The truth could cost her everything.
Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful
Or is it?
When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss
If only Ava could believe her own excuses.
Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.
Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?
Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.
2015 has been a year of big changes for the McNeill family! Not only did I have the release of Center of Gravity in July with HarperCollins, but I also moved my son to New York for college, was offered a new job, moved to a new city, and started work on my Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership.
All of the changes have meant adjusting to a new schedule with my writing and editing. In addition to my new position as an Instructional Designer at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), I’ve been busy getting ready for the April 19th, 2016 publication of Sister Dear, while writing the draft of my 3rd domestic suspense manuscript, The World Breaks Everyone, set in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Right now, my weekday schedule looks like this:
5:30 am -7:15 am –Editing current work in progress, The World Breaks Everyone
7:45 am – 8 am – Social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter
8 am – 12 noon -University of Alabama job
12 noon – 1 pm – Workout and/or lunch
1 pm – 4:45 pm – University of Alabama job
5 pm – 7 pm – Grad school reading and homework (all online), dinner
7 pm – 8 pm -Answer personal email, social media, write blog posts
8 pm – 9:30 pm – Reading
9:30 pm – Bed
What about weekends? My weekends are similar, and I still get up relatively early to write. I like the peace and quiet of mornings, and usually settle in with a cup of coffee at my desk and work while the rest of the world is still asleep. In the earliest part of the day, I find that I can focus better, I’m more creative, and the words seem to flow much more easily. Of course, when I am on deadline, I can push myself to work on my manuscripts just about anytime of day or night!
So, why make time to read nearly every day? I believe that it’s crucial to pushing myself to grow and bettering myself as a writer. Stephen King, in On Writing, advises that authors “Read a lot and write a lot.” I take King’s advice seriously, and in addition to reading for pleasure, right now, I am perusing Larry Brooks’ Story Fix and James Scott Bell Write Your Novel from the Middle—both excellent resources for experienced and novice authors!
Why continue to take classes? One Saturday a month, I also have classes at the University of Alabama, which I really enjoy. I love the other students in my class and my professors (one of whom is a romance author). A lot of friends ask … why pursue another degree? The answer is pretty simple. Though I would love to eventually write full time, I also have a passion for lifelong learning and an interest in higher education. I think the best of both worlds would be to write novels and teach a few classes in a university setting.
It’s all about balance! Although I love my quiet time at the keyboard, I’m also a real “people person.” I adore my time with friends, classmates, and coworkers. It’s through talking to other people—hearing about their lives, their challenges, and their adventures—that I often come up with my story ideas. I keep a notebook in my bag at all times so that I can jot down ideas whenever they strike!
In all, heading into 2016, I feel extremely blessed for all of the support and love from my readers, friends, and family. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my life! I can’t wait to share Sister Dear with you all in April, and look forward to releasing The World Breaks Everyone in late 2016 or early 2017.
Happy New Year!