Writer Wednesday: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Hugh Jackman

Today I’d like to welcome a special guest to my blog, author Robyn Porter (Who writes as RG Porter).  Welcome Robyn!

You’ve just released a new novella, Destiny’s Light.  Can you tell us a little about it?

Sure! This book follows the muse Entrupe (muse of music) as she is finally given a task by her father Zeus that will allow her to walk among mankind.  Once there, she is tricked by Hades and loses her memory. The story follows her journey to find out who she is while trying to complete the quest she was sent on. They journey even takes our hero and heroine into the depths of the underworld.

Vampires, werewolves, Greek muses … obviously you are as in love with the paranormal as I am!  A woman after my own heart.  Tell me, what draws you to the weird and wonderful world of the supernatural?

What doesn’t draw me? The paranormal is fascinating to me because there are no boundaries that cannot be crossed. So much out there is unknown that the sky (and beyond) is limitless. I love delving into the dark and mysterious, to see what can be peeled back from the layers of reality. It is quite invigorating to do. :-)

The dark and mysterious … yes, please!  Have you ever had an “other worldly” experience?

I have. Once, long ago, when I was a child I was at a friend’s house. I felt like something was close and told her that the area felt off. Next thing I knew every window in the house began to bang and knock even though we were all alone. Glancing at the windows the same face was sitting there staring in at us. You could tell it wasn’t a mask, but a real figure, yet the eyes seemed devoid of life. It was quite bizarre at the time and my friend was freaked out the rest of the day. Me, I was fascinated.

Wow!  That is super creepy and really cool at the same time.  Obviously you were born to write about the paranormal. ;-)


I’m not a fan of the conventional superhero. I adore Saleene from Underworld as well as Hugh Jackman’s version of Van Helsing. Yes, I still go towards the strange and paranormal  in those as well. :-)
Who’s your favorite superhero?

Mmmmm …. Oh, I’m sorry.  I was stuck on Hugh Jackman. ;-)

What’s your favorite dessert?

I’m not a huge fan of dessert, but I do like plain chocolate ice cream. Although, I have this fantastic recipe for a peanut butter treat that is to die for.

And now I’m stuck on chocolate and peanutbutter …

What are your feelings on dragons?

Love them. I have a book I’ll be re-releasing that is a dragon shifter come next year. I think dragons are mystical and sacred. I am hoping to write more about them down the line. Besides, they are majestic, fearsome and magical, what’s not to love?

SQUEE!  That sounds like my kind of book!

And how do you feel about men in skirts (I mean kilts. Heh)?

Well hubby is a brit so I can’t help but like the Scots in kilts. I think the fact they wear them and have no qualms about it shows just how strong they are. Besides, most can look quite nice in them. :-)

Oh, true that!

What’s next on the menu for R.G. Porter?  (Either for dinner, or writing, either way. Lol)

Dinner can be all over the place, and I don’t always know what I’m doing until the last minute. Writing wise, I have a new horror novel coming out Dec 15th titled When Darkness Falls. It also has supernatural/paranormal elements, but it is quite different than most of what I’ve written. Think of it as a merger between Soul Survivors and Ghost Voyage (If you’ve seen/heard of those movies). After that I have another fantasy novel coming out end of December. It is the first in my Guardian’s of Nature series and is titled Keepers of Water. There are going to be 4 novels in that series and I absolutely adore the storyline. I also have more horrors  on the horizon. Some with zombies some with more darker paranormal happenings. On top of that there are the last 2 books in my Darkness Unleashed series releasing first part of next year.

Believe it or not, I’ve not only heard of Ghost Voyage, I’ve seen it and loved it.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for your When Darkness Falls!

Thanks, Robyn for stopping by and chatting with me.

Ladies and Gents, be sure to check out Robyn’s books (below) and visit her blog.

Shades of Night:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005R1PD9K
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005R1PD9K
B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shades-of-night-r-g-porter/1101129503?ean=2940013338067&itm=1&usri=shades%2bof%2bnight
AllRomance Ebooks:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shadesofnight-625961-139.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92765

Shadow of the Wolf:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0060E3ZXO
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0060E3ZXO
B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-of-the-wolf-rg-porter/1029826784?ean=2940013225244&itm=3&usri=rg+porter
AllRomance Ebooks:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shadowofthewolf-629819-142.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/99878

Kiss of the Wolf:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067PIX42
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0067PIX42
B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kiss-of-the-wolf-rg-porter/1107412613?ean=2940013458567&itm=2&usri=rg+porter
AllRomance Ebooks:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-kissofthewolf-641858-142.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105240

