Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you, and my wish for you in the new year is that no matter what you do, you're happy doing it! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Destiny by Mireille Chester: Excerpt

Hi guys! So sorry I've been MIA lately...things have been a little crazy. But I'm back, and I come bearing gifts!

I am SO excited. *Jumps up and down a few times. One of my closest writer friends, Mireille Chester, has offered to give me and you guys a lil' taste of Destiny, the last book of her Chosen One Trilogy. If you haven't read the others, well...hurry! You can get them here and here. Before I give you the excerpt of Destiny, I should just mention that if you love the romance aspect of paranormal and fantasy books, these are a must-read. Ok, Ok...without further ado:

Destiny Excerpt:

Jasper pulled me to his chest and rested his chin on my head.  “Shush.  It’s alright, Shlova.”  The words were reassuring but his voice was tight and I could hear his heart beating hard under my ear.  I looked up and had to keep back more tears that threatened to come at the sight of him.  His eyes were closed, his jaw clenched.
“I’m so tired of this,” I whispered.
He took a deep breath and let it out.  “It’s almost over.”
Dodge moved closer and nuzzled my face.  I’m sorry, Hayden.
I brushed the tears from my face and rubbed his nose.  “It’s not your fault, Bud.”  I heard a chirp from up above and I looked up as a blue bird flew down to sit on my knee.  I pet the little head.  “Hey, you.”
She looked from me to Jasper.
“She says there are no packs of any kind for a day’s travel in any direction.”
“Thank you,” I said.  “Could you do me a favor?  I need to get a message to Melana.”  I could feel everyone looking at me.  I focused on the bird so I wouldn’t change my mind.  “Could you let her know that we are heading to Howel to see if I can help heal Damian?  Tell her we’ll be marching straight from there to Paradin. Enough is enough.  I’ll let her know when we leave Howel and we’ll meet her somewhere.”
She bobbed her head and flew away.
“Hayden?”  Tara’s caramel colored eyes looked straight into mine.  “Are you sure?”  I knew she’d been secretly hoping we could delay the fighting until after the baby was born.
I nodded and looked up to see Jasper’s reaction.  His eyes were closed.  I watched as he swallowed and took a deep breath.  He opened his eyes, looked at me and nodded.
“Tomorrow, Hayden, Dodge, Matthew and I will head to Howel with Rainen, Harold, and Gina.”  He looked around at everyone.  No one argued with him when he had this look on his face.  Well, maybe just me, though at this point in time I agreed with what I knew he had decided.  He was thinking ahead and when it came to battles and strategies he was one of the best.
“The rest of you head back to Sageden.  We’ll need everyone ready when we get there.  Rally everyone.  Send runners to reach those who live farther away.  Shanus, alert the Scannoves.  Phlann, I need you to get to the Winged Ones’ meadow.  Find Taleessa.  She’s the black filly who got her wings just before we left last year. Send her to the Northern Regions.  She got her ruby from Faren.  The two of them need to get together and alert the dragons.”


WOW! I cannot wait to sink into this one. If you want it, sneak over here and grab it up for yourself. Or, learn more about Mireille over at her blog, and find out the rest of her Destiny tour dates

P.S. Mireille...*big hug* I am SO proud of you! :D

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Mistake

I'm a writer. My #1 rule has ALWAYS been to write from the heart. That said, I'm working on Shadow Wishes, the sequel to Amaretto Flame, and I've found myself second guessing, pushing it off to the side, pulling my hair out, and nearly going nuts trying to get this thing completed. Why? What is making it so difficult...and then I realized my mistake.

Amaretto Flame is the very first time my work has been read on a widespread basis, meaning not just family and friends. I am thrilled at the response I've gotten, but I've had my fair share of critics, too. That's expected, and to be honest, I've craved criticism, believing it will make me a better writer. If I know what you hated, and what my downfalls were, I can work on those things in the next book, right? To a certain extent, yes. But I've found myself dwelling on every critical comment regarding my work and then going into the sequel with those things in my heart.

I finally realized I can't do that! I have to write what's in my heart to write, and go where the characters lead me. I can't stop in the middle of a scene and think about someone who particularly hated the same kind of scene in Amaretto Flame. Yes, I want everyone to love it...I want to deliver exactly what people want to read. But here's my reality check: I'm not going to be able to do that! There's no way everyone's going to like every single part. There's no way to write something that EVERYONE will love. So, I have to take it back in and write something that I love.

I think in doing this, I'll capture the same things I was able to capture in Amaretto Flame - the things so many other people loved. This is just a small realization I had, and wanted to pass along to others who might be struggling with the same thing. We all know we're supposed to be writing things we love...things we feel deeply about. But when you're reading all the comments on your work and then you're holding on to those things, are you really continuing to write what's in your heart, without second guessing yourself? That's my new game plan. I'm going back to the word doc with only one thing in mind - write what I love. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random About Me w/ Pictures

I thought you might find it fun to learn a little bit more about me, and who doesn't love visual aids? So, here's some random stuff!

Coffee. My manna. Nectar of the Gods. Can't live without it! My very favorite kind of coffee is freshly ground Pecan Praline - I can't even tell you how amazing it smells when it's brewing. Yum!

This is my very favorite t-shirt (can you tell I wear it often?) and it's from the Cunningham Muffins Youtube video by Liam Kyle Sullivan. I think he's hilarious and although not for the faint of heart, his videos just kill me! What? You watch True Blood, I watch things like this. Don't judge. ;-) Also, I'm very much a jeans and t-shirt girl. Also, I wear flip flops year round. I will probably get married in them.

This is what I look at pretty much all day long. When I'm not writing fiction, I'm writing nonfiction. Hmmm. Not really sure what's on that screen. ;-)

I am a complete and total romantic. I write my favorite quotes like this and stick these little index cards in books, sometimes my own books and sometimes other books for people to find. I love finding quotes or scenes in a book that really move me. 5 points to anyone who can guess what book this is from (and what book it's peeking out of)!

I live very close to the Gulf of Mexico, and lots of casinos. I don't go to the casinos very often, but when I do, I never win anything!

Christmas (Yule) is my very favorite holiday. I don't know why - it's just as magical for me as it was when I was a child. I hope it always is!

So, now that you know a lot of useless stuff about me, I want to know some random/weird things about you! Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite song, favorite quote, movie, holiday, whatever you want! I'll leave you with just one more pic, and something that is very important to me!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bit of an Update

So I just wanted to touch base with you guys and basically put a bunch of tiny things into one post so you know what's going on! First, there's still time to enter my 100 follower giveaway. It's a great opportunity to win a TON of amazing books. The writers that have books featured in that giveaway are some of the most amazing people I've ever had the opportunity of getting to know!

