Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Teaser from Hip Whip

Hip Whip is coming soon! 

That’s when Angel stood up, crossing her arms over her chest and stared me down like the Rock training me for combat. “Look. I love you but I’m tired of this bullshit. You are a damned derby bad ass woman. Where are your balls?”

Angel needed to learn the definition of ironic.

Although, she had a point.

“Okay, okay. I get it. I’ll say yes next time he asks me to lunch.”

Her head shook so hard that I thought a migraine would hit her any minute.

“Nope. That ship has sailed. Call him—like now.”

I stood up in protest, not, for once, giving a damn about who was around me and whether or not they were gawking. They were not going to make me call him—no way.
Blood rose from Angel’s neck all the way to her face and I was afraid that hot lava would burst from her ears if she wasn’t careful.
But I was most scared because when she opened her mouth to speak, her voice was flat and unnervingly stable. “You will call him and ask him out or I will tell the entire team to go to his dorm room and serenade him—while you are duct-taped in the hallway. You—think—I’m—kidding. And before you drop in with ‘You don’t know where he lives’, remember that I work at the Bursar’s office—I have my ways.”

Dealing with Angel when she was on a mission was like climbing a ladder near Damien on a tricycle. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Manic Monday

By now you know the drill, right?

This one is from a book I titled: Chrysalis

*not edited*

Give me a shout if you like it. 

