Life is a wonderful, beautiful thing. Many of us take it for granted, but it’s over before we know it. That terrifying reality is something I’ve thought about a lot lately. Well, at least since I turned forty. If I live to be in my eighties, my life is half over. Depressing, I know, but I think as we get older and grow closer to the end, it weighs heavier on our minds. It has for me at least.

My kids are growing at the speed of light. Two have already graduated. The younger two are quick on their heels. At the end of this upcoming school year my baby will say goodbye to elementary. My little ones aren’t so little anymore, a painful reality I face everyday. When someone tells you to cherish your babies because they grow up too fast, believe them. It isn’t a lie. Time won’t slow down no matter how much I try to make it. I’m doing my best to savor every moment. I know I’ll blink my eyes and they will be adults, just like their two older siblings.

The point I’m trying to make here is that I don’t want to be old and gray and look back on these years only to realize that I didn’t spend enough time with my kids, that I spent those precious years with my face glued to a computer, driving myself crazy with writing. I do that enough while they’re in school. I can relate my feelings to an Aerosmith song. 

I don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to fall asleep, ’cause I’d miss you baby, and I don’t wanna miss a thing.

Most of my life, I’ve looked to the future, prepared for it, anticipated it. No more. I want to live in the moment. I want to cherish every second I can with my kids. So instead of slaving away in my writing cave this summer, I made the most of it. I unplugged from my imaginary world, took my children on trips, and went to see family we haven’t seen in months. It’s been one of the best summers I’ve had in a long time. 

We writers get caught up in our stories and shut out the world to live in our imaginary one. For the most part, it’s therapeutic, and I’m not discouraging others not to write through the summer. I have a little this year, I just didn’t devote every waking second to it. I did it for the right reasons and I don’t regret my decision, but I still owe my readers an apology. I truly am sorry, and this is my official apology to you.

I know I haven’t released a new book in almost a year and it’s been almost two since the last Soulmate book. There will be more, I promise. But please keep in mind, writers have lives too. We have families that want and need our attention. As much as we would like to stay in our fictional worlds and create the journey for our heros, it isn’t healthy or reality. Believe me, I’m just as anxious to get a new book out.

For the most part, my readers have been understanding. They’ve encouraged me to step back and spend time with my family. But there are those few that do their best to make me feel terrible about not writing. Trust me, I feel bad enough. I don’t need someone leaving snide comments in reviews that they won’t read any more of my books because I take too long to write them. I don’t need them sending similar messages to my email or Facebook.

Now, I know some readers are just excited to get the next book because they’re heavily invested in the story. I understand these readers and I want them to know that I appreciate their patience. But to the select few who are ugly about it, tough shit. I’m not a speed writer. I’m not going to slap a story together and publish it just to satisfy someone. I put everything into my books so they will be high quality. 

Soulmate’s storyline has grown so complex, it takes time to write, not to mention the fact that I’m nearing the end of this series and trying to tie up loose ends. It takes time. I know my super fans understand this. I want my other fans to understand too. I love you all, but I love my family more. Isn’t that the way it should be? 

On a positive note, my kids start school next week, so I’ll be back in my cave, making magic. The books are coming. I promise. Thank you for patience. 

In the next couple of months, I’ll be sharing more info and teasers for Soulmate 5. What is your number one question about the next installment? Who is your favorite secondary character?

Stay tuned. I have more coming soon. Hugs and love to you, and thank you for reading my books.