Just Me

I am constantly being reminded to blog on my author website. Yes, I know it’s important. Yes, I know it’s about marketing my name as a brand. Yes, I know it’s important for my readers to get to know me as a person as well as an author. Yes, I understand the logistics behind it…BUT I am probably one of the worst bloggers out there today and I freely admit it.

I never know what to write in my blog. I struggle with it every time I have to sit down and do it. Why? Because I always thought my life was pretty ordinary, boring even, and nothing exciting to write home about. And the trials and turbulence in my life always seemed too personal to me to share with the rest of the world. I am a private person. I hold my feelings close to my chest and only share freely with a few close friends. I have always been that way. I don’t believe that airing dirty laundry out on social media is the right thing to do…

Yes, like every mother, I do brag about my children on my blog. I can’t help it. I am so proud of each of them. But apparently the majority of my friends and even family members were completely shocked several months ago when I admitted that I was getting divorced after fourteen years together. No one saw it coming. My husband and I put on a very good front for several years to the outside world. But the truth of the matter was neither of us had been happy for a long time…years in fact. Even I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until I finally moved on with my life and relocated from Indiana to Arizona.

Time passes, things change and so do our situations. Adapting to a new environment can be challenging, but I cannot say I am homesick. I’m really not. There are people at home whom I dearly miss. Friends and family that never leave my thoughts and will always reside in my heart. Faces that are so ingrained in my memory that I can simply close my eyes and see them as clearly as if they were standing in front of me.

Funny enough, it’s the silly things that you discover you miss a great deal as well. Things such as your favorite coffee mug, knowing where the post office is, where something is located in the grocery store you frequent. Goofy things like knowing where the paperclips are, knowing every little thing in the drawer in the coffee table…the drawer affectionately called the ‘apocalypse drawer’. Things I took for granted because they’d been there for as long as I can remember.

It’s hard letting go of the past and starting over. People have told me numerous times how much they admire me for being so brave. I’m not brave, I can assure you. Relocating across the country from everything and everyone I’d ever known was not a decision I made lightly. However, with my children grown and living lives of their own now, I felt it was time for me too to discover life beyond the confines of the small Indiana town I resided in.

I have been a mom since I was 19 years old. My entire adult life has always revolved around my children and every decision I made was always in what was best for them…not me. So, for the first time in my life, I got to consider what I wanted, what I desired, what dreams I wanted to chase. Questions that fluttered in the dark recesses of my mind but I was never allowed to entertain. And the more I paid attention to them, the more excited I became. I had never been allowed to put me first before and honestly it felt very foreign to do so.

So…I did and it feels amazing! I cannot say that I have regretted my decision to relocate even for a second. While it hasn’t been easy…starting over never is, but it is thrilling. I now look forward to each new day, new prospects, new adventures. I have met some kind and interesting people thus far and made some new friends. And most importantly, I found my smile and for the first time in years…I am happy!

End of a Series

As I sit here on my bed with my laptop writing the final chapters for Illumination, the EVE series, book 4…I write….read….delete…rewrite…and begin again. I think it’s going to be a long night.

I started writing the first book in this series, Essence, back in the summer of 2009. At the time I hadn’t considered turning it into a series, that just sort of happened because the characters demanded it. And over the last six years and four books I have grown so attached to this storyline and all my characters. Some of whom I love dearly, other’s I enjoy disliking immensely. I’ve lived their lives, laughed with them, cried with them, and tagged along on this adventurous journey beside them.

These four books are my babies, my heart and my soul. Jocelyn and Jackson are my children who I feel extremely protective of. I love them dearly and have loved experiencing their relationship, their love, their struggles, their triumphs, and their heartbreaks along with them. They have overcome so much in their young lives and still have a long way to go. However, I know they will make it. Their love is strong as is their faith in each other and themselves.

But as with all good things, it must come to an end and Illumination is the final book for Jocelyn and Jackson. I am finding it challenging to put the right words in place to conclude their story. I think that every author who creates a series faces the same challenges. I want to make sure I wrap it all up nicely, answer all my reader’s questions through my characters, remain true to the storyline and my characters, and leave my audience captivated and craving the new spin-off series beginning this fall with Sidney’s story…the Spirit Quest series.

That’s what I hope to deliver and I will do my best to do so. And as hard as it is to conclude this series, I want to reassure my reader’s that this isn’t the last time they will hear from our beloved couples or most of the EVE assemble. They will return from time to time in the new series. So, it’s not a forever farewell…more along the lines of ‘see ya later’. This I do promise to the many who have reached out to me not wanting Illumination to be the final book in this series.

But most importantly, I want to thank everyone who has taken this journey with me. I cannot tell you how much your words have meant to me, how much I appreciate your reaching out to me and telling me what this series has meant to you and how much you are enjoying it. That is the greatest achievement any author can strive for. You are the reason I write and I thank you for it with all my heart! You are the best and I dearly love you all!!!

Thrust into a World of ‘New’

Starting over is never easy. Saying goodbye is even harder. Dreaming of what can be, what will come out of all this pain is what drives me out of bed in the morning. It is not easy. I try not to look back at what was or what was supposed to be. Thoughts such as those are forbidden. Looking back only leads to pain and despair.

Ending a marriage is heartbreaking at best. Even after the anger subsides, the pain lingers. Hopefully, someday soon, the ache in my chest will subside. Fourteen years devoted to one person is something hard to let go of. I defined myself as the following; a mother, a wife, and an author. Now that one of those identities has been taken from me, I am trying to figure out where I belong in this new world I have been thrust into.

I have learned a few things about myself in the last nine months that I knew but had not fully recognized…if that makes sense. One…my mood definitely affects my writing. The second book in my With Honors series, Making the Dean’s List, was due to be released last December. As many of you already know, it did not. Why? Because it is extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, to write erotica when you would rather hit the man in your life upside the head with an iron skillet than be romantic with him.

Two…everything material (except for my children’s photographs/family mementos) is replaceable. It kills me to think that everything I have worked so hard for in the last 23 years of my life has all but disappeared. I have never been a materialistic type person, but I had spent the last eleven years decorating our home. Carefully selecting furniture, nick-knacks, pictures, and so on and so forth for every room of our house turning it into a lovely home. And what do I have to show for it now? Boxes full of my children’s photos, a few family heirlooms from my grandparents, some DVDs, half of my clothes, and a third of my shoes. It’s too sad to even be pathetic.

Three…I am truly blessed. My oldest and dearest friend from high school, Patsy has taken me in. She has put a roof over my head, fed me, let me cry on her shoulder, and is helping me rebuild my life and career. She, her mother, her son, and his girlfriend have gone out of their way to make us feel at home. This amazing family has embraced me, supported me, and put up my little American Eskimo Spitz, DaVinci.

Divorce is never easy, even when children aren’t involved. Thankfully, mine are all grown. Still, this divorce has been difficult on them even though two of the three do not live at home any longer. I am trying to believe that the last fourteen years have not all been in vain, but it is hard to feel like it wasn’t just a waste of time. The last time I was single I was in my twenties. I cannot even fathom dating again, nor do I have any desire too.

For now, waking up over fourteen hundred miles from everything I have ever known, I am going to concentrate on building my new career, learning my way around Phoenix and the surrounding areas, and finishing both Illumination, the EVE series, book 4 and Making the Dean’s List, the With Honors series, book 2. The rest is just gravy and will come in due time.