Category Archives: Featured


Virginia Festival of the Book

Looking forward to joining two of my fellow authors in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend for a panel on writing romance as a LGBTQI Author. Catch us at the Charlottesville Barnes and Noble at 3pm Sunday March 24th.

Samantha Boyette (What Happens When), D. Jackson Leigh (Ordinary is Perfect) and Radclyffe (Passionate Rivals) discuss the issue of diversity—ethnic, racial, sexual, and gender-related—in publishing, the similarities and differences between mainstream and LGBTQI romances, and the nuances of authentic character construction. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.


What Happens When

For Molly Kennan, senior year is already an epic disaster. It feels like the whole school knows she made out with Lily at that party, and now she’s accidentally outed herself as a lesbian. Her ex-best friend is trying to ruin her life, and school generally sucks. All she wants is to drown her sorrows in sweet potato fries, but she finds herself tongue-tied by the diner’s new waitress, Zia.

I’m so excited to announce the release of my newest book. This one is close to my heart in a lot of ways. I grew up in a similarly small town, and while I didn’t experience the issues with my coming out that Molly does, a lot of the worries and fears she has I’ve had. Like Molly, I was lucky to have great friends and family to help me get through.

Unlike Molly, I’m much older now, with two kids of my own and that keeps me away from blogging, reading, and writing as much as I used to. So for anyone out there who cares, I apologize for not being very active on this site. I’m going to try to do better. You can also follow me on facebook for slightly more interaction. The link is in the header.

I hope you will pick up What Happens When and that it will bring you as much joy to read as it brought me to write.


When To Shelve The Book You’re Writing

I’ve written a lot of books. Most of them are in no way ready to be seen by the general public, and some may never be. Once again, I’m faced with the idea of quitting my new book about 35k in. It’s an awful feeling, but sometimes it just has to be done. So here are my signs that it’s time to retire an idea.

1. You’re Bored– Here’s the thing, if I’m bored with my book, I’m almost certain you will be. This isn’t the same boredom you get when you’re editing it for the tenth time and you never want to read it again, this is different. This is when you are still writing it and you are thinking to yourself ‘When will we get to the good stuff?’. The nature of this book demanded it have a very slow build up based on timing issues. Now I’m just getting to the meat of it, but honestly I’m bored. I keep trying to come up with how this is going to be exciting later on, but I can’t imagine anything exciting enough to make up for the beginning.

2. You’ve been thinking about giving up for a while– We all have moments in writing when we think about scraping a project. I’ve had them in many books, but they’re usually fleeting. I can think of one book in particular that I didn’t think was working, but ended up great. This is one reason I’m always nervous about quitting a book. However, with this book, I’ve been thinking it off and on since about the 20k mark. The first part of the book flowed well and wrote easy, but then it started to drag and I knew it wasn’t my best work.

3. You’re not in love with your characters– You can have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t love the characters involved then it’s going to fall flat. I think that’s one of my main issues with this book, I just don’t have that drive for my characters. If I go more than a few days between working on it I actually start to forget their names! That’s an awful sign. When I try to think about writing this book, my mind drifts to other books I want to write and other characters who I’m already in love with.

4. You avoid working on it– This has really been the clincher for me, I’ve avoided working on this book. I’ve written three short stories since I started it, I’ve read, I’ve finished a home project, I’ve done anything and everything to step away from writing it. That’s what is really telling me that I need to move on and start a new book.

So there are my signs for shelving this book. Who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again a year from now and work on it again. Maybe it will just linger half finished forever. Either way, I’m excited to move on to something else, so I know I made the right decision.

As a bonus, you also know it’s time to stop writing it when the flash drive it was saved on dies two days after you’ve made your decision.

How about you? Have you ever shelved a book halfway through?