Books · Love is Grand · My Books · Writing

Love is Grand has officially released!

The “official” release day for Love is Grand was Friday, October 1! I’m SO excited for this book to reach the hands of readers. When my last book released, I shared with you that a book release is like a first date…and I still feel that way! I’m always so nervous when my book starts shipping–and when I see it on the shelf for the first time, it makes me want to do the Snoopy Dance right there in the aisle. 🙂 
And I’m thrilled to say that Romantic Times gave Love is Grand 4 stars! (out of 4 1/2 stars) I love what they had to say about it:

Daughety has created a story full of strong characters, incredible visuals and a well-plotted storyline mixed with humor, friendship and biblical truths. The love triangle creates a twist to the romance; real moments make the characters feel like people you already know.
For those of you who haven’t read the first 2 books in the series yet…don’t worry! These books stand alone so you won’t feel lost if you read this one first.
I’m going to have some fun giveaways and contests on here very soon…so keep checking back! And in the meantime, click here to read a preview of Love is Grand–and consider ordering your own copy! 🙂
My Books · Travel · Writing

ACFW Conference Recap

I was in Indianapolis recently for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference. Such a great time visiting with fellow writers and meeting with editors and agents. This was my 4th year to attend and I honestly think it gets better each year.

Highlights from Indy:

1. Visiting with friends I only get to see in person once a year. My editors are in this number. Emails and phone calls are great–but visiting face-to-face can’t be beat!

2. Being surrounded by people who understand how it feels to have a story inside, wanting out! These people get it! They know the madness of writing around the clock, the friendship of a character, and the way turning in a finished manuscript before your deadline (okay, at midnight on the day of your deadline…) makes you feel a thousand pounds lighter.

with fabulous author and friend Rachel Hauck

3. This year is the first year I’ve had multiple books out. And the first year I’ve had the honor of having budding writers ask me for advice–or tell me they read (and liked) one of my books!

4. Having my love of writing renewed. I walked out of a couple of sessions with a fire to write. After a year of deadlines and uncertainty, it was nice to feel that “this is what I’m supposed to be doing” feeling wash over me.

5. Not writing related, but I found a crazy-amazing bargain at the mall that was attached to my hotel. I hadn’t intended to wear a “fancy” dress to the awards banquet. I’ve worn formals in the past. But this year, I was just going to wear a plain old dress. Nothing special. But as I wandered through the mall, I went to a department store that I’d never heard of. And in the back of the store, there was a rack marked “85% off the sale price.” So, bargain hunter that I am, I flipped through the rack. Believe me there was a REASON that stuff was on the rack! But then…I came across the most beautiful dress. A formal. Slate blue. In MY size. You can guess the rest. Now normally I think telling how much stuff costs is tacky…but believe me when I say that my sharing this with the world is just me bragging about my savvy shopping. The dress–tax and all–was $19. Amazing.

Me and my bargain rack dress!

And as with anything, there were also some lowlights….(is that even a word?) Some of these I’m not particularly proud of, but in the spirit of sharing, I am going to tell them anyway…

1.   People kept asking me if they could buy my books in the bookstore. Sadly, I was the loser who missed the deadline for filling out the required paperwork to get my books in there.

2. At dinner the opening night of the conference, I found myself seated at a table with the keynote speaker, Tim Downs, as well as the president of ACFW, one of my editors, and several authors. I had a great time chatting and talking to all of them. Until I got back to my room to see that there was something stuck in my front teeth. Classy. I think it was asparagus–which we seriously had at every meal…

3. I admit that I missed breakfast all but 1 day. It is SO early. I’m not in a networking mode at 7 a.m. (6 a.m. Memphis time).

4. I also admit that I had my iPhone set to send me ESPN alerts during the Arkansas/Georgia game. And when Georgia tied the game with 2 minutes left…I left the session I was in and went to my room to watch. Judge me all you want to…but honestly by that point in the day my brain was fried anyway. And Arkansas won…

5. To show you just how fried my brain was…the following afternoon, I taped an interview with Christian Retailing. Where I was asked what 3 books–besides The Bible–that I would recommend everyone should read. My choices: Gone with the Wind, What a Girl Wants, and Eat, Pray, Love. Now, I’m not sure what everyone else said. But in hindsight, I’m betting their choices were probably things by Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado, or Beth Moore. Clearly, I’m all about girly books. But you know, I wouldn’t change my answer even if I could. Because those are 3 books I love and that I can read over and over.

Overall, it was an awesome week. Full of friends, old and new. And although all the sessions left me with information overload, they left me excited. I’m ready to get to work on my next book…okay, books! 🙂

Home of the Colts!

