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Believe in Yourself

By this time last year, I only had three stories published:

“Her Lover’s Face” (Novel)
“Wanted: Courage” (Flashpoint: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Flash Fiction Anthology 2018)
“Never Far Away” (Rapture: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Flash Fiction Anthology 2018)

It’s amazing what can happen in a year. I’ve had a number of ups and downs since June of last year, non-writing experiences that could have made me give up again, overwhelmed by my challenges; but, if there is one legacy I want to leave my kids, it is that no matter what happens in your life, you never give up and you never quit. Follow after your dreams and never let anything stop you. Did you get knocked down? Well, get back up and try again. No one else can forge your path for you. You have to find the strength inside yourself.

In the last year, I had the following stories/poetry published:

“The Stranger” (poem published on Spillwords)
“Love Knows No Apocalypse” (Mystic Desire: a Supernatural Anthology)
“Love from the Mist” (Mystic Desire, a Supernatural Anthology)
“Not You Again!” (Novel)
“The Dinner Call” (OCEANS: A Dark Microfiction Anthology (Dark Drabbles Book 9)
“The Ocean’s Thief” ( OCEANS: A Dark Microfiction Anthology (Dark Drabbles Book 9)
“Poseidon’s Revenge” (Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend)
“Into the Fire” (Slow Burn: The Fires That Bind Us Charity Anthology)

“Patricia Elliott” (Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020)

Upcoming publications:

“The Handcuff Proposal” (a novelette being published in a Black Velvet Seductions anthology)

I also have four, just about five, completed novels and two novellas that need editing, and another series I’m working on that revolves around a zombie apocalypse, in which two stories are already done. And I have two other series in mind. I guess the point of my blog post is that we can live our lives dreaming, wishing we were doing something, or we can get out and do it.

Has someone told you that your dream isn’t realistic? Show them that all you need is motivation to prove them wrong. Want to be a doctor? A writer? An astronaut? Then it’s up to you to set that in motion and never give up, even when the road gets tough. Life will always try to throw you curve-balls, and some of them will be doozies, trust me I know, but you can’t let the negative experiences determine your path.

Rise above them! Life is what you make it. I believe in you.


“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman


Interested in her books, check out her Amazon Author Page:

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The One That Got Away

As we near the end of another year, I can’t help but notice that time feels like it’s moving faster. Mind you, that might just be because I’m older now, and I’m so busy that I don’t have much time to stop and smell the roses. I like it when my work days go by fast, but not so much my downtime.

Some moments I’d love to just freeze in time, like when my kids were born or their high school graduations. Two of mine have graduated now and the other two are in high school. That’s hard to believe. It’s even harder to believe that my graduation was back in 1996. Heck, I’m getting old. *haha*

If you’re like me and a little on the older side, can you still remember your high school years? Can you remember your first love? Some people were lucky enough to marry their high school sweethearts and are still together today. The rest of us are left wondering about the one that got away, while others may be trying to forget all about them. I can expressly remember mine. Even though we didn’t end up together, I still have fond memories of our time together.

My new release, which you can read about below, is all about second chances. What would you do if you ran into the one that got away? Would you be excited or would you go into hiding? Would you want to hit him or hug him? This is the dilemma that Emma Praught finds herself in when her first love contacts her out of the blue.

Not You Again! blurb:

“Emma Praught has everything a woman could wish for: a house, a husband, and a teen daughter who she wouldn’t trade for the world. But when she receives that fateful call, everything falls apart.

Her husband is dead. The life she knew is over. And before she has a chance to make sense of it all, death threats roll in and so does a man from her past. One she never expected to see again.

Devon Matthews, in the stupidity of his youth, broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Something he has never gotten over. Now he has a chance to make it up to her by protecting them. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll find it in her heart to forgive him. If he can keep her alive, that is.

Will they make it through this unscathed, or will Emma’s stubborn nature make it difficult for them both?

One way or another, he’s not giving her up this time.”

Book excerpt:

“Mom, who keeps texting you?” Skye asked.

“No one,” Emma muttered, turning back to the sink full of dishes.

“That no one wants to talk to you like super bad.”

