I have officially begun working on Who Rescued Who? and I am so excited to share it. It’s taken me a long time to start this novel. The truth is, I’ve had a rough outline for this story for more than a decade, but never quite knew why it never came to fruition, until recently. You see, this novel is loosely based on true events. Mostly the true events being about the dog––whose real name is Bailey, but has been changed in the story. She is the true inspiration for every ounce of love in this story. But there were parts missing. Parts I didn’t know how to write. And so I have been patient, because this story is so close to my heart.
After the sudden loss of one of our pups this summer, Daisy Mae, a lot of things came into focus. One of those things being the excruciating pain of losing a fur baby and how that grief unfolds. I’d never experienced this kind of loss before and I think it made it impossible for me to articulate what needed written for this story. Also, it brought the depth of my relationship with Bailey to the forefront and caused anxiety for me at the idea of losing her. And not just Bailey, but my darling little Emma and Maddy too. It made me stop and think about how fragile my time with them is. How quickly they come into our lives to love us and how short our time with them truly is. Out of this heartache and understanding I was also reminded of the precious gift they have been to me. Finally I felt like I had all of the pieces to begin writing, Who Rescued Who?
Tell me what you think of the cover and please fell free to share your dog stories with me. I cannot wait to hear how you were saved by your four-legged best friend(s)
Hey Y’all, so it’s been a while. Almost three years to be exact. I suppose this is what happens when life gets in the way. After I released the final two installments of the Harvest Series, quickly followed by the second Crossroads book, I attended the Boston Author event before taking a hiatus. However, I never intended to take such a long hiatus.
In the last few years a lot has changed for me. It probably all started with me blowing out my knee in the line of duty. Total game changer. A whole year off work, two surgeries, and 9 months of rehab before I was finally cleared back to full duty. You would have thought I’d use all the down time to knock out several new books, but the truth is, the desire to write wasn’t there. At least, not at first. I did attend the Boston Author event with For the Love of Books…and I did it in a leg brace while on crutches. As for my writing though, It wasn’t until the tail end of my recovery when I started hammering through the manuscript I had started the year prior. Second Chance. I finished it in those final months––or so I thought I had.
While I was still on light duty, my husband and I began the house buying process and moved. Not fun on crutches I must tell ya. I definitely don’t recommend it. Oh, and before this…the month before my injury, we rescued a sweet 10 year old papillion named Daisy Mae. She came from West Virgina and quickly fell into our pack like she was always meant to be. For those of you who don’t know, we had four fur babies already. Bailey, Madison, Emma and our cat Cassie Bell.
So the move goes smoothly, the family is settling in, and I’m finally cleared back to full duty, but there was a lot of catching up to do––firearms re-certification, Defensive tactics, and making sure I was prepared to hit the streets again, which left little to no time to write. I handed Second chance off to a few beta readers and their feedback prompted what turned into the longest edit process of my writing career. While they loved the story, there were things they wanted to know. Characters I hadn’t developed enough in their eyes, and backstories destined to be shared. I slowly began to edit and re-write here and there as time allowed. Never for long periods, but making headway nonetheless.
Fast forward a bit…or a couple years. I get a job offer I couldn’t refuse…cue the career change––sort of. Same industry, different vantage point––private sector. Three weeks later, the pandemic hits. Total shift in my day to day and while I should use the downtime to write, I have no creative flow. None. I try, but I kept staring at the words, making small edits, then re-reading it and hating it. I decided to give myself time to process everything going on around me. We can’t be creative all the time.
Then, as if things weren’t hectic enough, my husband and I decided to sell the house we bought a couple years back and buy another one. We both really wanted some property out in the country. Some peace and quiet. Buying and selling simultaneously are not recommended––especially with full time jobs, 4 pups, and a cat. Oh, and in the midst of a worldwide pandemic…Can we just say stress times two! Somehow we made it through and our dream of owning property was realized. But, the week we moved into our new home, my stepmom (my mom), Iris, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We drop everything…rush back to Ohio to be with her. A week at her bedside and she slips away. All I can tell you is nothing has ever hurt more. I was depressed. A shell of myself for months. The person I turned to when I was sad, happy, indifferent, the person who helped me work through the millions of thoughts in my head until they manifested into workable ideas, was gone. Writing was the furthest thing from my mind.
