WHERE WE LEFT OFF ON PART III…
Only a couple of days after we moved in, a summer storm hit, and it started raining INSIDE the living room, in several places. We also later discovered significant termite damage, our new electrician found hot wires buried all over the yard (and a Folger’s coffee can used as a junction box – also buried in the yard) and, when the air conditioner started giving us trouble, none of the technicians could figure out the age of the unit because somebody had conveniently removed the tag with the serial number…
Thank goodness the business was doing well because we had to quickly buy a brand new roof, have electrical work done, patch the air conditioner to keep it running as long as possible (we finally had to replace it this summer), and do many other repairs and replacements that none of the inspectors documented or warned us about. We eventually needed a new pool pump, we had to fix the plumbing for the washing machine that the previous owner had built a wall in front of, and we learned the dock is going to need to be replaced. The cost is staggering so that’s the last thing on the list. Thank goodness the dock guy said we can wait another 5 years before it’ll start giving us trouble.
Most recently, we had to have the entire back wall of the house demolished and rebuilt because of old termite damage. The old owner had looked me right in the eye, and said they’d never had termites. Orkin came along later, and showed us the tiny, patched holes from previous termite treatments.
Despite all of this, we LOVE this house. I figure, in a few years, we’ll have replaced almost all of it!
As for the kids, after moving here, Zach was working for BookLocker full-time, and playing golf every chance he got. He was in Heaven because the golfing season in Maine was very short each year. After several years of not dating, Zach showed up at our house one day unannounced, which was a wonderful surprise. I asked if he had a tournament in town. No, he did not. He let us know he was dating a girl in Sarasota and he’d been out with her that day. We were thrilled! Since that time, they have moved in together and we are expecting an engagement announcement very soon. (That’s all I can say about that!) And, his intended has a background in accounting and marketing so, of course, we have brought her into the family business! Yea!!
Ali and Justin are doing great at their jobs as chefs on the island. One weekend, after they’d been dating for four years, Justin took Ali out on his birthday, and proposed. He told her the only birthday gift he wanted was her. It was so sweet! We are currently in the final weeks of the wedding planning frenzy.
Frank is busy working two jobs – one is waiting tables at the same restaurant where Ali and Justin work and the other is in the O.R. at the hospital (holding up limbs, running for blood, etc.). He LOVES his hospital job! He also volunteers for an organization that feeds the hungry AND attends school full-time. Needless to say, we don’t see him much right now but he is happy staying busy and he does very well at school! He’s very smart and hard-working, and has always made excellent grades.
Matt is living in Boston with his wife, Sarah. We see them twice a year – at Christmas and in the early summer for their annual vacation. Of course, each time they get a blizzard, we tease them about our warm temperatures and blue ocean.
As for Richard and I, we still work all day, each day, side-by-side and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Recently, he attended Justin’s bachelor party in Key West and I had a hole in my heart all weekend because I was missing him so badly. He ended up coming home a day early. He blamed it on that pesky tropical storm but, the fact was, he missed me very badly, too.
We homeschool Max (age 14) and Mason (age 9) while also running the business. We have weekly dates and, sometimes, more than once a week! We have made LOTS of new friends in Florida and we feel very much entrenched in the community now. We consider our new friends our Florida family. While we do miss Maine in the fall (no fall foliage here!), we don’t miss the snow and ice at all. Not one bit. I thought I’d miss the snow at Christmas but I don’t. When the weather gets too cool for the pool, Richard fires up the Jacuzzi and we sit in that, usually after dark, cuddling with a glass of wine, and watching the moon and clouds overhead while listening to the occasional fish jump and land with a splash.
To get our fall fix, we take an annual vacation to Tennessee. We can run the business from anywhere and we get great wifi on the mountaintops there!
Back at home, when we drive from Bradenton to Sarasota, we take the “long way,” down Longboat Key. It only takes an extra 10 minutes but we get to drive by the beach the whole way. I grew up near Galveston, Texas, where the water is usually a brownish color. Here, the water color changes daily but it’s always a shade of blue. Sometimes it’s a deep, dark blue. Other times, it’s a light Caribbean blue. And there are so many blues in between! We frequently see dolphins. I love the sea birds and the starfish and, every once in awhile, a manatee makes an appearance, even in our backyard!
We truly have found Heaven and, with every passing season, as we watch our babies leave the nest to find their own romances and successes, Richard and I, working and playing side-by-side every single day, fall more deeply in love with each other.
As for the future? Well, our son, Zach, who’s worked for us since he was 15 years old, recently started the application process for the PGA! He passed the first big tournament, and is now scheduled to take some PGA classes, which are a requirement. His future fiancé will be changing to part-time at her current job, and taking over Zach’s job at BookLocker. She will eventually transition to full-time for us and we are THRILLED! She is super-smart, incredibly creative, and so funny!
Ali has been formatting books for us for years and she will continue to do so on a part-time basis. She’s very good at it and we’re blessed that she gives us two days a week of her time.
Of course, we have other folks working for us as well. They work from their homes because it’s very important to us that they be able to spend as much time with their children as possible. Our printer prints and ships books directly to our customers. Everything else is done online. So, as long as you have reliable, hard-working, honest folks working for you, there really is no reason to drag them into an office each day.
We continue to monitor industry innovations to stay ahead of the curve, and to help our authors, and others, avoid unnecessary costs, and also avoid being victimized by the growing number of sharks on the Internet. You can read more in our POD Secrets Revealed Series HERE.
If you’d like to read more about how BookLocker can help you get your book on the market, affordably and quickly (most books take a month or less!), please see: http://publishing.booklocker.com
And, to answer the most frequent question we’re receiving right now, yes, we can get your book on the market in time for Christmas with no rush fees! But, please contact us SOON!!
Of course, I’m just an email away if you have any comments or questions! Please use one of our contact forms here:
To submit your manuscript for consideration: http://publishing.booklocker.com
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE