I'm late. Again.
But, if you're here, you may have seen part of what I've been working on lately - the new landing page! If you direct-linked to this page, you haven't seen the landing page though, so if you'd like to, simply click the "Home" button above this post, check out my handiwork, and then click "Blog" to come back. I might possibly be just a little bit proud of that. Maybe. There are actually still a few more changes coming to this site, but I've been a busy busy girl lately so I'm not totally finished.
So, what have I been doing?
1.) I've beta read a really awesome, seriously informative, non-fiction booklet for a friend. Felita Daniels is a reviewer with Lilac Reviews, and she's planning to use this booklet for a workshop she's teaching next month on the fifteenth. The workshop is called "Reviews: How To Get Them & What To Do With Them," and I am dying to hear (and hopefully apply) what she says! My books sell pretty well, but I struggle to get people to review them (*hint, hint*) so I'm hoping this workshop will help me bridge the review gap between me as an author and you as a reader.
2.) I've been finalizing the preparations for the release of Courageous on August twentieth, and I'm actually hoping to have it up for preorder on the first - no promises on the preorder part, though. I still have a few small things to do before it's ready. But it's coming on the twentieth, for sure. In the meantime, I'm still holding a contest where readers can win their own release-day copy of the book, and there's still plenty of time to enter.
3.) I've been working hard on the fourth Kingsley Series story, which follows Michael Kingsley through some serious emotional healing. I can't wait to share his story with you, especially because this has been such a challenging story to write. Michael's story is the first one I've ever written from a truly male perspective, and that has been quite a journey for me. But I love him, and I love his story. And I think you will too. More Than Friends is expected to be released by the end of this year, but there is no concrete date set at this time. You can follow this space or subscribe to my mailing list (just fill out the form at the top of the right sidebar) for more updates on the progress of this and other books.
4.) Four new ideas have been added to my "books to write" list, which is growing longer much faster than it grows shorter. I suppose that's a good thing, although I find myself wishing for more hours in the day. Or maybe a clone - then the first me and the cloned me could take turns mothering the kids and cleaning the laundry and cooking the dinner ... and writing the stories. Then again, keeping the list means that I've always got something to write, even if every story can't always be an active one. It reassures me that this business is where I'm meant to be, and that writing is as much a part of my soul as I always thought. I think most writers have an inherent fear that their ability to write and be creative is finite - I still remember holding my first book in my hands, being excited to see new reviews coming in and new sales happening. I couldn't believe I was really doing it, I guess, or couldn't believe that the people who had always told me to write because I was good at it weren't wrong. But I remember, too, a sort of dark cloud over that moment, a nagging little fear that that was it. That that was all I had. That I wouldn't be able to write another book. But then I wrote Fat Chance, and I wrote Prescription For Love, and I felt a big better. I extended To Love A Selkie, rebranded it as Selkie (book one, Selkie Trilogy), and published Fighting For Freedom. I thought the fear of being "finished" was gone. But then I started work on More Than Friends, and everything seemed to crash and burn. I couldn't write. The words wouldn't come. I hated the characters. I tossed the whole thing and started again. And again. And again. Now, the story is coming along, Michael and I are getting along well, and I love watching him heal and grow, although he does it somewhat differently than what my heroines are used to. He's an amazing character though, and his story is a powerful message about letting go of past hurts in order to move forward. I plan to release a few teasers from this story in upcoming weeks, and the cover is already finished. Finally, this "Stella" has got her groove back.
But for now, I'm taking the afternoon off to play with my kids and read a book. Lately, I'm re-reading the Outlander Series (again), and I'm about halfway through with Voyager, which was actually the first book I read in the series - I didn't even know it was part of a series until I had finished that book, and I've been rereading these amazing books ever since - occasionally sprinkled with other books, of course.
What are you reading lately? And perhaps more importantly, what have you reviewed lately?