Fall is finally upon us here in Indiana. After a pretty mild summer, the Fall temperatures came roaring in last week. The AC is off. The windows are open. The smell of my fall Bath and Body Works candles that I snuck in the house last week from my latest order making the entire house smell like a fall bakery. Every thing just seems right in the world still surrounded by chaos.
It's honestly my favorite time of year to be outside. I spent much of last week's downtime re-decorating the porch for the season. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in this house to write. There's just something about wrapping up in a hoodie or blanket with a mug of warm apple cider from a local orchard that just makes me happy.
Do you enjoy this time of year? What's your favorite Fall activities? For those of you in the southern hemisphere, what's your favorite part about Spring?
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The title of this month’s newsletter might be a little shocking to some of you. In fact, you may be scratching your head right now because how would it be possible that I almost didn’t get married when… in fact, I’ve been married for quite some time. With our 10th wedding anniversary and my 34th birthday today, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the last ten years almost didn’t happen at all. Most weddings are these fairytale affairs that we dream about as kids. Mine wasn't, but before we get to that point, I need to go back a bit.
After a year of constant changes with him having to give up a full-ride grad school scholarship to come home to have surgery, our entire plan was in flux. Instead of moving to California after our wedding, we were going to be staying close to home. Really close. As in in his hometown and five miles from my own hometown. Perfect right? Well, not really. My job was over 65 miles away, which meant, my five-minute commute from my apartment turned into 90 minutes of highway hell. But with everything that had changed for him, I was willing to make it work. The weekend before our wedding, I said goodbye to my first grown up apartment and moved back home. Since he was a minister, it was out of the question that we would be staying together before the big day so while my furniture and cat lived with him, I moved back in with my parent’s for a few more days.
Things were different being back home, but 24 hours into the arrangement, my world almost exploded. After a strenuous softball game, the night before, my then fiancé started having issues with what he thought was bad leg cramps. As the next day came, he was unable to walk without severe pain. In true Glen fashion, he wrote it off as a sports injury until I came by on my way home to check my cat and to spend time with him. It took literal seconds for me to see something was wrong, but his stubbornness refused to go to the hospital. Until I called in the big guns. My dad. With his help, we convinced him to be seen, and had we not, I wouldn’t be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with him.
The next few hours were a whirlwind of doctors, tornado warnings, and trying to be strong for him. He had a massive blood clot in his leg from his last bro road trip. That clot had broken up in what the doctor could only describe as “the most pulmonary embolisms he’s ever seen in someone still alive.” Not exactly what you wanted to hear, but he was right. Glen shouldn’t be alive. The fact that he made it through is a testament to his strength and determination. It was the single most frightening time in my life except for his second bout with blood clots just six years later that tried to take him away from me again.
With Glen in the hospital, we made the decision to cancel our wedding and reschedule it for the following week. My birthday. The one day that I didn’t want to get married but knowing how much it would take to help him recovery, giving him that goal was the fuel he needed to survive. Sure, we had to find a new reception venue, minister, freeze our wedding cake, order new flowers, and so much more, but looking back now, all of that was truly a drop in the bucket in comparison to losing him.
Our first ten years may have been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for all the money in the world. It’s those experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today. Experiences that I put into my very own fictional worlds. Relationships aren’t easy, but when you have to fight for them, it makes those special moments even sweeter.
Happy Anniversary, Mr. Paige. Let’s see what the next ten years bring us.
It doesn't seem possible that the summer is coming to an end so soon, but with everything going on right now, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. We were thankfully able to steal away a few days to southern Indiana, but I sure did miss the beach, especially since we are supposed to be in Hawaii right now, celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary in a few weeks. Like I told my husband, Hawaii and any other vacation destination aren't going anywhere and it's better that we stay safe. Our little staycation was an enjoyable as it could be even if our Roomba did attack our poor house sitter after months of peaceful co-habitation.