        I was dismissed.  Her mom, rosy faced with great purple crescents under her eyes, stood in front of her room in that cold hospital hallway and told me it was best if I left—per her wishes.  And as they cowardly snuck back into her room, stark white and sterilized, I caught a glance of her.  She was clad in that thin diamond patterned patient gown with way too many ties and loops—refusing to look at me.  And too many bandages—and more tears than I’ve seen her shed in our whole lives.  And I felt like I was on the cusp of collapse.
        I took the few steps to the other side of the hallway and let myself slip down it until my butt hit the cold, bleach smelling floors.  My feet sprawled out in front of me, a hazard to those who passed me, on trails to visit those who would actually accept their presence.  My presence in her room was negated.  But it felt like my presence in her life was in the real state of limbo.  Doors opened and closed around me, family and friends, flowers and balloons entered and exited with promises of the next time.  But her door stayed sealed. 
        I heard a familiar rhythm of footsteps and looked up for the first time since facing her parents.  My father sat beside me in silence.  And I knew he would remain silent as long as I needed. 
        “She won’t—she won’t let me see her.  She won’t even talk to me.”
        He heaved a heavy breath through his mouth and banged his head against the boring khaki wall behind him. He wiped his hands on his business suit slacks hoping they’d help him with a fatherly response.
        “Give her some time.  She’s been through a lot.  But you two have been through so much together.  She’ll come around.  Don’t give up on her.  Posey needs you more than ever right now, whether she admits it or not.”
        “Please don’t make me leave Dad.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  I don’t have school.  Don’t make me leave her yet.”   I was ready to get on my  knees and beg if I had to.
        “I’ll make you a deal.  I promised your mother that I would at least make sure you ate something.  So don’t make a liar out of me.  Let’s go downstairs, get something in your stomach and then I’ll leave you here.”
        I didn’t answer immediately and he knew that as my silent protest.  I never talked back to my parents, I just stayed quiet.
        “Bridge, she’s gonna need to lean on your strength to help her get through this.  If you’re not taking care of yourself, then you won’t be any use to anyone.  You’ve been here since ten Friday night and I bet you haven’t eaten since dinner Friday night.  Am I right?”
        I shrugged, too stubborn to admit how correct he was.  It was now seven on Saturday night.  But how could I eat when she couldn’t.  Hell, I had a hard time sitting here talking, because she couldn’t talk to anyone for more than a few seconds.
        “I’m not really asking, Bridge.” He got up and waited.  My stomach betrayed me by growling in agreement with him. 
        “Fine, but can I get it to go?  I need to be here, Dad.  I can’t be gone if they come out, or if something happens to her.  What if she needs me?”
        He put his arm around my shoulders and squeezed.  “Son, she’s on so much pain medication.  She barely has minutes of lucidity, much less time to miss you.”
        I pushed away from him. “Don’t tell me that.  Somewhere in that burned body she’s there.  She doesn’t like to be alone.  She hates the dark.  Don’t tell me she’s not missing me. She’s my best friend and I…”
        “I’m sorry.  You’re probably right.  Come on, I promised your mother I’d make you eat.”
        As we passed the rooms, some doors wide open, some ajar, the nausea peaked and then subsided, waves of health and sickness.  She was worse than any patient that I’d laid eyes on in the whole burn unit. And the burn unit here in Minton, Kansas was the only one in the state. So I knew all the bad cases had been sent here.  I’d paced the halls for nearly six hours the night before, waiting for someone to tell me something, waiting for some word of hope.  And then Posey’s mom came out and told me she was in bad shape but she’d recover, simple, cold words, all the while carrying a face that told me she didn’t think me worthy of an update, much less an explanation of said update.  It wasn’t me, per se, it was her.  They were beside themselves with worry and it animated itself through icy words.
        We got in line with the nurses and doctors, all pretending to be the experts on health while they filled their trays with cheeseburgers, chili fries and pie.  My dad slapped a tri-slotted plate on my tray.  It was filled with fish sticks, peas and mashed potatoes that looked like they’d been brought forward in time from a 1970’s TV dinner. 
        He grabbed an orange juice from the standing refrigerator and put it on my tray. 
        “Don’t.  Just don’t.  I know you’ve only drunk your precious Dr. Pepper all night.  You’re probably wired as all get out.”  He was right.  I’d even had to bum a dollar from an old man for the last one.  All I had was a debit card.
        “Ok.”  We brought our trays to sit down at a table and suddenly I realized I’d been hood winked.  I’d wanted to get the meal to go.  But here I was; real silverware in hand, no Styrofoam plate in sight.
        I stuffed the food in my mouth and went through the motions of chewing.  But it all tasted the same to me.  It tasted like time wasted.  It felt like missed opportunity.  Halfway through the peas, I realized I didn’t even eat peas.  I chugged the orange juice in one pull and slammed it down, contest won.
        “Just calm down, Son.  Let me eat and then you can go back up.”
        I loved my dad, I did.  He was always there for me.  He took off work for my swim meets and my water polo matches, even the out of town ones.  He paid attention when I was down and when I was up.  He was what most people wished for in a father.  But right now he was royally pissing me off.
        “I ate.  The deal was—eat and then back to her.  We made a deal.”
        “Ok,” he relented.   “Let me give you some cash in case you need it.  And tomorrow, early, I want you home.  You have to go to school.  I won’t compromise on school.”
        “I promise I will Dad.  Thanks.”  I hugged him quick and got back upstairs to my girl or her room, since they wouldn’t let me in.  But I didn’t believe for one flat second that she’d wished me away.  It just wasn’t possible.
        I sat.  I paced.  I crossed and uncrossed my legs.  The nurses spoke to me.  I spoke back.  I watched trays of food go in for her parents and empty trays come out.  Her Dad came out and looked at me with pity. 
        “Bridger, I thought we asked you to go home.  She doesn’t want you here.”
        I stood up to defend myself, “Sir, she’s my best friend.  Please.”
        His next few words were spoken without any emotion and his eyes stared at some fleck on my shoulder, some crease in my collar.  They were shifty and uncertain. 
        “Bridger, go home.  I’m gonna go use the restroom and get something to drink.” He wrangled with his collar before continuing, “If you’re here when I get back, I’m calling security.”
        I stared after him as he stomped away from me.  I touched her name on the placard outside the room and told the raised plastic letters goodbye and that I loved her.  It was all I could do. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Supernatural Chronicles on SALE!

The Supernatural Chronicles: New Orleans is on SALE!

99 cents for 10 novellas from 10 bestselling authors (including me)!

What are you waiting for? One-click now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Teaser. Hip Whip

A tiny teaser from Hip Whip (Coming Soon).

"Standing outside my Sociology class, holding the door open for countless people, I stared at the text like a fool.

Cause that’s what I was for Scout Black, a girl who didn’t give me the time of day, a damned fool."

