My big double launch day is finally here! And I do mean FINALLY. One of these two books has been waiting a very long time for publication.
It really started about eight years ago. I’d had about the best fun of my life writing my first two JAFF novels, and now I was diligently pursuing their publication. Although the odds were against me, I was hopeful. But what if the whole Jane Austen thing didn’t pan out? I didn’t want to stop writing; I was totally hooked by then. So I asked myself what other genre I would be interested in pursuing.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that a single choice in life can change everything that happens subsequently. For example, what if rather than choosing to go to college A, where you met your future spouse, you had selected college B? Would you have ended up marrying someone else instead, and consequently having different children? Yikes! Even a minor decision (such as where to eat lunch, what to order, or what route to take getting there) might make the difference between an ordinary day and winding up in the hospital from food poisoning or a car accident. Of course, being the romantic that I am, I’m thinking you might meet that certain someone wonderful in the hospital, which you never would have if you hadn’t gotten sick/injured. The possible variations are endless.
But let’s take it one step further. What if there were a way you could turn back the clock and make a change, perhaps to correct the biggest mistake of your life? Is there a certain point where you turned left and now wonder what would have happened if you’d turned right instead? Or would you use your second chance to choose a different life entirely?
Well, the Jane Austen thing did catch on for me, I’m happy to say. But in the meantime I’d written my first book of what I’m calling my Crossroads Collection. Leap of Faith has been patiently waiting its turn for publication ever since.
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Ben Lewis, a former star athlete who never recovered from the death of his dream to make it big in the big leagues. Now he’s being offered the opportunity to return to 1991 and try again, this time without the illness that originally ended his baseball hopes. What’s the catch? He will pay for his second chance by forfeiting his memories of the first… and possibly along with them, the love of his life. Can he find his way home to the woman he’s long forgotten but never stopped missing? Or will reaching for the brass ring with both hands cause the treasure he once possessed to slip forever from his grasp?
Yes, there’s a modern setting. Yes, there’s baseball and a time-travel element. And yet, Leap of Faith really isn’t so different from my other stories, dealing with love and the forces that bring people together… or keep them apart. Romance is job one, in other words. (In the beginning, I actually tried to make this book about something else, but I just couldn’t do it!) Still, I wasn’t sure my JAFF-readers would be willing to make the “leap” with me to a modern story about a baseball player, even if he does remind me a lot of Mr. Darcy – tall, dark, brooding good looks. You can see it, can’t you? Anyway, to help you along a little, I decided to take one of the minor character’s from Ben’s story – a Jane Austen obsessed college student named Hope – and give her her own book!
I’m counting on Leap of Hope (which is totally JAFF) to bridge the gap between what you’ve been used to from me into this new series. Actually, I call it a “collection” instead because the books don’t have to be read in any particular order. Each one is complete in itself. But whichever book you read, you’ll meet the hero/heroine of the next/previous book on their common ground: the Crossroads Center. Of course I’m hoping you will decide to read both. Then you can tell me which character you meet at Crossroads you think should get the next book!
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of handing out second chances. And their newest client is Hope O’Neil – college student and Jane Austen devotee, who has always believed she’d be more at home in the past, wearing corsets and courted by men in cravats. But can a modern girl really fit into a world with no electricity, cell phones, or indoor plumbing? Hope is about to find out when her wish for an Austen kind of life is unexpectedly granted. Although she envisions her second chance will be like something straight out of Pride and Prejudice – complete with her own Mr. Darcy and a romantic happy ending – she gets more than she bargained for in this delightful romp through Regency England… a lot more.
Now for the giveaway! Since I don’t want to play favorites (I love all seven of my “darling children” equally!), I’m going to be giving these two books away together, in pairs! Leave a comment below and I will enter you in the drawing to win one of five sets (2 signed paperback sets and 3 Kindle copy sets). If you want to double your odds of winning, tell me via email (shannon[at]shannonwinslow[dot]com) how you have shared this announcement on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. Winners will be announce on the Austen Variations FB page on March 7th. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing this exciting day with me, and happy reading!
March 7th Update: Thank you, everybody who read, shared, and commented on my double book launch post! The giveaway winners are…(drum roll)… Signed paperback sets go to commentators Chelsea K. and Yvette Stahlberg Davis. Sets of Kindle copies go to Florence Solowianiuk, Shelly Hoisington, and Stephanie L. Congratulations! Email me at shannon[at]shannonwinslow[dot]com to tell me where to send your gift!