It's been a while since this book has been free, so to celebrate my first ever book signing, Simplicity will be free all weekend! Find it here.
I don’t know about you, but I love spring. (If you’re in the Southern hemisphere and moving into fall, don’t worry. Fall is my favorite. I’m envious.) Spring feels like everything is coming back to life—I guess technically it is—and I always feel like I’m coming back to life too. It happens every year, and I’m always a little bit surprised by this.
When in comes to my writing goals, spring has definitely been good for me. I got into a bit of a writing slump after I finished editing Let Go, and though I have had so many projects I’ve wanted to work on, I kept getting stuck and was about ready to give up on all of them altogether.
So I set aside all of the serious projects I had been attempting and I plotted out a silly little rom com just to get the juices flowing. And you know what? I wrote the whole book in less than two weeks because I didn’t care about how good it was, and it was so fun! And now I’m absolutely in love with the story and have three more books planned to follow, all because I gave myself a mental break and cleaned out all the pressure that was stifling my creativity.
Have you ever been blocked with something? How did you get around it? I would love to hear your ideas and share them with others! Comment below!
After getting a divorce, losing her job, and her parents moving across the world in the same week, Amelia Blake has hit rock bottom. With nowhere else to go, she journeys across the country to seek the help of a half-sister she’s never met, hoping she can pick up the pieces of her life and move forward with a family that is much larger and more chaotic than she anticipated.
When a hitchhiking musician named Jack helps her fix a flat tire, she is drawn to his undying optimism and mesmerizing music, so much that she offers to be his manager and help him share his music with the world so she can spend more time with him.
Though Jack keeps details about himself secret, he and Amelia grow closer until his past suddenly catches up to him and threatens to ruin everything the two of them have been building together. Torn between finding her place in her new family and helping Jack reconcile with his, Amelia has to learn to trust her own feelings and the man who knows exactly what it means to let go of the past and follow your heart.
January is a time for goals, and one of my goals this year is to read more. After all, an author can’t be good at their craft if they don’t study it. So I’m reaching out to you guys. 2020 was a crazy year, but a lot of amazing books were released. What were some of your favorites? What might I have missed? What should be on my TBR list for 2021?
I’m all ears. :) Click here or comment below with your best book recommendations. I can’t wait to dive in!
I got my first two-star rating yesterday. It definitely won't be the last, and I'll probably get some one-stars at some point, and that's fine. Okay, yes, a part of me really didn't like reading what the reader had to say about my first book. Maybe my character was a little unbelievable, and I'll fully own how awful the ending is (I tried to write it differently, I really did). I'm not going to lie and say this review didn't hurt.
But you know what? I made a book. And I did it entirely on my own. And I'm proud of it. And I've spent a long time teaching myself to accept that not everyone is going to like what I put out there. I don't write because I want to please everyone. I write because I have to, and it's a part of me trying to be free.
That book may not be the best ever written, but it's mine, and I made it, and I'm proud of the time and energy and soul and bravery it took to get it out into the world. No one can take that away from me.
So here's what I have to say to all my fellow creators out there: You make things, and that's AWESOME. Not everyone in the world is going to love them, but if you love them and are proud of them, that's all that matters. Own your creativity, no matter what form it takes, and never let the world take away your passion.
No one else could make what you make, because no one else is you.
Check out this Halloween scene from my upcoming release! Only two more weeks before this book is officially released, but guess what! You can get the paperback version right now.
And while I wanted to thank Mr. Davenport for having guided me just enough to get my foot in the door of this life, the door to the venue was slightly more interesting and pulled my full attention away.
Colin was sneaking in behind a couple in black and white-checkered clothing, dressed from head to toe as a pirate.
Not just any pirate, though. He was full-blown Jack Sparrow-esque down to a days-old beard and a sword—a real sword, I was pretty sure—at his hip and so many little details that I almost couldn’t tell it was him because the whole outfit looked so authentic. And while I was somewhat convinced no one would be able to recognize me after John’s little minions dressed me up, Colin spotted me from a distance and gave me a smile before he navigated his way through the crowd.
“Hey, Beck,” he said when he arrived. “You look amazing.”
He said it so lightly, so easily, and I wished I could do the same when I opened my mouth and said, “You’re a pirate.”
He glanced down as if he’d forgotten. “Right.”
