10-9-2023 Author Update!

Greetings,

Well, I’m back today to announce that I have finished Once Upon An Unrequited Love. The book is now undergoing the editing phase.

Also, the new release date is Tuesday, October 24, 2023. I gave myself an extra week to make sure the final draft is ready to go. 

I wanted to leave the Valentine – Lords – Groves universe writing a story that’s true to my heart. Thankfully the characters’ backstory allowed me to accomplish that. 

I’m commissioning new covers for Once Upon A One-Night Stand and Once Upon An Unrequited Love. It’s amazing what gets books moving and what doesn’t as far as book covers. After years of trying to figure things out, I’ve learned a few things. First of all, my light blue covers with objects and hearts get the most downloads right off the bat. However, the read-through is low if the language is too strong and the content too racy. 

And I get it, because I must confess, I’m turned off by too much graphic sex and strong language in a book. I didn’t start my romance career that way. However, I used to listen to those reviewer/gatekeepers earlier in my career criticizing me for not using the p-word or the f-word. And once I went down that road… 

So, after handling the language and the intimacy so brilliantly in my latest book, I changed it all in Crossing The Line, A Fake Love Deal, and Boss On Notice. And now – finally – I’m seeing better read-through from CTL to AFLD with the famously blue covers! 

IDK… When I finished this last book I felt renewed. I felt optimistic. I’m aware that my books will never be the same.  

Lately, I’ve been intensely practicing self-awareness because as I step into this next phase of my career, it’s going to make me a better storyteller. 

So get ready because Once Upon An Unrequited Love will be available at all ebook retailers starting October 24, and you might be able to find it on some platforms on October 23 if you’re looking.

And as a morsel of a treat, here’s the Prologue of Once Upon An Unrequited Love:

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved a boy. The girl knew she wanted to be with the boy forever from the moment she sat across from him during an interview for a graphic artist job. There was something about how easily he smiled and laughed at every funny thing she said, which she does when she’s uncomfortable; she becomes a comedian. Even her lousy jokes landed well with him. He was open, honest, and a good person—those traits emanated from the boy like a hearth warming the chambers of her heart on a cold and stormy night. 

She landed the job, of course. And her crush on the boy brewed for months because she was afraid to tell him or even show him how she truly felt. He was quite the catch at their company. So many women fell in love with him too. And not only because of his good looks. The boy was simply the best kind of man. He looked you in the eye when he spoke to you, making you feel as if you were the only person who mattered in the world. He was strong, loyal, and believed in the best of others. So no, he couldn’t have loved her. She had only attracted emotionally stunted men, who lost interest after learning that despite her free and generous spirit, she couldn’t save them from dullness or narcissism. And in return, they would leave her devastatingly heartbroken.

No… The boy had been more than she could ever imagine, more than she ever thought she deserved.

Then, one day, she told him how he made her feel. The words gushed out of her like the downpour of Niagara Falls. She said she loved him from the moment she looked into his eyes. She said she hoped he could find something in her to love too. She said she didn’t deserve someone like him because no man like him ever liked her. Then, the boy stopped her from talking, kissed her Cupid’s bow mouth, and asked her to join him for dinner.  

They had been inseparable from that night until… 

Perhaps the boy worked too much. Maybe the boy suppressed too much anguish and hate. Perhaps the boy hadn’t gone to get himself checked out when the headaches started because he thought it was just stress. Probably if the boy had… 

Perhaps. 

Just perhaps if he had done something else, anything else… 

I stop squeezing my eyes shut and open them to whisper, “Perhaps the boy would still be alive.” 

***

I’ll be back soon!

Best,
Z