Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Tonight I was planning on continuing with the next part of the Chronicle that I started last week, but a reader’s message left me deciding that perhaps post would be put to better use by explaining a few things. I haven’t seen it, because I stay away from readers conversations about my books because I want them to feel comfortable enough to say whatever they want and have an open conversation without worry. I’ve seen a few posts from bloggers getting upset that readers are complaining and lashing out against authors because of the long waits between books. For some reason, I didn’t think they were talking about me.

I figured that I’d been getting books out as quickly as possible and that it was understood that sometimes life gets in the way, a book takes longer than possible, or that sometimes a story just won’t come and needs some time to develop. From what I’m being told there are some very angry readers that are upset over the wait times of a few of my books. 

I get that.

It’s been seven years since Black Heart came out, longer still since we had a Hollywood Heart or an EMS book, and the Pyte/Sentinel readers have been waiting for three years for their next book. The NFH books have come out steadily because they are the easiest to write and are the best escapes for me when I need it. The waits have never been intentional and if I could plug the computer into my brain and pull the stories out for you, I would do it in a heartbeat. It is going to take some time, but I will get all the stories out.

I should probably explain why there has been such a long gap between books. I started writing books in 2007 to escape a horrible marriage. It was a nightmare that I would never wish on anyone. I began writing to get away from that and other cruel people in my life who were taking great joy in my misery. It was a struggle to get up every morning and every day I became more terrified than the last that there was never going to be an escape for us. I became desperate and began borrowing books from the library trying to learn a skill, any skill, that I could teach myself so that I could save enough money to break free and take care of my two children. I tried website design, soap making, computer repair, etc. you name it, I taught myself it. 

Nothing worked.

I finally hit that moment, the moment where you realize that you have absolutely nothing to lose. I decided to try my hand at writing. The first book was godawful, lol, but the next two books I enjoyed a great deal. For the next four years, I wrote. I just wrote. Every minute that I wasn’t taken care of my children, I was writing. It was actually what saved us when I found out just how horrible the marriage really was. We were left with nothing, no money, no car, no job, nothing. Absolutely nothing. From that horrible situation, we were thrown into another horrible situation, one that I’d hoped never to have to put my children in, but we weren’t left with a choice. 

Now, this is why the timeline for the books have been messed up and why there has been a long wait for books.

From 2011 to now we have been struggling to reclaim our lives, to make the children feel safe, and to try use what happened to us to make us stronger. Escaping abuse is great, but people do not talk about what it does to you. It’s sometimes worse than the actual abuse. It’s not a fun time and we struggle working through it daily.

While readers were waiting for the next Cursed Heart novel or the Pyte novel, I was fighting to keep my children safe in court. We had to deal with a criminal trial where the DA dropped the ball even though there was physical evidence, witnesses, and two confessions. Thankfully that person decided to brag online about getting away with it and shared a great deal of information to let everyone know just how disturbing and dangerous he really was. For four years, I worked with a private investigator following him online and gathered as much information as we could to save my children. It was more than enough and we managed to get our freedom. It took a lot out of us, but we got our freedom and once we got it…

We honestly had no idea what we were supposed to do with ourselves. We went from the fight of our lives to suddenly being free and never having to worry about the people that had made our lives a living hell ever coming near us again and it was overwhelming. That was December 2015, It took us a few months, but we finally decided to follow the advice that the children’s therapist and DCF gave us and move out of state and get a fresh start. That was late 2016. We moved two thousand miles away, moved into a beautiful state and have been working on getting our lives together. 

For the past two years, we have been working on trying to rebuild our lives, get a proper diagnosis for my son, which we finally did and that took a great deal of pressure off everyone to finally have answers, and work therapy to help get through everything. The past two years, that’s what I’ve been doing. Trying to help my children, homeschooling them when needed, taking them to therapy, working with them, and doing whatever it took to make them feel safe.

I have not been ignoring readers, or purposely teasing anyone, or focusing on certain books for money. I’ve been writing what will help me get through this. I have been writing the stories that have been playing out in my head. I love the other series and I’m very excited to have a chance to get back to the Pyte books, Cursed heart hopefully later this year, the EMS series, and others, and yes, I am working on Aidan’s book during carline and while I wait for my children to finish therapy every week.

So, if you are waiting for a certain book, I am sorry for that wait. It has never been my intention to make you wait. When I say that life gets in the way sometimes, I really mean that. I would have preferred writing all the stories that were waiting than to go through that hell any day of the week. This year is the year that I am doing my best to catch up. My children have great therapists, attend an awesome school, and while we all still have issues to work on, we are at the point where we can really start moving on. 

Thank you for your kindness and your support for the past seven years. We honestly could never thank you enough for everything that you’ve done for us and I hope that this letter helps to clear up a few things.

R.L. 

109 Responses to “Dear Reader”

  1. Avatar Ellen Taylor says:

    I am sorry to hear about people complaining. Your kuddos are more important than pleasing people. I know some authors who have taken time off due to health issues, theirs and loved ones. Just know that I love your books, and ax a mom to a daughter with anxiety and depression, you have to take care of your children. I am so glad that you got out of that unhealthy and dangerlus place you found yourself. Keep working on healing and finding yourselves again. Good luck and God bless. I can’t wait for your next book, but I will wait patiently while you do it to your satisfaction.

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    You are strong, brave and someone to be proud of. You got yourself and your children into a safe place. I applaud your courage.

  3. Avatar Claire says:

    I am so sorry for what you and your kids went through but so thankful that you are in a better place and seeing your family thrive. Take the time you need. I will gladly wait to read anything you write because for me NFH books are worth the wait. I cant imagine coming up with a story let alone finding the time to write it all down so I’m so sorry people are rude and impatient. Thanks for the joy you give me when I read your books, no matter how long in between the wait may be. Reed and Joey were amazing!

  4. Avatar Judy McDonald says:

    I just wanted to give you a hug. Your books have been my absolute favorites and I have no problem waiting while my favorite author gets herself in the best mindset and family taken care of first. Real fans have no problem waiting and rereading your books until a new one comes along. Thank you for all that you do, and take care of yourself and your kids first!!

