Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Villains Ever AND a teaser!

So, Fun Friday is a monthly blog shenanigan I do with my YA author buds over at The Society of YA Storytellers and since I was ALSO in on this blog hop on 10/11 for Seven Eleven, I decided to combine them.

Which makes me a day late (but NOT a dollar short) on my Fun Friday post AND it means you're getting two bits of magic in one shot. You're welcome.

First, my TOP 10 LIST (of which we could choose any topic) is below. I did my Top 10 Best Villains Evaaaa. Even though I don't like scary  movies. So, this is definitely the wussy list of best villains. Deal with it. Here we go.

1. Regina from Once Upon A Time. Hands down, she's the best. We hate her. We love her. Then we hated to love her. And now... I love her so much that I don't even care who gets in the way of her happy ending right now! You made me FEEL FOR the villain even more than the mc/hero??? You're a genius, ABC. Genius. #TeamReginaForever

2. The Beast from the Sandlot. Best villain because he wasn't really #spoiler and because he also became the hero in the end. That's pretty epic. And I have so much love for this movie. I can't let it slip by without pointing out how "scary" the Beast was for all involved. Until he wasn't.

3. Ursula from the Little Mermaid. When I was a kid, she was ultimate. I mean, her tentacles and her hairdo were both equally creepy. One couldn't have won out over the other in a creep-contest, for real. And then she stole Ariel's voice??? (another spoiler, sorry!) Genius. I need my villains smart and she is definitely a lady who thinks on her feet. arms? tentacles? whatever.

4. Megatron from Transformers. I'm probably only picking him because I love the Transformers movies so much but really, if it comes down to pounds per inch, he's going to kick your tiny human tail. And he just KEEPS COMING BACK. (Crap, another spoiler.)

5. Jafar from Aladdin. MUSTACHE twirler!!!! HELLooooo. That was your first clue he is BaaaaaD.

6. The Nothing from the Neverending Story. Nothing is pretty scary. I mean really, really scary. For me. Nothing sounds like the worst.

7. The Wicked Witch of the EAST. Okay, well both witches are pretty villainous. Or maybe it depends on which version of the movies you've seen BUT I saw Oz and the East Witch was realllly nefarious. The West witch was just sensitive and got her heart broken. SPPOILLLLERRR!

8. The Joker from Batman. Mostly Heath Ledger's version. He was scary and I don't even have a fear of clowns but there was something very convincingly disturbing about his brand of crazy. 

9.  Darth Vader. That mouth-breathing is cree-py. Plus the fact that he's willing to sacrifice his body and his kids for his cause. That's true villainous commitment right there.

10. Lokiiiiii!!! 
'nuff said.
I mean, if you don't know who that is, we can't be friends.

I would looove to know what you think! Who is your favorite villain? Especially for those of you who don't like truly scary movies. Hit me in the comments. 

And now the TEASER I promised. I'm doing Blood Rule, book 4 in my Dirty Blood series which is available now and if you aren't caught up on the whole series, you can get the Boxed Set books 1-4 for just 2.99 until 10/15!

Steppe’s voice brought me back. Hands roamed over me, looking for purchase, and then I was half lifted, half dragged onto some sort of flat surface. There was some jostling as I was lifted into the air and then I steadied as they carried me in the opposite direction as the door I’d seen Wes leave through.
I craned my neck, trying to catch a glimpse through the crowd, some opening or hint of rescue. It couldn’t end like this. Wes arrested. Steppe winning.
    I tried searching for Emma or even George, but there was nothing. My mind was empty of any awareness except the pain.

And right now, I'm offering a signed paperback set of the entire series! AND get on an exclusive Q&A phone chat with ME on Nov 5!!! 

You can enter here:

Check out these other blog hoppers and their awesome excerpts!

Bethany Lopez OH!! and be sure to enter her giveaway:

Authors, if you want IN on this monthly bloggy hop of teasers, send me a note!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seven 11: Teaser from The Talisman

It's that time again!

Every month on the 11th, me and some other awesome author buds post teasers. Seven lines ONLY of whatever story we choose. This month, I'm giving you guys 7 lines from The Talisman, my NA Urban Fantasy short story that just came out in Perception: A New Adult anthology from Elephantine Publishing.

Here's your teaser:

Avery glanced behind her and picked up her pace. 
She knew they were out there. Hiding. Waiting. She wouldn’t let her guard down. She’d promised her father she would be vigilant and even though death would put her one step closer to him, she wouldn’t go without a fight.

