Here are some Fun Facts about Unexpected Beauty, Chaotic Beauty, Changed Beauty, Unbreakable Beauty, and my newest novel, Winter.
*** May contain spoilers if you have not read the Beauty series *** ***new FUN FACTS for Winter (Seasons Series) at the bottom of the page***
Unexpected Beauty was not my original title for Book 1. It was originally Awesome Beauty. I quickly titled it that after I wrote the first few chapters thinking about what Sam said upon seeing Liam for the first time. She mentioned something about his “awesome beauty,” and who even thinks that … Something along those lines … Well I used it as the title but as my story progressed and more things happened I changed it to Unexpected Beauty. I think it’s perfect and way better than Awesome Beauty … though the way I envision Liam … he IS pretty awesome!
During Liam & Sam’s date at Liam’s apartment Liam asks Sam to put on the Otis Redding CD, surprising her with his remembrance of the “little things” … Well I happen to absolutely love Otis Redding. Fun Fact Bonus – Dock of the Bay is the song he asks her to dance to. It’s one of my favorite songs ever. It’s not exactly a super slow song to dance to, but trust me it was slow dancing before the good parts!
The bookstore was a must have during Liam and Sam’s first date. It’s one of the first places I visit when I am at the Inner Harbor – a place that I LOVE – so Sam was definitely going there at some point. I kind of thought it was perfect in a way – and it was another little thing. I’m a believer in the little things, obviously! I like to think she picked up a Nora Roberts book or something along those lines.
I mentioned it in my “first official webpage post” that I changed a few names during one of my edits. “Lizzy” as Aiden loves to call her – but we find out later on she absolutely hates that name (she would much rather be Elizabeth) was supposed to be Katherine, called Katie by Aiden, and Joanna was supposed to be something else as well. I actually like the name Joanna (its my sister-in-laws name & I specifically like how it’s pronounced) so I wanted to use it! ** I must mention that in no way is Joanna (my sister-in-law) anything like Joanna in the book!
Samantha is the name of my first fur-baby! I love the name Samantha (Sam for short) … Though Liam started to call her ‘Red’ and it just stuck. It was never my intention to call her ‘Red’ so much… it was just supposed to be here and there, but Liam had his own ideas! ***Also don’t be surprised if at some point a random character named Berry or Berrie pops up … that’s my other fur-baby and she definitely is getting her name in one of my stories somewhere!
Liam also came about because I love the name and fully intended on it being on a short list once my husband and I decided to have kids … However, he didn’t like the name Liam for some reason … Soooooo here Liam is!
I came up with Chaotic Beauty as the next title because of something Samantha said in Unexpected Beauty that I cut out completely from Book 1. What she said really resonated with me, but not exactly for her story with Liam. It made more sense in regards to some of the things I had in mind for Connor and what he’d be going through with Riley, so I deleted it from UB and fully intend on using it in CB.
Some authors say that some of their characters have a little bit of themselves in them. I can say Samantha does have some of my loves: she obviously loves Otis Redding like I said, she loves the Inner Harbor, and books/reading, she loves baseball and sitting on the third base line, she also loves daisies, she’s much more comfortable dressing down than up, she loves pizza and coffee – and she’s not a huge fan of breakfast, and she has an awesome pink and blue swirly maxi dress that makes an appearance. She also has the god awful mouth of a trucker inside her head and only really lets it fly for certain occasions.
I think I have said it before but I love firefighters. Firetrucks, sirens, the sight of it all … which is why Connor and Ryan are firefighters.
I cried A LOT while writing certain scenes of Chaotic Beauty. The last chunk of the book I cried. If you read it – you know why. And I am talking about big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. Even after I wrote it. Even after I knew what happened. It didn’t matter. I shattered my own heart with that one.