Next, if you haven't heard, Amaretto Flame is currently only 99 cents! Woot! So, if you haven't picked it up, you can do that at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords. If you have already gotten it, you can really do amazing things for the book by simply telling your friends about it, posting links to the facebook page, the goodreads page, or threatening to fill peoples' socks with ice cream if they don't read it. ;-)

The sequel to Amaretto Flame (Shadow Wishes) will be out sometime in the fall. I'm currently working on that, and it's so exciting. Things are going to be a little darker, a little sexier, and a LOT more complicated. One of my favorite things about Shadow Wishes is that it takes place back in Eagleton, meaning you guys get to know our coven (Ivanna, Everett, Max, Perry, Sylvia & Charlotte) a lot better!

Amaretto Flame will likely be receiving a new book cover soon! SO EXCITING. I met an artist because she drew a scene from Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series and fell in LOVE with her work. She's helping me to create a cover that speaks a little bit more to the audience Amaretto Flame was written for. I cannot wait to show you guys the cover. However, it's likely that the paperback will be released with the original cover first, and then a second edition will be released with the new cover. So, the original cover won't be around for much longer.

And finally - if I owe you an email, a guest post, winner prizes, or anything else...thank you for being patient. I'm getting caught up after being a little under the weather, so I promise I'll get to you. Thank you so much for your amazing support! <3

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I love my followers! You guys rock so hard. To prove it, I'm doing a 100 Follower Giveaway Gala JUST FOR YOU. I'll have two packages to give away. The first winner will select the one he or she wants, and then the second winner will receive the other package. Sound like fun? Here we go:

Package 1: 

- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare pre-ordered (to be shipped to your address upon release).

- Kindle Edition of I Wish by Wren Emerson

  - Kindle Edition of The Warlord's Secret by Lizzy Ford

- Kindle Edition of Amaretto Flame by Yours Truly (if you've already read it, why not give a friend's e-mail address and gift it to them?)

- eBook copy of Blood & Spirits by Dennis Sharpe (fantastic book - I just finished it!)

 - Random Author Swag (some signed, some not...)

******* Package 2 *******

- Bloodlines by Richelle Mead pre-ordered (to be shipped to your address upon release). 

- Kindle Edition of Witches Anonymous by Misty Evans

- Kindle Edition of The Chosen One Trilogy set (Crossover and Journey) by Mireille Chester 

- Kindle Edition of Amaretto Flame by Yours Truly 

- eBook copy of Blood & Spirits by Dennis Sharpe
 - Random Author Swag (some signed, some not...)

Woohoo! Pretty exciting, right? My friend, Allie helped me get to 100 followers, so I have her to thank! You should follow her as well, because she's amazing. Ok, on to the winning. You have to be a follower of this blog in order to qualify. Then, you just leave me a comment with something about yourself. You could tell me your favorite book, movie, or something else about yourself. It just gives me a chance to get to know you as well!

You don't have to tweet or facebook it or anything like that, unless you want to! The first winner will be chosen Friday, June 3. That winner will choose the package he or she wants. Then, Saturday, June 4, the second winner will be chosen and will receive the package that's left. Thank you all so much for following me - I appreciate each and every one of you!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jackson POV: While She Was Gone *SPOILER ALERT*

I thought this would be fun for me to write, and fun for you to read if you love Jackson Vance. This short takes place while Olivia was gone from Staves. If you haven't read Amaretto Flame, this piece contains spoilers...lots of spoilers, so you might not want to read it. That said, I hope you enjoy!


