Happy New Year, at last!

As I look back on the year, 2016 was both good and hard for me.

There’s been far more good than hard, though.

Good things:

I turned in two books: Due Diligence and Daily Grind, proving to myself that I could write two books in a year’s time.

Due Diligence came out in July and I’m really proud of that book. I know Just Business is more of a favorite for most people, but lovely, screwed up Fazil and his issues with self-worth are near and dear to my heart. As is the exploration of how we view our pasts and what we did, especially when we find out that maybe things weren’t quite what we thought.

I finally wrote my epilogue to Takeover. I still have a bunch of other Takeover shorts to write, but that was one I’d been wanting to get done for a while.

I contracted to write a poly romance for Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay series. It should come out in October of 2017, and is tentatively titled Outside the Lines.

I blurbed a book! That was wicked cool! I ended up being ask to blurb Lilah Pace’s His Royal Secret and wow, what a good duology.

I went to New York and met C.S. Pacat (of Captive Prince fame) and hung out with Elyse Springer in May. The most magical thing of all was that El and me saw Hamilton because I somehow miraculously won the lottery. I still can’t believe it!

I started reading again, because I realized I hadn’t been and I missed it. It’s like a brain cleanse that helps me with my writing. I read a lot of paranormal m/m. I read all of KJ Charles’s Charm of Magpie books, and I’m working my way through both Jordan L Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffen books and Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop books. They’ve all made me want to get back to my own paranormal world of Close Quarter. Yes. I promise.

And because of that, I resurrected an urban fantasy I’d been working on, spruced up the six chapters I’d written, wrote a synopsis and gave it to my agent to see if I should stick it back in the trunk or not. It’s set in the same world as Close Quarter, but different characters and no romance. It stars one of the first characters my head ever came up with.

I came out as bi and genderfluid to my family. It went well. I’m all over the place on pronouns, though I do know I really hate Ms. And Ma’am. But other than that, I’m fine. I actually have different pronouns listed in different spaces, so whatever. When/if I settle, I’ll let yinz know.

I lost ten pounds this year and am pretty much where I want to be weight-wise now. It feels like I lost lot more, but I think it’s mainly because all my fat shifted around or vanished. People kept asking me if I was okay, because my face suddenly got much thinner and I dropped from a size 12 woman’s to a loose 10 (I’m 30 x 32 men’s) and I guess they were afraid I was sick…but I’m not much lighter than I was? It’s weird

I bought my first suit. I’ve also been wearing masc close to work, which has been wonderful. I finally feel more like me.

Things that were rough:

Daily Grind’s release got pushed back from December to February. Not my fault. Just something that happens, but it was still a blow.

I’ve been more up and down emotionally. It’s perimenopause, basically. No one says it’s kind of like reverse puberty, but it’s kind of like reverse puberty and it sucks. I’m doing a lot more self-care and I’ve been going to a councilor. My mom says I’ll feel a lot better once I’m on the other side of it.

I ended up at the ER twice, once for a bad reaction to a medicine (that I am no longer taking) and once because of weird heart palpitations, but the upshot is that I’m fine. I just need to be less stressed. (See also self-care and councilor.)

I’m still figuring out the whole genderqueer thing and what it means (like, the sudden realization that I’m trans was a shock). I’m still trying to find my way around me sometimes. It’s complex. I’m happy, though.

Goals for 2017:

I said this on Twitter, but I really only have two goals for next year:

  • Finish three books.
  • Stop comparing my career to anyone else’s.

The first will require me writing a lot, but I can do it.

The second is so much harder, but I really really need to accomplish it for my own mental well-being. I can’t be anyone other than myself and holding myself up to other people’s successes isn’t useful.

There’s always going to be someone who sells more. Is better at promo. Is on every list ever put out there, etc. It’s something I learned while driving—there’s always someone driving faster than you. Safest thing is to let ‘em pass and find their own way.

So that’s my major goal for next year. Drive my career and stop worrying about the people who are seemingly zipping past me. Because you know what? I’ve done really well for myself.

