Saturday, February 23, 2013

Full Steam Ahead

I'll start off by saying caffeine has been a godsend this week, and I'm sorry for the lack of posts. Unfortunately, life sometimes gets hectic and I have to take a step back and breathe a bit before pushing ahead. In case you're wondering what the heck has been happening to slow me down, I'll share with you the brief outline.

  • One sick child, which slowly morphs into three sick children...all home from school...for 5 straight days. 
  • Massive undertaking to disinfect the household. 
  • One whole day devoted to visiting with a couple of my favorite people :) 
  • Writing. Lots and lots of writing. 
  • Writing a paper on polynomials and the functions thereof. 
  • Tutoring. 
  • Hunting down information on Ella Fitzgerald for my 9 year old's book report that's due Tuesday when the library is fresh out of anything and everything Ella Fitzgerald. (If only she had chosen Beyonce Knowles!)
  • Maintaining my wavering exercise routine. 
  • Reading. 
  • Carving out some quality time with the hubby. 
I'm sure there's something I missed in there, but that's basically it in a nutshell. I have to say, I am grateful that I have accomplished any writing at all this week, but I suppose the fact that I roll out of bed at 5 a.m. does help that along a bit :) What can I say, momma had her cape on this week!

Thanks for sticking with me, guys!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sneak Peek Saturday! ~Heart's Desire

Chapter 4

I haven’t talked to Charity for weeks. She avoids me in the halls at school, she doesn’t call and she never asks me for favors anymore. It’s like she she’s dropped off the face of the earth. Part of it is my fault. I don’t reach out to her either. I don’t know if I am ready for that. Frankly, I am still ticked off at her. Well, hurt might be a more apt word for what I am feeling right now. I can’t get over the fact that she knew what Ethan was up to and didn’t bother to tell me, her friend. From my perspective, she let me down. She helped Ethan make me look like a fool.
            On the plus side, The Incident has won me some fans. A couple of girls, Brynne and Aysia, have become my second and third shadow while at school. They think what I did was some groundbreaking event and a testament to girls everywhere not to take crap from a guy. They back me up like Charity should be doing, and hiss at anyone who has anything negative to say. And there are plenty.
            Sam is like a plague on my existence. Her friends are even worse, if that’s possible. When I’m not seeing her and Ethan together acting like the perfect freaking couple, I am getting constant updates on their love life. I know what they did at the latest party. I know how Sam got grounded when her parents walked in on them having sex on their couch. I also know about those five minutes when they broke up because Ethan cheated on her, but he managed to beg off of it just like he did with me.
            I can’t help the sick sense of satisfaction that consumes me when I think of how Sam, that home wrecking whore, is getting what she deserves. I only wish that Ethan was too. If only Karma would hurry up and do her job.
             Speaking of home wreckers… I am standing outside my sixth period math class leaning against a row of unused lockers, killing time before I am sequestered in the stuffy corner room for the next fifty minutes, when I see Sam’s dull reddish orange hair across the way. She is talking with one of her friends, the tall blonde girl who has been spreading the majority of rumors. But she doesn’t know that. Like she senses me looking, her heads turns in my direction and our eyes lock. A silent understanding passes between us and I know, my day is about to get interesting.
            She says something else to her friend and together they cut through the wave of students heading to their next class toward me.
            “Just so you know,” she says in her haughty tone as she stops in front of me, “Ethan and I are together.”
            Every muscle in my body is tight and I can feel my heart trying to beat out of my chest as a bolt of adrenalin rushes through me. I hate confrontation but I refuse to show weakness in front of this girl. I am surprised when I am able to keep my voice from shaking. “Good for you. And I care, why?” As she speaks, I am vaguely aware that I am experiencing some kind of tunnel vision in which she is my central point of focus.
            She sneers as if I should be able to answer my own question. “I’ve heard what you’ve been telling everyone, but we’re happy. He doesn’t want you anymore.”
            I laugh darkly. “Right, like I would want him anyway. As far as I’m concerned, you can have him.” My body is vibrating with built up anger and my head feels like someone has put it in a vise. If I could form a single thought other than the fact that I want to wring this girl’s neck, I would be wondering if a person could combust from sheer rage.
            “I already have him.” Her lips twist into a cruel smile. “So I suggest you quit worrying so much about what we’re doing and get a life.”
            That’s it. I want to kill this girl with my bare hands, but I don’t get the chance.
            From out of nowhere, Sam’s friend appears and grabs her by the arm, tugging her back. “Come on, Sam. We should get to class.” She’s watching me with a look I can’t decipher just yet.
            Reluctantly, Sam lets her pull her away, glaring at me one last time before she goes. After she’s disappeared from sight, sound floods my ears as the tunnel suddenly drops away. Inhaling deeply, I feel some of the pressure in my body wash away, leaving my muscles loose and rubbery. When I turn to enter the classroom, I am surprised to see a handful of my classmates standing there watching me with odd looks on their faces.
            “Damn, Tess was about to kick some serious ass,” one of the boys says appreciatively.
            “Seriously, you looked like you were going to take that girl down,” another tells me. They make an opening for me to pass through.
            I ignore the fact that the distance between me and the lockers I had been propped against moments before, has increased by several feet. I don’t remember moving an inch. Had I taken a moment to think about it, I might find that little detail frightening. It’s like a blackout moment, in which my body and mind were not in sync. It reminds me of the day I slapped Ethan. Right now, however, my only goal is to get to my seat and submerge myself in whatever assignment the teacher has planned for us today.
            When the bell rings to indicate the start of class, I slump down in my chair. Ms. Arding lowers her oversized body into a chair at the front of the room and scans her sights over us. “Who knows how to find the square root of a triangle?”
            I slide further down and keep my eyes downcast. I haven’t studied in a while. I’ve been too depressed. If she calls on me, everyone will know how lost I am. The last thing I want to do is make a fool of myself in front of an entire classroom.
            “Treyvon,” she calls out, and I hear the boy behind me groan.
            Silently, I am thanking God above for sparing me this singular embarrassment. Small favors—I tell myself to be thankful for each and every one.


