The Road to Publication
February 17, 2011 | Friends
Captivating Sarah Grimm and I met at a conference more years back than either of us wish to admit. We’ve remained friends, boosting each other when needed and slogging down cyber beers to celebrate our successes. Today, Sarah is here to share her heartfelt writer’s journey and its brilliant outcome.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I have notebooks filled with poems, story ideas, and partial chapters from as far back as age five. Yes, thanks to my older sister, I could read and write by age five. And I did. I read everything I could get my hands on, usually re-writing the story in my head as I went. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered something different depending on the day. I couldn’t make up my mind. Then I picked up my first romance novel. Suddenly I had my answer: “I want to get married, have children and write romances.”
As a young girl, I always had a story to tell. At times they were funny, other times scary, but they were always, and I mean always, happily-ever-after. You see, I’m a romantic—a die hard romantic. I believe in love, not just as a fundamental part of human relationships, but as a force that really can heal emotional scars. I truly believe there is someone for everyone—the person they are meant to find. Their other half. Their soul mate.
I always say that NOT WITHOUT RISK was the first story I wrote from start to finish, but after being asked to put something together about my road to publication, I realized that it wasn’t. My first story wasn’t even a romance, it was a story about my best friend. A story I titled MY CAT SNEAKER, which won a Young Authors Award. I still have the award, and the story, packed away with a few mementos from my youth.
When I got married, I set my writing aside. I focused on my husband and building a family. Then my youngest son was born and the struggle to keep him alive began. He was healthy at birth, colicky, irritable even, but healthy—until he turned six weeks old and began showing symptoms of croup. Fast forward a few months to me, frantically rushing in and out of the hospital with my son. We made so many late night emergency visits that my oldest began sleeping by the door to keep track of mommy. I can’t tell you how many times we rushed to the hospital with a child who was turning blue, only to be told by the doctors that they didn’t know what was wrong with him. Most of them thought I was just a young, overreacting mother (I even got the condescending pat on the head from a few), but one believed there was something more going on than croup.
That man saved my child’s life. He found a birthmark in my son’s throat that obstructed eighty percent of his airway. By the time we were done, my baby had endured stomach surgery, throat surgery, and a tracheotomy with all the special care that entails. As you can imagine, all the hospital time left me desperate for a distraction, so I took pen to paper, yup, longhand, and wrote my first romance. Not just bits and pieces of a book, but the entire hero and heroine’s journey from ‘Chapter One’ to ‘The End’.
Once the book was finished, I joined Romance Writer’s of America nationally as well as my local chapter. I went to conferences and learned about the craft of writing. I wrote and re-wrote that book, about four times actually, until I felt it was good enough to submit. I submitted to Triskelion just after they received RWA recognition, and they accepted it. I wasn’t with a big NY publisher, but I didn’t care. I was going to be published.
Then Triskelion began having problems. There were some of us who could see it coming, but like a train wreck, there wasn’t anything we could do. By this time, my first book had debuted to rave reviews and brisk sales, and they’d accepted my second book proposal. When they went bankrupt, I stopped writing. I felt betrayed and discouraged. In retrospect I should have kept plugging along, doing what I loved most, but I guess we don’t always do what’s best for us.
In 2008 I decided enough was enough and jumped back into the publishing world with both feet. I submitted to The Wild Rose Press. I was thrilled when they accepted my romantic suspense, NOT WITHOUT RISK. Even more so when it was released in January 2010 to reviews calling it “…fast paced, nail biting, page turning, edge of your seat suspense…” and “…a romantic, adventurous, thrilling read.”
I’m happily writing again. I have just completed edits on my second book, a contemporary romance titled AFTER MIDNIGHT, to be released soon by The Wild Rose Press. And I’m currently writing its follow-up, MIDNIGHT HEAT.
Oh, and how could I forget? NOT WITHOUT RISK was just nominated for the Long and Short of It’s BEST BOOK of 2010. The polls are active beginning February 14 at and will continue until February 27. If you’d like to vote, and I appreciate it if you do, please click here.
