As we celebrate Fathers and all the Dads (both with us and who’ve left us way too soon, leaving a giant hole where they used to be), reflection is natural.
In real life, my bio-dad wasn’t much there for me, but my step-dad who came into my life when I was nearly out of the house has been there for pretty much every milestone and hard time I’ve come across, and I’m grateful.
It also got me thinking about the awesome new release by the awesome author S.H. Timmins. This is a New Adult coming of age book with an awesome cast of characters to fall in love with and villains to seriously hate. Why am I mentioning this book on Father’s Day?
Well, imagine you’re a youngster from the wrong side of the tracks and your grandmother passed away leaving you and your single mother pretty much homeless. Shortly after the funeral, a wealthy man pulls up, talks to your mom, and before you know it you’re living a new life in a new home on the right side of the tracks. Turns out the guy was her mom’s boss and he offered to “rescue” them if her mother would be his wife, become mother to his son (the same age as the young girl), and never look back at her past.
Doesn’t sound too horrible so far, right? I mean, he took the little girl, Jolene, in and put her in all the best schools. How very altruistic, right? But things aren’t all that they seem. Especially after her mother dies, leaving her alone and in this man’s care.
Of course, there’s another dad in this story. He was the man Jolene’s mom had been dating before her grandmother died. His son, Cruz, was Jolene’s best friend in the whole world, and they both adored her.
Turns out that Cruz’s dad and Jo’s mom had been high school sweethearts, they’d broken up and he married Cruz’s mother because she needed his help. She found herself dumped by her college boyfriend and pregnant with a family who kicked her out. He stepped up. Even knowing Cruz wasn’t his, he married the friend in need which cost him his chance with Jo’s mom.
And yet he never looked back. Until his wife passed away from a terrible accident and they reconnected through their kids. Sounds like a good man, too. Right?
And yet one is an amazing person and one is a monster. The type of villain you can’t forgive or forget with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In Echoes of Us, Timmins wrote the characters so well that I felt actual hate for a fictional character. I cheered for goodness to win. Nearly died in anticipation of comeuppance and justice for the wronged. And the romance? Ooh la la! Yummy!
Curious? Don’t believe me? Check the book out. I dare ya! I
guarantee you’ll love all the twists and turns and you’ll become a huge fan of
hers. Just. Like. Me.
I took my first real vacation in a couple of years this last week. The hubby and I flew out to Arizona to visit my in-laws, but not until after I finished the first draft on my first full sized book. (YAY!)
As a military brat I’ve been on many flights– some fun (me on a plane with an entire college football team just after I’d become legal–and they were flirting), some boring (standard flight with no excitement or turbulence), some a tad bit crazy (the guy who stunk of pot and B.O. and told me he spoke a rare language from a country most people didn’t know which turned out to be Danish/Denmark, then proceeded to tell me that the Philippines would rule the world someday when he found out I spoke Tagalog)….but nothing like the flight my heroine took when she moved to Nashville. (I’ll share what I mean in a moment.)
Our flight to Arizona would’ve been fairly uneventful except that on the layover flight from Atlanta to Tucson, I wound up sitting beside a man with a horrible case of silent but violent gas. Hubby was stuck behind him. It was bad.
The flight home couldn’t have been worse, right? Wrong. From Tucson to Atlanta I was trapped between a French dude who was polite, but didn’t speak much English, and a Russian lady who was still breastfeeding her adorable toddler and didn’t have much by way of courtesy. When I tried to get to my seat, instead of getting up with her child so I didn’t have to worry about smacking someone in the face with my backpack, she just slid her legs to the side–mind you, she had an aisle seat. Fortunately, the Frenchman was kind enough to offer to take my bag so I wouldn’t hit anyone and I squeezed my way in.
Throughout the flight, the child was a trooper, but her mom didn’t pay attention or try to preserve my personal space as the little girl stretched and kicked. The whole shoving her little one under her shirt every few minutes didn’t really phase me because I figured it was her way to try to keep the child soothed and occupied so she wouldn’t get cranky.