“Have you heard about Ethan?” Brynne is practically jumping up and down in her blue and red bowling shoes. For a brief moment, I hope she slips on the polished wood. That about sums up my attitude lately, mean and hateful, at least on the inside. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? If so, I’m screwed.
            I hold up my hand. “I came here to bowl. I don’t care what Ethan is doing, has done, or will do, now or ever.”
            Her exuberant smile slips, but she quickly recovers. “Oh, sure. I get it. No talk of exes tonight.” I can’t help smiling when she pretends to zip her lips and throw away the key. She’s so childlike sometimes. It’s sort of refreshing.
            I select a pretty marbled pink ball and dip my fingers into the holes, pleased to find it’s a perfect fit. Brynne selects hers—a blue and red ball that matches her shoes—and we carry them to Lane two.
            It’s nice getting out of the house. When Brynne caught up with me after last period and asked if I wanted to hang out tonight, my gut reaction was to say no. Her incessant pleading eventually broke me, and now I have to admit, it was a good idea. Anything is better than sitting at home listening to angry girl music and wallowing in self-pity. Again.
            “Okay, so.” It seems Brynne has stashed a spare key somewhere. I resist an eye roll and tell myself it’s time to quit being so antisocial and start having some fun. “First of all, I am so glad you agreed to come out tonight. You totally saved me from another one of my father’s business dinners.”
            “No problem,” I say with a smile. But I’m curious. “Where’s Alaysia, though. I’m surprised you didn’t ask her to come along.”
            “Unfortunately, she couldn’t get out of it.” Seeing my puzzled frown she explains. “Her dad and my dad work for the same company. I guess her mother insisted she go along. One of the downsides of being an only child.”
            “Oh, you have brothers and sisters?”
            Brynne busies herself setting up the screen so our names and scores are displayed overhead for everyone to see. “Just my brother, Bryan.”
            I finished lacing up my shoes and, seeing that she has put my name first, I pick up my ball and get into position. “Bryan?” I rack my brain, but I don’t think I know of any Brian.
            “Oh, you don’t know him,” she confirms. “He graduated last year. He took a year off so he could do some traveling. I hope I’ll get a chance to do that. I’ve always wanted to visit other countries, like Machu Picchu,” she says wistfully.
            “I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think Machu Picchu is a country.” I grin back at her and then throw the ball down the lane. The pins crash together a moment later, leaving nothing in their wake.
            “Oh, I know,” Brynne says coolly. “I just meant I wanted to go see it. I think it would be cool to visit the kind of stuff we only get to see in books.” I knock down seven pins and pick up a spare with my next two rolls. “You’re really good at this.”
            “Thanks. And I know what you mean. I’ve always dreamed of visiting the castles of Scotland.”
            “Not to mention all those men running around in their kilts. Do you think they wear boxers or briefs?” She waggles her eyebrows.
            “I’ve heard true Scotsmen forgo underwear altogether,” I say, playing along. Brynne’s knees wobble and she pretends that she is lightheaded as she stumbles and braces herself on the ball return. I burst out laughing at her crazy antics.
            We have so much fun tonight that by the time I crawl into bed and my head hits the pillow; I realize that for the first time, I haven’t thought about Ethan all day. I also notice that I feel lighter than ever, like an invisible weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I know it has something to do with tonight. Who would have thought that simply having fun could have made such a difference? Heck, who would have thought that Brynne would turn out to be such a fun person to hang out with?
            I go to sleep that night with a smile on my face and hope in my heart that tomorrow will follow the same pattern. I’m tired of being tired. Tomorrow is going to be the start of a new day and a new outlook on the future.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Review~Typist #1, Working for the Billionaire Novelist by Mimi Strong

