Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Broken Faith ...

For about a week now I have been in a mental battle between what I see in reality vs the faith that I had grown up on.

I tell my children all the time it isn’t the words you say it’s the actions ... and when I apply that to the world at large I am not sure what to do with my observation.

My faith feels shaken to it’s core.

I was born and raised Catholic, when we adopted our children I passed that faith onto them. In a lot of ways teaching them about God and Catholicism truly helped the adoption process move along and I honestly can say it was part of the reason the adoption was successful. Faith is something each person has to build for themselves and it takes years to form.

And just seconds to crumble.

Like most humans I’ve had my own personal faith tested numerous times. Each time something new and challenging came up to block how I feel about God and organized religion. This time though it feels different. It feels, devastating. Specifically with the organization as a whole.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve had issues with the physical place of worship I attend. Back in 2007 when I had to make the decision, my life vs continuing the pregnancy, a lot of guilt plagued me, and still does to this day. Because I am here now, you know what choice I made. I went to confession to cleanse my broken soul and the priest that I spoke to, he made it worse. He didn’t act as God’s representative he acted as a foolish man and he hurt my faith and belief in God himself. From 2007 through 2014 I couldn’t attend church without shedding tears continuously throughout Mass. In 2013 my mentor told me to call Prince of Peace and ask to receive counseling from one of her priests. Father Sebastian, he truly healed my broken soul in regards to the 2007 incident.

As a result when we were given our blessings in 2015 with the children, I immediately began the indoctrination of Catholicism and teaching them all the ways us as Catholics can and should live.

Because my son is special needs he wasn’t able to attend the RCIA classes like the typical person would. Instead we did it all at home. It was special, it was reverent, it was sacred. But through this process he still managed to become close spiritually with the main priest of POP.

A priest that is now on the active investigation list. A priest that targeted young boys, a priest I left alone with my son.

I don’t know how to get over that, that last sentence. I can’t stop thinking that these children were a gift from God, a gift I prayed and begged for. And in turn I led my child to a situation that could have turned bad. Worse given the fact my children were traumatized already once in their lives.

I always thought that as a mother I would instinctively know what was best for my children and have the ability to protect them from true danger. This whole situation with the Galveston-Houston dioceses just shows me I really can’t. And that scares me.

Once again the physical place of worship I made apart of my life and my children’s life has let me down. I know that everyone who makes up the church is human and to fall from grace is something humans can and will do. But how do I recover from that? How do I look my kids in the eyes and say “You are safe here, you can worship and be safe” when now I don’t even know if that is true?

My son took the news of his priest very hard. My daughter is angry, my son is heartbroken.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, a priest from my own past who is now the Cardinal in the area, he covered it up in 2018 when he was made aware of the situation. Didn’t investigate just said it wasn’t true. How do I look past that? Look past someone I thought was more than just the leader of an individual church but the leader of millions.

People I know have been saying for the past two years that the Church is going to be exposed for his sexual issues with children. Now I knew it happened I have read the reports in other parish’s but, I didn’t really get it. I didn’t believe that it would be possible for my faith to come crashing down.

Now I wonder what the Pope actually does know. I wonder if everything my mom has been telling me since President Trump’s election to office if it is true.

I wonder what I have to put my belief’s in.

What I know is true, I Believe in a higher power. I believe Jesus walked this earth. I believe in the miracles he performed. I do Believe in him.

But maybe that’s where it stops for now ... because how can I believe in an institution that continues to push child abuse under the rug? It’s different now. I see what abuse does to a child. It isn’t just a phantom thought or concept in my head anymore. I see my children and their suffering at the hands of others.

So what do I do now with these feelings? I’m back to that lost 20 something in 2007 where my core foundation is shattered. Except this time I don’t think turning to God and counseling is my answer.

I don’t know what is. And this time I have the added burden of being a mom. My children’s spiritual leader. Do I fake it for them or do I give the honesty. Tell them ‘Mom doesn’t know what to believe anymore.”

My mentor told me this is the devil’s work and it is his attack on our religion. He’s probably right. But I don’t know how to fight this battle. Because at the end of the day I led my son and daughter into a situation that could have re-injured their world forever. And there is no forgiving or forgetting that. I misread someone, I didn’t follow my very first gut emotion, I blindly followed.

