The Latest on My Novel

The look as of September 29...

Many folks have asked me recently when my novel will be “available.” First, I thank you for asking. Second, thanks for taking an interest in it. And third, to answer the question, my goal is to have it available in early November.

I haven’t written many new blog posts recently because I’ve been feverishly making my final edits on the manuscript. With thoughtful help and suggestions from some of my dear friends and family who have served as final “readers” for this novel, I’m in the home stretch. I’m both excited and anxious to have it out there, and hope that folks will enjoy this somewhat sentimental story and its overall theme of finding forgiveness.

When this one is completed, I’ll be working on finishing a second book that’s in the works. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that one.

Additionally, I’m assembling a collection of short stories I’ve written over the last few years and hope to have that available at the same time my novel goes public.

I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank my dear friend, Jenny Bumgarner, who photographed my cover, and who will also photograph the cover for my short story collection. You should have seen her in action: click, click, click, click, and voila! Stunning photographs to play with for the cover. We think we found one that works. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s moving along. Wish me luck…I’ll need it.

A Little Bit About Beneath The Mimosa Tree

Annabelle Marco and Michael Contelli are both only children of Italian-Americans. Next door neighbors since they were both five years old, they both receive their parents’ constant attention and are regularly subjected to their meddlesome behavior. In high school and then in college, as their relationship moves from friendship to love, Annabelle finds herself battling her parents, his parents, and even Michael. She feels smothered by them all and seeks independence through an unplanned and unexpected decision that she comes to regret and that ultimately alters the course of her life, Michael’s life, and the lives of both of their parents.

Set in Annapolis, Maryland, New York City, and London, England, in the 1980s and 1990s, Beneath the Mimosa Tree examines both Annabelle’s and Michael’s journeys over the span of ten years as we hear their alternating voices tell the story of self-discoveries, the nature of well-meaning families, and the sense of renewal that can take place when forgiveness is permitted.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. taureanw says:

    Congratz & keep at it!
    I’m hoping to be in your shoes one day so hopefully everything goes great for you!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    Sounds great and can’t wait to read it again in the final form. Great cover-we had one of those gorgeous mimosa trees in our back yard of our other house and loved the beauty of that tree and the relaxation I felt when I looked at the leaves and flowers. Ahhh!

    1. I love those trees, too! They are so beautiful. We had one in the back yard of our house in Bowie where I lived for ten years, hence the inspiration…

  3. Bari says:

    I remember early drafts of this! Can’t wait to read the ending!!

    1. Thanks, Bari, for remembering. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the whole thing has been rewritten and revamped and is a completely different animal than it once was! I started from scratch and only kept one page of the original draft. I’m excited to share it!


  4. Charlotte says:

    Wonderful news, Steph. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    1. Charlotte,

      I can’t wait to read yours! Looking forward to winter break when I can enjoy reading books other than textbooks…


  5. Katie Wagner says:

    Verni! I was looking for a blog to discuss in my online org comm class, and stumbled upon yours (linked to it from the SUBizComm blog). I am so happy to hear about your book. I can not wait to read it!

    Congrats and maybe I will see you at the Homecoming game in a few weeks!

    1. Thanks, Katie. I will look for you then! So glad you found my blog!


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