Shannon here: Today, I get to introduce a debut author with a great book. Peyton H. Roberts will be here Tuesday. But today, I’ll share how our paths intersected. Comment or answer the question in any post dated May 14 – 18 to enter the drawing for a copy of Peyton’s debut title, Beneath the Seams. Deadline: May 29th, 11:59m pm central.
As most of you know, 2020 found me delving into editing for Scrivenings Press. So in the book realm of things, guess what the most exciting thing that’s happened to me besides getting published is. Discovering a previously unpublished author. As acquisitions editor for Scrivenings, I get all the submissions from hopeful writers. If I like what I read, I get to ask for the full manuscript, and if I love the book, I get to recommend to Linda Fulkerson, owner of Scrivenings, that she should offer a contract.
Back when I was trying to get published for 9 1/2 years, I dreamed of getting The Call, from some editor who loved my book and wanted to publish it. By the time, I finally got offered a contract, The Call was mostly a thing of the past. I got an e-mail. It was still awesome. But there’s just something about The Call.
In the latter part of last year, Linda and I planned to participate in #FaithPitch. I’d never heard of it, but it’s where writers get to pitch their ideas to Christian publishers via Twitter. I ended up missing the event since I had surgery, but Linda made it and that’s how Beneath the Seams ended up in my submissions inbox. It generally takes me at least a month to read submissions. Sometimes longer. But when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I quickly read through the synopsis for character and plot arc. It was all there, so I e-mailed Peyton, told her I enjoyed the proposal and to please send me the complete manuscript.
A month or so later, I started reading. And again, I couldn’t stop. I called Linda, told her the storyline and that she should publish it. She started reading the manuscript and quickly agreed. I told her I didn’t want to e-mail Peyton, that I wanted to make The Call. So on a regular old weekday, I called Peyton out of the blue and rocked her world. Luckily, I caught her at home, told her who I was, and asked if it was a good time to talk, or did she want to call me back. She dropped what she was doing and I gave her the good news. It was so much fun and I was so excited, she probably thought I was crazy.
So now that I’ve shared how this book came to be, let me tell you why I love it. Number one, the writing was spot on. Peyton took the time to hone her craft and spill the story onto the page in an engaging way. She says I edited the tar out of it, meant it in a good way. But in reality, it was a very easy edit. Number two, I loved her lead character from page one. Shelby leapt off the page, along with her love for her young daughter, Paisley, with her dream gripped firmly in her heart. Number three, the story is gripping. Shelby, a dress designer, is on the verge of her big break. But things turn on a dime in a most unexpected life-altering way.
The whole thing reminded me of my publishing journey, the up – high of getting a contract offer, and down – losing the contract offer because of my agent at the time, the rise – of getting another contract, and fall – of my publisher shutting down. Twice. It’s all there as Shelby’s dreams take her into the gritty underbelly of the fashion industry. But hers is a story involving life and death with a real-life tragedy woven seamlessly into the tale. I was fully invested in the ride and feel that anyone who’s ever had a dream, then watched it derail, will love this book.
Beneath the Seams hit #1 on Amazon for New Releases in Contemporary Christian Fiction. I was right!
About Peyton: Peyton H. Roberts, M.A., is a writer, mom, and military spouse who grew up sewing dresses on the sunny Gulf Coast. Her extensive travels studying abroad, leading mission trips, and living overseas on Guam forged a passion for writing and speaking about social impact causes. Peyton enjoys sailing, cooking, and exploring nature with her family wherever the Navy sends them. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Beneath the Seams: Fashion designer Shelby Lawrence is launching her mother-daughter dresses nationwide when she receives a photo of the girl who will change her life forever. Runa, the family’s newly sponsored child, is a clever student growing up near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shelby’s daughter Paisley is instantly captivated by their faraway friend. As the girls exchange heartwarming messages, Shelby has no idea that a tragedy in Runa’s life is about to upend her own.
Dresses are flying off clothing racks when a horrifying scene unfolds in Dhaka that threatens to destroy Shelby’s pristine reputation. Even worse—it sends Runa’s life spiraling down a terrifying path. Shelby must decide how far she’s willing to go to right a tragic wrong.
Both a gripping exposé of fashion industry secrets and a heartwarming mother-daughter tale, Beneath the Seams explores love, conscience, hope, and the common threads connecting humanity.
Question for Readers: Have you had a dream that took heart-wrenching twists and turns?
Come back May 18th to officially meet Peyton H. Roberts!