I'm participating in my first live Facebook event--the Contemporary Romance Romp, Sunday, August 16. Twelve authors of contemporary women's fiction will gather to interact with readers with fun, giveaways and games throughout the day. The festivities begin at 2 p.m. Central, and I will be live from 7-7:30 p.m. Central. To participate, join this Facebook group, and then join the event. Hope to see you there!
You will have to read Summer, released on August 1, 2020, to understand why my husband gave me this drawing of a Small Whorled Pogonia for our wedding anniversary, also August 1! Hint: It is a wild orchid featured in the book and is a plot device that leads to the resolution of one of the sub-plots!
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- Read an Excerpt
- Other books in the Finch's Crossing Series❤️
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Free-spirited Summer Hamilton has fallen back in love with her charming hometown. After ten years of chasing the open road, she lovingly restores a historic building in Finch's Crossing, and opens a yoga studio to much fanfare. Surrounded by the friends and neighbors of her childhood, it feels right to put down roots.
But then she meets carefree Trevor Banks, and their instant connection is electrifying. There's only one problem. Trevor's job building adventure parks takes him around the country for weeks at a time.
Having just tamed her wanderlust, Summer must decide if she should join Trevor on the road in order to be with the man she loves. What is she willing to give up for her soulmate?
Summer is the third book in the Finch's Crossing series, and a breath of fresh air for readers who love feel-good fiction set in cozy small towns. Throw in a mystery Summer must solve before someone gets hurt, and other couples learning to compromise in their relationships, and you have a heartwarming story about what it means to live, love, and let live. Get your copy of Summer today, and meet this enchanting heroine who radiates love, kindness, and wisdom wherever she goes.
Growing Season is what I like to call a "quiet" feel-good story. Some feel-good books are very dramatic, and don't get me wrong, I love that. Sometimes, though, a book comes along with subtleties that make the reader think and feel, more than anticipate. (Again, nothing wrong with anticipation!) I was happy to just be in the story with Melinda Foster, who was laid off from her job in Minneapolis and returned to her home town in rural Iowa to nurse her wounds while helping her family. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Melinda learn how to bring her rented farm and garden back to life, with the help of new friends and neighbors. The rhythm of small town life is enchanting, and the author does a great job of evoking a rural setting. Yes, everyone was very nice in this story, but in these dark times in our nation--a global pandemic and civic unrest--nice goes an awfully long way. There are seven books in this series, and I can wait to read the next one.
A typical day of being a full-time author when I am about to release one book and start another:
7 am: Rise and shine; feed the dog (husband walks the dog!)
8 am to 6:30 pm: Edit the Summer manuscript (again!) before it goes to the editor/proofreader. A few breaks during that time. I have to eat, stretch and take the dog out!
6:30 pm: Social media; listen to music; watch news; dinner
8 pm: Update the Finch’s Crossing Style Guide
8:30 pm: Continue to plot Winter
9 pm: Brainstorm ideas with hubby over a glass of wine.
9:30 p.m: Read
10:00 pm: Lights out!
I use a mini-binder planning system, with planning pages that I have customized over the years, based on what I'm doing at the time. Currently my planner includes a monthly overview of daily word counts and other milestones; a weekly overview and daily tasks list, plus a weekly social media action plan. The mini binder and tabs come from Russell+Hazel stationers.
This weekend I started writing letters to residents of senior care homes in North Carolina as part of a pen pal initiative I saw on Facebook. This made me reflect on how much I love to write notes and letters. When my husband and I moved away from his family 7 years ago, I started writing weekly letters to his mother and aunt. Now I probably average 40 letters a year to each of them. It has helped us stay connected across the miles. A letter that comes in the mail enriches a person's life far beyond opening and reading it! My stationery box is one of my most loved and revered possessions. I inherited it from my mother (also a prolific letter writer) when she died in 2012. It's pictured here. Enjoy!
PS I also made a video about this box and all its treasures!
I can't believe another three months has passed since I updated my Kanban board with my 90-day goals. (Kanban is Japanese for sign board and is used to manage systems and projects--see visual example) I updated it yesterday for June 1-Sept. 1.
(1) Complete Finch's Crossing Book Three, Summer, and publish on all platforms. (It's currently available for pre-order). You can read an excerpt here.
(2) Write 12,000 words on Finch's Crossing Book Four, Winter.
(3) Write 12,000 words on my new series (Shh! It's a secret for now) and do cover design research.
4) Run three special promos and giveaways,
(5) Continue Facebook ads and audience/demographics research.
There...now it's all out in the open and I have no choice but to meet the goals! :) Please heIp me keep it real people!
I am forever indebted to the amazing Sarra Cannon of Heart Breathings for sharing how she uses a Kanban board to steer her writing career.
I released Spring, the second book in my Finch's Crossing series, in a pandemic. Somehow, it didn't feel right to promote it, so I'm giving away free ebooks on May 2 and 3, 2002. Get your copy today!
Spring Hamilton is a born planner with one foot in the exciting future she’s creating for herself. Gabe Vignarolli lives in the moment. Oh, and he broke her heart two decades earlier. If Spring gives him a second chance, it will also be his last.
On the way to a new life in New York City, Spring detours to Finch’s Crossing for a quick visit with her sister Autumn. But a chance encounter with Gabe changes everything. As Spring and Gabe rekindle their love, one week turns into two and then three. Spring postpones her move to New York to be with Gabe and help with Autumn’s unexpected wedding. The coziness of small-town life begins to take root in Spring’s heart. But when she is unwittingly launched into reckless circumstances she never could have predicted, she packs her bags to get as far away from Gabe as possible.
To further complicate matters, a faceless bully is wreaking havoc on the town with a flurry of poison pen letters, threatening to reveal the residents’ darkest secrets. Is it too coincidental that the letters began as soon as Spring arrived? And Gabe, hiding a stunning secret of his own, hopes no one, especially the cruel letter writer, discovers it.
If you’re inspired by second-chance love stories, then you will love this second book in the Finch’s Crossing small-town fiction series.
Read an Excerpt
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Those Summer NIghts, book five in the Oyster Bay series, is the first Olivia Miles book I’ve read, but it won’t be my last. And I certainly want to go back to the beginning of the series and start with book one. I was immediately drawn in by the quaintness and home-town vibe of Oyster Bay, situated on the coast of Maine, where this story mostly plays out. The town is cozy, with rich and vibrant descriptions of the community and geography. There is also a compelling plot line taking place simultaneously in California, which only serves to strengthen the overall story. Readers will love the main characters in this romance, as they are well developed and likeable. Evie, an advice columnist, and Liam, who Evie thinks is just visiting Oyster Bay, are highly relatable and behave in ways readers will find familiar. Miles explores human relationships—relationships between family members, love interests, and friends—in a delightful way. The author’s ability to incorporate humor adds another pleasing dimension to the book. Even the stodgiest curmudgeon will laugh out loud at some of the scenes.
Olivia Miles also does a great job of placing dramatic elements throughout the book, making it an exceptionally pleasant reading experience. Many chapters have a surprise you never saw coming (at least I didn’t), and there are some mini-cliffhangers in there, too.
The characters are all subject to internal struggles, less than ideal circumstances, tragedy, and suffering. But what makes Miles’ characters special is that readers will get the sense that they can all overcome—that they can rise to any occasion. Which means her characters can also experience great joy and happiness, as they should in a novel of this genre. If you love cozy and clean romances as much as I do, you will love this book. I know I did.
Connect with Olivia and learn more about her and her books!