Several shots ago, the whiskey stopped burning. The inside of the dimly lit club was one big swirl of smoke and colored lights, smiling faces and heavily-lidded eyes. Jackson’s bluesy voice twisted through the place and bounced back at him; a haunting melody. His eyes moved slowly over the crowd.  Same old drunks that showed up most weekend nights to drown their sorrows or amplify their good time with the liquid magic. I am one of them though, aren’t I, he thought with disgust. This is my clan; these are my people. His eyes moved back down to the stage in front of him as he sang.
Fingers dancing gracefully over the strings of his guitar as if they had a mind of their own, the music kept the crowd spellbound for the time being. He spotted Jenny standing off to the side of the stage. Alternating lights dyed her hair blue and then red before it shone pale blonde again. She held the tray; the god-forsaken tray that she brought him every night more often than he could count. Most of the time it was at his request, though lately she’d started bringing it before he’d even asked.
An image flashed in his mind of steel-gray eyes dancing with a laugh. He shook his head and finished the slow song, flicking on a fast melody with an earth-shattering beat. He only glanced up for a moment, but he saw her coming in the door, head dipped down, black hair falling silkily over her face.
His legs moved to stand before he’d even made up his mind to do so, his throat working as he swallowed. And then she looked up, the hair falling back away from her face to reveal bright blue eyes, an upturned nose, and a mouth that was too full. It wasn’t the face he’d been imagining; the one that had haunted him for weeks. A sinking feeling caught him with a steel grip and dragged him down, further and further.
Running a hand through his hair, Jackson turned to look at Jenny, whose eyes were soft and compassionate. She’d witnessed the small moment, the hope that must have shone in his face for that split second. Sick with himself, Jackson let one corner of his mouth turn up in a little smile for her, hoping it would say, I’m okay. I’m on top of the world. Nothing could be better.
He snatched the shot glass and downed the whiskey, letting it clatter back to the tray without watching Jenny take her shot, and left the stage. So much for not drinking alone. He had to breathe. He squeezed through the bodies on the dance floor and broke free of them near the exit, pushing the door open and escaping into the muggy night air.
He stood on the side of the building, with his back pressed against the brick, sucking in air as if he’d been suffocating. Never before had Jackson felt this all-consuming panic that coursed through him now. He knew Olivia was safe, because Claire spoke often with Ivanna and Charlotte. It was probably the only thing that kept him sane. Darkness drowned him at the side of the building, only a faint glow leaking over from the streetlight out front. Jackson laughed briefly with no humor. The one thing he’d wanted; the one person who had seemed to make it all make sense. Gone.
“She’s not coming back,” said a sultry voice from the corner. Jackson’s head snapped up and he fixed his eyes on Paula. Her glossy lips turned up into a smile. “Why don’t you ever talk to me anymore, Jackson?”
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings, Paula,” Jackson said. “Go away.”
She sauntered up beside him, her hand going lightly to his chest. “You know, the last night Olivia was in here, she kissed Joey LaFontaine from high school. Laid a lip lock on him he’s not likely to forget any time soon.”
Paula’s grin told him she was savoring this moment; his suffering. He glared at her for a long moment, and then his hand moved slowly to her neck. A small smile fluttered around his mouth as he moved closer to her. With just a little bending of his mind, he could hear the pitter-pattering of her heart speeding up at his touch. She grinned brilliantly, the devious glint still present in her eyes. Jackson’s voice was low and dangerous when he spoke.
“The lies that come out of your mouth sicken me,” he said. “If you ever say her name to me again…” His jaw tensed and his hand trembled with the effort it took to control his rage. “If you let it roll off that filthy tongue of yours in my presence again, I’ll break your neck.” His eyes were as cold as stone, his words venomous. A blossom of fear sprouted up in Paula’s eye, and he had no doubt she believed what he’d said. A small, logical part of him was sorry for scaring her, but the rest of him enjoyed it and he wished he’d have seen what a snake she was a long time ago. But back then, it hadn’t mattered.
Even after she’d slinked back inside the building with a pout, Jackson couldn’t stop replaying the words in his head. She’s not coming back. He took a shaky breath, and walked back inside the bar, wanting another shot of whiskey. She had to come back. He wouldn’t give up hope. She wouldn’t forget him.
Days blurred together. Most of the time, Jackson did what he could to take it moment by moment. Things were less painful that way. Then he didn’t have to look at the big picture; the months and years that stretched before him like a lonely promise. In one of those moments, when he was slightly drunker than usual, he sat at the bar in Stallott’s, letting modern music blast through the speakers.
“Looks like you have a lot on your mind. Bet it has to do with a girl.” The voice was weathered and rough. It belonged to an older man a few barstools away, silver hair hanging to his shoulders and a curly beard of the same gleaming color. Jackson focused on the man’s face and made out pale blue eyes that twinkled in the neon lights of the club. His hand lingering on the whiskey bottle in front of him, he turned up a corner of his mouth.
“Stupid, right? Of all the things going on in the world; starvation, war, corrupt politicians, murder…the one thing that cripples me is some girl.” Jackson’s tone was bitter but the man chuckled, shaking his head.
“Oh, I don’t know. Better men than you or I have been crippled by some girl before. They have that power you know, like witches.” Jackson eyed the man, who continued speaking after taking a long swig of his vodka. “Of course, there are girls that will come and go, and then there are the girls the likes of which you’ll never encounter again for the rest of your life. The way I see it,” he slapped down a few dollars on the bar and nodded at Rick, the bartender, “you should figure out which category your girl falls into. If it’s the latter, you’d better do something quick to get back in her good graces.”
An odd feeling crept up Jackson’s spine as Rick gave the man another vodka, an eerie sensation. Pouring another shot from the bottle Rick had simply left on the bar for him, Jackson attributed the feeling to the man’s words. “I’m not sure how to do that,” he said, holding the tiny glass between his thumb and fingers.
“Well, what would you do?” The man asked, his mouth forming a smile that crinkled the skin around his eyes. “What would you be willing to do to keep her? To make sure she was yours? To make sure she was safe?”
Jackson cut his eyes back toward the man. He’d never said Olivia wasn’t safe. Something about the man made his skin crawl. After taking the shot of whiskey, Jackson told himself silently to lighten up. He was way too stressed out and he’d had way too much to drink today. He let his arms move out to his sides, indicating himself and all the space around him. “All of it. Everything I had to give or whatever was in my power to do.”
The old man smiled and nodded. “As most good men would,” he said. “What about your own sanity; your own free will? Your beliefs.”
“What does that have to do with love?” Jackson asked, his body tensing for a reason he couldn’t quite explain.
“Well, sometimes, that’s what is demanded of a man who loves a woman, son. For the sake of argument, would you give yourself to have her freely for just a little while? If you could just have the ability to love her for…oh, say a few months, would you give it all up even then? If your time with her was limited?”
Jackson blinked at the man’s confusing words. He felt a little like he’d been asked a complicated riddle and he still had that odd feeling. He ran his hand through his hair. He needed to go home. He wondered if Jenny would drive him. But the man had asked him a question and he found Olivia’s beautiful, cool face passing through his mind. The way her eyes lit up when he’d shown her some new thing she’d never seen; and how when he kissed her she held on for dear life, like he was her savior. Just the thought of it caused an ache so deep within him that he could barely breathe. Would he? Would he give even his own sanity to just have her for a little while? He looked back at the man and nodded.
The man seemed to be studying him for a long moment, and then he smiled again. Standing, he put his hand on Jackson’s shoulder for just a moment, and then put a few more dollars down on the counter for a tip. “Well, she sounds like some girl. Don’t let her get away from you, boy.” And then the man was gone.
The next day, Jackson seemed to have trouble getting the man’s words out of his mind. How was he supposed to keep Olivia from getting away from him? She was the one who had left. What was he supposed to do about it? Sure, he had a hard time telling people how he felt, but he thought he made it pretty obvious to her how he felt about her. He’d even sent her a birthday present. Well, he’d painstakingly chosen the little silver necklace, imagining how it would look against her pale skin. Then, he’d given it to his mother with a muttered, “Would you…” He had given up trying to say any more words, as he couldn’t seem to find them within him. Claire had obviously realized what he wanted, because she’d gently taken the little box and said, “Of course.”
Jackson ran his fingers along the strings of his guitar. It was obvious that Olivia was scared. Jackson laughed darkly to himself. Did she think he wasn’t? The difference was that he wanted her enough to take that risk, and she didn’t. He hadn’t given up hope yet that she’d realize her love for him, but as each day passed, his hope grew dimmer and dimmer. Trying to clear his mind and change courses before his thoughts took him down a dangerous road, Jackson began singing.
At least that was something he would always have; the ability to lose himself in a song. The twanging and soft sound of the acoustic guitar, the emotion he was able to release with each word. This time, when the girl with the dark hair came in the door, he barely glanced at her before looking back down at his hands. He couldn’t afford that stupid moment of hope again. Sing, he thought. No matter what happens in five minutes, in a day, in a month…right now, just sing.
Pathetic how he had to talk himself through the moments of his life. His eyes moved up again and then his heart stopped beating. She was approaching him, holding a tray with two shot glasses. Those smoky gray eyes were shining with unreleased tears, and her mouth turned up into a small smile. The next lines of the song went unsung, the guitar silent. What kind of trick is this? Jackson wondered if he had finally lost it, and blinked, but when he opened his eyes, she was still coming toward him. She stopped at the side of the stage. Her hands were trembling, and her heart was beating so wildly inside of her that Jackson could hear it plainly, even if the humans couldn’t.
The little sun necklace rested on her chest, her hair falling softly around her shoulders and down her back. Jackson remembered to breathe as she spoke, and inhaled shakily.
“I…” She started. What was going through her mind? The way she was looking at him…for the first time since she’d left, Jackson’s hope exploded.
“When I left, I left the only man I've ever loved behind,” she said, her voice low. He vaguely remembered what he’d asked of her before she had left. And now, after all this time, Ahh God, Now, she was answering him. “I left my heart here...with you. I love you in the way I hope you still love me. I was tortured because I wasn't here with you. I've spent hours thinking of what I should have done, and when I close my eyes at night, I see your face. You haunt me until morning.” Olivia held the tray out toward him hesitantly, her own hope taking over the usual coolness of her face. “And James Dean really has nothing on you,” she added, a playful gleam in her eye.
Jackson couldn’t find his voice. There were a million things that surfaced; that he wanted to shout out at her, to tell her, to make sure she understood. There were so many things that he didn’t know what to say first, and so he remained quiet. Seeing his hesitation, she stepped up on the stage, taking his mic in her hand. Despite himself, Jackson raised an eyebrow. If there was one thing that made Olivia squirm, it was being the center of attention.
“Can you guys believe that this guy won’t have a drink with me?” She said, her voice booming out through the speakers in the place. Jackson watched the tears trail down her cheeks, wanting nothing more than to catch them, to stop them from coming, to take away any pain that had ever plagued her. “Now if that’s not the rudest thing I’ve ever seen,” she continued. “What kind of guy won’t toast to my undying love for him?”
She had said it. She loved him. She had come back for him. These were the only thoughts Jackson could translate from the jumble that was in his brain.
“Don’t you nice ladies and gentlemen think that our musician should just take the damn whiskey before I pass out on this stage?” She said. She was crying earnestly now, and Jackson found himself comparing the sight to the other wondrous things he’d seen; sunsets, newborn life in the forest, the beauty of a song just completed. Nothing compared. She was beautiful. So fucking beautiful.
The crowd was going wild now, bringing Jackson back from his thoughts, but one remained. She was his. She belonged to him. He’d known it from the beginning, and now she knew it too. As if waking up from the longest sleep he’d ever been in, he took the shot glass from the tray and smiled at her, putting the guitar down. Finally.
He drank down the liquid, watching her do the same. “I’ve waited so long,” he said. The words came out sounding angry, but she didn’t seem to notice. The smile that lit up her eyes was all his. The shot glass fell from his fingers and before he knew what he was doing, he pulled her to him roughly. Her legs went around him, and the buzz of life that he always felt when he touched her returned.
“I love you Jackson Vance, and I never want to be away from you again,” she said. The emotion present in her eyes; the truth, was almost enough to make him dizzy.
“I love you, Slayer.” It didn’t seem to be enough to explain to her…to tell her the things that were going on inside of him. “So much,” he added, and then giving up on words, he pressed his lips to hers. His legs moved as he carried her away from the stage, his only thought being her taste, her warmth, and the old man’s words. “Don’t let her get away from you, boy.”
This time, he didn’t intend to.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Blog Tour Wrap-Up

