I’m conflicted about 2017. Politically it has been perverted and ugly and it will take our country decades to recover from the policies put into place this year.
Personally, it has been the best of years, and the worst of years. The worst was losing my father in March. The best has been time spend with family and loved ones, stretching from early in 2017, to the time spent in Cambria over the Christmas holidays.
Working through getting my father’s estate settled meant I got to spend a lot of time with my brother from March to June; it seemed like every other weekend we were together. I also got to see my nephew and family (and my new baby grandnephew!), which was a delight.
I had one novel published, and two novellas. I wanted to do more in 2017, but grief slammed me sideways. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, because there’s no point – but in 2018, I am going to put me first, my work first, rather than give other work precedence. I am going to hew to my schedule, rather than let myself be swayed by the inaction of others.
So, for 2018, I have a new dark urban fantasy series (NOTE – this is NOT a romance series!) coming out, called The Forgotten Ones. The first novel I hope to have ready for June timeframe. In May the prequel novel will be out in a box set, and it will be FREE to all. I’ll post when that’s a done deal.
I’m also revamping Wolf’s Heart (which is currently unavailable), the Caine-adjacent novel that details Doc Megan’s romance. THIS book has a tie-in to the above dark urban fantasy novel…the master vampire at the end of the book is the villain in the Forgotten Ones series. I want this to come out in March, so I’ve got some work cut out for me.
I also have the ballet series that I’m working on – the first book is in edits stage and then I’ll send it to the editor who (fingers crossed) will get back to me fairly quickly and I’ll hop to finish the other two.
In between these, I plan to re-release Snowed In at Christmas (probably in July), and hopefully another holiday novella or two. We shall see.
And there are always the surprise novellas…those opportunities that come out of the blue. So my year is pretty full, already!
I’m planning on going to the Northwest Tarot Symposium in Portland, Oregon the first weekend in March, 2018, mainly to hang out with Arwen Lynch Poe but I’m also looking forward to the inspiration I know I’ll find there (plus maybe an opportunity to see relatives).
My next appearance will be at RWA National Conference in Denver, Colorado July 16 – 21, 2018.
The last one currently scheduled for 2018 is the Romance Author Mastermind conference with Skye Warren in Houston, Texas on September 26 – Oct 1, 2018. I’m looking forward to taking my career the next step.
So, that’s a brief round-up of 2017 and a more positive look ahead to 2018.
Oh, and I am planning on getting on the newsletter bandwagon – once every few months most likely to start. If you think you’d like to get news from me, please click on the link in the upper right corner on this page here.
May your burdens be light and your blessings be many. Sending love and hugs to you all.
This was originally supposed to post on March 23, 2015…
As you may or may not know, I had the privilege of being a part of the Lucky Stars Box Set with some amazing authors – namely Louisa Bacio, Kim Carmichael, Solera Winters, Erzabet Bishop, Fred T. Kerns, and Sascha Illyvich. That box set came out in March.
If you haven’t picked it up yet, it’s 500 pages of yummy, spicy and sweet stories – only $0.99.
Then, of course, we started rehearsals for CASSANDRA CRIES, a play I wrote, which will get 4 performances in Hollywood at the last weekend in April, and the first weekend in May. A play. As in, actors on a stage bringing to life a world I have created. My words in their mouths.
This is a different – thing – for me. I am the creator of the
Tom Ashworth & Jocelyn Hall, 1st Rehearsal, March 22, 2015
play. Everyone else is there because of me. And while it is similar to being an author, in the theater world it has more of an impact on me. It’s intense. It can also be intensely boring (OMG I hate this scene -who wrote this shit? Um…*headdesk*).
It is a different medium, and having people take the characters I created and breathe life into them is somewhat astounding. And addicting. Sigh. But this isn’t the end of the craziness that is my life, my friends. Not a bit of it. Why?
