Author Archives: Christy Hayes

Remember the Joy

It’s finally out. The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes, A Father-Son Memoir by Chris & Terry Norton has been published and is out in the world! Power of Faith for stand 2

Feel that breeze? That’s my sigh of…Relief? Satisfaction? Accomplishment?

All of the above.

When I was done, I published a novella I managed to write during my ghostwriting days, and…
I cleaned out the garage, all our closets, and my office. I’m re-reading my old favorite writing books–Stein on Writing, Techniques of the Selling Writer, The Fire in Fiction–in preparation for the next book in my Kiss & Tell series. But I still felt a little aimless and a whole lot conflicted. What did I really want to tackle next?

The answer came while catching up on my favorite blog, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s kriswrites.com, and her Business Musings series. The post titled, “Obsession, Delusion, and Writing,” is worth the read. One of her long ago blog posts provided the nudChristyHayes_Kiss&MakeUp_200ge I needed to self publish, and this one–right when I was floundering–got me back on track. I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning the craft, and I want to grow as an author, and that means I have to keep writing and learning, and remember the joy. I determine my own success.

So, I’m getting
back at it now that I’ve cleaned my house and cleared the fog from my brain. I’m not in a hurry because I’m going to remember the joy. And the holidays are right around the corner. And my boy’s a senior. And a thousand other reasons. I’m going to remember the joy in all of it. And you should to.

Wasting Precious Time

In perusing yahoo news, I came across an article about a study done of older Americans (aged 65+) and what they regretted most in their lives. The most common answer? Worry. Out of 1500 people, the most common regret was that they’d spent too much of their lives worrying.stress

You can read about the study here.

I found this to be particularly relevant because I notice more and more young adults riddled with anxiety, more and more middle aged adults suffering the side effects of stress, and more and more people turning to pharmaceuticals for relief.

Some worry is unavoidable. If you’re a parent, worry comes with the job. If you or a loved one is suffering an illness, make room for worry.

But kids? Really?

School is harder than ever. The things my kids learn about in high school were college subjects in my day. A friend was talking the other day about a five year old who didn’t want to go to kindergarten because she didn’t know how to read. In kindergarten! When I was in kindergarten, we learned to tie our shoes. And it was half-day.

Bottom line: life’s too short. Every day is a gift. If we spend too much time worrying about things that either don’t matter or can’t be changed, we are frittering away the gift of life.

So get off the computer. Go outside for a walk. Read a good book. Call a friend. Smile at a stranger. Live the gift, and have no regrets.

photo credit: 2 : 😡 via photopin (license)

End of Summer Book Recommendations!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover:ugly love

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past.Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.

Ugly Love is as engrossing as this tasty back cover blurb. It will suck you in and have you turning pages faster than there are hours in the day to read. I read this one quickly, so quickly I’ll have to take some time to reread it and savor once again. It is worth your time.

In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez:In Too Deep

She vowed never to return. To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover. She’s a risk he can’t take. West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk? Saying goodbye for the second time might just destroy them both.

I love reunion love stories, and this one is packed with conflict and a backstory that is slowly, frustratingly revealed. With stunning New Zealand as the backdrop, how can you resist the allure of a second chance at love? 

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

Give It To Me Straight

When writing The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes for Chris and Terry Norton, I’d lined up an editor who was instrumental in getting the book off the ground. She offered advice, made professional connections that were invaluable, and even prayed for me and the book. When she had to back out of the project for personal reasons, I panicked. Where on earth was I going to find another editor who would understand and be as passionate about the project as the original editor?ThePowerofFaith_coverfinal

After much searching (and again thanks to my former editor) I submitted the project to a service that connects authors with editors by having the editors bid on and do sample edits of the project. And, boy, was that an illuminating exercise!

As the bids came in and I received the sample edits, two things became very clear: editors and editing styles are very different, and I didn’t want a cursory glance at the manuscript, but a critical analysis.

It would have been very easy to select the cheapest bid where every couple of pages I’d get a grammar correction or two and feel really good about myself and my ability. But I knew better. I’d never written in this genre before, the story needed tightening, and I generally stink at grammar.

In the long run, my choice was easy. Of all the bids I received, one had so many track changes comments, deletions, suggestions, and explanations, that I knew I’d found my editor. The story is stronger for her time and talents, and she led me to a final proofreader who went over the manuscript with a fine tooth comb and made the story that much better.

My point in telling you this is that sometimes the easy way isn’t always the best. If I want to pay someone to tell me how great I am, I can give money to my kids and at least expect something in return (a smile, a hug, and generally good behavior for a few days). When my name is on the cover, I want what’s inside to be the best it can be. Getting from finished draft to polished manuscript requires the expertise of others and the humility to do what’s best for the project.

What about you writers out there? Do you enjoy a thorough edit like I do? Let me know your thoughts.

More Book Reviews!

Here are more book recommendations for your summer reading enjoyment!

Broken Chords by Carrie Elks:Broken Chords

Lara knows she should feel lucky. Married to the man of her dreams, with a gorgeous new baby, she should be enjoying her happy-ever-after. But she never expected motherhood to be so difficult, or for her life to change so dramatically. Alex has it all: hot, tattooed looks, a beautiful wife, and a band that’s finally getting noticed. A lucrative offer of a US tour should be the icing on the cake. But as he leaves the country, distance isn’t the only thing that starts to pull their relationship apart. With half a world dividing them, Alex and Lara have to battle for a marriage they once took for granted.

While I’ve never been attracted to “band guys,” there are a whole lot of people out there who are (my daughter included). What I enjoyed about this book was the realistic view of marriage and the many ways having a child changes a relationship. Despite the heady topic, this was an entertaining and sexy read. I’ll read more of Carrie Elks for sure.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman:Where She Went

It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other. Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I read this sequel to If I Stay after reading the first book so my daughter and I could go see the movie together. Both are enjoyable reads (and, coincidentally, feature another “band guy”), but I hated how the first book ended (and the movie)! So many unanswered questions! This book wraps up all the questions about what happened when (or if) she stayed in a fast paced plot from Adam’s point of view. I love having the man’s take on things, so this book was a winner for me. If you haven’t read If I Stay, read it first for sure, or get both books together to avoid the frustration. You won’t be sorry. 

*Blurbs and Covers from authors’ websites.

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