My books are good. People like them. And honestly, that’s what matters. I want to write more books that people like and get ‘em into your hands.

Happy 2017. May it kick 2016 in the ass.

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About the ARe Closing

So, if you haven’t heard… All Romance eBooks is closing rather abruptly, not paying authors and publishers their full royalties, and taking down their site at midnight December 31, 2016.

For full details, this is a good post from Smart Bitches:

If you have proof of pre-ordering Daily Grind from ARe, email me at annazaboauthor-at-gmail-dot-com. Because I don’t think ARe is going to give you your money back and I’d rather you not pay twice for the book, so I’ll buy another copy for you from another vendor once it goes live.

Delay in Releasing Daily Grind

Due to some circumstances, my publisher and I have pushed back the release of Daily Grind. I just got edits for the book, and rather than rush through them, I’m going to take time to get the book out right so you have the best novel I can deliver to you.

The new release date is February 21, 2017.

Daily Grind means a lot to me, so I really want to put it out right. Moving the release also gives the publisher’s marketing department time to market the book and get it out to all the bloggers and reviewers.

I apologize for the delay. I’m bummed too, but sometime you’ve got to do what’s right for the book.

More Vignettes from the Takeover Series

Just a quick post if you didn’t see my tweets or Facebook posts…

I have two more vignettes from the Takeover series!

The first one is New Beginnings, a 1200-word snippet of Rob (from the upcoming Daily Grind) as he enters into life in Pittsburgh. It’s my October guest post over at Alpha Book Club. This one is SFW.

The second is Takeover: A Private Merger,  an 8500-word short of Sam and Michael that takes place directly after Takeover (the first novel). It is very NSFW.

Enjoy!

Giveaway for Pre-Orders of Daily Grind

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ETA: The release date for Daily Grind has been moved back to Feb 21, 2017, but this giveaway is still running! I’ve just changed the date I’m drawing the winner.

It’s less than three months before Daily Grind comes out! Woo! Right now, there’s a special pre-order price for Daily Grind of $1.99. Once it goes on sale, it’ll be $3.99, which is still a good price for a book that long.

How long is it? Weeeeeellllll, it’s about 98,000 words. That’s 5,000 words longer than Due Diligence, more or less.

So $1.99 is a great price. But I want to sweeten the deal a bit.

For those of you that pre-order Daily Grind before December 6th, and send me proof or purchase (with any personal info you don’t want me seeing blotted out), I’ll enter you into a drawing for the very last paper ARC I have of Just Business and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

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And I’m going to annotate the copy of Just Business…but with sticky notes, ’cause I am psychologically unable to write in books. Plus, to be honest, I make a lot of mistakes writing by hand, so I want the ability to do-over. And you want me to have that too, trust me.

I’ll point out my favorite scenes and why I wrote some things and little random facts about the book.

And for this, I’ll take international entries. (Though, I’m not sure the Starbucks card will work abroad.)

To enter, email me at annazaboauthor –at– gmail dot com with the subject Daily Grind Entry (so I can filter ’em and not lose ’em) and include your proof of purchase. Remember to blot out any personal info! I’ll tally the number and use random.org to pick a winner.

You can order from any retailer. There are some pre-order links on the Daily Grind Book Page.

I’ll announce the winner on December 13th. February 28th. Good luck!

ETA: It occurs to me that I can’t do a giveaway without including a no-purchase option (oops), so if you email me at the same address and let me know why you’d like an annotated version of Just Business, I’ll enter you as well.

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Some Brian for you

So, we’re a little less than three months away from the release of Daily Grind!

I’m so excited to share this book with you. Brian’s story is close to my heart, partly because there’s some of my story hidden in the pages.

I have some offerings for you that I posted at the Alpha Book Club to whet your appetite for a little caffeine infused fun.

First up is a little vignette between Justin and Eli…and Brian at Grounds N’at: Spice of Life

Next is the (unedited) first chapter of Daily Grind!

I hope you enjoy both!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be putting together a couple of giveaways, planning a blog tour, and getting into all kinds of trouble. Stay tuned!

