If you haven’t gotten a copy of Close Up Magic, get it today! It’s free for the Kindle until midnight Amazon time. :) Just click on the cover below:
I’m hoping this will help get everyone ready for Island Magic, which should be out in October!
If you haven’t gotten a copy of Close Up Magic, get it today! It’s free for the Kindle until midnight Amazon time. :) Just click on the cover below:
I am totally late in announcing this (I was supposed to do it at 6 p.m. last night), but I did shut off entries at that point. Not that there were any more, but I wouldn’t have entered them in the giveaway if there were! And after consulting Random.org, the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card giveaway was…Cheryl Rhodes! I’ve already contacted Cheryl, who was kind enough to write TWO reviews. One for Close Up Magic and one for Tracks in the Sand. She was also kind enough to give them both five stars! Which I didn’t even require, if you remember. :) Although she did point out a typo in Close Up Magic that I totally missed. When I get a chance, I’ll be fixing that one.
Thank you to everyone who participated. I love giving stuff away, especially e-gift cards. :) They don’t even require me to go to the post office and stand in line! So I might be looking for more ways to give away gift cards over the next month. Stay tuned!
When I was a teenager, a boy I liked wrote something in my yearbook that I will never forget: “Have an awe-inspiring summer.” I’m sure he hardly thought about it at the time and probably doesn’t remember writing it now, but it had a profound effect on me.
Did I have an awe-inspiring summer then? No. Not really. I worked in the public library, read a lot of books, spent a week at the beach with my family. I didn’t really know how to go about having an awe-inspiring summer then.
This summer was awe-inspiring. For me, anyway. Why? Mainly the travel. I spent almost two weeks in the mountains where I grew up, a week in Wyoming where I went to Yellowstone and got to see Old Faithful and a bear, and finally a four-day trip that took me back to the mountains, then to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., and finally through Cherokee, N.C. and back home. Peppered in between I played school librarian and published Tracks in the Sand. It’s been a good summer. A productive summer. And it comes closer to approaching an awe-inspiring summer than any I’ve ever lived before. Even my kids think so.
And today I got an email from R. Paul Wilson, producer and director of “Our Magic”, a documentary about magic by magicians. I’m very excited about this documentary for several reasons, not the least of which is that it’s about one of my favorite subjects. I’m also proud to be a backer of this project. The opportunity presented itself just when I started my Sleight of Hand series, and I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in a project with real magicians.
Check out the trailer here: Our Magic.
Last week I gave away more than a thousand books on Kindle. Free. I was astounded. Blown away, really, by the enthusiasm. Okay, yeah, this is America. Stick the word “FREE” on something and we’ll likely pick it up. Even if we throw it in the garbage can later. But this was different because there are literally hundreds—probably thousands—of Kindle books up for grabs every day. Most written by people like me who are just trying to make it in the big world.
And more than a thousand readers selected MY books from that pile of free Kindle books. That means something. To me, anyway.
Okay, so, step one for me as an author is complete. My books are out there on Kindles everywhere. Check. The next step for me is to encourage you to READ my books. I know how it is. You download a “To Read” list on your Kindle and you never quite get around to actually READING them. And certainly not to REVIEWING them (step three). So here’s my idea. How about, if you read my books by August 15 at 6 p.m. AND review them on AMAZON, you get entered in a drawing for a $50 AMAZON gift card. For FREE! Certainly makes reviewing sound a lot better, doesn’t it?
And I’m talking about a real, honest review. If you don’t like my writing, I invite you to tell me why. If you do like my writing, I’d love to hear from you. I’ve learned a lot from both types of reviews from readers. Of course, I’m taking a risk here. It’s quite possible I could get one star from someone who reads my book just because of this giveaway and posts, “I didn’t like it because it wasn’t the Wall Street Journal.” I hope I don’t get those, but I have enough faith in my ability to write well in my genre that I’m willing to risk it.
