Good riddance, 2016! Bring it, 2017…

So proud of you, Wombie! ❤

Abs Writes A Lot

I think it’s no secret that 2016 has been a sucky year. Not only has it taken some of the most iconic, legendary performers of my lifetime (Carrie Fisher, Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Alan Rickman, Debbie Reynolds, the list unfortunately goes on and on…), it’s also been a devastating year in my personal life.

It started on Jan. 2, when my mom was rushed to the hospital with heart problems, which just happened again right before Christmas. That very same day, my boyfriend of more than a year (who I thought I was going to marry) dumped me. Over Facebook Messenger. Then, he blocked me, and all my friends and family so he wouldn’t have to face all the people who wanted to kick his ass for hurting me. At the same time, all of our bills were behind and we were facing the thought of having to move…

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It’s almost time!!!!

Check out the new & beautiful cover for my Wombie’s novel GOING HOME AGAIN! ❤️❤️

Abs Writes A Lot

Wow, the past few months have FLOWN by. It seems like I posted my blog announcing that I was re-releasing my debut novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, just a week or two ago, but it’s been two months! And at that time, October 25 seemed like a long ways away. It’s almost here though, and I’ve been working hard on getting it ready to self-publish.

(ICYMI: My publisher reverted the rights back to me earlier this year, and I was encouraged by people in the business to re-release it as a self-published novel and to add bonus content, so that is what I have done! 🙂 )

Finally, and in just the nick of time, I have a beautiful new cover (which I designed myself! ERMAGHAD) and am excited to share it with you all. I LOVE IT (if I do say so myself)!!!


The book will be published on TUESDAY, and bear…

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You Gotta Have Faith

I know, I know. Y’all forgot I even had a blog. I think I did too, for a while. 2016 has been a major year of change for me and my family. We finally moved back home to rural Duplin County and I finally got my dream job. Well, the dream other than becoming a New York Times best-selling author. 🙂 After many years of looking/hoping/praying, I’m a library assistant. This means that I have now read a ton of books that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise seen. I love my job.


And I’ve been mostly happy. But something has been missing. I can’t remember when it started, but sometime in the past few months, I began to long for a deeper connection with a higher power. I don’t necessarily mean God. At that time, I wasn’t sure if God was the big guy in the sky or a being of light or a myth. I was raised in church but I had never truly felt the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t understand why people wept or spoke in tongues or whatever else craziness I happened to witness. It was never real to me. Nothing in my home church inspired me, ever. I turned away from Christianity. It didn’t help that I’m a “bleeding heart liberal.” I believe in equality and gay marriage and you know all that other stuff the Christian right would have you believe is evil. I’ve learned true Christianity is living as Jesus lived when he walked on this earth. Not judging. Accepting. Unconditional love. “All life is precious,” as Morgan said on The Walking Dead. Yes, as crazy as that may sound, the wildly popular show has been a stepping stone in my faith. I’ve learned that I can be forgiven. My perspective changed when I forgave myself and others who some would argue didn’t deserve my forgiveness. But you know what? Carrying that anger around hurt me a lot more than it ever hurt those guys.


Anyway, soon after I started at the library I found Eckhart Tolle’s novel A New Earth on our discarded books shelf. I had heard of Tolle from watching Super Soul Sunday, which by the way has also been a huge stepping stone in my spiritual journey. Thank you, Oprah! This book changed my life. In it, Tolle writes often of Jesus and other spiritual leaders, citing scripture from the Bible and other religious texts. I realized with some surprise that Jesus was the one I felt most drawn to. I know some of you can hardly believe these words would come out of my mouth. Or appear on this page from my fingertips but here goes! Bear with me. This isn’t easy to talk about. I may lose some friends over this. Nevertheless, my heart is leading me to share my story.

