I've been writing up a storm, and keeping up with the weekly newsletter, but I've failed at keeping the blog going, so here's a little repentance post to keep everyone posted on what's new over here.
First of all, life has been a bit crazy. Much like this pic I took at an intersection in downtown Salt Lake, we've had some unexpected detours, diversions, crashes, and U-turns. The move to Utah during the Pandemic has been sweet and delightful--smaller yard, easier house to maintain, more family within minutes, and beautiful mountain and lake vistas.
But once the Pandemic eased, and life normalized, the hectic old pace returned with lots of new opportunities, twists and upsets. I had three books queued up in various stages of production. Cross Country Christmas, book one of The Silver Buckle Brides Series launched in October of 2021, Revenge Never Rests, (sequel to Secrets Never Die), was accepted by Covenant to be published in October of 2022, and I was shopping The Letter Carrier around to agents and publishers while I worked on the next SBB book. SWEET! Life was rosy!
Then our beautiful daughter found out that her transplanted kidney was dying and she had to go on dialysis. That was not unexpected, but it still knocked us all back a few steps. My sweet hubby took sick at the same time, and we've collectively been loving and nursing each other back to health.
The Letter Carrier received an offer but the deal and the timeframe for getting it on the market didn't feel right to me. Meanwhile, Michelle Naget, the courageous lady whose life inspired the book, was getting weak and not expected to live much longer. I wanted to get this book into her hands while she was still alive. I did get an early ARC to her, but the race was on to get the book published.
My critique buddy, Beth Bentley, an extraordinary author, publisher, and the amazing editor of my indie books, urged me to just go ahead and publish it myself, on my own timetable. I had reservations about the first cover Sheri McGathy and I created, so while I sent the manuscript back to Beth for a final edit, Sheri and I worked on this new, exquisite cover.
And then the world changed.
The Russian invasion into Ukraine seemed like a chapter pulled from WWII, and The Letter Carrier. I've always loved this book, and consider it to be the most important book I've ever written, but now it felt even more so. Between the infighting in America, and our loss of lives in the Afghanistan retreat, I felt America needed to read Michelle's story of courage and sacrifice, and to remember how quickly freedom is lost, and the aching cost to reclaim it once it's squandered.
So we're set for a July 20 launch with a public cover reveal in June. I'll have a pre-order link up soon. I hope every family in every freedom-loving nation reads Michelle's story. As it says in the book:
"My name is Michelle Naget Rogers. I came here today to tell you a story. My story. A story I tell because I don’t want it to ever be your story.”
The book is being proofed and then formatted one last time before I set it to pre-order. In the meantime, family life carried on.
Amanda and her family bravely adjusted to the changes home dialysis brings, and she invited us to head to St. George to watch her son's baseball tournament. We actually had two cute grandsons on that team so it was a blast to head to southern Utah and see Zion's National Park where this fun pic was taken.
But, while we were enjoying the scenic vistas, someone was breaking into our house. They literally carried our safe out along with most of my jewelry. I didn't have blingy diamonds, but I did have a few heirloom pieces set aside for the girls. The losses hurt, but coming into your house and finding your personal things strewn across the floor sliced into our security and peace. Everyone says I should use that experience in a new book. Maybe. . . .
We're turning our home into a fortress now, but we feel safe again, and we're moving on. That's what's happening here. I hope all is well and safe and sweet where you are, but each day, the news reminds us to be more aware citizens who are more devoted to the cause of freedom and peace. And more generous to the victims of aggression. Have a great day!
If you'd like to join my Willowsport Crew and get on the review team and/or the Scream Team to spread the word about The Letter Carrier, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please use the heading "Sign Me Up."
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