Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Laurie Roma: ~ The Midnight Gala ~

Laurie Roma: ~ The Midnight Gala ~: Come join me, Kali Argent, Susan Hayes, Lacey Thorn, Jenika Snow and Erika Reed in New Orleans the weekend of Oct 9-11th for the Midni...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dear Me



Today is a bad day. Nothing particularly bad happened, but it's one of those times where the perfectionist in me isn't pleased. I'm human. I get down on myself, sometimes worse than others. However, after an hour of degrading myself, I realized something very important. 

I would never talk to someone the way I talk to myself. Hell, I'd never let anyone else talk to ME the way I talk to myself. Then I thought back to all that I've accomplished, all the ways I've changed in the past several years. I'm not the same person I was at 15. I don't have the same goals or ambitions. What would I say to that girl? That bright-eyed, eager girl who has her whole life ahead of her? And that's where I started.

This is for me. To remind myself that it's okay to be flawed. But maybe someone else out there needs to hear it, too. 




Dear 15-year-old me, 

We’re 31 now. Congratulations! Believe me, life after 30 isn’t as bad as they’ve told you. The next 16 years are going to go fast, so cherish every moment—the good and the bad. 

That boy you’re dating right now? He’ll become your best friend, your biggest fan, your unshakable rock. You’re going to marry him. You’ll have two beautiful, smart, and amazing boys. They’ll test your patience and your sanity, but you’ll love them in ways you didn’t realize you were capable of. You’ll love them so much it hurts. 

We became Mom, and that’s the highest compliment I can give. You don’t have much time left with her, so soak it while you can and stop being a dick. One day, you’ll understand how much she loves you and how much she sacrificed for you. You won’t have much longer with Dad, either. It sucks, and it’s going to hurt, but you’ll get through it. People in your life love you. Let them. 

We didn’t go to college. I know you have your life all planned out, but fate has a different plan. I know change is hard, and some days will be harder than others, but everything is going to be fine. In fact, it’ll be better than fine.

We don’t have the same friends. Really, we don’t talk to anyone from back “home” anymore. People will come and go in your life, but there will be a few who stick around, who will support you unconditionally, who will give as much as they take. Treasure them, for they are rare and dazzling gems. 

We’re flawed.

We still trust too easily. We want to see the good in people, and for that, we’ve endure a lot of heartache. The world is full of people who will try to tear you down, people who will tell you that you can’t do it, no matter what “it” is. Don’t let them. You are capable of great things, and you’re just stubborn enough to work harder to prove them wrong.

We’ve gained a few pounds. We have stretch marks, wider hips, and cellulite. You literally grew two people inside your body. Give yourself a break.

We lose our temper…a lot, but we still hate confrontation. We still let people take advantage of us. We’re still the “fixer.” We forgive too easily. This will make life harder than it needs to be, but that’s who we are. Embrace it, and love yourself. Having a big heart full of compassion is not the worst thing in the world.

We have our crazy days. We’re irrational and illogical and unpredictable. Even after you’ve accepted this, it won’t change, so just go with it. That guy I told you we marry? He’ll still love you.

In closing, love yourself. When you screw up—and you will almost daily—forgive yourself. You are beautiful, intelligent, giving, and even when you don’t believe it, you matter. Though you’ll want to, you don’t have to be Superwoman all the time. 

So, if you take nothing else away from my ramblings, know this:

We’re not perfect.

And that’s okay.





Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Release ~ SHADOW SOLDIER

I'm so excited to present the first book in the Revenant Series -- SHADOW SOLDIER! Happy Reading!


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When the Purge nearly wiped out humanity and gave rise to the Allied Races Coalition, Roux Jennings refused to become a paranormal’s new pet. Forced into hiding, she remains constantly on the move, never staying in one place for too long. It’s a harsh existence filled with too many dangers and not enough food, but at least she’s free.

Coalition Captain Deke Collins is tasked with protecting the citizens of Trinity Grove—both human and paranormal alike. Presenting the mask of a loyal and dutiful soldier isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessary evil. If anyone discovers he’s the leader of a group of rebels secretly known as the Revenant, he won’t live to see the next sunrise. 

When circumstances force him into the path of a beautiful and tenacious female, he’s immediately drawn to the human. Dragging Roux into his world may put her in more danger than even he realizes, but it’s a risk he must take to protect her.

In a reality where paranormals rule and humans are nearly extinct, lines are drawn, sides are chosen, and a war for freedom rages in secret.



