Goodbye 2018

Goodbye-2018-and-Welcome-2019-ImagesI haven’t decided how I feel about 2018. It was filled with lots of ups and downs, but somehow it felt like it had more downs than ups. I’m sure that’s probably not true. I think sometimes how we end the year influences how we see the entire year. Isn’t it interesting how that happens?

I haven’t been able to do my monthly blog posts the last few months but I wanted to make sure I still did my end of the year post about the things that have happened in my life. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Lets Dance AE-28On a personal note, my daughter finished her first year in high school with honor roll grades, and was selected to participate in Purdue University’s Gifted Education Resource Institute, which she really enjoyed. She missed dance though and decided she wanted to try out for the dance team at her studio again. She did, and ended up making it on their Senior Company, which is their nationally competitive dance team. She has been wanting that for years so she was very happy.  She also started her sophomore year at a new high school, that has more students enrolled than there is in the entire city she grew up in. Lot’s of changes for her but she seems to be managing well.

29214723_10215321765338461_3952182726290833408_nMy mom’s health was again problematic. Her brain tumor got worse and they elected to treat it with radiation therapy. I came out to California for a few weeks to help her with that, then this past summer I moved her back to North Dakota. Oh man, now that was some drive. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a place for all of us, so we ended up getting an apartment in my mom’s name and my daughter went to stay with her since she can’t live alone anymore. I didn’t realize how hard that would be on me, but I know it’s the right thing to do.  I’m hoping that within the next 18 months, I’ll be able to get a house out there, so we can all live together.

41789664_10216816743071970_401373408299843584_oIn addition, in September, I was able to come back to California to attend my oldest son, Jordan’s, wedding to his long time girlfriend, Keke. They have three beautiful children together, my grandchildren, whom I love very much. It was a small wedding, and a very quick trip for me, because I had to get back to North Dakota to attend Deanna’s first production as a Senior Company dancer. I was so happy to be able to be there for both my son, and then the next day, for my daughter. Boy, being a mom is hard work 🙂

On the work front, I am still a practicing psychologist at Indian Health Service. It has been a trying year. Not with staff or anything, I love everyone I work with, and I have an amazing group of kiddos I work with. The down side is that at the time of writing this I am in the midst of my THIRD government shut down in 2018. It’s times like this that I wish I writer-1made enough money as a writer to not have to worry when things like this happen.

In regards to my writing, that has been up and down as well. I published three individual novels and one short story in the Thrill of the Hunt anthology, called Death Smile.

42559802_927955704054889_6856069020592898048_oIn March, I released Retaliatory Justice, which is Book One in my crime suspense series, The Talionic Files. The story introduces us to Valentino Masterson, an ATF agent who leads a group of specialized agents tasked with bringing down a gun trafficking enterprise. While on the case he meets the beautiful Dominique Walker, a chef in New Orleans, who is working for the people he is investigating. Is she a part of the enterprise, or a victim of circumstance?

The book is available on Paperback, Kindle, and as a FREE read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

35796042_1841465822578167_4144331840762675200_oIn June, I released my romantic comedy, Beyond the Beach. The story is set in the Bahamas with cocky surfer, Masen Pelletier, and feisty New Yorker, Zoe Macintosh. They meet on the island and strike up a passionate and humorous relationship, but when push comes to shove and Masen wants more, will Zoe be able to give it to him. After all, wasn’t what they had a simple island fling?

The book is available on Paperback, Kindle, and as a FREE read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

37777247_607178906331861_5917819507677593600_oFinally, in August, I released An Unexpected Gift, which is Book One in my paranormal young adult series, The Diakrisis Tales, which I co-wrote with my daughter, Deanna. The story introduces us to Parker Joseph, a Native American girl that relocates to Georgia with her mother. Unbeknownst to them, there is an evil presence haunting the town and its people, and that presence will awaken a long dormant gift within her. Can she learn how to control her gift in time to save the people she loves?

The book is available on Paperback, Kindle, and as a FREE read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

NaNo-2018-Winner-BadgeIn 2018, I participated in the National Novel Writing Month (Nano), for the third consecutive year. This year I finished up a story called Always His Girl, which I initially wrote as part of an anthology that didn’t happen. Then I started working on finishing up The Gifts We Bring, which is Book Two in the Diakrisis Tales. I added another ten chapters to what I started during last years NANO. I only have a few more to finish it up. I felt happier about this years contest than I did last year. I think it was because I was a bit more focussed and was able to get more consistent writing in, versus doing a lot on one day and barely any on another. Doing it that way felt smoother for me. When I do NANO next year, I’m going to try and utilize that same approach.

36425313_10156386855899259_3421008865070678016_oBook Signings in 2018 turned into a bust. I was scheduled for five but ended up needing to back out of four of them. Each of the ones I backed out of it was necessary not to go to, but it was still frustrating for me, as I meet so many new people through them, and am able to sell my books. The one signing I went to was Wild Deadwood Reads. Oh man, I really had a great time there. The people were wonderful, it was local, and my daughter and granddaughter were able to come and hang out with me and Deanna as well. I have already signed up to go again in 2019. Right now, I have four signings lined up for 2019: Wild Deadwood Reads, Indie Bookfest, Indie Romance Convention, and Fall Into Books. I’ll tell you more about them in my 2019 post.

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  1. Marketing: Okay, just when I thought I’d figured out how to best utilize Facebook and Amazon Marketing Services, then they both change EVERYTHING, and all that I’ve learned, isn’t relevant anymore. This was very discouraging. In 2019, I am planning on trying a few other ways of marketing, hopefully I can find that sweet spot, that makes it work.
  2. Writing: I am a planner by nature. I keep writing timelines, so I know how my writing will impact my editing projects, as well, as my other responsibilities. This year proved to be difficult maintaining those timelines. Real life got in the way and I didn’t get done with a lot of the things I planned on. For 2019, I figure I need to make sure I have more wiggle room in my writing schedule, so if something comes up, I’m not thrown completely off track. I’m hoping that will work.
  3. Book Signings: I had five signings scheduled in 2018, and was only able to make one of them. In that process, I lost money. A couple I was able to transfer my registration fees to 2019, but the other three I wasn’t able to, which I totally understood. For 2019, I spaced them out more, and plan on putting the money aside for them earlier so that financially it isn’t such a burden when they come up.
  4. Life: Oh man, this was a difficult year for my family. My mom’s medical issues escalated. God, I love her, but I realized that I need to really plan around her capabilities so that she can be a part of everything while not over exerting herself. I also had a few car issues that made things difficult which I hope to resolve in 2019. Of course, work was problematic too. This current shut down is really going to impact me, and honestly, I’m not prepared for it.

So, that’s it for now. Please be sure you are following me on all my social media outlets. As you can see, there is so much going on, you don’t want to miss out on anything. I’ve also been working real hard to be active in my Facebook group this past several months, offering sneak peeks and giveaways. So be sure to join us there! Have a wonderful New Year’s everyone. May you be blessed with love and happiness in 2019.

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