A Little Taste of Damaged Goods

I had so much fun doing my first author take-over last night. The party is still going, so go check it out and make sure you enter all the giveaways! You could win some awesome things! Plus, this is also happening: another giveaway on my Facebook page, closing on Monday the 24th.

I also revealed a little taste of my current work in progress, Damaged Goods, on Facebook last night. For those of you that missed it…

“Kissing Grayson was explosive, intense, and everything that kissing Kyle hadn’t even managed to come close to. Grayson made me forget all my insecurities, kissing him made me want all the things that I feared. He had a power over my mind, my heart, and my body…and I knew that it was unbreakable.

Only, Grayson didn’t want me. At least, not completely. I could feel his desire against my lower abdomen, but the words he’d said time and time again rattled around in my brain. I can’t feel that for you. I’m not boyfriend material. I can’t be what you want me to be.

Still, my body responded to his as if I didn’t have a choice. I wanted to go with him, wherever he wanted to take me…for however long. It was better than the silence, better than not being with him at all.”

kissingcouple

I’m having a lot of fun writing Everly and Grayson’s story, even if some moments make me super sad. I think you’re all going to love it! You can add it to your Goodreads “to-be-read” list now!

Damaged Goods will release in early 2015.

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Thankful: Authors thanking our readers

Readers are very important, and I am so appreciative of every last person who reads my book. Without readers, there would be nobody to write for…and that is tragic. Can you imagine living in a world without books? Nobody to read them, nobody to write them? No thanks!

Now…how can we show our appreciation for our readers? By a massive weekend Facebook event, full of giveaways, of course! This weekend from Saturday at noon until 10pm on Sunday; I, along with several other incredibly talented and genuinely wonderful authors, will be doing a thankful event to give back to our readers and fans. There will be plenty of opportunities to win things such as books and author swag.

If you’d like to attend the event, we would LOVE to have you! Click here for event details and to RSVP.

Thankful

I will be on during the 7:30-8:00 p.m. time slot. Can’t wait to see you there!

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Soundtrack

I wanted to write a beautiful blog post, full of raw perspective and witty insights. I had some ideas, they were on the tip of my tongue…but they fluttered from my grasp before I could reach out to touch them.

The soundtrack in my mind is whining and crying. A low hum, a constant whimper. It’s actually the sound of my youngest protesting bedtime, despite how tired he is. The sound takes my thoughts away like sheets of paper caught in a hurricane.

It’s hard work, being a full-time parent and a work at home writer. I’m never short on ideas, but sometimes…it’s hard to hold on to them in the hurricane and chaos of my day to day.

I have a lot of guilt over how thin I spread myself, trying to accomplish everything I want all at once. I know where I want to be, I know what goals I want to accomplish out of life. It’s the getting there that is complicated, and the constant worry that I’ll miss a lot in the process.

I feel guilty if I’m not spending every waking hour with my kids, engaging them and playing with them. If I take a morning to write, I feel bad about it. But on the same hand, I know it’s healthy to encourage kids to play independently and entertain themselves. Mom guilt is a fun thing to try and process though. Even though I logically know that I am doing nothing wrong, I still feel like I am…or maybe just not doing enough. I could do more.

I hope that one day, they’ll look back and maybe be proud of me. I had dreams, and I fought hard to turn those dreams into a reality. I have achieved a lot in the past year, and I feel as if it’s made me a better person for it.

One of my greatest fears when I became a parent was that I would put everything I wanted on hold, and that my dreams and goals would evaporate as I became just Mom and Wife. I feared that it wouldn’t be possible to strive for success within a career as a mom and wife. I am determined to prove myself wrong. I didn’t want to lose me in them, and for a while…I did lose me. I stopped writing, I stopped thinking about my dreams and goals. I started worrying about crock pot recipes and cleaning, about rocking the hell out of this stay-at-home gig.

But that was slowly driving me insane. I missed the pieces of me that I put away for later, thinking they couldn’t be used when I was a mom of young kids. I had inadvertently fallen into the very mindset I feared. One reality slap later, and I took the pieces back out and promptly stitched them back on.

A mother’s mental state severely affects her children. I know that from first hand experience. My biggest fear is that I would wake up one day and have completely lost myself, the girl that I was and the woman I wanted to be, because I was so focused on being the best mom and wife. I didn’t  want to be living through their accomplishments, instead of achieving my own.

