Monday, December 19, 2016

Character Abandonment

The nerve of them!

Here I am sitting at my desk,  trying to be productive and they...have abandoned me.

This isn't the first time, no. I know that it will not be the last. They  do this often. They’re skittish, and in a very unsettling way, uncaring about my process. What do I have to do? I'm trying to tell their story. I am but a recorder of the insanity of their world. Yes, I admit I'm fascinated by them. I want to know more, I want to feel more, and I want to tell everyone! Perhaps they are simply annoyed by my divulging their deepest, darkest, secrets. I get it, but, hell, we have an agreement!

They agreed long ago to let me share with the world their stories which reside in my head. This was a pact put in place to preserve my sanity. There is only so much time a person can walk around with untold stories in their head before they snap and retreat into themselves. I must get it out, lest I be walking down the street, mumbling insanity to myself.

They had no problem in the beginning. Hell, they even thrived after the first few publications and the interest that was obtained. They loved the limelight, the reviews, the messages written about how much they were enjoyed. Now, they are acting like little divas. “Let them wait, they love us, they will wait!” No, no they won’t. No I won’t! I want to get the stories out into the world, out of my head so that I have but a moment of peace before more occurs. Every time I think that these characters will start to cooperate with me once more, they fool me. They give me just a little, barely a page full and then shut me out again!

People often wonder what it is, we writers complain about. How we joke about talking to ourselves and attempting to keep a sane face when in the public eye. It is no joke! Trust me, I have to stop myself quite often from having complete conversations with myself while sitting at my desk at work. (Of course, NOW you want to get all chatty up there when I’m not able to do anything about it!) All I need is for my co-workers to think that I’m losing my mind. Wouldn’t that be a fun meeting with HR!  “Jessica, we think it would be best if you spent some time with the staff therapist. Maybe there are some things you need to get off your chest.” No therapist will understand that there are voices in my head that belong to characters I write about. Nope, they will be scribbling on their notepad and calling up the nearest wagon to take me to the looney bin!

All I ask is that they cooperate. Agree to the designated writing time, show up, and give me the words. That is all that I ask! That is not too much. I no longer take the train to work, so they are upset. They liked the train rides, that 45 minutes inspired so much chatter. Chatter that would spew over into my time at home and words would just be written. ALL THE WORDS! Now, I drive to work, and they are SILENT! They hate the radio, I turn it off, then they get quite, I turn it on. They don’t like that I have to focus on operating a vehicle. Darn me for not wanting to  drive blindly and risk running into a pole!

I’ve tried to placate them with wine, food, books, movies, anything to get them stirring again. Anything to inspire movement! Nothing. Nope. They are gone! Of course, now as I write about their abandoning me, they are screaming at me. “How dare you tell them! This is between us, they should never know about how skittish we are. They need to love us, and think that we are angels!” Well, I’m tired of taking the heat for their foolishness. Fielding the questions of when I will produce more. What’s coming next? When is the next release? Well, talk to them! I mean, I know you can’t really, but still. It's not my fault! I try! They deny me. Until they straighten up and act right, well, there will be nothing. No words, no new stories, nothing more to share.

I know, you’re judging me. Thinking to yourself, “Oh, she is so dramatic!” Well, duh! Of course I am dramatic. I’m a freaking fantasy and paranormal author. You think I accomplish that without drama?! I’m the reason they are so finicky, I know it, I know that if I was more mellow, they would be as well. But, then would you really want to read my books? What would my book babies be without the twists and turns, and the “OMG no she didn’t!” moments?

This is clearly a cry for help. A way to stir up the characters and get my creative juice flowing.
Damn it if it didn’t work!

Well, I’m off to write more. I’m thinking wolves, or demons, or wait… perhaps a coven of witches! So many stories to tell, and so very little time!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Eavesdropping on a private conversation with Malachi

Every now and then I drop in on my characters. Sometimes at moments I am sure they didn't intend for me to be privy to. Usually I keep these moments to myself but I couldn't help sharing this juicy snippet of a conversation between Malachi and a friend. I didn't quite catch his name.