How can I do that ever again? 

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Wrap Up!

It’s that time of year, when I list my top 5’s for Books, Movies and Other Stuff! Like last, this 2018 year flew by in a blur. As always I am going to start with books because that’s what I enjoy most!

Top 5 Books

This year I felt like there was more ‘average’ books than ‘outstanding’ books that I read. Two off the top of my were out of this world and the others were very high in the ‘I would read again’ column.

Earlier in the year I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. For almost all of the year this was the only book that truly blew me away. It was way better than the movie, and that’s saying a lot I enjoyed the movie. This book gave such vivid detail you felt like you were apart of the world and you didn’t want to leave. Adult or teen this book is one you will enjoy!

It wasn’t until two weeks ago when the second book of the year blew me away. This was one that was extremely unexpected. Live Long and ... What I Learned Along the Way by William Shatner & David Fisher completely caught me off guard. Not only do I normally avoid nonfiction and autobiographical books but I also avoid books that teach a lesson. I just usually can’t get into them. I selected this one for the simple reason I needed to hit my 115 books and it was available on the Libby Library App. Well I am so glad I did because this book was hands down the best read of 2018 for me. It felt like the authors were speaking directly to me! Add in that Shatner himself was narrating and this one was a knock them out of the park success! You HAVE to give it a try. His message is outstanding.

Justin Cronin has a series, The Passage that I’ve written about before. I read book 1 years ago and book 2 & 3 this year. It’s book 3 that really did it for me. The City of Mirrors. As a reminder this was the series that I didn’t realize was a vampire series. This took place a lot on Texas in book 3, specifically the area of Houston where I work, so that was really neat to see how it was all portrayed in the apocalypse. This is a longer book series, they are quite thick and require investing a lot of time. When I look at all 3 books as a whole I really am glad I took the time to read them. If you want a book series that is fantasy with some paranormal but not in an ‘in your face’ sort of way and without all the sex that surrounds vampires usually, this is the book series for you!

Now I can’t remember in the past if I have included A.L. Kessler in my annual wrap up. I try to not show favoritism towards authors who are my friends. But, she has these two series out, cozy mystery & apocalyptic series, that I absolutely adore. The first book Rabbits Out of Hats in her cozy mystery really keeps you smiling. It was so light and fun that the pages practically turned themselves. Then her series Children of the Apocalypse I really really love. I forgot I read this book earlier in this year, I thought I read it last year. Book 3 Behold Death. You have these teens who eventually have to take over their father’s jobs as the powers that keep the world balanced. For instance, death, the grim reaper. It really makes you wonder sometimes if elements like this actually real. If you’re looking for either of these types of series books Amy is the way to go. I love her work, and I’m not just saying that because she is a friend.

Last I feel the need to group these two authors into the same post. While they are two different series they both impacted me the same way. They are huge successes in their fields and if I could ever have their kind of success I would consider it a blessing. They each have cozy mystery series that are just good easy books to read. I gave almost all of them 4 stars because they didn’t blow me away but they did make me keep reading more and more. Sue Grafton & Janet Evanovich each have these sassy women characters that I loved tremendously. Sue Grafton I read all of her books, A through Y, in her mystery series and Janet Evanovich I had read 20 out of 26 Stephanie Plum books. Overall really great reads if you’re into cozy mysteries!

Moving onto movies ... this was a bit easier. 

When I look at movies I just loved for the sake of lovin’ the movie the first one that comes to mind is Bright with Will Smith. This was a Netflix movie that I have watched a few times this year and really really loved! It was different and enjoyable beyond my expectations. Will Smith plays a cop character who was hurt in the line of duty because of a ‘minority species’. The conflict resolution of the movie really was excellent with how the characters wrapped up each of their issues. I hope there is a sequel.

Next would have to be Infinity Wars. I cried In the first 10 minutes when Loki was slaughtered. I know most people who saw it had to of cried! It was SO emotional. I look forward to the next movie where we see what happens after Thanos has to live with his decisions. Hopefully it doesn’t make me cry again.

Instant Family is a movie based on a real family, a couple who decided to adopt older children, three siblings. This movie was so well done. It spoke directly to my family. Every single thing that happened in the movie applied to the first 6 months of my children living in our house after the State placed them with us. I spent the entire movie crying, I mean just crying. It was so real and vivid. If you ever, ever, thought about adoption or wondered what it was like for families who have to build themselves in a non-traditional way, go see this movie. It was hands down, amazing. Best movie of 2018.

