Sunday Oct 22, 2023 Author’s Update!

Greetings from Z!

I feel as if I should’ve made this post five days ago. I’m just so far behind, but it’s not because I’m that busy. I think after finishing my last book, I’ve been emotionally weary. I truly gave that story my all. And now, I need a long break.

Anyway, just so you know, Once Upon An Unrequited Love will be released in two days, October 24th, as planned!

So get ready to read!

The current book covers for the series will change though. I was late in commissioning covers from one of the best cover artists out there – Najla Qambar. OMG, she’s so talented and highly professional. Her process is like a well-oiled machine. I’ve been doing this for twelve years, and to finally do business with a cover artist like her is very refreshing.

The first cover that will be changed is Once Upon A One-Night Stand. I should have the final version in a few days. Even though Once Upon An Unrequited Love releases in two days, the cover will probably change by the end of the week or next week.

But I made the current covers. My goal was to capture a mood, but my covers pale in comparison to Najla’s. I mean… Like, Wow. But mine are perfectly fine. Plus, it’s what’s between the covers that matter, right? LOL.

Although I’ll wait until I receive her cover to publish the paperback. 

Anyway, I plan to add my LOVE in the USA series to the Books and Series tab. It was my first series, and it’s very spicy. But I was reading through some of the books this weekend, and now I can finally identify what makes them special. 

I consider the Love in the USA series very interactive, meaning it’s written to make the reader experience exactly what the characters are going through. Your feet are on the ground. I think that’s why earlier versions met so much resistance. There are people in our society who think reality revolves around their belief systems and that fiction should depict their sense of reality. I find that to be true with romance readers more than any other genre. That fact has been very disconcerting.

I think, though, with Romancing The Boss and Billionaire, and especially with Once Upon An Unrequited Love, I’ve come full circle per se. 

When writing the book, I felt as if I wasn’t here as I crafted the story on paper or in my head. I felt as if I could escape to my characters’ reality. I haven’t written such escapism, free of the criticism of those vocal romance readers who want to shove our world into their boxes, until my final book in the series. And it felt so good. So freeing. 

I’m very proud of Once Upon An Unrequited Love. And I’m confident you will enjoy it. I just did me – period. And I’ll be doing ME for the remainder of my writing career.

Alrighty! I shall start the process of cramming five days of undone work into the twenty-four hours. Sigh…

I’ll be back soon!

Oh, and have you read the Prologue? I’ve published it in a few different places, but I’ll add it below just in case you missed it. 

I didn’t want to release chapter sneak peeks of this book. I feel it has to be consumed – no stopping and waiting for the rest because each paragraph informs the next and the next, building until the crescendo, which is the last word of the book.

But the Prologue, you can read it now.

Prologue

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.”