It’s not feasible to be the best mom and wife. There’s always room for improvement, and I am a flawed human. We all are. Perfect is a made up word that doesn’t exist. The trick is to love people despite their flaws.

I hope they’ll love me despite mine.

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Damaged Goods Cast of Characters & Blurb

During last years NaNoWriMo, I wrote the first 50k words of Collide. I had a lot of fun “casting” visual actors (or models) and writing a little blurb on each key player.  I figured I would do the same for my current work in progress, Damaged Goods. (I’ve also created a Pinterest board for Damaged Goods, Collide and Consumed).

The Damaged Goods unedited blurb [that I literally just threw together right this very second]:

Everly Daniels is the good girl, the shy wallflower who has spent the last three years planted firmly in the background, afraid to participate. In her final year of high school, that’s all about to change. She’s sick of playing it safe.

Ever since the 8th grade, she has been inexplicably in love with Grayson Dixon. She is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Grayson has a pull on her that she can’t seem to break. Everly tries to move on, but nobody holds a candle to Grayson.

Grayson Dixon is damaged. He has difficulty connecting with people because of the solid walls he’s built around himself. Only Everly has ever been able to get through to him, and that scares the ever living shit out of him. Grayson knows he’s not the good guy. He’s reckless and careless, and even if Everly makes him care about something for the first time ever…he knows he’ll be her destruction, and he cares too much to let that happen.

Grayson realizes just how deep his attraction runs for Everly when he sees her trying to move on…with Kyle. Everything changes when he realizes that he could lose her…

It’s no easy fleet, loving the broken and the damaged…especially at the tender age of 17. Will Everly’s love be enough to overcome Grayson’s hang ups, or will they shatter each other beyond repair?

One thing that I love to do when I’m not actually writing is think nonstop about my characters and envision what actors and actresses would play them if it became a movie. It’s an entertaining way to pass the time, and it keeps me focused on my projects. Plus, it’s a major challenge to put an actual face to a fictional face.

I thought it would be fun to share my “picks” along with a little blurb on some of the characters from Damaged Goods. Enjoy!

Everly Daniels 

I wrote Everly Daniels to be a naive, innocent 17. She has a stable home life and a great relationship with her parents and a positive, if not distant one with her older sister.

She is described as the shy wall-flower within her group of friends, forever holding a burning flame for the mysterious Grayson Dixon. When her crush lands her with a broken heart, Everly decides some changes are in order. She spent the majority of her high school career pinning after Grayson, and he’s made it clear that he’s not interested. She is determined to put him in the past, where he belongs, and enjoy her final year of high school…before all the decision making has to happen.

But then, he shows up back into her life. He’s everywhere she looks, and even though Everly has caught the attention of Kyle Russell…she can’t turn off her strong feelings for Grayson.

ChloeGraceMoretz

I pictured Chloe Grace Moretz for Everly. She’s got the wholesome, sweet look, but still has the “there’s more to me than meets the eye” appeal.

Grayson Dixon 

Grayson is a very broken soul. He is emotionally disconnected from virtually everyone around him, until the day he looks across the classroom and lays eyes on Everly Daniels.

Grayson’s parents are divorced. His father lives with his new wife and two young children, while his mother moved to a small two bedroom apartment. Grayson moved in with her, not wanting her to be alone. She fell into an ugly pit of despair and developed a major drinking problem, and ended up losing her job, and later…their apartment. Grayson spent two years trying to bring her back, but her misery is all-consuming. He ends up moving back to his Dad’s.

Being back home is a hard adjustment for Grayson. Seeing his father interact with his new family in the house where he grew up isn’t easy.

Grayson has a lot of resentment and rage at his family, and at the world…but Everly has always been the one to get the good out of him. She is the light, and he is the dark. He knows that he will destroy her. He ultimately wants to protect her from experiencing heartbreak that he feels he will likely cause.

Grayson

He is described as tall and formidable. He has dark, carelessly messy hair and intense, glacier blue eyes. He has a hoop in the middle of his bottom lip and a bar through his left eyebrow.

I was torn over Matt Lanter and Steven McQueen for Grayson because he totally nails the brooding teenager with a chip on his shoulders, but Matt Lanter ended up winning because of those EYES. Those stinkin’ eyes!

