2023 was a year of change for me. Not because of I got married or divorced. Nor did my wife and I bear any more children. No, the change I speak of is more health related than anything.
In the spring I was struck by a series of illnesses that required months of antibiotics, breathing treatments, and more. When it all finally came to an end I was left short of breath and no sense of smell, despite testing negative for COVID throughout the ordeal. So basically from Feb to May I was afflicted with something not COVID that seemed to share a lot of COVID traits.
This was followed up in the fall by a major spike in my blood pressure that sent my levels into the region commonly considered stroke risk. After days of migraines, a trip to the local ER, and a visit to my primary care physician, things started to get back on track. The one notable exception is that my PCP, concerned that my growing complaints of tinnitus was an underlying factor in my BP levels, sent me to a hearing specialist. It was then that I discovered how bad my ears were and that I needed medical devices to assist and aid in my hearing, devices that despite starting the procurement process in Sept won't be delivered to me until probably mid-Jan 2024 at the earliest.
But finally, at the end of the year, a bright spot in the calendar appeared!
My friend and artist John Kaiser III, who has done the cover art for most of my books to date, finally was able to break free from his day job to put the finishing touches on the cover art for Book 5. I had a goal to release at least 1 book a year and this was the year of Book 5. John and I have been working on this cover art for the past several months but between our work schedules and health issues it came down to the wire for this year's entry.
The art from John is as fantastic as always and I could not be happier with what he delivered! That was a great Christmas morning present to find in my email. Everything was easily submitted to the printer and Dec 31 will finally see the release of The Ascension Legacy - Book 5: Conquest & Conflict. The editing work has been done for months but John and I were both too distracted with other things in our lives to nail down this critical piece before now.
It warms my heart and brings a smile to my face knowing that Book 5 was able to be released before 2024, even if only by a few hours. All that is left now is to look forward to the new year and the release of the final book in the series.