A little over a month ago, I had a meltdown, a psychological break if you will, and left the house in a huff, unsure where I was going. I ended up at my therapist’s office. There is no shame in needing therapy. In fact, most of us are so much better off once we have it. My usual therapist already had someone in her office so they asked me if I’d like to see a gentleman there. I hesitated. It’s always been much easier for me to talk to other women. But I needed a release so I said yes. Moments later, I walked into his office, nervous and emotional. A plush toy from Yo Gabba Gabba was sitting in a chair opposite the entrance. The therapist asked, “Do you need a hug? He’s available for hugs.” I laughed, then I picked up the toy, hugged it tight, and broke down in tears. Mr. P (I want to say his name but not sure if that’s cool so I’ll just call him Mr. P) I profusely apologized and Mr. P told me to never be sorry for my tears. I gave him my sob story while sobbing and he listened, understanding, non-judgmental. After a few minutes, he paused and said he didn’t think he was supposed to say this but did I have a church home? I was stunned for a moment because we had in fact been searching for a church where we felt accepted. I told him as much and that I was hesitant to walk in a place where I didn’t know anyone because I didn’t want to be judged, especially since I’m a single mom. Mr. P asked if I’d ever gone on a pub crawl. I was like “Whaaaa? Well, yeah.” He suggested I go on a church crawl and explained that some years ago, he had been in the same place I was, wanting to find a church home without being judged. I took it to heart.

The next few weeks were spent doing online research into area churches rather than actually going on a church crawl. I never felt comfortable going to any of the ones online. One in particular I was leaning toward…until I watched video of a service. Much moaning and some language other than English. It creeped me out. Discouraged, I was about to give up. Then, Abby reminded me of a non-denominational church she’d frequented when she lived in South Carolina. We searched specifically for non-denominational churches in our area. Lo and behold, we found one. The website looked fun. And their Sunday morning service started half an hour from when we found the site. Yikes!

We hurriedly changed into our church clothes and headed to the church, coincidentally down the road from our old high school. When we walked in, one of the first things I saw in big letters on the wall were the words, “Welcome home.” I can’t put into words how that made me feel. From the sanctuary came the bouncing beats of a live band and the impassioned voices of several phenomenal singers, praising God and Jesus. I began to doubt our decision. I thought, “If someone starts speaking in tongues or beating their beliefs into my head, I’m going right back out that door.”


The opposite happened. The voices of the praise team seemed to fill me up, reaching deep in my soul to a place I didn’t know existed. We were welcomed and smiled at and accepted without judgement. There were white people, black people, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, young old, babies, teenagers, probably gay couples although I can’t tell on sight and don’t care. I was as accepting of them as they all were of me. It felt amazing. We were all blessed to be there in what I finally could think of as God’s house.

That Sunday’s sermon focused on James 1. Up until that moment, I had been adverse to reading the Bible. My reasons were that so many have twisted the words to fit their political agenda or their own beliefs, interpreting it to fit what they wanted to say rather than what it actually says. People hide behind their religions, tucked away in their churches, afraid to admit anything might not be what they thought. Y’all know what I’m talking about, right? So, I was shocked when the scripture resonated with me. For the first time ever during a church service , I pulled up the notepad on my phone and took notes. I also remember the gist of the message being that God isn’t allowing you to go through hard times as punishment. It’s so that you can become stronger and grow in faith and love. That hit me right in the feels.


At the end of the sermon, the minister invited anyone who was touched by the message to come forward and pray at the altar with what I would consider prayer warriors. I kept looking at an African-American woman in a black and white dress. An inner voice told me to go to her. She was the one I needed to pray with. I resisted. I’ve never gone to an altar call. I have never been moved by the word of God to do so. Would anyone point at me and wonder, “What’s she doing going up there? She’s not Christian!”