The streets were dark in this part of town. Not even a streetlamp to cheer up the shadows that seemed to close in around you so tight … until you could barely breathe. Her paranoia, though warranted, made it worse. She struggled to keep her breaths even and quiet and hurried forward.

The world will never look the same… 

There comes a defining moment in every young person's life that irrevocably shifts their point of view. 

Missing by award-winning author Mary Laufer--For a new teacher who still compares herself to her students, the shift in reality comes in the form a missing girl and a false accusation that could cost her more than her career. 

The Outlaw by debut author Scott C. Davis--For a young man who settles into a rut that not even his broken marriage can pull him out of, it’s a drifter’s gun to his head. 

Drive by author & screenplay writer Nealy Gihan--For an idealistic college student, the point of view shift comes in the form of her parents’ divorce pulling back the curtain on who they really are, shattering everything she thought she knew about love. 

My Boyfriend is a Senator by award-winning author Linda Davis--For a recovering addict who's not ready to change, it might just be an unhappy ending to her illicit affair. 

The Talisman by bestselling YA & NA author Heather Hildenbrand—For an orphan on the run from monsters, a shift in perception might be discovering the power of prayer as a saving grace against the likes of which no human being has ever seen. If we’re lucky. 

In Perception, discover five captivating stories that explore what it means to be a new adult. 

Get it on AmazonB&N, or iTunes for just .99!

Check out what these other author peeps are teasing you with!

Amanda Aksel
Justine Winter
S.M. Boyce
Kasi Blake
Alicia Sheehy
Steph Nuss
Kayla Smith

and now--awesome giveaway time:

From Justine Winter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And 2 tickets to UtopYA 2015!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 29, 2014

8/30 My UtopYA - unofficial official tips and a blog hop

I was asked by my awesome, beautiful, & talented friend Carlyle Labuschagne (THIS gorgeous girl!)

to participate in some sage advice-giving posts all about how to survive--and thrive!--at the awesome place that is UtopyA con! UtopYA's basically my favorite book place to be in the entire world so I was definitely excited to help out with this fun hop. And, because typed words are not enough to convey the excitement, I did a video.

You're welcome.

Adam Kunz!!!!! Best advice ever.
(UtopYA 2013)

And if you haven't checked out any of the other hoppers, you should read the posts below along with any others they can lead you to. Here's a list of some other #UtopYA shenanigans!

Aug 6 Delphina Reads Too Much, Official UtopYA blogger
Aug 8 Amy Evans, author of Clicks
Aug 28 Chelsea Fine author of amazing stuff like the Archers of Avalon series and The Best Kind of Broken (which gave me the best kind of cry)

And you should DEFINITELY make it a priority to get your pretty ass to UtopYA next year. You won't regret going but you WILL regret not going. I'm just saying.

And, because UtopYA is ALWAYS about free books, here you go...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Top 5 Summer Movie/TV Picks ... and 2 crazy moments for charity

It's FUN FRIDAY, which means me and the gang at YA Society of Storytellers are doing a funnish post that we all share and link to so you can get to know us and we can "hang out" with each other for some virtual FRIDAY FUN. This week, I'm bringing you my top faves of summer movies (so far) and/or TV show picks and at the end, a treat of craziness to show you some charity stuff I've done lately. It's silly and ridiculous and those 2 things are always a good time.

(Also check out:)
Bryna Butler's Top 10 Summer Blockbuster quotes of 2014

1. The Fault in our Stars Movie
aka TFioS
I'm a total John Green fan and a #nerdfighter. I loved this book to itty bitty pieces. And the movie was no exception. I wished they'd inserted a little more of the amazing lines from the book into the dialogue (like the whole meaning behind the title, for example) but overall, I thought they did great. I mean, I cried, so yeah. Good job, guys.
Besides, I am officially a die-hard Shailene Woodley fan now. (Thank you, Divergent) Liking this one was inevitable.
the egging scene was one of the best parts of the movie version for sure. 

The thing you should know about my movie list I that I am really lenient when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations and the like. I recognize the boiled-downness of it all is that I'm here to be entertained. So, I don't set a lot of expectations. I know a lot of people who were disappointed by some of these types of movies (Vampire Academy, anyone? Yep, LIKED IT!), but (I think because I look at them as separate pieces of art from the written work), I'm able to enjoy them. What do you guys think?

