A Blog Hop!

A blog hop is like a giant game of tag to help readers discover authors who are new to them. For this hop, authors are answering 10 questions about what we’re working on now. This week, I’m it.

I was tagged by Christa Allen. Visit her blog to see who else she tagged. At the end of this post, I’ll tag more authors who will be joining the hop next week. Follow the hop long enough and you’re bound to find books you’ll love!

Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

I just signed a four-book contract with Baker Publishing Group and am in the middle of writing the first manuscript.  A little boring, but the working title is Book One. (smiles)

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who worked on many high profile cases, including the Jack-in-the-Box e-coli litigation in the mid-nineties and the largest cattle fraud case in the United States.  People are often at their most vulnerable in these tense situations where much is at stake, giving me a unique perspective on the human psyche.  Early in my legal career, I recognized there could be value in telling stories about women facing relationship fractures, betrayal, and loss and how we often exhibit strength and dignity in these journeys.

Each of the four books I’ve just contracted with have elements of these cases.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Women’s fiction.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Before I start writing a word on a new story, I create a notebook with photos of my characters, houses, cities etc featured in my book. For my current manuscript, a photo of Sandra Bullock is the main character. I also included photos of Reece Witherspoon, Joan Rivers, and Ben Affleck.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I can’t disclose details yet, but let’s just say readers who watch the popular television show DALLAS will love this story!

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Revell/Baker Publishing Group is the publisher. I’m represented by MacGregor Literary.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m writing now.  Last night at about midnight, I closed the screen down, thinking “I love this story!”

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Any reader who loves Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, Elin Hilderbrand will be drawn to my stories. I write poignant and emotionally-compelling stories about women in life changing circumstances.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I worked a court case for a couple of years that involved the largest cattle fraud in the nation, at that time. Certain elements from that case will serve as a backdrop to this next story.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Readers often say my debut novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, had them glued to the pages, not able to put the story down. I think readers will find this next story will keep them reading non-stop as well!

Below you will find the authors who will be joining the blog hop next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark them and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!

Lisa Wingate

Lynne Gentry



A Special Thanksgiving

The calendar tells me more than a few weeks have passed since I last blogged.  I have a good excuse.  As many of you know, MOTHER OF PEARL debuted in September and I’ve been on book tour.

After our big launch party and events in Idaho, weeks of promotion followed with book signings, a book festival, an art show, guest appearances on over one hundred blogs, magazine features, newspaper articles . . . and the list goes on.

I’m pooped.

And happy.

And thankful.

This is where a brand new novelist gets a little teary-eyed.  I simply have no way to express how grateful I feel for all of you who supported this effort by purchasing MOTHER OF PEARL, and for the many readers who wrote and told me they fell in love with Barrie Graeber and cheered her on as she made her way to justice against incredible odds.  A few of you cried (as I did) when life-changing circumstances altered her world forever and left her heart broken.

I think Barrie said it best:  Mothering is not for cowards.

I’m happy to report we went to second printing in the first month. My publisher tells me they are happy. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for KELLIE’S READERS CLUB so you’ll get all my future book news, and notices of upcoming releases.

Before closing, let me wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  I am thankful for many things . . . my readers are very high on the list!

Book Tour DuJour

Shhh…..I’m going to tell you a secret!

Publishing a book is every bit as much fun as they say.

MOTHER OF PEARL debuted on September 1, and I’ve been riding a whirlwind of events (and fun) over these past couple of weeks.  First, we went to Boise, Idaho for our big launch party.  The Adelmann Event center (only blocks south of the Idaho Capitol Building) was packed out that evening. Guests enjoyed bacon-wrapped chicken skewers, chorizo-stuffed mushrooms and loaded potato skins while I enjoyed meeting up with friends from college and places I’d worked, friends and family. I signed a ton of books. WHAT A NIGHT!

Earlier, I appeared with Carolyn Holly on KTVB-TV.  Carolyn was so gracious and made this television novice feel right at home.  She even had me sign a book for her. Despite my nervous stomach, I had a ball!

I also signed books at the Barnes & Noble stores in Boise and in Twin Falls, where a television crew showed up unexpectedly.  I’d like to say my second television experience did not make my palms sweat, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to having a camera pointed my way.  Thank you, store managers Shira and Debbie for making these events a success!

By far, the highlight of the week was speaking at my former high school.  My hometown is very small (I only had sixteen people in my graduating class) and the school hasn’t grown much since I left all those (ahem) years ago.

How can I possibly convey the surreal feeling of standing behind a podium in our gymnasium looking into the eyes of the English teacher who first taught me point of view and first person present?

He still teaches, by the way.  And when all those kids came up and told me what they were reading, and how some of them are trying their own hand at writing—I realized Mr. Mecham is still motivating students to embrace literature.  I’d also like to thank Lois Stocking for bringing me the tea towels, a gesture that warmed my heart and reminded me why the little town of Carey remains embedded so deeply within my soul.