  5. Avatar L.D. Franta says:

    I feel you are doing an amazing job at being a mom and a wonderful author. Please know your true fans love you and will wait until you are ready to get your books out. God bless you and your family.

  6. Avatar Renee says:

    R.L. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you right now. No one should have to explain themselves or their personal lives to anyone, but you my friend not only rose above the abuse but the petty talk of unappreciative readers. You and your children are the first priority and a true fan will wait patiently without complaint. Take your time girl, we’ll be right here waiting for you. Stay strong and know that your “true fans” will always have your back. Loved The Promise btw. I tried to slow down but I just couldn’t help myself 😳🤪😍

  7. Avatar Jo Ann Reinhold says:

    I applaud you for your bravery. You are an exceptionally strong woman who is fighting like a tiger to say her children. That’s the most important thing in life. Thank you for giving us the in entertainment of your books. I’m here to read any that you are able to give us. Take care of what’s important in life, and your readers will be here.

  8. Avatar Michelle says:

    I’m glad to hear that things are looking up for you!

    I appreciate you sharing your story; However you DO NOT EVER owe any of your readers an explanation for why your books take time to write! Writing is an art. It’s done by human beings, not robots.

    The only time a reader can get frustrated is if an author repeatedly announces release dates, takes payments for pre-orders and then disappears when those dates pass with no book. I have followed multiple best selling authors who have promised books every month for years and didn’t follow thru.

    You have never done that. It is perfectly fine to push dates back to ensure you release a book you are proud of.

    As long as you are honest about your progress and keep readers updated with changes, people DO NOT have the right to complain.

    Enjoy your freedom from a miserable situation. Take care of you and your family first!

  9. Avatar Tori says:

    The NFH series are my favorite books of all time, they have helped me through plenty of tough times and are always a great escape. If I have to wait 10 years for the next one, I will gladly wait and reread others in the meantime! Life gets in the way for all of us sometimes, you do what you have to do for your family first! Readers who love your work will always be here! Thank you for sharing! ❤❤❤

  10. Avatar Amy Barnes says:

    You’re a brave and strong woman your readers and fans are not just of your books but you as a person people should understand life gets in the way sometimes you’re children and personal health should always be your first priority stories can wait for the better times sending lots of love ❤️ to you and your family from me and mine

  11. Avatar Angie fernandez says:

    Hello

    Thank you for sharing something so personal about your life. I admire the obvious strength that you have. As for the time between books even if you had that magical unicorn called the perfect life you shouldn’t just crank out books for the hell of it. That would be a disrespect to your readers and more importantly to yourself. I appreciate that you are only willing to put out what you feel good about. It comes through in your writing so it’s important to love what you put out. I am not the most patient of people but I will wait as long as it takes for my next Pyte fix or my next cursed heart fix. Seriously whatever you decide to give me I will Happily take.

    Angie

  12. Avatar Michelle Carter says:

    You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to your fans. We love you and support you. Most of all we know what’s most important. FAMILY!
    Stress is a real thing and your kids need you healthy. Please take some time for yourself
    Michelle

  13. Avatar Mistie says:

    I’m happy that you and your children are safe and doing so well. I’m sorry that you have had people get angry about not getting the books they want. For me I am just grateful you are writing books. Your books have made me laugh at times when all I have wanted to do is cry. I read your books and I get to escape for a little while. So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

  14. Avatar Linda Bare says:

    Why don’t work on you telling your story. Let the tears on the paper wash away the hurt. The way I see it you have two choices stay or go. My choice was to go also. You can only do for what is right for you and your children!

  15. Avatar Perry Harrison says:

    1. Good for you for doing what you had to do to get your kids and yourself in a better situation.
    2. All the people getting angry at you need to chill the heck out. You’re supposed to learn how to wait and take turns in preschool.
    3. Although it’s cool to learn about your life from time to time YOU DO NOT OWE READERS ANY EXPLANATIONS. You are in the business of selling us amazing books, not pieces of yourself.
    -a PATIENT pyte lover

  16. Avatar Teri Gaston says:

    You are so brave to share your personal challenges with us. Shame on any readers that feel entitled to quick releases. This isn’t mass produced by a team somewhere. Every amazing story comes from just you and thankfully you have more in your life besides just your readers. Take your time. When it works out to write we will be thankful. In the meantime your books are on my repeat list and I just enjoy them over and over again!

  17. Avatar Laura says:

    I love your books, & willingly wait for each one! You have been thru a lot & have to take care of yourself & your family first & for most! Any books we r lucky to have r a gift . Thank you for entertaining me & good luck to your family 😉

  18. Avatar Silvia Tritanto says:

    Hi R.L ,

    i hope for the best for ur children and you,, send prayer from indonesia

    sincerely
    silvia

  19. Avatar Casey Leigh says:

    Hugs to you and your kids.
    Life throws curveballs at you and you’re coping admirably. Best wishes to you in regaining all that you need to get done.
    People truly do suck.. ignore the negative fans, the avid and true fans are most happy when you release any new work, we know you strive for quality books which we all love and devour as fast as we can. I’d rather wait until an author opts to write a new book, than read the exact same formula with different characters.
    I love all that you write, haven’t found one that I don’t in your collection (to date,am working my way through them).

    Best of luck and know that karma is in your favour.

    Cheers
    Casey Leigh

  20. Avatar Danielle B says:

    Waiting for books is understandable. You have a life and are incredibly strong for doing what you have done! Plus, I don’t know why people are mad, you keep us entertained in other ways, rather with the chronicles or just your humorous posts!

  21. Avatar Maggie Lebron says:

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart I found your books. I could wait ten years for one of your books, that’s how much I love them. You do what you gotta do for ur family a true fan will be happy with just the chronicles you write, makes my Sundays to read just those. Peace out chic!

  22. Avatar Trina says:

    I love your books and read them any chance I get since they are such fun reads. I have heard bits and pieces of your story over the years and understand completely what you have gone through and the toll it takes on you as an individual to pull yourself back together after a situation that traumatic and I hope and pray you feel the standing ovation I’m giving you for making it through to the other side. So many people just give up because it’s so hard or put up with the abuse and not even try to get out.

