back in the saddle

Holy crap! I can’t believe that almost an entire year has gone by since the last time I’ve updated on the comings and goings of my writing. So much has happened in the last 10 months that it feels like the blink of an eye.

In the spring of 2016, my family lost one of its most important members. My Papa, John Abbott, passed away after a long, long battle with cancer. Though he was technically my grandfather, and not my father, he was more of a father to me than anyone else. Getting the wind back in my sails after that took some effort.

In the summer of 2016, I made the 3,000 mile move from Anchorage, Alaska back to my family’s home in Cairo, Georgia. While I wasn’t sure in the beginning if the move would be temporary or permanent, I have 100% decided to stay now. Goodbye, Alaska! You will be… well, you won’t be missed that much, but I will definitely think of you fondly when it gets to be 110 degrees here in the south.

In the fall of 2016, I underwent Gastric Bypass surgery, something that I had been working towards having done for almost a year. In the last 3.5 months, I have lost 91 pounds! It had been a massive lifestyle change and I’ve basically had to relearn how to be a person.

Now, in the first couple months of 2017, I’m in the process of getting some of my various ducks in their proper rows.

Firstly, my wife and I have been stuck doing long distance for almost seven months now because she’s still up in Anchorage. Soon, she – along with my three fur babies, who I miss just as much – will be down here with me and things can get back to their own version of normal.

Step two, my mother and I have been tossing around a new business idea that we are both very passionate about. I’m going to do my best to keep it close to the vest until we have everything up and running, but I can’t wait to share the details later this year!

And lastly, possibly most importantly, I’m getting back into writing. In the last few days, I’ve printed out one hundred pages of plotting, world building and character development for the Gifted series. Together, Case Maynard and I are gonna knock that out of the park ASAP. And I will get The Assassin’s Wolf (Book 1 of the Desires of the Otherkind series) published this year. My next round of querying starts today.

This last year has tested me in a lot of ways that I didn’t expect. Emotionally, physically, mentally. 2016 is one that will definitely not be missed. But now that it’s in my rearview, I’m ready to move forward and get this show back on the road.

sleep deprived local woman found wandering the streets alone shouting unintelligible exclamations of joy, petting every puppy

This is me right now.

Because I finished The Assassin’s Wolf!

… Well, okay, I finished the first draft. There’s still going to be numerous amounts of editing done over the next few months. But also… I finished, I finished, I actually finished!

I’ve never gotten this far in the creative process before. So, while it may not seem like a big step to some, it’s kind of huge for me. I’ve wanted to be a writer since forever. There were no other options for me.

(Well, except the fleeting moments where I considered being a social worker, a preschool teacher, and – my personal favorite – opening up my own big cat wildlife rescue.)

Because I was so hellbent on being a writer, when I reached the Official Adulting Age of 18 and had yet to publish a bestseller – or even finish an entire book – I was absolutely convinced that I was doomed for failure. When I still hadn’t accomplished this by age 20, I was sure that I just needed to lie down and disappear into the dirt.

But I didn’t. And I’m so, so glad that I didn’t. Because I’m in love with Bella and Boone, and the whole entire story, and I think you will be, too.

Thanks for sticking with me the past few months. I’m so very excited for where 2016 is going to take us both.

where has the time gone

In my last blog post, I apologized for taking some time away to spend vacation time with my wife, and then went on to talk about finishing The Assassin’s Wolf before New Years and made promises about a bunch of stuff that I was going to share with you guys.

Unfortunately, as soon as I made that post, December proved to be one of the most jam-packed months of my life. Between writing the book, working on the details for the tv series, working my day-to-day job, reading the instantly addictive Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole, my amazingly adorable new nephew being born, the holidays, and battling a long and awful cold, I barely had two minutes to sit down and think. But this time I really AM going to make it up to you. To start off the first week of the New Year, you guys are going to get a blog post a day, every day, for the next five days. And on Friday, I have some big news coming your way.

Today, enjoy a preview of one of my favorite scenes in the first draft of The Assassin’s Wolf, Book #1 in the Midnight in the Marsh Series.

“When the moon rises in the sky on that night, I will be called to give in to my baser urges. The animal that exists in me will be called to the surface, and he will have complete control. I will be forced to submit fully to my instincts. Any modicum of control that I have will be gone.”

Boone could see the wheels turning in her head as she stared at him, piecing together what he was saying and coming to the right conclusion. He could see it in her eyes, the realization, the admittance he was trying to make.

Still, she asked, her voice gone hoarse and nearly breathless, “And what does that mean for me?”

More than anything, Boone wanted to dissuade her fears. But he couldn’t lie to her. She needed to know the truth. She needed to be fully aware of what she was getting herself into. He reached forward, one large hand wrapping around her smaller one.

“If you are close enough for me to scent… I will come for you. I will claim you as mine. There will be no reasoning with the wolf, no slowing things down. I will have you.”

He felt the way she trembled in his grip just before she yanked her hand away. The smell of her fear was pungent and clear, her anxiety rolling off of her so thickly that it nearly filled the cabin. But there was another smell… an underlying hint at an aroma he would know anywhere.

Bella Spurlock was terrified of what the animal inside of him could do to her. But there was also a part of her, though he knew she would not admit it, that was excited.

And there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoy this first glance and that you’re just as excited to get your hands on this book as I am.

The rest of the week will go as follows:

  • Tuesday, a review of Case Maynard’s upcoming debut novel, The Surrendered.
  • Wednesday, some insight into my other, very beloved, project, Gifted, and how things with both the book and the tv series are beginning to take shape.
  • Thursday, a recommended reading list of some of my most favorite books, spanning multiple genres.
  • Friday, big news! But it’s a surprise, so you’ll have to wait and see.

After that, I’m hoping to make a point to start blogging here every Monday and Friday. Wishing you all light and love in the new year – I’m so excited for what it has in store for all of us. And with that in mind, I want to leave you with this quote:

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan.