15 March 2023

What's Not Lost by @ValerieEMTaylor Blog Tour! #womensfiction #chicklit #Giveaway @valerieetaylor @iReadBookTours

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Book Title:  What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor
Category: Adult Fiction 18+  
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Publisher:  Aspetuck Publishing, 324 pages
Release date:  February 7, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M. There is some bad language and references to sex scenes, but no explicit sex scenes.

Through the eyes of an overachiever, the schemes of a homewrecker, the magic of a bottle of wine, and a CAT, award-winning author Valerie Taylor propels this captivating and heart-warming romance to an unpredictable and delightful conclusion.

Kassie O'Callaghan is searching ... for herself and for answers. With her husband six feet under and an engagement ring on her finger, Kassie is convinced managing a company merger in Paris will complete her quest for recognition on her own terms. When she learns her fiancé's ex-girlfriend is pregnant, Kassie's dreams come tumbling down. At least for the moment.

Despite pleas from her younger fiancé to stay in Boston and a warning from her best friend forever of what's at stake should she leave, Kassie heads to Paris with courage and perseverance. There, she stumbles into a world of wine and roses as she tries to put the wisdom of her experience to the ultimate test.

​When a Greek businessman tries to rescue her, Kassie discovers-in life-it's not whether you win or lose, it's the way you love that counts.

Six years retired, three years a published novelist, always a reader of good stories. Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, CT. She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. After her divorce, she spread her wings and relocated her career to Boston and then to Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in her home state to be near her two grown children and granddaughter. Taylor’s a member of the Westport Writer’s Workshop, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, the CT Authors and Publishers Association, and the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association. She’s a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator. With the expected release in February 2023, What’s Not Lost is the final season in the What’s Not trilogy. Her debut, What’s Not Said, was published in 2020, with the sequel, What’s Not True, following closely in 2021. Taylor’s next journey will be into the world of cozy mysteries.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ bookbub ~ goodreads

Guest Post

Three Things I Learned by Publishing Three Books

By Valerie Taylor

Multi-award-winning author of the What’s Not trilogy — What’s Not Said, What’s Not True, and What’s Not Lost

Writing and publishing three books during a pandemic was never on my bingo card. But I did it, and I’m grateful to the many people who helped me along the way. Whereas I discovered oodles in my journey, here are just three things I learned by publishing three books.


Writing part-time is possible. Conventional wisdom often given to aspiring authors is that you must write every day. At least 500 words a day is a good benchmark, I’ve heard. Hogwash. While a worthy goal, in my world, it’s downright unrealistic and impossible. Besides a writer, I’m a grandmother to a now ten-year old young lady. Many afternoons during the school year, I pick her up after class and keep a watchful eye while she does her homework. During the summer months, we spend even more time together, meaning less time for me to write. 

As such, in order for me to write a novel, I schedule my writing hours. Using a calendar, magnetically affixed to my refrigerator, I pencil in the days each month I commit to writing. On the Saturday blocks, I set a word goal for the week. If I don’t reach that number, I increase the goal for the following seven days. 

This worked for me especially as I wrote What’s Not Lost, the last book in the trilogy. Thanksgiving weekend 2021, I realized I had only drafted ten thousand words. For sure I needed a kick. I made a commitment to finish the manuscript by February 15, 2022. I planned it out on my calendar, and, indeed, it happened. On the assigned date, I typed THE END, and cheered the 81,000 words. Then, of course, the fun began with revisions, editing and production. Which, on reflection, actually took longer than writing the story itself.

Moral of the story. If you can write every day, go for it! If not, do what’s “write” for you!

Readers Say the Darnedest Things. After What’s Not Said published in 2020, I was amazed that I was getting reviews. Honestly, I hadn’t given much thought to that aspect of being an author. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to not take them personally.

It’s easier to do that when the feedback is written. That is a tall order, though, when I’m meeting with a book club (in person, or on Zoom), and a reader expresses her opinion of the storyline or characters. There’s not much I can do at that point to rewrite the narrative.

However, sometimes readers have the best ideas. Consistently, readers of the first two books in the series said they wanted to know more about the relationship between Kassie and her BFF, Annie. And universally, people wanted more of Topher the cat. Not just a cameo appearance. So, as I was writing What’s Not Lost, I tried to fulfill readers’ requests on both counts. Hopefully, successfully.

And then there was a member of a book club in Seattle, WA. During our discussion of the first two books, she offered an amazing idea of how Kassie’s life would take a turn in the last book. Funny thing, I had been toying with some version of her idea but hadn’t pursued it. Since I hadn’t finished the draft yet and was clearly motivated by this reader’s excitement, I was able to incorporate her concept. I adjusted the plot and believe the storyline became stronger because I opened myself up to what one enthusiastic reader had to say.


There can always be a sequel. What’s Not Said was supposed to be my great American novel. It was one and done. I hadn’t deliberately written a cliffhanger. Yet, many early readers thought I had and kept asking me, “What’s next for Kassie?” It didn’t take me long to succumb to their requests. Using my planning process described above, I was able to publish What’s Not True eleven months later. And while writing it, I purposely ended it up in the air, committing myself to writing the trilogy. A trilogy. Meaning the end. No more, right? Wouldn’t you know, now that What’s Not Lost is out in the world I’m being asked for a fourth installment in the story. I’m humbled to know that readers want more of Kassie and her cast of characters. Nevertheless, what I learned is that the saying, “Leave them wanting more,” is apparently a good mantra. And while there can always be a sequel, I wonder if there should be? 

Spoiler alert! While not a sequel, I am spinning off one of the minor characters in What’s Not Lost to be the sleuth in a new cozy mystery series!

Please contact me at: www.valerietaylorauthor.com

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WHAT'S NOT LOST Book Tour Giveaway

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(grand prize)
Signed Copy of WHAT'S NOT LOST
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