Actually, it’s a novella – it’s a prequel to The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd.
It was so fun to write! More action, more spy stuff. More Charlotte Dodd.
This is the first book I’ve released that I haven’t done any promotion for it. I was going to start that today, for a publication date in December, but I decided, no. It’s coming out today!
So here it is!
Before Charlotte Dodd had a secret life…
Before she lost her memories, Charlotte Dodd still has a secret life, but at least she could remember it. She was an agent for NIIA, happy in her new found love for Hamilton Short, and dealing with usual missions like saving the world from killer viruses (why are they always named after animals, like swine and elephant? Gives the animals a bad rap).
But then her brother bursts into her life with a secret for her. After being told her mother died years ago, Seamus tells Charlotte she is still alive and being held against her will.
No proof or anything. Just a sketchy plan to rescue her.
Of course Charlotte heads off with Seamus, going against the NIIA and Ham to find out what really happened to her mother.
Sometimes missing things are better off not being found.
Let’s put this part in big letters:
If you’ve already signed up for my newsletter and would like your free copy of Missing Files, just let me know and I’ll send you a copy.
If you can’t already tell, I’m doing a big push for my newsletter, so I’d love it if you all would sign up. It will be monthly, with news of brand new releases, giveaways and other fun stuff. I know my first edition will tell you all about my next release, the sequel to Charlotte, Best, Worst First Date!
I love reading in the summer. It’s my favourite time to stretch out with a book, probably because I spent more time able to stretch out with a book than any other time of the year.
I was tidying up the basement last week, which is where my bookshelves are. When I was stacking some new purchases and putting away some recently read, I decided to make a pile of TBR books to make it easy for me to choose when I’m in need of a book for cottage or vacation or just hiding from the kids.
And then I took it one step further and vowed that I would not purchase a book until this pile is completed. But then I saw a few new releases that are coming out in July (new Liane Moriarty and Alice Clayton, as well as Phillippa Gregory in August. I really liked Eleanor Brown’s Weird Sisters, so I should check out her next…)
Anyway, so maybe I can’t keep that vow, but I’m attempting to finish this pile this summer.
Wish me luck!!!
Since I’m a proud patriot, I’ve put two of my books one sale, just so you can have new books to read for your long weekend!!
Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and Unexpecting – both FREE until July 4th
The Secret of Charlotte Dodd – 99 cents
The Dragon Under the Mountain – 99 cents
For my second stop on the DRAGON TOUR I visited Jennifer Flewelling’s Grade 5/6 class at Queensdale Public School in Hamilton.
For the first stop, I went in to Ms. Mohamed’s Grade 4 class at Cedarvale Community School in Toronto. I forgot to take pictures but had a great time!
The visit to Mrs. Flewelling’s class was so much fun! I want to thank the students for the warm welcome and the beautiful card and to Adam and Lucas for taking me on a tour of the school. The kids had a never-ending supply of questions for me about the book and the writing process. Thank you Jen, for inviting me to visit! You have a great bunch of kids!
I never imagined visiting classrooms would be so much fun! Next stop on the DRAGON TOUR….?
I really think I’d like to be a superhero.
Or maybe a secret agent. Nothing too dangerous of course. I am a forty-something mother and I like to think my kids still need me around! But have you ever wondered … wanted … fantasized a bit about having a little more excitement in your life? A little danger? Have you thought about what it would be like to jump out of a plane onto the roof of a building, sneak in, have to fight your way through the bad guys with such awesome moves that you manage this with your hair still in place and not a bruise on your body to rescue your man or someone equally deserving?
I have to admit, I have had such daydreams.
I’m not a violent person in any means. I’m an average, baseball mom of three. I’m an author. And one of the more enjoyable aspects of being a writer is that you get to imagine your characters (yourself!) in all sorts of situations.
