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Old 07-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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SERENDIPITY HOUSE women's fiction/romance/mystery

Edited to add that I now have my rights back and have Serendipity House up with a new cover and new, lower price that's half of my former publisher's price.

If your reading pleasure leans towards women's fiction, I invite you to read the first two chapters of my full-length novel, Serendipity House, on my website, joycedebacco.com.

Although Serendipity House begins and ends like a romance, in between is a multi-layered story about the diverse relationships between family members as well as strangers who become like family. Besides a mystery and a romance, the characters deal with the realization that we’re all the children of imperfect parents, the growing friendships between people of dissimilar backgrounds, and the quest to be accepted and loved regardless of our flaws.

Sylvie was a pleaser. She did as her mother pleased, and she did as her fiancé pleased. Then she did as she pleased. Raised by a domineering mother, Sylvie doesn’t like the submissive woman she’s become. Determined to take back her life, she heads to the hills instead of to the altar on her wedding day. Coming across a quaint, country inn with an intriguing name, she impulsively checks into Serendipity House. Peopled with an odd assortment of characters, the inn has clearly seen better days. Even the regulars have a bit of wear on them.

When attractive Alex arrives and is strangely comfortable vacationing among the geriatric set, Sylvie does her best to ignore him. But Alex will not be ignored, pushing her buttons until she admits, if only to herself that she’s falling for him. Not until she’s hired to manage the inn does she learn he’s not the businessman he pretends to be, but a streetwise PI hired by her ex to find her. Adding insult to injury, he’s bought the inn and asks for her help in restoring it to its former glory.

Forced to work together, both learn about relationships, expectations, and acceptance—among family members as well as strangers who become like family.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll visit Serendipity House.

Edit: new information in post following this.

Last edited by joycedb; 09-17-2011 at 07:58 PM. Reason: cover pic
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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A review of my book, Serendipity House, is featured today, July 14 at The New Book Review. The site has been named to Online Universities’ 101 Book Blogs You Need to Read and has useful information for both readers and writers. Readers can learn about new books, and writers will find valuable resources on writing and promoting by clicking on the links in the blogger’s profile directly following each review. True, she has products for sale, but much of it is free. In fact, the amount of info is so overwhelming I still haven’t gone through it all.

Thenewbookreview.blogspot.com. Stop by and see what you think. And while you’re there, leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

Joyce
Serendipity House
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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Hi, Joyce.

I found your book at fictionwise and in multiformat. Yay!
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #4
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Edited to add that this book is no longer on Fictionwise as stated by the previous poster.

I've been neglecting S.H. since publishing Rubies. But here's an excerpt from the beginning of Chap. 3. The first 2 chaps. are available on my website.

After folding, tying, stretching, and fluffing three boxes of pink and blue
tissues into roses, Sylvie had lost feeling in her fingers. Needing a break, she
grabbed a can of cola from the fridge and dropped into a cushioned rocker on the front porch. In the distance thunder rumbled, and heat rose in ripples off the sun-baked earth. But it was not the prolonged heat wave that bothered Sylvie. It was allowing herself to think, even for a minute, that Brad might be interested in her. Was it the way he smiled at her, the way he always had time for her, no matter how busy he was? Or was the interest she saw in his eyes merely a reflection of her own pathetic need, the result of a mother who’d always given the impression that her oldest daughter wasn’t pretty enough, or thin enough, or outgoing enough?

Hoping to clear her head and restore circulation to her limbs, Sylvie finished
her drink and went for a walk. Seeing the grounds by horseback had whetted her appetite for more, and this time she’d take the tour on her own two feet. But when she reached the grassy hillside at the end of the riding path, she found Alex in her spot. She turned to leave, but her sudden movement snapped a twig underfoot, alerting him to her presence. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude,” she said when he turned.

“Nonsense. You’re not intruding. I was just enjoying the view when a
groundhog appeared on the opposite hill. Come, join me.” He patted the ground, indicating a spot beside him.

Sylvie reluctantly lowered herself to the grass. She didn’t like sharing her
special spot with anyone else, least of all a stuffy Frenchman with a ridiculous
British accent. “I’m surprised you even know what a groundhog looks like,” she
said in a cool voice. “Are you sure it wasn’t a rabbit?”