    You do you because what you create from that is brilliant and funny and worth the wait.

    I’m a fan for life, and I’ll wait as long as it takes to get my hands on another of your books.

  23. Avatar Ms. Tuttle says:

    While I honestly appreciate and thoroughly admire you for sharing a piece of your personal life and struggles, you don’t owe it to us and shouldn’t feel obligated to share with us your personal life. You are putting your kids first and there isn’t a person ot there who would be upset about that – and if they are, they aren’t worth the powder it would take to blow them to Hell!
    R.L. Mathewson fans, true fans, love your books (all of them even though everyone has their favorite series) and will take whatever they can get whenever they can get it. Good things comes to those who wait and waiting is the price for such awesomeness!
    You are a talented and gifted author and we are privileged to get to read your books.
    You are a terrific, devoted, selfless, loving mom. You keep doing what you need to do and we’ll be here for you.
    Much love!

  24. Avatar Jessica says:

    I worked as a counselor for a number of years. Now I teach English, which is healing my soul in a lot of ways.
    Please, as much as you can, remember that people judge themselves by their intentions, others by their actions. They also tend to think of their wants over the needs of others. What I mean by this is that whatever readers are trying to demand what they want over what you need, are not reasonable and therefore are not entitled to a reason or excuse. You are handling things. What this means is that sometimes the nice books (which I want) take awhile to come. I am not entitled to them. I am thankful for them, but not entitled. Neither is anyone else.
    You keep handling, lady. When you can bring out another book I will buy it. You never yell at me that I don’t have the money right when you publish. Sometimes I have to buy the Italian bread my kid insists is the only correct one for toast. Intentions/ actions.
    I am so very happy things are smoothing for you. Best of all luck.

  25. Avatar Jo Denson says:

    First, once again I am so sorry for the hell you have had visited upon you and your children, and I wish you had never had to go through it. I also know that in the end it will make you stronger, but that doesn’t negate the fact that you have lived through some awful times.
    Second, you are the author, and your books come when they come, on your own time, and not at the behest nor demands of your readers. If they could write the books, then let them write the damned books – all complaints can be answered at the non-existent complaint department, yes? (Or I’ll head it up for you, I’ve got no problem doing that.) If you wrote one book every seven years, that is your perogative, you are the one who owns the stories. Most of us that are dedicated to your stories tease you about them, knowing full well that they are WORTH the wait…and wait we will.
    Last, but certainly not least, don’t ever apologize or explain to those who demand from you what they themselves cannot provide – they have not earned it. It makes me furious that they feel entitled to something that they have no “right” to, they can buy the books when the books are available, and not before.
    *stepping off of my soapbox now*
    Love ya,
    Jo

  26. Avatar Debbie says:

    While I absolutely LOVE your novels, your family should ALWAYS come first. I commend you for getting out of an awful situation, so many stay and pay a horrible price. Fan for life!!!

  27. Avatar Lillian says:

    Nothing is more important than your kids. Your faithful fans will wait 7 days ,7 months or 7 years for your next book. You are an amazing mom.

  28. Avatar Maureen Thul says:

    I always believe it’s FAMILY FIRST. Do right for your kids. I would rather have a good book, than one that’s not.

  29. Avatar Donna says:

    While I love that you took the time to explain, you don’t have to share anything with anyone. People are going to complain, even if you released a book every week. My sister was in an abusive marriage, and I am so thankful it wasn’t as bad as yours sounds. I am glad you and your babies are safe now, and hopefully you stay that way. I will be waiting as long as it takes for your next book, and I know others will too. Good luck, and thanks for taking a chance on writing!

  30. Avatar Hellen Fernandez says:

    RL you should have never fell that you owe anybody an explanation. Yes, waiting for a book is a bit frustrating, but new flash people. Authors are not machines, they are humans and that’s why their stories, your stories RL are so good. I am so happy you guys left all that behind, a horror I can o my imagine and I bet my imagination doesn’t cover even half of the reality you and your children loved.

    I’m happy that you are now at a place where you can actually breath some peace. You do what you must and write what feels right at that time. We will be here with anticipation and when the books come out we will enjoy them. If you rush your magic might not be the same, so don’t rush and write whatever the hell you want. Many blessings to you and your kids

  31. Avatar Ruth says:

    R.L.
    For me the most important thing is that you take care of yourself and your family. The books will come when they come, I look forward to reading every book that you will be writing and if that takes a while then so be it. Like I said the most important thing is the safety and health of your family and you.

  32. Avatar Connie Seawright says:

    We all have times in our lives that we need help and understanding. It’s always surprised me how open you’ve always been. While some may not understand your timeline, most already understood some of your challenges. What you need to understand is your true fans are not only fans of your work…but fans of YOU. Thank you for Entertaining us!

  33. Avatar Katie Hoover says:

    Hi,
    So, I don’t every write to authors or anything like that. I love your books and only just found your website in the last month or so.

    It was kind of you to let people know why there has been a “lapse” between books. Just know, don’t feel that you owe us (readers) anything. You write the stories when they come to you or when you can. Sounds like you and your children have been through a LOT. You do you!! Life (children and you) take priority.

    I’m glad you guys are in safe place (physical, emotionally, and mentally). Now the healing can continue. I hope you also have the support you need as well.

    As a fan, I’ll always hang around waiting for the next book regardless of time :).

  34. Avatar Heidi says:

    I just want to say I am so happy you and your children are safe, happy and building a new life. Family always comes first and many in rhis instant gratification age many forget. You didn’t have to address this but happy we get to learn about the person behind the writing. I have seen readers turn on another writer I follow after unable to publish book next in her series due to health issues.
    So thank you for writing your books they are awesome..

  35. Avatar Betty padgett says:

    I admire your strength and courage. Hopefully things will drastically improve for you. As an avid reader of your books. I will wait patiently as long as needed. No problem. Big hugs and lots of love for you and your children. ❤❤

  36. Avatar Jani says:

    Thank you for sharing about this impossibly difficult (such an inadequate word for what you went through) time. I know the vast majority of your fans wish only that you create at your own rate and spend the time where you need to be… with your family. Sending love, light, and peace.

