Tag Archives: Alison Stone

Re-Release of Plain Pursuit

10 Oct

Happy Fall! I love this time of year.

I’m thrilled to announce my first Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit, is going to be re-released on December 29, 2015 in print. Plain Pursuit will be part of a 2 for 1 novel with Patricia Davids’s The Amish Midwife. Apparently Amish fiction is still very popular.

Plain Pursuit December 2015

Re-release of Plain Pursuit December 2015

Original Release June 2013

Original Release June 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new cover reflects the general tone of Amish books. How do you think it compares to the original cover? I’ve always loved the “creepy” tone of the Love Inspired Suspense books, however, I do love the new cover. The baby is so cute. What do you think?

If you’d like to stay current on all my new releases, please consider signing up for my newsletter. Click here.

Cheers,

Alison

Alison Stone

 

 

 

 

New Release: Silver Lake Secrets

22 Nov

Hello everyone,

I’m seeing a trend with this blog. I tend to post when I have a new release. I suppose that’s not a bad thing.

My latest release from Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Silver Lake Secrets, will be out December 1, 2014. I lovingly call this one my “funeral home book.” The main character, Nicole, is a cosmetologist in a funeral home because she refuses to work at the salon where the 9780373446407small-town gossips are likely to make her the primary topic of discussion. Of course, as in every Love Inspired Suspense, mayhem and love ensue. Here’s the blurb:

Nicole Braun left Silver Lake under a cloud of suspicion—and someone isn’t about to let her forget her troubled past now that she’s returned home. The single mom has worked hard to overcome her reputation, but suddenly she’s the target of an unknown enemy. Only local police chief Brett Eggert has the power to protect her and her young son. But nothing prepares the lawman for the discovery that Nicole’s little boy is the nephew he never knew he had. With Nicole’s secret revealed, Brett is more determined than ever to ensure her safety and find out what’s behind her deadly homecoming.

Silver Lake Secrets will be available at Walmart, Kmart, Kroger, Barnes and Noble and other retailers throughout the month of December. It will also be available at your favorite online retailer.

If you have a chance to pick it up, I’d love to hear from you. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

All the best,

Alison

Too Close to Home Now in Print

3 Jul

I’m very excited. Too Close to Home is now available in print for everyone who prefers to hold a book in their hands. And if you’re looking for a beach read, it’s definitely easier to shake the sand out of the pages than out of your eReader. 😀

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend.

Cheers!

Alison

Links for Too Close to Home

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Samhain

Hanging around the World Wide Web

17 Jun

Today I find myself in three places at once. That’s the beauty of the Internet. It can be done.

Thanks to Roxanne Rustand for hosting me on her fun blog, All Creatures Great and Small where I’m chatting about meeting the famous polar bear cubs at the Buffalo Zoo.

I’m also over at Just Romantic Suspense talking about how different Halloween, the movie, would have been if Jamie Lee Curtis’s character had a cell phone. Yes, the mind of a writer is a quirky thing. 🙂

Lastly, I’m also featured on The Suspense Zone. Thanks to Susan Sleeman for asking me some great questions. I talk about the inspiration for my latest release, Plain Pursuit, as well as give a little advice to new writers.

If you have a minute, stop by any of these sites and say hello.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday

4 Jun

BirthdayToday is my youngest child’s birthday. It’s her last birthday in the single digits. 🙂 It’s also another birthday of sorts. My first Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit, has an official paperback release of June 4th! It seems fitting somehow. And my beautiful daughter is excited that Harlequin chose her birthday to release my book.

It’s been a long road to publication. When I first decided to write a romance novel, I decided I wanted to have my name on the cover of a Harlequin. This was in the days before eBooks became popular. Yet, even as the popularity of eBooks exploded, I was still determined to sell to Harlequin. I am nothing if not determined.

A good friend of mine who also happened to be a writer sent me a lovely e-mail after yet another rejection from Harlequin. The editor had wonderful things to say, but she still passed on my book. I felt like I had hit a wall. My friend wrote:

If an editor said “I’m eager to get her under contract” I would have swooned. Do people still swoon? You’ve got it, kid. Don’t give up. At the very least, what a model for your kids on what it takes to succeed. Am I blowing smoke up your derriere? Nope. Close only counts when people use it as an excuse to bow out. Look at the many writers who struggled. I’m talking good writers who managed to believe in themselves no matter what. There are too many fools out there who make it because they are blind to their own BS. You just need to find your own unique voice, blend it to the “smooth, clean writing style.”