Malachi: You know, I can’t believe I am even talking to you about this.
Unidentified person: Why is that?
To be honest, it just seems so ridiculous, all of it. It makes no sense.
Why do you say that?
Okay, don’t start with the psych questions. (laughter)  I’m supposed to protect her; I’m supposed to keep her safe. That is what I have been told for as long as I can remember. I’ve done that. I’m damn good a protecting that woman and she isn’t even aware. She doesn’t want my help. I don’t know why, she needs it! She needs me and she refuses me.
Okay, lets pause, Malachi. I know that you are hurt by things that have happened, and I’m sure we will get into all of that, but maybe we should think about who you are.
What about me?
What drives you, what inspires you? Outside of her.
Family. I am who I am because of family. The people I love are the ones who drive me to keep moving forward.
You mean your brother, Demetrius.
 Him, yes, he is blood. We are the only ones left of our bloodline, but it doesn’t stop there. Over the years my family has grown to include more than just him. We have people out there who care for us, and look out for us. If not for them, their selflessness when dealing with two kids like us, well, I wouldn’t be sitting here today with you.
Two kids like you, care to expand on that?
We aren’t your average mermen. There is more to us, our father was different and our mother was shunned for loving him and for having children with him. The community, they aren’t too big on mixing species, but you know that already. Look at what they are doing to her, Syrinada, and she has no idea what she is facing with them.
Is that why you are so hesitant to take her there? She will have to go there, eventually if she is ever going to succeed. We both know what troubles lurk ahead.
Yes, I am well aware of the dangers. Demetrius is very vocal about it as well. She isn’t ready. I know she isn’t.
When do you think she will be ready?
I don’t know.
I hate to say this, but you better figure it out and soon. There are troubling rumors out there. Movement in areas that have been dead for a long time. It’s because of her, you know that.
Yes, I know. It won’t be long before we have enemies banging on the front door.

You’re damn right. Better make sure they are reinforced.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Letter from Syrinada

Digging through some old papers, I stumbled across a tattered piece of paper, a letter from Syrinada. 

I have no idea who will ever read this, but I hope that it is found. I hope that it helps you to understand…
I never wanted any of this. Hell, I didn’t even know that this world existed. Everyone acts like I am either some great savior for people who barely want me to exist, or that I will destroy everything I touch. To be honest, with the way things are going, it feels much like the latter is the truth. Here I was thinking that my life was an average life. I went to school, got my degree and went to work. That is what I was taught to do.  All I wanted was normality. I basically grew up a foster kid, the daughter my aunt never seemed to want. She was family, the only family I had, of course she was obligated to care for me. I could see it in her eyes damn near every day, she didn’t want me. She wanted something else, something better, something more. I was a reminder of all that she gave up, all that she could never have.
I tried so hard to make her happy, to become successful. I wanted her to feel like she didn’t waste her time raising me. She deserved her own family, her own life, but there I was. The orphaned niece and she took care of me out of a promise to my dying mother. Talk about a load to bear.
Here I am now, months after being snatched up on the street and taken away. That night will never leave my mind, the terror I felt is embedded in my memory. The way that I escaped… I never knew what existed inside of me. I never knew the power. She never told me. And when I went to her, to ask the question, she denied me. There is no way that she didn’t know, there is no way that I am this creature and she was unaware.
The truth, always comes to light. The truth, as difficult as it may be to understand, it needs to be known. I needed to know.
I’m locked away now, in this home of a friend who clearly wants to be more than that. He says it’s for my benefit and though I know that he is right, I cannot stay here. I must get out, find the truth for myself. There is so much more to my story, so much more to the past that I must know. I am done being locked away, lied to, and made to feel like I am not enough.
There are people out there, the ones that hurt me that night. I will find them and they will lead me to the truth. It all seems connected; it has to be. This wasn’t a random act of violence. It was intentional, I know it. Malachi wants me to do this his way, learn and grow and be what he wants me to be. I am not clay to be molded by the any hands other than my own. If the fires of hell are reaching up, ready to grab hold of me, there is no way that I am just going to sit here and wait to burn. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Siren's End is coming - Excerpt -Siren's Test Chapter 1

As I gear up for the release of Siren's End, I want to share a bit of book two with you all! Syrinada is returning and her story has taken an unbelievable turn! I cannot wait for everyone to read it! While we wait for the release (October 12th!!!!) here is a bit of the second book! Chapter 1 of Siren's Test! 


