Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Thanksgiving Gift… a deleted scene from Jake in TSI2

As a Thanksgiving gift for my fans (who I am incredibly thankful for!!!!), I’m posting a deleted scene from the upcoming The Storm Inside 2 (title coming soon!).  I forgot all about this poor scene (it got deleted so early….) and now I’m wondering if I should put it back in! Either way, I thought this scene was fun and wanted to share while everyone was off for the holiday weekend!

Safe travels everyone and enjoy some good food! xoxo

**********

Her eyes flared and I knew right then and there I was totally screwed.

“Have you lost your f#cking mind?” she shrieked.

If I wasn’t so damn terrified of her, I’d stop to notice how beautiful she was when she was mad. I think it’s the passion. I love Eve’s passion. When she’s mad it pours out of her. Her brown eyes are like lightning and her cheeks flush. Yes, her voice varies between ear splittingly shrill and darkly quiet, but it’s also filled with a smart wit few people on this planet could master.

But I was terrified of her, so there was no time to linger on Eve’s finer qualities. Right then I needed to focus on keeping her from completely losing it.

“Darlin’, I love you.”

Oh sh*t. That did not have the desired effect. Her hand curled around the bottle of water she was holding and for a split second I thought it was coming across the counter at me. Instead she bit her lower lip and growled. “Don’t you darlin’ me you idiot! And I don’t care how many time you say you love me!”

I was out of words. I had no clue what to say to her to make her stop being mad at me. I knew I was an idiot, but I also didn’t know what else to do. She had to see that, didn’t she? “What should I have done differently?”

It is entirely possible Eve turned purple at that point. Maybe the house above us split open and let lightning strike me. That was possible, too. Either way I saw an entirely new level anger from Eve. One I hoped never to see again.

“Everything. You could have done everything differently. Jackass!”

“Could you please be more specific? Should I not have sat beside her?”

The bottle of water shot across the counter and I ducked, barely, as it whipped past my ear. Eve had a damn fine arm and that bottle was half full. “F*ck, Eve! Seriously? Can’t we talk like adults here?”

I was lost and confused and I just wanted to make the madness end but every single thing that came out of my mouth seemed to make things worse. I don’t know if it was good luck or bad luck, but Eve turned silently on her heel and stomped upstairs.

Idiot that I was, I followed her. “Eve, where are you going? We need to talk.”

But she didn’t answer. She just kept stomping up the stairs and into our bedroom door, which she slammed shut in my face. And locked.

“You can’t be serious!” I yelled at the door. She was acting so insanely it was making me mad, too. Why couldn’t she just take a deep breath and talk? Why was it so hard to tell me what the hell I’d done wrong?

I mean, other than all the obvious things….

Ok, so maybe I could answer my own damn questions.

“Baby, please open the door. I know I was a stupid moron, but I can’t do anything about that from the other side of a door.”

“Go. To. Hell.” she yelled back.

Fantastic. “I’m already there, babe. I’m already there.”

There was complete and utter silence for a minute while I pressed my forehead to the cool door. My hands were braced against the doorjamb and I wished I could somehow just push the door open and break down this barrier between us. “I’m sorry, Eve. I should’ve done a lot of things different.” I could hear her moving on the other side of the door. I thought she might have been pressed up against the other side. We would be touching if it weren’t for the damn door.

I wanted to be touching her. I wanted to be stripping off her clothes one piece at a time while I dropped kisses over her skin. “I never should have asked her to join us. I realize that now.”

“You are such an asshole.” she was almost whispering it.

I could hear the pain in her voice. I really was an asshole. “I know. Please open the door.”

“Why did you ask her to come?”

F*ck. Why did I feel like I’d already answered this ten times tonight? Oh, right. Because I had. “I already told you, darlin’, I didn’t know what else to do.”

I let my head fall against the door again. The impact felt good. Maybe I needed a good swift punch to the face to knock some sense into me. At the moment I was starting to feel like the worlds biggest idiot.

There was growl from the other side of the door that made me wince… and then silence. “Eve?”

Nothing.

A minute later I heard the shower turn on. Great. Fabulous. I was locked out of my own bedroom while my gorgeous wife took a shower without me. I wanted to kick the door in, jump in the shower with her, and make her listen to me. But that seemed a bit over the top creepy, even for me.

So instead I sat on the floor with my back against the door and tried to make sense of my night. Eve was being ridiculous. Well, a little bit anyway.

You’d think I needed a brain transplant with as stupid as I was. It wasn’t like it would take a rocket scientist to figure out you don’t put rocket fuel near an open flame.

The shower turned off and I started an annoying pattern of knocking on the door with my head and calling, “Eve, please let me in.” I was on my twenty-seventh cycle of that when she opened the door and I fell flat on my back at her feet. “Thanks.”

