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.
I hope you’re all doing well. My husband has been home for the past few weeks so I’ve taken a step back from everything. It’s rare to have this much time with him so I’m taking advantage of it, as I’m sure you all can understand. I’m also still dealing with a death in my family. Hopefully things will clear up a bit in my life so I can try to get back to normal. Or as normal as I can be anyway. 🙂
Smashwords is having a sale through July. The few books I have on the site are either on sale for half price or free. I don’t have the last 2 Willy the Kinky Elf books on there or Marrying Lance. I’m not the biggest fan of Smashwords, to be honest, so the site has not been a priority when I’ve published new books. Maybe someday I’ll add the others. Undecided at this point.
Below are the books on sale or free and the Smashwords links:
I’m still open to suggestions. I won’t have to get serious about the title for a few weeks but I’d like to have that squared away soon so I can get the cover and blurb completed.
If you’re American I hope you had a nice and safe 4th of July. My husband grilled steaks and we just hung out together at home. My oldest son’s birthday was on the 3rd so we did most of our celebrating then.
I’ve seen a lot of anti-American posts and memes lately by actual Americans. I understand being frustrated and angry over the current administration and the damage it continues to do. However, I’m not letting our president or anybody else take away from my love for my country. I’ll always be proud to be an American and there’s nothing Trump or anybody else can do to take that away from me.
Along with most of you, I’m not happy with the way things are right now and I worry daily about what will happen next. That makes me want to work to get these people out of office so that maybe, just maybe, the U.S. will be a place we can all be proud of again. I refuse to be ashamed of being an American or waving the flag. A lot of people died for that flag. It’s bad enough I have to see so much anti-American stuff from those outside of the United States. Be anti-Trump. Be anti this administration. Be vocal and fight like hell to stop him before he causes more damage. But don’t hate your country because of the idiot in charge of it.
That’s all I’m going to say about that and I won’t be debating it with anybody, regardless of who you are. I try so hard to publicly stay out of all things political and I usually do. This will likely be my only exception.
A few weeks ago I mentioned doing Flashback Friday posts with excerpts from my books. I have a bunch of them ready to go but I didn’t want to start the weekly thing until I slowed down a little.
I also plan to add excerpts from upcoming stories. Those will be Tuesday Teasers and will either start the same week as the Flashback Fridays or I may alternate weeks. I’m not sure yet. I don’t want to overload you guys with posts.
This and That
The next few days will be spent getting a lot of stuff done around my house. My husband will be going back to work out of state this weekend so we need to do it all while we can. This is the longest he’s been home in quite awhile so it’ll be sad, as it always is, when he leaves again. But it also means that I’ll probably be traveling again in a few weeks. I always enjoy that.
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.
Finding Alex, that I swore I was about to publish, is still in draft on Amazon. I had a death in my family and have been unable to go back into it. It’s complete. It’s just waiting on me to hit publish.
Willy the Kinky Elf #5 is a chapter or so from being done. It’s still untitled. I’ve been trying to come up with a title but I’ve had no luck so far. I really want it finalized so I can start working on the blurb and cover. I may be open to suggestions in the coming days or weeks if I don’t come up with one on my own. Two reindeer. One’s a ‘bad boy’ and the other is about as straight-laced as they come. Outside of the bedroom anyway. 😉 Certain things come out that make everything Mrs. Claus has done to this point seem tame. Santa, on the other hand, has mellowed quite a bit. You’ll actually see his softer side in the latest installment. I’ve considered toning down some of Mrs. Claus’ antics. They’re pretty bad. I’ll see how I feel when I get closer to publication. Both Mr. and Mrs. Claus have secrets that come to light when Dylan (aka the bad boy) comes back into town.
Speaking of Willy’s World, I’m sure you’ve seen all the stuff about the word COCKY being trademarked recently. If not, Google it. What’s a guaranteed way to lose fans and all respect from other authors? Do what this author did. Willy, being as outspoken as he is, has decided that he wants to share his views on the whole cocky thing. We know that Willy is a naughty little elf and, well, it’s been awhile since he and Randy got naughty on-page. He’s got a lot to say about the cocky situation. 😉 If I finish the story it’ll be a quickie and won’t take place during the holidays. I’ll update on that soon.
I kinda joke about it but I actually have a title with the word COCKY in it, Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human. It was published November 1st, 2016 – long before the trademark was issued. Should I be concerned? I don’t know really. The more I see on the whole situation the more baffled I get. I guess the number one question I have is why was a word – that’s been used tens of thousands of times in books and titles – allowed to be trademarked? It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen since I started publishing my books and I’ve seen some really ‘out there’ stuff. The author put a video out supposedly in defense of what she did. Instead of helping her cause it made her look like she was calling her readers stupid and she even went so far as to imply that stupid equals autism. The last part especially angered me, but that’s another blog post.
Enough about that.
Mother’s Day & Other
I think that’s it for now. I mentioned there being a death in my family. Honestly, I’m exhausted both mentally and physically. I need a few days to regroup. The weekend will be crazy busy with Mother’s Day and other plans and then some family members will be graduating from high school next week. Hopefully afterward I can take a much needed break for me. I’ve been going nonstop for the past week or so.
If you are a mom I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. If not, I hope you have an amazing weekend. 🙂
If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time to enter my 4th anniversary giveaway. It ends at midnight my time (central) on Sunday, April 15th. The winner will be chosen completely at random and contacted on Monday, the 16th. If I don’t hear back from the winner within a couple of days I’ll have to pick another one.
There’s something that has really been bugging me over the past few weeks but I wanted to wait until my publishing anniversary was over before bringing it up. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and have simply not had the time to go into it. And honestly, I didn’t want to come across as rude to those this is aimed at.
To be blunt, I don’t agree with buying reviews, nor do I agree with the practice of trading 5 stars for 5 stars with other authors. I know I’ve gone into this at length in the past but I think it’s important to do it again.
I’ll start with the 5 for 5 thing. I’m all about helping other authors. You want me to promote your book? I’ll promote your book all over the place. You want me to give you 5 stars without reading your book because that’s supposedly the norm between authors? Not happening.
And then I get to paying for reviews. When I see sites advertising for paid reviews I usually run the other way. Does the person getting paid actually like those books? Who knows? Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Either way, it’s not something I will ever support, much less be part of.
I’ve said this so many times I sound like a broken record… give me an honest 1-star review over a fake 5-star one any day. A 1-star Goodreads review helped my most popular series (Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer) get noticed. People wanted to know what was so “painfully bad” about the book so they checked it out.
So, why am I going into this again when I’ve done it so many times over the past 4 years?
Not that long ago, I got an email from someone offering their review services for a fee. This person probably thinks I’m a horrible person because I didn’t respond to the email. I didn’t respond because I wasn’t quite sure how to word my response. It’s something I feel so passionate about that I didn’t want to come across as a total bitch. Their website looks totally legit and the email sent to me was very kind. I’m not judging them in any way for what they do. I’m only, again, saying I’m not interested.
Enough about that.
Finding Alex, Willy, #5
I’ve been traveling almost nonstop for the past few weeks. I’ve only just gotten home a couple of days ago. I’m trying to play catch-up. I have 2 main writing goals right now – publishing Finding Alex (finally) and working on (still untitled) Willy, #5. ‘Alex’ is 55,000 words. Willy, #5, is (so far) 22,200. There are other stories that have been started and even more rattling in my brain. However, I can’t focus on any of those until the other two are complete. Or at least close to it in Willy, #5.
My writing has evolved over the past 4 years. I’ve consistently published mostly gay romance and/or erotica. The Taking Lance series is different. It doesn’t shy away from characters having sex with others while they’re working their way toward the one they’re meant to be with. I’ve not done that with my other books, contrary to the belief of one person who swears that Eros continued screwing around after Sy was introduced in Eros. He didn’t, by the way, but that’s another blog post. 🙂
Because I’ve not had the main characters playing around with others in most of my other books, I’ve been iffy about the Taking Lance finale. Dumb on my part because even Rick and Lance have sex on-page with others until they finally commit to just each other. If you’re a fan of the Taking Lance series you’re aware of everything I just mentioned and likely expect it. If you’re a fan of my others (the Willy series, for example), you know none of that will be happening on-page in those.
Alex Langdon, like Rick, is bisexual. While Alex doesn’t actually have on-page sex with a woman like Rick does in Taking and Keeping, he is bi. He was married to a woman and had a very active sex life with her for many years until certain things came to light. Only then did he start hooking up with males. This is actually done while they’re still married so if cheating bugs you, you might want to avoid this one.
Cheating’s another thing I’ve never put in any of my gay romance books and it won’t be happening in the future.
For the record, Alex isn’t the only one in the marriage who’s unfaithful. He’s just more discreet until it gets to the point where he can’t be.
Alex and Dean bring in a third one time. This is the only on-page sex that’s not strictly between the two of them in the entire book.
On that note, I have to finish my (hopefully) final run-thru of Alex and then get back to working on the blurb.
I just love typing blurbs.
Said no author ever. 🙂
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. If you still want to enter the giveaway, you still have a little bit of time to get your entry in.
It seems like every other week there’s some type of drama in the reading world. I basically stay on the outside looking in. That’s intentional. Very particular about my privacy, I don’t attempt to get close to too many people in the real or virtual worlds. I keep to myself. And I don’t throw out fake b.s. stories about who I supposedly am.
I save my fiction for my books.
Candi Kay is obviously a pen name. I’ve made no secret of that. A lot of authors use pseudonyms for a variety of reasons. I use mine because it allows me the freedom to write what I want, when I want, without the drama that would come from my extended family. Only a select few outside of my close family and friends know my real details.
Unfortunately, when I was still new and green to publishing I got close to a couple of people, to authors. I considered both friends. I was closer to one than the other. The first one turned out to be more than a little unstable. He found out my real name and details by accident. When he had one of the most epic meltdowns I’ve ever witnessed, he chose to out not just me, but others as well. It’s a big no-no in the writing world to out somebody’s real name unless they give you permission to do so. I did not give this person permission. The weird thing is that I know this guy’s real name but it never crossed my mind to retaliate by sharing it. That’s not who I am. I’m loyal, even to some who hurt me.
Then we get to the second one. I trusted this person. He was my mentor and a friend. I even based a book and character on this guy. He never outed me that I’m aware of, but what he did was just as bad. Hell, it was worse because I did consider him a friend. He knew who I was in and out of publishing. He knew about my family and I knew about his. I talked to him about things only reserved for those closest to me.
I defended him when my best friend started seeing things that I didn’t see.
But then again, I didn’t bully anybody or attack my best friend simply because she and I were seeing different things. I felt like, “No way! Not this guy. He’s as sincere as they come.”
Yeah, well. We see how that worked out. And even now, I can’t apologize enough to my friend for not believing her. Thankfully, she’s not the type to say, “I told you so.” But she did tell me so. More than once over a period of months.
I miss that friendship, but it wasn’t really real, you see. He knew me before Candi Kay was created. I’m sure if the writing was all we had in common we’d still be plugging along and I would still be believing he’s somebody he’s not.
I’m not naming names but I don’t think I have to. And I’m not saying all this so people will ask me a lot of questions about it or even call anyone out. I’m saying it here and nowhere else. And it ends here. I’m saying it to make a point that I’m about to get to.
It’s sad really. It must be really difficult playing a part all the time. I couldn’t imagine trying to keep up with it all day in and day out. What a miserable life that must be.
That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Why am I going on about this? If you’ve followed pretty much all M/M authors and readers this past week, you know what’s happening with Santino Hassell. If not, search for him on Twitter. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.
I normally don’t believe in naming names but I am in this post because it’s already been stated everywhere. I don’t know this person – or people, as it’s been said that it’s a married couple. I’ve never read a SH book but my friend has and enjoyed them.
