WRAPPED WITH A BOW

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Even though I’m an avid reader, this is one of those busy times of year when finding the time to settle down and concentrate on a full length novel can be a challenge. With that in mind, I recently picked up a collection of Christmas themed short stories titled, Wrapped With A Bow: Nine Holiday Short Stories as Unique as Snowflakes.

The authors who contributed to this collection are Aubree Lane , R.E. Hargrave, Ella Medler, Cherime MacFarlane, Samantha Jacobey, Michele E. Gwynn, Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough, Teri Riggs, and Holly Barbo.

I’ve enjoyed the work of all these authors in the past, and had high expectations for this collection. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great collection that I found to be entertaining, romantic, often heartwarming, always absorbing … and it also left me feeling good.

These stories truly are as unique as snowflakes, yet, along with being connected by the Christmas season, they also share the idea that there are more good decent people than bad people in this world – which I often need to reminded of after watching the evening news.

Some of these stories have an almost fairy tale quality, portraying down-on-their-luck young women who, against all odds, find their prince charmings and happy-ever-afters. There are also exhilarating thrillers – and even some stories with absorbing and exciting paranormal refrains designed to take us to new places.

All wrapped up together, this makes for a most satisfying reading experience. Not to mention that, at the extremely low price of ninety-nine cents, this collection is a steal – leaving more money in my pocket for holiday shopping. In fact, this short story set would make a great stocking stuffer for all your friends.

WRAPPED WITH A BOW contains the following stories:

THE KISSING BALL — Aubree Lane
SUGAR & SPICE — RE Hargrave
FROZEN HEART — Ella Medler
A WHITE CAT FOR CHRISTMAS — Cherime MacFarlane
CHRISTMAS CANDY — Samantha Jacobey
SOPHIE’S WISH — Michele E. Gwynn
CHRISTMAS FOR FAITH — Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough
TRUE LOVE NEVER DIES — Teri Riggs
A CRYSTAL SNOWFLAKE — Holly Barbo
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Available at Amazon…ONLY 99 cents!!
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0187NPMF4
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0187NPMF4
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0187NPMF4
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B0187NPMF4

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON AUBREE LANE

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I recently had a conversation with Aubree Lane about Early One Morning which has one of the most original plots I’ve ever come across, not to mention wonderfully drawn characters.

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As a very green (read naive, floundering, doubting myself) indie author, I was fortunate to happen across Aubree Lane, who personifies the notion that an author’s best friend is another author. After reading her novel Early One Morning (and being captivated by it) I pulled up my big girl panties and decided to contact her about reading and reviewing my debut novel, Looking for the Good Life. She told me it would be a while before she could get to it, but promised she would eventually read and review it for me.

Frankly, although I was hoping she was being truthful, I didn’t really expect her to follow through. Happily, I was wrong, and was thrilled when she put up a positive review on Amazon. It came at a time when I especially needed encouragement. That’s when I realized how significant support from fellow authors can be, and was inspired to make sure I offer support to other authors as well. Writing reviews is one of the ways I do that. Another way is to spotlight them on this blog.

Jayne: Welcome to my blog, Aubree. I’m so happy to have this chance to talk to you. Ever since reading Early One Morning I’ve wanted to ask you questions about it, especially the plot. But, before we talk about that, I’m curious about how long it actually took you to write Early One Morning.

Aubree: Wow, what an introduction. I had no idea. You have me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you, Jayne. We indies have to stick together. Being an independent author is not for the faint of heart.

Jayne: That’s so true … and you’re welcome.

Aubree: I know exactly how you were feeling that day. I’m glad I could help. You give me too much credit though. Your new book, Love in the Dust is up next on my TBR list and I can’t wait to start flipping the pages.

Jayne: Oh goody!

Aubree: As for Early One Morning, it was a work in progress for many years. It probably took me about a year to write the first draft. I had to set it aside when life took a turn and I began homeschooling my youngest son. Four years later we were both DONE with that. He went back to public school, and I went back to writing. I was a different person by that time and EOM was in for a complete rewrite. It took around another year before I felt it was ready for publication, so I drew in a deep breath and hit the publish button. It was the most exciting and scariest thing I’ve ever done.

