An Author’s Reality

This morning I opened up my Facebook to check for comments or messages really quick before I got ready for my day job at the newspaper, and I happened to see my author bestie Chelsea Camaron had posted something in her reader group. I miss her like crazy right now, so I went to read it so I could have a peek into her life at the moment.

That’s when my heart broke.

I’m not stirring a shit pot or pointing fingers at anyone.

Honestly, I’m just sharing her post, and writing what I feel needs to be said.

Please remember that authors are human beings and not machines. We have feelings. This is a very hard industry to work in. Every time we release a book, we put ourselves out there. We know you’ll love it, or you’ll hate it. We also know that you’re going to tell us what you think. Believe it or not, we’ve braced ourselves for all of that. The good and the bad.

What we’re never ready for is a reader to get angry or upset because we’re not writing fast enough, or working on the book that they want us to work on.

Think about it like this. Do we walk into your work place and criticize you for not doing your job the way you think we should do it?

Or, how about this scenario: When you’re at a fast food place. You ordered a deluxe cheeseburger and the person behind you only ordered some french fries. While the cook is making your deluxe cheeseburger should the person serving you not give the person behind you their french fries so they can move on and the next customer can be helped?

Books don’t happen overnight. Characters don’t develop in a day. Some stories, characters and ideas take years for an author to properly cultivate.

For example: John Grisham published A Time To Kill in 1989.

The book was so popular it was eventually made into a movie in 1996.

Later it was developed into a stage play in 2011 and opened on Broadway in 2013.

The next book, Sycamore Row, was finally released in 2013.

The third book in the series, A Time for Mercy, finally released in 2020.

I’m sure John Grisham was pressured into writing more, writing faster. And if he had given into those pressures there’s a very good chance he would have written something that was only half as good as his first book, and a total compromise to both his muse and his characters.

Authors would rather give you the best of us. To do that we need readers to trust us, our muse and creativity, and have a little patience sometimes.

Trust me, we wish storylines, characters and books would magically come to fruition over night and appear on our computer screens! If that could happen we would be releasing a book every week and our bank accounts would be fat. Instead, we work for months and years over a keyboard, slowly piecing together something we hope you’ll love.

The reason I felt compelled to address Chelsea Camaron’s post was because I was exactly where she is at now a couple of years ago.

Have you noticed there have been no books published?

I was ready to walk away.

After 20+ titles, I was ready to hang up my proverbial keyboard and retire.

I loved what I did, and I love all of you, but at times it was too much. All the angry messages about “why hadn’t I written this book or this character”?

It’s taken me two years of working in my day job at the newspaper to finally reach a place where I feel like I can creatively write again.

Two. Freaking. Years.

And up until about two months ago when I went to a signing in Louisville as a reader with Super Assistant Kim and met SC Cinders face to face for the first time, I was still thinking of quitting. Hell, I had even taken my paperbacks there with me and I sat at her table and was just signing and giving them away for free because, inside of my heart, part of me was so sure I was really done with writing. But SC Cinders let me vent and chat, and she said a few things that humbled me, and then she told me not to give up. And she didn’t even know why that was why I was giving my books away for free at her table. It was a much needed chat I didn’t realize I needed at the time.

So, in the end, this is just an author asking nicely that readers stop and think before they send that angry message.

To take a second and remember that authors are human beings with lives, families, medical problems, life problems, etc..

Hell, we’ve all had pandemic problems for the last year plus!

But the point is, you don’t know what they’re going through in their personal lives, and that always affects a person’s work life. It won’t kill you to be kind.

Unless you live in Amelia Hutchins’ fictional worlds. It might kill you there.

But I digress… I’d like to think you would seriously kick yourself in the ass if an author gave up writing just because you felt like you had to send them a message on how they should write faster.

Respect their vision.

Trust their muse.

If they say they’re not ready to write a certain character yet, don’t push them to do it. They’ll give you a half ass job you’ll hate anyways.

Sometimes the wait is worth it.

Thank you to SC Cinders for being a very fun, totally endearing person to chat with.

Chelsea Camaron, I love you to the moon and back and it’s going to be okay. I have hugs, alcohol and a shovel if we really need to use it.

And readers… remember we love you, so sometimes you need to just show us a little love and understanding in return.

