Dedication for Sea of Passion

My Historical Romance novel Sea of Passion will be released August 13, 2014. I started to write it just before my 22 birthday. I will be turning 35 next month. So, fourteen years later my dream of having my book published is coming true. I am glad I have patience! There were times that I wanted to give up on my writing. Times that I wanted to delete every word. But, there has always been one person who has been in my corner through it all. She has been my cheerleader, she has helped me to plot out scenes when I am stuck, she has read everything I have written over and over again. She has stayed up to the wee hours of the morning editing, helping me write query letters, synopsis, blurbs, pitches, and everything else. She was there for me when I have received countless rejection letter and cursed the agents and editors who have passed on my work. Without her, this book wouldn’t be released tomorrow. Mom, this book is for you. I love you!

This is the dedication in my book:

My love of history began at an early age during family vacations around the Unites States learning about the history of our country.
Thank you, Mom,
for instilling in me the importance of the past as well as the importance of play and make believe.
Thank you, Mom,
for making up stories to me as a child and creating a fantasy world that let my imagination soar.

This book is dedicated to my mom, Gayle. Thank you for your love and support and for always believing in me.

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RWA National Conference 2014

I got back a week ago from the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference that was held in San Antonio Texas. It was my first National conference. I have heard that Nationals is the one to go to. I had been to three smaller conferences, one in Kentucky, Ohio, and Chicago. But, I had yet to spend the big bucks for the National Conference. This year, I decided to go for it. I registered, then I booked the room and started looking at flights and I felt sick to my stomach. I started to think, what if I never make it as a writer and I am wasting my money!

My mom reminded me of something. Your dreams won’t come true if you don’t try. So, I found a roommate to split the hotel costs of the conference, to lessen the financial burden. Marisa Dillon, my roommate is an aspiring author as well. Her debut novel is coming out in October. She is from Ohio and writes Historical Romance, so right away we had something in common.

I registered to pitch to an agent and an editor. Upon arrival I found out that something went wrong and I didn’t end up having a pitch appointment with an agent after all. I was very disappointed, but was told that I could grab some openings if people cancelled. It worked out great for me. I ended up snagging three pitch appointments and all three asked to see my work! I have already sent it out. Now I have to wait to hear back.

I learned a lot at the conference. It reinforced that I have to keep at it. I can’t give up. This is my dream, if I want my dream to come true, only I can make it happen. So, I am going to keep plugging away at it and keep on writing.

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One Month Later…

I have been too busy to write a blog post this last month. One month ago I stated in this blog that I was going to work on my work in progress. I had 11,000 words already written. Almost every day I wrote. I had a general idea of where my story was going, but it changes along the way and has evolves all on its own.

I am so proud to say that in one month’s time I wrote an additional 62,910 words!! I finished my novel today with almost 74,000 words. That is a huge accomplishment. The title of my new novel is First Kiss. It is the second in a series. First Kiss is about two characters that I introduced in Harbor of Love.

This is the fourth full novel that I have completed. I have a lot of ideas in my head for possible stories, but only four have gone the distance.

I am currently working on trying to find an agent to represent me for Harbor of Love. I hope now that I have book two in the series written that might be a selling point. Now I have to work on writing a synopsis for First Kiss and send out queries for this one too. The whole process is long and tiring, but when I typed the last word, it is the most thrilling feeling. I just wrote a book…again!

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New Year’s Resolutions

I hate making a resolution. I never follow it. I thought that maybe I would make my resolution be no fast food for a year. As soon as I thought it McDonald’s sounded so good to me. I figured I better change that resolution or I wouldn’t make it past January. I decided to set my goal to something that I could actually achieve. So, my New Year’s Resolution is to finish writing two books this year.

It doesn’t sound like much, but I have two books that will be coming out this year too. I haven’t gotten edits back yet, so that will take some time. Also, my full time job tends to get in the way of writing. I can’t put that off. I also can’t put off my almost four year old! So, I think that two books in one year is very attainable.

In order to fulfill my goal I have started working on my newest novel. I am 11,000 words into it. I have the next three chapters roughly planned out as well. It is a good start. I haven’t figured out a title yet, but it is a spin-off of my contemporary romance novel, Harbor of Love.

Here is an excerpt from my newest Work in Progress (WIP) Enjoy!!


“Don’t do it, Jillian,” he walked backwards until he came up against the fridge. There was nowhere else to go.

            Jillian’s eyes blazed blue in anger. She reared back her arm and let the crystal vase fly.

            It shattered against the fridge, just missing his head.

            “Let’s talk about this like adults,” he pleaded with her. She was looking around the kitchen for something else to throw at him.

            “Baby, talk to me.”

            “Don’t call me baby,” Her eyes met his across the room. She stopped looking for an object to hurt him with, and paused. “You aren’t worth it.” She grabbed her purse and car keys from the table and went out to the garage.

            She got into her SUV and squealed the tires as she put it in reverse to get out of there as quick as possible. As she merged onto the interstate tears started to blur her vision.

