The Anson Record editor Abby Cavenaugh released her first novel on Aug. 6.
Set in coastal North Carolina, “Going Home Again” follows the relationship of famous pop star Michael Day and a former high school classmate, Alyssa Jones, who had a crush on him as a teen. Alyssa, a journalist for a local tourist magazine, interviews Michael, sparking a romance complicated by Michael’s son and his failing marriage. Alyssa has to decide between waiting until Michael’s marriage is over or risking everything for a chance at romance.
Cavenaugh said she thought of the story when she first came into contact with Jordan Knight, her favorite member of the band New Kids on the Block. “He hung out with fans and hugged me,” she recalled, “and I started thinking how cool it would be if someone had a chance with someone ‘unattainable’ like that, later in life.”
The story contains some similarities to Cavenaugh: she and the heroine share the same first initial, both are twins, and Cavenaugh is a former reporter and copy editor in Wrightsville Beach, where the story takes place. “People keep asking me if the character is me, and I say, ‘No,’” Cavenaugh said. “I do take a lot of personal experiences and use them, though… it all goes back to what a creative writing professor told me: ‘write what you know.’”
The book currently has five out of five stars on Amazon.com and a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Goodreads, the largest website for readers, authors, and book recommendations and reviews. One Goodreads reviewer gave it five stars and wrote, “So far, so good! Very easy read, and seems like the kind of book that would be made into a movie. Yes, that good ;) Excited to see where Alyssa ends up!”
An Amazon reviewer was similarly excited. “Amazing! I fell in love with this book in the first chapter and had a hard time putting it down, I didn’t even want to go to bed,” she wrote. “Even after trying to fall asleep I found myself thinking of Mike and Alyssa. I love that the author made this about real life, about conflicts that could be reality. Going Home Again was a refreshing change, don’t wait to read this book! I can’t wait to see what Abby Cavenaugh has in store for us next, whatever it is she has a new fan in me.”
The Lumina News in Wrightsville Beach has done a story on Cavenaugh’s book, and another story is planned in the Duplin Times in Cavenaugh’s hometown. The publisher will also do a blog tour starting Aug. 20. where 10 other writers will talk about the novel on their blogs and feature reviews, interviews, etc.
Even in the midst of releasing “Going Home Again,” Cavenaugh is already working on other projects. Her publishing contract has an option for a second adult romance, which she is already working on and tentatively plans to be released by winter of next year. She also has a young adult paranormal story that was moved to the back burner as she released her romance novel.
Although she started it five years ago and completed the first draft in 2011, she spent the last year rewriting and only decided on an ending this year. “I think that’s my favorite part,” she said. “Without going into too much detail, I think it ties everything together nicely.”
An adult romance, “Going Home Again” is recommended for readers 17 and older. It is published by Swoon Romance and is available in eBook formats for Kindle and Nook at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.