Thanks to you, we (sort of) did it!

    This is what a bestselling breakout book looks like.

    Hi, there!

    I know it’s been a while since I updated my blog. I left town last week to attend my younger son Benjamin’s senior thesis film screening in Ithaca. My older son, Alec, and a couple of Benjamin’s high school friends came to New York, too, so we had quite a contingent representing for him when The Last Raid played for the first time on the silver screen. I saw several of your names up there and wanted to hug you for contributing to his project via IndieGoGo.

    I thought the film turned out wonderfully, and judging from the audience response, I was not the only one who loved it.

    Here’s Benjamin on the night of the screening in Park Auditorium with his beautiful girlfriend, Lucy. Alec is sitting in the background, saving seats. He’s the one with the fedora.

    Benjamin had to work, so we couldn’t kick back together the entire weekend, but we celebrated with some nice meals out, waiting more than an hour for a table at Viva, the local Mexican restaurant. Those of us from Colorado got a good laugh out of the glossary of terms in the menu — and were appropriately outraged that the place charged for chips and salsa and then didn’t refill the bowl for free. (Folks would find themselves run out of town for that sort of thing in the West, let me tell you.)

    Yesterday, we hiked up to Taughannock Falls in the pouring rain without umbrellas — Colorado people don’t own umbrellas — and got thoroughly soaked. It was really quite the site. Higher than Niagara Falls, it spills down a sheer wall of shale to a riverbed that is polished smooth down to the rock in some places. Really very interesting geologically speaking and breathtaking visually. The water flow was much higher than you see in this photo. The runoff was a big ribbon of white that filled the spillway.

    Benjamin and I have a couple of traditions when we’re out and about in upstate NY together. The first is that we get lost. They don’t exactly have signs on all the roads, and the roads don’t necessarily go where you think they’re going — if they go anywhere. And, yes, we managed to get lost. High fives all around. One tradition upheld.

    The other is that we hike in cold rain without umbrellas whenever we go hiking to the local gorges. (Ithaca IS gorges, after all.) And, as you already know, we upheld that tradition.

    We weren’t able to work in a trip to Fort Edward (Fort Elizabeth), which was painful for me, especially given that I’m writing Connor’s book now. Still, this is Ranger country. Walking along the trail to Taughannock Falls, I was able to look into the thick forest and imagine Connor, Sarah and Joseph out there, fighting to make their way back from a Shawnee village alive. I tried to see it all from Sarah’s point of view. How would a noble lady from England who’d barely ventured beyond a rose garden view the North American wilderness?

    I really enjoyed getting lost in that train of thought, even if I was soaked through my jean jacket and T-shirt to my skin and my shoes were filled with water and mud. It was a lot of fun — even if it later resulted in a nappy-hair nightmare. Humidity and my hair? Not friends.

    I was supposed to fly out today. But this is what Ithaca looked like most of the day:

    I got up early, got to the airport, and found out my flight was delayed. And delayed again. And delayed again and again and again. And then it was clear I wouldn’t meet my connecting flight to Denver. So, taking the initiative, I went to the ticket counter and asked them to pull my bag, find me a new connecting flight for later in the evening, and relabel my bag so it would arrive with me. They told me there were no later connecting flights. None.

    So here I am, back at my hotel. I had an unexpected dinner of ’za (that’s pizza) with my boys, my “adopted” son Chris Wu and Lucy and got a call from my agent...

    And now for some very good news!

    Thanks to you, my dear readers, Breaking Point is, indeed, the breakout book I’ve needed. It’s been out for less than two weeks and is already going back to press for more than its initial print run.

    I am so excited by this news, and I owe it to all of you who helped spread the word about the I-Team series.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    What’s more, I was told they think they're going to have to go back to press again almost right away, because most of the books in the second press run are already sold or are special orders — thousands of them placed by readers who couldn’t find the book when it first came out.

    And that’s not all the good news. Yes, there’s more.

    Apparently, my ebook sales were so high that, if they had been counted together with print sales, I would have hit the big bestseller lists. That is exciting!

    I was told that my publisher is very pleased by all of this. So am I. And I know I owe it to those of you who blogged, reviewed, tweeted, posted on Facebook, put up reviews on Amazon, B&N and Goodreads, emailed your friends — and rushed out on May 3 to buy a copy.

    The best way I know how to thank you is to keep writing the best possible stories I can. But I’m working on something extra special. I hope to have a special I-Team e-novella ready by Thanksgiving — an I-Team Christmas. I’ll make it available for free for a time. (Of course, I have to write it first. Free nuthin’ is nuthin’, you know.)

    Oh! And more good news... I will finally be able to put Sweet Release and Carnal Gift, my first two historical romances, online for sale as ebooks. I managed to acquire a small stock of them that I can sell in print format also. It will take a while before I’ll have them ready to go, but they are going to be available again sometime in the next several months.

    The version of Carnal Gift that I’ll be releasing is the one I wrote — not the one that was published. About 100 pages were cut out of the story to make it fit the publishers arbitrary maximum word count, and I think it really hurt the story. So those pages are going back in.

    And I think I’m fresh out of good news for now.

    Wish me luck getting safely back to Denver tomorrow.

    And thanks again for your support! I love my readers! You are the best.

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