The Idaho leg of my book tour ended with an appearance in Sun Valley. For those of you who have browsed my website, you’ll know I worked at the Sun Valley Lodge for a summer when I was a teenager and made Ted Kennedy’s bed!

Before heading home, I drove up Trail Creek to the Hemingway Memorial. I sat on a little bench listening to trickling water and my eyes welled with emotion.

Who would have ever dreamed a little girl from Carey, Idaho would publish a book?

Thank you to each and every person who has purchased a copy of MOTHER OF PEARL. I also extend immense gratitude to the reviewers, bloggers, Goodreads members and Amazon reviewers who have said such lovely things about my debut novel.

My publisher recently informed me we went to second printing.  Much of this success is because of all of you!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Now, on to Nashville and then Portland, Oregon.  Another busy month ahead. See you there!

It’s a Party!


After literally years of hard work and preparation, my debut novel MOTHER OF PEARL releases next week. Finally, the story of my heart will be in the hands of readers across America. Barrie Graeber’s journey will unfold, absolute truths and convictions will be put to the test, and readers will cheer for this brave mother as she recognizes her own vulnerability and learns to trust in something much bigger.

An occasion like this deserves a celebration. And we’re having one!

We’re launching MOTHER OF PEARL at a party in Boise, Idaho at the Adelman from 6:30 – 8:30.  There will be hor d’oeuvres served on silver platters, drinks in stemware, a short program and CAKE!  Barnes & Noble is setting up a store and I’ll be signing books. Oh, and the media will be there!

Can you say PARTY? 

The public is invited, so if you live near, I hope you’ll consider joining us.

Over the following eight weeks, I’ll be on a book tour. Below, I’ve listed the appearances in Idaho, with more information and details under the EVENTS tab here on my website.


Sept 5  –  KTVB-TV appearance in Boise (noon)

Sept 6  –  Launch party at the Adelman (6:30-8:30)

Sept 7  –  Book signing at Barnes & Noble – Boise (5:30-7:30 pm)

Sept 8  –  Book signing at Family Christian Bookstore – Boise (noon – 2:00)

Sept 9  –  Book signing at Barnes & Noble – Twin Falls (11:00 – 3:00)

Sept 10 – Book signing hosted by Chapter One Bookstore. Event at All Things Sacred, Galleria Building, 4th & Leadville in Ketchum (6:00 pm)

After my time in Idaho, I’ll be heading back to Texas, to Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and then to Oregon.

The next weeks will be a whirlwind. I’m thrilled at the thought of introducing MOTHER OF PEARL to the world and connecting with readers.

In 2004, I whispered a prayer asking for the outrageous. This week that prayer will be answered. I am humbled, and excited, and a little nervous. In the words of my little niece, I have that buzzy feeling in my tummy.  But mostly, I am grateful. What a ride this is!



Mother of Pearl (Abingdon Press) tells the story of a high school counselor who learns her daughter had an inappropriate relationship with the football coach, and how she risks everything to bring him to justice.

Available in bookstores September 1.


Where the Books Are


I’m often asked where I find good books. So, I thought I’d share my favorite venues. 


 This on-line book club, started and run by Marybeth Whalen and Ariel Lawhon, often promotes debut novelists who are not receiving the attention they deserve. Readers who join She Reads receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Connection with other readers on the She Reads blog and forum who are passionate about great fiction.
  • Information via the She Reads newsletter that will keep readers up to date on their favorite authors, and books, with a few surprises thrown in for fun.
  • Reviews of newly released titles written by a variety of readers, writers, and industry professionals.
  • Options to create a She Reads book club or bring an existing club under the She Reads umbrella.
  • Free books via contests, giveaways, and publisher promotions.
  • Fun planned study guides with activities and interesting facts developed specifically for the She Reads book club.
  • Online Community for those who can’t participate in a monthly meeting (or don’t live near an existing club), via the She Reads online book club and Facebook group.


Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. Nearly 9 million members have added more than 310 million books to their cyber shelves. A home for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more. This is THE place for readers to hang out!


 Kathy L. Patrick, the Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing founder of the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world not only offers up some of the best in fiction for her monthly selections, she hosts an annual readers’ convention called Girlfriend Weekend in her hometown of Jefferson, Texas. This annual event features author panels, book give-aways, and the Great Big Hair Ball costume party. Past years have featured Pat Conroy, Jamie Ford, Fannie Flagg and other well-known authors.  The Pulpwood Queens is THE place to find great books and have a blast!  (tiaras, hot pink and leopard print required).

Happy summer reading!  Where do you find your books?


MOTHER OF PEARL is available for pre-order and will be in bookstores on September 1.  Hope you’ll make sure to add this one to your TO BE READ PILE!