I first came up with the idea for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd years ago. I had finished writing my first novel (then titled Baby! Baby? Baby?!, now Unexpecting), a chick lit novel about a woman who wants to have a baby, and was debating what my next book would be. At this time, I had been quite taken with the Jennifer Garner show Alias. Watching the show – along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another of my favourites – really strengthened my little secret agent/super hero fantasy. I loved the idea of a strong, confident, independent woman being able to take control of any situation.
There were a few moments in those two television shows that inspired The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. Sydney Bristow sucking the air from a submerged car tire keep from drowning. A car doing a 360 turn during a car chase. And Buffy’s signature fight move – rolling back onto the shoulders and flipping to her feet. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do things like that?
And that’s when I came up with the character of Charlotte Dodd. She was part Sydney Bristow, part Buffy with a little Jason Bourne thrown in.
She would be an agent with a super-secret government organization. She was recruited at a very young age and from a family of spies. Her grandfather was the co-creator of the National Intelligence and Information Agency, a super secret government organization that catapulted Canada to the forefront of worldwide espionage. (I know, I know – Canada? Fiction, remember?!)
I came up with other characters – Charlotte’s brothers and their roles in the NIIA, fellow agents Benjy and Payton. I came up with a bit of a love triangle with Ham and Luke. I devised the fight scene where she first meets Benjy, who reminded Charlotte of Neil Patrick Harris. You can tell how long ago I first came up with the story because the early reversions mention Neil Patrick Harris’ childhood character, Doogie Howser!
And that’s where the story stalled. But never forgotten, never far from my thoughts. I had all these characters – I had Charlotte – and they needed something to do.
Over the years, Charlotte has stayed with me but the story has gone through a lot of changes. I wrote at least five versions of Charlotte, trunking each one. Charlotte lost her memory, got it back. One memorable version had Charlotte as part vampire, which made her an excellent vampire hunter!
And then last year, after my third book was published – Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – I pulled Charlotte out again. I had found critique partners and I needed to give them something to critique! This time, Charlotte was still a spy but had no memory of her time as a secret agent. I took few parts of my original story and started again.
I think this is the best revision of Charlotte I could have come up with. She’s a character that I fell in love with, one who wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s been over ten years since I first came up with the idea of Charlotte and so finally publishing the story was a very happy moment. It was great to finally finish what I started so long ago, and let my daydreams of the life of a secret agent run wild!
But Charlotte wasn’t enough for me. I’m ready for my next mission. I’m working on a sequel!
For the full post, check out Connect with Chick Lit Club
I’ve taken The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd on a blog tour with CLP Tours! This is the last day of my tour and today I’m featured on Jersey Girl Book Reviews. I thought I’d share the guest post and review! Another 4 stars!
Author Holly Kerr weaves an intriguing chick lit tale with a spy thriller twist that will easily keep the reader engaged and guessing what will happen next.
Set in Toronto, twenty-seven year old Charlotte “Lottie” Dodd takes the reader along for the ride when her quiet life is turned upside down after she helps a man named Benjamin “Benjy” Lionel get away from two big Russian mobsters. A touch of deja vu and a wild car chase through the streets of Toronto leads Charlotte and Benjy on a wild adventure, and it gets even crazier when Charlotte’s flashbacks become reality when she is told that she is really a spy for the Canadian government, and that her services are needed because her family is in danger!
The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd is a fast paced and action packed tale that follows Charlotte as she tries to remember her past secret life in order to save her family and the agency from a rival secret intelligence organization that views them as a threat and is trying to destroy them. As the story unfolds, the reader is kept on their toes with intriguing twists and turns that will keep them guessing what will happen next to this sassy spy during her crazy adventure.
The story starts out slow and is a bit confusing as the reader tries to figure out what the heck is going on with Charlotte, but then the author turns it up a notch and gets the reader engaged when Charlotte is told about her past and the secret life that she has led as a spy. That’s when the thrilling adventure begins as her recollections resurface and she has to sort out the questions involving her family, her boyfriend Luke, and the rival organization that is after her family.
