2016

Looking back on 2016

2016 has been a long, but exciting year! I thought it would be fun for me to recap some of the highlights.

First, let's recap the releases. Mary and I finished releasing The Ninth Inning books. I had four solo releases: Bending Under Pressure, Driving Me Mad, Making Me Sane, and Back to Me. It was a very successful year! Thank y'all for your support and sticking with me. :)

I completed another year of school (only one more year to go)! I started eating healthier and exercising more. It's been great. I also bought all the necessary supplies to start a new hobby (learning how to sew because I want to learn how to quilt), but I haven't done more than a no-sew quilt board so far.

My goal was to read 120 books, but as you can see, I didn't quite make it. 32 were paperbacks/hardcovers, which is about 30%, so that's a good ratio for me! The longest book was 656 pages (Lover Mine by J.R. Ward). It's pretty cool to see those stats about the total number of pages, too!

I could list the most memorable, but the easiest way to see which I'd recommend is to check out either my Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest or my Favorite Books board. Also, in case you missed it, check out the Paperback Pick Recap

Lastly, my travels. In January, Mary and I went to Pittsburgh to see her Blackhawks play my Penguins for her birthday. In March, we went to Dallas to see the Stars kick her Blackhawks butt. In May, I went on an Alaskan cruise with a friend and her family. That was such an amazing trip. In July, I saw Florida Georgia Line in concert.  In August, I saw Shinedown in concert and did a 5K. In September, I spent a week in the Outer Banks. In October, I did another 5K and did a signing in Charlotte. Not much as happened since then! I've included some pictures if you want to see them, too.

That's it for 2016! It's been a relatively good year and I can't wait to see what 2017 will bring! What are your 2016 highlights?

2016 Paperback Pick Recap

I wasn't always on time, but I was able to read at least one paperback from my unread pile every month this year. Some of these books caused me to read more paperbacks, so that's awesome. My genres varied from Young Adult to Paranormal Romance to Sports Romance and more. I figured it would be nice to do a quick recap that shows off my favorites. You can see all of my paperback picks either on Goodreads or on Pinterest. Obviously, there were a lot of favorites.

WIP Progress Report (#6)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

When working on the latest chapter of Brittany and Trace's story, I knew it was time for another WIP PR. Let's go over the quick details first.

- Untitled. (However, I have an idea, but not sure if it'll stick.)
- Genre: New Adult Romance w/ Anxiety/Depression 
- Word Count/Goal: 51,636/80,000
- Release Date: Tentatively, the summer of 2016
- Series? Will be book 1 of 2.
- First Sentence of Last Chapter Written: 
I'm calling the grinch, babe,” I whisper, pulling the covers over my head, so I don't have to look at him.

There are two reasons why I wanted to give an update. One is because I passed the 50K mark, and that's worthy of an update. The other is because I felt compelled to give an update, mostly for myself and the need to talk about these characters. As you may remember from the last WIP PR, Brittany and Trace deal with anxiety and depression. That alone makes me love them a little more because these are my favorite kinds of characters to write.

However, this book is making me feel guilty. Here is a troubled pair and I'm putting them through hell right now. Usually, this would make me feel a giddy kind of evil, but this time, I just feel guilty. Poor characters! They're gonna break my heart, y'all.

I've known where this book was headed since I started writing it. It's finally catching up to me now because I'm having to write it. In an odd way, I'm eager to write it, too. That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to give anything away. Let's move on to the short updates on other projects!

Other Projects:
The final touches to get Bending Under Pressure ready for release are happening this month.

I'll be writing and doing edits on books from The Ninth Inning series to prepare for the upcoming season.

And that's it! As of right this second, I'm on my way to the airport to fly to Pittsburgh for a few days. I can't wait!!!

2016 Goals & Plans

It's Day One of 2016, and I'm excited! As promised from my 2015 Recap post, I want to share my goals and plans for the year.

Reading Goals
Last year, my goal was to read 100 books, and I read 112. This year, I'm aiming for 120 books. That seems like a good increase that isn't too much higher than what I was able to read in 2015. I'm also hoping to read my Paperback Picks each month.

