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Behind the Scenes of After the Rain

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Happy March, loveys! I can’t believe it’s been a month already since the release of After the RainI’m so thrilled for the book to make its way to the hands of readers. I feel like I poured my heart and soul into this story. For all my readers, please be sure to leave reviews online so I can hear your feedback.

The blog tour has ended but I so enjoyed the interviews and snippets and behind-the-scene details that were shared that I thought I’d post some of them. I’m going to share the playlist and book facts here for you!

10 Behind-the-Scene Facts from After the Rain

  1. I love all the connections to rain throughout this book. As a girl from Texas who lived in Colorado for years, I know well the sense of missing the rain, needing the rain. I missed the thunderstorms in Texas while I lived in Colorado. I wanted to share that with Debra, especially for the season of life she’s in—this sense of missing what we don’t have.
  2. One of the best sources of inspiration when I was working on this book was the song Never Gonna Love Again by Lykke Li. Find it on Spotify or Pandora or Amazon music and turn it up loud. If After the Rain had a soundtrack, this song would be number one.
  3. I tend to set my books in places that I’m familiar with. Several of the places mentioned in After the Rain are places I have connections to/memories of. The Sixteenth Street Mall in Denver, the rock at Castle Rock, the Denver Zoo, Breckenridge—these are all great Colorado locations where I’ve spent time.
  4. Debra’s love for theater stems from my own experience of watching musicals with my grandmother. She introduced me to movies with Fred Astaire. A few years ago, I went to the theater district in Denver to see Wicked with my sister, and it was so fun that I knew I wanted to include that setting into a book somehow. Including the quotes for every chapter was one of the most fun aspects of writing this book!
  5. There’s a crossover character in this book from another series! He’s not actually in the book, but he’s mentioned. Readers of the Romano Family Collection will recognize the name Leonardo Romano. (If you haven’t read that series, I hope you’ll check it out too!)
  6. I love music so much, but honestly, I’m not very musical. (I think I might be tone deaf. Sad!) I definitely needed help with the musical terms/pieces in this story. A friend of mine, Kollette Decker of Renegade Road, is an amazing singer and the lead singer of a band that’s making a name for itself in the Denver area, and her help with reviewing and offering advice for After the Rain was invaluable.
  7. One cool thing about writing is drawing from our own life experiences and then creating scenes and even dialog from moments you’ve lived. My own experiences are weaved throughout all my books. Even something as small as a dish I tried at a café. There are too many cases of this to share them all, but one example from After the Rain is the name of the bar/café called Percival’s Island. There was a Percival’s Island bar/café in the town where I went to college, and in my mind, I was recreating that same kind of fun, hipster-but-still-gritty, raucous kind of place, perfect for live music.
  8. I knew I wanted Debra to see a counselor, and I also knew I wanted that to be as authentic as possible to what that might have looked like. Lucky for me, I’ve got several friends who are amazing counselors! One of them reviewed the book for me early on, specifically looking at the counseling sessions. I didn’t want to move forward until I had her ‘okay’ on the material. I think counseling can make such a difference in people’s lives.
  9. When I first saw the cover of After the Rain, I had this huge sigh of relief. Because it was perfect. Maybe more perfect than the designer realized! I love the fact that the girl on the cover is dressed all in black. I love that she’s running, because I think of Debra as someone who’s running from life disappointment and also someone who’s started literally running in her life as a good outlet for stress. And I love that the umbrella is off to the side. It’s this sense that she’s already soaked, the umbrella can’t help her now. And it also captures the idea of a woman wanting to feel the rain, needing to feel something.
  10. The name “Logan Fox” is mentioned in the book. That’s the name of the grandson of some special friends of ours. I remember when I saw that name posted in the baby announcement on Facebook, I loved it and knew I’d use it at some point!

