We made it!
2017 was a very busy year for me and perhaps one of my most productive. I wrote four books and edited five. I also published four books, all of which I loved writing and really enjoyed sharing.
I also won an award! My first ever, if I don’t count third place in a short story contest. Which I sort of do?
Block and Strike won the Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Contemporary Romance. The judges’ comments were absolutely lovely and made me proud of my first solo novel, all over again.
Read all about the award and the runers runners-up here.
About two days before the announcement, I had treated myself to another tattoo—one I had designed for Jake from Block and Strike. My artist loved the design and asked for a copy of the book cover to frame with a picture of the tattoo–which is two fish in a yin and yang pattern. All of this coincided very nicely with winning the award.
And I did something I promised myself I’d never do again, which was sign a contract for books as yet unwritten. Good news is, two of those books are now complete and I’ve started the third, so I only have to live in dire fear of “something” happening for about twelve more weeks.
Finally, as the year drew to a close, I was offered a contract for a book I’m extremely fond of because it’s weird. But also perhaps the most romantic story I’ve ever written. Intrigued? Read on.
2018 promises to be just as busy…
I have five books releasing. FIVE. I’ve released five books in one year before, but three of them were novellas. This year’s crop will be four novels and one long novella.
Purple Haze is the follow up to Uncommon Ground. I had planned to write it last year and publish it in January, but life happened and so the book didn’t. It’s now set for June and I’m looking forward to writing another adventure for Dillon and Lang. I’m hoping this one will end in a solid happy ever after for the two, but who knows? The aliens of New York might have other plans.
Uncommon Ground is on sale right now, by the way, for only 99c! Not sure how long this deal will last, so snap it up! If you’re outside of the US or don’t have access to Amazon.com, enter my monthly giveaway for a copy of the ebook. (International readers only, please)
To See the Sun is the weird book. Briefly, it’s a mail-order groom story. Set in space. On a pioneering colony in what may or may not be our future. I wanted to combine the feel of a Harlequin historical with a science fiction adventure story and came up with something that feels like a science fiction western with the sweetest romance you’ll ever read.
I adore this book and cannot wait to share it with you all. Contract is signed with Riptide Publishing and we’re looking at dates in August!
“This Time Forever” is a series of love stories focused on older men (most are in their late forties) who think their only chance at love has passed them by. This series will also be published with Riptide.
Building Forever is the Cheez-It book! Those of you who follow me on Facebook will have heard a lot about this one.
So, what’s it about? Charlie King is standing in his kitchen one day, shoving Cheez-Its in the general direction of his mouth, when a guy with the most amazing blue eyes ever steps through the kitchen door and introduces himself as the new neighbor. It’s lust at first sight, which is a little concerning. Charlie’s sort of always known he was bisexual but has never done anything about it. He loved his wife and since she passed has been focused on raising his daughter.
Simon is making a new start in a new town and doesn’t want the complication of a new relationship on top of all that—he’s still recovering from heartbreak. But Charlie proves as irresistible as a cheesy little cracker and they fall in love. Then stuff happens, because, you know, it can’t all be that easy.
Renewing Forever is Frank’s story. Frank is Simon’s best friend. Before Simon, though, there was Tom. The boy Frank grew up with. The boy he fell in love with and shared his first kiss with. The boy who broke his nose. The boy he hasn’t seen for thirty years. When Frank’s uncle passes away (I promise not everyone in this series has dead relatives), leaving him a dilapidated resort on the Pocono Mountains, Frank returns home only to find Tom is managing the property.
Tom never left Pennsylvania. He doesn’t regret that, not really, despite all the plans he and Frank made when they were kids. But he never forgot Frank. Now Frank’s back and it’s awkward. So we have awkward conversation, awkward kisses, sweet connections, and totally NOT awkward sex. Then, Frank learns Tom has been hiding something and has to decide if what they have is love, lost and found, or, well something else entirely. (Aww.)