Somewhere in the darkness though, I found the strength. I stumbled on a text conversation between her and I. I had been telling her about Second Chance and all of the changes I was making. She told me how proud she was and how excited she was to read it. I told her I thought it was my best yet. A few days later, the fire was lit. I began reading and editing once again.
But Second Chance isn’t the original story I started years ago. Sure, the foundation is there. For those who read through the original manuscript, they can see her outlines. Second Chance went from 225 pages to over 600 and no matter how many times I read through something, I couldn’t be objective. So I did what any author would do and I handed it off to trusted friends to give it a look. In the meantime, I start working on the third Crossroads book: The Matthew Carson Story. But this one stumps me. I have so much of the story written, but for the first time, the “Crossroads” aren’t clear to me. I’m sort of at an impasse and acknowledge I may have to rework my original manuscript in order for this book to be what I want it to be. I tried to go in a direction I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. The truth is, what I’ve written is great. I like it. But the Crossroads compilations deal with sensitive topics and honestly, I’m not sure it’s the kind of content I want for my stories. For my readers. But we’ll see. I’ve have an idea on how to fix it, and I think it could work.
Now we come to the present––Summer of 2021. I’m writing again. Working on both Second Chance and Crossroads: The Matthew Carson Story. Then suddenly, more pain…we lost Daisy Mae very suddenly, only three days before the first anniversary of losing Iris. Turns out this pain is more unimaginable than anything I had prepared for. My husband and I are devastated. Even writing about it now, hurts. The tears come without warning. It’s hard. We miss her so much. The worst part of losing her was seeing our other three girls grieve. Oh my gosh, it’s so hard to bare. They lost a member of their pack. They search for her, cry at her food bowl, and look to me for answers. As a family we pull together and do our best, but every day is a struggle. A few weeks later, out of the pain came a gift from Daisy Mae. A rescue we didn’t think our hearts were ready for, but everything––and I mean EVERYTHING aligned so perfectly. It was truly meant to be and Layla Mae (a tribute to our girl) came into our family. She’s a beautiful great Pyrenees mix puppy and she is so full of love. Our days without Daisy are still hard. The actual physical pain in our hearts is quieter now, but still loud enough to hear. As a family, we have a tight-knit bond and we lean into one another. More cuddle time meant less busy chores. We’ve chosen to put all of our energy into them. Partly because it brought everything into focus. Daisy was my first––the first fur baby I’ve lost, and with Bailey, Maddy, Emma, and Cassie all being older it allowed an anxious paranoia, I’d never felt before, set in. All I wanted was to cling on for dear life. Hold them as close as I could and never let go.
But, as we all began to settle into the changes, the rawness of Daisy’s loss, the newness of a puppy in a home full of seniors, we lose our first fur baby. Our kitty, Cassie Bell––exactly one month after Daisy. The heartache feels non-stop. It feels surreal and unfair. Even their vet was devastated. He said he’d never experienced anything like it. All of the pain builds up inside. The fear of losing anyone else is like a weight sitting on my shoulders. I’m doing what I can to work through it, but these are my babies. They are like children to me and it’s hard.
As all of this grief is unfolding around me though, feedback for Second Chance starts coming back. It reminds me why I love to write so much. It reminds me why I started writing in the first place. How I’ve always used it as an outlet for my pain. For the things I have overcome. Which brings me here now. I want to keep moving forward. I want nothing more than to finish both Second Chance and Crossroads so I can move on to the other projects I have. I want to begin working on Breaking the Silence, Behind Closed Doors, the fourth Crossroads. And I think I’m finally ready to write Who Rescued Who? In addition to writing, I want to be accountable here on my author page. I want to keep you all in the loop with where I’m at. What the process looks like. And above all else, I want to release more books.
I apologize for the long hiatus. For disappearing without explanation. And I appreciate the continued support. In the coming weeks I will be updating the website and reacquainting myself with all that goes into it, because I’m sure a lot has changed. In the meantime, tell me what you’ve been up to. Which of my books have you read. What did you like. Hell, what didn’t you like? Tell me what you want to see from me as an author. Share with me. I’m here and I’m ready to start fresh once again!
