Monday, March 01, 2010

Almost Here!

I've been waiting so long to get this book back onto the market. Heartstone was my first novel length science fiction/fantasy romance and it's had an interesting life.

First, it was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart contest - that's hugely significant for a first novel. At least to me it was. It told me I had the 'chop' to write novel lenght after several years of writing short fiction. But maybe the fact that Heartstone finaled in such a prestigious contest went to my head and karma decided to kick me in the rear. Because no matter where I sent it, it was either rejected or held so long they lost it. No, I won't name the pub who kept it under consideration for several years. Um, it may still be under consideration according to them but I quit asking a long time ago, lol. Finally, a publisher bought Heartstone. I was deliriously happy.

Unfortunately, that pub tried to grow too much too soon and ended up in bankruptcy court. It was a battle to get my rights back but after almost 18 months, Heartstone was my property again. So off I went in search of another publisher. In the meantime, my day job situation changed. I ended up working more hours than I wanted to but in this economy, one does what one must to keep the roof over her head and groceries on the table...not to mention making sure the cat and dog are properly fed -- they're quite insistent on being fed regularly, lol.

But things go in cycles and this is the upturn for Heartstone because it should be available in April (I don't have an official release date yet - if it changes, I'll let you know). And I have a very evocative cover that really reflects the story.

EXCERPT (unedited & uncorrected)

Opening day.

On the sign hanging over the door, the Old English letters spelling out The Treasure Chest gleamed in the morning light. The dark green awning that would prevent the hot afternoon sun from entering the windows added to the quaintness of the store.

Keriam Norton sighed happily. She treasured the old, well-worn and well-loved items in her inventory. They had a history, a past, a connection to earlier times, and now, with her help, they'd have a future.

She wished she could say the same. For all she knew, she and her mother, Meredith, had dropped out of the sky twenty-six years ago. As for the future, she would be satisfied with the store.

In the window, her cousin, Janna, fluffed the skirt of an old ivory wedding dress. Keriam smiled, remembering how the young woman had held it up to her body and admired it in the oval mirror. A true romantic, Janna fantasized about her wedding day constantly.

At least one of them had a fantasy.

In three hours, people would come into the store and browse through the collection of lovingly worn antiques.

People. Strangers.

She swallowed and rubbed suddenly damp palms against her pants legs. She took a deep breath. Released it slowly.

She and Janna would chat with them. Point out the eighteenth century armoire, the Art Deco or the kitschy collection of farm implements gracing the walls. Everything was going to be just fine.

Her stomach took a queasy roll.

Facing people she knew, and ones she didn't, was going to be hard. It hadn't always been so, just since her parents died. She inhaled raggedly at the surge of grief. So much had changed for her since then. But today was going to be a good day. It was, she repeated.

Keriam stopped as the weight of unseen eyes danced over her skin like thorny little ant-feet. She whirled, taking in the entire street with a sweeping glance.

Roseberg’s small business district, composed of ancient brick storefronts, would soon be bustling but now was serenely quiet. And yet...

Someone was watching her.

Across the street, a large black dog sniffed a reproduction coach lamp near the curb. Keriam dismissed the animal, letting her gaze move toward the intersection. A shadow, long and sharp in the sun's slanting rays, moved and vanished before Keriam could identify it. No faces pressed against the glass of the shops lining Main Street. There was no traffic.

Her attention returned to the dog. It sat, tongue lolling, tail idly sweeping the sidewalk. It had a feral tilt to its pale eyes that made her think wolf. Which was ridiculous, there weren't any wolves in this part of Michigan.

Then...expectancy flashed through her body, heightening her perception. From the east came the scent of the pig farms and the rendering plant, faint but distinguishable to her acute senses. Automobile fumes from the highway drifted, mingling with the occasional perfume of green, growing things from the surrounding farmlands. A silent call hung in the cool, morning air and she let the door close without going inside. She shut her eyes, fighting the urge to follow the call, to abandon Janna and the store.

A single, deep bark cut through the wild sensations and, as if a door slammed shut, the scents were gone, the call silenced. Her heart skipped a beat, then skittered like a wild thing. These episodes were coming far too often. And too powerfully. How long before she could no longer fight them?

How long before she lost her mind?


-- Lynda Again
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from Heartstone and I hope it whets your appetite to read more, lol. In the meanwhile, if you aren't already a member of my newsgroup, you might consider joining. Members of my newsgroup are eligible to enter drawings for prizes (books and assorted other goodies). Directions on how to join are just below here. Hope to see you there!

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Pauline B Jones said...

Awesome excerpt, Lynda and congrats on this book finally, finally releasing!

Your story could be mine. My first novel also finaled in the GH, got rejected all over NY. People told me that first books don't get published. I'm glad I didn't give up and glad you didn't either.

The cover art is amazing, too.

Big WOOT! :-)

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Pauline! That's the secret...never give up, never surrender (too much time watching Galaxy Quest, huh?)

Pauline B Jones said...

Can you watch Galaxy Quest too many times? I think not! LOL!

Anonymous said...

One can never see too much Galaxy Quest!
Congrats on your release, Lynda.

Linda Andrews said...

Congrats on finding a publisher, the excerpt is great. I especially love the description "thorny little ant-feet". You didn't say who is publishing it? Dish the details, my ereader is waiting.

And I agree, you can never have too much Galaxy Quest.


Lynda K. Scott said...

LOL, well, I'm glad I'm not alone in channeling Galaxy Quest. I guess we all recognize a terrific philosophy when we hear it.

Linda, Heartstone will be available in April from Mundania Press. Thank's for asking :-)

Pam P said...

Fantastic news, Lynda! I loved the book and happy for you now that you can move on with it, and more.

ElaineCharton said...

Congratulations Linda! I can not wait to finally read this. Add me to the list of never enough Galaxy Quest.

Skylar Masey said...

Squee!! Big congrats Lynda!!

Which publisher is giving HEARTSTONE new life?

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Skylar, Heartstone is coming out in April from Mundania Press.