Good news first about Irene, though. Actually, it's all pretty related, so . . .
Irene veered east at the last second, and the eye of the storm--and the most damaging winds--missed us. Miraculously, we kept power (excepting a long series of brownouts during landfall), despite hundreds of thousands of people all around us losing theirs. We have water damage, my whole house smells like a swamp, the local river flooding is catastrophic and only getting worse (people in town have water up to the second floor of their homes, and the rivers won't even crest until tomorrow), and my dad still hasn't been allowed back to his house to inspect the damage (he lives about 100 feet from the beach), but we're all safe. (Give it a week; I suppose the mold might kill me? :-p) I hope everyone else was at least as fortunate.
Now, to explain what this has to do with Crescendo, I need to back up a few months.
Very late into the process of getting Crescendo ready, I learned my dear publisher, Guiltless Pleasure, was closing down due to a serious illness with the owner (she is well on the mend now, thank goodness). Storm Moon Press stepped in and offered to publish Crescendo on a ridiculously tight timeline, since the release date had been set a year back from Guiltless Pleasure and I very much wanted to stick to it if I could.
This meant that everything was crazy compressed, and there was much less time to focus on things like edits and production than anyone was entirely comfortable with. Neither myself nor my new publisher were willing to deliver anything less than the very best we were capable of, so we all started putting in long, intense hours to make it happen.
That meant every hour of every day was both precious and critical to hitting the release date. Fast-forward to Irene. I lost half a week preparing for the storm and the inevitable flooding, since this isn't the sort of thing we're generally ready for up in these parts. Stupid things like buying batteries for my flashlights could take hours and trips to several sold-out stores. All the furniture (and junk stored) in the basement needed to be moved. Good thing we did, as I was up all night helping my sump pump bail the basement out. The flooding's slowed but hasn't stopped, even though the rain has, because of the situation with the rivers. Now there's a big pile of cleanup to come, and more lost hours and days from my edits.
So, I'll be late turning these in to my publisher. Which in turn throws off my publisher's schedule, since mine is by no means the only book they're publishing this fall. This means they now have to scramble to work proofreading, layout, conversion, and galley proofing into an already packed schedule. This means there is a very good chance that Crescendo will miss its release date. I want to stress that this has nothing at all to do with Storm Moon Press, who has bent over backward at every point in the process to deliver the best book possible.
I'm trying to do the same, but it's looking like it's time to beg your understanding and patience in the event the book misses its scheduled release by a couple or few weeks. A lot hinges on how capable I am of making up for lost time in an already very full schedule, and of how much lost time I'll actually need to make up for--I won't really know the extent of the flood damage (or the consequent cleanup, which is already monstrous) until the waters crest and recede, and I may yet still lose power to said floodwaters at any point (and those who already have lost power have been told not to expect it back for over a week, nor can many evacuate to somewhere that does have power because the town has turned into an island). Just as much hinges on how how quickly the manuscript can be worked into my publisher's production schedule if/when I miss my due date. (I must stress again that this is entirely beyond their control.)
So, the tl;dr version? Weather sucks. Crescendo might be a few weeks late. Please don't kill me :-p