And yes, I had to scream that at you!!
Aren't you excited??
Probably not as excited as me... but you have to at least be a little bit excited, yeah? :)
For real, publishing this book has taken an epic weight off my shoulders. It was so late. So very very very late.
I realized today that it took me two and a half years to publish the three books in this series. That is
Of course, I had
I keep having other authors tell me how amazing you all are. And it's so true. I have been so stressed about finishing this book and getting it out for you all and I keep telling my writer friends that my readers must HATE ME!!!! But every author I've talked to about this has returned with, but you're readers are seriously amazing. They are so understanding!
And it's true!!! Even my publicist was blown away with how nicely and patiently you waited for me.
So I have to say again and again and again. Thank you for waiting for this one with me. Thank you for loving Ivy and Ryder enough to want more of their story. And thank you for reading, buying and finishing the Siren Series.
You are the best readers in the world. It's true. This is a fact!!!! Even other authors recognize this! :)
So I just wanted to talk a little bit about the series and how much it means to me.
This was one of those plot lines that I have no idea where it came from. Just one day it was in my head and I couldn't shake it. Sometimes I can blame dreams or music or TV or conversations or or my husband (You have him to thank for LandD) or whatever, but I swear this one was divinely implanted because I can't think of any origin for it.
I didn't even know I wanted to write a mythology story until this idea. How weird is that???
Mythology is one of the genres I LOVE to read. But because I never read in the genres that I write in, I knew, if I took on this series, that I would be giving up mythology for a very long time.
That was a lot harder for me than you might think.
But as far as stories go and series that I've finished, this one was so so so worth the sacrifice. I am just so proud of this trilogy and how it came together and the story that I told.
I won't say that I lot. Or I try not to. Usually I'm too insecure to sing my own praises. But, like Love and Decay, I didn't know if I would be able to accomplish what I set out to do.
Honestly, I thought I was doomed to fail. Ivy's story felt too big. The mythological world I wanted to build felt too impossible. The real life issues I wanted to interweave throughout the three books felt daunting and bigger than me and my imagination.
I really thought that I would be forced to give up somewhere around the middle of book two.
Which would have been really sad...
This is one of the reasons I am thankful the series took me so long to write. If I would have tried to finish this series one right after the other, I wouldn't have done it justice.
I really would have failed.
This series took me growing as a writer, growing as a person, growing as an existential being that had to find its place in the vastness of the universe before I could be mature enough and skilled enough to put these words to paper.
I really believe that.
And when I say I took a journey with these books. I mean it. Really, truly, honestly, genuinely mean it.
The sex trafficking industry is something that is very close to my heart. I really think it is the most evil thing in our world. And the more attention we can bring to the realities of sex trafficking, sex slaves, prostitution, child pornography and everything else related the better.
It happens everywhere. In every city, in every state, in every country around the world.
That tag line, "Sex Sells" has never been more poignant or more devastating.
Before I was a writer or a mom or a wife, I spent some time traveling the world. I lived in Europe for six months and three of those months were spent in Romania where I saw up close and personal what prostitution does to women and their children. My team and I worked in orphanages that were packed with infants abandoned by their moms who were forced to solicit their bodies to survive. HIV in that country is the fastest growing disease and it's one of the countries with the highest and fastest growing infection rate. Then a few months later I was in Sri Lanka where I worked with missionaries from India and Nepal actively rescuing women from the sex trade.
I cannot explain to you the heartbreaking stories I heard or how young some of these women are who are sold into sex slavery. They aren't women at all. They're children.
Some of those children don't even know a different life. They were born directly into the it. Can you imagine? Can you imagine you're own children having to face that life or live in that kind of filth and degradation?
I cannot. It breaks my heart like nothing else.
Ivy's story was a fictional look at the sex trafficking world and how dangerous and sick it is. But Ivy's story was only fiction and cannot capture the real pain and anguish that these women and children face on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis.
I get selfishly upset when people threaten to take away minor freedoms in my life. I get frustrated when my kids don't give me the ten minutes of peace and quiet I need to get one thing done.
But these people have no freedom. They have no liberty or dignity or hope. They have been stripped of their value and left for sadistic men to use them against their will.
I am not okay with that. It makes me angry like nothing else.
So as you read this story, as you take this journey, please don't just think about Ivy and Ryder. Please don't just walk away with a satisfied feeling of a completed trilogy. Please please please take the time to think about those actually affected by this evil, those that live in fear and hopelessness and despair.
Please think about them, pray for them and do what you can for them.
That might sound like a lot to ask, but there are lots of places working on the victims' behalf and it's easier than you think to support them.
I know a fabulous group of women that live and work in India. They help to rescue women from prostitution by giving them a real job to support themselves and their families. The company's name is Sari Bari. The women take the beautiful saris from India and turn them into gorgeous quilts and accessories. Seriously, this is such an amazing cause and if you found something you liked, you would be directly contributing to women who were rescued from the sex industry. You would be giving them food and shelter. You would be giving them hope. You would be giving them a reason to keep doing what they're doing and not turn back to a life of prostitution.
They also make fantastic gifts!!!
Here is the link: Sari Bari
Please take the time to check them out.
Plus, how gorgeous are those quilts????
Thank you so very much for sticking with me through this series. Thank you for falling in love with Ivy and with Ryder, for cheering on their freedom and for hating Nix as much as I do.
Thank you for reading and for sharing and for downloading your copies or buying your print books.
You guys make it possible to live out my dream job. For as many words as I write a day, there are not enough to share with you how grateful I am.
If you haven't started the Siren Series yet, The Rush is FREE!!!!! And now that the series is completely finished, you won't have to wait for any more books to come out!!!! Here are the links to all of the books!
The Rush (Book 1)
For Barnes and Noble
The Fall (Book 2)
For Barnes and Noble
The Heart (Book 3)
It's not live on iBooks just yet. But it will be soon!!!