Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

Christmas and New Year’s are rapidly approaching, and at this time last year I would have predicted a very different end to 2013. This year has had its ups-and-downs as far as my personal publishing goes. I had one new book out in February, my Valentine’s Day romance, Cupid’s Mistake, which followed quickly on the heels of the previous release, Unwrapped, a Christmas-themed romance that came out at the end of December, 2012. But since then…
Having two releases fairly close together was a whirlwind for the promo machine—my least favorite thing, I admit—and once that initial push was over, I needed a break. I’d been promising myself a re-read of my favorite series of all time (can you guess? I’m betting yes…), Harry Potter, as a carrot to get things done.

Initially, I’d promised myself the re-read following the publication of Pearls of Pleasure in September, 2012, but there was just too much to do, so I kept putting it off, knowing once I started reading nothing else would get done until I finished.
As ever, the minute I opened the first book, the immersion was instant, total, complete, every moment much-loved, and it was as difficult as ever to break free of the spell once I finished the series for the twenty-something-time. I never really do want to break free from that spell, so when I say it was a
struggle, I mean it. I’m happiest in that world or talking about that world with my fellow Harry Potter geeks. It’s an addiction.

Luckily, around that time, Melody Simmons of let me know that the cover for Cupid’s Mistake had taken third place in her monthly indie book cover contest for March. I was thrilled! Since I do my own covers, it was a special pat on the back, and a much-needed reminder that I had work to do, however much I might want to stay firmly rooted at Hogwarts.
As I was looking up the particulars for this post, I checked her website for the link to the March contest final, but it appears she isn’t doing the contests anymore, and the links are down. In any case, it was very exciting to be up against a slate of awesome covers, including several which were done professionally, and to have that recognition for Cupid’s Mistake, which is my personal favorite of the covers I’ve completed.
Soon after, I was also honored to be nominated in several categories for the Indie Romance Convention’s 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards, including:
Indie First Book:  Pearls of Pleasure
Best Indie Contemporary Romance:  Unwrapped
Best Indie Romance Novella: Pearls of Wisdom
Best Indie Book Cover: Unwrapped
Indie Author of the Year: Chantilly White
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the convention, but I heard it was fantastic and am excited to attend in the future.
Being nominated for my work was a special rush that’s hard to explain. Book sales are one thing, and they’re fabulous! But knowing someone out there enjoyed my work enough to go to the trouble to nominate it for an award… That’s just incredible, and it was such a privilege to be listed alongside so many authors I admire. Although I said it at the time, my sincere congratulations go out again to the winners in every category. Their work is inspiring!
I did complete another novella this year, but after some tough-but-stellar advice from my critique partner and beta readers, I temporarily shelved that project. Revising and publishing it will happen in 2014, but in the meantime I have moved on to a new book, one I am very excited about and can’t wait to share. It’s the fourth and final title in my loosely-connected Pearls “series” and will also be out in 2014, along with several other projects currently in various stages of completion. Cue mysterious theme music… I’ll have more to share on each of those, I promise. Just not quite yet.
So, although 2013 will end without another book release, 2014 is a fresh new year for all of us, one that will be full of new challenges, new stories, and, let’s hope, new heights of success for one and all. What are you looking forward to or working toward in 2014? Let me know in the comments! And have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and a safe and Happy New Year!

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