Over the Moon

My books arrived! Three heavy boxes containing fifty books from BookBaby for my book signings. I’m afraid everyone else will have to wait until March 1 to get their orders, when they arrive from Amazon.

I am over the moon! It feels so, so good to hold my book! The painting on the cover is by Wanda Cox of Villa Rica, Georgia. The cover is the handiwork of my friend, Chris Audet. The writing is all by myself. It’s done. I wrote a book.

You’re Invited to Pre-Order

My first novel, Gingerly, is available for pre-order now! The eBook version, at least. I’m so excited to share it with you.

About to be Published!

My book, Gingerly, is going live in 2-4 days! The eBook, anyway. The paperback will take a couple weeks before it’s available for preorder, shipping out March 1. I’m so excited and busy, my head is in danger of coming unscrewed after swiveling around so much.

Here is Gingerly in a nutshell:

Twenty-seven-year-old Caitlyn McIntyre is one year out of a bad marriage, two weeks late on rent for her crappy apartment, and three days from losing her job.

The redhead from Vermont thought she’d gotten past the tragedies in her life when she escaped to beautiful Saint Simons after her divorce. But Caitlyn’s curls, piled into a tangled frizz in the oppressive Georgia heat, are as unmanageable as her life as she finds herself facing not only unemployment, but also having to give up the sewing business and life she’d fought hard to establish. Her fears are allayed when Nick, a real estate developer on Saint Simons Island, is in sudden need of a nanny for his autistic son. But the chemistry between Caitlyn and Nick adds to Caitlyn’s problems, especially when the rumors of Nick being a womanizer appear to be true. Over the course of two years, Caitlyn takes on an anxious preschooler, a foreign exchange student, the entitlement of the wealthy, and her growing attraction to her boss.

GINGERLY

is an uplifting and often humorous novel about the paths women must take to find their identity and build a life they’re proud of.

It’s got an ISBN number and everything! Well, for the print book. I’m not sure what the eBook number is. Or if eBook is spelled e-book, E-book, or eBook. Whatever. You know what I’m talking about. I used all my editing energy on the book. Behold the glorious ISBN number: 978-1-54395-946-8! It’s official. I have a book, y’all. 346 pages.

I’m excited and sick with worry about promoting it properly and whether I missed any typos after looking at it a million times. I did get help (lots of it) from an editor, but I’ve added and taken away things since my collaboration with her. In other words, I’ve had plenty of time to mess it up.

I talk more about Gingerly on my author page, https://rachelbhodges.com/. Please check it out. And please buy my book and give it a kind review. The eBook should be available in 2 or 3 days to purchase on Amazon. I’ll keep you posted. Right now, my head’s in such a muddle from being overloaded.

Book Review: Plum Blossoms in Paris

Plum Blossoms in Paris

Plum Blossoms in Paris by Sarah Hina

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


If you’re looking for a book that moves along at a quick clip, this probably is not for you. If you’re looking for shimmering sentences you would sell your kneecaps to be able to write, you must read this! Several times, I was about to set it down because of the slow pace, when I was hit over the head with a jaw-dropping good description. Those perfect paragraphs are worth reading the whole book for. The tempo also picks up about halfway through, so hang in there.

Did I agree with everything the two main characters said or did? No, but I thought the author did a good job capturing the way many new adults think. I had a completely different worldview at that age than Daisy, but I was just as sure I knew much more than I did. Matthieu irritates the fire out of me at 41, but his inscrutable moodiness would have made me swoon at 23.

It was interesting to read the descriptions of paintings. Do yourself a favor and look up the artwork while reading the magnificent descriptions.



View all my reviews

Overwhelmed

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

I am freaking overwhelmed. I’m releasing my first novel, Gingerly, in 2 months.

I get to (using the words “get to” instead of “have to”, hoping those positive connotations rub off on me):

Ask local newspapers to interview me.

Get an ISBN number.

Learn how to promote myself.

Promote myself all over the internet.

Read and review books by Indie authors for good karma.

Grow a thicker skin.

Organize/beg businesses to host book signings.

Research exactly what a book signing entails.

Maybe throw myself a little launch party with the few people I know, ’cause just moved for the second time in 6 months?

Keep moving so the fear doesn’t cripple me.

2018 in Review

2018 has been nuts. We moved twice, first from our darling home in Erving, Massachusetts, where we’d lived two and a half years. I’m still a bit homesick for it. We left behind some lovely friends and neighbors, and a home on the edge of a forest. We moved to be closer to my husband’s family and rented a home in Fleming Island initially. I loved that house and neighborhood, but honestly, it was harder to afford than we’d originally thought. And we just couldn’t seem to maintain the lawn to the home owners association’s strict standards. Frankly, they were pretty anal retentive. So when the perfect house came up for sale just a few miles away, we jumped at the chance. So, not five months after leaving Massachusetts, we packed up our things and moved again.

