In the wee small hours…

Posted on 12/6/15

Much as it pains me to get older, once in a while I like to stop and look at the changes that have happened in my life. Sometimes you don’t realize things are changing but change happens whether you like it or not. Might as well embrace it for an adventure and roll with the tide.

Just this morning I got the email from my publisher with the draft cover art for my next book (my first with them; <3 you, Loose Id!), which also happens to be my Golden Heart finalist. The cover is fantastic and it nails the characters, though granted, I might’ve liked to see his tux collar open a little, but that’s just me. Ever wonder why men look better fully dressed and women are the exact opposite?

This time last year I was stressed out by my day job and, in every spare moment, writing my happy hands off to get my Golden Heart entry finished so I could enter the contest. This year I’m completely relaxed because I have a much better job that’s allowing me to take the last week of the year off, so I’m taking my kids up to NY to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and do some sightseeing in the city where we were all born. I haven’t had New Years Eve off in fourteen years so this will take some adjusting but I’m sure we’ll manage. ::wink wink::

But this year I’m not eligible for the Golden Heart because I took the plunge and self-published Heated Competition, followed by Tall Shadows. I’ve entered both in the Rita contest (RWA’s contest for published authors; still boggles my mind to think I AM one) and while I don’t expect them to have a ghost of a chance, I’m in it because I can’t imagine finalist day coming around and I don’t have a pony in the race.

There’s a certain calmness to it now. Getting ready for the Golden Heart was a panic because the manuscript needed to be finished and the first 50 pages polished to a fine sheen, if not outright glowing. (It was in GH prep that I became familiar with the term “polishing a turd.”) But with the Rita, the book is finished; it’s just a matter of going to the post office to mail the copies down to Houston. I’m even thinking, in looking at the cover for Indulge My Fantasy, how I’m going to enter it in the 2017 Rita because it has a 2016 pub date, as does its follow up, Save the Best for Last.

But that still feels odd. The book is done. I’m not frantically trying to piece together the last of the plot or even figure out the next few scenes because they’re done; it’s all been written. I’m not in a panic over the manuscripts (because they’re books) and I’m not in a panic over my job (because that was my old job). All this not panicking makes me feel like I’ve forgotten something. But maybe it just means my life has gotten better. Things are behind me but good things are coming.

Like Indulge My Fantasy, which releases January 5, 2016. (See what I did there?) Also a certain someone’s birthday, the irony of which isn’t lost on me. I’m trying to work up the courage to send him a copy. I mean, after all, he inspired the hero. Read it and tell me if you think you know who I have in mind.

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