What She Inherits


"We all inherit so much—both good and bad—from our families and [What She Inherits] does not shy away from meditating on the complexity of that inheritance. As you turn the pages, you can see a maturing author hitting her stride with this very entertaining and well-written novel."

~Chuck Abdella, author of The Outcasts Series



About the Book

Click to view on GoodReads
Click to view on GoodReads


“What She Inherits is a ghost story that reminds us that not all secrets are better off buried. A perfect blend of mystery, longing, and coffee shop romance.

~Stephanie Monahan, author of The Mean Girl Apologies and 33 Valentines


When Angela Ellis returns to her childhood home on St. Nabor Island, South Carolina, her junior year of college interrupted indefinitely by her mother’s death, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to function in the world without her mother’s love, support, and guidance. Soon after her mother’s funeral, strange sounds begin to trouble her in the night, sounds she swears are her mother's angry voice. In an effort to find peace for herself and for her mother’s restless spirit, Angela begins a ghost hunt that makes her friends fear for her sanity and that leads her to more questions than answers. Her parents, it turns out, were extraordinary secret keepers, and now Angela is on her own to discover the truth. 


One thousand miles away on Devil’s Back Island, Casey Seaver has built a sweet life for herself hidden away from the rest of the world in Maine’s Casco Bay.  She runs a small café and keeps to herself, rarely visiting the mainland. When a posthumous letter arrives from her estranged mother, old memories and new problems interrupt her island idyll.  For twenty years she has been trying to forget the mistakes and injustices of her youth, and she has nearly convinced herself she has succeeded, but her mother’s words shatter that illusion. As she tries ignore her mother’s dying wishes, a stranger arrives on the island, looking to bring Devil’s Back into the twenty-first century at last. If he has his way, Casey’s island haven will be a refuge no more.


As plans for a new resort on Devil’s Back spur Casey to move her life forward, Angela’s ghost investigation forces her to examine the past. Fate has put their lives on a collision course, and through each other, they will find the way through their grief.



What Readers are Saying...

"absorbs you till the last line"

~Amazon Reader Review


"There is an element of the ghost story to this, but it doesn’t play a large role in the proceedings... It isn’t a ghost story per se, so don’t think this is a supernatural thriller or fantasy book. It isn’t. Human drama is the strongest element of this book, and it works well because Mulligan has such good control of the plot and pacing, and has written interesting and believable characters."

 ~Amazon Reader Review / NetGalley


"I enjoyed this story very much. The characters are very real and think and act like normal people when confronted by things they can't explain. "

~GoodReads Reader Review


"The characters are realistic and endearing. This would make a great book club book to share and discuss with friends."

~Amazon Reader Review

where to Buy

Preview the Audiobook!

Listen to Chapters 1 and 2 read by the talented Becket Royce. 

What She Inherits is currently a Kindle Select Book, which means the eBook is Amazon-exclusive. You can snag the paperback at Amazon, Createspace, or Barnes and Noble, and soon the audiobook will be available at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.


More eBook vendors will be back later this spring!


Do you prefer to read books via Nook, iBooks, or Kobo? Let Diane know. Your feedback helps her make informed decisions about marketing and distribution. 

Publication News:

Today is LAUNCH DAY!

Today's the big day!




Early readers, my book needs your help. If you enjoyed What She Inherits, please take a moment to post a review on Amazon or GoodReads! 


Thanks for all your support!



About the Book:



Soon after Angela’s mother’s funeral, strange sounds begin to trouble her in the night, sounds she swears are her mother’s angry voice.  In an effort to find peace for herself and for her mother’s restless spirit, Angela seeks the help of a paranormal investigator and attempts to communicate with the fitful ghost, but her efforts lead her to more questions than answers. It turns out her parents were extraordinary secret keepers, and now Angela is on her own to discover the truth about her family.


What She Inherits weaves back and forth between the stories of Angela and Casey, a woman who lives one thousand miles away and whom Angela has never met but who is the only person who can put the puzzle pieces of Angela’s family history together. As much as Angela wants to uncover the past, Casey wants to keep it buried. 


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Why Preorder?

Where to PreOrder

Launch day for What She Inherits is right around the corner! I am so excited to share my latest work with readers, I can hardly wait.


The eBook will be available for download on January 10, but you can order it today! Then, when it goes on sale, it'll be delivered directly to your device and you can be among the first to read it.


By preordering the book, you also help me reach more readers. It's all about discoverability. Here's how it works:


When you preorder a book, it is not registered as a sale until launch day. When the book goes live, all the advance sales are logged at once, sending a book rapidly up the sales rankings. The higher a book's sales ranking, the more likely readers are to discover it via browsing and keyword searches. Additionally, books with higher sales rankings are more likely to be recommended to readers via the retailer's automated suggestions. 