He looked at her sideways. “Do I sense a bit of hostility here?”

“I just meant that I didn’t think there were any groundhogs where you come
from.”

“And where do you think I come from?”

“To be truthful, I never really give you much thought,” she said, plucking at
the grass.

He winced. “Oh, woman, you wound me deeply.”

She shrugged, unconcerned if she offended.

A brief silence ensued. Then, as if reading her thoughts, he said, “You really
don’t care, do you? It’s okay, of course, but most people are curious. I just
thought you might be also.”

Sylvie didn’t feel the need to respond. If her thoughts were coming through
loud and clear, why bother? Suddenly, out of the blue, he said, “You didn’t know he was married, did you?”

Caught off-guard, she fumbled for an answer. “I—I—who?”

“Your friend. The handyman.”

Unwilling to be drawn into a discussion of her pitiful love life, Sylvie turned
her attention back to the hill on the other side of the valley. “So where did that groundhog go?”

“Back to her den to make babies, I imagine.” He turned to her and laughed. “It
is the season for that, is it not?”

She glared at him, unable to hide her irritation. “And what is that supposed to
mean?”

“Ah-ha, then I was right. It does trouble you that your friend, the handyman,
is married and about to become a father.”

“No, it doesn’t. And how dare you presume to know so much about me?”

“Then you already knew he was married when you made a play for him?”

“What! I never made a play for him.”

“Oh, come on. I see you making eyes at him all the time.”

“We’re friends. That’s it,” she said crossly. For an instant she was tempted to
wipe the smirk off his face with a well-placed fist. But rebellion was still new to her, and outright violence was even more foreign. Instead she clamped her mouth shut, refusing to provide him with any more ammunition to lob at her.

“Ah, love,” he sighed melodramatically. “It certainly does humble a body. But
if it’s any consolation, I think Brad and Cindy had to get married.”

“How do you know that?”

“I overheard a few of the ladies whispering about it. It seems the young
Sullivans are about to have one of those famous, nine-pound preemies.”

“That does it,” she said, rising. “If you think I’m going to sit here and gossip
with you, you’re dead wrong.”

Grinning, Alex reached for her hand. “Oh, sit down, love. I admit I’ve been
pushing your buttons. But that’s out of my system now. So stay and enjoy the view.”

Although she’d prefer to enjoy the view alone, Sylvie sat down again. “You can be awfully annoying,” she said, still simmering.

“Ah, but isn’t that better than being a bloody bore?”

Rational thought returned, and Sylvie decided the only way to keep Alex from
invading her privacy was to invade his. “So what really brought you to
Serendipity House?” she asked. “Aside from the board games and stimulating
conversation, of course.”

He thought a moment. “The price, the amenities, the scenery.”

“Amenities?” She laughed. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

End of excerpt. Thank you for reading.

Joyce

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Old 10-15-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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Just wanted to say for anyone who's interested that I was interviewed by Tabatha Haddix. Link is here.

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Old 10-23-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
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Edited to add that this book is no longer at this site.

For those of you who have reading devices other than Kindle, I just learned that the publisher of my book, Serendipity House, is running a promotion now. If you purchase $7.50 worth of e-books, you'll get 25% off. Code word is "Halloween."

Here is the link if anyone wants to check out the books available: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/i...roducts_id=292 The link takes you to my book page, but you can go anywhere else from there. Happy reading.

Joyce

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Old 10-28-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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Another excerpt.

On his first day back in the office, Alex faced a conundrum. Exactly where did
his loyalties lie? With a woman he barely knew? Or the man with whom he had a contract? He stared at the folder on his desk, remembering how good it felt with nothing to do but sit on a hillside and watch the grass grow. On impulse, he peered out his office window. Hell, he couldn’t even see the ground let alone any grass.