Always,

Jessie Lane


Writing & my goals…

Okay, this is scary, but I’m going to tell everyone my writing goals before Knockout Book Bash 2022 gets here…
Something I haven’t done in a long, LoNg, LONG time.
Did I mention it’s been a really long time?
Okay, here we go… what I’ve slowly been working on…
Justice for Janie (Ex Ops #7 – Agent Boyd’s story)(set in one of Susan Stoker’s worlds)
&
maybe…
just maybe…
Engaging Her Heart (Ex Ops – Declan & Teagan’s story)
*runs away*


ALL 3 of Lucas & Ginny’s Ex Ops / Sweet Serial Books in one BOX SET bundle for only 99 CENTS for a limited time!

Are you ready for an emotional rollercoaster staring an alpha male and the sweet girl who grew up across the street from him? Lucas avoided Ginny for years because of the dangers of his job. Little did he know that she has secrets that could get them both killed.

SWEET AGONY

SweetAgony

Ex Ops Series #3 / Sweet Series #1

Beware of falling in love with the boy across the street.

Disappearing from their dangerous life in Chicago, Ginny and her mother went from riches to rags by way of a new life in the sleepy, rural suburbs of New York. Under the illusion of safety, Ginny blossomed into a beautiful young woman with hopes and dreams for a future her mother was determined she would have.

Lucas Young, her best friend’s oldest brother, was the dashing hero in all of her dreams. The man she fantasized about sweeping her off her feet and giving her the happily ever after she had only heard about in her mother’s fairytales.

Sometimes, reality wasn’t what we wanted it to be, though.

What would happen when Ginny found out Lucas wasn’t her Prince Charming after all? Instead, he was a rough and tumble soldier in extremely tarnished armor who had a propensity to break her heart.

Maybe happily ever after wasn’t meant for everyone.

SWEET RECOVERY

Sweet Recovery

Ex Ops Series #4 / Sweet Series #2

He broke her heart… now he has to pick up the pieces.

Lucas Young met the woman meant for him when they were just children. He spent years pushing the sweet, innocent Ginny away for one reason or another instead of claiming what was his, breaking her heart in the process.

Five years later, he runs into Ginny, only he no longer recognizes the person she has become. The good-hearted, free-spirited girl he loved is now a shell of who she used to be, living the sort of life she never wanted. And Lucas is driven to find out why.

However, uncovering Ginny’s secrets will prove to be dangerous for them both.

Will he be able to piece back the broken woman who used to love him with every fiber of her being? Or did he push her away for good?

SWEET ETERNITY

SweetEternity4

Ex Ops Series #5 / Sweet Series #3

Roses are red, my life is blue, and the man I love is a fool.

Virginia Wellington has accepted her fate of being a pawn in her father’s criminal underworld games, especially if it keeps the people she loves safe. The problem is Lucas has discovered her secrets and the reason she walked away from him. Now he’s determined to save her, even if she doesn’t want to be saved.

I’m not Prince Charming. I’m the guy who kicked Prince Charming’s ass.

Lucas Young now knows why the woman he’s loved since he was a boy disappeared from his life. It’s time he rescued his angel and showed her once and for all that by his side is exactly where she belongs.


Declan and Teagan from Ex Ops Series… what happened and an honest perspective from an author with BiPolar II Disorder.

One of the book couples I get asked about the most is Declan and Teagan from the Ex Ops Series.

“When will their book come out Jessie?”

“They are getting a book, right?”

“I need Teagan and Declan ASAP please!”

Those who know me extremely well know what I am about to say next.

See… what had happened was…

I kinda, sort of, started writing their book a while back. Well before COVID-19 even.

I even got halfway through their story.

Then I deleted it all.

Yup, you read that right: I deleted it all.

To make a very long story short, mentally, a couple of things happened to create the perfect self-hatred storm inside my head:

  1. A few of my well-meaning author friends gave me the advice, “Write shorter. Your stories are so long. If you wrote shorter stories you could produce faster.

At that time, I was receiving messages from readers every day asking for certain books and characters, and could I write those super fast pretty please?

