Of Author Invasions, Updates, and Way Too Many Adjectives

Hey, guys! Wanted to write up a quick blog post since I'm spending the day relaxing at my parent's home in Virginia, trying to rest up before tomorrow's 12 hour drive back to Florida. This past weekend was equal parts amazing and exhausting and I am so glad I decided to accept the invitation to participate in this year's Roanoke Author Invasion in Roanoke, Virginia! It was one of the most amazing things I've ever done and I still can't get over how much fun it was! Meeting so many awesome readers and wonderful authors I admire was a dream come true for me and I'm already counting down the days till RAI 2017!

(Obligatory photo of me at my booth, taken a few moments before the doors opened. If you look closely, you should be able to see at least a smidgen of sheer terror in my expression. I shouldn't have worried so much—everyone in attendance was AWESOME and kind and lovely to meet!)

(A post-signing photo of the attending authors, courtesy of Brittney Cole—I'm kneeling on the far right of the front row, next to the always lovely S.T. Bende and just in front of total sweethearts Karen Lynch, Desni Dantone, and Ashley Stoyanoff! I'm all about the adjectives in this post. It's probably because everyone was SO AMAZING that I can't seem to say anyone's name without adding some sort of kindly descriptor.)

The signing itself went by so quickly that I didn't manage to capture any photos while it was taking place, but there seem to be a bunch of pics floating around Facebook and on attendee's blogs. The few that I did manage to take over the weekend didn't turn out so great. (Further reminding me that I really need to invest in a cell phone that has a decent camera...) But I do have a couple more to share from the after-party!

(I was also lucky enough to meet the delightful {...extraordinary? Incredible? Fantastic? Dangit, I'm running out of worthy adjectives here, people.} authors Maryann Jordan, Kimberly Knight, and Maryann's spectacular PA Barbara Martoncik. Naturally, we had to make use of the after-party's photo booth. In related news, I can straight up rock a straw fedora and a hand fan. Who knew?)

(The official after-party photo! I'm in there somewhere... Think of it like a Where's Waldo image.)

Truthfully? I was so, so nervous in the days leading up to the signing.

I'm an introvert by nature and anxiety-ridden on the best of days, so taking part in an event like this was sort of a Big Deal. In the end, I am so very happy that I was able to take a step outside my comfort zone and be a part of such an amazing event. Everyone—readers, authors, and event staff alike—were kind and welcoming and they immediately put me at ease.

All that to say... if you ever get the chance to attend the Roanoke Author Invasion in the coming years, take it! I promise you won't regret it! I had an absolute blast and made more new friends in a single weekend than I have in all of the last five years combined. No joke.

So... yes. RAI is worthy of every awesome adjective in the book, most of which I've probably used twice over in this blog post.

In other news, my life has been temporarily turned upside-down... and it isn't likely to right itself any time before mid–May.

In a little less than two weeks, I'll be starting my move from Florida back to North Carolina. There are still a thousand-and-one logistical nightmares to be sorted and dozens of boxes yet to be packed, so any and all writing is likely to ground to a halt for the foreseeable future.

Also, I'm still a little under the weather where my health is concerned thanks to a mistake made by my former infusion center regarding my treatment dosage. (They, um... Well, they accidentally cut it by more than half... For six months straight.) The mistake was corrected in February, but I've been slow to get back on my feet.

With all that's been going on with my health, with my upcoming move, and with a few other issues I'd rather not get into here on the blog, it's been difficult—if not impossible—to give my writing the attention it deserves.

I'm looking toward May like it's the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. With any luck, once I'm settled in Asheville and have had a chance to rest, I'll be in a much better position to focus on finishing up book four in the Variant series!! I'd give anything to provide you with an official release date, but all I can say for now is that it should be ready for publication by early Fall of this year.

Fingers crossed things get back to normal soon! It's been eight months of absolute chaos and I'm looking forward to finding a little bit of peace once I'm settled in NC again. (And for that matter, so is my muse!) :-)

That's all for now... I'll try to check in again after the dust settles and book four is once again back on track for a fall release! Take care, everyone!!

~Jena

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