If you don't have OPE Minnesota on Facebook as one of your liked pages, go like it right now. The stuff they share all year is HILARIOUS! This is one of the many gems I've pulled from their page.
This image totally sums up how I feel to letting go of summer. As much as I love watching the colors change, I still really have a hard time accepting that it will be far too soon that I'll be starting my day in the darkness and ending it in darkness. While I brace for winter, I am soaking up as many days as I can with the dogs outside. We've been really fortunate in Minnesota to get some rain to end our summer drought and save some of the crops as well as get some much needed warm days to help them get into harvest. For town folk like myself, I'm enjoying those little blessings by hitting up the golf course as much as I can and taking a walk every night with my boys! Both being active labs, Max and Marley love their time outside and really hate when the snow flies. I hope wherever you are in the world that you're enjoy this time of year with friends and family!
This month has been full of birthdays for me! The handsome devils below happened to have some milestone birthdays. My godson turned sixteen and passed his driver's test on his birthday. I've never seen him as nervous as he was after it. I'm really glad he passed and that I got to be a part of the day by helping him get all the docs he needed to get his actual license after the road exam. I talked to him that evening and the meme below definitely summed up his attitude. Sometimes we forget what those huge milestones feel like in life and it was a cute reminder to always take a moment to appreciate them! I've driven with him plenty of times and he's a great driver. I look forward to watching him cross more milestones as he gets closer to turning eighteen and becoming a legal adult. YIKES!!
Mighty Mar turned the big TWELVE on September 16th. That happens to be my favorite number and he's my favorite guy! We had a chill day outside and he got spoiled rotten with treats and a nice long walk without the announce of his little brother, Max. Those two still really don't get a long all that well, but someday soon they will. Max just has a little bit too much energy for Marley, but he does keep him young. Marley is a little gray around the edges, but certainly will always be my puppy at heart.
I do have a couple of updates on the book front. I'm in the middle of self-editing Taming J so that I can get it sent off to my proofreader and BETA reader on the 27th of this month. I'm looking forward to getting that initial feedback. It always makes a bit antsy and stressed, but I love hearing what people think of my initial drafts and what I can do to improve it before sending it to my editor. If things stay on track, I'll be scheduling with her before the end of the year. Once I get past the self-editing, I'll be back to writing myself and I'm anxious to dive back in and finish up Jackson and Jenn's story. The next book is going to be a special one for me for a variety of reasons I'm not quite ready to share just yet, but will soon!
Conflicted will forever be my book baby. It is still always a joy to see it climb to the top of the charts whether it is in the paid store or free one for Amazon. It's actually been really cool to see Conflicted flourish on other platforms as well. It's been having a great run on Google Play over the past few months. The review tour with Kylie's Fiction Addiction is also going remarkably well. People are signing up and reviewing right away. It's been so amazing to see new readers pick up Mia's story. She will always hold a very special place in my heart so having her back near #1 this week has been pretty awesome, especially since it was her birthday yesterday. Fictional or not, those kind of dates always stick in a writer's head and give us an extra reason to smile on said day. If you haven't picked up Conflicted yet, it will be FREE until the 26th. Then it will return to it's reduced price of $0.99, which is still quite the deal when you think about everything that comes with Ethan Fitzgerald!
I've also gotten to listen to the first two chapters of Conflicted on audio and they are AMAZEBALLS! I really can't wait the audiobook for this one as well as the box set for the Secrets and Lies series. The timeline still remains tentative for the end of the year, but could be pushed in to January of 2022. I'm considering adding in the first couple of chapters of Taming J to the box set as an additional bonus for all my loyal readers. I won't due that unless I have it fully edited though, so it will truly depend on how scheduling falls for the other people I collaborate with as the year winds down. Regardless, I've waited a long time to release this box set and I want it to be as perfect as it can be so I'm definitely opening to pushing dates to get it everything lined up as perfect as it can be with the rest of my releases for 2022.
I shared this in the last blog post but I don't really care. It's too pretty not to share again. I'll be creating some new ones this weekend and plan on getting those up in a the photo gallery for Taming J on the website as well as getting some swag ordered! I've also gotten to see four teasers from my designer and they are AWESOME. LJ at Mayhem Cover Creations always finds the right images for the lines I give her and these are no exception. I should have the rest of my files for Taming J within the next few weeks and that will get everything one step closer to publishing.
Because of how busy she has been as well as myself, I've pushed having the hardback files done for me until mid-November. That will also give me a chance to work on Amazon for the hardback editions as well. A new BETA program rolled out for hardcovers and I'd love to be able to distribute them on Amazon. All good things come in due time and this is another thing I don't want to rush.
I leave you with this parting phrase. It's one I certainly live by. I have several part-time jobs outside of my full-time county work that really keep me busy. With winter on the horizon, I like having plenty to keep me busy so I've elected to take on some more contract work and will assist at the local auction house when needed. I've gotten in the habit of using a calendar to keep everything straight and it's actually helped more than I thought to balance my personal life with all the work. I'm looking forward to some fun outings as September winds down and the holidays approach. Life's too short not to have a little fun in between all of the work!