Once we reached Atlanta we stopped at Bobby Flay’s cheeseburger place where I promptly had my glass full of Coke Zero shatter, dousing me completely (pants and top) in soda. Ugh. Do you know how uncomfortable it is to walk through an airport all wet and stained? It couldn’t get worse, right?
Wrong. The final leg of the flight had hubby and I sitting together, but the guy in front of us smelled like sour sweat and also had a huge gas problem. I really was kind of hoping by that point that the oxygen masks might fall down and save us from the odors. And the landing? Major turbulence that had some of the people around us freaking out. An old flyer like me? Felt like she’d just gotten a fun roller coaster ride.
I really was wishing my flight had been more like the one my heroine, Kalina Santos, experienced in my upcoming release, A Way With Words. Here’s an unedited excerpt:
“What are we doing here, sweetheart?” The desire darkened his eyes to a golden brown, but concern was there, too. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to do this with you, but I don’t want you to regret it. Tell me now if you’re not into this. There’s nothing wrong with getting caught in the moment. It’s a judgment free zone, right here.” She pulled back; looked away from the temptation of those cat eyes (well, what else do you call eyes that are sometimes green, sometimes yellow, and seem to see into your soul?) and considered his words. His thoughtful generosity touched her as much as the thick erection under the soft cotton of his jeans aroused her. The irony wasn’t lost on her that he showed more concern for her and her feelings than the evil ex she’d been with for years and refused to allow to taint this moment with any more space in her brain. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to join the mile-high club.” She leaned in and caught his earlobe between her teeth. “Somehow I think this bucket list item works better with a partner. What do you think?”
So what about you? What was your most memorable plane ride? Ever join the mile high club? Tell me all about it!
Those of you who’ve followed this blog for a long time know that this is where I enjoy sharing my passions and the random thought that comes to mind.
One of my biggest passions is reading and writing, so when an opportunity arrives to share an amazing piece of work (I’m talking the woman, not the book) along with her exciting new release, I jump at the chance! This woman, L. J. Kentowski, has not only been an incredible supporter over the years, but she’s also a ridiculously talented author.
So, of course, when I heard she was coming out with a new book, I was thrilled! I mean, I’ve been a fan since I read and reviewed her first book right here on THIS BLOG!
And then I read the SNEAK PEEK she posted on her website and I was sold!
When I saw the gorgeous cover and read the FABULOUS BOOK, I begged for an interview…. With Lexie Pierce! I mean, she’s looks like Cassadee Pope AND she’s rocking black angels wings. It practically screamed BADASS! And L. J., generous woman that she is, set it up.
I looked down at the paper where I’d written the address, then looked up at the monstrosity of a mansion. Yup! I was in the right place. So I rang the doorbell.
The door swung open, and there stood the fallen angel, herself… Lexie Pierce, in the flesh. I’m not gonna lie. My jaw dropped. She was as stunning in person as she’d been in my imagination. Hovering behind her, stood the heart-stoppingest mountain of a man I’d ever seen. Everything about him oozed danger and sex appeal.
Me: Hi! Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me, Lexie! I’ve been dying for my readers to learn more about you. (I shrug sheepishly) And for me to ask all the extra questions I’ve been dying to know.
Lexie: Anything for my girl, L.J. Ries, stop hovering and go somewhere!
Ries rumbled something under his breath as he walks away.
Lexie: Now, Why don’t we get started…
Me: So tell me a little bit about yourself. How exactly does one become a fallen angel?
Lexie: Well, I guess I’d say it comes down to intent, both in life and death. Those sins you committed throughout your life—you’re accountable for them. You either repent or you don’t. And don’t expect to fool the guards at the pearly gates because they see right through you. Literally. My only intention at the gates was to ask those guards for directions to the fastest elevator to hell to pick up my black wings.
Me: So how painful was it to make that choice? I mean, there were physical and emotional ramifications, right?