So, I tried the “shorter story” method. It was a love/hate thing for me. While I did sort of teach myself to write shorter stories, I found that I lost a lot of what was “me” as a writer doing that. The stories didn’t have the depth I normally liked and felt too rushed. Unfortunately, a lot of my readers also felt this way about my new shorter stories. I received many reviews and messages where they let me know how disappointed they were that I had cut-short my character’s stories. It hurt my heart because I felt as if I had done a disservice to my readers, my characters and stories, and ultimately myself. It started a brutal black hole that sucked my creativity right out of my body. Then problem #2 kicked in…

2. I have Bi-Polar II Disorder. It’s something I’ve had since I was a teenager, but I was not properly diagnosed until around five or six years or so ago. For me, personally, it means my body is hard-wired to go through random, unpredictable cycles of hypomania and depression. While I am super grateful that I am on “hypomanic” and not “full blown manic”, the downside is that I have, at times, debilitating rounds of major depression. Well, about the time that black hole sucked out my creativity is also about the time the worst ever depression cycle I have ever suffered kicked in. It also didn’t help that my doctor at the time was putting me through a merry-go-round of different medications, trying to figure out what was the best medication for my BiPolar II. The problem is, my body is super sensitive to a variety of different medications, and I had bad reactions to many of the medications that were on the market. One medication even sent me into what my doctor said was “The worst episode of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) that he had seen in his 20+ years of practice.” It literally took me a couple of years to find the combination of medications that would help me. That was years of depression, allergic reactions and basically hell.

There were a couple of things that kept me going from day to day: my kids, my husband, my parents, family, friends, celebrities such as Halsey and Demi Lovato that had become open and candid about their struggles with BiPolar Disorder, and my readers. That’s right: you guys really helped me get from day to day! Notes and messages from readers perked me up on days that I couldn’t get out of the bed. But between #’s 1 & 2, I fell into this pit of self-loathing when it came to my writing. I was a one hit wonder, I told myself. I really wasn’t all that talented, and I should just disappear from the book world. I would never be able to compete with the likes of some of my author friends such as Chelsea Camaron, Amelia Hutchins, Jamie Begley, Lani Lynn Vale, and Milly Taiden. Why did I even try?

I was supposed to make this a somewhat short post and look what it’s turned in to! LOL. See? I’m really not hard-wired to write all that short.

To finish this story, and to sum it all up, it’s taken me almost two years to get back to some sort of “normalcy” when it comes to my mental health. In the past few years, I have proudly taken steps to understand my BiPolar II and what is necessary, whether it be medication or meditation, to keep me healthy. It’s taken me that long to find some of my self-worth again. Will I ever be Nora Roberts? Hell no. I might never reach the sort of success some of my friends have accomplished either. But the beautiful thing is… I finally realized I didn’t need to be anyone else.

I just needed to be myself.

So, the moral to this very intimate look into the last few years of my life is this: Take care of yourself and be true to yourself.

In doing that, I erased what I had written on Declan and Teagan’s book, Engaging Her Heart.

I also deleted several other works I had been trying to do.

I trashed a lot of work because it was all stuff I had tried to force myself to write to appease someone else’s thoughts on the “how, when and why” I write, what I write, and when I write it. I have gone back to the bare bones of my guys. It’s beautiful and scary and… well, I hope you enjoy what I’m working on now.

I have multiple projects going. Some Ex Ops Series, some Big Bad Bite Series, some Hot Fur stories and also some new content. Hopefully, you all see it before Armageddon or the next Ice Age, but I promise I’m trying.

Until then, I hope you can understand why there has been such an incredibly long wait in between books. I hope you can forgive me for some of the stories I have published where I feel I shortchanged the characters in what they should have had, versus what I gave them, and you, the readers.

Is Declan and Teagan coming? Yes. One day you will have Engaging Her Heart in your hands. Hell, I’ve had the cover for it for FOREVER. It’s beautiful. You know what, I’ll just show you. I’ve had it for a couple of years now anyways. Tada: I give you Engaging Her Heart’s cover:

That’s a Golden Czermak / FuriousFotog™ photo of divine beauty that just absolutely embodies my Declan Sullivan!

*leans in to whisper* I also have a Golden photo for a new Adam / Big Bad Bite cover, a Christopher John picture of Assad for another Big Bad Bite book involving a certain vampire, a RLS Images / Randy Sewell photo of Jason “Hammer” Estes for a Big Bad Bite Series / Alec book… and more! See, I really have wanted to continue all along, I just wasn’t in a good headspace to do it. Plus, when I was having good moments, I was trying to be the best mom to my two teenage daughters that I could be.

You see, they have sort of suffered through my last couple of years with me. My girls and I are tight, and they were worried about their mom.