She had tried to discourage him from messaging her by not responding to his text messages over the last week, but he was still going strong. Okay, so she’d sent the odd text back, but only to tell him to stop contacting her, and that had made him respond all the more.

Skye picked up Emma’s phone off the counter and turned on the screen. Drying her hands quickly, she snatched the phone back.“Get those prying eyes off to school,” she said, snapping the dish towel at her daughter.

Hopping down off the stool, Skye picked up her backpack off the kitchen island. “You’re so bossy.”

When the front door slammed, she thought about yelling “don’t slam the door” but it wouldn’t do any good. Skye was already long gone. Her phone dinged again, and she looked at the screen. Devon again.

>I’m serious. If you keep ignoring me, I’m going to come down there.

>Then come :p

>Okay

“Oh damn,” she said, resting her forehead in her hand as she shook her head.


FrontCoverNYA

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE FROM YOUR FAVORITE ONLINE RETAILER

Zombie Apocalypse Attire

What attire do you think of when it comes to the Zombie apocalypse? Are you the practice type that would only choose the things that would benefit you, or would you say, heck with it, and wear whatever you want, anyway?

For me, I think I’d wear much the same as Samantha in the following sample of Love Knows No Apocalypse:

—-

“I have to get this baby food back to Naomi.” Samantha grabbed a backpack off the backseat. “We’re only about thirty minutes away.”

“We’ll get drenched.”

“Are you afraid of the rain, Stevey?”

He looked down at his Hawaiian t-shirt and matching shorts, and she had to laugh. If you couldn’t be in Hawaii, dressing like it was the next best thing he had told her.

She shook her head. “You were the one who wanted to wear it. I told you to be practical.”

The storms of Autumn were upon them, and they weren’t overly pretty. The warm weather for wearing t-shirts and shorts was long gone, but she loved the rain and being covered up. That’s why she was wearing a pair of utility pants and a compression shirt, and her favorite leather jacket. She grabbed a pink Nike jacket that she’d found for Naomi off the floor. It was on the larger side. “Try this,” she said.

Steve shook his head and recoiled from her offer. “If I walk into the house wearing that, I’ll never live it down.”

Sam laughed. “Suit yourself.”

Why cargo pants? Well, they have endless pockets for storing things and are super comfortable. And as for the leather jacket, zombies can’t bite through leather; at least, not to my knowledge. It’s not a theory I’d want to test though. I like breathing, thank you.

Now, in contrast, Steve isn’t as practical as Samantha. Stubborn man would rather wear what his flowery Hawaiian shirts to remind himself of yesteryear. But make no mistake, he’s alert and very much on the ball.

With being an apocalypse, you’re not complete without a weapon. What would you use? I’ve had my experience with a variety of weapons—staff, sword, bow. My favorite would have to be the sword, as long as it’s nice and sharp. The only downside is having to get up close and personal with the undead. Getting splattered by them is not my idea of a good time.

So let’s hear what you think. Share with me your zombie attire.

Love Knows No Apocalypse Blurb:

“Getting stranded in the middle of a storm was not Samantha Wheeler’s idea of an ideal situation, especially in a zombie apocalypse. But fighting zombies was the easy part; her heart, though, was a whole other matter. Thanks to a man named Steve Jones.

When they find themselves in danger, she has to decide what’s more important – dying for someone you love or surviving.”

To buy Mystic Desire, click the link below:

Amazon

Thanks for reading 😀

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Book Ideas

I’ve never been a blogger, but here’s hoping that will change. Most of my ideas get turned into books, rather than posts on a website. Today, I’d like to talk about one of the more common questions we, as writers, get asked.

I’m not sure about anyone else, but most of mine come from real life experiences. There is the odd time where an idea will just pop into my head; for example, while I was lying in bed, an idea came to me, followed by an image of a large wicker lounge. Of course, I can’t remember the idea, but I do still have a vivid picture of this lounge.

A fellow author thought it sounded like the title of an upcoming horror novel. I can’t exactly remember what the idea was that went with the image, so I’ll have rack my brain on that one and see if it comes back to me. Who knows, maybe it’s about a bar called The Wicker Lounge which could have something unexpected happen on its premises. The sky is the limit really. The idea will come when the time is right.

My first story, Her Lover’s Face, was born out of a new found desire for romance novels. I can’t remember exactly which book I was reading at the time, but when I reached the end, I thought, Hey, I can do that. (A quick note: it wasn’t as simple as it looked *lol*)

I thought back over my life at my experiences, and my mind kept returning to high school when I dated my first love, who happened to be an identical twin. And so the main question of my story was born. What if a woman’s abusive husband dies, and suddenly, she’s faced with a man who looks exactly like him?

Her Lover’s Face Blurb:

Laryssa Mitchell is one of the lucky ones. The death of her abusive husband finally allows her to live again on her own terms, making her own choices. Her first official decision is to take back what was lost – her independence and her old job. But she soon finds herself in a living nightmare when she meets her new boss. If her husband is rotting in hell, then who is the man standing in front of her with a dead man’s face?

Alexander Richards doesn’t expect to catch an unconscious woman in his arms on his first day of work, nor does he envision himself willingly setting foot in a hospital again, reliving his painful loss. But that’s exactly what he chooses to do when Laryssa needs his help. Why?

She has a story to tell. He has a mystery to solve. In the midst of danger, passion sizzles between them, taking them by surprise. What will happen when all is brought to light? Will they be able to overcome their traumatic pasts and find love in each other, or will their ghosts have the final say?”

And that was it. That was the birth of my first ever novel that is now gracing the digital and paperback world. All thanks to Richard Savage at Black Velvet Seductions. I would like to thank you for reading my blog post. If you are reading this and you are a writer, I would love to hear how you come up with your ideas, too.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Her Lover’s Face, feel free to click your preferred link below.

Kobo

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

(P.S. In case your curious…no, my high school boyfriend was not abusive.)

Her Lovers FaceFBAdd

 

Crazy World

As we wrestle our way through Covid-19, it’s easy to forget about other circumstances that preceded it, and I want to make sure that Australia hasn’t been forgotten about. Just before things went down with this new virus, these pictures were all over the internet and social media sites:

Our hearts broke for Australia. Many lives were lost and properties were destroyed. Men and women worked tirelessly to save what they could. I couldn’t imagine being on the front lines of something like that. It’s hard when you are trained to do a job, but, yet, feel powerless to do it against such a brutal force of nature. Still, the first responders didn’t give up. They worked hard—endlessly—but the job doesn’t end with them. Rebuilding and bringing life back to a devastated land takes support from everyone.

And to help do that, thirteen authors and Little Quail Press have banded together to bring you

Slow Burn

a charity anthology called Slow Burn. All proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the NSW Rural Fire Service to help support the First Responders in their efforts to rebuild and protect their amazing country. We would like to ask you to join with us and get twelve Australia-based stories in the process for your reading enjoyment. It’s a win-win in my eyes. 😀

“Australia is burning, and the heroes between these pages are going to save it. Amazing authors have banded together to bring you smoking hot firefighter romances to support bush fire relief. From rural Australian settings to the world of mages and shifters, these stories will have you heating up — for more than one reason.

Proceeds from this anthology go towards the NSW Rural Fire Services to help rebuild after the devastation of our summer bushfire season here in Australia.”

Official release date: May 31, 2020 (currently up for pre-order)

Click here to purchase Slow Burn

Book trailer


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A Writer’s Journey

As I sit at work, I can’t help but think about my life and where I am today. When I was younger, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t compelled to join any particular career, although I did eventually wind up in security. I had two passions; ice hockey, which I played for 5 years, and writing.

One of the first stories I can remember writing was about The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had them meet a group called The Teenage Mutant Ninja Cats. Not very original, but I had a blast. As I grew older, I started writing fan-fiction about the Canucks and falling in love with a teammate. Fanciful dreams, but what can I say. 😂

Fast forward to my mid-twenties, I started reading romance novels and thought, “Hey, I can do that,” and so I did, I wrote a story called “Her Lover’s Face.” It was my first full-length novel. I didn’t plan it. I just had a single ‘what if’ thought and ran with it.