Because tomorrow, GUARDED STAR comes out – book 2 in the StarTide Agency series. And right on the heels of that release is the California Dreamin’ Writer’s Conference in Brea, where I’ll be rooming with 3 other people, hugging all my friends old and new, participating in a Lady Jane’s Salon reading of my book, coming right after the fabulous Susan Squires and a couple of people before Christie Craig…plus seeing friends such as Brenda Chin and Michelle Klayman (also my publisher), and the weekend all culminates in a booksigning on Sunday, March 29, from 2 – 4pm. I’ll be signing that brand new book. Exciting doesn’t begin to describe…
…and underlying it all is a sense of dread. Because too many good things tend to need a balance to them, don’t they? So I worry about my dad, being so far away from me. I have to trust people my gut doesn’t want to trust, and I have to let my dad run his own life as he sees fit. He’s sharp as a tack and not one to bend easily (I get my stubbornness equally from him and my mother).
But it’s the fear of losing my hearing that has my heart in my throat and a glass of wine in my hand most nights. I know I need to call the doctor and get checked out…it might be nothing. It might be a lot. Just knowing that I might one day become totally deaf…not my worst nightmare, but hell. Makes me wish I’d actually followed through on learning AMESLAN which, according to that link, is an outdated term – and how interesting that American Sign Language and Chinese have a lot in common. Head. Desk. I mean, I know I want to keep learning and keep growing and…sigh. Damn it. I dealt with losing the hearing in one ear. back in 2010. Really don’t want to have a matching pair of ears that don’t work…even though the hearing loss in ear #2 won’t be for the same reason as the loss in ear #1. I hope.
So, yeah. There’s excitement and dreams coming true and getting to see and hug friends and putting my work up on stage in Hollywood and relationships changing and growing and pedicures to get and … fear.
…and the beat goes on…
Scott and Christine, San Diego 1982 Photo by Chet Cunningham
UPDATE: I don’t know why this didn’t get posted the first time around…anyway, hearing loss is minor to moderate in the good ear. Am waiting to get the referral to see the specialist that helped with my acoustic neuroma surgery…to see what can be done to preserve the hearing I do have.
Keep living, people. Keep living, and loving, and marching to the beat of your own drum.
I usually do this post on New Year’s Eve, but life sort of got away from me, as it does now and then. However, here’s a look back at 2014.
Well, I did finish the Guitar Book, and came up with a series idea based on the talent agency…had a great time pitching that at Desert Dreams, finaled in their contest with that book, and…let’s see…oh YEAH. Boroughs Publishing Group wanted the series, and I signed a contract with them in August for a short story and the three novels. Woo! (StarTide series!) Isn’t the StarTide logo cool???
I pitched the Ballet Book, finally finished it, and sent it off to Lovely Agent who wants to see it after I make some revisions because she really liked it but it didn’t quite have enough oomph in the non-ballet sections. So there’s that.
Went to San Antonio for RWA’s National Conference, where I was a lucky girl and got to spend time with the Boroughs peeps. Went to their open house, and was invited to their author dinner even though I wasn’t technically one of theirs yet. Spent some lovely time talking to Chris Keeslar, which is where I got the idea for the Christmas short story. I also drunk-pitched said Ballet Book to a Lovely Editor at St. Martin’s, who said she loved the idea and (being friends with Lovely Agent), when the book is complete she’d like to see it.
Once home, I commenced writing like a fiend. Wrote, finished, and turned in the short story. Christmas Star (only .99!) published in October, 2014! Yay…after almost two years of not publishing, it was nice getting back into the water. In December, I finished book 2 of the StarTide series, and turned that one in. Began Book 3.
Also in December, rewrote another short story I had, after being asked to submit one for a paranormal/sci fi box set for Irksome Rebel Press. As soon as my readers get that back to me, I’ll be turning it in.
So the count for 2014: finished 3 novels; wrote 2 short stories; had one short story published, went to two conferences. Oh, and I wrapped up my second year as President of Los Angeles Romance Authors, chapter of RWA. Whew!
(2015 can be your year, too! There’s room for everyone!)