So, if you like romance and women’s literature, and if you have read one of my books, and if you’re willing to write a review on one of them before August 15, here’s how to enter:
1. Download and read one of my books or read one of the ones you got in last week’s freebies.
2. Post an honest review on Amazon about the book.
3. Email me at email@example.com to let me know you posted a review.
4. Winner (selected by random draw) will be announced August 15 6 p.m. Eastern!
Good luck! I’ve already got a couple of entries!
Each day this week I’ve given away one of my books on Kindle for free, and I’ve spotlighted them on this blog, taking the opportunity to give you a little background on why I write what I write. And to sweeten the deal, I’m offering a $50 gift card for anyone who writes a review of one of my books on Amazon and posts it by August 15. Winner will be chosen by random drawing that evening. All you have to do is drop me an email at michellegflye at gmail dot com to let me know you posted the review. I want your honest take on ANY of my books (including the three published by actual publishers), not just the five I’m offering for free. But if you want a free book, here’s your chance!
Tracks in the Sand is my ninth book, but only the second I’ve set in my hometown of Brevard, N.C. I’m not totally certain why this is. Maybe I’m concerned my writing will be greeted by the people at home with the same enthusiasm Thomas Wolfe got for Look Homeward, Angel. Whatever the reason, when it came time to write about a woman going home after years away, it just seemed right to set it in Brevard.
Tracks, like Saturday Love, went through many revisions. I wanted the main character to be strong. I actually started Tracks right after Where the Heart Lies. I’d just written a super strong but very sweet character in Alicia, and I wanted to try something different with Paige. Paige is tough because life has made her that way. But she has so much more vulnerability than Alicia does. Alicia is strong clear through in a very good way. Paige is flawed, her strong exterior actually a mask for the hurt child she still is. It took me many hours of revisions to get Paige to the point where it was possible to like her, but I’m happy with the result. And, well, the hero who cracks through her tough outer shell at last and wins her heart…well, you read it and tell me.
Tracks in the Sand, my newest release, is free today. Go get it. But if you’re not convinced yet, here’s a little excerpt:
She’s thinking about playing cat and mouse with him again. An unexpected stab of jealousy made Sean grip his clipboard hard enough to turn his knuckles white. He turned away to pretend to count the hammers hanging on the pegboard nearest him. “Jesus, Paige, are you really thinking about going down that road again?”
“What?” She tried to look innocent, but he could tell by the tiny smile on her lips she’d already considered the possibility of sleeping with Travis. Was she looking for revenge on Travis or Melissa? Or both? And would she really go that far to get it?
“What what?” He shook his head, replacing the hammers and moving further down the shelves to continue. “You know what. The son-of-a-bitch broke your heart, that’s what. Now you’re thinking about sleeping with him.”
“I wouldn’t do that.” She folded her arms over her breasts in a defensive posture.
“Why the hell not? And don’t tell me you didn’t at least consider it.”
“Besides the ick factor, I wouldn’t do it because I wouldn’t want to hurt Beth.” She followed him down the aisle. “But yeah, I have to admit, it crossed my mind. It would be the perfect revenge.”
He gave her a sharp look. “But your better nature took over?”
She shrugged. “Not sure I have a better nature. But yeah, something like that. I like that girl, and I don’t want to cause her or her family any more trouble than I already have.”
He paused, deciding to play devil’s advocate. “Well, you know. She knows the deal between you and Travis, right? I mean, she’d probably come around eventually if you guys got back together.”
The shock on her face was followed so quickly by disgust, he realized he had nothing to worry about on that front. “You really know how to turn a girl’s stomach, Sean.”
He laughed. “Well, the way you danced in here, you looked like a woman in love.”
“Not love.” She paused, frowning. “But the kid is amazing, and she’s been the one bright spot in my return home. Aside from you, of course. And if her father breaks her heart, I’ll kill him.” She fixed Sean with a glare. “Have you heard anything about him? If he’d make a pass at me, he’s probably done it before with someone else.”
