Whoa! It’s been a year? Seriously? I can’t believe that it was one year ago today that I opened the door and stood silently aside as I watched Clay, Hailey, Laine, Shack, and all the others venture out into the big, bad world all alone without me there to protect them. When I wrote all of these stories, including Taming Clay, I never realized that the day would come that I would have to let them go just like a child. Since Taming Clay was the first to leave the nest, it was especially traumatic for me. As long as they were right here with me, I could keep them safe. Nobody could make fun of them or criticize them. Nobody could ridicule their choices or try to make light of the reasons they are the way they are. And I know that there are bullies out there on the playground. I know that there are those who specialize in making sure that the playing field is not level. And I know that there are those who seem to have no purpose in life but to try to dig dirt out from beneath any kind of foundation you try to build. What I didn’t know was whether or not there was anywhere out there where they could find shelter, a place where they would be welcome with open arms and open hearts. But I do now.
I am so grateful for each and every one of the 65,293 people so far who have purchased either a print copy or downloaded a Kindle copy by buying, borrowing, or picking it up for free during a promotion. Thanks to each of you Taming Clay has landed on the Amazon Best Seller list more than once and is consistently listed as one of the top-rated books in the Western Romance genre for Kindle books.
Yes, the bullies are still out there. No the playing field still isn’t level. Who cares? All that matters is that I know that their story touched people. If an artist or an author can touch one person with something they created, something that came from inside of them, then what could be a better definition of success? Over the past year, Clay and Hailey have received some horrendous reviews that I cried over, some middle of the road reviews that I shrugged my shoulders over, and some really rave reviews that made me dance around the room. I’ve since learned to read the bad and middle of the road ones, take what I can from them if they provide anything to be learned and then let them go. For the rave reviews, I still dance around the room, but I’ve also learned to keep my feet on the ground now… well, most of the time.
It’s been a wild year. There have been many ups and downs, a lot of starts and stops, and a lot of mistakes coupled with a lot of learning. There were many days filled with hope and excitement and a lot of days that were filled with wondering if I should give up. There were days when I thought I wouldn’t have any choice when my health took a drastic path and there were days after that when I didn’t think I wanted to do it anymore. But I am continuing. Josh and Cass in Red Says I Love You will be making that one year mark in a couple of months. For The Seven Brothers of Elko, Jake is patiently waiting for Davis to join them. As for Brinley patiently waiting… ummmm, not so much I think as I listen to her foot tapping in the background accompanied by the occasional “Oh, good grief. Just get on with it.” sigh.
Shush, girl. I’m working on it. So now I should get back to it. I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank each and every one of you and tell you how very much you are appreciated. I am truly blessed to have all of you in my corner.
Happy Birthday to Taming Clay, and Happy Reading!