Reeling from Release/Relief
The past few weeks have been chock-full of such highs and lows I’m not sure who I am anymore (Oh, yeah. I am two people, Maggie Robinson and Margaret Rowe, LOL. Confusion is understandable.). What began as a totally terrifying end of April has smoothed out to a very mellow May.
Why? On Saturday, April 24, I brought my husband to the emergency room at 7 AM. By 7 PM, he was in the OR having a tumor and part of his colon removed. The doctor sat with me and my oldest daughter around midnight, talking about chemo and radiation, and a future operation six months from now to reattach his plumbing.
By Monday the diagnosis had changed miraculously from cancer to an unnamed gremlin mass which had twisted and tormented everything inside, resulting in a diseased colon.
On Tuesday–release day for Mistress by Mistake–I bought a house. Yup, while John lay seriously stoned in his hospital room I put a deposit on something we looked at before he got sick. I was totally operating on the “Life is short” mode, and after watching my kids try to put together a dinner for me in my tiny kitchen Sunday night, I knew we all needed a change.
I spent the rest of the week not sleeping and wondering if I could do what I needed to do. By Friday we were home, my big strong ex-jock husband lying in bed quietly while I suited up in rubber gloves.
I could hardly pay attention to the book release stuff–I had posted my guest blogs early and my fabulous critique partners Elyssa Papa, J.K. Coi, Tiffany Clare and other equally fabulous writing friends were running my Twitter contests, giving books away, and generally cheering me on. I will never, ever be able to express how much I appreciate everything they did. There are not enough words.
Mistress by Mistake has gotten some great reviews. It’s one of the books on the Dear Author Recommends for May list. Five blue ribbons from Romance Junkies. Other good stuff too. Kensington made it available for free downloads and I was actually #1 in Historical Romance on Kindle, and #4 overall for a while. Free is the magic word. Mentioned in the L.A. Times. Surreal.
Got my first slam on Amazon to prick my balloon, though. I know, I know. You’re not supposed to read them. One star, and nearly ALL the plot revealed. Why, thank you for downloading the free book and then complaining so eloquently. But in the grand scheme of things, a disgruntled reader can’t affect me right now. My husband is going to be okay, knock wood, and I can depend on my four children who have turned out to be caring, loving, funny adults. Any dread I had about negative reviews is now firmly put into perspective. Not that I’m asking for more. But if they come, so be it. I’m going with the flow.
So maybe release day wasn’t quite as I planned. Much of life never turns out quite how you expect it to. But I feel we’ve been given a gift, a second chance. And since I get a second debut next month with Margaret Rowe’s Tempting Eden, maybe things will be a little different next time around.