Greetings, Friends! I am especially pleased today to welcome my friend and fellow author, Jim Cangany. We’re celebrating the release of his debut novel, Fallen Star.
I’ve read Fallen Star and heartily recommend it to you! It’s a sweet romance, with a touch of mystery and a whole lot of chemistry. If you like to fall in love with the characters you’re reading about, this is the book for you — you won’t be disappointed. (And after reading Fallen Star, you’ll be thrilled to know a sequel is on its way!)
Here’s Jim to share about his debut novel in his own words:
Have Imagination, Will Travel
When people ask me what kind of story Fallen Star is, I tell them it’s a contemporary romance, a classic tale of boy meets girl set in modern day America. But it’s something else, too. It’s a road trip story. Without giving too much away, the story begins in Indianapolis and takes us through places like Chicago and Las Vegas, before winding up on the California Coast.
Given the nature of the story, I had to make sure my facts about the places my characters E.J. and Annie visited were correct. And what better way to make sure I had it right than to take the trip they did. So last summer, my wonderful wife Nancy and I took the same cross-country venture my star-crossed hero and heroine did. Let me tell you, I had more fun doing research on that trip than a person should be allowed to have.
It was one thing to spend time on the Internet so I would write about a place like the City Museum in St. Louis or the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. It was something else entirely to actually visit them. Sure, the in-person research was necessary to get the settings, descriptions and locations correct. Goodness knows I’ve gone back to the dozens of photos I took time and time again.
But to be able to actually walk through the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, just like Annie and E.J. did, or to ride the rails on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, just like they did? To see where my imagination and reality truly intersected? I simply can’t put that feeling into words. And taking that trip with my wife, the inspiration for the story, made it most definitely the trip of a lifetime.
My debut novel, Fallen Star, arrived June 14th and is available through e-book retailers. I’d love it if you’d give it a read. And if the story inspires you to take a train trip, why don’t you raise a glass to Annie and E.J. sometime along the way!
Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
“And here we are,” Annie said as she dropped her purse in a window seat. Our seats were in business class, about two-thirds of the way down the train car on the right. She pointed above us to the baggage storage area. “Would you mind?”
“Not at all, least I can do.” I lifted her luggage over my head and placed it in the storage compartment. I gave the train car a once over, taking it all in, and okay I admit it, stalling. For some reason, it seemed that sitting down next to Annie was going to create some kind of commitment or bond or I don’t know what, between us. Or maybe I was just chicken. Here I was, a grown man and I was scared to sit down next to a pretty girl. How weak was that?
Fortunately, Annie came to my rescue.
“Here, come join me.” She patted the empty seat cushion next to her.
I may be chicken, but I’m not stupid. When a pretty girl asks you to sit next to her, you do it. I sat down and dropped my backpack between my legs. Looking around, I continued to study our train car and the other passengers that were finding their seats. The car seemed like a cross between a charter bus that you might take on a big group trip and an airplane, with an aisle down the middle and two roomy seats on one side, a single seat on the other. The windows were large to provide for great views once we got out of the station.
“Not bad. This business class is nice. I’ve never taken a train before, so this is all new to me.”
“Really.” Sarcasm dripped off each letter of the word. “The way your head won’t stop turning this way and that, it’s a wonder you haven’t gotten motion sick or something.”
“And I take it you’re an experienced train traveler?”
She nodded. “I’ve done train travel from time to time. It can be a nice alternative to flying or driving.”
The train lurched forward and we began our trip to St. Louis. “Wow, good to know I’m in such experienced hands. So where are you headed?”
Annie looked out the window. “Home.”
The way she said that single word, so wistfully, almost sorrowfully, told me I shouldn’t intrude, but I couldn’t help myself. She’d told me that she lived on the West Coast, but that was an awfully big area. “And where might that be?”
She started playing with a lock of hair by her ear. “Southern California, L.A. area.”
“Nice. So what do you do there?”
“Oh, I run my own business. It’s similar to a consulting thing.”
She sounded tired, as if whatever she did, she didn’t truly enjoy it. I was going to ask her more, but she leaned her seat back and closed her eyes.
“Please don’t take offense, E.J., but I’m kind of tired. I think I’m going to try to catch a little nap. Do me a favor. If I’m still asleep, wake me before we get to Bloomington please. I’d like to… Oh, you’ll do that for me, yes?”
“No problem.” I reached down, unzipped by backpack, and pulled out a red sweatshirt emblazoned with the yellow and blue logo of Cycles Forever, the bike shop back in Indy where I’d gotten my start. “Here, use this for a pillow.”
She stuck out her hand, took it without opening her eyes and placed her under her head. “Thanks.” She turned toward the window. “You’re a nice guy. Wish more people were like you.”
Of course, it’s always fun to know a bit about the author. So, here’s some info about Jim:
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim Cangany is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token.
These days, Jim writes contemporary romance on the sweet end. A believer that the world has enough doom and gloom, he likes stories with a happy ending, regardless of genre.
Fallen Star is Jim’s first published novel and is the first installment of the North Star Trilogy. He lives in Indianapolis with his wonderful wife Nancy and his two sons, Ryan and Aidan.
I’d be thrilled to have you, my friends and supporters, give a shout-out to Jim and click on this link to purchase his romance novel.
Thank you so much! Now, how about you—have any of you ever had a life-changing encounter on a road trip? I’d love to hear about it!
And as always, thanks for stopping by!
P.S. If, after you’ve read Jim’s book, you’d like to enjoy two young adult romances, The Lance Temptation and Along Came Jordan are temporarily on sale at 99 cents each! Or pick up Someday You’ll Laugh, right now FREE on Amazon. Woo Hoo!