From an early age, I’ve always loved to write. I’d scribble stories when I was little kid, writing on anything that I could get my hands on. In high school, I wrote my first novel. I hand wrote on 500 pages of notebook paper (front and back!) because in my greenness, 500 pages seemed like a decent amount of pages for a novel to teenage me.
The manuscript was filled with teenage angst. I poured my heart into it. And…it was dreadful. But there’s something about writing a first novel that’s magical even if you don’t really know what you’re doing.
Fast forward years later and I entered a Harlequin contest and to my shock, I was the first place winner. But I was still just as green as ever when it came to understanding writing and the world of publishing. When the editor asked if I had a manuscript she could look at, I said no. Yep. I totally missed that.
More years passed. I saw a contest on Marisa Cleveland’s blog. By the way, Marisa’s book, Reforming the CEO, is releasing this month—I want to give a shout out to the woman who was instrumental in changing my life as a writer.
Anyway, that contest was for the first page of a manuscript. So I entered the first page of a book I’d written titled Stealing the Groom. Marisa loved it and one thing led to another. That book sold to Entangled Publishing and became my debut novel. My career grew from there because of taking that chance.
I’ve since written a lot more books and my latest release is The Firefighter’s Cinderella. It’s the third in a series that features firefighters. Pretty obvious there from the title, right? It’s the third in the series set in a small town in Georgia and features one of the Bradford brothers.
I hope readers enjoy reading about this family! And by the way, I had someone like Grandma Jean in my life!
THE FIREFIGHTER’S CINDERELLA EXCERPT
Cinderella kicked Prince Charming in the face with her glass slipper. Arms flailing, he toppled backward off the stage.
“Oh no!” Harper Bailey leaped from the chair and, with one hand on the silver tiara and the other holding the blue princess dress above her ankles to keep from tripping over it, ran down the steps toward him.
Her recently hired employee and now fallen prince, Bobby Vernon, groaned. “You kicked me.”
Harper winced at the sight of his rapidly swelling nose. “I’m so sorry. Your hand was cold. The kick was a reflex after you grabbed my leg to put the slipper on my foot.” She
was so not equipped for the part of a fairy-tale princess. “No problem, Mom. Of course I can manage the place and take on the role of leading princess while you’re on medical leave for your anxiety,” Harper muttered, second guessing herself for the hundredth time.
Despite her belief in fairy tales and her dream of a happily ever after for herself, she royally sucked as Cinderella. Which was bad for the business, since creditors had already been banging down the door long before the added expense of her mother’s mental health wellness
retreat. Kneeling on the cool stone of the castle’s throne room floor, she reached for Bobby.
He shrieked like he was trying to hit a high note and batted her hand away. “Three times in one week you’ve nearly killed me. No wonder you can’t keep a prince. This is the last straw. I quit.”
Nearly killed him? Bobby was prone to exaggeration, and Harper tried to reason with him, but he was having none of it. He rolled over and rose to his feet, put his hands on
his hips, and voiced a laundry list of insults, questioning her intelligence and ability to run the business, before he stormed out.
Great. The year so far was turning into a real winner. First the man she’d thought was her real Prince Charming broke up with her. Well, technically she’d broken up with him after catching him chasing Amy Bloomfield’s tonsils with his tongue. If he was going to act like one, he might as well show one was her thinking when, without saying a word, she’d cut the butt out of all his pants and had them delivered to his law office. He’d seemed to grasp that reconciliation wasn’t something she was going to entertain. Ever.
Now the employee who was her acting Prince Charming was gone. Good riddance to both. She didn’t a need a man. She huffed out a breath and groaned. Except that she did. The show had to go on.
Harper bit her lip as worries crowded in like eager puppies wanting attention. She’d promised her mother she’d keep Fairy Tales, the family amusement park plus wedding
venue business, up and running while she was gone, and what had her only daughter done?
She’d beaten up Prince Charming.
In an attempt to bring in more customers, her mother had expanded the business last year, taking out risky loans that Harper had begged her not to take. She’d renovated the amusement park to include a medieval theme park complete with jousting tournaments. While it had thrilled
the tourists, it hadn’t yet brought in enough in ticket sales to turn a decent profit.
The room’s heavy wooden door, which Bobby had slammed shut behind him, swung open. Rafferty Bradford walked into the room right in the middle of her worrying.
The mid-afternoon sunlight streaming in through a row of arched windows shone around him like a halo, making Harper want to snort with derision. She’d known him since
elementary school, and they’d become the best of friends back then. But the friendship had gone horribly wrong.
She’d trusted him with her heart, and he’d broken it. Then, as now, Rafferty was definitely not a candidate for sainthood. If there was an antidote to fairy tales, he was it.
A digital copy of any of my books.