While we were moving, I decided I’d looked for a traditional publisher long enough for my book, Gingerly. I decided to self publish via BookBaby. In March, my novel will be available for purchase via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and several other venues, in print and Kindle edition. I’m excited and terrified about that. I’m also two glasses of wine into my New Year’s celebration and will not be talking about that. (I’m a total lightweight. Two glasses means I’m drunk).

Despite moving twice, finishing a book, getting another book well underway, I’ve gotten a lot of sewing done. Sewing keeps me sane.

Now I’m watching Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” concert with my family. My eight-year-old son is yelling “Go Taylor, go!” as Taylor sings and writhes somewhat suggestively. I debate the ethics of letting my kids watch this, but it has been a LONG year and a little veiled innuendo isn’t going to catapult them into a life of lechery.

So here’s the stuff I sewed this year. I actually sewed more than this, but I can’t find the pics. Again. It’s been a long year. I’m too tired to look. Happy New Year, everybody!

Moving Again

38712069_10155677329586245_3347849478777339904_n“You moved here from Massachusetts?” The maintenance man’s eyes widened. “What do you think of it here?”

“I love it, but it’s harder than we thought to afford the rent on this place. We’re in the middle of buying a home off-island.”

“You know you’re only paying for the name here, right?” He grinned at me from the wall he was sawing into. Water had seeped through a window, rotting away the wood until it was gone. It looked fine, but smelled terrible after a good rain. “Everyone likes to say they live on the island. The other schools in the area are good, too, you know. The houses here look fancy but aren’t built much better than they are anywhere else. I spend a lot of time here fixing the same problems. Window dressing; that’s what you’re paying for.”

I thought about what he said and was inclined to agree. We love our beautiful neighborhood and our friendly neighbors, but on the other side of the river, 2.5 miles away is a nice brick house that has our freshly-signed names on the deed. It’s about the same size and age as the home we’re renting, but $100,000 cheaper and with no HOA fees! That means: no amazing community pools and beautiful sections of golf course woven artfully throughout the neighborhood. It also means: no small fortune going to the Home Owner’s Association, whose lackeys are constantly breathing down our necks. I swear, we keep our yard looking as nice as everyone else’s (most of the time), but we got onto the HOA’s radar. It feels like they’re watching us like hawks. I rather like yard work, but knowing someone is going to judge my efforts sucks the joy right out of it.

Our new house is a good size, in a pleasant neighborhood with a respectable, smaller school, but it isn’t elegant. Not a bit. It’s a good, sensible home that doesn’t pretend to be anything else. That makes me a little sad. I like walking around our current neighborhood with the immaculate yards and pristine ponds, and coming back to our rented house with its stately, tall ceilings. The ceiling is so high, we’d need to buy a gadget on a long stick to change our lightbulbs. An ordinary stepladder isn’t going to cut it. I also like that my book group meets at the country club, where we are served wine and the women’s restroom is decorated in Kate Spade. I don’t golf and rarely dine there, but it makes me feel vaguely important to have a country club in my neighborhood. To be honest, though, elegance isn’t all it is cracked up to be, especially when it’s of the suburban cookie cutter variety. I have gotten so lost driving around the island, where all the houses look similar and all the street names sound the same: Does my friend live on Waterbridge Court, or Bridgewater Court? (Oddly, neither of those streets have a bridge anywhere in or near them). Inside these perfect homes, however, I do know my way around. Our neighbor across the street boasts the exact same floor plan as we do, and the others are pretty similar. I never need to ask where the bathroom is when I’m a guest in someone else’s home.

The high ceilings of my rented home are impressive, but don’t lend themselves to cosiness. Even with rooms full of furniture, our voices echo. It isn’t at all nice to hear your tantruming child echo. Our new house has sensible ceilings, which my husband is very happy about. My inner snob, however, is not. I always wanted my own McMansion, and now that I’m in one, I’m reluctant to leave so soon. It’s stupid and I feel like an entitled prig for feeling this way, especially in light of the fact that so many people have lost their homes in the California wildfires, but there you have it.

I’ll miss looking out my bedroom window every morning to see the ducks and geese sailing proudly along the waterway behind our house. Our new house won’t have this view, but it will have a much more private feeling with a tall wooden fence and an above-ground pool.

I can probably keep attending book club meetings and can easily walk around Fleming Island whenever I feel like it. I’m only moving 2.5 miles away, for crying out loud. I know we’ll be so much more comfortable in a home that we own. Living in a rental makes me nervous that my kids will somehow manage to destroy it before our lease is up. Still, I can’t help but feel a teensy bit sad that living on my picture-perfect island didn’t work out. Even if much of it is window dressing.