In 2008 and 2009, we found ourselves in a horrible situation. We were going to lose our children, because we were running out of money to fight the legal battle.
You all saved us.
I still... what I feel about that I can't even say. I literally tear up thinking about it... I just can't deal with it still.
In 2009, we raised some of the money we needed, by taking pre-orders for a cookbook of me and Mels recipes. Unfortunately, shortly after that, our legal and financial issues became... let's just say they became much more difficult, and much more complicated.
The upshot of it is, the book hasn't come out yet. It's been over two years, and the book isn't out.
Over the past two years, Mel has refunded the money of anyone who asked for it. Not many did, and a large number of folks have contacted us and told us to just keep the money, that they were happy to help out with the custody case; but we were happy to refund the money of anyone who asked.
We appreciate that greatly, and it's important that you all know, that without that money, we would have lost the kids simply by default.
There was never any intent to deceive or mislead, and frankly, the fact that we haven't published it, printed it, and shipped it has killed me these last two years. I put my name behind something and made promises, and I couldn't keep them. I HATE that.
We weren't conning anyone, we weren't acting in bad faith, and we weren't cheating anyone, and I knew that... but I HATED not delivering on the promises we made.
Let me be clear about something: In 2009, we bought all the materials, all the equipment, all the EVERYTHING we needed to publish the book. The book was written, photographed, laid out, typeset, and pre-pressed. We were in fact ready to push the button and print for a long time, but for the very irritating legal hangup that I can't talk about. Then, unfortunately, the drive the working files on died, and my backup of it was corrupted. Legal issues are no longer preventing us from publishing the book, though I am still legally prevented from talking about what it was. We also need to start over on everything but the equipment and the text.
I wish I could refund everyones money. I can't. I can't afford it personally, and even if I could, it would be a big legal problem if I did so.
We can't refund the money. What we are going to do, is fix it.
Over the next couple months, we're going to get a bunch of other things fixed; and as soon as we are able, the cookbooks will be published and shipped. It is going to take several months, and a lot of work, but we're going to ship the book.
I give my personal promise, that unless some catastrophe prevents it (I have to caveat it after the last few years), we will ship cookbooks by the end of April. I'd like to commit to an earlier date, but we've got a lot going on, and we simply can't do that.
If we could, we'd ship the cookbooks, AND give everyone their money back. We can't.
...But everyone is getting their book, with all new pictures, taken in our much nicer kitchen in Idaho, with a professional camera and lighting, and the highest quality printing and binding etc... etc...
That's one of the things we're going to be doing. The publishing company has already been set up properly in Idaho (something we had a problem with in Arizona actually, and part of the legal issues I can't really talk about), and the equipment is ready to go.