Chasing Forever is Brian’s book. Brian is Simon’s ex and he’s best known for his serial non-monogamy. He’s also a self-admitted asshole. He appears in the first two books, a bit more in the second, where I hope he’ll strike a chord. Doesn’t matter which one! So, anyway, one night, after striking out at a local club, he’s going to return home to find his nephew on his doorstep. The kid has been kicked out for being gay and ran to Uncle Brian. Brian knows nothing about raising a teenage boy, but has all the experience he needs when it comes to being rejected by the people who are supposed to love you. Story gets complicated when it turns out the guy who rejected him at the club that night is a teacher at the nephew’s new school.
Josh has his own issues, because all my guys get a story. He’s recovering from a car accident and is facing the possibility of having to walk with a cane for the rest of his life—not the best news for a former athlete. Not at all. He needs somewhere to direct his energy and that’s going to be the same project Brian gets roped into. *rubs hands together*
I’ll be sharing covers and official “blurbs” for all these books as soon as I have them. If you enjoy reading for review and would like to get your hands on any of these titles about a month before release, consider joining my ARC Group!
Goals? What are Goals?
I don’t really do resolutions, but I do set goals. Some are writing related, some are not.
On the personal front, this year I’d like to find more balance. I’ve been working hard and as such have been neglecting all but perhaps my most useful hobby: hiking. There will be more hiking in 2018. I’d also like to get back into art, or maybe relearn how to play the piano.
I’ve stopped wearing my Fitbit. One day, I just looked at it and couldn’t deal with being judged by a piece of plastic. Whether the feeling and resulting decision had to do with my level of exhaustion at the end of 2017 or not remains to be seen, but for now, I’m not missing it. I feel unconstrained. Also, it’s easier to put my jacket on without a Fitbit in the way!!
When it comes to writing, this year is pretty set, as illustrated by the above publishing schedule. As the majority of the books on the schedule are already written, however, by halfway through this year I’ll be working on stuff for 2019. One of my longer term goals when I decided to take writing seriously and try to make a career out of it, was to publish 25 books (in the romance genre) by the end of 2019. The RWA does a very nice pin for such achievements. I have one for 5 romances and one for 10.
Interested to see how close I was to reaching this goal, I did up a little chart (I love charts) and saw I’m two books short. You know what? That’s okay. I’m bumping that goal. 25 romance titles by 2020 it is!
Because I love charts, I’m sharing it with you. I’m proud of this collection, and frankly amazed at how far I’ve come since my first book.
Okay, what else do I have in store for 2018?
I’m so glad you asked. I plan to start a reader group on Facebook. I’m too busy with writing and editing to give such a group the attention it deserves right now, so I’ll probably wait until May. I’d love to see you all there and will probably make that group more a priority than my newsletters going forward, which is good news for you. Means less scrolling!
I’m also looking forward to reading a bunch of books this year by authors I love. Here’s a handful of January releases I’m eagerly awaiting:
Scratch Track by Eli Lang. I’ve enjoyed every book in this series, from the beautiful covers to the quiet, thoughtful stories between. What I love most about Eli’s writing is the gentle observation of human nature. The real moments she captures between her characters, and the love that grows out of simple things. They’re truly lovely books!
On and Off by Jenna Kendrick. This is another story set in Felice Stevens’ Kindle World and was scheduled for release with Uncommon Ground. Jenna decided to launch with the second group in January and it’s nearly here! I love the premise of this one and can’t wait to read it.
Down by Contact by Santino Hassell. I hardly need to recommend Santino, but I wanted to share my excitement for this book for two reasons: I love football. LOVE it! I’m sitting here right now wearing a Redskins hoodie (no booing, please). Also, the first book in the series is about the sweetest romance he’s written. I really enjoyed it.
And that, mercifully, is the end of this blog post. There’s a lot to look forward to this year and I’d love to hear what is going to make 2018 exciting for you. Please share your goals and plans in the comments. ❤