Destiny’s Light:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006E9BU8M
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006E9BU8M
B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1107747242?ean=2940013515178&itm=4&usri=r+g+porter
AllRomance Ebooks:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-destiny039slight-646460-152.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/108390

 

 

Indie Chicks: The Phoenix and the Darkness

The Phoenix and the Darkness

by Lizzy Ford

 

I’ve been running from The Darkness since I left home at the age of 17.  I escaped a broken family to the military, found it unwelcoming to creative non-conformists but fulfilled my commitment.  The first man I dated was a drunkard who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder; the second raped me.  The rest of my time in the military was a blur of men, the different places I lived and The Darkness stalking me.  At the end of my tour, I set my world on fire to keep the Darkness away, abandoned everything and everyone, and emerged from the flames like the mythical Phoenix.  I ran home to Ohio.  I didn’t stay long and continued onward to New York, where I reinvented myself for a very brief period of contentedness.

It didn’t last.  Darkness, fire, rebirth, and a few years, men and states later, I ended up in the arms of yet another unworthy man.  I followed him to DC, bore the mental abuse, and tried to tell myself this was the best life would ever get.

I took a job in a field I didn’t care for and ended up running from job-to-job-to-job, unable to find a place where I was happy.  I was hit by a drunk driver at 26, leaving me with a long lifetime of constant pain.  I had a miscarriage, gave all my money to the unworthy man and couldn’t pay my bills despite the good job.  I moved from Virginia to Maryland and back to Virginia, unable to shake the pursuing Darkness.  Finally, I put all my belongings in storage, ready to set my word afire and flee once again.

I worked up the nerve to ditch the dysfunctional man, but before I could run far, I met the man who would become my first husband.  He wanted normal things:  stability, house, family.  I convinced myself if I had these things, the Darkness would be gone.  He needed a mother, not a wife, but I married him anyway and prayed it was enough.

It wasn’t.  I set my world afire once more, and I fled him, too.  I put everything I valued in my truck, grabbed the dog, and left.  Away from DC, the east coast, everything I owned, my first husband.  I ran to Texas to a new job and divorced the first husband.  Yet again, I was reborn.  Soon after, I met my soul mate.  Some part of me knew I couldn’t keep running if I wanted to keep him.  I turned around to see if The Darkness still chased me.  After fifteen years of running, The Darkness was closer than ever.

I told the man who would become my second husband to stay away from me – I was dangerous.  He saw The Darkness, and he saw me.

You’re brilliant and beautiful.  I love you, Darkness and all, he said.  But if you don’t deal with it and accept the fate for which you were put on this earth, you’ll be consumed by it.

I couldn’t yet face the Darkness even with his support, but I could see how wrong my path was.  My path wasn’t a career I loathed, and it wasn’t ignoring my true gift: writing.  So I worked full time and wrote full time.  I found true joy for the first time in my life, but The Darkness got too close.  I ran away from that job – the only job I’d ever remotely enjoyed.  This time, I kept my only ally in life – my guardian angel and partner.

I took a new job in a new state.  With my husband and my writing, I saw The Darkness recede, and I grew happy.  Instead of looking over my shoulder, I started looking into the future.  I vowed to run towards something instead of away from something.  I wasn’t just reborn – I was alive for the first time in my life.

And then, this past summer, I tripped.  The Darkness swallowed me.  As in one of my upcoming novels, The Darkness turned me inside out.  I couldn’t go to work and could barely leave the house.  It pinned me beneath it, and the more I tried to run, the heavier it got.  Everything I’d run from in life was there: my near-poverty upbringing; the breaking apart of my family when I was a kid; my struggle with my weight and social anxiety issues; with finding acceptance at any job; with men and dysfunctional relationships; the pending financial disaster I’d been building; fear of failure and ending up as miserable as my parents.  I thought I’d suffocate, until the Darkness spoke to me.

You can run again and risk losing the man you love, or you can face me and be happy, it said.

I want to be happy, I replied.

Then do what you must.

It’s not that easy.  I’m scared.

Sometimes life only gives us difficult choices, but you still must choose.  I am a part of you. You must accept me and deal with me before you can move on, it said.

I thought hard as I looked at all the things I’d accumulated that were bankrupting me financially and emotionally.  I looked at what made me happy in life: my husband and my writing.  I saw how I’d hurt my most precious treasures – and myself – by setting my world on fire whenever The Darkness got too close.

This is gonna hurt, I told The Darkness.

Not for long, it said.  You only have to do this once.