“Malachi?” My knuckles tapped lightly on a door made of a material that closely resembled a mixture of wood and metal. Though it had only been a few days, my body felt as though an eternity had passed since I’d been separated from Malachi. I was told by an overbearing woman named Chaney that he needed his time alone. She made it sound like I would only make matters worse for him. Against her orders and with some ingenuity, I’d managed to escape confinement and found my way to Malachi.
The interior of the room was completely dark. Everything else in the underwater palace glowed with an unnatural light, while Malachi’s domicile was completely pitch-black. The magical element was completely snuffed out. He didn’t answer me, although I knew he was there. My ears picked up the sound of his deep breaths, and his eyes weighed heavily on my flesh, leaving a trail of heat wherever he looked at me.
“Are you okay?” I spoke to hear my own voice more than to gain his response. My stomach turned as I floated forward. “Malachi?” I called his name again.
“What are you doing here?” His voice was low and sinister, and completely broken.
“I wanted to see you.” I crossed into the darkness and was dragged down at least a few inches by a new physical weight, which caused the tip of my tail to rub against the floor. The space inside the room felt more like the water in the human realm. What was causing that effect? Was it him?
“I told them to keep you away.” His words plunged into my chest like a dagger. It was his request that we be kept apart. Why would he want us to be separated?
“I was told that.” The lie was an effort to hide how much his words has hurt me. It was better if he thought that this was another case of me just being hard-headed. It wasn’t the first time I had disobeyed his orders, so it wouldn’t be too difficult for him to believe.
“Why can’t you ever do as I ask?” There was a slight tone of humor, not much, but enough to give me hope for the hidden man.
“Why would you ever expect me to when it is not what I want?” I moved closer still towards the sound of his voice.
“You have got to be smarter than this!” His growl halted my approach for just a moment. The softened sigh that followed those strong words gave me courage to continue moving forward.
“Smarter than what? You’re my friend and you’re hurting. I wanted to be here for you, to help you.” How could he expect anything else from me? Did he honestly believe that I would ever be able to just turn and walk away from him?
“You can’t help me, Sy.” I was close enough to feel the change in the water as he moved.
“And why not?” I pushed myself forward, deeper into the darkness.
“Stop.” This was a warning; Malachi thought it was unsafe for me. I could never believe that to be true.
“Why are you hiding from me?”
“You really need to go.” The glow of his eyes reached me and comprehension began to set it in.
“Malachi,” I felt it then, my entire body seized and my head fell back. Heat burned against my flesh as my tail began to unravel. I panicked but I could do nothing about it. I was frozen. Legs anew, hung beneath me as my eyes caught him moving forward. “What the hell?”
“This isn’t supposed to happen. You aren’t supposed to be able to be here like this, like me.” Malachi walked forward and with each step came a dim glow of red that allowed me to see him. The man I saw only once before, the monster, his demon. His face was distorted, but not completely, it was still him. Wearing not a stitch of clothing, he circled me and I kept my eyes on him as much as I could. His hand caressed my thigh and I moaned from the feeling. It was like fire burning me, but at the same time turning me on in ways I never thought possible. He stopped in front of me. “Sy.”
“What is this?” Voice trembling, I sought his face again as he moved to stand in front of me.
“You are mine that is what this is.” He grabbed my legs; my feet still had not yet touched the surface of the floor, pulled me to him and wrapped my limbs around his waist. “You belong to me Syrinada.” He spoke in a low growl that frightened me, but I could never want to pull away from him. Instinctively, my arms wrapped around his neck as I pressed myself against his body. I still couldn’t bring myself to promise him this bond, but I needed him in a way I hadn’t realized.
He held me in place, his hands firm around my hips as if waiting for a response. He sighed with frustration when it did not come. My teeth dug into the flesh of his neck as he took me as his own. Standing in the dark underwater, Malachi filled me to my limits. I cried out his name in response to each thrust, each welcomed intrusion. I ran my hands across his leathered flesh and dug my nails into him. We continued on, varied positions and stances, for an indeterminable amount of time. When we finished with each other, the light had returned to the interior of the room and Malachi placed the charm around his neck, returning him to his merman form. My tail, which matched his gold and red hues, reformed beneath me.
“What happens now?” I watched him as he ran his fingers along the length of his tail. Would he ever truly be okay again?
“Now, you will do what you came here to do. You will go get your stone.”
“How do we get there?” I perked up, finally we could take action. Under water living wasn’t as enjoyable as one might hope. It would be nothing better than to be able to leave and go home.
“No, I won’t be going with you, Sy. It’s just going to be you. This is something you have to do without me.” Neither of us wanted it to be true but his tone wasn’t a joking one.
“Wait, how am I supposed to do this without you? I don’t know anything about this place, and I damn sure don’t know enough to go off on some search for a missing stone by myself.”
“You will be fine. You have already proven your strength and your power. Now is the time to put those two things to use.” Malachi had faith in me, a blind faith that was not mirrored by my own feelings.
“But, I thought you would go with me.” I was afraid of the idea of going it alone and knew there was nothing he could do to change the way things were, but foolishly, I still wanted him to try.
“Mermen are not allowed along the passage of the stone. There is a guide that will be assigned to you, another siren who will assist you, but she too can only go so far. Your journey is your own, Sy. You will have help along the way, but the end result, whether you succeed or not, is entirely up to you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me all of this before?” I rolled my eyes unable to hide my frustration.
“Would you have come if you’d known?” He challenged with a smile.
“Yeah, right.” He laughed softly and my stomach lurched.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Author Review: Once Upon A Book Author Signing

