Daddy on Halloween

Sharing this poem I wrote for Halloween again! Happy Halloween everyone!

“Where’s Daddy on Halloween?” My little one asked through the screen I put down my pumpkin and let out a sigh Looking deeply into little doe eyes How could I begin to tell her the truth? Could she …

Source: Daddy on Halloween

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New Adult Scavenger Hunt! – featuring Pat Esden!

Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!

Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of Team Green–but there is also Team Orange and Team Purple for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

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If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.

***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Green, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 30, 2016, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

LET THE HUNT BEGIN!

I’m so excited to feature Pat Esden and her novel, Dark Heart: BEYOND YOUR TOUCH! 

pat-esden2-pressPAT ESDEN is an antique-dealing florist by trade. She’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

The first two books in her Dark Heart series, A HOLD ON ME and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH are available from Kensington Books.  REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) is coming in 2017.

AUTHOR LINKS

WEBSITE |GOODREADS |FACEBOOK|TWITTER | BLOG |PINTEREST|

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BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (Dark Heart series book 2)

 She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.

Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.

If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.

Amazon     BN     BAM     Indiebound     Target    Hudson Booksellers

***EXCLUSIVE MATERIAL***

This was an alternate beginning for BEYOND YOUR TOUCH.  The core details of this scene are still in the novel, but they’ve been woven into later chapters and changed slightly.

Chase had nightmares. The thought drove me forward, overshadowing everything even the morning fog that obliterated the landscape on either side of the road.

  1. The number on the mailbox gleamed in the haze. It was a newer box, decorated with a typical Maine lighthouse and ocean scene. The name Abrams was stenciled in stiff black letters. Chase’s last name.

Swallowing hard, I turned the Mercedes into the driveway.

Chase and I had only spent the whole night together once, but he’d had one of his nightmares then. It had also happened a few days later when he fell asleep on the sofa after I’d rubbed his back. His muscles had twitched. Sweat coated his body. Then he’d whimpered, “Mommy, don’t let them take me. Mommy. No.”

I’d pretended to be asleep, that I didn’t notice anything. I didn’t want to embarrass Chase. He was such a strong guy, physically powerful and determined to take care of any person or animal that was a part of his life. I wasn’t surprised he had nightmares, after being raised as a warrior slave in the djinn realm. Still, the panic in his voice and those words echoed in my heart.  I couldn’t ignore them forever any more than I could resist doing this bit of reconnaissance in his name.

I slowed the car, inching my way down the driveway.  Here and there, streaks of grayed sun broke through the fog, opening up glimpses of clipped hedges and a turnabout in front of a newer colonial house, nice but disappointingly neat: no junk cars messing up the yard, no pile of old lobster traps, vintage signs or even rusty license plates nailed to the side of a garage, nothing collectable that an antique dealer like me could use as an excuse to knock on the front door and open up a conversation. Still, I couldn’t turn around.  I had to do this.

Thank you so much for stopping by and participating in the New Adult Scavenger Hunt! I hope you enjoyed the exclusive content!

To enter, you need to know that my lucky book number is 17.

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Green and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 

***CONTINUE THE HUNT***

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Ali Parker!

My child’s a picky eater—and that’s okay

I’ve never been exactly food adventurous myself. I consider my eating habits to be “simple,” I order my burgers plain, prefer cheese pizza, and the more ingredients in a dish, the more chances there’s something in there I don’t eat.

I married a man who prefers plain pizza and burgers and that’s fine by me. He eats because he has to, not because he loves to, which contradicts with my food loving self. There’s always been a lot of pressure on him to eat better and more well-rounded, and I decided years ago I’d take a different approach if we ever had kids.

At first, it worked. I pureed all of our son’s foods and he ate a wide variety. The minute we switched to table foods, including introducing breads, my kid’s eating habit went downhill.

Now, I heard a lot about picky eaters, and that a lot of kids go through phrases. We continued to take a soft approach with food, but eventually realized we had another element going: our kid is stubborn.