Published: November 24, 2012
Length: 47 pages

Tori, a recent college graduate, is battling unemployment with odd jobs. Nothing's quite as odd as hiking up to a secluded cabin to work for a mysterious writer. Tori accepts the typist contract through a temp agency, and has no idea who the client is.

The man who opens the door is Smith Wittingham, a self-made billionaire who started in biotech and is now trying his hand at bestselling novels.

He's divorced, eccentric, and dead sexy.

Erotic Romance Series - contains EXPLICIT SEX, including some ROUGH SEX AND ROLEPLAYING. This is not a sweet romance. M/F, 18+.

Overall, I liked this short story. It has a really good premise, which is what drew me in. The writing is pretty compelling, too. I took a liking to Tori right from the start and couldn't help laughing at her behavior when she encountered the "killer moose". I don't know anyone who would willingly head off into the wilderness, cut off from civilization as far as she knows, just for a healthy paycheck, however. But this is fantasy, and I am always willing to chuck reality for a bit so this didn't really bother me.

What did bother me was the all-consuming attraction she had to this author she finds herself working for. Smith is an ass, plain and simple, and yet she is willing to make an utter fool of herself for him. Granted, if you can look past his appalling behavior you might be able to lose yourself in their steamy encounters, but some of it made me grimace. I'm still undecided if I will read on. The writing is good, as I said, but this is a series of short stories, and I'm not much for bits and pieces when following the same couple, especially when one of them rubs me wrong--I want the whole thing! I am curious to see if Smith will redeem himself in the end, and that might be the deciding factor. Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stranded~ Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there! We all know love comes in different forms and can be found anywhere and everywhere and most of all, when we least expect it. It doesn't always come easy, and it isn't always perfect, but it's worth giving yourself over to it. For those of you who have been lucky enough to be shot by Cupid's arrow, congratulations! For those of you who are still waiting for Cupid to strike, I hope he does soon :) In the meantime, reading about it is a good way to pass the hours until that fat little cherub arrives. So, today I am giving away 3 ebooks of Stranded to 3 lucky winners straight from Amazon to wet your appetite while you wait! Simply enter the Rafflecopter below and don't forget to include your Kindle email! (Don't worry, I'll double check with you before sending them out.) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday!~ Parties & Potions by Sarah Mlynowski

This week's teaser comes from a witchy little book that I picked up at the store for $1! Yes, I said $1. I just love getting books at a steal, don't you? 


I spot Wendaline in a the hallway, in a black and red polka-dot monstrosity, and wave.

She waves back.

At least she's not in her cloak. Not that his getup is much better. But at least there's no popping or zapping anywhere. All good, right? Normal. Until I watch, horror-stricken, as a random junior boy sticks his Converse-clad foot out in front of her, sending her toppling to the floor.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Six Sentence Sunday & Cover Reveal!

Check out the new cover for the second book in the Night Calls series, That First Kiss!

Tate was so sweet to his mother, patient and caring, just like a good son should be, but with every other woman in his life, he was rude, crude and an all-around jackass. So which one was the true measure of him?
            She was lost in her own thoughts when her phone was suddenly thrust in front of her face. “Dinner tomorrow night at seven.” Tate poured himself another cup of coffee and strode into the dining room, plopping down at the desk and firing up the computer. “Let’s get to work, shall we? I don’t pay you to stand around daydreaming.”

