Once upon a time, I wrote SWEET GIRL, a second chance romance about a couple named Cash and Nicola who readers initially read in GARRISON’S CREED. Theirs would become one of my absolute favorite love stories.
Can you tell us the story when Cash and Nicola first fell in love?
Well, of course, the answer was absolutely! I would do just about anything to write this couple again.
It took more than a year to find the time, but I decided to share Cash and Nicola’s “first love” story in my email newsletter as a bonus. My goal was to write no more than 5K words.
I’d sketched out some thoughts. Maybe I’d share their first kiss or the first time their hands brushed when the sparks had been flying? What about a date? (oh, goodness, that first date.)
There were so many firsts to share, and I was positively giddy as I typed. LOL, you can believe that giddy is an understatement.
Don’t Stop Until It’s Done
After writing for a while, I knew I’d gone a teeny, tiny bit longer than my goal of five thousand words. But the words kept coming and made my heart pitter-patter in only the way that Cash Garrison knew how to do.
Toward the end of this story, I couldn’t see the screen in front of me. I wrote the last paragraphs through tears. (After all, this was the first of two love stories.) And, I’m not talking about a couple of dainty tears that I could swipe away. No, this was more of a full-on, ugly cry that momentarily blinded me.
I shut my laptop and didn’t return until the next day.
That’s when I saw the word count. My little bonus story’s draft clocked in at fifty-five thousand words.
55K is a novel.
This story wasn’t supposed to be a manuscript! Just something little and fun for my newsletter readers. But 55K? This pantser had really written by the seat of her pants this time.
What was I supposed to do with it? I sent the document to my crit partners and waited. It didn’t take them long to agree that this wasn’t newsletter content. It was a prequel.
Wow. What on earth was I supposed to do with an unplanned prequel? The more I thought about this story, the more I knew you had to read it too.
SWEET GIRL came to be
My amazing cover designer Kim Killion took the branding from my military romance and romantic suspense books and applied it with a sweeter, college romance twist. The result was perfect. But I worried if it was a good idea to release an “off-genre” book (that I adored).
After a decent bit of worrying, my inner bookworm’s voice of reason declared that I needed to share this story.
Sweet Girl released two years after readers had already read Cash and Nicola’s forever happily ever after.
New Cover for Sweet Girl
Fast forward five years, I still love the journey I took while writing this couple! Sweet Girl still makes me grin when I think back to their long glances and what-if thoughts, and I decided to freshen up the cover! I gave my cover designer free rein and… Drum roll, please... She came up with this beauty!
All I could do was smile. It’s sweet and sexy! I hope you love it as much as I do.
Thank you for encouraging me to write this book, and thank you for spending time with my books. It is always so much fun to share with you. Hugs and happy reading! xoxo
If you haven’t read SWEET GIRL yet, I think now’s a great time to jump in!
If you have already read this book, tell a friend they need to read it or find time for a re-read!
P.S. Need something else to fuel your Sweet Girl fix? Watch the book trailer!
P.P.S. If you have any questions about the reading order for Sweet Girl, (like I said, this wasn’t a planned book), I made a video that tackles that question.
P.P.P.S. That’s a bit excessive, I know. This post was a lot of fun to write. Maybe I should do one on how Sweet ONE, their baby story, came to be!