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WELCOME Leigh Duncan

Leigh DuncanI am so excited to WELCOME Leigh Duncan to Everyone Needs a Little Romance. Check out her website. What an incredible picture on the home page.

I’ll confess…I have been poking her daily to come talk us about her new book.

New book? Heck  IT’S HER FIRST BOOK!!! Can I get a Woo-Hoo from the crowd?

And take a peek at the cover. Isn’t it beautiful?

I’m giving away TWO copies of The Officer’s Girl. You have two ways to win:

1)  Make a comment here

2.  Tweet a link to this post and use #theofficersgirl as the hash tag so I can find the tweet.

If you don’t win, here is a link to buy a copy (and help pay Leigh’s Florida electric bill this summer!)

Now, take it away, Leigh!!

It Takes A Village

Leigh Duncan

Did you know the word “Harlequin” can make me cry like a baby?  It’s true.  The day my editor called with the news that she wanted to buy my book, I started crying the minute “Harlequin” appeared on the Caller ID.  The day my contract came in the mail, the day the line edits arrived via courier, the day I first saw the beautiful cover of my book, all those special “Harlequin” days earned their own, very happy tears.  And, a couple of weeks ago, when a box of books arrived on my doorstep and I saw “Harlequin” on the shipping label, I cried again.  This time, because inside that box, the one that seemed far too small to hold the culmination of a life-long dream, lay copies of The Officer’s Girl.

If I had known they were coming on that particular day, I’d have hired a marching band to serenade the delivery man.  Cheerleaders would’ve lined the walkway leading from the street to my front door.  After all, this was a momentous occasion.  It deserved fanfare.  This was the day my debut book for Harlequin American Romance arrived.

That evening as I cradled a copy of The Officer’s Girl to my chest, sniffed its printed pages, admired it’s beautiful cover and didn’t want to let go—ever—I couldn’t help comparing my book to a baby.  They say it takes a village to raise a child, and whoever “they” might be, I think they’re right.  The same is true for books.  It takes a village.

A whole lot of people inhabit mine.  My own personal cheering squad, my family.  My critique partners, both past and present.  The instructors in every one of the hundreds of classes, workshops and writing seminars I’ve attended.  The speakers at conferences, the authors of three bookcases filled with books on writing.  The ten thousand members of the Romance Writers of America and, in particular, those in my local chapter, STAR.  The women who’ve taken me under their wings and taught me that I was a better writer than I thought I was.  The amazing Harlequin staff.  And a host of others, including the book distributors and sales staff who will make sure that, come April 13th, The Officer’s Girl appears on store shelves or arrives in mail boxes.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve added some new members to my village, and I’d love to take this opportunity to give a shout out to the people who’ve reviewed The Officer’s Girl.

Starting with my very first review, ever, from Becke Davis of Romance B(uy) the Book, who said, “Leigh Duncan gives the term ‘beach read’ a whole new meaning (in a good way)…and makes you feel the sultry Florida heat.”

Coffee Time Romance added that The Officer’s Girl is “a strong story from its stormy beginning to its happy ending.  The setting is a fabulous choice and the description so realistic I could almost smell the s’mores at the (hurricane) shelter.

And of course, I love Crystal’s comments at CK’s Kwips and Kritiques.  She said, “The Officer’s Girl is a heartwarming novel…gives us a glimpse into the lives of very believable characters who are trying each day to work through the challenges and monkey wrenches that come their way.”  (And I especially liked that she called my secondary characters “brilliant.”)

Yes, it takes a village…and I’m grateful to every member of mine.  I hope you’ll join my village by reading The Officer’s Girl and sharing your thoughts with me.  But in the meantime, I’d love to know…

Who’s in your village?

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47 Responses

  1. Leigh, first off, congrats on the new book. My debut is coming out next year, and I think my ‘it takes a village’ post when the time comes will have a similar list to yours. So similar it is spooky.

    Congrats again!

  2. I’m so thrilled for you! This is such exciting stuff! I can’t wait to get my own copy or two.

  3. Funny, Leigh, I think you had tears in your voice when I called you after reading the manuscript to give you my heartfelt feedback: THIS BOOK IS GOING TO SELL. You have demonstrated enormous patience, fortitude, tenacity, grace, professionalism and a truckload of talent to get from beautiful idea to the book in your hand. All of that enthusiasm comes through on the page in the form of fresh characters, sparkling banter, and a tug on every heartstring we have. Congratulations on this well-deserved success – I can’t wait to read the next one!!! xoxo

  4. Congratulations, Leigh!

    And your words are so true. It does take a village to get a book out! My own personal mayor of my village (Mike Geraci) would get a medal of honor if I gave out such things.