“Why would you say that?” Sean turned away. What little he knew about Travis he wished he didn’t, but he had to admit he had a hard time following her line of thinking. Paige was a sexy, beautiful woman, and they shared a past. Why wouldn’t Travis make a pass at her? What Sean had a hard time believing was that Travis had ever given Paige up.
“Why?” Paige shrugged. “I want to know if he’s a cheating bastard that’s going to end up hurting Beth. And does Melissa know? And if she does, which she surely does because she’s an intelligent woman, why the hell does she put up with it?”
“That’s not what I meant.” Sean straightened a shelf of drill bits, then turned to look at her. Her curly hair had frizzed a little in the damp evening air. She wore almost no makeup and her jeans and blouse were wrinkled. Her expression was frustrated, half angry, and her posture was defiant.
And his heart skipped a beat every time he saw her.
What would she do if I kissed her? Half the attraction was that he had no idea. She might kiss him back, she might hit him or bite him. She might kiss him back and then hit him. Whatever she did, he knew it would be unexpected because that was what Paige was.
“Well?” She raised her eyebrows. “What did you mean?” Her voice was so crisp and no-nonsense, he knew she had no idea what he was thinking.
And why was he thinking it now? But he knew the answer. Before she’d left ten years ago, he’d never been able to imagine his life without her in it and hadn’t been willing to do anything that might destroy what they had and scare her off in the process. But now he’d lived without her. He could do it again, if their relationship didn’t work out.
I don’t need her as a friend anymore. I want her as a woman.
“Sean? You still there?” Her expression had softened a little, concern overcoming some of her irritation.
“I meant that he never deserved you.” He took a deep breath and stepped toward her. “I meant that I can’t stand the thought of you sleeping with him. For revenge or anything else.”
Decision made, he reached for her, caught her by the arm and pulled her to him. Startled and off balance, she tipped forward into him, catching herself by grabbing his chest. Her expression when she looked up at him had changed from confused to uncertain.
“I never said I was going to sleep with him.” She sounded a little breathless…and like she was trying very hard not to sound breathless. The idea that she felt the attraction too and didn’t want him to know pleased him. And she didn’t try to push him away, either.
Maybe this would be easier than he’d thought. Probably not, though.
He slid his arms around her waist, pulling her closer as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “You don’t have to say anything. I know what you’re thinking.”
“Do you?” Her gaze flickered—instinctively and unwillingly—to his lips and back to his eyes. “Do you know what I’m thinking right now?”
“Sure.” He grinned. “You’re thinking that if I don’t let go of you you’re going to knee me in the groin.”
“Then why are you still standing so close?” She tilted her chin, her voice determined.
“Because you’re not going to do it.” He deliberately stopped smiling, and, still keeping a firm grip on her waist with one arm, he lifted a hand to trace the softness of her lips with one finger. He knew her so well. Even after all these years, he could read the nuances of her expression, could see the battle between attraction and irritation. I’m probably the only one who can do that, too. The wonder of it filled him.
“Why would that be?” Her arms slid up a little to his shoulders. She could be about to knee him in the groin or move further into his embrace. Knowing her, she probably hadn’t made up her mind yet.
For answer, he moved his hand to brush back her hair, exposing the tender skin beneath her ear. Bending, he took a deep breath of her and kissed the spot, feeling her tremble in response. Because you feel the same way I do and you’re wondering why we haven’t done this a long time ago if it feels this good. He didn’t have to speak the words. When she slid her arms around his neck, moving her lips to his, he knew she knew.
I’m giving away one of my books each day of this work week and using the opportunity to spotlight them and give you a little background into why I wrote them on this blog. And to sweeten the deal, I’m offering a $50 gift card for anyone who writes a review of one of my books on Amazon and posts it by August 15. Winner will be chosen by random drawing that evening. All you have to do is drop me an email at michellegflye at gmail dot com to let me know you posted the review. I want your honest take on ANY of my books (including the three published by actual publishers), not just the five I’m offering for free, but if you want a free book, here’s your chance!
