Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Celebrating A Birthday is Twice as Fun on Release Day! by Anna J Stewart

Okay, I'll be honest. I stopped getting excited about birthdays a while ago. Like around 201...well, never mind. I've got enough going on in my life to remind me I'm getting older without candles on a cake (as if I'd ever say no to cake <G>).  BUT...

I'm more than happy to celebrate today (yes, it is my birthday!) because RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION is officially on sale!  Cue the Snoopy Happy Dance!  *da dadada da da da da, da dada*  Yeah, I can't even sing in written form.

Some of you might remember a few months ago I was lamenting the fact that a book I'd written almost 100 pages of needed to be changed.  Significantly changed. Like entire plot and characters changed. That's right, I'd used a few of those plot devices and elements that had been seriously overused. Good thing I'm not a big drinker, because that might have put me under numerous tables.

Can I just say, I've never been more happy to have to begin again?

Thanks to my awesome critique partners (Melinda Curtis and Cari Lynn Webb) who jumped on an emergency Skype session, what could have paralyzed me, ended up being one of the best writing experiences I've had since getting published. Instead of dreading the writing, I was excited to see what came next. There are days the most difficult thing for me to do is get my behind in the chair and write, but not in this case. Which tells me this is the story it was always meant to be. Love how life does that to you sometimes.

I'm not typically a plotter (boy, has that gotten me into trouble), but once I latched on to the idea that my new hero was a celebrity chef, a disgraced celebrity chef no less, the words just rolled out. Being able to tap into one of my main loves, cooking, cooking shows, and kitchens (even if mine is as outdated as bell bottoms and Candi's) left me clamoring to get the story out.

Hmmm. Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly. Maybe I've blocked things out. And...I'm thinking about ducking right now because it's quite possible some of my fellow authors might be ready to start stabbing me with pitchforks. So yeah, let's go with the idea that I've blocked out the banging of the head on the desk and the staring at the monstrous, mocking blinking cursor from another world and focus on the fact I was able to, for a while at least, live in my hero's head as a professional chef.

Once upon a time I considered going to cooking school. Then I saw how much that would cost and, well, okay, how hard those people work, and detoured to writing, where I could be anyone and anything I wanted for however long it takes me to write a story.

Abby and Jason's story was about more than cooking, obviously. I mean, it is a romance! It's also about to very different people, with two very different life experiences. Abby has always had all the support and love anyone would ever need while Jason's really only had his twin brother, a brother he recently lost in a plane crash.  Bad decisions ensued, leaving Jason not only alone, but also lost. But by trying to outrun himself, he ends up finding where--and to whom--he really belongs. *sigh*

Man, I LOVE writing romance!

So I'm off to celebrate today...probably by working on a Christmas novella for later this year. It might not be coming as easy as RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION, but it doesn't matter. Writing is still the best job in the world!

How about you all? Ever had an experience that was supposed to go one way and turned around on you for the better? I'd love to hear! Share in the comments, please!  :)

Now where's that cake...

~Anna J

From the frying pan...

Abby Manning has to take home first prize in an amateur cooking competition to save her town's landmark inn-and longtime home for her ailing grandmother. Too bad the Butterfly Harbor innkeeper is a complete disaster in the kitchen. Undeterred, Abby asks her latest guest to teach her the basics.

A family tragedy and ensuing scandal derailed Jason Corwin's high-profile career. But is the gifted celebrity chef going to let one mistake define the rest of his life? Add in a generous helping of mutual attraction and another burgeoning scandal, and it could be a recipe for star-crossed romance...or disaster, especially if a win for Abby costs Jason his professional future.


Get your copy today at:


A self-admitted TV and movie addict, former Golden Heart finalist Anna J Stewart writes sweet, mainstream contemporary, and romantic suspense.  Visit her online at www.authorannastewart.com  for more information on writer workshops, editing services, and to join her mailing list.

34 comments:

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY & RELEASE DAY, ANNA!!!!! Yay!

    Boy have I been there on the massive-make-you-wanna-cry type of revisions (my 2nd book). But like you said, the extra work always pays off. Can't wait to read Recipe for Redemption!

    Now go celebrate!

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  2. Anna - big congratulations on the birth of two wonderful beings - you and your book! (The book IS alive by the time others get to read it, isn't it?) I know how you felt facing that revision. I'm there most of the time. And yes, it's wonderful when it turns out better than you conceived it in the first place. Have a great day celebrating - give yourself a break and take today off. Drink wine, find some sunshine, and bask in what you've accomplished.

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    1. Thank you so much, Muriel. What beautiful sentiments. :) I can definitely guarantee the sunshine--we're supposed to be over 100 today! Yikes! Now to find that wine

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  3. Happy awesome birthday, Anna! Eat cake. The book sounds fabulous for all the wrangling. Aren't critique groups the bestest??? Ha, now I need a spelling group. We all need redeemed, and I can't wait to see how your story comes out.

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    1. Hi Roz! *waving* Ahhh. A spelling group! I need one of those, too. And a punctuation group. I swear the editors at H must hate to see my books come through . Thank you for posting!

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  4. Happy, happy day for you and your book, Anna!

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  5. Happy, happy day for you and your book, Anna!

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  6. Oh, Anna, I'm there now. Picture deadline July 1 and 50,000 words to go. And realizing 6,000 of those already-written-words have to go. Happy Birthday x 2!! and now I have to get back to work.

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    1. Oh, ugh, Patricia! But if I can do it, so can you! May the words fly!! Thank you for posting.

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  7. Happy birthday and happy book birthday!!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I think that calls for a cupcake, right?! <3

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  8. Happy Birthday and release day, Anna! Wishing you a ton of sales!

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie!! Hope you have a great day, too!

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  9. Way to get it done, Anna! Happy Birthday and release day!

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    1. Hi Jill!! Thanks so much for posting--and for the good wishes. <3

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  10. Happy Birthday and release day, Anna! I am just now seeing this! I totally want to do it! I've never sewn before in my life, but id love to learn! this is a great project to start with!

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  11. Happy double Birthday, Anna! So cool that your new book is out today too. Like Patricia, I'm there right now with the, um, altered plan for a book. I tell myself anything is fixable. 😀

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    1. *waving* Hi Leigh!! I do love it when the planets (and dates) align. :) and yes. EVERYTHING is flexible . Good luck!

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  12. Happy birthday, Anna! Now I'm looking forward to reading RECIPE FOR REDEMPTION even more . . . although I'm not sure how that's possible! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Kate! I hope you enjoy. :)

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  13. Can't wait to read it and I love the cover. Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! Hope you have a great day and thank you for stopping by.

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  14. Congratulations on the June release and Happy Birthday!

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  15. Anna,
    Cool. I just finished reading The Apprentice about French chef Pepin. I so do not have the desire to cook anything harder than meatloaf LOL. I'm looking forward to reading this.

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    1. I love chef Pepin! He did a show with Julia child on PBS a while back. And hey,..meatloaf is awesome! Thanks for posting.

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  16. Sorry to be so late! Happy birthday and congratulations!

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