It seems just a few short weeks ago that I wrote a blog article called “The Promise of 2012” and now that year has flown by. Before I start looking forward to 2013, I'd like to take a few minutes and share some of my happiest and saddest moments of 2012.
In January I wrote that 2012 promised to be a very exciting year and it most certainly was. As an author I achieved a level of success I previously thought somewhere in the distant future. In the fourth quarter of the year Bent Pine Publishing enrolled four of my five books in the Amazon KDP Select program, which meant they became eligible for special promotions and could be borrowed from the Kindle Lending Library. The results were astounding.
An Amazon Bestseller Spans the Globe
In the first promotion, Spare Change was downloaded by over 42,000 Kindle owners and traveled as far as Australia. But that was only the start of it. A year after being published Spare Change became a #1 Amazon Bestseller in the category of Historical Fiction. It has now garnered over 160 reviews on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.5 stars and an additional 250+ reviews on Goodreads it rapidly became a reader favorite. But when the reviews started coming in, little did I know the best was yet to come.
Many of those who read and reviewed Spare Change made comments indicating that they planned to seek out more of my work…and that's precisely what they did. Since all four of my novels are in the same category, they crossed the single book borders and propelled me to an Amazon Author Rank as high as #7 in the Literary Fiction Genre.
A New Face for an Old Favorite
Cracks in the Sidewalk, the one novel based on a true story got a new face, and what a face it is. A little boy with eyes so blue they can melt your heart. Sales of this book continued to grow throughout the year and although the sadness of reality seeps from every page, it continues to be a book club favorite.
In March, Bent Pine Publishing released Life in the Land of IS…the Amazing Story of Lani Deauville, the World's Longest Living Quadriplegic. This book is a memoir that I wrote working with Lani and what a wonderful experience that was.
In May The Twelfth Child was released and it was followed by a Virtual Book Tour in the fall. Bloggers fell in love with the book and with over 40 reviews it's holding at 4.7 stars. Two Amazon Vine Voices (top reviewers) gave the book a thumbs-up five-star review.
In October, Cupid's Christmas hit the market running. This story of love at any age and a rescued pooch has been dubbed a five-star favorite by well over half of all reviewers. With close to 50 reviews on Amazon, the book has a 4.6 star rating. Adding to the joy of seeing this book so well-liked, is the joy of knowing that part of the proceeds goes to the Treasure Coast Humane Society.
This was a banner year for both Spare Change and Life in the Land of IS. In the first quarter of 2012 Spare Change won the Reviewer's Choice First Place Award for Fiction, the Reader Views Award for Regional Fiction, and the Jack Eadon Award for Contemporary Fiction. In the summer it was a Finalist in the Book Bundlz Competition and in the last quarter Spare Change received the FPA President's Book Award Silver Medal.
Life in the Land of IS won the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal and took First Place in the Royal Palm Literary Award Competition.
This year I grew as an author and it is in part because of two very special people who I've brought on board. The first is Ekta Garg, a wonderful editor who doesn't try to change the down-home voice of my characters, but cleans up all those nasty little typos and punctuation errors. The second is Danille Benson, a formatter par excellence – with Dani formatting the e-books, uploads take minutes rather than days. My 2013 will assuredly be easier and a lot more fun because of these two wonderful gals.
Some Weighty Sorrows
2012 was unfortunately a year that brought two great sorrows. In the summer, just months after Life in the Land of IS was published, my dear friend Lani Deauville passed away due to a freak accident. Over the many months of working on her memoir, we became so much more than colleagues, we became friends…best friends. I miss her more than words can say.
And then in October we lost our dear sweet Katie. For the unlikely few who may not have heard me talk about her, or who have not read stories of her, or seen pictures of her sitting on my lap…Katie was a rescued Bichon who not only came into our home, but also came into our hearts. She brought joy to every day and gave the unconditional love that only a dog is capable of giving. In time we will get another dog. Not a dog to replace Katie, for none could ever do that, but a dog to fill some of the emptiness Katie left behind.
In the Spring What Matters Most will be released. It's a laugh-out-loud fun story about enduring friendships and adapting to change. After that I'll be busy at work on the sequel to Spare Change. Ethan Allen was just such a wonderful character, he simply refuses to leave my heart. And then there is the question of the lost bonds in The Twelfth Child…I can't possibly let that go without a final closure.
Right now, it looks like 2013 is going to be a pretty busy year. I'm already imagining pages filled with wonderful words, heart-warming stories, a much-needed vacation with hubby, and a new dog.