Weeds and Flowers is the one book I’ve written that I would not classify as a romance. It’s about growing up in a small town and losing faith and finding your first love and lots of other things, but it’s not a romance. It’s a mystery, a coming-of-age story, a story about family and friends. When someone asks me which one of my books they should start with, I usually say this one. Because at its heart, it’s what I’m really about.
Weeds and Flowers is set in a small town and it’s very loosely based on a murder that happened there when I was a girl. That murder changed things in my trusting little town. It happened just a few blocks away to a girl who lived a very similar life to my own with a family and friends who loved her. Although I’ve changed names and circumstances, it was that time period that changed so much in my town that I wrote about.
Here’s a few paragraphs from what might be my favorite of all my novels:
On Friday, I spent the night at Marleen’s. Mom didn’t really like for me to spend the night away from home, so this was a rare treat. “Have her over here,” Mom would always say, never seeming to realize how difficult that was. Mom liked Marleen because Marleen always behaved well in front of parents. “She’s quiet and ladylike,” Mom said. “Maybe some of it will rub off on you.” To which I’d reply that if Mom didn’t want a tomboy for a daughter, she shouldn’t have let my real dad give me a boy’s name.
But even Mom had to admit that if I kept turning Marleen’s invitations around and insisting she sleep over at my house, somebody would get offended. Marleen didn’t mind, but her mother was sort of touchy. Mom said Mrs. Galloway came from the wrong side of the tracks and often thought other people didn’t think she was good enough for them. Besides, I wanted an opportunity to see Kyle up close without seeming too obvious. And Friday should be perfect since Marleen’s parents were going out and leaving Kyle in charge.
“I hope Jeff doesn’t bug us too much,” Marleen said. Her brother Jeff had become a little creepy, in a greasemonkey kind of way. “God, I wish I just had one adorable brother like you do. You know Kyle’s planning to bring his new girlfriend over?”
I shrugged, as if I didn’t care. She knew, of course, but I hated to admit my hopeless crush, even to my best friend.
But Marleen just sighed. “Neither of them has an artistic soul, you know? I mean, all Jeff cares about is cars and all Kyle cares about is girls. There’s so much more to life than that. No one understands me. Well, no one but…”
She broke off, but I suspected I knew who she was talking about. She’d been over to Mrs. Whitford’s garden again, talking to Brian. I didn’t go with her when Brian was in the garden anymore. I wasn’t sure why, but it seemed weird to me that he was so interested in talking to Marleen when he was a good twenty years old than her.
Brian wasn’t in the garden when we got to Marleen’s house, and Kyle wasn’t home yet, so I let Marleen convince me to go to the garden. Most of the roses had withered, and there weren’t so many bugs as during the summer, but the garden still had a creepy feel to it. Marleen and I discussed the school Halloween dance for a while. Who was taking who. Who wasn’t going. Who would probably kiss who. Who would ask us to dance if we decided it was worth our while to go.
The back screen door at the house banged shut and we peered through the thinning bushes to see Brian pulling spades and hoes and shovels out of the storage area in the basement of the old house. He didn’t appear to have seen us, and with difficulty I managed to hold Marleen down. I didn’t want to have to talk to him. She giggled but acquiesced.
We watched as Brian pulled what seemed like every gardening tool he owned out of the storage closet, then seemed to find what he was looking for. He stood, stretched, and turned slowly, his eyes scanning the garden, a trowel in one hand, a bag of bulbs in the other. As we crouched in the garden, the scent of damp earth and rotting plants filling our nostrils, Brian drove the trowel into the ground again and again. I could hear the thud of its blade, the ripping sounds of roots and sometimes a tiny clink as it hit a rock or pebble.
Finally, tired of watching Brian thrusting into the earth, I tugged on Marleen’s shirttail. She shook her head and stayed where she was. I shrugged and headed for the fence, crawling with my head down. I wasn’t able to see Brian or tell for sure if he saw me, but the stabbing noises continued. Only later, when Marleen joined me in her yard did I realize that Brian couldn’t have escaped seeing us from his back porch as he came outside. Somehow realizing he’d known we were there and acted like he hadn’t creeped me out even more.
I’m giving away one of my books each day of this work week and using the opportunity to spotlight them and give you a little background into why I wrote them on this blog. And to sweeten the deal, I’m offering a $50 gift card for anyone who writes a review of one of my books on Amazon and posts it by August 15. Winner will be chosen by random drawing that evening. All you have to do is drop me an email at michellegflye at gmail dot com to let me know you posted the review. I want your honest take on ANY of my books (including the three published by actual publishers), not just the five I’m offering for free this week, but this definitely gives you a chance to read one of my books!
Today’s free book is Close Up Magic. Now, I will admit that a little bit of my fangirl self entered into the conception of this particular novel. I wrote it after my husband took me to see David Copperfield live on stage in Las Vegas. This was a bucket list item for me and had been since I was a tiny girl watching a gorgeous David Copperfield perform magic on a grainy black and white television set. The true magic then was the way he lit up that old tube tv and made me believe that magic could exist. The magic when I saw him on stage in Las Vegas as a forty-some year old woman? That he could still make me believe. That I’m still a fangirl after all these years.
To me, love is the greatest magic of all, and so it didn’t take long to make the connection. Why not a series of romances featuring a magician as either hero or heroine? And if my first hero bears a passing resemblance to a young David Copperfield, well, you’ll just have to understand that I’m paying homage to the little girl who watched spellbound from our nappy living room carpet while a black and white (but still handsome) young magician performed miracles on my television set.
Here’s a little taste of Close Up Magic:
She sank into a chair and Mattie handed her a bottle of water. She took an absent swig and turned to Andre. “I thought you’d told me everything.”
“I did.” He spread his hands, a classic magician gesture to indicate he had nothing up his sleeves. Bobby made a little movement, then stilled as she glared at him.
“What about the police? You failed to mention that tidbit.” She turned her full attention back to Andre.
He hesitated. “It was nothing, really.”
“They don’t call the cops for nothing in Vegas, Andre. Private security handles most disturbances in casinos.”
He sighed, resigned. “Tony got drunk, caused a little ruckus when he started losing. I wasn’t around when it started, but when I got back to the resort, I was notified of it and managed to talk the police into letting us handle it privately.”
“I imagine that took a lot of fast talking on your part.” She made a face as if she had tasted something bad and took another gulp of water.
“Not really. Tony’s a good guy, and the resort preferred to handle it privately as well. Thankfully the man Tony punched was an employee and not a guest.” He shrugged, perching on a stool with a nonchalance he didn’t feel.
She shook her head and stood, crossing the room to stand immediately in front of him, her cheeks flushed, her eyes glinting with anger. “Next time I say tell me everything, you better do it. This could’ve blown the whole thing out of the water. All it would’ve taken is a paper trail and Larry would have everything he needed.” She jabbed him in the chest. “And you’d have no one to blame but yourself when he took you down right with your brother.”
She stood close enough so he could smell her perfume and he imagined nuzzling the little hollow of her collarbone, kissing her neck just below her ear… He pulled himself out of the fantasy with difficulty. “Okay. I’m sorry.”
At her dubious look, he spread his hands again. “It’s all I can say. I guess I was still trying to protect him.”
“From me?” She raised her eyebrows a tiny bit, and he shrugged.
“Yeah. From anybody that might hurt him.”
“Great.” She nodded. “Good. You go ahead and keep that up, then. Keep on protecting him, and you’ll ruin yourself.” She brushed past him and out the door, slamming it behind her.
He stared after her, a little stunned. “She is magnificent.” He said it to himself, forgetting he had an audience. Mattie snorted and Bobby grinned, but they both–thank God–kept their comments to themselves.
One final note. Although Close Up Magic is the only book in my Sleight of Hand series that I’m featuring in this promotion, Escape Magic, the novella that is book 2 of the series, is also available. Book 3, Island Magic, should be out this fall and I’m currently working hard on Movie Magic, which will hopefully be ready for you by Spring 2015.