  37. Avatar Stephanie Boyes says:

    There is no need to apologize to anyone. You put your children and yourself first, as you should. May god bless your family and bring you all great happiness

  38. Avatar Libby says:

    Dear Ms Mathewson,
    Thank you for sharing this post I can only imagine that writing it was difficult for you sharing so many private details of your life.. For me, as a follower of your work I look forward to reading your books and I would rather an author take the time to develop a story and/or series than pump out a mediocre book that feels rushed or the story only engages me on superficial level.. I admire the dedication, respect and integrity you show towards yourself as an author and Mum and to your loyal followers/fans.. stay true to you! I’ve tried writing my own stories and I’ve discovered I suck at it and would make a better horticulturalist even though I kill plastic cactus’s!! I would rather wait another 7 years for an awesome Cursed Hearts book than spend money and time on a just ok one!
    Hang in there and keep writing what we love that’s all we ask!!

  39. Avatar Whitney says:

    You are an amazing writer! Ignore the haters and keep doing you! The loyal fans, the ones who truly love the worlds you create will wait no matter how long! Real life is what is most important. You have our support. You are one strong ass momma! Sorry for the struggles you have endured,. Very proud of this truth you shared. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts! Thank you ❤️

  40. Avatar Stephanie says:

    Although you do not owe anyone an explanation, thank you for sharing R.L. Having been involved in an emotionally and abusive relationship, I understand how hard it is to pick up and start over. Funny enough, your NFH series brought me comfort during the days and nights when I just couldn’t do it anymore. They made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. They made me want to find my own Bradford. Your work brings joy and comfort and I thank you. You are an amazing and strong woman and mother. Keep on keeping on lady!

  41. Avatar Veronika says:

    You do you at your own pace!

    I love your books, but I’d much rather have to wait then having you push out books that you aren’t completely satisfied with, to the detriment of your family. It just it makes it all the more awesome when a book does come out.

    In the meantime, people can reread and read the tons of other books out there.

    And if people can’t handle that, they really need to have a good look at their lives.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

  42. Avatar Miranda Serna says:

    I absolutely fucking love your books. They ARE worth the wait. And, to be honest, life has gotten in the way which is why I have not kept up with reading in a couple of years. Catching up will be so worth it though. “Opinions and assholes, everybody has one” Rescue Me starring Dennis Leary, and that could not be truer. Take care of your family, heal, grow and THRIVE!!!! I send you lots of hugs and well wishes from Laredo, Texas

  43. Avatar PeggyDixon says:

    Wow! I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. I’m amazed by your strength in getting yourself and your children to safety. Thank you for sharing this very awful story. Wishing your family happiness.

  44. Avatar Tina says:

    Huge fan – I don’t mind waiting a few years in between books because I know they’ll well written. I bought but haven’t read the latest two NFH books because I know I’ll whip through them really quick and want more.

    Family comes first.

  45. Avatar Carla Clevenger says:

    I love your books, however family should always come first! I have been waiting patiently for the next release for pyte and nfh series and rill continue to keep following you do I can be ready for the next release. The people complaining should try writing a book themselves.

  46. Avatar Marlys says:

    I think your books are worth the wait. I love that you don’t put a story out there until you are satisfied with it. To me that makes the books the best. Thank you for putting quality books out that I never doubt I am going to enjoy.

  47. Avatar Michael Schneider says:

    I’m glad you and your family got out and are healing. Anyone who thinks authors live in a bubble, that the world doesn’t touch, needs a reality check. You do what’s right for you and we’ll be here when books are ready. In between we have the chronicles to keep us entertained. That’s more than I get from any other author while I wait patiently for a release. ♥️

  48. Avatar Lori says:

    I just enjoy whatever you put out there, whenever you can. You aren’t a machine to crank out books on a timeline. If you did the quality wouldn’t be there. In life family is number one. Everything else can wait. Thank you. Your stories are so good!

  49. Avatar Anita vanZevenbergen says:

    Hello R.L.

    I am so sorry to read that you went through all you and your children have gone through. You are survivors!
    It is sad that you have been pressured to share something so private possibly before you were ready (tbh, it is no-one business except those you chose to share it with willingly).
    I hope I speak for the majority of your readers when I say we look forward to your new books but i/we know family comes 1st!
    Keep strong, you are a great hero for your kids!
    Love and hugs
    Anita from Ontario, Canada

  50. Avatar Susan says:

    Every one of your books is worth the wait! Family is the most important thing and I am happy you and your kids are free. God bless you! Your books have given me much joy! Stay strong! You are not alone.♡

  51. Avatar Debra Wheelis says:

    You have nothing to apologize for! You are sharing these characters with us and, I for one, am very appreciative of your gift. Just let me say that you and your characters helped me when my husband was battling brain cancer as well as the grief I was dealing with after his death. I can never repay you for the comfort your books have provided. Family always comes first!

  52. Avatar Casey says:

    You are amazing and an inspiration. Personally, I have been in awe of how you have been able to even have time to write and write something that can suck me into amazing worlds. Thank you for the way you attempt to talk to us and show us glimpses of your life. You three are survivors and to know that you still struggle everyday to grow stronger helps to know that im not alone in that. Please keep your head up and know your posts and books are bright spots in peoples day.

  53. Avatar Neena P says:

    Good for you! I mean that in the way another survivor (as the child) could. The wait times have not been that bad and you manage to keep us engaged with the weekly posts. Don’t let others dictate how fast your progress should be. You and your family are number one. As it should be.

  54. Avatar Annette Hasbrouck says:

    God bless you and your children. It takes great courage to get out of a bad situation. You became a stronger person for your children. Bless you. The books come when you get to it. You and your children come first. I am a big fan of the NFH books. I met you at a book signing at foxwoods casino a few years ago. I hope that I can meet you again one day.

  55. Avatar Terry Dixon says:

    There was no need to do this, but I understand you wanted to let your readers know what was going on in order to explain the lag time in publishing a book. However, I waited years between The Game of Thrones books and I don’t recall George R.R. Martin explaining himself and you shouldn’t have to either. True fans will stick with you.