Monday, March 21, 2016

Manic Monday

Anyone remember me talking about Common Thief?

Yeah, that never came to fruition. 

Here's your Manic Monday post:

Common Thief

Common Thief

I’m lost in the things that I do—the sins that I commit.
I’d say that I needed to find myself, but there’s nothing left. It’s all been overshadowed. I bleed into the life—or the life has bled all over me.
My grandmother used to say that a sin is a sin is a sin and no matter how many good things we do, they won’t take away even one.
A girl can try, right?
“Are you even paying attention?” A shred of carrot hits my cheek. It’s the only reason I’m going to respond to her question. I don’t want the whole burrito thrown at me.
“I’m paying attention. I always pay attention. Going on three years now—paying all the fucking attention, okay?”
“Watch out, Archie’s in one of those mood again.”
“I’m not in a mood. I just want this over with. There’s things I want to do besides…” I flailed my hands around the table. “This.”
“Fine. Then pay attention and let’s get this shit done.”
Trace was holding on by a thread just like me. I didn’t even know if we were friends anymore—any of us. We were simply tethered together by a common interest.
Even if that interest was a crime.
“Decide who’s gonna do it.” I said, spinning the notebook in front of me. If anyone saw the scribblings inside, they would no more be able to tell what it said than I could read Hieroglyphs.
“Well, you are the cutest. Always have been. All the beach time has bleached out your hair. You’re like one of those surfer babes. Anyway, it’s your turn. We’ve all played the girlfriend card.”
I didn’t do the girlfriend role-playing.
“Good thing it’s the last time.” I remarked, getting up to grab a cold bottle of green tea from the fridge.
“Leave the file and I’ll start tomorrow. I’m going down to the sand for the rest of the day.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (HipWhip)

Here's a teaser from Hip Whip!

I hope to release this in mid to late April!

This is from Scout's POV. 


That moment when you realize exactly how much like your family you are—not like my dad—he didn’t run from anything. But Uncle Owen, Uncle Rex, Uncle Maddox—famous runners.
I was so much like them that it hurt.
They ran from themselves.
They ran from their family.
They ran away from anything that they couldn’t fix.
And right now I couldn’t fix the fact that Magnus, in all his brawny might, was watching me. No, wait, he wasn’t just watching me, he was eyes-bulging, mouth open, hanging on to the railing in front of him, stands up every time I round the curve—gawking.
The part that I hated most was that I kept looking back.
He didn’t notice. He couldn’t. Well, technically he could.
So, I did what I always do. What all we Blacks do. We get the fuck out of town, off the rink, out of the way, before the shit hits the fan.
That’s what I did. As soon as the scores were called out, I bolted.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Manic Monday

This Manic Monday is brought to you by the title: Ramblings of a Rebel American

*not even close to being edited*

“I know you,” from out of nowhere Zion whispered, almost like a secret prayer.  He was looking at me and his emotion had turned from stern stranger danger to something like awe.
          “No you don’t.” I forced the word ‘don’t’ through clenched teeth.  Samuel was moving faster than I’d ever seen him, loading the food into the back of the car.
          Zion quieted but it was almost impossible for me not to be recognized.  My lips were plumper than normal and my eyes were a pale shade of violet.  Sometimes I wore wigs and contacts but even with those, I was caught on a regular basis. Right now I wore no wig, no make-up, no sunglasses.  My blonde Mia Farrow haircut was perfect under a wig but easily spotted. 
          We got back into the car with enough food for the week when it was combined with the others’.  I glanced once towards Zion and his grandfather had already gone in for the night—but he still stood there.  Oh, let me tell you, he knew exactly who I was.  I’d seen that look many a time.
          “Stop, Samuel.  I have to warn him.”
          “Hurry up, he looks a little shady.”
          “Says the people on the run from the government.”
          “To their deaf dog.”
          “Who picked up his hammer and saw!”
          “Shut up and I’m serious—hurry.”
          I jumped back out of the car and raced over to Zion and really got in his face—nearly spitting in his face.  But I grabbed his hand and squeezed, hoping to transfer some of my absolutely dead seriousness through my grip.
          “You didn’t see me.  You don’t know me.  You seem smart.  Forget you ever saw me or this shell you live in will be shattered, “I nodded towards the house, “and his too.  Don’t risk it.”
          “Ok,” he said and turned from me to stalk towards the house.
          “Well,” Samuel jabbed as I got back in and he pulled out towards our place.
          “He’s good.  I put my spell on him, he’ll never remember me tomorrow.”
          He shook an invisible eight ball, “The outlook is doubtful.”
          “Shut up and drive.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

Manic Monday

Okay, everyone, here's the deal. 

