Thursday, February 9, 2017

Good News... and some bad

Years ago I wrote this book called In from the Cold. When I finished it I wrote another book called Behind Iron Lace. When I finished Lace I decided I wasn't finished with Nathan and Quinn from the Cold book. So I wrote most of a sequel. I say most of one even though I finished it. But I hated the last quarter of the story that didn't honor the characters or hold true to the first book. I deleted nearly twenty thousand words taking the story back to where it veered off the path to a quickie happy ever after for the sake of a happy ever after. And then the world went upside down and sideways. The original publisher of Cold completely fucked me over. They deleted half of the original story, substituting their own words in place of mine. The editing was terrible. I was told to suck it up or they'd cancel the book but hold my contract.... and well shit exploded all over the place after that. Then shit exploded all over the place with Lace. I had shit exploding all over me and five of the eight books I wrote in 2010 and 2011.
The good news about Cold was that I was given my rights back almost immediately. The bad news was that I couldn't publish the story elsewhere for 90 days. I was also broke and we were about a month away from being homeless. The husband lost his job. All kinds of shit was just raining down on me.
I tabled the sequel to Cold. I couldn't face the book after a year of dealing with shitty publishers. And then a second year of dealing with shitty publishers.
I made the mistake of publishing the first chapter of book two in the second edition of Cold thinking I could get back to the story and get back on track.
More shit hit the fan from that excerpt.
People voiced their opinion on the direction I seemed to be taking the second story. Drew's story. And they were right. I did write the second book as a MMM. I did bring Drew back and put him in Nathan and Quinn's HEA. I did it. And I am not sorry for it.
I chose to pull the book and pretend it never happened. Public outcry being what it was and all. I thought I'd rid myself of all references to a series that I never intended to finish. Amazon kept returning the series tag to their site. I wrote them four times and the series tag was removed three times before it finally stayed gone.
For five years I've fielded emails and messages and comments asking when... I've lost fans because I chose to cancel a book that would destroy the happy ever after for this couple rather than publish the book that would most likely bring news of more lost fans...because I did not change this book to make anyone happy.

You see, my father died in July of 2010. He died of a sudden massive heart attack. Alone. I never got to say goodbye or tell him that I loved him. I did not deal well with my dad's death. I could not function. I had massive migraines. I had massive panic attacks. I couldn't see or think or work or live. I wasn't living. My husband had the luxury of knowing his parents were dying and he was able to deal with that before. He was able to steel himself for it. I didn't get that. With either parent. I got a phone call for both of them. After it was all over. All that was left for me to do was pick up the pieces and deal with my shit. I wrote In from the Cold because I needed a way to cope with the dark consuming grief that I couldn't shake. Cold is about the loss of a parent... and everything else.

By the time I got back to the second book I'd purged most of my grief. I was laboring under the impression that to write anything resembling the break up of a relationship would cost me dearly. I no longer had the desire or inclination to take this story where it needed to go. I'd planned a third book that would take Nathan and Quinn through five years in which each man would deconstruct their lies and pasts so they could have the future they deserve.

I had no plans to ever write that third book. And I still may never write it.

My mother died in October. I found out in the middle of the night that she'd died. I didn't know she had cancer. She knew but she didn't tell her children. She left me with so much pain to work through.
I pulled Cold out and I stared at the cover. I hated those fucking characters. I hate them both. They are my misery and my pain and the very embodiment of death to me.

So I opened the unfinished file and I started writing. Because damned if people were going to tell me what I can and can't do with fictional characters that take up space in my head and eat me alive.

I will finish Cold Shadow the way it should have been finished six years ago. There is cheating. There is death. There is violence. The title tells you exactly what to expect. Shortened from Cold Shadow of Doubt. The Could Country series is not romance. If you're looking for a happy love story with some sex... it's not here. It will end exactly like the first book. There is no happy ever after at the end of this book. There is only life... and picking up the pieces.

I will publish Cold Shadow on March 14th. One month later than I expected.

And that's the good news.

Now for the bad news.

I am postponing Blindsided... I am not in the right headspace to write this book. Unless you want me to kill Levi, then I can go with that. I had planned to get back to it in January after I finished Last Man Standing. That was before my life went to fuck. I don't know when I'll get back to it. I know that if I try to finish this story the way it should be finished now that it will likely drive me over some edge that I'm not interested in going over. It's not just a book. It's not just some words on a page. None of them are. Not to me.

I am sorry for delaying Blindsided one more time. It will not be this year. That's all I can say about it.


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