2. Guardians of the Galaxy Movie

This one was funny and entertaining but without the humor would've just been MEH. Some of the scenes didn't feel like a very smooth transition between the humor and the suspense/seriousness. But I did laugh a lot and it was different and I'm a fan of both of those things.

Now, this would've been a longer movie list but these are the only 2 movies I've seen this summer. Seriously. 
I know, not much of a list but hey, I'm busy writing books for you guys! Cut me some slack!

So, to round it out, I'm throwing in what I've been watching on TV. SO,

3. Meet the Fosters

I definitely cried for like, the first 4 episodes. I've always wanted to be a foster parent and now, after EVERY episode, I turn to Awesome Boyfriend, and am like: Can we get a kid???
Loving this one.

4. Lost Girl

I found this while trolling Netflix 
(The Awesome Boyfriend was away in Thailand and I was banned from watching Meet the Fosters without him. I had to do something!)
And I wasn't too keen on it after episode 1 or even 2 but somewhere between 2 and 3, it good good and I got hooked. (I don't think that was proper grammar. Don't tell anyone.)
Anyway, I love Dyson and Kenzie and the whole gang now so this one is a keeper. If you like adult paranormal (especially Richelle Mead's succubus series!) you will like this one.

5. In the Army Now
I know, this one isn't exactly CURRENT but -- WE just watched it because the Awesome Boyfriend had somehow NEVER SEEN it, so it gets on the list.
(And now he walks around saying he's a "craaazy boy!")
Who else LOVED Pauly Shore in this??
I ordered the DVD from Amazon to keep because I just knew once he saw it, he'd love it. And I wasn't wrong. So that's what I'm watching lately. What are YOU watching?? No, seriously, I need recommendations for once I'm done with all of these TV shows! Leave your answers in the comments!

AND now, because I promised, the 2 silly things for charity ....

1. Eli the Elopus

My writer friend and fellow YA Society member, Bryna Butler, emailed me last week in need of a short story for a charity scavenger hunt she does every year for GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) to support the charity Random Acts, whose mission is to "inspire acts of kindness around the world both big and small." The short story had to feature the GISHWHES mascot, an elopus (part-elephant, say what????), Misha Collins (from Supernatural), and the Queen of England. The hard part, it couldn't be more than 140 words (this from the novel writer with always lots of words to say.) Yeah, that part was a challenge. But I did it and here's the proof:

You can Read Bryna's blog post with the FULL deets on her scavenging and the crazy things she did. Looks like fun! maybe I'll have to get in on this next year!

2. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge

Have you heard of this? If not, be ready. because your friends could tag you at ANY. TIME and then you have no choice but to douse yourself with a bucket of ICE COLD WATER. 
It's a charity/awareness campaign for the ALS Foundation. You drench yourself within 24 hours being challenged OR you have to donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. Your choice.
I decided to get drenched. (I also whined about it but that's no longer a point.)

Check me out:

I sent this to my daughter who promptly wrote back "this is the coolest thing you've ever done, Mom."
Huh. I need to get out more.

And let's see what my nominee does .... 
In the meantime, you should go enter some giveaways before they end right here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Seven 11 blog hop: Whisper teaser!

Every month, on the 11th of the month, I post a teaser from one of my upcoming releases/wip's or whatever strikes me that I think you should read. Some other fantastic authors participate by also posting teasers of their stuff, so you can read some never-before-seen-words by some of the best authors around. The other rockstars you can check out this month are:


Steph Nuss' signed paperback copy of her new book on Goodreads

SM Boyce is giving away a Stacey Marie Brown swag bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, here are my seven lines from Whisper, a New Adult Paranormal Romance coming on Wed!

(ch 25)
...modesty when he looked at me that way. His gaze consumed me even before he’d touched me. My eyes flickered over the angles and cut of his body.
“So are you,” I said, breathless from meaning it.
Without a word, he shifted sideways and pulled his pants off. There was nothing left underneath them. The firelight flickered over his exposed body, turning his tanned skin different shades of glowing yellow and orange. My breath caught at the sheer beauty of my warrior. Of the love I held for him, centuries-old. Of the thought of our bodies pressed together.
What do you think?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How Alloy Entertainment and I became buds.