This past weekend I attended the Once Upon A Book signing, and I had an amazing experience! This signing was hosted by the awesome Stacey Rourke in Frankenmuth, MI. Let me tell you this place looked like something straight out of a TV show. I felt like I was walking down the streets of Gilmore Girls during one of their town events! It’s a place everyone has to visit! 

But the signing. OH, the signing! It was amazing! (I think I said that already) There were wonderful readers and authors and it felt like family. Everyone was so kind to one another and so ready and open to making new and lasting friendships. Not only did I get to meet so many new people, but I was able to finally meet face to face, so many of the wonderful people I have been friends with online for many years.
I often try to bring along a friend or family member to share in the experience with me. Honestly, these events are much too wonderful to keep to myself. This time around, to the wonderful city of Frankenmuth, I brought along fellow author and friend, Evangeline Lacey.  Can I just tell you that her enthusiasm was intoxicating? She is a true social butterfly (something this author is still struggling with) and she made so many connections during the event. We are both so thrilled about possibly attending again next year. Next year she will be a signing author!

But what was so amazing about the event? Was it the incredible coordination? The seamless timeline, the outings with authors, or was it the karaoke? Maybe it was the ball! Yes, I got to dress up like an evil queen adorned with snakes and all! It's not hard to guess, but I loved it! Stacey and I made evil look so darn good!
Me with the wonderful Stacey Rourke! Queens of Evil! 

Honestly, it was none of the above, though all added to the overall enjoyment of the event, the true blue amazing part, was getting to meet so many amazing READERS! They were the best group, so friendly and cheerful and they embraced each author equally. I had so many conversations about the book world and even did a few on the spot author interviews where readers were genuinely interested in getting to know more about me and where I came from and what inspired me to become an author. Trust me, that is a story I now love to tell! Can you say sci-fi Saturday?

Anyhoo… before I get too far off topic, I just wanted to really take a moment and give a big shout and express my appreciation to Stacey Rourke for hosting this wonderful event, for the authors who felt more like family, and for the readers, who make drive 4.5 hours with total head congestion completely worth every minute!