Jayne: I know that feeling. I think of it as triumph (as in, yay me! I just wrote a book) immediately followed by massive self-doubt (as in, OMG – what if nobody likes it?). I think it must be the indie writers’ version of stage fright. But enough about that; I want to know about the plot of Early One Morning. Were you inspired by real events that were in some way similar to what takes place in the novel?

Aubree: Jayne, Jayne, Jayne … funny you should ask. One day a new girl in my high school choir brought her yearbook from her old school in Hawaii. That is where the correlation begins. Early One Morning is basically set in Hawaii, Annie (my heroine) used to sing in the high school choir, and a new student brought in her yearbook. Being teenage girls, my class gossiped and giggled our way through the pages and voted on the hottest boy in the senior class. Annie Harper and her classmates did so as well. I always remembered that day and the boy who grabbed our hearts. I thought I was alone in my weirdness, but one day I ran into one of my old friends and, out of the blue, she asked me if I remembered the boy in the yearbook. His name still rolled off our tongues. My hero had to be named, Terence Javier. No other name felt right.

Jayne: Great name!

Aubree: Yes, but that is where the similarities end. To the best of my knowledge, no one in my choir class sought Terence out. After running into my friend I began to wonder, what if one (or more) of us had gone to Hawaii and found our crush. My imagination went wild and Early One Morning was born.

Jayne: I love that the yearbook thing really happened. I was hoping you’d say that. Still, the way you had your characters follow up on the object of their crushes was brilliant. How about the process of character development in Early One Morning? Which came first, the characters or the plot? Okay, dumb question, since the yearbook thing sparked the story, the plot must have come first, at least to some degree. How do you usually handle plot versus characters?

Aubree: Let me say right off, I don’t do outlines. I always know how a story will begin and how I think it will end. The ending typically changes several times during the course of the writing process, so I hate to get hung up on what is supposed to happen. All of my stories need to have a twist the reader doesn’t see coming. Those little surprises usually pop in my head as I get into the meat of the tale.

The characters probably come first, but they are already wrapped up in a general plot line before I strike the first letter on the keyboard. As the story builds, so do the characters. What amazes me is that I find myself liking and developing some minor character more than I intended. In Early One Morning that character is David Crandall. David is married to Annie’s best friend. He’s a private investigator for his wife’s law firm. I liked him so much he finds his way (as a secondary character) into the next book I wrote called, Tahoe Blues.

Jayne: When I read Tahoe Blues I was thrilled to run into David Crandall again. Isn’t it funny how characters seem to take on a life of their own and sometimes do things we don’t expect them to do? So, what is your latest project?

Aubree: My current project is called Winter in Waianae. Annie’s little sister shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep. It is technically part of the series, but you could read it as a standalone. I love this book. It began as a holiday novella, but I couldn’t stop. It had to be full length. The day Annie’s little sister, Brittany, turns eighteen, she jumps on a plane and heads for Hawaii. She ends up falling for the boy across the street.

Sounds kind of like more of the same old thing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t want to give away too much, but there are a couple of mysteries which need to be solved. One of them revolves around a childhood bedtime story about Spinner dolphins and the Winter Solstice. The other is crime across the street at the kid’s house, and I’ll always have you wondering about who will get their happy ending (there will be at least one, but since the main characters are so young, this book will be family friendly).

In case you are wondering … yes, David Crandall shows up in this book too. I just can’t let him go. One day I’m going to have to break up with him, but not today.

Jayne: I’m certainly in no hurry for you to break up with David! I’m looking forward to running into him again … and going back to Hawaii with you to discover the mystery of the Spinner dolphins and the Winter Solstice … not to mention experiencing Annie’s little sister falling in love.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I’ll let you get back to work now so you can finish Winter in Waianae and hit that publish button again. Can’t wait to read it!

So there you have it folks. Be sure to go to Aubree’s Amazon author page and hit the follow button so you’ll know when Winter in Waianae is released. Meanwhile, get to know David Crandall, and all her other delicious characters, in Early One Morning and Tahoe Blues.

Fortunately, Early One Morning is widely available:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1dBCOm3
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1E1ubgg
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1EGJG8x
Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/18YyN9o

And, don’t forget you can connect with Aubree at:

Facebook
Amazon Author Page
Twitter @AubreeLane3
Goodreads

EOM Kindle Cover