I just read my past two blogs to see how badly I put my foot in my mouth. Pretty bad, huh? Sigh. My family says I jinx everything. Every year I say it’s gonna be amazing and… it hasn’t been sunshine and roses for a long time. This year is no exception.

First off, I hope you’re all doing okay. Me? I’m damn happy I left the mainland when I did and am in self-isolation in Hawaii rather than Las Vegas. My sister is still in Vegas and it’s been impacted hard by this pandemic. I also have another sister in Oregon and a brother in Washington. I used to put off going to the store until I literally had nothing left in my fridge. My siblings were like, “You wouldn’t survive this if you were on your own.” They’re probably right. Thank God I moved home when I did and have family members who get stir-crazy and need to get out of the house and buy whatever we need while I happily hibernate. I love being a hermit, but I admit that if I was still living in a complex and everyone was home, I might have lost my shit. So, I’m happy my family has a property where I can lay on my pink lawn chair in the warm sun and breathe fresh air without worrying about social distancing.

After six months, I have finally settled in. Unpacked, switched my car registration and addresses over, and gotten used to the unpredictability of friends and family dropping by with no warning and turning my perfectly planned day into complete and utter chaos. The first three months I was home, I worked from 10pm to 4am. Those seemed to be my golden hours, but that’s slowly shifting to more normal hours as we transition into summer.

In the six months that I’ve been home it’s been nonstop madness, but I knew it would be. During the holidays, my mom got shingles, which is extremely painful. Thankfully, she’s recovered and better than ever. In February, my 5-year-old nephew came to stay with us for a month (right before this pandemic happened) and at the same time one of my uncle’s passed suddenly. COVID-19 hit as all my relatives were flying in from the mainland. We weren’t sure whether to gather or not in my uncle’s honor and everyone was afraid of getting stuck here, so it was an hour by hour update of who was going to be where. All of the hotels on the coast have closed, leaving many unemployed. There’s a 14 day quarantine even if you’re flying inter-island. Everything’s been cancelled or postponed until further notice. It’s been… indescribable.

It’s been a very trying time for all of us, adjusting to all of these sudden and drastic changes. I kept thinking this is some people’s worse fear–a viral, lethal outbreak. My writer’s mind has been sparking like crazy. After all, this is stuff we see in movies or read in books. I never thought I’d live through something like this. Unprecedented is the word that keeps coming to my mind. There aren’t words to explain the impact this pandemic has had on the world. The uncertainty is something we’re learning to live with. I heard someone mention today that it’s forced us all to reset and I couldn’t agree more. This has made me step back and look at how I live and be grateful for the little things in life.

This may sound silly, but writing during a pandemic felt frivolous and wrong. Like, people are suffering and you’re writing a romance? I should be doing something important and practical, right? I should watch the news and try to hunt down toilet paper and soap and stock up on medicine rather than retreat into an imaginary world when others don’t have that leisure. At first, I was so consumed by what was going on and the gravity of it that I had trouble focusing. I was talking to a friend about this and she snapped me out of my melancholy. She said, “You feeling sorry for those people and punishing yourself for it isn’t going to help them.” Well, damn. Ok. Ever since she said that, I’ve stopped feeling guilty for being fortunate enough to be safe at home with my family and pushed forward with my project.

Which leads me to Book 5, the conclusion to Carmen’s story. I’m in the last quarter of this monster. It’s a damn beast. Like, Harry Potter size! Carmen is basically getting her own trilogy crammed into two books. I kept trying find short cuts to get to the nasty (good) stuff sooner, but no can do. We have to take the scenic route and I hope you guys enjoy the ride.

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Every time I think I know this world, I write a new book in it and realize I’ve only skimmed the surface. Each book changes my perspective and drags me deeper. Whatever outlines I had were shredded as Carmen and the others took hold of this story. Writing strong characters is like trying to walk five Great Dane’s. Good luck, buddy. I always feel like I’m digging in my heels and yanking on the reins and end up facedown in the mud. I cry and whine and eventually get back up and try again. There’s a lot of uncertainty and, “What the hell are you guys doing? Don’t you know everybody’s waiting?” I’ve learned to be patient, work steadily, and let the story unfold at it’s own pace. I used to write sporadically, a binge writer that writes fast and furious or not at all. That seems to have changed. Since I’ve come home I’ve been on a writing streak! I’ve written every single day since January 11, which is unheard of for me. You guys will see the fruits of my labor once Carmen’s book comes out! I’ve also worked on some other future projects that I’ll release after the Singed Series. Wink wink.

