Friday, December 16, 2016

$100 eGift card Bookstagram Giveaway!

December 16th - 21st
Multi-Bookstagrammer Giveaway

Win a $100 egift card to Amazon! My friends and I are sponsoring a giveaway, you can enter under the break, and it's just in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

HOME is out for sale!


It happened! My book is out on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and a plethora of other websites for purchase!

This has been a life-long dream for me since I was a girl and making pretend books on the typewriter my Mema gave me.

Where you can purchase HOME:

Indigo (Canada)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things Freebie Book Blitz

Title: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
Author: Martina McAtee 
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: 17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is. 
They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death. 
As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.
Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack chihuahua's and two shady looking cats. When she isn't writing young adult books about worlds with reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures she's reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things released in August of 2015. Her second book in the Dead Things series, Dark Dreams and Dead Things, will release July 15, 2016.
Author Links: 
#Free with KindleUnlimited

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Saturday, October 22, 2016

ARCs and book covers and things

Okay, so today I sent out some ARCs, or Advance Reading Copies. I'm hoping this gets the ball rolling on the excitement concerning HOME's debut. I had to bug some of my fellow writers for author blurbs so I could either 1. put them on the book's cover or 2. put them on my website. I freaked out, feeling like a jerk and that I was being obnoxious, but then I realized the answer will always be no if you never ask. Also, "no" is the worst thing that someone can say if you ask them to do a favor for you. So, I asked away and was surprised by the reaction and the number of authors who agreed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

First Official Appearance!

First off, Happy Birthday to my Aunt Madge Lewis! I'm not going to tell you how old she is, she's Southern Lady, that'd be like asking her how much she weighs! 😜 HappyBirthday, Jojo! 🎉🎊

I hope you are all enjoying fall as much as I am here in Middle Tennessee and that you are reading tons of GREAT books! I started a new job, and the first few weeks were a little difficult to adjust to, but I think it's all going to work out. A friend of mine wanted to do a group read of the Anne of Green Gables series, so right now, I'm reading those novels all over again, and I can see a lot of things I didn't when I was 11 and reading them for myself.

This is the Harvest season when we're getting towards what I call "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year", which is Halloween through New Years. I love these Holidays because they're 1. so much fun (Halloween), 2. family time (Thanksgiving in the US), and 3. a time of great love and thanks (Christmas and New Year's). I think this is wonderful energy during this time of year and we can all feel it. Yes, I'm one of those basic white girls who loves Fall! 😜 But something else is coming up the weekend of November 4th-6th... and it's a VERY big deal!

The great news was that I was invited to take part in the WordCrafts Press booth at the Springhouse Artisan Fair November 4th-6th! My very first public appearance at an event as an author! 😍 My publisher invited me so that I can sign swag for HOME, and speak to attendees about my books, and help the other authors at WordCrafts Press promote THEIR books as well! Hopefully, there will be cover art for my book by then, and I'm planning on having bookmarks and postcards-- which I will personally sign just for you! Mark your calendars if you want to meet me-- and a whole lot of other incredible artists, too!

• When: Saturday, November 5th, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
• Cost: Free!

Free, what a deal, right? So many conferences and conventions, you have to PAY to get in, but not this one! Remember also: autographed books make great Christmas presents! I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Guest Post and Book Tour: Writing for Children and Young Adults

I recently was asked by a publicist if I'd host a blog tour posts, and I was like, "Heck, yeah! Sure!" It was for Marion Crook, and a book that I can really use, it's called Writing for Children and Young Adults. The blog tour blitz offered me a subject for the author to write about, and I chose:  The big difference between young adult novels and adult novels. Read what Marion Crook had to say below the break!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Lies We Learn on TV

I was so broke about a year and a half ago, I cancelled my cable television. Commercials seemed a bore, so I got Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, and still saved $100 a month, and didn't have to put up with endless commercials. I never realized how much power TV commercials had until I wasn't seeing them at all.

I was hanging out at my friend's house and she had the TV on. I saw a commercial for a supplement pill to cure low testosterone in men that could be ordered with a phone call to an 800 number. "What a scam," I remarked. It just seemed like placebo caplets to me. Without a prescription, they weren't going to do much good. Then a commercial for another supplement came on, this time, to cure insulin resistance, but they described the condition incorrectly. "That's not how insulin resistance works!" I yelled at the TV.

Being an election year, I've started to see TV spots where certain issues and topics are brought up over and over. I've realized that I feel more firm in my politics because I don't watch these news channels now, and I do all my research myself, looking for the most accredited source without bias. And it's surprising to me how much people quote the TV spots when talking politics.

