So long, January. Hello, free novella!

Well, I’m not sorry to see this month ending.

I love fresh starts in any sense (I even sorta like Mondays – don’t tell anyone!) and after a month full of hospital stays, medicine so expensive even the pharmacist is shocked, stitches, and multiple deaths in the family, I’m happy to tell January goodbye.

One good part of January is that we were able to get Connor’s seizures under better control. We’ve even had a few days with no seizures, which felt luxurious. As a three-year-old boy, Connor already kept us on our toes, but the combo of meds he’s on appear to make him a extra emotional. Little things that he never used to cry over (McKenna getting out of the car before him, not being able to remember the right word) cause him to dissolve into tears. When we’re in public, I often find myself wanting to say to people, “It’s his medicine! He isn’t normally like this.” It’s a good thing that I don’t let strangers dictate my self-worth as a mom.

But thanks to understanding grandparents and preschool teachers, I was able to finish a project that’s been brewing in my heart this fall.

Throwing Stones cover art

 

When readers email me about The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, I frequently get asked about Abbie and Chris. What happened to them? Would they ever work it out? Can you write a spin-off series? And when Abbie made a guest appearance in the Ellie Sweet books, I received even more questions. I was especially touched by an email from a girl named Anna Schaeffer who said:

Every time I saw the name Abbie Ross in Ellie’s story, do you know what I thought of? Abbie Hoyt and Chris Ross from Skylar’s series. The girly, not-so-far-removed-from-my-teen-years part of me immediately started daydreaming about Abbie and Chris in the future.

And after I received Anna’s email, I did some daydreaming too. As I waited to pick my daughter up from kindergarten,  I was noticing how many of the moms are older than me. And I’m thirty. How much harder would it be for a twenty year old to socialize with the other moms?

And the continuation of Abbie’s story blossomed in my mind. Here’s a description of how it turned out:

By now Abbie Hoyt should be used to not fitting in. She hasn’t since she got pregnant at fifteen. But five years later, as her son begins kindergarten, Abbie wrestles anew with where she does—and doesn’t—belong. It’s not with her old high school friends, who are partying their way through college. Or with the other mothers at Owen’s school. They look at her like she carries some kind of disease. Abbie’s not even sure she fits into her sister’s life now that Skylar is getting married.

When wedding festivities throw Abbie back into the company of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Ross, the questions only get worse. Maybe Chris still loves her like she loves him, but what college-age guy wants to be saddled with a five-year-old? And how selfish would she be to ask that of him?

Abbie is used to the world throwing stones—she knows how to protect herself. But can she figure out how to open up and trust again before she throws away a chance at happiness…for good?

On Friday, February 14th Throwing Stones: An Abbie Hoyt novella will be available for free on my website. You’ll be able to read it on your computer, send it to your ereader, read it on your phone, email it to your friends, or all of the above! It’s my gift to every reader who finished the Skylar books and thought, “But what about Abbie?”

With love,

Stephanie

19 comments on “So long, January. Hello, free novella!

  1. I’m glad for new beginnings, too. And SO glad to hear that things with Connor are settling. I’ve been thinking of and praying for you and for him. Poor little guy!

    Can’t wait to read more of your amazing work and more about Abbie. Yay!!

  2. I can’t wait to read it! But I’ll not be able to be on my computer the 14th of February… Is there still a way I can get it?

  3. …Wait wait wait. I MISSED THE “ABBIE ROSS” IN THE ELLIE BOOKS?!

    I think I have to go re-read them now…no wait…was she the editor?

    *facepalm* It has been too long for sure. So excited for this! 🙂

  4. Ohoo, Skylar’s getting married! 🙂 To Conner, right?
    This’ll be exciting to read. i’ll be sure to brush up by rereading the series before I download it. Thanks for this and I hope you continue to write! (The second Ellie Sweet Book was awesome, btw.)

  5. I read this. It’s amazing. I haven’t read any of the other Skylar or Ellie books. I was wondering if you’ll be doing more for Abbie? She’s a fascinating (very realistic) character.

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