Sometimes I write things just to get them out of my head. Once in a while, after writing on them for just a short time, these characters are satisfied and are laid to rest. Sometimes I go back to these and finish the story and other times they stay in the basement of my mind forever.

With these Manic Monday posts, we are going to visit the basement.

See something you like? Shout it out in the comments. I may just have to pick up writing that book again. 

First Manic Monday post is from a book I titled: Milk Jars. 

When I was twelve, my mother made me wear a sign in my driveway that read ‘I enjoy being a girl.’
With hearts on it. And glitter.
That same day she gave me a copy of The Bell Jar.
I didn’t know which way was up.
She made me wear dresses.
She told me I didn’t need a man.
Red lipstick stained my mouth by sixteen.
But I’d never been kissed.
She gave me an ice pick and told me to cross my legs.
She gifted me a purse and told me to carry a gun.
All the while we shattered glass and watched the blood trickle down to our toes.
Then cleaned it up ourselves.
And did the ironing.

Chapter One

 I try not to hate my life.
I really do try.
These are my thoughts as we pass by another table full of knick-knacks that no one wanted in the first place, much less secondhand. Everything smells like mildew. Saturdays smell like musty clothes left too long in storage units or in the attic.
We go to garage sales. Most people go to them sporadically if they’re looking for something vintage or something they can’t find at a department store.
My mom and I are habitual garage sale people.
I am by association, simply because she won’t let me get my license.
It’s another thing that makes no sense in my life.
I ran my finger along the titles in the ever-present paperback section and stopped dead on a yellowing copy of On the Road by Jack Kerouac. “How much is this?” I threw the words over my shoulder at the balding man keeping a tight clutch on the cash box.
“Sign says twenty-five cents.”
“More books, Ramzi?”
Another contradiction I had to endure. My mother is breathing, smoking enigma. She claimed to want me to be educated but bemoans every trip to the library.
And buying books. She always rags my ass for buying books.
“I’ll throw some out.”
“Sure you will. I’m not paying for that, by the way.”
“I have money. Thank you.”
I rolled my eyes at myself for thanking her.
My thighs are sticking together in the humid Louisiana summer.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Lila's Antics and blueberries...

Now don’t stop reading just because I said something about blueberries. My newsletters are never about the subject line, really.
Or are they?
Back to the subject. I used to be scared of blueberries. I’m serious. Stop laughing. I mean it, stop laughing. They are plump and I was scared of what exactly made them plump. I didn’t know if they were going to burst like a Gusher or have some kind of awful pit in them. They weren’t really blue, they are kind of purple. And do they have to turn everything they touch purple? Who do they think they are, beets?

They freaked me out.

On the other hand, I loved the flavor of blueberries. Imitation blueberry bits in my muffins and cereal and waffles—blueberry / cranberry juice—you name it, I loved blueberry ‘flavoring’.

Then one day I was like, “You are so stupid. Put the berry in your mouth, you big baby.”

And so I did.

Now there are three, five-pound bags of frozen blueberries in my freezer.

Do I have a point? Duh.

My point goes way beyond blueberries—or fruit—or food. I’m talking about how genuine our lives are.  Or how genuine our experiences are—our friends—our relationships—our relationship with ourselves.
Sometimes knowing the difference is painful. Finding out that a Facebook friend isn’t a friend at all, but sees you as just another click on their scroll through their day. Realizing that no matter how many positive mantras we speak to ourselves in the morning—they are all counterfeit if we don’t believe them and actually love ourselves.

Getting hit in the head with how little you mean to another person.

