Just three days ago, we had to put one of our beloved horses down. I realize that when I signed up to rescue senior horses, I would have to make this tough decision. I understand the pain, but also understand that the love I give these noble animals during their last years/months/days on earth is worth the pain that I suffer. I will admit that I’ve been in a slight depression knowing that my family and I couldn’t fly to Miami for the Readers’ Favorite awards ceremony this year, losing another pasture and then losing Chewbacca. They were three hits pretty close together, and Monday mornings don’t help sometimes. Then the email came in.

“Congratulations! You are a 2023 Cadmus Book Award Winner!” was in the subject line. I clicked on the email and read it, stopped and read it again. The third time I read it, I burst into tears. My daughter came into the office to find out what was wrong. I had her read the email to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. We then clicked on the link that took us to the winner’s page and there was my first book in my series, End of Crows. Naked faced, hair not washed and wearing a hoodie, I created a video letting my readers know that the book series we loved so much had won another award. That makes THREE INTERNATIONAL awards for this series!

It’s a bittersweet win, as I’m still having those who claim my books encourage uprising, and my marketing is suppressed, which means my royalties are almost non-existent (no, I’m not exaggerating, my royalties for last month were under $100) but the awards mean so much more, because these are strangers who are judging my work, my talent, my creativity and celebrating it. That is worth so much more than the royalties and the spiteful words from those who just don’t understand a good story.

Re-energized, I’m off to finish book five, Gathering of Corvids. This will be another incredible story for Willow, as she heads to New York and hopefully frees those in the oppressive prison the Dominion has enslaved them in. Let’s see if Willow’s saga spreads like wildfire and tamps down those who choose to oppress her author, too.