What’s the word on Ante Up!?
Well, let’s begin with Ante Up!‘s history. After all, not everyone has read the series (and you’ll want to before you read this book!)
Once upon a time, a mother in the Mojave Desert wrote a story of a young woman floundering as the “new mom” of eight. That single, 60K word “book” read like a laundry list of events. So, this aspiring author took the book in hand and began fleshing out scenes, making things a bit more descriptive, and weaving in subplots. Those original 60K words morphed into two full books (of over 120k words each) and a partial.
Those three books became Amazon bestsellers. The first book alone, in its first promotion, was downloaded once every 3.6 seconds in the first 24 hours. *thud*.
Readers demanded more, so the author wrote an “almost four years later” kind of segment in another series–Past Forward (Volume 6). It only whetted appetites for more. So a fourth book was planned. In the plotting of that fourth book, two other spin-off books were also conceived. I’d love to tell you the names of them, but the author doesn’t have titles yet. One concerns Vannie and Laird as they see something suspicious and race to figure it out. The other has to do with an even older Vannie and the status of her heart.
Then the author began writing. She wanted the best book she could possibly write to finish off what has been such a beloved series. She posted quote memes like this one:
And her readers grew nervous. What happened to Aggie and clan!
She posted hints of coming dates–sent out calls for launch team members. The comments began rolling in. That author panicked. The more people clamored for the book, the more she began to wonder. “Is it possible for this book to live up to expectations?” She asked her publicist the question and added, “I feel like no matter what I write, no matter how amazing somehow it turned out to be, it would still be disappointing.”
You see, this author had a similar thing happen with a couple of her favorite authors’ books. After long breaks of writing, the authors brought out the next book! She grabbed it and read with eager anticipation. The books fell flat. Was it the fault of the book? It’s entirely possible. But, that author suspected it was the fault of time and anticipation. Like a mother planning the “best Christmas ever,” that turned out to be just another lovely Christmas with all the mix-ups and hiccoughs it could have, she watched comments, blog posts, and emails with a nervous eye.
A nervous eye and a whisper in her heart. I don’t want to disappoint them.
But the day came. The book had been uploaded and was ready for pre-orders. She swallowed her nerves, sent out prayers for understanding, and posted the news!
Look, I’m going to be brutally honest. I am nervous. If you saw the contents of my inbox, my Facebook messages, my social media feed, you’d understand why. The anticipation of this book far exceeded my wildest imagination. I usually don’t like to give away spoilers, but I’m going to give away one. This book is about real people with real flaws and real struggles. If you want a perfectly happy story of a golden family, I recommend you skip this book. While that book would have been fun to write, it isn’t the book I feel the Lord led me to explore. I sat down, looked at Aggie and the children’s lives, looked at what had happened in the first books, what likely would have happened in the meantime, and wrote from there. I just hope you’re not too disappointed. If you are, please forgive me.
For the record, it’s not all pain, despair, and agony! Just in case you were wondering. You’ll recognize the same silly moments, the touching ones, the instructive ones, and the “huh?” as well.
Just curious. Am I the only one who has waited a long time for a book and found it disappointing? If that’s happened to you, do you think it was the book itself or your expectations?