Peter Rabbit jumps out at me next. That movie was fun and very enjoyable with my husband and kids. We have watched it a few times on television just to pass the time doing something the whole family can enjoy together.

Last but not least, Deadpool 2. I don’t think I need to say anything else. Everyone knows Ryan Reynolds is always good for an enjoyable time and a good laugh when he don’s the DP suit. Great movie series, I hope they don’t push it to far with a DP3 that doesn’t live up to it’s 1 & 2 counter parts.

Now I want to talk about some movie let down’s. I know I am probably in the minority on these and I refrained from posting review but I still felt strongly.

Black Panther this movie just didn’t do it for me, I think of all the MCU movies this is my least favorite. Granted I still like’d it way more than most of the DC universe so I’m not saying it was crap! It was still a good movie I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt like I should have. And in a similar notion, AquaMan, I was bored through this whole movie. Yes he is a good looking man and yes his muscles should make all women melt at his feet. But, I need more than a half naked hottie running around I need some meat to the plot and this plot just didn’t do it for me. I was also kind of bored in the latest Fantastic Beasts. But of the three movies just mentioned I liked it the most.

I’m going to add the theater plays to this list. For the few years my husband and I have been frequenting Theater Under The Stars and I think some are worth noting here. This year in 2018 I saw Bright Star, Memphis, Oklahoma, The Wiz, and Beauty and the Beast. I let my daughter go to Hamilton instead so I missed out on that one. Of these 5 Bright Star & Oklahoma were my top two with Beauty and the Beast narrowly missing the #2 spot. I have probably seen about 20, maybe 25 plays & musicals as an adult and sometimes it is just amazing to me how these actors and actresses perform. We have started taking our kids with us to the theater, trying to expose them to culture. They are loving it as well. I highly recommend Theater Under the Stars to anyone in Houston!!

Well I think this is a good recap of the movies, books and others that encompassed my 2018. I’m curious if you agree or disagree with these titles. I’m looking forward to next year but I think the one change I am going to do ... reduce my reading goal. 115 books was just too much pressure! Haha. Happy New Years people of the blogger world.

** Side note, I am having technical difficulties with my IPad that is why none of the titles are in italics. Please forgive me. **

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: Live Long And ... by William Shatner

Title: Live Long And ... What I Learned Along The Way

Author: William Shatner

Source: Harris County Library

Purchase Here: AMAZON


"I have always felt," William Shatner says early in his newest memoir, that "like the great comedian George Burns, who lived to 100, I couldn’t die as long as I was booked." And Shatner is always booked.
Still, a brief health scare in 2016 forced him to take stock. After mulling over the lessons he's learned, the places he's been, and all the miracles and strange occurrences he's witnessed over the course of an enduring career in Hollywood and on the stage, he arrived at one simple rule for living a long and good life: don't die.
It's the only one-size-fits-all advice, Shatner argues in Live Long and..:What I Learned Along the Way, because everyone has a unique life―but, to help us all out, he's more than willing to share stories from his unique life. With a combination of pithy humor and thoughtful vulnerability, Shatner lays out his journey from childhood to peak stardom and all the bumps in the road. (Sometimes the literal road, as in the case of his 2,400-mile motorcycle trip across the country with a bike that didn't function.)
William Shatner is one of our most beloved entertainers, and he intends never to stop entertaining. His funny, provocative, and poignant reflections offer an unforgettable read about a remarkable man.


I don't generally like non-fiction, specifically auto-biographical. But this book def broke that mold. There was SOOOO much in this book that I completely felt attached to, like he wrote it just for me to read and bond to. It was amazing.

It has been a LONG time since I have taken the time to write a review for a book. In fact I was thinking about all of the books I have read in 2018 and felt a little depressed that I didn't have that ONE book this year that truly knocked me off my feet. Thankfully I had the smart idea to check this book out from the library today. With only 12 days left in the year that is cutting it kinda short but this book, THIS BOOK, blew me away.

I listened to the audio version and Mr. Shatner is by far my favorite voice for audio. I don't know if it is because it took me back to my Star Trek world or watching him on other TV shows but his voice was extremely soothing.