There was a gas pipeline burst on Thursday in Alabama. And now the rumors of gas shortages are driving the paranoid people of Middle Tennessee crazy and the gas stations have cars lined up to the interstate. But me? I'm just annoyed, because if people weren't filling up jerry cans and freaking out, there wouldn't be a gas shortage in the first place.

All this has made me realize how much control the TV has over our minds, but it's super subtle in doing so. When I was bored and had cable, I'd find myself turning it on for background noise or aimlessly flipping channels when I was burnt out. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to watch TV shows and movies and reality TV (I loved Hellevator, just like I love the Soska Twins), and I'm not giving that up. But not having 24/7 access to news networks and an endless sea of commercials trying to convince me that I NEED their product has changed how much I do and do not trust ideas presented to me. It's allowed me to think for myself and want to investigate more. I like research, and I like doing it more now. I don't have propaganda sneaking into my psyche so much any longer. And I feel like it's sad that Americans don't know how to research and can't tell that they're being bombarded by ideas and images that are not their own and are accepting them as fact without true research. We trust our news networks to have fact-checked ahead of time, but nothing is further from the truth. It's gotten to the point that comedians are the only ones telling the truth on news-satire programs, but the trained and accredited journalists are not getting the freedom to present their research to the public, silenced by the conglomerates who own the media.

I wish I could get everybody to spend a few months without cable TV, just so they could see how much it really control them to not think, just blindly believe.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beneath the Void (Fighting Chance #2) by Elisa Dane book review, excerpt, and giveaway

Hey y'all! Hope you had a great August! I'm personally SOOOO ready for the fall, so I am welcoming September (although it's not going to cool off in Middle TN until at least October, but oh well...). Call me a Basic White Girl, but I love fall, because it's the promise of so many things for me, energy-wise. I'm taking my test for my new job's license today, so wish me luck and good energy! Ack!

If you can  tell by this book cover that premiered on my blog about a month ago, my friend Elisa Dane has a new book coming out in her Fighting Chance series, Beneath the Void, and TODAY'S THE DAY! I got the opportunity to read an advanced copy and this my review beneath the link below. There's also a cool excerpt and a giveaway! I hope you all enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Blog Tour and Giveaway! Derailed (The Obscured Series) by C.M. Boers

Sorry I've been missing for a few weeks, I'm passing a test for a license, and it's taking up ALL MY TIME (Oh. My. GOSH!). Hopefully, I will pass soon and I will be able to rock this out. I've got some good news of my own, coming out soon, that I can't wait to share. SOON, my pretties!

As for today... New book tour from YA Book Tours! The last book in the Obscured series by C.M. Boers is out and ready to read and buy! I got my copy (rock ON!! Awesome, right?) I hope you enjoy it. It's under the cut below!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Beneath the Void Cover Reveal and giveaway!


Hello, Readers! I'm so excited to be a part of this cover reveal, because this is a dear friend's next book! The Fighting Chance series is so important to bring up awareness about gun violence in our society, and especially in our schools, so I was so thrilled to be a part of In the After as a beta reader and supporter (I was even in the acknowledgments! :D).  So, the sequel to In the After is coming up soon, and I can't wait to share it with you!
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Beneath the Void by Elisa Dane
presented by Swoon Romance!
Be on the look out for this upcoming book, and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post below the break!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dark Dreams and Dead Things Tour, Review, and Giveaway!

Hey everybody! I've got some exciting news regarding my book this week (soon to come) but for now, I'm posting a review of Martina McAtee's Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things in honor of the release of the sequel, Dark Dream and Dead Things. And, there's a nifty giveaway, too!

Review below:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Black Five by J. Lynn Bailey Blog Tour! (And Giveaway!)

Just got a copy of Black Five by J. Lynn Bailey, and it's now on my TBR list! It looks really spooky and I can't wait to read it. Here's more on it beneath the link!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ghostwriting Revealed!

So, the big Ghostwriting Secret Project? It's the Fredia Gibbs Story: Meet the Most Dangerous Woman in the World, and I've worked on it!

See that? It's my name at the bottom! I am so excited about this project, I'm now on Amazon! This is a big day for me, and I really hope you want to read it on ebook when it comes out on June 30th. It's currently available for preorder!

I also got a new trilogy offer to ghostwrite some Regency Romances. I feel like I'm growing as a writer, and it's going to help me towards publishing my own first book and starting a career in writing! This is wonderful news, since I am losing my day job to outsourcing on June 30th. I still have my second job, and I have my ghostwriting and my novels I'm working on.