Lexie: Honestly, I felt nothing. I had already become numbed to the pain after my parents were murdered and my sister taken by that piece of shit fanger. The only emotion I felt was vengeance, and I was willing to do anything to get it.
Me: Was heaven really that unappealing? Was there nothing that made you want to stay?
Lexie: Of course, heaven was appealing. My parents were there. But I really didn’t have a choice. Revenge drove me to my decisions. My sister was still out there somewhere, and I had to find her. But most of all, the fanger needed to pay.
Me: So tell me about Jaz. She seems pretty cool… How would you describe your friendship? Is she kind of a surrogate sister to replace the one taken from you?
Lexie: I guess I never really thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, I guess she did become kind of a surrogate sister after a while. Initially, I didn’t intend to have anyone by my side in my mission of revenge, especially a werewolf, but after I saved her from the dirty vamps who were trying to feed on her, I felt an obligation to keep her safe, so I started training her. Eventually, she just became a permanent fixture in my death. It certainly didn’t hurt to have her badass, nerd skills to help track down my enemy.
Me: Do you think you’ll ever be able to get your sister back?
Lexie: In this crazy ass world? I’ve learned anything is possible. Especially after going through everything I have. NOTHING is as it seems.
Me: True enough. So let’s get to the dirt… like Reis–what was your REAL first impression?
Lexie: He took my breath away. I had to remind myself those fangs of his made him my enemy, and he was made that way to lure me in. For the first time I thought about getting a little taste of a vamp before killing him.
Me: So, inquiring minds wanna know! What does he do that absolutely melts your panties?
Lexie: Aside from looking like an Adonis that makes your breath catch at a mere glance? The dirty thoughts he plants in my head. Holy hell, that man has built up an imagination in all his years. And, okay, don’t tell him I said this, but his overprotective nature is kinda hot.
A deep baritone voice rumbles out, “Kinda, my ass. You love it.” I look around for the source of the voice…
Lexie: (An irritated look comes over her face as she bellows out.) Out of my head, Draeger!
Me: So that was him? (I grin as Lexie nods sheepishly.) Then maybe this next question is a bit self explanatory. What things make you want to kiss him and knock him on his ass simultaneously?
Lexie: Did I mention his overprotective nature? Yeah, that. Drives me nuts when he knows I’m fully capable of handling myself. Hell, I’ve even handled him a time or two. Granted, I think that only made him horny, but still.
Me: So, if you had to pick your favorite body part on Reis?
Ries sounds delighted as he interrupts, this time from around the corner where it’s now obvious he’s been shamelessly eavesdropping. “Can’t wait to hear this one, Love.”
Lexie: (Looking thoroughly exasperated and amused.) Reis, OUT! (She waits until she hears footsteps) I can’t pick. There’s too many! Okay, well, there’s one that stands out, of course (a wicked grin spreads across her face). And I will go to my eternal death denying I ever said this, but those fangs are capable of amazing things at the right times and in the right places.
Me: Okay, thanks for being so patient. Last question… What do you love best about yourself?
Lexie: (Looking at me like I’ve been dropped on my head, then breaking out into a huge grin.) Oh, that one’s easy. My weapons! What girl doesn’t love her toys? 😉
And with a final flourish, Lexie spreads her wings for me to appreciate, thanks me for coming, and shows me to the door.
To pick up your copy of Descended in Vengeance, click HERE!
So I decided to challenge myself a little more this year. I’ve been dying to support an amazing author and critique partner by buying and reading her dark series. Why? Because it’s out of my comfort zone and she’s a skilled storyteller. I thought I would admire her talent, but it would be more from a professional or clinical aspect. Instead, I was drawn in.
The way S. H. Timmins understands human nature and how we’re all flawed, but beautiful is amazing. How she finds twisted souls and either finds their matches or helps them discover a complimentary opposite is awe inspiring. And she hammered that lesson home with her second book, Fears in the Dark.
How? How does she do it?
