The Email that Changed My Life Forever + Giveaway

It was a year ago today when my husband came home from work to find me sitting at the kitchen table, slack-jawed in front of my laptop. At the moment he walked in, I had been in that position for a straight five minutes, unable to move. Unable to think. Unable to breathe. (Okay, I breathed, because I’m not dead. But it took a bit for me to remember inhale, exhale.)

“Are you okay?” He rushed across the living room.

I picked up the laptop and handed it to him. (Oh good, my arms worked, even though my voice didn’t.)

We would love to publish Virtue of Death and for you to join the Hot Tree Publishing family with your full-length novel. 

“This is a good thing, right? This is what you’ve wanted, right?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Then what is your problem?” My husband, gotta love him.

I was going to achieve a dream I’d had since I was a kid. I was finally going to be a published author. It wasn’t a problem, but it was surreal.

Here’s what’s funny. I remember receiving an email a few days before my acceptance when they said they were currently working on my manuscript. I woke up that day and thought, “ha, wouldn’t it be funny if I get an acceptance from Hot Tree. But that’s not going to happen…”

Shows what I know.

Just nine days before the acceptance came in, I received another email from Hot Tree, offering my very first publishing contract for a short story I had submitted to one of their anthologies.

This time last May, I was unpublished.

Today, the second anthology that includes a short story of mine is releasing (from Satin Romance). I’ve also released two novels in the Earthbound Angels trilogy, and the third is coming in July. And I’ve released a m/m romance novella as well. I have a few more other projects coming soon too.

Just this past weekend, I submitted my fourth novel, a romantic comedy, to my fabulous publisher.

It’s crazy that I can actually say “my publisher.” Those are words I never thought I’d utter. Nor would I expect to have a publisher who is so amazing either. They are so supportive of allowing us to maintain artistic integrity in our books (though, admittedly, there’s sometimes some battle royales that go down in the process). We get a say in these covers, and let me tell you, I’ve yet to see a Hot Tree cover that isn’t downright amazing. They are willing to take risks, even if they include angels like you’ve never seen them before.

God knows they took a risk on me because I know I write a little “out there.” I know the rules and Hot Tree has, for the most part, allowed me to color using bright colors and crazy patterns, so long as I stayed within the lines. I love Becky so much for giving us that much freedom.

In this past year, I have experienced some new things. I have people who call themselves fans. I have received some amazing reviews. (And a few less-than-amazing reviews too.) I have done book signings. I went to the RT Booklovers Convention (I’ll get a blog up about that one of these days). I have met some of the most amazing people. And I’ve been able to experience first-hand, just how amazing the writing community is and how much we all support one another. I know countless authors have helped me by pushing my stuff, critiquing it (with great suggestions), talking me off the ledge when I wanted to give up, given me hope, suggested I read something absolutely fabulous, or even just to whine about the pain of juggling a full-time job while also writing. I can only hope that I have been able to exude that same feeling of inclusion to other authors I have helped out along the way.

I’ve also pulled together the most amazing group of beta readers, my litter of beta kitties. For a girl who was always afraid to let other people read her words (and believe me, it never goes away), I now more fear something making it out there without the input of my beta kitties. Amy, Elizabeth, Laura, Gen, Jen, Megan, and Jamie, I’d be lost without you all. You all do truly make my books better. I couldn’t do it without you.

I’ve even hired a personal assistant! Because I have so much going on, I rely on her to keep me straight and she’s fabulous about it. I’ve heard horror stories about PAs, but I truly lucked out and found the best of the best. She listens to me bitch, she covers me when I can’t get on social media, she betas for me, and is just all-round generally awesome. I couldn’t ask for better.

You know, they say it’s not about what you know, but rather who you know. I am truly blessed to, not only know these people, but to say that I work with them and they are my friends. Even within my publisher, there are three women who I’d be lost without. Gen Ryan, Mary Billiter, and Megan Lowe—here’s to all our once upon a times and bad choices!

And it all started with a single email that I received a year ago. If that’s not being blessed, I really don’t know what is.

Thank you to everyone. You helped make this journey enjoyable, and I love you all. Everyone who has helped me grow as a writer, everyone who has supported me, and most importantly, everyone who has read my words and enjoyed them.

Pick up a copy of my books today! (Shameless plug)

Still reading? Good… because you can get in on a giveaway! 🙂 

To celebrate the release of Food and Romance Go Together, I’m giving away an adorable cooking necklace, coloring poster, and an e-copy of the book.

Enter the giveaway!

See, isn’t that cool? Yeah. All you’ve got to do hop on over to the Rafflecopter. You can get up to ten entries by following me in various places, or ordering either of the books I’ve got that revolve around baking.

Open to US residents only, please. Contests closes at midnight 5/23/17.  I’m perfectly okay with keeping these items for myself, so please don’t lie on the entries and do what you said you did. Cheaters never win, unless they’re the New England Patriots, and you don’t want to be the Patriots, do you?


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