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I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone when I say 2013 was my favorite year as a writer. It wasn’t actually my first year as an author, but it was my first year writing romance. In 2013, I released seven books, including a free novella (The Start of Us). Of the novels released, two became New York Times bestsellers — CAUGHT UP IN US and TROPHY HUSBAND. Those two novels also landed on the USA Today Bestseller list, and so did PLAYING WITH HER HEART. My novella PRETENDING HE’S MINE spent a week in the B&N Top 100 and lots of time in the iBooks top 100. Similarly, THE THRILL OF IT hit the B&N and iBooks top 100 bestseller lists. My novel FAR TOO TEMPTING was my first novel to be reviewed by Romantic Times and it received 4 1/2 stars!
Whew. And yay!
When I first set out to self-pub CAUGHT UP IN US in January 2013, my expectations were simple – I want to sell 5,000 copies. (I did. I sold many times that! Thank you readers!). I didn’t expect to find a legion of new readers, amazing writer friends, incredible blogger friends, and the most passionate readers I have ever encountered. But I found them.
Nor did I expect to find a “home” as a writer. You see, I have been published since 2010. I write for young adults under my “other name.” The books I write – four have been published – have been well-received, especially The Mockingbirds, which is a book that has landed on numerous state reading lists, won several awards, and has been taught in both college and high school classes. It’s also a novel that has inspired many young women to take a stand. (Read the description; you’ll see why). Yes, that novel and my other YA novels have touched readers and I cherish the letters I receive from teens, adults, librarians and teachers.
But I didn’t find a home as a writer until I started writing romance. And now I feel I have one. Because of YOU. Because of this COMMUNITY. Because of the PASSION of the romance writing world on all sides. I love my readers, I adore the bloggers, and I am simply dependent and then some on my writing friends. They have become part of this big extended family, if you will. Romance writing has done that — it has given me (and many others) direct access to readers, and I love the connections, the emails, the posts, the messages and so on. I love this world and the daily interaction.
So, yes, 2013 was a good year for so many reasons, but especially for being a home.