Finding out that things you value aren’t authentic is painful and slices me open.

Here’s what I realized. And it took a LONG time to realize this.  I’d rather have five genuine, sincere friends than groups and groups of friends who keep score or make me question whether or not what they are saying is fa├žade. I’d rather get off of my computer and talk to my husband for ten minutes than to just nod and agree, not really listening, while distracted by whatever for an hour.
If I watch a movie, I want to be watching the movie, not checking my phone or checking my watch to see how much time I’ve wasted.

I don’t want to waste anything. Time—money—energy—love.

I want my effing life to be genuine.

I want the real blueberries. Screw the imitation bits.

Life is too short for the imitation bits.

Yeah, I just turned blueberries into some kind of Dear Abby shit.

Now, I’ve got a task for those of you who have stayed with me through all of this blueberry stuff. I dare you to post a pic of blueberries onto my Facebook wall. I will know what you mean and everyone else will be baffled.

What I’m reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And it is yummy.
What I’m watching: Vikings, The Walking Dead, and ANIME!
What I’m listening to: Angry girl rock of the indie persuasion. Know what movie that’s from?
What I’m working on: Lucent series #3, Hip Whip (Love and Skate #7) and then Beholden (Bayou Bears #4)

Still eating my blueberries. Still making mountains out of sand. Still typing until my fingertips go numb.




Teaser 1: From Beholden (Bayou Bear Chronicles #4)
Aspen's name is now synonymous with vomit. I swear to all that's holy if Dahlia says Aspen one more time I'm going to projectile blow chunks all over her. It can't be helped. The physical reaction to--him--is involuntary and violent. She's across the room trying to console me and it's not working. Nothing works. Her precious shifting and running, swimming--none of it do a damn thing to get him out of my head. Eating certainly doesn't help--my stomach rejects it all.
"Cia, you have to get out of here. Tarrow says that As.."
I jump to my to my feet and point in her direction. "Dahlia, I can make it the five feet over to you and my aim has become extremely precise over the last few days. I could puke into a straw from a mile away. Go ahead. Say the name. But you've been warned."
Teaser 2: From Hip Whip (Love and Skate #7)
Scout & Magnus
From Magnus' POV: 
“Shut up! You have to get me a picture with her or her autograph or something. Usually she just darts out the minute the bout is over. Please, Magnus! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” Jenny is pulling on my arm and Joshua doesn’t look too happy about it. He doesn’t have anything to worry about—aside from me never snaking another guy’s girl, I’ve got my eye on something much better.
I shrugged her off gently. “Yeah, I mean, I can try. I’ve got the feeling she doesn’t like me very much. It might not work.”
“Just try!” Her pleads bordered on whining.
“Okay, okay. When it’s over.”
But when it was over, there was no stopping Scout. Before I could even get out of my seat, before the winner was announced, which was her team, she had bee-lined out of the rink with her head down, stripping herself of her pads and helmet.
What was she running from?
We waited while Jenny and Joshua took pictures with the rest of the team. They asked about Scout, but no one would give a straight answer. I watched the door to what I figured was the locker room the whole time—hoping she would make a showing.
 But even as the place emptied—there was no Scout.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Now Live: Shifters on Fire Box Set

Shifters are passionate at the best of times, but at their most intense… Let’s just say you might not need the extra blankets when you read these stories. 

11 new BBW shifter stories featuring USA Today and New York Times best-selling authors! 

Spend a night (or several) with your wildest and hottest dreams, played out in these steamy stories about big, beautiful women and the shifters who need them. This menagerie of lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and more is busting at the seams! 

4 Amazon GC, $25, $10, $10 & $5

Marian Tee — The Alpha’s Courtship 
Lynn Red — Can’t Quit Lion 
Marissa Farrar — Wolf Snatched 
Kate Richards — Evening at Animal’s 
Dominique Eastwick — Bear With Me 
Ever Coming — Breathless For Her Bear 
Lila Felix — Alpha Mine 
Dara Fraser — Lion to Herself 
Becca Vincenza — Alpha Protecting 
Lisbeth Frost — Encounter in the Jungle 
Skye Jones — Bear With a Sore Head