This has been a scary time, but an exciting one as well. I feel like I'm being pushed to grow and change. It's terrifying, but cool. I really hope this is a transition to a lot of success in my life as a writer, so wish me luck on this endeavor!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rough Choices Being for the Best I Can Be

While writing Home, it felt like I was just writing something a muse was whispering my ear. It didn't feel 100% like my own story, but it is.
When I finally found a press that would publish me, I was elated. At the time, I had no professionally published credits to my name. I had no real experience. I was still learning, as one ought to do in writing.
Recently, I sent a new draft in with a little expansion of the story, and I waited, and a week and half later, he responded to me with an email telling me I was good writer and storyteller, but he wanted to know if I just wanted to get this story out with a lovely surface-edit or did I want to make it a great story with a difficult, harsh edit?
As someone who's been writing most of my life (since age nine) and suffers from debilitating perfectionism, I want nothing more to be a great writer. I know that my book is going to down in the Library of Congress forever and it would forever be a mark of what kind of person I was and what I believed in.

So, I chose the tougher route. It meant it would take longer to edit, and it would take longer to polish. Yeah, it stinks that I have to wait for my first novel to come out. But, I've been writing for twenty-seven years, a few more months aren't going to kill me. I know better than to write for the money, which would have pushed me into the soft edit. Will there be mistakes in the manuscript? Maybe. Will there be things I regret later about the book? Maybe. But I don't want to go ahead and rush-publish without getting the most of those taken care of as possible.
Personally, I hate it when I read books that start out a series so wonderfully, and then they go to seed later on.  Most of the time, this is because authors start on Level 2 or Level 3 editing, which is you either do the edits you signed the contract for, or you don't get published and you have to give back any advance money. But after a few hit books, some authors get put on Level 1 editing, which is basically, "Hey, you're a cash cow, we just want you to get the book out under OUR publishing house because we know your name will make money. You don't have to listen to the editors, but we'll give you an edit anyway." It basically when publishers get nervous that their hit writers will run to another press that offers more money (oh, I wish I got that!).
I don't know if my writing career is going to take off. I don't know if I'll be a hit writer. I learned the hard way: don't write for the money. This industry is absolutely difficult to succeed in, just as difficult as the acting or the music industry (both of which, I've had a taste of). You're lucky if you make super-loyal fans (and I hope one day I can say that). I personally fear that I'd be selling out (if by luck, I had some success and got on Level 1 editing) if I said, "Hey, no big deal, I have the option to not to accept this edit, or that one, or THAT one!" and put out something less than my best.
I fear that ego. I don't ever want that ego. Please slap me if I ever brag about taking the easy way out instead of the hard way.
So, Home might be out in the fall or winter of 2016. Maybe in early 2017. But I damn sure am going to try to present my best for all of you.

I'm still Sad

I'm devastated at the largest gun massacre in the history by a single shooter at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. There was a massacre in Port Arthur, Australia in 1996, which prompted the Australian government to ban semi-automatic assault weapons... and it worked. It was the largest single-gun shooting massacre in World history... until Saturday night.

But, today's blog is not about a political issue like gun control.

No, it's more about the lives lost and affected by this senseless tragedy and the killer who did it.
The press is making him out to be a radical Muslim, who had a history of domestic violence and severe homophobia. He found a lot of emotional power in Radical Islam with his problems which he should have been getting mental help for. I know he wasn't considered a "real" Muslim, according to Simone Samba, who said this:
Because MSM has no idea it's Ramadan right now, let me just make it clear - if this man in Orlando was truly a practicing Muslim the very very very last thing he would do during Ramadan is murder. Not to mention Islam forbids violence and taking the life of another. (Y'all were just talking about Ali last week)
This man was a US citizen raised in the US. He is an American homophobic terrorist. This society in America needs to stop passing the buck and own it's diseases.
A lot of my friends get angry when it's brought up that the mental health care system failed him. I'm truly considering going back to school to get my Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy... because I want to help people with the same problems I've had. I want to make that kind of difference.

But all I can think about right now is the 103 families that have been affected. 50 people are dead, 53 are in the hospital. No, they didn't deserve it. Gay clubs exist as a sanctuary where LGBT people are free to treat the person they love like everyone else can in public. I'm P-FLAG, so I'm so weirdly thankful that it didn't happen in Nashville where my relatives could have easily been the victims, although my gay family has been threatened multiple times, one of which was at work in a Cracker Barrell that he was managing. He should be safe at work. But, unfortunately, he's not. I've been to gay night clubs, and they are hella fun, and feel a lot safer to me than regular night clubs... until now. I know that this is pretty upsetting for the LGBT community, and the PRIDE festival in Nashville is happening the weekend of the 25th, the Pulse Night Club shooting's memory will be a huge part of the event. I think the shootings were done intentionally around PRIDE weeks, to scare the LGBT population back into the closet. The shooter's actions are disgusting and reprehensible. No, I don't think the LGBT community deserved this. Nobody does.

