Wonder Boi Writes

Spanish Surrender and GCLS

Hiya friends,

I am freshly returned to the states after a month abroad. In June my family traveled to London, North East England (to visit the town and people who inspired Full English) and Mallorca, Spain.

Anyone who follows me even a little bit knows of my vast love for Spain, and I was so very looking forward to spending five whole days exploring a brand new part of the country, this time on of the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean coast. I had the added bonus of planning a book launch while I was there.

You see, I had the most wonderful plans to promote my new release, Spanish Surrender, from the island. I was going to livestream readings and announcements. From my lounge chair beside the pool at the finca where I was staying, I was going to read a few paragraphs from a sexy scene where my characters do a little swimming on a hot Andalusian day.

From a mountain-top olive grove, I planned to tease a scene where my characters have an important conversation on a road just like that one.

And for the big shebang, my family and I had ponied up the money to sail out on a traditional Mallorca fishing boat and watch the sunset. From there I planned to read a snippet of a scene where my characters take a boat ride that isn’t at all what it might appear on the surface, and talk about the many layers of meaning this book has to me.

Alas, the best laid plans…<heavy sigh>

My son Jackie spiked a fever before our plane even touched down in Palma De Mallorca. By the next morning it had climbed to worrying levels, and we spent much of our first morning tracking down an English-speaking doctor who would see tourist children on short notice.

By the time we got cleared to travel farther into the country, it was in the heat of the day and poor Jackie was sweltering. We did get our drive through the mountains, but the heat, both internal and external, meant we stopped only long enough in Soller to collect food. No time for readings.

Things did not get better from there. We used the pool only once to try to lower our temperature. There were no sexy feelings or stories to be shared. We left our rural finca only one morning to visit a nearby market and lived to regret it.

Not only did the fever return time and time again, soon it became clear it was also a precursor to a nasty stomach bug.

We all shed a few tears as we had to miss the sunset sailboat cruise we’d already paid so much of our budget for, but in a matter of hours, even that would seem like wasted salt and water, as I was so wracked with sickness I ended up at another medical center with dual IV lines running wide open into my veins.

We didn’t eat any of the Spanish foods we love, and I didn’t have a single class of sangria, and no books were launched.

Still, I have much to be grateful for. One, this was not my first trip to Spain, and God willing it will not be my last. Two, we received excellent medical care at prices so far below what those services would have cost us in America, we had to laugh even in our distress. Three, I learned that when push comes to shove, my Spanish is sufficient to get through basic medical conversations, a fact that bolsters my sense of self and my Spanish street cred. Four, the people of Spain did not let me down. From the hosts of the places we stayed to the doctors and nurses and pharmacists who cared for us, their tenderness, competency, and eagerness to help exceeded every idealistic image I hold of the Spanish population. Five, we are all safe and heathly, which is more than a great many people in the world can say.

Finally, on our last morning in Spain, we all felt well enough to wander down to the water and spend just a few minutes jumping off rocks into the cool, blue, beautiful waters of the Mediterranean. It wasn’t the vacation we hoped for, but it was at least a nice note to go out on.

But now that I am back in America and back to basic good health, I am left with the problem of how to launch Spanish Surrender.

Sadly, I have no more magnificence up my sleeve. I’m afraid I will have to do this the old-fashioned way. You see, Wednesday I head off to Pittsburgh, PA for the annual Golden Crown Literary Society conference. The Mediterranean coast it is not, but what it lacks in breathtaking ocean views, it makes up for in really awesome people.

Seriously, a boi could do worse than launching a novel in a room full of hundreds of literary lesbians. So, that is what I will do! Then, after I do the official Spanish Surrender launch at GCLS, we will upload it to various retailers and web stores around the Internet.

I’ll release more details at the wide release later, but if you are going to be at the conference, you will have the exclusive opportunity to get your hands on the first paper copies of Spanish Surrender! I will also be reading from and talking about the book (and other things) at various events throughout the conference. If you want to find me, say hello, and maybe even have me sign one of those exclusive copies of Spanish Surrender, here’s where you can find me!