That e-mail is still in my inbox. It’s dated March 2009.  With my friend’s encouragement, I plowed ahead.

And then finally I had success. In the summer of 2011, I sold two books, Random Acts and Too Close to Home to the fabulous Samhain Publishing. I learned that sometimes dreams can be realized in unexpected ways.

I continued to write and in July 2012, I got “the call” from Harlequin.  My original goal achieved! Today, I can hold my first Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Plain Pursuit,  in my hand. In the dedication I wrote, in part, to my four children:

If you want something badly enough and you’re willing to word hard, dreams can come true. Thanks for helping me make my dream come true.

I hope I have taught my children something about perseverance and hard work.  I hope they have big dreams and are open to new, unexpected opportunities. I hope they never give up when success is almost within reach.

Happy Birthday, little one. May all your dreams come true.

~Alison Stone

Welcome Guest ~ Merrillee Whren

8 May

Merrillee Whren

Welcome Merrillee Whren! I love chatting with fellow authors. Thanks for answering my questions. And be sure to check out Merrillee’s latest release, A Place to Call Home.

1. I love your story of perseverance on your journey to publication. Can you share a little bit about how you kept going in the face of rejection to eventually find publishing success? In the early years, I expected rejection, and I was too ignorant to know that receiving a rejection five months after I submitted was not a sign that the editor had actually read the whole manuscript. Although I had read a couple of books on writing romance and a couple of others on writing novels, I learned so much more after I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter, Georgia Romance Writers. Also being part of a critique group helped keep me going. A year after I submitted my third manuscript to a publisher, I got a request for revisions. It took me too long to do the revisions because I had just started a new teaching job. Anyway, nine months later I got the rejection, but it was a very good rejection. Sometimes, when I got overwhelmed with discouragement, I would pull out the rejection letter and read it and remind myself that an editor had said some very good things about my writing. Another thirteen years passed before I made my first sale. During that time, I stayed active with my local RWA group wherever that might have been since I moved numerous times. I entered writing contests for feedback and began to place or final in them. My best win was the RWA Golden Heart that I won in 2003, the year before I made my first sale to Love Inspired. I somehow worked my way through the bad news and rejections and clung to the good news. As I look back over that time, I see that God was leading me to write Christian stories.

 

2. What is your writing process like? I’m mostly an organic writer (seat-of-the-pants). The kernel of an idea—either a character or a setting—comes to mind in a beginning scene. I take it from there. I have a difficult time seeing the whole story, so it is hard to plot things ahead of time, but if I want to sell on proposal, I have to come up with that synopsis. Even after a dozen books, it doesn’t get easier.

3. Describe your perfect day. A perfect writing day would include completing 2500 words. That doesn’t happen very often because I am not a fast writer. Otherwise, a perfect day includes a long walk during which I think about the story I’m writing, a visit with my granddaughters and an evening watching my favorite TV shows with my husband.

4. I love the cover of your new book, A Place to Call Home. Why did you decide to “go indie” when you published it? Thanks, Alison. I love the cover, too. Kim Van Meter did an excellent job helping me capture the concept of the story. I decided to “go indie” with this book because it is the manuscript that won the Inspirational Golden Heart in 2003. It is too long for Love Inspired, since they lowered their word count a number of years ago. I don’t believe I could place it with other publishers because it isn’t a story that would work as a single title. It lacks the subplots necessary for a single title book. Thankfully, authors have choices now that allow stories that fit nowhere else to find a home.

5. What’s coming up next for you? I’m waiting to hear on a proposal that I have with Love Inspired. While I’m waiting, I’m working on a book that looks like it’s also going to be an indie book. It’s what I call my “basketball story.” I think it has some elements that are very relevant to today in college athletics. Again it is a story that is difficult to place, but may find readers in the “indie” market. It is also a story that requires a lot of research.

 

STARTING OVER

WEB MERRILLEE WHREN for FB (427x640)After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn’t what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt’s claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

A Place to Call Home looks wonderful. Congratulations. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

All the best,

Alison 

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Motivational Monday ~ Enjoy the Moment

22 Apr

Motivational Monday ~ Enjoy the Moment

Recently, the news has been filled with unbelievable tragedy and sadness. It’s at times like these, I stop and remember all the reasons I have to be grateful.