“I did tell you this was a masquerade, not a costume party, didn’t I?” I said. Though I was pretty sure they were almost the same thing…
Laughing a little, Colin lifted a garment bag he was holding, which I hadn’t noticed because the rest of him was so distracting. “I could have changed in the car,” he explained, “but honestly, with this crowd, I’d feel less judged showing up as a pirate than having a button done wrong.”
I couldn’t stop staring at him, and it was becoming a bit distracting. His white shirt wasn’t fully buttoned, and I was seeing a whole lot more of Colin than I’d seen before. “Uh.” I coughed. “Macy’s idea?” I guessed.
He grinned. “She loves Halloween. She always gets to choose the costumes, and she’s pretty particular about the details.”
“I wish I could have come trick-or-treating with you guys,” I said.
“I’m going to go change,” he replied and briefly touched my elbow before he slipped away through the crowd.
I tried not to let myself get too disappointed. I hadn’t seen Macy since being in San Francisco, and for a while I figured that was because we were both so busy. But lately, it seemed like any time I brought up the idea of hanging out with her too, Colin managed to change the subject or disappear.
As soon as Colin was gone, I turned back to the Davenports because I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with myself. Until it was time to give my little speech, I was probably supposed to mingle, but I highly doubted any of these attendees wanted to talk to the outsider who had infiltrated their favorite charity group.
Thank goodness for Mr. Davenport, who must have sensed how lost I was as he said, “How are you settling in, Miss Alvarez?”
Before I could answer that question, his wife took me by the hand as if we were the dearest of friends. “How long have you known Colin Donovan?” she said in a mock whisper that was plenty loud for anyone around us to hear.
I really didn’t want to talk about Colin, not with the woman who supposedly had been trying to get in contact with him for a long time, but I knew better than to be rude to someone as high up the social ladder as Lyra Davenport. “We met a few months ago,” I said and put on a smile. “He’s been a lot of help while I’ve been settling in.”
Her smile wide and fake, Lyra looked like a plastic version of her daughter as she took me in. “It’s a pity I don’t have any more daughters to throw at him, but at least my Lanna made a more than worthy match.”
I hadn’t seen Lanna or her husband since that dinner party at the Fosters’, but they did seem happy together. I doubted that was what she meant, though. More likely she was referring to Adam Munroe’s booming art trade business. Did this woman know anything outside of the surface level?
“I’m not sure Colin is looking for a wife,” I said and tried not to grimace because that was probably true. How could anyone replace Jada?
“I’m not sure he would let you choose one for him if he was,” Mr. Davenport muttered under his breath. Perhaps he was more like his son, Matthew, than I’d realized, and I suddenly liked him more than before.
Lyra waved both comments away as if she didn’t have a care in the world. “Oh, everyone is looking for a partner, whether they know it or not,” she said. “What about you, Miss Alvarez? Has anyone struck your fancy since coming here to San Francisco?” Perhaps it was my imagination, but her blue eyes seemed to flicker to the staircase where Colin had disappeared. “I hear there are quite a few dashing young men out there in the regular world.”
“Lyra,” said her husband with a frown.
She waved that admonition away as well. “Yes, I suppose you’re technically one of us now,” she said. “Though perhaps not for long?”
I stared at Mr. Davenport, trying to figure out how much he had told his wife about me. I would have thought there would be some sort of client confidentiality privilege, particularly in a case like this. The look he returned, though, was genuinely innocent and almost sympathetic, and that worried me more than the possibility of a chatty lawyer. How many people were discussing me and how long I would be able to last in this world?
What, had someone set up a betting pool?
“Miss Alvarez?” said John Foster behind me at the same time the enormous clock on one end of the ballroom struck eight. I had to stop worrying about what people were saying behind my back.
It was speech time.
Though the music stopped when I stepped up to the microphone in front of the orchestra, the chatter around the room didn’t dim even a little. I had to cough into the mic, which sounded ridiculous, and even then I barely caught anyone’s attention. I was tempted to start singing, just because I knew that would insult their sensibilities enough to get them to look outside themselves for one moment, but a ridiculously loud whistle broke through the buzz of conversation. I peered through the spotlights in search of who I had on my team, and even though I couldn’t see his face, I was pretty sure the man towering over the rest of the crowd was Catherine’s husband, Seth. I was even more positive when he gave me a thumbs up.
“Good evening,” I said into the mic, and heads swiveled in my direction.