I don't know if you really want to sit and read the entiiiirre story that is my friendship tale between myself and Alloy but I've been holding all this in for a WHILE now. Besides that, this is my blog, not yours, which puts you at my mercy. But then, the human attention span is only 7 seconds, which I've already exceeded depending on how fast or slow you read. So. I will try to compromise and tell you the high points--in all their embarrassing glory.

It's like this:
Back in March, I got an email from a publisher that was interested in purchasing the rights to Imitation (and the series). They said a ton of nice things about my ability to string words together and the story I'd created and my brain as a whole. I was obviously mucho flattered, like any author would be. But I also had never heard of them which, in my mind, made them small potatoes. Not that I wasn't the same size potato doing this on my own, but from a business standpoint, small potatoes is not enough to make me sign on a dotted line. Or a dashed line. Or any sort of signature line that you can really picture here.

SO I sort of told them no.

Yeah. I'm an idiot.

Luckily, they're persistent.

Whew. Can you imagine being the girl who told the freaking CW "No?" I would never live that one down. Anyway, on email round 2, I finally got my shit together and Googled them. And yeah. Now we ALLLLL know (Including Heather) that Alloy = CW = WfreakingB. Like, Les Morgenstein signed my contract. Holy shizz.

Once I figured out the WHO--and sufficiently happy danced--I went back to the metaphorical table and got to know everyone and said "hell yeah, let's do this" a lot of times in a row. Whatever THIS is. (seriously, for the business-savvy indies reading this, I put much more thought into it than I'm letting on here. It was a killer deal and I couldn't say no, trust. but this way is more fun to read about. Calm down, yo.)

My 2 fabulous editors got me on the phone long enough to repeat all the nice things to me, only with voices instead of typed words, and I fell hard. They're telling me I'm brilliant and a story-weaving goddess. I mean, you'd fall too. No question.

So, the deal was outlined. Terms were named. Stuff happened. Paperwork got signed. The rest, as they say, is history. I'm vaguing it up right now because honestly, the terms aren't important here. Not to you, the reader. What's important is this:

The story is essentially the same.
(I define the word "Essentially" like this: the characters, plot, and ending are the same. Most of the middle is tweaked to be awesome and different and re-readable, trust me. Linc is more Linc. Daniel is more ... Daniel. Ven has more muchness--to put it like the Mad Hatter. Go read it. Again, even.)
Oh, the cover is tweaked too, which makes it more hellaciously awesome. Check it:

Don't worry. I fought for this cover to remain--because you guys would have my head if I didn't. I pretty much told them they were putting their own lives at stake if they changed the cover. So, you're welcome.

And Deviation. here's the deets about that: It's not "essentially" changing. It's COMPLETELY changing. That's on me. I had some problems (if we're being honest) with the first version and I kind of told my editors (because I'm just this side of insane when it's due yesterday) that I am throwing the whole thing out and starting over. Some other things needed to happen inside this story that just didn't, so this deal, for Deviation and it's readers, is the best thing that could've happened since sliced clones. (ew, right!)

Aaaaannnd there's a new and UH-mazing cover for that one as well!!!!

So awesome, I want to lick it.

Or something else equally creepy. It's brilliant.
And available for PRE-ORDER. GO now, sillies! I'll wait!

I couldn't tell you all any of this because of the 3rd party that's sort of silently involved in all this. (again, not important for the readers because it doesn't change the story, etc but I owe you an explanation.) This whole thing with Alloy is a partnership that is called "Powered by Amazon." Which means they have both hands and at least 3 feet in the pot as well. Decisions weren't really singular here. They were made as a group and as such, the group was informed of the decision to KEEP QUIET on EVERYTHING about this until D-Day. Or P-Day (publishing day?? get it??) or whatever.

AND FINALLY I get to talk about it!!! Yayyy! and party and celebrate and converse and revel and throw confetti and dance in the metaphorical streets in my virtual underwear (or whatever happens with the wine cork popped)...

In short, I am fracking over the moon about this whole thing!
And not only that, I've been so lucky to be able to share this experience with two other incredible authors. Tracy Banghart and Aimee Salter also have books available today under the new Alloy/Powered by Amazon label. If you enjoyed Imitation, you will love both of these. You definitely want to check them out.

Every Ugly Word by Aimee Salter

Click here to check it out on Amazon!
Aimee's blog has some powerful words formulated into an inspiring message. Check it out.

Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart

Check it out on Amazon!
and check out Tracy's blog for a chance to win something.

And last but never least, a love letter to all of my dedicated readers: THANK YOU guys for sticking with me and being patient while I basically went "radio silent" these last few months. I hated not being able to share the details of my current wip with you. But now, all the things! Let's talk about all the things! To answer any more questions, I'm taking part in a Twitter party on Thurs, August 7 from 8-10p eastern.

#YAauthorparty will be for YOU GUYS, the fans, to ask anything you want about the books, the publishing deal, or the process we went through to re-release these amazing stories to you all. See you there!! And thanks for hanging in! Mwah!

(P.S. if you want to tweet a question early or at all, be sure to use the hashtag #YAauthorparty so I can find you and tell you what you want to know!)

And if you want to read the official press release via the New York Times because you're into that sort of newsy thing, the link for that is here.

And--if you want to stay updated on future stuff like Deviation's re-release or anything else, make sure to sign up for my Love Birds newsletter so you can get all the info as it comes in. (see top right corner of the blog.)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Friday: giveaways and cover love!

Lots of fun stuff to share with you for the weekend!
First, I made it to Guam. YAY!! Catching up on work and jet lag today and then going to ride motorcycles this weekend. Pictures of killer views will follow. And as for books, SO MUCH exciting stuff is coming between now and the end of the month! New covers (3) and new releases (2) and so many fun parties and announcements (too many to count!) Stay tuned. Trust me, this will be so awesome!

Okay, so, giveaway time. First up, the Society of YA Storytellers--of which I am a member--is doing a SUPER exciting giveaway for this week's Fun Friday!

One winner is going to get a completely NEW and never before seen short story featuring a character from one of the books of the participating authors listed below, winner's choice!!!!

Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Entry and drawing will be conducted via Rafflecopter. Entry deadline is 11:59 a.m. EDT on August 30, 2014. Winner will be notified via email and winner annoucement will be made on Society’s social media outlets. If response on author choice is not received from winner within 14 days of notification, prize will be forfeited. Winner will receive a flash fiction story of approximately 1,000 words from his/her author of choice from those participating in the Story Event. Winner does not receive copyright or other rights to the story provided as the prize. Prize shall not be considered work for hire. Prize may not be re-sold by winner and can only be shared, in digital or physical form, with author’s express written permission. Society reserves the right to deny any entry for any reason. Void where prohibited.
AND then-- there's this:
All you have to do to enter is FOLLOW us on Twitter!
Go now!
A new winner will be chosen monthly!

Details for both of these are on the Society's website.

And last but not least, for Friday Fun-ness, it's cover reveal time!!!

Whisper is being re-released as an NA Paranormal (cover reveal next week! EEP!) and is going to be featured in a boxed set called FATED coming in August! SO many amazing authors in one book! 
Check out our sexy cover!

Share this post & grab an extra point towards a $10 Gift Card
"Sometimes love has other plans."
Sign-up for a Fated Bonus Bundle, Entry in $50 Gift Card Giveaway and Live Phone Chat with the Fated 5 Authors: Rachael Wade, Stacey Marie Brown, Alyssa Rose Ivy, Heather Hildenbrand and Nikki Jefford
Releases: August 21st
Cover: Najla Qamber Designs
(Follow link to Rafflecopter & click "Share the Fated Cover" to grab your point.)

Go get entered for all the goodies and check back here next week for more announcements and fun stuff! Happy Friday, Love Birds!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Seven 11 Blog Hop: Dirty Blood Teaser

TGIF people! 
This week, we are kicking off a monthly event called the Seven 11 Blog hop. Each month on the 11th, I will post a teaser of SEVEN lines from one of my books -- some published, some not -- for you guys to get a sneak peek at. This month, I gave you 7 lines from Dirty Blood. For those that haven't read it or want to re-read the series before book 5 comes out, here's a reminder of the George-Wes tension.

George shot a glance at Wes again and then stepped over and planted a very deliberate kiss on my cheek. “I’ll see you, Tay,” he said and headed to his car. I watched him go, wondering whose benefit the kiss had been for: mine or Wes’s.
I waited until George had driven off before whirling at Wes. “What was that?” I hissed.
His eyes were sparkling. “What was what?”
“You were baiting him.”
He shrugged. “I don’t like him very much.”

