Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience before you start writing can save time and as a very busy writer, I am usually all about that 🙂

I am thrilled to announce the new release of In the Dog House, which used to be titled Just For You, and used to be about a divorced military dad who’s ex went into rehab, and he has to suddenly come home to a sullen ten year old the ex had kept from him. He does it, gladly, but is a fish out of water.  The love interest is a local dog trainer/psychologist who had given up a child for adoption when she was just a teen, after getting pregnant when her mom died, and she’d spent time in an out of foster care before her great aunt takes her in. Wonderful angst, wonderful conflict.

Too angsty. The story is now about an uncle in the military who comes home on leave when his sister, who was in a horrific car accident, is put into a medically induced coma. He has to take care of his nephew, who he knows from occasional vacations and Skype calls. Emma still gets to be a psychologist, but never had a baby underage and out of wedlock.

It has taken me a long time to be able to write the above paragraph without gritting my teeth, and to find the humor in the situation. The original book was completely overhauled and I’m glad it got a new title—it needed a new title. It deserved a new title. Why was I willing to do it, you ask?

Because, I love, love love Jackson and Emma. I wanted their story of overcoming odds to be told, and to reach the widest audience, which meant putting in the time to tell the story in a way that ticks all of the “clean” romance boxes.

No cussing, no drugs, no deadbeat single dads, no teenage pregnancy. Oh—and I had to cut 15,000 words. The upside is that I know Emma and Jackson like they are roommates—which is kind of what our characters become; family. I know their story is solid. I hope you enjoy them too—I’ve included an excerpt:

available 2/11 In the Dog House:

Emma finished her wine on the back porch, looking up at the moon and stars. Stars always made her think of Jackson, their very hot kiss in the kitchen, the way they’d fit as if no time had passed at all. Her hand on his muscular arms, her hip to his, his fingers caressing her lower back. The musky scent of his cologne.

Just like that, desire for him had rekindled—but not a thing had changed between them. If anything, the chips were stacked even higher. Now, she had a business that needed to expand in order to save dogs, a doctorate her own professor wasn’t sure she wanted—and the stirring of her heartstrings when she thought of Jackson and the man he’d become.

She might not survive a second broken heart, and he would break it—just by doing what he needed to do, who he’d been raised to be, which was finish his career in the military. He would not choose her—again.

A shooting star whisked across the night sky, and she closed her eyes to make a wish.

I want true love with a man I can trust to pick me first. Which crosses Jackson Hardy off the list.

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About Traci Hall

From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone. Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it's her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean. Traci wants to hear from you!

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