If 2016 were one of my characters, Jolene Faraday would have punched it in the face until it screamed for mercy. And then she would have punched it some more. While cursing. A lot.
If 2016 were one of my characters, Sophie Turner would have absorbed every bit of its Shadow power, taking the burden from everyone else to save us from its horrors.
If 2016 were one of my characters, Eunomia would have stabbed it. And then stabbed it again for good measure. And then she would have brought it to Molly, where it would be punished further.
If 2016 were one of my characters, Shannen of House Lyon would have ridiculed it until it cried. And then someone would have stabbed it through the eye. Because Shannen has shit to do and she recognizes that others are better at stabbing than she is.
And if 2016 were one of my characters, Mollis Eth-Hades, Goddess of Death, would have ripped into its very soul, turned it into a blubbering void of nothingness… and then sent it to the Furies for its eternal punishment.
…It is possible that I tend to write violent heroines. Heh.
On a more serious note, it’s no secret that 2016 has generally been one of those years many of us would like to forget. In my case, 2016 was one of the best years of my life. And, it was also one of the worst years.
Talk about feeling conflicted.
This was a year in which I spent most of my time feeling like I was failing miserably, in just about every area of my life. So that’s one thing, and I’m taking as many lessons from that as I can and moving forward into 2017 (more on that later.) The worst thing, though, was losing my beautiful, hilarious mother-in-law to cancer. It’s hard to explain my relationship to my mother-in-law. She took me in when I left home at 17. I finished high school living in her house. She became a mother figure, a friend, a confidant, and still, yes, very much a mother-in-law. I was very close to her and we got on each other’s nerves sometimes, but I loved her to bits. Losing her, at the age of 67, when there were plans for things we all wanted to do together… I’m still reeling a bit. I’m so grateful for all of the love I’ve gotten from my author pals and readers when they learned of our family’s loss. One particular author friend still asks me every once in a while how I’m holding up, and those moments in which it’s okay to talk about grief are gifts. I don’t know if she realizes how much those little check-ins mean, but they mean a lot. So thank you, author friend. You know who you are.
So, yeah. In some ways, 2016 was THE WORST.
In 2016, my family finally realized our dream of moving to not just a house in NW Michigan, but a cute little, quirky fixer-upper on acreage with woods and hills and hawks and deer and… gah! I still get chills when I think about the fact that we finally managed to do it. I’m so grateful that we were able to make this happen, and a lot of that is thanks to the lovely readers who have bought and loved my books and supported me since 2013. I could not do this without you. The books keep coming because you keep asking for them, because you keep checking in with me and letting me know when you love something and when you want MORE MORE MORE of a character. Thank you for that.
So 2016 was bittersweet, and tomorrow is uncertain. But even in uncertainty, we need to dream. And so, I’m looking forward.
What to Expect From Me in 2017
In addition to the books, I’m taking editing and proofreading clients again (so, hey, if you know someone who needs an editor… I’m your girl!). It will be good to diversify my business a bit, and I already have two authors I adore who have signed on with me for editing next year. So I’m very excited.
But then, there are THE BOOKS. Next year, you guys will get the third Copper Falls book (yes, finally!). You’ll probably get a StrikeForce book. But the thing I’m most excited about is Molly’s new series.
Yes. Molly Brooks is coming back!
She and Nain have a new adventure ahead of them, following the events of Zealot. And oh, is it a doozy! I’m planning to have three books in Molly’s series out next year, so if you love Molly/Nain, you’ll have plenty of foul-mouthed, badass, sexy goodness. 😉 I’m also going to get at least the first of the Bloodborne series out, which is urban fantasy that focuses on Rayna of the Detroit vampire family. So that will be a lot of fun. I also want to finish Shifting Fate somewhere in there, because I love Jamie and I want to give her the story she deserves.
There will be other things, too. But I’ll keep them to myself for now. 😉
It’s gonna be fun, guys.
So, finishing up here, I need to thank a few people who made this year better, and, at times, even wonderful:
- My husband Roger, of course. My partner in all things, my therapist, my best friend, my rock. Every hero I write has a little bit of Roger in him, whether he knows it or not.
- My kids. I can’t even express how proud I am of them, and how grateful I am for them every single day.
- The Vanderlinden and Gregory families. I love you guys.
- My author pals: a million hugs to Elizabeth Hunter, Grace Draven, Mel Sterling, Tiffany Freund, Kelly Thompson, and Matt King, especially, for their support and encouragement this year. You’re the best.
- The amazing narrators who worked on my audiobooks, bringing my characters to life. Julia Knippen and Chloe Cole — you are both amazing. Thanks for putting up with my scatterbrained self. 😉
- To all of the amazing women on my beta reading team. Huge thanks to Susan, Rachel, Sarah, Brenda, Sarah, Danielle, Jo, Jayna, Kari, Amber, Kathy, and Samantha.
- And, of course, everyone who reads my books. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being here. Stephen King says that books are magic, that the characters and settings begin in an author’s mind, but they become real in the reader’s. It’s a dance between the two of us, dear reader, and I’d look pretty damn silly dancing here all by myself.
Happy New Year, all. Here’s to a happy, healthy, peaceful 2017.