So many heads.
Relax, Beck. They’re not going to eat you.
I took a deep breath. Welcome was done. Now for the thank you. Then to the have fun part. Easy. “On behalf of the Alvarez Trust, I want to thank each of you for coming out tonight with your wonderful donations. It is people like you who help us make the world a better place, and all of us here at Alvarez recognize your generosity. I…”
My words got lost on my tongue because I had looked up when I caught movement at the far end of the ballroom, where a set of stairs came down from the upper level of the venue. And though he wasn’t exactly close by, the sight of Colin Donovan left me suddenly breathless. The pirate had become a mask like everyone else, but I was pretty positive no one wore a black cape like Colin wore it. No one could have a simple black mask like him and look like he was the most important man in the room. No one could smile at me and make me feel like the rest of the world disappeared.
Not like he could.
It all came crashing back when John Foster coughed right in front of me.
“Have a wonderful time tonight,” I stammered, and I knew I wasn’t going to be capable of anything beyond that. When I nearly tripped stepping down from the platform where the orchestra sat, I gripped John’s arm and said, “Please tell me that’s all I have to do tonight.”
Though he was clearly confused, he nodded. “I mean, it would be best if you stayed for the full event, but there aren’t any other duties for you to perform.”
No wonder people were trying to decide when I would crack and run away from this life.
“Good,” I breathed at the same time Colin appeared from the crowd.
He’d always been handsome, but this was something else. This was somehow a step above the sharp and pristine businessman I knew he was.
“You clean up nice,” I managed to say when he came up to my side and slipped his hand into mine. “Though I’m not sure how I feel about the beard.”
Some men really worked facial hair. Some didn’t. And though Colin looked just as distinguished as always, he didn’t look like himself.
He quickly shook John’s hand and muttered a cold greeting to Mckenna, who had been actively pretending I wasn’t even here, and then he grinned at me as if no one else existed in the room. “Like I said, Macy is a stickler about details. It’ll be gone in the morning. Do you dance?”
I stared at him. “Do I what?”
“I bet you do.” And before I could argue, he pulled me into the crowd.
Preorder your ebook copy for only $0.99.
I have NEVER been more excited to announce a book. These two characters are my jam, and their story is just…
Basically, I’ve been waiting to release this book since the day my first one came out a year ago. And you wanna know the best part? You don’t have to read any of the other Simple Love Stories to enjoy this one.
If you only read one of my books, make it this one, because I have never been so invested in a relationship than I was in Beck and Colin’s while writing this book. Their story is so near and dear to me, and I want everyone to experience it.
(I also wish Colin existed in real life, but I can’t have everything…)
And it comes out in just one month!
If you preorder it, it's only $0.99. :D
Read the first chapter here!
This is my favorite kind of announcement. 🤩 I could have done some big cover reveal, but mostly I'm excited to put another book out into the world. So, world, say hello to book five in my Simple Love Story series!
Coming September 30th!
Brennon's story has been a difficult one from the beginning, with so many rewrites and changes and things that just didn't work no matter how many times I worked through them, but I really hope the end result is worth the effort. He's such a complex character with a lot of heart and a whole lot of hurt to work through, and he deserves his happy ending as much as the next guy. Maybe more. (And I do promise a happy ending.)
This book has a little bit of everything: romance and heartbreak, mystery and laughter, awkward dates and tasers, and plenty of songs to get stuck in your head.
I hope you like it. 😊
After fifteen years, straight-laced Brennon Ashworth is finally over his high school crush. Or so he thought.
After his best friend signs him up for speed dating, he inadvertently compares every woman to Molly, the carefree and vivacious girl who broke his heart. Ever since she left, he has done everything he can to make life predictable so he isn’t hurt again, even if that means life gets a little boring. When Molly shows up out of the blue, his carefully controlled life is thrown into chaos, and the masks he’s been wearing no longer seem to fit. She knows him better than anyone, so he can’t hide from Molly like he does the rest of the world. And that terrifies him.
When his pseudo-family, the Davenports, are in trouble, Brennon reluctantly teams up with Molly to find the truth and prays she isn’t lying when she says she won’t hurt him again.
Because he’s as much in love with her as ever, and he’s not sure he can survive another heartbreak.
Want to win a paperback copy of In Front of Me? The blog "Life is What it's Called" is hosting a giveaway! Check out her post to enter:
Find Lissa and Steve's story on Amazon.