Writing Goals
IF all goes as planned, then I'll release five solos this year. I already have my YA Romance, Bending Under Pressure, pretty much ready to go. The next is Brittany & Trace's story, which will happen in two books and is an Anxiety/Depression NA Romance. After that, I plan to launch a new hockey romance series, Carolina Rebels, which will start with Noah & Meredith's book. And to finish off the year, a story where there's an age difference.

Last year, I experimented with having self-imposed deadlines. Turns out, deadlines are meant to be missed where I'm concerned. In 2016, I'm tossing out deadlines, but keeping my tentative plans. The key words being tentative and plans. I don't want to feel pressured or feel rushed. Considering I can make my own schedule, it only makes sense that I do so in a way that truly works for me. My goal for 2016 is to not freakout if I have to rearrange some things or if I'm taking longer than I'd like to get something done.

Traveling Plans
I'll be leaving for a short trip to Pittsburgh on Monday, and then Mary & I are hitting up Dallas in March and Chicago in the fall. I'll also be going on a Alaskan cruise research trip. Lastly, I'll be heading to Charlotte for Carolina Book Bash in October. I'm so excited about all those trips, and hopefully, I'll be planning a vacation at some point. It's going to be a busy year, and I'll need to make time to take a break.

Personal Goals
I have no idea what I want to accomplish personally. I'll be going to school part-time in the fall to be able to focus more on my writing. This allows me to keep going to school, but lowers the stress that comes from being a full-time student and a full-time writer. I feel like 2015 was a great year personally, and if I could just maintain doing well, then I'll be happy. I'm constantly growing and evolving, and I'm hoping 2016 is the year where I continue to do so.

That's it for me! What are some of your goals and plans for 2016?

Have you heard about these 2016 releases yet?

You may have already seen this if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, but if not, then get excited! I'm here to reveal some 2016 releases.

First, I have a standalone Young Adult Romance, Bending Under Pressure.

Releasing February 20, 2016.
Preorder on AmazoniBooksB&N, or Kobo.
Add to Goodreads.
Haley Summers is struggling. She's in a new town with new teammates. She's unsure if she likes her new stepdad. She doesn't know why her father isn't answering her calls and keeps bailing on her. The only thing she has going for her is a boy who is struggling just as much as she is.

Keelan Moore is always feeling pressure. He wants to be a good kid for his adoptive parents while getting reacquainted with his birth mom and that part of his family. The only thing he has going for him is Haley and showing her just how fun her new home can be.

Pressure is hitting them from all sides. Can they survive unscathed while bending under pressure?

Next, we have Season 2 in The Ninth Inning series. Amazon links will be slow to appear due to their preorder policy. However, you can expect Trent to be on Amazon by the end of the month.

Releasing March 25, 2016.
Preorder on iBooksB&N, or Kobo.
Add to Goodreads.
The Ninth Inning series presents Memphis Angels’ second baseman, Trent Baker.

Trent Baker is struggling after losing his wife. He has to enlist the help of his grandmother to help him care for his daughter while trying to play baseball and work through his grief. The girl he meets at the gym becomes a friend and someone he can talk to, but she brings her own complications to the table.


Scarlett Knowles is a caring social worker who puts the needs of the children before her. When Scarlett finally gets the nerve to speak to Trent, she believes it’ll be a one-time encounter until he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more they run into each other and the more they talk, the worse she feels about the secret she carries.


When the secret is revealed, more complications arise to put them both in a predicament neither are sure they want.


The win will be hard fought, but are Trent and Scarlett willing to put in the work together?

Releasing April 25, 2016.
Preorder on iBooksB&N, Kobo.
Add to Goodreads.
The Ninth Inning series presents Memphis Angels’ shortstop, Jordan Johnson.

Jordan Johnson loves his wife more than anything. After suffering a traumatic loss together, he’s willing to give her whatever she needs. She needs space, he’ll give her space. She needs time, he’ll give her time. However, when Heidi asks for a divorce, Jordan refuses to give it to her. It’s tough sometimes, but Jordan won’t stop fighting for them.


