Category Archives: Where the Heart Lies

Like a visit from an old friend: A new review for Where the Heart Lies

Anybody remember Where the Heart Lies? Way back before the time of magic—well, before I conceived of the idea for my Sleight of Hand series, anyway—I wrote a little book about a war widow starting over. It was published by Carina Press (the closest I’ve gotten to Harlequin, which is my dream publisher), and it was an overall positive experience. It got mixed reviews. Some people loved it, some hated it, and some were sort of…meh. It also sold WAY more copies than anything else I’ve written before or since, even though it’s only available in e-book form.

Well, anyway, this morning I got a surprise notice that there’s a new review of Where the Heart Lies. Well, cool, I thought after successfully figuring out which of my books Where the Heart Lies is. That’s nice. I wasn’t at this point certain of how nice it actually was (remember the aforementioned mixed reviews?), but when I pulled up the review on Blackraven’s Reviews, I found I’d received 4.5 ravens (that’s gotta be good), and one of the most well-written reviews I’ve received on any of my books (not to cast aspersions on any of my other reviewers, who also write very nicely). Here’s a quote from the review:

Where The Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye is a compelling story about love, loss, secrets, betrayal, and ultimately forgiveness. — Blackraven’s Reviews

And here’s another one:

The dialogue is rich, the setting is quaint, and the sexual tension between Alicia and Liam sizzles. — Blackraven’s Reviews

And one more:

If you’re looking for a complex, heartfelt story that will put a smile on your face from the small town antics, heat up the pages from the unbridled passion between Alicia and Liam, and bring a tear to your eye as our hero and heroine learn to forgive and be forgiven, then Where The Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye is definitely the book to read. — Blackraven’s Reviews

My sincere thanks to the reviewer for the reminder of a book I’d forgotten I loved writing. If you’d like to read the whole review, click here: Blackraven’s Reviews. Or you could go buy Where the Heart Lies (Amazon or Barnes & Noble) and decide for yourself if Blackraven’s Reviews is right…or, God forbid, was Romance Around the Corner more on target?

Comments Off on Like a visit from an old friend: A new review for Where the Heart Lies

Filed under Reviews, Where the Heart Lies

Today is Gold Star Wives Day! Tell me your story.

Today is a day of remembrance and celebration for the Gold Star Wives of America. I’m inviting everyone to help me celebrate our men and women in the military on this special day set aside to remember those who gave up so much for our country. You can do this one of two ways.

First, I want to hear your story. I’m a storyteller at heart, but you can read my stories any time you want. Today I want to hear from those who have a loved one in the military. To encourage this, I’m offering up to twenty free ecopies of Where the Heart Lies to those who will leave me a comment and tell me their story about military heroes.

Second, if you don’t have a loved one in the military, you can purchase a copy of Where the Heart Lies and I’ll donate my royalties to the Gold Star Wives of America. Just send me a proof of purchase to michellegflye at gmail dot com.

God bless our military and families who let them serve our country.

Comments Off on Today is Gold Star Wives Day! Tell me your story.

Filed under Giveaway, Where the Heart Lies

Saluting the Gold Star Wives: Win a Free Ebook!

I got some great news in my email last week, and surprisingly, it was about politics. (Normally, politics is about as unromantic as you can get, right?) Simple resolution 67 designating April 5, 2013 as Gold Star Wives Day was passed in the Senate on Monday. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senator Richard Burr of my own state of North Carolina. While Mr. Burr and I disagree on many key points, I was thrilled that he was involved in this. So thrilled, in fact, I’ve decided to give away up to twenty ebooks.

In honor of our nation’s Gold Star Wives, I want your stories about your military hero. Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard…whatever. Tell me about him or her on my Facebook page. I plan to give out up to 20 free e-copies of Where the Heart Lies to those who comment. And if you’re not a military spouse, you can still help me salute those who are. Just send me a proof of purchase of Where the Heart Lies and I’ll donate my royalty to the Gold Star Wives of America. Send proof of purchase to michellegflye at gmail dot com.

Why Where the Heart Lies? Simple. Alicia, the heroine of Where the Heart Lies, is a Gold Star wife.

I tried to write Alicia to be a testament to the strength and courage of military spouses. The ones who carry on with the kids and school and paying bills and keeping life as normal as possible. I’ve often looked at friends who have spouses in Afghanistan and wondered, How do they do it?

The Gold Star Wives of America was started during World War II, when war widows were plentiful. It began in the kitchens of four young widows in New York City and grew from there when Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of the commander-in-chief, joined it. There are now chapters throughout the nation, eager to support the wives of the men who gave everything to the service of our nation.

On April 5 (and every day), let’s all take a breathing moment and remember the sacrifices this nation was built on…and support those who were left behind to carry on.

Where the Heart Lies on Amazon
Where the Heart Lies on Barnes & Noble
Where the Heart Lies on Carina Press

Comments Off on Saluting the Gold Star Wives: Win a Free Ebook!