NOT WITHOUT RISK
The Wild Rose Press
Available now in eBook and Print. BUY LINK
Six agonizing months after a slug collapsed his lung, Sergeant Justin Harrison manages to return to the one place where he shines—the San Diego homicide division. Nothing will stand in the way of proving he is fit for active duty. Especially not the long-legged brunette who just stumbled into his crime scene.
Photographer Paige Conroy spent years hiding from her past. Then a late night telephone call brings it crashing back. An old friend is in town and needs her help. When she arrives at his hotel room four hours later, he’s dead. Suddenly, she’s the target of a madman, and Paige must turn to Sergeant Harrison for protection.
But who is the bigger threat to her… the faceless assailant she fears will steal her life or the dark-eyed detective she knows could steal her heart?
Paige had lost count of the times she’d told herself to stay away from him. She couldn’t stay away from him. Even as his words confirmed without a doubt they had no future together, the vulnerability in his eyes called out to her. She removed her fingers from his and slid her left hand up his chest to cup his jaw. His gaze warmed, the color of his eyes deepened as she dragged her fingers back and forth across the scruff of his beard stubble.
He would never love her.
She shifted her hand again, this time boldly smoothing her fingers across his lips. What should have been the catalyst that pushed her across the room drew her closer.
Justin reached up and curled his fingers around her wrist. “Be sure you want this,” he warned in a low growl. “I can’t make you any promises.”
She didn’t want any promises. She wasn’t looking to the future or worrying about the intelligence of her decision. For once, Paige wanted to live in the moment. She let reason slip and need take its place. “I want this,” she whispered, her thumb exploring his bottom lip. “I want you.”
The hand he held curled around her wrist flexed once, otherwise he did not move. Paige pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and stood. Unabashedly, she straddled his legs and settled atop his lap, her knees hugging his hips. The hard press of his erection shot sensations through her body like lightning bolts and drove a little growl of pleasure from the back of her throat.
She shuddered as he pulled her even closer, plowed his fingers into her hair and arched her head back. They were inches apart, staring into each other’s eyes, breathing the same air. His eyes weren’t cool now, they simmered with life, with greed and desire. His mouth hovered over hers for what seemed like an eternity then settled.
He was gentle at first and then, as she surrendered, his mouth explored hers with greater intent. He kissed her almost roughly, completely on fire, sweeping his tongue possessively into her mouth. His hands settled on her hips, gliding upward beneath her shirt until his palms closed over her naked breasts. His moan of approval, so raw and husky, vibrated into her mouth and made her heart pound even harder. The sensation of bare flesh against bare flesh sent waves of heat spiraling from her head to her toes. Her nipples hardened. Her belly quivered.
Arching her back, she pressed herself firmly into his palms and invited his hands to explore her more fully. He did, rolling her straining nipples between his fingers then worrying them with the friction of his palms. Her body shuddered. Wet heat flooded her core.
“Paige,” he breathed, as his mouth plundered her throat, fastened on that incredibly sensitive spot beneath her ear, then continued down to fasten on one of her breasts. He drew in the rigid tip of her nipple, and sucked.
Her lips parted on a quiet moan. She wrapped her arms around his neck and threaded her fingers into his hair, as pleasure arrowed through her system. The hot wet feel of his mouth on her was almost more than she could handle. And yet, it wasn’t enough. His hands smoothed down her sides to settle on her hips. His fingers curled into her flesh as he used his teeth, his tongue, his lips.
A gasp escaped her when he lifted her, sealing his torso to hers as he settled her along the length of the couch in one smooth motion. Bracing himself with his arms to keep his weight from crushing her, he came down on top of her, shifting his hips and pressing his erection more fully against her. His mouth returned to hers in a dizzying kiss.
Available now in eBook and Print. BUY LINK
I’ll be back tomorrow with a new release from Marie Tuhart. Until then…
Sweet as Honey…Hotter than Hell