Thursday, November 17, 2022

Twenty-five years from idea to finished manuscript – #RomanticSuspense #SlowBurn #Giveaway @StellaAnnGeorge

Note by Note cover

By Stella Ann George (Guest Blogger)

Yes, I was a young whippersnapper when the idea of Note by Note began to take form in my overactive imagination. It had begun as a boy-meets-girl romance. The first romance I ever read was Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ Ashes in the Wind. Kathleen is credited with inventing the modern historical romance back in 1972 with her first novel The Flame and the Flower. An amazing achievement and legacy. My over-active imagination was ignited by Kathleen, but Sandra Brown lit the fire for romantic suspense. I first read her work in her Harlequin stories and watched her build an incredible career.

The idea of combining all the best of a man and woman falling in love with intrigue and mystery seemed natural and interesting to me. Although I must admit, sometimes weaving the plot and keeping track of all of the loose ends is challenging to say the least.

It was slow-going with the first draft. I got married shortly after I started it and raised two children, who are now young adults. And took care of my Mom, who had dementia. I’ll admit, it was on and off and on and off. One of the major causes of the off times was lack of confidence in my story and my writing ability. Finally, I met someone online who believed in my work and literally held my hand through the first draft to those wonderful words - The End! And I found more support through beta readers and an incredible editor.

There are a couple of reasons why the story is set around the globe. The first is that my wonderful Aunt Rosella, who passed away in 2016, loved to travel. She never found someone to spend her life with so she doted on her nieces and nephews and explored much of the United States and other countries. In fact, she made a trip around the world in 1966 and, from her notes and recollections, she had a fabulous time from Europe to the Holy Land to the Far East. One of the most exciting trips she talked about was Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Fiji. I was privileged to have traveled with her in 1991 to a cruise and land tour of Alaska. That was the only state she hadn’t visited at the time and had no one to go with her, so I volunteered. It was an unforgettable experience, both because Alaska is so beautiful, and my aunt and I were able to share our passion for travel together.

My college roommate and I were inspired by my aunt and started traveling together our junior year of college when we went to London and Paris back in 1985. After we graduated, it was on to Florida, Williamsburg, Washington, DC, California/Las Vegas/Grand Canyon, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, and finally Australia and New Zealand. It was our last trip together as she got married about a year after we returned. In 2013, she died of breast cancer at the age of 51. I don’t think I’ve ever accepted it. So setting the story Down Under seemed like a great way to remember and cherish our travels together.

As far as the settings in Note by Note, I have been to Sydney, but not Tasmania. And I’ve been to Seattle and Hawaii but not Florence or the Mediterranean. So I relied on research to fill things in with Jess and Finn’s fabulous day in Florence.

So here I am, with Note by Note finally out in ebook, paperback, and hardcover. I can finally put it on my shelf and know that no matter how long it took, I followed it all the way through. I hope readers will enjoy it.

Note by Note was originally published on Kindle Vella as a serial story. It is a slow burn romantic suspense, about 2.5 on the spicy scale.

Leave me a comment with your email and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a free paperback copy of Note by Note.


For Finn Cooper, being a billionaire has the usual perks - fine dining, jet setting around the world, and beautiful women. However, no woman is going to break through his wall; he won’t allow himself to be that vulnerable again. But when the plane he is piloting crashes, an independent and capable woman leaves him questioning all he thought he knew about love.

For Jessica Turner, a fateful flight from Sydney to Tasmania turns her world upside down. Surviving in an isolated cabin with a well-known playboy is just the beginning of a journey that tosses the music teacher out of her safe, secure life. Falling for his charm is easy; guarding her heart is another matter.

In a search for answers about their mysterious circumstances, Finn and Jessica find themselves in an increasingly dangerous world neither of them could have imagined. Staying one step ahead of deadly outside forces makes falling in love a little … complicated.


Finn gazed into Jessica’s eyes, and what he saw there made him catch his breath. He could feel the icy wall he had built around his heart begin to melt. He didn’t know how it had happened, but his life had changed the moment he had met Jessica in Sydney. In their few days together, the feelings between them had grown from mere attraction to something both wonderful and frightening.

He slid his hand from her waist to her hair and tangled his fingers in the silky strands as they swayed to the rhythm of the music. Finally, he lowered his lips to hers, and she was once again lost in the magic of his kiss.

Neither of them noticed or cared as the song ended and drifted into the next. Finn could feel a tug on his heart as her mouth opened under his. He was so tired of being afraid to love, of being hurt again. Somehow, he knew that right here and now was the time to let go of the past and learn to feel again. He tightened his arms around her and let her warmth and passion surround him.

Jessica sensed the change. This kiss was different, more intense than anything that had come before. It was hungry and demanding, and she felt herself responding with a need of her own.

In moments, they were lying on the rug in front of the hearth, oblivious to everything except the fire raging between them. Neither of them could get close enough to quench the flames.

Jessica reached for the buttons of Finn’s shirt. Once they were undone, she pushed it from his shoulders and down his arms. Running her hands over his chest; she reveled in the feel of his smooth skin. He was the most incredible man she had ever known, and she wanted him with every fiber of her being.

For a brief moment, he lifted his body from hers, long enough to reach down to grasp the hem of her blouse and pull it over her head. Finn had never seen anything as beautiful or exciting as the desire now shining in Jessica’s eyes, the same desire he felt so strongly for her.

He leaned down to take her mouth once more, teasing her, lightly trailing the tip of his tongue over her bottom lip. He traced a path over her chin and around to her ear, then her neck. She arched her back as he glided his hands up her arms, then down over the lacy fabric separating his skin from hers.

He placed a kiss on each of her shoulders, then lowered the straps of her camisole and gently pushed the material down to her waist. She held her breath as he drank in the sight of her.

You are so beautiful,” Finn whispered.

Beneath his warm gaze, she felt beautiful, cherished, desired. It was a heady combination.

But that was nothing compared to the sensations he caused as he cupped his hands around her breasts. He gently brushed his fingertips over her soft skin. He slid his arms around her and lifted her toward him until they were skin to skin, chest to breasts, both caught up in the exquisite feel of their flesh touching for the first time.

Finn, I want you so much.” Jessica was breathless. “I’ve never felt this way before.”

Neither have I. At least not for so long, not since ... not even with …

Suddenly, Finn pulled away. “I’m sorry I can’t do this.” He reached for his shirt, grabbed his jacket, and bolted for the door. He glanced back at Jessica and saw the confusion on her face. He wanted to reassure her but couldn’t find the words, only knowing he had to put some distance between them. “I’m sorry,” he said again and was gone.

Ebook, Paperback, Hardcover available on Amazon:


About the Author

Stella Ann George lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, son, and her adorable long-haired chihuahua, Holly. She has been an avid reader all of her life. Her love of writing began in 4th grade when her teacher would post a picture in his classroom every Monday morning. By Friday, everyone had to write a story about it. She also loves to travel and has been around the USA, to Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Her love of Australia inspired this story.








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Stella Ann George said...

Hello to everyone and thank you, Lisabet, for hosting me and Note by Note! I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Stella! It was a long wait, but I'm sure it was worth it!

Thanks for being my guest.

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