If you're planning to read What She Inherits, please take a moment to preorder it today! Thank you for your support.


Looking for a print edition? You can get yours today--before they go on sale to the general public--but clicking the button below! 

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Friends and Family Secret Sale!

Friends! For those of you kind enough to ask if you can get copies of my new novel in time for Christmas, I am happy to say the answer is YES!


While What She Inherits won't be available to the general public until January 10, 2017, you can purchase an advance copy by clicking the button below between now and December 6.

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What She Inherits Now Available for PREORDER!

I'm very excited to say that What She Inherits is now available for preorder as an ebook!


Unfortunately the book won't be ready for Christmas this year, but it can be one of your first books of 2017. It will be released on January 10, 2017.


If you'd like your book to be delivered your reading device as soon as it is available, preorder it today!


As a special thank you to all who supported my Kindle Scout campaign, you can use the coupon code below to preorder the ebook for FREE from Smashwords. Just enter the coupon code at checkout between now and December 24!


Smashwords Coupon Code GK86K


You can buy books from Smashwords and send them to Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and other devices. 


Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow any coupon codes, so if you prefer to get your book there, I can't make it discounted at this time.


For information about how to read books from Smashwords on your reading device, whatever that device may be, check out these FAQs.

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The Bad News and the Good News


Well, friends, I got the bad news today. Kindle Scout has passed on my book, surely their loss, because it's a good novel and one that I know my readers will enjoy.


When I decided to try a Kindle Scout campaign, I knew that public failure was an option, and it was the scariest part about the whole endeavor. As a writer, I am accustomed to rejection. I've racked up nearly 100 agent rejections for this novel alone. But those rejections are private. This time, since I asked all of you to help, I also find myself having to admit defeat, and let me tell you, it is not fun.


Even though Kindle Scout chose to pass on my book, I am proud of the work I put into my campaign and I am so grateful for all of your support throughout. I hope you'll read What She Inherits when it comes out in early 2017 (details to follow); I hope you won't think less of it for being self-published.


As for the good news: I'm working on putting in place a marketing plan for my book launch, and I'll have an exact publication date soon, so stay tuned!

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Now the Waiting Begins

Well, friends, the public phase of my Kindle Scout campaign is finally over. Sigh of relief. And now, the worst part begins. I thought the endless self-promotion was the worst part, but now I remember how miserable waiting is.


This morning, I got an email alerting me that my book is now "in review." The email also said, "You will receive an email from us in the next few business days notifying you whether your book has been selected for publication by Kindle Press." Oh boy. Next few business days... So for the next few business days checking my email will be torture.


Thank you for all your support for the past thirty days. If you'd like to see the final stats of my campaign, scroll down to the bottom of this post.


Stay tuned for updates!



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Beta Readers Weigh In!

"The story unfolds in a way that is both heartfelt and suspenseful. The characters are interesting and strong, tender and real. This novel makes readers examine their own relationships and think about what family really means."




We've crossed the half-way point of my Kindle Scout Campaign! It's going really well. My book was "Hot and Trending" for the all of first ten days and for part of each of the days since. Lots of new readers have discovered it, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the possible outcome.


Since I'm sure you're all tired of hearing me tell you about the book, I asked my kind beta readers, who already did me the favor of reading earlier drafts and helping me perfect the novel, to do one more favor and to share their thoughts.


Full disclosure, all of my beta readers were my family and friends, people who know and love me, and are therefore, obviously totally unbiased.  They are also remarkably eloquent; they've definitely done a better job describing the book than I have. The quote at the the top of this post was from one of them, and here's what the rest had to say:


"What She Inherits is an intriguing tale of discovery and reconciliation...This wonderful ghost story will enthrall you from its beginning and captivate you to its surprising conclusion." *



"Exceptional book! I was drawn in immediately by the twists and turns and enthralled by the mysticism ... The unexpected genetic predispositions put the characters on a collision course with much at stake. A GREAT READ! " *



"I loved the way the two seemingly unrelated storylines wove together—unexpected, sad, and hopeful at the same time."




*Spoilers removed!



If you haven't nominated What She Inherits yet, there are still 14 days in the campaign, so please take a moment to cast your vote. If it's selected for publication, you'll get a free advance copy! 


If you have nominated it, please share with your friends. I ran out of people to tell about the book by day 9 of the campaign, so now I'm counting on the help of my friends to keep spreading the word!

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Kindle Scout Update!