So, this means I'm going to PRIDE on the 25th, to make friends, and to show that I'm an ally. I proudly support the LGBT community. And let me warn you, when it comes to gun control, the "sleeping giant" of American activism has been awoken. The Gay Community is quite a force to be reckoned with, and Congress, if they're wise, is going to need to expect a display of gun control from the LGBT-Q, the P-FLAG, and the community of people who support common sense gun laws.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Shadow by Christi J. Whitney Blog Tour and Giveaway! (THE ROMANY OUTCASTS #2)

Hey guys! I don't normally do book tours for the second book in a series if I haven't already done the first, but this one looked great and I am so excited to share it with y'all! This series has Secretive Gypsies, Romance, and Magic-- and these are a few of my favorite things! I am so excited about this one and I hope you are, too!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Review of The Trouble With Rain Feature Film

The Trouble With Rain
Rule 14 Pictures
Director: Mike Parker
Screenwriter: Nathan D. Owen
Run Time: 1:31

The Trouble With Rain is a film that covers different paths two relationships take between four friends: three different plotlines for the two couples, essentially the Butterfly Effect. When do you stay the storm, or decide to call it quits? Yet every action has a consequence.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

You can't really have it all... and that's okay!

I recently have been reading Philippa Gregory's The White Queen in my spare time and I caught the first episode on Starz from the BBC. Even though I know it's not that historically accurate, I'm enjoying it a lot. It's about Elizabeth Woodville, the widow who married King Edward IV of the Lancastrian line in secret during England's War of the Roses. Ms. Gregory has done an amazing job with the love story, the chemistry, the family, and the world-building. One reason I mention the world-building is at one point in the beginning, the Widow Elizabeth Grey (she was called that after her first marriage to a Knight named John Grey of Groby who died in battle against Edward IV's claim for the throne against Henry of York) was living with her mother, a French Aristocrat named Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Jacquetta had married a York supporter in England, but she did something that seemed like witchcraft for her daughter after meeting the York King of England in passing, Elizabeth asking for her lands back for her son's sake. Jacquetta had three little metal objects tied to threads around a tree by the river, the contents in the water, and brought her daughter Elizabeth over, telling her to pick a line. Elizabeth chose one, and her mother cut the others. Elizabeth asked her mother "what was on the ends of those threads?" her mother tells her: "choices you will never make, children you will never have." etc.

Jacquetta and Elizabeth in the BBC's The White Queen

The historical story of Elizabeth Woodville is that she married King Edward IV in secret and it was a scandal when Edward announced his marriage to her to his royal court. So, I've been drawn in, even if there's no historical proof of Jacquetta's magical game of MASH for her daughter. You'll have to read the book or watch the show to find out what was on the end of that thread that Elizabeth pulled out of the river.

And then, yesterday, a friend from high school messaged me on Facebook, saying, "You're always going to such interesting things!" He went on to say how boring his life was, making it sound like he was a little jealous of my life (not that I'm bragging here). Me? Interesting?
the Japanese Garden at the Hillwood House Museum in Washington, DC
I was surprised. For years, I always thought everyone else had a better, more fun social life than me and that was because I was not a likeable, loveable person that people wanted to be around. If I were a better person, people would take me on adventures and to night clubs and concerts and events, I berated myself. These days, I am not making much money, I'm struggling to pay my mortgage and bills (ha, what's new!), and I don't just work 40 hours a week to support myself, it's usually like 60-70. It wasn't until I stopped focusing so much on what other people wanted for me and expected of me, and started doing things I loved, it opened doors for me to do these "interesting" things on Facebook, like going to shows and cabarets and taking dance classes in my thirties. Most of my friends in their thirties have kids and they have to parent them first. And Jacquetta's words (from the show) rang in my ears and struck a chord with me. And I realized that the grass is always greener on the other side.
from the gardens at Hillwood House in Washington, DC

Yeah, I may not have a husband and a family, but that affords me to buy stupid things and go to things like Captain America: Civil War (which I did last night with my goddaughters at the IMAX theatre, and it was amazing!). I don't have to answer to anybody but myself and I get to put myself first. Sure, I may not make very much and I'm struggling to pay the bills, but I do get to live a very selfish life, and at times, I feel fulfilled. And I know that my friends who have children are being fulfilled by raising them, even if they can't go out to a burlesque show on a whim or drop into a dance class after work. And I realized, I don't have it all, but are we really supposed to?