This event was one of the best I have attended thus far and I cannot wait for the next one! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Train Rides Inspire Me

It's no secret that everyone has their "place". That one location that seems to spark greatness. For me, I have come to realize, that space is the 4:34 train home. It seems odd to me. It's at the end of the workday when my mind is usually the most tired, but the moment the train pulls off, my brain is in motion.

My place used to be right on top of my grandfather's old station wagon. I would climb up there and stare at the clouds. Clouds became images, shifting from floating cotton balls to flowers, fairies, witches and more. Before long I had planned out an entire scene in my head. When my mother would call me to come inside, I'd run to my stack of notebooks and write down all that I had imagined. 

I suppose as we grow, shift, change (quite like those clouds), that place of inspiration does as well. For me now, it is the train ride home. It fuels me and gets me ready for my 5-year-old who will be in either ninja mode, ready to take down the villains who chase our car as we drive home or video gamer mode, telling me of all the levels we have to beat in order to make it to safety. My imagination runs wild on that train ride home so that I am able to keep up with him. 

Yesterday's Ride sparked me to type up this on my phone: A start of something new?  Its unfinished but hopefully you enjoy it! 


Have you ever caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye but when you looked, it wasn't there?

This is what happened.

Riding the Metra home from another long day at the office. Four days in a row, same location Just at the pickup point for the train’s workers. We stop, usually at this point I'm looking at my phone catching up on what's happening on Facebook. The usual, killings in the city, politics the freak show that is the presidential campaigns, on and on and then, there it is. Large, black and in the corner of my eye. I turn started but there is nothing. A sigh of relief and on with my scrolling. This job is stressing me out.

The fifth day, I don't see it. The ride is smooth. Halfway way to my destination. Just another fifteen minutes until I trot to my car 22 minutes until I dig into that pint of cherry vanilla ice cream waiting for me. The train stops. Everyone is obviously annoyed by the delay, me in particular. I want my ice cream!

This is nothing new. It happens. I sit, wait, and plug my phone into the convenient outlet next to my leg. As I pop the cord into my phone, the lights flicker and then go out. The tape that lines the floors walls and doors start to glow. It is later now, much later than my usual ride home. A Thursday, I stayed two extra hours to avoid surrendering another Friday night to the time clock.

Some people sigh, others start to complain. I slowly pull my jacket tighter around me. I don't do well in the dark. Especially on a train sitting just after the 87th street stop. I remember the post I read about a shooting that occurred just blocks away the day before. I want to duck for cover.
The conductor comes. He assures us everything is fine, just a power outage, we will be up and running in no time. Right, because what else would he say? We're all screwed and help is an hour away or more?

The battery on my phone is at 80% but just in case I switch the power saving mode on, close all apps and put it in my pocket. Maybe they will let us walk to the nearest stop. I could call a ride.
Screams from the car ahead of us startle me. Moments later the sound of nails, large, scratching against the side of the train, ring out. We all try to look out to see what it is but there is nothing, only darkness outside of the tinted windows.

The old woman across from me is clutching the pendant hanging around  her neck, I cannot see what it is but she starts to pray and I send up a silent plea for safety of my own.

“Is there a doctor? Someone, please help! Call 911!” The Cries ring out in succession.

Then the train shakes. Over and over something slams into the side until we start to tilt. I jump and move to sit next to the woman. I hold her tight to me and brace as the train makes its final tilt before crashing into the ground. My body serves as a cushion for the old woman who weeps on my arm. I have no time to comfort her. Ahead of us in the car there are screams again. This time, no words, just sheer panic. I wait with everyone else in silence. The roar, the growl, something is there. We have to move. I try to help the old lady but she tells me no. She cannot make it. Instead, I cover her as best I can in bags, and clothing from others. “Be still, be quiet,” I whisper as I leave her behind and hope for her safety.

The window where I sat before is shattered. I can make it through. It takes effort but I do, I climb and I am on top of the toppled train. I hear the beast, whatever it is, moving through the cars headed for us.