My Kindle Scout campaign has been up-and-running for one week, and I have been blown away by the response so far. In addition to voting, so many of you have offered kind words about the cover, blurb, and sample chapters, and I have appreciated it. I've been working on this so long, trying to get it just right, and it makes me so happy to know that my efforts are working.

Thanks to all of you who visited the campaign and nominated What She Inherits! Due to your efforts, the book has been "hot and trending" since the day it launched!

So far, visits from people who found about my campaign on social media or my website account for slightly less than half of the total views. The rest are people who came to the Kindle Scout site, noticed my book in the listings, and viewed it. 

As the week has gone on the ratio has began to gradually shift towards more views from within Kindle Scout than from external links, which is a sign of success. It means people who don't know me, who aren't my friends and family and Twitter followers, are taking an interest in the novel. Of course those people wouldn't have found the book at all if it weren't from traffic you all provided by visiting the page!  

In the end the editors will decide whether or not to publish my book, but I can't help but feel cautiously optimistic. Even if Kindle Scout doesn't pick it, I can only consider the experience a success. I was honestly terrified to take on a public effort at getting a publishing contract. No one wants to risk public failure. Now, though, I realize that I have a lot of people in my corner, and that is the best sign of success I could ask for.

Just so you know, I cannot see who has nominated the book, so if you'd like me to know you've cast a vote, drop me a note or menion it on social media!

Still haven't nominated?! Click here!

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Kindle Scout: Your Questions Answered

Thank you all for the support you've shown since I announced my Kindle Scout campaign! My readers are the best!


A lot of people have been asking questions about the nomination process and how they can get in on the FREE ADVANCE COPIES of What She Inherits, so I thought I'd take a minute to share more information.
Do I need a Kindle to nominate a book for Kindle Scout?
No Kindle needed at all. All you need is an Amazon account.
Can I still get a free advance copy of the book even if I don't have a Kindle?
The advance copies are ebooks, but you do not need a Kindle to read them. You can read Kindle books on iPads, android tablets, iPhones, android smart phones, and computers. All you need is an Amazon account and a free Kindle app. You can download Kindle apps here and get more instructions. Sound good? Click here to nominate!
What if I don't like reading ebooks?
I know ebooks aren't everyone's preferred format. Sadly I can't give away free advance copies of print books, but once the book is published, you'll be able to buy it in print in your choice of paperback or hardcover. 
If I don't plan to read the ebook, should I still nominate What She Inherits on Kindle Scout?
Yes, please!
The more nominations the book receives the easier it will be for other prospective readers to find and nominate the book. Ready to nominate? Click here!
Will I still be able to get a free advance copy of the ebook even if it isn't selected for Kindle Press?
If Kindle Press doesn't pick up my book, I will move forward with self-publishing, and there will be chances for you to become an early reader, but for now I'm focusing my efforts on Kindle Scout success!
What can I do to help What She Inherits find a home at Kindle Press?
First, visit Kindle Scout and nominate the book! Then tell all your friends. Sharing news about the book via Facebook, Twitter and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth goes a long way toward creating that elusive thing called "buzz." 
To nominate What She Inherits, click the button below!
Thank you!

Want a FREE ADVANCE COPY of my New Novel?

Hello friends!


Thanks for your kind response to my cover reveal last week. When I first shared it, I mentioned that there would be opportunities for you, my loyal readers, to score advance copies of the book, and today I want to tell you about the first of those!


Here's the short version:


If you'd like a FREE ADVANCE COPY of What She Inherits, click the "Visit Kindle Scout Now!" button below and nominate my book for the Kindle Scout program!


When you visit Kindle Scout, you can also learn more about the book and read a sample of the first few chapters.


To learn more about what Kindle Scout is, why I'm submitting my book to it, and how you can help me make this novel a success, read on!


What is Kindle Scout?


Kindle Scout is platform for authors to submit their books to Kindle Press for publication. Kindle Press is an Amazon company.


How does Kindle Scout work?


When authors submit to Kindle Scout, they launch a 30-day campaign to attract the attention of Kindle Press editors. Throughout those 30 days, visitors to the Kindle Scout site have the opportunity to nominate books that appeal. While ultimately the selection of books is up to the editors, when a book gains a lot of nominations, it is more likely to catch and editor's eye. After the 30-day campaign, editors take a couple of weeks to make a decision. Authors whose books are accepted get a publishing contract for the ebook and audiobook and the book is prepared for sale. The whole process goes very quickly compared to publishing industry standards. Selected books are generally on sale within a few months of being selected.


Why am I submitting to Kindle Scout?