Add it to your Goodreads! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sneek Peak Saturday! ~ Heart's Desire

Chapter 3

As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about my dilemma with Ethan. Almost a month to the day following his confession, me and Ethan broke up. It wasn’t a mutual decision.
            “O.M.G.” Charity screeches in my ear as I am tucking my jacket into my locker Monday morning. “Did you hear about Ethan and Sam Harding?”
            I frown at the English book I have selected. “No,” I say slowly. A creeping sense of unease has begun twisting in the pit of my stomach. “Should I have?”
            Charity grips my arm, her eyes wide. “They totally hooked up at Greg’s party this weekend!”
            My heart stops. Stutters, and then slams into my chest as it takes off like a shot. This isn’t happening. Charity’s wrong. She got some bad information. But then I remember her saying that she was going to a party at Greg’s, too. “Are you sure?” I croak past the burning lump in my throat. I’m not sure why I ask, because I already know the truth. Ethan cheated, again. But I have to hear it; I have to know the details. It feels imperative that I do.
            “Yes, I’m sure!” Charity hisses. “It’s all over school.” I glance around and for the first time I notice how everyone is looking at me, some of them whispering to the person walking beside them. Humiliation begins to grab hold of me and I feel my face burn.
            “Tess.” Charity presses in closer, shielding me from the crowd. Her voice is soft but urgent as she takes my arm in her firm grip and forces me to look at her. “You should know, I think Ethan is planning to break up with you.”
            A million questions and emotions flit through me. Sadness. Sickness. Confusion. Anger. The biggest is anger. I glare at Charity, staring right into her oversized bright blue eyes. “You knew about this all weekend and you didn’t bother to tell me?”
            I watch as she rears back in shock and confusion. “You’re mad at me?” She touches her hand to her chest, clearly offended. I’m not moved to apologize. I jerk my arm from her hold and slam my locker shut. “I can’t believe you’re pissed at me when I’m the one looking out for you. Real nice way to treat your best friend.”
            She storms off and I watch as the crowd swallows her. I feel a mixture of doubt and another heaping of guilt add to the pile of emotional turmoil chewing away at my insides. Maybe I was too harsh on her. Perhaps even a little irrational. She was being my friend, after all, and if what she said was true, then I need to be prepared.
            For the rest of the day I feel like I am on death row waiting for my executioner to arrive. I listen to the teachers lecture with only half an ear. I take notes on autopilot. I exist only because I breathe. The whispered rumors of Ethan and Sam are spinning around me. Now and then I catch bits and pieces, but the one that hurts the most, the one I wish I could close my ears to, is the one that claims Ethan has been seeing Sam after school for the last two weeks. I grit my teeth against the pain.
It’s come to a point where every time a door opens I hold my breath, half expecting Ethan to waltz in and tell me it’s over. I scan every face as I walk the halls between classes waiting to see his face part the crowd.
            And then the moment finally arrives.
            I am heading to my last class of the day—art—when Ethan falls into step beside me. I give him a small smile, but it slips when I see the grave look on his face.
            “Can we talk for a minute?”
            Talking is the last thing I want to do. From the look on his face, I know without a doubt that what Charity told me is true. I don’t want to hear it. Not from him, not from anyone. I just want all of this to go away. “Okay.”
            With his hand on my lower back, he guides me to a corner just outside the flow of traffic. From over his shoulder, I can see people watching us as they pass by. Do they know what is happening? The first burn of impending tears starts in my nose and my throat thickens. I refuse to cry.
            “Listen, this probably isn’t going to come as much of a shock…” Ethan’s face pinches and if I didn’t already know what a bastard he was, I might actually believe that he feels a spark of remorse for what he is about to do to me. But as I look at his beautiful face and try to recall why I ever thought I loved him, I can’t come up with a damn thing. It’s tainted. Every single memory we have together is tarnished by his lies.
Standing here in the middle of my high school hallway with a hundred other students covertly listening in on my private heartbreak, while Ethan stands in front of me trying to find the best and fastest way to unburden himself of me, I realize that I have been living in a fantasy world these past few months. He doesn’t love me. I’m not sure he ever did. What I do know is that I can never forgive him.
“I’m breaking up with you.” Ethan’s head snaps up, looking as stunned as I feel. I blurted the words before the thought had a chance to fully form, but now that they are out there, I refuse to take them back.
“That’s…I mean, that’s good,” Ethan stutters. “I mean, what we had was great, but it just isn’t working anymore, you know? I’m so glad you agree.” He’s smiling now. The same smile I used to love, but now I find I hate. “You have no idea what I’ve been going through trying to think of the right words to—”
The hand that hit him came out of nowhere and it took me a moment to process that it belonged to me. His cheek feels like jelly under my palm, soft and squishy. A roar of shock and laughter fills my ears. I don’t wait around to hear any more of his lies. I shove past him and move through the stunned onlookers with a fluid grace, absently noticing the female hall monitor standing just a few feet away, watching me. When the closed stairwell leading to the art rooms comes into view, I burst through them.
Once again, I am thankful that I chose the table in the back, far away from the other students who like to socialize. My faulty personality and near crippling shyness has worked in my favor today. No one will notice that I am quietly dying inside.
As I gather the project I have been working on and a few pencils and get to work a thought occurs to me and I worry my teeth over my bottom lip. I’ve just struck another student, and there were witnesses. I’m going to be expelled. I spend the next hour waiting for the phone to ring.