My cell works. I call 911 but they can’t hear me as I whisper into the mike. I try again and the same. “Please, ma’am you have to speak up!” My third attempt at reporting the incident is halted. It enters the car where I once was. Large, black and covered s in a thick matted fur it stalks the remaining survivors. If I speak, even a whisper it will spot me. I end the call and lock my eyes on the old woman. I can see only the tip of her show. I pray it misses her. I cannot explain it but I care only for her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

BABIT 2016: The books were big, the readers were better!

To date, I have been to quite a few signings. It is something I enjoy most about being an author. Actually getting out there into the world and meeting readers, is one of the best experiences. I will admit that in the beginning the very act of socializing with others and talking about myself went against everything that is at the very core of the hermit that I am. Over time, it has truly become the thing that gives me that fuel to keep pushing on.

This past weekend I attended the Books are Bigger in Texas Author Signing. Can I just say....WOW!
This event was so well ran and the readers who showed up were truly wonderful. They were supportive of their favorites but even took the time to meet the unknowns. The timing of the event was excellent. It gave ample time for the authors and vendors to get set up and ready to roll. They even had a nice breakfast buffet! This author needed it after a night of margaritas and other adult beverages! The VIP time was perfectly allotted which eliminated lengthy lines and aggravation.  I think most of us in the book word have experienced the horrid mile long lines and sore feet while trying to get the coveted signature of our favorite authors.

Let me just say now that I am extra excited having attended this event because readers were given the option of sending their favorite authors goodies! I put my name down on this list, so very sure that I wouldn't receive a thing. Because really, who know anything about me? I've only been at this for FIVE years! But to be honest, I haven't always given it the time it deserves and often times my name has slipped to close for comfort to that black hole of the once known but now forgotten! So to think that anyone would reach into their pockets to send me anything... well, that seemed too far-fetched. But here I am...(just turn your head a teeny bit to the left) yep right there holding an amazing gift bag from a reader who has truly loved me since the beginning. Go figure! BTW that pillow was my life during the 10 hour delay in getting home!
Me and Shavanna, the awesome CagedReader who not only pre-ordered all of my books but then sent me a gift! I love my readers!! 
I will end this post simply by saying that I am so glad that I attended this wonderful event. Kellie Montgomery and Hilary Storm and the wonderful people of The Eye Candy Book Store, put on an awesome event and I cannot wait until next year! Vegas here we come! 

Join the Reader Group on Facebook to keep up to date on the next stop and get connected with all of the amazing authors! HERE!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

EXCERPT: Last Stop, The Sighted Series, Part 1

Currently, I'm working on the Sighted Novel and I've decided to reacquaint myself with the first bit (and to do a bit of clean up on the text). It has been a while since I wrote the first installment but now the ghostly feel has returned to my world.

I came across this bit that I want to share with you. I'm so excited to be back in the world of Josephine!