The blog tour is over now =( but it was SO much fun. I thank the book bloggers who took time out of their busy schedules to accommodate the coven and me from the very bottom of my heart. These ladies and gentlemen are amazing, y'all...and an indie writer's best friend! Hug a book blogger today. That said, I'm going to be visiting the blogs again to check on comments.

Those who comment on EVERY tour stop are automatically entered to win a big ending prize, and you'll have until Tuesday, May 17th to get your comments in. (Note: For the blogs with more than one appearance/post, it's only necessary to have commented on one.) Below are the links again:

Tattooed Books - Guest Post from Sylvia
YA Bound - Interview with Everett
Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm - Jackson's 'Life Playlist'
Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm - Interview with Olivia
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read - Review of Amaretto Flame
Jagged Edge - Guest Post from Jenny
The Diary of a Bookworm: Review of Amaretto Flame
K Books - Review of Amaretto Flame
K Books - Jackson's Mother's Day Guest Post
Wicked Awesome Books - Review of Amaretto Flame
Wicked Awesome Books - Author Interview
Aine's Realm - Author Guest Post
Izzie Vandero - Interview with Jackson
A Life Bound by Books - Sammie Spencer Interviews Everett
Pagan Culture - Fiction Journeying
I Heart YA Books - Review of Amaretto Flame

For those of you who commented on the posts, thank you so much! For those who were dedicated enough to visit EVERY stop and comment - you rock my world! For the individual giveaways, the blog owners will be choosing the winners, and for the big giveaway, I'll be choosing the winner. So, please stay tuned. You are my very favorite Wise Ones! <3

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Pssst! Guess what my friend Tymothy did!!! He nominated me for a Stylish Blogger Award. How cool is that? If you don't know Tymothy, you most certainly should. He is a super-duper talented guy, with amazing ideas and a huge heart. He has so much love for his family, his fellow writers, and of course the written word. Check him out and tell him I sent you over! Thank you Tymothy! On with the award:

So, here’s how it works:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to five new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

So, 7 Facts about Me:

1. You know how some people can't stand it when others leave the kitchen cabinets ALL open...all the time? I'm 'others.' I don't know why. I think it's a sickness.

2. I own a website content company with two other girls I met online. We've been running a business together for 3 years, and we've never met in person!

3. I finished a novel before Amaretto Flame that I feel is my magnus opus. It's an adult romantic thriller and I plan on rewriting it and querying it soon.

4. I am the biggest dork ever. I love to laugh and can be pretty goofy sometimes.

5. I get addicted to songs. I will listen to one song over and over and over until I drive myself nuts with it and then I'll become obsessed with another.

6. Speaking of music, I really love all kinds but am very partial to classic rock - Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, CCR, you name it...I love it.

7. I have this pet peeve, obsession, OCD thing where I cannot sit with my back to other people. I honestly can't stand it. In a restaurant, I get the seat next to the wall. At home, I sit where I can see everyone. Not sure why this is...maybe I was a ninja in a past life. ;-)

 Here are the amazing peeps I nominate: 

1. Renee Masson - Awesomely supportive twitter pal and author of Tearing Honor.
2. Genevieve Ching - Indie writer extraordinaire and supportive chic, author of the fantastic The Soulkeepers.
3.Megg Jensen - Super supportive of indie writers and author of the amazing Anathema.
4. Andrea Thompson - A bookish babe that I love talking to on twitter; fellow bad boy luhva!
5. Kara Malinczak - Super awesome book blogger, shelter baby mommy.

So TAG. You guys are it. Thanks again Tymothy and mucho #writerlove to you!

Edgar Allan Poe-ish

So, for just about the entire time I've been with my fella, he has slept with an oscillating fan next to the bed. I hate it. First of all, I have a medical condition that makes me very cold at times...especially at night. It takes no chilly wind to prompt teeth-chattering and shivering for me. I even have an electric blanket, which I'm fairly sure is the best purchase I've ever made in my life. So I truly believed having that fan shooting cool air toward me all night was some form of torture.

