Allison Temple Blog

Awkward and Thoroughly Kissable
Posts tagged new year
The Best (and Others) of 2018
So Long 2018.jpg

So Long 2018.jpg

So first off, this is being posted in error, because there is NO WAY IN HELL that 2018 is almost over. This has without a doubt been one of the most action packed years of my life...which is funny, because I spent an awful lot of it working from my couch.

I wanted to write about the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2018, but since we also all want to leave here in a good mood, I'm going to do it backwards. This is going to be like one of those food blog posts where I ramble and you keep scanning for the recipe. Bear with me. There are some good bits in here.

The Ugly

I had a publishing deal....and then I didn't. You can read a bit about it here, but let's just say I have to tell myself it was the right decision, even when everything else is uncertain.

The Bad

My grandmother passed away in October. It was quick without being sudden. We are all sad, but I can't say we were surprised.

Screen Shot 2018-10-21 at 6.03.31 PM

Screen Shot 2018-10-21 at 6.03.31 PM

Her passing overlapped with the GRL Retreat. I was on the highway somewhere in Pennsylvania when she left us. My family and I had talked a lot whether or not I should go to Virginia at all, and in the end decided I should.

It's surreal to be all by yourself in a place you don't know when one of the pillars of your childhood leaves this world, but I drove 3000 km that week (see Figure 1) and had lots of time to grieve, remember, and distract myself with hours of Sam of Wilds' audiobooks shenanigans (more on that below).

Okay that that's done, let's get to the stuff you actually click the link for.

The Good

So much good. Good reads. Good friends. In no particular order these are:

I published a book!!

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Untitled design-9

Four books, actually. 2018 was the year I became an honest to god published romance author. It has been awesome and exhausting and sometimes heartbreaking, but I would do it all over again.

Three of these stories are short and can be found here for free. Going Down is brand spanking new and features the sexiest truth or dare game ever played in an elevator. It will also be moving to Amazon in the new year, so you should pick up your free copy now.

Speaking of pick ups, The Pick Up you have to pay for, but it's averaging 4.4 stars on Amazon, so I promise this small town single dad romance is worth your time. Also, it's on sale until January 5 if you use the code SALE18 when purchasing from the publisher's website. If you need more convincing, you can read about it here.

I discovered Verania.

I'm a slow reader. Super slow. A book a month is about my speed.

Last year, I was at GRL in Denver and Brandon Witt was speaking in a panel and said something like "And then I read The Lightning-Struck Heart and it had Gary the Hornless Gay Unicorn," and I had never heard of the book, but there was a ripple of . . . something in the room.

I didn't think about the book again until this past winter when Wish Upon the Stars came out and so there was a sale on The Lightning-Struck Heart and so I bought it and then whispersynced that puppy to get the audiobook and . . . is it hubris if I say my life changed?

Sam appreciates hubris. Let's go with it.

TJ Klune does not need my shout out. His fans are legion. And most of you are rolling your eyes going "Come on Allison, I knew about Verania ages ago!" But for me, as a long-time audiobook afficianado, this series is one of the best produced I've ever listened to. If you haven't done so already, give yourself the Gift Of Verania this holiday season (I capitalized it, so you know it's true).

I met some awesome people and read their awesome books.

I hesitate to write this, because just like we hope-click 'best of' lists even though we know our books won't be on them, someone is going to look at my recommendations and be disappointed that I didn't include their story.

Know that, if we are writerly friends, I appreciate every conversation we've had this year. A lot of writing is navel gazing and pep talks and it's awesome that the community is supportive enough that these can happen any time of the day.

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Untitled design-3

Craft Brew is book 2 in the Trouble Brewing series, which means you should probably read book 1. . . and that means you should probably read the Agents Irish and Whisky series to get the full impact. But if you're not down for that kind of commitment, just start with Imperial Stout and get ready for Nic's silver-fox-in-a-suit-hiding-so-many-yummy-tattoos and Cam's balls-out-Boston-but-Cam's-not-out-and-I-have-so-many-feelings-about-this. Seriously. The books are fast paced, the eye candy (even if it's in my head) is delightful, and there's still one more book in the series to go in 2019!

