The end of the year is here. My Christmas holidays were relaxing and also fun. I was able to spend quality time with my kids, but I also got time with myself as the kids were with their dad just after Christmas. During my time alone, I decided to do a little work, but not fill my days with a mountain of tasks like I usually do. The time alone allowed me to reflect on the year, celebrate what I’ve achieved, and the think about the goals I want to reach for in the new year.
During the month of December, two of my books had birthdays.
For the Love of Jazz
My first and only traditionally published book that’s settled into a home with Simon and Schuster. The story started out completely different from where it ended, and created my desire to write romantic suspense, a genre I’d read but never had the urge to write. I pitched this book to a couple of different publishers and was pleasantly surprised when it was accepted and published in December 2012. My life was changed forever and started the crazy journey that is my writing life.
Jazz music was always playing in the background while I wrote this book. I loved writing the jazz club scenes, and the interactions between the hero/heroine, especially when the ghosts influenced them. If you enjoy interracial romances with a touch of paranormal (no vampires or werewolves) and a good mystery, you’ll like this read. BUY A COPY
I thoroughly loved writing the main character of this book. She was sassy, confidence to the point of almost being arrogant, and was fearless about going after what she wanted which was to be a professional race car driver. It’s book two in series that is set on Grand Cayman, the island I was born and lived most of my adult life on. The heroine was delightful, especially the brazen way she pursued her reluctant love interest, and the interactions with her intrusive but hilarious family. The best part was describing the locations I grew up around and using the family names in my community.
If you like interracial romances (notice a pattern, lol) and strong female leads, you’ll enjoy this story. BUY A COPY
In the last blog, I shared why I haven’t published a book in three years and how that affected my writing journey. I’m changing that in 2022, and as an incentive, I’ve dropped the prices of two of my books to .99 cents.
Book 1 – DEADLY BLOODLINES
The first book in the Deadly Series, I dropped the price to encourage readers to try the first book in the series and also motivate me to finish the fourth book. I decided to put the final book on hold to write my current book series. The topic of book four is one I’m passionate about and really want to write it and finish out the series.
Book 2 – PERSUADING LOLA
This book was a labor of love, and about the ghosts in my first book, For the Love of Jazz. Readers loved their interference and wanted to learn more about them. They were supposed to be the original characters of the book but ended up being ghosts instead. A story about an interracial couple (of course) in the 50s who fall in love. Returning to the characters and submersing myself in their back stories, the music and atmosphere of the jazz club, was a wonderful experience.
As 2021 ends, I’m excited for what’s on the horizon for the new year, from the books I plan to publish, and other big goals I want to achieve. I recently shared these words of encouragement with my readers and my FB writing group, and of course with myself.
Don’t give up
The past couple years have been a challenge, and life might not have worked out the way you hoped but remember that each day is the opportunity to change things. Things can never remain the same. They must move forward and change must happen so don’t give up!
Make staying in the moment a daily practice
It’s so easy to think about the failures of the past or focus on where you should be, that you forget to stay in the present moment. Being out of the moment usually creates anxiety about what you should’ve done or should do instead of embracing where you are now and recognizing that everything can be a lesson you’re learning and thinking about how it’ll make you a better person or improve your life in the long run.
Follow YOUR dreams
Are you living the life you want? If you’re feeling stuck, unhappy, or unfulfilled, it might be because you aren’t living a dream that’s buried deep inside you. Take time during the holidays to remember the life you’ve dreamed of living and what small step(s) you can take toward it in the new year.
You can’t find the answer if you’re focused on the problem. All you’ll see is more problems. I love this saying! The same is true of joy. If all you’re focused on is what’s going wrong in your life, you’ll struggle to see what’s going right or the changes needed to make it better. There is so much wonder and beauty around you, but you’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it.
As you head into 2022, I hope you’ll reach for the stars and remember that you’re awesome! Thank you for being with me on this journey. Much love!
You can follow my writing journey and get writing advice on my YouTube channel or signing up to my email list and become a fan in my readers community. You’ll receive ARCs (advance reader copies) of my books and more.