He opened the folder and studied Sylvie Gardner’s picture, curious as to why
Endicott was so set on finding her when she obviously didn’t want to be found. She hadn’t broken any laws that he knew of. Although Endicott claimed she’d stolen from him, Alex didn’t believe that for a minute. Not unless stealing the man’s heart was the crime, which he doubted. Endicott had to have a heart in order for it to be stolen. No, the woman had simply changed her mind, no crime there. And after meeting the pompous Tim Endicott, he didn’t blame her one bit. He thought about saying he’d hit a dead end. But he’d already accepted a retainer, which made that course of action unethical. So, like it or not, he had a moral and legal obligation to report his findings. Grimacing, Alex reached for the phone. Sometimes his job really sucked.

“Did you find the little bitch?” Endicott snapped the moment Alex announced
himself.

Alex thought about his plans for the remainder of his fee. He’d promised Gran
a nice vacation once his agency was on sound footing, and Endicott’s money
would go a long way toward achieving that goal. Without it, he was looking at
another six months of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Or, to be more precise, robbing VISA to pay MasterCard.

Fingering Sylvie’s photo, he recalled the look on her face when he stuck a
flower in her thick, reddish-brown hair. She reacted as if she’d never experienced a man’s gentle touch before—a damn shame if that were true. And now he was about to reveal her whereabouts to some ass who’d probably make her life a living hell.

Without further thought, Alex snapped the folder shut. “Sorry, sir,” he said.
“It seems the woman’s dropped off the face of the earth.” Then he hung up,
leaned back in his chair, and heaved a sigh. Gran wouldn’t mind waiting a little
longer for that vacation.


End of excerpt. Thanks for reading.

Joyce
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #8
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Just letting everyone know that the publisher of my book, Serendipity House, is offering a 25% discount on your e-book order of $8.00 or more. If you're interested, click on my website at the bottom of my post. It will take you to my webpage and a link to my publisher, Wild Child Publishing. You'll find novellas as well as full-length novels. Prices range from $1.99 for shorter pieces to $5.95 for longer works. Enjoy.

Joyce

Edited to add the code for discount: Happy Holidays
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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Happy New Year to everyone at MR.

For anyone who'd like to know more about me, I've been interviewed by SW FL writer, DK Christie on the Examiner.com. This is the link if I've done it right. Interview with Joyce DeBacco.

Thanks for reading.

Joyce
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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How about a snippet?

With nearly an hour left before she had to start supper, she decided to cool off in the lake. Now that she was an employee instead of a guest, such moments were rare. As she floated on her back in the womb of Mother Earth, a loud splash rocked the placid waters. She opened her eyes and saw Alex swimming toward her. Righting herself, she headed for shore.

“Should I be offended?” he called after her.

“I have to help Violet and Doreen now.”

“I’ve got supper covered,” Doreen called from the side porch. “But you can
pick some corn. I went through the rows this morning and some look ready.”

Wrapping a towel around her, Sylvie headed for the corn field. She was
peeling back the husk of one ear to check for ripeness when she heard a rustling in the row next to her. “Doreen? Is that you?”

“No, it’s me,” Alex said, parting the stalks.

Her gaze fell to his wet, half-naked body, and then up to his face. “Are you
following me?” she asked, tightening the knot on her towel.

“What if I am? Are you going to run away again?”

“I didn’t run away from you before. I’d simply had my fill of the water.”

He stepped between the rows. “Why don’t you like me, Sylvie?”

“I do. I mean, I don’t. No, that’s not what I mean either. The truth is you
confuse me. I never know if you’re sincere or just trying to get a rise out of me.”

“And how would I go about getting a rise out of you?” The corners of his lips
twitched as he tried to hold back a grin.

Ignoring the provocative question, Sylvie continued to pick and shuck. Then,
without warning, he pulled her into his arms, his warm breath sending shivers
through her as he whispered in her ear. “What would it take to win you over,
Sylvie, hmm?”

She pushed at him with her free hand. “What are you doing? Stop it.”

“Is there someone else?” he asked, releasing her. “Besides the handyman, I
mean.”

“Will you quit it? I told you, there’s nothing between Brad and me.”

He pondered her answer. “Okay. But I want you to know I’m amenable to any
type of involvement with you, business or personal.”

Taken aback by his boldness, Sylvie fumbled with her towel. “Well, uh, thanks
for the offer.”