I could not put this book down! It was extremely well-written and emotionally captivating. I felt as though I was Lexie’s friend, too, and joined her on her adventures to self-discovery and restitution. Can’t wait to read the next one!
I just finished the Harvest series! An incredible emotional rollercoaster ride! I was horrified, amused, sad, disgusted, hopeful, angry, excited, happy, I smiled, I cried. When I finished the series after reading every moment I could in a week I felt as if I knew these characters in real life. The writing was so well done I felt drawn into the story. My heart raced with Alexandra. I cried with Mark. I was angry at Ben & Maya. I felt justice in the end. I can’t wait for more from this author!
The Harvest Series!
Heartbreaking yet empowering at the same time. Megan McCooey shadows the horrors of child abuse, rape, and debilitating disease while enlightening the reader with the strength and love that can help pull us out of the darkest depths.
I can’t possibly say enough great things about For the Love of Books & Raleigh and the amazing ladies who host these events. From start to finish, it was hands down, THE MOST FREAKING AWESOME EVENT I’VE ATTENDED!!! Can you hear the excitement? Can you feel it? The ladies of For the Love of Books & Alcohol are quite the team. I fell in love with them and I can hardly wait to join them for more fun, books, and alcohol across the country and maybe…maybe internationally too.
Next up, BOSTON!
For anyone who loves to read, meet your favorite authors as well as some new up and comers (including having lunch and a private after party with them), the VIP ticket is surely the way to go! You get to join us at the meet and greet the night before the signing, stay for a delicious catered lunch between the morning and afternoon signing session, and then of course mingle with us at the after party. Plus, you get a cool VIP swag bag filled with lots of goodies. And don’t forget to have that baby signed by all the authors as a fantastic Keepsake. Shhh…even us authors have author crushes…
I am so excited for all the things I know I have in store with For the Love of Books & Alcohol. I am ready to hit the ground running with these ladies and meet as many of you as I can along the way! Have a look at all the exciting pictures from For the Love of Books & Raleigh and be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on all the cities I will be visiting.
In the coming months, I will be raffling off four (4) general admission tickets to For the Love of Books & Boston, as well as several signed copies of my books, at least three (3) copies of the Harvest Series Kindle box set, and lots more!
Here is the link to grab your GA or VIP tickets to #BooksNBoston and be sure to join the attendee group. You can meet lots of great authors before the event and stay informed on all their books, promos and more. Hope to see you there!!
My new favorite mug! Thanks For the Love of Books & Alcohol!!
My table…so pretty!
How awesome are these? Make sure you have your VIP badge!!
Got a little creative with the bookmarks and they were a HIT!
Charlotte’s Pact was a quick and easy read. I literally read it in a couple of hours. From the moment you meet Charlotte and Tori, you are pulled into their silly, bantering of a friendship, their college plans, and the futures they are so hopeful for.
The author, Lauren Lee, bounces between the past and the present initially and the execution is flawless. I never once found myself looking back to double check which part I was in, past or present. And the pace was quick without leaving out anything important.
Fast forward to where we meet Liam…hmmm, this handsome, rich, successful man Tori and Adam set Charlotte up with. He has to be too good to be true. Right? It’s hard for me to say too much about Liam, because if I do, I might give something away and I hate to do that. However, maybe you’ll know it when you read it and you’ll come running back here to comment and tell me you know what I wanted to share, but couldn’t.
Then theirs Adriel. Oh Adriel. All I can say is I CAN’T WAIT FOR BOOK 2!
As I read Charlotte’s Pact I put myself in her shoes. What I would do if faced with the same dilemma. It doesn’t take much thought to know I would do the same thing. But if I later found out what she does… OH MY GOD!! I’d be looking for the loopholes… or would I? I mean, for Charlotte it seems like everything happened for a reason.
The “To Be Continued” was great. I was left thoroughly wanting more. More Charlotte. More Liam. More Adriel. I want to know what happens. I NEED TO KNOW!
Awaking in a strange place, Eleanor is afraid, and panicked. Unfamiliar people claiming to be her family nurse her back to health, but their vague answers seem to only stir up more questions. Where is she? How did she get the scar in the center of her chest? And what happened to her memories?