  56. Avatar Kristy says:

    Your story is truely humbling. You are so strong to have endured, survived and moved on. Good for you, taking the time you need for your family and self. More than happy to wait any length of time for a book.

  57. Avatar Jamie says:

    Hello!
    I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry you and your children experienced that awful situation. My heart goes out to you and your children. I admire your strength and your courage.
    As a reader, I know I don’t like waiting. I’m very impatient. However, as a writer (and certainly not a published one because…well, life happens), I know that nagging feeling inside of you telling you you have to write. Because I’ve been through some crap, and I know how it feels, I never complain about anyone taking too long to do anything because I don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life aside from mine.
    I also know that forcing yourself to write when it’s just not in you does not usually produce something you feel proud of. It also takes some of the fun and freedom that writing provides away from you.
    I haven’t written anything in months. I’ve lost 5 pregnancies in the last year and am on antidepressants. And I tell myself I’m not a writer because of it. But that’s not true. In my heart, I’m just not ready to write.
    So, if you’re not ready to write, if you don’t have the time, if you are too busy living your life and being a human…and a mom who loves her children more than anything (which even though I don’t know you, I know you are), it’s okay.
    And I’m sorry for the judgement and the whining that comes along with it.
    Truth be told, I think you’re an amazing writer. I’ve been dealing with my stuff, and your Neighbor From Hell series has made me smile when I feel like crying. You’ve distracted me from my own pain. You’ve helped me.
    You’re amazing. You’re so freaking talented. And I can’t tell you how incredible you are for having the courage to save yourself and your children and getting out of the horrible situation you were in.
    You should be so proud of yourself, and I wish for the best for you and your children. Although with a mother like you, I believe your children will come out of this feeling safe and loved because of you.
    Thank you for sharing that part of yourself, and thank you for being an amazing person in a messy world. Also, thank you for sharing your talent with the world. Because you are seriously an amazing writer.
    I don’t care if it takes you 10 years for your next book…I will always support you and consider myself a fan.
    With love and admiration,
    Jamie

  58. Avatar Stacey vasquez says:

    I thank you for all of your wonderful books. I will gladly reread every book until you put put your next one. Write your stories when you feel you are ready to. Fuck everybody else!!! 😉

  59. Avatar Saxon Hawke says:

    You. Owe. Us. NOTHING. It is a privilege for us to read your books…and that is where it ends. I know I will cherish any book that comes down the pipeline, and call myself lucky that you share your characters with us.

  60. Avatar Mo K says:

    I am so sorry people made you feel bad enough to feel necessary to explain your pain. It’s no one’s business and I sincerely wish I could help. That being said I must exclaim ” you are one bad ass Mama!”. What you have been through and Survived is remarkable. You can go to bed every night knowing whatever the future brings you are a survivor and your children are blessed to have you fighting for them. God bless your family and FUCK the writing schedule! Whenever you gift us with your words, we will be grateful. ❤️

  61. Avatar Melissa says:

    As a reader that found escape through books during an abusive childhood, I applaud your strength. It will get better. I love to read and your books are some of my one-clicks, but I would rather never read a book from you again than have you suffer any further. I wish you continued peace and I am sending you good vibes.

  62. Avatar Lauren says:

    R.L.,
    I can’t express enough what your books have done for me. You are my outlet. Period. I read when times are hard and feel like I want to pull my hair out…which sucks because my hair is already thinning and I know what drama does to your life. Marriages that end with you in tears is one thing. When they tear the very fabric of your soul along with your children….that I know and you need to feel so proud of yourself for creating something so phenomenal for others in the midst of your pain. So please, stop thinking about all those hateful people and just know….what you have done with your writing is nothing short of a miracle for others who know pain and just need some time to escape. My words aren’t like yours and I have dreamed of writing a book for years. Maybe one day I can follow in your footsteps. If not, I’ll always look for your books.

  63. Avatar Jessica Kleine says:

    Ma’am I will pray that you continue to have the strength you so clearly have in spades. Pardon my French here but fuck the haters and put downers. Your novels are well worth the wait. You do NOT ever need to feel you should have to “clear the air” because some dinglesplats complained that their instant world was not instant enough. You have Way more beautifully constantly growing (I swear they were shorter yesterday) important things to love and take care of. I am so very happy to hear you and the kiddos are in a better place and slowly healing. That is the most important thing and the only thing your true fans care about.
    #Lifehappens #momlife

  64. Avatar Michele Marrs says:

    I would never think to nag or complain about how slow an author is. You are a person with a life like everyone else. Stuff happens to people. I can honestly say that I have wished for a book to come out sooner, but don’t feel the need to be rude and make public comments either. You are a great author and I love your books. I also respect all the things you have done and gine thru for your childrwn and self. No need to ever explain yourself – just keep being the awesome person you already are.

  65. Avatar Dena says:

    You keep doing what you do best and on your timeline, not someone else’s, who have nothing better to do than complain.

  66. Avatar Ronnie Halvorson says:

    You have been through so much, plenty of writers just stop writing. I loved EMS and NFH series. would I like to see a new release asap? YES. am I going to wait and look forward to your next chronicle or book in the series you BET!!!
    People needed to stop and think before they post. Writers have the same feelings, ups and downs, good days and bad as everyone else.
    I am glad your life is getting better and hope it continues in the future. Please don’t let haters get you down. You have many fans that understand and will patiently wait.
    Ronnie in Mid Mo. USA
    Sending good vibes your way☺

  67. Avatar Reading since the simple covers.... says:

    Just wanted to say I enjoy your books, no matter the series, and I’m glad things have calmed down for you. Thanks for the escapes from real-life stress that your books provide.

  68. Avatar Sue Romyn says:

    Your books are a joy to read, but you don’t owe me anything. Your family and your own welfare are all you need to focus on and if there are other books in the wind after that, well I see that as a gift.

  69. Avatar Christine says:

    I love all ur work and i will willingly wait centuries to be able to read the next book.
    So happy for you that have a better life now and so inspirational that you took that first step and never gave up until you got what you deserved. One way to look at those who complain about wait times is that they love your stories so much that they get so emotional waiting for the next book….. your writing is addictive lol. Just shows how fricken awesome you are at being an author.

