A Random Update

We’re still writing, but not doing much of anything on social media lately. We haven’t forgotten about anyone, but sometimes a break is needed. Sometimes, one just has to step back and breathe out. Also, moving always messes with routine and forces you to find a new one. Sometimes, that takes a while.

Things haven’t been too easy for us since we moved from Savannah, GA to Roanoke, VA. In truth, things have been a wee bit difficult since we uprooted our quiet lives back in Casper, WY. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining and if it sounds like that, I apologize. It isn’t intended. Moving is what we wanted, but, at the same time, we had no idea how the humidity in Savannah would wreak havoc on me. We had hoped moving to Roanoke, VA, a place we had visited before, would be different. The humidity is still here, yes, but it is different from the humidity in Savannah. It isn’t so dense and oppressive. It’s why we hoped I might be okay. We wanted to try it before heading all the way back west. While it is so beautiful here and we intend to enjoy being here, we’ll be looking to move again. The most important things in life are love, kindness, and health. Whereas we are abundant with love and hopefully, kindness, my health hasn’t been the same since we moved from the dry climate, so we’ll be heading back that way.

We wish everyone a fantastic week!

 

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New Beginnings (Hartland Book 5) Covers

 

Book 5 in the Hartland series, the last one, is going through one more edit, and then it will be released. I know we didn’t give anyone much notice on this one. We apologize for that in advance. This book has been a bit of a struggle to complete. Not because of the story but because of some personal trials that made writing difficult. And now, we’re moving at the end of the month. It’s been a crazy time for us, so we’re trying to wrap up some projects before we move. This being one of them. We hope to have this released before the 24th, which is the day we’re moving.

Time To Toot My Own Horn

The Ordinary series, an 8 book series, is complete. At least, the first drafts are. The reason I am tooting my own horn today is because I managed to write 8 books in a span of 118 days. That’s right, a little less than 4 months which makes it 2 books a month. Six of the first drafts are around 70k, the other 2 are near the 90k mark. That’s 600,000 words, roughly, which boils down to hammering out around 5,000 words a day.

The reason this is such an achievement for me is because after moving to Savannah and losing a loved one, I found it difficult to write. It was almost impossible to finish the 5th book in the Hartland series. It’s finished, but I am still in the process of reformatting it. It’s a difficult book for me as it’s linked to those memories but it’s a book that I am the most proud of. In a time, where I didn’t want to write, where I seriously considered giving up, I continued writing. Even if I could only manage to write 3 measly words in a day, I did. Today, I am thankful for that perseverance.

Only regret giving up Meme

It helps reaching these goals when you love to write, are blessed to have an amazing husband that insists you don’t work because your back is screwed up, and the fact I just absolutely love the story of the Ordinary series. Now, the fun part begins of the rewriting and fine tuning of the story. I am one of those people that typically loves the editing part because you can really see your story take to life during this process. The first drafts, for me, are to get the story out. The other multitude of drafts is to get it to as close to perfection as you can.

But first, maybe a break? I am thinking about reading a few books in between having finished this series and starting the rewrite. We’ll see how that goes. I might get too excited about polishing the story that I jump right to it. I know that the next few days, I will finish getting New Beginnings, the 5th and last book of the Hartland series, ready for publishing.

I wish you all to have a fantastic weekend.

 

 

Cover Reveal: New Beginnings

Front Cover

 

As we’ve kept all the covers for this series simple, this follows the same “template”, if you will, as the others. There will probably be a few touch ups before it goes live, but we finally have a cover for it. Now, we just have to work on the dreaded back cover. At least, with practice of the other novels we’ve published, it has become easier to come up with a description. (Our first ones for Full Moon Rising were atrocious.) After that, the book will go through one more edit and then out to some beta readers. We are pleased with the progress we’re making, especially with how difficult this book was to finish. I’m hoping in a couple of days, we’ll be able to share the front and back cover with everyone.

Progress

Normally, we like to talk about progress in our writing. Every piece that we write, every book that we read, improves us mentally. What we normally don’t talk about is the other areas of our life. We’re anti-social and talking about any other area in our life is opening up to strangers, telling them things we would rather not have anyone know. It’s rather scary, but it’s a must if we want to move forward. It’s a must if we want to grow as individuals. It was scary at first when we started talking about our views on writing, too, but we have survived that. So, we’ll survive the other things, too.

We have lived in Pooler, GA, a suburb of Savannah, for a year and four months now. When we had first packed everything we could into a Kia Soul and either sold the rest or gave it away, we were super excited about starting a new adventure in our lives. When we arrived here from Casper, Wyoming that excitement was still with us for about a month. After that, we started to learn more about the city and the people who live here. I don’t want to say anything bad about the people here, but let’s suffice it to say, their way of life is not meant for us. There is very little we like here. We’ve been out to Tybee Island a few times and each time, we haven’t cared for it. The ocean is amazing yes, but it’s not what we want in life. After moving away from the mountains, we realized that we’re definitely mountain people. We thought we could be beach people. We’re not. Now, when we think about it, we chuckle.