This Sunday, September 4, 2016, that all changed. My chest was alight with what I envision as sparks of light. In my mind, I saw beautiful lit up stars, butterflies, my Grandma White, ocean waves…it was almost like what I would imagine heaven to be. I began to weep. A woman at the altar was sobbing. I remember Abby crying too and saying:


We laughed and cried and her eyes grew wider and she asked, “Are you actually going up there?” I looked back at the woman in the black and white dress. No one had gone to her yet. Abby tugged on my arm and said, “Go!” Before I could think more about it, I made my way forward and straight to the lady in the black and white dress. She welcomed me with a hug, as did another stunning lady I would later find out is co-pastor Marise. Unfortunately, I never found out the other lady’s name. I should seek her out and thank her. These two women wrapped their arms around me, this person they’d never met who was crying and weakened, and they prayed with me. The black and white dress lady led the prayer, asking for wisdom and grace. For me specifically. She asked God that I would wake up the next morning with joy in my heart. And you know what? I did. I felt like a new person, a more grateful, loving person. I did thank both of them later, but they deserve so much more. This church is leading people to God, to love, with open arms. It’s how Christianity was meant to be.

I still hear the song the praise team was singing as I prayed with Marise and the other lady. It plays through my mind all the time, although I can’t remember the lyrics, except the word “revival.” Weird, right? But I hear the music and I knew it was a sign.

So. Deep breath. A couple nights ago, I couldn’t sleep. That’s par for the course. I was deep in worry about my sister and my other lifelong BFF Angi. She’s going through a rough divorce after nearly twenty years of marriage. Abby is still healing from her last breakup, from her world falling apart. I prayed that God would help me to help them to heal. I asked him what could I do? I didn’t expect an answer, but I got one. See, I was never really open to His voice before. After that prayer at Grace Covenant Church, the doors are wide open on this old broken heart. I used to think God wasn’t listening to me when I prayed. But He is. I was the one whose ears and heart were closed.

God’s answer  was that it was time for me to open my heart to Jesus. I was like, “For real? Does this mean I have to get baptized? Because I don’t know about that whole water immersion thing.” I have a fear of my head underwater. Long story for another time. Anyway, God’s like, “Dude, I’m not gonna lead you astray. Trust in me. It’s finally time. I love you. Jesus loves you. Let him in.” So–and this is probably going to make you laugh–I Googled how to give your heart to Jesus. No joke. Is there anything you can’t find out from Google?

Sure enough, I found the Salvation Prayer. I said it and I gave my heart to Jesus. Does this mean I’m going to stop cussing? Probably not, but I’ll try to tone it down. Does this mean I have to become a Republican, as I once feared if I became Christian? No. Separation of church and state is still something I believe in. I also don’t believe Jesus is the only path to salvation and God. I believe Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, etc. can all go to heaven. Jesus is one of the most righteous of paths, maybe the strongest since he’s God’s son and all, but he may not be the one to lead everyone to God. Doesn’t that make sense? I think so. Hey, we still live in America, the greatest country in the world (that has never stopped being great). You’re free to disagree. I won’t judge. I won’t say it’s my way or no way. Because I know in my heart that these words came from Jesus. I love you. God loves you. Jesus loves you. God = love. You dig?


So I hope I don’t lose my atheist/agnostic non-religious friends. But even if I do, I still send you light and love. I have found my path after many years of searching. I am home. I’m a Christian. My mom is going to be so happy when she reads this. (I hope)

This is one imperfect sinner’s story of coming to Jesus. I hope that it inspires someone. I hope that God gives me the strength to help my bestest best friends get through these trials and tribulations we’re experiencing. I pray that you, my readers, wake up with joy in your heart. None of us are beyond repair.

I’ll leave you with this video, a song I caught on the radio driving to work today. It resonated with me. I didn’t even know at first that I’d stumbled on a Christian station. God bless you. 🙂

Why Online Dating Sucks For Women

This is how I feel today, after deleting my online dating profile. Going back to being happily single!

The Glass Eye Project

A few months ago, I started online dating.

I opened up accounts on two different free online dating websites. At first, I was extremely excited. “Look at all of these single men in my area!” I thought, optimistically. I scrolled through picture after picture of potential suitor with glee, passing judgements based solely on how they appeared. I read through different profiles with great interest. I was making assessments on people I had never actually met, based only on a picture and the small amount of information in their profile. I felt weird about it. And I felt bad about it, even. The headlines made me laugh, and shudder. “No crazies need apply” and “No mind games plz,” things like that. Online dating started out interesting and sometimes even comedic.