Love is Grand · My Books · Writing

Dedicated to the One I Love…

I’m working on final edits for my October release, Love is Grand. I know some authors don’t enjoy edits, but I do. This is my final chance to make sure I have chosen the right words to tell my story.
And I love this story. For those of you who’ve read the other books in the Walk in the Park series, you’re familiar with Ainsley and everything she’s gone through. Here’s the tentative back cover copy:
Ainsley Davis had it all. . .
. . .a job she loved
. . .a husband she adored
. . .a baby on the way
But after her husband’s unexpected death, she left her job and retreated to the safety of her parents’ home. Two years later, Ainsley is still there, raising the baby alone and envisioning danger around every corner. When her position as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon reopens, she realizes God may be trying to tell her to return—if she can face the fears that hold her captive.
Fellow ranger Dustin Cooper is thrilled to have his old friend back. But Ainsley isn’t the fearless girl he remembers. Even so, Dustin pushes her to put her trust in God and jump back into her life.
Policeman Jake McGuire fled to the Grand Canyon after an on-the-job mistake. He’s determined to live a stress-free, anonymous life. Until he meets Ainsley. Suddenly he realizes he’d like to be a hero again—if only in her eyes.
Can Ainsley regain her zest for life—despite the risks—and find the right man to walk alongside her? If so, she may be surprised to find that even the second time around, Love is Grand.
Well? What do you think? Sound like a book you want to read? I hope so!
In addition to edits, it’s also time to pen the dedication. I find dedicating the book to be very difficult. I read somewhere that a book dedication was kind of like a tattoo–once it was inked, there was no turning back.
So far, I’ve dedicated books to both of my parents, both sets of grandparents and three of my best friends. I have a couple more days to settle on the dedication for Love is Grand. I have an idea for the dedication, but I’m not sure yet.
How about you? If you wrote a book, who would you dedicate it to?
Love is Monumental · My Books

Love is Monumental has officially released!!

Discover how the Washington Monument attracts more than tourists when a shy park ranger serves as guide to a handsome professor. Love is Monumental is the second installment in the Walk in the Park series.

The official release date of Love is Monumental was May 1, but with all the tornadoes/floods/etc., I’m just now posting about it!

I’m so excited for this book to get into the hands of readers–I love the characters, flaws and all! So far, the book is getting a good response from reviewers too!

I’m hopeful that readers will enjoy a little glimpse at Washington DC and all the monuments along the National Mall. It was fun to pick out interesting bits of information about some of them to include.

I’m scheduled to do a few blog interviews/giveaways over the next few weeks, and one of the questions I often get is about the characters–who would play them if the book were ever (dare to dream) made into a movie.

So here’s a sneak peek at my choices for the main characters:

First, park ranger Vickie Harris. Vickie is always well put together. She’s a bit of an over-achiever and the epitome of a perfectionist. Her quest for perfection causes trouble in her personal life–because no one can ever live up to her expectations. Despite being a park ranger, Vickie is not very outdoorsy–and knows nothing about sports! She loves fashion and has an affinity for 80’s movies. We meet Vickie on the cusp of her thirtieth birthday–an age she’s always dreaded. I think Ginnifer Goodwin would be perfect to play Vickie.

Dr. Thatcher Torrey, a college history professor, is in his late thirties. He is a classic workaholic–never giving any thought to his personal life–or lack thereof. Thatcher is content to focus on his classes and spend his weekends tucked away at his fishing cabin. He’d rather be outdoors than anywhere else. Thatcher despises technology–he doesn’t own a cell phone and thinks social networking is the downfall of society. His past is a bit of a mystery, but let’s just say he’s been hurt one too many times and is determined not to let himself become attached to anyone ever again. I’d cast Noah Wyle for the role of Thatcher. I think he can pull off the right mixture of studious and masculine.

Finally, Katherine Wyatt is the third point-of-view character. I suspect the addition of Katherine’s point of view will be a surprise to most readers, as they will wonder how Katherine’s story connects with the main storyline. Rest assured that she is an important character. Twenty-year-old Katherine deals with her mother’s terminal illness for much of the book. She’s seeking her place in the world with the unsettling knowledge that soon she’ll be facing life alone. I struggled with the right actress to portray Katherine and finally settled on Miley Cyrus.

So there you have it! My cast of characters for Love is Monumental. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on who you would cast! And if you haven’t read the book, you can purchase a copy here! (shameless plug, I know, but a writer has to eat…and pay rent…ha!)