Four Years of Thankfulness

On this Thanksgiving Eve my mind turns to thoughts of just how much my life has changed in the past four years.

Thanksgiving Day fell on November 22nd in 2012 and I had two books on the New York Times Bestseller’s list that week.  Both NAKED and ALL IN were still indie published, I was still teaching 1st grade, and trying to figure out how I would juggle my precious time enough to write EYES WIDE OPEN in the next two months while managing the upcoming holidays and my teaching job.  Yes, I was busy, but I was also very happy to be full of so much hope and excitement for the future.  Dare I say my life was a lot more…simpler?  Of course it was, I had nothing more to do than work.  Hard work had never hurt me before, and I just had to buckle down and get it done.  Well, exactly one week later I was offered a major book deal for the trilogy, which I accepted.  That event set me on the path to realizing my dream of becoming a full-time author.  My life got even busier as I battled the learning curve of the publishing industry–something which will never end, by the way…but I digress.  The most important point is that I was so thankful for everything I’d been given.

Thanksgiving fell on November 28th in 2013, and that year I missed the dinner in lieu of putting on the finishing touches to CHERRY GIRL which was publishing the next day.  *sheer insanity to publish a book on Black Friday*  In the course of that year I’d traveled extensively, as well as moved my parents into assisted living in order to be close to me.  It was time.  My father had just been sprung from the rehab facility where he’d been recovering from a bad fall for the previous five weeks.  It seemed that as soon as I was semi-settled in my new career as a full-time writer, family illness stepped right into the forefront to demand my attention.  But I was still very thankful for my life and the freedom to help my parents when they needed me.  I knew I was blessed.

Thanksgiving 2014 found us in Sydney, Australia for a book signing combined into a whirlwind family trip. The Land of Oz was amazing, as expected, but I was exhausted mentally after the death of my father amidst the publishing of three new books that year (RARE and PRECIOUS THINGS, PRICELESS, and THE MUSE) in addition to some major traveling.  I fell and screwed up my knee which sucked, but I didn’t need surgery and it eventually healed in time.  Even though the previous year had been a hard one, I was still incredibly thankful for my family and our wonderful life that afforded us amazing experiences like trips to Edinburgh and Australia for book signings.  So very blessed.

Thanksgiving 2015 was only one year ago, but so much happened between the previous Thanksgiving I felt like my life was unrecognizable to what it had once been.  My mother died in May of 2015, just thirteen months after my father, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard on me.  I was sad, of course, but I wasn’t bitter in any way.  Death is part of life and we must accept when it comes calling.  No, the thing that turned my life upside down was the lawsuit that showed up exactly six weeks after I buried my mom charging me with breach of contract for two historical romances I’d published with a small press nearly five years earlier.  That really upended my life, and not in a good way.  It was very costly for my legal defense, while at the same time prohibiting me from publishing new indie books when the case was ongoing.  My readers weren’t happy with me because there were no new books for them.  I wasn’t happy as I struggled to keep my commitment to write a new book for Montlake at the same time while wading through all of the legal crap that bombarded me constantly with the lawsuit.  I’m sure my family wasn’t happy as they had to deal with the fallout of my emotions all over the place, some serious new health issues for me, and the financial stress from the lawsuit.  Still, as we sat down to dinner together as a family, I counted my blessings for all of the good and wonderful people in my life.  There was hope that things would get better again.  The lawsuit would end eventually, and I could get back to writing books in my “normal” life.  (The verdict arrived September 14, 2016, completely in my favor.  I won and the small press that sued me lost.)  🙂

So, that brings us to now.  Thanksgiving 2016, fresh on the heels of my first new release in two long difficult years. FILTHY RICH, book one in my new Blackstone Dynasty series, published exactly one week ago.  I can tell you that it feels equal parts good and strange to publish again after such a long absence.  This business changes rapidly, and what worked two years ago may not even be an option anymore.  I’ve had to learn a lot of things all over again, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it sure can be a challenge.   The old saying ‘you can’t teach and old dog new tricks’ comes to mind, but this “old dog” had no choice but to learn some new tricks.  I am once again counting my blessings this Thanksgiving because I realize I do have many.  Wonderful readers and fans who have waited patiently for a new book.  Book bloggers who generously read and reviewed (and pimped) the book to their followers. My author sisters and brothers, who encouraged me and helped spread the word to their own fan following about my new book. My husband and boys who stepped up and pitched in while I learned how to write a book again.  My friends who cheered me on and pushed me to keep writing when I was sure I’d lost my ability to coherently tell a story.  My heart is full for all of the good wishes and support I’ve been given for this new book.  Thank you to Kcee at Unbound Book Reviews for the book trailer.  I hope you watch it and are encouraged to give Filthy Rich and the world of my new Boston Blackstones a try.

Bottom line, I am thankful for the last four years as a writer, even the hard parts held value in showing me how rich my life is for the experiences and the people in it.

Be well and blessed this Thanksgiving.

xxoo R

 

 

Comments

  1. Martha Baltazar says:

    Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Raine. Hope you all have a blessed day. Love you to bits my friend.

  2. K. Bromberg says:

    I love you madly. I know it’s been tough and even unimaginable… but we are so glad you are still a part of our book world… and we’re so happy to have a Blackstone in our hands again. Love you!!!

  3. A very happy Thanksgiving to you Raine. I’m so glad you are back and consider myself lucky to be able to read your glorious words.

    I wish you continued success. You are a survivor and I’m honored to know you.

    God bless <3

  4. Raine: thank you for your heartfelt re-count. I am so happy that you are “back.” I enjoy your stories and pre-ordered Filthy Rich and read it on the day I received it. Of course I am love with these Blackstones as well. Looking forward to what is next. I am also looking forward to your Christmas story. Be well and God Bless. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Roberta Loch says:

    So glad to hear things are much better for you! Loved Filthy Rich!!! You are one of my favorite Authors!! Can’t wait til the next book!! ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Carole Deere says:

    Raine, thank you for giving us your words. I am so thankful to have found you and then meeting you in person was the ultimate thrill. I am starting Filthy Rich this afternoon and can’t wait. Love to you and your family on this blessed Thanksgiving Day.

  7. I am so glad you shared this. It makes me appreciate your talents even more. Am loving Filthy Rich and looking forward to My Lord!

  8. You are one of my favorite author, keep writing I read anything you write and patiently wait for yout next book we ♡ you!

  9. You are one of my favorite author, keep writing I read anything you write and patiently wait for yout next book we ♡ you!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing your journey with us. As they say “life happens” but am so glad you can put the lawsuit behind you and continue to write beautiful books with amazing characters. Have read the Blackstone Affair series and listened to it on Audible 3 times. Ethan Blackstone is one of my favorite characters of the over 500 books I have read (probably second to Jamie Fraser of Outlander). Just know whatever life throws at you, you have been given a gift. I’m so glad you have shared it with your readers.

  11. Raine, you’re an amazing storyteller and that is why your readers waited. I will always wait for your books. I love the stories so much that two years ago, My husband ordered a signed book from you for my birthday. He knows I love you because I talk about you as if we were old friends. You got back on track and will only get better because you have wonderful stories to tell. I cannot wait to read more! Tons of love!!!

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