            Jillian put down the window. She was instantly blasted with the steamy humid air. It was July 2nd and Chicago was going through a heat wave. All she wanted was to get out of downtown and away from Nate before she turned her car around to go back to throw something else.

            After ten minutes of sitting in Chicago’s bumper to bumper traffic on I-95, Jillian let her mind go back to the scene she had just witnessed. She gripped the steering wheel until her knuckles were white. “You son of a bitch,” She yelled. Jillian glanced at the car next to her, a group of high school age girls started to giggle. “Get it together,” she told herself.


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Setting Goals

I am a planner. I write myself multiple notes per day about what I need to get done, things to remember, and goals for myself.

I make writing goals out all the time. I wanted to do Nano write this year, but I knew that I wouldn’t have the time with teaching. So, I made more realistic goals for my writing instead. My first goal was to finish re-reading my contemporary romance novel for any mistakes I missed or places that I needed to fill in more details. I ended up adding more than 2,000 words to it. After I was done, I sat looking at my computer, happy as could be. This is my best book yet. I just love it! So…I have already fulfilled my first goal for this month.

My second goal is going to be more complicated and time consuming. I want to start writing out the next in the series. I already have the plot loosely laid out. I have gone to seminars and read about how you should plot it all out, with the scenes…but that doesn’t work for me. My characters have a mind of their own as I begin to write them and my story changes. So, I make some general comments and ideas of what I am thinking about and then I get down to writing. I have the opening of book two in my Harbor of Love series. I wrote it over a year ago when I got the idea for the series.

This is Jillian’s story…


“Don’t do it, Jill,” he walked backwards until he came up against the fridge. There was nowhere else to go.

            Jill’s eyes blazed blue in anger. She reared back her arm and let the crystal vase fly.

            It shattered against the fridge, just missing his head.

            “Let’s talk about this like adults,” he pleaded with her. She was looking around the kitchen for something else to throw at him.

            “Baby, talk to me,” he said.

            “Don’t call me baby,” Her eyes flashed. She stopped looking for an object to hurt him with, and paused. “You aren’t worth it.” She grabbed her purse and car keys from the table and went out to the garage.

            She got into her SUV and squealed the tires as she put it in reverse to get out of there as quick as possible. As she merged onto the interstate tears started to blur her vision.


My goal is to have book two completed by the end of this school year. Wish me luck!

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Halloween Excerpt from Harbor of Love.

Excerpt from Harbor of Love.

Chapter Eight

“Trick or treat!” A group of four little princesses yelled out.

“Happy Halloween,” Andrea replied back. They excitedly held out their bags and pillow cases waiting to find out what kind of candy they were about to receive. Andrea had been making candy for the past three days in anticipation of Halloween. She had packaged them in treat bags with a seal from Andrea’s Bakery, so that the parents wouldn’t be leery of homemade candies.

The little girls looked delighted and thanked her. Andrea watched as the girls made their way to their next stop, the toy store next door. Halloween was still three days away, but all of the shops in down town Harbor Springs had an annual tradition of hosting a Halloween Trick or Treat Event.  It was a town favorite because it allowed the kids to come out during the daylight hours and parade around town in their costumes.

“Boo,” A young boy in a ninja turtle costume said as he jumped out at her.

“Happy Halloween,” Andrea reached into her bowl to give him a bag of candy. He giggled at her from behind his mask.

“Do you know who I am?” He giggled again. Andrea spotted Kyle and Kugar standing across the street watching them.

“Are you a frog?” Andrea played along pretending not to know who he was.

He giggled again. Then he reached up and removed his mask. His blue eyes were filled with joy and his cheeks were red from the excitement of running from shop to shop.

“Wow it’s you Ryan. I never would have guess that it was you under that mask. You had me fooled.” Andrea reached into her bowl for another two bags of candies to add to Ryan’s plastic pumpkin that was already half filled with candy.

“Thanks, Andrea.” Ryan wrapped his arms around Andrea’s middle.

“You’re welcome, kiddo. Come visit me soon, I miss you and Kugar.”

“Uncle Kyle, I got extra candy.” Ryan beamed as he hollered out to his uncle.

“Hi Andrea,” Kyle said as he crossed the street and walked towards her.

“Hi, Kyle,” she hadn’t spoken to him since the night of the opening two weeks ago. She had seen him coming into and leaving the real estate office that was located just a few doors down across the street, but he had stayed clear of her bakery.

“How are things going with the bakery?”

“Great, I’m exhausted, but I love it.”

“By the way I like your costume, very cute.” Kyle reached out to touch her wings.

Andrea was dressed up as a fairy. Complete with wings and a wand too.

“Thank you,” Andrea blushed.

Ryan tugged on Kyle’s hand, “c’mon Uncle Kyle.”

Andrea gave Kugar a pat on the head. “Have fun, Ryan. Come see me soon.” Andrea called out to him.

“Bye Andrea,” Kyle smiled at her. He couldn’t get over how cute she looked in her costume. It made him want to pick her up and twirl her around like a little girl. And then he wanted to see if her wand could grant him a wish too. All he wanted was Andrea in his arms and her lips on his.

