That’s it for me. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ posts by clicking their names.
Back in January, we did a post about our 2019 goals. I wrote:
I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to put other people’s work before my own. Sometimes, that’s necessary because of agreed upon deadlines, but that’s not always the case.
So, this year, I’m going to work on valuing my own work as much as I do the work of others. In addition, I’ll be taking time to decompress. I don’t want to burn out. I’ve done it before, and right now, I feel dangerously close to it, again.
I realize these goals aren’t particularly tangible or quantifiable, like the goals I usually make. But, right now, I think that’s for the best.
While I’m not perfect, I’m happy to report that I’ve made huge improvements in making time for my own work and valuing it as much as I do others. And surprise-surprise, I’ve gotten a lot more writing done. Amazing how that works…
I’ve also been making time for self-care which had been sorely lacking during the previous year. So, even though I’m not as far along on my own projects as I’d like to be, I’m definitely farther along than I would be if I’d continued last year’s work habits.
Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be farther still.
Check out the other bloggers’ posts by clicking their names.
I think the best fiction, no matter the genre, has moments of beautiful perfect clarity that feel like a palm to the forehead. That flash of recognition mixed with understanding nestled into the page of someone else’s story that helps you see your own world a little more clearly. I love that shit. Seriously.
And to be honest, I almost always find these little gifts in the pages of my favorite authors’ books. But the one that’s stuck with me forever–well over twenty years now–is this little gem from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.
I remember exactly where I was when I read it–in a long drive-thru line at a McDonald’s with two hungry, screaming toddlers in the backseat and a dangerously low-level of patience and sanity. I was completely overwhelmed by literally everything because at the time, my life was a shit sundae. And all I could think was, Oh my god…Richard. Richard Mayhew understands me on a spiritual level.
Is that the most profound of all of the lessons I’ve learned? Nah. But it is the first time I’ve ever felt simultaneously called out and supported by a character whose life couldn’t be more different if we tried. To me, those character connections are priceless, and I try to savor them.
Be sure you check out Gwen’s post and see what lesson she learned.
***Giveaway is Closed***
The brightest LIGHT shines at the end…
Are you ready for the electrifying conclusion of the romance series like no other?
Angel Payne’s BOLT SAGA, the urban fantasy everyone is talking about, reaches its stunning finale in LIGHT.
What it’s about:
As Reece and Emma Richards await the biggest miracle of their lives, their anticipation is mixed with apprehension. The Consortium has fallen eerily silent, increasing the couple’s dread about the superpowered chaos being brewed by the cunning Faline and her growing army of brainwashed worshippers.
But the gift of a new life also brings a rush of new hope for the super duo, reconnecting Reece and Emma in ways they never imagined. Soon, the power of love spreads through the rest of Team Bolt. Celebrations are in order, and Faline’s wickedness is eclipsed—until Bolt and Flare are called to help with a bizarre search and rescue beneath LA’s bustling streets.
During the mission, the pair make a discovery that changes everything. As Reece and Emma discover their nemesis’s plans for global domination, they must face off with Faline in one last battle that will test their unity, push their limits, and force them to trust in their greatest power of all: the light of everlasting love.
For your chance to win a signed paperback copy of any BOLT SAGA back list title, respond to this thread with an image or gif your favorite hero in leather, along with any or all of these hashtags: #GetBolted #TeamBolt #BoltSaga #Superheroromance
TO GET YOUR COPY OF “LIGHT”:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LUTaJQ
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ENTIRE BOLT SERIES: https://angelpayne.com/book/
This month’s First Time is all about the First Kiss. I love writing kissing scenes. The intimacy. The need. The trust. *sighs happily* Oh…got carried away a bit. Anyway, this is the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next in DRAWN THAT WAY.
She raised her eyes to his, and all he saw in their depths was need. A raw, aching need he suspected was an exact mirror of his own. His hands slid up her neck to cup her face, and he knew, just as surely as he knew there was no way to stop it, he was about to ignore one of the only limits he’d ever had.
Tris couldn’t tear gaze away from Rory if she wanted to. It wasn’t the way he held her face still in his big hands, his thumbs tenderly brushing across her cheekbones. It wasn’t the way that his eyes constantly dropped to her lips. It wasn’t even that it was painfully obvious that he wanted to kiss her. It was the battle to decide whether or not he was going to do it that played out so clearly on his face.
For the briefest of seconds, she considered closing the distance between them and taking the decision out of his hands, but she quashed that thought. This was his limit. If he was going to disregard it, it needed to be his choice, not hers. The waiting was driving her batty. But it was his desperately whispered “fuck me” as he lowered his head to hers that just about killed her.
His hands still on her face, he pulled her to him, claiming her mouth in an almost brutal kiss. There was nothing tentative about it—just a sense of overwhelming need and desperation. Crushing his lips to hers, he swept his tongue inside, stroking her, tasting her while he splayed his fingers through her hair as he angled her head to kiss her deeper.
