2015 – You were a year! And I did some things in you! #2015 #yearinreview

Golden glitter


So tonight is the winter solstice. The longest night of the year. The true turn of the year. From this point until Summer Solstice, the days will slowly get longer and longer. Earlier tonight, a friend pointed out an article from a fellow writer suggesting that we stop beating ourselves up for all the things we didn’t get done this year and instead celebrate the things we did do. I thought that sounded like a stress-busting idea, so why not? I’ll divide my 2015 accomplishments into professional and personal.



  1. Amazon USI don’t think it’s terrible to say that this one kicked my ass while writing it. Every release has challenges, but this one had extra challenges. The fact that I wrangled this into a book-shaped finished product is kinda amazing. No matter what, I give myself a high five for accomplishing it. (Let’s set aside whether or not I should have accomplished it, because the fact is that I did.) It was Rainbow Award runner-up in Erotic Romance.
  2. Amazon USIndra Vaughn and I co-wrote this book. We started in, hm, March, I think? And we had a finished product out in September. I think Indra deserves a lot more credit than I do because she wrote her parts while undergoing serious life-upheaval that might have undone anyone else. I’m incredibly proud of her and I’m proud of what we accomplished together. I think this is one of the most romantic books I’ve had the honor to write. In fact, I know I shouldn’t say this, but it might be my favorite book that I’ve had a hand in making. It wasn’t without difficulties. Co-writing–no, writing–never is, but, hey, look-it. It’s there. It’s just out there in the world being all romantic and lovely and I love it so much.
  3. www.GIFCreator.me_uJ2MqQYeah, that’s right. Three novella-length installments of a new serial, co-written with Alice Griffiths. Our goal is for each installment to be “worth it”, so each of them is at least 30,000 words, but most are closer to 35,000 words. I honestly have no idea what that translates into with pages. As a writer, I think in terms of words, but I know that it’s not easy to wrangle words into behaving, and I feel like the pacing and beats of the first three episodes of this serial are fun, funny, and ultimately romantic. I’m having a wonderful time with them. Also, look at Dar’s gorgeous covers! I am proud of what we’ve accomplished, but this one is harder for me, since there is still work to be done, and my main stress in life right now revolves around accomplishing miracles with the timing of the next three releases. BUT THIS IS ABOUT HOW AWESOME 2015 HAS BEEN SO…YAY WILL & PATRICK!
  4. Previously released as Love's Nest in 2013.  There’s no greater mystery in the kingdom than where Prince Mateo’s sisters disappear to each night. The king is determined to discover where they go and issues a challenge to all the nobles to help him learn their secret. Hoping to protect them, Mateo hides beneath a magic cloak and follows his sisters to an enchanted world of fairies and lusty delights.  Ópalo has waited years to finally meet his human lover. Fairies are bound by fate, and Ópalo is eager to embrace his, and plans a future with Mateo. But while Mateo soon succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh, he refuses to surrender his heart so easily.  As their worlds collide, Ópalo has to risk everything to win his man forever.Previously released in 2012 as Earthly Desires.I was able to re-release Levity (originally Earthly Desires) and Flight (originally Love’s Nest). Keira re-released Rise (originally Ascending Hearts). I didn’t really have to do much. I considered adding and expanding, but decided that the past is better left in the past, and it was better to move onward. So, these books are out with new covers and the names we’d originally planned.
  5. Le Retour de LeithI worked with Juno Publications to release a French translation of The River Leith (Le Retour de Leith).
  6. I worked with Monica Rivero to release a Spanish translation of Smoky Mountain Dreams.\
  7. 10649056_637038253093061_8696039872764541650_oI attended the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City and had an amazing time meeting readers and re-connecting with other authors and bloggers. It was a wonderful experience and I wish I was going to attend again in 2016, but I’ve got some intense writing goals for the year, so I’ll have to pass.
  8. 1496511_675580195905533_3921520308550706892_oI attended Rainbow Con in Tampa, Florida. Here I am with Eli Easton. I had an absolutely fantastic time with other authors and with the readers who showed up for the event. There’s nothing like bonding with other authors!
  9. beta-reader-superheroI beta read a bunch of books. Like a lot of them. And I think I did a good job at it. At least, I hope I did. I was, if nothing else, honest as hell. And sometimes that might feel like hell. But, hey, yay, I told you before the readers did, so WIN!!
  10. newsletter_1446671813I set up a newsletter! And I’ve sent out a message a month! I’ve enjoyed cultivating recommendations and letting readers know when I have a new release.
  11. I’m sure I accomplished other things, too. But this is good for now. I feel like less of an abject failure, at least. *high fives self*


  1. I learned how to cook this year. More than that, I learned to enjoy it. That is huge, utterly massively huge. It’s something I’d never have expected and yet I managed it.
  2. I learned that parsnips are AMAZING and that my life was incomplete without them. Yes, this is related to #1, but PARSNIPS.
  3. My daughter is thriving.
  4. My husband is doing well. Though, honestly, I feel like I should set a goal for 2016 to improve the time we spend together.
  5. I got Christmas accomplished! Well, kind of. I mean, it’s not over yet and it’s possible I forgot something. We’ll see.
  6. I tried very hard not to suck as a friend. I guess my success at that should be determined by my actual friends’ opinion, but I did try not to suck. I feel like I failed sometimes and not because of my efforts, but because of life.
  7. Hmm, maybe I need to do better with personal goals. Like, say, exercise. And being present. And not obsessing about getting books out.

