When a book demands to be written

Six months ago, I sat down to finalize my writing schedule for the end of 2015 and 2016. It was simple enough. I planned on writing Nocturnal Challenge (Nocturnal Lives Book 4) and hopefully have it out before the end of 2015. Next up would be Honor from Ashes, the third book in the Honor and Duty series. Then would come Dagger of Elanna, book 2 in Sword of the Gods. Only then would I consider doing either another book in the Hunter’s Moon universe or something completely different. Everything looked good and I was excited about the schedule.

And then Slay Bells Ring came along. It’s a story that had been rattling around in my head for some time but never really gelled. It is also something very different from my usual fair. There isn’t a shapeshifter to found. Nor are there exploding spaceships or amnesiacs who have been touched by the gods. Oh no. This book turned out to be much like Wedding Bell Blues , the book I still blame on Sarah A. Hoyt. 😉 If it hadn’t been for her and a week at RWA, WBB would never have been written. Well, it might have been written but it never would have seen the light of day. It is the redheaded step-child of my writing.

Slay Bells Ring is much the same. Part romance and part mystery, complete with a clueless mother charged with murder and a main character who swore fifteen years ago never to move back home for any reason, it became the book that had to be written. Until it was, nothing else would get done.

I’d like to say I did Slay Bells Ring because it is great art. It’s not. I’d like to say I did it because it has a deep, intellectual message. It doesn’t. It is all about family, unfinished business and realizing that sometimes you can go home again. It is, I believe, a fun book.

It was also a book that wouldn’t be quiet until I wrote it. Sometimes, there are stories that just won’t shut up. None of the usual tricks to silence it worked. I took notes. I wrote the first chapter. I promised to write it just as soon as I finished Honor from Ashes. But nooooo. I had to write this book and I had to write it NOW!

So, Slay Bells Ring was born. For those of you who enjoy a little bit of romance with your suspense, or a little bit of suspense with your romance, check it out.

Fifteen years ago, Juliana Grissom left Mossy Creek in her rear view mirror. She swore then she would never return for more than a day or two at a time. But even the best laid plans can go awry, something she knew all too well, especially when her family was involved.

Now she’s back and her family expects her to find some way to clear her mother of murder charges. Complicating her life even further is Sam Caldwell, the man she never got over. Now it seems everyone in town is determined to find a way to keep her there, whether she wants to stay or not.

Bodies are dropping. Gossip is flying and Juliana knows time is running out. After all, holidays can be murder in Mossy Creek.

In case you missed it, here is the blurb from Wedding Bell Blues.

Weddings always bring out the worst in people. Or at least that’s the way it seems to Jessica Jones as her younger sister’s wedding day approaches. It’s bad enough Jessie has to wear a bridesmaid dress that looks like it was designed by a color blind Harlequin. Then there’s the best man who is all hands and no manners. Now add in a murder and Jessie’s former lover — former because she caught him doing the horizontal tango on their kitchen table with her also-former best friend. It really is almost more than a girl should be expected to handle. . . .

Both books were fun to write, even if they aren’t what I normally do. However, since they are so different from my norm, I’m never quite sure to make of them. Or maybe I should say I’m not sure why my muse is so warped that she has me write them. All that said, I like the books and I like the characters, even if I wanted to kill Annie’s “mama” on more than one occasion while writing Slay Bells Ring. 😉

Now I’m off to finish the editing projects so I can start on the final draft of Honor from Ashes. It should be available for pre-order next week some time.

 

 

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