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Why the wait for The Ghost and the Church Lady?

Many of my readers have asked why the long wait for the next Haunting Danielle book. I typically release four Haunting Danielle books a year, but the last couple have been spaced farther apart, and the next one won’t be released until the latter part of January. Why? my readers ask.

The answer is simple. Life has been giving me other demands I need to deal with, which have been taking a great deal of my time. One is my 93-year-old mother, who lives with us. Mom suffered a stroke the end of 2019. Since then, she has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, and I’ve become her full-time caregiver.

But Mom is not the reason for the date of my next release. While she is a contributing factor, there are other issues at play.

First, we are moving—leaving our home of some 17 years in Arizona and heading to Oregon, to be closer to our son and his wife—and closer to an airport which will make visits with our daughter and her family much easier. Plus, I will be closer to Walt and Danielle.

Next week Mom will be going to my sister’s house in Morro Bay, California, where she will be staying for a month, until we get settled in our new home. Then my sister will be driving Mom up to us.  The movers are arriving around September 7th, and after they pack up the house, Don and I, along with the pups, Danny and Lily, will be heading for our new home in Oregon in our motorhome.

To make things more exciting—we have never seen the place in person. Crazy, right? Yet our son and daughter-in-law have seen it, and the Realtor who helped us is a childhood friend of mine. We realized if we wanted to make this move, it would be impossible to go property hunting so far away, during a pandemic and with my mother.

Another reason I must push the next book out farther—I need a knee replacement. Several months ago, I went to the doctor to check on my knee, which kept going out. He told me I need a new one.  My husband had a knee replacement, so I am aware of what I’m facing, along with the time involved. 

It was impossible to get the knee done before our move, so I got the injections to hold me over until surgery. At first, they seem to work great, but recently, my knee goes into this spasm-like Charlie horse thing, where it seems to take on a painful life of its own and tries to jump off my leg.  It usually happens when I am in bed and turn wrong. 

Anyway, what this all means, after we get settled in our new home, arrange Mom’s room and move her here, I need to find an orthopedic surgeon in Oregon and see about that knee. When I get all that done, I can focus on my next Haunting Danielle book. And while I won’t be getting the book out until January, it doesn’t mean I haven’t started working on it; I have.

We’ve some hectic weeks ahead of us. There are stacks of filled cardboard boxes in every room (see above photo). This morning the shredder arrives and will be destroying some twenty boxes of old documents and receipts. We’ve already donated numerous boxes of items to the Hospice gift shop, and we still have some furniture to donate and get moved. 

In the meantime, I am thrilled with the positive reception I have received over my recent release, The Ghost and the Birthday Boy. Each time I put out a new book I fear my readers might tell me, “Okay Bobbi, time for you to wrap this up, it is getting stale.” But so far that hasn’t happened, and you have no idea how positive reviews inspire my creativity and desire to write. I love working on this series, and I hope living not far from Walt and Danielle will give me more inspiration and story ideas.

Stay safe everyone! 

Looking Back on 2020…

I was not terrific about blogging in 2020. Will I do better in 2021? I don’t know.

Today I sat down and wrote my annual Christmas letter. It’s a tradition in our family, where we each sit down and write about the year just ending. We normally do it on Christmas night, but some years, like in 2020, I waited until today. The letters are then put in a Christmas scrapbook. Now that our kids are adults—one living in Alaska and the other in Portland, they no longer contribute pages to the book. I wish they would.

2020 was a rough year for our country and the world. For me it started off bringing my mother home from the hospital after a stroke. We spent the next two months dealing with her rehabilitation and nurses coming to our home to help her with therapy and showers.

Just weeks after her therapy ended, the country went into a lockdown because of Covid, and since then we have been sheltering in place.

I did venture out to YouTube, and started an Authortube channel. I put out 15 videos, and then stopped when I didn’t have anything new to add. If I think of something, I might add another video, but it was only done as a needed distraction during the early days of lockdown.

I then turned to cooking. I started making my own homemade pasta, and even splurged on an attachment for my Kitchenaid.

After I figured out pasta, I moved to sourdough bread. My sister, who was also faithfully sheltering in place, had been making sourdough bread, so she walked me through the sourdough starter process and shared her recipe.

When it comes to pasta noodles and sourdough bread, I will be sticking to homemade. I love them both.  

I also tried cheese making for the first time, a simple farm cheese. My next adventure in the kitchen is fermenting. I think I will start with fermenting salsa.

When I’m not in the kitchen, I am in front of my computer. In fact, I am doing another sort of fermenting right now, figuring out the plot to my next Haunting Danielle book, The Ghost and the Mountain Man.

Professionally it was a good year for me. I published three Haunting Danielle books, and all were well received. Dreamscape Media released my Coulson Family Saga in audiobook, and I was thrilled with what the narrator did with them. Plus, I had several audiobook releases in my Haunting Danielle series, and I always love what that narrator does.

In November I had to say goodbye to a dear friend–Spooky the Halloween Cat. We estimate he was about eighteen. While he was my cat, the last two years he had moved in with Mom and been wonderful company for her. Mom cried for days after he traveled the rainbow bridge. She misses her buddy, but I know he is now with Lady and free from pain.

Wishing all of us a much better new year. 

Haunting Danielle…still going strong…

It’s a little crazy to think I am working on Book 24 in my Haunting Danielle series. 24! And I already have my story idea for Book 25. 

When I released the first book in my Haunting Danielle series, in the summer of 2014, I had no idea—nor no plan—to run the series this long. I knew it was going to be a series, yet I had no idea how the readers would receive the book and if they would want more.

I’ve said all along that I will continue bringing new Haunting Danielle books if three conditions are met. 

1. My readers still wanted them.

2. I have story ideas.

3. I am still able to write the books.

One thing that often happens with series authors, they grow bored of writing the series, or they have another story they are itching to write.

Boredom has not been an issue for me. I’m inspired by my readers and the positive comments I receive. Each book I want to bring something that they won’t just like, but something new and different from the previous books. The challenge has a way of killing any boredom.

As for having another story or book idea distracting my attention—yes that happens with me. But I’ve decided to incorporate the idea—if possible—into one of my Haunting Danielle books. If I didn’t check myself, I could easily bounce around from one series to another, which could have disastrous effects. 

One example of an idea incorporated in the Haunting Danielle series is the Christmas shoe (for those who read the last Haunting Danielle book.) For a number of years I have been wanting to write a Christmas book around the shoe. And I finally did.

Don’t rule out the possibility of me starting another series in the distant—or not so distant—future. I have had several ideas, yet still thinking them over. If I do start another series, it won’t mean the end of Haunting Danielle. It simply means I will have more books to write.

As for me, time to see about some coffee. It’s almost 7 am, and I will get this posted to my blog in a few minute. Have a great day!

(Photo: Book cover of my next Haunting Danielle book.)

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