Team Cap! Oh boy, it was an emotional and political roller coaster of a movie!
It got me thinking: society pushes us to settle down and get married/have kids by a certain age, to buy a house, to have a full-time career that's stable, be thin and in control of our bodies, healthy, and have a huge savings account/nest egg and 401K. But I struggle with those things. I've been told I'm getting too old to have children, although I just turned 36. It's been a fear of mine that I'm not going to meet my husband until it's too late to have children, but then I realized, it's God's timing, not mine. My reproductive health and my choice of when to have children is between me, my child's father, and my doctor, I don't have to get permission from anybody else who has no bearing on my life. And some of my cousins have had healthy children in their 40s. But, we get so ashamed and hide these aspects of our lives if we haven't achieved them. Yet, so few people do in this generation. Why are we so ashamed of not having the things that God hasn't brought into our lives yet? Maybe there are lessons to be learned that God's trying to teach us, and it will take a lot of humility to get it. And how much hubris is it to claim that we know better than God? No, we're not supposed to "have it all." It's rare if you do, and if you do have everything you ever wanted, I'm excited for you and cheering you on. But if God is holding back on bringing your spouse into your life and giving you a family, maybe there's a lesson He's trying to teach you. And I started thinking about "destination happiness": when we think, "I'll be happy the day I lose 10, 15, 50, 100 pounds" or "I'll be happy when I've got the perfect job" or "I'll be happy when I've met the man of my dreams." Let me explain something incredibly important to you: we aren't promised tomorrow. I know it's not easy, but do your best to find happiness TODAY. I'm not claiming happiness is easy, but it's completely worth the fight. You don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, and it very well could be something worse. I'd rather die fighting to be happy over living to please other people while being absolutely miserable. So fight to find happiness right now and don't wait on it, and don't get angry with yourself because you haven't achieved a lot of things that maybe you weren't ready for or didn't care too much about in the first place.

I know this is corny, but: if you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane Blog Tour Book Release and Giveaway!

I know I've done a lot of book releases and blog tours this month, but I promise I'll write a cool personal blog soon for you all. In the meantime, here's another giveaway and new book that I'm super excited about that I got to read! Check it out!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: Fighter Girl by Kathryn James with Giveaway

Welcome to the cover reveal for
Fighter Girl by Kathryn James
presented by Swoon Romance!
Be on the look out for this upcoming New Adult title!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Book Release and Giveaway: Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost

Happy Release Day to
Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost
Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!
Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.
Happy Book Birthday, Everly!

Book Release and Giveaway: The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman!

Happy Release Day to
The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman!
Join us in celebrating this new release from Month9Books!
Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.
Happy Book Birthday, Brynn!

I just got a copy of this book and I'm so excited to read it! It looks so spooky and creepy by the cover, and the blurb makes it seem even more terrifying!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Things are changing....

I can attest to how important it is to being in a good headspace as I finish writing a chapter in my ghostwriting project.

I'm going through a season of change right now, and it was unexpected, although I have some time to prepare for it. While I am a private person and I don't think I'm going to talk about it specifically, it feels as though the rug is being pulled out from under me right now, but I'm trying to stay stable.

This is the reason I advocate so strongly for mental health care and the normalization of it. I hate the stigma of being in therapy, being mocked for it, as if I'm weak in character. But even the people that mock me for having depression, I wouldn't want them to suffer from it like I have. Depression is not because you suck as a person and don't matter, that you are throw-away. It's not that you're weak for having it. It's not that you deserve it because you aren't strong. You have it because you've been stronger than you should have been for too long. It happens to the best people on earth that don't deserve it at all. There's nothing so terrifying as knowing that you're on the edge of losing your life, but it's all up to you, which is what depression does to you. I try to look at depression as if I had cancer: I need treatment for it to survive. It's not my fault, it's not anybody in particular's fault (although if you listened to selective parts of my therapy sessions, you'd think I was blaming someone, but I'm not). Assigning "fault" and "blame" means you are waiting on another person to admit they did something wrong and that you can't go forward until they fix it. You can't live your life waiting on other people to get their crap together, though. You can learn to make up for these traumas in your past by loving yourself and then you can move forward.

What depression really is, is when you start to believe that 'the fight' is not worth it any longer. And you start to "spiral", as I call it. You sink further and further down into that dark abyss, and you feel like everyone's screaming at you without any compassion or help. You just want to curl up in a ball and let the world and all it's problems pass you by. But if you listen to your spirit, deep down, you'll hear the fight that's still left, although it might be really weak. And you've got to listen to it and make the effort to bring it back to life. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's possible.

Don't you ever give up.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Gossip and trash talk

WARNING: I drop the B-bomb in this blog a few times, so beware! Usually, my blog is family-friendly, but today, it's not!

