The Journey of Champions SummaryTravis McCoy thought the journey home would be the hardest choice he ever had to make. It isn’t until he finds himself walking out the door and leaving his family behind that he realizes his journey is only just beginning. Now, with only a handful of weeks until Christmas, Travis tries to find his way back home. This time, he plans on staying forever.
ExcerptAn hour later, Penelope parked in front of Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. The trip had been filled with awkward conversations mixed with deafening silence. She had prattled on about what she and Max had planned for the coming week. While Travis knew it was just her way of trying to distract him, it hadn’t worked. All he could think about was how he’d miss one more of Max’s football games, how he wouldn’t be able to hear about Mr. Nickels giving too much homework or to read with him before bedtime. These were all things that he had gotten used to doing, and now he wouldn’t be able to — not until he came back, anyway.
They climbed out of the car without speaking, Travis grabbed his bags from the trunk, and they walked into the airport. Penelope stayed next to the sliding doors while he checked in for his flight and picked up his tickets. Turning back to her, he swallowed against the lump in his throat. Saying goodbye to Max had been hard, but the thought of leaving Penelope had Travis trembling.
“Well, I guess this is it,” Penelope said with a wistful sigh. She placed her hand on his chest and sniffed back her tears. “I thought I could do this without crying.”
“If you cry, I won’t be able to go,” Travis murmured.
She smiled. “Then maybe I should start sobbing.” She shifted her attention up to him. “Promise me that you’ll come home.”
“I promise,” Travis replied. “I promise to come back to you and Max. Just remember that I love you, Penelope.”
“I love you, too,” she whimpered before leaning up and brushing her lips across his. “Hurry back to me, love.”
“As fast as I can,” he whispered.
Somehow — and he wasn’t sure how — Travis managed to pull himself away from her. He fought the urge to claw at the ache in the middle of his chest. Just the few seconds that he’d already spent away from her had him rattled. How was he supposed to go a week or longer without holding her in his arms or feeling her gentle kiss?
In a daze, Travis managed to get through the security check-point and down to his gate. Settling down on one of the hard, plastic seats, he placed his elbows on his knees and rested his forehead against the palms of his hands. His stomach was in knots, and more than a few times he swallowed against the bile that had been creeping its way up his throat.
Just when he was about to hightail it to the nearest restroom, someone sat down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. Travis looked up, gasping when he saw Russ there.
“Didn’t think I was gonna make it before they called for our flight,” Russ chuckled before he could utter a sound.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Travis asked.
Russ smiled and shook his head. “I’m coming with you, boy. I once made the mistake of letting you go. I’ll be damned if I let it happen again. Besides, Miami is a huge part of your life, Travis. It’s time for me to see it, don’t you think?”
“But I thought you hated to fly.” Travis lifted an eyebrow in his father’s direction.
“I do,” Russ admitted. “But for you, I’m willing to give it a go. Just don’t laugh at me if I get a little scared. If people were meant to fly, God would have given us wings.”
Travis laughed. “You have my word, Dad.”
“Good,” Russ muttered, stretching his feet out in front of him.
“Dad, thank you for coming with me,” Travis said, his voice sincere. “It means a lot.”
“You’re welcome, Travis. Today is a new start for both of us — a new journey.”
Travis nodded. “The journey to forever.”
About the Author
Finding a love in the written word, she started writing as a way to express herself. From the first word she wrote, she'd found her heart and soul. Always willing to learn, she's spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.
In late 2011, Lisa opened Renaissance Romance Publishing with Michele Richard and Laura Braley.
Marketing TipsSo now that the book has been written, submitted to the publishing house, accepted by said house, edited to the point of perfection, and the office release date has come and gone, what do you do next? Well, honestly, that’s when the hard work really gets started. Now, it’s time to start marketing your book. With thousands of authors trying to become the next bestselling author, this can be a very difficult task — one that I embrace every day.
There are a lot of avenues out there for any aspiring author, once that should be tackled even before you have the book released. The first are your social media: Facebook, Twitter, About.me, Linkin, blogs, and so many more. Probably the biggest of all of these are Facebook. Setting up an author’s page and building your reader base is key, but it’s important not to focus 100% of your attention on your book. Engage your readers in conversation, invite them to ask questions about you — not just your book. That’s sound easy, but it’s not. You have to find the line between sharing too much, and not giving away enough.
Also, on Facebook are hundreds of groups for authors, readers, and bloggers who are looking for books to read, to help promote, and to help you with your books. Jump in with both feet!
The next avenue is Twitter. With millions of people tweeting to their heart’s content, there are a lot of potential readers out there just looking for someone to follow. Like Facebook, I believe it’s important to build your twitter following before your book is released, and not after. My thought is follow fifty people a day, and most of them will follow you back. Just like with Facebook, engage your followers in conversation. Oh, and don’t forget to retweet them!
Up next is having an official blog. I know what you’re thinking. What am I going to blog about? Well, first is your book. Share teasers, showcase your covers, and mostly, join blog tours (you know, like this one). Guest posts, interviews, book reviews, cover reveals, book promos, and so much more! Build your followers and help support your fellow authors.
Contact radio shows who are looking for authors to host on their shows, contact your local paper and ask them to do a review of your book. Hold book signings at your Dairy Queen, library, book store, or wherever you can find someplace! Go to your local bookstores and ask them to put your book on their shelves. I think you’ll be surprised at how many will be willing to. If not, then it’s okay. You keep trying.
Now, I know this is all overwhelming. When I first started, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle it, but then I found the best site known to mankind: Hootsuite. It’s my lifeline, my bread and butter. With it, I can organize my social media and post to all of them at the same time and I can schedule my tweets and posts to go out whenever I want. If you don’t want Hootsuite, there are others out there, such as Tweetdeck.
What’s the point of all of this? Selling yourself is just as important as selling your book. Readers want authors who are going to relate to them.