An abrupt tap on the window interrupts my scrolling as the phone nearly falls out of my hand.Standing outside of the car, peering in on me is a fine specimen of a man, the real life, living kind. Yes, I know, it’s weird that I have to specify that he is alive, but hell, I do see dead people!Slowly I crank the window, yes crank, because my baby is an old one, and peek at him through the cracked space.
“Yes?” I ask the stranger.
“I couldn’t help but notice you have been sitting in this car for a while. Is something wrong?” His voice is deep, smooth, and the kind that reaches beneath the layer of my dress and excites a more primal side of myself. I find myself staring at his full lips and licking my own.
“Actually, my car seems to have died.” I kick myself internally for easily offering up the information. Yes, this guy is highly attractive but that doesn’t mean he isn’t completely capable of reaching into my car and trying to slice my throat open. My thoughts briefly go back to a newspaper article about this really  twisted serial killer. The guy was sick, strangling girls and leaving their bodies in houses that were listed for sale. I take solace in the fact that his crazy ass is nowhere near my hometown. That is if he hadn’t decided to migrate and take his show on the road.
“Well, perhaps I can help?” He steps back a bit from the window and allows me a full viewing of his body. He is tall, I estimate a few inches over six feet. He has broad shoulders and wears a thin tan shirt that sticks to his body like a second skin. I can see all the contours of the muscles in his arms, chest, abs, and of course, it leads my eyes down his body to his thighs. I can go no further as the car door disrupts my view, but I have seen enough. This tall dark chocolate man with the low cut hair and bright smile looks too good to be true. I mean he looks good enough to taste. I shake that thought off as quickly as it comes to me. This is not the time.
“Unless you have a tow truck in your pocket, I don’t see how.” I joke lightly as a pathetic attempt to distract myself from the specimen in front of me. It’s my thoughts that have gone astray though he isn’t short stopping on the eye strokes. I watch his eyes dart down to my top and back up a few times.
“No tow truck, but I do have a car, maybe you need a jump for the battery?” He smiles and I nod because that smile is both brilliant and enticing.
“We can try it but I can’t say that I’m all that convinced that it will work.” The last jump I got barely took hold and even then I was given a stern warning to replace the part as soon as possible. Do you think I listened? Of course not!
“Great, I’ll be right back.” His retreating form allows me a perfect view of his assets, the firm plump kind that hangs out in the back and just begs to be held on to. I can’t help it, I like a nice ass and his is very nice! It’s the kind of ass that just screams, “This man does squats!”. Damn. I shake my head and try to push away the thoughts yet again. This is highly inappropriate. I don’t know this man, and I am somewhat involved. Even though the man I am with is actually a ghost, and well, how far can that really go, but that is no excuse for acting like a cat in heat.
I sit in the car and wait patiently. Quickly I return to my phone to send a text to Mackie. “If I fo missing, a tall dark stranger in a Kia Soul has taken me, hopefully as his love slave.” She won’t get the message until way later because her phone is locked away as usual during her events. Fingers crossed, I hope for the best.
Three attempts at jumping the battery produce no victory. I get out of the car and watch him work as he attempts yet again to save the day. This car is a goner, but hell, a hot man working on a car is pretty damn sexy. My mind is too busy tracing the outline of muscles in his arms to really give a damn about the dead battery.
“I guess it really is dead,” he says after he slams the hood and returns to my side of the car. He looks a bit defeated. Men and their machines, I will never understand them.
“Yeah, I figured as much. It’s my own fault. The check engine light has been on for, well for far too long. I’ve also gotten a few stern warnings about needing to get work done on it. I just never got around to doing it.” I kick the tire and sigh.
“Well, do you have a way to get home? The least that I can do is offer you a lift.” He smiles and once again, I do an internal black flip, and I stick the landing!
“You may decide to retract that offer when you hear that I live about an hour’s drive south of here.” I smile at him and pull out my phone to once again begin my search for a friend with wheels.
“Yes, perhaps I might, or maybe not, considering I do as well.” He smiles at me and I want him to stop it. Okay, no, I don’t, but it would sure as hell help my efforts to keep a clear head.
“Really?” I give him the side eye because his admission sounds too good to be true.
“Yes, so, Ms….” He trails off as he realizes that he never actually asked for my name.
“Josephine.” I offer it up to him willingly as I am eager to hear my name roll off his tongue and across those sexy lips.
“Josephine,” Hot damn, it sounds just as good as I imagine, if not better.
“would you like a lift home?”I sigh because I know the smartest thing I can do right now is return to the gallery, wait out the party, and then burden Mackie for a ride, but I don’t want to. I don’t want to go back in there and I don’t want to ruin her night. She should be celebrating not playing chauffeur. I decide to take the risk. Hell, it’s just like hailing a cab or calling an Uber, I’m still putting my life and safety into the hands of a stranger either way. “Okay, sure.” Hell, I know how to protect myself. A girl doesn’t take four years of self-defense classes without picking up a thing or two about fighting off tall sexy men.
“What is your name?” I ask before I turn away to grab my bag out of my car.
“Sam.” He says it and it’s seductive as If he has practiced the sound for years to produce such a quality. “Sam Merrit.”
“Nice name.” I toss a duffel bag at him and he catches it easily. Might as well take as much as possible, I may not see my baby again for a while. I tap the old girl on the hood and walk away.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Don't fool yourself. Stop making excuses.