Ms. Timmins takes dark, wounded, practically feral creatures who have little understanding or appreciation for the things we tend to value and makes us care about them. We want to see them find their version of happiness. We want to see that embracing those things that make us cringe and use it to heal or find peace and acceptance. And love. Just the way they are.
Dark is usually a hard limit for me. But if everyone wrote dark the way this lady does? It just might become my new addiction.
I thought this one was going to be the hardest read, what with Blake’s tendency towards biting and hints of possible cannibalism in the first book. And to pair him up with a sweet little book shop owner? I scratched my head and wondered…how’s that gonna work? Turns out I was worried for nothing. Hell, these two tortured souls might have even been sweeter than Loki and his Little Cat.
Either way, this is a can’t miss if you love dark reads! Ms. Timmins is sublime with how she rolls out this world of darkness, and you won’t want to miss it.
So how do you plan on challenging yourself this year? Any personal growth plans? Is there anyone you’d love to show a little love and support to? Any great reads? You’re welcome to share a link in the comments as well as why the person is deserving of a little love!
Writing is an amazing thing. It can help to build all the most incredible relationships. A lot like reading can find you some amazing, like-minded friends, sharing a passion for creating stories can do the same thing.
It was actually through a Facebook book club where I met the intrepid S. H. Timmins, author extraordinaire. Heck, these days, we help admin the page together along with two other terrific book lovers.
So, of course, when I learned that her most recent book was coming out, I begged her for a chance to pimp it…and her…to my fabulous friends who follow my blog. And she agreed to honor me with an interview to introduce her to you guys.
Me: When did you start writing?
S.H.: I have always been writing short stories for my own pleasure, and finally took the leap into independent writing as a career path in 2015.
Me: When did you realize you wanted to pursue this passion professionally?
S. H.: When did you realize you wanted to pursue this passion professionally?
A: It was my mother who always encouraged me to pursue writing as a profession. I lacked the confidence in my ability, but she always saw the best in me. When she passed away in 2013, I channeled my pain into written words to help cope with the loss. After a year of purging my grief, I found the courage to write my first novel.
Me: I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, but I’m sure she would be so thrilled to know her encouragement made such a huge difference in helping give you the strength to pursue your dreams of becoming an author. Speaking of authors… What authors inspire you?
S. H.: So many authors have inspired my passion for books and reading. Most of my early years were spent reading paranormal and fantasy fiction. Later, I would discover a whole new world of independent authors that opened my eyes to incredible possibilities. Tara Sivec and Emma Chase were the two authors that inspired me to write my first book; a romantic comedy titled, Bent.
BTW, Bent is currently available for $.99, so go ahead and click that link! And her newest book, Lies in the Shadows, just released today! And she’s willing to share her thoughts on her characters with us. How cool is that?
Me: Tell me what characteristics you love most about your hero & heroine?
S. H.: All my heroines are independent and their own heroes. The heroine in my latest book is brave and resilient. She endures and doesn’t break. Qualities we all strive to nurture in ourselves. I’m not sure what characteristics I love about my hero, but I enjoyed how his character evolved with the story and showed personal growth in the end.
Me: What did you hate most?
S.H.: I hated having to keep the big twist a secret until the end of the book. It’s not easy keeping a secret.
Me: What was the most difficult part to write in this book?
S.H.: The most difficult parts of any book for me to write are the love scenes. It is hard to make them realistic, yet fantastical. There are only so many words you can use before it becomes redundant and the scenes lose their luster.
Me: What was your favorite part to write in this book?
S.H.: My favorite parts to write in this book were the interactions between the characters. I always enjoy watching them come to life on the pages and how they develop their own personalities.
Me:Wow! Talk about awesomeness. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Now it’s time to pimp away, lady!
✫ ¸.•´¸.•*´¨♡ ¸.•*¨ It’s Live! Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited! ✫ ¸.•´¸.•*´¨♡ ¸.•*¨ ♡ ¸.•´✶
Lies in the Shadows by S.H. Timmins A Darkest Needs Novel – Book Three
There is a difference between living and existing. Sometimes you need to walk with the nightmares to find your way back to the light. He lied to me. He lies to everyone, including himself. But I know a secret. He may want to break me, but he is healing us both. This is my truth.
