Thanks to all who have downloaded Finding Alex. I’m happy to finally have the Taking Lance series behind me. I’ll miss the guys but they all got their happily-ever-afters.
A few things in regards to the Taking Lance series…
I’m redoing all the paperbacks in that series and my other books. I’ve been unhappy with the way they were so I’m starting from scratch.
I’m working on combining the entire series into one edition. It’ll be available in both e-book and paperback in the coming weeks.
Now to something I’ve not wanted to do but it’s kind of necessary…
I’ve mentioned in the past how Barnes & Noble did an erotica sweep awhile back and removed a lot of authors’ books without any type of warning. A lot of mine were in that sweep so I just removed them all. Recently I discovered that Taking Lance (#1 in the series) has been removed from iBooks and all other e-tailers except Kobo, Smashwords, and Amazon. I’ve done everything imaginable to get it back on those sites but it’s not happening. The reasons are (and I’m quoting here), “The content is primarily of an erotic nature, intended to stir sexual desire,” and “Prohibited Explicit or Objectionable Content (Informational).”
I’m pulling the ‘Lance’ books from everywhere except Amazon. I hate doing it but it’s kind of senseless to have books two through four and not the one that actually starts the series. I’ve voiced my displeasure over Smashwords so taking them off there isn’t a chore. I get about a third of my sales from Kobo but not from the ‘Lance’ series. If they’re strictly on Amazon I’ll be putting them back in Kindle Unlimited.
This is ONLY the Taking Lance series. I’ll be leaving all my others on the sites they’re on now.
I absolutely despise the exclusivity of KDP Select (KU) but if they’re just going to be on Amazon I might as well enroll them again. I’ll see how things go for 90 days and take it from there.
Check out the new Keeping Lance cover. I’ve been wanting to change the cover for a long time. I’m liking the new one SO much better.
Still no title. I’ve narrowed it down to three or four. It’s just deciding on which one. I know what word I want to use but it just doesn’t sound right in regards to the series. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I go through this every year. 🙂 And for the first time ever, I’m going back and forth between two covers. *bangs head*
It’ll all come together. It always does.
This & That & Personal Stuff
It’s almost the middle of August (already!) and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much in 2018 so far. I’ve published one book, Finding Alex, but I’ve not written anything original in awhile. Granted, I’ve been slowly working on Willy, #5, but it was completed months ago with the exception of a couple of sex scenes and minor holiday details. It’s hard to write Christmasy stuff when it feels like it’s 100-plus degrees outside. 🙂
I don’t think I’ve read a book that wasn’t mine since January. I’m normally a huge reader so to not read in that amount of time is highly unusual for me. I’m obviously not focusing constantly on my writing or more than one book would’ve been published (or at least written) this year. I have about a dozen completed stories that I could do final self-edits on right now and have them out in a week or two. It’s just not happening. It’s frustrating because my whole life there have been two things to help me escape and that’s reading and writing.
The last couple of years, as I’ve said many times, have been rough. My husband is the only person on this planet who even has a clue of what I’ve had to deal with. As a result, my ADHD has been off the charts. I get antsy and I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time or concentrating. My brain is all over the place. If you have ADHD you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, imagine the feeling of dozens of things going on in your head at once 24/7. I’ve conditioned myself over the years to compartmentalize some of those things so it’s not as bad. I’ve not been able to do that for the past few months. The first half of the year I was dealing with my mom’s issues. Now that I can take a deep breath and start taking care of myself I’m having a hard time doing it.
I also have episodes of hyper focus, another symptom of my ADHD. The hyper focus for me is much worse than the scattered feeling. With the hyper focus I get fixated on one thing. No matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, that one thing is front and center. Until I accomplish whatever task it is, it literally controls my life. That’s not me being dramatic. It’s my fact.
I hear a lot of people go on about how ADHD and ADD aren’t real. I’d love for those people to live in my brain for 30 minutes.
