Casey and I first met at a writers group at a local library when we were both just wrapping our heads around the idea of writing toward publication. Pragmatic, super smart, and a total geek (in the best way), she’s been a valued critique partner, fellow Scribe, and all around awesome part of my writing “tribe” for over a decade. I’m so happy to have her here and to introduce you to her fabulous books. Although she usually writes action-packed fantasy, she’s trying her hand at Contemporary Romance and I can’t wait to read her latest release, Over Easy. I’ll let her tell you all about it…
Casey here. Thank you for having me PJ!
“Sometimes life gives you second chances because you weren’t ready the first time.”
Some wise person said that. I chose it because my latest release, Over Easy, embodies this idea.
As PJ mentioned, while I mostly write paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels, I like to try new things. In 2014, Over Easy was my first toe dip into writing contemporary romance. I thought it would be cool to learn to write in a universe where my characters don’t have to save the world. Instead, they have to save themselves—which is not as easy to do when you can’t blow things up or use magic.
Stretch goals. Just bring’em.
So I wrote the book. I rewrote the book. Then rewrote it again.
Audra Harper and Dash Grant were essentially the same characters in each version, but the plot wasn’t strong enough. They weren’t strong enough either. And I wasn’t ready to tell their tale. I had to improve my craft, which is a never ending pursuit.
I set the book aside after those three very different rewrites, after loads of advice from my fellow writers, and after lots of requests from agents/editors. In the end, no dice. I had to face reality, the book was a jumbled mess. I chalked it up to my lack of ability and returned to the safe world of paranormal romance and urban fantasy (much to my editor’s relief.)
And then a funny thing happened while I wrote my next books: Dead Girls Don’t Sing, Chase’s Fire and Misfortunate Soul (all second books in existing series), I found my mojo again. I hit an emotional resonance with those worlds and characters that I hadn’t found before.
In 2019, I decided it was time to rewrite Over Easy. But first, I challenged myself further – I wrote a novella. Which was even more terrifying than a full length novel. Rewrite the Stars, which takes place on a cruise ship in a shared world (Heart of the Sea), ended up being a contemporary romance about an astronomer and a billionaire. Fun, flirty and fast, the book proved I could nail a romance without needing a lot of words or blowing things up.
I’m glad I gave Over Easy another chance. Audra and Dash tackle the idea that, maybe they needed to fail before they could succeed. A lesson I had to learn too.
Who hasn’t wondered “what if?” And which of us hasn’t yearned for another chance to “get it right” or “to start over.”
I am actually not a believer in regrets (mostly a waste of time.) But I am a big believer in do-overs. Otherwise, how else would I have ended up adopting seven cats? Okay, that is a story for another day. And, no, I didn’t get them all at the same time.
Aren’t they cute?
But like the cats that turned up at my door or ended up in shelters, I think some of the best stories are when we get a chance to start over. In Over Easy, Audra and Dash have baggage. They aren’t perfect and they don’t have rose colored glasses when it comes to each other. And, despite that, they find their happily ever after.
And who doesn’t love that?
Here’s a bit about the book…
What’s that saying? Never say never?
I never thought I’d return to my hometown Somerset, Vermont. I left twelve years earlier without a backward glance. Too many bad memories, not enough good. Now, I’m a celebrity chef in between gigs ready to pay back a karmic debt by becoming co-owner of the town’s fading diner, Over Easy.
I also never planned to find my former high school flame, Audra Harper, still in town and still working at her uncle’s diner. She’s sexier and more desirable than a decade earlier.
Too bad I left her behind without saying goodbye. All I can hope is she’s forgotten me and never learns the truth behind my abrupt exit.
Only, she hasn’t forgotten me. And the more time we spend together, the harder it is for me to resist her. The harder it is to want to leave.
I don’t intend to hurt Audra again, but if the mistakes from my past come to light, the decision will be made for me and our second chance will vanish.
Available at Amazon
Or find it at other e-book retailers HERE
I can’t be the only one who adores second chances. I’d love to hear your favorite second chance story!
Casey Wyatt grew up in a mid-size Connecticut town where nothing exciting ever happened. To stem the boredom, she read fantasy and sci-fi stories, imagining her own adventures in her head. Not much has changed since she’s grown up, only now she’s a multi-published author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. In her spare time, she loves all things geeky, hangs out in museums, and collects stray cats.
You can also find Casey here…