What a fascinating mind Mr. Shatner clearly has and I certainly feel like not only could I take away stuff from this book but I truly feel like he taught me something. He taught me about just saying YES!

Do you say yes a lot? Or are you like me and always calculate risk and get wishy washy on decisions? I think I need to just say yes. 

My new favorite quote is from this book. "A life without passion is like a black and white movie, it lacks the potential richness." Have you heard any other quote that was better than this? Because it's so true!

Love love LOVE this book! 

I highlight recommend this book and just, have not read any other this year that blew me away like this. Go out and read it too.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A 7 Year Old's Impression ... My Memory of 41

Being President of the United States gives a few lucky men the opportunity to influence so many youth on a mass scale. In a time when the country is now mourning the loss of 41, everyone is in a state of reflection. I’m no different. I don’t remember President Regan even though he was the president when I was born. President Bush was the first that I actually remember. And remembering him is one of the memories I have as a young child that sticks out most vividly in my mind.

There are few others like the birth of my brother, the Challenger exploding, Reading Rainbow in 1st grade and then, President Bush addressing the nation.

I can’t remember if I was flying to Houston or flying home from Houston, but I remember President Bush. I was at the airport with my mom sitting with our luggage in Kansas City when President Bush was on the television. I remember looking up and seeing him talking to the nation. I don’t remember what it was about, maybe the Gulf War given the time period. But I remember him, and the Seal of the United States. As a young girl I was awe struck by the sight. Here was a man, powerful, strong, and capturing.

It was in that very moment that a young 7 (maybe I was 8) girl decided she was going to be a lawyer and then one day President herself. From that moment on every decision I made was with the goal of serving my country in politics. And it was a goal I intended to keep.

But like every dream of a young kid, life changes in college. I took a Macro-Economics class at Sam Houston State University and the rest was history. Law school no more, Business and Economics for me.

That doesn’t change the fact that I vividly remember looking at the screen and watching the President. I remember looking around the airport and adults were all focused on what he was saying. It was an amazing moment that I will never forget, seeing the power of one man, a man who stopped people in their tracks when he spoke.

Like President Bush I wasn’t born in Houston but I do call it my home. I’m proud to have shared a city with him, him and his wife. Watching her funeral earlier this year was sad, tears were shed and it was heartbreaking to see the President without his life partner. This week’s services are sure to bring more tears to my eyes as the country honors a man who gave his life for the good of our people.

I wished I would have gotten to meet President and Mrs. Bush. I’ve heard how nice they were. My heart felt sincerest condolences goes out to the entire Bush family. I hope that I can find a way to make it to visit the President at his church on Wednesday evening.

I wish I had better words to describe the impact he left on a young 7 year old girl back in Kansas City … but I just can’t muster anymore than I have.

Rest in Peace President Bush – your impact on our world will be felt for many more generations to come.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A New Hope - A Stem Cell Journey

As a person who suffers from chronic issues I am like many out there, always searching for that cure that takes away the pain. In early August, while I was at a stop light, a teenager backed into my car. It was a minor accident with unexpected results.

In 2009, while I was on one of my fitness kicks, I ended up needing back surgery on my L5 & S1. Talk about a pain, wowzers. But once the surgery happened and the bone fragment was removed, I was all better. I had fallen while in the middle of a ‘boot camp’ running course. Well, as you know, once you have back pains it is easy to become reinjured and that’s what happened.

I don’t completely understand the mechanics of kinetic energy and the transference of it but what I do know, my back and shoulder hurt after my car took a rocking when the kid backed into me. My right shoulder was killing me, I was laying on the horn with my arm extended fully on impact. Looking back I can see why that was a dumb decision, I should have been more relaxed and maybe the impact wouldn’t have jarred me so much.

Two and a half months later I’m at the point in my recovery that it’s either surgery to repair the herniated disc that happened or live with the pain. The law firm that I hired suggested I try stem cells.

Not sure if you all know much about stem cells but that is something that my husband and I have researched. I first really got interested in it after hearing a Joe Rogan podcast with Mel Gibson when they were discussing how it has helped them or their family members. I knew about the controversy of it with embryos and abortions but what I didn’t know was all the different ways you could actually acquire them.

