I apologize that it’s been almost a month since I posted here, but I’ve needed to stay quiet, to step back for a while, not just from the blog but from a lot of social media too, to try to find my balance, both in writing and in dealing with some real-life issues.  I have written this post a half dozen times, written paragraphs that turned into pages of my thoughts and some of those issues, medical, family, etc., but decided they breached the TMI boundaries or might get me banned from travelling to the States, so each time I’ve deleted them. But I can’t avoid it completely because you deserve to know what’s happening with Wrangling the Past.

Some of you may remember I wrote back in January that I’d been struggling a lot in the past year, mainly due to health issues that have plagued me for the past five years. At the time I thought I’d gotten past it.

Turned out I was wrong.

It didn’t help when another real-life issue that took all sense of financial security away from my husband and I that will affect the rest of our life. Unless we win a lottery, those real life issues aren’t going to get any better in the near future. All of which has left me creatively paralyzed. I can’t even write blog posts lately, and I apologize to the authors and readers over at Wild and Wicked Cowboys and Everybody Needs a Little Romance for missing my regular spots last month. I went totally blank and had nothing positive I could talk about. I honestly stared at the screen for weeks before, and even on the day the posts were due and had…nothing.On depression ~ stephen fry

It’s not just writers’ block where I need to get my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard and push through it. As I wrote back in January (and it hasn’t changed) I spend 10 – 14 hours at my keyboard every day. Trying to write. Trying so freaking hard. It’s not something where I can just “get over it” or “smiling will make it get better.” (God, I HATE it when people say that to me.)  Yet despite the hours I’d stare at the screen, if I managed to write two paragraphs I’d consider it a good day. Then I’d find out I’d written the same scene three times. Or that the story had gone off on a tangent that needed to be deleted. Again. Six months of working my butt of resulted in 30,000 words that just aren’t the type of writing I want to you to read.

All of which led to an email I had to write to my editor at Carina Press asking her to please release me from my deadline for Wrangling the Past. Which she did. God bless Angela James for understanding. I’ll admit I was sobbing as I wrote that email because it felt like I’d failed. It still does.

But you know how they say when God closes a door, he opens a window? Well, He’s left the door open for me still for me to approach when I can, but He also sent me the lovely Tabatha, one of my street team leaders who has appointed herself my chief cheerleader but has become a true friend who lets me vent and yet comes back every day and encourages me to keep writing and gives me feed back. And He sent me the extremely talented Lexxie Couper. A few months back, Lexxie invited me to be part of a group bundle — the theme being firefighters.

In order to give myself a bit of a break, and hopefully find the joy of writing again, I’ve (temporarily) set aside Gabe’s story and pulled out a novella I started writing over two years ago involving a pair of firefighters and the woman they loved. Feeding the Flames will be part of the Five Alarm Alphas bundle coming out November 7th with stories by Lexxie Couper, Desiree Holt, Lissa Matthews, Delilah Devlin, Cari Quinn, Marie Harte, and Shelli Stevens. (Just looking at the other names on that list makes me feel inadequate. I adore the writing of each and everyone of those ladies.)  I’ve shared the cover on Facebook, and you can find it on its webpage here on my site, but I’ll do a proper cover reveal and finished blurb in a separate post.

Yes, I feel guilty still about working on it instead of on Gabe’s story for a few weeks, but I need the break. And it is helping me get back some of the joy of writing again, even if it is a slow process.

In the next few months, I’m also going to re-release two short stories that came out back in 2009 — First Night, and Cherry Cottage, both of which were originally free short stories for Samhain’s newsletter, but for the past few years have only been available here on my website. I’m planning on revamping them (slightly), then getting them formatted, giving them new covers (the lovely Tabatha has created some beautiful covers for me I’ll share on another post), and am going put them on Smashwords so more people can find them on Amazon and B&N and other places. I’m also finally going to release Unashamed, a story I wrote specifically for the Northern Heat anthology, only this time in digital format, so it will be easily available worldwide instead of only available in a print book that was hard to get ahold of outside of Canada. I’m aiming for First Night to be up for the American Thanksgiving, but I don’t have any dates in mind yet for Cherry Cottage or Unashamed. (I plan on working on those after I’ve finished Gabe’s manuscript.) These are not new stories I’m writing, but they are all things that I’ve wanted to do for years but have put off because of the Grady Legacy deadlines.

But I cannot stress enough: I am still writing Gabe’s story, but I want it to be the best story it can be, the story he deserves. Let me repeat, Gabe will get his story. It just won’t come out this fall the way Carina–or I–had originally planned.