 

playlist

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Cover Reveal for Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

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I’m so excited to join in on the cover reveal for my friend V. Joy Palmer’s next book, Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. Isn’t that title ah-dorable?! The title for Joy’s last book was Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations. Equally adorable! This new book is based off characters introduced in Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, but the story can standalone.

Details!

Genre – Inspirational Romantic Comedy

Release Date – February 14th, 2019

Publisher – WhiteFire Publishing

Bio:

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional Chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Book Blurb ~ 
Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.

Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.

But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

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Sounds so good! I love stories that weave family loyalty through the storyline. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the cover!

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Wait for it…

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Tada!

WWaRE Cover

Gorgeous, right? I love it. Here’s the pre-order link: https://www.amazon.com/Weddings-Willows-Revised-Expectations-Palmer/dp/1946531146/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544706945&sr=8-2&keywords=v.+joy+palmer.

 

P.S. I highly recommend you check out Joy on Instagram. I’m obsessed with her book posts!https://www.instagram.com/vjoypalmer_author/!

February is ALL THE LOVE (giveaway!)

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IMG_0197.jpgCan you believe it’s already February!? It’s a busy month at my house. Valentine’s Day and the Daddy/Daughter Ball and our anniversary–PLUS my little sister is having her first baby and the whole family is so excited. I truly love Valentine’s Day. We don’t go too crazy over here, but chocolate is a MUST and there are cards and usually some stuffed animals and the kids love all of it.

One thing I always think of around this time of the year is my novel Looks Like Love. Maybe because the cover is pink and white. Maybe because it’s a story of a girl seeking out adventure, and stumbling across a little romance along the way. It’s a novel that digs into the question What does love look like?  The main character, Kasey, has been dumped by her long-time boyfriend, so she heads off to visit her best friend, who just happens to be British. London is calling! So Kasey embarks on a trip of self-discovery, a touch of romance, and a lot of fun. When she gets back, things at work get crazy. The advertising firm where she works has finally landed LETA, a cosmetics company branching out with their first fragrance, called Love. Kasey’s tasked with finding out what love looks like, and then finding a way to sell it. From double-decker tour buses to glamorous galas–you’ll want to join Kasey on her journey to find out the truth about love.

The picture above includes a little “Book of Days.” I dug that out this morning when working on an Instagram photo post. This is one of my treasures. It’s the journal I filled out on my Europe trip, way back in college. I’m so thankful I wrote down even snippets of every day I was there. It was a trip of a lifetime and that little book helps me remember the details. The month I spent in Europe was the inspiration behind Looks Like Love. The places that Kasey visits–such as Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, Bath, and more–are places I went to on my tour and that were stamped on my heart forever. The last week of the month was spent in Paris and Rome and Florence with my dad. The next year I would get married, so those days of just the two of us were extra special. (Though, I will say that admiring the Statue of David with your dad is an interesting experience! Ha! But we made it through and had an amazing time, from exploring Paris, to traveling via train in a sleeper car on our way to Rome (two little grannies shared our cabin!), to dinner in Florence. Those are moments I cherish.)

So, in some ways, Looks Like Love is imprinted with the heart memories of that trip. It’s one of my favorites and I hope you’ll check it out. Hop over to Amazon and read the first chapter!

The fun of Valentine’s isn’t just romance, and that’s part of what I love about the book. (Though romance is wonderful of course!) It’s exploring the many ways we see love in our lives–family and friends and so much more. Being loved by the people closest to us, and loving them well in return, makes all the difference.

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I thought I would do a little giveaway as my Happy Hearts Day gift to you! I’m offering one free Kindle e-book download for Looks Like Love. All you have to do is leave a comment (click on the rafflecopter link) telling us a vacation spot that’s on your bucket list, and for an extra ticket (not required), hop over and like my Facebook page . Since I want you to have this before Valentine’s Day, the raffle will run until February 9th. So spread the news, grab some white chocolate (Kasey’s favorite), maybe a little pink champagne, click on the link below, and get ready!

a Rafflecopter giveaway