Wednesday July 10
1:00 – Conference Opening Ceremony
4:00 – Writing the Perfect Lesbian Lead – Kings Garden 3
5:00 – Opening Reception – (Bonus, Jackie might come to this one, too)

Thursday July 11
10:30 – The Art of Self Editing – Kings Garden 2
1:30 – Membership Meeting
4:45- Bywater’s Book Launch – King’s Garden 3

Friday July 12
10:30 Mentoring Matters – King’s Garden 4
11:40 – Generation Gap – King’s Garden 4
4:30 – Author Spotlight- King’s Garden 1

Saturday July 13
9:00 – Social Media and the author Kings Garden 5
10:30 – Conflict of Interests Panel
2:30 – autograph signing
5:30 – Awards dinner
7:00 – Awards
9:30 – Dance

Sunday July 14
10:00 – Closing Session
10:30 – Brunch – last chance to say hi!

I’ll also be around most of the times they are serving food, because food. So please don’t be shy! Come up, say hello, ask for a photo, ask for an autograph, ask me anything you’ve ever wanted to know about me or my books, because really, and please, help me celebrate the launch of Spanish Surrender, because even though it didn’t go the way it was supposed to, I’m still really excited to share my new baby with each and every one of you!


July 9, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Hi Friends,

I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I would apologize for not writing more, except I haven’t been blogging as much lately as I’ve been busy working on a surprise for you! Spoiler Alert–the surprise is a book!

That’s right, a brand new, not even on the schedule, sexy summer romance called Spanish Surrender. And I wrote it fast! Like In Development fast. So fast that, also like In Development, it knocked the traditional publishing schedule out of the park, and once again my awesome friends Susan and Carolyn over at Brisk did me the great favor of allowing me to do it as “drop in” title with them. What this means is that we just sent it right to print with no idea when it would actually come out. Then we held our breath until we got the news I’d been hoping for.

Are you ready?

Spanish Surrender will officially debut at GCLS in Pittsburg July 10!

That’s less than a month away, and better still, it’ll be available on the Brisk website right around the same time, with a wider release on Amazon in August. You can even pre-order it there now, but if you want it sooner, stay tuned for updates on when and where you can make that happen, or better yet, get ye to GCLS!

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about why I think you’ll want to get your hands on this hot little number, but for now I’m going to leave you with the blurb and the sexy Ann McMan cover, just to pique your interest and hopefully keep you coming back for more.

Spanish Surrender
Simone and Loreto don’t have to like each other. They only need to work together, but the heat and the history around them and between them conspires to demand so much more. 

When Simone Price lands in southern Spain, she has one job upon which the future of her entire career rests: She must convince a small, Spanish publishing house to sell their business to her much larger American corporation. The job should be easy, but many others have failed. Refusing to repeat their mistakes, she hires a guide, translator, and purveyor of Andalucían culture for the week leading up to her big meeting. 

The plan seems simple enough until she meets Loreto Molina, and it quickly becomes apparent that Loreto knows more than her casual demeanor might suggest. The complications only escalate as the two set out on a scorching path through a region that shatters all expectations. As their time together stretches on, both women must confront not only their assumptions about each other, but also their own world views amidst a steamy landscape of temptation, power, purpose and raw attraction. Spain acts as both catalyst and conduit for unearthing desires long buried and threatening carefully planned futures. 

As the stakes and emotions rise like the hot, unrelenting sun, Simone and Loreto fight to hold onto the ideals they hold dear, but what if the only way for either of them to truly win is to surrender?

June 13, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

British Bits and Bobs

Hey All,

First of all I want to say a big thank you to every who helped me raise money for my alma matter, Illinois State University, as part of our Birds Give Back campaign. I did a drawing of everyone who donated at least $10, and the winner is Anne Hart!  Anne, just let me know which ebook you want and where I should email it.

And now it’s time to get back to business, and by business I mean looking at pictures I took when I lived in Northeast England last year.  

For those of you who have read Full English, you may have noticed in my author notes that much of my inspiration for the book stemmed from the time I spent living in a small, seaside village called Alnmouth.  I had to fictionalize a town/dukedom because of a few legal issues that could arise for having your main character interact with people of specific titles, and I also enjoyed the freedom of being able to add or subtract a few features for convenience’s sake.   That being said, virtually everything Emma encounters by way of culture shock is something my family and I experienced, and I wanted to share those, along with some of the spots around town that inspired various places in the book with those of you who follow this blog.

