As 2019 came to a close, I decided to make a State of the Storyworld post to update everyone on how this past year went. I have to say, we started off strong in quarter 1&2, but then came the summer and .... well? Life Happened.
Overall, Jackie Castle rocked the keyboard this year over J. R. Castle. But we'll get to that in a bit. In our defense, between family moving into the castle, bringing two little gremlins with them, and the death of a dear family member around Thanksgiving, I'm surprised I was able to get as much done as I did.
So, here's a recap of this year's accomplishments, in case you missed something... read on-->
From the Sweet Romance World of Jackie Castle
I had the bright idea late in 2018, that I should do something different. I looked around and saw how well all the Billionaire books were selling and thought to myself, "How hard can that be?"
Ha. Stupid question. Really.
I'm not a fashionable, up-scale type of person. Honestly. The song below is kind of my mantra. Give me blue jeans, a t shirt and a comfy old couch and I'm as happy as a tick on the back of a dog's neck. I'm a simple, down to earth, kind of girl who likes walking in woodsy parks and geeks out over things like feather quills, new leather journals and colorful stickers for my planners. =D
I drive an Altima and have no interest in even getting in a sports car. Never did. The prime garments in my closet are pull-over shirts, jeans, and stretch pants.
So, writing about billionaires became more of a challenge than I first anticipated. But, I grew to love the Grimwood family. I'm not sure how the Grimwood Legacy series does compared to other billionaire books, but I did have fun. Especially with Colton's story on the private island and his mermaid love interest. THAT was a fun book to write.
And I have two more to go...but more on that in my next post. Click the picture below to see the series page on Amazon. All three books are available in print and are on Kindle Unlimited.
QUESTION: How many of you would be interested in this series being available on Audio? What about Large Print?
(I've been thinking about doing both.)
The Multi-Author Collections
I was honored to be included in two wonderful multi-author shared world story collections.
The first one came from our Sweet Romance Reader group of authors. A six book collection centered around Snowflake Colorado. Each character was given a challenge to accomplish during the holiday season. Who knew they'd fall in love during their challenge?
Small-Town Christmas Wishes
Welcome to Snowflake, Colorado—a small town where wishes come true! When six old high school friends receive a letter that their fellow friend, Charity Hart, wrote before she passed away, their lives take an unexpected turn. She leaves them each a check for $1,500 and asks them to grant a wish—a secret wish—for someone else by Christmas. And she wants it to be special.
My contribution is Nate's Gift. The books can be read in any order. Click the pictures to learn more.
Bachelor Second Chance Cowboy Romances (5 book series)
The second collection was about a family of five brothers who had to find a wife by Christmas or lose the funding to their charitable organizations.
I had so much fun writing about Seth and Noel and her Great Danes- Dash and Dottie- two rambunctious giant pups that helped make her famous, but might end up becoming her ruin if she doesn't get them under control. That's where Seth Kelly steps in with his expertise as a dog whisperer.
Unfortunately, they have a past and Noel wants nothing to do with him. Will Seth find a way back into her heart? You'll have to read Her Quiet Billionaire Groom to find out. Click the picture below to learn more about the whole series...
QUESTION: Do you enjoy reading multi-author series where everyone shares world or has a particular theme running through all the books? Have you read either of these series in completion? Tell me what you think...
Return to Madison Creek
Of course, I had to return to Madison Creek with another story.
I decided on a Madison Creek Township novella. I had been wanting to write Leon Jovino's story. He appeared in the very first Madison Creek story, Secretly In Love.
And while I was at it, I decided to bundle all the novellas into one collection: Finding Love in Madison Creek.
From the Fantastical World of J. R. Castle
I wish I could say I was more pleased with J. R. Castle's progress, but the going has been slow.
Mainly the reason is while trying to write book 3 of the Chronicles of Alburnium, we had a death in the family and that just brought my writing to a grinding halt.
But I did release Silver and Light in April, and I wrote a short Rapunzel retelling titled, Entangled, for a collection. Lately all of my fantasy stories have been fairy tale retellings. Entangled will be part of a new series I'm working on called the Shrouded Havens. At this stage, I'm still world-building. And thinking. And plotting out some ideas. Over the next year, I might release another short from this world. More to come as this project develops.
If you've joined my Storyworld Newsletter, then I hope you grabbed your copy of Blood and Water while it was free Christmas day. You can click the picture below to learn more about this new series that takes place in the early days of Alburnium from the White Road Chronicles.
QUESTION: I'm thinking of putting Entangled on sale at my Storyworld store. How do you feel about purchasing books directly from the author on their websites? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I'm very much interested in your feedback on this and my other questions.
Well, that's about it for 2019...
Next week, I'll continue Castle's State of the Storyworld update with what's to come in 2020! Stay tuned and please consider signing up for my Romance or Fantasy newsletter to keep up to date on what's happening. You'll also get access to special deals and sales in every issue.
Be blessed and happy reading!
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.