Had he inherited his father’s eating habits? Or was he playing a control game over food?

Early signs pointed to, yes, he did inherit my husband’s picky eating. And later signs indicated that he inherited some of mine, as well. Add in a weak jaw as a toddler and it all made sense.

But the battle continued, and by the age of six, we didn’t know where the line was regarding food. Was it who he was, or control? We forced new foods, which turned into hours at the table with tears. We also fought to eat our own food aside son’s separate dinner, when he would take one look at our plates and balk. I hear mothers complain about being a short order cook, but it’s never been that simple for my kid.

Here’s the entire list of what my son will eat: muffins (chocolate chip, corn, or coffee cake), pancakes (plain or chocolate chip), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (successfully introduced sunflower seed butter when a classmate had a nut allergy), apples, chocolate yogurt, dino nuggets (McDonald’s chicken nuggets work, most others do not), and French fries.

He’s got a sweet tooth, so many desserts and snacks like chips work. But for food-food, that’s it. If we eat out, my kid eats French fries, maybe an apple, and he really doesn’t care for food.

A few months back, my husband was doing research, and stumbled upon a picky eater support group. Here he found many other adults who eat about the same as he, and our son, does. Some who eat less, some who eat more, all who have legitimate food related issues.

This is a real thing. It’s a disorder. And shortly after we made this discovery I watched my son’s eyes fill with horror as I offered him a new food. He backed away from me. He was not playing. And all I did was hold out a small piece of something in my hand.

Since then, we’ve relaxed about food. We know what our son will eat and we make sure he gets nutrition. We pay attention to what he doesn’t like: smells, textures, appearances, to try and figure out what new foods he might like. When he started skipping lunch at school, we knew there was a bigger issue than hunger going on, and were able to bring this to his teachers’ attention.

It’s also allowed my husband to relax on himself. He’s eating a bit less variety, and I’m going a little crazy needing more, but we understand where he’s coming from. We’ve talked with our son about it, let him know that he’s okay the way he is and that we want him to be open to trying to new things. That’s all, try.

I’m sure others will judge me for how we handle the food issue. Judge away. We are very quick to judge in today’s day and age. But I will say this: my child is happy. He’s healthy. We make sure to have him eat protein and he understands this. And until you try and force feed someone who literally has a food phobia, don’t judge. Food should never involve tears. And it won’t anymore in my home.

The Most Important Part About Writing

The world of a writer is a complex one. There is so much to worry about, from craft to getting an agent, or publisher, sales, or reviews. There are ups and down, valleys and droughts, and so many, many highs.

It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of it all. To chase that next great thing, be it another deal or review or kind word. There are doubts and insecurities and days where words just will not come.

And in the end, none of that matters. Whether or not you land an agent or publisher, whether or not you produce a best seller, or get a starred review, none of that matters except for one important part:

Enjoy writing.

There is nothing like that moment when a plot clicks and comes together. Nothing like that phrase that flows effortlessly onto the page. Nothing like working on a single paragraph for a week and finally, finally making it sing.

Those are the reasons why we write. I know, I have heard some people don’t write for the thrill of it, and I honestly can’t relate. Writing is a need for me, like breathing or eating. It doesn’t come daily, but it fills me inside.

It’s the creativity of it, creating characters and a world and making it come alive on the page. Yes, I’m a feedback junkie, there’s nothing better than getting good reports from my CPs (Critique Partners). But if I don’t first make myself smile, then what’s the point?

Because it takes a lot of hours, blood, sweat, and tears, to get the words just so on the page. And after all that work, I need those moments where the words make me giddy. Where if no one else ever sees them, ever meets my characters, I still revel in their lives, in what I’ve created.

It’s so easy to get caught up in everything else, especially as a career moves forward. To keep progressing, one needs to step back to the creating stage to create more. Deadlines, real life, ups and downs, it all comes into play.

At the end of the day, it’s just words, and it’s for us, the writers, to enjoy first and foremost. Everyone else comes later.