Now three men occupied her thoughts when she was alone. Two of them didn’t want her, and the other was dead.
Kali Woodhouse has a lot on her plate. Recently widowed, she has taken over running Woodhouse Glass, the business her husband once operated. Her two young children need her now more than ever. She’s still trying to find a way to work through her grief, and she’s growing increasingly lonely. Is it possible to find love again?
The two men who begin vying for Kali’s attention are also part of her past. Parker Williams played a recent role in Kali’s life that her son can’t seem to forget, and Spencer Price was the man who had sent her through a million emotions back in high school. Parker is the sort of guy little girls dream of meeting one day. Spencer is the type of guy whose past makes mothers cringe.
One of my favorite passages was the first date between Parker and Kali. She was nervous when he picked her up, and found herself chattering nonstop:
“I was wondering if I was going to get to ride in a police cruiser tonight, but I guess I won’t get to cross that one off my bucket list.” Kali heard her voice again, nervously jabbering against her will.
Parker didn’t seem to mind following her rambling conversation. “I don’t drive it home. But I could probably arrange a ride if it means that much to you. A bucket list item is a big deal.”
“Well, maybe my list is too long. It also has ‘grow a prize-winning pumpkin,’ ‘fold a thousand paper cranes,’ and ‘catch a seagull.’” Luckily, Kali’s imagination kept pace with her mouth.
“I might need to rethink my list. I’m really not sure how I could have overlooked those.”
Between dating Parker and having Spencer work for her at Woodhouse Glass, while Kali should be figuring out what she wants for her future, she is becoming more confused by the moment. Is it possible to have feelings for two very different men? And in a world where she isn’t sure she can find love again at all, dare she give either of them a piece of her heart?
In her debut novel, K.J. Watters succeeds in accomplishing something that I’m not sure I’ve come across before. I was confused. Not by the writing, because it was well-done and seasoned. Not by Kali’s reactions, because the emotions and subsequent scenarios that followed were natural and told a beautiful story. In following the path of Kali’s life, though, I found myself wondering what to do right along with her. I couldn’t fault her for not knowing which man was right for her, because I didn’t know myself. And when I did finally get to the point where I felt one man would be better for her, I crossed my fingers and hoped she would see it my way.
The Sale of Woodhouse Glass is emotional, witty, intelligent, and romantic. When the last few words in the book are so well thought out that they tie everything together in a nice, perfect bow, that lets me know the author took pride in the entirety of the story. Well-placed payoff phrases throughout make this a novel that shouldn’t be missed. And now that you know my feelings, maybe we should get some insight from K.J. Watters about her novel.
When and how did you come up with the idea for The Sale of Woodhouse Glass?
KW: Ever since I was a kid I’ve been writing the beginning of stories which I never finished. About six years ago I was itching to write and the old “write what you know” advice kept popping up. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom with three itty-bitties. That craziness consumed my whole life, so I wrote about that. Of course, that is pretty boring and a little too real, so I had to kill off Kali’s wonderful husband to make it interesting. Ultimately, the beginning of the book didn’t make the editor’s cut so you don’t really see that part of it, but that’s how it all started. (Email me after you’ve read the book if you are interested in reading some of those deleted scenes—some of my favorites!)
In keeping with tradition, I lost momentum and left Kali (my working title) to rot in the pile of unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive. It sat untouched for years while I blogged and used facebook status updates to fulfill my need to write. One day I randomly went through my old “starts” and picked it up. With the encouragement of a friend who read it bit by bit as I wrote it, I finally managed to finish a story.
Do you recognize any of yourself in Kali?
KW: No more than the other characters. They are all a reflection of me to some extent, since I created them, but it’s just a snippet of a trait here and there, mixed with a lot of things that are nothing like me. I identify most with Rachel, although you don’t get to know her as well since she isn’t a main character. But trust me, you’d really like me…I mean, her.
Did you know how the entire thing would play out, or were there things that surprised you?
