Hello, everyone. I know it’s been a while since I’ve last posted anything, and I wanted to tell you why.
First off, we moved from New Hampshire to Maryland, and it was not an easy process. I loved our farm with all my being, and it was harder to say goodbye to it than I anticipated. We were lucky in that we actually sold it to our realtor. She came into our house, took one look at it and the fields and barns and animals, and said, “Don’t list it. Sell it to me and my husband instead.” And so we did, leaving it in the best hands possible – with people I truly think will cherish and respect and nurture that place even better than we could have.
Moving from 34 rural acres to a suburban neighborhood was a bit of a culture shock. On the one hand, I will miss the peace, beauty, and stillness of our farm. On the other, I haven’t had to shoot at a single bear since we got here, so there’s that. We’re lucky in that our neighborhood is relatively quiet and made up of mostly military folk and veterans. Everyone is kind and respectful. Also, I know someone is close enough around to hear me and come running if I ever scream for help (I will definitely not miss the part of being isolated that meant we were completely on our own).
We’ve spent the past several months renovating and painting and trying to really make this place home. It’s been a challenging process, both physically and mentally, but now that we’re done, I feel like I can finally sit back and marvel at how beautiful we’ve made it:
Along with all of this upheaval, I’ve been on a bit of a health journey. I find out this week whether or not I have a heart defect (wearing heavy-duty heart monitors in sweltering heat and humidity this summer was NOT fun). On top of that, I’ve been diagnosed with celiac’s and chronic gastritis – the latter of which has been much more life-changing and debilitating than the former. Imagine if your whole stomach was an ulcer. That’s what it feels like during a flare-up.
I’ve been trying to come to terms with being chronically ill, and it’s been a process. I’m just now settling into my new normal, and I feel like I can start partaking in life again.
Because of all this, I’ve found myself questioning things, and one of those things is how I write and post my books. For a long time, I’ve been just as much of a mood writer as I am a mood reader, and that needs to change. Jumping back and forth between books while trying to please everyone isn’t working out for any of us. I know people have their favorite books and want the next one in a series done now, but you’ll have to have some patience with me.
I’ve always had anxiety, and it’s been at an all-time high for months now. Like, I couldn’t bring myself to leave our new house high. Most of it was medical-related, but the excess of feeling like I was letting people down and being stuck because I couldn’t figure out a way to fix everything definitely didn’t help.
So, here’s how things are going to go: I’m going to write and finish books in the background. Only when a book is done will I start posting chapters. Every unfinished work in progress will remain up for people to read, but I’m not going to post to them until it’s their turn. Also, all but the sample chapters will be behind the Patreon paywall. I’ve had too many of them already show up on pirate sites, and if someone is going to steal from me, they’re going to pay to do it, damn it. The only book that will remain free is Scandal, because it’s on so many pirate sites that I can’t even bother trying to control it anymore.
That was the bad news. Now for the good.
Even with all this madness going on in my life, I finished a book. Like, I’ll be done with my formal edits in a few weeks. I’m sorry, but it’s not Lunatics, or Bisclavret, or any of the other countless stories I’ve been posting, but a fantasy romance that I’d been playing around with for years, adding chapters to the outline in between other books when I could, always finding myself coming back to it no matter what else was going on in my life.
With the prolonged posting break, I decided to sit down and really see if I could make something of it. I think, and I hope I’m not getting ahead of myself here, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. There is a plot twist to end all plot twists, and I honestly doubted if I could pull it off. I hope that I have. That is the book that is going to be posted first.
If you’ve browsed the new website at all, you’ve probably already seen it, but just in case this is all news to you, below is the cover and book blurb:
Princess Brianne of Tisalt is beloved, fashionable, and known throughout the kingdom for being the life of every party. The youngest of twelve daughters, the time has come for her to wed. When she daydreams of her future home and husband, she sees visions of sparkling palaces and a life of pampered luxury filled with laughter and frivolity.
Those dreams are ripped to shreds when, instead of matching her with a crowned prince from a neighboring kingdom, her father accepts a proposal from an upstart king of a rugged island nation.
Malcolm of Ocane is gruff, short-tempered, and more used to violence than diplomacy. He clawed his throne out of the cold, dead hands of his enemies in a bloody civil war that cost his fledgling nation more lives than they could spare. If he has any hope of saving his people from ruin, he needs to cement his power and find allies among the mainland nations. Brianne of Tisalt is the best chance he has at succeeding, and he’ll do anything to get her within his grasp.
But from their very first meeting, it’s obvious these two are as different as night and day. Brianne thinks Malcolm’s black reputation is well-earned and wonders if she’ll even survive the journey back to his kingdom. Malcolm doesn’t think the pampered party princess will last a week outside of her father’s palace, let alone find a way to fit in with his no-nonsense, salt-of-the-earth subjects.
And when they’re attacked almost as soon as the wedding is over, both of them are left wondering if they’ve made a colossal mistake. With enemies waiting around every corner and an ancient god taking far too much interest in their lives, can these two find a way to work together and survive their marriage, or will their union lead to their downfall?
The first few chapters will be going up soon and will be free-to-read, as always. All the rest will be available only to Patreon subscribers. If you’re interested in joining the launch team for this book, please check out the launch page, where you’ll find an ARC signup form and more.
Thank you so much for sticking around and supporting me while I finally get my shit together as a writer. It’s been a long time coming, but now that I don’t have the responsibility of farm animals and so many acres to maintain, I can finally sit down for five minutes and focus on cranking out books. I can’t tell you how much faster I write when I’m focused. To Wed a Wicked King came together in a matter of two months, and if I can maintain that kind of pacing going forward, you’re in for a busy posting schedule.
Don’t worry – I won’t spam your inbox. Like I did yesterday when I uploaded my new website theme, and it auto-published all the demo posts and sent them out to all my subscribers. So sorry about that. I was scrambling to try and stop it midway through, and, yeah, obviously that didn’t happen.
Anyway! All the bugs are worked out now, and I have a beautiful new website with much better functionality than the last version. Look forward to new chapters soon!