On Saturday, my youngest made her First Communion. I love this photo because it oozes personality. She’s tired of having her picture taken at this point. 🙂 But I wanted to make sure I captured the day.

During Mass, I held her hand and tried to stay present in the moment. I have three older children and I am all too aware of how quickly times go by.

Enjoy the moment.

Cheers,
Alison

Motivational Monday ~ External Inspiration

4 Mar
Now available in print

Now available in print!

I’ve always been a firm believer that no one can motivate someone else to do something they don’t want to do, not for the long run anyway. I often say this about my children. They have to want good grades. I can encourage them. Provide the tools they need, but I can’t do it for them. (I refuse to do it for them!)

To be successful in anything, a person has to be self motivated. This is especially true for writers. How else is a person going to go from idea to finished novel? It’s a long journey. The desire has to come from with-in.

However, a little “external inspiration” never hurts when it comes to fanning the flames of self-motivation. Mine came in the March 2013 issue of RT Book Reviews. Random Acts, my debut romantic suspense received 4 Stars (out of 4.5 stars) and this wonderful review:

Romantic suspense fans, hold onto your hats because Stone evokes a whirlwind of emotions from the moment her book begins. This engaging story with a tough-as-nails heroine kicks off with a mystery readers will want to sink their teeth into, and the vast array of characters helps it all come together. Though a bit vague at times, Stone’s story is still easy to follow and so good it’s terrifying.

Whenever I get in a lull in my current project, I think back to this wonderful review and keep chugging along. How do you motivate yourself when you’re feeling uninspired?

One last thing, Random Acts, currently available as an eBook, will be out in print tomorrow, March 5, 2013. Check it out if you get a chance.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Motivational Monday ~ Stay Away from the Joy Suckers

18 Feb

photo (90)Last week I was reading The Buffalo News* and  I came across Lisa Earle McLeod’s column titled, “What is the poison person costing you?” As I read the article, I found myself nodding in agreement. She divides co-workers into three categories: Nitpickers, Subversives and Eeyores.  I think we’ve all had to deal with people in each of these groups.  I’ve long described a few people I know as Eeyores and I wholeheartedly agree with Lisa Earle McLeod’s description.

Eeyores: Their calling card is heavy sighs, beleaguered looks, and endless complaints. They’re always searching for someone who will finally listen to their tale of woe. Being around an Eeyore is Chinese water torture. You’re dying, but it’s one slow drip at a time.

I also describe these people as Joy Suckers. I have no idea how people live with them, nor how they live with themselves.  If you’re like me and work at home, you can still find poisonous people all over the internet. I have learned to tune out these poisonous people on social media. If you’re a writer, you may recognize a few on this list.

  • The person who badmouths publishing professionals or publishing houses.
  • The writer who tears another writer’s work to shreds.
  • The writer who constantly complains about how hard writing is and how she never has time because of her kids, her husband, her mother, her job, her (fill in the blank.)

Sure, writing is hard. Bad stuff happens. But if you fill your head with negative comments, it will zap your creative energy. You will begin to believe all the bad stuff and only the bad stuff. Instead we need to focus on the positive.

  • The writer who signed her dream agent.
  • The writer who had fabulous success with her latest novel.
  • The writer who took the time to give you advice.

I prefer to surround myself with positive people. Life’s too short.

Do you naturally gravitate toward positive people? Have you taken active steps to move away from those who poison your dreams? I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

*Why, yes, I do still subscribe to my local newspaper. I read it old school, too — spread out underneath my bowl of cereal. Since The Buffalo News’ website is by subscription only, I linked to Ms. Earle McLeod’s syndicated column in The Huffington Post. This side note reminds me of a funny exchange I heard on iCarly. Yeah, I have preteens. They watch iCarly.

Carly : What’s going on?
Spencer : I’m shredding newspapers with an industrial gasoline-powered paper shredder. How was school?
Sam : I don’t remember or care. [picks up a newspaper] Man, why do they even make these things anymore?
Carly : Some people still read newspapers.
Sam : Yeah, hobos and the elderly.

I think of this every time I renew my news subscription and it makes me smile.

