That is, it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m a week out from the release of Daily Grind, and I’m sitting in my PJs on a couch in a villa in Spain. Yesterday, I visited the Alhambra, which is a pretty magical place. And yes, I had coffee from the cafe there. The coffee here is nice and reminds me of the coffee in Italy.
It seems to be a thing with me and traveling right before a book release. I was flying home from London the day Takeover came out, and I’ll be heading home from Spain the day before Daily Grind releases.
There’s already been some very nice reviews of Daily Grind, and I’m so happy people are connecting with the book. All my books are special to me, but this one in particular is probably the most me of my books. It’s also the most Pittsburgh. But I’ll end up covering that during the blog tour
Ah yes, there’s going to be a blog tour for Daily Grind! I’ll be posting links to those posts when I have them. If you want to read the first chapter, I’ve posted that on the book page for Daily Grind. You’ll also find links to the places you can pre-order the book.
Oh! It’ll also be coming out in audio at the same time, so if you’d prefer the audio book, you can pre-order from Audible, too.
That’s it from me for now. I’ll leave you with a view of Granada from the gardens above the Alhambra.
As I look back on the year, 2016 was both good and hard for me.
There’s been far more good than hard, though.
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’sHis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!