Life of Bliss is also a book 2 and I've been going back and forth about whether I like or its predecessor, Life on Pause, more. In the end, I picked Life of Bliss because I didn't know wake-up-married was a trope I'd be down for, but Vic and Todd are so frigging cute, the pining is so sweet and earnest, and Erin McLellan is my favourite sex toy queen, and this story is tamer than some of her others, but still doesn't disappoint.

Where Death Meets the Devil was quite possibly the best book I read in 2018 and LJ Hayward has subsequently put out a Coda, three novellas, and an excellent second novel in the Death and the Devil series, so while I still like the opening gambit (I'm just in awe of the dual timelines) the best, there are lots more words to help get you through your book hangover.

At some point, I'm going to write a 'what's up for 2019?' post. The short answer is SO MUCH! Thanks for being part of my debut year misadventures. Let's continue the journey next year!

2017 - More of the Good Stuff

I mostly suck at New Year's resolutions. There was the year I resolved to read more books. That went pretty well. But most years, good intentions, hell, you know how it goes. As you can tell by the progress on my 100 day workout challenge, big goals that are out of my norm often get left by the wayside. So instead of setting new resolutions, I went back through 2016 and picked the things I enjoyed the most that I want to keep doing.

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Write More

Well obviously. That's kind of the point, isn't it? I'm drafting now, so the goal is 3500 words a week. 100% doable. I did it between May and September without fail last year and got the Blue Vixen draft done.

Other writing? Sure. Blogging? Yup. More sad essays about infertility? Hopefully positive essays about how our adoption adventure has a happy ending instead, but we'll see. I can't predict that one. Smutty one shots for my tiny but adoring fanbase when the mood strikes? Probably those too. I'm gonna write a lot this year.

Relax More

Last year, I took time off. We traveled to Boston and Newfoundland. I went to two writer's retreats. I spent a lazy weekend on the river with my parents and my nephew. But on December 1st, I had three weeks of vacation left to use up at my day job. Three! First World Problems, I know. And I didn't even use them all, which means I've rolled over into 2017 with an extra week, leaving me over five weeks to use this year.

I enjoy my job (see the next goal), but I'm going to try to be there (just slightly) less this year. I've got a writer's weekend planned in February, and another in June. Maybe one in April too? It involves a plane ride to Nevada, but it sounds pretty cool. I'm going to do these, and I'm not going to rush out of the office at the last minute to get there. Take the day, drive the long way. That's the plan.

Also, if you have a cottage with a spare bed in the months of July or August, let me know. I'll bring the wine.

Work More(-ish)

 

Look, writing is the thing that keeps me up at night, but work is the thing that pays the bills so I have the luxury to stay up at night worrying about writing.

Fortunately, I have a good job. It's a tough job, but it's a good one. Sometimes I even get to write for it. I have a great boss who knows when I'm freaking out but don't want admit it. I have a great team who seem to think I know what I'm doing. We're hiring and taking on a bunch of new locations. They're going to need me there. It's going to be an exciting year. So I'm going to keep going to the office every day, and working hard for the people who believe in me (and who finance my writing habit and those nifty trips mentioned above).

Hang Out More

I wrote last year about how I seem to have made friends in spite of myself. I just spent more than two weeks on vacation, and the first week was jammed with people who wanted to see me. Me? Lazy, sometimes grumpy, often bossy, but the best damn trivia partner you ever had, me? Weird.

A week of daily social obligations was a bit much, and I have since overcompensated by not leaving the house except to run over to the convenience store for crackers on New Year's Eve. But, the truth is, I like these people. They seem to like me. I can't be a hermit 100% of the time, and my persona as marketing manager extraordinaire needs an occasional break. So I'm going to spend more time with the people I like this year. Just a little more time.


There's my plan. No resolutions. Just more of the same. Doable, right?

What do you want to do more of this year?