Hello my dear friends!
I know it's been a while between posts, but I'm doing my best to finish up the rough draft of the new Evans series. Yes, they are not done yet! Yay! I received so many requests to keep it going that I couldn't find the heart to put my beloved friends away forever. I'm just about done with the rough draft of the Evans Domination Series, Book One. As the readers of Sunshine Rising learned, there was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, and sure enough, they have not finished their battle with the Mexican cartels.
So, what's the new book about? Well, without giving away the entire plot, I will say that they are searching for El Padrino (who, by the way, is not the real El Padrino who was arrested some time ago. I did not base my character on him at all, and I had never heard of him until I began researching this new book. I wanted to put that out there, just in case, LOL). Book One will be introducing some new characters who will be relevant in future books, but our favorite Evans characters do make an appearance. Zach is trying his hardest to handle El Padrino the legal way while Hayden, Andrew, and Ian are planning to go rogue. When Zach is called into a human trafficking case based in Tucson, he works hard to tie it back to El Padrino. Stay tuned for a frightening, yet very real, story to come.
With that being said, please watch out this summer for the new book, Hope Is Calling, The Evans Domination, Book One. We're looking at a late-June release date, but I'll post once it's ready to go.
I hope all of my friends are doing well, and thank you for your patience with me last year. I know I was only able to release two books instead of three, but I'm trying hard to make up for that this year. If only I could fix my back! Ugh.
Don't forget to stay tuned. I'm sending the information to my cover artist today, and hopefully she'll be working her magic in time for the June release.
Hugs to my readers out there! Take care.
I have been offline for quite some time, and I apologize for that. My second surgery in June took quite a bit out of me physically. What they found when they went in was a misplaced screw that was pushing on the herniated L4/L5, and a lot of scar tissue had built up around my sciatic nerves (ouch, I'll tell you). The damage has brought out some herniation at L3 and bulging at L2 and L1, although that's not too bad at all. I hope by continuing to use the inversion table, I can fix that. I just need to wait for clearance to hang upside down again.
At any rate, those first few months were agonizing. When I saw my surgeon in October, I was sobbing so hard by the time I reached his office that he sent me home and said, "come back next month and we'll see about starting PT then." I had to see my pain management doctor, and we tried a Flector patch for the fusion site itself. I did not find that useful at all, but it might work for others. What I have found was a website. I did a Google search in desperation and stumbled upon the McKenzie Method. It's an institute based out of New Zealand, and he runs a PT program specifically designed for us with extreme back problems. He also has a set for neck issues too. I mentioned him to my pain doc when I saw him, and he was surprised that I found him. He said that in his opinion, McKenzie is the best way to manage severe back problems, and I agree with him. The exercises are simple, and I saw an improvement almost immediately. It hurt at first, and my range of motion is nowhere near that of those in the videos, but I'm getting there little by little. I can now move forward and backward more than a half inch, and I can lean forward and backward a little. My biggest problem right now is the tightness of my muscles. I believe that if they would stop with the spasms and loosen up a little bit more, I'd be in much better shape. But I still do the exercises multiple times a day, especially after I have to run errands or drive for any distance, and I stretch every chance I get. My kids find it hysterical when I walk in the door and immediately get down on the floor. But I have found something that works for me, and I hope it continues to help. Thank you McKenzie Institute!
So Sunshine Rising was very delayed. For that, I apologize, too. I have finally finished it, and it's a long novel. Since it has characters from the entire series in it, there is a cast of characters, and I highly recommend using it so you don't get confused. Now that Sunshine Rising is complete, I'll be working right away on my next novel. I hope this year to publish four to make up for last year (barring any further back surgeries). Please keep your fingers crossed! I have several ideas popping in my head already, and I'm anxious to get them down on paper to keep you all busy. In the meantime, I do hope you all enjoy the new book, and I thank you again for your support and patience!
Most importantly, remember to take care of your back! You only have one, and it is completely devastating when you lose it.