Over the past year, I've thought a lot about what I want the future of my publishing experience to be. I am proud of all I have accomplished as an indie author and I have no regrets about the path I followed to publish my first two novels. That said, what I want most in my future publishing endeavors is the support of a team of publishing and marketing experts to help my work reach a broad audience.


Part of the learning curve of self-publishing has been learning just how much I don't know and also learning what my limitations are. I have worked hard to inform myself about best practices in book marketing, but knowing those practices does not mean I can follow them for a variety of reasons including cost (many marketing techniques are cost prohibitive to individual authors) and a lack of connections (those that aren't cost prohibitive often require having a professional network and/or fame and name recognition). 


As such, I know that I need a good team in place, particularly for the sake of marketing.


At this point in time, I am skeptical about paying "experts" for their help. As anyone who has read The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing knows, I am 100% against the ecosystem of vendors who have set up tent cities around self-publishing and who make bold claims about how they can help your book if you are only willing to pay. Most of those claims are grossly overstated and the prices are way too high. Blog tour companies, pay-per-click ad opportunities, and the like are happy to profit from the dreams of aspiring authors, and they have an easy out if there's no return on investment. If you don't earn back what you've spent, they'll just tell you that the book business is unpredictable, so it's not their fault if yours didn't sell.


Simply put, I want a traditional publishing arrangement in which I am paid for my work. Any arrangement in which I am expected to pay-for-play is not acceptable to me.


Kindle Scout is, in many ways, a traditional publisher. Accepted projects are given an advance on royalties, editorial support, and marketing support. The royalty rate is more generous than working with a traditional publisher would be. Because it is a digital-only imprint, the author retains print rights, meaning it's up to me to decide if I want to publish hard copies. In that way, Kindle Scout might be considered a "hybrid" publishing model. Unlike many other hybrids, however, there is no cost to the author. 


What about the requirement of Kindle Press titles to be Amazon exclusive?


The biggest drawback of Kindle Scout is that its books are exclusive to Amazon, a fact that I have grappled with as I made the decision to go this route.


In the past, I have often cautioned authors against enrolling in Kindle Select due to its exclusivity clause and the way that such arrangements turn indie authors into second-class citizens in the Amazon world. To be clear, for self-publishing authors, I still maintain that it is not in one's best interest to permanently enroll in Kindle Select for all the reasons I've discussed in the past. Kindle Select is a useful component in a marketing plan, and occasionally signing on for 90-day stints in Kindle Select isn't a bad idea, but in the long term it is not a winning proposition. 


Agreeing to exclusivity as part of Kindle Scout is not quite the same as Kindle Select, primarily because titles that get through Kindle Scout to be published by Kindle Press are treated by Amazon as traditionally published books, so the terms of the Kindle Owners Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited are more favorable than they are for self-published titles (at least, that is what I've heard from authors who have published this way). Also Kindle Press titles are promoted by Amazon with targeted marketing campaigns, so authors gain tangible, quantifiable benefits in exchange for exclusivity, whereas Kindle Select books only get the chance to be listed as "free" for a few days out of every 90.


Further, and I hate to admit it, my objection to Amazon exclusivity as an indie author is really only a problem in theory and on principle. Frankly, fully 99% of my book downloads are through Amazon or Audible (an Amazon company), so even though my previous books are not technically Amazon-exclusive, they are effectively Amazon-exclusive. Notice, I said downloads and not sales. If we're only talking about sales, by which I mean paid downloads, the number of sales at vendors other than Amazon is less than 1%.


Lastly, on the upside, as Kindle Press authors retain print rights, I will be still be able to make my print books available at other retailers like Barnes and Noble.


Why Kindle Scout instead of a traditional publishing contract?


You may be wondering, given my desire to build a support system for my book, why I'm not going for a totally traditional publishing option. The short answer is I have tried and concluded that the process of seeking an agent and then waiting for an agent to find a publisher is too slow. Life is short. I have spent a lot of time querying agents and have accumulated  respectable stack of rejections. I could keep trying that way, and maybe it would even pay off. People keep telling me that some authors have to get well over a hundred or even two-hundred rejections before they strike a deal. That may be true, but just as many authors keep trying and never find an agent and therefore never publish a book. I suppose you may be thinking that this means their books are bad and don't deserve to be published, but it's just not that simple. Many great books never see the light of day, and plenty of terrible ones get published all the time. If you want to hear more about my own efforts to transition from indie to trad author, you can read this past blog post


What's next?


What's next is we wait and see what the editors of Kindle Press think. Stay tuned for updates about my Kindle Scout campaign and publication plans for What She Inherits, and thank you for your support!




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