Happy Monday, my little monkeys! Today, I'm happy to host Lisa M. Owens. Lisa is here to tell us about her debut novel If Only. But first, she's going to share a little of her journey with us. Please give her a warm welcome!
Thank you, Parker, for having me! I racked my brain, trying to figure out what I should write about. Different topics, different words, but it all came back to how hard it can be to pursue your goals when you keep getting hit with rejection after rejection. Here are a few words I had on the subject and hopefully, it will help to boost some of the bruised egos out there!
The Dreaded “R” Word
Rejection…it is a word that authors know well. It is one of those words that can do one of two things: cause an aspiring writer to throw up their hands and swear never to write again, or motivate you to work even harder to reach your objective and accomplish your dream to be a publisher author. And like most authors, I have received my fair share of rejections.
But I have been struggling most of my life against criticism for my writing. People who were supposed to love and support me, telling me that my dream of being a published author was a stupid pipe-dream that was never going to happen and that I was simply wasting my time. My family, my ex-husband, they all did their best to extinguish that flame that I carried to write, to kill my dream and ultimately, shatter my spirit.
Although I waged an inner battle with myself, fighting the urge to believe that they were right with every rejection that I received, something inside me refused to give in to their cynicism. Who the hell were they to try to butcher my dream? To tell me that I wasn’t good enough? Just because they had failed to accomplish their dreams, didn’t mean that I was doomed to fail at accomplishing mine.
Rejection…we have all experienced it at some point. Whether it’s at the hands of a lover, parent, or a job, and as much as it may hurt, it is a part of life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Every hurtful word, every fear of failure, every rejection letter will make you a stronger person. Don’t give up. Never give up.
If I can spend four years writing a novel while working full-time and raising two children by myself and eventually get it published, there is hope out there for everyone. If you have a dream, any dream, no matter what it is, you must pursue it. Or you will end up being a bitter person disappointed with their life, just like those cruel people who tried to wear you down.
Rejection…everyone experiences it. But it is how you deal with it that determines whether you succeed or fail. If you never try, then you will never have to deal with rejection. But you will also never have the chance to succeed and in the long run, you will ultimately fail.
Pursuing your dream is worth taking the chance. Rejection may sting, but the knowledge that you have never tried is a bitter pill that you could end up spending your entire life trying to swallow.
On December 24, 2012, my dream of becoming a published author came true. My first novel, titled If Only, is now available through Liquid Silver Books.
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
(OMG - Isn't that cover beautiful?! Y'all know I'd never let Lisa out of here without giving you more...so read on!)
Excerpt from If Only:
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
About the Author
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be contacted on her website, www.lmowens.com.
Buy If Only