Twining her arms around his neck, she pressed her body to his, trapping his hot, hard length between them. There was no way she wasn’t kissing him back. She’d wanted this since he’d said it was off the list. But it was more than wanting something she wasn’t allowed to have. She wanted this connection with him. This intimacy. And she was terrified it would vanish just as quickly and unpredictably as it had arrived.
Her fear worried her. She was becoming far too attached to him. Too attached to someone who’d made it clear he wasn’t interested in anything beyond the physical. She wasn’t going to do something stupid like fall in love with him, but she might very well be developing an unhealthy need.
Before she could think any more about it, he slid one of his hands down her back, pinning her to him and taking her down to the mat. He settled between her legs as he continued to devour her mouth, kissing her with a hunger that shattered her. If he wasn’t holding her so tightly, she was sure all the broken pieces of her body and soul would have flown away already.
She lifted her hips, urging him to fill her. She wanted him inside her while he was kissing her. Preferably before he remembered his limits, came to his senses and stopped. She thought of his one rule. Was she a horrible person for not reminding him of it? Should she? Even as she questioned herself, she rocked against him, again.
If you liked what you read, you can get your own copy in ebook, print, or audiobook!
Be sure to check out the first kisses from the other bloggers by clicking on their names.
So, apparently we fast-forwarded through April??? I didn’t finish everything or get as far as I wanted to. But overall, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.
These are the things I said I wanted to accomplish:
Okay, for May, I want to:
I think that’s enough of a list to work through. Be sure to check out Jess’ post and see what she’s up to!
As always, these are in no particular order. Mostly, because it would cause me an undue amount of stress to try to rate them. I have no idea why stuff like that stresses me out. But it does.
10.) I need to restart my morning yoga practice.
9.) I also need to restart my daily walks.
8.) I need to make time to meditate–preferably daily.
7.) I need to answer personal email in a more timely fashion. I’m good with the professional stuff. But, yeah…
6.) I need to set aside time for sewing and actually do it. Fabric Mountain is getting a dangerously huge and unstable.
5.) I need to be better about saying no to things that I have neither the time nor energy to do.
4.) I need to stay on top of classes when I take them.
3.) I’m doing a bit better with balance, but I need to structure my days more efficiently.
2.) I was doing great with water intake for so long, but I’ve slacked off lately. I need to improve that.
1.) I’d like to make a little more time for self-care.
Be sure to check out Gwen’s list, too.
This probably should have been called the “Work Edition” because it’s kind of on my mind constantly–and some of it isn’t even my work.
For instance, last month, my daughter got the job she’d been hoping for working in mental health with at risk kids and young adults. She also asked to be cross trained in the addiction and high acuity units, and she’s loving that, too.
My husband is in the final stages of interviewing for a job that would be a great fit for him–so please, cross your parts, everyone!
And I’ve been working my ass off. Between edits, audio preps and writing, I feel like I’m constantly on my computer, but I’m not bitching. And I feel like I’ve found something that resembles balance.
There will be a new Bound book coming later this year. Plus I’ll be rereleasing an old favorite. And I’ll be expanding a fun project that I did in the lovely Lucy Score‘s group. AND I’m doing a three month long newsletter story for Eden Books, and you can get it by subscribing to the EB newsletter.
Here’s the blurb and the cover if you’d like to check it out!
Bailey Fisher is having a rough start to her week. Thanks to the new roommate from hell, she’s discovered that not only is her laptop missing, but she needs a HAZMAT suit to safely navigate her kitchen. And her morning goes from bad to worse when she realizes that the car she took out her frustration on isn’t her roommate’s. It belongs to the hot guy across the street, and Bailey’s having a terrible, horrible no good very bad day.
Be sure to check out Gwen’s brain dump post, and see what’s up with her!
This month, the song fic was inspired by Naughty Boy’s “No One’s Here to Sleep” featuring Dan Smith from Bastille. Here’s the video if you’d like to listen, and here are the lyrics. And the following is an excerpt from one of my WIPs.
“You really didn’t need to bring tacos,” she said, trying to latch on to anything that might distract him from thoughts of last night and her too breathy response.
He laughed. “After hearing you moan about them in your sleep, I’m pretty sure I did.”
Her face heated. That had obviously been the wrong conversational tack. “Now, you’re just exaggerating.”
“Besides,” he continued as if she hadn’t said anything, “what guy doesn’t want to make a beautiful woman’s dreams come true?”
“If only,” she muttered. She quickly closed her eyes as she realized what she’d said, and brought the pop to her lips, somehow managing to swallow several mouthfuls. He was completely silent. Maybe he hadn’t noticed her slip-up. Forcing her eyes open, she froze, trapped in his heated blue gaze.
He took a step forward—not quite standing between her legs, but close. “What else have you been dreaming about, Juniper?”
She moistened her suddenly dry lips, completely unable to form words. He plucked the bottle from her trembling hand and set it aside.
“Want me to tell you what I’ve been dreaming about?”
She whispered, “No,” however, her head bobbled up and down like a child’s toy. She hadn’t wanted to nod, but her body was apparently done listening to her brain.
