A few early copies of The Hope of Azure Springs are beginning to trickle out into the real world. It’s a strange feeling knowing that the words I labored over and lost many hours of sleep trying to get right are now being read by strangers that don’t know me. For years (yes, years) I only let a few select people read this story and even with them it was different because I could discuss why I made the writing choices I made and answer any questions they had about my manuscript. I have now stepped into new territory and I feel somewhat vulnerable.

What if everyone hates my book? What if everyone loves it? What if I made some historical mistake even after all the time I spent trying to get it right? What if. . .what if. . . what if. . .

Sometimes I have to step back from my fears and worries, back from my excitement and anticipation, and remind myself that no matter what anyone thinks I’m still me. I’m still the same girl that loves telling stories and does her best to tell it right (but admittedly is still learning and growing). I’m still the same girl that reads too late into the night and cries over happy endings. No matter how vulnerable I feel, no one’s opinion can change my worth. I was just as important and “me” when I was simply caring for my husband and kiddos as I will be when I have a book in print. I’m still just as important even if I’m thrown out of the book industry because my book flops. I’m still just as important this moment as I will be if my book does better than expected.

My book releasing is exciting and nerve wracking. It makes me feel exposed in a completely new way. But it’s just a book. So come what may, I’ll try to learn from criticism and graciously accept any praise that’s offered. And I’ll keep writing. Mostly though I’ll keep loving the people around me and well. . . being me!

So feel free to hold my hand during this new phase of my life. I’m grateful beyond words for all the people that have and are and will go through this book release with me. Two months!!!

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