I love clichés.
Well, I’m a writer. They’re overused for a very good reason, and that’s because they work well. People relate and understand without trying to explain too hard. But my editor is always telling me to twist the cliché to make it mine.
So on New Year’s Day I’m about to embark on the LIST. We all know them well. The top ten books I read. The top things I learned. The top blessings I am thankful for this past year. And the top resolutions.
I adore lists. Ask my hubby who finds endless sticky notes with items in crazy order, some crossed out, and many just recycled onto the next list I make. Lists help guide me and give me a sense of accomplishment.
I have been socially mia for a bit trying to restart my creative brain process and enjoy family time so now my psycho kick ass muse is in overdrive and won’t let me sleep until I write my first official post of the new year.
So excuse my endless ramble as I try to organize a multi tiered list of the past and future. Here we go!
WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED IN 2013
I loved 2013 just as much as 2012. Yes there were many ups and downs but overall, I was gifted by my growing readership who reached out and connect with me on a daily basis. Writing without an audience is heartbreaking, and I did for over twenty years so when I hear someone enjoy my book it still managed to bring tears to my eyes.
I wrapped up my beloved Marriage to a Billionaire series with The Marriage Merger which hit the NY Times, and embarked on an exciting spin off in Searching for Someday which hit USA Today. I was able to re-issue my very first book ever written and with some solid revisions and polishing, Executive Seduction found a new audience. Thinking of making it into a series so I may need feedback on readers to see if they want it. I issued my first foodie romance with All the Way and had fun with some of my fave items: food and music. I moved into a new house, went to Italy with my mom, aunt and niece, and outlined a new novel based on the experience.
All in All… a banner year. Or, umm, a rollicking ride to rival Splash Down.
WHAT I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH FOR 2014
I am a perfectionist workaholic free flowing new hippie so I’m a mess of contradictions. So is my list. For work, my readers will see my second in the Searching For series, Kennedy’s story in Searching for Perfect in April. Then the anticipated Searching for Beautiful with Wolfe and Gen comes out. I’m thrilled to share my first new adult novella called Beyond Me, which is one in a standalone series written with two other NY Times Bestselling authors – the Sex on the Beach series. It’s releasing first week of March so stay tuned! And my newest series The Posse series with Cool Gus will finally take off but I’m still playing with dates.
I’ll be going on an extensive signing tour in May and hitting major cities to sign books and greet readers. I’m travelling to Edinburgh for Fourth of July weekend to meet my overseas fans, and will be at RT, RWA, and NJ conferences this year. My niece turns sweet sixteen so I’ll also be partying like a rock star and watching the road carefully. And my tenth anniversary will be celebrated so that’s a landmark I’ll be shouting about!!
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
How can I not add one of these in?
My list this year is a ton of clichés. I need to get healthy. I need to lose some weight, do some exercise, and drink more water. I need to get a mammogram. Do a business plan. And try not to worry so much over things I have no control of.
BOOKS I FRIKKIN LOVED
Look, I read a zillion books I loved, and there are so many authors I discovered and loved and adore to no end. This is a VERY short list I wanted to post, and I’m not adding links or doing fancy photos so you need to click on over to your buying venue of choice or goodreads and check them out.
Now, this is the most important part. I FOUND these books via:
Bloggers, Twitter, and Other Authors. Those were my main discovery routes so do with that info as you wish. In no particular order at all:
The Songs of Submission Series by CD Reiss
The Consequences Series by Aleatha Romig
The Surrender Series by Melody Anne
The Pines by Blake Crouch
Dr. Sleep by Stephen King (this I found on my own I’m a huge fan of King)
Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren
The Best Man by Kristen Higgins
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I know I’m late on this one!)
Love and Let Die by Lexi Blake
The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn
This is not a complete list, and I have many auto buy authors I didn’t add here, these were some books that surprised me by how I ripped through them and may not have picked up on my own – that’s all.
THINGS I LEARNED
Bad things happen all the time. I’ve struggled many years and barely crossed the finish line on new year’s eve, bloodied and sad and depressed. But I never lose hope because every day is a new slate for something magical to happen. I am no Pollyanna, but years have taught me to hang in, be grateful for what I do have, and hang on to hope. No good thing…or bad thing…lasts forever so don’t get too attached. Just savor the moment.
Sales go up, and then they go down. As Bob Mayer and Jen Talty quote, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” And “The best promotion is to write a great book. Then another.” And don’t stop.
This business can sometimes be ugly but I prefer to see the wonderful side and keep my positive outlook. How can I complain when I get to create stories for a living and follow a lifelong dream from when I was twelve years old! All businesses and industries are hard in some way. Keep your honor and your intentions pure. Help others. Be kind. Be fearless. Work your ass off. Use your manners.
And for God’s sake, drink more water. We have to start somewhere with taking care of our bodies and that’s my jumping off point since I drink way too much coffee during the day!
That’s it. Happy New Year to all. And in the words of Yoda and my own cliché twist that has become my signature motto:
“May the words be with you.”