So, here we are reader. You know the low down. I’ve bared my soul so perhaps you can understand why you don’t have Declan and Teagan, or Alec, or any other character’s books yet. I’ll get there, but I’m just not in a rush to do it. I’d rather give you, and my characters, the stories they deserve and my all.

Before I go, I want all of you to know that there’s no shame in having a mental health issue. And if you, or someone you love, is suffering from a mental health issue—hang in there! There is always hope if you never give up.

Thank you for giving my books a chance.

Thank you for sending me notes, comments and love through messages and emails.

Thank you for giving me time and space to get healthy again. I love you all for it so much.

All my love,

Jessie Lane


2020 went to hell in a handbasket

Well, my grand plans for writing in 2020 went down the shitter in a flaming ball of good intentions, set on fire by the proverbial molotov cocktail known as the COVID-19 pandemic. First it was because my job at the newspaper consumed my life as people were furloughed and I did the job of three people for more months than I want to think about. Then it was because I was hiring people back, training new hires, and getting the newspaper back on track. Just when things were starting to look somewhat normal again… my husband came home with COVID-19 and everyone in my house caught it. I’m still recovering, but over the worst of it. My goals now are to keep the newspaper on track as the pandemic worsens in our area and start writing again. So… that being said, below is the list of what I’m I’m planning to work on as of 11/21/2020. Below you will find a list of what I plan to work on between now and the end of 2024, in SERIES order – NOT RELEASE ORDER!

  • Paranormal Knockout Book Bash Anthology Story
  • Contemporary Knockout Book Bash Anthology Story
  • Ex Ops Series
  • Big Bad Bite Series
    • Cubs & Stripes (#3.5)
    • Gone With A Bite (#4 or #5)
    • Must Love Stripes (#4 or #5)
  • Hot Fur Series
    • Hot Fur the Bear
    • Hot Fur the Tiger
    • Hot Fur the Lion
  • Dead Series
    • Better Off Dead (#1)
    • Halfway Dead (#2)
    • Finally Dead (#3)
  • 911 In Love Series
    • Disturbing My Peace (#1)
    • Watch You Burn (#2)
    • Hold Me Together (#3)
  • Regulators MC – “stay tuned”

10/10/2020 is World Mental Health Day

As someone who suffers from Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD from an assault, I can not stress how important mental health is.

Many who have read my books have seen echoes of this message in some of my stories. That’s because… THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Mental health is pivotal, and understanding mental health is of even greater urgency. I encourage everyone to take this day to self evaluate their mental health. You have to learn to love YOURSELF before you can love anyone else in your life.

You are beautiful inside and out.

You are loved for who you are.

YOU ARE IMPORTANT.

So, please, do me a favor, and take care of yourself on this day, and every day afterwards.

Love,

Jessie Lane

P.S. If you would like some resources to good mental health, please feel free to check out these websites and consider speaking to a doctor or psychiatrist.

A) https://themighty.com/

B) https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/mental-well-being-resources-for-the-public


WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN JESSIE?

I know. I’ve been pretty absent. I promise there are good reasons for that. There’s a lot going on in the world in general, and that includes my little bubble too. COVID-19 is spreading in my county. We had a record breaking 12 new cases yesterday here. My kids are going nuts and getting depressed from being locked down in the house for months.
I had to make the hard decision to pull my 16 year old from public school because I didn’t feel like they were handling her mental health diagnoses properly. Instead I enrolled her into a private online high school that our local college accepted. That courageous and beautiful 16 year old Minion has now officially finished her private program and is graduated from high school before she ever technically hit her junior year. We’re going to take some time to work on her health and mental health for the next year or so before we get her started on college.
My youngest Minion has also had to be put on depression meds. I don’t mind sharing this information because I believe mental health is important and I haven’t been exactly shy about my own struggles through the years. Take care of yourself everyone! These are stressful times and there is no shame in going to see a doctor or a therapist if you need one.
Additionally, my dad has been having health issues that have resulted in two trips to the ER and an ambulance ride last night. Even my dog is depressed right now because she’s worried about my dad. We’re not exactly sure what’s going on, but needless to say, I need to take care of my daddy. I need to take care of my babies. I need to be there for my husband when he has his bad days too since he works in a high stress environment of running a 911 Emergency Dispatch Center during one of the most stressful times this country has seen in quite a while. And I need to be the manager of my newspaper so that we can efficiently disperse information to the public to help try and keep them safe.
Right now my priorities are my family (both personal and work) because they need me. So I might seem absent, but I swear I am online to check messages and emails when I can be.
I’m still writing in my spare time and still chugging away on my next two Ex Ops crossover books for Susan Stoker’s and Elle James’ worlds.
I’m still managing the Knockout Book Bash June 12, 2021 signing. I can’t wait for this event guys because to me it represents what will be a happier time in our world where COVID-19 is behind us and friends and readers can reunite for a long awaited hugs and a good time!
Between my family, my full time job, and writing… I’m just super busy.
So, please don’t think I’ve abandoned you, or any of my projects.
And if you have some spare good vibes or prayers you can send my family’s way, I would appreciate them.
PLEASE take care of yourselves!
Be safe, be kind and hang in there. We WILL get through this.
Love Always,
Jessie Lane