If you don't follow me on Facebook, our Roomba has been quite the source of entertainment since we got it. It really does have a mind of its own. From vacuuming without a schedule at midnight to running away and hiding in spots outside of its zone with zero prompting, it's not been a dull moment with her. Freaking weird moments that lead to her being caged under a milk crate and a large stack of books. I don't know how many times I've been asked about how soon I'll be throwing holy water on her and sending her out to pasture. After this latest attack, I may finally be ready to admit defeat and send it in to be checked out. Maybe.
The only bright spot that I have found is that I have put a lot of my extra free time into writing. I have good starts on both Demons & Desires on top of Devil's Queen, which... might a new design for the cover. More to come on that! And before I forget, Dark Secret goes live today! How exciting is that? This book has gotten great reviews from the ARC readers, and Geri and I are so excited to be debuting it to the world in just a few short hours. If you haven't started this series, Dark Protector is on sale for 99 cents.
Roombas running amuck and new releases aside, we've spent a lot of the last few weeks canning our garden goodies and deep cleaning the house. With my husband going back to the classroom on Monday, we both know that it's only a matter of time before he's exposed at school. To be cautious, we've been preparing a quarantine room in case the worst happens. Are your local schools re-opening in person or are they doing virtual learning to start off with? I hope that no matter what your school or even yourself have chosen as the learning path for your kids that you all stay safe and healthy.
It's official. I am NOT a green thumb failure. After many stops and starts with getting my new garden area tilled and prepped for planting, all my plants are finally in and thriving. Shocked? So am I. Between Indiana wavering between spring and winter for several weeks to sweltering heat the last few days, it's been a weather whirlwind for my precious plant babies. Every day, I pop out to our garden to check on our plants. Since they aren't any sports to watch on TV and most of my normal television shows this time of the summer are delayed due to COVID19, my garden is my new source of entertainment. Though, I do wish the weeds would get with the program and GTFO of there. I spent two weekends in a row tackling them, and they just keep coming back. Jokes on them because my new small cultivator will arrive this week and the battle with the weeds will come to an end...I hope.
The only plant causalities that I have had are two of my twelve Brussels sprout plants, which were totally my fault thanks to a wayward sprinkler during a water session. My tomatoes are blossoming and the wax beans are really taking off. I am so excited for the next few weeks as my Early Girl tomatoes should start producing in Mid-July.
Outside of gardening, Geri and I have been hard at work on Dark Secret, the second book in the Black Hoods MC series that is coming in July. We just received the final cover this week and it's so amazingly hot. I can't to show it to you on July 1st. Just 10 days away! The pre-order and the blurb are live now if you want to sneak a peek at what's coming up for the Black Hoods.
Years ago Shelby Dawson fled, with nothing but a broken heart and a baby on the way. She never expected to see him again. She sure as hell never wanted to need him.
Until her daughter meets the wrong man online.
Until her daughter is taken. Trafficked.
When Shelby shows up at the clubhouse, drenched in rain and crying over her missing daughter, he wants to hurt her like she’d hurt him.
But when he discovers the missing daughter is his, he’ll rain down hell on whoever took her, and he might just find redemption in the process.
I am so excited for February to finally be here, and for a very important reason. No, not Valentine's Day, but the reveal of my new co-written series with Geri Glenn. We've been talking about doing a co-write for a long time, and now that we can finally shout it out to the world, it just feels amazing. After struggling so much last year with my personal life and writing, the words are finally flowing. Not only am I working on Dark Protector with Geri, but I am also working on BOTH Demons and Desires and Devil's Queen. So exciting, right? I made y'all a promise last month about new book in 2020, and I'm dead set on keeping it. 2020 is going to be a big year of new books. Buckle up because it's going to be one hell of a ride.
On a lighter note, I will be bringing back the NCAA bracket challenge in March. This year's prize is AH-mazing. The best part is that you don't have to be a basketball fan to participate. I'll have more details on that in my reader group once the brackets open towards the end of February. I'll also have some other fun things popping up in my group over the next couple of month's so if you aren't a member, now is the time to join!
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Better get back to writing!
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Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.