Hey there my fabulously filthy friend,
If you’re wondering where I’ve been the last few days and why the radio silence, it was because I took the little humans camping.
Well, not JUST camping. Last weekend, we finally got to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday (which was April 14th). But because of COVID restrictions, we were forced to reschedule until now. My brother and his fiancee flew out from Canmore, Alberta, we booked a professional photographer and did a big family photo session. Then my brother, his fiancee, my husband and I all cooked all weekend long so that “the mothership” as we affectionately call her didn’t have to lift a finger. We went to the beach, sat around reminiscing, picked berries in the backyard, went for a hike, and just spent time together as a family. It was wonderful. Now, we impatiently wait as our brilliant photographer edits the photos. As an artist myself, I know that brilliance can’t be rushed (I’m totally saying all of this about myself sarcastically), but not getting to see the photos is legit driving my mom mental.
After the fun-filled family weekend, I packed up the girls and we went to Miracle Beach provincial park for two days of camping “fun.” I’m not a fan of sleeping on the ground. Never have been . Not even in my partying days where we drank until we were numb and passed out on the nearest flat surface. Even then, the ground was not my jam. But, it’s not all about me, so I pulled up my big girl panties, packed the RAV until it was close to bursting and set out for two days of dirty feet and sand everywhere.
WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!
Let’s just leave it at that. I’ve done the dirty hobo backpacker thing where you stink for days, your nails all break and no matter what you just can’t get your feet clean. Been there, done that, got the photos to back it up. But I’m also over it. I’m not twenty-five anymore. I threw my upper back and shoulder out using two computer screens for work. I want a little bit of luxury in my life. Like a bed. And a shower. And four sturdy walls around me that don’t flap in the breeze. I’m not asking for much. And, chastise me for saying this if you must, I’m also not a huge fan of sleeping with my children.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling them, hugging them and showering them with all the love. But now that they’re not babies, they’re really fucking annoying to share a bed with. They’re movers, and the oldest one is like 90% limbs. Meanwhile, for some reason, even while sleeping, the Tiny Human just knows I’m there and wraps her arm around my neck like I’m a stuffed animal. Maybe she can sleep like that, but the Mama Bear sure as hell can’t.
And of course, what inaugural camping trip wouldn’t be complete without a popped air mattress? Certainly not ours. And on the first night, too! The three of us ended up rolling in toward the middle, piling up on each other. Thinking back on it all, it was hilarious and something we’ll be able to laugh about for years. But at time, I was a grumbling mess. How on earth could my three year old sleep through her sister crushing her while she simultaneously crushed me?
Anyway, we survived. They had fun, which was what it was all about, and now I know I need to make myself a “to pack” list and include butter/oil on it. Along with backup blow up mattresses.
But I went WAAAAAAY out of my comfort zone, that’s what I’m getting at here.
Kudos to those of you who love to camp, but you’re not my spirit animal and I think we can still be friends. Just don’t expect me to nod until my neck snaps if you suggest we go on a trip with tents into the back country. I’ll wave you off, give you a can of bear spray and say, “see you when you get back.”
At this point (if you’re still reading) you’re probably wondering where on earth is she going with this diatribe and how is going to circle it back to writing a Christmas story with ten POVs. Well, I am, just wait.
If you remember, a few years ago, I wrote Snowed In & Set Up. It was the first Christmas story I ever wrote, as well as the first third person POV story I ever wrote. Up until then all my stories were first person and ONLY in the POV of the heroine. Quick and Dirty, Lust Abroad, all of the Dark and Damaged Hearts.
Well, I got it in my head that this story needed to have six POVs. All three couples deserved equal “screen time” and the book just wouldn’t work from only a few POVs. So I dove headfirst into the murky stream of my own consciousness, completely unsure if I’d hit the bottom or glide right out into clearer water.
I took the plunge.
I took the leap.
And you know what?
Loads of reviews indicate that readers were unsure how six POVs was going to work, but they were surprised and delighted that it did. Hey, if George R.R. Martin can bounce around in everybody’s brain, why can’t I? I am NOT comparing myself to the all powerful George, but I’m just saying, if he can do it, why can’t I try?