In that moment, I made my choice.  I would face The Darkness within me, no matter how hard it was.  I loved my husband too much to hurt him more, and I was sick of being a coward.  I took a leave of absence in early September to deal with my past as well as the depression and anxiety that have haunted me my whole life.  Writing has always been my solace and my passion. Through it, I’ll heal the world I broke and my own soul, and become the partner my husband deserves.

The Phoenix will be reborn once more, not of fire, but of Darkness, and will emerge stronger than ever.

“This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To read all of the stories, buy your copy today. Also included are sneak peeks into 25 novels! All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.” 

Description of the “War of Gods” series
The “War of Gods” series by Lizzy Ford is a paranormal romance series depicting the ongoing struggle between good and evil – and the immortals and their human mates who are caught in the middle.  The first book, “Damian’s Oracle” (released October 2011) is the story of the White God and his Oracle, the cool beauty, Sofia.  The second book, “Damian’s Assassin,” (released November 2011) is about the White God’s assassin and the woman who heals his heart and body.  The third book will be released 02 Dec and tells the tale of the White God’s chief immortal and the mysterious, beautiful Magician he risks his life to protect.
Lizzy’s info:

Don’t forget to stop by Monday’s post and leave a comment for your chance to win TWO of Lizzy’s books!

Mythos Monday: What Does Your Future Hold?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know just what your future held?

For instance twenty or so years ago, wouldn’t it have been great if somebody told you to invest in a little company called “Starbucks.”  I bet there’s an agent or two out there who wishes somebody had told them to take a chance on a little nobody called JK Rowling.  Heh.

Well, there used to be somebody just like that.  She was called The Oracle.  Her divine utterances highly sought after and never doubted.

Of course, the most famous Oracle was the Oracle at Delphi.  But there were many Oracles throughout ancient Greece.  It was believed these women had a hotline straight to the gods  and that the words that fell from their lips were nothing less than divine inspiration.

Want to go to war with the Spartans?  Call Dial-An-Oracle to find out if you’ll win!  Thinking of wooing your neighbor’s daughter?  Visit your local Oracle and find out how!

Of course, ancient Greece wasn’t the only civilization to believe in the power of the gods’ conduits on earth.  In China, the use of oracle bones dates back thousands of years.  The Celts had their “seers”.  Odin used the severed head of the Norse god Mimir as an oracle.  Oracles could even be found in the ancient temples of Hawaii.

Oracles aren’t a thing of the past, either.  In Tibetan Buddhism, oracles still play an important spiritual and governmental role.  Tibet even has an official state oracle.

I find the whole idea of an Oracle fascinating.  Imagine being able to see the past, the future, to have the whole veil of reality thin before your eyes.

Sofia is a woman who doesn’t have to imagine.  She’s a modern day Oracle and the heroine of the first installment of Lizzy Ford’s War of Gods series, Damian’s Oracle.  (Which, by the way, is FREE in Amazon!)

Caught in the war between the White and Black Gods, Sofia and her rare gift bring victory to he who grabs her first. Her difficult transition from human to oracle forces her into a new world, where she struggles in her role as Damian’s mate and to help a mysterious man who’s supposed to be dead.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Well, leave a comment below for your chance to win a bundle the first two books in the War of Gods series (I’ll list the winner in Friday’s post.) – Damian’s Oracle and Damian’s Assassin.  And just in time, too, since the third book in the series will be out next month!

 

So tell me, my friends, if you had the chance to ask the Oracle just one question, what would it be?

Fantastical Friday: Pumpkin Pie and Men in Skirts

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope all my fellow Americans had a fantastic Thanksgiving yesterday.  I know I did.

Mostly because of this:

That’s right.  Homemade pumpkin pie with REAL whipped cream.  Nom, nom, NOM!

But it was also a great day because of this:

Sam Worthington in a skirt.  With a sword. Seriously, does it get any better than that?  I think not.

Clash Of The Titans was, while not mythologically accurate, incredibly fun to watch.  Mostly due to the aforementioned Mr. Worthington and lots of tasty men in short skirts.

Fantastical Linky Love:

For more men in skirts (‘Cause let’s face it, you can never have enough men in skirts.), check out this post by Jack Wallen.  There are also purple Docs involved.  Be still my heart.

Fantastical Winner:

You may recall the fabulous superhero post from Wednesday.  Well our winner for the copy of Shero is Danielle.  Congrats Danielle!

Fantastical Video:

Today’s video is something a little different.  I heard this song on Bones the other night and immediately fell in love with it.  Have a listen:

My favorite part of the song:

“There are those who think that I’m strange.