  70. Avatar Line says:

    Im sorry you and your kids had to luve through all that.
    Im happy for you all that you seem on the road to recovery.
    Im sad that you feel the need to share this with us your readers because we have a hard time dealing with waiting and disappointment over the fact that one or more of the books we want to read is being delayed.
    I doubt many of us knows what it takes to write a book, especially while at the same time raising a family, let alone a special needs family.
    And luckily most of us have never had to deal with the hand you have been dealt.
    Forgiv us and our impatience.
    Write what and when you have the time and inclination.

  71. Avatar Charlotte Burford says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty but you should never have to explain yourself. Putting your family needs first takes priority over everything.

    I love all your series and although the Pyte series is my favourite I have always been happy to wait. I can see how NFH is so easy to write as it’s light-hearted and fun.

    I am not a writer and I’m in awe of anyone that can write one book let alone a number of them and in different series. The stories will write themselves when they (and you) are ready. True fans will wait, the others I wouldn’t worry about.

    Keep looking after your family and yourself and writing those excellent characters we know and love (plus new ones) when you and they are ready 😊

  72. Avatar Kellie Baughman says:

    Dear RL, first let me say THANK YOU for being such an amazing person and sharing your amazing talent. I love your books, all of them!! I too am always anxiously awaiting any new releases, but I would NEVER be so selfish or cruel, as others have, to verbally criticize your timeline. I would give anything (almost, lol) to have an ounce of your ability and talent. Please do NOT apologize for being an awesome mom and foremost a survivor!! You are an inspiration to many of us out in the world. I’m turning 50 this June, have 4 daughters (ages 8-20), have a mentally declining parent, no real marketable skills and a husband that cheated on me for a year. Everyday I feel stuck. I am so happy that you and your precious children have finally found some peace and happiness. GOD bless you all. Your “true” fans will always be here. Ignore the rest, its just BS. Sending love, faith and prayers your way. Forever Fan Kellie (VA)

  73. Avatar Cristina Lee Mitchell says:

    I love reading your books. I will continue to be a loyal reader regardless of the length between books, how many books you publish each year or whether or not you have to raise your selling price. I have never suffered physical abuse but I am a mother and know full well the lengths I would go to to keep my kids safe and secure. You are an inspiration to women everywhere for finding a way to support your family using your creativity and humor. You write romances and still give dreams of a fantasy happy ever after to your readers- even though the reality of your own marriage was less than happy.
    Take your time. Write what makes you feel good. Your books, chronicles and emails have given me hours of enjoyment and lots of laughter. Anyone who expects you to churn books out like a machine, regardless of what is going on in your personal life, doesn’t have the humanity to fully enjoy your stories anyway. Forget them. There are jerks everywhere.

  74. Avatar Victoria Anne says:

    What is the matter with people, I knew nothing of these posts and glad I didn’t ! I relish every book you are clever enough to write in your busy life and I know just all too well how that can get you down . I love the anticipation of the wait and am never disappointed when your books come out. I could never write a book and wonder if these people are just jealous of your writing and imagination .
    Take no notice of them and keep doing what you are doing se well.
    Your books have been a godsend to me over the past couple of years with dealing with an illness . They have brightened my day when it was dark.
    xxx

  75. Avatar Nicole says:

    All that truly matters is the safety of you and your children, as much as I love your books you are an amazing author. I hope this year will be exactly what you need it to be ❤️😊

  76. Avatar Michelle Frey says:

    Heart felt hugs to you and your children. Please do not apologize for what you write or when you write it. The worlds you create belong to you until you share them with us. They are so much more than stories or entertainment to be absorbed in a few hours. For some of us the books we read keep us from going out of our minds with worry, fear and self doubt about many aspects of life. If you need to write certain things at any given time you do so with an open heart and guilt free. I admire your courage and strength. I have four children and would fight the devil himself to keep them safe. If you need a friend to listen or have a laugh with I’m available anytime. Until your next book release I’ll continue to revisit all my dear friends already downloaded and waiting for me. I love re-reading all my favorites. There’s always something different I discover I needed each time. Stay strong and true to yourself and your family. Thank you for sharing your wonderful worlds with me.

  77. Avatar Joyce Brucker says:

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with ugly “fans” on top of everything else. Please continue to write at your pace and at whichever story calls to you because that is where the magic happens. You are an amazing writer and your books bring me great joy and escape. And uou are obviously a strong woman who knows to put her children first and foremost and no one should ever ask anything different from you.

  78. Avatar Judit says:

    I think you are amazing! I am always waiting for your next book and I admit I always just want to get on the next story, but even from your small life updates over the years I understood that you have a tough life and let’s be honest, I’d rather wait and read a 5* book than have a 2-3* book sooner. Your books saved my insanity a few years ago. At some point I read 120 books in one year. That was my escape from reality and your books and chronicles took a huge part in it. Since then I had a baby and for the first 6 months I didn’t have time and mainly energy to read. And in all honesty, in lots of life situations if I can’t find the energy to read a book, I can’t even imagine how I could possibly write one! Lots of people don’t understand how much work goes into writing a book and it’s not just the time, but you need to have the story, imagination, creativity and writing skill to do it. Books don’t write themselves, especially not great books that we get from you!! All my respect is yours! I just love whatever your write, being that book or chronicle. And to be honest, I actually now wary of books where the author is churning them out every few months. They are nowhere near as good as yours!!

    For those who criticise you for not churning out books each month, I suggest they try to write one themselves and see how quickly they can put one together. They will easily reliase it’s really not that easy!

    We, the rest of your fans, we just love it and love you!

  79. Avatar Gwendolyn says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. But I miss the days of stalking the book section of the Sunday paper looking for new books. I miss stalking my local book store for new releases. I didn’t know anything about the author, except what hat the bio stated in the back of the book.

    You see it has never been my business, publishing schedules, personal details, the who, the what, the why’s. You are so much more than a author, please do not apologize to readers that are angry. They don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve any of the information you’ve just laid out. It makes me angry that readers feel so entitled that they deserve “answers”.