All this is nothing new as I’ve been dealing with ADHD my whole life. It’s just lasted longer this go ’round than in years past.
Enough of that.
I hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll update on the ‘Lance’ stuff again soon.
Until next time,
P.S. Please don’t send me nasty messages about the ADHD memes. I’m not making light of it. I live it every day of my life. And (re: the 2nd meme), I’ve never in my life felt like an idiot over it. It’s simply part of who I am.
Website Changes… Again
Notice the change in the way the site looks? My having to redo things on my website has become a habit – a very frustrating habit. I was out of town and received an email from a reader saying there was an error message every time they tried to access the site. I couldn’t find out what the deal was until I got home. My pics and media had been reset to the theme’s default pics and media. Thankfully I didn’t lose content this time, but I did have to go back and add visuals (header, background, my font preferences, etc.) And I had to put the menu and a few other things in order. I don’t know if this is a WordPress thing or a GoDaddy thing. Either way, I’m seriously tired of having to deal with my site acting up every few months. If it’s a GoDaddy thing I’ll be rethinking who hosts my site when it comes up for renewal in a few weeks. It takes several hours each time I have to redo those things. My time is limited so to say it angers me is an understatement.
Thank you to everybody who contacted me after my last post when I mentioned having a death in the family. The past two years have been difficult, to say the least. This particular death has truly hit home the fact that both of my sisters are gone. I wish I could go back in time to help them before it got to the point where they couldn’t be helped. I wish I could take all the pain my mother caused and make it all disappear. Mostly, I wish like hell I could have my sisters with me. I’ve not been allowed to mourn the loss of my last sister two years ago because I was too busy being the so-called perfect daughter to someone who never so much as said thank you.
We were taught at a very young age to keep things to ourselves. No matter how bad things may have gotten, or how down we were, we were told to put on that little happy face and pretend all was well. Unfortunately, that carried over into adulthood for me. When you’re so used to pretending like all is well people automatically believe it’s true. And honestly, it’s tiring pretending to be strong all the time.
I’ve never been a woe-is-me person and I’m not becoming one now so I’ll stop on that. Maybe someday I’ll write a longer blog post about this stuff. Maybe I won’t. I went into it a little in this blog post under the personal section.
This and That, Willy, #5
I have done SO much traveling this year. I’ve literally been from one end of the country to the other since December 26th. It’s been nice, especially over the past few weeks when I’ve needed to escape things for awhile. Most of the traveling has been by car so I’ve been able to see a lot of things I wouldn’t have had I flown. While it’s been nice, I’m hoping to stay home for a little while to play catch-up with some things, mainly getting Finding Alex published and finishing the first draft of Willy, #5. I still need a title for that one. Hopefully it’ll come to me soon. I did something different with that particular book. I’ve written it in two sections. The first section isn’t complete but the second one (including Mrs. Claus’ Christmas party) is. Now I just need to combine the two and add what needs to be added to the first part, which isn’t much. It’ll all come together. I’ve not been in the right frame of mind to concentrate on it over the past few weeks or the first draft would’ve been completed already.
If you’re American, Happy Memorial Day. The holiday is so commercialized these days and the true meaning of the holiday tends to get pushed to the side. We need to take the time to remember, to honor, those who fought and died for us. If you celebrate, be safe.
I am right in the middle of where the first Tropical Storm (Alberto) of the season is headed. Hurricane season doesn’t start until June 1st but Alberto has other plans. 🙂 We’ll likely just see a lot of rain and some wind. Hopefully it won’t be too bad. I think we’ll get the worst of it between Monday and Tuesday.
Starting (probably) next Friday I’ll be posting a weekly Flashback Friday post, which will have excerpts from already-published books and upcoming ones. This was suggested to me forever ago but time got away from me and it never happened. I suck at self-promo, as most of you are aware. 🙂
Catching Up & Social Media
My apologies to everyone who has sent me Facebook and Twitter messages that I’ve yet to respond to. I’ve barely been on Facebook lately and I haven’t been on Twitter at all in quite awhile. I’m actually behind on everything. I’ll catch up with it all soon. Right now I just need to regroup a little.