They’d box me up and tell me to change, 

but you hold me close and softly say

that you wouldn’t have me any other way.”

There’s no greater feeling than being loved for exactly who you are.  Warts and all.  Don’t you think?

Friday Bookclub:

This week I started reading the second book in Jack Wallen’s Fringe Killer series: Gothica. It’s wonderfully creepy.

I love this tagline:

Killers die … but sometimes their souls refuse to disappear.

So, lovely people, what are you reading and loving this week?

And did you do anything exciting or unusual for the holiday?

Writer Wednesday: The World’s Sexiest Superhero

So, I admit, I’ve always had a thing for comic book superheroes.  I remember being about 6 years old and having a babysitter who was obsessed with Wonder Woman.  He even let me read his ginormous Wonder Woman book.  I was hooked!  Being a nice babysitter and aspiring comic book artist, he actually drew me an amazing Wonder Woman poster that hung on my wall until I was a teenager.

Thing is, I never grew out of my superhero obsession.  In my early 20s I was a nanny for a young boy who had the most AMAZING collection of Superman and X-Men comic books.  Naughty nanny used to sneak the boy’s comic books and read them during nap time.  My own little guilty pleasure.

And I’m still a little gaga for superheros.   Batman and his PVC?  Yes, please!  Wonder Woman and her smexy little arm braces and kick-ass boots?  Woohoo!

You can imagine it thrills me right down to my toes to have a real live superhero on my blog today.  Ladies and Gents, please welcome today’s very super special guest, a superhero like no other … Shero!

Now Shero, can you please tell my lovely readers what made you decide to become a superhero?

Oh dear girl, don’t you know this power was ordained to be from the beginning of time, when St. Beautific did wave her fabulous wand of lovely over my crib to make me the most lovely of lovelies…Okay, seriously…there is actually a sad tragedy tied up with the realization of my super powers. I’m glad I used waterproof mascara today, because girl it’s about to get wet up in here.

I was in high school, living with the most wonderful, open-minded, supportive parents one could wish for. I came home late one night to find them lying dead in their beds. I had just missed the murderers, who were nothing more than thieves looking for cash to support whatever habit they had developed in their worthless lives. As you can imagine, I was crushed, but when I realized I had just missed the culprits I took off running. It was that moment, amid horrid loss and suffering that my super powers were first unleashed. It took the loss of my mother and father to piece together the final bits that would turn out to become the Shero you all know and lust after.

That is so sad and I’m so sorry to hear it.  But I think it’s amazing how you’ve turned that tragedy into something good.

You have a very special superpower.  What is it?

You mean besides my impeccable taste in fashion and my drop-dead smexy looks? Of course. I work a sword like a Victoria’s Secret Angel works a runway. But the other-worldly powers would be my fingernails. With a flick of a finger I can send a nail flying across the air-space between me and my foe. And with the help of my BFF Fiend, I have polishes to not only match every dress and mood, I have polish that can paralyze, poison, nullify super powers, and much more. It may sound lame, but until you’ve felt the fury of the 10 Nails Unleashed, you can just talk to the dress my friend.

Oh, and I can outrun Usain Bolt in three inch heels.

I’m impressed.  ‘Cause this girl can’t run in heels.  You’ll have to give me some tips later.

Now, every superhero has to have a uniform.  You know: Cape, tights, boots.  What’s your superhero uniform?

You even have to ask? When I tell you, you will be jealous. And you will be filled with rage knowing the Little Black Dress I don is a one of a kind that can be worn only by me. Are you ready? Are you sure?

My uniform is a Fiend-tastic Kick Ass Black Dress which is bullet proof, blade proof, stretches like elastic, and hugs my curves like a Ferrari. I also have a very special pair of Carlos Santana three-inch heels with the most darling ‘S’ on the back. The shaft of the heel is titanium reinforced, so I can sprint, jump, and land without having to worry about snapping a heel or ankle. Finally, Fiend has worked the same magic she worked on the dress on the sheerest, sexiest hose you can imagine.

So honey, I’m not only superhero’d up, I’m about as drop-dead gorgeous as you can imagine!

Shero

Shoo.  I am jealous!  What’s the biggest bad guy you ever had to face?

Biggest? That’d be Bash. He was HUGE and I don’t mean Porn-star huge. I mean Hulk-huge. The bitch’s muscles had muscles. And to make matters worse, the hooker’s uniform was yanked out of a Curt Kobain nightmare of grunge flannel and grease-stained slathered hair. But that boy could certainly live up to his name. His fist was the size of a canned ham. And you know what they say about big fists …

You went there, didn’t you? Naughty host!

