It’s an emotional day for me.
I published my tenth book today. A book I finished writing a year ago. A book in a series that completely changed my life.
I published the first book in this series, Where I Belong, in June 2014. This was the second book I’d ever written, and having only published my first book a month before (Sweet Addiction) I was still very VERY unsure about what I was doing. I knew I loved to write. I knew I needed to write. (I think all writers can relate to this feeling) And I knew I loved this world I created. The Alabama Summer series feels like home to me. I’m comfortable here. I adore these characters, their love for each other, their friendship, but I had no idea if anyone else would like them.
I hit publish. The next week, I hit the New York Times bestsellers list. BEN hit the New York Times bestsellers list. People were actually enjoying this book and telling their friends and leaving me the kindest messages. I was shocked. I still am. I’m just an x-ray tech who wrote stories late at night after her kids went to sleep. I never imagined I’d be here, nearly 3 years later. I never imagined I’d be 5 books into this series. I never imagined I’d have readers who would WAIT for a book after I had to push back a release date more than once.
That killed me, btw. I hated waiting as much as you did. And knowing I disappointed you was heartbreaking. Please know that.
So, here we are. We did it. We waited together and waited some more, and finally, FINALLY, the 5th book in the Alabama Summer series is live. CJ & Riley’s story is my favorite. And I know I say that a lot, and I know you’re thinking “YOU SAY THAT A LOT” but I’m telling you, I’m telling you… CJ is unforgettable. You want a good man? I’m giving you a good man. And the rest of them? They’re all here, waiting for you. Everyone makes an appearance.
If you want more dick me up Reed, hard-edged Luke Evans, mouthy Tessa, Big Ben, sweet Mia, Sir Nolan (and some surprises for our little knight) baby Chasey, Beth Davis from McGills, some brand new characters, and Riley… Riley Girl, I dare you not to fall in love with her. If you want a story that will make you laugh out loud and glare at your significant other thinking “could you PLEASE step up your game?” read this book. Go back to Ruxton with me. Ride the Tully Train. If you haven’t been there yet, you can start now. Right now. What I Need is a complete standalone. It’s my favorite book in this series–a series I want to write forever. Because this is my home. These characters are my family. And 3 years ago, they changed my life.
We did it. WE DID IT. We should hug now, right?
I’m not crying. You’re crying.