Although a little late in posting, here is my continuing series of scenes from my books. I've chosen Eyes on Tango, one of my favorites to feature next. A jungle adventure, a vacation gone awry, and the beginning of the mystery is falling into place.
Please enjoy seeing some of the scenes where Dani and Hayden began their road to love, where Rocky and Micaela reveal their plans, and where Zach begins to find the information he needs to catch the bad guys he and Ian have been hunting for months.
From the ruins in Tulum, Mexico, up the Mayan Riviera to Playa del Carmen and finally Cancun, Mexico, the two lovers run for their lives in search of escape from a beautiful land turned deadly.
I hope you have a fun time exploring the sites with Dani and Hayden!
September 5, 2012, I went in for an ALIF and TLIF surgical procedure on my back. You can review the entire story in the posts below, but this is to be my one month update. As you can see from the photo, I am still using the walker, but I am up and moving around - yay!
I mentioned before that on my first weekend home I developed sciatica in my calves and behind my knees. Yes, I know, that's a very strange spot to have it, especially since I have very little pain in my buttocks and thighs. I hardly notice it there. But that has continued now two weeks later. (I'm sincerely wishing it would heal up, but I'll continue to keep you posted on that.)
I can say that the sciatica has eased. It's not quite as intense as it was at first unless I stand for too long or sit for too long. You can see in the photo attached that I am standing with my left leg bent. That is the most painful leg, and the pain can escalate quickly. When standing, I must continue to move from side to side or the pain becomes so incredible that I am forced to my knees. At one point, I had to crawl out of my closet until my daughter, Shannon, could help me climb back into bed. The same thing has happened from sitting too long. One time following a trip to the restroom, I almost 'lunged' (would have if physically strong enough, haha) back to my bed. I immediately lie flat when this happens and wait for the pain to lighten up. That is the worst problem that I'm facing at this point in time, and I plan to speak with my surgeon and pain management doctor in the next couple of weeks when I go in for my follow ups.
Drivers beware! I am back on the road!
No need to run for the hills; I am just teasing. I'm not dangerous, I promise.
I drove for the first time following surgery on Wednesday of this week, just a quick half-mile journey to a doctor's office down the street from us. The appointment was for my daughter, and I made her stop texting and put down her phone and help me with an extra pair of eyes and ears because of my limited motion. I never truly realized how much you use your abdominal muscles when you drive. Perhaps it was because I was nervous or perhaps because I drive a BMW ("the man and car are one" is right ,sheesh!), but I found it to be a bit more difficult than I thought. My surgeon had told me to heed my instincts on driving, so for now I will only drive when necessary and follow his instructions to keep my journeys to 10-15 minute trips on local streets only. This is not one thing I will be daring about.
Following the doctor's appointment, we had to make a quick stop to drop off her prescription, and by the time I was done I had to take a pain pill and lie down. It was exhausting, which is such a strange feeling because I'm so used to being active and busy. You can really tell that your body is not quite ready to go full-steam ahead, and I am constantly reminded when I do "too much".
Minor Surgical Complication
When you come out of surgery, the hospital staff is very insistent that you monitor your 'movements'. Since my appetite still has not returned completely, I had been resorting to drinking shakes, eating fruits and having a light dinner. I ended up having a blockage that almost sent me to the ER. That was a miserable time, and probably the worst part of my recovery so far. So for those who find themselves not following orders to a "T" and slacking off a bit, please make sure you're taking care of business! It took me a couple of days afterwards to feel better, and I'm still feeling nauseous at times.
After all my frightening news, I do have some icing to go on the cake! The good news is that both incisions are healing up very well. The back incision is completely closed and now a long, pink scar. I still have two steri-strips left on my abdomen out of six, and one spot where one had fallen off is still slightly open, but they are not giving me any trouble at all. If it wasn't for the sciatica in my calves right now, I don't think I would need any pain pills at all. Every now and then, it seems as though I can "feel" the rods in my back. They ache a bit. I also have a tender spot in my stomach, but I believe it's just muscle pain where they're coming back together.