The call never came. It seems that I’ve gotten away with hitting Ethan. Frankly, I’m surprised considering that I did it right in front of the hall monitor. I wonder if that has something to do with the fact that she was a woman. She’s probably had enough back experiences with men to know one who deserves it when she sees them.
            Ethan hasn’t called or even so much as glanced my way since “the incident.” That’s what I’m calling it now. The incident. It’s just as well. After witnessing his very public affair every day in school for the last few weeks, I would probably just end up hitting him again.
            It’s become the proudest moment in my life. I’ve finally stood up for myself. I replay it in my head over and over each day, and I wouldn’t do anything different. He deserved it. And considering how badly my hand stung afterward, I can only imagine the kind of mark I left on his face. I smile when I picture the humungous red handprint imprinted across his cheek. It’s my version of the Scarlet Letter, and I hope he got to wear it the rest of the day for everyone to see.
            “What do you want for dinner tonight, honey?” I hear my mom talking to me before I even enter the room. She is sitting on the couch, her back to me, and she is flipping through one of her many recipe books.
            “Doesn’t matter,” I tell her. I don’t really have an interest in food lately. As I turn to leave she pats the seat next to her.
            “Come sit with me.” I sigh heavily, because her words are like a bright, flashing sign over her head that I’m not going to like what she has to say.
            Cautiously, I take the cushion next to her. “What’s up?”
            Mom closes the book, making sure to keep her finger inside so she doesn’t lose her place. “How are you doing, honey?” She curls a hank of hair around my ear when I hang my head so she can still see my face. I don’t want to talk about Ethan or Sam or anything to do with what happened. I just want to put it behind me but she seems obsessed with the topic.
It’s no secret that my parents liked Ethan. He was the all American boy. They talked like we would grow up and get married one day and give them grandbabies so much that I began to believe it too. Now their vision of the future was as shattered as mine, like we were all sharing the loss. It didn’t help that my parents were friends with Ethan’s. It meant that I was always receiving unwanted, unsolicited updates that just served to tear at my heart further.
“I’m okay.” It’s my usual response to this question. It’s a lie, only now; I’ve gotten good enough at telling it that even I am starting to believe it.
“Good, I’m glad to hear it. How’s school?”
“Uneventful, but good.”
She smiles. “Still daydreaming about breaking free?”
“Always,” I groan, throwing my head back against the back of the couch, and for the first time in forever my smile feels genuine.
“So listen,” Mom says, her tone turning serious. “Your father and I are going away for the weekend. You know, for some time alone.” I nod. I don’t really have any interest in hearing about what my parents plan to do with their mini vacation. “I want to make something for you for dinner that will last until we get back. Do you have anything in mind? Any preferences?”
I pretend to think on it. Nothing sparks my appetite anymore. “Not really. Whatever you want to make is fine.”
Mom watches me with this worry-filled look that makes me want to shut myself in my room. “You don’t eat anymore, honey.”
I slap the cushions and jump to my feet. “I’m not in the mood for another lecture.”
“You don’t think we haven’t noticed how much weight you’ve lost? Tess, your father and I are worried sick about you!” she shouts as she scrambles off the couch to follow after me.
My feet move faster. I need to get out of here, away from…everything. “I don’t need anyone telling me what I need to eat or when. I’m fine!”
“Sharon told me Ethan is worried about you. He’s seen it too. He says you don’t eat lunch at school either. He says you don’t even talk to your friends anymore.”
I pivot around and watch with grim satisfaction when she stops under the weight of my glare. “Oh, so if Ethan says it then it must be true. You know, for once, I wish you would stop listening to Ethan and listen to me. Do you know how it feels to have to watch the person you spent the last year being in love with walk around kissing and holding hands with another girl?”
Her mouth flaps open and closed a few times before she steps toward me, her hand outstretched. “Oh, sweetie. People make mistakes. Maybe if you reconsidered, gave him another chance—”
I jerk back, my hands raised. “Just don’t.” The last thing I want is people feeling sorry for me or suggesting that I am the problem, especially when they don’t have all the facts. I never told my parents the reason I broke up with Ethan, just that I had. Somewhere along the way, Ethan’s sin had become my dirty little secret.
Angry with her, angry with myself, I dart out the door, unable to stand the feeling of being cooped up any longer. The need to get away slams into me with the force of a wrecking ball and I end up driving for hours with no particular destination in mind.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...