Or maybe that should be 2015 “rear-end” review. Because, seriously y’all, 2015 was…quite the year. To say the least.

phillip getting the perm cath removed

My husband 8 days after receiving his transplant, and getting the perm cath that was used for dialysis removed.

On a personal note: there were highs and lows. The year began with my husband receiving a kidney transplant from his cousin, Alicia, and ended with him having that kidney removed onΒ  December 29, 2015, after his body rejected it, causing him to basically feel like crap for the past month. There were ups and downs, complications, and some really awesome moments all thrown in there. But here’s looking to 2016 and getting him back on the waiting list and getting him another transplant so I can keep him for many, many years to come.

On the flip-side, professionally 2015 was pretty darned good. Sure, I lost my day job in November (and that certainly sucked), but publishing-wise? I think the first nine months of my indie publishing career (holy crap! it’s like I’ve had a book baby all over again!) have actually gone pretty darned well. I’m holding off on numbers until I’ve been indie published for a full year, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the success I have had–even if it’s still on a smaller scale.

hospital room

My view the last week of 2015–my husband’s room on 14 Roberts at BUMC.

This time last year I was still dragging my feet when it came to indie publishing. Between the Seams had been finished for months. Big Girls Need Love Too had been finished for years. Baseball and Other Lessons was about a third of the way done, and parts of Hair Trigger Heart had already started rolling around in my head, too. But there were excuses. Oh, so many excuses. Some were valid–we were preparing for my husband’s transplant and being gone from home for 6-8 weeks, which is a lot to tackle. Plus, it was the end of deer season and we needed more venison for the freezer.

And then my husband received his transplant, and in the two months we were away from home I wrote the majority of Baseball and Other Lessons AND sat down and actually wrote down an honest-to-God plan to start publishing my books. With goals and everything, and not just for this year, but the next five.

paperback copies of my first four booksSo far, I’ve done a pretty good job sticking to the big things and letting go of the little things. I can only do so much, and quite honestly writing good books is more important than the number of likes on my Facebook page or how many followers I have on Twitter (that being said, feel free to follow me at any time *wink*). I’ve done a little bit of shuffling and juggling of the timing of books, but four books in nine months is pretty darned good if you ask me.

So what’s ahead for 2016?

I’m going to be honest with y’all: I want to stick with releasing a book every three months. I do. And I’m going to try my hardest to achieve that. But if I only release a book every four months? I’m not going to beat myself up over it, because quite frankly I would rather make sure I’m putting GOOD books out there rather than just trying to reach some quantity goal of books per year.

As of right now, I’m about 20% of the way through a non-Devils Ranch book, but visiting a character y’all previously met in Baseball and Other Lessons. πŸ˜‰ It’s kind of heavy, and kind of different in some ways, but I love these two characters and they just will not leave me alone. This one will be the first in a spin-off series about the Texas Wranglers (aka the team Matt pitched for), and yes, Matt (and Jenn) will make future appearances.

Don’t worry, though, there are more Devils Ranch stories coming, too. Darrin will meet his match in Dallas’ Most Eligible, and there will be at least one more after that featuring a couple of characters that have popped up throughout the series (that one is still untitled, but I have a feeling it could be fun).

I also have a few ideas I’ve been toying with, and if y’all, dear readers, are inclined to state your opinions I would not complain about that. Here’s the gist:

  1. I’ve been toying with writing a story for Benjamin from Big Girls Need Love Too, picking up from the epilogue (so if you’ve read the book you know what I’m talking about). I’m going to be honest–this would probably be a difficult one for me to write. BUT the idea will not let me go, and he’s not an irredeemable character (he just really messed up where Molly was concerned) and in my mind I want Benjamin to eventually figure himself out and find happiness. Would y’all be interested in that, or does the idea of Benjamin getting his own story completely turn y’all off?
  2. I have a couple of novellas I’d previously published under a pen name. The rights have reverted back to me (which basically means I can do with them what I want), and as of January I’ll be able to publish both stories via whatever method I so choose. I need to make some edits to both of them, but plan on pushing those out at some point in 2016. So hell, y’all might get more than four books from me next year. πŸ˜‰

So, yeah. That’s 2015 in a nutshell and a brief look forward to 2016. And as this year comes to close, I really do want to thank each and every one of you who’s taken the time to buy my books, who’s read them, reviewed them, interacted with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, wherever, and who’s simply dropped me a quick note to tell me how much you enjoyed a particular book or character. I write for myself first and foremost, but knowing that so many others not only enjoy my stories but also connect with them means the world to me.

And to everyone who’s said they totally relate to Molly? Thank you. Because *I* totally relate to Molly. And while we’re all unique, it’s comforting to know that there are others out there who “get it.” πŸ™‚

Happy New Year, y’all!

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