LAST CHANCE to get 10 FREE Ebooks!

Back in March I set a bunch of my ebooks to free for those who were stuck at home due to COVID-19. If you have not grabbed any of these ebooks and wanted to read them… DO IT NOW. Like, right now. I am setting them back to their prices after 5/05/2020.

I hope everyone who did grab these freebies enjoyed them and I also hope everyone is safe, healthy and happy. ❤ Jessie

TEN FREE Ebooks & TWO Ebooks in Kindle Unlimited:

Ice (Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense)
Big Bad Bite (Paranormal Romance)
Walk On The Striped Side (Paranormal Romance)
Secret Maneuvers (Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense)
Bullets and Bluebonnets (Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy)
Sweet Agony (Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense)
Bears Do It Better (Paranormal Romance)
The Alpha’s Secret Family (Paranormal Romance)
Hot Fur the Wolf (Paranormal Romance)
The Burning Star (Teen Paranormal Romance)
Immortal Enemies (Paranormal Romance) & Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind (Sort of Sci-Fi Romance) are NOT free but are in KINDLE UNLIMITED

Click on each title to go to it’s corresponding website page or click the link below to see all of my titles on one page! https://jessielanebooks.com/all-books/

2020 banner


250,000 ebooks -> THANK YOU!

a8474fa7abbf8899da3a43c47b4a0b4e

My Dearest Readers,

I’m going to do my best to get through this without sobbing in an uncontrollable mess… This morning, each and every one of you gave me one of the greatest gifts of my entire life. Seriously, when I’m old and gray, looking back at the best moments of my life, this morning will be right up there in those memories. This morning I realized I had sold over 250,000 ebooks. No counting freebies, giveaways or paperbacks, just good old fashioned ebook sales. To say that I feel humbled and beyond blessed is the understatement of the century.

Honestly, short of me winning the Mega Millions, finding the world’s greatest vibrator, and seeing into the future to see that one day I will have a small army of grandchildren, nothing could possibly make this day any sweeter for me.

I don’t know what else to say other than THANK YOU.

Thank you for allowing me to chase this dream of being an author. Thank you for sticking with me when I went through years of medical problems battling severe depression, a BiPolar II diagnosis and severe medical reactions to medications that almost cost me my life. Thank you for letting me tell stories and characters to not only express myself, but also as a form of trying to make the world a better place one person at a time. Thank you for your notes, emails and cards through the years telling me how much you enjoyed one of my stories. Believe it or not, those messages kept me going on days I didn’t think I could “go” any more. Thank you for helping me prove my 8th grade English teacher wrong when he told me that I “would never do anything significant with my life”.

In earnest, I just want to say THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU.

Whether you believe it or not, I cherish each and every one of you immeasurably. BECAUSE OF YOU, I CAN BE ME.

I may have never hit “a list”, but as of today I can proudly say I accomplished a dream thanks to all of you. Here’s to hoping that you guys stick with me, and my inevitably crazy life, for a few more books, and years to come. But please know, that even if I stopped writing tomorrow, all of you have made my life so much richer in ways that are more valuable than the almighty dollar can ever be. And I love you all for it tremendously.

With Overwhelming Love,

Jessie Lane


2020 Signed Paperback Order Form!

I’m finally doing a signed paperback order! Wicked Witch, the new edition of Hot Fur the Wolf and The Demon Who Loved Me will be available to order finally!

Fill out this form to order please: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9Xc3-bqfgnVQ-Ea5w0hqgI4PGOnfi_VcUcjjKLly2X8tFIA/viewform

Paperbacks Banner 2020