Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Hot Chocolate was Not All That

Not every day is a great day. Not every emotion we have feels great and anticipated experiences can be a let down, when our expectations are high and the reality doesn't seem to rise to it. We sometimes set ourselves up for disappointment by building something up too much in our minds. This is a basic lesson, I know, but I was reminded of it again this morning by my 7-year-old son.

He was excited by the prospect of hot chocolate for breakfast. His eyes lit up when I said yes to his request, and off he ran to prepare it himself. He measured the powder and stirred the concoction with the focus of a scientist, eager, yet steady. He cooled it down with a splash of milk and sipped carefully at his creation. Eyes bright, he nodded with approval and sat down at the table. A few more careful sips changed his contenance. With each slurp, he lost a little more of that triumphant glow, until he finally put down the mug and stood up.  He furrowed his brow with the air of a globally renowned researcher who was about to make an important announcement..

"This is too sweet for breakfast. My stomach doesn't like it." He looked at me with mild confusion.  "Do I have to finish it?"

Hmmm. There are so many things I could say about the lessons to be learned, but I'll keep it simple. We expect certain experiences to bring us joy or satisfaction and when we get what we think we want and the good feeling is short lived, we're puzzled. Maybe my 92-year-old grandmother was passed all that, but I guess I'm not. I've realized that, on occasion, I still expect some event or new object to bring me satisfaction. Its kind of silly, but I catch myself doing it way more than I'd like to admit. And when the thing or event isn't "all-that", I feel the disappointment.  Sigh.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Witch Way Bends by Olivia Hardin available FREE

I just finished reading Witch Way Bends, Book 1 in the Bend Bite Shift Trilogy, and I loved it!  If you are a paranormal/fantasy fan, I think you will, too.  And guess what?  Olivia Hardin is offering the ebook for FREE today and tomorrow.  Woo hoo! Grab it up.  Oh, and Bitten Shame, Book 2 in the trilogy is available, so you don't have to wait to find out what happens next. Nice.



Available on Amazon



                                                                                                                                                                     

About the Author

Olivia Hardin realized early on how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child. Eventually she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings. Her forgotten vision of becoming an author was realized when she connected with a group of amazingly talented and fabulous writers who gave her lots of direction and encouragement. With a little extra push from family and friends, she hunkered down to get lost in the words. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she's generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband and their puppy Bonnie.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The One You Feed



An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego."

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Choices, Choices, Choices


     There are times when I just doubt myself and this whole adventure that I’m on. I know I am not the only one and that is some comfort to me, but the truth is I get sick and tired of these angsty, pity party trips.  I’m so over them, so why do I keep having them?  Other than the knee jerk samskara-type reactions, I think it may also be who I invite to my party.

     Overall, I have surrounded myself with positive, adventurous spirits who are uplifting, supportive and encouraging.  Thank you so much friends and family for your kindness, and I hope with all my heart that I am such a soul for you, saying positive things and uplifting your spirit, as well.  I strive to, but that doesn’t always mean I accomplish that goal. 

     But, every once in a while some nay-sayer gets invited to the shin-dig and I’m floored.  There was a real negative post on facebook the other day, which for the most part I can blow off, but it was just out of the blue.  It was deliberately negative with malicious intent, and I’m not going to repost what was written.  Time to let it go.  I invited this person into my life quite literally when I accepted their friend request, so, ultimately, I am responsible for them bellying up to my proverbial bar. Then there was the police officer’s attitude when I got pulled over for speeding the other day. Yes, my bad, and I take full responsibility for my actions – I was running a scene in my head from the book I’m writing while driving on the outskirts of town.  Don’t do that; you will miss the posted speed limit.

     Thus, I invited this man into my life with my inattention to the important matter at hand:  driving my vehicle in a safe and responsible manner.  And as the officer so kindly reminded me, driving is a privilege, not a right and one must earn their privileges. Maybe the cop’s attitude when he pulled me over had to do with the kind of day he was having, but it was jarring.  He sounded  truly angry with me, so much so that he scared my 10-year-old when he barked at me, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”  I have to admit that line irritates me in general.  Can we skip the lecture, please?  I’m an adult, you’re an adult, let’s just get this uncomfortable business over with. I try to be completely honest in my blog postings, so here goes.  He was disrespectful, intentionally condescending and unnecessarily intimidating.  I had no idea I was speeding, so my answer to his question was, “I’m sorry, officer, but I have no idea what I did wrong.” 

     “Well, why don’t you give me your license and registration and I’ll educate you.”

     I’m not a stupid woman:  I get it.  He’s the authority figure and I had just violated a traffic regulation and I need to be polite and respectful to the guy in charge at the moment.  I also know a cop’s job is, for the most part, a thankless one. The public is distrustful and resentful, at times, and the pay isn’t that great and you get to deal with the most difficult people on a daily basis, and I’m being kind, I’m sure.  Then there is whatever internal regulations and politics of the sheriff’s office and so on, so please understand this is not a cop-bashing post (I have police officer friends who I love and respect) but here’s where it all breaks down for me.

