The best thing I read this summer

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Wow, what an intense question, right? To pick the one single best book I read this summer. To say I read a lot, is putting it mildly. And I read a lot of different genres, including quite a bit of nonfiction. So, to have to pick just one book . . . yeah . . . here goes. And, really, I’m going to TRY to keep it to just one book. *snicker* NOT!

One of my favorite authors ever, Nalini Singh, published Ocean Light. The next book in her Psy/Changeling series. I love this series so much. I’ve read it a bunch and can’t even tell you how many times I’ve listened to it. I love the characters and how each story fits together, like a puzzle. She’s amazing at plotting huge arcs.

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If you’ve never read any of her books you are so missing out. I’d suggest you run out right now and start this series as well as her Archangel series. So much awesome.

The next book, I told you I couldn’t pick one, is Shelly Laurenston’s newest Hot and Badgered. I love her Pride series and, like Nalini’s books, I’ve read and listened to them over and over. This book, just as her others, is so funny and has many of the characters from her Pride Series, so win win.

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I’ve read a ton of other books, but these are the two that really stick out for me. Now, go and see what book(s) Bronwyn, Jessica and Paige chose.

 

 

If you could indulge in anything, without consequence, what would it be?

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Welcome once again to the randomness that is Wednesday. This week the questions is really something I had to think about. I mean, there’s a lot of ways to think about indulgence without consequence. Eating chocolate. Drinking. Not going to work. The possibilities were endless.

So, after much thought, I decided that if money were no object, which to me is indulging without consequence, then I would travel. And if you know anything about me, you know the very first place I’d head would be Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland.

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There’s just something about it. I can’t explain it, but I need to touch it.

Another place I’d visit is Chalice Well in Britain

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Garden, thought to be Avalon, magic. What’s not to love. And, it’s right near the Glastonbury To. Hello! Convergence of magical energy. I want to be there.

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The next place I’d go is The Alhambra in Spain. This was another place I discovered as a kid. I found a book at the library and have wanted to go here. It’s not as big a draw as Hadrian’s Wall, but the place is gorgeous.

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If I ever get the chance to have a “money is no object” life, I’ll post tons of pics when I go traveling. Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming and writing.

 

Bronwyn      Jessica

Songs that Represent Each Decade of My Life

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Welcome to the randomness that is Wednesday. Today our amazing question is: If each decade of your life was represented by a song, what would it be? Wow! That’s a tough one since I love music so much. I guess I could go in a few different directions with this but I think I will give you the song that I remember/loved the most from each decade.

Here goes:

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This to me was really the defining decade as far a music went. When the 70s first rolled around I was so little, so I don’t remember much. But as the decade went on, my musical tastes changed so quickly. I went from the boy singers like Leif Garrett to really good music such as Led Zeppelin and Bob Seger. I think the song that sticks out the most though, was my very first crush Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco family. I’ve talked about him before in a previous post, but here’s the song (the only song) I remember from them.

 

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I rolled into high school in the 80s and the band that I loved, at the beginning anyway, was Journey. I know, but when you’re 15 they’re the shit. Anyway, I collected all their albums (yes vinyl) and when they went on tour to support Escape I was allowed to see them. Talk about excited. My friend Sherry and I got to go and we were so excited. I still really like this song.

 

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By the 1990s, I was working and going to college. I made some really great friends during this time and most weekends were spent out at the dance clubs. So. Much. Fun. I went to New Orleans and danced on a bar. Hey, the bartender offered free drinks. I also attended my last really big concert. Yeah, I’m an introvert so I hate crowds. Going to concerts is a major overload so I go to see the people who matter. When Nine Inch Nails announced they were touring to support The Downward Spiral album I instantly got a ticket.

 

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The 2000s is when I began to teach. To say that my music choices were a bit angry is putting it mildly. I think I needed the driving, screeching music to get me through. My band was Disturbed and their song Down with the Sickness was the bomb (still is in fact). I have the CD and would often play it as I drove to work. LOL! Yeah, I know. I also heard a lot of music at the school dances. Most of the music wasn’t what I listened to, but I did learn the Soulja Boy dance. Yeah, I know that too. When you teach in an elementary school you do what you have to.

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Now we’re up to the last few years. I can’t really tell you what song I’d pick. I don’t really have a group that stands out for me. I can’t even remember the last CD I purchased. Hmmm, maybe Lindsey Stirling. I really like her. And I love the song Hold My Heart, which features ZZ Ward on vocals. Amazing

There are songs that make me turn the radio up like Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, but nothing that really stands out huge for me. Perhaps if we do this again, I’ll have something more to share. Hopefully, you liked all the songs I shared with you.

Bronwyn    Kris     Siobhan

My Favorite Things

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This week on the blogs we’re talking about our favorite things . . . about ourselves. As the post told us, it’s so easy to talk about what we don’t like about ourselves, so today we need to chat about what we like.  This is so hard for me, since, yeah, I could list all the things I don’t like all day long. So, here goes:

The first thing I like about myself is my sense of humor. I’m a bit quirky and can be sarcastic, but I’m also pretty fast off the mark. I like to make people laugh and I like to laugh. In fact, laughing so hard I cry is one of my favorite things.

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I love to learn. I read tons of nonfiction books on everything from Bellevue hospital to the history of cancer. I like to know things and, sometimes, what I learn will bring about a good idea for a book. So, two birds and all that.

I think I have pretty skin. I’ve always taken care of it since I was a child and now anyone that finds out my age automatically says, “You do not look your age.” And, I think that has to do with my smooth skin, but it also had to do with the fact that I don’t “act” my age either. I always say on a good day, I’m about 12 and a half.  I’m good with it, though.