So if you are interested in reading a chick lit tale with an intriguing twist added into the mix, then look no further, The Secret Life of Charlotte Doddis the book for you!
RATING: 4 STARS
I’ve been getting some awesome reviews for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. Thanks to everyone who has read it and a special thanks for those who take the time to review. Reviews are so important to authors, especially indie authors like me without a big name brand behind us (yet! I’m getting there! :))
I am not one of of those authors who say they never read reviews. I read them all – rejoicing over the good ones and not enjoying the not so good ones. Not that there’s been too many bad ones, thank goodness!
Sidenote: do you know how difficult it is not to respond to a reviewer who posts something absolutely crazy about one of my books?
Here’s a lovely review I received from Linda of A Blessed Day:
This one does and I really liked that. And the action just keeps right on coming. It rolls along at a pretty good clip. I liked the way the author wrote this, we get to ride along with Charlotte as she tries to figure out what is going on. She has lost so much of her memories and the reader doesn’t know anything at first either. Kind of puts both of us on the same field as the story unfolds. Who can you trust? Who has another agenda? What has Charlotte (Charlie or Lottie as her brothers call her) done? What hasn’t she? How can she even defend herself against any accusations, when she just doesn’t know?
I’m on a Blog Tour with CLP now until April 11!
Check out the link for more about what readers are saying about Charlotte!!
Welcome this week’s edition of the Throwback Thursday Link Party!
Unfortunately, this will be the last week that I’m involved for a while, as I’m taking a break for the A to Z Challenge (which starts tomorrow!!). But don’t worry! The link-up will still continue; you can find it at one of the other co-hosts’ blogs, listed below!
If you are interested in co-hosting in future weeks, please contact Denise, Jayhawk Mommy, via email.
Simple. This link party is not about dropping a bunch of links and moving on. No, this is about sharing posts from our blogs that are at least 30 days old. You can shine it up so it sparkles again or just leave it as it is. You might want to include an update at the end or not. It’s all up to you. As long as the post was written and published a month ago, add it to the link up. Then, read and share some love to the other posts in the link up.
Well, every Thursday, duh! The link up runs from Wednesday night through Sunday.
There is only one rule: the post you add must be at least 30 days old. The older, the better.
That said, we’d love it if you visited other posts on the link up and share some love
And, if you wish to follow your hosts, grab the badge and add it to your post or sidebar, we’d give you extra kudos and love you lots! However, it is not required that you do so.
I’ll finish out March with a throwback Thursday but I’ll take a break for April because NaNoWriMo is one! But it’s fun digging posts out from the archives so I’ll be back!! This one isn’t so old – only back in January.
I have pretty amazing kids.
I’m sure everyone says that, but I really do.
I would say they are my biggest fans (and the feeling is mutual of course) They love the fact that I write books. When I first got published, one of their first requests was for me to write a book for them. We even went so far to come up with an idea. My three kids and two of their friends came up with the idea of kids left alone in Wonderland amusement park after it closes.
That was about two years ago. This year for NaNoWriMo, I decided to write the story for them as a Christmas present. Not only did I finish it in time fro Christmas, I got a proof copy printed for them so they could unwrap it under the tree. We read it together, made some changes and now it’s time for The Dragon Under the Mountain, starring my three kids(different names of course!), to go public.
available as ebook and in print from Amazon now, other retailers soon
When Emma, Matt and Macy, and their friends Kass and Dash decide to stay at Wonderland amusement park after dark, they know it’s going to get them into a heap of trouble with their parents. But they have so much fun running around the park in the dark – playing games, avoiding the guards and running away from Canadian geese.
It’s not until they find their way into the Mountain that the adventure really begins…
I put off writing this because I didn’t think I could write for kids. But once I got into it, I had so much fun that guess what the kids are getting next Christmas? Sequel, anyone!?
Update: I LOVED writing this for my kids and I’m having so much fun coming up with ideas for the sequels. Plus, I get to visit schools to talk to kids about it, and about writing. So. Much. Fun!!!!