    Write what you want, when you want, when you are able, when the characters talk. Until then, be well, be happy. I’ll be jumping up and down for the new book you wrote, that I’m honored to purchase.

    ON a personal note… your journey has been incredible, you are a beacon of hope to others in you similar situations.
    XXOO

  80. Avatar Kathy Follett says:

    No one should ever have to apologize for life! I commend you, I also lived in an abusive relationship. Than I thought it was hopeless, but I got out before my youngest was affected. You are the strongest when we fight for our children. Keep fighting! People who don’t know abuse or abusers will never understand what it takes to be free. What hard work it is. We know, which makes us strong.
    Please don’t let the pressure of these people concern you, you write at your pace. But most of all your children are your main priority
    Thank you for being the strong and wonderful person that you are.

  81. Avatar Peggy Hysell says:

    I as a reader do not expect monthly books. I prefer a little more time spent to make that book the best and really keep my interest and give me a something to share with my friends as a “you gotta read” example is Colleen Hoover. She only releases one or two books a year. Releasing too often, then they tend to have the same plot. Authors have lives too, and families, and own responsibilities. Readers upset with books not quick enough need to get a life or try writing there own. Keep doing what you can, I understand. #readerforlife

  82. Avatar Ishita says:

    Hey R.L.
    You are awesome.
    Don’t let any of the hate get to you. Actually it’s not hate. We as a reader just get desperate as we are so addicted to your work. We all are like let’s just have the next dose already, but then good things do take time. So it’s ok, we will wait coz there is no cure for this addiction of ours.

    Ok so enough rambling on my part
    Just wanted to say we love you😘😘😘😘
    Keep up the awesome work.
    We are all with you❤

  83. Avatar Elaine Burton says:

    My heart goes out to you right now, not only for the abuse that you & your children were put through, but for having to feel the need to explain to everyone of your readers the reason! It’s a shame some have anger issues & were too impatient to wait for their next read, there are plenty of other authors they could check out in the meantime! I’m sorry you’ve been to hell & back but sure you are doing a great job getting yours & your children’s lives back on track!

  84. Avatar Kirsten says:

    Oh RL I really am so sad that other people’s comments and moaning, has made you feel the need to justify your writing process. I would like to think that your fans are patiently waiting on your next book. Life is complicated and I can only assume all the haters are leading a charmed life !! Luck them. Don’t let them get you down, you are awesome.
    Kirsten xx

  85. Avatar Shona-Lisa Horner says:

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles and am relieved your life has finally turned a corner. Any human being understands real life comes first especially if the family has children. I must say I love your books and love a new release the same as everyone they provide humour and loving characters that we fall in love with. As an avid reader I would rather reread your books than read something that is not true to your style and talent. I finally got to read the Promise yesterday as I had to reread your whole series again so I wouldn’t miss anything. The books are always so enjoyable that you go back again and again which is not something you can do with every series. Ignore negativity your family is your most important priority the books will speak to you in their own time which means I along with all your other fans will treasure them. I am eagerly waiting on your next book whichever series it is as I suspect many NFH fans are also reading your other series so any book gives us a treat. I truly hope that you and your kids are doing well and having a disability myself I understand the support your son is receiving which is a full time job in itself.

  86. Avatar Sharon says:

    Ignore all the negative people, just think of what is best for you and your family, coz family especially kids come 1st.

  87. Avatar Tina Hood says:

    Take your time. I enjoy your stories so much and no matter how many times i read them, I still giggle. I am going to say this again, Take your time.. Take care of you and your family. You self publish your books so you have no deadlines except the ones you place on yourself. Being one of your faithful readers I know that your particular brand of sarcasm and creativity can only come if you yourself and your family are ok. Take care chick and know that your readers will wait. TAKE YOUR TIME!!! worried reader from Nova Scotia.

  88. Avatar tj schmith says:

    After reading your post I’m not sure which I am more full of, rage or empathy. I am still fighting a battle 36 years after the abuse stopped and my opinion is Fuck ‘Em! You are an author, not a piece of property that your readers own and that you must entertain on command! I don’t believe that people really understand that quality takes time. People cannot just write as if it’s a 40 hour a week job and crank out well written, funny, poignant works at a set time table. I will gladly wait two or three years for an author who’s work I enjoy. That’s part of the wonder of reading, there are so many books out there and such a wide range of subjects to get lost in. I have over 1000 books on my Kindle waiting to be explored.
    Anyway, it’s frustrating and sad that you feel a need to explain a deeply personal and what should be private struggle to unknown outsiders.
    So again, I say Fuck ‘Em! You owe your readers nothing but the wonderful worlds that you create for their enjoyment and that is all that we are owed.

    TJ Schmith

  89. Avatar Mia Anderson says:

    Readers are always going to want more and I might be bias because NFH is my favorite series but you really are doing amazing release intervals. The best thing is that you stay in constant communication through fb and this website so as a readers we are not constantly wondering if you are ever going to write again and we get little doses of our favorite characters. You are doing a great job. I found your books when I was going through a particularly hard time. I had gotten sick and the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me. I identify a little bit with Rebecca in Fire and Birmstone. Eventually my doctor put me on a medication without asking about family history and it essentially pushed me really far into what the doctors identified as Bipolar 2 . I went from being “better” to losing my job bc I ran out of medical leave. I went on a rollercoaster ride with mental health and medications trying to fix what the first meds broke basically spinning out of control and all kinds of nonsense. Eventually I weaned myself off my medication and through the course of 2 years plus I’m finally mostly better. Anyways during the period after coming off my meds bc they weren’t working I felt like I was never going to be the level of productive I was before, I had lost faith in the medical community and I had a whole new slew of pronounce anxiety. Mostly I would lay in bed because I could control only that little bit of my life and if I went out the world was just too overwelming for my senses. So I read your books and a few other authors in a loop. Everywhere I went and somehow through being in the story world I was able to semi go out in public and be okay. It took a while but eventually I didn’t need to read to do things anymore. I’ve read most of your series atleast twice and I think I’ve read NFH like 5 times. You are doing a wonderful job and I want to thank you for your hard work.