I think I write really well. I love the ideas I come up for books, I love my characters, and the dialogue I write.  I also think I can write humor and I often make myself laugh.

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This took me about an hour and a half to write. The struggle is real people. Before I get a headache, I will end this, but say it was a good idea. I’m so quick to find fault with myself, so this made me sit and really think. In the end, I will say that I love myself.

Bronwyn   Deelylah

 

 

NAME ONE THING YOU’VE LIED TO YOURSELF ABOUT

I’ve started and restarted this post over and over since, to me, the subject is really deep and intense. So, the question is to name one thing I’ve lied to myself about and why. Okay, here goes  . . . oh and before I do let me say


I was sexually molested when I was a child. I don’t have an exact age. I always say six, seven, or eight since I’m not sure. I know I was little and I know who it was – a cousin who is five or six years older than me.  Once the abuse stopped, I “forgot.” 

Not really. Let’s just say my mind tucked it away. I refused to recognize it for what it was. Any time an image of the abuse would flash in my mind, I’d unconsciously push it away. Nope, that’s nothing. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Over time, I became an expert at the lie. If the image floated up, I’d make it disappear almost instantly. I never questioned all the billions of issues that I had. In fact, I never gave any of it, especially the PTSD, a thought. 

The longer I lied to myself, the easier the lie became. Until, a doctor presented me with the evidence. She said the much hated words – sexual abuse. My mind was saying, “Oh no, you must be wrong.” My mouth was saying something totally different, “My mother doesn’t even know.”

I panicked. An out and out panic attack. I ran away. Oh, after I screamed at the doctor the above sentence a couple of times. I’m sure I scarred her since she was a brand new doctor. Poor thing. 

Once this happened, I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I had to look at the memories and recognize what they were. What happened. Who it was. How it affected me. Then I had to deal with it all. Which took for freaking ever. Between the abuse, PTSD, and the clinical depression my 20s and early 30s sucked major donkey balls. 

Things are certainly better now. I still have the depression, which can get bad, but for the most part the other stuff has . . . subsided. It’s not gone. It’ll never be gone, but it doesn’t take over my life either. 





SONG FLASH MARCH 2018

The song this month was one I had never heard of by a group I hadn’t heard of either. As soon as I heard it, I liked it. A lot. It immediately brought a scene to mind starring a character from my November flash fiction, Raisa and her dragon troubles. 

The song is called Patsheeva by a group called Circa Paleo

If you want you can take a listen here.


     Raisa moved through the tunnels of the cave, barely aware of her surroundings. She crawled when she needed to crawl and climbed when required. She was on the scent. The Guild wasn’t, at one point, known as thieves for nothing. Of course, most Guild members didn’t go out with the idea of stealing from a dragon. Or, if they did, they didn’t last long. Here she was though, stealing from a dragon.
     Perhaps, there really wasn’t a dragon. Maybe all the stories were just that, stories. Dragons weren’t seen much anymore. They kept to themselves and were normally found deep, deep in mountain ranges. This cave really wasn’t that far from the city. Not really. It had taken her about four hours to drive and another hour to hike to the entrance. For a dragon, that wasn’t much. And, no matter what she tried to tell herself, a dragon was here. Somewhere. Her senses told her. Led her ever closer.
     Raisa inched her way along a thin ledge and cursed her brother and her own stupidity for ending up in this situation. The Semenov’s had obviously used her brother to get to her. Of course, it didn’t take much since Georgi was a complete and utter idiot who imagined himself as a big player in the city. He wasn’t. He was a pawn and now so was she.
     She should have ignored the Semenov’s offer to meet with her. Her senses told her to ignore it, but instead she went hoping to talk them into a solution that didn’t have her stealing from a dragon. They not only didn’t want to talk, but they stamped their seal on her. A seal she was to understand that never came off. She was, in effect, their property. Forever. This was what they wanted all along. They didn’t care about Georgi, but about her. Her skills.
     The research in the Guild archives would hopefully pay off. The only thing that could cancel out the family seal of a Wyrm was a dragon. She hoped like hell she could figure out how to convince the dragon to do whatever needed to be done. And, this whole asinine plan depended on her ability to discuss the situation with a being who wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about her problems. Well, if the dragon ate her, it would solve the seal issue once and for all.
     Raisa felt the heat first. Not unpleasant, in fact, it felt good after the chill of the cave. Her stomach in knots, she moved forward carefully. She was close, her senses screamed at her wanting her to run, but she refused. She had to get this done.
     Next, came the light. Not like from the sun, but as if from fire. A warm fire on a cold winter’s night. Yep, just keep that thought in your head, Raisa told herself. Comfort, warm, friendly. She almost laughed. Nothing, not even strong drink, was going to convince herself she was heading to a warm, snuggly fire.
     Taking a deep breath, she moved out of the tight corridor into a massive cavern. Or, at least, she assumed it was massive. She couldn’t look around and investigate her surroundings since her gaze was pinned on the enormous dragon. The enormous dragon who lay curled up on his hoard. The enormous dragon who lay curled up on his hoard watching her with beautiful sea green eyes.
     “Well, well, well,” the deep male voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once. “What do we have here?”
     Raisa gulped back a scream. She couldn’t imagine that would impress him over much. Her screaming and flailing around like a Muppet wouldn’t make a great first impression. No sudden moves, she told herself, and bowed low before him.
     “So, thief, why don’t you tell me why you’re here before I eat you.”

     Raisa stepped forward to bargain with a dragon.