You were my favorite hello and hardest goodbye!
I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start and that you were able to spend the holidays with your loved ones. If you live in an area that gets snow, my sympathies are with you. Mother Nature has had no issue dumping buckets of snow throughout the Midwest and across the east coast. We had two blizzards within a two week period that dumped a foot of snow on us each time. I can honestly say I’m ready for spring!
This month didn’t go the way I wanted it to in any way. My beloved dog, Marley, crossed the rainbow bridge on January 20th. He got very ill around Christmas with what turned out to be degenerative myelopathy. It’s the dog version of Lou Gehrig’s disease aka ALS. In a matter of weeks, Marley lost the ability to walk, stand, and sit. It rapidly spread from his back legs, up his spine, and to his front legs. Even though the disease itself is not painful, the quality of life that comes with it is very poor and euthanasia was the best option for him. It was by far the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but he was ready to go and I could see that every day with how miserable he became when he could no longer walk.
My heart still hurts and likely will for a very long time. Marley truly was the best dog a person could ask for and lived up to his name in every way. He was a mischievous puppy with lots of energy, but grew into the most faithful and loving dog in this world. I honestly believe he held on for as long as he did because of me. He held on for as long as he could just to make sure I was okay before closing his eyes and finally crossing over. The stories that can be told and the love he gave to everyone he met have given me more joy than I can ever possibly explain. Marley was my everything and I will miss him in ways that words will never be able to express.
I’ve spent the rest of this month falling into a new routine. My two year old dog, Max, has been my primary focus. He loved Marley very much and is lost without him. He was such a good little brother to Marley. If I was in another room, Max would come and get me if Marley was uncomfortable or upset. He laid next to him every night - not so close to disrupt him but just enough to let him know he was there if Marley needed anything. Max has searched for Marley many times since he passed and is still processing that he’s no longer with us. I can tell he’s just as sad as me because he doesn't have the
pep up in his step that he had before, but we will find it again. It makes this quote from Complicated hit home even more for me.
“Life is all about change. So many different people and things come into our lives that redirect our course entirely. If we resist it, we can miss so much. Keep that in mind when you feel the panic rise. You can’t predict tomorrow any more than I can.” ~ Complicated, Chapter 5
I think we all wish we could predict the future, but that’s not just not how life works. I intended to write a lot more than I did in January, but Marley got my undivided attention until his last breath was taken. That didn’t leave much time for anything else. I functioned on less than four hours of sleep for most of the month. If Marley was up in the middle of the night, I was too and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m not beating myself up over not writing that much. It likely wouldn’t have happened with how busy January always is with my full-time job. Long hours always come in January with all the changes that go into effect that revolve around my position.
Thankfully, I was able to get some of my author related tasks on my January to-do list completed in between juggling everything on the personal front. I listened to all of Complicated on audio and got the revisions needed over to my narrator, researched different marketing campaigns I want to give a try this year since I’ve exhausted most of the ones I’ve used in the past, and worked on Saving Us for the first time in a long time. After a lot of revisions and a new direction I want to take for the beginning of the book, chapter one is almost completed. Once I get to a point where the book is flowing freely, I’ll pick a date to release Taming J.
As I mentioned above, I’ve signed off on all the changes needed for the audiobook for Complicated and gotten them over to Chantelle. She intends to have the corrections completed within the next week. I was so very fortunate to have her grace and patience while I worked through everything at the beginning of the month with Marley. She was very understanding with the delays and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. We are in discussion to have her narrate Concealed. Chantelle did an amazing job of capturing all aspects of Mia and Ethan. I am honestly blown away with the final product. Stay tuned for release dates on it. If you haven’t picked up Conflicted on audio, you can do so here →
Be sure to check out my Facebook Group. I pop in there every day with something fun, inspiration, or a quick update. It's the best place to stay up to date on everything. I also have plenty of giveaways that occur that you don't want to miss. If you miss a chance to enter the giveaways, check out the online store. 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!
Thank you for taking the time to read and your continued support!