Breast Cancer and the Whirlwind of the Last Few Months

Okay, I have to admit, my blog is starting to feel overwhelming. Mostly because I’m so behind now that I don’t know how to catch up.

But – now that I think about it – I do know. One foot in front of the other, right? That’s become my new mantra.

So here we go:

Since September…

  • I skidded into the finish line getting my fourth book done (Lavender Island 2) on Oct. 6.
  • The next day, I went in for a long-overdue mammogram because I felt a lump about 2 days prior.
  • Over the next couple of weeks, I did a follow-up visit to my dr, a diagnostic mammo, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and was diagnosed with breast cancer on Oct. 19.
  • My edits came in on Oct. 21.
  • Life became a bit of chaos through the end of October as I navigated fear, appointments, more fear, a PET-CT, an MRI, a gene test, meeting a breast surgeon, meeting an oncologist, fear, edits, having port-placement surgery, my regular full-time job, fear, edits, and more edits. Also Halloween. Also my son’s 16th birthday.
  • I started mellowing out once all the testing was done and I was “staged.” I was put at Stage II-B breast cancer, which means lymph nodes were also affected, but also nowadays has about a 97% success rate of living beyond 5 years, so that relaxed me considerably and made me square my shoulders and just get ready to do this thing.
  • November was mostly about telling everyone that I had breast cancer – Who to tell? How? Plus I worked on edits for 6 weeks. By Thanksgiving, though, I was feeling strangely calm and ready to roll on the breast cancer treatment! We’d decided on chemo first, surgery second.
  • My first book with my new publisher (The Kiss on Castle Road) came out in the UK on Dec. 1.
  • My first chemo was Dec. 3.
  • I turned in my edits on Dec. 7.
  • Then December was another month of chaos, but the fun kind — lots to keep my mind occupied while I did two rounds of chemo. My older kids came home from out of state; we mostly sat around and visited (very low-level shopping, wrapping, and decorating – they helped out a lot!) Plus there were lots of family gatherings and parties that made the month fly by and kept me very preoccupied. My husband shaved my head on Dec. 25, and things got real.
  • My third round of chemo was on New Year’s Eve.
  • The Kiss on Castle Road launched officially on New Year’s Day.
  • January was adjusting to a new reality of no hair, feeling sicker with chemo, and not as many happy distractions to keep me from noticing how sick I felt. But I was excited about my book!!!
  • My copyedits for the second Lavender Island book came in on Jan. 7ish and were due Jan. 26.
  • I had my fourth (and last) round of the “worst” chemo on Jan. 14.
  • I turned in my copyedits for the 26th.

And here we are! – Both books are done, all edits are done, my contract is done, my “worst” chemo is done, the holidays are done, and I’m suddenly feeling like the groundhog from yesterday’s Groundhog’s Day, popping my head out, looking around, and seeing what’s going on. What happened while I was in my own little personal tornado since late September?

And where do I go from here?

Happy New Year! Did you get your KISS?

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all of you got your deserved kiss at midnight, but if you’re still waiting, my latest book, THE KISS ON CASTLE ROAD, launched today and can provide just the solution! Those of you who preordered probably got your KISS at midnight exactly, but for those who didn’t, you can still get your KISS today!

This book got an early release in the UK on December 1. (Hello and welcome to new UK readers!) And it actually hit the No 1 spot for contemporary romance there for nearly a week! I was so thrilled.

I hope you all love this book as much as I do. It’s the first in a new series, which will be set entirely on fictional “Lavender Island” off the coast of California.

(Fun fact: Lavender Island was based on a real island off the coast of California, called Santa Catalina Island. Have any of you been there? If you have, you might recognize in this book some of the quirky features of Catalina, like the bison, the golf carts, and more. Over the next month, I’ll be uploading some fun photos and videos of the real Catalina Island if you want to see it. Be sure to visit THE KISS ON CASTLE ROAD book page on my website throughout January to check it out!) kit photoNatalie and Elliott were so much fun to write, and I particularly loved writing my very first “nerd hero.” Sweet, quiet guys are the true unsung heroes (and often the best men in the world to fall in love with), and I wanted to give them a romance story, too. So Elliott leaped into my mind. He’s everything I wanted him to be. I also feel strongly that a solid friendship is the basis for any long-lasting romantic relationship (and especially marriage) — do you all agree? I was glad to write a story where that was the main theme. I was worried it wouldn’t be sexy enough, having such a slow build of friendship in the background, but I think Natalie and Elliott helped me hit just the right note of sexual tension to keep you flipping pages!

I hope you love their story. And I hope you love the cast of crazy senior citizens and other island residents (including the ones with whiskers!) — they should all give you a lighthearted, endearing, fun, warm, and romantic ride to start off your new year!

Here’s the buy information:

Print books and audiobooks available here:

Amazon  |  |  Barnes and  |  Powell’s  |  Walmart
The Book Depository (ships internationally)

Or order an e-book that you can download and read right NOW (for only $3.99!) here:


Do you want to read the first chapter first?

You can read Chapter 1 here.


Happy New Year to everyone! And here’s to lots of love, laughter and kisses in the new year!

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