Because of finding things out about the area we moved to and discovering how much we don’t like it in the south, I struggled emotionally. I still struggle and feel we made a huge mistake. Yep, some of our choices are going to be mistakes. Some of them will be successes. Unfortunately, we really don’t know which way it will go until we’ve made that choice. Should we fear decisions then? No. If we never do anything risky, nothing is ever gained. And if it turns out to be a mistake, it’s a life lesson. (Some are easier than others.) It also gives us the opportunity to know ourselves a little better. To know how we’ll deal with it. Making mistakes is natural. How we deal with them is a choice.

We had given up so much to be here, even a few of our beloved cats. We thought moving here would help me to avoid the long, cold winters of Wyoming. You see I have had a spinal fusion and I have arthritis in my back. We thought moving to a warmer climate was the right answer to get me out of pain. Not that I was in a whole lot back in Casper, especially when compared to now. After just that month of being here, the humidity started bothering me. I was in more pain than I was before and at first I was baffled at the reason. I was doing everything I should. Daily stretching. Walking. I soon discovered that the cold humidity made things worse. Because of that, I let myself stop walking and doing my daily stretches that are essential in keeping me limber. And, as you guessed it, the pain just kept getting worse and worse. I also started gaining weight, which didn’t help. Every once in a while, I would try to get back into the good habits I had before we moved. And then inevitably, I would start thinking, why bother? You’ll do these things and you’ll still be in pain. If I could go back in time, I would kick myself as hard as I could while yelling profanities at myself.

So far, for the last two and a half months I haven’t broken my routine. Whereas, I don’t feel too differently, I refuse to give into what I call “self-pity” again. Yes, I hate it here. Yes, it wasn’t what I expected. And yes, we will be moving eventually. (Hopefully soonish.) But that doesn’t give me leeway to do nothing. I will continue to walk and do my daily stretches. If I don’t, the alternative isn’t great. Through my family, I have seen what happens when you neglect yourself. I refuse to let myself do that. I am ashamed it took me this long to wrap my brain around it. Do I still struggle with wanting to do these things? YES! Will I continue to struggle with it? Probably. But every day that I don’t give into the negative side of me is progress and eventually I will win.

I have always struggled with being too negative in life, usually only in areas that concern myself. I see the good in other people way before I see the good in myself. I forgive other people long before forgiving myself. (There’s probably a lot of us like this out there.). This is something that irritates my husband. Want to know how I know that? He’s told me. I don’t remember how we got onto the subject, but we did. (Maybe a marital spat? Who knows?) He’s told me I’m too hard on myself. That I expect way too much and that the goals I set myself are usually unattainable and then I chastise myself for not reaching them. So, I’ve been working on setting achievable goals that are still hard to reach but not out of grasp. It’s been difficult to learn how to think differently. Sometimes, you just need to hear someone tell you the truth but that’s only if you’re willing to listen to it. If you’re not, then it will feel as if that person is attacking you and your way of life.

There will be times in your life that will be difficult. The key is not to give up. Giving up is too easy. Keep struggling. Eventually, you’ll see light ahead. We’re still in that dark tunnel, ourselves, but the more we do, the closer the light gets.

Although, I feel that moving to Savannah, GA was a mistake, I wouldn’t change it. Yes, we’ve struggled. Yes, I have personally struggled, tremendously, (several of the reasons aren’t listed here) and have been in more pain than I was when the goal was to lessen it. However, if we had stayed in the familiar, we would have never learned about the area. We would have never learned things about ourselves that would have never been revealed. It takes change to grow. Welcome change, even if it’s scary.

Writing Update

So last week, I skipped the writing update post I’ve been trying to make every week. There’s no real reason why I skipped it, other than that I didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. How’s that for some honesty?

Anyway, on book 1 in the Ordinaries series, I am at 46k and am still going strong on the rewrite into first person. Writing in first person is still a little weird. This is the first novel where I’ve done it. I’ve read plenty of novels done in first person, but had never attempted to write one. I must say I’m having fun writing this novel for two reasons: 1.) It’s something I haven’t done before, so it’s a bit challenging, and 2.) I am loving the story and characters.

The final book in the Hartland Series: New Beginnings came back from the Alpha reader with a huge thumbs up. Here I was worried that it’d fall short from the other books in the series that came so easily for me. This one was a major pain in the ass to write! Yet, it seems at least one person likes it. They even liked the way I ended it. Now, I have to do another quick edit and send it out to the beta readers. Hopefully, I’ll hear some more good news from them.

Book 2 in the Magna Luctus series is coming along slowly. We only added an additional 1k to the word count. It’ll eventually get done. It seems this book is being as difficult to write as the final book in the Hartland series. I’m still pleased that we’re making progress on it though. Not all books come easily.

I hope everyone has a fantastic and productive week!

Book Review: Bloodthorn

Bloodthorn: Olive Kennedy (Fairy World MD Book 3) by [Grantham, Tamara]

5 out of 5!

So I have been reading this series like nonstop and this one only took 1 morning to read for me! In fact, it was this morning that I read it. I haven’t read through books this fast in years. That is how good these books are for me. The story, the characters, the romance, everything about this book speaks volumes to me. And I cannot wait to download the other books and read through them.

I highly recommend reading the first book Dreamthief.