prizes include $100 Amazon gift card:
And 5 people will win the complete E-book set of the Timeless Romance Anthology series:
You can purchase the Kindle or Paperback version here. Also available at and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coming in July 2014!

You can now pre-order TYING THE KNOT, the 9th and final volume of The Newport Ladies Book Club series.

Below is the description:

When Athena Di Jasper accepts dashing bookstore owner Grey Ronning’s proposal for marriage and they sit down to work out the details of the wedding, they discover it’s a daunting task. Most of Athena’s family lives in Greece, so Athena and Grey decide there’s only one thing they can do: take a cruise and have a destination wedding in Athens—and with their trademark show of support, the women of the Newport Ladies Book Club are going international with them.

The cruise turns out to be life changing for more than Athena and Grey. Aboard the ship, each book club lady unfolds a new chapter of her life. In this final installment of the beloved Newport Ladies Book Club series, discover what’s in store for Athena, Ruby, Ilana, Olivia, Victoria, Daisy, Paige, and Shannon. From mending marriages to overcoming addictions, the women of this remarkable group meet their triumphs and tragedies as they always have: together.

Monday, April 21, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Tying the Knot

Coming Summer 2014! 

Add to your Goodreads List!

We are excited to announce the 9th and final book in The Newport Ladies Book Club series. If you are amazed, we are just a little amazed as well. This book was written in answer to many of our readers who wanted more of Daisy's and Paige's stories, along with a few of the other ladies. Tying the Knot takes place after all of the other novels in the timeline. All eight of the women are in this novel, and the chapters have alternating points of view from each of the women. We wrote this book in round-robin style, which is why all of our names are on the cover. We spent a day plotting the story, then passed on the manuscript as we finished each chapter. The next author would read from the beginning, editing as she went, then write her next chapter, then pass it to the next person.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cover Reveal: Ilana's Wish

We're only about eight weeks away from the release of Ilana's Wish, the final stand-alone novel in the series!

Here's the cover:

I can hardly believe we made it this far. It's been both a very long and very short journey, as so many things in life are. Most of all, this series has been a blessing for me.

After Ilana's Wish, only one more book awaits: Reunion, which, as we've mentioned before, was co-written by all four of us, round-robin style. It's been officially submitted, and if all goes as planned, readers will finally get to see what happens to all eight women and where they end up. We've had readers asking, especially those without everything wrapping up in a tidy bow at the end of their books like Paige and Daisy. I'm pleased with how Reunion turned out, and I think readers will be happy with it too

Remember, Victoria's Promise is in stores and available on Kindle now, and Ilana's Wish will be released in April!