He didn’t move any closer, just held her captive with his gaze. “I’ve been dreaming about you.”
Her hands shook, and her breath caught, but she didn’t say anything. She couldn’t speak.
“Every time I managed to fall asleep last night, I dreamt my hands were tangled in your hair, your lips were parted under mine, and you were straddling me.”
Her eyes closed as she remembered the sensation of rocking against his hard cock. Of how wet and needy she’d been for him. Of how she’d wanted more. Even now, knowing that getting involved with him was the last thing she should do, she still wanted it more than she’d ever wanted anything.
“And now that I’m awake,” he continued, taking a step closer, “all I can think about is how to convince you that there’s more than a biological response between us.”
She gripped her cargo shorts with her suddenly clammy hands to keep from grabbing him.
He reached out and traced the neckline of her shirt with his fingertip, the slightly rough touch raising goosebumps on her skin. “I’ve always felt a pull toward you.” His lips lifted in a depreciating smile, and he continued. “Sometimes, during class, I used to convince myself that you felt it, too. That if I wasn’t your student, you’d…”
She waited as long as she could stand for him to finish his sentence—about three-point-five seconds—before blurting, “I’d what?”
His eyes searched hers, as if he were making some kind of decision. And for a terrifying moment, she thought he was going to move away from her. Instead, he cupped her cheeks in his big warm hands, then leaned down and captured her mouth in a sweetly thorough kiss.
That’s is for me, today. Be sure to check out Siobhan’s story, too.
It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. As always, the prompt will be in bold in the text. I don’t usually like to do this, but this is an excerpt from a WIP.
I wrinkled my nose at the sharp scent of the dry-erase marker as I carefully wrote the recipe on both sides of the portable white board.
I whirled toward the sound of my best friend’s voice, ruining my careful lettering. Glaring at her, I capped the marker and set it on the board’s metal rail.
“Soooooo…what?” I asked.
“So, what’s going on with you and the hot substitute?”
I rolled my eyes. “Who says anything’s going on?”
Luisa hopped up onto a prep table, crossed her legs and waited. Staring at me. Waiting. “How long have I known you?”
“Since third grade,” I muttered, crossing my arms over my chest.
Luisa smiled that self-satisfied smile she knew annoyed me. “Okay, so lemme ask again, what’s up with you and the hot substitute? Also, cute dress. I don’t think I’ve seen that before.”
Sighing, I pulled a chair out from the table and flopped into it. “I’ll explain about him, but you’re gonna need to buckle up.”
Lu kicked off her shoes and tucked her feet up under her, bangles jingling around her wrist. “Bring it.”
“You know how Austin is the biggest manchild in the history of manchildren?”
She nodded with a grimace.
I took a deep breath. “I got up this morning, got ready to come here, loaded up all six dozen eggs, the cheeses, veggies, then tripped over Beer Can Mountain that Austin so thoughtfully left in the hallway, splattered stale beer all over myself, went into my room to change, the only things that are clean were this dress and the bridesmaid dress from your wedding—”
“That would have been a bold choice for cooking class.”
I snorted. “Anyway, I went to grab my computer because I’ve got invoicing to do, and it’s gone. I looked everywhere. Turns out, one of Manchild’s asshole friends stole it and pawned it.”
Lu’s eyes narrowed, and her nostrils flared.
“Yeah, so there was a whole thing with the cops. And by the time I’d filed a report and bitched out Austin, the eggs were warm, and on my way to take them out to the trash I saw Austin’s car sitting there and,” I put my hands over my face, “I lost my damn mind and threw every single egg at his car. I just unloaded. There was egg everywhere. It even slid inside the open window.”
Luisa’s laugh exploded from her on a sharp burst of sound. “That’s my boo.”
I peeked through my fingers at her. “Except…it wasn’t Austin’s car.”
Lu’s eyes widened, and she slapped her hand over her mouth. I could tell she wanted to laugh.
“And then? I was feeling snappish when I brought those worksheets to that guy like you asked me to and lectured him about not asking for last minute printing.” I felt my face flush all over again. Heat rose from my chest all the way up my neck and face to the top of my scalp. “And then, he turned around. It was his car I egged, Lu. The sub’s. And the egg slime got all over his seats and his worksheets.”
She did chuckle then. She didn’t even pretend to try not to. “And then you dropped the papers when you realized, I assume?”
Her chuckling evolved into giggling. I scowled at her when the giggling turned into helpless laughter and tears leaked over her cheeks. “Why are you glaring at me?” she choked out. “This the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages.”
“Currently, I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust.”
That just made her laugh harder.
“This is a nightmare.” I groaned.
“Yep.” She snorted. “Bailey and the terrible, no good, very bad day.”
“Exactly. I think I’ll move to Australia,” I added, quoting our favorite kids’ book.
Luisa snorted, hopped off the table and dropped a kiss on the top of my head. “Some days are like that. Even in Australia, she quoted back to me.”
It was good to have people who really got you. Even when they laughed at your pain and humiliation.
That’s it for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories by clinking on their names.