I am working on Lauren's story. It's been amazing delving back into these characters, and I can tell you, Mark is an awesome big brother.
Anyway I need some help. I have no idea what to call this book, though it would be nice to make it along the same lines as Another Chance. I've made an initial blurb if it helps, and I'll gladly take suggestions. If I pick your suggestion, I will give you a $10 Amazon Gift Card to say thanks!
Lauren and Mark Burrows lost their parents in a car accident one night. Despite their father being the drunk driver, both struggle with the urge to turn to drink. Lauren most of all. When all they have is each other, Lauren feels lost when Mark falls in love with Cassie Warren, and moves out.
Ethan Stone has been alone since his divorce. His ex-wife took him for as much as he could, and he feels empty and alone. He's not looking for love, but Lauren brings him back to life. The question is whether she can fight her demons for the man she loves.
This is subject to change, but shouldn't be too different. :)
A couple of days ago, my sales for Another Chance on Apple started going up randomly. I do not know what caused it, but I watched my book climb the top paid list in romance before following its progress on the overall store list in Australia.
Yesterday, as I celebrated my birthday Another Chance claimed the number one spot on the Australian iTunes store.
To say I'm excited is an understatement. For my story about a New Zealand girl, set in New Zealand to be successful in Australia is overwhelming. My Grandmother was Australian, and it's our nearest neighbour so it feels extra special that's where the book is doing well.
I am so very happy, and extremely grateful. A huge thank you to everyone who has purchased my book, it has made this now 40 year old mother very proud.
Another Chance was a real labour of love, a very personal book to me. I also want to give special mention to Sarah at Sprinkles On Top Studios for designing that beautiful cover. It's been a big part of the books success.
On other platforms it's selling well too, and I will end the year on a high. I guess it's time to get back to writing, Lauren is bugging me. ;)
This year has been amazing. When I look back on when I started this journey, I thought I knew was I was doing. It's clear that I only scratched the surface.
As I've learned, and evolved, my books have done the same. I'm not saying that they're perfect, but Another Chance is light years away from The Sultan's Bride.
My goal in the next year is to keep writing entertaining stories that people will like, and that I like writing. Every so often I get inspired, and when I do I make notes. There are seven items in the folder, so next year is shaping up to be busy.
Over Christmas I hope to clean up Loving the Rake, and get stuck into Lauren's story. I've also sworn to myself that I'll finish The Accidental Sultan as well, the sequel to The Sultan's Bride. That's been a work in progress since I finished the first one!
The other thing I'm doing is going through those first books to tidy them up, reformatting them in the same style as the newer books. So, I'll be busy but it will be worth it. The readers are worth the effort.
I have been blessed, finding amazing people who have supported me this year. It has been overwhelming at times, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I hope that everyone has an amazing Christmas (or break if you don't celebrate Christmas) and a fantastic New Year!
I'm finishing up my Christmas story, but in the meantime here's a little something I wrote. If you've read Another Chance, you'll recognise the scene...
This is unedited and subject to editing but here is part of Lauren's story that I'm working on over Christmas.
The following morning, she saw just how happy Mark was. She made him a coffee, black with no sugar deliberately as she knew that bugged him. Knowing Cassie had recently left, she entered his room with it, to find him lying in bed with that shit eating grin on his face. “Thought you might be needing this,” she said,
“Thanks,” he replied, “I don’t feel too bad all things considered.”
Lauren laughed. “If that’s what screwing someone much younger does to a hangover, I’ll have to keep an eye out for one for me.”
He grinned. “She’s gorgeous, isn’t she? Just perfect.”
“She’s a lovely girl, Mark. Is this going to be one of your fly by night stopovers or are you actually going to stick with this one for a while?”
He took a sip of coffee and pulled a face. “If she’ll have me.”
Lauren sat on the end of the bed. “I don’t believe it. The eternal bachelor Mark Burrows bowled over by a single mum. Are you sure this is a good idea? What if it blows up in your face, and you hurt her and the kid.”
“The kid is pretty amazing too. Hell Lauren, I know I’m not perfect, but I would like to give this a go. Cassie deserves a man who will love her and take care of her and I’m pretty sure that’s something I can do.”
“She’ll need more than pretty sure.”
“Fine. Very sure. I’ve never wanted anything so much my whole life.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Lauren, I’ve never felt this way about anyone. Not even when I was in that screwed up relationship with Jess all that time. Cassie makes me feel new, she has this energy for life that’s just so infectious. Working at her place, it just felt like I fit in. She’s normal, Lauren. No crazy drunken bullshit.”
“I never thought you’d be interested in something other than what you always had.”
“When I’m with her, I can see the future. Like everything I ever needed is in her. I probably just sound crazy.” He laughed, his eyes twinkling with excitement.
“You sound like a man in love, big brother.”
“Maybe I am. She’s just awesome, Lauren. Really sweet, and we got off to a bit of a weird start, but I think we’re on track now.”
Lauren closed her eyes. As Cassie left, Lauren had put her foot in it, mentioning Mark’s habit of loving and leaving them. She opted not to tell him that.
“That’s great Mark. I didn’t really get to talk much with her, but she looked nice.”