CHAPTER ONE TEASER

Nevah shrugged and dropped the subject. “After we get supplies, we really need to move on.”

“That’s the plan.” Roux glanced sideways at her comrade. “We never stay in one place for too long, and we don’t stick around after a raid.”

Nevah shook her head. “That’s not what I mean. We need to get as far away from this place as possible, away from Trinity Grove.”

“What’s in Trinity Grove? Other than a horde of vampires, that is.”

“Not just vampires, but all kinds of Gemini.”

The Gemini. That was what everyone called them—the monsters with two faces, with dual natures. Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and whatever other strange supernatural creatures prowled the night. Normally, most looked no different than her or any other human, but their dark essence always lurked just beneath the surface. Roux didn’t know where the term had originated, but she definitely found it fitting.

After the Purge, the Gemini had been all too eager to come out of hiding. With so few humans left to oppose them, they’d quickly risen to power, forming the Allied Races Coalition. By the end of the year, they’d divided North America into territories—cities and surrounding areas governed by prominent paranormal families—and nothing had been the same since. 

Trinity Grove resided in vampire-controlled territory, but beyond that, Roux didn’t know much about the town or the family that ruled it. 

“I still don’t get it,” she admitted. “Gemini are everywhere, what makes this place so different?”

“They call it the Devil’s Den,” Nevah answered after a long pause, her voice quieter, more subdued. “It’s controlled by the Diavolos family. Very old, very powerful, and very deadly. The rumor is their roots go all the way back to the amphitheaters of Rome.”

“Like gladiators?” Roux snorted and shook her head. “Are you serious?”

Nevah didn’t return her smile. “Exactly like gladiators. They’re not strangers to carnage, Roux, and they won’t be merciful if they catch us.”

As far as Roux could tell, they sounded no different than any other member of the Coalition, but she didn’t argue. The trees had started to thin, their branches trimmed back from the two-lane highway as houses and businesses appeared on the side of the road. Just ahead, past a two-story farmhouse with blue siding and white shutters, the grocer stood illuminated by a pair of yellow streetlamps. 

Bright paint decorated the glowing, storefront windows in a summer mural of colorful flowers and a corny depiction of a smiling sun. A shingled awning stretched over a wooden porch that wrapped around the sides of the small store, and by all appearances, the grocer had once been someone’s home. 

As usual, Cade went first, motioning for everyone to stay put until he’d crossed the highway and ducked into the shadows at the corner of the building. Denny followed next, moving quicker than his fragile appearance would suggest he could. Once Greg and Brody had joined them, Nevah stepped out of the tree line, her gaze cautious and alert as she started across the street.

Roux crouched in the bushes, sliding her utility knife from its sheath as she listened for Nevah’s footsteps to fade. The humidity of the day paired with the falling temperatures of the night produced a hazy fog that covered the ground and swirled around her feet. A light mist had begun to fall, and while it wouldn’t wash away the weeks of dirt and grime, Roux closed her eyes, allowing herself a moment to enjoy the cool water against her skin. 

The crunch of gravel reached her ears, meaning Nevah had reached the grocer’s parking lot. Rising from her position, Roux kept low, checking her surroundings once again before stepping around the neatly trimmed hedge. She’d just stepped across the white line on the edge of the asphalt when a scream pierced the air.

Denny.

A lump formed in her throat as her heart pounded a hard rhythm against her sternum. Torn between helping her group and saving her own ass, Roux stood frozen, one foot still planted on the street. She’d never proclaimed to be brave, and it wasn’t as though she could do anything useful. More than likely, she’d only end up dead, or worse…captured. Better to be dead than what awaited her in the city.

Against her better judgment and all of her instincts, Roux released the breath she’d been holding and darted across the highway. Instead of a direct route to the grocer, however, she veered to the left, slipping into the darkness cast along the side of the farmhouse. Another cry rose up on the wind, this one deeper, more guttural, and Roux instantly recognized it as Cade’s.

A line of peach trees separated the residential home from the small store, its low-hanging branches creating a perfect swath of shadows. Gathering her courage, Roux pushed away from the side of the house and hurried across the sodden grass to the nearest tree, just as the rain began to fall in earnest. With her back pressed against the wide trunk, she paused, fighting to control her rapid breathing. 

“Your plan is what, exactly?” a low, masculine voice asked from somewhere in the darkness to her right. “Rescue your friends armed with a single knife and determination?”


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