KW: For me, writing is a lot like reading. You might have a general idea of what is going to happen, but a lot of it unfolds as you go, and every once in a while something really surprises you. It just takes a lot longer to write it than to read it.
One thing that surprised me was that my characters didn’t turn out to be the exact people that I imagined they were at the beginning, to the point that it affected Kali’s choice in the end. In one of the Anne of Green Gables books Anne says that her characters were refusing to do what she wanted them to do. It sounds ridiculous, but they really do take on a life of their own.
Based on that vague description, my brilliant sister was able to locate the passage for me to share with you. It’s from chapter 12 of Anne of the Island:
For the next fortnight Anne writhed or reveled, according to mood, in her literary pursuits. Now she would be jubilant over a brilliant idea, now despairing because some contrary character would NOT behave properly. Diana could not understand this.
“MAKE them do as you want them to,” she said.
“I can’t,” mourned Anne. “Averil is such an unmanageable heroine. She WILL do and say things I never meant her to. Then that spoils everything that went before and I have to write it all over again.”
(Okay, I can’t let that one slide by. Anyone who quotes Anne Shirley is a kindred spirit in my book.)
GIVEAWAY: Because part of what drives being an author is the thrill of sharing a great story, I want to share this with you. Three of you will get a Kindle version of The Sale of Woodhouse Glass. Simply comment with a new-to-you author you’ve read this year, and why you liked the book. In the meantime, check out The Sale of Woodhouse Glass here. (BONUS: The Sale of Woodhouse Glass is only 99 cents RIGHT NOW! If you wind up purchasing the book before the end of the giveaway, I’ll give you one of my books instead.) Giveaway ends at Midnight EST on Friday, December 11, 2015.
Terrill Rosado says
I am so pumped about your great review. I recently added this book to my Amazon wish, not know much about it, but the intriguing synopsis. Your review was perfect timing.
Since I finished home-schooling my 13 year old about a year and a half ago and only have my high-schooler at home, I have been able to start reading fiction for my enjoyment again. During those home-schooling years, I missed out on some great newly arriving authors. So my selection will probably be old news to many others. My favorite read for 2015 is Katherine Reay’s, Dear Mr. Knightley. I think that its ode to all things Austen, Bronte and Dickens spoke to my love of the classics and my favorite romance book of all time – Pride and Prejudice.
Linda Herold says
I really enjoyed reading this post. The last book I read was “Smart But Dead” by Nancy G. West. She was a new author to me. This book was #3 in her mystery series and Ii am interested in reading the first 2! I liked her book because of the main character!
Jill Weatherholt says
I love to discover new authors. Typically, when I do, I read everything they’ve written. Recently, I read the most current release by Debby Giusti. She’s one of my favorites. I call her, “The Queen of Chapter Ending Hooks.”
Thanks for introducing us to K.J. Great interview!
Beth Gillihan says
I love finding new authors! I recently read Jungle Fire by Dana Mentink. It is a great suspense(I read it in one day, I couldn’t put it down)! This sounds like a good read!
I have read several new to me authors this year and I have enjoyed all of them. One of the ones is Kimberly Rose Johnson. I am really enjoying her Wildflower Inn series. Thank you for introducing us to another new author. This sounds like a great book.
I agree with susanmsj. Kimberly Rose Johnson was a new author to me. I am enjoying her stories very much. I love finding authors that tell good, clean stories with a faith element.
Sarah Loudin Thomas was a new discovery for me this year. I read her free novella and then the first two novels in her Appalachian Blessings series. Great writing, easy to read.
I find with some of the authors who seem to almost mass produce books, writing three, four or more novels a year that the quality seems to drop, so Sarah was a great discovery.
Katy C says
I loved Ginger Solomon’s One Choice (because who doesn’t wonder about being a princess in an exotic location) and Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope. I feel like Isle of Hope is super convicting without being preachy and speaks to everybody, because everybody struggles with unforgiveness of some sort. I think my favorite new-to-me author of the year though is Camdyn Taylor. I am eagerly anticipating her all-in-one book as my Christmas gift to myself. =)
Karen Hadley says
Pepper Basham’s “The Thorn Bearer”.