First, let’s start with the basics.  Emma’s house in the story is largely based on the house we lived in for a little over 6 months.  Ours was a triplex, while I made Emma’s free-standing, but beyond that, the location and the layout were largely the same.  Here’s a picture of my son standing outside of ours. 

One of the best features of Emma’s house was exactly the same conservatory as we had in our house. In America we might call this a sunroom or a 3-seasons room. Ours looked out over a small garden and then out toward the North Sea.  I loved to sit out there and stare into the vast blue yonder. It was always the first place to get toasty warm in the morning, and at night the stars shined so brightly we set up a small telescope out there. 

Out in the garden we has a small shed that was a regular perch for a pheasant we named Phez.  He stopped by on Thanksgiving and stayed much of the day. We could see him from the kitchen window seeming to revel in the fact that it wasn’t his holiday to be on the menu. 

Inside the kitchen, though, was where our culture shock began.  Our oven was a “fan oven.”  To be honest, I never did quite figure out exactly how that translated to my American recipes, but British recipes all seemed to list that option for cooking temps and times, so I learned to cook roast veg, meat pies, and Cornish pasties. I like to think I’m a decent enough cook to be passible with any oven. What I hadn’t yet tested my mettle with was the very British staple of the electric tea kettle, and like Emma, my issues began long before I even got to the point where I had to add water.  

That is a pretty standard English outlet, and even though our kettle had right type of plug, our kettle (and our lamps, and TV, and anything else that plugged in) wouldn’t work no matter what wall switches I tried, because every outlet in the house also had that little switch to the right of the plug that engaged the power to that outlet. Once you know it’s there, it’s not hard to figure out how it works, but most of our outlets were behind furniture or along the floor, and many of our small electronics were already plugged in when we arrived. If our friend Kelly hadn’t pointed out those little switches, I’m not sure how long we would’ve gone around flipping wall switches fruitlessly before we got on our hands and knees to check behind the couch and found the root of the issue.

The other perplexing switch in the house was connected to the water heater. Thankfully, our new friend Jane pointed ours out on day one and saved us from cold showers, but here’s what we were dealing with.

While our shower had it’s own little water heater attached to the pipes (“power shower”), if we wanted to do laundry, wash dishes, or take a bath, we had to turn on house’s main water heater in advance, hence the third switch (the first two were a timer and control for the radiators). After traveling around the UK quite a bit, we found many new houses no longer use this set up, but they are far from uncommon.

Much less perplexing to us was the village social life.  Alnmouth is home to about 300 residents, and it seems like we met most of them in two places 1) the cricket pitch and 2) the pub.  While Emma has neither the opportunity nor the interest to play cricket, even our introvert Emma had more than one occasion to find herself in the pub.  And of course, as a bartender and part time cook, Brogan practically lives there.  We feel somewhere between those two options on the pub scale. We certainly didn’t take up residence, but when we were in town, we rarely missed a “Friday club” with the locals to catch up on the gossip of the week. This is where we learned about everything from who was moving, to who was dating, to who was on vacation, and what was on tap for the weekend. In other words, this is where we learned what it meant to be members of the community.

Can’t you just picture Brogan standing behind that bar while all the locals sit just to the right and harass her good-naturedly?

And while we are on about places we ate, no report of our time in England, or Full English itself would be the same without a trip to Bertram’s. Though I didn’t use the name of the business in the book (again, sticky legalities), this is very much a real place, and it can be found just inside the city walls in Warkworth. I won’t rehash all the details I share in the book, but I do want to offer photographic evidence that the tower of amazing yumminess Brogan and Emma order is very much on the menu.

It really is quite amazing that we didn’t gain more weight while living there. While we didn’t eat like this daily, we did eat scones as often as we got the chance. The only thing that saved our pants from splitting was that the sheer beauty of our surroundings inspiring us to walk nearly everywhere and every day.

