A couple of years ago, I met a sweet young lady who was working hard to become a published author. She wanted to go the traditional route, and I was happy to encourage her. Lots of work and many anxious days, weeks, and months later, Valerie Haight finally met her goal when Happenstance was released in mid-December.
She’s not stopping with just one, though, and continues to write like mad on her next book. I can’t wait to see what this girl is going to offer the world in the coming days.
Thank you so much, K.D., for the awesome honor of guest blogging here today! I’ve long admired your works and to be here is just HUGE for me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be in your company, to walk in your footsteps and to learn from you. If that sounds a bit like a speech after winning an Oscar, it’s because I feel like I have! I still think back to the day when my friend Michael Willis pointed you out in a newspaper article and said I should look you up. I carried around that article for two days wondering, what will I say to this lady? “Hi, I want to be like you” just didn’t sound…authorish. “Hi, I want to be you” however true it was at the time seemed…stalkerish. And, “Hi, can I have your autograph?” didn’t really go as far as I wanted it to. In the end it was Twitter that provided the bridge I needed to approach you.
*pausing while everyone joins me in a tribute bow to Twitter*
Thank GOODNESS you are so approachable. You opened your arms and your mind to me and taught me things I never would’ve gotten to experience had it not been for that first Twitter chat. You were as lovely then as you are today and I couldn’t be more excited and grateful to call you my friend.
You made me deliver my first pitch session! Which went a lot like this, “Um…my main character—I can’t remember her name right now uh…er…has a problem—I can’t remember what it is right now…and uh…” and you stopped me there before I hurt myself.
Since then, we’ve shared buckets of tea and loads of laughs, some tears and worries, pitch sessions and agent meetings. And I realize how lucky I am to have you on my side. Truly, I understand not many newbie writers have a KD and I’m here today to let the world know I’m keeping mine! 😀
And here we are today celebrating my first release together! I’m so excited so I’m gonna jump in and unload all the details in true Valerie style. Blastin’ it out.
Happenstance, my debut novella was released by Turquoise Morning Press on December 13, 2012! I wrote this story using a corporate setting based loosely on some relationship conflict I witness as an administrative assistant. I take note of the “Peyton Place” happenings and scheme them one (or three) steps further. I have loads of great ideas for future novels but today, let’s talk Happenstance!
Taryn Ballard is happily married and a newly appointed analyst for a prestigious shipping company. Her career upsurges in record time but she’s about to discover the real price of corporate life.
While on yet another business trip, Taryn suffers a brutal attack by a carjacker. Her husband isn’t there, but her co-worker Devin is. The accidental bond Taryn and Devin share pitches them into dangerous and confusing territory. Taryn struggles to discern both her feelings for her sexy protector and Wade’s reaction to it all. Unfamiliar emotions blur the rules of the game and Wade’s ready to quit.
Taryn must rise above disaster to save her marriage. But is she ready to let go of the man who saved her life? In a single moment, Happenstance changes everything.
You taught me to give my main characters three levels of hell and Taryn was not immune. She was so much fun to write because I really played havoc on both Devin and Wade while simultaneously running her through the wringer. Yes, I’m awful. My favorite genres are suspense and romance so I couldn’t resist sneaking in some tense danger amongst the smooches.
“Devin, it’s Taryn. You were right. The execs want me to meet them for dinner and I feel really foolish because I have a GPS and a connect-the-dot map from the concierge and I’m still lost.”
Devin laughed. “Not a problem. Where are you?”
Taryn took a second to locate the green street sign. “At the corner of First and Third at a tiny, ancient-looking convenience store.”
“Oh, I know the one. You’re right next to us. I could probably see you from the tower window. Okay, which restaurant are you looking for?”
Taryn grabbed the hand-drawn map. “Caminas.”
“I know where it is. Actually, it might be faster by freeway.”
“Of course it would. I just came from—”
An unexpected rush of damp, hot air hit her and Taryn turned, confused to see her door open wide. She sucked in a quick breath and saw too late the arm reaching for her. Terror gripped her as she zeroed in on the gun in her face.
I had so much fun with this story. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Happenstance can be purchased here.
Tweet with me @Valeriebrbr, follow me on Facebook or find out the latest on my Author Page about my upcoming short story Magnolia Brides in a TMP wedding anthology out in June! Thanks again, K.D., for saving a spot for me on your awesome blog!