I was literally changing Chaotic Beauty up until the last minute. Something bugged me about it immensely. Liam had this thing with his mothers albums, and especially her vase. Her vase was a HUGE part of the story. But what about Riley? I wrote in – almost at the very end – her love of cooking with her mother. Those times she would welcome Sam and Liam into the kitchen with her and have time with them – fun time, loving time, family time. I wanted a specific scene where her and Connor share that … WELL we know what happens … and for the longest time I left it. My book was done. It was already set up for pre-order, I approved my proof… and then I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. I didn’t get that “moment.” I went back and changed some of my ending around so I could include Riley having that moment with Connor. It took me forever to make it work. Jesus. It took me longer to tweak some things to make it fit than it did for writing whole chapters. Not kidding.
And we did get a *Berrie (Berry) reference (Berrie Pie’s) which is my second fur-baby … Samantha is my first fur-baby and the name used in Unexpected Beauty.
Just like with Unexpected Beauty, Changed Beauty was not the original title of the novel. It was Loud Beauty. However, when writing the story, the title didn’t fit. I kept using a word over and over again; I kept thinking that this had to happen, that had to happen – my characters needed to change, and keep on changing … and then there it was. Changed Beauty. And it just made perfect sense. I am sure you will think so too.
The cover for Changed Beauty was not the final cover I ended up with. I absolutely LOVE the cover now – it is hands down my favorite – but it wasn’t the cover. I had such a hard time coming up with a cover – no surprise there considering the whole book gave me a hard time. I couldn’t find someone who was Aiden – who encompassed every facet of him – and as you will read you will discover that there are MANY. I also couldn’t find the perfect Allie. Beautiful yet haunting, mysterious yet captivating. It was HARD. And then there she was. The model who I used on my cover … she was it. She’s Allie. And I loved her so much, she was going to be it. Instead of a couple it was going to be her alone. My thought was – if I could’t find the perfect Aiden, I was going to use the perfect Allie and then write a post of why I only chose her. It wouldn’t be so bad – we were seeing who Aiden’s other half is – who knocks him off his feet, who cuts him off at the knees, who rocks him to his core, and who also makes him fall helplessly. I would have made it work. But I also found my Aiden after MONTHS of searching. I found the perfect blend of broody, mysterious, HOT, intriguing, closed-off, but all there in-your-face … And it worked. Thanks to my amazing cover designer – who, fun fact, also happens to be my husband, I was able to make it work … and well, you have Allie and Aiden.
Fun fact – I FORGOT Aiden had piercings and tattoos! And that’s a major mistake. Because Samantha mentioned it a LOT in her book. Liam reminded her too much of Aiden. It’s why she wanted to stay away from the tattooed, muscular, absolutely-gorgeous man who wouldn’t leave her alone. Been there done that. BUT then I wrote Chaotic Beauty … and then came Changed Beauty. And I was freaking out. Because I started writing Changed Beauty, with no piercings, no tattoos … What the hell? I caught it before I really dived into the book, but you should have seen me. I had to go back to the beginning of the book and explain where his piercings went, why he doesn’t talk about his tattoos much – why they aren’t so “present” as they are with Liam and Connor. Good Lord.
I also shed a tear or two for Changed Beauty like Chaotic Beauty. You will know why. But fun-fact – I love Allie the most out of all my female characters for now **and I say for now because I have a feeling that Elizabeth will not only knock Ryan off his feet, but me as well. And Aiden … well Aiden finally has his say … about everything!
Though yellow is the color that I would have preferred because it corresponds to the cover of the book, I couldn’t see it, which means neither would you, and I’m not doing that! SOOO Unbreakable Beauty!
I actually have the coffee mug that I wrote into the story that Ryan holds when he reminisces about his time with Beth. The one with a To-Do List. And yes it does say all of that. And just like Beth – I love coffee mugs. All different types. I have a huge collection. And I actually do use most of them! I got a pretty yellow one specifically because of this book. Even before I had a cover I knew that the writing and some of the details were going to be bright yellow … I could picture it in my mind … so when I saw the cup I had to have it … and I used it almost every single day when I drank coffee by the gallon writing Ryan and Beth’s story.