Yep.  I totally went there.

You’re not exactly the kind of superhero the world considers “normal”.  (Then again, who is?  Not me!)  You must, like many of us, face bigotry from small minded people from time to time.  How do you deal with it?

I can’t lie to you, it hurts. I bust my tits saving the lives of the same men and woman that would have me burned at the stake for being a transgendered male. I deal with it the same way anyone does – I ignore it. I know the world is filled with hatred, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, and racism. It’s an ugly truth that I hope eventually disappears. But until it does, I will continue being me and letting the comments and the hatred roll off my back.

You’re right about that.  Ageism, sizeism … lots of isms and they’re all ugly.

Any words of wisdom for wannabe superheroes out there?

Be yourself. Love your fellow man and make them know you are just being honest with yourself and who you are. And in that honesty, trust in your powers to do good. There is so much big bad out there that will do everything it can to drag you into the ugly muck and mire of darkness. Don’t give in. If you do feel yourself caving, contact me. Join the Society of Super Heroes and help rid the world of ugly.

The world could use a lot less ugly.

I hear our mutual friend, Jack Wallen, is currently penning your latest adventure.  Can you tell us a little about it?  And when will it be released?

I can tell you it chronicles both of the biggest challenge I have ever faced as well as the happiest moment of my life. The book is called Shero II: Bridesmaids and Zombies. That title alone should clue you in as to what happens. Oh, and that sassy narrator is at his wicked best this time around.

Shero, you are my hero.  And frankly, you rock my socks.  Thanks so much for taking the time to grace my little blog with your fabulousness.  YOU GO GIRL!

How about you, my lovely readers?  Who is your favorite superhero?  And do you have any questions for our magnificent Shero?

And just because you are all so awesome and I love you, I am going to be gifting three of you with your very own e-book copies of Jack Wallen’s Shero (Thanks to Jack for the generous donation.).  Trust me, if you love fun and quirky with a side of superhero, you are gonna LOVE Shero.  Just leave a comment below and I’ll randomly select 3 winners and post the names on Friday’s post.

In the meantime, you can find Shero at these fine internet establishments:

Or check out Shero’s latest adventure, A Very Shero Christmas, in the Indie Eclective’s The Holiday Collection

Mythos Monday: The Nokken – Eternal Love or a Watery Grave

Welcome once again to Mythos Monday.  Today we’re headed North.  Like waaaay North.  Nope, not to Alaska.  Other way.  We’re talking the land of the Vikings.

I’ve always been ever so slightly enamored of the Vikings.  Big, strong, manly men with really big, ah, swords.  And muscles.  Lots of muscles.

 

Let’s just forget the whole pillaging thing.  Because, after all, if the Northmen looked anything like these guys, they I’d be happy to let them pillage away.


But let’s not get carried away (Though, hello!  Can you blame me?).  I’m not here to talk about lusty Northmen today (More’s the pity).  I’m hear to talk Norse Mythology.  Specifically legend of the nokken.

The nokken were Scandinavian water spirits.  Something like sirens or kelpies.  Only the nokken were exclusively male.

Sort of.

You see, the legends call them shape-shifters and no one seems to know their true shape.  If they had one.  Instead they appear most often as either a horse or a man playing a violin in the water.

Seriously.  Who plays a violin in the water?

But apparently the music of the nokken was so breathtakingly beautiful, it lured women and children (and sometimes even men) to the nokken’s side.  Why?

Well, there are the tales of a lonely nokken playing his violin, of a woman falling in love with the nokken, and of him leaving his watery home to live with her (Though he inevitably left her after some time, drawn back to the water).

But there are also stories that pops up of some moron trying to ride the nokken (One assumes while in horse form.) and getting himself drown.   Or of the nokken luring unsuspecting travelers onto thin ice so they can fall through and be trapped under the ice.

Naughty, naughty nokken.

Imagine the stories from that one little myth.  Epic romance, or bloodthirsty horror?  Which do you prefer?  Maybe a just little bit of both …

Happy Monday!

Fantastical Friday: More Sassy Gay Friend and The Winners!

Let’s start this Friday off right with a Fantastical Video.

See.  Straight men need a sassy gay friend, too!

Linky Goodness:

Down To Earth is one of my favorite blogs.  Rhonda talks about such wonderfully practical stuff like making your own soap, growing things, and making the most of what you have.  It’s, well, down to earth.  And in her usual, practical style, this week she’s shared her tips on being prepared.  Not necessarily for a zombie apocalypse, but for the very real possibility of natural disasters.  After what happened in Australia last year (among other things), being prepared is only smart.  So, check out one of the best lists out there and get yourself ready for whatever comes your way.