Motivational Monday ~ It’s Not Too Late to Be Who You Were Meant to Be

22 Oct

Last week, I was over on SavvyAuthors (an awesome site for authors) blogging about my path to publication. I titled the blog, “What If You’re Not a Born Writer?”  Here’s the link to the original post, if you want to check out the comment section over there. (Click here.) The entire post is re-posted here. I like the new title, too: “It’s Not Too Late to Be Who You Were Meant to Be.” Never to late.

I am in awe of the writer who knew her destiny since birth. She has a gift for storytelling. Her bio is filled with stories about how she put crayon to paper when she was in pre-school and her peers gathered around with their blankets as she weaved stories about princesses and dragons and the knight in shining armor who saved the day. Or maybe it was the alien who abducted the naughty little boy who ignored his momma’s warning not to take the short-cut through the woods.

This same “born” writer relays stories about how she snuck grandma’s Harlequins from her closet and devoured them under her blanket by the light of a flashlight when she was a precocious ten-year-old. She absorbed the elements that made a wonderful romance by virtue of her voracious reading habits. When she put pen to paper, no one had to tell her what made a good story. She knew. Inherently.

But what if you didn’t share the experience of the “born” writer. Is it too late for you? Will you always be playing catch up with the writer who had a passion for it from an early age?

I was close to thirty when I first got the idea to write. The idea came in the form of an advertisement in a women’s magazine. Remember the ad about writing for children? Heck, I had a kid, maybe I could write. But from day one, doubts plagued me. In the beginning, I had an obsession with reading author bios. I’d click on author websites and sigh every time an author had a MFA in Creative Writing. I’d throw down my pen every time an author said she’d been writing stories since pre-school. How could I compete? I have a degree in engineering and up until my mid-twenties, I only read books I had to. You know, the required reading for AP English? I had spent my youth focusing on math and science. English was too subjective for my analytical brain.

However, the desire to write grew. I used my “left brain” to study the market. I learned that romance readers were a voracious bunch. I read across the different subgenres and realized romantic suspense was my favorite. I think it has something to do with putting the puzzle pieces together to solve the who-done-it?

Yet doubts continued to plague me. I couldn’t instinctively put together the pieces of a story, not like some of my peers who had been reading romance for twenty years. But I had a desire and the inclination to learn. And darn it, the desire to write wouldn’t leave me. So, I started to take concrete steps towards my goal:

  1. I joined RWA. Since I write romantic suspense, this was key. If you write a different genre, seek out a group that would best support your writing. Through RWA, I attended conferences, learned from workshops, and met other writers. Little by little, the elements of writing were no longer shrouded in mystery.
  2. On-line resources. When I first started writing, the internet was in its infancy, however it was my first means to reach out to other writers. And I did. Writers are a helpful bunch. Now, there are so many online resources including Savvy Authors which has fantastic workshops. I highly recommend them.
  3. Read. There is no way you can become a better writer if you do not read. Read all different kinds of books. You’ll start to see what works and doesn’t work. I can’t believe I didn’t discover the joy of reading for pleasure until my adulthood.
  4. Find a critique partner. Sometimes this takes trial and error. Be open to constructive criticism, but be willing to leave a group if it’s not working for you. You’ll know when you click with a critique partner. They shouldn’t praise everything you do, nor should they rip you to shreds. In the end, the right critique partner should help you become a better writer. The benefits should be mutual.
  5. Read craft books. This doesn’t work for everyone, but because I’m analytical, it helped me understand the elements of story. Some of my favorites include:
    • Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. This book is very dense with knowledge, but if you push through it, you’ll learn a lot.
    • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King. I’ve reread this one a few times.
    • Stephen King’s On Writing. I can’t say enough about this one. It’s more inspiration than anything else. There are countless craft books. Ask other authors for their recommendations. Different books click for different people.
  6. Write. In order to be a writer, you must write. I highly recommend steps 1-5, but if you don’t do number 6, you are not a writer. Writers write. Write when you don’t feel like it. Write through the doubts. I constantly have to remind myself of step 6. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. But once I sit down and push through it, I remember how much I love to write. Heck, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

If you are a born writer, congratulations! I think it’s fantastic that you recognized a gift in your formative years. However, if you’re more like me and didn’t find your calling until you were an adult, don’t despair. I truly believe God (or the universe) wouldn’t plant the desire to do something if you didn’t have the ability somewhere deep down within you. You just have to dig deep.

Happy writing.

Today’s a new day! What steps are you taking to pursue your dreams?

Cheers,

Alison Stone