Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Favorite Year(s) by Alicia Dean

A list of some of my faves…

1961 – I was born, without which, none of the rest would be possible. I was born in Seminole, Oklahoma on July 1st, the same day and year as Princess Diana.

1972 – One of the best and worst years of my young life. We were devastated when we left our home neighborhood in Oklahoma City to move to a small town in Missouri. However, in no time, we were ecstatic. It was a beautiful place out in the country and, while we were city kids, we loved it. The school was fantastic; we made tons of new friends; our neighbors down the road had horses we learned to ride; and we were deliriously happy. After three months, our house burned to the ground. We moved back to Oklahoma City, and were more devastated than we’d been when we had to leave it. We ended up in Moore, where I finished growing up, raised my kids, and met my best friend, with whom I’m still friends after 40 plus years. Isn’t it funny how one thing can completely change a person’s destiny? I always wondered how different my life would be if we’d stayed in Missouri.

1975 – I saw Elvis Presley in concert for the first time.


1976 – I saw him in concert for the second time.

1977 – I saw him in concert for the third and final time. :(

1983 – My beautiful, smart, daughter, Lana Nicole was born.



1986 – My cute, precious, funny daughter, Lacey Jewel was born.


1992 – My adorable, funny, smart son, Presley Wayne was born (Yes, we named him after Elvis and John Wayne)

(Lana is funny, too, but she got ‘beautiful’ so the other two got funny. Of course, they were beautiful too, but…you know…)



2007 – My first novel was published with Wild Rose Press and I saw a lifetime dream fulfilled.


There were tons of good years mixed in amongst these, and some pretty bad ones, but mainly, there were bad things that happened in good years. But all of the experiences, bad and good, brought me to where I am today, which is a pretty great place.

And who knows what else is in store for me? Maybe the best year is yet to come. Although, I’m not sure how anything can top having my children—short of becoming young and gorgeous and hooking up with Ian Somerhalder.


(Okay, I guess it wouldn't be better than when I had my children, but that was a long time ago, and just LOOK at him...)

Fortunately, the fulfillment of my writing dream didn’t end with that first book in 2007, and I get (almost) as excited with each new release. I’m so thrilled to share my beautiful cover for my upcoming short story, releasing January 7, 2015 (the day before Elvis’ 80th birthday), from the Wild Rose Press.



All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life. 


Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother. 


What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?


“Who kisses better? Me or my mother?”

Noah blinked as if not sure what he’d heard. Then, a hard look came into his eyes, and he set her from him with a not-so-gentle shove. “What the…? I should just leave your ass right here. It would serve you right.”

Toby ran her nail along his cheek. “Ah, come on, Noah. You wouldn’t do that to me, would you? How about you and I go somewhere private and finish what we never did at Make Out Point? We’re grownups now. No reason to hold off.”

He raked a hand through his hair and shook his head. “Good God, Toby, what’s gotten into you?”

“What’s the matter?” Unexpectedly, a sob rose to her chest. She suddenly wasn’t happy anymore. She was deeply, thoroughly sad. “I thought men liked tramps.”

His expression softened, and he gave her a tender smile. “You’re not a tramp, Toby. For God’s sake, your mother really did a number on you.” A dark look crossed his face.  “And that bastard, Wes… I wanted to kill him when I found out what he tried to do to you. Don’t let a scumbag like that make you feel bad about yourself. Other people might hold your mother’s reputation against you, but not me. I know the real you.”


Easy for him to say, but he didn’t walk in her shoes, didn’t suffer the ridicule, the shame of being Constance Lawson’s daughter.

She sighed and lifted a hand to brush the hair out of her face. His rejection might sting tomorrow, once she sobered up, but for now, she was spent. She just wanted to crawl into bed and pull the covers over her head. Sleep for a week.

“Please take me home,” she whispered.





Ashantay said...

Great excerpt! So glad you continued publishing over the past seven years! And that you were able to enjoy country living as a child...

Jannine Gallant said...

Adorable pictures, and a really great excerpt. Poor Toby--she has some serious baggage to unload. Looking forward to the book!

Alicia Dean said...

Thanks, Ashantay. Yes, I'm glad too! The country living was only a few short months, but it was awesome. :)

Yes, Jannine, she most definitely does. I hope you enjoy the story. And, thank you. I think they're pretty adorable too. Wait...were you talking about my kids or Elvis and Ian - Cause it could go either way. ;)

Diane Burton said...

Bad times in good years and good times in bad years. Isn't that pretty much true for all of us? I have to remind myself of that while going through the bad times. Best wishes for End of Lonely Street.

Alicia Dean said...

Yes, Diane, it certainly is. Thank you!

Alison Henderson said...

If life teaches us anything, it's to take the bad with the good. I love the sound of The End of Lonely Street! Hope it's a resounding success.

Susan Coryell said...

Great blog--loved seeing the baby pics and being reminded you are such an Elvis fan. (I am one, too). Your writing career is awesome. I cannot imaging how you do all you do--editing, monitoring, writing, living as a parent of three--a role model for us all. Thanks for sharing.

MJ Schiller said...

I'm going to ditto what Susan said. I am amazed by all you tackle! Editing, AND writing, AND being a mom, AND all the other stuff you so for us.

"End of Lonely Street" really sounds fabulous and I love the cover! Can't wait!

Alicia Dean said...

Alison, thanks so much. From your lips to God's ears, right? :)

Awww, thanks, Susan and MJ. I just do the best I can and fall behind all too often. :) I appreciate the kind words. Role model? Wow...I like that. I hope you enjoy the story, MJ. You ladies are awesome!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Precious pictures, precious kids. I'm a fan of the title, End Of Lonely Street (Elvis too, though I never saw him live in concert, darn!) Best of luck with your latest!

Barbara Edwards said...

Love the good years! I didn't see Elvis, so I'm envious.

Barbara Edwards said...

Love the good years! I didn't see Elvis, so I'm envious.

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Margo. They are pretty precious to me. :) And, I'm so glad you like the title. I have to wonder how many people will know it's a lyric from Heartbreak Hotel, but it fits the story, and at least I know. LOL. I was very, very lucky to have seen him in concert. It was phenomenal, electrifying. Sigh... I did not know you were a fan, but I'm glad to hear it, makes me like you a little bit more than I already did! :)

Alicia Dean said...

Thanks for stopping by Barbara, always nice to find out when others love Elvis. Yes, it was a great privilege to have seen him in concert, especially three times. I think I paid around $20 for the last concert, and I thought that was kind of pricey. Can you imagine what it would cost at today's rates? :)

Leah St. James said...

Some day I'll have to share my Princess Diana obsession, but for now I'll just say those are some pretty wonderful events to dub as favorites. :-) And you're right, you just never know what's down the road.

I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of "The End of Lonely Street." It's a terrific story that takes place in one of those golden periods in our American life.

RT Wolfe said...

It was nice getting to know you better, Alicia!
-R.T. Wolfe

Alicia Dean said...

Yes, Leah. You'll have to share. I had no idea! :) Thank you for the kind words. I'm thrilled you enjoyed End of Lonely Street.

Thanks so much for stopping by, R.T.!