concerning Breaking Angelina and beta readers

We finished our first draft of Breaking Angelina! And we edited our third, fourth, fifth ... and finally sent it out to beta readers. We got the cover. We've ordered bookmarks. And we've set the release date for Dec 3rd. We've got a party scheduled and a releease day blitz. We've got a sign up form for ARC copies. I can't believe this day is almost here!

First there was a feeling of UTTER ELATION when I realized we were almost done with Breaking Angelina, as if this heavy weight had suddenly lifted from my shoulders.

Then there was the CRASH AND BURN as we buckled down to finish the last scenes and edit, edit, edit. I think we each went through the entire story 5 times before we were satisfied it was ready for beta-readers.

This is the first project TJ and I have written together (and actually finished). This is his first author experience, and he’s really nervous. This is my 8th book (including short stories, novellas, and anthologies), but only my 2nd full-length novel. And I’m just as nervous.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the stage fright, the worry about whether I’ve missed some glaring detail, the fear that people won’t like something. And I confess Breaking Angelina has some dark, dirty moments people might not like. Especially since Playing Hooky was fun and light and sweet. Breaking Angelina may not be what people are expecting.

Too much sex? Not enough sex? Too much violence? Not enough character development? Unlikable characters? Plot holes? Boring plot? Stilted writing? Did TJ and I blend our styles well enough?

But with all these self doubts swirling through my head, I have to say we’ve written the RIGHT story. I just hope we find the right audience.

Breaking Angelina is so much bigger than the story I had originally planned it to be. By adding my husband to the writing process, the story quadrupled in size. He added plot complexity and character depth I couldn’t do on my own. And because of this, Breaking Angelina won’t be like any other New Adult book I’ve read.

Angelina is a complex character. She has a vibrant core of strength and often stands up for the underdog, but she has no idea how to stand up for herself against the Voices in her head. Especially since she can’t escape her personal demons who know how to manipulate her emotions.

Truth is, we all have a little of Angelina in us. We all have personal demons who manipulate our thoughts and whisper lies in our ears. Angelina’s story is much like our own story. We all have a brokenness inside us that we have to overcome. This is why we’ve written the right story: because it is our story.

While we wait for feedback from beta-readers, we’ve taken a two-week hiatus from writing. It’s kinda nice to take a breath of fresh air, read some books (I’ve read at least 6 so far), and relax on the couch. I’m almost feeling social again. Almost feeling ALIVE!

And I’m already planning some new stories. TAKING CHANCES is 50% complete. Two good months, and we’ll be done. WooHoo! To be released early next year.

I’ve also got some short stories for side characters to work on while we take a break from the PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION series. RILEY will be the first short story and has a cover already!!! I sooooo love this cover, and I even made it myself. Riley is a character that you’ll meet in Breaking Angelina, and as she is a doppelganger, she will be a lot of fun to write.

We also have a New Adult dystopian project called SYMBIOTE to work on next year. I’m not sure if this will be a really long stand-alone or a trilogy. Either way, this one is going to rock your socks off.

I have a list of books and stories I want to write that stretches at least two years long.

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