The other thing about this fan is that the wooossshhhhing sound of the air blowing and the fan moving back and forth is something I've never had to deal with before. I should probably pause here to tell you that I'm something of an insomniac. For this reason, I've never really been able to sleep with music playing or background noise, because it makes it even harder for my already racing thoughts to just SHUT UP already. So night after night after night, I have put up with this frigid wind machine sending me into near freezing states and driving my fragile mind further and further toward the edge.

The night before last, the big guy's fan finally died. Completely gone, no chance at being repaired. With half a smile on my face, I settled in to get some sleep. It was very peaceful; completely quiet and the air was still. In fact, it was a little too still. I looked around the room, a little on edge because I had realized that the air was not moving AT. ALL. The A/C was on but even with that, the air in the room felt heavy, like it was hanging above me and ready to drop down at any moment and smother me. Weird, right?

Then I noticed something else. It was eerily, strangely quiet in the room. Every noise felt like it was amplified in the silence. A leg stretching out across the sheet, a cricket in the back yard, my dog Cooper getting a drink of water in the I huddled under my blanket, I was assaulted by an arsenal of sounds that shot through my brain and made it impossible to go to sleep. Not to mention the thick, hanging air that would surely pounce down on me like a wet, smothering quilt the moment my eyes drifted shut.

Flinging the blanket off, I rolled and turned to try and get comfortable. Was it a little too hot in the room? The A/C was set at the normal temperature. *Crickets* Fluffing the pillow, I tried to shut off my mind. *Water being lapped up by doggy tongue* Maybe I needed a drink too. *Thick, evil air waiting to fall on top of me and smother me in my sleep* Rolling to the other side seeking comfort. Swearing I could hear the very molecules within the bed shifting to accommodate my new position. On and on this went, driving me absolutely and totally insane.


Yesterday, the big guy brought a new fan home. *Eye roll* Great. Now I was sure I'd freeze and be driven insane by the whirring of the motor. But guess what - last night, I slept perfectly! No thick, hanging air waited to kill me and I couldn't hear the neighbors mumbling in their sleep. Thank GOD for that fan!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Winner of the Vampire Academy Giveaway!

Thank you all so much for entering the giveaway - it was a lot of fun, and great to meet other fans of VA! Some of you were SUPER dedicated and tweeted every single day, earning extra points. That said, *drumroll please* the winner is IZZIE VANDERO!

Congrats! I'm sending you an e-mail! I hope to do many more contests like this in the future, so I hope you'll all stay tuned!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blog Tour Update

This is exciting! I am having a lot of fun with the blog tour already, and it's only the 2nd day! Remember - if you comment on every stop, you'll be entered to win the bigger prize at the end. Also, most stops have giveaways for that day, too. So far, we've visited:

Tattooed Books
YA Bound

There's still time to go back and leave a comment if you haven't. Thank you so much to all the readers and writers who have supported me and who are following along! I truly appreciate it.

That said, I have some super exciting projects in the works, including the second book in the Eagleton Coven series. I have also considered creating a small project with some back stories of some members of the coven, like Everett, Max and possibly Jackson. If there's anything you want to see, please feel free to let me know!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

10 Ways to Support the Writer/Reader Community

Twitter began as a way for me to sell books, quite frankly. I'm brand new at this and I just knew that I needed to have a social media presence. I had no idea that I would meet tons of amazing writers and become part of this strong, amazing community - and I don't mean JUST indie authors, either.

There are traditionally published authors conversing with and supporting indies, book bloggers (who I think are angels in disguise) supporting and talking with writers who are published through tiny pub houses, indie writers who are shouting from the rooftops about their favorite traditionally published book, and so much more. It's incredible.

The outpouring of support from those people inspires me daily. They're my heroes, and they make me proud to be part of this community. With that in mind, I started thinking about what I could do to help support my fellow indie authors, the book bloggers I adore, and the traditionally published authors that I think are amazing. I thought they might be useful for you too, so here they are:

1. Buy books. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But here's what I mean. Maybe you win a book from a contest (ebook or print) and you LOVE it. Why not go buy a copy for a friend? Did you know that the majority of indie authors I've been conversing with pour their hearts and souls into a book they've created just for you, and then they sell it for super low prices - like $.99 to $3.99? That makes it easy to pick up a few indie books a week and you'll be doing a HUGE thing for the indie community!

2. Be a Book's Cheerleader. Have you read a self-published or traditionally published book that you couldn't put down? One that sticks in your mind and that you really enjoyed? Tell everyone you can possibly think of! Post it in forums, tweet it, link to it from your Facebook account, recommend it to friends, etc. Word of mouth is one of the most important types of marketing for authors and books.

3. Tell YOUR Customers. Maybe you have signed books for sale on your website. Why not put a bookmark or a trading card inside the book before you ship it out, so your customers can discover a book by another author that you love? If you're e-published, ask permission to put a small excerpt from one of your favorite books inside your book so those who buy yours can learn about the other.

4. Write a Review...or Two. If you've read a book that you really love, write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Smashwords for the author. This helps because it tells others (who may be considering purchasing the book) that someone else thought it was really great. A lot of people make decisions on books or music based on reviews from past customers.

5. Donating to Book Bloggers. None of the book bloggers I've worked with (or have communicated with on Twitter) ever charge for their services. They accept a free book in order to read it and provide their review to their readers. Has a book blogger done a particularly great job with a thorough review and helped by pointing people to your other works/website? Stop by their blog and make a little donation if they have a button. Most of them will use this for shipping fees for books and other swag that they give out, because those costs come straight out of their pockets. A small donation can help a lot!

6. Include Others on Your Blog Tour. You can really do this with any type of marketing you do. Offer to give out bookmarks or cards with your own giveaway items for your blog tours or other contests. This allows new readers to get to know other authors while they're getting to know you.

7. Join Indie Book Clubs. There are a ton of book clubs for traditionally published authors, and with the way the industry is changing, more and more indie book clubs are sprouting up. Join one, and then tell your friends about it. This is a great way to learn about recently released indie books you might be interested in.

8. Don't Discriminate. I can't tell you how many times I've seen comments like, "A self-published book is just a book that no serious agent or publisher would take." Or, "Self-published books give other authors a bad name." Not true. Yes, some people self-publish because they've had a difficult time finding an agent, but that doesn't mean their book isn't good; fantastic, even. When you think about the ratio of agents to aspiring writers, you'll easily see how agents are a bit like funnels that lead to publishers. With so many writers coming at them, things can get clogged pretty easily and amazing books get skipped over.

Of course you're going to run into self-published books that are just not good; or at least not in your opinion. However, the very same could be said about traditionally published books. I have read a few that I absolutely couldn't make it through. I felt like the book was a waste of paper and energy! But there will be other self-published books that you won't be able to forget. Don't discriminate!