I had not read any of Lisa Tawn Bergren until I discovered her River of Time series this year. Now I’m in the middle of Remnants. Wow! It’s fun to discover new authors, but it sure is hard on the book budget :-)
Dana Michael says
Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the interview to get to know a new author. My favorite new author to me this year is Julie Lessman. Yes, I know she has been around for a while, but I just read her new contemporary book Isle of Hope and was blown away. I understand that is her first contemporary romance. I have since devoured two of her historical romances.
Nancy K says
The book The Sale of Woodhouse Glass is now on my Kindle to be read after I finish with the Christmas themed books on my Kindle.
A new author to me this year is Sally Bradley. She is one of the authors here at Inspy Romance. I loved her book Kept.
Great to hear your story! My favorite new author this year is Raeanne Thayne. She writes wonderful sweet romances set in the west, often with a Christmas or winter theme.
D K Stevens says
I just met Valerie Comer this year as a new author.. I’m liking her style :) good stuff, want to read her Christmas one too!
Beth Schwarzlose (@BethSchwarzlose) says
I’ve just begun pleasure reading again in earnest after a decade of raising babies (my youngest is 3 now) so I have met so many wonderful new-to-me authors this year, I couldn’t possibly pick just one or one dozen!
My newest new-to-me author is Jan Eddtii Thompson, a wonderful self-pubbed writer! Her stories are set in Savannah Georgia & feature about 6-7 friends and how their lives intertwine. And of course, they all find love :-) She writes with strong faith-filled themes & multiple scripture references. In fact the first book is about the now pastor of a Riverboat church….who almost doubted the calling God placed on his life!
I’ve also enjoyed JoAnn Durgin’s Starlight series books. She knows how to get you caught up in small town life and her characters are so lovable :-) I do have some of Valerie Comers yet-to-be read as well. See, I do love the self-pubbed writers too! And the one thing I admire about all of them….they stick to their faith in their writing and don’t compromise their beliefs :-)
Great post today! Your book “The Sale of Woodhouse Glass” sounds good. I couldn’t imagine trying to figure out which man would be the one God has for me….haha! Thanks for the chance to read it :-)
JoAnn Durgin says
Thanks for the mention of my Starlight Series, Trixi. That is the only series for which I have a publisher currently (although the Lewis Legacy Series had a small publisher early on). Just wanted to point that out, but I so appreciate your readership! You are a blessing to me and so many of our Inspy Romance authors.
Oh, JoAnn…..I am so very sorry!! I guess I wasn’t aware you had a publisher for the Starlight series, please forgive my blunder!
In any case, I did so enjoy this series & will be reading Colin’s story very soon. He’s on my TBR for the month of December. I’ve had a special place in my heart for him :-)
Linda Rainey says
I love New to me authors . There are so many I have met in the last year that I hesitate to pick one.
Of course I love you Chritina for bringing Camdyn to the world.
I am privileged to read ,review so much Christian Fiction.
Lisa Gillim says
I love finding Christian authors. I recently found Irene Hannon and I’m loving her mystery romance series. I am reading 2 different series of hers now. One of them is Guardians of Justice series and the other is Heroes of Quantico Series. I just discovered you today so I haven’t read any of yours but I plan to do just that after completing Irene Hannon’s series. Merry Christmas to me :)
Melody Anthony says
I’m so proud of my sister and the book she wrote! (And it’s cool that she mentioned me. ;) ) But I got to read it before this year, so I’ll name a more recent one.
I just read “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. I liked it because it was a story that was hard to put down and it ended on an uplifting tone.
Mariah Hurst says
I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I love it because I COULD put it down, and still enjoyed it. I hate it when a book steals every moment of my free time. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. It just means that it was written in a way that didn’t keep me on edge until I finished it.
Thanks everyone for commenting! The winners are Beth Schwarzlose, Lisa Gillim, and Melody Anthony. I’ll be in touch with you!