Hearing her words, she groaned. A man just expressed desire for her, and all
she could say was thanks for the offer?

***

If you'd like to read the first two chapters, you'll find them on my website, accessible below. Thanks for reading.

Joyce
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:48 PM   #11
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I'm very happy to announce a great 5 star review from Red Adept for my book Serendipity House. Check it out here.

Joyce
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #12
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This next excerpt takes place after Sylvie hires on at the inn.


“Any room at the inn for an old friend?” Alex asked, striding forward.

“Oh, it’s you,” she said coolly. “What brings you back to Shangri-La? Or is it Hicksville? I can’t remember.”

Alex answered her question with one of his own. “Is this your new line of work now? Innkeeping?”

In a mood to do battle, Sylvie faced him squarely. “Yes. And if you don’t want your sheets shorted, I suggest you be nice to the help.”

“Aren’t I always?”

She opened the guest book and shoved it at him. “Don’t you have an important job back in the city?”

Alex scribbled his name in the book. “I’m the boss. I don’t have to punch a time clock. And I have a competent staff who can manage splendidly without me.” He slid the book back to her. “So what prompted this sudden shift to domesticity, may I ask?”

“Is that a dig? Because if it is—”

“Oh, don’t get your knickers in a twist. It’s just that I seem to recall you saying something about keeping house not being very high on your list of priorities. Isn’t this like keeping house, only on a grander scale?”

“If you must know, I’m learning the hospitality trade.”

His eyes widened, and she waited for his putdown, her agitation growing by the second.

“Whatever,” he said, shrugging. “And how are Brad and Cindy making out with their newborn? A girl, right?”

Her brow wrinkled. “How did you know that?”

He grinned. “I ran into Mrs. Pulaski on the porch.”

“Oh. Yes, they’re fine. They stopped by with the baby last week, in fact.”

“And you behaved yourself?”

She gritted her teeth. “Of course I did.”

“Then the big romance is over, I presume.”

Sylvie slammed the guest book shut. “It never was a big romance,” she said, lowering her voice to a harsh whisper. “And, yes, it’s over.”

His teasing voice took on a more serious tone. “Sylvie, I say this only because I care. You’re not like Brad or Cindy. These mountains are their home. They were born here, they’ll raise their children here, and they’ll die here. And that’s fine— for them. But you’ve seen a bit of the world, and you know what’s out there. So if there’s something here at Serendipity House that beckons you, I say, go for it, see where it leads. But if it doesn’t work out, remember, you have other options.” The gleam returned to his eyes. “Actually, it just might be the perfect career for you. You get to satisfy your nesting instincts without leaping into the shark-infested waters of matrimony.”

With that, he tipped an invisible top hat, swung an invisible walking stick, and swaggered up to his room like a cock bird to his roost.
***
Thanks for reading and I hope you'll check it out at my website.

Joyce
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:43 PM   #13
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Posting a couple snippets from independent review sites not posted on the book page at Amazon.

Emily L. of Single Titles says, "Joyce DeBacco writes a compelling novel that is sure to warm your heart. With complex characters and an intriguing story line, the book is difficult to put down as you are anxious to see what happens next with the characters."

Fennel of The Long and Short of It says, "This story is full of wonderful people who all have an integral part to play to bring Alex and Sylvie together. This is balanced by the other half of the cast who are equally intent on keeping them apart. Conflict, goal, and motivation! This book has them all. Ms DeBacco’s understanding of human nature creates a heartwarming story that, for me, is a ‘keeper’."


Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll take a look at the first two chapters of Serendipity House as well as other independent reviews at joycedebacco.com.

Joyce
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:56 PM   #14
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From now to March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, my publisher is having a 25% off sale on any purchase over $5.00 with coupon code, "green". E-books are available in multi-formats. Enjoy. Here is the link.

Joyce

Last edited by joycedb; 03-07-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:10 AM   #15
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Just a reminder that my publisher's offer of 25% off order of $5.00 or more ends tomorrow, March 17th. See post above for link. Thanks.

Joyce


OFFER EXPIRED. NO LONGER WITH THIS PUBLISHER.

Last edited by joycedb; 10-17-2011 at 07:14 PM.
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