I don't know about you guys, my OH MY GOD is so HARD to not trash-talk when you're hurt and frustrated!

I hate it when I find myself gossiping and trash-talking. I'm an adult, I'm not in high school any longer, so I've figured out that I don't have to do it. And there's a lot more respect for you when you don't. Maybe it comes with age. I don't like who I am when I recognize that I'm being that much of a bitch that I'm trash talking and fueling the fires of disagreements. I strive for peace, so this is why I get so mad at myself when I realize I'm doing it. Man, I hate doing it!

Some people deserve to be gossiped about, it's true. They've harmed you when you're vulnerable to them, and taken a perverse glee in causing you pain. And it's quite satisfying to unload on another person about how you've been wronged by someone else. It's quite satisfying to think that you're encouraging another person to take up arms against someone that hasn't wronged them personally, but they have you and it a test of your friendship. But really, is it making things easier for you? I promise you, it's not. And personally, I hate it when gangs of pretty girls band together (they're called #squads by the young people, I guess I'm old) and attack a single girl all by her lonesome. Sorry, TSwifty, this is why your #squad makes me nervous!

I've found that the best anecdote to gossip is to pretend the person talking about you doesn't exist and never harmed you, but keep them at a distance. Sure, it hurt when they laughed at you and made other people hate you, but that just means they're weak and wimpy. It doesn't make you any better to do it right back. But at the same time, that is SO not easy, right? I think we can all agree that the person gossiping about you is just a lowly, jealous, basic person. YOU my friend, are NOT. People who gossip all the time about banal things are insecure people looking to find the flaws in others. They want to make people around them more insecure and miserable than they already are. They think it'll elevate them. But doing those kinds of things doesn't bring you up. It just burrows you down into the muck and slime of jealousy. I've also found that when you give that mean person that hurt you your energy to the point that you're gossiping, you're allow them power over you, admitting you are insecure to them. I try to think of it as, "Why would you let someone so lowly and toxic reign over your life?" Easier said than done. Y'all, it's SO HARD sometimes, no kidding! I'm not going to pretend I don't struggle with it!

I wish I had had these kinds of skills in high school. The gossip in high school was TERRIBLE for me (at least I remember it being that way). It seems to be the same across the board for people from all over the place, not just my high school. For me, it felt like a defense mechanism when I found out (or heard) someone was talking smack about me (sometimes, it was just a third party trying to create drama for their own amusement, but I didn't catch on since I was really naive and bit gullible back then). Trust me, the third-party thing? It blows. It took me until just recently to figure out that some people just want to stir the pot, and this is why you (theoretically) shouldn't gossip in return. You could be trash-talking about an innocent person and hurting them.

Yo, it is so hard to escape it. I've done some community theatre, and sometimes, people get involved in it that want nothing more than to divide and conquer, and that means talking trash because they feel the need to manipulate people. Why manipulate people? It's insecurity on their part. I've had people say nasty things about me, and it sucks. Wow, does it suck! But I've realized that acknowledging it and trying to get back at them makes things tougher for me, and drags me in. Lucky for me, I've been called "aloof" a time or two in the theatre, but I kind of take that as a positive because...
a·loof :
adjectivenot friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant.
"they were courteous but faintly aloof"

"part of their strategy is to remain aloof during the first stages of negotiation"
conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste.
"he stayed aloof from the bickering"
For me? This is a great thing. It means I'm outside the drama and BS and select who I want to bring into my private life. Honestly, I hope y'all can get to that point, too. It's really nice when you find yourself above all that crap and can associate with people that don't thrive on it. Cool things happen when you're not around it and surround yourself with good people. Gossip is way too complicated to live with and a complete waste of your life and time!

There are better things to talk about, like ideas and things that you are passionate about, your dreams and your hopes. This is something I have to remind myself, since I'm perfectly imperfect (God knows I'm far from perfect) and proud of it.

I really think that they are three types of people in this world that can be identified by what they talk about:
  1. Those who gossip about other people
  2. Those who talk about ideas
  3. Those who talk about making their ideas happen

So... I just want to be person #3. That's my goal in life, to be as far away from #1 as possible. I hope it's yours, too.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Winter by Marissa Meyer review - the Lunar Chronicles

Rating: 5 stars

Link on Goodreads

Buy on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles

Visit Marissa Meyer's website!

Fairy Tales? Yes! Scary, evil queen? Yes! Action! Adventure! Scifi! All yes!

I've read all four books and the little mini-story Fairest that gives more of Levanna's story, so when I got to this book, it made more sense.