She glared at me and walked away. Her dark hair was wet and combed, all her makeup was washed away. And she was wearing a night gown… not my undershirt and boxers like she would usually be wearing (f she was wearing anything at all).

I liked it when she wore my clothes. Sure I gave her hell about stealing my shit from time to time, but secretly (or not so secretly) I loved that she preferred to wear my clothes.

It sucked to see her in something else. I needed to fix this before things got even worse. I was not sleeping on the couch.

Get caught up with Jake and Eve! Read The Storm Inside before the sequel!

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I Need a Hero!

My good friend (and awesome writer) Julia Kelly and I had so much fun talking about heroine’s last month (see that chat here!) that we decided to tackle the other half of that awesome equation: the hero.

Let us know if you have a favorite romantic hero or any suggestions for us to read, we want to hear from you!

Check out all of my video’s on writing by visiting my YouTube Channel

Book Review: Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar

Today I’m reviewing a book I absolutely loved reading, Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar.  While I do know Mary Chris personally, I did purchase this book and review it all on my own (and she didn’t ask me to, either!)  I really loved this book and can’t wait for Mary Chris to write her next novel so I can read that one, too!  Now, on to the review:

NEB

Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar is a smart, witty novel filled with relatable characters and a very interesting situation.  Our main character, Kate, is stuck living the week of her best friend’s wedding over and over (Groundhog Day style).  At first I was concerned I would become bored by seeing the same events played out again and again, but I wasn’t at all!  Each repeated week was new and different as Kate learned from her mistakes and tried desperately to end the cycle.

Along the way Kate also happens to start falling for the best man, Ben, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch their romance blossom because Kate is so completely clueless in the beginning.  Watching her realize her feelings over the course of the book while also getting to know Ben, who is both incredibly sweet and unmistakably manly, was one of my favorite parts.

Kate is smart and independent while also flawed without being angsty or dramatic. I think this is my favorite part of Neverending Beginnings: there was no false drama and it didn’t make me crazy.  It was a truly engaging and interesting story that made me sad to put it down but filled with excitement knowing I had something so enjoyable to pick back up.

One word of caution, while reading this book I was compelled to eat and drink the same food as the characters.  I don’t know what it was about Miss Escobar’s writing style, but the little nuances of the characters got inside my head and made me want to be part of the story—including the food and craft beer! (For more on this, check out my chat with Mary Chris)

I’m very happy Miss Escobar decided to follow up Neverending Beginnings with Delayed (only $0.99!) so I could get a glimpse of the characters down the road.  I highly recommend Neverending Beginnings (and Delayed) to anyone!

Price: $4.99

Purchase links: Amazon    Nook   Smashwords

Connect with Mary Chris Escobar: Website   Facebook   Twitter

Shelfies! Let’s start a trend!

I was a bit inspired by Julia Kelly’s post this week about her bedroom bookshelf.  (Read her post here)  In it she says her bedroom bookshelf and nightstand are her queue for the books she really wants to read.  So, I looked over at my bedroom bookshelf and laughed (because, let’s face it, if it is in my house it’s a disaster).  Yes, it is stuffed with books, but it was the content that got me thinking.

I moved an entire four-shelf bookcase (that doesn’t even match my bedroom–at all!– because I needed a better system of curating my To Be Read pile.  You see, I have a problem (one I think most of you can relate to).  I have a lot of books.  And when I say I have a lot of books, I mean I have a lot of books.  It  can be hard to keep them organized.

bag of books

Julia- I too have a giant bag of books….

And, being the enormous book hoarder that I am, I’ve amassed a small army of books I had every intention of reading… one day.  So, clearly, a new system was needed and the bookshelf was moved in beside my bed.  I got the warm fuzzies having so many books cosied up next to me.  The only problem?  I still haven’t read any of them.  Why?  Well, as I looked over the titles I realized my bedroom TBR pile consisted of three things: books I know I should read because of their high acclaim, books I want to read because I pretty much like anything the author writes (I’m lookin’ at you, John Grisham), and books that were indulgence reads handed down from friends.

So basically, the books in my bedroom are only going to get read on sick days, vacations, or on a wild whim, because the books I actually read are the ones that inspire me in the moment.  The books on my shelf are ‘on the bench’ while other books are being called up from the bullpen to pitch.

I love having stacks of books ready and waiting for me–there is actually a great amount of comfort in that.  But I’m probably not going to be reading them any time soon.