Here’s what my 2015 is going to look like, that I am aware of currently:
Writing wise: Finish Book 3, Rising Star. Write Caine Brothers Book 3, Demon’s Rage (Justin and Maggie). Rewrite the Ballet Book; send to Lovely Agent (and hopefully Lovely Editor). Brainstorm 2 – 3 novels/novellas for the StarTide series; discuss with Boroughs and write at least the first one.
Guarded Star, to publish in February. Star-Crossed, to publish in April. And Rising Star, publishing in June.
Hopefully my short story will be accepted, and in the Lucky Stars Box Set that will come out on March 17th.
End of March, I will be speaking at the California Dreamin’ Writer’s Conference, where I’ll get to see lots of old friends and make new ones.
End of May, I’ll be at the Pay It Forward Writer’s Retreat, put on by the incomparable duo of Kendall Grey and Danielle Allen.
End of July, I’ll be in New York City for the RWA National Conference!!!
Demon Soul, Demon Hunt and Demon’s Rage will hopefully all be out in August or maybe September, with nifty new covers and finally an end to the story!
A StarTide holiday novella out in October/November, hopefully.
So, that’s my year. Of course, life happens and things change. My fondest hope is that whatever changes happen are for the better, and that more gets out than less…
Whatever your dreams are, go for them. Be bold, in whatever manner fits you. And don’t let anyone tell you your dreams are too big. They are YOUR dreams, and so they are the perfect size.
Sending love and hugs out to you, and may 2015 be the continuation of All the Good Things!
All pictures (except Christmas Star and the StarTide logo) borrowed from Leonie Dawson.
It’s here, it’s here! As the day moves along and more platforms go “live”, I’ll share here. WOO! Happy Book Birthday to me!
About the book:
After a whirlwind courtship, the Christmas season finds plain-Jane-with-a-secret Elle Houston engaged to one of the brightest stars in the Hollywood firmament–and falling for the personal chef at her ritzy, pre-wedding resort.
December 19th, eveningElle Houston drew her feet up onto the couch and nervously watched her fiancé—her fiancé—finish packing in the hotel suite he called home. “Are you sure you want to get married?”Taylor Collins, Grade A movie star, stopped adding shirts to his suitcase, tipped his head to one side and smiled, that lopsided grin that caused female hearts to flutter worldwide. “Are you getting cold feet?”“No. Of course not.” She’d never thought she’d get a proposal, ever. Not saying yes to the guy who was People’s Sexiest Man Alive? She’d have to be brain-dead. “I’ve got the guy all the girls want, the guy paparazzi clamor over.” She nibbled her top lip, considering. “I guess I’m still just a bit stunned that you proposed.”
Happy Dancing here!!!
Find it at All Romance eBooks, Amazon, Smashwords
Update: For a few hours on Saturday morning, I made a list! #72 – not bad!!!
It didn’t last long, but it sure made my day.
In late June, Dad went off to the Western Writers of America Conference in Las Vegas with pneumonia, 9 books to pitch, and chock-full of determination. When I left him the Sunday prior to his trip, he looked tired and thin, and I worried.
Chet Cunningham, June 2011
So it was with some hesitation that I called him (after giving him time to recover from the trip) to see how the conference went.
The phone rings. Gooood evening, he says, sounding sprightly. Hey Daddy. How are you? I say. He sounds good. No, he sounds wonderful. I start to smile into the phone.
Heey, Chrissy, he says. I’m doing grrreat. Let me tell you about the conference. And he was off and running. He sounded great, better than he has in a very long time.
So, he says, my first day there, I ran into the gal that has been publishing all my big print books. Who’s that, I say. Oh, you know, he says, the big print folks. Oh shoot. Five Star. They’re a part of Five Star Publishing.
I had sent her a couple new books, he says, a few months back and hadn’t heard from her, but she said they might be on a bookcase somewhere, and to re-send. We got to talking and she told me they buy Frontier Fiction, and mysteries. I told her what I have, and she said to send them to her. That’s six books, right there, that they might like.