And that’s where this new journey begins. When it was suggested I said absolutely, I don’t want anymore surgeries. Remember I am just 18 months out of my hysterectomy which took a large toll on my body. Not to mention I am the mom of a special needs son who requires a lot of my attention. I don’t have the capacity to be down for any length of time.

I went into my consultation with the orthopedic surgeon who administers the stem cells on a Tuesday. He was informing me of the different successes he personally has felt by the stem cells and some of the others he has witnessed. Once the exam was done and all of the questions were answered they went to get the infusion.

The doctor told me that the auto-immune issues I suffer from should have healing results within 72 hours and my back would take 3 weeks to 6 months to heal. I was game, this sounded like a miracle. But like any medical instant gratification I was skeptical. I’ve suffered from chronic pain for so long sometimes it’s hard to remember what life without pain is like. But, I’m always up for an attempt.

The infusion took twenty minutes, and fifteen of them were trying to find a vein. It was painless and very easy. Then I went home. I felt a little high about an hour afterwards. I’ve not been high in real life so it was what I assumed being high felt like. It is really hard to explain but I told my husband I just felt odd.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt significantly less pain. It was like wow, this has to be a placebo, no way it worked this fast. Within 48 hours I was virtually pain free. It was amazing. Here is a list of all the things that I noticed changing within the first FOUR days.

- My lower back pain has been reduced at least 90%. I still have some twinges of pain when I move wrong but, I am not in constant pain. When the pain does hit, it vanishes just as quick as it came.

- My sleep has improved. Probably because my back isn’t in pain. The past month (prior to the infusion) I had to take steroids when I woke up in order to function and move around. Because the disc are pressing on nerves. It’s been two and a half week’s and I have only taken 1 5MG steroid. I was taking 10-15/day for a while there just to ease the pain, not get rid of it.

- My right wrist, as you may know or may not, in the 90’s I was in Martial Arts. Which included board breaking. Well I was as stubborn then as I am now and didn’t always follow my instructors advice. During board breaking with a palm heel strike I choose to not listen. My right wrist has hurt ever since, for TWENTY years. Within 48 hours it was PAIN FREE!

- When I woke up Saturday, just 4 days after, I thought I was crazy. I’ve had double vision damn near my whole life. It’s gone. I mean, there is a touch of it still, but it isn’t noticeable at all. My glasses have prism’s inside them and now I can’t wear them because they hurt my eyes too much. I had issues with my eyes auto-focusing and now that seems gone too. I do still feel like the astigmatisms  is there. My eyes feel like they still need some assistance I just can’t go in yet to see how much. Because I can tell they are still changing.

- My Eye Thyroid Disease, an auto-immune disorder, feels way less. I no longer am experiencing the pressure around my eyes. I don’t have the constant need to apply pressure to ease the tension in my eyebrows or just over my eye lids. It’s crazy.

- Sjogren Syndrome, another auto-immune disease, seems better. This causes dry eyes and dry mouth. If anyone of you ever ate with me you would know the amount of water I generally consume in a meal is easily 4-5 large cups. I easily drank 160 ounces of water a day. Over the last week (remember I’m at 2.5 weeks out now) I can tell a major decrease in my water craving. I also notice my eyes seem to not be as dry. Which is such a relief!

- Rheumatoid Arthritis pain in my joints is gone. You heard me, gone. My left ankle has been giving me non-stop problems since April 2017 and now, nothing. Thank God! My left foot and right wrist have been a constant pain which of course required horrible medication for. I gained almost 60 pounds on the RA medication in 4 months. So now I am just praying I can reverse all that with this infusion seeming to have helped the RA so much.

There has been one unexpected consequence from the stem cells that I am working to fix. My eyes now have a different pain, pain from the light. It’s like they are very very sensitive and I didn’t see that coming. My glasses had transition lenses so they protected me from the sun or other bright lights. Now because I can’t wear them my eyes are left exposed. My husband bought me some very nice sunglasses with that wonderful UV protection which instantly eased the pain. Now if I could just walk around indoors wearing them without looking crazy I’d be all set.

This has truly been a wild experience. I went in for help with my lower back and not only did I receive it, but I had so many other happy windfalls of side effects. What a gift!

