Monday, January 22, 2018

Guest Post: From Short Story to Series by Sharon Hughson #RealityEverAfter #Romance #Giveaway


Reality Ever After
Virtual Match #3
By Sharon Hughson
Release Date: Jan. 22, 2018

Keywords: Contemporary, Romance, Novella, Sweet, Virtual Dating, Series

Happily ever after collides with reality to make or break their love.

Systems architect Marcus Jordan proclaims his love for career girl Veronica Shay, but life keeps hurling obstacles into their relationship. When Ronnie’s niece is born prematurely, Ronnie rushes to be the big sister Tony needs, knowing she is to blame for his fear of failing at fatherhood.

Marcus decides to help put their daddy issues to rest, but his discovery sends Ronnie into a tailspin. Ronnie already knows trusting men risks her heart and stability. Why would she want to meet the first man who rejected her?

An even bigger secret about Ronnie’s father convinces Ronnie to give him one chance to explain, never knowing it will bring her face to face with the true source of her trust issues.  Will the revelation come too late to restore the happiness she’d found with Marcus?


Guest Post: From Short Story to Series 

REALITY EVER AFTER, which releases today, is the third novella in the Virtual Match series. When the heroine, Veronica Shay, first visited me, she offered up a short story about the need for an invisible boyfriend. We both thought it was a “one-and-done” deal. 


The short story soon evolved into a 15,000-word novella that appeared for six months in a boxed set with seven other stories (by various indie romance authors) featuring one common thread: Virtual Match. My story generated a few exciting reviews (like this one and that kept Ronnie and Marcus in the forefront of my mind. 

Once the VIRTUALLY YOURS party ended, I wondered if I could find a home for this story. Imagine my pleasure when Roane Publishing started a line of sweet romance novellas. 

I dug out Ronnie’s story, embellished it a little, spiffed it a LOT and submitted it. And because I write elaborate backstories for most characters, I realized Veronica Shay had a closet full of secrets.  

So a second novella forced its way from my fingers into a Word document. This one had serious flaws, but there was a story. 

After some hard editing, the second chapter of Ronnie and Marcus’s love story hit the digital bookshelves. By that time, the conclusion of their story was flowing onto the page in my writing sanctuary. 

Today, you can read the culmination of more than two years with this cast of characters. 

To Veronica I’ll say, “You’ve come a long way baby.” 

Every interesting character believes a lie (or two) about themselves. The complex ones have a deep wound associated with this lie. And most of them are so busy lying about the wound that the lie becomes part of who they are. 

Until something shakes them up and forces them to take a hard lookAnd they discover that their painful past has built a fabrication around them. 

In the end, the truth about what they always thought comes out. 

If they accept it, they can evolve to a new level. But if they seek the safety the lie provides, they’ll end up in a worse state than where they started. 

That’s the journey Ronnie and Marcus take in REALITY EVER AFTER. They enter the dark land of lies. Their wounded hearts try to pull them into the hopeless abyss of “I can’t be loved.” 

I knew Ronnie’s wound ran deeper than the secret she reveals in book two. But it was such an old scar that she’d forgotten all about it. 

Until her brother’s insecurity in the face of fatherhood brings snatches of it floating to the surface. 

A good series need two things: 

  1. Separate story problems and goals for each installment of the series.  
  1. One over-arching problem that is introduced in the beginning, but isn’t resolved until the climax of the final installment. 

But all series must come to an end. Am I sad to say goodbye to these characters? Yes and no. 

Yes, because they’re finally getting to the “real life” phase of their relationship. The one where love takes the reins from romance and drives the couple into the sunset. 

But also no. They’ve been rumbling around inside my heart and mind for thirty-nine months and I’m ready for them to move along. 

I have plenty of other characters who want their stories told. Every goodbye to one story ushers in a hello to another. 

What’s your favorite series? Why is it your favorite? 

- Sharon


Links to other books in the series:



Since adventuring in Narnia as a trouble youth, Sharon Hughson has embraced the magical portal of reading. As a child, she wrote her first story and discovered a passion for creating new worlds. These days, with help from three cats, Sharon pens romance, young adult fantasy, women’s fiction, and nonfiction (too many story ideas for a single genre).

When summer turns to autumn, she picks up her substitute teacher satchel and ventures into the real world for new inspiration. She and her high school sweetheart (and husband) live near the Columbia River in Oregon, not too far from their adult sons. When she isn’t writing or reading, Sharon enjoys walking, hiking, crocheting, playing the piano and scrapbooking family memories.

Sharon has multiple short stories and three novellas published with Roane. She gladly credits them for launching her fiction writing career. For more information about any of her books visit




A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me, Terri. I always love visiting here :)