“Nice doesn’t cover it. Last night was incredible.”
“Too much information.”
He grinned. “I don’t care. I want the world to know I’m crazy about Cassie Warren, and I think she really likes me too.”
“Then I’m happy for you Mark, and I hope everything works out for you.”
“You don’t think it will?”
“Your track record isn’t that great. If you want to turn things around though, I believe in you big brother.”
“Thanks, Lauren, that means a lot.”
For the rest of the day he paced the house, annoying Lauren as she continued to clean up after the party.
“You could help me, you know.”
“Sorry. I’m just trying to stop myself going to see her.”
“Well, go and bloody see her then.”
“I don’t want to crowd her.”
He met Lauren’s eye, and she saw the frustration on his face. “Mark, if she feels the same way, go and bug the shit out of her. She’ll love it. You don’t want her thinking you’re ignoring her.”
Mark pulled a face. “I didn’t think of that. Is that what she’ll think?”
“I don’t know. Either way you are wound so tight, I think you’d explode if I poked you.”
To demonstrate, she poked him with her index finger. “Ouch,” he said, rubbing the side she had touched.
Lauren laughed. “Oh for crying out loud Mark. Go and see the poor girl, put yourself out of your misery. Buy her flowers.”
“Will there be a florist open at this time of day?”
She rolled her eyes. “I don’t know. If you can’t find one, go to the supermarket. Might be a bit crap, but it’s the thought that counts.”
Mark’s face finally cracked into a smile.
“That’s better. Go get her.”
“I expect a full report when I get back too. Leave nothing out.”
He grinned. “I thought you said it was too much information this morning?”
“Not that kind of report. Dick.”
Now I've got the blog here, I've closed the news page as it just seemed like a duplication. There was just this written here recently, so I'm moving it here!
10th December 2013
It's been a while since I put any updates here, and I thought with the holiday season coming up that I should put something up!
At the moment I'm working on my Christmas story. I thought hard about whether to do one or not, as I've already got a lot on my plate, but I always felt as if the Hot for the Boss books needed something more. I'll be looking at revamping the covers next year, but in the meantime I'll be releasing Christmas with the Boss in the next couple of weeks. There won't be any big buildup or cover release or anything, it's just a one off story that I'll put up when ready.
I've also got my NaNoWriMo book, "Loving The Rake" to finish editing and there's some tidy up on it. I wrote it by the seat of my pants so there are all kinds of things that aren't quite right, and I've taken it down off Smashwords for the meantime while I tidy it up for proper release. I'm thinking about making that one a freebie, just because of the way it was written. November was an insane month as I'd taken on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words in 30 days) while still finishing up Another Chance ready for release. I finished Loving The Rake on the last day of the challenge.
Next year is already booked up. Due to reader request, I've worked out a basic plot for a follow up to Another Chance, this time with Lauren's story. Initially it was around her falling in love, and getting her own happy ending, but I realised there is so much more to her story that I wanted to tell. I don't know how long it will be yet, but I'd like to cover from when her parents die, and Mark moves back in to look after her. What I do know is that we'll see her relationships with Mark, Cassie, Sophie, Patrick and Ethan.
There were also some other things that I've promised myself to do. Since I released The Sultan's Bride, I wanted to write a sequel. James, Catherine's son has his own story to be told and again I've worked out what that story will be. Soon, it will be time for the characters to write their story.
I had a lot of feedback about After The Fall and how with it being written in first person, we only get to see Natalie's perspective. What I would also like to do is to do a novella about Alex and his relationship with his father. How that came to be.
Then, there is my folder called story ideas which is growing all the time. All in all, it'll be a busy year for me in 2014!
I have been really reluctant to move away from the old blog. It has a bunch of hits on it, and my long term plan is to move away from this site, onto a permanent one.
In the meantime though, I've decided that blogger is too restrictive when it comes to people leaving comments. It's a bit of a rigmarole to log into whatever, so this should make it easier. I've left a link to the old blog for reference. Plus, hopefully when I move to a permanent solution, I can get it all pulled into one site.
I have heard from several readers since releasing Another Chance, and I love hearing from people so please feel free to leave a comment, or email me from the contact form. Also happy to get messages on Facebook or Twitter. I do look!
The response to Cassie's story has been overwhelming. Not everyone has connected with it, and that's okay. For me, it was very personal in as much as I knew what it was like to be one of those girls in school.
Of the good feedback I've had, I've cried at some of the messages. I'm so pleased to know that I'm not the only one who cried at the sad parts. The book continues to sell well, and I've got a lot more stories planned to come.
Next up is the Christmas story I mentioned on the old blog and on Facebook. I'm just finishing that to get it out before Christmas. It'll be about 20,000 words and be the goodbye to Alisha and Scott from Hot for the Boss. I loved writing her, she just said what she felt like, holding nothing back and slipping back into her was easy.
If I don't get another chance before Christmas, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year for everyone. 2013 has been a mixed year for me, there's been amazingly good and not so good. 2014 is going to be better!
A big thank you to everyone who has supported me during the year. It has meant so much to me, and I am eternally grateful for you all.
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...