  90. Avatar Deborah Hathway says:

    I am gobsmacked that you’ve felt apologies and explanations are needed. I am sorry for the tough times and pleased that your writing has given you all it has. No one should have to accept this type of criticism. I want all the books to come like yesterday 😊, but that’s what’s makes you a great writer. I’m also an adult, have some common sense and decency and accept that they’ll be published when you’re good and ready. It saddens me that you’ve been put in a position where you feel you have to share some extremely personal information about you and your family to justify decisions you be made regarding your writing. Please know this is the minority.

    Thank you for the stories you have given me.so far.

  91. Avatar Sarah says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    You shouldn’t have to explain your situation to anyone, I am another one of your biggest fans, like many of the readers above me and just think you are a strong, brave , wonderful woman and mother and family must always come first. I like many others will always wait patiently for your books as they are all amazing and it takes time, patience and perfection to create master pieces like you write.
    Sit back, relax and take your time, the many followers that love your books will always wait for you know matter how long it takes. xxx

  92. Avatar Mamab says:

    Your an amazing aouthor and a great mom. The wiat for your books are worth it, and the weekly chronicles helps the wait.

  93. Avatar Marie says:

    That’s why you are my favorite author, it’s because you are a very strong woman who went through hell with your two young children but who took the time to write books that makes us laugh and cry and as long as you keep writing I’m going to keep reading and while I wait for the next book I’ll keep re-reading all your other books because even though I know them by heart they are still the best ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  94. Avatar Csilla Molnar says:

    Please don’t give up because of these hateful people. We the REAL fans live your work and I’ll wait another 3 years if I have to to read another Pyte/sentinel book. Sending strenght and love to you!!!

  95. Avatar Helena says:

    I am sorry you had to explain yourself, that while there was darkness in your life you produced something so brilliant.

    You books helped me through my dark times and are still my go to books when I need to laugh. I don’t know how many times I have read the NFH series!

    I never thought about the gaps between books because you are still writing the chronicles, which are mini stories, I don’t know another author doing this.

    So big hugs and keep doing what you are doing.

  96. Avatar Wallflower says:

    I don’t know you in person but after reading your story I’m so proud of you. We can’t wait as long as you and your children are happy. It always worths the wait with your books. I admire your writing style. Thank you for all those incredibily sweet scenes in your books.

  97. Avatar Pam O says:

    You and your children come before anything and anyone else. If they don’t like the wait for a book let them try writing one themselves… We all love and support you ❤️

  98. Avatar Mei Dent says:

    OMG your story just made me cry, the humor in your books hid a very bad situation that only a strong person could get through.. Kudos to you for getting out and helping your children. They are the most important thing in the world and rightly your first consideration. I love your books, after a bad day I like to read the NFH books because they make me laugh and feel better. Unfortunately, you will always have fans that think that they should come first and expect books to be available to them when they want them. You could take it as a compliment,that they love your work, but these are the people that will be the first to complain if they don’t feel that the new release was up to their standards. I think as fans we need to take a step back and realise that a gift for story telling has been shared with us and we are very lucky to have found it., people also need to realise that authors are humans, they have lives and while they love and appreciate their fans, family always comes first.. Take care of yourself and your beautiful children, your true fans don’t mind the wait, peed myself lauging throughout the Promise, it was worth the wait

  99. Avatar Jessica K says:

    I 100% agree with what everyone else has said. You owe no one any explanations, past, present or future. You take care of yourself and your children. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie Enough (which is probably a trigger movie for you and others). The quote is “You have a Divine Animal Right to Protect your own life and the life of your offspring.” nothing should ever come before that right. F*** the haters.

  100. Avatar Shelley says:

    Hi there, I just wanted to say thank you for your books!! I found myself in a very dark place and your books helped me to smile and to laugh both at myself and at the world around me. They helped me to move my life forward and I am very grateful for that, I hope that you can move past any negative comments those of us that are true fans of your work will happily wait. I hope that you and your family are in a good place and can move forwards with your lives. Thank you again from across the pond x

  101. Avatar Crystal says:

    Keep doing what you need to to keep yourself and your family healthy and happy. I have enjoyed both your NFH and Pyte series immensely and look forward to the next books in each series especially the Pyte series although I’ve also been watching hopefully for Aidan’s story as well. When I have more time I hope to read your other series as well. People need to realize that authors are only human just like everyone else and accept the fact that their lives must come first before their next book. I wosh you and your family all the best and hope that your lives continue to improve. Thank you for your novels which give us a chance to escape into another world when we need a break from our realities.

  102. Avatar Chloe says:

    You are a talented writer and strong woman, sadly there are narrow minded people that are jealous of what you have accomplished. Real life is hard work and at least you have an set an example that kids and family come first. If they are truly a dedicated reader it doesn’t matter how long until the next book comes out just be happy that there may be more to come, can’t rush perfection! 😉 all the best in the future family and all. Xx

  103. Avatar Anita S says:

    I love all your books and if there is a wait time, that’s fine with me. I understand family comes first, especially when it involves the safety is said family. I am happy to hear that you and your kids are now safe and happy. I will always happily wait for any book that you put out because I enjoy them so much.

  104. Avatar Christine says:

    You and your amazing books are worth the wait. We’re not going anywhere. You go do you, take care of your beautiful children and yourself. We’ll be here when you’re ready

  105. Avatar Shamika says:

    R. L.,
    You are by far my favorite author. I will literally wait a lifetime for you to release a book. I have read all of your books, maybe 5-6 time each. You’re writing is my escape from everyday stress and worries. You owe no one anything. Definitely not an explanation on why you “took so long” to release a book. I’m ever grateful that you are not one of those authors that just throw something together to appease the masses. Your writing is consistent and cohesive. The stories don’t contradict one another. You are amazing at you craft and I’m glad you chose this over soap making. Continue to be great! Continue to write what you feel. I will continue being a patient fan.

    Best regards,
    Shamika

  106. Avatar Fathima says:

    You inspire me. I hope that you truly get the life you and your family deserve. I salute you for puttimg your family’s needs first. You are brave and should continue to do it at your pace. I will wait for any book of yours as its well worth the wait.

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