I am very excited to get to the point where I no longer need medications at all. Going back to just a multivitamin is my goal, and I'm determined to get there sooner or later. I would be a lot more active with my walking if not for the sciatica, but again I believe part of that is my body telling me not to do too much. I run an active household with children and pets, so the bending, twisting, lifting and household chores that I'm not supposed to be doing sometimes have me doing more than I should. I know, I know, I must take it easy. It's just easier said than done when there's no one else around at the time to help.
My Next Steps
Of course I must get back to work! I have been online a little bit here and there, but I am mostly keeping my hours limited. I still have some sleepless, uncomfortable nights, so I try to rest during the day. However, I have finalized the cover for Kat's Last Chance, The Evans Family, Book Four and still plan to release it this month. My official date for release will be October 25th, barring any further complications.
I hope this pleases everyone! I know a lot of you have been waiting for the arrival, and I promise you that even though I've been out of the loop for some time I am still preparing to have an on-time release.
This is my first reveal of the new cover. I hope you love it as much as I do. A special thanks goes out to An Author's Art once again for taking my words and turning them into magic for me. Thank you Laura!
Physically, I will continue to focus on recovery. I will see my surgeon again on the 16th, and we will then determine when I can start physical therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to get moving again. It's been a long road, and it feels as though the end is in sight.
Lastly, I really must put out a giant thank you for all the cards, flowers, well wishes and best hopes that I've received from you all. I plan to frame all the get well cards and mount them on the wall in my office. Every time I open the PO Box, I have been brought to tears by the kindness you all have shown me. (Ask Shannon on our blog if you don't believe me, haha). You are the best readers out there, and I can't say thank you enough! It has helped me remain optimistic in times of pain, and it has warmed my heart to know that so many people care. Thank you all so much!
This blog post originally appeared on January 16, 2012 on http://collettescott.blogspot.com.
I am proud to feature one of the hardest working and helpful authors I have had the pleasure to meet. Patti Roberts is the author of the hugely popular and fantastic young adult fantasy/paranormal series, Paradox. Between researching her descriptive settings, writing her colorful and captivating stories and marketing her wonderful work, Patti is always very helpful, friendly and supportive. She is the true definition of gracious and caring, and I am so happy to have her appear on my blog again to discuss her new release, the second book in her Paradox Series, Progeny of Innocence. Thank you, Patti, for joining me today. It's great to have you back!
Collette: So let's start with the basics. Tell us a little about your background. When did you start writing?
Patti: I started writing with the intent of publishing in 2009. I was feeling very down and misplaced after a failed relationship, and I wanted to do something positive…. I needed to do something positive. I wanted to herd up all my unresolved emotions and put them to good use. So I went out and bought a new laptop computer and started writing. Hence the reason Paradox – The Angels Are Here is a little bit EMO! Writing has been the best therapy and I have never been happier or more fulfilled! I highly recommend writing to anyone that finds themselves in a similar predicament. That is when I started writing and how the Paradox Series was born. Out of the ashes…
Collette: I agree completely! I often say that writing is cathartic. So where do you get your ideas?
Patti: For every warp of life imaginable. Awake or asleep. And a creative and overworked imagination.
Collette: What is your writing process?
Patti: I run different scenarios around for particular chapters in my head. I give the characters dialogue to see were it leads. It is one thing to have an idea for a story line but it isn’t until I bring in the characters to see how their personalities would react in particular circumstances that I really know how it has to be written.
Collette: Do you write full-time now?
Patti: I do pretty much. However, much of that time is also spent planning marketing and promoting.
Collette: That's for sure. A full-time job in itself!
Collette: The Paradox Series is well under way with the recent release of the second installment. Can you tell us a little bit about Paradox, Progeny of Innocence?
