update

What's new?

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Y’all. Don’t give me that look. I can’t handle the puppy dog eyes over the fact that you’re waiting on the Collin’s book. I know, I know! I still haven’t announced a release date for the next Carolina Rebels novel, a title, a cover, or even a description.

But I am making progress and I’m thrilled about that! I don’t want to say when I think I will be finished because that will jinx me (happens every time)!

I might even go ahead and write a blurb soon and share it.

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I AM super duper excited about this book and what I plan to work on next. You may see it listed in the upcoming events section, but don’t count that date as the publication date! That’s my let’s-release-it-before-the-end-of-the-year goal spot.

I’m going to end this with a little teaser. Enjoy! :)

“Do you mind if I actually take a nap? I promise to be better company later, but I'm exhausted.”

I shake my head. He walks over to me and gives me the tightest hug he can without breaking a rib. “I'm glad you're here, Jules. I've missed you.”

“I've missed you too,” I whisper before he releases me and walks away to his bedroom. I just wish he loved me like I love him.

Writing Update: What's Next?

I haven't written a What's Next post since Nepenthe released in January and since I've gotten my writing mojo back, I figured it's time. I've broken it down between solos and coauthored books. :)

Solos:
Firstly, I've taken a break from the Bracing for Love series (Patrick and Bo were tentatively going to get a book). I hope to write their stories, but they have their lips sealed right now.

Instead, I've been alternating between two works-in-progress.

One features Brittany and Trace and will be New Adult. Brittany has a lot going on in her life while struggling with anxiety. Trace is her former therapist who is now divorced and works at the college she attends.

The other features Haley and Keelan and will be Young Adult. Let me just say that I'm SUPER excited to be returning to YA after last year being full of New Adult and Adult age-categoried books. Haley is a tennis player who learns her family has some secrets after moving to a new town with her mom and stepdad. Keelan is a football player who was adopted and is dealing with his own family issues.

I've been having a lot of fun with these characters when I've been able to work on them.

Books with Mary:
As shown on the Schedule page, Mary and I have three books coming out starting this month. We're wrapping up the Oh Captain, My Captain series.

We have already started our next project. Of course, I can't say much about it yet. We probably won't announce any details until June at least. All I'll say is that we're very excited about and of course, it'll be a series. If all goes well, we'll have a couple more releases this year. That's all I'm sharing! :)

There you have it! That's the full update on what's coming in 2015.

How About A Life Update?

If you recall, I stopped calling them anxiety updates because that's not what my life is anymore. Today, I felt like it was time for a life update and it has been awhile since the last one, so here we go.

Yesterday, after mentioning it to my parents, I came to a decision. Since then, I've been thinking about it, and honestly, I'm a little nervous about it. Since March 2011, I've been seeing my therapist every two weeks (unless something came up). Still, I saw her consistently within a certain time frame.

My therapist mentioned earlier this year, I believe, that if I wanted, I could space my appointments further apart.

I almost had a panic attack on the spot. I laughed it off, shook my head, and said, "Not going to happen." Those four words have been a mantra of sorts since then. Anytime it's brought up, that's what I say. I wasn't ready, even if she thought I was. Or maybe, I should rephrase that. I was worried about changing how often I see her. This woman has been my lifeline a lot of times and there were too many what ifs in my mind, even though my anxiety has been nonexistent for about a year now.

Plus, I really enjoy my sessions.

But yesterday, I decided that when I see her next week, I'll tell her that I'll do it. I'll space them out more. How did I come to this conclusion?

A freaking budget.

Seriously.

There are three big things I want to do next year and while I manage my money pretty well, I need to get serious if I wanted to do those trips like I plan. So I was hashing out a budget and knew that one way I could save money was if I cracked down to one session a month. I was willing to consider it.

And I did. I thought of all the reasons that made me think that I could really do this.

-It is summer. I'm not in school. Cutting back will be okay. She's always an email away anyhow.
-I can always go back to a session every two weeks.
-I actually feel like I could handle it, or handle any situations that may arise, on my own.

That last one is the most important to me. When she mentioned it those months ago, my instinct was to say a big fat NO! It's taken some time and a little incentive, but I was able to reach this all on my own. It used to bother me a great deal when something would come up and cancel our appointment, pushing me off for another two weeks. I would worry about forgetting to mention something I wanted to discuss or worry about something else happening and me having a meltdown.