All in all, 2015 was a good year for me. There were some personal struggles because so many people I love dearly are going through hard times, but as far as my day-to-day life goes, it was pretty darn good. So here’s to 2015. You were kinda cool. I loved a lot about you. I wish that you’d been kinder to some of my pals, but I can’t control that. (Boundaries! That’s another thing I’m getting better at as I age, and 2015 was pretty good with boundaries. Most of the time.)

Thank you to all the readers out there! Being a writer wouldn’t be half as much fun without you!



Upcoming Releases Babble and Waffling On Release Dates

Imma go home and read my book set in the middle of summer in the South. That’ll take the chill outta my bones!

So I had a great email correspondence today that puts another book on my plate for 2015. I’m pretty excited about that and hopefully all will progress smoothly there. This all led to me getting out my Spreadsheet of Doom (nipped from Aleksander Voinov’s spreadsheet he shared once), which lists out all of my Works In Progress and most of my story ideas. This was helpful because now I know what order I need to be working on things (again).

First, and most importantly, I have to finish the Training Season sequel. Despite still being utterly terrified of it, I’m seeing it as an exercise in bravery and giddily diving into the fear, so I feel pretty okay about the chances of me actually getting it done this spring as promised. Secondly, I’m going to work on a joint writing project with Indra Vaughn starting in March. And thirdly I must begin the first draft of the fourth and final book in the upcoming ’90s Coming of Age series. And it’s that series that I’d like to talk about now.

So, when Smoky Mountain Dreams came out, I got a lot of surprised feedback from readers who said they had no idea I had a new book in the hopper, much less being released. I suppose I am publicly rather quiet about my books when I’m working on them. That comes from that veil of terror I was speaking of before. I am so absorbed in trying to keep the car on the road despite the fog before me and the demons of self-doubt flinging themselves at my windshield constantly that I get a bit superstitious about discussing the stories in public.

[By the way, as a long and winding aside, Aleksander Voinov wrote a great blog post recently about limiting beliefs and I think that it really helped me get a grip on some of my own. I’m not sure they aren’t still utterly terrifying, but naming them is interesting and has helped. For example, one of my limiting beliefs is that each book must be better than the last. You can imagine how completely that can paralyze a person, right? Especially when you have people telling you, “Oh, I liked this one, but it wasn’t as good as the other one you wrote.” And especially when that sentiment is expressed about completely different books, so it’s not even consistently the same one whose bar I feel compelled to exceed! LOL! Oh, what a maddening and limiting belief to have. So I vow to just write each book to be the best I can give it and not try to make it as good as some other book I’ve already written. Because I wrote that book already. And this new book will be as good as it is and that’s that. ]

Um, back to the ’90s Coming of Age story. So, I started this series 10 years ago now. I wrote a big, long, huge, and very flawed book. I realized when trying to fix those flaws that it would work better as a series of books, one bleeding right into the next. There are no cliff-hangers, but nothing is ultimately and finally resolved until the end of the fourth book. The series follows a boy named Peter (oh, Peter! my heart! I love you so much!) over the course of his senior year in high school and his freshman year in college. It trails him through very bad choices, very good choices, into the path of lies and out of it, and through the highs and lows of first love, and first hurt, and loss, and recovery. It’s with him while he grows up into a man. Not a perfect man, but a man. It’s a Coming of Age series with heavy romance in it because, well, he mainly grows up through the choices he makes around love and sex and romance. And yes, it’s set in Knoxville during the 1990s.

So, here’s the thing. I’m putting the first book in the series out in September. It is set September through May of Peter’s senior year in high school. The second book is set in the summer, June – August, and if I go with my current release plan, it would come out in November. And that? Bugs me. And that’s my question. Would it bug anyone else? Because THEN if I continue with the plan, a book that is set September – Christmas would come out in February, which just seems all kinds of wrong. And then at the end we’d catch up again, kinda, and release a book set Jan – May in April or so, which seems okay.

But…am I the only one totally weirded out by releasing a book in the “wrong” season? For example, Smoky Mountain Dreams. I couldn’t have released it in June! That would’ve been so weird!

And yet because these books don’t have hard endings to them, but rather soft pauses, I feel like making a reader wait six months to find out what happens next isn’t a great idea either.

Help me Obi Wan Readership, you’re my own hope! 🙂 But seriously, what should I do? Thoughts? Opinions?