Like I said above, I stay on the outside looking in for the most part. I’m not an out there type of person, which is pretty bad considering I’m an author, right? I just want to write, you know? I have a wonderful fan base who tolerate me, even when it takes forever for me to publish a promised book (Sorry, Ksm. I swear Finding Alex is coming. Really!). I write about naughty elves and hot, sexy shifting reindeer. I’m not a, “Look at me!” type person. That’s not me dissing those who are. I wish I was more like I used to be. I was very outgoing and never met a stranger. Getting burned changed that, unfortunately. When you’re betrayed a couple of times you get leery.
SH didn’t just create a fake online persona. This person (people?) created fictional stories about their lives and family that brought out the sympathy of those who followed them. Not just that, the devoted fans cared so much about their favorite author – who some called friend – and sent money to cover medical bills for diseases that don’t exist. Over the past few months I’ve seen things here and there about SH saying people were trying to hurt him and his family and he was taking legal action to make it stop, etc. This had SH’s most devoted fans and author buddies (and even one of the publishers) publicly attacking any and all who attempted to call SH out for who they were. The bullying went beyond, “Don’t talk bad about my friend/favorite author/co-writer.” It was at the point of seriously trying to destroy people (readers) who wanted to tell the truth, or who were trying to learn the truth.
Suddenly, the truth has officially come out. What a shame that these people weren’t listened to before they were publicly attacked. It’s like every single day something new comes out about the deception. Yesterday I was sent something that was disturbing that involves a young man who thought SH was somebody he wasn’t. I won’t go into all that but I can’t describe how upset I felt reading what this man had to say. I don’t know him but I wanted to hug him. It simply broke my heart. The really sad part is I have no doubt that there are others just like him out there who were betrayed in the worst way.
I write under a pen name, as I’ve said dozens of times. But you know what? I may not announce my real name or personal details, but you guys know me. You know I’m a married mother who lives in the deep South. You know my absolute love of Alabama Crimson Tide football. I’ve told you all about the loss of my two – very real – sisters and the addictions that took them away from me. And I recently discussed the rocky relationship I’ve had with my mother since the day I was born. Every bio I’ve ever written has described, well, me. Every personal post I’ve written has been about my real life.
You know me.
I’ve not been anyone but ME here or anywhere else online. If I’ve spoken with you privately, that was the real me you were talking to.
I’m really an open book outside of my pen name. Ask me pretty much anything and I’ll probably tell you way more than you want to know.
I love my readers, my fans. You’ve embraced my kooky sense of humor in Willy’s World. You’ve waited patiently for me to finally be brave enough to publish the finale in the Taking Lance series. You’ve sent me amazing messages away from this site, sometimes just to check in because I’ve not been around for awhile, and sometimes to ask me whose story will come next in ‘Willy’. I’ve received emails from those who have also lost family members to addiction. I’ve also received messages from readers telling me not to quit my day job. My humor isn’t always appreciated. Just sayin’. 🙂
For those who’ve been personally affected by the SH situation, I’m truly sorry for what you’re going through and the pain that’s been caused. Hell, that’s still being caused as the select few who’ve chosen to stand by SH are still attacking readers. Had most of you been listened to before now, a lot less people would’ve been hurt. To be attacked for simply stating the truth was unfair to you and others who had the same doubts.
Thankfully, we’re not all like that. I know and respect some pretty amazing authors who love and appreciate their fans enough to not try to bullshit them. I’ll never understand how somebody could do what SH did. These are real people with real feelings who’ve been hurt. Thankfully, most of us authors have more respect for ourselves than to throw out outlandish stories about our so-called lives just to draw in readers, and worse, donations.
That’s enough about that for now.
I’ll be back soon with updates. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling so I’ve not been online much. I don’t see my husband that often, but when I do, he’s my #1, as I’m sure you all understand.
My apologies for leaving out the eye candy that I normally scatter throughout my posts. I didn’t think it would be appropriate considering what the post is about.
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!