This month, we are offering a giveaway of The Man Test by Amanda Aksel (Sex & the City meets Hitch!). Enter to win and click through to read seven great lines from seven other authors!

Bethany Lopez
Nikki Jefford
Justine Winter
Alicia Sheehy
SM Boyce
Shawn McGuire
Amanda Aksel And be sure to wish Amanda a very Happy Birthday and Thanks for putting this event together!

Giveaway code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fireworks: an excerpt from the NEW Whisper!

It's Fun Friday with the YA Society of Storytellers! And this week, for the 4th of July celebration, our topic is FIREWORKS! Which means, we are posting explosive excerpts from one of our books. 
You can read other fiery excerpts from YA storytellers, Laura Elliot here and Christy Sloat here.

I chose a WIP to share, a scene from Whisper, which I am busy getting ready for its re-release as a New Adult coming in August!!
It's getting a new cover and new, exclusive content and I CAN'T WAIT to share it with you!!
Here's a sneak peek, FIREWORKS-style, of what's coming ...

“I can’t move forward without you.”
The words were out before I could stop them.
I hadn’t meant to sound so desperate, but it was too late to take it back. Tears threatened. I blinked, trying to stop them before they started. Despite my best attempt, a burning tear traced its way down my cheek.
Dylan took a step toward me. His fingers brushed my hand and curled around to squeeze my palm. I twisted my fingers so they interlocked with his and squeezed back.
The corner of his mouth curved up in a half-smile. He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. His hand lingered there, near my cheek, so light he barely touched me.
If there was ever a moment so sweet, so brimming with life that I knew I’d never forget it, this was it. Our breath hung on the air. There was a collective pause that seemed to include not only the house but the entire universe. As if every existing thing hung in the balance under the weight of our joined gaze. Even the tear I’d shed was frozen to my face, unmoving while it waited.
Finally, as if in slow motion, Dylan leaned in and very gently brushed his lips over mine. Tentative at first, and then firmer. Confident. A question being asked and answered all at once.
In answer to the relief, the sweetness, the joy that reverberated into my bones, another tear escaped and slid down my cheek. Dylan reached up and caught it with his thumb and wiped it away, all without breaking the connection of our lips. His thumb trailed down my cheek, his fingers brushing across my shoulders and arms before circling my waist and pulling me in.
Our mouths moved together in a tandem dance that left me breathless and aching.
All I could think about was this moment, his kiss. And how I’d never imagined it would be possible to feel this alive for anything again.
It was a sweet mixing of grief and joy, and it felt amazing and exhilarating and exactly right. A small noise escaped my throat, landing somewhere in his mouth.

Dylan shuddered against me. Then his lips stilled and his arms fell away. He wrenched himself back and stared at me, mouth frozen halfway open.
“What’s wrong?”

More coming in August!

Monday, June 30, 2014

You have to save YOU.

Good morning Love Birds.
Yesterday, I received some saddeningly ugly news.
A particularly significant ex-boyfriend of mine committed suicide a few days ago.
I haven't seen or spoken to him in years. This boy was not significant because he was still a part of my life--he was significant in the way that someone who altered you--for good AND bad--only can be.
He was not a nice person. I say that knowing full well that, in death, most people find something nice to say. And yet.
He wasn't nice.
He was abusive and dark and selfish and sweet and charming and romantic. Yep, he was "that guy" for me. In so many twisted ways. On my eighteenth birthday, I threw myself out of a dysfunctional home environment into an even more dysfunctional relationship. And from there, it spiraled downward.
Looking back, I can remember knowing that he was damaged. But then, we both were. And although I probably couldn't have put it into these words at the time, I know now that my deepest, darkest secret desire, expectation even, was that we would somehow save each other. I thought we'd be messed up together, get into trouble, toe the line of the law, fall onto the wrong side of it a few times even. But then, we'd drag each other up and out and put each other back together again.
Only, that didn't happen.
One horrible straw led to another and finally, came the LAST straw and then I had no choice but to get away. To stop trying to bring him with me and just GO. I left in the kind of way that felt hard and fast and completely cutting. I haven't spoken to him since. That was 12 years ago.
Then, yesterday, I received the news that he'd shot himself.
It's so, so sad, but for me it was deeper than an unfortunate story in the news of someone I once knew. It's brought to surface all sorts of old feelings. Not the least of which is that feeling of wanting to save him, of wanting him to save me. And in the end, neither one happened.
In the end, I saved myself.
This is not a post about "hey, thanks for being a jerk so I could get motivated to heal my life."
This is not a post about "suicide is so tragic. I wish we'd all done more."
It's just an observation. The choice to be saved from "that other path" is your own. Never anyone else's. You can't blame someone else for your failures. But, fortunately, that means you can't blame someone else for your success either.
In the end, it's up to you.
Today, more than other days, I'm so grateful that I saved myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Halfway rockstars don't exist