Want a chance to win an Amazon gift card?  You know you do!  Hop on over to Julia Crane’s Gratitude Giveaways Blog Post.  And while you’re at it, check out some of her other great posts.

Fantastic Winners:

Monday’s post was all about the Wild Hunt and Heather Marie Adkins fantastic novel The Temple.  And guess what?  It’s time to announce the winners!  So, Gene Lempp, Prudence MacLeod, and EvilNymphStuff come on down!  Send me your email address shealunaria (at) yahoo (dot) com and I’ll have Heather send you the ebook.   Congrats!!!

Dose of Smexy:

I have searched the interwebs for something smexy to bring you.  And bring I have.  Check out this photo of the glamorous Charlize Theron from her upcoming movie Snow White and the Hunter.  I am SO there!

Friday Book Club:

To be honest, between my own rewrites for Kissed by Smoke and the beta reading I’m doing, I haven’t had a lot of time for pleasure reading.  So, I’m turning this portion over to you, my dear peeps.  What are you reading this week?

That’s all folks.  Have a fabulous, fantastical weekend and I’ll catch ya on the flip side!

Writer Wednesday: Latchkey Kid

Welcome once again to Writer Wednesday.  As you know, I recently had the honor of participating in the Indie Chicks anthology.  This week I’m featuring one of the other 24 Chicks, Heather Marie Adkins.  Here’s her story:

Heather Marie Adkins

Latchkey Kid

It isn’t easy being the daughter of a police officer, but it’s even more difficult to be the daughter of a female police officer. I would come to understand this early, and often, in my life.

My mom’s career has always been the whirling force of my existence.

She was sworn into the Louisville Police Department on September 10, 1990. I was five years old. For the majority of my developmental years, I bounced through a succession of caretakers—my grandmother, my father and stepmother, and a kind woman I called ‘Mama Lo’—while my mom was forging her way through her early years as a rookie officer.

I remember late nights—my mom in her uniform, her gun belt digging into my side as she bundled me into a blanket to carry me to the car. I remember mornings getting on the school bus, knowing Mom would be coming home from work just in time for me to leave. But when I remember these things, they are snippets: Only bits and pieces of the woman who is my mother. Her job was demanding and sometimes, you just have to sacrifice to make your dreams come true.

When I was ten, Mom aced the Detective test and was granted her first promotion. Suddenly, we were buying a new house in a nice neighborhood. I was in middle school, which was awkward enough, and Mom began working4 pmtomidnight.

Thus began my time as a Latchkey Kid.

I rode the bus home from school and let myself into the house around4:30every afternoon. Under Mom’s strict instructions, I would check to make sure all three doors of the house were locked and then I would set the alarm.

Until bedtime, I was on lockdown. No going outside—not even to the backyard. No answering the door, no looking out the windows. Just me and the dog: A tiny Shih-Tzu named Cinnamon.

I was kind of an odd child. I didn’t care much for television, though I did love to play Nintendo. I could rock on some Mario Bros. I also absolutely loved to read, particularly R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitter’s Club.

There is really only so much video gaming and reading a girl can do before she wishes she had another hobby. At least, that’s how it was for me. I was lonely. Monday through Friday, every evening alone…it sucked.

It was around this time that my daddy shared with me a novel he was writing. Daddy is a computer guru who does freelance work, but he writes for fun on the side. “Demigod” was one of the most amazing things I had ever read. Not only was I astounded that my dad had such talent, but for the first time I realized there were people behind the books I liked to read.

Armed with nothing more than spiral-bound notebooks and pencils, I began writing.

Between 10 and 16, I wrote seven full-length novels. Today, I suppose they would be considered Young Adult. Some of them were murder mysteries with strong heroines. Many of them had elements of what today is considered Paranormal Romance. Most of my early influences were from authors I enjoyed: Stine, as well as Richie Tankersley Cusick and Christopher Pike. Somewhere in the midst of all this, my mom bought me a laptop and I transferred everything to digital.

I continued to write during high school, though significantly less once I got my driver’s license. I focused mainly on short stories and built up a vast collection that I ended up losing to the nightmare of an erased floppy disk. I majored in English in high school. Earned a couple college credits. And was told multiple times by various English teachers that I had talent.