 

Two Pieces of News!

The first is that Just Business is a finalist for the Passionate Plume contest! That’s the yearly contest put on by the Passionate Ink chapter of the RWA. It’s a specialty chapter for erotic romance. I’m super excited to be a finalist!

The winners will be announced at the RWA Nationals in San Diego…which sadly, I will not be at.

The other piece of news is that Iggy Toma will be recording the audio book of Daily Grind! I’m also super excited about that! I love what he’s brought to the Takeover books, and I can’t wait to hear his Rob!

Due Diligence, and what’s next!

It’s been almost three weeks since Due Diligence was released. I want to thank everyone who had read the book and everyone who’s reviewed it. As I said on Twitter, this includes readers who didn’t enjoy the book or who DNFed it for whatever reason. I appreciate the time readers take to enter my little worlds and I think all reviews serve to help readers choose the best books.

I have (of course) a lot of love for Fazil and Todd. I’m over the moon that I got a starred review from Library Journal for this one. It’s kinda neat to see that little star there!

I also did a few guest blogs recently:

On the next book front, Daily Grind has been turned into my editor! I will say that it’s far less angsty than Due Diligence. There’s still some of that, of course, ’cause it’s me writing, but it’s more or less a coffee AU set in the Takeover universe. Except it’s not AU, since the whole thing is, you know, the same universe.

I’ve called it my bi-for-you book, and it’s that, too. Brian finally deciding to do something about the sexual attraction he’s felt for men when a handsome British ginger with a stunning smile breezes into the coffeeshop one day…

Which brings me to a quick note for reviewers: If you’re a book blogger or reviewer and you want to know more about my releases, when ARCs will come out, tour info, and any of that kind of thing, I have a review blogger mailing list now! Please sign up.

So, what am I working on now? Well, I’ve written up a synopsis for a rock star romance! This one will be on the BDSM side, ’cause rockers and rope, what’s not to love?

I’m also finishing up a synopsis on another Takeover book…this one about Rasheed. Yeah, him. You might remember him as the jerk who broke Michael’s heart…

Speaking of Michael…and Sam, I’ve also been working on little stories that explain what happened with William after Takeover. I’ve also slowly been exploring Michael and Eli’s past relationship…and how Eli ended up working for Sam. When I have some of those in a good condition, I’ll be posting them here. So stay turned.

Oh! I nearly forgot! I’m writing a Bluewater Bay book for Riptide. More on that later.

Anyway, that’s a really long update! Thanks for reading the whole thing! ❤️

Due Diligence is out! Plus giveaway!

It’s June 21, 2016! That means Due Diligence is FINALLY OUT! Hurrah!

Due Diligence cover

For your convenience, here are the buy links:

I really hope you all enjoy Fazil and Todd’s story. It’s been a long time in coming and a long wait since Just Business.

 

In celebration of Due Diligence’s release, I’m hosting a give away! Just comment on this post and tell me your favorite moment in any of my books. That’s it! I’ll randomly select a winner and ship you stuff. Yes, even internationally. (Gulp)

Here’s what one lucky winner will get:

  • One very rare copy of the Just Business paper ARC. There were 10 printed. Five went to RITA judges. I got the other five. So, yeah, there aren’t too many of ’em.
  • A glass caffeine molecule mug, perfect for hot beverages. In one scene, Todd wears the t-shirt that matches this mug.
  • One 20-sided die necklace (complete with a red D20 that can be removed). In honor of the red D20 Todd and Fazil use. Mmmhmm. Probably like you think they might.
  • One Ten dollar Starbucks gift card. The book’s set in Seattle, so this is kind of a requirement.
  • One InterMix drop card with samples from InterMix authors. This was a promo item from RT Booklovers, and has a sample of Due Diligence…but also samples from a ton of other authors.

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I’ll probably throw in some other swag, too, like a Just Business button featuring Eli and Justin. I have to see what I have. So that bit will be a surprise.

Happy release day! And THANK YOU for being here with me!