Heidi Johnson’s life seems to be a fairytale with the perfect baseball husband, the great vacation beach house, and a good career. Then, tragedy hit her from nowhere. Now, she’s trying to figure out which way is up and which is down. She figures leaving Jordan and focusing on opening her own business will make the pain go away, but it doesn’t help. Finally, she tells Jordan a divorce is what she needs, but he’s too stubborn to give her what she wants the most.


Jordan won’t give up on her and Heidi won’t change her mind. Will he push her further away by reminding her of what they had? Will she push him too far with her rejections that he’ll never come back? Or can they save their marriage?


When they’re put into the ninth inning, will Jordan be able to hold tight to Heidi or will her stubbornness be the end of the game?


Releasing May 25, 2016.
Preorder on iBooksB&N, or Kobo.
Add to Goodreads
The Ninth Inning series presents Memphis Angels’ third baseman, Colby Wilson.

Colby Wilson gets talked into making a profile on a dating website. It’s been a not-so-great experience so far, especially since his teammates have given him the nickname of Sugar Daddy thanks to the mistake of sharing his experiences. Colby just wants to settle down and finally have a place to call home once and for all. Then, he decides to meet the only sane person he’s been able to talk to on the dating website.


Ariella Craft is a homicide detective who spends more time working cases than working on her love life. As a last resort, she decides to sign up for online dating and ends up talking to someone who doesn’t seem to be crazy. After taking sound advice from her sister, Ariella meets the man she’s been chatting with.


There is nothing but shock when they discover each other’s identities. Colby and Ariella need to prioritize their careers and love lives, but when devastation hits them, it’s more difficult than they both thought it would be.


Life is throwing nothing but curveballs. Colby and Ariella need to hit it out of the park before they strike out.
That's all I have for now! 2016 is looking to be busy in terms of releases, but I'm excited nonetheless! Hope you are as well.

WIP Progress Report (#5)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

Before I get started, you should take a quick look to your left! I've added WIP Word Count section. It's just a little way to get a quick strictly numerical update on WIPs. It's updated every chapter pretty much.

So, based on that, you see that I have two WIPs listed: Brittany & Trace's and Noah & Meredith's. I ended up having to set Noah and Meredith aside while I figured some things out and ended up reshuffling my WIP To-Do list. 

Therefore, my main priority is now to write Brittany and Trace's books and then Noah & Meredith's. I'll work on them here and there, of course, but they aren't #1 right now. Let's talk about who is!

- Untitled.
- Genre: New Adult Romance 
- Word Count/Goal: 17,772/80,000
- Release Date: Tentatively, the summer of 2016
- Series? Will be book 1 of 2.
- First Sentence: My stomach heaves, the retched sound of vomit falling into the toilet echoes in the air as my hands grip the seat.

Nice start, huh? What better way to start a book than with the main character throwing up? Haha!

Anyway, I think this WIP will excite fans of Nepenthe. Not because of any characters are crossing over, but because of topic. These two characters both deal with anxiety and/or depression. With Nepenthe, only one person suffered. I wanted to have both of them in the same boat.

I want to write about how they'll deal with it differently. This book, in comparison to Nepenthe, shows more of the physical affects, hence how the book starts. These are the kinds of books that I love to write more than anything, so I'm really happy to bring Brittany and Trace to you for two books.

Another thing that has me excited is the dynamic of the two. Trace is older, divorced, and more settled in life than she is. Brittany is trying to survive her last semester of college. And Trace was Brittany's therapist before she left for college.

A lot of different little and big things are going on in this book. That's all I have for now though! Just wanted to give an update.

Other projects:
Mary and I are cracking down on the rest of The Ninth Inning series and making beautiful progress!

Without a Doubt releases this month on the 18th! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!

Bending Under Pressure, Haley & Keelan's book, will release February 20, 2016. Check out the details here.

WIP Progress Report (#4)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. 

So, what is going on with my WIPs?

Haley and Keelan are finished. Sort of. Right now, some betas are reading through it and will be providing me feedback. I'll start working on revisions next. The tentative title is Bending Under Pressure

My main focus next will be on writing Season 2 of The Ninth Inning series with Mary Smith. We're almost half way through Season 1, so we'll be working hard to get those in the next set written.