Filed under Giveaway, Where the Heart Lies

What is at the heart of Where the Heart Lies

I’ve been concentrating so much on promoting Ducks in a Row recently, I’ve neglected my other book Where the Heart Lies, so I wanted to refresh your memory and mine about this book, which was, really, my first foray into the world of women’s fiction, even if it is classified as contemporary romance.

At its heart, Where the Heart Lies is a story about second chances. For military widow Alicia, for her husband Ty’s parents, for guilt-ridden and besotted Liam, for single mother Penny, for Penny’s fatherless daughter and for Alicia and Ty’s children. Even the bookstore Alicia takes over from her ailing father-in-law finds new life. I wrote this book because I believe in second chances for all of us. Remember the old adage about a window opening when a door closes? Sometimes we may feel like fate has screwed us over, but in the end, I hope we all find our way to the window that opened when the door slammed in our faces.

This is an excerpt from the beginning of Where the Heart Lies, available in ebook format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Carina Press.

Where the Heart Lies copyTy lay his hand on her still flat belly. “It’s the perfect place to raise children. Boys and girls. There’s a pond for fishing and swimming. And the street is pretty quiet, so they can ride their bikes. The house is the perfect size—not too big. Just homey.”

Alicia laughed and rolled over, and his hand slid across her belly to her hip. “You might be a little prejudiced considering it’s your childhood home.”

He pulled her closer, kissing her, and her body responded to him as she always did. She loved his long, lean form and the way he touched her with such confidence. She drew away after a moment, unable to resist teasing him a little. “Are you sure it won’t be a little, um, inhibiting for you?”

“What do you mean?” He looked at her, uncomprehending, his hands caressing the backs of her thighs now, causing little rivers of pleasure to run through her veins.

She smiled wickedly at him, using all her self-control to keep from letting him know how pleasant his touch was. All part of the game. “Well, you know, being in the same bedroom your parents were in when they—oh, you know…”

He laughed and rolled over on top of her, pressing her down into the mattress and kissing her firmly and thoroughly. His lips left hers and trailed over her jaw and down her collarbone as he cupped her breasts. She gasped at his touch on her sensitive nipples and felt his mouth curve. His lips returned to her neck and he nibbled her earlobe. “Baby, as long as you’re there, I won’t have any trouble being inhibited,” he whispered.

Chapter One

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Alicia Galloway pulled her minivan into the driveway of her new home. The last time those words had popped into
her head had been the day Ty’s CO placed a neatly folded triangle of red, white and blue silk into her hands, and she knew the rest of her life wouldn’t be with her husband. She remembered staring at the flag, thinking about its thirteen symbolic folds.

Fold one is for life, fold two for eternal life. Fold three stands for our fallen veterans. Fold four is for the One who guides us in peace and war. Fold five is for our country and the sixth fold is for where our hearts lie…

She pulled away from the memory, her eyes tearing. Wiping the tears away, she looked around, trying not to be too cynical. “Hard to believe the rest of my
life begins here.”

Comments Off on What is at the heart of Where the Heart Lies

Filed under Where the Heart Lies

The advent of Freddie Falcon Flye: My moment outside my comfort zone.

Yesterday I took a day off from my life as a fabulous writer of southern romance and women’s fiction, and the reason is pretty spectacular. Check him out:

freddie

Yes, that’s a cute little baby pup. He’s my birthday present. (My birthday, incidentally, is Friday.) I started out thinking I wanted a kitten for my birthday, because, honestly, I’m more of a cat person than a dog person. But then my path crossed this little pup’s, and it was love at first sight. Seriously, I fell in love with his picture. You see, he was an auction item at my kids’ school (hence the name, Freddie Falcon–named after the mascot), and I handled putting auction items on a Facebook page for the school. So I was ONE of the first to see Freddie’s baby picture. And I fell in love.

Here was the quandary. Freddie was not part of the silent auction. Silent auctions are easy. You pick a couple of things you’re interested in and write down your number and check back a couple of times to make sure you haven’t been outbid. Very simple for someone like me who doesn’t like to draw too much attention to herself and really isn’t comfortable at all in the limelight. I know what you’re saying. “Oh, come on. She writes romances. She takes stuff from her head, writes it down and publishes it for other people to read. And then she asks us to buy it. Now she wants us to believe she doesn’t really want us to pay attention to her?”

Yeah. But that’s different. It really is. Most of the time when I’m writing, it’s not like it’s coming from me at all. I mean, my heroines couldn’t be any different from me. I went from writing Alicia (Where the Heart Lies), who has to be my most courageous heroine to-date and way better of a person than me, to Cady (Ducks in a Row), a deeply flawed woman who is extremely selfish and someone I hope I’ll never be. Cady was fun to write, and I won’t deny I have some of her same foibles, but at times I really didn’t like her very much. And I wondered more than once if Alicia was a little too perfect. Her only real flaw was self-doubt.

