Our friendship started over twenty years ago, and as far as that day and age, was unique in that the communication and camaraderie was entirely online. I joined an online critique group when I became serious about writing. Actually, I joined several, but this particular one stuck. To a person, members offered honest feedback and direction, shared information openly, and encouraged one another through the ups and downs of the writing life.
As with all good things, the group eventually ended. Maybe we’d gotten too big. or personalities clashed, or we outgrew the relationships. I’m sure each of us has an opinion but there are many with whom I am still in touch. One of the members would later turn up as my editor at Carina Press (she’d been the one to tell me my horse couldn’t have a POV), and some of us would still run pages by one another as the need arose.
Kim was one of those people. Social media kept up in touch. We commiserated over medical issues, supported one another’s releases and still, sometimes, asked each other for an opinion on an idea, a story, or a chapter. When Kim asked me to co-author Icehaven, I was surprised, as we don’t really write in the same genre, but the idea was intriguing, and I wanted to try something new.
This has been a challenge. There’s the writing, as we live hundreds of miles apart and neither of us had worked with another author before. She’s a plotter, I’m a pantzer. Logistics, how best to share information, was an occasional roadblock. And then there’s the fact that how we’d started this journey would not be how we ended it. Originally, we were to be a part of a limited edition boxed set organized by Carter & Bradley and we put in a lot of work to make that a success. If they are ultimately successful, it will be, in part, because of our hard work.
No one at Carter & Bradley contacted me, on any occasion, about any issues they had with me (or my co-author) but notified Kim that we were ejected from the group. I learned this from her, not them. I received a refund for any moneys we put into their advertising pot on the same day. I heard some rumors; I heard some lies. I heard a lot of people saying they didn’t know what was happening and a lot of people ducked for cover, not wanting to be next. We were not the only ones. In total, five authors were kicked out for no apparent reason, at least no good reason, that I know of since no one from the publisher has officially or unofficially said anything to me. At the very least, professionalism is not their forte.
In a military family like mine, you grieve quickly. You also have a succinct idea of vengeance. I neither wan to or have to hand out revenge, but I do want to be there to see karma at work. I’m incredibly patient. In the meantime, Kim and I regrouped and moved on, there is no choice when you have a story this good. We knew it was good. Did we have to put it out as a single title, first in series, earlier than imagined? Yes. Could we? Hell yes.
And so, we did. It’s in your hands now and we hope you enjoy our hard work. Thank you, Kim, for the invitation and walking with me through the story. Thanks to my family and friends for coping with the odd, unprofessional drama. Very special thanks to Melissa Gamez, who designed our cover symbols, as well as to our cover designer. Thanks to my ARC team, who provided much needed support and cheers along the way. And thanks to you, for picking up a copy and immersing yourself in a bold new world. Icehaven is now yours.