Kyle Russell

Kyle is accustomed to getting what he wants, and he wants Everly. She’s a refreshing change from the usual girls he dated – like her good friend, Lindsay, whom he briefly dated in grade 11. She’s smart, she’s quiet, and she’s got a hidden talent…the girl can sing like no other. Her husky, contralto voice is the perfect fit for his band.

He is flirtatious, charismatic and well liked. He is the lead singer/guitarist of a band he started with his friends Marcus Muller and Cam Turner.

ChadOverstreet

Kyle is described as being the “high school heart-throb.” He’s good looking with fair hair, light eyes, and a swoon worthy smile. Chord Overstreet is my muse for Kyle, because a) he’s incredibly talented in acting and music, and b) he just looks the part, doesn’t he?

Aubrey Day

Aubrey is Everly’s best friend and number #1 go to person. They’ve been friends forever, and Aubrey knows all of Everly’s secrets. Aubrey has a caring, friendly personality and is liked by everyone. Aubrey doesn’t have a cruel bone in her body, but she will stand up for her friends.

Elizabeth Gillies Aubrey

Aubrey is described as having auburn hair and sea green eyes that make her appear ethereal. It’s hard to find a perfect fit for her…but so far, Elizabeth Gillies wins out for me.

Lindsay Little

Lindsay is a rather cut-throat character. She embodies the selfish, spoiled female teen, through and through. She is the only child of two rather vacant parents. She doesn’t get a lot of attention at home. She is insecure, and her way of coping with her insecurities is to passively pick apart those around her – even her friends.

She is, more or less, the antagonist of this tale. She is behind or involved with nearly every drama. Lindsay loves to be the center of attention, and can’t stand it when she isn’t. When Everly starts getting more and more attention, Lindsay panics and tries to sabotage it.

AbigalBreslinI sort of picture Abigal Breslin for Lindsay when I write.

Alicia Garcia

Alicia is another one of Everly’s close friends. She moved to town the summer before grade nine started, and lives beside Lindsay. Lindsay was the first person that she met, and she instantly became attached to Lindsay’s side. When Alicia first moved to town, she was chubbier and blind to fashion. After befriending Lindsay, Alicia makes a lot of changes about her appearance. Lindsay’s opinion and approval has always been very important to Alicia, so when Lindsay starts making fun of Alicia for being “chubby”, Alicia strives to change her body and starts dressing similar to Lindsay.

Her dramatic weight loss alarms Everly and Aubrey, but Lindsay seems unconcerned with it and even compliments Alicia on her “success”.

But Alicia has a big, dark secret that is eating her up…

isabellefuhrman

I see Isabelle Fuhrman playing Alicia.

Marcus Muller

Marcus is Kyle’s best friend, and the drummer/band manager of the band that Kyle is in. He’s handsome, talented, and dreams of fame and success as a musician. He has a humorous, light heart, but he’s also got a serious side, especially when it comes to his music. Marcus is the brains behind the operation, and he knows a good thing when he sees it, too. When Kyle suggests that they ask Everly to join their band, Marcus knows that she’s the one that will give them the edge that they need.

It’s a bonus that Everly’s best friend just so happens to be the same girl he’s been crushing on for the past year, which means he’ll be spending a lot more time with Aubrey…

Jesse

I had such a hard time trying to find an actor that fits what Marcus looks like in my mind. Marcus has his mother’s light eyes and his father’s darker skin. I guess if I had to pick, I sort of see him as a younger Jesse Williams.

Cam Turner

Cam doesn’t get a whole lot of “screen time”. He’s the third amigo in a trio of music loving guys, the last member of the band. He plays the bass, and he’s rather good at it. He is the background guy, and happy to be so.

JonathanI sort of see Jonathan Lipnicki as Cam, which makes me feel incredibly old when I think about it…considering he was a little kid in Stuart Little.

* * * *

What else is new: 

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No Air

I’m sick right now, with either a head cold or allergies. My eyes are leaky and I can barely see without squinting. My nose is so clogged and yet somehow, so runny. It’s really not a pretty sight.

Plus…it feels like I can’t breathe. Probably because I can’t, at least not normally. I feel as if I am struggling to get oxygen, like the air is uncharacteristically thick.

