You guys! SHANE'S HARMONY is finished! Well, at least until I get to the task of editing. But, the story itself is DONE. Last night I typed "THE END".
In my heart, all of my books have something that makes them special. For example, in my first book, ONCE AGAIN, the heroine, Layla, has a lot of "me" in her. I didn't really do that on purpose, but at some point during the process of bringing that story to life, I realized it. So, even now, 5 years after that book published, I still feel a love for that character that's different from the others.
Book 3, DUSK, has always been close to my heart. It deals with what it means to forgive, both ourselves and those that hurt us, which is something that's so critically important in our hearts, our families, and our communities. I've always been really proud of that story.
Now, here I am on Book 7, SHANE'S HARMONY. This is the third book in the Resolution Series, which chronicles the lives of a group of people all connected to the Resolution Tattoo Shop in Flagstaff, Arizona. There's always pride in finishing a book, but when I typed THE END last night, that pride felt different. Often times, people say "write about what you know". I guess I sort of did that with my first book, giving the heroine a personality like my own. But this book... there's nothing about Shane and Sydney that I have "known" personally in my own life. The things they experienced, the journeys they took, were both very, very different than my own upbringing and life experiences. But for so many... too many... people in our world, they are familiar journeys. I won't "spoil" the story here, but for a long time I thought I could never do justice to the story of two people who had experienced such tragedy and heartbreak. But I told myself that I would do my absolute best. I would read and research. I would go to the hard places to make the story as close to authentic as I could.
My writing is not dark. Sometimes I wish it was, because I like a good, dark story as much as anyone. But it's just not my "voice". At times during the writing of this book, I thought that lack of "darkness" in my writing meant I wasn't telling the story right. But my wish is that my "voice", the aspect of my writing that I've always loved the most comes through in this book. HOPE. Perhaps it's my personality. Perhaps it's my heart, but I can't help but write stories that carry a thread of hope. And my greatest desire is that even Shane and Sydney's story, one that came from places of great darkness for these characters, will be imbued with a sense of hope that I believe is available to EVERYONE, regardless of their circumstances.
So... without anymore verboseness (is that even a word?) from me, please enjoy the cover art for SHANE'S HARMONY (both the ebook cover and the cover for the print version). As always, my cover artist, Tracy Stewart, has outdone herself.
SHANE'S HARMONY... coming VERY soon!