This is a post I first wrote for Phoenix, my author coaching clients. I try to use my own STUFF as encouragement for my authors. Mostly because whatever I struggle with, you struggle with. Whatever wears on me probably wears on you. People are essentially the same. I decided to also post it here because it's been a while since I've been honest in a raw kind of way about my personal life with my readers. And these last four weeks or so have felt really raw. (no lie, I blame that last moon cycle. That one was a bitch!) But it's a new cycle now and I'm feeling much more like my TRUE SELF. I've got a good handle on my personal truth and I want to share it with everyone else who maybe struggles with keeping hold of their truth instead of taking on someone else's. (Living an OutRAGEous Life isn't as easy as you think!)

When I'm faced with a new choice, I spend only a few seconds deciding whether I want it or not. If not, I walk away. If so, I go for it.
But then I have a bad habit of spending the next LONG WHILE second-guessing that decision or feeling guilty for taking the opportunity OR unhappy as I contemplate all the judgment others must be passing on me behind my back because they would never do something so crazystupidinsaneunreasonable or just basically outside the box.
If you're like me, this sort of thing happens when you try to do something outside the "YOU" that fits into everyone's definition of what you "SHOULD DO."
Like, for example, Guam.
In July, I head back there--without the kiddos. Some people think that me leaving my kids makes me a less-than-great (Or unstable, in some conversations) mother. Or a slew of other judgy things that have been pulling me down in all areas. I mean, I've been though enough of a personal journey that I can't NOT follow my dreams (of travel and true love and anything that makes me this HAPPY) but I've been walking around feeling YUCK about it. Like that will make all of the naysayers feel better or come around. "Oh, well, she feels guilty for it, so, we forgive her."
Uh, no.
Doesn't work that way.
My point is, if you've ever felt this too. Maybe with wanting to write but everyone telling you it wasn't a "real job," over committing even though you didn't WANT to do something for someone but you felt obligated (aka GUILT), being afraid to write the kind of story you WANT to write because "what will people think?"
Building an entire life out of what you're "SUPPOSED TO" do or be or act like, instead of anything that gets you so happy and lit up that it makes you OutRAGEous.
I see you all writing books and publishing and living out that part of your happiness. But what about the choices you've made for others? The secret stuff, the paranormal erotica, the wanting to move to Bali, the stuff no one knows OR the stuff you've chosen but then walk around feeling bad about???? And then you wonder why this choice isn't working out now! Well of course it won't, not when you feel so awful about it!
It's not easy letting go of the yucky feelings that come with being a rebel. But it's totally worth it. The fact is, no one ever became famous or achieved their dreams or left a lasting mark or FULFILLED THEIR DESTINY or lived a happily ever after by "half-assing" their choices.
I saw this on Facebook yesterday:
When you die, your life is summed up by two dates and a dash. Make the MOST of the dash.
What are you making of your dash?
If you like what you read here and want to join my Phoenix email list to get more of the same, you can click here to join Phoenix's mailing list. It's geared toward authors but my message: How to create your own OutRAGEous Life applies to everyone!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Top 5 Fictional Couples



Wait, what does that mean? Oh, yeah! It means the YA Storytellers are all posting about the SAME fun topic which is... Favorite Fictional Characters. If you want to read someone else's list besides mine, you can go to the YA Storytellers site and pick someone else to stalk.

For everyone still here, here's my list in PRIORITY ORDER! I have serious opinions about this subject!

1. Clary and Jace. No question.
Think about it, any other who can make you wonder if the leading couple are actually brother and sister and STILL make you want to see them make out AND not make it WEIRD, that's success! You know it. I know it. 
And Jace is, without question, my number one book boyfriend. #handsoff
2. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars. 
Oh, and this: "You're so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are." -Augustus Waters. I love that one so much, I didn't have to look it up to type it here. And it's been a year and a half since I read the book. Any book with a quote that unforgettable gets into this list.
Augustus Waters IS true love.
Nothing else even needs to be said here.

