I wanted to take a minute and tell you about the books I have planned for 2018. First up is a novella called Once Burned. I've announced the release date as Valentine's Day, but I'm planning to hit the publish button the moment it's done, so hopefully it'll actually be out a bit early! I'll keep you posted about that here on the blog, on Facebook and Twitter, and through my newsletter!
As far as novellas go, this is a pretty substantial one. It's currently at 50,000 words, and I still have two chapters to write. Armor, my most recent novella, was around 34,000 words, just to give you a basis for comparison.
Once Burned is Cameron and Ignacio's story. That's Cam on the cover below. We first met him in The Distance. He was the Irish arson investigator who was assigned to the night club fire investigation. He became friends with Dante, and we saw him again in Armor. He got lied to and deeply hurt in that book, and ever since then, I've wanted to give him an HEA (happily ever after).
Ignacio Mondelvano is a supporting character who's been around ever since Nico's book, All I Believe. He's a sexy Spanish painter who came to the US on the advice of his friend and mentor Ollie (Nana Dombruso's husband).
All of that background isn't really necessary to read the upcoming novella, since I wrote it to stand alone. But fans of the series will probably recall these characters, and several of you have been rooting for Cam ever since he got his heart broken in Armor.
Next up after Once Burned is Mike and Yoshi's still-untitled novel! I know a lot of you are looking forward to this one. I announced it at the end of Quinn's book, Take a Chance on Me, which is the most recent installment in the Firsts and Forever Series. But then, I really felt like I needed to take a little time to plan out Mike's book after finishing Quinn's, so I went ahead and wrote this upcoming novella while I was doing that.
Mike is the youngest of the four Dombruso brothers. He's been in the series since book two, All In. We know he's a widower with three young sons, and that he was dating a woman named Marie for a while, but we don't really know much more about him. That actually goes for me, too. I needed to take some time before plunging into his book to stop and think about what makes Mike tick, and how his relationship with Yoshi is going to evolve.
I have to say, I'm so excited about this book! Not only do I think Mike is going to end up surprising us all, I'm also so happy to once again deeply immerse myself and my readers in the Dombruso family! Many favorite characters will be back, including Mike's brother Gianni and his cousin Nico, along with their boyfriends. We'll hear more from Dante and Vincent and their families, and of course Nana will be right in the heart of it. The book will revolve around Nana's grandsons trying to plan a special surprise party for her birthday. After five years of writing this series, the Dombrusos are like family to me, so Mike's book is going to feel like a homecoming, both for myself and my readers.
After Mike's book, I think the timing will finally be right for a spin-off series! I'm not closing the doors on the Firsts and Forever Series, but I do think it's time to start an additional project. The spin-off will revolve around the transition shelter Nana founded, which is called Rainbow Roost. That'll still allow us to check in with many of our favorite Firsts characters, since they'll be volunteering at the shelter or helping out in other ways.
The first book in that still-untitled spin-off series will be Elijah's story. I've wanted to give him a book ever since I introduced him in Coming Home (book 9 in the Firsts series), but I wanted him to be a bit older before he became a main character. As you may recall, Elijah is a math prodigy, and he'll be volunteering as a tutor at the shelter, which provides transitional housing for LGBT+ young people, ages 18-24. That's where he'll meet the person that turns out to be the love of his life, though their road won't be an easy one.
I haven't decided who I'll write after Elijah's book, and I don't really want to lock myself in at this point. I think it'll just depend on who's speaking to my readers and me the loudest after the new series is launched.
So, those are my plans for the upcoming year! Generally speaking, it takes me four months start to finish to produce a full-length novel, and if I'm able to stick to that, then Mike's book will be out in May, and the new series will kick off in September. That might then make room for a holiday novella with some of our favorite characters, which would be fun! As always, I'll keep you posted.
It's going to be a great year! I hope you come along for the ride! <3