Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Finding the Way Home - Release Day Thoughts

It's Release Day!!

Even a year later the idea of releasing a book is still thrilling to me.  So much has changed since March 24, 2015.  I now have a website, business cards, a stronger grasp of the reality of self-publishing, and a healthy realization that even though everyone I've spoken to "loves" my books, that doesn't mean I will ever be universally adored.

You know what, though?  I am okay with that.

I don't really want to be universally adored.  People who require constant affirmation of their greatness rarely grow.  They are stuck in their own self-perpetuating cycle of doubt and vanity.

I, on the other hand, know that I have flaws.  I love them,  I celebrate them.  They are what makes me...ME!  They are what allow me to hand over a story I have crafted and say, "Here ya, go.  I hope you love it.  But if you don't, I hope you can tell me why you didn't."

This story was hard for me to write because the writing of it came during a tumultuous time for me.  My father-in-law (whom the book is dedicated to) became ill while I was writing it, so there was a lot of heartache over that.  Also - and this completely slipped my mind until now - I managed to spectacularly injure myself playing Kickball with a bunch of Cub Scouts (I am a Cub Scout Den Leader).  I tore my Achilles Tendon and spent 6 weeks laid up, not being able to do much of anything.

So, between worry, depression, and gut-wrenching sadness, I managed to craft a story of hope and transformation.  And then, during the editing phase a storm set in.

A stomach flu passed through our community, hitting three out of the four members of our household.  My husband was hit the hardest and seemed to be having a hard time bouncing back.  I finally encouraged him to go to the doctor, only to get a call from him later that day saying he was being taken by ambulance to the hospital.  The virus has attacked his heart, weakening it.

While we were awaiting the test results to determine how badly his heart was damaged, we got some more bad news.  His father's health was failing fast and he was being placed on life support.  Within days he would be taken off of life support and hours later...he was gone.

All of this told, I find myself appreciating this Release Day so much more.  It's because I can celebrate my life and passion with my family, friends and readers.  You guys make days like this so much better.  And I am reminded that acknowledging the kindness in the world is so much better dwelling on the haters.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Welcome! 2016 Is Gonna Be A Great Year!

Thanks for stopping by my site.  I'm really energized for this year and can't wait for everything that is in store for my characters and Fortune County.

On March 15th, I am dropping Finding the Way Home, which is Book Two in the Marshalls of Fortune County Saga.  We will finally learn what happened to Jake and why he left town for so long.  There will also be several new characters introduced whom we will meet again and again as the world of Fortune County expands to even greater dimensions.

Thanks to my unfortunate delays my release schedule for the Novellas is completely skewed, but I am hoping we will be back on track for Marshalls Book Three in the Fall.  In the meantime, coming in May 2016 is Heroic Choices, my third contribution to the Fortune County Novellas series.  This will be Brian Whitely's story, which will be followed up in July 2016 by Steven Whitely's story.  Both stories will feature wounded Veterans as main characters, and I plan on donating a portion of the proceeds I make from each of theses stories to Hope for the Warriors, a charity that offers counseling and aid for not only Veterans returning from service, but also their families.

Lots more besides will be heading your way this year, including giveaways and reading suggestions for some of my favorite authors and books.  As I said above, this is gonna be a great year!

Looking forward to seeing more of you,