Surprise! All the Stars in Heaven . . . is here.

A few days ago my middle daughter hollered up the stairs to me that we had a package on our porch. Assuming it was church related (we get everything from bulk tithing slips to sacrament cups delivered to our home), I told her to put it on her dad’s side of our bedroom (which, I’ve decided, will never be neat until he is released from being a bishop).

“But it’s really heavy,” she said. “It’s books or something.”

I thought it an odd time of year for lesson manuals to be arriving, but I went to help her out. And . . . books indeed! It was a box of my books—the ones I wasn’t expecting for another 3-4 weeks.

How wonderful. How exciting. How quickly panic set in! How was it possible they were arriving in stores already when I hadn’t even blogged about the release yet, hadn’t put the cover on my webpage, hadn’t sent out teaser chapters to my mailing list? Suddenly I was several days late–which would likely result in being many dollars short when my royalty check arrives. After all, no one is going to purchase a book when they don’t even know it’s in stores.

So, for all those I’ve given the June 28th release date to—I take it back. There have been confirmed sightings of All the Stars in Heaven on actual bookshelves in real stores. The need to wait is over. It’s finally time to find out what happened to Jay.

If, by chance, you are confused, let me clarify a couple of things. First, All the Stars in Heaven was previously titled Beneath a Canopy of Stars. It is a sequel—of sorts—to Counting Stars, and the first chapter can be found in the back of that book.

Though it is about one of the characters from Counting Stars, I hope readers are prepared for a completely different kind of story. It takes place on the opposite coast, and while Counting Stars made many readers cry, All the Stars in Heaven may have you biting your nails instead. It’s what I call a suspenseful romance—not to be confused with romantic suspense, as the romance element is definitely the focus. Though you can tell, simply from reading the back cover (below), that Jay and Sarah find themselves in a few stressful situations as well.

Ever since the woman he once adored told Jay Kendrich he was a chivalrous hero, he has tried to live up to the praise. But when things don’t work out with Jane, moving on and dating other girls proves to be a chore. That is until he meets fellow Harvard student Sarah Morgan. Although Sarah is a freshman studying music and Jay is in his third year of law school, he discovers they have much in common. He has also discovered that getting to know the shy pianist is painful. The last thing Jay expected from his friendly advances was to be assaulted by a brawny stranger. It is abundantly clear that someone wants him to stay away from Sarah. If only he could.

As long as she can remember, Sarah has lived under a watchful eye. While her father insists it’s for her own protection, Sarah feels imprisoned. As she begins to believe that those she has trusted most don’t have her best interest at heart, she is driven further from her respected father and closer to Jay. But their love will come at a high price as the pair edges closer toward a truth that is darker than either of them could have imagined.

So yes, there is a bit of a suspense element to this story, and I have to say to all those authors who write mysteries and suspense—hats off to you. As I’ve discovered, it’s a difficult genre to write. Now that I’ve tried it? Give me a good, old kissing scene any day :) That’s much more my style, but this was a lot of fun too (I can say that now that it’s over).

Lest you think this story is all seriousness, there are some fun (and funny) moments and characters as well. I’ll be highlighting some of those this week, posting some of my favorite lines from the book, reposting the prologue, and sending out the second chapter to all those on my mailing list. It’ll be the condensed version of what I’d planned to do over the next three weeks.

And because it wouldn’t be a book release without a contest, I’ll be pulling a name from all those who comment over the next week, and he/she will win a free copy of All the Stars in Heaven. So post a comment and keep checking in. I’ll have more tidbits in a day or two.