And now I’ve just devolved into showing you pictures of where I lived, but I hope that when you look at them, you can see why I loved this place enough to make Emma fall in love with it, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll fall a little bit in love, too.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Birds Give Back

I don’t do this often, because it’s kind of awkward for me to talk about money when I have so little of it, but I’m about do so now because the cause it just that important to me.

This is Birds Give Back day at my alma mater, Illinois State University, and I was asked to be an “ambassador” for the cause.  I’m told this is an honor, but I was joking with a friend that what it really boils down to is that instead of the university calling to ask me for money, they have asked me to ask you for money.  I see this honor clearly, folks. I am not getting duped by the fancy terms or videos, or the promise of a lunch box if I raise enough money to dwarf the actual retail cost of said lunch box.

And yet, even seeing those incentives for what they are, I am still jumping wholeheartedly into my ambassadorship role, because my time at ISU made me who I am today.


ISU is the first place I ever got to be fully out.  It was a bastion of love and acceptance amid a vast landscape of cornfields and soy bean fields where I had previously lived in fear.

I started dating, and married my wife during my time at ISU.


I became a women’s studies major and learned the history, philosophy, and argumentation skills that would help me articulate demand for a fairer, more inclusive society.

I learned the ins and outs of campaigning politics and human rights legislation at ISU.


I met Jackson’s Big Papi there, and this awesome family sprang to life.


I became the president of PRIDE and Speaker’s Bureau, where I learned to raise my voice for my community and tell our stories, even when my voice shook.

I wrote my first book while I was an undergraduate at ISU.


I wrote my second book during graduate school there.


I met and cultivated relationships with the most wonderfully inspiring people who continue to support and challenge me, as mentors, beta readers, editors, sounding boards, and unwavering supporters.

I tell you all of this in order to make it clear that I would not be the person, the author, or the community member that I am today if not for my time at Illinois State University.  That is why I feel such a compelling need to give back, and to pay it forward.

As part of this process, ISU sent me the promotional video below.  They asked that I share it so that you can see the things that current and future Redbirds might miss out on if donors like me, and hopefully you, don’t step up. As you watch it, though, I hope that in your mind you will also ask yourself what it would be like if you’d never read a Rachel Spangler novel (or heard of Sean Hayes or Jane Lynch, who are also Redbirds!), or be better yet, ask yourself what it would be like if the next lesbian romance novelists never get the chances I was afforded at Illinois State.

I hope that thought alone is enough for you to open up your wallet and give a few dollars.  However, in case it’s not, I’d like to sweeten the deal for ONE DAY ONLY!

Anyone who donates at least $10 while using this link on Feb 28 will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free ebook copy of any one of my novels.

Anyone who donates at least $100 dollars will be guaranteed to receive any one of my audiobooks or ebooks. 

Anyone who donates $250 will receive a free, autographed, print copy of any one of my books, along with a handwritten thank-you note.

And finally, anyone who donates $500 or more to this cause that means so much to me will receive not only a free, autographed, print copy of any one of my books and a thank-you card from yours truly, but also the right to name a side character in one of my future books! 

Again, all you have to do is use this link:


I appreciate it, and I know for a fact that so many future Redbirds will as well!


February 28, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Full English – Wide Release

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I’m celebrating this holiday of love and romance with the wide release of my 14th romance novel, Full English!  Bywater Books sure timed that well, didn’t they?


While the book as been available at www.bywaterbooks.com for a full month now, this week marks the official wide-release date, which means it’s now available everywhere great books are sold.  So, if you are one of those Kindle aficionados, today’s the day.  If you are an iBooks loyalist, today is your day.  If you love to buy from brick-and-mortar bookstores, get to your favorite one today.  Or if you’ve just been waiting for the right day to be whisked away for the English seaside for a romantic travel adventure, can you really think of a better day than Valentine’s Day?


Still not enough inspiration?  What about a sale? Well then, today is still your lucky day because from now until Saturday, you can get 25% off your entire order at www.bywaterbooks.com when you use the coupon code 19HEARTS.

So to sum all that up:

New Romance + Available Everywhere + Valentine’s Day + 25% off sale = What are you waiting for?