After graduation, I went away to college atWesternKentuckyUniversity. My mother had married a great man who was also a police officer. Between the two of them, I was able to go away to school and thus started several years of BAD DECISIONS. I kicked it off right, as most first-time college teens do. I drank too much and partied too hard, not making it to class, much less spending my time writing. Two years later, I came home toLouisvillewith my tail between my legs, no smarter than I was before.

Back at my mother and stepfather’s home, I found the situation to be stifling for the girl who had done what she wanted, when she wanted for so long. I was already rebelling—not phoning, disappearing all night—when a chance encounter on the banks of the Ohio Riverbrought a man into my life who was not right for me in more ways than one.

Jason was an ex-con and felon. I was the daughter of two police officers. Cue ominous music.

Let’s skip the dirty parts and go to the section where I pack my things and flee into the night like a bat out of Hades. My parents change the locks, I cut off all contact, and hole up in a hovel on 3rd Street with my friend, Brent. Oh, and in the meantime, my convict boyfriend ends up back in the Slammer.

I bounced around for some time. To an apartment with my cousin, Ryan. Then to a big, fancy house outside of Nashville, Tennessee with Jason’s family. After severing ties with them, I rented a tiny studio apartment downtown. I moved a couple more times, losing money (and myself) in the process.

Not once in the years I spent chasing something, anything inTennessee did I sit down to write.

In January 2008, I was in debt and barely hanging on to the apartment I was renting. My good-for-nothing, pot-smoking boyfriend-of-the-moment wasn’t helping with the bills because he couldn’t hold a job. My car was on the verge of repossession. I was going nowhere; the only positive thing I did have was that I was talking with my parents again.

Then the life-shattering, earth-moving event. In North Carolina, January 31st, my cousin Cory—a Marine, a firefighter, one of my best friends—was killed in a car accident. He was 25 years old.

My mom drove from Louisville to Nashville the minute she heard. She told me it was because she didn’t want me to be alone, nor did she want to tell me something so sensitive over the phone. That’s just how she is; no matter how terrible a daughter I could be, she always put me first.

Later that same night after she left, I was alone. My deadhead boyfriend wasn’t home, neither was our equally stoned roommate. I was sitting on our single mattress on the floor, looking around our bare room with its one dresser and a floor strewn with clothes. It hit me.

What are you doing? Really?

Was I just trying to prove I could do it on my own? Because I couldn’t. Obviously.

In a flash of grief and pain, I realized my life had spiraled out of control simply because I was too stubborn to admit my parents were right.

I packed my things. My dog and I climbed in the old Jeep. And we came home toLouisville.

During the upheaval of moving back, I also found something I hadn’t yet realized I had lost—my writing. Whether it was my grief over Cory or simply returning home, I don’t know—but I started writing again.

Even better…I finished the novels I had started years before and I have started (and finished) even more in the time since.

I’ve been through a lot in my life. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as some, maybe it wasn’t as rough…but it shows that a girl can make bad decisions, life-changing mistakes, and still bounce back.

My mom is a Major with the Louisville Metro Police force—the third highest ranking female on the department. She just celebrated her 21st anniversary this month. I am in a stable, committed relationship with a man who will one day be my husband. We live in a small but nice home—I’m a police dispatcher. He’s a police officer.

I was a latchkey kid and because of it, I am now a writer. I am the daughter of a female police officer, and because of that, I’m a stronger, better woman.

***

This is one story from Indie Chicks: 25 Women 25 Personal Stories available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To read all of the stories, buy your copy today.

Also included are sneak peeks into 25 novels!

My paranormal romance novel, Abigail , is one of the novels featured.

All proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.

 

Abigail

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a copy of Heather’s wonderful paranormal tale: The Temple.

Mythos Monday: The Wild Hunt and The Temple

As you know, each week I’ll be featuring one of the Indie Chicks here on my blog.  This week is very special because this week I’m featuring the delightfully magical Heather Marie Adkins.  Not only is Heather one of the Indie Chicks and a member of the Indie Eclective, she’s also a good friend of mine.

Later this week I’ll be featuring her story from the Indie Chick’s anthology, but for now I want to do a very special Mythos Monday in her honor.  Heather’s fantastic paranormal novel The Temple features a very interesting ancient folk myth: The Wild Hunt.

“When the winter winds blow and the Yule fires are lit, it is best to stay indoors, safely shut away from the dark paths and the wild heaths. Those who wander out by themselves during the Yule-nights may hear a sudden rustling through the tops of the trees – a rustling that might be the wind, though the rest of the wood is still.