   We are all people with histories and hearts, and we need to remember that no matter what we are doing.  I try to always keep that in mind, so I was polite, respectful and downright obsequious, but what did I get in return?  Disrespect, anger and a deliberate attempt to intimidate me.  I had my daughter with me, so I was trying to diffuse the situation and be as cooperative as I could, but it was like he wanted me to shake and cry, which I eventually did.  I said not a negative word, didn’t roll my eyes or give the man any reason to think I disrespected his authority, at all.  When he walked away to look me up, my girl said, “Mom, that guys being such a dip to you.”  I paused, trying to find the right words to explain the situation and to be thoughtful with my response, not just blather or be overly emotional.  Finally, I said, “Hey, his job is not easy and I did violate a traffic law.”

     “But you didn’t mean to and he doesn’t have to be so mean.”

     “Well, whether I meant to or not, I did and I need to accept the consequences.  Besides, we don’t know what kind of day he’s having – maybe his kid is sick or his dog just died.”

     “Well, he doesn’t know what kind of day you’re having, either, so why doesn’t he try to be more kind, like you?”

     I didn’t know what to say to that, and by that time, the officer was back and I don’t know why, but he did tone his attitude down.  Well, maybe it had to do with the way my hand shook when I signed the ticket or the way the tear ran down my daughter’s cheek.  God, part of me was so upset with him for making my daughter cry and at myself for putting her in that situation, and I wondered if he felt like he had made his point or if he truly felt bad about it.  Honestly, it got to me that he got to me and I wanted to just get the hell out of there.  When we finally drove away, my girl patted my arm and said, “It’s okay, mom.  We know you’re a good person and that’s all that matters.”

     And I cried right then. Geesh.  What a goofy, sappy piece of work I can be.  Ah, well. What I’m getting at is that you choose who comes into your life, really, by what you do and what you say and who you associate with.  You also have the power to choose the way you react to them and whether or not they get to stay in your life.  I choose not to invite another police officer into my day, period, unless it’s in a social situation with good friends.  I choose to not get rattled by the unhappy people I come into contact with - which, unfortunately, is not so easy, but worth working on – and I choose to un-invite those who consistently make life more difficult than it has to be. 

It all comes down to choices, now doesn’t it?
Why, yes, Melissa, yes, it does.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Two Great Books by Two Great Authors


Immortal Voyage and Taming the Wolf Available Now!

Please join Stephanie and C.G. on their event page on FB, there will be lots of games, prizes, and chatting with the authors!

Immortal Voyage by C.G. Powell

A Terra Stellar Novel
Before the time of the great pyramids, there was a place like none other, a city of glass and metal rising from the depths of the ocean.  Shrouded in mist, the island of Hy-Brasil and its capital Atlantis lay hidden from the rest of the world by its people, a race of long lived, interstellar nomads.

What secrets would you keep to save your kingdom?  On the Queen’s deathbed, the sonless King Aldric is force into a promise to allow his five daughters to marry for love. A promise he wished he had never made, and one he will have to break to save the kingdom.

The youngest of five daughters, Jael, spent most of her time at her father’s side learning to run a kingdom.  Believed to be the King’s favorite, Jael is shocked when he betroths her to a longtime friend of his, Prince Sarik of Hy-Brasil.  Soon she will learn that world is full of secrets and one of them is her very own birth.  Will the secret that bonds her to Sarik be the ultimate downfall of a kingdom?

Available at   Amazon   B&N   Smashwords




Taming the Wolf by Stephanie Nelson
The Anna Avery Series – Book 1
Attacked by a wolf while hiking in the mountains, Anna Avery's life just got a little hairier. Living in the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming, with a group of werewolves who are more animal than human, Anna must try to hold onto her human side. It's not easy when the alpha continues to persuade her into his bed, while another wolf is chomping at the bit to become her mate. To top it all off, dead bodies are showing up and it just so happens that Anna was the last to see them alive. She'll have to work to prove her innocence and taming the wolf who bites first and asks questions never.


Available at  Amazon   





Available at Amazon

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Author Nichole Chase's Cover Reveal


Mortal Obligation


Ree will face the darkest form of betrayal before the year is out.

Seventeen year old Ree McKenna has three goals: get through high school, convince her crush she is more than his best friend’s little sister, and save money for college. Fate, though, has other plans for her. After the untimely death of her older brother, Ree is haunted by dreadful nightmares and terrifying visions. To make matters worse, Ree has started to suspect that something dangerous is stalking her from the shadows.

A night full of frightening surprises leaves Ree with unsettling news. Gifted by the gods with unusual powers, she must devote herself to a battle that could very well lead to not only her death, but the demise of everyone she knows and loves. After all, Ree is the only mortal standing between the Earth and utter darkness.

Available at Amazon  and  Barnes and Noble




Mortal Defiance


One short week turned Ree McKenna’s life upside down. Not only does she have the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she still has to juggle homework, a job, and a curfew. While Ree tries to find her footing amidst the chaos, the Dark Ones and their champion are busy hunting down any humans that have a touch of the gods running through their veins. Allies have turned into foes, and enemies have become stronger.