What really has me complexed about all of this though is, why isn’t it covered under insurance to begin with? Just think if we could all get an infusion of this to help aid in the cure of so many different things, it would save thousands of dollars.

I will never understand the insurance world, and I don’t know that I want to. They would rather profit than see people succeed. This stem cell treatment, it’s a success. I can’t wait to see how my back feels in a month or two more months. It would be wonderful to not have those shooting nerve pains racing down my left leg. Or the need to flinch every time I stand up. 90% relief is a huge thing, but I guess time will tell if I can get to 100%.

I am going to document this journey because I think it’s important for people to know what options they have out there. Because people suffer daily, and maybe this could help.

The Doctor’s name is Dr. Henry Small - here is his website.  

Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Blood Purple!

6 years ago today I became an officially published author. It was a huge deal for me to accomplish this, as it would be for anyone. My parents joined me for dinner that night to celebrate along with my hubby & two of my best friends. The writing community had welcomed me and it was the beginning. The beginning of my dreams coming true. It was by far one of the most memorable moments in my life, right up there with my wedding day, my children's adoption day, my graduation days, and the day I received my black belt in martial arts.

When moments happen in life that change you forever, you tend to remember those. Writing had always been an outlet for me, that wasn't anything new. The new part was letting the world read my writings, letting my work become judged, putting myself out there, exposed.

It's kind of like having that nightmare where you show up to school naked, everyone points and laughs. That's sort of what I was afraid of, when releasing BLOOD PURPLE. I was petrified I would be shunned.

I didn't understand why I had such trouble in English growing up. Grammar, spelling, conjugating sentences, you name it, I sucked. But what I could do was write a hell of a good story. I was very creative. In my debate class I wrote original oratory and the best part, no grammar involved as it was a speech. I loved it and I really enjoyed the whole process. I look at my writing sort of like that. The main difference is people DO see the written words this time around.

But, I took the risk. I sent my manuscript off. The first company I sent it to was an England based publisher who liked it, but didn't publish books in the genre I wrote so they suggested I find a small press who did. I next sent it to a small publishing house in Canada. I ended up contracting 3 books with them before it was over.

If I knew then what I knew now, I would still choose to not go into indie publishing straight away. I learned a lot signing with two publisher's. I ended up actually having 4 books total with small press before I went completely indie. Both publishers taught me something different and I am glad that I had that opportunity to learn.

The Faces Of Blood Purple

My debut novel has had a couple face lifts. I remember when I was emailed the original cover, I cried. I had thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread! haha. Oh what did I know back then, I sold a lot that first month so hey, guess it had something right!

I have always had an affinity for swords and in my mind this book was represented best by my weapon of choice. I was once asked if I had any sword training in my martial arts and I hate that the answer is no. I would love to someday acquire sword training, if nothing, just to say I could do it.

Don't get me started on the idea of making my own sword, oh boy! One day my hubby will have his own forge shop for stuff like this, once we can retire on my novel revenue, LOL. Then I will make the KADIN sword.

I can picture it perfectly in my mind ...

When I separated with XOXO Publishing I had asked a friend who did graphic art to help make a cover. As you can see, once again, the sword is present.

"I'm not just a princess, I am a warrior." I love that quote. It gave me shivers when I wrote it the first time and every time I read it since then I still feel the goosebumps. Nikole in so many ways was me. Is me.

She's flawed, she's doubtful, she's scared. But she is also strong, loyal and willing to do what it takes to survive.

She's a warrior.

I love her, and everything about this character.

Many times in a books life cycle there comes a time when the author needs to re-brand. My sales had sort of died off and I wanted to change all of my covers. This time the sword came back to the focal point, and the blood, I love the blood.

The cover is similar yet different and I think it catches the eye.

This has been the cover I've used longest and yep, you've guest it, it's time for a new cover to come out.

That probably won't happen for a while as life is pretty hectic right now and I don't exactly know what all I want in it. I toss ideas back and forth in my head but I am sure you know the one thing that will for sure be present.

The sword.

When it's all said and done BLOOD PURPLE is at the core of my writing. I cut my teeth on the Algula world and there is nothing I would change about the characters or the stories. I think they are perfect as is.

I would however change some of the editing jobs that transpired back in 2012 but at some point you have to just accept, this was a first novel, there are mistakes. That's one thing as an indie author, I control the editing. With the publisher the editing went kind of haywire and I know that there are still issues left over from that first job.