9. Words of Praise. Have you read a book recently that you loved? Write the author an e-mail or a message on Facebook and let them know. I don't know about other authors, but when someone tells me they loved my book, I can't stop smiling. I'll float through the entire day with a big grin on my face. It makes it all worth it. You might not think a writer needs to hear words of praise, but in my experience, no one needs to hear them more than a writer. When he or she gives a book to the world, they're putting part of their soul out there and that's scary! If you love it, tell them.

10. Don't Give Up. Finally, if you're a writer, never give up. It might take you one book to make it. It might take you fourteen. If you're going the traditional route, you might have written so many query letters that their total words far outweigh that of the novel you've created. If you're self-published, you might be on the computer 18 hours a day building up a community and trying to create a readership. Let's face it; you won't be able to stop writing, anyway. Stories and characters and possibilities will nag at the back of your mind until you're forced to get it into a Word doc. So, why give up? Show them what you're made of.

Don't listen to statistics from naysayers because quite frankly, they don't know what they're talking about. No one (not even NY publishing houses) can 100% accurately predict the success of a writer or book. If you believe in yourself, and you have faith in YOU, no one can stop you!

Support your writer/reader community today! Do you have tips and info for how to support writers and readers? Would love to hear them; leave them in the comments below. =)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Fiction Flip

Last night, I was thinking about all the characters I love from different books and how one character might remind me of another, or how some of them are complete opposites. I started thinking about what would happen if those characters were 'introduced' to each other. That's how I came up with the idea for this fun little game. Anyone who has those characters that they are in love with and can't get over should enjoy this. So, here's the first 'Friday Fiction Flip' question:

If you could pair two characters from different books in a fight scene (where they're fighting each other), which ones would it be? 
Also, who do you think would win, and why?

I love paranormal romance and fantasy, but I read many other genres, so feel free to use any characters you want! For this week, in celebration of the book I'm currently reading (taking FOREVER because I'm on a roll writing Eagleton Coven 2), I'm going to choose Jace (The Mortal Instruments Series) and Dimitri (The Vampire Academy Series). 

This is a tough one, too. Jace has those charged weapons and Dimitri is a 'fighting GOD,' so they're both pretty evenly matched. Man oh man. I really love Jace, but I think I'm going to have to say Dimitri would win. He's got the benefit of more experience, and if he can dispatch hordes of the Queen's guardians with no problem, I think he just might be able to take Jace. What do you think?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Deleted Scene: Excerpt from Amaretto Flame First Draft

If you've read Amaretto Flame (or even if you haven't), then you'll get a kick out of this. The excerpt below is from the very first draft of Amaretto Flame, before a LOT of things were changed, cut, edited, slapped in the face, chopped into little pieces and forgotten about. I chose this one to show you because I believe it is probably the most angst-filled, tortured, brooding, hokey, back-and-forth passage I could find in the whole book and I couldn't help but laugh at it a little. At the same time, I thought it was kind of hot and I'm not afraid to admit that I, as his creator, love Jackson Vance. Enjoy!