Want to hear a rather embarrassing truth about me? Being unable to breathe actually gives me panic attacks, which makes it even HARDER to breathe.

I try not to think about it, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I focus on breathing and how much of a struggle it is and my heart starts pounding frantically in my chest. I’ve had several the last two days in a row. Naturally, I feel exhausted from that as well.

I think I also have Christmas to blame for my increased anxiety. It’s the middle of November already, and people have already started decorating and finished their Christmas shopping. I am dreading Christmas shopping. It seems like every year, our buy-list gets longer and our wallets get smaller. I’m just not feeling it this year, you know? I am sick of the consumerist high we all live off. I’m sick of the pressure to please everyone and do everything perfectly on point.

This year, I want to say “fuck the traditions”. I want to make my own tradition of not making a massive deal out of Christmas. I don’t want to go broke but I also want everyone to have a good Christmas.

I think this year, I’m going to lean more towards “experience gifts”. Maybe a family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, or get them enrolled in fun extracurricular activities. Zoo tickets, hockey games, and movie tickets.

I would like to “experience” a holiday with minimal stress, anxiety and guilt.

I would also like to “experience” more date nights. Somehow.

Don’t be alarmed, I am usually a Grinch until two weeks to December. Then the holiday bug bites me in the ass and I get into the spirit of Christmas and the magic of giving, yada-yada-yada.

Anyay…despite how crappy I’ve felt (emotionally and physically), I have covered lots of ground with my writing for NaNoWriMo. DAMAGED GOODS is coming along perfectly. Tomorrow, I will sit down and blog about my “cast of characters” and the muses (or actors I see “playing” my characters if it ever becomes a movie), as well as give more details about CONSUMED and other projects. Yay Tuesday!

Now, I need to get back to listening to music on Youtube writing.

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When?

When did it become commonplace for us to treat other humans with such disheartened indifference?

The way that people talk to other people is just…repulsive.

The other day, I went through the Tim Hortons drive thru. When I was waiting to turn onto the road, someone else pulled up beside me and started to yell at the guy behind me. Total strangers, one who maybe had a distracted driving moment and cut the other guy off. Maybe he thought he had time, or he thought that he could make it without cutting anyone off. I have no clue what happened there, because I didn’t see. What I did see was the passenger in the other car start screaming insults and calling the other guy horrible things.

And this happens all the time. People are not kind and respectful to strangers. They are out right hostile, always assuming the absolute worse of everyone around them. They assume that the offensive thing that someone else did is just to spite them. It couldn’t possibly be a mistake or a misunderstanding.

It’s kind of scary, to see the interactions of strangers in regular settings. When people aren’t ignoring one another in favour of “social media”, they are standoffish and unwelcoming. They don’t want positive human interaction, unless it’s a “like” of an Instagram picture.

I am the least confrontational person I know. I mostly lack confrontational skills because they are overridden with “respect”. I try to show my respect for other humans by not detonating in their faces. I’m thoughtful like that. I’d rather smile at a stranger than destroy their day over a likely misunderstanding.

It is my goal to teach my kids that every human deserves respect and empathy, that there is never an okay time to get into a screaming match with a stranger, complete with insults and name calling. Changes are, that person knows that they made a mistake, but they aren’t likely to apologize for it if they aren’t given an opportunity.

I wonder what would happen if we ALL did that? If we ALL gave one another a chance to apologize before we air our grievances? I wonder what would happen if it were commonplace for kind words to be exchanged, instead of hostile ones?

Remember when manners and morals held society in higher standards? I don’t. I’m only 25 years old, and I don’t remember those days. I’ve read about them, heard about them, seen them depicted on the TV screen…but I’ve never really seen it in action.

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Crawling Out Of My Skin

I’m having one of “those days”. I feel trapped within myself…as if my skin is too tight.

I can’t say it’s for any one reason or another. I’m just on edge, antsy and vibrating with discomfort.

I think of all the things I need to do, of everything on my to-do list, and I just feel overwhelmed and stuck, almost like I am up to my knees in wet sand.

I need a marketing manager, a personal assistant, a maid and a nanny.

Truthfully, I just need to sit down and take another look at my to-do list, refocus my energy and my purpose…you know?

So, consider this a tiny little peek inside the inner workings of my mind before I take off to go and tackle [some of] my to-do list.

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