The Red Roots released April 2015. In a perfect world, The Violet Veins would've released the same year or early 2016.
In a perfect world.
Death. Illness. Relocation.
These are not excuses but reality. I wanted more than anything to release the second book in the series but the voices silenced. As my depression and anxiety consumed me, I couldn't sit at my desk. I begged.
Plead with the people within my mind. I don't see them as characters. I don't see them as another story. Each book I write has a purpose-- meaning. The words are personal. They are attached to either an experience I had or someone else's. They are fiction but with a thread of truth in each story. I was advised to write with the standard formula; it's what sold books. I refused. In doing so, I made a noticeable dent in my author career and not for the better. I don't regret my decision. I reached out to other authors who had taken a break or only publish books every 2-3 years. Picked their brains. Sought advice. Instead of making me feel like an afterthought author, they lifted me up. They encouraged me. At times, such an act is rare in the writing industry. Many are quick to tear down and slander your name if it raises a threat.
When I wrote Deadly Deception, I did it because I love telling stories. It was my motivation to publish the book. Through the process, I lost sight of that. It's business. Publishers want to make money. Authors want to make money. Who doesn't but I forgot the feeling of sitting down at my laptop and allowing the words to flow because all I could think about was what my publisher would think? How will this be marketed? What genre? Is the genre saturated? Is there enough romance?
Doubt flooded my mind. My heart rate kicked up. Muscles tight. Fingers numb. There were times I thought I was in the midst of a stoke, but it was an anxiety attack.
I stopped writing. I stopped reading fiction. I stopped feeling anything. I didn't want to feel the pain or disappointment.
I failed. I gave in to it all. I was exhausted, and I didn't want to fight it.
But I did.
I continue to fight.
I continue to claw my way out of the hole in the ground I dug myself with my own bare hands. The dirt beneath my fingernails, I continue to climb. Ribboned tears. Gritted teeth.
I introduced you to Crosby Dawes in The Red Roots. She is The Violet Veins. And just like me, Crosby hates to feel but does so with intensity. She is climbing out of her own hole of loss and anger. Crosby is navigating through a familiar yet foreign terrain. She knows what she must do but hesitates. Isla arrives right when Crosby needs the push.
I know people doubt my commitment to completing the book. I understand. However, I'm in a different place and the voices have returned. I will earn your confidence back with my actions. This I promise. I'd like to share a bit of the book with you.
This is the first chapter (unedited) of The Violet Veins...
She refused to fall apart.
Emotionally electrocuted, Crosby's teeth grinded through the pain; she pushed her way through the horde of photographers and reporters. Their shrill voices shouted out at her; their words chased her down the sidewalk. Police waved back at the hungry predators who wanted to carve her grief into time.
Crosby’s storm of dark waves swayed in front of her face. Late winters wind exposed her smeared liner. Delirious from lack of sleep; her feet stumbled, but she gathered her posture before she folded to the concrete.
Her family lived their lives out in the open and what the world wanted to see was Crosby’s breakdown. Her dismantled life, the media would air out her family’s dirty laundry on the Internet clothesline without a second thought.
“Whose body was found? Was it a robbery?” “Any suspects?” Reporters shouted.
A journalist sidestepped the police. “Where’s your father?”
Crosby’s nerves sizzled, fists shook. There was no escape. She halted and turned to face the media buzzards. “He’s dead. My father is dead.”
There was a slight pause and then an assault of voices exploded all around her.
“Was he using again?”
“Drug deal gone wrong?”
“Did he overdose?”
“Ms. Dawes, give us a statement.”
The loss consumed her, devoured organs and muscles. The rage. The sickness. Crosby was a lost woman who belonged to no one.
God help me.
Raw and exposed, Crosby approached the closest reporter, wearing aviators, and a press nametag dangled from around his neck. “You want a statement—Korbin?” Crosby yanked the recording device from his hand and launched it over the crowd, the device bounced and shattered onto the sidewalk; shiny bits fired up into the air. “There’s your statement.”
“You’ll pay for that.”
“Bill my attorney. Lily Graham. Michigan Avenue.”
Typical societal behavior, curse the woman who, for the past sixty-seven minutes, stared at Lucas Dawes’s body on a sterile slab.
Loving father. Devoted husband.
The incessant reporters thinned Crosby's tolerance. She turned and walked away from their questions and accusations to an idled SUV. It didn’t matter how Crosby pled her father’s case. To them, he was a relapsed junkie who died with a needle in his vein on the West Side. Another executive plagued by corruption and guilt. Amaranthine fell, as did the families—hers wasn’t the exception.
Crosby gulped her fury. Revenge was her business. It was a pill swallowed, in hopes of it killing the other person. Crosby ingested hers—slowly.
She refused to fall apart.