Welcoming 2017 with Open Arms

Oh boy. 2016. This has been a brutal year for the world. So much violence. So much hate and fear. Some much death. It would be easy to sink into a swamp of despair going into 2017, but I want to stay positive in my last blog of the year. Personally, 2016 was mostly great for me. I published my first novel and wrote my second. The Soul Mender reached the Amazon Best Seller list as well as Kirkus’s Best Books of 2016 list. And while there will be many challenges ahead for all of us, today I want to focus on the things within my control, and the tone I get to set for my attitude going into the New Year.

I’ve created a few lists that I’d like to share with all of you—the things I’m looking forward to, my goals, and the folks I want to thank from 2016. I know this is a common thing we all do this time of year, and I think there is some benefit to sharing it. Now all of you can hold me accountable!

I also want to post a thank-you list to the people who have helped out with Team Soul Mender in some way this year. Some of you who have helped specifically with the book are mentioned in more detail on the acknowledgments page, but there have been many hands in the production of this who I want to publicly thank for their time, hard work, and contributions.

What I’m Looking Forward to this Year

  • The launch party for book two tomorrow at Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah at 4 p.m. Come one, come all to celebrate with me!
  • The public release of the second book in the trilogy, The Peace Keeper, on January 1!
  • Writing the final installment of The Soul Mender Trilogy
  • The Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest in Feb. @Big Bend Ranch State Park
  • Traveling to Cuba at the end of March
  • Visiting sister-in-law in New Jersey in the summer
  • Trekking to Everest Base Camp in the fall
  • Releasing book three of The Soul Mender Trilogy next winter!

My goals for 2017

  • Write and publish book three of The Soul Mender Trilogy
  • Get a little blue checkmark next to my name on my social media accounts (My vanity goal)
  • Try out for Jeopardy (and make it!)
  • Do better at responding to texts and messages
  • Do better at wishing people Happy Birthday
  • Send out Christmas cards
  • Ride the Rincon Loop at bike fest
  • Attend a writers’ conference
  • Make a new bestseller’s list
  • To have Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or George R.R. Martin read my book…hey, dream big, right?!?!
  • Work out more and eat better (These go on every year. Someday I’ll get it right!)

2016 Thank-you List

  • Nathanael Gold- Thanks being a great husband and for helping me with edits!
  • Carey Dabney (Mom)- Thanks for all of the hours and hard work spent editing both books!
  • Walt and Alex Dabney (Dad & Sister)- Thanks for all of your support through all of this!
  • The Golds, Fosters, Morrills, and Dyers- Again, thanks for the support through all of this! Shout out to my brother-in-law Chas for liking and sharing literally everything I post on social media!
  • Andy Blalock- Thank you for all of the amazing and unique cover art for both books and for being a superb friend!
  • Bill & Richele Poston- Thanks to both of you for believing in me and my story and for generously backing the production and marketing of it! Also for the amazing trip to Belize!
  • Kasey Durbin- Thanks for helping with the initial marketing, and for setting up and pulling off a spectacular launch party!
  • Kinsey East- Thank you for laying out both covers as well as the hours spent on the website, graphics, and general marketing!
  • Lauren Darby- Thanks for being available for everything and helping to facilitate the marketing, ordering of books, meetings, and everything under the sun!
  • Anthony Jacobs- Thank you for all of the marketing help and for creating and managing all of our online ads!
  • Ryan Whittle- Thank you for all of the time you spent creating the amazing book trailer for the trilogy. We love it!
  • Virginia Welch- Thank you for lending your spectacular vocals to the voiceover for the book trailer and for being such a wonderful friend in general!
  • The Red Pen Warriors, especially Julia Joseph, Janice Brooks, and Sarah Purcell- Thanks for the guidance, support, and superior editing skills!
  • To the families of everyone mentioned above- I know many of you have purchased books and supported this venture in many ways. Thanks to all of you!
  • And to everyone reading this blog and those who have read the book, especially you fine few who have left me a review- Thanks for giving me a chance as a new author and for supporting me as I begin this new and exciting journey. You are all wonderful!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2017!