My only complaint (that's not even enough to really complain about) is that the book was huge. It got the hard copy edition ASAP when it first came out, and I tried to carry it around at all times. Let me tell you, getting that book out of my computer bag was a pain, so I wasn't able to just pick it up and read it during a break a work. Notice I started it on November 16th and I'm just now finishing ti Feburary 25? Yeah. I thought the audiobook would be better, but it was over 23 hours along. My attention span is not that great, I'll be honest. So, I figured it out: I put the overdrive audiobook player on 1.25x speed, and it went along much faster. Problem solved! See, I told you it wasn't worth taking a star off!

I thought this books was really well-done when it came to the pacing. I squee'd a few times over Thorne, Kai, Wolf, and Jacin, and Iko made me laugh on several occasions! I loved the little fairy tale Easter eggs Meyer wove in and the world she created on Luna that hadn't really been explored before. And I read the acknowledgements in the end of the book, and it made me cry, of course!

All in all, don't miss this book, let alone series. I'm off to buy Stars Above, now!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Abandoned Tour Stop for Elisa Dane!

Hey, y'all!

Spent a weekend in Mexico, and I just got back Monday night after a very short (but fun) tropical vacation! I'm probably going to picspam my Instagram account later today, so keep tuned! I got in kind of late due to rain delays, but I swore I'd put up a review of Elisa Dane's latest stand-alone book. SOO good! You've got to read it for yourself, people! I also got to interview Elisa Dane, she was sweet enough to answer to my questions after my review! And if you can't afford to buy her book right now, you can enter the rafflecopter contest to win a copy, links at the bottom!

Tierra Owens is a girl down on her luck and just trying to make it through the high school until she can audition for NYCDA. She has a terrible relationship with a verbally and psychologically abusive mother who's been so unloving and hateful wit her that she believes she's trash and the reason why Mom's life was ruined. Luckily, she's got a best friend named Kaylee, whose family adores her. In a shocking moment, the first and only boy she ever loved years ago, Mattie Forrester, reappears in her life. Why did Mattie leave without trying to contact her? Tierra believed it's because she's trash and completely worthless. And then suddenly, her mother leaves, not caring what happens to Tierra. Tierra must find her self-worth as her survival skills are put to the test.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In the After book blitz and giveaway!

In the After
Elisa Dane
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.
Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.
Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.
Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.
Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.
Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie can either do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.
Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.
She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.
But, the unthinkable happens.
Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.
Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.
IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.
“No! Stop it! Don’t hurt her. Mom! Mommy!”
I thrashed awake, my throat on fire, my skin cold and soaked with sweat along with my pajamas and sheets. That damn, fucking night. That final image of my mom bleeding out across our hardwood floor before the monster tied me up and locked me in the closet—it wouldn’t disappear. Burned into every deep, dark crevice of my mind, it haunted me daily, and replayed itself on an endless loop every night while I slept.
The three night lights dousing my room with a soft, warm glow, failed to provide the sense of safety and comfort they normally did and I hugged my blanket to my chest in a vain attempt to chase the chill away. My room wasn’t cold. The chill lay deep inside me in the place the darkness had taken up residence. Dying of thirst, I reached for the glass of water sitting on my nightstand.
My body seized, my arms flew up with a scream, and water rained down over everything within a five-foot radius as the glass tumbled through the air. It shattered upon impact with the wood floor. Mocha went crazy. The fur at the nape of her neck standing on end as she paced back and forth at the end of my bed, growling and barking.
Barely able to control my limbs they were shaking so badly, I floundered around for my cell phone, which had gotten lost somewhere between my sheets.
“Sadie! Let me in.” The window shook each time the attacker rammed his fist against the glass and panic spiked, a high-pitched wail blowing past my lips as I ripped apart my bedding.
I found my phone buried beneath the blanket near my feet. Dizzy and hyperventilating, I fumbled with it, repeatedly stabbing the touchscreen in a vain attempt to unlock the damn thing.
“Come on! Come on, you stupid thing.” My heart felt like it was in my throat and my chest felt like it was going to explode any minute.
“Ginger! It’s me, Hayden.”
It felt like I’d been trapped under water and was finally able to surface and take a deep breath. The thick haze of fear slowly dissipated, the fog inside my head clearing enough for me to recognize his voice. “H-Hayden?”
Hot tears trickled down my cheeks as I stumbled out of bed and made my way over to my window. I grappled with the extra locks my dad had installed when we first moved in, unable to contain the loud sob that blew past my lips when the window finally slid open.
Hayden was in my room with his arms around me before I had a chance to draw breath. “I heard you screaming and I got scared.” His body stiffened and he pulled away, his gaze scanning the room. “Did you hear something? Is that why you were screaming?” He took a step toward my bedroom door, stopping when I caught his wrist.
“It’s okay, Hayden. No one’s here. I had a nightmare.”
He stared down at me with narrowed eyes, then closed the gap between us, drawing me into his arms again. His arms felt warm and strong, the space at the center of his chest where I laid my head as though it was made for me and me alone. As if on autopilot, his hand found its favorite spot on the side of my neck, his touch both soothing and electric as he peered down at me with concern. “Nightmare? You were screaming like someone was trying to murder you.”
I flinched.
His eyes grew wide for a millisecond, realization and understanding warring for dominance behind his eyes. Thankfully, the gentleness I craved in his deep blues returned as quickly as it had left. He swept me off my feet without warning and carefully placed me on my bed, sliding between the sheets right along beside me. I rolled onto my side, my body shuddering in relief when he pulled me against him and wrapped his arm around me. “Sleep, princess. You’re safe. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”
Safe. It was such a small word with such a big meaning. Lives either flourished or fell apart in search of it. I’d known the warmth of safety. Taken it for granted. Wasted the warmth and comfort that came with it like a spoiled child. I also knew the festering terror that came with the absence of safety. I walked in its darkness. Choked and smothered beneath it nightly. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I would truly feel safe again. But, for reasons I couldn’t explain, that’s exactly how I felt in Hayden’s arms. Completely safe.
And so very tired. Too tired to care about my dad’s warning about talking to Hayden and letting him in the house. My lids grew heavy and I was asleep within moments.