February 14, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Descended from Voyagers

We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me
I’ve delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me
It’s like the tide; always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart you’ll remind me
That come what may
I know the way
 ~ Moana

The above song is on my writing soundtrack for Full English, but more than that, it was my answer to the question Emma Volant asks herself repeatedly through much of my newest release, Full English.


“What have you done?”  It’s Emma’s common refrain largely because it was mine for the eight months we spent living in the UK and Spain last year.  There were moments when the panic nearly chokes Emma.  Those scenes often coincided with the worst moments of doubt in my own adventures, and while I couldn’t always answer that particular question, I could often hold the panic at bay by whispering back, “I am descended from voyagers.”

My grandpa is kind of big into genealogy.  He has family trees that when spread out will span whole rooms…big ones.  I was raised on stories of our American ancestors.  The first woman to be married at Jamestown, she was one of us. My grandpa took my brother and I there to see her mentioned in the video at the visitor’s center. We were at Valley Forge with Washington and were granted the land now known as Free Union, Virginia for service to him. The family homestead still stands there, and my grandpa took me to visit in middle school. The real-life Johnny Appleseed was also a relative on my grandfather’s mother’s side. That side of the family also fought at Gettysburg and served time as POWs in Andersonville. My grandfather spent summers walking all the grandkids through cemeteries across central Illinois to point out our people.

Then when I was in high school, my grandparents took a trip to Europe and told me that if I earned enough money to pay my way, I could tag along. I did, and it kicked off a love affair with international travel. I stood in the doorway of the church where my grandmother’s grandparents were married near Essen, Germany.  I stared up at The Arc d’ Triumph as Grandma and Grandpa recounted stories my great-grandpa had told  about the liberation of Paris during WWII, you know, ’cause he was there.

Honestly, as a kid I just thought everyone’s family did that sort of thing.  I was much older before I realized it was unusual for people’s families to go off chasing ancestors across the world, and by then it was too late for me to be persuaded that wasn’t normal.

I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still it calls me

So when my main character starts Full English by arriving in a small English village she’s never seen simply because her grandmother used to live there, I was aware of the disorientation she’d feel, but her motivation never felt illogical to me. There’s a scene early in book where she walks the streets of the little seaside town remembering the stories her grandmother told her, and she has a sort of inherited sense of familiarity. It was only after finishing the book that it really set in for me that not all my readers will intuitively relate to that experience, because it was only after I returned to America after similar experiences that I came to understand how much of a disconnect exists between people who have felt those ancestral echoes and people who haven’t.

As a writer, it is frustrating not to have the words you need to explain something amazing.  Until recently I had experienced this only a few times (e.g. explaining what it’s like to feel the first flutters of a baby kicking inside me), but that was nothing compared to the disbelief we encountered when I told people, first in America and then in England, that we’d packed up our family and moved across the ocean because I felt a call I couldn’t explain.

And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me
It’s like the tide; always falling and rising

I wasn’t in quite the same place as my main character, Emma, in that I did know one person in Alnmouth in the village we chose, and we had at least been there for a whole 36 hours several years earlier.  I mean sure, we had never seen the house we’d be living in, and we wouldn’t have a car, but we didn’t know how to drive on the left side anyway. And, yes, Kelly would be traveling often, which meant there would be stretches were we didn’t know anyone, but we’d meet folks eventually. And yes our visas wouldn’t allow Jackson to attend school, so we’d have to figure out how to homeschool, but my wife and I are both highly educated. We’d learn.  And okay, so the village was too small to have a pediatrician, or a doctor even, or a real grocery store, or, you know even an ATM, but what’s that compared to striking out in a wooden ship in search of a northeast passage to China?

Yeah, that probably seems like a really random comparison to most of you, right?  Well one thing I didn’t mention in the earlier list of my lineages, is that in the age of internet genealogy, my grandfather had been able to trace not only our American ancestors, but gain access to resources across the pond. And since no one in my family does anything halfway,  he’d gone right back up to Eleanor of Aquitaine.

To be clear, well more than half of Brits can trace their family back to royalty, so this in no way indicates a superior bloodline.  What it does offer, however, is a really clear picture of who some of the people that shaped my family’s path through the world were, and it turns out by the 1500’s, my people were seafaring explorers.

