The last few hours of 2015 are upon us, and as I sit here pondering the past year, I realize how lucky I’ve been. While there were some low spots to the year, overall, it was a wonderful one, and I’ll be forever grateful for the love and support I’ve received from old friends, new friends and fellow authors, and family. It’s been an amazing experience watching my blog follower list grow with people from all parts of the world, specifically Russia, the Phillipines, Japan, France, and Poland, as well as those of you who follow me in Australia, England, Romania, the United States, and Canada. Thank you all for making 2015 such a rush.
I terms of health, my husband of 44 years gave me a few scares, but the cardiologist doesn’t need to see him for a year, so that’s great news. While my own health isn’t perfect, and I’m way too fat, I’ve been remarkably well. Even my asthma and athritis haven’t been a problem, so I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2016.
As far as my writing career goes, I continue to get a great deal of satisfaction from my readers and reviewers. I may not be getting rich, but I’m bringing joy and satisfaction to most of my readers, and that’s enough to keep me writing.
In addtion to making the Published Authors Network (PAN) with the Romance Writers of America, thanks to Fire Angel, the very first book I published, I officially reached the status of bestselling author with Amazon in December when The White Carnation broke the top 100 books, and I was number 21 in bestselling author ranks. As the year winds down, The White Carnation continues to break sales’ records for me, and Book Two of the Hravester Series, The White Lily, is right up there. too. I’m looking forward to the release of the last book in the series, The White Iris, on February 8, 2016. Writing that series was one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever undertaken. I hope readers will be satisfied with the way I ended it. Some have suggested I write more books featuring the FBI characters. Who knows? Maybe there will be a White Rose or a White Tulip at some point and possibly a White Pointsettia out for Christmas next year.
My other Crimson Romance novels have all done well this year. On His Watch and Just For The Weekend lead the pack, but In Plain Sight holds its own. While the bundles haven’t done as well as I’d hoped, they have gotten my name out there, and that’s all good.
As for my other novels released in 2014, sales are slow and steady, and I’m grateful to all who continue to support my writing efforts. If you’ve read one of my books, consider leaving a review on my website, a new feature added by my son the webmaster. You can vist my website any time to find out about my books.
Unfortunately, 2015 brought some incredibly sad moments, too. In my personal life, I lost some cherished friends. In my publishing life, the biggest loss was the demise of Secret and Sweet Cravings Publishing. The remarkably classy publisher paid out as much as she could and returned the rights, but that left a few books without a home. Sadly, it also was the death knell for my writing partnership with Misty Cail. The books written by Misty Matthews are no more. Grand Slam, the baseball themed novella we wrote together as our first effort, did well for us. In fact in 2014, when it first came out, it was our best seller.
Then, in the fall of that year, we rereleased Coming Home, the first book in a series, a book we’d published with Front Porch Romance, an unscrupulous publisher who stole from us as well as from its other writers. Despite the editing and the revised and enhanced storyline, it didn’t do well. That combined with a number of other factors basically signed its death warrant.
While Grand Slam is unlikely to ever be released again, I have Misty’s permission to rework and rerelease Coming Home. If I do, it’ll have a new title and a suspense component added to the basic plot we created, making it almost a new book–Or, I may just let it go.
In terms of my own books with SCP, I only had one, Echoes of the Past, which I released independently in Spetember with a brand new cover created by the wonderful and talented Danielle Doolittle. Since the publisher released the edits, I only had to make a slight change to the story to get it out there and published again.
The other book I had with SCP, Secrets and Lies, A Hearts of Braden romantic suspense, I published on my own in November. Michel Prince was the instigator of the project–eight books, set in a small town, each one written by a different author. She arranged for the editing, and Danille did the covers. I’d hoped for better sales, but while it’s started off slowly, I anticipate that will improve in 2016.
Another book that was a bit of a disappointment was All for Love, my firts attempt at a completely clean, Christian romance suspense. While the reviews are great, once again sales are slow. I loved this cover and thought it would really amp sales. Maybe in 2016 … I can always hope. Not to be daunted, I’ve written and sold another Christian Romance Suspense, Hidden Assets, which will come out in Dec. 2016.
In 2015, I tried something else that has been moderately successful. I wrote a few short stories for Summer Solstice Publishing. The first, There’s Always Tomorrow, was published as part of an anthology and then later released on its own. To that I added a two-part Christmas short story that was disappointing in terms of sales. I guess people don’t want to read about families.
I also wrote a Christmas novella that did quite well for itself. Come Home For Christmas still had a child in it, but the focus was on a second chance at love. Danielle designed a different kind of cover for it, one that must’ve appealed to the readers. She also designed the covers for my attempt at sci-fi space opera, Eloisia, the story of a captain and his crew looking for a new home a thousand years into the future. It’s written in episodes, like a television series. So far Stowaway, and Secrets have been published, and while they haven’t sold hundreds of copies, they’ve been well received. Sabotage will be published in early January.
In 2015, I was asked to be part of a weekly blog hop some of you may recognize Tuesday Tales is a work in progress group, featuring talented authors. I started a book specifically for the group when I returned from Alaska.
Hello Again is a paranormal, romance, suspense. While it’s a long way from ready to be published, I had Danielle design a cover for it. I needed to see my charcters and watch them grow. You are welcome to come back each Tuesday and watch the book’s progress as well as read the wip of my other author friends. Once a month, we do a scene based on a picture–max 300 words. It’s amazing how creative my fellow authors can be.
In 2015, I took my first cruise, visiting Alaska and spending time with family in the Vancouver area. It was an incredible experience, what I belived to be the trip of a lifetime, but I have a lot of living in me yet–at least, I hope I do.
So, what am I looking to do in 2016? More of the same. I have a four-part trip planned–Copenhagen, a Norwegian Fjords cruise, 10 days in Oslo, Norway with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, finishing up with 2 days in Iceland. Think of the rich descriptions I can add to my books then!
In terms of writing, I’ve set my goals. I want to publish a YA novel or novella, dedicated to my eldest granddaughter, finish Hello Again and Honeymoon For One, my current wips, rewrite and recreate Coming Home, add six episodes to Eloisia, write at least three short stories, possibly one for Halloween. And if time allows, maybe do another historical romance, a follow-up to The Price of Honor. I also want to take a good look at some of my earlier work, stuff that’s been filed away for years. Maybe I’ll publish a book of poems, a childen’s anthology. The year may also hold a surprise as I consider collaborating with a well-known and well-respected author. As long as my health is good and my muse continues to inspire me…
So I plan to stay healthy, happy, and productive next year. How about you?