What’s going on with Leah?

19 thoughts on “What’s going on with Leah?

  • September 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Hey Leah ~~ good to hear from you. And don’t be so hard on yourself. Take time for you & the hubby and we’ll all still be here whenever Gabe’s story does comes out.

    • September 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you, but I don’t like to leave you hanging. And I want people to love Gabe the way I do. If I can just get myself straightened around so I can tell his story properly. Thanks, Shirley. I love getting your replies here!

  • September 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out, and all we can do is our best. So just do what you need to do for your health and happiness, and the rest will fall into place one way or another. Gabe’s story will be told, and the best things are worth waiting for! *hugs*

    • September 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks — now to convince myself that I might know how to write. I’ve got this voice in my head that tells me I don’t know how to write, that I’m kidding myself thinking I’m an author. Feeling like I need to learn how to write all over again. And then win a lottery so I can hire someone to do all the neverending promo 😉

  • September 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Take all the time you need! All of your loyal fans will be here when you are ready.For myself, I’ll just use this time to reread! In case you are unable to return( which I hope isn’t the case), know that your books and stories will always be a testament to your writing talent.Take care-

    • September 5, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Linda — I won’t stop writing. I can’t. I have too many stories in my head that want out. I still want to tell Scott and Andy and Jazz’s stories in the Hauberk series; I’d love to write Hunter’s story as a novella or category length story (he’s from No Accounting from Cowboys); and so many more, once I get Gabe’s story finished. I just need to my mojo, my joy again, and get my head straight which is taking longer than I’d hoped.

  • September 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Leah, you know I love you and your writing. I will read and enjoy your stories no matter when you release them. Please take your time and take care of you. You are loved by many people.

    • September 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks, Margie! Your support is one of the reasons I keep sitting down in front of my computer every day.

    • September 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Yes, Cindy, I do know how much you understand — and it was your post yesterday that made me realize I needed to write mine. Even if it was just to say why Gabe’s story has been delayed. I owe my readers that much. Didn’t make it easier to admit though.

  • September 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Hugs. Hugs, and more hugs. Sooo know how you feel. Take care my dear.

  • September 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Leah, you take all the time you need! We, as loyal fans will be here for you. They also say that God will never give you more than you can handle (not in those exact words).Sometimes you feel as if you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You owe us NOTHING. it’s us that owes You for the great books we’ve enjoyed reading. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel, it just takes time. I hope this post has lifted your spirits some as that was my intention. HUGS

  • September 5, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I’m sending you biggest most squishy hugs ever!!!!!! You had me in tears for a minute there! Just know, that I will always have your back and be your cheerleader through the good times and most especially the bad. I believe in you even when you start to doubt. I am sending much love your way boss lady. *winks*

  • September 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Leah, I am so sorry that you are going through that right now or ever. I will continue to pray and rest assured that I one of your most devoted fans will be hopefully (physically) whenever you are. I remember you were one of the first people I ever truly met that was famous but yet down to earth and real- a true genuine person. I cannot wait until that anthology comes out and as it happens I am reading their other anthology which just came out about the firefighters. Not enough can be said about these men and women also. I will be here also if ever you just want to have a conversation. Hugs always Janette

  • September 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Be well. Courage. Do what you need/want to do. Screw the rest. Don’t force things. You have to come first. That’s just the way it works sometimes. Rooting for you.

  • September 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Leah, nobody’s thinks any less of you for needing time to get things straighten out in life, in fact I applaud you for having the guts to do it instead of taking the easiest way out. You could have given us a half assed book but that’s not who you are, so, we will wait til you can finish gabe the way that makes you proud to be an author. Sending you love, hugs, and understanding. Love ya lots girlfriend.

  • September 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    So sorry to hear of your many troubles. Take baby steps so you can feel an accomplishment every day if that’s what you need to help move you forward. I am behind you 100% that you have to take care of you and your family first and foremost. I’ll be here to help support you when you finish Gabe’s story even if it’s far down the road but more importantly I’m here now to give you support and hugs and positive vibes to help get you through things to help you smile each day. And yes – you do belong with those other authors – most of whom I’ve also read!
    Stay well, get better and know I am always here to listen.

  • September 6, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Leah, Hugs and support coming your way.You do whatever you need to do to get through this. Your fans will support you through this.

  • September 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    The most important thing is for you to take care of yourself, Leah. All the rest can wait until you are ready. We readers love you and you already know how much I love and support you. Lots of hugs and positive thoughts sent your way.

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