There is a scene in this book that I wrote around a painting I have in my writing room. I saw it at Homegoods and as I was looking at it the words came to me. I whipped out my phone, opened my Notes and started writing. Then I grabbed the painting, took it home, put it on my wall, printed out my notes … and waited … until I could eventually write THAT scene. It is still one of my most favorite scenes I have ever written! EVER. The woman in the painting is my Beth. She started that scene. That whole chapter was written before almost everything else. *the scene is where she wakes up wrapped in the sheet and Ryan walks in … and yeah. Just yeah.*
I added two new cats to our family this past year! Spot and Baby. Each of my other cats make an appearance in the other stories. We have Samantha, Berry for Berrie (changed the spelling) Pie’s … we have Allie … and now we have a mention of Spot and Baby in this story.
Ryan sings Elton John’s Tiny Dancer… I absolutely love that song. It’s right up there with Otis Reddings Dock of the Bay, Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69, CCR’s Fortunate Son, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody …
And that leads me into some fun facts for Winter. Because Winter is saturated in good music. At least according to me. So many of the moments between Jax and Sky are accompanied by music. None more important that Otis Redding. Which seems to be a key thing for each of my books. Reading. Music. Thats all me. During this story we also get a link back to the first book in my Beauty Series too. That Mrs. Sullivan sure made an impression on a lot of my characters lives! But music … I obviously love Otis and the dancing around while cooking. I’d say 70% of the time while cooking I am listening to Otis … the other is split between classic rock or sports games playing. I don’t think its any surprise that my love for music is riddled throughout all my stories. And especially this one. Ever since I was little music was always played. Whether it was dancing around on Sundays at my grandparents house with my gramp to Polka music while gram made breakfast, or hanging out on the weekends in the backyard with my parents while they blasted classic rock or listening to the oldies while they made brunch, or me with classic rock and Otis or all things tear-your-heart-out and angsty especially while cooking and hanging out and now while trying to create scenes for a book. I grew up with a family that loves music. Parents, Aunts and Uncles, cousins – I can literally say we love music. And thats really represented within my characters.
Fun fact – I don’t want to give too much away about this book yet – but there’s an ornament that I talk about in this book … I have it. I based the description off of what I have. And the mermaid … holy hell the mermaid. I have that too. The mermaid was so important it’s even on the cover (the spine) of my book!
More than once I thought about changing the name of this book, the name of the series. I wanted some aspect either the title or the series to be Inked. But I did so many teasers, and I talked about it on many different platforms as Winter or the Seasons Series I just couldn’t do it. Plus I came up with a way that connects them all using seasons which you’ll read close to the end of the first book that I didn’t mind the title so much anymore – plus winter actually didn’t start out as seasons reference – it’s because of Jax’s eyes … which if you read the Beauty Series there’s a line in there about Jax and his wintery eyes. I thought there’d be confusion (and there actually has been already) about Winter and what it means … but I stuck with it. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions about the title and what it actually means. So yay. I’m ready for it. I’ll probably be updating the FAQ page within a few days after this books release!
Jackson Raines is Jackson Raines because for the millionth and one time I was watching Gone in 60 Seconds – hellooooo I LOVE cars – especially old cars – I see you Eleanor – and Nicholas Cage’s characters last name is Raines. Jackson was always Jackson … but he became Jackson Raines thanks to that movie.
And I am soooo not saying any more. Because there is SO much I want to share – but I can’t. The book isn’t even out yet – and I could go on and on and on. I’ll come back to this a few weeks after the book is out in the world and reveal some more!!!
A fun fact about a different book though … SPRING. I have more than a 100 pages written so far for it. And a LOT of notes and partial chapters for the rest of the book … So YAY! Spring 2020 is my goal – and I really think that goal will be met!