Over time, Eleanor learns she has been fitted with a mechanical heart, and the body she inhabits once belonged to someone else. With the truth finally revealed, depression nearly drives her to her deathbed. After being rushed to the hospital, Eleanor must learn to accept her second-chance at life.Believing she is less than human with her steel heart, Eleanor needs a reminder that she is more than just clockwork, and gears. Percy Oliver, does just that. But, is her heart capable of love? Or is it just a machine crafted of cold metal?
Author: J.M. Davis
Title: Gear Girl
Genre: Teen & Young Adult>Historical Sci-Fi & Fantasy>Romance>Steampunk
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE STORY! From start to finish, Gear Girl was flawless!!!
I will admit I went into this book with the impression it was dystopian. But the more I read the more I felt like a little girl reading passages out of little women. There were references to clothing and scenes that were definitely not modern and I contemplated asking the author what year the story was set in. Then decided I needed to be patient. Clining to every word. Every beautiful description. And finally it was revealed. The year is 1898.
J.M. Davis has a gift for recreating historical fiction in a way I’ve never seen. Eleanor’s situation makes you not only feel for her, but with her. All the emotions she’s experiencing including losing her will to live, fear of the unknown, and even resentment for choices that were made without her consent.
There were times I was yelling at Eleanor. And times I wanted to yell for her.
I love how J.M Davis is able to make you feel like you are living in this time, 1898. From the descriptions, to the flow of the language, to the sarcastic banter. Her gift poured off the pages. I often found myself thinking, “how ever did she capture this time period so well?” Oh and her ability to re-invent devices, procedures and techniques used in medicine everyday today, the way she does, was phenomenal. Which leads me to the fact that I had no idea what steampunk was. Laugh all you want. I know…as an author. A young adult author, I should have known this. I’d heard the term, sure, but when I was setting up this review and saw this was a subcategory for Gear Girl I curiosly looked it up. I have to admit, I’m a fan of steampunk!! I’m a fan of J.M. Davis.
When we finally meet Percy we’re ready for Eleanor to fight! Fight to live. Fight for love. Fight for all the things we want her to so desperately to experience. As a reader, I loved Percy. I swooned over Percy. He’s Lively, sarcastic, and whimsical, with a spirit larger than life. As a fellow writer, I was in awe and envy of Percy. He captivated the pages and left you flipping well into the night. To see him and Eleanor together was even better. When she finally gets to bring him outdoors…to “paradise”, you watch their relationship blossom and even this was written beautifully. Oh and that ending…I cried. I got mad. Then I ugly cried some more. Finally, I took a deep breath and knew this book had captured my heart in so many ways. So many ways!!
Goodreads recently added an option for readers to askauthors discussion questions and I thought it would fun to share them here as well.
Q: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A: Megan McCooey
My most recent…would be Crossroads: The Ella Thomas story. I guess with all of the stories on the news and on social media about bullying and what it has become today. I researched other books on the topic and there currently aren’t many. Several years ago, I read Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, and I remember feeling so moved, so heartbroken by Hannah’s pain and wondered why more people weren’t writing about this extremely relevant topic or even talking about it as we should be. I wanted to show teens the real consequences of their actions. How what seems silly and petty may change the course of your entire future and the future of everyone involved. So in this short story, when Ella finds herself at the Crossroads, the reader gets to choose between two separate paths. Two separate endings as she must make a choice. …but just remember, in real life you can never go back.
Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: Megan McCooey
I’m big on writing from the heart. From my own experiences and writing what can help others. Most of my work is geared toward this and probably always will be. The Crossroads compilation short stories will each deal with some form of social issue teens are facing today. The Harvest Series dealt with family dysfunction, physical abuse, emotional abuse, secrets and learning to start over. All things close to me, but also things as a society we need to know how to deal with so we know we aren’t alone. Knowing my stories may touch another person’s life, may make them feel less alone, less afraid to tell someone or even make someone think twice about drinking and driving or bullying is what truly inspires me.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Megan McCooey
I just finished the second choose-your-own ending Crossroads short story which deals with teen bullying. I’m simultaneously working on the next Crossroads that will focus on the growing heroin epidemic and also a stand alone novel titled, Behind Closed Doors. BHCD will tell Leila’s story. How her family of five is mostly normal. Her parents get up everyday, go to work, come home and take care of her and her two younger siblings. They are a loving family with normal family problems. But come Friday, what happens behind closed doors is something no one ever talks about…until it’s too late.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A: Megan McCooey
Write! write all the time. And don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s scary to put your work out there. To have others judge it. And there will be people who have opinions that hurt, but if your story touches even one person, you have succeeded. But this is only my opinion. I remember after Harvest Moon was released I read a review where someone had stated the content was “unrealistic” that if someone they knew was being abused, they would know… I remember feeling torn apart. Thinking, but this is real. I’ve seen it, I lived it. Then I remembered that we all walk different paths. For someone who has never walked in Lexie’s shoes or my shoes, how could you possibly know? Isn’t it easier to believe these kinds of monsters can’t really exist? But this only motivated me to share the message even more. I began doing a series on my website dealing with wives, children, girlfriends, parents who abused and sometimes killed the victim all while no one ever knew it was happening. So again, don’t get discouraged. Not everyone will share your vision. Not everyone will like your stories. I have family and friends who have never read my work because it’s not their cup of tea… do I fret? NOPE! Because those who do read my work, keep me motivated.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A: Megan McCooey
Hmmm, the best thing? Aside from sharing my stories with you, the readers, and hearing what you took from it or how the characters made you feel? I would say for me it was the healing process. The Harvest Series was therapy for my life. A way for me to work through my own dark upbringing. To scream without screaming, give someone else the secrets I had locked away, and hopefully make others feel less alone in the process. From the time I started writing until now, I can honestly admit I was a much different person and you’ll see it in my writing too. It’s there. It’s clear as day, the way I grow…as any artist should. What’s crazy is, I can feel my strength today. I watched as the baggage, the trust issues, the scars began to fall away. Some of the hurt will never truly dissipate, but overall writing saved me.
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: Megan McCooey
I used to try and push through writer’s block. If I had an idea in my head I would sit in front of the computer because I believed it would come to me. But over time what I have learned is my creativity has a mind of it’s own. So now, I wait…sometimes not so patiently, until I feel…literally feel, the creativity flowing through me. When that happens I become a power house. I wrote the first Crossroads, Angela and Full Moon, drunk on creativity, all in less than a week, because I listened to myself. In addition, waiting until the right time makes a difference in what I produce. I can see the difference when I read back material I forced versus material I was ready to write.
Are you a fan of choose your own adventure books? If you said yes, then the Crossroads stories may be you’re new favorite addiction!
Crossroads: The Delia Landon Story
On the night of her high school graduation, Delia Landon attends a party with her friends, to celebrate all they’ve accomplished. A night filled with laughter, dancing, and drinking. Her three best friends—Courtney, Lindsay and Beth—are extremely intoxicated as they climb into the back of Brandon’s jeep. Courtney yells to Delia one last time, “Come on, Delia, get your ass in this jeep! Woohoo! We graduated, so let’s celebrate!!” Suddenly, Delia finds herself at a crossroads. Either she ignores her parents warning and goes with her friends, letting the party continue or she says no to the peer pressure and calls it a night.
Whatever choice you make, just remember, in life… you can never go back!
EXCLUSIVELY on Amazon for FREE starting Wednesday June 14-June 18
Crossroads: The Ella Thomas story
When new girl Carly Matthews, arrives at Souhegan High School, Ella and her four best friends—Olivia, Rebecca, Sophia, and Hailey—immediately feel threatened. Senior year is supposed to be carefree and easy. But when the rumors start, actions are set into motion. Actions that can’t easily be undone. The newspapers paint them as “real life mean girls,” but this is not who they are…or rather who they were.
A hierarchy of popularity, years in the making, is uncovered when Carly’s uninhibited behaviors thrust Ella and her friends into a storm of bullying that leads them down a path they never imagined. Until finally Ella finds herself at a Crossroads where she must decide between standing alongside her friends to finish what they started, or come forward and take responsibility for what they’ve done. But just remember, whatever path you might choose for Ella…in real life, you can never go back.
EXCLUSIVELY on Amazon for FREE starting Wednesday June 14-June 18