I know I haven’t been much of a blogger recently. Besides participating in a special Fall promotion for New Adult authors and sharing some cover reveals for author-friends, pretty much everything else has been promotions and updates about Wrath, and before that, The Space Between. Lame, I know. *hangs head in shame*

For the record, however, Wrath kicked my arse. Literally. I still have the bruise. Okay, okay, not literally. But it sure felt like it! Still does. The only physical evidence to my arse, though, is the widening of it. Every book packs on a few pounds and Wrath was worse than the others. Chocolate helps me think and I needed to do a whole hell of a lot of thinking for that book.

What happened? Why was this book different? Well, part of it had to do with the fact that I could not focus on writing it until I wrote The Space Between. Leni, Jeric, Jacey and Micah insisted I write their story first. I enjoyed writing it and look forward to writing the next book in that new series, Book of Phoenix, but it delayed the writing of Wrath.

When I did finally get back to Wrath, I couldn’t remember what all of my notes, written in one-line phrases, meant. So I had to go back to the drawing board to figure things out. I was about halfway through the first draft when I did the signing tour in England, then RT Booklovers Convention right after that in Kansas City. By the time I was home and completely focused on writing again, I was barely more than a month away from Wrath’s scheduled release with only the bones of a rough draft. Talk about pressure!

It quickly became evident that Wrath wouldn’t be released on its original date. Okay, fine. I set down to work on it. Struggled through Alexis’s anger and intense emotions. Came to the climactic scene that needed to be completely rewritten and – “Holy shiz! Am I really going to let THAT happen?” If you’ve read Wrath, then you surely know what I’m talking about. And no, that ending was not exactly in my original plans. I had something different in mind – and not until Book 6! Threw me for another loop.

Once I got over the shock and realized that this ending was much better for this book and for the rest of the series, I had more revisions to make earlier in the book. We’re down to crunch time now. Everyone’s growing really restless. Our retailers are even asking when it will be ready, saying if we do such-and-such, we can get a pre-order button; if we do something else, we can get special promotions. Deadlines coming from every direction. Plus, my kids were home from school for the summer and I just wanted to be done. Talk about pressure! And pressure only makes it harder to write. I struggled until the very last minute when I could hand it off for formatting and finally be done.

So yeah, that’s the story of how Wrath kicked my arse. But it wasn’t really just the book. There were lots of other things going on, too. Like a remodeling project that had started July 2012 and NEEDED. TO. BE. FINISHED. It was driving me crazy! By June, five of us were living out of 2 bedrooms and my office. I was sleeping on the couch and my husband was sleeping on the futon in my office. Kids who needed things taken care of while they were out of school. A broken pool pump and broken pipes meant a whole renovation of our pool system, pool itself and deck. Cars that needed this, that and the other.

And lots and lots of to-do items that had been put off since before my trip to the UK in April were piling up, threatening to suffocate me. In fact, the stress and unhealthy eating habits of the first half of the year deteriorated my health quite a bit, to the point it was scaring me. It affected me emotionally, too, and at times I wondered if I’d ever be able to write again. I hit some serious lows. I needed to make changes. But, of course, not until the book was out. Thank God I got it out – and lived! lol

For all of you who have asked (or at least been wondering), that’s what I’ve been up to since Wrath’s release. Catching up on those to-do items, finishing the remodeling project and getting us moved back into our bedroom, coordinating the pool, door and window contractors and tracking down the furniture we bought the beginning of July and still hasn’t been delivered. I’ve even enjoyed a weekend day or two where I did absolutely NO WORK. I truly relaxed for the first time since New Year’s.

Most importantly, I’ve been working on making myself healthy again – physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m starting to feel better than I have in years…and starting to feel pumped up again. I needed to take some time for myself, for my family and for my home, before I could dive into writing again.

I’m almost there. I’ve been working on outlines for the last two Soul Savers books and the next Book of Phoenix installment, and I’ve also been thinking about other stories – some in the Soul Savers world, others completely brand new. In other words, my creativity has returned. Yay!

And that brings us to a few other Frequently Asked Questions from the past month:

Is Wrath the last book of the Soul Savers? Hells no! I wouldn’t do that to you! There are two more books to come in Alexis’s story, plus maybe some more side stories. No, I don’t have any release dates yet.

When is your next book coming out? Oh, I just answered that. I don’t have any release dates yet. I don’t even know what will be next. I have so many ideas I’ve been working on, but very soon I’ll be making a decision on what to focus on.

When is the next Book of Phoenix book coming out? See above: No release dates yet. Nada. Not for anything. I’d love to get another book out this year, but I don’t know if that will happen. And I don’t know what it will be.

Are you going to be doing any signings the rest of the year? The only event I have scheduled for the rest of this year is the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. In fact, I leave for that in 2 weeks! I’m so excited, especially because I have a star on the Author Walk of Fame. How cool is that?! Thank you, Kobo! I’ll post next year’s event schedule soon, though. First up is Indie Girl Con in February. Hope to see you there…or somewhere!