After a nasty few months that included family members with Covid; me battling pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and physical therapy; visits to the specialist for kiddo, and just a bunch of crazy, crazy things that happened all at once, I’ve finally been able to work on cleaning up the free reads. (Strangely enough, I am getting a lot of work done on the free reads while sitting in the car at kiddo’s softball practices! She’s a veritable demon on the diamond! I coached her 2019 season and her 2020 season was canceled; to be honest–I’m glad I’m getting a break this year!)
Free reads have had to take a backseat to finishing actual books, unfortunately, as that just makes the most business sense, but things are finally back on track.(For more on WHY things have been chaotic for a few years, visit the FAQ page on my website).
I have been able to do extensive work on Jude this past week. I’ve started at the beginning and have revised and edited what I already posted. I also have added a few more chapters, with more coming over the next six weeks. These upcoming chapters have already been written, they just need polished and edited. 🙂 Jude is less than 3000 words or so from being finished. Once she is finished, I’ll be turning her into an actual ebook format for download through Bookfunnel.com. (I plan to release all of my freebies through Bookfunnel eventually, so that they can be downloaded and added to readers’ libraries on their preferred devices.)
UPDATE on NEW RELEASES:
I am days away from being finished with Maggie and Clint’s book now (currently untitled).
I’ll be sending it to the editor on May 1st! My wonderful editor has Jac’s book (SEARCHING) now, as well. SEARCHING will release in early May, so watch the BLOG for details.
I am also in the process of booking a narrator for book three of the Mastersons in audio! I hope to have the first four Mastersons available in audio by August/September. If they do well, I’ll be starting on the Finley Creek series next. 🙂
I’m getting ready to work on Shelby’s book (Finley Creek) and Zoey’s (Small-Town Sheriffs) starting May 1st. I am super-excited to (finally) be able to do another Small-Town Sheriff. I started that series in 2017/2018 and had to drop it when I first fell and ended up in physical therapy. I have also started Nat’s book (PAVAD), for release in 2022! After that, I have some fun things planned for Miranda and Knight, still to go. 😀
SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGES:
I am actually stepping away from social media, especially Facebook, for the rest of 2021. This isn’t a simple decision, as I love having connections with readers and other writers. But… there is a lot of negativity and distractions online, and it’s easy to fall down rabbit holes, or lose my creative focus, cutting into my total writing time each day.
I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out ways to make this writing thing work more efficiently, even around the need for ongoing PT (I’ll probably be in PT for a long time—especially if I continue to write!), so that I can get all the stories I have in my head out in a reasonable time frame. I have found a few things that have increased my ability to write more words in a shorter amount of time. But it has meant I am making a few changes.
My #1 change is going to be cutting out social media. As much as I can.
Wading through the messages on FB and through email and through private forums I belong to has been too time consuming and distracting for me to be as productive as I want. The one or two hours a day it takes for me to answer emails, messages, and post in a few writing-related groups and forums I belong to, could be spent getting extra words! Which is what I ultimately want, anyway. New words equal lots of new books!!!
Because of this, I’m only going to be available through this blog for the rest of 2021 to see how it goes. I’ll be posting any updates here, and will send newsletter emails only when I have a new release available.
Starting immediately, my husband will take over as my social media manager. He’ll be handling posting links on Facebook when new releases go live, and any other messages I receive. He’s very much like Rafe, Mick, and Nate—gruff, overprotective, and grumbly, and says I can’t play on the internet any longer or he’ll take away all my electronic toys, lol.
Saving myself 1-2 hours each day can gain me at least 1500 extra words. That’s half a Masterson a month! Hopefully, this decision will pay off in total productivity!
A FEW OTHER THINGS TO MENTION:
I do plan to revive “Mel’s Musings” as I love Mel, she’s one of my favorite characters. I don’t know how often I’ll post; it just depends on how things go. I do plan to finish Cold Case with Jarrod and Haldyn before they get their own novel. Jude is almost finished (only a few more chapters to write). And she ended up way longer than I ever expected, being as long as a few of the Masterson novellas!
I am also hoping to get some character sheets for each series up online in the next few months and definitely getting an updated reading list on the website. My goal for the summer is to have all the websites and links working and pretty again!
I am also hard at work rewriting my paranormals. This is a heart project for me I intend to see through to the finish line—all 40 or so novels/novellas—over the next several years! I started publishing those books long before I published Watching, the first romantic suspense I ever wrote, and I will not abandon them. I love them too much for that.
If you haven’t checked them out, I have freebies on my sister site (www.callejayebrookes.com). And there is an ongoing blog for that series as well at www.Iamjustavampire.com. These aren’t exactly your typical PNRs, and the heat level is only slightly higher than my romantic suspense. Later books in the series will be just as twisty and complicated as the romantic suspenses.
Anyway, here are the links to the updated Jude & the Barratt Man. I hope you enjoy!