However, the next book I planned to write has been on my mind, so I started that as well. Here's those details, plus the first sentence of the first chapter!

- Untitled.
- Genre: Sports (Hockey) Romance.
- Word Count/Goal: 13,822/80,000
- Release Date: If all goes well, hopefully by summer 2016!
- First Sentence: "The worst part of flying somewhere is waiting in the airport beforehand."

This WIP features Meredith Quick and Noah Ramsey, a couple who have a history. Meredith is a retired pro tennis player and Noah is currently a pro hockey player. Here's a little unedited snippet to give you an idea of what Meredith is feeling when the book first begins: 

How do things get so far off track? I had dreams and a plan to make them all come true. Instead, my dreams have run into reality to come to an end before I'm ready. This isn't how I imagined myself at twenty-six. Everything is wrong and in pieces. It'll be a miracle if my spontaneous decision actually helps. I can't help but to be skeptical since I've tried to always plan my life. Look at where that got me. Recently retired with a called off engagement and a broken soul.
I've spent the last six months retracing my steps. Where did I go wrong? What part of my planning caused the first misstep to land me where I am now? Every time I come back to one decision.
Leaving Noah.

That has to be where I went wrong.

So, with her life as a mess, she's hoping to come up with a new plan, starting with reuniting with Noah. The words are flowing like crazy with this book and I'm already in love with this story.

This is another one that I outlined, so I'm excited to get my ideas and plans for this couple down in words. I almost want to rub my hands together and laugh evilly for all that I have planned. Plus, I'm stoked that I'm finally tackling a second chance romance, something on my Writing To-Do List. I love reading those kind of books and I'm tickled to have Meredith and Noah be the characters for such a story.

It's kind of weird to think that with my last three projects I've gone from a New Adult Romance, to a Young Adult Romance, and now to a Sports Romance. I'm a little all over the place, but I'm not complaining! It's cool to be in slightly different areas while all under the romance umbrella. 

So, that's it for this WIP Progress Report! What are some of your favorite second chance romances?

Until next time, happy reading!

WIP Progress Report (#3)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects.

If you missed the first two, you can check them out here.


I have exciting news to share about Haley and Keelan! Let's have a quick update first.

- Still untitled. It's time to start figuring out possible titles, though!
- Genre: Young Adult Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 83,478/70,000 (Told ya I would go over my goal!)
- Release Date: Hopefully, sometime in early 2016. I have a date in mind, but won't say when until I've scheduled my editor and formatter. 

My main thing to report is that this book is almost finished. I probably have 3-5 chapters left. I can see the finish line and I'm so happy about it! 

I initially hoped to have this book done by the end of August, but I just couldn't make it happen. I am certain it will be done by the end of the month though. If I'm not, I may just cry a river for me to drown in haha. Once I do finish, that means revisions start as well as sending it to my betas/critique partners.

Right now, I'm at the point where I'm not sure if it's any good. I haven't read it from the beginning in a while, so that could factor into what changes need to be made and so on. I'm so excited about seeing the finish line and knowing that I'm close that I had to celebrate a little.

This is the first book where I placed a self-imposed deadline on it. Considering I'm a month behind, it's caused me to stress a little and it's one reason why I'm excited to be finished. It's also time to start stressing about a title and what in the world the cover will look like. Don't get me wrong, it's exciting too and I'm looking forward to it.

So, anyway, my progress report is that I'm close the wrapping this one up. At least, with this part of the process.

Other Projects:
Felix releases Friday! (Did you see what the paperbacks look like?) Mary and I are preparing the fourth book in the series for edits as well as working on finishing the other two books in season 2.

Without a Doubt is currently with the formatter. I'll be able to upload it to Amazon as soon as I get it back, so be on the lookout for that if you're a Kindle reader.

I'm also working on outlining two of my next four books. Whenever I finish Haley and Keelan, I'll start posting about the next project! :)

WIP Progress Report (#2)

To recap, these "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects.

If you missed the first one, you can check it out here.

