First, an announcement! Contessa made IndieReader.com’s list of Best Indie Books for 2013! That’s right, when they’re not relying on a popularity contest, my books CAN get recognition! I’m proud of my first foray into Young Adult literature and look forward to finishing Livvy’s series soon as it blossoms into a New Adult series!

“When?!” so many of you ask. Can you believe it’s been a year (to the week) since I published Contessa? When I realized that, I sort of stepped back and bowed my head in shame. I remember back then, I thought Olivia and Livvy would follow shortly after. I mean, all of the books had been written at that point, and just needed tidying up.

That’s what I thought, at least. My beta readers thought so, too… but upon reading Olivia a third and fourth time, I wasn’t happy with it. It felt disjointed, and while the story is solid, the book seemed to lack flow. So against the recommendation of my betas, I started hacking it to bits. After all, I have to be happy with the book before it gets released. I don’t want to push a book out there just to say I did, or just to make a few bucks. That’s not my style.

I’ll tell you the thing that I dislike hearing the most – and make sure you read my justification. I hate it when people tell me they’re going to wait for all three books to be released before they delve into Contessa.

Let’s think about this, and I’m going to use Twilight as an example because I think most of my readers are familiar with the craze of the books and movies.

When they released the movie Twilight, it was up in the air whether or not New Moon would be made. It all hinged upon the success of the first movie. Because the movie did so well even in that first weekend, it was almost immediately announced that there would be a New Moon movie. Awesome for all Twilight fans!!

But what if everyone said, “I’m not going to see Twilight until New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (I and II) are released?” Well, then they’d never get to see any of the movies… and that sucks (although some people may think that the world was better off without the movies). 😉

My point is, no one would ever do that with a movie. So why do it with books? Especially when they’re written by Indie authors who typically write as a hobby because they don’t make enough money to live off book sales alone. You know what would help me release books faster? If I didn’t have an über-stressful 8-5 job (with on-call weekends) that sucked my soul and zapped all my energy. If I could write full time, you would have both Olivia and Livvy in your hands right now. You’d probably even have the first full novel of Steven’s series.

Instead, you have no new books released by me in 2013. (I did give you a few new items to read, though.)

I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me. I’m the one who actively decided not to put a high priority on securing a husband so I’d have a second income. I’m the one who has bills to pay. I’m the perfectionist that likes quality promotional items. I’m the one who gives away too many things. No one makes those decisions for me.

But here’s the deal. Contessa is a great YA novel. If you’ve read Emi Lost & Found, it builds on that series. If you haven’t read the series, it can stand alone. And the best part?

THERE IS NO CLIFF HANGER.

Some people have questions about the ending, but they can all be explained with an extra chapter I wrote and published for free to my blog.

I’ve had a few readers tell me, “Oh, but I bought the book, so I’m supporting you.” That’s awesome and all, but the way most Indie authors get sales is by word of mouth, and if you don’t read the book, you can’t recommend it to anyone else. I appreciate the sentiment, but it yields few results.

Anyway. For what it’s worth, I’m about to do yet another full read-through of Olivia and see if I’m ready to sew together the pieces. There’s still work to be done, but maybe it’s not as overwhelmingly daunting as it seems. Stay tuned for updates!