And then, within minutes, when my profile hadn’t even been completed yet, the messages started rolling in. “Hey beautiful” and the…

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What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? Writer’s Edition.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

It’s a simple question, but I found it tucked into Sheryl Sandberg’s wisdom when I was reading LEAN IN a couple years ago and it’s never left me. Whenever things seem overwhelming this simple question takes us back to the heart of our passion and the reason for our struggles.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

For many people reading this blog it will be: finish their novel, send out some queries, tackle the revise-and-resubmit letter from an agent, join a critique group, sign up for author head shots, attend a writer’s conference–or something along those lines.

However, when you frame it like a question it becomes painfully obvious that you don’t need permission to achieve your dreams. They’re hiding inside of you and no amount of force is going to get them to escape. Writing doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by discipline and all you have to do…

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I’m taking part in the blog tour for the release of my Wombie (twin sister) Abby’s new book AFTER THE FALL. Since she is my twin, I can’t write the glowing review i would if this were someone else’s book. Trust me, it’s amazing!!

Here is a little about my Wombie:

Abby Cavenaugh is a writer of romantic women’s fiction. She is a newspaper editor by day, but dreams of someday retiring to the North Carolina coast to write books full-time. She lives near Charlotte with her twin sister, also a writer, eight-year-old niece, three cats and a crazy puppy. She is driven by dreams and chocolate.

BOOK SUMMARY: High-profile divorce? Check.

Time away to heal? Check. Six months.

Distance from her celebrity ex Michael Day? Almost.

After ending the relationship that defined her, Tina is desperate to get her life back. But, a sexy bartender who happens to be ten years her junior might not be the best way to do that.

Shaking off the pain of the past, Tina decides the old rules no longer apply. For the first time in a very long time, Tina is free to do what she wants with whomever she wants. And Tina wants Josh.

Tina’s first fling after her divorce has the potential to be something more, if only Josh wasn’t a struggling musician.

She watched Michael’s career soar beyond his wildest dreams, only to get swallowed up by the fame and fortune that came with it. In the end, Tina was left with a broken marriage, a broken heart, and a custody agreement.

Tina wants to focus on herself, to finally find a place in the world that doesn’t come from marrying a celebrity. But if she ends this thing with Josh and focuses on a career, she might lose her one shot at happiness.

AFTER THE FALL is Abby Cavenaugh’s second novel and a follow-up to her bestselling GOING HOME AGAIN.

Beautiful cover:

After the Fall cover

Beautiful author (and dog) :

Abby & Cinnamon




Cover Reveal: AFTER THE FALL

Check out the cover of my Wombie’s new book AFTER THE FALL! So pretty 🙂

Abs Writes A Lot

It’s here! It’s here!!! It seems like I waited FOREVER (as I’m sure most authors feel) to finally have my first novel published, and now, it’s almost time for my second novel!! Eeek! So exciting!! As I mentioned before, the cover is very different from my first novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, but I absolutely love it! So, without further ado, here’s the BEAUTIFUL cover, and everything you need to know about AFTER THE FALL! 😀

Title: After the Fall
Author: Abby Cavenaugh
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Cover Design: Swoon Romance
Release Date: May 2015

It’s been six months since her high-profile divorce, and Tina is desperate to get her life in order beyond the spotlight of her ex-husband, pop singer Michael Day. But when she meets a sexy bartender who happens to be ten years her junior, Tina’s first fling after her divorce might become something more. Tina…

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What Happens ‘After The Fall’?

My wombie has a cover reveal coming up! 🙂 Check it out!

Abs Writes A Lot

As most of you know, one of the biggest dreams of my life came true almost two years ago. My debut novel was published by Swoon Romance. To say that I was ecstatic, would be a massive understatement.

But, one dream achieved, more to go! As I always tell people, once you reach one dream, you make new dreams. So, of course, the next goal for me was to publish a second book. Now, that dream is soon to be fulfilled, thanks again to Swoon Romance! 😀

Although I don’t have a firm release date yet, I know AFTER THE FALL will be out sometime in May. 🙂 So what is AFTER THE FALL about, you wonder? I’m so glad you asked!!!

