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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

A Novel's Journey with Diane Amos

Sometimes a novel starts with an idea that slowly takes root in an author's mind and eventually germinates into a concrete concept. Sometimes a novel goes from idea to a book in a short period of time. Or as is the case with my historical Promise Me Forever, released in November 2011, a novel can take years between idea, writing the book and seeing that work in print.

Back in 1998, I was talking with another author about heroes and unlikely heroines: a minister and a prostitute, a minister and a nun. Clearly, if a nun were involved, there could be no romance, but what if the heroine was disguised as a nun? Much better! I ditched the minister for an exhausted, bleary eyed cowboy in a saloon. Make that a heroine from the East with a distrust of any man with a drink in his hands, and a hero as a child, abandoned by his mother, an Easterner. Viola, the idea for my book was born.

In 1999, Promise Me Forever, won several contests including The Maggie Award of Excellence in the unpublished historical category. The book made the rounds of editors and publishers, followed by rejections, rewrites, more rejections. Meanwhile, I continued writing and eventually, got the call in 2002. I'd sold a contemporary novel, Getting Personal, to Five Star/Gale. I was now a published author!

I sold two more contemporary novels to Five Star, one contemporary to Harlequin, and two historicals to Five Star. Promise Me Forever still held a special place in my heart, but after the slew of rejections, I had serious doubts. Plus one of those rejections came directly from Five Star. Since I'd changed the title several times, and since the editor who'd turned my baby down no longer acquired for this line, I decided to resubmit. This time, Five Star bought my novel. Finally, my first historical had found a home.

Though I believed strongly in this novel, I still held my breath for the reviews. This book received a good review from Publishers Weekly, a starred review from Booklist, and a glowing review from USA Today. Finally, my novel had seen the light of day. Finally, I wasn't the only one who liked this book. Finally, my novel was out there for readers.

If there's a moral to this story, it's to never give up. And if a publisher has already rejected a novel, don't let that stop you from resubmitting. A new title and a new editor could make a huge difference between a rejection and a sale.

I've recently acquired the rights back from my first few novels. They are available on Amazon as e-books. Please check them out along with my website at
To tell you a little about Promise Me Forever, I've included the Booklist review below:

STARRED Advanced Review
Promise Me Forever. Amos, Diane (Author) Nov 2011.

To escape an abusive stepfather, Elizabeth O’Hara disguises herself as a nun, grabs her younger brother and sister, and heads west to Welcome, Montana, a place a newspaper article claims is so refined it has a library, church, and theater. However, when Elizabeth arrives in Welcome, she finds that it basically consists of a saloon and a store, and now the impoverished Elizabeth and her siblings have nowhere to go. Feeling somewhat responsible for the group’s predicament as author of the misleading article, Ben Ricker reluctantly offers the good sister a position as a cook at his ranch. However, Elizabeth has no idea how to cook. Granny is almost blind and has been depressed for some time. Elizabeth, her siblings, and a dog about to whelp are just what Granny needs to get her old spunk back. Even with Elizabeth’s help, life at the ranch isn’t without its problems, especially when Ben discovers that Elizabeth is not a nun. With delightful characters, humor, and some danger, Amos’ tale of a woman who lands in the wrong place yet finds a slice of heaven will tug at even the toughest heartstrings.
—Booklist, Shelley Mosley

You can find Diane at
or on Facebook @
Diane's Hardcovers
Promise Me Forever, Available through Amazon as Hardcover 
Outlaw Hearts, Available through Amazon as Hardcover
Winner Takes All, Available through Amazon as Hardcover

Diane's books available in ebook format
Mixed Blessings, Available through Amazon as Harcover or ebook
Getting Personal, Available through Amazon as Paperback or ebook
The Legacy, Available through Amazon as Hardcover or ebook



Congrats on your starred review which you clearly earned through hard work and persistence. Your story will inspire lots of other hopeful writers.

Jacqueline Seewald
Susan Vaughan said…
Diane, your saga to get Promise Me Forever out to readers is a testament to your creativity and determination. The story is page-turning, heart-warming, funny, and emotional. I loved it.
Lovely review. Great story of perseverance.

Good luck & God's blessings!
Lovely review. Great story of perseverance.

Good luck & God's blessings!
Stacey said…
Your story is one that all writers need to remember if they want their dreams to come true, and that is to work hard and persist. Congratulations on all your success, Diane.
Stacey said…
Your story is one all writers should remember if they want to make their dreams come true, and that is to work hard and persist. Congratulations on all your success, Diane.
Brenna Ash said…
Thanks for sharing your journey with us. You're truly an inspiration. Congratulations on the great reviews Promise Me Forever is getting!
Diane said…
Thanks to all of you for the encouraging words and the compliments.

Diane Amos
Judi said…
This is a crazy business and it takes guts, perseverence and a thick skin to survive. Congrats on finding a home for your story and the great reviews!!
Nina Pierce said…
Wow, your books have certainly been through a lot. Just goes to show you what perseverence will do. I love the new cover for your book. I hope it goes out and finds a whole new readership!
Teagan Oliver said…
Thanks to all who joined us today and thank you to Diane for coming on over and giving us some insight into her path to publication. May you be blessed by having your books find the huge audience that they deserve and may I be so lucky to have your friendship for a very long time. :)
Diane said…
Thank you Teagan for featuring me on your blog. You're a good friend, now and always.


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We have the cover and that is a really good thing! Especially, since it's a really great cover!

This has been THE project for the last six months. Much of that time has been spent writing my part of the anthology, a novella called ONLY YOU. Another part of that was working with my friend and cohorts to come up with this great anthology! Why wouldn't you enjoy it?! It's filled with stories of love that are all set around the fictional Maine town of Serenity Harbor. Want to know which town Serenity Harbor is patterned after? We'll never tell... well, maybe we will!

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