“I don’t want to stop it.  I want you Jackson,” I whispered back, still kissing him.  His lips found mine again, and then my legs wrapped around his waist.  I was very conscious that I wasn’t wearing a shirt, and my own skin pressed into his skin, sending tingling down the entire length of me.  He tore his lips away from mine again, but his arms stayed around my waist, holding me to him.
“Stop,” he said, breathlessly.
I pulled back to look at him, and his face reflected the tortured feeling that was inside of me. 
“What?” I breathed, not understanding.  Wasn’t this what he had wanted?
“I can’t stop myself.  You have to stop,” he said, closing his eyes and pressing his lips to my collarbone.  I understood.  He thought I cared about him so he was stopping it now.
“No, it’s alright,” I said, and he looked up at me. I kissed him on the lips and the chin again.  The stubble there was rough and thrilling against the softness of my lips.
“I don’t love you,” I said, letting him know it was okay.  His entire body stiffened and he looked at me.  At the same moment, I was filled with horror because I realized that I had lied to him.  This was the other thing that I was terrified of…It didn’t matter, I decided.  It would be my own punishment, as long as I didn’t have to stop touching him now.
“You don’t.”  It was said like a statement rather than a question, but I answered him anyway. 
“No, so this is okay.  We’ll pretend it never even happened,” I added, moving to kiss him again.  He let me kiss him but he wasn’t kissing me back.  After a few more moments of trying, I looked at him again.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, letting my hands fall from his hair.  Then my back was against the cool, stony wall of his house.  He pressed me there, gently.  I felt completely wrong, having lied to him.  Now that the intoxication of the moment was wearing off, I knew that I had been wrong.  This wasn’t the way to fix me.  Suddenly, tears were in my eyes again.  I moved my legs and let myself slide to the ground, where I stood, looking at him, the wet jeans sticking to the skin of my legs.
It was only three weeks until Midsummer anyway.  I had nearly made it through my banishment.  I would go home and forget about all of this, but I couldn’t lie.  I wanted to tell him the truth.
“Okay, I lied to you again, Jackson.  I do love you and I’m sorry about that, but it’s the truth.  I don’t even know how it happened, I…” I paused, flicking my eyes to his face, and then continued.  “I know you’re used to that by now—with Paula and all of the other girls that must love you, but I just thought you should know,” I said.  A furious, confused tear fell from my lashes as I looked up at my tormentor.
“I’m going home anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” I said.  Apparently he was finding pleasure in my pain.  I nearly passed out when he smiled at me.
            Furious, I pushed past him and grabbed my shirt from the seat of the four-wheeler.  Slinging my arms into it, I buttoned it quickly, refusing to look at him. The red tint was starting to invade my eyes and for a moment, I thought about letting it out, but then I pushed it back.  Sure, right this moment I was enraged at him, but still, I did love him.  I loved him so much that it ached.
             I went to his jeep and retrieved my things, and when I started walking through the yard toward the highway, he ran up and stood in front of me.
            “Where are you going?” he asked, smiling.
            I hated that he could find something to smile about.  Another heart he’d captured?  Did he get enjoyment from this?
            “I’m going home,” I hissed, furiously.
            “Why?” he asked.
            “Because you’re cruel and I hate you,” I said. Damnit Olivia.  Another lie.
            “But you just said you loved me,” he said.
            I stopped walking, and he stopped walking backwards.  I was tired.  I felt as if all of my energy had been drained.
            “What do you want from me, Jackson?” I asked, near tears again.
            He approached me and I stayed, ready for whatever form of torture he wanted me to endure next.  He cradled my face in his hands and forced me to look into his eyes.
            “Sometimes you’re such a stupid girl,” he said, grinning at me.
            “Yeah?” I asked squaring my shoulders.  “Well you’re an a…” He pressed his lips against mine, cutting off my words.  When I yanked back from him, he kept his hold on my face.
            “What I want from you, Olivia, is for you to realize that I am completely, madly, head over heels in love with you,” he said, gazing into my eyes.  My knees buckled and for a moment I thought I would fall, but he scooped me up in his arms, cradling me.
            “No,” I said, struggling to get down.  Confusion flashed across his beautiful face before he put me down. 
            “What’s the matter?” he asked, gazing into my face as if he could find the answer to his question there.
            “I can’t…you can’t.  You don’t even know what love is,” I said stupidly, trying to find a way to stop the tidal wave of emotion that was threatening to knock me over and drown me.  It was fine for me to punish myself worse by loving him, but this couldn’t happen…
            “I know how I feel about you Olivia.  I’ve waited a long time to feel this way.  I’ve spent so long wondering what was wrong with me…why I couldn’t love anyone…” His voice was more gravelly than silky now, his face tortured.
            “Shhhh,” I said, putting my hands over my ears.  I couldn’t hear these words from his mouth.  I was leaving.  I was going home.  I was different than he was and I couldn’t live the rest of my life with these words playing over and over in my mind.  The painful tugging at my chest was much more pronounced now.  It was more like a slow ripping.
            He gazed at me, several emotions flickering over his face now.  I didn’t know what to say to him to make it better.  This was all my fault.  I should have never told him the truth.  I should have let him believe the lie but I never imagined that he would love me back.  Gently, he pulled my hands away from my ears.
            “Olivia, what is it?” His voice pleaded with me and it twisted my heart, making my chest ache. 
            “I’m different than you,” I said.  “Very different.  We don’t fit.  This can’t happen,” I started walking toward the highway again.
            “Olivia, I like different,” he said, walking with me.  “Different doesn’t matter when you love someone,” he added.
            “I don’t believe in love,” I said.  Another lie.  I had to make him get away from me.  I had to have time to think.  Somehow, I had to unravel the threads in my mind and make sense of the things that were happening to me.  I couldn’t bear to ask him to risk himself… 
            “Yes you do,” he said. “You told me you loved me.”
            “I lied,” I said.  Going for a record today, Olivia?  Shut up.
            His arm shot out and stopped me.  I turned to face him, trying to conjure the worst words I could think of to make him go.  I just had to think and it was impossible to think when his eyes were burning into me that way.
            “What?” he hissed.  “Do you feel anything for me or not?  Which is it?  I can’t keep up with you.”
            “I can’t talk to you right now.  I have to go,” I said, my face twisting with the pain I felt inside.
            He gazed at me, waiting for something.  I could see that I was hurting him.  I hated myself just then.  I was always messing things up…I could never just do the right thing.  Why couldn’t there just be one simple answer instead of everything being so complicated?
            “We’re friends, remember?” I whispered.
            “Olivia, friends do not kiss like we did back there.  Friends don’t feel so drawn to each other…not the way I do to you.  I can’t stand being away from you,” he said.
            “You’re just mad because I won’t sleep with you,” I hissed, trying to push a button somewhere that would make him let me go.
            He chuckled, bitterly.  “Yeah.  That’s what it is, Olivia.  I could have made love to you minutes ago, but I stopped myself.”
            “Well you should have just done it so you could have thrown me away like all of the other girls,” I spit.
            “Don’t be an idiot,” he said.  “I never felt a thing for any of them.  If I didn’t love you, I would have taken you just then without a thought for anything but my own pleasure.”  His words sounded sarcastic, but his face was pained.  It was the very picture of pain and confusion.
            “Well it’s a good thing you didn’t, because that’s exactly what I had planned for you,” I answered stupidly, still trying to press buttons.
            “You were going to make love to me and that’s it?  Don’t joke with me Olivia.  I know you better than that.  You’re so much better than me.  You could never have done a thing like that.  If I’d had any idea how ignorant and selfish I was being, I wouldn’t have done it in the past.  Now I see how I must have been hurting them…” His words trailed off and he looked so distressed, I thought I’d give up right then and there and jump into his arms. 
He glanced down at the ground, trying to gather his thoughts and when he looked back up at me, my heart shattered.
“Olivia, love has never been real to me…not this kind of love.  It never existed before you.  I had no idea how it felt to miss someone or how it would feel to have your entire existence resting in the palm of someone else’s hand,” he said, his eyes flaming.  I wanted to go to him, to comfort him and to protect what he was giving me.  Instead, I drew on my training and tried in vain to push the pain to the back of my mind.
            I smiled a fake, blasphemous smile at him.  “Well, I guess you’ve learned your lesson then.  My work here is done,” I said.  I turned and started walking again, praying he wouldn’t follow.  I hurt everywhere.  The blood in my veins hurt.  I kept walking until I reached the highway and started back the way he’d driven me.
            When I turned, I could see him peripherally; standing in the same spot he’d been in when I whirled away from him.  He wasn’t moving.  He was standing very still, the sunlight glinting off of his copper hair.  Keeping my face calm when all I wanted to do was scream or cry was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vampire Academy Prize Pack Contest and Giveaway - More Than 40 Chances to Win!

Hi all you dhampirs and moroi! Love Vampire Academy? ME TOO! Here's your chance to win a huge Vampire Academy prize pack, and learn about another paranormal romance series at the same time! Before we get down to business, check out what the winner will get...

  • 1 "Little Dhampir" Pin from the Arcane Vault
    • 1 "First Lesson: Don't Hesitate" Pin from the Arcane Vault 

      • 1 Red Leather Vampire Academy Bookmark from the Arcane Vault

        • 5 Vampire Academy Scrabble Tile Necklace Charms (Team Lissa, Team Christian, Team Adrian, Team Dimitri, and Team Rose) 

          • 1 Copy of Blood Lines Pre-Ordered; To Be Shipped to Your Address Upon Publication (August 2011)
          Note: To enter the contest, you MUST be a Google Connect Follower of this blog (gotta see your pic over to the right). It just takes a second to follow! :-)

          How to Enter:

          Download paranormal romance Eagleton Coven: Amaretto Flame in your preferred format from Smashwords for FREE. Just shoot me an email to get the coupon code! This coupon will expire May 5. This earns you ONE entry into the contest. Keep reading to learn how to get MUCHO extra entries and increase your chances of winning. (Note: you can get the plain text, HTML, or Java versions if it's easier for you. You'll find the list on the bottom of the Amaretto Flame page.)