When all your plans fail, can you find the courage to follow a new path?
Lissa Montgomery is on track to be Boston’s top financial analyst—or she would have been, if her misogynistic boss had ever given her a chance. Suddenly jobless, Lissa has little hope for her life going according to plan. But then she meets handsome and charming Brennon, a workaholic who is just as driven as she is. In order to spend more time with him when he’s not at the office, she agrees to look after his blind roommate, Steve, after he’s hit by a car.
Where Brennon is sweet and thoughtful and practically perfect, Steve is grumpy and abrasive and refuses to find a reason to be happy in his newly sightless life. Getting to know Brennon, though, means being stuck with his best friend too, even if he is a little rough around the edges.
But as Steve starts to open up and finally live again, Lissa realizes there’s a lot more to life than climbing the corporate ladder. And she has to wonder who is really blind, since Steve seems to be the only one who can see what is right in front of him.
In Front of Me is a sweet contemporary romance that functions as a standalone, with recurring characters from the rest of the Simple Love Story series.
When Seth called for the third time in as many minutes, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to ignore my brother today. And that made my stomach hurt as I considered my ever-growing list of things I had to do. He was never this persistent—he knew I rarely answered my phone during work hours—which meant whatever he was calling to talk to me about, it was something important. And Seth Hastings didn’t take importance lightly.
Could he have picked a worse time, though?
Sighing, I picked up my phone and hovered over the answer button for a moment before I connected the call and held the phone to my ear.
“So you are alive,” he said before I even took a breath to greet him.
I winced. He was literally on the other side of the country, and he still managed to put me on edge with his growl. If I didn’t know he was one of the kindest, sweetest men on the planet, I might have believed his anger. But it was really just a mask, and he was using it on me for the first time in a long time. I didn’t like that. “Nice to talk to you too,” I muttered, and my eyes returned to my computer screen.
I still had a presentation to prepare, and if my assistant, Travis, didn’t come back soon with the report I’d sent him for, I was going to have a whole lot of nothing to show the firm’s board. It didn’t matter how good of a financial analyst I was; I had to prove I was worth the consideration for the promotion. Someone had to lead the team, and I wasn’t going to let Cal Mikaelson pass me over yet again. This was my year.
“Would you stop working for two minutes, Lissa?” Seth grumbled into the phone. Either he was a better super soldier than I thought and had somehow managed to set up surveillance in my office, or my half-brother knew me a little too well for a guy I’d only met a few years ago.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said and pulled up my projection sheet for Sonya Yun’s portfolio. This info was a start, but I needed Travis to come back with that report. Without it, this was just a bunch of numbers. “Was there something you needed, Seth?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “I need you to stop working for two minutes so I can know you’re actually paying attention and not just tuning me out while you browse stock markets.”
I rolled my eyes, even if he couldn’t see me. I figured he could probably sense my annoyance, since he was pretty much superhuman. It was a pity he had given up his Special Forces days to be a private bodyguard; his skills were a bit wasted on the quiet life he lived now. “You clearly have no idea what I do for my job,” I said. “Which is rich, coming from a guy who has a degree in Economics.”
“Not the point,” he replied.
I quickly sent yet another message to my assistant, asking him where he was and why it was taking him over an hour to go two floors down and grab a folder. “But seriously, Seth,” I said, “I have to get back to work. What is this about?”
“I’m getting married on Saturday, Liss.”
I nearly dropped my phone. This Saturday? But his wedding wasn’t until December. I had a whole… I stared at the calendar on my wall, realizing with a twist in my stomach that it was December.
“That’s what I thought,” Seth said, apparently reading into my silence. “You forgot about Thanksgiving—again—so I figured I would give you a reminder for this one. I’m only getting married once.”
If you’re lucky, I thought to myself. I had no reason to doubt his marriage would be a lasting one, since his fiancée, Catherine, was quite possibly the most perfect woman in the world, but I had seen love fall apart—especially in my own life—way too many times to not be a bit cynical.
“I didn’t forget your wedding,” I lied.
“So you’ll be here?”
If I got this promotion, which was the plan and had been for years, I was going to have to dive right in and completely overhaul the whole department to get it running smoothly. And that wasn’t something I could do overnight. I couldn’t just drop everything and leave Boston for a whole weekend.
Read the whole chapter here...