So you can see that I don’t write my life story when I write. These characters are not me, and I always feel like they are the ones in the limelight. Live auctions require active participation and if you win a sought-after item, it’s you people are paying attention to. But I was in love with this little dog. What to do? I made a resolution to step outside my comfort zone. I try to do that every now and then anyway, so it’s nothing new, but this was really terrifying for me.

As luck would have it, I left the auction for a moment on an errand and came back after Freddie’s lot came up. I walked in, stood there frozen at the sight of the puppy picture I’d fallen so hard for on the screen. Moment of truth. Did I dare? My heart was pounding in my throat, I stood at the back of the auction, sick to my stomach, terrified, as the auctioneer called for bids. Then something in me snapped into place and my arm went up with my bid card. Oh my God, I did it!

But now I was in for it. The bids went on and the auctioneer called out again. I raised my hand, half afraid I was going to fall over in the too-high heels I’d worn. I longed for flipflops or even flats. I’m standing there in a cocktail dress in high heels participating in a live auction. Was this really me? I don’t wear cocktail dresses, and the only heels I wear are on my cowboy boots. My head whirled.

And then it came down to me and one other bidder. A couple of friends came to stand next to me for support. Maybe the other bidder loved that puppy, too. Probably she did. The parents of the kids who go to this school are wonderful people. No matter who bought him, he was going to be pampered and loved and played with. All these thoughts rushed through my pounding brain and I realized I’d lost track of the bidding. I whispered to my closest friend: Am I the high bidder? Not yet, she hissed back. My hand went up and Freddie was mine.

I am not joking when I tell you I still hadn’t recovered when they brought him to me and I held him for the first time, but the panic went away. I’d done it, and although it might seem like a small thing to anyone else, it felt like a huge triumph to me.

And that’s why I took yesterday off from almost everything. Everything except playing with my kids and my new dog, that is. We’ll call it a breathing moment.

Comments Off on The advent of Freddie Falcon Flye: My moment outside my comfort zone.

Filed under Breathing moment, Ducks in a Row, Where the Heart Lies

Guilty Indulgences gives 4 chocolate-dipped strawberries to Where the Heart Lies!

What better way to start out the month of December than with a little guilty indulgence? The fabulous folks over at the Guilty Indulgence Review Site just thrilled me with a four-chocolate-dipped-strawberry review of Where the Heart Lies! Here’s an excerpt:

“Romance on the softer side for readers who enjoy a more predictable, mainstream read. … Readers will feel good and happy about this story… it made me smile.”–Guilty Indulgence

How great is that? Seriously. I feel like a reviewer really got what I was trying to do. I didn’t set out to be unpredictable (although I did try to keep the story interesting). All I wanted was to leave my readers with a smile. If I accomplished that, I’m happy because it means they cared about my characters while they read the story. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is!

Reminder to my blog tour winners: Please send me your mailing address so I can send you your goodies! I’ve got five so far, but there were way more winners than that. 🙂

Comments Off on Guilty Indulgences gives 4 chocolate-dipped strawberries to Where the Heart Lies!

Filed under Reviews, Where the Heart Lies

Blog tour wrap-up! Giveaway time!

Well, it’s been an active couple of months, that’s for sure! And that may well be the last time I EVER schedule a blog tour during National Novel Writing Month. Whew! Overall, however, I really enjoyed the blog tour Goddess Fish set up for me! What fun it was! And the fun continues today as I choose the winner of my blog tour prize. I’ve already selected winners for each individual stop. Those folks win a Where the Heart Lies promotional postcard with a 10 percent off coupon for Carina Press—and a couple of other promo goodies I have lying around. Here are the winners and the stops where they won:

World of Dreams: vitajex
Queen of All She Reads: amberdcline
All I Want and More: lauratroxel
Megan Johns Invites: kybunnies
My Reading Addiction: bn100candg
Once Upon A Time: nat567
Ramblings from This Chick: ivegotmail8889
Bunny’s Review: marypres
It’s Raining Books: gokarter418
The Brunette Librarian: silversolara
Jersey Girl Book Reviews: kit3247
Stitch Read Cook: bn100candg

Wow! What a lot of great new friends! 🙂 Here’s a picture of my cowboy hat that I wear when I’m feeling saucy all filled up with entries for my giveaway:

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the winner of my grand prize of a $10 Amazon gift card and a copy of Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions. This copy of Bartlett’s is actually the one I read at times while writing Where the Heart Lies, so it’s very special to me, and believe it or not, new copies of this book are very hard to come by! Here’s a picture of some of the prizes being awarded today:

And the winner of my copy of Bartlett’s and the Amazon gift card is…kybunnies!

Congratulations to all my winners and thank you all so much for checking out the tour. And if you’re interested in giveaways, stay tuned…I do tend to get generous around the holidays!

2 Comments

Filed under Blog Tour, Giveaway, Where the Heart Lies