It was from that book on that I started writing all my books in third person with alternating POV. And I love it. I could never go back to singular POV and only if you twisted my arm (like my co-writing partner did) go back to first person POV.
So, when I got the idea to write the fifth and final Harty Boys book, I knew that I wanted to try my hand (or fingers) at another multi-POV story. And I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do it. Yes, of course, I want Joy to have screen time, as well as her hunk of burning love, Grant. But since Full Hart is meant to take place a couple of years after Dark Hart ended, I also wanted to give you real updates on all the Harty Boys and their families. So much has happened to this family over the years, that they each deserve to reflect on how far they’ve come in their own POVs.
So yes, Full Hart will be told from the point of view of ten different people. Brock and Krista, Chase and Stacey, Rex and Lydia, Heath and Pasha, and Joy and Grant. It will be jam-packed with funny moments, one-liners, sexy times, holiday cheer, angst, frustration and even a little bit of sadness. If you know me and my books, you know I keep things real. People die, women lose babies, men cry and the world keeps turning through it all.
You can definitely expect fun, sexy times in Full Hart, but be prepared for shit to also get real.
I’m taking the plunge with this book. Going way out of my comfort zone once again. I’ve gone from six POVs in Snowed In & Set Up to ten POVs. I didn’t stop in the middle at eight. Go big or go home, right?
Just like I did with camping on the ground with my children (because our mattress popped and we legit were ON THE GROUND) I’m trying something new. It might work, it might not. But at least I’m going to give it a go.
Coming October 9, 2021
Here’s an excerpt of Full Hart for you.
Even now, with her gone, that smile was what kept him getting up each morning and continuing with his life.
That smile … and the woman who had just shut her car door outside and was making her way up the path to his house.
Could she have been named any more perfectly?
Because she certainly sparked joy in him.
She rekindled flames inside him he’d thought had long been extinguished, had long turned to nothing more than cold, damp coal.
Smiling, he glanced at Daphne’s photo. “You like her, don’t you?”
Daphne just showed him those blinding white teeth, dimples, and rosy cheeks.
She would have liked Joy.
He picked up both wine glasses and booked it to the front door, opening it just as she was lifting her little fist to knock.
Her smile winded him and her eyes twinkled. “I forget sometimes that you’re one of those kinds of men.”
“One of what kind?” he asked playfully, taking her overnight bag from her and handing her the stemless wine glass.
“Military trained with impeccable hearing, instincts, and senses. You probably knew I was in the neighborhood before I even parked my car.” She took a sip of the wine and made a sexy little humming sound in delight.
“Not quite, but I did hear you shut your car door.” He set her bag down on the arm of the couch, took her wine glass from her, and set both their glasses on the table beside Daphne’s photo. Then he wrapped his arms around her small frame, and she did the same to him.
He was over a foot taller than her, standing at six-one—he’d been six-three at his tallest, but age was causing him to shrink—and she was only four-eleven, but her personality made her appear so much taller.
With twinkling blue eyes, her ballerina bun tucked up on her crown with not a hair out of place, and fresh glossy lipstick, she tilted her head up to look at him. “Smells good. And I don’t just mean dinner.”
His chuckle came out raspy since his throat had suddenly gone dry as he mentally prepared himself for what he wanted to say.
“You smell good, too,” he said, ducking down and taking her mouth for a moment.
She hummed against his lips, parting hers so he could sweep his tongue inside. Her grip around his neck tightened and she pulled him down, pressing her hips against his.
Joy Hart was a passionate woman. She also knew her way around a man’s body and had taught Grant a thing or two about his own pleasure.
He’d been reluctant at first—even a little scared—but she was gentle and patient with him, and showed him just how much more he could enjoy sex with a little bit of imagination.
He’d felt like a bit of a chump when they first got together. Although he’d had ample sex in his life with Daphne, he’d only ever had sex with one woman. Joy was a lot more experienced than he was, and the fact that she was a sex and relationship therapist—specializing in sexuality—meant she was a lot more comfortable discussing things than he or Daphne had ever been.
Joy had even ironically nicknamed him Wild Man, not only because his last name was Wild, but because he wasn’t exactly “adventurous” or “worldly” in the bedroom.
The nickname had kind of stuck.
Coming October 9, 2021