We’re all struggling to find joy, peace, and silver linings.
Some turn inward to find that peace.
And while I definitely search internally for comfort and calm, my Christmas Joy comes with bringing it to others.
Yesterday I did a little thing. It wasn’t much, but it made a difference. I went to the Dollar Tree yesterday after work and picked up a bunch of garland, window clings, and little Santas and Elves. Today I brought them to work and we used them to decorate all of our work station cubicles, spreading a little cheer.
In my alternate universe I’m an alarm dispatcher for security companies. Not exactly a “no stress” job. We need a little Christmas there.
To watch the faces of my work peeps brighten and to see them getting excited about decorating their stations made my whole day!
And it seems I’m not the only one feeling the need to give…
Hubby called me at work to see how I felt about adopting a family in need and making Christmas special for them. We picked a single mom with 5 children between the ages of 10-2. No child should have to miss out on the magic of Christmas.
As many of my long term readers know, I’m a military brat.
We moved. A lot.
Somehow, Christmas still found it’s way into my heart and soul….so this song by the incredibly talented new(ish) artist, Ingrid Andress, really spoke to me on a deep level.
This year has been hard for everyone. No doubt. Between the Rona, quarantine, politics (which I will not be engaging in discussion about because that’s not my style and everyone’s entitled to their opinion), all the sad and strange happenings that seem to be occurring in everyone’s lives, this world could feel downright oppressive.
If you’re not ok right now, I get it, and I’d like to hear from you because I’d like to show you some love and support (and add you to my prayers–even if it’s not something you believe it it can’t hurt, right?).
But me? I need a different kind of focus…
The reality is most of those things are outside of our control, right?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you already know “out of my control” is not my bag…so I focused on my controllables.
Like finding pretty purple glasses that make me feel kinda sexy.
Like discovering that the silver in my hair looks hawt enough to embrace growing it out until it’s safe enough to meet with my stylist. (I’m in a state where I could go because we’re not locked down, but she’s the caregiver for her elderly mother and I don’t feel comfortable exposing her to me when I’ve been an “essential worker” and around people this whole time.)
Most of all I’m thankful for YOU–my online family. I’m grateful for the laughter from shared memes, the check-ins, the likes and comments, the messages, the encouragement and feedback.
It meant so much to me that I wanted to do something nice for you, so TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY I’ve made A Way With Words FREE!
I’m spending today at work, but tomorrow both my brother-in-law (the ER doc) and I will be off, so we’ll enjoy our family Thanksgiving then. I can’t wait for all the fabulous food and family time.
What are you thankful for? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What about your favorite food?
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!
I love music. For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while, this isn’t exactly a shocker. Music often finds the words we, as everyday people, often can’t. But there are times… Moments… Of course, one of the biggest moments when we find we don’t have words are when talking about love.
We’ve all had those moments where we’ve fallen for someone who was already involved, right? Well, two seriously catchy songs came out nearly at the same time, talking about this phenomenon and how they handled it. One of them I loved. The other one? Well… Let me share the songs and see what you think.
Here’s the second song.
So the general overarching story is the same… But how each song handled it, to me, was vastly different.
The first song, while catchy, bothered me. To me, it felt a bit disrespectful of the woman, her relationship, and lacking completely in boundaries. Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone how you feel about then. At. All. My issue comes when you go past telling the object of your affections about how you feel and disrespect her relationship, try to cajole and manipulate her into ending things. You also assume she feels the same way, and you don’t even have the guts to call her without a little liquid courage…which means she probably should take absolutely nothing you say seriously.
The other one? He notices things about the girl. He respects their friendship. He tells her all the awesome things he admires about her. He worries she’s not being treated right…and then he lays his heart on the line and basically says that if he’s stupid enough to let you go, he’ll be there waiting and hoping for his chance.
Is it just me? Am I overreacting or overthinking? Because I know I’ve always been turned off by people who’ve had no respect for my choices and my relationships, but I’ve been honored and flattered by people who’ve just wanted to express their admiration and caring. To me, there’s a huge difference.
What are your thoughts? Any songs hit you kind of funny recently? I’d love to hear about it.
Dang! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to blog and I’ve missed it!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday that we neglect to notice the softer, sweeter moments. Maybe that’s why this particular Jim Brickman song, sung by Mark Masri, soothes me so much…
How do you take a moment to stop and appreciate the joy of the holiday season? Do you?
There’s something about the “Pay It Forward” philosophy that speaks to me. We’ve all been in a place where we’ve needed extra support or a helping hand, both personally and professionally. It was other bloggers and writers who encouraged me, cheered me on, and supported me in various ways that gave me the courage to chase my dreams of becoming published.
So, when I have the opportunity to help a fellow writer/author/blogger, I jump. All anyone has to do is say the word, and I’m there. Excited at the opportunity to help. Just like you guys have done for me.
Today I have the pleasure of sharing the cover reveal for At Death’s Door, the freshman effort by fantasy author, Astrid Tallaksen. Although our genres may be different, her excerpt and beautiful cover certainly caught my eye. I’d love to hear what you guys think…. Check it out!
At Death’s Door
Freefall Series book #1
The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.
Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she’s experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.
Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?
Debut author Astrid V. Tallaksen grew up with a heart for stories of creatures and places outside of this world. Her love of reading quickly became a love of writing. She spent several years creating content and helping writers to improve their craft on the online world of Althanas, a creative writing workshop in the guise of a roleplaying forum. A self-avowed nerd, Astrid loves science fiction, comic books, and eighties fantasy movies in the vein of The Princess Bride and Labyrinth. Her geekiness extends to annual volunteer work at the massive sci-fi convention known as Dragon*con every year in Atlanta, Georgia. In the odd times that she’s not immersed in geekdom or writing, Astrid loves to sing karaoke, crochet, and spend time with her family and pets.
Still not over the tragedy from yesterday…but I don’t think we’re meant to get over events like that completely. I’m just glad to be home with my hubby and my dogs, able to hug and kiss them…and bake Christmas cookies.
Of course this means I need to smile because those cookies need to taste like joy, not tears…. So, for me, the first step is to bring on the music. Shocker, right? But not just any music…Christmas music!
So, here is one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, done on one of my favorite TV shows, GLEE..by one of my favorite Pinoy Mestisos (kinda like me)…Darren Criss. I’m really hoping that his character and Kurt’s find their way back to each other…they were one of the sweetest couples on TV before the show decided to split them up. Darren Criss is just so uber talented!!!
So tell me, what is your favorite Christmas song from a TV episode or Movie? (By the way…my all time favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas)
And now, here are Blaine and Kurt (before they got together) singing…”Baby It’s Cold Outside”!
So, I've been spanked, hard! I have spanked myself hard, I have spanked others even harder! I'm now heading for a different road, one that still includes all the best bits of me, all the naughty bits, all the hot steamy bits, and plenty of spanking still to be had! But this time I'm creating characters to play out my delightful erotic fantasies, I hope you enjoy the new ride as much as the previous one...