Patti: Two Worlds. One Ancient and One New. An immortal enemy still driven by the desire of being the One supreme power of an ancient kingdom. The prize he seeks to fulfill his desires - A young girl, Grace, trapped in the middle between Heaven and Hell. But who can Grace trust? There are those around her that live and die to protect and those that want only to destroy. Who could you trust when the enemy hides in plain sight and looks just like you. Were could you run when your enemy is faster, smarter, stronger…
Collette: How long did it take you to complete?
Patti: Progeny took eleven months to research and write.
Collette: Your settings and descriptions were very detailed. Can you describe your research into your
subject this time around?
Patti: Same as always. Hours of research into ancient civilizations, myths and legends. From the tiniest red shiny bead found in the blistering Utopia desert to the magical realm of ancient forest trees. And of course a vivid
Colette: And you obviously have that! Okay, so can we talk a little bit about Grace? She's a young woman coming of age in this story, and she is certainly growing. Can you tell us about her inner motivation and how Juliette influences her?
Patti: Grace knows she is different even though she isn't ready to accept that fact just yet. She senses a danger in knowing who she really is so she keeps most of those thoughts to herself by writing in a hidden journal. She has visions of a girl named Juliette. But she doesn't quite understand why or who this Juliette is. Through Grace, Juliette is also starting to come to terms with a past that she thought was long gone and buried.
Collette: You have also introduced some new characters, most notably Damon….Hmmm. Is Grace developing a love interest for the future installments?
Patti: Grace is certainly at an age where love is a priority of any "normal" teenage girl. And Grace so badly wants to be normal. So when Damon Draco comes along she is instantly drawn to his boyish good looks and mysterious charm. But is there more to it than just a teenage crush…
Collette: Another favorite is Keyla. Will she be playing a prominent role in the series?
Patti: Most certainly. Keyla is everything precious and pure. Within her she holds powerful abilities pasted down from an almost extinct race of people that stretches back to the time before time. The ancient Bakhna Rakhna People from the southern mountains.
Collette: Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Patti: I name some of my characters after friends that have inspired me. Sometimes I will take a friend's personality and blend it with one of my characters to make them become more real. More dimensional. I give all of my characters birthdates, favorite colors, particular things they like or dislike. Imagine what their parents are like. Even if I never write about those things. It makes my characters more real.
Collette: Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
Patti: My thoughts and feelings most certainly.
Collette: Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
Patti: Yes, I chose three covers for Progeny and then I submitted them to the public to vote on. The cover that came in second (girl in purple mask) I made into a Special Edition that comprises of the first 2 books in the series. I source the cover art (Dreamstime) and then design the titles and fonts. I love cover art – I do judge a book by the cover!!!
Collette: Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?
Patti: I can spend hours looking at pictures online. For my covers, locations and my characters. I have to have faces for my characters when I am writing dialogue for them. I search until I find a face that matches my character. Then I print it out and have it on a corkboard in front of me. I feel I can be more consistent with my characters traits and dialogue if I have a firm image of them to look at.
Collette: Are you still writing the series? If so, what will your future projects entail?
Patti: Next on the agenda is book 3.that is due to be released this year (2012).I will know in the next few months about how I want the 4th book in the series to go.
Collette: Does your reading inspire you and your work?
Patti: Most certainly. It puts my head in the right place. When I wrote for the ancient world I read the Game of Thrones. So does artwork. Finding the right artwork for my ancient world is just as important to finding the right face for my characters. Let's face it. We are not talking about an everyday world here.
Where can we find you online?
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb_jTh7rj38
What formats are your books available in? ebook and paperback
Where are your paperback books available for purchase?Amazon and Createspace.
Patti, as always, thank you for stopping by my blog. It's always a pleasure! I wish you all the continued
success with your imaginative and fantastic writing projects!
My teenage daughter is a huge fan of Patti's series Paradox. Eagerly awaiting Book Two of the series, she read it in just two sittings and happily posted a review. Though brief, I think her words say it all:
"This book was so hard to put down, it was SO good. It was even better than the first. I found that it explained some things that were left unanswered in the first, and I loved how it went more into detail in the past. I'm SO excited to read her next one!"