3 times the writing life exceeded expectations

You guys. Seriously, you guys.

You know I find writing blog posts exponentially harder than writing novels, right? Because so often I’m trying to convey gratitude for unexpected blessings that floor me. (Literally floor me, like lying on my back on the living room carpet while the dog licks my face and drops toys on me as she tries to figure out this game.)

First thing:

You are amazing.

Full stop. All of you who wrote in after the last newsletter and told me how much you want more Tuesdays With Jay in your life? Every single one of you is an amazing person, and I can’t thank you enough.

So all of the notes my crazy brain has been frantically jotting down as Jay demands attention (he’s such an adorable nag) will be getting a more focused treatment. Expect to see more Tuesdays With Jay in future newsletters, as our sweet submissive shares what it’s like to be in on Henry’s grand plan.

Which leads me to second thing:

2 new books

The books I talked about in the writing process blog hop post are a definite reality now. I just signed the contracts with Lyrical Press / Kensington Books to bring you two new books in 2015.

First up is Becoming His Master (Neighborly Affection #4). This is the pre-Alice story of how Henry and Jay met, but I promise it’s best read after Healing the Wounds (Neighborly Affection #3). The knowledge of how the relationship develops enriches the beginning, I think. I hope you’ll think so, too. This one’s tentatively scheduled for March 2015, which I know seems like a long way off. On the plus side, if you’re a newsletter subscriber, I promise to keep you entertained with Tuesdays With Jay until then.

Second up is Her Shirtless Gentleman, a non-series standalone book starring Rob, an ex-Air Force tech geek looking to settle down and raise a family, and Nora, a skittish divorcee aiming to put her fears behind her. I had a lot of fun writing this pair, and I can’t wait to share them with you. They’ll be out later in 2015.

But no matter where the characters take you, you never forget your first — which leads me to third thing:

Discovering Playing the Game

MQBarber_PlayingTheGameCover_250pxSurprise reviews by night are a writer’s delight. I came home from work to a Twitter notification of a review forย Playing the Game from Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust and immediately thought Huh? I don’t remember going begging for a review here. Which, really, is about the only way I normally get reviews — submitting the book to reviewers and hoping and praying they’ll have time to take a look and fall in love with Henry, Alice, and Jay.

You guys and gals have no idea how powerful your voices are or what an enormous gift it is when you recommend the book to someone, whether it’s the woman beside you asking what’s on your Kindle while you wait for soccer practice to end or the whole world when you post a review on Amazon or B&N or Goodreads.

So that’s how I ended up with tears running down my face at 2 in the morning — and my husband asking, “What’s made you so happy?” because he knows me that well — while reading this unexpected blessing. It’s a fantastic review from a reader who clearly has gotten inside the characters’ heads.

I have to quote one line, because it’s so utterly perfect and made me laugh:

If Alice is the girl who fell down the rabbit hole then itโ€™s possible Henry is the Cheshire Cat, only human, infinitely hotter and not as cryptic.

Between the Fangs review and a Goodreads review Healing the Wounds received this week, I’m completely dumbstruck. Out of words.

So I’m gonna put my head down and duck back into the writing cave in the hopes of bringing you all even better stories, because you deserve it. I’ll just have to keep tissues handy for all the happies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

M.Q. Barber

M.Q. Barber is the USA Today bestselling author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. She's also an inveterate, unrepentant scribbler of ideas on whatever's handy.


  1. You hooked this reader. I’m a fan for life. So don’t quit writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I call them as I see them – seriously. If I had not thought it was really as good as it is I would not have said so. I am not mean, but if something is sucky I say that. And if I love something I go really fan girl. So, keep up the quality and sincerity in your work and know that on this side of the process the readers appreciate it just as much.

    • Thank you, Steph — you surprised and delighted the hell outta me. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the characters inspire that kind of reaction, and more so when the reader is hard to impress. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Oh my goodness!! I’m honored to have you quote my review!! *fangirl moment*
    I absolutely loved the books and can not wait for the next. You have a fan for life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It was a lovely review, Danim! I truly wasn’t sure whether it was possible to start the series with the third book and identify with the characters without knowing their history together. My editor and I worked hard on that. So I’m wondering and worrying, and then BAM comes your review. I’m so incredibly pleased that you connected with the trio; I can’t even describe how much. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments are closed