Carmen’s still hell on heels. I never know what she’s going to do or say. So far, this book has made me laugh, cry, swear, sweat, and ponder many things. This book really puts a spotlight on the characters and examines their pasts and how it’s molded them into who they are.  There’s a lot of breadcrumbs in this story  for future books, which resulted in an insane amount of notes. Oh, God, don’t get me started!

Book 6 has intersecting plots and timelines with book 5 so I’m writing them back to back and will be releasing them close together. I’ll be announcing the pre-order in the coming weeks and include a hefty scene so you guys have an idea of what you’re in for. I can’t wait for you guys to read Carmen’s conclusion!

As for the Singed Series, Bitter Heat is currently FREE on all retailers through June 4, 2020:

Retailers: Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Barnes& Noble, 24 Symbols

And I’ve put up a pre-order for Bitter Secrets:

One year as Mrs. James Roth and her family can keep their birthright and she’ll be free of him forever… If she can survive him and the bitter secrets he’s hiding.

Retailers: Amazon, iBooks, Barnes&Noble, Kobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Melanie Casper on May 25, 2020 at 11:52 am

    I am beyond ecstatic for ALL of your new books to be released! Can’t wait for the conclusion of Carmen’s story along with Bitter Heat!!! You are by far, and will always be my favorite author. When you read a book, the goal is always to find an author that gives you that feeling…the feeling like You are the person in the book. You feel of their pain, happiness, and anger! That is when you know you have found a true author that knows how to write! I have been an avid reader all my life and have enjoyed every single one of your books that I keep coming back to re-read through them just to feel as the characters feel again. Thank you for continuing to do what you love! For us readers, we LOVE everything you write! Also, happy to hear you are settling in and are staying healthy during these trying times.

  2. Renee Contreras on May 25, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Anticipation…!!

    • Carolyn on May 31, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      I just re-read The Crime Lord Series this weekend after coming across Bitter Heat then reading it and absolutely loving it. I was hoping Carmens conclusion was out already. So disappointed it wasn’t. I am So addicted to that series and I love each and every character. These books capture everything that I love in a story strong, dark at times and extremely sexy.
      Yes, these are trying times for all of us. Please don’t discount your value to your readers. During times like these being able to escape into a well written, captivating story is truly priceless. Please don’t stop! Absolutely fixated on Carmens conclusion. Stay well and safe!

  3. Michelle Smith on May 25, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Mia
    Reading this is heart wrenching. This pandemic has hit us all hard. I lost a cousin. My condolences to you in the loss of your family member.

    I live in NY but fortunate enough to be able to work from home and just stay in….most of the time. I have a special needs child so I don’t take him out at all. I go out for meds and groceries sometimes but get most things delivered.

    I’m ecstatic to read all the coming books. I was hopi g for a little teaser *wink

    God bless you. Write til your hearts content. We will be here waiting with baited breathe lol

  4. Ramona Cabrera on May 26, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    I have been looking forward to the rest of Carmen’s story. I’m patient because I’ve been in your shoes before, moving and trying to get settled and it is so understandable that other things hit the fan.

    Yeah, my mom had shingles a couple of years ago and she was so uncomfortable. I’ve had it twice and don’t even want it again. I’m sorry for the loss of your uncle. Such a shame.

    I’m so excited to read Carmen’s story. I can’t even tell you how much. Love your writing.

    Take care, be safe.

  5. Marisa McKinney on May 29, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    I absolutely cannot wait till Bitter Secrets is released! I have read Bitter Heat multiple times and it’s one of my favorites. As much as I would love it done now, take your time and write at your own pace.

    My condolences for your loss. I lost my grandmother last month so I know what you’re going through. I wasn’t able to fly up and see her one last time so it’s been rough. Glad to see you are settled and writing again.

  6. Jennifer Vi on May 29, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Can’t wait to read the last part of this series, waiting patiently, Covid 19 has affected alot of people and their lives, but being under lock down and reading takes your mind away for a moment to read stories that make you not want to put your down your book and focus on that instead of what is really going on around you. When you are as prepared as can be you help others around you its human nature to lend a hand.

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