          EXTRA ENTRIES:

          For TEN Extra Entries in the Contest:  Send me an e-mail ( with the answers to the following questions (after reading the book):

          1. What color is Jackson's jeep?
          2. Who loves blue eyeshadow?
          3. What was the name of the scary ride at the carnival?
          4. What are Olivia's two nicknames?
          5. Name 3 drinks featured in the book.

          For TEN Extra Entries in the Contest: Post a review of Eagleton Coven: Amaretto Flame on your blog or here on When you add up your points in the comments below, leave a link to the review.

          For FIVE Extra Entries in the Contest: Tweet about this contest from your Twitter account using hashtag #ECAF. Leave the link to this as well. You can tweet about the contest once a day for ONE extra entry per day. You'll need to leave another comment every time you tweet it, though.

          For FIVE Extra Entries in the Contest: "Like" Eagleton Coven's Facebook page and 'share' it with your Facebook friends.

          For THREE Extra Entries in the Contest: Follow me on Twitter. Leave your Twitter name in the comment box when you add up your points.

          There you have it!!! Once you've taken the steps above, add up your points for the steps you completed and leave the total in a comment below. ((There's more than 40 chances to win!)) Make sure to leave any important links in that same comment box. Also make sure you leave your e-mail address in the comments if I can't view it on your Google Friend Connect profile. I'll need this to contact the winner!

          One winner will be chosen randomly on May 6 at 8PM EST. The contest is open to everyone. Good luck!

          Tuesday, April 5, 2011

          Real or Not Real? 7 Hilarious Comparisons Between Romantic Fiction and Reality

          Most young girls who read paranormal romance and fantasy realize they're not going to run into a sparkling vampire who will suddenly become obsessed with them. Boys who read urban fantasy probably know they're not going to find a whip-wielding, gorgeous girl who takes out demons and governs downworlders all before breakfast.'s fun to think about a steamy, exciting, or romantic scene in your favorite book and compare it to what might actually happen in reality.

          1. Heroine wakes up to find that Hero has been lovingly watching her sleep. Heroine smiles sweetly and they share a steamy good-morning kiss in the sunlight streaming through the curtains. Real or not real? 

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, Hero rolls over from a dead sleep and decides to surprise attack Heroine with a little smoochin'. Heroine turns her head to dodge the kiss because the only thing she's thinking about is getting up, brushing her teeth, and getting rid of that morning breath!

          2. Heroine and Hero are falling asleep one night when a banging noise can be heard outside. Hero hops out of bed and stands in front of Heroine, protecting her with all his muscle-bound glory. Real or not real? 

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, Heroine gasps and shakes Hero, who has likely started snoring just three and a half minutes after his head hit the pillow. "Can you check to see what that noise was?" Heroine asks. Hero mumbles that Heroine is hearing things or that a squirrel is on the roof. Heroine tries a few more times before getting up and checking the house herself, with a steak knife or pepper spray hidden behind her back...just in case. 

          3. Heroine watches Hero's brows draw together as he sits quietly. She puts her hand on his and asks him what he's thinking about. Hero looks passionately into her eyes and says, "I was wondering what I've done to deserve such beauty and grace in my life. I couldn't breathe without you by my side and I love you more than I have ever loved anything or anyone. You complete me." Real or not real?

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, Hero is thinking about absolutely nothing. Or, he's thinking about the latest game out for the PS3 or Xbox 360...or possibly about who is going to win the weekend football game.

          4. Heroine asks Hero if the outfit she's wearing makes her look fat. Hero responds with something that calms her insecurities and makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Real or not real? 

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, Heroine asks Hero if her jeans make her butt look big and Hero's brain instantly goes into *warning mode.* He immediately attempts to distract her with something shiny so he can escape before he is forced to answer the question. He is well aware of the fact that any answer he thinks of is wrong, and even when he thinks he's come up with something profound and winning, the second it leaves his lips he will spot the deadly flaw in his words.

          5. Hero has fallen so in love with Heroine that he must have her around him. Like she is a powerful drug, he is addicted. He cannot be near her without touching her skin or smelling her hair. When she is gone, he paces the floor wondering where she's at; or he follows her at a distance just to make sure she's okay. Heroine is flattered and in love with these things about Hero. Real or not real?

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, Heroine calls Hero a creep and gets a restraining order.

          6. The two love interests in Hero's life meet each other and each one realizes just how amazing the other is. Both women appreciate the other for their beautiful personalities and strength. They become great friends. Real or not real?

          NOT REAL!!! In reality, the two love interests in Hero's life meet, and their own brand of greeting includes trying to physically cut the other using only their own eyeballs and the force.  There may be hair-pulling and lots of cursing...possibly that aforementioned restraining order.

          7. Hero and Heroine can find a fairytale love that makes them forget all the heartache they've experienced in the past. Real or not real?

          REAL!!! I firmly believe that while no love is perfect, there is someone out there whose love is perfect for you. <3 <3 <3

          Do you have a funny comparison? Post it in the comments below and let me know what you think!

          Sunday, April 3, 2011

          Jackson's Poem for Slayer

          In honor of National Poetry Month, I'm posting an 'extra' that is present in Amaretto Flame, at the very end of the book. This is Jackson's poem for Olivia, his Slayer. :-)

          For Slayer
          Smoky silhouette against the night,
          What was dark is now bathed in light.
          His eyes are smiling and shrouded,
          The room of his heart is not crowded…
          Unlike the dusty lounge that goes on forever.

          The hand runs through bristled, messy hair,
          Interrupted beams of light flash in the air.
          A smile transforms his face and lingers,
          He sits, he caresses, adjusts his fingers…
          On the frets of his guitar.

          Slowly, almost painfully building,
          Notes create beauty, silence is yielding.
          His voice is raspy then smooth again, dancing
          The strings of the guitar are not the only ones prancing…
          As he unknowingly resurrects a heart.

          His eyes; they flash passion into a lonely room
          And his body sways to the rhythm of impending doom.
          And when he closes them, his face betrays a pain
          That draws out through his music and starts falling like rain…
          And it lands on her.

          Like a vampire, his voice draws blood
          And the notes, they flow through the room in a flood.
          Stop it, her heart screams, yet begs for more,
          As she drops to her knees and stares at the floor.
          And she knows that he wants to sign.

          The last few notes leave a depth that is sweet
          And across the room, their naked eyes meet.
          He bites his lip, smiles gently; his eyes shy away,
          She cries from the silence that now covers his play.
          And they stand.

          In an instant, the floor between them disappears
          She cradles his face and he kisses her tears.
          The guitar is no longer needed, as the music resumes
          They melt into each other and the passion consumes
          Although they’ve barely touched.

          An arc of color between them shoots out like a light
          And fills up all the darkness and cuts out all the night.
          He is dangerous because she is his only
          And she fills him up and there’s no trace left of lonely.
          And he is her song.
          ~ Jackson Vance