I read an interesting bit of text today that said writers fool themselves by using the excuse of writers block for lack of motivation. That this is a sign of not having discipline and consistency. I don't think that anyone reading this will be stunned by the fact that without discipline you cannot have consistency and without consistency, there will be no sustainable success. Oh, there will be high points, but how often will they happen? How can you be successful when the only constant in your life is excuses for why you aren't doing the things you need to be doing?

Photo via 
A lot of writers will tell you that when they hit a block they power through it. I, myself, I used that time to focus on other works. This was great for my other projects but it caused my writing to be halted. For a long time, I would just say that it meant it was time to do something else. As long as I was being productive, well that was all that mattered. That, however, is just another excuse. The words are there, always, sometimes it is just a bit more difficult to grasp them. So what am I to do to change this? Well, follow suit of all of the wonderful, successful authors I know. Set scheduled times to write and in that time, do NOTHING else. Get the words down, out, done. The hard part for me lately, as it would seem, has been focusing on my writing when I have so many other pursuits that I am looking to chase down.

After reading that text, I realized that, by putting my writing on hold, I was setting a pattern of inconsistency. I need to finish what I started. So yes, I will still be writing, perhaps a bit less than before but I will continue. Why? Well, it's simple, if I turn away from my writing even just for a moment just because the words became a tad bit difficult to capture, what else will I turn away from in times of difficulty? This will echo across every aspect of my life. That is not a trend I want to set, not a pattern I want to continue.

I have said through my last few post that I am on a personal growth journey. That means a lot of reflecting on my life, my habits, my personality, and all of the things that intermingle. It is difficult to look at yourself and see flaws, even more so to share them with the world. At least for me, it is a way to hold myself accountable for the continued progress of my journey. Be it for just the few people who have reached out to me and thanked me for my posts it is all worth it.

So I ask you, to take a moment and think about the patterns in your life, the habits that cause for a negative ripple to cross all areas of your life. Even the little things that seem like they aren't hurting much. What can you do to change those patterns? Who can you look to for your example?

Part ways with your excuses and open your arms for the successes to come!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Recognition, Awards, Motivation

I am so happy to be able to share that my book baby, Anew, The Hybrid Tales, brought home an award over the weekend! For the second time, one of my books was nominated by the awesome Reviewers at the Paranormal Romance Guild. Last year it was Siren's Call, which I found out about late in the game and wasn't quite able to pull in votes in time. Still I was happy for the nomination, for the recognition of my work.

To be able to say that once again the reviewers thought my work awesome enough to deserve such a mention was an  amazing feeling, and on top of that, to have the readers race in to vote and take Anew to the top, was even better!

So what does it mean to win an award? That is what I have been thinking about since I received the email last week informing me that I was in the running. What weight did this nomination and possible win have on my journey?

To me, it means that I am connecting with readers and leaving an impression on them. One that causes them to remember my work. It means that I have succeeded in my goal as an author to provide readers with something that they can enjoy, something that brings them pleasure. It means that my determination to grow and improve as an author over the past years has actually paid off! What better feeling than proof of personal growth and development?

This year, and the next few years to come,  I will be switching my focus a bit for the book world. My plan is to slip a bit back on publishing and more into building my platform, IWrite, IAm. Yes, I will still be writing, but I will be taking a lot more time in between producing those books. This award, this nomination, not only makes me feel like I have made the right decision but allows me comfort. I, like so many others out there, suffer from that nagging fear of being forgotten. If I step back to far, who will remember me, who will care when I return?

Thank you to everyone who voted, and a bigger thanks to the reviewers who nominated Anew!

What's to come for me? 

The Fire Within will release in the coming weeks. I have a soft release date for Valentines weekend but that may change.

The First IWrite, IAm book talk will happen at the end of February at a local High School. So excited for a chance to connect with young literary minds!

Books Are Bigger In Texas Author Event! So excited to be returning to Houston Texas with my book babies. Come on out and say hello!