Now, on to the Shelfies! I want to start a movement! “Selfies” in front of shelves!  As Julia points out in her post, the first thing we tend to check out anywhere we go is the bookshelf.  We all love books and we all love trying to figure out what they say about the person, the store, the or wherever else we run into stacks of books.  So, I’m calling on everyone to start taking selfies in front of shelves and using the hashtag #shelfies on Instagram and Twitter and Tumblr and wherever else it’s fun to share our bookie adventures so we can snoop on bookshelves near and far!

My first #shelfie!

My first #shelfies!

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Food in Fiction: a chat with Mary Chris Escobar

I absolutely love when authors include yummy things in their novels!  It makes me want to eat and drink whatever the character’s are enjoying.  This happened to me hard core while reading Mary Chris Escobar’s novella Delayed, and again while reading her novel, Neverending Beginnings.

Lasagna is featured prominently in both books, along with chili (check out Mary Chris’s favorite BEER CHILI recipe below!), craft beer (yes!), wine, and coffee.  I may have made lasagna three times since reading these books.  I also may have made chili and paid a little extra attention to my locally roasted, 1565 Artisan Coffee.

Skip watching the news or a talk show and watch us musing about food and such in books instead! (it’s like “Buying Local” but different!)  ALSO, sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a FREE COPY of Delayed! (Did I mention how much I loved both of these books?  Well, I did and I want you to read them, too!)

*I apologize for my video and sound quality issues.  My production team have been properly chastised and the kinks have been worked out for future chats.*

Don’t forget to try Kate’s famous lasagna or that amazing-sounding Beer Chili! Be sure to stop by Mary Chris’s blog and say hi!

Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Three year olds…

After my morning walk with Zach I’m pretty convinced most of the fantasy and sci-fi books out there were born out of the minds of three-year olds.  Over the course of our one-mile journey we saw evil spiders, heard mysterious chompers, ran from mushrooms, and marveled at the trees, all while Zach rambled about the universe.

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Our Trail

It turns out…. Those weren’t just spiders—they were evil spiders who could move like lightning and kill you with a single bite.  Not to mention, they could weave massive, intricate webs.

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Evil Spiders

And those chompers (who were really a bunch of crickets happily chirping in the underbrush) aren’t that scary since they only attack bad guys.  Otherwise, chompers are totally friendly.  I wouldn’t suggest being a bad guy around them, though.  They are apparently pretty evil, have massive, sharp teeth, and can move really quick.

Mushrooms are magical.  According to Zach, all manner of creatures, real and imagined, can live beneath a mushroom.  Especially trolls.  Trolls are scary.  We wouldn’t want to get pulled into their world!

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Troll House

There was Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees, but it was also growing in under the railings—and they happened to look a lot like scary bugs.

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Our Favorite Tree

Zach wanted to climb the oak trees so he could look out at the world.  Possibly locate a desert (apparently the cows playing in the lake across the street weren’t as interesting as finding a desert).

"The Desert"

“The Desert”

But what really baffled him were the entrances to our subdivision.  They look a lot a like.  So, when we made it to the far entrance, Zach thought we were home.  When I explained we were actually at a different entrance he started musing.  “What if they are actually the same entrance and we’ve been walking all this time, but getting no where?  What if every entrance is the same entrance, Mommy?”  See where I’m getting the sci-fi ideas?

Entrance 1 or 2???

Entrance 1 or 2???

So, we had an interesting walk this morning and I’ll be sure to shut up and listen to my kids the next time I need help with a story.  Considering my NaNoWriMo piece is a dystopian/utopian sci-fi something or other, I think these kids may prove to be useful 😉

NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

National November Writing Month has begun!! Now is the time to write the novel banging around in your head.  There are a few reasons why November is the month to do it!

  • Community- writers from the completely clueless to mega best-selling authors are writing novels this month–what better time to join our community?  There are forums on the NaNoWriMo website where you can connect with other writers, discuss your fears, and ask for advice.  These people may become your friends for life!
  • Social- now is the time to get that Twitter account and follow the hastag!  This is an amazing opportunity to follow writers along on their journey as well as meet new friends! Trust me, some of my best writer friends are the ones I met on Twitter (I’m looking at you SYTYCW 2012 Alums!)  You can also follow and interact with your favorite authors on both Twitter and Facebook.
  • How- this month NaNoWriMo gives you the goals and how to meet them.  How many words do you need to write per day to hit your goal?  Is it realistic? Can you do it?  This is the month to find out!

Bottom line: you can’t get better at writing until you start.  Weightlifters can’t snatch three hundred pounds on their first day at the gym.  Marathon runners can’t run 26-miles on their first jog.  Piano players can’t write music after five minutes at the keyboard.  Writing is the same.  You have to start somewhere and it takes lots of practice, mistakes, and embarrassment to get from an idea in your head to a published novel.  Every time you put it off, you are delaying your journey!  Stop talking yourself out of it and JUST DO IT!!

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