I know last month I commented on how quickly time has passed so far this year, but the past few weeks have been insanely busy. I hope everyone’s summer is going great. Mine has been an equal combination of working my ass off, finding a new home, and as much fun as I can have in between. I’ve gotten to do some of my favorite things in the past few weeks with the people I love most. The end of June was full of a lot of baseball. My godson played up in the metro with his traveling team for a tournament, which was awesome to watch even though it was hotter than Hades for most of it. He played amazing all weekend. We also managed to catch two Twins games. There’s nothing quite like an evening at the ballpark with great food and company while watching the hometown team chasing another win.
July brought a whole lot of busy weeknights and weekends. I took a break from my full-time job once a week to help with auctions. I do enjoy working with Kerkhoff Auction and hope to continue helping them out in the future. The extra money is nice, but I really enjoy the atmosphere and the people that I meet at auctions. I also got to spend a lot of quality time with family and friends that ranged from trying out new restaurants in the area to hitting the golf course to having some fun on the lake with tubing and fishing. I’ve also gotten to spend a lot of time with my aunt and her family, which has been very important to me as we continue to find peace with the loss of Aaron. It’s honestly all gone by in a blur, but I’ve been enjoying every second of it.
I’m grateful that I have had such fun things to look forward to each week because the rest of the month has been nothing but a whole lot of stress, worry, frustration, and a plethora of other emotions. With interest rates soaring high and a severe shortage of homes, it has been very difficult to secure a new home and buying one isn’t an option. All of the homes I looked at in the last four weeks were either in need of repairs of at least a hundred thousand dollars on top of the purchase price of the home or they were way out of my price range by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the last three months, there have been very few homes available not just in my area but in the US overall that are for the median income range like mine. I really can’t put into words the kind of stress that has put me under and in turn the anxiety that has mounted. Even as I type this now, I feel the heaviness in my chest and on my shoulders as nothing is one hundred percent set for me on that front. I truly hope that it solidifies in the next week, but I’m not making any announcements on it until I know for sure where things sit.
As you can imagine, this situation has and continues to interfere with going through edits on Taming J, writing anything on Saving Us, and securing the right narrators for the Someday Series and Complicated and Concealed. I no longer write when I can’t give it my all and the same goes for editing and putting together business deals. I’ve worked too hard on all of my stories regardless of where they are in the publishing process to give them less than 100%. This is especially true when it comes to Taming J and Saving Us. All of the readers who fell in love with Jackson in Conflicted deserve the best from me since I’ve made you all wait so long for his story. I hope that with fall I’m able to devote my full attention back to finalizing edits and writing. Because this is the final book for ALL of these characters and could be the very last one I do overall, I want to do it right and give the characters I created all those years ago the ending they deserve.
Believe me, I want to finally be back to a mindset that allows me to love writing and reading as much as I did when I began this journey. I just haven’t been there at all this year, but I hope the tides are about to turn. Above all, I have to focus on my mental well-being and putting more things on my plate isn’t an option until some of these other roadblocks are cleared up. This is also why I’ve made the difficult decision not to attend the Royal Reader event in two weeks. I am not really in the right frame of mind to meet and greet readers or talk about my books in general. On the business side of things, it’s been a very rough year for all the books and the setbacks that I’ve incurred with just ACX alone. While I wait for my housing situation to finalize, I’ve been trying to work through the emotions that have surfaced to find some sort of peace with it all. That is just as necessary to finish these books as having things in my personal life find some semblance of solid ground again.
Be sure to check out the online store or my Facebook Group. There are some fun bundles that are specific to the characters. You can also get signed copies of all the books in paperback and hardcover from there along with a lot of other goodies! I also recommend jumping into my group or heading to my author page on occasion. I have been doing more giveaways in both spots that offer new swag packages that you can purchase on the store as well. If you don’t want to buy, it’s a great chance to win some pretty cool stuff.
I apologize for not really having any solid updates to offer. I’m very close to being able to provide the one I want to, but I won’t jinx it. After the past year, I don’t want to assume anything. Life is a precious gift, but it’s a wave of constant change. I’m still riding out this latest wave and can only hope that you retain your patience with my lack of ironclad information to share on everything so far this year.
On a sentimental note, Complicated was released 8 years ago on July 22nd. I truly can’t believe it’s been that long since I put out what is probably my favorite book to have written. I wrote that one so quickly and enjoyed it so much. I love going back to so many scenes in that book because of the sheer joy it brought me while writing them. I’m so glad that it’s resonated with so many readers over the years and that people are still finding the love story between Mia and Ethan as one for the ages.
I promise to celebrate this milestone very soon. It’s definitely warranted since July 22nd is also my pup’s birthday. My sweet boy, Max, turned two and he melts my heart just as much today as he did the day I got to pick him up. His energy is a force to be reckoned with, but he always knows how to make me smile on the hard days and always is there to snuggle with me on the days the stress becomes too much. It was also the birthday of my beloved grandma whom Complicated is also dedicated to. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. If it weren’t for her love and encouragement to share the stories in my head, I would’ve never pursued writing in any form throughout the years. She supported me in all that I did, but was especially passionate about making sure that I never gave up on sharing the stories that came to me. Releasing Complicated on her birthday was one of the things I could to honor her memory.
Thank you for your continued support! I truly appreciate it!!