The framed photo above sits in my living room.  (I blacked out the identity-stealing portions for this blog). It shows a direct line from me all the way up to Stephen Borough.

We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me

Stephen was one of the captains on several expeditions in search of a northeast passage to China.  While they found no such route, what they did find was Russia.  This was mind-blowing to many Europeans who knew of Russia only as a small country that barely touched the Black Sea. At this point, England had no real trade relations in that area and no genuine knowledge that Russia was a massive set of territories and duchies and provincial-style holdings that at its largest stretched from modern-day Scandinavia through to the far northeastern edge of Asia. Obviously I’m condensing a lot of this, but Stephen sailed all the way through the North Sea, around the northern-most coasts of Norway/Sweden/Finland, then many many more miles between the coast and the Arctic circle before having to winter in the White Sea.

While there, he interacted with some locals, and it went something vaguely like this:

Stephen: Who are you?
Locals: We are Moscovite Russians
Stephen: You mean that piddly little country on the Black Sea?
Locals: No, we mean this place:

Stephen: Holy hell! I gotta tell Bloody Mary about this.
Locals: Cool, in the meantime, want to meet Ivan the Terrible?
Stephen: Sounds legit, let’s go!

Anyway, obviously I super condensed that part, too, but Stephen took lots of trip to Russia, negotiated the first trading charter with Russia, set up the first Russian trading company in England, etc.  Later he reformed the way British navigators were trained and the tools they used, like you do, when you’re a well-traveled dude. If you want to learn more about him, you can check out this book that my grandpa gave me a few years ago.


To be honest, though, it’s value for me lay not in the dates and details of journeys long past, but in the constant reminder that people up my family tree took off with a lot fewer resources and a lot less knowledge to much more remote locations and not only survived, they changed the world. If Stephen Borough could strike out in the unknown and sail the frigid waters of the North Sea in search of new lands, new ideas, new connections, and renewed sense of global identities, then there was no reason I couldn’t do a little bit of the same.

So, I did.

I’ve delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther

I packed up my family and moved them across an ocean to a country my ancestors hadn’t inhabited in 400 years, to a village I’d barely visited, and into a house I’d never seen.  And when I walked out my back door, I stared out at the vast, vivid expanse of the great North Sea.


I’ll blog plenty more about my time abroad and how it connected to various details in Full English.  I’m even planning to blog some more about my search for Stephen Borough, but for now, as you begin to read Full English, as you see Emma arrive in her grandmother’s village for some reason she can’t fully understand, and read about seeing Brogan hoisting sail because of a pull she can’t quite explain, I hope you’ll think of me getting lost in this view and listening to the echoes of my ancestors calling to me in memories made before I was born.

I will carry you here in my heart you’ll remind me
That come what may
I know the way

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another New Release!

Hi Friends,

Welcome to this week’s edition of Rachel’s Really Excited!

Last week I got to celebrate the early release of my newest romance novel, Full English, and that part is still going on, exclusively over at www.bywaterbooks.com where you can pick up the book in print and ebook several weeks ahead of its wide release.


And now I get to pile on the fun with ANOTHER big announcement.  Are you ready?


In Development is now available in audiobook!

This is the first audiobook I have self-produced.  A few years ago when I gave the special address at the GCLS Annual Conference, I spoke about how our community needed to do a better job of reaching out to a wider array of audiences, and how until recently our visually impaired readers have either had to miss out on our fiction entirely, or suffer through substandard, computer-generated recordings.  I challenged al of us, myself especially, to make more of our work available in high-quality audio formats. We have come a long way in those few years, and I’m proud to say that more than half of my releases are now out on Audible, with more in production.

So, when it came time to publish In Development under a new model where I retained the audio rights, I knew that I wanted to continue that commitment, but I also knew it wasn’t something I could do at a high level all on my own.  Enter the wonderfully talented Ann Etter.


Ann and I met through the lesfic community several years ago and have forged a connection over great romances, raising active kids, and never shying away from long road trips. She’s become one of my go-to proofreaders. She also did a couple public/podcast readings of my work for various outlets including The Lesbian Review, and I just fell in love with her voice.  Her accent is incredibly similar to my own mash up of American Midwest and Northeast, but she has a much better range and smoothness I could never master.  Honestly, I listened to several other narrators, but there wasn’t even any real competition.