3. Ren and Kelsey from Tiger's Curse by Colleen Hoover
Spoiler Alert: HE GAVE HER TO HIS BROTHER!!!!!!
Complete and total White Fang scenario!!!!!!
And I know she went for it for a while but that's because SHE was White Fanging him back!!! #TrueLove

4. Jess and Nick from New Girl. 
I know, I know. It's not a book. I. Can't. Even. Care.
Have you seen the episode from Season 1 where they kiss for the first time?????
THAT'S that shit where Every Girl Should Always Be Kissed Like That Forever to stay in love. Period. It was amazing. I smoked a cigarette after watching it. And then I watched it again.
*goes to find the DVR remote*

5. Okay, so I got this far and now I'm stuuuuck. There are sooo many!
Zoey and Stark from House of Night by PC Cast. #somuchtruenessinthelove
Alec and Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Trys and Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Katniss and Peeta from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Nora and Bram from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
If you haven't read Steampunk Zombies, you're just playing around. Get serious. 
This book was UH-mazing. it's a series. Go. You're welcome.

Okay, I think that's my final answer. This post was hard/fun/entertaining to write! Who is YOUR favorite fictional character?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Me on my Writing Process and a really vague video full of excitement.

First, I want to say Heyyyy <-- a big shout out to Justine Winter, the author that tagged me in this writing blog hop. You can check out her site (and books) here. And you should. She rocks! (and not just because she writes about hottie wolves!)

Now. For my turn and this--
A convoluted intro for ya:

So, a couple of weeks ago I was approached to do this "My Writing Process – Blog Tour" thing by an author friend and I was like "yeah" and then I read the questions I was supposed to answer and I had to change it to "oh, noooo." *sad face*

Then I was asked again a few days later, and I was like, "Hmmm. Maybe. Lemme check." 
I mean, I wanted to. I really love sharing with you guys what I'm working on all the time. But there's this THING. It's a big, fat, GIANT thing, actually, and I can't talk about it just yet. 
Which is killing me!!!!!! .... but also comes down to: I wasn't sure if I could answer question 1.
So I said maybe.
Then I checked. 
SO, the answer is this: I can't tell you what I'm working on YET but I can tell you it's huge (and vague) and stellar (and mysterious) and worth waiting for (and still not happening yet). 
Does that clear it up?
Okay, I agree, it doesn't, BUT to make up for my vagueness, I made a video:

So yeah. I hope that's consolation enough. 

NOW on to the questions!

1)     What am I working on? Um. Yeah. See video above. 
2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre? well, one, I'm obviously good at being vague and excited at the same time. Okay, seriously though, my work has the common thread of hope and first love woven into ALL of my stories. and I sort of like that. I hope you do too. I'm a hopeful kind of person.
3)     Why do I write what I do? Again, I'm a hopeful kind of person. and I like kissing. a lot. and bad boys with snarky attitudes. =) 
4)     How does your writing process work? I come up with a concept and then I usually story board, where my ideas look a lot like this:
Except, maybe a little more specific. Hopefully.
And then I sit down and write a draft. In silence. 
The boyfriend jokes me/can't believe it. I don't listen to music. I don't watch TV. I write mostly while the minions are away at school or in bed. I just like the sound of the story playing in my head. It's more real that way, like a movie on my own private screen. And my characters are much easier to hear when they don't have to talk over anyone. It's just what I do. 
Silence. It's golden, yo.

Okay, so the final piece to this writer hop pie is that I'm going to tell you who is next in the tagging. So. Next Monday, you'll get a bloggy treat from the following authors who are made of awesome:

Amanda Aksel. She's basically my sister from another mister. Everyone says we look like it and I think we're starting to act like it the more time we spend together. Her new book, The Man Test, is like Sex in the City meets Bridesmaids. Too funny. Characters to love and heels to die for. You gotta check her out. Amanda's also one of my partners in crime in my new publishing company, Elephantine Publishing! #jointheherd

Desiree Williams. She's sort of like a modern-day Superwoman--but funnier. Seriously, she juggles so much between a hubs, a daughter, a job, a church family, AND writing, I am in awe of All The Things. And her first book, Heart Song, will be out end of May so check it out! Killer cover! and even BETTER story inside! (I may have gotten to read this one early, so HA!)