The closet where dad stores copies of his books. Yes, those are all his. Not all of them are digital – yet.
That’s great, daddy, I say. Your first day. Yep, he says, my first day. So I’ve been working on those, getting them ready to send to her.
And then I saw Kat Martin, he says. You know Kat, I’ve got some photos with her and your mother from previous conferences. Yes, I say. I remember Kat Martin. (She’s only written a ton of romances, lol.)
Well, he says, I was talking to her husband, Larry Jay Martin, also a long-time friend of mine. He’s a western writer, and he’s putting his up stuff on Amazon. We were talking and he asked if I had anything that hadn’t gone digital yet, and if I did to send it to him.
What did you end up sending? I ask. He laughs. Says, well, what I thought I would send him, I no longer have any computer files for. So I emailed him on Sunday night when I got home, said I didn’t have what I thought I had, but I have these other three that are digital, he says.
By now, I’m so excited for him I can barely stand it. What did he say? I ask. Well, he says, Monday morning I got an email back from him with a three book contract. And all I have to do is send him the digital files. So I did, and a day later I got a look at three possible covers for the books. I could get used to this, he says.
The jubilation in his voice was music to my ears.
Not only that, he says, but I ran into Dusty Richards, hadn’t seen him in a long time. Oh, and I talked to Cherry, he says. She is passing on my Jesse James novel, but is willing to shop around a partial of mine. Then I met another agent who also said he was intrigued by this partial idea, and he’d be happy to shop it as well.
Two agents shopping the same book? I ask. Oh no, he says. I’m sticking with Cherry, and if she doesn’t think she can do anything with it, then I’ll talk to this other guy.
It sounds like you had a wonderful time, I say. My cheeks are hurting because I’m smiling so big. And you sound healthy.
I’m doing pretty good, he says. I’m enthused, and working hard, and I made a lot of contacts at the conference so I’m really glad I went. Gotta go get back at it. You still working on that book?
Yes Daddy, still working, I say. After mutual assurances of love and missing the other, we hang up.
I wipe away a few happy tears. As much as I wanted him to stay home and recuperate, obviously going to a conference with pneumonia was the exact right thing for him. The energy and joy in his voice comes back to me, makes me smile.
I’m really glad I went, he said.
So am I, Daddy. So am I.
Hi everyone! Today I have my friend, Adriana Ryan, with her cover reveal. See, and be awed! Didn’t cover artist James Helps do a fantastic job? Read on, and ask her questions!
World of Shell and Bone
By Adriana Ryan
Coming December 7th, 2012
Cover by: James Helps (http://humblenations.com/)
In a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, Vika Cannon knows there are no guarantees: no guarantees of safety, no guarantees that your neighbor is not actually a spy for the government, and no guarantees you’ll be allowed to emigrate to a new life in Asia.
New Amana is dying. Food and water are scarce, and people suffering from radiation-caused mutations—the Nukeheads—are the new class of homeless.
Vika has just one purpose: to produce healthy progeny using a Husband assigned by the Match Clinic. Unhealthy children are carted away to Asylums to be experimented on, just as Vika’s little sister Ceres was, eight years ago. Parents incapable of producing healthy progeny are put to death in gas chambers.
When she’s assigned a Husband shortly after her twentieth birthday, Vika expects him to be complacent and obedient. But Shale Underwood has a secret. He is a member of the Radicals, the terrorist group intent on overthrowing the government. And Shale has information about Ceres.
As she learns more about the Rads’s plan, Vika finds herself drawn to Shale in ways she’d never imagined. When freedom calls in the way of a healthy pregnancy, will she betray her government and risk death for Shale and Ceres?
Bio: Adriana Ryan lives and writes in Charleston, SC. She is currently at work on a dystopian and an urban fantasy series. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards.
Contact her via email@example.com.
Adriana Ryan is a member of the Romance Writer’s Association (RWA).
I’ve got a busy weekend, so the Wine Friday post for this week won’t be up until next weekend. Thanks for your patience!
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?