Wednesday means another book giveaway and another guest blogger.
Welcome Hannah Alexander. Thank you for being my guest.
Hannah Alexander is the pen name of an award-winning husband and wife writing team with over thirty published romantic medical suspense novels.
Hannah knows this well. Here is her story.
When I Quit
My writing career was doing well as I drove to my mother’s country house one day to check on her. I had just completed the first novel in a new series of trade paperbacks, and I was excited about it. I felt it was one of the best I’d written, and was planning the next in the series. Unfortunately, I had no idea how I was going to complete the other two novels.
Mom’s health was getting worse as she was battling breast cancer and knee surgery. Each time she went under general anesthesia it worsened her dementia.
I didn’t know how much longer I could leave her home alone, but she was one independent woman, determined to make her own way, with no idea the trouble she was in—or the trouble I was facing with her. Her physician recommended assisted living, and I toured the local facilities. I couldn't do it.
I was halfway to Mom’s one day when I received a phone call from my agent to inform me that the trade line I was writing for had been discontinued. I didn't have to bother finishing the series. The book I was so thrilled about was being orphaned, which meant sales would tank.
At the time I could only feel relief. I was gratified to learn that I wouldn't be forced to return the advance I’d received for signing the contract, and that allowed me to care for Mom without the distraction of yet another deadline—often the bane of every writer’s life. The writing stress, along with my income, was all taken away in one short call.
But Mom developed colon cancer. My caretaking days hit like a flash, and we brought Mom home to live with us for the last six months of her life.
Not long after she moved in I was asked to write a series of shorter novels with the same publisher that had discontinued my trade novels. I decided that with a less strenuous deadline I could help Mom and continue my writing career—at least keep my name out there.
It didn't work. Mom stayed up nights, wandering the house with sundowner's syndrome, and I had to follow her. I couldn't function enough to cook dinner, much less write. So I called my editor.
“Joan, my mother is on hospice care. I have no idea when I’ll be able to complete this novel.” I didn't tell her I wasn't sure if I’d ever write again. I felt as if my heart was being ripped to shreds as my mother failed before my eyes.
“You just worry about your mother,” Joan said. “I’m taking your book from its slot, so you don’t have a deadline.”
That was when I began to wonder if it was time to stop writing completely. But how could I stop? I’d been a writer for so many years. And yet, once a writer pauses, the readers begin to forget her. My career might be over. Life was pressing me down to the point I could barely breathe.
I continued to attempt to work on my book from time to time, but it was such a mess I couldn’t make sense of it. My mother’s mind wasn't the only one that had left us. Mind had, too.
My mother passed away in February. In August of that year, as I tried to force my way out of a state of profound grieving, I managed to complete my novel. The poor editor who had to take that mess of a book from an author who had always been known for clean copy, and turn it into something readable? She was an angel.
I get it now when people talk about the struggles of caretakers. I’m amazed by those who spend years caring for their loved ones.
I’m writing regularly again, but my genre has changed slightly. I write more romantic medical drama, less romantic suspense. Life changes, and we metamorphose whether we want to or not. Maybe my career isn't over yet. If it is, that decision is with God. And that’s the best place for it to be.
Hannah is giving away a copy of her brand new book
In Book 2 of the Hallowed Halls series, when Dr. Myra Maxwell finds herself stumbling through the darkness of a cemetery on a cold winter night, she realizes she doesn't recognize a thing, and doesn't recall how she arrived here. As Christmas fireworks begin, they frighten her. She doesn't know who she is, where she is, or why she's here. She diagnoses herself as a patient in a fugue state, most likely from some horrible experience her mind is working to force her to forget. But why?
Weston Cline is frantic about the woman he loves. She left her psychiatry clinic in the middle of the day on Christmas Eve, and he's heard nothing from her since. When he makes a call to her hometown of Juliet, Missouri, he catches a word or two that convinces him she's retreated to the place she feels safest, and he is determined to drive there tonight and protect her. Unfortunately, her friends, Drs. Joy Gilbert and Zachary Travis are determined to keep Weston away from Myra. He's shown his true colors in outrageous ways in the past year, and they don't want to risk her emotional well-being with his presence. Too bad, because he's going anyway, and he will stand firm with her.
Set at Christmas, Dandelion Moon might well give holiday celebrants a
chance to root for the true meaning of Christmas to show itself at least
one more time, and to find that miracles really do happen.
Hannah, this sounds fabulous. I can't wait to read it.
One lucky person will win a copy of this book.
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LAST WEEK'S WINNER
Grace and peace to you from God,