From there, Ann took on the heavy lifting of reading and editing, while I got to focus on being the rights holder (it involved reading a lot of paper work, of clicking tons of consent boxes and e-signing documents, then listening, approving, and clicking more boxes. Dramatic, I know).   Then the ever-awesome Ann McMan formatted her stellar cover to fit the audio book, and we held our breath.

But today the wait is finally over!  In Development is available through Audible and Amazon!


For those of you who have been waiting for this one on Audible, get it today!

For those of you who loved the book and want to hear it performed by a real vocal talent, get your copy today!

For those of you who support more accessibility in lesfic, get your copy today!

And for those of you who want to support authors, narrators, editors, cover artists, etc. so we can afford to keep producing lesfic audiobooks, you guessed it, go get your copy today!


January 24, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Full English – Limited Release!

Wow, look what arrived at my house!


That’s my new romance novel, Full English, and it’s here more than a month early.  I swear Bywater keeps getting better and better at this roll-out business. My last two books have both been ready early, so I’ve come to expect a little lead time on the actual publication date, which is why I started introducing Full English to you in my blog last week. However, being more than a month ahead of schedule caught even me by surprise.

So, surprise to you, too!  I will still spend the next few weeks blogging about Full English and the events, places, and people who inspired it, but you no longer have to wait for the back story in order to get the main story.  For the next month, you can get your own copy of Full English in print and in ebook exclusively at http://www.bywaterbooks.com!


After a publicly humiliating divorce, best-selling author Emma Volant runs away to hide in the seaside English village of Amberwick, where she doesn’t know another living soul. She wants nothing more than to surrender to her broken heart in private. However, when the locals discover their newest resident is world famous, they gather at the local pub and hatch a plan to draw Emma out of her self-imposed isolation, hoping her celebrity status will elevate the village’s reputation to something more than a holiday hotspot.

It doesn’t take long for them to try to rope their favorite bartender, Brogan, into the act. Born and raised in Amberwick, Brogan McKay has built a comfortable life by never overreaching. Part-time jobs and short-term flings have always been good enough for her, but when she meets her beautiful and wounded new neighbor, Brogan realizes Emma has the potential to wreck the carefully controlled expectations she uses to protect her heart. Despite their obvious attraction and growing friendship, both Emma and Brogan are in firm agreement that neither of them is in a position to look for love, but how long can they fight their fears and desires as the events and people around them all conspire to create a full English love story?

Go get your copy now at https://www.bywaterbooks.com/product/full-english-by-rachel-spangler/

January 16, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What’s In a Title?

Happy New Year!  I hope you all are acclimating well to 2019 so far.  I know we’re just getting started with a new year, but I am eager to start it off right, and in my world, that means we start it off with a new book!


My next release was born out of the time my family and I spent living in England in 2017/2018.  I am going to do some blogs on those details later, but for now, let’s just say it was a magical, golden time filled with adventure and romance, and I felt inspired every day.  I wrote a classically sweet and romantic novel while nestled in out little village looking out over the North Sea.  I couldn’t wait to share it with you all when I got home; however, I couldn’t even begin the publishing process because I didn’t have a title.

Titles are the worst for me.  Okay, actually they are the second worst after blurbs, but still I am terrible at them.  I haven’t titled even half of my books, instead waiting for friends to do the job for me.  So, I headed off to Indiana to visit friends Sarah and Andy, who have helped with this process in the past.  We did like we always do. We put the kids to bed, got out some wine, and I told them about the story:  Recently divorced American writer moves to her ancestral home in the hopes of hiding out and healing her wounds, but the whole village wants to be friendly and tries to fix her up with the only other lesbian they know, the town’s loveably understated British/Irish bartender.  Then I turned to my friends and said, “Go.”

What followed was an hour of the worst British puns and romantic cliches you can imagine. We ran through themes of hiding, of running away, of travel and homelands. And things only devolved from there.  At one point were were listening to ’80’s pop songs and scanning blurbs of Hallmark movies.  All we got was tipsy and this list of the least horrible ideas, most of which actually were pretty horrible for this book.