The world is growing darker, but the passion between Ree and two irresistible guys blazes hotter. Romantic ties from a past life will threaten to break Ree away from the love of her life and will cloud her judgment. In order to follow her heart, Ree will break rules put in place by the gods, risking her life and the lives of her friends in an act of Mortal Defiance.


Available at  Amazon  and  Barnes and Noble






                                                                                                                                                                   

About the Author
Nichole Chase is a daydreamer.
No, really, just ask any of the math teachers that had the misfortune of seeing her name appear on their class schedule.
For years she has had story lines and characters begging for attention, but she resolutely pushed them aside to focus on more normal (read, boring) jobs. Well, no longer She is currently heeding the voices in her head and frantically writing their stories. Nichole resides in South Georgia with her husband, energetic toddler, three dogs, and two cats.
When not devouring novels by the dozens, you may find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while www.nicholechase.com
Twitter: @NicholeChase

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Unbound by Author Lola James available today!



Unbound, Book Two of the Spellbound Series

Toni went from being a doctor, to the lover of a god in an instant. Remembering who she was, she's now torn between her past self and her current love. Ben is stunned when Toni leaves and at the arrival of his long lost love, Catherine, but her arrival doesn't eradicate Toni from his mind. Unlikely allies will team up to get Toni back from the Lord of the Underworld, Hades, but it's not Hades they need to worry about.

Available at Amazon







Excerpt 
“She knew I was a vampire.” I dropped my head as astonishment casted over Kevin’s face. “It is my fault she is with Hades, I’ll take that blame.” I swallowed the lump in my throat that formed around my next words. “Do it, take this pain away from me!” Kevin pressed the stake hard to my chest, and I closed my eyes, preparing to die.
In a flash, Catherine tackled Kevin to the ground, knocking the stake out of his hands. Dawn screamed and I picked up the stake with the swiftest of movements and drove it through Catherine’s back. She turned to ash while still atop Kevin whose eyes widened in shock.
We looked at one another, both bewildered, in the moment before I offered my hand to help him from the floor. Dawn eased closer toward us. As Kevin brushed Catherine’s dust off him; then he picked up his stake, and returned it to his back pocket. Kevin stared at me for a long moment before he gave a nod. "For now, vampire."
                                                                                                                                                       
About the Author
Lola James has been reading romance novels since her teens, and fell in love with the paranormal after discovering Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Her love of the dark worlds of vampires and witches, as well as her fascination with Greek mythology led her to create the Spellbound Series, an ongoing Paranormal Romance combining all of the above into tales of suspense with a little bit of humor in an Urban Fantasy setting.
A long time lover of reading and writing with a passion for a great story, James became discouraged by the complicated and arbitrary publishing process, James had initially set down her laptop and her hopes of being a writer. However, with the purchase of her first e-reader, James became re-energized by the new possibilities for an undiscovered author to reach the masses. Dusting off her keyboard she finally finished Bound to Remember, the first book of the Spellbound Series and self-published it. Energized and ambitious, James is now hard at work on both the Spellbound Series as well as the Fate Series, a paranormal romance about dreams and what happens if they come true.
Living in Southern California with her two beautiful children, James finds time to write in between her full-time job as a mother as well as her other full-time job as an HR manager, as well as her academic schedule as she studies for her Master’s degree which she hopes to complete in 2013. With the success of Bound to Remember, James hopes to continue to reach an audience that will allow her to leave her HR job and focus on her writing as a full time career.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Sarah Ross's Echo of an Earth Angel is Now Available


Echo of an Earth Angel is now Available!!!
Sarah M. Ross, author of Awaken, has released her new Young Adult Paranormal novel.  Echo of an Earth Angel (Book 1 of the Earth Angel Trilogy) is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

About the Book:
18 year old Tessa Copeland barely survived the worst year of her life—in fact, it was a miracle. After making it through the tragedy that killed both of her parents, she’s left to pick up the pieces of her life. Combating the holes in her memory and the concern of her friends was hard enough, but a new talent threatens to destroy everything she’s trying to reclaim. 

David Allegri didn’t mean to ruin Tessa’s life. She was the brightest soul he’d seen in centuries and he couldn’t let her die, so the fallen angel used his abilities to heal her—only he took it too far and changed Tessa forever. Now, he has to figure out a way to explain what’s happening to Tessa and somehow protect both of them from the consequences. 

His choice made them targets for the Hunters, who will use any means necessary to capture their prey. Only a desperate plan can help them escape, and sacrifices will be made. Time is ticking. Will they make it, or will they be lost to the echoes of fate?

Price:
$2.99 for ebook
$11.99 for Paperbacks. (Autographed copies available at www.sarahmross.com)

About the Author:
I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history. 
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn't take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

When I'm not writing or reading, I am probably partaking in my favorite vice: sunbathing. I know it's wrong, but I love the feeling on the hot sun on my skin and could lay in it for hours. I do live in Florida for a reason!

Please feel free to contact me!

Website- http://www.sarahmross.com
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/SarahtheAuthor
Twitter- http://twitter.com/#!/SarahtheAuthor