    Can’t wait for your Tallahassee book signing!

  5. WooHoo! Your FIRST book, Leigh! Though it’s your first, I doubt if it will be your last!
    Super duper congrats!

  6. Congratulations on your debut novel, Leigh! I totally agree with you– it takes a village. It does for the second novel as well. Best of luck with your newborn career.

  7. Leigh, we’re all so thrilled for you! It’s so wonderful that this happened for you after you’d given so much time and effort to the STARS group by running the Launching a Star contest for us. Much, much success with this book and all of those to follow! Congrats!!!

  8. Congratulation on your first book. Sounds like a terrific read, and I know it will be well received. It may be your first, but I bet it won’t be your last.
    Sylvia

  9. I may be as excited as Leigh about her first book. AND I’m in the process of reading her second book (before her editor gets to see it!!) I swear…her second book is excellent. Loving it!

    As difficult as the writing journey is, I think it would be even worse without a village of supporters around.

    Good luck, Leigh!

  10. Couldn’t be happier for you! I’m gonna be first in line to buy The Officer’s Girl when it hits the bookshelves by me next week. Can’t wait to read it.

  11. First off, let me give a big shout out to Cyndi and all the other gals of Everybody Needs A Little Romance for giving me the opportunity to chat with you today. I’m truly honored to be here.

    Michelle, Major congrats on your debut book! Drop me a line and we’ll chat about it!

    Kristen, I’ll see you one copy of The Officer’s Girl and raise you a copy of Blood Rites. We’ll have a book swap when your fab books come out.

    Roxanne, What can I say? Without you in my village, there’d be no book. Not The Officer’s Girl, and not Catch of a Lifetime, either. Having your support is incredible.

    Maria, Hubs do deserve medals, don’t they? See you on May 2nd in Tallahassee.

    Margaret and Sylvia, Thanks for the encouragement. And your prediction is true — I sold my 2nd book to Harlequin American in November.

    Judy, You’re absolutely terrific. Your sale is just around the corner & I can’t wait to celebrate it with you.

  12. Yay you!! What fun!! I’m so happy for you and have to say that my many years @ HQ were among the happiest of my writing life.

    Enjoy this very special time!! Oh. And that glorious thrill when the box of books arrive? It never goes away. So, wishimg you many more of those celebrations to look forward to!

  13. Huge congratulations, Leigh! I felt your happiness as I read this blog. Maybe you didn’t have that marching band and cheerleaders, but I felt them. I’ll be looking for THE OFFICER’S GIRL on the shelves!

  14. Diane, Hey you! Thanks so much for stopping by! See you on the 27th at our co-author book signing in Melbourne, FL. I loved Midnight Caller!

  15. Oops! I meant WISHING! Note to self — do not post with tiny iPhone touch keyboard before coffee!! Typo aside, I’m still thrilled for you! 🙂

  16. JoAnn, Writing for HQ is a thrill, the fulfillment of a dream I’ve held since I discovered a stash of Harlequin romances in the house where I was babysitting. But you’re right, nothing beats the arrival of that box of books!

  17. Edie, Many, many thanks!

    I’m going to sign off for now, everyone. My next book, Catch of a Lifetime, must be in my editor’s hands by next Thursday, and I’m seriously working on the edits. But I’ll check in from time-to-time throughout the day.

  18. Leigh, I love hearing stories like this. You are an inspiration to all the hopefuls out there that their day is coming.

    As a debut author myself, I can tell you, my list of people to thank would be just like yours (and Michelle’s.) It really does take a lot of encouraging words from friends and family to keep us from giving up at some point.

    Good luck with your book. I’ll be watching for it.

  19. This makes me want to cry too. Congrats I’m so happy for you. It does take a village and you are so lucky to have a great one.

  20. Woohoo indeed, Leigh! I can’t wait to see this book on the shelves at my store, and I plan to handsellt he heck out of it!

  21. I’ll give you an Arkansas “woohoo!” WOOOO PIG SOOOOIIIEEE!!!! HARLEQUINs are what got me hooked on romance books way back in the early 70s! My Momma wouldn’t’ve approved so I kept them well hidden until I got out on my own in ’74. I’ve been a friend of arkansascyndi’s since the 60’s and, hopefully, am considered a part of her village. If she needs a cheerleader for her big day comin’, I’ll sure be there! Hats off to your village! Can’t wait to read your FIRST & SECOND & THIRD, etc, books!!

  22. Sold! Leigh!!! Did you know that not only Harlequin can make a girl cry but your post can as well? I’m so excited and can’t wait to get my hands on “The Officers Girl.” I can’t give you an Arkansas Woohoo Pigsooooieeee, but I can give you Colorado Yeehaw!!!! Go get ’em!!!