But that's okay. I feel like the story can still stand on it's own, especially compiled with the other three books in the series. So I just have let it go.

Happy Birthday BLOOD PURPLE! You launched my writing career, you gave me something to be proud of as an adult, and you continue to give me courage to write, as often as I can.

One day you will be a household name, like Anne Rice, Twilight & True Blood. But until then, just know, you will always be my favorite set of characters, deep in my heart.

To Nikole, Zayn, Leigh, Haydar, Derrik, Dominic, Alec, Adara, Nasir & Mehmet - Happy 6 Years of literary life. Here's to another 6 more! Maybe by then you will all be on the big screen and then who knows what will happen from there.

If you haven't already checked out the Blood Series you can click the link below, happy readings! BLOOD PURPLE ebook is ALWAYS Free ....

Pick Me Up Here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Release Day: The Ones Who Lived

Order your Copy Here

Anthony and Amelia are regular teens with regular issues, that is, until one day after school they arrive home to find their lives are changing forever. No one knows what causes it, but all of the adults are dead. The only ones left are the young and teenagers. Together, with the help of their best friend Sam and his cousin Sunny, they have to learn to survive and make it through to the next day.

What will happen when their new community is under attack and they have to learn to trust complete strangers? The Ones Who Lived will either come out alive or die fighting.

Hey there! Once again it's release day and this new series, The Ones, is quite different! This is my 20th published completed story and my 23rd story. I cannot believe I have written so much in just 7 years!!

My daughter had asked me to create a story for her, and since she is a teen, I went with Young Adult. For the most part the only YA I read is dystopian and one thing I always wondered, what happens when the apocalypse actually starts? We all have read the stories where they take place years into the future of the dystopian culture, but I have never read that moment when it all happened.

Last year my family vacationed in Saint Pete's Florida to visit my cousin who was graduating high school. It was on this trip that my husband and I started tossing around ideas for the game plan on how a bunch of adults were going to become killed off.

Let me tell you, there was quite the debate going through our little clan on why the adults would die. I'm not going to spoil it for you as you gotta read the book to find out what the actual killing catalyst is, but I can tell you, my hubby was crazy with his ideas.

I will give you this much, my hubby wanted the cause of death to be sex. Mind you, this was meant to be a YA book, so how would I get a bunch of kids to read it if I was promoting 'sex kills'? Craziness. Anyway ....

Lucky for the reading audience I can safely say SEX is not the cause of death! Whew!

There is no secret that witch craft is among the topic in this world. You find out quickly that one of the main characters is a witch! What we don't know, including me the author, is how deep into the witch craft this series will take us. I haven't decided yet. I love bad guys, as many of you already know. Part of me really wants book 2 to be a 'bad guy' book which would then let us explore all about the coven's we see in the epilogue. Who knows what will happen, certainly not me!

You all know I am a pantser and any idea of 'planning' makes me uncomfortable! So the next in the series will just have to be a surprise for all of us.

What I really loved about writing this story was the challenges it gave me. I wanted to make sure it was 'easy' enough for teens to read without making the topics too far over their heads. I also needed to make it 'clean'. Which, if you know my writing, sex and cussing typically come up in  a lot of my fiction. The worst word I use is 'crap' and if I remember right only a handful of times. There are a couple, and I mean just a couple, of kissing scenes. My daughter says there needs to be more romance in book 2!

But this was very much geared towards the younger reading population, I would say 7th through 12th grade mostly. That doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. Each of the Beta Readers who gave me feedback all were very pleased with the story and how everything fell into place. One reader told me she didn't think it was a YA novel because it could apply to anyone. So that was very good feedback, I wanted to make sure everyone could attach to the characters.

I am hoping to start book two by January or February that way it can release again in September. That's the only plan I have currently, we will see how it goes!

I can't wait for all of you to go out and read it, tell me your thoughts! It really is a lot of fun and I know you will enjoy it.

See you all soon!

P.S. If you want a signed print copy I have a few more left from the Pre-Orders, I'll be placing another order in the next week or so. You can email me at: Hardback Orders will be $18.99 plus $3 media mail shipping and Paperback orders will be $8.99 plus $3 media mail shipping (US & US Territories Only for $3).