Well, if you read my debut novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, you may have wondered about some of the secondary characters. Out of nowhere, I suddenly had this idea…

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#PitchWars – Befriend Revision and Rewrite (whaa?!)

I’ve been thinking lately I should blog more and now that I’ve been chosen as Dan Koboldt‘s alternate–thanks Dan!! I’m SO excited to work with you :)– it seems like a good time. I debated what to write about and thanks to feedback from my AWESOME CPs, The Off Beats, I’ve made up my mind.

With the agent round coming up, the mentors, mentees and alternates will no doubt be focusing on revision. Those who didn’t make it may also be focusing on revision and possibly *gulp* rewrites. By the way, none of you should feel bad about not being picked! It just means you have a different path, not that you’re not “good enough” (I had this complex so I know). I’ve participated in the contest before and wasn’t picked. So what did I do? Based on the feedback, I revised revised revised. Those revisions eventually turned into a complete rewrite. And then another. And another until I felt if I heard the words “revise” or “rewrite” again…

Well, you get the gist. Of course, I had moments when I wanted to give up completely, at least on this story. But the idea wouldn’t let me go. Jake, my main character, kept nagging at me. “Um…you’re the only one who can tell my story so get to it, mmkay?”

My story, A SCARRED MIND (adult mystery/thriller) started out as a screenplay in 2008, became a totally different novel in February 2010, then again in 2012, until 2013 when a fabulous agent requested an R&R. She also suggested I change it from three guys in third person to one guy, Jake, in first person. This made total sense and changed the direction/tone/everything. Changing to first person was the best thing I could’ve done for this story. Now, I feel that readers really get to know Jake and I can’t believe it was ever in third person and not totally about him. The next great decision I made was based on another CP’s feedback and that was to change it into present instead of past tense. I know some people think first person present is a death sentence but it’s really the only way this story should be told.

Therefore, my advice is if a mentor, agent, CP, your BFF, anyone whose opinion you trust suggests you change the tense, get rid of a character’s POV, rewrite the whole damn thing, DO IT. At least think about it and try rewriting the first chapter if the thought of a complete rewrite is too daunting. That’s what I did with A SCARRED MIND. I started with Chapter One to see how I’d like it and from there, the story flowed. Be open to revision. Don’t take it personally. Anyone who offers feedback is trying to help you make your story the best possible version it can be. If they didn’t care, they’d say “Yeah, it’s perfect the way it is.” Sometimes, yes, it may be perfect but be wary of anyone who doesn’t suggest you change anything. I always say “Are you SURE?” and ask questions. Often, that turns into the person saying, “Well, yeah, I did wonder about that.”

Embrace revision. It may become your friend. Rewrite is like my best friend now. I’m grateful to Rewrite. For the first time, I am confident with this story. It takes a lot for me to admit that. I wasn’t nervous at all when I submitted to Pitch Wars. All the other times, I queried agents or entered contests, I instantly wanted to snap my submission back from the Internet.

Not this time. And this time, I made it as a Pitch Wars alternate. So don’t give up. Revise. Rewrite, if need be. Above all, write your story! DON’T GIVE UP. Best of luck to everyone, whether you made it into Pitch Wars or not. Go forth and write!

Happy Anniversary to me!

GOING HOME AGAIN is one year old! Congrats, Sis!

Abs Writes A Lot

Wow… I can’t believe it’s been a year since the release of my first novel, GOING HOME AGAIN, from Swoon Romance!

It’s all been a very surreal ride, and I thought I would share with you all what it’s been like. Of course, publishing my first novel was a dream come true for me.

GOING HOME AGAIN had some decent sales, and I’ll never forget the first time I saw it on my Kindle, and even more unforgettable was finally getting to hold the book I wrote in my hands. So. Many. Feels.

It’s been something of a roller coaster ride. Let’s just say GOING HOME AGAIN was never a best-seller, but still, it’s an amazing feeling to have people you don’t know reading your work and telling you they love it. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to have a best-seller on top of that. Hopefully…

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