After I wrote it, I thought I’d created a gem of a story and put it out there to be critiqued. The responses I got back hit me hard. They tore the story apart, and it left me heartbroken. I ended up putting the story away and stopped writing for a few months. Once I had the courage, I took a step back and reread the critiques and realized much of what they said had merit.

So I rewrote the story and incorporated what I had learned. Eventually, I had the opportunity to pitch to Kensington, and they requested my manuscript. Sadly, a short time later, I received the rejection letter, but he shared some feedback. This time, between raising a family(4 kids) and the rejection, I gave up writing. I didn’t have thick skin at the time, so I focused primarily on my young family.

In 2016, a decade later, my daughter found a writing/reading website, and I decided to check it out. It renewed my love of writing and made me yet again return to my manuscript. Third times a charm, right? This time I read it as a reader and was able to see all the things I still needed to change. So if you hear someone tell you to put the manuscript away for a bit before you start editing, I’d highly recommend listening. lol

I found the courage, after a lot of amazing feedback, to send it to another romance publisher and to my delight, he loved it. He published it in 2018. If you believe in your story, never give up. It will find a home. You just have to keep trying, keep learning. I don’t think the learning ever ends.

I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve written 6 novels, 2 novellas, poetry, and multiple short stories since 2016. 6 stories(2 novels, 1 novelette, 3 short stories) have been published, and 3 others are coming out this year. My hope is to keep on learning and growing my portfolio and hopefully help others find the courage to keep on writing, even when you don’t get the response you hope for.

And btw, not everyone will believe in your story, but every story has a niche, so don’t give up. I have thicker skin now, but that might just be because I’m a mom of teenagers. 🤔😂

I just want to say good luck to all of you that are following after your heart’s desire. Keep believing in your dreams. ♥️

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!

Click here to check out my books on Amazon

You can find my latest short story(a drabble) up for pre-order on Amazon, which is featured in the anthology below, published by Eerie River Publishing.

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Stranded

I think every traveler around the world has probably wondered what would happen if their boat sank or their plane crashed, and they somehow magically survived the disaster. I’m one of those people who can take a stone and turn it into a deadly projectile, hurling it towards the cars behind me. Okay, not literally, but my mind has a bad habit of weaving tales that feel awfully real sometimes.

I guess that’s why I started writing stories, aside from being bullied relentlessly. All the horrid tales of my subconscious needed a place to vent and what better way than on paper. Haha, I’m probably sounding a little like a psycho now. I’m normal, honest. 😉

When I heard about the chance to participate in a supernatural romance anthology with other BVS authors that would be released around Halloween, I jumped at the chance. But I didn’t just want to just do a supernatural romance, I wanted to bring the dead to life and make your heart beat just a little bit faster. And I’m pretty certain that happened to Jace when a storm made his ride just a little bumpy…

Enjoy this short excerpt from “Love from the Mist,” featured in the anthology “Mystic Desire”:

The plane was falling as fast as his heart was beating, sounding like a drum inside his head. Unlike plane crashes on television, they were spinning as they headed straight for the ocean below. Fighting hard to stay standing, the stewardess instructed them to put on the life vests.

Jace helped his neighbor put it on and then put on his own. Over the loudspeaker, a voice boomed into the already noisy cabin. “Follow the steward’s instructions.”

He let go of the woman and gripped the seat in front of him, leaning his head forward.

“I don’t wanna die,” a male voice cried out above the noise.

Jace echoed the man’s sentiment, but he knew the odds. They were going to hit the ground fast and hard. Chances of survival…nada. His heart raced and his palms grew damp, and it felt like everything had begun moving in slow motion, as though someone hit the frame by frame button.

He took a moment to look over each fear-filled face, eyes wide and full of tears. Parents cradled their children. Lovers held each other one more time. Friends said their good-byes. And he, he was alone.

“Brace for impact!”

—-

If you found yourself in this position and you actually survived the crash, landing on a deserted island, what would you do first? What would you hope to find when you open your eyes? Post your answers in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more of the story and would also love to check out the many other wonderful authors in the anthology, click this link:

Amazon

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