Andrea watched Ryan and Kyle walk away from her. She had been hoping everyday that Kyle would stop by the bakery to see her. She felt bad about her abrupt dismissal of him the night of her opening. She knew that her behavior was unacceptable. Her problem was that she couldn’t seem to control herself when she was around him. Andrea knew that she liked him. She knew because she found herself daydreaming more and more about him with each passing day.

“Delivery,” A man walked towards Andrea holding a long white box. She could tell by the size of the box that someone was sending her roses. “Andrea Brown?” he asked.

Andrea was paralyzed from fear. Her face turned white. She was no longer going by Brown. She knew that there was only one person who would address something to her as Andrea Brown.


This isn’t the end of the chapter…I can’t give too much away! I hope that you are mad and wanting to find out what happened next!


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Weekend Getaway to Harbor Springs, MI

The beginning of fall in Northern Michigan

The beginning of fall in Northern Michigan

Last month I went on a weekend getaway to the small town of Harbor Springs, Michigan. It also happens to be the small town that is the setting of my contemporary Romance Novel.

As I was walking around town I felt like I could feel my characters in that town. I grew up going to Harbor Springs with two of my childhood friends whose families owned cottages on Lake Michigan. I fell in love with the small town feel and the beautiful scenery that northern Michigan has to offer. As soon as the idea for my book came to me, I instantly knew that I wanted to base my book there.

My novel, Harbor of Love takes place in October. Right about now, my main character Andrea would be arriving in Harbor Springs to start her new life.  J

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Sometimes life seems to be a juggling act. I now have three different personalities that I switch between.  Anne Lawson the romance novelist, Becca Johnson the YA author and the high school history and health teacher. I am maintaining three websites and three blogs.  I am glad that my role as a mom doesn’t require a website and blog page to keep up with. I just have to keep up with my three year old.

I am not complaining though.  I have a great life, my dreams have come true. It has taken a lot of hard work to get here. I know there is still a lot of hard work to come as well.

Today was the first day of school. I love the first day, it is a fresh start for everyone. This year it is a fresh start in a new school for me as well. I feel optimistic and excited for the challenges ahead of me. I haven’t been able to get a new blog posted every week. but, after I get into the swing of things and get settled in, the blogs will start coming every week again.

January has never felt like the beginning of the year for me. It has always felt like new beginning in September at the start of a new school year.

Cheers to new beginnings everyone!

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Pitch time at Savvy Authors

It’s that time of year for Savvy Author’s Summer Symposium! I participated last year and I had a few requests for my novels. After submitting, being rejected and revisions, I submitted again in April for their pitch week and that is how I got both of my contracts! So this time around I am submitting my small town contemporary romance novel, Harbor of Love. I am only pitching to agents this time though. So, I am crossing my fingers and hoping for some great new to share soon!!

Here is my pitch for Harbor of Love. I think it is my best book so far…

Harbor of Love is a 68,000 word contemporary romance, with a hint of suspense, set in the small town of Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Sometimes the end is really the beginning.

After five years in an abusive marriage Andrea Waggoner moves 600 miles away for a fresh start in Harbor Spring Michigan. She is in search of a new life, with a new career and new friends. Andrea is instantly attracted to the landlord of the bakery that she opens in town. She fights her feelings fearful of opening up and revealing her physical and emotional scars.

Kyle Trent is drawn to Andrea. He tries over and over to befriend her and warm up to her, only to be rejected even though he can see the longing in her eyes. After Kyle rescues Andrea out in a rain storm when her car won’t start, she agrees to go out with him. Their passion ignites and takes off.

But, Andrea is concealing her past and the fact that her ex is stalking her sending her notes and gifts. When the gifts become more personal and threatening Andrea fears not only for herself, but Kyle and his nephew Ryan that lives with him. She has to find the courage to face her past and confide in Kyle before Clint comes to take revenge on her.

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What does the Future Hold?

I am planning a scene in my next book where my main character is going to go to a psychic. I have never been to a psychic, so in order to write the scene and make it authentic, I had a psychic party. Who doesn’t want a glimpse into their future? I was all for it, but I was a little nervous at the same time.

She didn’t have a crystal ball, she didn’t wear a long flowing skirt and lots of jewelry, and she didn’t cast any spells. She was normal. She laid out on the table stones and crystals. There were probably forty total. She advised me to take a look at them and pick out the ones that I felt drawn to. It was easy. Certain stones and crystals instantly caught my eye and I knew I wanted those ones and set them in front of me.

I nervously waited for her to start. She told me she kept seeing dreams, that dreams were important. My second book that I wrote is called Dreamer, where my main character has dreams every night that come true. I was dumbfounded. I thought holy shit this woman is for real! She went on to tell me a few more things about my past that I already knew. Then she got to the good stuff…the future. My future looks pretty good!  I am anxious to see how it all plays out.

I know that I am the one who really controls my future. She said my books will be well received. In order for that to happen, I can’t sit back and wait for that to come. I have to make it happen. I am more than willing and excited to make all of my dreams come true. Your dreams can only come true if you help them along!


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