“But then the barking of dogs fills the air, and the host of wild souls sweeps down, fire flashing from the eyes of the black hounds and the hooves of the black horses”
Kveldulf Hagen Gundarsson (Mountain Thunder)

Countries throughout Europe have their own tales of The Wild Hunt, or the Raging Host.  In some stories, The Hunt is made of up of the dead.  In others, the fairy folk.  But all these tales surround a group of spectral riders charging through the night in search of prey.

To see The Hunt is to see war or plague or the death of a loved one visited upon your head.  Wander into the path of The Hunt and find yourself its victim, your spirit forever wandering the Land of the Dead.

Imagine finding your loved one stolen away by the hunt.  What would you do to get him back?

What if you yourself were to fall victim to the ghostly riders?  How would you escape?  Or would you even want to?

What if a powerful sorcerer could harness The Hunt in order to seek revenge?  How could The Hunt be stopped?

What other magical tales could one spin from The Hunt?

Well, Heather Marie Adkins has one answer.  And it’s in her novel The Temple.  Frankly, I love this book and I think you will too.  In fact, this week Heather will be giving away THREE copies of The Temple right here on my blog.

That’s right.  THREE.  (Because three is a magical number.)  All you have to do is leave a comment below between now and this Thursday.  I will choose three winners at random and announce the names in my Fantastical Friday post.  So leave a comment for your chance to win a copy.

Vale Avari has a mysterious past and a laundry list of super-powers, but that’s nothing compared to what she finds upon moving from small town U.S.A to jolly-good England.
A chance dart throw lands her in Quicksilver, an off-the-map place with a big problem – people are dying, and word is, it’s supernatural.
At her new place of employment, a temple dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess, Vale learns something even more shocking – women guards are disappearing at an alarmingly patterned rate; women who possess special gifts like her own.
Supernatural powers aside, Vale isn’t ready to believe in the Wild Hunt as the culprit, and she’s determined to prove the deaths are acts of human violence.
Plagued by a brute with a history of domestic violence and lusting after a dark-eyed man with a secret, Vale has a limited amount of time to discover the killer before he strikes again. In the process, she’ll learn things aren’t always what they seem and the supernatural might not be so extraordinary after all.
The Hunt could ride for her.

Fantastical Friday: Naked Heroes and Sassy Gay Friends

It’s Friday!  Aren’t you happy?

If not, why not take a gander at this hilarious video.

Now, didn’t that just make your day?  Really, I know I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again: Every girl needs a sassy gay friend.  There’d be a lot less heartbreak and a lot more fabulousness.

Of course, my Sassy Gay Friend wants me to play wing woman for him.  I have no idea how THAT’S going to work.  Should make for an interesting evening.

But I digress.

Moving onward to Linky Goodness:

For those of us of the more gooey romantic persuasion, you’re going to love Laura Kaye’s deconstruction of the anti-hero over on The Naked Hero.  It’s touching, it’s sexy, and it will make you go all melty.

For some thought provoking reading (As well as some moments of sheer HELL YEAH!), check out Jack Wallen’s post on Holywood-induced Beauty.  It should be required reading for, well, everyone!

Like a little history and mystery all wrapped up in one?  Check out Gene Lempp’s Designing From Bones.  I love me some archaeology and this week he’s talking about The Iceman Plot.

Need more squee your pants funny?  I got some!  Check out The Zombie Handbook.  But seriously, use the bathroom first.  Trust me on this.

Spot of Smexy:

I just had to share this with you because, seriously, they are ridiculously HAWT.  Check these bad boys out!  Purple freaking Doc Martens.  Can we say, nom?  I’m totally hitting Camden Town for a pair.  Well, maybe after Christmas.

Friday Book Club:

I’ve been doing a lot of writing and editing this week, so I haven’t had much reading time.  I’m still reading The Temple by Heather Marie Adkins and I’m totally loving it.  If paranormal mysteriousness is up your alley, you’re gonna love it too.

I also recently downloaded Anne R. Allen’s Ghost Writers In The Sky.  I haven’t read it yet, but seriously?  I couldn’t resist.  Murder at a writer’s conference?  Come on!  How could I pass that up?  I admit, I love a good murder mystery.

And for those of you who like a bit of scifi, take a look at Gargoyles by Alan Nayes.  This guy is a seriously good writer and he’s hard at work on the sequel, so check it out.

Every one of these books is under $3.  Talk about a steal!

And finally a bit of good news for you Nook owners out there.  Dragon Warrior is now available on Barnes & Noble.  Can I get a SQUEE!

And that’s all news that is news.  Thanks for hanging out with me.  Have a fantastical weekend and…

I’ll catch ya on the flip side. ;-)