Author Bio:
ELISA DANE is a self-proclaimed book junkie. A lover of handbags, chocolate, and reality television, she's a proud mother to three All- Star cheerleaders. Writing is her absolute passion, and it's her mission to create stories that will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but help you find a new respect and interest in the sport of All-Star cheerleading.
Elisa is no stranger to the publishing world. She writes steamy paranormal romance under her real name, Lisa Sanchez. Her adult works include the Hanford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold, and Faythe Reclaimed), Obsessed (an erotic suspense), and a paranormal novella, Cursing Athena. Elisa lives in Northern California with her husband, three daughters, and a feisty Chihuahua who stubbornly believes she's human.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

New Secret Project!

I did it! Got another secret ghostwriting project! Can't wait to start it. In the meantime, though, I have to focus on expanding HOME. Super news about that coming up soon, too!

That cold kicked my ass most of the snow weekend! I didn't even get to enjoy it! I spent most of it sleeping and coughing and feeling miserable. For some stupid reason, I even binge-watched the entire series of Celebrity Plastic Surgeons of Beverly Hills on Netflix.

Honestly, I thought it was contrived and kind of scripted. I also drank a lot of wine and tea, seeing as I didn't really have anywhere much to go or things to do. Tennessee basically shuts down during snows. We're just not equipped.

The moment I got back to work today, we were basically bombarded. I've really got to get on working on my writing outside of my day job.

Have a good week, y'all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow Day is a Writing Day!

It's a snow day in Middle Tennessee!  That means all the bread and milk is gone from the grocery stores and the schools are closed! And guess what... we only got an inch of snow, at the most. 

But I have a Mac... nyuck, nyuck
I don't bother driving on the interstate during a snow day because people just don't know how to drive on slick and icy surfaces here. It would take hours to get to my job 20 miles down I-24. So, today is a writing day, too!

What downtown Nashville looked like this morning

I'm trying to edit and expand on Home right now. It's way too short to sell as a YA novel. But, I'll get there. I haven't really worked on it for a long time (like six months) so I've got fresh eyes to look at it, which is a good thing.

I'm also finishing up a Harry Potter movie marathon from the long weekend, in honor of Alan Rickman's passing, plus, I've been listening to a lot of David Bowie. Man, we lost some great artists last week! I still stand by that the only man allowed to sparkle is David Bowie and Alan Rickman will always be my favorite movie villain.

Unfortunately, I'm getting the beginnings of a sore throat and sore sinuses. Boo! I hate getting sick. I'm just going to sip some hot tea with honey and some whiskey (afternoon thing), and try to exercise it out of my system. Shaun T's T25 and Zumba Wii, here I come! I'm also going to use my friend Lindsay Penner of the Green Penn's cure-all recipe for colds she shared with me:

1-2 tomatoes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper  
Directions: Blend tomatoes, add in apple cider vinegar, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Drink this before bedtime and a nap to get it to work. These ingredients are great antibiotics, and you can thin it with water.

I hope this helps you out if you're going through a rotten cold! I'm going to give it a try and I'll update y'all on how it works.

Have a nice snow day!

PS: I hope you all saw Elisa Dane's cover reveal and pre-ordered Abandoned. Come on, y'all! Right now it's only $0.99 on Amazon kindle! Add it to your Goodreads TBR, too!