Hey everyone! August McLaughlin has been one of my very dear friends for quite some time now. We met through blogging and found very quickly that we had a shared passion for female emotional and sexual empowerment. We need strong, sexual, sensual women! Too often sex has been wrapped up as a weapon or as something bad or negative, and through our own experiences, we’ve found our voices to help.
So, of course, when I found out that my girl was putting out a book made for the women we love to embrace and empower, I had to show her some love. As always, she graciously accepted the opportunity to share on my blog. (BTW, you’re going to want to read to the end as there may be an opportunity for YOU there.)
Me:Welcome to theinnerwildkat, August! So glad you could join me! I’m just going to dive in and pick your beautiful brain, ok? Tell us how the GirlBoner brand came to be…(How did you get the inspiration? Where did the name come from?)
August:Like many people, I learned very little about sex and sexuality during my youth. In sex ed, I remember learning a little bit about male sexual pleasure—at least that it existed—and zilch about anything positive for gals. So as soon as I learned what “boner” meant I literally wondered, What about Girl Boners?
Years later, embracing my sexuality helped me heal from a severe eating disorder. Once I’d built a writing career, it felt natural to use my platform to shed light on the type of sexual empowerment that helped save my life and that so many people still stand to gain.
Me: What of the subjects you covered in your book were most eye opening to you?
August: One of the biggest involved the (creepy) history of masturbation—or, rather, how solo play has been viewed and, no pun intended, handled. I want someone to write a thriller about that history one day. It would make an excellent movie!
Me: We may have to dig deeper into that subject at a later time if you’re willing. But for now, let’s keep going. What did you find most entertaining? Maybe even funny? (Heck, sex can be both amazing and funny, right?)
August: Heck, yes! Some of my favorite kicks and giggles came from my editor’s notes. I remember one clearly: “Did you mean to say ‘ring around the peenie?’” (I guess you had to be there!) (Also, yes, I did.)
Me: What about creating your brand—between your books, your radio show, your blog, BOAW—wowed YOU most?
August: I was stunned to find that I enjoyed blogging. My then agent had suggested it, and I was like, “Write more?” I was already writing articles nearly full-time and working on another novel. But I loved blogging straight away, and far more so when I started breaking the “rules” and focusing on material I felt compelled to explore with the goal of having fun or helping others.
Another biggie was realizing how important connection is to me. Talking with people and sharing others’ stories has become a major passion of mine, and fills in emotional gaps when I’m spending a lot of time in the writing cave.
Me: Looking back, is there anything you might have done differently?
August: There are some technical things I wish I’d done differently, like starting a mailing list straight away. I also went through a rough patch in 2016 and wish I had gotten support sooner. Let both of those be a lesson to anyone reading this: If you have a brand or product, start your list! And always, always take care of you.
Me: You have so many diverse guests on your radio show. Who has been your most memorable interview?
August: Some of the most memorable are the ghost hunter who I interviewed because I wanted to know if ghosts have sex, Tika Thornton, an incredible woman who survived sex trafficking, and my mom, who I never imagined with join me in the Girl Boner studio, but I’m so grateful she has – twice!
Me: I LOVE your mom. I was thrilled when she friended me on Facebook, and I love the bag she made that I won during one of the Beauty Of A Woman events, which leads in quite nicely to my next question. What has been your biggest life lesson through this whole process?
August: Probably that your mission is your reward. I wrote about this on my blog recently, but in short, I initially thought my Girl Boner book would release within a year or two once I launched the blog series—which was many proposals, two agents, multiple rejections and plenty of life ago.
In that time, though, Girl Boner has taken me in directions I hadn’t anticipated and allowed me to learn so much about myself, sexuality and my audience. I’m not sure we writers can write an impactful book without knowing who we’re speaking to on a deep level, especially when it comes to nonfiction.
Me: How has this experience changed YOU?
August: I’ve learned to be a better listener and how important listening is. It’s also given me a profound sense of purpose. It’s so cliché, but Girl Boner really does get me up in the morning most days. I love people so much and it means so much to me to be able to connect with so many wonderful ones and to write and speak about issues so near to my heart.
It’s also forced me to learn patience. My favorite type is the kind we don’t even realize we’re practicing (LOL). When you continue to create content and put forth effort, including efforts to take care of yourself, you don’t feel like you’re waiting around for any particular thing. You can stay hopeful, but also rest easy, knowing you’re doing the thing already.
Me: What’s next for you?
August: I’m kicking of a book launch tour with readings, live Girl Boner Radio recordings and more in Minneapolis, LA, NYC, Las Vegas and hopefully other cities, starting August 11th. I’m really looking forward to mixing and mingling with folks across the country. Between trips, I’ll be working on other-things-Girl Boner from home, with my animal coworkers.
Me: Would you like to share something about the book? (Excerpt, quote, anything?)
August: One of my favorite quotes in the companion book releasing the same day, Girl Boner Journal, came from a random tweet I posted a couple of years ago. I like it because it feels so true and so GB:
“You know what lowers many women’s libido? Inequality. Repression. Damaging myths. When women rise, so do Girl Boners.”
Me: Well said! And with that, how can we get our hands on one of your hot new books?
August: The book is available for pre-order on amazon HERE. I’m running a little sweepstakes with The Pleasure Chest for anyone who preorders, which people can enter HERE! Thanks so much for having me, Kitt. You’re spectacular.
Me: August, you’re welcome here anytime! Congratulations and good luck! Also, thanks so much for mentioning me in the book! Sooo HONORED!
Now, it’s time for you guys! What do you think? Any questions for me? August? Feel free! Also, you should really follow this woman. She’s got a ton of amazing knowledge to share if you’re interested.
If there’s one thing in the world I hate, it’s bullies and mean people.
This is a big world. And it’s hard. There is NO reason or excuse for being nasty or hurtful.
Having said that, I just had to speak out when I saw all the crap going down in the romance world.
Imagine the arrogance it must take for a person to copyright an everyday word and claim it for “branding” purposes. Imagine said author using the apparent inability of her fans to distinguish her works over other authors because they use the same word in the title. Then imagine this same author choosing to go after other authors with the word in their titles and basically serving them with cease and desist orders and threatening litigation.
And if you are/were her fan, how are you not offended? I mean:
She basically called you stupid.
She’s saying you can’t read well enough to recognize her name.
She doesn’t think you’re capable of returning a book once you realize you’ve downloaded the wrong one.
All this, and you’re still willing to be her little monsters running around giving other people 1 star reviews because they have that word in their title or they have books whose characters share names with some of hers? Or if they’ve used the same stock photos in their book covers?
Put on your big girl panties and grow the eff up. You want to be big in this business? Do it by writing amazing books people can’t put down! Do it with class and respect for your peers. Don’t try to shut everyone else down in the hopes that you’ll be the only one left standing, and therefore “succeeding” by default. That’s just crappy.
And if you haven’t heard about this or you don’t know the word? Let Kid Rock educate you….
In her ideal world, no one else is allowed to use “Cocky.”
Whew! She must be relieved Kid hadn’t already beat her to it, huh?
And you know what breaks my heart? Some hard working, classy authors have already changed their titles thanks to her strong arm tactics. Even though they have every right to the word.
This is one of those times when readers and writers need to band together to show that this behavior of hers is unacceptable. That trying to undermine other people’s careers and livelihoods is not ok and has not gone unnoticed. That these lesser known authors have our support!
Here’s a LINK to a petition to cancel the Cocky trademark.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. I’m randomly picking 5 people to give whichever Cocky book listed on Ana’s page that you’d like. Again, all you have to do is share your thoughts….whatever they may be.