First: the good stuff. Second: the not so good stuff.
Last year, some very lovely ladies and fellow Romance Divas invited me to submit Niall and Cruz's story in a multicultural romance boxed set. They published the set this week, and I am THRILLED with the collection. <3 <3 <3
Six multicultural romances by six talented authors! From contemporary West Texas to Old West California, get swept away with these passionate couples:
Her Cowboy Protector by Roxie Rivera
Rancher Niall Campbell isn't thrilled with the prospect of babysitting his best friend's sister, especially when he learns she's marked for death by an infamous drug cartel assassin, but he'll defend Cruz and her unborn baby with his life.
All You Can Handle by Farrah Rochon
Love was the last thing they were looking for, but a chance meeting kick-starts a high-octane rush of desire that gives Ian Landry and Madison "Sonny" White all they can handle.
The Obsession by Liliana Lee
Princess Shanyin has a harem of male concubines to serve her, but from the moment she sees the handsome Chu Yuan, she has to have him.
Wild for Him by Jill Sorenson
After a major earthquake in downtown San Diego, tattoo artist Gwen Tagaloa finds comfort in the brawny arms of Mitch Stone—her best friend’s estranged boyfriend.
Cabin Fever by Audra North
Rico Cardenas hasn't seen Becca Neubaum in five years, but when they unexpectedly end up as cabinmates for the holidays, he finds he doesn't want to let another day go by without her in his life.
Summer Chaparral by Genevieve Turner
Born in deceit, Jace and Catarina's marriage can either bloom into true love or become the newest casualty of an old family vendetta…
And now for the other part
I know you're waiting for Kostya and Alexei (and Raze and the wrap-up to the Emma serial.) I know that everyone is wondering what the hell is going on with these books and serial installments.
What's going on is that I basically just stuck my head in the sand after I received some not-so-great news in the fall.
It wasn't right. It definitely wasn't good business. But I'm human and when I heard words like Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis? I freaked out.
I didn't approve final edits. I didn't approve formatting or cover art. I pretty much fell apart at the seams as I tried to figure out what the hell this all means for my family and my career and my future.
This all started in the spring with my inability to remember how to spell certain words. I thought that was weird but I had been going through the other health problems (that are all tied into what I'm dealing with now, oddly enough) so we chalked it up to stress.
But then I started having trouble finding the right words while talking or typing. I started saying the wrong words, too. Like the other day I asked kiddo to go pick up the fireplace (!) when I really meant flashlight. Or I asked kiddo to go brush her fingers (!) instead of her teeth. The other night, I asked Viking to pick up his chair but I meant pillow.
After waking up one night in October unable to feel my face, arms or hands, we all realized that something very serious was wrong and that all the new symptoms we had chalked up to stress were actually signs of something much more serious.
In November, I was behind the wheel of my Jeep--and I couldn't remember how to start it or how to turn off and on the cruise control. I've forgotten our address and so many passwords. Today I needed to get my Jeep serviced because the check engine light was on, but I couldn't find the words to say that while standing in front of the technician, mouth agape and face red with embarrassment as I held up the line.
In December, I started experiencing vertigo and balance problems. Like banging into door frames and feeling like I'm sliding off the face of the earth. I started biting the inside of my mouth and having problems holding cups and mugs or picking up kiddo.
We went through the usual suspects first including lupus, but it became clear pretty quickly that this is something neurological--and probably degenerative. I've had countless x-rays and MRIs. I've had more needles jabbed into my body than I ever thought possible. I've spent a stupid, crazy amount of days in doctor's offices and hopsitals and procedure rooms in Houston and our hometown. Hell, I even spent Christmas Eve at Scott & White having more MRIs done after some not-so-great test results popped up. And I still have more of this testing to go.
It wasn't right but I stopped answering phone calls, texts and emails from basically everyone but my family and close friends. Julie has been my cheerleader and supported my decision to keep this new health adventure private for as long as possible--even though it meant dealing with all that not-so-happy social media. But she did it with a smile on her face because she is seriously the most generous, kind-hearted and amazing person in the world. I seriously don't know what I would do without her.
I'm not proud of the way I handled all this. I'm not happy that I had to pull books because I couldn't be sure they were right because my goofy brain has decided to be a jerk. I hate that I've disappointed so many readers and broken that special trust and bond between a reader and an author.
In good news--I can feel my hands again! And see out of my right eye! I've had time to go through each series and make detailed, detailed, detailed notes for the upcoming books. I'm feeling better than I have in months, and I'm super hopeful for the future.
Regarding all my books--I've had to re-learn my usual writing and editing process including using Dragon Naturally to write, adding in more editing to catch all the typos, homonyms/homophones and random what-the-hell-is-my-brain-thinking words and sentence structures. I've invited more beta readers to scrutinize my final product to make damn sure my mushy, foggy brain isn't forgetting details.
The next thing we'll be publishing is Alexei and Zel. After that, I think our schedule is Raze and the Emma serial wrap-up. Then it's a Kostya Prequel and Kostya (this will be a boxed set.) No dates, obviously, but within the next few weeks. If you follow me on social media or are signed up for my newsletters, you'll receive notices when the books are live.