And because I’ve not said this in awhile… please don’t add me to Facebook groups without my permission. I don’t know how many groups I’ve been added to this past week alone. Send me an invite, a PM, or even an email, but adding me to a group without my permission just makes me mad. It usually has me getting out of it, even if it’s something I might have been interested in before. I don’t tag anybody without their permission. I don’t add people to groups without their permission. I don’t send a dozen invites in one day to like the same Facebook page. I don’t send PMs spamming people with my book purchase links. Hell, I almost never send friend requests. I think it’s rude to just add people to something without asking them first. There are a couple of exceptions but those exceptions only apply to groups I’m a member of outside of Facebook.
I think that’s it for now. I hope you’re all doing well.
I know it’s not a very good idea to basically disappear shortly after a book release. I’ve been around. I’ve just not typed a blog post. I’ve read every email, Goodreads message, and Facebook message I’ve received and I’m almost 100% sure that I’ve responded to them all.
With this being an end of the year/start of a new one post, I’ll say this…. I was very happy to see 2017 end.
I’ll start with the good stuff first and then get to why 2017 couldn’t get behind me fast enough.
Professionally, 2017 was the best year I’ve had since I published my first book in April of 2014. Willy’s World is still going strong and I’m still receiving messages asking what’s coming up in future installments. 4 books published so far in that crazy world and you guys still want more? That’s the greatest compliment an author can receive. But it wasn’t just the Willy books. New readers have discovered my others, even those published almost 4 years ago. I can’t express how that makes me feel. I’m living my dream and it’s all because of you guys. There are no words for how much I appreciate every single one of you.
Which leads me to the not-so-great stuff that happened in 2017.
Personally, it was one of the most stressful years I’ve ever had. I try not to get too personal on here and I’m funny about doing it now. I hope you’ll bear with me for a minute.
I’ve been forced to be somewhat of a caretaker for the person I hold solely responsible for the deaths of my two sisters. I’ve had to deal with medical emergencies, moving her from one facility to another (by myself), and forced to listen to the same criticisms that indirectly caused my sisters’ problems. Not once has there been a thank you. It’s my so-called duty, you see. The stress of all of this caused some pretty bad health problems for me. Even knowing this, I was called selfish because I chose to take care of myself and not be at this person’s beck and call 24/7.
The difference between my sisters and me is that I’m quite outspoken where they weren’t, though there’s no reasoning with this person. She’ll go to her grave convinced she’s never done a bad thing in her life. Another thing is that I have a very supportive husband who won’t allow me to fall into what my sisters did.
Physically, I’m doing much better than I was a year ago. I hate taking medications but I’m being a good girl and doing what the doctor tells me to do.
Enough of that and my apologies for going on about it.
So, how was everybody’s holiday season? For the first time in years I didn’t do the ‘having the whole family over’ thing on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I cooked a couple of things for my mother-in-law’s place and spent the holidays there with my husband and sons. I left just long enough to take my mother food and then I went back for more family time. It was so nice. Normally I’m stressed to the max but not this year. I left with my husband the day after Christmas to travel out of state. It was a two day drive and we had a blast on the way. I’ll be back home one day next week, I suppose, but he’ll stay for work. I spent New Year’s Eve and day with him and I’ll be with him on my birthday that’s coming up in a few days. Normally when I do this I’m antsy to get back home. Not this time. Too many ‘responsibilities’ waiting on me there. I’m trying to avoid them as long as I can.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m a die hard Alabama Crimson Tide fan. On January 1st we got our redemption against Clemson, who beat us in the final seconds of the national championship game last year. We take our football very seriously but we don’t hate Clemson. Their coach is a former ‘Bama boy who was on the 1992 championship team so we cut him some slack. 🙂 Well, when we’re not playing against him anyway. Tonight we play Georgia in the national championship game. Hmm…. their coach? One of our former coordinators.