Now?

I'm okay if something comes up and I can't go. There aren't any second thoughts other than, "See you in two weeks!" That's a big step for me. I know I've posted before that I had really realized that I was in control, but that was always followed by "of my anxiety." I knew that I was in control of that, but the other stresses of life? I wasn't so sure.

I've always had trouble dealing with other things, but thanks to her and our sessions, those aren't issues anymore. Sure there are still problems, but not like before. I know what I want, I know what I don't want, and I have a better grip on how to do those things or to ensure that I don't do them. I've probably confused you, but I know what I mean.

Life is good, y'all. I'm doing my best to enjoy everything, to stand up for myself when needed, to be happy, and to be anxiety-free because these moments will turn into memories before long. When I look back, I want to remember all the good, all the growing up I've done, everything I've done for myself, and know that I did what was best for me.

This Is a Pinterest Board You Will Want to Follow

I’m here to share that I have a new board on Pinterest! Why does this matter? Because it’s a board for You Before Me. I was going to post last week, but due to my hands, I stayed off the computer as ordered. I still have a few days off, but a few minutes to post this won’t hurt anything.

Anyway, back to the You Before Me Pinterest board. Every week, I’m going to share a pin or two that relates to the book. This will give you a sneak peek of sorts, so you better make sure that you follow it! There are a couple of pins on the board right now that links back to some posts regarding YBM, and I’ve already added this week’s pin.

Go check it out!

Also, make sure you subscribe to my monthly newsletter. When I send it out on the 1st of next month, they will read the description before anyone else!

Out of Commission

It pains me both emotionally and physically to write this.

On Facebook and Twitter, I've mentioned that I've been experiencing a lot of pain and numbness in my hands and arms. I was told a couple years ago that I had carpal tunnel syndrome (basically thanks to reading too much, haha). So I figured it was that, but the pain is constant and hasn't been getting any better for a little over a month now. Typing, driving, writing, picking up a sandwich, doing nothing. It all hurt. This problem was invading too many aspects of my life.

Today, I finally went to the doctor.

And I'm out of commission for two weeks.

I'm going to lose my mind, I can already tell. That means I need to stay off the computer for as much as possible. Which means no writing. And that makes me want to cry. I'm going to try to get in as much as possible today and start my healing tomorrow.

I'm not happy about this, but if it doesn't get better, I have to go back to the doctor and that won't be fun at all.

But it's what I have to do, so I can handle it, no problem. I did want to post about it because I won't be posting much here, on Facebook, or Twitter. Okay, actually, I'll probably use my speech-to-text thing on my phone for some of those things. Anyway, let's hope this gets better because I'm already missing writing. I'll post an update in two weeks.

Have a wonderful day, y'all!

Update on Maddie and Winston

I wanted to do a little update on the next duo, so here I am. If you remember, Maddie and Winston were the winning names from the contest. My original idea for them wasn't working out like I wanted, so I put them into another idea. The next two ideas they were placed into wasn't working for me. I want to write those stories, but I don't have the emotional energy to spend on them right now.

So Maddie and Winston were bouncing around for a bit, but they've finally found their real story. Well, I was trying to find the story I wanted to give them. What I wanted to do was keep writing characters as fun as Ryan and Gabe. Those two have me addicted to characters that are not only fun, but not always what they seem either. I've found their story and I'm hooked on them with only a few hundred words.

Okay, that's all I wanted to share! I can't wait to dive more into their story and then share them with you. :)

It's GAME Day, Baby!

Instead of Monday's Book Spotlight, I'm just going to talk. Today is a busy, but super exciting day! What's happening today, you ask?

Well…
  1. I pre-register for spring semester today. I'm tackling another seven classes, but that will leave only five to take my final semester. Unfortunately, I have to sign up for biology. Bleh. I'm not a fan of science. I am looking forward to my History of Rock Music class though. Should be interesting. 
  2. It's hockey night in Raleigh! The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming down to play the Carolina Hurricanes and I'm going to be there! I'm super excited for many reasons, but one is because my dad is going with me. He's never been to a hockey game before, so I'm excited to take him and show him all there is to love about hockey!
  3. That's all I got. Yeah, those two things are pretty much it for me today. I just wanted to have a #3.
I'll wrap this up with a question. History of Rock Music is one of my electives. In college, which class was your favorite elective?

Updates All Around!