Let's start with a quick rundown of things for Haley and Keelan's book.

- Still untitled. 
- Genre: Young Adult Romance
- Word Count/Goal: 53,609/70,000 (I'm so going over 70K words.)
- Release Date: Hopefully, sometime in early 2016. I have a date in mind, but want things to be more concrete before I say what it is.


As I've said, I want these PRs to give y'all more of an insight into a my writing process and to start getting you excited about my next project. I'm really excited for the progress I am making on this book, although I won't be finished by my self-imposed deadline of having the first draft done by the end of the month, but that's okay.

So, this is my first YA book since late 2012! What you may not realize is that it was a semi-conscious decision. You see, my characters (for the most part) aged with me. I started worrying that I would never be able to write another YA because I was growing older. 

Ridiculous, I know, but when you're still learning what you like to write and getting better at writing in general, things like this can go to your head. (Or, at least mine.)

Never mind the fact that plenty of adults, older than I am, write in that genre all the time. Never mind that I love the genre. For an insane reason, I was worried I wouldn't be able to write YA again.

When Haley and Keelan's story came about, it was originally New Adult. Things weren't working, so I tweaked the story. I tweaked again and again and again until I realized why their story wasn't working.

They were too old!

I needed them in high school, not college. 

I needed them younger, not older.

As soon as I made that change (and other adjustments, of course), the story and characters fell into place. I was still semi-worried about going back to YA, but I was so excited about the story, that I decided to push my worries aside.

And y'all, I've missed the YA genre. It's felt so good to return to it. I just needed the right story to bring me back. 

Now, for my YA lovers, don't get too excited yet. This is currently my only planned YA for 2016. The rest will be in the New Adult age range. BUT, it doesn't mean I won't go back to it. Like this book, I just need the right idea to come along.

Other Projects:
Mary and I are working on The Ninth Inning series. We just got Hector back from the formatter, and OMG. I can't wait to get my hands on the paperbacks. SO pretty! 

I should be getting Without a Doubt back from my editor soon. I'll be working on those before I send it to the formatter next month.

That's all for this progress report. Until next time, happy reading!

WIP Progress Report (#1)

I have a pretty hectic schedule for the next five months. Not only with traveling, soon-to-be schoolwork, and regular everyday life stuff, there's a lot on my writing plate as well. There is so much going on with my writing right now, which is why I thought it would be cool to start a new feature.

These "progress reports" are basically a way for y'all to know a little more about what I'm working on and to be able to follow along with the process. The main update will be on my solos, but at the end, there will be quick updates on other projects. Hopefully, you'll enjoy this feature. :)

Onward!

My next WIP is Haley and Keelan's story.

I started writing it prior to working on Without a Doubt, but I put it aside when I became obsessed with WaD. I am back to it and excited to be reunited with them.

Here's a quick rundown of things.
- Currently untitled. I usually don't know this until later in the story anyway.
- Genre: Young Adult Romance (I know! I'm going back to the genre I started in. Fun Fact: My last YA was Don't Panic in 2012.)
- Word Count/Goal: 34,244/70,000
- Release Date: Hopefully, sometime in early 2016. I want to release five solos next year, and this will be the first of those five.

With every new WIP, I feel like I can say, "I'm doing something I haven't quite done before." That holds true for this book as well.

How so?

Well, there's a new element to the story, which I've never done and no, I'm not sharing what it is yet. Both characters are athletes (Haley - tennis; Keelan - football). Their story isn't just about their romance. It's about their relationships with their families too.

While this doesn't necessarily pertain to the story itself, I sort of outlined the story. *gasp* I never do this. Brainstorm and have notes, sure. But to get a rough outline of the story? Nope. Usually it blocks me, but I tried something different this time and it's jumpstarted my brain even more. (I've done it with two more books now, too.)

Other Projects:
Mary and I are juggling a few things in preparation for the releases in our The Ninth Inning series. We're working on edits, getting the books formatted, and writing those in Season 2.

Lastly, my December release, Without a Doubt, is with the editor.

That's it! I'll share another progress report whenever I make some decent progress, haha.

Until next time, happy reading!