Gotta love it, right? We’re hated by all until somebody needs a coach. Then they come after ours. 😀
I’m crossing my fingers for a win tonight. I’m not exactly in part of the country where Alabama football is embraced but I’m having a blast jokingly going back and forth with some of these folks.
I usually try to do a public summary of the books I hope to publish in the new year. I’m not doing that this time. When I do and am unable to get them published, I’m angry with myself and I feel like I’ve let the readers down. The past couple of years have been pretty rough outside of my writing. I don’t know what 2018 will bring. I do promise to keep you all informed of new and upcoming releases.
I’ve always said that I don’t make resolutions. I’ve always called them goals because my birthday is so soon after the start of the new year. They’re for the start of MY new year, not the new year itself. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete them this year – both professionally and personally.
The 5th book in the Willy the Kinky Elf series has already been started and the story has been laid out in my head since before I finished writing ‘Barry’. No title or cover yet but I think the fans of the series will enjoy it. I hope so anyway. If all goes as planned, it will go up for pre-order in early October for release on November 1st.
Dylan and Cole are the main characters. You met both in ‘Barry’. I keep wanting to call Cole Ian because that was his original name. I have a feeling I’m going to regret changing it as I write the story. He looks more like an Ian to me than a Cole.
There will still be the silly humor from Willy and the others but the readers will finally get to see what really happens on Mistletoe Hill. You’ve read about the place in every installment and you know it’s supposedly bad news. Now you’ll see it first-hand.
There’s a reason Dylan was forced to be Mrs. Claus’ date at the Christmas party. You don’t know much about Cole other than he owns the jewelry store where Ricky’s dad beat up his ex and that he helped subdue the ex later on. Their stories will come out little by little but mostly Dylan’s as it will be told in his POV. He didn’t have a good life and on the outside he appears to be this strong, bad-ass. Inside, he’s anything but.
Dylan was not supposed to be. Mrs. Claus was going to have one of her little boy toys take her to the Christmas party so she could shove him in Santa’s face. I had no clue who the other MC (other than Cole) would be in book #5, figuring I’d figure it out as I wrote the story. The minute I wrote the scene with Mrs. Claus walking inside the tent for the party Dylan was born and he got stuck in my head. He was also originally a tall blond. See the guy on the right with the black hair? Yeah, as soon as I saw that photo everything I thought I knew about Dylan changed. THAT was him. My poor editor. I completely rewrote his description when I saw that pic. This was literally right before I hit publish on the pre-order. Thankfully she’s awesome and didn’t strangle me for it.
Those who’ve been with me for awhile already know this but my new readers may not – I have a thing for guys with black hair, preferably long black hair. Almost every story I’ve published has a character with black hair. If you’ve not noticed it before, I bet you will now. 🙂 I try to change it up sometimes but it’s kind of rare.
I’ll update on Dylan and Cole throughout the year.
All of my books that are on Google Play are about to be removed unless I find another 3rd party site to publish them through. Pronoun, who put them there originally, is shutting down and I’m literally days from them being removed. I’ve barely had time to think lately but I’ll be trying to find a way to keep them on there. Google Play has been surprisingly successful in finding me new readers and it’s always nice having another outlet to sell the books.
Barnes & Noble
All my e-books are still off Barnes & Noble and there are no plans of putting them back on there. I’m saying that because I’ve been asked by a few people. I hate it but B&N removed a lot of my books without warning because of some so-called erotica sweep. Strangely, my best sellers on there were allowed to stay. Imagine that (sarcasm). They’re all off now. I know I’m losing a substantial amount of royalties by walking away completely but it’s not about that. It’s about these sites blindly deciding that certain books are a little too much for certain readers. Shouldn’t the readers be the ones to decide what’s too erotic and what’s not? What’s funny is that the books removed in their little erotica sweep were the least erotic books I’ve published.
Losses in 2017
We lost a lot of celebrities in 2017. Forgive me for not listing them all but the post is already long enough. I just knew I couldn’t end this without honoring Tom Petty and Chester Bennington.
Tom Petty was part of my teenage years and I will forever have good memories of listening to Damn the Torpedoes on repeat back in the day. I won’t say how far ‘back in the day’ is. 😉 My then-boyfriend’s brother told me my music sucked (it didn’t… really!) so he gave me Damn The Torpedoes to show me what ‘real’ music was. I never looked back. The boyfriend didn’t last long after that, but I still have the tape that his big brother gave me. *grin*
Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Chester’s death hit me the hardest. I fell in love with Tom Petty’s music years ago. My love for Chester’s came much later. I’d always loved Linkin Park but one song really took them higher for me. That song is Leave Out All The Rest, as I’ve blogged about before. Since his death, I’ve seen countless comments from fans about how his music saved them. I don’t know if I can say it saved me per se, but I can say that that one particular song helped get me through the death of my first sister. She loved it and always felt the words. I’ve said for years – even long before Chester died – that I’ll forever regret not having Leave Out All The Rest played at her funeral. It would’ve been perfect, but the ones the lyrics would’ve been aimed at wouldn’t have seen themselves in the words, sadly.
I have a hard time listening to Chester’s songs these days. Still too new, I suppose. I just know that I’ll forever be grateful for his words – his words that helped me in ways I could never express on here or anywhere else. I still listen to it over and over again on the anniversary of her death. That won’t ever change.
Thank you to everyone who has been with me since the very beginning. Thank you to my new readers. And thank you to my amazing family (that includes you and yours too, Karen) for supporting me and for understanding my need to disappear inside my fictional worlds on occasion. Writing is my therapy and while I didn’t publish more than 3 in 2017, I never stopped writing.
Keep sending me messages. I love hearing from readers.
Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for a phenomenal 2018!
I am up to my ears in final edits for Barry the Lonely Reindeer & His Bashful Elf (Willy #4). In the next day or so I’ll be uploading the edited manuscript to Amazon so the final product will go out to readers on November 1st. To those who have pre-ordered the story, thank you! I hope you all enjoy Barry and Ricky’s story. There are quite a few changes I’ve had to make in the past few days. All I can say is thank God for editors. Mine found some things that sounded perfectly fine to my little brain when I was typing the story but don’t sound fine at all in the grand scheme of things. I modeled a secondary character after someone I know well in the real world. Apparently I wrote her too much like that person so I’ve had to tone her down. The last time I modeled a character after a real person in my life I swore I’d never do it again. We see how that worked out. There’s inspiration – like David Garrett who inspired Sy in Eros – and there’s taking a person I really know and writing a character like them. I think I’ll stick to the inspiration pics from here on out. 😉 Both above-mentioned characters turned out to be a pain – in more ways than one.
If you’ve not checked out ‘Barry’ yet, you can find the Amazon pre-order link here and more info here.
When my site decided to go Poof! and disappear a few weeks ago, I lost all my email subscribers and their information. I’d called myself backing things up but I obviously didn’t do it well enough. While I do know the email addresses of some of my subscribers because I’ve spoken with them via email, I don’t want to add you guys without your permission. I don’t update a lot but I don’t want you to miss when I do. If you have a problem re-subscribing, let me know and I can manually add you. The offer of a free e-book of your choice for subscribing still stands, even for those who’ve subscribed in the past and already received a free book. You can find all my books and their info here.
On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Congrats to On Top Down Under for their 5th anniversary! Kazza has been one of my biggest supporters and I’ll forever be grateful. If you’ve not checked out the 5 year festivities, pop over there here.
Some Personal Stuff
I apologize for being a little ‘out there’ or not quite ‘out there’ lately. I’ve been dealing with bad headaches again so until I see the doctor again (on the 26th) I just have to deal. I’ve been pretty much nonexistent on social media because I’ve not felt 100%. Hopefully I can get back on track in the coming days.