The past few weeks, I've only posted Monday's Book Spotlight. It's about time to give an update post. There are lots of things to talk about! Let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Writing-wise, things are up and down. I've been bouncing between four solo projects and my co-authored projects as well. You can see the update for the latter here. (Psst. My co-author, Mary Smith, just had her first solo book released. Go check out Melting Away the Ice on Amazon!) Either I'm writing like crazy in one or I'm switching from one to another, or I'm not writing at all. For the most part, progress is being made.

A good chunk of book five has been written and if I pick up my pace, just a little, I can release it in the month I have planned. It's still my top priority and hopefully, I can share some snippets of it with you soon.

As of yesterday, I hit the one month mark since school started. I survived the first month and I plan on making it through the next month. Things with school have been going really well. I have my schedule set up in a way that taking seven classes isn't too overwhelming. My schedule will soon be tweaked again because I now have a job. I'm feeling really good about things though. To have had only one panic attack so far is a feat in itself and I'm certain that things are only going to get better.

The last update isn't really an update, but who cares? Hockey season will be starting soon and I will be going to two games next month. One to see the Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes and then to see my Penguins vs. Hurricanes. I am so excited about this! It's going to be awesome, as always.

Okay. There you have it. Have an amazing weekend, y'all!

An Anxiety-Related Update (Warning: Long Post Ahead)

It's been a while since I've posted an update on myself and my anxiety. That's mostly because I'm in one of those good periods where my anxiety is low. I've been doing well. It's been a good few months with this period and when I realized this, my anxiety flared a little. It's like when you realize things have been going well and it seems a little too good to be true so you start waiting for the pen to drop.

That's where I'm at right now. One sign of my anxiety rising is having trouble sleeping. None of that, thank goodness. However, another sign is that I have a reading/writing slump. The last time I read a book was July 12th, which was a little over two weeks ago. Writing has been a bit of a struggle as well. Some scenes that shouldn't take long to write are taking forever. Why? Because most of the time, my mind goes blank and I stare at the screen until I can get my thoughts together long enough to write another paragraph. Then my mind blanks again. Sometimes, I even stop mid-sentence.

Talk about frustrating. Especially when I have a goal that I would like to meet this year. Part of me is pretty sure that these little signs are due to the never-failing reason behind 96% of my anxiety.

School.

It's almost August and I register on the 13th and start on the 19th. I'm still pretty excited to be going back. I'm ready for the work, the routine, the stability of knowing what I will be doing two days of every week while doing the rest online. I am a little worried about how taking 7 classes (3 face-to-face, 4 online) will interfere with my writing time. Like I said, I have goals I want to meet.

That's my biggest worry at the moment. I'm feeling good about the classes at campus because my BFF will be in those classes too. I'm not the least bit concerned about the online classes. Nevertheless, the process has started once more. I'm not reading and my writing is a constant struggle lately.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but those two things are crucial to my everyday life. Both are therapeutic escapes that I need, especially in regards to my anxiety. If I'm not doing either, then my anxiety is not in a good place and there is a good chance that I'm on the train to Crazy Town.

For now, I'm happy that I'm aware of the little changes that I need to keep an eye on and I'm going to push myself to read a little and keep writing. Once I really get going, then it won't be such a struggle and I'll be happier.

These posts are always so long, but I wanted to write an update, especially since it's been a while since my last one. Until next time, happy reading y'all!

It's Release Day!!

Hey y'all! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did in Virginia. (Gas is $2.87 at one place!) I just got home, so that's why this is posting so late in the day.

Anyway, the news you've all been waiting to hear. Always has released! Right now, it's only available on Kindle. You can grab your copy here
Thanks to each and every one of you who has been patient with Jake and Emily's return. It's been a long year, but they are back! I've already started working on the next one and a good little portion of it is already done. If all goes well, I'm hoping to finish up the series by the end of 2014. 

I have a ton of other projects that I'm really excited to start, but I want to finish up their story first. There are some other books (besides theirs) that will be releasing over the course of the next year. The only others that I currently have planned and announced is the coauthored books, The Penalty Kill Trilogy. You can add the first book to your Goodreads here
 
Again, thank you for supporting me because you make a day like today so special and mean so much. I hope you enjoy the fourth installment! 

I'll leave by asking a favor. If you read Always, please leave a review on Amazon/Goodreads. It really means a lot and I love hearing what you think about my books! 

Have a great day, y'all!