  23. Congrats on your first book! Tears came to my eyes when I read your post. How exciting for you. Hope you sell tons of books!!

  24. Leigh,
    What a great post, as an unpubbed author I love to see that there are people out there who are succeeding. (gives us all hope) I’ll have my eye out for Office Girl!
    Laura

  25. WOO-HOO!

    Thanks for being here with us Leigh. and oh my gosh, but CONGRATS!

  26. Leigh, it’s always great to hear about first sales! Congratulations on having a second one already contracted. You’ve got a great career ahead of you. Enjoy!!

  27. Hi, Leigh – So happy for you. I knew this was in the stars. Enjoy!

  28. Lee, you’re so deserving. Enjoy the first book glow. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime.

  29. Leigh, you gave me chills! Your excitement is heart-warming, contagious, and inspirational. I wish you a lifetime of sales. Congratulations!

  30. Hiya Leigh! You know I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to get my copy. This is only the beginning and it couldn’t happen to a better person! Congratulations and you can bet I’ll be looking for a signature, lol!

  31. So many familiar names and so many new friends!

    I’m lovin’ the warm welcomes and best wishes from all of ya’ll. Especially that Arkansas holler and the Colorado yeehaw. I spent summers on my grandmother’s farm in southern Alabama, so I hear ya! In fact, I’m headed that way the first of May. My sister has dreamed of going “on tour” when I sold my first book. We compromised and are going on a small one through North Florida and Southern Alabama the 1-3 of May.

  32. What more can I say? Everyone has said it so well here. But, Wooooooo Hoooooo, Leigh.

    I love your story of the road to publishing. I pray this book sells tons and gives you the name and reward you deserve!!

    Rachel

  33. Congrats, Leigh!!!! I can’t wait to see you next week at the WRW conference and hear all about your first week as a published author. Are you doing the signing at Turn the Page?

  34. Leigh,
    You are soooo right about the village. Village? Uh, uh. I needed a town the size of NYC. How can anyone do this book writing by themselves. Your patience has inspired me!! So thank you. I can’t wait to read An Officer’s Girl. You go.

  35. I’m late! Dentist appointment. At least you get free stuff when you go. 🙂

    Congrats on the release of your first book. Sounds like a great story. Very true about the village. I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

  36. I’m so happy for you! I will be sure to look for it on the bookshelves. Congratulations.

  37. Leigh,

    This is such a stupendous time! I don’t know you, but I want to after reading this. The tears I completely understand! Do you sleep with a book under your pillow?
    My CPs are my village! I have 4 of the best ladies ever!

  38. Congrats on your debut release and the rave reviews, Leigh.

  39. Leigh, your village sounds fab! Congrats on your release. Raising coffee cup to many more!

  40. Congrats. I’ll be looking for that fabulous cover on my grocery store bookshelf. Cuz that IS my bookstore, but yes they do carry H.A.!

  41. Huge congrats, Leigh! Your book sounds terrific! As for my village, I’m so blessed to have good friends who are at a similar point in life, and we can gripe and encourage and cheer each other on! And of course, my sister, and the rest of my family who are key parts of my support network! Best wishes, and many happy sales and readers to you!

  42. Nothing beats that first book feeling. 🙂 CONGRATULATIONS, Leigh! Hold onto that feeling for all time, it’s perfect and precious.

    Here’s to a long a successful career.

  43. Jean, Make sure you count me among your village people. I’m cheering for you!

    Rachel, Your gentle encouragment and advice are part of what makes it all happen.

    Mary, No I don’t sleep with the book under my pillow. But I sure do dream about it.

    KariLynn, I shop at Publix and, yes!, they carry Harlequin American Romance, too!

    Fedora, Supportive sisters are rare. I’m so glad we both have them.

    Anna, Many, many thanks!

    And to each and everyone — Thank you for stopping by today, for the comments and the encouragement. It means more than I can put into words, which is saying a lot for a writer.

  44. Well, from one debut Harlequin author to another – I know what you mean! Mine comes out in June so I’ve just been shadowing your footsteps.

    And, wow, do you have a village! I’m so sorry I’m chiming in late today.

    I am thrilled you could be here with us, the cover is great, and I’ll put that one on my list to pick up. Major Congrats!!

  45. Your book arrived via mail this week and I’m LOVING it!

  46. Congratulations on your first book, I can’t wait to read it. My daughter’s would be in my village, they support me whatever I do.

  47. congrats Leigh. Your book sounds really good. I’ve added it to my list to look for at B&N next week.

    My family are my village – even though I want to run away from them all sometimes.

    Good luck with this and your next book.

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