Heart’s Hideaway
British Beginnings
Hearts in Hiding
Longing for Home
Getaway Romance
British Begin Again
Worlds Apart
Crossing Borders
Escape to the Country
Across the Pond
Run for the Border
Seaside Lover Holiday Village
Waiting for Love in All the Wrong Places


Weeks, even months later, we were back in in England, still tossing around the ideas and feeling the pressure of a deadline, when we decided to play the same game some of our British friends.  They came up with a similarly tragic list of randomly British things that had virtually nothing to do with the books, usually followed by requests to make them fit through some sort of rewrite.

Castle and Queen (there is a castle in the book)
Garden Party (nope, she does have an important garden, but hosts no parties there)
Tea Time
High Tea (they could get high and drink tea?)
Pub Quiz
London Calling (doesn’t fit and already taken)
The Royal Guard (just no)
Tea and Scones (there actually are assloads of scones in this book, but no)

The list went on and on, and I feared we’d never find a single, catchy, English thing in any way related to the actual book I’d written.  Then came breakfast,  a full English breakfast.

And no, I have no scenes in the book where my characters flirt over massive plates loaded down with all the good things that pass as acceptable breakfast foods in England.  I did, however, have some very interesting connections forming in my mind.  My main American character’s heritage is English. My other main character is half English, half Irish. They are in effect, both part-English, which is a fun play on the concepts of parts and a whole.  The village and region where they meet and fall in love (That’s not a spoiler. It’s a romance) is also quintessentially English.  The village sets about giving them a full English experience.  And finally, as Emma puts down roots of her own to mingle with those of her family tree, she becomes increasing at home and increasingly English.  The whole story takes a lot of parts, but the sum total works out to be a full English romance.

From there, I wrote a blurb, and Ann McMan designed the deliciously romantic cover. Then Bywater Books started the long process of getting Full English out to you!



After a publicly humiliating divorce, best-selling author Emma Volant runs away to hide in the seaside English village of Amberwick, where she doesn’t know another living soul. She wants nothing more than to surrender to her broken heart in private. However, when the locals discover their newest resident is world famous, they gather at the local pub and hatch a plan to draw Emma out of her self-imposed isolation, hoping her celebrity status will elevate the village’s reputation to something more than a holiday hotspot.

It doesn’t take long for them to try to rope their favorite bartender, Brogan, into the act. Born and raised in Amberwick, Brogan McKay has built a comfortable life by never overreaching. Part-time jobs and short-term flings have always been good enough for her, but when she meets her beautiful and wounded new neighbor, Brogan realizes Emma has the potential to wreck the carefully controlled expectations she uses to protect her heart. Despite their obvious attraction and growing friendship, both Emma and Brogan are in firm agreement that neither of them is in a position to look for love, but how long can they fight their fears and desires as the events and people around them all conspire to create a full English love story?

January 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Happy Holidays

Today we travel.

It is not the end of the year, but it always sort of feels that way.  By the time I am back in my own living room, New Year’s Eve will be upon us.  The time for work is nearly past, and the time for reflection is setting in.

I like this time of year. I like how the hustle and bustle and anticipation of what’s to come manages to blend with the urge to slow down and look back.  It’s a time of great darkness, but also a sense of impending light. Whether your Hanukkah has come and gone, your Solstice is nigh, your Christmas or Kwanzaa is just around the corner, or you’re simply ready for the start of a New Year, I pray you find something worth celebrating.

I also hope you take the time to find your center, look back on where you’ve been, and turn your intentions to what may be.  A big part of that process for our family is making our year-in-review video.  So many times it’s easy to remember the hard times, the losses, the sadness, and the hopes that didn’t come to fruition. I don’t mean to negate those experiences. They were real, and they took their toll on all of us, but when I allow myself to set them aside for just a while and seek out the good, I usually find there was a lot more good than I initially thought.  That was especially true for our family this year.

If you’d like to share in some of those happy memories, here’s the video below.

And no matter where you are, or how you choose to mark the season, Happy Holidays from the Spangler family.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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